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Posts posted by R.CAllen

  1. On 8/22/2022 at 9:47 PM, R.CAllen said:

    There’s that episode of the animated series where somebody (the Mad Hatter!?) has hacked his way into Bruce Wayne’s dreams to give him nightmares for reasons and he figures it out because the voice in his head addresses himself as Bruce and that’s NOT what he calls himself. Same deal. When I hear the voice of Batman speaking in my head, when I’m reading the latest issue of Batman (Zdarsky’s doing great!), it is Conroy’s voice that speaks.

    Have to correct the record here. The moment I was thinking of was actually from an episode of Batman Beyond (‘99-’01). Got it mishmashed with an original animated series episode —written by Joe R. Lansdale!— where Kevin Conroy ZT”L realizes he’s been trapped in a dream world by the Mad Hatter because everything he reads is written in gobbledygook.

  2. Oh no! This happened to me too. I know exactly how to help! I can get you all your money back plus the shoes themselves. It’s very simple. All you need to do is send me twenty thousand dollars, cash, by direct courier. Mortgage the house, sell a kidney, whatever, don’t worry, you’ll get every penny back + interest. The important thing is you have to do this immediately. You can’t wait. Or else!

  3. Another dumb thing


    in the promotional tours The Rock was doing is when he talked about being a fan of the character even as a child. Really? I mean, it’s what they all say for every role of this type, they all go on the talk shows and stare dead-eyed into the camera and earnestly declaim to the world at large that as far as back as they can remember they’ve always wanted to be a T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent but in this case it’s extra egregious. You really always loved Black Adam, Dwayne? Is that going to come up on your show about your life? Are we going to see the version of you in the nineties [edit: that guy is in the movie itself as the Shazamified version of his son!!!1!] flipping through issues ofThe Power of Shazam!?!? I just don’t believe that Dwayne Johnson had even heard of Black Adam before Geoff Johns decided to retool the guy in the 00’s, sorry, he’s not Jack Black making songs about Young Nastyman, I don’t believe Dwayne Johnson engages with nerd material at the level of detail where this sort of second-tier villain would impinge on his consciousness.

  4. oh, yeah, the thing with

    Superman is so dumb both within and without the movie. It’s kind of hilarious that The Rock is out there giving interview after interview about wanting to beat up Superman and how the balance of power in the DC Universe is about to change and how Superman is vulnerable to magic. It’d be like, I don’t know, if Ray Park back in ‘99 was telling Starlog Magazine he was going to absolutely demolish Luke Skywalker. You’re not his bad guy, dummy! That’s not who you fight!

  5. I thought the movie was pretty bad!



    Don’t quite understand how Geoff Johns managed to inveigle all these huge corporate enterprises the Rock alone is a force unto himself, one must imagineinto filming a playthrough of a custom Mayfair Games DC Heroes module that he constructed for his own personal pleasure. I don’t know how how he did it! It’s an accomplishment all on its own. He got these guys to shell out cold hard cash for a movie where Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher, and one of those dumb dumb descendants him and David S. Goyer would pepper throughout their JSA run all fight a guy literally only him and a handful of retailers care about. Somehow this doofus managed to convince real people with real jobs to spend real money (lots of it! those shallow cuts on the soundtrack must not have come cheap!) on a movie starring a character he reinvented to minimal critical and commercial acclaim. Why did they do it? I don’t know. I guess they decided it didn’t really matter what the title character of a superhero movie is so long as the movie itself stands before the public naked and shivering as a piecemeal imitation assemblage of other contemporary superhero movies. They’d probably be right but I think it’s also pretty important to decide exactly what information needs to be exposited when and where in these kinds of movies they clearly decided to strip away any information about what exactly the deal is with Hawkman; prob. a good choice to just let the charisma of Aldis Hodge carry the day but that sort of good decision is imbalanced by so many bad ones, there’s line after line when they’re all in that car in the beginning about Isis’ (LOL!) necklace which it seems like they ... forgot to cut out when they cut out everything that stuff was leading to later???and they probably needed a different director too. Jaume Collet-Sera is pretty good at horror and at a certain kind of ersatz Hitchockian suspense, I just rewatched Unknown (‘11) and even though it’s not super duper great there’s still a pretty good scene with Liam Neeson in the hospital strapped to a gurney drugged into near-unconsciousness desperately reaching out for a pair of scissors in the breast pocket of a murdered nurse on the floor beneath him, still a good scene where Bruno Ganz and Frank Langella confront each other, my point is that this kind of blockbuster spectacle doesn’t seem to really be his deal. The parts that ARE his deal embedded within the movie are the best parts of an otherwise pretty dire movie, like it’s just fun to see Pierce Brosnan be Pierce Brosnan, tough to ruin Pierce Brosnan with a bad line, he just delivers the bad line in the best way possible, what’s my point, I guess I’m crediting the director for getting good performances from the actors in a bad movie. The core of the movie is kind of leaning as hard as possible into the adolescent power fantasy of superheroism, what if I were strong, what if I could go anywhere, what if nothing could hurt me, effortless triumph layered atop effortless triumph, but the core is surrounded by hastily tossed together garbage. They decided at the last minute they were going to tie the movie into other movies in addition to just imitating those other movies? Dumb. Gotta decide to tie the movie into other movies ahead of time, can’t hire Djimon Hounsou at the last second to show his face on camera for a moment, you gotta get value for money there.

    Verdict : bad but as always for every bad superhero movie I am absolutely slavering for a sequel; let’s go, let’s have him fight Tawky Tawny, let’s have him fight Woozy Winks

  6. Terrible news! A childhood favourite I think him and Marty McFly were the coolest in all the world as far as I was concerned way back when. (I remember looking up his character on a nerd wiki some few years ago and being astounded to discover he’s still a part of things, the character’s got a doctorate, it’s Doctor Tommy Oliver now.) As children we used to stand atop the mounds of snow piled in our schoolyard and pretend to be the Green Ranger summoning his Dragonzord by using a twig as the dagger/flute. Wait, that kind of sounds like the Four Yorkshiremen sketch. We was too poor to afford the toys! We were glad of our simple pleasures delivered to us from the skies above! And if you told that to young people today they wouldn’t believe a word of it, no, no. In any case, well, a sad day. 49! Uch.

  7. Haven’t really been keeping up with all the new animated stuff. There was an entire series set around Sequel Trilogy times which I completely skipped. Hated the look and feel of it. Couldn’t get through more than a few seconds of it. Haven’t seen any of the little micro-shorts for much the same reason. Saw the anime stuff; that was fun, looking forward to more of that. There’s a show whose premise reminds me a little bit of how as a little little kid if I had a bunch of identical toys I’d differentiate them from each other by giving ‘em different personalities when I’d play with them, that’s The Bad Batch (‘21-’??), haven’t seen any of it so far.


    Haven’t seen the Obi-wan show. Haven’t seen the Andor show. I imagine I’ll get to them sometime. I don’t really buy the hype about the latter, oh sure, it’s Star Wars for grown-ups, it’s for adults, right, yeah, it’s not that I don’t believe you or anything but pretty much everyone spouting that line probably said similar things about Rogue One (2016) so I’m going to manage my expectations here.


    But a bunch of mini-episodes about what Ahsoka and Count Dooku got up to before, during, and immediately after the Prequel Trilogy!? That’s my trash! You can’t keep me away! I thought that was all over and done with but it turns out there’s more of it! Yeah! Great! It’d be like if they announced, oops, the coroner goofed and Aaron Allston’s not dead so here’s his new Wraith Squadron book. Sign me up!





