Friday, May 20, 2011

The Week In Review

Captain Elias provides a report card for the world of television, comic books, and literature.


Castle: A-    As I said in my review, this was probably their best episode ever. Fast, exciting, emotional, and tightly written. So why the minus? I rather hate cliffhanger series finales that leave you dangling for five months until you can't recreate your initial enthusiasm despite your best efforts.

Parks & RecA   This show is wonderful. Along with Community, it's probably the best written, funniest show on the air. They too had a bit of a cliffhanger ending, but since it's a comedy show it wasn't insanely heavy, death or life stuff. Well, except for L'il Sebastian, may he rest in peace.

The OfficeB-/A+   The first grade is for the show, which was an hour long and rather boring. They didn't even pick a boss! A lame attempt at an annoying cliffhanger. Despite the guest stars, there wasn't much excitement, though there rarely is in this show which is one of the many reasons I don't watch it regularly. But boy am I glad I did because Catherine Tate was on it!! (That's the reason for the second grade.)Will Arnett? Cool. Ray Romano? Um..I guess. Jim Carrey? For like 2 seconds. Catherine Tate? SQUEE!!! This lady is brilliant. Living legend. Not only did she have a hilarious, hugely successful show in the UK for years (The Catherine Tate Show, youtube it and love it) but she was a companion to the Doctor! And a good one at that, who became something greater than either her character or the Doctor himself, before a tragic end that I still hope will be reversed. I am not entirely sure I want Tate on The Office (it's probably not good enough for her) but I just want to see her more. Hell, I watched Gulliver's Travels just because she had a small part in it. She's wonderful.

Doctor Who: A+    Even without Donna Noble's return, this episode was superb. Neil Gaiman's grasp of the Doctor's universe is complete, and the complexity was such that, while I intend to watch it again before tomorrow's new episode and thus comprehend everything, I was challenged while bouncing on the couch like a 8 year old. The TARDIS sent into a human! Like most brilliant ideas it is simple. It takes a staple of the Doctor Who mythos and alters it temporarily, and in doing so finds a wealth of emotion and potential dialogue. Not just the TARDIS learning to speak, but the fact that these two beings have traveled together for hundreds and hundreds of years. The TARDIS has seen The Doctor in abject grief, shame, fear, and homicidal rage. She admits responsibility for the times he goes off course, but she takes her where he needs to be. She discloses her practical omnipotence and, of course, thankfully, after seeing all of him, she still loves him.  The weird subplot with Amy is starting to build up (I really can't stand to see Rory die any more) and I'm very curious to see where the season's going, but it's entirely possible that this episode was the high point of the year. They better sign Gaiman up for next series.


Batman & Robin #23B    Why does Jason Todd suddenly have red hair? I really had a lot of trouble getting past that.

Alpha Flight #0.1B+    I like the energy and spirit of this classic team's relaunch, and I like Northstar despite his posturing and inevitable gay Canadian stereotype as a raging, rebellious liberal, but what worries me is their enemy for the series seems to be the government, who are apparently devolving into fascists. Obviously this could be right up my alley, but both sides throw around that word, and in general I have zero faith in mixing mainstream superhero comic book stories with politics. In fact I rather hate when the writers do it, not only because I monumentally disagree with them but because it cheapens the character they are god-damned lucky to be writing (cause they sure as hell don't own them.) If you want a mouthpiece, make your own (like Bosch Fawstin and Pigman.)

Amazing Spidey #661: A-    The only thing that would make Dan Slott's Spidey issues better is if they were longer and came out as one-shots. I shouldn't be complaining, since it seems he does two part stories often and in a world where it takes half a year for a basic arc to unfold, Slott's an angel of mercy. This issue saw him teaching the kids at Avengers Academy, which I knew would be funny, but I didn't expect how well Slott writes Spidey as part of the FF. I think he does a better job than even Hickman has, as of yet, in showing how Peter fits into the group. I think I've been converted into a regular on this book, and might stick around for Spider Island.

Avengers #13: A   I've enjoyed Bendis' backup feature of the Oral History of the Avengers since he relaunched both titles, but the oral history with pictures? Yes please. A nice Fear Itself tie-in, that doesn't actually force us to sit through any evil hammer god fights but instead gives us downtime with the Avengers, which I actually rather love, and sets up a grim few future issues. Also, I really thought Clint was with Bobbi, since after she returned. Maybe I missed a miniseries. Regardless, I have yet to reach a verdict on Jessica Drew as a full-on main-team Avenger.


Vaclav & LenaA    I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch party in Greenpoint for this new, already acclaimed, novel by Haley Tanner. The author seems lovely, the excerpt she read sounds enchanting and natural, and the crowd certainly appreciated it. I haven't begun the book yet but I like what I've heard and I certainly recommend it.  Buy it!


  1. for some reason i'm just noticing now the Pig Man clip art you have there :) you may find this posting interesting in light of some recent news events:

  2. thanks for giving Sabra a shout out in that comment this morning. i left reply with something you outa check out when you get a couple of minutes.