Tag Archives: Doctor Who

The Clock is Striking Twelve

26 Aug

I always warn you before spoilers, don’t I?

Well, if you haven’t seen Doctor Who season 8 episode 1, I have only one two things to say to you:

  1.  WHAT WHY NOT
  2.  Well, don’t come back until you do.

Last Saturday night, I sat in a dark room full of Whovians; the kind who get so excited that no one really cares that they’re slowly turning the back room of a Japanese novelty shop into a sauna.

It began with a girl dressed as a steampunk Dalek standing up to announce that the episode was beginning, and once it did, there would be no mercy on commentators. There was a murmur of assent from the viewers. The episode commenced. Not a peep was heard for over an hour, save the odd hushed “Awwww” or “ohmygoshohmygosh.”

It was glorious.

For many of you, I do not have to tell what happened in the episode.

Seeing it through strictly unfeeling eyes, it was the usual:

  • Doctor offends people
  • Clara stamps her foot
  • SUBTEXT SUBTEXT
  • Viewers are scared
  • Characters are scared and then die
  • Doctor voices some variant of “He/She/It was scared”
  • SUUUBTEEEXT
  • Hands are held
  • Hugs are had
  • Chips are consumed

But of course there was the one prominent difference:

The new Doctor.

This dork.

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Look at him

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Really look

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Let me explain: Eleven was my Doctor. Under such circumstances, I thought it was going to take more than a shouty “I’M NOT FLIRTING BY THE WAY” directed at a rampaging dinosaur to win me over.

The Doctor wears his new face well. And hey, as far as the rest of you go, I understand (in theory) if he hasn’t grown on you yet. But just

Look at him.

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No, I suppose that’s not what I mean. Don’t just look. The Doctor said it himself. See.

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That moment killed me. In fact, I am actually writing to you at this moment from the mysterious fountain garden on the other side.

I’ve wanted to hug a lot of fictional characters before, but this moment must have topped the list. So of course they had to stab at that particular ventricle of my heart.

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“I don’t think I’m a hugging person now.”

*Collective scoff from fandom*

But in any case, I didn’t come here to gush over the Twelfth Doctor.

While I did indeed come here to gush over the Twelfth Doctor, there are other Doctorial things to be addressed. Such as?

  • SKIN BALLOON wHAT 
  • How one little blow-torch droid set fire to an entire dinosaur
  • The frankly alarming number of space ships skipping around replacing machinery with human remains (I had no idea this was such an epidemic)
  • The umbrella woman in the weird afterlife fountain garden

Oh come on, what else am I supposed to call her?

Mediocre Fact: I actually had to Google “deep breath umbrella woman” to get anything like what I was looking for. I got a lot of weird artwork and one heroic bit of information that told me that the umbrella woman is actually called Missy.

The “Gatekeeper.”

Cool! If anything, I know less than I knew before.

I feed off of your speculation and inside knowledge; please, let me have it. I would absolutely love to discuss this episode with you. I mean, there it was after all, the excellent first episode of what looks to be a very promising season.

So, what do you think?

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[Proper] Trailer Breakdown for Doctor Who Season 8

15 Jul

 Off the heels of the last two skimpy DW teasers, the good people of the BBC have gifted us with an official full-length trailer for Doctor Who’s eighth season, and it features not only the explosions that you loved so much from the earlier teasers, but actual shots. From the show. In good lighting. 

I think I should not be this excited but I’ve still been waiting for this moment for months. So let’s begin, shall we?

dw8_1

I love that opening. It’s deliciously vague. What’s this going to be a trailer for? Sherlock? Copper? A history program and/or short summary of the Revolutionary War? Who knows dw8_4

You would think that somewhere along the last three regenerations, the Doctor might have thought, “Hey – I’m literally seconds from blowing up into a freaking volcano of regeneration energy. Maybe I should keep the TARDIS in park. Just until I’m not disoriented and/or screaming in agony.”

Boy needs a designated driver.
dw8_5

No, not you. (Who calls a time machine a cow?)dw8_7

“Life returns.”

Coming from a species who routinely dies out every ten minutes, I’m inclined to believe it.dw8_8

“I don’t think I know who the Doctor is anymore.”

