Whatcha Watchin'?, Season Two

It was an appropriate sendoff. I personally would have appreciated something more excoriating of the justice system and/or copaganda, but a heist gets more fans excited. The secret sentimentality of the heist makes it even more impactful.

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I really don’t get all the love some seem to have for that show; rich assholes being rich assholes and perpetually getting away with being terrible people while never dealing with any actual negative consequences is already the reality we currently live in.

SMH

(Also, Quinn was the least horrible character, IMO.)

That said, I watched Everybody’s Talking About Jamie last night, and enjoyed it.

How did Shane’s mom not make the list at all? Grendel’s mother right there.

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I’m catching up on the new season of What We Do in the Shadows. I’m only one episode in, but I’m loving Guillermo’s story arc.

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Tried to watch that show; couldn’t get into it.

The Modern Family ‘reality tv confessional’ style of shows just doesn’t work for me for some reason.

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I can’t get into those type of shows either. To me, they violate the writer’s edict of “show, don’t tell.”
Of course, much modern comedy relies on showing awkwardness in lieu of humor.

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Well, tons of articles out there explain a lot of different people’s love for different facets of that show. They’re not hard to find.

As for me, I like seeing rich assholes being exposed for the self-regarding, blithely abusive shits they are. Most of our mainstream culture basically sends the opposite message – that being rich means you’re not only a good, valued person, but also better than people who have to work a living.

I think that show also does a great job of showing some of the ways that wealth sucks people in. How it seduces, and how it encourages people to compromise their values. People could learn from that lesson, and it’s at least good to have that message validated. It also portrays sympathetically those who work for and clean up after the wealthy, and it gives them credit for seeing through preening bourgeois pride. Toxic masculinity also gets a good beat down.

It also undercuts the colonialist image of Hawai’i as a (white people’s) paradise, a place they shouldn’t feel at all bad about. The U.S. totally fucked over its indigenous people, as on the mainland. That may be obvious to you, but I know a lot of people who dream about lolling around on a beach there, watching “native dancers” while drinking pineapple concoctions and so on. That show pokes such people in the eye.

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Y’know, I think that’s the turn off for me; as someone who grew up awkward and insecure, and then took a good chunk of my adult life just getting comfortable in my own skin, watching those kinds of traits being displayed just isn’t funny or interesting to me.

I know; I’ve read several.

I just don’t agree with them that it’s at all entertaining.

Your points about colonialism and the self absorption many White people have that ‘everything in the universe exists to facilitate them and only them’ is valid, as is the observation that this is already a well known fact to me, personally.

That may be why I found it underwhelming; “We know we’re shitty, but that’s just how it is and nothing will ever change” is a message that I really don’t need reiterated.

If it’s meant to ‘hold up a mirror’ to the faces of the kind of people it portrayed, well… good luck to the writers with that; in my experience, no one is so oblivious and blissfully self-unware than rich White people with unearned power and privilege.

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Ah, I see. I read “I really don’t get all the love” too literally.

That’s not the message I got at the end when Quinn ran away. Granted, it’s a naïve escape effort, but he dramatized and validated the effort, and the rejection of his family’s way of living. I also don’t get that message from the many ways that workers/servants to the wealthy are shown pushing back. Like Tyler Durden pissing in the soup pot, it’s another validation, a warning maybe, that I’d like to see aired more often in mainstream entertainment.

Your mileage and tastes vary, I know, just speaking my own onions. :+1:

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From my perspective, Quinn’s behavior in that show was the only tiny glimmer of potential hope, (and even that contained some measure of self-serving appropriation.)

For me, it just wasn’t enough.

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You are making me think that the depictions of resistant workers are kinda . . . feeble? Shitting in a suitcase isn’t much of an act of resistance, really, and then the guy just gets stabbed a minute later. And the bastard-stabber gets away with it, when he was the one who kept escalating the macho grudge match. It makes me wonder if the writer (Mike White?) cynically agrees when Quinn’s dad says that we’re all just monkeys really, constantly fighting each other for, I think it was, sex and power.

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That assessment aligns with my own, yes.

The writing style very much strikes me as ‘cynical agreement,’ along with a hefty dose of defeatism that comes with recognizing the problem exists, but not having any inclination to actually do a damn thing about it.

There was no sense of “This is fucked up; so what can we do to fix it?

Instead it was like “This is fucked up, right? Just look at how fucked up this is; it is SO fucked up.

It reminded me of that old commercial where someone at a gym restroom has left a faucet running, wasting water needlessly.

Several attendees notice it, observing that it’s wasteful and that ‘someone should do something about it,’ but none of them actually does anything other than talk about it, continuing to let the water run the whole time.

Finally, at the very end of the commercial a woman comes along and silently turns the tap off, side-eyeing all the useless bystanders as she does it.

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Yeah, true, but I’m okay with that. I don’t think satire needs to point out problems AND provide solutions. I think the latter is up to us. Maybe I’ll read “A Modest Proposal” again to see if it actually does both.

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What I got from Quinn’s arc was the generosity and brotherhood. If you’re prepared to do the work, you have a part to play.

It’s genuinely affecting on that level but it doesn’t have any impact on the betrayals and injustices and insulations that form the core of the show.

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I might think better of the show had it even attempted to make that particular point… but it didn’t.

Like shows that depict Black trauma yet don’t offer anything cathartic or reaffirming to balance it out, it becomes just yet another form of ‘torture porn’ that I personally can do without.

Even Quinn’s arc has the inherent assumption that ‘an outsider’ would be readily accepted into the fold so easily by the native islanders.

That’s another trope that privileged White people tend to delude themselves with; the ability to blend into (and eventually, become a leader of) a different culture.

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Well I don’t believe for a second a kid like him has a hope of being a valuable member of their crew even if the alternative was a drunkard.

In what? Five days or something?

Yeah right.

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No doubt. I assumed he’d be laughed away once he tried to seriously join that crew again – thus the naivety I noted above – but I suppose most viewers do need to be hit over the head with such things.

I think that in a lot of other ways, the show skewers that trope (and mindset) in terms of both race and class, instead of just stupidly reiterating it.

Anyway, it’s mainstream corporate entertainment. It can’t go all that far with biting the hands that feed it, nor with poking complacency in the eye. Let alone with demonstrating how to foment a revolution against neoliberal capitalism.

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Yep; and no matter how much the content they put out attempts to be ‘self reflective,’ it still perpetuates the cycle…

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And yet, we watch!

It’s true that no matter how much a show like that shows the smelly asses of the rich, most viewers will mostly just envy the lives of those resort-goers.

Reminds me of how with The Sopranos, a lot of mooks loved it because they thought it was a positive portrayal of mafia life. Ugh.

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Not I.

Not next season, no any after that, should they decide to greenlight them ( and I’m sure that they will.)

As stated previously, I will quit a show in a heartbeat if it fails to keep me engaged; I saw the apathetic direction that the White Lotus was going fairly early, and the only reason I bothered to finish the season is because I wanted to know who was in the coffin.

The build up wasn’t worth the “payoff” in my opinion.

Another overrated show that I tried to watch and never got into.

Edie Falco is a phenomenal actor, as was James Gandolfini; but I thoroughly despised both their characters right from the start.

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