on Shakespeare’s Henry V, TNG, stories, and garbage

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and thus have finally gotten around to a long held goal to read (or in some cases) reread Shakespeare.  I got me The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, 2nd Edition.  It has a wonderful introduction but does not annotate the plays themselves which is both a good thing and a bad thing.  I’m about halfway through this brick of a book.  They arrange the plays by chronology, or at least the chronological order the editors believe Shakespeare wrote them.  Which fascinatingly, is not an easy thing to determine.

What I like about this construct is I can read one play in about two to three hours and it’s a nice bite sized chunk of happy without overwhelming my brain.  The last one read was Henry V.  This guy’s story should be (but no longer is) well familiar to all of Western culture.  It’s one of Shakespeare’s most well known, and maybe most quoted plays.  It’s not 100% to the truth of history, but that’s never what Shakespeare was aiming for.

Having never read the whole play at once, I can say it’s probably the closest thing to an action movie that Shakespeare ever wrote.  This play puts the pedal down from the start and never lets up.  It’s an intesnse experience.  The play itself (of course) has garnered a lot of negative thoughts from modern, arrogant types who don’t like that it’s a piece of jingoism.  Probably because it is in fact a play written for a patriotic English auidence that very much wanted to hear a story about how Henry puts his boot on the French throat and drives the sword through the eyepiece.

That’s what Shakespeare intended.  He clearly writes Henry V as his, the, model of an excellent, decisive ruler.  But make no mistake, Shakespeare doesn’t hold his punches from anybody.  Like a lot of history’s great people, Henry is both a hero and a maniac all rolled into one.  He is unphased by battle, takes extreme risks, and ultimately see his victory through immense battlefield skill and leadership.

This same man also pontificates about how he might rape, pillage, and murder an entire city.  Actually has his men begin to execute unarmed prisoners during a time of crisis.  And in as many words (while disguised as a common man walking amongst his troops in the dark) that the king has the right to spend his men’s lives like currency whenever the fuck he wants to.  In other words, Henry is indeed a man of his time, a good king, but still a ruler from the 15th Century.

The epilogue also reminds the audience (not that anybody at the time needed a reminder) that Henry died young (at 35) and after him all his gains in France were lost by subsequently poor English leadership which ultimately led to the War of the Roses, a polite term for a very violent, vicious, and multi-decade English Civil War.  One could take the cynical view that everything Henry accomplished was for nothing, but that’s going too far for my tastes.  Nobody knows what history brings next.  You can only influence and act when you’re on the stage.  After that, it’s outta your hands.

And then I remembered this scene from TNG where Picard has Data in fact act out a scene from this play.  Specifically the one where Henry is in disguise at night:

This scene is the opening shot for Season 3, Episode 10, The Defector.  In this scene a keen eye will see the Patrick Stewart plays Williams, Simon Templeman plays Bates, while Data gets the disgused king.  It’s a neat little vingette, a great opening to one of my favorite episodes of TNG in general.  The Defector was done when TNG was at the height of its powers.  It’s a masterpiece episode that is both moving and brutal.

So let’s take the opportunity to once again remember just how utterly bad new Trek is.  At least here, we shall always believe the creators of Discovery, Picard, (and the seven other new Trek shows they’re making whose names we can’t remember) should all be imprisoned.  It has also recently come to my attention that Stewart (a near two decade veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company) was very heavily involved in making Picard.  So I guess he belongs in jail too.  What a disappointment.  I guess after thirty years you lose the magic.  In TNG, Stewart is a master of his craft, in Picard he’s a garbage man working for a board room of Paramount suits.  And Stewart’s seated at the same table.

Back to Henry V.  There’s also the 2019 Netflix movie The King which is Netflix’s take not only on Shakespeare’s Henry V but also Henry IV Part 1 and Henry IV Part 2.  My contempt for this movie knows no bounds.  So like new Trek,we must place it into the garbage category.  Not only does the movie completely alter the history, it completely alters the Shakespeare.  Plus Emo Queen Timothée Chalamet is just about the last person on the planet who should being playing Henry V.

