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  1. Umbelina

    S02.E07: I Want To Know

    Big Little Lies Season 2 Flubs the Landing  Of all the things they could have done with Big Little Lies Season 2, why would they do this? Sadly, I think this is very true. The rest of this article goes into convincing detail about the under use of Bonnie, and the avoidance of racial factors, and it's quite good. They finish up speculating about the directors and that fiasco and the resulting disappointing waste/mess of a season.
  2. Umbelina

    S02.E07: I Want To Know

    I kind of feel that way too. I strongly suspect that the most of Bonnie's mom plot was left on the cutting room floor. I think there is a reason we got 45 minute episodes, and it hurt. The other plots, the things I care about along with watching Meryl and Nicole chew the scenery? Things like Madeline telling Ed the truth, or Ed finally having good sex, or some explanation for Bonnie's mother, or her marriage, or watching Renata do more than rage? Not there, and I strongly suspect it's because they were the cuts Vallee made. I kind of got that. Bonnie was done with lies. I don't think her intent was to hurt him, but simply to not drown in yet another lie. As for her husband? At least now he knows how his first wife felt, and really, maybe he will grow from that. At heart, Bonnie was a very truthful person, and sometimes, truth does hurt, but in the end, it's better than lies. Hello! It's also idiotic to not have them each show up WITH their attorneys. She's a lawyer, she KNOWS THAT. (sigh) I feel like the story was there, but it was cut to ribbons, and so none of it held together. Style over substance, and incredible acting, but in the end, it's empty of substance, or logic. Well said, and I agree, except I seriously think the "abandoned plot threads" were because of the slash and burn editing. I think the characters and their decisions were probably much more fleshed out, but Vallee had this stylized dreamy vision in mind, and wanted this to be more of a homage to his work, than to make any real sense. They didn't even USE 7 hours. As Rolling Stone says in it's finale recap, "But my goodness, did it become frustrating watching these world-class performers give their all to such sketchy material. Too often, Season Two felt like a very long and expensive collection of deleted scenes from Season One — only displayed because they existed and the acting was wonderful, not because it was necessary, or at times even good, storytelling. Episodes tended to clock in around 45 minutes, on the extremely short side for pay cable, yet the amount of time devoted to characters staring at the ocean made them feel padded even at that length." That works out to 5 hours and 25 minutes! HBO would have given them as much time and as many episodes as they wanted. I really wish they would release the "original directors cut" of this thing, because something tells me, we would know and care about Bonnie's mom, and the rest of the cast much more, and that it would make a certain kind of sense. Maybe there is a scene of the women discussing turning themselves in, for example, or at least Maddy telling her husband what happened. SOMETHING. Or Detective Franny would be more than a hulking presence out there in the dark. I did too, and it might have made the wedding plan actually mean something. More than that though, I wanted to see Maddy really love him, all the way, and mean it. Did we even get a resolve to Tits Magee? At the very least, I would have enjoyed seeing the resolve to that, whether or not actual sex happened. ETA I'm not satisfied with them all just walking into the police station either, it's corny and pat beyond belief. WHY? Where are their lawyers? Why no conversation about that? Why didn't we see them make that decision together. What about the ramifications for each of them, they will be admitting to obstruction of justice at the very least. Again, style over substance, which? Pahfooie.
  3. Umbelina

    S02.E07: I Want To Know

    I keep thinking I'd like to see this one as it was originally shot and cut, before David got his hands on it. Sad.
  4. Umbelina

    Mad Men

    I just watched this episode again with commentary from Weiner, the director and David Carbonara the musical director. Weiner says he was influenced by Slim Aarons' photography in setting the tone and style for the episode, so that is a new internet rabbit hole for me to explore. Duck's face before, during and after that drink - heartbreaking. Weiner says he wanted the scene to play like Popeye eating his spinach, and it certainly does. https://fanfare.metafilter.com/626/Mad-Men-The-Jet-Set-Rewatch By the way, Slim Aaron's didn't just photograph the jet set in California, he has photos from all over the world, specifically places the rich or famous or jet set hung out. He's credited with capturing that lifestyle better than anyone else.
  5. Umbelina

