erinptah: (daily show)

I got asked a thing about Daily Show/Colbert Report fandom history, and ended up typing a couple hundred words. Figured I'd repost it here, for anyone else who came in late and wants backstory.

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In the beginning, before the Daily Show had any spinoffs, there was just tds_rps. Then the Colbert Report came along in 2005, and people started using "fake news" to refer to both shows together, in contrast to "real news" for the fans who wrote RPF about news anchors.

At that time Livejournal didn't let you have tags on posts at all. When the option was introduced, that was one of the motivations for creating the fakenews_fanfic community -- to create a place that had comprehensive tags from the beginning.

Anyone can start a new LJ comm, so they weren't centralized or organized in any logical way. If someone felt like there was a need that wasn't being filled by the existing comms, they would make one. Like, for a while tds_rps was joined by tcr_fps, which was open to Report-specific fics. It had such a narrow focus, there was argument about whether Jon/"Stephen" fics should be allowed -- because even though "Stephen" the character was in them, Jon wasn't a fictional character, he was just himself.

You can see why a community like that would get a limited amount of traffic. People who liked writing "Stephen" fic usually also liked writing about Jon. And a lot of them liked writing about Stephen-the-actor too, and there was heavy crossover with fans of news RPF, and fans of Strangers With Candy (the comedy Stephen co-created, where he played a character who was a lot like "Stephen," and the sense of humor was very similar), and so on and so forth....

So one of the reasons fakenews_fanfic rose to be the main fandom community was that it had a broad focus. People could post all their fake-news-related fic in the same place. Not every reader had exactly the same interests, but there was enough overlap that everyone would be interested in most of the fic posted. And the tags meant it was easy to go through and find exactly the things you liked.

For a long time there wasn't a single kink meme, just people making "put your kink prompts here" posts in their personal journals. Eventually someone decided to be more organized, and created a dedicated community for it. I don't actually know who! It was a personal project, not the official creation of any other community.

Fills from all the separate kink posts are bookmarked and tagged in one place. (I do know who handled that, because it was me.)

erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)

Yuletide is open! Here's all the fake news (& related) fics.

It's my second Yuletide, and the first one where I've written treats. So if you read a fic and think "huh, this writing style/character interpretation/combo of favorite tropes seems familiar"...you might be right.

And for a gift -- guys, I got my incredibly-niche moonshot prompt -- it's Dorothy hanging out with lesbians in turn-of-the-century San Francisco!

The Road Built in Hope (5346 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Oz - L. Frank Baum
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothy Gale/Princess Ozma
Characters: Dorothy Gale, Uncle Henry, Original Female Character(s), Eureka (Oz)
Additional Tags: Slice of Life, Canon Compliant, Misses Clause Challenge
Summary:

Dorothy stays with friends in San Francisco before the events of 'Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.'

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Bonus cheer:

NBA stars playing Carol of the Bells using basketballs. Hardcore.

Vintage holiday wishes from Catball & Clown Girl:

erinptah: (daily show)

TDS flash-forwards to a pirate broadcast from the end of Trump's first term. Desi Lydic is doing makeshift alleyway broadcasts with a rat, Ronnie Chieng moved back to China just in time to make millions off of Trump's botched details...my favorite part is how Trump's opponents have all been banished, but Elizabeth Warren is leading a group of rebels as "The Woman in the Woods."

"How many presidents had grandchildren when they moved into the White House? Given that more than 14,000 historians are members of the American Historical Association, and that genealogy has become an enormous hobby, you would think this would be an easy question to answer." It's not, but they've taken a shot at it. 3 of our last 6 presidents had them, and at least 12 out of the whole 44.

"Consumer of orphan and puppy souls Hillary Clinton helps raise awareness about child trafficking in Haiti."

"Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons."

Surprising numbers of teenagers in Macedonia are getting rich quick...by writing fake Trump-related news stories and reaping the ad revenue.

Guess which employees is Trump refusing to pay this week! If you said "his own campaign pollsters," you guessed right.

Trump hotels are taking a beating in the price wars. Beautiful schadenfreude.

erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)
Hello, prospective future Yuletide writer! Thank you in advance for the fic you are about to embark on. Here's a bunch of information to make it as easy as possible.

