DOWNTON ABBEY AND THE PECULIAR GLORY OF BRITISH DRAMA

SO… YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD SOME HUB-BUB IN RECENT WEEKS, BUT HULK TELLING YOU IT’S ABSOLUTELY TRUE:

DOWNTON ABBEY IS FANTASTIC.

SO MUCH SO THAT IT PREVENTED HULK FROM DOING A NUMBER OF PRODUCTIVE THINGS THIS PAST SUNDAY. HULK MERELY SAT DOWN TO CHECK OUT THE FIRST EPISODE… 7 HOURS LATER… WELL, YOU GET IDEA.

OH, BUT HULK CAN SEE YOU SITTING THERE ROLLING YOUR EYES. ANOTHER POSH, PERIOD-PIECE, BRITISH MINISERIES? HOW REVOLUTIONARY! OR IF YOU’RE NOT INTO THE WHOLE SARCASM THING THEN IT’S HOW DULL. THERE’S SUCH A FUSS MADE OVER THE DRAMATIC OUTPUT OF BRITISH MOVIES AND TELEVISION SHOWS AND THEIR STUFFINESS AND THEIR COSTUMES AND THEIR, UM, YORKSHIRE CUMMERBUNDS… HULK HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE CORRECT NOUNS ARE BUT YOU GET THE IDEA. THE POINT IS THAT HULK GUESSING A HUGE PORTION OF HULK’S READERS ARE ABOUT AS INTERESTED IN MASTERPIECE THEATER AS THEY ARE A SEQUEL TO 27 DRESSES. WHICH IS A SHAME ACTUALLY… NOT THE 27 DRESSES PART, BUT THE MASTERPIECE THEATER THING.

SO ALLOW HULK TO GET THE POINT, WHICH IS TWO-FOLD. 1) THE FIRST IS CONVINCE THE EYE-ROLLING CYNICS THAT DOWNTON ABBEY IS THE KIND OF GREAT WORK THAT ANYONE WHO CLAIMS TO LIKE MOVIES OR TV SHOULD BOTH WATCH AND FULLY ENJOY WITH NO RESERVATIONS. HULK RELATIVELY AGREES WITH YOUR DISPOSITION ON THE GENRE, BUT THAT SHOULD NEVER, EVER BE PREVENTATIVE. THE SHOW IS SIMPLY REMARKABLE. AND 2) JUST BECAUSE IT IS GOOD DOESN’T MEAN THERE ARE NO DEEPER QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED ABOUT WHY WE LIKE BRITISH PERIOD DRAMAS SO MUCH.

SO HULK’LL JUST FREAKIN ASK THAT QUESTION: WHY THE HELL DO WE AMERICANS GO SO NUTS FOR BRITISH PERIOD DRAMA?(1)

IT CAN'T ALL BE THIS GUY

IT ACTUALLY BRINGS WITH IT A WHOLE OTHER SLEW OF QUESTIONS THAT PERHAPS SOME READERS COULD ANSWER BELOW: DOES THE U.K. PRODUCE SOMETHING INHERENTLY “BETTER” OR IS IT MERELY OUR PROJECTION? IS THE U.K. AWARE OF OUR LOVING PROPENSITY FOR THEIR STUFF? DO THEY WONDER WHY WE HAVE THIS ADORATION? DOES THE U.K. IN TURN REVERE THEIR OWN CAPACITY FOR DRAMA IN THE SAME WAY THAT WE DO? OR IS IT LIKE THE OLD SIMPSONS JOKE GOES WITH BRAZIL NUTS (“WE JUST CALL THEM NUTS HERE”)? TO THEM, IS IT “OUR BRITISH DRAMA” OR JUST PLAIN DRAMA?

SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS ARE A LITTLE SILLY, BUT THERE IS NO DENYING THAT WE AMERICANS VIEW THE BRITISH PERFORMANCE AND CREATIVE WORK AS SOMETHING SPECIAL AND QUITE UNIQUE. SURE, THE TRAINING AND CRAFT IN ENGLAND IS SERIOUS, SERIOUS BUSINESS, BUT TRUST HULK WHEN HULK SAYS THAT THERE ARE JUST AS MANY REPUTABLE TRAINING ESTABLISHMENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. BUT IT IS AS IF WE BELIEVE THAT BRITISH ACTORS HAVE THIS INHERENT CAPACITY FOR UNRIVALED DIGNITY AND GRACE, A MAGICAL SOMETHING WHICH IS NOT GIVEN TO US MERE AMERICAN MORTALS. THE MAGIC SEEMS TO BE  ELUSIVE, BUT WE DESCRIBE THESE SUPERLATIVE ACTING TRAITS IN FOLLOWING WAYS: AUSTERE, REPRESSED, QUIET, ORNATE, DIGNIFIED, REGAL, BROODING… WHICH ALL SOMEHOW EQUALS “BETTER.”

IT’S ALMOST RIDICULOUS. THERE IS THIS UNCANNY WAY WE JUST INHERENTLY ACCEPT BRITISH PERIOD DRAMA AS THE PINNACLE OF EXCELLENCE REGARDLESS OF ACTUAL QUALITY. WE INSTANTLY EQUATE ANY PRODUCTION WITH “HIGH BROW” JUST BECAUSE IT’S ALL FANCY OR SUMPTHIN. THESE WORKS ALWAYS SEEM TO BE NOMINATED FOR/WIN THE BIG YEAR END AWARDS EVEN WITH VERY LITTLE LARGE-SCALE CULTURAL PENETRATION. AND WE’RE SO QUICK TO CALL EVERY BRITISH ACTOR “BRILLIANT” AND “INTELLECTUAL” WHEN REALLY THEY’RE JUST, LIKE, TALKING WITH A BRITISH ACCENT. FUCK, AMERICANS WILL ACTUALLY GO SO FAR AS TO ACCEPT THE VALIDITY OF ANYTHING TAKING PLACE IN ANY COUNTRY OR TIME PERIOD SO LONG AS THEY’RE SPEAKING WITH BRITISH ACCENTS. YUP, WE’LL SUSPEND OUR DISBELIEF JUST FINE AS LONG AS IT’S NOT OUR UGLY AMERICAN VERNACULAR!(2)

JOAQUIN: SHOULDN'T WE BE SPEAKING LATIN? CROWE: FUNNY STORY, WE SHOULD ALL ACTUALLY BE SPEAKING GREEK. YOU SEE...(2A)

NOT EVERYONE IS ON BOARD WITH THIS THINKING OF COURSE. THE OBLIGATORY LAUDING OF BRITISH DRAMA IS ACTUALLY WHY MANY PROGRESSIVE AMERICAN CRITICS RAIL AGAINST IT. A LOT OF THIS IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT MOST PROGRESSIVE CRITICS HAVE A BITCH OF A TIME PROVING TO OTHER “SERIOUS” CRITICS THAT GENRE FARE CAN WAY MORE TRANSGRESSIVE, INTERESTING, COMPLEX, AND HIGH BROW THAN ANYTHING THAT THE PERIOD PIECES, PBS, THE BBC, AND BRITISH CINEMAS HAS TO OFFER. AND HULK COUNTS HULK-SELF AMONG THESE SORTS OF CRITICS.(3) BUT THERE IS ALSO A POINT WHERE HULK AND THE REST OF THE PROGRESSIVE CRITICS MUST NOT GO TOO FAR AND DISMISS SOMETHING FLAWLESS AS “BORING.”

BUT BRITISH PERIOD PIECES ARE A ACTUALLY A GENRE LIKE ANY OTHER AND THEY RESONATE FOR GOOD REASON. THE TRUTH IS THERE IS A VERY SIMPLE MECHANISM THAT MAKES BRITISH DRAMA WORK SO WONDERFULLY. SO WHAT IS IT? IS IT THE STODGINESS? DO WE LOVE TO WATCH THE REPRESSION? COULD IT BE MERELY THAT IT IS SO DIFFERENT FROM OUR OWN SENSIBILITIES? WHY DO WE LOVE IT SO?

TO HULK THE ANSWER IS ALMOST OBVIOUS.  THE APPROACH TO DRAMA IN THE BRITISH PERIOD PIECE IS, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO DO EFFECTIVE DRAMA:

IT IS THE ART OF BEING WITHHOLDING.

FOR THE SAKE OF CLARITY, BEING WITHHOLDING WORKS LIKE THIS: TELL PEOPLE THEY CAN’T HAVE THIS TOTALLY AWESOME THING IN YOUR HANDS AND  ALL THEY WILL EVER WANT IS THAT TOTALLY AWESOME THING IN YOUR HANDS…. THAT’S IT. BRITISH DRAMA JUST DRESSES UP THE DYNAMIC ALL FANCY-LIKE!

THINK ABOUT IT. UNDERNEATH THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE AND WIT AND, UM, PETTICOATS, THERE IS AN STRUCTURE TO BRITISH DRAMA THAT USUALLY CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING: TWO PEOPLE ARE IN LOVE (OR HATE EACH OTHER. HATE WORKS TOO). THEY KEEP THE WORDS AND FEELINGS BOTTLED UP, USUALLY DUE TO CLASS CONCERNS OR PROPRIETY. PUBLICLY, THEY SHOW EACH OTHER COURTESY AND GRACE. THEY TELL THEIR STORIES WITH LONGING LOOKS AND UNSAID GLANCES. THE SLIGHTEST BITS OF CONFUSION AND MISGIVINGS LEAD TO DOUBTS. THE LOVE ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE. SO WHAT DOES THE VIEWER THEREFORE WANT? WE WANT TO SEE THEM RUN UP TO EACH OTHER AND KISS AND MAKE BABIES RIGHT THERE ON THE DRAWING ROOM FLOOR… MAKE FUN OF IT ALL YOU WANT, BUT THE EFFECT IS BOTH UNDENIABLE AND, IF YOU CAN APPRECIATE THE JOY OF SIMPLE EXECUTION, BEAUTIFUL.

