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Also, pirates, lesbians and Paul Reiser. Who don't often appear together in the same place. (If you know differently, please tell me. As soon as possible).

Season three of My Two Dads is a peculiar place to be. Whilst I'm sorry that there wasn't a fourth season, I do wonder if they were running out of ideas by this point. The episodes are still good, but the plots are rather grasping at straws, in a way that really shouldn't come about so early on. For instance we have an episode where Joey, who has never expressed the slightest interest in ecological issues, is suddenly a lifelong, passionate environmentalist. We have an episode where, despite not having looked at a cigarette in three years, and even having a couple of plots in previous seasons that established him as a non-smoker, Michael is suddenly finding it difficult to quit. And okay, this leads to some good nicotine withdrawal gags, but it's still daft. We have an episode where Joey, who hasn't mentioned motorbikes in three years, much less gone for a ride on one, suddenly produces one that he's owned all his life. So why did he never use it when he's needed transport in the past, then?! Maybe I'm being stupid to expect continuity from a sitcom, but you'd think they'd at least make a small attempt. Then Nicole turns sixteen, and Joey and Michael celebrate the occasion by swapping personalities for the first half of the episode. Which is an interesting way of helping your daughter to mark her birthday. Mind you, after pulling all that "You can't fancy Michael, he's good at maths, and likes Star Trek!" nonsense in season two, they put it right in season three by having somebody fall for him precisely because he's a geek. Admittedly this happens in the same episode that has him dressed up as a leprechaun, whilst attempting the worst Irish accent in the history of ever, but still. It's progress.

So yes, that's season three of My Two Dads. Or some of it. It's still good, it just apparently doesn't care about itself very much. Which perhaps shouldn't bug me, but does, because if a show is trying to suspend disbelief in some way, shouldn't it at least attempt not to contradict itself seven ways from Sunday? Or should I forget continuity just as long as it's still making me laugh? I'm not sure that the geek in me can ever entirely do that.

Leaving My Two Dads floundering in a puddle of self-contradiction, then, it's back in time seven years to 1982, where Simon & Simon is still being wonderful. And I mean really, properly wonderful this time. A season two episode, called "The List". I was watching on DVD, but it should be on YouTube as well. A magazine editor and his photographer get murdered, and nobody can understand why. The Simon brothers eventually manage to trace it back to a local businessman, who has murdered them because they found out that his wife was having an affair with a local TV news anchorwoman. And there's not a trace of mockery, a trace of leering, a trace of snarking or disapproval. It's dealt with as though it's all perfectly ordinary, without needing any special comment at all. How can a fun action show from 1982 manage something that almost no other TV show has managed since?! No lascivious comments, no stupid jokes, no cheap shots. No attempts to titillate the audience with unnecessary snogging. Did the cast and crew not read the TV memo that says all lesbians have to be rubbish and unconvincing, or solely there to give the viewers a cheap thrill? Or die? Or all three? Granted it was only a brief scene, but most shows can manage to screw that up well enough. Often several times over, and without even trying.

And then it's back even further - to the seventeenth century apparently, although I think that was just the Doctor getting confused. He probably meant eighteenth. Yep, tonight Doctor Who gave me pirates, although sadly it was all a bit rubbish. They were lousy pirates for starters, and didn't do anything even remotely piratey. In fact they didn't even need to be pirates. Trapped on a ship that's becalmed, the Doctor faces a rubbish mermaid, which was mostly an excuse for Murray Gold to indulge his love of ethereal wailing on the soundtrack. Really, writers. Stop giving him the opportunity to do that. It got old five years ago. Turned out that the rubbish mermaid was an even more rubbish doctor, who nearly killed Rory with some overly enthusiastic medicare. Then Amy had to save him, because the Doctor apparently forgot that he has quite a lot of medical skills himself, and an entire spaceship full of amazing equipment. And then there was an insanity of swoopy orchestral chords to celebrate the fact that Amy had got CPR quite catastrophically wrong, but had managed to save Rory anyway. Also there was an annoying small boy, and quite a lot of people behaving as though they were in a pantomime, and they couldn't be bothered to take it entirely seriously. On the plus side, it was set several hundred years ago, and there was a black bloke in it, which is going to set OG and the IMDb message boards yelping again about how black people weren't invented until the 1950s, damn it, and how dare the BBC casting department suggest otherwise. So that's good, obviously. Although that was a pretty lousy sentence, I'll admit.

