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About Ottis

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    Sci-fi, anti-heroes, complex narratives
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  1. S01.E01: Keep on Truckin'

    Unless you count universal concepts like, "Family is important," as messages (I don't, sitcoms have always had at their base a few broad concepts), then you can pretty much go down the ratings list of top sitcoms and take your pick of mindless comedies: Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Modern Family, Last Man Standing (OK, they shade to conservative perspectives, I hear), The Goldbergs, etc. None of them are even within throwing distance of an All in the Family. The Connors could be, if they don't become too partisan. Heh. Ours, too. In fact, that drawer solves a lot of issues, Jackie!
  2. S01.E01: Keep on Truckin'

    Unless I am reading your answer incorrectly, you remember a very different All in the Family than I do. All in the Family featured nonstop social issues, many of which were endemic to the characters. The show's willingness to address them so bluntly was what made it so ground breaking. And that's what I hope The Connors do. If The Connors is just a lightweight comedy, then I'll pass. There are enough of those already. The Connors needs to be careful, though. Unlike All in the Family, which I remember as showing different perspectives of a social issue, and each "side" made points and in the end Archie usually looked silly for resisting change, The Connors has shown a tendency to pick a side and then hit the viewer over the head with it. All the crap about Dan going with a cheaper, nonunion bid, for example, which was automatically equated with hiring illegal labor which in reality it may simply have been Americans who were cheaper because they were nonunion. And now last night, it seemed like Mark being gay is something everyone in the family knows and accepts vs. any kind of dialogue. It didn't seem that way earlier this year. And even if they do, just because he knows he is gay doesn't mean his two buddies who he is choosing between would have any idea what is going on. An adult might have talked to him about that. I get the feeling the show is so eager to make a point about how normal it is for a child to decide he is gay that it skips over any discussion. That's a mistake. And I say that as a long-time supporter of LBGTQ rights and gay causes. P.S. I never watched Archie Bunker's Place, so can't add anything there.
  3. S01.E01: Keep on Truckin'

    That scene had a real "All in the Family" feel to it. Raw, and real. And I think that's the best thing this show has going for it. The episodes earlier this year touched that very briefly. I think The Connors can do more. Nobody has the nerve to do something as groundbreaking and daring as All in the Family anymore. This show might. I didn't miss Rosanne. Her line delivery in the revival was often awkward and weirdly paced. Everyone else is more of an actor, with Goodman and Darlene being the best, IMO> Jackie was still a tad too much toward Barney Fife at time for me, though she was more restrained than before and that was welcome. I don't know why DJ's wife isn't running that family. She's clearly capable. When she returns from her tour, watch out.
  4. S04.E10: Winner

    I don't understand the question. As Clanstarling posted, I think all of those traits can help you be a better con artist. The key is in how you choose to use those skills. Jimmy seems unable to fly the straight and narrow without finding diversions and then outright scams. He's addicted to it. When I was in high school, there were two of us on the football team who were in the National Honor Society, me and this OL named Greg. Greg got in trouble outside of school, and yet did well enough in school to be in NHS. I was a nerd and didn't get into trouble (the bigger miracle was that i was on the football team). So the two of us used to say that Greg used his powers for evil, while I used mine for good. That's Jimmy. (BTW, I was later kicked out of NHS when I struggled with a foreign language class and got a C, so screw you, NHS!).
  5. S04.E10: Winner

    I thought Chuck was right almost from the beginning. There was a little bit of slight-of-hand at first, showing us a sympathetic Jimmy and overbearing Chuck, but it's sheer presence made me suspicious. Then the more we saw Jimmy repeatedly fail due to his own urges, the more clear it became that Chuck was right. And now with this episode, we see proof that Chuck actually was proud of Jimmy at one point, and supportive of him. And Jimmy has been the guy who blames Chuck (or anyone else, really) when things don't go exactly the way he wants. Jimmy was a millennial before we knew what millennials were. I don't think we see enough of Jimmy during those seven years to draw this conclusion. One thing we do see is him running an award show betting pool. Baby steps. I think that's because Jimmy *is* ass clown. No matter how hard he has tried, at various times, to be something else. He's smart, clever may be a better term, good with people, and ... he needs the thrill and achievement of a successful con or he isn't happy.
  6. S02.E02: The Precious Blood of Jesus

