Episode 39 – Jedi Math


To be honest, we’re fully beefed for the thirty-ninth episode, thin-sliced and piled high — if we knew how to make Horsey Sauce we could open an Arby’s with all these beefs. This episode we give these topics the meat-business:

  • The prequels — wait, what? I thought we already — oh, okay, something new has been added
  • Kris gets to rail on the BBC’s Sherlock
  • New sponsors!
  • Your topics! Send ’em into krischoosesatopic@chainsawsuit.com!
  • A call-in from the creator of Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes himself, Steve N. Moffit. That’s how it sounded anyway

Our talent is rare, but you’ll be saying “well done!” Brought to you by Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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75 Responses to Episode 39 – Jedi Math

  1. Kyle_Douglas says:

    Rain or Shine, Sleet or Snow, Sunday or Tuesday, it's a Kyle Douglas comment essay!

    Since I somehow slipped two topics under the radar this week (wasn't expecting my little Brad Brad joke to Mikey to be aired, but I certainly enjoyed the resulting cameo), I think it's only fair to include two of the quickie photoshops that are becoming a tradition in my comments. The first I was immediately inspired to make when Kris gave his reaction to Mikey suggesting editing the podcast on a plane: http://i.imgur.com/W8QDTsQ.jpg

    I consider this photoshop to be a transformative work. Topic segue!
    I enjoyed the discussion resulting from my topic, though it still seems muddy to me where the line for "transformative" is. Is the quality of an end result a factor in whether a work is considered a rip-off? If Star Wars had been awful and still ripped scenes directly from Hidden Fortress (but did them with robots)… would it be a more legitimate target for plagiarism accusations?

    This concept comes up again later in the podcast where Mikey admits that he defends Moffat because his "brilliance outweighs the insanity." It's far easier to defend something when you like it.

    I'm in the same boat because I also really like Moffat's work (and Veronica Mars, but that's beside the point). I can't really comment on Moffat's personal views, since I haven't seen them… with the exception of his saying The Doctor would never be a woman while he's running the show.
    But, since I like Moffat's work, my mind tends to dismiss that with "Would I want to be the guy that tried to fly in the face of 50 years of how the role has been done?"

    For Sherlock, I agree that the gay jokes have become tired… but that also leads me to try to defend Moffat again. Kris compared the first instance of the joke to the humor of getting someone's name wrong and then was a bit off-put by the fact that Watson in later episodes seems angry at being accused of being gay. But is that really that case? Or is it just following the same line of thought and Watson's just become angry at everyone "getting his name wrong" all the time?

    Doctor Who the line seems even blurrier to me on any accusations since Rory and (often) The Doctor were so conciliatory and subservient to Amy.
    That's not to say you can't counter that with other arguments involving Amy's personality and such (because you definitely can), but the degree to which I've seen some people attacking Moffat seems disingenuous with how muddled the issue seems to be within his work… though perhaps not his personal comments.

    On the other hand, I completely agree with Kris that Sherlock Series 3 was extremely audience pandering and I do think it dragged it down a bit. Though this season did avoid the "second episode slump" from the first two series, so that's nice. Overall it was still a lot of fun, so I'd probably defend a lot of that pandering.

    The point this whole rant boils down to is: "You can get away with more when your stuff is popular."
    Whether it's lifting heavily from other works, wrapping yourself with too much fanservice, or even being stuck in the last century with your personal viewpoints. How much of a problem is that? I don't personally have a concrete answer.

    Anyway, an entirely serious comment essay for a mostly serious (and interesting) installment of the podcast. And I didn't even have room to talk about Segment 1's prequel stuff before I went over my 500-word "shut the hell up and let other people talk" limit!
    I did promise a second quickie photoshop. So, I present the Mikey Smith comparison: http://i.imgur.com/onXwuZo.jpg

    • Stouffer's Derek says:

      K. Doug- That second PhotoShop is uncannily alike. You work on your British accent, Mikey (and, might I say, it’s already incredibly dashing, good sir), and you could have 13th Doctor in. the. bag.

    • Qmzn says:

      Your Hidden Fortress K-CAT reminded me, once again, of the awful introduction by George Lucas on the Criterion DVD, where he dismisses any plagiarism accusations by saying that great minds think alike. I might have to re-author the DVD with that segment excised.

      • Kyle_Douglas says:

        You need to go one step further here. Cut up that introduction to remove any direct references to Hidden Fortress and then stick it in front of a different movie. Personally, I'd like to see Lucas defend against plagiarism accusations before a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  2. iaoth says:

    Qui-Gon invented — or rediscovered — the force ghost thing. So it would make sense that he appears as a force ghost.

    • Qmzn says:

      Yeah, I was going to mention that in my Star Wars diatribe. As someone who isn't a fan of the prequels, it sucks to have knowledge of the ham-fisted exposition used to tie them to the original trilogy.

