Re: Second Line

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The music on that show is amazing, but the John Goodman character (for reasons I think I've mentioned before) makes me feel deeply uncomfortable and sad, so I haven't managed to watch past the first episode.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-10 11:12 PM
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Kotsko had a post up about Treme at his serious blog that makes it sound really, really depressing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 5-10 11:20 PM
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We just Netflixstreamed The North Face. Gripping stuff.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 5-10 11:41 PM
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Treme had (i) mildly interesting characters, (ii) some of the worst plot development you can possibly imagine over the course of the series -- like, NOTHING happens; (iii) an annoyingly self-congratulatory tone about its New Orleans authenticity (every fifth line of dialouge was some reference, handled with almost no subtlety, designed to convey LOOK WE SPENT YEARS RESEARCHING THIS SHIT WE HAVE LOCAL CRED) and then (iv) an extremely depressing ending, and not in a "this redeems the whole series" way but in a "this sucks, why did I watch this" way. Oh, and, ridiculously great music.

All in all, a bad show, I think, but watchable because of the setting and the music. And it really made me realize how much the police procedural format contributed to the success of The Wire.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 12:52 AM
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The take-down of the 90's in "The Informant". Had to throw it in here.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:00 AM
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ridiculously great music may be enough for Brother Stanley, and for many. Those clips are great, and I ended up visiting levees.org and watching some stuff there.

My diss director was caught in that mess, trapped in a flooded hotel. It was scary.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:02 AM
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I kept thinking it would have been a much better show had they set it in pre-Katrina, rather than post-Katrina, New Orleans. An avant le deluge theme would have been a better narrative framework.

And now I think I'm coming across as too harsh above; it's a well made show, just not, I think, a well-conceived one. A big part of the problem is that Simon seems to have had too big a crush on New Orleans to treat it in properly human terms; he tries, but the result felt to me more like an extended research paper or a crush letter to favorite musicians than genuinely illuminating art. But mostly, at the end of the day it's a serial, no matter its setting or musical background, and the show kind of failed basic serial-plotting and design requirements. It's hard to do a more extended discussion without spoilers, and I know that most people haven't watched the show yet.

It may also benefit from low expectations, rather than unduly hig ones, going in. And I have no idea what they could do in a second season.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:25 AM
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Futurama! Not quite living up to the original run, but a lot better than the movies.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 5:09 AM
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I really like Treme. Mr. Halford is not incorrect to say it has basically no interest in plot—it's a show about hanging out, soaking in the atmosphere, and enjoying a little music, with the occasional political barb thrown in. I found that I really enjoyed spending time with these characters (particularly Antoine (Wendell Pierce from The Wire), Albert (Clarke Peters from The Wire), and Davis (Steve Zahn)), so I didn't get too hung up on the plot mechanics.

A couple of characters are sort of problematic. A lot of viewers find Davis annoying, but I think he kind of redeems himself through the course of the season (mostly just by being a nice guy; he comes off as a bit of a dick in the first few episodes). Creighton is self-righteous and self-involved and sometimes skirts over into "unpleasant to watch" territory. The Sonny and Annie thread is by far the least successful of the show, largely because it is nearly impossible to empathize with Sonny, who is a jealous, controlling, dick.

The style and the content of the show is right there from the first episode, so you'll know from watching a handful of episodes whether it's a show that works for you. If you start to get impatient for something to happen, well... a few things happen in the course of the season, but fewer than you would expect in, say, one episode of Big Love.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 5:13 AM
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And I have no idea what they could do in a second season.

David Simon talked a bit about this on Sepinwall's blog. You can trawl the history of NO c. 2006-2007 for ideas. I know one of the threads is going to be a boom in crime.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 5:18 AM
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Steve Zahn once complemented my hat. Sadly, no $5 was forthcoming.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 7:22 AM
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How did that work? Did you carry him as a handbag, or what?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 7:56 AM
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The Man Who Mistook Steve Zahn For A Handbag by Oliver Sacks (or maybe "Olive Hissacks")


