So there was no blog last week. I failed you, & the world didn’t stop spinning as it was supposed to! My work on an extensive custom project was derailed by bombogenesis. (R.I.P. Dick Miller & the Marcal factory.) Extreme cold makes me go into hibernation mode because I’m half-Scarren. I could’ve run something else, but my anti-creativity levels also rose. I’ll probably end up writing over fifty-two posts this year anyway, so this wasn’t a big loss. We’re back now False Spring has sprung with the Year of the Pig, cake sniffers!
Super Bowl commercials were equally uninspired this year aside from Houses Lannister & Targaryen uniting to make those obnoxious Bud Light bastards dilly dilly dead. (Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical doesn’t count but was probably superior.) Why don’t the football teams also put aside their differences to form one mega-team? As I understand sports only marginally better than Bitcoin, I shall devote the rest of this essay on the merits of Netflix originals & Gotham again. It was either that or random feline thoughts. (Those will return eventually!)
“Netflix & snuggle” would be a better slogan than “Netflix & chill” during the winter. The following cold takes are low on spoilers. Sometimes I do write concisely!
I watched Black Mirror “Bandersnatch” using all left choices (save when it branched backwards). Is it worth doing again with all right choices? Highlighting the illusion of choice reminds me why I never liked any of The Choose Your Own Adventure books. Did they even secure the rights to Bandersnatch by Jerome F. Davies before adapting it into a computer game?
Cam out Black Mirrored “Bandersnatch.” It’s spooky & sex worker positive. Now I’ll be watching the careers of Madline Brewer, Isa Mazzei, & Daniel Goldhaber!
Based on an American indie comic I’d never heard of, Charlie Covell’s British adaptation of The End of the F***ing World was wonderful. (The end of the f***ing world is the beginning of the celibate world.) If you see one comedy about teen sociopaths & lesbian detectives, make it this one. It ends perfectly so I have my concerns about it getting another season.
As a reteam from the folks that brought us Nightcrawler (sadly not a Kurt Wagner biopic), Velvet Buzzsaw is the portrait of the artist as shlockster. It’s so refreshing to see a B-movie horror with A-movie production value. Its trailer was quite spoilery, but I still had fun watching the film. Killing pretentious art world players with a concept as cheesy as haunted artwork was a perfect satiric juxtaposition.
RoCoco constantly needing new employ was a cute running gag. It had a great title, a compelling cast, absurd deaths, & two distinct cats!
I’m not recapping every episode of Gotham’s fifth season individually, but I might as well write some assorted SPOILERS about the show while I still can. (WB, I’m game if you’ll continue the story in animation keeping the same cast & writers. Also don’t make it exclusive to your streaming service.) What am I gonna do when I don’t have any more Gotham to ramble about? I’ll have to go back to writing my second novel!
Those monsters killed poor Mr. Penn! I guess he really wasn’t Arnold Wesker, after all!
I regret to inform Gotham’s writers that exploding a building’s oil heater wouldn’t result in a catastrophic death explosion instantly engulfing an entire apartment complex. (I’d tell Darren Aronofsky too, but physics is even less of a concern for mother!)
They didn’t bring back Harvey Dent for Cobblepot’s kangaroo court, which was obviously less amazing that the Gertrud Kapelput Memorial Choir. (Here’s close-ups of his defunct License of Misconduct.) Anthony Carrigan improved Zsasz’s strip search dialogue, but what were his “last words” at the guillotine? I’m going to be so disappointed if they don’t show us his scars again.
An episode was named “PenaDura” but they don’t go to Pena Dura or even mention it? At least they efficiently got Eduardo Dorrance’s introduction & sudden but inevitable betrayal out of the way.
The Selina vs. Ecco fight was keen! Ecco said puddin’, which confirms she’s the show’s official Harley Quinn. (I’m amused that scene even got puddin’ to trend by itself on The Twitter.) While nothing will ever beat Harley’s jester costume, Ecco’s new outfit is recognizable without being trashy like most of Harley’s subsequent redesigns. (Since the commedia dell’arte Harlequin is male, Harley Quinn loses a layer of transgressive gender incongruity when her costume shifts from her iconic tights to skimpier outfits.) Her upside-down eyebrow is fascinating. It’s delightful that Francesca Root-Dodson appears to be using a different accent each episode. (She originally booked the role with a Russian accent thinking she’d be playing Echo.) As great as Arleen Sorkin was originating the role, it’s refreshing to get a Harley that’s not an imitation of her. Too bad she probably won’t have hyena babies or a cheetah chariot.
After weeks of foreshadowing, Jeremiah is killed by Selina Kyle as soon as he appears! It’s delightful the writers are still trolling Joker fans with that running gag even with a new Valeska. (Were the entire cast’s costumes stinky or did the wardrobe department just have a vendetta against Cameron Monaghan for some reason?) Why is Bruce Wayne clutching his pearls like he never saw Selina lethally defenestrate a bitch in season one? (Batboy really needs to up his handcuff escape game if he’s going to make a career of this.) Since dead means dead is Gotham’s only ironclad rule, Jeremiah’s obviously revealed to be alive the next episode. Instead of relying on an armored vest filled with fake blood or Clayface impersonating him, it anticlimactically turns out Catwoman is either bad at stabbing people to death or Ecco is a stupendous surgeon.
Barbara Kean’s hair & delts in “Ruin” gave me strong Supergirl from Elseworld’s Finest vibes. (I’m sure this homage was completely unintentional, as opposed to all the other visual cues in the series.) It’s yucky they killed Tabs just so Babs would hook up with Gordon again, but at least the noirish lighting for that scene was perfect. It’s also frustrating she hasn’t done anything with Ra’s al Ghul’s grimoire. (The Demon’s Head power apparently didn’t revert back to her upon his death.) There was a scene of The Stabby Queen being immersed in the Lazraus Pit cut from last season. Why’d they bother filming that only to replace it with her just drinking Lazarus Water? “I hope you die screaming, bitch!” is now a popular greeting card in Gotham City.
First ghosts, now smiling dogs: Gotham is becoming Ed Ruins Everything! The Nygmobblepot reunion was heartwarming, even if Ozzie didn’t explain why he didn’t keep track of Ed after saving his life. Stabby Babs threatened to turn Riddler into Jigsaw, but not that weaksauce Netflix version. (What if The Punisher is the only Marvel show Netflix doesn’t cancel?) So the Ed Nygma personality wasn’t controlling his body during the fugue states after all. He’s now the Riddle Soldier. Bonus points for Hugo Strange doing the Takei “Oh, my!”
We haven’t had any confirmation Mr. Freeze & Firefly are in this season. Should I be worried about them being screwed out of their swansongs?
Nearly all my toys receive minor customizations. The gun-holding left hand for Victor Zsasz’s action figure doesn’t have his trigger finger separated or his rings sculpted? I fixed that & made him look paler as befits the town that dreaded sunshine. Although it’s from his superlative introduction (egregiously missing a boxcutter accessory), I wish they’d given him one of his more interesting later outfits. I also did Alfred Pennyworth’s hair. Poor Alfred. He’s only worth one penny. It’s a wonder Joe Coyne hasn’t kidnapped him yet.
Next week I hope to have something to write to you about again. Otherwise I will lament not splitting this installment in twain.