Watched: The Day of the Doctor and an Adventure in Space and Time

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It wasn’t until a few hours after I watched “The Day of the Doctor” that my mind cycled back over that last scene and realized, in addition to it being that last scene, i.e. the best kept secret in the world wherein the youngest living and oldest surviving Doctors met onscreen to cap off the rather wonderful 50th anniversary of Doctor Who…  it was also, right there, my Doctors. Tom Baker and Matt Smith, Four and Eleven, the one who sent me running behind the couch as a boy, and the one who brought me back out. That’s just a bit of luck, of course, but it personalized the experience gigantically. No knock against Five to Ten, or Twelve or Thirteen or the War Doctor, but those two up on screen shot a beam of time straight through me. “I grew up!” Amy Pond objected in “The Eleventh Hour,” to which the Doctor replied, “I’ll soon fix that.” Well, mission accomplished.

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Watched: Sorry guys. More Hobbit.

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I know, I know. It’s been a lot of this stuff lately. (And let’s be candid: it ain’t stopping anytime soon. It’s going to be all-Hobbit all-the-time on tederick.com till the new year.) The problem with last week’s Watched post is that I put it together on the fly, having watched the extended cut of An Unexpected Journey but none of the expansive (like, nine hours and a 3-hour commentary) special features on the blu-ray. I spent such a lovely week doing the latter part - and building Bag End out of Lego while I was at it, which is as perfect a meditative exercise as anything I can think of. And naturally, while stewing myself in all of these things, I a) did not have time to watch anything else, and b) thought of more stuff.

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Watched: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition)

We met yesterday as per the original plan and watched the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, an event which demonstrated in one shot how far we’ve come while staying largely the same. “We” in this case was Steve, Dave, Chris (who actually owned the house in which we watched this thing, a terrifying thought) and Daniel (who I, when Gandalf interrogated Bilbo’s “good morning” with seven variants of what that comment could possibly mean, turned to and said “this is what it’s like talking to you”).

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Watched: SHORTS NOT PANTS EIGHT

There was the one about the fat kid who was too shy even to ask his parents to pass the salt - and then an imaginary friend showed up, except it was a fit guy in tube socks and a red cape and an Admiral Ackbar mask, and rather than letting the fat kid be the fat kid, because all he really wanted to do when he was out of sight of other people was read comic books and play video games and whack off, the imaginary friend insisted on doing all of those things with him - read comic books and play video games and whack off - and then it turned out the parents hired the guy to be the imaginary friend and that he wasn’t imaginary at all, and then you’re like, holy fuck, this kid’s parents bought him a friend and the first thing they did together was read comic books and play video games and whack off.

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Watched: The Walking Dead, Seasons 2 and 3

If there’s a better show for an early-October binge-watch than The Walking Dead, I don’t know about it. When we last left our heroes, it was the end of Season One and the series had its highlights and was otherwise sorta settling into a comfortable “meh” area of my relationship with this television renaissance of ours. (It made me want a Y: The Last Man series. That’s about all.) Much of Season Two seemed more of the same, as everyone hung around Hershel’s farm, shooting the shit – and then around three or four episodes from the end of that year, shit got real. I watched four principal characters die in the space of an afternoon or so, which - aside from depressing the holy fuck out of me - had the added value of tying up some plot lines that had long since grown stale (I’m looking at you, Shane)… and then the big one happened, and holy moly, I could not be more bought into this show if it came giftwrapped with a Matt Brown sticker on the top. Spoilers follow.

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Watched: Insidious & The World’s End - Regarding the Buddy System, And the Matt Price Horror Movie Affair

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So what can I tell you? I fucked this up, didn’t I. Everybody loves Mamo 324, except for me, and my reasons are entirely vain - I feel like there was an opportunity for me to interact with what Matty Price was saying, thinking, and confessing, that I didn’t get on top of in the moment of truth. Now, as per the usual with Mamo, the moment of truth is literally thei.e. only - moment of truth. We don’t do retakes. We don’t edit (much). And we almost never talk about what we’re going to bring to the show before we bring it to the show, because that would rob the episode of its conversational nature - we want to respond to one another’s ideas in real time. So, I responded in real time to Matty Price’s ideas about how his dislike of horror movies was linked to a shame response triggered by his experiences being bullied as a child - and I sucked at it.

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Watched: the Fuckbuddy Double Feature (No Strings Attached + Friends With Benefits)

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Having never had a fuckbuddy, I don’t know how true-to-life Hollywood’s strange fuckbuddy double feature is (No Strings Attached / Friends With Benefits, which arrived within months of each other in 2011). I can say that Friends With Benefits comes within striking distance of being a pretty good rom-com, while No Strings Attached has a script so hacky and dull that it renders anything else about the movie that might have been working (lead performances, particularly) fairly useless. I do enjoy these random confluences of attempted zeitgeist, though, especially when both instances pretty much fail. Just like the two Die Hard at the White House movies this summer, no one wanted the Fuckbuddy movies back in ‘11. And why not, I ask? Fuckbuddies! In movie form! If this dents Hollywood’s enthusiasm for trying to slalom the romantic comedy mold around post-Facebook sexual games, I will be… well, not affected in the slightest, really, but surely someone could come up with a good movie about sexting - right? Couldn’t they? Nah.

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Watched: Martha Marcy May Marlene, Mud, Winter’s Bone

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And then this thing happened. Whilst trolling the Netflix with the impossible girl a week or two ago, the best trifecta possibly ever in the history of early-autumn movies happened all at once: Martha Marcy May Marlene, followed by Mud, followed by Winter’s Bone. In a weak-ass, disspiriting year for the movies - hell, even Price has announced his retirement! - a few golden rays of cinema shot out, all chilly and Novemberish though their light may have been. And one of them was even from this year.

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Watched: The Newsroom Season 2

I don’t envy any TV series that had to run during these last few episodes of Breaking Bad, let alone on the same night and time; to say nothing of the damping effect upon the entire media that the BB coverage inevitably creates, it must also be discouraging to know that the “best show” honours are irrevocably spoken for, and that nothing you can do will make a dent.

So a funny thing happened a few weeks ago, which is that The Newsroom - Sorkin’s endlessly troubled, and troubling, vanity project for HBO - got really, really, really fucking good.

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Watched Labour Day Special: Memoirs of a Geisha + World War Z (Are There No Hack Directors? Edition)

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It’s a mark of how relentlessly piss-poor the summer of 2013 was that World War Z is among a handful of movie experiences that I can look back on and say, “well, that didn’t entirely suck.” I think I wrote my Twitch piece about the summer a couple of weeks too early, because I really should have mentioned Z in a somewhat lengthier context. In addition to being one of the box office winners of the season, Z is just one of the all-around winners, too, and the fact that it does that by being - charitably - wildly hit-and-miss is about as effective a barometer of the season as a whole as anything else I can think of. I might put it on my year-end list, just to have something on there that is prismatically representative of the weary, half-turned-on, half-nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach right now, that’s been there for about a month and a half. Fuck, 2013. You let me down.

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