Fast Track The Ex this weekend. It was pretty much You, Me, and Dupree, which is weird, because I distinctly remember pledging never again to waste 90 minutes of my life on You, Me, and Dupree. But what did I do this weekend? I wasted 90 minutes of my life on The Ex. Well played, You, Me and Dupree. Well played.
Archive for April, 2007
I recently saw a license plate that read, “OMGBEES.”
Hi. Welcome to the new City of Floating Blogs. If you’ll look over on the far right, you’ll see I’ve got some blogs floating there. Finally, the name of this site makes sense.
Anyway, I’m aware that links to old posts don’t work anymore, and most of the old post titles are screwy, but if you notice any other bugs, feel free to drop them in the comments.
Make sure you take note of the new site feed URL.
After I posted this thing about the first episode of the new half-season of The Sopranos, I got an email from Jeff Barnosky, a smart, funny writer I’ve known since the Haypenny days. We’ve since shot the shit about that episode, as well as the two subsequent ones. The emails are a bit rambling, we often go on tangents and skip over big themes (completely forgot to talk about the water imagery in last night’s), but I think they’re an interesting and fun read, so I decided I’d start posting them here.
As you’ll see, Jeff and I agree that the recent episodes are three for three as far as being awesome goes. We’re also big on picking out the ubiquitous shoutouts to The Godfather trilogy, because we’re nerds, and it makes us feel like we’re smart. Anyway, here’s what we had to say today:
JB: So, Fredo gets wacked because he talked too much in Cuba. Paulie talks too much in Miami. The boss got it in the eye, like Moe Green. I wonder now if there’s a deeper commentary here. Part of me thinks it’s like Ulysses and the Odyssey. But I’m just a pretentious English teacher.
MT: I caught/loved the Moe Green bit, but somehow missed the whole Miami/Cuba thing. Good call. Also, when they were on the boat, Tony practically said, “I knew it was you,” about blabbing to Johnny Sack. Something very close to that. Kept reminding me of Michael and Fredo. There was definitely another brother vibe going on though, just like the episode with Bobby. Bobby is Tony’s brother by marriage, and Paulie is like his big brother, both in the business and in a general sense.
I didn’t pick up any Godfather homages in the Junior story, but I loved it. I’ll bet there are a thousand screenwriters at home right now writing an outline for a crime-comedy about a mob boss who goes to the nut-house and puts together a crew of crazies. It’s Analyze This meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest!
I have to admit, I’ve never read Ulysses and I flushed The Odyssey from my brain as soon as I finished it in 12th-grade Humanities, so you’ll have to spell out for me whatever connections you think might be there.
JB: I talk a better game about Ulyssess/Odyessy. I actually hate the Odyssey. And I’ve read Ulysses piecemeal.
MT: They say Ulysses is a greatest American novel of the 20th-century, yet I’m still not swayed enough to even buy a copy. I don’t even know what the fuck it’s about.
JB: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s one of those books that alternately hilarious and completely readable, and then unintelligible. I think it’s worth a shot. A lot of it is kind of like humor writing. He’s Irish by the way.
And I hate Faulkner and Beckett. Those dipshits are high on the overrated scale for me.
MT: I had to read As I Lay Dying in high school. So boring. Was glad the motherfucker was dying.
12-hours later, new thought about The Sopranos: Last night was all about daddy-issues. Tony talked about never knowing where he stood with his old man, and was clearly discomforted with all of Paulie’s talk about him in the old days. Meanwhile, Tony said he once wished Paulie was his dad, which makes his realization that Paulie’s really just a knuckleheaded boob that much more unsettling for him.
Then there’s Carter, who definitely had some big-time father issues. For all we know, he’s locked up in that place for killing his dad, though my guess is he cracked under the pressure, tried to off himself and the dad disowned him. Junior always thought of Tony as the son he never had (however dysfunctionally), and Tony having written him off, he used Carter as a surrogate. Carter was eager to welcome the paternal approval his father never gave him, even if it was in the form of a handful of red buttons. Obviously, that didn’t turn out so great for either of them. Plus there was the story Junior told about his pop making him walk eleven miles for refusing a quarter. Dads, dads and more dads.
JB: Yeah, I really don’t believe anyone should pretend to like writers, books, artists… that they don’t like. There’s just toooo much of that shit around. When I write, I always say: Would I be one of my favorite writers? Too many people write for some ideal of LITERATURE. I totally sympathize with my students who drag through the books they have to read. Basically, they can barely make it through because of so much dull, and then they have to pick it apart. I spend a lot of time trying to find books they’ll like, but it can’t always work for everyone.
I wonder if Tony’s idealized version of his father will be destroyed before the end. Or was it already? And from what I’m reading he’s going to have some issues with A.J. I think it’s really interesting that all of his family memories are getting soiled because of Junior, Paulie, his mother, his horrid sister… He’s so far gone.
I’m liking this season better than I thought I would. Some of those years in the middle weren’t so hot.
MT: I think Tony’s image of his father has been eroding for a long time. The way he reacted to Paulie and Beans talking about his dad and looking at the pictures and playing “Remember When” showed that it’s really coming to the surface. I think you’re right about it spilling over into his relationship with AJ, Meadow too probably. How it spills over remains to be seen. All depends on if the show’s going to end happy or tragic.
I just remembered one of my favorite lines from last night: “Chevy Chase! The fuck ever happened to him?” Classic Paulie.
That piece I wrote on Kurt Vonnegut movies is finally up at AllMovie. Read it and weep.You might be wondering why I neglect to mention Back to School, which featured a tour de force performance by KV as himself. Unfortunately, I opted only to focus on films based on Vonnegut’s writing, and Vonnegut didn’t write Back to School. Maya Angelou did.