May 2016 Viewing Diary

Supernatural, Season 3, Episode 5, “Bedtime Stories” (2007; d. Mike Rohl)
So silly.

Supernatural, Season 3, Episode 6, “Red Sky at Morning” (2007; d. Cliff Bole)
I like this episode a lot. I don’t care that the SPN writers threw this one under the bus. The SPN writers are not the boss of me.

The Lobster (2016; d. Yorgos Lanthimos)
Love this movie and can’t stop thinking about it. My review for

Sin Alas (2016; d. Ben Chace)
The first American film to be shot in Cuba since 1959. Extremely interesting, gorgeous film-making. Definitely check it out. Strong visuals. I reviewed for

Dheepan (2016;d. Jacques Audiard)
Based on Rust and Bone alone, I am a huge fan of Audiard’s work. I thought Rust and Bone was one of the best films of 2012, and somehow … critically misunderstood or neglected. Every criticism I saw of it was a total nitpick, especially in the face of the primal power of that movie. Dheepan is not as good, but still, he’s an extremely interesting filmmaker, homed in on the marginalized/ignored/invisible. My review at

Spotlight (2015; d. Tom McCarthy)
A re-watch. Yes, it’s a good story, an important story. But best movie of the year? Are you fucking kidding me? The Oscars always get it wrong. Always. Why people value them so highly – outside of their entertainment value – I will never know.

Force of Evil (1948; d. Abraham Polonsky)
A great film with a GREAT central performance by John Garfield. One of the most cynical American movies ever made. All of these people were blacklisted, which is a disgrace.

Supernatural, Season 3, Episode 9, “Malleus Malificarum” (2008; d. Robert Singer)
Clearly, I was starting up a Season 3 re-watch.

Supernatural, Season 3, Episode 10, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (2008; d. Steve Boyum)
Heart-crack. Works every time. On every level. The production design alone!!

L’Eclisse (1962; d. Michelangelo Antonioni)
I came to Antonioni late. I saw Blow-Up and then nothing else for a long time. But then you get sick of hearing about him, especially if you haven’t seen his stuff. Antonioni Antonioni Antonioni … All RIGHT already, I’ll play some catch up! I saw most of his stuff in the 90s, early 2000s. I wouldn’t say he is my favorite film-maker, but he has directed not one, not two, but three flat-out masterpieces – undeniable masterpieces, works that LOOM over 20th century cinema – and these films came within a 3-year period, one after the other after the other. Phenomenal. Untouchable. You don’t snuggle up to his work. It does not reach out to you. It does not care about you at all. Antonioni’s eye is ruthless, and this does not seem like a pose, a pose of ennui and disconnection. His work came out of the Cold War and its paranoia. L’Eclisse came out the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The world standing at the edge of its own abyss. To me, L’Eclisse , which ends with a couple – Monica Vitti and Alain Delon – failing to meet at the appointed spot … is his greatest film. It’s DAUNTINGLY great.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode , “Don’t Call Me Shurley” (2016; d. Robert Singer)
Brian Wilson and the Rolling Stones. Three references to Keith Richards’ memoir. I’m good.

Team Foxcatcher (2016; d. Jon Greenhalgh)
I saw Bennett Miller’s movie and thought it was okay. Not great, but okay. I was extremely intrigued by the story, though, and went on a Google-search to find articles, video clips, of the real people. Finally now: Netflix came out with a documentary detailing what went down. I highly recommend it.

Loving You (1957; d. Hal Kanter)
Elvis’ second movie. It’s extremely fascinating once you start to break it down into its parts, and see it for what it is: a frank attempt to deal with what had happened to the culture since Elvis arrived. It’s not autobiographical. And they get a lot wrong. On purpose. Hollywood turned Elvis into “white bread,” and they do so here too (sort of). Elvis is lovely in it and there are a ton of great songs, and Dolores Hart (who became a nun, and also was his leading lady in King Creole) is in it, plus Lizabeth Scott (who just died last year). The colors are superb and sparkling. And in the final number, you can get a glimpse of Elvis’ mama, sitting in the audience. He could never watch the movie. If it was on TV, he’d turn it off. It was too painful to see her there, onscreen, still alive.

Jailhouse Rock (1957; d. Richard Thorpe)
Talk about a fascinating film. This film is so deep and so strange. With so many great songs, and Elvis’ best line-reading: “That ain’t tactics, honey. It’s just the beast in me.” But still: weird weird movie.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 21, “All in the Family” (2016; d. Thomas Wright)
And here’s where it starts to go sour. With ancillary characters just standing around, entities who have long out-stayed their welcome.

Girl Happy (1965; d. Boris Sagal)
For me, this is the high point of the “Elvis Formula” movie. It’s funny, charming, silly, and 100% entertaining.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 1 Pilot (2011; d. Michael Cuesta)
I decided to give it a whirl. 1. I love spies and anything having to do with intelligence operations. My friends call me “Special Ops.” (And then there’s #33 on this list. That really happened.) 2. I “have what she has.” That’s one of the reasons why I HAVEN’T watched it. But enough people have said that they think it’s respectfully handled that I decided to give it a go. I have some thoughts on that. Yes: it is an extremely accurate depiction of the malady. Her flipping out about not having a green pen? I’ve been there. Everyone is excellent. I know everyone goes gaga about Damien Lewis. I think he’s a good actor but I don’t find him sexy and/or attractive. (Listen, men can say that shit about women, so I can too.) I am madly in love with Diego Klattenhoff. Ehmagerd, help me. Not as interested in the Brody-family-soap-opera, although Diego K. is crucial to that plot-line – so he alone makes it interesting. I’m enjoying the series, but at this point (I just started Season 3 yesterday), I might not continue. Like: I get it. It’s good. But now it seems to be spinning its wheels a bit. Not sure. We’ll see.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 2 “Grace” (2011; d. Michael Cuesta)
Cuesta, by the way, directed Roadie around the same time, and it was one of my favorite movies that year (and it was a very strong year). My review and my interview with star Ron Eldard.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 3 “Clean Skin” (2011; d. Daniel Attias)
I am haunted by the character of Reed, the main girlfriend (hired) of the Saudi sheikh. You know such women exist.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 4 “Semper I” (2011; d. Jeffrey Nachmanoff)
I’ll be honest: I am not sure what the connection is between Brody and Carrie. Maybe he’s just a manifestation of her mental illness. I get why he’s drawn to her, eventually. She knows the worst about him, and she doesn’t blink. She’s also a savior, in a way. I don’t know. Maybe the point is that when someone’s in a manic break, they are not the best judge of what is good for them, who likes them, who cares about them.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 5 “Blind Spot” (2011; d. Clark Johnson)
The CIA does not come off well, in general. A bunch of Keystone Cops. Which, according to my source, is pretty accurate.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 6 “The Good Soldier” (2011; d. Brad Turner)
So far, I’ve liked the show best when Brody was a duplicitous lying terrorist. This whole first season was a cliffhanger because Carrie does seem so unstable and you’re not sure if she’s a reliable narrator. The moment that comes at the end of Season 1, when she says, “I was right …” First of all: Hats off, Claire Danes, for the playing of that moment … and it’s also a relief because of the tension of the entire season. Yup: he really is a terrorist douche-bag.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 7 “The Weekend” (2011; d. Michael Cuesta)
The lovey-dovey stuff doesn’t work as well for me as the confrontation on the porch when they put all their cards on the table. GREAT scene.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 22, “We Happy Few” (2016; d. John Balham)
The whole episode was blocked like a game of statues. Me no understand.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 8 “Achilles Heel” (2011; d. Tucker Gates)
Walker’s alive, alive, alive (“Flash Gordon’s alive, alive, alive …”)

Homeland Season 1, Episode 9 “Crossfire” (2011; d. Jeffrey Nachmanoff)
LOVED the scene with the Imam’s wife in the shoe store.