      I've often thought that if you stripped the prequels of obvious icons like Yoda and lightsabers, and names like "Kenobi" and "Skywalker", there wouldn't be enough thematic connections to the original trilogy to call them Star Wars movies. The prequels don't really feel like a romantic space opera. Soap opera, maybe, or perhaps Spy Kids. Actually, scratch that. That's unfair to the Spy Kids movies.

      • MikeyNeumann says:

        Spy Kids is incredibly apt, I think. The first one was interesting and cool, and with each new sequel, Rodriguez (who has been brought up on the podcast as well) became more obsessed with the technology than with the characters or story. The 3D CGI-fest Game Over no longer looked or felt anything like a Spy Kids movie to the children that liked them. So, actually quite apt.

        Conversely, "thematically" is a tricky word here. Some of the best sequels will keep characters and settings in place, but change up the theme entirely. Gremlins 2? Ghostbusters 2? Movies like that might not be the most beloved sequels, but at least they tried to say something different that made a sequel worth while in the first place.

        • Qmzn says:

          Yeah, maybe "tonally" would be a better choice. Pacing, coloration, editing, set design, and actor performances in the prequels are dissonant from those in the original trilogy, but all remain fairly consistent in the case of Gremlins and Ghostbusters.

          Coloration is one of the ones I really harp on a lot. When you have to color-correct the entire original trilogy with amplified blues, in a feeble attempt to match it to your all-digital prequels, you're doing it wrong, George. Dumbass.

  3. Stouffer's Derek says:


    First of all.

    The hair.

    As a female lady of the girl gender, I can tell you, the hair is, well, it’s pretty great.

    Moving swiftly on.

    Indeed, Sherlock has become extremely fan servicey. I am not extremely irked by this because, I am ashamed to say, I am a tumblr using, Scott-adoring Sherlock fan, with the GIFs and the fan fiction, and the HIVen- glavin.

    Of course, I don’t go so far as to read fan fiction.

    I reserve that for you guys. And, you may not be aware of this, but if you search well enough, Krikey Straubmann fanfiction *is* out there.

    Jesus H. Christ, do I love this podcast. And that beautiful rendition of Mad World was truly tear-jerking.



    • MikeyNeumann says:

      But did we move into fan service by doing all the hair stuff in the first place?

      OH GOD.

      *camera pushes in on Mikey's face*

      We are MOFFAT.

      • MikeyNeumann says:

        Second reply. I somehow missed the phrase, "And, you may not be aware of this, but if you search well enough, Krikey Straubmann fanfiction *is* out there" the first time.

        *camera pushes in further*


        • Stouffer's Derek says:

          Oh, sure. You make a podcast, you put it out there, it was bound to happen. Your bro-on-bro atmosphere was bound to attract a certain kind of people. But, don’t worry. It’s not hard core. You and Kris making tacos together, you teaching Kris to cook- you and Kris crying together after you killed the guys from Tyson – Jesus, they had a field trip with that one. Just don’t feed the beast, and it’ll all work out ok.

          • @giggleloop says:

            Not gonna lie, now I'm super curious about this fan fiction you speak of. However, Google just wants to show me Chainsawsuit strips about fan fiction, haha.

    • @giggleloop says:

      I pretty much agree with everything S. D. said. Besties!

  4. TV's Brent says:

    When he killed the emperor, all Darth Vader did was complete his sith training. He shouldn’t get a free pass to Forceworld Happyland for that.

  5. Qmzn says:

    Star Wars-related material will be dominating my weekly text quota. Deal with it.

    From what I've read (especially stuff I wished I hadn't) the "balance to the force" prophecy in the prequels is another pathetic attempt to foreshadow the original trilogy. That's what I gleaned from the sketchy mess of novel adaptations, making-of documents, and other such materials when the prequels came out. Without that, I probably would have thought it was an ironic allusion to the deus-ex-sixty-six massacre.

    In the core mythos, the Force isn't defined as a limited resource spread across those that use it. The imbalance in the Force supposedly stems from Jedi complacency, and their dismissive attitudes towards the dark side. Their bloated numbers are just a side effect of their overly-inclusive all-yin-no-yang philosophy. The Sith are robust due to years of serious preparation, despite having also dismissed the duality of the Force.

    The "balance" comes when Luke stares into the abyss and doesn't blink like his father did, followed by Vader's act of redemption. It's one of the best aspects of ROTJ, bookending the cave lesson on Dagobah in ESB.

    The idea of a prophesized buildup to to this event is a stupid, horrible setup for a movie, let alone three. Before release, I thought the prequels would be all about Vader, and how war and suffering can drive a good man to justify atrocities, until everyone else sees him as a monster. Instead, someone thought internal conflict meant a lot of whining and angst, amidst messianic garbage and child actors.

    "Hey guys, I sayed the sooth again. Turns out it's actually the son of the immaculate-conception racecar-driving slave kid that fixes things. Guys? Oh, guess he and pruneface killed everyone already. Boom, saw that coming, too. Saw it for you. Midichlorians."

