The Moth Chase

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

Archive for December 2011

This is the new James Bond

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Dear Natalie,

It is a bit bizarre to write this up on Christmas Eve, because I found the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo anything but restful, peaceful, or even that hopeful. Still, I can’t stop thinking about it, so that has to count for something. Let’s leave aside the question of whether or not this movie even needed to be made given the excellent Swedish trilogy that is already completed (really, was this just for lazy Americans who won’t read subtitles?), because something different was going on in this film and it started for me with the opening titles.

Did you feel like you had accidentally stumbled into a James Bond film when the titles started to roll? Read the rest of this entry »

This is the way the world ends

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Dear Natalie,

You know how you bitch and moan about something – like, say, an intensive training class you have to take at work or a really sucky season of Dexter – and then when it is over you actually feel a mellow glow of kindness to the whole experience and linger a little too long at the goodbye cookies and punch? You know it is all nostalgia and retrospect and some cheap sentimental ploy by the speaker, mixed with the euphoria of being done with whatever you were stuck doing, but you can’t quite help it. That is how I feel about the finale to Dexter. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

December 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Reprise: Made for this world

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We are all mourning the long hiatus of The Walking Dead and in the interim we’ve kept adding to this final conversation. Read on for our extended discussion of the mid-season finale.

Well Moth Chasers, this “mid-season finale” really tied together so many of the themes we’ve been exploring in our conversations: what constitutes a new normal and new norms in this apocalyptic world, relationships between family bonds and care for strangers, and the models of leadership that will survive/allow others to survive. And we finally got to the bottom of what happened to Sophia (more or less), meaning that at least one of the reasons for staying on the farm is now gone. Read the rest of this entry »

The Beast is Coming for You

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Hey Kathryn,

Sigh. This is all so disappointing. I was trying to explain how awful this season is to my sister (who tried to quit watching before Trinity and definitively quit after Trinity because the show had gotten so dumb) the other day, and she pointed out that much of what I’m describing as frustrating has been going on for a long time; I’m only just noticing it now. And I had to wonder if she was right.

I don’t know why I’ve always forgiven the outlandish storylines that rely on impossible events and Dexter getting away with things he could never get away with (really, Homeland Security didn’t trace his wormwood tip call?!). I think it’s a combination of the fact that there’s always been enough action and suspense to keep me engaged and the acting has always been so superb that I forgive the clunky writing, even convincing myself that this clunkiness is part of its charm. But with the utter lack of suspense this season (not only with the “is Gellar real?” crapstorm, but also with the total letdown in any and all suspenseful action sequences Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

December 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I don’t really like people all that much

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So Sons of Anarchy: sitcom or soap opera?

Hold on, I’d better explain why I’m asking that question. I’ll be upfront: I think this finale demonstrated some of the glaring weaknesses at the heart of SOA. And so now I’m having to recalibrate my expectations of just what Sons┬áis capable of. Because it’s capable of a lot – it can, as I’ve said before in recent weeks, demonstrate an exhilarating capacity to raise tremendous dramatic stakes, it can put together fantastic action sequences, and it can traffic in tremendous pathos (mostly on the strength of its cast rather than its writing, I’m finally realizing). But here’s the problem with Sons: it is, apparently, utterly incapable of messing with its formula. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by teables

December 9, 2011 at 12:12 am

Posted in Sons of Anarchy

It was all a devil’s errand

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Well, dear readers, it is confession time. Natalie and I both watched this episode much earlier in the day. I even watched it as it aired last night. But as we just discovered via disheartening emails to each other, neither one of us could come up with much to say. So I suppose that is something to say in itself.

In the interest of disciplined procrastanalysis I suppose I should say more than “ugh, how boring and predictable” even though that is pretty much all I felt. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

December 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm