Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gold Record: Earth S2016 E32

I hate sports episodes. Let's just get that out of the way up front.

I hate the annual Super Bowl episode. I hate the March Madness arc. I hate the World Cup storyline. They all bore me.

But above all, I hate the Olympics. It's always the same storylines over and over. Oh look, somebody broke a world record. Again. Then in the next episode it's going to turn out at least one of the record breakers was doping, and it'll be a huge scandal and blah-blah-blah. We've seen it all before. Writers, it's time to move on. Come up with a different plot line.

I mean, it wasn't always like this. Used to be the Olympics were world shaking events -- remember season 1936 when they were set against the backdrop of the Hitler arc, and Jesse Owens humiliated the Nazis in the heart of their empire? That was great writing. Or remember the Olympic boycotts and how they came just as the Cold War arc was at its most exciting?

That's how you do something like this.

But the last few years, it's all been lackluster. The 2014 arc could've been something, coming right at the start of the Ukraine storyline, with Putin cracking down on political dissidents in the background, but the writers completely blew it. And this year, the big plotline they came up with was the Olympics taking place in a city with shitty water -- literally. And it hasn't even played a part in the plotline.

But my big problem with the Olympics is the writers' stupid insistence on making them coincide with the American Presidential elections. This was a dumb move from the get-go, but it's become more so in the last few seasons as the American election arcs go on longer and longer. Here we are at the most exciting point in the story, and we're taking time away for a two part sports story.

The writers had a chance to fix things when they decided to stagger the Summer and Winter Olympics. The smart thing to do would've been to move the summer games, since those are the ones that occur right before the election climax, but instead they shifted the Winter Olympics, which used to take place right before the primaries. So we're stuck with the Olympics reducing the American elections to a B-story.

And what a lame B-story. I don't think the writers were even trying this week. Trump's statements are getting more and more ridiculous -- rants about rigged elections and suggestions that someone should shoot Hillary -- but we're still supposed to believe that Ryan, Priebus and McConnell are supporting him? No rational politician would stick by this guy, especially with his polls tanking. There better be a revelation coming that he has pictures of the Republican leadership committing sex crimes, because the current direction this story is taking has broken by suspension of disbelief.

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