Jan 19·edited Jan 19Liked by Isaac Simpson

I've been thinking a lot about the Populist Death Match genre lately and only recently watched the series Alice in Borderland, a Netflix series based on a manga. AoB is interesting because at first blush it looks like a Japanese knockoff of Squid Game, then is "not quite" that but still seems very squarely a PDM story, then has a big reveal that the PDM is an illusion- that the "contestants" are more or less prisoners of their own existential despair, in a postmodern prison of their minds' own making.

The genre subversion is a little clearer in the original Japanese dialogue. But I won't swear that I'm not simply reading too much into it and giving it more credit than is due and the PDM subversion was just a pointless twist for the sake of twisting, which Japanese film is wont to do.

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This is a astute fascinating article. I only wish there were more details about The Triangle of Sadness.

The vibe shift you speak of is revealing what the Hollywood elite are not yet conscious of.

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This was great: "I’m equally nauseated by shows like White Lotus and Succession. While very-well written and executed, their hero-lessness disturbs me, especially given their popularity. I never feel good after watching them, just sort of tired and gross."

I love those shows, but the fact is they are "critique" even if they critique everyone involved (white lotus S1 really nails it to the girl who convinces the native boy to steal...). You will never get the clean satisfaction of being able to root for a hero unabashedly...we will all cringe together and feel a bit gross.

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