Monday, July 23, 2007

I Take No Responsibility for Any Spoilers That May Appear In The Comments.

Oh, and, yes, I have now finished the Harry Potter, so you may now talk to me about it here if you wish.

I liked it well enough, although it probably says something about me that my main reaction was to wonder, with a sense of amused curiosity, which bits the Doctor cried at.

43 comments:

  1. You still haven't watched the Doctor Who episodes you recorded, have you?

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  2. Ahhhhhh...... I've watched most of the 3rd season opener.

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  3. Well, finish it and watch the next one, and you'll know what I'm talking about. :)

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  4. I dont understand anything in the last 3 Blogs. I hope I`m not cenile

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  5. Your Pop:
    the answer is yes, but that has nothing to due with understanding the blogs :)
    Betty:
    You haven't converted him into a Farscape fan to understand the stuffed DRD?

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  6. Sadly, I only managed to get him to watch half an episode. :)

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  7. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who wondered that :)

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  8. Ha! I'm glad I'm not, then. :)

    And, y'know, I'm sure there are things in there that he'd find quite personally relevant... :)

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  9. I came here for spoilers! Where are they? ;)

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  10. They're tricksy things, spoilers. They crop up where you don't want them, and refuse to show up where you're expecting them. :)

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  11. Then send me your Farscape DVDs. I might like them, I think.

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  12. I could set you up with copies, if you're genuinely interested.

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  13. OK. Remind me, if you don't hear back from me about it soon-ish.

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  14. Ok here is my spoiler
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    Voldemort kills all the important characters and installs himself as headmaster at Hogwarts.

    I rather enjoyed the book with the exception of the scene with Harry and Dumbledore at the end & of course everyone's favorite 19 years later bit :)

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  15. Hey, he came pretty close. :)

    I know a lot of people were extremely annoyed by the epilogue... I didn't actually mind it, although I suspect I would have if it had been any longer. (Which is interesting, because I've seen comments from people whose main complaint about it was that we didn't get to find out what happened with X, Y, or Z, for various values of X, Y, and Z.)

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  16. Annoyed by the epilogue? Really? It was silly and fluff and, in a better book, probably wouldn't have been there at all. I can't deny that. But you know what? I really didn't care. I'm glad she included it, and it was sort of sweet.

    Overall, I liked the book. Herein lie the spoilers, so, um...stop reading if you're trying to avoid those, 'kay? Seriously.
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    I did feel like there was a lot, maybe too much, that showed up for the first time in this book -- the whole Deathly Hallows thing, for one -- rather than carried over from the others and tied things up. Then again, there were things that clearly were referencing the other books that I just didn't remember at all. And there were a fair amount of what I hesitate to call Deus Ex Machinas, moving the plot along when maybe it hadn't really gotten there on its own. And the whole thing at the end, with Voldemort and Draco and the Elder Wand...I've got to admit, I was just plain confused.

    But still, I liked it.

    And when Rowling hinted that a couple of characters might die, I think she might have been miscounting...

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  17. Oh, and since we're spoiling...here's the explanation of the Doctor reference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9--2VjYPNO4

    Not much more than you'd see in your typical commercial, but mileage may vary. If you haven't seen "The Shakespeare Code" and want to go in completely blank, skip the link.

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  18. (Definitely in spoiler territory here, people! Be warned!)

    Yeah, I've seen a lot of people complain about the epilogue: that it was too sappy, that it revealed things people would have preferred to be left to the imagination or that it failed to reveal the things people really wanted to know about, that it reflected too little change brought about by the book's events, etc., etc. The accusation of sappiness, I think, is at least somewhat justified, but it worked for me anyway. And I think the book needed something like it to feel really complete... The last line, especially, gave a nice feeling of closure.

    Anyway, I think I pretty much agree with you about the book as a whole. It's not perfect, not unflawed, but ultimately it was enjoyable and a reasonably satisfying conclusion to the story, and that's good enough for me. Especially as I liked what she did with some of the characters, notably Snape and Dumbledore. Her characterization has gotten a lot more complex and shades-of-gray as the series has gone on, and I approve of that whole-heartedly.

    It did have a rather astonishing death count for what is nominally a kids' book, though, didn't it? Yow.

    And Kathy just needs to watch the damned Shakespeare episode already. At this rate, I'm never going to be able to talk to her about the end of the season (or its interesting parallels with aspects of The Deathly Hallows ;)).