So in other words, the people who wrote / made this movie, they thought they were smarter than Shakespeare.  I mean, Hollywood alters history more times than Trek changes the space time continuum.  But did these arrogant garbage men really, really understand how crass it is to rip up a story written by William Shakespeare?  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t have the gall, I’d be like: “Uh, yeah, we’d better not do that, guys.  No really, let’s not do that.”

Perhaps the most eggregious sin of The King is how they screw up Agincourt.  Which is probably on the top ten of most important singular battles in human history.  How do you screw up Agincourt?  Easy.  You get Netflix to hire a bunch of hacks to make a bad movie.

I thus conclude I probably in good faith owe two future posts.  One should be a review of The Defector.  And the second should be a post about Agincourt.  I don’t always keep my future post promises, I get distracted like a meth addled squirrel, but maybe I’ll stick to this promise.

Samurai Gourmet – your short crash course in Japanese culture

Trying to comprehend Japan is a hard by worthy endeavor.  I lived there for three years and decades later I’m still learning.  Sometimes you run into a gem that’s both fun and helps you along the way.

Lost among the extreme amount of worthless nonsense that Netflix puts out is a 2017 short series in Samurai Gourmet.  It lasted only one season of twelve episodes, each a short bite no longer than about twenty minutes each.  It wasn’t renewed for another season because Netflix is dumb.

The show focuses on Takeshi Kasumi played by all-purpose multi-talented actor Naoto Takenaka.  Kasumi is a 60 year old recently retired salaryman (sararīman) who goes on food based adventures.

A lot of this is straight food porn, but hell so much of television is nowadays.  And I find the food aspects interesting but that’s not the real appeal.  At its core this is a lighthearted comedy about a guy starting a new (and perhaps his first) real stage of his life.  It’s also just plain darn fun, a fact I constantly have whined about on this degenerate blog as missing from much of modern television.

Kasumi is shadowed by the neat, unique concept where his alter-ego is a Sengoku Jidai era samurai (Tetsuji Tamayama) who shares the same experiences but is a badass whereas Kasumi is still figuring out who he is as a person.  Essentially if you have any interest in Japan, or food, or just want a fun comedic ride, this is for you.  But a few key points I’ll make without getting into the plot, such as it is.

1) Kasumi retires at 60 after working for the same corporation for forty years and ended at essentially middle management.  It’s typical sararīman.  At more than one point he remarks that he walked to and from the same train station every day for decades and never took a detour.  The show (wisely, because it would break the fun) doesn’t dwell on the absolute misery of the life of a sararīman.  The punishing hours, the demeaning work, the lack of independence, and absolute total deference one must show to one’s superiors regardless of their brutality or lack of talent.  When you understand what being a sararīman really is, it makes Kasumi’s adventures mean so much more.  He’s finally free to be his own person, and now that he has that freedom, he’s on an adventure to discover who that person is.

The very first episode he dwells at his anxiety that he cannot possibly have a beer with lunch, oh no, that’s not proper.  For a sararīman, beer is for late night mandatory after work events with your boss where you get plastered and arrive home after your wife’s already asleep.  But in the episode, Kasumi orders the lunch beer, it’s a release for him.  The very first step on his journey to be free, a person he actually wants to be.  In many ways, and this is where Naoto nails this performance, Kasumi is also still emotionally a little boy.  He wife (Honami Suzuki) has a remark in episode three that’s telling where Kasumi has to overnight at an inn and she’s astounded because he’s never been alone all his life.  He grew up with his parents, lived with them through university, and moved out when he got married.  Now who he is?  Sometimes they intersperse scenes from his childhood, before he became a sararīman, which is of course a perfect foil for what happened to him the past four decades.  He’s a free child, had a punishing four decade gap, and now?  That’s the core of the show.

2) The other major theme is Kasumi and Shinzuko’s marriage.  If you want to understand what a lot of Japanese marriages might be like, particularly in the sararīman theme, here you go.  There is a deep respect between the two, but essentially they barely know each other and lead completely different lives.  He was a four decade sararīman.  It’s never mentioned if they had children.  It’s never mentioned if she had a job, because she probably didn’t.  She has her own hobbies, she’s completely independent of him, and you clearly get the idea that she really doesn’t need this guy at all to be happy.  She cooks for him and helps him here and there but otherwise one could mistake this for a loveless soulless marriage.

