did someone muck with the backend here

Re: A theory

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The best in liney is to say things that sound really stupid to those who aren't smart and leave smart people wondering if you've been clever or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 7:35 AM
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"The Anti-David Brooks".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 7:40 AM
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Neither method is intrinsically blustering or bullshit. That depends on the details of the questions and the context. eg:
Context: debate on trade policy
Q: "Mr Trump, do you actually know what 'tariff' means?"
Isn't bullshit at all. If the answer proves to be negative, all Mr Trump's opinions on trade policy need to be discounted accordingly.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:00 AM
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3.last: That's only true in the limit, when talking to someone deeply ignorant. Most of the time, asking about vocabulary and then reciting definitions is not impressive. I associate with barely trained youngins trying to show they know something. Yes, I'm a millennial, and probably more impressed by the "baby lawyer" method.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:08 AM
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Every unhappy family and all that, but is there something useful about developing a taxonomy of the many ways to be a royal ass?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:20 AM
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5: wait, are you saying that my posts are usually useful?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:35 AM
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4: I have a strong preference for Baby Lawyer, too, as long as it's not done too obnoxiously. Bullshit Bluster makes my skin crawl.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:37 AM
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At it's best, Baby Lawyer is "give them enough rope to hang themselves with".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:38 AM
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Perhaps it should be "baby lazy hangman."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:42 AM
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1: Back in the 90s the name for that move was "Theory".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:45 AM
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So the question is: was Pompous Bullshit Bluster the norm for boomers, when they were young people in their 20s and 30s? Or did they do the slightly more sophisticated Baby Hangman technique and then age out of it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:49 AM
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The question in 11 is what leads to my conjecture that Boomers are predisposed to be pompous bullshitters, and that it's not strictly a life stage thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:50 AM
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I was under the sadly mistaken impression that previous threads had reached a consensus the entire Named Generation concept was bullshit bluster.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:52 AM
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I see it going hand-in-hand with how TV and movies ratchet up their sophistication every ten years - it didn't seem so hamfisted and tiresome to be a blowhard thirty or forty years ago. But cultural cleverness has just ratcheted up, and now the baseline is elevated enough that millenials just mostly wouldn't do the lecture bluster bullshit thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:52 AM
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Method 2, the baby lawyer, lends itself well for younger people because you can be overly literal if you don't have much context, and you can use it if something smells funny but you don't have all the facts on hand.

And yet Socrates was still at it in his 70s, if we are to believe Euthyphro.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:56 AM
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Named generations are over determined and can be used with far too much specificity, but they're still useful shorthand for fuzzy concepts. Do you find statements like "I noticed 20 and 30 somethings these days often behave this way but rarely that way, while I've noticed that 50 and 60 somethings behave that way much more often" inherently bullshit?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:56 AM
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15: He wasn't doing it for very long thereafter, thanks to the Athenians' one weird trick.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:59 AM
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16: I don't. I just think the usefulness of the shorthand has been overwhelmed by the associated bullshit. And, AIHSHB, I think "Millennial" isn't even useful shorthand because it has no stable definition.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:09 AM
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Even a fuzzy definition.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:09 AM
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Similarly, I don't think they're bullshit, but they're disproportionately prey to all sorts of cognitive biases, and hard to check against actual data.

When statistics are available, they often tell stories orthogonal to any of those in popular circulation.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:14 AM
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I think "Millennial" isn't even useful shorthand because it has no stable definition.

I'm using Boomer/Millenial mostly as shorthand to mean over 50 and under 40.

As all these studies always assume, there is no one between 40 and 50.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:17 AM
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When statistics are available, they often tell stories orthogonal to any of those in popular circulation.

Orthogonal to the stories that Boomers tell, with their blustery ways! I bet Millenials are asking the right questions of Boomers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:18 AM
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Agreed that bullshitting is not done as much the younger you are. Because we figure you can look up whether we are bullshitting instantly. Actual salesmen trying to make sales and putting pressure on you still do it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:20 AM
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Enh, I figure it has like two or three definitions and you determine which one is which from context. It's usually either "roughly 20- and 30- somethings" (corresponding to the Chinese "post 80s" and "post 90s" generations) or "all young people, whom I loathe." And the latter definition will decline as it becomes increasingly absurd to use the same word for all people born after the Carter years.

20: I thought the fact that all kinds of risky behavior among teens has been going down for a long time was well known? And it agrees with at least one stereotype in popular circulation: Millennials and Gen Zers are coddled by helicopter parents who don't let them live life as teenagers, which I understand to mean smoking pot while having unprotected sex under the bleachers, leading to excessively risk-adverse young people who don't become good red-blooded entrepreneurs. (The major exception to this is that nicotine consumption among youth bottomed out and is starting to go back up again due to vaping.)

