[S1E6] Success Story
A Seasons 1 & 2 DVD box set was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in the United States and Canada on November 23, 2004, thirteen years after it had completed broadcast on television. In addition to every episode from the two seasons, the DVD release features bonus material, including deleted scenes, animatics, exclusive stand-up material, and commentaries. With only four episodes after the pilot, season one of Seinfeld is one of the smallest sitcom orders in television history.
[S1E6] Success Story
After a pair of stellar entries, Invincible\u2019s sixth chapter \u201cYou Look Kinda Dead\u201d falls back on some of the bad habits that plagued its three premiere episodes. It\u2019s a far more low-key story than last week\u2019s action-packed, commentary-laden \u201cThat Actually Hurt,\u201d and while it provides a nice respite for character beats, it ends up an especially scattered installment, right when the show had begun to feel focused.
After a brief prologue involving a kidnapping on a university campus, the show picks up where Episode 5 left off, depicting the blood-soaked aftermath of the Guardians\u2019 battle at Machine Head\u2019s headquarters. Mark (Steven Yeun), Monster Girl (Grey Griffin), and Black Sampson (Khary Payton) are wheeled into the GDA\u2019s hospital wing, and their recoveries seem incredibly difficult. However, the show soon hits a bit of a reset, at least for Mark, by skipping forward to when he\u2019s back on his feet and back with Amber (Zazie Beetz) who, like in the previous episode, gives him yet another chance, after being told he\u2019d been hit by a bus. On one hand, it\u2019s the kinder, more humane route, but on the other, it results in the Mark-Amber story jogging in place, after an entire episode dedicated to Mark\u2019s inability to balance his civilian and superhero lives. Between this, and the episode skipping much of his recovery, the story can\u2019t help but feel like it lacks real consequences for its main character, even after its most physically and emotionally grueling entry.
This subplot is taken straight from the comic, but it\u2019s oddly de-personalized for Mark. In the comic, Mark and Rick had been friends for several issues by the time this story reared its head. Here, they barely know each other, which robs Mark\u2019s decisions of personal stakes, especially when he needs to choose between tracking down the missing Rick, or going after Amber when she\u2019s upset by his disappearance during a crisis. He chooses the latter pretty easily, which gels poorly with the overarching narrative about the difficulty of juggling his identities and responsibilities.
The episode does at least feature one new consequence of Mark\u2019s duality: when he shows up as Invincible during the cyborg attack, William recognizes him, and Mark is forced to spill the beans. However, William hasn\u2019t been much of a presence on the show thus far, the way he was in the comic, so this discovery feels like it\u2019s been hastily folded into Mark and Amber\u2019s story, instead of complicating an existing friendship. The lead-up to these decisions and revelations also feels incredibly drawn-out, as the episode lurches through a series of stilted conversations that lack the previous entry\u2019s finesse.
The episode\u2019s most potent bit of storytelling comes via a montage, scored by the breezy sounds of SOAK\u2019s \u201cKnock Me Off My Feet,\u201d during which Mark and Amber wander the university grounds and exchange silent glances. It\u2019s pleasant to watch, and it makes the audience root for them to work things out. Sadly, this scene is also an accidental indictment of the many lengthy, lifeless dialogue exchanges throughout the rest of the episode. Cecil (Walton Goggins) and Nolan (J.K. Simmons) discuss Mark\u2019s disobedience, Eve (Gillian Jacobs) argues with her parents, Mark and Eve discuss Amber, Mark and Amber discuss their relationship, Mark and William discuss the university trip \u2014 and so on. These character beats ought to be the episode\u2019s most dramatically propulsive moments, but they, unfortunately, reveal the show\u2019s inherent misstep with its all-star casting.
Voice acting, despite its obvious overlap with screen acting, involves a number of different tools, including voice modulation and the use of non-dialogue vocal cues to create a character\u2019s physical and emotional mood. The post-Shrek landscape has seen big-budget animation lean towards marquee names, but few of these celebrities have the right experience. A rare instance of a screen actor who does is Tom Hanks, and his role in Toy Story is a perfect counter-example to Invincible: it\u2019s not just the dialogue that defines Sheriff Woody, but the moments between the words, his uptightness, his little grunts and gasps, and his exasperated quality. When a show\u2019s animation and direction become rote (as they do in this episode), the onus then falls on the vocal performers to elevate and accentuate the characters. Without a camera to pick up their nuances, most of the show\u2019s cast \u2014 known primarily for live-action film and television \u2014 struggles to express anything beyond the words themselves, a major flaw that was skillfully hidden by the visual storytelling in recent entries.
In addition, Sinclair\u2019s cyborg ploy doesn\u2019t hold much thematic weight for the other characters. The villain\u2019s obsession with using technology to solve human problems feels entirely incidental to Mark\u2019s tale of romantic woe \u2014 compared to, say, last week\u2019s villain Titan (Mahershala Ali), whose story led to several key realizations for Mark and how he fits into the world at large. If anything, Sinclair\u2019s perspective not only goes un-refuted, but it\u2019s supported by the unrelated B-plot of Robot (Zachary Quinto) going to tremendous technological lengths to save Monster Girl\u2019s life.
