It’s the…wait for it…Twentieth episode of Nerd Comic Rising. We’ve interviewed some steller comedians on this show (well, at least I have, but I like to think you participated) but none quite like Ricarlo Flanigan, star of “My Big Black Podcast” and comedian extrordinaire. Listen as we talk growing up in Religion, Racial Tensions, and he sends my white guilt through the roof! Check out more great content at JeffreyConolly.com or email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Doctor Who is back! It’s a good thing too, since I was starting to go through serious withdraws. The 8000 episodes of Star Trek added to Netflix helped the pain a bit, but it was still a long summer. So did Let’s Kill Hitler deliver? In a word: yes. In two words: F&$* yes! In three words: Yes and No.
Confused? Me too. Although I think this is my second favorite episode this season ( the first being The Doctor’s Wife ) it took several watchings to get me to that conclusion. At first I was just spent by the whole thing emotionally. I bought every red herring hook, line, and sinker, and because of that I couldn’t properly gauge how I felt till at least watch-through number 2.
At any rate, look below for my spoil-filled review.
“You named your Spoilers after your Spoilers.”
* HITLER IN A CUPBOARD - Although many people cheered and giggled at the announced title “Let’s Kill Hitler” when it appeared in epic bravado at the end of Episode 7 I cringed. I held out hope that the follow up to AGMGTW would be more River/Melody focused, and when the first 10 minutes of this episode seemed to be a standard historical romp with robot Nazi justice soldier I cringed even more. Then Hitler got put in a cupboard, Mels was revealed to be Melody (how did I not see that coming?), and the whole episode become beyond what I was looking for.
* Melody/River – I read somewhere that Russel T. Davies, who got the honor of casting River for her first appearance in the 4th season, originally wanted to cash in a favor to cast Kate Winslet in the part. I doubt the Oscar Winning Winslet would have ever returned had she been cast, and I wonder what the show would even look like now had that been the case. Alex Kingston was brilliant in this episode. It sort of reminded me of watching Buffy the Vampire after Angel lost his soul. We are forced to watch one of our favorite characters as evil, but unlike evil Angel, Melody/River has a certain innocence that comes with the sociopathic tenancies. Plus, she has the greatest line I think I’ve ever heard on Doctor Who “Well, I was on my way to this gay Gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, “Gosh, the Third Reich’s a bit rubbish. I think I’ll kill the Fuhrer.” Who’s with me?”
* TIED UP LIKE A BOW – We get to find out why River didn’t regenerate when she dies in the library. We get to see her first given the diary by the doctor. We get to (I think) see where she hears the Doctor’s name (if that is what he whispers to her as he is dying. We even get the first ever “Hello Sweetie!”
* CONFUSING EMOTIONS - So I am confused, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. I still want Rory and Amy to get their baby back. It’s really weird to see Rory and Amy doing so well after there baby was kidnapped so traumatically in AGMGTW, and I hope as we go back into standalone episodes next week that it isn’t just brushed under the rug. At the same time, do I really want them to find the baby? Because if they do then the River Song we know and love might never have existed, Mels wouldn’t have pushed Amy and Rory together, or given them the name to name herself. Again, it is confusing.
It took the Super Justice Robot Squad that long to check there instruments and find out they were in the wrong year? This seems pretty careless seeing as they had already spent a lot of time and resources killing a dude and assuming his identity. I guess I shouldn’t expect much of the group that thought it was a good idea to make a security system that would kill them if they forgot to wear their WWJD bracelets, but someone is paying a lot of dough for this. Transformers can’t be cheap. Otherwise, we’d all have our own Optimus Prime.
* You Accept and Know this to be true? So Silence will fall when the big, bold, first question will be asked. The question is said to be in plain sight. So our big question is what is that question? Moffat likes to mess with mistaken dialogue a lot. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that when Robot Amy confronts River/Melody by saying “You killed the Doctor by order of the Silence, the Academy of the Question. You accept and know this to be true?” That it actually meant “the Academy of the Question: You accept and know this to be true?” As in You accept and know this to be true is the question in question, and the “this” refers to all of life.
This was River’s episode, and after I knew that, I loved it. When the red car came darting through the corn field I expected River to come out. I was surprised when she didn’t, then surprised when I found out that she really did. We had a lot explained, and next week we get to some creepy stand alone romps, which honest-to-science I am kind of glad for. I have some plot fatigue.