Purple Noon (1960; d. René Clément)
Alain Delon is the best Tom Ripley ever put onscreen. I love this movie so much. Released by Criterion, by the way. You should get it. And if you haven’t seen it, you should see it. Patricia Highsmith said once that she did not recommend that any of her books be stocked in prison libraries. You can see why.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 10 “Representative Brody” (2011; d Guy Ferland)
Brody as political candidate doesn’t really work for me. He seems so OFF. Like: nobody notices how OFF this guy is whenever he speaks to ANYone?

La Piscine (1969; d. Jacques Deray)
Alain Delon: Pouty superstar. Co-starring with the gorgeous and excellent Romy Schneider (they had been a couple, although I think they had broken up at this point. He went off and had a child with Nico. Alain Delon impregnated NICO. This is how icy-cool this dude was.) I love this film.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 11 “The Vest” (2011; d. Clark Johnson)
So stressful I could barely get through it.

Homeland Season 1, Episode 12 “Marine One” (2011; d. Michael Cuesta)
Mental illness narrative. Methinks that the writers have studied Kay Jamison’s Touched with Fire. (Wrote about that movie here.) Homeland understands the siren song and how it operates. So does Claire Danes.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 1 “The Smile” (2012; d. Michael Cuesta)
It took me a second to understand what the title referred to. Once I figured it out, the episode cracked open for me. This is the siren song thing, again.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 2 “Beirut is Back” (2012; d. Michael Cuesta)
I love the “tradecraft” aspect of the show and of any story having to do with intelligence operations. This – plus the bipolar – is why I am enjoying the show. There’s a lot of silliness here, too, though. How can it be sustained? I can’t imagine that this has gone on into Season 5.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 3 “State of Independence” (2012; d. Lodge Kerrigan)
This episode is fucking insane. And I can’t believe I laughed when someone died, but I did. It was just so absurd!

Homeland Season 2, Episode 4 “New Car Smell” (2012; d. David Semel)
I love Virgil and Max. They are two of my favorite characters.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 5 “Q&A” (2012; d. Lesli Linka Glatter)
Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) is fascinating. He brings something really interesting to the show. I want him and Carrie to hook up. Much better match than Carrie and Brody.

Rififi (1955; d. Jules Dassin)
I love this movie so much. One of my favorite sequences in movies EVER is the 30-minute jewel heist scene done with no dialogue AND no underlying music. Just silence and activity. A masterpiece.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 6 “A Gettysburg Address” (2012; d. Guy Ferland)
I want Roya to be taken down. For that smirk to be wiped off her face for all time. I’m sorry but this one struck me as a little bit silly. The ambush in the tailor’s shop. I mean, I get it. But come on.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 7 “The Clearing” (2012; d. John Dahl)
The character of Aileen (Marin Ireland) is so interesting. A Patty Hearst type. Lost to the world. In a cult of her own beliefs. Unreachable. The scene between her and Mandy Patinkin in the prison was a FEAST of good acting. I’m also happy to see Talia Balsam.

Running on Empty (1988; d. Sidney Lumet)
A fave. As a matter of fact, it’s in my Top 5 of all time. The editor of Bright Wall Dark Room and I had an online discussion about the film for their upcoming issue. Theme of issue = Identity.

The Nice Guys (2016; d. Shane Black)
Fantastic. Loved every second of it.

Seed (1931; d. John Stahl)
A lost film, really. Bette Davis’ second film. John Stahl was an excellent director of melodramas (and he also directed Leave Her to Heaven, a creepy psychological favorite). Seed is really good and I hope that it will be made available soon so everyone can see it. It was never released on DVD. It’s never screened. It was playing at MoMA and I went with a gaggle of film-fan friends. The place was packed with 1. people who were probably alive when it was originally released and 2. film critics, none of whom had seen it. It does my heart good to live in New York in such moments. To show up at a huge theatre screening a movie from 1931, and there’s a line out the door.

The Meddler (2016; d. Lorene Scafaria)
As per usual, the movie was marketed wrong. And the poster is terrible. This is actually a poignant, well-written, and deeply satisfying film that is really really smart about grief and how it operates. I LOVED IT. See it before it leaves the theatre. You want to support “female filmmakers”? Sick of empty blockbusters? Sick of “big” summer-tentpole movies? Put your money where your mouth is and go seek out these smaller films. Or stop complaining because I don’t want to hear it. This is an excellent film.

