David Cook American Dating

Patricia Parr (Jan. 9, 1932 - Sept. 25, 2020)

2020.11.18 21:05 portlane Patricia Parr (Jan. 9, 1932 - Sept. 25, 2020)

Patricia Ann Parr
Jan. 9, 1932 - Sept. 25, 2020
Patricia Ann "Pat" Parr, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who always put her family first, died peacefully under the hospice care of the 5-West team at Providence St. Vincent's Hospital in Portland, Ore., Sept. 25, 2020.
A first-generation American, Patricia was born Jan. 9, 1932 in St. Paul, Minn., to Lebanese emigrant Anthony Charley and his wife, Marie. The family moved to Portland in the 1940s and Pat attended St. Mary's Academy in downtown Portland. She went on to the Providence School of Nursing, where her technical skills, strong work ethic and patient orientation led to her becoming head nurse of the surgical recovery floor immediately after graduation.
But perhaps the most notable event in her nursing education was her senior-year school prom, where she met Dwight Sigsbee Parr. It was love at first sight. The two married Dec. 27, 1954 and enjoyed a loving, enduring partnership for 62 years.
Pat worked as a nurse until her first child was born in 1955. She later stepped in as volunteer bookkeeper for her husband's business. Although she had no background in finance she handled the job with her typical patience and eye for detail, balancing accounts to the penny until the company could afford a full-time employee.
She was proud of her Lebanese heritage and admired her father's courage in coming to a new country as a teenager. She was an avid explorer of different cultures; when she and Dwight traveled they often chose sites of historical significance, including the ancient ruins of Greece, Mexico and Peru. They enjoyed more relaxed vacations as well in Hawaii and Southern California. She read widely, with history always her first choice.
Pat inherited her mother's skills as a seamstress and was accomplished at needlework and sewing. Her grandchildren were the lucky recipients of many outfits she designed and customized with a Mimi label, their affectionate nickname for her. She later discovered the game of Mahjong and became quite good at it. She was an excellent cook; her Christmas dinners were a family favorite.
A generous and loyal friend, Pat led with humility and appreciation for her blessings. Above all, family came first for her. She held high standards for her children, expecting (and getting) good manners and rejecting arrogance in all forms. She never sought out social accolades or status, focusing instead on the joys of family, friends and faith.
She felt a strong responsibility for others. After her successful recovery from breast cancer, Patricia and Dwight created the Parr Family Cancer Fund at Providence St. Vincent's to help patients with financial needs not covered by insurance.
Her adored husband, Dwight preceded her in death in January 2017. Her only sibling, Mary Ann Nicola also preceded her in death. She is survived by her children, Mary Brophy (Patrick), David Parr, and Michael Parr (Sharon); grandchildren, David Parr (Sara), Caroline Cath (Will), Kelly Sanders (Alex), Shannon Watson (Charlie) and Abbie and Kelsey Parr; and six great-grandchildren. Her devoted caregiver Kafo'atu (Kaye) Vete became a member of the family. The family also extends its deepest appreciation to Dr. Duc Nguyen and his team for the excellent care given to both Patricia and Dwight throughout their later years.
Due to the pandemic, the memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations may be sent to The Parr Family Cancer Fund, care of Providence St. Vincent's Medical Center.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
source: http://obits.oregonlive.com/obituaries/oregon/obituary.aspx?n=patricia-ann-parr&pid=197125447
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2020.11.13 01:09 flagrantstats 2020 Conference Media/Coach Polls & All-Conference Teams (so far)

I've gathered all of the conference media/coach polls & all-conference teams announced to date. Sorry for any formatting issues.
America East Conference
No. School Points (1st Place Votes) 1. Maine 78 (6) 2. Stony Brook 76 (4) 3. UMass Lowell 62 4. UAlbany 54 T5. Binghamton 43 UMBC 43 7. Vermont 36 8. Hartford 24 9. New Hampshire 23 10. NJIT 11
2020-21 America East Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team Maeve Carroll, Sr., Forward - Maine Kharis Idom, Jr., Guard - UMass Lowell Blanca Millan, Sr., Guard - Maine India Pagan, Sr., Forward - Stony Brook Dor Saar, Sr., Guard - Maine
American Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
  1. USF (8) 98
  2. UCF (1) 79
  3. Tulane 78
  4. Cincinnati (2) 73
  5. Temple 57
  6. Wichita State 54
  7. Houston 49
  8. Memphis 40
  9. East Carolina 36
  10. SMU 31
  11. Tulsa 10
Preseason Players of the Year IImar’I Thomas, F, Cincinnati Mia Davis, F, Temple
Preseason All-Conference First Team Brittney Smith, F, UCF IImar’I Thomas, F, Cincinnati* Lashonda Monk, G, East Carolina Mia Davis, F, Temple* Krystal Freeman, F, Tulane*
Preseason All-Conference Second Team Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, F, Memphis Elisa Pinzan, G, USF Elena Tsineke, G, USF Arsula Clark, G, Tulane Mariah McCully, G, Wichita State
*denotes unanimous selection
Atlantic 10 Conference
PRESEASON POLL 1. VCU (10) 185 2. Dayton (2) 176 3. Saint Louis (1) 171 4. Davidson 140 Duquesne (1) 140 Fordham 140 7. Massachusetts 118 8. Richmond 81 9. George Washington 78 10. La Salle 70 11. Rhode Island 65 12. St. Bonaventure 42 13. Saint Joseph’s 41 14. George Mason 23
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM
Player School Suzi-Rose Deegan Davidson Erin Whalen Dayton Libby Bazelak Duquesne Sam Breen Massachusetts Ciaja Harbison Saint Louis Tera Reed VCU
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM Katie Turner Davidson Laia Sole Duquesne Kendell Heremaia Fordham Claire Jacobs La Salle Asianae Johnson St. Bonaventure Taya Robinson VCU
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE THIRD TEAM Sarah Donovan Davidson Araion Bradshaw Dayton Kyla Whitehead Dayton Anna DeWolfe Fordham Neila Luma George Washington Rachel Kent Saint Louis
PRESEASON ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Araion Bradshaw Dayton Libby Bazelak Duquesne Brooke Flowers Saint Louis Ciaja Harbison Saint Louis Taya Robinson VCU
Atlantic Coast Conference
Head Coaches & Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G
Head Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team Taylor Soule, Boston College, Jr., F Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G (12 Preseason Player of the Year Votes) Janelle Bailey, North Carolina, Sr., C Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State So., G Elissa Cunane, NC State, Jr., C (3) Kiara Lewis, Syracuse, Sr., G Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse, Gr., G Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, So., C Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Sr., G Ivana Raca, Wake Forest, Sr., F
Head Coaches Newcomer Watch List Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, Fr., G Kianna Smith, Louisville, Jr., G Deja Kelly, North Carolina, Fr., G Maddy Westbeld, Notre Dame, Fr., F Kamilla Cardoso, Syracuse, Fr., C
Head Coaches Predicted Order of Finish Louisville (13 first-place votes) - 223 NC State (2) - 210 Syracuse - 193 North Carolina - 157 Georgia Tech - 146 Notre Dame - 138 Virginia Tech - 125 Florida State - 124 Boston College - 120 Miami - 99 Duke - 74 Wake Forest - 73 Clemson - 56 Pittsburgh - 37 Virginia - 25
Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team (57 voters) Taylor Soule, Boston College, Jr., F (3) Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G (40) Janelle Bailey, North Carolina, Sr., C Elissa Cunane, NC State, Jr., C (11) Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame, So., F Kiara Lewis, Syracuse, Sr., G Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse, Gr., G (3) Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, So., C Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Sr., G Ivana Raca, Wake Forest, Sr., F () Indicates preseason player of the year votes
Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List Tiana England, Florida State, Gr., G Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, Fr., G Deja Kelly, North Carolina, Fr., G Maddy Westbeld, Notre Dame, Fr., F Kamilla Cardoso, Syracuse, Fr., C
Blue Ribbon Panel Predicted Order of Finish (57 voters) Louisville (45 first-place votes) – 840 points NC State (10) – 797 points Syracuse (2) – 724 points Notre Dame – 555 points North Carolina – 547 points Florida State – 516 points Virginia Tech – 482 points Boston College – 468 points Georgia Tech – 452 points Duke – 385 points Miami – 359 points Wake Forest – 258 points Clemson – 183 points Virginia – 149 points Pitt – 125 points
Atlantic Sun Conference
2020-21 ASUN Preseason WBB Coaches Poll Place Team (1st-Place Votes) Points 1. FGCU (5) 75 2. Liberty (1) 71 3. North Florida (3) 65 4. Stetson 47 5. Jacksonville 46 6. North Alabama 36 7. Lipscomb 29 8. Kennesaw State 25 9. Bellarmine 11
2020-21 ASUN Preseason WBB Media Poll Place Team (1st-Place Votes) Points 1. FGCU (23) 243 2. Liberty (4) 211 3. North Florida (1) 172 4. North Alabama 154 5. Jacksonville 148 6. Stetson 135 7. Lipscomb 78 8. Kennesaw State 77 9. Bellarmine 46
Preseason Player of the Year: Jazz Bond, North Florida Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Jazz Bond, North Florida ASUN Preseason WBB All-Conference Team *Jazz Bond, North Florida, Sr., F *Jada Perry, Jacksonville, Sr., F *Amani Johnson, Kennesaw State, Jr., G *Emily Lytle, Liberty, Sr., F *Taylor Clark, Lipscomb, Sr., F *Olivia Noah, North Alabama, Sr., F *Day'Neshia Banks, Stetson, Sr., F Breia Torrens, Bellarmine, Sr., G Andrea Cecil, FGCU, Sr., G Ashtyn Baker, Liberty, Sr., G
Big 12 Conference
2020-21 Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll 1. Baylor (9) 81 2. Texas (1) 73 3. Iowa State 69 4. Kansas State 50 5. West Virginia 45 6. Texas Tech 36 7. Oklahoma 33 8. Oklahoma State 26 9. TCU 23 10. Kansas 14
Preseason Player of the Year: NaLyssa Smith, Baylor, F, 6-2, Jr., Converse, Texas Preseason Newcomer of the Year: DiJonai Carrington, Baylor, G, 5-11, Gr., San Diego, Calif. Preseason Freshman of the Year: Sarah Andrews, Baylor, G, 5-6, Irving, Texas
Preseason All-Big 12 Team (honors listed alphabetical by school) Player School Pos Ht Cl-Exp Hometown Queen Egbo Baylor C 6-3 Jr.-2L Houston, Texas DiDi Richards Baylor G 6-1 Sr.-3L Cypress, Texas NaLyssa Smith* Baylor F 6-2 Jr.-2L Converse, Texas Ashley Joens* Iowa State G/F 6-0 Jr.-2L Iowa City, Iowa Ayoka Lee* Kansas State C 6-5 So.-1L Byron, Minn. Taylor Robertson Oklahoma G 5-7 Jr.-2L McPherson, Kan. Natasha Mack* Oklahoma State G 6-4 Sr.-1L Lufkin, Texas Lauren Heard* TCU G 5-9 Sr.-3L Denton, Texas Charli Collier* Texas F/C 6-5 Jr.-2L Mont Belvieu, Texas Vivan Gray Texas Tech G 6-1 Sr.-TR Argyle, Texas All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Kristin Scott (Iowa State), Zakiyah Franklin (Kansas), Holly Kersgieter (Kansas), Rachel Ranke (Kansas State), Ana Llanusa (Oklahoma), Madi Williams (Oklahoma), Celeste Taylor (Texas), Chrislyn Carr (Texas Tech), Kysre Gondrezick (West Virginia) and Kari Niblack (West Virginia). Big East Conference
Team (first-place votes) Points 
1 Connecticut (10) 100 2 DePaul (1) 90 3 Marquette 83 4 St. John’s 69 5 Creighton 60 6 Seton Hall 59 7 Villanova 44 8 Butler 37 9 Xavier 31 10 Providence 22 11 Georgetown 10
BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year Christyn Williams, Connecticut, Jr., G
BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year Paige Bueckers, Connecticut, Fr., G*
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team^ Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Connecticut, Jr., F Evina Westbrook, Connecticut, R-Jr., G Temi Carda, Creighton, Sr., G Lexi Held, DePaul, Jr., G Sonya Morris, DePaul, Jr., G* Selena Lott, Marquette, Sr., G* Leilani Correa, St. John’s, So., G Qadashah Hoppie, St. John’s, Sr., G* Desiree Elmore, Seton Hall, Sr., G/F* Maddy Siegrist, Villanova, So., F* A’riana Gray, Xavier, Sr., F extra player added due to a tie in voting *unanimous selection
Big Sky Conference
Coaches’ Poll Teams Points T1. Idaho (4) 91 T1. Idaho State (2) 91 3. Northern Arizona (3) 80 4. Montana State (1) 77 5. Northern Colorado (1) 64 6. Montana 53 7. Portland State 50 8. Southern Utah 36 9. Sacramento State 26 10. Eastern Washington 23 11. Weber State 14
Media Poll 1. Idaho (16) 221 2. Idaho State (2) 206 3. Northern Arizona 180 4. Montana State (2) 173 5. Northern Colorado (1) 135 6. Portland State 127 7. Montana 122 8. Southern Utah 73 9. Eastern Washington 65 10. Sacramento State 54 11. Weber State 29
All-Conference Team Khiarica Rasheed Forward Senior Northern Arizona Gina Marxen Guard Junior Idaho Darian White Guard Sophomore Montana State Beyonce Bea Guard/Forward Sophomore Idaho Dora Goles Guard Senior Idaho State Alisha Davis Forward Sophomore Northern Colorado
Rasheed was Player of the Year
Big South Conference
Rk - School (first-place votes) Points 1 - Campbell (6) 112 2 - Radford (2) 107 3 - High Point (3) 104 4 - Hampton 86 5 - Gardner-Webb 70 6 - Longwood 66 7 - UNC Asheville 56 8 - Presbyterian College 48 9 - USC Upstate 30 10 - Charleston Southern 24 11 - Winthrop 23
First-Team Skyler Curran ,High Point ,Jr., G (Clemmons, N.C.) Laren VanArsdale, Hampton, Jr., G (Powder Springs, Ga.) Kyla McMakin ,Longwood ,Soph. ,G (Virginia Beach, Va.) Nylah Young ,Hampton ,Soph. ,F (Suffolk, Va.) Nadiria Evans ,UNC Asheville ,Sr. ,G (Gainesville, Fla.)
Second-Team Trinity Johnson ,Presbyterian College ,Jr. ,G (Hopkins, S.C.) Taya Bolden ,Campbell ,R-Sr., F (Richmond, Va.) Shy Tuelle ,Campbell ,Jr. ,G (Hampton, Tenn.) Luana Serranho ,Campbell ,Jr. ,G (Lisbon, Portugal) Amele Ngwafang ,Radford ,Jr. ,F (Silver Spring, Md.)
Big Ten Conference
2020-21 COACHES BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS 1. Indiana 2. Maryland 3. Michigan 4. Northwestern 5. Ohio State
2020-21 COACHES PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM Grace Berger, Jr., G, Indiana Ali Patberg, Sr., G, Indiana Monika Czinano, Jr., F/C, Iowa Ashley Owusu, So., G, Maryland NAZ HILLMON, Jr., F, Michigan Nia Clouden, Jr., G, Michigan State Veronica Burton, Jr., G, Northwestern LINDSEY PULLIAM, Sr., G, Northwestern DORKA JUHÁSZ, Jr., F, Ohio State ARELLA GUIRANTES, Sr., G, Rutgers
2020-21 COACHES BIG TEN CO-PRESEASON PLAYERS OF THE YEAR Naz Hillmon, Jr., F, Michigan Arella Guirantes, Sr., G, Rutgers
2020-21 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS 1. Indiana 2. Northwestern 3. Maryland 4. Michigan 5. Ohio State
2020-21 MEDIA PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM Grace Berger, Jr., G, Indiana Ali Patberg, Sr., G, Indiana Monika Czinano, Jr., F/C, Iowa Ashley Owusu, So., G, Maryland Naz Hillmon, Jr., F, Michigan Nia Clouden, Jr., G, Michigan State Veronica Burton, Jr., G, Northwestern LINDSEY PULLIAM, Sr., G, Northwestern Dorka Juhász, Jr., F, Ohio State ARELLA GUIRANTES, Sr., G, Rutgers
2020-21 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR Lindsey Pulliam, Sr., G, Northwestern
Big West Conference
Coaches Poll Results 1. UC Davis (6) 114 2. UC Irvine (2) 101 3. UC Santa Barbara 92 4. Cal Poly (2) 83 5. Hawai'i 71 6. Long Beach State 69 7. Cal State Fullerton 56 8. CSU Bakersfield (1) 48 9. CSUN 36 10. UC Riverside 32 11. UC San Diego 25
They have not announced all conference team(s)
Colonial Athletic Association
2020-21 CAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
  1. James Madison (6 first-place votes) 76
  2. Drexel (2 first-place votes) 65
  3. Towson (1 first-place vote) 60 t4. Elon (1 first-place vote) 54 t4. Northeastern 54
  4. Delaware 44
  5. Charleston 36
  6. William & Mary 33
  7. UNCW 15
  8. Hofstra 12
2020-21 CAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
First Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown/High School Jasmine Dickey, Delaware Jr. G/F 5-10 Baltimore, Md./Catonsville Alexis Hill, Northeastern Jr. F 5-11 Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon Catholic Kiki Jefferson, James Madison So. G 6-1 Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic Kionna Jeter, Towson Sr. G 5-8 Spartanburg, S.C./Spartanburg Keishana Washington, Drexel Jr. G 5-7 Pickering, Ontario/Durham Prep
Second Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown/High School Stella Clark, Northeastern Sr. G 5-4 Sea Girt, N.J./Manasquan Ariel Colon, Elon Sr. G 5-10 Orlando, Fla./Ocoee Arynn Eady, Charleston Jr. F 6-1 Atlanta, Ga./St. Francis Jaylen Hines, Hofstra Jr. F 5-10 Clinton, Md./Elizabeth Seton Latrice Perkins, Charleston Jr. G 5-11 Winder, Ga./Winder-Barrow
CAA Preseason Player of the Year: Kionna Jeter, Towson
Honorable Mention: Tyler Collins, Jr., G, Charleston; Hannah Nihill, Sr., G, Drexel; Carol-Anne Obusek, Sr., F, UNCW; Brie Perpignan, Jr., G, Elon; Brianna Tinsley, Jr., G, James Madison; Sydney Wagner, Jr., G, William & Mary
Conference USA
2020-21 C-USA Preseason Poll (first-place votes) 1. Middle Tennessee (8) 2. Rice (3) 3. Old Dominion (3) 4. Charlotte 5. WKU 6. UTEP 7. UAB 8. North Texas 9. Louisiana Tech 10. Florida Atlantic 11. Southern Miss 12. Marshall 13. UTSA 14. FIU 2020-21 C-USA Preseason Team Mariah Linney, Charlotte Amber Dixon, Louisiana Tech Savannah Wheeler, Marshall Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee *Anastasia Hayes, Middle Tennessee *Nancy Mulkey, Rice Amari Young, Old Dominion Ajah Wayne, Old Dominion Katia Gallegos, UTEP
*Preseason Players of the Year
Horizon League
2020-21 #HLWBB Preseason Poll Results Pl. Team – Pts. (First-place votes) 1. IUPUI – 144 (12) 2. Green Bay – 120 3. Wright State – 118 4. Northern Kentucky – 105 5. Robert Morris – 88 6. Youngstown State – 84 7. Milwaukee – 76 8. Cleveland State – 64 9. Oakland – 54 10. Detroit Mercy – 38 11. Purdue Fort Wayne – 24 12. UIC – 21
Preseason Player of the Year Macee Williams, IUPUI
Preseason First Team (alphabetical order by school) Mariah White, Cleveland State Macee Williams, IUPUI Ally Niece, Northern Kentucky Angel Baker, Wright State Chelsea Olson, Youngstown State
Preseason Second Team (alphabetical order by school) Caitlyn Hibner, Green Bay Rachel McLimore, IUPUI Brandi Bisping, Milwaukee Kahlaijah Dean, Oakland Shamarre Hale, Wright State
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Preseason Coaches’ Poll 1 Manhattan (5) 109 T2 Fairfield (4) 108 T2 Quinnipiac (2) 108 4 Marist 82 5 Iona 66 6 Siena 65 7 Rider 61 8 Monmouth 49 9 Saint Peter’s 39 10 Niagara 20 11 Canisius 19
Preseason Player of the Year Lou Lopez-Senechal - Fairfield
Preseason All-MAAC First Team Player Position Year Institution Katie Armstrong Guard/Forward Gr. Fairfield Lou Lopez-Senechal* Forward Jr. Fairfield Juana Camilion Guard Jr. Iona Emily LaPointe Guard So. Manhattan Courtney Warley* Center Sr. Manhattan *Denotes unanimous selection.
Preseason All-MAAC Second Team Player Position Year Institution Lucy Thomas Forward Jr. Monmouth Shaq Edwards Guard Sr. Quinnipiac Mikala Morris Forward/Center So. Quinnipiac Amanda Mobley Guard Jr. Rider Taiah Thornton Guard R-Sr. Saint Peter’s
Preseason All-MAAC Third Team Player Position Year Institution Paulla Weekes Forward R-So. Iona Gabby Cajou Guard Gr. Manhattan Willow Duffell Forward Sr. Marist Amari Anthony Guard Jr. Siena Rayshel Brown Guard Sr. Siena
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
2020-21 Predicted Order of Finish As voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors; first-place votes are in parentheses
NORTHERN DIVISION School Points Norfolk State (12) 108 Morgan State (5) 105 Delaware State (1) 86 Howard 69 Maryland Eastern Shore (3) 61 Coppin State (1) 33 SOUTHERN DIVISION School Points Bethune-Cookman (18) 106 North Carolina A&T State (4) 85 North Carolina Central 69 South Carolina State 37 Florida A&M 33
2020-21 Preseason All-MEAC Teams As voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors
Preseason Player of the Year: Amaya Scott, Bethune-Cookman
FIRST TEAM Name Pos. Ht. Class School Hometown Daniella Hatcher G 5-8 r-Sr. Bethune-Cookman Orlando, Fla. Amaya Scott F 6-1 Sr. Bethune-Cookman Sunrise, Fla. Jayla Thornton G 5-9 Sr. Howard Newark, N.J. Dahnye Redd F 5-11 r-Sr. Morgan State Darby, Pa. Anissa Rivera F 6-1 So. North Carolina Central Capitol Heights, Md.
SECOND TEAM Name Pos. Ht. Class School Hometown Sharajah Collins G/F 5-7 Sr. Delaware State Winter Haven, Fla. Ashia McCalla G 5-6 Jr. Morgan State Greenbelt, Md. Deja Winters F 5-11 Sr. North Carolina A&T State Cleveland, Ohio Kieche White G 5-4 Sr. North Carolina Central Washington, D.C. Heniaya Moton G 5-7 Sr. South Carolina State Washington, D.C.
THIRD TEAM Name Pos. Ht. Class School Hometown Aliyah Lawson G 5-7 Jr. Coppin State Whitby, Ontario Lyric Turner G 5-7 Sr. Delaware State Mansfield, Texas Krislyn Marsh F 6-0 Jr. Howard Houston, Texas Brooklyn Bailey G 5-4 Jr. Maryland Eastern Shore Rock Hill, S.C. Jayla Jones-Pack F/C 6-3 Sr. North Carolina A&T State Amityville, N.Y.
Missouri Valley Conference
2020-21 PRESEASON POLLRank Team (1st-place votes) Points 1. Missouri State (33) .....................................360 2. Bradley (7) ...................................................328 3. UNI ..............................................................288 4. Drake ...........................................................282 5. Illinois State .................................................223 6. Southern Illinois ..........................................201 7. Valparaiso ....................................................176 8. Loyola ...........................................................133 9. Indiana State ...............................................129 10. Evansville .......................................................80
Preseason All-Conference Team Brice Calip, Missouri State Jasmine Franklin, Missouri State Gabi Haack, Bradley Lasha Petree, Bradley Karli Rucker, UNI
Northeast Conference
  1. Mount St. Mary’s
  2. Sacred Heart
  3. Saint Francis U
  4. Fairleigh Dickinson
  5. Long Island U
  6. Wagner
  7. Merrimack
  8. Bryant
  9. St. Francis Brooklyn
  10. Central Connecticut
Preseason All-NEC team St. Francis Brooklyn’s Nevena Dimitrijevic (Kragujevac, Serbia) Sacred Heart’s Adrianne Hagood (Washington, DC) Mount St. Mary’s Michaela Harrison (Cleveland, OH) Wagner’s Emilija Krista Grava (Ligatne, Latvia) LIU’s Brandy Thomas (Baldwin, NY)
Ohio Valley Conference
2020-21 OVC Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish 1. UT Martin (22 first-place votes) - 242 2. Belmont - 210 3. Southeast Missouri (Two first-place votes) - 206 4. Tennessee Tech - 172 5. Eastern Illinois - 157 6. Jacksonville State - 129 7. Morehead State - 119 8. Murray State - 106 9. Austin Peay - 104 10. Eastern Kentucky - 73 11. SIUE - 36 12 Tennessee State – 29
2020-21 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Team Chelsey Perry, UT Martin* Tesia Thompson, Southeast Missouri* Maddie Waldrop, UT Martin* Karle Pace, Eastern Illinois* Macey Turley, Murray State* Kesha Brady, Tennessee Tech* Lariah Washington, Eastern Illinois*% Alexis Burpo, Murray State# Ariel Kirkwood, Morehead State#% Jamilyn Kinney, Belmont# Taylor Hawks, Jacksonville State#
Southern Conference
2020-21 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll Team (1st-place votes) Total 1. Mercer (5) 45 2. Chattanooga (1) 39 3. Samford 33 4. Furman (1) 31 5. UNCG (1) 30 6. Wofford 24 7. ETSU 15 8. Western Carolina 7
2020-21 Preseason Player of the Year Shannon Titus, Sr., G/F, Mercer
2020-21 Preseason All-Southern Conference Team E’Lease Stafford, Jr., G/F, ETSU Tierra Hodges, R-Sr., G/F, Furman Jaron Dougherty, Jr., F, Mercer Shannon Titus, Sr., G/F, Mercer Aja Boyd, R-Sr., F/G, UNCG Natalie Armstrong, Sr., F, Samford Bria Dial, Sr., G, Chattanooga Eboni Williams, Jr., F, Chattanooga Lauren LaPlant, R-Sr., G, Western Carolina Jamari McDavid, Sr., F, Wofford
2020-21 Preseason Southern Conference Media Poll Team (1st-place votes) Total 1. Chattanooga (8) 115 2. Samford (4) 111 3. Mercer (2) 100 4. Furman (3) 89 UNCG (1) 89 6. Wofford 68 7. ETSU 52 8. Western Carolina 24
Southland Conference
2020-21 Southland Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll School (First-place votes) Total 1. Stephen F. Austin (14) 275 2. Sam Houston State (5) 257 3. Abilene Christian (4) 250 4. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3) 216 5. Southeastern Louisiana 160 6. Central Arkansas 157 7. New Orleans 153 8. Lamar 144 9. Nicholls 127 10. UIW 126 11. Houston Baptist 72 12. McNeese 48 13. Northwestern State 43
2020-21 Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Teams First Team School Pos. Class Hometown Anna McLeod Abilene Christian G Sr. Houston, Texas Faith Cook Sam Houston State G Sr. Baytown, Texas Amber Leggett* Sam Houston State F Jr. Navarre, Florida Aiyana Johnson* Stephen F. Austin F/C Jr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Stephanie Visscher* Stephen F. Austin G Jr. Lulea, Sweden
Second Team School Pos. Class Hometown Makayla Mabry Abilene Christian F Sr. San Antonio, Texas Angel Hastings Lamar G Jr. San Antonio, Texas Jadyn Pimentel Lamar G Sr. St. Louis, Mo. Morgan Carrier Southeastern Louisiana G Sr. New Iberia, La. Zya Nugent Stephen F. Austin G So. Denison, Texas
Southwestern Athletic Conference
2020-21 SWAC Predicted Order of Finish 1. Jackson State (159) 2. Texas Southern (148) 3. Southern (132) 4. Alabama A&M (112) 5. Prairie View A&M (96) 6. Alabama State (81) 7. Grambling State (70) 8. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (65) 9. Alcorn State (46) 10. Mississippi Valley State (26) 2020-21 SWAC Preseason Player of the Year Ameshya Williams- Jackson State
2020-21 SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Ameshya Williams- Jackson State
2020-21 Preseason All-SWAC First Team
Position Name Classification School Hometown Guard Justice Coleman Senior Grambling State Baton Rouge, La. Guard Dayzsha Rogan Senior Jackson State Ripley, Miss. Forward Niya Mitchell Graduate Texas Southern Bay City, Texas Forward Dariauna Lewis Junior Alabama A&M Omaha, Neb. Center Ameshya Williams Senior Jackson State Gulfport, Miss.
2020-21 Preseason All-SWAC Second Team
Position Name Classification School Hometown Guard Ataiya Bridges Senior Texas Southern Lanett, Ala. Guard Deshawna Harper Senior Alabama A&M Indianapolis, Ind. Guard Jayla Crawford Junior Alabama State Birmingham, Ala. Guard Ayana Emmanuel Junior Alabama State Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Guard Nigeria Jones Senior Alabama A&M Lincoln, Neb.
Sun Belt Conference
Women's Basketball 2020-21 Preseason Coaches Poll: Troy 140 (9) UTA 115 (1) South Alabama 112 (1) Louisiana 111 (1) Little Rock 99 Coastal Carolina 83 Arkansas State 78 App State 56 Georgia State 44 Georgia Southern 41 Texas State 37 ULM 20
East Troy South Alabama Coastal Carolina App State Georgia State Georgia Southern
West UTA Louisiana Little Rock Arkansas State Texas State ULM
Women's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year Antoinette Lewis, South Alabama (#35, Sr, C - Memphis, Tenn.)
Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference First Team Antoinette Lewis, South Alabama Ty'Reona Doucet, Louisiana Alexus Dye, Troy Aja Blount, Coastal Carolina Savannah Jones, South Alabama
Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Second Team Teal Battle, Little Rock Pre Stanley, App State Jasmine Robinson, Troy Da'Nasia Hood, Texas State Taylor Hosendove, Georgia State
Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Third Team Jireh Washington, Arkansas State Claire Chastain, UTA Brandi Williams, Louisiana Felmas Koranga, Troy Katie Ferrell, UTA
The Summit League
Preseason Poll Rank School (1st Place Votes) Points 1. South Dakota (25) 587 2. South Dakota State (11) 566 3. Western Illinois 389 4. Oral Roberts 376 5 North Dakota State 371 6. Kansas City 323 7. Denver 300 8. North Dakota 203 9. Omaha 124
2020-21 Preseason Summit League Player of the Year Hannah Sjerven – South Dakota
Preseason All-Summit League First Team Paiton Burckhard, South Dakota State, Jr., F (14.2 ppg/5.7 rpg/1.8 apg) Chloe Lamb, South Dakota, Sr., G (11.2 ppg/3.3 rpg/1.5 apg) Keni Jo Lippe, Oral Roberts, Sr., G (18.5 ppg/8.0 rpg/2.5 apg) Mariah Murdie, Omaha, Jr., F (11.1 ppg/6.0 rpg/1.2 bpg) Myah Selland, South Dakota State, Jr., F (13.8 ppg/5.0 rpg/3.0 apg) Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota, Sr., F (12.2 ppg/7.3 rpg/2.0 bpg)*
Preseason All-Summit League Second Team Monica Arens, South Dakota, Sr., G (9.3 ppg/3.9 rpg/1.8 apg) Julia Fleecs, North Dakota, Jr., F (12.2 ppg/4.8 rpg/0.7 apg) Tylee Irwin, South Dakota State, Sr., F (8.5 ppg/5.1 rpg/2.3 apg) Tori Nelson, South Dakota State, So., F (9.7 ppg/3.9 rpg/1.0 spg) Evan Zars, Western Illinois, Jr., F (9.1 ppg/9.3 rpg/1.5 bpg)
*Preseason player of the year automatically earns a spot on the first team
West Coast Conference
2020-21 WCC Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll Team (First Place Vote) Pts. 1. Gonzaga (7) 79 2. BYU (2) 73 3. Portland (1) 64 4. San Diego 53 5. Saint Mary’s 44 6. Pacific 42 7. Pepperdine 28 8. LMU 25 9. Santa Clara 22 10. San Francisco 20
2020-21 All-WCC Preseason Women’s Basketball Team Name Year Pos. Institution Haylee Andrews Jr. G Portland Alex Fowler So. F Portland Shaylee Gonzales So. G BYU Sara Hamson Sr. C BYU Valerie Higgins Sr. G Pacific Paisley Johnson Harding Sr. G BYU Brooklyn McDavid Sr. F Pacific Myah Pace Sr. G San Diego Sam Simons Jr. G Saint Mary’s Jill Townsend Sr. G Gonzaga Jenn Wirth Sr. F Gonzaga
Western Athletic Conference
2020-21 Preseason Women's Basketball Media Poll Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points T1. California Baptist (5) 61 2. Utah Valley (1) 60 3. UT Rio Grande Valley 56 4. NM State (1) 53 5. Seattle U 41 6. Grand Canyon (1) 39 7. Tarleton 23 8. Dixie State 17 9. Chicago State 10
2020-21 Preseason Women's Basketball Media All-WAC Teams First Team Ane Olaeta, California Baptist Amara Graham, UT Rio Grande Valley Maria Carvalho, Utah Valley Aaliyah Prince, NM State Britney Thomas, California Baptist
Second Team Josie Williams, Utah Valley Courtney Murphy, Seattle U Georgia Dale, California Baptist Caitlyn Harper, California Baptist Soufia Inoussa, NM State
Preseason Player of the Year: Ane Olaeta, California Baptist
The MAC, the Mountain West, the Pac-12, the Patriot League, and the SEC haven’t announced anything yet. The Ivy League is not playing this season due to COVID-19.
submitted by flagrantstats to NCAAW [link] [comments]


2020.11.06 20:52 tizorres Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review Thread

Game Information

Game Title: Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Platforms:
Trailers:
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 85 average - 96% recommended - 56 reviews