    Life And Death’


    * Like the makeshift droids the village uses. There’s one thatching that roof with her dad, there’s a different bipedal one walking the streets. Neat!


    * Kind of figured we were maybe heading for a little bit of a twist there. Maybe a reveal that the honoured elder was Ahsoka and the baby was named for her. Felt like maybe instead of showing us the birth of this character we were about to see her death instead.


    * Wait, if Ahsoka is the same shade of orange as her mother then what’s with her father being purple!? How do Togrutans reproduce? That guy seemed really psyched at having a kid but, well, not to be indelicate ... well, I don’t see any way around this. Guess somebody’s going to have to write a 40,000 word monograph addressing Togrutan sexual dimorphism, phenotypic traits, fidelity and infidelity, the ongoing undecided veracity of the old canard over infants resembling their fathers more than their mothers, Rakatan plans for the GFFA, Shaak Ti’s peculiar mortalities, it’s all gotta be connected.




    * Makeshift droids again! One of those 8D guys tending bar. Saw him walking in Ahsoka’s village too. A good clanky puppet design. And I liked the sort of MechWarrior-ish tractor thing. 2-TON.


    * Senator Dagonet’s guard. Neat hats! Nice Mortal Kombat masks.


    * When you put together Luke doing Force Choke to the Gamorrean guard in RotJ with Qui-Gon’s lack of moral disgust at Dooku’s use of it and, yeah, I gotta assume there’s others I’m not remembering at the moment I guess you have no choice but to come to the conclusion they never teach ‘em in Jedi schooling it’s a bad guy power for bad guys!?!? That’s just something literal children in the audience figured out but nobody within the narrative itself seems to realize it. These guys are all like, yeah, nothing dark side about this!




    * Like the Senatorial Guard combat droids.


    * Oh, this guy’s got David Bowie eyes. Neat!


    * Love Ki-Adi-Mundi’s specially made hood for his huge head.


    The Sith Lord’


    * Wait, Dooku was still a Jedi during the events of TPM!?!?!? What’s going on with the timeline here? How can he use Sifo-Dyas’ security code if the guy’s dead? Sifo-Dyas was on a mission for Chancellor Valorum when he was killed (“almost ten years ago” is what Obi-Wan says in AotC) so once they did the episode of the show where all this was established up until that point it still seemed somewhat semi-plausible it was an alias for Sidious; some fake Jedi Master’s name on a line item expense report whom no one ever met and who ‘died’ I kind of assumed the guy got merked shortly before TPM because that’s the movie where Chancellor Valorum stops being Chancellor Valorum. Does this matter? Nope! But it’s funny how Dave Filoni’s desire to untangle this stuff every chance he gets just makes the whole thing more of a mess!

    * Feel like the end result of all this is somebody doing some kind of definitive Prequels cut decades from now with all the animated stuff that happens during the movies interpolated in. Maybe with AI-assisted upscaling so it all looks live action!?

    * Yaddle talks normal!?!?!? Dumb! No way! Yaddle talks like Yoda talks! Yaddle is the same as Yoda!!!! Yaddle is not toad-brown like the guy from KOTOR (wait, I just looked this up to doublecheck and apparently sometimes Master Vandar was coloured green!?!? today’s a day of doubly shattered illusions!!! I’ve taken my first step into a larger world and I don’t like it! Not one bit! I wish I could go back to the way things were! I miss when my life was all lies!!!!1 Oh, the pain!), she’s not Even Piell pink, she’s Lady Yoda, she’s Rebbetzin Yoda, she’s Mrs. Yoda, she is Yoda’s Wife. I don’t believe these untruths of the false world. I take comfort in the fact that no one can change the true and eternal Yaddle. Not concept artist Iain McCaig. Not Opie Cunningham’s daughter. But why won’t anyone stop them from trying?!?!?1? Just to be on the safe side I have taken my Yaddle action figure from out of her mint condition packaging alongside her Jedi Council co-members Yarael Poof (hah!) and Depa Billaba and disregarding the choking hazard warning emblazoned on the box stuffed her figurine directly down my gullet so she can live forever safe and pure within my body.


    Practice Makes Perfect’


    * Okay, I think we now know why Ahsoka never tracked down Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan, or Yoda near to or during the events of the Original Trilogy. She had brain damage from being repeatedly stunned unconscious over and over!




    * What do those clones think Leia’s dad is doing? Do they think he’s drunk? Saying that he’s open to bribery? Soliciting them!? Just talking posh jibber jabber in a way that isn’t even supposed to make any sense whatsoever?


    * Nice shot of the Y-wing flying out into the moonlit sky! There are spice miners on that there moon! Uh oh! They're disgruntled!


    * Love those farming droids! Love their dumb gangly legs! Love their R2 heads!


    * Oh, hey, neat design on this Inquisitor. And the way his head deflates when he gets decapitated! Voiced by Clancy Brown too.


    just about the series as a whole, I suppose


    Feels like the show is emphasizing a strain of thought that’s been pretty clear for a while now. Simply that the Republic was bad, the Empire was worse, the good guys are therefore not really fighting for something good in and of itself but merely the restoration of a profoundly unjust status quo ante. This would come up every now and then in the EU, yeah, but I gather that it seems to be the deal in a lot more of the live action and animated stuff over the past couple of years.


    I mean, if everything’s up to what some Senators and/or royalty think then that’s just incentive to do what happens over and over again during this show and the Prequels and the extended media taking place during this era e.g. lie to Senators, abduct Senators or their dependents, assassinate Senators, blackmail Senators, bribe Senators, basically just use violence or the fruits of violence to get what you want. The Senators don’t have Force powers!!!1! They can’t stop you! The political system actively encourages this sort of thing!


    Kind of apropos to watch this right after some dumb dumb who hated TLJ broke into the Speaker of the House’s ... house and nearly widowed her. I mean, at least the dumb dumbs who’d do that stuff during the Prequels generally speaking did it at the behest of Chancellor Palpatine or Darth Sidious (could there be some connection between these two separate individuals? Nah! Too farfetched!) but this real life dumb dumb is doing that stuff because of Facebook and talk radio and Fox News and Newsmax and Frank Speech and, like, websites. Not to mention the former President of the United States and multiple other current, former, and future elected officials!

  8. Wait, so what are my complaints!?!?




    I feel like there are maybe three distinct kinds of characters on this show. Three types. Here they are :


    1) People We Don’t Know. People we literally have no way of knowing because they weren’t in the books. The show’s got to get them knowable to us, make ‘em known, it’s got to do the job of introducing these characters to an audience. Half the work’s already done for the show because these new people we don’t know are in a familiar setting, y’know? But do we get to know them? I have spent hours upon hours of my life now with Arondir, Bronwyn, Eärien, Kemen, Valandil, Ontamo, Waldreg, Disa, Sadoc, Marigold, Largo, Nori, Poppy, Malva, Vilma, Dilly, Adar, all the stars are here! I don’t think I could pick half of them out of a police line-up.


    2) People We Do Know But Seem Substantially Different Than They Quote Unquote ‘Should’ Be. Some of that’s an inescapable outcome of recasting the roles but some of that’s down to the choices made by the storytellers to deviate from both the text and from, like, what happened in the last episode. Who are these people? What do any of them want? Elrond seems to want everybody to be his friend!!!1! Galadriel seems to want to die!!1! None of the kings or princes or kings-in-waiting seem to consistently want anything from one episode to the next track the choices made by Gil-Galad or the dwarves or Ar-Pharazôn and his son or Isildur or Queen Regent Míriel and it’s just contradiction piled atop contradiction in a way that matches with what they quote unquote ‘should’ want in any sense of the word. When measured in accordance with the preexisting text or in accordance with what one would assume they would want given how we’ve just seen them act pretty much all these familiar characters do things that seem deeply unlike themselves.


