General Open Thread – TV Shows

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    Anonymous @

    Aah I see now!  @pedant I missed the rule to my detriment. Still (and I’m clogging the boards), ‘I Will Remember You’ (Angel)made me think of a certain desperate Donna Noble losing her Dr Donna-ness and completely forgetting the Doctor -not just not being a Doctor (as it were) but recalling or reliving those incredible adventures.

    Angel may not be mortal but he’s not a TL either and Buffy hasn’t entirely forgotten what they’ve both sacrificed in S3 of Buffy. It was excellent television and beautifully acted. SMG brings a lot of sincerity to this part, I think. The close-up cameras aside, I never get the feeling she’s going through the motions as I occasionally glimpse in Cordelia (as Angel’s PA). Angel’s mortal moment of complete happiness echoes in his smile, something he can rarely -or hardly -experience as the brooding watcher of LA.

    They mixed-up the sad with a bit of comic as Angel tears up the fridge eating an apple, then chocolate and washing it all down with yoghurt – a perfect 11th Doctor moment!  -“Now, my stomach hurts”.

    Welcome to being Human. All we needed was “hey! You’re Irish, fry something, or no, pull me a warmish beer.”

    @barnable -try Angel. Seriously.



    You are quite a way from the pink pants, but it is worth keeping a watching brief on the Pant Code.

    Anonymous @


    @pedant Pant Code. Got it.

    I was doing something a little naughty: watching an interview with Joss (Pedant: I’d never seen him before -don’t know what I was expecting) saying “I adore Buffy, I’m having a nervous breakdown and my marriage is a sham”. He wasn’t kidding. This led me to some mash-ups on youtube containing the best of Buffy with most (naturally?) coming from earlier seasons. Obviously there were pieces which  seemed ‘off’ -they belonged in Seasons  I hadn’t yet seen.  I discovered unwittingly in this interview which delved into casting that there’s a Tara character – and then I stopped it. Don’t wanna know. Yet.

    In terms of episodes (God I hate that expression: In Terms of..) I loved both Doomed and Hush.

    The Black floating ‘devils’ from a Grimm with their levelled faces and long hands reminded me so much of the Whisper Men and the little girl with her box and poem was very Who, IMO. Nobody talking for 40-odd minutes: how did Joss get that off the ground? It was astounding!  I could lip-read every word!  Then we have the salesman sitting on brief cases and looking suicidal whilst a clever-student sells message boards for 10 bucks a piece.

    Giles’ fabulous slide show with overhead projection sheets (oh, how I miss those days) accompanied by the Danse Macabre with little black and red bloodied drawings inspired a devilish laugh:  the blurpfest/best being Buffy’s male masturbation charade quickly turning into a staking instead.

    In the end it’s the people and their interactions whilst mute which move it along: “we need to talk”


    The opening of Doomed starts the same way (no more disjointed Breaking Bad for me!) and yet when Riley does speak it’s all about him and his “we can make it work” leaning heavily to, “Buffy, you don’t want to; it’s all your fault”. I thought that dialogue interspersed with locating ‘the three’ was particularly real for me. And unfortunately, in a male dominated world at the turn of the millennium, quite typical.

    Now, I like Riley and Forrest’s discussions and the extremely funny (but ‘totally straight’) dialogue as they head off a ‘hostile’: “confirmed sighting of an unident sub-T. Should we mobilise? Should we alert the Professor initially?”

    Couple that with their military “thousand yard stare”, “surveillance” and other bland instructions (which in a nano second causes a decision to leave a suspect merely limping or in a wheel chair for the rest of their life) and you have an hilarious dynamic. I find myself rewriting their heavy language: “saw a baddie. Let’s get it and let’s tell Giles”. Much quicker! And only for the Scooby gang.

    Cruisin’  youtube, I did come across an almost spoiler-free interview with Marsden talking about the Scooby Gang and how, whilst he’s there, he can’t quite fit -even at the end of Doomed when he’s spinning around kicking the be-jesus out of demons: “Let’s get me some monsters I can kill!!”, he’s bundled in covered by a tarp or a blanket and it kind of screws the dynamic. But he’s very funny sitting in a bath, all tied up (coz that’s how I spend my days people) slurping pig’s blood out of a Librarian’s cup with a straw. Are Marsden’s cheek bones real?? You can slice a yam with them!


    Anonymous @

    **Marsters. Christ. Not Marsden. I need to wake up proper.



    OK, first I’m going to shout at you:


    GET IT?

