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SCHWARTZBLOG: The Very Worst Named Blog
#36

These have become a must-read for me. Great work.

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#37

BB S5E5 - "Dead Freight"

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#38

Breaking Bad S5E6 - "Buy Out"

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#39

I agree completely about Todd. And everything else you wrote. And whatever you chose to eat for lunch.

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#40

Also, curious as to what you thought of Jesse's response of "Thank God." when Walt begins to talk about his kids not being around. Personally, I thought he was just glad that the dinner wasn't even more awkward, but reading around the net a lot of people took it as Jesse thinking the kids were better off away from Walt, which is weird, 'cause Walt then rejoins "I don't mean just for tonight."

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#41

I don't think Jesse was meaning anything beyond the current awkwardness, but we're supposed to pick up on a little dramatic irony all the same.

Also, I made whole wheat spaghetti with italian sausage and chopped mushrooms, onions, green pepper and zucchini.  Tragically, Alberson's was all out of green beans last time I went.

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#42

BB S5E7 - "Say My Name"

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#43

BB S538 - "Gliding Over All"

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#44

Boardwalk Empire S3E01 - "Resolution"

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#45

Boardwalk Empire S3E02 - "Spaghetti and Coffee"

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#46

I'm ceding the Boardwalk to Renn, and taking up Shawn Ryan's new show, Last Resort.  It's pretty good so far.

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#47

Last Resort 1.03 - Eight Bells

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#48

Last Resort 1.04 - "Voluntold"

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#49

I'm still planning on seeing Last Resort through the end of the season  (likely to be its only if reactions here are anything to go by, as it seems like few are watching and none are really loving it), but was considering another long term project.  And I've been thinking for awhile about diving into Dr. Who.

What I need help on is where to start.  There is so much of it, and just starting from the beginning does not sound appealing.  If I'm going to make a series of it, there is something to be said for completeness, but I also have to not give up on it before it gets actually good, and I think I've become too old to devote a lot of time to hate-watching anything much less writing about it.  I really want to get to the modern era where the consensus is that its gotten very good, but with as much background as I need to appreciate the history they're playing with. My geeky completionist streak has to battle with my disinterest in even stuff like the classic Star Trek, to which I've seen early Who unfavorably compared to.

So to any Who fans out there - who is a good doctor to start with?  When does the kitschy or value based on anthropological curiosity give way to no-bones entertainment value?  Are there early episodes/movies that I should be sure to check out prior to jumping closer to the modern era?

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#50

Last Resort - S1E05 "Skeleton Crew"

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#51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

I'm still planning on seeing Last Resort through the end of the season  (likely to be its only if reactions here are anything to go by, as it seems like few are watching and none are really loving it), but was considering another long term project.  And I've been thinking for awhile about diving into Dr. Who.

What I need help on is where to start.  There is so much of it, and just starting from the beginning does not sound appealing.  If I'm going to make a series of it, there is something to be said for completeness, but I also have to not give up on it before it gets actually good, and I think I've become too old to devote a lot of time to hate-watching anything much less writing about it.  I really want to get to the modern era where the consensus is that its gotten very good, but with as much background as I need to appreciate the history they're playing with. My geeky completionist streak has to battle with my disinterest in even stuff like the classic Star Trek, to which I've seen early Who unfavorably compared to.

So to any Who fans out there - who is a good doctor to start with?  When does the kitschy or value based on anthropological curiosity give way to no-bones entertainment value?  Are there early episodes/movies that I should be sure to check out prior to jumping closer to the modern era?

I think the Tom Baker years were Dr. Who at its most popular. The AV Club has a recurring feature on "classic" Dr. Who episodes that provides a decent cross-section that might provide some help with where to start.

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#52

Thanks.  The AV Club has more of a taste for classic TV than I do generally; while blogging about TV suggests some sort of expertise, I actually don't find many shows prior to my lifetime very entertaining on their own merits.  Maybe Who will surprise me though.  I should probably start with something really early and jump forward when I get bored.