Blast of Silence (1961; d. Allen Baron)
WHAT a film. The real-life New York locations are part of its sleazy and existential malaise. The film is a noir, of the most relentless kind. Gorgeous.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 8 I’ll Fly Away” (2012; d. Michael Cuesta)
As long as I get periodic glimpses of Diego, I’m good.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 9 “Two Hats” (2012; d. Daniel Attias)
Peter Quinn rising in interest. I really like where this aspect of the show is going. I’m sick of the Brodys.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 10 “Broken Hearts” (2012; d. Guy Ferland)
How the fuck did Abu Nazir get back into the United States? Come on. And he somehow engineers a car crash, and then pulls Carrie out of it, without anyone noticing/knowing, moving her to an abandoned warehouse nearby where he has holed up, making bombs? Come on. Stop it. And then he holds her hostage. And then blackmails Brody with that information. And there’s a pacemaker connected to Wifi. And … Come on. No.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 11 “In Memoriam” (2012; d. Jeremy Podeswa)
I do love it when Carrie figures something out. When she realizes … wait. Something is “off” here. This was a very satisfying episode in that regard.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 23, “Alpha and Omega” (2016; d. Philip Sgriccia)
A bit sentimental for me, especially the dialogue in the garden-scene at the end, the family therapy session but I actually liked the episode, mainly because it was a risk. Like all risks, it didn’t entirely work, but I appreciate anyone who takes a risk – especially 11 seasons in. That’s where they need to be, that’s the attitude they SHOULD have at this point, as opposed to just repeating themselves. The end of the season has been rocky (understatement, Jeez Louise, wow). And the strong and disturbing currents set up so gorgeously in the first half of the season have failed to really come to a satisfying fruition. However, and this is a big however: This season has been unlike other seasons. There’s been an elegiac mood at times, a nostalgic mood, with old issues arising again, only in a different way because they are older. Their relationship is much more secure. And because of that, other aspects of their lives can now start to take up space. That part of this season has been so beautiful. It proves the point that Sam and Dean don’t have to be in conflict in order for there to be a show. They can be in sync, and the show continues on just fine. Excellent, we’ve needed that. There has been no clear Big Bad in Season 11. From the get-go, I didn’t think of Amara as a Big Bad (I mean, you can’t consider a typhoon to be a “Big Bad” – it’s just doing what a typhoon does). And so this ending fit with that somehow. Yes, awkwardly, and yes, sentimentally, but I liked that they stuck to their guns, that the finale wasn’t, say, “And here is yet another evil entity, OLDER than The Darkness, and oh SHIT HERE COMES SEASON 12.” It was softer. Stranger. And I’m not totally satisfied with it. I would have liked more Billie exploration, more Dean-Amara exploration, definitely more Lucifer exploration. But I would prefer that they take risks, like this one, as opposed to rest on their laurels and play it safe. Season 11 has been VERY bold, radical even. And so in the finale, being bold meant being gentle. Philosophical. There was way too much talk, of course, but that’s typical of Supernatural, there’s always too much talk in the final act. There were scenes that felt “phoned in” (the one with Dean and Cas in the car. Enough with this. Castiel has no use to the story anymore. Just parroting “You’re our brother” – as Dean has been doing for THREE SEASONS NOW – does not help. Time to face the music with Castiel. He’s actually hurting the story now, since so much time is taken away from the brothers in order to follow his adventures with the United Colors of Benetton angels in heaven and nobody cares.) THAT BEING SAID. I didn’t love it, and I am disappointed in a lot of how things went down in the last episodes. But like I said, I felt they were moving into risky territory, anyway, risky EMOTIONAL territory, which is where I want them to be. (It’s been a risky season, in general.) I was happy to see Mary again and am interested in where they want to go with this. I wouldn’t characterize Dean as being a Mama’s Boy or having “oedipal issues”. Unresolved un-managed trauma is the engine on which this show runs, and certainly the structure of his entire life, trauma formed his personality. Dean will never be “over” his childhood or the loss of his mother. I’m happy to see that they might be ready to explore that again, especially since Dean is now almost 40 (oh my God, when did THAT happen?) Like: what will that look like NOW to him? They’ve been building to something like this for some time, in a gentle way. So we’ll see. There were a LOT of dropped balls in Season 11 and I think a lot of that had to do with Showrunner Chaos, which I guessed a couple of weeks ago before I even knew about Robbie Thompson. “We Happy Few” was a series Nadir, in my opinion. It was wrong on a systemic level, and I am trying to just forget that it happened, that they went that far “off,” that they got the EMOTIONS that wrong. “Alpha and Omega”, by comparison, was fine. I don’t have any huge problems with it. I’m looking forward to Season 12, but also slightly wary of all of the shuffling-around happening behind the scenes.

Storytelling (2001; d. Todd Solondz)
Beginning a re-watch of all of Todd Solondz’s films in preparation for Weiner-Dog. This movie is so confrontational. As all of his films are. I’m glad he’s out there, doing whatever the hell he wants to do.

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 14 “The Pest House” (1998; d. Allen Coulter)
It’s good to be back on the binge-watch Millennium train with my friend Keith after two months off! We picked up right where we left off and it’s good to see these characters again. This is some bleak shit, however. Season 2 is extremely strange and I love it, although I understand some fans don’t. This episode is inspired by the urban-legend-“Hook Man”. Hm. Sounds familiar.

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 15 “Owls” (1998; d. Thomas J. Wright)
Okay, so this is now getting into my conspiracy-theory-Illuminati-Templar-Knights-Mary-Magdalene-Gnostic-Gospels wheelhouse. Oh, you didn’t know that that was one of my many wheelhouses? I am large, I contain multitudes. (It was just Walt Whitman’s birthday.)

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 16 “Roosters” (1998; d. Thomas J. Wright)
More of the same: The Millennium Group fracturing into two different theories on what is coming, spiritual or secular. Digging it all.

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 17 “Siren” (1998; d. Allen Coulter)
I love Kristen Cloke so much: wonderful actress, WONDERFUL face.

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 18 “In Arcadia Ego” (1998; d. Thomas J. Wright)
Keith said to me, “I remember crying when this one first aired.” 42 minutes later, I was a wreck with tears streaming down my face. What a phenomenal episode of television. Both actresses were absolutely unbelievable: Missy Crider and Mary-Pat Green. I am welling up with tears all over again.

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 19 “Anamnesis” (1998; d. John Peter Kousakis)
Religious hysteria in a high school. Things are getting distinctly Catholic. Mary Magdalene again. My wheelhouse again. A heretical wheelhouse, but who cares. If you dip your toe into this stuff, you’ll be fully immersed in no time at all. So I’m living this aspect of Season 2.

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 20 “A Room with No View” (1998; d. Thomas J. Wright)
Terrifying. Vaguely homoerotic as well. Plus muzak, muzak so omnipresent you want to go postal.

Millennium, Season 2, Episode 21 “Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me” (1998; d. Darin Morgan)
HILARIOUS. Darin Morgan is out of his MIND. I love his sensibility. It’s not just left of center. It’s off the map entirely. The Christian themes of Season 2 have been present all along. Darin Morgan comes in and goes all Screwtape Letters on these themes. Four devils (literally) sit in a coffee shop and swap stories about how hard it is to make people go evil. They share tips. They disagree on tactics. So entertaining. Ridiculous. But smart, too, really really smart. It’s a philosophical and moral treatise.

Homeland Season 2, Episode 12 “The Choice” (2012; d. Michael Cuesta)
Sometimes things are just too heightened. Yes, I realize it’s the CIA, but come on. Also Carrie should probably be fired. For good. HOWEVER. I am enjoying the series, on the whole. I’m totally into Peter Quinn now. He’s my favorite. Everyone’s acting is amazing. I have a feeling that Mandy Patinkin, as an actor, has a hard time “losing” in any scene. He always has to be high status. Just a sense I get. Even in scenes where he’s supposed to be humiliated or wrong, he seems to resist. It gives a nice tension to his work but it also limits him as an actor. Not in a fatal way, but that sense is still there.

Art Bastard (2016; d. Victor Kanefsky)
Documentary about artist Robert Cenedella. Opening tomorrow. I reviewed for It’ll go up tomorrow.

The Homesman (2014; d. Tommy Lee Jones)
I reviewed this for, when it came out. I absolutely love this movie. I stand by that review. It’s even better on a re-watch. Even stranger. Even more feminist and prickly and angry. Great acting. Risky. Gorgeously shot by Tommy Lee Jones. Wonderful wonderful film. I saw a lot in it I didn’t pick up on the first time.

Homeland Season 3, Episode 1 “Tin Man Is Down” (2012; d. Lesli Linka Glatter)
Season 3! Everything blown up! Everyone dead! Brody in the wind.