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  19. Apparently Rowling has said that in her original draft of the Epilogue she had included what had happened to just about everybody, but she realised that it had become unwieldy and chopped it right back. I thought that the best thing in it was probably Harry's tribute to Snape. When you consider how Snape treated him, then it's remarkable that he could so fully give credit to Snape's good side.

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  20. I agree with you on that, actually. I will admit that when we found out the middle name of Harry's kid, I got a bit of a lump in my throat. :)

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  21. I really liked what she did with Snape and the redemption she offered the character in the end. Largely because, while I saw it coming at least a couple of books back, I was convinced throughout this book that Rowling was going to disappoint, and that Snape would turn out to be evil. I worried that it was maybe just Alan Rickman that had gotten me to sympathize with Snape as a character. So I was happy to be proved wrong.

    It was nice to have a character who didn't like the hero but who, because it was the right thing to do, risked his life to protect the hero at all cost. I thought the love Snape had for Harry's mother, while making sense, sort of came out of nowhere. Was it mentioned in any of the earlier books when they show Snape as a boy?

    I would have liked a little more redemption for Draco Malfoy, I think... But I was really happy to see Neville Longbottom play such a key role near the end. (Wasn't it, at one point, suggested that Neville could have easily been The Boy Who Lived, had Voldemort interpreted the prophecy slightly differently?)

    I don't know where the Doctor cried at it, but I'll admit to a lump in my own throat with some of it. The stuff with Dobby, and even Kreacher's reappearance at the end.

    Upon finishing it, I was sort of tempted to go back and read the first book again...

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  22. I suspect that rereading the first book now would vividly reveal just how much JK Rowling has improved as a writer during the course of the series, as well as showing how at the beginning she was aiming solely at a child audience. It would be a little like comparing "The Hobbit" with "Lord of the Rings".

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  23. I was rather worried about Snape, myself, as I found (even before the advent of Alan Rickman) that I cared about the character, and the question of whether he was actually good or evil, a lot. Rather more than pretty much anything else in the books, actually. What can I say? I love me a good anti-hero. I figured his story was going to end up being, well, more or less exactly what we got, but I, too, was sort of biting my nails hoping she wouldn't mess it up somehow.

    I'm pretty sure there wasn't anything explicit in the previous books about him and Harry's mother, but I know that there was a lot of fan speculation about whether that might turn out to be his motivation, so possibly there were hints of it. Or maybe, given how much fan speculation there was about everything, some of it was bound to turn out to be correct, whether it was textually supported or not. :)

    On reflection, I kind of like that Draco was left sort of ambiguous, not actively evil, but not explicitly redeemed. That feels sort of... real life-y to me, somehow. Totally agree on Neville, though. Go, Neville! (And that possibility may, indeed, have been suggested. I confess that I don't remember all that well, though.)

    Me, I didn't cry, but the Snape stuff did choke me up just a tiny bit.

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  24. Oh, look, another comment came in while I was answering Fred's. So, John:

    I wonder, myself, how much of the increase in sophistication is due to JK actually growing as a writer, and how much of it is the result of that deliberate choice to aim each book at successively older readers. My suspicion is that it's primarily the latter. I don't think her prose has improved all that much, it's just that her storytelling has gotten darker and more complex. But then, I haven't gone back to re-read the first one, either. I do remember finding it rather slight at the time.

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  25. So did I. I'm not terribly interested in re-reading the entire series again -- or even the entire first book. It's more my own personal curiosity, to see the characters fresh again.

    But yeah, there was fan speculation and assumption at every turn. I'm sure there are people who are still upset that Sirius and Remus actually weren't a gay couple...

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  26. Or at least that they weren't allowed to continue thinking so, yes. :)

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  27. Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of readers thinking that Tonks was just a beard...

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  28. I have no doubt that there are multiple people on the internet writing that right now. :)

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  29. Hi there,
    Just to let you know I have finally watched the Shakespeare Code, but wanted to thank Fred for his link & info(I assume Fred is a him).

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  30. Yes, Fred is a him. :)

    And now you need to watch "Gridlock," because that one is good.

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  31. Was there a bad episode this season?

    I recently watched another episode of "Torchwood" ("Small Worlds"). Now that was pretty dreadful.

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  32. "Daleks in Manhattan."

    And I actually think "Small World" was one of the better Torchwood episodes!

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  33. I thought "Daleks in Manhattan" had a kind of goofy charm. Not enough for a two-parter, certainly -- and I think maybe they need to declare a moratorium on Daleks for awhile -- but I liked it. Whereas the two Cybermen/Dalek two-parters in season 2 -- those I could have maybe done without. I've been revisiting the second season, though, and some of the episodes are better than I remembered them.

