• So, now that you know we’re keeping tabs on you…What did you watch?

    • Grace and Frankie – This show is totally filling my quirky indie dramedy needs. We need more of Lily Tomlin selling yam lubes. I’m trashy enough to kind of want to ride a giant pink bucking penis at my party. And, Sam Waterston is totally channeling his role from Serial Mom to play the newly out gay dude. Also, deep in Season 2, Circus Liquor appears for the briefest homage to Clueless. But, the best scene so far? Lily Tomlin negotiating terms of a contract while hitting the pulse button on her blender.

      Also, my letter about A Ghost Story totally got on Next Picture Show. They haven’t posted it to FB, but it’s a longer version that ties in elements of my review some of the comments under that review. It’s not a bad piece of criticism, and might be better than the review, but I feel it would be too repetitious to turn into its own article.

      Have you read the Google Memo that got John Dafore fired? The hellllll? That memo isn’t even that well constructed. This ties in to the GeekGirlCon investigation from yesterday. It’s also not as interesting and convoluted as the GGC drama. It’s just…dumb.

      • Also, it’s too damned hot to not have a/c.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Its been rainy off and on in Boston so the humidity’s down but it’s still present. Clearly the city is telling me to leave permanently, which I’m doing anyway.

          • Miller

            Ha ha, go ahead and try! The interstate traffic will keep you here for at least several extra days.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            August 31st, heading to England!!

          • Miller

            That’s an even lengthier drive!

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Driving through the ocean, man, everyone has to try it at least once.

          • Miller

            Or at least drive up from the Bahamas. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1v3CzvQ9e_w

          • John Bruni

            Cease to resist, giving my goodbye
            Drive my car into the ocean
            You’ll think I’m dead, but I sail away
            On a wave of mutilation

          • Blimey, we’d better get the kettle on!

      • Miller

        There’s an old Seinfeld bit about men and women that we keep hearing the end of in one of the episodes where he’s doing a lot of stand-up — “And that’s why men hunt, and women nest!” It’s clearly intentionally lame, and I bailed fairly early into that letter when I realized the author was essentially saying the same thing but for serious for ten fucking pages.

    • Drunk Napoleon

      Community, Season One, Episode Seventeen, “Physical Education”
      “I wouldn’t go over there.”
      “How do you know that?”
      “A lifetime of observation.”

      “Vanity, thy name is… his name! First day, I didn’t catch it.”

      Here we have a rare two plots colliding with each other in a gentler, more esoteric way, as well as two classic plots that get that special Community touch. Jeff begins Billiards Class as a way to be lazy AND awesome – his shameless sexy showoff is a classic Winger beat – but he finds that he has to wear embarrassing shorts if he wants to play, and he throws a fit and gets kicked out of class by the weirdo PE teacher.

      Meanwhile, the group discovers a textbook with a love drawing for Abed, and decide to encourage him to seek out the girl so he can have a girlfriend. The thing I like about the “study group as protagonist” plots is how, despite sharing a goal, the characters will all achieve it different ways – Pierce is just as invested in helping Abed as, say, Shirley, but they have very different ways of solving the problem and thus very different jokes. After a disaster involving White Abed, they worry for him, only to learn he was just playing along because not only is he experienced with women anyway, he has enough self-esteem to change with the group. You’d expect Abed to have a warped view of people because of television, and yet here it’s the other way around – he’s seen enough after-school specials to have good self-esteem, the others just projected inexperience on him.

      (Also, his speech is a rare case of me learning a valuable life lesson by a character on a TV show saying it out loud)

      His speech on this subject is what motivates Jeff into playing pool in shorts, which leads to that wonderful final setpiece. I always used “nude pool” as an example of a great Community ending setpiece, and I see now that its power comes from Jeff doing something a) brave, b) morally satisfying, and c) totally, bugfuck absurd. “I CHOOSE SHORTS!” is funny, in part, because it shouldn’t be heartwarming and yet totally is; it’s heartwarming because it’s a dramatic choice that shows Jeff’s true self.

      Scattered thoughts: First appearance of someone calling Britta the worst. Now that I’ve seen Mad Men, holy shit is Danny Pudi a good impressionist.

      This show’s first season is exactly one episode shorter than NGE, and knowing the end is coming on that show made me consider the shifting moral tone; I know there’s still another two seasons of Community to come, but even then it still doesn’t feel like an ‘end’ is coming. This is a show that constantly moves onward and upward – it’s always asking “given everything we’ve done and learned, where do we go next?”.