Critic Reviews

ACG - Jeremy Penter - Buy
"Miles is fantastic as an expansion to the Spiderman Universe on Playstation"
Ars Technica - Kyle Orland - Unscored
Buy it if you want an "expansion pack" sequel with an interesting story and solid, familiar gameplay.
Attack of the Fanboy - Josh Garibay - 4.5 / 5 stars
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a thrilling, albeit brief, ride with the most compelling Spider-Man yet.
COGconnected - Paul Sullivan - 92 / 100
Though it’s not as polished as the 2018 original, Spider-Man Miles Morales is a smashing success. It looks sensational and is an absolute riot to play. Miles’ story brings all the drama and feels it needs to, and highlights a community outside what’d normally be on the drawing board for a game like this. Despite some bugginess, this is the game you want to show off your impressive new hardware. I can guarantee I’ll be slinging from Harlem to Hell’s Kitchen daily for the foreseeable future.
Cerealkillerz - Gabriel Bogdan - German - 8.6 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not quite a Spider-Man 2 but it comes pretty close. If you can live with a lot of similar tasks, enemies and easy to see through story twists you'll get here a well made Adventure in the Spider-Man Universe that gives a great inside on the man behind the mask and his struggles.
Destructoid - Chris Carter - 9 / 10
Just like Into the Spider-Verse, I was pleasantly surprised by Miles Morales. I came in fully expecting it to be a side story, but it was much more than that. If this is setting us up for Spider-Man 2 where both Miles and Peter are playable: I'm in.
Digital Chumps - Alex Tudor - 9 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS4 is fun, frantic, and full of heart. While not as large in scope as 2018's Spider-Man, Miles Morales continues to build upon the world Insomniac has crafted to deliver a heartfelt story about a kid in Harlem just trying to deal with the responsibility of balancing being a hero with protecting his family. Miles Morales doesn't add a ton to the formula, nor does it need to. Swinging through New York is just as fun as it was in 2018, and some of Miles' new Venom powers allow him to feel different than Peter Parker. You're not going to get all the bells and whistles the PS5 version offers, but the story itself is a must-play.
Digitally Downloaded - Matt C. - 5 / 5 stars
But it's certainly no less impressive. That intimacy lends itself perfectly to a story about a vibrant, tight-knit community with a rich and storied history; a story about gentrification and misguided attempts to "fix" things that aren't broken; a story about a mixed-race kid looking for his place in a world that always seems to see him as "other", and finding that place in the welcoming, open arms of Harlem.
EGM - Josh Harmon - 10 / 10
Don't be fooled into thinking Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is some minor spin-off of Insomniac Games' PS4 exclusive. Sure, it's not as long, but the experience is packed with enough new gameplay ideas and design refinements that it feels every bit like a true, substantial successor. Throw in a story that does justice to Miles as a character and tech that wonderfully showcases the power of the PlayStation 5, and you just might have one of the best console launch titles of the modern era.
Easy Allies - Brandon Jones - 9 / 10
Review Copy Provided by PlayStation Miles Morales and the PlayStation 5 are both ready for their big debut, eager to show people what they're made of. The campaign is shorter than the first game, but the map is still full of stories and skirmishes worthy of an amazing hero.
Echo Boomer - David Fialho - Portuguese - Mind-blown
More than a simple spin-off is a full fledged game, once again made with passion. And while it doesn't scream nex-gen it does a great work to start a new generation of games on the PlayStation 5.
Entertainium - Eduardo Rebouças - Unscored
Regardless of where you end up playing it, whether it’s on PlayStation 4 or 5, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a must own.
Eurogamer - Martin Robinson - Recommended
A standalone expansion for 2018's excellent original, with enhanced action and an irresistible new lead.
Everyeye.it - Francesco Fossetti - Italian - 8 / 10
Nothing new for those who have already worn the Spider-Man costume on PS4, but Insomniac always remains a guarantee of great quality.
Gadgets 360 - Akhil Arora - 7 / 10
If the sticker price isn't a concern, in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you'll find a game that is lacking in originality but thankfully built on a solid core that needs a few tweaks. It's a successful expansion of Insomniac's Spider-Man universe, but it's a new paragraph, rather than a new chapter. Hopefully it will give us the latter next time around. And though it's also good for representation, it still has a ways to go. (Though the game wasn't anything special, Marvel's Avengers gave us a Muslim-American lead in Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel.) Hopefully we can get Spider-Gwen from Insomniac next, or a Spider-Verse game, though given the lack of setup, either seems unlikely. For now, Miles continues his upward trajectory. He walked in 2018, so he could fly in 2020.
Game Informer - Andrew Reiner - 9 / 10
Not as long as the previous entry, but better streamlined. The Spider-Man action is superb, but the threat Miles faces isn't as interesting or potent
Game Revolution - Mack Ashworth - 4 / 5 stars
For $50, players are getting 7-9 hours of story missions, combined with the optional 10+ hours of side content, much of which is collectible hunting. That doesn’t strike me as a great deal at launch, but the free upgrade from PS4 to PS5 does help soften the blow. When the price is right for you, this PlayStation exclusive comes with my recommendation, as it further bolsters Sony’s arsenal as we enter the next generation and beyond.
GameSpot - Jordan Ramée - 7 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales sticks a bit too close to its predecessor in terms of mechanics, but manages to stand on its own through its story and characters.
GameZone - Cade Onder - 8.5 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the end of one generation and the start of another. It serves as yet another defining title for PlayStation but also an essential story for Marvel's greatest hero. With new innovations in Spidey gameplay as well as loads of refinement and a wildly impactful story, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the game we need right now.
Gameblog - Alix Dulac - French - 8 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales is a fantastic way to extend the original game, with the same strengths and weaknesses. This game is not already using the full potential of PS5, but it still is a great adventure that will totally conquer fans of Spider-Man with its universe, pretty good ideas and soundtrack.
GamesRadar+ - Leon Hurley - 4 / 5 stars
A brilliant but all too brief sample of Miles Morales' superhero life.
Gaming Nexus - John Yan - 9 / 10/)
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales shines on the PlayStation 5 with great graphics, solid gameplay, and excellent use of the new DualSense controller for a seriously fun game to play on the brand new console.
GamingTrend - Ron Burke - 100 / 100
With flawless lighting, excellent gameplay, innovative immersion, and a fresh new story, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the sort of game that we'll be talking about for the rest of the console generation. This is how you start a new generation of gaming.
Geek Culture - Jake Su - 9.5 / 10
When it comes to Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it is all about love, a labour of dedication and design that will no doubt garner fans aplenty in the days ahead.
God is a Geek - Adam Cook - 9.5 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales manages to improve on the fantastic game that came before it. Insomniac Games continue to be on fire with perhaps their best game ever.
Guardian - Keith Stuart - 4 / 5 stars
This Spiderverse-inspired take on Spider-Man has a new hero and an appealing message reflecting America's vibrant diversity
Hardcore Gamer - Kevin Dunsmore - 4 / 5
Marvel's Spider-Man perfectly revitalized the Spider-Man gaming franchise back in 2018 and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an excellent follow-up.
Hobby Consolas - David Martinez - Spanish - 80 / 100
Miles Morales works great as a launch title for PS5, it keeps most virtues from the previous game, and adds "next gen" effects, but it´s not as big and ambitious as the original.
IGN - Jonathon Dornbush - 9 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a fantastic follow-up, telling a wonderful story while improving upon the fundamentals of the first game.
Inverse - Corey Plante - 9 / 10
For anyone who loved Spider-Man on PS4 and Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales will exceed even your wildest expectations.
Kotaku - Mike Sholars - Unscored
Miles Morales excels in its smallest moments, and I wish it had the confidence to stand by them to the end.
Metro GameCentral - 8 / 10
A far better advert for the PS5 than its short length and last gen assets might have suggested, with superior storytelling and more compelling characters than the original.
New Game Network - Alex Varankou - 76 / 100
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales offers a fun story in a streamlined adventure that builds on the great foundation of its predecessor, despite a few performance issues on the PS4.
PSX Brasil - Ivan Nikolai Barkow Castilho - Portuguese - 85 / 100
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is relatively short, but it is still exceptional. Miles' gameplay manages to be different enough from Peter, even though the base of both is similar. The story is interesting, but a little predictable and much less "epic". Despite these points, it is an excellent addition to the PS4 (and now PS5) library.
PlayStation Universe - John-Paul Jones - 9 / 10
A stunning and must have PlayStation 5 launch title, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a beautifully digestible superhero yarn that not only maintains the formula of its 2018 predecessor, but which also lays down an enticing blueprint for a full blown sequel to follow. This is essential stuff.
Polygon - Tauriq Moosa - Unscored
What makes Miles an important hero for the world of 2020 is not his successes, his abilities, his fighting moves, or even his moral compass to do good: It’s his belief in himself and others that we can rise above this. That’s also his mother’s central focus for her political campaign. Miles has a relentless, if sometimes naïve, belief in others’ goodness. He wants to help the city and neighborhood he loves. And watching him try, watching his small victories, and playing through it with such beautiful animations — with nods to Into the Spider-Verse — became one of my few joys in this dark-as-shit year.
PowerUp! - Leo Stevenson - 9.7 / 10
It might not be the brand-new, system selling experience we're used to getting at the launch of a new console, but Spider-man Miles Morales is an incredibly good game and a must-play.
Press Start - Adam Mathew - 8.5 / 10
For a launch title, the worth of Spider-Man: Miles Morales is undeniable. It offers an expensive-TV-justifying visual feast – not to mention a tantalising "What Dreams May Come" glimpse at the sugar encrusted future of eye-candy. (Console hasn't even launched yet and I can feel my eyes getting the diabeetus.) Likewise, it delivers super-fast load times and an immersive, tactile DualSense experience you simply can't 'feel' anywhere else.
Push Square - Sammy Barker - 8 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is effortlessly cool. The overall gameplay structure may prove samey for those who failed to fall in love with Insomniac Games' previous effort, but everyone else will have a blast with this generous spin-off story. Great characters, tons of activities, and some epic set-piece moments round out a must play superhero romp – and with the developer on this kind of form, we can't wait to see more of the full-scale sequel that it's inevitably cooking up.
SECTOR.sk - Matúš Štrba - Slovak - 8 / 10
Miles Morales presents his more personal story as a young Spider-Man trying prove himself as New York's hero. But the game recycles too much of the original's content and consept.
Shacknews - Chris Jarrard - 8 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales will appeal to loads of gamers and I suspect it will be a hit for PlayStation owners this holiday season. While there isn’t as much to do this time around and what is included is mostly recycled, the asking price is lower than normal. Being Spider-Man is still as fun as it was in 2018 (and potentially more fun now at 60Hz) and Miles Morales is a character that is more compelling than Peter Parker. Should the few technical hiccups get sorted out, this will be a solid inclusion for any game library. Anyone grabbing a PS5 at launch would do well to grab a copy.
Siliconera - Jenni Lada - 9 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the hero we’re looking for. The game takes everything people loved about Marvel’s Spider-Man, the story, the collecting, and the smooth fighting, and presents us with a story that somehow feels more balanced and dedicated to its star.
Spaziogames - Stefania Sperandio - Italian - 8 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales doesn't even try to reinvent the wheel, but it's enjoyable and well packed.
Stevivor - Steve Wright - 9.5 / 10
Spider-Man Miles Morales is a tight little package that provides a thrilling Spider-Man experience, trimmed of nonessential fat and full of emotion and excitement.
Telegraph - Dan Silver - 3 / 5 stars
With greater console power comes greater responsibility (and much faster loading times)
The Games Machine - Stefano Calzati - Italian - 8.5 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales certainly does not reinvent the original work, but manages to tell a particularly intense story by introducing and deepening an extremely positive character with an overwhelming personality. More compact than Peter Parker's adventure, with an elegantly told political subtext and a warm family dimension that comes to protect at all costs, the Insomniac work then explodes in exploiting what PS5 has to offer from a technical point of view, between impressive lighting that benefits from ray tracing and a world instantly loaded thanks to the potential of the SSD, which practically eliminates pop-up , giving a fluidity to the action, a breath at the stairs and an absolutely breathtaking overall visual impact.
TheSixthAxis - Jim Hargreaves - 8 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales feels like more of a sequel than it is a stopgap, entangling players within its web of cleverly refined mechanics while delivering some familiar web-slinging thrills. A heroic technical showcase for PS5 owners picking up their consoles on day one, this meaty side story in the Spider-Man saga has us even more excited than before to see what Insomniac Games have planned next.
TrueGaming - عمر العمودي - Arabic - 9 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales may be smaller than the previous game, but it's a great experience nonetheless whether it's the thrilling narrative or the action-packed gameplay.
TrustedReviews - Jade King - 4 / 5 stars
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a brilliant expansion of Insomniac's beloved superhero adventure from 2018. It shows why Miles Morales is, arguably, the franchise's greatest strength, while also proving how much of an impact the next generation will have on visuals and performance. If you're picking up a PS5, this is essential.
USgamer - Mike Williams - 4.5 / 5 stars
The early heroic career of Miles Morales gets some shine in this standalone soft sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4. Web swinging is still fantastic and the combat system expands with Miles' more varied powerset. And while you might have played most of this game before, Insomniac does an amazing job telling the story of its version of Miles. Rooted in his new home of Spanish Harlem, he's probably the most "friendly neighborhood" of any version of Spider-Man.
VG247 - Alex Donaldson - 4 / 5 stars
Launch games are rarely remembered as earth-shattering experiences years later, but at the time, elements of them always feel magical. On PS5, Miles Morales has both of these feelings down – it’s familiar and unsurprising, but some of its technical presentation will wow you nevertheless. If you’re picking up a PS5 on launch day, for that reason this will surely do.
Wccftech - Kai Powell - 8.5 / 10
Miles Morales is a far more charismatic hero than Peter in Parker in Marvel's Spider-Man and there's no better way to tell his story than with his own game as a PlayStation 5 launch title. While shorter and more compact than Peter Parker's adventures, this quick trip to Harlem should be on any superhero fan's wishlist.
We Got This Covered - Shaan Joshi - 3.5 / 5 stars
While it does little to move the needle for the series as a whole, Spider-Man: Miles Morales both plays the part of a much-needed stopgap and serves as a technical showcase of what the PlayStation 5 can bring to the table.
Worth Playing - Redmond Carolipio - 8.5 / 10
My only real gripe about Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is that I wish there were more of it. Miles and the rest of his circle are absolutely capable of being compelling enough to carry a game for twice the length. I just like this kid, and I think a lot of other people will, too.
submitted by tizorres to PS5 [link] [comments]


2020.11.06 15:43 EB_Baby The Spice Girls released their third studio album, Forever, on this day 20 years ago

Origins

The best-selling girl group of all time, the Spice Girls (Geri Halliwell-turned-Horner, Melanie Chisolm, Melanie Brown, Victoria Adams-turned-Beckham and Emma Bunton) were formed in 1994. Between then and 2000, they dropped two different managent teams and self-managed twice, sought out producers with whom they created music that reached stratospheric success from the albums Spice (1996) and Spiceworld (1997). They became teen idols, toured the world extensively, endorsed a boatload of brands, had their own movie, became symbols of 90s Cool Britannia, met the British Royal Family and Nelson Mandela, and took a break after Halliwell's sudden departure in the middle of the Spiceworld Tour, as well as and Beckham and Brown's simultaneous pregnancies.

Background of the era

Originally the third Spice Girls album was meant to showcase solo songs, duets, and cover songs featuring all five members, who would then come together as one group. Halliwell's depature caused this plan and the material they had already written to be scrapped (NOOOO!!! DAMN!!! I WANT THAT ALBUM!!!).
After the break, the group returned to the studio to write and record with in the UK with longtime producers Biff Stannard, Matt Rowe and Eliot Kennedy in August 1998, and American producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Rodney and Fred Jerkins III (Darkchild and Uncle Freddie) in August and September. The latter two were very impressed with the group and spoke very highly of them. They also worked with Mel B on her debut solo album, crafting two well-received top five hits together, and expressed interest in working with Bunton for her solo work both at the time and in 2018. Bunton reciprocated the praise both then and in recent years, expressing joy that they really believed in her and the group's abilities. Darkchild said they would've liked to experiment with a rockier sound with the Spice Girls, but that never happened. He also said he wanted to do songs with the group that would play well live. When they were writing "Oxygen", Jam & Lewis asked the girls to write their respective verses giving their views on love at the time.
They then reunited for an eight-show tour in the UK in late 1999, Christmas in Spiceworld Tour, where they premiered three new songs from their forthcoming album, including the original pop version of "Right Back at Ya". The well-received track "W.O.M.A.N" did not make the cut in the end, which disappointed its producer, Stannard. To quote him:
I thought that song was really interesting lyrically, because it was making the progression from girls to women, which was something Matt and I thought it was time for them to do. They needed something to suggest that they were still the same group of friends, but they were gaining more maturity
In March 2000, they performed at the Brit Awards, causing mass hysteria and therefore huge hype. The same night, they were awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and thanked Geri (who was in the audience and performed her single "Bag It Up" at the ceremony) in their acceptance speech.
Recording sessions resumed in April 2000, with the girls deciding to scrap the material they made with their old producers. The final recording session took place on 17 July 2000. The result was a full project that expanded upon and focused on the mix of pop, R&B and soul that they had previously showcased on a few tracks each on their previous two albums.
Studio time dates:
2nd August 1999 - Abbey Road Studios - Stannard/Rowe "Woman" / "Treasure" / "Go, Go, Go" / "Overnight" / "Too Hot"
16th August 1999 - Steelworks Studios - Kennedy/Tim Lever (formerly of Dead or Alive) "Right Back At Ya" / "A Day In Your Life" / "Give You What You Want" (aka "If It's Lovin' On Your Mind") / "Pain Proof"
25th August 1999 - Whitfield Street Studios - Rodney/Fred Jerkins "Holler" / "Let Love Lead The Way" / "Weekend Love"
21st September 1999 - Whitfield Street Studios - Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis "Oxygen" / "If You Wanna Have Some Fun"
10th April 2000 - Miami - Rodney/Fred Jerkins "Tell Me Why" / "Get Down With Me" / "Time Goes By"
17th July 2000 - Whitfield Street Studios - Fred Jerkins "Wasting My Time" / "Right Back At Ya" was re-worked with new vocals and production, which original producer Kennedy felt wasn't as good as his
An online poll was conducted for listeners to guess what the album title was going to be. Most guessed incorrectly, with the fake title Third Time Around being picked by 45% of voters, while the real title was picked by 30% of them.

Release and reception

Although promotion for Forever was abysmal and lasted for, like, less than a month, it still performed well commercially, while not being a jauggernaut like its predecessors. Critical reception towards it was mixed, with reviewers praising it for "ooz[ing] with timely funk beats and the kind of well-crafted songs that No. 1 hits are made of", but criticizing the focus on pop&B as they felt it was ill-fitting for the group and mischaracterized it as a genre switch.
To promote the album, the members divided to cover more territory at the same time. Bunton and Beckham went to the US, where, baffingly, they went to the Daily Show (not the best place to promote a pop album!) and Easy V just wasn't into John Stewart's vibe... Most memorably, the duo attended the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards and footage of them there was used in the film Zoolander (2001). Brown promoted Forever and her solo album Hot in the UK and Japan (and even told people to buy Forever instead of her solo album!), while Melanie C had to cancel some promotional appearances because of mental health issues she was suffering from at the time.
All four members appeared together in interviews and performed together to promote Forever in the UK on shows such as Top of the Pops and TFI Friday. Their very last performance before their break up as at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards (the same night Sacha Baron Cohen made his career debut!)
Melanie C wanted "Time Goes By" to be a single, while Bunton has stated "Oxygen" is the Spice Girls deep cut she loves best. In her first autobiography, Catch a Fire, Brown stated she and Bunton wanted to continue promoting the album, but Beckham had her solo album record sessions scheduled and wanted to get on with them, while Chisolm wished to resume her solo tour.

A single (double A-side) was taken from the album

1 A) "Holler": Co-written by the Spice Girls with the Jerkinses and LaShawn Daniels and produced by Darkchild, this is a sexy R&B and dance pop song that was deemed to be one of the best songs on the album and a pleasant surprise from the group. It performed well commercially, topping the charts in seventeen territories, as well as the UK Singles Chart and the UK R&B Chart. The music video was directed by Jake Nava (Adele's "Someone Like You"), filmed at at Elstree Studios on 27–28 July 2000 and premiered on MuchMusic on 12 September. In it, the girls dance in a glass pryramid and each of them represents one of the elements, who then come together: Mel B is fire, Mel C is earth, Emma is water and Victoria is fire. Horner sang Beckham's lines on the 2019 tour. It's comedian Keith Lemon's go-to Spice Girls song, too
1 B) "Let Love Lead the Way": Written by the Spice Girls with the Jerkinses and Harvey Mason Jr., it was produced by the last two. The song is a pop and R&B ballad and presents the group singing words of wisdom to a girl. Critical response towards it was lukewarm, with some calling it a "gorgeous ballad" and others criticising it for not being catchy enough. Personally, I love it. "Let Love Lead the Way" was another chart success, topping the UK Singles Chart and peaking in the top ten in twelve countries. Its music video was shot on 17 July 2000, and plays with the theme of the four elements again, but in a more ethereal way. Mel B and Emma switch elements, as do Victoria and Mel B. Here's a performance of the song from 2000; I love how the audience gets all hyped anticipating Emma's key change!
Additionally, a video montage for "If You Wanna Have Some Fun" was released as a "special bonus feature" and was played on some European music channels, but the song was never a single nor did it ever receive any promotion.

Personal musings

When I first dicovered Forever, I thought it was the best Spice Girls album. Now, I've changed my mind (Spiceworld forever!) and think of it is as still spicy and fun, but it would work best as an EP with the songs "Holler", "Tell Me Why", "Let Love Lead the Way", "If You Wanna Have Some Fun", "Oxygen" and "Goodbye". I used to think it there were too many cooks in the kitchen (even if Darkchild is the most prominent producer here), which the Spice Girls werent used to since they only worked with a few producers before and felt that made everything smoother. Now, I think the larger number of people on the project isn't a big deal. I think finding a healthy mix between the UK producers sessions and the US ones to keep their trademark sonic variety and, as critics called it "very British sense of mischief", while taking their previous experimentations with a specific genre further, would've been a good way to go. Nevertheless, there is a lot to enjoy in Forever as it is: really good songs worthy of being part of the Spice phenomenon.
If they had done a real album campaign with heavy promotion and great singles like they had in the past, they would've easily had another jaggernaut. The singles should've been: "Holler" > "Let Love Lead the Way" > a radio edit of "If You Wanna Have Some Fun" with a cool music video set in a nightclub (with flirting or a hen night... Or both!) > "Tell Me Why" with a music video with the girls telling off guys > "Oxygen" with a music video set in a romantic location and the girls in killer white outfits (I can picture a beautiful Mel B with her short, natural hair, light make-up and a long white gown...)

Where are the Spice Girls now?

Before going their separate ways, the Spice Girls had discussed options for their future as a group and were positive towards the possibility of touring together again someday. That became a reality in 2007 with The Return of the Spice Girls Tour (2007–08), which was promoted with a TV documentary, Giving You Everything, and the release of a greatest hits compilation, which included two new songs, one of them being the single "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)". They reunited again in 2012 to perform at the London Olympics Closing Ceremony, which received great response from critics and audiences and became the most tweeted moment of the entire Olympics. Another reunion happened in the form of the well-received and commercially successful Spice World – 2019 Tour. In 2012, an unsuccessful jukebox musical that used the group's music, Viva Forever, premiered on the West End. Currently, the five members are working on an animated film project, for which they might record new material.
Solo, they have all released music to varying degrees of success. Most recently: Melanie C released an album this October; Emma released an album and a Christmas single last year, and her debut album became available to stream globally a last week, Geri released a single in honor of her late friend George Michael in 2017; and Mel B released a banger of a single in 2012. Outside of music: Victoria is a successful fashion designer and she and her husband, footballer-turned-team-owner David Beckham, have inked a Netflix deal; Emma has hosted shows on Heart radio since 2009, occasionally acts on TV, and co-founded the eco-friendly childcare brand Kit & Kin; Mel B has become a popular television competition judge and occasionally acts; Melanie C works as a fitness model and has acted on stage, too; and Geri is an Ambassador for the Royal Commonwealth Society, has written a successful series of children's books (Ugenia Lavander) and has announced a new project called Rainbow Woman.

Retrospectives, reviews and more

Spice Girls’ ‘Forever’ Turns 20 Anniversary Retrospective
Forever: Spice Girls’ Final Album Brought A Barrage Of Brilliant Memories
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT: Revisiting The Spice Girls’ Dynamic Group & Solo Discographies
Billboard review
Rolling Stone review
2000 EMAs Press Room
Forever promo CD
Spice Girls: Live At Wembley Stadium (Argentine DVD)
Photoshoot extract from the era
Esquire photoshoot extract
Forever CD Unboxing Video (I don't understand the popularity of these things, but I'll put it in here in case someone's interested)

You can listen to Forever here

Spotify
Apple
Last.fm
Previous Spice Girls anniversary posts
Melanie B – Hot (20th Anniversary; 9 October 2020)
Melanie C – Northern Star (20th Anniversary; 18 October 2019)
Geri Halliwell – Schizö-phonic (20th Anniversary; 7 June 2019)
The vinyl version of Forever will be released for the first time this year on November 20th.
Y'all are welcome to join spicegirls
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2020.11.06 14:12 wekapipol Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Review Thread

Game Information

Game Title: Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Platforms:
Trailers:
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 85 average - 94% recommended - 83 reviews

Critic Reviews

Digitally Downloaded - Matt C. - 5 / 5 stars
But it's certainly no less impressive. That intimacy lends itself perfectly to a story about a vibrant, tight-knit community with a rich and storied history; a story about gentrification and misguided attempts to "fix" things that aren't broken; a story about a mixed-race kid looking for his place in a world that always seems to see him as "other", and finding that place in the welcoming, open arms of Harlem.
EGM - Josh Harmon - 10 / 10
Don't be fooled into thinking Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is some minor spin-off of Insomniac Games' PS4 exclusive. Sure, it's not as long, but the experience is packed with enough new gameplay ideas and design refinements that it feels every bit like a true, substantial successor. Throw in a story that does justice to Miles as a character and tech that wonderfully showcases the power of the PlayStation 5, and you just might have one of the best console launch titles of the modern era.
GameSpew - Richard Seagrave - 10 / 10
Perhaps I’ve been dismissive of Spider-Man: Miles Morales in calling it a standalone expansion, because while it may indeed be shorter than Insomniac’s first Spider-Man outing, it’s not just a simple continuation of the story designed to wring out a bit more moolah from your wallet. Think of it as a more focused sequel instead, as that’s what it actually feels like. It’s free of story bloat, and the gameplay has most definitely been expanded upon and improved. Plus, since when has an expansion looked so much nicer than the game it’s building upon? This is a timely release that demonstrates the power of the PS5 with style, and if you aren’t picking it up alongside your console, you’re simply doing things wrong.
GamingTrend - Ron Burke - 100 / 100
With flawless lighting, excellent gameplay, innovative immersion, and a fresh new story, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the sort of game that we'll be talking about for the rest of the console generation. This is how you start a new generation of gaming.
Impulsegamer - Andrew Bistak - 5 / 5
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is indeed the must have title for the PlayStation 5 that successfully brings this character to life on this next-gen console with some stunning graphics and flawless gameplay. Just like a comic but better as you're the star!
PowerUp! - Leo Stevenson - 9.7 / 10
It might not be the brand-new, system selling experience we're used to getting at the launch of a new console, but Spider-man Miles Morales is an incredibly good game and a must-play.
Digital Chumps - Nathaniel Stevens - 9.5 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a wonderful launch title for the PlayStation 5. It has everything you want from a Spider-Man game and a unique story that could be considered Hollywood-caliber.
Geek Culture - Jake Su - 9.5 / 10
When it comes to Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it is all about love, a labour of dedication and design that will no doubt garner fans aplenty in the days ahead.
God is a Geek - Adam Cook - 9.5 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales manages to improve on the fantastic game that came before it. Insomniac Games continue to be on fire with perhaps their best game ever.
Stevivor - Steve Wright - 9.5 / 10
Spider-Man Miles Morales is a tight little package that provides a thrilling Spider-Man experience, trimmed of nonessential fat and full of emotion and excitement.
COGconnected - Paul Sullivan - 92 / 100
Though it’s not as polished as the 2018 original, Spider-Man Miles Morales is a smashing success. It looks sensational and is an absolute riot to play. Miles’ story brings all the drama and feels it needs to, and highlights a community outside what’d normally be on the drawing board for a game like this. Despite some bugginess, this is the game you want to show off your impressive new hardware. I can guarantee I’ll be slinging from Harlem to Hell’s Kitchen daily for the foreseeable future.
Attack of the Fanboy - Josh Garibay - 4.5 / 5 stars
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a thrilling, albeit brief, ride with the most compelling Spider-Man yet.
Destructoid - Chris Carter - 9 / 10
Just like Into the Spider-Verse, I was pleasantly surprised by Miles Morales. I came in fully expecting it to be a side story, but it was much more than that. If this is setting us up for Spider-Man 2 where both Miles and Peter are playable: I'm in.
Digital Chumps - Alex Tudor - 9 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS4 is fun, frantic, and full of heart. While not as large in scope as 2018's Spider-Man, Miles Morales continues to build upon the world Insomniac has crafted to deliver a heartfelt story about a kid in Harlem just trying to deal with the responsibility of balancing being a hero with protecting his family. Miles Morales doesn't add a ton to the formula, nor does it need to. Swinging through New York is just as fun as it was in 2018, and some of Miles' new Venom powers allow him to feel different than Peter Parker. You're not going to get all the bells and whistles the PS5 version offers, but the story itself is a must-play.
Easy Allies - Brandon Jones - 9 / 10
Review Copy Provided by PlayStation Miles Morales and the PlayStation 5 are both ready for their big debut, eager to show people what they're made of. The campaign is shorter than the first game, but the map is still full of stories and skirmishes worthy of an amazing hero.
Game Informer - Andrew Reiner - 9 / 10
Not as long as the previous entry, but better streamlined. The Spider-Man action is superb, but the threat Miles faces isn't as interesting or potent
Game Rant - Anthony Taormina - 4.5 / 5 stars
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an exceptional follow-up to Marvel's Spider-Man, even if a lot of the formula feels familiar. On PS5, though, it is a must-play just to see the potential of the new hardware and what it will offer from both a visual and a performance standpoint. For many console gamers, this will be their first taste of steady 4K 60FPS or Ray-Tracing that adds meaningful improvements to the presentation. Insomniac's work on the game is stunning.
Gaming Nexus - John Yan - 9 / 10/)
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales shines on the PlayStation 5 with great graphics, solid gameplay, and excellent use of the new DualSense controller for a seriously fun game to play on the brand new console.
IGN - Jonathon Dornbush - 9 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a fantastic follow-up, telling a wonderful story while improving upon the fundamentals of the first game.
Inverse - Corey Plante - 9 / 10
For anyone who loved Spider-Man on PS4 and Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales will exceed even your wildest expectations.
Siliconera - Jenni Lada - 9 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the hero we’re looking for. The game takes everything people loved about Marvel’s Spider-Man, the story, the collecting, and the smooth fighting, and presents us with a story that somehow feels more balanced and dedicated to its star.
Spiel Times - Caleb Wysor - 9 / 10
“Miles Morales” is one of the year’s best escapist entertainments, replete with stand-out combat, an engaging story and a well-designed open world.
USgamer - Mike Williams - 4.5 / 5 stars
The early heroic career of Miles Morales gets some shine in this standalone soft sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4. Web swinging is still fantastic and the combat system expands with Miles' more varied powerset. And while you might have played most of this game before, Insomniac does an amazing job telling the story of its version of Miles. Rooted in his new home of Spanish Harlem, he's probably the most "friendly neighborhood" of any version of Spider-Man.
Video Chums - A.J. Maciejewski - 8.9 / 10
Without a doubt, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a much more enjoyable game than the original and it shows off PS5's performance brilliantly. It's too bad that it isn't longer because I loved every minute of it.
Cerealkillerz - Gabriel Bogdan - German - 8.6 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not quite a Spider-Man 2 but it comes pretty close. If you can live with a lot of similar tasks, enemies and easy to see through story twists you'll get here a well made Adventure in the Spider-Man Universe that gives a great inside on the man behind the mask and his struggles.
GamePro - Hannes Rossow - German - 86 / 100
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a nice spin-off, that expands the template meaningfully and puts more heart and soul into the story.
GRYOnline.pl - Michał Mańka - Polish - 8.5 / 10
Miles Morales is an interesting enough character to carry an entire game by himself. Not because it’s shorter than the original, but because the story is good and the voice actor did a fantastic job. Despite finishing MM on a review copy of both the game and the new PlayStation, I’m sure I’ll play the new Spider-Man again in my private time.
GameBlast - Alexandre Galvão - Portuguese - 8.5 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales stands out for further highlighting one of the best PS4 games in an excellent expansion of the universe created by Insomniac in 2018. What was already good has been maintained and certain features have been improved. With impeccable presentation and an excellent adventure, its only problem is still being at the mercy of its predecessor when it comes to innovation.
GameZone - Cade Onder - 8.5 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the end of one generation and the start of another. It serves as yet another defining title for PlayStation but also an essential story for Marvel's greatest hero. With new innovations in Spidey gameplay as well as loads of refinement and a wildly impactful story, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the game we need right now.
PSX Brasil - Ivan Nikolai Barkow Castilho - Portuguese - 85 / 100
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is relatively short, but it is still exceptional. Miles' gameplay manages to be different enough from Peter, even though the base of both is similar. The story is interesting, but a little predictable and much less "epic". Despite these points, it is an excellent addition to the PS4 (and now PS5) library.
Press Start - Adam Mathew - 8.5 / 10
For a launch title, the worth of Spider-Man: Miles Morales is undeniable. It offers an expensive-TV-justifying visual feast – not to mention a tantalising "What Dreams May Come" glimpse at the sugar encrusted future of eye-candy. (Console hasn't even launched yet and I can feel my eyes getting the diabeetus.) Likewise, it delivers super-fast load times and an immersive, tactile DualSense experience you simply can't 'feel' anywhere else.
The Games Machine - Stefano Calzati - Italian - 8.5 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales certainly does not reinvent the original work, but manages to tell a particularly intense story by introducing and deepening an extremely positive character with an overwhelming personality. More compact than Peter Parker's adventure, with an elegantly told political subtext and a warm family dimension that comes to protect at all costs, the Insomniac work then explodes in exploiting what PS5 has to offer from a technical point of view, between impressive lighting that benefits from ray tracing and a world instantly loaded thanks to the potential of the SSD, which practically eliminates pop-up , giving a fluidity to the action, a breath at the stairs and an absolutely breathtaking overall visual impact.
Wccftech - Kai Powell - 8.5 / 10
Miles Morales is a far more charismatic hero than Peter in Parker in Marvel's Spider-Man and there's no better way to tell his story than with his own game as a PlayStation 5 launch title. While shorter and more compact than Peter Parker's adventures, this quick trip to Harlem should be on any superhero fan's wishlist.
Worth Playing - Redmond Carolipio - 8.5 / 10
My only real gripe about Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is that I wish there were more of it. Miles and the rest of his circle are absolutely capable of being compelling enough to carry a game for twice the length. I just like this kid, and I think a lot of other people will, too.
IGN Spain - David Soriano - Spanish - 8.2 / 10
Despite its length, Marvel's Spider-man: Miles Morales is a great launch game for PS5 and a perfect example of the potential of the machine in the hands of the members of PlayStation Studios.
Daily Mirror - JC Suttun - 4 / 5 stars
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a more focused and concise outing than its predecessor. It lands somewhat in the Uncharted: Lost Legacy mould of a shorter experience that does away with filler, and meaningful moments interspersed with less gumpf. While there's not a huge amount of reinvention, Miles Morales is a fantastic superhero experience that does enough to feel like a worthy follow-up.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is available now on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 (version tested) for £49.99
Enternity.gr - Panagiotis Petropoulos - Greek - 8 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a worthy successor to the 2018 game, due to Insomniac’s enriched Marvel’s Spider-Man formula with some interesting systems and delivered an equally interesting (although much shorter) campaign.
Everyeye.it - Francesco Fossetti - Italian - 8 / 10
Nothing new for those who have already worn the Spider-Man costume on PS4, but Insomniac always remains a guarantee of great quality.
Game Revolution - Mack Ashworth - 4 / 5 stars
For $50, players are getting 7-9 hours of story missions, combined with the optional 10+ hours of side content, much of which is collectible hunting. That doesn’t strike me as a great deal at launch, but the free upgrade from PS4 to PS5 does help soften the blow. When the price is right for you, this PlayStation exclusive comes with my recommendation, as it further bolsters Sony’s arsenal as we enter the next generation and beyond.
GamesRadar+ - Leon Hurley - 4 / 5 stars
A brilliant but all too brief sample of Miles Morales' superhero life.
Guardian - Keith Stuart - 4 / 5 stars
This Spiderverse-inspired take on Spider-Man has a new hero and an appealing message reflecting America's vibrant diversity
Hardcore Gamer - Kevin Dunsmore - 4 / 5
Marvel's Spider-Man perfectly revitalized the Spider-Man gaming franchise back in 2018 and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an excellent follow-up.
Kakuchopurei - Kenn Leandre - 80 / 100
Just like Miles in the comics, Spider-Man: Miles Morales does not try to out-do an already established name. Rather, it carves a new story for themselves in a familiar-but-comforting setting.
Metro GameCentral - 8 / 10
A far better advert for the PS5 than its short length and last gen assets might have suggested, with superior storytelling and more compelling characters than the original.
Nerdburglars - Dan Hastings - 8 / 10
If you enjoyed the last game, you will definitely enjoy this one. Being in control of Spiderman is a delight in every single way. Fast travel is a forgotten mechanic as you won't want to waste an opportunity to travel via web-slinging. With such a strong foundation and a rock-solid game that came before it, Miles Morales had some high expectations. In many ways, it delivered what you would want from a Spiderman adventure. It falls short with a weaker lineup of villains and a less interesting story. Marvel's Spiderman was just too good.
PCMag - Will Greenwald - 4 / 5 stars
Spider-Man: Miles Morales kicks off the PlayStation 5's launch by putting you in the web shooters of the titular new Spider-Man in a satisfying side story that covers much of the same terrain as its predecessor.
PPE.pl - Wojciech Gruszczyk - Polish - 8 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an interesting spin-off that shows a young superhero and is an excellent forecaster of the possibilities of the new generation. A new Spider-Man is born before our eyes.
Push Square - Sammy Barker - 8 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is effortlessly cool. The overall gameplay structure may prove samey for those who failed to fall in love with Insomniac Games' previous effort, but everyone else will have a blast with this generous spin-off story. Great characters, tons of activities, and some epic set-piece moments round out a must play superhero romp – and with the developer on this kind of form, we can't wait to see more of the full-scale sequel that it's inevitably cooking up.
SECTOR.sk - Matúš Štrba - Slovak - 8 / 10
Miles Morales presents his more personal story as a young Spider-Man trying prove himself as New York's hero. But the game recycles too much of the original's content and consept.
Screen Rant - Nicholas Straub - 4 / 5 stars
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales fumbles its well-intentioned story by failing to challenge Miles and adequately address its complex context, but it is still an enthralling experience. The campaign is filled with memorable gameplay and the open-world exploration successfully expands upon the successes of the original game. It also sets the stage for Miles to become the face of the franchise, and perhaps his story will be better told in a full-fledged game rather than a shorter jaunt through his origins.
Shacknews - Chris Jarrard - 8 / 10
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales will appeal to loads of gamers and I suspect it will be a hit for PlayStation owners this holiday season. While there isn’t as much to do this time around and what is included is mostly recycled, the asking price is lower than normal. Being Spider-Man is still as fun as it was in 2018 (and potentially more fun now at 60Hz) and Miles Morales is a character that is more compelling than Peter Parker. Should the few technical hiccups get sorted out, this will be a solid inclusion for any game library. Anyone grabbing a PS5 at launch would do well to grab a copy.
Spaziogames - Stefania Sperandio - Italian - 8 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales doesn't even try to reinvent the wheel, but it's enjoyable and well packed.
TheSixthAxis - Jim Hargreaves - 8 / 10
Spider-Man: Miles Morales feels like more of a sequel than it is a stopgap, entangling players within its web of cleverly refined mechanics while delivering some familiar web-slinging thrills. A heroic technical showcase for PS5 owners picking up their consoles on day one, this meaty side story in the Spider-Man saga has us even more excited than before to see what Insomniac Games have planned next.
TrustedReviews - Jade King - 4 / 5 stars
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a brilliant expansion of Insomniac's beloved superhero adventure from 2018. It shows why Miles Morales is, arguably, the franchise's greatest strength, while also proving how much of an impact the next generation will have on visuals and performance. If you're picking up a PS5, this is essential.
VG247 - Alex Donaldson - 4 / 5 stars
Launch games are rarely remembered as earth-shattering experiences years later, but at the time, elements of them always feel magical. On PS5, Miles Morales has both of these feelings down – it’s familiar and unsurprising, but some of its technical presentation will wow you nevertheless. If you’re picking up a PS5 on launch day, for that reason this will surely do.
VideoGamer - Josh Wise - 8 / 10
The developer, Insomniac Games, has a similar storytelling confidence to that of Naughty Dog-a natural cinematic ease, bolstered by money and technology, which gives equal weight to ground-level struggles as to those beyond the rooftops.
WellPlayed - Kieron Verbrugge - 8 / 10
Miles Morales is a worthy standalone addition to Insomniac's excellent Spider-Man game and a compelling part of the PlayStation 5 launch lineup, even if it does seem a little pricey
New Game Network - Alex Varankou - 76 / 100
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales offers a fun story in a streamlined adventure that builds on the great foundation of its predecessor, despite a few performance issues on the PS4.
Gadgets 360 - Akhil Arora - 7 / 10
If the sticker price isn't a concern, in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you'll find a game that is lacking in originality but thankfully built on a solid core that needs a few tweaks. It's a successful expansion of Insomniac's Spider-Man universe, but it's a new paragraph, rather than a new chapter. Hopefully it will give us the latter next time around. And though it's also good for representation, it still has a ways to go. (Though the game wasn't anything special, Marvel's Avengers gave us a Muslim-American lead in Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel.) Hopefully we can get Spider-Gwen from Insomniac next, or a Spider-Verse game, though given the lack of setup, either seems unlikely. For now, Miles continues his upward trajectory. He walked in 2018, so he could fly in 2020.
GameSpot - Jordan Ramée - 7 / 10
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales sticks a bit too close to its predecessor in terms of mechanics, but manages to stand on its own through its story and characters.
Washington Post - Christopher Byrd - 70 / 100
I’d wager that Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be remembered as the year’s most ingratiating family-friendly video game. It is a feel-good, unabashed spectacle that controls well, looks great and has a hyper-efficient story line that never tries to overdeliver.
We Got This Covered - Shaan Joshi - 3.5 / 5 stars
While it does little to move the needle for the series as a whole, Spider-Man: Miles Morales both plays the part of a much-needed stopgap and serves as a technical showcase of what the PlayStation 5 can bring to the table.
Telegraph - Dan Silver - 3 / 5 stars
With greater console power comes greater responsibility (and much faster loading times)
ACG - Jeremy Penter - Buy
"Miles is fantastic as an expansion to the Spiderman Universe on Playstation"
Ars Technica - Kyle Orland - Unscored
Buy it if you want an "expansion pack" sequel with an interesting story and solid, familiar gameplay.
Console Creatures - Bobby Pashalidis - Recommended
Everything about this game oozes style, Nadji Jeter is the definitive version of Miles Morales thanks to his goofy and geeky take on the web-slinger. Soaring through the Highrise buildings of New York City has never looked better and the extra power of the PlayStation 5 makes things feel more alive than ever before
Eurogamer - Martin Robinson - Recommended
A standalone expansion for 2018's excellent original, with enhanced action and an irresistible new lead.
GameOnAUS - Royce Wilson - Recommended
More of the same is not necessarily a bad thing, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a perfect example.
GameXplain - GameXplain - Liked-a-lot

Video Review - Quote not available

Kotaku - Mike Sholars - Unscored
Miles Morales excels in its smallest moments, and I wish it had the confidence to stand by them to the end.
Polygon - Tauriq Moosa - Unscored
What makes Miles an important hero for the world of 2020 is not his successes, his abilities, his fighting moves, or even his moral compass to do good: It’s his belief in himself and others that we can rise above this. That’s also his mother’s central focus for her political campaign. Miles has a relentless, if sometimes naïve, belief in others’ goodness. He wants to help the city and neighborhood he loves. And watching him try, watching his small victories, and playing through it with such beautiful animations — with nods to Into the Spider-Verse — became one of my few joys in this dark-as-shit year.
Skill Up - Ralph Panebianco - Unscored

Video Review - Quote not available

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2020.11.03 02:27 TheOfficialLostBard how to conduct a podcast tour for marketing purposes

This post reflects everything I know (to do) about conducting a podcast tour for marketing purposes. To make it easier to read, I cut out all the screenshots and videos and what not. Article is linked at the end if you want to look at any of those afterwards. Hope this helps.


