Pretty much how every groom looks on their wedding day.
As is usually the case with Game of Thrones episodes, titles have two meanings. "Second Sons," the third to last ep of season three, refers to both the mercenary (or "sellsword," if we're sticking to the GRRM vernacular) company hired by the "Wise Masters" of Yunkai and to numerous secondborn of significance.
There's Stannis, whose order of birth continues to cause him consternation; or the Hound, forever trying to escape the stain of the name Clegane; or even Joffrey, if we're being honest, an assumed son of Robert Baratheon, but even if that were true, he'd be next in age behind the bastard Gendry.
It was another relatively action-free episode (don't tell that to Gendry though), setting up what look to be a couple significant installments to close us out.
I have watched hundreds of episodes of Doctor Who, both classic and new. I have read dozens of books and comics, heard a similar number of audio stories, and pored over Tardis Wiki daily. I have engrossed myself in this show so deep that I can honestly say I have occasionally lost the divide between fiction and reality.
But never, never in the years have I ever watched an episode before where I turned to my wife and said, "We're watching that again... right now." Never, until "The Name of the Doctor."
By now I will assume that everyone has seen the episode, and if not then please stop reading and go do so. I cannot in anyway comment on the depth and genius of Steven Moffat's masterpiece without mentioning the revelations it puts forth. So past this point, as River would say, spoilers.
Recently I received a surprise package in the mail. When I opened it, I was thrilled to find a mini-stuffed Li'l Sebastian horse courtesy of my husband. What an amazing gift for a huge Parks and Recreation fan. I posted a picture on Facebook and got lots of "likes" and then quite a few "what is that?" What! You don't know the tale of Li'l Sebastian? After my immediate shock, I took a step back to remember that I watch WAY too much television, and not everyone is capable of consuming the often dangerous and life-sucking amount of TV that I do. But in my defense, I get paid to watch the boob tube and I also really like it.
Everyone keeps saying we are in the golden age of television, and maybe this fact leaves you overwhelmed thinking about the sheer volume of good television you're being told you must watch. Just maybe, and this sounds crazy to me, you don't have 15 hours on Sundays to watch entire seasons of Justified, getting up only to empty your catheter bag. Well, you don't have to. I have made you a TV cheat sheet. Just toss around a few of these phrases and wow your coworkers with your immense knowledge of America's favorite pastime.
Due to the massive amount of season finales going on in TV land, a place where most of us writers at Art Attack live, we came up with the idea to watch (rewatch) an older show and report back on our findings in a round table like discussion filled with snark, wisdom and potentially fart jokes. Because Pete, Jef and myself were want for suggestions, we threw it out to you and, oh the suggestions we got; Magnum PI was one of my favorites but unfortunately it is not available on streaming because Tom Selleck's mustache takes up too much bandwidth. Because we got so many great suggestions, we have decided that each week we will pick a "best of episode" from a different television show. Rather than watching the same television program, this will give us a chance to sound more scattered and discombobulated, which is par for the course.
We begin with one of the greatest television shows of all time (according to you out there) Buffy the Vampire Slayer! We decided that we would go all the way back to the beginning for this one and kick off our Summer TV Club with the first Buffy episode ever, "Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest," the series' two-part pilot.
ABBY: Trying to come at this as the first episode of a show that we know nothing about what's to come, what do you think of this as the kick-off to a show? Would you still watch it if this was the first time you ever saw it? '90s clothing aside. Would you be confused by the lack of back story?
JEF: They do drop hints throughout the episode, and later on, that the Kristy Swanson Buffy is canon, so you just kind of have to accept that. When the show came out it was more or less inconceivable that you hadn't at least caught a little bit of the original flick, though trying to show to a new audience these days might require a bit of explanation.
Here, let me try!
Cheerleader gets zapped with superhuman powers in order to kill vampires and other demons, kills a pervy vampire lord, rips off Paul Ruben's arm, saves the day, but gets blamed for destroying her school and has to move.
Some may say that Fox is hard up for new content and that rehashing an old series in a new format is like cutting the sleeves off of a T-shirt and calling it a tank top, or some may say, "What! They are bringing back24. That's awesome." Which group do you fall into?
Yes indeed, Jack Bauer and his espionage-wielding, time bomb ticking, assassination plot stopping, ass-kicking self will return to the small screen once more. Despite the rumors of a movie, Fox has decided to scrap that in favor of a short 12-episode season. This format, in general, is a new thing for Fox and one they are calling a "limited series," and 24 will not be the only such show to have this configuration ("limited series" Married With Children, anyone?).