Oz books, Home, Fake News )
erinptah: Hiding in a box (depression)

The latest Savage Lovecast opens with almost twenty minutes of Dan channeling grief and heartbreak and hope into words I needed, that a lot of us probably need.

I'm doing okay again. Got to work like a functional person and did not once start crying at my desk, although it was a close thing a couple of times. Especially when Dan started choking up. Especially when he talked about how incredible it is, what a breathtaking sign of progress in the midst of all the horror, that when a gay club was attacked and the police showed up, they were there to help.

---

There's anger to be articulated too. Neither TDS nor TNS hit the right note for me, but Full Frontal was cathartically furious.

And Roy Zimmerman just put out a new recording of the incandescently bitter "Thoughts And Prayers."

Speaking of: you may have heard that it's a cheap gesture when politicians offer their "thoughts and prayers" after a mass shooting. Igor Volsky demonstrates that it is, in fact, a very expensive gesture. Hundreds of thousands of NRA dollars went into these gestures.

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Equality Florida is handling the funds for victims and survivors of the Pulse massacre, and has other resources, particularly for family members.

People who don't live in Florida, this is also a good time to throw a few dollars at your own local LGBT+ rights organization. Mine is MassEquality. The one where I grew up is Equality Maryland.

And as with any tragedy, if you're eligible to give blood and don't have an appointment scheduled...get one for next month. Or the month after that. For when the surge of interest has receded, but the need is still there.

erinptah: (night vale)

that "Fink and Cranor get interviewed on Colbert's show" thing had happened, like, a year ago. At least. Maybe eighteen months for good measure.

Because at that point I would have been elated at that level of fannish crossovering. But by now, the only thing I want to hear from the Night Vale crew is "when we wrote a character becoming suicidally depressed, and didn't have any of his loved ones provide any care or support -- not even his boyfriend in what is supposed to be a loving and healthy same-sex relationship -- that was really fucked-up." Anything that isn't that, I'm just...not interested.

It's like why I haven't tried to watch any more of Sailor Moon Crystal. It's not going to give me what I want, and the things it does give will probably upset me in some way, and I've stopped feeling any pull to watch it and find out how.
erinptah: (daily show)

So the Jon-Stewart-went-and-bought-a-farm news has officially blossomed, right? There's no context on the image, so maybe it's just a random picture of Jon with a cow, but I'm really hoping that's a picture of Jon with his cow.

Alison Bechdel talks to NPR about the Fun Home musical, gay stuff in general, and how she would like us to switch from calling it "the Bechdel test" to "the Bechdel-Wallace test" (since it was Liz Wallace who came up with the original criteria). I'm down with that. There are a bunch of song clips from the musical included, and, wow, even an excerpt from "Ring of Keys" was seriously feelings-inducing. Gonna look this up now.

(I originally typed that first sentence as "Alison Bechdel talks to NPC." And if you think about it, Terry Gross is kind of an NPC for the RPG of life....)

"Mahō Shōjo Ikusei Keikaku Magical Girl Survival Novels Get Anime." Going by the description, it's basically Battle Royale or The Hunger Games, but the magical-girl version. I am so here for this.

"Marvel and DC are consistently considered the mainstream, but they are routinely beat out in pure sales and popularity by webcomics, manga and graphic novels including Telgemeier’s Smile and Drama (both with more copies in print than Star Wars #1, and at a higher retail price). Homestuck is a webcomic that was, at least at one point, getting 600,000 unique visitors per day, and Randall Munroe’s XKCD was reportedly pulling in between 60 and 70 million hits a month at times. The last pamphlet comic prior to Star Wars #1 to sell one million copies was a Pokemon manga from 1999."