The Fits (2016; d. Anna Rose Holmer)
Opens tomorrow. Reviewing for

Homeland Season 3, Episode 2 “Uh…Oo…Aw” (2012; d. Lesli Linka Glatter)
The Brody Teen Drama is annoying me now. I tried to be accepting and okay with it. But I’m not. Carrie is sidelined, institutionalized. I am now obsessed with Peter Quinn. Upsetting episode.

Homeland Season 3, Episode 3 “Tower of David” (2012; d. Clark Johnson)
Brody emerges! And boy, he looks like shit. Carrie remains in the hospital. Obviously, the show is still highlighting how the journeys of these two people are mirror-images of one another. It doesn’t entirely work for me, but these actors are both so excellent they make it work.

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66 Responses to May 2016 Viewing Diary

  1. mutecypher says:

    / I am large, I contain multitudes./

    Love me some Walt. I always put that one up there with Emerson’s “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”

    Running on Empty is a great movie. Really looking forward to the BWDR discussion.

    And I’m glad that there are folks who liked the SPN 11 final. I may re-watch it then and see what good things I missed.

    • mutecypher says:

      I wish River and Martha had made more movies together. And that River was still with us, if wishes are being granted. They had such perfect chemistry.

      Her line to him in The Mosquito Coast – “I think about you when I go to the bathroom” is my favorite Awkward Come-on.

      • sheila says:

        It’s been a long time since I’ve seen The Mosquito Coast. I too love the two of them together – they are beautiful in Running on Empty – it’s hard to remember how young they were here – they have these incredibly difficult complex scenes, and they both just own it. True tenderness between them.

        I cannot look at River Phoenix without missing him. A cataclysmic event for actors and film – to not have him around still. It’s awful.

        • mutecypher says:

          The scene.

          And clearly I need to watch What’s Up Doc

          • sheila says:

            Don’t even get me started. I can recite it beginning to end. My whole family can and most of my friends can too. It’s dangerous because if you throw a quote into a conversation in this crowd – you will then lose 45 minutes of just reciting the entire movie at one another. This happens on FB all the time and it’s hilarious!

    • sheila says:

      “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” I knew that quote by heart by the time I was 9 years old because it’s referenced in What’s Up Doc.

      “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”
      “Emerson! I adore him.”
      “I adore anyone who adores Emerson.”
      “And I adore anyone who adores anyone who adores Emerson. Your turn!”

      In re: Running on Empty: Yes, our conversation was a lot of fun! I’ve never written anything about it – not sure what I would have to say other than, “It’s an amazing film” – but I found a lot to say about it, especially in terms of Identity – which is, of course, one of the themes of the film. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen it and the SAME moments touch me with the SAME intensity each time. It’s amazing!

      I’m looking forward, too, to reading the edited version of our conversation – not sure when they launch the issue.

    • sheila says:

      and yeah, I didn’t love the finale, and the “can’t we all get along” thing was a let-down after the build-up of the entire season (pre-Chuck, I mean). Chuck was a wrench in the works. The whole thing for the entire season was about Dean and Amara – and I wish that that had been more satisfactorily HANDLED – because it was so mysterious and bizarre and seemed to have a lot of possibilities.

      But yeah, I liked a lot of it. I liked that Dean was ready to face death, and wow – Sam just let him go off and do it. They said goodbye and off Dean went. Think of the progress of THAT. Very different from the usual. The characters have grown a lot in the past 3 seasons.

      I liked the setting of that garden and how surreal it was – sort of out of time, and out of our world. It didn’t remind me of the garden in Detroit in “The End” but it had a similar “this is not in our real world” feeling to it.

      I liked the random reference to a “retirement center” – again – what IS it with this season and retirement centers – I don’t have an answer for that but I like the possibilities and the openings-up that it provides – that it may pay off in some way I can’t see right now.

      I think I’ve bashed to death my feelings about Crowley/Rowena/Castiel. :) I was glad that they were pretty meaningless in this episode – after the debacle of the penultimate episode – but still: I’m at the point where Castiel is onscreen and the whole thing dies in the water because there’s no urgency to it anymore. It pains me to say that because when Castiel was “on” he added SO much to the show.

      so yeah. I didn’t have the visceral dislike of it a lot of others seem to have – and that’s fine that we all have different responses. My reaction to We Happy Few was so negative that I admit that part of my response to Alpha/Omega was relief that it wasn’t as tone-deaf.

      Definitely tons of dropped balls in Season 11. I haven’t re-watched the season in its entirety yet – and I will – and it’ll be interesting to figure out where those balls were dropped in the second half. I have some ideas but I’ll need a re-watch. Such a strong and interesting season though, overall. And they were on a roll there mid-season – they couldn’t go wrong. Episode after episode. So the ending was definitely a let-down as far as all that goes. But I didn’t find it egregious or anything. In fact, it had a lot of bizarre qualities, and risky weird qualities – again, like I said, that didn’t all work – but I appreciate risks. Take them. See what happens. At its best, SPN is a very risky show. I mean, “Baby” was a risk. “Changing Channels” was a risk. So yeah, I’m fine with it over all.

      • Jessie says:

        The last four episodes seem almost to have been from a completely different season. The only major thematic throughline I can spot is that Dean’s Power of Love speech at the end, Sam and I would do anything for each other etc, was on pretty solid ground after the whole of S11’s great motw episodes.

        But I was shocked — shocked I tell you! Not only that there is gambling going on in this establishment but also that so many of the season’s motifs and apparent foreshadowings just didn’t have a presence. Retirement/aging was definitely one. Doing the wrong thing out of love. The general worry about being compromised or mistaken, trusting the wrong person. Sam’s several near-death or death-like experiences and Dean’s responses thereto; or the repeated image of one brother collapsed like Christ come down off the cross with the other holding him or leaning over him. But in the end Dean was just like, flippety flop, off to die, and Sam was like, toodle pip old boy.

  2. Helena says:

    Rushed down to the comments to say, Wait, what, Diego Klattenhoff? THE Diego Klattenhoff???

    • sheila says:

      Wait wait … he’s new to me and now I’m ashamed about it!! – who is he? I am assuming there can’t be two Diego Klattenhoff’s?? Tell me what else he has been in because you know I have to go and watch it all immediately.

      He’s a good actor but he’s gorgeous as hell too.

      • Pat says:

        Diego was in the Supernatural episode “Croatoan”. He was the blond guy that Dean was going to kill in the doctor’s office, who turned out to be a hell minion. He killed Sarge!

      • Sheila says:

        Oh Duh! Of course. Didn’t know his name and what a fabulous name and also never saw his butt cheeks before like we get to in Homeland. Yamma Hamma. He’s really good in Homeland in what could be a boring part: the nice stable reliable guy in the middle of a bunch of scene-stealing lunatics.

        • Lyrie says:

          Ha ha! He plays one of the main characters in The Blacklist (I’m in love with James Spader), and time and again when his character is being a douche – quite often, IMO – I’m like “dude, you didn’t have that smirk on your face when Dean Winchester was threatening to shoot you.”

