Doctor Who: The Many Lives of Doctor Who – Richard Dinnick – REVIEW

Hey guys – so I know Tina tends to be more of a book-lover on the blog than myself, but one of my goals for this year is to read more as a way to expand my knowledge as well as to give myself and my eyes, some much needed “R&R” away from screens. I intentionally set the bar low on my Goodreads with only 10 books because I know it can be hard during the school semester to read for classes let alone for myself. Plus, I want to get back into the habit of reading more!! I remember when I used to whizz through books during high school so my hope is to return to my former reading glory of satiating several books monthly. Considering I’ve already read four so far this January, I’d say I’m doing well!

The latest book I’ve finished has been the graphic novel Doctor Who: The Many Lives of Doctor Who from Richard Dinnick. I’ve been learning that I enjoy reading graphic novels. I used to read manga and have more recently enjoyed reading the March historical trilogy from Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and earlier this month, I polished off Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. It really shouldn’t surprise me that I like graphic novels so much, seeing how I loved reading the comics as a kid (I absolutely loved Opus the Penguin).

I’m also quickly becoming a Whovian. I’ve been working my way through watching both the Tenth and Thirteenth Doctor, and my eventual goal is to watch every single Doctor. I’m no where near done, but I have a basic understanding of both the order of the Doctors and some of the creatures from the iconic British science fiction program. Now that I’ve explained that, let’s talk about the book itself!!

The book kicks off right as the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) regenerates. While the regeneration process takes place, The Doctor revisits past incarnations of himself as a means to prepare the latest and current Thirteenth Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) to travel through space and time dimensions. While I mentioned before I’m not yet as well-versed in all versions of The Doctor, I think this book was a fun read despite that and it’s not really necessary to have that knowledge to read it. The fourteen different stories from prior versions of The Doctor provided a really enthralling read as they travel through space and time from New York in the 1980s, Northern Italy in 49 B.C.E, and beyond. The stories not only feature the 14 different versions of The Doctor but also incorporates some of the beloved companions, other characters, and creatures like the Daleks and Cybermen throughout the series. The stories also incorporate various established characteristics from the series such as The Doctor’s distaste for pears. Regardless of how much you may or may not know about the series, this book does a good job about making a series of short tales that are captivating without needing extensive knowledge about everything within the Doctor Who series.

The stories in Dinnick’s book would be nothing without the mesmerizing illustrations. The illustrations within are individual masterpieces as each story was done by different illustrators. Like each incarnation of The Doctor, the illustrations have their own discernible creative differences but every illustration is both authentic and gorgeous visual representations in their own way. I think one of my favorites were the illustrations of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor – they’re absolutely adorable and fun and made me want to switch to watching the Fourth Doctor now!

Whether you’re a fan of the longstanding sci-fi series or just looking for an in to the Doctor Who fandom (I’d say that this book is a great way to enter this world, that can honestly feel overwhelming to anyone unfamiliar), this book is a very short read and if you’re anything like me, will leave you wanting more. The book earns a 3.84 rating on Goodreads, but I personally would’ve given a higher rating of 4.5. It is absolutely brilliant and it’s safe to say I want to dive further into Doctor Who graphic novels!!

Advertisements

Double Vision: Sitcoms & the Great Recasting

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – you’re watching a TV show and you notice that one actor who was on the show in its first few seasons, is back as somebody else. Well, I recently noticed this with Golden Girls when in one of the episodes Rose was dating a guy named Arnie Peterson who looked really familiar. Turns out the character was played by Harold Gould who would go on to portray another of Rose’s love interests with Miles Webber. A whole dissertation could be devoted to the way Golden Girls reuses actors or has several actors playing the same characters, but it’s not just Golden Girls that I’ve picked up on this, it’s sort of a whole thing…

 

Harold Gould as Arnie Peterson (left) and Miles Webber in The Golden Girls.

Read More »

Why I Hated The Last Season of The Office

So I’m probably one of the last people out there to watch The Office (what can I say I’ve been living under a rock), but it was one of my goals for the new year to finish watching every single episode of the show which spanned the course of nine seasons. I started watching the show around the time I was finishing my undergrad and I quickly understood why it’s such a favorite. But I have to admit that in contrast to prior seasons, the last season just wasn’t as good in my opinion. Hear me out – it wasn’t all bad, but there were definitely things I thought could’ve been better about this cult favorite show’s final season.