Anyway, to celebrate the pirates and the mermaid and such, here's a nice shiny picture from the BBC website, as I watched on the iPlayer, so don't have screencaps. It's a bit of a nonsensical picture, mind, since everybody is gawping at the mermaid, who thanks to the wonder of BBC artistry is stood in entirely the wrong place. Still, what's a little logic amongst shipmates.


It wasn't entirely rubbish. Eleven still managed a good half dozen brilliantly quotable lines; Hugh Bonneville was good, despite beardage; Rory is still the finest thing to happen to the TARDIS crew since Captain Jack (not that this is difficult, but still); and there were swords. It just felt like there was an alien plot bolted on three quarters of the way through, when it would have been much better just being about pirates battling a could-have-been creepy threat on a still ocean. And why is it that people always feel that they have to overact when they're playing pirates? What is it about piracy that seems to spell death to subtlety?

Oh, I don't know. Maybe I was being overly optimistic about the whole "Doctor Who does pirates!" thing. It just felt really lacklustre this week. And then there were Ood in the trailer for next week, and that's rarely a good thing. For starters it almost certainly means more choral nonsense from Murray "Why Be Subtle When I Can Blast The Viewers' Ears With Hordes of Angels?" Gold. To give him his full name.

Still, I shouldn't complain about that until it's happened, should I. And in the meantime, I think I've waffled on here for long enough. I should probably go and do something useful now. Or pretend. Or put the kettle on.

Stupid question. It's going to be the kettle thing, isn't it.

Comments

( 21 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
mickeyk
May. 8th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
Pirates!
Yep, I'm sure it'll be the kettle. Then you can surf the web.

I'm totally avoiding the reactions at IMDb and OG. I was, however, very curious what you'd think of the episode and I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as you should since, you know, PIRATES!!!! Love Rory and I'm glad he's around.

You just knew that the Doctor would have to walk the plank at some point, didn't you. I enjoyed it but I didn't have high expectations.
swordznsorcery
May. 8th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
Re: Pirates!
Even though the plank is apparently an invention of storytellers. I rather expected the Doctor to complain about that! :)

And you're right, it was the kettle. It's a lot easier that being useful, for starters.
eandh99
May. 8th, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
I noticed that My Two Dads kinda morphed into Mad About You there in paragraph 3. Funny, I remember bits of Mad about You - I loved their dog! - but absolutely nothing about My Two Dads. And yet I live in North America, surrounded by US television.

It's funny, I go and get DW from the pixies every week, but I lost the sense I HAD to watch it back last season somewhere and never got it back. And I like Eleven.
swordznsorcery
May. 8th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
I have absolutely no idea what you mean. Typo? What typo?! ;) That's what you get for watching two shows with the same actor in them...

I'm liking Doctor Who more now than I have in a long time. Mind you, I really didn't like Ten, or RTD's creative control. There is quite an element of ho hum, though. Try as I might, I just cannot warm to Amy.
eandh99
May. 8th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
Oh, I watched series 4 for Donna, and just hated the ending - watched the first Eleven episode and liked it a lot. Had trouble getting reliable pixies for series 5 and just, got away from it.
swordznsorcery
May. 8th, 2011 12:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, a lot of people were unhappy about the end of series four. One of those things you have to try writing your own fix for, perhaps?

