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Monday, September 30, 2019

The Deuce 3.4: Major Changes



I mean, it's the final season (even thought it's only the third) of The Deuce, right?  So we had to expect major changes.   More than Lori failing at everything other than sheer porn that she tried (though, if you ask me, I thought her singing was pretty good).  More than Candy being read the anti-porn riot act by Andrea Dworkin (a real person, by the way, who died in 2005).

So, it wasn't that surprising to see what happens to Frankie.  On his birthday, no less. It's been building up to this all season, and there even were intimations of that in last year's second season.  He doesn't pay his due respect to people with guns, including and especially the mob.

And so, he gets shot at the end of the episode.  And it looks like he's dead, or dying, in his twin brother's arms.   But then the coming attractions show him alive in bad shape in a hospital, or at least someone with a mustache who looks like him.  It's probably Frankie - as far as we know we've been following the story of twins in The Deuce, not triplets (in which case, maybe the whole series would've been called The Trio).

But you know what?  It doesn't really matter if Frankie is dead, or very badly hurt, in which case, he could die before the series ends, anyway.   But even if Frankie survives, that's still going to amount to a very major change in the series.  He won't be the same.  Which means that his brother Vincent, who has been much more of the main character in this narrative, won't be the same, either.

I'm also sorry to say that I expect some other deaths before the series is over, anyway.  Life is hard and dangerous, especially when you're in the kind of business that the twins and everyone around them are in.

See also The Deuce 3.1: 1985 ... The Deuce 3.2: The First Amendment! ... The Deuce 3.3: Love and Money, Pimps and Agents

And see also The Deuce Is Back - Still Without Cellphones, and that's a Good Thing ... The Deuce 2.2: Fairytales Can Come True ... The Deuce 2.3: The Price ... The Deuce 2.4: The Ad-Lib ... The Deuce 2.6: "Bad Bad Larry Brown" ... The Deuce 2.9: Armand, Southern Accents, and an Ending ... The Deuce Season 2 Finale: The Video Revolution

And see also The Deuce: NYC 1971 By Way of The Wire and "Working with Marshall McLuhan" ... Marilyn Monroe on the Deuce 1.7 ... The Deuce Season 1 Finale: Hitchcock and Truffaut 

  
It all starts in the hot summer of 1960, when Marilyn walks off the set
of The Misfits and begins to hear a haunting song in her head,
"Goodbye Norma Jean" ...

Stumptown: Strong Out of the Gate



Continuing with my reviews of new network television series which seemed appealing enough to watch the debut, we come to Stumptown, which opened shop on ABC last Wednesday.

I watched it mainly because I wanted to see Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell, etc) and Camryn Manheim (The Practice) on television again.  They both were good as Portland, Oregon police (Detective Miles Hoffman and his Lieutenant Cosgrove).   And it turns out that so was Cobie Smulders, in the lead role of Dex, a hard-hitting, sass-talking private investigator with a heart of gold and a sense that morality when necessary is more worth following than the literal law.

These characteristics will be recognized as shared by many a famous, classic detective.  But they were male, and Stumptown has a fast pace, sometimes frenetic, and a touch of wackiness, all its own.  The start of the first episode has Dex kidnapped in the back of the car.  As a military vet, she's physically dexterous, and it's fun to see how she gets out of this jam against all odds.

The key to whether a series like this can manage long-term success are the power of the cases Dex investigates.  The acting and relationships are there - Dex is already in bed with Miles - and so is the energy and refreshing Portland ambience.   My wife liked the first episode, too (always a good sign for a series).   I'll definitely watch the new few episodes and tell you what I think.

 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Affair 5.6: Best Episode of the Season So Far - Finally, about Joanie



Frankly, The Affair this season, up until tonight's episode 5.6, was almost a waste of time watching.  But tonight's hour - devoted completely to Joanie in the future - made Season 5 all worthwhile.

The science fiction aspects, which I've commented upon before, were excellent.  Indoor strawberry gardens to make oxygen, phones in the ear, Google-like-glasses (worn by Joanie to see what the dock looked like on the night her mother died), were all fun to see.  But they weren't the best part of the episode.

