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46 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Does Stuff is goi... · 0 replies · +9 points

Take as much time as you need, your health is the most important.

58 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Veronica... · 0 replies · +6 points

See, thematically I sort of get what this is going for. Veronica has an unhealthy relationship with her own trauma and refuses to heal in healthy ways and it leads to really shitty parts of her personality. What happens here is that she's faced with a horrible traumatic thing that forces her to face her unhealthy coping mechanisms and try to deal with her own traumas in a healthy way, but... The way they do it feels just like it was there for shock value and it's pretty sloppily done. Like, I think there's a better written version of this that really digs into that, but this ending requires a bunch of leaps of logic that don't really hold of to scrutiny, which kind of sucks cuz I think the rest of the season really really knew how to dig into Veronica's own relationship w/ her trauma and how badly she deals with it.

65 weeks ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +4 points

Anyone watch the new Veronica Mars?

66 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +8 points

I quite like this episodes but I just wanted to discuss the season overall:

I like this season. It reminds me of Class in both a good and a bad way. But I did want to point out a thing I felt the season was lacking: conflict between the Doctor and the companion(s). Look at all the other companions of the new series; by their second or third episode they push back and question the Doctor's authority. It's a companion rite of passage, to push back on the Doctor's worldview and bring something new to the table.

I think because this aspect isn't there, the stories allow the Doctor to make decisions and have no one question them. All the companions are just there to do things and have their own arcs but those arcs don't intersect or conflict with each other which leads to a lot of flatness in the characterization. You're an ensemble show now, Doctor Who, so you should deliver on one of the things that make ensemble shows so good, the intersecting character arcs.

I'm also disappointed in that regard cuz I feel like Yaz really could've fit the role of the person who has an actual Arc with the Doctor, but instead she's just there... Not given any real characterization and just there to do whatever the Doctor wants her to do.

67 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +2 points

Small follow-up for a thing I liked: the music SLAPS. I'm impressed by some of the cool editing in the episode and they made the music and the editing work together really well!

67 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 7 replies · +17 points

It's weirdly ironic that this post is coming up during the Amazon strike, because it sure is relevant with this episode!

It's a shame, because I recall really enjoying this episode because it felt like really fun Doctor Who (probably the most fun episode of the season??), and then it falters in the worst possible way? The episode goes through the ways the employees of Kerblam are treated (kept away from their families, having their every move tracked, etc.) and then goes to lengths to justify it (it's for their *protection*) in the latter half of the episode. This is an episode trying HARD to catch you off guard and go "you thought!" but it fails so hard at that because of it.

It's weird seeing the hero of your television show, the one that literally swore off capitalism as a mistake a literal year before this episode, say "It's not the system that's at fault, but the people who abuse the system." This is so frustrating not only because "this system is so bad that even the system itself is suffering" is a cool twist but because the Doctor at that moment is literally defending a system/being/structure/AI that JUST murdered someone in cold blood? What???

Also, the optics of having your villain being someone who is motivated by workers rights and the people you're ostensibly supposed to root for be the big massive corporation that's been putting them in objectively bad working conditions is... not good. (The most telling part is the very end where we're supposed to think the company is so GENEROUS with giving their employees TWO WEEKS PAID LEAVE after their WAREHOUSE BLOWS UP!!)

Science fiction has A LOT more interesting stories than this to talk about automation. It feels as if there's a lack of imagination when someone looks at automation as problem for people's jobs/livelihood and thinks "ah, the solution is to phase out automation and give more people jobs" (the "solution" to the problem of this episode as stated by the executives of Kerblam) rather than "maybe in a future where all jobs are automated, we should instead think about other systems as an alternative to a system that requires a demand for human labor in order to function." It's baffling.

I like the bubble wrap stuff a lot (I love that Ryan is the kind of person who pops it immedietely. Ryan's my fave.) and I like Twirly. There's a lot of charm here. I felt like the cast worked really well, and the new opening titles never get old. Still mad about the politics of this episode. The gall of an episode with KILLER BUBBLE WRAP making me feel in other ways besides delight.

67 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +8 points

I love this episode. So moving, and just genuinely beautiful. The historical episodes this season have been excellent. Written by the second person of color to ever write for the show.

I wish, in an episode focused on Yaz, she would have been given more stuff to do. Even as a character in the episode, she doesn't... do that much. That's my main complaint about her character, that she hasn't been given that much to do and I hope we get more of that in the future!! Cuz I love her character!!

