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Entries in dick cheney (73)


In Which We Prepare For What Lies Beyond

Gloomy Mary


Downton Abbey
creator Julian Fellowes

The phrase "the land of the living" is uttered so often during the fourth season premiere of Downton Abbey that it is shocking not to find scenes of Matthew Crawley in hell, telling everyone in the pits of Mordor that he still does not require the services of a butler. It takes Lady Mary all of one episode to get over the tragic, sudden passing of her husband, the (probable) father of her son George Crawley.

She immediately starts seeing other guys, most of whom are unemployed and crashing on a couch or in an alley in Redondo Beach. She brings with her little pamphlets on abstinence and a myna bird named Madrigal. "Glycerine" by Bush tingles in the background.

I... peed in the servant's corridor. I don't know why.
But no, things remain rather gloomy in Mary's castle. The show was wisely stripped of its bravura opening, and it's obvious that Downton Abbey costs a great deal less than it did in the past. Most everyone else has already gotten over Matthew's passing, and we sense that he was not very well liked among his in-laws, Downton staff or the crew on the set of the show.

rescuing a hobo gives me half an erection, nothing more

His frustrated butler is reduced to wandering from manse to manse. Other butlers hate him. "I'm not a mother anymore," Matthew's mother announces. When someone reassures her that she is, in fact, a grandmother, she bristles. That's nothing.

no one except a german shepherd ever looked at lady edith in this fashion before
Usually you can keep a large cast of characters fresh by setting up new feuds, but that's already happened so many times here that a new rivalry between Lord Grantham and his mother feels like two hens pecking at each other.

the show's new villain eats pancakes every day without fail

Despite promises that they would live out the rest of their days raising a family, Anna and the wife murderer lurk around the premises like ghosts themselves, reporting gossip to whoever they see fit. They are a worrisome tandem of angels, and they don't seem very concerned about Lady Mary at all.

replacement sybil, you have won my heart forever. I barely think about the old Sybil

Replacement Sybil is staying with the family. She is more attractive than the original Sybil, and a lot less attracted to her servants overall, but otherwise exactly the same. Although there are two babies in the house now, no one gives much of a shit.

purple looks utterly fantastic on replacement sybil
Stories from the past are supposed to reflect on the present. Observing a golden era reminds us how far we have fallen, and how quickly. Observing the onset of the depression and the rise of Nazi Germany is more along the lines of "geez, things could be a lot worse." While this is a more accurate representation of the past, it's also a lot less fun to watch.

guess they didn't have that frock in teal

Among the gloom Mary lurks like a specter, her long, horsey, Carly-Simon-esque excuse for a visage drooping almost horizontal. Her father tells her to stay in bed until she gets well. She comes down from dinner to inform everyone that Matthew should have lived for an additional fifty years. All of the servants are poor at math and accept this at face value. "What's the fucking regular lifespan for this period?" a boom operator screams off set.

she married an axe murderer smh

There is a tendency to destroy something you create if it lingers too long. That's why they have to keep Frank Gehry far, far away from his buildings lest a Howard Roark type situation result, and it is also the reason why Demi Moore gynecologically prevented herself from ever having a son.

I have the finest replacement for Matthew Crawley right here. He is a great man and everyone knows this to be true.

Also, Bates is still guilty and nothing will change that.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location and the former vice president of the United States of America. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here. He last wrote in these pages about Twin Peaks.

"Everything Will Change" - Near Paris (mp3)

"Believe Me" - Near Paris (mp3)



In Which We Entertain The Rebels In Our Honeymoon Suite

The Central Question


Breaking Bad
creator Vince Gilligan

The campaign is a long and difficult one. All day I marched for Syrian independence, afterwards I entertained some rebels in my suite. I asked them whether they had seen Breaking Bad and they were like, yes we saw it. "Jesse," they moaned, and shook their heads.

guess those threats of backup were kinda just threats hey there hank

Militants do not understand Jesse's sensitive personality, although they did like it when he bought his parents' house at a discount. I feel kind of bad for Jesse sometimes, but then I don't because I know he's a horrible friend. He has been sent to a hell of his imagining, and he will awaken in his own tomb.

