My favorite TV show came back this week. For me, “favorite TV show” is actually a pretty loose term since every show I love is my favorite, but Doctor Who is definitely my actual favorite, I swear.
For those of you who don’t watch the show, Doctor Who is a British science fiction series that centers around the Doctor, a time-traveling alien, and his crazy adventures through time and space while joined by a variety of companions. The forty-ninth year of Doctor Who premiered on Saturday with its first new episode in ten months. The suspense has been nail-biting and tear-inducing, to say the least. Everyone was hoping that the long-awaited premiere wouldn’t be as disappointing as parts of the last season was.
But it was disappointing. As both an avid Doctor Who fan and someone who aspires to a career in television production, “Asylum of the Daleks” was somewhat upsetting to watch. It lacked continuity from previous seasons, a proper introduction and serious development, so it didn’t even feel like a season opener. One of the more obvious flaws was that the Daleks, the Doctor’s archenemy robot race that he supposedly destroyed, appeared in full force — and no one even questioned it. Unlike previous quality episodes of this program, the writers did not quite feel like weaving in interesting details and clues or building up to a big reveal, but simply dumped new information on the audience in ways that didn’t really make sense.
The episode began with the Doctor’s married companions getting a divorce without telling the audience why. Halfway through the episode the woman, Amy, just blurted out the fact that she cannot have children. Instead of being excited to finally understand why, the randomness just left me completely bewildered. They also introduced a new female character, Oswin, who is attractive, clever, flirty and sassy. For those you who don’t watch, I just described every other female character on the show. Besides being blatantly sexist, it’s just bad writing, especially for one of the longest running shows of all time.
While the episode was extremely disappointing, it was still — and I hate to say it — enjoyable to watch. I appreciated seeing the familiar characters I have come to love say their classic lines and develop their stories (if only slightly or painfully). And I will give it to them – the major twist at the end (I won’t give it away!) was shocking and still has me thinking. It is quite possible that people not as familiar with the show found the episode enthralling, adventurous and clever.
Is it wrong that I am analyzing the episode to the point that it is less enjoyable? Am I just reading into it too much?
Do I over-analyze TV shows too much? Maybe. Am I going to stop any time soon? Not a chance. This fall brings an onslaught of even newer seasons – TV seasons, that is. Some of my (other) favorite shows are returning soon, such as How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy and more. I hope you’ll join me as I review episodes and try to apply them to my life, and life here at Cornell.
You might be wondering if it is worth it to spend your precious study time watching TV… The way I see it, if you view TV as more than just a “break,” and something of value, it’s absolutely worth it. Now, put down your homework, go to your lounge, and turn on the TV (just kidding)!
TV Talk will appear on alternate Thursdays this semester, focusing on reviewing new TV episodes and applying them to everyday life and life at Cornell.