That came from Joanie, wonderfully acted by Anna Paquin, discovering that her mother likely did not commit suicide and then being certain that she was murdered, by Ben.   She makes this journey with the help of EJ,  a great new character (a researcher into trauma, with a great sense of humor and other endearing qualities, well played by Michael Braun).  He and Joanie not only wind up in bed together, but he helps her, well, get over her trauma at the loss of both of her parents.  And he therein frees her brain to figure out what happened to Allison.

I've been thinking all season that it would have satisfying if Cole had been alive - as Joanie says, he was only 72 when he died (of a heart attack, or a broken heart, and she aptly puts it).  But his death was worked very well into tonight's narrative.  It's a large part of the motive for Joanie to look into her mother's death.

Tonight's episode is a turning point in the season and thus the series.  I wouldn't mind seeing Noah again only in the future with Joanie, and I wouldn't miss anyone else too much from our present, in California.  That won't happen.  But let tonight's episode at least begin Joanie getting good long segments.  She and the series deserve it.



And see also The Affair 3.1: Sneak Preview Review ... The Affair 3.2: Sneak Preview Review: Right Minds ... The Affair 3.3: Who Attached Noah? ... The Affair 3.4: The Same Endings in Montauk ... The Affair 3.5: Blocked Love ... The Affair 3.6: The Wound ... The Affair 3.7: The White Shirt ... The Affair 3.8: The "Miserable Hero" ... The Affair 3.9: A Sliver of Clarity ... The Affair 3.10: Taking Paris

And see also The Affair 2.1: Advances ... The Affair 2.2: Loving a Writer ... The Affair 2.3: The Half-Wolf ... The Affair 2.4: Helen at Distraction ... The Affair 2.5: Golden Cole ... The Affair 2.6: The End (of Noah's Novel) ... The Affair 2.7: Stunner ... The Affair 2.8: The Reading, the Review, the Prize ...The Affair 2.9: Nameless Hurricane ... The Affair 2.10: Meets In Treatment ... The Affair 2.11: Alison and Cole in Business ... The Affair Season 2 Finale: No One's Fault


 

Why Trump Should Be Impeached and Removed from Office

It will come as no surprise at all to anyone who knows me, that I hope the House of Representatives impeaches Trump, very likely to happen, and the Senate votes by the required two-thirds majority to remove him from office, less likely to happen but still possible.  Here are my reasons:

The charges against Trump, which he has already admitted to, and appear in the transcript released by the White House, which detail Trump telling the President of Ukraine that US aid crucial for the Ukranian defense against Russia was dependent on Ukraine providing Trump evidence of alleged wrong-doing by Joe Biden's son Hunter, is far worse than the charges raised against the three other Presidents in American history who either were impeached or for whom impeachment seemed very likely.

  • Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 by the House but acquitted by the Senate on the charge of violating the Tenure of Office Act, which restricted the President's ability to fire members of his cabinet.  The Act was soon amended, repealed a few decades later, and ultimately held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
  • Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 by the House for lying under oath about consensual sexual activities with Monica Lewinsky, but acquitted by the Senate early the next year.
  • Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974, rather than face very likely impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate for approving a coverup of the Watergate break-in (an attempt to steal information from Democratic Party headquarters).
Trump's wrongdoings, laid out in the transcript of his conversation, are obviously far more serious than either Johnson's or Clinton's.  Nixon's was similar to Trump's insofar as Nixon was involved in attempts to obtain political advantage over his opponents.  But Nixon's wrongdoing was a cover-up of a break-in, whereas Trump's entailed the actual wrongdoing of extorting a head of state for political advantage.  Further, and even more important, Nixon's wrongdoing was totally domestic, in contrast to Trump's, which obviously was international, and endangered American national security in all kinds of ways, including letting a foreign power know that the American President was engaging in extortion.

