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Everything posted by ahpny

  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. ahpny

    Sex Education

    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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. ahpny

    S11.E11: The Wheels on the Dog go Round and Round

    The point is hope. Through a combination of respect, admiration and nostalgia for the original iteration of show, I've stuck it out through the entire run of the reboot. But up till now, I've frankly found the reboot irredeemably awful. I nevertheless continued to watch in hope that some of the spirit of the original might reappear sometime. In this episode that hope was realized. This was the first episode of the reboot that I found enjoyable. While it still had leaden and cringeworthy moments, it had many more bright shots such as those others have already identified.
  14. ahpny

    S05.E09: Had It From My Father

    If I were writing the show, I'd keep Kingsley around. He's great for ramping up the drama. I'd firm up his paternity and confirm him as being Lucious' son. Kingsley's mother seemed pretty confident when offering a DNA test, so that suggests the "Shine is daddy" theory may be a distraction. But still a worthy theory given the Shine flashback. I can't see them offing Andre, however. He's too good a character with more stories to tell. Indeed, why introduce a new girlfriend for him - with a ready-made family - if they're just going to kill him off? I see the Andre coding scene as another distraction. Also, of the Lyon son's, for my money, he's the best actor. Maybe the body in the coffin is Kingsley's mother. While Lucious professes to have no feeling for her now, and that would be inconsistent with his grieving expression at the coffin later, maybe he suppressed those feeling and they come back after the reveal of Kingsley being they're son sinks in. Also, they went from being fully committed to needing a break in the course of one or two episodes. Not all that realistic. I thought the mention of Jamal's prior boyfriend Michael several times in recent previous episodes was a bit odd, and maybe foreshadowed Kai's exit. However, Michael's return (at least by the same actor) would seem unlikely given that actor now being a central character in Dynasty.
  15. ahpny

    S05.E06: What Is Done

    Why did they bring up "Michael" (Rafael de la Fuente) as the prior "favorite boyfriend" of Jamaal? It seems like they're foreshadowing his possible return. If they do bring him back, at least they should let him sing this time. He's pretty good.
  16. ahpny

    S05.E05: The Depth Of Grief

    There may not be much overlap between the audiences for Empire now and that of Queer as Folk 15 years ago, but the Jamal-Kai plot seems lifted almost without change from that series of a decade and a half ago. All of these points are common to both: · An adorable, admirable and generally good gay son has an overbearing, and overprotective mother who accepted him always when many others didn’t. · The good gay son finds a nice (and hot!) boyfriend who seems almost too perfect in all respects, save one. · That one is of course he’s HIV+. · The otherwise sympathetic and gay-friendly mother takes offense at the idea of the HIV+ boyfriend dating her precious HIV- son and seemingly rejects rational medical concern and refuses to believe that the relationship can proceed without undue danger to her son. · The mother bluntly confronts the HIV+ boyfriend and demands that he break it off to keep her son safe. · The HIV+ boyfriend (and the son) both refuse the mother’s breakup demands and stand firm. · The charming (and hot!) HIV+ boyfriend nevertheless wins over the overbearing mother when she realizes how truly he does love her son. Also, if Lucius really cared about Cookie as much as he says he does, he wouldn’t be feeding his heart-attack-surviving wife Philly cheese steaks. They’re pretty much a cardiologist’s worst nightmare. And where was the cheese anyway?
  17. But that’s odd given that the quintessential PC-shamming example of Megan Kelly all but gratuitously fell into Bill’s lap. Why not use this recent example to make his point? Maybe even Bill agrees that Blackface by white people is indeed unacceptable. But he can’t take that position and still retain his mantle of unPC-purity. Stormy came off as poised, unexpectedly thoughtful and sympathetic in her 60 Minutes interview a while back. Not so much here, where she came off as vapid and trashy. (But she did look great!) Bill’s demeanor didn’t help either. Despite his professed sympathy for strippers, he didn’t seem to know what to do with her and he came off as pervy and befuddled. Not good for either of them. And the Mooch, yes we’ve all had more than enough of him. Does he really think we believe that if we just be quiet and listen to him drone on long enough that he’s going spill the secret to dethroning Trump? Why would he want to help a bunch of liberals? None of it makes sense.
  18. I didn’t see Bill position as inconsistent. I saw it as pragmatic. Though it’s hard to return to the mindset of last week, i.e., before the non-anonymousing of the accuser and addition of further detail, all we knew last week was one anonymous women raised accusations of drunken misbehavior at a high school party when Judge Kavanaugh was 17 years old. Without more, this is the type of accusation that feeds the view that the entire MeToo enterprise is unfair and overblown; more importantly, precisely the type of left-wing stuff that makes the Democrats unacceptable to large swaths of otherwise middle of the road voters. Indeed, this reasoning seems to be why Senator Feinstein sat on this for so long. All Bill did was acknowledge that many will view this in exactly this manner, and how that will harm the legitimate case against Kavanaugh. Bill did not suggest forgiving anything that Judge Kavanaugh was accused of doing (in contrast to his discussion later of what Al Franken indisputably did, which of course is significantly different). One of our most fundamental rights is the right to face your accuser. That’s why anonymity mattered so much. That these events happened 35 years ago only makes that anonymity look even more damning. Of course that was old news. The accuser’s reveal changes everything, so much that the “done dealness” of his appointment is now in question.
  19. New York Times Op-Ed columnist Ross Douthat cited CEX in his article: The Jewish Crossroads - Can a mix of liberal politics and soft traditionalism survive a militant left and a right-wing Israel? It appears in today's paper (8/5/18) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/04/opinion/sunday/steven-m-cohen-jewish-crossroads.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region The quote is: "What the authors are describing pejoratively, the way that a general Jewish liberalism can coexist with more conservative impulses and attitudes, has long been particularly obvious in debates about the state of Israel, where the most cosmopolitan of Jewish liberals can suddenly sound like strident nationalists. (Or as the writers of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” put it in their “rap battle” between two rivalrous female Jewish lawyers: “Cause we’re liberals/ duh, progressive as hell / though of course, I support Israel.”) But it extends to a general Jewish interest in, and sometimes alarmism about, issues like fertility rates and cultural preservation that in the world of Gentile politics are associated with the social and cultural right." (Emphasis added). I wouldn't have pegged Mr. Douthat [one of the few resident conservative columnists at the NYT] as a CEX fan, or even someone who might have been aware of the show, but the show's reach is apparently broader than expected. Who knew? Maybe we'll find his top ten song list from the show next week. Of course, the actual song title was "JAP Battle," so maybe he's not paying quite as much attention as he should.
  20. ahpny