"Hello Barbie is by far the most advanced to date in a new generation of A.I. toys whose makers share the aspiration of Geppetto: to persuade children that their toys are alive — or, at any rate, are something more than inanimate." She's wifi-enabled. She's Siri with a face (and a bunch of, from the sound of it, reasonably feminism-conscious and child-oriented programmers). This is really cool.
erinptah: (daily show)

Steven Universe: Latest episodes are good episodes. Was really into "Sadie's Song". I love how they avoided the trope of "shy person doesn't want to dress up and go out on stage and perform, but their friends push them to do so, and they're amazing and end up loving it!", instead going with "shy person doesn't want to dress up and go out on stage and perform, and you shouldn't push them to do so, because their comfort zone is valid and deserves to be respected."

Plus, Steven got to wear a skirt and heels with little rosettes, and it wasn't played for laughs or presented as Subversive and Important, it was just treated like any other outfit a boy might wear. Well played, show.

And "Catch and Release" confirmed so many Peridot theories. She's tiny! She's basically imprinted on Steven! She's scared and confused and thinks basically every human thing could be a weapon, which makes me wonder what exactly they've been told about Earth back on the Gem Homeworld. Bonus worldbuilding: her dialogue lets us know what Gem swearing sounds like.

Some people are thinking "omg she's actually a child" now, but she didn't act like a child in her first appearances -- she acted like a competent, calm, almost robotic technician. I'm sticking with the theory that she wasn't designed to have much personality, and is haphazardly developing one as an attempt to adapt to this crazy new environment she's been thrown into. Which explains why she's so darn feral.

And I bet she's responding to Steven because he has the Rose Quartz gem. Even if Rose was a rebel/traitor, she's still high-status enough that Peridot (like Pearl?) has an automatic/instinctive reaction to this Important Gem.

---

Army Wives has made me tear up at least three times now. It's a series with a lot of grief and trauma built into the premise, and it's really good at portraying them.

Portraying other things, it can be...schmaltzy? Overly rosy? One of the earliest storylines involves a couple nearly splitting up, until the woman gets pregnant, and they decide to stay together for the baby...and this totally works, they're still happily and relatively-non-stressfully married six seasons later. That's the kind of thing I mean.

You kinda have to suspend your disbelief about the goodness and morality of the US military as a whole while watching. None of the characters are highly-placed enough to change who our country goes to war with, but most of them don't argue much about it, either. And there's heavy representation for Christianity, none at all for anybody else.

On the plus side: lots of female friendships, women doing a variety of highly-skilled jobs (a lawyer, a cop, a nurse practitioner, a colonel!), one recurring lesbian couple plus a few other queer characters popping up in the background, a realistic (afaict) character with diabetes, and traumatic brain injury, and HIV. Also, a general aversion to "manufactured drama caused by two people being unable to speak to each other like adults." So many conflicts get resolved by the characters doing some mature reflection on what they're really upset about, and then talking it out!

The last season shuffles out most of the regulars and tries to get you invested in a new main group. No surprise it got canceled after that. But the replacement goldfish were likeable enough that I'm glad I watched through to the end, and non-invested enough that I'm not too distraught about the cliffhangers they got left on.

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Okay, I'm gonna say it: I'm underwhelmed by The Late Show.

A fair amount of it is just TCR on a bigger stage -- the intro-to-the-Pope segment the other night was exactly what "Stephen" would have delivered, except that he would have called it "Better Know A Pope" -- which is all well and good. And there's been at least one sketch that was basically an Exit 57 throwback.

But I've started skipping the interviews unless I care what the guest has to say. Never did that with TDS, TCR, or the Nightly Show. (Although if either Trevor Noah or Larry Wilmore decide to have Donald Trump as a guest, I will skip that like a flat rock on a long pond. Good lord, why would you give that man any more publicity?)

I mean, come on, Ted Cruz complains about how same-sex marriage isn't in the Constitution, then five minutes later he's complaining about unelected judges in Washington getting to interpret the law for the whole country -- and Colbert doesn't point out that that is in the Constitution? That was one of the most obvious setups he could have gotten, and he just let it whoosh past, untouched. Where's the interviewer who blindsided the sponsor of a Ten Commandments bill by asking him what those commandments were? What happened?

Skipping the musical performances too, although I probably would have done that no matter what else was going on in the show.

