Saturday, 26 June 2010

Blog - "Concerning Younglings"

Let's see: Tom Colohue and children. Now there's an interesting question.

Today, and, according to the Head Steward, next week, I'm volunteering at the Youth Club that takes place at my work. It's not the sort of thing I'd usually go for, but I'm always happy to help where help is needed. All work and no play etc.

I've been on a Youth Work course for months with this as the considered end result, but I'll admit that this is far from the reason that I'm doing it. In truth, I'm mostly just collecting qualifications for my CV right now. A long list of my talents is always going to draw more attention than a short one. Despite that though, here I am, with kids trying to talk down to me.

It's not working well for them. I don't think I'll be able to stick around for too long.

They're loud, obnoxious and really annoying; I'm glad some girls turned up. They're actually much quieter than the boys, which surprises me. They also seem to be lingering around me, which is, quite frankly, terrifying. Why is it the younger ones who are the most friendly? Do we lose something along the way?

Now, I generally like and want children. If I consider my niece, Lydia, then kids are awesome by proxy. I have a picture of her on my phone that I've been showing off. It's not good enough to replace the large pile of money that is my wallpaper, but it's still good.

I'm pretty much ignoring people here, and I'm feeling a little guilty, but I'm shy, and more interested in writing. They're making an effort, which is nice, and not as common in my life as I would like. Maybe I was being judgemental. Anyway, back to my niece of awesome.

The reason I haven't been around much recently is because my sister, her boyfriend and my niece have been visiting. Now, my sister made my own youth all sorts of hell, so I can't claim to be her fan, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to offer the same treatment. Besides, my niece is beyond adorable. I'd wake up in the morning and she would either greet me with a slap or a faceful of saliva. Is it strange that I enjoyed this? Hell no. She's a ten month old baby; it just means that she loves me.

I don't think that there's anything in life that I'm looking forward to more than becoming a father. There'll be no better day in the world.

I feel a little overdressed here. I've been getting into suiting up recently and, though I'm still evading wearing a tie; I look so damned good.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Blog - "Vincent And The Doctor"

I'm a fan of Doctor Who. I'll put that out in the open straight off. I don't own a toy sonic screwdriver, I don't have aspirations of building a TARDIS, and I don't hide behind the sofa whenever Daleks appear on my screen, but I would still admit to being something of a fanatic about it. When I was younger, my family would go to somebody else's house every weekend and watch the next episode repeated on UK Gold. Peter Davidson was the one that really stood out for me, but that might have been because we didn't really watch Colin Baker, and I was too young to really work out what was going on before that.

I did see the film that was designed as a relaunch for the series in an American style. I wasn't a fan. The Doctor is as English as tea. He is part of our stereotype society. The Americans can't have him; he's ours.

So, it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I considered approaching the English relaunch, starring Christopher Eccleston. I'd only seen Eccleston previous in Shallow Grave, in which he goes mad after covering up for a death that was essentially the suicide of a desperate man looking at either murder or life in prison. I thought he did a very good job, but the rambling old man, which even Peter Davidson captured quite well, did not suit him in my head. Of course, I couldn't have been more wrong.

I don't feel that there have been any bad Doctors, including our American friend since, having seen the film, I believe that it was a very apt portrayal of a man who was trying to act human. While many Doctors don't seem to aspire towards that, it does creep through in some. Jon Pertwee had his moments, and David Tennant seemed to live for the people, so it is quite fitting.

This brings me to Matt Smith. Unsure of his qualifications, I looked him up on another show he had a brief spot in, The Secret Life Of A London Call Girl. It's an odd show, considering I spend most of it giggling about how much the main character, a prostitute played by Billie Piper, looks and acts exactly like my ex. She wasn't a prostitute of course, but she seemed to believe that that was what men aspired to gain. I enjoyed his brief stint in said show, and looked forward to seeing him in action. 

"Can I have an Apple?" were not the first words I expected. This was a good thing. 

Tonight's episode, Vincent And The Doctor, was focussed on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. While the series so far has been quite impressive, with all episodes having certain wonderful moments, the Doctor himself seemed to give way to the character of said depressive painter in this one.

The 'fighting an invisible opponent' thing just annoyed me. Some of the Doctor's mannerisms (stepping back in and shouting 'not that fast!', saying that he was overconfidence when, if you are overconfident, you admit to being confident only) were out of character and there were plot holes and randomly stupid moments (Amy has the right money to buy wine does she? Hide in a confessional and stay quiet, because it doesn't know where you are even though you just screamed at it).

Then there's the monster: "You're alone, like me." "It was scared and lashed out, like the people." etc. Tired, weary and predictable. Also, why wouldn't there be so many more dead and how did it get in the church without making itself known when it was blind?

This ties in with the episode on Churchill. Please, Stephen Moffat, stop letting fans of said historical figures write episodes about them. They don't write reality, they write fantasy.

He's a great man. His only fault was that he loved his country enough to do anything for it. That's not really a fault, is it? That's right, Churchill had no faults.

He's a great man. His only fault was that people didn't recognise his gifts. That's not really a fault, is it? That's right, Van Gogh had no faults.

It's like those interview techniques they teach you. Tell people your weaknesses by disguising strengths as weaknesses. These were real people, they suffered and were hardly the best of humanity. There is no best of humanity. Everybody has weaknesses, temptations they can't fight and drawbacks they can't explain.

Life is so much better, but fans write fantasies.

That said, the character of Van Gogh was done excellently, and with stunning precision. Kudos there. I don't know enough about him to say whether it was accurate, but he wasn't as perfect and pristine as they made Churchill out to be.

Sunflower bit was horrendously predictable.

All in all, I'd say that this writer is technically very capable, but artistically challenged. Perhaps just inexperienced. Worth watching, but I didn't find this a gem of the series. Moffat's work remains the best, but maybe that was the point.