Like any startup, we’ve tested lots of marketing channels and tactics to drive growth for the company.
Podcast tours have worked particularly well.
Over the last 12 months our CEO, Geoff Atkinson, appeared on over 50 industry-specific podcasts. This tour amplified each of our other marketing channels and helped add hundreds of thousands of dollars to our company’s annual recurring revenue.
Now, I’m sure you’re asking: aren’t podcasts huge right now? In our marketing bubble, sure, people love them. But only 55% of American adults have listened to even one podcast. And the percentage of organizations leveraging them for business purposes is even smaller. You are still way early to the game.
There are many ways to leverage podcasts. For example, you could start your own show or buy pre, mid, and post-roll advertising on someone else’s show. However, this article focuses on the execution of a podcast tour, a series of interviews on industry-specific shows in a set period of time where the guest shares commercial insights and raises awareness for a brand.
It is the guide we wish we had in the spring of 2019.
In this article, you will learn:
Let’s get started.
Section 1: Value of Podcast Tour
Here are (at least) 5 benefits to going on a podcast tour.
Quick wins — like any new marketing channel, there is big ROI for early adopters.
Have you ever come across internet threads of marketers looking back fondly on the early days of Google Adwords? Like, between 2001 and 2004 when CPCs were just a couple of cents? Entire companies were built on top of that opportunity.
We are in the same moment with podcast tours right now.
That said, it won’t always be this way. Somewhere down the line, booking podcasts in any industry will get hard. Soon enough, it will feel like the equivalent of Adwords CPCs moving from $.03 to $2.
Low budget — the only cost is your time.
Podcast tours are like traditional press tours, except you don’t have to spend months on the pitch, travel to location, or pay appearance fees. Furthermore, the host has done all the hard work of audience-building and trust-building, which is transferred by association to you in your episode.
SEO — reduce the marginal cost of content creation and backlink acquisition.
You know content is important, and also how difficult and time-intensive it is to publish quality stuff and get backlinks on a consistent basis. But consider this — with podcasts, hosts will give you an awesome link in their show notes and you can repurpose each episode for every other marketing channel.
Here are a few examples:
Particularly for all the startups out there with limited time and resources, this is a game-changer. Just appear on a podcast each week for a couple of months and riff on all the topics you aim to cover in your marketing. This will give you a tremendous backlog of content to work with, as well as a bunch of high-domain authority backlinks to rank for various long tail terms throughout your organic funnel.
Social proof and thought leadership — guesting helps you trade-up the industry chain.
In the same way there is a long tail of keywords, there is a long tail of podcasts too. In a podcast tour, you can start with appearances on the most niche shows in your industry and quickly work your way up to the most popular ones in a matter of months.
With each episode, you are cementing your status as a subject matter authority and other hosts in the industry are taking note, whether you realize it or not. Think of it like pre-targeting, but for podcasting. By the time you are ready to pitch shows with bigger audiences, they will be more familiar and receptive.
We are still operating in an era where the vast majority of podcasts are accessible without a PR team. Booking appearances can take just a few hours or days with a couple of well-reasoned cold emails and direct messages on social, instead of the months or years most expect in industries like television.
Audience building — audio completion rate is higher than text or video.
Look at your Google Analytics data. Most of your website visitors are probably ignoring or skimming your text and video content. This friction is partly due to the fact that both formats require the full attention of the prospect.
The magic of podcasts is that they work in a multi-tasking environment. Your prospect could be listening while commuting to and from their job, cooking dinner, or walking the dog. That’s why the average completion rate (around 93%) is significantly higher than any other content format.
In today’s age, ear share is the best proxy for mind share. With podcasts, you are getting right in the AirPods of your ideal buyer to share your stories and expertise. As a result, they get to know you better, remember you more vividly, trust you more, and research you after the fact.
Section 2: Research of Podcast Tour
Here is how to find topically-related shows, hosts, and other guests in order to book shows for your podcast tour.
Finding podcasts to book:
Search for generic and long-tail keywords in each of the major podcast players.
Each search engine returns slightly different results, so it is important to run all the variations in each one.
Search for media "doppelgangers" in each of the major podcast players.
It is likely the case that other influencers in your industry have embarked on podcast tours. Good! They have already done most of the hard work for you finding good podcasts to appear on. Enter their names in each of the podcast search engines to pull additional shows that may not have appeared in your category and sub-category searches.
Search Amazon author pages to find more similar guests.
Authors were one of the first groups of people to pick up on the podcast tour concept, so they have a great “paper trail”, so to speak, of appearances to track down. Go to the Amazon page of a reputable author in your industry and scroll down to “customers also bought items by”. Enter each of those names into the podcast players to get even more show ideas.
Use Podchaser to research categories, rankings, and new shows.
This is our favorite podcast database to use because of the filtering capabilities. Treat it like your vacuum to pull-in all other shows. With Podchaser, you can filter by release date, episode length, number of ratings and reviews, and so forth. The other search engines are notoriously primitive in this regard.
Use key Google Search operators to find shows in organic results.
This is the largest index out there, so you would be wise to use it. Here is a great list of search operators to use. Scroll through the first couple of pages or so on each query to add shows missing from your current list. Oftentimes, you will find great listicles that rank the best podcasts in your niche.
Organizing and targeting shows and hosts:
Pick your targets and build a spreadsheet.
It depends on the industry, but at this point you should have a list of roughly 25 to 50 shows to pitch.
If you are a relative new-comer to your industry, I recommend starting with the smallest podcasts and building from there. Highlight each of those shows in green and research everything about them.
Listen to 1 to 2 episodes of each target show to get a feel.
You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by starting the research process with listening. Pull up an episode from each of the target shows that is at least tangentially related to your topic and press play.
Pay attention to:
Then ask yourself:
This will give you an immediate sense for whether you should keep pursuing the show. It will also help with your pitch.
Use ratings and reviews as a proxy for additional quality.
There is no easy way to get reliable information about podcast listenership while building out a podcast tour schedule. If you were planning to advertise on a show, you could ask the host during the negotiations to give you the metrics. But you do not want to pursue this tactic for a podcast tour if you are just starting out and trying to get traction in the industry.
Initially, our recommendation is to use ratings and reviews as a proxy. Look for at least 10 ratings and reviews in each of the major podcast search engines, like Apple and Spotify. It isn’t much, but it provides minimum evidence that the show has some sort of audience to work with.
In addition to ratings and reviews, I also recommend looking at the show’s website and social media channels. Does the content resonate with your brand? Are they publishing consistently? With the website, you can pop the URL into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to check the domain authority. That will let you know if there is potential for a good backlink as well.
Research each host in Google and on social media.
Enter each host’s name in Google and look at the first 2-3 pages of search results.
Put together a list of 3-4 unique points on the host and save them for the pitch email. This will create personalization and set you above 99% of the other prospects that request to be on the show.
Section 3: Pitching of Podcast Tour
Here is how to increase your chances of booking interviews with all the best shows in your industry.
Make a tracking spreadsheet.
Include the name of the podcast, theme of the podcast, host information, record of pitches sent, record of responses received, and a section for any miscellaneous relevant notes.
Pitch the host in multiple formats.
Podcast hosts are very busy and distracted, just like any human being. It is OK to contact them on multiple channels. If you are bringing value to their audience, they will be grateful you pulled out all the stops to get in touch. Do not assume that one channel is enough.
With email, I follow the standard 3-step sequence:
With LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter:
Note that response rates will dramatically improve if you have been meaningfully engaging with and adding value to their content for an extended period of time (at least 2-4 weeks prior to pitching). This should not feel forced if you share common interests in the industry.
Create a pitch angle, but invite the no.
Above all else, angle the pitch to be clear about how and why you will provide value to the audience.
To figure this out, build off the 1-2 episodes you previously listened to. Research the show's back catalog of episodes to see what else has been covered. If there are any intersections with your content, acknowledge them and show how you will improve on the topic and add more to the conversation. If you frequently notice other large themes, these are indications that some topics are more popular with the host and audience. You will want to find ways to weave those into your pitch even if they aren’t directly related to what you plan to cover.
Also angle the pitch to preemptively overcome common objections like “I don’t think you are the right fit for my show” and “what’s in it for me?”. At the same time, invite the no by making sure the host feels comfortable rejecting the offer. You never know what could happen later on down the line. These pitches are just as much about long-term industry relationship building as they are a chance to get in front of a qualified audience right now.
Juice up the offer.
Most guests think it’s enough to just be the guest and share wisdom. Wrong. If you want to separate your pitch from the rest of the stack, help with episode hype. For example, you could offer to really promote the show with $100 in Facebook Ads.
The goal is to give the host something valuable that is completely independent of what you share on the episode. Most potential guests won’t go the extra mile. This is yet another chance to distinguish yourself by adding additional, unexpected value.
Prepare for the podcast pre-interview.
As podcasts get more popular, hosts are setting up short, 15-minute pre-interviews to make sure potential guests will be good fits for their audiences. This is completely reasonable.
To prepare, think about the following questions.
Your answers will set you up for a memorable (and successful) pre-interview.
Section 4: Preparation of Podcast Tour
Here is how to work with the host well ahead of the episode recording to ensure a great performance and valuable experience for your target audience.
Feed the host lots of content about yourself and the topic ahead of time.
Put yourself in the shoes of the host. Think about how much time and effort it usually takes them to prepare for each episode. You can make their work easier by sending as much relevant detail about yourself, your topic, and some proposed talking points well ahead of time. This is mutually beneficial. By pointing out what you think is important to cover in the episode, you can steer the host in a favorable direction too.
Think about the questions the host is going to ask.
A podcast is a performance. Don’t go into the recording without much thought or rehearsal. It will be readily apparent to the audience if you are winging it.
Get your call to action ready.
Invariably at the end of each episode, the host will ask you where listeners can learn more about you. This is where you want to have information ready well in advance.
Build hype for the show.
I’ve already covered the paid promotion idea ($100 in Facebook Ads), but if you are strapped for cash and have a decent audience, you could instead write a series of posts on LinkedIn and Twitter about the pending episode, or get on Youtube and make a bunch of clips. Almost no guests are doing this right now, despite the fact that it is a hallmark of other forms of media.
Section 5: Promotion of Podcast Tour
Here is how to increase the reach of your episode so that more prospects listen and more show hosts are willing to have you on future episodes.
Promise good episode promotion. Other hosts are taking note.
Above all, promise good episode promotion. This is the gold standard. After that, go the extra mile with each host. Stay in touch with them with the goal of building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. These hosts are effectively the journalists of your industry.
These small acts of help can yield new, unanticipated opportunities like other podcast appearances, referrals to possible clients, collaborations, and conference speaking engagements way down the line.
Send a thank you note.
Preferably send a hand-written note via direct mail. In addition and as always, go the extra mile here.
This may sound like a broken record, but if you take nothing else from this article, the goal here is to turn yourself into a (positively) unforgettable guest. We can’t overstate how lazy most guests are. Work hard with and for the host. It will pay back BIG TIME in the future.
Section 6: Additional Opportunities of Podcast Tour
Here is how to get more out of a podcast interview than just the appearance in front of a new audience. The additional opportunities can transform the rest of your marketing and business in general.
Repurpose content for other marketing channels
  1. Youtube Clips
  2. LinkedIn Slide Shows
  3. Tweet Storms
  4. Show Notes Pages
Do original research
Remix old episodes.

Link to the full post: https://huckabuy.com/2020/11/02/how-to-do-a-podcast-tou
submitted by TheOfficialLostBard to digital_marketing [link] [comments]


2020.11.03 02:22 TheOfficialLostBard How to do a podcast tour for marketing purposes

This post reflects everything I know (to do) about conducting a podcast tour for marketing purposes. To make it easier to read, I cut out all the screenshots and videos and what not. Article is linked at the end if you want to look at any of those afterwards. Hope this helps.


Like any startup, we’ve tested lots of marketing channels and tactics to drive growth for the company.
Podcast tours have worked particularly well.
Over the last 12 months our CEO, Geoff Atkinson, appeared on over 50 industry-specific podcasts. This tour amplified each of our other marketing channels and helped add hundreds of thousands of dollars to our company’s annual recurring revenue.
Now, I’m sure you’re asking: aren’t podcasts huge right now? In our marketing bubble, sure, people love them. But only 55% of American adults have listened to even one podcast. And the percentage of organizations leveraging them for business purposes is even smaller. You are still way early to the game.
There are many ways to leverage podcasts. For example, you could start your own show or buy pre, mid, and post-roll advertising on someone else’s show. However, this article focuses on the execution of a podcast tour, a series of interviews on industry-specific shows in a set period of time where the guest shares commercial insights and raises awareness for a brand.
It is the guide we wish we had in the spring of 2019.
In this article, you will learn:
Let’s get started.
Section 1: Value of Podcast Tour
Here are (at least) 5 benefits to going on a podcast tour.
Quick wins — like any new marketing channel, there is big ROI for early adopters.
Have you ever come across internet threads of marketers looking back fondly on the early days of Google Adwords? Like, between 2001 and 2004 when CPCs were just a couple of cents? Entire companies were built on top of that opportunity.
We are in the same moment with podcast tours right now.
That said, it won’t always be this way. Somewhere down the line, booking podcasts in any industry will get hard. Soon enough, it will feel like the equivalent of Adwords CPCs moving from $.03 to $2.
Low budget — the only cost is your time.
Podcast tours are like traditional press tours, except you don’t have to spend months on the pitch, travel to location, or pay appearance fees. Furthermore, the host has done all the hard work of audience-building and trust-building, which is transferred by association to you in your episode.
SEO — reduce the marginal cost of content creation and backlink acquisition.
You know content is important, and also how difficult and time-intensive it is to publish quality stuff and get backlinks on a consistent basis. But consider this — with podcasts, hosts will give you an awesome link in their show notes and you can repurpose each episode for every other marketing channel.
Here are a few examples:
Particularly for all the startups out there with limited time and resources, this is a game-changer. Just appear on a podcast each week for a couple of months and riff on all the topics you aim to cover in your marketing. This will give you a tremendous backlog of content to work with, as well as a bunch of high-domain authority backlinks to rank for various long tail terms throughout your organic funnel.
Social proof and thought leadership — guesting helps you trade-up the industry chain.
In the same way there is a long tail of keywords, there is a long tail of podcasts too. In a podcast tour, you can start with appearances on the most niche shows in your industry and quickly work your way up to the most popular ones in a matter of months.
With each episode, you are cementing your status as a subject matter authority and other hosts in the industry are taking note, whether you realize it or not. Think of it like pre-targeting, but for podcasting. By the time you are ready to pitch shows with bigger audiences, they will be more familiar and receptive.
We are still operating in an era where the vast majority of podcasts are accessible without a PR team. Booking appearances can take just a few hours or days with a couple of well-reasoned cold emails and direct messages on social, instead of the months or years most expect in industries like television.
Audience building — audio completion rate is higher than text or video.
Look at your Google Analytics data. Most of your website visitors are probably ignoring or skimming your text and video content. This friction is partly due to the fact that both formats require the full attention of the prospect.
The magic of podcasts is that they work in a multi-tasking environment. Your prospect could be listening while commuting to and from their job, cooking dinner, or walking the dog. That’s why the average completion rate (around 93%) is significantly higher than any other content format.
In today’s age, ear share is the best proxy for mind share. With podcasts, you are getting right in the AirPods of your ideal buyer to share your stories and expertise. As a result, they get to know you better, remember you more vividly, trust you more, and research you after the fact.
Section 2: Research of Podcast Tour
Here is how to find topically-related shows, hosts, and other guests in order to book shows for your podcast tour.
Finding podcasts to book:
Search for generic and long-tail keywords in each of the major podcast players.
Each search engine returns slightly different results, so it is important to run all the variations in each one.
Search for media "doppelgangers" in each of the major podcast players.
It is likely the case that other influencers in your industry have embarked on podcast tours. Good! They have already done most of the hard work for you finding good podcasts to appear on. Enter their names in each of the podcast search engines to pull additional shows that may not have appeared in your category and sub-category searches.
Search Amazon author pages to find more similar guests.
Authors were one of the first groups of people to pick up on the podcast tour concept, so they have a great “paper trail”, so to speak, of appearances to track down. Go to the Amazon page of a reputable author in your industry and scroll down to “customers also bought items by”. Enter each of those names into the podcast players to get even more show ideas.
Use Podchaser to research categories, rankings, and new shows.
This is our favorite podcast database to use because of the filtering capabilities. Treat it like your vacuum to pull-in all other shows. With Podchaser, you can filter by release date, episode length, number of ratings and reviews, and so forth. The other search engines are notoriously primitive in this regard.
Use key Google Search operators to find shows in organic results.
This is the largest index out there, so you would be wise to use it. Here is a great list of search operators to use. Scroll through the first couple of pages or so on each query to add shows missing from your current list. Oftentimes, you will find great listicles that rank the best podcasts in your niche.
Organizing and targeting shows and hosts:
Pick your targets and build a spreadsheet.
It depends on the industry, but at this point you should have a list of roughly 25 to 50 shows to pitch.
If you are a relative new-comer to your industry, I recommend starting with the smallest podcasts and building from there. Highlight each of those shows in green and research everything about them.
Listen to 1 to 2 episodes of each target show to get a feel.
You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by starting the research process with listening. Pull up an episode from each of the target shows that is at least tangentially related to your topic and press play.
Pay attention to:
Then ask yourself:
This will give you an immediate sense for whether you should keep pursuing the show. It will also help with your pitch.
Use ratings and reviews as a proxy for additional quality.
There is no easy way to get reliable information about podcast listenership while building out a podcast tour schedule. If you were planning to advertise on a show, you could ask the host during the negotiations to give you the metrics. But you do not want to pursue this tactic for a podcast tour if you are just starting out and trying to get traction in the industry.
Initially, our recommendation is to use ratings and reviews as a proxy. Look for at least 10 ratings and reviews in each of the major podcast search engines, like Apple and Spotify. It isn’t much, but it provides minimum evidence that the show has some sort of audience to work with.
In addition to ratings and reviews, I also recommend looking at the show’s website and social media channels. Does the content resonate with your brand? Are they publishing consistently? With the website, you can pop the URL into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to check the domain authority. That will let you know if there is potential for a good backlink as well.
Research each host in Google and on social media.
Enter each host’s name in Google and look at the first 2-3 pages of search results.
Put together a list of 3-4 unique points on the host and save them for the pitch email. This will create personalization and set you above 99% of the other prospects that request to be on the show.
Section 3: Pitching of Podcast Tour
Here is how to increase your chances of booking interviews with all the best shows in your industry.
Make a tracking spreadsheet.
Include the name of the podcast, theme of the podcast, host information, record of pitches sent, record of responses received, and a section for any miscellaneous relevant notes.
Pitch the host in multiple formats.
Podcast hosts are very busy and distracted, just like any human being. It is OK to contact them on multiple channels. If you are bringing value to their audience, they will be grateful you pulled out all the stops to get in touch. Do not assume that one channel is enough.
With email, I follow the standard 3-step sequence:
With LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter:
Note that response rates will dramatically improve if you have been meaningfully engaging with and adding value to their content for an extended period of time (at least 2-4 weeks prior to pitching). This should not feel forced if you share common interests in the industry.
Create a pitch angle, but invite the no.
Above all else, angle the pitch to be clear about how and why you will provide value to the audience.
To figure this out, build off the 1-2 episodes you previously listened to. Research the show's back catalog of episodes to see what else has been covered. If there are any intersections with your content, acknowledge them and show how you will improve on the topic and add more to the conversation. If you frequently notice other large themes, these are indications that some topics are more popular with the host and audience. You will want to find ways to weave those into your pitch even if they aren’t directly related to what you plan to cover.
Also angle the pitch to preemptively overcome common objections like “I don’t think you are the right fit for my show” and “what’s in it for me?”. At the same time, invite the no by making sure the host feels comfortable rejecting the offer. You never know what could happen later on down the line. These pitches are just as much about long-term industry relationship building as they are a chance to get in front of a qualified audience right now.
Juice up the offer.
Most guests think it’s enough to just be the guest and share wisdom. Wrong. If you want to separate your pitch from the rest of the stack, help with episode hype. For example, you could offer to really promote the show with $100 in Facebook Ads.
The goal is to give the host something valuable that is completely independent of what you share on the episode. Most potential guests won’t go the extra mile. This is yet another chance to distinguish yourself by adding additional, unexpected value.
Prepare for the podcast pre-interview.
As podcasts get more popular, hosts are setting up short, 15-minute pre-interviews to make sure potential guests will be good fits for their audiences. This is completely reasonable.
To prepare, think about the following questions.
Your answers will set you up for a memorable (and successful) pre-interview.
Section 4: Preparation of Podcast Tour
Here is how to work with the host well ahead of the episode recording to ensure a great performance and valuable experience for your target audience.
Feed the host lots of content about yourself and the topic ahead of time.
Put yourself in the shoes of the host. Think about how much time and effort it usually takes them to prepare for each episode. You can make their work easier by sending as much relevant detail about yourself, your topic, and some proposed talking points well ahead of time. This is mutually beneficial. By pointing out what you think is important to cover in the episode, you can steer the host in a favorable direction too.
Think about the questions the host is going to ask.
A podcast is a performance. Don’t go into the recording without much thought or rehearsal. It will be readily apparent to the audience if you are winging it.
Get your call to action ready.
Invariably at the end of each episode, the host will ask you where listeners can learn more about you. This is where you want to have information ready well in advance.
Build hype for the show.
I’ve already covered the paid promotion idea ($100 in Facebook Ads), but if you are strapped for cash and have a decent audience, you could instead write a series of posts on LinkedIn and Twitter about the pending episode, or get on Youtube and make a bunch of clips. Almost no guests are doing this right now, despite the fact that it is a hallmark of other forms of media.
Section 5: Promotion of Podcast Tour
Here is how to increase the reach of your episode so that more prospects listen and more show hosts are willing to have you on future episodes.
Promise good episode promotion. Other hosts are taking note.
Above all, promise good episode promotion. This is the gold standard. After that, go the extra mile with each host. Stay in touch with them with the goal of building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. These hosts are effectively the journalists of your industry.
These small acts of help can yield new, unanticipated opportunities like other podcast appearances, referrals to possible clients, collaborations, and conference speaking engagements way down the line.
Send a thank you note.
Preferably send a hand-written note via direct mail. In addition and as always, go the extra mile here.
This may sound like a broken record, but if you take nothing else from this article, the goal here is to turn yourself into a (positively) unforgettable guest. We can’t overstate how lazy most guests are. Work hard with and for the host. It will pay back BIG TIME in the future.
Section 6: Additional Opportunities of Podcast Tour
Here is how to get more out of a podcast interview than just the appearance in front of a new audience. The additional opportunities can transform the rest of your marketing and business in general.
Repurpose content for other marketing channels
  1. Youtube Clips
  2. LinkedIn Slide Shows
  3. Tweet Storms
  4. Show Notes Pages
Do original research
Remix old episodes.

Link to the full post: https://huckabuy.com/2020/11/02/how-to-do-a-podcast-tou
submitted by TheOfficialLostBard to marketing [link] [comments]


2020.11.01 09:17 BruteSentiment It's been 1 year since Apple TV+ began, and I have watched every one of their shows (except the kids stuff)! Here's my ranking...[No Spoilers]

In one year, Apple TV+ has released a pretty solid slate of original material. Not including children-oriented content, Apple TV+ has released 20 series, 3 miniseries, 9 movies, and 2 talk shows. From the start, Apple has said that the goal of the content is on quality, not quantity. But…has it lived up to that?
34 - Greatness Code - Documentary
Summary: Each episode features a different athlete talking about a key moment in their careers. The show features athletes from many different sports, including basketball’s LeBron James, soccer’s Alex Morgan (sorry…footballer Alex Morgan), snowboarder Shaun White, sprinter Usain Bolt, swimmer Katie Ledecky, surfer Kelly Slater, and (American) footballer Tom Brady (who is a co-producer).
My Take: This is the easy winner for the worst thing on Apple TV+. The only good thing about this “show” is that the episodes are usually no more than 10 minutes long. The monologues by the athletes are…fine. There’s nothing you haven’t really heard before here. The problem is that the special effects take away from actually seeing the athlete in action. Almost every bit of action has some animation or filter or something over it, so we almost never actually see the events being discussed. It’s pretty ridiculous. After watching this, I genuinely wondered if this series was intended to be part of Apple TV+’s children’s offerings, because that is the only level where it could at all seem “great”.
33 - Oprah Talks Covid-19 - News (Miniseries)
Summary: Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic started major lockdowns across the United States, Oprah quickly began to do online interviews with people who she hoped would bring perspective and uplifting messages, from celebrities to pastors to nurses to people who had experienced isolation in prison and the holocaust. This series ran for nearly a month from mid-March to mid-April in 2020.
My Take: One of Oprah’s three series, this one is the lowest ranked just because much of the information within it is out of date, and is aimed at people at a certain time, which was months ago. But in a way, it’s a bit of a time capsule of the early parts of the pandemic in the public eye, which is interesting. It’s almost as interesting to see the production value (or lack there of), as the majority of the episodes are screen recordings of online interviews. It’s perhaps only worth watching now for being a curiosity, but Apple and Oprah did good getting something up in a timely fashion.
32 - Amazing Stories - Adventure
Summary: An anthology series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the show brings back the “Amazing Stories” brand with five independent stories about incredible adventures that play with sci-fi and fantasy about regular people put in amazing situations.
My Take: Amazing Stories was to be one of Apple TV’s tentpoles for the summer. Unfortunately, the series landed flat, and is by far the biggest disappointment. It’s yet another TV series that original co-Producer Bryan Fuller left. The show was originally to have ten episodes, it ended up with just five. The stories were not very groundbreaking, though they were beautifully shot. It might be worth checking out for Robert Forster’s last project before he died (Dynoman and the Volt), and for the touching “The Heat” about high school runners from Oakland.
31 - Home - Documentary
Summary: As you might imagine, this documentary series is not just about the architecture of a house, but about the people behind building and designing them. Each episode features a different house and story, with houses chosen from around the world, from urban environments like Chicago and Hong Kong to remote locations in Maine and Bali.
My Take: Although cable and streaming is littered with television programs about houses and architecture, this show passes on the drama, which helps Home become a documentary, and not a reality show. The cinematography is predictably beautiful, but the pacing is slow, and it’s very hard to really get into. It doesn’t help that a couple of the home builders behind the stories are honestly not very likable. The final episode of the first season is really good, but ultimately, this show is a bit of a snooze beyond the real enthusiasts.
30 - Dads - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, this movie looks at fathers across the many levels of fatherhood, anchored by Howard’s own relationship with her father, actodirector Ron Howard, and her grandfather Archie, as well as Bryce’s non-celebrity brother who is an expecting father. The movie shifts to stories about fathers from around the world, and back to the Howards, to celebrate the ever-shifting role of fatherhood in modern society.
My Take: This documentary is a sweet, if simple, tribute to modern fatherhood. There’s nothing special here, it does exactly what you would expect it to. It has cameo interviews from comedian fathers, interspersed with random recordings of fathers from home movies and social media, and stories of fathers in different situations. There’s nothing bad about it, but it’s pretty dry overall. It’s not a waste, but it’ll probably end up being the thing you see in the list and say “Oh, I’ll watch that another time…”, which might as well be next Father’s Day with your dad.
29 - Dear… - Documentary
Summary: A documentary series that details the history and life of various individual celebrities, and uses letters written by people they have affected to frame those celebrities’ impact on people and society.
My Take: Apple has used the advertising method of using letters written to Apple or Tim Cook about how things have changed their lives (particularly the Apple Watch), and in that context this series feels like, well, advertising. Not to take anything away from the celebrities involved, but the marketing push feels very heavy here. And, of course, one of the celebrities featured is Oprah, who is a big presence in ATV+. It also gets absurd with one episode around Big Bird (in character); of course, the Muppets have a spin-off in the kids section of ATV+ called Helpsters. It’s best with the smaller names, where even I learned a little bit. It’s a decent feel-good if that’s what you’re looking for.
28 - Long Way Up - Documentary (Miniseries)
Summary: The third docu-series by Ewan McGregor and his best friend Charley Boorman as they take a long road trip by motorcycle. This trip, they are traveling from the southern tip of South America up to Los Angeles, and are doing it (almost) entirely on electric vehicles. The series highlights both the places they visit along the way, and the travails (and successes) of using these new, custom-made electric motorcycles. (The other two series Long Way Round and Long Way Down have also been added to ATV+, though they are not ‘Apple Originals’.)
My Take: I’ve got to be honest, it’s hard to get into watching others take a road trip. It’s nice enough. The footage is beautiful, as they use everything from GoPro helmet cams to drones to capture the scenery. But the major source of tension here is Range Anxiety, and the biggest drama is in whether or not they can do it all on electric bikes. Still, it’s interesting to see parts of South America many aren’t familiar with, including deserts and the vast Patagonia. And Ewan does seem like someone that would be a great bloke to be mates with. Some people will really enjoy this, I’m just not one of them.
27 - The Elephant Queen - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Narrated by the soft-spoken Chiwetel Ejiofor, an elephant herd must navigate the climate of the savannah to survive. Led by the matriarch, they must migrate before the dry season hits to stay around water, and then return to their normal grazing land. Along the way, we meet the many other creatures of the savannah and face the changing climates and droughts that get in the way of these pachyderms.
My Take: A documentary much in the style of the old Disney documentaries, the Elephant Queen does a lot of anthropomorphizing its subjects, who range from elephants to dung beetles, and follows them through a difficult season. It is borderline kids-oriented, but adults might enjoy this as well. It’s not afraid to delve into some sad situations, and there is an overriding theme of what happens in droughts that can not be ignored. A sweet film, perhaps a bit saccharine.
26 - Hala - Drama (Movie)
Summary: Hala is a Pakistani-American teenage girl and her trying to balance her family and cultural pressures with being a teen in America. She longs to be out of the pressures of her family’s culture as she interacts with friends and teachers outside of the home. When she does try to act out, she begins to discover more about her family, both discovering secrets and sides she never knew about, as she discovers more about herself.
My Take: Apple TV+’s first fictional feature film release, this coming of age film is never really surprising, but it is a well made film that hits all the right nuances in trying to share Hala’s experience. It’s not a perfect film, as there are some shifts in tone and character that are rather sudden and jarring for the viewer, though all things considered, that’s probably what writedirector Minhal Baig was trying for. The emotions shift quickly and non-family characters disappear quickly, as it’s clear that this is Hala’s story, and not anyone else’s. It’s a solid watch.
25 - Trying - Comedy
Summary: A British couple, Nikki and Jason, have decided to adopt when they have trouble conceiving. They struggle with the truly difficult process of adopting, as well as insecurities about whether or not the two (who could be called slackers) are truly ready to be, or even worthy of being, parents.
My Take: This is a British comedy co-produced by BBC that is about an intensely serious subject. If you know British humor, you know that it will be very intentionally awkward, and this series can definitely hit that mark. While the show is certainly has about its two main characters (Rafe Spall and Esther Smith as the couple), it has a surprisingly large cast of supporting characters, but with only one star most Americans would know (Imelda Staunton as the most unintimidating social worker ever). It’s an interesting concept, and it finds some sweet moments, but not as many funny ones. It’s not bad, but is just okay.
24 - Oprah’s Book Club - Talk Show
Summary: This was the first Oprah show to appear on Apple TV+, serving as a cross-section of Apple services (which advertises Books and Podcasts), and the only one that got to meet the pre-pandemic style of Oprah’s shows. The idea was that Oprah would interview authors and let an audience ask questions. But the series also shows the effects of the pandemic. Once the pandemic hits, the audience is gone, and it becomes direct virtual interviews for a couple of episodes before Apple and Oprah find a way to have a virtual audience.
My Take: I admit, I didn’t read any of the books selected for this list. I still got something out of these shows, but more of an analysis of Oprah than the books. It did show off one of her worst traits, which is how she answers for an interviewee when they were slow to find a point, and she talked over a lot of people. But you could also see her energy change when she had a live audience versus online interviews, and even different with a virtual audience. You could also see her energy change about what books she is passionate about versus those less so. So this wasn’t a waste, but I wasn’t enthusiastic.
23 - Truth Be Told - Drama
Summary: Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) is a true crime podcaster after a successful career as an investigative reporter, but she comes to dwell on the first case that made her famous, where a teenager was put away for murdering his neighbor. Now an adult (played by Aaron Paul), Poppy begins talking with him to see if she made a mistake. Meanwhile, the victim’s family is forced to revisit the crime, including twin daughters (both played by Lizzy Caplan), and Poppy’s family confronts her for supporting Cave, who has joined a white supremacist gang in prison.
My Take: This show has an incredible cast, with Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, and Ron Cephas Jones in big supporting roles. Race is an unavoidable part of this story, but so is culture, as Poppy is split between her family’s blue-collar roots in Oakland, and the Silicon Valley lifestyle she now lives with her husband across the bay. The Bay Area setting of this series is a big part of the symbolism. The problem is that the mystery viewers came for was never really important. This would’ve been a good third season of a show, once a status quo for these characters had been found, rather than a confusing first season with lots of subplots.
22 - Central Park - Animation
Summary: Animated by the people behind Bob’s Burgers and created in part by Josh Gad, Central Park is an animated musical. The show revolves around the family of the manager of Central Park (Leslie Odom Jr.), and the villainous hotel owner (Stanley Tucci) who wants to undermine the park to buy it and develop it. Gad plays the busker at the park who serves as the audience’s narrator, and it plays like musical theater, with songs written by a range of artists, including Fiona Apple, Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, Aimee Mann, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, and Meghan Trainor, among many others.
My Take: The show is silly, but not always in a funny way. The music is reminiscent of the irreverent nature of Avenue Q, and has some star power behind it, though a lot of the music is just meh. I’m not surprised my favorite song, “Spoiler Alert”, was cowritten by Alan Menken of 90’s Disney musical fame. The story, however, very often deviates from the main thrust of the plot and doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere at times, as it’s more bothered with the humor in ridiculous situations, like the park manager’s son being obsessed with the villain’s dog Champagne. Ultimately, though, the show is just meh. The humor is fine, the story is barely relevant, and the majority of the music will not be found on many people’s playlists going forward, although of course you can find it all on Apple Music.
This show has been one of Apple TV’s only controversies, however. The cast is made from many of Gad’s friends. That led to some controversy, as Gad chose stars before choosing parts. Kristen Bell was put into the role of a bi-racial character, and the two villainous women in the series were played by men (Stanley Tucci and Daveed Diggs, though it’s hard to fault either performance). The controversy was first brought up over the winter. After the summer’s social upheaval, Bell stepped down from the role and her former character will be played in season 2 by Emmy Raver-Lampman. Bell will return as a new character in season 2.
21 - On The Rocks - Comedy (Movie)
Summary: Laura (Rashida Jones) is worried that her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) may have gotten bored in their marriage and having an affair with a coworker. Laura’s father (Bill Murrary), a charming and unabashed ladies man, tries to help her figure out her suspicions as they follow Dean around.
My Take: Well, Apple TV+ paid for a Sofia Coppola film, and boy, did they get one. What this means is that this is a movie where the plot is less important than the conversation, and in particular, this might as well be a 2-person play between Jones and Murray. Murray is charming as basically a more chauvinistic version of himself, and Jones deadpan is the perfect counter. Ultimately the conversations are predictable, and the very obvious plot takes away any suspense. This lets the movie’s most emotionally revelatory scene go almost completely under the radar. Ultimately, it and any lessons from this film get lost in conversation. Luckily, though, Murray and Jones are enough to carry the film and stop it from becoming just plain lost.
20 - See - Drama
Summary: In the future, the world was hit with a virus that made all humans blind, and predictably led to a societal downfall. The remains of civilization live either in a world wildness has mostly reclaimed, or the ruins of what once was. The story centers on a family where two children have been born with sight, and their adoptive father (Jason Momoa) and their mother (Hera Hilmar), with friends, try to find others with sight, while being chased by a religious monarch and her soldiers, trying to rid the world of the sin of sight.
My Take: One of Apple TV+’s first showcase shows, with a bankable action star in Jason Momoa and a huge budget, See ended up as one of the platform’s disappointments. The show suffers because it’s trying to world build throughout its first season, but is constantly changing the status quo of the world through its first season. Time flies for the characters, as the kids born in the first episode are teens in 3 episodes. Supporting characters are set up and then lost in the shuffle. The show does a fantastic job putting together a realistic world of how the sightless would build a civilization, but it’s not enough to make up for a plot that barely sets a status quo before blowing it up for a new quo.
19 - Bruce Springsteen’s Letter To You - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: A documentary recorded while Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band recorded their first studio album since 2012, Letter To You was inspired as Springsteen lost a former bandmate from The Castiles, his band in the 1960’s. The documentary goes between the band playing the songs, and talking about themselves and their history.
My Take: This is a solid musical documentary, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here. It was filmed in 2019, when Springsteen was 70, and there’s no avoiding that this is and old white rocker feeling nostalgic and sharing wisdom and concerns of a life having survived rock and roll. Filmed in black and white, the documentary is comfortable and the music is nice, but it kind of fades into the background even while people are talking. Bruce and 80’s rock fans will love this. Others might turn it on and forget it’s playing.
18 - Little America - Comedy
Summary: A serial about the immigrant experience, Little America tells different stories about the immigrant life in America, from different time periods and different original countries. Whether it be a child prodigy who is left behind when his parents are deported, an African immigrant interested in becoming a cowboy, or a silent retreat where language is not a barrier, this serial tries to tell stories from every background
My Take: With Executive Producers Kumail Nanjiani and Emiliy V. Gordon as the true star power, this anthology series looks at eight different stories about immigrants living in America, all inspired by real life stories. Quality varies per episode, and sometimes it gets a little predictable and repetitive. Still, it has enough high points to work overall. My personal favorites were “The Manager” and “The Grand Prize Expo Winner”, the latter doing an amazing job of humanizing an often-mocked stereotype in media.
17 - The Oprah Conversation - Talk Show
Summary: Oprah’s intended talk show to bring in celebrities and experts and talk to them, but because of the pandemic, it is without a live audience. However, Oprah brings guests in remotely with huge and small screens that feels futuristic, not limiting in the way many pandemic shows have been. Oprah and the guest are in separate spaces but both are professionally filmed, and the limited audience members are present like portraits on the wall in a gallery.
My Take: Of the three Oprah shows, this feels most like “Oprah”. Due to the timing of the show after social upheaval, many episodes take on the subject of race and race relations. But others are oddly promotional, like Mariah Carey (who coincidentally has a holiday special coming with Apple TV) and Matthew McConaughey (and his new book). The episodes about race are particularly worth watching (as a white man, who is often uncomfortable talking about race). This is definitely peak Oprah.
16 - Little Voice - Drama
Summary: Sara Bareilles, Jordy Nelson, and. J.J. Abrams are the powerhouses behind this series, a sweet but not exactly groundbreaking story about a singer-songwriter trying to make it in New York. Bess (Brittany O’Grady) is a songwriter with anxiety about performing, despite a father in the business. As Bess tries to overcome her anxiety, she has to deal with her autistic brother (Kevin Valdez, an actor who is actually on the spectrum), her roommate/best friend, a coworker at the bar who wants to be her manager, a new musician partner, a potential love interest or two, and her alcoholic father and absent mother. That’s all.
My Take: It works on the back of star Brittany O’Grady, and a compelling cast of people around her life, especially Valdez’s performance, which is one of the most realistic portrayals of autism you’ll find. Bareilles wrote the music, which is beautiful as usual. Where the show falters is that it seems like it’s trying to do every single possible story at once, and every episode feels manic. It almost seems to exhaust every possible plot point and stumbling block in one season. But O’Grady and the music help you keep watching.
15 - The Banker - Drama (Movie)
Summary: Inspired by a true story, this movie follows Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie), an African-American prodigy, as he makes himself a success in Los Angeles real estate in the 1950’s and 60’s, and tries to move into banking in his home state of Texas. He and his wife (Nia Long) partners with businessman Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) and white front-man Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult) to try and succeed in two racist industries.
My Take: One of Apple TV’s first movies, The Banker has big name stars in Avengers stars Mackie and Jackson and a big-time story. The movie is fast paced and at times feels like skimming a book. It doesn’t skimp on laughs in the first half (with Jackson providing his own laugh track), but it does get much more serious in the second half as it and the characters directly address the racism around them. This is the first Apple TV+ movie that feels distinctly “Hollywood”, both in style in structure. That helps raise ATV+’s profile, but it puts limits this film as well. It’s a good story and worth watching, but is not ground-breaking, and clearly is not an in-depth or entirely accurate look at the story.
It was also a source of a major controversy, as the movie’s release was delayed by allegations of childhood sexual abuse were levied against Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of the main character and a producer on the film, by his half sisters and their mother.
14 - Tehran - Thriller
Summary: An “Apple Original” in title only, this show was made in Israel for their public channel Kan 11, and Apple purchased the international rights. It follows Tamar Rabinyan (Niv Sultan), a young Jewish spy who was born in Iran, as she is inserted into Tehran to try and neutralize Iran’s air defenses so Israel can bomb their nuclear plant. The plot is foiled in the first episode, and Tamar is sent on the run in an enemy city, pursued by the head investigator of the Revolutionary Guard Faraz Kamali (Shaun Toub).
My Take: In many ways, this is a fairly standard spy thriller. There’s a mission, it goes wrong, and everyone is sent scrambling. Tehran gets points, from this American viewer, for exploring the largely unexplored environment of urban Iran (albeit filmed in Athens). The characters switch between Hebrew, Farsi, and English very quickly, which is challenging to hearead. But ultimately, this is a personal spy story of pawns in a bigger war, as the scope grows with each episode. There’s plenty of grey in every side of this conflict. Even with the scope, Tehran gets bogged down and the middle episodes feel filled with filler. Ultimately, it’s solid, and does feel different than most spy shows. And though we get a satisfying resolution, the door is left open for season 2, which is as yet officially unannounced (but reported that they are signed on for two more seasons).
13 - Boys State - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Every year, young men are brought together in the Texas State Capitol for what is basically a political science camp, where they are broken into their own political parties, and must come up with a platform and compete in an election for roles inspired by state government. During it, these 16-18-year old boys must work together while competing against each other, and learning what politics are.
My Take: A documentary about young men’s mock political competition in Texas, you’ve probably just envisioned something about what this looks like, and no doubt, you’ll probably see exactly that in this documentary. But this Sundance Documentary-winning film doesn’t quite go the way you think, but also close enough that it might not matter. These teens have more nuance than I would’ve expected, and I wish adults had in politics. But it has too much nuance to be received well, I think. Still, if you want a reason to watch this, I’d put money that at least one of the featured boys in this becomes a politician of note in the near future. Also, I am interested in seeing a documentary about the same event for girls, Girls State.
12 - Tiny World - Documentary
Summary: Narrated by Ant-Man’s Paul Rudd, Tiny World takes a look at the world of small animals living in diverse natural habitats around the world. Ranging from the African savannah to the Australian outback to the north American backyard, the show features animals from monkeys that can fit in the palm of your hand, down to the ants that are ever-present.
My Take: Nature documentaries are everywhere, but the cinematography on this is mind-blowing to the point you truly wonder how some of this was shot. Clearly, a large amount of it was manipulated, with rare parts where the CGI shows through, but it doesn’t take away from just how beautiful the shots are. With Rudd’s occasionally wry narration, it makes this a nature documentary that competes with the best stuff on Netflix. The nature never gets too gory, but it does deal with the life and death (sometimes brutal) of tiny nature. And it’s even a great follow-up to the movie “The Elephant Queen” because the first episode features what could be the same dung beetle that featured in that movie! (The movie and this series were not done by the same company, though, so it might just be a look-alike dung beetle they hired.)
11 - Beastie Boys Story - Documentary
Summary: A telling of the Beastie Boys career, by the surviving members Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz themselves. Directed by Spike Jonze, this documentary is shot as the two tell their story to a live audience in a theater, alternating between them on stage laughing and joking around, and video sequences they narrate about their career, and their friends, especially the late Adam “MCA” Yauch.
My Take: This is such an unusual format for a documentary, and it works so well. It allows for some of the goofing off that one might expect from the stars, but it’s still coherent and interesting, especially for me as a casual fan of the band growing up. On a service with a lot of traditionally-made documentaries, this stands out because of both its style and its quality, and if you like pop music at all, you should enjoy this.
10 - For All Mankind - Drama
Summary: An alternate history series based off a simple question: What if the Soviet Union beat America to the moon? From Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore, the answer is that the Americans, more competitive than ever, try to push for more ambitious goals than just landing on the moon and leaving.
My Take: One of the first Apple TV shows, it is a sometimes nerdy but very interesting look at the space race. It balances fictional characters with real life figures (sometimes making interesting decisions when changing their fate), and really tries to focus on the science side of science fiction. The show jumps across years of development, so it’s not as tedious and slow as it could be. It hasn’t captured fans’ imaginations as much as it obviously has its creators’ imaginations, but it’s a quality drama that could get better in future seasons, although it is clearly now swerving to the fiction side of science fiction.
9 - Home Before Dark - Drama
Summary: Hilde Lisko (Brooklynn Prince) is a 9-year old daughter of a journalist who wants to do what he does. When her family moves from New York to her father’s small hometown in Washington, she stumbles onto a mysterious death and does what any reporter would do: writes about it in her blog. But as the mystery expands to her father’s past, she challenges an entire city’s reluctance to face up to a tragedy from decades ago, in the name of journalism.
My Take: A dark horse series that did not get much press, Home Before Dark seems like a show for kids, but is a show is made for adults, with a mystery of twists and turns more like Gone Girl than any children’s show. Prince is the star of this show and keeps viewers attached, even as the mystery’s twists get harder to follow. The show is vaguely inspired by a real life young journalist, but realistically is not at all the same story. It doesn’t matter, as this is as much about family and youthful stubbornness as anything else.
8 - Dickinson - Comedy
Summary: A historical comedy-drama about the life of poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld), this show follows her as a modern-thinking woman in a restrictive 19th century setting, growing up as a teenager. It shows both what’s going on around her, and into her imaginative flights of fancy as she deals with romantic trysts, less-than-friendly friends, and restrictive parents (notably Jane Krakowski as her mother Emily).
My Take: One of the first series from Apple TV+, Dickinson is an ambitious series, but shifts between being a period piece with setting-appropriate acting, and characters acting like modern people but set in the past. As great as parts are, it does struggle with focus and tone, particularly John Mulaney’s guest role as Henry David Thoreau, which feels better suited for a Will Ferrell absurdist comedy than what this show is trying to be. Steinfeld shines in the lead role, but Ella Hunt as Dickinson’s best friend Sue and Jane Krakowski as her mother both are fantastic. The relationship between Dickinson and her best friend Sue, and hints about Dickinson’s deteriorating mental health, are both handled very well. This is a show that has a chance to really find its footing in future seasons.
7 - Greyhound - Action (Movie)
Summary: Captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) has been given command of a destroyer, and a convoy of supply ships to cross the U-Boat infested Atlantic early in World War II. Without air cover, he spends days awake, attempting to outmaneuver an enemy he can not see, or even count. As ships in his convoy are attacked one by one, he must save as many as he can before getting back under the protective air cover from Great Britain.
My Take: A movie that really was meant for the big screen, Greyhound is not interested in your character development or subplots or mandatory romances (mostly). After an initial scene introducing Krause in the lone bit of character development, this movie is about the tense travel of the Atlantic with submarines hunting you. It never shows the human villains, only the occasional peak at the metal beasts when they surface. It also doesn’t jump between ships on this convoy. Strictly a single viewpoint, which makes for a fascinatingly and a little fatiguingly tense film that is shorter than it feels (only 91 minutes!) because of the thrills. This movie is a fantastically different take on the war films we know, and especially for those with military experience, a strong film.
6 - Servant - Drama
Summary: Without significant spoilers, the show focuses on a couple who recently suffered the loss of a child, and have undertaken a real doll therapy, where they take care of a doll to help the psychological effects of losing a child, and go so far as to bring in a mysterious young girl to be the doll’s nanny. Over the span of the series, secrets about the nanny, and the troubles of the couple themselves, slowly leak out.
My Take: M. Night Shymalan’s first television show is a return to the Shymalan of his early years. With the space of a series instead of a movie, Shymalan has the room to explore each character: the almost-grieving mother (Lauren Ambrose), the disaffected and disbelieving husband (Toby Kebbell), the mysterious nanny (Nell Tiger Free), and the doubtful brother of the wife (Rupert Grint, Ron from Harry Potter), who acts as an outside world anchor. By the end, it feels a bit as if the original mystery has become a subplot, but it’s left on a cliffhanger the will leap the plot forward. And throughout the series, Shymalan allows food to be a visual cue and cinematographic toy, setting the mood. This ranks as one of Shymalan’s better stories from his long career.
5 - Visible: Out on Television - Documentary (Miniseries)
Episodes: 5; Stauts: Completed
Summary: A documentary series about how all facets of LGBTQ people have been represented on television, from the 1950’s through today. As a series, the documentary takes time with many the facets of every letter in LGBTQ, and all the letters hidden within it, talking about struggles of people of color. With interviews and clips, it takes it’s time with different eras and weaves it all together. And it’s all done with an undertone of how storytelling works, and the tool that television is, both for misinformation but also for connection.
My Take: Making this a series really allows the time to give this topic the time to really explore it. It’s an engaging documentary, especially for anyone who’s spent any time watching television. There’s nuggets of memory for all of us, where we can connect to the shows we used to watch, both their flaws and triumphs. Certain critics might point to this as Apple trying to force representation down our throats, but this documentary is excellent at telling a compelling story with both history and context.
4 - The Morning Show - Drama
Summary: Apple TV+’s centerpiece, with superstar stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell, and yet a scene-stealing supporting cast of Gugu Mbahta-Raw, Billy Crudup (who won an Emmy for his role), Mark Duplass, and Jack Davenport (who is never not good), the show is about a, believe it or not, morning show whose male lead is fired in a sexual misconduct scandal and the after-effects. Witherspoon’s character is unexpectedly brought in to replace him, as power battles go on behind the scenes with everyone from the network head down to the assistant producers, as the secrets spill out about the truth.
My Take: What could be a preachy show about the MeToo movement never gets that way, and attempts a nuanced discussion about the less clear-cut issues. It’s not done perfectly, as some conflicts from the episodic storyline seem to disappear in the next episode, and Mitch is frustratingly (and probably intentionally) likable even as he is hate-able, with Carell showing his range. One flaw of this show is that the extremely likable supporting cast pulls attention away from Aniston and Witherspoon, the former being appropriately lauded with praise but not getting enough to win awards, and the latter getting a little stuck in her character spot. The season finale flurry hits hard, even if it doesn’t feel completely earned, but this show has definitely become the first bankable piece ATV+ has.
3 - Defending Jacob - Drama (Miniseries)
Summary: A boy is murdered, and after an investigation, suspicion falls on one of his classmates, Jacob, who is the son of Andy Barber, one of the assistant district attorneys (Chris Evans). Andy and his wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery) must do their best to defend their son, investigating other leads, but also facing the possibility that their son is guilty, and hiding family secrets.
My Take: Starring Captain America’s Chris Evans, Defending Jacob became the summer hit for Apple TV+, drawing viewers in. The tension between Andy and his wife Laurie, and their slightly creepy son Jacob (Jaeden Martell) as the teen is accused of murder, is filled with tension and, unlike many of the series on Apple TV, comes to a full conclusion in one season. Fans of mysteries like Gone Girl will appreciate this series. Although it can feel slightly stretched, this series hits hard and makes the most of its star power.
2 - Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet - Comedy
Summary: Mythic Quest is an online game akin to World of Warcraft, and it’s launching a new expansion to keep its fans engaged. The studio is led by a charmingly sycophantic designer Ian (pronounced EYE-an, played by Rob Mcelhenney), and lead engineer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao). With a staff of obsessive assistants, disinterested programmers, earnest game testers, snippy game streamers, and an elderly lead writer lost in technology, the show hops along the daily struggles of keeping a game going and its fans happy.
My Take: An absolute home run of a show, as one would expect from the team behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mythic Quest is absurdist comedy at its best, with McElhenney and a breakout performance from Nicdao. However, it’s also an ensemble cast with no weak spots, and a wonderfully obvious premise that is contemporary. It is at its best in two standalone episodes. The first comes out of nowhere, not featuring the main cast but instead acts as a “How the Game Industry Got Here” prequel in heartbreakingly personal fashion. The second is a special Quarantine episode that was perhaps the best quarantine-focused special episode done anywhere.
1 - Ted Lasso - Comedy
Summary: An American Football coach is inexplicably hired as a Soccer…er, real Football coach in the Premiere League in London. The titular Lasso is genuine and earnest, openly saying he doesn’t think winning has to do with the score, and he faces a soccer world where the opposite is true. He faces disbelieving players, abusive fans, unsure team staff, and a devious owner, but he barely blinks in the face of it all, and tries to keep his team from relegation…once he learns what that means.
My Take: An absolute surprise of a show, based on NBC Sports comedy promos, that has no right to be so great. Ted Lasso is on its face a fish-out-of-water sports show about an American football coach going to Europe to coach football/soccer. But it’s really a movie about a polite man in an impolite world, and bending rather than breaking, and sticking to your principles. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it is surprisingly emotional. It’s also a show that champions maturity in a way that hits harder in a 2020 world, and so it’s also very well-timed. The only problem with Ted Lasso the show is that even though it gives Apple TV+ a recognizable character to market, it’s not a must-subscribe show. But it’s unquestionably one of Apple TV+’s best.
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2020.11.01 09:17 BruteSentiment It's been 1 year since Apple TV+ began, and I have watched every one of their shows (except the kids stuff)! Here's my ranking... [No Spoilers]

