My Netflix Queue – Top Ten

Now it’s called “My List” … I really like the old way. But, I digress, here is what I’m watching on Netflix!

doctor

Though I’m sad that, with the recent popularity of Doctor Who, the seventh season has not been made available, I’m still keeping this up on my queue and in the first spot!

torchwood

I have to take Torchwood a few episodes at a time because some of it is a bit over the top. But, I love Captain Jack Harkness so I will continue to watch it. Also I find that this is one of the few spinoffs of already established TV shows that I love and it was the show I found before I even became a fan of Doctor Who!

Sherlock

I don’t rewatch TV shows a whole lot, but I have seen the first two series of Sherlock three times.

Serenity

I dropped this on there recently because I wanted to give it a second change. I saw this a long time ago and for some reason couldn’t get into it. However, given my recent tastes in TV shows I feel like I might enjoy it this time around.

firefly

See above, similar reason.

Bones

Bones is by far one of my favourite TV shows. I’m not usually one for character arcs in my crime shows but the character growth in Bones is excellent!

psych

Are you beginning to see a trend in shows I watch? Psych, part Sherlock, part Bones. I like this sorta stuff!

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This is a show about Merlin, you know the wizard in King Arthur’s time? It’s a really fun watch!

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An oldie, I grew up watching Columbo. He’s a seemingly bumbling detective and this is what throws people off. He always ends up catching his guy because he’s intelligent and outwits the crooks.

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Seeing my number one, I hardly doubt I need to explain my number ten.


** all screenshots were taken from Netflix!

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I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ― Albert Einstein

Summer & Jon

Do not read if you have not seen 500 Days of Summer or Don Jon and if you want to see either of those movies.

*Spoilers ahead*

*You’ve been warned!*

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There’s a story on the interwebs1 about 500 Days of Summer. The script writer based it on a real story from his life; the girl he based Summer on read his script and related more to Tom than to Summer.  I’ve always liked 500 Days of Summer and even more so after I read that story. It’s the same reason I liked Don Jon.

Initially, when I saw 500 Days of Summer I thought that it was a role reversal kind of romantic movie. But after thinking about it some more I realised that the movie was just a reflection of real life. It’s hard to miss the fact that Summer did tell Tom (a number of times) that she wasn’t looking for a relationship2, or the fact that he thought that he could change her mind. They both had different expectations going in; and isn’t that the underlying issue when it comes to any sort of relationships? Expectations?

This is where Don Jon comes in3.  Both characters had unrealistic expectations.

Barbara’s expectations were shaped by her addiction to the Hollywood depiction of romance while Jon’s expectations were shaped by his addiction to pornography. Interestingly enough, neither of them realized either their addictions or the role it played in shaping their view on relationships. Another interesting thing was the way they both reacted to the news of their flawed relationship views.

I think, after seeing the movie, it might be easy to dismiss Barbara as crazy because she doesn’t see that she was flawed, but is she really that strange? There are a lot of things that I do that might hurt someone else, that I might not see as wrong and might not see the need to change – I’m not talking about political correctness here – but that doesn’t mean that I have not wronged that person.

Everyone’s worldview is different. We’re shaped by our experiences and the things we are exposed to that’s what makes us individually unique. Interestingly enough, even if we are exposed to the exact same things it’s possible that our reaction to those thing are different. I think really loving a person is appreciating the differences instead of having them confirm to your ideal (or in Barbara’s case, she wanted to “fix” Jon so he would be her perfect man).

There have been a lot of times where I have placed my expectations on people, this ultimately that leads to disappointment. Disappointment is the pit for broken expectations. On the other hand, it’s hard to see that I’m doing it. I’ve been trying though, and journaling and talking to people helps with that. It helps me to see whether I was listening to the person or imposing my views on them. What might be good for me might not be good for someone else and that’s something that I always have to keep in mind.

Life would be easy if we can truly imagine each other complexly.

Anyways … watch Don Jon, it was good. 🙂

1 That story was from the writer himself.
2 This doesn’t make it right – what she did – but he had ample warning.
3 BTW, great movie; could have done with less nudity.

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British Shows that I Adore

The British have introduced us to some great television – The Office anyone? I’m a fan of many of their shows that I’ve managed to see on Netflix (thank you Netflix streaming!). Here’s just a few gems:

Doctor Who
I dedicated an entire post about my top ten favourites, and it’s hard to believe that  when I started the first series I kept thinking I wouldn’t last the entire thing. But, a few things happened and well, by the time David Tennant became the Doctor I was hooked!