      Neon Genesis Evangelion, Episode Seventeen, “Fourth Child”
      Very little action and a lot of reflection this episode – only two things actually happen: the destruction of the second branch of NERV in America, and Toji being selected as the fourth Eva pilot. The former completely cuts off anyone other than our NERV from dealing with the Angels, and gendo very strongly implies he was responsible for the destruction of the second base (at the very least, he’s not unhappy about it). The disaster sets off Misato’s suspicions, and she approaches Kaji, who spills a big truth: the Marduke Institute doesn’t exist, and NERV has no oversight whatsoever.

      Meanwhile, Toji is given our attention throughout the episode. He has to deliver the school bulletin to Rei’s place, and chooses to take Shinji along – they find it’s a dump, and SHinji starts cleaning up, to Toji’s surprise (Rei thanks him, then realises later she’s never expressed gratitude to anyone, not even Gendo), causing Toji to reflect that Shinji has really come out of his shell and revealed what a nice guy he is since moving here. For some reason, Toji’s selection as a pilot is only extremely strongly implied and never actually stated – the reason why will become clear in the next episode. He seems reflective after being chosen, and when Hikari offers to cook him lunch, he jumps at the opportunity to connect with someone.

      At one point, Kaji gets Shinji alone, and shows him the melons he grows. They have a discussion on pain – Kaji observes that knowing pain makes it easier to be kind. Conversely, when flying over Tokyo again, Gendo and Fuyutski philosophise again. Fuyutski sees Tokyo as a paradise, while Gendo sees it as a place weak people go to in order to escape from paradise.

      The series is starting to leave an acidic aftertaste, similar to but distinct from the tone of season six of Mad Men. Aside from the obvious explosion of an entire base, there’s this undefinable tone that the world and the people within it are slowly breaking apart, as if the show is crumbling before my eyes. Also, the budget is really obviously running out at this point.

      Steven Universe, Episode Seventeen, “Lion 2: The Movie”
      Steven and Connie are hanging out, and they decide to go to see a movie Connie likes; Steven tries to get Lion to take them, and instead he takes them to a magical Gem place that tries to kill them. When they survive, Connie expresses shock that Steven would ever bother to hang out with her, and Steven is all “no way stuff you like is cool”. This is where I can see why this is good for kids, enthusiastic that a cartoon character they like would hang out with them, but I don’t understand why adults would be drawn to it.

      I might as well look at this show as a whole, the way I did Community and NGE. SU is much more static – it’s a hangout show where I’m hanging out with people I don’t particularly like, more interested in the world they’re in than them. I’m as many episodes into this show as I am Community and NGE, but it barely feels like it’s started, let alone approaching the finish – I’m on the tip of an iceberg, irritably and ineffectually hitting at it with a pickaxe.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        One of the things Dan Harmon is surprisingly good at is preachy life lessons within television speeches, maybe because unlike most most preachy speeches they have some genuine insight. He can couch “Be yourself” as a platitude in a really interesting way.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          Partly, too, it’s down to the lessons having context. Harmon’s life lessons have practical value within the story.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Abed being fine with changing himself to make the study group happy is both characterization that makes sense for him (he sees all of this as a tv show) and they’re genuinely helpful for all of them because they all have esteem issues of one stripe or another.

        • I watched Pickle Rick last night, and this comment really works for it. The therapist’s speech at the end could’ve been so thuddy, but it carried tons of weight, esp when contrasted by their ride home.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Yeah I was thinking about that as well. I think the speech works in particular because we’ve been so distracted by the pure action awesomeness of Pickle Rick destroying that embassy that we’re as jarred as the others are by what Wong says: that Rick might be a genius but he’s covered in shit and blood and he’s really just trapped into endless destruction.

          • And while the kids are seen open to the idea of more therapy, Rick convinces Beth to drink her problems away, perpetuating the cycle.

            Reminded me of one of my favorite Mad Men lines: “Do the work, Don.”

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            That was hilariously brutal.

    • Bad Day at Black Rock – all-encompassing Twin Peaks obsession has found me seeking out more “small town with a big secret” movies. This is a really good one, with Spencer Tracy turning up in a tiny desert town, looking for a man that the locals don’t want to talk about. A wonderfully tense atmosphere, a killer cast (Lee Marvin, Walter Brennan, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine), an 80-minute running time without a wasted shot. Great stuff.