IT MEANS WE ACTUALLY WATCH BRITISH DRAMA FOR THE TIMES THEY ARE NOT REPRESSED.

WE WATCH THE KINGS SPEECH FOR THE TIMES HE SWEARS.  WE WATCH PRIDE AND PREJUDICE TO SEE THE ERUDITE AND BASHFUL MR. DARCY DECLARE HIS LOVE. WE WATCH REMAINS OF THE DAY FOR ANTHONY HOPKINS’ QUIET DECLARATIONS OF FEELINGS. WE WATCH BRIDESHEAD REVISTED FOR CHARLES RYDER’S QUIET DECLARATION OF FEELINGS FOR SEBASTIAN…. OKAY, SO WE MOSTLY WATCH BRITISH DRAMAS FOR QUIET DECLARATIONS OF FEELINGS, BUT AGAIN, THAT’S BECAUSE THIS DEVICE IS STARTLINGLY EFFECTIVE. YOU CAN DISMISS IT, BUT HULK AND EVERYONE ELSE ARE NOT “CHUMPS” BECAUSE WE LIKE IT. TO DENY ITS EFFECT IS TO DENY YOUR OWN HUMANITY. THE REPRESSION TRIGGERS SOMETHING IN US. A SUBLIME LONGING AND EMPATHY. AND THEN IT OFTEN COMES TOGETHER WONDERFULLY.

WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO DOWNTON ABBEY.

OH, DO GO ON....

THE SHOW UNDERSTANDS THIS DYNAMIC AND USES IT TO SUCH EFFECT AS TO STIR YOU DOWN INTO YOUR DEEPEST HEART… AND POSSIBLY LOINS. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! THE SHOW ACTUALLY HITS THE MARK WITH EVERY SINGLE THING THAT IT DOES. EVERY CHARACTER IS IMPECCABLE AND FULLY-REALIZED. RELATIONSHIPS ARE TEXTURED, EARNED, AND FOCUSED. THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS REMARKABLE. NOT JUST THE INHERENT PERIOD DETAIL, BUT DETAIL OF CHARACTERIZATION.

THERE IS A WAY THIS PERFECTION MAY SEEM BORING TO SOME, AFTER ALL, THE TRAITS THAT MAKE DOWNTON ABBEY GOOD ARE MANY OF THE SAME TRAITS THAT HAVE MADE MANY OTHER BRITISH PERIOD DRAMAS GOOD (THE SHOW IS EVEN WRITTEN AND CREATED BY JULIAN FELLOWES, WRITER OF THE SUPER-GREAT ALTMAN FILM GOSFORD PARK), BUT THERE ARE A WHOLE SLEW OF OTHER THEMATIC ASPECTS THAT TRANSCEND THIS PERFECTION TO ALSO MAKE IT UNIQUE.

FOR ONE, DOWNTON IS ACTUALLY CONCERNED WITH THE DISSOLUTION OF THIS PRIM AND PROPER ERA. SET AGAINST THE BUILDUP TO THE GREAT WAR, THE FIRST SEASON DELICATELY SEWS THE SEEDS FOR HOW MUCH OF THIS REPRESSION IS ABOUT TO BE TORN APART BY THE STAKES OF MODERNITY. IT ACTUALLY TAKES ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MANY OF THE GREAT WESTERNS BEING ABOUT “THE END OF THINGS” (FOR EXAMPLE, DEADWOOD). AND THE SHOW’S SCOPE AND INSIGHT INTO THE NUANCE OF CLASS DIFFERENCES IS WHOLLY REMINISCENT OF THE GREATEST TV SHOS EVER, THE WIRE. TO BOOT, THE SHOW MAKES BRILLIANT USE ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE WRITING TOOLS, AND THAT IS HOW TO WRITE HOW TO WRITE CHARACTERS WHO ARE “SECRETLY GOOD,” MEANING IT UNDERSTANDS THAT THERE ARE WAYS IN WHICH EVERYONE HAS AN INNATE GOODNESS TO THEM, IT JUST LARGELY DEPENDS ON THE SITUATION AND CONTEXT. HOW ARE ALL THESE COMPARISONS NOT ENTICING TO YOU?

PLUS, THE SHOW HAS MAGGIE SMITH STILL CHUCKING IT LIKE 99 MPH.

THIS IS ACTUALLY A GREAT MICROCOSM FOR THE WHOLE WAY WE REGARD BRITISH DRAMA AS BOTH BRILLIANT AND BORING. WE ALL KNOW MAGGIE SMITH IS GREAT, RIGHT? OF COURSE WE DO. AT THIS POINT SHE IS BORING IN HER GREATNESS. WE UNDERSTAND THIS GREATNESS SO COMPLETELY THAT WE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. DOWNTON ABBEY EVEN HAS HER IN ALL-TOO-FAMILIAR ROLE OF THE BEHIND-THE-TIMES, SNOOTY, UPTIGHT, DRYLY-HILARIOUS MATRIARCH. HECK IT’S HER SAME EXACT ROLE FROM GOSFORD PARK AND THE ONE THAT MADE HER LATE-CAREER RESURGENCE.

BUT YOU CANNOT DENY THAT SHE ABSOLUTELY DESTROYS THIS ROLE, REMINDING YOU EXACTLY WHY WE WENT SO NUTS FOR HER WORK IN THE FIRST PLACE. TO WIT, WATCH HER IN A MEETING WITH HER LAWYER / DISTANT FAMILY MEMBER:

HULK DOES NOT MEAN TO TRY “EXPLAIN THE JOKE” AND BEAT YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH WHY THIS IS EXACTLY SO GOOD, BUT IT IS PRECISELY THE KIND OF SCENE THAT UNDERSTANDS THERE IS SO MUCH TO SUBTLY DO WITH A CHARACTER’S RANGE. IT WOULD BE SO EASY TO WRITE HER HAS ONE-NOTE-GRUMPY, BUT HER DISPOSITION SEEMS TO FLIP AND ALLEVIATE AT A MOMENTS NOTICE. THIS ISN’T JUST “KEEPING IT LIGHT” BUT UNDERSTANDING THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO HER CHARACTER IS DIGNITY, THUS SHE WILL PRESERVE IT IN WHATEVER WAY SHE CAN. THE SHOW KNOWS HOW TO GIVE CHARACTERS RANGE AND YET STAY COMPLETE WITHIN THEMSELVES. THIS IS WRITING AT PERFECTION.

BUT GREAT CHARACTERIZATION AND THEMATIC INTERESTS ASIDE, THE SHOW ULTIMATELY COMES BACK TO KNOWING EXACTLY HOW TO EXECUTE THE QUIET ART OF BEING WITHHOLDING. IT IS THE EMOTIONAL CORE OF THE SHOW, WHICH IN TURN BRINGS US BACK TO THE MATTER OF “WHY BRITISH DRAMA WORKS.” HULK ARGUES THE DYNAMIC AT PLAY HERE IS NOT JUST A HUMAN ONE, BUT ONE UNIQUELY BOUND TO OUR TWO CULTURES.

THINK ABOUT IT.

WE AMERICANS WATCH THESE PERIOD PIECES AND WE EMPATHIZE WITH THESE REPRESSED CHARACTERS BY PROJECTING OUR AMERICAN SENSIBILITIES ONTO THEM. WE IMBUE THE STODGY BRITISH WORLD OF YESTERYEAR WITH OUR MODERN COLOR AND VITALITY. WE LOVE TO WATCH THEIR EMOTIONALLY-CONFINED ENGLAND BECAUSE WE SO DESPERATELY WANT TO TURN IT INTO OUR AMERICA. OF COURSE, JUST BECAUSE WE WANT THAT TO HAPPEN DOESN’T NECESSARILY MAKE IT SO. THE PLOTTING DOES NOT REACT TO OUR BLISTERING EXPECTANCY AND INSTEAD DERIVES ITS DRAMA WITH DEMURE REFUSALS. THIS IS THE ART OF QUIET DRAMA, ONE WHOLLY CREATED WITHIN OURSELVES AS AUDIENCE PARTICIPANTS.

"MAKE OUT, MAKE OUT, MAKE OUT, MAKE OUT..."

AGAIN, THE TIME HONORED ART OF BEING WITHHOLDING. WHAT’S FUNNY ABOUT THIS IS THERE ARE MANY WAYS THAT AMERICAN DRAMA IS FAR MORE COMPLEX, MESSY, AND NUANCED, BUT THIS IS RARELY RECOGNIZED. BRITISH “HIGHBROW” DOMINATES OUR IDEA OF WHAT CONSTITUTES THE PINNACLE OF DRAMA. WHICH MAKES IT EVEN WEIRDER THAT AMERICAN WRITERS FORGET HOW WELL THIS BRITISH MODEL WORKS AND CAN’T HAVE TWO LOVEBIRDS JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP FOR A SECOND. THEY COMPLETELY EXPUNGE EVERY OUNCE OF EFFORT TRYING TO GET YOU TO LIKE THEIR CHARACTERS, THAT THEY COMPLETELY FAIL TO REALIZE WE SHOULD BE CRAVING THE BEHAVIOR THEY CONSTANTLY GIVE US. WE WANT THEM TO CRAVE THE MOMENTS WHERE THE CHARACTERS AREN’T REPRESSED.(4) BUT RATHER THAN STIR OUR DESIRES, WE AMERICANS CREATE MOVIES WHERE DECLARATIONS OF LOVE AND FLIRTATION ARE SUNG TO THE RAFTERS, ECHOED NEAR AND HIGH AND ALL OVER THE WORLD. WE GIVE THEM MEAL AFTER MEAL OF ICE CREAM.