I was in favor of Trump leaving office the day he assumed it.  His daily attacks on legitimate news media as fake news, reminiscent of the Nazi denunciation of unwelcome reporting in Germany as der Lügenpresse (the lying press), are just one of his many attacks on American democracy (and one I've especially investigated in Fake News in Real Context).  But he has provided by far the most egregious reason for removal from office in American history in just that one conversation with the Ukrainian head of state.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Emergence: May Just Make It



Emergence, which debuted on ABC last week, is another example of a recently well-worn theme back on network television yet again:  a child or teenager who mysteriously appears, and turns out to have some kind of superpower.

But Emergence is lifted by its star, Allison Tolman, who did so well in Fargo a few years ago.  And Emergence has her playing a police chief (Jo Evans), which, even in a small town on Long Island, is something you still don't see all that often on network TV.   And with Clancy Brown, who's been so good in so many science fiction series on television, as Jo's father, there are at least a few good reasons to watch it.

The first episode laid out the groundwork of the series narrative nicely.  A plane crashes.  Jo finds a girl, who apparently was on the plane, sitting off to the side on the ground, without a scratch.  She professes to have some sort of amnesia, but probably she doesn't really have it.  She's kidnapped by a couple pretending to be her parents.  The kidnap car badly crashes, for no apparent reason.  Piper (the girl, not her real name) again emerges unscathed.  Later, she removes what is likely some kind of tracking device in her neck.

She wonders if she caused the crashes.  Likely she did.  Jo knows she's stumbled onto to something important, and we the audience know it's going to be far more important than she realizes.

So there you have it.  A pretty good, if not startlingly original, set-up for a series.  For me, the tipping point in favor of watching another episode is that this story is apparently is science fiction, which I almost always prefer to life after death or magic.

I'll keep you posted.

 

Prodigal Son: A New Serial Killer



Continuing my sampling of new shows on traditional network TV, my wife and I tried Prodigal Son, which debuted on Fox earlier this week.  We're going to keep watching it.

It continues a now well-established tradition on network television: the serial killer, and the hunt for (usually) him, well represented by everything from The Following to Criminal Minds in recent years. Prodigal Son offers a new twist: the father (Dr. Whitly) is the serial killer, and his son Malcolm is with the police (first the FBI, now NYPD) hunting them down.  Malcolm good at it because he may have inherited some serial killer tendencies himself.  Or, at least, he understands them not only from knowing his father all too well, but because he feels them from the inside out, i.e., in himself.

The cast is outstanding.  Malcolm is played Tom Payne (no relation to the patriot, and spelled differently, anyway), who played no less than "Jesus" (or, to be clear, someone by that nickname) on The Walking Dead.  His father is played by Master and Johnson's Michael Sheen.  And just for good measure, Malcolm's sister Ainsley, a broadcast reporter, is played by Halston Sage, who was great on The Orville (and now we know why she suddenly left that show).  And, hey, Lou Diamond Phillips (last seen by me in Longmire, a great series) is Malcolm's superior, and goes back a ways with both Malcolm and his killer dad.

The first episode was fast, suitably complex, and surprising at times - like when Malcolm chops off a guy's hand to keep him from getting blown up by a bomb he's strapped to.  The family dynamics are effective - Malcolm doesn't want to even see his father, but he's drawn into seeking whatever guidance on serial killers he can get from him (my wife said this reminded her of the Silence of Lambs motif).  More than enough to keep anyone with a pulse's interest.

I'll be back with another review soon.

 

Friday, September 27, 2019

What a Day for a Daydreamed Story

originally published in The Dreams Journal, 23 January 2016

I write all the time – except when I'm sleeping. It's not that the dreams I occasionally recall serve as raw material or inspiration for my writing. As far as I can tell, what happens when I sleep has no connection to my writing at all, other than getting me well rested when I get enough sleep. Don't get me wrong – it's not that I don't like sleep. I love to sleep. But it's as far away as bright sunlight is to the dead of night when it comes to my writing – all parts of which, including its deepest origins, take place for me when I'm awake.

