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  1. I found her suggestion (seemingly an ill-advised attempt at humor or sarcasm) that Bill should have been aborted offensive and nearly reaching Fran Leibowitz “wouldn’t it be funny if someone got killed” territory. Nevertheless, the balance of her comments were spot on and surprised even Bill with their humor and sagacity. I’m sure she’ll be back and deservedly so. I think I understand what Bill was getting at that seemed to trigger her comment. Though he said he was firmly pro-choice, he accepted that at least some pro-lifers held reasoned views worthy of at least being heard. Basically, the issue isn’t 100% black and white, there’s at least some grey. That’s all he meant, as I heard. That position shouldn’t have been all that controversial, but it seemed to set Ms. Porter off. With respect to panel guests losing it, I think I also understand why Charles Blow got so upset with criticism of Black Panther. It’s not really about that one movie. It’s about disproportionate criticism focused on something that has a prominent connection with African-Americans in film – which of course has been sore topic in so many ways for a century. It’s fine for a movie critic to dislike Black Panther and point out its flaws when that criticism in line with, and similar to, the critic’s review of other films. But when people who have essentially never engaged in film analysis seem to go out of their way to point out how horrible Black Panther is, well, that becomes suspect. What exactly about this film makes it so worthy of uniquely focused venom? Hmm, what could that be? How is this movie different from other comic-book action movies? I think Blow could have gotten his point across more succinctly and with less yelling, but I think he did have a point.
  2. ahpny


    I thought this series was surprisingly well done, and found drama and resonance in a story we (at least mostly) already knew. Though most conventional analysis today pegs the risk of a larger disaster capable of making the entire Ukraine uninhabitable as not quite as dire as shown here, I didn't know anything about that until this series. But I didn't understand the scene with the "bouncing" control rods in the last episode during the trial. Why did the reactor explode if the control rods were in (mostly), as shown in "bouncing" scene? I got that their graphite tips accelerated the reaction, and I thought he explained that something made further insertion of the control rods difficult or problematic, but then we seen the scene with them essentially entirely inserted. What did I not understand? I'm obviously missing something.
  3. ahpny

    S04.E09: American Champion

    I didn’t get what could be in it for Chuck to screw over both his father and Wendy in one pass. And as Wendy suggested, the unholy union of Wendy and Chuck’s father should be something Chuck fears greatly. And like Wendy isn’t going to find out Chuck rejected a plan that would have made her license and his father’s project safe. No way their marriage survives that. While much here is over the top, Wendy’s concern about her license isn’t. That’s about pride - not money or even being able to stay at Axe Cap. It is the essence of who she is - or at least who she thinks she is. From real life, recall that Roy Cohn while just days away from death cared immensely that his law license was about to be pulled by New York State. Those disbarring him knew it would have no effect on anyone but him and took this action, some would say inappropriately, out of spite or revenge. They cared deeply and so did he. While Wendy is hardly Roy Cohn, she too cares deeply about her license, which is essentially an extension of how she sees herself.
  4. ahpny

    S04.E03: Chickentown

    Indeed, just a pragmatic decision. Axe's shutdown of the "chicken holocaust" seemed to arise not from any angst about the souls of many dead chickens or the impact on people's health after consuming them. Nevertheless, on their return flight to NYC, Axe pointedly sat apart from those enjoying their bucket of chicken and wasn't eating anything. The Ice Juice matter just seemed to reinforce his recognition that getting caught doing bad things really sucks. I'm not sure he thinks doing at least some of those bad things sucks apart from the risk of getting caught. Also, I didn't quite buy Axe's quick recognition of the "mathematical error" from Taylor's formulaic scribbles. The show has long established Axe as very bright, but I don't recall being told he commands the level of mathematical skill needed to interpret those formulas rigorously enough to find that error. Nevertheless, those scribbles would be at least somewhat understandable to many undergraduate engineers or math majors (they were basically third year calculus such as surface integrals - i.e., mathematical gibberish with respect to finance as far as I can tell). If I missed a passing statement like, "oh, Axe was a math major at Hofstra," I would withdraw this criticism.
  5. ahpny