Coming from the girl who has seen (and saved) every version of the Doctor? Coming from the girl who had a personal adventure with three different versions of this guy simultaneously? Don’t get me wrong, heavy grief over the loss of Eleven forced me to eat the better part of a jar of nutella, but if anyone can be graceful in the face of regeneration, it should be Clara.
dw8_10

“Life prevails.”

Then again, as I am experiencing physical pain watching Twelve not double over and put his full weight on the rails like Eleven used to, maybe I shouldn’t judge Clara for this one.
dw8_11

“I’m the Doctor.

(He repeated, as his self-confidence tapes told him to.)

dw8_12

And to think, just eight years ago, we gave Christopher Eccleston half a store mannequin arm, told him to strangle himself with it, and called it good.

What a time to be alive.dw8_13

“I’ve lived for over 2000 years.

(You know, since back when that mannequin arm move was movie magic)dw8_14

dw8_15

 “Yours is bigger than mine.”

“… Let’s not go there.”

dw8_16

Classic companion shot. But ah, lest we forget, we’re taking on another young grasshopper this season!

So what do we know about Danny so far?dw8_17

… If my calculations are correct, that he’ll fit in just fine.

“I’ve made many mistakes.
dw8_20

“It’s about time that I did something about that.”

I like your snappy little suit. But, hey, you’re talking about the bowtie, aren’t you? I resent that, sir.

dw8_21

“Where are we going?”dw8_22

“Into darkness.”

What was that Doctor? Did you say the TELEVISION CROSSOVER MANKIND HAS ONLY DREAMT OF

I did a thing and I'm very proud

COS THAT’S WHAT I HEARDdw8_23

“Here we go again.”

Welcome back Madame Vastra and Strax! Never once, watching your first episodes so many years ago, did I think you would make trying to convince people to watch this show so much more complicated and weird. Thank you?dw8_24

#ButFirstLetMeTakeASelfie

(Don’t worry, I kind of hate myself for making that reference)

All right, let’s get real for a moment. Life’s treating you hard, isn’t it? Sometimes you wonder if it’s all worth it? You’re looking for some ray of hope, some glimmer of joy in this dark world.
dw8_25

Well, BBC is here to say: you’re welcome.

Go on, squeal. You know you want to. And frankly, I feel kind of lonely sitting here squealing by myself.
dw8_26

And don’t worry, to keep those joyful expectations  in check, the BBC has thrown a little bitterness and destruction in there. Just for you.
dw8_27

And… robot crusaders? I’m down.dw8_28

“The British are coming!”

I’m not joking give me a Revolutionary War episode it would be so cool
dw8_29

I know it’s probably too much to hope for, judging by Clara’s very much not ancient Roman attire, but all I want is for her to be talking to a member of the Sibylline Sisterhood from “Fires of Pompeii” here. Obvious bonus points if it’s Karen Gillan.

dw8_31

And, if you look closely, you can see the Doctor Who producers collectively denying the rainbow-skittle-makeover the Daleks got early in season five. I don’t think anyone minds.
dw8_32

And of course, Sexy hasn’t changed. Still begrudgingly going along with the whims of a man who consistently brings home strays and drives her mid-regeneration. That’s love for you.
dw8_33

“Clara tell me: am I a good man?”

Tune in for Doctor Who this August to see the Doctor  played by a moody teenager having an existential crisis!

dw8_34

“I… don’t know.”

And don’t miss Clara, played by his mom, who wonders where this new attitude is coming from.

dw8_35

And by the by, I would never diss Nine’s mannequin arm scene. That was classic.

Trailer Breakdown for Doctor Who Season 8

9 Jul

 If you’re on this blog of your own free will, chances are that you’re familiar with BBC’s two recent, feeble attempts at  teasers. Each lasted an exhaustive fifteen seconds, didn’t have a single well-lit shot between them, and they still managed to make me and DW fans everywhere weep with joy and mourning. It’s a true art.

So today I have a treat for you.

