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Friday, 23 of April of 2021

Archives from author » kelly

DVD First Watch: Twin Peaks – “On the Wings of Love”

“Coincidence and fate figure largely in our lives.”

A chance bit of observational skills brought Log Lady and Daddy Briggs to the sheriff’s office together. A chance bit of doodling brought their tattoos together into one symbol. A chance bit of conversation led to from that symbol to Owl Cave. And a little bit of chance led to the gang finding some hidden doohickey in the wall of said cave.

NOT TO MENTION the fact that, based on his secret files, Windom Earle was involved in investigating UFOs back in the day. That right there is a DUN DUN DUUUNNN moment, y’all.

I don’t know whether to hope or not that Earle’s bit of mischief left him buried in the cave. On the one hand: hahaha, serves you right, you mental bastard! On the other hand: no more disguises. DILEMMA.

This episode may end with spelunking and secrets, but it begins with a whole lot of lovin’ – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Elementary – “Child Predator”

I did not realize how much I’d missed having an episode of Elementary last week (damn you, election!) until this week’s rolled around. I – I kind of love this show, you guys. Who saw that one coming?

We’re only a few episodes in, but certain patterns are already visible in the structure of the show. Every television show – sitcom, drama, what have you – has a standard pattern for the stories it tells and how it tells them. This helps the audiences keep up with what’s going on, and can be either a benefit or a burden. When used correctly, structure can allow for variances that have a strong impact on the storytelling. When used incorrectly, structure can be a drudge, an anchor that holds the show back and bores audiences with a “I know what’s coming” predictability.

Given the core of the premise (brilliant detective solves unsolvable crimes) and its established structure (basic procedural), Elementary could very easily fall into the latter category.

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DVD First Watch: Twin Peaks – “Wounds and Scars”

There’s this song I know from years ago that talked about the difference between tattoos and scars. One you get to commemorate or remember what you’ve gone through; the other you get because of what you’ve gone through.  I find the sentiment appropriate for this week’s Twin Peaks discussion.

There are all kinds of wounds and scars, and we run the full gamut of them in this episode. We also get a new face or two added to the clockwork, plus some twists I didn’t see coming (but probably should have).

Let’s start with my favorite and least favorite thing: Drunk Harry.

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Elementary – “While You Were Sleeping”

“I felt like Jimi Hendrix there for a moment.”

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to eat your words.

I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong – or at least when my instincts are – and I was wrong about Elementary. I was concerned that it would be a cheap rip-off of the popular Sherlock. I was concerned it would be a poor retread of well-trod ground. I was concerned that it would be lifeless and boring and a joke. In short: I thought it would suck.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to say with full sincerity and humblest nature: I was wrong.

While there are similarities between Elementary and other Sherlock-inspired enterprises (as is to be expected given they share source material), the show is doing a great job of differentiate itself from the pack. It has a clear idea of who its main characters are individually and together, and who it wants them to be in the future. And while the cases haven’t been revolutionary so far, they have been interesting and (even though we’re only two weeks in), the “quality” of the case has increased from the pilot to this episode.

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DVD First Watch: Twin Peaks – “The Condemned Woman”

“Every action has its consequences, my dear.”

Twin Peaks title cardLord, ain’t that the truth.

One of the most important aspects of plot and character development is that a character’s every action must lead to an appropriate and proportionate consequence. These consequences are the driving force behind the plot (or at least they should be), the motivation for what a character does and doesn’t do and where the story goes.

For its part, Twin Peaks is just one long string of cause and effect, with perhaps no story so cause-and-effect-y as the tale of Josie Packard, who is the main focus – and titular character – of this episode. Practically everyone she knows uses Josie for their own ends, poor dear. But she is by no means guilt-free.

Girl shot Cooper, y’all.

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Doctor Who – “The Angels Take Manhattan”

“I hate endings.”

Companions tend to divide audiences like no other aspect of Who. There’s a lot of love-hate to go around with companions, and the Ponds are definitely no exception.

My journey to loving Amy and Rory was a bumpy one. I’ve gone from loving one and being ambivalent about the other to liking them both, to disliking one and liking the other, to loving one and hating the other, to finally loving them both as individuals and a couple. I like Amy. I like Rory. I like the Ponds. And I like the Ponds with the Doctor. So here, coming into their last few episodes, I wanted desperately for them to have the kind of satisfying and completing end such long-time companions deserved.

I’m not entirely sure this is what I was looking for.

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Elementary – “Pilot”

I have a confession to make.

I’m not that well-versed in Sherlock Holmes. I’ve never seen any of the “classic” productions of the detective’s tales and I’ve only read two of the stories, and that was so long ago I remember almost nothing about them. My knowledge of Holmes comes about mostly by virtue of cultural osmosis and things like The Great Mouse Detective. It was until recently – through the Sherlock Holmes films and BBC’s Sherlock, that I really became acquainted with “actual” Sherlock productions.

As such, I have no beloved impression of what Sherlock Holmes should be. I can take what I’m given as it’s presented (within reason). That being said, I did have reservations about Elementary. Some of those reservations still stand. But, for the most part, I rather enjoyed the pilot episode.

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Doctor Who – “The Power of Three”

The thing about watching Doctor Who for any length of time is that you begin to be suspicious of everything.

It’s the same with any television show – since shows tend to follow a pattern in their storytelling, viewers pick up on the similarities from episode to episode and season to season and therefore expect certain things to happen (or not happen). At an even more subliminal level, it’s how musical cues and lighting affect how we feel about what we’re seeing. It’s the very basis of acting! We’re conditioned from birth to match facial expressions to corresponding emotions, thereby accurately depicting our own emotional states – and interpreting those of others.

We act and react according to what we’ve learned. And with television, because we have been conditioned by long-term exposure, we tend to expect certain outcomes (story resolutions) based on certain outputs (previous episodes).

So this gentle letting go Who is pulling for the Ponds feels like it’s leading to some sort of horrific end.

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Doctor Who – “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” and “A Town Called Mercy”

“He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how.”

Far too often, we as an audience come into a show with – or develop – very strict expectations of our favorite characters. Much in the way that we scrutinize celebrities, royalty, politicians, and other such limelight-plagued individuals, we tend to skew toward an idealistic view of characters. As much as we complain about characters who are too “perfect,” as much as we demand imperfections and all the realism they create, we tend to balk when characters “go too far,” even when the distance is warranted.

Being a character as old and beloved as he is, the Doctor is definitely subject to such a narrowed gaze. Everyone – based on when they first came to the show, what types of stories the show was telling at the time, and what Doctor they started with (you never forget your first Doctor) – everyone has a very specific and individual notion of who and what the Doctor is. That belief generally falls along a short scale containing such values as “good man,” “non-violence,” and, in the extremist case, “paragon of virtue.”

I missed last week’s Who episode because of a party (1920s costumes, murder mystery, and more delicious food than you could shake a flapper dress at), but I’m a bit glad of it. The past two episodes (and, in truth, even the first of the season) deserve to be viewed as a two-parter in theme, if not in plot.

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DVD First Watch: Twin Peaks – “Slaves and Masters”

We are all, in our own ways, slaves and masters.

Twin Peaks title cardThrough a sense of responsibility, because of debts owed, on account of fear or love or hate, we are both slave and master – to ourselves and others. We are slaves to another’s whims, slave to our own passions. We are master of others because of their loyalty, master of ourselves only some of the time.

While there are many slave-master relationships at play in this episode, the main dynamic centers around – of course – one Mr. Windom Earle.

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