meeting the doctor – my beginner’s thoughts on Doctor Who

I know I resolved to blog more this year and I plan to, but right now I kind of just want to watch Doctor Who.

tardis

***Warning – Full-on Nerdity Ahead!***

I know I’m late to this party and I’ve been reading about The Doctor for a few years now but, as much I enjoy Supernatural and Buffy, time travel and aliens just aren’t my thing. And it didn’t help that one of the strongest recommendations for it came from friends of ours who also recommended Troll Hunter to us…so we were skeptical (to say the very least) about their taste in entertainment.

Then the Christmas holiday rolled around and there wasn’t a single other thing to watch, so we gave the good Doctor a try.

And it wasn’t great.

But, like Breaking Bad, we were warned that it started off not-so-great and got better as it went, so we persevered.  We are now at the beginning of season 3, and its safe to say we are hooked.*

So, since I’d rather be watching Doctor Who than writing this blog, but Phil is writing his blog and won’t let me turn on the TV, I figured I’d do the next best thing and write some of my thoughts here:**

The Doctor

9th-10th-dr

I was not a fan of the first season we watched of Doctor Who with the 9th Doctor.  I can’t really put my finger what about him I wasn’t a fan of, but I couldn’t wait for him to regenerate.  And, when he did, I started enjoying the 10th Doctor almost immediately.

Regeneration

I don’t really understand how this works, since we’ve only seen it once, and I wasn’t paying all that much attention, but this is what allows the show to continue over 50 years.  When the Doctor is dying (?) he can regenerate his form into something new.  I think this is a brilliant concept as it constantly gives the show new life.

The Companions

rose

The first 2 seasons’ companion was Rose. It was her last episode, in my opinion, that the show went from “Meh…” to “Yeah!”  Which is not to say that I didn’t like her, because I did – she worked really well with David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) and it was the depth of their relationship shown in that episode that turned the corner for me.  And I was excited to see Catherine Tate’s pop up, because she is all kinds of awesome, but that seemed to be some cruel kind of prank because some other chick became the new companion.

The Villains

dalek

cybermen

This is easily my least favourite part of the show.  I find the villains to be, at best, corny, and at worst, incredibly irritating.  When I see a Dalek on screen I want to run screening from the room.  Not out of fear, but because their constant screaming of “EXTERMINATE” is like nails on a chalkboard, and the Cybermen aren’t much better.

The Creep Factor

When the villains aren’t corny or irritating, they are flat-out creepy as fuck.

creepy dr who

dr who weeping angel

And the very worst of all…

Phil actually downloaded a ringtone of that last one for the sole purpose of tormenting me with it. *shudder*

So those are my general impressions of the show so far – and as I said, I’m not that far into it and I’m really just starting to get into the show.  I enjoy David Tennant immensely and, as much as I was looking forward to Matt Smith (since he is all Entertainment Weekly seems to talk about), I don’t really want the time of the 10th Doctor to end.  And (knowing nothing of what’s to come) I wish they would depart from a monster-of-the-week format and develop as more of a serial so we could have a bit more character development from week to week.

What are your thoughts about Doctor Who?  Are you a rabid fan, or could you care less?  Who is your favourite Doctor?  Companion?  And what’s the deal with their relationship – just friends?  Lovers?  Or a very deep mentor/mentee bond?  Let me know in the comments below!

*hooked = we, begrudgingly, enjoy watching it when there isn’t anything else on the PVR, but it’s still at the bottom of our list (for now)

**keep in mind that I am only 2 and a bit seasons in (which means 2 doctors and 2 companions), so all of the above opinions could change as our viewings progress

a star is born (hint: its not me)

Remember a few months ago, back in the dead of winter, when Phil and I were interviewed for a food show about our favourite mexican restaurant?

Well that episode has finally made it to air, and yes…I am in it.

But don’t blink, or you might miss me*!

And Phil is on it too. 

A LOT!