Ever since Doctor Who Confidential was canceled, we’ve been deprived of some of that behind-the-scenes action that was so fun to watch after each episode aired. That’s why I am pleased to present to you today, the genuine minutes of the boardroom meetings where these teasers were discussed and digitally edited. It wasn’t easy to get these notes, and bits of them are burnt, so I might be leaving some parts out. Just bear with me.

MB: “We want this look at the Doctor to be memorable. Important. So blow some of that garbage up in the back.”

KW: “Garbage?”

MB: “The TARDIS.” 

dw_3

MB: “Brilliant. Again.” dw_4

RW: “Ken and I had a couple ideas too,”

MB: “Sh. One more time.”

RW: “Okay.”dw_5

MB: “It’s beautiful.”

RW: “Can we put in some talking?”

MB: “Whatever.”

“Clara, be my pal, tell me: am I a good man?” dw_6

“I don’t think I know who the Doctor is anymore.”

KW: “You know, this is not how reflections work. Or eyes.”

RW: “No one asked you.”

MB: “I’m so bored right now. Cut to black.”

dw_7

MB: “Okay kids, now I want the Doctor Who Teaser Mark II to have everything that made the last one great.”

RW: “That’s reasonable. What was that?”

MB: *Turns out lights and sets table on fire*

KW: “Right.” dw2_1

MB: “Okay, everyone, strong beginning. Let’s go stronger.”

dw2_2

MB: “SECONDARY EXPLOSION YES”

RW: “Sir,”

MB: “MORE”dw2_3

MB: “AGAIN BUT WITH LESS LIGHT”

dw2_4

RW: “Sir, we’re all a bit worried about the mental state of the viewers. Any way that we could give them a break?”

MB: “Fine. Give them a shot of that old dude and some of that ‘dialogue’ trash you won’t shut up about.”

KW: “Thank you.” dw2_5

“I see into your soul, Doctor. I see beauty, divinity, hatred!”

KW: “Is it just me or was that line more Captain Jack-esque than Dalek?”

MB: “Okay, you two have had your say.”

RW: “You don’t mean” dw2_6

MB: “HAHA YES BOOOM”

KW: “What! Where are his other organs? This is not how x-rays work!”

MB: “Shut up and give me a close-up of those hearts.” dw2_7

MB: “NOW MAKE THEM EXPLODE”

RW: “SIR NO”dw_7

The last few pages of the transcript are in ashes. I heard Michael Bay was fired from the creative committee some time afterwards.

(Don’t worry about it. It probably gave him more time to work on Titanic.)

Real Life?

19 May

(Click here for this post’s year-old predecessor)

My current moment of celebration has been brought to us by this fact: I graduated high school last Friday night. 

It follows then, that now I’ve been on the receiving end of a surplus of advice and/or inspiring comments. I’ve been told both that my life has finally begun and that nothing really changes after graduation (Don’t be a motivational speaker, friend). Mm, and yes, my college plans have been questioned seventy-nine times in the past three days.

But even that is not enough to bring me down at the moment. I had a blast graduating, I did so with some terribly cool people, and I am super stoked to no longer be asked what school I go to, or what I’m doing after graduation. (the spirit of the second question will still be present often, but I choose to at least appreciate the change of tense)

I am no longer a high schooler. 

This is joyous news.

But I have a mission in today’s post, one that I must not forget – the geek speech. I mentioned this topic last year, when I got super stoked about putting fandom references in my grad speech and wrote a post (linked above) about how I would let you in on it someday.

That day is here. I have linked every otherwise-unidentified reference for explanation purposes.

 _________________________________________________

*pats microphone*

First off, what a turnout!

How wild is this, huh?

All we did was complete twelve years of schooling. And now look at us. Dressed in glorified trash bags. How far we’ve come.

But where to begin on the list of people we couldn’t have done this without?

I do feel like it would be an injustice not to give a shout-out to my school curriculum, so as much as I’d like to ignore Abeka and Saxon, I do have to say thank you to Adventures in Odyssey and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego for being the thinly-veiled education machines that made up a good chunk of the important things I learned in my school years.

