SPOILER ALERT!

 Posted by on August 19, 2014 at 6:43 am  Film, Other Culture, Slideshow, Television  No Responses »
Aug 192014
 

strauss_carsonIt’s an understatement to say that “spoilers” are anathema for today’s film and television audiences. Until the advent of social media, the threat of inadvertently or deliberately revealing an important story element or plot twist was posed primarily through word-of-mouth (at water coolers which no longer exist) or by imprudent media critics.

The term mainly referred to movies (i.e. The Crying Game or The Sixth Sense). However, nowadays, it’s common (expected) for episodic television to regularly throw curves at viewers by killing off cast members or suddenly introducing a drastically new story element. It’s almost a cliché to hear someone loudly proclaiming their intention to avoid Facebook or Twitter until they’ve had a chance to catch their favorite show on DVR.

What was the very first spoiler? Doug Kenney wrote an article called “Spoilers” for the April 1971 issue of “National Lampoon” where he gave away plot points for a number of famous movies and television shows. But that was a deliberate act, consistent with the iconoclastic editorial policy of the magazine and its pre-Internet age readers could make a conscious decision to not see those pages.

So, with that said, a case could be made that actor Peter Strauss was the offending party in delivering the very first bona fide spoiler. (cue dramatic music) Continue reading »

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Masters of Sex: Blackbird

 Posted by on August 18, 2014 at 12:42 am  Masters of Sex, Slideshow  4 Responses »
Aug 182014
 

Masters-of-Sex-Blackbird-Gene-Betty-Helen-Al

Masters of Sex is very interested in things that aren’t sex. In particular, in things that are associated with sex, that get all tangled up with sex, but have nothing to do with the physicality of sex or with pleasure in its purest sense. The previous two episodes, Dirty Jobs and then Giants, seemed very concerned with power; with who has it and who does not. With who gets to dominate whom, and who must submit, and who chooses to submit. Who gets their hair washed, who gets punched, who gets on his knees naked in a hotel room. Sex is traded like power, is entangled with power, but Masters of Sex leaves the bedroom quite a lot, and the dominance and submission of the workplace, and of race relations, is as important to its story as sexuality.

This week, with Blackbird, it’s all reversed. Continue reading »

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Hell on Wheels 4.03: Chicken Hill

Hell on Wheels 4.03: Chicken Hill

Aug 17, 2014

Let’s recap Hell on Wheels Season 4 so far: Episode 1, snoozefest. Episode 2, interesting, exciting, with a really great, really weird pivotal scene. Episode 3, Chicken Hill: excellent, straight-ahead television. So far, so good. I’m inclined to completely forgive the season premiere.

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Christmas 1969

Christmas 1969

Aug 13, 2014

Saw this photo and immediately thought it might be something we see before the show wraps.

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HELLO?

HELLO?

Aug 6, 2014

Call me when you fix the damn phone! – Pete Campbell As Deb mentions in her recap, communication is a problem in A Day’s Work. People stumble into assumptions, can’t find the people they need to see, can’t tell whether anyone is hearing them, or can’t communicate at all.

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Thus Spoke Mad Men

Thus Spoke Mad Men

Aug 5, 2014

A lot of recaps of Mad Men 7.04, The Monolith, noted that the episode contained multiple references to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, very few actually listed them all. Well, if you want something done right… Here is my list of 2001: A Space Odyssey (referred to henceforth as “2001”) allusions in Mad [...]

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"All this time I thought you were a football hero who hated his father"

“All this time I thought you were a football hero who hated his father”

Jul 23, 2014

This one has me thinking … The Dick Whitman we see in Korea is no football hero, we know that. And in 6 1/2 seasons there’s not one piece of evidence on screen to suggest Dick could have been anything more than a tackling dummy. I’d be interested to know just what kind of backstory [...]

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Personal and Professional Acts

Personal and Professional Acts

Jul 16, 2014

Taking place as it does on Valentine’s Day and the occasion of a funeral, flowers are major narrative motif that runs through the Mad Men episode A Day’s Work. These elements are woven into a story depicting characters who find themselves forced to “act” a certain way as they play out the various roles in [...]

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