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Utopia Talk / Movie Talk / *Talk about random TV Shows* Part VIII
Cherub Cow
Thu May 17 19:47:53
Life is ultimately meaningless! Watch TV to wash away the feelings of your own insignificance in the universe :D/
Cherub Cow
Thu May 17 20:14:18
@"Lucifer" S3E23: "Quin8hetessential Decker"

*Really* good one. Lucifer finally admits his feelings to Chloe, and he tells her that he's legit the devil, and she's like, "Not to me" ♥:) .. of course, in the plot this means that she accepted his declaration as a metaphor, not as a statement of legit fact.. but this was more about him realizing that Chloe has chosen him from the beginning and she realizing that Lucifer is messed up but ultimately wants her.. so now it's okay for them to free themselves in a Walpurgis Night ;)

Charlotte Richards also had her final (probably) scene on the show, and even though it was maybe not a great sell for the show to say that she had reformed to a great enough extent to earn "Heaven", her scenes with Amenadiel and then with Dan were well done — heartbroken reactions. Amenadiel getting his wings back and flying away with Charlotte's soul-body was also interesting.. mostly because it leaves Lucifer and Amenadiel with more questions about their personal actions causing their situations versus some "divine plan" manipulating them. If Amenadiel is supposed to replace Lucifer as ruler of Hell, then it's not surprising that it was *Amenadiel* who realized that gaining or losing wings was about personal conscience — not outer judgment — because this goes with the Milton Satan's line that "The mind is its own place". It's a fun game that this story is playing: being quietly anti-religious while working within a universe where deities and superstitions have ground.

The new episode is also out, but I might not have time to watch until Caturday :'(
Anarchist Prime
Thu May 17 20:37:59
"Life is ultimately meaningless! Watch TV to wash away the feelings of your own insignificance in the universe :D/"

Infinite omnipotent hyperbeing lovingly screaming "YOU'RE VALID", its song echoed across every structural detail of the universe—you, an insignificant mote adrift in some galactic tide shouting back "YES, OKAY, WHAT ELSE?"

Cherub Cow
Sat May 19 21:00:27
Is that just a rando on Twitter? :p

*[Quintessential] Decker

@"Lucifer" S3E24: "A Devil of My Word"

Season finale! Very cool episode :D
Looks like Lucifer's choice to kill made him into a monster again, and Chloe [apparently] has seen the veil lifted. I'd expect that next season the writers would walk back this progress via Chloe rationalizing her experiences as some kind of trauma residuals, but the song lyrics as the episode end were "the beginning of the end" (song by Klergy and Valerie Broussard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfXnoEFbVrU ), which makes it seem like the show is prepared to close the story next season rather than stretch things further for profit (and of course — more simply — in the main plot it makes sense that Chloe finally learning the truth would precipitate closure). Hopefully season 4 will start with her piecing together Lucifer's previous statements in light of the truth (kind of like Hank reevaluating Walt in Breaking Bad), and then through the season maybe she'll try to bring Lucifer down (because he's legit the devil) only to realize that Lucifer can choose (and has chosen) to be good. Could be more interesting than that, though, because the writing on this show has been great — maybe not shocking if they've been pulling from the already-written comics.. which I'll probably read after the show finishes..

Speculation aside: cool moments in this one! :D The wing effects have been well done. In particular, Lucifer's protective barrier and Lucifer walking back into the room with his wings outstretched and bloody.. awesome that a semi-popular TV show can do effects like this. Weirdly that barrier scene was less emotional than Maz and Linda's apology conversation. Their friendship drama had not been too interesting, but it finally came together with their apologies.

So.. no more Lucifer for a while :(
Cherub Cow
Tue May 29 23:18:51
Fuck! Apparently Fox cancelled Lucifer on May 11th. :( .. Sadly accurate, I posted this on May 6th: "Lucifer has been funny since its return. It's definitely my new "Quick Draw" or "Don't Trust the B— in Apt 23", which means that it will probably be cancelled very soon ;D"

I only found out today because Hulu uploaded 2 new episodes, but they had zero continuity with season 3's ending so I had to look up why that was. Apparently they were "case of the week" episodes meant for season 3, but they were re-edited for season 4, then released yesterday because of the cancellation. A similar thing happened with "Apt 23": out-of-order episodes were released after the cancellation.

... arg... I was hoping that they could finish the show with a season 4. Apparently the writers left season 3 with that cliffhanger so that there would be social media outrage about the cancellation — which did happen to some degree... so it's at least *possible* that another network will pick up the show. Maybe it'll get the "Community" season 6 treatment where they'll get funding and have a chance to finish the continuity with one last season. I'm doubtful that that'll happen only because "Community" had a dedicated following with a large online presence while "Lucifer" peeps have been much less apparent (to me at least).

Bleh. Anyhow.. Lucifer, X-Files, SVU, and Designated Survivor have all finished for the season (or, "as above, so below": indefinitely, in Lucifer's case), so finally/reluctantly I may check out the new season of "Fear the Walking Dead". Amazon streams "The Expanse", so I may watch that too. And btw, "The Orville" turned out to be really good (it's kind of like having more TNG episodes but with extra joking). That won't return with a second season until December. /wrists
Cherub Cow
Sat Jun 16 18:14:29
Yay! Lucifer was picked up by Netflix. Now the writers have to follow through with their season 3 finale decision :p
Cherub Cow
Thu Jul 19 03:47:28
I've started watching old "Nathan for You" episodes, and 2013's S1E5 ("Haunted House / The Hunk") is a great combination of super uncomfortable and really hilarious moments XD
Anarchist Prime
Thu Jul 19 17:26:32
if you ever run out of shows to watch,try:

the almighty johnsons

The Almighty Johnsons is a new South Pacific Pictures comedy-drama series about four brothers, raised in heartland New Zealand, who also happen to be the living incarnations of Norse Gods. ...

Creators: James Griffin, Rachel Lang

Stars: Emmett Skilton, Timothy Balme, Dean O'Gorman

After a group of people, who meet online, discover a bizarre graphic novel which seems to hold mysterious answers, they find themselves being tracked down by a merciless organization known merely as 'The Network'.

Creator: Dennis Kelly

Stars: Adeel Akhtar, Paul Higgins, Neil Maskell


A former police officer returns to the force after having been wrongly imprisoned for years.

Creator: Rand Ravich

Stars: Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Adam Arkin
Thu Jul 19 19:17:09
Kim's Convenience is a solid sitcom.

Their portrayal of Asian church is fairly spot on.
Cherub Cow
Mon Jul 23 02:46:24
The Korean slurping was funny in the trailer :D

"The Almighty Johnsons" looks pretty seriously low-budget/low-direction .. things like hearing their foot steps on a quiet set while they're exchanging dialogue :D
(trailer of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd80D347iSI ).. but "Utopia" looks pretty cool ( trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJnN3WMwDsk ).. and "Life" seems low budget but interesting.. looks like it's why they poached Damian Lewis for "Homeland" (basically the same character).. which reminds me that I need to watch the new (2018) season of Homeland :p

I'm up to S2E2 of "Nathan for You" (""Souvenir Shop / ELAIFF") — it got almost as awkward as "The Hunk" episode (where he creates a fake dating show) :D .. in this one he convinces a crowd of people that Johnny Depp is making a movie, and he very uncomfortably has an extra meet a fake Johnny Depp in his trailer. Have to wonder how often he breaks character and reveals the game.. they must edit around it a lot :)

Short TV shows have been attractive lately. Before "Nathan for You" and Eric Andre I watched "Mr. Pickles", which was an Adult Swim 10-minute episode cartoon about a Satanic dog who seems to act like a vigilante or a slasher film's killer. Lots of fun stuff in that show :D
Cherub Cow
Wed Jul 25 14:11:04
"Nathan for You" update:
In S3E1 he tries to manipulate Best Buy's price match by getting an electronics store to set the price of a premium TV to $1 so that the store can have people go to Best Buy and buy TVs at $1, but Best Buy doesn't honor the price match so Nathan tries to start a class action law suit... but he needs a Best Buy insider/whistleblower, so he goes on a date with a Best Buy worker and tries to get her to admit that Best Buy doesn't honor the price match. The fun part: Nathan says he works at Hot Topic and that they don't always honor their price match policy (to coax her into talking about Best Buy), and she repeats the same thing about Best Buy... but! after the credits of the episode they show a clip of him mentioning that Hot Topic gets a 40% employee discount (absurd), and she says that Best Buy gets the same XD .... so she only made the price match and discount comments to be cool on the date :D
Cherub Cow
Fri Aug 03 01:19:12
"Nathan for You" update:
Almost done with the available episodes, so this'll probably be the last update for this show :p ...
There's a really funny part in S4E7 where Nathan has his assistant try to flirt with a random girl (Maria) that they've gotten to come to the studio for an interview. The assistant is pretending to be a make-up artist whom Maria needs to sit for, but he has no clue what he's doing, so he just powders her face for 5 minutes and then puts her lipstick on really really horribly. She doesn't have a chance to look in a mirror after this, so she does the interview with lipstick smears all around her mouth :D
Cherub Cow
Mon Aug 06 00:27:24
Okay, the "Nathan for You" season 4 finale was amazing.

One of the recurring guests has been a really bad Bill Gates impersonator, and he had apparently been visiting Nathan's office a lot which got Nathan involved in Bill's search for his long lost love (Francis). The search takes them to Arkansas, and there's a ridiculous[ly funny] switch where Nathan tries to book an escort for Bill to see how he'd act with a woman, but Bill declines the meet so Nathan ends up going on a date with the escort... and then several more dates ... followed by a super awkward date where they meet in a hotel room and kiss for a few minutes with all lips no tongue — like Nathan's experience stopped as a preteen or something :D ... that might have been the most awkward moment of the entire show. "The Hunk" was a close second, but this episode I had to pause during that scene and take a break because it was so awkward — really great stuff :D :D

The ending was also really beautiful (( SPOILER ahead )). Bill has an awakening moment where he realizes that as important as Francis had been in his mind (years and years of regret and speculation), Francis had moved on... It was pretty heart-breaking to see him realize that he was just someone's memory. Then it gets even more emotional when Nathan has a closing voice-over that includes him trying to understand what Bill's regrets can mean for the future.. and he meets the escort again :p

Have to wonder about the possibility of another season. This episode had a lot of closure, so it wouldn't be surprising if this was it. Then again, the show seems to give him a lot of freedom and Comedy Central apparently likes it, so if he intends to keep working in comedy (likely), then why not keep the show going?

I might start Westworld now...
Anarchist Prime
Tue Sep 25 09:19:40
new magnum pi, not good.
Cherub Cow
Thu Oct 11 01:17:30
New season of South Park has started and has been funny so far :D
"Dead Kids" made fun of how school shootings don't matter anymore, "A Boy and Priest" made fun of how priests have been ruined by pedophilia charges, and "The Problem with a Poo" made fun of PC kids driving edgy or non-PC content away from the public eye. Good ending joke for episode 3 :D

"It Always Sunny in Philadelphia" started their season 13 — up to episode 5. Not sure where to watch it legit.. FX still only lets people watch via cable providers, and cable is going extinct.. so... torrent.
Cherub Cow
Thu Oct 11 01:21:34
Oops! Posted too soon: Hulu doesn't have the new season of Philly, but iTunes and Amazon carry it and will do the usual thing of releasing new episodes the morning after they air.
Cherub Cow
Sun Oct 14 00:16:07
Sunny in Philly season 13 seriously worried me with episode 1 (they spent all but the last few minutes pretending that Mindy Kaling was going to replace Dennis), but it's turned into a good season. Episode 5 ("The Gang Gets New Wheels") was especially funny — very unexpected ending :D :D
Thu Apr 25 06:49:24
Punisher season 2 was okay.
Gun gale online sucked.
SAO Alicization sucks.

