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Join or Be Exterminated: Whovians find home on campus

via UNM Whovians Facebook page
via UNM Whovians Facebook page

Where can you find the UNM fight song translated into the language of Gallifrey? Try UNM's newest fan club, UNM Whovians.

The new “Doctor Who” fan club debuted at UNM's Welcome Back Days last week, in time for the popular British sci-fi show's 50th anniversary in November. Which means we now have a quantitative measure for exactly how far behind New Mexico is compared to the rest of the planet.

The television program currently features Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara, his mysterious companion. The Doctor, a Time Lord who spends his days traveling through time and space, saving the universe from certain doom, is the star of the phenomenon. On and off the air in the UK since 1963, the show returned to public consciousness in 2005 with its new series. It began gaining popularity in the US around 2010 and Americans have been dressing up as bow-tie wearing aliens ever since.

The UNM fan group was formed and is headed by Ben Ginsburg, a sophomore majoring in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media. On the UNM Whovians Facebook page, Ginsburg describes his inspiration to form the club:

"I am a pretty shy and awkward guy unless conversations are brought to me rather than me starting them. But after wearing my TARDIS hat around campus 2 days, I get so many people coming up to me telling me they love my hat and sometimes [we] get into some hardcore [Doctor Who] discussions. Conclusion = Whovians are the most awesome people on campus."

The group's Facebook page also contains information about club events, student fan art and tons of opinions about newly cast Peter Capaldi.

American Whovians tend to be a sprightly, enthusiastic group, often excited to meet others whom they have traveled with through time and space all these years. As a proud Whovian-Lobo, I believe this club has the potential to unite a whole group of great friends who've yet to meet one another. Ginsburg likewise hopes that the club will bring together Who fans who otherwise “have no common ground.”

Keep an eye on the group’s Facebook page for upcoming events.

T.V.

Bluth Family Reunion

Do you love hot ham water and cornballs? If so, then you know Netflix finally lets loose the new season of “Arrested Developmet” today. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Albuquerque’s Tannex (1417 Fourth Street SW) will host the “100% Good Time Family Viewing Solution or Family Love Michael” event. Wear your cuttoffs, feast on frozen bananas and watch as much “Arrested Development” as organizers can cram into a single night. The festivities start at 7 p.m. But no touching!

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Jimmy Kimmel’s As Seen on TV Gift Guide

Everyone’s favorite former Win Ben Stein’s Money co-host has rounded up a gang of trusty infomercials to help you find that perfect holiday gift for your aging mother or carnivorous cousin. For other (more practically attainable) late-in-the-season gifts, check out the Alibi’s Last Minute Gift Guide and help support a local economy.

As Seen on TV Gift Guide 2012

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I like to watch (instantly): “30 Days”

Certain reality shows work for me, like “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.” I like thinking about the creative process and how it works under varying pressures. Both of those are getting old, though. The formulas are cliché, and every hackneyed improvement they add on for freshness just trashes things up. I haven’t kept up with them.

I usually feel kind of dirty after watching that stuff, as if I just fed my brain a bunch of cotton candy.

30 Days” is perhaps the broccoli of reality TV. It’s the brainchild of Morgan Spurlock, that dude from Super Size Me who ate nothing but McDonald’s for a month.

His TV show is modeled similarly. In the first episode, Spurlock and his girlfriend try to live on minimum wage for 30 days. It’s a fascinating exploration of poverty and, unintentionally I think, it showed the effects of being broke on an otherwise happy relationship.

That’s the genius of immersing oneself in a drastically different lifestyle for 30 days. The truths unearthed are nuanced and unexpected.

For the rest of the first season, other people undergo the experiment. A Christian homophobic guy from a small, all-American hometown moves in with a gay man in San Francisco’s Castro District for a month. A super healthy, totally sober mom binge drinks for 30 days to better understand her college freshman daughter. Consumer city slickers move off the grid to a commune that works to eliminate its carbon footprint.

Results are mixed. Not everyone has a breakthrough. But ideological divides are probed in a way that pundits and arguments can’t manage. The show’s motto is: Putting the middle back in America. Even if an episode’s test-subject doesn’t grow from walking in someone else’s shoes, at least one ep is likely to alter your opinion.

T.V.

Reviewing “The River”

ABC’s “found footage” horror series “The River” airs tonight at 8 p.m. See what our film and television reviewer, Devin D. O’Leary, has to say about it in this week’s Idiot Box.

T.V.

Alibi sighting in “Breaking Bad”

Hey, that’s us!
Hey, that’s us!
" Breaking Bad" premiered its fourth season last night on AMC. The Albuquerque-lensed hit featured some gruesome endings to key characters. And in the episode's final frame, a camera panned to a familiar face. Yup, that's the Alibi's first issue of 2011 ... right next to a blood-stained corpse. See if you can notice a slight change between the pre- and post-production screencaps. Expect more Alibi sightings from the show—as well as a much more "Breaking Bad" news from the Alibi—in the coming weeks.

Notice any difference?
Notice any difference?

The demise of a beautiful friendship
The demise of a beautiful friendship

The culprit in question
The culprit in question
T.V.

“Dateline” Comes to Town

Starting tonight at 8 p.m., NBC will air a special two-hour “Dateline” episode dealing with the notorious West Mesa Murder Mystery. Reporter Josh Mankiewicz reports from Albuquerque on the story that made national headlines—the discovery of 11 female bodies buried on the city’s West Mesa. The story is told through the eyes of missing persons Detective Ida Lopez. While the killer remains very much unknown, a rash of recent clues has revived interest in this shocking story. The episode, titled “Somebody’s Daughter,” will air Friday, Dec. 10, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KOB-4.

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Boob Tube

People in America are freaking out that Katy Perry might have shown some cleavage on Sesame Street—which, no doubt, would have traumatized all those toddlers out there who were never breast-fed by their Puritanical parents. Meanwhile in Japan, this is what passes for children’s entertainment. It’s called “The Ancient Dogoo Girls.” It’s about superpowered alien bras. Or so I gather.

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OMG y'all! Today's 90210

I've been waiting for this day since 1990 something.

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KNME’s “The Line”

I’ll be on tonight. The episode airs at 7 p.m. There won’t be a repeat on Sunday.

We talked a lot about the primary, the resulting candidates, immigration laws, the film industry and Neil Patrick Harris.

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