So, first things first - despite how it might look, now might be a good time to confirm that this is not the last issue of the 667er. Looming, smoke covered messages begone, the 667er will, and must, continue. But this is, however *my* last issue, my final one. I will talk more about that towards the bottom end of the issue, however. And the end is a long way down. This issue has plenty of coverage of the new netflix series, with 6 reviews of episodes, and there are some special features scaterred throughout.
Once more unto the breach
- Mister M
The episode begins with the sound of an ominous low-pitched voice, which we are soon told by Lemony Snicket comes from a rare animal called the brokenhearted crocodile, only found in "swampy regions that are particularly sad". This line, while not in the original book, feels right at home among the other absurd details that are brought to life in this adaptation.
Monty himself, though not a redhead like the Helquist illustration suggested, nevertheless looks the part. His clothes are various shades of brown and beige (coincidentally, the second movie at the double feature is titled Men in Beige) and his shirt looks like it has had extra pockets hand-sewn onto it. His black hair is curly and dishevelled, sticking up in the back like he slept on it, which is at odds with his carefully sculpted mustache. All in all, he has a sort of absentminded professor meets Indiana Jones vibe going on.
The reptile room itself is beautiful - from the walls made of glass and reptiles walking free through the room to the books kept in a glass case like they themselves are specimens. It would have been nice to have seen where the more dangerous and therefore caged reptiles were kept, since the book mentioned entire rows worth of them, but I'll admit the more open-air environment felt more trusting of the animals and was reminiscent of the fantastic beast habitat kept by Newt Scamander in the movie of the same name.
If you read the Reptile Room while simultaneously watching the episode (which I did), you will notice a great many lines of dialogue quoted word for word from the book, and yet quite a divergence story-wise. In the book he is a kindly but ultimately naive and clueless man, and while books like the Slippery Slope and the Unauthorized Autobiography do attempt to retcon this, it feels a bit shoehorned in. In the Netflix adaptation Monty is clearly meant to be a member of VFD from the beginning, most obviously shown by his decoding of the Sebald message in Zombies in the Snow. However there are numerous little easter eggs for the watchful viewer, such as his verified film discount at the movie, his disdain for the Official Fire Department, his insistence that he was the who the parents intended as a guardian all along, and of course the piano photograph on his wall.
The other difference is the addition of the attempted kidnapping plot at the movie theater. It breaks the pattern of only one henchperson (or two in the case of the women) appearing per book by showing the white faced women disguised as concession workers, while Fernald (the hook-handed man) was the assistant of choice in the book, playing Dr. Lucafont in the second half.
Overall, I found the new additions delightful. The laughably bad production values and irregularities of Zombies in the Snow felt perfect (why would a dying man need to have his mother's tutu?), and we get a glimpse of the eye-shaped labyrinth, plus a hint that it is connected to the elaborate underground tunnels referenced in the previous episodes and seen (in much simpler form) in the books. An explanation for going to Peru, provided by "Mother" and "Father", tied this book in to the larger series, and especially the Unauthorized Autobiography, in a satisfying way.
One confusing aspect is why Monty, while so clearly more competent than his book-self, still seems to believe that Stephano is a Herpetological spy rather than Count Olaf. His assistant Gustav, after all, was certainly aware of Olaf's meddling prior to his untimely demise. It is possible, after all, that he was simply playing dumb as part of his plan, but this is never confirmed on-screen.
The end of the episode occurs midway through chapter six - in the book the first we know of Monty's death is when at the end of chapter six they discover his body, whereas here we have a more omniscient point of view and are able to follow Monty into the Reptile Room as he walks to his death. Sure, it never actually shows the death, but there have been multiple warnings that it was coming, from the "Spoiler alert!" line during the opening titles to Snicket's repeated use of the term dramatic irony throughout the episode.
I've seen criticism of the music by quite a few fans. I'll be the first to admit that the movie had a more impressive score; I'm a sucker for the rich, full orchestra music that is common to movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings and which the Nickelodeon movie had. It's beautiful and enriches the movie, helping to give it an epic feel. However, I think the music we got, with its more bouncy, playful feel and its abundance of accordion, meshed very well with the series' tone. It's hard to take music like that seriously, but that's the point. This isn't an epic; it's a playful dark comedy that knows full well how absurd it is and is all too eager to poke fun at itself. So yes, bring on the banjos and accordions!
