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I started to watch this, and three seconds in clicked the video off in a spasm of anxiety. I cannot watch something like this. I don’t have it in me.

Well, it’s possible that he was referring to Dr. Faye Miller, who may be more of a behaviorist than a “shrink”, per se, but who obviously has some formal training in psychology, and whose role in Don’s life was not unlike that of a therapist. She’s the only person he’s volunteered his “Dick Whitman” secret to, and there has certainly been some lingering speculation that she might be reintroduced in the show, whether as a reemerged love interest or otherwise.

 0Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 | re: Chris Webber Should Live Commentate On Everything (28 comments)

To the uninitiated, know that Chris Webber is the best commentator in basketball. He’s a better analyst than he was a player, and he was a very good player. Unlike Charles Barkley, he actually breaks down the game with insight and clarity, yet still has the wit and expansiveness to be engaging. He actually makes me want to watch halftime shows.

Also, points for Eddie Murphy: Delirious reference. Double points for busting out yiddish.

 0Posted on Mar 20th, 2013 | re: Here Are Some Afternoon Links! (15 comments)

Hamish Linklater would have been a fantastic Jim- but I’m glad he didn’t get it. He did and is doing cooler stuff instead. Matt Besser would have been a hilarious Dwight, too.

I think we can all agree the right people were cast though.

 +4Posted on Feb 21st, 2013 | re: What Is Your Wicked: The Movie Dream Cast?! (42 comments)

I’ll be the one take this seriously like an idiot:

KC and Idina are too old to play these roles anymore, so weep, theatre nerds.

Megan Hilty now has enough name recognition to be qualify for consideration, and she has the added qualification of having actually performed the role on Broadway (first replacement after KC.) She’d crush it. Glinda isn’t really that hard a role to cast, though. Pretty soprano comedienne who can play manic and type-a.

Far as Elphaba goes, the vocal demands of the role pretty much eliminate 90 percent of the “singing movie star” field, including Amy Adams, Scarlett Johanson etc. Anne Hathaway might actually be able to eke it out, and might be the only person standing between the role and Lea Michele.

I could also see certain stunt casting gambits paying off. Most notably a Carrie Underwood/Kelly Clarkson hookup.

Dispensing with the celebrity requirement, I’d go with recent B’way Elpheba Teal Wicks, who probably has the most “movie star” good looks of anyone to play the role.

If I really had my druthers, though, I’d give Wicked the 2-D Disney animation treatment. A live action version would be almost sure to fail- this property was meant to be animated.

 0Posted on Dec 11th, 2012 | re: Downton Abbey And A Downtown Train (19 comments)

Aaah beat me to it. I would much prefer to travel uptown.

 +6Posted on Nov 12th, 2012 | re: Saturday Night Live: Anne Hathaway And Rihanna (30 comments)

The Pharaoh exaggerations are weird ticks like the shoulder bouncing and the cheese grin that not only aren’t hallmarks of Obama, they have roots in black stereotyping that makes it feel even more off the mark to me.

EXACTLY THAT. Pharoah’s Obama pairs a passable vocal mimic with taunting minstrelsy.

 +4Posted on Nov 12th, 2012 | re: Saturday Night Live: Anne Hathaway And Rihanna (30 comments)

I totally disagree. I think Armison’s Obama was exactly in the mold of Carvey’s Bush I or Ferrell’s Bush II. It was a caricature that ignored broad impersonation and instead isolated and mutated a few key characteristics- in Obama, namely his nebbishy intellectualism, calm and detachment. Armison also eventually got the voice down pretty well.

The problem with that Armison’s was that it didn’t resonate with people’s actual experience of Obama. Obama’s problem, from a sketch show perspective, is that he’s actually COOL. Not in a surface or aesthetic sense, necessarily. In that sense he’s just sort of a nerdy dad and/or hardass professor. Obama’s cool is rooted in the fact that his entire public persona is based in the perception that he’s “in on the joke”. That he’s emotionally intelligent and naturally empathetic- but in a more earnest and organic way than Clinton’s “Ah feel your pain” version. This task is more like trying to lampoon John Stewart. You are not likely to succeed.

SNL recognized this, so they switched over to Jay Pharoah’s. Pharoah’s Obama is closer to Hammond’s Clinton- it’s a mimic job. Except for Hammond, Clinton’s personality- extroverted, extemporaneous, gregarious- offered a broad surface on which to play. Obama offers none of that- very little defining body language or verbal ticks (beyond the occasional “uuh”), and because his entire persona is based on even-tempered, patient, post-racialism, there is not much skin to grab for comic purposes. Pharoah’s gets the voice dead on, but that’s where it ends. From there he has to construct a character that bears no resemblance to Obama, but rather reads as a the central character in a generic “Hey, what if the president was BLACK??” sketch from 10 years ago.

And let’s also just cut to the chase- there has to be a bit more care taken in lampooning the first black president than with the 43rd white president. Armison’s sort of pan-racial aesthetic range as an actor made him uniquely qualified to play a president who is half white and half black. Pharoah, especially wearing that lightening makeup they put on him, can’t help but look like the crude Def Jam Obama of nursing home nightmares and fevered right wing fantasies.