The Bad, The Good and The Ugly

First off, I really hated the way that Andy just up and left everyone (especially Erin) to be on a boat/in the Bahamas for three months! I know comedic writing makes sure to incorporate the foibles of characters, but it just seems rude that Andy would make such a profound misstep after telling Erin that he loved her, by acting like such a jerk during season nine. One of my other gripes about the last season were the conflicts between Jim and Pam. I really felt uncomfortable with the way Jim was splitting his time between Philly working for his company Athlead, and working in Scranton part-time at Dunder Mifflin. All while Pam was left to hold down the fort as a single mother. I was conflicted – I wanted Jim to follow his dreams, but also I could see the strain being put on Pam and felt sympathetic for her. Especially as there were several moments during the season that I felt Jim was being really dickish to Pam unnecessarily (say for failing to get a video of Cece’s ballet recital)! I just felt like after watching Andy and Jim for so long, they suddenly were acting completely out of character. Here were two guys who at one point, would have done anything for the women they loved. Everyone is entitled to their missteps in life but it just felt like too much. Long gone were the twelve days of Christmas and teapots with secret love notes.

It was hard (that’s what she said) to watch the ninth season with the roller coaster ride that Angela and Dwight’s story lines had become in the final season. Angela finds out that Robert is cheating on her with Oscar, but she continues a short lived facade of a happy marriage to The Senator. Dwight then asks Angela for assistance caring for his elderly aunt as the two reconnect, but any hopes of the two reuniting are squashed by Angela’s mention of her husband Robert. Dwight soon ends up romantically pursuing his neighbor Esther while Angela’s marriage to Robert continues to unravel when during a televised press conference he comes out as gay. The results end up providing one of the sweetest moments from Oscar as he offers a place to stay after Angela is evicted.  It’s difficult because you just know that Angela and Dwight belong together!! The will they, won’t they of their relationship extends dangerously close to the end of the final season. I’m just happy there was a happy ending, or this entire post would be one long bitch about how they belong together!

Another area of frustration for me was the warehouse mural. Pam’s artistic skill is so underappreciated throughout the show and few really seem to acknowledge it (I’m still a little choked up from Michael’s reaction to Pam’s paintings in the Season Three episode “Business School”) so when someone defaced the mural (with butts, really?!?) that she was working on in the warehouse it really bugged me, but then we find out who did it. Is it just me or does Brad William Henke (who portrays new warehouse worker Frank) play the whole douchey antagonistic type of character really well as evident by his character in Orange Is The New Black? Things were definitely made better when we were provided another sweet instance of Pam and Dwight teaming up as they painted on his truck together. It can’t be said enough – Dwight and Pam’s friendship throughout the show is seriously underappreciated!!

This might be controversial, but for me, one of the highlights of season nine was the exit of Ryan Howard’s character. I did miss the sass that Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor brought to Dunder Mifflin, but I’m not going to lie – I absolutely couldn’t stand Ryan so I may have clapped when it was mentioned by Toby that he had left (sorry, not sorry)!!

Read More »

Build With Us! Sims 4 Build Challenge – January – #Sims4PubCrawl

It’s a new year and I’m excited to introduce a new series to the blog with Sims 4 monthly builds. You may know I’ve been playing The Sims since its initial series of games (I still have the complete The Sims game disc and can remember the graphics that seem so primitive in contrast to the game today), but I feel like despite the many (many) years that I’ve been playing, I very rarely share what I’m up to in the game, or the builds that I create.

So I’ve decided to create a thing! I was thinking that in a way to get myself to share my creations, we could all do it together. Starting this month, I plan to share a different themed build on the blog each month. I’ll be uploading each one to the gallery and I hope that you will feel inspired to join in and do the same!