History of 667
A column by Linda Rhaldeen
Welcome back to History of 667. Today's topic: looking over The 667er during the Mister M administration.
This period began on February 1st 2015, and ends today. This is actually the longest continuous run of The 667er - the original run with editor Akbar was from September 2005 to March 2007, with a rebirth from November 2007 to April 2008, while Charlie's run was from January to October of 2013. There were a total of 26 editions, many of them with special themes.
As mentioned previously, the first edition was released February 1st 2015, after severalcrypticmessages indicating such. This first edition contained recurring columns such as Lemona's rant, Charlie's What's K-popping?, Sophie's poems, Pandora's Power Rankings, and Mister M's editorial, as well as a guest writer spot and an advice column by Pen, which was a carryover from Charlie's paper and which lasted only one issue. Other familiar features, such as Cooking with Mister M and Anka, Group Interviews by Anka, Celebrity Gossip by Pandora, and History of 667 by myself, would come later that year.
This first edition ignited the longstanding argument between Mister M and Sophie about what the article at the beginning of the paper is actually supposed to be called, with Mister M naming it editorial and Sophie insisting it was a masthead. At one point Bandit remade the banner to Sophie's liking, but Mister M insisted, even going so far as to codify the catchphrase "deal with it, Sophie" in his own banner as of edition 12.
Edition 5 was the first themed edition; it centered all around the Darkies, 667's annual awards, and actually took the place of the awards show that year (P.S. to whoever can actually do something about it, the actual thread is located in the 2015 Darkies board rather the 667er board, could it possibly be moved?) And then the 6th edition was anniversary themed, due to it being released one day before 667's 13th anniversary, and featured essays about each year of the forum's existence. Edition 7, released during the middle of Mister M's stint as Big Brother, was written and edited by the Big Brother contestants as one of their tasks. Sophie, guest editor, took this opportunity to change the little article at the beginning of the paper from an editorial to a masthead. And edition 8, while not themed, had another guest editor in Zortegus.
The next themed edition was to be number 10, all about Halloween, which edition 11 was Christmas-themed. The real edition 11, actually, was our print edition, mailed out physically to our readers, though it was not actually given a number so Mister M can be forgiven for not counting it.
Edition 12 saw several new features such as The Month by Bee, 667 ABC by Anka, 667's Best Threads and Big Interviews by myself, and Netflix News, a column which began with Comet and which was eventually taken over by Trip. The next notable edition was edition 14, or our teeth find ten oi, in which the title was mixed up, many of the articles were in the wrong order, and the staff all writing each other's articles. I believe this was meant to be an April Fool's joke, though since the edition was released on March 28th this may have been lost on some people.
The next special edition was a movie special released in August 2016, with themed articles talking about the 2004 ASOUE movie and comparing it to the upcoming Netflix adaptation. And then there was edition 23, released in December, which holds the distinction of being the most slowly released as it took the place of several Advent calendar spots and so was released throughout the entire month.
This 25th (or actually 26th if you've been paying attention) edition promises to be a retrospective one as Mister M has found it necessary to step down as editor. I do know further issues are coming, but whether or not they will contain the same columns as before, or be a completely new magazine, remains to be seen. I am not even sure if this is my last History of 667 or not. If it is, farewell to you, it's been a good run, and if not disregard those last few words.
Interested in seeing a specific topic covered? Send me a PM and I will do my best to cover it in a future issue.
The episode begins with Uncle Monty’s death, meaning that as a living character he appears in only one episode. This surprised me at first, but in fact it is quite close to the book, where he dies about halfway through, meaning that he gets less page time than any of the Baudelaires’ other guardians. This episode has what is fundamentally a detective plot; the Baudelaires, of course, know that Olaf has murdered Monty, but they need both to discover how he did it, and to find proof that will convince Mr Poe. They succeed in doing this by a splendid collaborative project, in which all three of them take leading roles; though I felt that Sunny is not given the chance to take the initiative in the way she does in the book, being more guided by Violet, perhaps in a gesture towards realism.