    If anything good came out this prophetic nonsense, it's the absurd climax of the whole thing, with Ewan McGregor screaming about the "chosen one" to stumpy on the lava planet. By that point, I had fully checked out, and needed the laugh.

    Despite a history of precognative characters in narrative storytelling, I dislike prophecy as a plot device. It's similar in usage to time travel (without a cool modified Delorean), and often just a setup for the reveal of a psuedo-clever "true" meaning in act III. I mean, Tolkien managed to foreshadow his fantasy without wizards spouting visions of the future, and while I enjoy Rowling's work, I think her prophecy is a weak character motivator, and at times, pure MacGuffin. Also, Trelawney is annoying.

    Regarding the podcast, some minor feedback. I enjoyed some parts (obviously), but 39 wasn't the most focused offering. Mikey seemed a bit Cinnamon Toasted after the Crunch. Also, the video version isn't really holding my attention (especially with the feed dropouts), and I've been considering a switch back to the audio.

    • MikeyNeumann says:

      Yeah, minus the absolutely ridiculous hair stuff, there wasn't a lot to offer with the video version this week.

      I really just ran out of time. Next week will be back to awesome with the video editing when I have my full weekend to spend with the video segments.

      There's a balance to it all. We were sort of marveling last night that we're about to do episode 40. In all, the podcast is about a day of work, every week. That's 40 days of work … in 40 weeks. I'm not trying to be defensive about it (though, I'm sure it's coming off that way) but it is difficult to deliver in weeks where a lot of stuff is going on for both of us. I don't know. I worry. I worry that our entire audience will just walk away if we don't deliver something new and amazing every week. Just the act of making commercials every week is more work than most podcasts are willing to do.

      Hey, beautiful anxiety, naked and aloof, in the comments.

      • Stouffer's Derek says:

        At the risk of coming off as insanely fannish, I’ll say this:

        Don’t worry. This podcast is addictive. It’s the only podcast I consistently listen to, and, seeing as I read both of your work separately, I’m not going to stop liking you guys for one bad podcast. It’s consistently high quality, and the fact that ye actually worry about this stuff is a sign that there’s life in the old girl yet.

        I’m going to try and stop commenting now, because it’s just getting creepy .


      • Qmzn says:

        Mmm, damn, that anxiety must work out to have a body like that. Get that emotional state into some skinny jeans.

        Seriously, when I think of the podcast as of late, I keep coming back to 19, with its unintentional racism, dramatic readings, and closing out strong with Neil Diamond, and wonder if there's a way to capture even a fraction of that memorable friendship energy outside of a live environment. I feel the podcast is primarily about the inherently amusing process by which you and Kris unwind a week's worth of knots in your respective brains. "New and amazing" modifications made to purely increase our entertainment value could dampen the cathartic camaraderie at the show's core. In my opinion, whatever you choose to deliver should serve everyone involved, not just the audience.

        TL;DR, the show's not fun if you aren't having fun.

        I don't think there's risk of a mass exodus. Even when courting mediocrity, it's a show worth sticking around for. I just wonder if there's going to come a point when your production staff of one will be insufficient to support a weekly effort at a level of quality reflecting your equipment and expertise. Then, burnout, or madness. Those windmills look mighty confrontational.

        I'd just outsource the workload to the nearest film college. Think about it: student licenses of Final Cut as far as the eye can see, premium Macs bought on the government's dime, and young'uns that will work for pizza and booze. What could go wrong, besides everything?

        • MikeyNeumann says:

          Just to make sure we're on the same page, as multiple people have said it now … was this a bad episode? I thought it had lots of funny stuff in it but I might be too close to the material.

          It's probably too long, but I didn't necessarily feel it was far off from other episodes.

          As for episode 19, that's a recording of a live show we prepared and did a bunch of work to create. The podcast will never be that, nor should it be. It should be said that I think Kris and I should and could do more live shows, but I don't even know where to start in making that happen … or where they should happen. That becomes more of a reality if the show and the youtube channel continue to grow … if they don't, then live stuff is less likely because the following isn't there.

          The same with workload. If we can monetize the show, then it makes sense to have people helping put it together every week.

          • Qmzn says:

            This may not be a good idea. Everyone, please turn to page 32 in your script, put on your calm-inducing fleeced critique robes, and try not to foster deep-seated contempt for what I am about to say.

            I haven't listened to a truly "bad" episode yet. This one was a mixed bag, of "fair" quality at the lowest point. While funny at times, it had a tendency to be derivative of other episodes. Even the Star Wars discussion, while a strong start, tread familiar ground. I'd guess new listeners/viewers probably enjoyed it more than those who have consumed the back catalog.