Which doesn’t really surprise me, because he is really handsome and witty and charming (and he was totally schmoozing with the host and crew off camera).

So sit, back, relax and drool** over You Gotta Eat Here – Tres Carnales (the segment starts at about the 7 minute mark, but Phil is featured in the opening and before some of the commercials as well).

Unfortunately, the website won’t let me embed the video so You Gotta Click here!

*I like to think of myself as a “special feature” – they didn’t want to overuse me for fear I would outshine all the other segments.

**Over the mexican food, not my husband***

***OK, I can’t really blame you if you drool over my husband, as well.  He is very drool-worthy. 

real world…edmonton???

Are you a ” young male (who) works up north in the oil industry OR locally in construction OR a trade. (Who) may or may not have a high school education, but makes over $100,000 a year...”?

How about a “25-35 year old ‘biker-type’ (who)’s tough as nails and may or may not be into some shady dealings. Fancies himself a ladies man…”

Maybe you’re  “30-45 years old, and (an) old-school rocker chick (who) still loves a good night out with the girls…”

If so, you could be (locally) famous!

If you don’t fit any of the above (stereo)types, don’t worry, the producers are also looking for bar stars, gay hairstylists, young single moms, gym rats and cougars to be a part of the new reality show Northsiders.

klassy

Who wouldn’t want to be involved in this venture?  It sounds super classy and not at all demeaning or trashy.

And if you do get selected, you don’t have to worry about roaming around in a Bachelor-type mansion, or getting lost behind the secret doors of a Big Brother-type house – no…you get thrown in “a run down house (to) live together for 13 weeks, and see if anyone survives with any dignity intact.

Where do I sign?

Bummer, it doesn’t look like they are casting self-respecting, 30-something, overweight females who take the bus and have a small-yet-indifferent Twitter following.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just wait for my shot on Canada’s Got Talent.*

*My talent is judging people on the bus.  And I am a master at it!

my (very limited) thoughts on the super bowl

The Super Bowl was on our TV for the entire game but once I realized that we, in Canada, were not privy to the high-production commercials, I completely tuned out.

Even though we were watching on NBC, just like everyone else, a Canadian broadcaster hijacked the feed and all we saw were the same boring ads we always do.

Wow – look at that Tim Horton’s ad!

I was not impressed.

What also did not impress me was Miranda Lambert’s pink microphone. 

Seriously?  You are already expressing yourself with your clothes and your hair and your, you know, voice…do you really need a sparkly, pink microphone positioned right in front of your mouth?

And don’t even get me started on the half time show.  I have already shared my opinion of Madonna at the Golden Globes (she really annoyed me), but I was hoping that if she was singing some old favourites instead of talking, I might not be as annoyed.

I was wrong.

First of all, it was painfully obvious that she wasn’t singing at all.  Then she was tottering around on those ridiculous boots trying to “dance”, and even though she wasn’t talking about her “extremely important film”, she still managed to exude an air of I am so much better than all of you.

I enjoyed the songs, other dancers, the bouncy-tightrope-Richard Simmons-y-hair guy, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj and MIA…but not Madonna.

Not at all.

Though she was beter than the Black Eyed Peas…

I did enjoy Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of the national anthem.  I thought it was simple and straightforward, and the children’s choir was adorable.

But I am happy to say that the team that I arbitrarily picked but didn’t really care about won!  Yay Giants!

And then Phil and I sat through the entire episode of The Voice*.

Which shows just how little attention we were paying.

*Full discolsure: I actually kind of like the initial-auditions-spinning-chair part of this show

dazzling a national audience, one taco at a time

After seeing the success of Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, Canada – being under represented yet too polite to say anything – decided that we need a show like that of our own.

Enter You Gotta Eat Here!

This is the DDD of the Great White North.

Only much cooler, eh.

Over the last couple of weeks, the show has shot at different restaurants around Edmonton – including one of our favourites, Tres Carnales and Phil and I got an invite to stop by for the filming!

