Review of Han

Written by Toniann

  • Fans of "The X-Files" will be familiar with the acronym "MOTW" -- Monster of the Week. This term was used to refer to one-shot episodes that focused on a specific case, or monster, and didn't essentially tie into the larger mytharc of the series. These episodes were sometimes excellent bits of storytelling, and sometimes, random hours of nonsense that felt to some like a waste of time. Which depended on the strength of the writing, and the creativity of the story being told, and really, in the end, personal taste of the viewer. "Han" felt like a MOTW to me, though of course there were some strong continuing threads. I felt it was a good hour of storytelling, but that's up to the opinion of the individual audience member.
  • In a moment of pure density, I'm not *entirely* clear on why "Chopsticks" is an insensitive title for the little ditty of piano music any beginning keyboard player knows. It may be just ingrained in my thinking so much that I'm not seeing the bigger picture. It's just what it's called, as far as I know -- is there a slur implied I'm being blind to?
  • Live brie or die, but honestly I never thought of Wisconsin as a brie kind of place -- I'd say more of a good extra sharp cheddar, or perhaps a Gouda. And I say this as a fan of Wisconsin, in general. Go Packers.
  • I didn't so much as feel Donna was trying to show off with her little diet theories equals the economy riff, as she was trying to put her aunt and uncle at ease after Josh had just put his foot in his mouth (unsurprisingly). I have no idea if it's a sound economical theory or not, but the president seemed to think so. I'm not positive she actually believed Josh when he told her about that.
  • Every time Toby said Will is working out, I started to doubt that more... but I think he certainly is. After all, Sam used to hit rough spots with his writing (that birthday message took quite some time, as well as the speech on The Portland Trip).
  • Raise your hand if you *didn't* know that Toby and Will's impromptu Bob Russell rant was going to end up on the teleprompter... What, no hands? Yeah, you could see that one coming a mile away, but there was some humor potential there (other than the obvious -- my favorite was "Let's now hock a big loogie for Bob Russell"). I hate to even go down this road, but I can't help but think that Sorkin would've taken that and run with it a bit more. Though, Bingo's response was pretty good.
  • Another plot point that never seemed in doubt to me was that the story would end without the pianist defecting, and I suppose that was a realistic bit of storytelling about a Bartlet who is no longer quite as idealistic as he once was. On the other hand, that idealism slipped through when he gave him the chance to choose, and did not cancel the concert. That young man didn't understand freedom, as I'm sure Bartlet knows, because he's never experienced it. Living in a regime where he is required to have permission for every move and every word, he could not ask for freedom himself.
  • Of all the times to give CJ a reason to lose faith in the administration... this was not a good time. I can't help but wonder if her disappointment isn't going to turn into something bigger, possibly even a consideration of resignation.
  • Speaking of CJ, do you think it makes any difference to have a commercial air during a particular show, featuring one of the stars of that show? What I'm saying is, I wouldn't be surprised if doing so didn't in some way get a higher consumer response rate. After all, the whole reason to use celebrities in advertisement is to lend their popularity to the product they're promoting (and there's a little alliteration to spice up your evening). Clearly, your chosen celebrity spokesperson is going to be most popular to the people who are fans of her show.
  • Richie Rich to the rescue -- I find it hard to believe that's not going to come back and bite Josh on the ass sooner or later. Is it conceivable that whatever Intern Ryan did was, well, coercive and possibly illegal?
  • That Charlie. Any guy who admits to using coupons is my kind of guy, you know?
  • From Merriam-Webster's: re•doubt•able Function: adjective. Etymology: Middle English redoubtable, from Middle French, from redouter to dread, from re- + douter to doubt. Date: 15th century. 1 : causing fear or alarm : formidable. 2 : illustrious, eminent ; broadly : worthy of respect
    You know, taken one way or the other, that's quite the adjective.
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
    From Macbeth (William Shakespeare)
  • Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  • I was having trouble keeping straight what it was the president was blaming his failure to become a concert pianist on, the fingering or the timing. I recognized several of the Chopin pieces but couldn't put a name or number to them -- even the one that once upon a time, I, like many piano students, knew how to play. :)
  • Last but not least, I'm positive CJ's worn that dress before. I think it was to hear the Reykjavik Symphony play in "Galileo."
  • "We're sliding towards... bagel."

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