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PRIMETIMER

lavenderblue

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  1. I'm stuck on the show using the Sisyphus metaphor two weeks ago and then spending the last two episodes abruptly shifting gears to "okay and then the goal is cessation." I know it was Michael's language -- it doesn't per se reflect the philosophy of other characters -- but ideas tend to have been voiced by the protagonists because they're intended to be meaningful to the show's overall framework. And that imagery would have lead me to expect a conclusion that in some way suggested maybe it's always a process, and that's the reward. Someone suggested that it might have been better, or made more sense, to see Michael become truly human -- be born into the world and live a full human life. I would agree with that and even more, while it's not in my personal belief system, I would have found it totally fitting to learn that the door led back to Earth as a sort of reincarnation, the one afterlife concept the show never really addressed. Instead of becoming some flicker of inspiration, they get back to Earth and do it over again, in a new set of life circumstances, as new people, but this time do it better -- contribute more to better the world and humanity while alive. Would've presented more hope and for me felt way more in line with the show's prior messaging.
  2. I am another who hated the kinda nihilistic overtones to the solution this episode implied -- the best outcome for your life is choosing to vanish into the ether, etc. Not to say this is where the door absolutely leads; it's the hint of it at this point that bothered me. However, I also hated the failure of everyone in this ep to recognize the Good Place's real problem: everything comes with no effort. Now this is something I assumed would be addressed immediately, because it's a message the show's hinted at in the past and was a key component of Brent's issues. What often makes things enjoyable in life is not the knowledge that they'll end; it's the pain, the risk, the boredom that it's taken to achieve those things, making them a reward. This Good Place melted Hypatia's brain because she had no work to do, not because she was happy all the time. This could be dealt with next week, too -- maybe Good Place residents get enlisted to help out Michael or something on a rotating basis -- but I couldn't believe it was just unsaid here.
  3. And the line about him having a huge closet! I think I did enjoy these season overall more than S2, and that is because this season didn't spend 17 episodes in the Catskills mostly treading narrative water. But I also agree with the criticisms -- too many unnecessary characters and plots, especially. So like everyone else, I love Tony Shalhoub, and he basically made Abe's weird non-story work by just playing it out. But I have also been a big fan of Marin Hinkle's since an early '00s drama I watched as a teenager, Once and Again, where she brought a lot to a potentially tricky character. She and Rose aren't here for comic relief like Abe, but I always generally enjoy watching her, as an actress. But her material is another story, and while Rose basically cohered the first two seasons within broad strokes, here the wheels fell off for me somewhat with the "Providence" backstory reveal and trust fund plot. I still don't buy that particular story -- but the idea of her being deliberately molded into Northeastern/Francophile propriety, and wanting the same for Midge, makes sense. What failed was her stand at the board meeting followed by.......noooooooothing. It was a McGuffin to force the homelessness. I anticipated it motivating her to DO something, take some kind of action, be inspired by her grandmother. Not muddle around Queens and Florida and then fall into professional matchmaking. It was ultimately just Palladino quirkiness for the sake of it, just like the synchronized swimmers and extended musical numbers and obnoxious repeated lines. Anyway, Alex Borstein remains MV starring P, but I wonder if next year we finally get a story of Midge realizing she's outgrown her management.
  4. Well, that was a bit wild. My mother attended Katharine Gibbs in the late '60s and later worked at the Village Voice. Watching audience reactions during Midge's act, I thought I noticed a few people exchanging glances or making certain faces -- I may have been projecting and would have to rewatch, but my initial take was that lots laughed, but some were looking harder at her implications about Shy. I did think she deserved the consequences for her choice there -- she has repeatedly gone too far personally in her comedy, and at some point she was going to upset someone who could hurt her career more than Sophie Lennon did. That's now happened and if she doesn't take the right lesson, it will happen again. That said, this recurring theme of hers does make me think plenty of the authorial insert idea about ASP, given the reputation ASP had in the Gilmore Girls days for making comments that pissed off whole swaths of fandom. And then she lost control of the show for its final season after some network negotiations gone sour so...expect more one-step-forwards-two-step-backs of a particular nature for Midge's career, is all.
