Tuesday, August 11, 2009

LEVERAGE #204 "The Fairy Godparents Job" Post-game

All I want to do is sleep ...

This ep was born in the pre-season, when it was just the three of us in the room. Downey and Berg working hard, and me working even harder at ignoring the bottle of Black Bush in the corner of the writers' room. We were deep in what we called "The Madoff Variations". In particular, the story of Madoff's wife innocently trying to mail $1 million in jewelry -- as one does -- caught our attention. I mean, the guy had Feds up the wazoo, where was he hiding these assets?

And we have to admit, we were totally entranced by the Madoff story. Not for the normal reasons -- the scale of the Ponzi scheme was magnificent, yes, but it was more because we'd spent a year immersing ourselves in arcane cons and crimes. We were throwing out stories, or doing weird twists on them, that other heist shows used as their episode-long A plot, because we knew them so well and were convinced other people would also see right through such classic tropes. But a ten year Ponzi scheme -- as I've said before, that's the fiscal equivalent of telling people you're going to fly to the moon in the refrigerator box and having no one blink an eye.

That led us to "booty in the apartment" (it's amazing how often we cross over with pirate -- or at least privateer - terminology) and that crossed over with a pitch of Berg's, "steal a private school." The whole thing really clicked for me when I first heard "This kid has the world's greatest thieves as his Fairy Godparents" in the room. That was it for me, that moment. Everything else was filler.

Originally, the first act was comprised of multiple, foiled attempts to get the villain and the FBI out of the apartment. For budgetary and scheduling reasons those went away, and we wound up with one of the most sedate first acts we've ever had. Good Lord, how we agonized over spending so much time in the briefing scene in this ep. Ironically, this episode arrived just as we were collating feedback off the 'net and found, stunningly, you people love the briefing scenes. For we writers, it was always X pages of pipe we tried to make as entertaining as possible and move past to get into the plot. For the audience, watching competent people banter and plan was a big part of the appeal. "Competence porn" as we started calling it.

This is one of the neat things about television. It's on long enough that it evolves into its own beast. You don't throw 50 pages of script in front of 4 million people a week or four months and not have some unexpected stuff happen.

All the musical numbers were composed by Amy Berg and Jo LeDuca -- who did a STUNNING job -- with the sole exception of Miss Kim's fusion song, which was how I originally pitched the bit. The room was regaled multiple times with me doing the "fusion/confusion" song, ending with the big, panting, Flashdance hopeful pose. And, of course, once you have musical, you must have Frakes.

As for Sophie's boyfriend -- I think there are some questions about that, we'll deal with them in that section. If not, I'll back up and re-address.

Before we move on to the credits, I would like to call out that the scrappy young man who wrote the song featured in "The Beantown Bailout Job", Andy Lange, has his own music website up at http://www.andylangemusic.com/ and also on MySpace. Go buy his fine, haunting ballads and book his dreaminess at your local college and coffee shops.

Right, mailbag:

@marga: is jonathan frakes the most underestimated and undervalued director in serial television? :-)

Yes. There's nothing quite like hearing him bellow "Red Alert" across the set. All kidding aside, he's a fantastic director who knows where the jokes are. Such people do not fall from trees.

@Coren: Okay, I got three questions. Last week's questions, you mentioned "a habit that gave us a great moment last year when one of his US prosecutor friends said, essentially, "Holy shit. That would work ..."" - which con/episode was that?

The poison pill strategy in "The Juror #6 Job" was one of the cons that had a real world variation, if I remember.

Zwei! Also from last week "That said, there's a lot of improv-ing, and we use quite a bit of it." - is that why there's so many deleted scenes of the same scene from the Homecoming Job on the DVD?

Yes. A lot of the scenes have con exposition, and if you want the story to make sense, the actors can't drift too far off it. So they choose when they play, and we almost always wind up using it.

San! At various points there have been mentions of names for other cons (apple pie and cherry pie come to mind) - do these really exist, or are they just things you guys made up on the spot (and if they do exist, what the heck are they?)

The Apple Pie is a regional variant of the Honey Pot. We use a lot of shorthand names that are real, but then we salt them with either own our nicknames or sometimes just make them up. To my great delight, a few weeks ago I cooked up "the Zanzibar Marketplace" as an art-heist variant, and had no idea the writers spent two days on the internet trying to research the con.

You know, someone else had a similar question ...

@US Raider: My question is: there are quite a few named con games in existence. Do the writers look at these cons and try to somehow implement them into the team's work or does the show have "consultants" who offer up ideas as to the type of con for them to run?

Apollo Robbins, who we've discussed before, is our consultant. But at this point, we've pretty much got a basic con vocabulary. We look at our bad guy, our setting, and cook up a con. He mostly gives us very particular information now, like how card-skimmers work, how to fool metal detectors, and most recently the specific terminology used by cold readers. You can see Apollo in ep 207, btw, damn near stealing the show.

That seems to lead into another one ...

@ThomasD: A follow-up to last week's comment. My wife, the neuroscientist, was curious how someone becomes a consultant for television shows or movies. Do you seek out people knowledgeable in their field or is there some sort of agency that matches up police officers with cop shows, lawyers with legal dramas, and Winston Zeddemore with the folks on Supernatural? How does a show find the right people?

Some consultants have agents, but it's mostly word of mouth. We found Apollo while researching video on YouTube about pickpocketing. He was hosting another show in England. I said, "Man, I wish we could get a guy like that." To which Downey replied "... why don't we just get that guy?" Filthy Assistant found his agent, he happend to be in LA for the week, we hooked up, and bam.

@catchester: Just out of curiosity, whats the budget for this season and which episodes will be the most expensive and cheapest to make?

We're at a bog-standard cable budget of about $2 million an ep, with some funky overhead because we're self-financed. And by "self-financed" I mean "Dean." The only studio in Hollywood that fits into one pair of pants. The most expensive will probably be the two-part winter season finale, and the cheapest will be our bottle show, #211.

@kenny: I watch the show anywhere between 1 day and 1 week later on a Comcast DVR in California. Does making sure I watch it within 24 hours help out in some way?

Weirdly, yes, the way DVR numbers are counted, it does matter when you watch us. But DVR numbers still aren't monetized properly, so don't worry too much. Just enjoy the show. HEre. here's commenter harx1, all credit due, to explain it better:

"Regarding ratings information... this is exciting as I actually have information that is useful, as I'm a tv research monkey (for a small cable network that is not TNT - just had to get that out there).

When you watch a show on DVR within the same day that it originally airs, it counts in the Live + Same Day, which is the number that is generally used in press releases when a show's good numbers are being pimped in the trades or mainstream press. Sales groups will also use it. Live+7 data will give you more bang for your buck, as that includes viewers who watched the Live viewing (i.e. no DVR), the Live + Same Day viewing and up to seven days following. However, it takes around 17 days for that data to become available, so it's hard to use for press stories. Digital streaming (legally anyway) is taken into account, but to a much, much lesser degree, as many, many fewer folks get their television viewing from that means. Of course, as someone mentioned, if you're not a Nielsen household, it doesn't really matter when you watch. "

@Tom: When do eps get posted on Netflix/TNT.tv? It's Wednesday (Leverage Day) and I've got the day off, which leads me to wonder why if an episode is already ready to air and is most definitely sitting in a directory on the server a link can't be posted to itnow rather than later? What's the difference, other than helping/hurting me with this boredom affliction?

Getting the first broadcast window is one of the things that motivates TNT to give us what's called our "license fee." It's what we use to pay for the show. If you can get Leverage somewhere else, sooner, then we're less valuable to TNT's advertisers, and so we're less valuable to the network. How and when eps are broadcast, stream, download, all those things are very tightly controlled by various suited humans and their contracts. That said, I think we're on Netflix the very next day.

@melodyanne: Are the 2 FBI agents going to be a recurring thing in the show? I thought it was brilliant how they were brought back in. They threw a total wrench in the plan yet it seemed to work out better in the end.

