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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Rewatch Breaking Bad 510 And Yap About It

spoiler warning.

I'm going to try to summarize less and write about specific stuff more this time.

Breaking Bad 510: The One Where Everything Happens

The cold open. Jeez. I guess what else could have happened other than Jesse just getting like part of the way through the cash and saying "fuck it" eh? Him being on the merry-go-round is a pretty good depiction of what's going on in his head too. Newsflash: Water wet, fire hot, Breaking Bad using good cinematography.

Every time Skyler is in danger of being in legal trouble, in an office, there's some vertical blinds open. It evokes the crossbar hotel every time. While she's on the phone with Hank they do it again.

Speaking of Skyler in this episode wtf is up with the grandma cardigan? You have more money than God, buy something to wear, sheesh.

That restaurant scene tells us a lot a lot. One is a reminder that Skyler cannot be Heisenberg. She is not cool under pressure. She starts to yell and repeat herself again.

Like Hank outright said to Walt, he doesn't give a shit about family. He dangles the prospect of keeping family safe over Skyler, but then immediately says "here I can't help you unless you help me win this battle I've tried to win for years." He doesn't want to lose control over his situation? That's not trying to help her. He even threatens her subtly with the possibility of the DA coming down on her. Come on, Hank, you prematurely shot your wad on what was supposed to be a dry run.

Now I'm curious about this because I don't know how the laws work in New Mexico, but where I live, as a law enforcement official in some capacity, Hank would be bound to get the kids out of that house. He would be required to report that shit to child welfare or be at risk of losing his career. How can he let the kids stay there? And isn't Marie a nurse or something? National health care provider boards require them to be mandatory reporters as well. IRL, they get in deep shit for not reporting this if they believe the kids are in danger (and they clearly do). I'm curious to see if anything becomes of that but I doubt it.

Now I like Huell, and I like Bill Burr's character, just as much as any of the rest of you. But this money scene man. We're two episodes into the half-season and already a pattern is emerging. The show starts, the plot develops fast and hard, and then we have a comedic relief scene. Last week it was Badger's Star Trek script. This week it's a goofy-ass scene only designed to show us that Huell and the ginger are too afraid to lift any of his money. "He had ten guys killed in jail in a two-minute window, is all I'm saying."

Walt talking to Saul: Saul accidentally gets Walt to admit he killed Mike. Saul has his suspicious very obviously, but when Walt gets upset, Saul quickly TRIES to say he doesn't KNOW Mike is dead. But Walt automatically knows he means killing Hank like Mike and responds to say family is off-limits. #CONFIRMED

Then he does Mike's Universal Symbol for Keys, Scumbag. Yknow sometimes I think the writers hang out on r/BreakingBad and take their favorite crazy theories, like that Walt takes on characteristics of the people he's killed, and then makes them happen.

I Marie slapping Skyler scene. The implications are pretty clear: Marie is on a fact-finding mission for Hank and for herself, Skyler suspects she's recording their conversation and won't say a word except that she's sorry, Marie gives her a janky and forced slap. That didn't work at all, the slap, not for me. Then when she tries to steal Holly, okay yeah that one works. Except that Holly sounds like a piglet which makes the scene funny. And then our lines are drawn. Marie and Skyler choose their sides. Hank gives Sky a big ass glare, and Marie says "you have to get 'im." As soon as Walt gets home Skyler starts getting him up to speed.

We have our rosters for the final match.

This is when I tweeted that EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING but boy, I didn't even know yet.

Clever of Walt to hide his money's coordinates in a lottery ticket. I didn't catch that, but the AV Club's writeup did. Him hitting the bathroom floor with his face was a pretty major callback to the Madrigal suit's suicide too, someone ITT pointed that one out. Pretty sick move by Skyler in that scene to tell him their best move here... is to stay quiet DAMN not tread lightly. She's trying to be Heisenberg in that scene. But we've already been shown earlier in the episode that she doesn't have what it takes. But I really think that's her move. What is the end result of that move? I've no idea what she has planned.

