Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spoilers: a River Song Rant

First off, I haven't seen season 6 (or what is dubbed season six if you only count the last three incarnations of the Doctor). So, no spoilers please. If you haven't seen season 5, then here there be spoilers!

Second, there are some who like River Song and some who don't. If I had to pick, I'd be in the second category. And I will tell you why.

It isn't that I don't like her because she's the Doctor's future wife. (Although that does bug me just a little bit because I haven't gotten used to the idea.) It's that I don't like her. I don't like her attitude, I don't like her personality. I don't like how she makes the Doctor look like a bewildered schoolboy suddenly stripped of any authority he had. Sure, she admires him openly to others. Sure, she takes actions to help him, to keep him alive, to save his friends, etc. But she seems arrogant, and smug. It's almost as if she were created as Time Lord 2.0 designed to show the Doctor up.

When River came along in the fifth season, I found her origins very interesting. I even loved the idea that a woman with those abilities who'd time-hopped to find him, to help him, was going to eventually be by his side, someone for him to love and get to keep for awhile. He's always losing people that I thought it was a nice touch. It seemed like the writers understood fan sympathy for the Doctor and that they wanted him to be happy.

I'm not from the "She can't have him because I want him!" camp either. I liked the idea of the Doctor finally having someone of his own. But... not her. The way they wrote this lady gets under my skin every episode she's in. I keep thinking I might've seen her somewhere else and established a dislike for her before she was ever in Doctor Who. (possibly ER)

I especially dislike her with the latest Doctor Matt Smith. She fit better with the David Tennant incarnation of the Doctor - although she stumbled him too. Some actors have chemistry and some don't. River and the 11th Doctor feel off to me. He has more chemistry with Amy Pond than he does with his own wife. And because of the age difference between the actors - or maybe it's the boyish nature the current Doctor conveys - she always comes across as more a mother figure than an equal to the Doctor, in my opinion. So, paired with an almost innocent, wide-eyed, (and slightly bumbling) Matt Smith, it gives the impression of cougar and prey. When they kiss I find myself cringing, and I've never cringed over any Doctor Who smooches before.

The concept of the Doctor's wife feels like it was fed to us in hopes we'd eventually accept it, because we have no choice. It seems like the dreamchild of someone's fanfiction that somehow made it on television. We had time to get to know and grow to like all the other Doctor's companions, but suddenly there she is, thrust upon us, and wearing her relationship to the Doctor like a button on her chest. (of course, he's just as confused about all this as we are.)

I'd have a much easier time accepting it if it wasn't for River herself. A different actress would make it a lot more palatable for me. I'd enjoy the show a lot better then, and not keep wanting to boot her into the black hole from "The Impossible Planet".

And that's the end of my River Song rant. This blog will resume it's regularly scheduled writing and Nano-related program.

4 comments:

  1. THIS. OMG THIS.

    I'm going to tell you the truth right now. My roommate and I have renamed her "River Smug."

    I liked her just fine in the Silence In the Library episodes, but after they started putting her with Matt Smith...no. Just no. I felt like Steven Moffat was force-feeding us their relationship. I do not like River Song. I do not like the fact that SHE'S the Doctor's wife. I think she's arrogant and I think she's smug and I just don't like her.

    Needless to say, Doctor+Rose forever.

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  2. YES! I knew I wasn't alone in this! She always has that "I know more than you, even if you are the Doctor, so nyeh!" attitude.

    If enough of us hate her, maybe they'll do something about it. *crosses fingers*

    I totally dig on Doctor/Rose too. It's so sweet. I felt so bad when he had to leave her behind - even if it was technically with himself.

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  3. You said it. I sometimes make nasty comments about her appearance but the truth is that the character is so repulsive that even if Ms Universe were playing her I would still find her ugly and repulsive, so its due to her personality rather then her (Alex's) actual looks. Just like I've found some plain looking guys attractive because they were very sweet and had a great sense of humor. But I digress, River is a pompous wind-bag. I have referred to her as Steve Moffat's female alter ego. He doesn't seem capable of creating female characters that I can relate to.
    One thing. She isn't his wife. She can't be. If Amy and Rory weren't married in the alternate time-line but were married again once the original time-line was restored, then that means that what happens in one time-line doesn't exist in the other. So Moffat had better not try to have his cake and eat it too. He better not try to play the absurd game of "It only applies to some characters BUT not to others" because HE SAYS SO! That would only further prove how incompetent he is as the head writer. Plus she was willing to let the whole universe die just so she didn't have to kill the dr. Okay some may call that love, I call that the actions of a sociopath! She is a psycho and I hope everyone noticed that the psycho prattled about how no one loved the Dr more then her....AND THIS WAS ONLY THEIR THIRD MEETING EVER! RME
    Talk about stupid! And the childish BS about how she couldn't help but to fall in love with the Dr because they made her obsess about killing him? WTF?! What kind of head-up-the-rear-end thinking is that? Where on earth did moffat dream up that bunch of BS? Obsession has NOTHING to do with love. Any fool knows that. And the unintentionally hilarious line where Amy first chews out Madame K (with all the rage of someone who has had their purse stolen) and then makes the hilarious claim that her baby turned out "okay". WTF?! She calls a cold-blooded sociopath OKAY?! What are those writers smoking? That was beyond stupid! And now there are rumors that this joke of a character will be the Dr's full-time companion next season. If so, then I am done with Dr Who until the BBC wises up and fires Moffat and brings in all new writers who don't write such embarrassingly stupid crap.

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  4. Pajack, since River showed up I've been asking myself what the writers have been smoking. Part of the fun of watching Doctor Who is the variety of companions he has, due to being single. If he is tied to one (regardless how obnoxious she is) it just wouldn't be the same for viewers.

    I'm really hoping BBC wises up too. I've never disliked any women on the show this much. She's know-it-all, abrasive, smug, and, as you said, psycho! I've tried my best to get used to her, but now that I've finally seen the 6th season all the way through, I just can't. She really reminds me of a stalker Mary Sue who the Doctor is just humoring so he can't have the guilt of letting another human die. I wish Moffat had never read The Time Traveler's Wife if this is what it inspired. (and that could be a tv myth anyway)

    If there was a petition to get rid of River Song, I'd sign it in a heartbeat.

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