It’s the 15th Episode of Nerd Comic Rising, and the end of the NCR Fast!! This episode kicks off season two with a second interview with Mike Bobbitt! We talk about his recent trip to LA, depression, and our mutual love of Brad Austin which leads to planning his destruction. Check out more great content at JeffreyConolly.com or email feedback to email@example.com
Since I have no good reason or excuse to explain my month long absence from doing anything productive on the internet, let’s just say I fell through a crack in space and time. (The sad truth was more along the lines of me sitting around in boxer shorts with my wife saying “Hey, don’t you have Doctor Who reviews to write and Podcasts to do” and me saying “I don’t wanna, these swiss cake rolls and Blu Rays won’t eat and watch themselves!” and her saying, “But isn’t this the exact rubbish you’d like to get paid for someday?” and me saying…..well nothing constructive with a mouth full of swiss cake roll.
I’ve had a lot more time than usual to reflect on “A Good Man Goes to War, which I think has been really helpful to the cause of reviewing it fairly.
A lot happened. A lot was revealed. A lot of my predictions were proved dead wrong. (I could have sworn River was going to turn out to be a sensorite ((that’s for sure a joke, sensorites have those awesome stethoscopes and Abe Lincoln beards).
Let us brave on to the spoiler filled review of “A Good Man Goes to War”….better late than never.
“I have gene-spliced myself for all Spoiling duties. I can produce magnificent quantities of lactic Spoilers!”
*Rising Higher – As predictable as it was for it to be the Doctor under that third hood, it was really freaking awesome. And how cool was that recruiting sequence when all we see is silhouettes of the TARDIS and Matt Smith? Plus the idea of the Doctor calling in all his favors is a pretty cool one, as more people owe their lives to the Doctor than that Spikey Haired dude that gives away houses on ABC. I wish we could have gotten even more creatures from the past, but I understand the budget reasons for just using what they had lying around. The whole thing was filled with so much bad-assery, which brings me to the next thing….
* RORY IS SO EFFING AWESOME – It’s hard to even put into words the awesomeness that has become Rory. The initial setup is great too, making you think Amy is talking about the Doctor when she’s talking about “The Last Centurion.” The best bit though was the moment when Rory talked to the dying Sontaran nurse. As the Sontaran dies Rory says, “But you’re a great warrior,” and the Sonataran says, “No, Rory, I’m just a nurse,” echoing Rory’s own identity crisis he was probably feeling.
* LIZARD LEZZIES – Some might see this episode as a return of RTD’s “Gay Agenda”, but the show does it so little now it was nice to see a little rainbow in the galaxy again, especially in the case of the awesomely strange Silurian/Human coupling.
* WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION – Still understand very little about why these people care so much about fighting the doctor, or why they need to steal a baby weapon to fight him. I’m hoping it gets revealed later (in Moffat we trust) but I’ve got to say, I’m nervous that Eye Patch lady will never really get fleshed out like I’d like her too.
*THE WAIT – Seriously…..September? I have to wait until September? *Slits Wrists*
* A GOOD MAN – This whole season has been about identity, and Moffat has made it his mission for us to constantly mix up the Doctor and Rory. We’ve often assumed that River killing “The Greatest man she ever has known” meant the Doctor, but it could also easily mean her father, Rory. What we know with Moffat is that it won’t be simple, but I am predicting that we will see what put River in prison by the end of episode 12, so that 13 can end on a happy note.
BOLD PREDICTIONS PROVED FALSE
*ITTY BITTY TIMELORD- I think that the little girl is Amy’s Baby (still) and that said baby was engineered by the silence to be the first Time Lord (hence all the stuff with the suit, they had do give her second heart a safe environment to grow). Remember this is all wibly wombly timey wimey. The Doctor could easily take part in his own species’ origin story. And then we would finally know why humans look Timelord.
I made this one in Episode 2….I was actually pretty close, but no ballgame.
* The Only Water in the Forest is a River - These foreboding words of the TARDIS are talking about River’s death, which we have already seen (the library in that original Moffat two-parter was originally referred to as a Forest). The Tardis is looking backwards and forwards, but River’s death will have a great deal to do with the events of this season.
I was wrong about the TARDIS’s words in Episode 4, which I’m glad for, since this was a much cooler reveal.
It wasn’t the “HUGE CLIFFHANGER” we were promised (at least it was nothing like last weeks) but it was a great episode to end the summer on. I just wish there wasn’t all this waiting. I’m really excited to see where the series goes on from here, especially in “Let’s Kill Hitler”
Last week I wasn’t able to do much of anything because my mom was in the hospital. The good news is that things are looking fine. I don’t think there’s any need to worry. She’s home. She feels like she’s recovering better than she thought she would.
