Asta 2

Torchwood, Mostly

I've had a lazy weekend. It's the first weekend in I don't know how long where I didn't feel like I needed to go into work. My plan was to take glorious advantage of all this free time I had. That didn't really happen. I think I am going to attempt to start putting Christmas decorations away though. And maybe catch up on a weeks worth of Stargate. I haven't written a word of fic or burned stuff off the DVR like I had wanted to do. At least I can partly blame a headache for that. I met a friend for brunch yesterday and after some shopping at Target and dropping her off at her house I came home, crashed on the couch, and woke up with a headache. At that point I didn't feel like doing much of anything so proceeded to catch some eps of Band of Brothers (which given the amount of gunfire and explosions was not the best idea fro someone with a headache) and then watched the finale of Torchwood. Be prepared for unpopular opinions people -

I had heard about The Boykissing and the supposed hotness of it. So I'm guessing I'm the only one who laughed throughout the entire scene? Here's my huge ass problem with the Jack on Jack action. Jack and Tosh were transported to 1941. I don't care if our Jack's little speech about living every moment as if it was your last had a profound impact on the real Jack, no way in hell is he going to go over, take him by the hand, and dance with him in front of his men and dozens of other people. He never would have made it to his plane the next morning; he'd be a bloody pulp in an alley somewhere. The sheer ridiculousness of it all cause me to burst out laughing as soon as they hit the dance floor. And then there was the big over-dramatic kiss. If they had done this all in some dark, secluded corner I would have bought it. And maybe I would have cared if the actor they had gotten to play the real Jack was better. It's a shame since I think the premise of Jack meeting the man whose identity who took, who he happens to share quite a bit in common with, was an interesting idea.

The other thing that I found laughable about the ep was everyone's ability to find things. It should have taken twenty or more people over the course of a day (at least) combing over every inch of that place to find what Gwen found in minutes. Owen finds a round piece of metal and immediately knows it's the missing piece of the rift machine. Then he goes into mad scientist mode. Have these people learned nothing from their time in Torchwood? No, let's believe complete strangers because they tell us what we want to hear, shoot the guy who knows more than all of them put together, and nearly annihilate humanity. And why couldn't Ianto have aimed for Owen's head? Owen is such a waste of skin.

There were exactly two things I liked about this episode. I found it very cool at the end that Jack mentions the one thing that would get him to open the rift was the Doctor and, soon after, we hear the Tardis and Jack disappears. Maybe the Doctor took him to find his old personality.

The other thing I liked, or was at least intrigued by, was the Jack/Ianto kiss. This coupled with Owen's remark to Ianto about being Jack's occasional shag buddy made me go look up episode recaps to see if an actual relationship existed. After reading the synopsis for 'They Keep Killing Suzy' I realized that that was the ep that caused quite a stir on my Flist awhile back. It's also one of the fews eps that beccatoria recommended to me so I decided to download it. Now THAT was a good episode. It helped that it featured Suzie. She was the only character I really liked in the premiere and then they made her crazy and killed her. She's still crazy, yet there is a reason to her madness - insecurity and self-doubt coupled with the isolation and burdens of the job made her the person she was/is. The complexity of her character (something lacking in the others) coupled with the actresses ability to subtly convey Suzie's pain and sadness actually make Suzie the most likable character for me. I only wish they had found a way to keep her undead. I really would have liked to see a story arc in which she tries to redeem herself even if she can't.

This afternoon I went and saw Happy Feet. I don't have much to say about it. It was a very cute film and I was entertained throughout. And just when you wonder how computer animation can get better, you are presented with some truly stunning images. I was also very impressed with how they incorporated live action into the film. George Lucas should take notes. I was a little distracted everytime the character of Memphis was onscreeen. Hugh Jackman really should not have recycled the accent he used for Curly in Oklahoma.

After wards I decided to get myself some hot chocolate. I'm declaring that Starbuck's is better than Beaner's.
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Ohhhh, Starbuck's hot chocolate is GORGEOUS (I don't know if it's the same exactly here and over with you)! Had a cup as a treat this afternoon on the way home from a bit of shopping...yummy! Don't know if it's the cream on top or the chocolate itself that I love, but the whole thing is the business!

