A good man, and thorough

TWOP is going to be recapping Generation Kill, which I find surprising — given the mini-series-ness of the production.

Athenae hooked me up with this news a week or so ago. So why has it taken me so long to post it? Is it because some folks have grown kind of “meh, TWOP sux” lately, especially since the Bravo buyout?

Nope. Because even if those folks are right, and I’m not sure they are, because things change and evolve and time moves on, anyway even if they are, TWOP is still great at the cross-pollinating thing and that will bring the show, and Simon, more viewers. And if that gets 10 more more people talking about this war, and war in general, and politics, and the election, and our country, I’m down with it.  It sucks they aren’t already doing that, it sucks that they haven’t caught on yet, it sucks some will forget it again, but I’ll take what I can get. Different people change and evolve in response to different stimuli.

Which, oh yeah, that reminds me:  Someone who shall remain nameless, a beloved (justly so) commenter, on that elitist politico-economico-cultirati place where a couple of us spend too much time, this someone took a crack at me the other night.  The topic was television, and how we should all kill ours now, and the majority of crackheads commenting agreed that it offered little, toss the fucker out.  Disagreeing with that (plus pointing out that throwing our teebees out the window with one revolutionary fist whilst still hanging on with the other to our computers, ipods, appliances, cars, etc., well it just seems a tetch too symbolic to make our corporate overlords shit themselves) plus seeing a chance to work in a Nupac plug, I said I’d have a hard time letting go of HBO, for one thing.

So this beloved community sage serves up some condescension to me about hanging on to my calming blue screen to keep myself numbed out, sedated, and calm.  Or something like that. I’m not obsessive enough (shut up) to go find the comment but I’m pretty sure the words “numb,” “blue,” “sedated” and “calm” were all in it.

Which brings me back to my n=10 damaged souls ripe for change reacting to the seed of an idea.  Which brings me way back to Friday nights and Homicide, back when it felt like maybe there were only 10 people watching. Then The Corner,  then the first two seasons of The Wire, the uncertainty there would be another after that, but there was, then one more season, and then one more.

Tell me there wasn’t some change happening as more viewers found that show, some things taking hold in people’s skulls, some ideas.

Like, for example:

“America’s broken. No, really. Shot in the head broken.”

Because, see, I’d rather that 10 people really get it, really have that bowel-freezing middle-of-the-night choking up out of sleep panic over how fucked we are than five hundred people snoring like well-fed dogs after the 8,814th ep of Law and Order.

Anyway, the procrastination about the TWOP news was because they put their best dude on the job and it psyched me flat out.  That’s right, Jacob.  TEH Jacob. Athenae’s favorite writer Jacob.

And I couldn’t figure out how to write about how good he is. How he brings it even when the show in question is pure crap.  Or not.

And then, there’s the BSG recaps.

In the stillness and light, with the wind in her hair, a holy smile upon her face, lit from within by the fire of a thousand wrong turns suddenly and violently wrenched straight: all those mistakes weren’t mistakes, they were just the way things had to go. They were just the unfolding, from a funny angle. Whether this has all happened before and will happen again is beside the point, that’s just rhetoric: seen from above, this is all happening. She closes her eyes in the unfolding. The Kore child dances in the light of the abyss, her face clean and joyful, almost too bright to see, free of the constraints of time and what we see. She smiles in absolute peace: how can you look at her, this beautiful, calm girl, this gorgeous peace, this holy calm, this rightness, and think this is a mistake? I believe that Kara Thrace will lead the Fleet to Earth, just as I believe Three will stand and walk and love again, and Caprica will know God’s love, and Gaius will know peace, and Gaeta will bone a dude. Just as I believe that until the bugs stop jumping, the war will never end, because fear and violence create more bugs and more fear and more violence, and the more frightened you are, the more likely you are to both act like assholes and forget that it’s just a game, fail to recognize they’re only toys. I believe these things just as I believe there’s a day all pawns will become queens, and the Chips stop talking, and the angel rejoins what was broken, on a holy anvil that only looks like war, from this joke of an angle.

I don’t know how to write about writing about television that’s that gymnastic and funny and mean and glorious, except to just point at it. Except to tell you these recaps will show up over there, and they will be more than worth our while.  Except to tell you I know they put the best shot they have on it, which is only fitting.

Interestingly enough, he’s never watched The Wire.  Rather than just pretend that of course he has, or cram all five seasons in before watching seven episodes of a completely different show, he asked for some conversation about it here, so go knock yourselves out.



  1. The role of the television-hating intellectual would be a great one to include in a series script … such a tremendous negative capability. Such a hip position to take.

    I read that John Belushi said when asked about performing on the nascent Saturday Night Live “I only own a small black-and-white and it’s covered with spit.” We know how he changed his tune.

    We know art when we see it, we know poetry when we read it.

    My recall of The Wire and earlier Nupac does not conjure anything resembling calm, numb or sedated. Far from it. Heh. This super-collision between television and the internet is creating such an interesting, beautiful new way to see the world (and yeah it has created some crap too).

    I haven’t read any of Jacob’s stuff. I’ll have to see about that.

  2. Man, remember when TWoP wouldn’t recap The Office because they wouldn’t touch sitcoms? Those were the days.

    My favorite recappers are M Giant, keckler, Wing Chun, and Aaron (ah, Six Feet Under!)… I’m gonna have to check out this Jacob character.

  3. heh. And The Wire and Weeds didn’t have their own “real” forums?

    Of course, “the best” recapper is a highly subjective designation that is in no way intended to (but obviously did) besmirch the other fine writers over there. I don’t know “keckler” but the others you mention are great.

    One of my favorite “old school” places over there is the Semi-Homemade forum, wherein “the shrikes” perform multiple daily character assassination on the worst television “chef” in history, Sandra Lee, host of the worst (and most blatantly alcoholic) show on the Food Network lineup. And when I say “show,” I mean “desperate plea for help.”

  4. Allow me to add that unlike “best” recapper, “worst” chef is not highly subjective. The woman gave a small child (her own relative) an alcoholic drink on the air.

    I rest my case… (though I do conscribe to the conspiracy theory that the whole thing is a finely-tuned parody

  5. Keckler did the Top Chef recaps for seasons 1-3, coined the phrase “cheftestant”…

    And yeah, Sandra Lee is pretty much the worst thing to happen to the Food Network, ever. I agree with Bourdain on that one.

  6. When they have one of their “get together” shows, the other chefs all give Lee the wide berth stinkeye.

    Very similar to the way the other G8 leaders treated Chimpy this past week.

  7. I’m the guy with the “meh TWOP sux” article that you linked to (and thanks, even if you disagree!), and I’m totally excited that Jacob is recapping it as well. His BSG recaps were works of mad, obsessive art, and not even the craptastic Bravo mockover could take away from his writing.

    They can devalue TWOP as a brand, but that doesn’t mean that they still don’t have some fine writers left. It’s kinda like late-period Guided by Voices: while the albums were fully great anymore, they always had a couple of amazing songs.

  8. welcome and thanks barefootjim.

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