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Episode 142 - The Phantom: LIVE! (w/ Eliza Skinner, Ed Brubaker)

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Ahahahaha! I definitely didn't take it that way so have no worries!

Good. I'm glad. And I apreciate you giving me a Millennial's take on Stranger Things. I find it interesting.

 

I'd eat it.

Pair that...*delicate cough* tartine with some Whispering Angel.

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So far, I'm really digging Stranger Things! I have one more episode to go and can't wait. I think the kids are incredible! Winona kills it, and to answer Auden's observation from above, I have to agree with Taylor Anne. Given the circumstances, I think Winona acts exactly as any parent (regardless of gender) would in that situation. Hell, if I lose sight of my son for a second in a department store, my heart skips a beat (He's hiding behind the clothes. He's always hiding behind the clothes...)

 

The actors portraying Hopper and Barbara (Dear, sweet Barbara) gave fantastic performances as well.

 

Acting-wise, the only two people who I'm not incredibly keen on are Modine and the douchebag boyfriend. I mean, I get why Modine is there and he "fits" the part, but I'm just not feeling it. However, this may be a case of "me, not him" as I've never really liked Modine all that much. As far as the douchebag boyfriend, I think he's a fine actor, I just feel like the actor doesn't fit the time period. He stands out to me for some reason as just not belonging. Every time I see him I feel like he's going to whip out his iPhone or something.

 

Most of all, it's the tiny flourishes that I found refreshing. I liked the scene where Mike's father asks, "Why is her head shaved?" Of course, this out of touch, superficial guy is going to ask that! Yet somehow this buffoonish turd of a person just happens to be asking an entirely relevant question. I also liked scenes where a character just lights a cigarette, not because they're the "bad guy" or "European," but because, of course! They absolutely would. I love that this comes off unremarked and without sanctimony. Even scenes as simple as watching three unsupervised, helmet-less kids riding around town having an adventure is like a breath of fresh air.

 

All in all, Stranger Things scratches an itch I didn't know needed to be scratched. Yes, it calls back to a lot of stuff from that time period, some people might even call it derivative, but that seems to be the point. There are no new stories, just new ways of telling them and I'm very interested to see what comes next. More of this type of stuff please.

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My teenager daughter and I watched it together (75% of the references went over her head) and she pointed to an interesting response she found on Tumblr which I will paraphrase horribly:

 

Each group of characters represents a different genre of 80's movie. The kids are in a sci fi movie where their friendship is tested (ET, etc.) The teenagers are in Halloween + Pretty in Pink. Hoop and Joyce are in a pre-X-Files conspiracy flick. Nothing they try works until all the storylines come together near the end because they only see things from their genre's perspective.

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I loved Stranger Things, Hooper was easily one of my favorite on-screen cops in recent memory. That scene where he shrugs and then reluctantly punches out the state police trooper was pretty phenomenal.

 

I'm glad to see Winona back and acting again, Lydia Deetz for life ya'll.

 

The kids were all wonderfully cast they really did a good job of giving each one a real personality too.

 

I will however echo similar sentiments in my confusion over Nancy's infatuation with Steve. Who is apparently the coolest kid in school, but only has two friends: Freckles and his super aggressive girlfriend. I think thats the one beat from 80's that just doesnt make this ring true. When I think of 80's cool guy love interests from that era I picture dudes like Brad from Teen Witch, not Jean Ralphio.

 

This show amongst other fantastic Netflix offerings lately really are amazing to think about. If you told me ten years ago that the "Blockbuster video by mail" company would eventually be the powerhouse that it is today producing its own content of this quality, theres not a fucking chance I would have believed it.

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Every guy in my office has expressed that they are hardcore Steve fans, and that's when I realized that is because they were all Steves when they were in high school and don't see how douchey he really is. Their exact words seem to be "I feel so bad for Steve! He just gets shafted!"

 

I'm still Team Nancy Needs To Be Single And Find Herself Again.

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Every guy in my office has expressed that they are hardcore Steve fans, and that's when I realized that is because they were all Steves when they were in high school and don't see how douchey he really is. Their exact words seem to be "I feel so bad for Steve! He just gets shafted!"

 

I'm still Team Nancy Needs To Be Single And Find Herself Again.

 

That is disappointing. Steve is total a piece of shit.