I don’t think it is one.  They never actually say the word love, but I think it’s there.  The closest they come to it is late in the season where they go out for their anniversary.  And they both joke about how they hardly ever did this, or even went out to eat together at all.  There’s an extremely emotional, even romantic moment where Kasumi opens up to her in a way he probably never has.  But the word love isn’t there.  He simply states, nearly but subtly tear eyed (Naoto is a superb actor), “I ask for your continued support.”  And she says the same back.  It reminds me of The Fiddler on the Roof song Do You Love Me?  These two people have been together a very, very long time, haven’t had the easiest of lives, and have just somehow made it work.  They’re together and in love even if they’ve never realized it’s happening in such a way.  I think their marriage would have been explored a great deal more had Netflix not cancelled the show.

3) The samurai parts are fairly typical, but just fun.  Tetsuji is cut from cloth to play this era of samurai and it’s such a joy.  But they keep it short, and leave you wanting more.  Tetsuji is only on screen for maybe two minutes of each episode.  But each vignette is a good look at that era of Japanese culture and contains countless thoughts on war, class, etc, etc that are short but on point.

4) The food parts are the food parts.  It’s indeed modern food porn.  But if you like Japanese food you get the usual oden, yakitori, yakiniku, etc, etc.  There’s also a surprisingly large amount of times, about a 1/3 a think, where Kasumi goes and pursues Western style dishes with their own Japanese twist.  If you like this kind of food (I worship it) then this will leave you hungry as it should.  I went to a local yakitori place off this show’s cravings alone last week.  The result?  It sucked, I was so disappointed the place failed.  Why can’t I live three train stops from Shinjuku?  We need teleporters to be invented, right now.

5) A pox on you Netflix, did we really need another season of Bridgerton?  How much did that cost them to make, ~$124M?  I think the budget for Samurai Gourmet is about five bucks.  And it’s more emotionally engaging and thought provoking.  It’s been five years, so this is a dead show.  But it is very much worth anyone’s time.  It’s fun, enjoy the ride.

setting $500M on fire

Last month we wrote a piece in which we were flabbergasted that any rational human would be interested in CNN+. But even we had no idea it would be this bad. After three weeks and a daily average of only 10K users the hammer came down and it’s done.

They spent $500M on this. There are some fellow bloggers on wordpress that get more than 10K visitors a day. What a disaster. But this was predictable. We saw it coming. Hell give me that $500M. I need my own zoo.

To me, this is a good thing. Some streaming services need to fail and fail badly. Otherwise we’ll just replace cable with 79 different streaming services. Which is asinine and silly.

oh, CNN is now streaming too

Soon there will be 129 streaming services, somewhat close to the number of core cable channels I suppose.  But at $5.99 each month per service, your new streaming bill will be $772.71 per month for them all. Please save ahead of time so your bank account doesn’t go into the red.

So don’t think for a second all the media companies are upset that cable is dying.  Not even a decade or so ago nine out of ten Americans had cable.  Within the year I bet it’ll be less than half.  But media companies are making more money than ever (except for live sports) so it all works out for them.

And so now CNN is in on the game.  In America you can watch all their programs, but not live news. The international version gets live news.  Because the last thing people know CNN for is live news.  You could spend time with such intellectual heavyweights like Wolf Blizter or Anderson Cooper on their talk shows, two arrogant empty suit guys who have contributed less to the goodness of America than your local jury duty foreman during any equivalent time period.

Uh, there’s some food stuff on there.  Because I guess CNN thinks food will sell.  But Bordain’s dead, so they’ve lost that brilliance.  So I guess they’ll pull some other person out of the woodwork, like some celebrity to talk about food.  Umm, I think they have a bunch of documentaries hosted by people they picked off a spreadsheet based on their political beliefs and skin color.

Um, they do some history stuff every now and then.  Like they had that series that covered each decade.  But that was shallow, pandering, and sucked.  So, um, [furrows brow] what preciously is there for CNN to stream, without live news?  If I were them, they should just throw a puppy on screen with a ball of yarn.  Though they can’t do that because Animal Planet already has a $4.99 a month service exclusively covering puppies playing with objects.

