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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Entries in Lost (21)


In Which Matt Dillon Was More Of A Figure Of Speech

Come Back To Us


Wayward Pines
creator Chad Hodge

When he breathes out, Matt Dillon's face resembles a puffy blowfish. Matt should have been on Lost. As Secret Service agent Ethan Burke, Dillon is fantastic at the only thing ever required of him on Fox's Wayward Pines, which is to bristle at unexpected developments in his life. When you think about it, Matt Dillon, 51, could have been much better than Matthew Fox or Henry Ian Cusick in their respective roles. By the way, I still wonder what happened to Matthew Fox. Did he die from remorse after his creative involvement with Damon Lindelof?

Her hair looks like Play-Doh.

Matt's wife Theresa Burke is played by Shannyn Sossamon. She seems an unlikely choice for a long suffering wife, but director M. Night Shyamalan finds something in her androgyny. Wayward Pines is, I am not sorry to say, better acted, better cast and better performed than anything J.J. Abrama has been involved with. Matt is drawn to the town of Wayward Pines searching for his missing partner Kate (Carla Gugino). One day he wakes up into an idyllic and charming town. Naturally, the only thing he can think of to do is leave.

Carla became a little too close to Matt Dillon on the job. It is a bit too soon for another adulterous hero, but Dillon is also perfect at conveying the properties of mistakes. He is no more responsible for their occurence than God is responsible for the tragedy of The Mindy Project's cancellation. Unlike other actors, his errors all come across as feckless, guiltless.

The Rock is very sorry for how he acted last night. She's very lucky her husband was a helicopter pilot.

Things manifest differently for a woman. Dressed up in the style of decades earlier, Gugino looks like a strumpet even when she is Taylor Swifting about how conflicted she is about having sex/intercourse with another man's wife. Gugino, 43, is finally beginning to look like a woman in middle age, but her girlish appeal is still intact. Wayward Pines wins you over with its perfect casting and pace more than any actual substance.

It's nice to see a Scientologist can still get work.

In a bar in this mysterious, final town Matt Dillon meets Juliette Lewis. It feels like Lewis has been around for so long; the shocking news is that she is only 41. Her chief talent consists in making manufactured surprise look completely genuine. The fun comes when we simply watch her react to Matt's loopy questions. She gives him her address if he needs somewhere to stay, and it is at that address where he finds the body of a  missing cisgender federal agent.

Terence has trouble juggling multiple roles because of his utter devotion to the Stanislavsky Method.

Looking for answers — as well as his wallet and firearm — Dillon heads over to the sheriff's office. There Terence Howard is quietly fulfilling his contract with Fox, the same way Nucky's brother on Boardwalk Empire has magically been cast on every single HBO show since. Matt eventually has a breakdown and winds up in the hospital, where his real troubles begin. He cannot drive out of the town of Wayward Pines, since there is a massive electric fence circling the habitat.

Say what you want about M. Night's questionable taste in material/Scientologist actors, but he is fantastically talented at atmosphere and tension. Wayward Pines is incredibly fun for this reason. Here Chad Hodge (The Playboy Club) has an actual mystery that will deliver according to the novels it is based upon, rather than the strategery of Carlton Cuse taking notes for Lost's direction from message boards.

He has the best back of the head in television today. I want that hair as a wig.

Mr. Cuse recently bestowed upon us the rather dull third season finale of Bates Motel. The prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho succeeds entirely on the charisma of its star, the brilliant Vera Farmiga. In contrast, Cuse's newest show The Returned, also airing on A&E, is about as exciting as Lost-Jin flashback episode. You will not be surprised that The Returned concerns a massive cast of people all returning to a locale after they are believed to be dead.

In what is a major step forward for Carlton, there is barely anyone from Lost on the show, not even Nestor Carbonell. (Michelle Forbes was too good to exclude on this basis.) In what is not a major step forward for Carlton, The Returned concerns a group of white people from very different backgrounds and circumstances struggling with a mystery that has left them in an isolated place. Apparations and figments of their imagination recur, and they cannot make sense of the specifics of their lives. Lost should have died a long time ago.

