Abigail Nussbaum Profile picture
Jul 13, 2020 3 tweets 2 min read Read on X
#TheOldGuard is pleasant and has fun characters, but feels more like a launchpad for fanfic than a solid story in its own right.

I mean, if there aren't already a dozen 400K word immortal murderhusband novels, plus a ton of Andy/Nile, I will be disappointed and *very* surprised.
I think my biggest issue with #TheOldGuard is how little it ends up doing with its premise. These people have been alive for hundreds or thousands of years and all they've done is be soldiers of fortune? Really?
Except for the "he's not my boyfriend" scene (unsurprisingly picked out by a lot of people as the highlight of the movie) there isn't much in #TheOldGuard that makes me believe the characters are truly immortal, and have a genuinely different perspective on life and history.

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More from @NussbaumAbigail

Jan 13, 2023
Kaleidoscope: yet more confirmation that when writers talk about "freeing" themselves from storytelling constraints - in this case, a single narrative structure - what they actually end up doing is abdicating the responsibility to make choices about their story.
And the thing is, making those choices is part of the writers' job. How the audience experiences your story is as important as the substance of that story, and a major part of your work as a storyteller.
Leaving that choice to chance means you have to make other compromises elsewhere in your story, make it thinner to compensate for where you've surrendered control. In Kaleidoscope, every episode has to function as a beginning, so characters and relationships remain flat.
Read 6 tweets
Mar 22, 2022
The thing that gets me about the Lauren Hough/Lambda Award business is: this is a dispute between Hough and the award. Yet somehow it has become a reason to attack trans critics of Sandra Newman's novel, even though everyone knows they had nothing to do with the Lambda decision.
Whether or not you believe that the Lambda decision was justified, I think it's clear to everyone that @AnaMardoll, @scumbelievable, and other trans people who criticized The Men weren't in charge of it. So why are they being called to account for it?
It just feels really telling that in a dispute between a general-purpose LGBT award and a cis author, somehow trans people have been made the bad guys even though they had no input into it. And it feels like a roundabout way of disqualifying the trans critiques of the novel.
Read 5 tweets
Oct 21, 2020
Something I keep thinking about is that coronavirus could have been a huge gift to Trump and the Republicans. They act like it was his 2008 financial crisis, but really it was more like 9/11 - something that could have boosted their favorability in exchange for very little work.
All they had to do was nothing - stand back, let the CDC take the lead, use the playbook Obama left them, and take credit at the end. Hell, even Kushner's testing plan was apparently pretty solid before it was abandoned because they thought the virus would only hit blue states.
And it's not as if they didn't know how bad things were going to get. Republican senators were selling their stocks. Trump himself, we now know, was telling people how dangerous the disease was.
Read 5 tweets
Oct 20, 2020
Haven't seen anyone talking about #Helstrom. Which is good, because it's a really unimpressive show. But it also means I have no one with whom I can share my awe at Hulu somehow managing to capture all the weaknesses of the Netflix MCU shows, and none of the strengths.
I had problems with Hulu's Runaways, but it at least had its own style. #Helstrom is just the Netflix MCU special: vague and roundabout plotting, difficulty establishing stakes, annoying characters, and - most of all - murky, boring visuals.
The one thing #Helstrom has going for it is the character of Ana. It's pretty clear to me that the show should have been rewritten with her as its focus - she has the more interesting story, and the more dynamic personality.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 22, 2020
Not quite sure how to feel about this week's #LovecraftCountry. Taken on its own it's a strong hour, anchored by a fantastic Jamie Chung, who's never been less than magnetic in anything I've seen her in. Someone give her a show already.
But as part of the ongoing story of #LovecraftCountry, it feels like an odd fit. Are we just supposed to handwave the fact that Tic is apparently a war criminal? Is this something the show is going to revisit, or is it in the past?
The episode does such a great job of putting us in Ji-Ah's point of view that we end up alienated from Tic. To the point that her forgiveness of him feels unearned. "We're both monsters, so it's OK" is a really glib way of addressing the things he's done. #LovecraftCountry
Read 7 tweets
Sep 15, 2020
Wait, so "pretend that we can make it 2019 again by wishing really hard" turned out *not* to be viable business strategy? I am shocked and amazed! theatlantic.com/culture/archiv…
I realize this might be hard to believe given everything on the news right now, but most people aren't stupid. They're not going to risk getting and spreading a deadly disease just to see a movie that's going to be on VOD in three months.
It probably didn't help that Tenet had lukewarm reviews and that WB already tried its "knowing even the slightest thing about this movie will ruin the experience completely" strategy with Interstellar and it turned out to be bunk. But mostly, people aren't going to the movies.
Read 4 tweets

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