Hands down, Donna Noble was by far the best companion in the new "Doctor Who" series. Having a Who companion of this caliber and strength was a breath of fresh air. She was tough, caring, smart, resourceful, fierce, loyal and the best person the Doctor needed after his most recent adventures. Catherine Tate's performance was filled with powerful emotion and humor that brought the show to new heights.
"The Runaway Bride"
Donna Noble materialized randomly (but not really) in the TARDIS and into our lives, and immediately showed all of us that she would not be someone that we would ever forget. The first adventure with these was incredibly fun, bizarre and ultimately tragic. However, her arrival was necessary and revealed that even though the Doctor was in an extremely dark place, she was the one who told him to stop when it mattered the most. She became an anchor to his unchecked rage. Despite the life-changing event, Donna refused to go with the Doctor this time but her introduction was by far one of the best in the whole series.
"Partners In Crime"
Donna returned and through a series of ridiculous and unlikely events, was reunited with the Doctor. Despite all odds, they found each other in one of the funniest moments in the episode. The timing and snappy reactions was a perfect bit of much-needed levity. Time and space could not keep them apart and together again, they defeated the alien threat. Her intelligence and determination were some of her most important attributes, yet again helping the Doctor when he needed it the most. She got things done and showed incredible resourcefulness. She was independent and was someone you couldn't push around.
Can we just take a minute and continue praising Michelle Gomez for her astounding work on "Doctor Who" as of late?
When she was first introduced, her puckish and maniacal behavior was incredible to watch and at the time, many of us didn't know who she was and what her relationship with the Doctor was. It was maddening!
But, with all great reveals, we found out in Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor's episode, "Dark Water", that she was in fact, The Master, one of the Doctor's greatest foes. She had dubbed her self "The Mistress" and appropriately, "Missy" for short. Her performance and interpretation of the iconic villain was a delight.
This was HUGE. It was setting a new tone for the show, not because of some agenda, but it had got a really fantastic actress in a role that had been always played by men and she NAILED it. She made it her own, like so many before her. Diabolical and maniacal, Gomez showed that she had the chops for such a fun and complex character. This of course, had been hinted at a few seasons back. Let's take a look back to Matt Smith's 11th Doctor in "The Doctor's Wife".
I just realized that my love for "The Flash" is simply mirroring my distaste for "Arrow".
"The Flash" has definitely become my favorite out of the two, for so many reasons and the second to last episode of this season definitely reinforces this. There have been a few missteps, but overall, this season has been very, very good.
The thing about this show is that it does what "Arrow" can't as of late: make the audience care about the characters. Also, Barry Allen has a support network that cares for him and watches his back. I remember a time "Arrow" had this but their characters slowly became more and more ridiculous. The team at Star Labs (specifically Cisco and Harry) have grown and have become better, smarter and more fun. Back in season 1, I didn't really care much for Iris but this season, she has grown into a much interesting character and I would love to see her and Barry finally get together. It works. Kudos to the writing staff for developing everyone incredibly well.
Another part worth mentioning is how incredibly FUN the show is. There are dark moments but it's only complimented by how lighthearted some parts are. Barry runs, saves the day and we applaud his optimism and his heroism. He gets a win and it's wonderful. We cheer and we laugh. On the flip side, that's not to say the moments overcast by shadow aren't good but are gut-wrenching and emotionally powerful. When Barry flies high and smiles, the tragic moments are not far behind and when they come, it hits HARD. It's fantastic.
However, the second season had a few questionable moments, choices and episodes, as well as the casting of some characters (Wally and Jay), as well as stretching out stories instead of making things more streamlined and compact. The show could easily be shortened to 13 episodes rather than then the robust 23. After a while, it feels exhausting. However, after a bit of a drag, it gets right back into it and continues on raise the bar yet again.
While it can NEVER be like "Arrow" it's still worth pointing out that "The Flash" can't have lightning strike twice. It can however, manage to amaze and dazzle us in the majority of their storytelling. It works hard to not only please the comic book fans but people who enjoy good TV.
I look forward to the season finale with anticipation and await the next season eagerly.
