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Dev F

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  1. Dev F


    In the words of NoHo Hank last season, "Little 'what' leads to big 'what' for full effect."
  2. Dev F

    S44.E14: John Mulaney / Thomas Rhett

    I still think the funniest version was the first one with Paul Rudd: The best part is Kenan as the cheerfully passive aggressive doorman: "I know your whole family! Your son Avi loves outer space! What's my name?" It's got the best kicker too, though I don't want to give it away for anyone who hasn't seen it.
  3. Kate has actually played Pelosi before, alongside Cecily's Dianne Feinstein. If they kept Kate in the role for continuity's sake, though, it's weird that her impression this time was not at all similar to the one she did in that earlier sketch. Kate's earlier take had Pelosi as very tight-faced and mannered; here she was doing some weird wide-eyed expression and breathy voice that didn't seem remotely appropriate to the character. I guess the idea was to draw a contrast between Pelosi's "I'm just a sweet little nobody" exterior and her shrewd-operator interior. Problem is, Pelosi has never had a reputation for presenting herself as a sweet little nobody. It would've been much more apt, not to mention funnier, if the contrast had been between her tight, mannered exterior and her inner pit bull.
  4. Yep. Here it is from Donald Glover's episode last season. The original was funnier, both because it was fresher and because everyone seemed more locked in on the wackadoo premise. This felt like just a faded copy of the original sketch. Though they did make sure to correct the one distracting element of the original: they took away the remote control Kenan's character was supposedly using to control the Instagram images, which was constantly out of synch with the actual screen changes. One other change was less understandable: Why did they rename Kenan's character? He was Bernard in the original, and this time he was Travis.
  5. Dev F

    Tusk to Tchaikovsky: Re-watching the Americans

    But the writers were careful to write the scenario so that the part that was necessitated by her imprisonment actually succeeded. You mentioned something about a bug earlier, but Nina didn't get caught because her conversation with her husband was bugged. He succeeded in smuggling out Anton's letter; they were only caught when the guy charged with getting the note to Anton's family ratted them out. Thus, it's hard for me to think that the point was that Nina was stupid not to wait till she was released, since the only part of the plan that failed was the part that would've probably remained the same whether Nina was still in custody or not.
  6. Dev F

    Tusk to Tchaikovsky: Re-watching the Americans

    But that's exactly the point. Nina was always "almost free." She was always doing just one last job for Stan before the FBI exfiltrated her, or fighting her way out of a compromising position only to end up in another compromising position, or being released from prison only to end up in a slightly different prison. She had no reason to believe her next form of freedom would be any more genuine, so finally she chose to break the cycle of self-preservation and illusory redemption and simply do something decent and selfless for once. And that echoes what the other characters in the episode are doing as well. "Pastor Tim" is all about people choosing to live with their burden rather than selfishly fighting to be free of it. Heck, the episode is named for the man who's the living embodiment of that choice. And much of the episode is about how attempting to unburden yourself is futile anyway -- Philip trying and failing to pass off the glanders sample to his pilot agent; Philip finally telling Elizabeth about the boy he beat to death as a kid, and realizing that the very act that was supposed to rid him of that threat forever has caused it to haunt him for decades. Which only affirms that Nina was probably right not to believe that she could keep on soldiering on selfishly for a little longer and end up free and clear.
  7. Dev F

    S06.E10: START

    And it was an argument that Aderholt was uniquely qualified to make, because his whole character is centered around the idea of enshrining institutional loyalty above personal connections or grievances.
  8. Dev F

    S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    I'm not sure I would assume that Tatiana knows that. Oleg's entire character arc for season 4 lays out the reasons why he lost faith that his government could and would protect the bright and capable patriots who serve its whims. That realization is presented as a new and meaningful step in his development as a character, so I wouldn't take it as a default assumption that Tatiana necessarily shares. There's no direct indication that she knew about the coup, though her scene with the new rezident in "The Great Patriotic War" may be intended to suggest that her disillusionment over Oleg's betrayal has primed her to be receptive to it. She makes a rather mushy case for why she doesn't trust Oleg, and when the rezident expresses disappointment over her hedging, she suggests that the KGB put pressure on Oleg's father to find out why he's back in the United States. The rezident quietly replies, "They should get rid of his father and everyone like him," and Tatiana very cautiously nods before issuing a more forceful condemnation of Oleg for his disloyalty. It's possible to interpret this as her expressing the right sentiments to the right person to be brought into the hardliners' conspiracy.
  9. Dev F

    S01.E10: Silence Lay Steadily

    That didn't really bother me, since Nell's enlightenment seemed to derive from the specific circumstances of her ghosting, not the mere fact that she became a ghost. That is, her climactic realization that "our moments fall around us like rain" instead of progressing in an inevitable line seems to derive from her discovery that she herself was the Bent-Neck Lady all along. As far as we know, none of the other ghosts received a similarly meaningful revelation when they died, so it makes sense that they didn't find the process all that enlightening. Yep. And the lawyer argues that if Hugh doesn't tamp down the haunted house talk and let the kids testify about what happened that last night at Hill House, it's all but inevitable that the judge will rule against him. There's not really any missing information; Hugh did exactly what he said he was going to do in the hearing, and the results were exactly what his lawyer said they would be -- Aunt Janet was awarded custody.
  10. Dev F