And Lydia immediately checks her hair and makeup when Declan's blindfold is removed, and she wore heels to the Mojave Desert. Because of course she did. Fucking Lydia. Fucking Todd. "Use Todd" she says. "No" Declan says. "Then you shall die" Todd says. I wonder what she did with her phone when the Todds came. She didn't pull it out and really do anything.

"Hello? Ma'am?" Fucking Todd. Fucking Lydia, too neurotic to see the warpath she caused. Not that I blame her really. If I were in distribution I'd pretty much be Lydia. Neurotic, anxious, proper, hands-off, hands-clean. But what do the Todds get out of this? Do they take over Declan's distribution? They want to take the lab so I'm assuming so. That means we have

Lydia-Todd, who want Walt back to get the product up to snuff
Walt-Skyler, who are hoping their problems go away before Hank can give the DA enough evidence to prosecute, or Skyler secretly waiting for...something else
Hank-Marie, who want to bring Walt the fuck down
Jesse, free agent

It's pretty clear to me that Hank isn't going to survive this and he's going to be at peace with that. He's wrapped up his entire identity in his career. Without that, he has no hope and no future.

Jesse's cops made that experience in the interrogation room really really easy on him. They kept yammering on. There was no uncomfortable silence to sit through. He could have sat there and enjoyed their theories for hours and hours.

Anyway I've already made my prediction about how this interrogation room thing is gonna go ITT. so let's wrap it up here. Good episode. Not great episode, but this one sets up EVERYTHING that's about to happen. A little rough around the edges. 509 was better. 510 was more important. I got a really strong sense from this one that, whatever the giant plot point of this last 8 is, we just were shown the threads, and when we re-watch this season in six weeks, it will be hardcore obvious where they are and where they lead.

Random catches:
  • The first money bundle the guy in the cold open finds is bound with Bad News Yellow.
  • Over Hank's left shoulder in the restaurant through the window, we clearly get a shot of the numbers "9901". I dunno what's up with that but it's there, and I don't see how it's not intentional.
  • Walt buries the money barrels in the place where they originally parked the Krystal Ship to cook, as somebody in UGBrBaTC pointed out.
  • Right after that is a pretty slick callback to Crawl Space when we have the shot of him laying on the ground between two barrels with the camera going up.
5:17 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Re-Watch Breaking Bad 509 And Yap About It (spoi

Cold open. Kids skating in a big bowl. It's a swimming pool. The Whites' swimming pool. Their house is abandoned and vandalized to hell. We knew Walt was gone, but where is the rest of the family? MIA? Dead?

And there's Walt, in his Mr. Lambert persona, in the car with the waytoobig gun in the trunk. Which we get a shot of. Yknow, in case you forgot he had that. He breaks in to his own house with a crowbar and that's when we get our next real clues of what's about to happen.
  • He subtly coughs, but we knew the cancer was back from 501.
  • HEISENBERG is sprayed in Bad News Yellow all over his wall. On the inside.
Why would it be sprayed on the INSIDE wall? I mean obviously everything inside the house is gone. They have fully moved out and abandoned it. The place is tagged up all over from vagrants and stuff, which is kind of odd for their neighborhood. It's a respectable middle-class housing edition. But you'd think if someone from the community had found out and was just omgsoappalled they'd spray it on the OUTSIDE, for the public shaming, not the inside. I think the initial HEISERBERG tag is going to come from Walt Jr, but have no idea how it's going to fall into this much disrepair.
  • Walt gets the ricin from the back of the outlet.
Who is that for? He's got an enormous gun, he obviously doesn't give any fucks anymore. Who gets riced? Who would he want to kill, but silently, while going out in a blaze of glory? How exactly does he make that happen anyway, who trusts him enough to eat or drink from him by his 52nd birthday? Even Jesse doesn't anymore. The only name I can come up with is Saul, but that seems unlikely too. He has to be setting something up, putting someone in a certain position by ricining someong else, it's the only thing that makes sense to me and it's in Walt's repetoire already from when he lily'd Brock.

