Re: Incredibly Out-Of-Date TV Blogging


I haven't seen either of the two sequels, but I believe the cassette tape issue is addressed in the second: the police didn't find the tapes because someone absconded with them for blackmail material.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:15 PM
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I actually just watched the first episode of the second series, and that's not quite right. She was recording the conversation leading up to his throwing her off the roof, and someone took that tape off her body. But she had a number of tapes of earlier conversations back at her apartment -- nothing that would have proved he killed her, but enough to show they were closely involved, making the "She just ran past me and dived off the roof" story implausible.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:33 PM
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I haven't seen the British version, but my considered view is that the Kevin Spacey/US Neflix version SUCKS IT. I can't exactly explain why but something just seems way off about the whole series.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:45 PM
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I read below the fold despite having never seen the the show.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:55 PM
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Attica! Attica!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:59 PM
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3: but it led to that NY Daily News cover, so it can't be entirely bad.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:00 PM
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LB, my sister in belatedness and nit-pickiness! I just watched the first two episodes this weekend and was planning on watching the third tonight, although now I seem to know how the season ends (which is fine: I actually hate suspense).

But even in the first two episodes, I was getting irritated by implausibility: we're supposed to think that he's this incredibly savvy operator, but also that everyone around him takes him to be a Iago-like honest man, and it just seems impossible that no one had ever started to wonder whether their unscrupulous fixer might be a little. . . unscrupulous.

And then I think, well, don't be silly, the show clearly isn't aiming at verisimilitude, but there's something about its treatment of reality that seems off to me. It might be what you say, that it'd be easy enough to solve these problems in the script.

Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:01 PM
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No one is properly afraid of him as he presents himself as lacking the skills necessary to ascend to an office with media visibility. The fact that no one notices that he's a cartoonish Dracula-like villain is a bit beyond belief, but I figure it's worth it as his character is so fun.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:07 PM
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I loved the first series. Obviously during the years after its great successd, Urquhart became synonymous with evil in the British imagination, since as soon as the second series starts his character seems to have completely changed. Not an iota or charm, or wit. Just ordering people around and inspiring fear and hatred. He doesn't talk to the camera much anymore, and when he does, he's given up the idea of justifying his actions.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:13 PM
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7: I don't think it was sold perfectly, but I thought the idea was that he'd had a change of character: he really had been an honestish fixer for the party, and thought he was going to be rewarded for it. When Collingwood? the PM, anyway, didn't give him any power, and took an ideological tack he found unsympathetic, he snapped, and started using his political skills for evil. So everyone he knew had a long history of his actually being what he appeared to be: a clever, secretive, but basically honest and unambitious politician who dealt with his allies in good faith.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:25 PM
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10 gets it right. He had always been ambitious but counted on earning the good will of others to bring it about. At the beginning of the series he feels betrayed and becomes entirely cynical.

Earlier in his career his wife may have been more ambitious than he was - I can't quite tell.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:36 PM
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That makes sense, LB. I was distracted by the scenes of the various women urging him on to ambition (the other way the series accounts for the character), and that was a much less satisfying explanation. But what you makes sense, and I will go watch episode three in a less disgruntled mood.

Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:39 PM
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But I like the way she says "Deddy!" as she goes off the roof.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:02 PM
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I love that Mme. Merle hates suspense.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:07 PM
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Yeah, it's a bit of a professional liability. I'm always accidentally giving away the endings of novels because I can't remember that students want to be surprised.

(And then there's the related problem of students failing to predict the entirely predictable because they haven't read enough to know the conventions. One of the most touching emails I ever got came from a student, a freshman, who had just reading finished Pride and Prejudice at two in the morning, and couldn't wait to tell me how very relieved he was that Elizabeth and Darcy ended up marrying--he'd been so worried that they wouldn't!)

Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:34 PM
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"Look, it's good TV, don't pick at it," is correct about the issue in the OP. I enjoyed the show a lot, but there were plenty of plot and character points that didn't quite work.

Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:36 PM
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15: the story is sweet. I can't stand people who moan about "spoilers" either - anything worth standing still for should be able to stand rereading.

Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 2:44 AM
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15.2: it's interesting to think that the first audiences for "Hamlet" would have been sitting (or standing) there wondering "Is he going to get his act together and avenge his father before his uncle manages to kill him off as well?" It would have been nailbiting!

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 3:53 AM
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Re the OP: ms bill and I were troubled by this for a decade or so.

Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 4:45 AM
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15.2, 18: Part of what makes Crimes and Misdemeanors such a disturbing movie. I think it is probably Allen's most underrated, or maybe more accurately overlooked as it generally gets good marks from those who do notice it.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:05 AM
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Is C&M underrated? I thought it was generally regarded as one of his best (Top 5, non-comedy division). It's my favorite from his Mia Farrow period.

Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:12 AM
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so the particular thread the world economy is hanging from at the moment is how cruel the 'baggers can be to their own staff? I mean, what if Boehner was to personally waterboard a staffer? Would that be satisfactory?

Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:15 AM
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Statistically, there's bound to be at least one of their staffers who needs (say) asthma inhalers. So they're literally refusing to pass anything that doesn't menace the physical survival of their closest colleagues and friends enough. Wow.

Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:17 AM
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What if they were to be permitted to shoot one of the staff at random in exchange for passing the fucking budget? Of course anyone who didn't want to benefit could emigrate. Call it the Omelas Option.

Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:19 AM
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That's so last news cycle. It's moved on to the senate.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:20 AM
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This article on public vs. private goods may be of interest in its own right, but I was interested to see that the guy was basically doing the potential Von Wafer commute (but basically in reverse--living in Pittsfield, working in Cambridge).

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:31 AM
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26: clearly the dude needs a Hyperloop.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:40 AM
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