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Bullet Sunday 730

Posted on September 19th, 2021

Dave!They may be more than meets the eye, but Transformers ain't got nothing on this blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Classic? Still really, really pissed at the Coca-Cola Company for fucking up Coke Zero. It tastes like such horrendous shit that I am still not used to it... and likely never will be. The only caffeinated beverage I liked, and it's just... gone.

   
• GAH! Taylor Swift has been re-recording her music due to legal ownership issues with her back-catalog. Her vocals are as good as ever, but the new music is awful. Wildest Dreams, one of my favorites, was just re-recorded and they trashed the music on it. It used to be so open, bright, uplifting, and soaring... now it’s flat, boring, and dour. Almost depressing...

There’s this throbbing bass line just fuzzing over everything and it’s truly terrible. I fully support Ms. Swift taking back ownership of her work, but not like this. Not like this. Ugh.

   
• Safe & Effective! The Pfizer vaccine is apparently far less effective than Moderna over time... and yet they only authorized the Pfizer booster for people 65 years and older or people at high risk? What the fuck kind of nonsense is this? If it's an issue of them not having enough vaccine for people who are unvaccinated, then yeah... I can wait. But the number of people getting vaccinated right now has to be fairly low given how many people are refusing to protect themselves and others, so what the hell?

   
• Whitney! They are remaking The Bodyguard? Yeah. Good luck with that. On top of having to replace the irreplaceable, you run the very real risk of trampling over a sacred ground you don't want to be stepping...

I dunno. Maybe the stars will align and they can find a cast that works and find a way of avoiding the disrespect that comes from a wound still fresh... but I won't want to watch it for a very long time. If ever.

   
• Beard! Yet another fantastic flawless episode of Ted Lasso... this one focusing almost entirely on Coach Beard (with a little more Mae, Baz, Phil, and Jeremy thrown in)...

I sure hope that a few of the other characters that haven't been featured much get at least some character development. They could almost film an entirely new series focusing on the lives of everybody outside of the football club and it's probably going to be great just from the standpoint of adding to the greater narrative.

   
• Character! I have watched most all of the character breakdown videos from GQ. My favorite that I've seen is this one with Willem Dafoe...

He is a compelling guy, a phenomenally talented actor, and listen to him talking about his career is fascinating stuff.

   
• Money Shot! Okay... this is pretty incredible...

Now, of course, the answer to everything is just "CGI"... but in the days before CGI? This is what there was.

   
And that's a wrap for bullets one-day-delayed.

   

The Matrix Resurrections Resurrected

Posted on September 9th, 2021

Dave!The original Matrix movie... The Matrix... is one of the best sci-fi films ever made. It was mind-bogglingly good both thematically and visually. Everything about it is brilliant. And a lot of people think so, because The Matrix ended up being massively successful. So successful that there were back-to-back sequels filmed... The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Both of which sucked ass.

Unfortunately The Wachowskis decided to go high-concept with the sequels to try to push them into something higher than a mere sci-fi-action-thriller. And they failed spectacularly. Every time I bring this up, people are telling me that the reason I think they failed was because I don't understand the films. I'm not saying that's impossible, but I've read more than my fair share of the philosophy they're hanging the stories on and still think it's a massive failure. And I can't quite seem to decide whether they dumbed it down so much as to make it be incomprehensibly stupid... or whether they tried to do something so over-the-top ridiculous that it ended up being incomprehensibly stupid. Regardless, you get scintillating conversations like "What do I need to do?""You KNOW what you have to do!""But how will I know?""You'll KNOW!" Painful.

All of this prelude is to say that I'm not overly-enthusiastic for a fourth The Matrix film.

The only way I could find myself enjoying it would be if they either ignored the two sequels completely... or they came up with a clever way of explaining why they were so bad and how their Jesus metaphor could miss the mark so completely.

And then today the trailer landed...

Now, after viewing this a half-dozen times, I'm intrigued.

It's almost like they've decided to skirt all the awful things that sunk the sequels by going meta on our asses. This would allow them to BOTH ignore the two sequels completely AND come up with a clever way of explaining why they were so bad... both at the same time!