    GOT IT?


    Hush is simply marvellous and is the episode I managed not to see for three years when I lost faith in Buffy thanks to the OMG-Army!-Goverment!-is!-evil! meme that Doug Petrie latched onto and talked Joss into. If you liked this, then there is an episode to come quite a bit further down the road (ie not in S4) that will, quite simply, blow your socks off.

    Joss had been on the receiving end of a few barbs that his shows only succeeded because of the sharp dialogue, so he decided to write an episode where there was none to speak of (er…you know what I mean). TAKE THAT snarkists!

    Also, you are now sailing serenely towards planet porn, having met Tara. Also a genuinely US TV first, although you will have to wait a bit for that.

    There is much fun still to come, but it really will be interesting to get your view of S4 as a whole. I am quite sure that @jimthefish will produce an excellent analysis of its talking points from back in the day (despite his wrong-headedness about Beer Bad) and it will be very interesting if the reactions of a “clean skin” watcher are the same.

    There is a character you are yet to meet WHICH YOU MUST NOT HAVE ANY PRE-WARNING OF, SO STOP LOOKING!!!!

    I realise that is the same point I made above, but it is such a biggee I felt it was worth making twice.


    Anonymous @

    @pedant  Ow!  Farrk!  Ow!  I got it.

    Yes, I looked at some mash-ups and didn’t ‘get anything’. I was pretty out of it on wine coolers and yes, I watched ONE interview with Spike which was very ‘lean’ and then STOPPED.

    I knew you’d yell. But spanking my inner moppet?  Oh, more, please!!


    Anonymous @

    uhh…I like sherlock, broadchurch, and starting on supernatural (season 3) anyone wanna talk?

    Anonymous @

    @pedant Hush is very very good (shout away, I enjoy the attention!): I had no idea about the motivation behind it, although, actually it occurred to me, so “no idea” is a little bit of an over-statement. Like flammable/inflammable…. as ‘over’ and ‘under’ is confusing.

    For some reason, I thought Joss was this Oxbridge Giles figure -not the guy he actually turned out to be. I did find his rather bizarre honesty interesting: “my marriage is a sham”.

    I recall on this thread someone saying Hannigan and Denisof were together?? Of course I now can’t get that out of brain. Who is Denisof? Should I know him?

    I’d steer clear about anything Buffy Season 5 simply because you said something like “finest TV ever etc etc”.

    So, I wait patiently. Downstairs, the Other Ilions, in this flippin foul weather, are watching BB. I’m stuck reading book. Blimey.

    But I’ll be “the [reactions of a] “clean skin” watcher” all the same..:)

    Nursin’ happy bruises, puro.


    Anonymous @

    @DW1716231163  Hello and welcome!

    I liked Supernatural, til I found Buffy! Love Who.  Broadchurch, seriously? Oh, OK.

    You could explain why you have so many numbers in your @thing!!

    I like Sherlock, too.

    What do you like about Who?  You could post that on the thread? But you may have already and I didn’t see it: preoccupied since early this morning (I’m from Oz).

    Actually Supernatural was/is great in those first seasons. But, my lips are sealed due to spoiler issues 🙂

    Regards, purofilion


    lisa @lisa

    @purofilion The whisper men and Buffy — brilliant ! Thanks for filling in the cracks.
    I think you totally got it.
    I want to see both episodes over again. SM has totally seen Buffy.


    @purofilion @lisa

    It is worth noting that S4 of Buffy broadcast a full 5 years before the return of Who and both RTD and Moff are very open about their admiration for, and inspiration from, Buffy.

    Alexis Denisof. Plays Wesley. *spit*

    I just re-watched Hush and had forgotten the number of sight gags with Anya (complete indifference to the blood and gore during Giles’s presentation and the …er… finger in the hole gesture after the misunderstanding involving Spike). But all that lack of guile and tact and general social-awareness leads to one of the single best bits of monologue in the series a ways further down the road.

    And Buffy’s offence at the fat hips Giles gave her.

    Also, though, despite the initial prompt for the episode, it is notable how much care Joss took with the set up of the Buffy-Riley dynamic in the earlier episodes. Totally unable to communicate, until suddenly there were unable to communicate conventionally.

    But in your initial reaction to this and Doomed, I think you spotted a key element of their arc. Which may or may not prove significant.