And of course, I have been immeasurably blessed by the people in my life. My friends are the best, most fantastic friends I could ask for, and my family is beyond marvelous. I can not say enough good things about them, and I could not have hoped for anyone better to be raised around. My parents, especially, have been so much better to me than I deserve. I want you all to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are loved. By so many, and so much, and by no one more than me – except maybe One. I thank the Lord for you daily, which leads to the next order of business – thanking the Creator who made every bit of this possible. Thank you for your strength, your wisdom, your unconditional love, and of course, for this moment. For all these bright young men and women who are ready to get down to business to defeat the tons of opposition that we may face.

After all, the protagonist of every story finds herself in a battle at some point.

And we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one. Cos it is, you know? It’s the best. Remember, all of our stories have already been written by the best author our universe has ever produced – or, actually, the best author that ever produced our universe. And stories are not meant only to entertain, but to teach. There are lessons in stories. The moral of the Three Bears, for instance, is never break into someone else’s house. The moral of Snow White is never eat apples. The moral of WWI is never assassinate the Archduke Ferdinand. What will our stories tell others? That’s up to us. But we really ought to make it interesting, make it inspiring. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. And you know God does not create anything that doesn’t make some sort of glorious difference in the world. After all, no artist can resist signing his work.

The world didn’t come with any extra parts, but it didn’t come with any that were interchangeable either.

We all have something that no one else has, and that thing is exactly what the world needs, and the thing we need to give away.

In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” This place is not our home. But any good houseguest knows that you should leave a place in better condition than when you first arrived in it. It’s no different here – except that you don’t usually find opposition when you try to clean a guesthouse.

The world, however, will do what it does best and tell us to do what everyone else is doing, and to stick to the status quo but the status is not quo. The world is a mess, and we just need to… school it. It is our job to educate the world, to go and make disciples. Be fishermen, be fishers of men. So we’ll beat on, boats against the current. And, I don’t know, fly casual.

Madeleine L’engle once said, fittingly, “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up, we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

This isn’t my favorite truth to accept, but it’s definitely a pre-requisite. I don’t pretend to be grown-up now, but I know I’m on that road. I mean, all children, except one, grow up, but our pace on that journey, the way we deal with the walk, who we become along the way is all on us. And this milestone we call graduation, it means growing up far, far less than it represents it.

Regardless of age, you have always been important, you have always been something. Age just reveals the facts that always were, and experience uncovers the you that always was. Never let people look down on you because you are young. Set an example.

And if you’re ever discouraged, the world gets on your back, and you find yourself beating yourself up and saying that now would be a really good time for you to grow up – don’t ever allow yourself to be downtrodden. Growing up is an adventure, not a destination – and that’s your secret.

You’re always growing up.

Thanks for sticking with me today and for the past years.

Catch… you… later.

_______________________________________________

In closing, I just want to extend the warmest thank you to my excellent friends who used the moment after to yell out,

“No you won’t!”

Shiny and New You

2 Jan

There are a lot of reasons to be happy about this time of the year.

  • 2014 still feels shiny and new
  • No more Christmas-flavored hallmark movie puke
  • The Doctor Who Christmas special was ripped off like a bandaid
  • Everyone is still upholding their respective New Year resolutions
  • “New year, new me” is still a viable excuse for everything

For real.

“Why haven’t you cleaned this room since December?”

“New year, new me.”

“Why haven’t you made any progress in your life plans?”

“New year, new me.”

“Why are you eating fish fingers in custard and pasting pictures of Matt Smith all over our ceiling?”

“New year, new me.”

And of course, another nice thing about holidays is that they give you an immediate small-talk option. No matter how much you dislike this cheap form of conversation, I’ve noticed that to function as a human being, you have to have some grasp of how it works.

Thankfully for everyone who is as bad at small-talk as I am, the next couple of days are ready to go, because not only do we have a cookie-cutter question for conversation lulls, but also an inquiry that we’re sure to be asked to be asked in return – so start practicing your responses now!

(insert any quip about social anxiety, if you like)

Here you go:

“Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?”

I’m sure you’ve already indulged in this brand of conversation fodder already,but if you’re as tenacious as I know you are capable of being (and have enough different people to ask), you can probably still stretch it out for at least three more days.

And of course, remember to have your own answer(s) ready. If you can’t think of one, I recommend logging into facebook for a second and picking any one of the dozens of internet people who have already given you their resolutions completely unsolicited.

