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 21, 2012

Doctor Who: Love Lights the Way

(Doctor Who: S6, E15 "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe")

My father died 17 years and 1 day ago.  Today would have been his 67th birthday.  In 3 days it will be my 29th birthday.

It may be needless to say that I have been a little drawn in on myself the last few days.  It happens every year at this time.  To call it depression isn't the right word.  Closed would be more accurate.  My heart closes, protecting itself from regrets of final mistakes and lost possibilities.  Around noon I was struck by a thought.  "Hey, I totally missed watching the Doctor Who Christmas special this year.  I don't really feel like doing anything right now, I think I'll watch that."  You see, in some respects I have very good instincts; even when I would rather not find an answer, something inside me will show me what I need.

And at it's best Doctor Who is what we all need.  We all need love.  We all need magic.  We all need strength in our suffering.  We all need rest in forgiveness.

On Christmas Eve 1941 Madge makes a wish.  Though we don't hear it, the Doctor does.  She wishes for a beautiful Christmas to ease the news she must tell her children that their father's plane has been lost over the Channel and that he has died in service of his country.  To repay her kindness in helping him a few years earlier when he fell from the sky in a backwards space suit, the Doctor meets Madge and her children Lily and Ceril at an old house as The Caretaker.  He's renovated the house with all children could ever ask for; moving furniture, a lifetime of toys, a fabulous tree, and a huge present to be opened the next morning.  Ceril can't wait and in the night opens the present: a doorway into a beautiful snow-filled forest, the prefect Christmas adventure.  The Doctor and Lily, and then Madge, all go through the box in search of Ceril, who has been taken by the trees, who are trying to transport their life-forces off the planet before it is burned for fuel.  Madge, as a mother, is able to take the life-forces into herself, to be a lifeboat for them, and must use her memories of home to guide their ship through the time vortex.  She wishes to hold onto her happy memories of her husband, and fights against seeing his last moments, but by facing the truth of his death, is able to create a light for his plane to follow, and the family is reunited on Christmas morning.  In thanks, and with a great deal of practicality, she orders the Doctor that he is not to spend Christmas alone, that he must go to his friends who think he has died. Forced by the unassailable logic of a practical mum, the Doctor goes to Amy and Rory, who set a place for him at dinner every year.  River told them that he wasn't really dead (of course!) and after a few shots from a squirt gun for his obstinacy, Amy and Rory lead him into their home, with the simplicity that love allows.  The Doctor allows himself a few private tears of happiness.

Outside of fiction space and time travel will not allow a lost loved one to return to us.  In that Doctor Who is beautiful wish-fulfillment.  There is no mad man with a box who can circumvent death.  But that does not relegate Doctor Who into trivial escapism, a wouldn't-it-be-nice fantasy.  Presents do not negate the loss of a parent, but pleasure is a comfort that reminds us that we will not always be in pain.  In grief our suffering is extreme, but to accept that suffering is an expression of the depth of our love.  And our love cannot be taken from us.  Death may physically separate husband from wife, parent from child, friend from friend, but with honesty in our heart, the true acknowledgement of both joy and sorrow, our love unfolds beyond past and future as the light of our present.

Happy Birthday Dad.  I love you.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Top 5: Shows I Actually Need to Finish

Haha, what right do I have to talk about the proper ending of a TV show when it turns out that I have not gotten around to watching the finale of some of my most beloved shows?

Sometimes life gets in the way and you get behind on a show and it feels like you'll never catch up.  Or sometimes a show just really goes downhill and you have to give up or you will lose all your good memories of when the show was not sucktastic.

But it's pretty clear to me (and why don't I share it with you) that I have a few projects hanging over my head: shows that are done and complete that finishing my own viewing will provide me with a little peace of mind.  Or at least spare me the embarrassment of having to say "yeah, I didn't finish that..."

Friday Night Lights
Last Episode I Watched: Season 5, Episode 1
Why I Stopped Watching:  I just couldn't cry that much.  No seriously, that is the reason.  Knowing that  by the time it aired on NBC Friday Night Lights was officially and forever over, that there would be no more, that the fat lady had most definitely sung, made it kind of impossible for me to watch without just sobbing uncontrollably.  So much crying.  So I decided I didn't want to cry that much.  So I didn't watch.  Maybe I should put on my big girl pants...

Last Episode I Watched: Season 6, Episode 5
Why I Stopped Watching:  Do I need to say why?  Juliet was dead.  It was boring.

Last Episode I Watched: Season 4, Episode 1
Why I Stopped Watching: I've made no secret of my ambivalence toward Sarah.  I've never really warmed to her and I get super annoyed when a show tells me how much I am supposed to love someone that I find kind of boring and selfish.  (This is one of my most pet of pet peeves.  I HATE it when a show, through dialogue, tries to impart upon me a singular opinion of a character that either isn't or can't be established through that character's action.  Hence my unending fury with Kate from Lost or Don from Mad Men.)  So when Chuck became pretty much completely about Chuck and Sarah's relationship, I just couldn't really work up much enthusiasm for watching.  I wanted to want to watch it, but I just couldn't take yet another discussion of their love.

The Wire
Last Episode I Watched: Season 3, Episode 7 (I think)
Why I Stopped Watching:  Because I thought my heart was going to explode.  In the scene where Stinger tells Avon that he had Avon's nephew killed in prison, I literally thought that I was going to have a heart attack, it was so frakking tense.  And that is always what it feels watching The Wire.  So I decided I needed a break.  And that break has turned into a year and a half.

Last Episode I Watched: oh my frakking goodness I have no idea!
Why I Stopped Watching:  It would seem after my rant-y-ness about Chuck that I wouldn't in any way endorse a show that really had no plot movement aside from who-is-getting-together-with-whom, but I really enjoy(ed) Greek.  It's simple, sweet, and surprisingly funny.  Time.  Time is why I stopped watching.  Each episode is 42 minutes, and it just never seemed to fit into the time that I had to watch it.  But I think I can work with that.  I mean, I know how it ends for Cappie and Casey (is there really any question about that?), but I would like to know what happens to everyone else.  To the Netflix!

The TV Girl