The Moth Chase

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

Archive for September 2010

You Don’t Like Kissbuggy??

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After last week’s great return, I have to say that this episode didn’t fully do it for me.  In some ways it felt a little forced (I found the whole lead up to the, “kiss your son, now kiss your lover” scene quite awkward…and not in that brilliant British Office kind of way).  To me, the pacing wasn’t quite right.  That being said, the payoff from the strange build up was quite lovely.  Jay’s kiss for Mitchell was actually sweet, and the immediacy with which it allowed a sweet kiss, almost off-frame, between Cam and Mitchell was also perfect.  And in a sense, it also felt like a significant television moment, in large part because of its insignificance.  I was watching a tv show on the history of same sex kisses on television the other day and was shocked to learn Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

September 30, 2010 at 9:34 am

I have tried in my way to be free

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Sons of Anarchy – “Home”

Like a bird on a wire,

like a drunk in a midnight choir,

I have tried in my way

to be free.

Those words of Leonard Cohen couldn’t be better suited for Sons of Anarchy if he had written them for the show. But it’s pretty awesome that they were sung by Katey Sagal, whose portrayal of Gemma is nothing short of extraordinary. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by teables

September 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Put your house in order

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Dear Natalie,

The whole world is unraveling and we haven’t even hit the riots of 1968! This episode did a marvelous job of bringing us to the core of the Don enigma – a man exhausted by his own double life. If we’ve ever been tempted to think that Don wears his borrowed identity so smoothly that he barely remembers the man he used to be, this episode pulled the wool from our eyes. Don lives in existential torment that he is about to be discovered. When he called the lawyer in to start setting up trust funds and when he told Pete he’d do whatever he had to, I half expected to learn that he keeps a packed suitcase in the hall closet. He has clearly imagined this moment of unmasking many times, but that does not mean he is any better prepared. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

September 28, 2010 at 11:43 am

My Bad

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Hello Dexter Morgan! And goodbye Dexter, too, in some ways. For those of you who have been around for the full year of Moth Chasing, you might remember how much Natalie and I loved season 4 of Dexter. After the jaw-dropping finale, we both wondered where the show could go from here and more specifically, just how dark it would get. How close to the edge of Dexter’s insanity would it walk? How close to the edge of blowing his cover? Last night’s season premier is certainly not conclusive in either regard, but I’d say Dexter has farther to fall before he hits bottom. But oh how I’ve missed the one liners, the silent pauses, the high pitched cue music. How I’ve missed Dexter and his carefully crafted facade of human emotion. If Dexter has always been about the violence of everyday life and the pressure to conform and the power of society to conform us, then this season promises to dive deeper and give us more of what makes it great. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

September 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm


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“You can’t be a half a gangster.”

— Jimmy Darmody

Well, we have that…but not much of an empire…yet. How thrilling was it to see Capone? Luciano? Rothstein? These American legends (whether justifiably or not) brought to the screen with Martin Scorsese’s flair for detail and subtlety was a work of wonder to behold. In the same vein, I particularly enjoyed the claustrophobic way that he shot the FBI hiring scenes.

So what’s going? First, we are introduced to Enoch “Nucky” Thompson. Buscemi really nails this one as a peculiar mix of action, ideals, ambition, indolence, and care. What will be most interesting to see in the episode coming up in a few hours is how his relationship to Margaret Schroeder unfolds. We don’t know, as of yet, how much of what he said about his wife is true, but we do seem to notice that a certain level of care seems to exist on his part for Margaret–whether it originates in guilt (for her losing her child) or in genuine care (or perhaps there is not much difference) remains to be determined.

Also, obviously, we want to see how the Jimmy Darmody plot line unfolds. Darmody, incidentally, is the perfect counterpart to Buscemi, acting-wise. Carrying the same interesting mixture of power and fragility, ambition and indolence, he presents–as of now it seems–an younger version of Nucky. We don’t, of course, know whether he is working with the government, to what extent he is loyal to Nucky, and what his ultimate goals are.

I want to focus on his claim that: “You can’t be a half a gangster.” Certainly that doesn’t seem to be the case with our present day politicians, but maybe this will provide an added level of interest to the show: was being half a gangster harder during the 1920s? If so, why? The implication presumably is that somehow pretenses have to be maintained (whereas so much of modern politics seems to do away with premise)…yet the premise of much of classical political philosophy (think, e.g., Machiavelli) has been precisely that one can be half a gangster. Or is the argument, perhaps, not that Nucki can’t be half a gangster in the sense that he can have one foot in the criminal world and one foot in the normal (perhaps even moral one), as the quote seems to first imply, but rather that one can’t properly inhabit the normal (or, again, perhaps moral, or here: world of care) if one inhabits the criminal world. Hence, Jimmy’s point that he is a murderer: not that you can’t fake being a normal person to others, but that you can’t fake it to yourself–and so, Jimmy is presenting a sort of spiritual dilemma to Nucky. If so, then it will be interesting to see where this goes…

Excited for the upcoming episode,


Written by Martin

September 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm

The curse of the sun and the moon

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Dear Moth Chase Readers,

My night and morning were totally swamped and I am only just now sitting down to watch Vampire Diaries. Since I don’t have a lot of time, I am going to try my hand at blow-by-blow blogging instead of a post-show summary. Natalie is out of town, but we will pick up our normal format next week.


Alaric!  I didn’t realize that I missed him, but it is so fun to see the whole team is back together again! Damon asks the question we all want to know: if he has been alive for 160+ years he should at least have come across one werewolf in his time if they exist. In the meantime, very buff Lockwood men are running around the woods in tank tops. Suspicious stairs in the woods: what is up with all these underground ruins in Mystic Falls? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

September 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Vampire Diaries

You are all very unbalanced individuals

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Sons of Anarchy: “Caregiver”

“Caregiver” finds SAMCRO continuing in their precarious position, forming new alliances (and threatening those ties as soon as they are formed) and still having no real clue where to find Abel. This is a club that is just on the verge of losing their position of power; they’ve healed, or covered over, their internal divisions, but in the meantime the outside world has transformed. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by teables

September 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm