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Showing posts from December, 2016

Friday Roundup

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I’m taking next week off, so this will be the final post of 2016. Weird year across the board, right? May we all find strength, courage, and kindness in great abundance in 2017.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The Indian Affairs Affair”

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Hoo, boy. Brace yourselves. This is a bad one.

Napoleon exits the offices of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, which, in a high-water mark of cultural sensitivity, has a carved wooden cigar-store Indian propped outside of it. A headband-wearing Native American man ducks behind the statue to avoid being seen and rolls it down the sidewalk after Napoleon. Napoleon meets up with Illya in an alley, where they find themselves surrounded by a gaggle of Native Americans, who hurl tomahawks and shoot flaming arrows at them. Amidst a flurry of smoke signals, Illya and Napoleon fend off the attack and escape unscathed.
At U.N.C.L.E. headquarters, Mr. Waverly briefs Illya and Napoleon on their new mission: With the aid of Japanese nuclear scientist Dr. Yahama (Richard Loo), THRUSH has developed a hydrogen bomb. U.N.C.L.E. has tracked Yahama to the Cardiac reservation outside Oklahoma City. The chief of the Cardiac tribe, Chief Highcloud (Ted de Corsia), has recently disappeared; Waverly suspec…

Friday Roundup

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The great Sarah Kurchak—whip-smart journalist and U.N.C.L.E. fan extraordinaire—is now the proud owner of a vintage (and slightly disintegrating) Illya Kuryakin costume. Check out her photos; this thing is amazing. It’s simultaneously nightmare fodder and the greatest thing in the world. I wish I owned it. (Doesn’t that mask in the photo below look like it should’ve been used as a prop in an actual U.N.C.L.E. episode about THRUSH creating an evil Illya doppelganger, in which a THRUSH agent puts on the mask, and then there’s a tasteful cutaway, and then for the rest of the episode he’s played by David McCallum?)

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The Round Table Affair”

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This is a frightfully silly episode in which very little happens: Illya and Napoleon swill beer, huddle together in small spaces, and whine about their jobs a lot. I have no complaints. Let’s dive in:
Illya zips through the Alps in a sporty red convertible, in hot pursuit of a car driven by noted crime lord Lucho Nostra (Bruce Gordon). The road is blocked by uniformed sentries, who raise the barricade to allow Nostra to pass, then lower it in front of Illya. Illya smashes through the barricade, spins out of control, and crashes his car. While he’s struggling to collect himself, he’s approached by a suave ne’er-do-well named Artie King (the multifaceted jazz musician/actor/activist Don Francks, who, I just learned yesterday, is Cree Summer’s dad. You know what might be even cooler and more random than that? He voiced Sabretooth in the 1990s FOX X-Men cartoon. Dude led a fascinating life), who informs him that he has illegally entered the tiny sovereign nation of Ingolstein and is now …

Friday Roundup

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I've got nothing! Nothing but drudgery interspersed with holiday preparations on this end! Okay, I've got a few small bits and pieces: First up, please do visit/like the Duranalysis Facebook page, if you haven't already done so. There's weird stuff there, like Union of the Snake comics (see above). Hang out, post your own Duranny links, have fun.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The King of Diamonds Affair”

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This episode features perhaps the most obnoxious opening sequence in the history of the series, in which a young woman bites into a slice of pudding in a London tearoom and dissolves into ear-shredding histrionics when she breaks her tooth on a piece of glass. A customer points out that the glass is actually an uncut diamond, whereupon all the female customers and waitresses gasp and swoon and drop plates in astonishment. It’s grating and frenetic and juuuuuuust on the cusp of offensiveness, and it made me predisposed to loathe the episode.
And then the rest of the episode turns out to be perfectly innocuous and occasionally charming (I mean, it has Ricardo Montalban in it), but man, that opening sequence is dire.
Illya and Napoleon pop up at Pogue’s Pudding Shop in London and introduce themselves to the snippy proprietor, Victoria Pogue (Nancy Kovack, sporting a dodgy English accent). More diamonds were found in other puddings from Pogue’s; at the suggestion her puddings have been t…

Friday Roundup

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Happy December. I hope  everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week (where applicable). Ours was low-key and lovely, filled with plenty of good food, starting with my homemade potato rolls (and cranberry mimosas) for breakfast. My sister roasted a pair of Cornish game hens and did a stuffing made from jalapeño cornbread I’d made the night before, combined with roasted chestnuts, water chestnuts, sage, celery, and Italian sausage. I made miniature sweet potato soufflés with cooked sweet potatoes combined with butter, a little brown sugar, and a ridiculous amount of grated lemon peel and ginger. In a fit of daring, instead of whipped egg whites, I experimented with using aquafaba—the whipped liquid from cooked chickpeas. It worked well! I scoffed at first, but now I’m an aquafaba convert.