Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top 5: Worst Shows to Watch While Eating

"Experts" say that you should not eat and watch TV at the same time.  It seems like common sense to me that if you sit for 15 hours in front of your television and snack constantly that it is most likely that you become unhealthy and not last as long in this world as you could, but I quite enjoy to share my dinner with fictional characters (they do all the talking and I can focus on my food).  Sadly some shows, some of my favorites, don't lend themselves well to mastication, and of my current queue, the following are the shows that have a "Beverages Only" warning on them.

As I said semi-recently, I find Fringe just a bit too icky to watch while eating.  Most episodes start with the imaginative and gory death of someone, but that is usually the least of your worries.  You have about 20 mins before Walter starts dissecting that person and then running some super unpleasant experiments on that poor soul.  Don't start thinking you're in the clear for snack time, because I can 90% guarantee you that before the episode is over, something/someone is either going to ooze, melt, or explode.  Yes, it is as appetizing as it sounds.

Modern Family
As with many documentary style shows, some of the funniest moments of Modern Family are the facial expressions and the background action, so if you're distracted by something, like a piece of amazing veggie lasagna, then you can miss the priceless glimpses of Phil's "I'm so hip with the youth"-face or the split second when it looks like Mitch is actually going to voice his amazement over what goes on around him.  Would you be able to forgive yourself if you missed the domino-esque disaster of Luke's birthday because you didn't allot time earlier in the evening for your meal? (Thank the bestest ever higher power for TV on DVD for the endless re-watch!)

Sons of Anarchy
Between shootings, road accidents, beatings, rape, and mutilation I just don't think there is a human being out there with the guts of steel necessary to consume food for the 42 glorious minutes of an SoA episode.  Maybe I am just a weakling who is unable to enjoy my lo mein when a full back tattoo is removed with a blowtorch, but I treat this show like swimming; do not attempt until 30 minutes after a meal.

The Big Bang Theory
I learned my lesson with this show during "The Vengeance Formulation"(3.9) when Kripke sabotages Sheldon's radio interview and I choked on the green peas I was eating.  For a second I thought I was going to die, but considering how funny that scene is, I figured it was my time.  My mom was still laughing while she slapped my back.  TBBT is just too funny, it is a serious health risk.

I know what you think I'm going to say, "Dex slicing up faces and stuffing body parts in trash bags is revolting" but I can handle that.  No, what I find immensely stomach turning is the opening credits.  I don't like to watch people eating at all, so a super-up-close shot of  a egg and ham-steak breakfast makes me feel nauseated just writing the words.  I think the opening credits are wonderfully done; the intense scrutiny engendered by the sharp focus on the mundane morning ritual perfectly prepares the viewer for the tone and approach of the show, but for me, it is the ultimate appetite suppressant.

I'm realizing other people might not have this problem.  Oh well, good for you people out there who have much stronger constitutions than I.  God, I sound like a Victorian.

The TV Girl

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Weekend Fling: Doctor Who, Season 5

Early last week I tweeted:

In 48 hours I have seen two representations of memory and reality.  One was awesome, the other was Inception.

Now, I have no desire to get into my opinions on Inception (cinematography=amazing, story=lame) but the AWESOME was the day-long Doctor Who Season 5 marathon on BBC America two saturdays ago.  The network showed the entire season before premiering the season finale, and yes, I spent all day in my room watching glorious hour after glorious hour.

There could have been some awkwardness in the transition from David Tennant to Matt Smith as the Doctor, but I think that Matt Smith jumped in with enthusiasm, charm and determination.  More open than Christopher Eccleston, more reserved than David Tennant, Matt Smith portrayed his Doctor with sadness, but without self-indulgence (thank you very much post-season 4 “specials”) and with necessary severity, but without harshness.  Lucky for Matt Smith he has some good material.  More than the performance, I really like Doctor Eleven.  He is appropriately reticent with River Song (Alex Kingston) because he knows how she will die and isn’t comfortable at all with her familiarity, which I think was a wonderful avenue on which to take things; at the end of “Amy’s Choice” he tells Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) that he is “The Dream Lord” but he doesn’t wait around for their sympathetic looks and reassuring pats on the back; and his gentle comfort of Amy at the end of “Vincent and The Doctor” is a wonderfully sweet close to an episode that in and of itself is an amazing response to the gross negligence that was “The Waters of Mars.”

But what is a Doctor without his companion?  I am beyond in love with Amy Pond.  Amy is brave, funny, forthright, loving, and refreshingly un-needy.  She wants to travel with the Doctor because, well, that is what she wants to do, not because she blindly follows men about (Rose), she is being bombarded by responsibilities that are not her own (Martha) or that she hadn’t yet learned to embrace her own life (Donna).  Amy loves her fiancĂ© Rory, isn’t ashamed that she makes money as a kiss-o-gram girl, is beyond not-insecure about River and the fact that she herself will be replaced, and she genuinely just wants to see what is out there.  I think all of the companions have fantastic qualities, but Amy has an infectious confidence that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

In contrast to previous season’s fixation on prophecy, inevitability and destruction, this season explored memory, choice and fortitude.  Not every episode was a winner: I wasn’t terribly impressed by “They Hungry Earth” or “The Cold Below” and because “Blink” is one of my favorite episodes (S3, you are so beautiful) and therefore I think the Weeping Angels should have been left to all their single episode magnificence, but overall the stories were campy, compelling, and hopeful.  “The Beast Below” was an absurd plot, but was an interesting statement about physicality and nationhood, Robot-Rory protecting the Pandorica for two thousand years (without going insane like The Doctor said he would) was a not terribly subtle but very show-appropriate way to drive home the point that our devotion to what we believe is what makes us human and what will determine our reward in the next life (and make no mistake about it, Rory being willed into re-existence in “The Big Bang” is a second life), and the whole amazing speech about how our greatest trials are our greatest achievement in “Vincent and The Doctor” brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. 

A lighter touch, a bit of genuine joy, and a bowtie: what a season.

The TV Girl

P.S. How can you not be obsessed with this girl?