We come back to the present with a slow zoom on the outside of the bathroom door. Do the Whites not have a guest bathroom? Why did Hank go all the way back to the master to take his shit? That's a little ridiculous to me. Walt didn't leave Leaves next to any old toilet. He doesn't expect anyone except him and Skyler to ever shit there. It's not a huge oversight. It's weird that Hank would go all the way in there. Naturally Marie's bag is hilariously purple, so Hank stashes it in before looking out at Walt (who's wearing his Bad News Yellow shirt (as is Marie for that matter)) and saying he's sick. The sudden realization brings his panic attacks back.

That makes his trip to the ER kind of silly actually because he should have known what that was. Twenty Thomas Bucks he only went to placate Marie. Also hey guys stop saying that Holly said bye unca hank. That was Walt.

Lydia confronts Walt at the car wash and while that made for a really good scene, it was one of the weaker plot points for me the first time through. That's not Lydia's style at all. She contacts you and asks for a secret meeting. But it's clear now that I watch harder that she's done that. She's been bothering him for a while now. He's annoyed that she showed up, not surprised. Went from a weak scene to a really strong one in my eyes.

Good catch by Skyler to see that someone was having a clean rental car washed, and that that made no sense, by the way. Helps us put the "she's stupid" morons to rest if they ever come back.

I really liked the scene where Hank is looking through old case files being in this first episode. It's a nice nostalgia trip for us after a yearlong hiatus. That's why the music choice is that upbeat, I think. We're supposed to look back and remember all the stuff we enjoyed before. :)

Now I can't wait to know what the Star Trek script is going to mean. Apart from the scene contrasting who Jesse used to be (through Badger and Pete) with who he is now (I can't care about this bullshit), naturally.
  • everything is quiet
  • the crew is bored
  • they have a pie-eating contest. BLUEberry pies. blue like the meth.
  • Down to the final three. Kirk, Chekov, Spock. It might be important that Checkov is a Russian, but vaguely eastern European name, given that we're in the Czech Republic now. Or it could be about the final three being Jesse, Walt, and Mike, with Jesse "yakking" when he decides the business makes him sick and he wants out, and with Mike having his guts blown "into space." But that doesn't account for someone having big pointies (lol badger omg).
There's two purposes for Jesse's scene with Saul. Obviously to show how badly Jesse doesn't want this money. But also to show us that Saul really doesn't know about Mike, and that Jesse has figured it out. When he asks if Jesse has been in touch with him Jesse gives him the biggest "what the fuck is the matter with you" look in the world. It betrays what he says in the scene later with Walt, that he thinks Walt killed him.

Jesse didn't run away from life like this when they did bad things. He runs away like this when somebody gets dead. He ends up shooting up in a filthy house after Jane dies. He tries to party his problems away after Gale dies. He quits the business and gets morose after Motorcycle Kid dies but that's not quite as personal. Now Mike has died and Jesse is back to 420blazingit.

Walt is so gross in this scene at Jesse's you guys, oh my god he's despicable. You can tell he's prepared almost all of this spiel. His words don't have the pacing of somebody just talking. Walt goes from Jesse's "I think you know Mike is dead" to "I did not kill Mike." He adds "I need you to believe this. It's not true it's just not." Lol. That's a hilarious line. What writing. There's no way Jesse buys that if he's sober, by the way. And I don't think he does stoned either. He glares into the camera (INTO THE CAMERA) as if to say "this fucking fuck, you guys, can you believe this shit?" And he goes back to the nasty-ass hotdog shop where someone in the TC said he made his first sale on the show. I don't remember that and am not looking it back up. How much money does he give that homeless dude? That's gonna by SO MUCH CRACK omg. Then Jesse drives through town like a demented Paul Revere just throwing money at people's houses because he can't get rid of it fast enough. Better that than partying it away I guess. Remember that time in fact? When he threw money at the party going MONAYYYYY? We laughed at how weird this was at first but it's not weird at all. It's his reaction to a personal connection to death, just with less jokes about pizza.

Then at home Walt is hiding the fact that his cancer is back from his family. Maybe Walt is the one who yaks in the Star Trek script because the chemo has made him so sick. Boy it sure didn't take him long to realize that if Hank has the book, figured it out, that Hank would bug his car, did it? Too bad that didn't click until after he'd gone to Jesse's again. I don't remember whether they have to get the data off the bug or it transmits. If it transmits Hank is going to Jesse. And we all know how amazing their relationship is.

