Welcome to this week’s “Postal Apocalypse!” As usual, we tackle the tough questions — questions like, “How much Doctor Who can I make my wife watch if I agree to read 50 Shades of Gray?” YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO GO WITHOUT THIS KNOWLEDGE. Please keep 'em coming — email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've tried unsuccessfully for years to get my wife into Dr. Who. I've gotten her into some nerdy stuff in the past (any post original series Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica). She's still into a lot of shows I've lost interest in (Falling Skies, Fringe, Revolution). Once, I convinced her to watch the Dr. Who episode "Blink", thinking she'd be hooked. She felt nothing, she watched the whole damn show with her icy stare and felt nothing.
Recently, we informally agreed if I read "Fifty Shades of Grey" she'd be willing to watch one more episode. I really don't want to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Should I? If so, what episode should I show her? Or, is this a lost cause that would only result in me reading Fifty Shades of Grey for nothing?
This is a very complex question, so forgive me if I take my time answering it.
On the surface, it’s standard couple procedure to perform an exchange like this at a 1:1 ratio. You watch an episode for me, I’ll watch an episode or read a book for you. I watch a series for you, you watch a series for me.
The first problem is that 50 Shades of Grey is over 500 pages. That kind of breaks the ratio, in my opinion. I’d say you could argue for two or three episodes.
The second problem is that 50 Shades of Gray is terrible. Have you read a sample? It’s like it was written by a malfunctioning sex robot. In emotional costs alone, I’d say this deal is not worth it, unless your wife really really fucking hates Doctor Who. If it’s going to cause the same amount of pain, then it would be a fair trade, but it would also be stupid, because why would you want to put each other through that.
The third problem is that your wife tried Doctor Who and didn't care for it, making this whole proposition pretty risky. But, given your spouse does seem to be pretty open-minded about scifi, I’d say you have one more chance to make it work.
Now, I personally think the most intriguing aspect of Doctor Who is the way it constantly builds on itself, the way the Doctors regenerate, the way old enemies return, the nods to the past, etc. I.e., the more you watch, the more you enjoy it. Starting her out with “Blink,” while a great episode, is tough because it hardly explains who the Doctor is, or why you should care about his battle with passive-aggressive angel statues.
I say you should try either the beginning of the Who relaunch with Chris Eccleston, or maybe the first season 5/Matt Smith episode. There she’ll get the basics and learn why someone should be fascinated with the Doctor (and thus the show). There’s a risk involved with either — if you pick Smith, some of the season 5 episodes can get stuck up their own ass, but if you pick Eccleston, then you have the Slitheen, which are just horrible.
My recommendation: Ask for 2-3 episodes because of the size of the book, and start her out with season one/Eccleston, because I still think that’s the best introduction to the character (since it was reintroducing him to a new generation) and because the Matt Smith stuff is better if you’ve seen what’s come before.
Last thought: Just a warning, but if you guys do agree to a trade, you can’t bitch horribly about 50 Shades afterwards, just like she shouldn’t complain bitterly about Who (you are 9,000% more likely to bitch). The trade implicitly carries with it a genuine attempt to like the media involved, and that precludes telling your spouse how much it sucks afterwards.
Weight a Minute
If Spider-Man or Superman lifted weights regularly, would they get stronger? Maybe the gym weights are too light, but Spider-Man could bench press small cars every day. Would it make him stronger?
No, because they’re kind of maxxed out already. When you work out, you’re basically tearing apart your muscles, and your body rebuilds them a little stronger, in order to avoid future “injuries.” But it’s not an infinite scale; you can’t keep lifting weights and keep getting stronger, because at some point you hit your ceiling.
Thanks to Earth’s yellow sun, Superman is as strong as he can possibly be. And the radioactive spider bite gave Peter Parker the proportional strength of a spider, which seems pretty definite to me. I think if he worked out, his spider-regulated body would just return to the same condition he’s been tooling around in all these years.