Michelle Forbes should be in every show.

There is actually something deeply wrong about these many reincarnations of Twin Peaks. For all its perfection in mood and atmosphere, Twin Peaks was actually tongue-in-cheek, which many of these projects seem to ignore entirely. There is not really even one joke in Wayward Pines or The Returned — like Lost, they are utterly sincere interpretations of the same basic theme: understanding human beings at the level of a community rather than at the level of a person is a waste of time.

Treading over this ground might seem a little dull, but as long as Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly remain on the outskirts of employment and general good will, I suppose I can accomodate this trend.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is most known for his disgust with the ending of Lost and being the former vice president of the United States.

This should have been what was in the hatch.

"Just Saying" - Jamie xx (mp3)

"Stranger in a Room" - Jamie xx ft. Oliver Sim (mp3)



In Which A Bear Is Merely A Trifle To This One

What He Really Thinks Of Women


Thrones. "We're very complicated, you know. Pleasing us takes practice." Finally the truth, what GRRM really thinks about women. They can't be pleased or sated. They spend all their time in the nude, writing letters to their mother. They can't defeat a simple bear with a wooden stake. A dwarf defeated an army with some moonshine, but the largest female soldier I've ever seen can't defeat the bear from The Hotel New Hampshire and the David Mamet movie where Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins fall in love after the black guy from Lost stabs himself in the leg in the most racist scene in modern cinema?

The Edge was not a satire, or maybe it was, I haven't read the court transcript from either David Mamet's first divorce or his future one. Men who say women are simple are as devastatingly stupid as men who say women are complicated. It's not a man's place to say anything reductive about a woman, unless that women is permitting Simon Cowell in her bed. Then there's just one word for her.

theon greyjoy's nightmare is king joffrey's most carnal dream I can speak for men, however. Our first view of the opposite sex is usually determinative. It was Halloween, and I saw a girl I liked dressed as a hobo. She had red hair, and her parents moved her to North Carolina before school started again the next year. I never did tell her how I felt about her, but I did mail her a picture of Theon Greyjoy's penis.

brb one sec gotta gchat with someone in House Martell, you don't know this person
This week's episode began with verifiable proof that Robb Stark had one of those. In an elaborate postcoital scene in which his wife faked over three orgasms, the boy king kept going on and on about how his wife should put some clothes on lest he "attack" her. I guess he was trying to be playful? Since he never actually copulated with her again, he sounded like Renly Baratheon fawning over a woman so he would not actually have to go through with the more difficult work of maintaining his arousal.

let's just snuggle here forever and talk antibiotics; penetration is for lannisters

It almost made me empathize a little with Robb's wife that his pale, wrinkled mother disapproves of her, but we all know what's coming so it is best to focus on the Stormborn when looking to approve of a very tan woman from across the narrow sea.

P.S. If this sea is so narrow why don't they go visit the naked woman's mom right now? Hannukah is coming.

these gold bars are filled with eyeshadow
Daenarys' idle threats to a slave culture that precedes her entire civilization remains entertaining. Still, it's not a role that offers her a lot of chances to do anything other than free slaves. Spartacus is a similarly boring character. If I was the slaver with this eye-shadow, I would have just knelt. Someone will have to explain to me the economy of Astapoor and the yellow city. Real clever George, the yellow city.

Mama Stormborn's skin was looking a bit mottled, but I guess she's been crossing CGI for days at least.