Doctor Who follows a time traveling alien (The Doctor) who travels back and forth through time – usually with a human companion – and often finds himself saving some planet or helping someone in distress. It’s a very smart show, and I love the continuity through-out. The writers do a wonderful job on all the episodes. I particularly like the ones set in the past, where the doctor assists historical figures; and the way the episodes always seem to fit with history. It’s smartly written with just enough corniness to not be taken seriously, this makes the show endearing.

Torchwood
I suppose you can call this a spin-off from Doctor Who. Captain Jack Harkness is featured numerous times in the series. Torchwood is a secret organization; a group of human who deal with aliens on earth. I guess it’s a bit X-files like in that sense, and it’s definitely more serious than Doctor Who, but there is still that corniness to it that makes it endearing. I haven’t caught up with the current series, but I hope to do that sometime this year.

Sherlock
A recent love, great writers, actors, story … all around lovely. Sherlock puts the world’s greatest detective into a modern day setting. There is really nothing I can say but, excellent, excellent retelling. The actors have great chemistry on screen, the writers did a great job translating a well loved story to modern times.

The IT Crowd
This comedy is about two IT guys, their relationship manager and the shenanigans that they get themselves into. I’ve finished the episodes on Netflix, but every now and then I watch it for a good laugh. It’s a bit of dry humour, not entirely geeky or nerdy so anyone can get it (I think). However, I can see its appeal to the side of me that worked at a computer lab in college… Oh the stories.

Monday Monday
The only drama that I watched (I just can’t get into Downton Abbey), it’s finished I believe, but it was good while it lasted. A bit of a laugh, a bit of office drama. I absolutely love the fact that it was short and to the point. I’m not really into the long, drawn out dramas, especially since I can only take so much, so this was the perfect one for me.

Marple
I love a newer version of Miss Marple. Geraldine McEwan does a great job as a Miss Marple, I really enjoy this entire series. Agatha Christie is a favourite of mine, so I’m glad that I finally found a version of it for TV that I enjoy so much. It appeals to my mystery-loving side. =)

Well … that’s all there is – for now! If you know of any shows similar to these, definitely let me know, I’m always looking for good, new shows.

And the Gold Medal Goes To …

Some of the memorable highlights of the opening ceremony!

The theatrics in the beginning… I especially loved the Maypole and the different scenes in the grass – picnics, rugby … and the transformation. It’s a shame that NBC didn’t do a good job showing the different scenes depicted in this display of historical Britain before the introduction of the industrial revolution. I mean, real sheep on the set? What’s not to love?

The forging of the rings. Definitely a fan of this! Flying rings of fire gets the gold for sure.

The world’s greatest nanny – Mary Poppins – coming to save the day! This tip of the hat to the NHS and to famous British children’s literature, a segment that started with J.K. Rowling reading from Peter Pan was fun to watch. Especially identifying the different villains. Of course, it’s not without it’s controversy as some  – who will not be named – seemed to believe that  it was a blatant political move. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, all I saw was some very lucky kids having a lot of fun at the Olympic opening and some hard working doctors and nurses honored for their work and Mary Poppins (my favourite nanny), a symbol of imagination. Also, some really awesome umbrellas that I kinda want.

The Queen and James Bond and some cute doggies. Oh that Queen, shocking the world with her sense of humour.

Mister Bean and Chariots of Fire. In true Mr. Bean style, this segment had me laughing at his hilarious facial expression and running scene.

The way the torch was lit!

What a way to light the torch! Why isn’t there more talk of the symbolism behind this? One torch lit by 200 and some tiny torches, burning brightly for the remainder of the games!

Of course, there were some huh moments, like the cover of Come Together, was it just me, or did they sound a little low energy? And, Hey Jude, I mean,  I love The Beatles and great for Paul McCartney for singing at the ceremony, but, I am sure there were many more songs that he could have sung than Hey Jude. And please don’t say it’s for the sing-along value, a lot of people in the world know many more songs and if they wanted people to sing along they just had to put the words up somewhere. I mean .. they have the entire stadium lit, it’s not impossible!

Overall it was enjoyable. Different. Unique. A great display of history. And of course, it was also fun to watch it while having a running commentary on Facebook with a few friends. My status because Olympic size, totaling 1006 comments. Not bad for seven or so people.

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Images from Reuters

TEN Favourite Doctor Who Episodes

“Don’t worry, I’m The Doctor.”