      I also watched that short documentary about Jim Carrey’s newfound love for painting, which I found intensely irritating.

      • Jim Carrey got a doc on him and his painting? Is this a spoof? Or a rip off of The Anna Nicole Show?

        • It’s only about six minutes long, it cropped up on Twitter last night / this morning. His paintings are alright, but listening to him talking about them is insufferable.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        Soderbergh said that BDaBR‘s directors commentary is the only film school anyone needs.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6korx4cE1KU
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGBaU0msiKA

      • I need to revisit Black Rock. It is such a great film with such an intense performance by Spence.

        • I saw a bit of trivia saying that they made the character one-armed to lure Tracy in, because “no actor can resist playing a role with a physical impairment”. Weird.

          • That’s akin to “actors love playing the disabled because that wins Oscars.”

          • “…and if you give a good performance, we’ll give your arm back.”

      • Miller

        “How do we establish that one-armed Spencer Tracy is a boss?”
        “We have him kick Lee Marvin’s ass?”
        “Yes, that will do nicely.”

        • That fight scene is absolutely tremendous (and I did not expect it at ALL) but be reasonable man, nobody can kick Lee Marvin’s ass.

          (It’s Borgnine that gets taken to One-Armed School)

          • Although Walter Brennan does take Marvin down with a fire hose later on. Fire hoses are Lee Marvin’s only weakness.

          • Miller

            Ha, you are correct! Also good for establishing ass-kicking bona fides.

    • Delmars Whiskers

      Billy Motherfucking Jack–Tom Laughlin has come here to proselytize and kick ass, and he’s all out of talking points. Fortunately, his wife Delores Taylor is on hand to spout all sorts of hippy-dippy philosophical musings on pacifism, Native American rights, feminism, what have you.

      This is the quintessential “only in the 70s” movie, a weird mix of the heartfelt, deeply personal filmmaking we associate with that era’s best films and the crass exploitation we associate with the most successful. Incredibly amateurish visually, despite being shot by Fred Koenekamp, DP on everything from Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls to The Swarm, it still manages to remain watchable all the way through. And sometimes it’s actually good: following a genuinely horrifying rape scene, the victim discusses her reaction in some very well-written scenes. On the other hand, there’s some pretty gratuitous T&A, so…again, it was the 70s.

      • silverwheel

        Probably the most shocking thing about Tom Laughlin’s films is how the visual quality went into the dumpster as he got more money and greater creative control. One would expect the opposite to be true, but nope. I was shocked at how good his previous film Born Losers looked despite being made on a microbudget, and even more shocked that it was edited pretty well (“zippy momentum” is not a phrase usually associated with Tom Laughlin joints). But Billy Jack doesn’t have much in the way of visual composition, and it’s flabby as hell, to the point where the digressions sometimes threaten to swallow up the movie (both of these aspects got a hell of a lot worse in the next film, which is approximately 85% digressions/talking points, 15% main plot, and it’s ugly as hell despite a large budget and lots of helicopter shots). What Billy Jack does have is a couple of classic scenes that make the whole thing worth it. The opening of the movie with Billy intervening against Posner and his gang is very well done, and the famous fight scene later on is even better, particularly because Billy gets beaten up by the end of it. He knows he won’t win the fight as outnumbered as he is, but he does it anyway, and gets a lot of damage in before he goes down.

        Dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault was also a theme of Laughlin’s in Born Losers, and I applaud him for making that effort. It doesn’t work as well as it should because of how crass the film can be in other places, but I admire him for honestly trying to deal with the victim’s feelings.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        My dad liked Billy Jack movies apparently, and I think from what I remember that he knew they were dumb but liked their lefty politics.

        I know Laughlin was trying to make a Bush-era Billy Jack for years! I wonder if he’s still trying.

        • silverwheel

          He’s been dead for a little while now, and Delores Taylor has Alzheimer’s.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Oh shoot didn’t know that. This was like 2005 when he was trying to get this through.

          • Delmars Whiskers

            And it was going to have the wonderful title Billy Jack’s Crusade To End The War And Restore America To Its Moral Purpose. You can’t say Laughlin wasn’t ambitious.

    • Fresno Bob

      My wife inexplicably expressed a desire to watch a haunted house movie, so I had to rise to the challenge, and I put on the original House on Haunted Hill. She didn’t fall asleep, and it (hilariously) made her jump a couple of times. William Castle, you still got it!

