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S01.E02: The Secret of Spoons


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As Mr. Wednesday begins recruitment for the coming battle, Shadow Moon travels with him to Chicago, and agrees to a very high stakes game of checkers with the old Slavic god, Czernobog.

 

 

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Wow, that scene with Mr. Nancy was intense.  I kept reading about it and thinking "It can't be that good."  It was.

And holy smokes, did Gillian Anderson rock in her scene as Lucy.

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(edited)

I'm rewatching this and a thought just struck me. That "slaughtered lynch mob" that Shadow asked Wednesday about . . . Weren't they digital?  If so, why did they bleed?

Things that make you go "Hmmmmmm."

The other thing that struck me . . . There were a lot of erect penises in the ep. I don't think I've ever seen that on TV before.  And it will suit me fine if that's the last one I see (on TV).

Edited by WatchrTina
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3 hours ago, starri said:

Wow, that scene with Mr. Nancy was intense.  I kept reading about it and thinking "It can't be that good."  It was.

And holy smokes, did Gillian Anderson rock in her scene as Lucy.

Thing is, Gillian Anderson has always been good, but I never thought Orlando Jones could pull something like that opening monologue off back when he was co-starring with Eddie Griffin.

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Actually, in some interviews, Fuller stated that they had to create most them with CGI, because the actors couldn't necessarily...ahem..perform across multiple takes.

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Holy shit, that scene with Anansi was awesome.  That scene alone was good enough for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy, I must say.

Nice seeing Cloris Leachman in something of better quality instead of Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

With all the pics of dicks this episode, it makes me wish Mara turned up.  Don't know who Mara is?  Here you go (NSFW): http://megamitensei.wikia.com/wiki/Mara

So besides Fantasia, I know next to nothing about Chernobog or his brother or these Schuyler sisters.  Can anyone help?

Also, Gillian Anderson as Lucy Ricardo?  Beautiful.  "Ever wanna see Lucy's tits?" is one the best lines ever written and she delivered it masterfully.  I like the extra touch about her complaining about HD and video transfer, along with how "time and attention" are best sacrifices than sheep.  Good enough for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy nomination, that scene was.

Next episode:  Trying to escape Chernobog's deal, we get to see that one Schuyler sister we didn't see this episode (thanks for spoiling what she looked like, show), and robbing a bank.  Lovely.

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3 minutes ago, starri said:

Actually, in some interviews, Fuller stated that they had to create most them with CGI, because the actors couldn't necessarily...ahem..perform across multiple takes.

I am not surprised.  I was sort of kidding anyways.  I am assuming they would only have fluffers when shooting porn.

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This week: more WTF for everybody who never read the book. Like myself. Shadow getting offered to see Lucille Ball's breasts, which . . . huh? I'm 41, and I never thought of her like that. I know, that's the point, but still. Exposed dicks, cow slaughter, and the god lady sucking in lover after lover. I really hope we don't see her naked that often. Only Thandie Newton's gynecologist is more familiar than her than the average Westworld fan.

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5 minutes ago, bmoore4026 said:

So besides Fantasia, I know next to nothing about Chernobog or his brother or these Schuyler sisters.  Can anyone help?

Chernobog is the god of evil, his name literally means black god. His brother is Belobog and is the god of good whose name means white god.  The sisters are goddesses of morning, evening, and midnight.

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2 minutes ago, bmoore4026 said:

So besides Fantasia, I know next to nothing about Chernobog or his brother or these Schuyler sisters.  Can anyone help?

Zorya.  Most versions of the legend say they're two, not three.  Gaiman claims that he invented the third, as yet unseen sister for the novel, but there are some sources that mention her as well.  The dark-haired one (blonde in the book) who I don't think ever spoke is Zorya Utrennyaya, the Morning Star.  Cloris Leachman is Zorya Vechernyaya, the Evening Star.  Because the best lies are told in twilight, she's the better fortune teller, and she likes Shadow because, as she says, shadows are things of her time.  The third is Zorya Polunochnaya, 

Spoiler

the Midnight Star--the Moon.

They are the daughters of Dazbog, the Sun God.

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4 minutes ago, starri said:

Zorya.  Most versions of the legend say they're two, not three.  Gaiman claims that he invented the third, as yet unseen sister for the novel, but there are some sources that mention her as well.  The dark-haired one (blonde in the book) who I don't think ever spoke is Zorya Utrennyaya, the Morning Star.  Cloris Leachman is Zorya Vechernyaya, the Evening Star.  Because the best lies are told in twilight, she's the better fortune teller, and she likes Shadow because, as she says, shadows are things of her time.  The third is Zorya Polunochnaya, 

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the Midnight Star--the Moon.