WHICH IS PROBABLY YET ANOTHER REASON WE TURN TO BRITAIN. WE CRAVE A CINEMATIC REALITY FAR DIFFERENT FROM OUR OWN. AND WHO KNOWS? MAYBE IT’S THE OPPOSITE IN THE U.K. PERHAPS THIS REPRESSIVE QUALITY IN THE BRITISH DRAMA IS “TOO FAMILIAR” AND THEY THEY LOOK TO THE BOMBASTIC AMERICAN FILM TO PROVIDE THE EXUBERANCE THEY WANT (THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS BRITISH COMEDY IS SO DAMN IRREVERENT. THERE IS AN OVERWHELMING DESIRE TO BREAK RULES). SO IS THIS A TWO-WAY STREET?… HULK ASKED TO HULK’S U.K. READERS… COUGH, ANSWER DOWN BELOW, COUGH.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR TWO CULTURES IS NOT JUST SOCIOLOGICAL, BUT HISTORICAL. NOT JUST IN THE WAY AMERICA LOOKS TO ENGLAND AS REPRESENTATION OF ANCESTRY AND ENGLAND LOOKS TO US AS A REPRESENTATION OF THE UNCHARTED FUTURE, BUT IN THE WAY OUR HISTORY INFORMS OUR PERSONALITIES: AMERICA BEING AN ENDLESS STRETCH OF LAND, WITH THE PROMISED RIGHT TO MANIFEST DESTINY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. AND THEN THERE IS ENGLAND, THE TINY ISLE OF YESTERYEAR’S EMPIRE, ONE WITH LONG LONG-STANDING WALLS AND CLEARLY ESTABLISHED STAKES IN LIFE. THERE IS AN OBVIOUS DEGREE TO WHICH WE’RE NEITHER AS MUCH OF ONE AS WE THINK WE ARE, BUT THIS IS EXACTLY HOW WE CREATE THE “MODERN” CONFLICT. FOR AMERICA, THE PROMISE OF UNBOUND HAPPINESS GIVES RISE TO UNSATISFIED MALAISE. FOR ENGLAND, THAT PESKY THING CALLED LIFE SEEPS IN TO THIS CENTURIES-OLD ORDER, GIVING RISE TO HUMANE CHAOS.

THESE DIFFERENCES ARE VITAL BECAUSE THEY DEEPLY INFORM WHAT ATTRACTS US TO THE OTHER. WE WATCH BRITISH PERIOD PIECES FOR AN IMPLICIT, EMOTIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF HOW WE ONCE BROKE OUT OF THE RULES AND “MADE OURSELVES AMERICAN.” CONVERSELY, AMERICAN FILMS OFFER THEM… UM… WELL, WE BLOW UP ALIEN ROBOTS AND SHIT.

WHATEVER. EVERYONE NEEDS A THING.

OF COURSE HULK IS JUST LOOKING AT A VERY SMALL PORTION OF BRITISH AND AMERICAN FILMS AND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO. CINEMA IS TOO WILD, DIVERGENT, AND PERSONAL TO BE SO DAMN SPECIFIC. HULK SORT OF FEELS DUMB TALKING ABOUT THE WORKS OF BRITISH PERIOD PIECES WITHOUT MENTIONING THE INFLUENCE OF THE BRITISH STAGE, OR THE WORKS OF JOE ORTON… OKAY, JOE ORTON HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BRITISH PERIOD DRAMA, BUT HE ONE OF HULK’S HEROES SO DEAL. THE POINT IS THIS WHOLE DISCUSSION IS THAT THERE ARE INTERESTING INSIGHTS, BUT STILL A LIMITED ANALYSIS OF A VERY PECULIAR PHENOMENON.

A PHENOMENON THAT HULK HOPES TO HAVE A LEAST SHED A LITTLE LIGHT ON. AND HOPEFULLY, DEPENDING ON YOUR DISPOSITION YOU HAVE COME AWAY WITH TWO VERY DIFFERENT REACTIONS…

IF YOU UNABASHEDLY LOVE BRITISH DRAMA? HULK ASK YOU UNDERSTAND THE MECHANISMS AT PLAY AND NOT JUST OBLIGATORILY REVERE IT. TO RECOGNIZE BOTH IT’S HUMANE QUALITIES AND THEN GO ON TO EMBRACE THE ALTERNATIVE AND TRANSGRESSIVE WORKS OF GENRE WHICH RUNS CONTRARY TO IT.

AND IF YOU UNABASHEDLY ROLL YOUR EYES AT BRITISH DRAMA? COME ON DUDE, THIS STUFF IS GREAT.

ENDNOTES!

(1) HULK IS VERY AWARE THIS IS AN AMERICAN P.B.S.-FINANCED MASTERPIECE THEATER SHOW, BUT THE ENTIRE PRODUCTION IS BRITISH.

(2) FOR THE RECORD, THERE’S BEEN A WONDERFUL RESURGENCE OF AMERICAN’S TAKING UP THE LANGUAGE AND IDIOMS OF THE AMERICAN WEST LONG PAST (DEADWOOD, TRUE GRIT). HULK LOVES THIS AND THINKS IT CAN BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS IN OUR COLLECTIVE WRITING. BARRY PEPPER LOVINGLY REFERRED TO IT AS “AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE” AND HE IS RIGHT TO DO SO.

(2A) OKAY, SO QUICK LINGUISTICS TANGENT. ANY TIME YOU SEE THINGS THAT TAKE PLACE IN ANCIENT ROME OR MOST BIBLICAL TIMES, THE CHARACTERS SHOULD BE SPEAKING GREEK. WHY NO ONE KNOWS THIS IS BEYOND HULK, BUT IT’S BY FAR THE DOMINANT LANGUAGE AT THE TIME. LATIN WAS SIMPLY THE ADMINISTRATIVE LANGUAGE. BUT SINCE THAT’S WHAT GETS WRITTEN DOWN AS THE POPULAR RECORDED HISTORY HULK GUESS THAT A BIG REASON WE THINK THAT. ANYWHO, HULK BRINGS THIS UP FOR TWO REASONS. THE FIRST IS THAT IF SOMEONE CARED ABOUT MAKING A BIG ROMAN EPIC AND REALLY WANTED TO BE MORE “ACCURATE,” IT WOULD MAKE MORE SENSE TO HAVE THE CHARACTERS USE GREEK ACCENTS (IF THEY COULD DO ONE… AND COME ON WHO IS GOING TO ACTUALLY PUT A BLOCKBUSTER IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE?). THE SECOND REASON HULK MENTIONS THIS IS THAT EVERY FREAKED OUT OVER HOW COMMITTED THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST WAS TO HISTORICAL ACCURACY AND HOW THEY PUT THE ENTIRE THING IN LATIN AND ARAMAIC. WHICH IS HILARIOUS CAUSE THE “STREET LATIN” THEY USED WAS BASICALLY MADE-UP AND PRETTY MUCH EVERY SINGLE PERSON WOULD’VE BEEN SPEAKING GREEK ANYWAY, NOT ARAMAIC. THIS CAUGHT NO ONE’S ATTENTION OUTSIDE OF LINGUISTIC PROFESSORS, BUT EVERYONE LAUDED MEL’S “BRAVE” CREATIVE DECISION. TOO BAD IT WAS COMPLETELY INACCURATE AND THEY WENT THROUGH ALL THAT TROUBLE TO TRANSLATE THE WRONG THING. BUT HEY WHAT DOES THE TRUTH MATTER?

(3) AFTER ALL, HULK WAS ONE TO AGREE THAT THE KINGS SPEECH MAY HAVE BEEN NOTHING MORE THAN VERY WELL-MADE FILM DIRECTED BY A BORDERLINE KUBRICKIAN RIP-OFF ARTIST

(4) WHAT’S ALSO FUNNY IS THAT THIS “NOT BEING ABLE TO DECLARE FEELINGS THING” IS EXACTLY WHAT A LOT OF MODERN ROMANTIC COMEDIES TRY TO DO, 27 DRESSES INCLUDED. THE PROBLEM IS THEY SEEMINGLY GIVE THE CHARACTERS NO CULTURAL OR CHARACTER-CENTRIC REASON TO DENY THEIR LOVE. THEY JUST NEED THE OBSTACLE TO MANUFACTURE DRAMA AND THUS “MAKE IT A MOVIE.”

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH DR. WHO

YOU SHOULD GO TO BEGINNING OF CURRENT ITERATION OF DR. WHO AND START WATCHING IT.

RIGHT NOW.

WHY?

BECAUSE DR. WHO MIGHT BE HULK’S FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW.

EVER.