In one year, Apple TV+ has released a pretty solid slate of original material. Not including children-oriented content, Apple TV+ has released 20 series, 3 miniseries, 9 movies, and 2 talk shows. From the start, Apple has said that the goal of the content is on quality, not quantity. But…has it lived up to that?
34 - Greatness Code - Documentary
Summary: Each episode features a different athlete talking about a key moment in their careers. The show features athletes from many different sports, including basketball’s LeBron James, soccer’s Alex Morgan (sorry…footballer Alex Morgan), snowboarder Shaun White, sprinter Usain Bolt, swimmer Katie Ledecky, surfer Kelly Slater, and (American) footballer Tom Brady (who is a co-producer).
My Take: This is the easy winner for the worst thing on Apple TV+. The only good thing about this “show” is that the episodes are usually no more than 10 minutes long. The monologues by the athletes are…fine. There’s nothing you haven’t really heard before here. The problem is that the special effects take away from actually seeing the athlete in action. Almost every bit of action has some animation or filter or something over it, so we almost never actually see the events being discussed. It’s pretty ridiculous. After watching this, I genuinely wondered if this series was intended to be part of Apple TV+’s children’s offerings, because that is the only level where it could at all seem “great”.
33 - Oprah Talks Covid-19 - News (Miniseries)
Summary: Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic started major lockdowns across the United States, Oprah quickly began to do online interviews with people who she hoped would bring perspective and uplifting messages, from celebrities to pastors to nurses to people who had experienced isolation in prison and the holocaust. This series ran for nearly a month from mid-March to mid-April in 2020.
My Take: One of Oprah’s three series, this one is the lowest ranked just because much of the information within it is out of date, and is aimed at people at a certain time, which was months ago. But in a way, it’s a bit of a time capsule of the early parts of the pandemic in the public eye, which is interesting. It’s almost as interesting to see the production value (or lack there of), as the majority of the episodes are screen recordings of online interviews. It’s perhaps only worth watching now for being a curiosity, but Apple and Oprah did good getting something up in a timely fashion.
32 - Amazing Stories - Adventure
Summary: An anthology series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the show brings back the “Amazing Stories” brand with five independent stories about incredible adventures that play with sci-fi and fantasy about regular people put in amazing situations.
My Take: Amazing Stories was to be one of Apple TV’s tentpoles for the summer. Unfortunately, the series landed flat, and is by far the biggest disappointment. It’s yet another TV series that original co-Producer Bryan Fuller left. The show was originally to have ten episodes, it ended up with just five. The stories were not very groundbreaking, though they were beautifully shot. It might be worth checking out for Robert Forster’s last project before he died (Dynoman and the Volt), and for the touching “The Heat” about high school runners from Oakland.
31 - Home - Documentary
Summary: As you might imagine, this documentary series is not just about the architecture of a house, but about the people behind building and designing them. Each episode features a different house and story, with houses chosen from around the world, from urban environments like Chicago and Hong Kong to remote locations in Maine and Bali.
My Take: Although cable and streaming is littered with television programs about houses and architecture, this show passes on the drama, which helps Home become a documentary, and not a reality show. The cinematography is predictably beautiful, but the pacing is slow, and it’s very hard to really get into. It doesn’t help that a couple of the home builders behind the stories are honestly not very likable. The final episode of the first season is really good, but ultimately, this show is a bit of a snooze beyond the real enthusiasts.
30 - Dads - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, this movie looks at fathers across the many levels of fatherhood, anchored by Howard’s own relationship with her father, actodirector Ron Howard, and her grandfather Archie, as well as Bryce’s non-celebrity brother who is an expecting father. The movie shifts to stories about fathers from around the world, and back to the Howards, to celebrate the ever-shifting role of fatherhood in modern society.
My Take: This documentary is a sweet, if simple, tribute to modern fatherhood. There’s nothing special here, it does exactly what you would expect it to. It has cameo interviews from comedian fathers, interspersed with random recordings of fathers from home movies and social media, and stories of fathers in different situations. There’s nothing bad about it, but it’s pretty dry overall. It’s not a waste, but it’ll probably end up being the thing you see in the list and say “Oh, I’ll watch that another time…”, which might as well be next Father’s Day with your dad.
29 - Dear… - Documentary
Summary: A documentary series that details the history and life of various individual celebrities, and uses letters written by people they have affected to frame those celebrities’ impact on people and society.
My Take: Apple has used the advertising method of using letters written to Apple or Tim Cook about how things have changed their lives (particularly the Apple Watch), and in that context this series feels like, well, advertising. Not to take anything away from the celebrities involved, but the marketing push feels very heavy here. And, of course, one of the celebrities featured is Oprah, who is a big presence in ATV+. It also gets absurd with one episode around Big Bird (in character); of course, the Muppets have a spin-off in the kids section of ATV+ called Helpsters. It’s best with the smaller names, where even I learned a little bit. It’s a decent feel-good if that’s what you’re looking for.
28 - Long Way Up - Documentary (Miniseries)
Summary: The third docu-series by Ewan McGregor and his best friend Charley Boorman as they take a long road trip by motorcycle. This trip, they are traveling from the southern tip of South America up to Los Angeles, and are doing it (almost) entirely on electric vehicles. The series highlights both the places they visit along the way, and the travails (and successes) of using these new, custom-made electric motorcycles. (The other two series Long Way Round and Long Way Down have also been added to ATV+, though they are not ‘Apple Originals’.)
My Take: I’ve got to be honest, it’s hard to get into watching others take a road trip. It’s nice enough. The footage is beautiful, as they use everything from GoPro helmet cams to drones to capture the scenery. But the major source of tension here is Range Anxiety, and the biggest drama is in whether or not they can do it all on electric bikes. Still, it’s interesting to see parts of South America many aren’t familiar with, including deserts and the vast Patagonia. And Ewan does seem like someone that would be a great bloke to be mates with. Some people will really enjoy this, I’m just not one of them.
27 - The Elephant Queen - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Narrated by the soft-spoken Chiwetel Ejiofor, an elephant herd must navigate the climate of the savannah to survive. Led by the matriarch, they must migrate before the dry season hits to stay around water, and then return to their normal grazing land. Along the way, we meet the many other creatures of the savannah and face the changing climates and droughts that get in the way of these pachyderms.
My Take: A documentary much in the style of the old Disney documentaries, the Elephant Queen does a lot of anthropomorphizing its subjects, who range from elephants to dung beetles, and follows them through a difficult season. It is borderline kids-oriented, but adults might enjoy this as well. It’s not afraid to delve into some sad situations, and there is an overriding theme of what happens in droughts that can not be ignored. A sweet film, perhaps a bit saccharine.
26 - Hala - Drama (Movie)
Summary: Hala is a Pakistani-American teenage girl and her trying to balance her family and cultural pressures with being a teen in America. She longs to be out of the pressures of her family’s culture as she interacts with friends and teachers outside of the home. When she does try to act out, she begins to discover more about her family, both discovering secrets and sides she never knew about, as she discovers more about herself.
My Take: Apple TV+’s first fictional feature film release, this coming of age film is never really surprising, but it is a well made film that hits all the right nuances in trying to share Hala’s experience. It’s not a perfect film, as there are some shifts in tone and character that are rather sudden and jarring for the viewer, though all things considered, that’s probably what writedirector Minhal Baig was trying for. The emotions shift quickly and non-family characters disappear quickly, as it’s clear that this is Hala’s story, and not anyone else’s. It’s a solid watch.
25 - Trying - Comedy
Summary: A British couple, Nikki and Jason, have decided to adopt when they have trouble conceiving. They struggle with the truly difficult process of adopting, as well as insecurities about whether or not the two (who could be called slackers) are truly ready to be, or even worthy of being, parents.
My Take: This is a British comedy co-produced by BBC that is about an intensely serious subject. If you know British humor, you know that it will be very intentionally awkward, and this series can definitely hit that mark. While the show is certainly has about its two main characters (Rafe Spall and Esther Smith as the couple), it has a surprisingly large cast of supporting characters, but with only one star most Americans would know (Imelda Staunton as the most unintimidating social worker ever). It’s an interesting concept, and it finds some sweet moments, but not as many funny ones. It’s not bad, but is just okay.
24 - Oprah’s Book Club - Talk Show
Summary: This was the first Oprah show to appear on Apple TV+, serving as a cross-section of Apple services (which advertises Books and Podcasts), and the only one that got to meet the pre-pandemic style of Oprah’s shows. The idea was that Oprah would interview authors and let an audience ask questions. But the series also shows the effects of the pandemic. Once the pandemic hits, the audience is gone, and it becomes direct virtual interviews for a couple of episodes before Apple and Oprah find a way to have a virtual audience.
My Take: I admit, I didn’t read any of the books selected for this list. I still got something out of these shows, but more of an analysis of Oprah than the books. It did show off one of her worst traits, which is how she answers for an interviewee when they were slow to find a point, and she talked over a lot of people. But you could also see her energy change when she had a live audience versus online interviews, and even different with a virtual audience. You could also see her energy change about what books she is passionate about versus those less so. So this wasn’t a waste, but I wasn’t enthusiastic.
23 - Truth Be Told - Drama
Summary: Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) is a true crime podcaster after a successful career as an investigative reporter, but she comes to dwell on the first case that made her famous, where a teenager was put away for murdering his neighbor. Now an adult (played by Aaron Paul), Poppy begins talking with him to see if she made a mistake. Meanwhile, the victim’s family is forced to revisit the crime, including twin daughters (both played by Lizzy Caplan), and Poppy’s family confronts her for supporting Cave, who has joined a white supremacist gang in prison.
My Take: This show has an incredible cast, with Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, and Ron Cephas Jones in big supporting roles. Race is an unavoidable part of this story, but so is culture, as Poppy is split between her family’s blue-collar roots in Oakland, and the Silicon Valley lifestyle she now lives with her husband across the bay. The Bay Area setting of this series is a big part of the symbolism. The problem is that the mystery viewers came for was never really important. This would’ve been a good third season of a show, once a status quo for these characters had been found, rather than a confusing first season with lots of subplots.
22 - Central Park - Animation
Summary: Animated by the people behind Bob’s Burgers and created in part by Josh Gad, Central Park is an animated musical. The show revolves around the family of the manager of Central Park (Leslie Odom Jr.), and the villainous hotel owner (Stanley Tucci) who wants to undermine the park to buy it and develop it. Gad plays the busker at the park who serves as the audience’s narrator, and it plays like musical theater, with songs written by a range of artists, including Fiona Apple, Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, Aimee Mann, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, and Meghan Trainor, among many others.
My Take: The show is silly, but not always in a funny way. The music is reminiscent of the irreverent nature of Avenue Q, and has some star power behind it, though a lot of the music is just meh. I’m not surprised my favorite song, “Spoiler Alert”, was cowritten by Alan Menken of 90’s Disney musical fame. The story, however, very often deviates from the main thrust of the plot and doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere at times, as it’s more bothered with the humor in ridiculous situations, like the park manager’s son being obsessed with the villain’s dog Champagne. Ultimately, though, the show is just meh. The humor is fine, the story is barely relevant, and the majority of the music will not be found on many people’s playlists going forward, although of course you can find it all on Apple Music.
This show has been one of Apple TV’s only controversies, however. The cast is made from many of Gad’s friends. That led to some controversy, as Gad chose stars before choosing parts. Kristen Bell was put into the role of a bi-racial character, and the two villainous women in the series were played by men (Stanley Tucci and Daveed Diggs, though it’s hard to fault either performance). The controversy was first brought up over the winter. After the summer’s social upheaval, Bell stepped down from the role and her former character will be played in season 2 by Emmy Raver-Lampman. Bell will return as a new character in season 2.
21 - On The Rocks - Comedy (Movie)
Summary: Laura (Rashida Jones) is worried that her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) may have gotten bored in their marriage and having an affair with a coworker. Laura’s father (Bill Murrary), a charming and unabashed ladies man, tries to help her figure out her suspicions as they follow Dean around.
My Take: Well, Apple TV+ paid for a Sofia Coppola film, and boy, did they get one. What this means is that this is a movie where the plot is less important than the conversation, and in particular, this might as well be a 2-person play between Jones and Murray. Murray is charming as basically a more chauvinistic version of himself, and Jones deadpan is the perfect counter. Ultimately the conversations are predictable, and the very obvious plot takes away any suspense. This lets the movie’s most emotionally revelatory scene go almost completely under the radar. Ultimately, it and any lessons from this film get lost in conversation. Luckily, though, Murray and Jones are enough to carry the film and stop it from becoming just plain lost.
20 - See - Drama
Summary: In the future, the world was hit with a virus that made all humans blind, and predictably led to a societal downfall. The remains of civilization live either in a world wildness has mostly reclaimed, or the ruins of what once was. The story centers on a family where two children have been born with sight, and their adoptive father (Jason Momoa) and their mother (Hera Hilmar), with friends, try to find others with sight, while being chased by a religious monarch and her soldiers, trying to rid the world of the sin of sight.
My Take: One of Apple TV+’s first showcase shows, with a bankable action star in Jason Momoa and a huge budget, See ended up as one of the platform’s disappointments. The show suffers because it’s trying to world build throughout its first season, but is constantly changing the status quo of the world through its first season. Time flies for the characters, as the kids born in the first episode are teens in 3 episodes. Supporting characters are set up and then lost in the shuffle. The show does a fantastic job putting together a realistic world of how the sightless would build a civilization, but it’s not enough to make up for a plot that barely sets a status quo before blowing it up for a new quo.
19 - Bruce Springsteen’s Letter To You - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: A documentary recorded while Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band recorded their first studio album since 2012, Letter To You was inspired as Springsteen lost a former bandmate from The Castiles, his band in the 1960’s. The documentary goes between the band playing the songs, and talking about themselves and their history.
My Take: This is a solid musical documentary, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here. It was filmed in 2019, when Springsteen was 70, and there’s no avoiding that this is and old white rocker feeling nostalgic and sharing wisdom and concerns of a life having survived rock and roll. Filmed in black and white, the documentary is comfortable and the music is nice, but it kind of fades into the background even while people are talking. Bruce and 80’s rock fans will love this. Others might turn it on and forget it’s playing.
18 - Little America - Comedy
Summary: A serial about the immigrant experience, Little America tells different stories about the immigrant life in America, from different time periods and different original countries. Whether it be a child prodigy who is left behind when his parents are deported, an African immigrant interested in becoming a cowboy, or a silent retreat where language is not a barrier, this serial tries to tell stories from every background
My Take: With Executive Producers Kumail Nanjiani and Emiliy V. Gordon as the true star power, this anthology series looks at eight different stories about immigrants living in America, all inspired by real life stories. Quality varies per episode, and sometimes it gets a little predictable and repetitive. Still, it has enough high points to work overall. My personal favorites were “The Manager” and “The Grand Prize Expo Winner”, the latter doing an amazing job of humanizing an often-mocked stereotype in media.
17 - The Oprah Conversation - Talk Show
Summary: Oprah’s intended talk show to bring in celebrities and experts and talk to them, but because of the pandemic, it is without a live audience. However, Oprah brings guests in remotely with huge and small screens that feels futuristic, not limiting in the way many pandemic shows have been. Oprah and the guest are in separate spaces but both are professionally filmed, and the limited audience members are present like portraits on the wall in a gallery.
My Take: Of the three Oprah shows, this feels most like “Oprah”. Due to the timing of the show after social upheaval, many episodes take on the subject of race and race relations. But others are oddly promotional, like Mariah Carey (who coincidentally has a holiday special coming with Apple TV) and Matthew McConaughey (and his new book). The episodes about race are particularly worth watching (as a white man, who is often uncomfortable talking about race). This is definitely peak Oprah.
16 - Little Voice - Drama
Summary: Sara Bareilles, Jordy Nelson, and. J.J. Abrams are the powerhouses behind this series, a sweet but not exactly groundbreaking story about a singer-songwriter trying to make it in New York. Bess (Brittany O’Grady) is a songwriter with anxiety about performing, despite a father in the business. As Bess tries to overcome her anxiety, she has to deal with her autistic brother (Kevin Valdez, an actor who is actually on the spectrum), her roommate/best friend, a coworker at the bar who wants to be her manager, a new musician partner, a potential love interest or two, and her alcoholic father and absent mother. That’s all.
My Take: It works on the back of star Brittany O’Grady, and a compelling cast of people around her life, especially Valdez’s performance, which is one of the most realistic portrayals of autism you’ll find. Bareilles wrote the music, which is beautiful as usual. Where the show falters is that it seems like it’s trying to do every single possible story at once, and every episode feels manic. It almost seems to exhaust every possible plot point and stumbling block in one season. But O’Grady and the music help you keep watching.
15 - The Banker - Drama (Movie)
Summary: Inspired by a true story, this movie follows Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie), an African-American prodigy, as he makes himself a success in Los Angeles real estate in the 1950’s and 60’s, and tries to move into banking in his home state of Texas. He and his wife (Nia Long) partners with businessman Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) and white front-man Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult) to try and succeed in two racist industries.
My Take: One of Apple TV’s first movies, The Banker has big name stars in Avengers stars Mackie and Jackson and a big-time story. The movie is fast paced and at times feels like skimming a book. It doesn’t skimp on laughs in the first half (with Jackson providing his own laugh track), but it does get much more serious in the second half as it and the characters directly address the racism around them. This is the first Apple TV+ movie that feels distinctly “Hollywood”, both in style in structure. That helps raise ATV+’s profile, but it puts limits this film as well. It’s a good story and worth watching, but is not ground-breaking, and clearly is not an in-depth or entirely accurate look at the story.
It was also a source of a major controversy, as the movie’s release was delayed by allegations of childhood sexual abuse were levied against Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of the main character and a producer on the film, by his half sisters and their mother.
14 - Tehran - Thriller
Summary: An “Apple Original” in title only, this show was made in Israel for their public channel Kan 11, and Apple purchased the international rights. It follows Tamar Rabinyan (Niv Sultan), a young Jewish spy who was born in Iran, as she is inserted into Tehran to try and neutralize Iran’s air defenses so Israel can bomb their nuclear plant. The plot is foiled in the first episode, and Tamar is sent on the run in an enemy city, pursued by the head investigator of the Revolutionary Guard Faraz Kamali (Shaun Toub).
My Take: In many ways, this is a fairly standard spy thriller. There’s a mission, it goes wrong, and everyone is sent scrambling. Tehran gets points, from this American viewer, for exploring the largely unexplored environment of urban Iran (albeit filmed in Athens). The characters switch between Hebrew, Farsi, and English very quickly, which is challenging to hearead. But ultimately, this is a personal spy story of pawns in a bigger war, as the scope grows with each episode. There’s plenty of grey in every side of this conflict. Even with the scope, Tehran gets bogged down and the middle episodes feel filled with filler. Ultimately, it’s solid, and does feel different than most spy shows. And though we get a satisfying resolution, the door is left open for season 2, which is as yet officially unannounced (but reported that they are signed on for two more seasons).
13 - Boys State - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Every year, young men are brought together in the Texas State Capitol for what is basically a political science camp, where they are broken into their own political parties, and must come up with a platform and compete in an election for roles inspired by state government. During it, these 16-18-year old boys must work together while competing against each other, and learning what politics are.
My Take: A documentary about young men’s mock political competition in Texas, you’ve probably just envisioned something about what this looks like, and no doubt, you’ll probably see exactly that in this documentary. But this Sundance Documentary-winning film doesn’t quite go the way you think, but also close enough that it might not matter. These teens have more nuance than I would’ve expected, and I wish adults had in politics. But it has too much nuance to be received well, I think. Still, if you want a reason to watch this, I’d put money that at least one of the featured boys in this becomes a politician of note in the near future. Also, I am interested in seeing a documentary about the same event for girls, Girls State.
12 - Tiny World - Documentary
Summary: Narrated by Ant-Man’s Paul Rudd, Tiny World takes a look at the world of small animals living in diverse natural habitats around the world. Ranging from the African savannah to the Australian outback to the north American backyard, the show features animals from monkeys that can fit in the palm of your hand, down to the ants that are ever-present.
My Take: Nature documentaries are everywhere, but the cinematography on this is mind-blowing to the point you truly wonder how some of this was shot. Clearly, a large amount of it was manipulated, with rare parts where the CGI shows through, but it doesn’t take away from just how beautiful the shots are. With Rudd’s occasionally wry narration, it makes this a nature documentary that competes with the best stuff on Netflix. The nature never gets too gory, but it does deal with the life and death (sometimes brutal) of tiny nature. And it’s even a great follow-up to the movie “The Elephant Queen” because the first episode features what could be the same dung beetle that featured in that movie! (The movie and this series were not done by the same company, though, so it might just be a look-alike dung beetle they hired.)
11 - Beastie Boys Story - Documentary
Summary: A telling of the Beastie Boys career, by the surviving members Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz themselves. Directed by Spike Jonze, this documentary is shot as the two tell their story to a live audience in a theater, alternating between them on stage laughing and joking around, and video sequences they narrate about their career, and their friends, especially the late Adam “MCA” Yauch.
My Take: This is such an unusual format for a documentary, and it works so well. It allows for some of the goofing off that one might expect from the stars, but it’s still coherent and interesting, especially for me as a casual fan of the band growing up. On a service with a lot of traditionally-made documentaries, this stands out because of both its style and its quality, and if you like pop music at all, you should enjoy this.
10 - For All Mankind - Drama
Summary: An alternate history series based off a simple question: What if the Soviet Union beat America to the moon? From Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore, the answer is that the Americans, more competitive than ever, try to push for more ambitious goals than just landing on the moon and leaving.
My Take: One of the first Apple TV shows, it is a sometimes nerdy but very interesting look at the space race. It balances fictional characters with real life figures (sometimes making interesting decisions when changing their fate), and really tries to focus on the science side of science fiction. The show jumps across years of development, so it’s not as tedious and slow as it could be. It hasn’t captured fans’ imaginations as much as it obviously has its creators’ imaginations, but it’s a quality drama that could get better in future seasons, although it is clearly now swerving to the fiction side of science fiction.
9 - Home Before Dark - Drama
Summary: Hilde Lisko (Brooklynn Prince) is a 9-year old daughter of a journalist who wants to do what he does. When her family moves from New York to her father’s small hometown in Washington, she stumbles onto a mysterious death and does what any reporter would do: writes about it in her blog. But as the mystery expands to her father’s past, she challenges an entire city’s reluctance to face up to a tragedy from decades ago, in the name of journalism.
My Take: A dark horse series that did not get much press, Home Before Dark seems like a show for kids, but is a show is made for adults, with a mystery of twists and turns more like Gone Girl than any children’s show. Prince is the star of this show and keeps viewers attached, even as the mystery’s twists get harder to follow. The show is vaguely inspired by a real life young journalist, but realistically is not at all the same story. It doesn’t matter, as this is as much about family and youthful stubbornness as anything else.
8 - Dickinson - Comedy
Summary: A historical comedy-drama about the life of poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld), this show follows her as a modern-thinking woman in a restrictive 19th century setting, growing up as a teenager. It shows both what’s going on around her, and into her imaginative flights of fancy as she deals with romantic trysts, less-than-friendly friends, and restrictive parents (notably Jane Krakowski as her mother Emily).
My Take: One of the first series from Apple TV+, Dickinson is an ambitious series, but shifts between being a period piece with setting-appropriate acting, and characters acting like modern people but set in the past. As great as parts are, it does struggle with focus and tone, particularly John Mulaney’s guest role as Henry David Thoreau, which feels better suited for a Will Ferrell absurdist comedy than what this show is trying to be. Steinfeld shines in the lead role, but Ella Hunt as Dickinson’s best friend Sue and Jane Krakowski as her mother both are fantastic. The relationship between Dickinson and her best friend Sue, and hints about Dickinson’s deteriorating mental health, are both handled very well. This is a show that has a chance to really find its footing in future seasons.
7 - Greyhound - Action (Movie)
Summary: Captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) has been given command of a destroyer, and a convoy of supply ships to cross the U-Boat infested Atlantic early in World War II. Without air cover, he spends days awake, attempting to outmaneuver an enemy he can not see, or even count. As ships in his convoy are attacked one by one, he must save as many as he can before getting back under the protective air cover from Great Britain.
My Take: A movie that really was meant for the big screen, Greyhound is not interested in your character development or subplots or mandatory romances (mostly). After an initial scene introducing Krause in the lone bit of character development, this movie is about the tense travel of the Atlantic with submarines hunting you. It never shows the human villains, only the occasional peak at the metal beasts when they surface. It also doesn’t jump between ships on this convoy. Strictly a single viewpoint, which makes for a fascinatingly and a little fatiguingly tense film that is shorter than it feels (only 91 minutes!) because of the thrills. This movie is a fantastically different take on the war films we know, and especially for those with military experience, a strong film.
6 - Servant - Drama
Summary: Without significant spoilers, the show focuses on a couple who recently suffered the loss of a child, and have undertaken a real doll therapy, where they take care of a doll to help the psychological effects of losing a child, and go so far as to bring in a mysterious young girl to be the doll’s nanny. Over the span of the series, secrets about the nanny, and the troubles of the couple themselves, slowly leak out.
My Take: M. Night Shymalan’s first television show is a return to the Shymalan of his early years. With the space of a series instead of a movie, Shymalan has the room to explore each character: the almost-grieving mother (Lauren Ambrose), the disaffected and disbelieving husband (Toby Kebbell), the mysterious nanny (Nell Tiger Free), and the doubtful brother of the wife (Rupert Grint, Ron from Harry Potter), who acts as an outside world anchor. By the end, it feels a bit as if the original mystery has become a subplot, but it’s left on a cliffhanger the will leap the plot forward. And throughout the series, Shymalan allows food to be a visual cue and cinematographic toy, setting the mood. This ranks as one of Shymalan’s better stories from his long career.
5 - Visible: Out on Television - Documentary (Miniseries)
Episodes: 5; Stauts: Completed
Summary: A documentary series about how all facets of LGBTQ people have been represented on television, from the 1950’s through today. As a series, the documentary takes time with many the facets of every letter in LGBTQ, and all the letters hidden within it, talking about struggles of people of color. With interviews and clips, it takes it’s time with different eras and weaves it all together. And it’s all done with an undertone of how storytelling works, and the tool that television is, both for misinformation but also for connection.
My Take: Making this a series really allows the time to give this topic the time to really explore it. It’s an engaging documentary, especially for anyone who’s spent any time watching television. There’s nuggets of memory for all of us, where we can connect to the shows we used to watch, both their flaws and triumphs. Certain critics might point to this as Apple trying to force representation down our throats, but this documentary is excellent at telling a compelling story with both history and context.
4 - The Morning Show - Drama
Summary: Apple TV+’s centerpiece, with superstar stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell, and yet a scene-stealing supporting cast of Gugu Mbahta-Raw, Billy Crudup (who won an Emmy for his role), Mark Duplass, and Jack Davenport (who is never not good), the show is about a, believe it or not, morning show whose male lead is fired in a sexual misconduct scandal and the after-effects. Witherspoon’s character is unexpectedly brought in to replace him, as power battles go on behind the scenes with everyone from the network head down to the assistant producers, as the secrets spill out about the truth.
My Take: What could be a preachy show about the MeToo movement never gets that way, and attempts a nuanced discussion about the less clear-cut issues. It’s not done perfectly, as some conflicts from the episodic storyline seem to disappear in the next episode, and Mitch is frustratingly (and probably intentionally) likable even as he is hate-able, with Carell showing his range. One flaw of this show is that the extremely likable supporting cast pulls attention away from Aniston and Witherspoon, the former being appropriately lauded with praise but not getting enough to win awards, and the latter getting a little stuck in her character spot. The season finale flurry hits hard, even if it doesn’t feel completely earned, but this show has definitely become the first bankable piece ATV+ has.
3 - Defending Jacob - Drama (Miniseries)
Summary: A boy is murdered, and after an investigation, suspicion falls on one of his classmates, Jacob, who is the son of Andy Barber, one of the assistant district attorneys (Chris Evans). Andy and his wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery) must do their best to defend their son, investigating other leads, but also facing the possibility that their son is guilty, and hiding family secrets.
My Take: Starring Captain America’s Chris Evans, Defending Jacob became the summer hit for Apple TV+, drawing viewers in. The tension between Andy and his wife Laurie, and their slightly creepy son Jacob (Jaeden Martell) as the teen is accused of murder, is filled with tension and, unlike many of the series on Apple TV, comes to a full conclusion in one season. Fans of mysteries like Gone Girl will appreciate this series. Although it can feel slightly stretched, this series hits hard and makes the most of its star power.
2 - Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet - Comedy
Summary: Mythic Quest is an online game akin to World of Warcraft, and it’s launching a new expansion to keep its fans engaged. The studio is led by a charmingly sycophantic designer Ian (pronounced EYE-an, played by Rob Mcelhenney), and lead engineer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao). With a staff of obsessive assistants, disinterested programmers, earnest game testers, snippy game streamers, and an elderly lead writer lost in technology, the show hops along the daily struggles of keeping a game going and its fans happy.
My Take: An absolute home run of a show, as one would expect from the team behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mythic Quest is absurdist comedy at its best, with McElhenney and a breakout performance from Nicdao. However, it’s also an ensemble cast with no weak spots, and a wonderfully obvious premise that is contemporary. It is at its best in two standalone episodes. The first comes out of nowhere, not featuring the main cast but instead acts as a “How the Game Industry Got Here” prequel in heartbreakingly personal fashion. The second is a special Quarantine episode that was perhaps the best quarantine-focused special episode done anywhere.
1 - Ted Lasso - Comedy
Summary: An American Football coach is inexplicably hired as a Soccer…er, real Football coach in the Premiere League in London. The titular Lasso is genuine and earnest, openly saying he doesn’t think winning has to do with the score, and he faces a soccer world where the opposite is true. He faces disbelieving players, abusive fans, unsure team staff, and a devious owner, but he barely blinks in the face of it all, and tries to keep his team from relegation…once he learns what that means.
My Take: An absolute surprise of a show, based on NBC Sports comedy promos, that has no right to be so great. Ted Lasso is on its face a fish-out-of-water sports show about an American football coach going to Europe to coach football/soccer. But it’s really a movie about a polite man in an impolite world, and bending rather than breaking, and sticking to your principles. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it is surprisingly emotional. It’s also a show that champions maturity in a way that hits harder in a 2020 world, and so it’s also very well-timed. The only problem with Ted Lasso the show is that even though it gives Apple TV+ a recognizable character to market, it’s not a must-subscribe show. But it’s unquestionably one of Apple TV+’s best.
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2020.10.30 23:58 exarchnektel I ran into my ex in the grocery store. He's been dead for seven years (Part 2)

