2016 Summed Up By Gravity Falls

As 2016 ticks down into fame/infamy, this is what I – and possibly, the rest of the world – learned this year, for good or for ill…
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Taken from the Gravity Falls Wiki. Not my words.

I’m sorry. I just thought about this scene today. I had to post it.

Next review (almost certainly of “Krysis”) should be up in the New Year. Tonight, I urge you all to celebrate, reminisce, and if you are of age to drink, please do so responsibly.

Also, some words on the occasion from the President-Elect of the United States:

…yup, this was a strange year.

Carrie Fisher: 1956-2016

Taken from Wikipedia.

Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia Organa herself, has died today in a Los Angeles hospital. While not completely shocking – given that she had a massive heart attack a few days ago – it’s still gutting to hear about this death in a year that’s become infamous for the sheer amount of pop cultural icons just up and dying, seemingly out of nowhere. (At least there was some warning that she was ill.)

I don’t think I can contribute too much to the tributes that will be paid to Fisher over the next couple of days. Instead, I’ll try and connect it to a (rather small) aspect of this blog. I mentioned last year, when Leonard Nimoy died, that without him, several more logical characters in sci-fi wouldn’t exist. The same could very well be said of Carrie Fisher and badass women in science fiction.

Don’t get me wrong – there were probably quite a few kickass ladies in science fiction before A New Hope. However, with Princess Leia, mainstream audiences got a taste of a leading lady – a Princess, even – that wasn’t merely a damsel in distress – that she was an active participant in the rebellion, shooting and plotting against the Empire alongside Luke. She wasn’t some prize for the hero to win (for good reason, as per the end of The Empire Strikes Back.) Leia Organa was a character in her own right – and was so endearing, she returned nearly forty years later for The Force Awakens.

I don’t often talk about gender on this blog, mainly because I feel like it’s secondary to whether or not I enjoy an art. However, I wonder – would we have gotten endearing badass women in sci-fi such as post-70s Uhura, Turanga Leela, Rey, Princess Bubblegum, Ace McShane, and 80% of the characters in Steven Universe? (That’s just off the top of my head.) I don’t really know.

All I know is that Carrie Fisher was something of a trailblazer for the industry. While she took up many roles over the years – even in silly sitcoms such as Family Guy – it was as Leia that she has left her mark on science fiction.

May the force be with you, Carrie Fisher.

Red Dwarf Review: “Officer Rimmer” (Series XI, Episode 4)

Merry Christmas, everybody! The reviews of Series XI, I guess, will serve as my Christmas Spectacular Thing. It’s gonna go into January (I think), but given that it feels like stores have begun selling Christmas goods in August, what’s the problem with going a few extra days?

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A first lieutenant must keep his priorities in order, prepare for any sort of danger. Truly, Rimmer is the MacArthur of his fleet.

“Things are about to get a whole lot more Rimmery!” – Rimmer.

Airdate: October 9th, 2016
Written By: Doug Naylor
Plot: As the title suggests, Rimmer becomes an officer. He does so by saving a JMC officer that was printed out by a 3D printer. After getting this promotion, he uses the printer to make several clones. Unfortunately, like real-life printers, this one encounters some errors… a few of which are deadly.

Review:

The idea of cloning somebody isn’t necessarily a complex idea. How this episode deals with it, though, is by analyzing the style of DNA reproduction by making temporary copies in a printer. It’s rather horrifying, especially given that the printer is connected to a network of individuals whose genomes are available for anyone to use, regardless of their intent.

Red Dwarf, like most sci-fi tropes it takes on, puts a comedic spin on it by tying it to one of the main plot threads present in the show – Rimmer’s utter failure to reach what he feels is the next class level.

On that note, anybody remember Series VIII’s “Only the Good”?

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Red Dwarf Review: “Give and Take” (Series XI, Episode 3)

“I am now fluent in all the deceptive arts. I could work for FIFA!” – Kryten. Hey, that’s base level, Krytie. Manage a presidential campaign.

Airdate: October 2nd, 2016

Written By: Doug Naylor.

Plot: While scouting for a medical droid aboard an abandoned spaceship, Rimmer and Kryten come across what they suspect is the target droid. Lister and the Cat actually do come across said droid, who proceeds to perform malpractice in a fit of insanity. Rimmer and Kryten come to their defense, and rescue them – although they destroy a pair of kidneys that were to go into Lister. With Lister’s kidneys removed, he needs to get the Cat to donate and for the rescued droid to rewrite the DNA. Unfortunately, that proves a tall order.

Review:

Hey, the Cat gets an episode! Sort of. Last time Lister and the Cat interacted, Lister learned about how Archimedes invented gravy after a bath fell on his head. What we saw there is their dynamic starting to take shape after largely being held off over the prior several series. This episode continues that trend – with Lister’s life in Cat’s hands. (Here’s hoping he had a will.) In fact, it’s probably my favorite of the season so far.

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Sadie Miller and the Tenth Doctor To Star in Ducktales Reboot

“Philistines! I mean, how can you remake Casablanca? The one staring Myra Binglebat and Peter Beardsley was definitive!” – David Lister (Red Dwarf, “Better Than Life”) expressing many people’s initial reaction to remakes. Thankfully, he might just be rebutted.

Today, DisneyXD (AKA, that network that made the lives of Gravity Falls fans utter torture) debut a trailer for their reboot of the 80s cartoon DuckTales. It introduced the cast by having them sing the (incredibly) memorable theme song.

Of note is Kate Micucci, the voice of Steven Universe‘s Sadie, getting the role of Webby, a friend of the triplets. (I am going to roll over laughing if Kate Flannery, Matthew Moy, and/or Zach Callison get a guest role. Reddit and Tumblr will have a field day.)

But, even more notable (especially to people that don’t watch Steven Universe, or are British and/or Anglophiles) is the choice for Scrooge McDuck.

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Red Dwarf Review: “Samsara” (Series XI, Episode 2)

Lister’s hair is not food. Repeat – Lister’s hair is not food.

“They’re dead!” “Hey, the medical reports aren’t in yet. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions.” – Rimmer and the Cat, discussing the bodies of Col. Green and Prof. Barker. Second time Rimmer’s introduced himself as a captain to dead people, by the way.

Airdate: 29 September, 2016

Written By: Doug Naylor.

Plot: The crew investigate a ship that crashed on an oceanic planet, as well as a pod that contains two deceased (read, dissolved) crew members. On that ship, they discover that the Samsara contains a karma drive – one which praises virtues and punishes callousness. The four split up – Lister has to deal with the Cat, while Rimmer and Kryten team up.

While this is happening, we learn more about the dynamic duo, who were locked in an affair with each other… and who’s reaction to getting caught may have damned the ship.

Review:

My thoughts about “Twentica” was that it was a rather solid opener to the series. While not ranking among my top 10 episodes of the show, it still managed to please me for 30 minutes. It was rather unique, but more of a way to establish something of a tonal shift. “Samsara” takes the tonal shift a bit further – rotating between two stories, past and present. Does it work? Well, let’s take another analysis at this.

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