… THAT A PRETTY GRAND STATEMENT, FULL OF ALL SORTS OF HYPERBOLE AND WHATEVER, BUT IT TRUE. A LOT OF AMERICANS MAY BE CONFUSED BY HULK’S RECOMMENDATION, WHEREAS A LOT OF HULK’S U.K. READERS WONDERING WHY AMERICANS WOULD BE CONFUSED AT ALL. SEE, WHILE DR. WHO AN INTRINSIC PART OF YOUR TELEVISION HISTORY AND A CULTURAL TALKING POINT, IT NOT REALLY THAT WELL-KNOWN OVER HERE IN THE STATES.(1) AS OF JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO, EVEN HULK JUST KNEW A BIT OF THIS HISTORY OF THE SHOW AND ITS IMPORTANCE AND NOT MUCH MORE. IT TOOK THE OUTRIGHT INSISTENCE OF A FEW FRIENDS TO CONVINCE HULK TO STARTING WATCHING AND, OBVIOUSLY, HULK VERY GLAD HULK DID.

BUT SERIOUSLY, FAVORITE???

CONSIDERING THE DEPTH OF TRULY GREAT TELEVISION, HULK’S PROCLAMATION MAY SEEM OUTRIGHT ABSURD. HULK CAN IMAGINE YOU SITTING THERE SAYING “BUT HULK? WHAT ABOUT ____ SHOW!” AND CHANCES ARE YOU NAME SOMETHING TOTALLY DESERVING. IN FACT, HULK HAVE A WHOLE LIST OF MODERN SHOWS THAT OBJECTIVELY “BETTER” THAN DR. WHO (YOU FREE TO ARGUE WITH ANY OF THESE): THE WIRE IS UNQUESTIONABLY THE BEST TV SHOW EVER. THE SOPRANOS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. MAD MEN IS THE MOST INTERESTING. BREAKING BAD HAS THE BEST PERFORMANCE. LOST IS THE MOST AMBITIOUS (DRAMA). COMMUNITY IS THE MOST AMBITIOUS (COMEDY). SIX FEET UNDER IS THE DEEPEST (OR AT LEAST ALWAYS TRIED TO BE). BUFFY IS THE MOST ENTERTAINING. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS IS THE MOST HUMBLE. THE SHIELD IS THE MOST INTENSE. TWIN PEAKS WAS THE MOST WONDERFULLY LYNCHIAN (THAT ITS OWN THING). ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT IS THE WITTIEST. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA IS THE MOST AUDACIOUS. FREAKS AND GEEKS AND MY-SO-CALLED LIFE ARE THE MOST PAINFULLY HUMAN AND WELL-OBSERVED. SEINFELD IS THE MOST ORIGINAL. HOMICIDE, MR. SHOW, AND THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW ARE THE MOST AHEAD OF THEIR TIME. THE OFFICE (UK) IS THE MOST INSPIRED. AND THE SIMPSONS (GOLDEN AGE) IS THE ABSOLUTE FUNNIEST.

BUT DR. WHO MIGHT BE HULK’S FAVORITE.(2)

NOT PLEASED

WARNING: HULK’S FAVORITISM MAY JUST BE DUE TO FACT THAT HULK JUST SPENT THE LAST FEW MONTHS ON NETFLIX STREAMING, WHIZZING THROUGH THE MODERN RESURRECTION OF THE SHOW (STARTING IN 2005) AND NOW HULK COMPLETELY CAUGHT UP. WATCHING TV SHOWS IN THE “ALL AT ONCE” MANNER HAVE TENDENCY TO THROW BLINDERS ON VIEWER AND THROW REGARD FOR SHOW OUT OF WHACK… BUT HULK PRETTY GOOD AT BEING ABLE TO CONTEXTUALIZE WHATEVER HULK WATCHING; TO REMEMBER HOW HULK FELT WATCHING OTHER PROGRAMS AND WHY HULK WANTED TO KEEP WATCHING. THIS RELEVANT BECAUSE THE REASONS HULK FELT COMPELLED TO IMMEDIATELY WATCH THE NEXT EPISODE OF THE WIRE, OFTEN FAR DIFFERENT FROM THE REASONS HULK WANTED TO WATCH THE NEXT DR. WHO. MEANING EVEN IF NET RESULT THE SAME (GOOD TV LARGELY LIKE CRACK ADDICTION), THE REASONS WERE DIFFERENT. AND THE SPECIFIC NATURE OF THOSE REASONS LARGELY TELL YOU EVERYTHING ABOUT THE SHOW.

FOR ONE, THE FEELING OF WATCHING DR. WHO EQUATABLE WITH SIMPLE ELATION. THIS ENTIRE RUN BEEN AN ABSOLUTE JOY. SURE, THE SERIES STARTS OFF JUST A TAD BIT ROCKY WITH THE BUDGET-CONSTRAINED FIRST SEASON AND GENERAL UNSURENESS ABOUT THE WORLD OF THE SHOW (THERE A REASON THE SLEVEEN NO ENDURED. THEY WERE ULTIMATELY JUST STUPID FART MONSTERS), BUT WITH EVERY PASSING EPISODE HULK FOUND HULK-SELF MORE AND MORE WRAPPED UP IN THE CHARACTERS AND THE WORLD. 5 AND 1/2 SEASONS LATER? DR. WHO WAS ALL HULK THOUGH ABOUT. HULK RELISHED THE DAILY  CHANCE TO RETURN TO THE WORLD OF THE SHOW AND ENJOY THE ELATION OF WHAT MIGHT BE THE MOST HAPPINESS-PROVIDING SHOW-TYPE-THING AROUND.

WHAT MAKES IT SO ENJOYABLE? UNLIKE NEARLY EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE MODERN WORLD, DR. WHO DEFINED BY AN INEXORABLE SENSE OF OPTIMISM. IT SORT OF REMARKABLE FOR THIS DAY IN AGE REALLY. NO MISTAKE THE SHOW FOR EMPTY-HEADED-FLUFF THOUGH, ESPECIALLY SINCE IT OFTEN DEALS WITH THE FAIRLY COMMON THREAT OF APOCALYPSE OR FULL ERASURE FROM TIME AND SPACE. BUT THAT THE VERY THING THAT GIVE DR. WHO ITS GRAVITAS: IT GROUNDS ITS OPTIMISM IN APOCALYPSE. IT LOOKS AT THE SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE, THE FACT OUR LIVES ARE JUST TINY BLIPS ON AN INCONCEIVABLE TIME-LINE AND STILL MANAGES TO SHOW WHY IT MATTERS. IT SHOWS THAT MOST INCREDIBLE THING WE CAN DO IS CHERISH OUR VERY EXISTENCE AND “BE OUR BEST SELVES.” IT POSITIVE EXISTENTIALISM IN IT’S MOST CELEBRATED FORM, REFLECTING IT AS CORE HUMAN TRUTH.

AND BETTER YET, THE SHOW FOR EVERYONE. HULK THINK DR. WHO REPRESENT  THE BEST OF WHAT PIXAR OFFERS: A “YOUNG PERSON’S SHOW” THAT NOT JUST ADULT-FRIENDLY, BUT SOMETHING THAT QUITE LITERALLY FOR EVERYONE.

SO HOW BOUT THAT?

PART ONE – FOR THOSE WHO NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW

BUT REALLY HULK, YOU ASK, WHAT MAKE IT SO GREAT?

FOR STARTERS, IT CAN BE ANYTHING.

“EXPLAIN! EXPLAAAAIN!!!!

DR. WHO = THE STORY OF A 900 YEAR TIME LORD KNOWN SIMPLY AS “THE DOCTOR.” THE TIME LORDS ARE THE MOST ANCIENT AND NOBLE BEINGS IN THE UNIVERSE AND THEY WATCH OVER ALL OF TIME AND SPACE. THE DOCTOR, A FUNNY AND OFTEN BRILLIANT FIGURE, SPENDS HIS LIFE TRAVELING IN THE TARDIS, A MIRACULOUS SHIP THAT CAN ACTUALLY NAVIGATE THROUGH BOTH TIME AND SPACE (IT IS ALSO DISGUISED AS A 60’S-ESQUE POLICE BOX… THIS WILL MAKE SENSE HULK ASSURE YOU).  IN ALL THESE TRAVELS THROUGH THE STARS, THE DOCTOR OFTEN BRINGS COMPANIONS ALONG WITH HIM TO SHARE THE JOURNEY (THE COMPANIONS OFTEN HUMAN AND EVEN MORE OFTEN YOUNG WOMEN). TOGETHER THEY INVESTIGATE HISTORY, THE FUTURE, THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, AND BEYOND. AND DESPITE THE FACT THE SHOW USUALLY HAVE SOME SORT OF “MYSTERY OF THE WEEK” ALLURE, THE SHOW CAN TAKE ON ANY FORM, SUBJECT MATTER, OR TONE.

IT CAN LITERALLY DO OR BE ANYTHING.

THIS INNATE CAPACITY FOR ENDLESS CREATIVITY THE MAIN REASON THE SHOW HAS LASTED THROUGH SIX DECADES (OH YEAH, FORGOT TO MENTION, THE ORIGINAL INCARNATION OF SHOW BEEN AROUND SINCE 1963). WELL, THAT NOT THE ONLY REASON. THE SHOW ALSO THOUGHT OF ONE RATHER INGENIOUS LITTLE PLOT DEVICE: TIME LORDS CAN REGENERATE, MEANING EVERY TIME THE ACTOR PLAYING THE DOCTOR READY TO LEAVE/GET FIRED, HE CAN SIMPLY DIE IN HIS CURRENT FORM AND REGENERATE WITH A NEW ACTOR PLAYING THE ROLE. YES, IT MAY SEEM A LITTLE HOKEY, BUT IT THE PERFECT CONCEIT FOR ONGOING SERIALIZED TELEVISION, SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE IT ALLOW THE SHOW TO MAINTAIN RICH HISTORY AND TRADITION.(3) LIKEWISE, THE SHOW HAVE A SIMILAR UNDERSTANDING OF TRUNCATING THE PLOT-LINES FOR THE COMPANIONS SO THAT THEIR ARCS ARE TIGHT AND FOCUSED, NEVER FAILING TO OVERSTAY THEIR WELCOME. BOTH CHOICES ALLOW THE SHOW TO STAVE OFF “THE STALENESS” WHICH RUINED A GREAT MANY TV SHOWS.