            The funniest part to me, curiously, was in the back of the third segment, from the hair jokes until the end. There was a spontaneity present that was absent elsewhere in the episode. Perhaps the downside of structured format (greetings, discussion, commercial, KCAT, commercial, skit) is that it promotes routine behavior, which then generates the illusion of increased length.

            Keep in mind, of course, this is just one way to look at it. Isn't that the phrase you recommended using when someone ignorant doesn't know what the hell he/she is talking about? I know it was something similarly diplomatic.

          • MikeyNeumann says:

            I am asking for honest, even feedback. Everything makes more sense now. I agree with everyone you've said. I walked away thinking "that was a pretty good episode." I thought some of you were saying it was a bad one, so I was trying to understand what that meant. I merely misunderstood.

            If beaten and exhausted, we still produce an enjoyable, "fair" episode, then we're in a really good spot.

            You know one of my favorite segments was _entirely_ spontaneous. It was when Kris and I went to a network's website and read out a tv show's title, then the other person had to guess what it was about. That felt energetic and strong.

            I think ideas like that would be well received if they were sent to Kris chooses a topic. Just saying. Feel free to challenge us and invent games, not just ideas for discussion. I might throw in one of my own this week just to try something like that out.

          • Kyle_Douglas says:

            "While funny at times, it had a tendency to be derivative of other episodes"

            I think this is a legitimate concern with the episode. We've been to Star Wars land three or four times with the podcast. I think we should go there again once Episode VII news starts being announced, since then there'll be new ground to mine for discussion. But for now the well might be dry?
            It also may be a bit problematic that Mikey said he was relating thoughts he'd had a few days previously, which probably leads to the "absence of spontaneity" you're talking about.

            The Moffat bit was cross-connected with pick-up artists, the combination of which was interesting enough, I thought. But they're both places we've visited three or four times on their own.

            But I don't think that's what really held this episode back from being a great episode. It was the fact we spent so long in Sherlock and Moffat land and Kris was clearly excited to discuss such things… but that conversation ends up a bit tepid when you don't actually talk about specific scenes and moments. Just saying Series 3 is fan pandering or Moffat is a "son of a bitch" without specific examples (with the exception of Watson's gay accusation reactions) ends up feeling rather restrained.

            Now, I'm certainly not saying that spoilers should have started being spouted (especially since episodes 2 and 3 haven't even aired in America yet,) I'm just saying it may have been better to guide the conversation more towards the older episodes you may have felt more comfortable discussing openly – like when the cell phone scene from the first episode was talked about and Kris pointed out it was based on a pocket watch scene from the first Holmes novel.

            In other words, when so much stuff from Series 3 was being alluded to with broad strokes it was probably a bit dull or confusing for people who haven't seen it and it left me (who has) chomping at the bit to get into the meat of the topic… but instead I was left staring at the juicy steak from behind glass.
            Hm, food metaphors. Time to eat.

            Just to underline, I enjoyed it. I'll be here next week (or the week after if you don't try to fit one in while going JoCo Crazy (EDIT: Whoops, I thought Joco4 started January 23rd, not February 23rd.)) and I imagine for as long as you keep doing the show. If the process becomes difficult and starts leading to strain I'll take no issue with the show skipping commercial slots, or having minimal video editing (eg: just a title card followed by the recording without any fancy text overlays and such). I enjoy the songs, the commercials, the effects, etc. It does enhance the show's branding and feel… but it's still all window dressing around the core of the show I keep coming back for.

            To paraphrase Qmzn a bit further up: If you're having fun, we're having fun.

          • Qmzn says:

            I can relate. I enjoy a good chapter or two from Mocking Moffat For Fun and Profit, as long it's not parts I've previously experienced. Having only occasionally dabbled in his BBC offerings, I do get lost trying to follow the vague spoiler-free discussion. I still enjoy the silly mumbling impersonation, but I tend to enjoy silly impersonations in general.

            This is a good time to bring up an issue I've had regarding impersonations within the video version. The illusion of hosts stepping out to be replaced with "guests" worked a lot better in an audio-only environment. Cutting to the chase, the total drawing coverup isn't working for me.

            As an alternative, I would suggest holding the static shot of the empty mic after Kris leaves the frame, then matting the impersonation drawing into the upper right, like a postage stamp. I feel that would do a better job of maintaining the illusion in a comparable manner to the audio, especially when Kris steps back in at the end.

            In other words, loop that surveillance footage, to trick the security guard.

  6. Stouffer's Derek says:

    You know, I said I was going to stop commenting. I lied. I’ve already established myself as the creepy second cousin at Christmas dinner, so I’ve really got nothing to lose.

    As you already know, I thoroughly enjoyed today’s episode. If my previous mention of “one bad episode” made you think I didn’t, just know that I was talking about a hypothetical bad episode. And the longer the better, really, because I listen to this while doing un-enjoyable things (exercise, cleaning, etc.).

    I honestly think the show is actually getting better as time goes on.


    I’ll go now.