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 8:00 AM
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What kind of hat was it? I'm looking for a hat that will keep the sun from my face and not make me look like a baseball player or a retired English teacher.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 8:07 AM
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I'm afraid it was a retired English teacher hat -- a flat Donegal tweed cap. Zahn had one almost exactly like it. He averred that he liked to wear it around his farm in the American state of Kentucky.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 8:35 AM
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I'll probably have to get a hat like this. I'm now old enough that a baseball cap looks really out of place. Plus, a ball cap does nothing for keeping the sun from the back of my neck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 8:44 AM
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Party Down, recommended somewhere here, is pretty nice. Mad Men has made me curious about the first season of Bewitched, but I haven't followed up yet.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 9:16 AM
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Allegedly and depressingly, Party Down just got cancelled. It was awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 9:22 AM
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Party Down was awesome, except that the second season took six episodes to get any momentum. You can't base the entire plot on "role reversal" for characters we barely know.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 9:28 AM
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I watched the penultimate episode of Treme last night. I've generally enjoyed the show, although the New Orleans authenticity schtick is overbearing and annoying. The characters are compelling, and I find myself caring a lot about the shit they have to deal with -- although there's a lot less plot than in most TV, there's still a lot going on.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 9:29 AM
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… the first season of Bewitched?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 9:52 AM
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No movie or tv recommendations. I've been watching stuff like "Monsters Inside Me" and "Pickers" and the last episodes of Johnny Weir. Starting Funny People and Hangover and stopping halfway through. Watching Punisher:War Zone and Taking Woodstock with half an eye and sound off. None of the above are recs. Okay, Weir.

It's enough to drive a dude to books.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 9:58 AM
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Regarding hats, Moby, the Fourth of July holiday weekend instructed me that the porkpie hipster hat is reaching late decadent stages locally. Probably already expired in Brooklyn. So you could rock one of those unironically and in a retro way.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:03 AM
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Darren is an advertising agent, the period is right, so sets, clothes, and manners, and the all-powerful housewife fantasy which just seems so strange may be worth a closer look.

First seasons of TV shows usually have the best writing unless there's some complicated group writing happening.

Apsley Chery-Garrard is a great prose stylist, writing about the Scott expedition


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:05 AM
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Breaking Bad deserves all the hype it gets, but you'd really want to watch it from the beginning. The first two seasons are out on DVD.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:06 AM
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re: 16

I ended up with this hat last summer:

http://linkblur.com/crypt/nUE0pQbiY3q3ql5gL2qlLKE0LJ4ho3WaY19UZGN0BQR1YzcjMj==

Not something I'd wear wandering about daily but very practical when it was blazing hot.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:09 AM
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They've made a film/TV show of Punisher: War Zone?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:09 AM
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27:Movie. Ray Stevenson from Rome as Frank Castle. Exxxxtreemmmeeely violent and amoral. Graphic novel fans loved it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:15 AM
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23: porkpie hipster hat is reaching late decadent stages locally.

If it is like a regular pork pie hat, it won't do much for the sun.

26: Kind of what I'll probably wind-up with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:17 AM
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I wear a wide-brim straw hat. I'm looking for a photo, but all the ones I can find look a little too hippie-floppy, and not sufficiently Kentucky Derby. I like to believe that mine is a bit refined.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:20 AM
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Maybe I'll get a pith helmet with a fan. I'm becoming convinced that hats are really useful and that they only went away because too many people spend too much time indoors. I've already broken down and gotten a winter hat with ear flaps. It's toasty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:22 AM
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26. Your request to URL [...] has been blocked by the McAfee Web Gateway URL Filter Database. The URL is listed under categories (Anonymizers), which are not allowed by your administrator at this time. The following reputation level was assigned to it: Unverified. For assistance, please contact the OSD-CIO Help Desk

I can read Unfogged at work again (yay!), but the net nanny won't let me look at hats.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:22 AM
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that they only went away because too many people spend too much time indoors.

And because they give you hat-hair.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:27 AM
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The one I'm wearing has a fairly wide-brim, but it has a wire in it and it's soft straw, so you can squash it about a bit to make it a bit more pork-pie or flattened stetson looking.

I also have a newsboy type tweed cap, which I bought after a previous hat thread. Took ages to find one that fitted and wasn't too twatty.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:27 AM
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the New Orleans authenticity schtick is overbearing and annoying

Note that most of the "New Orleans authenticity schtick" comes out of the mouths of Creighton and Sonny, who are not in fact authentic New Orleanians and are obviously overcompensating.

Probably the most heavy-handed example of the schtick is the "Katrina tour" scene in the third episode. That went right up to the line. What saves it, for me, is that shit really happened and David Simon, et al., are totally justified in being pedantically outraged about it.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:29 AM
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28: I might have to check it out. I'm not a fan of the Punisher comics, but I did find War Zone enjoyably over the top. The Archie/Punisher crossover is pretty awesome too.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:30 AM
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I look dumb in hats. Rather than get a haircut this year, I seem to have taken to increasingly fluffy and complex ponytails. I have yet to leave the house in full Gibson, but that's what it looks like after a shower now. I want a cool haircut, but I haven't seen any good styles for my type recently.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:31 AM
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I have a Filson for when I'm hiking and such.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:32 AM
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Hawaiian Punch comes home from daycare with her hair in new silly hair-dos. We eventually sent in hairbands because we felt bad that they kept using their own. Last week they did her hair in a triple-tail.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:33 AM
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38: Aren't those kind of warm on a hot day?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:35 AM
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That is, if anyone has any interesting haircut ideas for huge fluffy/curly blond stuff, I'm all ears.