That’s what friends are for.

Throw in a couple of your own, of course. You set those goals. Shoot for the moon, right? Or, as I read it the other day,

“Don’t shoot for the moon. Shoot to beat the spread by the thinnest of margins.”

Not ambitious, but realistic, I suppose.

Everyone talks about setting “realistic” resolutions.

I hate that word, “realistic.” There are far too many times when it has been used to crush the desire to do something fantastical like “slay a dragon,” “build a spaceship,” or “stop procrastinating.” It’s such Phineas and Ferb-esque dreams that fuel greatness, and they are quickly repressed by the iron-clad and wholly uninteresting word, “realistic.”

Perhaps this is just me, but I’ve noticed that when I buckle down and make the decision to set realistic resolutions, my standards for myself drop down to Hobbit stature immediately. I go from writing my ambitious resolutions in calligraphy to trying to be realistic and I start scribbling things like “don’t die as a result of poor driving of a stick-shift” or “update blog a minimum of once per week month year.”

“Realistic” can have the power to round everything to the lowest common denominator. Just remember that there is a difference between “realistic” and “commonplace,” and you don’t want to blur that line. Nothing is really impossible.

If everything is possible, then “realistic” holds no power over you.

So do it.

Slay a dragon. Build a spaceship. Stop procrastinating. There’s a whole lot of stuff to do before 2015 starts next January, and you can do it all.

And if anyone questions you, you know what to do.

“New year, new me.”

What’s December Without Christmas Eve?

24 Dec

I’m munching a candy cane as I write this, and although the peppermint stickiness of my fingers is trying to tell me this brand of multitasking is a bad idea, I have to say something to everyone.

Merry –

Wait

I can’t do this until you’re feeling the Christmas spirit.

And you know what that means.

Everyone knows what that means.

It’s time for some seasonal goodies.

Whether that means a musical Doctor Who Christmas,

A present from the BBC straight to the Sherlockians (THANK YOU BBC),

A Balloonshop Christmas with all the joys of the holiday season,

Or whether you just still don’t know the lyrics to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

Whether you’re set up to have a white Christmas, a green Christmas, or some sort of in-between grey Christmas, I wish you the very merriest. I know well that Christmas spirit has a way of being uncharacteristically elusive at times, but I still hope it manages to find you and your loved ones well.

I would love to help, if I can. Let me build you a fire and put on some music.

Merry Christmas.

I hope it is full of joy, song, and Christmas cheer. I hope no one plays “Christmas Shoes” or forces you to watch some horrendous “classic” Christmas movie. I hope you eat whatever you like. I hope you answer the phone with, “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” Most of all, I hope and pray that you are very, very blessed on the day of our Savior’s birth.

Now, I get it – at this point in December, it’s entirely possible that you have found yourself torn between the careful, yet ambiguous “Happy Holidays” wishers and the people who punch you in the face and aggressively wish you the Christiest Christmas that ever did Christ.

You definitely can’t please everyone, not even [especially not] at “the most wonderful time of year.” However, the angels in Luke 2:10 proclaimed that they had good news of great joy for all the people when they announced Jesus’ birth. All the people. Impressive. There are few things that are really universal, but love is one of them, and Christmas is about love. Plain and simple. 1st John 4:8 says “God is love.” John 3:16 says “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.”

Jesus Christ, the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, is the embodiment of God’s love for us. It only makes sense then that the preferred form of Christmas celebration is, in fact, love (followed closely by singing loud for all to hear). Now, by no means should love be a seasonal affair, but the fact remains that it is often treated that way, brought out and dusted off just for special occasions. What if this Christmas could be the time when the love starts to stick?

Love isn’t about a feeling, after all, it can stay long after Christmas spirit has been boxed up for twelve more months.

Christmas is about love, but, really, so is everything else.

Shall we celebrate?

[Note for the Whovians: in case you were about to ask – yes, tears can be a relevant way to show love. I’m sure I’ll be there. But of course, as we bid farewell to our adored Eleventh Doctor on Christmas day, we remember: same software, different case. Merry Christmas, everyone.]