    I just don’t like to think that you guys would be thinking you did a bad job when you’re producing a wonderful, free show every week, along with Broodhollow, The Ending, well, the list goes on.



    • MikeyNeumann says:

      I understand now. I got confused because a few people made similar comments at the same time and it threw me off.

      Glad you're enjoying the show!

    • Qmzn says:

      That's not how I see it. In my mythos, K-Doug is the creepy second cousin, I'm the snobby uncle with horrible skeletons in his closet, and I had you pegged as the the exuberant well-meaning bohemian sister-in-law, who was once a successful folk singer.

      • Stouffer's Derek says:

        You know, I like that. Exuberant well-meaning bohemian sister-in-law, who was once a successful folk-singer. I like it a lot. But whose sister am I? And how did my career end? And I imagine your uncle would have a penchant for pure-bred dogs, lurchers, perhaps.

        • Qmzn says:

          I used to breed dogs, but the money has long since dried up. Now I run ponzi schemes and other small-time scams from my girlfriend's garage. My materialism has evolved into an addiction to the thrill of evading police detection.

          How about being Kim's estranged adopted sister? Your career faded away in a sea of regret and apathy, though you still play acoustic guitar sometimes at the local Starbucks, hoping a fan will recognize you.

          • Stouffer's Derek says:

            We both like to pretend that we matter to somebody, anybody, and our mutual denial makes us very close, because we share in a lie that no one else is willing to go along with. However, you make fun of me in private, and I am disgusted by your tastes in clothing.

      • Kyle_Douglas says:

        Creepy second cousin?
        I've been aiming for crazy, wild-eyed old man who shows up at every family reunion but no one actually knows how he's related to the family and we're all too scared to ask.

        Do you not have that guy at your family reunions? Hm.

        • Stouffer's Derek says:

          Oh, no. You’re far too talkative, and your statements are far too coherent to be that guy. Sure you’re wild eyed, but the look is of over-eagerness. We’re all afraid to cross you, in case you turn.

  7. Stouffer's Derek says:

    Ok, Kyle! K Doug, haha. *fidgets*

    So. Who wants tea? *leaves room without waiting for response*

  8. @giggleloop says:

    It never occurred to me that Mikey looked like Matt Smith, and the the hair thing happened and it blew my mind holy what the. Umm. Yep.

    Ladies? Back me up here.

  9. sheanam says:

    Hey guys, thanks for answering my question about Moffat this week! :) It's a topic I've thought about a great deal lately, and for those wondering, this article here gives an excellent summary of just what I was on about: http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/steven-moffat-sex

    I'm gonna butt heads with you ever so gently Mikey, in that I think Moffat isn't really worth defending. Plenty of terrible people have made great works, some of which I still enjoy to this day, and I could probably apply that here, but with Moffat there's a definite feeling of 'wow this guy should know better, especially in this day and age', and the fact that he's so proud and unrepentent of it all. Not to mention all the pandering going on in the current season, because hey, we're just giving all those silly lovestruck girlies what they want.

    It's possible to make something with conservative Victorian roots into something 'more' in a modern adaptation; Joan Watson and other characters over on Elementary are from what I've seen loved by quite a few folks, because they injected something new and fairly balanced into something old without destroying its core.

    Kris wasn't too off the mark when he joked about the man being an MRA and other things, because he *very* much comes off as a dude who views anybody other than the poor trampled upon Straight White Dude as very secondary and unimportant and silly. Playing the 'Straight White Dude Privilege' card is not one I'm fond of, whether it's to criticize Moffat, or gently point out that because of SWDP yourself and others might not be fully able to quite put yourself in the position to see and experience what the problem is and why some people are unhappy with it, but I think it does play at least some part in this multifaceted situation.

    With Moffat, me and most of the folks I personally know feel unwanted and dismissed. Do the shows have a lot of good to them? I'm sure they do! Will I eventually watch and possibly even enjoy some of them? Probably! And hell, there's episodes written by Not Moffat! But I would go in knowing all those terrible things, and be able to clearly see all the mistakes and the embarrassing jokes and how the show runner's viewpoint permeates it all. I'd see all the scorn and cynicism. I would get very tired, and very sad. And I don't think watching a whole ton of Moffat's work to 'understand' him as a writer would help in any way.

    • MikeyNeumann says:

      I don't think we're going to butt heads at all. As a show, we have to walk a line sometimes. I erred on the side of caution because Moffat has a body of work that curb-stomps anything I've done.

      All your points of entirely valid, and though I might not relate to them in the ways that other people can, I have empathy and compassion for them.

      I don't think like he does; not in any way. I view entertainment as something to expand even the most close-minded worldview. If someone is actively working against a more peaceful, compassionate world… then fuck 'em.

      Thanks for this amazing post. You are awesome.

    • MikeyNeumann says:

      Update: Just read that article and clicked every link.