68 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 2 replies · +6 points

I love this episode! It does very well in establishing the time and place of the story and really digs deep into the topics it brings up. It's genuinely scary in a real way, but one thing I wanted to say about this episode is that it feels a lot more engaging than the previous two and really evokes the "adventure-serial" type feel (which, ironically, really sold the "kids' show" feel I've been looking for, despite the incredibly real and horrible subject matter unlike the made-up sci-fi subject matters in the previous episodes). That has me a little conflicted, because the episode does deliver on some genuine straight entertainment while also really getting deep into the horrors of racism and from the point of view of a nonblack person, I enjoyed it a lot, but I don't know if lands if the violence in the episode is one you've actually lived.

I love the centering of Ryan in this episode, but I do have a minor complaint about the climax and how it handles Graeme. The big climax of the episode centers on Graeme. Of the companions, he's the person who is given the most time at that moment. The big emotional moment for the companions is Graeme being forced to be a passive actor in the system that Rosa Parks is fighting against. I'm... not a fan of this decision. I think it could work as a thing the episode works through, but I would've rather the climax focus on a different companion.

Last observation: obviously it would be unacceptable for the alternative, but because of the nature of the episode, it's very easy to suddenly think "hey uh we've seen the Doctor topple unjust governments and overthrow dictators, why is she tolerating the existence of American segregation?" The obvious Watsonian answer is that it would change time and cause people to never exist (but we've seen the Doctor change established history before), and the obvious Doylist answer is twofold: 1) having a white Doctor go to segregated Alabama and solve racism is a terrible idea for a story and would be a white savior narrative, and 2) the show has to be respectful of history and not invalidate the struggles of real-life people. But it is just VERY disconcerting to see the Doctor face down the unjust systems of racism, step back, and make the decision to not interfere. Perhaps this marks a different approach by Chibnall to what the Doctor is/should be?

Also: Stormcage is the prison River Song was kept in. It's basically there to be a reference to the Moffat era.

69 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +4 points

I love the new opening titles! My favorite they've ever done. Sosososo good. I wish they were a little longer, but I can't complain that much.

This episode is fine. It's very cerebral, not a lot happening. It's character-focused, but there's not actually a lot of character progression, just a lot of character establishing, if that makes sense. Like, we sort of get Graeme and Ryan discussing Grace's death, but it's mostly stuff you would expect from them discussing Grace's death, it doesn't really bring out anything new with that stuff.

Not a fan of the new TARDIS interior! The lighting is... not good imo and it doesn't feel like a place people actually live. A lot of the previous TARDIS interiors genuinely feel like a safe place for the characters and really give a sense of home-ness, but the new one is... really moody and just looks kind of cool. Oh, but I REALLY like the windows at the front of the interior. The part of the TARDIS entrance that's just the inside of a police box. That part is mwah.

I will reiterate my original complaint that this episode is... weirdly dark. It makes for more sit-with-your-brain kind of drama that I think can be good, but part of why I like the show is that it's for kids! It tries to be fun. It's nonsensical and manic, and that stuff appeals to the childlike wonder that I get in my brain. The tone shift of this era really doesn't capture that wonder for me, despite the cool setpieces.

I really enjoy the soundtrack; it takes a bit of getting used to but it's great. The scene where the TARDIS appears is wonderful. I like Jodie and hope she gets more stuff to do in future episodes.

69 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +5 points

I think this episode is pretty good. It's entertaining and I enjoy the characters, but I have a couple complaints about it.

1) Fridging Grace sucks dude. It's so rough. I genuinely hate it and it puts a sour taste in my mouth. The writing around it isn't even clever; she doesn't get to be her own character at all because all of it is just there for Graeme and Ryan.

2) Once it gets to the alien part, it kind of loses me. I enjoy all the stuff around it but the alien just wasn't very compelling for me. We're told a bunch of stuff about his culture and his world, but none of it actually matters for the stakes of the episode. It's just window-dressing. It's there to tell you he's evil and a coward, but we're not given much context about why the actual details matter. We learn about the guy who's sister was taken, but that's them just adding flavor and detail, but it doesn't actually change the crux of the conflict at all. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean the episode has a lot of filler and not a lot of alien-ish stuff that grabs me. Also I was very confused by the Doctor's "You had no right to do that" comment. It didn't really feel in-line w/ the previous Doctors' sense of morality.

3) Not really a criticism either, but the episode is weirdly dark? Isn't Doctor Who supposed to be a kid's show? The Doctor's still the Doctor, cracking jokes and stuff, but there's not nearly as much levity as I expect from Doctor Who. The monster is scary, sure, but I really don't see what they're doing for the show to appeal to kids. I say this because when I watched all the preview stuff like trailers, they were REALLY trying to sell a fun tone and this didn't really reflect that imo.

I enjoy it a lot and it does do a lot of stuff that I like from non-Doctor Who shows like being a bit more grounded and dramatic, and it looks very pretty. I also like all the characters a lot. (I love Ryan)