Hank was also getting kind of annoying, maybe it was all that fatalistic talk. "He already made up his mind ten minutes ago" wah wah go cry about it in your garage with one of your homemade beers. I really thought those twin assassins were going to get him, so everything after that was kind of like a gift. (Gomez was known as a worthless emoji and I think we're all happy to see him go.)

wow Sky the cops will never catch on with that kind of subterfuge go back to the car wash please

The highlight of this classic episode was Walt's in-character conversation with his wife. I'm surprised she didn't burst out laughing; I'm even more surprised she didn't ask him for the twentieth time where Hank is. If I ever told you how many babies I'd left at fire stations.

I'm not sure Hank was the best DEA agent; his brother-in-law was like a crime overlord and he only figured this out a few weeks ago. He should have killed himself in shame the second he found out. Two gifts.

why don't you go and start a fundraising website Walt Jr, it's the only thing you're good for

It was hard to watch Walt get dominated again, humbled by an exterior cancer to his life instead of the tumor to which he had become so accustomed. Figure he wants some revenge and maybe his $69 million back.

It's too bad he killed Mike by accident, they would be perfect as a travelling duo of killers. But yeah Mike was kind of annoying also... and perhaps Walt's son has gotten a bit too much on his high horse, so we'll monitor that. It's easy to look down on people when you can prop yourself up on crutches.

your therapist was kind of cute, is he single?

Now the nazis can come for Marie, I guess this is still more punishment for her shoplifting. It was nice to see Marie's smugness go unrewarded. If you shoplift, a lot of bad things can end up happening to you, ask Winona Ryder.

I've never heard of so many people doing so many bad things as on television, except when Bob Newhart called in a bomb threat to the Mall of America on that very special Newhart. Ninety percent of men on television are murderers.

That's what you get for stereotyping a handsome bald man waiting for his daughter in a park when you were the real bad guy, guy

I believe in my heart that most people want to do good things, and don't operate by harming others. When he begged for Hank's life, Walt did not say that he would cook for his swastika-laden pals. He did not mind offering his money for his brother-in-law's life, but he would not bargain his time. Smart.

Breaking Bad has always had the best makeup in the business, and Jesse's shattered face is no exception. The moment of revenge Walt took with Jesse was a little mean-spirited. Yes, Jesse's girlfriend at the time was a tremendous pain in the ass who subsequently went on to sink two other shows, Gravity and Don't Trust the B in Apt 23. She was also a terribly underskilled heroin addict. Still, I would have liked to see what Gus Fring would have done to her. Sometimes WW is just too merciful for my tastes.

letting a baby get to you Walt, come on now

Now to the central question who does Walt plan to poison with the ricin? I guess he's going to try to save Jesse now as a last redemptive act. My advice to him is gleaned from around two hours of watching Boardwalk Empire never get in a hotel room or car with anyone, especially if the anyone in question is satiating your wife, especially if he is named Sweeth Tooth. If that doesn't work, next week Boardwalk Empire plans to debut a cannibalism storyline involving Gretchen Mol's ankle.

My prediction for Breaking Bad's ending is that Walt has to re-ally himself with Lydia, and become her secret cook in the Swiss Alps. Hopefully Skyler will allow some basic visitation via ski-lift.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location and the former vice president of the United States of America. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here. He last wrote in these pages about Twin Peaks.

can't look at his face without imagining him setting an asian radio station on fire

"Cream of Gold" - Pavement (mp3)

"Ann Don't Cry" - Pavement (mp3)

a scene from John Carter if I'm not mistaken



In Which We End Things On A Sour Note

All Farewells Should Be Sudden


Objectively we know Jesse Pinkman has the right to be ungrateful. "He cares for you," Hank tells Jesse about Mr. White. "He has done things to bring you closer, to keep you around." It is not so much that Jesse does not believe these words, but that they are only words. I have to admit that there is probably something missing in me, because I had made up my mind about what Walt should do about Jesse the moment the words Old and Yeller were invoked. God knows I hated that fucking dog.

too bad there is no extant video of the krysten ritter murderNot as much as I despise the prick who hosts Talking Bad. The thing I need least in the world after an involuntary hysterectomy is an actor geek explaining to me how mad Walt is now. Inserting it between the commercials is embarrassing amateur hour, AMC. The performers don't mingle with the audience during intermission you selfish fucks. If you're going to analyze the last scenes of the best show on television, bring the emaciated corpse of Terry Eagleton, the scalp of Elvis Mitchell, a painting resembling Camille Paglia or nothing at all.

they could call the after show Peaking Twins... "What does Shelly want right now?"

