Hark, friend. What's this I hear? Maybe you didn't have the time to dedicate dogged attention to the nerdy news? Your head didn't cock sideways like a dog every time a meme was birthed into the world? Is it possible that Clarissa hasn't explained it all to you and hasn't done so for some (checks notes) 25 years?!
Well, we can't have that! Don't worry, Sam (and people not named Sam): I will explain it all in Clarissa's absence. Here they are: the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!
DON'T TAKE THE BIRD BOX CHALLENGE
Bird Box, the Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock that's basically "what if A Quiet Place, but blindfolds," has spawned "the Bird Box challenge," which is in no way like "what if The Ice Bucket Challenge, but blindfolds."
"What is the Bird Box challenge?" you ask. Surely, it can't be where people go about their everyday lives wearing blindfolds! Surely, a cursory glance at the obstacle course of life would tell most people that, if eyes are an option, then, yes, eyes, please! Set eyes to maximum!
Then again, surely, people wouldn't look at a Tide Pod and think, "yummy!" And yet.
So. Yeah. People are wearing blindfolds and then doing stuff: using escalators, having debates on the internet (that would explain a lot, wouldn't it), and, I dunno, filing their taxes. Egads, think of all the deductions these people are probably missing out on!
Netflix, mad with power, hadn't realized the consequences of (checks notes again) streaming a movie in which the lady from Speed wears a blindfold. But they know now! And thank goodness, too, because with great knowledge comes great... tweetability.
Anyway, don't Bird Box challenge and drive, kids.
DOCTOR WHO RESOLUTIONS AND VIEWING FIGURES
A few weeks after its 11th season finale, Doctor Who returned to our screens, not on Christmas (which has been the tradition since 2005) but on New Year's Day. The episode, "Resolution," featured the return of classic Who monsters, the Daleks. It did not, however, feature the return of sometimes Doctor Who employers, UNIT, because their budget got cut. Friggin' Brexit.
But was the story "Daleks return?" Was it a discussion of what people liked and what they didn't from the only new episode of Doctor Who that will air in 2019? Is that what people were talking about on the World Wide Web? Nope! Instead, the conversation turned, as it sometimes does when people are trying to win an argument over whether "thing good" or "thing bad," to ratings. Audience share. Rotten Tomatoes score. Critics vs. "real fans."
This is a weekly round-up and not a full engagement in the discourse, but here's the gist: Doctor Who Christmas episodes usually do very well, regardless of whether the episodes are considered "good" or not. For example, the 2007 episode, "Voyage of the Damned," which featured the Titanic in space, Kylie Minogue in a French maid outfit, and David Tennant being carried by robot angels was watched by 12.2 million people, according to the overnights. I don't know a lot of people who consider that fine art, but people watched the heck out of it.
"Resolution" was watched by 5.15 million people according to overnights.
The debate is over how much that matters in 2019. Does it make a difference that "Resolution" aired on New Year's Day rather than Christmas? Do people really watch TV as it goes out anymore, or are most of us content to watch things later on our phones at this point?
I dunno! Like most people, I just watch TV and, gratefully, don't have to take meetings over how "we" did in the ratings.
But, wait! That's not all! There's also Rotten Tomatoes to consider. Did you know that, as of this writing, there's an average rating of 8.38 out of 10 for "Resolution" based on 17 critic reviews? That's a 100 percent on the tomato-meter! Meanwhile, the average audience score is a 1.5 out of 5 based on 903 ratings. That's a 16 percent popcorn-spilled-out-meter.
Does this translate to a disparity between "critic" and "fan?" Is the audience score real or is that percentage driven down by bots? Are critics out of touch? Does Rotten Tomatoes matter?
Anyway, that's the debate. Enjoy!
GOTHAM RETURNS FOR ITS FINAL SEASON
After narrowly avoiding cancellation, Gotham returned this week for its fifth and final season. The episode, "Zero Year," is a story partly inspired by the Batman comic story "No Man's Land" and will lead us to finally seeing Bruce Wayne in the full cape and cowl.
But this first episode is about setting the stage. We see Gotham City some 80 days into its isolation from the rest of the world. Every part of town is run by a different gang, and at the heart of it all is the GCPD. It's an episode focused on the practicalities of an end of the world scenario: Where do the food and resources come from? The food is in short supply and at least one resource, bullets, is under the control of Penguin, who is roosting in Gotham City Hall.
Really, though (and, spoilers, by the way), this is an episode that bids farewell to one of the show's longest-running characters. Jessica Lucas first played Tabitha Galavan at the start of Gotham Season 2. Her brother, Theo, died that year. Last season, Penguin killed Tabitha's sometimes-boyfriend Butch as revenge for Tabitha killing Penguin's mom, Carol Kane. And now, after everything, Penguin killed Tabitha, too.
It's a dramatic show!
SYFY WIRE spoke with Erin Richards (who plays Barbara Kean) about Lucas' departure from the show at a Paley Center event a few weeks ago. It was, for Richards, an emotional challenge as the two had been scene partners for much of the past three seasons.
But that's just the start. Who else will die? Who will wind up in a fat suit? What's Riddler doing in his sleep? We'll find out in the remaining episodes.
BATWOMAN (MUCH LIKE WINTER) IS COMING
While a full pick-up for a Batwoman series has not been announced, the CW has officially ordered a pilot. Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) will be showrunner and David Nutter (Game of Thrones) is set to direct the episode. Here's the pilot description:
"Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane (star Ruby Rose) soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope."
That doesn't say much, but considering The Vampire Diaries has two spin-offs and Game of Thrones is, well, Game of Thrones, it's looking likely that this pilot order isn't the last we'll hear from Ruby Rose's Kate Kane.
JUSTICE FOR YOUNG JUSTICE
It was, at the time, an outrage for some Young Justice fans. They'd enjoyed two seasons of some of the best television DC Animated had ever produced and then, all of a sudden, we were watching the far more childish adventures of Cyborg and Beast Boy, aka the Pie Bros.
I don't mean to speak ill of Teen Titans Go! I like that show! "Night Begins to Shine" is a bop! But I kinda get why songs about burgers vs. tacos or whatever might've felt like salt in the wound.
But, as we know, there's a new series coming to DC Universe: Young Justice: Outsiders. And it dropped this week! Fans have been waiting almost six years. Now they finally get their wish. The first three episodes are available right now.
And that's it. The Week in Geek is ended. But what about you? What happened to you this week? Did you take the Bird Box challenge? Did you watch that Punisher teaser and have thoughts on Jigsaw's scars? Did you see that LG's OLED TVs this year will feature HDMI 2.1? I see you, tech nerds!
Let us know what your biggest news stories were, and we'll see you again next week!