TV Series On The Television

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Mothra
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mothra » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:46 pm


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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:31 pm

Welp, guess I was wrong about the whole "you can't just continue a show called Roseanne without Roseanne in it" crack.

Niku wrote:also you know all of these people were pretty cool with doing the show with roseanne being exactly who she was when they were cashing the checks the first time around so


It's not just that. It's that in order to get the rights to do a spinoff without her, they had to pay her off.

The New York Times wrote:Before ABC approved the spinoff, Ms. Barr and Werner Entertainment agreed on a financial settlement, according to a person briefed on recent discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe negotiations that took place among the star, producers and executives. That person would not reveal the sum of the payment.


So, yeah -- she won't be receiving any ongoing profits from the new show, but ABC chose to pay her off so that they could continue to make it. They weren't just cool with doing the show knowing who she was; they were cool with writing her another check after firing her for saying racist shit.

The damage is already done, though, and she got paid whether the show succeeds or fails without her -- so on that metric, I guess I kinda hope it succeeds. That means the people who paid her off get rewarded for that choice, which I really don't like -- but it also means that the creative people on the show continue to get rewarded, and we get proof that the success of the new Roseanne series was not because of Roseanne the person.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mongrel » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:37 pm

Might not have been able to escape a payout if she had some sort of legal rights to the franchise. Even if it wasn't total control, I can understand wanting to be free and clear of whatever clauses may have been included in her original contract for the sequel series.

Of course, if she had no rights WRT to the show, then your point stands.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:01 pm

Well no, of course they had to pay her off if they wanted to continue the show.

My point is that they had the choice of not continuing the show. The options were "end the show" and "pay somebody who you just fired because she is a toxic human being"; they chose the latter.

And you can make a defense of that choice -- I've already said that I felt bad about the rest of the cast and crew losing their jobs because of something she did -- but I don't think there was any such altruistic motive in the ABC execs' minds. They paid Roseanne off because they had a profit incentive in doing so. And there's nothing noble or laudable about that.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mothra » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:41 am




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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby TA » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:41 pm

In case you missed it:


Any framing of this show that doesn't center on his predatory history is an invalid one.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mongrel » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:45 pm

I can't believe my cranky bad vibes about the guy actually turned out to be true.

There was always just something that rubbed me the wrong way about the way he wrote and spoke, which I could never articular past "He just sounds like a phony, like his whole life is a sham" but honestly I never had anything concrete to point to to justify that.

I feel like it wasn't just a case of a a bad feeling being retroactively justified, that I must have been actually seeing something legitimate, but I wish I knew what it was (other than none of his characters ever really feeling genuine). I mean, when he'd talk about how his mother raised him or how to write female characters there was nothing obviously wrong in what he said. He had the right script. But his words were still like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Was I right? Or just paranoid and lucky?

But yeah, fuck Joss Whedon.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby TA » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:21 pm

But hey, now HBO is giving White Thanos gets a whole new stable of young women to play around with. And in a setting that justifies basically whatever misogynist backstory tropes he decides makes for a stronger character built out of trauma! I wonder how many of them will be whores?

Jesus christ.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mongrel » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:04 pm

Incidentally, I'd never heard about this and just tripped over it:



Wow. Just wow.

Dear God how that poor woman must be spinning in her grave.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:13 pm

I'm only 10 minutes or so into Who Is America? but so far yep, it sure is a Sacha Baron Cohen show.

Baron Cohen's work is hit-or-miss because the reactions of his interviewees are out of his control. In his first segment, he plays an Alex Jones type and talks to Bernie Sanders. And I get opening with the biggest name you could get to talk to you, but...Bernie Sanders is uniquely poorly-suited to SBC's style of ambush comedy. A good SBC segment relies on catching people off-guard and making them say something unexpected, and Bernie Sanders is a man who never says anything unexpected. It goes exactly how you think it will: SBC keeps saying increasingly outrageous things (including a completely gratuitous line that I believe went "I'd rather be anally raped than give one more dollar to the treasury"); Sanders keeps responding by talking about universal healthcare and raising taxes on the 1%. The same way Sanders responds to absolutely everything.

In the second segment, he plays a cartoonish idea of what conservatives think liberals are like ("we won't let our kids conform to stereotypical gender roles; we make our son urinate sitting down and our daughter urinate standing up"), and it's one of those segments where I was like, okay Sacha, you're being an asshole and these people are being way more polite to you than you deserve.

In the third segment, he plays an ex-convict who goes to an art gallery and begins explaining how he creates art out of his own feces, and at this point I turned it off because I was eating lunch.