    I was bummed when she showed up this episode. I had hoped she was gone for good. Now it feels like backtracking. If the ONLY reason Cade exists to to enable Ruth to off him in a creative, Ruthian way, then OK. Let's get to it. Otherwise, he will drag down this show because, IMO, Ruth is the engine (along with darkly skilled Wendy) that drives everything.
  7. SNL has passed from bias to hypocrisy. I was excited when the South of Mason skit started off with the ridiculous PC question about why the father is a man. SNL is going to have fun with PC? Awesome! But no. Then we get Thirsty Cops. In a non PC world it would have been a few light laughs. But sadly, it’s not. Switch the genders of the cops and the driver and this site and social media would be in full on outrage. And that wasn’t the point of the skit, so today’s world forced me to ask... it’s OK if it’s a man, SNL? And then we see the camping skit based on inside Hollywood life. Pass. So SNL misses an opportunity to be original and say something new, does something with a man it would never do with a woman and then goes inside for a tedious 3 minutes. Just embarrassing. I did like the Cosby skit. And playing with the N word during WU.
  8. S02.E01: Reparations

    I'm finding I have less patience for the scenes involving the kids. Watching them adjust in season one was surprisingly OK. Seeing the daughter try to run away, and the way the pressure was playing out in the son's actions (getting a gun), felt integral to the story's progress. Stealing money from the cartel stash at this point is a step backward. If the kids don't recognize by now how important every dollar is to the cartel, and what will happen if they don't get paid, that makes no sense, even for kids. Those two are smarter than that. Now they have helped make their dad (and mom) more vulnerable. A smarter move, and one that would have fit nicely into their adaptability, would have been for one or both kids to ask their dad for a reward or payment, to reflect THEIR risk and contributions to this enterprise. Then dad and mom could have been both somewhat proud and somewhat sad at what this is teaching their kids. I know cartels are powerful, but it seems like blowing people away all the time, in a variety of settings, would create a problem for them at some point. There are smarter moves.
  9. S01. E06. Gato/Mis

    Weird. I responded to this last night on my phone and saw it there, and yet today the response is gone when browsing on my laptop. So I will try again. I actually thought the rebel's plan was half assed. You've got the baby, and Galindo where you want him, AND a trap set up for Galindo's men. So why don't you blow up the car (with real baby or fake baby, it's TV) when Galindo is there, and blow up the warehouse when his men are there? Instead, you set up a drug dealer and powerful cartel figure for smuggling drugs? How long do you think that will stick? And now the baby is who knows where. At least plant one of your people to nab him, so you have Galindo's money AND the baby while he is in jail for a day or two. Plus you could have knocked off some of his most trusted men. But no. Their plotting felt a lot like MC plotting.
  10. S01.E10: The Toll

    Genius. So well said, thank you. I felt every one of those moments for Ruth, and it's why I love when she is on the screen. I've never seen that actress before, but damn, she is good at her job. Every single time she begins with the lemonade conversation, I start laughing. She's always a second away from killing someone. Here's my contribution: I love Jason Bateman, and when I heard he was in Ozark I looked it up. But the description of the show didn't interest me. It looked and felt like Longmire or some show set in the boonies, combined with a family drama. YMMV, but for me, there was little appeal. I only decided to watch the first episode when a friend mentioned it, and I was on a work trip and had time. Once I saw one episode, I binged the first season in a week. Now I'm ready to start season 2. Meanwhile Iron Fist and Sneaky Pete and even the new Man in the High Castle have dropped behind Ozark in my priorities.
  11. S01.E09: Coffee, Black

