Tactical mistake on JEOPARDY!’s and Richards’s part
The cool kids’ table has been deferred to in one particular and now it is easier to defer to them in others

radical idea: a few years back, Alex Trebek himself floated a couple of names he thought could do the job as his successor

why not, I don’t know

give them a call
the cool kids’ table is out in force

they’ve tasted blood and they want more, more, more, more
What gets me: the whole reason the cool kids’ table is hot for Levar Burton to host JEOPARDY! is that as host of READING RAINBOW he is in their learning-stuff-TV headspace

and, most importantly, he is currently cool

and by cool I mean “widely seen by cool kids as cool”
The thing is the cool kids are not good judges of what is lastingly cool

somebody rather brutally pointed out that five years ago they’d have been clamoring for, like, Neil Degrasse Tyson to host JEOPARDY! because he was then seen by the cool kids as cool
Two years later the cool kids belatedly realized: “Wait, Neil Degrasse Tyson is just an asshole”

yeah, we know, thanks for shoving him down everybody’s throat for a while there
Levar Burton is, as far as I know, not an asshole, but JEOPARDY! is not a gig you hand out based on Momentary Cool Status As Granted By The Fickle And Impulsive Cool Kids’ Table

they are morons and do not actually care about JEOPARDY!; they see a cool gig & want a cool guy in it
the thing is

JEOPARDY! is not a cool gig

it is the uncoolest gig in the world

Alex Trebek didn’t become cool by being cool; he became cool because he knew his job and was competent at it on TV five days a week *forever*

yeah, he became cool

Alex Trebek was never cool

JEOPARDY! was never cool

Alex Trebek was an institution

Being an institution is not about being cool
eventually people noticed Alex Trebek was a weirdly beloved institution and decided he must be cool

they were wrong

but that’s how Alex Trebek became cool despite being utterly uncool
I don’t think installing Levar Burton as host of JEOPARDY! does either Levar Burton or JEOPARDY! any favors.

The one thing Mike Richards had going for him was that nobody knew who the hell he was.

JEOPARDY! needs a host who is competent and who isn’t cool.

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More from @hradzka

19 Aug
Moose-feeding movie of the last few days has been WIND (1992), a sailing movie directed by Carroll “THE BLACK STALLION (1979)” Ballard that sought to definitively answer the question “Are Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey movie stars”

answer: nope
The thing is that Modine and Grey are actually pretty great choices for the weirder movie lurking beneath the surface of WIND (1992)

but it was clearly a hella expensive movie to make so it got nudged in the direction of a “they’re together, they break up, they get back” romance
Modine and Grey are perfect for the weirder, more indie-ish, more introspective movie, but they’re not right for a blockbuster crowd-pleaser
Read 12 tweets
22 Jul
everybody is talking about the Buzzfeed News story about FBI informant involvement in the plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan

lots of focus on how many FBI informants were involved

less-remarked: the story on *when* the feds got involved has evolved
Here is the story in the FBI’s affidavit. Note:

a) the impetus for the investigation is sedition on social media.
b) the investigation starts with a guy named Adam Fox, who, following a meeting in Ohio, reaches out to a militia that has already been infiltrated by the FBI.
According to the Buzzfeed article, the affidavit is backwards.

Buzzfeed’s story starts w/ the militia, called the Wolverine Watchmen. Dan, a veteran, joins it blindly and is alarmed: his new buddies aren’t just interested in fun gun stuff but in potentially killing cops.
Read 9 tweets
21 Jul
Watched CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962) on @Shudder and dug it — simple story, atmospheric filmmaking, great sense of rising dread.

Also, it made me realize an interesting edge for filmmakers in flyover country (like industrial filmmaker Herk Harvey, who directed): novel locations.
CARNIVAL OF SOULS was shot in studios and on location in Lawrence, Kansas, on location in Salt Lake City, Utah, and at the wildly atmospheric, unforgettable, but never seen on film Saltair Amusement Park in Magna, Utah.

Never seen on film because *it’s in freakin’ Magna, Utah!*
Just shooting in Utah means CARNIVAL OF SOULS offers a great, eerie, memorable location that you’ve never seen!

Think about all the times you’ve seen, say, the Bradbury Building in LA — OUTER LIMITS, BLADE RUNNER, WOLF, you name it. Now imagine you’d *never* seen it.
Read 4 tweets
21 Jul
Very interesting thread (as is Parson's stuff on the early Klan in general), though I disagree w/ her on the elaborateness of the Klan's costumes showing deliberate strategy, any more than (say) drag queens' do. The early Klan did a lot of stuff they just thought was fun & funny.
As Parsons notes in her fascinating book KU-KLUX, the Ku Klux Klan started out as a freakin' band (like, a *literal actual band,* as in *a garage band with musical instruments*) from Tennessee who amused themselves by shitposting in their newspaperman friend's comment sections!
The first Klansman (mostly well-off dudes disenfranchised by Reconstruction) were exactly the sort to figure that if something funny was worth doing, it was worth overdoing.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jun
They’re doing a WALTONS remake over at the CW and the cast looks exactly like what you’d expect the cast of a WALTON’s remake at the CW to look like
Deadline ran a side-by-side picture of the guys playing John Walton, Sr. in 1971 and 2021 and uh holy crap that says something about the two eras, huh
So check this out: THE WALTONS was based on a TV movie with a different cast, meaning John Walton Sr. has three actors. Here they are:

Andrew Duggan (1971, aged 48)
Ralph Waite (1972 series, aged 44)
Ben Lawson (2021 series, aged 41)
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
The most interesting thing about the Mike Lindell stuff is how it keeps demonstrating the limits of throwing money at one’s problems
A lot of Righties (fringe and mainstream alike) are convinced of that money is the problem, that they could rise up and beat the establishment and the Lefties if only the money were there.

don’t get me wrong, money *helps*

but it won’t magically make you know what you’re doing
Mike Lindell is willing to set hundreds of millions of dollars on fire for his cause when he would have done better to just sit back and quietly fund stuff

but pugnacious Righties gotta pugnace
Read 4 tweets

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