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#53

To answer your Who question as I'm something of a fan:

If you're looking for a place to begin with the new series which has been running since 2005, there are two real jumping on points. Neither require knowledge of the classic show (although having some would certainly enrich the experience). The first would be at the beginning of season one  which introduces Christopher Eccleston's ninth incarnation of The Doctor. This isn't a bad choice at all as there are some absolutely brilliant episodes in that season ("Dalek", "Father's Day", "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" especially) although there are a few not-so-great episodes too but that's to be expected. It's designed for new viewers and will introduce you to all of the concepts of the show that you'll need.

The other ideal jumping on point would be season 5 which begins just after The Doctor has regenerated into his current incarnation played by Matt Smith. This is very much a different show to the first season in many ways as season 5 was when Steven Moffat took over at the showrunner (having written several episodes in prior seasons that received high praise from the fanbase), but it's also designed for new viewers to enter the show. Whilst season 5 is probably my favorite season of the new show, you'll miss out on some great prior episodes and on David Tennant's run as The Doctor.

If you do decide to take a peek at some of the classic DW, I second the suggestion of Tom Baker's run ("Genesis Of The Daleks" is a great story and the events which take place have some influence on the new series). Hell, I could probably pick favorite episodes from each of the actors who played The Doctor but I'm not sure if there's a character limit with CHUD's posts!

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#54

I am enough of a completionist that I would start in 2005 at the latest, just not enough of one to go through four 1960s/70s Doctors if I'm not loving the first one, you know?  Anyway, if you want to give me a rundown (I'm not even really clear on the history of the show, although I know it was off the air for an extended period pre-2005) of highlights from the earlier eras, I wouldn't turn it down.

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#55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Anyway, if you want to give me a rundown (I'm not even really clear on the history of the show, although I know it was off the air for an extended period pre-2005) of highlights from the earlier eras, I wouldn't turn it down.

Okay, here's one from each Doctor!

An Unearthly Child

If you really want to get a good understanding of the show, via the classic stories, there’s no better place to start than right at the beginning. Through this episode you’re introduced to most of the basics (or at least glimpses of them) as The Doctor ends up in 10,000BC with his granddaughter Susan and companions-to-be Barbara and Ian. William Hartnell’s performance as the first version of the Doctor influenced, to various degrees, all those who would follow him.

The Tomb Of The Cybermen

One of my favorite classic Who stories. This story features the second version of The Doctor, as played by Patrick Troughton, and features one of the best known Who villains after those pepper pot-shaped space Nazis. As well being a great story in itself, it’s a great example of why the show succeeded despite not having the large budget it has today. There’s a lot of imagination in this script and all of the actors are commited to selling the story to the audience. Troughton is the favourite Doctor of Matt Smith (the current actor in the role) and you can see a lot of similarities in their performance.

The Spearhead From Space

The first episode to be broadcast in color! This story features the third Doctor (John Pertwee) and is significant for introducing the alien force known as The Autons who play an important part in the new show!

Genesis Of The Daleks

I recommend this story to pretty much everyone who enquires about classic Who. This story features the fourth version of the Doctor (Tom Baker) and introduces a lot of the backstory for The Daleks which is used in the current show. It is also considered to be the starting point for the Time War; an important event in Nu-Who. Perhaps of most importance is the presence of one of The Doctor’s best companions, Sarah Jane Smith, who will later return to the new version of the show for several episodes.

The Caves Of Androzani

This is the final story to feature the fifth version of The Doctor (played by Peter Davidson) and it’s one of his best. The determination which Davidson brings to the role as he battles to save his companion from death elevates this story, along with the crazy villain at the story’s centre. Although there are no direct connections to the new show (although the Fifth doctor is referenced several times during the Tenth Doctor’s reign – as actor David Tennant is a big fan, and eventually went on to marry Davidson’s daughter!), there are some thematic similarities between this story and the final scenes of the Ninth Doctor in the new show.