As for the other subplots, Eve embarks on a solo mission to help people in need, Debbie (Sandra Oh) finally has her suspicions about Nolan confirmed, though she isn\u2019t quite ready to accept them, and the Mauler twins seek out a superhero-centric insurance policy \u2014 revealed during the credits \u2014 against Robot\u2019s mysterious cloning orders. Once again, these don\u2019t feel particularly organic or intrinsic to the central story, and you could insert them into the episode in practically any order and end up with the same result. Nearly six hours in, and the non-Grayson parts of the show continue to meander.
The episode is hardly a death-knell for the series; all told, it\u2019s not exactly bad. The characters remain largely likable, and the Nolan mystery feels like it\u2019s heating up \u2014 his subdued displays of conflicted anger are especially intriguing \u2014 but as a self-contained story, it\u2019s a significant step back after the many improvements in episodes 4 and 5.
Kevin: The NFL's doing it with Thursday Night Football on Twitch, because it's owned by Amazon. MLB's doing it on Facebook. They're testing live. So there's success stories to be said outside of the gaming world, that live-streaming is the future. I feel like if you impose packages and fast packages, you're not catering to the broader audience if you are the NFL, or you are professional wresting promotion, or you are a game dev. That's going to hurt how you are reaching people. Now, the real nitty gritty of that is that there's money being lost in the TV world, so how is, you know, if NFL starts shifting games over to the Internet live streaming 'cause it's fun to watch a game with a chat room, what does that do for the NFL Network or CBS that usually carried Thursday Night Football?
Though clearly a commentary on toxic whirlwind romance and the nature of sexual-abuse on men; an extremely positive step forwards for the representation of both issues, this storyline still feels under-cooked from a lack of screen-time.
Morty is very interested in Jessica, but lacks the opportunity to ever talk to her as he's either too shy or his attempts are shut down by Brad whenever he tries. With the annual Flu Season Dance coming up, Morty talks to Jerry about his issue. Jerry compares Morty's fondness for Jessica to his own fondness for Beth when he was a teenager. Rick overhears Jerry's story and reminds him that said fondness resulted in Jerry getting Beth pregnant at 17. Rick proceeds to warn Morty not to go to Jerry for romantic advice because, "his marriage is hanging on by a thread". An insulted Jerry remarks that there isn't a problem with his marriage. Unconvinced, Rick tells Jerry that he can believe what he wants but it's pretty obvious that Beth is looking for an excuse to leave him. Morty becomes upset and asks Rick not to talk about his parents in that fashion. In response, Rick tells Morty that what people interpret as, "love" is just a chemical that causes animals to breed and once that has happened, any true passion fades away. After Rick leaves, a depressed Morty goes upstairs to prepare for the dance and a nervous Jerry goes to check on Beth. Thinking about what Rick told him, Morty approaches Rick and requests a potion that can make Jessica like him. After a brief argument, Rick calls Morty a, "thorn in his ass" and gives Morty a serum based off the genetic makeup of voles, a rodent that pair bonds with its mate for life. Before leaving, Morty asks if there's anything that could go wrong with the serum and Rick answers no. Once Morty has left, however, Rick quickly adds, "unless she has the flu", but shrugs it off.
At the dance, Morty uses the serum on Jessica, and, save for her dilated pupils, it seems to be a success. When Brad sees Jessica holding Morty, he becomes angry and tries to wrestle him away from her. Things only get worse when Jessica begins to sneeze. The serum, which has piggy-backed onto the flu virus and has caused the virus to replicate in seconds, is seen to go airborne, infects Brad with the serum. Brad quickly apologizes to Morty but begins to make sexual advances on Morty which leads to another scuffle between Jessica and Brad. Eventually Principal Vagina leads Brad away, while Brad sneezes causing the serum laced flu virus to enter the fruit punch and air vents. Soon everyone at the dance is infected with the flu and subsequently the serum. Morty prays that everything go according to plan, when Jessica starts aggressively telling Morty to have sex with her on the spot, in front of the entire school. Morty is unsurprisingly mortified and Jessica's friend tells her to control herself, before she begins to make advances on Morty as well. Morty slowly backs up and notices that everyone in the room now has dilated pupils and they're all looking at him lustfully. Realizing what has happened with dread, Morty feebly whimpers, "Oh, crap!". The students and faculty swarm around Morty, with each of them violently competing to have Morty for themselves. Morty eventually manages to get away from everyone and makes a break for the exit where Rick is waiting for him. Rick tells Morty that he realized that he messed up and explains how this all happened. Terrified, Morty asks Rick what they're going to do and Rick tells him that he's already whipped up an antidote using praying mantis DNA as the base, claiming that they're the, "opposite of voles" due to their nature to only mate once before the female devours the male. 041b061a72