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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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46 Responses

  1. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I am currently taking a break from presidential biographies (Made it up to John Quincy Adams) (No politics) and listening to some Tom Clancy books (albeit not written by Clancy).

    They finally concluded the French Revolution chapter of the Revolutions podcast. So I may tackle that next. Which will keep me busy for a while.

    I’ve watched tragically little television, other than football. With the football season over, I might finally get caught up on some of last season’s television.Report

  2. Avatar aaron david says:

    Stillwater the panda, huh.

    Now we know the truth! (call us Panda-ers)Report

  3. I just started Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series, Master of None. It’s fun, but occasionally seems more like a multi-comedian standup routine than a TV show. The first episode was wall-to-wall product placement, but that might have been intentional, since it hasn’t recurred. (Or maybe that’s what paid for shooting the pilot? ) Between this and Meet the Patels, playing yourself in your kids’ projects is becoming a career path for older immigrates from India.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      @mike-schilling It gets a bit more like a show and less like a standup once you are introduced to all the characters (though sometimes still runs in that direction… I didn’t mind though).Report

      • I’m trying to figure out why it bothers me more here than it did with Seinfeld. Possibly because Aziz is a much better actor than Jerry, so it’s more jarring when the mask slips. Or that Seinfeld was more of a pure farce (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      This reminds me of an odd thing I need to rectify at some point: I have seen every episode of Flight of the Conchords and 10 Items Or Less except for the last one of each. I can’t remember why I never watched the last episode of either.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I almost stopped after the first episode, but someone talked me into watching the second, and I really enjoyed it, along with the third. After that, it’s mostly hits with some misses.Report

  4. Avatar Maribou says:

    Spent the week mainlining Jessica Jones punctuated by breaks when I just couldn’t possibly watch it anymore. (Seriously, I said this after Daredevil and now it’s just not even a question for me anymore: SOMEONE on the Marvel TV writing staff is a child abuse and/or domestic violence survivor. Because they understand that shit from the inside. This one struck me as a revenge fantasy of the sort I would’ve written after my dad went to jail, had I a team of brilliant writers to help me work out my shit. Instead I found a good therapist. Obvs. all the villain’s traits are taken to an extreme, as is the plot – this is a comic book story after all – but the emotional truths resonate nonetheless.)

    Before that I watched all of Master of None which I really enjoyed, and which was far less demanding.

    Have been reading a myriad of children’s picture books most of which were charming but not super-important (the exception being Zen Socks which I left next to Jaybird’s keyboard for the last 2 weeks so he would read it too). And when I say a myriad, I don’t literally mean 10,000, but I probably DO mean more than you are thinking: I have 59 holds to pick up at the public library today and most of them are picture books. This is how I am coping with my life stuff at the moment. It works good :D.

    Have been listening to French-polishing CDs (eee, Paris in just over THREE MONTHS) and Christmas music while I color stained-glass snowflakes to put up on the window at work. (Typical student response: “YOU colored those? I thought they were decals!! That seems like it would be SOOOOOOOOOOOO relaxing! *starts pondering aloud the possibility of getting themselves coloring books* … which explains a lot about why half the bestsellers on the trade PB lists were adult coloring books at one point this fall…) About to switch over to woodshedding hardcore on the 2 cross-stitched xmas stockings I already told a dear friend were for her and her nephew-son THIS xmas (that was before I found out they have beads! and blending filament! dear god I hate blending filament with the passion of a thousand suns). The audio accompaniment for that is a book of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, and a YA novel called the Ravenboys. If I finish those, my myriad (:P) stock of podcasts is on deck.Report

    • Avatar Fish says:

      I was saving Jessica Jones to fill the space left behind when The Walking Dead 1/2-season ended. I watched the first episode last night. I’m hooked.

      Re: coloring snowflakes. I’ve discovered that painting gaming minis is incredibly relaxing once I stopped caring so much that they be as perfect as i can possibly get them.Report

  5. Avatar aaron david says:

    So, I am not a TV watcher, like, at all. The time when I am most likely to watch TV is when I have insomnia. Further, as we have a smart TV (oxymoron) and only use services like Hulu, Netflix etc. I no longer got the soporific effects of just turning it on, finding something not to bad (oxymoron) and allow it to lull me to sleep. I also miss football and the wife misses baseball.

    Well, I took a step to alleviate this. Bought an HDMI antenna, installed it, and it is great so far. Ironsides! Football!

    Reading wise, on the lowbrow side Skullface and Others by Howard. Highbrow, finishing up The Plague.

    Listening to Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postivos.Report

  6. Avatar Glyph says:

    Finished Jessica Jones. It was decent, but on balance I think Daredevil was better.

