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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar ScarletNumbers
    Ignored
    says:

    Since the thread about this topic is closed to further comments, I will post this here:

    Condoleezza Rice has decided to not speak at the 2014 Rutgers Commencement.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph
    Ignored
    says:

    I am trying to get caught up on The Americans (one ep left to go) but last night watched the one from two weeks ago (“Martial Eagle”, the one with an Ollie North writing credit) and – holy crap. This show has some of the best acting on television right now. Unbelievable, scene after scene. I teared up when Philip lost it with Paige (I’m not going to say Elizabeth’s alternate approach was *right*, exactly, but it was certainly much more effective at getting Paige to understand where they were coming from) – and of course, Paige has no idea what Philip is *really* upset about (though Elizabeth does, and tries to cover for him). Go, Mrs. Beeman. I really hope the pastor is genuine. And, as usual, poor, poor Martha, I couldn’t even watch her reaction.

    I read today that they have a lot of playwrights on staff, and that is starting to really show through. Phenomenal.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Glyph
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s interesting… usually when I see that there are multiple writers, I assume that it’s going to be a mélange of crap.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Not sure I follow…almost all TV shows have multiple writers. You mean on any given episode?

        This episode had one writer credited for the teleplay (Tracey Scott Wilson, a playwright), and that writer + Ollie North credited for the story (honestly, I assume North just had some color input on the beginning), but in my understanding any given ep of a TV episode is much more collaborative between the writers in the writers’ room than the writing credits may indicate.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        For movies, really. When there is one, maybe two, writers? Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad. When there are thirty-eight people receiving writer credit? Bad.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, I agree that’s how it works for movies. But a good TV show generally has a stable of good writers (though True Detective challenges this model). My comment was really predicated on Todd VanderWeff over at AVClub noting that amongst The Americans‘ writers are apparently more than the usual number of playwrights, and this may be why the show is functioning as well as it is on the interpersonal/emotional level, as well as plot/geopolitical level.Report

      • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Jaybird –

        Whether they end up on the credits or not, virtually any mainstream movie with a budget over $60 million probably had at least a dozen writers work on it. In fact there are “polish screenwriters” (not Polish screenwriters) who specialize in banter, and others for pacing, and others for action, and others for emotional warmth, and so on.

        I’m always amazed that well-written shows, with a distinctive, smart, and consistent tone, have a roomful of writers backing it up (examples include The Americans, The Good Wife, The Sopranos, etc.). In the industry, it is a commonplace aphorism to state that “movies are a director’s medium, television is a producer’s.” The person(s) responsible for tone, and theme, and overarching unity is the producer (e.g. Matthew Weiner for Mad Men), and it is my understanding that it is the usual case that the producer (or his delegate) will take a rewrite pass on every episode, regardless of who the credited writer is.

        In fact, the only real auteur show on the air right now is Louie.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “movies are a director’s medium, television is a producer’s.”

        True, but as TV’s critical cachet has risen, TV directors are rising in prominence too. The director on a series’ pilot is generally tasked with establishing the tone (visual, rhythm, etc.) for the series, and certain TV directors are starting to make names for themselves amongst people who pay attention to such things (Michelle MacLaren, for one; you also see people who started in movies like John Dahl and Neil Marshall and Vincenzo Natali).

        That said, even these directors are often being brought in at the producers’ behests, to handle specific technical challenges.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        My impression is that many shows these days (at least the ones I watch) have a showrunner, who’s a writer/producer, and a staff of writers. Generally, the whole “writer’s room” discusses a show, generates a lot of ideas, and eventually settles on the best one, and then one of them writes and gets credit for the teleplay, but it was really a group effort. And there’s a standard set of directors, usually including the showrunner and often some of the cast, and occasionally they’ll bring in a guest to direct.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Jay,
        I know of exactly one show that didn’t have multiple writers.
        and that was because it was explicitly not supposed to actually be filmed.

        Also: sometimes you think it’s one guy, when it’s really a team that just uses a single pen name. See: Bad Wolf.Report

  3. Avatar Saul DeGraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Friday at Enrico’s by Don Carpenter.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    House just showed up on streaming Netflix, but without the rights to the Massive Attack theme music, which is just wrong.

    Last night I watched an old Columbo with Patrick McGoohan and a pre-Airplane Leslie Nielsen as spies. McGoohan kept saying “Be seeing you”, and even wore a Prisoner-like piped jacket. Great fun.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Mike Schilling
      Ignored
      says:

      I still think it’s odd that a hit network TV show used a track by a…well, maybe not “underground” act, since they achieved some success, but such a well-respected act (and feat. vocals from a pretty underground act, Liz Fraser from Cocteau Twins). Mezzanine is an amazing record.

      Luck also used a MA track for its theme.Report

  5. Avatar KatherineMW
    Ignored
    says:

    I went to see the new Spider-Man movie. It wasn’t very good, which is disappointing as it’s the only major summer movie that I was looking forward to this year.Report

  6. Avatar ScarletNumbers
    Ignored
    says:

    Well here is a Rutgers comment I can post:

    This past Wednesday I was on campus to attend class. I park in the parking lot that is between Yurcak Field and Frelinghuysen Road.

    As I got out of my car I heard the PA annoucer at the field. It turns out that Rutgers is home to a women’s professional soccer team. They are called Sky Blue FC, who play in the National Women’s Soccer League.

    The interesting part of the story is when he annouced the starting lineup for the visiting team, Seattle Reign FC. Their goalie, none other than Hope Solo, who was the US Goalie for the 07 and 11 World Cups.Report

  7. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    Smithsonian on how SciFi shapes the future.

    Dystopian or utopian, pick your poison.Report

  8. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    I have watched so much Shrek this weekend. So much Shrek.Report

  9. Avatar Maribou
    Ignored
    says:

    Parks and Rec. And a really sweet book about the author’s Maine Coons. I’m pretty worn out.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Maribou
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ve binge-watched all of Parks and Rec over the past few months. I almost gave up on it after the first few episodes, but my kids kept insisting it would get better, and I’m glad I listened to them. It’s become one of my favorites ever.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        Yep, the first season was god awful. Thank God, it was surrounded by shows like The Office and 30 Rock that we still wanted to watch, so that when season 2 rolled around we were there to witness the magical transformation.

        Ron Swanson is one of the most interesting and funny characters on TV right now.

        “Just the crows and the beef.”Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        “Give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait, wait. I worry what you just heard was give me a lot of bacon and eggs. What I said was ‘Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.’ Do you understand?”Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        Yeah, I also almost gave up on it after the first, second, third, etc episodes but the last few episodes of the 1st season made me all excited and now I just can’t stop watching. I think (but am not sure) that the characters started being more self-aware / embracing their own awkwardness, which made it less painful and more funny.Report

    • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Maribou
      Ignored
      says:

      Last week I finally finished up the episodes of Parks & Rec that were available on Netflix. I think that was Season 5. I agree with Mike that it takes a while to get going, but it is a lot of fun when it hits its stride. Also, whenever I hear or read the word “literally” now, I always hear it in my head as pronounced by Chris Traeger.Report

  10. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    Caught the Carnivale callback on Dr. Who. Pretty awesome.Report

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