Monday, June 18, 2018

Ramblings

The world is garbage, so you have to take your unexpected pleasures where you can find them. I've been watching reruns of The Hogan Family, and I came across an episode where David (Jason Bateman) tries both ventriloquism and magic! It's not the main plot; the A plot is about his twin brothers in a Cyrano situation, but David's story is fun.

In season 5's "The Go-Between", David volunteers to perform at a charity event for the homeless. He first tries a ventriloquist act with a redhead puppet named Clifford, but David's lips always move when he speaks and his jokes are corny. (Shades of Gob!) Then David tries a magic act, wearing a cape and brandishing a sword. He calls himself Hoganini the Magnificent, puts on a top hat, and does his own music/sound effects. He even mentions the magician Doug Henning. (Shades of Tony Wonder!) So David tries to practice a trick where his aunt Sandy lies in a box while he stabs it with swords. He doesn't get very far until he breaks the key in the lock, and she gets stuck in the box when she has an important work meeting. A locksmith eventually gets her out, and later, David tries to do a card trick for the charity event, but he's bad at that too. (Shades of Gob again!) It's so cute, and I kind of want to screencap it, but I think I don't have the right software, and I don't remember my photobucket details if I even wanted to sign up for their new paid accounts.

Speaking of The Hogan Family, Jason Bateman lived through the upheaval with Valerie Harper getting fired, and he always had to speak diplomatically about it. But in his most recent Deadline interview, Bateman says he still has fond memories of the show. I've noticed that his old buddy Steve Witting (Burt Weems) has popped up in a lot of Bateman's movies and TV shows over the years, including AD, so Jason is obviously still friends with the guy. Though Valerie getting fired was an ugly incident, I still like the show overall because there are some genuinely great episodes after Valerie leaves. Also Mrs. Poole started out as just a wacky neighbor but she really blossoms into a goddamn delight, even getting flirty dialogue from men who genuinely find her attractive; she's not somebody's punchline.

As for Will Arnett, I didn't know or remember that in one episode of Up All Night, his character sings "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to his wife, played by Christina Applegate. I don't remember the context now, but I saw a video clip of it and was surprised. I love that song, but I do wonder why people don't get the slightly sinister nature of the lyrics. Jim Steinman called it a vampire love song, and the music video is very Gothic. It's why I used it as Gob's love ballad to Michael in "Dirty Little Secret", something desperate and needy about "making things right" and "your love is like a shadow on me all of the time." Well anyway, now I know what Will sounds like singing it. Love his voice.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Boo

So Netflix is picking up Lucifer. I won't be watching. They squandered all their good will to waste an entire season on love triangles and Cain's fucked up, go nowhere plot. Fine, if those other viewers want to keep watching the show, keep trusting those shitawful writers with another season, let them. But me, I'm checking out like I did when Sherlock turned to crap and Castle turned to crap and Person of Interest turned to crap.

Meanwhile, ABC is still trying to do that Roseanne revival without her on the show. Such hypocrites, saying they canceled the show on principle, but they still want the rest of the Conners back, even though it means that somebody has to buy out Barr's rights and give her another payment. Fuck you. Trying to pull a Hogan Family maneuver. (Or for a more recent example, Charlie Sheen getting replaced on Two and a Half Men.) You can't just let the show die. I know, they're pretending that they're trying to save jobs, but if you just released the cast and crew, they could join other shows, perhaps something else that you pick up to replace Roseanne. But no, you want to cling to the toxic brand. Fuck you for learning nothing.

Anyway, Supergirl has been kind of all over the place lately, and with Alex using Kryptonite bullets on the Daughters of Juru, I ask, what the hell is Kara's problem about Lena having and making kryptonite? I mean, why did we have to go through that whole mistrust crisis, and Kara lecturing people that everybody should destroy their kryptonite? She seriously thinks they should be defenseless should any other Kryptonian villains show up? I don't get why the writers had to ruin the friendship over this. Plus there's news about next season, with Brainy returning and Winn being recurring. Wow, so much shakeup. I don't know where the show is going anymore. The Reign plot took so long to build and I still don't get what was the point of reviving Kara's mother and company. I'm not totally hating everything, but I'm disappointed at how meandering and haphazard everything is.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Worse the 2nd time

I rewatched season 5 trying to understand the timeline. They keep saying that it's been two months since Cinco de Cuarto, but 2 months is technically July 4th, and episode 8 ends on July 2nd, so already it's patently WRONG. And they keep referring back to Lucille calling everybody back two weeks ago, then Lindsay quitting 1 week ago, so surely all that stuff should have taken place in June, NOT two months after May 4th. Why the fuck couldn't they just put dates on the episodes? Or if they redid the timeline in the editing room, and were going to do ADR anyway, why couldn't they have fixed the dialogue to say "1 month ago" instead of the freaking impossible "two months"? So sloppy.