    THIS may have been my favorite episode so far. So many funny lines... “hey, no hit man parked out front!” Wendy turning around the funeral home situation and now owning the business. Ruth and her smarts, and her emotion (I think she is still playing Marty, BTW). And the drama was well done, without being over the top. The only thing I didn’t like was Del promptly sending the 50 million to laundry. You’ve got a guy who is successfully laundering your money in almost impossible circumstances. Why not let him keep building the operation, and work up to the big numbers? What good does forcing him to fail and then killing him do? Del is a hot head and I think it costs him, eventually.
  12. S04.E09: Wiedersehen

    That's a really good point. I know from personal experience that nothing is as devastating as having someone tell you that you're not good at the thing you think you are great at. The board in effect "told" Jimmy that about his con by not buying it. And Jimmy is gobsmacked.
  13. S04.E09: Wiedersehen

    I once worked for a man who I liked immensely, but who had created a sort of persona for every day business dealings. He had risen from a tough neighborhood to head up an entire company, and part of the way he did it was to compartmentalize his "real self" and use this business persona in his career. The persona was extremely likable ... but a small number of people would sense it, and would tell me they didn't like him because he "is too fake" or "seems too slick." It was the most interesting thing, that people could sense it but not figure out what it was. That's what I felt happened with Jimmy and the board. And it probably would have happened whether or not he mentioned Chuck, though clearly that was part of it. On Werner ... I think he matters because he will play a role in Mike's transition to the dark side. Mike is sort of there now, but has a set of ethics. I suspect he may have to do something because of Werner that violates those ethics, but Werner's action(s) will leave Mike no choice (either because of Mike's code, or because Gus doesn't allow one).
  14. S01.E08: Kaleidoscope

    And this may have been my *least* favorite episode (as a late comer to this show). First, why the hell is Marty a wealth advisor? Clearly his skill is in forensic accounting. Unless their company already did work for other illegal enterprises, it doesn't make any sense for Marty to be pushing investments vs. working for a law enforcement agency. Second, having Marty (and Wendy) *choose* to go illegal makes the show much less interesting to me. If you decide, after extensive exposure to someone who you know is a cartel drug smuggler/lord, to accept his offer of employment - after getting away with turning him down not once, but TWICE and still living - then you deserve whatever comes next. I get that Marty and Wendy were distraught and struggling with money, and so who knows, maybe I would make that decision? Hope I never find out. But for purposes of a TV show, then I no longer am rooting for you like I was before this episode. You made your bed. And that's a huge negative impact on my investment in the show. Third, OK, I get Del is a ruthless drug smuggler/lord whatever. But you have just hired a guy who you really wanted, and who had been reluctant to sign on, and the first thing you do is murder someone in front of him? A lighter touch would have made more sense at that moment. Draw Marty in closer and closer, until he can't escape if he wanted to. You could argue that, by seeing a brutal murder first hand, Marty is already now trapped. But what if he reacted emotionally, and ran and called the cops? He doesn't know much about Del, and all he has said is "yes, I'll work for you." There would be some danger but at this stage, because cartel, but Marty isn't part of the operation, yet. That was a poor choice on Del's part, IMO, and may be a future weakness to exploit. Finally, I give no f*cks about the FBI agent's addict mother. I have to assume that something he learns as a result of his mother's issue will pop up in his ongoing undercover investigation of Marty, otherwise, what's the point? But I really don't care about the mother, and every time we go to them it feels like a different show. If this is about his motivation to shut down drugs, do we need to know that an FBI agent wants to stop crime? That's the assumption. The only part I did like was seeing what low regard Del had, from the beginning, of Marty's partner. That was always going to end badly. Wendy strikes me as an unstable and often weak character. Having an affair, leaving kids alone while she goes to bed, poor me. Jason Bateman is still playing Michael Bluth, trying to keep his family together while members of his family run away, fall apart, yell at him, etc. Also, Alias did the sudden car crash better.
  15. House Hunters: Buying in the USA

    Birmingham... come on. That guy is straight? Is it only me who wondered and then... the wave? Also, I’m convinced those poofy winter coats are the fashion industry’s giant joke on consumers. Just 4 years ago they were considered dorky. Now they are everywhere. Liked the second house a lot. Especially for two people. Never been to Birmingham. Houses were more expensive than I expected.