And to tie it back in to the OP with a somewhat ridiculous argument relying overly much on stereotypes, that coddling would explain why Millennials and presumably Gen Zers prefer lawyerly argument: they grow up in excessively rules-based families and to have their way must argue subtleties and show contradictions in the dominant paradigm.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:22 AM
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As shown in 16, I was able to read Heebie's mind to figure out exactly what she meant, so the definition must be stable enough in context.

The missing 40-somethings is quite a pickle. I posit a missing generation must exist, and its existence can be shown by its subtle gravitational influence on the outer planets. What to call this missing Generation, I have no suggestion.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:24 AM
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Mostly assholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:40 AM
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25.2: Well-played.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:42 AM
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14. I see it going hand-in-hand with how TV and movies ratchet up their sophistication every ten years

Wait, wait. Is that really the case? From my vantage point what's happened is that movies and TV have switched roles (that is assuming you include original streaming stuff as "TV"). Movies used to be largely for grownups, and TV for kids. Now it's just the opposite. The level of sophistication in most movies is "comic book." The level of sophistication in TV+original streaming is "readable book." (Admittedly, I'm talking about TV drama and the better comedies, not reality TV.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:06 AM
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I like your dichotomy. I'd tie it to age not generation (so Millenials will age into Blusterers).


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:07 AM
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Compare apples to apples: if you're using modern comic book movies, you should be looking at top grossing films of yesteryear, not the most interesting artsy films. I think the Marvel or Star Wars films hold up fine compared to, say, 1952's This is Cinerama.

Other top 1950s films include children's cartoons (Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty) or historical epics that exist to show off their massive cast (Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur). The more things change...


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:14 AM
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28 For movies, I date that to the release of Star Wars -- it's the first time I remember childishness being the main selling point. I suppose you can blame Cimono too, for overdoing it on the adult side.

(Really, are there people in their 50s now who will cop to being Boomers? I still think 1960 is the right [soft] dividing line.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:25 AM
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yes this is definitely an age thing. Crystallized intelligence vs fluid have peaks around 65 and 20, respectively.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:55 AM
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well, i'm old.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:55 AM
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28: I will entirely drop any claims around movies, seeing as how I barely watch any, ever.

For TV, though, I hold my point, which is then consistent with your point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 11:31 AM
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I think the media argument doesn't show any generational change. There's lots of smart TV today, but also lots of dumb TV, and also lots of smart movies in addition to the dumb ones. I'm pretty sure in fact that the US produces more in all four of those categories than it ever has before, and that people of all ages watch all four. TV and movies may appear to have inverted, but I don't think that's true. The US still makes lots of smart movies, but the major studios increasingly don't, as they consolidate and become more risk-averse; conversely, TV has exploded from just three risk-averse networks to however many cable and streaming channels.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:04 PM
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Melioristically -- if fluid and crystallized intelligence are generally in separate people, do we know how to organize people or conversations to combne them well?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:04 PM
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24 and 25 are wonderful, Dalriata.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:18 PM
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In fact I'd hazard the US makes fewer dumb movies than it used to. The studio system and networks used to crank out huge numbers of movies, mostly dross.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:29 PM
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I like this theory. I must say, as I get older, in a role where I am *supposed* to be instructing the yoots, it is increasingly hard not to slip into Bullshit Bluster mode, even when I don't want to. The line between that and legitimately passing on advice is greyer and greyer.

On the other hand, I have the cautionary lesson from my pre-teen kid. People were recommending him to law school by the time he was 3. But he's now starting to adopt bullshit bluster, and boy is that irritating coming out of a kid who doesn't know his ass from his elbow.


Posted by: Spysander Looner | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:46 PM
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I'm in that boat too, except now he's a teen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:47 PM
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As soon as kids get to 13, TSA gets to look at the x-rays of their genitals. Because that way is very slightly less creepy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:52 PM
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13
I was under the sadly mistaken impression that previous threads had reached a consensus the entire Named Generation concept was bullshit bluster.

I wish you were right, but I'm afraid that's just my quixotic crusade. Soldier on with me!

16
Named generations are over determined and can be used with far too much specificity, but they're still useful shorthand for fuzzy concepts. Do you find statements like "I noticed 20 and 30 somethings these days often behave this way but rarely that way, while I've noticed that 50 and 60 somethings behave that way much more often" inherently bullshit?