    3) People We May Or May Not Know That The Show Seems Determined To Give Over To The Audience As Indeterminate Smudges. Is that guy Gandalf? Is that guy Sauron? Who are they? Who will they be? Oooh, the mystery! The tantalizing mystery! Can you feel it? Can you feel the heat?


    So, the characters seem a bit lacking. I mean, is it unfair to compare this to the Jackson trilogy? Too bad! I’m going to do it! That’s got something like thirty characters and they’re very very very sharply defined. And that had less time and was released over a span of years! This show has more time, I haven’t counted but I have to assume what with every episode being well over an hour that we’re in excess of anything but the extended home editions here, and has been coming out weekly. I mean, even the Hobbit trilogy, well, I forgot who’s who among some of the dwarves but you get my point.




    Once again, gotta drag the Jackson trilogy into this. It’s unavoidable! It can’t be helped. If they didn’t want that comparison to be made they had to either run straight towards it full bore or deviate substantially from that vibe. Can’t have your cake and eat it too, Amazon Prime!


    The line on the Jackson trilogy was always, from the beginning, that they were making the movie for people who had read the books ten years ago and not for people who had reread the books ten months ago. They were constantly and consistently willing to deviate from the text in the interest of fun, fun was their watchword, speak fun and enter, so they’d make decisions about what would happen and the order of events on the basis of how fun they could get the final outcome to be.


    I feel like this show isn’t being made for people who read the books ten years ago and it’s not for people who reread the books ten months ago and they’re certainly not making all their decisions about how to run away from the text in the interests of fun. I feel like this show is being made for ... the children of parents who work in a STEM field who won’t allow their kids to watch Game Of Thrones or Game Of Thrones : Deep Space Nine!?!?!? I feel like they’re running away from Tolkien because sometimes Jeff Bezos or whomever would ask them dumb dumb questions like “What are the rings made of? Why do they want to make them? Who is Sauron?” and they’re well aware that an accurate and nuanced answer to those questions would be utterly imperceivable to the brains of execs and audience alike on so many levels. You can’t explain to power hungry idiots that wanting power is bad!!!1! Some of the answers to those questions might even be legally unaddressable on the broadcast itself. Because they don’t have the rights to everything they’d need to mention in order to adequately answer!




    Feel like I’ve talked about this week by week more than enough but even so here goes nothing : (1) episodes feel simultaneously overly long yet seem to have scenes missing (2) the amount of ADR’d/looped dialogue is way too much indicating that they fundamentally reshaped the series in post (3) plot is inadequately distributed amongst the characters so I’m constantly wondering where everyone is this week; it’s like if they did a hospital show and every other episode you’d just get the orderlies and the administrators but no patients and no doctors and then vice versa (4) an overt reliance on gimmicks and mystery-box style storytelling to hold the attention of the audience rather than trusting in the innate appeal of the material presented in a straightforward manner (5) again, may be a little unfair to compare it to something that it can never ever outpace but nevertheless and nonetheless here we go yet another example drawn from the Jackson trilogy, every set and every prop was made right there in New Zealand (except for the contact lenses which were made special in the states and flown in), multiple times over, in the scene where Pippin is stealing the palantír from a sleeping Gandalf there was a suggestion made by Billy Boyd that he should do the thing Harrison Ford did in Raiders where he swapped out the object and so he wanted to use a nearby jug to do it but Peter Jackson pointed out he couldn’t because the jug was Ian McKellen-sized and they’d need a slightly smaller one to fit with his hobbit shape or it wouldn’t look right on screen and the props department piped up and said they’d made exact doubles of the necessary sizes of everything in every scene just in case the actors needed them, everyone really really cared, the clothes on the stand-ins had slightly different thread widths to match up precisely with the clothes worn by the actors; what’s my point, my point is that everything we saw in the movies felt real and lived in and everything we see on the show feels fake and lifeless (6) I understand that some of this may just be me, I’m sure there’s an audience out there that’s super excited for Galadriel to take the One Ring and put it between her perfect teeth and slip it on Sauron’s flaccid peen then have the blood of the Maiar rush into him so he can boink her for hours upon hours until finally at long last he splurts out a simbelmynë-white sigil-map of the Southlands over her heaving bosom, but I don’t think the show manages adult themes very well!!!!1! (7) maybe it’s not their fault. maybe it’s just that Amazon Prime can’t make good shows!?!!1! What is the evidence that the guys who basically just run server farms and force poor people to work themselves to death in a hurricane know how to make good TV? On my end it’s little more than Patriot (‘15-’18), some episodes of Hand Of God (‘14-’17), some episodes of Goliath (‘16-’21), I keep meaning to get to Too Old To Die Young (‘19), I hear good good things about The Underground Railroad (‘21), Alpha House (‘13-’14), I don’t think I saw every episode of The Tick (‘16-’19), watched every episode so far of Ten Percent (‘22-’??), I bounced hard off of The Marvelous Ms. Maisel (‘17-’23?’22?’24?), I saw the Leafs season of All Or Nothing (‘16-’21), I hear good things about Small Axe (‘20), oh wait of course The Kids In The Hall (‘88-’??), I take it all back, so sorry, once you take that into account they’re kind of the only people in the world who do TV right. They brought back The Kids In The Hall! Automatic A++++ to them! Of little comfort to the beleaguered, of course, but whatchagonnado???

  9. Seventh and eighth episode!

    * Did they ... did they use one of those mouth-moving filters, the automatic ones for photographs, like with the Snapchats, the things the kids use, on the shots of Galadriel and Theo in Mordor from a distance? For the scene where they’re talking about darkness and dark deeds and goodness and hearts and whatever!? It did not look or sound like the rest of their dialogue in that scene!!!!1! This show has a bajillion dollars!!!! They couldn’t just do a reshoot?????


    * The restraint of the scene where Nori and Young Ian McKellen say wordless goodbyes to each other with the exchange of an apple is probably what makes it the best moment in the series so far for me. Just letting the imagery and the music and the weight of the moment do the work on their own without trying to gussy it up with a Fisher-Price® version of Tolkien.


    * Wait!? How can Celeborn —pronounced with a hard c too? whaaaat? apparently, all this time, ‘c’ has never ever been what I thought it was in Quenya or Sindarin!?!? Saruman’s name was Curunír and that was pronounced k-k-k-k-k-k-urinir and not Surinir like I have always assumed!? Tolkien once said that the most beautiful words in English were ‘cellar door’. Did he say it ‘kellar door’???— be dead!!!!! Her husband is in the books! Her husband is on screen! He gets one of the rings just like her and Gandalf, right!? (No, wait, I’m getting him confused with Círdan. ) I mean, how!?!?!?111!? Going to have to assume this one of those classic “no body = no death” things. I guess for the purposes of allowing the somewhat alluded to intimacies between Gandalf and Galadriel in the Hobbit trilogy the franchise/fandom just sort of decided to treat Celeborn like he was dead!?!?1!? Maybe that’s the precedent here????


    * is there a scene missing w/Isildur? We see him at the beginning with his friend and his dead friend and the queen, right? And then for the rest of the episode he’s just lost? Did he run off at the end of that scene? I don’t remember that happening. His friend convinces him his dead friend is dead under that collapsed house and that’s that, right?