    Mad Men

    http://www.artnet.com/artists/slim-aarons/ Slim Aaron's photography of the "jet set" obviously inspired Mad Men's producers/designers. A little personal story about "The Jet Set." I used to work for Club Med in the late seventies. Every so often a sailing yacht would pull into our bay and our boss (a European) would put us all on alert. While in my young, naive eyes, I thought meeting people from the yacht might be cool? He, and the French chefs we had were all quite full of disdain. We were all told to keep an eye out for strangers, especially them, at meal times (and yes, they did show up, and were shown out.) It was eye opening for me to learn that those beautiful people (and they were, everyone of them, beautiful and cool, I met many of them at the beaches) were "grifters and thieves" and would be looking for a free meal, as well as hooking up with guests/staff for a hot shower and whatever else they could get. Lunches and breakfasts were always served buffet style so those were the most vulnerable times, but a couple of them even tried to be seated for dinner. I got quite an education from the long time Club Med staffers, apparently, Clubs around the world were always on the look out for "the Jet Set" bunch, and the size of the yacht was irrelevant, since it was almost always borrowed, but the reality was, those on board couldn't even afford to buy a meal, and knew that a place like Club Med was an easy target. Until...it wasn't, because so many of them did that. They preferred lunch and dinner since wine was included. They also tried to show up at the bar or disco, almost always able to get someone to buy them a drink or 7. As I said, they were, each in their own way, very attractive, and the French or Italian or whatever accents didn't hurt either. Our bouncers were busy when the yachts came.
  6. After reading those articles I linked above, I really see their point though. Miller didn't just make this world "colorblind" and it wasn't even just a Gilead thing. He set this show in modern day USA, and made the USA "colorblind" as well. Which is frankly, ridiculous, and insulting, and they cite several areas where this blows up in his face. Basically he's a white male writing about female oppression, and trying to avoid racial issues, while, at the same time, writing in a "sassy, great white character" who defies all the rules, rules which, but his earlier cannon should have her killed several times over, and then keeps writing in black characters to act as her servants/subjects or be killed, in part, due to "defiant June's" actions. There IS no defiance in Gilead. It gets you killed. WHY are all these women so intent on helping June at peril to their own lives? Why was her baby the important one to save? Anyway, I highly recommend listening to a few of those above, or reading them. They say it all much better than I am trying to do. To compound matters, Miller DOES write in black characters, but mostly to kill. Natalie could have been a great story, why was she so compliant, was it cultural conditioning? What made her into a snitch? (One of those above talks in depth about being told from a very young age never to argue with a cop for example.) Basically, Miller has no idea how to understand the feelings of the oppressed, be they women or POC, and it shows, over and over again. Indeed, he's making things worse with his choices. They also talk a bit about Emily, saying they've given her 4 or 5 different handmaid's stories, that should have been spread out, and that she's another example of his terrible biases and lack of vision here. They also talk in depth about his endless focusing on the oppressor's stories, instead of the oppressed, which they point out COULD work, if it was about the power structure in Gilead and providing us real answers, but it's not. He just seems to be much more interested in the characters with power. I need coffee...but I really recommend those articles above.
  7. Umbelina

    Mad Men

    As I mentioned before, aristocracy was on the way out all over Europe, with the UK being the last hold out, and the two world wars getting rid of whatever was left. By the 60s/70s there were a lot of formerly titled but powerless and some penniless people roaming around the world and using their titles as a kind of allure for invitations/introductions. I think checking books on "nobility" was more of a European thing than an American thing, and if anyone here even cared beyond, "cool, what are you drinking?" I'd be surprised, especially in LA at that time. Short answer? He probably was, because especially in that "jet set" crowd, he'd fit right in. Manners, connections, charm, the right family, but very little money, and no desire to work for a living.
  8. Umbelina

