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Kel Varnsen

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  1. Kel Varnsen

    Alias

    I have been doing a rewatch of season 1 with my wife because we have kind of run out of stuff to watch. One of the things that really impressed me this time was the quality of the production and how expensive everything looked. It is all bright and shiny, and scenes are filmed outside. When things blow up they actually blow them up. The settings for each episode look like unique locations and when Sydney and Dixon go to a party it is full of people in fancy evening wear. Even the SD-6 offices have a ton of people in them. Hell the fact that Jennifer Garner does a ton of her own fight work is impressive on its own. It is crazy to think how much this show must have cost when it was never a big hit. Meanwhile I am slowly working my way through Agents of Shield season 6. By comparison that show looks super cheap since just about every scene is filmed with only 2 or 3 people in a non-descript, poorly lit grey windowless room. The kicker was in the episode I watched last night, I kept seeing credit card and cosmetics commercials with Jennifer Garner.
  2. I would argue that when someone is like 22 many of the decisions that they make involve imbalance of life experience. Buy a car, and the salesperson is going to have more experience, sign an employment contract and the person offering the job is going to have more experience. The only way to get those experiences is to live life and do things. And it it not like young women dating old celebrities don't benefit out of that deal.
  3. I was watching Ferris Bueller's Day off with my kids this evening. And it made me realize that Jackie has been in relationships with both Bueller siblings.
  4. I have a hard time getting too upset about these kind of relationships since even if they aren't built on love they are built on some kind of agreement where both sides are getting something out of it. Plus by criticizing old rich guys too much for dating young hot women kind of suggests that these women don't have freedom of choice and aren't capable of making their own decisions.
  5. Last year I ended up listening to two different podcasts that went into pretty deep discussions about minstrel shows. It was fucked up and awful and I was surprised to find out that it was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the US for something close to a century. It is hard to process that for decades one of the most popular forms of entertainment was going to see a white guy on stage painted black doing stupid stereotypes of African Americans. Which makes me kind of think that even if the intent of a scene is genuinely good, it is still basically a call back to that which kind of makes it bad by default. And since as far as I know there were no popular minstrel shows where black people pretended to be white it is not the same thing. I actually learned that at some point black entertainers had to actually put on blackface make up since that was one of the few ways to be successful as an entertainer.
  6. I realized that the Tubi streaming service has a bunch of documentaries on it (free with ads). Last night I watched All Things Must Pass about Tower Records (directed by Colin Hanks). It was good and while hindsight is 20/20 and I am also no business guy it seemed like that company was one bad decision after another that was just propped up by the crazy success of the music industry between the 60's and the 90's. Even if you ignore the internet it is amazing they lasted as long as they did, constantly ignoring the advice of the risk averse CFO and not realizing your customer base is getting older and already has the music they like, and there kids aren't anywhere near as big a population group. They even said they expanded into South America without doing any kind of due diligence and did most of their expansion on credit. Not to mention the company parties and other after hours activities were the kind of thing that would give an HR person at least a panic attack. I also watched Man on Wire last week which was great, and a few weeks ago I watched Hype! about the Seattle music scene which I hadn't seen in years. It was still awesome too.
  7. Who wouldn't want that job. Voice acting has to be one of the easiest actor gigs I. Hollywood. Especially for a secondary character like Cleveland. You can probably record a whole season's worth of lines in a couple of hours. And you still get paid by the episode. Also I just found out that in Canada the CTV streaming app still has the Community episode Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. So I watched it both to see if it is as good as I remember and too see how bad the blackface is. And it is a tough call, not only does Shirley call it a hate crime but Pierce actually calls him blackface. But the recognize and help a friend from suicide message is really strong. When Tina Fey pulled the 30 Rock episodes she said something like how she didn't want a someone just getting into the show to see one of those episodes and think hurtful humour like that was they were trying to do. Especially if the person watching was black. And I could see how the producers of Community might see it the same way. But I wonder if the help a friend not kill themselves part in this case is a more important thing for viewers to take away. I am not sure the answer to that.
  8. The community one is a tough one. I can see how people on the surface might be upset about. They even comment about it in the episode. At the same time though it is legitimately about suicide prevention.
  9. I don't know I can see a situation where say the Simpsons says we have fixed our diversity problem because Carl and Dr. Hibbert are played by black voice actors. Yet those characters, and other minority characters, only get a couple of lines every few episodes. Of course. I generally hate the idea that voice actors or even regular actors can only play characters if they are exactly like that character. An Indian actor could play Apu but could just as easily play Mr. Burns. With Big Mouth there is also Nick Kroll playing a girl, John Mullaney playing a Jewish kid and Jason Mantzoukas playing a bisexual kid. If any of those become an issue the show is done. And if you just stick to someone can only play a character if they are that character we wouldn't have gotten Neil Patrick Harris as a very active straight guy or Jared Harris as a Russian scientist. Animated stuff is weird too since the voice performance is only part of the character. For the Simpsons even if you have black actors voicing black characters all of the characters are still animated by South Koreans.
  10. Action! was another show, like the Clerks Cartoon I mentioned earlier, where the creators talked on the dvd about how they were offered a deal from another channel. In this case I think it was HBO, which would have been just starting to get into original programming at the time. It was for less money and less exposure compared to Fox, but they admitted that if they had been on HBO the show probably would have ran for multiple seasons instead of 8 episodes. So I might say not really ahead of its time but more like right time but wrong place.
  11. I think I might respected what the Simpsons or Family Guy more if they said that they were going to embrace diversity in the voice cast, but at the same time believe that anyone can do any voice. And then said that Homer and/or Marge, or Brian or Stewie would be played by a black voice actor. Because otherwise I can see "only black actors can voice black character" easily becoming "black actors can only voice black characters". And in alot of animated shows the black and other minority characters are at best tertiary characters.
  12. I would say the concept was ahead of its time in that yea a short season space show with a WWII theme would be the kind of thing I would expect to see on Prime Video or something. The production would have been a lot easier now, since those CG effects probably cost a fortune in 1995 but could probably be made now by a kid at home with a decent laptop. The specific stories though I am not so sure since I remember some being awesome and some being really stupid. Also it didn't help that the show had R. Lee Emery in it. Because watching a bunch of short lived shows on dvd back before I had cable taught me that if you were a Fox show in the 90's and he showed up you were going to get cancelled. Seriously, he was in Space, he was in The Adventures of Briscoe County Junior and he was in Action!.
  13. Yea movie theaters seem like they would be one of the worst places with respect to having to deal with a pandemic. I mean even if you have 250 people in a 500 seat theatre that is still a lot of people in an enclosed space, all potentially laughing at the same time). Especially when you consider all the touch points like the door into the theatre and the handrails on the stairs. And then throw in you have a bunch of people eating with their hands which means a lot of touching their mouths.
  14. Not only are they secret agents but this is the first time I remember them mentioning that they are secret agents who are paid a salary. Now I am just curious where that money is coming from?
  15. Yea I don't see it happening either Scientology has spies infiltrate the US government in the 70s and they got busted and kept going.
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