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Some notes on Doctor Who, CSI, and Scrubs - Light One Candle

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December 10th, 2006

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02:24 pm - Some notes on Doctor Who, CSI, and Scrubs
Hopefully, the first two of these will be short. :-) Because it's Doctor Who I actually have opinions about.

I'm really very fond of this show. It's strange, and I don't exactly fangirl it when I'm not watching, but there's a living heart to each character that the humor only accentuates. No one, even when they're exaggerated, seems unreal.

And preaching? What's that? Even when the topic is abortion.... *blows kisses to the writers, actors, and everybody*

CSI, "Loco Motives"

I've heard several people, both online and RL, complaining about this episode. Either it was an unsatisfactory conclusion to the minature-models murderer storyline (more on that in a second), or it was just "confusing."

I will grant some on the second one. CSI, on the whole, is very good about revealing both the 'how' (which is what they're famous for) and the 'why,' or motives, behind each crime they solve. Even (or maybe especially) when the killer is one that has eluded them before, like Paul Millander (whose background was bizarre, and who had an eeire raport with Grissom); or like the Blue Paint Killer, who was a straight-up psycho-sexual serial killer.

And it's true that we don't get a complete and total explanation of Dell's motives. It almost seems very simple and sordid; an elaborate ritual to get back at people who have somehow harmed him. Maybe.

But there, I think, is the center of this episode. People don't seem to be getting that this one isn't about solving the case--or rather, yes, it is about that, but it's also about the fact that even when they solve one, sometimes it doesn't work out. Grissom will never understand Dell more than he does right now, from his studies of the models and that last web video. He caught him, but it wasn't a duel between nemeses...just a game of cat and mouse between men who are perhaps a little too much alike.

Catherine astutely observes that Grissom seems "tired." She wouldn't even ask if she didn't mean something beyond normal fatigue, and I think she's right. Grissom is close to burnout, for whatever reason.

Also, I actually found the subplot--the man who has accidentally killed four people--to be much more disturbing. I understand why Cath couldn't stop laughing, but I also understand what horrified Grissom about that; it's something completely out of the man's control, and he's going to have to pay for it above and beyond the deaths. That's wrenching, and if I think about it too hard, makes me feel a bit sick.

So I actually thought this episode was pretty good. And I'm glad Dell wasn't just a carbon copy of Millander.

Doctor Who, "Love and Monsters"

*blink, blink* Okay then. Did we just fall off the edge of the universe into Sunnydale for about an hour, here?

I actually liked a lot about this episode (I am sometimes a complete sucker for alternate-POV episodes of my favorite shows, so...). Here's a list:

--The main character, believe it or not. I liked Elton a lot, and I especially liked that he actually got a realistic character arc.
--Jackie Tyler! She annoyed me beyond words a while back, but I've grown to love her, and it was so nice to see things from her side for a change.
--The short, small, character sketches of the rest of the group (LINDA? Yes?); elegant, spare, and including Shirley...oh, shoot, I do know her name. Moaning Myrtle, you know. Always fun to have her in a role.
--Good use of music, imho. :-)
--Very interesting extrapolation of how people might talk about the Doctor, if they don't know much about him, really. Religious ideas, philosophical ideas, how-this-applies-to-us (WWTDT?).

Things I didn't:

--I've been noting a few Buffy references this season, most of which got an amused "hey look!" from me, followed by an explanation to my non-Buffy roomie. This, though...so much of this episode had me flashing back to "Storyteller," which though clever, wasn't one of my favorite season 7 episodes. In fact, the parallels with the storytelling exaggerations (at the beginning, at least), the video cuts, even the look of the actor who played Elton (short blonde hair, thin, narrow face, sorta geeky) reminded me of Andrew Wells and his supposed documentation of Buffy and her house of Slayers-in-training.
--If that was on purpose, it's a problem. I'm not willing to take anything Elton says at face value till I don't know, almost half-way through the episode? I expected much more of a screen between us and reality, since he's telling the story and could tell it however the heck he wants to. This narrator is much more honest than Andrew, but how was I to know that right off?
--The bit at the end, the weird sort of half-happy-ending that the Doctor manages with his sonic screwdriver of all things...what *can't* that thing do? Stretch my disbelief, I guess.
--Also, seeing the events of the past couple of years from someone's earthbound perspective really made the fact that both Nine and Ten didn't seem to do much in the way of backtracking anywhere close to their path in the "current" timeline stand out sharply. Poo. If you have time travelling, why not mix it up a little? It's fun that way! If the Doctor has worked with previous incarnations before.... *sigh*

I think that's all for now. Though I may have a bit of a rant about SG-1 and God vs. false gods at some point ("Origin" frustrated me quite a lot).
Current Mood: okayokay

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[User Picture]
Date:December 10th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
If you have time travelling, why not mix it up a little?

Apparently the answer to that was something like: it takes up more screen time, requires more money, and has the potential to confuse new viewers. Davies said in the commentary, I think, that he really wanted to do that -- just have references to everything that had ever happened in the history of Doctor Who during that time period on Earth -- but decided against it for practical reasons. Which I can understand, but, man, that would have been really cool.
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2006 07:21 am (UTC)
Exactly what you said! *nods* It would have been really cool, and I'm a bit taken aback at approaching time travel in a *linear* fashionl. I mean, it's frigging time travel....

I loved "Girl in the Fireplace" because at least they tried on a bit of the more interesting time travel stuff there.
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
It's kind of surprising how rarely Doctor Who has made time travel a significant element of the story (as opposed to just a device for getting to interesting places).
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)
The best thing about this episode of CSI was Warrick and the little girl. I really did enjoy that scene. Of course Warrick is a charmer, and that little girl was *great*. Too cute for words, and very natural. I just really enjoyed the way the scene played.

As for SG-1 and "origin" . . . yeah, that's what I've been talkin' 'bout.
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
Aw, yes, Warrick and the little girl--I want to know where they found that young actress, actually. She was much better than a majority of kid actors I see on TV (except on Medium, where they somehow found a couple of awesome kids).

I'll make that post later, about "Origin"...I'm not sure if you and I have exactly the same frustrations. I remember you (and other Christian fans) being taken aback by the language used about this paritcular religion, etc, and while I can see why, I'm more peeved by SG-1's unwillingness to tackle, you know, actual faith. So, more later. :-)

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