    * Was this bit in the ‘Previously On’ segment where Queen Regent Míriel gets a faceful of embers in the prior episode? The one before last? I don’t remember it!


    * “I am good.” What!? Just trust the audience and have him name himself Olórin. Or if that’s too obscure and it shouldn’t be, not when you consider the fact that the pilot ended with the introduction of Celebrimbor under the assumption that everyone tuning in knew who that was and what he’d wind up doing have him say some mythos speak and end off with calling himself the Grey. Oh, wait, are they STILL trying to keep a mystery of who exactly this guy is? Is it important to Amazon Prime Incorporated that fans on the Internet argue back and forth whether he’s Saruman or Gandalf or Radagast or one of the Blue Wizards or whatever!? Why!? Duuuuuuumb. A dumb line.


    * has Sauron been running back and forth between his time as Lord Himmelfarb and hanging out with the rest of the Eurythmics!? Hopping on top of a fellbeast to save transit time? Or is that guy not Sauron? Is he just one of Sauron’s servants like the other two, uh, Helmet Lady and Horn Lady?


    * Twist dumb. Double twist somehow even worse. Figured there was a twist coming but assumed they’d zig instead of zag here and go for something else.


    * Rings made of mithril and Galadriel’s dagger!?????????? What!? No!!!!!!1 Why would Galadriel allow them to go ahead with making the rings in the first place? What’s all this nonsense about two rings and three rings? There’s more rings! There’s a whole song about the rings! They sing the song during the end credits! Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t they supposed to win a long drawn out war against Sauron’s forces and then they take him in chains to the city and there after centuries of confinement, beautiful of aspect and apparently sincerely penitent, he gives up enough of the secrets of the ages to allow them to forge the rings for everybody all at once!? That makes sense. They all go into it with their eyes open! Sauron is supposed to trick them by forging the One Ring! He’s not supposed to trick them by having a secret identity! This is so dumb! Aragorn carried all this guilt over how his ancestor didn’t destroy the Ring but it’s all his dumb dumb elven adopted family’s fault! Galadriel could’ve just copped to it before they even made the rings, stood up and said “Whoops. My bad. How was I to know that the Enemy would be paddling around the ocean on the off chance I’d decide to reject the light of Valinor? Sorry sorry sorry. Gorthaur clearly wants us all to make him some jewellery and we can no longer trust the evidence of our senses as to why that’s a pressing concern. Let’s not follow his plans! Let’s all just go into the West and diminish instead.” but her big big idea is to give Sauron MORE RINGS!?!?!?!? Dumb! Long across the ages you have fought the long defeat, Galadriel? Huh? WHOSE FAULT IS THAT!!!!!!!?


    * Final verdict : giving serious consideration to just skipping Season 2 and watching the Shannara (‘16-’17) show instead!!!!!1!

  10. Yeah, I saw the 2nd episode.


    • Wait, if they’re leaping him back to the nineties then ... isn’t the original Quantum Leap program in operation at this time? It’s 1998. What’s to stop him from trying to rescue Dr. Sam Beckett the old fashioned way!?!? He can just go to the complex and tell Al all the details of what Dr. Sam Beckett needs to do to leap, right? No need for Ziggy to guesstimate things. His team back in the present day presumably still has the records. They feed that to him and he hands that off to Al then Al gives it to Dr. Sam Beckett. Speedrun it! Fool God and win big!


    • Wait, he’s an immigrant? Okay, another bad thing about not keeping with the status quo where his body is still in the Quantum Leap complex is now they can’t do a thing where an evil Admiral/Senator/cabinet member thinks the project is some giant boondoggle (he assumes Ziggy is just generating the output, there is no time travel) and seizes Dr. Ben Song’s body under Patriot Act rules or whatever. Well, I assume they could’ve still done it regardless of whether Dr. Ben Song is a natural born U.S. citizen or not but the story has extra resonance if he isn’t.


    • Oh, that’s Carly Pope!!!1! Young People $%#^&ing Carly Pope. Later season of 24 Carly Pope. That’s Carly Pope!


    • Oh, and José Zúñiga! Most recently from this year’s season of Westworld, he’s the Vice President, Ed Harris delivers the “I’m what you call ‘neurodivergent’” line to him. But I think I recognized him from the JJ Abrams MI.


    • Wait, Ben Raab is working on this show? Comics Ben Raab? Okay.


    • Omigosh they brought back the same actress from the finale! Susan Diol! The Vidiian scientist lady from VOY! The one of Al’s many many ex-wives who Dr. Sam Beckett manages to retcon into his only wife? The one who didn’t wait for him when he was a P.O.W. in that one episode before the finale which I don’t remember? Oh well, I guess I know which episode I’m going to rewatch after this one.


    • Half an hour in and the episode is already doing a better job at being a pilot than the first episode. Or maybe it’s better to say that it’s doing a really good job at being a second episode??? The status quo is being set up very well and the episode itself is about about how the very thing Dr. Ben Song brings to help those around him when he leaps is so crucial to the proper functioning of the team he left behind. Probably also helps that instead of it being, like, a generic CBS show like it was last week about an undercover cop foiling a heist it’s an astronaut show this week.


    Okay, this time around for a chaser I watched the episode with Al’s ex-wife that wasn’t the series closer. It’s the Season 2 finale! It’s great! I don’t think it’s one I’d seen as a kid. Dr. Sam Beckett leaps into what at first he assumes to be the body of a woman (in an episode that will end up being all about the body of a woman!) but then quickly comes to understand it is actually the body of a partner, a man charged with a mission to heal the mind of another, and Al subverts him from that goal for his own purposes. Al not only wants to rejoin with his beloved but more crucially wants to bring meaning to his years of caged loneliness — his time as a P.O.W. in Vietnam were in some way his own leaping — and ends up only seething with jealousy at the tool he’s crafted of Dr. Sam Beckett. Al is so outraged at 25 years of longing that he almost cuckolds himself with his best friend! I don’t know. I found the episode very powerful! Dean Stockwell’s performance, the needle drops, it’s entirely possible Ghost (1990) ripped it off (or vice versa!?!?) it’s so good! There’s a running shtick of Dr. Sam Beckett wearing numerous disguises in his work as a policeman which dovetails so well with the series as a whole, y’know? This episode could’ve worked as a series finale if there hadn’t been a renewal, it’s that good, it’s sort of a definitive thesis statement for the show.


    tldr = getting better! high hopes for episode 3!

  11. Sixth!


    • Arondir doing Home Alone (1990) on the Orc army. Fun!
    • Did they ... did they skip a scene where Theo sees where the sword is hidden!?!? The last we saw of it Arondir was wrapping it up in cloth and taking it away from the village, right? Right after he breaks a hammer trying to smash the sword to pieces on the anvil?
    • Did the ... did the Queen Regent and Isildur have any preexisting relationship? Have these characters talked to each other at all? Why’s she just telling him to go? Like, lady, lives are on the line. Did you come all this way to hang back with your bodyguards!?!?!? Go! Everyone should go! You should go! Kill some orcs! Save some villagers! Your ancestral line that even now sleeps beneath the mount of the Meneltarma on beds of gold would be ashamed! What, you want to live forever!?!1? Sounds like SOMEBODY’S jealous of the immortality of the Eldar!
    • I feel like this is sort of obvious but I gather just about half of everybody here is ending up as a Nazgul by the time we get to Season 3. Theo’s going to be a Nazgul. Not the kid himself probably the grown-up actor who’ll play the role. Lord Himmelbrand’s going to be a Nazgul. Isildur’s friends going be Nazguls. I thought last week Bronwyn was going to be for sure Nazgûlling it up, still can’t rule that out, she could very well end up as as a Nazgirl with a Morgirl-blade.
    • It was neat-o to have Galadriel do the thing where she dodges a spear on horseback once but it was real excessive to have that happen twice in one episode. When, I don’t know, when Legolas does the Bruce Lee move where he knocks out an opponent without even looking he doesn’t do the exact same thing fifteen minutes later!
  12. 5th!


