Tuesday various

Wednesday various

Wednesday various

  • Scott Tobias on Fast Five:

    Fast Five may be lizard-brain escapism—and there’s something unsettling about how it lays waste to Rio’s desperately poor favelas—but nonsense this well-orchestrated is a rare and precious thing.

  • Genevieve Valentine on Priest:

    Basically, Priest exists as an example of what happens when a team of creative people all get a concussion at once.

  • John Seavey on Smallville — and, more specifically, why it is not Doctor Who:

    And then, the next night, I watched “The Doctor’s Wife”. And while I won’t spoil anything, because the episode is very wonderful, very surprising, and many people probably haven’t seen it yet, I will say that it is the epitome of everything that Doctor Who is and everything that Smallville isn’t. Instead of being an “epic game-changer” that really doesn’t change anything, not even really the things it’s obligated to change…this was a normal, everyday, stand-alone non-arc episode that just happened to transform everything you thought you knew about forty-eight years of the series. And it did it almost casually.

    Doctor Who is, and always has been like that. It’s never been afraid to reinvent itself, not even after forty-eight years. It’s a bold, inventive show that has no boundaries, no self-imposed rules, and no orthodoxies to uphold. That’s why it attracted a writer of the caliber of Neil Gaiman, whereas Smallville has had to content itself with Geoff Johns and Jeph Loeb. That’s why it’s still going and why I don’t think it’ll ever stop. Because it’s a show that can do anything…and one that will do anything.

  • And speaking of shows that promise but don’t deliver on change, Zach Handlen on House:

    It’s like a game, really. Each year, the writers have to come up with some new way to trick us into thinking that the show is moving on. And then, come next season, they have to find some way to undo all those changes, because in House-land, we can have the illusion of growth but not growth itself.

    Everything I’m reading leads me to think that my decision to quit on the show at the start of this year was wrong only in that it came too late.

  • And finally, Existential Star Wars [via]:

Wednesday various

Tuesday various

  • Five Philippines inmates escape while guard plays Plants vs. Zombies. In his defense, it is a very addictive game. (I just downloaded it again on my iPad.) [via]
  • Children’s Pop-Up Books Flop as Learning Tool:

    Those exposed to the book with the photographic images were able to correctly identify their bird nearly 80 percent of the time. Those who saw the book with the drawings did so around 70 percent of the time. But those who were entertained by the pop-ups did so only 50 percent of the time — no better than chance. [via]

  • I’ve only read the first of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently books, and I wasn’t exactly wowed by it, but I do know there are fans who love the novels, maybe even more than his more famous Hitchhiker’s Guide books. And I’ll admit, the idea of a television series is quite intriguing. [via]
  • Three words: Alien Pez dispenser. “They’re coming outta the walls! They’re coming outta the goddamn walls!” [via]
  • And finally, hispter dinosaurs [via]