Now look I'm not even gonna gush over the scene in the garage with Hank and Walt. It's fantastic. Everything about it is fantastic. All I'm gonna say is that I thought the episode was going to end when the door went down lol.

So all in all this was amazingly compelling television that seemed to be at the same time amazingly short and forever long. Ten minutes in we said HOW IS THERE STILL 45 MINUTES LEFT OF THIS? 45 minutes in we said HOW IS THERE ONLY 10 MINUTES LEFT OF THIS? I'm sure the final path has been lain out. We just don't have the line of sight to it yet. I do expect Flynn to spray the HEISENBERG on the wall. Maybe right after he finds out not only the truth but that his mom even knew. I bet that's on his way out the door forever. Maybe then Skyler finally does kill herself, and Marie finally does eat Holly. Gonna be a hell of a ride.

Here's some little random bits that don't fit in the blog at large, disjointed as it was:

Lydia: "You're putting me in a box here." Everyone caught the "you're getting me killed" F O R E S H A D O W I N G there.

Marie: "Hey you know it's been about a hundred years since we've been bowling!" It would be cool if that was a reference to that Nerdist bowling episode. It came back later when they didn't go bowling because Hank was still "sick." Weird mistake by Hank there. He initially didn't want the Whites to know he was ill ("don't tell Skyler"). The garage confrontation was EXACTLY why. It's so strange that I'm honestly not sure if it actually is a mistake or if the writers got their wires crossed on that one and didn't notice because it's so minor (and you see what you expect to see when writing something).

The pages in the methlab notebook of Gale's are Bad News Yellow too, by the way, while Hank compares their handwritings.

DEA grunt: "Boss, Janus said to tell you a few of them might not have indexes. We could help you organize them if you want." Janus. That's a very uncommon, specific name. Janus was the ancient Romans' god of, per the almighty Wiki, "beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, passages, endings and time. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. The Romans named the month of January (Ianuarius) in his honor." In Sherlock (this sentence will have a spoiler by the way), an agency called Janus Cars is both a car dealership and a place where you can disappear, get a new beginning; both a reference to beginnings and transition and the god's two-faced depiction. So who the hell is Janus here? How is he used? If it's a throwaway name, why pick one so laden with connotation, as if we didn't know the show was coming to an end already? vice gilly pls?

Huell wearing purple in the lobby at Saul's is an interesting choice. Purple instantly reminds us of Marie. Marie's character flaws include kleptomania. Then Jesse whips his cigarettes out. Hey guys remember when HUELL KLEPTO'd the ricin CIGARETTE? The level of self-reference there is reasonbly deep, especially since it's not like we don't remember that Huell did that, or like we would suddenly be reminded by him wearing a purple shirt if we had forgotten.

Walt puking with the towel under his knees and the water on to hide the noise is an obvious Gus callback. Painfully so, really. Pretty heavyhanded and the only lasting sour point of this episode for me.
4:18 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Arrested Development 402: Borderline Personalities

This is a review of a new episode of Arrested Development, from the perspective of having seen the entire season. Spoilers are likely to abound.

This is George Sr.'s first episode. It's largely self-contained, so my thoughts on it the second time through aren't much different from the first. This episode might be the least Arrested Developmenty of the season. I really enjoyed the story of it, but that's pretty much all there was. Exposition and plot development. George's tale could probably have benefited from the old format of AD, where this plot might have been spread over as many as three or four episodes, while other things were interspersed with it. As is, too much happened too quickly in one of the least-funny, weakest new episodes. It's even light on the Arrested Development-style farce, which probably is because of Lucille actually. George seems to want to go in that direction but she's too smart to let him. Obviously her plans end up failing... but it's not funny, farcical failure, it's just failure. It's a good story told well but that's all it is.

We start with George, or so we think, exiting a sweat lodge with CEOs. Later we'll find out that was Oscar leaving the lodge, and George Sr. emerging from the camper. (Our first clue should have been how dry and clean he is.) After a sweat lodge session, he sells them lemonade (and business advice) for fifteen grand. Decent spoof of high-end spas.