    Tusk to Tchaikovsky: Re-watching the Americans

    Ha, it's funny, because I'm the one who mentioned before that I always assumed Irina wasn't a long-term illegal, and my most recent rewatch only made me more certain that this interpretation is correct. I had a whole list of reasons why, most of which centered around the fact that the episode seemed to portray Irina as the love Philip left behind, not someone who moved forward with him on a parallel track. But while I was reviewing the episode just now to get my thoughts together, I stumbled upon what to me seems like a much more concrete reason to think I'm right: "Your life in America -- is it a full life?" "Yes." "You're married?" "Yes." "Children?" "Two -- a boy and a girl. You?" "I was married." "Divorced?" "He died." "Children?" "Yes. A son." If Irina were a deep-cover illegal, the marriage they're talking about here would be to another officer, just like Philip's marriage is. So why would Philip's first assumption be that they got divorced? Wouldn't "died in the line of duty" or "was recalled to Moscow" be a much more probable way for such an arranged marriage to end? Indeed, when Philip suggests to Elizabeth in the next episode that the two of them could get divorced, he presents it as a new option that they would have previously considered unthinkable. The only way it makes sense for Philip jump to that conclusion with Irina, it seems to me, is if her late husband was a real one she married back in the motherland. Also, Irina's explanation gets very complicated if she's talking at one moment about her cover husband in Canada and then in the next about her and Philip's son being raised by her parents back in Russia. It goes beyond a lie of omission into confusingly cobbled-together fabrication in a way that it doesn't if she's talking about her late husband in Moscow and the boy they raised together there in between her temporary international missions.
  11. Dev F

    S06.E05: The Great Patriotic War

    Tatiana did work for the KGB's bioweapons divisions, but it wasn't her only job at the Rezidentura. After all, no one else, not even the rezident, knew she was associated with Department Twelve, but they didn't think she sat around all day doing nothing; she must've been engaged in a lot of non-bioweapons work as well. So it's possible that she got booted from Department Twelve after the operation with William imploded but stayed on at the Rezidentura in her other, less sensitive capacities. I'd say it was specifically designed not to provoke an international incident. They weren't planning to kidnap Kimmy or anything like that; they're were trying to engineer a situation in which she could plausibly be arrested by Soviet authorities on legitimate charges. I don't think they intended for Breland to realize that the KGB was the cause of Kimmy's troubles, just that they could pull strings to offer her a solution. As usual, though, the show doesn't stitch up the operational details super tight, so maybe it requires some suspension of disbelief to accept that Breland wouldn't immediately put two and two together. But I think that was the intention. Which in turn informs Philip's angst about Henry in season 5, because if Philip was chained to his father's destiny despite the fact that his family protected him from learning the truth, how can he be sure that Henry won't inherit his father's darkness in turn?
  12. Dev F

    S04.E10: Winner

    I think the implication of the original "Slippin' Jimmy" story is that Jimmy was scamming business owners rather than drivers. That's why he mentions finding a spot on State Street or, better yet, Michigan Avenue -- because those are high-end shopping areas in downtown Chicago. The idea seems to be that he would find a successful business and take a fall on its sidewalk in front of a crowd of witnesses, counting on the owner to pay him not to sue. I would guess that such business would need to be insured as well, but the scam may have involved encouraging them to pay Jimmy under the table so their premiums wouldn't go up.
  13. Dev F

    S04.E10: Winner

    It didn't occur to me till now, but Werner's foolishness basically represents Mike's feelings about his criminal activities up till now. Mike, too, has been telling himself that he can do a little bit of work for a drug kingpin, then go back to his family, then check in with the kingpin again, as if it's all no big deal. By killing Werner, Mike wasn't just busting his "murdering innocent people" cherry; he was also killing the part of himself who thought a life of crime could be Pop-Pop's little side gig.
  14. Dev F

    S44.E02: Awkwafina / Travis Scott

    Yep, she's one of the few performers who consistently rises above the weak material with her sharp comedic takes, and I wish she'd get more recognition for it. Cecily's voice work is especially strong. Her performances always have a unique sound that's tailored to the character and the needs of the sketch, whereas most everyone else has like one or two vocal modes that work or don't work depending on how well they happen to fit with whatever the bit is trying to do.
  15. Dev F

    S04.E09: Wiedersehen

    (shrug) It's not my favorite storyline, but I think it's there more for its thematic resonance than its contribution to the plot. It's the physical representation of what's been going on psychologically with the characters, particularly Jimmy, this season -- how they have to hide who they are and what they're really up to, but it's driving them crazy and eventually they have to break out. I expect Werner's fate in the final episode to resonate with however Jimmy ends up dealing with -- or not dealing with -- his repressed grief over Chuck's death.