    • Profanity, even if interrupted prior to completion, seems utterly out of keeping w/Tolkien’s sensibilities. And, hey, you me and any Bavarian senior citizen with access to an edit bay can easily see dwarves defecating but surely surely surely elves don’t poop!?!?!? How would that even — their digestive systems — internal organs — if they can survive off the merest crumb of lembas for weeks then naturally — the Elven intermixture of feä and hroä — just doesn’t seem possible.


    • What? Mithril is made from the light of a lost Silmaril? Dumb! Stupid! This is like when they decided Death Stars and lightsabers had their energy generated by the same crystals! Duuuuumb! (I do not think the obvious etymological connection between the two words is enough to justify the conceptual intertwining of these two distinct things.)


    • All in all though : the best episode so far. Everyone showed up for once! Things are happening! Songs are being sung! A fun action sequence! Hands are being clasped to biceps! Can’t complain too much. Love to see warthogs thrown through the air back down to the forest floor! Love to see the hand which did the throwing healing itself by the innate arcane arts unlocked from deep within the instincts of an embodied Maiar!
  13. Saw it.

    I think that the main guy and Ernie Hudson are doing great but everyone else suuuuuuuucks. Maybe it’s not the actors’ fault. Maybe it’s what they have to work with. Don’t like the new Al, don’t like either of those two doofus mcgoofuses, not sure if there’s anyone else ‘on’ the show to like or dislike. I do like the main guy a lot! If they decide that one of the ten Star Trek shows they’re doing takes place in or around the ENT era they should make him the captain! Or give him a two-episode arc on SNW where he’s a Jellico figure! Be the guy on Quantum Leap you get to captain an Enterprise! Just one of the perks of the job!


    So, what are my complaints?


    1. extremely bad dialogue! At one point there’s the following exchange between two characters -


    TECH PERSON: The past five years we’ve been trying to figure out how to send someone to a single point in time and then bring them right back. To take the work of Sam Becket and make it work so that you don’t get stuck in the past.

    THE NEW ‘AL’: Yeah, Ian, I know. I’ve been here since the beginning.


    And then that person CONTINUES explaining stuff she already knows! They decided to justify the exposition by ... making the character who exposits annoyingly self-righteous!? This is just one example. It wasn’t even really the nadir of the episode. The whole episode was kind of chock full of dialogue of equivalent or worse quality.


    2. it’s, like, real dumb!


    • Dumb that it’s set in the present! Gotta set it a few years into the future! Or maybe decades in the past so they can go back earlier into the 20th century while still having a relatively young protagonist? Or even go into his future but OUR past?


    • Dumb that his ‘Al’ is his wife!


    • Dumb that the bad guy in this looks like Adan Canto from Designated Surv Vor (‘16-’19), Sunspot from X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), but it’s not him!?!?


    • Dumb that they’re not doing the thing where the guy who he leaps into gets leaped (leapt? lept?) into his own body; that could actually justify the amnesia thing they’re doing since on the old show the person he leaps into would experience that in Sam’s body


    • Dumb that at one point the wife, no, the fiancée, the new Al lady, she directly addresses some guy in the past!?!?


    • Dumb that at one point the guy, the main guy, Quantum Leap, new Quantum Leap man, Dr. Ben Song, he starts apologizing for things he doesn’t remember doing and were maybe even unalluded to in dialogue to him!?!?!?


    • Dumb that he says that he wished he’d gone into teaching but he has amnesia and it’s not like she called him “Dr. Ben Song” to his face!? He doesn’t know that was an option! All he knows is that he speaks a lot of languages! His amnesia is a convenient plot device which is dispensed with whenever they please!


    • There was something else that was real dumb but I forget what it was. Oh wait! Now I remember! Quantum physics! They shoved quantum physics in Quantum Leap and #$%^ed it up! That’s not how it works! That’s not how to best use it for dramatic effect! Go read Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen!



    My complaints aren’t just “It should be like it was on the old show!” but more like “The way it was on the old show was a good way of doing things and they seem to have pointlessly replaced that status quo with a state of affairs which feels awkward and unnecessary and unfruitful for serialized sci-fi serio-comic drama!”.


    The whole episode was so bad that it made me worried I was maybe seeing the original through rose coloured glasses. So I chose an episode at random and gave it a rewatch. It was one of the later ones where they broke their longstanding rule about not involving famous historical figures. The one where Bakula is Marilyn Monroe’s bodyguard! Only thing I remembered about it from watching it as a kid is Dean Stockwell leering at Marilyn Monroe skinny dipping.


    Turns out : really great stuff! Stephen Root was in it! I found myself actively invested in trying to figure out who was going to be saved and how — is he going to save Marilyn? is he going to save the new assistant who loves Marilyn Monroe, the one whose favourite Marilyn Monroe picture is Bus Stop (1956), is he going to save Karina Longworth from taking her own life in despair after Marilyn commits suicide? is it going to somehow be about fixing the life of the guy he’s leapt into? — in a way that I just didn’t care at all about the guy doing the robbery or that guy’s cancerous wife or the undercover cop or whomever else was around in the new pilot.


    And there’s a nuance to this old episode that I assume I just didn’t get when I watched it in syndication aged 8 or 9. When he rejects her advances and says, “It’s not that I don’t want to. I mean, every man on the planet wants you.” and she responds with, “They don’t want me. They want Marilyn. But I’m not her. She’s somebody that I put on like a cashmere sweater or a mink coat. Somehow, I think you’re the first man I’ve ever met who really understands that.” This alone justifies them breaking the formula and going with a big historical personage, y’know, they found a good reason to tell THIS story.


    Oh, and something else! Al being from the future and being a rakish guy older than (and superior to!) Sam means that he’s often dressed bizarrely – oddly tailored/embroidered suits, weird bolo-esque ties, handkerchiefs – and with a cigar or drink in his hand. It automatically conveys to even an inattentive or new viewer that Al’s not a part of things, the state of affairs becomes known without a word of dialogue, even if you miss the opening credits you’re pretty close to being on the right page! Having that character be a romantic partner of the opposite sex who is the equal of the Sam Becket stand-in from our own contemporary year throws that all away. (About the one thing I liked that was new was the bit where it’s established that the plan was for them to be in each other’s roles.)


    also, if they don’t have Dr. Ben Song’s body present in 2022 then they can’t do an episode where he leaps back into his past self and his fiancée is torn between her feelings for the man he is now and the man he was when they first met. Or whatever! My point is that the new element they’ve added combined with the old element they’ve subtracted adds up to an actively worse set of circumstances then if they’d done one or the other. On the old show they almost never addressed the Leapee in the complex with Ziggy and ... there was a professor guy, right!? who’d fix Ziggy!??? ... but I think it came up from time to time.


    tldr = did not like it but am hopeful for next week, y’know?

  14. 4th episode!


