Author Topic: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)  (Read 1265 times)

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Offline mindme

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S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« on: April 03, 2017, 09:09:10 AM »
Interesting successor to Serial. I really didn't like Season 2 of Serial and this one puts the "form" back on the rails. Bit of a mystery show that kind of evolves into a study of how one person can be pretty complicated. Like all of us. The public version of us vs the private version of us. How we stage manage things. And, yeah, what a shit town. It's Trump's America. Good luck with that.

I do fear this show is going to kick off a mad gold digging rush a la Oak Island.
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

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Online Boßel

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 12:50:10 PM »
I find John to be extremely fascinating and felt really bad when he died, but to be honest, I really didn't like it.

Agreed with the gold digging rush comment!  :laugh:

Offline mindme

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 08:29:36 AM »
I find John to be extremely fascinating and felt really bad when he died, but to be honest, I really didn't like it.

Agreed with the gold digging rush comment!  :laugh:

I do feel it lost steam in the last couple eps. I went from a mystery to a whole other mystery to basically a character study: John, like all of us, is complicated. We sometimes are the things we protest most loudly about. We are multi layered and some of us work really hard trying to craft a public image that really says more about who we fear to be.


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Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 11:39:18 AM »
I thought it did a great job of revealing all these complex characters, telling the story in an engaging way.

But I like my stories to have a conclusion.  Main character dies in episode 3, life goes on, nobody knows what the truth is... I am unfulfilled.  Had pretty much the same gripe with Serial.
Amend and resubmit.

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 12:47:18 PM »
I think the first serial is going to be tough to beat, because most of life doesn't have the narrative of a story, and Adnan's almost did.
Shittown starts off sounding like it's going to have those narrative beats we yearn for in storytelling, but just doesn't.

I love how the story constantly pivots for the first 5 episodes as we learn that no one is totally innocent, no one is totally shady, and that life is a set of circumstances with no single answer for anyone. In general I think we desire answers and clear points of connection in narrative in a way that has become dangerous, because we expect that from non-fictional sources, and we see that constant hunt for handed out meaning and intersecting points of cause and effect in everything, including our news. Don't get me wrong, narrative fiction is my jam, and it definitely fulfills a need, but to expect it from real life is folly. I think a huge portion of our society now relies on narrative to understand the world and that is extremely dangerous... but that's a different discussion.

I thought this was touching and brilliant and it did seem to slow down just a bit by the end, but the mercury poisoning thing was fascinating and seemed to make sense of the chaos before it. People self mythologize all the time, and John may have been the biggest out there, leaving more questions than answers and digging a trench to fill up with gossip, when the reality was he was poisoned, and all of his genius couldn't save him from that.
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Offline mindme

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 12:18:30 PM »
I started to give the Florida cousins the benefit of the doubt until the wife had a really really non answer to why she wanted the undertaker to mutilate John's corpse so she could have a bit of gold.
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Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 01:09:10 PM »
I started to give the Florida cousins the benefit of the doubt until the wife had a really really non answer to why she wanted the undertaker to mutilate John's corpse so she could have a bit of gold.
Yeah. Regardless of the fact they were taking care of Mary Grace and she was in a better position than with John, I never got over the fact that Rita asked Brian almost immediately if he knew where John hid the money. People get crazy over money, I have seen it firsthand.  ???
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Offline mindme

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 03:23:58 PM »
You're right. People get very weird suddenly when it comes time to divide up the assets.
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Offline Tatyana

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 08:15:30 PM »
This may be stupidly simplistic in the interpretation of S-town, but the whole thing with the accent of John, and how it is normally associated with being a stupid southern hillbilly.............................................................

He was just fascinating and obviously intelligent.


« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 09:20:12 AM by Tatyana »

Offline mindme

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 09:03:09 AM »
A smart atheist with a southern accent is sometimes treated with all the fascination of a chimp on roller skates. Our biases can be quite horrible.
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Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2017, 12:00:17 PM »
I will admit to a semi-subconscious link between hillbilly accents and low intelligence... and I'm wrong about that.

But I don't think John comes across as intelligent in this series.  He's read a lot, and has some vocabulary and technical skills, but he seems a lot like the conspiracy nutters that think they have some kind of special knowledge about subjects the public is in denial about.

Playing with mercury vapors... not smart.  He probably thought he was immune or something.

Amend and resubmit.

Offline mindme

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 12:12:17 PM »
John strikes me as "smart enough to be dangerous". He's smart but suffers from Dunning-Kruger. He doesn't have a great grasp of knowing what he doesn't know.

"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2017, 12:24:10 PM »
He did seem like a smart guy, and probably close to genius level in his (narrow) area of expertise. Like Karl implied, that often leads to a person thinking that they're smarter about life in general than they really are. All that being said, the mercury poisoning angle was pretty well laid out and believable and, perhaps, at the heart of the sadness of this story.

All in all I thought it ranks among the best of the short-run podcasts, maybe a step behind the first season of Serial but on par with just about everything else I've listened to, and I listen to way too many podcasts.
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Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 01:29:33 PM »
It is impossible to know how smart John was based on the heavily edited and limited time we have with him. Honestly, it sounds like he suffers from ADHD or something (based on his inability to function in school), though we only know him as probably mercury poisoned.
I know plenty of intelligent people who are uneducated or grossly undereducated, and when you take your education into your own hands you greatly up the chances that you will go down rabbit holes and focus in the wrong areas, but again I think it's hard to tell because his fixations sound like the musings of mad hatters disease. Also, Brian points out a few times there's a "fuck it" approach to life down there (and I have seen it), so John's lack of precautions with using mercury doesn't say as much about his intelligence as his cultural milieu. The hold my beer approach to clock repair.  :laugh:
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Offline PANTS!

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Re: S-Town (read only when you're done all 7 eps)
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2017, 06:08:48 PM »
Super sad.

All that knowledge lost.  That neat stuff he built sold and to be scrapped.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 07:06:58 PM by PANTS! »
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