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June 06, 2013

Without "motherfucker," Sam Jackson would stutter

I've battled a stutter my entire life. It comes and goes in intensity, seems to be triggered by stress. I can tell you, it was not fun to learn a foreign language with a stutter. Not at all. I'm always impressed by how many actors also battle stutters and stammers. Add Samuel L Jackson to that list. Samuel L. Jackson Needs Certain Swear Word To Stop His Stutter
Apparently Samuel L. Jackson needs to say "motherf--ker" as much as audiences want him to. In a speech at last night's American Institute for Stuttering gala, Jackson revealed that the swear word wards off a stutter he has been battling since his childhood in Tennessee. Audiences may have thought that Jackson simply had an unusual affinity for using the word, but apparently "motherf--ker" saved his life. When New York Magazine pressed Jackson to confirm the "stutter swear" anecdote from his speech, he claimed he still says "motherf--ker" every single day under his breath as a sort of daily affirmation. "Motherf--ker" has a new meaning and that meaning is hope.

June 04, 2013

Abhay's "Five Initial Thoughts On Arrested Development" helped me clarify my opinions

And it might help you, too. 5 Initial Thoughts on Arrested Development Season...
4. I can see how it threw people because boy, it’s a completely different show. The character-focused episodes and the sort of single-character bildungsroman-y quality of the episodes is in stark contrast to the sort of tightly-wound high-focused shows Arrested Development was known for. All I can say is I liked that epic quality, watching these episodes that covered entire years in the lives of characters I already liked…? I’ve never seen that before; when will I ever see that again?? What sitcom has ever done anything even remotely like that? But the fact the characters were so disconnected from one, spatially and emotionally for most of those years— nothing was forcing the writers to put in those “Family’s what’s important” bromides from Jason Bateman, and it could just fully blossom into its darkest self, a show about selfishness, a show about nothing ever being enough to fill some hole the characters have in them thanks to bad childhoods, poor character. I like when my shows go all Empire Strikes Back, darkest timeline-y, “let’s burn the city” in Sim City dark, but most people don’t seem to. Did people even know what they wanted from a 4th season of Arrested Development? I’m glad the people who made it didn’t fucking care about what that was, though, because man, fuck those people. If it had pleased that cult the show had developed since it got cancelled, it might have been “better” by certain criteria, but it’d have wasted the unique opportunity it had been given. What’s fundamentally exciting about that season I think is that they were given the chance to drop 15 episodes at one time, and rather than just do 15 episodes of a TV show like anyone else would have, they really tried to create something so new with it, this weird ensemble black-spirited novel. That may have resulted in a less funny product minute by minute— the joke number and density’s obviously decreased in the face of what must have been overwhelming plotting logistical issues— but there’s something fundamentally more heroic about that, I think, for lack of a better word. (They just didn’t include the ending! What was resolved??). I like when the original Arrested Development came out that it was a mile down the road from the bulk of the audience, and I like that’s what happened with this new one too. Some of the jokes didn’t work, sure (some did), but it really felt like watching something futuristic in a way I didn’t expect from it.