Trailer Breakdown for The Time of the Doctor

18 Dec

Today, it is one week until Christmas.

Today, a Doctor Who Christmas special trailer was released.

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a bit of analysis, joy, and slight bitter grieving?

*Christmas music begins*
dw_1“Hello, the TARDIS!”
dw_2

Is that snow? Is it finally safe to infer that that is actual confirmed snow and not an evil monster or ash from a burning spaceship?

I’m going to say yes.dw_3

While I’m making safe assumptions, I’m also going to go ahead and assume that this is from another planet, because, what?dw_4

“Hello the Oswalds!dw_5

Merry Christmas!”

Looking for reasons to add this episode to your Christmas-TV watch list? How about that is is starring this golden face by Possibly-Clara’s-Dad (or Possibly-Someone-Else)?

If this is after the scene shown in the BBC Christmas teaser where Clara introduces the lovely Eleven as her boyfriend, then I think I can understand the expression. dw_6

I had one quite like it on myself.dw_7

“I hope you made a wish.”

Thank you adorable grandmother, for saying the presumably important, foreshadowy thing that would have sounded even weirder if it came from anyone else.dw_8

Is it just me, or do their expressions sum up their relationship?dw_9

“Is that a new body?”

Only on Doctor Who.

^The above comment applies to both the question and the eyeliner choice^

dw_12

“This old thing, please, I’ve been rocking it for centuries.”

Hahaha, oh Doctor, how cute. What could ruin this happy moment?dw_13

Oh.dw_14

OH.dw_15

OH SWEET MOTHER OF PEARLdw_16

WAIT IS THIS REALLY NECESSARY NO NO IT IS NOT
dw_17

In this shot we hear Clara, showing off her Amy Pond:

“What are you? Why do I keep forgetting you?”

Oh, honey.

By the way, that shot shows an awful lot of swagger for a man with some of his greatest enemies strolling behind him. I shan’t get my hopes up, but if that’s the Cyber-Planner back from the dead, I will forgive the BBC for everything they’ve ever done to me.dw_18

“The Time Lord has entered the trap.”

“If you’re smart, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap.”dw_19

“You will die in silence, Doctor!”

What, again? wait

Are you telling me that this episode is still running on fuel it got from season five?

*slow clap*
dw_20

“Clara, step away from it!”

Really, really good advice, usually. Shall we see if Clara takes it?dw_21

Surprise, surprise.

“YOLO”dw_22

Oh please, now I have to be scared of Weeping-Angels-hidden-in-the-snow? Am I not already afraid of weeping angels, snow-that’s-probably-ash, and snowmen separately? This is starting to seem a little extreme.dw_23

::Gratuitous TARDIS action shot:: dw_25

“Everything ends, Clara. Sooner than you think.”

Or else nothing would ever get started? Still, it’s Christmastime. What happened to that “happy crying” we had a couple years back?

dw_26

Aaaand there’s your answer. Curse you Silence[exceptnotreallybecauseImissedyou].dw_27

New screwdriver? Timey-wimey thing? A machine that goes ‘ding’?

dw_28

How about a totally out-of-context toy dog? Yeah, BBC knows what you want.dw_29

Clara: “Change the future.”

Doctor: “I can’t.”

Clara, you’re not going not let him off that easy, are you?
dw_30

*Audible gasps heard around the world*dw_31

YES. Yes, please. You have no idea how long I’ve waited for a proper explanation and backstory for this scene from season six. Unless your idea is “since season six,” in which case, yeah, you got it. That wasn’t a very hard guessing game.dw_32

Yeah, Oncoming Storm, you go. You assemble a cabinet at them. dw_33

“The Time War will begin anew.

What, um NO that is SO not Emma Approved.dw_34

Run, you clever girl. And isn’t it time the Doctor said that? If he says it in this episode, I will be requiring a high-five. And probably tissues, but let’s not get into that quite yet.dw_35

The siege of Trenzalore is now begun.

*Manages to growl and cry simultaneously*

dw_37

Oh, Daleks exploding, good. That’s something I can get behind.dw_38

This world will burn.”dw_39

#Judging You

“GURL. You need to burn that makeup.”
dw_40

I can’t get over how well-done this episode looks. By the by, have you ever felt a sort of overwhelming dread and denial accompanied by unbounded enthusiasm and excitement?

