I think Jeff Vogel lives pretty close to me. He’s the Spiderweb Software guy; if you like RPGs that feel like instant classics, like something unearthed, if you like the idea that there exists a kind of Strategic RPG Reserve from which our nation releases games in a time of crisis, you should try and catch up with his work.
He’s also a huge smartass, so I like it a lot if I’m doing some kind of yard shit and he rolls by. This smartass quality is “strong with him,” like a Force Index, and it’s all over the things he writes. Most recently, he penned - in the utterly pen-free digital sense - an article called “I Settle All Video Game Arguments, Part 1: Game Reviews.” See? Like I said.
He covers a few things in there, but one of them is simple though bears repeating: we can choose our reviewers. I think there’s a danger in that, and I’ll always worry I’m missing an angle, but while the Internet still allows for such things we might as well avail ourselves of it. And you can waste a lot of fucking time not being selective about this, as I’m about to now.
Marvel’s excursions on Netflix are incredibly uneven, but not great on the whole. Daredevil had some good bits, but it mainly had an incredibly well executed villain who made the rest of the endeavor look like shit in comparison. I rarely finished any of the others, and they’re free. I didn’t have to pay anything except time, and I wasn’t willing to part with it. They start out with the flavor and impact of an individual Pringle and then all you taste is whatever chemical they have on there masquerading as sour cream and onion. It takes more than thirty letters to write it down, this chemical, and a not insignificant portion of them are the letter X.
I expected much the same from The Punisher. There’s no reason this should be good if the other shows are any indication, even taking the source material into account. This should be awful, veering - if it is very lucky and it benefits from some celestial conflux- into So Bad It’s Good. But it’s not. This is the best show they’ve done under the Red Mantle. The lead is far, far better as a performer than belongs here. The script is written by people who give a fuck, and I don’t mean that to suggest the bare minimum. I mean they care about Frank Castle. The secondary characters, who range in these shows from Merely Unwatchable to Hot Coals On Your Bare Eyeball, are people who make sense and who the script recognizes as entities with a vital task to nip and twist the social space around the protagonist. It has a lot to say on a variety of topics, while also being a revenge story, a genre with its own contours.
If I see a review I don’t agree with, it’s my assumption generally that I’m an idiot and there’s something I’ve missed. That’s not my problem with the review I read yesterday. It’s that I don’t recognize the piece of media that’s being discussed anywhere in the review. I don’t even think the review is about the piece of media. I needed an excuse not to go there anymore, a fracture to catalyze a real break, and I appreciate such a crisp point of demarcation.