”]THERE NOW BEEN ELEVEN DOCTORS TO PLAY THE ROLE SO FAR AND COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF PROGRAMMING . THE SHOW WENT OFF THE AIR IN 1989, HAD ONE-OFF TV MOVIE IN 1996,AND THEN FULLY RETURNED TO THE AIRWAVES IN 2005. THE BEST THING THAT IT WAS NO “REBOOT” BUT INSTEAD A COMPLETE RESURRECTION OF THE SHOW/CHARACTER WITH THE ESTABLISHED CANON/HISTORY FULLY IN TACT. YET AT SAME TIME THEY THANKFULLY CONSTRUCTED THE RESURRECTION SO THAT YOU NO NEED GO BACK AND WATCH 40 YEARS OF RATHER-DATED TELEVISION TO KEEP UP. IT BASICALLY AMOUNT TO A WONDERFUL RE-INTRODUCTION TO THE SHOW.

AND SOON ENOUGH YOU BROUGHT INTO THE FOLD, WHERE THE WORLD OF DR. WHO REVEALS ITSELF DELIGHTFULLY: THE SONIC SCREWDRIVERS, DALEKS, GALIFREY, SHADOW PROCLAMATIONS, FIXED TIME EVENTS, CYBERMEN, UNIT, SONTARANS, THE VOID, WEEPING ANGELS, OODS, CRACKS IN TIME, ALL THE TYLERS, JONES’, SARAH JANE SMITHS, NOBLES, PONDS, AND EVEN FEZZES (FEZZES ARE COOL).

NOW IF ALL THESE BITS ABOUT TIME LORDS REGENERATING AND MAGIC FLYING BOXES SOUNDS SORT OF WACKY, WELL, YOU RIGHT. IT DEFINITELY WACKY. BUT IT ALSO DEALT WITH RATHER BRILLIANTLY. AND THAT THE KEY REALLY.

EVERYTHING STARTS WITH THE FACT THAT THE DOCTOR AN IMPOSSIBLY MAGNETIC FIGURE AND AN ACTOR’S DREAM TO BOOT. HE CAN SOMETIMES JUST BE SILLY,  OFF-KILTER, OR ESOTERIC, BUT IT NEVER ONCE LOST ON US THAT HE A BEING NEARLY GOD-LIKE IN HIS CAPABILITIES. THE DOCTOR’S INNATE CAPACITY FOR DARKNESS AND ABSOLUTE POWER THE CONSTANT AND PROVERBIAL ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. YET THE DOCTOR ALSO IMBUED WITH MOST NATURAL CURIOSITY AND HE FREQUENTLY DELIGHTED BY THE IMPOSSIBLE. HIS DEALINGS WITH HUMANITY, WHILE LARGELY JUST A FUNCTION OF “BECAUSE IT US,” MORE PREDICATED ON THE NOTION THAT THE DOCTOR SOMEONE FASCINATED BY THE HUMAN CONDITION. WHY? BECAUSE IT THE SAME CONDITION THAT HE NEEDS TO KEEP GOING, 900 YEARS AND COUNTING. ULTIMATELY, HE LOVES HUMANS BECAUSE OF THE WAYS WE LOVE EACH OTHER.

SEE THE DOCTOR PROCLAIMS HIMSELF TO BE JUST A TRAVELER HE NOT JUST A TRAVELER. HE A FIGURE CAPABLE OF INCREDIBLE ACTS OF GOOD. A MAN WHO SAVES THE UNIVERSE HUNDREDS OF TIMES OVER. HE CAPABLE OF BIG, BOLD ACTION AND SACRIFICE. UNQUANTIFABLE LOVE. A BEACON. A MORAL COMPASS. AND THANKFULLY THE SCALE OF THE SHOW OFTEN FITS THE GRANDEUR OF THE CONCEPTS. FEW CHARACTERS CAN ALTERNATE SO FREELY BETWEEN TWEE AND GRAVITAS WHEN ALL OF REALITY AT STAKE. IT ANYTHING BUT SCHIZOPHRENIC, THE SHOW EXPLORES EVERY BIT OF NUANCE IN BETWEEN.

SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD RIGHT?

SPACESHIP... DREAM-ACHIEVER

IT SOUNDS SORT OF LIKE A BEAUTIFUL DREAM, TO BE WHISKED AWAY IN THE TARDIS AND SEE THE WHOLE OF TIME AND SPACE. IT ABSOLUTELY NO MISTAKE THAT “THE BLUE BOX” = THE ETERNAL SYMBOL FOR THE GATEWAY TO DREAMS.(4) IT TAP INTO SOMETHING ABOUT OUR INTRINSIC NATURE TO EXPLORE AND REFLECT.

AND THE SHOW HAS THIS ABILITY TO ELICIT A CHILD-LIKE REACTION. NO MISTAKE THIS FOR SIMPLE NOSTALGIA (HULK NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW SO THERE NOTHING TO ACTUALLY NOSTALG-TO). HULK SIMPLY TALKING ABOUT THE CAPACITY FOR THAT OH-SO-CHILD-LIKE EMOTION: GUILT-FREE JOY. IT HARD FOR THE MODERN/AWARE AUDIENCE, WHOSE CYNICISM DEFINED NOT NECESSARILY BY NEGATIVITY, BUT FROM THE IMMENSE DEARTH OF MEDIA EXPERIENCE. WE SEEN EVERYTHING, SO WHAT COULD BE NEW AND PURE? THIS SHOW PROVES THAT SOME THINGS CAN STILL BE PURE. THAT ONE CAN HAVE GUILT FREE JOY WITHOUT “TURNING BRAIN OFF.”

DR. WHO MAY NOT THE BEST SHOW EVER MADE.

BUT IT HULK’S FAVORITE.

YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS GUY BUT HE FREAKING GENIUS

PART TWO – FOR THOSE WHO NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW BUT NOT CONVINCED BY MERE HYPERBOLE, HERE NINE TANGIBLE REASONS FOR DR. WHO’S RELATIVE GOODNESS IN THE PANTHEON OF TELEVISION

THIS FOR THOSE OF YOU LOOKING FOR FILM-Y/MORE OBJECTIVE REASONS

1. STEPHEN MOFFAT A GENIUS – SOMETIMES IT THAT SIMPLE. MOFFAT FIRST A WRITER ON THE SHOW AND HE NOW THE SHOW-RUNNER. HE HAS BECOME ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE WRITERS. PERIOD. ONE OF THINGS THAT MAKE HIM DISTINCTIVE, ASIDE FROM UNCANNY ABILITY TO WRITE WITTY-YET-GOAL-ORIENTED DIALOGUE, THAT HE USES THE ENTIRE CANVAS OF TIME AND SPACE TO ACHIEVE ENDS OF GIVEN STORY. IT RARELY A SIMPLE CASE OF “NOW WE DOING THIS KIND OF STORY IN CENTRALIZED LOCATION.” HE DEEPLY MOTIVATED BUT THE POSSIBILITIES THAT DR. WHO PROVIDE. IT EXTREME STORYTELLING. BETTER YET, IT TRUE SCI FI.

2. ACTUALLY, THE SHOW HAD TWO BRILLIANT SHOW-RUNNERS. RUSSEL T. DAVIES RESURRECTED THE SHOW IN 2005 AND WAS THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT’S CURRENT STYLE. THANKFULLY, HE MADE THE EXACT RIGHT CHOICES IN EVERY REGARD. IT SHOWCASED TREMENDOUS RESPECT AND ADORATION FOR THE ORIGINAL SERIES BUT KNEW EXACTLY WHAT TO AUGMENT. AND WHILE MOFFAT MAY BE THE BETTER INDIVIDUAL WRITER, DAVIES HAD TRUE GIFT FOR DEVELOPING THE ARC OF A SEASON. NOT JUST WITHIN THE CENTRAL ARC, BUT THE INTERTWINING PLOTS YOU HAD NO IDEA WERE ACTUALLY INTERTWINED. REALLY, DAVIES AN EXPERT OF GRAND GESTURES AND WORLD BUILDING, WHICH MAKE HIM PERFECT FOR SHOW-RUNNING.

3. CONCEPTUAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL VILLAINS – IN THE MOST RECENT YEARS, DR. WHO DISPLAYS WONDERFUL PENCHANT FOR CREATING VILLAINS THAT HAVE INTRINSIC PSYCHOLOGICAL COMPONENT. WHILE THE HISTORIC ONES MORE STRAIGHT ALLEGORIC-STAND-INS (THE DALEKS ARE NAZIS, THE CYBERMEN ARE COMMUNIST, ETC). THE MODERN WORK IN MORE ABSTRACT CONCEPTS. MOFFAT SEEMS PARTICULAR INTERESTED IN WHAT UNSEEN: THERE A GROUP OF VILLAINS THAT MOVE THAT WHEN YOU DON’T LOOK AT THEM. ANOTHER THAT YOU INSTANTLY FORGET WHEN NOT LOOKING AT THEM. WHAT SOUNDS SO SIMPLE, ACTUALLY HANDLED WITH STUNNING COMPREHENSIVENESS, DIVING INTO THE DETAILS OF WHAT THAT REALLY MEANS (WHAT IF YOU HAVE TO BLINK? OR HOW REMEMBER AN ENEMY YOU CAN’T ACTUALLY REMEMBER?). IN WORLD WHERE J.J. ABRAMS REALLY SEEM CONTENT JUST GIVE US BORING OLD SAMEY ALIENS THAT HAVE NO EFFECT, DR. WHO ACTUALLY INTERESTED IN PROVING THINGS THAT REALLY FEEL NEW AND DISTINCT.

