On Morning

What is it gilds the trees and clouds,
And paints the heavens so gay,
But yonder fast-abiding light
With its unchanging ray?

Lo, when the sun streams through the wood,
Upon a winter’s morn,
Where’er his silent beams intrude
The murky night is gone. – “The Inward Morning” by Henry David Thoreau

 

Braindead 1×11: “Six Points on the New Congressional Budget: The False Dichotomy of Austerity vs. Expansionary Policies”

Recap

Previously on Braindead: So much happened! No, literally, the voiceover says that, and then basically skips to summarizing a fake show called Gunsmoke, involving a sheriff and a fatal shootout and other Western-reminiscent things. (I have no idea why, but I’m glad Jonathan Coulton is having fun with his task I guess?) In actuality, what has recently and relevantly happened is that Gareth and Laurel broke up because he is a slut-shamer, Luke’s possibly-infected wife Germaine gave birth to a possibly-infected baby, Wheatus had this secret room called SRB-54 that we know will be important because they mentioned it so much, and Ella and Wheatus let their ear-bugs mate and it was totally gross.

Gareth is trying to compose a stilted resignation letter in a Word document when Wheatus interrupts him to announce that he likes the new Jewish intern. The intern, Gary, says he’s half-Jewish and Wheatus trumpets that he’s “a friend to the Jewish people.” How nice of you, dude. Then he ushers Gary out, casually mentioning the “rumors” that are going around due to the fact that his other interns have died very bloody, very disgusting deaths. Gary is too dumb to be worried about this. He just grins and bobs his head and leaves.

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Links We Loved This Week — 9/9/16

Renee Zellweger gave a starkly honest interview to Hollywood Reporter about sexism in media coverage. (That’s a problem that Leslie Jones and Margot Robbie have suffered this summer too — and they’re just two of the best-known out of many, many examples.) It doesn’t mean we want to see Bridget Jones’ Baby, though.

Vox agrees with us that you should probably be watching Braindead (among other things, including Mr. Robot and You’re the Worst), in its list of 18 summer shows you should be watching.

OK, this one is old, but somehow we missed it. Rory Gilmore gives Michelle Obama some books. And then some more books. And then some more…

Don’t forget that Rory got her start as a journalist on Obama’s campaign bus, just months before he was elected the first black president. CALLBACK!

This was amazing:

The Mountain Goats are definitely an acquired taste, but her description is beyond perfect: “I don’t know if you ever heard of that band; it’s more just this one guy. He’s got a guitar, he has 4 chords—odd little white man—and he has a voice that should not work for me… but when he sings, he will flense your heart.

I don’t agree with the characterization of Buffy as “vapid,” but otherwise this analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Hitfix‘s Alan Sepinwall is delightful.

“Don’t Breathe” and the Power of Women

In a disappointing summer for movies, and especially genre movies, Don’t Breathe is a refreshing change of pace (I refuse to say “breath of fresh air”). It’s innovative, elegant, pleasingly nasty, and most of all subversive, when too many recent horror movies are all-too-familiar.

Critics have agreed that one of the film’s biggest selling points is its ability to subvert horror tropes in simple yet effective ways. It’s a home invasion movie in which the invaders are terrorized rather than the other way around. It stars a blind man who isn’t a victim or a wise sage, but a bad-ass ninja. It defies expectations at every turn–with one notable exception.

HUMONGOUS SPOILERS FOLLOW!

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Braindead 1×10: “The Path to War Part Two: The Impact of Propaganda on Congressional War Votes”

Recap

Previously on Braindead: Everyone’s being weird, including Wheatus (wants to start a war with Syria, eats brains out of Tupperwares) and Ella (draws pictures of baby seals). Luke is a total cheater, Dean Healy is a big old bug man, and SRB-54 is a thing. Also, Gareth is a giant slut-shamer, so Laurel had to dump him. This part is accompanied by a lot of phallic imagery. Cute, guys, but Masters of Sex did it better.

When we open, Laurel is watching a very cheesy anti-war ad that accuses Wheatus of basically orchestrating the war in Syria to benefit the one percent. Luke comes in to get Laurel’s feedback, and she wonders why he doesn’t just let her do it, because it’s a dumb ad and the one percent has nothing to do with the war. But Luke tells her it’s PAC money paying for it, so they can’t coordinate. They can, however, do the other kind of coordinating, where they tell the PAC all of their thoughts and feelings about the commercial, and the PAC does what they want. (Gareth had to make a similar distinction, if you’ll recall, back when he accidentally got a bunch of bug-infected Republicans to make a website about assassinating liberals.)

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Links We Loved This Week — 9/2/16

Stylus writes about Echo and the Bunnymen‘s eerie–and apropos–“Villiers Terrace.”

EW‘s Fall Book Preview, including Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, Elena Ferrante’s “dark and eerie” tale of a doll abandoned on a beach, and Margaret Atwood’s comic about a part-bird, part-cat superhero.

Variety‘s list of most anticipated movies this Oscar season, including Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence starrer Passengers, Derek Cianfrance’s Light Between Oceans–starring real-life couple Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender–and Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival.

Speaking of Arrival, it’s getting RAVE reviews out of Venice. Here’s our favorite, from The Playlist.

You’re the Worst came back this week! We’ll be posting coverage of the premiere shortly, but for now, here’s Stephen Falk on the characters’ unsuitability for parenthood and the “traumatic” romantic experiences of the writers.

[Saying “I love you” is] never a mutual thing, it’s always one person says it. But yeah, in the writer’s room, we tell a lot of personal stories, and I do remember, yes, a lot of stories of saying it and getting a “thanks” back, or something horrible like that. All the writers have a lot of romantic trauma in our past, so there’s a lot to mine in that room.

Did you think Kafka made up the hunger artist idea? I did, but Atlas Obscura revealed that this was actually a long-running obsession in Europe.