In the days leading up to the actual shoot, I maintained that I didn’t want to go; I had no interest in seeing just how much weight the camera really adds (now in HD!).  But on the morning of the shoot, I made sure I did my hair and put on makeup before heading out the door.

I told Phil that I would go, but that he can do the talking.

When we walked into the taqueria, we were handed the release forms to sign, told that we would be the first interviews, and took a seat.  I filled out the form, but told Phil that I planned on being very boring so that they wouldn’t even dream of using anything that I said.

We got mic’d up, and waited for our visit with John Catucci – the host of the show.  I was plotting how I could sabotage the microphone that was taped to my sweater to ensure they couldn’t use my footage…just in case I couldn’t suppress my natural charm and wit.

John came over, introduced himself, and gave us a few pointers for when we were in front of the camera.  He was really friendly and funny and quickly put both Phil and me at ease.

Then I was up.

The lights were shone my way, the camera swung around to face me and John sat down.  He asked me what I was eating, and we banterred about the yumminess of the fish tacos on my plate.

Then the sound guy stopped us.  He had to move my microphone.  Then he had to move it again.

So much for me sabotaging the sound.

Then we started the interview again and tried to recreate the witty repartee that didn’t get picked up the first time.

And I’m sorry to say that I was…awesome.  John asked me a few more questions, then the same questions off-camera, and then I was filmed eating tacos for, what felt like, 20 minutes.

It is, apparently, impossible to suppress my charm and wit, even while stuffing my face with fish tacos and guacamole .

Damn my enchanting personality!

Then it was Phil‘s turn – he and John played off each other well and he had some good soundbites that, I think, have a good shot of making it into the show.

After we were done dazzling, we hung around a bit to take in the action.

Once we were certain that nobody else was showcasing our brand of star power, we put on our coats, said goodbye to our new best TV friends, did one last curtain call, thanked everyone for coming and exited stage left.

Now we just have to sit back and wait for the episode to air (not til spring), and for our royalty cheques to, surely, follow.

pomp, pageantry, pj’s and popcorn

I love awards shows.

I claim the couch and the TV for the Oscars and the Emmys – Phil makes me supper during the red carpet, popcorn during the show, and makes sure my wine glass never gets lower than half full.  Maverick curls up on my lap and I don’t move for the entire night.

But my favourite awards show is the Golden Globes.

Its got movies, TV, alcohol and Ricky Gervais making fun of the whole lot.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

I was even invited over to a friend’s house Sunday night for a home-cooked dinner and I said ‘no’ because the farthest I venture from my TV on Golden Globe night is the bathroom.

And last night was no exception.*

Here are my thoughts:

~ 10 years ago when Phil would force me to watch wrestling with him, if you would have told me that Stacy Keibler would be dating George Clooney, I would have told you to put down your crack pipe and give your head a shake

i wonder if he likes her to pin him…

~ I was disappointed that after all the hype over who Ricky Gervais would skewer in his opening monologue, the answer turned out to be…nobody

~ Phil spent so much time rewinding, pausing and slomo-ing to to see if this dress was actually see through that I was able to fast forward through 2 sets of commercials

i can’t really tell…is there a…nipple?

~ I have never seen “Boss” but I don’t know if I can live in a world where Frasier wins an award over Bryan Cranston and Damian Lewis

~ I am not a fan of Ringer, but it is so good to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in popular culture again

BUFFY!!!!

~ Madonna annoys me.

~ “My name is Seth Rogan, and I am currently trying to hide a massive erection.”  Biggest real laugh of the night.

~ Mostly unrelated story – In a recent interview, Michelle Williams was asked about her short hair and she said that the man that she loved preferred her hair short, and that she will always wear it that way to honour his memory.

~ Tight race, but George Clooney looks more distinguished with a cane than Brad Pitt

~ Have I mentioned that Madonna annoys me?

“i am so much better than you…and you…and you over there too”

~ Felicity Huffman, representin’ for the older broads – smokin’ hot!  Jessica Lange, not so much.