      You can, in fact, be a fantastic writer and an incomprehensible douche blanket. I can't, and won't, defend anything about the man any further. I was only defending writing, but this information has destroyed my effort to do so. He's hardly worth making fun of.

      I honestly did not realize he'd said so many things so ignorantly; so myopically; so sexist; so classist; so homophobic; so wrong. So. Wrong.

      Again, thank you.

      • sheanam says:

        And hey, thank you right back for both posts! You guys tend to be pretty thoughtful and have interesting conversations about things, whether erring on the side of caution or 'ranting' for twenty minutes, which is why I listen! And this goes for the comments discussion afterwards as well, thanks for engaging me so politely!

      • Jeff Good says:

        That particular piece about Moffat is very angry and about the worst at taking him out of context and ignoring anything that doesn't support their narrative. For example, he didn't really "[shag] his way ’round television studios" that was a joke about the fact that he got into writing for TV largely because he married a TV producer. Before that he was an English teacher. Many of the hyperlinked quotes are to other angry blog posts, rather than full interviews. Here, I'll just paste in what I commented on pt 2 on youtube:

        A lot of the quotes from Moffat are taken out of context. Most are attempts at jokes, or just clipped from a longer explanation that was perfectly reasonable and made sense, like these: http://youtu.be/_X0qhLa_txY
        This is the behind the scenes from Moffat's first writing of Doctor Who, before the modern relaunch. He addresses having a female Doctor back in 1999. http://youtu.be/JeCM7LiThEs
        This is more recent, but often ignored because it doesn't support the sexist narrative.

        There's plenty of reasons to be angry at Moffat, and I've shaken my fist in the air and cried "MOFFAT!" plenty of times myself. What I see though is people trying to pin the sexist/misogynist label on him because they're angry about what he's done with The Thing They Love, but don't want to blame anything inherent to That Thing (like the fact that Sherlock is a show about two dudes, and that Moffat/Gatiss have actually done pretty well at working complex female characters into it, or that Doctor Who has a looong history of poorly written female companions, which both Moffat and Russel T Davies worked hard to correct since the reboot) so they scapegoat the guy in charge.

        To support their narrative they often end up just attacking the female characters he has created, devaluing their positive qualities and even creating new supposedly sexist problems for them to have (like Paul Verhoeven, who I otherwise respect, having a problem with companions being mysterious and enigmatic even when that is exactly what makes The Doctor so interesting). I think this kind of looking-too-hard for sexism does more harm than good. We aren't ready for a female Doctor yet because every female character just gets torn apart these days.

  10. LMcCJ says:

    I'm going to jump in on the post Kyle Douglas discussion of reviews vs. critiques and all the other language you threw around. Critical analysis is something specific that is taught (that I have learned) and is not the same as a review or critique. Most bloggers/Goodreads reviews are the latter. Someone with a soapbox and an opinion thinking their brain drippings are going to influence the world. These people *think* they are giving critical analysis but, no. Same for movie critics giving opinions to potential ticket buyers–just a critique/review but,from a person who has ingested a lot of the medium.

    "Critical analysis" requires understanding of the entire genre, of the complete works of the current creator and of the works of the other past and current creators. It requires study and yes, is generally presented within a structured framework. The intent is not to offer an opinion on the piece but to present the current piece in its rightful place among others. "This is where you learn!"
    [The haunting words of past professors are now echoing in my head and I can't believe I didn't sell this textbook back at the end of the semester.$16.50 New! I could have easily gotten $7 for it and that was like 2 beers. What was I thinking?!!]

    Anyway, in the end the two of you seem to agree that you appreciate critical analysis more than reviews. Smart guys.

    NOTE: To college student commenters– For Sale Used Textbook "A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature" 2nd edition, Guerin, Labor, et al. Extensive marginalia for "To his coy mistress" and "Young Goodman Brown". I got an A in the class and a recommendation to pursue doctoral studies–there's some good sh't here. $8 ppd.

    • Kyle_Douglas says:

      Alright, we've got you on the topic of criticism, myself on Moffat the works, sheanam on Moffat the man, and Qmzn on Star Wars. Now we just need a long comment on Mikey's hair (we've got some short ones from giggleloop and SD) and on standup comedy so that, I think, with our powers combined we'll have done a full long-form commentary on the entire podcast spread.

      It's too bad Flemish Frank got sent to jail by Kris, maybe he's a comedian-barber.

      • Stouffer's Derek says:

        I’ve never done a comment essay before, but let’s give this a shot, because


        There. Got two lines out of the way with a little introduction. This shouldn’t be that hard, surely. Be warned that in my quest for length, I may become over- descriptive, perhaps weepy, but bear in mind that these are all the symptoms of one who has been pushed to her ULTIMATE COMMENTING LIMITS.

