Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Homeland Recap Somewhere Else

Hey kids. One of my favorite places to waste time and keep up on current events, Wonkette, now has a little sister, HappyNiceTimePeople, a new place to waste time and keep up on art and culture stuff! This week, they are featuring a recap by moi, of last night’s Homeland. Please go there now so they will be impressed by my gazillions of followers and make this a regular gig.


Walter White And His Legacy

(If you haven’t seen the Breaking Bad finale, this post contains spoilers.)

After the despair of Ozymandias (perhaps the most perfect single hour in television), and based on hints dropped by cast members and Vince Gilligan, I expected the Breaking Bad series finale to be an unambiguous tragedy, including the death of the less guilty, and the innocent.

I’m thankful I was wrong. With the deaths of Andrea and Hank, we’d had enough.

Although Walter’s demise one way or another, onscreen or off was foretold, I expected to be surprised in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’m thankful to have gotten that.

Below are a few of my favorite (unexpected) moments:

1. The shout out to the ending of that other gangster show when Walt warned Gretchen and Elliot if they didn’t follow his orders, how they might be anywhere in the world, and suddenly the hitman would take them out before they even knew it, and their world would go black.

2.The revelation that those hit men, were two meth-heads with laser guns (and the chance to say good-bye to Skinny Pete and Badger.)

3. The MacGiverness of Walt’s automatic weapons system.

4. Walt’s being more honest than he ever was before when he wrote his own epitaph, “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I really, I was alive.”

5. The return of Walt’s compassion when he saw the condition that Jesse was in and decided to save his life.

6. The death of Todd, and that Jesse got to do the deed.

7. Jesse’s final “no” to Mr. White, before he drives away, and our knowledge that he is truly free and actually has a future (possibly involving woodworking).

8. Lydia’s having a couple of days to ponder her coming death.

9. Knowing that no one is left who is a threat to the Whites.

10. The glimpses we got of all the family, even if only flashback.

11. And yeah, even though he didn’t “deserve” it, it was satisfying to watchWalter White go out on his own terms, as a badass.

We never found out what exactly happened between Elliot, Gretchen and Walter. What was the great wrong they committed, the one that even at the end, kept Walter from wanting a penny of their money? Last week, I pondered that the truth might change our entire perspective, but maybe there wasn’t any dark secret, just three irreconcilable versions of events, each distorted by time. Memory is the least stable element.

(Feel free to comment on your own favorite moments or take on the finale. Have a look at some other posts on topics of interest. Or if you’re done here, go have a look at some other examples of Marion’s work.)

The Götterdämmerung Will Be Televised — The Breaking Bad-Felina Theory of Everything

(Spoilers ahead for anyone who isn’t up-to-date on their Bad episodes.)

Trying to outsmart Vince Gilligan and his writers, who may be the smartest writers in the world, is a loser’s game. There are a lot of reasonable theories out there, almost a collective speculative wisdom. Jesse is likely to blow up the lab. Walt is likely to die. Another White may die as well.  But whatever we think is going to happen, whatever we want to see happen, we are going to be surprised.  Plenty of people knew Hank was a goner when Uncle Jack and his crew showed up. No one thought Walt would try to bargain for his life with money.

Back in Ozymandias, when Walt tried to talk his way out of Hank’s execution, when he gave up Jesse to the nazis, and then told him about watching Jane die — these were events that no audience member imagined. But when they happened, they seemed inevitable. That’s what separates Breaking Bad from the pack.

In addition to characterization, there is masterful foreshadowing. The audience can always see some of it coming, but it’s like a magic trick where it turns out we weren’t even looking in the right place. We all saw Draw Sharpe riding a bicycle, we may even have known Continue reading The Götterdämmerung Will Be Televised — The Breaking Bad-Felina Theory of Everything

But What about ME?

The Kay Gardella Memorial Blog and posts are starting to develop a following, and soon it will be time for the classy and classical Idiots at the Opera, but do any of you go check out my work? Apparently not.

What gives?

You do realize if you aren’t at least looking at my books, then I have no justification for wasting time on this blog when I could be writing more books that nobody will look at, or maybe even looking for paid work?

So take a look below, please, and pick whichever you find least noxious, and at least go check out the reviews — if only to snigger and mutter how they must be fake because that’s what Jonathan Franzen thinks, and you still take him seriously, despite his obsessive hatred for cats, and women, and the Internet, and the world in general except for boids, dirty, disgusting lice-ridden boids.

You’ve got The Death Trip,, only 99 cents on Kindle. It’s a quick read novella as cool as its cover. Simple premise — What if a pharmaceutical company came up with a way to make death the ultimate trip?

Or you might prefer Schrodinger’s Telephone, set in New York City between 1990 and 2001, a story about grief, hope, faith and the thin line between madness and vision. It’s also a quick read and only 99 cents.

And if you’re ready to commit to an actual novel, check out Loisaida, a story inspired by true events, including a murder so grotesque it became a neighborhood legend. You got gentrifiers, artists, anarchists, devil worshippers, drug addicts, potheads, and failed revolutionaries all vying for space in a city where people kill for cheap rent (literally). That one’s actually available in paperback as well as on Kindle.

Oh and if you do buy something, and you actually read it, and it turns out you are stunned, or even mildly surprised by the quality of the work, please say a few words on facebook or the twitter or Amazon or Goodreads or someplace else, or all of the previous.

Dexter Finale Snoozathon

(Warning – spoilers ahead for anyone who isn’t keeping up with BOTH Dexter and Breaking Bad.)

While Breaking Bad continued to BRING IT in last night’s penultimate episode, leaving viewers counting the hours until the finale ,and anticipating fireworks that could take out the entire city of Albuquerque and its environs, Dexter ended not with a boom but with a meh.

Why did Dexter peter out while Bad burns?

There are a whole bunch of reasons why Breaking Bad is simply a better show, and certainly going out after five tight seasons is better artistically than ending after at least one too many, but mostly the problem with Dexter was a lack of self-awareness, an ignorance of its own nature.

It’s charm was in its ridiculousness. It wasn’t just the premise – a “good” serial killer. It was the execution. Breaking Bad had a pretty far-fetched premise as well – middle aged nerd becomes a drug kingpin and then retires, having amassed $80 million dollars in just a little over a year. Yet, Bad always weighted itself in the reality and complexity of its characters. While it could go for the occasional laugh, it was clear, certainly by the time we watched Walt watch Jane choke on her own vomit, that a tragedy was unfolding.

But what was Dexter? Go back to Season One and you’ll see something near satire. A cynical look at Miami, or Dahmerland, as Dexter so aptly put it. It was a comic book with Dexter having near super-strength and an unfailing ability to get the bad guys. The “on the table” dialogue with the soon to be dispatched bore no resemblance to real end of life conversations. And this was a good thing. It kept us emotionally detached from the horror. There was Dexter telling a pedophile priest/killer of altar boys, that “I’d never do what you do. I have standards,”or seeking relationship advice from a couple who killed Continue reading Dexter Finale Snoozathon