In our heads, Taggert and McSweeten are now enjoying a meteoric rise through he FBI thanks to solving the cases Leverage drops on their laps. Even now, we have other FBI agents in shows mutter "I'm no Taggert and McSweeten, sure, but I deserve some respect." You may never hear it aloud, but be sure, it is ever upmost in their minds.

@Nicole: My question is, does Parker realize she's flirting with the FBI agent or is it just her natural feminine allure that attracts him? Because in the deleted scenes she seems to have trouble with the ol' wink and shimmy.

She just likes him. And luckily for her, he digs quirky. It's more like ... she's surprised to find this particular human interaction doesn't suck, and so she enjoys his company.

@Becky: Was Skylar based off anyone in particular?

We all know a Skylar. Poor, raging, doomed Skylar.

@VideoBeagle: Nate seemed a bit uncaring about Widmark...Jobs over, time to go, don't worry about the kid...which is a bit...different for him from season 1. Is it just how the story played, or is this more of the Dark Nate story?

Nate does seem a little more easily distracted from the human cost of his vengeance this year, eh?

@Taima: will we ever learn Sophie's true name?

That is a very good question.

@Gordon: was all the eating a way of covering up Sophie's baby weight?

Nope, Sophie's just a stress eater.

@briddie: I like the way they dress in dark grays and blacks when they're themselves and put on colorful clothes as part of the con personalities. I'm assuming that's intentional, right? Will they wear brighter colors as they become more comfortable with each other?

No, they'll stay in "criminal mode" while being themselves and "colorful con mode" when on the grift. although Hardison's wardrobe can get a little funky.

@Chelle: I do have a question: How much fun did Chris have shooting the scene with all the kids? He looked like he had a lot of fun, and the kids did too.

He loved it, and the kids loved him. As noted before, kids tend to treat Kane like Batman. Sadly cut for time is an extended version of the fencing class, where we see Eliot react to a gym without any balls. Should be on the DVD.

@Save- vs-DM: I've noticed that a lot of the team are starting to take jobs that are outside their normal "roles" as the series has been progressing. Will we see more of this as the series matures and the group begins teaching each other how they do what they do so well?

Although they'll always stay true to their roles, they have been cross-training. In particular, this week (ep 205) somebody unexpected gets to hack.

@ unadiagrand: I understand how Sophie's many identities and her inability to reconcile herself with nearly all of them was a focal point of this episode, but it seemed like the boyfriend mentioned in the pilot was shown only to stir up old doubts within her. And break up with her. I get that there's a thingbetween Nate and Sophie, but Nate's a brilliant train wreck, and I feel Sophie deserves to explore her options more before getting back into that agonizingly adorable "will we or won't we" limbo with Nate. Also, and no offense to the actor, but her ex was just not that hot. (That was actually pretty offensive; sorry, actor!) So? Is there someone better in the cards for our Miss Sophie Devereaux? 2.) Are Hardison and Parker ever going to hook up? 3) And hey, what's up with Eliot? He's a good looking man, and a man's got needs! Or so I've heard He's got no one to have that kind of chemistry with on the team. Which makes me sad in my heart. Are you going to ease the sadness in my heart? 4) What was up with that odd double take that Sophie did at the end? She seemed quite taken aback to see the mark's family at the clinic. I understand she was surprised, but she seemed as if her world view had been fundamentally altered. Why was that?

1.) The boyfriend was indeed going to be a running character. And then Gina wound up preggers, and the timetable of her arc shifted. We particularly didn't want to confuse the audience with a boyfriend character and then obvious physical signs of her pregnancy. So, the bf exited earlier than expected. Until the robot actors come, it will ever be thus (and I was PROMISED my goddam robot actors by now...)

2.) They are just now gently learning of the Secret Garden. Do not rush them.

3.) Eliot does just fine. He doesn't crap where he eats.

4.) Sophie was just processing seeing Widmark again. Nothing big intended.

@CandyMaize: Loved the kids tackling Eliot at the end of the martial arts instruction.

I think that was originally scripted as just a joke beat where the kids look at each other, but Frakes had the kids rush Chris.