~ Claire Danes, I have loved you since I was 15, and I love you still.

i do miss the red hair, though

~ If anyone was weirded out that Matt LeBlanc won, then they haven’t seen Episodes.  Great show, he’s a total douchebag…in a great way.

~ Phil during Sidney Poitier’s introduction of Morgan Freeman: “Can we fast forward this?” ME: “No, we’re watching this live.”  PHIL: “I was just hoping that if we fast forwarded it, he would sound like he was talking at normal speed…”

~ I am concerned for Kate Beckinsale.  The cameraman seems to have developed an unhealthy obsession with her.

can’t really blame the guy, though.  She is super hot!

~ Mark Wahlberg was doing his best “James-Franco-hosting-the-Oscars” impression

~ *Sigh* Colin Firth is just so…*sigh*.

why yes, i did take this picture myself – that’s why he is smiling so adoringly

~ After Meryl Streep’s glasses were passed, from person to person, all the way up to the front of the room, the guy at the front didn’t even give them to her.

~ I think George Clooney is really a wonderful man – handsome, charming and witty.  And now I really want to see Michael Fassbender in Shame…no reason.

All in all, it wasn’t a great show – no great moments, no really spectacular looks, or funny/heartwarming speeches, and Ricky Gervais was neutered – but I still sat transfixed for 5 hours.  And will do so again in a couple of the months for the Oscars.

I am a sucker for punishment.

Though, by the looks of it, I enjoyed it WAY more than this guy…

seriously, dude, would it kill you to crack a smile?

*though there was a small damper on my mood by the complete and utter lack of love for Breaking Bad**

**but the love for Homeland almost made up for it***

***almost

not impressed that I have to put pants on

I am back at work today.

I have been off for 3 weeks recuperating from my surgery, and it was the shortest 3 weeks I have ever experienced.  And now, just like that, I am back at work.

And it sucks.

While working through the excruciating pain of having a part of my body cut out of me, I have become accustomed to lounging on my couch, laptop open and my cat snuggled up next to me.  I was lucky that Wilzie was off for 6 days with me after my surgery, and I took full advantage of that luxury – I never had to get up to let the dog out, to get myself a glass of water.  Wilzie even got up in the middle of the night to give the cat his puffer when he was having an asthma attack.

I should have my gallbladder removed more often!

THough, I did manage to keep busy while on the mend:

I watched all 3 seasons of Arrested Development,

the first season of Homeland,*

more movies that I can remember,

and 3.5 seasons of Battlestar Galactica (and I am not impressed that I have to go back to work with only 9 episodes left to watch in the entire series!).

But now, after 3 weeks of relaxing recuperating, I had to get up off the couch, run a comb through my hair, put on some pants and drag my still-sorry ass to work to go through my 100+ awaiting emails.  And I’m still not even fully healed!  There should be a rule that dictates that I don’t have to go back to work if I still have scabs clinging to, at least, one of my 4 incisions.

Because I’m sure I could keep this sucker on for another couple of weeks, at least!

*If you have not seen the magnificence of Claire Danes and Damian Lewis in Homeland, do yourself a favour and watch it.  You will thank me.

the over-active imagination of doom

I am not a fan of scary movies.

I avoid the haunted houses at carnivals.

And, for me, Hallowe’en is more about candy than creepiness.

I have no problem with this and I don’t care about how uncool it makes me.

I used to care – when I was 15 years old.  I was working at my first job and the mostly older crowd was going to see a movie – The Exorcist III.  I couldn’t say no lest the cool kids make fun of me so, against my better judgement, I went; and it was scary.  But I was with friends in a full theatre and the “scary movie experience” was actually kind of fun.

Except it wasn’t so fun when I got home that night; lying in bed, alone in the dark, sure that every creak of the floorboards was Satan coming to get me.

To this day – 22 years later – I still check behind me for a hooded figure racing up to chop my head off with a pair of pruning shears.