      • I hope you really went for it and rigged up a skeleton to drop down in front of the TV at the correct moment.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      The first three episodes of Love per recommendation of my friend. I’m unsure how to feel about this one. I think the second episode where they’re both hanging out together is quite good and they have a nice, opposites attract chemistry, but MAN Gus, the male character played by Paul Rust is a serious fucking issue. Where Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) has destructive and selfish tendencies that clearly come from a psychological place, Gus is just a literal Nice Guy who, as his ex-girlfriend, weaponizes niceness and is incredibly passive (he’s a terrible fucking teacher), and that bugs me way more because it comes from entitlement and desperation rather than deep unconscious wounds. I did the exact same shit he did to his ex-girlfriend but then I was 20 at the time and learned that was wrong, where Gus is in his early thirties.

      The third episode was also so aggravating on this score that I’m gonna give this only two more episodes, see where it goes. This really makes me compare it to You’re The Worst, one of my favorite shows and also a sitcom about assholes falling for each other, where the main character’s roots of their problems are fully shown and they have a stronger sense of vulnerability even just at the end of the pilot.

      • Fresno Bob

        I abandoned Love because of how much I hated Rust’s characters. That show was just unpleasant to watch.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          I got really aggravated at his character in episode three – I mean it doesn’t help that his face is so damn punchable but he’s so fucking passive and won’t confront anyone about anything.

        • Miller

          I saw maybe ten minutes of the show and wanted to throttle him. And his entire fucking milieu of hipster nonsense, there was nothing of consequence in that world — the Apatow Touch at its most enraging and enervating.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            He’s just really irritating, and I see how that’s intentional, but it’s still not fun to watch y’all.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        This also reminds me of how You’re The Worst has a morality at play in Gretchen and Jimmy – they operate according to certain values that the rest of the world doesn’t share and while that makes them dysfunctional it also makes them easy to root for against the shallow LA-ers in the world they inhabit. They’re iconoclasts, not helpless pawns, and while Gus and Mickey are unique in their dysfunction only Mickey comes the closest to having her own morality, while Gus is inherently unable to stand up for himself, so he’s NOT a really compelling and active character.

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          Well, this is all confirming the reasons I haven’t started Love and probably won’t. Enough of passive man-children as protagonists and heroes!

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I fully embrace Louie as a passive protagonist but only because everybody on the show shits on him for this (“You are the most boring man I have ever met”).

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            I actually did kinda stall out on that show, I think, early in season 4. It just got depressing to watch Louie mope around and fuck up his personal relationships. (And after hearing the tale of one upcoming episode that is, uh, iffy on consent, combined with the real-life rumors about him, I haven’t really felt all that compelled to check it out!)

    • Miller

      Friday Night Lights, season four finale — a rewatch of the end of possibly the best season of the show. Billy and Tim Riggins = SO MANY MAN TEARS, pound for pound this might be more melodramantic than Warrior. Great stuff and balanced nicely by some quiet moments with Coach and Mrs. Coach. Sometimes all you can do is get her coffee.

      Wet Hot American Summer Reunion, first two episodes — I was unreasonably happy to see the Twin Towers in the opening montage, a nice sign of not being a wuss in the humor department. A little slow going so far but Paul Rudd is killing it and disturbingly looks like he’s actually aged — part of the joke here and in the prequel and the movie itself is ofhow everyone looks ridiculous playing younger, of course, but Rudd actually pulled it off for a solid 15 years and seeing cracks in that is more noticeable than something over the top like Coop.

    • Babalugats

      The Apartment – I saw this as a kid and it went way over my head. I hated it. I thought it was more sad than funny, and that Jack Lemmon was a creep. Seeing it as an adult was like watching a whole different movie. It’s not really a comedy. It’s more sad than funny. And it doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of its hero. Jack Lemmon is a real creep. This is a Great Film and deserving of it’s reputation, but I still think Lemmon should have ended face down in a swimming pool.

      Shirley MacLaine is great here. She has a way of draining all the mirth out of her jokes. They feel almost compulsive. And she communicates her motivation behind them really well. We know if she’s being charming, or cruel, or trying to express her deep desperate sadness, but the men ignore all of it. Happy to accept her as exactly what they want her to be. This is a cynical film. The sort of movie where, “I won’t let you fuck the woman I love… in my own bed… anymore” plays as a big romantic gesture. It’s so cynical that 16 years after Double Indemnity Fred MacMurray’s insurance agent is now running the whole company. I love when directors see something in an actor that nobody else does. Like the way the Coens are convinced that George Clooney is a buffoon. Billy Wilder saw a sinister quality to MacMurray where everybody else in the world saw Disney dad, and everybody else in the world was wrong.