        Mikey’s hair. Phew. Well, what *is* there to say about Mikey ” Sickman” Neumann’s hair? Notable, perhaps, would be it’s colour. I beleive him to be fair haired and of fair complexion. The light colour of his hair is offset by the length; many a time hath he there been seen, commenting on the length of his own hair (paraphrased from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”). It is, indeed, not too long; we wouldn’t want Mikey steering into Hansen territory, because you really just don’t come back from that.

        You can’t come back from that.

        No, it’snot too long, but it’s certainly not cropped. Its length lends it a certain versatility. In this podcast alone, we’ve seen

        . *The teen heartthrob.

        . * The countryman.

        . * The misunderstood teen.

        . * The Matt Smith.

        If there are more, hit us up in the comments to let me know!

        Let’s see, how am I doing for length.

        While Mikey’s length is just right, I fear I still have quite a way to go. Onwards, then, until that day upon which Ishould reach my long-sought destination.

        With so many styles available, it’s notable which style is preferred. It’s also notable that the first time I typed preferred into my phone, it was changed to “perverted”. Hmm.

        Mikey’s style in understated, underrated, no less, kept back off his face but playfully hinting at a long, face transcending fringe. On occasion, it is hidden under a sort of cap, the colour of which I am un sure, but informed by sources that it is a very nice cap.

        Mikey’s hair has, un-beknownst to him, gathered quite a large fanbase, one completely separate to the Krikey Straubmann “fandom”. In fact, a Venn diagram would show absolutely no intersection between the two. More hard core fans were outraged by 39’s now infamous display, calling it “pandering” and “fan servicey”, though later research showed that the phrase “fan servicey” does *not* actually exist. They now plan a boycott of Episode 40, though it looks unsure, due to a surge in the ritual slaughter of fan’s dogs. This is a problem that is on the rise.

        Some fun facts:

        Long ago, Neumann hair was farmed to make the finest of silks, and though it is no longer used in this way, they say that a single strand of Neumann hair boiled in olive oil and kept under your pillow will bring good luck.

        Mikey was born with a head of brunette curls, which amazingly fell out during puberty, and were replaced by the beautiful mane you see today.

        Mikey’s hair has made appearances on the silver screen, the first time, in Legally Blonde, as a stand in for Reese Witherspoon, who had meningitis. Wigs were also made from it for the young Chloe Moretz, although she is loathe to admit it.

        Mikey’s hair was sued in April 2009, after he claimed it got its lustrous shine from a hair product he was advertising. Headline: L’OREAL realises they’re not worth it”. Mikey was given 20 days of community service, which consisted of allowing children to touch his hair.

        I hope this is long enough and not too imaginary.

        • Kyle_Douglas says:

          I've submitted this to the Chainsawsuit Windbag Commenting Institute and have your test results:

          Challenge Acceptingness Rank: B (managing to work in the standup comedy angle would have pushed you up to A or even S)

          Poise: 8 | 6 | 9 (the middle judge knocked off some points for typos)

          Word Count: 599.

          Creepiness: 4 out of 5 dentists agree that thoughts about keeping strands of hair under pillows can be construed as creepy.

          Best Bit: Venn diagram implications.

          Chainsawsuit Trademarks Achieved: Satirical Product Placement, Random Celebrity Reference, Literary Allusion.

          • Stouffer's Derek says:

            Oh, I’m so happy! This has truly been a great commenting session for me. By the way, have you come up with a Chainsawsuit Fanclub name yet? Or was that just a passing bit? I’m not ever quite sure.

          • Kyle_Douglas says:

            A passing bit? Hm… well, let me tell you this:
            Whenever there's a reference to such a club on the podcast, we'll be there.
            Whenever there's a call for topics for Kris to choose, we'll be there.
            Whenever there's an opportunity to parody a classic Simpsons' joke that was itself an homage to The Grapes of Wrath, we'll be there.

            – The Chainsawsuit Crusaders

          • MikeyNeumann says:

            Now i feel bad that not only did we not choose your topic this week, we sang songs about how we didn't … wait. Nevermind. That's probably way cooler anyway.

          • Kyle_Douglas says:

            Whenever there are songs about not choosing a Kyle Douglas topic, I'll be there… taking notes from Episode 38 about how to properly be offended 😉

            Let's see, I'm picturing a high energy Danny Elfman-esque musical number that exploits how easily Douglas rhymes with obsess… or a half-hearted cheer routine pointing out Meryl Streep has only won 16% of the times she's been Oscar nominated… or perhaps a freestyle cease and desist rap?

            Regardless, great work [Insert Name of Death Pit Opponent], your topic about [Insert Topic] made me feel [Insert Relevant Emotion]. Truly, it was one for the K-CAT Hall of Fame. I hang my head in failure and pray you, The Chosen One, are magnanimous in victory.

          • Stouffer's Derek says:

            For some reason, I can’t reply to your last comment.

            And, man alive, was that comment beautiful, triumphant, even.

            I ask you this, however;

            When does a parody of an homage stop being a parody of an homage, and become plagiarism?

            And thus, the circle is complete.