Series five was rather good fun, though. It had its faults - Amy being the major one - but the lack of Ten was a big improvement!
crabby_lioness
May. 8th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
It helped a lot to watch it without a pirate kink.
swordznsorcery
May. 8th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
But everybody is mad about pirates, surely?! ;)

It was more than that, though. The writing seemed a bit off, and the music kept taking me right out of the story. Like I said, not all bad by any means. I could certainly have done without the alien sickbay stuff, mind. Although Rubbish Mermaid was a bit cool when she went all red and angry.
mickeyk
May. 15th, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
"The Doctor's Wife"
So what did you think of the latest DW episode? I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Are you going to do a post about it?
swordznsorcery
May. 15th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
Re: "The Doctor's Wife"
I doubt it. I enjoyed the episode a lot, though. Bit too rushed and manic, but then they're always like that nowadays! The story was a good, solid one, though, and for once Amy didn't annoy me.

Boy would I like to see Neil Gaiman write an episode of TW. Especially in the good old "never know what to expect" season one days.
mickeyk
May. 15th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
Re: "The Doctor's Wife"
But I would so read it if you did!

This episode really made me wish Jack had been around and you're damn right that I wanted the TARDIS in human form to interact with Jack (and he so would have been 'the pretty one' if he'd been with Amy and Rory!).

I enjoyed it so much though that I watched it a second time. :) Loved the little callbacks, like 'You sexy thing', the roundels on the walls, seeing 9 and 10's console room again, 'old girl' and that the TARDIS moved the control on the console at the end. So far, this is definitely my fave episode with 11.
swordznsorcery
May. 15th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: "The Doctor's Wife"
It was the TARDIS who brought Jack back to life. We know how much she likes him - no matter what was said in "Utopia". She'd have made the Doctor jealous if she'd met Jack in human form. :D

I'd have preferred a properly old console room, though.
mickeyk
May. 15th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: "The Doctor's Wife"
I still wish we'd gotten on screen confirmation that she loves Jack, and that it was the Doctor, not the TARDIS, that sent them to the end of the universe in "Utopia".

I also would have loved a white console room but I bet that set is long, long, long, long gone. *sigh*
swordznsorcery
May. 15th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
Re: "The Doctor's Wife"
Bits from over the years have been in various exhibitions, and the set flats from the latter day Tom Baker years supposedly still exist in somebody's back garden! So there's enough to recreate a set for a few scenes, I'd have thought. Problem is that they'd worry about their modern audience not recognising it, I guess.

I don't know who it was who sent them to the end of the universe, but the TARDIS being afraid of Jack, when it was the TARDIS who made him that way in the first place, never made sense. That's RTD, though. He's always messing up on plot details.
mickeyk
May. 20th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
TW special showing
Wasn't the first episode of CoE shown around the 12th of the month before it aired? The below event is apparently already sold out and is happening June 20th. Possible spoilers about MD after the first paragraph at the url below.

http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/bfi_southbank/film_programme/regular_strands/previews_in_conversation/tv_preview_torchwood_bbcstarz_

I think there's lots of hope that you'll get it starting July 8th.
swordznsorcery
May. 20th, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: TW special showing
Argh! I'll be having to hide from spoilers again, if there's a special showing! Not being on OG this time will help, though.

Thanks for that information. July 8th would be a Friday, which would be uncommon for the BBC with a show like that, though I wouldn't rule it out. They should just make it easy on me and show it tomorrow. ;)
mickeyk
May. 20th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
Re: TW special showing
Yes, that will help, I'm sure.

Yes, they should air it tomorrow, one episode after the other, to make it easy on you! They could start after DW ends. :)
mickeyk
May. 20th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
Jeff Conaway
Damn, did you hear about Jeff Conaway?

http://www.wcti12.com/entertainment/27953855/detail.html
swordznsorcery
May. 20th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Jeff Conaway
Yes, I did. He's bounced back before, notably after he had such bad head injuries a couple of years ago. This time really doesn't look good, though. Poor guy.
mickeyk
May. 22nd, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
New Starz TW trailer
Have you seen the new Starz TW trailer, with footage from the show? Want a link to it?
swordznsorcery
May. 23rd, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: New Starz TW trailer
Yes, thanks. I think I'm up to date on trailers now. I meant to post a YouTubey link here last night actually, but got distracted by my book. And then by Rick and AJ.

Sorry Jack. :)
( 21 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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