Guess who’s back

Guess who’s back, back again! It’s been over six months since I’ve last written something for one of my own sites – I’ve blogged over at uncanny.ch (Book Club), at sczollikon.ch (Football Club) and at webrepublic.com (Work… Club?!), but not on one of my various properties around the internet. But today, I really felt like I wanted to write, even though I don’t really know about what.

What better time to resurrect my old personal blog, on which my last post describes my budding infatuation for Doctor Who, which has blossomed into a steady relationship with the twelfth incarnation of its titular character. The BBC show has become one of only three series where I feel the need to catch up with every episode immediately (Sherlock and Game of Thrones being the other two). I can only recommend anyone to watch the fantastic 9th season of Doctor Who, which has to be my favorite in years thanks to the stellar acting by Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and their guest stars like the incredible Maisie Williams. If you like Fantasy, Sci-Fi and good television, you should start watching this show.

Another show to watch? Master of None, the new Netflix show by Aziz Ansari – one of the funniest and realest shows I know. It’s fast-paced, smart, diverse and really captures the “zeitgeist” of modern day life for us spoiled twenty-somethings. It’s also made me want to start watching Parks & Recreation to see more of the great Mr. Ansari.

Well, my urge for writing has been stilled for the time being, but there is one more thing for you to watch – this aftermovie of Sziget 2015, one of the best music festivals in the world, gives you a glimpse of how I spent one incredible week this summer.

Until I write again (which may or may not be in 2015), as always, I remain

sincerely yours,

Albert

The Doctor is in

When I was in my first year at university, every evening of the week was characterized by the different series I followed: Entourage, Chuck, White Collar, Californication, One Tree Hill (when it still involved Basketball), Psych, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and many more (including a few guilty pleasues) were a mainstay in my weekly routine. However, as I got older, my interest in TV shows waned and nowadays, the only two shows I follow regularly are the magnificent Sherlock and the brilliant “Game of Thrones”. But on August 23, when Peter Capaldi officially takes over the reigns as the Doctor, a new show will have firmly landed on my weekly schedule: “Doctor Who”.

Since the final of the football World Cup last Sunday, I’ve finished almost three seasons of the BBC series and these are some of my impressions thus far.

Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant are fantastic.

Both of them bring different attitudes and characteristics to their titular character who has a history stretching back to 1963 and including 8 previous incarnations. Their charisma is palpable and their acting fantastic. A more in-depth looks at the different doctors and their stories (including Matt Smith whom I haven’t reached yet) can be found on uncanny.ch (Doctor Who for Dummies by Viola).

There are a lot of filler episodes, but the good ones are absolutely brilliant.

In both seasons, I found myself wanting to skip episodes or finding them somewhat unsatisfactory after finishing them.  The story arcs spanning the whole season were interestingly done, full of hints and allusions that clear up in the season finales, but still felt somewhat weak and irrelevant. This in turn led to the presence of filler episodes. However, thanks to its unique blend of humor, action and drama, the strong episodes will stay with me for a very long time. When the show is at its best, you really feel that the whole world or at least a personal destiny is in grave danger. My favorite episodes include a visit to Renaissance age France (an era I adored growing up thanks to Alexandre Dumas), an epic Battle in modern-day London including two menacing alien races and a little visit to the Moon.

It’s a great time capsule.

The first thing I thought when watching the pilot episode “Rose” was: this looks old. But with every passing episodes, the production design improved and it’s great to see the evolution of time throughout the long-running show. Seeing Rose, the wonderful companion of both Doctor number 9 (Eccleston) and 10 (Tennant), use the Samsung flip-up phone I owned back then, definitely wrapped me in a blanket of nostalgia for a moment.

Now I’m halfway through the third series (the British word for season) and I can’t see myself stopping again. I’m especially looking forward to the time Steven Moffat takes over as showrunner to see if the season-long arcs and connectors get stronger.

Check back here for more posts on Doctor Who as I progress with my marathon sessions, and until then, I remain

Sincerely yours,

Albert

Miscellaneous News about Gaming, TV and Movies

Today’s post will touch upon some of the news in the entertainment industry that have excited me in the last few days and weeks.

We’ll start off with the important gaming news:

Warlords of Draenor announced

My favorite MMORPG, World of Warcraft, just announced its next expansion: Warlords of Draenor. Without wanting to spoil too much, the story will feature an element of time travel and bring back some of the most interesting characters of the Warcraft Universe, with arcs going back to Warcraft 2 being revisited and maybe altered forever. Added to the new story and the new continent to be discovered, there will be modernized character models and a raised level cap. I’m looking forward to the new expansion, because Blizzard has an excellent track record of adapting its games and it has breathed new life into the almost 10-year old MMO.

Next Gen is here… well almost

The Next Generation consoles have launched in North America and will soon be spreading to Europe and also Switzerland. I have no plans on getting a new console for the moment because they’re still extremely expensive and bound to be plagued by bugs at the start. Also, the set of games are not yet that appealing to me. It will be interesting to see how many of the multimedia function the XBox One offers in the US will make it over the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, I’m doubtful that any of it will make its way into European living rooms until late 2014. The Playstation 4 is cheaper and as an owner of its predecessor, I might give a shot as soon as the first PS4-only hits have come out.

Doctor Who Anniversary

This Saturday, BBC is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its cult show “Doctor Who” with the day of the doctor, a special episode featuring some very interesting special guests. While I have only seen one season of the Doctor, the series is an integral part of today’s pop culture and has influenced so many shows and books out there. Being on air for 50 years (with one or the other break) is a major accomplishment and will be rightfully celebrated. It runs on BBC One and BBC One HD at 20:50 CET

Catching Fire

Also happening this week is the Switzerland release of the second Hunger Games movie: Catching Fire. I missed the hype the first time around, but after reading the book over the summer (my review), I’m excited this time around. The stunning Jennifer Lawrence will reprise her role as Katniss Everdeen and is joined by an all-star cast including (but not limited to) one of my teenage favorites in Jena Malone (Donnie Darko), Academy Award Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and Woody Harrelson. I hope the movies lives up to its role models.

There are other interesting movies set to be released in the next week, with the new Woody Allen movie “Blue Jasmine” opening in Switzerland tomorrow as well. “The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug” is only three weeks away as well. Winter is a great time for the movies, even though the summer blockbuster season is more important for the studios.

Don Jon

And to end the post, a short recap of Joseph Gordon-Levitts wonderfully funny movie, Don Jon. I saw the movie a week ago after waiting for it for much of the calendar year and it didn’t disappoint. Being a big fan of its writer, director and star, I walked in with high expectations. Don Jon is a movie about a New Jersey playboy with a porn addiction, who falls for a perfect 10 (played by Scarlett Johannson). Of course, his problem doesn’t sit well with the dream girl. Mr. Gordon-Levitt delivers an unpredictable story with wonderful shots, interesting characters and funny dialogue. Scarlett Johannson looks amazing and plays an amazingly superficial character, while Tony Danza and Brie Larson shine as members of Don Jon’s family. The appearance of Julianne Moore leads the movie on the right track to its fitting ending. All in all, the movie is definitely among my favorites this year.

Okay, that’s it from me for the week. Back this Friday with the overdue 24th chapter of “An Elusive Hero”. Have a great Wednesday and please like, share and subscribe!

Sincerely yours,
Albert