        • MikeyNeumann says:

          1) You can't boil Olive Oil, it burns at a lower temperature than other oils, so attempting to boil my hair in it is an urban myth.

          2) I wear a baseball cap in episode 40 to avoid the boycott.

          • Stouffer's Derek says:

            OH MY GOD IT'S MIKEY! everyone, *stay cool*
            1) Of course, normal olive oil can't be boiled, but olive oil reacts with the natural chemicals in your hair, t-
            Oh, who am I kidding. It was last minute! I got the whole thing off wikipedia. I know, i know, Ït's unreliable", but, I was DESPERATE, goddammit!
            2) Oh, mikey, so clever! Always staying one step ahead of the crazy fans. It's people like me that are true fans, mikey. You can't trust those other girls.

          • @giggleloop says:

            I applaud you, S D. Bravo! I aspire to your commentary greatness.

          • Stouffer's Derek says:


            I’m having trouble replying to the correct comment.

            But you’re very flattering, and now I can’t tell whether you’re being sarcastic.

            I hope you’re not.

            We think alike. We have similar tastes.

            And, given the co-operation of both sides, a great alliance could be formed in the comments section.

          • @giggleloop says:

            I am 100% sincere! You rule! We shall form an alliance of Chainsawsuitswomen such as the world had never known! Huzzah! :)

          • Stouffer's Derek says:


            I think I may have found my chainsawsoulmate.

  11. Ford Dent says:

    The lowering of my esteem for Moffat has been matched only by how infuriating I found his wussing out in Doctor Who's Christmas special to be (maybe don't bring back Gallifrey if you're going to walk it back in the next episode, hmmm?).

    Long story short my view on Moffat has barreled downhill, and it makes me sad that he is such a nasty little bullshit man, because I really do quite enjoy Sherlock, and I really liked a lot of his Doctor Who episodes! But holy jesus that Christmas special was excruciatingly bad.

    ANYWAY, I enjoyed this episode, especially the Star Wars talk, because I could bitch about Star Wars ALL DAY (real talk: WHEN WILL PEOPLE STOP PRETENDING THE THRAWN TRILOGY WAS ANY GOOD? IT WAS MEDIOCRE AT BEST). Star Wars' EU being terrible as a topic of conversation is right up there for me with how terrible Superman (and most of DC Comics that isn't written by Scott Snyder) has gotten (arguably, the Christopher Nolan Batman films made it so DC is just trying to make EVERYONE like Batman, and that just doesn't work for Superman, not at ALL).

  12. @MMT_megan says:

    As a person who jumped into (new era) Doctor Who with Tennant and a pre-existing love for Russell T. Davies, I totally recommend starting there for Kris. At the same time, I think it will not improve anyone's view of Moffat. I don't hate the Moffat years of Who, and I was a fan of the Amy/Rory/Matt Smith times. I just never loved Smith's Doctor as much as Tennant's, and I know that as much of that is the writing team as the actors.

    Also, you guys have gotten me interested in Sherlock, and it was next up in my ever-growing list of media to consume. Now I am hesitant. Is the good stuff so far good enough to make the "meh" stuff worth enduring?

    • Stouffer's Derek says:

      Oh, yes.

      I was able to start watching from season 2, and be completely absorbed by the Reichenbach Fall. Yes, second episodes are “meh”, but both The Blind Banker and The Hound Of Baskervil had their suspenseful moments. Sherlock is excellent, and in my humble opinion, much better than Smith’s Doctor Who, if that’s what you’re worried about. And, you may think you know every twist already, but trust me, there’s alot you won’t see coming. It has its faults, but, trust me, again I say, trust me, and bump a couple things off and move Sherlock up your media list.

  13. ThomasG says:

    there is so much freaking text in the comments i can't handle it

  14. Stouffer's Derek says:

    Please, elaborate.

  15. ltkessler says:

    I hold to an Orthodox, non-binary view of the Force. It's not duct tape where the Light and Dark need each other to blah dee blah. There is the Force and the Jedi use it with wisdom and restraint and when they do, there is balance. The Sith are a corrupting force and the Dark Side is not some Yin to the Light Side's Yang but more like a cancer and once excised, the whole is complete. Therefor Vader's redemption brought about by Luke's courage and then the subsequent destruction of the Emperor is what brings balance.

  16. ievi says:

    I always interpreted the Star Wars prophecy of the chosen one like this: Anakin was the one who brought balance to the force by hunting down the remaining Jedi (I believe that's what Darth Vader was doing in the interim between episodes 3 and 4, but could be me remembering what my 10-year-old self made up), and killing the last of the Sith lords in Return of the Jedi. I also saw Luke as neither Jedi nor Sith. He's a more neutral force user, as he was "to old to begin the training," and thus not indoctrinated into the emotionless cult type Jedi tradition. This brought an end to the two dogmatic views of the force, and brought balance to the whole thing. Just one man's interpretation though.

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