@Dylan: i have a question, why does almost all of the characters say "seriously" in their lines? especially Hardison.. is that significant or sumthin? jus treally wonderin.. =)

It's a verbal tic of mine, when wronged by my surly staff. Berg started using it while on set, the actors picked it up, and we wound up scripting it. It's now a show in-joke. What's delightful is that each character has a specific, aggrieved version of the delivery.

@Anonymous: One question - has Sophie always been aware that she's not a great actress (or at least, that other people don't think she is) or is it a recent realization?

She has, at the very least, always believed she was improving, if not actually good. She ain't an idiot, though.

@Ashley: I also missed the flashbacks! Where have they gone?

Off-story joke beats -- first things cut when the schedule gets hairy. We've got a great one coming up in #206, though.

@Steven: My question: how did you manage to get a character named Mark Sanford? And: was that written before this summer?

Sheer blind luck.

@Anna: My question is, how much more Hardison/Parker unresolved sexual tension (on Hardison's part at least) can we expect to see this season? And does it bother you that more fans (or so it seems) are shipping Eliot/Parker?

More fans are shipping Nate/Eliot. Let's be honest here.

Their relationship is quietly percolating. She asked for time, he's going to give it to her. But there is that shot in 208 ...

@susanne: Please can you put Hardison in a dress? If I ask nicely?

I'll ask Aldis.

@Denita: My question this week is about character motivation. Last season, the entire group seemed driven by something, both as individuals and as a team. Heck, so did Sterling. But now, even though they're back together, it feels like something's missing. Like they aren't quite as dedicated to what they're doing or something. They don't feel like a team yet. Is it just me or is that what you've intended?

Hmm, I don't personally see what you're talking about in the stories, but, as far as how it might be pinging you in particular ... it may be that since Nate's drive has changed, the team's drive feels like it's changed. But it hasn't -- their drive is, frankly, to be a family. This is what allows them to do that, without having to deal with their emotions.

@DaveMB: I understand that Star Trek: TOS, for example, had an outside consulting firm that checked all their names very carefully against some (paper?) database to avoid conflicts and potential legal action. Yet in this show you named a Boston-based financial firm "Fidelity" and an exclusive private school "Dalton". Do the lawyers no longer care about such things, or do you just not listen to them?

Oh, Lord, I listen to them. We chat all the time. We don't want this shit happening. However, the rules are funky, and just having the same words in the name doesn't imply a conflict. It's weirdly specific and, to me, magnificently arbitrary. For example, we gave an Israeli character in #207 a very specific name. Turns out one person -- one person in the entire USA -- has that name. Now, would any reasonable judge believe we were implying some nice midwestern housewife was really a Mossad agent? Of course not. The process is designed, as our Legal Human has described it to me: " to protect us from the results of the craziest person in the world getting the craziest jury in the world sitting before the craziest judge in the world." So we changed the name.

There has to be either NO ONE with a crossover, or a NEAR-INFINITE number of cross-overs, so no one of them can claim to be the target of the reference. There are plenty of financial institutions in the Boston area with the word "Fidelity" in their name

@emsworth: Will we see Eliot, Parker and Hardison have to run a con like they did in Bank Shot Job again?

Oh. Oh yes. But something a littel deadlier than a con.

@bluhex: "The Godparents Job" seemed to be mostly oriented at characters (Sophie, and for some reason, Widmark) with no plot to speak of. Are you going to come back to plot-driven episodes like in season 1, or are you sticking to character gags with minimum plot to hold them together?

Pretty much going to stick with the gags.

All joking aside -- and long discussions of the difference between plot and story -- we like to change it up. It's the Science-sical, people.

And after a season opener where a 1.) someone tries to kill a banker who 2.) has evidence that his bank is cahoots with the 3.) Irish mob through a 4.) 30 year old money laundering scheme but now is taking advantage of the 5.) new government bank bailout forcing our team to run 6.) multiple scams, not just on the bad guys but on Nate to entice him back to the job, only to discover that 7.) the villain is not who they think ... well, that's enough story for my brain.