Beaner's (and I'm not sure you have those in England) hot choclate is creamier, but Starbuck's hot chocolate retains more of the cocoa flavor and I like that.
Nope we don't have that one over here. But I agree that more of the cocoa flavour is a plus, so my vote would be for Starbuck's over Beaner's too.
Spoilers for Happy Feet
What'd you think of the whole 'getting stuck in the penguin enclosure' section of the movie?

Hugh's accent was fairly distracting. Heh.
Re: Spoilers for Happy Feet
The penguin enclosure section of the film is what impressed me about the use of live action and animation. Not only was it well done on a technical level (and the little girls reaction to a dancing penguin was charming), but seeing real people as opposed to computer generated ones I think drove their message about what we are doing to these creatures home better. However, once Mumbles was captured the film's environmental message also became rather heavy handed - especially with the business people and diplomats yelling at each other. I prefered the subtly earlier in the film when they were talking about fish becoming harder to find and then we see the crane falling into the water. That was enough to convey to me that WE were the cause of them potentially starving to death.
Is there a Seattle's Best Cafe close to you? I think they might have even better hot chocolate than Starbucks. On the menu it's called a Cocoa Trio, and it's made with half-and-half and chocolate syrup, then topped with fresh whipped cream and three different kinds of chocolate.

And I don't watch Torchwood, but boy/boy kissing in 1941 in public? Yeah, like you said, bloody pulp.
We don't have a Seattle's Best Cafe but when I was in Seattle I went to one and had the Cocoa Trio. Yes, that is very tasty too.

1941 kissing totally ruined it for me too. For the reasons you described. And it's not like I can even pretend it's happy TV-land non-homophobic 1941 and that it makes sense within the world of the episode, because they spent the whole of the episode up to that point both hammering home the xenophobia and racism Tosh was afraid of and the homophobia that made the original Captain Jack hide his sexuality and pretend to have a girlfriend. If he'd kissed him in either a dark corner it would have worked much better, might actually have been touching, and might have made up for the total waste of space that is Owen, or distracted me from the ease with which they found shit.

Either that, or perhaps if original Captain Jack knew and believed that yes, he was going to die the next day, it might have made some more sense. You know, if he really did understand that this was, absolutely his last night on earth. Maybe.

Regarding Jack and Ianto's relationship, we don't know. They seem to have lots of angst regarding the fact that Ianto was keeping his half-cyberised girlfriend in the basement and whether or not to kill her, but I kind of assumed that was because of her trying to destroy all humans (and punching a pterodactyl in the face while wearing a metal bikini and covered in barbeque sauce) rather than some romantic betrayal. Then there's that extremely bizarre discussion about things you can do with a stopwatch. Then there's Owen's part-time shag comment, the coat-smelling and the welcome-back kiss. So I figure they might have been having an affair like Gwen and Owen, just off screen. I know wish one I'd rather have watched develope. Hint: it's not the one we saw...

Hooray for you agreeing about They Keep Killing Suzie. I think that one and Random Shoes are tied for best episode. The actress who plays Suzie is really good and I agree that she was sympathetic despite being batshit insane. She was totally tragic and totally afraid. I'm not certain whether or not I'd like to have seen her redeemed (though I was completely "meh" about Jack's "moral ambiguity" while killing her). I think I like her too much as totally amoral. I mean, let's look at Torchwood's actions and attitudes; what has she ever been taught but that? Something in her mind broke and I don't think at any point in that episode she felt the need for forgiveness; I'm not sure she knew she'd done anything wrong. Perhaps her need for survival, her need for life and purpose, her fear that she would slide back into the dark, overrode any desire for redemption. Perhaps I'm overthinking this. But yeah. Suzie. Awesome. As was the moment she bitch-slapped Gwen when she asked whether she was sleeping with Owen. Tells you everything right there, that does.