… I’m, um, asking for a friend.

The Christmas Music Guide for the Successful Playlister

13 Dec

It’s Christmastime.

There’s no getting around it now. Gone are the voices of the men and women who cry, “Christmas comes earlier every year!” They have been replaced by the voices of the Salvation Army Santas, of joyful children and their 100-percent-over-it parents, and, of course, the voices of those on the radio, turning out those same Christmas songs you’ve been listening to annually for the past nine hundred years.

Merry Christmas!

This is my favorite holiday, and as such as it is the celebration of our Savior’s birth, the only time I can wear red and green together, and in this year’s case, a farewell to the Eleventh Doctor, I think it deserves proper treatment.

This includes proper music.

It’s quite likely that at some point in your life, if not this very year, you’ve endeavored to put together a Christmas playlist, be it for your holiday dinner, for driving in the car, or for stringing up lights. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of songs and some well-known(ish) facts about them to help you decide:

Is this song right for my Christmas playlist?

  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

This one could be tricky. How far into the Christmas season is it? If it is late December, chances are good that this song has been played enough times to make its listeners briefly consider verbally abusing whoever is responsible for the song being played. On the other hand, it is so traditional at this point that you will be safe if you put it on a playlist. Just once or twice, though, unless hostility is what you’re going for.

  • Santa Baby

Santa Baby is like the Donna Noble of Christmas music. By and large, you either hate it or love it. Unlike Donna Noble, however, this song is absolute trash (especially the later you go into December) and should only be played if you plan to make fun of it mercilessly.

  • Ave Maria

Good choice, especially if you’re holding a Christmas-themed tea party for dignified lords and ladies. No one really dislikes this song, and if performed by the right artist (Josh Groban), can get just about everyone in the festive mood to close their eyes and sway.

  • Christmas Shoes

Nope.

  • Let It Snow

Classic. Go ahead and put that one near the top of your playlist, to make sure everyone listening is aware that the weather outside is, indeed, frightful (It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or not where you are – it’s the mindset that counts). It is also such an easy song to quote or put other lyrics to that parody opportunities are limitless. If you have cheeky old man relatives who think they’re cute when they say “The weather outside is delightful/but the Christmas dinner is frightful” or something like that, then this song is even more perfect for your needs.

  • Anything Sung by Chipmunks

If you are between the ages of three and nine, then sure, go all out.

  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Dangerous ground, my friend. There have been countless renditions of this bad boy of a Christmas carol, and it’s safe to say that about ninety-seven percent of them are sung by eighty-year-old men and their nineteen-year-old gold-digger girlfriends. If you can find a truly well-done version, then absolutely put it on your playlist. It’s way too fun to sing along to to be completely excluded. However, if you cannot find a decent version and you’re thinking about settling for one of the more legitimately worrying ones, I advise you not to unless your company has a good sense of humor and/or gold-digger girlfriends.

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Of course! Do you like Christmas spirit (with a twinge of bullying and conditional friendship squeezed in)? Go for it.

Christmas only comes once a year, you guys, so make sure to flavor it with proper tunage. Good luck on your playlisting.

What Christmas songs are your favorite?

Priceless

28 Nov

In any given guide to writing, you are sure to find something about starting off with an interesting sentence.

The problem with that bit of advice is that what is interesting to one person is by no means interesting to someone else. I could start every one of my essays for college with a sentence about interesting parallels in the Marvel comics Civil War storyline and I would be hooked, but chances are my professor would be less than impressed.

Every Fanboy and girl knows very well: no one is required to be interested in what you are interested in.

What is to you

will at some point be  to another.

It’s something one learns to live with, as one learns to live with, shall we say, uncomfortable relatives at Thanskgiving (just to throw it out there). You accept it because it’s real, but darned if you’re not going to at least try to change your circumstances to make it easier for you. It’s understandable. Who wouldn’t do it?

Whether it’s placing those unfamiliar extended family members at the extra dinner table or forcibly making a friend watch a Sherlock marathon (because they’ll thank you later), it does happen, even if it doesn’t always work.