      When people talk about Billy Wilder, they usually focus on his writing. Which is understandable, Billy Wilder is arguably the greatest screenwriter to ever live. The script here is a perfect balance of tones, with a tight intricate structure that you just don’t see anymore. Take a scene early on where MacMurray professes his love to MacLaine. It would play as romantic, except that we just saw him secure Lemmon’s apartment for after the date. But the scene where he secures the apartment doesn’t play as set up, it plays as payoff/escalation to an earlier joke. Every scene is doing three or four things at once. But in all the praise of his writing, I think sometimes people forget just what a strong visual filmmaker Wilder was. This is a beautiful movie. Draped in shadow. Full of perfectly composed, evocative images and dynamic staging. Most of the film is contained to one set, but it never feels stagey. We get a real sense of the space, and Wilder keeps finding interesting places to put his camera.

      Sometimes it’s nice to return to an old film and have it unchanged, and sometimes it’s nice to see you were wrong.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Lemmon’s kind of a creep in a way (I don’t know how the movie would play for me on a rewatch today) but I think he’s one with layers – I think he earns a happy ending so to speak when he listens to Fran when she talks about her heartbreak where Sheldrake doesn’t give a shit. As Ebert said this is about people who are used to prostituting themselves for love or a promotion and are just exhausted of doing that anymore.

        • Babalugats

          I feel like if a girl that you’re in love with tries to kill herself in your apartment, and you’re worried about whether or not that’s going to embarrass your boss, you deserve to get shoved down an elevator shaft or eaten by a velociraptor. But I’ve never really responded to Lemmon as a performer, so he was behind the eightball from the start, with me.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Huh, I don’t remember that as “worried it’ll embarass the boss” – I remember him calling Sheldrake specifically because he’s been seeing her, but as I remember it he’s freaked out that she tried to kill herself and he takes care of her throughout, including locking the windows. But yeah, if you don’t like Lemmon that’ll be a problem. He makes the character’s loneliness and isolation more palpable and understandable I think.

      • I generally struggle a bit with Billy Wilder’s ultra-cynical films (see also: Ace in the Hole), but I’m hoping I’ll get more out of this one when I get around to giving it another shot.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      I didn’t watch anything last night, because I got home and completely crashed, but I forgot to mention that over the last couple of days I watched the first two episodes of Angie Tribeca, season 2, which seems to be settling into a nice groove– more of a balance between Police Squad!-style visual absurdity and mocking tropes. (I was particularly fond of a sequence in the second episode, where Hayes MacArthur’s character, after drawing on the murder suspect, walks through how he solved the crime via flashback– and when we cut back to real time, it turns out we’ve missed an entire shootout and apprehension.)

    • pico79

      Happy to say that @JakeGittes was right, and this week’s ep. of Twin Peaks was a huge improvement over the last, even recontextualizing last week’s worst scene. I think my heart dropped to my stomach when Audrey’s husband threatened her with “ending her story,” wtf!?, one of those moments that only this show can provide. I’m still likely to skip ep.12 on rewatch, though, because it was a total chore.

      Meanwhile the husband is binging on Game of Thrones since he somehow walked in on mid-season 5 and has been enjoying it ever since. He finally got fed up with not knowing the backstory, so we’re working our way through the earlier seasons. Lots of things to love and hate on rewatch, but the one thing the show does well – that Martin does well, I should say – is liven up the plot with unexpected pairings: Arya-Tywin, Brienne-Jaime, Arya-Hound, Brienne-Pod, etc. That is, characters who’d never meet in other circumstances, forced to spend time together, for our entertainment. This is the stuff I’ll remember from the show when it’s gone.

      • Miller

        Great point on the pairings, Bronn has been at the center of two — with Tyrion and on the show with Jamie, which has been just a blast to watch. Which makes me extremely apprehensive for the coming Sunday’s show, I have a bad feeling that Bronn bites it.

        • pico79

          Agreed. Only reason I didn’t include the Bronn pairings is that it’s really easy to imagine him getting along with Tyrion (less so with Jaime), where the other ones are really counter-intuitive but great.