That kind of stuff stays with you when you’re a chicken shit.

So I was surprised when the premise of American Horror Story intrigued me.  And then I read so many positive reviews that I couldn’t help but be interested in seeing for myself what all the fuss was about.

Luckily, we don’t have FX up here in the great white north, so I could be spared the nightmares.

But then I saw it – an ad announcing the arrival of FXCanada, complete with a preview of the first episode of American Horror Story.

And I just couldn’t resist.

I DVR’d the episode and saved it for just the right moment: it had to be light outside, Wilzie had to be home and sharing the couch with me, and I needed enough time in the day before bed to convince myself that it wasn’t scary.

That time came on Saturday morning.

I snuggled up to Wilzie, covered up with my blanket and pressed PLAY.  The very first scene – the teaser before the opening credits – already had me peeking at the screen through my fingers.  What the hell was I doing to myself?

When we got our first glimpse (through the holes in my afghan) of the creepy-crawly in the basement, Wilzie and I both yelled out “It’s a creepy baby!” and laughed at our own creepy baby encounter in Iceland.*

And then the show actually got interesting.  Weird, for sure, a little scary, but more freaky and creepy than outright terrifying.

I could totally handle this!

By the end of the show, I was on my own side of the couch, munching Doritos and no longer hiding behind my blanket.

As we went about our day, I thought about the show and decided that I actually really liked it.  I even looked up the FXCanada website to check into ordering the channel.  And when we climbed in to bed at the end of the day, I turned out the lights without any hesitation.

The next morning, Wilzie was up early to go to work and I dozed under the covers until he came in to kiss me goodbye.  I heard the front door close and closed my eyes, ready to revisit my slumber.

But it wasn’t long before I was sure some thing one was watching me.

My eyes flew open, sure that I would find the man (demon?) in a black rubber suit standing in my doorway.  Of course, there was nothing there.

Stop being so silly – I lectured myself – you have lived in this house for 11 years, I’m sure you would by now know if it were haunted.  Dumb ass.

I grabbed the cat, called the dog into the bedroom and I snuggled back in bed.  I closed my eyes and engaged in some soothing self-talk.  I was just starting to nod off when I heard a noise – it sounded just like…

A CREEPY BABY!

I knew I was being ridiculous, but I also knew that there was no way I was getting back to sleep, so I got up out of bed.

As soon as it was light out**.

*which, thankfully, ended better than the encounter on the show

*you didn’t really expect me to get out of bed and walk around my house in the dark, did you!?!

dead sexy?

The new season of The Walking Dead started on Sunday, and I am so excited.

Me!  The girl who can’t watch an ad  for Paranormal Activity without shrieking and changing the channel.  The girl who is scared of the dark and runs to the bathroom in the night, who avoids looking in any of the darkened mirrors and wills herself to not even think about Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary.

Damn it!  I hate it when I do that!

But that girl loves zombies.

I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t find zombies scary*.  I find their blood-covered mouths, their missing limbs and their constant quest for BRRRAAaaaiiiins to be refreshing.

Sure, I can imagine that being surrounded by zombies would cause some tense moments – I was on the edge of my seat when Little Miss Sunshine and The Chick Who Snagged Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love were stuck on the carnival ride and the zombies were starting to climb up the railing up to them in Zombieland.  And I was scared for Fergie when her car broke down and she stupidly tried hitching a ride in Planet Terror.

But as tense as those moments are, I just don’t get scared.  Maybe it’s because zombies are just so…stupid

Persistent, yes – those flesh eaters will stop at nothing to chew your fat – but smart?  Definitely not.  Zombies are proof that osmosis doesn’t work because with all the brains they eat, they should have the IQ of Einstein instead of Forrest Gump.

And where stupid can be very scary in, say, a doctor, its actually a relief in someone who is trying to eat your intestines.

I guess that’s why my favourite zombie movie is Shaun of the Dead.  It just showcases the ridiculousness of these idiots of the underworld.  Just throw your sneaker at it and you can easily saunter away.