It's a good thing, too. If I get eight hours or less of sleep a night, that gives me sixteen or more hours of time to write and daydream, which is the source, in one way or another, of everything I write.

Here's an example: A few years ago, I walked up to my car in the parking lot of the Chauncey Square shopping center, having just finished a great swim in the New York Sports Club pool upstairs, and I did a classic double take. Parked right next to my car, then a 2006 silver Prius with almost 100,000 miles on it, was another Prius, same year and color. I couldn't tell, of course, if this other car also had traveled 100,000 miles, but it certainly had enough wear on it, and, if you looked closely enough, I could almost imagine I saw the same scuffs and dents, in the very same places as on my car.

This was the trigger for my story. And, in the ten-minute drive back home, I daydreamed "The Other Car," a magical realism little tale about a man who was encountering the very birth of an alternate reality in which he was the major player. One of the many great things about daydreaming is that it is inherently multi-tasking, and allows you to do other things as you tell yourself your story. So I got home perfectly safe and sound, something I'd have been unlikely to do if I had actually fallen asleep at the wheel and dreamed the plot of "The Other Car".

It is true that when you're asleep and dreaming, you sometimes are aware that you're dreaming, but there's very little more you – or, at least, I – can do with that, regarding my writing. I get good ideas as I'm falling asleep, and rush to write them down, but that's still really daydreaming not dreaming, because I'm still awake. The same is true about waking up in the morning with a way in my head of moving past a plot impasse in my story – it might seem like I had just dreamed that, but, actually, that part of the story came to me after I had woken up.

The problem with dreaming a story when you're fast asleep is you have no way of recording it. The best you can hope for is memory, notoriously unreliable when it comes to dreams, and writing down your recollection of what you dreamt, after you've awoken. In contrast, recording is always available to the daydreamer. I prefer writing to voice-recording my stories, and have been known to pull over to the side of the road and feverishly write down some lines, sometimes even paragraphs. Smart phones are a fabulous help with this – you can jot down a note, email it to yourself, and it's right there for you when you get home to your slightly bigger screen.

Daydreaming, like writing, is best done alone – at least, again, for me – which is why driving, with no passengers, has worked so well with me. So are long walks. Swimming, which is what I had been doing before encountering the other car, is good, too. I hate to interrupt my laps, but, on occasion, I've gotten out of the pool, walked to my locker, taken out my phone, and written down a crucial scene. (I'd save a little time leaving my phone by the side of the pool, but don't want to risk its accidentally being kicked in or deliberately stolen.)

By the way, I love spending time with my family, but, just as with sleeping, it's important to recognize that neither is conducive to writing at the same time. That's why I always say to anyone who asks that the single best thing you can do to clear your path as a writer is be willing to be anti-social on occasion. There are a million worthwhile and enjoyable things to do in life. But if they require your interaction with other people, you won't be writing at those times.

Of course, a conversation could spark an idea for a story or a way to move forward in whatever it is you're already writing. Any experience, like my seeing the other Prius, can do that.

The key is leaving yourself space and time between the conversations to let your daydreams take over. I wrote "The Other Car" in less than a day, and, I was so happy with it, I asked my artist friend Joel Iskowitz to do a cover, which he did, and I published the story on Amazon Kindle the next day. The ease and speed of publishing on Amazon has made the synapse between finished story and publication almost as short as between the brain and fingers that wrote the story.

You can do it all in a day now, as befits writing from daydreams, from which you can dip in and out of reality at the speed of thought. Or, to paraphrase John Sebastian, any day is a good day for a daydream if you're a writer.



  • "Flat-out fantastic ... I'd highly recommend all science fiction fans take a look at it." - Scifi and Scary
  • "the end was stunning" - Ignite

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Deuce 3.3: Love and Money, Pimps and Agents



A good episode 3.3 of The Deuce on Monday, with Candy and Hank being the best part of the story.

I especially liked the way Candy made Hank promise he wouldn't keep offering her money for her movies.  He was ready to put in $150,000, which Candy said would enable her to make her next movie in style.  But love, for her, is more important than money.  And even though Hank made clear that he could easily afford to provide that kind of financial support, Candy not only said no, but told Hank she never wanted to hear that again.