The greater part of the episode follows the book quite closely, making use of much of the same dialogue, though with many differences of detail. There are, I suggest, two major changes and two lesser, but interesting, ones. The first major change is that we see the whole of Olaf’s troupe, instead of just one of its members, a pattern that is to be repeated in the succeeding episodes; this makes sense as a way to establish these ongoing characters. The lead role is taken by the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender as Nurse Lucafont, instead of the Hook-Handed Man as Dr Lucafont, though the HHM also has a part to play. The HOIG never really got a chance to shine in the books; here they come over as a timid and rather reluctant villain, definitely the most sympathetic of the villainous crew.
The other major change is more surprising: Olaf tries to blame the Incredibly Deadly Viper for Monty’s death, rather than the Mamba du Mal (though the Mamba du Mal is also mentioned, and it is in fact its venom that was used to kill Monty). This actually follows the movie, and the way in which Sunny proves the theory wrong, by playing with the Viper and so demonstrating its harmlessness, also comes from there, though here it is played out at much greater length. The scene is based on one from the book, but there Sunny plays with the Viper only to create a diversion. The change in the theory means that quite a lot has to be rearranged, and lines put to new use; this is done very skilfully, but I’m not sure why it was necessary.
One of the smaller changes relates to Klaus’s investigation into Monty’s notes, looking for information about relevant snakes. In the book, Klaus carried out this investigation in the Reptile Room while the adults were talking in the kitchen. In the series, the adults are themselves carrying out an investigation in the Reptile Room, and Klaus has to hide from them while he pursues his inquiry, entering through a flap in the door and hiding behind tables. It makes little difference to the plot, but is certainly an interesting visual spectacle.
The other difference is this: in the books, while the Baudelaires always immediately see through Olaf’s disguises, they often fail to recognise his henchpersons. In The Reptile Room, ‘Dr Lucafont’ remains undetected to the end, even after Olaf has been unmasked, and is on the point of being trusted to take Olaf away. Here, by contrast, perhaps more realistically, the Baudelaires recognise Olaf’s troupe as soon as they arrive; and once Olaf has been exposed Mr Poe realises that the ‘officers’ are not genuine either. Alas, this means that Sunny loses a biting moment. (I get the sense that the series does rather tend to play down the importance of Sunny’ s biting talents.)
At the end, the story takes a dramatic new turn at the theme of VFD once again comes to the fore. We see an exciting chase through a maze (in the form of the VFD eye), Olaf’s escape through an underground tunnel, and a meeting of the Baudelaires with Jacquelyn, an active member of VFD- something that has no parallel in the books before The Vile Village, at earliest. We find out more about spyglasses (another theme from the movie), and discover that Jacquelyn knew the Baudelaires’ parents. Meanwhile, Olaf’s flight through the tunnels leads him to the Prospero, on which he hopes to sail to Peru (though one may wonder why he needs to, given that, as the last episode showed, the tunnels go all the way to Peru themselves): but Jacquelyn confronts him with a harpoon gun; this clearly an object of significance in VFD, since O recognises it as the harpoon gun, and will no doubt play an ongoing role in what follows. We also meet the mysterious Father and Mother, who are in Peru, but not getting on too well there; as Jacquelyn says, it has been compromised, though it’s not clear what led to its being compromised so quickly, given that it was being recommended as a place of safety only the day before.
Perhaps, however, the most significant thing in this passage is when Jacquelyn tells the Baudelaires to go to Aunt Josephine. This is not quite as significant as I thought when I saw it in the trailer, since it turns out Mr Poe intended to take them to her anyway; but it shows the Baudelaires as ready to take the initiative and become self-sustaining much earlier than they do in the books, something that will have consequences in subsequent episodes.
Sadly, we lose the episode with Bruce; the reptiles are taken away by the Herpetological Society, as in the book, but the dialogue is simply given to Mr Poe. Gerardo Barcala was listed on various sites both as ‘Bruce’ and as ‘Iguana Keeper’; the second seems more accurate – he may be called Bruce, of course, but nothing turns on it. One wonders what will happen to him later in the story, or whether he will disappear altogether.
As always, there are many little things along the way to keep us intrigued: the sheriff’s department being distracted by a wandering cow (surely inspired by Olaf’s cow-henchman in TUA, though the role he plays is different); Mr Poe never having had an imagination (or a childhood); the Hook-Handed man missing an audition for Equus. All in all, an excellent episode, which conveys the story and the spirit of the books, while inspiring our interest with new material.