  • – Anyone else here following the Doom of the AV Club? Oh the angsting over Kinja! Which would be worth more angst if there weren’t three articles about 1997 today – two with at least some writing by Sean O’Neal – that I immediately lost interest in. I am saddened by the probable lost of community there, but more saddened at the diminution of the product.

    – Any thoughts about the pending Disney streaming service? I am not thrilled that sooner rather than later, we will either need to buy six or seven services where two will suffice now, or switch off between services from month to month. And I am not hopeful that a Disney service will be all it could be. But the chance that we might see them open the Disney vaults – as Josh Spiegel has been pushing for on Mousterpiece Cinema for some time – makes me hopeful. I just hope that means Bambi and Fantasia and not High School Musical.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      So what’s going on? I didn’t read any of the response to Kinkja from commentators.

      • Short form: everyone hates the Kinja system because you can’t really do threads the same way, and also because the Gawker sites are ugly and unwieldy. (I can’t speak for the system because I never did much commenting back when I read io9.) The main editors at AVC tried to reassure everyone that things will be great, but no one seems to be buying that at all. (And as an aside, I took the opportunity to beg O’Neal to bring back Nabin and was told Nabin left of his own free accord. Which doesn’t jibe with what I saw from Nabin.)

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Goddamn it O’Neal!! Yeah I do not care for the Gawker style.

          • DJ JD

            It essentially abolishes longform discussion, which might be a feature not a bug given some of the side comments that have been made.

          • Sadly, AVC has been invaded more and more by trolls, undermining a lot of the community that is there. But at the same time, a lot of the commenters I like best have been fleeing anyway.

          • DJ JD

            Yeah, that’s been sad to watch for sure, even if I assume it’s inevitable for any site over a certain size. Every so often I’ll spot someone I haven’t seen around that I recognized from TD like Chapman Baxter and I feel unexpectedly nostalgic.

          • Fresno Bob

            Chapman was an odd duck. Hopefully he’s doing okay.

          • DJ JD

            Apparently his family knew the girl Amanda Knox was accused of murdering! He posted a pretty intense response to the usual trolls and goons and I waited a few days for things to die down and then replied something like “thanks for sharing; hope you’re doing all right.” He didn’t reply, alas.

          • Jean-Luc_de_Lemur

            I only visit the AVC once or maybe twice a week (or two…or three), and while my general impression of the comments remains “nobody comments there anymore because there’s not much worth reading” I’m always surprised at how many people I recognize in the comments. I don’t really feel like I have anything to add, though I didn’t necessarily feel that way ~five or six years ago and still had a ton of fun commenting. The spirit’s been gone so long it isn’t hitting me like I thought it would.

          • Miller

            It really depends on the articles in a lot of ways — History of Violence is a well-written and knowledgeable column, a worthy successor to stuff like the NCC, and unsurprisingly the comments are pretty good too. GJIs I don’t even bother with. I think there are still good conversations and some of the past wasn’t exactly rosy either, but I have a dim view of what the switchover will bring.

        • Delmars Whiskers

          “Left of his own accord” in the sense of being told they wouldn’t publish anything he wrote, but hey, he’s always welcome to submit material.

        • clytie

          All the Gawker sites have gotten bad since the flagship shut down.

          • I never had much use for Deadspin, and as much as I respect Charlie Jane Anders, io9 lost me years ago with one too many scare stories about pandemics that weren’t. (I am so glad I wasn’t there for Ebola.)

          • clytie

            The only decent site anymore is Lifehacker and even that had gone downhill.

    • Delmars Whiskers

      The Kinjapocalypse comment thread was amazing. To give O’Neal and Laura Browning credit, their comments seemed sympathetic and sincere, but those IT guys were such colossal assholes, unable to understand the most basic questions they were being asked, or explain why their system is unable to perform some pretty basic tasks. (Threading comments? Yeah, it would be great if we could do that…We’ll look into it.)

      But yeah, the site itself is really no longer worth saving. O’Neals’ piece on Itchy & Scatchy& Poochie should have been a slam dunk, but it just kinda sat there. Maybe there’s just not much left to say about an episode everyone knows so well, but O’Neal’s writing used to be a pleasure in and of itself, and this was just so flat. But hey, I’m sure they’ll be back sockin’ it to that Donald Trump guy. He must work there or something.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Trump newswires! You’re not playing RIGHT into his constant need for attention there.