The Nightly Show's panel discussions are sharper, funnier, and more listenable, with a lot fewer softballs. Last Week Tonight doesn't do guests at all, delivering a pure concentrated fake-news broadcast that doesn't pull any punches. Can't be sure yet what Samantha Bee's upcoming Full Frontal will become, or whether I'll like how Trevor Noah handles the Daily Show, but at least I feel secure in counting on Larry and John Oliver to keep delivering a satisfying fake news fix.
erinptah: (daily show)
I found John Oliver's proposed "to be played only when the end of the world is confirmed" video genuinely inspiring.

"Dollar-for-dollar, analysts say GiveDirectly is among the most effective organizations in the world trying to eliminate extreme poverty. GiveDirectly transfers about $1,000 to very poor families over the course a year. It makes no rules or even suggestions about how to use the cash."

"That is what “The poor will always be with you” means in the Bible. In Deuteronomy and in Matthew, Mark and John. It means, therefore, we are commanded to open our hands to the poor and needy."

"By an 8 to 1 margin, the most conservative Supreme Court in US history decided that the Federal Law that authorized strict penalties for 3rd strike felonies is unconstitutional. This reverses decades of cases where the Court ruled that locking up people for minor crimes and throwing away the key is just fine."

“Every birthing room practitioner needs to know that the first thing you say to parents of an intersex child isn’t ‘We’ll fix this.’ It’s ‘You have a beautiful child who will be healthy and happy. We’ll give you resources and connect you with others.’

"This Guy’s Extra-Long CVS Receipt Costume Is Literally Perfect." (As someone who shops at CVS a lot, I can confirm that yes, it is.)
erinptah: (daily show)
That whole thing was a balm for the soul.

I wondered, at first, if they were going to have all the correspondents call dibs on all the dozens of Republican candidates who weren't in the debate. But then it got better.

Olivia brought cake!! The Corddry brothers yelling at each other! Bassem Youssef thinking Jon had been shut down! John did the heel-click! Sniping at that last podcast (the only one I've ever skipped chunks of -- geez, guys, way to run a bit into the ground). Trevor measuring the studio! Kristen getting all dressed up in hopes of meeting Trevor! Ed singing! Josh singing! Jon asking if Wyatt's okay, and Wyatt being okay. Nancy and Steve being super married. Jon and Stephen being super married. My heart soared like it did when I first fell in love with the show.

The extended walk through the backstage area, namechecking all the people we don't get to see (even if most of them were wacky nicknames), was an incredible touch. Jon not being able to look at his family or he won't be able to keep it together was so sweet. And of course they got Springsteen, there at the end. And turned the studio into a hardcore dance party, just like they did at the end of Kilborn's run.

I can't believe both of these shows got such magical finales. We're such a lucky fandom.
erinptah: (daily show)

I've spent the past several days staying up most of the night, because when the sun is up it's sometimes too hot to do anything but sleep. Definitely too hot to have my laptop running.

Petition to cut the rest of August short and move straight to September, please.

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The Thrilling Adventure Hour has at last released the final episode of Moonshine Holler! Never my favorite segment, the formula was kinda wearing, so the one thing that would've drawn back my interest was "we finally get a reunion with the Hobo Princess, and the actual plot progression that follows."

And we did! And I really enjoyed how it played out! Especially the reveal of where the Hobo Princess was this whole time, and what she's been doing -- that was excellent. Maybe in the comics we can get a spinoff following her side of the story? Because I would be all over that.

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Rewatching The West Wing with 5+ more years of TV-watching experience is so much wilder than the first time around.

Agent Coulson works for the FBI in this universe! They just appointed liberal lion Patty Hewes to the Supreme Court, and hired Ms. Frizzle to be the President's secretary! Delusional Republican Sally Langston takes a turn being a rational Democrat. The White House staff receive a guest who clearly just walked in from Sacred Heart Teaching Hospital, and another who must have flown in from Lima, Ohio.

(There are multiple fics on the AO3 where TWW!Coulson is a secret identity of MCU!Coulson. Fandom, you have not disappointed.)

Meanwhile, I'm having Josh-and-Donna feelings all over again. (I'm so happy that Donna's actress is now a senator on Alpha House.)

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News Your Own Adventure was a good Daily Show special.