Nice!

At least if I'm disappointed I won't have to risk COVID at a theater... the film will be available for streaming on HBO Max as well.

And then there's the new trailer for Picard...

Star Trek always heads to the past whenever they want an easy win. Here we go again. No sign of Whoopi tho?

And Strange New Worlds...

And last, but not least, the first Star Trek focusing on the aliens of the Trek universe...

Though Capt. Janeway is a notable exception... OR IS SHE?!? Time will tell.

Exciting stuff!

   

We started out with clues…

Posted on September 8th, 2021

Dave!Welp.

I was 36 years old when Steve left Blues Clues. It still hits hard. I *always* left Blues Clues on while I was working or studying... along with many other cartoons... because it created the calming, stress-free environment I needed to be productive.

And now Steve's back to illustrate why we all loved him so much...

Yeah... if you don't think that this put the biggest lump in my throat, you don't know me at all.

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Bullet Sunday 729

Posted on September 5th, 2021

Dave!September is here as the horrors of 2021 continue, but the horror is ongoing... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Breakage! Well this is ten tons of cool: Artist Walead Beshty Shipped Glass Boxes Inside FedEx Boxes to Produce Shattered Sculptures. Creative people making highly creative art like this makes me very happy.

   
• Date! I love discovering a great movie that I didn't even know existed! This time is was Date and Switch from 2014...

Yeah, it's a high-school rom-com... but it has a twist that I haven't seen before. And it has a really good heartfelt ending that's played beautifully by Nicholas Braun, and it caught me completely off guard. Recommended!

   
• Well-Made... Crap! The wheels on the lower rack of my Whirlpool dishwasher started falling off after two years. After four years, they had all fallen off. I got tired of having to pick up and set the rack in myself after a year, so I finally Googled how to repair the stupid thing just now. Turns out that this is SUCH A HUGE FUCKING PROBLEM that Google AUTO-COMPLETED THE SEARCH FOR ME! I typed "Whirlpool Dishwasher—" and it immediately popped up with "...wheels falling off." And so... $16 later at Amazon and I have "improved & upgraded" wheels on the way. Wheels with a STAINLESS STEEL core that won't snap off. How fucking pathetic is it that the manufacturer doesn't just include these kind of wheels in the first place? They HAVE to know that this is a huge problem with the plastic becoming brittle and cracking. It would probably cost them $5 extra for metal cores and pins on an item that customer's are paying hundreds for, so WTF?!?

   
• Disney! Please tell me you've seen the 5 minutes of joy and magic that is Us Again on Disney+...

What's magic to me is what happens BETWEEN the cuts. Especially at the very end. She clearly picked up his hat. But they don't have to SHOW it to you... they just have it sitting next to her. That's economy of storytelling in the absolute best possible way. If you have Disney+, you owe it to yourself to give it a quick watch.

   
• Disneyesque! I watched the new Cinderella on Amazon Prime and new Cruella on Disney+ (now that it's free to watch). Cinderella was nice enough, but their efforts to go more progressive at the end (something I usually wouldn't mind) were really heavy-handed and kind of sunk it for me. Cruella, on the other hand?

Cruella Poster

Pretty darn good! Very entertaining with a brilliant soundtrack, incredible performances, and cool design sense. The only thing I didn't care for was the fact that eventually Cruella deVil becomes a psychotic old hag who wants to skin puppies to make a coat. It's really tough to be in any way invested in how she started when you know how it ends for her. I suppose if you can ignore that aspect, you'll enjoy it.