I'm at the point where I can no longer stand by and be quiet about how atrocious the TV show, "Arrow" has become. The sad part is? I LOVED the first two seasons. God, WHAT HAPPENED?
Actually. I know what happened.
Everyone gave up.
Well, not EVERYONE, but it sure feels like the writers, some of the actors, the producers and even the network have refused to make this show great again. Everyone is going through the motions.
When the show first came out, I was skeptical, but soon I found that I enjoyed it. By all accounts, being a CW show and full of beautifully sculpted people, I shouldn't have cared but I was ENTHRALLED and it was all surprisingly compelling. Good acting and writing made this DC adaptation something special. At least for the first two seasons, everything was crafted beautifully.
But now, the cracks are REALLY starting to show. It started in Season 3 when they introduced Ras (Raish or RAZ or Raygon or however it's pronounced in every other episode) and the whole "Batman with a bow and arrow" was now in full swing and they weren't even trying to make Ollie different. The long 20 something episode season was REALLY starting to drag. The introduction of the far superior show, "The Flash" certainly didn't help either.
All these factors and probably a dozen different reasons have been contributed to Arrow's downward spiral. And also "Daredevil" doing the whole "tortured hero" and amazing action sequences better. Probably. Most likely.
Now in Season 4, probably the worst season ever, it's tragic. Not in a compelling story-telling way but tragic like, why are they even doing this show anymore. Since the introduction of the main baddie, Damien Daaahrk (played by Neal McDonough who had previous played an unhinged baddie on "Justified" WAY better) it's become almost a farce. It's like how can this show get worse, but then it gets worse. The acting. The writing. The overall production value. Everything that made the show great initially have become its weakest aspects. There are episodes that I now and I think to myself, "this show has lost its mind." Minute by minute, the plot lines, arcs and characters are becoming ridiculous and bad decisions are being made ALL THE TIME.
Maybe I'm being too hard on the show. Maybe, as I mentioned before, I've grown closer to "The Flash" and realized that yes, "Daredevil" has started doing things better. Like the fight sequences. More brutality and grit and less stupidity and kinetic silliness.
Or maybe it is just that bad. Why am I still watching it? Oh right. In case the Flash shows up. Or whatever.
At least it's not "Gotham" and hey, the CW is getting "Supergirl".
Last weekend, we tabled again at North East Comic Con. I was again, very nervous to see how it would all go, but then it ended up being a success in the end.
The morning of each day was a little slow, but soon it picked up and a lot of people were stopping by to buy things (mostly because this time I brought around the Disco Fett helmet!) Plus, having some variety, ie magnets and stickers certainly helped as well. Also, I feel that we are so close to Christmas helped a bit. People were coming to the con to look for not only something for themselves, but also something for a loved one. The fact that our items were on the small side certainly made it easier for people to consider them as stocking stuffers! Saturday proved to be a strong day, but then Sunday, I figured I make our table a bit more interesting...
Northeast Comic Con is coming up this weekend and I have to admit, I am more excited than nervous. The last few times I went, I had a blast. I went as a cosplayer and then one year, I decided to go as an exhibitor. It's a great con with a lot of things happening.
Trying to sell stuff with my designs proved to be challenging, given that it was my first con and while I didn't sell anything then, I'm optimistic that it could be different this time around. It was the Spring last time and this time, with the holidays coming up, I might manage to actually make some sales.
And the weekend continued on...
This time, Rhode Island Comic Con was on the docket. My buddy Colin and I reprised our Thorio and Luiki cosplays, a mash up cosplay of the Mario Brothers Mario and Luigi and Thor and Loki . I had made a few modifications including shortening and painting my hammer, as well as introducing the Tesseract/Question Box mash up, the "Quesseract". As always, I am super grateful that all of it happened in the first place.
We were primed and ready for another fun day. We also met up with some friends from out of town as well, which was an added bonus. However, despite the fun and company, the experience at RICC was a bit different than the last few I've been to.
What a weekend!
The last several days have been nuts and I am sad it's all over, exhausted from the craziness and above all drained from the festivities that I was a part of.