The Trial Of A Timelord

The sixth Doctor is my least favourite incarnation and, although some may argue with this (and this is purely my opinion), I don’t think there are very many good Sixth Doctor episodes. However, if you’re going to watch one of his stories, this would be a good one to watch because it explores the concept that The Doctor has a darker side to him which is a theme that’s being explored in the current show. There are also some interesting narrative choices that may (or may not) have some effect on the twelfth version of The Doctor depending on whether the writers want to go that route.

The Curse Of Fenric

I will admit that I’m a big fan of the Seventh Doctor, simply because he was “my” Doctor and the first one I ever saw on television. There were two choices for his story and whilst "Remembrance Of The Daleks" is a fine story (and has connections to “An Unearthly Child”), this story is probably my favourite of the Seventh Doctor’s because it is unapologetically a horror story. There are vampires, demons and ancient weapons in this episode, as well as a chess match between The Doctor and something very old, and very terrible. You also get to see The Doctor’s manipulative side brought to the fore; a trait that is also strong amongst the current Eleventh Doctor.

The Fox Television Movie

Okay, this one isn’t really the Classic show but, if you’re willing to try one of each Doctor, you may as well experience the Eighth Doctor. This story is heavily flawed but Paul McGann is wonderful in the role and would have made a brilliant Doctor if the pilot had been picked up. I also really like Eric Roberts’ different take on The Doctor’s nemesis The Master. The Eighth Doctor is considered cannon and is referenced at least twice in the 2005 version.

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#56

Thanks.   I see that "An Unearthly Child" is available on Netflix.  Might as well give it a shot and figure out how thorough I want to be from there.

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#57

Last Resort S1E6 - "Another Fine Navy Day"

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#58

In which I talk about the potential for the Star Wars franchise that Episode VII will almost certainly not make good on.

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#59

You and I are definitely on the same page. I too am guardedly optimistic, as bowdlerized as Star Wars has become, because it's still FUCKING STAR WARS and the possibility of a movie made by people who actually know what they're doing is a real thrill.

I hadn't thought of Drew Goddard as a director, that's interesting. I'm actually in the unlikely camp of people who think Joss Whedon wouldn't be right for this--and I *like* Whedon, and I can see how his sensibility was shaped by Star Wars, but there's something pure and simple and, I don't know, monolithic about the Star Wars OT that I can't quite buy with Whedon--he's all about clever curlicues and subversion and a certain kind of edginess. But Goddard? He's a reasonable substitute for Whedon, and he may in fact understand this aspect of the series better than Whedon does. I'm not sure what I'm basing this on, but yeah. There's something that feels right about that.

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#60

It's moot at this point, as Whedon is disqualified by his other commitments, but I think he could tone down the self-parodic aspects of his original stuff if he were handed the keys to this kingdom.

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#61

Last Resort S1E7 - "Nuke It Out"

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#62

That Star Wars piece was excellent. Should have been a main page article, ala the old Devin's Advocate pieces. Great stuff.

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#63

Debuting Al's Finale Alley with a look at Boardwalk Empire Season Three.

The concept is sort of a 2 part seasonal review with a bit of prognosticating mixed in.  Feel free to drop in your own wherever you'd prefer (comment section, here, the Boardwalk thread), as all comments are beloved.

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#64

Al's Finale Alley:  Sons Of Anarchy, Season 5

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#65

Last Resort E8 - "A Big Chicken Dinner"

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#66

Finale Alley - Boardwalk Empire, Season 3 Finale

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#67

Finale Alley - Sons of Anarchy, Season 5 Finale

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#68

Last Resort, Episode 9 - Cinderella Liberty

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#69

Last Resort, Episode 10 - "Blue Water"

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#70

Top Ten Movies of 2012 

It is a silly list, and I invite one and all to tell me how wrong my ill-informed opinions are in the least civilized language you can muster.

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