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Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


This is a brilliant show. This is a collection of characters from different genres in scenes that have their own genre with writing that has it's own genre. And then they put it in a blender and choose each set for each scene. The characters will always reliably be themselves, their own characters from their own genre (Stabler is the over the top 80's action hero, to the point of parody, and he is that over the top 80's character in EVERY scene even when the writing is sitcom style, 80's action style, modern action style, serious movie style, Netflix show style, honestly I spotted so many different styles, comic book to story book, 70's flick, and in each one he says the lines for that comic, that drama, or that story book, as if he was an 80's action hero in that scene. It's kind of brilliant to watch because most scenes shift styles with a smooth transition but the characters stay the same which is why you can have a wha wha reality TV funny moment subtly and quietly change to an intense suspense movie during a speech. And each one is shot in their own way, lighting and color subtly shifting to match the nbew genre. All with storybook transitions.
the weakest parts, for me, are the "sitcom" genre scenes (usually an end joke stinger) or the "cable TV" show moments. I'm aware that they aren't literally making those jokes but are making fun of the jokes the show would have f it were in that style (the entire scene of her hanvving lunch with the mob boss in the wine cellar had Cable TV written all over it and the scene was, like cable TV, way too cable TV) but I just can't get into those scenes. Or the stinhger jokes like "I'm in" or that one "Who wants breakfast?" sitcom style lines. They aren't literally making them but they are stuill bad lines,
The strongest parts are the storybook imagery, living painting, expositional paragraphs told rapidly, things like that. Stylistic and artsy scenes abound.
I'll have to watch it again but Stabler is split into two characters so that reality doesn't intrude and make him killable, the only time Present Stabler is around is when the scenes are from a genre that the hero always survives unscathed: 80's action, modern action, 90's action, his severely stylized cartoon world. Past Stabler is the drama. They had to split him into two characteres because you an't put this cartoon character into a series action scene and expect him to survive, no he's "unkillable" because the action hero, the cartoon, the comedy hero always gets away. One of his escapes is literally just a butt joke and he gets away because it wouldn't be funny if he didn't so, in order for the scene to have this genre, he must survive.
It's really grerat dissecting each scene, seeing what gere the script is in and if it conflicts weith or compliments the genreee the characters or scenes are in. When all three elements are in alignment it's pretty great, but when all three elements asre fighting each other it' pretty great too. Having our Action Hero character jump out of his chair like a sitcom character in a scene lit filmed, and acted as a tense scene?

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Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Binary Logic posted:

I'm from Zork the capitol of Cupcake Kingdom.

This show is amazing for laughs and brutal violence and there is so much going on all the time. There's a great scene of Nick in Hailey's room, and we see all the various elements that went into the formation of Happy. Such a nice moment. And then...the room gets re-arranged a bit.

I laughed out loud at that scene. Happy! retreats to Hailey's room and we see clues, small little touches of where Happy! began; a unicorn horn here, a horse there, there are some wings...then BOOM: here's a blue horse with pink hooves. From "Oh there's where she was inspired..." to "Oh she just personified a toy she already owns...*cough*...

There was a downgrade of energy, I think it's because of the dramatic tone they had to use so heavily, but there are still plenty of little touches: look at the superhero pose Stabler strikes when they burst in through the window and after he exchanges a look with his ex, Stabler literally does a little hop into a two-fisted Popeye stance at the end of the scene before the fight. It just feels so natural, like the actor playing Sax is just loving around in these scenes with very serious people and they keep it in.

I did not like the whole subway scene. Stabler wants to die but chooses not to, even fights to keep from dying? If it's anger motivating him like in the torture scene I can see that: his weakness is his anger but it's also the major driving force for him. His whole downfall is his inability to control his anger but without that anger he would just stop, it's his weakness and his strength. In the subway he's just kind of..."Oh I guess I won't kill myself". The people on the platform should have banded together to save him in spite of himself, he should have been angrily cursing them as he tries to get back onto the tracks. It was a bit off script and character wise for him to just go "Oh, I guess I want to live now" because it's confusing that even his daughter couldn't make him get up but he just...kinda...does...anyway...

