The Gates

Woo!  Another stripe in the can.  Boom.  The purple yarn is starting to give me fits though.  I love the color, but it keeps getting all twisted, so I find myself rolling the yarn ball over and over again to untwist the yarn.  Oh well.  Mild annoyance at worst.  It’s certainly worth the extra effort if I get a beautiful Season 18 scarf out of this at the end.

You may note that I still haven’t finished The Mind Robbers yet, but I’m afraid it’s just too hot to watch it today.  What’s that you ask?  What does temperature have to do with my tv choices?  Well, allow me to fill you in.  You see, when it’s hot I turn on the AC, or at least, a fan.  Today it topped 80°F here in Madison, so I had a fan going full steam.  When I have a fan on, it’s somewhat hard to make out the words on the shows I’m watching.  I tend to watch DVDs with the subtitles turned on throughout the summer.  Sadly, Netflix instant doesn’t have a subtitled option.  The Mind Robbers is a pretty old episode, and the sound quality isn’t the greatest to begin with.  I want to make sure I hear everything correctly, so I guess The Mind Robbers will have to wait until a cooler day.

Instead, I’ve been watching The Gates.  A friend suggested I check it out.  (Thanks Dogboy!)  I’m really enjoying it.  It’s not a great show, but it’s a lot of fun.  It’s kind of like a darker, supernatural Eureka (another show I really enjoy).  It chronicles the tawdry suburban lives of the inhabitants of a private community called The Gates.  Said inhabitants include vampires, werewolves, witches, even a succubus.  Good times.

Like Eureka, the first episode has a new sheriff and his family coming to town.  The sheriff, of course, has no idea what he’s in for.  Hijinks ensue.  Well, less “hijinks” than subterfuge, machinations, intrigue, and scheming.  It’s all good, semi-trashy fun.  It’s pretty clear they’re capitalizing on the recent success of supernatural media, and I’m 100% okay with this.  I like this kind of stuff, and I think it’s great that I have so many more choices these days.

I do have a few complaints however.  The first is the fact that this show is just too “glisteney.”  What I mean is there’s something about the lighting that causes reflections in every drop of moisture on set.  I have to assume this was an intentional choice, but I’m not a fan.  It makes everyone look like they’re about to cry.  I find it rather distracting.  Also, everyone is too damn pretty.  I know that’s normal for television, but the people on this show are all so gorgeous they’re practically plastic.

They also managed to include one of my little pet peeves in an episode I watched today.  A character cut himself to demonstrate how quickly he can heal.  Cliche, I know, but that’s not my problem.  What bothers me is that when this bleeding slash healed up, it healed without a trace, and lo and behold–no blood!  So are they trying to tell me that werewolves’ blood disappears after prolonged contact with the air?  Or that the healing process somehow sucks it back into their body?  (That’s not what it looked like.)  Or were the continuity folks just sloppy?  I’m guessing the latter.

In addition, the episode I’m watching now started with that old chestnut of a plot device: an exciting, suspenseful thing happens, and then BOOM, it’s “24 hours earlier.”  I’m not sure why that gets on my nerves, but it always does.

Anyway, these little complaints are all just that: little.  Overall, I’m enjoying this show, and it’s providing a great backdrop for all the minor chores I’ve needed to get done lately.  I’d recommend The Gates to anyone who enjoys vamps and wolves and magic like I do–especially if you’re also a fan of trash tv.  This doesn’t fall squarely into the “trash” realm, but it’s definitely skirting the gates.

Doctor Who: The Mind Robber (Episode 3)

In case you’re wondering, yes indeed, I’m still enjoying The Mind Robber–even if it is taking me a while to get through it.  Lots more fun fantasy and myth come to life in this episode: a unicorn, a minotaur, Gulliver himself, Jamie even gets a chance to climb Rapunzel’s hair.  Good times.

In addition to the fun script, I’m enjoying the way this one was shot.  There’s some excellent use of POV to keep things interesting and mysterious.  One in particular has the camera watching The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe as they enter a room.  They’re seen through a beautiful spider web, complete with a spider in the center.  It’s clearly a real web and spider.  I wonder how they rigged that up.  Did they just put a spider in a frame and hope it would do its thing in time for shooting to begin?  However they managed it, it worked out great.

Now on to the knitting.  I’m trucking right along, although I only got five rows done during this episode.  That’s halfway through my next stripe though.  I think I’ll post another pic as soon as I’m done with this one.

Here’s hoping I’ll get to the next episode soon!

Doctor Who: The Mind Robber (Episode 2)

The Mind Robber episode 2 - The Doctor & Cardboard Jamie

Oh I am really liking this episode!  Silly children’s riddles?  Dictionaries falling from the sky?  Word-based puzzles?  A forest made up entirely of words and letters?  This is so far up my alley, my alley hurts!  ‘Twas a shame about Jamie getting turned into a cardboard cutout though.  Tough break.  And then his poor face!  Such a pity.

I really recommend The Mind Robber if you haven’t seen it recently.

As far as the knitting goes, this episode gave me just exactly the right amount of time to finish off the last of the mini-stripes I was working on.  Next time, I’ll dig into the second orange stripe.  I’ve got to say, this scarf is coming along more quickly than I’d anticipated.  I hope I’ll continue to have time to work on it.  With spring getting underway and summer around the corner though, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to devote to it.  Things do tend to pick up around this time of year.