        • Delmars Whiskers

          It’s also a cheap way to drive up pageviews. If they could just rastafy him by ten percent or so…

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Oh of course, it’s just why this whole AV Club #Resistance thing is so freaking laughable.

      • I never thought I would see the day when a Simpsons article on AVC was so flat. Maybe I’ve been a bit spoiled by the level of analysis from the “Worst Episode Ever” podcast that takes its name from I&S&P, but the hosts of that one would take the same material and take it apart and reassemble it so much better, and they are just fans.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Woof, I’m not reading that then.

          • DJ JD

            FWIW, I liked it better than Simon did. It suffers from the AVC’s apparently sitewide approach of dumbing down for a larger audience, but I thought O’Neal had some solid points and a clear perspective he was writing from.

            I’m not exactly disagreeing with Simon on the larger point, mind. Writing a pop culture website with a hard ceiling of so-called 6th-grade vocabulary and abstract concepts won’t ever make it look good compared to here or TD.

          • Miller

            Yeah, I was a tad inebriated when reading it but I thought it was fine — the points it makes aren’t new but they’re given fun (and theme week-appropriate context) by the appearance of SNPP Sean O’Neal. And as noted by others, Poochie on the main page is all too apropos for the advent of Kinja.

          • Delmars Whiskers

            It was, eh, okay, but like a lot of O’Neal’s recent entries, it feels like he’s half-assing it, kind of like Rabin’s stuff just before he joined the exodus for The Dissolve.

      • Miller

        I try to be measured in my anger at the Kinja move, it’s not like we or the writers have a choice, but those IT responses were increasingly bullshit. I got to the thread long after the actual Town Hall part but a lot of commenters had very good and very pointed questions that were not answered well or at all. And my god, images? That alone is a death knell.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        AV Club’s been over for a while. Even the sense of community is best replicated elsewhere (here, the AV Club After Dark, the group chat I started on Twitter with some EX-AVCAD lefties who didn’t feel welcome in the politics threads).

        • Miller

          So I might check out the Avacado at some point, I have stayed away largely because I don’t need another place to waste time in my life but also because of a sense that there is Drama there. Which I also don’t need and which is mitigated by an open community like what the AV Club has been. The constant influx of new people means change in mores and conversations, but it prevents stagnation that leads to bullshit, and that is something I really think is worth preserving if possible.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            Yeah, I mean… it’s definitely one of those places that can build a bit of an in-crowd, especially in the open threads, and I suppose there’s the occasional drama there– I guess how much you should participate vs. keep it at arm’s length depends on what you want out of it. There can be a good sense of community there for those who need it. These days, I tend to like the pop-culture discussions which have seemingly increased in frequency with the influx of new users since the Kinjapocalypse was announced.

            It’s just, there’s not a lot of decent options out there for an online community. I do wish it skewed more toward the older pop-culture discussions and less to the personal drama, but some people need that, and really, there’s always a good home base here for that stuff (The “What did we watch?” thread is typically my first look on Disqus in the day).

          • Miller

            Good to know, thanks.

    • DJ JD

      I’m bummed Disney needs to compete instead of just buy Netflix or something similar. I’m all in favor of healthy market competition but three or four digital streaming platforms is enough; we don’t need eight. (I have the same thing going with Steam’s competitors in game-land; Steam needs some healthy competition and I love GoG–but after 6 or 8 of them, guys, I’m just done.)

      • I think that Disney looked at Netflix and its debt and then looked at BAMTech and its really good streaming tech, and figured “it will be cheaper and smarter to start from scratch.” Or maybe Reed Hastings just isn’t selling and also doesn’t want to partner with Disney on streaming sports (Netflix seems to be the least interested in that of all the extant services).

        • DJ JD

          It’s funny, because of the Big Three I like Netflix’ interface at least the best. Amazon Prime drives me up a wall to use if I don’t already know exactly what I’m looking for.

          • I can’t stand the interfaces for either Netflix or Amazon. But sometimes it’s fun to go diving and find a good film no one bothered to tell you is there.

      • The Ploughman

        I think the response will be a return to a cleansed cable-like system, where channels group into services (like you see with Sling TV) to compete. The ones that can stand on their own (like HBO) will. Disney used to be a premium cable channel way back in the day!