 

But, to echo Ofcoursemyhorse, maybe that is a big problem I had with that character. He was not a "wrong choice" boyfriend in the same way a Mr. William Zabka was in the eighties. I simply couldn't wrap my head around why she would want to be with him in the first place. Assuming Nancy is attracted to him in a superficial type way, he's not an athlete, he isn't portrayed as being the "cool" or "popular" guy, he doesn't appear to be that wealthy, and he's not exactly a supermodel. I'm fine if for the story she is attracted to "the wrong guy," but I kind of need to know what she was expecting to get out of the relationship. I need to know, from her perspective, "why him?" Even if it's as simple as "I've had a crush on him since the third grade." But we don't get any of that. The dude is just a prick.

 

However, I don't mind if her and Johnathan get together (I still haven't finished it, so I don't know what's going to happen with that). I really liked him. He was such a great older brother and son. He kind of reminded me of Brand from the Goonies. The type of older brother that the younger brother and his friends think is super cool, but in his own peer group, he's kind of a freak. I felt so bad for him during the "ripping of the pictures scene." There was no way out of that. There was no argument he could make. He was, in fact, being a creeper. However, I could see a lot of myself in Johnathan. I was that punk rock kid, who wasn't really all that bad and a little too old for my age. I used to be shy and withdrawn and would sequester myself in uninhabited corners of the school during lunch breaks to write silly little stories in a notebook because I couldn't relate to the people around me. I remember being picked on, and just taking it. Just taking it because you feel alone and to fight back just made you realize that no one had your back. If you fought back, they would just use that to pick on you more. So you just take it. And even though the people who did were royal douchenozzles, it still hurt--a lot. I would go to my locker to find "f*g" written in Sharpie on the door, and on one glorious occasion, had crap thrown at me in class because I had the gall to wear a Bob Marley shirt to school.

 

So...I'm all for Johnathan. Good kid, that one. Just confused and misunderstood. I just want him to have a happy ending.

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Good point, a text-based game would have been able to offer a lot more depth. What's notable about E.T. on a modern rewatch is how little electronics period the kids have in 1982! They have lots of old-fashioned mechanical or stuffed toys, they have a TV, but the only notable interactive electronic toy is a Speak & Spell. There's not even an Atari 2600 hooked up to the TV, despite the obvious cross-promotional possibilities in the movie that famously incorporated Reese's Pieces. So whether the game was on an Atari 2600 or on an early home computer, Elliott wouldn't have been able to play it.

 

However, a graphical game would not be impossible on that era's pre-8-bit hardware. There is a Halo game for the Atari 2600 that does indeed bring Master Chief to the 4-color-scanline screen! Yes, it really exists as an actual game that really does run on the original hardware:

halo-2600-atari-game-cartridgejpg.jpg

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It can be played online here.

 

 

That picture needs to be taken in a landfill and then it would be complete.

 

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people bitch about prices of video games today, but I remember in the 80s play 80 dollars for a game cartridge at a local shopping mall. so with inflation of the dollar, computer games are really a good deal when you look at what your getting. Minus the fancy packaging that has long gone away.

 

Tell me does anyone know if Stranger things is anything like The Goonies?

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Ugh, Cameron I had a really great post to go along with yours and continue the discussion but then my browser quit and I lost it all. I think I'm gonna take that as a sign that I should get back to work and use this as a placeholder for later.

 

3xOJVKM.gif

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Ugh, Cameron I had a really great post to go along with yours and continue the discussion but then my browser quit and I lost it all. I think I'm gonna take that as a sign that I should get back to work and use this as a placeholder for later.

 

3xOJVKM.gif

 

Ha! I had the same thing happen to me the other day. Then I discovered the forums auto save. I was all:

 

200w.gif

 

Just don't forget to come back to it. :)

 

 

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That picture needs to be taken in a landfill and then it would be complete.

 

339obwo.jpg

people bitch about prices of video games today, but I remember in the 80s play 80 dollars for a game cartridge at a local shopping mall. so with inflation of the dollar, computer games are really a good deal when you look at what your getting. Minus the fancy packaging that has long gone away.

 

Tell me does anyone know if Stranger things is anything like The Goonies?

 

There was a time here where Super Nintendo cartridges were extortionate. I'm pretty sure I remember Super Street Fighter II coming out on the SNES and it was over £100.

