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I got my notice at work today. Honestly, it is isn't as bad as it could be.

This wasn't unexpected at all - I was actually surprised it took as long as it did. This also hasn't been caused by a lack of health in the company, which is the usual cause of layoffs, with the company doing poorly and having to lay people off to reduce bloat and save capital.

You see, the company's MO is to buy games that other companies no longer want, get them viable again so that they will continue to operate profitably for a couple of years, then move them to our overseas studios so that they don't cost as much to maintain. The idea is that if they continue to successfully buy new games, the existing studios will always have a new game coming in as old games are going out. The problem is that sometimes there aren't new games coming in, and when that happens, they can't continue to employ the idle people.

The company's been very open and straightforward about this, and it tries its damnedest to keep talented people. Rather than the usual layoff process, which, if you're lucky, gives you two weeks of notice and then you're out the door, my company has given us notice two months in advance. There's a severance package, which we get whether we stay the whole two months or we choose to leave early. And, if a project comes in during the two months that needs our skills, then we get to stay. We really couldn't ask for more.

Like I said, we knew this was coming - we've been working for the past two months to get our two projects sent to the overseas teams by the end of March, and nothing new was coming in, so this was going to happen, no other choice. I was certainly going to be first on the chopping block - I'm a product manager, and if there's no product, then there's nothing to manage. I can't say I'm unhappy about this. Yes, I like the company (it really takes care of its people), but, to be honest, I'm happy for the chance at a break, to have for a little while some life other than working. But, of course, I'll be starting to look for work now anyway. I can't not, you know?

In other news, we started watching Torchwood, finally.

We've seen, I think, the first five episodes, up through the one about the fairies. I'm enjoying it, but it really hasn't gripped me like other shows have. It's definitely making an effort to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that it's for adults - the episode about the sex alien made that point clearly. However, it's sloppy in execution, which negatively impacts its believability. For example, it's clear from the very beginning that Gwen is a trained policewoman thrown into this world of aliens, and so we completely expect her to be scared of what she's seeing and to question Jack's decisions and motives. However, the other team members - Tosh, Owen, and Ianto - have been around for a while and are supposed to be Jack's crack team. When they are confronted with Ianto's Cyberman girlfriend, they fall apart. Ianto, being the focus of the episode and in love with the girl, is understandable, but Owen and Tosh both are terrified and panic as they're being attacked. There's no feeling that these are Jack's crack troops, or that they work together well as a team at all.

It definitely feels like the show, in its first five episodes, is still trying to find its feet. It's trying to build an air of mystery around Jack, which might be more effective if I didn't already know what's up with him. I'm enjoying the stories, and especially liked the last one (the fairies), though the addition of the character of Estelle seemed almost an afterthought, like they needed to fill ten minutes of screen time and decided this would be a good way to do it while also showing that Jack is temporally immortal.

In a way, I feel like they looked at Doctor Who and decided to build an adult version same show by taking the character of the Doctor and breaking him up, into the leader with the wisdom and vision that no one else can fathom (Jack), the savvy tech (Tosh) and the fighter (Owen), and then giving him a companion to reign him in (Gwen). Ianto is still too nebulous to figure out where he fits in.

All in all, I like the show and am enjoying the stories. I'm looking forward to watching all the way through "Children of Earth" over the next few weeks. Not sure if we're going to watch "Miracle Day", as we've been told to stay away; on the other hand, we've been told to stay away from "Children of Earth" as well, so who knows?


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2016 03:05 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about you losing your job (it sounds really cool!), but at least you knew it was coming and it's nice to have a break.

I've watched Torchwood through a few times. It does iron out a lot of bugs and get a bit better. Honestly, I really like the book versions and audio adventures of Torchwood more than the actual show!

Here's my two unspoiler two cents of Children of Earth and Miracle Day. Children of Earth was really good, but emotionally gut wrenching. The miniseries takes Jack to a whole other level and the aftermath of that is both good and bad for the character. He's been forever changed in my mind (in a good way).

Miracle Day is just...bad. It's really, really bad. I watched it anyway, mostly out of curiosity. You have to remember that it was an attempt to relaunch Torchwood for an American audience and it's pretty obvious. There are a couple of good parts to it. There are some nods to the original Torchwood series, which is cool to see. Just overall...ew. I'm not surprised that it didn't get picked up in the US (and kind of glad, too!).

Good luck in your job hunt!
Jan. 12th, 2016 03:33 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about the layoffs, but it's nice that your company is giving you some warning and a good severance package. Definitely enjoy your time off. I certainly am. It gives you a chance to recharge before you start the job hunt.

Torchwood improves in season two. I think they got a better grasp of the characters and what they wanted to do with the show. Definitely watch "Children of Earth", but totally avoid "Miracle Day".
Jan. 12th, 2016 03:36 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear about your job loss, but at least you knew in advance. You seem to have a good attitude about taking a break.

I've never watched Torchwood, but I saw hezikiah's comments about Children of Earth and Miracle Day. I'd already heard the former was absolutely gut wrenching. Didn't know they were trying to capture the American audience with Miracle Day. Whenever that happens, it's not good. British TV should remain as it is; that's what makes it, not trying to pander to us Americans (or what one would think Americans want). Just will never do. That jibe in "Day of the Doctor" about what the Americans would do was certainly true enough!

In any case, enjoy your break, and I wish you the very best in your job hunt!
Jan. 13th, 2016 06:33 pm (UTC)
"British TV should remain as it is..."