Would it be too earnest of us to ask the aliens to just get on with it?  I mean I know the invasion target date is 2037, but what’s the point in waiting?

meet your new Jeopardy host, Kal-Al-Dekbrah, Destroyer of Worlds

It’s become rather hard to keep track of just how many people are detonated in the media every day.  So, I for one don’t even try.  But I guess not one but both the new Jeopardy hosts have at one point in their life called another adult a jerk, so they must be executed in Times Square and can’t host the show.

I’m just gonna go ahead and state that Jeopardy should have died with Alex.  I used to watch this show with my Ma and Dad.  My Dad liked it.  But to me, there is literally less than zero point having the show continue without him.  Trebek WAS Jeopardy.  This show does not properly exist without him.  Everything else is just noise.

That being said, somebody’s gonna host this show, because $.  Since modern media / news / celebrities have a zero tolerance policy on any actual human behavior whatsoever, no human being will ever pass the vetting.  So we at TAP propose Kal-Al-Dekbrah, Destroyer of Worlds as the new host.  His qualifications:

1) Possesses most knowledge available in galaxy.  They can fire the scriptwriters.  HE writes the questions, live, on set.

2) Is so surly and dismissive that his dry demeanor will be treated as wise as he calmly asks questions and interacts with contestants.

3) Thinks social media is a clandestine tool to weaken humanity for the forthcoming bombardment, and thus has no black marks on his internet record.

4) Confirmed genocidal maniac who has burned planets.  But since he didn’t say anything about trans on Twitter, nobody will care.

5) Provides esoteric enjoyment during the contestant question session as he asks their opinion about drag coefficients on starships.

6) Ups the drama by requiring any contestant with a negative balance to pay the bill, in cash, on screen, as the credits roll.  Or else.

7) Lights a candle and chants a prayer for a few seconds at the beginning every show in honor of Trebek.

8) Will viciously chokeslam any haughty contestant mid-show (you KNOW the type I’m talking about) shattering their spine on the stage floor

9) Dispenses with the need of judges to adjudicate disputes, only HE judges. Objections result in chokeslams.

10) Antics will provide better ratings than any other [insert complete and total loser human here who is not Alex] new host.

contemplating my future elderly food poisoning death

Yesterday I only had about an hour to cook between work meetings, a failed video date, meeting with my Guests to plot the overthrow of the Laotian government, and my meditation to contemplate the exact, precise differences between English Stilton and French Roquefort.

So I went with a simple salmon dish with a side of roasted squash and zucchini from my very first, original cookbook I bought two decades ago, the Good Housekeeping cookbook. This old classic doesn’t melt your brain with recipes. These are simple takes on good old food. Could I have made this meal off the top of my head, sure, but with everything I had going on yesterday I didn’t want to think.

Everything tasted great. The problem was because I was in a hurry, and not quite paying attention since I was on my work computer for part of the time, the salmon was dramatically under cooked. I mean it had a great crispy skin and a solid crusty spice rub, but the interior flesh was mild if not approaching raw. This was not sushi grade salmon and so the possibility of disease was present. I ate it anyways and I feel fine.

I wonder how I would have handled it when I’m say 70? Food poisoning kills several thousand Americans a year. When I’m 70, I’m probably going to under cook some chicken in the same fashion. Then I’ll be vomiting and running through the streets in a bathrobe, delirious, and ultimately get plastered by a bus.

My parents didn’t grow up destitute, but rich they were not. Food was simple and wholesome, and cheap. One grandmother was a fantastic cook, the other was not. But food poisoning was a concern under these circumstances. The very first medium rare steak I had was well after I was 18. This was because the family wouldn’t serve steak to the family anything less than well done. This probably sounds insane, but it was the mindset of a family eating a lot of cheap meat, and concerns that all little microbes were cooked out.

Were these concerns valid? Maybe, but probably not. Nobody in my family has checked out due to food poisoning, but maybe that’s because the family was cautious. Is this a Simpsons tiger-rock question?