I will say this SPOILERso we know Happy Sunshine guy is going to be the kid of the Santa who killed himself, probably the brother of the evil Santa guy, this is given away in the WONDERFUL noir scene with Missus Claus, but I'm wondering how Blue and Smoothie fit in. Is Smoothie the third brother? all I know is that revenge is getting sweeter and I hope this is just a one season thing because A: you can't have a character like Nick STAY a character like Nick, he's not going to have his death wish if he saves his daughter and gets a new lease on life and him having a death wish is half the fun and, narratively, it just makes sense to have his final act of redemption be him dying to save his little girl. He becomes, and stays, her imaginary image of him as the greatest cop ever, he's far too gone to get back to a normal life, and he dies a hero's death having reversed the "live long enough to become the villain" saying tying up everything neatly. Luckily Nick Sax isn't so much a character as he's a character type, with an actor willing to bring that energy they could easily do a "Happy! 2!" type thing with another burnt out half dead drunken rear end in a top hat half dead drunkenly saving the day in spite of himself

Also I want to give absolute props for the very first scene being him killing himself in a dream sequence. From that point out he almost dies two more times in that episode and the show is telling you, right up front, that it literally doesn't matter to the plot if he's alive or dead. Otherwise there'd be a thousand "The heart attack really killed him and this is all a dream before he dies." theories when the show is telling you, from the very first scene, that maybe yeah who cares?

Guys I LOVE this show.

Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Tiggum posted:

He didn't want to die, he was just trying to make a point. He assumed he'd be able to climb back onto the platform.

Yeah but his whole character is the "suicidal burnt out 90's action cop" turned up to 11. He literally kills himself in the very first scene, he even says that he's afraid he can't die so it's massively out of character to NOT want to die without being motivated by anger

Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Fantastic as always, any guesses as to why santa's imaginary sock friend in group?

I can't STAND the "on the next episode" spoilers at the end of the episodes, they always send me diving for the remote

Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Brilliant. Brilliant briolliant brilliant. Holy poo poo. Pitch perfect in every style while seemlessly blending two different styles into onne scene. The drama and the geniune streuggle toner pasired with just giving Sax pills and booze and he jumps up like popeye, the scene they gave Blue right before his downfall that gives him sytmpathy!! At the VERY LAST GOD drat SECOND they gave him enough pathos to erase an entire season of hate! If even for a second where we thought "oh no is Blue dead??" WE JUST SPENT 8 EPISODES HOPING FOR THAT TO HAPPEN!


Guy Mann posted:

This is a good show and all but boy they went a little heavy with coding the villainous pedophile as gay, huh? Like in a show that's usually so weird and surprising it feels like they could have done something more interesting with the dude who runs a child abduction and grooming ring when he's outside of the bug costume than have him be a mincing queen in makeup making Judy Garland references like it's still the 80s or something.

I thought he came off more of a symbol of the "pansexual 80's hairband sex orgy" thing. It fits the theme of the rest of the show: he's one thing comprised of two opposite things: he's a childrens performer in the style of an 80's rocker. And 80's rockers make us think of the wild cocaine orgies with groupies of all sexes just in a big old pile o the back of a pink stretch limo. He's not "gay" he's an 80's hairbamd rocker, and everyone's image of an 80's hairband rocker is a wildly colorful david lee roth WOOOing in the back of a stretch limo in rainbow stretch tights with a bikikni babe on both arms. Anything goes. ANYTHING. And they went through groupies by the dozen.
And who.
Are griuopies.
For chgildrens performers.

I understand your point, that the 80's image was and is a target for homophobic slurs and making an image that people assossiate with homosexuality the villian who preys on children preys on a bigotted homophobic fears already established is lazy writing, they should have done that work insterad of just winking and nudging the viewer as if to say "Eh? Eh? YOU know the type." *wink*. And I agree, I totally afree. BUT, BUT I will say, what they did do, though morally repulsive and lazy writing, is ASTONISHING.

I'm not saying I agree with it. I'm saying that if your joke has a slave in it it drat WELL better be funny.

Ok, what follows is JUST speculation. JuST. But just in case I'm right and someone accuses me of spoiliong:
So here's my theory: the thing that jumps bodies isn't a demon, that's too obvious BUT it does present itself as a demon. It wans to stay on Earth but must jump into a mortal body with a mortal lifespan. It's been oin Earth long enough that it effectively RUNS the god drat world. HE made the desiconsa, HE decided war or not, HE was the money and the power behind EVERYTHING.
But, it quickly learned that anytime he tried to be a king ir tyrant he got attacked and killed and had to start all over again. So, instead of King, he became COURT accountant. The man in charge of the money but, alas, not only do they not live a long life eiother they live a very poor life. He then tried to be the bank but there's no clear line of sucession. so he tried the mob and hit the nail on the head. If you're big enough and scary enough you'll be in charge or just take it over if you die early and have to get into another body. Eventually he became so big, and so bad, that 99% of his staff didn't know who they were working for and his name was a rumor becausew he was so brutal, so psycophathic, so loving terrible in hisd climb to the top that NO ONNE would EVER cross him. And, every time a Don dies the NEW Don, the one who "Got the password" WILL so brutal, so psycophathic, so loving terrible that NO ONNE would EVER cross him. And that's what he had to do to get where he was. Kill. Over ad over, all ther way top the topp, over and ober, countless years, countless lives. THATS the vision the new host sees, it still has all those memories!! Holy poo poo it must be so loving tormented BUT whatever that is, is nothing compared to the pain of where it comes from. Hell. So the demon does it, every tiome. Over. And over. creating his own hell.
And the Sonny Shine? He's a priest.
See it is a demon or whastever and it can only be klilled with his real name and the priests guard the true name. The demon can't KILL the priests because he needs the name for some reason and, one day, tghe current holder of the name made the great and powerful Don a deal give me whatever I want or I'll use the word. The Demon can't kill the priest, he has to do whatever the priest says. So now the priest is secreterly contrroling the entire world through the most powerful mob boss on the planet and him and the other priests live endlessly hideously hedonistic lives culminating in a christma eve tradition of killing and eating children that got more and more elaborate a ritual as time went on always using the mobster next in line to be the Don in order to train him to submit to the priests so they won't try anything when THEY are Don. Yet anoter link in the "the only thing a man has is his word" theme