They are the daughters of Dazbog, the Sun God.

Lots of bogs with these old Polish gods.

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Gillian Anderson is now, officially, the goddess of television! She was great in this role, just like I thought she would be. She is just having a great run on TV lately.

Solid follow up to the first episode, and we meet our next batch of gods! Chernobog and the Zorya are some of my favorite gods from the book, and I like what we have seen so far. Peter Stormare is a solid Chernobog so far, even if he isn't quite the way I pictured him, I'm excited to see what he does with the part. I find Chernobog to be one of the most interesting old gods, so I'm excited to see more of them here. Maybe we will get an origin, like we did with Mr. Nancy.

That was a lot of dick pics. Thanks for that, show. Thanks.

We got more of Bilquis and her diet, and she apparently hangs out in museums that are showing information about her ancient self. The flashes to the ancient past were some of my favorite parts of the book, so I hope we get more of that. There is one scene that I REALLY love in the books that I want to see really badly that might tie into that.

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So far I'm liking this. Shadow and Wednesday are a solid duo, they're holding the "main" story line. Bilquis continues to terrify, and I mean that as a compliment. Laura is.....awake.
And as for the new. Orlando Jones, awesome. Gillian Anderson, a goddess. And Cloris Leachman deserves all the Emmys in the world, but I might be bias.

Also, I wanna see Lucy's tits!

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I liked it but I wish it would speed up. I did not need to see Shadow pack up his house no matter how well filmed that sequence looked.

Also the Bilquis sequence felt like overkill.

I do like the lead however. I am fully on Team Shadow.

I think Leachman is 90! We should all be so sharp at 90.

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I'm rewatching this and a thought just struck me. That "slaughtered lynch mob" that Shadow asked Wednesday about . . . Weren't they digital?  If so, why did they bleed?

Things that make you go "Hmmmmmm."

The other thing that struck me . . . There were a lot of erect penises in the ep. I don't think I've ever seen that on TV before.  And it will suit me fine if that's the last one I see (on TV).

There was a purpose for it. I honestly didn't feel it was excessive unlike seeing the bare breasts of Mr. Wednesday 's fling.

I noticed other than Bilquis's final overhead shot on the bed we don't see an excessive amount. Most of it is implied. But I do hope that is the last we need to see of her undressed. It would feel unnecessary.

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Did Shadow got out of the lynch mob on his own power?? Or the mob just self destroyed ?  Was it supposed to be a mystery how he got out of that situation?

Lol that 1 guy was erect in afterlife(?) / Bilquis' realm(?).  That has to be 1 painful way of existence (he started but never finished) :P

So Anansi could see the future but I guess did not have the power to shape the world the way he saw fit? Destroying 1 slaver boat seemed so petty.

I am still undecided about this show. It is fine, a bit like Fables (the comic series) met American Horror Story.  Although, unlike Westworld or GoT, I am not going to use a single brain cell speculating what's next. :P

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59 minutes ago, DarkRaichu said:

So Anansi could see the future but I guess did not have the power to shape the world the way he saw fit? Destroying 1 slaver boat seemed so petty.

Anansi is petty.  That is his nature.  He tells stories and pulls tricks.  He isn't going to change the course of human history.  And he managed to get a lot of sacrifices with about five minutes of effort.  Think how hard Bilquis works for her sacrifices. These are not benevolent gods.  

I hope you stick around.  I liked your WW takes.  AG will be worth the effort.  Really.  If you like the GOT mythology you should like this once it gets going.

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I had NO idea Orlando Jones was capable of that. That was, like,  revelatory.  And his suit was a thing of magick.

GA was awesome, as expected.

No problem with the erect dicks; it's about time that happens on TV as frequently as naked boobs.

I had to look away during the cow-killing scenes, tho.

Bryan loves his beautiful freshets of spurting blood and silvery downpours of rain. Again, made me very nostalgic for Hannibal.

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There are some really terrific performances fueling and selling the hell out of this.  Gillian Anderson was fantastic as first great modern media star Lucy pushing her way out of the TV.  Orlando Jones sucked all the air out of his scene convincing frightened enslaved men to sacrifice themselves in a gorgeously shot inferno only for him to crawl safely to shore.  Does anybody do Slavic accents or general fatalism better than Cloris Leachman or Peter Stormare?  If there actually are any gods, Leachman will live forever.

