Friday, December 2, 2016

Inexplicable Gilmore Girls Review: Is Rory secretly awful?

Warning: Spoilers follow for episodes 1 through 20 for season five of Gilmore Girls, although I’m taking a more circuitous route today than in previous entries.

I promised to write a bit more positively today, so let me do that!

Luke and Lorelai are excellent when they’re together, which varies strongly from episode to episode in season five. I didn’t find Luke’s super hurt feelings over Christopher all that believable; he knows that Emily is horrible when it comes to supporting Lorelai. So, why was he threatened by Christopher? Lorelai told him about the meetings – admittedly, very awkwardly – and their behavior toward one another was not warm at the wedding. It’s one thing if Lorelai was making puppy dog eyes, a la Rory at Logan, but she was pretty, pretty, pretty cold the entire time.

Again, I felt like I could see the seams here, the realization of the show’s staff that, “Hey, we need to stretch this thing out for 20 episodes this season! We better throw a break-up in here.” I felt similarly about Richard and Emily, in that I never really believed the reasons for their break-up to be legitimate, and thus, never bought into it as a storyline.

In other relationships, Lane and her doofus guitar boy are more entertaining than I anticipated. This goes doubly when Lane freaks out about needing to wait for marriage, and when he actually sides with her mother when it comes to Lane’s glasses. Also, Replacement Lane (as I call her) is highly entertaining, and she needs more screen time.

Likewise – Paris! She’s still so baller in all of her scenes, even when she’s taking care of the highly blah Doyle McMaster. Well, okay, it’s her Portuguese nana who’s taking care of him. Still though, I think she’s the one who gets credit for that move. Every episode she’s in, she has at least one funny line. She needs more airtime!

That’s typically my biggest complaint with Gilmore Girls – an intense focus on things I don’t care about (the latest horrible Rory boyfriend) or the outlandish Stars Hollow folks, at the expense of expanding our knowledge on some of the other, interesting side characters. The show is at its best when it stays focused on realistic, simple characters and relationships.

Final controversial thing – Is Rory a good person? Season five kind of casts a lot of doubt on this.

On one hand, well, she’s a socially-awkward and kind of maturing 20-something. We would expect her to be awful in some ways, and to have trouble dealing with attention from guys and sorting out which ones are enticing but also not horrible human beings.

But on the other hand, good lord, she’s racking up a body count in season five. While Dean is horrible and ultimately responsible for breaking up his own marriage, Rory didn’t exactly resist him at any point. Then, when she realizes the drudgery and class differences between herself and Dean, it doesn’t take her long to move on to Logan. This is fine with her even though Logan was dismissively and shitty to her friend Marty, he doesn’t apply himself, and he’s actively a prick to her while they’re casually dating. You know – pretty much all of the reasons she gave for dumping Jess.

The final straw for me was her behavior during the dinner with Emily and Richard that Logan attends. She just sits there and doesn’t say anything after Emily freaks out about the missing paperweight. It’s Lorelai(!) of all people that has to goad him into turning it over, so that the maid doesn’t get fired and/or arrested.

I’m hoping there is a moment with Rory where she realizes, “Hey, I’ve been kind of awful this year… Maybe I should make some amends.” However, I’m not anticipating that moment of clarity. She’s not Jay-Z.

Want to support Steve’s blogging? Then purchase something via the Amazon clickthru link for Your Parents Basement, Steve’s other project! To read all of Steve’s past Inexplicable Movie Reviews, click here! For Inexplicable TV Reviews, click here! For Inexplicable Video Game Reviews, click here! And for Inexplicable Book Reviews, go here!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

YPB: Vidya Game News – December 1, 2016

- The new Pokemans games have sold 3.7 million copies in two weeks, making them the fastest sellers ever for Nintendo, according to press releases given to Polygon and other sites. You can listen to our Pokemans show here!

- In other Big N news: Although they announced a Japanese partnership with Universal for theme parks last year, the effort has spread to the U.S. now too, per Den of Geek and other sites.