(Heartfire, by the way. Dayum.)

When we run back to just after the end of Season 3, George has gone to Sitwell, trying to get him to buy Bluth stock in order to pay Lucille's legal fees. I liked this scene, it was a well-written series of decreasingly-disguised jabs between the two rivals that climaxed with George taking a cell phone photo of, he thinks, a 20-ft wide by 5-mile tall monument to Dubya. Which would be hilariously phallic. Let me just read too much into it and say the show calls GWB a dick here.

When George reveals those plans to Lucille, Jessica Walter basically single-handedly carries the scene with her line delivery in smacking George around verbally. It's a wall, you moron. What a wonderful job she does. Dag. That lady is awesome. (Kind of odd that it's a scene of hers that turned out to be one of my least favorite in the entire series. Smoking with Buster. Fucking cringe, dude. Totally pointless. Nothing but a distraction from overwhelming plot later on.)

Anyway, George runs into Oscar, who lives on a strip of land on the California-Mexico border. Here's where the plot starts to come at us fast and hard, and a lot of people got lost. They're being kicked off the land so the border wall can be built. Which leads George to buy the land. He's going to stick the government with a bill for it so they can build the wall but, for now, Oscar's home is safe. But, again, Lucille saves the day: George will build that wall and use the proceeds on Lucille's legal costs. They'll fake a divorce in order to not appear in cahoots.

The economy continues to crash. The government decides to save money by putting off the border wall project. George has already spent the money he's received so far on land, so there's no way he can have an income for himself, build a wall, or pay attorneys, so he needs an alternate plan. He gets one in the sweat lodge with Oscar: "I'd pay $10,000 for a glass of lemonade."

George decides that, if he can't get money for the wall, he's gonna get money his own way: by throwing up sweat lodges as a high-end resort and selling lemonade and business answers for $15,000. Finally George gets his farce. A running theme of Arrested Development is how childlike the whole family is yeah? Well he's basically an executive-level kid with an executive-level lemonade stand. That's god damn hilarious and even works--for a year or so.

Then George starts to allow his patrons to bring water bottles with them because "they looked thirsty," and, shock of shocks, the money stops coming in. (In retrospect this becomes a clue of George's new low-T problem. He's getting soft.) So Barry shows up with a plan: Buy politician Herbert Love, who will be played excellently by Terry Crews, and get him to bring back the wall project. In order to free himself up for the evening to do that, he sends Oscar to go deal with Lucille. But when Barry mentions the wall to Oscar, thinking him to be George, Oscar uses the meeting with Lucille to verify that the wall plan is a real thing. And that's it. That's the end. Very little layers of plot from other episodes.

Half the reason Oscar has been living here, by the way, is because there's Maca growing there: a hallucinogenic plant. George decides to try it with Oscar. Right then, they "have a vision" of a native telling them to fuck off! But ta-da. It's god damn Marky Mark. That honestly made it less cool for me. Basically none of the rest of this episode is intertwined with the master plot, except maybe the part where George misses Lucille's trial date because he's passed out in the sweat hut for two days. To which Oscar called out, "Dr. Norman! We have a hot mess!" rofl.

New Running Gags:
  • Heartfire's subtitled telepathy is pretty damn funny, especially when it shows up in the background at the bar and when it's used on George Sr. himself.
  • Dr. Norman being a shitty doctor doesn't work that well, it's not funny, it's predictable. Of course Oscar's old buddies are too high to do their jobs properly. He's a hippie! ha ha ha ha ha. :l
  • John Beard hosts, like, every show. As Tobias will learn. Remember AD has long been a picture of America at the time: the wealthy family who loses everything, the real estate developer who suddenly has no money = housing & financial crash and resulting recession. To that extent, John Beard becomes the guy with several jobs trying desperately to afford a lifestyle that he no longer can. Doesn't he end up with his home foreclosed on later? So quit complaining that John Beard is on every show. It's symbolic of your high school chemistry teacher who now also works evenings at minimum wage and weekends doing maintenance at their church.
  • Almost immediately. "" made me smile. If you didn't catch this one, its from when George was in the model home's attic and installed a hot tub like an idiot, which he then tried to cook frozen meals in.
  • Seth Rogen: "We have the best fucking attorneys." George says several times about Barry, "I have the worst fucking attorney." I squee'd at this one.
  • GOB, once again, feels physical pain at the thought of his parents having sex when Buster says "and then you whispered Don't pull out!"
11:50 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Arrested Development 401: Flight of the Phonix

Warning: This is a review of a new episode of Arrested Development, from the perspective of having seen the entire season. Spoilers!