    Anonymous @

    @lisa  @jimthefish @pedant  Re: Hush

    that was just my opinion and all: yes the suits, the silent quality and the little poem.  Similarity ends. As it always does somewhere. They (the Buffy Silents) had deranged faces, floated happily and had their own ‘men’ -dragging, twirling wisser-wasser -like in straight jackets who, in my operating assumption, kept reviving and increasing in numbers.

    Really a very subtle episode although viewers might not share that opinion.

    All people. All unable to speak: like functionaries or hoi polloi -a category expanding from teens with dipshit music to the Dean of Music at the Ormond School. Poor, ordinary people, country folk, janitors: the same. I think in this day and age we’re pretty much hypocrites. Who speaks, doesn’t know -well, it’s better the other way around: “those who speak don’t know. Those who know, don’t speak”. This episode looks at that marvellous moment of pre-communication where ideas form and words must follow. The Greek philosophers are great on this:  “this is a horse” with an idea of ‘horse’ which ‘horses’ live up to, more or less.

    Then the notion of Weasel Words and bureaucratic elites using phrases to keep us in our place. Ralston Saul makes good points about this as did once-Prime Minister Paul Keating and his fabulous speech writer.

    We could talk more Plato too: in The Republic he speaks about justice in a society where each level of a hierarchy works within its place and any person rising above his station is setting up a life of needless misery. Don’t know where that leaves most of us. But in a world where sharp words, awkward demurrals, lies and laughter are a currency -particularly in colleges and high schools – then it’s a discussion worth having, nonetheless.

    Riley, Buffy, Giles, they all had to be straightforward; looking past the taciturn, the agitated, the impassive and back again. Geiger Counters normally dead – they’re now relying on senses and …’three sharp knocks’. Remembered objects were their boundaries: not speech.

    Bloody Outstanding.


    Anonymous @

    @pedant Arc? Well, I’m on the lookie-loo for an arc.

    The finger-in-the-hole bit by Anya. Ilion child, spits laughter and then glances nervously thinking I may not know he knows that particular ‘signature’. Leads to laugh-out-loud stuff. Oh yes!  Prior: Anya eating popcorn bored out of her demon brain -for her, it’s like Alien 3 I suppose.

    And….the ‘hip annoyance’. Yes, got it on first view! Probably because we females notice ‘little’ drawings like that on OHPs! It’s why I’m swimming every second day.

    Ilion picked up how skinny everyone looks. I’m hopelessly executing an explanation about ‘digital mode’ in Season 4 but where, in S 1-3, everyone looks like they’ve gained 20 pounds but haven’t, actually.

    “Doesn’t track” says Boy Ilion as Cordelia looks “very thin in S3”. He’s obsessed with this. Now I am.

    Even Will looks vaguely anorexic. Is that just…digital?? Why it matters I do not know. But I’m not liking the teeth! I need sunglasses just to avoid the glare.

    Off to buy whitening strips, Puro.

    lisa @lisa

    @Purofilion I believe that Willow and Wesley got married for real
    Buffy series 3 was my personal favorite -I would not have minded more of the twisted fun of the Mayor
    and after they all graduated from Sunnydale high there was no more meeting with Giles in the Library
    But each season had great episodes like Hush. Btw- the ‘gentlemen’ in Hush also remind me a bit of
    the Silence without the creepy smiles. [a missed opportunity maybe in the mouth design?]

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    That’s interesting about OZ TV, and I would be interested in hearing reports from others on their national state of TV. Ours is pretty dire at the moment, with the BBC holding up a rearguard action, but the BBC has always seemed to function better with actual competition. Which looking about, we are sadly lacking.

    Have you ever seen Farscape? A fine Oz based sci-fi show that occurred around Buffy-time that has a couple of firm adherents on the forum. Great to hear so many Oz accents. In SPACE!

    Delighted (but not surprised) that you enjoyed Hush and some of the Angel Series. The scene in Hush you describe with Anthony Head giving his “lecture” with Danse Macabre seemed really funny at the time. I don’t know if you’ve seen any Jonathan Creek, but ASH appeared in the pilot as the stage magician that Creek works for. He didn’t reprise the role because he moved to explore America and got Buffy. The show featured Colin Baker getting murdered (he made an excellent and convincing corpse) and the theme tune was Danse Macabre. I couldn’t help but wonder if the production team had seen it and thought it was a good joke.

    @purofilion @lisa

    Just. Don’t! With the Gentlemen and Whispermen comparisons. We had “rip-off” allegations on Name of the Doctor.

    I may have to rhyme again (and it was bad enough the first time).

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I have no problem with the idea Fox might try to pressure the showrunners, but the thought that Joss – an out and proud atheist and existentialist – would play along is simply laughable.