(Link to Part 1)
I nearly slid off my bed.
I tossed my old clothes into the laundry, took a second to admire my (lack of) muscles in the mirror, then hopped into the shower. I kept it quick, just the basics. I thought about shaving, but I had the perfect amount of beard shadow. Afterwards I threw on some kakhis and a lavender polo shirt. Then, after briefly considering a suit, I doffed those in favor of crisp new jeans and a maroon button-down. I even combed my hair. What? I was about to talk with my ex again for the first time in seven years.
My ex who I’d murdered and buried in the woods.
I called Lana.
“He wants to meet.”“Wait, what? When?”
“In like two hours, down at the bookstore. He said you could come too, if you want, and Alice. Has she texted you back yet, by the way?”
“No, you?”
“Okay, if we don’t hear from her by the end of the day, I’m calling her mom.”
“Smart call. Can you pick me up?”
“Sure. Should I text him back?”
“Hmmm… no. Let’s leave him guessing.”
At six-thirty, Lana hopped into the passenger’s seat of my Focus. She gawked.
“Bounce your eyes, weirdo.” I shifted into drive and pulled out onto the street.
“Did you dress nice for Alan?” Lana burst out into giggles, which turned into a sneeze, which turned back into giggles.
“I think,” I explained as I drove, “that we need to come into this with as strong a position of power as we can. Dressing nice is powerful.”
“Whatever you say, Jeff Winger.”
I scoffed as she laughed. She’d taken the opposite tactic: while usually in a tasteful dress with a sweater-vest, Lana had opted to wear leggings, a teal hoodie, and dark brown UGGs. I’d seen this before: sometimes, because of stress, Lana would stop putting effort into her daily rituals.
The four of us used to hang out at the New Canaan bookstore most weekends. It was a place to browse what people were writing about these days, and for a while every one of us but Alan was cranking through one book every couple of weeks. We’d also go to see authors speak. Alice, ever the fan of twisted tales that bend the mind, had dragged us there to see Danielewski speak, which was about what you’d expect it to be. Alan and I got to see Celeste Ng before Everything I Never Told You took off. And some days, we’d just browse titles and read back-covers to each other. Those conversations always tumbled down some tangent or another, and before we’d realized it, we’d killed a couple of hours.
Lana and I made it before Alan. Lana would usually head straight for science-fiction, but today she swerved left into cookbooks. I followed her with my hands in my pockets, my heart up in my mouth with dreadful anticipation.
“No sci-fi?” I asked, my tongue feeling dry and swollen.
“You have to go past horror first,” Lana trilled a pitch too high, “and I’m not in the mood for that.”
“Oh good,” came a voice from behind us. I nearly jumped a foot, and maybe I would have if Alan hadn’t put one hand on my shoulder and another on Lana’s. “We’re all here. Why don’t we take a seat in the reading area? I got everyone a coffee.”
Alan guided us to the reading space, where he’d left us each a hot coffee from Zumbach’s. I took mine and sipped it – it was already lukewarm. I drank it anyway; my sleep routine was already getting fucked up, so why not. I saw Lana’s hand trembling as she reached for her drink.
Alan was dressed in another flannel, this one a blue and white checkerboard. I recognized it specifically. I’d kept it after he died, as something to remember him by. Then I’d lost it just over two years ago. But now, here it is, back on the shoulders of its rightful owner.
“So…” I began. Alan fixed me with expectant eyes, but I came up empty.
“How are you still alive?” Lana blurted out, then covered her mouth when she realized how loud she’d been. Nobody in the store turned a head; we’d heard stranger things here over the years.
“That’s what you want to start with? It’s so good to see you again, Lana. And babe? Not even a hello, from you?”
“Sorry,” I stuttered, “Still in shock.”
“I know,” Alan grinned, running his hand through his hair, “I look gooood, right? I mean, it’s 2019 and I look as good as I did back in 2012. How about that?”
How about that exactly?”
Alan leaned forwards, steepling his fingers and fixing me with that same inviting look of conspiracy from the grocery store. In my two relationships before Alan, I’d always felt like there was something I didn’t get, or something my partners knew all about but that I was locked out of. With Alan it was different. Right from the start, it always felt like we were in on it together. Even then, in the bookstore, I was drawn in by the same feeling – but there was still so much I didn’t get.
“It’s the end of times,” Alan explained, like he’d just told me there was a sale on grass-fed beef. “The dead are rising from their final rest.” He shrugged, all matter of fact. “And I am among one of the first to rise.” He took a long pull from his coffee.
Lana and I exchanged a glance of shock. I had spent hours last night with a shovel in my hands poring over the same question, and I still hadn’t expected that answer. I don’t think Lana had either.
“You’re telling us…” Lana began slowly, “it’s the end of the world, book of Revelation style.”
“But Alan,” I protested, “You’re an atheist. We… we all are. You were never even pretending to be Catholic, like me and Alice. The book of Revelation was a guidebook that allowed a persecuted people communicate covertly during the Roman Empire. Nothing in it is… real.”
“But I have died,” Alan shrugged, “and here I am.”
“How long have you been back?” I asked.
He thought for a moment.
“Three months, give or take. I didn’t want to reach out until I was more… settled, you know? Until I’d figure more out. I hadn’t even meant to reach out this early, but we bumped into each other in the grocery store!”
Something about that threw up a red flag in my head, but I’m not sure exactly what.
“I’m sorry we killed you.” Lana exclaimed, then cupped her hands on her mouth again.
“Lana,” I hissed, “what if he didn’t remember that part?”
“I remember that part,” Alan snapped. Then his voice softened and he held his hands up in apology. “But that was seven years ago for both of you, isn’t it? Distant memory. I’d hate to open an old wound. No, today was about building bridges. Think about what I’ve said, won’t you?”
Alan downed the rest of his coffee and stood.
“I’d suggest we hang out here a while, for old times sake,” he sighed, “but I can see this is all very awkward for you. I’ll be in touch. Or maybe you could let me know if you want to talk more. You have my number, so… save it to your phone.”
As he shimmied out of the corner and past my chair, he leaned down and kissed me on the cheek. I wanted to scream. I wanted to laugh. Instead, I just clutched the arm-rests of my chair really hard and did nothing. Said nothing.
“See you later, babe.” He took a few steps away and turned to look at us again. “See you later, Lana.”
Lana launched out of her chair and into Alan’s arms. She squeezed him so tightly he was gasping for breath. His cheeks went scarlet, and his eyes popped with shock. A moment later he smiled and hugged Lana back. I couldn’t see the expression on her face, but it looked like she was rubbing his back comfortingly. Alan’s so recently affronted expression melted into a look of warm happiness.
I honestly felt kinda betrayed, but I didn’t have time to unpack all of that baggage.
After Lana pulled away, Alan gave me one final nod of the head and then disappeared into the stacks. I realized I was clenching my teeth, so I relaxed my jaw and prepared to let Lana have it for what she’d just pulled once I was confident Alan was out the door. Before I could, Lana whirled around and held something up to my face.
It was his driver’s license, clean and freshly printed.
* * *
It was Lana who met Alan first, actually. They were out at a bar in Providence and got to talking when Lana’s boyfriend (now ex) was in the bathroom. They were both pretty drunk and had an immediate connection over how their first names were anagrams. Alan hit on her pretty fiercely and – Lana maintains – quite smoothly, but since she was in a relationship at the time she’d turned him down. Lana invited Alan to sit with them, and over the course of the conversation it became known that Alan played for both teams.
This was great news to Lana, who’d insisted it was great news for me. I’d been out of my last relationship just long enough that something new could be considered not-a-rebound. And Alan was really sweet. Lana arranged for us to meet the next night, insisting that I would absolutely fall in love with him. And you know what? She was right.
For almost three years, things were good. I mean good. I mean spend a whole week speaking to no-one except Alan and not once feeling lonely good. I mean making breakfast together and trading off dinner while the other washed dishes good. I mean bingeing 7 hours of television in bed with a whole box of pizza good. I mean so good I’d even been considering coming out to my parents for him.
I had this one memory that’s vivid enough I came back to it once a week, even after the greater part of a decade. It was from one of the last nights before everything went bad. We were on our way to Alan’s house after a night at Dave & Buster’s with Lana, Alice, and Lana’s now-ex Rick. Alan had moved back in with his parents after college, but there was still a lot of friction between them. He was open about his lifestyle choices, but they were very traditional people and vehemently disapproved.
They also disapproved of me coming over and especially staying over, although they never said a mean word to me or treated me unkindly. It was part of their code to be always be kind and hospitable to guests. When I was gone, Alan would tell me, they’d let him have it. I was envious of Alan, in a way. Yes, he didn’t have a good relationship with his parents, but they hadn’t kicked him out, and he was open with them about who he was, while I lived in a peaceful harmony teetering on top of a lie.
On that particular night, Alan’s parents had already gone to bed when we arrived. When Alan threw open the door to his bedroom, I gasped audibly. Apparently, he’d gotten high alone one night the week before and gone on an online shopping spree.
Before me, arranged artfully on his bed, was a cornucopia of snacks you’d find on a Buzzfeed article about “Snack Foods that would Fill any True 90’s Kid with Nostalgia.” Gushers, Fruit-by-the-Foot, Zebra Cakes, Ring Pops, Dunkaroos, hell, even a couple of Lunchables. The Lunchables ended up being a disappointment, but the night wasn’t. We watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and gawked at how poorly it held up in the new decade.
The reason that night has stuck with me is that I remember, for the first time in a long while, feeling like I was at home. Between moving for college, moving back to my parents’ (who I lived a daily lie with), and then moving out again for a job, I hadn’t felt fully at home for a long while. That night, eating sugar-dense snacks that I’d regret the next day and watching Indiana Jones, I felt like I belonged.
Alan Patel made me feel like I belonged; when I killed him, I never felt more alienated.
* * *
The sun was setting, so, with Lana sitting next to me on the sidewalk outside of my apartment, I called Alice’s mom. She spent the first few minutes saying how tremendously happy she was to hear from me and asking questions about how I was (I lied) and what I was up to these days (I told the truth, with one glaring omission). When she’d finally run through all the standard pleasantries, I asked her if Alice was home and if I could talk to her.
“Oh, no, David,” she informed me, “Alice is up in Vermont until next Friday! She said she’d told you and Lana all about it.”
I thanked her for her time and hung up before telling Lana what I’d learned.
“I hope nothing’s happened to her,” Lana fretted. As if on cue, my cell began blasting Misery Business, my ringtone for Alice.
“You called my fucking mom?!” Alice hissed into my ear. I held the phone away and put her on speaker.
“Alice-”
“I told you this was a fucking nature retreat. Nothing to tie you to the outside world? Just you, the Earth, and your thoughts? I thought I explained this, Dave.”
“Alice-”
“Can’t I get one week? Can’t I get just one fucking week, Dave? I told my mom only to call me if her life was in danger, Dave. I thought my mom’s life was in danger.”
“Alice, we wouldn’t be-”
Click. She hung up. I looked over at Lana in dismay. Her phone buzzed: a text from Alice.
“Don’t you go getting any ideas either,” Lana read out loud. “I’m not going to answer my phone.” Lana sighed, blowing strands of curly hair out of her face. “What now?”
“We go ahead without her,” I shrugged, “She made her choice.” I was feeling bitter. Alice had been uncharacteristically petty, and it had pissed me off. I actually felt a little glad that she wouldn’t be in on this with me and Lana, and it felt bad to feel that way. I tried to push Alice out of mind, which was clearly where she wanted to be.
So it was decided: we would go ahead with the plan later that night, just the two of us.
* * *
The first time I noticed something was wrong was early in the morning, on a workday. Alan had stayed over my place that night, and I awoke to notice that he was already awake, but just lying motionlessly on the bed next to me, close to touching but not quite.
“Do you know how it feels,” he asked me when he noticed I’d just woken up, “to wake up next to a coward every morning?”
Hurt and confused, I reached out to touch him and ask him what he meant. Instead, he stood up, said nothing to me, and refused to look me in the eye as he got ready for work and left. I was so devastated I called in sick. He’d known just what to say to me to throw me off kilter. I admit it – I don’t like real conflict. I often lie to avoid it, and that’s dug me deeper and deeper into holes that sometimes feel impossible to get out of. Even to this day I struggle with that, and Alan knew I did. Like I said: he knew just what to say.
The evening was more normal. I didn’t bring up what he’d said in the morning, and neither did he. We did the things we normally do to pass the time in the evening, and I smiled, but I didn’t mean it.
It got worse, and not just with me. He started making cruel, offhand comments about Lana’s weight; she wasn’t overweight, not even close, but she had been when she was growing up, and she’d put in a lot of effort adjusting to a healthier lifestyle and level of self-esteem. She’d always been the energy of our group, the impetus for hanging out altogether, the one with the good ideas of how to pass the time. Every time Alan made one of his comments, you could see her energy fizzle just a little bit.
What he said to Alice was the harshest, and the least understandable. We’d all met up at a J.P. Licks. I was already tense because Alan had been in one of his moods on the drive up. We were all sitting around a table eating ice cream and Alice was going off on a rant about the new season of… American Horror Story, I think, when Alan looked right at her and cut her off, saying,
“Your obsession with the horror genre stems from the fact that it glamourizes monsters, so if anyone ever found out what goes on under that pretty skin of yours, they might be more accepting of what they see. You give thanks that mind-readers aren’t real, because if they were and someone else saw your thoughts, they’d try and lock you up or even kill you. You’ve put together a friendly and quite frankly stunningly well-put-together outer shell, but really you’re monstrous, something not even close to human.”
Everyone stared at him in stunned silence. Alice knocked her ice cream onto Alan’s shoes and ran out without saying anything.
Lana and I both tried really hard to convince Alan to seek therapy. He insisted that he was perfectly lucid, and that in fact, he felt saner than he’d ever felt since he hit puberty. He said he felt happy, even. It was true – despite all his casual cruelty, he always carried himself in high spirits. Sometimes, there were even good days, days when he was the old Alan and we could talk and laugh like I’d become accustomed to, even dependent on.
The first day like that was an oasis: a hope that things could return to normal and that Alan might get better. After that, those days became even worse torture, a taste of what I had lost and what I wanted back so badly, knowing full well that tomorrow would turn once again into a nightmare.
After about two months of this, Alan texted Alice telling her to meet him in the woods behind the old mill. He promised he’d tell her everything. She was terrified.
She showed the text to me and Lana, and we agreed to go with her and hide out of sight, just in case.
* * *
Lana and I staked out the address on Alan’s driver’s license. It was a two-story, multi-family home. Alan’s license said that his apartment was the bottom floor. Peering in through the windows, we could tell that it was a nice place, not inexpensive, with quality furniture, granite countertops, and a sleek, modern design.
We confirmed he lived there when we spotted him cooking and eating dinner while Netflix played in the background – The Haunting of Hill House, I guessed, from the look of it, even though I’d never seen it. After a few hours, Alan washed his dishes, shut off the TV, and headed out to his car. He’d obviously not noticed his missing license, as he drove off without a second thought. The car was nice too – I didn’t catch the specific make, but I could tell it also wasn’t cheap. We didn’t see him set an alarm system on his way out, so that at least was one hurdle we didn’t have to worry about.
Lana crept ahead with a set of lockpicks she’d used to mess with her college roommates. She’d told me that lockpicking was disturbingly easy to figure out. The first time she’d use them, she’d picked the lock to her own dorm room in under thirty seconds. She bypassed Alan’s locks with just as much ease. The door clicked open and we crept inside.
Our goal was to find anything that might help explain what was going on with Alan, or how he’d crawled out of his grave. It had been hard to tell at the bookshop whether the Alan who’d returned was the one I had loved, the one I had killed, or a third, different Alan entirely. He’d seemed so familiar, but the entire situation was so not.
I headed for the study. Lana headed for the bedroom.
His computer was obviously password protected, and none of his old passwords did the trick. It was funny what I still remembered. The drawers to the desk were locked, and I couldn’t find the key with a cursory glance around, so I just yanked at the drawer with the locking mechanism on it, and the lock broke. Easy.
There was a lot of paperwork in the desk – the kind of paperwork it’s smart to keep around: his car registration, and a photocopy of his license and passport. W-2 forms. Mounds of pay stubs. A handful of receipts, and a copy of his lease – I’d been right. This place didn’t come cheap.
The more I looked through his papers, the more things didn’t add up. He told Lana and I that he’d only been back for three months, but his lease began six months ago; he’d had the car for just over a year. He had W-2’s going two years back, and pay stubs going back even further. The earliest date I could find was in early 2016. I remembered the missing flannel – what if I hadn’t lost it? What if Alan had snuck in and taken it back, years ago?
And yet – the Alan we saw earlier in the day didn’t look a day older than either Lana or I remembered him. It just… none of it made sense. I was missing a big piece of this puzzle.
I looked at a pay stub more closely. Apparently, Alan worked for Novartis, just outside of Hartford. I’d heard of Novartis before, in passing – they were a big deal in pharma, I think – but for some reason I felt like Novartis meant more than just that. I’d had conversations about Novartis not that long ago, with someone I couldn’t recall, and they felt like important conversations.
I didn’t have any more time to ponder, because Lana screamed.
I ran to the bedroom.
Lana was standing in the doorway; she’d opened the closet door and immediately leaped back across the room as a large object tumbled out.
It was the grotesque, worm-eaten corpse of Alan Patel, zipped up in a large plastic bag.
(To be Continued)
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2020.10.29 18:09 FunPeach0 Extremely in depth look at “Whoever Did This”(S4E09) full of incredible analysis, episode references and tidbits. Credit:@sopranos.autopsy

“Whoever Did This” is one of the gems of the series. It has a little bit of everything that we’ve come to love (and some have come to hate) about The Sopranos. Humor, action, subtlety, violence, connectivity, silence—it’s all here. It is also this episode that really draws the battle lines in the war between certainty and ambiguity that so many Sopranos fans get pulled into; some viewers insist that Ralph is guilty of killing Pie-O-My, while others think the evidence is ambiguous at best. (Any consistent reader of this website should already be able to guess which way I lean.)
I think the episode title is the first clue that Chase’s universe is ruled by ambiguity—there are several instances in this hour in which characters (or we viewers) wonder exactly who it was that caused or carried out some particular event. The episode title is invoked, directly or indirectly, in each of the major stories of the hour:
Ralph wonders who squealed to Johnny Sac about his Ginny-joke Ralph wonders if his son’s accident was just a random event, or an act of vengeance by God The guys wonder who made the prank call to Nucci We wonder if Ralph set fire to the horse stables We wonder if Corrado’s confusion is simply an act, or if the news media loosened some dormant dementia when they inadvertently knocked him down the courthouse steps I’ll take a look at all of these questions in turn.
Ralph and his crew wonder who revealed his fat-joke to John Sacrimoni. He guesses—correctly—that Lil Paulie told Paulie, who must have then forwarded it to John. (We know Ralph has guessed correctly because Chase showed us these events onscreen earlier in the season.) To get revenge, Ralph makes a horrendous (but hilarious) prank call to Nucci. Ralph has always been a despicable character, and has even been compared to the Devil himself throughout the series:
Devilish Ralph Sopranos Autopsy
(In episode 3.06, Ralph is purposefully placed, according to Professor Franco Ricci, in front of “a painting that is a splatter of color, a swirl of emotions and turbulence that reflects his demoniacal character”; in 4.02, Janice is reading The Origin of Satan when she’s hit by Ralph’s toe-clippings; and Ralph sits before a New Jersey Devils bumper sticker in 4.06. Additionally, he himself says “I’m Satan to this kid” in reference to Jackie Jr’s dislike of him in 3.03.)
Episode writers Green & Burgess recorded a commentary track for this hour. They say that it was very important to the show that they “rehabilitated” Ralph before they killed him. When Ralph’s son Justin suffers a gruesome, disabling accident, Ralph decides he must turn over a new leaf and become a better person. This is another example of how The Sopranos traffics in ambiguity: as demonic as Ralph can be, Chase wants to make it difficult for the viewer to see him as completely bad or evil. SopranoWorld is gray, not black-and-white. There have also been other instances on the series in which we were exposed to the brighter dimensions of some very dark characters just before they met their demise, perhaps most memorably Det. Vin Makazian in Season One. In episode 1.11, we saw Makazian taking a shower—almost as though it were a spiritual ablution—before later commiting suicide. Similarly, Ralph is also bathing when Chase begins the process of rehabilitating his character:
Ablutions Sopranos Autopsy
Housekeeper Inez shouts and bangs at the bathroom door, but Ralph is not alarmed at first—he has seen her get histrionic over petty things before. But Ralph grows anxious when he hears Inez shout his son’s name. Justin has been wounded by an arrow flung down from the heavens. (It was his friend that shot the arrow into the air, but God’s role—if He had a role—in directing the arrow towards Justin’s artery is a significant question of the episode.) The boy is rushed to the hospital where he lays in critical condition.
This is the episode that earned Joe Pantoliano an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. Just in the hospital scene alone, we can see that he fully deserved to win it. He truly brings out the complexities of “Ralph Cifaretto.” Ralph is desolate and pained and hopeful and seething with anger all at once. He explodes at his ex-wife’s husband. Tony has to practically throttle Ralph against the wall—a gesture that will get echoed later in the hour—to make him calm down:
foreshadow choke
Ralph has been a demonic character throughout the series, and Green & Burgess have a bit of fun evoking our sympathy for this devilish man—they incorporate lyrics from the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” into the episode’s dialogue:
Ralph says “Please allow me to introduce myself” to Justin’s surgeon Ralph says “Pleased to meet you” to Father Phil Father Phil asks Ralph, “Were you there when Jesus Christ had his moment of doubt and pain?” Ralph feels like a hypocrite turning to Father Phil now, but the priest assures him, “God understands. That’s why at times like these, He’s the only one we can turn to.” Outraged at the injustice of such a horrific accident occurring to his innocent son, Ralph snarls back, “God?!” Ralph believes that Justin’s accident is some sort of cosmic vengeance for his own misdeeds. In fact, it does seem that God may doling out vengeance—and doling it out with a heavy heaping of irony when we consider Ralph’s misdeed early in the episode: his prank phone call. During the call, Ralph told Nucci her son had to be rushed to the emergency room, only to have to rush his own son to the E.R. later. He also asked Nucci for her insurance information—and later tells Tony that his own insurance may not cover all the treatment that Justin will need. (Perhaps God is angry at Ralph for pinning a wacky sexual practice—gerbiling—on Paulie during the prank call, when it is actually Ralph himself that has some rather odd sexual proclivities.)
Father Phil cannot explain why Justin is suffering, he can only tell Ralph that “it’s a great mystery why things happen as they do.” But he is certain that the Lord is not punishing Justin as payback for Ralph’s misdeeds: “God has a plan for all of us…God is merciful. He doesn’t punish people.” With these contradictory statements, Father Phil demonstrates that he—like all of us—unconsciously switches from mystical ambiguity (“It’s a great mystery”) to certainty (“He doesn’t punish people”) depending on which viewpoint will best serve his prejudices and beliefs at a given moment.
Ralph’s curiosity about why such tragedy occurs is as old as the human race. The theological problem of evil and suffering has been directly addressed on The Sopranos before. As he sat beside cancer-stricken Jackie in episode 1.04, Tony wondered, “What type of God…?” And he will ask the same question again in Melfi’s office next week. Regardless of how many times this question is asked, in SopranoWorld or in the real world, we never get a satisfying answer. In his essay “‘Funny about God and Fate and shit like that’: The Imminent Unexpected in The Sopranos,” Robert Piluso writes…
As in life, when watching The Sopranos, we often do not know why things happen, or when they will, or if God’s plan is at work, or if chaos reigns in a godless void. Rather than expect Chase to eventually serve his Mafiosi their just desserts, we wait for death. For misfortune. For disaster. Nothing is sacred. No one is safe. Chase presides over his universe as an anti-god…
Although Father Phil is trite and defensive at times during their conversation, he does provide Ralph with words of hope and comfort. Ralph seems to make a legitimate effort to become a reformed man—but it doesn’t happen immediately. He still smacks people around during his collections, and provides Tony with a fat stack of ill-gotten cash. Our feelings for Ralph are conflicted through the episode. Paulie, on the other hand, has no conflicting feelings—he loathes Ralph and describes him as a “piece of shit.” Paulie is convinced—without any real evidence—that it was Ralph that made the prank call to his mother. Paulie’s guess is correct, but it is only that—an educated guess. Paulie was not privy, like the viewer was, to the scene in which Ralph made the prank call. Christopher and Tony remind him that he doesn’t know for sure that Ralph is guilty, but Paulie nevertheless wants to whack him. Tony lays down the law: Paulie is not to lay a finger on Ralph.
Tony is in bed with Ralph’s ex-girlfriend Valentina when he gets the call from horse-trainer Lois about Pie-O-My’s death. (Some viewers see this as a clue by David Chase that Ralph killed Pie as payback against Tony for dating his ex-girlfriend.) At the burned-out horse stables, Lois cites a blown-out light bulb as evidence for the fire being accidental. But Tony seems to regard the light socket with suspicion. He seems to already be suspecting arson. (Tony knows something about arson—we might remember that he orchestrated one in the Pilot episode.) Lois mentions the high insurance value of the dead animals. Tony realizes that he and Ralph recently took out a valuable insurance policy on the horse, and surely remembers Ralph’s earlier complaint about Justin’s steep hospital bill. It is certainly within Wreck-It Ralph’s temperament to commit such an atrocity. The pieces are all starting to fit in Tony’s mind.
The scene at the stables closes with a shot of Pie-O-My’s companion, the goat. Historically, since at least the Middle Ages, the goat has been associated with Satan. If that is what Chase is signifying with this shot, then it becomes one more association between the Devil and Ralph—and points to his guilt in killing Pie.
goat baphomet Sopranos Autopsy
It is difficult to tell whether Tony is already convinced of Ralph’s guilt before reaching the Cifaretto house, or only becomes convinced of it after arriving there. As Tony questions Ralph in his kitchen, Chase inserts a couple of beguiling shots, almost from Tony’s POV, of Ralph’s hands. Are these the hands that destroyed Tony’s beloved horse, or are they simply hands that are cooking up some breakfast? I’ll admit that when this episode originally aired, I was sure that Ralph was to blame for the fire. It was so obvious to me, in fact, that I didn’t recognize his guilt was even up for question. It was only the next day, as fans and the media buzzed—“Did he or didn’t he?”—that I realized the issue might not be so cut-and-dry. A quick second viewing that evening confirmed that there is simply not enough evidence to find Ralph guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. (And now, after watching the series in its entirety a number of times, and coming to believe that ambiguity is the central thesis of The Sopranos, I feel confident that “uncertainty” is the whole point of the scene in Ralph’s kitchen.)
In a 2007 Vanity Fair article, “An American Family,” Peter Biskind recounts that “Chase wouldn’t tell Pantoliano if Ralphie had set the fire or not. Pantoliano decided to play the scene as if he hadn’t, as if he were innocent.” On the commentary track, Green & Burgess confirm that this is how Joey Pants decided to play the scene. As for the writers themselves: Green believes that Ralphie is guilty of the crime, while Burgess says he always felt Ralph is not guilty (although he is coming around to his partner’s way of thinking). The fact that there are such differing interpretations of Ralph’s behavior even among those involved in the production of the episode points to an important fact: in film and television, and particularly in The Sopranos, it is in the editing room where the final product is ultimately fashioned. Regardless of how the actor acted it, or the writers wrote it, or the director directed it, Chase and his editors ultimately stitched the episode together in such a way that we cannot say that Ralph is guilty with any reasonable certainty.
Of course, we shouldn’t expect Tony to be reasonable when it comes to his cherished horse. When Ralph insists that it was a stroke of luck, and nothing more, that killed Pie-O-My, Tony skeptically responds, “It’s funny about God and fate and shit like that.” Tony thinks it can’t be a coincidence that the horse would die just after he and Ralph took out an insurance policy on it. He convinces himself that Ralph committed arson. And this leads to the second way that we can read the ambiguous shot of the goat which closed the scene at the stables; the goat may represent not Ralph the Devil, but Ralph the Scapegoat. The third book of the Hebrew Bible, Leviticus, recounts the story of the goat that was heaped with the sins of the people and then sent into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
goat scapegoat
Regardless of whether Ralph is in fact guilty of arson or just the scapegoat for an unfortunate accident, Tony wreaks his vengeance. There hasn’t been much violence so far in Season 4. Dectective Haydu was killed in the season opener. After that, Death made only glancing appearances: Tony learns of Gloria Trillo’s suicide; Karen Baccalieri dies in a car accident; Furio’s father dies of cancer. The “hits-and-tits” crowd have been sitting on their hands all season long, waiting for some action. It finally comes now—big time. The fight between Tony and Ralph is a brutal scene, full of sound and fury. A violent man meets a violent end at the hands of another violent man. Tony had drawn a line in the sand, telling Paulie he must not cross it when it comes to Ralph—but then he gives in to rage and kills Ralph himself. As he bashes the life out of Ralph, Tony growls a line that could refer to either Pie-O-My or Tracee the stripper: “She was a beautiful innocent creature, what did she ever do to you?” The tensions between the two men had not abated since Ralph brutally killed the young girl in “University.” Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger calls this episode “the unspoken sequel” of that previous hour. And as many have noted, Ralph’s “Joisey” pronunciation of “whore” and “horse” sound so similar as to conflate Tracee and Pie-O-My even further.
I don’t know if Chase and the writers had planned to link Tracee and the horse when “University” aired last season. If they hadn’t, then it really is quite a coincidence that there were so many horse references in “University”:
Silvio referred to Tracee as a “thoroughbred” (and—this may be a stretch—her “chompers” are comparable to horse teeth):
chompers
Additionally, Caitlyn—Meadow’s maladjusted, distressed roommate who was compared to Tracee at various points in the episode—said that she is going to a horse farm to regain some balance in her troubled life.
Perhaps no Sopranos episode moves through as many tone- and tempo-shifts as does “Whoever Did This.” The hour begins with quite a bit of humor, particularly at the expense of poor Corrado (who takes a tumble down the courthouse steps), then shifts to the dark pathos of Justin’s accident and Pie-O-My’s death. After the brutally violent fight between Tony and Ralph, the episode creeps down to a petty pace in its second half. It almost becomes a procedural, as Tony and Chris give a D.I.Y. lesson in how to dispose of a body. They separate Ralphie’s head and hands from his torso. (Ralph was in the bathtub when he first heard the news that put him—potentially—on a road to reformation; it is in this same bathtub [which we now see in a reverse angle] that his corpse spends its last moments on Earth in one piece.)
2 bathtubs
Stephen Peacock, in his essay “Silence and The Sopranos,” analyzes the overpowering silence that characterizes the second half-hour as Tony and Chris dispose of Ralph. (Tony and Chris almost go completely mute, but our interest is nevertheless held powerfully to the screen.) Peacock finds something Dickensian in the way the sounds of chains and a bowling ball rolling down the stairs punctuate the quiet. (The spooky sound of chains chimed in some of Dickens’ more haunting scenes, such as the appearance of Marley’s chainbound ghost in A Christmas Carol.) Other viewers have found the chilling back-half of the episode to be Poe-like. (Something about Tony lumbering up the stairs with chains evokes for me the “The Cask of Amontillado,” with its dungeon and chains.) Strangely enough, it was in an episode whose title alluded to Poe—“The Telltale Moozadell”—that we earlier saw a bowling ball roll down a staircase:
Tony and Chris fling Ralph’s body off a cliff and bury his extremities at Mikey Palmice’s father’s farm. The duo come back to the Bada Bing to relax and get cleaned up. When Tony wakes up, Chris has already left the strip joint. Tony peers at himself in the mirror. As you all know by now, I love mirror shots:
Tracee Sopranos Autopsy
This mirror shot underscores Tony’s double-sided personality as we have seen it this hour. On the one hand, Tony is a sympathetic colleague, a lover of animals, a good manager of men (adroitly calming hot-headed Paulie down), and a loving father (tenderly roughhousing with his beloved son). On the other hand, he is a rule-breaking, self-indulgent murderer that often cares more about animals than he does human beings. His attention is diverted by a picture of Tracee (fully-clothed, unlike the girls in all the other photographs), the beautiful, vulnerable creature that Ralph Cifaretto undeniably, unquestionably destroyed.
SIGNIFYING NOTHING Tony turns away from the photo of Tracee and walks out of the dressing room. He pauses before the Bing stage, completely empty—except for a spotlight that shines down upon it. As he stops and stares, he may be thinking of Tracee, who once strut her hour upon this stage but was later wiped off the face of the earth. I think it may be enormously significant that that previous hour, “University,” opened with a shot of an overhead spotlight and then panned down to the same empty stage that Tony now looks at. Here is a clip that combines footage of the empty stage from both episodes:
The overhead spotlight, in both “University” and “Whoever Did This,” literally highlights nothing—or more accurately, nothingness. The empty stage embodies the philosophy of nothingness that threatens to overwhelm characters throughout the series. For me, the imagery of the empty stage recalls Macbeth’s famous soliloquy, which also contains some stage imagery:
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
Livia’s “It’s all a big nothing” speech to her grandson in “D-Girl” was a contemporary version of this Shakespearean soliloquy. By demonstrating that our certainties are often actually uncertainties, and challenging Father Phil’s idea that all events are made meaningful through God’s loving grace, “Whoever Did This” bleakly suggests that Livia’s philosophy of nothingness is the ultimate truth. The empty stage is a powerful symbol of this dark philosophy. It may seem like I’m making much ado about nothing, ascribing way too much metaphorical importance to a shabby stage in a north Jersey strip joint. But this same stage will significantly be the location of Paulie’s otherworldly vision in Season 6. And this stage will be recalled again in the memorable Series Finale. (And Johnny Sac will directly quote from the above Macbeth passage four episodes from now.)
Even the question of Corrado’s dementia is left unresolved. Does he go to the neighbor’s house to ask for ice cream because he recognizes the Feds are watching him, or is it because he is genuinely disoriented? When his nurse escorts him back into his living room, Chase does not keep the camera on him long enough for the viewer to be able to say with certainty that “Corrado is confused” or, alternately, “Corrado is faking it.” Of course, we do recognize over the course of the series that Corrado is indeed slipping into dementia. But it’s left uncertain for now.
William Siska, who attended film school with David Chase in the early ’70s, traces the similarities between Chase’s television series and European cinema in his essay, “‘If all this is for nothing’: The Sopranos as Art Cinema.” Siska notes a parallel between Ingmar Bergman’s The Passion of Anna and “Whoever Did This”—they both feature dead horses.
The Passion of Anna - Sopranos Autopsy
Siska’s interpretation of the burned horse in Bergman’s film could, in some sense, apply to Pie-O-My’s death in this episode:
The burning of horses, which occurs after the suspect in earlier incidents of violence to animals has committed suicide, proves that evil haunts the landscape, and turns the act into a metaphor for a universal corrosion in existence itself.
Siska argues that the burned horses in Bergman’s film have a metaphorical dimension, and I think that Pie-O-My’s death here has a similar metaphorical significance—her death exemplifies the progressive darkening of the SopranoWorld landscape over time. With each passing season of the series, we watch the “universal corrosion” of its characters get worse and worse.
(Just for the record, though, let me add that Siska seems pretty convinced that Ralph did indeed set the fire. There may be a universal corrosion in SopranoWorld, but there is not necessarily a universal consensus about the events that unfold there.)
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
Tony gives Chris a running commentary on his drug use, setting up the intervention of the next episode. It’s interesting that Corrado’s dementia may have been triggered by a fall down some steps, given the long history of shitty thing happening on steps and staircases in SopranoWorld. (See my 4.03 write-up for a documentation of incidents. Also see 6.02 for another connection between “tumbling down steps” and “dementia.”) Like many film geeks, I believe that editing is the most fundamental and important element of filmmaking. William Stich, A.C.E., gets credit for cutting this episode, and he can be praised (or blamed, I guess, depending on your point-of-view) for turning Joe Pantoliano’s straightforward performance in ‘the kitchen scene’ into something ambiguous. Veteran A.C.E. guys Sidney Wolinsky and Conrad Gonzalez round up the stellar team of Sopranos editors. “Whoever Did This” finally provides a showdown between Tony and Ralph. It had been brewing since Tracee was killed in 3.06 but was “formally” set-up in “He is Risen” (3.08), when Tony and Ralph confronted each other in a scene that evoked an old-timey Western, particularly through its use of the song “(Ghost)Riders in the Sky.” Tony defeats Ralph now, but unlike John Wayne or Gary Cooper or Clint Eastwood after a showdown, Tony is not presented afterwards as some square-jawed conquering hero (as we shall further see in the next episode, “The Strong, Silent Type”).
The old western mythology is also evoked by the track that closes “Whoever Did This.” It is Apollo 440’s cover of Ennio Morricone’s “The Man With the Harmonica” from the 1968 film Once Upon A Time in the West. Note how absolutely brilliant the song choice is: this episode features a showdown between contemporary Italian-American outlaws Ralph and Tony, and it ends with a contemporary version of a song that originally appeared in an Italian-made “spaghetti western” which also featured a showdown between American outlaws.
source: https://sopranosautopsy.com/season-4-2/whoever-did-this-4-09/
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2020.10.26 04:54 JustMeInBigD Things to Do 10/26 to 10/31 - Halloween Edition

Early Vote! dallas Election 2020 Voting Resource Guide
Socially Distant Halloween & Dia de los Muertos Things to Do