   
• All the Abs! How I imagine the director's conversation with the costume designer went for Aquaman...
Director: "Many people think of Aquaman as a weak hero."
Costume Designer: "Yes, but he's being played by Jason Momoa, so problem solved!"
Director: "No... that's only part of the solution. The other part is giving him a costume that lets viewers know that he is a manly-man and a really powerful hero."
Costume Designer: "So no spandex?"
Director: "Lord, no."
Costume Designer: "We can accent his muscles with the suit to make him appear more like a classic comic book hero."
Director: "Yes."
Costume Designer: "We can REALLY define those abs!"
Director: "YES! YES! OH YES!"
Costume Designer: "What do you think of this sketch?"
Director: "MORE ABS! PILE ON MORE ABS!"
Costume Designer: "Um... okay... how about this?"
Director: "More."
Costume Designer: "Maybe this?"
Director: "MORE! MORE! MORE! GIVE HIM ALL THE ABS!"
Costume Designer: "Oh... wow... okay then... how about this sketch?"
Director: "YES! GOD, YES! LET'S DO EXACTLY THAT!"

It's like... damn. That's over-done to the point of being absurd.

   
• Progressive? Washington State prides itself on being tech-forward thanks to so many tech companies starting here or having a presence here. And yet Washington State itself is ALWAYS the last to adopt actual technology or new ways of doing things. It makes me livid. What in the hell are our legislators being paid for if they ignore what's happening RIGHT NOW? It's like getting your driver's license enhanced to Real ID for travel. I think this only became possible recently... despite everybody knowing that it would be required years ago (my license, renewed last year, is still not enhanced). And now it's digital driver's licenses that they are ignoring. Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Iowa, Utah, and Connecticut are ALL hopping onboard. WHERE THE FUCK IS WASHINGTON STATE? Iowa is more aware of tech and new trends that Washington State? IOWA?!? — Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Jay Inslee need to do their damn jobs, direct the DOL to get on this, and keep us at the forefront of tech. I am sick and tired of Washington State ALWAYS being behind the curve. Our state government probably won't even know that digital driver's licenses EXIST until 2025. Do we need to vote in new legislators that will keep Washington State moving forward? Because what we got now ain't working... and their inaction is embarrassing Washingtonians. Again. DO BETTER!

   
And that's all the bullets she wrote!

   

Carl Fredrickson

Posted on August 31st, 2021

Dave!Ed Asner passed away.

Best known for playing Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the more serious spin-off Lou Grant, Mr. Asner was a versatile actor who popped up in a lot of places. But regardless of where he ended up, he was a perfect fit.

Take, for example, his voice role as the villainous Granny Goodness in Justice League Unlimited. It was always a fun time to guess all the guest actors that popped up in the animated DC shows back in the day, but I never managed to figure out who Granny was. So I looked it up. And there was Ed Asner!

But there is one role that will always be my Ed Asner favorite. Surprisingly, it's not playing Santa in Elf (though he was sublime in that). Nor was it as Wilson White in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (though he was brilliant in that) Nope... it's Carl Fredricksen in the Pixar film Up...

The poster for Disney/Pixar's UP... showing an old man dangling from a rope that's hanging out of a house suspended in the air by thousands of balloons.

A still from the movie UP by Disney/Pixar showing an older Carl Fredrickson missing his wife.

A massive testament to flawless voice casting, Ed Asner's heartwarming performance as his animated character was everything you could hope for...

Ed Asner at the premier of Disney/Pixar's UP, standing next to a person dressed up as his character, Carl Fredrickson.

Tonight I rewatched the film and was once again struck with how utterly magical it is. Every moment... from the most soul-crushing to the most uplifting... was meticulously crafted and brought to life by Ed Asner's incredible talent.

Lucky for us all, Ed Asner returned to Carl Fredrickson once again in a series of Dug Days shorts for Disney+ which debut... tomorrow!

I can't wait. Rest in Peace, Mr. Asner.

   

Bullet Sunday 728

Posted on August 29th, 2021

Dave!So much good entertainment news this week, but I'm keeping my expectations in check... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Old Guard! My favorite movie of 2020, by a large margin, is getting a sequel! Starring Charlize Theron and based on the comic book of the same name, I literally can't say enough good things about it...

The Old Guard teaser poster.

Apparently everybody's coming back, though a major shift at the end of the movie adaptation have me wondering if the follow-up movie will attempt to adapt the story of the follow-up comic book, Force Multiplied.

