Some brief reactions to things I’ve seen, read, or experienced lately:

Doctor WhoDoctor Who, back on weekly television – it’s a beautiful thing. And the amazing part of it all is that Erin has been watching it with me, and actually enjoying it to boot! I think she started out of guilt, figuring she’d just watch the first one with me since I’ve sat through more episodes of stuff like Real World/Road Rules Challenge with her than I’d ever want to think about, but in a very short time she’s gone from “That kind of held my interest” to “Yeah, I actually enjoy this.” It all feels so, I don’t know… validating, maybe?

And hey, look, Television Without Pity is watching, too… how cool is that?

Anyway, people of Earth, please watch Doctor Who on Sci-Fi Channel and make it a hit. I really want it to be popular enough for them to pick up the upcoming David Tennant episodes.

Detective Comics 817 & Batman 651 – My initial plan was to wait for the trade on this story, but the return of James Robinson had my curious enough to check out the first part, and I liked the first enough to check out the second. And wow, not a whole hell of a lot happens, but for one thing, Robinson’s Write-Fu is strong enough that he can make so little action still seem compelling; also, after years of the “crazed, bitchy loner on a suicide mission to end all crime” stories that we’ve had to endure for so long, it’s very refreshing to find a Batman and Robin story that actually reads like a Batman and Robin story. You used to have to go to the animated series tie-in books for that.

Shazam! 8, 12, & 13 – Three of the always excellent “100 Super Spectacular” issues that DC put out in the 70s, picked up surprisingly cheap on eBay. So much excellent golden age Marvel Family stuff here… it’s like a “Best Of” Archives volume at a fraction of the price, and without the introduction by someone like Michael Uslan that you weren’t gonna read anyway. Even the then-modern stories contained in 12 & 13 (8 is all reprints) are pretty decent… as I’ve said before, I think the people writing the characters then still understood that Marvels work better in fanciful stories than in straight-out superhero action. A question, though… anyone know if Bob Oksner based his “updated” look for Mary Marvel on Susan Dey? Because the Mary story in #13 wouldn’t look out of place in an issue of “Laurie Partridge’s Comics & Stories.”

See what I mean?

"...And it really came together when Uncle Marvel sang along."

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie – Netflix left this in the mailbox for me, so I figured the least I could do was watch it. And you know, it wasn’t particularly good – the animation seemed a little stiff, and some of the voice work was almost 80s anime translation bad – but it wasn’t so bad as to make me turn it off. It’s not great, it’s not terrible, it’s just sort of there. In the end, all I can really say about it is that this was a movie that I watched.

True Hollywood Story: Saved by the Bell – Erin and I caught the first few minutes of this, and before we knew it, we reached the simultaneous conclusion that yes, indeed, we would be watching the whole damn hour of this without any guilt or reservations whatsoever. Not as much of a train wreck as other TV show-based episodes of THS – no shocking revelations about Screech snorting coke off of Kelly’s ass or Slater giving hepatitis to one of the girls from California Dreams or anything – but still surprisingly compelling. It also served as a chilling reminder to me that for all I've claimed to dislike Saved by the Bell over the years, I've seen a frighteningly large number of episodes.

Tacos – I loves me some tacos, but I like the kind I make at home a lot better than those I get anywhere else, be it a sit-down restaurant or fast food joint. I made some the other day, and I think they kind of ruled. My style is pretty simple – brown up some ground meat (this time, ground turkey), mix in some Old El Paso taco seasoning, cut up some lettuce and tomatoes, and throw it all into a warmed-up tortilla. I skip the cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and so on… I like ‘em nice and simple. And frankly, my Taco-Fu is pretty damn strong, if I do say so myself. Sure, you could “run for the border” when a taco craving strikes, but if you’re anything like me, you usually find yourself running for the john before too long. Save yourself the gastrointestinal discomfort and make your own. And try making them with ground turkey instead of beef; I find it takes the seasoning better.

The 40 Year Old Virgin – Okay, if everyone in the entire free world saw this movie in the theaters last year, why did it take us about 4 months to get this from Netflix? Seriously, this was listed as “Very Long Wait” from the day it came out until about 2 weeks ago. What’s up with that, America? I know there’re no late fees with Netflix, but how about returning the popular new releases in a slightly more timely manner so we all get to see them, hmm? Anyway, yeah, this was decent. A bit overrated, probably, and the extended material (having not seen this last year, I don’t know exactly what was added, but I think I have some good ideas) was extraneous at best and more likely not needed at all, but it was a nice mix of laughs, raunchiness, and some surprisingly nice bits. And it was loads better than Wedding Crashers, which remains one of the worst movies I’ve seen in quite some time (annoying, overly long, and painfully unfunny). So it has that going for it, which is nice.

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