On letting idiots make decisions for me

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Perhaps the sound of a million baby-men all wailing at once alerted you; there is to be a new Doctor Who, or maybe a new Doctor, hell, I don’t watch the show, I don’t think “Doctor Who” is actually the character’s name, but maybe it is– and at any rate, the Doctor is to be played by a Person of Feminine Aspect, a Vagina-Haver, a Breasted-American, except she’s not American and Breasted-Brit sounds like some sort of snack food.  A girl!  Playing a character who used to be played by a man with a penis!

I assume Peter Capaldi has a penis. And all the others, whatever their names are.  Steve or James or Bonbon or something else British.  I’m only assuming they all had penises.  I’ve never seen any of their penises.  But apparently they were really important to all this Time Lord business.

So, yeah, there’s a girl in a show now and oh so many judgment-challenged sillymen are oh so very upset.  And here’s the thing: I’ve kinda been jonesing for a new Nerd Thing lately that I could pay attention to?  I’m tired of Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones has worn very very thin and I was never into the TV series anyway, and I’m not actually certain that the new Star Trek is actually watchable by regular people who don’t have some sort of arcane CBS subscription that I refuse to find out anything about.  But I can watch this new Doctor Who thing, right?  And knowing that me watching it is a tiny thorn in the ample sides of some very horrible people brings me pleasure, so there’s that.

I have actually tried to get into Doctor Who on a few occasions and failed.  With the notable exception of Monty Python, British entertainment does tend to bounce off of me a bit, and every previous episode of the program I’ve tried to watch really didn’t get anywhere with me.  But for some reason I downloaded the two-part season finale of Season 10, which was Capaldi’s final season (although I understand there’s some sort of Christmas special thing coming, where he’ll actually end his run?) and damn if I wasn’t well and hooked despite not really having the vaguest idea what the fuck was going on or who any of the non-Capaldi characters were.  The Cybermen should have been Power Rangers-level cheesy nonsense but somehow they worked, and I was suitably creeped out by them.

And so: I shall be partaking of this new LadyWho person, and hopefully I will enjoy it.  And if not, meh.  At least I annoyed some idiots.  That’s always worth something, right?

PS: Is “Dr. Who” some sort of faux pas?  I keep wanting to spell it that way and changing it back to eliminate the abbreviation.  Is it like Spider-Man, where if you don’t include the hyphen you die in seven days?

In which I am SuperDad

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Tonight I bought the boy a Pokémon sourcebook and a bunch of cards in a tin on the way home from work, then once I got home I put together my new Raspberry Pi and downloaded a bunch of Nintendo games onto it.  And the original Atari 2600 version of PITFALL!, which was mostly for my mother.

I thought it was going to be a pain in the ass, honestly, but the whole thing worked like a charm.  There’s a weird audio issue where it won’t keep a consistent sound level, but I suspect I can suss out what’s causing that given some time and adding new games to the system has turned out to be damned easy.

He went from deliriously happy to be playing Mario to nearly throwing his first controller within five minutes, so I figure I’m doing something right.

What games from the Super Nintendo and original PlayStation era should I be downloading?  I missed those the first time around; my parents wouldn’t buy me either of them.  🙂

In which I embark on new projects

I had chips and salsa for dinner tonight, because 1) I’m grown and 2) shut up you’re not my momma.  Unless you are my momma, which I suppose one of you probably will be, in which case, hell, I already ate it, why you bringin’ up old stuff?

Anyway.

I have this little doohickey coming to me in the mail later this week:

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Along with this:

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And a couple of these:

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And I’m planning on taking Wednesday or Thursday and building myself a NES emulator.  Nintendo’s Classic system was simultaneously impossible to find and not what I wanted; I wanted something expandable and particularly something that was actually playable, which is not the case for any device with a 2.5 foot long controller cord.  And now it’s cancelled, so I’ll never get one of those things that isn’t quite what I want.  So fuck it, I’mma build my own.  I want games I can play with my kid and Monster Legends isn’t quite enough.  So I’ll spend a few hours beating my head against a wall, which is my standard procedure whenever embarking on a new technology adventure, and then I’ll be able to play Mario with my kid and my wife will be able to finish The Legend of Zelda, which somehow she has never done.

I’m looking forward to it.  And you get to look forward to the inevitable profane blog post when I fuck it all up.  Whee!