          • sheila says:

            Oh you guys I am gonna be ALL OVER The Blacklist now!

          • Lyrie says:

            Great, I’d be curious to have your opinion about it.:) I love some storylines and characters, and I am bored with almost as much intensity by some stuff. But there a bunch of great actors, I think. And one of the last episodes of this season just KILLED me. Spader!

          • sheila says:

            Spader is so good – I just love him!

          • Michelle says:

            Oh Sheila , yes you must watch the Blacklist! James Spader is absolutely amazing in that show. I don’t even have the right words for the presence that man has on screen. I would love to hear some of your thoughts on it!

  3. Helena says:

    Oh and Alain Delon. Inspired by you I had a weekend with Alain Delon last week. Finally saw La Piscine (beautiful rageful cowardly Delon) – and thanks for that tip, I’d always put it off for some reason. Rewatched Le Samourai (pristine perfect Delon) and Le Cercle Rouge (shop-worn knackered Delon).

    Purple Noon is just a staggeringly good thriller (vampiric murderous Delon). L’Eclisse – jarring and strange (beautiful opportunistic Delon with an actual proper job).

    I’ve seen A TON of films starring Alain Delon, is what I’m saying.

    • sheila says:

      Oooh, so psyched you saw Piscine! The scene where he keeps pushing his pal (Dickie Greenleaf in the flesh!) back into the pool was brutal. There’s something about Alain when he goes dead in the face (like Le Samourai) where he makes your skin crawl – at the same time that you’re like, “Holy shit, is he beautiful” – but it was great to see him in total panic-mode too in Piscine.

      Now I need to re-watch Le Cercle Rouge – I put it off because Yves Montand’s DTs freak me out so much that I’m freaked out just typing these words.

      But talk about Rififi and the jewel heist scene! Great heist scene in Le Cercle Rouge too (damn you autocorrect, it’s CERCLE. ) Probably inspired, yes?

      Next up, I’m going to watch Rocco and his Brothers – it’s been so long – and I really need to re-familiarize myself with early Delon, pre-matinee-idol international superstar Delon. Thank God these directors (all male) figured out what to do with him and how to use him. Someone that beautiful is WEIRD, a “freak” – I mean, they’re not a freak to themselves, but they have to know how different it is for them – it seemed that Angelina Jolie had an awareness of that, judging how she filmed herself in By the Sea – which I loved.

      Like: you would expect that beauty like that would make people feel all warm-fuzzy, like they’re looking at a Monet or something. But his beauty doesn’t work like that. I’m still trying to put my finger on it – it has to do with that “blankness” inside of him – that the face is a mask, and we put stuff on it – and sometimes it’s hostile, reactions to beauty like that.

      As you can see, I still need to clarify my thoughts. He definitely disturbs the waters – I love Purple Noon so much and you can SEE how Dickie’s girlfriend gets a weird vibe from Tom – and it’s subtle, just little glances over like, “He’s …. ‘off’ … don’t you think?” And in that case, his looks are a smoke-screen, the perfect camouflage.

      Would love to hear more of your thoughts about all of this.

      L’Eclisse – yes, ha!! Alain Delon with a job? A job besides mooching off the rich, stealing jewels, or killing for hire? It does not compute! I LOVED him in those stock exchange scenes – those were all real stock exchange people – and Delon just hung out with them, watching them, seeing how they acted, and then imitated them until he fit right in. Those scenes are crazy, especially in comparison to the bombed-out bleak emptiness of the rest of the movie.

      • Lyrie says:

        // Yves Montand’s DTs//
        What does that mean, please?

        • sheila says:

          Oh sorry – “delirium tremens” – what happens when people who are serious alcoholics get off the booze. Yves Montand holes himself up in an isolated house so he can go cold turkey – and – sorry – but gigantic – giGANTIC spider-type creatures crawl all over him and it’s one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life.

          My skin is crawling just typing this sentence.

          (Carl Perkins had the DTs and he described something practically identical to that scene. So that’s a … thing? with DTs? If so: NO THANK YOU.)

          • sheila says:

            That scene seriously inhibits me from watching that great movie again – I know when the scene happens though so I could close my eyes – but the whole thing is so unnerving and I’m phobic.

          • Lyrie says:

            Oh shit, that sounds horrible!
            I was very, very much in love with Yves Montand when I was a child. And I only knew him old – well, he seemed SO old to me.:)

          • sheila says:

            Oh he’s just wonderful! And he is great in this movie – as is Alain Delon. But oh, that scene! It comes early on – so at least they just get it over with.

            It is definitely hard to picture Yves Montand as a little boy. He was born suave and middle-aged.

          • mutecypher says:

            The bat gnawing its way out of the wall in The Lost Weekend when Ray Milland has the DT’s – seriously scream-worthy. There have been some pretty scary representations of that condition.

          • Helena says:

            re the creepy crawly DT scene

            … this time round I was totally distracted by the wallpaper being the same colour combination as Sam’s shirt in Changing Channels.

            Somehow all the creatures didn’t seem so bad with that to hold on to.

      • Helena says:

        //The scene where he keeps pushing his pal (Dickie Greenleaf in the flesh!) back into the pool was brutal.// yes, poor Maurice Ronet is in Purple Noon, – getting killed by Delon once is unfortunate but twice sounds like carelessness.

        //Angelina Jolie had an awareness of that, judging how she filmed herself in By the Sea – which I loved.//
        I’ve not seen By the Sea (yet) but would I be right in guessing the La Piscine vibes were pretty strong?

        //Next up, I’m going to watch Rocco and his Brothers – it’s been so long – //

        Aagh, dammit, me too. From what I remember of Rocco Delon has a softness and openness you rarely see in him again – possibly in Les Aventuriers and also a bit in Les Insoumis in which he’s technically a bad guy, (imagine The Reckless moment but about James Mason rather than Joan Bennet.) In Rocco Delon somehow fits himself believably into that HIGHLY dysfunctional family. You actually want to mother him a bit. (There is no Delon lovelier than one with a slightly bruised face – it makes me think of your long piece on male beauty and Dean Winchester and how there is something in those beautiful male faces which you want to see spoiled.) But in The Leopard that same director Visconti absolutely nails that quality of slippery amoral opportunist which his looks and charm enable. When he’s in a scene with Claudia Cardinale I don’t know where to look, the on-screen beauty is so overwhelming.

        //Great heist scene in Le Cercle Rouge too (damn you autocorrect, it’s CERCLE. ) Probably inspired, yes?//

        Oh yes, Le Cercle Rouge ABSOLUTELY pays homage to Rififi – right down to that air of doom. I’m wildly speculating here because I’m no Melville scholar but I think Melville would have totally appreciated and sympathised with Dassin’s situation as a black listed director; also as an lover of America and film noir he would have been highly aware of Dassin’s filmography. On this rewatch of Le Cercle Rouge however another film came to mind, which was Bresson’s Un Homme Echappe in which you see the prison break executed more or less in real time. Absolutely riveting, and plays out like the Rififi jewelry heist, more suspenseful, possibly.