Plus, I guess you could say my family was trained, experienced with the classic English / American tradition of cooking. What do I mean by this? Well, I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’m rewatching Poirot. The contrast for comical purposes is Poirot is a very refined Belgian who loves his food fancy. Japp is the gruff English bobby who probably beats half his suspects in shackles off screen when Poirot’s not on the case.

Poirot serves Japp pigs feet, Miss Lemon serves Japp lemon sole, and he’s horrified at both. Then later Japp turns around and serves Poirot meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and stewed peas, and Poirot claims he’s allergic to meatloaf. These scenes are handled perfectly, and this classic, good natured humor always get me a rare open laugh. But, essentially my family ate Japp’s style of food. Now what happens is I’ll cook my fancy shit, but when I go home my Ma cooks in the old style. Oh man, how I love both these styles of food so very much.

What I do know is my body today will not be my body at 70. Would I eat the under cooked salmon several decades from now? Don’t know, god willing at that point it wouldn’t be my decision alone. Or, maybe I’ll just say fuck it, swing some beer, and dig in and roll the dice. And if I go out the door at 70 eating tasty under cooked salmon? Oh well, worse ways to go, for sure.

DNC’s master plan to reelect Trump makes headway, say sources

“We couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve made, particularly in the last two nights,” said a smiling Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez. “We’ve had a well-oiled, styled plan to get the job done and we’re doing just that.” Perez referred to the latest incarnation of the Democrat’s master scheme where the 47 viable presidential candidates spent the better part of a lauded CNN debate insulting each other over things they said when they were twelve. “The way we figure it, we want to leave a final candidate to face Trump who’s so battle scared, so discredited that they stand no change in the general election. It’s the way to get the job done,” Perez commented as he donned a MAGA hat, cackling, “lots of people talk about a circular firing squad, well, we’ve got that, only each candidate has a flamethrower!” Local Democrat activists seemed most pleased with the prospect of a second Trump term. “It just warms my heart to hear our front running candidates propose policies that are both simultaneously unaffordable, making the Trump tax cuts look tame, AND also sound like lunatic fringe ideas concocted in a Moscow salon that are toxic to 84% of American voters,” said Michelle Anderson of Soho, “my friends and I couldn’t be happier with how this has played out.” Perez ended his interview early as he was offhand informed by an aide (that this reporter overheard) that the planned candidate-on-candidate sexual assault (with racists remarks included) scheme was going according to plan. Perez seemed pleased, stroking his MAGA hat as if it were a white fluffy kitty.

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smart kiddies sacrifice life enjoyment for unneeded skill

I can’t remember how old I was but it must have been middle school and I got roped into the National Geographic Society Geography Bee by my school. I didn’t plan on this at all, I don’t even think I knew what it was. They threw all of us into the mix, but I was into history and that comes with maps. So all of a sudden I find myself in the finalists room for the entire school with 30 or so other kids. And I’m like, what the hell just happened?

I get one of the hard questions right and a fellow student of mine is so impressed/mad that he physically punches me in the arm with full force (in today’s stupid bubble wrapped school world, he’d sadly be expelled for such behavior). Then I get derailed by “what causes the planet’s U shaped valleys?” I said the Ice Age, they said glaciers. I still contend I was right enough to get the question called correctly! But back then I wasn’t the internationally recognized flintlock pistol dueling master I am today, so I had to take my loss with grace. I think I placed seventh in a very large school. Good, not bad.

I never ended up ever doing it again. It just didn’t matter to me and eventually I aged out of the competition’s block. I had other things to do too, I played oh so many, many, many sports, loved family and friends, read a lot, watched a bunch of television, played video games. As in, I was a kid. Later in life I ended up catching some of the Geography Bee on television (I can’t remember why or where) but I see this kid win it all. And in the victory interviews his Mom is like, (I’m paraphrasing), “Oh, all he does is read atlases.” And I feel so, so sorry for this kid. Somebody get the kid a baseball glove! For fuck’s sake.

Yesterday eight kids simultaneously won the Spelling Bee. Because apparently kid competition talent is so elite and trained these days that spelling “erysipelas” is a no brainer for 2/3 the side of a soccer team of kids. Spoiler alert, these kids don’t play soccer. They sit at home and read a dictionary. Some of them or even all of them actually hire private spelling tutors to compete in these events.

