A Geek Finds Who

March 27, 2014 --

Ok, there's been a blind spot in my geek radar for years-- Doctor Who. I've been a Lord of the Rings fan since I was five when my physicist uncle read it to me. I was weaned on Star Trek because of my dad, who outwardly was never a nerd but inside he was a space geek through and through. I've been a gamer since computer screens depicted only two colors. All this, and yet I've never watched Doctor Who?

Well, I've finally decided that enough is enough. Many of my compatriots banter the terms "TARDIS" and "Dalek" about and I'd smile and nod, but inside I'd feel like a noob. What was the hype about?

I soon found out. And while I'm only about thirteen episodes deep, I think I'm a fan. Here are my thoughts about the first season I've watched, which was the start of the re-booted series in 2005.

For the first three episodes, I was wary. There were farting aliens, weird mannequins and over-all I felt it was cheesy. Then I thought back to the early episodes of Buffy and decided to give the show a waiver. If Buffy could become my all-time favorite show and have a rough year or two, then this could definitely get under my skin.

And by the time I got to to The Empty Child, I was hooked. What a creepy, atmospheric and overall wonderful episode! I'd come to love the ninth Doctor and his kooky grin. His companion Rose was brave, smart and very human. I liked their interactions and I looked forward to seeing more of their chemistry together.

When suddenly Eccleston was replaced with Tennant, my first instinct was to shout "Nooooo" at the sky. I'd just completely fallen for this character, and now he was going to be replaced? Already? We'd just gotten to know each other. It was unfair.

After watching the first episode with the tenth Doctor, I'd warmed up to him a tad. I was familiar with Tennant from his performance as Hamlet, so that gave him a buy. I haven't watched any more of that season yet but I suspect he'll be just as whimsically charismatic as his predecessor.

All in all, I'm hooked and proud to be among the ranks of Whovians everywhere.



On Spoilers, Social Media, and the Demise of the Denouement

March 17, 2014--

So, last night when I went to bed an hour early, I didn't really think there would be any ramifications other than feeling more rested than usual. I opted for Cosmos before bed (space dreams!) instead of The Walking Dead (Survival/horror nightmares!) and this choice actually had an effect on my life.

This morning, when I began to review the usual feeds-- facebook, Twitter, etc-- I was stunned by the amount of OH MY GOD #THEWALKINGDEAD I saw. There were sad faces, the term "gross" came up a lot, and it was overall pretty negative stuff.

Then I got hit with anxiety.

Now, this makes me sound like I have no life. I became anxious, actually, because I watch the show with my husband, and he's away all week so we need to wait until next Tuesday to watch both last week's and this week's episodes. Still, no reason for alarm. Just tarry on and it doesn't matter.

But, to be perfectly honest, I want to stay away from social media.

I don't want spoilers.

What has happened to TV watchers since the social media revolution? It's more than just a water cooler mindset; watching TV has become a group experience in ways that were much more immediate than just a few years ago.

Back when Battlestar Galactica was ending, a co-worker of mine created a "Final Five" chart that we kept on the wall in our office, joking weekly and updating our picks. It was fun. It was a great way to come back to work after a weekend. I feel like that would be the extent of my "social" side of entertainment consumption.

Now, if you don't watch a show when it's on, chances are you're screwed. I've had Downton Abbey spoiled for me so many times that I don't even watch it anymore. If anyone would have spoiled L O S T for me I would have choked a bitch.

But is all this necessary? It's silly that I want to avoid the internet for a week, but have we become so addicted to plot twists and turns that if things like this don't happen, we get upset? Take True Detective, for example, something I'd call one of the best shows I've ever seen. Last week's finale drew ire because it didn't have any kind of reveal about the Yellow King or Cthulu or Marty's daughter Audrey. People were disappointed by denouement.

The series was 8 episodes long. Now, are we demanding plot twists in the final 8th of a book? Or the final scenes in a movie? No, it's where things wrap up. Denouement is ok. So why are we accepting of it with literature but not with television?

Personally, I think it's the "discussion" factor. I think we need to talk about it, and talk about it immediately.  And slap a hashtag on it.