My rewatch made me hate the first 4 episodes even more. I don't understand why Mitch had to double down on the WORST parts of season 4, the Rebel Alley love triangle and the awful conversations between Michael and GM where they tell escalating lies to each other. I mean, I zoned out of their "God laughs" conversation by the elevator as BORING and NONSENSICAL, and the only thing that snapped me out was the sudden hallway fight. Why did we have to suffer through the CRAP to get the good part? Why couldn't the crap be reduced to half, at least? And they doubled-down on Tobias as the jerk from hell, imposing his acting dream on somebody else. I already had enough of him destroying Debrie in season 4. What makes you think I want to see it again, on some bastard son that appeared out of nowhere? If he's going to be a jerk, at least let me see his comeuppance. Let Tobias go back to fucking jail for being a sex offender. He should have been fired for what he did to Debrie. Isn't Argyle there to fire him?

History repeating

I watched the recent PBS show about the Chinese Exclusion Act, and it's really chilling how long that law was in place. It wasn't just a ban on immigration; it also said that Chinese people already here could never become citizens, denying them the right to vote. The show talked about many fascinating things like "paper sons" invented after the San Francisco earthquake destroyed all the records about which immigrants were born here. America only started to repeal the law when it looked bad during WWII after Japan invaded China, and we called China our ally. (Of course that in turn led to Japanese internment camps and racism against Japanese Americans as potential enemy spies.) It's so fucked up, how America will turn on immigrants, making them constantly prove their right to be here. The Supreme Court ruling in US vs Wong Kim Ark finally established that everyone born in America is a citizen by birth, yet the Exclusion Act still continued, favoring immigrants from white European backgrounds.

But nowadays we have Trump trying to ban immigration based purely on nationality, and ICE deporting people, and splitting up families at the border, trying so hard to kick out the people they consider undesirable. It's so disgusting and scary. What would my family have done if the US didn't accept refugees from Vietnam? Why are we shutting out refugees now and equating them with terrorists, as if they haven't been vetted thoroughly?

Now Trump is petulantly complaining about the G7 and attacking Canada. And he thinks he's going to somehow "win" the summit with North Korea when he's done diddly squat to prepare for negotiations? What an awful world this is.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Retcons

Goddammit, I rewatched the 4th episode with the old beach cottage, and I've just realized something. They retconned Tracey's death, and that's why they said that GM had no mother figure before Lucille. They've moved Tracey's death to years earlier. Goddamnit!

In season 1, set in 2003, the Narrator used to tell us that Tracey died two years ago, i.e. 2001. We also get a brief glimpse of a wedding video from 1989, with Gob setting Tracey's hair on fire. Therefore, the marriage lasted 12 years, and GM grew up with a mother for the first dozen years of his life.

SPOILERS

Friday, June 1, 2018

Fucking Hollywood

Anyway, still no word about Timeless being cancelled. Are they still negotiating with NBC or shopping it around? Also, after Roseanne got cancelled, there were all these rumors and suggestions that some other show would get picked up and get that slot. But now the current gossip is that they're trying to do a spinoff about Darlene instead. Why won't they let that show go? Pick up some other pilot or whatever. Stop giving money to Roseanne Barr, who as far as I know still owns the characters she created.

There was uproar about Sam Bee's comment about Ivanka Trump, and the right wants her gone in revenge for Roseanne's cancellation. I guess I should be glad they didn't get Michelle Wolf's Netflix show cancelled, though I haven't seen it yet. What I wish, though, is that the media firestorm wouldn't keep blotting out all other news.

And I can't believe that Trump is on a pardoning-spree lately. I thought he'd just do the Jack Johnson thing because Stallone asked him, but no, that's not enough for him. Just makes no sense, and he's still got to do the Korea summit soon! Unless he cancels it again before then. Sigh.