Future Man

March 27, 2019

The first season of Future Man premiered on Hulu. While undeniably well written, it frequently relied on crass, easy humor. We still watched it twice. Ed Begley Jr. served as a refreshing counterbalance to dick jokes and a gratuitous abuse of cocaine for cheap laughs. If you have been to the future, you know that cocaine is evil, and you should not make white of it.

The second season of Future Man retains all of the best elements of the first with the exception of Ed Begley Jr. The writing is tighter, the production value is higher, and the acting is as great as it was in the first season. Future Man is hilarious and worth your time, unless you happen to be William Barr, in which case, you should spend some time with your Bluebook learning how to format any future unsolicited legal memos. If your analysis is garbage, at least make it pretty.

Derry Girls

March 18, 2019

The Irish sitcom Derry Girls is one of the finest television shows we have seen since M*A*S*H. While undeniably hilarious, the six-episode first season arc builds to a hand on a shoulder that knocked the wind out of us.

The most compelling moment of television in 2018.

If you have never been to northern Ireland, you might not know that there are towers with directional microphones and cameras pointed at every corner of Derry and Belfast. The NYPD deploys mobile surveillance units that give Bushwick the same ambiance.

Comrade Detective

The more things change, the more they stay the same. A. Whitney Browne’s SNL monologues contain so many current cultural references he might be the best evidence we have that time travel exists.

When he delivered the punchline, “[c]ourse sometimes one candidate is such a pork fed pea brain that he’s even an embarrassment on Capitol Hill and in that case, the choice is easy. But we can’t all live in North Carolina,” he could not have guessed at the artless chicanery Mark Meadows would stab at thirty years later. SNL’s cold open that recapped the Cohen hearing did pass along most of the highlights, but it did so with defanged silliness. We could use a sage like A. Whitney Browne these days.

Amazon’s Comrade Detective is undeniably silly and intentionally prescient in a way that A. Whitney Browne’s writing only appears to be.

Infinity Chamber

Christopher Soren Kelly gives a strong performance, but Infinity Chamber always feels one step away from brilliant.

Travis Milloy’s film centers on Frank, played by Kelly, who wakes up in a prison cell monitored and looked after by a computer. Although the plot is another of the time-loop/questionable-reality genre, of which Stanislaw Lem’s The Futurological Congress is one of our favorite examples, Infinity Chamber feels original. The film never quite lives up to the expectations set during its first thirty minutes, but it allows for two interesting interpretations without being cryptic or heavy-handed. It pairs well with this brief essay from the Boston Review, Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans.

Ya Can’t Go Home and Ya Can’t Stay Here

Dickhead Finds Out How Free Speech Works in Gainesville, FL

Here is one of the better videos, which does not feature the dickhead, but does feature a guy holding what appears to be a poster supporting the alt-right. This is how Gainesville does it:

So a piece of shit showed up to speak at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, home to The Fest, No Idea Records,  visionaries like Bill Bryson, Professor Anthony Oliver-Smith, heavy hitting journalism profs like Mike Foley,and too many professional hippies and punk kids to mention. Gainesville gave us Scott CamilHarry CrewsJustin Taylor, Against Me!, and For Squirrels. It boasts a prairie where alligators, wild horses, hikers, and bison co-exist. When De Soto showed up in Gainesville, the people he encountered spent an entire night in the middle of a lake standing on each others’ shoulders to take turns shooting arrows at his men. When Andrew Jackson led an expedition south to kill the same people, he had to stop somewhere around Gainesville because his soldiers could not handle the swamp and started offing themselves.

How did that work out for this yahoo? Well, the scumbag got drowned out by what the former dean of UF’s j-school and all around great guy William McKeen once called “the cacophony of democracy.” Sometimes good speech does push out bad speech. Or, as one of our favorite media law attorneys recently put it, “the cost of free speech is its unconsidered consumption.” Make your media consumption count.