Of course old people are different from young people. The more interesting question is, are old and young people today different from old and young people 50 (or 20, or 100, or 500) years ago? In terms of the OP, is a Baby Boomer any more inclined to Bullshit Bluster today than someone born in 1860 was inclined to Bullshit Bluster in 1919?

I'm inclined to say no, 90 percent of attributing things to generations is over-determining and this isn't in that 10 percent. Ex recto, of course, but I'm not seeing any good argument for yes.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:52 PM
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I hate Fridays.

Work is always busiest today because of a weekly task that falls on Fridays. Cassandane and I had planned to go out to dinner before she'd go to a book signing event I wasn't interested in and I'd go home. But this morning someone asked if they could come over tonight and see a stroller-bike we've been trying to sell. I said sure, getting rid of it would be worth dinner separately. When I got home, I couldn't get the thing to work despite half an hour of struggling. Somehow I had bent the fender when I last put it away and it was getting stuck on the wheel. We couldn't fix it. The buyer declined, obviously. I walked it, in stroller mode of course, to the local bike shop 8 blocks away. They fixed it in 2 minutes. I can only hope the buyer gives me another chance.

In the meantime, dinner is an overly fancy appetizer and an absinthe cocktail at a nearby place I've been meaning to try. I don't hate this part.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 4:48 PM
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ISTM that when Boomers portrayed themselves on film in their youth, they portrayed baby lawyers--The Graduate and ATPM come to mind. I think it's just inevitable progression.

As for the sophistication of movies and TV, I think it's hard to argue against. I mean, first, we all know that older comedy barely holds up, as the surprising juxtaposition at its heart becomes impossible maintain when everyone learns to expect the juxtaposition. But even though drama doesn't rely on surprise as such, it does rely on the state of mind of the viewers, and today's viewers engage with challenging material a lot more readily. Movies of the '40s and '50s often drew out suspenseful moments forever, and any modern viewer can tell you immediately what comes next. Certainly the use of complex, interwoven plots is more widespread than ever.

And it's not even just about increasing audience sophistication: the producers and gatekeepers of yore believed their audience to be rubes, and so they tended to force product to that level. Goodness knows the handling of ambiguous good and evil was primitive.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-19-19 11:02 AM
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44.2 Strongly disagree and find it not hard at all to argue against. A lot of older comedy is still great. The Marx Brothers, The Awful Truth, Young Frankenstein. And good suspense doesn't rely on not knowing plot twists, I find Strangers on a Train or Rear Window no less suspenseful on repeat viewings. And I find the opposite of 44.3 to be the case, just take the dominant superhero franchises which certainly take their audiences to be rubes and have the most primitive portrayal of good and evil.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-19-19 8:19 PM
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The Boys is a great response to the superhero genre.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-19-19 9:01 PM
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In defense of the genre Endgame handles their Darth Vader problem really well.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-19-19 9:08 PM
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And I find the opposite of 44.3 to be the case, just take the dominant superhero franchises which certainly take their audiences to be rubes and have the most primitive portrayal of good and evil.

I generally agree with Barry, but this part is mostly wrong. I'm not a huge fan of the superhero franchises, but there's plenty of moral ambiguity in the Batman movies, or the Marvel Civil War movie, or Black Panther (and probably in some of the other superhero movies I haven't seen).


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 7:52 AM
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Disagree with 48 strongly. Nussbaum's takedown of Civil War, for instance. More. The only superhero film I've seen with real ambiguity is Shyamalan's Unbreakable, which deconstructs the genre into a smoking hole in the ground.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 8:44 AM
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49.last and I'll add is true to the genre in a way every other superhero movie fails, only Unbreakable truly nails the look and tone of a superhero comic. I don't even get the sense that other superhero movies are trying.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 8:48 AM
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50: I liked Unbreakable a lot, but I'm not sure what was morally ambiguous about it. Also I mostly thought it had the same look and tones as M. Night's other movies (well, I've only seen Sixth Sense, and Signs). Anyway, I shouldn't talk about movies, because I only ever watch them once, and I probably misremember everything .


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 9:15 AM
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I think "ambiguous" is the wrong word. I think a work is improved by serious engagement with a moral question, not necessarily by arriving at an ambiguous conclusion. Superhero movies as a rule don't actually engage their moral problems, they just pretend to, and then arrive at a conclusion which just happens to let their heroes off the hook.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 9:20 AM
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Speaking of movies I shouldn't talk about - has anybody seen Midsommar? I liked it even better than Hereditary.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 9:26 AM
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52: Yes, I think that's mostly right.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 9:27 AM
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I just started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and it really is hilarious, but it also makes me uncomfortable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 9:32 AM
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Much like Fleabag but not quite as dark.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 9:32 AM
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I saw a matinee of Midsommar when two afternoon meetings were cancelled. I probably would have enjoyed it anyway but that added a bit of sweetness.

