2. If you've never seen Doctor Who, then tonight's "The Vampires of Venice" would be a great entry point.
When I spent a year at university in London back in the mid-90s, I took a class in which we saw literally dozens of theatre productions. At the time, Helen McCrory was doing a season at the National, so we saw her multiple times. My overriding memory of all the shows we attended was of her -- specifically, that we HATED her. I still remember opening playbills and groaning, "Oh, shit. McCrory again?!?" In retrospect, she probably wasn't bad at all; she must've been great since her career has been a success. But now whenever I see her I'm amused by how she was the target of my friends' vitriol way back then, especially since I really liked her in this episode. :)
Earlier in the series I complained that Matt Smith's take on the Doctor felt too much like Tennant mimicry, but he's really coming into his own. Though I only have faint memories of watching them as a child, he reminds me a bit of Four and Five. One of the highlights of his performance is that he brings a very necessary gravitas that makes him seem much older. I liked that he was upset at killing another race, and I suspect that will come into play again later.
The ending note about the Silence was chilling, along with the TARDIS keyhole as another "crack" (reminded me of River Song's quip about him opening the doors with a snap of his fingers). I'm very curious where this season-long thread will go. Last week I got into a discussion in Sepinwall's blog post about whether the Daleks are too cheesy to be taken seriously as villains, at least by adults who've come to expect CGI and other, more sophisticated sci-fi techniques. I came out on the side of "yes", though I can see the flipside. Tonight's episode reminded me of that discussion, given how ridiculous the crab-aliens looked. For me, the most effective DW villains are those that are either human-ish or something not otherworldly in appearance. The Angels were so wonderful in "Blink" because the terror was all in our minds. And I like the idea of a metaphysical "Silence" as the villain this season because of how it could accomplish the same chills without the potential cheesiness.
Speaking of accomplishments, I was impressed by how the director made the sets really look like Venice, out there in the middle of Wales. ;)
Rory is great. He's goofy but not foolish. I can see where Eleven would want to bring him on board, even if it was initially just to try to get those crazy kids back together. I can also see why Amy loves him, and not in spite of herself. While I'm not altogether thrilled by the runaway bride retread, I'm glad it's playing out as her needing that one last fling before she gets married (very young). I'm not sure how, but I suspect this relationship will turn out to be far more important than it seems. Oh, and I also really liked the detail of how the colors of their costumes this week complemented each other.
Overall, great episode! Will have to rewatch it before bed.
3. While at Trader Joe's this afternoon, I bought a three-pack of their fabulous milk chocolate bars. The only problem is that I have nowhere to stash them to avoid the temptation of eating all three at once. My car would be ideal if not for how they'd melt in ten minutes. Could I stick them in the freezer without damaging the chocolate?
4. Making the rounds: Kristin Chenoweth's marvelous takedown of the recent Newsweek essay about how gay actor supposedly cannot play straight characters.
5. Another thing I forgot to put in the latest linkspam: daybreak777 linked to this fun article on how to give yourself a "mini spa moment" while watching an hourlong TV show.
6. Even though I watched the season via downloads, I still eagerly tuned into last night's season premiere of Friday Night Lights on NBC. And I love Vulture's guide to how each episode will make you feel.
7. And to round out the list of funny links, check out Paul Rudd's obsession with watching himself dance. Sometimes naked.