I'd sent this to B earlier, and he asked if I could contribute them, so here goes:
A couple of (off-lyst) comments about #88. I see why you're inclined to think that the episode sucks. Essentially, the real HIT of the whole episode was the editing tricks. You've become an incredible editor, and this makes up for a lot, if not adds a lot to the overall product.
But honestly, the 2 items the episode was geared around (j & b living a country apart and peace rallies) aren't of very much interest in and of itself. And the title is a misnomer.. You say that you're at the age of your mid-life, but other than that, there's nothing directed at that.
The episode kinda reminded me of one of those “best of..” Simpson's episodes where they didn't have any new content so they filled it with highlights of others. Now, of course, you guys weren't doing that, but the “roll the film” parts with the dull peace rally footage was the similarity.
It seems you spent a long time editing the hell out of this and making it something more than it way, which is commendable, and as I said, you're FUCKING GOOD with this stuff, but it ain't enough. You need more content.
Now please don't take these criticisms in a wrong way. I have to tell you, personally, I've been more unhappy and less motivated over the last year or so than about anyone. You're going to think this sounds corny or possibly over-dramatic, but I've recently realized that I've been depriving myself of daily “pleasures” (in quotes because I realize that some of these things never _really_ gave me pleasure anyway) all due our current economic and government status.
I don't have TV (and therefore am completely out of touch TV show -wise), but recently I was stuck in a house with nothing to do _except_ for watch daytime television, and this is where it really hit me. I mean, here I am flipping through these RIDICULOUS daytime programs, some soaps, some about different matchings of carpet, and even a Maury episode making a game out of having the audience try to guess if certain women were actually born men or women.
..and as daytime television has done so many times in the past, it started to make me depressed. Except this time, it was a much deeper depression, almost an anger. I was sitting there thinking, HOW CAN PEOPLE BE INTERESTED IN ALL OF THIS POINTLESS CRAP WITH EVERYTHING THE WAY IT IS THESE DAYS?? I mean, we're killing people all over the place in a war that our commander-in-chief flat-out LIED about to get it started, the middle east is in shambles, the alleged WofMD to be found in Bagdahd are NOT THERE — which means to me, they never were there (which I hope) or random people have taken off with them, which means we're in for a mighty attack on our homefront. And our rights are being tossed in the can, and the FCC is essentially making for our media to become more BULLSHIT than it already is by letting it all be owned by a single corporate manipulator. We're being lied to everyday, the economy is in the toilet, half of everyone I know (including me) is out of work and in a panic, and without a sudden backing of someone worth a shit, we're going to see Bush re-elected and more of this.. (my Dem backing is currently Howard Dean, btw).. ...
..and so all of this is running through my head like a stampede of angry bulls, and I'm wondering how ANYONE could EVER be so complacent as to WATCH ANY OF THIS SHIT ON TV!
OK, calming down a bit (I've found it very hard to relax these days — you know, the weight of the world: my personal problems and world problems combined), I only mention any of this as a point: That maybe the trouble with making a comedic television show these days is trying to find some importance, relatively-speaking to current happenings, while doing a good job. I know that in #88 you mentioned something along these lines at the end, and if it's anywhere near where I am mentally, I feel your pain. And with such considerations, the episode wasn't as bad as it could have been, PLUS you get the added satisfaction of knowing that you did something (hopefully) beneficial in showing the peace rallies, as boring as they might have been.
Sorry about the diatribe. I didn't mean to go off and ramble and lose my focus like that, but I thought I'd try and add some comments that I know you were looking for. I didn't mean to vent all my personal frustrations and terrible personal psychology on you, but I thought you might be able to relate. After all, it's not easy incorporating humor into current events that aren't funny.