Ongoing through Nov 1 Halloween themed movies at The Drive-In at The Central Dates, times, and prices vary. See website for details.
Oct 23-31 (& Nov 2) Bippy Bobby Boo: 2020 Call-In Special Theatre Three, Livestream Event Times vary by date $25
Oct 29 Tunnel Of Terror Haunted Car Wash Wash Guys, Preston Rd Dallas 8 to 11 p.m. $15
Oct 30 Tunnel Of Terror Haunted Car Wash Wash Guys, Frisco 8 to 11 p.m. $15
Oct 30 Drive Thru Spooktacular Walmart Cockrell Hill 2 to 7 p.m. Free
Oct 30 - 31 Last two nights of Drive Boo Halloween American Airlines Center (Silver Parking Garage) 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. $15-30 per car
Oct 30-31 Murders and Mysteries of Dealey Plaza: A Ghost Tour (45 minute walking tour) John Neely Bryan Cabin, downtown Dallas 5 to 5:45 p.m. (either day) $13
Oct 30 Freaky Fry-Day, Contactless Drive-thru Halloween Donut Pick Up Corn Dog with No Name 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. $35, VIP available
Oct 30 Ghoul's Night Out (Outdoor Glow Yoga) The Eye at The Joule 7 to 8 p.m. $60
Oct 30 Cauldron Queso Virtual Cooking Class by The Rose Table Facebook Live 6 p.m. $14.99 (If you’re not familiar with The Rose Table, this is the gal who does the themed Disney dinners and parties for grownups.
Oct 30 Hot 93 Hallo-Screening Drive-in Cinema: Nightmare on Elm Street & Hocus Pocus Brizo Carbaret, Richardson 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. $10 carload
Oct 20 Texas Theatre Sunset Drive-In: Mandy 11 p.m. (Early show sold out) $19.75
Oct 31 Halloween Carnivorous Plant Porch Sale Texas Triffid Ranch 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free
Oct 31 Plano Blood Drive & Trunk-or-Treat Prestige ER 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free
Oct 31 Tiff's Treats Drive-Thru Highland Village or Allen location 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. $10
Oct 31 Candy Caravan Dallas Heritage Village noon to 3 p.m. Free
Oct 31 Dallas by Chocolate Events (100% Socially Distant - participate from your own car!)
Progressive Haunted Eats Tour 5 to 9 p.m. $47
Halloween Chocolate Tour 1 to 4:30 p.m. $39
See website for more events with consideration for social distancing
Oct 31 Haunting Melodies Concert Chandor Gardens, Weatherford 2 p.m. $25
Oct 31 Lights Out! An Outdoor Comedy Experience Stomping Ground Comedy 8 to 11 p.m. $15
Oct 31 Outdoor Movie: The Shining The Adolphus Rooftop Pool 8 to 11 p.m. $15
Oct 31 Halloweentown Market & Drive-in Cinema: Night of the Demons Brizo Carbaret, Richardson 6 to 10 p.m. $27 carload
Nov 1-2 Dia de los Muertos Oak Cliff Interactive Walk-thru Art Experience CocoAndré Chocolatier 6 to 10 p.m. Free
Daily Things to Do
All Week
Texas Monthly BBQ Fest: Backyard Edition (Virtual event + bbq specials at various locations)
Monday, Oct 26
Today is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day and National Pumpkin Day!
Norma’s/Dallas Stars Foundation Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day Fundraiser Free Livestream concert on Facebook, raffle tickets available
Ozona Grill Chicken Fried Steak Festival (Facebook link) 5 to 11 p.m. music on the patio
Special pricing on pumpkin bread at Signature Baking
Virtual Open Mic (Facebook live) benefiting Poor David's Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival
Tuesday, Oct 27
Venture X and Texas Young Lawyers Association Blood Drive at Venture X Dallas
Haunted Libraries: A Creepy History (Online Event) by Dallas Public Library
Arts Mission Oak Cliff Virtual Yoga with Maddie
Wednesday, Oct 28
CiboDivino and Pegasus City Brewery 5-Course Beer Dinner
Latino Cultural Center Facebook Live with Dave Gutierrez, author of "Patriots From The Barrio"
Oak Highlands Brewery - Tailgate Trivia Night in the Taproom Parking Lot (Facebook link)
Thursday, Oct 29
Drive-in Concert, Mt. Joy, at Fair Park
Paintings By Molly Magwire/Election Day of The Dead Altar at Curious Garden (Facebook link)
McKinney Avenue M-Line Trolley Taste of Uptown Virtual Event and Fundraiser
Cody’s Meet-and-Greet + Pet Adoption at The Sound at Cypress Waters
Interabang Books Online Event: Fareed Zakaria in conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin - 10 Lessons For The Post Pandemic World
Friday, Oct 30
Oak Cliff Cultural Center Facebook LIve with artist Ari Brielle
Dallas Filmmakers Alliance Online Meet & Greet + Murder Mystery Game

Anytime Things to Do
Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance and support local businesses!
Lot of great at-home movie options at Texas Theatre Virtual Cinema
Go see pumpkin displays at the Dallas Farmers Market and across the street at Ruibal’s
Extended “twilight hours” for the Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum
AREA 3: Drive-thru, immersive art exhibit at 1600 Commerce Street (downtown) parking garage
If Then She Can Pop Up Exhibit at NorthPark Center
The Centennial Project: My Voice, My Vote, My Turn Exhibit at Fair Park
WRR Radio Centennial Celebration Exhibit at the Hall of State, Fair Park
Nasher Public: Bernardo Vallarino, Pedacitos de Paz
Cara Mia Theatre My Red Hand, My Black Hand - Virtual Show, Thursdays-Sundays through Nov 8
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2020.10.19 23:25 LadyCardinal An Alternate 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time

After the Time fiasco (if a magazine article can be called a fiasco), I thought it might be fun to try and come up with my own top 100 list--not of my favorites, but of particularly influential books. I haven't actually read a significant portion of these books (though I have read quite a few), and I'm honestly not trying to pass this off as definitive; mostly I just want to throw it out there and see in what ways people agree or, more likely, vehemently disagree. I'll attach the rules I used to create this as a comment. In the meantime, here are the books:

  1. The Epic of Gilgamesh (oldest surviving version c. 1800 BCE)
  2. The Epics by Homer (c. 8th century BCE)
  3. The Theban Plays by Sophocles (429-401 BCE)
  4. The Aeneid by Virgil (29-19 BCE)
  5. Beowulf (c. 700-750 CE)
  6. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1320)
  7. Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory (1485)
  8. Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en (1592)
  9. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (c. 1595-1596)
  10. Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667)
  11. One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian folktales, first published in French in 1717)
  12. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)
  13. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1812)
  14. The Rose and the Ring by William Makepeace Thackeray (1854)
  15. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll (1865)
  16. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (1889)
  17. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890)
  18. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
  19. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900)
  20. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (1906)
  21. The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison (1922)
  22. The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany (1924)
  23. Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirlees (1926)
  24. Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard (first story published 1932)
  25. Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers (1934-1988)
  26. At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft (1936)
  27. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber (1939-1988)
  28. Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (1944)
  29. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake (1946-1956)
  30. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (1950-1956)
  31. Dying Earth by Jack Vance (1950-1984)
  32. The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola (1952)
  33. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (1954-1955)
  34. The Condor Trilogy by Jin Yong (1957-1961)
  35. The Once and Future King by T. H. White (1958)
  36. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)
  37. Elric of Melniboné books by Michael Moorcock (1961-1991)
  38. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961)
  39. The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt (1962)
  40. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (1964-1968)
  41. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (1965-1977)
  42. The Wandering Unicorn by Manuel Mujica Láinez (1965)
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967)
  44. Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (1967-2012)
  45. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (1968)
  46. The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin (1968-2001)
  47. Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny (1970-1991)
  48. Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart (1970-1979)
  49. Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972)
  50. The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973)
  51. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip (1974)
  52. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson (1977-2013)
  53. Tales From the Flat Earth by Tanith Lee (1978-1987)
  54. The Morgaine Stories by C. J. Cherryh (1978-1988)
  55. Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979)
  56. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (1979)
  57. The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (1980-1983)
  58. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)
  59. Imaro by Charles R. Saunders (1981-2017)
  60. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (1982)
  61. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (1983)
  62. The Witches by Roald Dahl (1983)
  63. Tortall universe by Tamora Pierce (1983-present)
  64. Discworld by Terry Pratchett (1983-2015)
  65. The Black Company by Glen Cook (1984-present)
  66. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (1986)
  67. Redwall by Brian Jacques (1986-2011)
  68. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)
  69. Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (1987)
  70. Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey (1987-present)
  71. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (1990-2013)
  72. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (1990)
  73. The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez (1991)
  74. Wars of Light and Shadow by Janny Wurts (1993-present)
  75. The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski (1993-2013)
  76. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (1994-1995)
  77. Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb (1995-2017)
  78. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman (1995-2000)
  79. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay (1995)
  80. Old Kingdom by Garth Nix (1995-present)
  81. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin (1996-present)
  82. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (1997-2007)
  83. Crown of Stars by Kate Elliott (1997-2006)
  84. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (1998)
  85. Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (1999-2011)
  86. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (2000)
  87. Bas-Lag books by China Miéville (2000-2004)
  88. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (2000-present)
  89. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001)
  90. Kushiel’s Legacy by Jacqueline Carey (2001-2008)
  91. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (2001)
  92. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004)
  93. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2004)
  94. Temeraire by Naomi Novik (2006-2016)
  95. The First Law by Joe Abercrombie (2006-present)
  96. Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch (2006)
  97. The Magicians by Lev Grossman (2009-2014)
  98. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (2010)
  99. The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson (2010-present)
  100. Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin (2015-2017)
(Edited to move Dragonriders of Pern, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Fahfrd and the Gray Mouser to their proper places chronologically, change The Lies of Locke Lamora to Gentleman Bastard, add a date next to The Wandering Unicorn, change Small Gods to Discworld, change The Odyssey to The Epics by Homer, Oedipus Rex to the Theban Plays, and Perdido Street Station to Bas-Lag, update the end date on Temeraire, and to fix a typo that survived all those other edits.)
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2020.10.12 20:42 jonisantucho Oscar Watch - Post Venice/TIFF/NYFF Edition

Several months ago, right after the last Academy Awards, I posted a long, long, long list of possible contenders that had prospects to fight for the next Oscars. It was a time of hope, of looking forward, and of positivity.
Then, COVID-19 happened.
And now, we find ourselves in a year that may change the movie industry forever, with the lack of safety of theaters in times of a pandemic accelerating the switch of mainstream audiences to streaming and VOD. These are times where some people are beginning to wonder, even after they pushed the eligibility date for two more months, why the Academy doesn’t cancel next year’s Oscars. And in this rocky terrain, we lost many contenders. Fire up the Hunger Games cannons, because these are some casualties of the season (so far).
Launched to 2021: Annette, Benedetta, Deep Water, Dune, In the Heights, King Richard, Last Night in Soho, Memoria, Nightmare Alley, Passing, Red, White and Water, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Last Duel, The Power of the Dog, Tick, Tick… Boom!, West Side Story.
Unknown status / missing in action: After Yang, Blonde, Breaking News in Yuba County, C’mon C’mon, Next Goal Wins, Stillwater, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Tragedy of Macbeth, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Those Who Wish Me Dead.
But even if this year isn’t as loaded with clear awards candidates, there are plenty of movies that are already drawing buzz for an Oscar season that started brewing a month ago, with the kickoff of the Venice Film Festival, and will go on for six and a half more months, when the Academy Awards take place on April 25, 2021. It’s gonna be a long, weird and rocky season, which is gonna be great to see in terms of the narratives that are coming up.
-Ammonite (trailer): When people were betting on the likelier contenders of this year, many people pointed in the direction of Francis Lee’s period drama, with previous Best Actress winner Kate Winslet and constant nominee Saoirse Ronan. Going into the premiere at Toronto, people had their eyes set in this queer romance between a paleontologist and a young wife in the coasts of England during the 19th century. But then, some things happened. First, Winslet started her promotion of the movie by talking about her regret for working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski that sounded unconvincing to the ominous Film Twitter. Then, another queer period drama, Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come, started to take the attention away at Venice. And finally, the movie premiered. The reaction? Cold. Critics came out mixed with the movie, with many of them comparing it negatively to last year’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and saying that it’s too dull and alienating. Does that mean that all is lost? Not exactly. While the movie (which, considering the genre, really needs critics' support to get into the Best Picture category) has been dismissed, the acting by Winslet and Ronan has been received positively. Now that so many other contenders have been dropping out of the year, they might get some room to campaign from a (social) distance.
-Another Round (trailer): Speaking of TIFF premieres, a film that had a better time at the Canadian festival was the reunion between director Thomas Vinterberg and star Mads Mikkelsen, who reunited years after making the stirring drama The Hunt (not the one with Betty Gilpin carrying a bad political satire, the one about a Danish teacher wrongly accused of sexual abuse). This time, the material is lighter, being a dramedy about four teachers who decide to test out a theory about how people can live and work a little better if they increase the level of alcohol in their blood. Critics really liked the way the movie dealt with alcoholism, and Toronto audiences made it a runner up for the People’s Choice Award of the festival. In a year without so much exposure from other festivals, this Cannes 2020 selection could make a candidate for the Best International Film category.
-Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (trailer): Surprise, new Borat film! While Sacha Baron Cohen made headlines several times this year because of stunts that people assumed were about a second season of Who is America?, the Internet was shocked when, in early September, it was confirmed that it was actually a very niiiiice return from the journalist character that made him famous, shot during quarantine. In a matter of weeks after the reveal, the sequel got sold to Amazon Prime and got a release date for October 23. Why so soon? Well, apparently the movie, which got him in trouble with Rudy Giuliani and other people, is about Borat taking his daughter on a road trip to give her as a bride to VP Mike Pence. Even if this movie doesn’t manage to achieve the feats of the 2006 movie (which got a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, let’s remember), it will help Baron Cohen’s image a lot, because it will come a week after his big Oscar play.
-Cherry: While everybody knows them mostly because of their contributions to the MCU, directors Joe and Anthony Russo and actor Tom Holland are trying to branch out together. Now Apple has bought into their efforts, paying more than 40 million dollars to acquire their new crime drama, about the life of former Army medic Nico Walker, who started robbing banks after his days in Iraq left him with PTSD and a pill addiction. Will Holland manage this time to escape from the shadow of “oh, jeez, Mr. Stark” Spider-Man before Chaos Walking or the Uncharted movie come out? That’s a question for another day.
-Da 5 Bloods (trailer): Talk about timing. Merely days after the country was mobilized by the police brutality that continues to divide the United States, Spike Lee premiered his new war drama on Netflix. In a vibrant, disjointed but passionate portrait of four African American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for their fallen leader and some treasure, Lee struck gold yet again with his usual fans, even though the moving of the Oscar ceremony threatened to make it harder to remind Academy voters about this movie. However, with an astounding performance from Delroy Lindo (who is confirmed to be campaigned in the Best Actor category) and a supporting turn from Chadwick Boseman which got reframed with the news of his bravery in life and death, this has what it takes to fight for a spot in the Best Picture lineup.
-Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (trailer): When it became clear that quarantine wasn’t gonna be a breeze, the first movie in consideration wise enough to move a little further ahead in the calendar was this adaptation of the hit West End production about a gay British teenager who dreams of becoming a drag queen and get his family and schoolmates to accept his sexuality. With a release date on February 26, 20th Century Studios (man, it’s weird to not use Fox in that name) hopes to strike gold, with a cast that mixes young unknowns, familiar names (Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and my boy Ralph Ineson) and the previously nominated legend that is Richard E. Grant (who is playing a former drag queen named Loco Chanelle), now taking advantage of the move of other musicals like Annette, In The Heights and West Side Story. I mean, this has at the very least some Golden Globes nods in the bag.
-French Exit: Before its premiere as the closing film of the NYFF, many pundits were expecting this surreal comedy to be somewhat of a comeback for past Best Actress nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, who here plays a close to penniless widow who moves to Paris with her son (Lucas Hedges) and cat, who also happens to be her reincarnated husband (Tracy Letts). However, the first reactions for the film adaptation of the Patrick deWitt novel were all over the place, with some people feeling cold by the execution of the weirdness and others being won over. Still, everybody had good things to say about Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance, but after the mixed reception to the rest of Azazel Jacobs’ film she really would need a lot of critics support to get anywhere near the Best Actress category. With a release date on February 12, it seems that Sony Pictures Classics is skipping the critics awards, and the distributor has a couple of big competitors above this one.
-Good Joe Bell: Every year, there are movies with big stars that go to festivals full of hope for praises and awards. Some of them work and go on, others don’t and get forgotten about. Mark Wahlberg tried to remind people that he occasionally is a good actor with a true life drama where he plays a father who decides to walk across America to raise awareness about bullying after his son, tormented for being gay, commits suicide. The film by Reinaldo Marcus Green premiered at TIFF, and the reaction was… not great. Some critics defended it, but most saw it as a flawed, baity product starring a man with a history of hate. Still, it got bought by a distributor: Solstice Studios, a new player in the game which just released its first movie, Unhinged (yup, the one about Russell Crowe road raging). While they paid 20 million dollars for Good Joe Bell, it’s clear that this won’t get near the Oscar telecast.
-Hillbilly Elegy: While many movies this year have some level of anticipation, Film Twitter is bracing for this movie in the “is this gonna be the next Green Book?” way. Ron Howard’s adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir about his low income life in a poor rural community in Ohio has many fearing about the overuse of tropes involving what’s called white trash porn, but rarely, Netflix has kept silent about this release. Even though it has Oscar bridesmaids Glenn Close (7 nominations) and Amy Adams (6 nominations), the streamer has not even released a photo of the movie, which supposedly will come out in November. And if you want another bad omen, take a look at the lower levels of this list by a familiar voice.
-I’m Thinking of Ending Things (trailer): Speaking of Netflix, did you know that there is a new Charlie Kaufman there, right now? While his adaptation of the dark novel by Iain Reid, seemingly about a woman (Jessie Buckley) who is taken by her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), got the usual reception of confusion and praise that follows his movies, the release was followed for what befalls most of the Netflix original movies: a couple of days in the Top 10, and then it fell into the void. While Buckley and Plemons deliver great work in this demented, melancholic story, it’s hard to see this movie getting anything else than a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Charlie. And that’s a long shot.
-I’m Your Woman: Following the little seen but critically acclaimed Miss Stevens and Fast Color, Julia Hart started 2020 with a Disney+ adaptation of the YA book Stargirl, and now she follows it with a drama for Amazon that will have its world premiere as the opening film of the AFI fest on October 15. In this movie, Rachel Brosnahan hopes to translate her TV success with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to the big screen, playing a woman in the ‘70s that has to go on the run with her kid due to her husband’s crimes.
-Judas and the Black Messiah (trailer): Even if this doesn’t end up winning any awards, it has a real shot at being the best trailer of 2020. Formerly titled Jesus Was My Homeboy, this biographical drama by Shaka King tells the tale of two men: Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), an activist and Black Panther leader, and William O’Neal (Stanfield), the FBI agent sent to infiltrate the party and arrest him. While the trailer for this movie promised a release “only in theaters”, we shall see if Warner Bros backs down from that fight.
-Let Them All Talk: While we’re on the subject of Warner Bros, we have to mention what’s happening with HBO Max. While the start of the streaming service hasn’t been good (I mean, there are still people confused about that name) and it lead to some people assume will cause many firings, it has begun to make some buzzed titles on TV, like Close Enough, Raised by Wolves and the remains of the DC Universe failed streaming service. Now, to make a mark in the movie business, the streamer has a new Steven Soderbergh movie, a comedy that stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author that takes her friends (Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges) in a cruise to find fun and come to terms with the past, while he flirts with a literary agent (Gemma Chan). While it doesn’t have a date yet, it’s confirmed to release in 2020, and at least we know that it can’t be worse than The Laundromat.
-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: While the expectations for the next film adaptation of an August Wilson acclaimed play were already high, the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman made this Netflix release one of the most anticipated movies of the season, considering this is his final movie. While past Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis takes the lead playing blues singer Ma Rainey in this tale of a heated recording session with her bandmates, her agent and her producer in 1927, Chadwick Boseman has a turn as the trumpeter Levee that was already being considered for awards, and now has even more people waiting to see. The thing is that one of the biggest competitions for Boseman this year will be Boseman himself, for his already acclaimed supporting turn on Da 5 Bloods, also released by Netflix. While the streamer will have to decide which of Chadwick’s performances will get the bigger campaign, this film by director George C. Wolfe has a cushy date set for December 18, and Viola is gunning hard for this movie to win.
-Mank (trailer): As you may have noticed by now, Netflix has a lot of plates spinning around this season, and this is the big one. After befriending the service with House of Cards and Mindhunter, David Fincher is going black and white to tackle a script by his late father Jack, about the making of the classic of classics, Citizen Kane. More specifically, the making of the script, with previous Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing the lead role of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, while accompanied by Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tuppence Middleton, Charles Dance and Tom Burke. After watching the first trailer of his satire of 1930’s Hollywood (that will release on streaming on December 4), it’s clear that this is gonna be catnip to old Academy voters, and it would be really hard for this to miss the Best Picture line up. Unless it’s a complete cinematic disaster, Mank is bank.
-Minari (trailer): While the last edition of Sundance took place in January, quarantine makes you feel like it took place two years ago. This year, the big winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition was a dramedy by Lee Isaac Chung, about a Korean family in the ‘80s who suddenly gets moved by their father (Steven Yeun) to Arkansas, to start a farm. Even though the reviews have been great, distributor A24 hasn’t really had a big, Oscar nominated hit for the last couple of years, and the COVID-19 crisis made them delay all their releases. But when we were ready to write this off, a new trailer for the movie came out, confirming that it’s in the game of this awards season. Maybe the pandemic will be of help to A24, considering that one of the reasons they haven’t had success is that they divided their attention into too many releases, and ended up getting not much. This time, they are betting all on Lee who, even if this doesn’t go anywhere, also has a new gig coming up as the director of the live action remake of Your Name.
-News of the World (sneak peek): So much of this year has felt like a game of chicken between a virus and movie studios. While many movies chose to skip this year altogether, Universal remains firm (for now) with its plans to open a wide movie on Christmas Day, with a Western that reunites Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks in an enticing premise. In this drama based on Paulette Jiles’ novel, Hanks plays a traveling newsreader in the aftermath of the American Civil War, who is tasked with reuniting an orphaned girl with her living relatives. While the first sneak peek of the movie looks promising, the future is still in the air.
-Nomadland (trailer): While the world burns around Hollywood, Searchlight is betting big on Chloe Zhao’s new film. Using the strategy of taking the spotlight while the rest of the contenders is uncertain about how or when to be released, the indie drama began its journey at Venice, with critics raving about the story of a woman (two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand) who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. At the end of the fest, the movie won the coveted Golden Lion. To put that into perspective, the last three winners of the award were past Best Picture nominees The Shape of Water, Roma and Joker, with The Shape of Water (also distributed by Searchlight) also winning the big prize. After drawing critical acclaim following its virtual showing on TIFF and NYFF, Nomadland seems like the first lock in the Best Picture line up. Still, there are obstacles ahead. Will Zhao break the disappointment of the last few years, when deserving candidates for Best Director got blocked by the likes of Adam McKay and Todd Phillips? And will McDormand manage to get near a third Oscar, following a recent win for Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri? Time will tell.
-On the Rocks (trailer): While she hasn’t been near the Oscars for a while, Sofia Coppola is still a name that draws attention. This time, she opened the NYFF with a dramedy about a young mother (Rashida Jones) who reunites with her playboy father (Bill Murray, also reuniting with Sofia after Lost in Translation) on an adventure through New York to find out if her husband (Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her. The consensus seems to be that, while light and not near her best work, it’s still a fun and breezy movie, with a very good turn by Murray. While many would assume that this A24 production will disappear into the abyss when it releases on Apple TV+ on October 23, the dropping out of many candidates gives the movie a chance to, at least, fight for some Golden Globes.
-One Night in Miami (sneak peek): Following her recent Oscar and Emmy wins for If Beale Street Could Talk and Watchmen, Regina King is still striking hard, and this time, she’s doing it as a director. For her big screen debut as a filmmaker, she chose to adapt Kemp Powers’ play that dramatizes a real meeting on February 25, 1964, when Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree) followed an iconic win with a hangout session with Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). Opening at Venice, the film received glowing reviews, with many praising King (even though some said that the movie doesn’t fully translate the play to the film medium) and the actors’ performances, especially Ben-Adir and Odom Jr. (who, it should be said, also wrote an original song for the end credits of the movie, which could help his Oscar chances). Amazon Prime is hoping that this is their big contender this year, with plans of a theatrical release on Christmas and a streaming release on January 15. Judging by the praise this got at festival season, it has a chance to go a long way.
-Over the Moon (trailer): In a year with not that many contenders for Best Animated Feature, Netflix is betting on a musical adventure directed by the legendary Glen Keane, a classic Disney animator who recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for co-directing Dear Basketball. While our expectations were lowered by the first trailer for the movie, centered around a Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the Moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Goddess, it’s still safe to assume that it has a shot at being nominated for something. Netflix also hopes that you like its big candidate for Best Original Song, which really, really sounds like a Disney ballad.
-Pieces of a Woman: While this year doesn’t have the amount of surprise contenders that a regular Oscar season usually has, we still have some movies that sneaked through festival season. The first one was the new, somber drama by Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó, known for the doggy uprising pic White God, and the not-so-well-received sci-fi Jupiter’s Moon. This time, we follow a woman (Vanessa Kirby) whose life is torn apart after a home birth at the hands of a flustered midwife (Molly Parker) ends in tragedy, and then leads to a court battle that also makes her confront her husband (Shia LaBeouf) and her domineering mother (Ellen Burstyn). While the movie had mixed reactions, Kirby had plenty of raves in her direction, particularly concerning her performance during a 25-minute birth sequence that is said to be brutal. That brutality paid off, though, because Kirby ended up winning Best Actress at Venice, and Netflix bought the movie, which also has Martin Scorsese as an executive producer. If the Academy wants to crown a new face in the scene, Kirby is the one who will be targeted, following her acclaimed turn in The Crown and her supporting roles in blockbusters like Mission Impossible: Fallout and Hobbs & Shaw.
-Promising Young Woman (trailer): When theaters started to close because of the pandemic, Universal started the push of their movies going straight to VOD, with titles including Trolls World Tour and Never Rarely Sometimes Always. However, there was a title that was supposed to premiere in April, and then suddenly disappeared from existence. It was the directorial debut of actress Emerald Fennell, who wrote a black comedy with touches of a thriller, centered on a woman in her thirties (Carey Mulligan) whose bright future was derailed by a traumatic event, and who’s now looking for revenge. While the reaction to its premiere at Sundance wasn’t enough to consider a Best Picture run, the twisted performance by Mulligan earned her the best praise since the last time she was nominated for an Oscar, a decade ago for An Education. Now, Focus Features is planning to open the movie at Christmas, and are positioning Carey for a run at Best Actress.
-Rebecca (trailer): When the news came out saying that Ben Wheatley would adapt Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller novel for Netflix, many were shocked. Some people considered the chance that this was an awards play by the cult director, who is doing the same work that earned Alfred Hitchcock his only Best Picture win. But seeing the trailer for this new version, with Lily James playing the newly married young woman who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife Rebecca, we have to wonder if there’s a point to the existence of this remake. We will find out if there’s any awards chances for this movie on October 21, when it releases on streaming. Let’s hope that Kristin Scott Thomas has something to play with as Mrs. Danvers.
-Respect (trailer): Every year, there’s one or two actors who announce to the world “I want an Oscar” and campaign like their lives depended on it. Last time, it was Taron Egerton (accompanied by Elton John, who actually ended up winning another Oscar). This year, it is the turn of Jennifer Hudson, who is playing Aretha Franklin in a biopic directed by first timer Liesl Tommy, and who’s hoping that this attempt at awards ends up more like Dreamgirls than like Cats. She has been doing announcement trailers (a year in advance), quarantine tributes, award show tributes, and every possible thing to get the industry to notice that she’s playing Aretha. Hey, Rami Malek and Renee Zellweger did it in the last few years, why can’t she. With a release date of January 15, Hudson wants that gold.
-Soul (trailer): Disney may be the studio that suffered the biggest hit because of the pandemic. Their parks are a loss, most of their big productions had to stop because of quarantine, and theaters in many parts of the world are closed. After the failure of Tenet for Warner Bros. and the experiment of the mouse house of charging people 30 dollars to see Mulan (which didn’t work at all), many wondered if Disney was gonna delay the new production by Pixar, written and directed by Pete Docter, who brought Oscar gold to his home with Up and Inside Out. The movie, which centers on a teacher (Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician and, just as he’s about to get his big break, ends up getting into an accident that separates his soul from his body, had a lot of promise, but the speculation of lost money was also a concern. Finally, Disney decided to release the movie on Christmas, but only on Disney Plus, causing another failure for theaters, but assuring that Disney at least can get more subscribers to its streaming service. And the movie? Well, it just premiered at the London Film Festival, and the critics are saying it’s Pixar at its best, with praises going from the look, to the script by co-director Kemp Powers (who also wrote the play of One Night in Miami, so he has many chances for a nod), to the score by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste. That means that it’s already a top contender to win Best Animated Feature, and this may not be the only category in which the movie is gonna get nominated.
-Supernova (trailer): If there’s a theme this year in terms of Oscar contenders, it might be dementia. One of the examples of this is a small road movie directed by Hairy Macqueen, which premiered to good reviews at the San Sebastian festival. This drama centers on a trip taken by Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners for 20 years, who travel across England reuniting with friends and family, because Tusker was diagnosed with early onset dementia. While usually the big awards role is usually the one of the person who suffers the illnesses, some reviewers are calling Firth’s work as the supporting companion some of the best of his career. With Bleecker Street buying the rights for a US release, this is a little film that could still make some moves.
-Tenet (trailer): For the first five months of quarantine, the big narrative in the world of film was “Christopher Nolan is gonna save cinemas”. But after postponing the release of the mind bending actioner for months on end, creating big demands and expectations to theater owners, and finally releasing as the sacrificial lamb of Hollywood, Warner Bros ended up seeing the opposite effect. Even though Tom Cruise loved to be back at the movies, critics didn’t share enough excitement to make a spy movie that goes backwards worth the possibility of dying of coronavirus. The audiences didn’t show up as much, and those who did attend, mostly complained about the sound mixing and the plot. After all the sacrifice, it’s highly unlikely that Tenet goes beyond technical awards. Let’s start the “Travis Scott for Best Original Song” campaign now, before it’s too late.
-The Boys in the Band (trailer): The Ryan Murphy blank check for Netflix has been interesting to follow. On the one hand, we have his new TV shows, which go from not existing (The Politician), to alternate movie history that doesn’t know how alternate history works (Hollywood), to a challenge of how much TV will you stomach if Sarah Paulson and other middle aged actresses are campy in it (Ratched). And now, we are seeing his producing hand over the movie side, which starts with the new film adaptation of the cult play from 1968, which was already a movie in 1970 and recently jumped to Broadway in 2018. The cast from the recent Broadway production (which includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells) stars in Joe Mantello’s movie, telling the story of a group of gay friends in pre-Stonewall New York who reunite for a birthday party and end up revealing a lot of open wounds. While this movie got good reviews from critics, it kinda disappeared without a sound after beginning to stream on Netflix at the end of September. Unless the service wants to campaign for Golden Globes, this film is lost in the algorithm.
-The Devil All the Time (trailer): Another September release on Netflix was the new psychological thriller by Antonio Campos (Simon Killer, Christine) who didn’t manage to continue his streak of intense and terrifying character dramas with his messy adaptation of the dark novel by Donald Ray Pollock. Wasting a cast that includes Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough, this twisted period piece managed to stay for a while in the Top 10, but the reactions from critics were mixed, and audiences were busy asking what was happening with Pattinson’s Southern accent (which with The King makes two years in a row, baby). The many prognosticators who had hopes for an awards play moved on a while ago.
-The Father (trailer): It’s safe to say at this point that Anthony Hopkins is a lock for a Best Actor nomination at the next Oscars. After its premiere in Sundance, every prognosticator pointed in his direction, and for the next few months he swept praise for his harrowing portrayal of an old man grappling with his age as he develops dementia, causing pain to his beleaguered daughter (recent winner Olivia Colman, who also got praised). Sony Pictures Classics will make Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his acclaimed play its big contender of the season, using Hopkins (who this year got a nom for The Two Popes) as a starter to also get Colman, Zeller and the movie nominated.
-The Human Voice (trailer): And speaking of Sony Pictures Classics, it’s almost safe to say that they have another Oscar in the bag this year. That’s because they just bought Pedro Almodóvar’s short film, his English-speaking debut that is an adaptation of the play by Jean Cocteau. In his version (that was acclaimed by critics after premiering in Venice), Tilda Swinton plays the woman waiting at the end of a phone, expecting to hear from his ex-lover who abandoned her. Considering how the competition for Best Live Action Short Film has become somewhat lacking in the last few years (I mean, have you seen Skin), this should be an easy award to win, especially considering how beloved Almodóvar is in the Academy, which nominated him this year for the great Pain and Glory.
-The Life Ahead: While we’re talking about legends, it’s time to talk about Sophia Loren. 16 years after her last leading role in a movie, the Italian icon returns with a drama that was bought by Netflix, who plans to campaign for her as Best Actress and for the movie in the Best International Film category. Directed by Edoardo Ponti (who is also Sophia’s son), this movie centers on a Holocaust survivor who takes in a 12-year-old boy who recently robbed her, in a contemporary adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel The Life Before Us. Netflix has set a date for November 13 to release this movie, and the campaign seems to be about the narrative of seeing Loren winning another Oscar 60 years after she won her first one for Two Women, by Vittorio De Sica.
-The Midnight Sky: Based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight, this collaboration between George Clooney and Netflix is once again making us ask one thing. Are we gonna get the director Clooney of Good Night and Good Luck, or are we gonna get the director Clooney of Leatherheads, The Ides of March, The Monuments Men and Suburbicon? Let’s hope he breaks his streak of blandness with this sci-fi story, which makes us think a little bit of Gravity: A lonely scientist in the Arctic (Clooney) races to stop a group of astronauts led by Felicity Jones from returning to a devastated Earth. With a release set for December, we have to hope that this is more than some Top 10 filler that will evaporate from existence in a week’s time.
-The Prom: In probably the biggest blank check of the Ryan Murphy deal with Netflix, this musical he’ll direct is based on the Tony-nominated show about a group of Broadway losers (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and James “boo” Corden) who try to find a viral story to get back in the spotlight, and end up going to a town in Indiana to help a lesbian high school student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. While it’s clear that this December 11 release is gonna sweep the Golden Globes, the emptiness of this year compared to others could clear the way for some Oscar nominations, including Meryl and the obligatory original song added to a preexisting musical for easy clout.
-The Trial of the Chicago 7 (trailer): When it was announced that Paramount was selling Aaron Sorkin’s new movie to Netflix, some people saw it as a studio dumping a failed awards vehicle to be forgotten. However, the excuse that Sorkin wanted to release this movie before the US presidential elections seems to be true, because critics really enjoyed his old school courtroom drama, centered around the trial on counter cultural activists in the late ‘60s. Everybody praised uniformly the huge cast, that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance, which guarantees a SAG awards nomination (but makes it difficult to decide which actors will actually get nominated for Oscars). With a reaction that brings to mind the days of A Few Good Men and is the best reception he got since his Oscar winning script for The Social Network, the film faces a couple of hurdles. First of all, it got positioned as the frontrunner in the Best Picture race by some people, which instantly puts a target on its back. Then, we have to consider that the movie releases on Netflix this Friday, October 16, which makes it the first big contender this year to face the world, and which in these times of lockdown will probably make the reception to Marriage Story and The Irishman from last year look like a walk in the park. I mean, there are some people who aren’t swayed by Sorkin, and for good reason.
-The United States vs. Billie Holiday: While Paramount was quick to hand The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Netflix, there’s another movie that the studio kept to play in the upcoming awards season. This biographical drama follows the life of another famous musician, Billie Holiday (Andra Day), and we see the journey of her career in jazz as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), with whom she had a tumultuous affair. While the movie counts with a screenplay credit by Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks, the big question mark is the film’s director, Lee Daniels, who hit it big with Precious and then had results that were disastrous (The Paperboy) or financially successful, but not awards-wise (Lee Daniels’ The Butler). However, Paramount trusts in this movie, and with a release date on February 12, they want to make a splash.
-Wolfwalkers (trailer): While the attempts by Apple TV+ to establish themselves as a player in the TV world go from trainwrecks (See) to forgettable (The Morning Show) to eventually great (see Ted Lasso, everybody, this is not a joke), their plans to make a name in the film business have something to do with this year’s Oscars. While Cherry can come or go, they have a solid contender for the Best Feature Documentary with Boys State, but their big dog this year is the new movie by Cartoon Saloon, an Irish studio responsible for the acclaimed The Secret of Kells, The Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner, all of which were nominated for Best Animated Feature. This time, Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart direct a story about a young apprentice hunter who journeys with her father to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night. After getting critically acclaimed following its premiere at TIFF, this is a surefire contender for this year’s Best Animated Feature category, and Apple is gonna parade it before its streaming release on December 11. Also, while you watch that, you could watch a couple of episodes of Ted Lasso, too. It’s a really good show, it’s all I’m saying.
Anyways, that’s all the news from the last few months of festivals. No matter what happens next, this is gonna be a long, long, long race.
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2020.10.06 22:49 PowerWindows85 Bored? Looking for something to do? Start with this list of things to do in the Sacramento area.