    And if "Small Worlds" is a good episode, I'm not sure I have it in me to watch any further!

    We've gone pretty far afield of Harry Potter, though, haven't we?

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  34. I thought "Daleks in Manhattan" (which I cannot help but think of as "The Daleks Take Manhattan," which is what they should have called it) was pretty bad, actually, although I suppose it had a moment or two. The second part, IMHO, was better, or at least a lot more watchable, despite having a plot that's pretty nonsensical even by Doctor Who standards. I agree that it's probably time to give the Daleks a rest, just for a season or so.

    As for "Small World," well, that may be a matter of individual taste. I actually thought it was pretty good, but it seems to be a... Hmm. "Love-it-or-hate-it episode" is actually too strong. Like-it-or-hate-it is more, uh, like it. :)

    Torchwood is a bit frustrating, because it's a cool premise, it looks good, it's got some good actors -- I mean, I adore John Barrowman -- but it keeps not really hitting the mark. It has great potential, but we've only seen glimpses of that so far. I am sort of enjoying it, but only because I've made something of a conscious effort to lower my expectations, and because there is some genuine entertainment value in it if you go in figuring you're going to watch a show about the world's most incompetent secret organization. It actually makes me worry slightly about the news -- which you may or may not have heard and which I'm not sure I should talk about here, as it sort of implies third-season spoilers -- that they're going to be joined next year by someone actually competent.

    And, hey, nothing wrong with topic drift! I can set up another post for Doctor Who discussion, though, if you want. :)

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  35. Nah, I'm good. :)

    I'll get around to watching the other Torchwood eps eventually, I'm sure. I've just been really disappointed by it so far.

    I've heard the news for next season -- and what's happening over at that other show -- but I'm adopting a real wait-and-see attitude. It's partly because of that addition that I'm trying to watch all of the first season.

    Admittedly, I've only seen a handful of episodes so far, but my general feeling is that, in trying to make themselves different from Doctor Who, they've made themselves an awful lot like a lot of other shows. Maybe because they're aware of that, or maybe just to play to that facet of Captain Jack's character, the writers have added a good dose of sex into the mix. But I haven't seen a lot to recommend the show over any of a dozen other generic paranormal investigation dramas out there.

    Have you, by any chance, seen any of Stephen Moffatt's new Jekyll?

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  36. Oh, and isn't there still a Sarah Jane spinoff in the works?

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  37. I think what happened with Torchwood is that you've got a lot of people who've been working on what's still marketed as a kids' show who suddenly have a much later time slot and are going a little overboard with the whole "Whoo! Look at us! We can be adult!" thing. I'm really hoping that eventually they'll settle down and realize that there's more to being a genuinely adult show than throwing in a lot of gratuitous sex and gore and random angsty brooding.

    At its best, actually, the show reminds me a lot of Angel. And that's not really a bad thing; there are a lot of worse shows to be compared to. If it were consistently as good as Angel, I'd be happy, but it's got a long ways to go to get there.

    I haven't seen Jekyll, although I'm thinking I might need to. Moffat, he is my current Writer God. :)

    And, yeah, I think I remember reading that the new Sarah Jane show is supposed to be starting up later this year. The pilot episode wasn't at all bad, although it's clearly aimed at younger viewers.

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  38. Yeah, there's definitely an Angel vibe, although I do think Torchwood suffers some from the comparison.

    Jekyll is a little weird, and getting weirder, but I'm liking it.

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  39. You know what's funny I actually originally misread the title as "Daleks take Manhattan" hehehe

    By the way just to clarify my Harry Potter post comments. I really really enjoyed the hell out of the book and feel kind of depressed now that it's over.

    Back to Doctor Who. I have to say they are completely overusing the sonic screwdriver! I understand the reasons the original show had to get rid of it in the first place.

    Is any of the Torchwood seasons available on DVD for rent?

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  40. ok I need to go back to school and work on my grammar.
    Correction to above:
    "Are any of the Torchwood seasons available on DVD for rent?

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  41. Traditionally, I have something of a fondness for the ol' sonic screwdriver, but I agree that the new series is relying on it for far too much. I'm glad, however, to see the psychic paper making fewer appearances this season. The Doctor should not need psychic paper! The sheer force of his personality should be sufficient, damn it!

    I think the first season of Torchwood is coming out on DVD in the UK very soon, but I don't know when there'll be an American release. Season two hasn't even started up yet.

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