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Utopia Talk / Movie Talk / Utopia Politics
Sun Jun 16 13:58:22
Just finished this. I have mixed feelings about it. Some rays of real promise shine through in an otherwise uninspired effort.

First, the high points. The tumbleweed character works very well as an audience stand-in, channeling our disbelief at the banality of the world the writers create as well as providing good-natured commentary. The poster known as Hot Rod balances along a razor's edge, inspiring in equal turns disgusted outrage and begrudging affection. Despite the lows of nihilistic hedonism plumbed by the writing room in the lil Davey arc, you'll not find a dry eye in the house when he makes his exit in the penultimate act. His every twist felt earned, even though some were a bit cliched.

As for what went poorly in this production, the list is far too long to bother with so I'll just focus on the lowlights.

Let's talk first about the Rugian and Sam Adams love subplot. Casual fans who have only seen the show might at this point be quizzically asking, "what love subplot," to which book readers will respond in unison "EXACTLY!"

In the books it's totally clear that these two are super gay for each other. While they are otherwise forgettable foils who reflexively pick the wrong side in literally every plot within the book, their blossoming romance keeps the characters grounded in reality and the audience in their corner. Without it, this adaptation just leaves us with two characters who are angry at the world they inhabit but we, the viewers, never understand why.

Then there's The Children. Generally, we're told, we should pay special attention to the story within a story: often it's the avenue by which the writer makes their most direct thematic statements. Fans were particularly interested when The Children came on the scene, then. Here was a character within the universe, written by other characters within the universe. What would the writers tell us? As it turns out, nothing. These are the sort of deadends that abound in Utopia Politics and make it incredibly frustrating to follow. In giving The Children a meandering a pointless storyline, the writers have perfectly - albeit unintentionally - summed up their own creation.

Other stray observations:

- The Europeans are all clearly written by someone who has never been to Europe.
- The most reasonable character in the whole series, kilo, is from Alabama. The writers also clearly never went to Alabama.
- The episode-of-the-week where CR had to flee advancing Russian forces was downright jingoistic.
- Having the story begin with the invasion of Iraq and end with the invasion Iran was just ham handed. We get it, your writing professor said good endings should mirror beginnings. Give it a break.
- While the gradually increasing racism was a good example of the exception becoming the rule and the way that wanton acts of destruction leave nothing worthwhile, it got pretty dark. Ease up, writers.
- The final act after Hot Rod's character left could have been cut entirely. A series of where-are-they-now snippets while the credits rolled would have been just as effective.

Overall, it sucked. 7/10.
Sun Jun 16 14:38:55
I think I'll skip the sequel.
the wanderer
Sun Jun 16 16:06:50
i haven't been paid yet :/

"Overall, it sucked. 7/10."
TC reference spotted :p
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