First things first, a while back I was contacted by someone at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut to be a part of a Star Wars themed event, a Disco and Dessert after party after they had seen my Disco Fett. Needless to say, it was kind of surreal and kind of awesome that someone wanted me to be a part of it!
So, we headed to the museum to an author event beforehand, where a couple of the Extended Universe Star Wars authors giving a talk. Granted, I don't know much about the EU but it was one of those events as someone who loves Star Wars and writing, it was a great chance to hear from these writers about their experiences. It was overwhelming positive and inspiring in many ways, given that I struggle as a writer myself and seeing these men given encouraging words about it all was extremely uplifting. I had to say, I was very pleased with the talk, the questions and overall vibe of the event.
The panel was of course, a nice bonus, but I was definitely more concerned about the party after, given that I didn't know what to expect. I mean...I didn't expect much as far what I needed to do, other than to shmooze and hang out with everyone and possibly take pictures. I didn't realize I would be getting into something SO much bigger. As someone who usually goes to cons in costumes, this was something else entirely...But...It ended up being pretty great.
Yup. I got a throne. My contact, Joey, got me a throne and I got to sit and chill as people started showing up. With lights and pounding disco music, this was a very different animal. I mean, it wasn't necessarily a HUGE event or anything, but you could tell that the people at the Mark Twain House put in a really in a fantastic effort to make this something special. There were desserts, music and an open bar, but as the people filtered in, no one was really coming to dance. I mean, getting the party started is always a challenge and to make the first move was key. So...I was in costume. With my helmet. I couldn't let this stand.
As I gear up for Northeast Comic Con again this Winter,the biggest question is what will I have to sell this time around? Last time didn't fare so well, given that I only had a selection of prints for my designs. However, I plan to have more variety, ie possibly stickers AND magnets. HEY-O. Watch out. I'm going NUTS!
Given a chance to really look at what I wanted to show off this time, I thought back to the beginning when I came up with my "Ending of Time" Photoshop Composite series. This was a fun on-going set of photo manipulations I did based on the sci-fi series, "Doctor Who". Inspired by the double-exposure photos I've seen as well as some manipulations I've seen here and there, I wanted to create some edits based on the Time Lord's mode of transport and where it would end up (ie places that it could show up either in mention or perhaps on the show itself.)
"The Ending of Time" was a title I came up with, imaging that maybe at the journey's end, we would find the TARDIS somewhere else, perhaps in a darker place and at the ends of time itself. What would that look like? I started with a simple combination of dark backgrounds, threatening elements and merging of random ideas.
Several years ago, probably when I was roughly about 11, I started learning Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, mostly from a suggestion via my dad. Back then, we were looking at maybe Adobe 4.0 and now, we're at least past the double digits as far as versions. It was then that he predicted that these tools would be vital in the coming years but at the time, being the young and the "WHATEVER, DAD" person I was, I complied, but only out of making him happy. However, that rebellious attitude was cut short when I realized that he was right. I think it might have been a whole five minutes I realized after jumping right into the programs, that this stuff was cool AND fun. A winning combination. Adobe Photoshop and the accompanying programs would continue to evolve. I was right in it, learning it all from an early age. I took to it pretty well and loved every minute of it. It was a class full of people of all ages and it was one of those things that I remember fondly.
However, it was maybe about a year or two later that I stopped using the programs. Ironic, considering how much I loved them and loved using them. Why? I honestly, can't remember. It was probably because life and college or whatever probably got in the way. However, Photoshop was still on my mind and I wanted to come back to it. It was a skill that was becoming more and more vital in a variety of fields and I wanted in. However, nothing happened for many years and I was never able to get back into it.
Fast forward about 20 years, I found myself doing cosplay and for some reason, I felt that I had to do something more with it. I decided to get a copy of Adobe Elements version 11. While it was a much pared down version of the big beast that was Adobe Photoshop, I ended up tinkering, finding a variety of different online tutorials, and did what I could with the limits of the program. I found myself getting back into something that I had loved so many years ago. I created a variety of edits and manipulations that while I was learning step by step, I came up with some real winners.
Sterling arts & Design
Creating, getting inspired and reflections.