    If we are going to discuss Whedon shows on this forum, would you mind checking that enormous mancrush you seem intent on displaying at the door? It’s obscuring the sun, and may actually be visible from Voyager 2.

    You’ve already indicated that Josh was guided unwisely on this season. What was it?

    that Doug Petrie latched onto and talked Joss into

    I didn’t mention Whedon in my post. Just to circumnavigate the entirely tiresome “any criticism of Buffy is a criticism of Saint Joss” conversation, please point me in the direction I actually criticised him in that post, and not the show.

    Or alternatively, STFU and get back to talking about how awesome Cave Buffy and pants are. At this point, it seems your level.

    Anonymous @

    Hi @phaseshift  @jimthefish @pedant

    OK. I haven’t seen Farscape. Whilst I’d heard of it, I had no idea it was Australian?  Rightio. Add that to the new knowledge pile.

    Yes, Jonathan Creek I do know very well. In fact, about two months ago, they started it again on very late night tele. Indeed, ASH as the baharahaha magician and Baker as corpulent corpse. Wonderful stuff.

    Whispermen? Who?  I think that was my little opinion creeping in; anything can be similar from a certain perspective. But the same? No.

    On S3 BtVS,

    I think it has a particular appeal for me as I work (very part-time) teaching high School History and on contract at a local uni with people in the late teen/tween market. Therefore, pallid, workaday boundaries co-exist with something else in the World of Music (we can call it that, or the Music Department, I suppose). Commentators are circumspect about that world on occasion: born to the principle (in music) of continuous life, outside the ‘prison’ of cultic ‘purity’ which pervades many state high schools, university departments try to escape the cognitive mode of experience (though I’d claim- coyly -that lecturers in the Ancient Histories document, albeit sketchily, all sorts of Bacchanalian methods in addition to more ‘respected’ narratives or modes!).

    Whilst Angel and possibly S4 of BtVS suggests a life more in keeping with people’s struggles into their 20s and 30s (as Phase said earlier, if I’m reading you right),  there’s a certain faultless orchestration to S3 that I don’t quite perceive in S4 -again, as yet. Perhaps, like the fatal flaw that runs down the middle of all our lives, I can only properly connect (due to this flaw or variation) with High School Buffy. That’s my flaw: I like the bored irritation which Giles demonstrates born in tweed, the tomfoolery of Zander and the footballers, the wonder of Willow as she grows into a more complex figure both aesthetically and figuratively, discovering Magic and more than that, its diabolical power -what it can contain and what it can’t. The ‘opposites’ in Buffy and Cordelia are quite entrancing particularly when you realise they are similar. There’s an obsessive undercurrent in that particular Season -as if, and I know I’ve said this about Doctor Who – where we feel on the brink of a fabulous discovery and as we get closer, this ‘knowingness’ inches away. Is it like sex for the first time? Maybe that’s a good analogy? Maybe not.

    Having said all that, I’m not ruling anything in or out (I hate it when people do that). Angel’s memory in ‘I will Remember You’ is a stunning vignette where his fore-knowledge exists and in another dimension of time for Buffy, it fades away to nothing.

    @lisa  Ah, right: Wesley and Willow -in life. Okaaay. No doubt he has lots of personality and other attributes. Seriously, I did think Wesley’s comedic plays were nicely played. He didn’t get enough ‘air time’ possibly? Can’t really complain about the script, though, in S3.

    I’m not suggesting there weren’t ‘ick’ episodes in S3 -that it was all utterly perfect, but it worked. S4 isn’t ‘not working’ though-Hush and other episodes are great. But why am I surprised that that’s the case? That’s the question.

    Is it the Freshman anti-climax? It shouldn’t be that. If anything, that’s the point at which ‘new wonder’ appears and memories haunt and dilate.

    Regards, puro.

    Anonymous @

    @lisa @phaseshift that poem?  I did miss it the first time:  it’s wonderful!

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift it rhymes but where’s the meter?? Gotta have sense somewhere (I’m looking for it now)

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — good that you’re enjoying Angel. It is a great series but I’d say you’ve still to get to the stuff where it really finds its own identity. I’d say for a good part of the first season, it’s still finding its feet and falling back into ‘kinda like Buffy’ mode. But by the end of s1 and certainly by the time you hit s2, the difference between the two shows starts to become more marked.