   
• Atomic Blonde! And speaking of Charlize Theron... her other amazing film, Atomic Blonde, is not getting just one sequel... it's apparently getting two!

Atomic Blonde Movie Poster!

This is phenomenal news, because the first movie was a spy thriller unlike anything I had seen before. I only hope that whomever picked the songs for the soundtrack comes back to select them for the sequels, because that just made an incredible film even better.

   
• Dark! And I'm not done with awesome entertainment news! Yet another amazing movie has a television series sequel in development... Dark City! But it gets better! Original director Alex Proyas is going to be working on it!

Dark City Movie Poster!

I remember the original film very well. A friend and I had made a trip to Seattle and had some time to kill. There was a theater near our hotel so we decided to see a movie. Nothing looked interesting to us, but we eventually settled on Dark City because it at least was supposed to be science fiction, which we both liked. Nothing could have prepared us for what we were going to see. It was an absolutely fascinating story and had some of the most stunning visuals of any film I had seen up to that point. Visuals, I might add, we've seen copied in any number of films (there were times watching Doctor Strange that I couldn't get Dark City out of my head). No word as to whether any of the original characters will be returning, but

   
• Happy Little Trees! I finally got to the Bob Ross documentary on Netflix. I was most pleased that they acknowledged that The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross was preceded by The Magic of Oil Painting with Bill Alexander. They were essentially the same program using the same technique... except Bob Ross was ASMR personified. I remember when I was a kid how upset I was that Bill Alexander was replaced with the new guy, but ultimately fell in love with Bob Ross just like everybody else did. I am fairly certain that I saw every single episode of both series, and was a huge, huge fan...

Bob Ross Magical Painting!
From PBS. But, just in case... © ® ™ Bob Ross Inc. so I don't get sued.

The documentary was quite good, but I didn’t learn anything new from it. I was well aware of the battle between Bob Ross and The Kowalskis, and was hoping that we would finally get their side of the story. But nope! They opted out and provided a weak-ass statement, which only makes me believe that they are awful people who didn’t honor the wishes of Bob Ross and tried to cheat everybody out of ownership of what they were left after Bob Ross died (not to mention the awful things they did to steal from other artists). Such a shame. With all those millions of dollars there was plenty of money to go around while still honoring Bob Ross’s final wishes. UPDATE: Bob Ross Inc. Responds to Netflix Doc.

   
• Eeelie! DAFUQ?!? CAN SOMEBODY CONFIRM THIS?!?

@colethesciencedude

We Don't Know Where Eels Come From #science #funfacts #learnontiktok #fyp #education

♬ Horror, suspense, weirdness, ghost, UFO - Zassh

It's like... I don't even know how to respond after watching this.

   
• Sheep! "A sheep farmer stuck in lockdown in New South Wales who was unable to attend his aunt’s funeral has honoured her memory with the ultimate tribute: a love heart made from sheep."

The innovation of people to escape the confines of the horrors of this never-ending pandemic provides hope amongst the ignorance and selfishness that plagues us.

   
• Value! "Spread the word. This has to stop." — People really are the worst...

@zbojones

Please share, this has to stop ##fyp ##MicroRaveWithRoni ##MyTeacherWins ##stopjudging

♬ original sound - Zac Brady

And just as a sample of what this guy has to deal with...

@zbojones

It’s a mindset people ! ##fyp ##pumpkinseason ##loveyourself ##ChewyChattyPets

♬ OkkkAaayyy - BOY2FLY 🕺🏾

Jesus, humanity. Do fucking better.

   
Any more attempt at bullets and I'd be shooting blanks. So until next week...

   

Imprisonment Vacation

Posted on August 24th, 2021

Dave!For the first time in over a month, I was able to get through all the "to-dos" due on my list before leaving work. I celebrated by ordering a pound of fries at the local drive-thru for my dinner. I was going to make spicy black bean soup... but this was easier. Less chopping and cooking and dirty dishes and such. Oh well.

