newyorker:

Amy Davidson on last night’s episode of “The Americans”: http://nyr.kr/1jwEnRm

“Why isn’t Philip as excited about ARPANET as Henry is about Asteroids? This is one of the weaknesses of the episode. Even in the early eighties, would a K.G.B. agent—one who spent the show’s first season trying to get to the bottom of Reagan’s Star Wars program—be as puzzled about the point of ARPANET as Philip turns out to be, and so skeptical about its value?”

I understand, given the historical context, and the fact that ARPANET had been publicized well before this takes place, that Philip’s skeptical reaction might seem to strike a wrong chord. Indeed, when Rosenbloom explains the concept of ARPANET to Philip, his overly metaphorical description seems a little too theatrical, though it matches perfectly with the slickness of that whole scene, markedly different from The Americans more traditional, non-flashy style; gliding through ceilings and walls as if we had entered the world of a techno-thriller simply by walking through the doors of the university.

But Philip’s reaction does fit in with his character. It’s true, he’s most in tune with American culture, but that also conflicts with his more old-school training. He didn’t understand the technology behind Reagan’s Star Wars, but he did understand its concept: A better shield for a more dangerous weapon. As much as he has embraced American culture, he has still mostly done so through the lens of an old-school Russian spy.

But with ARPANET, as with the game console that Henry wants to buy, the concepts are no longer as easy to translate to analogue. Even Rosenbloom’s metaphors are convoluted and mixed, unable to fully showcase the potential of the technology, and why it has the power to be dangerous. And, like video games, the technology seems uniquely American; at least from the perspective of a Russian who hasn’t seen his homeland in more than a decade. Philip is smart enough to understand it, and even grasp its utility, but that doesn’t mean he’s confident about it, or can see how it fits into the future of the world at large. Philip may be attuned to American culture, but that doesn’t mean he can see into its future.

Chances are, he will be the first of the spy duo to adapt to these changes, but his trepidation isn’t unfounded or unbelievable. Combine this with the weariness he feels over spying on the people he has lived with for so long, over forgetting so much about the place he still considers his home, over killing innocent people — the busboy from this season’s first episode, the college student who made the unfortunate decision to come back for his wallet — and you’re getting to the heart of what is becoming the driving narrative for Philip’s character this season. Once, he was a man willing to turn himself over to the Americans, to fully embrace this place as his new home. Now, he is becoming more and more isolated from both his worlds. No longer connected to Russia, but increasingly alienated from the world America is becoming. The technology of the Americans is not just an important historical beat the show needs to hit, it’s a vital symbol for the two spies that the world they were trained in is quickly becoming obsolete.

cleversimon:

— Kimmy Walters

Sometimes, no one is really happy about it.

hodgman:

Matt Reid made this illustration of me just hanging with the Property Bros. 

If you can’t make cartoons, I hope you will at least consider donating to the #MAXFUNDRIVE by clicking HERE

mattreidcreative:

"It’s important to have a varied cultural diet…it’s important to have those things in your life that you can veg out to in the middle of the night after you’ve done six comedy shows in total terror at the Public Theater for a week and your wrap party is sitting at home by yourself with a tuna fish sandwich and a martini watching Property Brothers - the greatest night of my life, by the way. My favourite night of all time, I wish I could recreate it every night."

Judge John Hodgman Episode 148: Science Friction

That is all. 

It is important to remember, no matter where you go in life, some doors will always be shut to you. You will never be one in a pair of twin magicians with your own show on HGTV. You will never know the joy of seeing your clients’ faces fall as they realize the house you have shown them is completely out of their price range. Growing up means accepting your limitations.

“When one among Gustave’s coterie of intimate acquaintances, Madame M. (Tilda Swinton, unrecognizable under wizening prosthetics)…”

From Christopher Orr’s review in the Atlantic. Further evidence that none of us actually read anything we say we do on the Internet: one thousand people liked this review from March 14, and yet no one has appeared to notice that Tilda Swinton’s character (Madame D) is incorrectly labeled multiple times throughout.

Or maybe no one cares. But I say it’s time for everyone to stand up and admit that we all just kind of scan articles to get the gist and then pass them on. I am lazy and I am proud and also I am really lazy seriously.

biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975 biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.
Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975

biscuitsarenice:

We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.

Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975

Everybody rally around Steven Universe like you did True Detective. Everybody rally around Steven Universe like you did True Detective. Everybody rally around Steven Universe like you did True Detective. Everybody rally around Steven Universe like you did True Detective.

Everybody rally around Steven Universe like you did True Detective.

Turns out it was a show about two dudes solvin’ crimes.

True Detective is the Battlestar Galactica of Cop Shows.

I mean this mostly in a good way. Both featured compelling, flawed characters and impenetrable mysteries, both had visuals that stood apart from their peers, both redefined their genres while staying largely within their confines, and both came with a dollop of mysticism that threatened to either weigh the whole thing down or push the series into transcendence. That could probably describe Lost, too, though I haven’t watched it.

The problem with these shows, and any shows where at least part of the attraction is the unknown, is that in the weeks, months, or years leading up to the whole, to the final reveal, the audience makes up its mind about what a show is, or what it should be. Apart from the mystery itself, people also settle on deeper meanings in the semiotics of the show, or the actions of the characters, defining them before they have a chance to define themselves.

In part, True Detective (and BSG) welcomed this method of watching by planting cultural and literary references and overtly mystic symbols throughout the series, every one a possible portent of… something, maybe? But mostly it’s just how fans work, obsessing over perceived clues and picking apart flaws. It’s fun, and one of the reasons True Detective is so compelling, but it’s also destructive; negating what it is, for what we think it will be.

