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  1. S01.E01: Pilot

    It's a shame that they took such an interesting premise and made it into the dullest possible story--none of the characters are interesting; the pop spirituality is a real turnoff; and turning it into a quasi-cop procedural is a terrible decision. I'm very disappointed. I'll give it an episode or two to prove me wrong, but I predict this one will be a quick cancellation.
  2. S04.E10 Episode 10

    The Noah and Cole bits at the funeral were really well written and well acted; they were so very much in character for both of them. Noah came up with a writerly speech summing up an idealized version of Alison, turning her into a story. Cole, in contrast, was angry, full of deep feeling, and unable to communicate any of it at all. That's who both of them are, to the core. Noah talking to Cole at Gabriel's grave was pure Noah--pompous and annoying but also sort of right, and his interactions with Cole were terrific. I do hope we see more of this character pairing next season. I like it a lot, and I'm hopeful that the final season will actually be a decent one.
  3. S04.E08: Episode 08

    I'm kind of bitter about this episode. One of my very favorite tropes is when enemies have to work together for a common goal and in the process develop some grudging respect for one another, and another of my very favorite tropes is enemies on a road trip together. So I was having a blast, and this very dark turn ruined everything. Fuck Showtime.
  4. "some play" = Angels in America.
  5. S04.E18: Cancun, Baby!

    I had moment of panic when Tandy talked about Hugh Laurie being dead, wondering how in the world I could have missed something like that. It was only after I rushed to the Internet to check and saw that he was alive and well that I remembered that EVERYONE is dead on this show. I'm an idiot.
  6. S04.E18: Cancun, Baby!

    The Others!
  7. Great article--loved it. Thanks for telling us about it here!
  8. S06.E02: Tchaikovsky

    Nobody would use filmstrips in college--it's an elementary school thing. That's ridiculous. (As an aside, one of the most traumatic things that I've ever witnessed--granted, I've had an easy life--was in second grade, when the kid turning the filmstrip somehow put a crayon on top of the projector, and it exploded into his eye. He was ok, but the teacher rushed him out of the room, leaving the rest of us in stunned silence.)
  9. S06.E02: Tchaikovsky

    I'm 51, so I'm just about Paige's age, and I certainly watched filmstrips throughout elementary school. It was a filmstrip projector, not a slide projector or a movie projector. Sometimes there was no sound and someone had to read captions below each picture. Sometimes there was sound that was played on a record (an actual LP record), and there would be a "beep" to let the person know when to advance to the next picture. In my school, at least, it was a great honor to be chosen to be the one to be in charge of advancing the picture or reading the captions.
  10. S06.E02: Tchaikovsky

    All I remember about Dark Victory is that they act like Bette Davis is dying of amblyopia, which just means that one eye works better than the other. I'm glad we have better researchers these days!
  11. S06.E02: Tchaikovsky

    Just stepping back from the episode a little to look at big-picture themes, I think that the black/white/grey stuff that was laced throughout the episode was pretty fascinating and key. Obviously, Elizabeth's speech to Paige about how the world can be grey was meant to be a sort of dramatic irony: the audience knows that Elizabeth is by far the most black-and-white character on the show, but Elizabeth herself doesn't seem to realize that. The dying woman asks Elizabeth (who is deeply uncomfortable with looking at herself and the world as art in any way) to "just draw the black parts"--that's pretty much what Elizabeth has been doing ever since she became a spy. And in the last scene--this may be a stretch, but I could include it in a literary analysis if I chose to do so--Elizabeth was literally covered with GREY MATTER. I think this whole final season will be in some sense about Elizabeth's truly coming to accept grey as a possibility, and I'm very interested to see where that's going to lead.
  12. S04.E14: Chapter Seventy-Eight

    I was actually pretty annoyed by the cancer stuff, because it seems as though the writers didn't care to do a modicum of research about a disease common enough to occur in 1 out of every 8 women in the United States. You can't stage breast cancer before surgery--you don't know until surgery how l large the tumor is, or whether the cancer has spread to local or distant lymph nodes or other organs. The definition of stage 3 breast cancer is that it's spread to several lymph nodes, so saying that Xo had stage 3 breast cancer and that she was also lucky that it hadn't spread to her lymph nodes was nonsensical on two levels--she couldn't have stage 3 if it hadn't spread, and they couldn't know that it had spread prior to surgery. That's just sheer laziness.
  13. S02.E10: Best Self

    God, this is such a *human* show. I can't believe how freaking beautiful this episode was, on so many levels. There's so much depth and emotion here--and yes, going foolishly and confidently off to a quest that's almost certain to fail may well be the essence of humanity. (And I actually think that it might be a profound observation to collapse all emotion to anger and confusion!) Such great work!
  14. Unpopular Opinions Thread

    One thing I really dislike about the show is just how much of an emotional sledgehammer they use. I love shows with lots of subtext, shows that really make you work to construct how a given character might be thinking or feeling. This is Us, on the other hand, is a show in which the characters constantly tell each other explicitly about all of their thoughts and emotions (and, in some cases, a character might even have an extended soliloquy on a football field about those thoughts and emotions!). It's just too much noise and way too obvious--there's none of the reward in noticing the significance of a fleeting glance or a grimace that I value so much in more subtle shows.
  15. Just finished binging the show, and boy, do I agree with the above. My demo is as follows: 51 years old, a woman, someone who has marked an entire life with one version of Star Trek or another (I watched TOS in the 70's, TNG in college and grad school, DS9 and VOY in early adulthood, and every single movie up to the JJ travesties, which I despise.) I've been struggling to work up enthusiasm for STD, but now that I've watched The Orville, I feel ok about admitting that STD just isn't Star Trek to me. What I'm most shocked about is how much critics that I usually respect and agree with despise The Orville, when I can't stop smiling goofily throughout each episode. Television as a whole has evolved and improved from the way it was in the mid-nineties, and I'm as grateful as anyone for the insane peak TV quality that's everywhere--I love dark complexity, well-drawn characters, and complicated story arcs as much as anyone. But for some reason, I don't want my Trek to evolve; I want it pretty much the way it was during the TNG/DS9/VOY run. I *like* the optimism of The Orville, the standalone episodes, the likable characters, and the clumsy attempts to comment on social issues--that's all very Trek to me. I like the fact that it takes Star Trek plots and messes with them just enough to be original but not enough to kill the nostalgia factor. Star Trek always had traces of humor, and The Orville just doubles and triples down on that. Is it all basically Seth's self-insertion Star Trek fan fiction, even crack!fic? Sure, maybe, but that's ok by me: I like Star Trek fan fic, and I've always had a soft spot for well-done crack. Sorry, Mo Ryan, Alan Sepinwall, et al., but this show is a pleasure, and not even a guilty one.