Because I was preoccupied with that, my buddies stepped up to help me out and made sure that things stayed fresh on here. So I just wanted to take a quick second to say thanks to the team and let you know who they are.
The super secret Kobe really is the brains behind all of this and more than anyone has been a constant motivator to me. I’m incredibly lazy, but Kobe does what he can to keep me going. I know it’s not easy because I’m stubborn in my laziness!
Dennis “Monkey” Burdziak is one of my closest friends in the world. He’s my comrade in the world of toy hunting and just someone I enjoy immensely. He brings a proud nerdiness to the site that tickles me!
Jeff “The Doppelganger” Conolly is one of my newer friends. He’s responsible for the always introspective Nerd Comic Rising podcast. I listen to it a lot more than I let him know because I don’t want things to get awkward, but I do tend to tell the guests when I enjoy their insights. Jeff has an interesting story and is shaping up to be a hell of a comedian. If you come out to see me on my birthday at Joey’s this Saturday, you can perhaps expect to see a Jeff Conolly cameo.**
Garri Madera is like a ninja when it comes to capturing pictures of the Detroit comedy scene. I feel so honored that he periodically shares photo albums on this site. Most recently he had shots from the Brad Austin birthday bash, which I wish I had been able to attend, but couldn’t because of the aforementioned family stuff. Garri’s pictures really capture those gem moments that I don’t think a lot of people get to see. I like it that he focuses on the off stage stuff more so than the on stage stuff. He’s a visionary!*
Erik Kitter just reviewed Hangover 2. Erik and I have tried to do a podcast in the past. He’s like a little brother to me…a little brother who I torture constantly! One day there will be some sort of ongoing feature where I torture poor Erik for the masses!
So thank you guys for helping me out. Words can not express how much I appreciate it. Money probably could, but we’ll just have to agree to settle on words for now! Oh, and hey, this site isn’t a sausage fest by design. I’d love to have female contributors. I’ve asked a few people, but it hasn’t happened yet. So if you have a vagina, a point of view and some extra time during the week, let me know.
Oh yeah…and all these guys are on Twitter. You can find them there as well. They are @dburdziak @jconolly @garcom and I’m sure Erik is on there too….but I can’t figure out Twitter well enough to find him.
* Pretending to mistake Garri for my brother-in-law Monday is a joke that never gets old nor funny, but I do it absolutely every time I see Garri. For the record, they don’t like alike at all. In a small world thing though, they both worked at the same book store…although at much different times.
** I pretend to mistake Jeff for myself, but usually only in restrooms.
There’s a lot that the other dudes already covered that are my favorites (such as Nerdist, or WTF, and Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave) so I won’t talk about those (even though they are ones I listen to religiously)
The Film Vault: This show branched off of the Adam Carolla show (kinda, it’s not really a spinoff, but if podcasts did have spinoffs its kinda like that). It’s a podcast about movies (duh) where they spend the first part talking about the movies they saw throughout the week (which they call Flick-fessions) then they spend the second half counting down the top 5 something in movies (such as top 5 80s action movies, top 5 sex scenes, etc). What makes this show especially great is that the two host are so very different. The one is your more average obsessed movie nerd, while the other is your more artsy hipsterish (and sometimes demented) movie nerd. There answers are wildly different, and it’s a great show.
I Should Be Writing: I actually haven’t listened to this show for a long time, but it’s worth including because it’s what my podcast, Nerd Comic Rising, is loosely based on. In it Mur Lafferty started as a completely unpublished science fiction and fantasy author. She talked about the difficulties and challenges of writing, interviewed pros, and chronicled her experience. If you are an aspiring author, I encourage you to go back in the archives and start listening at episode one. You get to follow an author from an unknown to being a well liked published author and its pretty darn cool.
Radio Free Skaro: It’s no mystery to a lot of you that I’m a huge Who nerd (being that I write Doctor Who Reviews for this site) and this is my favorite Whocast. Three dudes from Canada break down each new episode, talk Who news, and in the off season do commentaries on old episodes. Again what makes this great is the differences in the hosts, since one likes almost everything, one likes almost nothing, and one is in the middle. If you’re a Who fan, you will really dig it.
