i've backslid and done too much social media scrolling and posting recently. something must be done. i have to take drastic measures, like blogging about television shows that i'm five episodes into.

did you watch walker 1987 like a told you to? that was actually setup for a plot thread that's now coming to fruition. there's so much deep lore in this site that i don't even know it's there.

keeping a journal like this allows one to understand things about oneself, like how my impetus for watching a lot of things is solely because they've got a Guy Of Interest (gender neutral). fine. whatever. let they who have not consumed an inferior narrative for a superior persona cast the first stone. thus i am watching the first season of westworld right now. not committed to anything, just seeing how far i go with my... whimsy.

the man in black seems like he would have been a real candidate for the sigma male "literally me" canon. toxic hardcore gamer, generally horrifying person. (though so far he lacks the trait of being secretly sad. even the american psycho had a good cry.) irrespective of all that: sooo kawaii in that outfit.

though, i'm generally pretty uninterested in the characters (not that the performances are lacking). i actually do resent this mindset i have, where good characters are the most compelling thing that media can present me with. it feels like a burned-in neural pathway from when i lived a much more fandom mindset*, and nowadays it's a bad habit i ought to break. to be fair to myself, i can appreciate other compelling qualities; it's just that this is the first thing i look for.

Examples of Subtle Feminist Commentary in Film

i do like some other parts of westworld, even if they don't draw me as strongly. body horror is always a treat. i get a kick out of the bothersome minutiae of the development and maintenance, and the echoes of real-world corporate bureaucracy. banality of evil and whatnot. and i like when the park-narrative plays like a bitter meta joke by the writers, e.g. the entire existence of hector escaton and his dumb hat.

also, i'm a Music Idiot, and i'm very chuffed whenever i manage to notice thematic details in songs. so i think it's cool that the score is generally orchestral with some instrumentation played in reverse, which seems a reflection of 1. hypermodern technology being used to create a pre-modern facsimile, and 2. the hosts' groundhog day existence perpetually rewinding itself.

i wanted to look more into why this show fell out of favor in the later seasons**, but i wouldn't want to trip over spoilers. i try to be a stickler for viewing something as it was meant to be seen. but i also resent when spoilers rule the viewing experience. and the only major impetus i have to keep watching (besides my... whimsy) is that i'd like to know what happens, i guess. i want to accuse this of being a cheap trick, but maybe that's the television game. maintaining intrigue (i.e. viewership) is easier with some kind of mystery box. (one second, i have to go take a biiig sip of water and check the producer credits on this show.)

my actual main television project right now is the sopranos. i watched a few episodes earlier this year before getting sidetracked by breaking bad. a friend had recommended it, and i had told him that it was very good, but very slow. it was a different time for television, we supposed. but by now i'd forgotten what happened, so i had to go back and rewatch the episodes i'd already seen. AGHHH!! i can barely finish a show the first time through!! but it turned out i still loved it. every moment is a detail. and the characters are such rich gardens, or at least really enjoyable screen presences. i can't imagine enjoying a rewatch of westworld nearly this much.

to be clear, i can't sincerely declare that westworld is bad or good. i just wanted to verbalize the emotions i've got for it. it's likely that my real issue here is pitting a "pretty good" against an "of all time". i need to watch more television so i can understand it better and become a proper hater; who am i to say anything about good television just cause i've seen a lot of movies?

i got my hands on the first volume of the human target 2021 a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking about all the little ways the storytelling conventions diverge between this 12-issue comic series, and the long-running manga i read as a teen, and the singular amar chitra katha books i read as a kid. so many little and big variations on wordiness and onomatopoeia and page count and pacing. conventional (good?) story telling for one is uncharacteristic (bad?) for another... quality is so relative, maaan. thinking about it too much makes me dizzy.

happy early deepavali! and happy earlier halloween. sorry it doesn't get a full post. i hope this makes up for it:

*conversely, extensive worldbuilding is actually a narrative turnoff for me. i am also ashamed of my inability to appreciate it, but at least i will never be a guy that hates the last jedi for the wrong reasons.

**i think i remember a few bro-type complaints that later seasons shifted the focus away from the park's fantasy world, which, lol. what you are looking for is called a western. look at these bottom-feeders watching a TV show for frivolous cowboy stuff, unlike myself, who is watching a TV show so i can see one guy in a cowboy outfit.


it's halloween month! i don't love the holiday as much as most of the internet seems to, but i respect the philosophy of it. (my favorite holiday, by the way, is the new year, which will get its entry when the time comes.) this is ostensibly a film diary, so in the spirit of the season, i'm going to talk about michael bay's ambulance.

it was crazy when he said this.

i watched this movie with half-interest when my parents put it on, and i had to leave halfway through, and i could have lived with that... but then, my god! my fucking god! this is ANOTHER movie with a gay detective! three makes a pattern, doesn't it?? i had to go back and watch the whole thing so i could throw it on the pile.

FBI agent anson clark shows up a long way into the movie. of the three examples, i think he's the closest to the "straight gay" trope i mentioned before, a heterosexual character that's gone through the word-replacer. he's introduced in couples' therapy. his husband bemoans his inability to talk about anything but work, and clark leaves in the middle of the session due to the ongoing hostage situation. i don't think this bit is targeted. extremely unworthy comparison, but i always liked that the only gay steely dan song was also about a toxic relationship involving toxic people.

he was a former classmate of the jake gyllenhaal character, which doesn't really amount to anything narratively, and does nothing for the tension of the negotiation scenes. (though i wished upon a star for a bitter exes plot thread.) um... that's about it. he makes quips at the adjacent characters, they quip back.

ambulance is, i'm told, a departure from the nasty misanthropy and caricature-ization of bay's most famous films. this movie instead goes for a humanistic angle, but even so, the characters are still only sort of sketched. in reflection, i don't want to undersell it; i'm starting to suspect that these crisscrossing narrative films must default to quantity over quality when it comes to character development.

i have trouble trying to drill down why exactly this movie *doesn't* work for me (obviously it can't be the camerawork.) and i do keep dwelling on how, outside of the Emotional Moments, everyone defaults to the exact same kind of comedic snark. it's not that i dislike frivolous cinema (the opposite), but it does even less to make them feel like proper characters. and, poor agent clark, he's too peripheral for anything else. (also, contrast kiss kiss bang bang's application of character dynamics to its comedic dialogue.)

ultimately, ambulance claims a neutral zone between boondock saints' antipathy and kiss kiss bang bang's overzealousness. that is to say: it is a non-example, and i include it here as a case of such. from hereon, i only include it in my personal canon if it's obnoxious and therefore fun to talk about, or if i really really like them.

AHHH stop throwing rocks at me. i'm just doing a little administrative work* here. i'll try to put out a more seasonal post this month too. hopefully. idk. i created too much content last month so i took a sabbatical, and this is me trying to get back in the habit.

*i finished disco elysium recently! it's not a movie, and either way i don't think you need me to explain how good kim is. i still mention him out of respect.