The Whitely Show is an adorable Nightly Show exclusive.

I uploaded the Indecision 2008 joint election special, for anyone who wants a good throwback.

I'm so not ready for this to be over.
erinptah: (daily show)
Fake news family updates:

The upcoming new Daily Show host has been announced! And it's Trevor Noah! The NYT has more.

I'm tentatively down with this. He's not a total outsider to the show, with his all of three segments as a correspondent; he's been inside the machine before. But he's not a fixture, like Sam or Jason or John or back-in-the-day Stephen, so it won't feel like "he should have a chance to break out and do his own thing, but instead he's staying where he's been forever and putting down roots." He is very much an outsider to the US (don't miss his episode of the TDS podcast, which talks about some of the culture shock between him and his co-workers) -- if you appreciated John Oliver bringing some international perspective to US late-night comedy, just wait.

(It's weird to think that some of the racist criticisms people level at Obama are actually true here. He didn't grow up in the US! He wasn't raised with our values! I don't know enough about his outside-TDS career to say anything confident like "he's definitely up for this," but honestly, even if he crashes and burns, it's bound to be enlightening and an interesting reflection on our respective cultures to see how he crashes and burns.)

So I'm rooting for Trevor to succeed, and looking forward to him no matter what.

In other fake news news:

This article about Jon's next move has a graph of late-night comedy viewer stats...and Larry Wilmore's Nightly Show is fourth, beating out even Letterman. Now that's fascinating. I assume the Late Show will get a jump when Stephen takes over, but I guess we'll find out....

Aasif Mandvi's long-awaited web sitcom, Halal in the Family, premieres April 13! Still not exactly sure where (its own site? Youtube?), but I've liked them on Facebook & am prepared to be all over this once it comes out.

Jon and the Daily Show singlehandedly convince the VA to double the number of veterans eligible for close-to-home healthcare. Good times.


The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

Marathoned this. Loved it. It's a comedy about a recently-rescued cult survivor, and it does such a great job of managing the balance between "our heroine is a human being who deserves to have hilarious wacky adventures like everyone else" and "also, she's a survivor of a pretty terrible ordeal, and it's going to keep affecting her life." (A couple of other prisoners were rescued along with Kimmy, so we get to see their different coping mechanisms, rather than having Kimmy stuck representing All Reactions To Escaping A Cult.)

An IRL cult survivor applauds the way the show treats those issues.

The big thing is that it feels like the comedy is coming from a place of Did The Research. There's a sequence where the kidnapper is on trial, and he's saying ridiculous, nonsensical things in his own defense, but he's handsome and charismatic and everyone -- from the jury to the prosecution -- is buying it. He's OTT bizarre, and it's hilarious...and makes it unmistakable that the situation is "Kimmy is the Only Sane Woman here and it's facepalm-worthy that everyone is getting sucked in by this guy's charisma," not "this guy might actually be nice, maybe Kimmy is overreacting."

Reactions to how the show deals with race are more mixed, so I'll just throw a bunch of links from more-informed bloggers out there. Here's one author's breakdown. One guy likes the treatment of gay black roommate Titus (and notes that the actor has input in developing the character, which helps make the characterization more about humanity than stereotype) but was let down by Asian love interest Dong and white-passing Native socialite Jacqueline. (Though he cites Dong as fitting the "hard-working Asian" stereotype, which is odd, given that we're talking about a guy Kimmy meets in her GED class who doesn't show up for study group half the time.) One Native blogger has complex but positive-leaning feelings about Jacqueline's subplot, and another thought it was relatably-written and great.
erinptah: (daily show)
Aaaaand there goes Jon.

Wonder if he's going to go off and do more movies, or if he really will retire and take the opportunity to relax for a while. Go on vacation. Spend more time hanging out with his kids, and/or enjoying his tens of millions of dollars.

Can't say it's a surprise -- I wasn't expecting Jon to stay too long after Stephen moved on -- but, aaahhh, what happens next? Will the Daily Show move on to a third host? It survived the Kilborn-Stewart transition, but it's a lot harder to imagine the Stewart era being topped. And the correspondents with the most hosting chops keep moving on to do their own shows.