The most recent penthouse was kind of a blur, and I don't think I was there the whole time, but anyway.
Our favourite bossy editor Mister M was there, and he got me to play a game involving choosing random numbers and being scored by some mysterious system. This kind of experience will probably sound hauntingly familiar to you if you too have had the dubious pleasure of playing M's games on penthouse day.
Later on Mister M hassled some poor innocent writers (Trip and Mona) about deadlines for this noble publication, probably with lots of coughing involved.
Mister M played no less than five games of darts during the latest penthouse day. When reached for comment he merely said "I don't have a dartboard" and left it at that. Stirring words from our resident darts champ Mister M.
Several conversations occurred and Mister M was implicated in some of them. There were further games, one of which consisted of a person naming two random letters and challenging their opponent to think of a celebrity with those initials. I won, beating Mister M. Editor - nope, mona, that took place in a hangout, not in the penthouse.
667 pls help me. trapped. forced to write an m-centric recap. my journalistic integrity is dying. though I did in fact beat him in the game mentioned that part is true. tell the public send help. i am in grave danger beginning to have delusions of seizing power
Few things in life are exactly as you imagine them. Loved ones may be hiding all sorts of secret aspects of themselves, such as an affiliation with the Yakuza, strong views on the supremacy of certain fruits over others, or the deeply held belief that phrenology is the way to answer the big questions in life. And in the case of the recent Netflix adaptation of The Wide Window, this is particularly complex: One thing is the book, yet another is our perception of the book. Then comes the episode, and with that our perception of it; plus the differences and similarities between the book and the show, and, you guessed it, our perception of those. A whole interconnected web of realities and perceived realities, each wired up differently for every viewer out there... it's enough to make you feel like your review is moving ever so slightly off topic. What I present to you here is, like anything presented in writing, merely a snapshot of the way this whole thing looks to me, at this moment.
As with life, Netflix's The Wide Window: Part One did not turn out exactly like I'd imagined it. Parts of it got very close, but notably, those parts were neither the best nor the worst ones. I am writing this review while watching the episode itself – the third time overall for me, and the first time without watching all four previous episodes in a row immediately beforehand, and the difference is more striking than I would have expected. The episode opens with a good deal of plot exposition – a moment of bumbling to remind us of Mr. Poe's character, a definition of the word 'dowager' to remind us of Klaus, and a short discussion of Count Olaf and why he's after the Baudelaires, just in case we'd forgotten the basic plot points of the previous episodes, all of which I have on my previous watches been too comfortably numb to make note of – sometimes patterns can get so pervasive that you stop noticing them.
Fortunately, though, the episode restrains itself from all of these casual reminders for a few minutes in order to give us a proper Snickety opening in the form of the Lachrymose News weather report, pinning a seemingly random subject to the misfortunes of the Baudelaire orphans with a delicious, far-fetched metaphor. By the time we get to be told a bunch of things we already knew, it seems like more than a fair trade for the start we've already had, introducing such delightful details as Veronica the newsman, Vincent the newswoman and a clock showing the time in the Non-Standard time zone.
The episode, as well as the one following it, carefully follows the style of the first four episodes, and it might in fact be said that this is the portion of the season which best encapsulates its spirit: Sandwiched in between TRR, which established the patterns followed by this one, and TMM, which as the series finale was intended to shake things up a bit, this instalment arrives when the viewers' expectations are about as accurate as they'll be. Of course, the most widely debated aspects of the episode are the unexpected ones – in the case of this episode, the performance of Alfre Woodard, which has met much critique both before and after the release of the series; some of it for frankly ridiculous reasons, and some of it with actual thought behind it.
However, there is no denying that Woodard has been taking on a challenge at least as fierce and formidable as the character she plays, lending herself to obvious comparisons with the Aunt Josephine of the 2004 movie. As far as I'm concerned, Woodard does a great job, in spite of her condition of being not Meryl Streep. Fortunately, both she and the director appear to be taking this into consideration, and I think one of the key components to making a performance that doesn't fall catastrophically short of Streep's version is playing to the differences.
