Once upon a time, when I was a wee little thing, on one of my many many many trips to the local library, I happened by chance to pick up a copy of one of the Myth books by Robert Asprin. It was the first time that I can recall having been exposed to fantasy that was fun and funny, and didn’t require the hours of intense study that Tolkein demands, nor a handy checklist to track characters/plot/weird names for standard things that some other fantasy tomes seem to require (“serious” fantasy vs. urban/modern fantasy, in my mind). And confession: I was about 12 or 13 when I tried to read Tolkein for the first time. My attempts at the first LOTR book never made it past the first few pages, and it took me over a month to read The Hobbit the first time (later had to read it again for a children’s fantasy novel course in university, went a bit faster that time).
I’ve also never been a huge fan of science fiction, though I have enjoyed some of it. When I was younger, I started poking through some of my dad’s collection, and I read a Heinlein or two, as well as a great deal of Stephen King (I know, horror, not science fiction). Somewhere in there I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide, too.
I’ve also gone through a romance novel phase, and have retained a few authors that I follow to this day.
What I’ve learned as my tastes have evolved is that I really enjoy humor in my books, as well as a good plotline and characters I care about — I know, not particularly unusual.
I’ve also found myself looping back to the fantasy roots that I never really left, with the main appeal being urban fantasy. I did retain my love of Robert Asprin’s books, and followed the Myth, Phule and Dragon’s books until his death (though admittedly some of them are on my stack of reading I still have to get to). I loved his characters, his voice, and his sense of humor, and I think it’s a tragedy that he passed away when he did — not to mention the personal problems he was suffering before his passing.
Through intriguing covers, write ups and conversations with book sellers and friends, I’ve become exposed to a number of other authors that I follow avidly, and I always appreciate new authors to try.
Another day I’ll write more about that — this post has gotten away from my original intention, which was to talk about television.
Again, through online forums, friends, tvtropes and other avenues, I’ve picked up shows here and there to try, and some of them I’ve kept up with and others not so much. I started watching Leverage a little while ago, and still enjoy that (hey, that guy was on Angel!). I heard a podcast with one of the actresses and read on tvtropes about Warehouse 13; love it, think it’s a lot of fun. I’ve picked up Fringe and Eureka, though haven’t had the chance to watch too many of those episodes just yet. And so on.
But one show that many die-harders watch that I never got into was Doctor Who. Back when I was a wee thing, when the opening credits would play, I would hurry to change the channel because for some reason they creeped me out. I don’t know if it was the flying faces or if I happened to catch a bit of an episode one day and it scarred me, but I just found it really disturbing and never was into it.
So when the reboot happened a few years ago, it didn’t affect me even when I had many friends watching and getting worked up over episodes and so on. I’m into pop culture, so of course I knew about Daleks and the companions and other elements of the show, but I couldn’t hold a conversation about it and wasn’t too fussed one way or the other.
So here I am, surrounded by friends who are big fans of the show, own DVD box sets of it and Daleks and the like, and despite the fact that your peer group are typically more influential on you than other circles, I never bothered to watch the show.
So you can imagine my surprise when it was my father-in-law of all people who started me out on it.
My father-in-law is a lovely man who I’d only previously seen watch a few movies — typical guy fare, explosions and chases and the like — and home renovation shows that usually ran in the background. I didn’t know he had a taste for sci fi until one weekend when he and my mother-in-law were staying with us, and a Doctor Who marathon happened to be on. I sat down to watch out of politeness and lack of caring about what was on really, and found myself hooked.
The marathon was running the end of the 5th season, so it was Matt Smith in all his glory. Some of the episodes were funny, some were eerie, but it was right before the end of the season with an arc that left me wanting to know how it all ended (but I had to leave to meet everyone for dinner, so that’s still pending).
I found myself the series to date, and started watching. I really liked Christopher Eccleston, and it took me a bit to adapt to David Tennant’s Doctor (and confession, I didn’t entirely get the Girl in the Fireplace), but now I’m a fan of him, too. I think so far I prefer Rose to Martha, but when she’s not mooning over the Doctor she’s great. Rose’s last episode made me teary, I’ll admit it.
But here we are, finally coming around to my point. Last night, I finally got the chance to see Blink. Of course, I’d heard of the Weeping Angels, and I’d seen this adorable video:
But I hadn’t actually watched the episode until yesterday.
And you know what? I actually thought it was a really sweet episode. Sure, it had some scary moments, but overall I just found it very sweet, for lack of a better word. I really liked Sally Sparrow and thought she was a great character. Didn’t do anything stupid, didn’t panic or freak out or run around like an idiot for 37 of the 42 minutes, and maybe even would’ve made a good companion, were the episode to go a different direction.
So I’m definitely looking forward to getting up to season 7 and seeing the reappearance of the Weeping Angels. I have the feeling from the bits and pieces I’ve picked up online I know how the episode is going to end, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to enjoy the show, and I’m glad I sat down to watch it with my father-in-law back then.