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Game of Thrones podcast: Season 5, Episode 3 — “The High Sparrow”

[ 29 ] April 27, 2015 |

theon

Enjoy!

Louie, you disappoint me

[ 40 ] April 24, 2015 |

louie8

I can’t think of a better way to win friends on social than to write an article in which I bag on Louie and defend beat cops:

As any television critic will tell you, there are two constants when it comes to televised drama, “cops” and “doctors,” and the current moment is no exception. For example, you have a wide selection of police procedurals to choose from: old hats like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”; more family-oriented fare like “Blue Bloods”; shows that are only tangentially about cops, but are still police procedurals, like “Elementary” or “Person of Interest” or “Bones”; and you even have comedies that work within the trappings of the police procedural, like “Brooklyn 99.”

Except none of those are actually “cop shows,” because they’re all about detectives. (Which is, yes, technically a rank, but is conventionally depicted as entirely different profession.) In fact, the majority of shows aren’t about cops at all — they’re about individuals too intelligent or talented to be lowly patrol officers, who have transcended the beat and work in the rarefied world of investigation. That is not to say that uniformed officers don’t make an appearance on these series, because they do, but when they’re not relegated to bit players at crime scenes — the blue drones in the background collecting evidence or being asked to canvas a neighborhood — they’re inevitably fucking up.

This dynamic was neatly encapsulated on a recent episode of “Elementary” — CBS’ loose adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes– in which Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is asked by the daughter of the New York Police Department’s Captain Thomas Gregson (Aidan Quinn) to assist her in breaking up a ring of thieves hitting up local drug stores. Hannah Gregson (Liza Bennett) is just a lowly uniformed officer, so she seeks out Watson’s help — and Watson isn’t even an actual detective, she’s an assistant “consulting detective” — in order to discover the identity of the thieves, a problem that’s been vexing Officer Gregson for weeks.

Two scenes later, Watson has not only discovered who the thieves are, but how to use them to infiltrate a much larger prescription drug smuggling operation. She hands Officer Gregson a file containing everything she needs to initiate what could be a career-making bust, and what does the beat cop do? She immediately arrests the low-level operators, thereby allowing those running the criminal enterprise to go to ground. Why does she do this? According to her own father, Captain Gregson, it’s because she’s not that bright — she settled for the small score because her beat-cop-brain isn’t capable of conceptualizing the abstract connections required to take down a smuggling ring.

“She is what she is,” Captain Gregson tells Watson. “I love her, but I love this job too, the people who can actually do it.” And on that note, the episode fades to black, as if it’s a fact of precinct life that current uniformed officers just don’t have what it takes to make detective. There is a reason that television prefers its “cop shows” to follow detectives, and that’s because there’s an inherent narrative to the life of a detective, especially when they work in homicide — a life is taken, an investigation into who took that life ensues, discoveries of varying relevance are made and, if everything works out, a criminal or criminals with their own tales to tell is sussed out…

Believe it or not, that is just the beginning.

Admit it — you’re surprised I didn’t end up getting shot

[ 84 ] April 22, 2015 |

SEK wanders out of THE BAR after saying many fond farewells one of his oldest friends only to find THE COP hunched over the side of his car in what appears to be a puking position.

SEK: Are you all right?

THE COP: Fine, fine — just had a bad Sprite.

SEK: I don’t think that’s a thing.

THE COP: Must have been bad.

SEK: Are you sure you’re alright?

THE COP: (grabbing his side) Yeah sure — you can just — I can —

SEK: Bad Sprite’s not a thing. When my wife grabbed her side like that she had to have her appendix re —

THE COP: I’ll be — I’m — just you —

SEK: I’m calling 911. (calls 911) I’m with a police officer and he’s in a lot of pain —

911 DISPATCHER: Where are you located?

SEK: I’m at [location]

THE COP’S CAR: Officer [In Extremis] are you OK?

THE COP: (moans)

911 DISPATCHER: Is the officer OK?

SEK: He doesn’t seem to be. Should I tell the person in the car that?

THE COP: I’M OK!

SEK: He’s not. Don’t listen to him.

911 DISPATCHER: Keep him still — help is coming.

SEK looks at THE COP, who is now moaning on the ground in pain not borne of bad Sprite.

SEK: I’m — on it?

911 DISPATCHER: This is on you now. Keep him talking.

SEK: So tell me more about this bad Sprite…

SEK on Graphic Policy Radio talking about the politics of Daredevil

[ 20 ] April 21, 2015 |

daredevil

I know I always encourage you to listen to my appearances on Graphic Policy Radio — co-hosts Elana and Brett really bring out the best in me — but in this case I really think you should, as the conversation was exceptional. (Likely because I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Daredevil, as tomorrow’s Lawyers, Guns & Money podcast on the show will demonstrate, as well as an interview I did with NPR which may or may not have already aired.)

