Argobot

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  1. Pre-Discussion: NW

    Due to a lot of August travel, we're taking the month off for the Book Club. We will return in September to read NW, by Zadie Smith. Here is where we can start discussing the book before the episode! I'm a big fan of Zadie Smith and when I read NW the first time, it was by far my favorite of hers. Really happy to get to reread it.
  2. I had an absolute blast watching this episode.
  3. I also am perplexed by the hangups created by the Richard Horne scene! I don't really understand what Jake or Chris would need for that scene to make more "sense." I agree that it was brutal to watch, and part of the reason why it was so effective is precisely because we understand just enough about what's happening on screen to be upset by it. If people are suggesting it was exploitative, I don't really see. If anything, the honest violence of this scene felt refreshing to a lot of TV/movie violence that I've seen recently, where the violence is pitched as transgressive but really just amounts to the same old tired "are you shocked by how twisted we're being?" trope that is more for enjoyment than unsettling the audience. (I'm looking at you, Game of Thrones.) That scene told us a lot about Richard Horne, his relationship with his family, and the relationship of the Hornes in general.
  4. My comments aren't directed at any person in particular and I don't think the takeaway should be to not say anything in the future. However, I am increasingly frustrated by the very predictable and very unhelpful conversations progressive people will have about art and want to point that out.
  5. Honestly, part of me feels like this conversation undermines actual rape. Maybe theoretically you can make an argument for why it's rape, but it wouldn't be that dissimilar from Dworkin's argument that all penis-vagina sex is fundamentally rape; it makes sense in theory but can never be carried out in the real, messy world we live in. Janey-E and Dougie are heightened, comedic versions of sitcom man and wife. She is the attractive, put upon wife who is constantly crossing her arms and rolling her eyes at her dopey husband who just does not get it. It's so clearly a farce and meant to be funny that serious calls of "she raped him!" seem obtuse to the point of harm. As someone else pointed out, if you follow the scene logically, Janey-E also technically did not consent, since Dougie isn't really Dougie. But again, that's a road that leads no where and is fruitless. What honestly is the point of this conversation? What great injustice is being visited by this scene that we're all arguing against? Why create a culture where we can't given something like this the benefit of the doubt and move on?
  6. I contend that this is exactly how Cooper would have sex, even outside of his Lodge-induced fog. I am also very pro Cooper being good at absolutely everything without even trying. Seriously, she orgasmed vaginally? Good job, Coop.
  7. Everything involving Candy and the casino subplot has the feel of a Coen brothers' comedy. It's heightened absurdity with a low-level hum of danger/potential violence.
  8. Still really, really do not want Bad Coop to be Richard's father. Maybe Billy Zane is the dad??
  9. This episode was so frightening and so funny. I can't believe it all worked so well together, but Lynch and co have someone managed to pull off some of the most incongruous tonal shifts. Richard Horne is a truly great villain, both because how believably monstrous he is but also because of how vulnerable we've seen him. Given how Candy's scene went earlier - where I was excepting the Mitchum brothers to react violently to her remote control incident - I similarly thought that maybe Richard's scene with his grandmother would play out along the same lines. Instead, Lynch goes all in on making you really uncomfortable and sad, focusing so much on Grandma Horne prone on the floor, while her grandson violates her home and her son. It was brutal to watch. I was initially skeptical about this season being as long as it is, but at this point, my skepticism has completely worn off. The pace is amazing and I want to live in this world for as long as possible.
  10. Matthew Lillard is a really good gross crier (see: Scream) and I enjoyed how those two actors played off one another. It's increasingly feeling like Audrey is the one who will bring back real Coop. His fascination with the women in red pumps and the really, really noticeable absence of Audrey solidified that for me.
  11. Ranking the Harry Potter Series

    I watched Fantastic Beasts twice in a desperate attempt to make sense of it and absolutely could not. Yates did a decent job with the later Harry Potter movies, successfully bringing them over to more "adult" films, but he really failed with Beasts. That movie has a lot of set ups that don't lead to anything. Katherine Waterson's character has such devotion to Credence Barebone, I thought the movie was suggesting that maybe he is her child. Instead, I guess he is just a kid she had previously met (off-screen, of course) for some reason we just accept that she has a strong bond with him, even though we never see them interact. At one point, Waterson and Redmayne are sentenced to death that will be carried out by Waterson's co-workers. They escape, and later Waterson is back working with those same co-workers who nearly executed her. This is not addressed by the movie, which is confusing to watch, since you'd expect any normal person to be a little cross about those events. Believable characterization sacrificed for having a "tense" set piece in the middle of the movie. But the worst part of the movie is the ending
  12. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

    The second season actually has too few episodes, which leads to a lot of clunkiness in the middle. Right before they started filming on season 2, the episode order was cut, so the show jumps forward with a lot of major plot developments that you can tell they wanted to take more time with. They also didn't know if they were going to get renewed until very late in the season. Overall, it makes for a weaker season arc, but the show's minute-to-minute beats are so amazing. And the songs are really, really good.
  13. It's true though! Unless that's undone in the sequel Chris talked about...
  14. The Idle Book Club 27: Jesus' Son In the wake of Denis Johnson's passing, Chris and Sarah discuss Jesus' Son, the author's bleak yet beautiful collection of stories centered around the desperation of addiction. We also delve into why short stories are frequently so melancholy, and Chris briefly makes an embarrassingly mistaken reference to the Velvet Underground. Join us! Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  15. Rendell meticulously sealed us into her story without us realizing it was happening.