(On the bright side, if TDS gets a new host who is a handsome guy in his '30s, who perhaps has chemistry with some of the latest round of fetching young correspondents, and they're all settled in by the time we hit the upswing of political interest around the 2016 election...we just might see a fake-news-fandom renaissance.)
erinptah: (daily show)
A smorgasbord of links that's been building since December:

A visual guide to everyone in the Colbert Report finale! From Doris Kearns Goodwin to Eleanor Holmes Norton to Neil Degrasse Tyson to Big Bird. And Katie Couric helpfully provides the guest list.

A roundup of forty-nine celebrity farewells to the Report, Stephen, and"Stephen".

Meanwhile: Olivia Munn has a new contract to develop and executive-produce shows for CBS! She's done so much good acting (even in bad shows), it's high time she got an opportunity to write stuff, too.

Jon did an AMA on Reddit back in November; for ease of reading, have all the answers with their questions, in chronological order.

Lewis, Jon, and Kathleen Madigan poke fun at Larry's tie-adjusting pose. Aww.

___

And with excellent timing, someone on Tumblr asked my thoughts on the Nightly Show, prompting all of this to get typed up.

I like it overall. The scripted comedy bits are solid — a worthy addition to the fake news family. Not every joke hits, but that’s the case with TDS and TCR too. And it’s only their first week! No telling what heights they’ll be able to reach once they really hit their stride.

The panel discussions are weaker. One thing I really love about Last Week Tonight is that it has very few interviews, to let them do fake news straight through. And here The Nightly Show has less fake news, in order to make room for more interviewing. If I wanted to watch a talk show, I have a wealth of those to choose from already….

That said, the “four guests per night, more than one of them black, all with different perspectives” pattern they have going does counteract the pressure of “hey, you, speak on behalf of all black people” that comes up in the media a lot. So given the focus of the show, it’s probably a smart choice. (...she says, as a white person with zero personal authority on the subject.)

And I really appreciate their choices about what to cover. I’ve been wishing TDS would give more airtime to things like the Ferguson protests, but their focus is so broad, and their schtick is to react to whatever is dominating the real-news cycle. TNS, like LWT, has the freedom to be more self-directed, and like LWT, the stories they’re going after are refreshing.

Also: Larry is great, his voice is great, his presence as a host is great, his throwing teabags at that one sexist guest the other day was great. Like Jon and John (and definitely not like “Stephen”), he’s coming across as a smart, thoughtful person who’s using his comedy to poke at harmful things and defend the harmed. Again, it’s his first week, maybe he’ll end up revealing some jaw-droppingly terrible beliefs as his time in the spotlight goes on…but so far, so good.

tl;dr like it, might have attention wandering sometimes during the panel discussions, but unless something goes horribly wrong I will be keeping it in my fake-news-watching lineup and enjoying it.
erinptah: (daily show)
has aired, and I have finally gotten my hands on a download.

Spoilers follow.

Reactions... )
erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)
I think I'm finally not sick anymore! It's been down to a level of "sore throat + sleeping 12hrs/night" for the past week or so, but the sore throat actually seems to be gone, so fingers crossed for normal sleep too.

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My WIP folder has a file named "5 nativity stories.txt" in it. Last modified on Boxing Day, 2012. The file is 92 bytes, and is literally just a list of fandoms. I no longer remember what the story for any of them was supposed to be.

And there weren't even five of them at the time, just four ._.

(Pet Shop of Horrors, Sailor Moon, Madoka Magica, and Death Note, for the record.)

I'm officially giving up on remembering, and am deleting the file. Just wanted there to be a memorial somewhere in the world that it existed.

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(The least-recently-updated thing in my WIP folder was last touched in 2008. Don't ask.)

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I'm so bad at deleting digital clutter.

When And Shine Heaven Now was maybe six months from ending, that was a big motivation to go through all my notes and doodles and half-baked ideas and say "okay, there is no more indefinite maybe some time I'll get around to this, it's either showing up in the next six months or it isn't getting used at all." And once you face up to the fact that you're never going to finish a thing, so no final product will be ruined by sharing the details, you can pull the summary/sketches into some kind of organized form and release them as-is.