(Credit for the below list has to be given to u/BurritoFueled, who created the original list in 2014 and updated it a year later. Almost two-thirds of the items below are still from that original list. All I’ve done with the list is revive it a little bit by updating dead links and making little tweaks when necessary. Also, thanks to those that submitted new additions to the list last week. Over a third of the below items are new and a lot of the original items have had newer information added onto them.)
People are always looking for something to do around here. Maybe you’re a transplant, unaware of what this area has to offer, or maybe you’re a lifelong resident, tired of the same old thing. Well friend, if you fall into the latter category, do not despair. There’s actually plenty of things to do in the Sacramento area – things of interest to almost any lifestyle, personality, or budget.
So, whether you’re an athlete, geek, eccentric, hipster, weirdo, sexual deviant or just a normal person looking for a new activity, below is a list of activities for you to try. Please note that it includes only activities that take place at least a few times a year – no one-off events or festivals here.
Enjoy this list. If you have any suggestions of your own to add, comment below in this thread. I'll try to keep this as up to date as possible.
Away we go.
UPDATED 10-6-20
(Note: Due to the current pandemic, some of these activities may be curtailed or not offered at all.)
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2020.10.06 22:14 BringATwenty Mormonism of today is like a glow stick, exposing it's hidden cracks makes the glow. 42 Reasons (Part 2 of 2)

  1. After the 8 year long revolutionary war ended in 1783, the "United States of America" still faltered countless times in the following decades. Easterly landlocked colonial territories outlined on paper as "States" could not come together as "One Nation". Different military's, militias, brotherhoods, factions, factions within factions, slavery and counterfeit money bred constant chaos. For many periods over those following decades attacks from Great Britain, Spain, France, Mexico and the warring Indian tribes they supplied meant the easterly landlocked territories were doomed to be conquered by one nation or another. (Even Russia had a trade presence on the west coast) Year in and year out, every day and every night, every primitive, easterly landlocked, colonial territory's survival was threatened. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
  2. The Nation needed to expand West to save Freedom but the unorganized military was spread too thin. Some settlers made progress with peaceful Native American tribes yet wagon trains of settlers who dared to venture West were still violently slaughtered by warring Indian tribes. Young, old, no one was spared. Stories of the violent massacres kept many settlers held up in the landlocked territories. Other's fled back to England. Still others came. (1) (2)
  3. The guiding hand of a centuries old Scottish Brotherhood can be seen throughout the USA's founding decades. Known founding fathers George Washington (1732-1799), Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Paul Revere (1735-1818), John Hancock (1736-1793) and others were members of the Brotherhood's different factions within factions spread across the territories. Hidden history reveals so much more about these founding fathers than many know. For example, George Washington still owned 300 slaves upon his death. Paul Revere was a master of metals and an entrepreneur and his clients included the US Government (1) (2). Dynamic Oligarch, Governor, Inventor and swimmer Benjamin Franklin (1) (2) might one day go down in history as a colonial version of Bruce Wayne/Batman. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5))
  4. Faraway on the other side of the globe, during the same time the revolutionary war was going on, England's Captain James Cook, a global explorer and close associate of the Brotherhood, led the discovery of what would become Hawaii. He saw firsthand how polygamy could grow a nation quickly. Word of the native island people and their bounty of ancestral legends, ocean going stories and treasure traveled around the globe and throughout the Brotherhood's ranks on both sides of the Atlantic. Among the native's Cook and his crew were first revered as immortals but about a year later Cook was attacked and killed as an imposter. This did not phase other explorers and visitors. Travel by ship to the islands became so familiar during colonial times that when conquering Hawaiian King Kamehameha passed away his drunken son LihoLiho, who carried the King's title in name only, traded away a substantial portion of the island's treasures for a yacht built by a Salem, Massachusetts family prominent in seafaring, politics and the military (Crowninshield). After the yacht reached the islands in 1820 it was extensively and expensively remodeled under LihoLiho's orders. It suspiciously sank in a Kauai bay less than two years later and LihoLiho suspiciously died on a peculiar, ill fated trip to Great Britain in 1824. (1) (2) (3)
  5. In the failing US Territories of the late 1700's and early 1800's, patriotic leaders prayed and planned and searched for ways to save the failed Nation. Guidance was sought. Plans were constantly suggested and evaluated. Different members of the Brotherhood secretly suggested laying the foundation for a massive religious following built by polygamy to successfully pave the way West so the failed Nation could expand and be saved.
  6. During this critical time, at least 14 stories of different people having similar "religious" experiences popped up around the territories. None of them created a great following. (1)
  7. During the 34 years spanning 1787-1821, the US's first 24 easterly landlocked states were formed on paper. However, 61% of these states were formed during the first 16 years of that period. For the last 18 years of that period, the pace of forming states had come to a violent halt with only 7 being formed. The chaotic territory known on paper as the "USA" was on the doorstep of imminent failure and what would become a quarter century blight where only two more states would be formed on paper. (1821-1845) (1)
  8. That 1821-1845 time period coincidentally also covers 99.9% of the time that the published, foundational beginnings of "Mormonism" occurred. 1820 is the published year of Joseph Smith's First Vision. 1847 is the published year Brigham Young strategically ordered his west coast bound following to suddenly stop in Mexico Territory at an enormous salt filled lake smack dab in the center of the American continent's untamed West. Even though it was in Mexico Territory at the time, the location of this Great Salt Lake was perfectly centralized in the continent's West and could serve as the doorstep to how the West could be won. Over the next 20 years after Brigham Young's arrival an estimated 60,000-70,000 faithful pioneers would follow. Many were followers of Mormonism. Many practiced polygamy. Many would be sent in all direction of the West to faithfully colonize strategic territories and pave the way for the Nation's armies (1).
  9. For nearly 195 years, Mormonism has surreptitiously weaved historical claims about a man named "Martin Harris" (1783-1875). Mormonism claims Harris was a humble farmer who's greedy wife left him after he mortgaged their family farm to faithfully pay today's equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the first publishing of the boy Joseph Smith's "The Book of Mormon" and that shortly after that economic failure and other critical founding roles Harris lost faith in Mormonism but later rejoined Mormonism in Utah at the very end of his 92 year long life. (1)) (2) Hidden history reveals that these claims about Harris ARE EXACTLY HOW HE WANTED IT. The purveyors of Mormonism go to great lengths to perpetuate these myths about Harris even today. If you don't accept the boy "Joseph Smith" as a child prophet who grew into a man prophet, Harris' purveyors of Mormonism want you to hate Joseph Smith as an impossible genius-con artist-pedophile so you fail to see the truth of who Harris really was and what Harris really did.
  10. "History is written by the victor" and the past two centuries demonstrate that Harris definitely was the victor. This is because in reality Harris' "greedy wife" "Lucy" was actually his child cousin. Yes she was a child. Yes she was his first cousin. She was 15 and he was 25 when he forced her to marry him. Yet within Mormonism story after story leaves this critical detail out. Additionally for one reason or another Lucy became partially deaf over the next 20 years. There is also at least one report that in addition to sexually abusing this child Harris also physically abused her. This is an indication of Harris' proclivity to control children. Harris eventually fathered 6 children) through Lucy's nubile womb. 28 years later and after being physically separated from Harris for years, Lucy suspiciously died at the age of 42. Weeks later then 52 year old Harris married 21 year old Caroline Young. A niece of Brigham Young. He fathered 7 children through here nubile womb.
  11. Like the Crowninshield's and other influential families throughout critical parts of the chaotic New England territories, The Harris family was also wealthy, well connected and zealously patriotic. With his father Nathan Harris, and his brothers (Emer and Preserved) Martin controlled hundreds of productive acres in the Palmyra, New York region with complex operations producing a river of revenue from livestock and linen. Martin Harris' father Nathan Harris and mother Rhoda Lapham Harris originally moved the Harris family to the Palmyra, New York area in 1796, 20 years before the poverty stricken Smith's would arrive practically on Harris' doorstep. (1) (For the Sum of $3000 By Susan Easton Black)
  12. The white linen Martin produced was so exceptional that he won several awards for it. Since Mormonism's beginning days, the wearing of multiple layers of white clothing has been expected of followers. For decades manufacturing this clothing and selling it to followers has been a secret, multi-million dollar industry for Mormonism. The white clothing includes under garments for daily wear by males and females as well as outer garments for wear in private ceremonies. (For the Sum of $3000 By Susan Easton Black)
  13. Harris was a zealous patriot. At 29 years old, four years after forcing his child cousin to marry him, he began regularly leaving his life of power, wealth and marriage as a "Harris" to regularly fight during the 3 years of "The War of 1812". ( "The War of 1812" was actually "The War of 1812-1815".) Harris was recognized as a leader and an honored war veteran at war's end. As an honored war veteran, is it safe to suggest that he became familiar with killing in the name of patriotism as wars require of brave men and women (1) ?
  14. Harris was a convincing story teller. He once got people to donate money for what he claimed would be used to support the Christian Greeks fighting the Turks. He also claimed Jesus appeared to him in the form of a deer and walked with him for a couple miles. He also claimed an incident regarding a flickering candle was the work of the devil. (1) (2))
  15. After the War of 1812, the well respected, wealthy, influential, honored, 33 year old Martin Harris was nominated to be "Road Overseer" in the Palmyra region. A position he controlled for the next 7 years. This included the 7 years it took to finally construct New England's Eerie Canal.
  16. The dynamic Harris was an influential supporter of the Eerie Canal and it's possible route. Harris made sure the route passed by he and his father's lands. This would expand their river of cash and operations to the eastern territories in exponential ways. This river of cash would be used by many to finance business and patriotic endeavors in the failed Nation. (1) Prior to the Eerie Canal "New York" was way down on the list of in-demand territorial ports. Historical economist's acknowledge that the Eerie Canal made New York the leading port and global economic powerhouse that it has been for nearly two centuries.
  17. The boy Joseph Smith Jr. was born December 23, 1805. The poverty stricken Smith family relocated 8 times in the chaotic New England area during Joseph's Smith Jr.'s first 10 years. If they were in Europe they may have been referred to as "gypsys". With Great Britain's latest attack and eventual retreat underway after the War of 1812, the Smith family with it's many sons of working age moved to Palmyra in 1816 in search of work on the controversial, to be built "Eerie Canal". (To this day, published Mormon history acts as if the Eerie Canal doesn't exist.)
  18. During these colonial decades, almost 1 in 5 children did not survive their first year. The Smith family was no exception. Although some children are not listed here in 1816 the living and to-be-born members of Smith family included Joseph Smith Sr. (father, 45, d. 1840), Lucy Mack Smith (Mother, 41, d. 1856), Alvin Smith (son, 18, d. 1823), Hyrum Smith (son, 16, d. 1844), Sophronia (daughter, 13, d. 1876), Joseph Smith Jr. (son, 10, d. 1844), Samuel Smith (son, 8 d. 1844), William Smith (son, 5, d. 1894), Katherine Smith (daughter, 3, d. 1900), Don Carlos (son, newborn, d. 1841). Lucy Smith would be born 5 years later, d. 1882). Shortly after arriving in the Palmyra region, the poverty stricken, uneducated Smith family took over a primitive cabin less than 1 mile from Harris's lands that bordered the future route of Eerie Canal. This was the Smith family's 8th move in Joseph Smith Jr.'s 10 years. After moving so many times, they absolutely moved here to gain work on the Eerie Canal. This move would be the families last. Mother Lucy Smith would bury all but one Smith male during the first 25 years of Mormonism's beginnings. (1)
  19. Harris was 22 years older than Joseph Smith. As a well known, wealthy local and "Road Overseer" who regularly hired local boys and men to work on his own lands, Harris met the Smith family with it's many sons around 1816 when Smith's moved to Palmyra. Harris did not live within 1 mile of the Smith family for 8 or 10 years before meeting them as Mormon history weaves. Harris likely learned of the arrival of the Smith family within days of their arrival to Palmyra through longtime Palmyra residents including the resident who owned the tiny primitive cabin the large Smith family moved into. (For the Sum of $3000 By Susan Easton Black, map, page 6)
  20. Within published Mormonism there are also conflicting accounts spanning three violent chaotic colonial years when Martin Harris met "Joseph Smith". Some accounts claim it was 1824, some claim it was 1827. This would have been when Joseph Smith was 18...or 21. Another ignored, critical discrepancy. (1) (2)
  21. In the early 1800, as years of chaotic uncertainty unfolded, for one reason or another Harris appropriated the Brotherhood's patriotic goals for the Nation for himself. Among other things he knew of the other religious experiences told by others around the territories. (Harris would eventually become related by marriage to one of the story tellers). Harris saw that a young mans voice was needed for a following to catch on. For that, the powerful Harris chose a young many to be a voice of his own. This voice was that of 18 year old Alvin Smith). However, as Harris laid the ground work for his patriotic cause over the next 4 years, headstrong Alvin resisted. Because Hyrum was also older than 18 after those 4 years and like Alvin would have been privy to some of the Brotherhood's publishing's and ceremonies that Harris borrowed (or stole) from, Harris skipped choosing Hyrum as a potential "voice" and chose Joseph, the dynamic, naïve, uneducated, friendly, 14 year old boy who walked with a limp. This is now the year 1820 and is when the boy Joseph's published stories begin. 4 years later though, Alvin was engaged to be married and saw potential for the Smith's without their dependence on the Harris' for work. He began to interfere with the powerful Harris' grooming and temptations of the impressionable Joseph. With the fate of the Nation at stake and no more time to find another voice amid Joseph's waiverings growing ever more critical as he too approached the age of 18, the wealthy, zealous, altruistic, powerful, patriotic Harris ordered Alvin's murder . It was just four and a half weeks before Joseph's 18th birthday. After Alvin's death, Harris used threats towards other Smith family members to ensure Joseph would not waiver. Fearing for the rest of his family and now 3 year old little Lucy, and with no "911" to call and no one else to come to their aid, 17 year old Joseph and the rest of the Smith family would become Harris' emotional hostages for the next two decades. Just like Harris had done with his child cousin who he forced to marry him, Harris had gained control of the boy Joseph and the Smiths.
  22. The powerful Harris, his father and their faction, ("The Men Who Visit") continued freely catalyzing Mormonism and the Book of Mormon from the Brotherhood's materials. They also used materials from forced and unforced sources including authors of 6 previous publications (#3). In their zeal, with their power, influence and use of violence they were able to greatly reduce the prominence of the publications they borrowed and stole from.
  23. Mormonism's publishings indicate "The Book of Mormon" was originally a 30-60 pound heavy stack of gold plates discovered in a sealed box under a boulder and that the box also included a sword (The Sword of Laban), a spherical compass (The Liahona) and a breast plate with a pair of primitive glasses attached to it. Publishing's indicate that translation of the engraved writings on the plates occurred by Joseph Smith without him looking at the plates but instead by Joseph wearing the Urim and Thummim and iterating out loud the words that appeared to him. If he didn't want to use the plates, he could also use a black stone he had been led to. If he didn't want to use the black stone, he could use a white stone he already had. (1). A scribe who was either his first wife Emma, Martin Harris, David Whitmer or Oliver Cowdery. (2)
  24. Harris' reputation for being wealthy was well known enough that in 1833 he was sued and jailed for $1000 (what some would say is today's economic equivalent of $500,000) by a young woman for publicly saying she had a "bastard child". In that day women couldn't sue a man alone so the suit was brought by a male friend of the woman. Harris posted bail and left. The suit was quietly dismissed under the claim that the woman was already "scandalous" prior to her claims against the well known Harris. (Link available by download through google search "the imprisonment of Martin Harris").
  25. During the following years under Harris control, naive Joseph resisted at times. Joseph tried to break free at times. Joseph sought funding for his own militia. Joseph spoke in code to his militia. As a victim, out of survival or as an eventual participant, Joseph absolutely made mistakes.
  26. A city was built around Mormonism. Harris and his endless river of cash and connections from the Eerie Canal was never far away. Day by day Harris' barges on the Eerie Canal sent one fortune of goods after another to the eastern territories. At the port of New York, the empty barges were loaded with immigrants grateful to have some place inland to go. Stories of the American Bible gave them something to believe in. For one reason or another, many of these early male, female and child immigrants were from Scotland...
  27. Harris and his faction forced Joseph to claim that 24 different angels appeared to Joseph including Adam, Moses, Noah and other biblical characters.
  28. Harris' self-fulfilling prophecy involving patriotically well-connected aristocrats Charles Anthon, Luther Bradish and Samuel L. Mitchell. Note that Bradish was a literary agent of profound, well educated early American author James Fenimore Cooper. Cooper is the author of "The Leatherstocking Tales", "The Last of the Mohicans" and other known titles. Cooper was also a midshipman in the US Navy who was very familiar with the working of ocean vessels. Like Benjamin Franklin, Cooper was known for his intellect and occasionally mischievous creativity. (1) "The Book of Mormon" contains ocean going stories (1) (2). Like Harris, Bradish also fought in the "War of 1812". These are just a few of the critical circles of influence needed to catalyze something like "The Book of Mormon" and Mormonism and to see it through to fruition while minimizing and eliminating obstacles along the way. These are the kind of critical circles of influence that a naive, uneducated, poor, handicapped, gypsy boy from a new-to-the-neighborhood family just did not have.
  29. In 1844, with thousands of immigrant and American born followers spread across many New England territories and elsewhere, Harris secretly ordered Joseph to began preparations to lead Mormonism's followers from Nauvoo into the West to save the failed USA. Instead, the naive Joseph believed he could save the failed USA by becoming President of the USA himself. Believing he was finally too powerful for Harris to kill him, Joseph publicly announced his campaign for President of the USA. With no time to spare, the zealous, patriotic Harris immediately ordered the murder of Joseph Smith and two of his three remaining brothers. Within weeks of Joseph's presidential announcement Joseph and his older brother Hyrum were arrested and killed within days (June 27, 1844). With thousands of followers, his own militia and the bounties of an entire growing city at his fingertips, Joseph allowed himself to be arrested believing that he and Harris would reconcile. After Joseph and Hyrum's murder however, in an insidious taunt to other less heinous factions who's attempts failed to gain a following and to remove all obstacles at seeing his own faction's plans through, Harris ordered the murder of younger brother Samuel Smith 33 days later (July 30, 1844). The number 33 is significant within the Brotherhood. For one reason or another Harris spared the Smith females (Mother Lucy Mack, daughter's Sophronia, Katherine, Lucy) and the youngest living Smith son at the time William. In all, 6 Smith male family members including Alvin (murder), Joseph Smith Sr. (suspicious), Don Carlos (illness), Hyrum (murder), Joseph (murder) and Samuel (murder) died during the Lord's careful "Restoration of the Gospel".
  30. After Joseph's unbelievable, tragic and violent murder Mormonism split into multiple groups with several different leaders emerging. Some believed in polygamy some didn't. 1) Brigham eventually led the majority into the West. 2) Joseph's family and first wife Emma stayed in Nauvoo. 3) Other followers went to Philadelphia. 4) Others went on a ship to sail to the continent's west coast with Samuel Brannan (who pulled a page from Benjamin Franklin's book of propaganda and sensationalism and started the gold rush of 1849 by publishing reports of gold in the area in eastern markets. Brannan is recognized by many as the west coast's first millionaire although not from "gold". Like many others in Mormonism's founding days publishings indicate Brannan was also eventually "exiled" from Mormonism). 5) Other's followed James Strange (Strange was Harris' back up plan in case Brigham was killed or failed. Strange led a following to northern territories on the Great Lakes. Harris was never far away from Strange. Strange eventually also produced "writings" from plates he claimed he was led to. (Harris is noted within Mormon history as being responsible for "losing" 116 pages of writings Joseph produced). Strange was murdered 9 years after Brigham Young stopped his following at the salt lake in the center of the West and the West was won.
  31. During this period other people would mysteriously die or disappear. Harris and/or people claiming to be associated with the US Government were never far away. (1)
  32. Within two years of Mormonism conquering the West, US states started being formed on paper again. This ended the quarter century blight that began shortly before Mormonism's founding days. (1)
  33. When it came time for Brigham Young to commission a statue to commemorate Mormonism's settling of "Salt Lake City" and to be placed at the entrance to his expansive "Utah Territory" property instead of choosing an angel Moroni, a figure of Joseph, or anything related to Mormonism he chose an eagle on top of a 5-pointed star. This statue commemorating the "Gate for the Eagle" became known as "The Eagles Gate". These symbols acknowledged the conquering of the American continent's West by Freemasonry under the banner of the USA. Although the "Eagle" has always been highly visible, the "Star" is seldom mentioned publicly but is clearly visible in person and in many images. This Star is also used throughout Mormonism's early ecclesiastical buildings. Note that in the 1970's some groups with nefarious purposes adopted the 5-pointed star ("pentagram") as a purported satanic symbol however among different uses related to the USA, it had been used for over a century to also represent the rising Eastern Star.
  34. Between his 15 year old child cousin bride Lucy (10 years his junior) and his mysterious bride Caroline (29 years his junior), Martin Harris fathered 13 living children through the two females nubile wombs. Today there are 13 secret corporations that control Mormonism's $100 billion dollars.
  35. Images of Martin Harris in his later years (1870) show him holding a staff with a serpant's head. 116 years before, Benjamin Franklin used a serpant as patriotic imagery (1754).
  36. Although images of just about everyone else in Mormonism's founding days exist, Mormonism maintains that no images of Joseph Smith exist. Instead, they elect to use handsome cartoon renderings of Joseph Smith that generate millions of dollars in revenue every year. This is while Mormonism also ignores reports of at least one photograph and forensic science that indicates a less sensationalized image of Joseph Smith. Naturally, this image also demonstrates more family semblance with Alvin Smith than the cartoon images do.
  37. Of all figures in Mormonism's beginnings the grave marker of the forgotten Martin Harris is by far the most substantial. Joseph Smith doesn't even have his own marker. His is shared with his brother Hyrum and his first wife Emma even though Emma married a non-Mormon on Joseph Smith's birthday 3 years later. Mormonism goes to great lengths to hide Emma's marriage to a non-mormon after Joseph's murder especially with the critical role of Emma that has been weaved throughout Mormonism and the translation.
  38. Polygamy openly continued for over 60 years before being renounced so Utah could officially become a State. Polygamy continued privately for decades and continues still in many ways due to Mormonism maintaining spiritual polygamy.
  39. Mormonism openly practicing racism until 1978.
  40. Nepotistic connections through blood or marriage existed throughout Mormonism's founding days with the 3 witnesses and the 8 witnesses and continues today. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5). Note that of the "3 Witnesses" Martin Harris was one. One was also a "Whitmer". 4 of the "8 Witnesses" were Whitmer's. "Hyrum Page" of the "8 Witnesses" was married to a Whitmer. Joseph Smith's father and two brothers make up the rest of the "8". All most all of the witnesses eventually left Mormonism but out of fear of retribution from Harris' faction they never recanted their stories or roles in Mormonism.
  41. Today Mormonism is a nepotistic (1) (2) (3) (4) $150 Billion tax-free corporation masquerading as a "religion". It owns influential roles in companies you know and use everyday. $100 Billion of that ill-gotten wealth places Mormonism among the top 5 of the largest cash reserves in the USA. Additional billions are held in real estate development (one example), media control (NBC-UTAH), the USA's largest cattle producer, the USA's largest nut producer, Universities in Utah, Idaho and Hawaii (BYU) and billions of dollars more in tax free capital raising buildings disguised as chapels, temples and other "ecclesiastical" buildings. Even though Mormonism continues to have lie after lie revealed about it, it maintains disturbing nepotistic control over the State of Utah and it's political, legal, municipal, educational and media offices as well as it's global at-risk "volunteer" force of tens of thousands of teenagers).
  42. If Mormonism doesn't seem like an insidious regime yet this link should make it perfectly clear.
submitted by BringATwenty to MoMoNoMo [link] [comments]


2020.10.06 12:38 GoingVeganOrBust I had some people tell me to supplement with B12. I’m new to being vegan. I personally think B12 is a corporate push and not a real thing. This is what I found. I copy/pasted because everyone was too lazy to click any links I posted.

The subject of vitamin B12 is not new to most vegans, vegetarians or raw fooders. The supplement companies have many people running to their local health (drug) stores in an effort to make themselves deficiency-free, but is this a good idea? A number of issues will be raised in this article and I will attempt to piece together some information from many different and reliable (non-financially-oriented) sources.
A vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious disorder and indications of a deficiency of vitamin B12, when they do reach a stage where they have shown up, can be quite severe. Fatigue, paleness, anorexia, mental confusion, delusions, paranoia, weight loss, respiratory problems, etc. are just some indications that a person may have a B12-deficiency. In my opinion, ME is often a B12-deficiency disorder. If you do think you may have a B12-deficiency, it would be wise for you to seek the advice of a health practitioner (such as myself) who is knowledgeable about B12-deficiencies, for immediate advice. I would strongly recommend that you do something to remedy the situation, as this deficiency can eventually lead to death if left unchecked.
UK official recommendations have decreased in recent years, the body's needs having been previously over-estimated. Indeed, the Department of Health recognises that some people have lower than average requirements of B12. A whole lifetime's requirement of B12 add up to a 40 milligram speck of red crystals, about one-seventh the size of an average tablet of aspirin!
Vitamin B12 is excreted in the bile and is effectively reabsorbed. This is known as enterohepatic circulation. The amount of B12 excreted in the bile can vary from 1 to 10ug (micrograms) a day. People on diets low in B12, including vegans and some vegetarians, may be obtaining more B12 from reabsorption than from dietary sources. Reabsorption is the reason it can take over 20 years for a deficiency disease to develop. In comparison, if B12 deficiency is due to a failure in absorption, it can take only three years for a deficiency disease to occur. Since vitamin B12 is recycled in a healthy body, in principle, internal B12 synthesis could fulfil our needs without any B12 being provided in the diet, but there are other factors to be taken into consideration such as whether there is sufficient cobalt, calcium and protein in our diet to ensure a stable vitamin B2 level and the condition of our intestines.
Among the many controversies surrounding vitamin B12, there is the argument that, although Intrinsic Factor is produced in our stomachs and that our intestines are known to produce vitamin B12, the bacteria is produced too low down in the intestines and cannot be absorbed by our bodies. This argument is still hanging around, however, according to Dr Vetrano it was disproved by research over 20 years ago and is nothing more than an obsolete scientific theory. Indeed, in a 1999 version of 'Human Anatomy and Physiology' by Marieb, it states quite clearly that we do indeed absorb vitamin B12 through our intestines.
Many people say that the only foods which contain vitamin B12 are animal-derived foods. This also is untrue. No foods naturally contain vitamin B12 - neither animal or plant foods. Vitamin B12 is a microbe - a bacteria - it is produced by microorganisms. Vitamin B12 is the only vitamin that contains a trace element - cobalt - which gives this vitamin its chemical name - cobalamin - which is at the centre of its molecular structure. Humans and all vertebrates require cobalt, although it is assimilated only in the form of vitamin B12.
B12 synthesis is known to occur naturally in the human small intestine (in the ileum), which is the primary site of B12 absorption. As long as gut bacteria have cobalt and certain other nutrients, they produce vitamin B12. Dr Michael Klaper argues that vitamin B12 is present in the mouth as well and intestines. Furthermore, Dr Virginia Vetrano states that active Vitamin B12 coenzymes are found in bacteria in the mouth, around the teeth, in the nasopharynx, around the tonsils and in the tonsilar crypts, in the folds at the base of the tongue, and in the upper bronchial tree. Absorption of the natural B12 coenzymes can take place in the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bronchial tubes and even in the upper small intestines, as well as all along the intestinal tract. This does not involve the complex enzyme mechanism for absorption (Intrinsic Factor) in the small intestine as required by cyanocobalamin. The coenzymes are absorbed by diffusion from mucous membranes (11).
External B12 coming into the body must be combined with a mucoprotein enzyme named Intrinsic Factor, which is normally present in gastric secretions, to be properly assimilated. If the Intrinsic Factor is impaired or absent, B12 synthesis will not take place, no matter how much is present in the diet. A B12 deficiency can be caused by antibiotics (from the drugs themselves and contained in milk and meat), alcohol (alcohol damages the liver, so drinkers need more B12) and smoking (and all high temp cooked food is smoky) and stress also raises B12 needs).
Many nutritional analyses of foodstuffs were carried out such a long time ago, and, as such, have not taken account of more up-to-date technology. According to Dr Vetrano, current books on nutrition in the U.S. now state that there is B12 in any food that contains quantities of the B vitamin complex, but previously they were just not able to assay the amounts. Nowadays, more modern technology has allowed them to discover that there is B12 in those foods rich in the B complex.
The author does not believe that a vitamin B12 deficiency is more widespread in vegans or vegetarians - this is probably just another marketing lie! In fact, many so-called studies 'showing vegans deficient' have to be carefully studied themselves - many of them do not prove vegans to be deficient at all! In fact, contrary to meat and dairy industry propaganda, meat-eaters are known to be more likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency - this has been known since 1959!!(1)
Having said this, we must bear in mind that many vegetarians and vegans still take antibiotics or consume antibiotic-containing foods such as onions, garlic, strong radishes and other foods rich in mustard oil, which are lethal to intestinal flora. The trouble is that once we have damaged our intestinal flora, it is difficult to correct without proper and knowledgeable healthcare and dietary advice. It is of far greater importance to correct intestinal flora problems than to spend our lives relying on so-called supplements. People who have a physical problem because they think they are not getting enough vitamin B12, are in fact often not digesting, absorbing or assimilating their foods properly because of the condition of their gastrointestinal tract. When their intestines are healed, vitamin B12 can be utilized and produced once again
Indeed, Dr Vetrano argues that the real problem in so-called B12 deficiency is a failure of digestion and absorption of foods, rather than a deficiency of the vitamin itself. She further argues that vitamin B12 coenzymes are found in nuts and seeds as well as in many common greens, fruits, and many vegetables. If we ate 100 grams of green beans, beets, carrots, and peas we would have half of our so-called daily minimum requirement of Vitamin B12 coenzymes providing our digestion and absorption are normal. From Rodale's The Complete Book of Vitamins, page 236 we find the following clarification: "As you know, the B complex of vitamins is called a 'complex' because, instead of being one vitamin, it has turned out to be a large number of related vitamins, which appear generally in the same foods." (11)
The cause of malabsorption is commonly a gastrointestinal disorder and this was known by pathologists way back in the l800s. In this case, one's lifestyle must be assessed and brought into unison with the needs of the living organism.
According to Marieb's 'Human Anatomy and Physiology', vitamin B12 can be destroyed by highly alkaline and highly acid conditions. This assumes that the B12 in meat would be easily destroyed because the hydrochloric acid in our stomachs during the digestion of meat is highly acidic. This may explain why meat-eaters are just as likely to have a B12 deficiency as vegans - even though their diet contains vitamin B12. Also, as mentioned earlier, another problem for meat-eaters is that there are normally antiobiotics in meat plus the fact that many meat-eaters destroy their friendly bacteria in their intestines by constant putrefaction and the putrefactive bacteria naturally present in meat will give the body a hard time. So, the damaged intestines may not function well enough to enable adequate vitamin B12 levels to be asborbed.
Another side to the equation is that low serum B12 levels do not necessarily equate to a B12 deficiency necessarily. Just because there is a low level of B12 in the bloodstream, this does not mean that there is a deficiency in the body as a whole, it may well be being utilised by the living cells (such as the central nervous system). More reliable tests appear to be that of homocysteine levels and Methyl Malonic Acid tests.
Commercially, vitamin B12 tablets are made from bacteria and the bacteria is deeply fermented. A B12 supplement or injection may help in the short-term, should the levels fall low, but in the medium to long-term, I would recommend a B12-deficient person tries to get to the bottom of why they are continually becoming deficient, with the help of a Natural Hygienist.
According to Dr. John Potter PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, "Food's magic is based on thousands of complex interactions of dozens of different phytochemicals which are difficult to recreate in pills. While 190 solid studies prove that fruit and vegetables benefit, supplements have only a smattering of evidence". Vitamins, minerals, hormones, etc. do not work in isolation, they work symbiotically. They work with other nutrients in order for their work to be carried out. When these highly complex substances are disturbed, their overall effectiveness can be reduced. However, too much of a nutrient is draining on our vital energy as the human (or non-human) organism may have to expel a nutrient overload. Also, it is doubtful whether, even if you do have a B12 deficiency, you have only a B12 deficiency. A healthier diet and living conditions, as well as a fast may be in order.
On the topic of supplements in general, Dr Douglas Graham, in his book 'Nutrition and Athletic Performance', argues that supplementation has proven to be an inadequate and incomplete method of supplying nutrients as scientists cannot match nature's refined balances. He says that since an estimated ninety per cent of all nutrients are as yet undiscovered, why would we want to start adding nutrients into our diet one at a time rather than eating whole foods? Most nutrients are known to interact symbiotically with at least eight other nutrients and considering this, the odds of healthfully supplying any nutrients in its necessary component package becomes 'infinitesimally minute'. More to the point he adds, 'there has never been a successful attempt to keep an animal or human healthy, or even alive, on a diet composed strictly of nutritional supplements'. So I would say that a reliance on supplements, without getting to the root of the problem isn't ideal.
Dan Reeter, at Bio-Systems Laboratories in Colorado is creating one of the world's most comprehensive computer facilities for soil biology testing. He says that, from his extensive tests, plants grown in organically-managed soil make significantly higher levels of usable vitamin B12. It has also been reported that vitamin B12 is present in wild fruits and wild and home-grown plant foods.
The author contends that animal and dairy produce is a poor source of Vitamin B12 since they are normally cooked and thereore the vitamin is contained in nutrient-deranged foodstuffs which will inevitably destroy the usability of the vitamin. Studies show that those following a typical animal-based diet require more vitamin B12 than those who do not. This is because the typical diet leads to digestive atrophy. Because B12 is peptide-bound in animal products and must be enzymatically cleaved from the peptide bonds to be absorbed, a weakened gastric acid and gastric enzyme secretions (due to a cooked food diet) causes an inability to efficiently extract vitamin B12 from external food. Nevertheless, raw food vegans can actually get more B12 by reabsorption from bile than they do from external food. Wolfe argues that the natural soil microbes and bacteria found on wild plant foods and unwashed garden plants are typically adequate to supply our B12 requirements. The natural microbes in the soil need to be duplicated and to colonise in our digestive tract, without fermentation or putrefaction.
Another point worth considering is that vitamin B12 Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA's) are based upon the average cooked food (meat and two veg), smoking, drinking person. Commercial interests have indeed grossly exaggerated our needs for many nutrients. These studies tell us nothing of the requirements for a healthy vegetarian. It is very difficult to determine precise individual needs of any vitamin or nutrient, and an overload of any vitamin or other nutrient creates an unnecessary burden on our vital domain. Factors such as rate of metabolism, stress, etc. can determine our differing and often changing needs. Dr Victor Herbert reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1998, Volume 48) that only 0.00000035 ounces (1 microgram) of vitamin B12 is required per day. These minimum vitamin requirements may be inadequate to explain the needs of a healthy raw food vegan, for example, who may require less B12 due to an improved gastric ability and a high ability to recycle vitamin B12. (Cooking destroys microbes and a highly sterilised, cooked vegan diet may not provide the intestines with enough good quality flora). Absorption rates of B12 are inevitably higher in healthy individuals than in unhealthy individuals. Studies, based on healthy Indian vegetarian villagers, showed that none of them exhibited symptoms of B12 deficiency, despite levels of .3-.5 micrograms of B12.
I believe that Vitamin B12 deficiency is typically caused by lack of absorption in the intestinal tract rather than a lack of this vitamin in the diet. Annie and Dr David Jubb argue that people have lived in such a sterile, antiseptic environment for so long that these necessary symbiotic organisms have been less than present in our diet. They argue that by ingesting soil-born organisms you can maintain an enormous reservoir of uncoded antibodies ready to transform specific pathogens, the way nature intended - by eating a little dirt!
If a person is healthy and on a healthy vegan, high-percentage raw food diet and does not habitually over-eat, wrongly combine their foods and abuse their bodies generally, and is able to obtain quality produce and utilise fasting quite regularly I would suggest that t is unlikely that they will develop B12 deficiency symptoms providing their intestinal flora was not previously deranged. Vitamin B12 deficiency is usually symptomatic of a larger problem i.e. poor intestinal flora, poor absorption, gastric disorders , etc. and can also be attrributed to a lack of sunlight. There are indeed many factors involved here since adequate B12 levels, as mentioned, are dependent upon sufficient calcium, vitamin B12, zinc, cobalt, protein, etc.
I would also suggest that just because a wild fruit or organic plant food contains only a small amount, this does not mean it is deficient. It may just be because we only need a small amount anyhow. The pill pushers are quick to say that our soil is deficient, but according to Diamond and others, if a seed does not receive the elements it needs IT WILL NOT GROW (OR WILL GROW POORLY - author). Also, plants obtain nutrients from other sources in greater amounts: the sun, water and the air. Plants actually obtain only about 1% of nutrients from the soil.
If you do develop a B12 deficiency, certain urgent dietary adjustments may need to be made, and there is a possibility that fasting is in order. In any case, on switching to a healthier diet, be it vegetarian, vegan or raw food (for optimum health), we should go back to nature as much as possible and pay little attention to germ phobics who advise us to scrub our vegetables and fruits. Buy organic and eat home-grown or wild foods and do not clean them too scrupulously! Also it is important to ensure adequate nuts and seeds in the diet.
Please note that it is not recommended for anyone to go on a fast of longer duration than 1½ days without competent supervision, as prolonged fasts must be monitored by a qualified fasting supervisor.
submitted by GoingVeganOrBust to vegan [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 01:11 ImADudeDuh The Popheads Chart, September 21, 2020: I HATE TAYLOR ALISON SWIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hot 50 Spotify Playlist // #1s Spotify Playlist // Every Song to Ever Chart (Credit to FLLH for this amazing playlist!)

Popheads Weekly Hot 50: Week of September 21, 2020

For this chart issue, we tracked everyone's top 10s from Thursday, September 10, 12:00 PM GMT to the next Thursday, September 17, 11:59 AM GMT.
# Artist - Song Prev. Position Peak Weeks Points # of Listeners and #1
1 Cardi B - WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) #1 (=) #1 6 wks 1462.5 31 of 161 listeners had the song as their #1.
2 Miley Cyrus - Midnight Sky #3 (+1) #1 5 wks 1161.5 11 of 139 listeners had the song as their #1.
3 Taylor Swift - cardigan #5 (+2) #1 8 wks 1160.5 12 of 139 listeners had the song as their #1.
4 Taylor Swift - august #6 (+2) #2 8 wks 1026.5 5 of 149 listeners had the song as their #1.
5 Taylor Swift - The 1 #7 (+2) #4 8 wks 931.0 7 of 118 listeners had the song as their #1.
6 Taylor Swift - betty #16 (+10) #6 8 wks 855.0 10 of 112 listeners had the song as their #1.
7 Taylor Swift - seven #9 (+2) #7 8 wks 795.5 3 of 114 listeners had the song as their #1.
8 Taylor Swift - exile (feat. bon iver) #8 (=) #2 8 wks 785.0 2 of 112 listeners had the song as their #1.
9 BLACKPINK - Ice Cream (with Selena Gomez) #4 (-5) #1 3 wks 712.5 7 of 82 listeners had the song as their #1.
10 Taylor Swift - The last great american dynasty #10 (=) #5 8 wks 696.5 2 of 102 listeners had the song as their #1.

This week’s Popheads Chart Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS76e21hhyA

If you want to see the points and number of listeners for each song in the top 50 chart, click here
  • Highest Debut: #16. David Guetta & Sia - Let's Love
  • Highest Re-Entry: #39. Taylor Swift - hoax
  • Biggest Gain: #15. mxmtoon - ok on your own (feat. Carly Rae Jepsen) (+35)
  • Biggest Decrease: #33. Ava Max - OMG What's Happening / #36. Katy Perry - Cry About It Later (-21)

Popheads Monthly Top 25 Albums: Month of August 2020

For this chart issue, we tracked everyone's top 10 albums from August 1 12:00 AM GMT to August 31 11:59 PM GMT.
# Artist - Artist Prev. Position Peak Months Points # of Listeners and #1
1 Taylor Swift - folklore #1 (=) #1 2 months 8538.5 329 of 651 listeners had the album as their #1.
2 Lady Gaga - Chromatica #1 (=) #1 4 months 3462.5 54 of 306 listeners had the album as their #1.
3 Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia #3 (+1) #1 6 months 2847.5 19 of 287 listeners had the album as their #1.
4 Katy Perry - Smile NEW #4 1 month 2824.5 40 of 254 listeners had the album as their #1.
5 Dua Lipa - Club Future Nostalgia (DJ Mix) NEW #5 1 month 1997.5 23 of 180 listeners had the album as their #1.
6 Rina Sawayama - SAWAYAMA #7 (+1) #2 5 months 1923.0 18 of 177 listeners had the album as their #1.
7 Troye Sivan - In A Dream NEW #7 1 month 1790.5 13 of 161 listeners had the album as their #1.
8 Taylor Swift - Lover #9 (+1) #1 13 months 1730.5 3 of 165 listeners had the album as their #1.
9 Charli XCX - how i'm feeling now #8 (-1) #2 4 months 1620.0 11 of 161 listeners had the album as their #1.
10 A. G. Cook - 7G NEW #10 1 month 1553.0 53 of 121 listeners had the album as their #1.
If you want to see the points and number of listeners for each album, click here.
  • Highest Debut: #4. Katy Perry - Smile
  • Highest Re-Entry: #11. Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion
  • Biggest Gain: #9. Taylor Swift - Lover (+2)
  • Biggest Decrease: #18. HAIM - Women In Music Pt. III (-13)

Popheads Top 5 Bubbling Under Chart September 21, 2020

We’ve had a lot of charts where the entire top 50 is just full of albums by the main pop girls for popheads and blocks a lot of singles from lesser known artists. So, this section puts a spotlight on songs that are just under the top 50. However, this is not gonna be “chart” focused and instead is gonna try to encourage other people to listen to other songs and list some information so people can find some songs they like. The bubbling under is calculated by taking the highest songs underneath the top 50 that haven’t charted on the top 50 before.
Artist Song Genre
Fletcher The One Pop
fromis_9 Feel Good (SECRET CODE) K-Pop
Fletcher Sex (With My Ex) The Bebe Rexha-print
James Blake Godspeed Piano Balla- oop, popheads already got bored
Fletcher If I Hated You Pop
Here's the current list of people signed up for the charts! If you'd like to sign up, you can sign up here!
The tracking dates for the next weekly chart is September 17, 11:00 PM GMT - September 24, 10:59 AM GMT and results come out the next Monday, September 28. As for the monthly album chart, the next tracking dates are September 1 12:00 AM GMT – September 30 11:59 PM GMT, and results come out on October 5.

How The Chart Works:

These charts are created based on how frequently each song appears in the top 10 songs/albums for all of the users signed up for the chart. If the song or album occupies that user's #1 spot in their individual chart, it receives 15 points, then 14 points for #2, so on and so forth until 6 points for #10. If there is a tie, which is a common occurrence, then the number of points is averaged across those positions, e.g. if two songs are tied for #1, both will receive 14.5 points. Oftentimes there will be multiple songs tied for the last place, in which case the number of points each song receives decreases until it bottoms out at 1 point each.