At the end of season one we are left to decide what was masterful, what was flawed, and what was a result of misplaced expectations. There is no twist or overarching plot that brings everything together. The Yellow King references remain just that, the Tuttle family’s name is still well intact, and the show’s musings on the male perception of women and the various ways it does harm remain inchoate at best. But these were never the main event, only contributions to what turned out to be the whole. The show has always kept its focus on Marty, Cohle, and the symbol of the Yellow King.  Two bad men trying to stop those who are worse.

The final hour is surprisingly straightforward. Marty and Cohle don’t find out much from the chain o’ command police officer, other than he’s a dick who worked for a bigger dick who is unofficially related to the biggest dick of all. Then, through Marty’s detection skills, and the spot-on memory of a senior citizen who clearly spends her day alternating between sudoku and crossword puzzles, they finally find their green-eared spaghetti monster.

This lull, between the introduction of Errol as a person who exists not solely on a lawnmower and the final showdown, is remarkable for how procedural it is. Out of context, these scenes could fit into a Law and Order episode, with the moment of revelation and the suspiciously canny witness. But in context they reveal small things about our characters. For the first time, Marty is clear-eyed; not distracted by sex or alcohol. He is lonely and unhappy, but he is also focused, moreso, in a way, even than Cohle, who is always slightly distracted by things only he sees. The clue he discovers is ridiculous, but it’s hardly important, the clues have never been important, or at least not in terms of the plot. Likewise, the on-the-ball old lady is not just a standard cop show witness, she is the last in the line of many who cannot forget the big man with scars around his mouth. He is memorable, not for his scars, which are relatively nondescript, but for his presence. This also reinforces the nearly insurmountable challenge the show set itself — to create a killer who can stand up to the existential dread that has permeated these eight episodes.

For True Detective it isn’t enough to make a killer deranged or charismatic. To live up, even a fraction, to the Yellow King, he must be both of those things, and neither. He must be impenetrable without being obtuse, and he has to pull all that off in under an hour. It’s a tall order, but the show actually does a fairly great job of it (which may not be that surprising). While it does lean a little too heavily on the redneck killer trope, mainly with the involvement of the half-sister-cousin-lover, True Detective manages to tick off enough boxes as to make him both believable as a charismatic cult leader and the most evil person on the planet. Within the first five minutes of its opening, Errol transforms from an Oedipus figure, to Cary Grant, to someone who is Irish? back to a deranged redneck, all personalities startlingly convincing. It’s possible he’s an idiot savant, an evil genius, or something else altogether, it’s not important, what he needs to be and is, for the most part, is unquantifiable. Because as important as he is to the story, he is ultimately just a representation of evil. The evils of men, the evils of certain types of organized religion, the evils of people who murder other people which I guess is an obvious one.

The final showdown is unquestionably heartstopping, both tense and, for a small moment, beautiful. The catacombs of Carcosa make for an unlikely but perfect place to showcase the strange, monstrous presence that is the Yellow King, but also, once again, a perfect place to show how little he matters in the grand scheme of things. In the arena, where the Yellow King finally falls, Cohle stares once again into the spiral abyss, the one he first saw in that tree in ‘94, the one that has been following him ever since. Maybe it is a vision he shares with Errol, maybe it is one that only he sees, but the void is there in that arena in a real way. The darkness of humanity waits there, ready for us to die with him.

This is where I get back to Battlestar Galactica. Ultimately, the show is always circling back to the spiritual and philosophical. The cyclical nature of time, light vs. dark, delusions and spirit visions, the possibility of the soul. This is where we land at the end, the big bad defeated, our two heroes miraculously surviving. They are both important and not, depending on your perspective. They are tools in the one story as much as they are people.

Battlestar Galactica ended up drowning in its spiritualism, soaking nearly every inch of its finale in religious allusions and the importance of belief. In its final moment, True Detective almost takes up that mantle. Cohle, the stalwart Athiest, has a near-death experience, which brings him to tears. Depending on your perspective, this can be a heartbreaking monologue on the nature of loss and belief, on the impossibility of knowing everything, or it can be the TV show equivalent of saying, “Well, I’m not religious or anything, but I do consider myself spiritual.” I believe it’s the former, but I could see, if someone hasn’t bought into it, where it could fall flat.

In the final scene, Marty and Cohle are looking at the stars, noting how so much of the sky is made up of the dark. But in one last, uncharacteristically hopeful line, Cohle says to Marty that he thinks the light is winning. Again, out of context, it’s a line that could be considered hokey, but in the world of True Detective it has heft. It isn’t just due to the bleak and desperate moments of violence and grief that lead to this statement of hope that give it weight, it’s the fact that its meaning is muddled by Cohle’s own words not two minutes ago. This muddle is what makes True Detective stand out from a show about two dudes solving crimes, or the Battlestar Galactica of Southern Noir. The show isn’t about any one thing, it’s about everything and nothing. Form and void. When Cohle was nearing his death, he didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel as his definition faded. He saw only a deeper darkness, a substance made only of feeling. He felt his daughter’s love, and the presence of his father, good or bad. The final line of Cohle’s isn’t just one of hope; it’s a question. If the light is winning over the dark, what do we lose when the dark is gone?

“The Grand Budapest Hotel is the film with which Wes Anderson finally answers his critics, and the message could not be clearer or more immaculately embossed in Futura on an insert shot of the most delicate stationary: “Go fuck yourselves.”…

Rather than trying to show the naysayers that he’s capable of more than they think, Anderson has instead devoted himself to proving the value of what they think he is – rather than broadening his film universe, Anderson has narrowed, deepened and dimensionalized it, the difference between The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom being similar to that between a mural and a diorama.”
This