I enjoyed the movie and especially enjoyed the grad students fighting over dissertation poaching. I never got why Hereditary appealed so much to some people. Maybe it's worth a rewatch.


Posted by: Blank Stare | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 9:34 AM
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53 Yes, I liked it.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 12:04 PM
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Who plays Barnaby?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 12:15 PM
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And good suspense doesn't rely on not knowing plot twists

I was afraid this would be misconstrued. Suspense relies, at least to some extent, on uncertainty in the mind of the audience. It's not that they can't see the twist coming, but the how and the when, and details of the what, are uncertain. But I often find that older suspenseful movies seem to assume that I'm a dullard--gee, what's going to happen when the maid walks into Crawford's room while Davis walks up behind her? Let's spend several minutes, including cuts showing the weapon, building up "suspense" over a completely obvious and foreseeable next step.

As for comedy, I'm not arguing that the absolute best comedies of the past don't hold up at all. I'm arguing that A. run-of-the-mill comedy doesn't hold up well, because we've heard the jokes before*, and to make it work, you need perfect writing and/or brilliant performance, and B. a larger portion of current comedy is funnier, because, again, standing on the shoulders of giants.

Now that we have a TV that doesn't suck, I'll often flip around the HD channels, mostly hunting for old reruns. I'm the only family member who finds any of them (except, interestingly, WKRP) funny. And I don't think it's because Barney Miller is too clever.

Some of this is style, of course, but contemporary audiences watch sitcoms in an array of styles, so you can't just say, "nobody under the age of 30 will laugh at a multi camera sitcom."

Lastly, my goodness, I wasn't talking about superhero movies in terms of good and evil ambiguity. I was referring to the myriad stories of TPTB in old Hollywood freaking out when directors would try to make movies where the protagonist was maybe actually bad. God knows the 21C antihero thing has been done to death, but how many TV dramas before "Hill Street Blues" showed protagonists acting badly?

*not literally, but they're part of our cultural knowledge


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 1:13 PM
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On TV comedy, I mostly rest my case on "Cheers", which my family and I adored in the first run, and whose reputation has mostly held up, but which I find now too dull to watch. The banter once heralded as quick and witty now feels sluggish and, if not dull, not especially inspired.

It's not that no old comedies hold up--and I'm not saying Cheers is awful--but that the bar is so high, and even a very good comedy from the not-so-distant past can grow musty.

At the other end of the scale, modern dreck like "Last Man Standing"* is truly awful; yet the dreck of yore was somehow worse! Apropos of either Tate or Fonda, for some reason somebody posted an episode of "Petticoat Junction" with Dennis Hopper guesting as a beatnik from Greenwich Village. It was unbearable, and made Last Man Standing look like 30 Rock. And Petticoat Junction was massively popular, #1 in its slot for most of its run.

*I must have caught it flipping through and watched a segment in car wreck spirit


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 1:23 PM
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61 is correct. Older comedies that are still funny today are the ones that depend on wordplay, rapid-fire timing, absurdity. Not jokes. It's like there's a constant escalation of what sort of things we will be surprised by. If you're expecting the punchline, it doesn't work.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 1:53 PM
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Probably would make more sense to say "there's a constant escalation of what sort of things we will be unsurprised by".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 1:54 PM
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I also remember thinking back in the 90s that "Mama's Family" was far worse than even the stupidest TGIF sitcoms. On the other hand "Get Smart", for example, was much better.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 2:01 PM
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Elitist fuck.


Posted by: Opinionated Vickie Lawrence | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 2:16 PM
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I told my mom, who recently asked me if my mother was alive, to watch the door as she was about to hit it with her walker. She corrected me because she was hitting the doorway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 2:24 PM
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55-6: It occurred to me recently that all the TV things my wife induces me to watch are 1.) heavily female-oriented and 2.) really, really good.

I don't know how far you are into Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but it gets more uncomfortable as it goes on, with (I think) mixed results. Fleabag was amazing.

In that vein, iZombie was fun. I really liked Russian Doll, I think mostly for Natasha Lyonne's performance. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a terrific period piece. Killing Eve is a hoot; all the critics appropriately rave about Sandra Oh's detective, but Jodie Comer's scenery-chewing contract killer is just too much, in a good way. Orphan Black was confusing, but the premise is entertaining and the central performance(s) by Tatiana Maslany were excellent.

On the drama side, I can't recommend Happy Valley highly enough. Sarah Lancashire is a revelation, and is also very good in Last Tango in Halifax.

