So, another fast food restaurant is now on my "no-go" list: Taco Bell. Now, don't get me wrong; Taco Bell was already on the way out for me anyway. It's the only fast food restaurant near my house where I have to ask for napkins at the drive-thru. But the other night, I just wanted something quick with melted cheese, so I went inside (the drive-thru was pretty packed, and, as noted, they pretty much suck). So I'm waiting for my food, and while I'm waiting, I'm listening to one of the kids in the kitchen crack one racist joke after another. Not going to repeat them, but the punch line for one was "Afroturf." I was getting ready to ask for the manager when my food came, and I decided not to let my food get cold over this. But when I got home, I called and complained, and explained that I wouldn't be coming back.
I mean, seriously, even though we're talking about some high school kid, if the restaurant doesn't have enough sense to explain to its employees how those sorts of comments can offend people with brains, and how they shouldn't be making those sorts of jokes over and over and over again within earshot of customers, that's their problem. And considering how ignorance and closed-mindedness is pretty much the cause of so many of the world's problems, I think it's worth clamping down on it wherever it's found. So I need to also write a letter to the corporate offices, because I'm just that irritated. (And, because they're all run by the same company, I'm also taking KFC and Pizza Hut off the list, too. At least I'm not going to be disappointed by no longer being able to go to places that are good...)
So, TV... Had DVR problems last week, which resulted in my missing the final (probably) episode of Carnivale on HBO (but it'll be rerun this weekend). Also missed last week's Deadwood, Project Greenlight, House, Blind Justice, probably Judging Amy, and I can't remember what else. Some of them (Greenlight, The Shield) I'll be able to catch in reruns. And at least I no longer have so much unwatched TV on the DVR...
Because of this, I didn't see the pilot of USA's new Kojak series, starring Ving Rhames, until yesterday afternoon, followed in the evening by the first hour-long episode. I liked it, because I like Rhames, but it's got an interesting tone to it. In ways I can't quite explain, it feels sort of retro, which makes it reminiscent of the original '70s series, but it doesn't feel old-fashioned. Doesn't blow me away, but certainly enjoyable.
I also finally saw an episode of Gray's Anatomy, after the first one was eaten by the bad DVR. It's a hospital show, and doesn't bring too much to the table, but the cast and characters are likeable, and it's only on for two more weeks, so I'll keep watching it. If only for Sandra Oh and Katherine Heigl.
And this morning saw the premiere of Cartoon Network's new series, Krypto the Superdog. As a kid, I always had a soft spot for Krypto's appearances in the old Superboy comic (the adventures of Superman when he was a boy), so I was looking forward to this. And, brought to us from the brains behind the Batman, Superman, and Justice League cartoons, this did not disappoint. I mean, I'm sure there are reviews on the 'Net bitching about how this isn't the dark, gritty, serious adventures of Krypto the Superdog, but, you know, screw 'em. I give those critics the same respect as the 'Net critics who can't deal with the notion that the new Doctor Who series is aimed at a general family audience, as if the original one wasn't. There ought to be more to criticism than "I wanted it to be something else," and I don't think there's enough of that on the 'Net.
I also managed to haul my @r$e out to the movie theater to see Sin City. I'd been reading Frank Miller's Sin City comics since the very first installment was published in the Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special. The movie adapts three of the graphic novels, and the biggest complaints I've heard relate to the fact that it contains three separate stories instead of one big one. Which, you know, overlooks the fact that if you faithfully adapt the Sin City books, none of them has enough story for a two-hour movie. So, again, we're back to the "This isn't the way I would have done it" criticism. Whatever.
And as much as I loved the first new episode of Doctor Who, the second takes it to the next level. The first was great, but needed to introduce Rose, and reintroduce the Doctor, the TARDIS, and the whole concept of the show. This week, we get the first regular adventure for the Doctor and Rose as a team, and it's fantastic. Taking place five billion years in the future, at the end of the world, it's a visual spectacle. But clearly, the producers understand that just because they can achieve images the original series couldn't even begin to dream of, all that needs to be in service to the story. Because that's what made the original so great, the fact that aside from the cheap production values and dodgy special effects, the writing and acting made you believe.