I should note, however, that the conversation addresses all 12 episodes, so if you haven’t finished the series and want to avoid spoilers, bookmark this and listen later.

Enjoy!

Check Out Pop Culture Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with graphicpolicy on BlogTalkRadio

Game of Thrones podcast: Season 5, Episode 2 — “The House of Black and White”

[ 35 ] April 20, 2015 |

arya

It includes my new hit single, “Dorne,” which I promise I only actually “sing” once. Enjoy!

Daredevil as a symbol of civic responsibility in the wake of tragedy

[ 71 ] April 14, 2015 |

daredevil

Here’s my first long-read culture piece for Salon — and not surprisingly, it’s about something extremely nerdy. Excerpt:

The larger argument the show makes is about the nature and necessity of different kinds of heroism — and the kind of social responsibility they entail. “Daredevil” almost never strays from Hell’s Kitchen, an area of New York City which, the audience is repeatedly told, was effectively demolished by the events in Joss Whedon’s first “Avengers” film. The Avengers were responsible for repelling an alien invasion, which is highly commendable, don’t get me wrong — but someone has to pick up the pieces of the society that’s shattered by the collateral damage, and that’s what shows like “Daredevil” are explicitly about.

In fact, all of the shows Marvel will be producing with Netflix take place in this same small slice of the Marvel cinematic universe — and all of them address the human cost of having your city host a Hollywood action sequence. This is something Hollywood itself has never done, and television only rarely. Even the closest, the third season of “Battlestar Galactica,” had the feel of a reconstruction happening elsewhere, due its visual and narrative references to Iraq.

Daredevil’s certainty — and the desire for it — isn’t a reflection on the world the audience lives in, but in the large cinematic one Marvel is creating. Which is, I acknowledge, something of a cop out. The work is produced and proving to be quite popular in a historical moment rife with divisions between the authority of those who govern and the people they are supposed to protect — but in traditional noir fashion, the show is quite critical of the established authorities. “Daredevil” does not encourage viewers to kowtow to police, as the NYPD is institutionally and irrevocably corrupt…

Game of Thrones podcast: Season 5, Episode 1 — “The Wars to Come”

[ 73 ] April 13, 2015 |

got

Game of Thrones is back, and so are we! In this episode, we discuss the show’s first-ever flashback, CGI harpys, and so much more.

To read Steven Attewell’s piece on Daenerys and the question of Iraq vs. Reconstruction as historical metaphor, see here.

PS: SEK edited out all the episode 2 spoilers he accidentally let loose because he’s an asshole, but just in case he missed one, he’s sorry — and an asshole.

 

How and why Sally Draper ends up being Mad Men’s most important character

[ 11 ] April 12, 2015 |

mm15

For a long time now I’ve teased y’all about my theory that Mad Men is really all about Sally instead of Don “The Dick Whitman” Draper. Here’s my attempt to prove it once and for all. Because it’s something I wrote, I don’t find it nearly as compelling as it should be, but if nothing else it’s a means of starting to reevaluate an ensemble show that’s — understandably — tied to the idea that its lead character is a dapper silhouette of a man.

Lawyers, Guns & Money podcast — The Flash — Amanda Marcotte, Arturo Garcia & SEK

[ 9 ] April 6, 2015 |

theflash

I grant you — no pun intended — that the image there is probably the least Flash-y image of Barry Allen I could find online, but I assure you that you’ll enjoy the hour-and-a-half Amanda, Arturo and I spent talking about the CW’s hit series. We covered all the angles as only the three of us could — meaning that Amanda and Arturo said very smart things about race and class and gender while I just cursed once in a while to remind people I exist and how I roll.

In all seriousness, though, I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we did producing it.

Game of Thrones podcast — Season 2, Episode 10 — “Valar Morghulis”

[ 2 ] April 6, 2015 |

jaqan

And with this post, Steven and I have now matched Game of Thrones episode-for-episode…but unfortunately those fuckers are about to start another season, so you have much more to look forward from us in the coming months. Enjoy!

Community podcast: SEK and Arturo Garcia on the problems with #SixSeasonAndAMovie

[ 8 ] April 2, 2015 |

community

So my soon-to-be-former Raw Story cohort Arturo Garcia and I decided we had things to say about the sixth season of Community, and what better place to say them then in a podcast?* It contains spoilers for all episodes up to the fourth as well as rampant speculation as to how the season would conclude in an ideal world.

*I say “soon-to-be-former” because I got a new gig as a staff writer/assistant editor at Salon and my thinking is, “life-altering announcements are always best made in footnotes.” I start in mid-April and will have more details about what I’ll be doing there in the next few weeks.

 

Game of Thrones podcast: Season 2, Episode 9 — “Blackwater”

[ 4 ] April 1, 2015 |

blackwater

Enjoy!

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