What I should have done after consuming a pound of potatoes and grease is catch up on all the sleep I have been missing because I'm staying up late working. What I actually did was a bunch of housekeeping on my work files while watching the What If... T'Challa was Star Lord episode of Marvel Studio's What If... cartoon anthology...

T'Challa as Star Lord.

T'Challa as Star Lord.

This is my third time watching it. And every time gets harder as it sinks in that this is the last time we'll be blessed with Chadwick Boseman starring as Black Panther. And it's absolutly gutting. He was taken from us far too early, and it just seems impossible that he's gone.

In other news... I'm in Facebook Jail. Again.

The previous time I was jailed was just plain stupid and ridiculous. This time is monumentally stupid.

I was watching a Hallmark movie last night when I saw an actor who looked familiar. So I Googled him to see what I might be recognizing him from. The first photo that popped up was the actor with one of his hands partly in his pants, but it wasn’t sexual. He wasn’t grabbing his junk. You couldn't see his junk. He wasn't even licking his lips. Nothing even suggestive... unless you call having his shirt off "suggestive."

I dropped the image in a CLOSE FRIENDS ONLY POST and asked the question "Why would an actor promote himself with a photo that looked like he has jock itch?" Within minutes... REMOVED FOR EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT! Three days in jail.

It’s just the most insane thing.

People regularly post music videos that are actually sexually suggestive and absolutely nothing happens. And then there's me.

I would love to tell Facebook to go fuck themselves, but a huge chunk of my friends are on the platform. And since they're scattered around the globe, this is what I got. And so... I'll probably just take a step back. Not devote so much of my time to Facebook, who can pull the rug out from under me over idiotic shit I have zero control over.

   

Bullet Sunday 727

Posted on August 22nd, 2021

Dave!I hate to break it to you, but I'm still blogging here... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Ted! My third time watching the latest Ted Lasso. ALL THEY ARE DOING IS WALKING BY AND COLLECTING NESPRESSO MACHINES AND I AM AM DYING. Each time I go back and watch the player reactions in the background as they're picking up their machines. And this time I noticed that Paul didn't grab one? And if he didn't... then why couldn't Nate have his? And I love how Isaac is a big guy... but carries his with two hands so he doesn't drop it while all bundled up...

And how Jamie looks like he's trying to figure out what it is that he's getting! BWAH HA HA HA. And this is what I mean when I say that this show just nails the details. Even the tiniest things are well-realized. Oh how I love this show. And then there's Roy...

Celebrity photos at a kebab shop with a photo of Roy Kent signed YUM!

=sigh= Roy Kent is easily my favorite television character of all time and this episode just cemented it. If you are not watching this show... please stop hurting yourself!

   
• I'll Take a New Host for $500! I guess I was in the minority in that I actually LIKED Mike Richards' job as Jeopardy host. But with all that's come to light about his past actions, I am not sad for him to step down as permanent host. He's not a good choice to fill Alex's tremendous shoes. I suppose that I am also in the minority in saying that I hope Aaron Rodgers gets the gig now...

Aaron Rodgers hosting Jeopardy

By the end of his episodes he was relaxed, fun, charming, smart, personable, and let the contestants shine in a way that was a bit lacking with the other hosts. My least favorite was Ken Jennings, but apparently he's the frontrunner? I dunno. I'll still watch Jeopardy regardless... the reason I watch is to see how much I know and learn new stuff. But it would be nice to have a host I like as well.

   
• Trust! Okay. I don’t mind saying that I teared up a little bit... 103 days, and FINALLY the pet seagull landed on his hand!

@arrynskelly

Day 103 of feeding my pet seagull - today is a monumental day, i held my little buddy on my arm 🥺 he was so heavy… ##fyp ##foryou ##seagull

♬ original sound - arrynskelly

I swear I’ve been watching for 80 of those 103 days! Good job buddy!

   
• I HAVE THE POWER! I was hugely disappointed in the He-Man reboot... but this? THIS HE-MAN?!? Looks awesome...

He-Man for kids that's actually more interesting than the show for adults. Sweet. And it looks visually fantastic to boot.