Another unexpected and debated character is Ishmael the cab driver. Is he the Ishmael who eventually ends up on the island from The End? If so, how badly wounded are the approximate timelines established by the events of the books? Is his name even Ishmael, or is he just that dedicated to Herman Melville's well-known tale of naval disaster? All of these are hypotheticals, and so I won't attempt to answer them, but merely speak of what I think of his appearance in this episode. And what I think is this: Ishmael seems like a nice guy. I enjoyed his screentime, mostly because he himself seemed to. The character works well, as long as you don't stop to think about it – because, and this is a minor thing, he seems so nice and helpful, you get the feeling he would help the Baudelaires if they came to him. This is not quite as egregious with Ishmael as with (the otherwise brilliantly played and written) Larry in the following episode, who actually manages to help the Baudelaires, but it does help to create the sense that the Snicket world does house benevolent and competent people – not something the books are big on, notably. For all we know, of course, Ishmael may have been a coward or a secretly villainous person, but we never see his morals tested in the episode, so all we have to go on is a fleeting glimpse of a basically nice, if a little obnoxious, guy.
Finally, I would like to address one more minor flaw and one more beautiful aspect of the episode: Most of Josephine's grammatical errors are not really errors, and as a student of Linguistics, I can confirm that most people who are into grammar are not into correcting people, but rather in noting how people actually talk and why, uncovering the systems inside people's heads instead of telling them to conform to those outside of them. Possibly, the joke is that Josephine is not actually an intensely mediocre grammarian herself, but if so, that's a too elaborately hidden joke for my taste... and that's saying something.
As for the beautiful aspect I mentioned, the show as a whole has done a commendable effort push, or perhaps rather drag, mainstream media toward acknowledging and celebrating diversity – it's not ideal, but it definitely aspires in the right direction. What I'm specifically thinking of is the male Veronica and the female Vincent, as well as the line ”A lot of boys enjoy playing with dolls” - A line that I don't personally think is all that elegantly written, but the sentiment behind it makes it worth having by far: The breaking down of the unnecessarily solid wall between gender (and, in a larger perspective, of the preconception that gender has to matter in the first place).
If this review has seemed like a list of complaints, that's because (as I realise looking back over it) it mostly is. But you know what? I enjoyed the episode anyway. These are all things that I had to think up, rather than instinctively noticing them while watching, and maybe that's really a sign of quality: Being able to hide the flaws of a work from the subconscious so well that it doesn't matter much what the conscious thinks of it. The main feeling I have when I watch the episode – or any episode of the show, really – is still the mild ecstacy of seeing the books I have loved for years have their existence acknowledged and celebrated in mainstream media.
And that's good.
The 667er : What has been your most memorable moment as editor? Mister M : Good question, and three answers spring to mind. The first is my computer dying shortly after editing my very first issue and having to rebuild the whole thing once more scratch. The second is spending a good 24 hours editing the monster anniversary issue. The third is the 667er getting its own board, which I think is just pretty cool in itself
The 667er : Other than The 667er, you are probably best known on 667 for pairing off with Anka. Was this something you expected to happen when you first began talking with her? Mister M : Ooh, this is difficult to rember. (Time to make everybody feel old when I say that im trying to remember events from nearly 5 years ago). I dont know, is my honest answer, at least not from when we first started talking. Perhaps later I had more of a feeling, but im not sure after how long exactly.
The 667er : Other than Anka, what is your favourite thing about 667? Least favourite thing? Mister M : My favourite thing is probably the penthouse (including my wonderful games) or just other moments where large groups of 667ers gather in one place. My least favourite is something that should soon be rectified - not being able to read a whole new issue of issue of the 667er, not knowing what im going to find inside.
The 667er : What sorts of things, other than go to 667, do you like to do in your spare time? Mister M : Mostly read or write. I do a lot of writing, most of it unbearable.
The 667er : I usually ask about people's families at this point; I think I remember all of yours - a mother, grandmother, and a baby brother. Now that Anka is there do you still live with them or do you two have your own place? Did Anka bring any of her pets with her when she moved to England? Mister M : To clarify, I never lived with all those people, but they do exsist. I still live in the same place as before, however, but that should change relatively soon. My relations should remain the same, i hope.
The 667er : What is your favourite color? Why? Mister M : Blue, because its the best
The 667er : What is your favourite television show? Why? Mister M : Doctor Who, because of the limitless scope of stories.
