Missed me? Probably not. The rest of the team seem to have been filling in far too easily and efficiently while I’ve been away. But in case you hadn’t noticed, I've been on a two week holiday.
Not that I’ve been very far. No sun-drenched beaches for me. I’ve had a staycation (as I think the trendy phrase is), working on a secret personal project, and geeking out unashamedly. Yep, a busman’s holiday, but the bus I was driving was like the one Cliff and the gang commandeered in Summer Holiday , except with less singing. Though not totally without singing…
Because for one thing I caught up with Community . Yep, I watched every episode so far from the pilot to the latest episodes. And there are a quite few musical numbers in there. Total convert. Much prefer it to Big Bang Theory .
I was also pondering the idea of Danny Pudi (Abed) as the twelfth Doctor long before I got to the infamous Inspector Spacetime episodes. But let me make one thing clear: I mean Danny Pudi as the Twelfth doctor, not Abed. I seriously hope Pudi doesn’t become typecast as "the autistic nerd" because those moments in Community when he’s allowed to play Abed differently – such as his birthday episode – prove what a versatile and formidable actor he can be. Although if he ever did get the role (which, to be honest, is hardly likely) I would seriously recommend he doesn’t use his British accent…
On the other hand, I was severely disappointed by the music. I was hoping for a recognisable, hummable theme. I couldn’t hum the Avengers music five seconds after I’d left the cinema. While the incidental music didn’t actively detract from the film, it didn’t bolster any of the scenes either. Specifically, the long tracking shot during the climactic battle was crying our for something as memorable as John Williams’s score for the asteroid sequence in The Empire Strikes Back .
In fact, I reckon music is the one area where Marvel has really missed a trick with its series of shared universe films. Maybe themes from each of the preceding films ( Iron Man , Thor , Captain America ) were incorporated into the Avengers soundtrack; the fact I don’t know if they were or not says a lot about how effective they were. None of the Marvel movies so far have given us strong, iconic themes, and the Avengers music could have benefited from stirring, recognisable fanfares to introduce the main characters. Minor quibble, though. After all, who’s listening to the music when the dialogue is so darned good?
(* Though, to be fair, he does argue that Halle Berry got the delivery all wrong, and we’re inclined to believe him on that one)
And watching them all in such a short space of time also confirms without any doubt that X-Men: First Class exists in a parallel reality. Its wanton disregard for continuity almost becomes part of the fun, especially if you turn it into a drinking game.
This flaw was highlighted even more by, perhaps, (spoiler warning for people watching at UK pace) the best episode of the season – “Hat Trick” – which was set in another, different parallel fantasy universe, inspired by Alice In Wonderland . The FX weren’t much more convincing than usual, to be honest, but the more outlandish designs gave the episode a refreshingly quirky visual sheen normally missing from the show. Let’s hope we get to see more of this world soon.
And finally, I bought some new Cons. Couldn’t resist…