Credits

Chart Wiki
submitted by ImADudeDuh to popheads [link] [comments]


2020.09.20 12:59 Joy-Through-Syphilis The twisted tale of Terrible Tommy O’Connor

Thomas O’Connor was born in Limerick in 1880 but history would know him as Terrible Tommy – the last man sentenced to hang in Chicago.
Terrible Tommy was the son of Joseph O’Connor and Elizabeth Roach of Ballykenny near the village of Strand. Before his third birthday, young Tommy emigrated with his parents and siblings to America where the family settled in the rough Chicago neighbourhood of Bloody Maxwell.
Tommy’s brother John became an electrician and his sister Mary also led a crime-free life. His other brother David became a successful broker but he caused controversy when a messy divorce resulted in his arrest for ‘immoral conduct’ and local newspapers in the Windy City dubbed him ‘Darlin’ Dave’ as his wife claimed he had carried out a string of affairs with other women during their marriage.
Tommy chose a life of crime and ran with street gangs during his teenage years but he did not come to police attention until he was 21 following the murders of two men – a retired police officer and a criminal associate. The police accused the Limerick man of murdering them and shady court dealings resulted in his release but, Tommy’s freedom would not last long.
There have been many tales regarding how Tommy O’Connor became ‘Terrible’.
His disloyal attitude which saw him betray and possibly kill associates may have earned him the moniker while another theory recalls how his fierce temper saw him chop the thumb off a butcher who overcharged his mother!
However, he gained his nickname, Tommy O’Connor’s criminal actions could indeed be described as terrible.
His route to criminal infamy began on a cold March morning in 1921 when five police men arrived at the home of his sister on south Washtenaw Avenue to arrest him on the murder charges he had previously slipped away from.
Chicago police detective Patrick O’Neill, a fellow Irishman, knocked on the door with a warrant for Tommy’s arrest but, what followed would result in the death of the Irish American cop.
Popular belief dictates that Terrible Tommy burst out the front door brandishing two guns and then sprayed the policemen with bullets. The less fantastic and more likely scene saw a brief gunfight break out between Tommy inside the house and the policemen who were on the porch.
When a bullet brought down Detective O’Neill, Tommy made his getaway out the back door, over a fence and into the street where he hijacked a car.
Detective O’Neill died from his wounds and the inquest that followed resulted in the suspension of the policemen who had accompanied O’Neill. The judge was not satisfied with their conflicting stories and poured scorn on their carelessness. The inquest found that the officers had fired indiscriminately and the judge declared it “the worst case of dog eat dog I have ever seen!’
Detective O’Neill left behind a widow and three young children and terrible Tommy made his get away to St Paul Minnesota.
In July 1921, Terrible Tommy was making a drunken nuisance of himself on a train in St. Paul. The police arrested him and when word filtered back to Chicago that their wanted man was sitting in the county jail in St Paul Minnesota, the Chicago Police Department dispatched a group of heavily armed detectives to bring him back.
At the time of his arrest in Minnesota, Terrible Tommy had just four items in his possession: rosary beads, a scapular, a St Patrick prayer card and a pistol!
He was brought back to Chicago where in September 1921 he was sentenced to hang. The date for the hanging was penciled in for December 15th but, four days before his execution, the condemned Limerick man escaped.
As prison guard David Strauss was walking past Tommy’s cell, he called the guard who then, rather unwittingly, approached the bars. Tommy’s cell mate James La Porte grabbed the guard in a head lock while Tommy grabbed the cell keys dangling from his belt. Tommy opened the door of his cell and took the guard’s gun while his cell mate bound and gagged him.
The two prisoners ran for the prison yard and along with four other prisoners they scaled a 20ft wall to freedom. Terrible Tommy hijacked a car but in the wintery weather it slid on ice and crashed into a store front.
Tommy managed to bundle himself out of the wreck and ran off down a side street. The Limerick-born Chicago hoodlum who was only days away from the gallows disappeared into thin air.
Even though the police launched a massive manhunt across America, they never found Terrible Tommy.
Sightings of him were reported in various towns and cities across the states. He was sighted in places such as Texas and Los Angeles and even across the border in Canada. It was even claimed that he made his way back to the land of his birth where he offered his services to the IRA.
Other rumours arose that he robbed banks on route to Canada before taking his loot on a ship bound for Limerick where he bought a public house under a fake name and lived out his days on Shannonside.
In 1937 it was suggested that Terrible Tommy had died form tuberculosis, a disease which had previously affected him in his childhood. Another rumour claims that his gravestone can be seen in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cook County Illinois where the date of death indicates January 31, 1951.
The gallows that had been built for Terrible Tommy’s hanging remained in place until 1977 when it was dismantled and sold to Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ Museum. A sign had been painted on the structure “Tried of Waiting Tommy!”
Every year on the anniversary of Terrible Tommy’s escape from the gallows, the Chicago Tribune columnist Tom Powers would write a piece about the Limerick man which always began with the following: “Dear Terrible Tommy O’Connor, if you are still alive please contact me so I can quit writing these columns!”
Well, the search continues….
What do you think happened to Tommy?
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_O%27Connor_(criminal)
https://soapboxie.com/government/Terrible-Tommy-OConnor-Chicago-Gangster
https://www.limerickpost.ie/2018/08/11/the-twisted-tale-of-terrible-tommy-oconno
submitted by Joy-Through-Syphilis to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2020.09.19 12:28 greenandgreener 30 [F4M] Anywhere - Seeking an old fashioned, lifelong relationship

  1. There's a spot on the dining room's wall that's always moldy in spring. Probably because the apartment faces the sea. Though it's not really too close to it. The molds just keep coming back the next day after being removed. Somehow it just reminds me of a documentary I watched on Netflix weeks ago, Dancing With The Birds. The birds in the documentary all tried, day after day, to find someone. They just don't give up. Just as resilient as the moldy spot on the wall. I wanted to see if you are here.
  2. I once got an internship at a company in a neighborhood I am not familiar with. I asked a friend of mine, who did an internship there the year before, about where I should avoid and things like that. Then she was like, "My boyfriend took care of everything for me. I think he um...." I asked my next door neighbor the same question because he got an internship in the same neighborhood I did. The first thing he said was, "If you can't figure things out on your own I don't think you should do an internship at all." For some reason the conversations I had with them still strikes me even until this day. People rarely care. People rarely understand. Even rarer to have someone who both cares about and understands you. Most people don't give a shit about the fact that you are in a bad spot. Some people might say, "Oh man I am sorry that you are in such a bad spot." A few people might pause whatever they are doing and offer you some help. Only one person, or maybe two or three, won't go until they get you out of the bad spot. I would like to be that person for my SO.
  3. I just started watching Fargo. The second season. I looked up the cast of the show before I started watching it. Kristen Dunst is in it. When I was younger I heard people making fun of Dunst's teeth. I felt really bad for her. In an interview she did in 2019 she told the reporter that she was asked by some producers to have her teeth fixed, but she refused. Though she probably had dental work done at some point because her teeth do not look the same as before. I wondered what would have happened if she never had it done. And why can't we even accept an actress with "imperfect" teeth. David Bowie also had crooked teeth which he later fixed. I have heard many people claiming that his teeth did not bother them. I wondered if they would have said the same if it is just some random person with crooked teeth. I would be sad if their logic went like, the more talented a person is, the more crooked their teeth I could accept. My friend had a car accident in London some years ago and that messed something up. I am sure some men would have chosen to leave but hers did not. Her husband did not tell her to fix anything. A side note, fixing and repairing, in a relationship, are some essential skills. I do not want to be with someone who constantly thinks about jumping ship. Though we all know that some mistakes are simply beyond repair. "Would it be so bad if I slept with this girl, only once, behind my wife's back?" Yes, it would be over. I would like to find someone who not just likes the beginning of things but also the things after that. Someone who I could share both the best and the worst years of my life with. And, you know, someone to watch Fargo with.
What I am looking for -
Short version (there is a long version, with explanation, follows) -
A single, monogamous, adult man who is looking for a lifelong relationship, has time to be in a committed relationship, will become my best friend, is in shape/ not too out of shape, is reasonably healthy, is mentally healthy and stable/ mentally unhealthy and unstable but has been monitoring the progress, mentally available, is a non smoke rarely smoke, is a non drinke social drinker, is a non drug addict (weed is fine), is a non gambling addict, is a non porn addict, is a virgin/ non virgin but was always responsible to their exes (always wore condoms and never had STDs), is okay with no cohabitation, is okay with no premarital sex, is not into anything kinky, wants kids (biological kids/ adopted kids), is okay with your spouse not taking birth control pills, is okay with your spouse not wearing an IUD, is debt free/ with justifiable debt, is religious/ non religious, is eligible to apply for a passport (and meet each other)
If you do not agree with everything I said above then we are not compatible. “I agreed with most of the things you said.” What does that even mean? I have had enough messages telling me that they do not entirely agree with what I said but would like to see where things go. The answer is nowhere. I do not have time nor do I want to build a castle on sand. I also have had enough messages telling me to reconsider things. I won't.
What I like -
Sun
Snow
Trees
Woodworking
Agriculture
Plants
Good food
Hot food
Hot soup
Warm words
Laughing
Wool yarn
Wool clothing
Names with stories, say like, street names
Dining wares
Trains
Photography
Old stories - old movies and shows
Good stories - movies, shows and documentaries, books, music with good lyrics
Good arts
Thrift stores
Flea markets
What I am looking for - Long version -
A strictly monogamous relationship that is happy, healthy, supportive, and lasts forever. I am not looking for dick pictures, chat buddies, dirty chat buddies, hookups, love affairs, friends, friends with benefits, sugar daddies, sugar uncles, sugar sons, rebound dating, short-term dating, several years dating, polyamorous, open, or online-only relationships.
Communication - I would make time to talk to my SO every day, and very much prefer so, even just to hear that they are safe and sound. But I would be understanding if they are out in Antarctica and the satellite Internet at the work station does not always work properly, or something like that. I would like to deal with all the hardships in life together as a team. Having arguments in a relationship is somewhat unavoidable. I like straightening things out, right away, in a logical, non violent, and non abusive way. I apologize when I make mistakes. Giving silent treatment is really not my thing. I am not saying that I do not have a temper. I do. I do get angry, but within reason. Keeping promises and being punctual are important to me.
Mental health - The amount of toxicity I could take is arguably higher than average, but please alert me if you are struggling mentally. On a side note, I hope you do not like watching porn. It is a poor choice, and is both physically and psychologically damaging. I am not asking everyone of you to agree with me on this, or any other things I say in this post. Whatever floats your boat, strangers; just let me have the freedom to find whatever I am looking for.
Distance - I am not looking for an online marriage. You could join me here. Or I could go there. A solid plan with solid dates would be needed. Future faking is a fucked up thing to do to another person. If you need nude pictures, phone sex or Skype sex to make a long distance relationship works, I am not the person you are looking for.
Meeting for the first time - I have given this a lot of thoughts, still I do not really know when and where would be good to meet up. We could meet either before we go into a relationship or after. It would probably be fairer for us to fly to a foreign place to meet, it means we would have to trust each other enough to do that. In that case it would make more sense to meet after the relationship has already been established. I think it is doable to fall for someone just by talking. Though I am aware that people are often not who they claimed they are. Those who say they are loyal could be experienced cheaters. But we will see. When in doubt, I ask questions.
Marriage - I have never been married but I would like to get married. The last thing I want is a divorce. The word marriage has sort of become a dirty word now but I am old fashioned. I like relationship labels, and I hope you are the same. A side note, I'm not into having a big wedding. Or a diamond ring. Or to dress fancy for a pre-wedding shoot. The National Gallery of Art has three self portraits of a Hungarian photographer and his wife. I would like to have a wedding like theirs. Which means I would just like to hang out with my SO somewhere, take some pictures ourselves, and call it a wedding. If you never had a proper family, fear not, we would have one on our own. However, having a toxic childhood should not be an excuse for exhibiting toxic behaviors. I would never set myself on fire to keep you warm. It would not help.
Sex - It would be too intimidating if you have had unsafe sex, a lot of sex, or many sexual partners in the past. Premarital sex is off the table. People make fun of those who have never had sex, which I do not get; I do not care and even would very much prefer that, because I would not have to grieve over your past. But, then again, grieving is a part of life. It is alright if you are not a virgin, just do not lie to me about your sexual past. I do not really have a sex drive. Mentally speaking, I would be okay if you never wanted to have sex, I would also be okay if you wanted to have a lot of sex. Because I do not specifically crave for sex; I crave for love. In other word, I count all types of affection as a whole, and sex does not specifically stand out from all the rest. Physically speaking, I would not be compatible with those who have a high sex drive, as I think overindulgence in sex is destructive. Also, I would not be compatible with those who are into kinky sex/ filming sex tapes. There is nothing wrong with those, they are just not my thing. I think having boundaries in bed does not mean I do not love them, or love them less than those who have no boundaries. I would never take birth control pills/ wear an IUD, because they have many side effects that I do not want to deal with. Respect my choices.
Kids - I do not have kids. But I would like to raise kids. Now I am 30, a decade later I would be 40. Giving birth at 40 for the first time would put me somewhat at risk. Not that I would not risk it, but maybe think twice before you message me. Ask yourself, honestly, if you are mature enough, and ready to be a father. "But I am not ready, just yet; there are things I want to achieve before I become a father." Find someone younger, then. I would like to add that I have no reason to doubt my fertility as I take reasonably good care of myself. I have no, and never had any, chronic diseases or illnesses. Am at a healthy weight, somewhat slim even. 5 feet 7 inches tall. In the event that I was infertile, surrogacy would not be an option. It goes against my morals. So, again, think twice. I would like to raise adopted kids, and treat them like they are my biological kids. I would not dump my husband if, he was found to be infertile at any point of the marriage. Technically I would be fine if you do not want to raise kids at all, but providing a home for some orphans is something I could do, and I do not want to pass that on.
Living together - I have always, and still am against the idea of living together before marriage. There is nothing wrong with cohabitation, it is just again not my thing. I would gladly introduce my roommate when I was in school to you if you are worried that I have some weird quirks. I might or might not bribe her before I introduce her to you.
Money - I am not rich, and was not born rich, but I have no debts. Never had debts. I am aware that some debts are justifiable, like student loan. I worked in the academia. I just started doing something new, related to my field of study, and that makes me happy. Whether you are a postdoc, or a high school drop out, makes no difference to me. For those who think that throwing me a sentence like “I am a lawyer” would be enough to make me talk, have some self respect. I am fine with my Reddit inbox collects only dust.
Religion - I suppose I have always been mostly an agnostic. My parents sent me to a Christian middle school, then a Christian high school. It would be great if you are a God believer and do not mind me being a non religious person. We could read Bible together. It would also be great if you are a non religious person but follow traditional values.
Smoking, drinking and doing drugs - I do not smoke cigarettes. Or vape. Or whatever. I do not do soft/ hard drugs. Have no past addictions. I do not take over-the-counter drugs even. I do not drink alcohol. If you drink responsibly, then I do not have a problem with that.
Dietary choices - I am an omnivore. Have no food allergies. Please be a meat eater. I do not want to get into an argument with you over a tuna egg sandwich I make for our kids. I would not raise my kids vegan. They should be able to make their own choices when they are old enough. I like cooking quite a bit. Would learn to cook all your favorite dishes.
Pets - I do not have any pets.
Gaming - I do not gamble. I have never played any video or computer games. Game soundtracks though I do often pay attention to.
Politics - I pretty much only pay attention to American politics and dictatorships around the globe. I am against communism, and totalitarianism. Trump 2020. Please read my reddit history. I pretty much stopped using this account altogether, except posting on Foreveralonedating, because this account has 33 male followers, and that is creepy, and makes me feel very uncomfortable. But my reddit history should give you a hint on what kind of a person I am. (Update: 68 followers now, which shows you how disgusting and creepy some, if not most, men on this site are.)
P.S. This is Reddit, a wonderful yet utterly dangerous place, strangers. Especially for women. So many people prey on the weak. Even scammers would tell you that “you are everything I have been looking for since forever”. Canned messages are easy to spot, because I am smarter than you imagined. There were people who messaged me from throwaway accounts, or empty accounts, which I noticed later filled with porn posts. Anyhow at some point let's do a photo verification. Maybe we could take a selfie while holding a piece of paper with something like "Today's February 33 1920" written on it. Thank you all for sending me a selfie right off the bat. But I do not trust you enough to click on it. Especially when the risk of seeing an erected penis is comically high.
TL;DR - I am a non religious person who holds traditional values and beliefs, which for obvious reasons give me a hard time these days. If you see this post, message me, no matter when.
submitted by greenandgreener to ForeverAloneDating [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 03:34 Anartenza [H] HB & Fanatical Leftovers [W] 3x Generation Zero, Golf With Friends and Strange Brigade.

Looking for multiple (3) copies of Strange Brigade, Generation Zero & Golf With Friends. Open to all other offers as well.
HB May, June, July & August 2020
HB April 2020
Unclaimed HB Keys
Unrevealed & Gift Links
*** Fanatical Keys****
*** Unrevealed Steam Key
submitted by Anartenza to indiegameswap [link] [comments]


2020.08.28 15:00 DarthEquus The History of Medicalized Circumcision Part 2: 1885-1899

The History of Medicalized Circumcision Part 2: 1885-1899
In this brief period, circumcision rapidly transformed from an experimental procedure of antiquity into a nearly unquestioned cure-all for every ailment imaginable. Doctors also began to scrutinize the possible applications towards women as well.
In reference to the promotion of genital cutting by men like Remondino, Hutchinson, Johnson, Freeman, Lehman, and others, Jonathan Cohen (2011) wrote: "one of the most fascinating stories of the institutionalization of medical male circumcision is the discursive use of the Jews as racial proof of the benefits of circumcision, with a complete ignorance of sociological factors."

1885: ~10% of the American male population is circumcised

1887 Lewis Sayre, after promoting preventative circumcision for almost 20 years, finally limited his circumcision advocacy to therapeutic circumcision only rather than "indiscriminate" circumcision. His idea of therapeutic circumcision did still mean overdiagnosing infantile phimosis, but this was still an enormous improvement from his previous influential recommendations of totally non-therapeutic, preventative circumcision. [On the deleterious results of a narrow prepuce and preputial adhesions Trans. Ninth Internat. Med. Congress]
1887 M. A. Rust addressed circumcision in writing about the history of cultural mutilations:
"There is not a single tribe of savages on the face of the globe who do not disfigure parts of their bodies, and hardly a part of the body susceptible of disfigurement which has not been disfigured. This is not done in accordance with individual fancy, but in strict conformity to inexorable tribal rule.
Ornamentation lies at the root of many, but not of all of these mutilations. A great number of them entail such an amount of suffering and torture that, in order to establish them, to enforce submission and co-operation, potencies awful and mysterious must have been at work, striking fear into every individual heart. Once established, the obligation became as automatic as the daily walks of an ant.
Circumcision is the most ancient and widely spread mutilation in existence, and it is practiced in all the five parts of the world, though to the greatest extent in Asia, Africa, and among the savages of Australia. Of civilized nations we note about one hundred and thirty millions of Muhamedans, and about ten millions of Jews, and the Christians of Abyssinia. It was practiced in Mexico at the time of the conquest of Cortez, and, according to the accounts of modern travelers is still in use among Indian tribes in Nicaragua and on the Amazon.
No wonder that the origin of a mutilation so barbarous, so repulsive, and, at the same time, so widely spread and so tenaciously adhered to should have so repeatedly formed an object of inquiry and speculation. Muhamed found circumcision already an ancient usage among many of the Arabian tribes; he took it up for reasons akin to those for which Paul dropped it. It had prevailed, since time immemorial, among the Abyssinians, when they embraced Christianity. Travelers who make inquiries among savage tribes generally obtain for answer that it is a tribal custom which has always been; they cannot conceive why other reasons should be demanded."
[Mutilations. Gaillard's Medical Journal v. 45.]
1887 Angel Money writes:
"There can be no doubt of [masturbation's] injurous effect, and of the proneness to practice it on the part of children with defective brains. Circumcision should always be practiced. It may be necessary to make the genitals so sore by blistering fluids that pain results from attempts to rub the parts."
[Treatment of Disease In Children, Philidelphia: P. Blakiston, 1887. p.421.]
1888 John Harvey Kellogg (yes, the cereal guy) promoted irrational fear of masturbation and "spermatorrhoea." For girls, he warned that masturbation caused breast atrophy, uterine cancer, and insanity. He recommended circumcision and other surgical punishments for both boys and girls to punish and discourage masturbation. He also wrote positively of cauterizing the clitoris with acid to alleviate masturbation in girls. It's notable and often forgotten that he was promoting cutting the genitals of older children rather than infants. He wrote positively of the Jewish practice but also noted its tendency to scar the meatus (meatal stenosis). He advanced the propaganda that ancient genital surgery had always been performed for health. He also advocated the use of male chastity belts. The next entry after circumcision is castration as if to imply it was also the next genital surgical option should circumcision fail to produce the intended result. Like Kellogg, Hutchinson had also suggested castration as the next and more extreme option to cure masturbation.
"In younger children, with whom moral considerations will have no particular weight, other devices may be used. Bandaging the parts has been practiced with success. Tying the hands is also successful in some cases; but this will not always succeed, for they will often contrive to continue the habit in other ways, as by working the limbs, or lying upon the abdomen. Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anæsthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed."
"In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement, and preventing the recurrence of the practice in those whose will-power has become so weakened that the patient is unable to exercise entire self-control."
[Results of Secret Vice and Treatment for Self-abuse and Its Effects in Plain Facts for Old and Young, Burlington, Iowa, F. Segner & Co. — a longer excerpt from this work]

Chastity belts for boys and girls
1889 Peter Remondino, a San Diego physician and promoter of snake oil read his "A Plea for Circumcision; or, the Dangers that Arise from the Prepuce" at the meeting of the Southern California Medical Society.
"The subject of the paper was itself suggested by a long and personal observation of the changes made in man by circumcision. From the individual observation of cases, it was but natural to wish to enlarge the scope of our observation and comparison; this naturally led to a study of the physical characteristics of the only race that could practically be used for the purpose. This race is the Jewish race. On carefully studying into the subject, I plainly saw that much of their longevity could consistently be ascribed to their more practical humanitarianism, in caring for their poor, their sick, as well as in their generous provision for their unfortunate aged people. The social fabric of the Jewish family is also more calculated to promote long life, as, strangely as it may seem, family veneration and family love and attachment are far more strong and practical among this people than among Christians, this sentiment not being even as strong in the Christian races as it is in the Chinese or Japanese. … Actual observations show them [the Jews] to be exempt from many diseases which affect other races; so that it is not only that they recover more promptly, but that they are not, as a class, subjected to the loss of time by illness, or to the consequent sufferings due to illness or disease, in anything like or like ratio with other people. There is also a less tendency to criminality, debauchery, and intemperance in the race; this, again, can in a measure be ascribed to their family influence, which even in our day has not lost that patriarchal influence which tinges the home or family life in the Old Testament. Crimes against the person or property committed by Jews are rare. They likewise do not figure in either police courts or penitentiary records; they are not inmates of our poor-houses, but, what is also singular, they are never accused of many silly crimes, such as indecent exposures, assaults on young girls…."

1890: ~15% of the American male population is circumcised

1890 Herbert Snow, a London surgeon published a 57-page book, one of the first intactivist volumes of the modern era. He called for "the abolition of an antiquated practice involving the infliction of very considerable suffering upon helpless infants; and sanctioned, on very questionable grounds, by men of eminent authority.
"No sane man who possessed the advantages of a sound and entire prepuce would willingly sacrifice it without just and sufficient cause being shown."
[The Barbarity of Circumcision as a Remedy for Congenital Abnormality. London: J. & A. Churchill.]

The Orificial Surgical Society

1890 The Orificial Surgical Society "was founded by Edwin Hartley Pratt, a surgeon at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago. The organization was largely concerned with orifices below the waist, and provided training for surgery of the prepuce, clitoris, and rectum, the latter organ being given special emphasis. It was obsessed with the idea that most diseases were caused by tightness of the preputial or anal sphincters. … By the 1920s many of the member physicians had their licenses revoked." —Wallerstein Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy 1980:38 — See also: Rutkow IM. Edwin Hartley Pratt and orificial surgery: unorthodox surgical practice in nineteenth century United States. Surgery. 1993. and Moments in surgical history: orificial surgery. Arch Surg. 2001.
1890 William D. Gentry declared that phimosis in men and uterine disorders in women caused insanity, blindness, deafness, dumbness, epilepsy, paralysis and criminal behavior adding that "the genitals of either male or female are the centres of the nervous system". [Nervous derangements produced by sexual irregularities in boys. Trans American Institute of Homeopathy. v.43.]
1890 Jonathan Hutchinson wrote that the foreskin encouraged masturbation and "adds to the difficulties of sexual continence" and can even cause insanity. For evidence of the latter point, he pointed to the case of an anonymous surgeon committed to an insane asylum for compulsive masturbation. Adult circumcision was useful, he wrote, for breaking men of the habit of masturbation, but early childhood circumcision was ideal in his opinion. In closing, he wrote: "Measures more radical than circumcision would, if public opinion permitted their adoption, be a true kindness to many patients of both sexes" referring to the difficulty of getting the general public to accept the idea of doctor's electing to sterilize patients without their consent. [On circumcision as preventive of masturbation. Arch Surgery.]
1890 A review of Pogorelsky's Ritual circumcision of the Hebrews stated:
"As regards the predisposition to the acquirement of neuroses, the foreskin plays the same part in the male as the ovaries in the female." Sayre traced reflex paralysis and contracture of the lower extremeties; Erichsen, spasmodic diseases, to congenital phimosis.
Further, hypochondriacal persons with inclination to commit suicide, individuals who suffer from uro-paraplegia, nervous tremor, chorea minor, neuralgia, hysteria, hallucinations and paresis have been cured by circumcision.
Although circumcised persons contract gonorrhea more easily than uncircumcised, yet syphilis less often; the sexual desire is less in the former, hence crimes against morality are rarer."
Review of Pogorelsky M. Ritual circumcision of the Hebrews in The Medical Times. v.17. 1890.]
1891 Peter C. Remondino published a book of circumcision activism in which he vilified the foreskin at length as a malign influence and "moral outlaw." Repeating the false circumcision-prevents-masturbation meme, Remondino wrote, "the practice of [masturbation] can be asserted as being very rare among the children of circumcised races." According to Remondino excising foreskin would not only discourage boys from masturbating, but immunize them against tuberculosis, cancer, syphilis, polio, idiocy, forgetfulness, impotence, unwanted erections, wet dreams and just about any medical problem you cared to mention.
"The prepuce seems to exercise a malign influence in the most distant and apparently unconnected manner: where, like some of the evil genii or sprites in the Arabian tales, it can reach from afar the object of its malignity, striking him down unawares in the most unaccountable manner; making him a victim to all manner of ills, sufferings, and tribulations; unfitting him for marriage or the cares of business; making him miserable and an object of continual scolding and punishment in childhood, through its worriments and nocturnal enuresis; later on, beginning to affect him with all kinds of physical distortions and ailments, nocturnal pollutions, and other conditions calculated to weaken him physically, mentally, and morally; to land him, perchance, in jail or even in a lunatic asylum. Man's whole life is subject to the capricious dispensations and whims of this Job's-comforts-dispensing enemy of man."
[Remondino PC. History of Circumcision… moral and physical reasons for its performance… and of the different operations practiced upon the prepuce Philadelphia: F. A. Davis. 1891.]
1891 Jefferson C. Crossland writes that:
"In consequence of circumcision the epithelial covering of the glans becomes dry, hard, less liable to excoriation and inflammation, and less pervious to venereal viruses. The sensibility of the glans is diminished, but not sufficiently to interfere with the copulative function of the organ or to constitute an objection...It is well authenticated that the foreskin...is a fruitful cause of the habit of masturbation in children... I conclude that the foreskin is detrimental to health, and that circumcision is a wise measure of hygiene."
[The Hygiene of Circumcision. NYMJ. 1891;53:484-485.]
1892 Circumcision was not the only proposed cure for masturbation. Some physicians such as David Yellowlee detailed another version of punitive and supposedly therapeutic preputial infibulation:
"Some direct operative interference, which shall prevent masturbation and show him that he can live without it, may be of much service. The best form of such interference is so to fix the foreskin that erection becomes painful and erotic impulses very unwelcome. To accomplish this, the prepuce is drawn well forward, the left forefinger inserted within it down to the root of the glans, and a nickel‐plated safety‐pin, introduced from the outside through skin and mucous membrane, is passed horizontally for half an inch or so past the tip of the left finger, and then brought out through mucous membrane and skin so as to fasten outside. Another pin is similarly fixed on the opposite side of the prepuce. With the foreskin thus looped up any attempt at erection causes a painful dragging on the pins, and masturbation is effectually prevented. In about a week some ulceration of the mucous membrane will allow greater movement and with less pain, when the pins can, if needful, be introduced into a fresh place."
It should be pointed out that Yellowlee's advocacy of infibulation was not limited to the treatment of inmates in lunatic asylums, and was, in fact, directed at parents, whose duty, he declared, was to prevent their children from adopting ‘the secret vice’.
[In Tuke DH ed. A Dictionary of Psychological Medicine. Vol. 2. London: J&A Churchill, 1892: 784 – 6]
1893 Mark J. Lehman claimed Jewish boys were healthier. He noted it was "an open question" whether tuberculosis, cancer, syphilis, and "scrofula" were not "one and the same disease," and whether "such a simple measure as general circumcision" would not be the answer to all "insidious and filthy diseases." He called for immediate universal circumcision of all male infants. [A plea for circumcision. Medical Review.]
1893 An unnamed author for The Journal de Medicine de Paris provided a look into popular thought of the day on female circumcision (meaning only non-excisive incision here) writing:
"A certain Dr. Morris, of Boston, the land of Yankee notions, has discovered an ingenious method of making the most waspish and shrewish women models of gentleness and modesty. He proves by statistics that eighty out of one hundred American women of Aryan origin in New England have the gland of the clitoris adherent, in part or totality, to the prepuce. The result of these adherences is an imperfect development of the gland, and to this is due a weakness of sexual desire and various nervous perturbations. These troubles are dependent, in the first place, on an irritation of the terminal branches of the erectile nerves of the gland brought on by the adherences, and in the second place to irritation caused by the retention of smegma. This double irritation leads to masturbation, to the perversion of sexual desire, and finally to reflex neuroses.The preputial adherences of the clitoris are, according to Dr. Morris, the only and direct cause of the reflex neuroses from which thousands of New England women suffer, and he adds: "We can now understand how the most irritable young girl, the one who is most disagreeable and hysterical, may be made gentle, charming, and become endowed with a thousand feminine graces, by the simple rupture of the bands that bind down the clitoris [clitoral incision]." The therapeutic deduction is perfect, and we do not doubt that all husbands in New England who have shrewish wives will now employ Dr. Morris to break up these adhesions of the clitoris, and bring peace to many a suffering Boston household."
[Adherent Clitoris in all Shrewish Women. Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic. Translated from J Med Paris.]
1894 Peter C. Remondino claimed circumcision would curb the "predisposition" of black men to rape white women. Remondino's proposal was supported by several medical journals including the Maryland Medical Journal and the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (now the New England Journal of Medicine).
"From our observations and experience in such cases, we feel fully warranted in suggesting the wholesale circumcision of the Negro race as an efficient remedy in preventing the predisposition to discriminate raping so inherent in that race. We have seen this act as a valuable preventive measure in cases where an inordinate and unreasoning as well as morbid carnal desire threatened physical shipwreck; if in such cases the morbid appetite has been removed or at least brought within manageable and natural bounds, we cannot see why it should not—at least in a certain beneficial degree—also affect the moral stamina of a race proverbial for the leathery consistency, inordinate redundancy, generous sebaceousness and general mental suggestiveness and hypnotizing influence of an unnecessary and rape, murder and lynching breeding prepuce."
[Negro rapes and their social problems. National Popular Review vol. 4 p. 3.]
1894 Darby (2005) wrote: “eleven boys confined in a Kansas mental institute were castrated for persistent masturbation.” When the press was critical of this, "the Kansas Medical Journal defended the institute's action” writing “this abuse weakened the already imbecile mind and destroyed the body” (Darby, 2005).
1895 Charles E. Fisher, a homeopathic doctor, wrote:
"In all cases in which male children are suffering nerve tension, confirmed derangement of the digestive organs, restlessness, irritability, and other disturbances of the nervous system, even to chorea, convulsions, and paralysis, or where through nerve waste the nutritive facilities of the general system are below par and structural diseases are occurring circumcision should be considered as among the lines of treatment to be pursued."
A like rule obtains with reference to female children. In general practice the sexual organs in both sexes should be carefully examined by the general practitioner in early infancy, and at various times throughout child-life, with reference to the correction of deformity or unnatural conditions that may be present. ...the clitoris is often firmly bound down by an adherent hood; numerous reflexes arising therefrom. It has become quite the rule the examine the sexual organs of male children at or soon after birth, but, on the other hand, it is equally the rule to neglect to examine girl babies. As children of the weaker sex grow their more delicate nervous systems begin to show the effect of genital irritations, and many a case of chorea, confirmed headache, nervous jactitations, paralytic weakness, unusual irritability, melancholia or other abnormal state of the nervous system long remains uncured because of the failure to make careful examination of the condition of the genitalia and relieve irritations and adhesions at this site."
[A Hand-Book On The Diseases of Children And Their Homeopathic Treatment. Chicago: Medical Century Co. 1895]
1895 Edgar J. Spratling began his article explaining that part of the great evil of masturbation was that it might lead to being sodomized in an insane asylum. He advocated tight circumcisions to prevent the skin from being able to move, a natural feature of the human penis which facilitates masturbation. If not tight circumcision, cutting the nerves to the penis could also be used to blunt the individual's sexuality, and he advocated that surgery as well, but it was a more delicate surgery compared to circumcision.
"In women the road to its cure is an endless and monotonous journey, for nothing short of ovariotomy will be found to deserve even the term palliative; clitoridectomy, anatomically and physiologically, could be but a failure, blistering [i.e., cauterization is] only [a] cruelty. Among men the case is not so hopeless, for there anatomy is partly in the operator's favor [meaning male erogenous sensitivity is easier to destroy]. Of the treatments we might speak of blistering the glans penis, but only to condemn it as an uncalled for cruelty; the possible beneficial effect is so transient, while the untoward effect is often so lasting upon the patient mentally in the way of a feeling of resentment, that it is doubtful if one could ever justify such a proceeding. Complete section of the dorsal nerves of the penis (as I have previously advocated) is a rational procedure, but rather too radical for constant routine practice. The cases require the greatest care in the selection for this operation, and even then with all due care one will generally have to encounter the most strenuous objections and later the bitterest reproach and condemnation from the patients and from their relatives—though the object sought may have been obtained [at the expense of causing penile numbness and impotence]. [In cases of masturbation] circumcision is undoubtedly the physicians' closest friend and ally.
"To obtain the best results one must cut away enough skin and mucous membrane to rather put it on the stretch when erections come later. There must be no play in the skin after the wound has thoroughly healed, but it must fit tightly over the penis, for should there be any play the patient will be found to readily resume his practice not begrudging the time and extra energy required to produce the orgasm. It is true, however, that the longer it takes to have an orgasm, the less frequently it will be attempted, consequently the greater the benefit gained.
"The younger the patient operated upon the more pronounced the benefit, though occasionally we find patients who were circumcised before puberty that require a resection of the skin, as it has grown loose and pliant after that epoch."
[Masturbation in the Adult. Med Rec.]
1895 T. Ritchie Stone strongly advocated circumcision for all male infants in his pro-surgery review. [Circumcision. Maryland Med J.]
1896 An editorial in a scientific journal lists reasons for circumcision as everything from bed wetting to elephantitis.
"Local indications for circumcision: Hygienic, phimosis, paraphimosis, redundancy (where the prepuce more than covers the glans), adhesions, papillomata, ecaema (acute and chronic), oedema, chancre, chancroid, cicatrices, inflammatory thickening, elephantitis, naevus, epithelioma, gangrene, tuberculosis, prepupital calculi, hip-joint disease, hernia. Systematic indication: Onanism [masturbation], seminal emissions, enuresis [bed wetting], dysuria, retention, general nervousness, impotence, convulsions, hystero-epilepsy."
[Medical Record, Circumscisus, Medical Record, vol. 49 (1896): p.430.]
1897 S. G. A. Brown of Pennsylvania repeated the same Semitophillic sentiment as Remondino:
"The Jews, who perform this operation on the eighth day after birth, are, from actual observations, known to be exempt from many diseases which afflict other races. Their children are hardy, and grow up to manhood and womanhood strangers to disease, perfect in body, sound in mind, and with a morality above condemnation. It is rare that they figure in silly crimes, police or divorce courts. That an appendage like the prepuce which under various conditions, as phimosis, short frenum or preputial adhesions, is the leading factor in the production of enuresis, dysuria, impotence, calculi, cancer, syphilis, phthisis or various other reflex neuroses, can be considered as a natural physiological appendage, is absurd in the extreme. In order to render the rising generation healthy, mentally morally and physically, we must pay attention to this redundant tissue, and advise its early removal. Fully three-fourths of all male babies have abnormal prepuces."
[A Plea for Circumcision. J Orificial Surgery quoted in The Medical World]
1898 T. Scott McFarland of Missouri reported on the circumcision of a two-year-old girl with precocious puberty and anomalous symptoms of irritation. In closing he added that he had "circumcised as many girls as boys, and always with happy results." Note that circumcision meant prepucectomy for either sex until the 1980s. The more severe form of genital cutting more familiar to people today as female circumcision/FGM meaning clitoridectomy was then called "[clitoral] excision" or the oddly overgeneralized, "operative procedure". [Circumcision of girls. J Orificial Surgery.]
1898 Edwin H. Pratt wrote:
"The condition of the foreskin of boys has received more or less attention, at least since the days of Moses, who is reported to have inaugurated the practice of circumcision of the male portion of the human race. But the girls have been neglected. Without presuming to pose as their Moses, I do feel an irresistible impulse to cry out against the shameful neglect of the clitoris and its hood, because of the vast amount of sickness and suffering, which could be saved the gentler sex, if this important subject received proper attention and appreciation at the hands of the medical profession.
All up-to-date doctors realize the importance of the proper condition of the foreskin in the male and of securing it during infancy. The foreskin must be completely loosened, if it is too long amputated and if it is too tight slit open, in order to avoid the dangers of infantile convulsions, of hip-joint disease, of kidney disease, of paralysis, of eczema universalis, of stammering, of dyspepsia, of pulmonary tuberculosis, of constipation, of locomotor ataxia, of rheumatism, of idiocy and insanity, and of lust and all its consequences. But the poor girls, who have an organ called the clitoris, anatomically corresponding to the penis of the male, with a hood corresponding to the foreskin of the male and just as sorely in need of [surgical] attention, and just as prolific of mischief when neglected as the corresponding parts of the male, have been permitted to suffer on in silence. The same list of diseases which have their start in nerve waste caused by a faulty foreskin in the male is duplicated by the female sex from identically the same cause, in addition to other troubles peculiar to the female organization from which, of course, the male are exempt, and yet it goes on almost entirely unrecognized. Chorea, so frequent in young girls, chlorosis, which comes a little later on, and hysteria, which is also a common affliction, in addition to the same diseases from which boys whose foreskin have been neglected are liable to suffer, have their organ almost invariably in faulty conditions of the hood of the clitoris. It is such a simple matter to secure a normal condition of the hood and its clitoris, and its neglect is fraught with so much and such serious mischief to the gentler sex, that the sin of omission which is being constantly and everywhere committed is painful to contemplate. Doctors are not easily educated out of their beaten tracks.
So let both sexes have a start in life and be entirely freed from the sexual self consciousness which inevitably comes from impinged nerve fibres about the clitoris and its hood as well as at the glans penis and its foreskin. ... A vigorous sympathetic nervous system means health and long life. What surgical interest have we in this fact? It can be told in just one sentence. The weakness and the power of the sympathetic nerve lies at the orifices of the body. Surgery must keep these orifices properly smoothed and dilated."
[Circumcision of Girls. J Orificial Surgery.]
Women suffering from \"hysteria\"
1898 N. Bergman wrote of "punishing" a chronic masturbator with circumcision:
"Clarence B. was addicted to the secret vise practiced among boys. I performed an orificial operation, consisting of circumcision... He needed the rightful punishment of cutting pains after his illicit pleasures."
[Report of a Few Cases of Circumcision. Journal of Orificial Surgery, vol. 7 (1898): pp.249-251.]
1898 Emmet L. Holt advocated for circumcision under the following reasoning:
"Circumcision should be done if phimosis exists, and even where it is not, the moral effect of the operation is sometimes of very great benefit."
[The Diseases Of Infancy And Childhood. New York: D. Appleton. 1897:696-698.]
1899 Denslow Lewis, a Chicago gynecologist, presented evidence for the benefits of female circumcision (prepucectomy) at a meeting of the AMA in 1899. In “a large percentage” of women who failed to find marital passion “there is a preputial adhesion, and a judicious circumcision, together with consistent advice, will often be successful.” He treated 38 women with circumcision reporting “reasonably satisfactory results in each instance.” [The Gynecologic consideration of the sexual act]

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