Gracepoint is the poster child for that. Not that I thought it was particularly bad - I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn't seen Broadchurch first - but the production team really had no idea what had made BC so good and decided to add things that were obviously meant to pander to American audiences. They made GP emphasize the crime-solving rather than the human consequences of the murder and investigation (let's face it, BC's actual crime story was pretty weak), and added action scenes (really, Carver and Miller chasing the girl's boyfriend on the docks?) and useless plot lines (1.5 episodes devoted to the search for Tom when he ran away - and it was never explained at all why he did so, especially in light of the final reveal). It's no wonder that the series failed.

On the other hand, according to the director, or maybe it was Chris Chibnall, DT was delighted to get to carry a gun as an American detective. Anything that makes him happy is fine by me. (He must have had so much fun as Peter Vincent in full vampire-hunting gear.)
Jan. 13th, 2016 06:53 pm (UTC)
Exactly what I was thinking. As for Broadchurch, you're right; I had it figured out about halfway through, so if it was all about solving the crime, it would have been awful. It wasn't, though, and that was why it was so brilliant!

DT was delighted to get to carry a gun in Gracepoint? I could just hear the Tenth Doctor commenting on that particular subject, so I'm cracking up here. "I hate guns... no guns." Yet another reason adapting British TV to American TV is just so strange. On the other hand, many of us Americans were shocked that British police officers do not routinely carry guns! We love our guns...

Hubby saw Gracepoint first (started in the middle for several reasons, among them my going on and on about DT) and thought it was very good. Even thought DT's American accent was passable. Then he saw Broadchurch, and it blew Gracepoint out of the water! That is, after he managed to learn to understand the accents, especially DT's Scottish...
Jan. 13th, 2016 07:18 pm (UTC)
It's nice to hear that at least one person who saw GP first thought it was good. It seemed to me like it would be, but it was very hard to watch it without comparing it to BC. (Personally, I had no problem with DT's accent. There were a couple of points where something came out very awkward, but in general, I doubt I would have been able to tell he wasn't an American actor.)

Yes! I really think it was Chibnall who was telling the story, saying that DT just loved carrying the gun. He said that he even slept with it, though I'm sure that was a joke. Sometimes I think that half of DT's love of his job is that he gets to play with so many different things.

Edited at 2016-01-13 07:20 pm (UTC)
Jan. 12th, 2016 02:06 pm (UTC)
I've never really warmed to Torchwood. There's too much general idiocy on display (even in season 2) for me to really get into it. I don't particularly dislike it, but I don't feel fannish about it, and wouldn't have continued watching beyond the second or third episode were it not for the Who connection.

A friend suggests it works a lot better if you imagine that Torchwood 3 is full of the embarrassing no-hopers none of the other Torchwoods want. They're the kids who keep getting caught smoking behind the bike-shed when they should be in class.

Children of Earth is very much its own thing and I liked it much better but I can absolutely see why people who were invested in the fun but slightly messed-up Torchwood of the first two seasons were so upset to be presented by this murky tale in which bad choices have terrible consequences and heroes are in short supply. It's more of a political morality play intended to comment upon current society and government than anything else, I think. I guess its much closer to classic, slightly po-faced, downbeat SF fiction than Doctor Who, let alone Torchwood, ever got in the past.

I've never felt the urge to see Miracle Day, I found the premise rather off-putting, to be honest and couldn't really imagine it taking place in the Doctor Who universe at all and I didn't like Torchwood enough to want to give it a try on its own merits.
Jan. 13th, 2016 06:44 pm (UTC)
I told my husband your suggestion of imagining the TW people as the no-hopers, and he loved it. We agree that it does work a lot better.

I'm definitely not feeling fannish about this show, but it's interesting enough that I want to see the whole thing, minus "Miracle Day". And I really want to get a better grasp of Jack's story, for fanfic purposes. Though, if the box set I bought has MD in it, I might watch it eventually. I don't think it does, though.
Jan. 12th, 2016 02:25 pm (UTC)
Aw, sorry to hear about your job - although I'm glad there's at least some small consolations to be going on with. Good luck with both enjoying the break and the always-much-less-fun job-hunting!

Have fun with Torchwood. It proved to be not really my thing, although lots of people do tell me that Children of Earth is cool. If I want to watch a more adult, bleak DW spin-off, I shall head off back to the 70s and watch Blake's 7, a thing of glories Torchwood couldn't even dream of. Well, it was the 70s. The future was glam rock. :loL:)
Jan. 12th, 2016 03:18 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about the job - but it is nice that it gives you a bit of a break - and that it is not an earth-shattering blow or surprise.

TW is definitely a matter of taste! I love it, but yeah...it is not Who!

Jan. 12th, 2016 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry that you will soon be made redundant, especially from what sounds such a great place to work; and wish you lots of luck with looking for a new job.

I liked Torchwood. Since there is a lot of angst throughout Torchwood you should be able to sit through and enjoy Children of Earth. I watched Miracle Day, out of curiosity, and was moved in places, but I wouldn't rush to see it again like I have other episodes.
Jan. 15th, 2016 09:10 pm (UTC)
Best of luck with the job situation, at least you're sounding secure about what the future holds for you now so that's good to hear :) And yay for Torchwood!
Jan. 15th, 2016 10:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks! So far everything's going as expected and that's fine. There's a little bit of attitude of "why in the world am I putting up with this?" as a couple of things are going pear-shaped and it doesn't feel worth it to me to expend energy to fix them. :)
Jan. 24th, 2016 01:46 pm (UTC)
I hope things keep going well for you then :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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