Note: Many other heroes could work out and get stronger. Wolverine. Batman, although if he got stronger he’d probably lose mobility, so I bet he’s exactly where he wants to be. Hulk, although since he gets stronger the madder her gets, so it would be a tremendous waste of time.
The Complaining Dead
Why does everyone hate Lori in The Walking Dead so much? I think it's arguable that Andrea deserves much more hate (first she wants to die, then she's mad she didn't get to commit suicide then she's going to save a whole town that she loves even though it's run by a madman? Yeah okay). Shane was a HUGE douchecanoe on a whole host of levels (have we forgotten attempted rape? That is seriously messed up). Even our beloved Rick deserves a little hate for his batshit insanity in S3. I just don't get all the Lori hate when there are soooo many other people to hate on. Please explain.
I agree that there’s plenty of hate to spread around in The Walking Dead; its absence of likable characters has been my chief complaint in my recaps (although I might clarify that I think Andrea is much more annoying than she is evil or loathsome). Some people hate Lori for hooking up with Shane days after her husband supposedly died, but I personally give her a pass on that because 1) she and Rick were on the verge of divorcing before Rick got shot, and 2) it’s the zombie apocalypse, shit happens.
But there are still plenty of reasons why Lori is the worst character on a show of terrible characters. First is her completely awful scene where she tells Andrea that standing watch is a man’s job and the women should be in the house doing laundry. She also thinks of herself as a mother first and foremost, but never, ever, ever keeps track of Carl (she also didn’t want Carl to learn to shoot guns, which would be perfectly reasonable if it weren’t, you know, the zombie fucking apocalypse). She complained constantly through the first two seasons, she managed to crash her car on a completely empty road, and she has no concept of her new reality.
But her biggest problem, by far, was the time she went full-on Lady MacBeth and told Rick to kill Shane, then when Rick killed Shane, she recoiled in horror from him. She was actually crazy during the entire Rick/Shane situation — randomly loving or hating each one, even though one was the father of her child and one tried to rape her — but her horrible judgment of Rick for something she’d told him to do is definitely reason #1 I and many, many other Walking Dead viewers are glad she’s dead.
Not sure if this would be quite your area of expertise, but I've been wondering for quite some time if a Twilight Zone remake/reboot would be any good or even plausible.
I think so. A weekly series of random horror, supernatural and scifi tales? I’d watch that. I can see major networks balking, because they think any series without regular recurring characters is too much for viewers to handle, but that’s why most network TV is terrible. It’s a perfect fit for SyFy, although I think AMC, FX or USA could do it really well.
1) Why didn’t people freak out more when Luke turned off his targeting computer in the original star wars? Shouldn’t everyone have been telling him to turn it the heck back on?
2) Also, in Jedi, what did Vader mean when he said “Obi-Wan once thought as you do?” I’m guessing that in one of the upcoming special editions it would have been changed to ‘you mother’. Thank god Lucas has no more control over Star Wars he probably did write the Prequels out on a napkin, didn’t he even consult his own movies before he put them out.
1) I honestly don’t know. If I were on Yavin IV and saw the blinking light that meant the only pilot with the ability to fire his photon torpedo down the Death Star’s thermal exhaust port (god, that sounds dirty) I would freak the fuck out. I’d be screaming at him to put the damn thing back on, completely ruining his ability to use the Force, he'd miss, and the Rebellion would be crushed.
It’s also worth noting that I’d still be pissed when Luke came back, even after he managed to destroy the Death Star. “So… you turned off your highly advanced shipboard targeting system because of a mystical energy an old guy told you about the day before yesterday and that you practiced using for a single afternoon? Please come here so I can punch you in your face."
2) In George Lucas’ defense, he probably thought he remembered everything about the original trilogy, having made them and all. The amount of shit I think I know that turns out wrong is pretty amazing. But I just write nonsense on the Internet, not make $250-million dollar movies.
In answer to your question, Vader was definitely referring to the idea that Anakin still had some good left in him, which I assume Obi-Wan had on the ride from the Jedi Temple to Mustafar. Hey, Vader never said Obi-wan thought it for long.
Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Emailpostman@io9.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!