In which I waste a whole bunch of my time: a #review of IRON FIST

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I have said this before, both on this blog and elsewhere: if you are ever compelled, as a writer in any medium, to create a scenario where your characters are complaining about how dumb your plot is, it is probably time to stop and think very carefully about what you are doing.  If you are writing a show called Iron Fist, about a man whose job it is to be the Iron Fist, and the very first line a character says upon meeting him is “You are the worst Iron Fist ever,” you may be doing something wrong.  It is possible to write a good story about a hero who is terrible at being a hero.  But if you do that, then that’s what your story needs to be about.  You can’t have a hero who is terrible at being a hero and have your story be about something else.  The fact that he or she is terrible is going to take center stage and ruin everything else.

Enter Iron Fist, whose writers clearly do not read my blog.  This post is unnecessary in a whole lot of ways; it took me a while to get through all thirteen episodes– mostly because, again, the show’s awful– and everyone who binged it right away has already weighed in on how bad it is.  They’re all right.  But maybe there’s someone out there who isn’t attuned to the geek press all that much, but reads me for some reason.  Someone who might be saved.

Please don’t watch this show.

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And this doofy shit is the main reason why.  Now, let’s be clear about a few things:  there was a lot of fooferal when the show hadn’t quite come out yet about the fact that Marvel cast a white guy as Iron Fist instead of racebending the character and casting an Asian person instead.  I am sympathetic to those concerns, to say the least.  But even if you’re going to cast a white guy as Iron Fist, because the comic book character is white, Finn Jones is just about the worst possible choice to play the role.  He is awful; awful in every way, he is written to be awful, and the man himself does nothing to corral or channel(*) his character’s intrinsic awfulness.  There is nothing Finn Jones does in this show at any point that is convincing.  He cannot do kung fu, he cannot emote beyond an infantile shaking rage, he absolutely cannot spout anything even vaguely resembling Buddhist philosophy (and I choose the word “resembling” quite deliberately) without sounding like a hipster doofus, and he never once comes off as heroic.  Iron Fist is a sulky hipster doofus with PTSD and all the emotional stability of a ten-year-old.  He is awful.

So is every other white man on the show, by the way.  The show can’t have anyone keep a personality or a set of motivations straight for more than an episode at a time, and there are never ever ever any consequences for anyone’s actions, to the point where there are giant holes blown in one character’s dojo’s ceiling at one point so that machine-gun ninjas can drop through (don’t ask) and those giant holes and broken windows and such are never mentioned again.  Characters display magical powers in one episode and then forget they have them.  Characters are killed, thrown into fish tanks in someone’s home, then never mentioned again.

You could cut every white male character completely out of the show and nothing of any significance would change, at all.  They are, all of them, awful.

Let’s talk about these three:
tmg-article_default_mobileMadame_Gao.jpgI’m having a hell of a time getting the HTML to cooperate, so forgive me, but these three are the only thing that makes the show even vaguely watchable.  Jessica Henwick, who plays Colleen Wing, should have been playing Dani Rand.  Or, alternatively, you could grab this drunken-master badass here– his name is Lewis Tan and he actually auditioned for the park– and have him play Danny Rand.  Between the two of them they are responsible for 100% of the interesting fight scenes in the show.  Every single one.  They are also both maxresdefault.jpgbetter actors than Finn Jones. Wai Ching Ho also returns as Madame Gao, and she’s amazing for every second she’s on screen even if her character’s motivations (and abilities) are more than a little bit of a mess.  The fact that the show had these three people in it and more or less ignored them so that Jones could whine about how tough it is to be white and immensely wealthy and oh also one of the best martial artists in the world but MY PARENTS ARE DEAAADD!!!!
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It’s terrible.  But I think I said that.  I think the only thing that could redeem it is if I watched it again, liveblogged every episode, and then turned it into a chapbook to sell on Amazon and made a million dollars.

(*) So, Iron Fist’s powers come from channeling the power of his “chi” into his fist, making it Like Unto a Thing of Iron, as the comic books used to say all the time and the TV show never does.  TV Danny can’t do that.  I have quite a few Iron Fist comic books, and even more where Iron Fist isn’t the main character but shows up, and I swear to you that Finn Jones does more wanking about his chi in this thirteen hours of show than Iron Fist has done in his entire forty-year history as a comic book character previous to the show coming up.  Comic book Danny Rand’s powers just work, basically whenever he wants them to.  TV Danny Rand’s chi must be balanced, charged, recharged, harnessed, centered, purified, unblocked, hell, every verb in the English language gets applied to Danny’s chi at some point or another; I’m surprised he never has to Smurf the fucking thing.  And hearing him talk about it never stops being ridiculous.  Mostly his powers just don’t work, and mostly his powers don’t work because, in one way or another, he’s an embarrassment to his order and to his job.  He’s the worst Iron Fist ever.  Really.

I hated this damn show.