Posts Tagged ‘william faulkner’

Got a Secret? About PLL’s “Je Suis Un Ami” and “The New Normal”

Does the reduced frequency of my Pretty Little Liars’ reviews reflect perhaps a taming of my zeal for the show or a latent unhappiness with the second half of the first season?

I want to quell such worries now. Sure, the last few episodes — including the last two — have not been as transcendent as I came to expect each week’s offering to be. But I’ve grown to appreciate the subtle genius on a week-to-week basis. It’s kind of like watching Tim Duncan in 2011.

I, for one, was nothing short of stunned to see that last night’s episode wasn’t Valentine’s Day themed. In fact, there wasn’t a single mention of V-Day. I suppose they didn’t know the air dates when filming, but these days, every show seems to put out a Valentine’s Day special. Part of me was happy to see PLL buck that trend, and part of me wanted to see what it would have looked like.

Let’s look back on “Je Suis Un Ami” and “The New Normal”:

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Monday Medley

What we read while lamenting the destruction of traditional marriage…

  • Further proof that William Faulkner can write about anything, as if we needed it. Remember the words of Moe Szyslak: “William Faulkner can write an exhaust pipe gag that would really make you think.” Our favorite sentence from this Faulkner Sports Illustrated piece from 1955? “But [the ice] looked not expectant but resigned, like the mirror simulating ice in the Christmas store window, not before the miniature fir trees and reindeer and cosy lamplit cottage were arranged upon it, but after they had been dismantled and cleared away.”
  • We are far from the first ones on this, but sometimes, taking two things that independently aren’t funny, like say, Kanye West tweets and New Yorker cartoons, and putting them together equals comic gold.

Introducing Aught Lang Syne

“What is your destiny except to be dead? It is unfortunate that your generation had to be the one. It is unfortunate that for the better part of your days you will walk the earth a spirit. But that was your destiny.”

“Ad Astra,” William Faulkner

I rang in the new millennium as a 13-year-old over a friend’s house because no one in my family wanted to stay home with me and I was too young to stay home by myself. My friend’s parents had a party that night, and I remember having to kiss a lot of people I didn’t know right after midnight and those same adults drunkenly acting out the play at the plate to Meat Loaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” some minutes later.

There were two thoughts that went through my head at that moment. First, these adults weren’t acting like adults. Second, they really liked “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” which I had only heard once before at a family wedding and had considered pretty melodramatic and entirely too long.

Ten years later when I think back upon that night, I understand the acute nostalgia my friend’s parents and their friends were undergoing at the time. Here was a group of individuals born in the 1940s and 1950s getting to live in the Year 2000—for them, more a concept than a year, always used as a symbol of some cold and distant future throughout their lives. And the only way they knew how to celebrate their endurance was with a song from the ’70s, and one that itself celebrated the bliss of youth.

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