I wish 24 were on Netflix. Might start designated survivor
Cherub Cow
Fri May 17 19:57:43
I stopped keeping up with Designated Survivor when Hulu lost the rights to it. Netflix has it now...

Netflix also just released the new season of Lucifer on May 8, 2019! :D
They did the Netflix method of releasing the *entire* season all at once, so that's cool. With "Happy!" also being on Netflix, I may have to add their streaming plan... I could easily burn all my free time this summer if I'm not careful ;p
Sat May 18 07:43:07
Lucifer has always been kinda meh. I missed season 3 but that didn't seem to matter at all. 4 was OK. Show still suffers from dectetive decker being unlikable and the story being... I don't even know what to call it. It's a mess.
Cherub Cow
Wed Jun 05 03:40:31
"Show still suffers from dectetive decker being unlikable and the story being... I don't even know what to call it. It's a mess."

Yeah, Lauren German ("Detective Decker") is pretty bad at her acting job. I've complained about her in the past (the previous TV thread http://www...hread=76858&time=1526604057432 ). I also agree with the story being a mess a lot of the time. I also get annoyed with things like random piano song moments (probably just an excuse to show that Lucifer actor Tom Ellis can sing; résumé-building for him), how Lucifer's character will resist change artificially so that they can keep the case-of-the-week format (there have been times when he's backtracked from former epiphanies, like how he stopped calling Detective Espinoza "Detective Douche" for a reason but then fell right back into it without any of the continuity justifying the regression), and annoying characters like Ella Lopez (the lab tech, played by Aimee Garcia from Dexter).

So basically I admit that it's garbage :D ... what makes it watchable for me (why I overlook a lot of the bad value of the show) is the central story: the discovery of rare and magical artifacts, and a rebellion figurehead trying to reevaluate revolution and destroy "God"/gods while dealing with attraction as both an unconscious desire (somewhat deterministic) and a conscious choice (anti-deterministic). Under the surface they have some good Faust and Milton issues worked into it... just have to be willing to look past the flashy production ;)

Chernobyl (TV miniseries)

Really good! It's a limited run of 5 episodes and they've already concluded the show as of June 4th, so marathons can begin.

I've finished episode 2 now. The first two episodes have a lot of "Fuck... don't do that" moments where misinformed or incompetent leaders make poor choices (namely Dyatlov (Paul Ritter) in episode 1, and Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård) in the beginning of episode 2). ( Minor Spoiler ) It's good to see that the decision-making was improved once people accepted the catastrophe, but wow... perilous situations.
Wed Jun 05 07:36:34
Them miners are fucked.
Cherub Cow
Thu Jun 06 05:31:22
( Chernobyl SPOILERS )

Looks to be so! The ending wrap-up said that 100 out of 400 of the miners died before age 40. That's kind of a vague way to say how many died (it raises questions like, "How old were most of them during the dig?", "What were the causes of death?", or "What (generally) happened to the other 300?"), but that partial vagueness is explained in the wrap-up via Soviet secretiveness making numbers like that difficult to track in "official" ways. (To be clear: it's pretty obvious from their age at death that it would be Chernobyl-related — I'm just talking about the vagueness as a comparison between Soviet recording of history and "objective" recording, where in objective recording the statement would be more specific, e.g., "124 of the miners died of cancer-related illnesses within 2 years of exposure.")

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid."

Like the "noble lie" of religion! \:D/
That is, the longer that religions last, the more difficult to correct their damage. That's something that Nietzsche points out in "On the Genealogy of Morality": religion places a "debt" upon its believers which they can never repay (such as the debt of Jesus' "sacrifice"), which creates the constant psychic imbalance of "bad conscience" — imprisonment for the mind. Truth would destroy religion, debt, and the feeling of guilt.

Solid show. Guess the truth&lie stuff (coupled with the show's release date) was probably aimed at modern political&journalistic fuckery, but this would be a good show regardless of timing (i.e., even if released 8 years ago, its themes would still work). I rank it 14 out of 8 cancerous fetuses, which is over 9000 Roentgens!
Fri Jun 07 00:32:49
I see religion more as a genetically imbued survival strategy with most humans programmed to believe. It's just too damn ubiquitous among all cultures to be seen otherwise. Cults, UFO nutters, hologram manifesters, climate changers (he who controls the weather controls the world and sense no on can then wag the dog!), ct nutters, etc. Humans are for the most part true believers. What can be done about it or more importantly how do people use it to control human behavior is what matters imo. Science has mitigated it to a degree but I'd better dollars to donuts we take it to the stars with us.
Fri Jun 07 00:33:47
*I'd bet
Sat Jul 27 03:14:30
The blacklist is televisions most disappointing show
Wed Aug 14 03:52:29
Designated survivor is Jack Bauer carrying on president palmers legacy.
Thu Aug 15 15:30:14
This shows incredible
Sat Aug 17 05:06:28
GOAT show
Mon Aug 19 22:25:05
Even has Audrey and a forbidden love between Jack and herself.

CC did episode reviews of this didn't he?

Tue Aug 20 16:36:47
Season 1 was just incredible. 2 was a bit more hit or miss. Too many additional cast members & the entire MI6/Russian agent guy was pointless.

Both seasons did a good job of not politicizing issues too severely.

Unfortunately season 3 does away with a lot of good cast members/guests like Mike (Aaron of 24's stand in) and fbi director Forster (who I assume they couldn't afford). I'm glad leeor is gone, but Kendra almost served a role in providing his administration with legitimacy (because before that it was just two staffers and a Jr speech writer advising the accidental president. Leeor and Kendra was too much though).

Season 3 is also so much more in your face political (and progressive) and its irritating. Like wow guys it's 2019 why aren't natives the ruling class yet??

Wells = jack
Kirkman = palmer
Duncan = Tony almada
Forster = basically every ctu director rolled into 1
Audrey = audrey
Mike = aaron
Chuck = chloe

Cherub Cow
Sat Oct 05 07:43:16
[pillz]: "CC did episode reviews of this."

Yup! Reviewed mostly in this thread: http://www...hread=76858&time=1526604057432

I started losing interest in the 2nd season because the show didn't really care about its own continuity anymore. And I agree that it was getting "much more in your face political (and progressive)" to an irritating degree. It's like their goal was to show a white president who was so beta that his greatest goal was transitioning the U.S. into a "respectable" future where no white men would ever have power again ;D

[McKobb]: "I see religion more as a genetically imbued survival strategy with most humans programmed to believe."

That's close to how I see religion: religion is akin to Jungian Archetypes, where the structure of the human brain and the sensory nervous system have an initial tendency to grab on to familiar (early) forms, to then perceive the world through those forms, and to order the world based on interactions with those forms. It starts with familiar sensations like the recognition of mother and father; the fear of drowning; and the fear of darkness, isolation, and the unknown. This is the basis for ideas such as ghosts, world-ending floods, paranoia in the absence of functional sense, and gods — "God" by those terms is most often aligned with the "Father" archetype.

But, I agree that "What can be done about it or more importantly how do people use it to control human behavior is what matters".

Belief in gods can be highly problematic, particularly because it's not a robust system of perception; it creates too many errors. One example is ghosts. I've heard it said that ghosts must be real because every culture around the world — even those that were isolated from others — have ghosts and ghost stories... but the problem is that **of course** these *humans* all have ghost stories. Send a human form anywhere, and with its limited sensors and potential for cognitive oversights, it is liable to make the same common, archetypal errors: creating a mother god, a father god, ghosts, etc. It's under the Nietzschean "Error of Imaginary Causes"; familiar systems of thought tend to be favored over difficult to reconcile present realities; old gods will (mistakenly) manifest in new realities where they (still) do not exist.

So yeah, people probably *will* "take [religion] to the stars," but that error would result in a universe improperly explained. And, fittingly, that's a big theme of the movie "Ad Astra" (Roman: "to the stars"). Pitt's character goes out into the solar system searching for his father (a "God" archetype), but his journey is to realize that while humanity *brings* its archetypes to the stars, the stars themselves do not have any hint of gods. Gods were just the baggage of the old world, preventing people from seeing the limits of the universe with free eyes. I'll stop there because I want to review that movie still :p

The new Family Guy episode (S18E01: "Yacht Rocky") was hilarious :D

Highlights include a comical decapitation, Stewie and Chris being momentarily in a failing marriage, and John Oates looking for his severed mustache like that random shell-shocked soldier was looking for his arm in "Saving Private Ryan" :D

"Superstore" is also back for a new season. I don't know if I've ever even mentioned it in the forums.. but it's by Justin Spitzer, who wrote for "The Office", so the humor is organized pretty similarly. The big difference between them is that I don't like a *single* character in "Superstore" (not a fucking one of them is redeemable). Still, it's a funny show just due to the situations and jokes (things like making fun of customer behavior and showing how certifiably crazy some employees can be).

They only seem to care about continuity when the season is about to end; whatever the season finale cliffhanger showed, it evaporates immediately in the following season premiere.. so their messages about unionization and workers claiming their rights will probably only materialize when the show is finally cancelled.

The new South Park season (S23) is also back and has been great so far :D
I reviewed episode 2 a little in UP ( http://www.utopiaforums.com/boardthread?id= [break to prevent thread stretch] politics&thread=84816&time=1570255875981 ).

Law&Order: SVU also started their new season (S21), but I haven't watched a new episode of that since S20E13 (January 2019)... it really has just become Mariska Hargitay's vehicle for her NYC-liberal and SJW politics (all very cliché interpretations of modern events). The writing can be outright awful sometimes, so I started dreading getting another dud episode. I may restart with them though :/
Tue Oct 08 12:32:42
There is a single popular Chinese anime called The King's Avatar.

Like legit, probably the only good Chinese anime. It is about a eSports champion, the greatest in the game Glory, who is forced to retire and ends up getting a job at the Internet Cafe across the street from his old team's headquarters.

He meets folks in real life and the game who he takes under his wing and forms a team, then sets about smashing records and Pking professional teams with a tag tag group of (talented) noobs.

Its basically heralded as a Chinese Sword art online but better. In reality the two have no real similarities outside of being game-oriented (which is a very popular theme in anime).

Anyways, Netflix has the live-action adaption. It is 40 full length episodes and extends beyond the anime material by a considerable margin (like an entire season).

The anime does the in-game scenes better obviously (in the live action they're CGI). Buuut more importantly it is just easier to accept that the main character is just a prodigy because it's a cartoon.

This is sort of hard to swallow in the live-action, since he makes everything look stupid easy while every other character struggles and the difference in expression is just too pronounced. Like the guys some sort of God smirking and shit talking while nobody can touch him.

But it was better than I expected. And while it was a little too extra (see: all Asian dramas) the additional content both to the story and between characters was pretty great. It was much more coherent and less rushed. It also captured all the great moments well.

Someone in UP mentioned the quality of Chinese media vs Japanese media. And I don't think they're that different tbh.

All Asian drama is disgustingly pro establishment and law & order. Except IP Man, which is all Chinese patriotism ofc.

Anyways, favorite part ahead


Ye Qui told his boss on like his first day he was Ye Qui. She laughed it off. Over the series he is obviously an amazing player, he introduced her to her (second) idol, and is causing an in game uproar. But she doesn't believe he is who he said he is.

Queu the next eSports competition. They go to watch, and one of his noobs is picked for the rookie match where an audience members gets to fight someone from one of the teams. She puts up a good fight but loses. Repeatedly. Eventually Ye Qui gets up and goes back stage and takes her place. During the match, he uses a move so difficult nobody has ever done it but him. The crowd erupts cheering his name and the professionals Jaws all drop at the realization he's just revealed himself.