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Winona kills it, and to answer Auden's observation from above, I have to agree with Taylor Anne. Given the circumstances, I think Winona acts exactly as any parent (regardless of gender) would in that situation. Hell, if I lose sight of my son for a second in a department store, my heart skips a beat (He's hiding behind the clothes. He's always hiding behind the clothes...)

I reject your personal insight as a parent. I don't have any children, but I'll have you know, I have watched all the seasons of Criminal Minds many times. I have also watched the trailer of Taken. I know everything about how a mother and a father will react when their child is abducted. The mother will cry rivers and scream. The father will sit silently, his hands clutching his head, then he'll stand up suddenly and explode,"I'm going to kill the son of a bitch who took my son/daughter!" Of course I know not ALL fathers are like that. Some fathers will calmly use their very particular set of skills, skills they have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them a nightmare for people like kidnappers. They will look for the kidnappers, they will find them and they will kill them.

 

I am prepared to argue with you AT LENGTH about this.

_________________________________________________________

There's no one, correct, way for a parent to react to a missing child of course. But Genevieve Valentine's article, Stranger Things’ treatment of Barb reveals the show's greatest flaw: its limited view of women made me rethink Joyce's portrayal, which led me to think of the ways nostalgia affect a person's viewing of a show.

 

ETA: I'm sorry about what happened to you in your childhood Cam. I just want to give lil' Cameron a big hug.

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Ugh, Cameron I had a really great post to go along with yours and continue the discussion but then my browser quit and I lost it all. I think I'm gonna take that as a sign that I should get back to work and use this as a placeholder for later.

 

3xOJVKM.gif

Sully and The Force are me. There is a great interview with them from TSN a few years back about their game strategy.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGApYfC-7_A

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Tell me does anyone know if Stranger things is anything like The Goonies?

 

Um...I guess insofar as it centers around a group of misfit kids, but I wouldn't say it's very Goonies-y. More like creepy E.T. But that isn't quite right either. It's definitely like something, but I may be too young to get the exact reference. It's like an extended vignette from some kind of eighties horror anthology show. If that was ever a thing. I feel like the perfect comparison is on the tip of my tongue, but I can't quite articulate it. It's good though. You should check it out.

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So here's a thing, this might have been my favorite line from the show (actual credit Eliza Brubaker):

 

tumblr_obp7c2DVbg1qh6q1co1_1280.jpg

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Um...I guess insofar as it centers around a group of misfit kids, but I wouldn't say it's very Goonies-y. More like creepy E.T. But that isn't quite right either. It's definitely like something, but I may be too young to get the exact reference. It's like an extended vignette from some kind of eighties horror anthology show. If that was ever a thing. I feel like the perfect comparison is on the tip of my tongue, but I can't quite articulate it. It's good though. You should check it out.

 

 

I'll give that show a try when I am not play how did this game made on my old atari. I am at the Jason wants your baby mode. then later you have to figure out what it's mission is.

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I reject your personal insight as a parent. I don't have any children, but I'll have you know, I have watched all the seasons of Criminal Minds many times. I have also watched the trailer of Taken. I know everything about how a mother and a father will react when their child is abducted. The mother will cry rivers and scream. The father will sit silently, his hands clutching his head, then he'll stand up suddenly and explode,"I'm going to kill the son of a bitch who took my son/daughter!" Of course I know not ALL fathers are like that. Some fathers will calmly use their very particular set of skills, skills they have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them a nightmare for people like kidnappers. They will look for the kidnappers, they will find them and they will kill them.

 

I am prepared to argue with you AT LENGTH about this.

_________________________________________________________

There's no one, correct, way for a parent to react to a missing child of course. But Genevieve Valentine's article, Stranger Things’ treatment of Barb reveals the show's greatest flaw: its limited view of women made me rethink Joyce's portrayal, which led me to think of the ways nostalgia affect a person's viewing of a show.

 

I confess I didn't read the whole article since it started to give a couple spoilers that I didn't want revealed quite yet. But I pulled this quote regarding Joyce:

 

But the show keeps any outside dynamics to a minimum. Joyce's job conveniently gives her leave, her ex is on the outs, and even her older son Jonathan is out of her scope: "I don’t even barely know what’s going on with you." From an adult eye, despite the crisis, her characterization seems claustrophobic given a full television season.