Final thought? Am I the only one who noticed that following his big realisation that the whole rift and disease thing was his fault, Owen suddenly went off on a huge, emotionally infantile jag about how it was everyone's fault but his? About how everyone else should be fixing it or getting out of his way so he could fix it in the most selfish way that would best get his own selfish desires? He's like an explosion of avoidance. IANTO SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD!

...for a show I only mildly like, I spend far too much time discussing it. I think it's because of the huge irritation factor inherent to it, and the fact that no one else I know really watches it except my Dad and yeah. I can't discuss boykissing with him. Plus he gets irritated with the endless fountain of Owen-hatred that comes out of my mouth.
And it's not like I can even pretend it's happy TV-land non-homophobic 1941 and that it makes sense within the world of the episode, because they spent the whole of the episode up to that point both hammering home the xenophobia and racism Tosh was afraid of and the homophobia that made the original Captain Jack hide his sexuality and pretend to have a girlfriend.

Exactly. Had this been some sort of AU 1941 I could have bought the dancing and the kissing. But since they spent so much time - too much time if you ask me - playing up Tosh's fears of being a woman of Japanese decent stuck in London during the war both Jack's attitudes towards expressing their feelings made no sense. Like you said, had Jack told the real Jack he was going to die the very next day than maybe, maybe, I could have bought the real Jack doing what he did if he had the mindset of 'If I'm going to die then my last night I'm going to be who I am and damn everyone else.'

Also, isn't it odd that our Jack who has been around for centuries and has had a lot of relationships didn't get that the girlfriend was a cover, expecially since the real Jack was obviously so uncomfortable around her? God, the whole thing was handled so badly.

Then there's that extremely bizarre discussion about things you can do with a stopwatch. Then there's Owen's part-time shag comment, the coat-smelling and the welcome-back kiss. So I figure they might have been having an affair like Gwen and Owen, just off screen. I know wish one I'd rather have watched develope.

Yeah, I figured it was like Gwen and Owen. Jack and Ianto are two attractive, single guys who spend a lot of time together because of their work and don't have much time away from work for a social life so I could see them hooking up out of convenience and also because they like each other. It's just rather odd for a show that is trying to be so progressive about sexuality that they wouldn't have shown more of the relationship on screen. The stopwatch thing was rather odd, espcially since I was wondering if the stopwatch would be used to see how fast something could be done or how long they could make something last. ;) And while I've been spared watching any Gwen/Owen 'romance', I definitely would prefer seeing Jack/Ianto.

I just don't get the character of Owen at all and how the writers for one moment can think that the way they have written him can make him at all sympathetic or likeable. He's a repulsive human being on every level. He started out as a date rapist and ends as selfish, whiny, careless bastard. And Gwen cheated on her boyfriend with him???

I don't know if Suzie could be redeemed or even wants to be, but I would find it interesting to see her working for Torchwood again and the (supposedly) greater good. They could have written it so she remains undead without stealing Gwen's life, but the only way she can remain undead has something to do with Torchwood and she's forced to continue working there or slip back into the darkness. I just think she was far too interesting a character to let her go so quickly again.

You can't discuss boykissing with your dad? ;) I could probably broach the subject with my mother as long as I didn't go into too much detail. Hee. As for Owen, go on spewing the hatred. I seriously think he's the worst 'good guy' ever written. Hell, even Gaius Baltar realizes what an amoral selfish bastard he is and hates himself for it.
He's a repulsive human being on every level. He started out as a date rapist and ends as selfish, whiny, careless bastard. And Gwen cheated on her boyfriend with him??? and As for Owen, go on spewing the hatred.

I knew I liked you for a reason... ;) WOOHOO SOMEONE TO HATE OWEN WITH! You can't take it back now *opens floodgates*

I had some hope for him when he realised it was all his fault. But no, instead of going back to Torchwood to try and fix it, he goes back because his "lost" girlfriend wants him to and it's an excuse to get what he wants. And even after his revelation of blame he's still trying to blame anyone but himself. He still won't take responsibility. Torchwood is full of people doing dumb things for love but in all other instances the person either had their loved one die/in the end tried to make it right through personal sacrifice. The point is, they had a better reason than, "SHE WANTED TO SEE THE WORLD INSTEAD OF STAYING IN CARDIFF WITH MEEEEEE!"

