Open Thread for December 11, 2009

Avatar, Invictus, George Stephanopoulos, Chanukah and more, in this week’s Open Thread.

Good morning, and welcome to … your Open Thread.

First off, critics are buzzing about Avatar and Invictus, two huge opening salvos in Oscar season. However, Slate speculates that Avatar is destined to flop, quoting a certain “Fenzel” on five reasons why Avatar will suck. And who are you going to believe: Pete Fenzel or the Guardian?

Question: Well? Who?

Ted Nugent's feelings on cats are well documented.

Ted Nugent's feelings on cats are well documented.

In news that has nothing to do with Tiger Woods or “Jersey Shore,” George Stephanopoulos will join Good Morning America on Monday. He replaces Diane Sawyer. Stephanopoulos comes to ABC’s morning news program from their evening news show, This Week, and thence from his job as communications director in the Clinton White House. Says Ellen Moran: “I’m gunning for you, Stephie.”

Question: So we’ve got a former White House adviser transitioning to daytime news anchor. Which current or past news anchor could make the transition to the White House, and in what position?

This guy isn't real.  He doesn't count.

This guy isn't real. He doesn't count.

And finally, Chanukah begins at sundown tonight, kicking off the eight day Festival of Lights. The ceremonial lighting of the menorah heralds the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians more than twenty centuries ago. And with that tidy little win, things have been looking up for the Jews ever since.

Question: Favorite Hanukkah present?

Shalom, kids.

Shalom, kids.

And anything else you want to talk about. Sound off in the comments!

5 Comments on “Open Thread for December 11, 2009”

  1. toni #

    Hey, Overthinkers!

    Here’s some Thinking from a website I never heard of but ran across because of an IMDB link.

    What piqued my interest was the fact that the blog post tries to say that both Mad Men and Gossip Girl are shows about nothing (they’re kind of stepping into your territory, you know).

    So, please tell us what your views on the post are:

    Are Mad Men and Gossip Girls about nothing?

    If so, are they about nothing on purpose?

    And how does The Wire fit in here?


  2. Dan #

    You guys were not just quoted in slate, you were the source of the article title! Congrats on making the medium time!


  3. Gab #

    1) That depends on what version of “suck” you’re asking about. If it’s about the quality of the movie, whether it’s “good” or not, I’m on Team Fenzel (::freakish tweeny fangirl screams::). If by “suck” you mean “bomb at the box office,” I don’t think so. I postulate that it will make a lot of money *this* weekend, but the rest of its intake will be determined by what those seeing it in the next couple days say to all of their friends about it. So yes, the money side of suck will be determined by whether it sucks in the other sense, but I don’t think it will monetarily suck- it’ll probably be able to break even because there has been enough curiousness sparked, if nothing else, to get a good draw in its first weekend at the box office. Is anyone on this site going to see it?

    2) Tom Brokaw for President, all the way.

    3) I think my favorite gift this year is from Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch:

    In other news that I thought would be of interest this week, this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees were Dave Brubeck, Mel Brooks, Grace Bumbry, Robert DeNiro, and Bruce Springsteen. I actually knew all five names when I first saw the list, yay! Obama’s speech is pretty good:

    I like what he says about Springsteen especially for its deeper meaning (although Mel Brooks’s segment is, naturally, the funniest), and it’s interesting timing because the singer also posted a statement on his website supporting the gay marriage bill in NJ that was tabled on Wednesday. If Obama is right and he really is “the boss,” maybe the bill has a shot?

    @toni: The author of that piece totally contradicts herself when she talks about what “propels” the story of MM forward, and I think her analysis of both MM and GG is smushing plot and character development into one category. I take issue with that, for *lots* of stuff can happen to a character whose personality doesn’t change much, if at all. Look at _Indiana Jones_ or _Die Hard_ for some examples. Or for a literary reference, Sherlock Holmes. Or another film one, Jack in _Titanic_ (since I for some reason have Cameron on the mind…). So anyway, while I haven’t seen either of them, I don’t really buy what she’s saying for how she says it. She’s overthinking, though, and I like that. And I haven’t seen The Wire, so no comment there.


  4. Trevor #

    1) Fenzel, he looks a bit unsteady in that file photo
    2) Ari Fleischer has a bright future as a WWE ringside announcer/personality
    3) Southern Baptist-raised, though I did wonder whether my affinity for Woody Allen was some secret Semitism that was a stain on my family history. So no gifts come to mind.


  5. Matthew Wrather #

    Apropos of nothing, we are victorious in our campaign to capture the Twitter name @overthinkingit. We’re very grateful to Robin at Twitter (an OTI reader) who explained and helped with the process.

    We’re shutting the old username down at the end of the month, so follow us now at the new username.


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