Anyway that'smy theorey. The show is just briolliant.
The rape scene is brilliant commentary disguised as a homophobic joke: they build it iu[p. They BUILD IT! They so far over the top cartoonishly build it up, it happens and. Nothing. THERE IS NO PUNCHLINE BECAUSE IT'S NOT A loving JOKE. There's no change in anything, theshow keeps going, life goes ion, it's no big deal it's pure refreshing to see such a progressive viewpointr in a televionsion show. Hey, there's nothiung "wromg" abot being gay. It'sa just another way to be. There's no reason to be afraid"

I'm loving with you, I'm high as gently caress and even I know it was a "haha buttsex" joke. I still stand by the 80's hgairband thing, they're either not aware that their laughter stems from homophobic places or in denial. both are understandable in a way, but, again, I'm not saiung I agree with it, I'm just it's done EXTREEMELY well. It'sa a loving fantastic slave joke.

In the Santa versus Sax fight Sax drps gis fists and says "What the gently caress?" when he sees santa's face. THATS how Santa gains the uipper hamd! HA! That's so loving stupid and it's basically a background joke they don't even mic.

There wasa BIG gently caress up thouigh, actually one smalkl one and one big one.
The small one is the imaginary friend interogation scene is pointless. A seasoned detexctive and street wise wise Sax would haver known to just go back to where Santa lives. I mean, they were there earlier. The fix is simple. Have Happy suggest they go bak to Santa's lair. Sax will say "Nah, the cops have been all over there there's no place to keep a kjid. It's just an old, gutted department store."
And Happy would be all dejected and say "So you found the Christmas door huh?"
And Nick is all "'Christmas Door'?" smasdh cut to them standuing in front of a bare wall that swings open with a secret latch to reveal Christmas Door.

TYhe BIG one is the Sock. Ity was a pitch perfect Samta Death. Pitch perfect. BUT The Sock should have gotten a speech. He should have driven home the "I know I abandones youy" theme. It should have been there instead of having Happy give that poinltess interogatio scene. That entire scene is pointless, we've already established that Happy will do anything for Hailey, after seeiong him kill an imaginary friend a extremely weghtless torture scene gains us nortghinbg. So do that, get rid of that scene and moves the dramatic speech and message to right before the villain;s comeupance, also gfives you a sudden tragic character that reinforces the "hero sacrifices himself" theme. Santa should have been about to win when Sock stops him and gives him a speech abouty trust and love and abandonment. The imaginary friend SHULD have been there for him, that's why they exist. It could be used as a tense scene right before he gets shot. Right after the shot and right before it its Santa the Sock gets a tearful goodbye line and Santa gets a second of absoulte, terrifying clarity abourt whyat he is and what he does like Blue had earlier making his death satisfying in two ways: we're releaved the ad guy ios dead and won't torment tyhe sad, scared, powerless person he is deep deep down (avoiding the same fate as the Demon) or the main characters we care about.they serioously missed an oppurtuinint there.


I don't see how it plays out in the future. You can't go back to that "nothing let to l;ose" angle. I loive the abvious "Hey we got a sequa" emding. I love the scenes of sax doing pratfalls or mugging in a very very serious tone. I'm still impressed by the effort and variety and seamless blending of genres tones, writibhng type. It's brilliant.

Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Open Source Idiom posted:

I've seen several people say this -- that the sock interrogation didn't give the protagonists a lead -- but that's not the case. The Sock provided Happy and Sax with the knowledge that the lair was connected to a series of tunnels which lead to a second deeper location where the Very Bad Santa was hiding out. He also told them the combination code to get into the tunnels.

So, uh, it did serve a narrative point.