 +16Posted on Nov 12th, 2012 | re: Saturday Night Live: Anne Hathaway And Rihanna (30 comments)

I haaaaaate Jay Pharoah’s Obama impression. Maybe it’s because it’s mimicry instead of a caricature, but it just feel so goddamned exploitative. Like it was dreamt up by far-right Republicans.

Like… the shit with the shoulders? The taunting grin and upturned nose? It belongs on that long defunct Fox News sketch show. The ENTIRE GAG now is that he’s black. And the politics (“end the military”? seriously?) are so far off the mark it’s scary. SNL is grasping at straws because they’ve never been able to get a handle on Obama- so they’re setting for a shucking, jiving, race-baiting version of him that’s more Al Sharpton than Barack. Pharoah should stick to his one-note Denzel Washington impersonation.

I never thought I’d say it, but bring back Fred Armison.

Sorry this comment wasn’t funny.

 +4Posted on Nov 1st, 2012 | re: Who Do You Think Mitt Romney's Favorite TV Characters Are? (97 comments)

Cylon No. 1 from Battlestar Galactica.

Also, despite his black incumbent beating powers, Tommy Carchetti was based on Martin O’Malley, an avowed LIBRUL.

 +1Posted on Aug 16th, 2012 | re: It's Not Too Late To Not Hate Jeff Daniels (29 comments)

Wait, we still hate Newsroom? I thought it had gotten better! No?

 +10Posted on Jul 11th, 2012 | re: Chet Haze - "Do It Better" (22 comments)

In my fantasy, Money Maker Mike crawls out from behind that weird modern sofa and silently murders Chet with a fire axe.

 -1Posted on Jul 11th, 2012 | re: Krispy Kreme - "Coolest Guys" (36 comments)

Aw man. Krispy Kreme has become self aware (or was all along.)

 +6Posted on Jul 9th, 2012 | re: Better Questions To Ask Emma Stone (34 comments)

Did Irma really poison all those people?

 +14Posted on Jul 9th, 2012 | re: Better Questions To Ask Emma Stone (34 comments)

What’s Nermal like in real life?

Shaqzirra, prease. /racism

 +1Posted on Jul 2nd, 2012 | re: Duh Aficionado Magazine: Katie Holmes Something Something Scientology (80 comments)

What, that his teeth are misaligned? OH GOD.

 +2Posted on Jul 2nd, 2012 | re: Duh Aficionado Magazine: Katie Holmes Something Something Scientology (80 comments)


 +6Posted on Jul 2nd, 2012 | re: The Anderson Cooper Letter (11 comments)

That guy is awful. Gawker is awful. So shrill. So histrionic. So unjustifiably self-important.

The Anti-Videogum.

Also: when you namedrop/humblebrag, don’t then backhand the name you’re dropping.

 +1Posted on Jun 27th, 2012 | re: Hey, Uh, So, Have You Guys Watched Bunheads? (51 comments)

My fiance loves the show, and I love Sutton Foster (I work for the company that just produced “Anything Goes” on Broadway) so I frown upon your nitpicking.

 +2Posted on Jun 26th, 2012 | re: The Curse Of Being Very Good (107 comments)

I disagree! It is my least favorite of the official canon (most people leave BR out.)

As has been said below, while Royal Tenenbaums is pretty much in everyone’s top 3, the Anderson-Fan diaspora can be divided into Life Aquatic people and Rushmore people. If you love one you probably don’t love the other.

I prefer Life Aquatic because it’s the Anderson outlier. The MOST Anderson-y of his films. Maybe a little much, but possessing a higher concentration of all the qualities I love in his films: A complete, three-dimensional, meticulously crafted jewel-box universe, absurd humor, bizarre characters, and meditation on Anderson’s usual catalog of psychological hang ups (broken families, fathers and sons, middle-aged regret, professional stagnation)

I don’t dislike Rushmore, but I find the main character intensely hateable (as opposed to Steve Zissou, who, while also hatable, is a deeply sympathetic character, at least to me.)

 0Posted on Jun 25th, 2012 | re: The Curse Of Being Very Good (107 comments)

LOVE Life Aquatic.

But I love most of Anderson’s movies. I rank them thusly:

1. The Royal Tenenbaums
2. The Darjeeling Limited
3. The Life Aquatic
4. Fantastic Mr. Fox
5. Moonrise Kingdom
6. Rushmore
7. Bottle Rocket

 0Posted on Jun 19th, 2012 | re: Glenn Beck Has Suuuuuch A Good Idea For A Conservative Glee-Style Show (43 comments)

To be fair, the acting and cinematography on “Glee” ARE brilliant.

 +12Posted on May 29th, 2012 | re: Mad Men: This Is A Good Show (110 comments)


 +13Posted on May 29th, 2012 | re: Mad Men: This Is A Good Show (110 comments)

I hear that. The only time I’ve ever openly wept at this show is the moment in “The Suitcase”.

You know the one I’m talking about.

Where Don, at his most bedraggled and haggard, has the hardest phone conversation of his life, while believing Peggy to be passed out on the couch. He lowers his eyes and then lifts them- to see a fully conscious Peggy burning holes through him with her all seeing eyes. Exposed and raw, he crumples.

I lost it. The Don/Peggy dynamic is the most potent strain in this show. I hope to God we’re not losing it entirely.