The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Archive for August 2010

Crossing the Border from Lubricated to Morose

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Dear Kathryn,

One of my favourite tropes in the tv blogosphere wrt/ Mad Men is the perpetual, “here’s what Mad Men was about this week” statements that frame almost every one.  It’s all about money.  It’s all about loss.  It’s all about identity.  Yeah, I’ve played this game too, I know.  And I’m going to play it again – not to definitively say what this week was about, but rather to offer a possible rubric for its interpretation.  One way we can frame this episode – nay, this season – is in the bubbling up of history in our psyches.  LIFE, it’s a scary concept – so how do we sell it?  With nostalgia – that thing we remember – or didn’t know we remembered – that makes us sad…that thing in our history we try to hold back, but which grips us nevertheless because we haven’t dealt with it – that thing that makes us drink too much, lose days, sleep with strangers, find ourselves surprisingly sexually confident, lose ourselves in work and, yes, even buy cereal.  Nostalgia is a powerful and ugly thing.  In the first few seasons of Mad Men we as an audience started dressing better and drinking more because the nostalgia for that classy bygone era was so powerful.  Now we’re seeing its ugliness, I for one am looking at my liquor cabinet and gorgeous new red dress and wondering if I’ve made some mistakes. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

August 31, 2010 at 9:29 am

Here comes the sun

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I am sorry it took me all day to get this post up. It was one of those days where every free moment evaporated like  a three-thousand year old vampire whose fairy blood is wearing off. Yes, let’s go ahead and start there, because that was by far my favorite part of an otherwise overcrowded episode. As much as I hate the thought of it being so, I think this is the end of Russell. But not, I think, of Eric. Not only would that destroy one of the best possible plot developments from the books headed our way next season (mum is the word), but True Blood without Eric? No, I cannot imagine it. My husband and I were debating how it might go down and I have two suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

August 30, 2010 at 7:22 pm

We’re not good people. We’re criminals.

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After a season that’s felt like it’s creeping along with little focus, everything sort of came together last night.  For the most part, this worked – if only because we could sigh some relief that finally Tanya gets caught, finally Ray figures out the Mike-Francis situation, finally Jess connects with her daughter, finally Ron freaks out and finally Ray and Jess come back together.  But even as we could enjoy the pace of something finally giving, I wondered why we had to cram every climax into the penultimate episode.  It’s an annoying form of narrative that leads to uneven storytelling.  Nevertheless, it was fun to see some shifts. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

August 30, 2010 at 9:19 am

Posted in Hung

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I know that the man pees inside the woman

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Dear Kathryn,

Well, we are a long way from the sweet but mischievous Sally pictured here!  We have a self-induced haircut (which I thought turned out adorable and made her look more like Betty) and a little public masturbation (if you can call gesturing toward doing it while your friend dozes “public” – I mean, sure, inappropriate, but hardly public. And like the hair-cut also, it seems, an activity that makes her look more like Betty  – “I was private and mostly grew out of it” – mostly?  Are we to think Bets still indulges?  Perhaps if she did so more she’d be less terrifying and calm down a bit!).  Somewhere between this haircut and an awakening sexuality, I find myself pitying Sally and her total lack of healthy female role models.  As the credits began to roll on Doris Day’s “I enjoy being a girl” I realized how much Sally is groping for someone to show her how to be a woman without ending up as a silly overgrown girl.  And while Dr. Edna’s talking therapy (4 time/week – holy cow!) might help, I’m also left worrying that it will serve to close down Sally’s healthy attempts at sexual enjoyment rather than open them up to possibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

August 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

Even better than the real thing

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Well, now we know. Sookie is a fairy. Perhaps to satisfy the part in all of us that couldn’t help but feel a little let down by the revelation after so many weeks of teasing, Sookie herself responds with skepticism. It takes Bill’s earnest insistence that fairies are no laughing matter, but are in fact powerful, important, and oh so delectable. It does help explain why every vampire Sookie meets drools over her, follows her around, and puts up with her nagging and whining. But honestly, I couldn’t help feeling a little “so what?” about it all. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

August 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

Posted in True Blood

I’m Not Feeling in a very Pimp State of Mind Right Now OR Redemption?

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I know Tanya is supposed to be ridiculous; that we’re supposed to think she’s pathetic and that’s why we root for her.  But I think last night’s version of her walking into a situation she didn’t like and running away idiotically was one too many for me to have any sense of taking her seriously in even the slightest way anymore.  Any kind of grown woman I could even begin to imagine doing that is not someone I’d want to spend more than 30 seconds in the same room with.  And it leaves me wondering what exactly it is they are going to do with her?  Is Ray the only character grasping toward some sort of redemption here?  Is everyone else doomed to become more and more wretched?  I had expected some sort of success gene to kick in on Tanya by now, but it just doesn’t seem like that is going to happen.  Her world really is closing in on her – perhaps Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

August 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

Posted in Hung

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No, But He’s Renting It

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Hey Kathryn,

Well, last week I asked for more Peggy, and boy did I get her! Peggy is always surrounded by images of what it is to be a woman – Joan sticking to her station but making it work in a man’s world; Trudi hanging on to her husband despite Peggy’s affair with him; and now Dr. Faye, the educated, self-assured career woman.  While Peggy flounders, these women – who choose paths she would never choose – nevertheless manage to walk with more confidence than she does.  She is constantly searching – finding success in unlikely places, but stumbling into it whenever she does.  This seeker quality to her character has hung around as a background theme for the show, but it’s never been picked up quite so explicitly as it was this week.  A world of all kinds of experimentation seems open to Peggy now, and I can’t wait to see what she does with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

August 17, 2010 at 8:19 am