    • Love the little dwarven helmets whose fronts open’n’shut like cupboard doors!
    • Calling my shot now, placing my bets. Figure there’s good odds that this Adar fellow is Eärendil.
    • Lego® Duplo®-las catching an arrow in midflight and firing it back. Love to see it!
    • Feels to me like the juggling of the different people in the different places is, just, deeply inexpert. Main cast kept offscreen! Whoever does show up gets dealt short shrift; it felt like there were multiple scenes missing during the dwarvish sections! I counted three instances where little half-lines of dialogue were looped/ADR’d into the tail of a sentence in order to beat into the head of the audience something or other which must have seemed important to some exec but felt relatively unneeded to me, just stuff we already knew or was better illumined elsewhere in the episode e.g. the relation of the Southlands to Morgoth, Elrond’s father’s deal, the timing of events on the show. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my hearing is going. Maybe this is a great way to tell a story. Sure doesn’t feel that way to me!



    • oh, wow, that’s second Naevia, y’know, slightly less hot but better actress Naevia from Spartacus (‘10-’13) as the Númenórean Queen Regent. Neat!

    • Look, I’m not saying it’s great. The writing reminds me a little of the following : 1) point’n’click mystery games 2) Terry Brooks novels 3) neural network outputs 4) Seattle area newspaper advice columns (“Dear The Stranger, I am a 198-year old veteran of my decadent island nation’s naval service. I’m unsure how to encourage my children to follow in my footsteps and am somewhat ambivalent about my larger society’s commitments to eternal race war. My son is hesitant to continue in his chosen career which disappoints me greatly yet I am nonetheless very very proud of my daughter for getting into our local pagan equivalent of Stanford after she was initially waitlisted. How can I best serve Manwë and Ulmo in our fight against the Enemy, Melkor?”) and 5) that Warcraft movie made by David Bowie’s kid. But, still! I’m enjoying it! If you dump ships and horses and scrolls and swords and magnificent vistas and cityscapes on screen in just about any old order I’m going to be pretty entertained! Love to see loathsome creatures snarl and snap at the camera! Love to watch colours and shapes! Love to hear sounds!

    • something like half the characters on the show didn’t show up this episode!?!? I mean, it’s not so bad, at least the elves in Lindon get alluded to via both dialogue and set dressing. But that guy’s whole deal is his relationship with that lady and neither her nor her kid rate a mention? Either his buddy or the Watchwarden should’ve at least been all like, “Told you so! This is what happens! This is the fallen nature of Man made manifest!” but instead they’re just making escape plans and getting their carotids sliced open by orcs? Dumb!




    • The episode starts off great specif. allusion in the voiceover to the thing where a pre-Copernican and/or pre-Yom Revii physical universe were once the actual factual state of Arda; clear illustration of theme on the nature of evil being a pointlessly spiteful and deliberately malicious destruction of creation’s beauty given form and shape via intentional action what with the other children getting their rocks off and then just wrecks it for me by doing one of my least favourite things! The thing where a character says something and we don’t get to hear what they’ve said! I hate it! Stop it! Stop doing this!
    • oh, wow, that’s Crassus from the final season of Spartacus (‘10-’13) as the Watchwarden. Neat!
    • I don’t know. It’s ... pretty good!? Kind of videogame-y but whatchagonnado!?!?!?1? Maybe I just have nerd blinders over my eyes, can’t see the flaws, but I liked it a lot. Or maybe the problem is that the nerd blinders have slipped off my eyes. Maybe it’s that I’m insufficiently versed in the canonical lore, y’know, it’s been a First Age since I’ve really had a solid handle on what happens to who in what order. In any case, it helps that it’s got the right vibes. And there’s a certain playfulness at work in how it handles things like violence (vide the killing of two orcs in one thrust by Finrod; Galadriel using the outstretched sword of her second-in-command to vault her way to a headshot on that snow troll; or how uhhhhh whatshername, ummm, trans milf who wants to get btfo’d, she’s dressed in blue, okay, Bronwyn, ImdB says Bronwyn, and her son Theo despatch that Morgoth-worshipper) which is the one thing I kind of figured would fall by the wayside when they were picking’and’choosing what elements of the Jackson stuff to keep and what to ditch.
    • Still kind of weirded out by the casting of Not Cate Blanchett and Not Hugo Weaving and ... Not Ian McKellen (!?). Sometimes there’ll be insert shots of, like, Galadriel where it seems they’ve digitally retouched her face to make it appear more like the role’s originator? Or chosen a lens with a different focal length!? I don’t know. Sometimes the actress looks like herself and sometimes she doesn’t!? Weird. Weird weird.
  16. I’ve never seen the very first Batman (‘46) — it’s the one they made by chaining together a bunch of the serials together. The costume has always looked sort of pleasingly janky to me and the plot is apparently extremely extremely racist towards Japanese-Americans!?!? Haven’t seen the sequel from ‘49 either, which features a different cast. Hmm.


    Batman (‘66) is incredible. Adam West is ★★★★. I saw this and the show as a little little kid and did not in any way whatsoever interpret it as a comedy. It was deadly serious stuff to me. I found The Joker terrifying!!! There’s an episode in which he goes to Stately Wayne Manor and sneaks his way into The Batcave which was as grotesquely fear-inducing to me at that age as, like, The Strangers (‘08) is to grown-ups. I could not finish watching it! I insisted we switch the channel on my uncle’s television!! This would’ve been ... in the very very early nineties so I must’ve been five? Six? At the most?


    Keaton Batman likewise incredible. Also ★★★★. He is just this genuinely odd presence.


    Kilmer & Clooney also very very very good in the role. Gotta give them ★★★★. I am sensing a pattern here!!!!1!


    Kevin Conroy is Batman. There’s that episode of the animated series where somebody (the Mad Hatter!?) has hacked his way into Bruce Wayne’s dreams to give him nightmares for reasons and he figures it out because the voice in his head addresses himself as Bruce and that’s NOT what he calls himself. Same deal. When I hear the voice of Batman speaking in my head, when I’m reading the latest issue of Batman (Zdarsky’s doing great!), it is Conroy’s voice that speaks. When I see lightning and hear thunder in the camera obscura of my own inner consciousness they’re directly taken from the opening credits of the animated show.


    Gotta give both Will Arnett & Diedrich Bader a lot of credit. Great stuff! Anthony Ruivivar severely underrated too. Generally speaking, the cast of Beware The Batman (‘13-’14) is kind of top tier even as some other elements of the series come up short. I mean, Kurtwood Smith as Commissioner Gordon, Christopher McDonald as Harvey Dent, Lance Reddick as Ra’s al Ghul, Udo Kier, James Remar, CCH Pounder’s the mayor, all the stars are out!


    Christian Bale Batman good enough at the jokes. “I’m going to tell them it was all your idea.” Solid stuff. Not going to break the needle.


    Affleck Batman is very very good in that opening bit of Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice (‘16) where he’s just incredibly incredibly angry.


    Pattinson Batman is not too bad at being Bruce Wayne as a kind of non-entity, in as much or more of a disguise as when he’s wearing the suit.


    Oh, I feel like this is the thing I bring up whenever Batman pops up as a topic of discussion but here we go again nonetheless. Part of my problem re: modern Batman, ahem, modern Batmen is that they nearly always play the role better in some other movie. For Bale it was American Psycho (‘00) — he does Bruce Wayne’s manufactured authenticity and underlying sense of menace so much better as Patrick Bateman. For Affleck it was The Accountant (‘16) — you get the sense of his intelligence and, like, remoteness from this performance way more; uh, in fact, there’s a Batman manqué in Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible who is explicitly autistic. For Pattinson it was Cosmopolis (‘14) — this ultra-rich weirdo, there’s something more than a little Keaton-y in him there.


    tldr = “The actors who played Batman in movies and television I saw when I was a little kid were the best! The ones who do it nowadays are the worst! The same as, like, James Bond! What a coincidence! Who’da thunk it!?!?"

  17. This is not an original thought but the entire thing hinges on a multi-million dollar production being absolutely certain that an elderly senior citizen (Jonathan Banks was 67 years old when they began filming! He wasn’t exactly a spring chicken when they first introduced his character on BB, neither!) will be able to convincingly play a mortal threat to other characters for the remainder of the series.

    Like, if an anvil had fallen on any of the other actors the show’d probably have been able to work around it Odenkirk excepted, of course, and one almost did! but what could they’ve done without Mike!?!? Or with a Mike who was less good, less convincing, like, what if Jonathan Banks became a bad actor as he aged!? Or just started looking substantially and irrevocably different the way sometimes old people do, in a way that even a night shoot couldn’t obscure!? Crazy, crazy stuff.

  18. Amazing finale! V. moving! Love that they maintained the black’n’white aesthetic (but w/the tiny yellow glow of the lit cigarette!) for everything set ‘now’, y’know? Beautiful, beautiful. Television!


    * Really admired the simultaneous excesses and restraint as to who got to come back! I literally laughed aloud when we saw you-know-who! I know there’d been some discussion about bringing her in for the scenes where Chuck was in the hospital in previous years but it never quite worked out. Amazing! I’m chalking that there up to Column A but I’m also filing the absences of most of the deceased main cast into Column B.


    * A dumb half-joke which doesn’t quite make sense (because I think he only finds out how he can finagle Kim into the courtroom much later on; at that point he doesn’t even know she’s come clean about the murder) but I gotta drop it here anyway. Saul Goodman looks at the graffiti in that Omaha holding room, “MY LAWYR WILL REAM UR ASS”, and just artfully assembles a plan which will eventually allow Kim Wexler to peg him in some kinda conjugal visit sitch, right!? I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m making fun. I don’t know why I’m being gross. He chose a lifetime of imprisonment in order to gain her (and his own!) respect! The prospect of freedom meant nothing to him unless Giselle St. Claire loved him back! Love! Love is real!


    * I don’t think the drop of the book in the Chuck scene is hokey or dumb or forced. We know what Chuck reading to Jimmy as children meant to both of them. I don’t think we’ve ever seen much in the way of evidence that Chuck has a real appetite for science fiction per se — although his belief in fringe medicine to justify his mental illness probably must have come from somewhere — and I’m not going to dig around some fan nerd wiki to check either way but I think it works. I realize just by bringing it up I’m acknowledging the implicit criticism that IT IS too far; you could argue that the scene between the pair of them is good as is in terms of interconnecting with the Saul-Mike and Walt-Saul scenes and doesn’t need to make the time machine thing explicit to make sure the dots align. I don’t know.


    Best episodes of the show


    I did a rewatch of everything up to the current season somewhere in there. Uh, off the top of my head:


    • Season 1 finale! Especially that big scamming-the-town thing where he goes back to the old neighbourhood and has fun w/Mel Rodriguez.

    • Bagman’ Season 5, episode 8. This is the one this episode opens w/a flashback to. Hits really well on a rewatch because you see Jimmy shpritz some dirt off his shoes with his water bottle early on!

    • Nippy’ Season 6, episode 10. Just a beautiful episode of television!

    • Not a favourite episode but a favourite thing, I suppose. Mike’s daughter-in-law talks in group therapy about her fear of losing her memory of Matty’s voice, losing her memory of him, and of the morning she woke up and for the first time never gave Matty a thought. That becomes transmogrified later on into Mike’s advice to Saul about how to get through the trauma of the shootout in the desert. He sort of rejiggers her words and says, “Well, here’s what’s gonna happen. One day, one day, you’re gonna wake up. Eat your breakfast. Brush your teeth. Go about your business. And sooner or later you’re gonna realize you haven’t thought about it. None of it. And that’s the moment. You realize you can forget. When you know that’s possible it all gets easier.” Saul tells that over to Kim in an effort to make her believe that one day she’ll wake up and not even think about Howard’s death.

    • I realize that in order to do this properly I’d probably have to rewatch the series again and ask myself a number of yes/no questions about each episode and assign each episode its own point score. Did this episode feature a sequence of such bravura filmmaking unlike anything any other TV show would bother to do? Did this episode feature a musical needledrop so perfectly fitted to what’s going on onscreen that it now irrevocably attaches that particular piece of music to the show forevermore? Did this episode feature a feat of acting from the cast above and beyond the typically high level they tend to perform at? Did this episode feature an appearance from a beloved character actor? Was this beloved character actor a featured player on Mr. Show (‘95-’99, ‘15)? Was this beloved character actor the CHILD of a featured player on Mr. Show (‘95-’99, ‘15)? Were there really fun shenanigans and hijinks this episode? That sort of thing.

  19. been wracking my brain on and off again all weekend about how things are going to go down


    - Jimmy McGill, imprisoned and ... happy? In some ways, yeah, maybe. Running little scams to keep anyone else from cornering the market on ramen & cigarettes. Acting as a jailhouse lawyer to help his fellow inmates prepare their own self-defences. Getting one over on the guards.


    - Jimmy McGill, free and clear via trial by jury?? Genuinely think he could fill the courtroom with his former clients, hangers-ons, etcetera. Bring them up to the witness stand one at a time and have them testify about the sort of guy he is. Have him look the foreman in the eye and just say something, like, I don’t know, “most of us are too proud to say it but aren’t we all more than a little bit shook up after that airplane disaster? I can’t sleep nights. It was tough on me, not gonna lie, especially after the death of my brother. So, yeah, I gave the guy responsible for that a hard time. I never meant for it to go that far. It’s not my fault. But I didn’t kill him and if I’d gone to the police after I’d have been just as dead as him. I’m not brave. And, yeah, one of my clients was a high school teacher suffering from a debilitating illness who chose to provide for his (disabled!) son and pregnant wife in a way that might strike all of us as crossing the line but, let’s be honest, booze is way way way worse. I’m sorry. I’m not too ashamed to admit it. Yeah, I ran. What would you have done? I’ll tell you what, though, the thing that I’m most sorry for out of all the things I’m so sorry about. How it’s affected the people I love most. People like my clients. People like Ms. Wexler. Don’t have pity for me. Have pity for them!” Would something like that work? Is the series going to end with us not knowing if that sort of speech works or not? Maybe.


    - Jimmy/Saul/Gene/Viktor/????. A new identity from the vacuum cleaner man??? I don’t know. Robert Forster’s dead. Don’t see how this can be done in a really satisfying way what with that horrific obstacle. Plus, of course, they already did this kind of thing before in the Jesse movie. Still, can’t rule it out. It could work!


    - Jimmy dead? Suicide by cop? It’s like that line (Henry Adams?) of how if you’ve got a president or a vice-president in the family it’s like having a relative commit suicide. From then on it’s always an option. Has he got more Chuck in him than one might think? Would Jimmy rather die than be imprisoned? I mean, he has compassion enough for Carol Burnett not to ice her for a moment’s advantage. Does he have that compassion for himself? Can people change?


    Yeah. I don’t know. Maybe the yodelling ants from that dropped mint chocolate chip ice cream cone have been following him all this time all the way to Nebraska for more of that sweet sweet cream!?!? They’ve been patiently making their way and they want it, they can taste it, there’s no mayonnaise for them and they won’t settle for Miracle Whip, they know what they need. Maybe they finally catch up with him and make him their ant king like in that episode of The Outer Limits (‘95-’02)?

