Here is a fine example of my laziness. Why do I always write that long? I write whatever comes to mind. This isn’t thought put into posts, it’s laziness – I don’t feel like filtering them!
This review from That Guy With the Glasses kind of upset me, because while we both agreed that Love and Monsters was a bad episode, he spent 25 minutes breaking it down to its atoms and then mocking each one to prove his point. You can do that to any episode of any show and it’ll look bad. An episode should be judged first and foremost by the way it made you feel and react, and that’s IMHO what he’s missing – it’s not the parts of it that are bad, it’s the essence behind it. Here’s my reply on their site:
I disagree with nearly everything you said but I agree with the conclusion. This episode was one of the worst, perhaps the worst in the new series.
It wasn’t the vlog – that actually worked quite nicely for Doctor Horrible later on. It wasn’t the gags, they were alright. Not the dancing, people do that on YouTube, the band shows the atmosphere.. Most of these little details could be okay.
So what went wrong? Because we certainly aren’t happy.
It’s the tone of writing. The way the writer and the team treated the episode as a whole.
Sure, a child made up the monster (an excellent way to get children interested in film making and making British television and entertainment what it is), but it has potential (like a pepperpot with a plunger was a good idea?) and if you ask good D&D dungeon masters they’ll tell you any spark of idea can become a good plot. Why didn’t this one? Because of the “dungeon masters”.
This episode, unlike most others, is written for children, thus shunning everyone above the age of 7. But wait, there’s more – I believe it shuns children as well. I don’t know how well it was received among children though, but I’m guessing.
There’s an underlying condescending tone in this entire episode. A very childish tone. They speak and act as if this show is strictly for 7 year olds. But children expect and deserve more, and so do we.
Part of the charm in Doctor Who is that it gives us gaps to fill. For non-Brits, there are many British things in it for us to catch up with. For everyone, the Doctor is the protagonist but he’s an enigma for us to try to understand, we don’t fully understand the protagonist. For children, writing aimed higher is the gap they need to fill that draws them into the show.
How else can you explain the popularity of Weeping Angels with children? They’re not cute, they’re not easy to understand or accept. They’re a higher step on the ladder to reach for. The writing there is challenging, not condescending.
But when you aim low in your writing, in the story development, you lose your adult audience and even the children will be bored. Hence Love and Monsters.
(Yes, even with small sex jokes)
I just feel bad for the boy who made the monster and is bound to run into the comments on it, and think it was his fault. It wasn’t. It’s what the writers had in the back of their minds.