Read More »

The 12 Episodes of Christmas: 12 Must-See Sitcoms for the Holidays

Can you believe there are only eight days until Christmas? That means that there are only eight days to figure out last-minute gifts, wrap them, and perhaps most sad to me – only a few days left of my new favorite Moser Roth chocolate truffle advent calendar. One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is giving myself the gift of some self-care and R&R (rest and relaxation) and that’s definitely true this year after wrapping up my first semester of grad school. I can’t think of a better way to relax than kicking back with my sitcoms (unless you add some advent truffles into the mix). Before you set out cookies and milk for the Big Man, here are the 12 Episodes of Christmas to get you in the holly jolly mood!

Frasier – “Perspectives On Christmas” (S5, Ep. 9)

This episode shows how things go awry for many of the characters through the course of one week leading up to the holidays, but arguably one of the best parts is the late John Mahoney attempting to sing “O Holy Night”.


Read More »

First Impressions — THE SIMS 4 GET FAMOUS

Lights, camera, action!! The latest expansion pack for The Sims 4 dropped yesterday with Get Famous and it’s packing all the star power. The expansion pack brings fame and glory to our Sims as they are introduced to the magical realm of celebrity and the entertainment industry. While there is certainly glitz and glamour with the new gameplay possibilities, one of the real stars for me is the newest content in Create-A-Sim and Build/Buy mode.

Create-A-Sim:

The new clothing and accessory options are stunning for their amount of detail and gorgeous color swatches and patterns in both modern fashion pieces and in pieces that seem to be vintage-inspired (the dream of the 90s is alive in Get Famous). While a lot of the pieces connect to film genres (most notably western), the clothing brilliantly represents the shimmer and shine of Old Hollywood fashions fit for your Audreys and Marilyns while also providing options for your non-thespian Sims. The accessories and hats aren’t too shabby either with hat options that pair with over-the-ear headphones along with some themed hat options, accessories such as a shiny new wristwatch, necklace, and pair of earrings.

 

Build/Buy Mode:

The options in build/buy mode presented in Get Famous is a blend of a sort of gilded series of pieces that give me Rococo vibes and Mid-Century pieces that continue where The Sims 4 Bowling Night Stuff started. I’m going to be honest – I absolutely LOVE Mid-Century architecture and furniture so when I saw the latest pieces from this pack, I was in love. I don’t personally see myself using too much of the Rococo-style pieces (although it would be perfect for a castle build with those fancy new texture tools), but that’s not to say they aren’t incredible!! One of my absolute favorite pieces from this expansion hands-down would be the new GrammyPhone Radiogram Mid-Century stereo cabinet. I’ve been hoping for a better stereo so when I spotted this new stereo in action as the vinyl record spun, my heart was over the moon in love (seriously, thank you Sim Gurus)!! The build mode objects we were given are equally awesome with the adorable selection of Quaint Cottage Sash Windows and Stable As A Brick Column (the brick column of my building dreams).

 

Overall, The Sims 4 Get Famous gets on the A-List for its gorgeous new clothes and objects alone. And that’s not even including the outrageous new gameplay that your Sims can now indulge in as they become the stars of stage and screen! You can snag the latest expansion pack with The Sims 4 Get Famous today in the Origin app or here. Are you a fan of this star-studded expansion pack? Let us know your thoughts on Get Famous below!!

 

 

Let’s Sim – Sims 4 Build – Brindleton Bay Library

This summer, the library system in my county has been running a reading passport contest where people are encouraged to visit the various library branches around the county in order to potentially win prizes. I have knocked a few of the branches off the list and in the process, I’ve enjoyed the architecture of the different buildings I’ve visited. It doesn’t take much for my mind to wander into thinking of ideas for The Sims – it pretty much happens whenever I leave the house. I decided to challenge myself into making a library, but not just any kind of library… a TREEHOUSE library!

One of my favorite types of constructions are treehouses – I used to dream about having one as a kid and I love the Animal Planet show Treehouse Masters with treehouse aficionado Pete Nelson so I thought I would combine my love of treehouses and my make the ultimate library.

I opted to place it in Brindleton Bay because it fits the cozy aesthetic that I get from the town as a whole. The lot that it is on is the 40×30-sized Tail’s End lot originally labeled as residential located in the Whiskerman’s Wharf not far from the Brindleton Bay docks. It really provides a stellar view of the water and the nearby docks while the treeline, especially with the addition of Seasons, makes it really pop!

Okay, no more rambling, let’s just get to the build, shall we??

Read More »