The packing up the house scenes dragged on a little long for my tastes, but I understand what they were going for.  I think I could watch Czernobog play checkers and ramble about death and how the world used to be all day.  I'm really appreciating the dark humor in all of this, from Anansi advising the slaves to learn to swim so as not to be stereotypes to Czernobog greeting Mr. Wednesday by throwing a lamp at him and calling him by his real name only to be offered havarti in return.  "It's a shame.  You're my only black friend."  Hee.  There are lots of little clues sprinkled throughout that none of these people are of this time and place that aren't quite registering with Shadow yet or he just can't put the pieces together, and Wednesday acknowledging to Leachman's Zorya that he's easing him into their world was nicely handled.   As preposterous as it might seem to play any game with somebody like Czernobog to the death, even without realizing who he is, the writing has done a good job of making it feel plausible that Shadow is so grief-stricken and exhausted and he's just seen so many weird things the last couple of days that he really has no idea of what's even real anymore, so sure, why not.

Visually and stylistically, this show is a feast.

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(edited)

Everything has already been said about the fantastic Lucy scene, so I want to give some love to my other favorite exchange:

"You...live long, happy life with lots and lots of children."

"That bad? There has to be SOME good news."

*Zoryas exchange look*

"Your mom die of cancer." (Shadow confirms).

"You no die of cancer."

I like Czernobog. In his own weird, evil way, he was immediately fond of Shadow.

 

He reminds me of the Dread Pirate Roberts in that he mostly just wants Shadow to know he *could* kill him but doesn't really want to see him die, and how he later pretends his concern for Shadow doing the vigil is only because he wants to uphold the deal.

I could do without Bilquis eating more people with her vagina. She's a Goddess forced into prostitution to feed her addiction. Work with that.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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On a minor shallow note, I loved watching the calligraphy at the beginning of the episode.

I haven't read the book so every introduction to a new character like Mr. Nancy or Zorya is so fun!

I agree that Shadow packing up his house went on for a while, but I was okay with it. Those were his last moments as a free man before becoming Mr. Wednesday's man and whatever that entails, so not only was he saying goodbye to his wife but life as he has known it to be. I was actually impressed that he packed up the house so quickly. I need him to come over to my house for some spring cleaning (shirtless, if possible).

We get naked breasts on tv shows and in movies all the time, so two naked peens doesn't even begin to put a dent in the major imbalance. The dick pic Shadow found on his wife's phone was much more warranted for the story than Wednesday's lady friend just sitting on the bed with her boobs hanging out. Last week, I did briefly wonder if the whole story about his wife dying while giving his best friend a blow job was just something that someone made up (possibly Wednesday in order to goad Shadow into leaving his old life behind completely), but finding a dick pic in her texts seems to confirm that it was true (although I suppose with all the godly power, I guess it could have been faked).

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2 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

(although I suppose with all the godly power, I guess it could have been faked).

Wednesday may be a trickster, but sexting doesn't really seem to be in his wheelhouse.

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Can I say how glad I am that they brought in Janice Poon to do all the food styling? Her attention to detail is incredible, from designing the cabbage rolls at Zorya's table to look like Slavic totems, to picking the flatware specifically to evoke the story of formerly wealthy immigrants from Eastern Europe fallen on hard times. I know American Gods won't be as food-centric as Hannibal, but she does such good work!

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(edited)

Since Lucy and the kid from last week also want Shadow, maybe one of them did it!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
Because the character's name is Shadow, not Spoon (I have no idea how my brain came up with Spoon earlier)
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12 minutes ago, yagathai said:

I know American Gods won't be as food-centric as Hannibal, but she does such good work!

We can hope since food is so important to immigrants and gods.  Hannibal himself could have cheerfully discussed a good killing.  

I loved the fortune telling scene.  Was that a bird shape or tree shape?  

Ricky Whittle is a great onscreen listener.  I saw his modeling shots and got worried when they cast him.  I am not quite feeling the weight of the world on him yet but I did feel the young former con tired of taking shit from two old men.  

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(edited)
16 hours ago, bmoore4026 said:

Lots of bogs with these old Polish gods.

It's general Slavic Pantheon.

Spoiler

In the book it seemed to me that they were Russian, though, not Polish.

6 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

 Does anybody do Slavic accents or general fatalism better than Cloris Leachman or Peter Stormare?  If there actually are any gods, Leachman will live forever.

Yes. I really hate how Hollywood does Slavic accents. It's not a Cold War anymore, there are bilingual actors. Compare accent from KGB agent in Bridge of Spies (an actual Russian actor) and what Hollywood thinks Russian accent sounds like. The only Hollywood actors that had passable accent were those who were somehow exposed to Russian (or similar) language, like Liev Schreiber.