Doug Loves Movies: This is so awesome! I can’t believe I’m the one who gets to talk about it. I love this show. It’s not quite a movie podcast, more like an entertaining comedy game show led by Doug Benson. All the game show “contestants” are Actors and Comedians. It’s a great show, and if you aren’t listening to it, you should! It’s very entertaining and if you love comedy you’ll love this.
Hollywood Babylon: I used to be a big fan of Kevin Smith’s first podcast Smodcast, but over time it got less funny or interesting to me. One of his 8000000 new podcasts (the dude is the Jude Law of Podcasts) is this one and I love it. He is with the impressionist Ralph Garman, and they talk about Hollywood News and stuff. Their banter can get really really funny and again its the differences between them that make the show great. Kevin Smith is now a big stoner teddy bear who loves everyone and everything. Ralph Garman is an impression doing Hate Machine who throw most his hate at Chelsea Handler (the funniest moment of the show was when Kevin had just come back from being on her show). It’s a great podcast, but one you might want to start at episode one with to make sure you get all the inside jokes.
Last weekend some crazy religious wacko said the world was supposed to end. I can sadly identify with the nutty conviction that caused some to give up their life savings up only to find themselves land-locked and broke come 6:01 on Saturday.
So Sure! Their lives were ruined, but we got some great tweets out of the deal. So here’s my favorites!
My Contribution (@jconolly) “What!? It isn’t the end of the world!? * sheepishly stops murder spree *”
And now, the best:
#5. @nickkroll “Rapture is no big deal. My world ends every year when McDonalds stops serving the Mcrib.”
#4. @sethmcfarlane “So… Jesus has to work just one day in 2,000 years and he doesn’t show up. This is why the Chinese are beating us.”
#2. @TheDanCurrie “Well. I survived Y2k, Snowpocalypse, and the Rapture. Guess I’m a badass.”
#1. @danielmaier “People are making Rapture jokes like there’s no tomorrow.”
This weeks part one of a two parter was a romp that hit a checklist of Sci-Fi clichés, took doctor who back toward its roots, and did what it most needed to do, occupy space while using very little of the budget (the cash gained from these two episodes’ limitations is what allowed our heroes to play around in Utah and what not). All that being said, its rather hard to judge the first episode of a two-parter, especially a more traditional one like this. It’s a bit like shutting the movie “12 Monkeys” off at the halfway point and saying, “Well, what do you think?” All that won’t stop me from trying though, so look below for my spoiler filled review.
“Yes spoilers are insane and they’re about to get ‘insanerer.”
*THE ‘GANGERS – The concept, albeit no where near a new one, was pretty cool and fairly well executed. The actors had a difficult job of playing themselves and their bizzaro clayface selfs, but they all did a good job. The effects (except for the snake one, and we’ll get to that later) were simple but freaky. Even though this was a more traditional Who episode, it definitely played well to the creepy of the new series.
* THE DOCTORGANGER – As much as the ending was telegraphed the length the Pretenders would walk away (500 miles, if you don’t get that joke) it was still pretty damn cool way to end the episode. I get to spend all week thinking about how this can be handled, or mishandled. What’s especially great about it is that it flipped everything on its head. The Doctor was all for the Gangers and the Normies to kiss and make up, but how will he feel about another Doctor calling the shots, or another Doctor that feels he has just as much right to the Tardis? This puts his own morals under fire, or rather, under acid, and it will be interesting and fun to watch next week.
* Why Can’t We All Just Get Along - It’s petty, but I’m growing kind of sick of the didactic “why does war have to happen” episodes when it all goes to hell because one psycho-lady can’t handle the concept of talking before filling the objects-that-are-supposed-to-represent-the-middle-east-or-some-such-nonsense full of lead. We get it. We humans; we stupid, we fight each other. I guess I’m only so mad because its so similar to last years hungry earth saga. Couldn’t we just watch Rory fake die again (please, no, Stephen Moffat, that was a joke).
The Snake-Ganger thing looked horrible. Find whoever made that CGI and sack him!
* GANGERS WON’T FEEL SO H.G. WELL - They spent a lot of needless time having the one normie sneeze a lot. I’m guessing in the end all the gangers will die from the common cold. I don’t want this to happen, again, it’s horribly cliché, but such is life. Clearly they have to have them all die in some sort of inevitable way anyways, otherwise the presence of the gangers (especially the one that looks like Matt Smith) presents to many problems.
Like I said, it’s hard to review part one, but thus far I’m along for the ride.