Yes, Gwen cheats with him. Actually I can find it slightly understandable on her part (though deplorable. I like Rhys). It's after she's just had a very traumatic experience and been shot (we'll skip the medical improbabilities of her recovery) and is extremely vulnerable and basically saying, "There's this whole world and it's terrifying, and there's no one I can share it with, no one I can connect to." Which is Suzie's problem in the end, the Gwen-into-Suzie story is one of the most worthy of the show, IMO. There's a scene in one of the later episodes where she admits everything to Rhys because she's losing it and wants forgiveness and promises never to do it again. Rhys is like, "Why are you telling me this?" and Gwen's reply is, "Cos I've drugged you and you're going to forget everything but the morning, but please forgive me!" Of course he gets woozy and passes out with Gwen still begging him to say he forgives her.

Anyway, Owen arguably takes advantage of her vulnerability by saying, "Hey, you're not alone, you can share your experiences with me baby. CARNALLY!"

It's why I loved the revelation that he was sleeping with Suzie too. Not that I think he took advantage of her the same way, just because I think it says a lot about Owen's motivations.

Hell, even Gaius Baltar realizes what an amoral selfish bastard he is and hates himself for it.

Absolutely. But more than that, the writers have an awareness of how the audience will perceive him. I don't have any confidence this is the case with Owen, who I could quite happily watch have his head smashed repeatedly into a paving stone and find funny, when usually I'm the one staring gape-jawed in horror at such things casually happening to fictional characters...
Wikipedia had pretty thorough recaps of the episodes and I read them all. I was a little confused as to why he is so hung up on Diane since she left him. And left him for flying apparently. Which, again, was a pretty lame way of getting rid of her and presumably setting up the Owen angst later on. I mean, couldn't she have taking flying lessons and gotten her pilot's license back? It seemed like a pretty interesting ep with the one girl trying to move on with her life and the gentleman realizing he could never fit in here. But then they had Diane unable to give up flying and adventure so she flew back into the rift and I'm guessing her death. Granted, a life with Owen would be on par with death for ME, but she seemed to like him.

I really didn't get Owen's defense being that he brought Jack and Tosh back to their own time as if that made his decision acceptable. If it meant being trapped in 1941 or, oh, destroying the planet I think they would have been OK with being left behind. And it really had nothing to do with them especially when you consider a short time later he shoots Jack, murders Jack, and barely takes a moment to think about what he has just done. Owen's actions were 100% self-serving and I don't see that he learned any sort of lesson. And Jack forgives him!

But more than that, the writers have an awareness of how the audience will perceive him. I don't have any confidence this is the case with Owen,

I totally agree. I haven't seen a single indication that the writers get how despicable and repugnant Owen is. Buffy, Farscape, BSG, Doctor Who all have flawed heroes, but with Owen where is his single good quality that even would make you consider he is one of the good guys?
I totally agree with you RE Torchwood. That scene would have made the series for me, Owens head disappearing into a mess of red mist. SPLATT!
That scene would have made the series for me, Owens head disappearing into a mess of red mist.

HEE! Oh, Ianto, I would have loved you forever had you blown his brains out.
So I'm guessing I'm the only one who laughed throughout the entire scene?
Errr, guess again. I have been biting my tongue on this whole Torchwood matter so as not to offend the endearing squeeful peeps on my f'list, but my personal opin is that it is PANTS. supacat said pretty much everything I have to say about it here.

I would have cared if the actor they had gotten to play the real Jack was better
Yeah... and if he wasn't pulling that ridiculous emo!face and wearing waaaay too much mascara. And if he looked less like a gay pin-up. You know, if he'd been human, or if they'd (gasp! shock!) actually explored something interesting about Jack stealing his identity. But no.