    I’d agree that s4 of Buffy doesn’t really ‘work’ on some fundamental level — I’ll leave more detailed thoughts until the blog. But it does have some amazing episodes. Hush is rightly considered a classic of modern TV. But I’d say that of the whole show it has the highest concentration of average and slightly below average stories. That and the unequivocally awful Beer Bad just drag it down too much, I’d say. But take heart, it ends on a fantastic note and pretty much all of season 5 is a belter.

    @phaseshift — it’s definitely true that both the Whispermen and the Gentlemen are drawing on lots of horror antecedents, from Stoker, to Poe to even perhaps Gorey but I think it can’t be denied that the look of the Whispermen does owe a serious debt to Hush. But at the same time my reaction to that is ‘so bloody what’? It looked great and it worked and no one could say that the entire Who story was some kind of Hush rip-off because it clearly wasn’t. And there are other aspects of Moffat’s writing — such as the subtextual/ambient use of nursery rhymes and myth, for example, that show he’s very much been influenced by Whedon.

    RE. Buffy’s puritan streak. I think it’s definitely there and as @phaseshift says, that’s largely because it’s hard-coded into many traditional horror tropes anyway. I think it’s on the Innocence commentary, Joss says that he was uncomfortable about Buffy being essentially punished for having sex but that in terms of narrative he couldn’t see any way around it. Anyway, more on this in the forthcoming bloglet.

    Something I missed in the s3 one though — and which @pedant handily picked up on during the course of his disturbing leather pants fetish — is the moral murkiness of the Graduation Day parts 1 & 2. A big part of the series arc is the corrupting influence on Faith that having taken a human life has. And yet after all the moralising from both Buffy and Angel, both are more than happy to kill her in order that Angel might live. You might think that Faith actually has a point in being so pissed off with them and calling them out as hypocrites.

    And as a piece of foreshadowing, it’s significant that Buffy’s first act as a free agent ‘unencumbered’ by the Watchers’ Council is one that is so morally dubious. You could argue that it shows that she actually needs them a lot more than she thinks she does. And again, this might inform events of seasons to come.

    @purofilion, I wouldn’t read too much into Joss’s ‘my marriage is a sham’ line. I think he was just being sarcastic. And incidentally I’d heartily recommend this book. There’s some great essays on various aspects of the Whedonverse and some quite nice interviews from various creatives involved in the shows too.



    Even Will looks vaguely anorexic. Is that just…digital?? Why it matters I do not know. But I’m not liking the teeth! I need sunglasses just to avoid the glare.

    There was quite a bit of who-ha in the Usenet days about aspect ratio. ALL Buffy eps were framed for and protected for 4:3 aspect ratio. But in the UK (so likely in Oz) S4 on were broadcast in 16:9 pan and scan, so it might be an artefact (it was certainly the source of some comedically poor framing in a few scenes down the road).

    But it is worth remembering that both Gellar and Hannigan are very slight (such that Amber Benson looks quite chunky when she is anything but). There is a much later scene, which I can’t spoil you about, where Marti Noxon’s commentary actually say “Yes, that’s Sarah. She really is that small”)

    But part of the S4 conceit is that the crew are in a new grown-up world and The Freshman was specifically shot to emphasise that and I think the entire first half of the season, at least, might have been shot like that.

    Anonymous @


    thank you for pointing me towards the commentaries. I’ve listened to these with the Who series (eventually) but have been moving thru the series of Buffy without them -as yet. Boy Ilion is at sleep over so My Big Day, today, involves popping some DVDs back and scanning commentaries. Also, thank you for the Link.

    I really do need to see S3 again -side-by-side with your blog and return to those ‘morally dubious’ acts Buffy herself undertakes (understakes?) without the help of The Watcher’s.

    @pedant thank you for enlightening me about the aspect ratio. It’s no surprise I know little about the elements of film: I had a marvellous book once -written and published in Oz -titled cleverly, The Film. It’s been dusted unfortunately.

    Regards, puro.

    Anonymous @


    I bought the book on Kindle for $6! Cool. Thank you

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — that’s quite the bargain. Score!

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish I haven’t read too much of the book -concerned it will tell me too much, thru referencing, about Season5!

    I must be on the penultimate disc which leaves maybe 6 episodes left? -of Season 4.

    Regards, puro


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — yes, it’s quite spoilertastic. Probably best left until you’ve finished Buffy. And Angel. And Firefly. And the rest.



    It’s quite important that you don’t accidentally watch Restless before Primeval. Much confusion would ensue.