Why?  This gets to the essence of who Candy is, and indeed the essence of the series.  She is a former prostitute - she sold her body.  And it's not that she thinks what she did was immoral.   But she's more than happy to have moved from prostitution to porn.  And she values love. And the receipt of any kind of money from any man that she's starting to love is anathema to her.  Because that money, however well-meaning, dilutes and even contradicts the love that Hank is professing, and Candy is feeling and loving herself, and is beginning to reciprocate.  So she says no to the money, to protect her love.

That scene was a nice piece of work.  Also good, as always, is Lori struggling to make her way as a porn actress in L.A.  As she rightly says, when she demands that her male acting partner use a condom, it's her body.  That was always true but especially significant in this age when AIDS has entered the scene.  And her relationship with her agent is also noteworthy.  Lori has traded her pimp for her agent.  As anyone who has ever had an agent for any reason in the creative arts knows all too well, the two have a lot in common.  But they're not completely the same.  And it was interesting and instructive to see Lori's agent try to do her bidding, to the extent that she can.

See you here next week.

See also The Deuce 3.1: 1985 ... The Deuce 3.2: The First Amendment!

And see also The Deuce Is Back - Still Without Cellphones, and that's a Good Thing ... The Deuce 2.2: Fairytales Can Come True ... The Deuce 2.3: The Price ... The Deuce 2.4: The Ad-Lib ... The Deuce 2.6: "Bad Bad Larry Brown" ... The Deuce 2.9: Armand, Southern Accents, and an Ending ... The Deuce Season 2 Finale: The Video Revolution

And see also The Deuce: NYC 1971 By Way of The Wire and "Working with Marshall McLuhan" ... Marilyn Monroe on the Deuce 1.7 ... The Deuce Season 1 Finale: Hitchcock and Truffaut 

  
It all starts in the hot summer of 1960, when Marilyn walks off the set
of The Misfits and begins to hear a haunting song in her head,
"Goodbye Norma Jean" ...

Monday, September 23, 2019

Bluff City Law: The Real Deal



Hey, I don't usually review series on network TV, because life's too short to review hour-long series lacerated by commercials and confined by childish FCC restrictions.  But every once in a while, I make an exception.

Jimmy Smits was the reason.  He's been outstanding in just about every role he's played on TV, from LA Law to Sons of Anarchy.  He was his excellent self tonight, portraying an attorney who heads a firm dedicated to fighting rapacious and disease-causing corporations.

Which brings me to the other reason.  My father was an attorney, who spent a lot of time defending people against big insurance companies and other behemoths who run roughshod over anyone gets in their way, i.e., needs to sue them for whatever good reason.  That's the kind of attorney - Elijah Strait - Smits plays, and plays so well.

And then there's his daughter, Sydney, whom Elijah brings back to the firm.  She's sharp, strategic, fiery, and well played by Caitlin McGee, not seen by me before.  She and her father come with a lifetime of family tensions, ruptures, and secrets - in other words, just want you'd want to see in a television drama.  And the firm is staffed up with intriguing characters, including estate attorney Della Bedford, played by Jayne Atkinson, good to see again after 24 and House of Cards.

So count me (and my wife, who also watched and very much enjoyed the the first episode) in as members of the audience for this show.   And, if time permits, and I'm especially moved - as I was tonight - I may even chime in here with another review.


 


The Affair 5.5: No One Happy



Dominic West remarked in one of the promos on Showtime several months ago for The Affair that no one ends up happy in this final season, a take that was really borne out in tonight's episode 5.5.