And then you have his boss, dumb struck and in denial because she didn't believe him for months now.

Tl:Dr all Asian media is actually equally garbage. Cartoons are superior to anime.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and TRON: Uprising are the best animated series produced this century. I'll concede that Violet Evergarden is probably better than either. It is a particularly great show, even if Japense.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is weeaboo trash though
Cherub Cow
Sat Oct 19 01:28:43
South Park S23E03: "SHOTS!!!"

An alright episode, but it was late to the "make fun of anti-vaxers" party (those pre-S23E03 social media jokes were painful from the beginning and have gone on for too many months (years?) — just more safe copy&paste jokes from imbeciles making fun of bigger imbeciles), so not much there thematically. Cartman squealing like a pig and running around was good though :D

South Park S23E04: "Let Them Eat Goo"

Some real lol moments, especially the cow slaughter scene :D

They threw in fun references to "There Will Be Blood" via their goo-selling Daniel Plainview character, though the reference didn't map onto the show very neatly when mixed with Randy's plot. They also pointed out that while places like Burger King have started carrying Impossible (fake) meat, that doesn't mean that Impossible meat is *healthy*, which probably isn't a surprise to a lot of people, but the episode framed it in a way that mocked the pseudo-benevolence of food advocacy groups (I.e., episode theme: "[Good for the environment, but not for peoples' bodies]").

Aside, personally, I wouldn't eat Impossible meat from Burger King anyways. They cook it on the same grill, which means it's only for flexitarians (cheater vegetarians) or people who mistakenly think it's good diet food.. (Looks like I've complained about that twice in Utopiaforums, here this year http://ftp...hread=84211&time=1555801866999 and here in [2012?] http://www.utopiaforums.com/boardthread?id=politics&thread=63327 ). Not to mention that it's fast food :p

Superstore S5E04: "Mall Closing"

lol@ending.. this show may have just solved teen overly-SJW issues with mockingly supportive "hip" words ;D
Cherub Cow
Sun Nov 03 01:04:29
South Park S23E05: "Halloween Special"

lol... So much lol :D
The ending joke was great, and so was Randy's comment about him (Randy) being the target audience. :D

Superstore S5E06: "Trick-or-Treat"

Marcus was pretty much the only funny part of this episode.

I've also been watching NTSF:SD:SUV:: (2011-2013 Adult Swim 10-minute spoof show). It's funny, and it's nice to see Captain Janeway messing about ;)
Cherub Cow
Sat Nov 09 07:11:35
South Park S23E06: "Season Finale"

More lols :D
South Park's message on their show within a show came full circle. The "Tegridy Farms" meta-show just had its season finale, so next week will probably be the regular South Park intro.

This was much more entertaining Trump commentary than SNL does :p .. I don't think the show totally gets it with "The Whites" because some of their satirized grievances have legitimacy (e.g., "whites" facing similar tragedies do not receive the same press coverage). But if taken to be a subset of white people who also happen to be Trump voters and insensitive to immigration issues, then the joke starts to work. That wasn't really the episode highlight though. The police car running over that kid was hilarious ;D

Superstore S5E07: "Shoplifter Rehab"

Marcus, as usual, is the funniest part of the show :D

And they brought back the "Bo" character (Johnny Pemberton; funny actor from "Sunny in Philly", "Kroll Show", and a cameo in "Ant-Man")

[Dina]: "Your hand is like velvet"
[Mateo]: "I sleep with gloves on."

lulz. Didn't realize that method was mainstream :D

I've heard good things about the TV show for "What We Do in the Shadows" (same setup as the movie).. so I may check that out this weekend.
the wanderer
Tue Nov 12 01:15:20
there's a "The Mandalorian" show coming to Disney's streaming service... may have to buy :/

& there's a "Kings of Pain" show coming to the History channel that stole Coyote Peterson's thing
Cherub Cow
Sat Nov 23 05:29:54
Lulz. Good to see lots of people pointing that out on their YouTube videos:
[THEIRISHAXE]: "So I'm guessing these guys saw coyote peterson and straight copied him"
[Charles]: "I'm Coyote Peterson, welcome to the sting zone"

They don't show hurt the way I like to see Coyote show hurt :(

"there's a "The Mandalorian" show coming to Disney's streaming service... may have to buy :/"

Disney is dead to me :p

@Superstore S05E09: "Curbside Pickup"

I do like it when the show focuses on retailers finding new ways to over-promise to customers at the cost of hurting employees ;| .. this one goes into the "let employees shop for you" game. It's becoming standard at retailers and grocery stores even, but I somehow doubt any additional employees get hired to deal with it. Jeff Bezos must be excited to be pushing the world's business practices to kill all humans for a robot work force ;)

Linda Porter, who died earlier this year, had a small appearance as a living person. They must have had some extra footage to burn because she hasn't been on the show since last season.

Marcus once again had the only big lol moment of the episode, though this line was darkly good:
[Cheyenne]: "Should we just quit our jobs? I mean, I'm in if you are."
the wanderer
Sat Nov 23 16:20:32
yeah, i watched one sting of the new guy, he isn't as good at entertaining people w/ his pain as Coyote

Disney+ seems to have a 7 day free trial so i may go w/ that to see Mandalorian once the season all there :p
Mon Dec 30 02:25:23
Tumbleweed, I highly recommend watching the Mandalorian, its all complete for season 1 now. (8 episodes)

HBO/BBC come together for a new show ( they have great track record of great shows IE- Rome) its called " His dark materials"

Now admittedly I found it a littlenhard to get into but i think a lot of it was finding it confusing. So fst it does seem to be good but i would highly recommend googling " understanding his dark materials" and finding out about daemons,gyptians,Dust, magisterial ( think catholic church sort of) , Goblers just to start otherwise its a game of catch up.


_______The dark crystal: age of resistance__________

A Netflix original based as a.prequel to the 80s movie. This show was great and easy to follow with the one downside being it starts a little quick and some characters look alike but you'll catch on in no time.
the wanderer
Wed Jan 01 01:12:39
yeah, i'll probably get the Disney trial & binge Mandalorian soon

& watched 1st episode of 'His Dark Materials' a couple days ago, probably will continue with it

if anyone watched "The Jinx" (HBO) - a good documentary on Robert Durst... there was a pretty big admission in court recently:
Wed Jan 01 02:36:30
Whats nice about disney is if you want** they also have the animated series...now I havnt gone through and watched a lot of them but you can warch select episodes that explain where some shit came from.

His dark materials I just finished.It gets better as it goes.Without spoilers...

The Magisterium = corrupt catholic church.

Daemon- physical embodiment of a person's soul in this world. Constantly changing as a kid but they " settle" into one creature at puberty. Everyone has them and needs them.

Dust- think midichlorians but without powers. The Magisterium thinks its literally the embodiment of sin.
Cherub Cow
Tue Mar 10 01:28:24
A few show updates from me..

@It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 14

Many lols! The show opener ("The Gang Gets Romantic") was especially strong, as was episode 4 ("The Gang Chokes"). The finale was a bit meta and had a sort of "Waiting for Godot" vibe where Dennis was debating his sense of self and repetitive life in the model of the show's circularity/repetition and him not really being sure if he can do it forever (not to forget that with other cast members having their own side gigs, it can be difficult to get them all together to make more Philly).. but in Godot fashion, he is trapped and must "repeat", so.. season 15 will happen! :p


I finished marathoning this a couple of weeks ago. Overall, pretty clever stuff. Their main strength has been quick trash-talking. It's also nice that they haven't been afraid to reset dynamics each season, whether that means rewriting characters into new roles, changing sets, or forcing other changes (with mixed but always temporary results). It definitely feels like it's written/produced by actors who just want to give themselves exposure or have some fun (not quite to the level of actor-guided comedy that Hulu's "Quick Draw" had, though; Letterkenny tends to have more planning each season).

That said, it has some weak episodes mixed in (can't all be winners), and some characters don't really add any value to the show. Katy, for instance, has never had anything interesting going on as a character (just vanity and sexual frivolity), and Katy's actress, Michelle Mylett, isn't particularly funny and isn't a good actress. Lisa Codrington (Gail) *can* act, but she seems to be a one-trick pony here, so if you don't think her gimmick is funny (I didn't), her scenes get redundant. In the later seasons (7 and 8, currently), they also start feeding Daryl corny/cringe lines and make him an idiot instead of giving him the same clever lines that were previously shared between actors.

Highlight episodes for me were the "Letterkenny Spelling Bee" (S05E04), "W's Talk, Baby" (S07E05), and "National Senior Hockey Championship" (S08E02).
Cherub Cow
Tue Mar 10 01:31:40
*"A [couple] show updates from me.."

I thought there were more, but I already mentioned the new episodes of Nine-Nine in UGT: good stuff! Hoping for more Vanessa Bayer episodes :D
Cherub Cow
Tue Mar 17 00:37:44
@"The Jinx" (2015 HBO miniseries)

Episode 1: “A Body in the Bay”

They managed to creep me out in the first five minutes.

"He doesn't look like a person who would dismember a human being."
Were the police not seeing the same person? :D
He *totally* looks like a person who would dismember a human being :p

[Interviewer]: "Do you know why Douglas Durst hired a body guard?"
[Durst]: "'Cause he's a pussy"

..do I need to watch "All Good Things" now?

"If you back him into a corner — if you threaten his freedom, he'll kill you."
If we weren't talking about a modern killer, this wouldn't exactly be sensational. It’s one of those lines that applies to heroes and villains alike. For example, talking about William Wallace? Yeah, don't threaten his freedom ;p

Episode 2: “Poor Little Rich Boy”

Interesting that he openly admits that he was fighting with Kathie. It’s the better strategy to get ahead of allegations, but it’s just not common in murder cases… people usually make the mistake of saying that everything was perfect. But then admitting that he lied about his alibi, about dropping off Kathie, and about making the phone call doesn’t just seem like strategy… I’d like to just call it arrogance, but he talks about it like he just wanted the inconvenience of being bothered by police to be over.

Episode 3: “The Gangster’s Daughter”

“This would not be information gleaned from the police; we wouldn’t give that out. It’s being fed to the newspaper at that time from the Durst side.”
I think I’m most impressed that the Dursts had the power to get the newspapers to just take the info. Not *good* impressed but bothered and not surprised impressed.

He seems to know when to lie and when to be honest — always skirting that line between where the evidence has been established and where he can bend the truth.

Episode 4: “The State of Texas vs. Robert Durst”

Real power move for the defense to open with Durst. It’s generally considered dangerous to let the prosecution question the defense directly, but Durst answered their questions effectively. And opening with Durst basically up-roots the prosecution’s entire strategy because now they have to address a mountain of new evidence and claims. Each new claim means that they have to send out investigators to disprove or question things, which can be difficult to manage when the trial has already begun.

The show-maker tried to make the jurors looks bad, but I can’t say that I blame the jury for their decision. The prosecution needed Morris Black’s head to disprove self-defense, and they just didn’t have it. All they had were the extra bruises on Black’s back, but — in the show at least — the prosecution didn’t establish (via a coroner, perhaps) that the bruises were from, say, pistol strikes or were otherwise distinctive from a struggle on the floor. I’m also surprised that the prosecution didn’t push more for Durst to tell where the head could have wound up or what he did with it. Making Durst appear to not be helpful in finding the head could be used against him, whereas if Durst appeared helpful then he could maintain his “[all cards on the table]” claim. The Wiki page isn’t particularly helpful, so I may have to search for the court transcript if the mini-series doesn’t add more details.