    Krysten Ritter was great, but next season they should be a little more judicious with the noir PI tropes. Some of her hardboiled VO’s were a bit silly, and I’d like to see them either tone down the “hard-drinking” bit, or show some real consequences from it.

    They also need to do better with the secondary characters – Trish grew on me some, but whether it was the writing or the actor, I wasn’t feeling her as much as I think the show needs us to. Not everybody can be Alyson Hannigan, but it’s too bad they couldn’t have gotten Ritter’s old Veronica Mars pal Kristen Bell for the part. The other secondary characters (Cage aside) ranged from bland (Malcolm) to intermittently tolerably-entertaining (the crazy twin neighbors), to awful (Hogarth – and speaking of, did we ever get a clear answer as to why she sabotaged the electrical Kilgrave killswitch? Just to try to get him to solve her divorce woes? Because she actually felt sorry for the torture? While I’m asking questions, why did Simpson kill Lester Freamon? I know he was hopped-up on goofballs and works for some shady outfit and wanted Kilgrave dead, but why kill the detective? Also, why the heck didn’t JJ retrieve the SUPER-DUPER CRUCIAL BLUE PILLS THAT SIMPSON TOLD HER ABOUT THEN THREW OUT THE WINDOW, WHEN TRISH WAS OVERDOSING?)

    The villain was good, and his story dramatically-satisfying, though they never really fully explained A.). Why JJ became immune, but none of the others Kilgrave had forced to kill were; B.). Why she remained immune, even after he’d leveled-up, or C.) Why JJ had never tried the obvious earphone trick before.

    I also think that some of the pacing complaints people have made about these shows that are made to be released all at once were valid – sometimes episodes just seemed to end abruptly, and in fact I was surprised that I’d reached the final episode last night. The show also had some trouble managing its tone, in the episodes dealing with the aftermath of Reuben’s death – mixing comedy and horror is trickier than it looks, and the show didn’t always manage it seamlessly.

    Oof. That seems like a lot of complaints, and I DID enjoy the show, especially in the early going (and there was one late episode I liked a lot). Overall I’d put it in the B range.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I thought it was very entertaining. It was not Daredevil, or really all that close to it. I don’t think it can get there, either, as there’s just too much waste for it to jettison before it could be really good.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        You could drop Hogarth, Malcolm and Crazy Neighbor easy, and Cage is fine (though I guess he will have his own show?)

        The biggest issue is that, as I said, I’m just not crazy about Trish (though conceivably that could be writing/character and thus fixable, I fear it is the actor – which is harder to fix).

        On Daredevil, I definitely got a Xander/Willow (or, I suppose, Spock and McCoy) vibe from Foggy and Karen – these are secondary characters I don’t mind spending time with, and will care if they are menaced. They represent ‘heart’ and ‘good judgement’ to the lead’s ‘determination and will’.

        What does Trish offer, as a character? She has ‘will’, but JJ already has that in spades herself. She doesn’t seem especially comically-gifted, and again JJ has ‘snarky’ covered herself.

        In a way I think the actor is disadvantaged by being sort of classically-beautiful, as that can make her harder to empathize with (we naturally assume that beautiful people have it easy, so beautiful people kind of need to be better, more nuanced actors, for us to feel their pain).Report

        • Avatar Maribou says:

          Hm. I couldn’t disagree more with most of this, other than having had the same question about THE FREAKING BLUE PILL. And I will concede that some of the voiceovers were too hokey. Still I liked it a good double handful more than I liked Daredevil, which was a lot.

          So weird when an actor one person thinks is great another one thinks is completely unappealing. (I only started to stop being annoyed by Foggy and Karen in the last two or three episodes of Daredevil, and I *LOVED* Trish and Cage right away (though not all the plot decisions around them).) I also thought Malcolm and Simpson and Hogarth and Hogarth’s girlfriend and Hogarth’s wife and even the grumpy detective were compelling.

          One of the key tenets of reader’s (or viewer’s) advisory is that almost no one means the same thing when they say “good characters” (it’s even worse than “well written” that way) and I guess that must be coming into play here.

          I thought this short essay was really interesting; it fairly concisely summarizes a lot of the appeal of the show for me (spoilers abound):

          http://journal.swantower.com/2015/12/03/jessica-jones/Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            The grumpy detective is fine, but that’s because he’s LESTER MUTHERFISHIN’ FREAMON. So naturally, they killed him.

            Let’s leave Foggy and Karen aside (at times, Foggy WAS a bit annoying, and Karen wasn’t necessarily given a lot to do – but the actor has that “Alyson Hannigan’s big eyes” thing going on, where she’s expressive enough that she could probably do silent film.)