All for what? Well, $50K certainly helps. But really who needs to spell obscure words? I’m not sure how many common words are used in the course of a normal English conversation, but I’m pretty sure erysipelas isn’t needed. So is this a useable skill for these kids in their lives? No. Is $50K nice? You bet. Is it worth channeling these kid’s lives into a single comprehensive goal? No way. It’s why I find television cooking competitions for kids so personally offensive. I love to cook, but man, those kids, all they do is cook. It’s wrong. Kids should be kids.

And in general, I don’t really like the idea of a kid (or any human for that matter) channeling a life into one supreme task. There are too many awesome things to do in life. I don’t want to be the best at geography, I want to be good at many, many things. Or even average at a whole bunch of things. Kids should be the same way. We have a whole bunch of belligerent ideas on this degenerate blog, but I’d ban the Geography Bee, Spelling Bee, Robot Bee, Accountant Bee, Human Resources Bee, all of it. Let kids be kids.

smart kiddies

go get a basketball! immediately

Game of Thrones will provide an ending that each individual viewer deserves

Once upon a time Ian McShane (a first rate actor who for whatever reason received the most bit of bit parts in Game of Thrones) got himself in a lot of trouble for leaking part of the plot prior to airing. McShane’s response has remained one of my favorite quotes for some time: “I was accused of giving the plot away, but I just think, get a fucking life. It’s only tits and dragons.” They should put that quote on the Blu-ray box cover for this series.

If you remember back to the very beginning, that’s all this show was originally intended to be. When David Benioff and D. B. Weiss pitched this to HBO they spouted a whole bunch of high minded nonsense, but what this show really was always meant to be is a play on the typical fantasy genre, just with the sex and violence thrown into overdrive. It was kitty litter for men who loved Lord of the Rings but didn’t get the level of nudity and decapitations they wanted.

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But, somewhere along the way this show became mainstream. For example, routinely the number one most read Washington Post article on the Monday after each new episode is Game of Thrones:

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Somewhere in this fact is a weird (and very disturbing) correlation and theory that the newspaper readers of the capitol’s elite are also big time Game of Thrones fans.

We’ve long been haters of Game of Thrones on this blog.

To paraphrase, the criticism has always focused on the nihilism, the manipulation of base instincts, the lack of any character to really cheer for, and generally the lack of any real point. Game of Thrones has had such an influence on the screen and many other shows have sought to copy it. Here’s what I wrote back in 2017 whilst ripping apart Ripper Street:

“This is very much in the vein of Game of Thrones. I no longer watch Game of Thrones but generally keep abreast of what happens in the show. And I’m always struck in discussions with friends or coworkers who still watch and who try to self-rationalize what they see on screen. They seem to think somehow that by the end of Game of Thrones it will all somehow all work out. They talk themselves into it. Almost as if they need it.

They typically will focus on Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen as an example of the good one, or the one to root for, or the one who by the end of the series will emerge with at least some sense of accomplishment. This is in fact a specific plot point brought up within the show itself, where Danny is there to break the cycle, to stop the chaos, to bring some sense of peace to an absolutely horrific world.

But I always ask my friends and coworkers why this must be so? Why must, or should, Game of Thrones end in such a way? Why can’t the white walkers just kill everybody in the last episode? Why can’t Daenerys end up on the throne atop a pile of murdered corpses? Why must there be any redemption or peace at all, when all that’s occurred thus far is chaos and has no meaning?”

And so here we are, Game of Thrones is almost done and indeed Daenerys has ended up on the throne atop a pile of murdered corpses. To which I’ll say, what were viewers expecting? What did they think this show actually was?

It has greatly amused me to read the online reviews from professionals and ordinary people as they try to come to grips with the reality of what this show actually is, and always has been.

Myles McNutt over at A.V. Club had this to say after the white walker battle a few weeks ago:

“This is yet another large-scale battle, similar to the Battle Of The Bastards, where the moment you start getting your breath back and begin taking stock of what happened, the spell of the immersion breaks and you realize that there’s not as much “there” there as you were hoping for.”

It’s because there’s not a “there” actually “there”. The only thing that’s “there” is tits and dragons.

Or here’s a Twitter quote from ordinary average person “carol”:

“turning daenerys the mad queen because everyone betrayed her, making her look like a fool and weak, kill her dragons… in this essay I will explain why mean can’t write female characters”

This brings up another point I’ve always found weird, that Game of Thrones is some progressive icon movement, which probably helps to explain the Washington Post popularity. But to “carol” I guess I again come back to what did you expect? Game of Thrones was your feminist icon show? Really? Spare me.

Before I stopped watching this show I remember the scene where Petyr Baelish (played by the always excellent Aidan Gillen) gives a monologue soliloquy on why he’s such a manipulator. Gillen is so talented, this is a scene worthy of Shakespeare. Except, during the entire scene behind Gillen are two women engaged in extremely hardcore lesbian sex. Did “carol” or other people forget that this scene (and many other like it) happened? Or did they think that Game of Thrones matured? Or did they try and rationalize these aspects of the show somehow?

I think history will look back on this show and people will be like, why was this trash so popular? For example, remember Survivor, back in 2000 over 50 million people (50 million! when the US population was way smaller) watched the Season 1 finale. I was one of them. What the hell were we all thinking? I feel so ashamed and baffled.

Everybody is searching for any connection to other humans in this social media world. Once upon a time Friends and Seinfeld would routinely crank north of 30 million viewers each episode. Now almost no show can reach those numbers, not even Game of Thrones. So unless you love sports or politics, a lot of people are left searching for their water cooler topic, their connection to another human being. I think Game of Thrones became that topic. And in the process a lot of people tacked a lot of faith and emotions onto a show that simply didn’t deserve such a commitment.

This show will provide an ending that each individual viewer deserves. If someone loved Lord of the Rings but wanted more severed limbs and tons of sex, this show gave them what they wanted. If somebody was looking for high drama, meaning, purpose, or even joy, then they were foolish and are going to get the horrifying ending they deserve.

It’s always just been tits and dragons, folks. There are so many entertainment other options nowadays, with limitless shows to choose from, use your eyeballs wisely.

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burning away misguided expectations

Sacred Games & Mr Sunshine – The Review (preview) (with age conundrum)

Either because the censorship goons block things or because Netflix severely restricts content by region I don’t have access to most of my queue out here.  As a result I’ve watched a lot of random stuff lately.

If I get around to it (hopefully tomorrow) I’ll review all of Sacred Games and the first few episodes of Mr Sunshine.

In the meantime, help me, please help me with this huge crisis.

From Mr Sunshine, Lee Byung-hun is how old?  See him below here in his US Marine Corps regalia and snazzy early 20th Century bespoke suits?   How old?

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Wrong.  Dude is 48.

Now here’s Kim Tae-ri.  She’s how old?

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Wrong.  She’s 28.

At first I couldn’t get around the fact that to me, Kim looks like she’s 16.  So it got weird where Lee is involved in this relationship with an underage girl and all.

But she’s not, she’s 28.  But I still think she looks under 20.

Then there’s Lee.  Dude looks like he’s 28 but is in fact 48.

And so:

1) I’m an idiot.

2) There is nothing that makeup or costumes can’t cure to make actors look two decades younger than they really are.  Think science will conquer death?  Wrong, immortality lies in a makeup drawer.  I guess.

3) Should it be considered a little weird that these two folks have two decades age between them in what is at least half a love story’s worth on content?  Maybe.  But this happens all the time in the entertainment industry.  And probably is accurate to the period as well.

4) In real life, the situation would be reversed.  They’d each look two decades older than they really were.  Korea was a complete mess of tears, conquest, unforgiving weather, and brutality during that time.  In many ways, it still is.

5) Is Lee supposed to be 48 in the Series despite his looks?  If so, it makes sense that he’s only just a captain because it shows flashback scenes where he’s fighting as an enlisted man.

6) Is Kim supposed to be 28 in the Series despite her looks?  If so, it makes sense as she’s essentially referred to as an old maid for not being married yet many times in the Series.

7) In conclusion, I”m still and idiot.  See you soon.