It’s not a secret, I’m a Doctor Who fan. I initially started watching because it was streaming on Netflix and a lot of folks on my twitter feed were talking about it. Originally, it was a little on the corny side (it still is at times) but, I can’t deny that it has gotten under my skin. The show is creative genius and I absolutely love the Doctor! I’ve narrowed down the long list of episodes to my top ten favourites. If you want an idea of the show, watch these. Did I mention that it’s streaming on Netflix1?

Tooth and Claw

The Story: The Doctor and Rose end up meeting Queen Victoria on the Scottish moors. They all take refuge at Torchwood Estate, unaware that it has been taken over by some monks and … wait for it … a werewolf! The monks plan on infecting the queen and creating an “Empire of the Wolf”.

Why I love it:

  • The scene in the library, “You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have – arm yourselves!”
  • The brave lady of the house who refuses to cower at the threat in her home. The head-strong Queen Victoria. The beginning of Torchwood.
  • “We are not amused.” (»)

The Girl in the Fire Place

The Story: The TARDIS lands on a spaceship that seems abandoned. However, the spaceship seems to be stalking a certain young girl, Reinette, through her fireplace. The girl turns out to be Madame de Pompadour and the aliens – humanoid forms that seem to be made up of gears – want her brain.

Why I love it:

  • Steampunk! The aliens in this episode are reminiscent of clockwork machines.
  • The dresses! The masquerade!
  • Plucky Reinette! (»)

Love & Monsters

The Story: Elton Pope is a fan of the Doctor and this episode is told via his video blog. He met a group of people who had all seen The Doctor and they became quick friends. They are all hanging out, having a great time until Victor Kennedy shows up. Throw in a body sucking alien, some funny chase sequences and you have a memorable episode.

Why I love it:

  • To be honest, I loved this one because the feel of the episode was a bit like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
  • “The truth is, the world is so much stranger than that, so much darker and so much madder … and so much better” (»)

Blink

The Story: The Doctor isn’t featured a lot in this one, but what is featured are the Weeping Angels, an alien race that look like stone angel statues that move only when they aren’t being watched. Not a problem, as long as you don’t blink.

Why I love it:

  • I’ll never be able to look at angel statues the same way again.
  • The creation of the instruction video. I love alternate time lines.(»)

Voyage of the Damned

The Story: Imagine if the Titanic was a space ship that took alien creatures to orbit earth and observe our ways?

Why I love it: 

  • Space ship Titanic
  • Loved the companion on this episode, too bad she wasn’t on more! (»)

The Unicorn and The Wasp

The Story: Take the Doctor, Donna Noble (one of my favourite companions), add Agatha Christie, an alien bug and a jewel thief called The Unicorn and you get a fantastic literary episode.

Why I love it:

  • A murder mystery dinner party.
  • “I’m British, I carry on.”
  • “Yeah but think about it. There’s a murder, a mystery, and Agatha Christie.” Enough said! (»)

Silence in the Library

The Story: This is the first of a two-part story. The Doctor gets a distress call to a planet that looks like a giant library. The place seemed desserted and we soon learn that River Song made the call for the Doctor. So much happens in this episode – the shadow monster, meeting River Song, the library’s connected to the imagination of a little girl. A complex intertwining of alternate universes proceeds.

Why I love it:

  • Stay out of the shadows!
  • Giant library with everything ever written inside. (»)

Amy’s Choice

The Story: Amy, the Doctor and Rory are trapped in a two universes where Amy gets to decide which world is real and which is a dream. If they die in the dream they will wake up in the real universe.

Why I love it: 

  • The first episode that really sold me on Amy and Rory being companions of the Doctor.
  • It’s a bit of a tear jerker, and definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. (»)

The Pandorica Opens

The Story: Based on Pandora’s  Box, the Pandorica is believed to hold the  worse prisoners of the universe. This begins a two part story that concludes in The Big Bang – which I particularly loved. This also completes the cracks in the universe arc which I thought was fascinating.

Why I love it:

  • Closure to the cracks in the universe
  • The last centurion! (»)

The Impossible Astronaut

The Story: The Doctor invites his companions to witness his death. It sounds like I’m spoiling it, but to be quite honest this episode made the entire sixth series pretty much amazing. The finale and how it tied into this episode was genius. I’ll leave it at that.

Why I love it: 

  • Sets you up to get your mind blown at the series finale.
  • Makes you want to view the entire series when you reach the finale. (»)

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1 The top ten from the first six series (starting with the ninth doctor)
notes: images taken from bbc.co.uk/doctorwho and screen shots from episodes