- In other, other Big N news… The NES Classic Edition is still impossible to find, but ThinkGeek is doing a sweepstakes for some. They might also have some for sale this week. Huzzah!

- November 30 is a popular day for PC releases. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness came out in 1995, Diablo came out in 1996, and Baldur’s Gate and Starcraft: Brood War came out in 1998. You can listen to our shows on Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo here, here and here.

- November 30, 1999 was also popular for RPGs. Koudelka and Vandal Hearts II both came out on that day. They’re both considered cult classics, and Koudelka continued on via the Shadow Hearts series, which is for the PS2 and awesome.

- Quake III Arena came out on Dec. 2, 1999. While it wasn’t horrible, it was a bit of a misstep by id Software, as Unreal Tournament was generally more popular.

Video game history information comes from GameFAQs and Moby Games. And as always, if you’d like to support the show, do so via our Amazon link.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Inexplicable Podcast Review: Crimetown goes to the zoo in EP3

The old mayor, a dapper lookin' dude.

From now on, I’m going to be discussing the contents of Crimetown episodes, and specifically, spoiling the episodes. So, if you still aren’t following along, I’d recommend catching up on the past episodes. They’re usually in 30 minute chunks, and I highly recommend them!

Episode 3 starts out with a funny-but-sad story about how incompetent some of the workers at the Providence zoo were. Namely, the guy who kept feeding the tortoise even though it had been dead for three days. That was good times, or at least, as good of times as a story about a dead turtle can be. But, it was a good, immediate example of how cronyism worked in Providence before Buddy Cianci’s election.

Of course, as the episode details how he got elected to the mayor’s office, we quickly realize that graft of one kind is just going to be exchanged for graft of another kind. One of the mobsters, Jerry Tillinghast, flat out says that he arranged for a couple thousand Cianci votes. Since the final margin of victory was 709, it pretty much means the Mob delivered the election to him. The podcast has audio from Cianci, and while he doesn’t admit that the votes were delivered to him, he doesn’t deny it either.

The episode doesn’t really get into who Cianci beat in the election, not even mentioning his name, which Wikipedia tells me was Joseph A. Doorley Jr. Interestingly, his entry has this nugget: “The [Civic] Center became a focus of a corruption investigation in 1973. The director of the Center was convicted of soliciting a $1,000 bribe from a concert promoter. The lead investigator for this case was assistant attorney general Vincent Cianci, who used the case as a platform to run for mayor against Doorley on an anti-corruption platform.”

Mike Stanton, a Journal reporter who provided a lot of the reporting backbone for the podcast, also has the interesting piece on Cianci vs. Doorley. The podcast’s usage of audio – both recordings from Cianci, and fresh interviews with Tillinghast and others – is stellar though, and helps the vibrancy of the show.

So, Cianci wins the election by 709 votes, and surprise! The cronyism of the Democratic machine is replaced by the cronyism of the Mob. At least in the early days, they have interviews from Cianci supporters and Tillinghast supporting the idea that Cianci was legitimately working as hard as he could on behalf of the city. But, that’s contrasted with the ethical compromises he had to make – the no-work job for Tillinghast – and his own audio clips admitting that he had an enormous ego.

The fourth episode is seemingly ready to be dropped on Sunday, like the first three were. My enthusiasm is still high, so hopefully y’all are still giving this show a close listen.

I’ve written about podcasts here and there, and this entry from 2014, after Serial finished, is still mostly valid. And hey, I host a podcast! If you like pre-2000s video games, check out Your Parents Basement.

Want to support Steve’s blogging? Then purchase something via the Amazon clickthru link for Your Parents Basement, Steve’s other project! To read all of Steve’s past Inexplicable Movie Reviews, click here! For Inexplicable TV Reviews, click here! For Inexplicable Video Game Reviews, click here! And for Inexplicable Book Reviews, go here!


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