            Malcolm and Trish ain’t Xander and Willow. They aren’t even Wallace/Clive from VM/iZombie, and they are DEFINITELY not Ravi.

            I don’t mind unlikable characters (see: Fortitude, which is full of them), but it’s not enough to say that an unlikable character is “real” – Trish seems “real” enough, but she’s (to me) just not that compelling.

            It may be that some of this comes down to that indefinable “charisma” thing (speaking of – you know who else could potentially have been great, if she was younger? Charisma Carpenter – there’s an actor who took “pretty, rich girl” and gradually made you see what kind of pain and will were lurking underneath that. She would have been a terrific former child star/sharp-tongued radio host).Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              I should clarify – CC would have needed to be younger not due to agesim, but because she’d need to appear roughly Krysten Ritter’s age, to sell their backstory as adoptive sisters.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              To follow on further – one thing that I noted late in the Daredevil-watching game was how many Whedon alums worked on it writing/showrunning/producing. When I finally noticed multiple familiar names (I’m slow sometimes), I thought, “oh, no WONDER I like this so much.”

              The JJ showrunner (Melissa Rosenberg)’s primary showrunning experience before this is….Dexter. Uh-oh. (Also, the Twilight movies, but I never saw those).

              Granted, she worked on the first 4 Dexter seasons, before it went completely off the rails; but even in those relatively-better seasons, they were never able to make much more than the protagonist and the antagonists compelling – compelling secondary characters on that show were ALWAYS lacking (Doakes was OK, but that’s because as the only competent non-corrupt cop in the Miami Metro Homicide Division, he was primarily an antagonist).Report

            • Avatar Maribou says:

              You could ask Jaybird about how many times I said “OMG I HATE KAREN SO MUCH CAN THEY PLEASE KILL HER OFF ALREADY!!!”

              And I find Trish and Cage, both, *likeable*. Malcolm too for that matter. More so than Clive, though I am warming to Clive lately. Definitely more than Major. (I like Ravi SO MUCH, and I mean, WHO is ever going to be Willow/Xander? Nobody, that’s who.)

              That’s what I was getting at in my original comment – I find Trish to be *very* charismatic (also soothing) and so I find her completely plausible – while you find her super grating and dull. “Good character” or “bleah character” seems to be superbly a matter of taste.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Agreed, taste is subjective. Trish doesn’t grate (she’s not UNLIKEABLE, like Hogarth) but she doesn’t (yet) move me much either.

                We’ll see what the writers/actor do with her next time, it seems like her story has a ways more to go.

                I know it seems like I’m really down on the show, and I’m not.

                I’m just seeing people claim JJ as the second coming of BtVS, but to me it’s not (yet) even the second coming of Veronica Mars (which also did the traumatized heroine PI noir thing, and dealt with issues of familial abuse).Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                Veronica Mars and Buffy, to me, are both 11 shows. I have few 10 shows, let alone 11 shows, and JJ is a 10 show for me (Daredevil being a solid 8-9) – but I wouldn’t put it up to BTVS (to be fair I wouldn’t rate BtVS as BtVS until the 3rd season…)

                That said, I think the way JJ dealt with abuse is FAR superior to how VM did. Rob Thomas strikes me as someone who is sympathetic to abuse issues, but doesn’t *get* them in the same way that whoever the Marvel writers are does. Now, perhaps that is because the Marvel writers’ experiences are more like my own, and RT’s experiences are more like someone else’s; or maybe the very insider-ness of the discussion of abuse makes it less good from the perspective of the average person who isn’t relating to it already? I dunno.

                I like that Hogarth is unlikeable because I think she is supposed to be unlikeable – a villain who sometimes comes in handy but can also screw everything up. I also think we’ve seen the same character played by a guy 100 times and the variations they’ve done based on logical changes once the character is a lesbian instead make the character MORE interesting, not less.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                I also think we’ve seen the same character played by a guy 100 times and the variations they’ve done based on logical changes once the character is a lesbian instead make the character MORE interesting, not less.

                I don’t think she’s less interesting because she’s a lesbian, nor do I think being a lesbian automatically makes her more interesting.

                It’s just a stock character and clichéd situation, and I really, really wish they had done something, besides a gender-sexuality switch, to make it more interesting.

                Maybe next season, if she takes JJ’s advice, she can become a Rob Thomas-esque slightly-loveable-and-even-very-occasionally-admirable selfish jerk, instead of a plain old two-dimensional selfish jerk.Report

  7. Avatar Anne says:

    We started watching the Man in the High Castle on Amazon…..looks like we have another binge watch in front of us. I read it a while ago think it is time to revisitReport

  8. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    Watching 9 to 5… sometimes you just need to revisit things that made you happy.Report

  9. Avatar Glyph says:

    Is anybody but me watching Fargo this season?