I like the comic book stuff, so I can't remember if it was my idea or that of the Missus to watch Agent Carter and Jessica Jones, but I can recommend both.

That's a longer list than I expected when I embarked on this comment about chick TV. Who knew they could be funny and/or excellent actors?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 3:13 PM
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60.1 To a very small extent. Again, I find that Rear Window, North by Northwest, Rififi, etc., are no less suspenseful even having seen them several times. Good suspense depends much more on good editing, pace, tone, score, etc., than it does on not knowing the plot points. I'd venture to say that the current obsession with spoilers actually relates to a decline in the ability of much current cinema to convey suspense outside of depending upon plot twists.

As for comedy, Sturgeon's law applies to all times.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-20-19 8:34 PM
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I was referring to the myriad stories of TPTB in old Hollywood freaking out when directors would try to make movies where the protagonist was maybe actually bad

That's to a large degree an artefact/legacy of the Hays Code, no?

Orphan Black was confusing, but the premise is entertaining and the central performance(s) by Tatiana Maslany were excellent.

Speaking of, they're about to launch a podcast/audiobook sequel starring Maslany. It's a PPV thing, unfortunately. Also, if you haven't heard Maslany and Kristian Bruun's appearances on Comedy Bang Bang!, seek them out immediately. They're amazing.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-21-19 3:05 AM
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67: I should probably take all your wife's recommendations. Maybe that's what I like best: chick TV.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-21-19 9:14 AM
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Nussbaum's review of Civil War was incredibly terrible. God, she is such a shitty cultural commentator and now she's a front-page regular at LGM so she's hard to avoid. She seems to object to the very concept of subtext, or ambiguity. The movie has to actually end with Steve Rogers turning to the camera and saying "Children, vigilanteeism is bad", because a movie being compatible wih a conclusion is unbearable. It has to hammer that point home.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 6:52 AM
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That's why Batman turned to vigilanteeism. No parents to tell him stuff like that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 6:55 AM
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It's because "The Mark of Zorro" didn't end with Zorro realizing the errof of his ways. Batman is a tragic story of how the media creates vigilanteeism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 9:08 AM
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I loved everything about Russian Doll. It made me want to move to NYC and get to know some neighborhood, and I never want to do anything.
I should give Glow another chance. It's really good but so many socially uncomfortable scenes. I got to a scene where a main character intrudes upon a bar mitzvah and is about to sing for the birthday boy and just couldn't continue.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 9:16 AM
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In a better alternate universe, Bruce Wayne's parents had taken him to see "The Ladykillers" on the night they were murdered, and he grows up abhorring all forms of violins.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 9:23 AM
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I loved Russian Doll. I thought it was great that it was so short -- they made the scope of show so limited, and then maxed out everything they could do within those narrow confies. So many shows make the mistake of going the other way -- they run on forever, or try to do too much, and the good stuff gets diluted with so much dumb filler.

In other news, let me be the first to tell you about this terrific show I'm watching, called The Wire. (I had watched the first episode before, but found it dull and incomprehensible, and incompatible with my habit of half paying attention while I do some other task.) Anyway, turns out it's great. I had to watch the first season twice in order to make sense of it, because I'm dumb, but it was really worth it. Everyone says the second season is boring, but unions and dock workers are inherently more interesting to me than drug dealers, and I'm really enjoying it.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 9:33 AM
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76: That's a good explanation of why Russian Doll works as well as it does.

I think the second season of The Wire just ends up not being as carefully constructed as the first.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 10:20 AM
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I found the second season pretty riveting.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 10:29 AM
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...and now she's a front-page regular at LGM

Wha????!!!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 11:47 AM
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My hotel room has a balcony with an Acropolis view. I'm really close and it looms. Beautiful.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 11:49 AM
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81

Nashville is a great town.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 11:49 AM
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82

79 Ah, my mind inserted "Emily" who is a very good tv and movie critic a the New Yorker and not Abigail.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 11:58 AM
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83

"Nussbaum" must be the first name to be shared by multiple (3+) prominent writers, all of them female.

Except "Mitford" and "Brontë" I suppose.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 12:02 PM
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84

Fleabag: I finally watched the first episode after seeing many recommendations and was totally underwhelmed. Does it get better?
Russian Doll: Loved this. To 76, I have heard there is going to be another season. I agree this treading dangerous territory.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 1:46 PM
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85

84.1 Oh yes it does

Atlanta S2E5 is fantastic, a great exploration of Michael Jackson. Hiro Murai, the director, is consistently good.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-23-19 2:18 PM
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