It was so implausible it made me want to kill things. Like producers. *glares* I don't CARE that it's boykissing--it was one of the worst written pieces of shite I've seen on tv all year. I prefer my kissing to be plausible, thank you very much. It's kind of a prerequisite to finding it hot.

or was at least intrigued by, was the Jack/Ianto kiss
Yes. But can you explain to me why you would shag someone who made you kill your girlfriend?

Sorry. Ranty me. Happy Feet is cute. *concentrates on the cute*
LOL. Well, I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my views. :) I have people on my Flist who enjoy Torchwood, but none that I felt I would offend with my rant. And even if I thought it would irk people, I probably still would have posted my feelings because the writing of Jack/Jack was so bad it was offensive.

The only time I felt anything for the real Jack was when he wasn't even on screen. Jack describing his last mission and how he died and how all his men made it back because of him - that was nice, that was touching, and that description made him seem like a real person to me. Instead of hiring a good actor for a rather pivitol role, they went with some stereotypical hunky guy and it just undercut all the poignancy that should have been present. Not to mention, the writers had him following Jack around like a puppy dog and no one including Jack noticed that the guy wanted him???

I prefer my kissing to be plausible, thank you very much. It's kind of a prerequisite to finding it hot.

Exactly. And that applies to both same-sex and hetero kissing. I recall sdwolfpup doing a post once of what she considered the hottest kisses. She was about to look for a Archie/Horatio kiss when she realized that they never actually kissed in the 'Hornblower' films. ;) My point is, it would have been easier to accept and more plausible if those two had kissed then what we saw here. And to make matters worse, didn't they show the other people on the dance floor smiling as if they thought them kissing was touching and romantic? They would have had their asses kicked!

But can you explain to me why you would shag someone who made you kill your girlfriend?

Um, no, but I didn't see that ep so I can hand wave. ;)
Not to mention, the writers had him following Jack around like a puppy dog and no one including Jack noticed that the guy wanted him
Ha, yes! I was actually really confused about what 'our' Jack was supposed to be thinking and/or feeling. I don't find John Barrowman a good actor--his facial expressions are limited, and he kept making the same emo!face throughout. Was he feeling sad? guilty? tortured? in love? Who knows?!

She was about to look for a Archie/Horatio kiss when she realized that they never actually kissed in the 'Hornblower' films. ;)
Awww, that is adorable! *g* (Aside: I got the Hornblower DVDs for Christmas! *bounces* Although I'll miss the Dutch subtitles... It won't be the same when Archie's just dead, not 'dood'!) But that's so true... the chemistry just flowed off Archie and Horatio in buckets... it's the same with early Clex. I'd buy either kiss a hundred times more than this one.

I didn't even buy the little 'tiff' they had before the kiss. You just do not get that upset with someone you've just met, no matter how attracted you are to them. It was all built on nothing.

didn't they show the other people on the dance floor smiling as if they thought them kissing was touching and romantic?
Ah, yes, yes, they did. And then they had them just sort of freeze in a tableau--it really was as if they'd entered some sort of gay-dreamscape-land. Clearly the writers thought everyone would be so swept up in the kiss that noone would care that the people in the background were frozen 'Simon says' style! ;)

They would have had their asses kicked!
Yup! Thanks, Jack. Sweep in and introduce GAYBASHING into the 1940s. That's just fab! Because in reality that IS what would have happened. Ah, handwaving: how often you are needed in response to Torchwood!
Have you ever heard John Barrowman sing? Great singer. And he's gotten some pretty good reviews for his stage work. I'm just wondering if he's grown so accustomed to playing to a live audiance some distance away he has trouble conveying his emotions with a camera in his face. Though, I found him to be more dynamic on 'Who' so maybe it's the direction he's being given?