In no particular order of importance -

  • Noah (who doesn't even get a segment) tells Helen (in her segment) that he loves her and wants a second chance.  As we saw in some of the aheads-on-The-Affair this season, she tells him not only no, but that he's had plenty of second chances, and blew them all.
  • Helen thinks she's falling in love with Sasha, but has a rude awakening when she finds out what a bastard and/or cruel dude he really is.
  • Sasha can't be happy, either, given how he plows through people or whatever the best metaphor
  • Sierra didn't have a good night, either, though better than most, since she did get the Madam Bovary part, and had a segment all her own.  I'm happy to see her have such a good if not so happy evening - she's having a hard time taking care of her baby - since the heroine of my Sierra Waters time-travel trilogy (see below) is, well, Sierra.
  • And, not to get too meta on this, but I wasn't too happy with this hour, either, since, as you know (because I make this point just about every week), my favorite segment this season has been the Joanie future science fiction segment, of which tonight's episode had ... none. 
So I'll be saying what I say in just about every review: I wish there was more Joanie and her story.  Especially this week, because, there was none.  But the coming attractions show some very significant Joanie scenes next week, so I live in hope.



And see also The Affair 3.1: Sneak Preview Review ... The Affair 3.2: Sneak Preview Review: Right Minds ... The Affair 3.3: Who Attached Noah? ... The Affair 3.4: The Same Endings in Montauk ... The Affair 3.5: Blocked Love ... The Affair 3.6: The Wound ... The Affair 3.7: The White Shirt ... The Affair 3.8: The "Miserable Hero" ... The Affair 3.9: A Sliver of Clarity ... The Affair 3.10: Taking Paris

And see also The Affair 2.1: Advances ... The Affair 2.2: Loving a Writer ... The Affair 2.3: The Half-Wolf ... The Affair 2.4: Helen at Distraction ... The Affair 2.5: Golden Cole ... The Affair 2.6: The End (of Noah's Novel) ... The Affair 2.7: Stunner ... The Affair 2.8: The Reading, the Review, the Prize ...The Affair 2.9: Nameless Hurricane ... The Affair 2.10: Meets In Treatment ... The Affair 2.11: Alison and Cole in Business ... The Affair Season 2 Finale: No One's Fault


 

Friday, September 20, 2019

The I-Land: No Lost Opportunity



I was going to entitle this review of The I-Land on Netflix, "Lost Opportunity".  You know, that ABC series Lost, which had an excellent beginning, an absolutely out-of-the-ballpark brilliant third and fourth season, and then took a turn very much for the worse, with one of the worst series finales ever on television?   Except ...

Well, although I-Land takes place on an island, with a group of disoriented people with various kinds of intriguing and lurid back stories, the slim seven-episode series has a completely different vector: a pretty strong beginning, an obvious middle, and a kick-in-the-gut and socially meaningful finale.  And the story is very different from Lost's.

The people on the I-Land didn't arrive there by crashed plane (as in Lost), but via simulation.  They're all prisoners on a death row in the future, and their simulated existence on the I-Land is a chance to redeem themselves.  Unsurprisingly, very few do.

But the payoff comes in what happens to the central character, who turns out not to be guilty of the murder for which she was sentenced, and is older than she seems.  And in the real world, outside the prison, we see the changes that global warming has brought the United States, and its struggles with a growing prison population.

So the real subjects of this thriller are climate change and prison change, which is a lot more than you can say about Lost, whose real subject was some metaphysical, quasi-religious nonsense.  In other words, see The I-Land, but don't expect Lost, which, at least as far as the ending, is a very good thing.

 



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Deuce 3.2: The First Amendment!



Abby easily had the best line in tonight's episode 3.2 of The Deuce, when she explains that if you don't use the First Amendment to protect porn movies, "it's not gonna be there for the ideas".   The geniuses on the Supreme Court didn't get this in 1915, when they decreed in Mutual Film v. Ohio that film was not protected by the First Amendment, since it was a form of entertainment not an expression of ideas.   It wasn't until Burstyn v. Wilson in 1952 that this was overturned.  Good to see that Abby got the full gist of this in 1985.

Otherwise, almost no one, including Abby, is very happy in tonight's episode.  Abby loses her friend.  Lori in California objects to a stalk of corn being used in her porn scene.  Neither Vincent nor Frankie are too thrilled in their separate proceedings, though they do give us a good scene together face-to-face, nice trick photography.