You were no Dwight Schrute

As this episode was written by GRRM himself (thanks for taking time from your strenuous schedule of caviar and writing long passages about the Greyjoys that no one could give two fucks about), it had more than its fair share of YKNJS. Ygritte was not so fantastic in this episode; possibly Jon Snow's grimacing "you'll die when you fight a bunch of guys wearing black" took her down to his level. I miss Craster. The only thing less believable than their ongoing honeymoon beyond the wall is the idea any lord would apologize to a woman he compensates for sex.

jesus, doesn't anyone sit down and have dinner anymore
In the books we can actually believe Tyrion might care about this Shae, but in the cold light of King's Landing (soon to be renamed Hot Pie's Landing) we can see quite clearly that this is the last conversation he wants to have with this woman. Reassuring someone that you love them constantly is never fun, since slowly but surely you stop believing your own words. I think Shae's expectations are also a little out of whack; he offers her a house and clothes and she's like, "But what about an inground pool?" Just move on little guy, if she won't even do something with her hair now, it's only going to get worse.

that is one splendid fucking jerkin there bronn five stars

As ever, Bronn is the finest man alive. Why GRRM is putting out a ball-achingly embarrassing collection of Tyrion's "finest" "quotes" while Bronn's solid advice is diminished in contrast, I don't know.


What you have to respect about Tywin Lannister is that he has never even tried to please a woman since his wife died in childbirth. His tact with his grandson further revealed the depths of his political skill. The cliche of him having to tower over Joffrey on his Iron Throne was a little heavy- handed, but the Lannisters are so far and away the best characters and actors on the show that you sympathize so much more with them than you do in the books.

Bran was literally there yesterday

Jaime's transformation from incest participant into the lion with a heart of gold I guess was a slow process. His sudden authority over his own life is all the more shocking. It's fun to watch someone change, even if they did not hate the person they were before. Changing yourself is loving yourself, because you care enough about it to do better or be better.

Is it wrong that it bothered me than Bran and Jaime were on the exact same set? I guess he did take the little lord's legs. I hope you're eaten by the biggest dragon in Westeros Bran.

Genry, you will be very happy now. Hot Pie, you will not.

GRRM wants you to think we are watching men and women save each other, as they must. But really, his underlying belief is that no one can be saved, which is something of a nihilistic attitude. Many times he has told us that his wife will not allow Arya to die. This knowledge ruined his creation, just as all fan service inevitably corrupts the original inspiration. If no one can be saved, then neither can Arya. Treating her differently than Hot Pie is misguided at best, sexist at worst.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He deleted at least five inappropriate jokes about Catelyn Stark from the preceding. You can find an archive of his reviews of Game of Thrones here.

"Grind or Die" - Eve (mp3)

"Mama in the Kitchen"  - Eve ft. Snoop Dogg (mp3)


In Which We Hate The Way We're Speaking To Each Other

Post Mortem


It's not polite to say who died on Downton Abbey. Most people don't even know. Their lives haven't changed as a result. We love people, especially wealthy individuals, in the specifics, since we sense we may become them. In the abstract, they disappoint us.

this guy

My other favorite show is Sons of Anarchy. Except for the Exorcist-like horror involved in watching Gemma Teller (Katey Segal) have sex scenes with Jimmy Smits, who plays a pimp on the show, it's fantastic. I spent the entire hour flexing my knuckles and lamenting that I'm too old to get on a bike. It would probably end more like this:

The first rule about Fight Club is that you never get on a motorcycle with someone wearing a Duke t-shirt. But we were talking about the death of Opie.

It's impossible to connect the phenomenon of a maudlin young motorcyclist (Ryan Hurst) dying in prison to save his boyfriend with the economy, except to say that watching the members of the MC mourn their large, closeted friend, all I could think of was how much money they saved on the funeral by having it themselves.

basically, your father is an idiot Lady Mary

I was gchatting with someone the other day who was telling me how boring they find scripted television. I explained that was probably because they couldn't see the sychronicity between Branson putting his wife between himself and the British government, and the president doing the exact same thing with Hillary Clinton.

She signed off in a huff and e-mailed me the entire Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade. Having friends on the other side of the aisle is like being married to Lady Mary (tell me when you tire of these comparisons). Everything they think of is completely without regard for the economic realities of the world.