    Holy fish, it is amazing.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Is it? I saw that Michael Weston is in it, so I considered watching, but never pulled the trigger. Can I skip the first season and just start with this one, or is it necessary?Report

      • My name is Michael Weston, and I used to be a spy, you betcha.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Is he? I don’t think he is, but maybe I am mistaken?

        I don’t think the first season is necessary at all, and IMO it is very, very inferior to this one (though some people feel the opposite).Report

        • Avatar Chris says:

          I forgot, you haven’t experienced the awesomeness of Burn Notice. Jeffrey Donovan = Michael Weston. He’s Dodd Gerhardt in Fargo.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            Ah, OK, there’s an ACTOR named Michael Weston, which is why I was confused.

            Dodd is GREAT.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            Burn Notice is what I watch when I feel the urge to play D20 modern, but lack a gaming group.

            That entire show could have been a years long campaign.

            I take mental notes about some of the tricks (I suspect very, very, very few — if any — would work in real life. But for a pen and paper game? Excellent). I did the same with Leverage, too. 🙂 (“I think…Nigerians. Yes, Nigerians will do nicely.” — we used that tactic in a 3.5 game using Orcs).Report

          • The spy is named Michael Westen. (Which is why I thought you meant the actor too.)Report

    • Avatar CK MacLeod says:

      Fargo is a testament to just how much formal and, perhaps, characterological and thematic complexity can be justified by a high body count – and vice versa.

      A couple of weeks ago, I somehow got the idea that the episode I was watching was the season finale, and was able to justify ending it right then and there, with its main lines of development unresolved, since there wasn’t really much “farther” for the show to “go” other than an apocalyptic bloodbath. I had underestimated just how much bathing was still in store, but I don’t think I was completely wrong.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        I think the thing they’ve been alluding to all this time managed to not only NOT be a letdown after all the hype and foreshadowing, but somehow went above and beyond any expectations I could have had.Report

    • Avatar Zac says:

      Yeah, I’ve been watching it too, and although I loved the first season, the second absolutely blows it out of the water. In fact, barring it completely failing to stick the landing in the finale next week, I think it’s on track to be the best TV show of the year, and one of the best seasons of any TV show ever. And I say that with zero exaggeration. Seriously, if you’re not watching this season of Fargo, you are doing yourself a massive disservice which you should rectify as soon as humanly possible.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        What @zac said, and then some. This season is not only one of my favorite seasons of TV ever, it may be some of my favorite filmed entertainment ever. Every single element of the show is being handled with surpassing excellence. After last night’s episode was over, I actually stood up and yelled.Report

        • Avatar Zac says:

          I should also add that pretty much every actor in this season is at the absolute top of their game. Unlike the first season, in which Billy Bob Thornton and Allison Tolman were head and shoulders above everyone else, the second season has such a standout cast it’s hard to even know where to start. Personally, I’ve been particularly enjoying Zahn Mclarnon (who plays Hanzee), mostly because I’ve never seen him in anything before and I’m basically a human IMDB, so getting to see such a talented guy “debut” in such a meaty role has been a real treat.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            The acting, the writing, the cinematography (I don’t think I’ve seen such beautiful, detailed shots in forever – I feel like I’m falling into the screen like Peggy Blumquist with her black and white Nazi movie, I’m acutely-aware that I actually own a decent HDTV now) the music, the sound-editing.

            It’s all fantastic, and each episode just flies by.Report

  10. Avatar Will Truman says:

    The TV Grim Reaper says Person of Interest is done for. I hope they tie things up.Report

  11. Avatar Glyph says:

    So if you have Amazon Prime, you can add Starz to it for $8.99 a month. I did that yesterday, and spent last night catching up on Ash Vs. Evil Dead. The effects are good (there’s a demon that’s legit creepy-lookin’) and so’s the mostly-classic rock soundtrack.

    It remains true to its hilariously-gross splattery roots (Ash’s Evil Hand is now on the loose) and offensive funhouse feel.

    At an impromptu burial of a character’s sadly-Deadited parents:

    Kelly: “You know my parents were Jewish, right?”
    Ash: “I…did not. Wish you would have told me, before I made those dumb crosses.”

    Ash, to his Hispanic sidekick Pablo:

    “We’ll get churros…that’s not racist, that’s just a good dessert.”
    “You know I’m not Mexican, right?”
    “That’s the spirit.”Report