Episode 5: “Family Values”

[Jim McCormack, brother of Kathie Durst]: “Now if you’ve got, you know, nothing to hide, and you dropped your wife off at the train station, why would you go out and hire a *criminal* defense attorney.”

Oh, what bullshit. The “nothing to hide” argument? It sickens me that people use this argument in earnest — it is flawed to the core.

$77,000 engagement ring… D: … That money could solve every issue in my life ;D

@Letters being the same: Yikes D:

They’re making the family out to be villains with the filmmakers’ “Family Values” cynicism (not releasing the private investigator findings to the police), but that’s an extended part of the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment (that is, why would a family *help* the police put away one of its own?). I think the filmmakers should have focused more here on the police incompetence, since the *police* should have found these interview discrepancies by conducting the interviews that this PI did.

Episode 6: “What the Hell Did I Do?”

Good to see the film crew going through courtroom questioning strategies: setting up a trap where someone admits to something seemingly insignificant and then getting them into a spot that they can’t back out of. After the last couple of episodes, I wasn’t sure if they were just hack filmmakers who didn’t know much about law (especially when they did that weaselly hot mic thing in episode 2 or 3 and how they often edit out chunks of telephone calls).

Lulz.. but their questioning didn’t go as expected. He just said that he didn’t remember writing the letter, and then sort of wobbled on admitting that he wrote the letterhead, which shut down Jarecki’s plans.

Ugh, there’s the hot mic again… The problem with doing the hot mic tactic is that it destroys all trust in future interviews. It’s a reputation thing — it’s effectively bugging people, so no one will have a reason to trust that you’ll do a fair interview in the future. Andrew Jarecki got the scoop from a sleezy move, but if anyone trusts him ever again, it’ll be their stupidity on trial (unless they go through him specifically to confess for fame). Of course, that also means that Durst was stupid here, since he already found out from his lawyer in a previous interview that the filmmakers were doing the hot mic tactic. That makes me wonder where his lawyer was *this* time. It looked like Durst walked in alone, he looked tired, and he was definitely caught off guard (as per the hot mic audio talking about his burping), so all the safety nets were gone.

Anyhow, a damning finish!
“There it is. You're caught. You're right, of course. But you can't imagine. Arrest him. I don't know what's in the house. Oh, I want this. What a disaster. He was right. I was wrong. And the burping. I'm having difficulty with the question. What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

That, for sure, will be used in this current Susan Berman trial if it hasn’t been already. The defense could get a lot purged, but that “Killed them all, of course” line would have to be admitted (that’s another problem with using the word “all” — too inclusive). Jarecki would have to give the court the raw audio, and maybe the defense could argue tampering (especially since Jarecki definitely did audio editing in the documentary), but I think a decent judge would admit it. Durst could argue that he was taking the position of his detractors, and there would be lots of evidence of him doing just that in this documentary, but I think he’s screwed this time. To parse a few things:
“Arrest him.” — That line could easily be taken as heteroglossia, where he’s taking different viewpoints and not necessarily “confessing”. The defense would have to know what it’s looking at and know how to explain it to a jury.
“I don't know what's in the house.” — Sounds like he didn’t know that they were softening him up for the big punch of the letter, so he maybe was trying to figure out what evidence was in that picture of him sitting on the couch with Kathie.
“Oh, I want this.” — Sounds like a thematic repeat of him getting caught for stealing from a deli when he had so much cash on hand. He must be exhausted by keeping the lies straight after 38 years (or 33 years at the time of the documentary filming).

Good documentary, overall! I didn’t like some of the editing choices, especially the repeated info at the episode start (not really made for binging), but it was a slow boil with a good payoff. I don’t have a lot of respect for Jarecki’s style, but he got results here that may have a real effect in this current Durst trial. But, hopefully the trial has more evidence than just the letter, this “confession” (not a true, full sentence confession), and Durst’s vague travel outline (it doesn’t solidly put him even in the same city). They may need something more significant placing him at the scene.

After a quick Google, it sounds like the filmmakers even edited the “confession”, putting it out of order to alter the effect of it. This was the actual order:
"[Unintelligible] I don't know what you expected to get. I don't know what's in the house. Oh, I want this. Killed them all, of course. [Unintelligible] I want to do something new. There's nothing new about that. [Inaudible - possibly "disaster."] He was right. I was wrong. The burping. I'm having difficulty with the question. What the hell did I do?"

That makes Jarecki look even slimier. Putting, “Killed them all, of course,” *after*, “What the hell did I do?” makes it sound like he was answering his own question, when seeing it in correct order further sells the idea that he was just trying to consider the viewpoint that his interview could create in other peoples’ minds. I see that working *against* Jarecki’s attempt to help the new case, because now the defense doesn’t even have to say, “He may have edited it,” they can outright say, “He *did* edit it.”

Yeah, the prosecution better have more.
the wanderer
Tue Mar 17 01:00:24
there was another update where he admitted to writing the cadaver note (or lawyers admitted for him)

and as he said himself, only the killer would write that... hard to come up w/ any other explanation (him finding body after killed would be a real stretch... <- not sure he's offered that defense or any defense, just all i can think of)

plus the timing of murder happening right after he learns cops want to talk to her

any opinion on that seemingly stupid cop? :p w/ note about “Town dump, bridge, dig, boat, other, shovel or? Check car-truck rentals"

him dismissing 'shovel' as it would be hard to dig frozen ground... well maybe city boy doesn't know that :p
(plus wasn't concerned about neighbor denying Durst's story)

it's possible he was edited to seem dumber than he came off... although another update is he had some inappropriate affair w/ a potential witness or something

also was crazy they never asked him where the head was in trial...

current trial has been delayed due to coronavirus :/
Cherub Cow
Tue Mar 17 05:25:04
"any opinion on that seemingly stupid cop? :p w/ note about “Town dump, bridge, dig, boat, other, shovel or? Check car-truck rentals""

That was a strange situation. I couldn't get a full read.. like, he seemed like he regretted it, but he was defending the information he had at that time... but he also sort of knows that he didn't chase the leads (more regret). I wondered if he was just over-burdened by other casework and didn't know what to do, or if he was just out of his league (his first big murder or missing persons case?), or if he had just never dealt with a high profile case. It also seemed like he just let Durst walk over him and accepted Durst's explanations so that he (the detective) could feel like he was part of the club or worthy of the presence of a rich person (particularly regarding those comments about how "[sometimes women just leave]"), which could mean that Durst just out-smarted a poorly educated detective. It could also mean straight-out bribery for silence, but that detective seemed so sheepish that I doubt that bribery would even be necessary. He was probably just someone who had never had to do real work before, and there he was, with an important case that he tried to handle the same lazy way he'd handled other cases. A bored bureaucrat just waiting to die :'(

"another update is he had some inappropriate affair w/ a potential witness or something"

I'd believe something like that! Some real missing pieces there that the filmmakers could have pursued.

"also was crazy they never asked him where the head was in trial..."

Yeah! Even if the answer was, "I'm not sure, maybe it sank," the question should have been in the show or the trial...

"current trial has been delayed due to coronavirus :/"

It would be hilarious if Durst caught it and died because he's a vulnerable group, and that was that.. no solid answers for anyone. ;)
the wanderer
Tue Mar 17 12:59:08
it would've been nice to see Durst explain the obvious 'body disposal options' list as he's pretty quick on his feet, yet quite a challenge :p

but i guess he probably would've just denied ever seeing/writing it

an article on the cop behavior:

Retired New York police Det. Michael Struk testified Wednesday that during his investigation into the disappearance of Robert Durst’s wife three decades ago he had sex with a witness.

Would you agree, a prosecutor asked, that your actions were “about as unprofessional as you could get?”

“Yes,” Struk responded.

The bombshell testimony came during a hearing in Los Angeles, where Durst is charged in a separate case — the 2000 slaying of his best friend, Susan Berman. Prosecutors allege that Durst killed Berman, a crime writer and the daughter of a mob boss, to keep her from telling authorities what she knew about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen.

Durst, 74, has denied killing either woman.

In an L.A. court Wednesday, Struk testified that during his investigation he received a phone call from a witness asking him to come search a location the next day. When he arrived at the location, Struk said, two witnesses were there, but one of them soon left. The witness who remained — a woman who was not identified — then made a sexual advance, Struk said.

“I went along,” the detective added.

Asked whether he was aware at the time that it was improper to have sexual relations with a witness, Struk said, “I would agree with that.”

The detective also testified that he’d spent the night on the couch at the home of a friend of Kathleen Durst, after attending a party where he hoped to gather “some information” about the case. Asked whether he spent the night because he had been drinking, Struk responded, “I don’t remember.”

Earlier in the hearing, Deputy Dist. Atty. John Lewin grilled the detective about other problems with the investigation, which he called “well-intentioned” but “incompetent.”

While on the stand, Struk testified that he had a practice of getting tips from Mary Hughes, Kathleen’s sister, and Mary’s friend Geraldine McInerney, and then following up on the information.

The prosecutor later inquired about whether the detective had ever asked the women for concert tickets to see Neil Diamond or the Rolling Stones.

He hadn’t asked for the tickets, Struk said, clarifying that he did accept Neil Diamond tickets when offered them by McInerney, who he said got them for free from her job. (He said he didn’t recall anything about Rolling Stones tickets.)

Lewin asked Struk if accepting tickets from a witness in a case he was investigating complied with New York Police Department policy.

“Sitting here today, I wish I had not done it,” the detective said, adding, however, that he didn’t think it had compromised the case. Pressed on whether he’d disregarded NYPD policy, Struk said, “It was a mistake — sure.”

The detective also said that during the course of his investigation he’d visited a laundromat in Ship Bottom, N.J. — the location of a pay phone used to make a collect call to Durst’s father’s company, the Durst Organization, on Feb. 2, 1982, two days after Kathleen’s disappearance.

Lewin asked the detective if his theory at the time was that Durst had discarded Kathleen’s body in Ship Bottom.

“That was certainly one theory,” the detective responded.

Struk, who said he worked hard to solve the case, testified that he’d traveled to Ship Bottom with Hughes and McInerney in their car — a move that he said was approved by his bosses.

“Isn’t it true that they actually gave you a case of beer that was in the trunk of the car?” the prosecutor asked.

“That is totally beyond my memory,” Struk said, shaking his head.

<then continues about Durst's story not checking out & his 'disposing of corpses for dummies' list>

so sex, gifts, possibly passing out on a couch
Cherub Cow
Thu Mar 19 05:21:46
Fuck. D: That's amazing... D: .. The Dursts managed to have the most bribable cop on the case.
Cherub Cow
Mon Apr 13 08:05:31
I had been watching episodes of "Rome" (2005–2007) over the last few weeks and finally marathoned the last episodes this weekend..

Very good show, overall!
I have to wonder how it would have been done post-GoT, though. Meaning, would they have thrown even *more* budget at it? And I say this knowing how much they threw at it in 2007; they had to cancel the show because it was so expensive. And Wiki says that they attempted to get a script going for a wrap-up movie, but it was abandoned in 2011...

Some quick features that stood out:
• I liked in the first episode where Octavian very quickly showed how deep the political intrigue goes — how it's a show about hidden political maneuverings and control. They set up the theft of the eagle like it would be a simple soldier's story, but then Octavian lets Vorenus and Pullo in on Julius' designs, which was a real awakening for the show's potential.
• Sometimes, Vorenus and Pullo being these sort of ultra-composite characters could get a little jarring (like, no commoner could be *this* important to Roman leaders for so long), but the show did its best to sell them in a way that connected the events, gave excuses for exposition, and showed how leadership was affecting life for common people.
• Lots of good dialogue about people (namely, soldiers) feeling disaffected and searching for new purpose after having such strong purpose.. vacillating between extreme despair and a clear reason to build a life. All the ruined projects, wasted energy, and moments of optimism.
• Lots of good tragedy within realistic characterizations. It'd be easy to hate on the patriarchal side of the story, but it was given a fairly even hand where everyone was suffering from the moments where honor and duty made people behave against their own interests. This was particular to Vorenus's final rage at Niobe (Indira Varma of GoT), where Vorenus clearly struggled with an honorable/dutiful rage at his wife while also knowing that he loves her and had already vowed to forget about their past mistakes. And Niobe at the same time knowing that she loves him but in duty shamed him and also that she's supposed to die for his honor but she doesn't want to hurt his conscience by forcing his hand... lots of emotions and problems all packed into a very short scene. You want them to be able to solve the problem without death, but they're within a particular mode and can't quite get out of it.. so.. tragic :p
• Pullo and Eirene's relationship was also romantic — and realistically flawed.. Pullo struggling with his Achilles-like rage and loss of control but finding some peace with Eirene, and Eirene changing from a mute foreigner to someone who wanted to have her own voice and direction. It's especially impressive that the writers were able to sell Eirene forgiving Pullo after Pullo killed Eirene's fiancé, but that's part of the romance: forgiveness seems impossible in a cynical world. And of course it was tragic that Pullo's decision to kill Eirene's fiancé was echoed back at him through Gaia killing Eirene...
• In a good way, the story ends up leaving all of these tragically broken promises, whether Pullo and Eirene, Vorenus and Niobe, Servilia and Julius, Atia and Antony, Timon and Atia (broken for him, anyways), Octavia and Glabius/Agrippa... I leave out Antony and Cleopatra because their portrayal was more like Cleopatra was just keeping Antony drugged up and satiated. Their relationship was mostly useful in showing Atia's love of Antony, and Antony's strategic failure at the Battle of Actium was colored with Atia's reaction that Antony *would* knowingly make a strategic error for love, which she respected and desired in him, even against her early season 1 manipulations (which would have her give up that kind of admiration for the sake of family advancement).

The show-runners were forced to leave a lot of threads untied (Timon's religiosity, Jerusalem's development, Octavian's struggle to feel emotion through his Asperger's), but their rushed "Shit! We just got cancelled!" finish was still nice. I do wish that they had explained to Vorenus' daughter, Vorena, that Vorenus had not himself killed Niobe, but it was enough for Vorena to forgive him knowing that he was responsible for Niobe's death even if he didn't *directly* kill her. A scene showing her finding out the specific details while still coming to the conclusion that she hates him would have been nice. But where cancelled showed from 13 years ago stand, that feels like a meaningless complaint ;D

Cherub Cow
Mon Apr 27 22:09:47
..I'm one of Family Guy's 15 remaining viewers, so I keep up with the new episodes.. and the latest one (S18E17: "Coma Guy") was hilarious — def check it out if you peeps have a chance! :D

Family Guy, Superstore, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine have continued releasing new episodes despite the virus... but the well dries up. Brooklyn Nine-Nine usually does 18–22 episodes per season, but last week's episode (episode 13) was considered their season finale. Superstore was supposed to conclude with a 2-parter (second part would have been this week), but last week was retroactively considered their finale. Family Guy still plans to finish season 18 on time (last three episodes still slated for the next few weeks).. the perks of a cartoon not really needing face-to-face work.

The second half of "Rick and Morty" season 4 will air on schedule, starting this Sunday (May 3rd). In a quick Google, it looks like production companies have already seen the potential of moving to cartoons to fill programming gaps.
Sun May 31 00:33:28
I've watched like 10 anime recently. Spoilers.


- Girl joins her first neural vr game. She doesn't want to get hurt so maxes out defense. She ends up becoming the game end boss. While watching it, just know that it is never her final form. Never.

Wise Man's Grandchild

- boy is reincarnated in a fantasy world. He is adopted by merlin, the wizard-hero. His grandmother is the kingdoms greatest sorceress. His uncle is the king. His cousin is the prince. They grow him up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, because he's stupid OP.

In a world where just making a fireball is impressive, this kid is setting off thermo nuclear explosions as controlled experiments to test his powers.

Magic is based on the detail with which you can imagine your spell. So being from modern Japan, his knowledge of everything is incredible compared to them
Aerodynamics, flight, heat, fire, electricity, etc.

He becomes like a 12yo God warrior who just wants to have fun and make explosions in the desert but the other kingdoms get all salty so he trains all his friends to be OP like him.

That time I got reincarnated as a slime

- exactly as title would imply. He eats a dragon right off the bat. Eats everything. In terms of stupid OP power combinations, it is similar to Bofuri. Ends up becoming a king of his own country and also basically the end boss.

Knight's & Magic
- similar to wise Mans grandson in foundation, except rather than using magic he builds mechs.

How not to summon a demon lord

- it's funny but a bit too perverted.

Fire Force

- humans spontaneously combust into fire demons. Fire force are fire demon-fighting soldiers.

Kono Suba

- it was not as good as I thought. I suppose because 4chan liked it so much I should have known.

Is it okay to pickup girls in a dungeon

- eh I don't remember this one.

And others I don't know the names of.

I recommend them in that order I think. They're all Neural VR/reincarnation animes except for a couple.

Also akame ga kill. Not as good as hype would suggest. Not bad though. The ending. Just what.
Sun May 31 00:37:28
I can't recommend Bofuri enough, if you like anime and like video games.

It will leave you dumbfounded and speechless constantly.
Cherub Cow
Tue Jul 14 03:39:44
I had joked to myself about how Brooklyn Nine-Nine might not come back next season simply because police have become so completely unpalatable to the vitriolic ACAB crowd, but some idiots really think that way:
"It’s Time For Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Cops To Quit Their Jobs"
"[Brooklyn Nine-Nine is] devoutly committed to the myth of the good cop—that there might be some bad apples, but somehow, they don’t spoil the whole bunch. Now, with the country consumed by conversations about whether or not policing as an institution is even salvageable, it all seems woefully naive ... The system is bad and some cops are bad, it says, but the idea of policing can be redeemed if you just put the right people in charge. The good cops. Many other shows refuse to admit that the system is bad. They’re wrong, but at least they’re shaped by a coherent worldview."

Yes, the "myth" of the good cop. It is "naïve" to think that any cops at all could possibly be good in a corrupt system. Fallacy of association to the extreme. Jake Peralta is a sociopathic, violent, excessive-force-wielding, anti-BLM, product of a corrupt system who works for Captain Raymond Holt, who, despite being a symbol of the opportunities that a gay black man can make with enough determination and a will to make positive changes, is himself also not a "good cop", simply because he is a part of a system that as a monolith is either all bad or all good all the time. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

Stupid people writing articles aside, there may be a precedent for changing the role of the characters like this: Showtime's "Homeland" did the same to the Carrie Mathison character. She saw the CIA as being too broken to fix within, so she left to the private sector. But, a season later they sort of reversed that, putting her on some ops and showing that good people can always help. So Brooklyn Nine-Nine could either throw in the towel and disappear without bringing the show back, or they could try to talk the idiocy out of people like that article's author.
Cherub Cow
Mon Nov 23 09:22:56
Homeland (2011–2020)

Pretty good finale season. They kind of went the Dexter route, but less certainty.. like, Showtime could easily pick it up in a few years if they felt like there was a demand. But.. it had enough closure that it would be fine if this was the end. The show really grew season-to-season, trying to make sense of Islam from a Western perspective and of intelligence agencies trying to build assets rather than just be assassins...

Mr. Robot (2015–2019)

(no spoilers)
I finally re-watched the whole series so I could see the final season...
Season 4 drastically changes format from seasons 1–3 (it's like a completely different directorial style), but it's all purposeful... It seems like Sam Esmail (show creator, director, writer) realized that it was all ending, and he wanted to put as much conceptual labor into the project as he could.

It departed a bit from it's Hacker+FightClub origins into some Vanilla Sky or Johnny Mnemonic realism and existentialism... but the risks that it took were fully supported by season 1 plot details.. which means that Esmail had the full series arch in mind before he concluded it (kind of like the planning of "Breaking Bad"; Esmail wasn't just trying to stretch it out; it was planned, even if season 2 drags a little).

I was worried with the first few episodes of season 4. The show almost seemed to accept corporatism — even incorporating notes about contacting suicide or domestic abuse hotlines in the credits rather than festering in the dark emotions in which it would have previously left its viewers. Then the plugs for Razer products or other sponsorships to pay the bills .. which present a *responsible* angle on mental illness... but the last few episodes were.. beautiful and meaningful. Even though it can all be reconciled mentally (via memory of certain scenes in season 1), I almost wonder if it's worth watching season 1 and 4 again just to fully appreciate it all with everything revealed (season 2 and 3 may not be crucial). It fits with the idea of the entire world existing in the mind of the viewer (again, not a spoiler; this was introduced in season 1 episode 1)...

I do still think that season 2 was a labor for the viewers. In season 1, the show gives the viewer credit by knowing that the viewer is likely ahead of the protagonist, but season 2 seems to think that the protagonist was *ahead* of the viewer, which was incorrect. That means that about four episodes of season 2 get wasted just waiting for the protagonist to become productive. I think it could have been done in half the time (two episodes) with a stronger actor.. like, someone better than Craig Robinson. *With* Craig Robinson (an average *dramatic* actor but a good comedic actor), four episodes was necessary to build the character. Jing Xu in season 4 also speaks to this issue: every scene she had, I was blurting out at the screen some variation of, "Learn to act." She was awful and served little purpose. It was necessary to really think of the script's wording and blocking instead of Xu's presented character, since the actress screwed it up *that* badly. Maybe a better director could have saved her, but *she* certainly did not have the tools. Esmail either didn't want to bother or didn't think she was important enough to teach.

Otherwise... the show just starts to remind me of "Annihilation" (2018), where — clear, textbook dissociative identity disorder aside — *everyone* suffers from a fragmented identity.. giving control to different consciousnesses to view the world. This isn't just some "Identity" (2003) science fiction.. it's our reality. We incorporate ourselves with a fixed Freudian identity that reconciles our desires (our incorporating ego), but really we face our limitations daily.. like not being strong enough to pursue our dreams, or pursuing dreams only when our consciousness has healed enough.. or our projected work personalities (obedient and satisfactory to others).. like varied pilots taking control in a "Herman's Head" (1991–1994) struggle for effectiveness in situations too varied. We live too many lives in parallel, forcing controlling identities to the surface based not on our deepest desires but on pragmatism (e.g., rent, food, career advancement), which practices connections which hurt our desires' ability to manifest (like spending time in a soul-sucking career that does not satisfy true creativity, hoping that wealth will afford creativity only *later*, with "later" always being one more consumption activity delayed.. one more TV show, one more meal, one more outing... but at the end of it, no creativity has been cultivated by practice). And when do we finally create? When do we finally manifest our perspective into the world rather than simply be passengers to someone *else*'s great Arthurian vision? And to finally have the vision.. to finally be in the seat of control.. how impossible is it to give that up for an identity that may only become ordinary? Where does a revolutionary live after the fall of civilization.. but in exile? How does Napoléon trust France to be brave with its future..

So there exist some hallmark moments in cultural history, and I think that in echoing Fight Club, Mr. Robot achieves something important.. something that street activists of a polarized U.S. election cycle could only touch in the periphery... Some imperative to fight for free will without being overly burdened with Mega-Identity partisanship. Some knowledge that a strong Prometheus spirit can take the fire of the gods into mortal hands and reset the balance for a time..

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams"
Wed Mar 10 04:46:43
I'm rewatching community. Still the 2nd best show ever produced (Farscape goat).