How do you have a 24-hour time period in only 12 episodes? Fox admittedly stated that a lot of the side plot stuff in 24 was pointless, and by systematically cutting it out and focusing on the juicy substance, Bauer could technically have solved all of the world's problems in just 12 hours. Fair enough.
Of course Keifer Sutherland will return to the iconic role and by the way he is stoked! In addition to thanking the producers for giving him another chance he also stated that, "Make no mistake, my goal is to knock your socks off." Well of course Sutherland is thrilled to be back in the Bauer-saddle again, his last attempt at television was the Fox show Touch, which lasted all of two short seasons and had a horrible title.
Though there are no definite plans in the works that we've been made aware of, Steven Moffat has said in recent interviews that he is probably closer to the end of his time as head of Doctor Who than the beginning. Ten men and one woman (appropriately enough) have served as the showrunner and head producer of the half-century old show if you don't count the television movie. The average length of time in the position is around three years, with Barry Letts serving for five and John Nathan-Tuner holding the top spot for nine.
The question on everyone's mind aside from who might replace Matt Smith as The Doctor is who would inherit the crown of the narrative. My personal guess is Mark Gatiss, who in addition to writing some really tremendous episodes is well versed in the mythos and magic of Doctor Who.
But ask the question on any open forum and the answer won't be Gatiss or Gareth Roberts or Chris Chibnall or any of the other long-term show writers. People want the prince of stories himself, Neil Gaiman, who just turned in his second wonderful effort with "Nightmare in Silver."
I am legitimately one of those people that would read Neil Gaiman's shopping list if it were published in book form, so you'll pardon the lack of objectivity in this week's review. Gaiman returns us to the Cybermen, and not the Cybermen we've known thus far in the rebooted Doctor Who. These are the Mondasian Cybermen, the ones responsible for the death of the First Doctor, and who the Second Doctor used some of his most brutal methods to stop when he would encounter them.
If you go back and watch "Tomb of the Cybermen" or the surviving episodes of "The Moonbase" and "The Tenth Planet," you will of course see the utter ridiculousness of the '60s Cybermen. Their costumes look like they were made by someone's mother, and their voices are incomprehensible. That said, I've been rewatching all of the Second Doctor's run recently, and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the classic Cybermen were simply scarier than the ones from Pete's World.
Last night's "Bear and the Maiden Fair" was the Game of Thrones equivalent of a Dear Abby column, except instead of "My husband burns his nose hairs out with a lit match and wants a divorce because I voted for Goldwater," you have various arguably unqualified folks giving romantic advice to fellow characters.
Though come to think of it, Abby wasn't exactly a licensed therapist herself.
But the episode wasn't given over entirely to the sharing of feelings. We had torture, strategy, bribes, kidnapping and plenty of hardcore nudity. What more could you ask for?
When the Daughter With One F insists on watching PBS Sprout in our house, I have something I do to maintain my sanity. I watch the various birthday wishes that you can send in to The Birthday Show flash across the screen, and I make fun of the names of the children mercilessly. On Mother's Day, kids send in their well wishes for mom all day, and so you get the full brunt of the oddball name parade.
Let's be clear. I know this is a horrid, petty thing to do, and that doing it in front of my daughter is repugnant. I accept this and your judgment. You are firmly on the moral high ground if you skip the rest of this article and call me a monster in the comments. I will not blame you at all.
That said... Dearest God and everything Hee Haw, the names that people decide to hang on their children! I have never understood the desire to find the best "unique" baby name in the world. I know a dozen Jeffs, Geoffs and even one other Jef, and I have never once forgotten which one I was or felt less special. Besides, science says naming your kids something wacky usually sends them toward a life of crime. Ain't that right, Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop?
In order to help fully re-create the experience, I decided to give you a minute-by-minute breakdown of what I went through on Mother's Day as my wife soaked in a Lush bath and I allowed TV to rear my offspring.
"I'm sorry, Dr. Szilard; that story about miracle hair replacement was just to get you to meet with us."
While the first season of Person of Interest was mostly devoted to the circumstances that brought Mr. Reese to work for the Machine, this last season has been all about the Machine -- and Mr. Finch -- itself. The last eight months (minus American Idol and basketball-related preemptions) have tightened up Finch's timeline and brought us closer to Nathan Ingram's death and the reason for Finch's zealous desire to protect the "irrelevant."
And also Zoe Morgan's career as a dominatrix/assassin. Wait, did I just type that?