Archive for the ‘Lost Boy TV’ Category

The Doctor is In

Doctor Who is one aspect of popular geekery that I just never got into. I knew a bit about the show, I knew what the TARDIS was and that it is an acronym (it stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space), I knew what Sonic Screwdrivers did and that a Dalek wants to destroy just about everything. That all changed about a month ago.

Every exam period, I start watching a TV show as it keeps me from going insane while studying for whole days straight. One semester, it was Nip/Tuck (short review: if you want a show that is incredibly screwed up and shows some of the horrors of plastic surgery, watch that show). Last semester it was Community (there is going to be a review of this up when I finish rewatching season 2, which will be in a few days). This past semester, it was Doctor Who.

All of the show up to the current season, which just started airing a few weeks ago at this point in time, are up on Netflix Streaming and you should definitely watch it. At the writing of this post, I have only seen the Christopher Eccleston run as the Doctor and a handful of random David Tennant episodes. That being said, this show still comes at my highest recommendation. It is right up my alley in almost every way, it’s sci-fi, it’s funny but also can be very serious and occasionally heartbreaking, it’s sarcastic, and it’s campy. Seriously, the first monsters you see in the show are living, killer mannequins. That being said, the show can and does have some down right terrifying episodes (there’s a two parter in the first season that takes place during the bombings of London during World War II in which the villain is a child wearing a gas mask that has almost god-like powers. Those episodes were very hard to watch, especially when you find out what is going on). As I stated earlier, the show can even be heartbreaking. There are some villains from early in the series who when they first appear, they are some unredeemable characters. They are just pure, hand rubbing, Bond villain-esque levels of evil. When one of them returns, though, the writers of the show managed to make me actually care about it. The same can be said about the first episode with a Dalek in it, it’s tragic and upsetting.

The show is, on it’s most base level, a monster-of-the-week show with the Doctor and whoever his associate is going up against whatever terror from beyond the stars is present in whatever time period and place the TARDIS takes them to, but when you delve deeper into the show and watch more of it, the results are surprisingly good. I can fully understand why this show has such a dedicated following.

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I Return With a Bang

big_bang_theoryFROM RYAN’S SELDOM USED TV: Sorry about the long delay between posts. I have some good stuff coming in the future, and hopefully this slump I have been in about writing articles is over. I have a lot of new stuff in the works and will hopefully be getting back into a regular schedule

This season, TV suffered two great losses. The first was the loss of a legend, a man with an unbreakable winning streak, a man who greatly enjoyed shooting people and consistently got away with it. Television lost the great Denny Crane when Boston Legal left our screens for theoretically greener pastures. I was crestfallen, but I grew to accept the loss (unlike the fanatical Firefly fans. Yes, it was a great show, but seriously people, get over it.) Then, at the end of this past season, a great doctor left our midst. Dr. John Dorian left the halls of Sacred Heart and I suffered another loss. Now you may say: “But Ryan, Scrubs got signed on for another season!” and you would be right, but the show is now more or less dead to me. For the past 8 seasons of Scrubs, everything has been told from JD’s perspective, so removing him from the show will change everything.

So with two of my favourite shows (more or less, Comedy Central’s near constant running of Scrubs definitely helps with the loss) finished, I needed something to fill the gap. I wanted something that would attack both the smarter comedic style of Boston Legal, but be as consistently funny as Scrubs has been for the past eight years.

Luckily, I believe that show has been found.

The show in question is CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, a situational comedy about some geeks/nerds interacting with the “real world.” Explaining the shows concept like that does not do it justice, so I will try to convince you why it is fantastic by explaining it’s characters (a la Lather’s Blather):

Dr. Leonard LeonardHofstadter (played by Johnny Galecki) is arguably the main character of the series and is definitely the least socially awkward of the main geeky/nerdy cast (besides his reliance on using a Force FX Lightsaber to investigate a noise during the night and his concern as to where his Bat Signal went). He is an experimental physicist and works at the California Institute of Technology as an experimental physicist along with his roommate Sheldon and his friends, Raj and Howard. He is in to many of the major geekeries: underwear pervert comics, video games (lead guitarist in the group’s Rock Band sessions, captain of their Wii Bowling league (complete with personalized uniforms), and plays on Raj’s team during their weekly Halo night), science fiction television (especially Battlestar Galactica, as evidenced by his original series flight suit hidden in his closet), and technology (but not Apple products, as it seems that he enjoys going down to the Apple store and making fun of the Geniuses). He is very sarcastic (much to the dismay and confusion of Sheldon) and is constantly looking for love, mostly from Penny.