        Also what struck me also on rewatch is Delon’s character in Cercle Rouge is playing a loser like Tony le Stephanois in Rififi. It’s only three years after Le Samourai but he looks 15 years older, stiff shouldered and seedy, thickening around the middle with a prison pallor enhanced by that stark black hair and Ron Swanson moustache. Delon is such a detailed actor, he has always found some physical key to his character. His Corey – a guy in a raincoat. – moves so differently to Costello – another guy in a raincoat.

  4. Helena says:

    And Rififi. Tried to rewatch a few days ago and had to stop because of the air of doom about it.

    • sheila says:

      Ugh, I know. When that juicy-boobs-hanging-out adorable girlfriend of one of the thieves gets whacked … it’s so upsetting. I mean, it’s all upsetting but there’s something about that one that seems REALLY unfair because she didn’t DO anything and she was also so adorable – the only seemingly happy person in the whole damn thing.

      • Helena says:

        The film is just shockingly brutal to all its characters. Before seeing it I thought it would be a ‘caper ‘ movie, because the title sounds jaunty, doesn’t it? But it’s an anti-caper film on the theme of betrayal. Dassin nails that.

  5. Wren Collins says:

    Sheila, you pinpointed exactly my feelings about the SPN finale. At least it felt like SPN, is what I’d say. And it looked super-nice. Not the way other episodes look. But nice.

    (I also love Red Sky At Morning. So, so much.)

    • sheila says:

      Wren – yeah, it was a weird one. I admit some of my feelings may have been relief that it wasn’t a debacle like We Happy Few – but still, it threw some wrenches into the works that I think might be interesting to explore (Sam being … shot? Plus, Mary).

      Something definitely de-railed in the final third of Season 11 – and boy, they were on a roll there for a long time – something shifted when Chuck re-entered and he became the focus of Amara as opposed to the long long fascinating (to me) set-up of what the hell was happening with Dean and Amara … and so that was definitely an avenue I wish they had finished out stronger.

      But yeah, I thought it was fine!

      and haha Red Sky at Morning. I think it’s silly and funny. “You smell like sex.”

      • carolyn clarke says:

        …//Something definitely de-railed in the final third of Season 11..//

        Not sure if this helps much re SPN, but supposedly JA reported that the showrunner left before the end of the season to go to the new show. I should think that the SPN family would be experienced enough to run the show without an overseer but perhaps I’m wrong.

        You’ve had a very busy May and with intriguing comments as always. I always curious about your viewpoint. I find it entertaining and thoughtful even if I’m not particularly interested in the subject.

        Agree with your comments on Millennium. I enjoyed the series but I sort of drifted away in the 2nd season. I don’t know if it was because the uniqueness had worn off or maybe the mythology wasn’t as compelling.

        Diego Klattenhoff is in “The Blacklist” which I watch mainly for James Spader who is so delicious and sly. He plays the straight shooter FBI agent.

        • sheila says:

          Carolyn – yes, I mentioned elsewhere – can’t remember where – that I sensed the behind the scenes show runner issue before I heard the news. It was obvious – blatantly obvious! Nobody was manning the ship! Send help, they’re lost at sea! (I suppose it’s a testament to the show that it’s totally obvious when things de-rail!)

          Millennium: yeah, I’m interested to see where it goes. Keith was telling me that Chris Carter manned the ship for Season 1 and 3 – and James Wong Howe and Darin Morgan (maybe?) ran Season 2 – so some fans thought the seasons were uneven, or didn’t “match.” I’m not sure if you sensed that? I will reserve judgment until I see the whole thing. Season 2 is definitely way WAY more “out there” than Season 1!!

          I’ve heard great things about the Blacklist, and now that I know my new boyfriend (i.e. Diego) is on it, I may have to check it out. And I LOVE James Spader – he’s in one scene of The Homesman and he’s just wonderful and creepy and morally compromised. He’s onscreen for maybe 10 minutes and you can’t forget him.

          • carolyn clarke says:

            Spader also plays the cyborg villain in Avenger Age of Ultron (which I sure you know). He is the best part of the movie.

          • Myrtle says:

            And the scene-stealing WN Bilbo in Lincoln! He’s so great.

    • mutecypher says:

      /And it looked super-nice. Not the way other episodes look. But nice./

      Wren –

      Are you riffing on Fredo in GFII?

  6. Pat says:

    Another SPN guest star has made good: Sterling K. Brown (Gordon Walker) has been nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Christopher Darden in the recent miniseries “The People vs OJ Simpson”.  Here’s the story and a great picture of all the other nominees.

    • Sheila says:

      Oh yeah we’ve discussed this before. He was excellent as was that entire ensemble. Go Gordon!

    • Jessie says:

      Thanks for the link, Pat, Brown’s quote cracked me up!

      So nice to see Michael Kelly getting recognition too, he’s a great actor and has the most amazing face and eyelashes.

  7. Although I wouldn’t put Running On Empty quite in my top five it is one of only three movies that ever made me weep (during the scene when Christine Lahti meets with Steven Hill, which is one of the great scenes in American film). And Purple Noon is wonderfully made but I’ll always think Delon would have made an even better Dickie…and a Ripley who gets caught ain’t really Ripley…just sayin’!

    Too much to say about Homeland, I’d just get lost (for me, the whole story is Danes and Patinkin and wondering whether the fate of the free west ever really has/will rest on such folks!). But I’m glad someone else out there had issues with Damien Lewis….good actor but I thought he was seriously miscast for what they wanted from the character. Too bad a young Alain Delon wasn’t available. If you manage to get through Season 3 you really might want to give Season 4 a try. It’s a reboot and, I think, gets rid of a lot of the clutter that built up over the first three seasons.

    Anyway, always love the diary!

    • sheila says:

      // during the scene when Christine Lahti meets with Steven Hill, which is one of the great scenes in American film //

      Totally agree. It is some of the best acting I have ever seen.

      No, Delon couldn’t have been Dickie!! No! :) He’s too … “off.” Beautiful but not at ease in the world somehow in the way Dickie is. And yeah, being caught is definitely not Ripley’s style. :) Although I wouldn’t put it past Delon to wiggle out of whatever interrogation is waiting for him just offscreen in the final shot of Purple Noon.

      Did you see the Matt Damon Ripley? There were some very interesting things about it I think – (the final shot, especially) – and I loved Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie.

      We were just talking about this on Twitter – all the different Ripley movies – I think American Friend is the best Ripley movie. I’ve been meaning to re-watch that one too and it’s on its way to my house as we speak. Have you seen that one?

      • You’ve probably seen a lot more of AD than I have…He’s too damn good looking to be my ideal Ripley (though he was still excellent, don’t get me wrong). You might be right about the ease, though.

        I think the Damon film is excellent. Peak for everybody involved and it’s gotten better each time I’ve watched it….I like the Malkovich version too though he’s not bland enough to merge into the background where an ice cold killer gets his best work done (while no one suspects…I suspect John Malkovich just by looking at him)! It’s been too long since I’ve seen American Friend so I should probably revisit that. Definitely think that PSH was the definitive Freddie, though. A perfect definition of a type!

