01. Anyone who looks at this entry has to post this meme and their current wallpaper at their LiveJournal.
02. Explain in five sentences why you're using that wallpaper.
03. Don't change your wallpaper before doing this. The point is to see what you had on.
I thought my mom might be getting tired of looking at the same Jim/Pam wallpaper from "Stress Relief" I'd had for four months, so I chose one of my old images. I found this Border-Collie-on-a-hillside picture a couple of years ago, and I love the colors and backdrop. It was prettier when it filled the whole screen - I forgot we changed the area size recently - but I still love it. Actually, I keep meaning to find something new that's the proper size, but obviously I am lazy and resistant to change of any sort. But animals are always a good image choice.
-Speaking of memes, there's a small handful of letters left in the alphabet one, including such useful ones as A, E and L, so if you haven't participated yet, feel free to add to it.
-The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Day of the Clown (because I can't hold back the squee any more; individual adventure discussion appears necessary)
Rani Chandra: wow. It's like the writers took everything about Maria, save her gender, and made it the opposite. This results in a girl who is, as far as I can tell, specifically engineered to be the most irritating character on the planet. Including but not limited to:
-"She's very curious. Wants to know everything about everyone." Well, that's obnoxious.
-She's perfectly put together: smooth skin, silky hair, exotic looks and just...catalogue-model pretty. Popular girl. Maria was very much your average nice/smart girl, so beautifully, wonderfully average. She's like someone I would have actually been friends with, whereas Rani and I would never have so much as crossed paths. It's not that she's not intelligent; she obviously is, but she's one of those social butterflies I always looked at in advanced classes and went "seriously, how are you part of this?"
-Rani is very, very sure of herself. Bold and a bit cocky, even, whereas I got the sense that Maria was fairly meek and shy. Even though she was inquisitive and stubborn coming 'round at Sarah Jane's and slipping off at the Bane factory, she was still clearly more reserved than Rani. Rani's got the big personality of...what's her name, the loudmouth girl in the first episode.
-And ugh, her father...can't stand him either. Ghita is, surprisingly, perhaps the best Whoniverse mum since Jackie Tyler (aside from her annoying trait of dropping the "Jane"), but that in no way makes up for her unpleasant headmaster of a father. I WANT ALAN BACK.
-In sum, Rani is to Martha what Maria was to Rose. Except worse, since I find it extremely difficult to imagine ever declaring her "unexpectedly awesome." Tolerable - she might make it to tolerable if they keep having brilliantly written stories to distract me. I can't promise any more.
On the bright side, Clyde suddenly seems much funnier than ever before. Maybe if I focus real hard on his smirky jokes, I can blot Rani's existence out of my consciousness.
Because if not for her? This would far and away be the best episode yet.
* Something I forgot to mention earlier, but this episode reminded me of - I love all of Sarah Jane's house, but her bookshelves particularly mesmerize me. It's absolutely beautiful, a perfect mixture of old and new covers, complete with random objects sitting on the shelves. It is perhaps the best bookshelf ever depicted on screen. What? This is the kind of thing I notice.
* Further on Sarah Jane, in my ramblings about the internet, I just discovered Elisabeth Sladen is 61 years old. Are you kidding me?! I mean, I guess I should have expected that, but she doesn't look anywhere near it. She has Bernadette Peters-like powers of youthful beauty.
* OK, seriously, episode discussion is happening now. Starting with the fact that near the end of part 1, I realized that the Pied Piper was played by Bradley Walsh, or as I exclaimed in glee, "RONNIE BROOKS!" Oh, man. Talk about character divergence. That just made the episode like a thousand times more incredible. (see, this is the bonus of slowly expanding my British TV wanderings - I can finally start to recognize guest stars)
* I am legitimately certain that Doctor Who has never introduced an alien as terrifying as evil clowns. Like, they tried with the clockwork masks of "Girl in the Fireplace"? And "Blink" was the creepiest thing ever, but it still can't hold a candle to the terrifying powers of SINISTER CLOWNS. Who appear in mirrors, disappear in a flash leaving nothing but their echoing laugh, or go from inanimate props to lurchingly alive clown armies. I may or may not have curled up under my blanket and shivered while watching this at night.
* I once had to look up "phobia of clowns" to use in Interview Lady, since it's a recurring theme for one of the characters, and so no every time someone on TV explains "colruphoba" I feel smug that I already know that word.
* Someone mentioned that there was continuity with "The Celestial Toymaker," which I looked up on Wikipedia but can't quite make heads or tails of, other than thinking it sounds creepy and cool. stunt-muppet! I need you! (to be my guide and explain Classic Who canon to me, since I can never tell when it's cropping up in this series and I am MOST JEALOUS of people who can)
* LOVED the creepy circus museum. Can I please be turned loose to wander around that set for a while? Between the stuffed bear, the mounted elephant head, and everything else I could see in that scene...yeah, I think I'll be over here on Google researching real circus museums.
* "The fear of the painted smile" - *shivers* That would make a cool fic title, wouldn't it? Just the phrase "painted smile" could be applied to a whole range of connotations, from the chilling to the enigmatic.
* Actually, I'm not sure any fic could live up to what we actually got, in terms of Sarah Jane's backstory with clowns (a little bird told me "Aunt Lavinia" was Classic continuity too, is that right?). I was happy enough just with the CREEPY AS HELL dancing little marionette and the flashbacks to young!Sarah Jane curled up fearfully in bed - surrounded by other awesome vintage toys; I can has set tour #2? - but then there's the cut to present.
"Aunt Lavinia told me that I was being silly. It was a puppet, it was a trick of the light in the storm. Perhaps it was. But...it was the first time I'd ever cried out for my parents. You see, I never really knew them - I was only a baby when they died."
And then I'm too busy being bowled over in shock and delight at her brave little attempt to fight back tears, and Luke ever so adorably putting his arm around her.
* By the way, for all that I didn't like about Rani, it was at least a little bit gratifying to see Sarah Jane do her best to keep her out of things (not unkindly, but still firmly anti-more-kids-joining-my-dangerous-life)
Here's hoping this trend keeps up, i.e. Sarah Jane might grow rather fond of/impressed by her little journalistic protegee, but will not go around taking to her like an adopted daughter either.
* Relatedly: so much love for Luke morosely reading Maria's e-mail at the beginning, hastily shutting the laptop before Sarah Jane could read it, and objecting to Clyde's notions that he fancied her. *pats*
* The ending was fun, heh. Laughter > fear. I like how this series always leaves resolutions 'til the last second, when you can't figure out how they're *possibly* going to get out of this, and suddenly they come out triumphant. Bonus: one of our multiple required hugs per episode when Luke pops back into existence.
By contrast, I can sum up "The Secrets of the Stars" like so:
-Well, that wasn't melodramatic and overwrought at all.
(but in a way where I still had fun watching it, because that's what this show is. Unstoppable fun.)
-Excessive and repeated mentions of the Doctor, yay! And things like "Is [Rani] your companion?" BONUS: Flashback clip from "School Reunion," which is awesome, as I was just thinking to myself that I should rewatch that sometime soon. I was watching The Stolen Earth/Journey's End this morning, and flailing a lot over all of Sarah Jane and/or Luke's scenes.
-Ew, Rani and I share the same astrological sign.
-Awww, Luke's specialized teen angst will never not be adorable. This time he's morose about not having a real birthday, never having a childhood or been a baby like everyone else.
-Hug Tiem Nao:
-And then he saved the world by being different! And so this shall forever be his future equivalent of a birthday, with presents and cards and cakes, and how about a party! (Hee. I love the two of them and the little bubble of joy that surrounds them)