And don't get me started on pronunciation of "Zorya"... Wednesday says it's like "Zo-ra-ya" and Chernobog had smth like "zo-rya-ya-ya-ya" WTF? If you insist on using people who have no idea how to say words in a foreign language, hire a f&%ing coach! The stress in "Untrennyaya", "Vecheryaya, and "Polunochnaya" is nowhere NEAR where it should be. /rant

 

I loved everything else in the episode though. Anansi is GOAT! I do hope that they didn't expand the character of Bilquis just so she has sex with everything that moves...

Spoiler

A lot of foreshadowing just like in the 1st episode. My advice to those who didn't read the book... hang on to every word, pay attention to every detail. It's rather fascinating how much hinting and subdevelopmnet is going on. Very subtle, but extremely telling.

Edited by saoirse
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(edited)
3 hours ago, vavera4ka said:

It's general Slavic Pantheon.

Spoiler

In the book it seemed to me that they were Russian, though, not Polish.

 

The food was generic Eastern European -- the bread dumplings were Czech, the borscht could have been Russian or Ukranian or Polish and the cabbage rolls could have been from anywhere. I don't think they were going for a specific nationality so much as a pan- or proto-Slavic ethno-tribal identity.

Edited by saoirse
Spoiler tag in quoted post
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(edited)
3 hours ago, vavera4ka said:

Yes. I really hate how Hollywood does Slavic accents

That's what I always think when I watch The Americans, who actually casted Russian actors to play Russian characters, and they're actual accents sound so different than what you usually hear in Hollywood. Its like most of Hollywood got their ideas on how to do a Slavic accent from watching Ricky and Bullwinkle reruns.

Spoiler

In the book, they were definitely described as Russian, but I can buy them as just general Slavic gods, kind of mixing and matching from different cultures around Eastern Europe, mainly because most Slavic mythology is rather mix and matched in general, because nothing was really written down until the early Christians, and most of their writing on Pagan gods were filtered through a Christian lens. There was a lot of cultural mixing in the regions in general, so it works for me.

The house cleaning didn't really bother me, it went a little long, but it was nice to get a little bit of normalcy in between all the craziness.

Edited by saoirse
Spoiler tag added.
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Yeah he immediately threw away the phone Shadow gave him.

I found that odd. Two cel phones were on the list Wednesday gave shadow.

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7 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

The house cleaning didn't really bother me, it went a little long, but it was nice to get a little bit of normalcy in between all the craziness.

Yeah, I think it could have been a bit shorter than it was, but I feel like it was an important scene. We had to see Shadow putting his old life behind him and choosing to cast off normalcy. That sort of thing should hurt, and it hurt him for sure.

1 hour ago, vavera4ka said:

Yes. I really hate how Hollywood does Slavic accents.

Hollywood's accent work is usually a mixed bag, even for American accents. Listening to actors do a generic Brooklyn tough-guy mobster accent when a character is supposed to be from Philadelphia is just as grating to my ear as moose-and-squirrel Russian accents are to you, trust me.

That's why I was so pleased with David Tennant's accent in Gracepoint -- it wasn't just an American accent, it was a specific Northern California accent. You normally don't even get that kind of detail from American actors, let alone foreigners.

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I think we are moving far too slow. it was a little lighter than the first episode, but still too brood-y for my tastes. 

I thought the Lucy scene, however, felt rushed. Like they were in too big a hurry to get to the "see Lucy's tits" line, which was a pretty memorable one. 

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No book discussion in the episode topics including hinting or “In the book…”. Posts may be hidden or edited for spoilers accordingly. Thank you.

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(edited)
4 hours ago, yagathai said:

Can I say how glad I am that they brought in Janice Poon to do all the food styling? Her attention to detail is incredible, from designing the cabbage rolls at Zorya's table to look like Slavic totems, to picking the flatware specifically to evoke the story of formerly wealthy immigrants from Eastern Europe fallen on hard times. I know American Gods won't be as food-centric as Hannibal, but she does such good work!

The details in the sets and the costumes were fantastic too - the fancy work on the cuffs and collar of the Zoryas' clothing were great, and there was something very Romanov-esque in how the furniture was deployed in the apartment. 

Edited by Lemur
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(edited)
18 hours ago, cthulu said:

Chernobog is the god of evil, his name literally means black god. His brother is Belobog and is the god of good whose name means white god.  The sisters are goddesses of morning, evening, and midnight.