Trying to let the end of TCR be the impetus to do that for a bunch of fake-news ideas. There isn't the same kind of deadline, it's not like the comms are going to close up shop after the final episode (three left to air, aaaahh), but, you know, any excuse for motivation.

Some files that might get mined and polished, rather than deleted, in the next week or two (including the date they were last updated):

--5KB of misc genderswap notes (October 2011)
--27KB of liberalverse misc notes + disconnected scenes (April 2013)
--like 80KB of an AU where my OTP are related (April 2013)
--1.7KB of half-finished filk (July 2012)
--31KB from an AU designed by [community profile] fail_fandomanon (worked on this last week, hah!)
--8KB snippet of dystopia, in which I hate at least half of it (September 2010)
--6KB of so-misc-I-don't-know-what-it-is (October 2013)
--Drawings from the next strip of Jon's JDate Adventure (October 2012)

...If anyone has a particular interest in one of those, feel free to vote that I work on that first! Otherwise I'll just tackle things in whatever order seems like a good idea at the time.
erinptah: (daily show)
As planned, I was at the October 14 (Neil Young) TCR taping! Took a bus roundtrip from Boston to NYC, so I got out of bed at 8am on Tuesday and wasn't back in until 6am on Wednesday, with nine of those hours spent on the road.

Worth it.

The crew are, as always, very good at getting you energized. They make you cheer so much between the waiting room and the warmup that I was starting to feel hoarse before Stephen himself actually appeared. The fact that the show is coming to an end is part of the atmosphere, and it's really been embraced -- from the audience wrangler jazzing everyone up about how lucky we are to see one of the last tapings, to the warmup comic mocking a guy who had been to five already: "There's like twenty shows left [note: actually 30], and you're taking another seat from someone else?" On the list of suggested "things Stephen loves talking about" for the pre-show Q&A, his move to CBS is right there with things like the show's trip to Iraq. You feel good about it.

When I went to a taping in 2007, I didn't ask any questions, and came away kind of regretting it. This time, I didn't bother...because the question I had back then was "if the show was coming to an end, have you thought about what kind of big finale it would have, and are there character-development-type things you would do, given the opportunity?" And, well. In a couple months I'll find out.

With all that said, let's get to the good stuff: the quotes and exclusives! (As best I can remember, with the help of a bunch of notes made directly after leaving.)

---

The Pre-Show (and Post-Show) Q&A

Stephen says "doyouhaveanyquestionstohumanizemebeforeIsayalltheseterriblethings" like it's all one word these days. And we get right to it....

Q (in very British accent): Have you ever been to [place]?
A (in matching accent): I'm sorry, where?
Q: [Place]. It's where J. R. R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings.
A: No, I haven't. I've only been to England a couple of times.
Q: It's where I live.
A: !!
A (playing it cool): ...What's it smell like?

Q: How do you decompress?
A: I get to tell jokes every night. No, seriously.

Q: Have you ever officiated a gay wedding?
A: No.
A (roguish): ...That I know of.

Q: What brand are those big glasses you wear off-camera?
A: I don't know. I lost them again. I'm going to have to wear these [the normal ones for the show] all the time.
A: I like these anyway. The other ones are kind of standoffish. These are more inviting. They invite people in. It's like I'm not even wearing glasses at all.

Q: How do you get the part in your hair so straight?
A: I come in at five, and I have a team. They have lasers. They use a surveying level.

Q: Can you drive me home to Montclair after the show?
A: Uh, I live in The New York Area.
[dude, you have serious publicity-related involvement in the Montclair Film Festival, are people not supposed to have noticed?]

Q: I just turned 40, so I was wondering...what do you hope to have accomplished by the time you turn 40?
A (chuffed): Well, I hope to be established at CBS by then...
A (seriously): I got this show when I was 40, I was 41 when it started, I'm 50 now...the 40s are a good decade.
A: Get yourself a TV show. I really recommend it.

After the interview, they had to retape a couple of lines, so Stephen took a few more questions to keep us engaged while the crew was getting that set up. [He also pulled a lot of faces. That man's face is cartoonishly malleable. He did this curly Grinch-with-a-plan smile, and a square, wide-mouthed frogface. I lost it on that one when he started doing lizard-flicks with his tongue.]