 

I agree that the depiction is "claustrophobic," but I don't know if some of these observations are entirely fair. In regard to her "job conveniently gives her leave" I find it hard to believe any job, including the hive of scum and supervillainy I work for, would give me a hard time getting off work in a similar situation. I didn't really need a scene where she quits her job because they can't cover her shift or something. Having her "ex on the outs" just seems like a very realistic point given the movie takes place in the eighties--a time when divorce was becoming more and more of a common thing. Johnathan being "beyond her scope" also makes sense when you consider they are so hard up that he works a lot of the time and they even make a point of saying he's not supposed to take shifts at work when she's working. It sounds to me like the two of them are like two ships passing in the night. I felt her portrayal was pretty realistic all things considering and a life that I've seen echoed in real life more than once.

 

I totally get where she's coming from in the show. Her whole life is about her sons, but Will more so because he's young. Johnathan is a kid that is being forced into early adulthood. She doesn't have a rich inner life because her whole life is to provide for and protect her sons as best she can. I'm sure she wishes things were different, but in the drama of the show, I don't know if she needs to have a monologue in wishes she had done something different with her life. She's accepted that her sons ARE her life. And while that may not be satisfying to some, it is a perfectly valid life choice.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that I thought she came off as a totally believable and true to life character--or at least, one type of character that exists in real life. If that's who she is, then that's who she is. I don't know if it's fair to criticize Joyce for the failings of other TV and movies who regularly fail to provide more nuanced female characters. I feel like every depiction has to be judged on its own merit. If she wants to have a life solely devoted to the welfare of her kids, and that becomes her life--as long as she's living her life the way she wants to, and she's making her own choices--I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I felt for her all the way, and I never felt like she was being given short shrift character-wise.

 

However, I'm responding to this from a male biased perspective. I'm not even sure if I'm explaining my opinion adequately. Please correct me if I'm missing the point. I'm not sure if I even have the right to comment on it, but I feel like I'm in a safe place and you all know me well enough by now to know I don;t mean anything malicious or purposefully insulting.

 

ETA: I'm sorry about what happened to you in your childhood Cam. I just want to give lil' Cameron a big hug.

 

Lil Cameron warmly receives your hug!

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Okay real quick - Cameron, I agree with you.

 

The one thing about that whole situation is that no one seemed to set up some kind of donation thing for Joyce and her family. I appreciated Karen cooking for them, but when there is an already "known" poor family that no longer is working because they are searching for a missing child, then maybe throw them a couple of bucks so they can pay their bills. She shouldn't have to get an advance on two week's worth of pay just to buy a phone.

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Okay real quick - Cameron, I agree with you.

 

The one thing about that whole situation is that no one seemed to set up some kind of donation thing for Joyce and her family. I appreciated Karen cooking for them, but when there is an already "known" poor family that no longer is working because they are searching for a missing child, then maybe throw them a couple of bucks so they can pay their bills. She shouldn't have to get an advance on two week's worth of pay just to buy a phone.

 

Thanks, Taylor Anne! I'm glad it was received with the good intentions with which it was written.

 

I also just noticed something else in the quote I pulled from that article that made me think of something else. At the end of that quote, it says, "From an adult eye, despite the crisis, her characterization seems claustrophobic given a full television season." I have a response for that as well. Yes, 8 hours of television is a long time and should leave plenty of room for characterization, but in the reality of the show, all of this seems to be occurring over the course of maybe 48-72 hours. Again, Joyce is raw with emotions. She literally just lost her kid. However you would delve into Joyce's personal life might feel weird given the circumstances. Of course she's focused on her missing son! It literally just happened a couple of hours ago! I think having her be anything but concerned for her son would be kind of out of place.

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I haven't read that article yet, but I have a feeling that it's discussing the lines of defining Joyce as only a mother. But I think they establish pretty early that that is just what's going to be highlighted due to Will's disappearance. She is also a woman who works her ass off and stands up for herself but I think the spotlight on motherhood makes some people feel that it's another instance of a woman being shoved into that one box. However, I just agree that it doesn't have the same feeling behind it. It doesn't feel like the intent is to shove Joyce out of the way and just pin her as an overly emotional woman who is just defined by the men in her life.

