completely different

It’s…

… The Televerse! Friend and colleague Kate Kulzick invited me to kick off the guest-host era of The Televerse podcast. In this episode, we talk about Key & Peele, Married, Hannibal, Review, and more.

Then it’s time for The DVD Shelf, where I talk about the absurdity and downright surrealism of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Remember, if you want to pick a fight with me about Monty Python, it’s one pound for a five minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.

glory

This is one of my favorite pieces, springing unexpectedly from my A.V. Club assignment to review the bawdy, sometimes brutal, sensitively balanced Review, starring Andy Daly.

I didn’t expect my review of the season two premiere to delve into how Forrest MacNeil (Daly) uses his job reviewing life experiences as a pretext for escaping his own life, abdicating decisions and destiny both to the hands of random viewers, boxing off his actions from their consequences. Review allows Forrest to pursue adventures and debauchery without acknowledging how his own desires drive his behavior or how his detachment from his own culpability puts walls between him and the people he loves. Review lets Forrest put his life in a box… or, in this episode, in a hole.

Suzanne, Forrest's ex-wife (Jessica St. Clair) [Comedy Central]

Suzanne, Forrest’s ex-wife (Jessica St. Clair) [Comedy Central]

Forrest is right about one thing: It’s possible to find meaning in the most unexpected places, and in assignments that sometimes seem random.

tumbled to the fact

You know what's in my Tumblr?

me: … so I put it on my Tumblr and—

The Fella: You don’t have a Tumblr.

me: I do have a Tumblr.

The Fella:

me: I’ve had a Tumblr for, like, a year and a half.

The Fella: You have a WordPress.

me: And I have a Tumblr. So I wrote it up on WordPress, then added it to my Tumblr and linked the Tumblr entry to the WordPress entry. And I should probably link the Tumblr entry back to the WordPress to close the loop.

The Fella: You have a Tumblr?

me: I have a Tumblr. I sometimes link my articles there, but I mostly use it for Social Justice Warrior stuff and cat gifs.

The Fella: You have a Tumblr.

me: I have a Tumblr. All those times I showed you silly cat videos from my Tumblr feed, you thought…?

The Fella: I thought you went to Tumblr.

me: Yeah, I have a Tumblr.

The corker: This conversation was about a post in which I made fun of men who don’t know women lead independent existences. If you’d like to know more about my independent existence, see my contact info on my about me page.

"Regret."

kill is kiss

Pontypool screenshot

A year ago on The Toast, I discussed Pontypool, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:

St. Valentine’s Day is an excuse to express our most intense or obscure passions. But words can be a frail tool to capture the complications and complexities of this thing we call love: the sweet blush of infatuation, the kinship and kindness of true companions, the frenzy of unfettered lust, the torments of jealousy, betrayal, or heartbreak. So perhaps it’s no coincidence that three films set on Valentine’s Day hinge on the fragility and feebleness of words, creating worlds where meaning and reason fall apart.

effrontery for old men

cormacmccarthy
[image from The Toast]

He could not vary the length of his utterance and he could not cow himself to the laws of punctuating or naming for the ease of some imagined imaginary reader. It was cold in the writers room and he would make no fire. No fire to warm his cold hands where the skin cracked and bled against the typewriter keys, no fire to warm his heart to any but the white man who stood all but nameless at the center of his story, a pole on which the gaunt remnants of a person draped in the sepulchral twilight as the sun went down. Went down for the last time maybe, he didnt know.

the mother of all fears

Bunny Lake dolls

“Movies about mothers – mothers’ relationship with their children, children’s relationship with their mothers – can trade in easy sentiment or melodrama. But motherhood isn’t all swaddling and coddling and comfortable archetypes. In the rough terrain where a woman becomes a mother, she can feel she’s been corralled, her personality, her persona, her entire independent self suddenly defined largely by her actual or idealized connection to a child. These three thrillers tap into the poignancy and pressures that many mothers face, digging into the complicated web of social expectations in a world that both mythologizes and devalues motherhood, while translating the everyday tensions of caregiving into the language of the fantastic and the grotesque.”

Today at The Toast, my essay about motherhood as depicted in Bunny Lake Is Missing, The Others, and El Orfanato.