Apparently there is a popular theory that Annie is a lesbian. And while the evidence for her sexual naivety/curiosity is plentiful, it's clearly just demonstrative of the fact Annie is finding herself in college and that includes bi-curiosity.

Annie is, however, not a lesbian. She and Jeff clearly belong together throughout the series and the shows ending is disappointing, but unavoidable. Annie has to grow up. Their parting is less disappointing then Jeff's fate at Greendale, which is itself also narratively inevitable and I think the show ends with him at Greendale no matter what.

Also the abed/Annie dynamic of season 6 is pretty good. I don't know how people dislike it.
Cherub Cow
Mon Mar 29 09:22:30
"She and Jeff clearly belong together throughout the series"

I was always on Team Britta&Jeff, though I realize that the show abandoned that and that I was keeping it alive against reason ;p

"Superstore" concluded! (2015 – 2021)

The cancellation happened very rapidly. Season 6 Episode 13 was totally normal with no major continuity developments, but episode 14 laid the groundwork for the end, and episode 15 was a farewell episode that rushed the main plot to its conclusion (14 and 15 were released as a double episode on March 25, 2021).

There was such a disconnect between 13 and 14&15 that it did not seem like the writers knew this would be the last season. It's like they were filming episodes like normal, got word of cancellation, scrapped everything, and did the double episode finale. The network had been ordering 22-episode seasons before COVID, so stopping at 15 seems like a budget issue. It's probably pretty expensive to keep a large show running right now, and ratings had been slowly declining. Some articles speculated that America Ferrera (Amy Sosa) leaving the show last season probably weighed in on the decision, but that does not explain the suddenness.

At any rate, it was a funny show. I've said it before, but I did not like any of the characters except Marcus (who was the most absurd to me), so it was definitely a writer's show. There were lots of fun situations for the writers to work with, and because the characters were disposable it was fun to laugh at them — even when the show was attempting to be serious or "Woke".

They also got to do something that "The Office" (also by Justin Spitzer) only hinted at: reveal the identity of the local serial killer. People speculated that the Scranton Strangler was Creed (or Toby), especially after the episode where Creed shows up covered in blood, but they never really went there. For "Superstore", they had a serial killer who was dropping off severed feet, and they quickly revealed who it was in one of the final montages.

It seemed like Spitzer was able to make this show without worrying about the continuity burdens that the Office picked up towards the end. Superstore was just a simple comedy and an easy watch. Good lols in most episodes :)
the wanderer
Sun May 09 23:44:07
got Disney+ again to binge Mandalorian season 2, then caught up on some Marvel movies, then noticed "WandaVision" in the Marvel section, hadn't heard anything about it but enjoyed

it's a 9 episode series (~30 min each)

you'll probably want to have seen minimally Age of Ultron / Infinity War / End Game (all on Disney+ too) to know characters & back story
(& Capt Marvel, i guess)

some description if wanted is: early episodes are mimicking early sitcoms (from 50's-70's era), gets a bit of an X-files feel after that & some 80's/90's sitcom-y stuff & a touch of "Too Many Cooks" :p... not very Marvel-y til final episode

Jim Carey's Cable Guy character would love it... i think
Cherub Cow
Sun May 16 16:58:05
Invincible, Season 1 (2021)

Somehow both very cool and very fucking stupid :D

Created and written primarily by Robert Kirkman (principle writer for the "Walking Dead" comic and TV show), this Young Adult cartoon basically synthesizes a number of comic book characters (e.g., Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Hellboy, Wonder Woman) and tries to balance their heroism with cynical twists and dark realities. It's an exercise like "Brightburn" (2019), in that it mirrors existing comic writing all too closely in order to make violent twists. The cool stuff arrives pretty much immediately. You can tell right away that the physics have some level of realism, and it quickly gets serious because of this. The easy comparison would be to "The Boys" (Also by Amazon, also about violent heroes, and also very well-produced). So, if you like "The Boys", you'll probably like "Invincible" only a little less.

(( Some spoilers but nothing too specific ))

Wrong Focus
But, the stupid stuff comes from the same error that the "Kick-Ass" movie (2010) made: it focuses on the wrong person(s). In Kick-Ass, the error was focusing on.. well.. "Kick-Ass", an irredeemable loser and waste of screen time. "Invincible" makes the same mistake, focusing on.. well.. "Invincible", a (so far) irredeemable loser and waste of screen time. So, despite its virtues, this show cannot escape that it made the decision to go for the Young Adult viewing demographic. It reminds me of "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019) in that way too: some very cool adult concepts ruined by the dramatic devices of unrepentant teenage stupidity and irrelevance. I didn't even like that stuff when I was a teenager, though Jordan Catalano gets a pass.

Main Cast and Characters
The supporting characters were also very stupid. The most annoying was definitely Amber Bennett (voiced by the otherwise cool Zazie Beetz from "Deadpool 2" (2018) and "Joker" (2019)), who is supposed to be attractive somehow to Mark Grayson ("Invincible", voiced by Steven Yeun, who played Glenn on the Walking Dead) despite the fact that she constantly judges him, fails to understand him, fails to give him any kind of benefit of the doubt, and continues to scowl at him and be hurtful towards him even when she has information that should change her outlook towards him. And because she is part of the love triangle shared between herself, Invincible/Mark, and "Atom Eve"/Samantha (voiced by the awesome Gillian Jacobs from "Community"), audiences simply have to bear with it that Amber's annoying character will be present and wasting time until Mark can realize that Amber is in fact toxic and that Eve actually understands him and can improve him in more positive directions. That love triangle should have been a 20-minute distraction, but I'm guessing that it will eat up a season or two more, especially if the writers become cowardly and fail to change things for fear of messing up a perceived "winning" formula. In my ideal story line, they would skip ahead 10 years, drop the teen drama, the love triangle, and the stupid jokes and have Invincible and Eve paired in defense of Earth, with the main tension being from their worry that the other would be horribly gored in front of them during lethal fights against cosmic enemies ;)

The next most annoying character has to be Debbie Grayson (voiced by TV-cancer Sandra Oh and who luckily was not animated to look like the real Sandra Oh and who should have been voiced instead by Bobby Lee due to Lee's successful MadTV parody of Sandra Oh). Debbie basically fills the role of Skyler in "Breaking Bad", except that Debbie's character tends to be slightly more understanding before her inevitable and toxic Skyler-resentment and undermining behavior. Despite having an 8-episode arc of change, Debbie's character flips too quickly and lacks the empathy and motive-justifying that would make her interesting (the comic's development may vary). For instance, if she refused to believe that Omni-Man meant his own words, that would make her empathetic and perhaps virtuous even if misled, but instead she dropped their "20 years" of understanding after viewing Omni-Man in action, which makes her appear shallow, easily manipulated, and unsympathetic. That was a definite "Young Adult" genre move because it shows immaturity by the writers to break apart a bond of 20 years so quickly. Mediocre teens might accept such a fissure because their lives have not yet seen or may not comprehend that level of time, but adults know that even long-standing and problematic relationships (which Omni-Man's and Debbie's was *not* shown to be) take a lot of time to break — even with lies exposed.

The biggest show strength for me was of course Omni-Man, who in a success of casting was voiced by J.K. Simmons in a kind of reprisal of Simmons' role as Fletcher from "Whiplash" (2014). The Fletcher/Omni-Man parallel shows through their being incredibly harsh but extremely disciplined and principled, forcing people to become beyond even their own ideal selves (this via Omni-Man's tough-love teaching of Invincible — comically, Omni-Man was actually psychologically *easier* on Invincible than Fletcher was on Whiplash's Andrew character). Despite the show's attempts to villainize Omni-Man, he, like Fletcher and also like Breaking Bad's Walter White, becomes progressively more awesome, eventually representing a Spartan will, an unconquerable drive, and a realistic and martial understanding of a hero's role.

To the show's credit, while it wrote Omni-Man to be outright genocidal and from a culture of eugenicists (again, Spartan), they could not help but admire him and his "violence" and "naked force" (for a "Starship Troopers" reference), giving him a path to redemption. That redemption comes in part because — despite the show's attempt to be often realistic and violent — its decision to be directed at young adults via dumb jokes, petty relationship drama, and light indy music also made the portrayed violence far less literal. With a less *literal* violence, the real statement becomes not that Omni-Man really *did* kill so many people (though he certainly did kill those people within the show's plot), but that he was *symbolically* *capable* of terrible violence but could be reformed for good. That's the shortcoming with putting violence under demographic limitations. If it's a PG-13 Godzilla knocking down cities, the deaths in the many fallen skyscrapers don't matter so much (the audience will even forgive Godzilla for mass death if it happens mostly in spectacle), whereas if it's Cormac McCarthy envisioning a very realistic fiction, every death rides the edge of true trauma.

By showing light between the real and the symbolic, it is much easier to identify and agree with Omni-Man. For instance, when Robot (voiced by Zachary Quinto of "Heroes" and the newer Star Trek movies) shows too much empathy for the revealed weakness of "Monster Girl" (voiced by Grey Griffin), the audience may have thought, "Pathetic," even before Omni-Man himself said it. And this because Omni-Man knows that true and powerful enemies (including himself) will not hesitate to use ultra-violence against these avenues of weakness. "Invincible" can make his Spider-Man quips while in lethal battles, but he does so while riding the edge of death — something that Omni-Man has to teach Invincible by riding him to the brink of his own.

Other Cast/Characters and Amazon's Hidden Budget
It was impressive how many big-name actors were thrown into this — a true hemorrhage of producer funding. Amazon has so far hidden the budget numbers, perhaps because they don't want people to know that the show (like many of its shows) represents a kind of loss-leader to jump-start its entertainment brand.

Aside from those already mentioned, the show borrows a number of actors from the Walking Dead (WD), including..
• Chad L. Coleman ("Martian Man"; "Tyreese" on WD),
• Khary Payton ("Black Samson"; "Ezekiel" on WD),
• Ross Marquand (several characters; "Aaron" on WD)
• Lauren Cohan ("War Woman"; "Maggie" on WD)
• Michael Cudlitz ("Red Rush"; "Abraham" on WD)
• Lennie James ("Darkwing"; "Morgan" on WD)
• Sonequa Martin-Green ("Green Ghost"; "Sasha" on WD)

There were also connections to "Rick and Morty" and "Community", not just with Gillian Jacobs but also with..
• Justin Roiland ("Doug Cheston"), who voices Morty in "Rick and Morty",
• Jason Mantzoukas ("Rex"),
• Walton Goggins ("Cecil"),
• Chris Diamantopoulos (several characters),
• Clancy Brown ("Damien Darkblood"),
• Kevin Michael Richardson ("Mauler Twins"), and
• Ryan Ridley.
That's a lot of overlap.

They even had Michael Dorn from Star Trek: TNG (there played Worf) and Reginald VelJohnson from "Family Matters" (1989–1998) and "Die Hard" (1988), and even Mark Hamill. Pretty much everyone in the voice cast was significant and known. Maybe Amazon got a discount for COVID since they could all do voice-work from home? ;)

Bad for the Young Adult target demo but good for the infrequent adult themes and ultra-violence. Very high production value and a good watch for those who like dark superhero stories.
Cherub Cow
Sun May 16 18:49:13
I fixed some errors, added some paragraphs, and added pictures for my Tumblr version:
(much easier to just scroll through it for the pictures rather than read the whole thing)
Fri May 21 22:09:12
Hi CC.
Cherub Cow
Sat May 22 03:34:57
ohai! :D
Sun May 23 07:29:24
i watch invincible. shits pretty good actually, i am somewhat surprised. seem like a cross between onepunchman and the boys.

my only complaint is the shitty teenager drama bullshit.
Sun May 23 07:31:57
yea invincible is a loser. a dumbass little faggot but thats becoz he is a murican teen.

this is the teenager bs i was talkin about. nobody likes that shit but they keep showin it in movies and shows.