The 667er : Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10? 20? Mister M : Older
The 667er : Is there anything 667 has taught you that you might not otherwise have learned? Mister M : 667 taught me one of the most important things in my life. It taught me how to interact with people socially and not completely irritate everybody. Its something I wasnt very good at, and now I am a lot better, and that is because of everybody on here
The 667er : And finally, is there anything we haven't covered yet that you would like to tell the people of 667? Mister M : 667 has changed my life forever. 667 isnt just a forum, its a community, and I love every aspect, and im privileged to be part of it.
Episode six begins right where episode five ended: the kids are reading Josephine's suicide note, and they don't get too far until our dear Lemony Snicket appears.
His first intervention is on top of a hill, where he's standing next to a destroyed wall with the word "Beatrice" in it. The inscription seems to be very polished, not something Snicket would've done himself then, so what does it means? Where is he supposed to be, if we know she's not buried there?
Of course, some minor (and some may consider major) changes were done for this: as we saw in the last episode, Violet throws away the peppermints Mr. Poe gave them, and is Larry the Waiter who provides them later proving that volunteers are everywhere ready to help.
The series decided to cut off a scene that I really liked in the books, and that is the small fight between Klaus and violet while reading Josephine's note. I think that seeing them arguing is a good way to express how frustration can cloud your judgement, taking it out on people that you love and has nothing to do with your problem per se.
Going back with Larry: I wonder if the mediocre disguise skills he has are intentional (considering his work and that he has to put on the clown costume every day), especially considering Olaf's or even Jacquelyn's amazing abilities to disguise themselves.
During lunch, Olaf doesn't hesitate on drinking more wine, and I like it because it helps to build the character as the horrible alcoholic we saw hitting Klaus. Meanwhile in the kitchen, we saw how the henchpeople make sure Larry doesn't do anything suspicious; even so, we can see how he makes a V with ketchup in one of the hamburgers. By the way, the henchperson of indeterminate gender is, by far, my favorite character. Before we saw how he made remarks about gender roles and society; now he mentions how no one cares about Larry's gender and later how exhausting is to raise children. I hope they keep that tone during season 2, and I can't wait to see how they deal with what happens in The Hostile Hospital!
Now let's talk about stuff I didn't like much: Aunt Josephine's house being destroyed. Klaus hanging of a carpet, Sunny of a doorknob and Violet of a map. The house breaking and then going back to it's original position. Klaus going back and forth through that absurd hole on the window. Really queen? Also, I still don't understand how the window broke only where the statue hit, keeping the shape and not shattering in a million pieces like any other window would do.
I enjoyed that scene, to be honest, but it seemeed too absurd, even for ASOUE. The music didn't help much to create tension, but eh.
Another thing I don't like of the show in general is how sometimes (most of the time) the doll they use to replace Sunny's actress is insultingly fake (especially while the kids are with Aunt Jo at Curdled Cave or being held by Fernald in Olaf's boat). I understand they can't have the baby acting all the time, but they can just have ANOTHER baby in the arms of the kids with the face hidden, or just use an animatronic, they're not that hard/expensive to make. Something that is not screaming "I'M A CHEAP PLASTIC AND SILICONE DOLL", because it looks awful. On the other hand, Sunny's actress is amazing and I can't believe a baby is one of the highlists of the cast. Her facial expressions are everything and she seems to be acting with everyone else. I hope she's not old enough for season 2/3, I wanna see the same little lovely girl during the whole thing!
Something I really like: the development of Josephine's character in this adaptation. In my opinion, is not only better in this episode, compared to the movie and the books her character makes a lot more sense and her last moments are way better. I'm happy she got a small redemption in the end!
Another thing that worked better in the Netflix show is how Violet's invention saved them from the leeches. I was really worried about that scene, and even when the parents appearing just in the right moment and using the spyglass in the EXACT instant they needed to is still pretty absurd, is way better than in the book.
Finally, back to earth and after some talk, Sunny reveals Captain Sham's leg in the funniest way (that CGI can be hilarious some times) and while the adults argue and are useless in general, the kids decude to run away to Lucky Smells Lumbermill. I loved how they connected the four books, and the fact that now the kids are getting tired quickly of Mr. Poe's stupidity deciding to act by themselves. This really turned the table for The Miserable Mill, the most controverstial (I think) book of the series, but you'll talk about that with someone else because my review is over.
Its that time of the month again!
