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- The Simpsons Takes It on Faith in “Lisa the Skeptic”
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- Phoebe Bridgers’ “Stranger in the Alps” Is a Haunting Array of Songs that Pierce and Linger
- Arrival Is an Intricate Film that Snaps into Place in its Finale
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Monthly Archives: February 2013
Among the Springfield faithful, MacFarlane’s Family Guy is chastised for having borrowed, referenced, or outright stolen a great deal from the denizens of Springfield. He’s criticized among the diehard fans of the show for being tasteless, lazy, and self-indulgent. Suffice it to say, as an avowed Simpsons nerd, he’s not my favorite person in the world.
But he was a great Oscar host.
A good Oscar host can make the room a little uncomfortable. A good Oscar host can laugh at himself. A good Oscar host is versatile. A good Oscar host knows how to put on a show. A good Oscar host knows how to deliver a comic aside. A good Oscar host can bring something unexpected.
And Seth MacFarlane’s ability to do all of those things is why he was great at the Academy Awards. He threw out a fair share of barbs while surrounded by Tinseltown’s elite. He channeled the clever, if raunchy, feistiness, that gave Family Guy its initial cult following. He harnessed his love for Old Hollywood with his crooning, vaudeville-style repartee, and song and dance routines. He tempered it all with healthy doses of self-effacement to soften the blows in both directions.
Would You Recommend Battlestar Galactica to a Friend? Reflecting on the Series Through the Lens of its Finale
That depends. Would you encourage them to cheer for a sports team who you knew would succeed all season long, only to suffer a heartbreaking loss in the championship game? Would you tell them to eat a restaurant where most of the meal will be great, but the last course will be practically inedible? Would you have them vote for a candidate who’ll prove a dedicated public servant for most of their years in office, only to tarnish all of their past accomplishments at the very end of their term?
Such is the dilemma of the Battlestar Galactica fan. Rarely has a series produced such a strong, complex, and compelling body of work that results in such an ill-conceived, poorly thought out, and above all unsatisfying ending. How do you encourage someone to start a journey that will feature tremendous highs, exhilarating adventures, and gripping emotional moments, but that you know will end in severe disappointment?
The answer is – with serious reservations.
And I am okay with that. I’m scared. I can’t lie about that fact, but I’m okay. The fear in my heart swells, but then it fades. It invades my thoughts in the few quiet moments I have to myself, but dulls and winnows in the times that should be the most daunting.
That’s what bothers me. They sell it you as this straight line. They tell you that everything in you will rise and rise and rise until the big moment. That you’ll just keep going up and up and up. But it doesn’t, and you don’t. It rises and falls, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, never so focused or so direct, even when it feels like you’re headed in the right direction.
But I will be a martyr.