4. WHILE THE SHOW CAN TAKE ON ANY FORM, IT STILL HAVE REMARKABLE SIMILARITY OF TONE TO BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, WHICH IN CASE NO HAVE SEEN ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS OF ALL TIME.(5) IT GOES BEYOND THE SIMPLE BALANCING OF INDIVIDUAL ADVENTURES WITH THE OVERALL ARC AND “BIG BAD.” IT EMBRACE MANY OF THE SAME STORYTELLING CONVENTIONS: THE NARRATIVE CAN SHIFT, CHARACTERS CAN REVERSE PERSONALITIES FOR A TIME (ALL IN THE NAME OF GOOD-OLE TV FUN), BUT IT ALSO DONE SO WITH ACUTE SENSE OF HOW TO PLAY THOSE TROPES. THE ONLY MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO COMES BACK TO OPTIMISM. NOT TO IMPLY THE WORLD OF BUFFY A CYNICAL ONE, BUT OFTEN SHE SEEMED A MERE CANDLE IN THE DARK, STEMMING THE ONSLAUGHT OF HORROR. MEANWHILE, THE WORLD OF DR. WHO MORE INCLUSIVE OF MAN’S OWN CONTRIBUTIONS AND THE INNATE GOODNESS OF ALL PEOPLE.

5. EVERY SHOW HAVE INHERENT PROBLEMS OR LIMITATIONS OF CONCEIT, BUT DR. WHO HAS NEIGH-UNCANNY ABILITY FOR GLIDING OVER IT’S PROBLEMS WITH GRACE AND HUMOR. FOR ONE, IT A SHOW THAT SELF-AWARE, BUT NOT PAINFULLY OR PARALYZINGLY SELF AWARE. . THINK WHAT HAPPEN WITH THE SIMPSONS AND HOW IT STOPPED TELLING STORIES BECAUSE IT BECAME TOO PAINFULLY SELF-AWARE OF ITS OWN STORYTELLING DYNAMICS.(6) AND LIKE ANYTHING, THERE BEEN SOME MORE DULL EPISODES, BUT RARELY AN ACTUAL MISSTEP. AND WHEN THERE ACTUAL MIS-STEPS, THEY ALWAYS SEEM TO RECOVER. ALSO THE PROBLEMS OF INDIVIDUAL EPISODES TEND GET FORGIVEN EASIER WHEN BLASTING THROUGH SHOW AT RAPID PACE, BUT IN TURN, THE LEGITIMACY OF ARCS AND THEIR PACING WAY MORE ACUTELY SENSED. IT REWARD GOOD GRADUAL STORYTELLING. WHICH DR. WHO SURPRISINGLY HAVE.

THE SIMPSONS STRETCHED THE IN-JOKE AND FOREVER LOST THE AFFECT OF SCENES LIKE THIS

6. ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE ASPECT THAT THERE A COMPLETELY LACK OF FAUX-DRAMA. FAUX-DRAMA A SPECIFIC THING WHERE THEY SUDDENLY DECIDE TO MAKE A CHARACTER DO SOMETHING UNLIKABLE TO CREATE THEIR OWN DRAMA, RARELY FOR GOOD REASON. IT A TV STAPLE DONE BUT IN NAME OF CREATING CONFLICT BUT IT VERY DIFFICULT THING TO ACHIEVE. IT SEEM FALSE BECAUSE IT FEEL FALSE. THINK JULIE TAYLOR SUDDENLY BECOMING INSUFFERABLE BRAT IN SEASON 2 OF FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. HULK SENSED THE WRITERS WANTED TO EXPLORE CONCEPT OF HOW TEENS SUDDENLY BECOME SELFISH, BUT SUDDENLY SHE WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON. PEOPLE DON’T JUST SUDDENLY BECOME UNADJUSTED. THIS NOT IMPLY HULK ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE WHEN CHARACTERS DO THINGS HULK NO LIKE. THAT INSIPID. IT JUST SOME SHOWS HAVE TACT WITH THEIR UNLIKABLE-NESS (THINK SIX FEET UNDER), IN WHICH CHARACTERS MOSTLY DO HORRIBLE THINGS TO EACH OTHER. ANYWHO, AS OF 5 AND 1/2 SEASONS OF DR. WHO THEY YET TO DO THAT ONCE. IT JUST A MARK OF GOOD WRITING.

6. ONE OF HULK’S LITTLE FAVORITE THINGS HOW IT CONSTANTLY THROW OFF OUR SENSE OF AMERI-CENTRISM. IT JARRING TO SEE ALIENS LAND ON EARTH AND MAKE WAY FOR THIS MYSTERIOUS “LONDON” PLACE. IT ACTUALLY JARRING BECAUSE AMERICANS, WHO IN CONTROL OF MEDIA AND STUFF, REGULARLY SEE THEMSELVES AS CENTER OF UNIVERSE: “WHY THOSE ALIENS NOT LANDING IN NEW YORK?!?!!?” THIS, OF COURSE, JUST A CONDITIONED RESPONSE. THOUGH IT BEAR MENTIONING THAT THE DAVIES ERA ONCE OR TWICE WENT A LITTLE TOO FAR IN ITS OWN RIGHT OF LONDON THINKING IT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. BUT REALLY THE ANGLO-CENTRICISM JUST WONDERFUL. IT HAVE THIS ADDED BENEFIT OF INCORPORATING MULTI-ETHNIC CAST THAT SOMEWHAT FREE FROM THE ETHNIC ASSOCIATIONS WE MAKE OF THEM IN AMERICA AND THE SHOW NOT BAT AN EYE AT THE INCLUSION OF BLACK OR PAKISTANI ACTORS.(7)

7. THE MUSIC OF MURRAY GOLD. WITH THE INCLUSION OF SEASON 5’S WORK, IT NOT JUST THE BEST SCORED SHOW ON TELEVISION, IT TRANSCEND TELEVISION. IT “REALLY GOOD MOVIE SCORE” GOOD.

OBVIOUSLY, THIS JUST NOT THE FREQUENT TELEVISION “MOOD MUSIC” AND “TONES.” NOPE. DR. WHO NOT AFRAID TO BIG, BOMBASTIC. AND IMPOSSIBLY GRAND. BUT AGAIN, THE SCALE OF THE MUSIC FIT THE SCALE OF THE SHOW. AND THE OTHER PART OF THE MUSIC’S SUCCESS BECAUSE THEY SUBSCRIBE TO KUBRICKS “MUSIC WORKS LIKE A CHORUS” THEORY A BIT MORE THAN MOST… HINT: KUBRICK AIN’T NO SLOUCH.

8. BILLIE PIPER, FREEMA AGYEMAN, CATHERINE TATE, AND KAREN GILLAN MANAGE TO INFUSE MORE PERSONALITY AND NUANCE INTO THEIR CHARACTERS THAT JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER FEMALE IN AMERICAN SCI FI/GENRE. WAIT, THAT WAY TOO LIMITED. THEY MIGHT BE FOUR OF HULK’S FOUR FAVORITE WRITTEN WOMEN IN TV… EASY … ALSO HULK FULLY WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT MAYBE JUST THE ACCENTS.

9. EVERY TIME YOU THINK YOU NO LIKE A CHARACTER… WAIT. THE SHOW KNOW HOW TO EXECUTE CHARACTER ARCS BETTER THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER SHOW.

PART THREE – FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SEEN THE ENTIRE SHOW AND BEEN WAITING FOR HULK TO TALK SPECIFICS!

SERIOUSLY. IF YOU NO SEEN GO AWAY. THIS WILL ONLY RUIN THINGS.

[WAITING TIL YOU GO AWAY]

OKAY…

LET’S TALK WHO!

CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON – AT THIS POINT IT SORT OF HARD TO REMEMBER HOW MUCH HULK LIKED CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON AND HOW HE COMPARE TO THE OTHER TWO GUYS. HE HAVE BENEFIT OF BEING HULK’S “FIRST DOCTOR” BUT HULK ABSORBED HIM IN SUCH RAPID WAY THAT HE NOT REALLY SINK IN. AND THEN THERE THE MATTER THAT THE FIRST SEASON SOMEWHAT UNEVEN. HULK REMEMBER FINDING HIM QUITE LIKABLE FOR WHAT IT WORTH, THOUGH HULK ALSO REMEMBER HIM ONLY REALLY HAVING TWO DOCTOR MODES – DOPEY + SMILEY AND THEN YELLING + SERIOUS. THAT PROBABLY NOT FAIR, BUT IT WHAT HULK REMEMBER.