35.last: Except for the poverty-porn aspect, it's not that different from the 9/11 tourism we had here for so long. It's tapered off a bit, but it was fucking infuriating to be mobbed by a huge group of fat loud Christian-T-shirt-wearing assholes who want to know "WHERE'S 9/11? HOW YOU GET TO 9/11?" Fuck you, that's how.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:36 AM
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The Gibson look is a hot look. The full Evelyn Nesbit:

http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kvatcmKdHY1qzued7o1_400.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/61/Evelyn_Nesbit_12056u.jpg/456px-Evelyn_Nesbit_12056u.jpg


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:36 AM
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I'm all ears

That does limit the workable hairstyles.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:37 AM
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38: Aren't those kind of warm on a hot day?

Yeah, the fabrics are pretty heavy. Most of my use is in the mountains where there's a fair amount of sun exposure but it's not tremendously hot.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:40 AM
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I've been doing a bit of a 1940's thing, drying and brushing it out, parting it at a severe angle, and tucking section over section on both sides back to a high pony with a poof in front. People tell me it looks cute, though I'm very aware that no one else is doing it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:40 AM
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I've been wearing basically the same hat for 25 years (multiple incarnations of the same design, that is). I dread it becoming hip, not because of everyone wearing it but because of the post-hipness crash during which I will be walking around in yet another so-five-minutes-ago item of clothing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:41 AM
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I like all the hats in this clip.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:42 AM
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35: Actually, I found that Katrina tour scene to be very effective, although I agree it was heavy handed. But man, I was right there with Simon et al. emotionally: absolutely infuriated.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:49 AM
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I've been in a lot of different American cities and seen offers for so many gruesomely inappropriate tours I don't think anything could seem over-the-top now. There is no low to which the American tourist will not sink.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:53 AM
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When I was in Latin America I'd have loads of dubiously translated flyers for tour groups and such pressed on me. One of these advertised, apparently in earnest, "Favela Tours: Not Voyeuristic At All!"


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:57 AM
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"Favela Tours: Not Voyeuristic At All!"

This makes my day.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:06 AM
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If you're into Simon shows and like war movies, then Generation Kill is the best thing on film about the war in Iraq. No doubt there are pure documentaries that are more informative on the political end, but this is the best combination of realism and entertainment value. Plus, full of funny dialogue . Not on TV any more but available on DVD.

For crime shows, Breaking Bad is a lot of fun and very well done.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:10 AM
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24: My nostalgic revisitings of old television comedy have had mixed results. Mary Tyler Moore, six seasons now on DVD, is delightful in the sense that the characters are unique and engaging (and it's fun to watch the visual sensibility of the seventies really take hold), but it's only funny to laugh out loud at once in a while, and almost never for the first few seasons.

But I'd be a little curious to watch Bewitched, too. I understand I missed a certain amount because my sense of camp was underdeveloped at the age of five. Isn't that the old saying? "Agnes Moorehead is wasted on the young"?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:15 AM
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52: Plus, Fruity Rudy is awesome. So is Tony 'Poke' Espera.

Yes, I am in love with Fruity Rudy, all the more so after watching the extras on the DVD. He really is just playing himself in the series, narcissistism and all. But damn, is he hot. If I was that hot I'd be a flaming narcissist, too.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:19 AM
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41: Oh try working near 9/11. Requests for directions are common but they still bother me. A couple asked me the other day "do you know which way to the World Trade Center?" and I told them, because I know, and then, not sure if I wanted them to hear me or not, muttered "but it isn't there anymore."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:24 AM
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55: I've done that too. "I can't believe you haven't heard..."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:25 AM
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(Does going out in a Gibson involve putting tiny onions in your hair instead of the usual olives?)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:26 AM
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The onion is worn on the belt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:28 AM
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People actually say "9/11" as shorthand for "former site of World Trade Center"? That's just weird (not to mention omitting two other locations, which, even if it were used to include them: still weird).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:38 AM
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Oh try working near 9/11.

You should probably just take that whole week off.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:39 AM
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59: I would be unable to avoid saying "It's at least a couple months off." Adjusting times as appropriate, of course.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:42 AM
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"Oh it's gone. There's one in Baltimore, still. Take the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey and follow the signs to the Jersey Turnpike. After the end of the Turnpike, go over the Delaware Memorial Bridge . . ."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 12:04 PM
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IME they usually ask for "Ground Zero" which is offensive in its own special way.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 12:19 PM
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For TV, Rory and I have been watching the Avatar: The Last Airbender series obsessively. Very well done. For movies, oh dear god do not go see The Last Airbender. Very poorly done.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:28 PM
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64: Good lord yes. It combines the problem of fitting a season of television into a single movie with awkward dialogue and joyless direction.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:38 PM
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On the other hand, some of the reviews of the movie have been highly entertaining.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:38 PM
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So, if I understand things correctly, Avatar was a bad movie and Avatar: The Last Airbender was a bad movie, but the two are entirely unrelated. And there's a good TV show also named Avatar: The Last Airbender that's good. Okay. Got it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:42 PM
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67: Correct! Had they wanted to get that idea across in the movie, the dialogue would have gone like this:

Sokka: "Avatar" was a bad movie.
Katara: According to legend, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is also a very bad movie.
Aang: Yes. The monks taught us that both are bad movies, but they are also unrelated to each other.
Katara: Well, at least the cartoon series is well made.
Sokka: Yes, I hear that's good.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 1:57 PM
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M. Night Shyamalan, early promise squandered, or always a hack? Discuss:


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:04 PM
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The movie wasn't that bad. The cartoon is quite good, and the movie had too much of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, and no humor. It was operatic, bombastic. In some scenes that worked pretty well. The set design was pretty good, which is more than can be said for say Cloudy WIth Meatballs, which had a nice script but was visually terrible, a common fate for kid movies.

Can I say that I am disturbed by film stars becoming voices with star billing? Something about that bothers me.

Shyamalan is uneven, but I don't think that he's a hack.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:11 PM
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I have no idea how, but my son (aged 4) now knows what an "Airbender" is and I don't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:13 PM
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71: I think it's when the plane gets stuck in a holding pattern and they bring you extra liquor.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:15 PM
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Does that every happen anymore? I haven't gotten a free drink from an airline in years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:16 PM
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The Airbender cartoon was one that I would watch with my kids. They like "Adventuretime" now, which I haven't been able to sit and watch but looks interesting, in a LSD trip sort of way.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:17 PM
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74: Phineas and Ferb is the best cartoon on the air right now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:18 PM
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Still happens on normal European carriers as far as I can tell. Obviously not on Ryanair and the like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:19 PM
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||

Oranje!

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:21 PM
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Phineas and Ferb is the best cartoon on the air right now

I am surprised no one has used Doofenshmirtz as a handle here on Unfogged.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:23 PM
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Phineas and Ferb is pretty good.

I have a sinking feeling that Jennifer Pertsch, the writer for Total Drama World Tour, is like 27 and might not be into me when fate finally brings us together.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 2:40 PM
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69: Shyamalan has real talent as a director and real weaknesses as a screenwriter (the most obvious being his compulsive need for a twist ending, whether or not one is necessary or plausible). In a way, he's been cursed by the creative control he got as a result of his early success. Don't go by me, though, because I would have thought directing a film from somebody else's script was exactly the right move for him, but Airbender is apparently his worst film by far.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 3:17 PM
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Does that every happen anymore? I haven't gotten a free drink from an airline in years.

I got a free drink on United after our plane was delayed for 5 hours a couple weeks ago.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 3:29 PM
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Jennifer Pertsch, the writer for Total Drama World Tour

Apologies to Jessica Biehl, Unfogged Babe Of Record, for Ms. Pertsch is indeed a hottie.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 3:49 PM
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I've consistently gotten unlimited free drinks on non-American transatlantic flights. In fact, I was pretty shocked a couple years ago when some US carrier charged me for a drink when flying to Europe.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:08 PM
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I never drink on a transatlantic flight, because I'm always afraid we might crash and burn, in which case I'd want to have my wits about me, if only to say a proper good-bye to Mother Earth, the only home I've ever known, and serves me right for leaving her. I furtively scan the faces of the flight attendants, looking for signs of suppressed panic, and I pray the Ave silently, so as not to alarm the other passengers. Cosmopolitan me!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 10:50 PM
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I don't like drinking alcohol on airplanes. I feel dehydrated enough already.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:07 PM
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I got 3 free drinks tonight, at my local. Much more pleasant than an aeroplane.

In other news, I have an eye infection, a housemate who needs to be ejected, a 60 day notice on the lease for my place of employment and a mountain of work and social obligations. At least with the eye infection I can make a doctor's appointment tomorrow.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:14 PM
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Condolences on all accounts, Natilo. Best of luck.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 6-10 11:57 PM
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And topically, I made progress on Season Four tonight. Woo!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 7-10 12:14 AM
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Snark and I have also been watching Avatar, the cartoon, though neither of us is a kid. It really is nicely done. What a strange misbegotten thing the film version seems to be.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 7-10 9:52 AM
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