The first time through I really didn't care for this episode much. It was short on original gags, an in-your-face callback was offputting, it seemed to drag and repeat somewhat, and in general it just wasn't all that funny. On the second watch, though, now that I know what else is going on outside of this episode's story, it became clear why the season seemed to start slow and get better as it went along: The more you know about the full story, the funnier--and smarter--each individual episode becomes.

The very first scene brings us the great and bad of the Kristen Wiig/Seth Rogen scenes. Seth Rogen is horrible in the series. Just atrocious. Kristen Wiig is wonderful as Young Lucille. The green mud is awesome at tying the whole Grinch who Stole Cinco de Mayo bit together too. Cool gag, had me laughing out loud at the creation of Cinco de Cuatro within the first minute of the season. Good strong start. Get Rogen out of there.

Starting with Cinco de Cuatro is also important because every character's arc will culminate there. The entire series has been framed with one Ancient History scene and one gag with a believably-made-up drunk Michael trying horribly to seduce Lucille Austero in order to get money. We're told he's $700,000 in debt but not why. That's outstanding writing.

He goes back to the old model home and there's GOB, holding a mask, having just fucked Tony Wonder. That was odd at first watch. I kinda figured GOB was just squatting there, since Michael and George Michael had fucked off in the yacht as Season Three ended. Love that he puts his weird feelings about the Tony situation onto Michael in this scene, trying to deal with it. And then we see Tony's legs and feet... which we probably should have recognized immediately during the scene with Ben Stiller and his wife whose name I can never remember. But we didn't because well, because. I thought it was Ann (and wasn't alone in thinking that... nor were we far off tbh).

Then, after GOB force-feeds Michael a forget-me-now, we flash back and Michael has moved in to George Michael's dorm. These scenes are sort of overdone and repetitive. GM feels smothered by his dad living there. Wants space and privacy. Michael pulls the Bluth Family Patented Guilt Trip. It ends awkwardly with Michael staying. That happens a couple of times. Rinse. Repeat. Except for this.

"I want to wean off the name George Michael."

So, instead, he ends up going as George Maharis later, the privacy software guru. The narration here was fantastic as well, referring to it vaguely as "block software." Yeah. WOOD block software. It should have been obvious to everyone, in retrospect, that of course there wasn't any real privacy software, he was just trying (as always) to not make his dad mad. Sadly, I don't know about you guys but I bought it.

At the family meeting, George talks about having spent money on acreage in the desert, which later we'll find out is for the border fence. It was interesting to watch this family meeting several times throughout the course of the season, a different little part added every time. Hopefully someone uploads them all spliced together to Youtube soon. I'd love to watch that.

Sudden Valley returns now that Michael has been able to develop it but, remember the community pool? That wonderful solution... severed the cable lines. And there's no road to the development yet. And the Sitwell company knows about it because, due to the lack of tenants, Michael is in debt $700,000 and explains the situation to Lucille 2, who floats him a loan for the amount. Lol.

We also get some flash-forwards in this episode to some other things we'll see in GM and Maeby episodes. Maeby showing up, for one. When Michael first comes to the dorm GM has that mustache from Spain. (It's painfully obviously fake but I kinda thought that was the joke.) Michael comes to the computer lab to talk about voting P-hound out, right after GM and P-hound came up with the plan to vote Michael out. PLAYED.

(By the way, what a Dickensian name P-hound is, given that he spends the whole season flirting with Maeby.)

There's a bunch of Peanuts references, once again. Maeby sort of looks like Lucy in this episode, which is lol because Michael was trying to kick tumbleweeds in his house, which kept blowing away like the football Charlie Brown can't kick because GUESS WHO PULLS IT AWAY? LUCY. Then he leaves with the Good Grief walk, which comes back again an again in this show. When Michael is trying to get a copy of the in-flight magazine a confused good Samaritan gives him a packet of Peanuts.

