Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
Also, the show itself is quite intersectionality-aware. I.e. there's a running joke about how one guy who appropriates Native American culture while being white is an unforgiveable asshole; women in positions of power and girls who are heroes; nearly everyone being a little or a lot strange in ways that would make them outsiders everywhere but in Nightvale... That kind of thing.
So, because decent queer and PoC representation is still rare, tumblr feminist circles have been recommending the show to give it more exposure. And social outsiders and less privileged groups of every stripe find ways to identify with the characters. It's a bit like Rocky Horror in this regard.
But yeah, I can see why someone who already finds himself well-represented in the media wouldn't see what's attractive about this fandom.
(I really hope you weren't refering to the queer aspect with your "cutesy" verdict.)
Though saying all that, personally, I do find the main plot / horror elements often too nonsensical or boring. And I skip the indi-band promotions.
I did get a laugh out of them calling Von an influential band, though. Give me a break.
Actually, that's not entirely true: The Oregonian managed to do that, though it aped Lynch pretty slavishly.
Also, in other news, Yellowbrickroad is a good little budget horror movie. It doesn't explain itself entirely, but that's probably the point. Weird Fiction rather liked it.
I made you a garmonbozia but I eated it?
At least they seem to be moving away from QTEs, but people who've played the game tell me the "intuit which direction the game wants you to push the stick" system isn't actually that much better (and if anything is sometimes just weird and arbitrary).
Person that pointed this article in my direction thought this was the bit which drives the knife home and I am inclined to agree:
This constant push and pull between our sense that we are impacting the story and the story itself has always been at the heart of everything David Cage has created, but it’s examples like these that highlight just how passive Beyond made me feel. There are, of course, choices: on Quantic’s whim, you can choose how Jodie responds in conversation, whether she’ll dance at a party or not, or take revenge on someone who has wronged her. But unlike the critical decisions you make in Heavy Rain, Beyond’s choices feel small, and the story will storm onward no matter how they are played out, never pausing to toss you a crunchy moral quandary to change its direction in any way that feels significant. It’s disappointingly unadaptable.
I can illustrate this by comparing two scenarios. In one, Jodie is preparing for a date: you have the ability to choose her outfit, what she’ll cook for dinner, if she cleans up her apartment or not, and so on. How she completes these tasks will affect the outcome of the date. In another, Jodie is instructed to kill a man. You have no choice in this.
Also they have some really good looking collections of queer SFF short fiction + SFF short fiction by Asian and African and Caribbean writers.
(found via Tori Truslow)
As for Moffat, I think in his case it's more like even a blind chicken finding a grain sometimes.
I think that's a bit too harsh. Sure, his ideas might not be original, but many of them are still good ideas, and often does a better-than-decent job of executing them. (Though admittedly, his batting average has slipped considerably since he took over as frontrunner.) Sure, many of his stories have massive problems even setting aside his social justice issues, but many of them still stand out among the best in their respective seasons. If he can do that despite weak characterization and incompetent continuity, I have to figure he's got some measure of talent. (And I'm not even counting the dialogue, which seems to be good pretty much across the board.)
I think it's both fair and unfair to say he sucks at arc-plots, because his arc-plot stuff is mostly bad (in the same way, I would argue, that it was bad under Davies), but he sometimes does something competent with them, and occasionally something which I find genuinely cool and interesting.
Then again, Series 1 is my least favorite season (I think even after the mess that was Series 6), and I'm inclined to apply the same blind chicken analogy to Russell T Davies, so I suspect our views on this point may be irreconcilable.
By the way, the actual script editor to get all those S1 scripts to a filmable level and into a cohesive whole was Helen Raynor.
Oh really? Huh. She also wrote that astonishingly bad two-parter in the third series with the Daleks in 1930s Manhattan. And also the pretty-okay but a bit unimaginative and cliche-ridden Sontaran two-parter in the fourth series.
He started his very brief answer with "If you hadn't said that, I would have had a discussion with you"
God, that's gross; it sounds like he thinks he has some kind of moral high ground there. As well as that attitude that... condescending to discuss it would have been some kind of boon for him to graciously grant, if only you'd bent over backwards more to avoid any kind of implication that he'd done anything wrong and thus avoided hurting his fragile little feelings. I hate this attitude that if you're going to call someone out for something, then you have to start with a million different reassurances that you're sure they're not that kind of person; that you're sure they're really a good, smart, funny, kind person who would never hurt someone on purpose and probably it's just a misunderstanding--no, probably you're just misunderstanding what they meant, or maybe it was an accident somehow, or someone changed what they said to make them look bad--and so on. You can't admit anyone did anything wrong: wrongness just sort of happened, somehow, without anyone (but especially the person you're talking to!) being actually responsible.
I'm sorry you had to deal with that. Hugs?
even a blind chicken finding a grain sometimes. (Sorry, I don't know the equivalent English idiom.)
"Even a broken clock is right twice a day", maybe? I mean, if you think about that one, it seems to have more of a flavor of inevitability and less of chance, but I don't think the inevitability is really... emphasized, there. Not that the chicken idiom is unclear, or less appropriate, I mean--just that if you want a pretty similar one that's common in English, that's probably it.
