Good Watch: Binging of #Community Finished! @CommunityTV @Russo_Brothers @theofficenbc @parksandrecnbc

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I recently binged the entire series, Community, via Hulu. I started on Netflix and then was informed that the Netflix version was based on a syndication license, meaning it had a little bit cut out of each episode. If you’ve never seen the show, go with Hulu over Netflix.

Going into it, all I knew was that it took place at a community college, it starred Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, and there was a Dungeons & Dragons episode (the first one with “Fat Neil”). I didn’t realize that the Russo brothers were involved in it, and having finished the series, I now appreciate the relevant cameos in the MCU. The best part about the show was how it often parodied other shows. For example, there was an episode based on Law and Order, another animated as a GI Joe cartoon, and another mimicking a civil war documentary (brilliantly casting Keith David as the narrator).

The series followed along the same life-cycle as most good TV comedies. It started a little slow in order to establish the characters, was largely funny throughout, but by season five, the scripts got stale, some key actors moved on to other projects, and the replacement/rearranged characters felt forced and/or substandard to me.

Nellie and Francesca: Same Thing
Nellie and Francesca: Occupying the Same Space

The series finale showed that the writers were self-aware in this regard, but another paintball episode in season 6? That could work if you weren’t binging, but binging is the new normal. I wonder if the shift to binge-watching series will discourage creators from allowing their shows to recycle tropes and, in general, overstay their welcome. Time will tell.

Fonzie Jumps The Shark GIF | Gfycat
Has this reference jumped the shark yet? c/o Gfycat

Verdict: If you’re not a completionist like me, then I wouldn’t bother with season six unless someone with your tastes strongly suggests a specific episode. (Episode 12: Wedding Videography had me laughing out loud, and the series finale was also very good.) Enough of the core group was there to keep it funny, but the magic was clearly gone by then. It was then just a decent show. However, while never as good as the Office or Parks and Recreation, Community seasons one through five were certainly worth my time.

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Disclaimer: Dungeons and Dragons is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, whose attorneys are overzealous in their enforcement efforts and did not contribute, endorse, or request any of the content in this post or references to their work appearing herein.

🙂

We’re Living in the #Thanos Snap (Sort Of) #MCU @Russo_Brothers @MarvelStudios

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Someone posted a question to Facebook recently: Are we getting baseball soon? This instantly made me think of the scene in Endgame where director Joe Russo played a member of Steve Rogers’ support group. He was recalling a recent date. During the date, one of the topics of conversation was, “How much we miss the Mets.”

Side note: The Mets can rot. Go Nats!

My first thought was to write a lighthearted, very short post – a stub, really – about how many of us feel that way. However, the connections between the aftermath of Thanos’s snap and our quarantine have quite a few more similarities. (Don’t worry. This will still be short.) While the reasoning for our predicament, and some of its effects, are very different, there are some effects where I find strong similarities. With 50% of the population suddenly and unexpectedly wiped out, storefronts were emptied and services like professional sports ground to a halt. Everyone missed their friends and family, but for some that loss would be tragically permanent (e.g., whoever was riding in the helicopter that crashed when its pilot was dusted). Does any of this sound familiar?

When the Hulk’s snap was an attempt to return everything to normal, it took only one movie, Spiderman: Far from Home, before we realized that wasn’t entirely so. Then attorneys like me started pointing out all sorts of legal issues that would arise. (My observations, including sports contracts, are buried in my Facebook stream, so enjoy this example article instead.) My understanding is that a serious legal issue will be addressed in Black Panther 2: Is T’Challa still king?

In the real world, what are the long-term effects of COVID-19 besides, obviously, the permanent loss of life? What will we be facing when the stay-at-home orders are lifted? It won’t be that simple. The practice of hand-shaking is under assault. Some long-standing, extremely popular restaurants just won’t be able to reopen. They’ll be replaced eventually. In fact, for many aspiring entrepreneurs, this will be the opportunity of a lifetime – demand will be high – but it still sucks.

When journalist Joni Balter suggested that, when the state’s stay-at-home order is lifted, many may welcome him and other restaurants back in the Downtown area, Douglas pushed back. “I’m not sure you really get it, Joni,” he said. “You don’t just come back from this. This cost $3 million just to close my businesses down. We are broke … the reality is that it’s going to be tough for 50 percent of our restaurants to come back.”

Staying in the real world, we’re already contemplating (if not seeing) the legal battles that will ensue over missed payments and such. Some of it is being held off by, for example, government moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions, but without forgiveness of debt, we’re just delaying the inevitable.

The streets are empty, friends and family are missing, and things will never quite be the same despite eventually getting our own version of the Hulk Snap. Some of that may be good in ways that don’t synchronize with the Thanos Snap. For example, some people have learned that they can work from their homes, and their bosses will realize how much money that will save them in overhead. Less traffic and lower fuel costs will make the world more efficient and less costly. I’ll have more time to write blog posts. 🙂 But humans are social creatures, and we’re going to lose some of that permanently.

Art imitates life. Sometimes it predicts it.

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