The guys from Workaholics run the airport ticketing office. It was a weird scene, really, but it let us start to see how Michael is rationalizing getting himself kicked out. After he flies to Phoenix and back (hence the title of the episode), he returns to the penthouse in the "on the next" segment, and we see some more flash-forwards. He walks past a redhead and says "Gentlemen, start your engines." That's Lindsay, and George Michael is going to say the same thing about her outside the Opie Awards. Inside the penthouse is a total disaster. "It was Lindsay," says the narrator, doubly referring to said redheaded Lindsay in the hallway.

The first time through, I thought the episode was OK but weak by Arrested Development standards. The second time, I enjoyed it a lot more. Maybe that's because it wasn't 2:00 in the morning when I watched it, maybe that's because I had adjusted to the longer episodes, and maybe that's because I had more knowledge of what was going on in terms of the full plot. At any rate I'm looking forward to re-watching more episodes. There's more layers to this thing than a Photoshop drawing, and it's gonna be a blast to peel each of them away.

OTHER CALLBACKS: We get a really, really subtle callback when Michael can't work his phone in George Michael's dorm. Remember when GOB can't work the phones at the Bluth Company offices, Michael tries to help but eventually just changes the subject? Yeah.

You're a crook, Captain Hook! As the scene goes farther than we ever have seen it do, we get an extremely heavy-handed reference to Buster's hook and the Loose Seal. Which I hated the shit out of on first watch because it was so painfully obvious, but guess what? BUSTER IS ABOUT TO GET A HEAVY HAND. Michael had just "flown" on stage. It happens after Buster flies drones.

I don't know if I'm reading too much into my own phrase "heavy-handed" there or what, but the layers in this show make that entirely possibly intentional.

The mural in the airport is full of iconic scenes from the series: Mexico, the cabin on a truck, Wee Britain, the Queen Mary, a seal in the ocean. Probably more.
12:36 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Album Challenge, day.... not enough left

Current mood: worried

Good news everyone! Not only are you reading this is Professor Farnsworth's voice, but I've invented a device that plays the final cut of Soldarity! It's here. Mixing that down gave me serious trouble. Gosh.

Breakdown of what's left to do in these last Jesus Christ how are there suddenly only 7 days left.

-I should get Zeph's recordings soon, when I do I'll finish the whole choon.
Shouting Down
-Not much really, I think just the mixdown.
Tent City Inn
Free Suit
-I want to alter the drum pattern at the drop.
-Mixing down

-All of the programming.
-Write the outro.
-Mix down.

Fuck sleep anyway. (((:()))
8:15 am - 2 comments - 0 Kudos
Friday, February 18, 2011

Album Challenge, Day 17

Current mood: indifferent

Haven't updated in a while because I've been only sort of working. Newest set of news:

The two spot is tentatively called Shouting Down, but I'm also thinking about calling it You Shall Listen. Gravemind sampling occurs. (In case you forgot, that's the big bastard flood from Halo 2. He says, among other things, "there is much talk, and I have listened through rock and metal and time. Now I shall talk, and you shall listen." The end bit works quite nicely for my revolution theme. If only Free Suit fit in.) It's mean and techy and hard and needs work on the transitions, and I made the preview (with too much sub again I think), but soundcloud is being a douchecartel and won't come up, so uploading didn't occur. Soon, tomorrow maybe.

The track order has changed because going straight from that into Tent City Inn would be jarring. I might even need to come up with a middle-ground tune at the last minute, but for now, here's the list, with (more for me than you guys) what I have left to do.

