The Moth Chase

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

Archive for March 2011

You should know how to obey the law…

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Justified – “The Spoil”

Hey Travis,

‘Wow. I feel like every week we comment on how awesome this show is and every week it seems to get better and better! I mean, honestly, I feel like it is not at all too much of a stretch to say that Justified is easily the best show on TV right now. My only disappointment about this week’s episode is that I have to wait a whole week to find out what is going to happen at Mags’s party! So many things going on. I’ll say a few things:

(1) The theme of mutual recognition that I’ve been talking about. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Martin

March 31, 2011 at 10:22 pm

You mean you just loaf?

with 2 comments

Dear Natalie,

It was hard to decide which image to go with to frame Part II – the dashing loafer, Monty Beragan (as I clearly did), the vapid conniver Veda (of whom I had a hard time finding a good image), or sweet, loveable Ray, who is with us no more. I can’t wait to hear what you thought coming to the story with fresh eyes, but Part II definitely picked up for me. It accomplished an enormous amount in an hour. Mildred is no longer an ashamed working girl but the ecstatic owner of an about to open business, with her name in shining neon. She is no longer the kept woman of awkward, slobbish Wally, but the lover of stylish, swaggering Monty Beragan. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

March 31, 2011 at 7:41 am

Not Just Bread, All the Cake in the World

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Moth Chase friends – we’ll be blogging part 1 of MP today, and following up with Part 2 on Wednesday…

Dear Kathryn,

Well, after watching part 1, I’m not entirely hooked on this miniseries – although anything that promises that Guy Pearce is on his way will keep me tuned in. I chose this picture and this title for this post because I think their juxtaposition reveals a sad prescience for our particular moment in time. Mildred, a women who up to that horrible moment of her husband leaving was of decent means – seemingly not at all touched by the 2 year old Depression destroying other parts of the country – still only has this one dress and pair of shoes to go out and do her pavement pounding in! It’s unimaginable to today’s middle class, let alone upper middle class (which apparently Vida thinks they are). So even someone who lives comfortably within such normal restrictions insists she wants cake, not bread, for her children – all the cake in the world. There’s something about her new scarcity that makes her seek abundance now…and it left me wondering how that is writ large on our national psyche now, 80some years after The Great Depression…how much does our culture of excessive excess grow out of a period of need? In a sense, I’m watching for a clue to that desire. Well, for that and the crazy sexual politics…my goodness! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

March 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

If I’m ever short on cash…

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Justified – “Save My Love”

“Art.”

“Raylan.”

“Art.”

“Winona.”

Really, I could just stop there. Because, look, the thing is, it’s episodes like this that show just how good Justified is at upending expectations and taking radical changes of direction, all while doing so in a way that resolves problems a lesser show would have let stand as a gap in logic or storytelling. This week’s episode had two “Oh!” moments:* first, that little issue of Winona randomly stealing a single hundred dollar bill? Yeah, she took the whole bag. I mean, of course she did, and here’s what was so genius about this, the show played the mislead out enough to make Winona’s irrational act fully believable – and then effectively acknowledged the unbelievability of that act with revealing the bag of cash just at the point when we – and Raylan – thought it all just amounted to a little hiccup. It’s a nice piece of storytelling both because Read the rest of this entry »

Written by teables

March 25, 2011 at 11:06 am

Posted in Justified

If My Family’s Not Here, Then I’m Not Here

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Dear Kathryn,

Wow – what a finale! With all this season’s violent foreshadowing, we knew someone was going to die…but we didn’t spend a ton of time wondering if it was going to be Bill. More so, we wondered how whatever death occurred would break up the family, but we never wondered if whatever death happened would bring real healing to the family. After the building, dissipating and rebuilding tensions of the past two seasons, with threat against threat against threat impending on the Henricksons, how perfect that the violence that finally took Bill out wasn’t really produced by any of his schemes and plans. Read the rest of this entry »

Bet you wish you quit smoking now…

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Justified – Blaze of Glory

Travis,

*grabbing some snuff* (Just kidding)…but what a classic scene!

So we have another absolute winner in my opinion…but with a much lighter, softer tone. I have to say this season has thus far been impeccable. No bad episodes, no bad writing, and nonetheless a variety of types of episodes. So, on the whole, this week was a sort of pause from all of the major storylines…it is a testament to the quality of the writing that this episode still worked so well. Part and parcel of this pause was that we also took a pause (except for the awesome beginning) from the Boyd storyline which we have been so intently discussing. It was interesting, however, not only how Ava agreed to Boyd’s scheme, but also how Boyd framed it to Raylan. I wasn’t quite sure which moment Boyd had in mind–was he referencing the final showdown of last season (the finale), where Raylan told Boyd and Ava to leave? Or was he referencing the episode where Raylan originally shot Boyd? Or both? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Martin

March 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm

The Beginning of the End

with one comment

OK, Natalie, I know you are out of town and won’t get to watch this penultimate episode, but wow, do you have some drama in store! This episode was a bit more chaotic, setting up the various plot lines that are going to come to a massive collision next week.I know some people are going to object that the episode was a bit talky, and I suppose that is right. It was full of speeches that are just a little too explicit and expository, but you know, after five seasons of incredible characters and non-stop melodrama, I’m OK with a few long speeches. Can we please start, though, with the audible gasp and clenching of my stomach when Margie said she was going to the bathroom? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

March 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm