31 Comments
Apr 19Liked by Alan Sepinwall

Shogun is so freaking good, and I hope that Anna Sawai gets recognized this awards season and gets more leading roles going forward (I know she is in Monarch where they don't ask much of her), as she was breathtaking in this episode.

The show had me tricked. I thought for sure that she was going to commit seppuku, and when she didn't I was relieved, even though I expected her to die. Then I realized that there were 8 or so minutes left in the episodes, where we get to see her earn her desired honorable death What a great show and great actress. I can't wait for the finale to cap off a great series, although I will be sad that Mariko-sama isn't in it.

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Apr 19Liked by Alan Sepinwall

I know I'm broken record on this, but the Bluey Covid discussion in the article reminded me of one of my Covid watches which fills a similar niche: a show aimed at children/families that is absolutely amazing. I am talking, of course, about the animated miniseries "The Long Long Holiday". It was on Netflix at the time but has since moved to Apple. If Bluey is The Sopranos of children's television, The Long Long Holiday is the Band of Brothers of children's television :-)

It skews older than Bluey (maybe 8+) and just has so many bits in it that simply amaze you that they put them in a show primarily aimed at kids. It's one of those shows that - unlike Bluey - sadly I find very few have seen it, but everyone I've talked into giving it a go has really liked it.

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author

I’m intrigued!

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Well, let me know if you need to be sold on it any more :-)

Basic premise is: two kids go with their family to visit their grandparents in Normandy, a little while later, the Germans invade France, and ultimately occupy their town. They grow up (literally, at some point you realise the kid is taller, and has a different voice) under Nazi occupation. I was rewatching Band of Brothers recently (and getting into your old What's Alan Watching's) and there were several scenes across the series that reminded me of it, and I think the whole 10-episode miniseries thing fits well, so I like the analogy (oddly, it was five double eps on Netflix, but Apple has them split into the original 10). Beautiful animation at times, and very suitable for just about the whole family. Avoiding spoilers of some of my favorite bits.

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Speaking of amazing shows that are meant “ for kids”, Have you ever watched gravity Falls? One of the best TV shows flat out in history but alone animated.

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author

Yeah, years ago. Loved it.

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Apr 19Liked by Alan Sepinwall

I gotta say, I found the ending of The Sign to be a major cop out and I have to be moderate in how to discuss the "reality" of talking dogs who can negate real estate contracts and job offers on a whim.

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I truly hope that Anna Sawai gets an Emmy nod for this magnificent performance. I read Shogun 2 decades ago so I don't remember much beyond the word seppuku, but I always remembered that Mariko felt like the center of that story.

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Going to be disappointed when Shogun ends next week because its the best thing on my TV right now and it's not close. Anna Sawai better get an Emmy nomination, she was incredible in this last episode and she's been the best thing about this series.

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I know this type of question or a version of it can be annoying. But will someone who's never watched a moment of Bluey still appreciate "The Sign" or is it only effective if you've built a relationship with these characters by watching the whole run?

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author

I think seeing at least a handful of them in advance would be helpful, yes. There are various lists of best episodes online, I believe. Including this reply to a Twitter user who asked the same thing: https://twitter.com/HotelCitroen/status/1779934903620022578

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Awesome thanks for the link!

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My hot take that was unpopular in my house: I like Shogun better than GoT; or at least better than any single season of GoT.

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Can we submit guesses as to that "most Sepinwall sentence" And is it "I don’t know how vast the intersection on the Venn diagram is between Bluey fans and Better Call Saul fans, but Chilli is basically the Kim Wexler of the Bluey Cinematic Universe: whipsmart, superhumanly capable, and caught between her desire to play along with her husband’s schemes and her acknowledgment that the world has rules that everyone but him has to live by."

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author

That’s the one!

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I’m glad your kid convinced you to keep watching X-Men ‘97. Is this the first time they’ve changed your mind about a tv show?

I hope if you like the rest of the season that you’ll check out the original run in the future. The Spider-Man show from the same era is also worth watching and is probably even better.

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author

I’ve changed my mind lots and lots and lots of times over the years. Bojack Horseman is probably the most famous example.

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Apr 19Liked by Alan Sepinwall

I remember that (& also Person of Interest), but wasn’t sure if this was the first time that one of your kids convinced you to keep continuing.

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Apr 20·edited Apr 20

Even though you brought it up in your recaplet, Alan, I was going to wait until the full Shōgun postmortem next week to mention this, but it’s been rattling around in my head to distraction: You’re so right about Sawai’s Lady Mariko being this story’s emotional heart. I’ve had a much greater sense of her inner life than that of Blackthorne despite her measured reserve. Unfortunately, I could nearly say the same not just for Toranaga but other, more peripheral characters, which although a testament to the actors involved — Tokuma Nishioka’s Hiromatsu was for my money as charismatic in his way as the series’ apparent breakout (non-Sawai division) Tadanobu Asano playing the fairweather Yabushige — is also an inevitable knock on Cosmo Jarvis. I know that others see Tom Hardy in his performance, but I cannot escape the words of the friend with whom I discuss TV most likening him to “a perpetually shellshocked mash-up of Andrew Lincoln and Seth Rogen”. He’s mostly useful as our window into the place and time depicted when he could’ve been more.

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Have you, or has anyone else here, watched Baby Reindeer on Netflix yet? Feels like the first actually really good scripted Netflix show not based on anything else in… for ever? Giving me lots of Fleabag vibes (only in presentation, not content wise)

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I couldn’t agree more with all the raves for Anna Sawai and Shōgun in general.

Despite being a fan of the comics, X-Men did nothing for me when it aired — I just found it so meh compared to both the source material and the contemporary Batman series that was (IMO) far superior in voice talent, music, visual style, and more. Of course, I enjoyed Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends a decade earlier, but that’s the difference between being ten years old and twentysomething. When news of X-Men ’97 broke and many of my friends could barely contain their excitement, I fired up the original pilot on Disney+ and didn’t make it to the end. I hear that the original series was groundbreakingly serialized for its time with impressive characterization but… oh well. I expect that having recently done a rewatch of Batman, Superman, etc. on through Justice League Unlimited didn’t help.

I noticed the other day that Max finally has the captivating six-part docuseries The Power of Film available to stream, which I raved about when it ran on TCM. I want Howard Suber to explain everything in life to me.

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Speaking of incredible kid shows, Alan have you ever watched Gravity Falls?

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Mariko-sama got Sarah-Lynn'ed! This show is perfection.

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"Garry Gergich"

Must resist Jerry joke.

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author

His name is Garry.

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<Insert Thor "Is it though" gif here>

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Why the need to say "former" Parks &Rec writer, but not former P&R actor?

The show is over for both of them. All of us, really. Are there current writers on Parks & Rec?

Bit surprised by the (unintentional, presumably) diss of writers vs actors.

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author

Honestly, I did not give that any thought. If you've been reading me for more than a minute, you know that I tend to write about and talk to writers far more than I do actors.

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Apr 19Liked by Alan Sepinwall

That's why I commented--seemed very out of place for your writing. I've been following you since at least the HitFix days.

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