    Re the book – best to never read it. Keep it as a Objet de Kindle.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish OK. I’ll check the menu that’s on the innernet -the safe bit. The DVD menu is, as usual, totally confusing.

    Not the book: not ever? I mean it was only AUD6 and I started it and then said “stop. now.”  Later, perhaps.

    I have a lot of objects d’arts. It’s so Oz to have coffee tables filled with fat books no-one ever reads. Usually Design and Cooking Books.

    I kid. I don’t even have a coffee table. I dislike a lot of furniture.

    Regards, puro


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — don’t listen to the leather trouser-obsessed one. It’s a great book. Some good essays in it  covering some interesting topics.But you’ll just have to be mindful of spoilerage.


    @jimthefish @purofilion

    Not a comment on the book, but on it’s likelihood of having stonking great spoilers in it. You can’t be too careful.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant and @purofilion

    agreed. And you definitely need to watch Restless last in s4

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Has anyone else seen BBC 2’s “Winter Watch” to date? Last one is on tonight.

    If you are a nature lover, the team are up in the Cairngorms and there is some spectacular bird photography, from feasting owls to flocks of geese by night, not to mention red squirrels, pine martens and otters. Plus, a whole lot of proper snow. Lovely.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Well Russell T Davies is back on C4 with his three interlinking shows Cucumber, Banana and Tofu.


    To begin with, you should know that the title refers to different stages of the male erection – so I suppose the fact that the shows are mostly about the search for cock/ anxieties about cock has fair advertising.

    Cucumber is about a miserable middle-aged white guy, Henry,  having a mid-life sexual crisis, and ogling lots of young guys in the supermarket as a result. Think Kevin Spacey’s character in American Beauty, but gay.  In other words, rather unpleasant.

    To be honest, I think there is infinitely too much screen time taken up already by the mid-life crises of middle-aged white guys. Flawed, warts and all “complex” guys who do bad things but whom we are encouraged to feel for in all their messy time centre stage. That’s the whole premise of Breaking Bad, right? So, whilst there’s a gay twist on this one, the narrative actually feels depressingly familiar.

    Television (written by people of a certain age) likes to reflect on “new media” as if it were a dark art (the entirety of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror) although it’s hardly new any longer, so we are treated to a lot of characters looking excessively at their mobile phones and a Grindr 101 in case viewers haven’t heard of it. I think television needs to get over itself and allow digital connectivity to sink into the fabric of narrative without needing to constantly comment on it.

    Basically, I’m fed up with mid-life crisis tales, full stop.

    Certainly RTD can still write. I’m invested enough to keep watching, if only to see how the cluster-f***k set up in the first episode will resolve itself (I’m banking on – Henry gets married to his boyfriend Lance and accepts he’s in his late forties). RTD’s commitment to diversity, very apparent in his time as Doctor Who show runner, does continue to shame most other TV writers of his generation. But honestly, this doesn’t feel particularly fresh to me – Cucumber seems to spend a lot of time telling the audience a whole lot of things which are quite commonplace are tremendously shocking,

    Banana is more promising. It’s about young Dean, whose black Mancunian family are very accepting of his sexuality, despite his own touchy insistence on their homophobia, and his struggles searching for rent money, friendship and yes, sex. RTD has brought in a whole new cohort of younger LGBT writers for this one, so I’m looking forward rather more to its multi-character narrative and greater diversity.

    Sam Wollaston at The Guardian has written a rave review on the other hand (below). Definitely check it out for yourself. It’s better than the last series of Torchwood (lol).




    (Moved back the to TV corner to keep stuff together)

    BTW, I watched some of (what I thought) was the worst (no, say ‘not the best’) Buffy in ‘Put the I in Team’?

    Is it just me, but whilst Crouse’s performance in parts was spectacular, some things just did not work at all?

    And the ENDING?? What the hell happened! I get the vague motivation and the inevitable ‘pay off’ but jeepers!

    Giles was great -as always, but there was little Willow time and everything seemed wrong: I can’t get my head around it! I will enjoy some episodes today  -I gotta add I liked A New Man quite a bit!

    Yes, you’ve pretty much run into the nub of the problems with S4 (you should probably avoid @jimthefish‘s blog until you’re done though). This was where contract problems arsed up the story, apparently, although it was fundamentally flawed, IMO, anyway.

    But by my reckoning you still have This Year’s Girl/ Who Are You, featuring porn, (and a string of hardcore (not in a porn sense) Angel eps afterwards) as well a New Moon Rising (keep the kleenex handy) and Restless (make sure you watch it last!).