The one thing that really did impress me was the makeup. I was wondering how this show could possibly work at all -- don't people recognize Sacha Baron Cohen by now? -- but one look at it and it's clear why they don't.

Maybe I'll get around to watching more and maybe I won't. What I've seen so far was technically impressive, for the same reasons SBC's work always is -- his skill, and his makeup artists', at transforming him into an OTT character -- but it didn't score any solid satirical points, or even any cheap laughs. It felt a lot more like Bruno than Borat.

ETA: You know what I think would have made both segments better? If he'd swapped the characters. If he'd had the left-wing caricature talk to Bernie and the right-wing one talk to the Republicans. I think there's probably more to mine in showing how people react to someone who's (allegedly) from their own side than the other side.

I guess that's still coming. I think he interviewed Sarah Palin as the Alex Jones character. Maybe I'll keep watching long enough to see how that went.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mongrel » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:20 pm

Apparently the sequence everyone is talking about is the one where he convinces a bunch of NRA members and congresscritters to support a law mandating the arming of toddlers.

But yes, with SBC, I can definitely see a large number of the sequences falling flat, or really just him just going full Tom Green and using "comedy" as an excuse to just be a complete asshole. Someone really needs to just edit the few decent ones together for a reasonable (and far shorter) show.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:36 am

I expect that, like most political comedy shows, YouTube clips and word of mouth will allow the best segments to rise to the top.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:19 am

TA wrote:Any framing of this show that doesn't center on his predatory history is an invalid one.


...there is a guy in the Ars Technica comments section right now who is arguing that Joss Whedon's behavior isn't anti-feminist, because if he were gay he would treat men just as badly as he treats women.

I need to stop reading the Ars Technica comments section.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Büge » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:45 am

Thad wrote:I need to stop reading the [...] comments section.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:12 am

Mongrel wrote:Apparently the sequence everyone is talking about is the one where he convinces a bunch of NRA members and congresscritters to support a law mandating the arming of toddlers.

And with good reason. I can confirm that that segment was excellent, and makes a good case for the show (and for waiting until segments appear on YouTube so people can tell you which ones are the good ones, instead of watching entire episodes).

And it definitely reinforces my theory that SBC is most effective when he takes the position of somebody on the same side as the interviewee instead of an adversarial one, because then he can push people into agreeing with horrifying positions. Though in this particular video, it didn't seem to require much pushing, which is the most damning part of all. It was Poe's Law by object demonstration.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:27 pm

Following the great tradition of "Put all the best parts in the trailer", they're using the sequence as the main advert, so here you all go!

Everyone can watch the high point of Who Is America? in its entirety:

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:02 am

Büge wrote:
Thad wrote:I need to stop reading the [...] comments section.

I feel like it'd be worth starting a new thread to discuss why online discourse sucks so badly now.

I think, as much as anything, it's that the need for skilled, active moderation increases dramatically as the size of the community does, but large platforms (think popular news sites) are unwilling or unable to spare the expense that such moderation requires, while the biggest platforms (Facebook, Twitter) are so big that good moderation is impossible. (Better moderation is possible, but I don't think good moderation is.) And, possibly worst of all, the largest platforms tend to have a financial incentive not to alienate assholes (I think we were talking about that WRT Reddit over on the politics board).

It's a tremendously difficult problem. I think sites like Ars could foster truly fantastic communities if only they had more active, hands-on moderation. And as far as I'm concerned, sites like Twitter and Facebook shouldn't exist. I think the design of Mastodon is a much preferable alternative: an interoperable set of smaller communities, each with its own independent management. But getting people to switch off of Facebook and Twitter is a nigh-intractable problem. I was around to see people switch from the closed networks of Prodigy, AOL, and CompuServe to the superior open Internet -- and I was around to see them all go back to proprietary monoliths, by choice.

The reason online discourse is fucked is not that people don't know how to fix it. It's that they don't want to.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Grath » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:11 am

Thad wrote:while the biggest platforms (Facebook, Twitter) are so big that good moderation is impossible. (Better moderation is possible, but I don't think good moderation is.)

On Youtube, every time Google runs an official live stream the chat is disabled. I think that's a sufficient statement on the (current) ability to moderate.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mongrel » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:35 am

A lot of newspapers are straight-up ditching their comments sections, or locking them up behind the subscriber paywall.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:53 pm

Mongrel wrote:A lot of newspapers are straight-up ditching their comments sections

Which mostly means shunting everything off to Facebook and Twitter and expecting them to moderate.

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