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Sunday, December 27, 2009
TV Round-Up: Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part 1
As the Tennant era draws to a close, the final victory laps of specials has been a hit or miss one. In many ways, it felt like David Tennant and Russell T. Davies really threw everything and the kitchen sink into series four's finale, leaving me to wonder just what exactly they could or would do with the final victory lap.

Or just how a victory lap all written by Davies would work.

I've not been a huge fan of his stories, especially when Davies feels the weight of trying to pull together an entire season story arc--or in this case to pull together an entire era in two episodes.

"The End of Time, Part 1" suffers from a lot of the excesses that previous Davies-written finales have. There's a lot of time spent running in place as we wait for the final ten or so minutes to be breathless with revelations and things happening as we build to the cliffhanger. The first half hour or so (longer if you watched on BBC America) is little more than what in the 80s took up a few lines on the classic series--bringing the Master back from the dead. And then, once he's back from the dead, he's not stable and we spent the 20 or so minutes getting him stable and finding out what his nefarious plan for this time is. It's interesting to see how the Master has gone from a guy who used to be all about universal domination in the 80s to this version where his ambition is...apparently to clone himself over the entire planet Earth.

I'm not quite sure I get it, but it's no more half-baked than any of his other schemes from the John Nathan-Turner years.

In many ways, it feels like large chunks of this story are designed to allow Tennant and John Simms to chew scenery. And while it's nice to have these two actors chew the scenery, it does little or nothing to advance the plot and it feels like a holding technique as we wait for the Master's plan to come into focus and to build to the cliffhanger.

Which is an interesting little doozy, though from what we see of the return of the Time Lords, I'm not sure their going to be portrayed in quite the same way as they were in the classic series. More RTD re-interpretation of the classic series mythology, I guess.

Meanwhile, I found myself more and more annoyed at the hero worship given to Barak Obama. The number of times it was mentioned that he was going to save the world with a Christmas speech really grated on me and it will definitely lead to this story being dated within a couple of years and not having the timeless nature of a lot of classic "Who." Of course, it's just more of RTD's political agenda being written into the show. It can work in sci-fi if you do it with subtlety, something that RTD has never been accused of having...

And while there have been comparisons made by RTD to "Logopolis" and a feeling of an end of an era, I'm not really seeing it. But then again, maybe we'll see it next week when this story and the era concludes...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/27/2009 02:36:00 PM | |
Saturday, December 26, 2009
The Post-Meyer Era Begins
Ever since Urban Meyer came on the scene at Florida, many college football fans have wondered how he'd coach and what his winning percentage would be like without Tim "I Walk on Water but Cry Like a Girly Man If We Lose" Tebow.

Unfortunately, we won't get to find out.

According to reports, Meyer will leave Florida after their bowl game, due to health reasons.

As a human being, I wish Meyer all the best and hope that whatever his health reason is that this walking away will help put him on the road to recovery or better health.

As a Vols' fan, a large part of me takes gleeful delight in seeing Florida possibly taking a step backward with the loss of Meyer and sees this as an opening the Vols could possibly step through on our journey back to SEC East dominance....

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/26/2009 06:49:00 PM | |
Monday, December 07, 2009
Finding Ways to Lose
Walking into handbell practice last night, someone asked me if I was feeling a bit down since I was wearing my Titans' sweatshirt. I replied that I was feeling a bit depressed to which the reply came, "Well, at least you can be happy the Saints won today and are doing well."

Then came the painful and awkward silence before I had to explain that I'm also a Redskins fan and that while I was sad the Titans lost, I was really, really upset, depressed, annoyed, felt-like-a-gut-punch-to-the-stomach and irritated by the Redskins' loss to the Saints yesterday in overtime. It's that same bitter feeling I have about a certain touchdown that wasn't a touchdown by a certain team that shall not be named but rhymes with Borida in Neyland Stadium a few years ago. It's just cruel to have you team go out and perform so well before things just implode and you find a way to lose.

Make no mistake--that's exactly what the Redskins did.

And, man it hurt.

Watching the updates scroll across my computer screen on NFL.com and seeing the updates during the Titans game, I kept wondering if we'd get enough points to beat the Saints. This was matched only by my annoyance that Fox refused to cut over to this game from our local market game in which the Eagles were having their way with the Falcons and the game was pretty much over by the time the fourth quarter started. Of course, Fox did then cut over to the game once we'd had every last moment of the Eagles game, just in time to see the Redskins driving down to get what should have been the field goal that put the game out of reach....

And then, it all fell apart. Fox cut away to give us the start of the Dallas vs New York game just as the Redskins' kicker missed a chip shot field goal to salt it away. It's a move I don't understand and I call shenningans on Fox for claiming it was NFL rules when I've seen CBS run the end of tight games over and cut into whatever national game they have as the late game on many an occasion. But chalk it up to one more reason to hate the Cowboys, so I guess I'm OK.

It left me scrambling, wondering how the final moments would play out. So, I found the live streaming of the Redskins broadcast on-line and listened in to the final painful minutes of the game.

On a side note, it was made even more painful by the Redskins' crew calling the game. Sam Huff and Sonny Jorgensen have been there since I last lived near D.C. close to 20 years ago and they were over the hill then. Man, it was just painful to listen to them sometimes. I take back everything I've said about Frank Wycheck over the years as being a less than wonderful color guy on the Titans' broadcast. Hearing Huff and Jorgensen as color analysts try to fill air time during two long and drawn out reviews was just painful. They may have been great Redskins in their day and they used to do a nice job on the radio...but boy the time has passed.

And so, I got to hear the Redskins find a way to lose. In almost the most painful way possible. By playing 58 good minutes of football only to implose in the last two and then overtime.

I guess if you're the Saints it's better to be lucky than good...because they were lucky yesterday.

I just wish it hadn't been at the expense of my team.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/07/2009 01:30:00 PM | |
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