But there is more good news on the fringes.   Looks like Candy may be on the way to finding true love or at least pretty good love with Corey Stoll's character Hank.  And Bobby doesn't have AIDS.  All of which says there's room for at least some happy endings on The Deuce.

Given that this its final season, whatever endings we get this year will be the final words on the series.   I'm hoping that, at very least, both twin brothers are thriving, as are Candy and Lori.  But I'm an optimist, and The Deuce has always been about unvarnished not rose-colored reality.   You know what, I still hope those characters and even a few others survive. 

See also The Deuce 3.1: 1985

And see also The Deuce Is Back - Still Without Cellphones, and that's a Good Thing ... The Deuce 2.2: Fairytales Can Come True ... The Deuce 2.3: The Price ... The Deuce 2.4: The Ad-Lib ... The Deuce 2.6: "Bad Bad Larry Brown" ... The Deuce 2.9: Armand, Southern Accents, and an Ending ... The Deuce Season 2 Finale: The Video Revolution

And see also The Deuce: NYC 1971 By Way of The Wire and "Working with Marshall McLuhan" ... Marilyn Monroe on the Deuce 1.7 ... The Deuce Season 1 Finale: Hitchcock and Truffaut 

  
It all starts in the hot summer of 1960, when Marilyn walks off the set
of The Misfits and begins to hear a haunting song in her head,
"Goodbye Norma Jean" ..

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Affair 5.4: 2053




A low-key, not terribly eventful episode 5.4 of The Affair tonight, sprinkled with some funny, seedy sad moments, until the very end of the very brief (as usual) Joanie segment, when we find out her father Cole died in 2053.

Big news for two reasons: Cole's dead.  And the time we're seeing in the Joanie segment is 2053 or later.  For some reason, I thought it was a little or more earlier.  Maybe because I don't think of Anna Paquin as in her early 40s, which was what Joanie would be pretty much be in 2053.  On the other hand, the extent of the environmental crisis is consistent with the later date.

Still up in the air is exactly what's going on in Joanie's mind.  Why does she want so little to do with her parents and even Gabriel?   There's clearly a big piece of an emotionally rending story here that we've yet to learn.

The Whitney segment was important to see, in terms of advancing her story.  In the end, she's willing to sacrifice her body for money and professional success.   Her father Noah is also hungry for success, but that's not his crucial weakness.   Her mother Helen is now newly hungry for success, but it's as yet not clear what she's willing to sacrifice to get it.

Noah's story was about the lightest we've seen in The Affair for a long time, replete with his planting of a bra in Sasha's bedroom to get Helen angry at Sasha.   The whole routine, from how he acquired the undergarment to Sasha and Helen's reaction, was a nice comedy of errors.

I don't know what more to say about this episode, except what I seem to be thinking and saying after every episode:  any chance we can get a much longer segment of Joanie?   I'm not holding my breath but I'll keep on watching.



And see also The Affair 3.1: Sneak Preview Review ... The Affair 3.2: Sneak Preview Review: Right Minds ... The Affair 3.3: Who Attached Noah? ... The Affair 3.4: The Same Endings in Montauk ... The Affair 3.5: Blocked Love ... The Affair 3.6: The Wound ... The Affair 3.7: The White Shirt ... The Affair 3.8: The "Miserable Hero" ... The Affair 3.9: A Sliver of Clarity ... The Affair 3.10: Taking Paris

And see also The Affair 2.1: Advances ... The Affair 2.2: Loving a Writer ... The Affair 2.3: The Half-Wolf ... The Affair 2.4: Helen at Distraction ... The Affair 2.5: Golden Cole ... The Affair 2.6: The End (of Noah's Novel) ... The Affair 2.7: Stunner ... The Affair 2.8: The Reading, the Review, the Prize ...The Affair 2.9: Nameless Hurricane ... The Affair 2.10: Meets In Treatment ... The Affair 2.11: Alison and Cole in Business ... The Affair Season 2 Finale: No One's Fault


 

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