 

It's another tricky subject. I've gotten into some conversations with people over the Olympics because they can't stand that they are highlighting the mothers so much because they are mothers. But I view it as these are women are going through intense training and intense physical transformations and going through a pregnancy during that does have an effect on the way you will compete that men just don't go through. I was actually very interested in Dana Vollmer's story of being on bed rest for 7 1/2 weeks during her pregnancy, then not being able to make it through her warm ups, and then winning both bronze and silver medals. That's the story of a true Olympian! But at the same time yes that is not the only thing about them and does not define who they are as women.

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2pk6g.gif

 

Repeating my request from a previous thread.

 

1. Limit the height of the graphics to 300 pixels (personally I try not to let my images exceed 250 pixels in height) and the width to 750 pixels.

 

2. Place multiple images side by side rather than one after another.

 

3. Use thumbnails if your image hosting site offers that function.

 

4. Try not to quote images and videos.

I am on the right side of history on this.

 

And thank you to the people who heeded my request.

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Just finished Stranger Things...Overall, I really liked it but I do kind of wish that it had ended with

Hopper driving away in that car that picked him up at the hospital. I think that would have been a wonderfully ambiguous ending to the series. The rest of the epilogue felt kind of unnecessary and all things that could have been picked up in the second season. Also, I'm a little disappointed that it seems like Season 2 will be a direct continuation of this story. As much as I would love to revisit these characters, I kind of would have wanted Season 2, if there was going to be a Season 2, to be a separate stand alone story. Oh, well...Oh! And fuck Steve.

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Okay I'm back to add on to Cameron's post from the last page! Huzzah!

 

This is riddled with spoilers so I'm doing the best I can to prevent something slipping by.

 

I think what I really love about Stranger Things is that we can really see ourselves in these characters. I identified with Barb pretty immediately. I always seemed to be on the outskirts of the friend groups in high school and had to be described as "you know - the one with the boobs" to anyone who didn't remember my name, which sucks on so many levels. Took me till I was at the end of my junior year to figure out who my real friends were and we've all stuck together ever since. It feels like a part of this show that was really done well is that so many of us are like "holy shit that is me" even though I was in high school in the early 2000s. Some shit is timeless. But I also think that's why

the outcome of Barb hurts 100x more because she's the character you really want to see be treated fairly and she is treated the worst.

 

 

I actually got to watch this with my mom who would have been exactly Nancy & Barb's age in 83 and she was very upset at the outcomes for all of the women in the show. It was very interesting to see it through my own eyes and hers at the exact same time. A lot of me was pissed that so many people kept assuming Eleven was a boy and she had to remind me that in the 80s girls just didn't do that shit with their hair unless they were in the alternative scene and were considered outcasts. Even now I think girls that buzz their hair are considered outcasts. But also what's funny is she was mad that a few of their props were still 70s era and "no one would have had that TV in 83" lol.

 

If Nancy had to end up with one of the two of them I wish it would be Jonathan. I feel like those two have more chemistry together than her and Steve. Plus even though

Steve gets his redemption arc, that doesn't mean he should automatically get her back. He was decent and realized he had been shitty, now go and actually try to win her back by being romantic and showing her that you care. Maybe that's something that happened in that month they cut away but idk I feel like the audience needs that information. Actually I really would like to know more about Steve's life. Was there a real reason why he was more terrified of his parents than the thought of Barb missing? Is his father abusive? And what about Mike's friends even? I feel like they are just as bullied as Will and Mike but they seem to have a lot stacked up against them. If it does get into season 2 I'd very much like to know more about all of these supporting characters that we're only getting at face value, especially just cause we'll never get that with Barb *cries*

 

 

I feel like my whole issue is that both of the guys are presented to us as if they are going to get Nancy no matter what and she becomes some kind of prize to be won. Which is why I'm hardcore Team Nancy Needs To Be Single And Find Herself Again. Cause I would think after

having your best friend be murdered by some alternate dimension monster, you might need some time to think about shit.

I don't think this is actually anything against either one of the guys or Nancy (but still fuck Steve), just the way it was presented to me as a story line. Seriously I really do like Jonathan, and it doesn't hurt that he looks like River Phoenix who was my first celeb crush.

 

Okay I'll stop now lol

 

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