- In a shocking turn of events, @peppermince has deleted his account, leading to much speculation and hope for his return
Look away, look away. Look away, look away. Here's when the source material goes majorly astray in favour of some intrigue, variety and cliche so look away. Look away, look away.
From cutting ties with Poe to arson subplots they've invented, the story flows more naturally in hopes we'll stay attentive. There's child actors it seems that everybody but me hates, and a pointless romance story and some legs from NPH.
There's tropey brainwashed workers and more fakeout parent nonsense, a one-off villain screwed over by writing not performance. But a spoiler in the theme song, ATWQ quote, and finally queer characters, my favourite things of note.
Just look away, look away. Of Nickelodeon's tarnish at long last we are clear we get a Daniel cameo though Curry's still not here. Look away, look away, look away.
# 13 - Sir and Charles - Buisness Partners, Or More?
This thread was created in 2006 and bumped from time to time, and so provides kind of a time capsule experience of people's opinions on this relationship, from the beginning of the thread when same-sex marriage was legal in only a few places to today where it is legal in most of the places 667ers live. With bonus Liam R. Findlay's takedown of his ignorant 2008-self.
Ah, yes, its me again. Yes, I know, Im cheating - ive already reviewed an episode already this season, but here i am again. But this isnt just for fun, im here for reasons of... Continuity! I thought it would be interesting to compare my thoughts on elements of the series from episode 1, to my views after watching episode 8.
One of the first things I spoke about last time were expectations of the series. there was lot of importance placed on the opening episode, for obvious reasons, but of the other three books adapated this season I feel none has more equal a measure of expectation than the miserable mill. The reptile room and the wide window have been adapted before, the miserable mill hasnt. This is probably its only decent shot, they better get it right.
But its more than that - the showrunners have a chance to go further off-book here than before. They know a lot of people watching the earlier episodes will only have the film for comparison, drifting too far from the source material then could be seen as... dangerous. Somehow TMM has a lot more room for movement and deviation. A lot of these deviations seem to have mostly recieved a positive reaction - the expanding of the plot, the large scale hypnotism, and the alterations to orwells character and manner of death stick out most obviously - so this seems to have been a good decision.
Something else which I talked about in my first review the parents plotline. By episode 8, this has already been resolved, we are now all safe in the knowledge that the baudelarie parents are six feet, and are shortly joined by those who we briefly thought could be them. Its an interesting choice, and one which I have many problems with in terms of the overarching storyline... but here, in this episode, it works. When we end with the quagmires and the baudelaries sat, almost literally back to back, like books on a shelf, the viewers interest is raised. we are invested in both sets of children now, and how their friendship will develop into the next season.
speaking of developing, since my episode 1 review, two characters have changed in my opinion of both them and their performance. one has gone down, the other up.
I never had massive converns about Neil patrick harris as olaf, but at the same time I never thought he would be extraordinary. I wouldnt say that his performance has quite reached that level yet, but in this episode he come closer to reaching it than ever before. Shirley was by far the best of the three disguises we have seen so far, perhaps being almost too convincing at points. But it wasnt just as shirley that olaf shone, his performance during the ending musical number was also brilliant. Not only has NPH never sounded more like olaf, but - is it just me ? - hes never LOOKED more olaf, either.
on the other hand .... Mr Poe, mr poe, mr poe. Where to begin? After episode 1 I was in love with this different (yet still book faithful) take on poe. Now, however...... its just awful. The actor doesnt seem to deliver the lines in a convincing way, and seems to only be able to have a bewilderded expression on his face. ah well.
Sitting firmly in the middle, in whichever outrageous costume you prefer, is patrick warbutons lemony snicket. consistently brilliant, and now, it seems, on the run. I look forward to seeing the more obscure locations from which lemony narrated the tale in the books brought to life next season.
Ah, look, its an unexpected musical number! Now, this ending, whilst unexpected, is in fact a perfect summation of the series as a whole for me. It wasnt what i expected, the performances where slightly off. some of them were better, some weaker than I hoped. But everything still worked. there were some awkward moments, and some genius choices, especially concerning sunny. I would, perhaps, have liked a more straightforward adaptation of the books, but it is quite easy to in fact retcon all these unseen moments as being what actually took place, and lemonys accounts being inaccruate. In fact, thats an interesting idea. The books are all lies! they are all wrong! In fact, you might say.... THATS NOT HOW THE STORY GOES!