Sun May 23 07:35:59
shadow and bone

jesus, it took 5 episodes for me 2 start feelin something bout da show.

was supposed 2 be da great russian fantasy a ala witcher a la games of thrones.

i watch da trailer and it promised great fantasy with da great darkness, da fold with monsters in there, instead i get shitty characters and slow pacin and confusin storylines and locations and lore not explained.

i had 2 dig up on my own 2 see what da map looks like 2 get a sense of what is going on.

finally shit starts 2 unfold in episode 5 with small promises of great fantasy and a darker enemy behind da scenes...

Sun May 23 07:41:03
idk it seems kinda low budgety. i cant stand these lowly shows where everyone speaks perfect brit english and everyone main cast is young and no older than 25-30..seems kinda unrealistic.

Sun May 23 12:44:26
but i gotta say final episode is a kicker. finally we get da good fantasy stuff.

2 bad it took 8 episodes and is a cliffhanger. like lol, nowadays u cant wait 4 this shit. what if s2 never comes?

lol it bullshit.
Wed Jun 09 17:17:23
President David Palmer is God

All is right with the world
Sat Jun 12 19:40:57
Jupiter's Legacy was good.

Too bad it was cancelled.
Cherub Cow
Tue Feb 15 07:20:08
Have done some catching up the last couple weeks, so...

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 15

Pretty good!
I was worried with the first episode, since the safe bet for all funded comedy currently is to trash the right using misinformation and hot takes, but they used a bit of misdirection to trick away from that narrative (I'm speaking of the final punchline for the first episode).

They also used the second episode to make fun of how trapped they felt as comedy writers — where they feel obligated to make a woke movie which ends up getting hijacked as an indictment of "whiteness" in comedic fashion. It has one of the funniest scenes of the season via Dennis talking about what liberals and conservatives are like from the perceptions of Gen X:
"My rational thinking and my desire for an open dialogue were a dead giveaway."
(Millennials/Gen-Z being tribal politically and just wanting their echo chambers fed back to them)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUjXhz7rsDk (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOVJ3zaQnYo (part 2)

Other highlights included a CGI monkey, Dee going total sociopath when she realized she could emotionally control young people in an acting class, and Colm Meaney (Chief O'Brien from Star Trek: TNG) guest-starring as Charlie's father. Charlie being happy with his father was actually pretty refreshing, so even though his final-episode regression was essential to keep them stuck in their comedic loophole, it was still sad to see :p

Rick and Morty - Season 5

Pretty good!
They front-loaded the season such that the first two episodes were the best, but the final after-credits scene of episode 10 (Mr. Poopybutthole) was also funny, so it was a good sandwich ;p

Their continuity episodes (episodes 9 and 10) seemed too dutiful to fan service to really be enjoyable. It's like they find it to be an obligation that they might have to develop characters, so they make those episodes as bad as possible to make people pay for it. Dan Harmon did this same thing with "Community", which resulted in him developing the characters in accordance with some weird Reddit wishes instead of as he saw them. Being bothered by the pleas of Redditors seems written into the show, but he might want to just turn off social media and have fun with the ideas themselves..

Their "Amortycan Grickfitti" episode was a fun satire of "Hellraiser", but their joke of multi-inversions of pleasure and pain required that they not understand how the Hellraiser characters actually put a line between their sadism and their masochism, so it become a joke based on a misunderstanding. In practice, those things are easy to delineate: the sadomasochistic enjoyment of pain comes from having control over it, so the cenobites typically feel fear when they are reminded of their mortality through a loss of power (by being made temporarily human or by being threatened with nonexistence or with a pain so great that they could no longer keep their mental faculties in control of it). This did not require some double-inversions of pleasure and pain; they simply enjoyed power over a pain which could linger on the threshold of death. It's been a while since I've rewatched the Hellraiser franchise, but I think the Rick and Morty writers messed up here.

Anyways, those were the broad brushes for me, but the show always has its random funny moments, so don't let my complaints appear to be the whole situation :)
E.g., the idea of "two crows" started funny, "A Rickconvenient Mort" was hilarious especially when they were trying to be *serious* with Morty's heartbreak, and the animation and premise of the "Thanksploitation Spectacular" were great. I need to re-watch the series because they always have little jokes in every frame.. definitely maximizing content per second :D

Dexter: New Blood (Dexter, Season 9; 2021–2022)

Pretty good, pretty bad.

(( SPOILERS, though I'll try to be vague and give more spoiler warnings for important details ))

The accelerated plot was a bit jarring in the first episode. I was hoping they would ease back into things, since this is *supposed* to be Dexter after having been away from crime for 10 years, but the angle they went with was that he surrounded himself with a good community so that he wouldn't hurt anyone, so his return moment was essentially due to convenience and impulse, like a villain delivery service. From a writing standpoint, this also gave the show an immediate hook, which is the safer way to write. Most audiences do not have the patience for a slow first episode or first chapter, so if a show *has* to make money, then they have to make a big move like that. It's not very bold writing, but it's understandable.

It was a nice trick of writing to get Deb back in by making her Dexter's broken conscience, but the limits of her writing showed the limits of this season's thoughts on Dexter's existence and his meaning. They had to erode his identity in order to make him fit into their new agenda.

They added a good share of woke stuff, which I guess has become standard for any production now. They kept it subdued somewhat at first (you could forgive it as simple social reality; a reflection pop culture), but it became more and more clear that this was agenda-driven, especially in the final episodes where those subtle things that one could ignore became the primary machinations. The top-billed intersectional people in town are of course the most important characters, with Dexter seemingly in the way of their vision. Naturally, this meant that the "heroes" were indigenous peoples — the winners of the absurd discourses of racialist-postmodern academics and therefore the most deserving of representation. This left all of the white characters being villains, bullies, or inept.

• A white woman is allowed work in the police department, but she is of course wheel-chair-bound (I made this joke in the UP thread for Snow White via a Sarah Biffen character http://utopiaforums.com/boardthread?id=politics&thread=89248&time=1643246822065 , but I don't think people there realized how very real this writer's logic has become. This exact logic has been taught in universities to inform current and future writers, and so it has fully infiltrated the mainstream. I even laughed when I realized that "New Blood" had done the exact thing that I joked about.).
• A white male deputy is in the department, but he is extremely new and completely inept, being like the Officer Dewey/Doofy of the story — comic relief with zero impact on story development. This fits for the role of white men in cinema: if they must be present and not villains, they must have no power, be gay, or otherwise not intrude.
• A random billionaire frequents the town, and he seems to be there almost entirely to be an object of shame and derision as well as a source of misdirection. He is protested, and his resources are taken with the understanding that he *should* give them away — that it should not even be a question.
• The white boys at school are all bullies who created a potential school shooter situation, so... great.
• And, of course, Dexter, Harrison, and their antagonist all end up representing not just violence but now a color-specific representation of violence.

(( Bigger SPOILERS ))

The last two episodes were particularly terrible. The ground had already been seeded with the idea that Dexter was failing as a teacher for the next generation, since he was teaching Harrison incomplete truths and a code about which Dexter had not yet taught the nuance. "Brightburn" came to mind, where a parent hoping to be helpful found that his approaches had been a bit too simplistic and were thus easily misdirected into terrible outcomes. Because of this, it became pretty apparent that the show would end with Harrison turning his new skills against Dexter, so I only watched hoping that they would *not* be that obvious :/

That seeded, turning to the last two episodes, they set up a strong and specific narrative where Police Chief Bishop was making it a particular battle of wills that she, as an indigenous woman fighting for indigenous women, would defeat Dexter — that so many people had been defeated by this white male, but this time Dexter had met the most intersectional intersectional person of all and would therefore lose. Gripping stuff, really. Not at all contrived.

The writers can't help but give Dexter his usual power moves, but they completely burn his character when they decide to have him kill Sergeant/Coach Logan in a completely nonsense moment, thus cementing that Harrison would have a reason to see Dexter as a threat who could be punished by Dexter's own code. This was a stupid move for Dexter, since he had played a strong hand by manipulating Bishop into finding a far worse killer. They had also placed groundwork for Bishop to perhaps understand that Dexter was doing good by finding and killing killers, but all of that writing evaporated when they needed Bishop to come out on top.

They had an easy way to set up an additional season where Bishop realizes that Dexter is kind of a good guy, actually, but they ended it all instead. Worse, still, is that Harrison's role almost became a consolation prize for previous Dexter fans: he was cast out of this new intersectional society (not allowed to be a part of society due to the "Sins of the Father", as the final episode was called), and he will effectively be on the run for fleeing a federal crime scene. Compare this to an alternate writing decision wherein Bishop were an actual parent with actual character in a normal character-driven story who might realize that Harrison had acted "heroically" by killing the "villain" and thus should be invited back into "inclusive" society to be raised by a village ("it takes a village", as they said after Dexter's house burned). Nope. Instead, the writers just send Harrison on the road. All of this seemed rushed and clumsy, with closure being more concrete than the previous Dexter finale but perhaps not any better.

This was long, but this doesn't even get into the episode-to-episode errors, which were many. One random notable thing was that they made fun of murder-investigation podcasters (lots of people seem into those now), and basically replaced Aimee Garcia with this podcaster (both very upbeat and offered comic relief and creativity for the dialogue). Some people seem to be hoping for an additional season, but the few major options for that would be pretty weak. One would be Harrison on the road, becoming the new Dexter, the next would be a spin-off where Bishop becomes some hot-shot killer-hunter, and a third option would be that Dexter devised some strategy as elaborate as Paul Sheldon's forced resurrection of Misery.

This last one might not be *too* crazy, but we'd be looking at variables not introduced, such as blank rounds, fake blood / squib packets, or secret armor. It seems like that would be the only way the show would still be "Dexter" (i.e., having someone cleverly evading prosecution), since Dexter did *not* teach Harrison enough for Harrison to really pick up the mantle. Dexter would *have* to survive for there to be a show, but they put that .308 round in the center of his chest from 20 feet. It *was* right where Dexter wanted Harrison to shoot, which may indicate that that's where Dexter had intentionally placed a squib... So, honestly, they gave themselves an out. They also left lots of threads undone, such as Batista's return, Dexter's hidden stash (he always has a go-bag, and he was hoping to bring Harrison to it), the billionaire's plot, and Bishop's handling of all the pieces. If they really brought Dexter back, they could even finish the plot line of Bishop coming around to finding Dexter to be a good albeit flawed person, which would pretty much reverse the damage they did with the woke writing in this season. Will they do it? Guess it depends on how much money they think they can make and who their active demographic happens to be.

(( End SPOILERS ))

If this was it for the series, then they should have just left it alone with the 2013 conclusion — rough though that was. But, *if* they take the long shot for a return ("New Blood, Season 2"), then they could redeem pretty much all of the things that people saw as errors in "New Blood". They did not go *too* far off the deep end with woke, since only the *conclusion* solidified their agenda, whereas if this were *not* the conclusion, then the agenda can be undermined with a return and by developing characters *out* of the woke traps. That's a pretty hilarious situation to be in (restarting stories based on conclusions which *should* be concrete), but Showtime doesn't seem to like telling definite stories. They did this same thing with the return of Homeland. They "ended" that show but did not actually end it... Kind of frustrating for viewers.