      • At least Steam isn’t a subscription-based service. I love GoG, though. But, there’s no way I’m shelling out for a Disney only service. I’ll pick up the occasional blu of a decent animated movie, but I have already left behind Marvel and Star Wars and most of their biggest properties. Do they still own Miramax?

        • DJ JD

          You’ve got me there for sure: there are major differences in the models, and my point doesn’t generalize as well as I hoped it would, in hindsight. But I still don’t really want a proliferation of digital channels. (And there’s no way I’d pay for a premium Disney service, either.)

    • Fresno Bob

      I’ve decided that AV Club and the switch to Kinja maybe doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to others. The AV Club was always kind of an uncomfortable fit for me anyway, and the content is less and less interesting to me as time passes. From a corporate standpoint, the switch makes sense, and I think I can move on from that bullshit and continue to live my life. The people making decisions don’t care, and maybe I shouldn’t expend much more mental energy on it either.

      • Oh, stop being so mature.

        • Fresno Bob

          I rarely get accused of something so heinous. This is an outrage!

      • Delmars Whiskers

        I’ll occasionally pop into a political thread at AVC to apologize for Steve King or Chuck Grassley, but I mostly left the comment boards behind once The Dissolve started up. Still, it is a unique community, for better and worse, and it’s infuriating to see the corporate types have so little understanding of why people are upset.

    • The Narrator

      As a longtime member of those infamous Community comments, I’m probably more affected than most by the switch, and as much will be trying to move the people still commenting there to an open thread that I’ll create over here. I dunno if Fearless Leader Kassendorf will object to that or not, but it’s worth a shot.

      • Miller

        From what I understood, Disqus comments will be ported over. But does that mean they will remain in that system or be reformatted as Kinja? The last comment switchover reformatted, so I’m worried.

    • pico79

      For what it’s worth, this would be the site’s fourth (?) iteration of the comments section. All the comments from the original iteration are long gone. The second made you create an AVC profile to comment, and they were able to merge that with the third, Disqus, to preserve those comments (but eventually you did have to cave and register for Disqus proper). One of the reasons I’m a bit blasé about the whole thing is that I’m used to losing comments by now, after a time.

      • Miller

        I was around for all of that and get the disdain for people who hate change, but Kinja by all accounts is not just different but actively terrible. It has built-in image support but not comment threading, I am not a software engineer but this seems to me like designing a car that has a touch-screen music console but no steering. Disqus’ great sin in my mind was nuking pages for infinite scroll, and that sucked a lot but was eventually workable. I don’t see a similar adjustment to a comment system that is in a crucial respect worse than what existed a decade ago.

        • pico79

          Don’t get me wrong: I despise Kinja (some experience over at Gawker media, and it’s just the worst.) It’s a terrible choice for the AVClub, and yet another reason I’ll likely reduce what little time I spend interacting over there. I’m just suggesting that the reason the tech people turn a deaf ear to protests over site redesigns is that they happen every time a redesign happens, so they may not register any difference between justified and unjustified complaints other than “ugh, here we go again.” Maybe if people didn’t cry murder over good redesigns, it’d be easier to mount a unified front against bad ones.

          • Miller

            Yeah, I feel like the AV tech folks get crapped on too much and the higher editors have also seen this before and yet deal with it politely. The Kinja tech people, though…

  • Conor Malcolm Crockford

    Tom Hanks is really genius casting for a shady guru CEO but this movie just looked really blah – the trailers looked so visually uninteresting and I imagined what a director like Jonathan Glazer could do with open space corporate headquarters.

    • thesplitsaber

      Yeah like how hard is it to cast him as an outright villain in something? And this clearly needed a visionary to give it the Kubrick treatment-rip out the interesting spine and go full bore into satirical darkness.

  • DJ JD

    This movie is indirectly responsible for my joining a FB group entirely for their title graphic. I left the group shortly thereafter because I have nothing whatsoever in common with them, but the graphic still makes me laugh. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0e8f8f27b0058fe10b9338e323d6fb03266979292c59388eaccd4350a855e9ba.jpg

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      That Toast Black Mirror article is the gift that keeps on giving.

      • DJ JD

        I hadn’t seen it before you said that, so thank you. That was wonderful.

      • Miller

        Bwahahaha, I would absolutely watch some of those though.

  • The Ploughman

    For a more satisfying dose of unsettling corporate culture, I highly recommend the book PopCo by Scarlett Thomas. Insight into invasive corporate marketing, puzzles and cyphers, and a lost pirate treasure to boot.