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May. 30th, 2010

What with the fact that I'm actually writing on lj all the time [state of big scary meta post: massive self-doubt, because suddenly it all seems a bit... Well, duh?! Painfully obvious, painfully tl;dr, and she thought it was necessary to write all this why exactly? Thank you brain. Meet desk. Next time, come to this conclusion before I put this much work into something, pretty please?] I tend to kind of forget that I'm not actually updating as such.

Spent last weekend in Salzburg, partly although not entirely to avoid the whole birthday thing, especially the birthday-and-family thing, but that turned out to be a complete waste of time, money & carbon footprint. Three hour drive after work on Friday, fought a minor ant invasion with coffee grounds at 1.30 am, unscheduled trip to H&M because I forgot to pack both slips and T-shirts, sore throat, felt crappy, got my period, felt crappier, periodically panicked over Wednesday's dentist appointment, was annoyed by the painfully slow internet connection, read R. Safranski's Das Böse: Oder das Drama der Freiheit and ended up not doing a lot else except going for a walk on Monday evening that left me crying and angry that I already had to drive back again in the morning, because in the end what's the point of trying to escape for a few days if it only shows you more clearly how frustrating and depressing the life you're returning to is?

Still coughing with a slightly sore throat that isn't really bad, but doesn't really get better either.

On the plus side (I guess...), throughout most of The Hungry Earth I thought I was finally getting kind of used to the new cast, S5 and everything. Eleven is still not someone I'd even want to have coffee with, and would probably strangle if I had so much as to travel on a bus with for any length of time if he kept talking to me, but as a fictional character he gets maybe a little more watchable. Liked the first episode, but the second really dragged, and in a way it felt... I can't put my finger on it, old-fashioned? In every sense? Like I was watching something from 30 or more years ago, old school Star Trek, only it looked a bit more stylish?

Rory's death (which I was completely spoiled for, because I don't really care enough not to be this season)... On the one hand I thought the idea with Amy never even remembering him was actually effective and a bit clever, and would have been more so if they'd made me care about their relationship for a longer time. It's as if they watched CoE, Ianto's death and his obsession with being remembered, and thought, how could one make that even worse. On the other hand I guess my reaction to the whole thing will depend on whether there is going to be any kind of follow-up or emotional fall-out, if not for Amy than at least for the Doctor, or if that just was it, Rory being such a good person that he saves the Doctor who at the least opportune moment possible suddenly decides to stick his hand into the mysterious crack, in such completely idiotic and contrived circumstances, only to be erased and forgotten, and Amy and the Doctor going on travelling... because that would be just... cold. Very, very cold, in ways that make me really uncomfortable on some profound level.

Speaking of which, Amy, in those very short shorts, restrained, about to be dissected by the Silurian scientist with his... all right, I guess you couldn't really call the instrument 'phallic', but in that situation the word really sprung to mind... *sigh* In the end she rescued herself, rather than have to be rescued by the Doctor, so I guess there's that, but for a moment there I facepalmed really hard, because the whole image felt so... once again, old-fashioned. In a not so good way.

But what really keeps surprising me about S5 is the sheer naivety of the stories every time they try to say something about human nature; in The Beast Below with the space whale and the elaborate button system, and again in this episode. Have the writers actually looked at the state of the world at any time over, oh, the last few millennia? We can't even share the planet with each other, never mind a reptilian race underground. Humanity generally isn't as bad as a frightened woman who freaks out when she lost her husband and son and is losing her father, trapped and suddenly confronted with the existence of a hostile alien race beneath her feet, and let's not forget, is being goaded into killing by someone who wanted this to happen? We should be so lucky. Again, what world do the writers live in? *throws a history book, any history book, at them*

The Doctor leaving them there with the captive Silurian, be the best of humanity, like this was going to work any better than the thing with the garden and the apple did. Oh, please. I kept waiting for the clever twist to happen, but it never did.

Also, nine episodes, and still painfully heteronormative without even as much (or little) as Martha's "No girlfriend? Boyfriend?" I don't follow any DW communities, but a couple of days ago metafandom linked to this post by someone pointing out the same thing, and a lot of the comments are pretty depressing. (Family show, gay agenda and the pushing thereof, blahblah; and S5 is supposedly less sexual overall? Seriously? With the end of Flesh and Stone? rivier wrote an interesting post after Vampires of Venice that explained a lot better what I meant by 'painfully straight', but couldn't define further than that, but sadly she's locked it again.) IMO this goes beyond purely subjective criticism; it has nothing to do with some grand different artistic vision about the show, or the Doctor, or the Doctor and the companion's relationship, this is something that should be common sense and I naively thought after the last five years would have become common sense; improved upon rather than erased entirely. It's not even as if they had to make any kind of huge, groundbreaking effort, they could just have built on what was already there. But instead they chose not to, or simply forgot, and both options are equally depressing.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
I'm behind as I'm watching Who on American TV, so the last ep I saw was Vampires of Venice. I don't follow Who fandom either, so I don't know what anyone is saying. Really interesting point though - I hadn't really thought of that. I did notice that they're still being racially diverse.
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah I'm finding this season a bit blah myself. I don't particularly like to do thinky thinky with Doc Who simply entertain myself with it, but it's even falling short on that score. I read Rivier's post and see the point you're both making, it just simply doesn't grate on me in the same way as I guess I no longer expect them to have the capacity to live up to and then go beyond my expectations.

I actually don't mind that it's so heteronormative since clearly that actually illustrates the weakness in that trope - the plots are falling short, the characters are suffering because of the het agenda and the pushing thereof :D. It actually doesn't matter that most people can't actually SEE that, are unable to join the dots in that way. It's possible, however, that the PTB WILL be able to and will eventually bring it all back into balance.

See S5 as an experiment gone wrong - new Doc, new Companion, new agenda - the het agenda. That has never and will never work for Doctor Who. Just trust that this season will make them see that. I don't mind that they experimented, though - got to see what does and doesn't work IMO.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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