   
• A Seldon Crisis! Another Foundation trailer. I'll say it again... this looks spectacular. But it also looks like they made the same mistake that Jupiter’s Legacy made. Rather than adapting the original books that people love, they’re folding in stuff from the sequel prequels that people don’t give a shit about...

And I think we all know what happened to the Jupiter’s Legacy series.

   
• MANDATE! I hesitate over the idea of mandatory vaccines. Sure I believe that employers and private companies should be able to mandate vaccines if you want to work there or shop there or use their service... I support that 100%. If an airline says "We require vaccination for you to fly with us"... well, there you go. You can make a choice as to whether you want to fly with them or work there. What I'm talking about is making it mandatory for people who just sit around the house and hang out with their neighbors in their back yard and stuff. A part of me is like... well, sadly, that's their choice and they'll have to live with it. So long as they mask-up when requested outside their home in enclosed spaces, you do you. Except now the latest COVID wave has gotten so bad that such people are filling up hospitals and infecting kids too young to be vaccinated. It's a serious problem that many people are making decisions for themselves and their family out of ignorance and misinformation. They listen to absolute nutjobs who have no idea what the fuck they are talking about, and it ends up being a public safety risk. This is perfectly encapsulated in this video from The New York Times...

I mean... what do you do here? The people refusing the vaccine are getting deathly sick at a rate monumentally higher than vaccinated people. And they are filling up our hospitals. As it gets worse, a vaccinated person who was careful as they can be who has a heart attack may not have a hospital bed available to them because they're full up with unvaccinated COVID patients. Patients who were given every opportunity to get vaccinated but didn't. How is it fair? I read an article that talked about the very real possibility of unvaccinated COVID patients being cut loose and denied a hospital bed in favor of vaccinated patients. The thought of it terrifies me. But... it certainly seems more fair than shafting vaccinated people who at least tried their best to be safe when it comes to COVID. So I dunno. I am grateful I don't have to make those kind of decisions. But it sure seems unfair that doctors will have to. So-called "death panels" may be coming and it has nothing to do with "Obamacare."

   
And on that horrific note, I guess we're out of bullets.

   

Bullet Sunday 726

Posted on August 15th, 2021

Dave!COVID may be spiking again, but you're never really alone when stuck at home... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Air! When I saw this Emirates commercial, I assumed it was made with computer effects...

But NOPE!

I would crap myself to death if I even attempted this.

   
• FINALLY! Netflix has finally allowed us to disable the annoying as shit "ARE YOU STILL WATCHING" screens that pop up. Not sure if it's just for the current session or not (I'm assuming so), but I'll take what I can get. This is monumentally stupid. IF I WEREN'T STILL WATCHING, WHY WOULD BE TELEVISION BE ON?!?

Netflix ARE YOU STILL WATCHING?!??

The lapse in logic just boggles the mind.

   
• CODA! Apple's original film, CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) is fantastic, and you should go watch it immediately...

As if Ted Lasso wasn't reason enough to subscribe to AppleTV+

   
• Brand Management. Well, this is heartbreaking...

@haydenjosephmusic

These problems won’t get solved if we aren’t willing to discuss them. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s real life.

♬ original sound - Hayden Joseph 🎶🏳️‍🌈

It's frickin' 2021. Who gives a shit what another person's sexuality is? IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! And the idea that you can't hang out with LGBTQ persons because it will "affect your brand?" How does that even make sense to rational-thinking humans? But here we are.

   
• WANG! There are few things I love more than discovering a new comedian that's hilarious in all the right ways and somebody I hadn't heard of before... Phil Wang's new special Philly Philly Wang Wang on Netflix is EXACTLY THAT...

Philly Philly Wang Wang Poster for Netflix

Highly recommended.

   
• Modern! I read reviews that made me take a pass on Modern Love... but then I heard somebody talking about how much they are enjoying the second season and decided to give it a try. I really like this one. The first season was wonderful, and the first episode of the second is my favorite yet...


Worth a look if you have Amazon Prime and have a box of Kleenex available.