        • sheila says:

          It’s really interesting to compare/contrast all the Ripleys, isn’t it? He’s such a BLANK, such a cipher – a chameleon and a non-entity, but still attractive enough to cruise around in those upper-echelon circles.

          I did like what Matt Damon brought to it – especially the clearly erotic feelings he had towards Dickie. But then, Delon did that too. He was always open to the sexual possibility in any moment as an actor – male, female, the sunshine, his gun – didn’t matter – it was sexualized.

          • sheila says:

            and I think Delon’s beauty is part of what makes his Ripley so good. Like I said – it’s just not true that people are drawn to beauty in an uncomplicated way. In reality, beauty like that makes people suspicious, or re-coil – it’s not just a good-looking man. It’s an extremely beautiful freak of a specimen – and people have all kinds of weird reactions to being close to someone like that.

            It’s an interesting choice.

          • One thing I should have mentioned…I don’t know if you’ve seen the Criterion Collection version of P. Noon, but it has a fascinating interview with Highsmith, particularly on the subject of Ripley. As far as I can tell it’s not online anywhere or I would link it but definitely worth tracking down. Great exchange where the interviewer says something like “But Ripley is so charming,” and Highsmith says something like “How can he be charming? He’s a monster!”…and the interviewer moves quickly along!

    • sheila says:

      and thank you for the thoughts on Homeland!! I’m about done with Season 3 now, and what the hell, I’ll watch the rest of it. The acting really is so good! So layered and difficult and interesting.

      And I don’t know if I can see Delon as Brody – I think we might have different views of Delon. Now Peter Quinn? Delon was born to play a part like that!!

      I have also warmed up to Brody’s wife. She had some really good stuff this season – although I lost interest in the Teen Drama. But she was excellent trying to deal with just how much her whole life has been ruined – you could see that that cool smiling woman in Season 1 was gone, and gone for good.

      Looking forward to see what comes next!

      • I’ve seen several commenters compare the teen stuff to 24 (which had the same producers I think). I think Homeland was even worse in that regard because they made the teenage girl not merely pointless but out and out annoying. Agree about Morena Baccarin though. Speaking strictly from the hetero-male perspective, she don’t have to do nuttin’ but walk in front of the camera, but that part of my brain which could still function objectively thought she was giving a really nice and sensitive performance in a rather thankless role.

        For what it’s worth, I had deeper thoughts here…

        ..which I’ll stand by!

        • sheila says:

          There was a lot of potential in the story of what it would be like to realize that your father had put on a suicide vest and became a traitor. I mean, so difficult to imagine. The moment when they saw the tape on television was excellent in its sense of total horror. I wish they hadn’t jumped forward a couple of months – and stuck with the immediate aftermath.

          But c’est la vie.

  8. Melissa Sutherland says:

    I stopped watching HOMELAND at the end of season two, but now, reading this maybe I’ll give it another try. I wondered for a long time why you hadn’t watched it, or mentioned it, now it all makes sense. Alain Delon, met him when I was 17 (reverse those digits and that’s how old I am now) and spent some time with him. He was exactly as you write about him, not that I realized it at that age, but I kept thinking that something was “weird” (off?) about him. But so beautiful — it hurt to look at him. Truly. He must have been in his mid-20s maybe? Strange guy, but such a good actor. Usually beauty like that can’t really act, but he could and did. Thanks for this post.

    • sheila says:

      FASCINATING. Thanks for sharing!

      Yes, I think Delon is really perfect as a person who presents as “other” – which was what my whole Le Samourai post was about, really. You can’t put your finger on it … but it’s there, like an aura. Actors love to “play” the sociopath and make their faces go all dead and all that – but Delon is truly terrifying in his blank-ness and beauty. It’s one of the best “blank” performances I’ve seen – and its inspiration – Alan Ladd in This Gun for Hire – was the same way. This Gun for Hire gave the killer a monologue at the end about why he was the way he was – and Le Samourai denied the Delon character that explanation. So he just sits there, onscreen – an anomaly in the human race that exists – and cannot be explained. But both performances are wonderful in their blank and chilly anti-social atmosphere.

      He had such a rough upbringing – he really raised himself. He continues to be strange, and I continue to be totally fascinated by him.

      Thanks again for sharing your personal impression!

  9. JessicaR says:

    Saw The Nice Guys. I’m pretty sure the moment in the elevator where somehow Ryan Gosling gets his cheeks to vibrate in terror is going to be my favorite moment of comedic acting this year. It was wonderful, and this really should have been a sleeper hit for folks who don’t go for the usual summer blockbuster fare.

  10. Lyrie says:

    The library doesn’t have the Millienium DVDs, dammit!

  11. Lyrie says:

    //Homeland Season 2, Episode 3 “State of Independence” (2012; d. Lodge Kerrigan)//

    That moment when Brody finally arrives home, and his Mike and his wife are in front of the house, and THEY MOVE THE SAME WAY AT THE SAME MOMENT was glorious! Diego Klattenhoff and Morena Baccarin, that was beautiful!

    I don’t know what I think of this show. There are so many things I don’t like much. But I love some of the actors very much.
    I want Mandy Patinkin to be my father.

    • sheila says:

      Mandy is the best!

      I am not remembering the moment you mention – it sounds awesome.

      I am so into Peter Quinn that I don’t know what to do with myself. Has he entered the scene yet? I am not caught up anymore – I missed the whole last season.

      • Lyrie says:

        I just started watching the show last week – during exams, I need stuff to unwind because my brain doesn’t know how to STOP (I was writing my essays on Beckett and McDonagh in my dreams…).

        I had watched two or three episodes years ago but hadn’t liked it enough to keep watching. Then I read your comments about it and I was baffled: I had NO CLUE it talked about mental illness. And to be honest, that’s what’s kept me glued more than terrorist stuff. Until Carrie’s off her meds and is manic – the look of realization on Saul’s face was so painful to watch – I just couldn’t see it. At all. Yet some people clearly watched her like she was crazy. I wondered how much of that is because of screw-ups in her past, how much was disguised misogyny because they can’t stand how brilliant she is, etc. Some people seemed to walk on eggshells when talking to her, and I was like “what the fuck guys? She’s alright.” Really fascinating.

        I wonder why jazz? Be bop seems to underline Carrie’s brain when it’s super active, so, OK, but it is VERY present, and I don’t know how it relates to the other themes of the show. American-ness?

        //I am not remembering the moment you mention – it sounds awesome.//
        It’s gone in a flash, really, it’s at the end of the 2.03 episode, but it’s clearly something that wasn’t planned and just happened, and it tells you how actors are in sync. That’s pretty beautiful, and says how much Brody is Other so much more than all the terrorists, hot-cheating-sex or whatever else that I don’t care about one bit. It’s the kind of things that happen regularly between JA and JP, but they’ve been with each other for years, you know? That’s my interpretation of it, at least. If you get a chance to take a look at the scene, let me know what you think!