    Northern Exposure

    She was a great character and a perfect zen foil for New York-neurotic "Joel." The episode that I recall best about her is when she "ran away" to the "big city," (Seattle), and Joel chased after her in an apoplectic frenzy because he thought she couldn't survive in a big city. He tried to explain to the local police how "guileless" she was ("you know, she has no guile") and why that put her in danger. Understandably, they looked at him like he was nuts. Nevertheless, he found her at the zoo. She met with no harm and merely had a good time. I think a reboot could work and I'd give it a try. Some reboots work (Will and Grace, mostly), others don't (Murphy Brown, despite my persistent hope). Some have blended casts (both old and new), like Dallas, while others rewrite and recast all the characters and play with the casting assumptions of the original (Dynasty). There are many ways to do this, but getting it right is tricky when an audience has preconceived ideas about what "should" happen with characters they "know."
  6. ahpny

    Whiskey Cavalier

    I've enjoyed the first two episodes, and credit much of that to the chemistry among the actors. As some have commented, this reminds me (fondly) of Burn Notice. I'm not looking for anything deep or intensely meaningful, so this is just fine. But allow me to nerd out just for a bit. I can accept a significant amount of suspension of belief in the name of entertaining fiction, but gratuitous nonsense irks. I’ve always suspected that one to culprits for our relative STEM ignorance is the false presentation of simple scientific principles in popular entertainment. For example, Superman cannot lift thin-skinned aluminum-hulled airplane by the palm of his hand. The force needed to move a many-ton aircraft exerted over the small surface area of a hand (Kryptonian or otherwise) would punch a hole in that hull as easily as a pin goes through a balloon. Here, we have a safe with two people trapped inside that “fills” with water within seconds. Anyone who’s filled a bathtub - and knows how long that takes – knows this is absurd. While we don’t have the flow rate for the burst pipe or exact measurements of the interior of the safe, we can do some rough calculations. Let’s estimate the flow rate at 5.5 gallons a minute, which Google tells me a good estimate for the average flow rate of bath tub faucet. While we also cannot directly connect the flow rate of the busted water pipe to the average flow rate of a bath tub faucet, the flow rate of that busted pipe didn’t really look like a raging torrent – so bathroom tub faucet it is. Let’s estimate the safe as a cube 10’ by 10’ by 10.’ That comes from the unhelpful instruction to “stand back 20 feet” from the explosion and the response, “well, we only have 10” or something similar. So how long would should it have taken to fill the safe? One cubic foot holds 7.48 gallons of water. Ten by 10 by 10 is 1000 cubic feet. Let’s subtract 6 cubic feet for stuff in the safe (the two people – average about 2.5 cubic feet in volume - and the table). 994 cubic feet should hold about 7450 gallons of water (996 x 7.48). At 5.5 gallons/minute, the fill time should be 1354.56 minutes (7450/5.5), or 1.5 hours short of an entire day. This also assumes a constant flow rate, but the point is 22 ½ hours is vastly different than a few seconds. Even in escapist, fluffy fiction, we should be able to do better than this.
  7. ahpny

    Will & Grace

    I had thought that with all the years of so many "Will is fat jokes" the Jack/Grace worrying about being only "Disneyland thin" and sparing over croutons couldn't get any more awkward, but then Will waltzes in, exactly the same thinness he's been for two decades, and both Grace and Jack seethe at his thinness and his complaint that he can't gain any weight. What gives?
  8. Why can't we have more Republican politicians like Will Hurd? If I were more familiar with him, I expect I'd disagree with much of what he believes (and has apparently voted for), but he is undeniably reasonable, caring, informed and and, most importantly, reality-based. Contrary to trying to goad him into dumping his Republican status and questioning his choice to remain in his party, we should prop him up and hope he, and the glaringly few others like him, return the Republican's to some sense of normalcy and responsibility. Having said that, I know all I need to know about Bill DeBlasio. Stay home Mr. Mayor. The rest of the country doesn't "need" you or your fatwa against moderate democrats. And lay off the Bloomberg bashing. The City ran far better with him than you.
  9. ahpny