With all the attention that vampires have been getting the last few years, its nice to see the zombies coming into their own.  They don’t have the “sexy undead” mystique of vampires, zombies have more of a “rotting corpse” vibe, and that just isn’t very attractive.

So, that’s another good thing about zombies; with their decaying flesh and gnawing teeth, we will probably be spared the horror of a Twilight-esque zombie romance.

Now that would be scary.

No, Bella.  Walk away from the zombies!

*For the record, I am all about the glassy-eyed, slow-moving, dim-witted zombies of Dawn of the Dead (original), not the crazy-fast, super-sprinting zombies of Dawn of the Dead (remake).

breaking theories

**Spoiler Alert**  I am about to go into full-on geek mode over Breaking Bad and within the gushing geekery there might be might a spoiler or 2 about the season’s happenings and its finale.  But really, if you are any kind of fan of the show and haven’t watched the finale yet, then I shouldn’t have any sympathy if I spoil it for you. 

As I may have mentioned once or twice in the past, I am completely obsessed with Breaking Bad.  It really is the best show on TV – the writing, the acting, the direction and cinematography are all outstanding.

I was initially resistant to watch it, despite the rave reviews, because it was about meth and I couldn’t bring myself to support a show that glorified drug use.

But then I came to my senses.

When AMC re-ran the entire series in preparation for the upcoming – now, just finished – 4th season, I started to watch Breaking Bad.  Then I started to love Breaking Bad.  Then I became obsessed with Breaking Bad.

This obsession has compelled me to, in addition to watching (and re-watching) every episode, seek out every auxiliary piece of information about the show that I could find.

Interviews, podcasts, reviews and recaps – I devoured every Breaking Bad-related morsel that I endlessly Googled happened across.

But what I mostly got out of all that information was annoyed.

I get the all-encompassing obsession, but what I don’t understand is the endless dissection and theorizing.  Am I the only person that is happy to just watch and enjoy a show, content in the belief that the writers have a plan (since I have loved the show thus far), and wait for the story to surprise and satisfy me as it has for the last 4 seasons?

I know that the writers are smart, and that they assume the audience is smart too, so they don’t feel the need to spell out every little plot point and instead choose to lead the viewers in the right direction and let us figure it out for ourselves.

But some people take this way too far and assume that every single, tiny aspect of every single scene means something BIG.

And while I give props to the people who picked up that when Walt was spinning his gun on the table and it pointed to the plant in the back yard that it was a HUGE clue that Walt used that very plant to poison Brock.  And the same people who backed that theory up by noticing that Huell pocketed something after frisking Jesse at Saul’s office were right on the mark that that’s how the ricin cigarette disappeared.

But I refuse to believe that the bruises on Jesse’s face looking like an “8” and then fading to look like a “6” was some sort of countdown. Or that Gus’s doctor joking that Gus needed protection was a wink about Gus rolling with Jesse and that because Jesse was scrawny (and therefore couldn’t protect him) it obviously meant that the doctor was teasing Gus about keeping Jesse around because Gus was gay and, therefore, had to be in love with Jesse.

Uhm…WHAT?!?

And as much as I tolerated people questioning if Jesse actually shot Gale at the end of last season because they never actually saw it (even though the gun was not even a foot away and pointed directly at Gale’s face when Jesse pulled the trigger), I can not believe people are even questioning whether Gus is still alive.

Dude had half of his head blown off in an explosion, Bitch!  Seriously, Yo!*

So, to save my sanity (what little I have left) I have decided to feed my obsession only with interviews with people connected to the show and eliminate all the crazy theorists who wish they were smart enough to write this show, but instead screen-cap every second of the show and spout non-sensical crap about what it all means.

But now, let’s get to what’s really important here…how hot did Jesse look walking out of the laundry with Walt for the last time?

Right?

*if you actually watch Breaking Bad, that statement was hilarious!