As for Moffat, I think in his case it's more like even a blind chicken finding a grain sometimes. (Sorry, I don't know the equivalent English idiom.) I don't think he's that great a writer at all. He got lucky with the for him exceptional TEC/TDD being his first and therefore longlasting impression. And okay, "Blink" was at least interesting, though it has feminist problems and only really stands out from the crowd because no other NewWho writer had done anything at all creative with causality logic and simultaneous timelines before. (Similar ideas can be found in 80s/90s mainstream time travel movies, however, so it didn't feel sooo amazingly original to me as people usually make it out to be.) But in general, I feel if you can't write other people's characters in-character or at all (mainly RTD's Companions), fail to give female characters any sense of a deep inner life and instead rely on casting luck to bring your flat one-off characters to life and on repetitivly using the same archetype again and again for your more 'developed' female characters, and you don't even care to keep your own continuity straight, never mind respecting other writers' work, then I just don't think you're a good writer for episodic TV, no matter how snappy your dialogue is. From what I gather from other people's comments, he seems to suck at developing a satisfying series arc plot, as well.
I actually wonder sometimes how much of his scripts under RTD's rule actually was his own original ideas. I mean, I've heard that RTD could be very meddlesome with the other writers, and IIRC at least Robert Shearman complained that the actually filmed version of "Dalek" really doesn't have much in common anymore with his original script. (I've once read what supposedly was the original script online, and if it was the real thing, he's completely right. But it could have been a fake, so I don't know. That script certainly did have quite a bit in common with Shearman's DW comic "The Cruel Sea".) And AKFAIK, RTD specifically asked for Jack to be introduced in TEC, he wasn't Moffat's creation. In The Shooting Scripts (Yes, I'm enough of a NewWho series 1 fan to have imported that heavy tome from the UK.) it also says that the way the Nanogenes work doesn't really make sense because he was forced to cut out a few minutes out of the climax of TDD due to scheduling problems with the night shoots. Lines that were cut before they actually filmed the scenes aren't actually written in the book, so I don't know.
(While I have the book open, Moffat's commentary to those scripts also has these in hindsight rather telling paragraphs:
"The mysterious crashed vessel was once Captain Jack's own ship, time-looped and invisible, having arrived the previous month from the near future. Yes, well, clever in its stupidly complicated way, I suppose. But Chris would've need three extra pages to explain it all, plus a flip chart and a pointer. [...] Anyway, as Phil wept like a grown man about the budget, Russel H Gardner (for decency's sake, I'm conflating the Welsh) guided me towards a simpler story, Julie would keep asking me to change my set descriptions from 'stunningly vast' to 'stunningly compact', and Helen would tactfully suggest that explaining the plot at some point would be a positive, and Russel would enthuse away Welshly, demanding more death and destruction, like Neddy Seagoon in a fit of blood-lust." )
I was refering to the film cutting editor before when I said that some problematic lines didn't make it into the broadcast version. But they're still in the shooting script and probably would have been on the DVD if the BBC hadn't burned all the cut footage. Sadly we also lost a few really good bits from RTD-written episodes that were probably cut for running time. Such as Rose calling Adam out on some mild but typical adolescent male geek sexism/classism, or a bit at the end of "The Parting of the Ways" that made it clear that RTD understood that it wasn't okay for the Doctor to rob Rose of her agency and send her away like a child. By the way, the actual script editor to get all those S1 scripts to a filmable level and into a cohesive whole was Helen Raynor. I shudder to think what the early series would have looked like without her. Well, IMDB says she was also script editor for much of the second series, including "New Earth" which I consider to be one of the most offensive and worst written NewWho episode ever (RTD is far from perfect), so perhaps she didn't have as much positive influence as I thought.
Daniel F: I'd been tossing up throwing some money SFDebris' way for a while
Me too. I've greatly enjoyed his reviews even of stuff I've never seen/have no interest in seeing. I've got a couple of movies and TV episodes I'd quite like to see him take a whack at, once I have the money to sponsor an episode. Now though ... yeeeah, maybe if he cleans up his act. Not that I'm going to hold my breath on that on.
Cheriola: He wasn't actively insulting in his 3-sentence answer and didn't attack me in a sexist way. He was just sulky and refused to acknowledge my experience and arguments
Okay, glad to hear he was, uh, less nasty than he might've been, I guess? Not sure what the right term for that is. Anyway, I know it must have still taken a lot of bravery to put yourself forward like that, and that's shitty to get such a dismissive response, even if he wasn't actively insulting.
at least he can't claim ignorance anymore, even if he really somehow managed to avoid the whole public discussion about abusive stand up comedians and Penny Arcade over the last couple of years.
Yeah. You'd think those last two would be enough on their own.
Re: Asylum of the Daleks
Shoot, I think I missed most if not all of that stuff. Not that it really surprises me.
And yeah, Moffat has at this point driven off two of my three sisters (ages mid teens to early twenties), and the third isn't sufficiently interested in the show anymore to watch it without them. The only person whose interest he's managed to retain to keep watching consistently (despite my many issues with the show) is the sole male sibling. But I'm sure that's just a coincidence.
this critical analysis of Moffat's recurring problematic patterns as a writer destroyed some of my enjoyment of "The Empty Child" / "The Doctor Dances", which initially used to be some of my favourite episodes. (Still are, but more for the acting and direction. And the unnamed editor who cut some of the worst lines in the shooting script.)
I'm increasingly of the opinion that there are certain writers (most of them white, straight, and male) who are genuinely brilliant at least some of the time, but who desperately need a script editor to screen their work both for offensive material like sexism, racism, etc., and also for self-indulgent twaddle and general up-themselves-ness (I can't believe I typed that, but I couldn't think of a better way to articulate my meaning). Aaron Sorkin is one such, if the first two seasons of the Newsroom are anything to go by (still haven't seen enough of his earlier work to comment. Steven Moffat is most definitely another. Their work would genuinely sparkle if only someone was around with the clout to cut the most noxious material out of their scripts before shooting started.