   
• Setting Sail! The show is good... and the theme song is really good...

It's Love, Victor all over again!

   
And now back to your regularly-scheduled pandemic.

   

A Very Ted Lasso Christmas

Posted on August 13th, 2021

Dave!Since I don't celebrate Christmas, I can take it or leave it when it comes to Christmas television specials. If done well, it transcends any holiday and just becomes darn good television that's great entertainment.

As you can probably guess... the latest episode of Ted Lasso 100% nailed it (spoilers to follow). They did such a good job that I stayed up and watched it when it debuted... then watched it again this morning... then immediately watched it all over again with subtitles.

That being said, I'd have been thrilled just watching the claymation opening credits! WONDERFUL!

Claymation Ted Lasso Characters in the opening credits!

Claymation Ted Lasso Characters in the opening credits!

There were three rather distinct stories woven into this episode. The heart and soul of the meaning of Christmas was found in Ted and Rebecca's story. It's sweet and charming to behold... but the deeper meaning is to be found with just how big a 180° that Rebecca has taken since the first season. Ted was always the empathetic one when it came to others... Rebecca was only seeing a way to use others to enact her revenge. Then her heart won out after a relentless assault by Ted's kindness, and this season she's just as lovely a person as you could hope to meet. Taking time away from epic holiday parties to make sure Ted is doing okay with his first Christmas away from his family... his first Christmas divorced...

Ted sits alone in his apartment.

Rebecca is down on the street saying HI TED!

Rebecca's plan to get Ted into the Holiday Spirit? Delivering Christmas gifts to kids that didn't get any...

Rebecca and Ted are Santa's elves delivering gifts.

It could not have possibly have been more perfect.

The second story involves Higgins and his annual Christmas dinner for players who are far from home. This means that Nathan and players like Jamie Tartt and Colin Hughes drop out early in the episode. Which is actually kind of nice, because players like Richard Montlaur get a minute of screen time they wouldn't normally get (and believe me, Montlaur's +1 definitely makes it worthwhile!). It's also a telling moment for Higgins, because usually he's so unpopular that only two or three players showing up... but this year everybody who doesn't have a place to go shows up! It's genuinely sweet. As is an appearance by Higgins' late cat, Cindy Clawford...

A photo of Cindy Clawford.

I was worried that events of the previous episode would be forgotten... but they do get a mention. And if there's anybody who could give Ted a run for his money in the sweetness department... it's Sam, and I couldn't be happier that he's gotten so much screen time this season...

Sam arrives and the Higgins house.

A very full table at the Higgins home!

The last story is probably my favorite... because it's Roy Kent... but boy does his neice Phoebe hold her own (again) this episode. Roy and Kelley are planning "Sexy Christmas," but plans go awry when Phoebe shows up with a big problem...

Phoebe with a candy cane at Keeley's door.

And just because the show never misses an opportunity to demonstrate once again how Roy and Keeley are a romance for the ages...

Roy giving Keeley a Christmas kiss.

Phoebe's problem is horrendous bad breath which Keeley (rightly) determines must be clinical. This gives Roy the idea of driving back to his "posh neighborhood" and banging on doors until they find a dentist. This is ripe with touching moments of Roy showing genuine love for his niece that belies his gruff exterior...

Roy talking to Phoebe.

That we end up with a cameo from the "Ussie Guy" from the first season (he is actually the fourth character we meet after Rebecca, Higgins, and Ted!) is just icing on the cake...

Roy talking to Phoebe.

And it's at this point that I feel compelled to mention that the cinematography in this episode is sublime...

Roy, Keelye, and Phoebe bathed in a beautiful pink glow from a neon sign.

Is that... it that another smile from Roy Kent?!

As wonderful as this episode is (my favorite this season and ranking very high overall), I can't help but think how much more wonderful it would be to watch it during the holidays (which, of course, I will)...

A Christmas street party.

What can I say? The best show ever to air on television just aired one of the best episodes to ever air on television. It's almost impossible to see how it could be topped, but I say that almost every week.

   

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Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
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