DAVID TENNANT – ACTUALLY, ECCLESTON MUST HAVE HAD MORE NUANCE THAN HULK REMEMBER, BECAUSE HULK AT FIRST THOUGHT TENNANT COMING OUT THE GATE A BIT BROAD AND MANIC FOR HULK’S TASTE. HULK REMEMBER MISSING THE LACK OF CONTROL. AND THEN… WELL… YEAH. TENNANT ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. HIS RUN SPANNED 4 YEARS AND HE JUST REMARKABLE, MIXING ABOUT 9 DIFFERENT KINDS OF COMIC PERSONAS. AND AS FOR HIS MOMENTS OF SOLEMNITY HE CAN ACQUIT HIMSELF BEAUTIFULLY. HIS “I’M SO SORRY” SPEECHES BECAME BIT OF CLICHE, BUT FOR GOOD REASON. THEY ABSURDLY EFFECTIVE AND NONE BETTER THAN HIS FINALE “SO SORRY” SPEECH AT THE END OF “THE WATERS OF MARS.” AS HE TALKED INTO THAT CAMERA HULK NOT GONNA LIE. THERE SOME HULK TEARS. JUST INCREDIBLE. THERE FAMOUS ANECDOTE ABOUT HOW DAVID TENNANT WATCHED DR. WHO AND SAID “I WANT TO DO THAT.” AND THEN WENT ABOUT HIS LIFE TURNING THAT INTO REALITY. FOR MOST PEOPLE WATCHING THE SHOW TODAY, TENNANT IS “THEIR DOCTOR.”

MATT SMITH -WELL IF DAVID TENNANT BORN TO PLAY DR. WHO THEN MATT SMITH BORN TO PLAY ANYONE. HOLY SHIT WHAT AN ACTOR. HIS RAPID SPEED DELIVERY, WHICH TOTALLY JARRING AT FIRST, COMES TO BE ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE THINGS ON PLANET. IT AN UNSTOPPABLE WEAPON. LIKE KAREEM’S SKYHOOK OR JORDAN’S FALL-AWAY.(8) THE SHOW GET IMPOSSIBLE MILEAGE OF WATCHING SMITH WALK INTO A GROUP OF PEOPLE AND JUST START TALKING. AND BY THE END OF SEASON 5 (AND ESPECIALLY IN THE FIRST PART OF SEASON 6), SMITH HAVE TOTAL CONFIDENCE TOO. HE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HE DOING AND HOW TO PACE THE PERSONA THAT MAKE THE RAPID-FIRE DOCTOR WORK (ALSO THE WRITERS HAVE A BETTER SENSE OF HIS AMAZING CAPACITY TO FLING WORDS ABOUT). THERE JUST A LITANY OF AMAZING MOMENTS WITH SMITH: THE “I’M THE DOCTOR” SPEECH AT THE END OF HIS FIRST EPISODE. THE INCREDIBLE SPEECH AT STONEHENGE. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS INTERACTIONS WITH RORY. AND ONE OF THINGS HULK LIKE THAT MATT SMITH’S DOCTOR FEELS MORE OUT OF CONTROL. ALL THE DOCTORS SORT OF UNHINGED, BUT THE DARKNESS IN SMITHS FEEL LESS “SAFE” THAN THE OTHERS. FROM A NARRATIVE PERSPECTIVE IT GREAT BECAUSE IT ALLOW FOR REAL FEELING OF DANGER INSTEAD OF JUST THE IDEA OF DANGER.

BILLIE PIPER – SHE SORTA BOXY, SORTA TRASHY, BUT SHE OUT-AND-OUT JOY. HAS THE FLIRTATIOUS SMILE DOWN TO A SCIENCE AND YOU COMPLETELY BUY HER AS SOMEONE GENUINELY CONCERNED WITH PEOPLE. HER ARC DOWNRIGHT FANTASTIC. SHE “THE COMPANION” OF THE NEW INCARNATION AND DESERVE EVERY BIT OF PRAISE SHE EVER GOTTEN. THE SHOW KNEW EXACTLY WHO SHE WAS AND WHAT TO DO WITH HER.

FREEMA AGYEMAN – ALSO INCREDIBLE. HULK THINK HULK LIKED HER MORE THAN MOST, BUT THIS IN LARGE PART DUE TO WHAT HULK THOUGHT WAS GREAT INTRODUCTION EPISODE. IT TRUE HER ARC SORT OF PETERED OUT AND HERS THE STORY OF UNREQUITED LOVE (AREN’T THEY ALL IN THIS SHOW?) BUT THERE SOME SORT OF JUST “OH WELL” ABOUT HOW SHE WENT ON HER DEPARTURE. ALSO, HULK SORT OF DISAPPOINTED WITH HOW HER POST-SEASON 3 GUEST SPOTS TURNED OUT… OH WELL.

CATHERINE TATE – WHAT A TURN… THE ONE EVERYONE HATED BECAME OH SO LOVED… SHE ALSO THE FUNNIEST COMPANION BY END OF HER RUN.

KAREN GILLAN – SHE NOT POLISHED ACTRESS THE SAME WAY THE OTHERS WERE AND SHE NOT HAVE INNATE FLIRTATIOUSNESS THAT PIPER HAD, BUT SHE HAVE OTHER THINGS THAT PERHAPS LESS EVIDENT. OKAY THE MOST EVIDENT THING THAT SHE FREAKING GORGEOUS, BUT THAT NOT DO IT FOR ACTRESSES. NOT BE LONG SHOT. LUCKILY, THERE SO MUCH MORE. SHE, LIKE ALL COMPANIONS, MADE BEAUTIFUL NOT BY WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE BUT WHO THEY ARE. FOR ONE, A FASCINATING STORY BUILT AROUND A SUBTLE CASE OF ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. A CHARACTER WHO EQUALLY NEVER QUITE COMFORTABLE WITH HERSELF, ALWAYS UNSURE. THE SHOW KNOWS EXACTLY HOW TO WRITE FOR KAREN’S STRENGTHS, HER WIDE EYED VULNERABILITY, HER ALPHA-FEMALE INSTINCTS, AND HER GANGLY-AWKWARD PRESENCE. HULK FASCINATED BY THE CHARACTER OF AMY POND AND CAN NO WAIT FOR MORE.

RUSSELL T. DAVIES – HE A GREAT SHOW-RUNNER AND KNEW HOW TO CONSTRUCT A SEASON OF TELEVISION, BUT HULK THINK HE HONESTLY NOT THAT THAT GREAT A WRITER. LOOKING OVER HIS ENTIRE WORK IN THE SERIES, HE WROTE MOST OF THE SPECIALS, PREMIERS, FINALES, ETC. BUT THOSE CATERED TO HIS BIG GRAND GESTURES. THEY WERE NOT REALLY TIGHT BITS OF STORYTELLING. HULK ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE “SMITH AND JONES” (FREEMA’S INTRODUCTION TO SERIES) ACTUALLY HIS BEST EPISODE BY FAR. HULK THINK HIS WORST EPISODE ACTUALLY “MIDNIGHT” WHICH START PROMISING AND HAVE SOME GREAT IDEAS, BUT HE NEVER REALIZED HAVING PEOPLE YELL AT EACH OTHER FOR 1 HOUR STRAIGHT THE LEAST EFFECTIVE MODE OF STORYTELLING EVER (HORROR MOVIES MAKE THIS MISTAKE ALL THE TIME).

STEVEN MOFFAT – AND THEN THERE THIS GENIUS. MOFFAT’S INDIVIDUAL EPISODES PROBABLY INCLUDE 13 OF THE 17 BEST IN THE SERIES. BUT OVERALL WORK AS SHOW-RUNNER STILL SLIGHTLY UNEVEN (THE ONE-OFF STORIES IN SEASON SIX MUCH BETTER THAN SEASON 5. “HUNGRY EARTH” / “COLD BLOOD” = LEGITIMATELY BAD). HULK THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE CRITICIZE THE MOFFAT ERA AS NOT BEING AS “FUN” BUT HULK LARGELY BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE THEY CHANGED THE CINEMATOGRAPHY MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. EVERYTHING SORT OF HAVE WASHED-OUT GRAY LOOK NOW, WHICH HAVE PLUSES AND MINUSES, BUT IT ONE OF THOSE STRANGE THINGS WHERE IT REALLY AFFECTING SOME PEOPLE. BUT AGAIN, STEPHEN MOFFAT’S SCRIPTS SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN FILM SCHOOLS.

YES THAT CAREY MULLIGAN

BEST EPISODE – HOW IN THE WORLD HULK GOT TO REACH THE EPISODE WITH ABSOLUTELY ZERO BUILDUP HULK NOT KNOW, BUT “BLINK” ONE OF THE BEST HOURS OF TELEVISION. PERIOD.

LITTLE THINGS HULK LOVES:

-THE INCREDIBLE ARC OF RORY WILLIAMS – THE SCHLUBBY “OTHER GUY” A STAPLE OF STORYTELLING AND IT ONE THAT MOFFAT SOUGHT TO REVISE WITH LASER LIKE ACCURACY. RORY’S JOURNEY TO BECOMING “THE LAST CENTURION” ONE OF THE TRUE JOYS OF GETTING TO WATCH A CHARACTER ARC AND NOW IT IN SUCH AN INTERESTING PLACE. RORY HAS 1000 YEARS ON THE DOCTOR AFTER ALL.

-NEIL GAIMAN’S EPISODE = PERFECT.

-THE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES OF RIVER SONG

-ROSE SAYING “EVFREEFING.”

-ROSE’S MOM

-THE JUXTAPOSITION OF DONNA NOBLE BEING GREAT SET-UP FOR WHY HE PICK MARTHA JONES.

-MARTHA JONES IN THE LAB COAT.

-THEN COMING AROUND ON DONNA NOBLE

-DAVID TENNANT PULLING OUT THE GLASSES

-THE ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT OF AMY POND AND HOW THE SHOW DEALS WITH SUCH CARE.