Imagine if during the commercials of Twin Peaks David Lynch was muttering about the tragic dream he had the previous night while nibbling on a Snickers bar: "Chris, in my vision God was dressed like a prostitute with gold teeth..." If Twin Peaks had a godawful wrap-up show, it would never have been around to turn to shit shortly after they revealed the murderer of Laura Palmer. Some bespectacled doofus would interrogate the man with, "Where did the thinspiration for the character of Donna come from?" and Lynch would just gargle and beatbox.

you know what's a much better lie Mr. White? "I spilled some gasoline." End of story.

Weak after-show aside, it was tough to see the internal machinations Walt had to go through in order to justify his decision to spare and then murder his former partner. This precocious indecision was also slightly unbelievable, emphasized by Mrs. White observing, "What's one more?" in her swanky hotel room. Things have been pushed so far beyond the brink already that my own internal compass was smashed the minute Saul Goodman's nose was broken or, really, when Gus Fring had half his face blown off. Walt is retired now, and when he gave up cooking meth, the curtain dropped for me - this extended wrap-up is like the third part of "November Rain."

Jesse's final surge of energy and rage reminds us that all heat seeks a lower state to rest. Dissauded from burning down the White homestead, he passed out like an overdosed addict at Burning Man. Sleeping it off in Marie's guest room we were reminded that a right turn resembles a wrong turn in all the most superficial ways.

still better than alaskaIt is hard to remember the epilogue of anything that was really enjoyable, the way all goodbyes should be sudden. The end of Cheers was a 60 minute view of Ted Danson's bald spot, the only other show I can remember the ending to was M.A.S.H. and that was because it was entirely self-congratulatory. Most finales reek of stale death.

I've booked you a flight to a dome. No tears only security checkpoints now

Ending Breaking Bad - or anything worthwhile - gracefully requires a high degree of skill. We have seen Jesse and Walt butt heads so often that the feel good route might have been to pit them both against Lydia. That would have been a false equivalence and a cop out, but the path we tread now shows how difficult it is to make Walt vs. Jesse fresh again. Here every last word spoken is like an invocation, just like Twin Peaks' "fire walk with me." I think I have mixed approximately 80 metaphors since this essai began, I need to go lie down and dream of bombing Syria after this.

remember him on sex and the city. yeah you do

Breaking Bad would be easier to deal with if every possible ending for these two jokers was not so unhappy. By the same token, Walt living in a retirement community and intimidating seniors wouldn't feel fitting either. When Twin Peaks began to fall apart shortly before ABC executives forced David Lynch to reveal the central mystery at the heart of the show, he resisted. He knew that once we knew that MacGuffin was bullshit, the threads the show's characters hung on would fade as well.

I have a similar look on my face every time Lynne suggests going to Applebee's

Breaking Bad already unraveled the moment Mike died. (I'm still not sure how that happened but I blame Jesse, or possibly Todd.) Now the mysteries of the show have been vanquished, and the remainder is merely obituary, the lowest form of art after reporting on college football. Vengeance is the only motivation left for Mr. White's antagonists, and revenge constitutes a state of being without thought. We can't, don't engage with it, we simply witness what occurs.

lara flynn boyle aged 40 years during this show and another 20 during the practice, making her true age 124 today

During that fateful final season of Twin Peaks, Mr. Lynch argued with co-creator Mark Frost, who felt they had to detail the perpetrator of Laura Palmer's murder in a train car, after a parrot named Waldo had pecked her shoulders bloody. By that point it had already become obvious Laura Palmer was the most useless person in the town, making her death itself a kind of mercy. Frost was incredibly wrong in wanting to explain the reason for her death, since no answer would have been satisfying, and the one given led to nothing afterwards.

So too with Walt and Jesse: they already survived their lives. The rest is a footnote.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He sometimes sips gasoline when he is cranky. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here.

"Alive" - Empire of the Sun (mp3)

"Disarm" - Empire of the Sun (mp3)

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