You're confusing "script" with "narrative" first off but second yeah, I know that that's how they got the info but they didn't establish that these were overlooked things,, that they had searched Santa's House or, worse yet, establishes that they didn't even look around the god drat place where the evil Santa lives even after establishing that he steals children, the door is gigantic and obvious and certainly wouldn't have been overlooked by a desperate father searching for his child in what he's become aware is a gigantic ring of child thievery that's been going on for who knows how long. As it's presented they just didn't think "Oh maybe he's going back to his lair" which, being such a self aware show, they should know is both a common trope AND, just stupid obvious, "Where could he be?? Oh maybe the one place we know he sleeps is worth a look?"
They needed to establish why they didn't just do that, why our hero missed something so blindingly obvious or he just looks dumb and makes the interrogation scene look pointless. Or make the reveal a joke, "Where could he beeeeeeee???? Oh wait: his house."
The interrogation is a very well done but it lacks weight (mainly because stylistically "pain" has no weight (also a problem with Happy killing the other imaginary friend) you have to make an effort to undo an entire season's worth of weightless pain, like undoing Blue's menace to make us feel sorry for him for a second, otherwise it's just...nothing. Killing is sudden and violent and nothing to blink about (right up until we're suddenly supposed to think of it as Serious Business) and our hero literally Popeye's himself up from heart attacks with booze and pills and we just had a scene of our hero pulling bear traps off himself while pratfalling, pain hasn't been established in this world so torture (the prospect of which our hero was laughing at in the first episode) is not a threat and they didn't do anything to try to make it one. I just know they can do better because I've seen them.
I know that that's where they got the info but A: they shouldn't have needed to be told the info, it's stupid obvious B: The Sock needed to redeem himself and further reinforce the narrative themes, C: the scene, while well done, lacked any sort of weight and disrupted the feeling of urgency (generally if you're saying time is of the utmost essence and your next seen has one or more characters sitting stationary you...you...just try again please.) D: the IF themselves should have told us that they're finding their new purpose, that they found a reason to live and if they die they at least die happily once again with a purpose (their own acknowledgment of which would have given their own deaths weight. As it is it's hardly even acknowledged) instead of having Happy pretty much ask them to die for him.

Like I said it's very very well done for what it is, it just could have been much better writing wise.

Wait a minute, didn't Smoothie burn the place down after Sax and his ex fought? He was pouring SOMETHING all over the place what was that? Wait was that not the same place? So why were they outside that building earlier? I gotta watch this again.

Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


theflyingexecutive posted:

Smoothie was pouring bleach to get rid of forensic evidence

That should have been indicated better. Wait how does that work if Santa lives in the same building? If they find that lair surely they'd find the vault and the underground part right? Wait...poo poo that's weak... :(

To REALLY drive home the "untouchable" point, just have a bunch of sweet little maids come in and clean up. Matching uniforms and all. Juxtapose the horror of the situation with the blase "Just another day at work" imagery of them bustling about tidying up evidence while chatting. Not only are they untouchable, they are very confident in it and have been for so long their people have people. And no one talks.

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Duke Igthorn
Oct 11, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


KilGrey posted:

I loved the interrogation scene. Happy going full Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs had me dying.


Please share some of whatever you are on, please.

Incredibles. Perfectly legal here in Las Vegas. I'm in the High Ideas thread and coming soon to Youtube.

Happy! is prtoibably the bleakest TV show in the history of time! So SPOILERS!!! But it's been a bit but so ok.

When Shitpants Santa gets shot he gets shot in the same spot as he drills into thge kid's skulls. It's a cute little bit of symetry with TERRIFYING implications! So look: Shitpants Santa gets shot and INSTANTLY, instantly he sees beautiful christmas bulbs, hears wonderful Christmas music and is HAPPY. It is EXACTLY like the fantasy happy place he goes to to delude himself for the thingsd that he's done. Shitpants Samtra is RIGHT! The secret tro staying a child and being happy forever is to remove that certain spot in your brain! Those kids in the warehouse that we're siupposed to see as horrid and goulish geniunly are happier than any other character ever. Inside their head they are living out their most lovely and happy dream life. Just like Shitpants Santa did after having that part of his brain removed right before he died (into an empty barren nothing which also has terrifying implications about life after death).

SO, while the entire show is about how important it is to grow up, Nick Sax couldn't grow up and control his emotuions, Shitpants Santa couldn't grow up, Blue had slf control issues (until the demon or whatever got into him and MADE him grow up) and was oddly childlike right before his sweater unwraveled, Smoothie CLoEASRLY had childhood issues he couldn't get over. The only adults were the two women and they were the least powerfyul characters on the show (though both super bad-rear end). There are two seconds at the end where the show says "HAHA NOPE! BEING A CHILD FOREVCER RULES MOTHERFUCKLER!!"

Which means if I've convinced even one of you to drill into your brain: you're welcome for your lifetime of eternal happiness and can you please tell your parents, and the police, and the judge, and the warden, and ALL the guards here at the porison you're doing pretty ok? Maybe a thumbs up on the hour?

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