1. Febalchin
Still waiting on Zephyr's end here, but that's fine, I have plenty else to do. Need to finish writing. Need to mix down.
2. Shouting Down/You Shall Listen
Need to improve transitions, EQ, and mix down.
3. Free Suit
Need to make less repetitive and mix down.
4. Tent City Inn
Nothing! :D
5. Solidarity
Need to finish writing (I'm close) and mix down.
6. Huria
Need to finish writing, do all the programming, and (of course) mix down.
4:42 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Sunday, February 13, 2011

Album Challenge Day 12

Mainly writing this one out of force of habit now. I've started my two-spot and it's gonna be sweet. Called Shouting Down, although that's only a working title and I'm probably gonna alter it slightly. Lots of FM synths in it. And so for it has no hihats and doesn't feel like it needs any (weird). If you want a preview of the melodies I'm dealing with you know where to go, but it's super early and some of the timing is even off.

I guess the main point of this was a complete track list ^_^

1. Febalchin - suspenseful
2. Shouting Down - brash
3. Tent City Inn - sort of restful while still building
4. Free Suit - Eerie, conflicting.
5. Solidarity - Powerful and slipping into something major.
6. Huria - Too damn happy.
6:11 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Saturday, February 12, 2011

Album Challenge, Day 11: Something Final This Way

Current mood: Fierce excitement bitches.

Holy shitty titties is that a FINAL of the track formerly known as Thundersleet?

You bet your sweet ass it is. The final name is Tent City Inn. That fits well into the overarching narrative my album kinda has, with the exception of Free Suit, which is just cool. It actually took me a shockingly small amount of time to mix this down, which makes me think something is wrong with it... Let me know what you guys think.

Yesterday I didn't do much because mah woman turned 21. Sue me.

Tracklist as it stands:
1. Febalchin (feat. TheZephyrSon)
Not necessarily done writing it. Some good synth work has happened.
2. ?
I'm looking for something both catchy and nasty here. Not sure what yet. May listen to some Heatbeat for inspiration. (Ideas: Vergatron||Hadoken (holy shit)||Neitherworld [Heatbeat Remix])
3. Tent City Inn
Now final.
4. Free Suit
Needs mixing down and to be slightly less repetitive. Maybe more effect-type samples.
5. Solidarity
I haven't returned to it since I posted the preview, so all the same issues remain.
6. Huria (formerly Febalchin)
I'm defs happy with the happiness now. It fits with what I want it to be. Starts with a trance-speed break beat so I can mix in, then jumps into freeform, honestly almost borderline happy hard (spit). Almost done writing, no synthing yet. May sample one recently deposed President.
7:06 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Album Challenge, Day 9: Something may actually be

Current mood: exanimate

Today's work was limited to formerly Thundersleet. (Man should I come up with a title for it.) I've finished writing it, its structure is set, and the time has come to mix it down. I hate mixing down and don't want to spend all of the last two weeks doing so, so I went ahead and got a head start on the process with this one. It's coming along brilliantly and will be final sometime this weekend. Bank on it.

The rest of this day I didn't do a whole lot. Studying and hockey occurred. So it goes. Progress is progress.

Anyone who can tell me what this current mood means wins a prize. In your own words. If you Google like I did, it does not count.
6:46 am - 2 comments - 2 Kudos
Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Album Challenge, Day 8: I make this look good

Current mood: cold

It's a large undertaking to do an album in a month. But I'm a firm believer that if you do a little bit every day, it's very very doable. Even if you only spend a few minutes a day tweaking, you didn't do nothing that day.

Today I had every intention of doing nothing. Tuesday was being, well, a fukken Tuesday. But I said wellll, I'll just work on laying out Free Suit more for a few minutes. What resulted was I worked on the thing for a couple hours and have basically finished writing it. As always you can find a preview at my Souncloud here. (Obligatory Suba sub warning. The quick and dirty clipping prevention technique I use for previews might explode your speakers, so be careful with this. Start quiet and turn it up.) I really like this one. It's a new sort of tune for me. Techstep in the vein of Zero T. Right now it's a bit more repetitive than I'd like, but I'll deal with that soon.

I've got a hilarious snow day tomorrow, so productivity hopefully awaits. I might even get going on the mixdown for something, and I really need to return to formerly-thundersleet. I hate that I'm still stitting on Febalchin, you guys, the shit is ballin, but I'm not sure how to end it yet. Hang in there.

And if you're finding yourself struggling to keep working on your own project--Just put in a few minutes. Five minutes is more, and better, than zero.
7:32 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
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