Q: What's the story behind the Hugh Laurie photo on your shelf?
A: [gentle explanation for this poor soul who hasn't watched House, M.D. closely enough, and/or just isn't enough of a TCR fan]

Q: Is that [on the mantel by the interview table] your real Emmy?
A: One of them.
A: ...That was a really dickish way to answer that question, wasn't it? Like, the most dickish way possible.
A: That's the one we took to Iraq. You can see she's in digital camo.

Q: What's your favorite barbecue?
A: Where are you from?
Q: South Carolina.
Q: Charleston.
Q: James Island.
Q: My family's in the business, that's why I asked.
A: [starts talking about places, eventually giving the names Michael and Maurice]
Q: Those are my uncles.
[Turned out she was a Bessinger. Turns out Maurice was famously racist, but Stephen praises the barbecue itself: "You can really *kisses fingers* taste the heritage."]

---

The Second Act That Got Cut

There was an entire Sport Report between the first act and the interview. At the end, Stephen mentioned that it was probably getting cut so we could have "as much Neil as possible." (It sounded like they wrote a table of contents for the top of the show, but they didn't even film that. Explained up-front that tonight, "we have too many jokes.")

I remember being a little let down that the middle segment I was getting to see in-person wasn't, say, political...but hey, studio-audience-exclusive gags! Can't complain about that. And "Stephen" even opened with "Nation, I love sports. I also love pretending to love things I don't actually care about."

Topic was the Fall Experimental Football League, which he described as "Have you ever watched college football, and thought, 'man, I wish these players were better', and then watched the NFL and thought 'wait, not that good'?" One of the FXFL's selling points is that they expect to have at least 25% their players picked up by the NFL mid-season: "Because what you really want is to follow a team where all the good players keep leaving." He listed a bunch of previous failed non-NFL football leagues, included the XFL, but added, "You know this one will succeed because they've added an F, the letter synonymous with success."

---

Miscellanea (with Bonus Neil Young)

The set is so classy these days. When they were getting us settled, the video columns behind the desk and around the front of the platform were playing this fishbowl scene, and it all went together: you could see the same fish swim out-of-frame on one column and into the next.

Between the interview and the musical bit, the crew folded up either end of the platform that table sits on (with the table and chairs still sitting in the middle), used a bungee cord to hook the ends together, and wheeled the whole thing away. There were audible "oooh"s from the audience. So that's how they do it!

Stephen did surprisingly little guitar playing. From what I could tell looking between the screens and the people, they filmed it well. Basically, any time the camera was just on Neil, Stephen's hands weren't moving.

They also filmed another song -- a straightforward duet of "You Are My Sunshine" -- that didn't end up on-air. (I don't see it as a web exclusive, either. Bonus feature for an upcoming best-of DVD? IDK.) They had the same trouble at the beginning that they did with the first song, where Stephen would try to start the bit and Neil launched straight into playing the song, without waiting for the lead-in they'd rehearsed. Eventually, Stephen went "Is this why Crosby, Stills, and Nash left you?!"

(It was fun. They had a great time with it.)

---

The Report is soaring out on a high note! And I feel good about that. Even though I'm going to miss it so much when it's gone.
erinptah: (daily show)
So the Report will not end without me getting to see one more taping.

October is an auspicious month for this. Went to my first (and, so far, only) taping on Halloween 2007, and of course the Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30, 2010. I even got in early enough that the Megabus round trip was $10 -- not that it wouldn't have been worth a splurge -- I mean, fake news has been a fandom of my heart since 2005. And while I got into it a few months before TCR launched as a thing, it's "Stephen"-the-character (and the whole quasi-fictional universe he inhabits, and his delightful interactions with Jon) that cemented the whole fandom-of-my-heart status.

If by some chance any of you are planning to be at the taping on the 14th, let me know! We can say hi in line, maybe grab bagels together or something.

And if not, look forward to the taping report and some celebretory artwork in the days that follow.

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Where the towels are oh so fluffy

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