        I discovered Patinkin with Dead Like Me, which is a show I love so, so much. I read your comment about status and how he never wants to “lose” and it makes total sense, I can totally see it. See, it’s to understand that kind of stuff that I went to theatre school!

        • Lyrie says:

          And no, no Peter Quinn yet. I’m intrigued, now!

        • Lyrie says:

          It’s around the 00:47.

          Brody: I don’t doubt it, she’s quite the hostess.
          Mike and Jess frown at him. Then they straighten up and face him at exactly the same time. It’s almost nothing, and I love this so much I want to marry it.

        • sheila says:

          Oh Peter Quinn. Once he arrived, the entire series for me became about him, which was a problem since he started out peripheral.

          // I need stuff to unwind because my brain doesn’t know how to STOP //

          I so get this. Just put up a link on Twitter actually with an interview with John Montague (an Irish poet beloved by my family) who was friends with Samuel Beckett (he was friends with everyone) – and wrote a number of poems for Beckett. Check it out!

          // I had NO CLUE it talked about mental illness. //

          Right? Yes, for me, that is the hook, the “spine”. In later seasons it seems to drop off a bit – maybe they felt they played it out to the utmost (Peter Quinn plays a huge role in for me the Major bipolar episode in the season thus far). When Carrie is obsessing on the green pen …

          I cannot tell you how accurate that is. Like, that was me in November/December 2012. No exaggeration.

          AND, even more important: You DO have insights other people don’t. You ARE more productive than other people are, and often to greater effect. This is WHY people throw out their meds. So far I have not. And so people who criticize the show for “mental illness as superpower” do not get it. Bipolar feels like that. It really does – it’s one of its defining characteristics. and yes, you may wreck your life while you’re making all these brilliant connections – and you may have to throw out 70, 80 % of your work as too insane to share – but oh, that 30 %.

          // how much was disguised misogyny because they can’t stand how brilliant she is, //

          That is definitely part of it!!

          I LOVE that aspect of the show – and yes, Mandy Patinkin’s reaction when the secret is revealed … devastating.

          The jazz thing for me does not work. It was so developed in that early season and then they totally dropped it. I liked that there was something ELSE she had obsessed on!

          • Lyrie says:

            A lot of things do not work for me! I like the relationship between Brody and his daughter – I mean, I like the daughter – but most of the couple/family stuff bore me to tears. Fuck Mike already! Or don’t! Or have a threesome! I don’t care!

            Brody’s wife in season 1 seems to have no existence og her own, she is just a WIFE in a HOME. Does she work? Does she read? Whatch tv? Where is she from? Does she have a sister or close friends she talks to about Brody’s dick problems? Nope. She just has nice tits, and is Brody’s wife, and likes Brody’s friend. Well, that’s a fully fleshed character, well done, writers!

          • sheila says:

            // Fuck Mike already! Or don’t! Or have a threesome! I don’t care! //

            hahahahaha I know!!! The Brody family was a Big Fat Bore and I was glad when they exited the scene – especially after they started exploring the daughter’s teen romance which … really? Get me back to Carrie and her green pen STAT.

            One thing, too: doesn’t Brody act sooooo suspicious? Like: way beyond PTSD suspicious? Like, his family doesn’t notice?

            // She just has nice tits, and is Brody’s wife, and likes Brody’s friend. Well, that’s a fully fleshed character, well done, writers! //


            You need to have a blog. “likes Brody’s friend” ha!

            “So, hi, nice to meet you! What do you do?”
            “Not much. I like Brody’s friend.”
            “Uhm …”

  12. Lyrie says:

    hahahahaha I know!!! The Brody family was a Big Fat Bore and I was glad when they exited the scene – especially after they started exploring the daughter’s teen romance which … really? Get me back to Carrie and her green pen STAT.

    Ha ha ha, yeah.

    //doesn’t Brody act sooooo suspicious? Like: way beyond PTSD suspicious? Like, his family doesn’t notice?//
    Oh my God yes, he looks and sounds sooooo shady! That his family doesn’t see it – and his daughter kind of does – I can understand. Some truths you don’t want to see or believe. But the rest of the world? Helloooo, that man is creepy as fuck!

    //When Carrie is obsessing on the green pen …
    I cannot tell you how accurate that is. Like, that was me in November/December 2012. No exaggeration.//
    You know, I see how that’s part of a problem, but I also totally understand the logic of it. Like, I could see in how it was shot that I was supposed to be worried or appalled, but mostly I was very annoyed by all the condescending people and just thought “FIND A FUCKING GREEN PEN FOR GOD’S SAKE.”

    //You DO have insights other people don’t. You ARE more productive than other people are, and often to greater effect. //
    I have no doubt. My own brand of cray-cray also gives me above average insight on SOME things. I can see why both things could be confused sometimes (although coming from health professionals like it sometimes does makes me very angry. Like, there’s at least one pretty good trick to differentiates them: we don’t have those manic phases, which, excuse me, JUST SEEM AWESOME.) Kidding — sort of. Please don’t throw out your meds.

    //Mandy Patinkin’s reaction when the secret is revealed … devastating.//
    And so honest. I love that he just did not know what to do. Terrorists and bureaucracy he can deal with. But his wife leaving, his friend being sick? He is defenseless. “I brought chicken soup. Does that help?” (paraphrasing) My heart just melted.

    • sheila says:

      I totally agree: who cares if she’s nuts? GET HER A GREEN PEN. And then of course when you realize why she needed that green pen so badly … so good. Because there is always a reason. Obsessions aren’t just random – they come from somewhere, a place that makes total sense to the person.

      I need to watch those episodes again – for me, it’s really the relationship between whatshername (what is her character’s name?) and Saul. But then of course Peter Quinn comes in and brings this whole other energy. Yowza. Please report back once you meet him.

      I won’t throw out meds. Ha. But thank you.

      // I love that he just did not know what to do. // I know – it was so touching – especially since that character is always the guy who knows what to do. His shock that she had this condition, his – almost fear, right? he was afraid – his fear of how MUCH she was unlike herself – it’s like overnight he had to have the full confrontation with her mental illness in its most blazing form. He was devastated.


  13. Lyrie says:

    //his – almost fear, right? //
    Yes, I think so too. And guilt, too, obviously.

    Oh, hi, Peter Quinn. Given what you told me about him, I couldn’t see him with a neutral eye. I was already intrigued. I’ve only seen the first episode with him, so far. The dynamic between him and Saul was pretty cool.
    “How many times do you have to tell her something?”
    “A lot.”

    I think I have a problem with how a lot of things are written. I have a problem with Brody. He doesn’t seem real to me. Like, everything could be true – and has probably happened – but the way it is done, with what I see on screen, is just incoherent and unbelievable to me. And I think the actor is doing a great job with what he is given, which is really not easy. I don’t like him, I don’t really hate him, I don’t like to hate him, I don’t… care, mostly. But when Carrie tells him ‘I loved you’, I just wonder how, since he’s not a complete human being, in my eyes.

    What do you think of the actor? Of the character?

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