Episode 82: The Lamentations of the Women

The Overthinkers tackle their long-lived OTI, the short-lived Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and the apotheosis of Sandra Bullock in this year’s awards season.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, Josh McNeil, John Perich, and Jordan Stokes to overthink the two year anniversary of OTI, rise and fall of Conan, and the apotheosis of Sandra Bullock in this year’s awards season.

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Download Episode 82 (MP3)

10 Comments on “Episode 82: The Lamentations of the Women”

  1. Gab #

    Yeah, anything I ever submitted was rejected or forgotten, so I assume we’d all be better off if I just stick to these little (hah) comments. ::cries::

    I swim in it, but I wear that sweatshirt I won from you sometimes, usually because I’m layering or just want to be reeeeally comfortable. I get asked about Otis a lot.

    Stokes, I think your description of Conan is why I don’t really like him.

    I actually really like _28 Days_ and would recommend it. Like I alluded to previously, I think Sandra Bullock has been under-appreciated for quite some time. Dramatic roles she has done like those of _28 Days_, _Hope Floats_, and _Practical Magic_ may not have been within the best-written or most successful movies, but I think they, alongside her comedic roles like those of _Miss Congeniality_, _Two Weeks Notice_, and _The Proposal_, prove her versatility as an actress- she is believable and relatable in any role, from the widowed wife to the hardass book editor.

    Pretty movies made for the sake of being pretty are their own breed of cinematic experience. I saw both _Transformers_ movies, for example, and while no, they weren’t very grand plot-wise, they were, indeed, quite lovely to the eye, sort of a visual orgasm. And that’s why I can enjoy them- they make no claims for epic, life-changing storylines. I think I was unconvinced by the visuals in _Avatar_ as reason to think it was the best movie evar because there were undertones of quality drama in the ads and in the way Cameron discussed the plot sometimes in the run-up to the release. I still think it’s pretty, but I was expecting a different package, especially since it was being made for so long. But normally, I see no reason to exclude movies that are of high visual but mediocre storytelling quality from stuff like that Criterion collection, since the visual aspect can oftentimes be a very different breed of artistry than others.

    I highly anticipate the _Dollhouse_ podcast. Suggestion for the week after next: Superbowl ads.


  2. stabbim #

    Looking forward to the Dollhouse-centric podcast as well.

    On the subject of pretty movies with less than stellar storytelling choices, I find it odd that the Star Wars prequels seem to have been so thoroughly swept under the rug, especially in terms of world-building. Were that many folks really so turned off by the other aspects of the films that the effects and production design are now judged guilty by association?


  3. Ed #

    The Conan-Leno thing dominating the news doesn’t see that ridiculous from a UK perspective, as our news was recently dominated by the fact that Jonathan Ross, a UK chat show host very roughly equivalent to someone like Leno, is leaving the BBC. And this is just the most recent chapter in an ongoing saga over his huge salary and his involvement in a radio bit where he and comedian Russell Brand left lewd messages on the answerphone of the grandfather of a woman Brand had had sex with (who happened to be an actor fondly thought of by the public due to a role in a popular 1970s sitcom)!


  4. stokes #

    I don’t remember ever thinking that the effects and production design of the Star Wars prequels were any good. Each of the movies had about two scenes that were legitimately compelling on a visual level, but everything else fell flat.

    That’s my opinion anyway. Maybe like you say I am biased in retrospect. Was there something you found particularly compelling about them?


  5. cat #

    OK, I just listened to the podcast twice which I’m going to say inspired me to do my incredibly simple required writing class homework to excuse myself. First time through I just enjoyed it. Second time through, I noticed how heavily weighted it was toward Conan. Personally, I enjoy the vast array of topics and crazy deviations so that was a little disappointing.

    Win for stokes just throwing out Demolition Man and Love Potion No. 9 without bothering to explain it.

    And @Gab, I can’t believe someone else has seen Practical Magic. Oh, the overlooked films I catch late at night on hbo and cable…

    Do you actually want more guest writers? If so, I put out the call to any female writers out there. Don’t get me wrong, I love your articles but sometimes it’s nice to get a woman’s point of view.


  6. Ed #

    The term “world-building” being tossed around in relation to Avatar bugs me- world-building is just as much about story and character as it is about shoving as much brightly coloured alien shit onto the screen as possible. Yeah, we get to see what an alien ecology and society look like in Avatar, but these things only affect the what actually happens in the film on the most banal level (“Hey, if we pull this tree branch, the space elephants attack!”).

    And with Star Wars, the world we see in the prequels is more effectively realised in a handful of lines of dialogue in the originals than it is by a bajillion dollars of CGI. There’s nothing about, say, Naboo, that makes it a particularly interesting place to set a story.


  7. Gab #

    @lee: Win.

    @cat: I *own* _Practical Magic_ now and saw it when it first came out. It’s a cute little movie- and I totally agree, it gets overlooked a lot. I think the last channel I saw it on was O or the Hallmark Channel- like that’s going to help. And it’s an example of an adaptation I enjoyed far more than the original book.


  8. 0bs01337 #

    Though I avoided seeing it, The Blindside looked like it was about how no dream is out of reach as long as one has passion, commitment, and upper-middle class white parents.


  9. Natalie #

    Three Words: All About Steve. I completely agree that a working actor should be given a break when it comes to taking less than desirable roles; however, Sandra Bullock is a movie star. She gets to pick and chose her roles to the point where she can literally map out her career path. The Proposal was a huge success, as was The Blindside- which I also have not seen for the same reasons you gentlemen discussed in the Podcast. In the middle of these successes, Bullock starred in the awful, truly embarrassing, All About Steve.

    This romantic tale of a manic depressive, man-stalking, crossword puzzle writer was originally supposed to hit theaters at the beginning of the summer, but the success of the two leads’ other films (Bullock’s Proposal and Bradley Cooper’s Hangover) virtually swept AAS under the rug to open in the vast wasteland of September. I paid actual US American dollars to see AAS in the cinema because a friend had a few lines in it. If it weren’t for that, I would have suffocated myself with fake-butter soaked popcorn and popped my eyes out with Sno Caps. Difficult, but can be done.

    If awards are distributed for an actor’s career path, not a sole film, Bullock’s flop of epic proportions needs to be taken into account for any statue she receives this season. AAS averages out her year to a B- at least. Julia Roberts would never pull this on us. And her Unknown Hubby is an actual unknown B cameraman, unlike Bullock’s dude who paints fancy mopeds on TV. Basically, what I’m trying to say is instead of Bullock, just give Roberts another award for Notting Hill because why not? That movie holds up.


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