    S01.E06: Love Is the Message 2018.07.08

    Yes, but Elektra, above all, must maintain appearances, and project fierceness and snarkiness. The reconciliation and real feelings are still there, just on the DL, and Blanca seems to know that too. Billy Porter is an exception talent. He’s also a surprisingly modest and gracious guy. I saw him in Kinky Boots the week that show originally opened (i.e., long before anyone knew it would be a hit). After the show, I met him briefly and told him the show would run for years and years and that he’d win the Tony. (Both predictions accurate!) He rolled his eyes and said “from your mouth to God’s ears.” He doesn’t even know how good he is.
  21. ahpny

    S02.E10: The Passenger

    It is beautiful to look at, and almost distracting given the effort needed to focus elsewhere to try and figure out what is really going on. My feeble non-bot brain can only process so much – no IPad thingy to up my apperception to 100%. I also found a few nits distracting and chewing up valuable bandwidth. How exactly does a mechanical bull “run” with no or few hind muscles? While some of the bot-bulls appeared complete, others were shown with significant portions of their rear “body” absent over a skeleton. What exactly moves the skeleton without muscles, motors, or force-producing devices? This is an abuse of high school physics, like Superman “lifting” a plane with the palm of one hand. The same stories can be told without such abuses. Also, why does Clementine's host control continue just fine after she’s shot and presumed “killed,” but Maeve’s host control cuts out completely after she’s shot and “killed?” If their respective “powers” to control other hosts are just the result of a quick transfer of data packet(s), whose code would continue to control hosts after received, why is Maeve’s control transient? Why am I worried about this minor stuff when the big picture is still irredeemably murky?
  22. ahpny


    As someone who has never used Facebook, I still question whether Janice's computer searches for "Barry Block" and her accessing his Facebook account (which can only be done through your own Facebook account?) would create some sort of data record outside her laptop that would incriminate Barry sufficiently to undo his presumed disposal of her body and her laptop. He's good with a gun, but clearing up computer data doesn't seem to be in his wheelhouse.
  23. ahpny

    S01.E03: Giving and Receiving 2018.06.17

    The silent scene in the hospital elevator said so much. The crew behind this show doesn't go for subtle and restrained all that often here and elsewhere, but this time, that worked quite well. Though Helena and Pray Tell haven't met as far as well know, we know they're connected through who they do know (even if they don't). The reason they're visiting also connects them in poignant way. It takes a lot to persevere in such circumstances, and this showed that in a moving manner.
  24. Like Bill, I've been familiar with George Will forever. But unlike Bill, I've never been impressed by George Will, Pulitzer's notwithstanding. He always come off as smug and aloof, and all too convinced by his own arguments, so much that any opposing argument is not merely wrong, but unworthy of consideration, e.g., his "oxymoron" comment. William F. Buckley he never was, nor ever will be. Here, he also he seemed a bit off and dotering, almost suggesting he had some cognitive impairment. If he takes another 25 years to return, no big loss.
  25. ahpny

    S03.E12 Elmsley Count 2018.06.10

    Agreed. But I didn't understand his comment that he'd never work with someone wouldn't kill to keep his business (meant literally). Does he think Taylor would kill to keep his business? Did he even bother to consider that question or even directly ask Taylor hypothetically? Sadly Axe's decision seemed based on the logic that no matter how "accidental" Taylor's death could be made to seem, Axe (especially given his association with his Russian business partners) would be near the top of any list of any suspects. Axe's "no" didn't' seem to have all that much to do with - well, murder is kind of wrong, though there was at least one discussion of how whacking someone would probably make you feel bad.