TLDR: I would not recommend this Dexter return unless Showtime commits to a Season 2 that still focuses on Michael C. Hall. One cash grab ruined things, but *two* cash grabs? That's the ticket! ;D
Cherub Cow
Thu Apr 07 03:27:11
Season 3 of Barry was announced:
They made some somewhat surprising continuity decisions. I thought Barry would be forced to wipe some witnesses/friends, but it looks like he kept people alive despite them being able to implicate him. Also looks like some new enemies were put into place in connection with his killing spree from season 2. None of the acting class cast appears in the trailer, which makes me wonder if they had casting issues getting all of them to return. Seems like their plot-line of being upset with Sally's betrayal would keep them in the story, but maybe not? Should be fun, anyways :)
Cherub Cow
Thu Apr 28 05:56:45
HBO produced a Time Traveler's Wife miniseries:
["One Media" trailer; April 21st, 2022]

The 2009 movie of the same name with Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana is one of my favorite romances, so I'll be viewing this. I'm not sure that I like Theo James enough for him to be a perfect Henry, but it'll probably be fine. Eric Bana did really well in the 2009 movie, and James seems more model-handsome than classically so. Still, Rose Leslie was a strong choice for Claire/Clare.. which kind of makes you wonder if her real-life husband, Kit Harington, would have been an obvious alternative for Henry. That's guaranteed chemistry, but I understand why studios wouldn't grant that kind of fan service (makes them seem like a package deal for casting departments, invites Game of Thrones jokes, etc.) :D

It's kind of a mixed situation to have a TV show for this. On the plus side, they can get closer to the novel's developments since they have more time, but on the negative side, the production value drops to get its 6 episodes. We'll also have to see if they shoehorn tribal politics into it, which is an unfortunate thing to have to worry about in entertainment.. but it's the sad reality. To be seen!
Thu Apr 28 06:30:08


From (2022). Views arent that high from what i understand, but shit, this is da sleeper series of this year (so far). Despite so so acting from half da cast. It da story that keeps u watchin.

i also quite like severance. also from this year 2022. it is slow at times but after from, it was a good series 2 relax a little.
Cherub Cow
Tue Aug 29 05:11:43
"Jury Duty" (TV; 2023)

Hilarious :D

This is the 8-episode mini-series where they put a bunch of actors around a normal non-actor (Ronald) and convince him that he's going through an actual jury duty process. They spice up the weirdness by saying that James Marsden (playing a narcissistic version of himself) was also selected and is taking part in the process.

This is the trailer, though I'd stop watching after about 30 seconds so that you don't spoil too many jokes:

It's kind of neat in terms of it being a real-life attempt at Truman Show (and also an extension of things that Nathan Fielder has been doing with meta-theater). Most of the fun comes from doing absurd things in front of Ronald (the real person) and having him rationalize these things in terms of his belief that he was simply being exposed to the general weirdos of the world (lulz).

(Minor SPOILERS in this zone)

There was a scene in Episode 6 where I thought that Ronald had finally seen something that made him realize that it was all fake, but that turned out to not be enough. Marsden takes a call where he's getting positive feedback from an audition, but his "agent" eventually says that "[they went in another direction]". This "[went in another direction]" line is so incredibly cliché that the moment Marsden went on speakerphone I was just expecting it. When it was delivered after a long leadup, they show Ronald's face, and he seems pretty suspicious about how this went down, so I thought maybe he recognized the cliché too.. but there's no further mention of his thoughts on this.. even in the ending recap where he discovers the simulation.

It seems like maybe Ronald really believed this moment and was just too occupied about how it was a "personal" failure for him to have coached Marsden for a part that Marsden ended up not getting. In the Marsden-coaching scenes, you can see that Ronald is starting to get some inner beliefs about how he too could become an actor through insights learned from working with a real working actor. So this may be a case of the misdirection suspending his suspicions.

One other minor spoiler (not crucial though)..
I thought that they were filming with live cameramen walking around in many scenes and were just hiding that they had told the real person that they were doing a documentary so that there would be immersion, but it was neat to see that they had really hidden everything from him. They were able to get a lot of very professional and clean shots through hidden cameras.

( End Spoilers )

It definitely makes you wonder again how well you might recognize a Truman Show situation ("again" because I'm sure that many people adopted this paranoia at least in passing after Truman Show). In Truman Show, Truman was able to recognize the simulation because of obvious and large-scale glitches, such as everyone stopping and grabbing ear-pieces, his father re-appearing and being nabbed by randoms, or a movie set being discovered behind an elevator. But if no one makes *these* sorts of mistakes, then what mistakes could one discern?

If I had been in this exact setup (all things being equal except Ronald), I would have recognized Trisha LaFache and Kirk Fox. LaFache was in an episode of Law&Order:SVU when I was still watching that religiously. At the time, I was looking up all the actors' names after each episode, so I remembered her, albeit not by name. Kirk Fox, though, has been in a lot of comedies that I've seen, such as "Community" (TV series). All the other actors though, I did not recognize. Marsden is excepted, of course, since he played himself. Whitney Rice *looked* like an actress, but they put in her a favorable role by saying that she's an affluent narcissist.

Even so, while I would for sure have been confident enough that Kirk Fox is an actor to say something to him — even overriding his claimed identity — they likely had some kind of backup plans in case anyone were identified, like saying that he was using a fake name to avoid being identified. And with an entire crew dedicated to making you — above all and singularly — accept the simulation, you'd have to wonder how much you'd accept. On top of that, a more "serious" production could hire even more obscure actors if they suspected that someone were very familiar with various actors.

This dives directly into simulation theory/hypothesis, though, which anyone growing up after "The Matrix" has surely thought about. With this show being a real-life variation on the theme, people who have conducted sting operations and entrapment setups (e.g., intelligence services) would know that the more funding and the larger and more reliable the "cast", the more a person can be nudged in the "correct" direction.

( Minor spoiler )

You can even see the "Choose Your Own Adventure" options that they give Ronald, a big one being when the "Noah" character cannot make a decision as to have sex with "Jeannie" without Ronald explicitly guiding him to make a decision. By the end, they paint Ronald to be a "hero" for making good decisions (and I do not disagree overall, since he definitely could have just zoned out through the entire process), but this particular moment was a potential failure point for him, since they were also presenting the option that Noah was a virgin, religious, and was coming directly out of a breakup. Hence, the "good" option here may have been to recognize that Noah needed to take time to think about what he was doing. Instead, Ronald accepts the "loophole" meme and pushes Noah to lose his virginity.

( End spoiler )

But looking more seriously at the "Truman Show" possibility, one thing about simulations within simulations is that the inner simulation always appears smaller than the "real" simulation. I.e., if a "Jury Duty" simulation exists (a large cast of about 200 all focused on one person), then a "real" simulation could be a much larger scale. This is like an 8-bit game appearing inside of a larger game, like SNES' "Mystical Ninja" having arcade games within it, or the new Doom games typically letting you play the earlier catalogue within them. The general thinking here is the meme of "[if you live in a time where a Matrix has been invented, you may already be within one.]"

And the "signals" that reveal the edges of the Matrix are a product of this. If you watch "The Truman Show", for instance, the producers of the movie make it very easy for the audience to see the edges of the simulation, since the audience needs to experience dramatic irony far ahead of Truman's in-movie realization. But, if you are not meant to experience that dramatic irony, there may be no indicators, like in a video game where there are no special indicators for usable items and players walk around clicking wildly — except in real life we must learn not to interact with everything, as children are taught "That's not a toy"/"That's not for you."

"Jury Duty" had to create a space where people are expected not to interact with things, since a courthouse is highly regimented. A much larger simulation would have to impose much more elaborate limitations, such as convincing people to remain within their small cities. This approaches the "Rick and Morty" joke of the video game where Rick has to be extremely driven to violate the coercion of the simulation in the "Roy" game ("This guy doesn't have a social security number for Roy!").

In simulation stories, this is often why the "leaving Plato's Cave" scene has some kind of lengthy travel to the borders of the simulation, such as in "Dark City" (1998), "Truman Show" (1998), or "Thirteenth Floor" (1999). Movies where people uncover coercion plots have symbolic versions of this, such as people violating a sacred rule to discover knowledge for themselves, such as in "Planet of the Apes" (1968), "Anthem" (1938 book), or "Logan's Run" (1976).

In most cases — and most explicitly in "The Matrix : Reloaded" (2003) — there is a certain character type that is able and willing to test the edges of a simulation. As is said in "Truman Show", "We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented", but not everyone does. As explained by the Architect in "The Matrix : Reloaded", there is always a remainder population which does not accept the simulation. Simulation architects merely need to resolve the bulk of the simulation for those who *do* accept the realities that they are presented. The remainder can be rendered ineffective or purged in cycles.

And across stories where there is an awakening from Plato's Cave, the character traits of someone who will defy the simulation typically amount to escapee virtues such as..
• a tendency to question authority,
• curiosity,
• intuition,
• a strong nervous system (part of intuition),
• perception,
• pattern-recognition,
• vigilance,
• a love of freedom,
• intelligence,
• second-order thinking,
• meta-thinking,

Such people typically recognize immediately when someone is manipulating them or pushing them in a certain direction. A good meme here for the counter-argument is how Sean Bean's character in "Ronin" (1998) is "ambushed" by a coffee cup:
A person without second-order thinking cannot see where they are being pushed.
They cannot see the incentive structures guiding them.
They cannot see the Shepherd's crook.

And people need to ask themselves questions in relation to the character traits of those who escape Plato's Cave:
• Am I the type of person who questions authority?
• Am I curious? Do I travel farther than a normal person?
• Am I intuitive in the face of data and fallacies of authority?
• Do I have a strong nervous system? Can it detect the world itself and reject false inputs?
• Do I perceive more than most people?
• Do I recognize patterns?
• Am I vigilant while others have decided to turn off their minds?
• Do I prefer freedom/individualism or security/collectivism?
• Am I particularly intelligent?
• Do I plan ahead and see the outcomes of multiple possible choices and possibilities (such as in a far more complicated "chess game" where you plan not for one move but many)?
• Do I think about my own manner of thinking?

And let's say that Ronald did indeed possess many of these faculties. If so (and I don't necessarily say that this is so), what could have failed him and overridden these escapee virtues?
• Was it the court house itself, which was an imposing structure?
• Was it the completeness of the uncanniness; i.e., was *everything* so weird that all of it was accepted together?
• Was his attention span simply limited by the constant stimuli?

They point out within the show that he did indeed accept things *because* he was expecting jury duty to be the type of thing that attracts lots of strange people. The court house *was* highly controlled, with an immense amount of planning going into hiding cameras and crew. And they outright say that they tried to keep him busy with new situations so that he could not think long about the previous one.

All of this should be familiar to users of social media.
Even Musk, who claims to be improving Twitter/X, still believes that a "good" of the remodeled platform is engagement. But what does "engagement" mean?
Cognitive depletion.

So even *if* someone possesses all of the above virtues, if you keep them running on a hamster wheel (i.e., simulations within a simulation), they simply do not have time to sufficiently attack the edges of the simulation. They may even *improve* the inescapability of the simulation, like Lenny Nero of "Strange Days" (1995) complaining not because a simulation was realistic but because he was brought out of the game due to an unpleasant death.

I see this most readily with the totalitarian strategy. Many online seem aware of it to varying degrees, and so they possess many of the escapee virtues, but they nevertheless misdirect their focus to daily distractions, such as Neema Parvini (author of "The Populist Delusion") spending most of his time in an online lust-trap of ranking celebrity women based on their appearance in their 20s. We all have hobbies and vices, to be sure, and Parvini has children to attend to; but what is the character flaw of a person whose hobby overshadows a need to defeat totalitarians?

In short, how big of a simulation can one expose before one is trapped by another simulation or distracted from the purpose of destroying the greatest simulation? Do we, ourselves, push to the limits of the simulation as a dedicated project? Many people go their entire lives without leaving their city, others their state, others their nations. And those who know the world, are we committed to breaking through the sky? The heavens?
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