This just in; Ian Thorpe has retired from swimming, at 24 years of age. I’m sure he’ll get murdered in the press — they’ll call him lazy, pathetic, a disappointment. But I for one know that if I could have retired last year I would have. The daily grind is getting to me. My 3-day weeks are wearing me down. The pressure of updating a website on a semi-regular basis. All the television I’m forced to watch.

Like Thorpie, Torchwood is also failing to live up to expectations. I’ve fallen behind on reviews mostly due to rehearsals for the Revue that happened on the weekend, but also because they’re not that exciting. I don’t enjoy writing negative reviews much, and I’ve got at least two that I need to do to catch up. It’s not the worst show ever, but it suffers from a strong case of “what the hell are we trying to do?”

And even though it looks from the outside like an ensemble show, it’s miserably failing on such things, partly because it keeps insisting on only having one plotline to sustain you for 50 minutes of runtime. This sort of thing works in Doctor Who, partly because you’ve only got two regular characters, and more because the adventure genre’s really good at stringing excitements together in a row. Putting five cast members together running through the same plot just gets dull. Let’s have multiple cases in an episode please. Or something.

At least some of the characters talked to each other this week. That was nice.

Putting on the Revue was something of a disappointment too — not that anything was wrong with it, particularly, but the fun of putting on a musical, putting all the songs and scenes together and getting something bigger and cooler as a result is completely missing from stringing a bunch of unrelated songs together. Of course, there was a lot less effort involved, too, but I’m left feeling like I paid half price for something a quarter as good.

Everyone online is talking about how good the new James Bond flick Casino Royale is, but it’s not out here for another two weeks. You’d think I’d be used to this sort of crap, but I’ve grown accustomed to getting everything at the same time as everyone else in recent years, for one reason or another.

Not everything’s disappointing. Battlestar Galactica continues to rock. There’s a Christmas special of Doctor Who around the corner. The next Harry Potter film looks like it might be better in film-form than in book-form.

Retiring at 24. Jealousy just doesn’t cover it.


5 Responses to “Disappointments”

  1. A quarter as good huh? That makes sense, I guess. I don’t really quantify it personally. They’re completely different experiences, there is no doubt. I sort of think of a revue as.. I dont know, running sideways to a real show rather than placing one above the other. I’m not sure they’re comparable. For me though, with the work being divided by 1,000 and actually getting a chance to perform myself.. well, I like it this way. I like remaining sane at the end and not needing to take three months to get over how utterly exhausted and burnt out I am after a proper show. It felt like life went on as normal outside of rehearsal times with the revue, whereas on city of angels, i was so spaced out with knackeredness all day every day i couldn’t remember my middle name for a good three months. On that note, who’s volunteering to direct the next one??

  2. Indeed. From your point of view I’m sure it’s far and away easier. The difference in investment on your side of things is massive! Whereas for a straight, non-lead role performer it seems comparable.

    The quarter isn’t necessarily true, but I needed a number for the analogy. I had fun rehearsing it but performing it felt weird. Like there was no point to it. “Here are our songs which we chose for us. Hope you like them.” I dunno. With musicals I’ve had something of a rush at the performance, though in the clarinet-playing case that might just be lack of oxygen.

    Also — I like having a director who tells you exactly what they think. Though you did a bit of this for all of us, I found I really missed it when discussing how to choreograph, dress, and most importantly sing, for ‘Little Fall’. I don’t feel democracy has a place in performances!

  3. Given the introductions of the team in the first episode of TW, I expected them to act more like team, like the way the people in CSI or House operate. They don’t seem as methodical in the approach to the problems they face.

    I’d like to see more about how TW Cardiff interacts with the rest of the DW universe: whether TW1 has recovered; how did Jack get to be here and what’s so great about the 21st Century.

  4. I liked the ramshackleness (ramshackality? ramshackilility?) at first but they’ve proven so disorganised and ineffective it’s starting to piss me off. The first three episodes made them seem something near organised but in later episodes they just blunder in without a plan.

    Works if you’re a Time Lord. Not sure it’s the right fit for this bunch.

    I’m sure we’ll at least see an answer to Jack’s movements at some point.

  5. I hear that you’re a genius.