    Still much awesome to come.


    Yes. Mid-life crisis TV. Enough already. Also, I seriously doubt Wollaston’s judgement on anything. He’s a tool.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant ohhh YES!

    I am still of the opinion the whole thing is utterly wonderful and totally new and fresh. I guess when something so remarkable is in front of one, the occasional ‘below par’ causes anxiety. 🙂 To avoid any menu screw ups, I have a list -a list without any spoilers. I can’t go wrong.





    Don’t tempt me!


    Anonymous @

    @pedant Naa! What more could possibly go wrong?? 🙂

    The great toilet crack;  The Flood, The quinteupple by-pass; stalker; Hail the size of bricks; burglaries and thefts; dad dying (a blessing really); mother in a ‘home’ and on and on. Oh, and the Boy leaving Primary School -apparently very stressful for kiddies, but I was just bored aaaand, an election whereupon the Conservatives will return with even greater numbers.

    Tempting Fate: yes, a good one.  Or, The Good One.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish

    ‘This Year’s Girl’ 2- parter unbelievable. The opening as Buffy/Faith trying on her ‘words’: ‘This is WRONG’. No, “THIS is wrong?’

    I can see how Joss wrote the second part and directed it? The beginning of a Lesbian romance,  ‘dirty’ sex AND a church! Fighting in a church!!

    Then the next episode…Superstar sees a whole new Jonathan.  Now, whilst he’s not in the credits (named), every second frame contains him? How does that work in production? Actually, why is he so there in the first place?

    Only part way thru that episode and yet…hang on, what’s going on??

    Why does Willow have creepy pictures of Jonathan all OVER HER WALL?

    Confused (and happily), puro.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish

    Oh Okay! A spell done by Jonathan. But I have to echo Boy Ilion, I am thoroughly sick of the “love and sex”. Sex, sex, sex: talk about sex, analogies with sex and on and on. I’m no puritan…but I am gettin’ bored. I know I know, tween market ‘n’ all.

    I really feel Giles is getting short shrift and Xander too… Just my opinion….

    Anonymous @

    Oh Okay,  yet another sex demon. Right. Stop being so parsimonious Puro. Aaaand get off this thread. Hoggin; and with nothin’ useful to say, either!

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — hate to say it but I think Superstar is my most hated episode after Beer Bad. I really don’t like Jonathan and don’t really understand Jane Espenson’s infatuation with him as a character. And that’s probably all I can say on him for the time being.

    New Moon Rising is pretty damn good actually. One of the few up sides of s4 is that Oz has a pretty good run.

    Who Are You/This Year’s Girl one of the definite highpoints of the season and don’t forget that it’s essentially one half of a four-parter with Five by Five/Sanctuary over on Angel.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish I must repent. I have not fully abided by the rule! I’m only 8 episodes into Angel -RL n’ all.

    I’m gonna have to get back to Angel.

    Re: Espenson: I agree. On the commentary back in S3 she was fairly obsessed. I think he certainly showed some ‘chops’ in that episode but the whole thing in the end was a letdown. When a 13 year old can predict the entire semi-arc/plot, it can’t be good.

    I needed a breather from Buffy in S4 -hence my rather odd-ball comments about “sex sex sex” above. Rather ridiculous really.  Still, can’t undo that now. It’s the innernet.

    We expect to complete the Season today -public holiday (Australia Day) where people have BBQs in disgusting heat, drink warm beer and apparently eat lamb. Once the ‘poor man’s’ meal, it’s now for the aristocats.

    I’m stuck in telly land where I’m mostly happy.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — have oddly fond memories of Australia Day back when I lived there. It’s oddly schizophrenic for a Scotsman as you don’t know whether you should be celebrating Australia Day or Burns’ Night or some weird amalgam of the two. Haggis and snags don’t tend to go together all that well….


    @purofilion @jimthefish

    I never had a problem with Jonathan and rather like Superstar for the chain-yanking of the fans in the titles (there is a much darker version of that in …ooooh… 30 or so episodes time). I like a bit of “meta” me. Also, I sort of see Jonathan as Xander without the benefit of some really fuckin’ cool gal pals with superpowers.

    Danny Strong was one of the few non-main cast actors to appear in the unaired pilot (most notable for having Wrong Willow in it) as well as the series.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purofilion and @pedant

    Danny Strong was one of the few non-main cast actors to appear in the unaired pilot (most notable for having Wrong Willow in it) as well as the series.