Dr. Sheldon Cooper (played by the astoundingly good Jim Parsons) is Leonard’s highly neurotic, condescending, overbearing, and socially awkward roommate. He also works at the college, but as a Theoretical Physicist studying String Theory. Unlike his “friends” he seems to not have any interest in the opposite sex, which leads to theories about how he would reproduce Sheldon(mitosis is in the lead). Even if he had a functioning libido, his abrasive personality would instantly stop any sort of relationship from getting off the ground. He looks down on everyone who has an IQ lower than his (which includes almost everyone, as he has an IQ of 187) and thinks that they should just stop trying as they will not amount to as much as he will/has (he moved right up from the 5th grade to freshman year of college, was a visiting professor in Germany at 15, and got his second Ph.D in his early twenties) but as a trade-off, he is almost completely unable to read people and has little-to-no knowledge of sarcasm. Sheldon’s life in incredibly regimented, with every night of the week containing a different kind of food for dinner and an activity (Wednesday is Halo night, Tuesday is burger day) and if anything were to go awry it would probably end with him having a complete nervous breakdown followed by an aneurysm. All of the rules of Sheldon and Leonard’s shared apartment are created by Sheldon, and include such ridiculous rules as “no whistling,” the establishment of a strike system that resets yearly and can only be fixed by taking his online class, and no percussion instruments (which arises the idea that Rock Band should theoretically be banned from the apartment).
Just as a note, Sheldon is the genius who created Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock. Just thought you should know.
Penny (played by Kaley Cuoco) is the woman who lives across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon and is usually the objePennyct of Leonard’s affection. She is an aspiring actor from Omaha, Nebraska (with a very over-active libido, according to Sheldon) who just can’t get her foot in the door and thus works at the Cheesecake Factory. For most of the series, she is the person that the majority of the viewer base is supposed to relate to: the “normal” person looking in on the geeky and nerdy aspects of the other characters, but she eventually joins in on the geeky escapades, whether it is going to the comic book store and finding out that the geeks are more scared of her than she is of them, dealing with an addiction to MMORPG’s, and joining the guys for a paintball game populated with other scientists from CalTech. A lot of the humour from the series comes from Penny’s multitude of facial expressions as she always seems to have a new one for every situation and they are all priceless.
Howard WoHowardlowitz (played by Simon Helberg, whom most of you should recognize as Moist from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog) is Jewish, almost stereotypically Jewish. He loves a good brisket (especially when it’s made by his mother, whom he still lives with and she still packs him a lunch everyday), (sometimes) observes the sabbath day, and has that stereotypical Jewish voice. Howard considers himself to be a lady’s man, trying hundreds of different methods of varying success to get any sort of sexual interaction (including complementing the woman in any of the languages he (thinks) he speaks, saying that they can drive a car on Mars, or using insulting complements to lower the girl’s ego), but only comes off as being creepy and disgusting. If Howard was a superhero, peanuts would be his greatest weakness, his alergy is so intense that eating just one nut would cause him to turn into a giant walking callous (think of Ned from the Venture Brothers). He is the only one of the geeks who has a master’s degree instead of a Ph.D, master’s degree in engineering.  Howard is a character mostly played for laughs, so his character is fairly archetypal.
Raj
Rajesh Koothrappali (played by Kunal Nayyar) is a particle astrophysicist from India (who surprisingly hates Indian food) and is practically the complete opposite of Howard when it comes to women. While Howard has the “courage” to speak to women, but ends up failing horribly; Raj has a terrible issue with shyness. He is completely unable to talk to attractive women and the only way to overcome it is to be completely drunk (or be on some experimental medicine), much to the chagrin of his parents and the women he somehow attracts. This chronic shyness actually leads his friends to forget he is in the room if Penny is there and leave him behind when they leave. Like Howard, Raj is mostly just played for laughs, but in the second season he takes on a much more prominent role.
Hopefully I did a good job with portraying the show in this fashion, if I didn’t… please write some constructive criticism in the comments. Wait, what was I thinking? Constructive criticism on the internet? That would be the day.season-2-promo-pic-the-big-bang-theory-2847657-2500-1667