  5. I don't require romantic storylines in every show. However, this is the kind of show that has, obviously, some interest in presenting them, and a very big problem it confronts me with is that Midge's chemistry is undeniably strongest with a guy they cast to play a doomed real person, while the relationship that never goes away is with the actor she's least compatible with on-screen. (While I love Zach Levi, I also didn't really think they clicked that well.) As a Gilmore Girls vet, at least Lauren Graham/Lorelai had chemistry with her major leading men whatever the faults or merits of those relationships in-story, but RB isn't having quite the same luck.* I get why the show wanted this framing to start the story, but I so wish "Lenny" had been presented as a sort of composite/homage character (with a different name, of course), who could be used to address real Lenny's censorship issues but without the "merging history with fiction" issues or the real man's baggage, which is way darker than this show's territory anyway. *I did think she and Rufus Sewell clicked last season; maybe she works best with a certain dark type who strongly contrasts with her pep.
  6. I said exactly this to a friend tonight. I had vague feelings of that when he went from The Queen to eventually this, but Elizabeth's sudden hardening into Mean Unfeeling Mom cemented it. The funny thing is the investiture was one of the reasons after Season 2 I was sure they'd try to maintain a relevant role for Snowden -- like, he'd otherwise have a fairly minor part but they'd revisit his ability to bring a very useful skill to the family as an artist here. I was not anticipating that instead we'd just get George and Martha and the show would almost totally forget he also did stuff besides fight with his wife (and be decent in Aberfan).
  7. The portrayal of the astronauts reminded me of the show's portrayal of presidents, i.e. the broadest version of some notion of a particular hickish type of American. Which, hey, British production, I get it, but when you're basing these people on real figures, it's glaring when you build them from a starting point of fiction (granted the LBJ characterization had truths to it). Also, yes, Philip has manpain. Got that the first 17 times, thanks.
  8. If you turn on captioning, some of the Welsh from his lessons is indeed written out on screen!
  9. Yeah, the logistics of this service bugged me too much to be amusing because so much contrivance was necessary. Why wouldn't customers be ordering from a website/app storefront, which would mostly prevent weird vague written-out requests? Why were so few staff put on delivery duty? I know the answer is more or less "because Cloud 9 is incompetent" but the show overall is no longer funny enough to gloss over these sort of goofy practical issues for me.
  10. Something else that occurred to me re: low votes for James, in addition to what @absnow54 noted about his news coming late in the show (thus cutting down on sympathy vote) -- I wonder how many viewers just assumed he was safe, like tends to happen every year? This was the first ep of the season where I voted, and I went in planning to give all ten to Kel, assuming he was most at risk. It wasn't until James received his second set of low scores that I began to worry, and shifted to half and half for each -- still figuring, well, who's to say which one's in worse shape? All that said, when Ally was yet again the top scorer and bottom two, you know he's not the one who would've been eliminated by viewer vote here.
  11. I was really taken aback by the critiques after that cha cha, and not with the fact that there was critique -- that's fair given Emma's failure to deliver on what Len asked for and given some of James's performance issues -- but that they delivered NOTHING positive. How frequently do they fail to add some little "This was really nice though" to soften the blow? Sean more or less got consistently kinder feedback than what that was.
  12. But if James did want to go, why not just...have him make a statement and withdraw, as past contestants have done when circumstances don't permit continuing? No one would fault him. It's far stranger to me to go through a fake bottom two/cut scenario to add pre-finale drama. Especially with all three judges unanimously voting Ally.
  13. Not to be crass about the voting and terrible personal tragedies, but I'm astonished James didn't get the votes to offset being the low scorer tonight. But his making bottom two wasn't totally shocking because of those scores. What's shocking is learning that the judges have all this time sincerely thought Ally is the best dancer in the competition. The almighty hell? Kudos to her for wanting James to have it.
  14. My response to most instances of someone being called out as a ringer the last few seasons is, then why aren't they better? I'll never dismiss a contestant for being a ringer if they are one, but I will if I think others are superior dancers.
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