Uuugh... no. They are not gods of good and evil, nor even of good and bad. It's of dark and light, of winter and spring... but they are not absolutes. The sisters are stars... I always feel uncomfortable when Americans handle Balkans and Slavic mythology. It's always mangled, misrepresented and weirdly understood. The sisters are cool and fun. Tbh, the middle sister or the third sister pops here and there but mostly, this is the same person sometimes or different individuals, representing the daughter, the moder and the... other one. The issue with the mythology of my part of the world is that there is so much make believe in the "Slavic" concept, it's hard to work with that.

Chernobog is not evil but he sees this as an opportunity to get a sacrifice, to feel alive and in power and to fuck with Votan. :) Also, he is interested in Shadow. I loved his resentment and pain over him and his brother of the perceiveness of good and bad. It's is quite true, it's all about shades in there.

It is unknown who or what did the bots away (unknown powers of Shadow? Benevolent 3rd entity? Internal squabbles between the modern gods using the opportunity? Something else?) buuut we will find out. :)

Out lady of the hunger mostly confused me this episode, but the scene with the person in the middle of the universe and the casual "goddesses are not homophobic"... also, she is NOT a prostitute here, she is on OK Cupid or something like it. It was established that she is using dating sites or some such.

It's funny how distracted Shadow is. AFTER seeing Media talking directly to him and TechnoBoy, he is still completely trusting in phones. And Wednesday's "we will observe the pretty outside of the highway" was so weak and fake, I wouldn't have bought it, yet alone Shadow. Heheh, I am interested how much and how quickly Shadow will get tired of Votan's bullshit.

Anansi was... awesome. And the whole scene was so firing, so painful... very well done, congrats to all involved.

Edited by Eneya
Some edits
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(edited)
21 hours ago, Lantern7 said:

This week: more WTF for everybody who never read the book. Like myself. Shadow getting offered to see Lucille Ball's breasts, which . . . huh? I'm 41, and I never thought of her like that. I know, that's the point, but still. Exposed dicks, cow slaughter, and the god lady sucking in lover after lover. I really hope we don't see her naked that often. Only Thandie Newton's gynecologist is more familiar than her than the average Westworld fan.

I'm completely lost, as well. 

I'm watching on my computer, and clicked into another tab for part of it. I figured they would be killing cows, and I'm not up for that tonight. I'm either going to have to read the book, or watch this all together, after the finale airs. I don't have the attention span for this at the moment. 

I was wondering if Bilquis is going to get more to do, than have sex. I liked the part with the jewellery in the glass box. I also don't mind them balancing things out a bit, with the male nudity. I'm another who doesn't always see a reason for the nudity when they feel the need to throw in a naked, woman, just because. 

Edited by Anela
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6 hours ago, whiporee said:

I think we are moving far too slow. it was a little lighter than the first episode, but still too brood-y for my tastes. 

I thought the Lucy scene, however, felt rushed. Like they were in too big a hurry to get to the "see Lucy's tits" line, which was a pretty memorable one. 

It was lighter, thankfully because that firsr episode was soooo dark!

And i thought the lucy scene was some great media! Pointing it out while still making you glued and waiting for her next appearance 

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13 hours ago, Anela said:

I was wondering if Bilquis is going to get more to do, than have sex. I liked the part with the jewellery in the glass box. I also don't mind them balancing things out a bit, with the male nudity. I'm another who doesn't always see a reason for the nudity when they feel the need to throw in a naked, woman, just because. 

C'mon now.  We were "treated" to Dane Cook's tumescent cock.  What more can a person ask for? (Rhetorical.) (And is that better or worse than the Game of Thrones infamous flappy cock anytime they show male nudity?)

NB:  I do not know if that was actually Dane Cook's cock in those pics.  But Dane Cook is Robbie and it was supposed to be Robbie's cock.

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To the mods:  Would it be okay to start a thread that's about the gods and the mythologies themselves?  I think it should be a spoiler-free one, but while we're all pretty familiar with the Greco-Roman and Norse pantheons, a lot of us probably don't have as much knowledge of Czernobog, Bilquis, the Zorya, Anansi, etc.  And I worry that might bog down the episode threads a bit.

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31 minutes ago, starri said:

To the mods:  Would it be okay to start a thread that's about the gods and the mythologies themselves?  I think it should be a spoiler-free one, but while we're all pretty familiar with the Greco-Roman and Norse pantheons, a lot of us probably don't have as much knowledge of Czernobog, Bilquis, the Zorya, Anansi, etc.  And I worry that might bog down the episode threads a bit.

Done.

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