Clearly the writers thought everyone would be so swept up in the kiss that noone would care that the people in the background were frozen 'Simon says' style! ;)

And it seems quite a few people were swept up in it. Because they spent most of the ep setting up the moment and made such a big deal out of it (too big a deal because I think we've established that the reality is there would be a lot of ass kicking) that all the potential passion and excitement was sucked out it for me. I think the big problem is the show does not understand the term "subtle". How much better would this have worked if the two were alone in a separate room, heard the music and began to dance, and just as they kissed Tosh rushed in to tell Jack they had to go? The important thing was that these two people shared a connection, the whole world didn't have to see it.
No, I haven't heard him sing. But either theory works for me regarding why he's not communicating emotion well in Torchwood. I agree he was more dynamic on 'Who', and that may well be direction since emo!Jack didn't come out until Torchwood. I liked flirty carefree Jack a whole lot more on Who, and I think they could have given him angst without making him ridiculous.

all the potential passion and excitement was sucked out it for me. I think the big problem is the show does not understand the term "subtle".
Yes, and double yes!!

The important thing was that these two people shared a connection, the whole world didn't have to see it.
Right! And in fact having the whole world see it was incredibly problematic and undermined the believability of the entire scenario. It also distracted from the connection between them. Arrrrgh, it bugs me so much when a show gets things THIS wrong! I have major cringe about it. I feel embarrassed for Russell T. :-(
The thing you must remember about Torchwood is that it's crap. Enjoyable, but crap. I watch it with Andrew just so I can listen to him pull it apart. It's fun! The 1941 ep was a little crap and I wish Ianto could become a more whole character. He's a bit of a ghost even still.

I am looking forward to Doctor Who very much. I hope I'm not disappointed. I also hope that they manage to improve Torchwood next series. The general vote is to give full control to Noel Clarke (who played Mickey but turns out to be a very good scriptwriter!)
I'm looking forward to seeing Jack with The Doctor. I thought I heard JB was guesting on 'Who' this coming series. Jack is just not the Jack I know and love on 'Torchwood'.

And while it is kind of fun picking the show apart, it would be more fun if I actually enjoyed watching it! I read some fanfic this afternoon and it was better developed and written than the show itself. :/
"She was the only character I really liked in the premiere and then they made her crazy and killed her."

I knew she was dead the second I saw her; I knew she's on "Rome" so of course it was obvious she only had a bit part on Torchwood. It's really sad that the BBC only has like 10 actors. It's so pathetic. After one of their shows goes kaput the people just get recycled into whatever is on the pipe. And Billie Piper was worried about being typecasted? Jesus, at least by gaining international fans with the one credible/not-incompetent sci-fi show they have, she'd be able to blow that popsicle stand.
It's getting to the point it's not even funny how many British actors have left England to work here. While U.S. TV isn't stellar it is more varied than British TV which seems to either be comedies or crime dramas. Not to mention the salaries are frakkin huge in comparison. Their acting pool is incredibly small now. I also read somewhere that Tennant may be leaving 'Who' after this series and I'm betting he'll be heading to the states to look for work, following in the footsteps of his predecessor who will soon be on 'Heroes'.
no way in hell is he going to go over, take him by the hand, and dance with him in front of his men and dozens of other people.

I had the same thought, but I enjoyed it so much I was able to hand wave it. I did wonder if he chose not to bail out of the plane the next day because he'd outed himself.

No, let's believe complete strangers because they tell us what we want to hear, shoot the guy who knows more than all of them put together, and nearly annihilate humanity.

I hated the last ep. I don't see how we're supposed to like these people or Jack is supposed to work with them. They shot him! Even if Jack says he would have been tempted to open the rift for the doctor, I can't see him shooting someone in the head for it. Owen tries to murder him, and yet apparently everything is back to normal at the end of the ep. *rolling my eyes*

And why couldn't Ianto have aimed for Owen's head? Owen is such a waste of skin.

Yes! I do not understand what these women on the show keep seeing in him. I've detested him since the first ep when he was using the alien chemical to rape people. Apparently, as long as it's not violent rape is okay now - SGA, N/T, and now TW. :( I still love Jack, but I'm not crazy about TW. I'd like it much better if Jack became the new companion on DW instead.

This coupled with Owen's remark to Ianto about being Jack's occasional shag buddy

IIRC, he actually says Ianto has wet dreams about being Jack's occasional shag-buddy. I don't know what to make of the stop watch comment. That just came out of the blue.

Parts of the show I really like, but other parts make me want to throw things at the tv.