    House Stark: Winter Is Coming

    Ned didn't give him a chance to talk. "You deserted, therefore, off with your head!" I honestly don't remember if he told about the white walkers, I read it years ago...so, I'll accept your word on it. Still, OBVIOUSLY that is why is was scared, and had he been allowed to gather his thoughts and explain his terror, it would have gone there. Even so, that doesn't explain away his endless "duh" nativity in Kings Landing, where every single step he makes is that of an incredibly dull imbecile. In spite of the warnings he gets, he's simple minded over and over again. Detailing it all would require me to read it again though, and was was annoyed enough the first time. "Honor" doesn't require stupidity and blindness to what is happening around him. He walked into a viper pit with a jaunty "dum de dum dum dum" tune on his lips. No, I didn't find it believable.
  9. Umbelina

    S02.E06: The Bad Mother

    9 year old boys in Monterey are in school for 7 hours a day, sleep 9-10 hours a night (*sometimes more) and are eating or dressing for at least another hour of the day. She's have them while awake, otherwise unoccupied for about 5 or 6 hours a day, could easily also hire a nanny, since they have always had one. Add in bath times and homework, she's got maybe 3-5 "empty" hours with them, except on weekends. Less than that if she signs them up for a sport or two, or decides on music lessons, cub scouts. It's not ideal, but it could certainly work, she doesn't seem feeble. There are also movies, TV, video games, play dates, heck they are old enough to have chores now as well. I don't think any of that will happen anyway, but if the courts really believe the kids are in danger? It could. (they won't.) She lives on a freakin' beach, let them run around there while she reads a book.
  10. Umbelina


    I just started watching because I found season 1 and 2 in a local thrift store last week, $4 each, not a bad deal! I didn't think I'd enjoy this show, but I'd heard about it and thought "why not?" Anyway, in the DVD commentary on a season one episode (could be the finale, not sure) the producers/writers talk about the voice overs, and I liked what they said. They all agreed they tried very hard to not have voice overs advance plot lines in an exposition way, and they hated that in shows. They said, with Dexter, who really has absolutely no one to share his real feelings (or lack of feelings rather) or true self/thinking with, voice overs had to do that. It was the only possible way to know what the characters was thinking. Anyway, went ahead and ordered the rest of the seasons, should be here in a week. Sad about the ending being disappointing to so many...but hey, most series endings are, so I'm kind of used to it. Finding a great series ending is like finding a unicorn. Or, you know, a Vince Gilligan.
  11. Umbelina

    S02.E05: Kill Me

    Pretty sure most of those are the Malibu Ocean, unless it's an opening credits shot or a special shot filmed in Monterey County. None of them look like Green Screen to me, and I don't think they'd need to do that anyway, since they are filming by the ocean anyway. Maybe on a reshoot to match cloud patterns for a certain scene.
  12. Why did we never see Fred even react to learning that Nick fathered June's baby? This control freak who thought of June as his property would have gone ballistic that she'd even had sex with another man. Then his WIFE tells him (so she knows, and has been lying to him for a very long time) and he, doesn't react to finding out she KNEW? That's he's basically the laughingstock of his house?
  13. Umbelina

    Mad Men

    Could be. I thought it was true. There were a LOT of "used to be nobility" around that time, monarchy was on the way out pretty much everywhere...except of course the UK, held together by a thread and QEII. A count was relatively minor anyway, there were former Kings around without a country to rule anymore.
  14. Umbelina

    Spoilers For the Hulu Show

    Oh God. It's true. It's time to flush this show, past time really.
  15. Umbelina

    S03.E08: Unfit

    Lots of good reviews out there about how this season, and this show is tanking. Yeah, I seriously doubt Aunt Lydia is divorced, or she'd be shoveling radioactive waste, or long dead from that. Also? I don't care, I'm sick of the endless focus on the oppressors, when we don't even know how Gilead works, after all this time, not a clue.