A “Previously on…” Rant

My bitter rant topic of the week: those damn “Previously on…” segments that begin many television episodes. I understand why pinhead network executives may think that without these little fillers anyone not watching every single episode of a series might get occasionally confused during the upcoming episode. Tough sh*t!

I welcome a little surprise in my entertainment. So when I see nearly forgotten characters/events from earlier episodes/seasons appear in these prologue sketches, guess what? I now know those characters/events are returning sometime over the next 45 minutes. Yay, I can’t freakin’ wait!

I argue that a little confusion with casual fans is a small price to pay to maintain some genuine surprise for those of us willing to spend our precious time week to week dedicatingly watching this crap these finely crafted shows.

Now, just don’t get me started on that whole “Next week on…” BS! ;-)

in memoriam: James Gunn

After provoking a bunch of Twitter twits over politics and properly motivating them to go digging for dirt filmmaker James Gunn ended up getting fired from the Disney backed Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apparently, Gunn using poor judgement and a compulsion to shock posted some intentionally inappropriate “jokes” on Twitter…over a decade ago.

It’s not like Disney lacks the resources to do its own digging. It’s the internet people, this stuff lasts for like ever. And did they even see ‘Super’?! Clearly Gunn as provocateur has a tendency to push boundaries about what is and what isn’t appropriate. That’s one of the things that endeared us to his ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in the first place.

And has anyone ever looked at Walt Disney’s personal biography notes? Mr. Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and ratted out a bunch of “Commie” labor union organizers in the name of patriotism petty corporate demagoguery. And what’s more American than using right-wing fear-mongering to promote intolerance, encourage rampant greed, and quell freedom of speech?

These posts, bad taste aside, occurred ten years ago. What might be completely intolerable for 2018 was seen as only tasteless back then. Many other superstars did/said things during their generation that would vilify them if done today. Look at John Wayne, Richard Pryor, Alfred Hitchcock, and on, and on…

#MeToo has made almost(!) everyone more conscientious about what they say and do. This is a good thing. Yet, these are recently learned lessons paying for multiple millenniums of misogyny, gender bias, and outright degradation towards women. If Gunn were to post this stuff now: yeah, fire his ass! But, context is everything. Back when these tweets were posted the world was different and he was different. We need to cut him some slack.

‘Castle Rock’ Intro

You gotta respect a TV series that begins with a man casually talking to his wife before going to his last day of work then driving out to a nearby ravine, tying a rope around a tree, and with noose around neck driving his car decapitatingly off the cliff into the lake below. Welcome to retirement. And welcome to ‘Castle Rock‘.

Based off not any one Stephen King novel, but belonging to many of King’s iconic works by incorporating places, people, and events from his infamous, fictional setting of Castle Rock, Maine. This Hulu series has a palpable horror/mystery vibe akin to ‘Twin Peaks’ by way of, well, Stephen King.

And with a cast that includes Andre ‘The Knick’ Broussard, Bill “Pennywise” Skarsgaard, Melanie Lynsky, Scott Glenn, Sissy Spacek, and Terry O’Quinn there’s a solid foundation to build this mythological, buried in unholy secrets community upon. The first three episodes are highly promising. Definitely worth a look.

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