-THE FACE OF BOE AND WHO IT MIGHT BE

-THAT THEY CAME TO UNDERSTAND THAT DALEKS ARE MOSTLY JUST FUNNY.

GENERAL QUESTIONS:

-WHY DID MICKEY AND MARTHA END UP TOGETHER AGAIN? SORTA SEEMED A LITTLE THROW-AWAY-Y AND SHE HAD HER OTHER DUDE WE LIKED.

-WHO THOUGHT “VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED” WAS GOOD IDEA?

-WATCHING THE SHOW ALL AT ONCE… IT REALLY KINDA ANNOYING TO HAVE SO MUCH TORCHWOOD CROSSOVER FUCKING EVERYWHERE. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING HULK BARELY WATCHED IT. BAD MOVE ON THEIR PART? ON HULK’S?

HULK’S FAVORITE LINES:

“I THOUGHT YOU WERE JUST A MADMAN WITH A BOX.” / “THERE’S SOMETHING YOU BETTER UNDERSTAND ABOUT ME, ‘CAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT AND ONE DAY YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT. I AM DEFINITELY A MADMAN WITH A BOX.”

DOCTOR: “_____ ARE COOL”

“FEAR ME I’VE KILLED HUNDREDS OF TIME LORDS” / “FEAR ME I’VE KILLED ALL OF THEM.”

“BITING’S EXCELLENT. IT’S LIKE KISSING ONLY THERE IS A WINNER.”

“DO THE SMART THING. LET SOME ONE ELSE TRY FIRST”

DALEK LINES: “EXPLAIN! EXPLAAAAAAIN!” / “ENJOY THE TEA! ENJOOOOOOOOY!” / “MERCY! MERCYYYYYY!”

“AM I… GINGER?”

“NEW-NEW DOCTOR.”

“I’M AMELIA AND YOU’RE LATE.”

“IT DOESN’T DO WOOD.”

“CALL HER MUMMY, NOT ‘BIG MILK THING.'” / “YOU SPEAK BABY?” / “I SPEAK EVERYTHING.”

“BASICALLY, RUN.”

“CROSSING INTO ESTABLISHED EVENTS IS FORBIDDEN. EXCEPT FOR CHEAP TRICKS.”

“I’M SORRY AMY, BUT YOUR HOUSE IS TOO BIG.”

[REACHES FOR TOP OF HEAD] “I CAN BUY A FEZ”

“OH AND I MET A HORSE”

[TURNS] “YOU WERE FANTASTIC.”

“____ THE GIRL/BOY WHO WAITED.”

‘I’VE SEEN FAKE GODS AND BAD GODS AND DEMIGODS AND WOULD-BE GODS; OUT OF ALL THAT, OUT OF THAT WHOLE PANTHEON, IF BELIEVE IN ONE THING… JUST ONE THING… I BELIEVE IN HER.”

“BUT FOR ONE MOMENT. ONE SHINING MOMENT. SHE WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT WOMAN IN THE UNIVERSE.”

AND THEN… THERE THIS:

EPIC.

ENDNOTES

(1) – THERE A FAIR AMOUNT OF ADULTS WHO SOME WATCHED THE OLDER ITERATION OF THE SHOW (THE ONES WHO COULD GET PAST THE VIDEO PRODUCTION AESTHETICS), BUT WITH THE MODERN ITERATION, ESPECIALLY HULK’S GENERATION, IT JUST NOT KNOWN ON LEVEL OF POPULARITY IT SHOULD BE. IT NOW JUST REACHING THE LEVEL OF SMALL-CABLE-SIZED HIT WITH LITTLE CULTURAL PENETRATION BEYOND THE FANS THAT DESPERATELY LOVE IT. STILL, THERE DEFINITELY A MOVEMENT GROWING BEHIND AND HULK WANT THROW SUPPORT BEHIND THAT. SO, YOU KNOW, THIS COLUMN.

(2) – WHY NO OLDER SHOWS ON THAT LIST? THE TRUTH THAT THERE JUST TOO SEVERE A DIFFERENCE IN QUALITY OF TELEVISION POST-SOPRANOS AS OPPOSED TO PRE-SOPRANOS. IT HAVE THE SAME EFFECT AS THE HAYS CODE. OF COURSE THERE A MILLION INCREDIBLE TV SHOWS OF NON-MODERN INTEREST: MARY TYLER MOORE (SHOULD BE  A TV-WRITERS TEXT BOOK), CHEERS, ALL IN THE FAMILY, THE WONDER YEARS, HILL ST. BLUES, ETC. THEY GREAT THEY JUST LIMITED IN THEIR SCOPE AND POSSIBLITY. IT TOTALLY NOT A MATTER OF JUST BEING ABLE TO SAY “FUCK.” IT A MATTER OF BEING ABLE TO EXPLORE CONCEPTS IN A CINEMATIC WAY, OR SERIALIZED CHARACTER STUDY. THAT THE BIG CHANGE. TV SHOWS NEVER MEANT TO HAVE SHELF LIFE AND DURATION BEYOND REPEATS. EVEN HILL STREET BLUES WAS ABOUT BEING INTERESTING “THAT WEEK” AND NOT TELLING A LARGER STORY (THOUGH THEY COULD DO THAT). AND THE SERIALIZED STORYTELLING OF THE ERA WAS EITHER JUVENILE OR NOT-SO-GOOD PULPY. THERE JUST TOO MANY DIFFERENCES IN THE APPROACH. A POSSIBLE COMPARISON = THE DEAD-BALL ERA IN BASEBALL. IT JUST NO COMPARE.

(3)  -THERE GREAT THEORY THAT JAMES BOND ACTUALLY A TIME LORD. THINK ABOUT IT. IT MAKE PERFECT SENSE.

(4) – IT NO MISTAKE IN MULHOLLAND DRIVE TOO.

(5) – UGH. HERE WE GO. HULK LOVE WHEDON’S WORK BUT HULK NOT A “WHEDON PERSON” IF THAT MAKE SENSE. THERE THIS WEIRD TENDENCY OF HIS FANDOM TO BORDER ON MEGALOMANIA, AS IF HE THE ONLY ONE MAKING TRULY EXCELLENT PROGRAMMING WITH DISTINCT VOICE, WHEN ACTUALLY HE JUST ONE OF MANY. HULK IMAGINE THIS HAPPEN FOR SEVERAL REASONS: A) IT CAME AT TIME IN THEIR LIFE THAT THERE JUST NOT MUCH ELSE LIKE IT SO IT HUGELY INFLUENTIAL B) THE WHEDON FANS SO USED TO BE ON THEIR OWN ISLAND AND RIDICULED BY OTHER NERD FANS THAT DIDN’T GET IT THAT THEY CREATED THIS SOLIPSISTIC LIKE MINDSET. NOW IT JUST THIS INGRAINED DEFENSIVE MECHANISM DESPITE THE FACT LOTS PEOPLE FINALLY COME AROUND ON JOSS. WHY TAKE SO LONG? WELL IT DID FOR HULK TOO. HULK SUSPECT IT BECAUSE THERE SERIOUS HURDLES IN JUMPING INTO JOSS’S TONE BECAUSE ON SURFACE IT ALL JUST SEEM KINDA STUPID. BUT ONCE GET INTO IT, IT TRANSCENDENT. WELL, THE SAME WAS TRUE OF DR. WHO. HULK HAVE NO IDEA WHY WE KEEP DOING THIS. WE ASSUME THESE BELOVED THINGS ARE SOME “LESS THAN” AND IT ALWAYS A MISTAKE. AND REMEMBER THIS FROM SOMEHULK WHO LIKE ALL HIS WORK OUTSIDE OF DOLLHOUSE (WHICH STILL FASCINATING IN ITS FAILURE). AND IF YOU KNOW THINK HE NOT GOING TO TURN AVENGERS INTO VERY GOOD MOVIE YOU LIKELY MISTAKEN.

(6) – EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH THE SIMPSONS, BUT NO ONE SEEMS MENTION THE FACT THAT THE STORYTELLING DISAPPEARED UP ITS OWN ASSHOLE. THEY USED TO USE THE JAMES L. BROOKS MODEL. SEASON 10 IS UNRECOGNIZABLE TO THAT.

(7) – ONE LITTLE THING HULK FIND INTERESTING: THE USE OF THE WORD “BLACK” IN U.K. FAR DIFFERENT THAN HERE. AFRICAN-AMERICAN = THE PROPER WRITTEN NOMENCLATURE IN AMERICA, BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN U.K. WHERE “BLACK” CONSIDERED PERFECTLY PROPER. THIS NOT TO IMPLY BLACK NECESSARILY A “BAD WORD” HERE. IT INTERESTING BECAUSE A LOT OF OTHER EUROPEAN NATIONS HAVE ADOPTED “AFRO-____” NOMENCLATURE, BUT SOMETIMES WE FORGET THAT P.C. TERMINOLOGY NOT NECESSARILY TRANSLATE ACROSS CULTURE. OH AND FOR LOVE OF GOD, NO THINK HULK COMPLAINING P.C. VERBIAGE NOR THINK ONE HAS TO ADHERE TO IT. HULK JUST HIGHLY INTERESTED IN THE LINGUISTIC DISCUSSION. THAT ALL. HULK WANT U.K. READERS INPUT!

(8) – SORRY. THOSE ARE REALLY GOOD BASKETBALL PLAYERS WHO EACH HAD AN UNSTOPPABLE MOVE THAT ALWAYS WENT IN.