Ill get my coat.
"the m stands for potato" poem pestering breeds genius, he said can i have it like NOW he said i said potato u sir yes here are sum french fries not the best form of potato which, i argue, is chips not chips crips you know what i mean hecK this si is not art this is about our manz brandon who is now, i declare, mr official potato head think about that goodnight and you're welcome
This the end.
In June 2014, I realised that 667 was one year shy of its 13th anniversary. A momentous occasion, to be sure. When anniversaries come to mind, the next thing that follows is normally the question – how to celebrate it. I had been around for the 10th anniversary, sure, but I was only a 667 baby, 1 month old and bewildered. I went and looked through the archives, and examined all the celebrations that had taken place. There were balls and competitions, quizzes and theme days. But the one thing that had caught my attention most was a special anniversary 667er that had been edited by Bee.
I already knew what the 667er was, of course: Charlie had edited a run of issues only the previous year, to which I had made several contributions, all of questionable quality. But the concept of another anniversary 667er had now penetrated my mind, and it was an idea I was very keen on. Charlie, however, was no longer around. Who would edit such an issue?
Me, I thought. Seems like a good idea. But how would I assume the mantle of editorship.
I asked charlie, and he said yes.
Suddenly, I found myself as editor of the 667er. I decided that it would be sensible to start editing issues several months in advance of the anniversary itself, so as to find my feet. I assembled a crack team of staff members, and set to work. I had some plans for what I wanted to do. I wanted to move the 667er to a regular four week publication date. I wanted to bring my long pondered History of 667 idea to fruition, but mostly, I didnt want to outstay my welcome. I wanted to stay around as editor until at least the netflix series debuted, at least. But I also only wanted to remain editor for as long as I felt I had something new to bring to it.
In the first year the history of 667 article was launched, but I didn't bring as much new content as I would have liked. This was perhaps not to bad a thing – its easier to experiment when you have more of a basis to work from. The anniversary issue was, however, a huge success. And the print edition was also great (something we hope to replicate in the future),
The second year, however, brought lots of new things to the fore. New articles launched all over the place – Lindas interview, Pick of the Penthouse, 667 ABC, The Month, Hermes Hunts for Fanfiction, and most significantly Netflix News, perhaps the most snicket themed regular article. There were also some fun special issues – the movie edition, the mixed up edition, and the advent edition.
And now this year we have the netflix reviews, something very different and, I hope, interesting. But, as I approached this year, I felt that I had nothing particularly new or interesting to add to the 667er. Sure, I have some ideas of things I would like to do on 667, but not necessarily involving the 667er itself. So, after thinking about it a while, I decided to resign as editor.
But, of course, I would never step aside and leave the 667er in limbo. I decided to ensure that there would be a suitable replacement. This led to some delay in producing the last two editions, for which I apologise.
But now we find ourselves here, at the end. My last editorial. Im not sure any editor of the 667er has been in this position before, of consciously doing a final issue like this. I hope you wont find it too egotistical of me to ramble on for this long about myself, but I feel that its necessary to assure people that my reasons for stepping down aren't influenced by anything except myself.
I suppose something I must do is say thank you to all of my staff members over the last two and a bit years, Anka, Charlie, Lemona, Linda, Terry, and Zortegus. Special thanks should go to Lemona for her endless stream of banners, and to Linda for providing without a doubt the best articles of my duration. Mention should also go to my past editors, Charlie, for bringing the 667er into this decade, and Akbar for creating it in the first place. Id also like to thank Sophie for guest editing, Hermes for his continued support, and everyone who has contributed to the 667er in any way, even if that way is simply reading and enjoying the issues.
I have enjoyed every minute of this, every word, every single edit. I find it interesting, perhaps spooky, that my old laptop died shortly before I began editing my first issue... and my new laptop died just the other day, before I began editing my last.
One era of the 667er is only a few words away reaching a close, but another is about to begin. A new editor has been chosen, and their reign will begin later in the year. Until then, well, there will be something else happening to keep you entertained, or so I am told.
As for me, I will certainly not be abandoning 667. I have plenty of ideas ive been longing to get underway, and I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I will. And hey, im excited to see what new directions the 667er will be heading in!
I suppose the only thing left to say is.... Sophie, does this count as an editorial?