  20. Re: Rogue 3’s imagepost : I never put it together before that the Gene Takavic Cinnabon® narrative stream is being evoked by the black’n’white (and the loneliness!) of his Sand Piper commercial.

    Also, also, in the episode where we see the flashback where Chuck’s ex-wife, well, at the time she was just his wife, Rebecca, when Rebecca meet his brother for the first time and then she ends up liking him so much that it basically helps drive Chuck into full blown mental insanity (!?!?) before he gets to the house and they’re getting dinner ready there’s a whole scene where Chuck is saying we should work out some sort of signal if anyone’s uncomfortable and he explicitly references Carol Burnett, the Carol Burnett earlobe thing. If you watch the scene Michael McKean says the name Carol Burnett! Twice!

  21. I’d sort of half-convinced myself into thinking we’d never see really see Kim again, no closure, no nothing, maybe she’d even be dead or dying. I figured the show was going to go do a hard zag instead of a zig and would deliberately tweak any and all audience expectations. Instead, what I got was ten times worse (in a good way; that was a great episode of TV!) because I had to sit there and watch a Kim Wexler absolutely drained of any and all self-confidence in her own judgments, a Kim Wexler who can’t even bring herself to correct and revise and correct over and over again any of her documents, a Kim Wexler who can’t decide between two different flavours of ice cream, a Kim Wexler who gets plowed by some oaf she won’t even let stay the night, a Kim Wexler who finally does what’s right at long last and seems to feel no relief whatsoever (that’s how I took the breakdown on the bus; she finally came clean and it didn’t help her at all), a Kim Wexler who seems way less of herself than even Jimmy/Saul/Gene does at that stage in life. Horrible!

    Terrified of what’s to come next week. Am I going to see Jimmy/Saul/Gene die? Will Heisenberg-strength meth fumes resurrect Howard and Lalo’s intermingled corpses into a singleminded revenge monster? Will this Howduardo “Lamlo” Samlinacin be finally defeated by the immortal Kaylee Ehrmantraut, Mike’s granddaughter, whose age has been canonically indeterminable for the entirety of her years and years worth of appearances on Breaking Bad (‘08-’13) and Better Call Saul (‘15-’22)? WILL WE FINALLY SEE MARIE!?!?!?!?!? Terrific, terrific stuff. Television!

  22. I can’t find my copy of Hy Bender’s Sandman Companion (which, if memory serves, is a lengthy issue-by-issue overview of the series via an extended interview with Neil Gaiman; can’t remember if the artists, colourists, Todd Klein — wait, did anyone other than Todd Klein ever do the letters? not going to bother to check, sorry, you’re on your own — get interviewed too, I assume they did but maybe not to the same extent, I don’t know, could look it up, of course) but if I could then I’d be able to flesh out what I’m about to say, sorry, I can’t make the following two points with the necessary detail but just wanted to say :


    1) The series doesn’t really seem like the sort of thing that’d reward my interest? It’d have to meet with near-unanimous critical acclaim from certain ultra-specific sources in order to make me give it a shot. I tried w/Good Omens (‘19-’22???? What? they’re making more of it?????1?) and that kind of felt like a big waste of time so none of the points in its favour — great casting, creative involvement from Gaiman himself — really hold much water w/me. But the one thing they COULD do that’d make me check it out is if they adapted parts of The Sandman (‘88-’96, ‘03, ‘13-’15) which never actually got made. There was a whole arc planned out later in the series that he mapped out in detail which he actually ditched. He talks about in in the book, the Hy Bender book! From memory it involved a return of one of the victims of the sleeping sickness, I think he was black, Daniel Bustamonte (?) and also some friendly Satanists? It involved a lot of things. Gaiman lists them in a single paragraph. Wish I had the book in front of me. He was also going to do an arc riffing on themes of the myth of Orpheus. It was going to be a sequence of interconnected one-offs. But then he did some signings in America and every time a fan would ask him “Wow! Neil, what’s next? What’s going to happen next in your comic, Neil?” and he’d tell them they would just respond with “What? Do you mean Morpheus?” and he figured that the American educational system had failed an entire generation and everyone was so unfamiliar with the basic story of Orpheus & Eurydice that he may as well scrap the whole thing because it’d all go over their heads so he just did the Special w/Bryan Talbot instead to set up the final parts of the series. My point is this : I’m not really interested in seeing stuff I’ve already seen on the page show up on the screen. But I am really curious about seeing stuff on screen that’s never even been on the page. That could get me on board! So if they do that for Season 3 or 4 or whatever, wait, will Netflix give them that much time? entirely possible it doesn’t! Oh, there’s a good bit in the Hy Bender book where Gaiman is asked what he’d have done if the series had been cancelled in its earlier issues before it really became a success. He said he wouldn’t have tried to wrap up the whole plot then and there but instead would’ve just filled up the remaining space with a few short stories in the hope eventually somewhere down the line some friendly editor would ask him to pick up where he left off. That’s what they should do if they know they’re not going to get to do the whole show! If this first year is kind of a flop and they get one more year out of it, seems like that’s kind of the model the algorithm spits out, then next year should just be all new original stuff! Like, I’m pretty sure there’s, for example, there’s a big love story between Dream and another character, one of his many exes that he wronged, her name escapes me, it’s like Princess Zamunda or something like that, evocative, Google thinks I might be thinking of Alianora, maybe, I think we actually get a lot of the details there but I think there’s someone who’s only named and we get nothing else. Whatever. Okay, so for me, there’s like three different ways the series could intrigue me enough to give it a try. Okay, okay.


    2) Making Death a black woman is a really neat idea. There’s a recurring motif in the series of a young black woman being introduced and then immediately dying in horrific fashion, it keeps happening and happening, until eventually Hob Gadling goes to that ren fair with the black lady and the pattern is broken. They talk about this in the book! Not sure if this aspect of it has come up in any of the show’s publicity; I remember when some of the casting was announced and there was more of a generic flavour to talking about this and, for example, whatshername, Clara Oswald, Jenna Coleman as a gender-switched John Constantine. That also makes a lot of sense, y’know, because of the multiple existing Constantine adaptations as well as the fact that Gaiman already introduced a girl version of Constantine (ancestrally) in the series itself, y’know? I mean, this sort of thing always makes sense but in these particular two instances it makes sense again, even more so, on an additional level.


    Addendum : okay, I found my copy! I was somewhat mistaken and/or unclear on a few points here and there.


    a) There wasn’t going to be an entire arc of Orpheus-ish stories. Just the plan for the Special was going to be less a straightforward retelling of that particular myth and more riffs on that theme.




    b) The thing w/the black women is v. specif. them burning alive. Nada’s city is consumed by a fireball, Ruby dies in a hotel fire after she smokes in bed, Carla is incinerated by Loki. It’s explicitly referenced within the text itself when The Corinthian eats Ruby’s dead eyes.




    c) It wasn’t a complete planned arc I was thinking of. It would’ve been maybe four additional issues of the Season of Mists storyline dealing chiefly with the subplot of the dead returning to Earth because Lucifer has shuttered Hell. He wrote the first seven pages of it and then threw it away because he didn’t think the audience would have the patience for him to stretch things out that long at that time in the series. I’ll quote : “It was good material, involving creepy magical types on the run; a young lady named Isolde Bane and her baby Anthony, a group calling themselves the Fashion Satanists; and the return of Daniel Bustamonte from issue 1.”

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