What you love and what you do can define who you are, but if everyone had those things in common, the world would be a disturbingly boring place to be. There’s a reason everyone is different, and that is because we all have a unique place and purpose, and no two of the 7 billion of us are interchangeable.

That’s why the thought of someone not thinking they are worth anything, or believing that they don’t matter, is, and should be, heartbreaking. There is every possible variant of diversity among humanity, but not a single one of us is inconsequential. That’s the one thing we can all say we have in common – our importance.

One of my favorite quotes on this topic, one that says it way better than I can, is from Asa Butterfield’s title character in Hugo,

“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason.

And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”

You’re not an extra part. You are an enchantingly beautiful, incalculably valuable human being with an important purpose, and you are surrounded by people who have their very own brand of those things as well. Every person with a different type of beauty has a beauty all the same.

And of course, none of us are perfect, but our flaws alone do not define us, and we must not let them. They may contribute to who we are, but they do not change the fact that who we are is loved, cherished, and utterly priceless.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

And that’s something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless!

The Internet is Lava No More

26 Nov

Spoiler alert

This is not a drill

If you have not seen the Day of the Doctor, then run for the hills. (And then watch Day of the Doctor)

Now then.

Where were we?

Oh yes.

How many times did I die during that episode?

Twelve.

“No sir! … Thirteen.”

DO YOU GET IT

"No sir, all thirteen."Goosebumps.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaa*cough*

Sorry. Review. Got it.

This moment right here represents a very real and present problem for me –

I love the idea of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

I do not love the idea of Matt Smith ever not being the Doctor.It’s a vicious cycle made up of emotional dependence on fictional people.

But this moment – this moment really was amazing. Thirteen doctors in one scene. Thirteen doctors in one season would have been impressive, let alone a thirty-second time slot with each Doctor helping teleport a planet. I admit, I’m not entirely sure how they made that work, but hey, it’s Doctor Who, and some things you just have to let happen.

Like how some guns are manufactured to shoot perfectly formed, perfectly spaced letters into a wall.

Sure, that’s a thing.

But these weren’t the only things worth mentioning in this episode. Every scene with more than one Doctor was absolutely stellar; to be perfectly honest, I felt like I was just reading some really, really fantastically well-written fanfiction.

Because this sort of thing doesn’t just happen in canon, does it?

APPARENTLY SO

I have to say, one of my favorite scenes was the three Doctors in the Tower of London together, 10, 11, and 8.5(?), discussing timey wimey and the mechanics of a wooden door.

And, of course, Clara.

actually figuring out the mechanics of a wooden door.

By the way, let’s talk about Clara. At this point in her life, she has already saved the Doctor’s life. Dashed herself into confetti versions of herself and spread them about the Doctor’s timeline to save every single Doctor. And in this episode, she saved Gallifrey.

Clara saved Gallifrey.

I mean, of course, the Doctor is the one[thirteen] who did the marvelous timey-wimey spacey-wacey thing that hid Gallifrey in some obscure pocket universe, but Clara convinced him to. Clara has saved not only the Doctor, but literally EVERY LIVING TIME LORD.

*slow clap*

Wait, while we’re already slow clapping, let’s add this scene to the list of slow-clap worthy moments.

*slow clap*

*accompanied by euphoric sobs and murmurings of “Gallifrey falls no more!”*

Before I close out, I must say, I liked 8.5 way more than I thought I would. I never thought I’d dislike him, but I certainly never expected him to be fantastic, and I was pleasantly surprised. And his victorious “Gallifrey stands!” stood up quite well to all the other Doctors’ catchphrases.

Speaking of new Doctors, if you’ve been downwind of the internet in the past forty-eight hours, you may have heard the calls for Kate Osgood (also known as Scarf Girl) to be the next companion of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. They seem like they would make a charming pair, but with so little known about Twelve or Kate, maybe it’s too soon to speculate.

“too soon to speculate” she said to the Doctor Who fandom.

I’M KIDDING YOU GUYS

Go crazy with those speculations, I want to hear all of them.

And hey! *raises screwdriver*

Here’s to the hundredth anniversary!