    Yeah. Danny became their first port of call whenever they needed a generic student-of-the-week getting put on, ignored, bullied, you name it. The generic student would turn into Jonathan.

    Danny Strong is now an extremely successful scriptwriter.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @bluesqueakpip thank you.

    I thought that Jonathon did a terrific job in that role: the change he manifested and the fabulous opening credits -I mentioned above whilst watching it (and posting at the same time) that I had “no idea what was going on but this is interesting” and it certainly made me think.  Sadly, it petered out rather fast. Also, I believe there were a few very obvious ‘connection’ lines or transition exposition which the writer deemed necessary and yet for the viewer (paying attention), redundant.

    Jonathan has this rather oddly shaped face: all squished together. That and the whiny voice make him a perfect bully-ee.

    @jimthefish  I like haggis. I know the ‘countrymen’ don’t like it much -well, the one’s I’ve met. It’s the East European in me: eating fried liver with red wine, whiskey and onion as well as a peculiar concoction called Lentil with Poached Egg and Dill Sauce means I enjoy pretty much anything. To people’s faces. On the way home, I’m gagging.

    The only thing that really matters is that the local (café) is  open today. Everyone else is probably at the beach carrying little Ozzie flags and gettin’ nibbled by sharks. Or spouses. Not good.

    Regards, puro.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant and @purofilion — no reflection on Strong whatsoever who brings some nicely disarming to Jonathan. I just don’t have nearly as much love for the character as many seem to have. Especially Espenson.

    @bluesqueakpip — yeah, he’s going great guns at the moment. Especially with the scripts for the Hunger Games movies. I seem to remember him also being in the TV spin-off from Clueless many moons ago. He clearly fits that US high school profile….



     Also, I believe there were a few very obvious ‘connection’ lines or transition exposition

    Almost certainly inserted as a result of a network Note, because network executives think everybody else is as stupid as they are.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish  it’s interesting to see, thus far, how Giles seems to be somewhat ‘out of the picture’. I presume he’s drinking – a lot and strummin’ the gee-tar?

    I have just begun the last disc where Riley’s somehow ‘turned’ by ‘Mother’ with Adam as the fulcrum. Hmm. We’ll see. I do feel on the matter of Giles that the season is at a bit of a loss with him so …distant, waiting at a completely different railway station to the rest of the characters!

    I was watching ASH in an episode of Spooks -with a mate, actually, and I thought how marvellously he played the ‘fallen’ security agent  (and of course in Who with Tennant). Every part of his being ‘acted’ but with typical restraint. Simple lines delivered so beautifully:

    “Democracy? Now, there’s nothing. It’s all gone. It’s dead. No-one believes in anything. Anymore. There’ll be no dream retirement village with Garden”. That helpless vague smile as Salter (ASH) has decided it’s all doomed. Extinct.

    in se magna ruunt

    Anyway, in Buffy he lifts the tone. Before I finish the Season and then read Jim’s blog, I realise that I like Giles’ portrayal of a miserable confluence of unemployment and loneliness. He’s all whiskery and husky – feverish and grisly. I can see that whilst it looked as if Willow was disappearing into the bottle, it’s actually Giles after all. Should he be seen front and centre? I don’t think so. I think that’s the point of it -life goes on: Willow has Tara, Buffy has “aw shucks” Riley and Zander has the irrepressible Anya who loves him (or wants to have lots of sex anyways) despite his hapless manner, the dirty basement-flat, coffee table littered with crap. And so Giles is at another way-station and I can see the reason behind it. Still, I miss his balance, his touching assurance, the peculiar sarcasm tempered with patience.

    What to make of Robot Riley?…I shall soon see. It appears I’ve been left to my own devices as soccer has begun and the Ozzies are playing this evening. So, as I’m all soccered out, Buffy it is. With a glass of red.

    Onwards! Puro.



    Anonymous @

    Oh God,  the Professor, Oh God …Forrest… a..a…half-man/robot? This is Frankenstein. Not baaad. I mean I like Frankenstein. But Forrest??  No. No!!!

    Madly trying to come up with metaphors and comments about the Big Bad but it’s Lindsay Crouse for God’s sake. This is undignified!!  Is Riley going to be ‘altered’ as well? I liked “aw shucks” he was growing on me…. sort of.

    All’s OK again, because Giles is bashful and sayin’, “piffle.” Also, he shaved!

    ‘Does anybody else miss the Mayor, “I just wana be a big snake”? ‘ Aaah, Zander (not that kind of ‘aah’)

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