    S04.E12: I Need a Break

    "I Hate Everything But You" worked well in several ways. Of course it was a spot-on homage to Bruce Springsteen, though I thought I detected some Meatloaf-flavored musical references as well. But it also advanced the plot while staying pretty true to "Greg." Just when you thought they'd exhausted all musical genres to parody, they come up with more. I'm going to miss this show after it ends, but fortunately I think most of those associated with it should have bright futures in lots of other stuff.
  10. ahpny

    Will & Grace

    I had always thought a "Fame" homage, where Jack drags Karen to some audition and he sings a duet with her - poorly - but she just shines and gets a part in whatever production they're auditioning for would have been a perfect showcase for Megan's exceptional voice. But this was fine too, and am just happy they gave her a chance to sing full out.
  11. ahpny

    Season 1 Discussion

    His inability to finish during sex with his girlfriend was another rather glaring tell. But what distracted me more was his disparate apparent age. While pretty much all the other “teen” actors mostly looked like the 16-year olds they were supposed to be, “Adam” looked like a too-strapping guy in his late twenties. Google tells me the actor is only 22, but he looks more mature. Another aspect of this was sparingly few characters were entirely good or bad. Yes, the headmaster seemed to have no redeeming qualities, and going back on Jackson’s “Meave stays if I swim deal” was especially evil. And the Swedish plumber and his daughter were also a little too perfect. But all of the rest did both good and bad things – perhaps for understandable reasons – but did them nevertheless. For example, the brother's grifting dress purchase was wrong in almost all ways, but you had to give it to him for wanting his sister to look her best and doing the only thing he could to make that happen. While not a harmless crime, it was pretty low on the spectrum of reprehensibility. The drug dealing, not so much. Not being familiar with economics of British "public schools," how can Meave afford to attend this school? All the other homes we saw signaled significant wealth. Who pays, not only for this school for Maeve, but pretty much everything else she needs? I didn't understand how a 16-year old would be living entirely on her own and going to what appeared to be an expensive, hard-to-get-into college-preparatory school. Are there scholarships involved? Without any background in how the UK deals with child custody and support issue raised by Maeve's "unlucky" family situation, this aspect of the show seemed off or at least questionable.
  12. ahpny

    S04.E10: I Can Work With You

    My Spanish isn't fluent, but I think Valencia, when speaking to Hector just before they played the game, said something like "if you ruin this I'm going to cut out your eyes an throw them in the river." Happy to be corrected by anyone with a better command of Spanish.
  13. I didn't understand the point of having the football player on - but I was even less understanding of why Bill was so handsy with him. What gives with that? That was particularly awkward (perhaps telling?) given his over-defensiveness regarding the accusations against the Bernie campaign guys. It was almost like Bill felt he was defending himself since, in his view, he seems to do stuff like this all the time and no one should question his "innocent" behavior. Look he's doing it right now!
  14. For me as well. I don't find "Joel" as troubling as many others either. Indeed, if their roles had been reversed, and Joel had shown up late at night, unplanned, essentially for a booty call at Midge's home (or place of work), I suspect there would be far more complaints. But when Midge does that, it's merely cute. and excused because Joel is unforgivable. Yes, there's her "I'm always going to be alone" angst, but isn't she essentially cheating on the good doctor Benjamin as well? Is the Sophie Lennon character based on a real person or a composite of real people? I know Midge is very loosely drawn from Joan Rivers, who of course had a prominent falling out with Johnny Carson, but I'm not aware of her feuds with any other comedians or entertainers.
  15. OK, why hire Jacob Kemp and omit him from an employee-end-of-summer show? Other than that, I've found this series very enjoyable in every way.