I can't even imagine what it would be like to gchat with Matthew Crawley, probably like sucking on a tootsie roll pop that has asparagus at its center.

branson, you disgust me

No one has done more to diminish the cause of Irish independence than Julian Fellowes. I haven't been this mad since South Park eclipsed the boundaries of bad taste and did a storyline making fun of how Bane sounded in The Dark Knight Rises.

Sorry, my mind is wandering a lot lately. It's a function of old age, and the relentless attacks on Mormonism in the mainstream media. I really don't understand this. One group of people believes in a supernatural human being who is supposed to return to Earth and save the world, and another believes a slightly different version of this myth, but is absolutely crazy for thinking this way.

The only thing worse than that is how many times I'll be writing, "The only thing worse than that" in this essai. The only thing worse than that, though, is how every single joke on Mike & Molly is still about how fat the male in the relationship is. It's bullying, and I find it disgusting. That's his natural build.

buy a large bed please

Doesn't it feel like they're making the bed look especially tiny? My only real problem with scripted television is that every single person on it is completely caucausian. Last night I found myself rewinding the trailer for Alex Cross just to interject a little diversity in my existence. The idea of Tyler Perry as a hardboiled cop hunting Jack Shephard from Lost is beyond my dreams. It makes me think of a Jhumpa Lahiri short story, that's how completely amazing it is.

the answer to Lost was a bright light coming out of a cave. Never forget.

Once I was in a country club where the hazing ritual involved watching all of the Madea movies in chronological sequence while you kept getting messages on your phone saying, "They passed another tax on capital gains!" The fact that no one finds it the least bit strange that Matthew Fox could convincingly play a serial killer should tell us something.


The mere idea of Lost usually reduces me to tears. To cheer myself up I watch this show Brickleberry, which takes place in a national park. The point of Brickleberry is to be offensive, and make jokes about subjects that other shows won't touch. In theory this is an interesting concept but (1) Family Guy has been on the air for over two decades and (2) 90 percent of the jokes are simple racism. (The black character is named Denzel. Haha. Get it? If you don't, you're a fucking square.) (The other ten percent of the jokes are about women and gays.)

You start to understand why my liberal gchat friend hates scripted television. That is, until you watch the finest show airing on any network, The Thick Of It.

Malcolm Tucker and Rebecca Front on "The Thick Of It"

You know how Parks & Recreation pretends to be a show about politics, but is really just a larger forum for the writers of the show to copy down all the funny jokes they read on the internet and have comedians act them out? I can't believe they did an entire election storyline with Leslie Knope, and then occupied her time with solving the obesity problem in Pawnee and feuding over a bathroom. Not even I have that little faith in government.

Ben and December

Here is what all the punchlines on Parks & Recreation revolve around: Leslie is energetic, Ron eats free-range meat, Chris is depressed, Andy is stupid, April is a bitch, Adam Scott has a large head for his body.

You know, it's okay to have a person who has more than one aspect to his personality. It's called a fully-fleshed out character; the show's writers might have seen it in passing during the ninety seconds a day they peel their heads away from their iPhones. The only thing more embarrassing than this season of Parks & Recreation is having to read pathetic Emily Nussbaum essais about how much she worships Amy Poehler or how she doesn't want Parenthood to get canceled. Grow up.

Peter Mannion's aides on 'The Thick Of It'

I guess now that I am "retired", politics just bores me. Art lasts for a substantial duration, blog posts slightly less long. Does anyone remember the Whigs? Or what a dick Andrew Jackson was? I can't muster the energy. It's easier to just look to television for escape. That's why there is no better place to rest your head than the considerable problems of the British.

Unfortunately, most of middle America can't understand a single word said in Malcolm Tucker's Scottish accent, so they watch The Walking Dead instead.

The only thing worse than that is. There are people everywhere, when I wake. I have no right to judge them. Wake me up after the election.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here. He last wrote in these pages about intercourse between Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley.

"Fear Is A Man's Best Friend" - Field Music (mp3)

"Heart" - Field Music (mp3)