@Aussie Ash: 1.) Will there be any music industry related cons? Having studied music business I can think of about 10 just off the top of my head, and quite a few that have happened to friends. 2.) Whens Eliot going to meet his match, woman wise? My friends and I are dying for that... :-P

1.) Third season willing, there will be a music con. 2.) Mossad. Agent.

@JustJill: 1.) Are there currently any other guest characters we can expect to make a return in Season 2? 2)Also, my friend wants to know if you can give Christian Kane her number.

1.) "... Hello, Nate." 2.) I can't get Kane to return my calls.

@Melissa: We know the show is shooting in Portland now. Has the writing team been moved to Portland too, or do they spend most of their time in LA?

In LA. Most shows that shoot out of town keep their staffs in LA. We send up the writer of the week for each ep, but most shows don't even do that.

@Sammie: where have Eliot's glasses gone this season?

The glasses will return. Eliot uses them in very specific contexts.

@SpicyArcticTaco: Are we going to learn more about good ol' Jimmy Ford? Will we see Parker's bunny? How about Jane, err, I mean Sophie's truth snake?

1.) Ooooooh yes. 2.) Even Hardison has not seen Parker's bunny. 3.) You know ... kind of. Yes.

@Ann: I've heard that casts on other shows wrote back stories for their characters before any footage of their show was shot. Did your cast do the same?

Each actor has their own process. Gina, for example, came in with a detailed backstory for Sophie that we liked better than what we had, and I now treat it as canon. I know Aldis has a backstory for Hardison that's very specific, and nicely enough Nate's character is so in Hutton and myself's Irish Catholic wheelhouse, we're kind of evolving him up together.

@Kevin: if a crowd of concerned parents storm the school because they're tremendously worried about a headmaster change, and an eccentric new headmaster appeared to tout his teaching method *as outlined in his book*, and he references that book several times during his introduction... what's the next thing those parents do? Why, they buy the book and read it.

If they really cared for those children, they wouldn't have them at that heartless school. And remember, rich white people are very susceptible to arguments from authority.

That said, Hardison found an old out-of-print German textbook and performed identity theft on it. He did it through Google books, no less!

All right, its's miserably late and I have typing to do. Thanks, as always for tuning in, and remember -- only THREE MORE EPISODES left in summer Leverage!


jessikast said...

@susanne: Please can you put Hardison in a dress? If I ask nicely?

Omfg, yes, he must have GREAT legs.

A Sophie question: We've heard a South African accent, but given where Gina was born and grew up (according to Wikipedia-font-of-all-knowledge, at least) will we ever get a Kiwi accent?

Rick said...

Ah, this post fills my Hardison/Parker shipping heart with much joy and happiness.

"Hardison & Parker - They are just now gently learning of the Secret Garden. Do not rush them."

Really looking forward to tonight's episode, not looking forward to a few months break in between episodes.

Patrick said...

ThomasD: There is also the newish "Science and Entertainment Exchange", so if your wife's a neuroscientist, maybe that's a place to look?


Becky said...

More fans are shipping Nate/Eliot. Let's be honest here.

I think it's a tie between the Nate/Eliot people and the Hardison/Eliot people. ;)

catchester said...

Thanks for doing this. I know you're tired and you've been working all day and want nothing more than to crash out, but it's great for us to get this added insight. And somehow you still manage to make it funny! You should be a comedian ;-)

Anyhoo, sorry to keep you from your bed but thank you, all the same.

"Until the robot actors come, it will ever be thus (and I was PROMISED my goddam robot actors by now...)"

Sign me up for a Kane-Bot, please!

You also mention fanfic, is that something you're trying to encourage with those little throw away lines? You know you spark a thousand plot bunnies with those, right?

adc1966 said...

More fans are shipping Nate/Eliot. Let's be honest here.

And Sophie/Parker.

(It's the zipline scenes.)

Kim said...

Just popping in to let you know that I love the question & answer posts! I look forward to them almost as much as I look forward to the show. So thanks for doing them, it's much appreciated.

Also, I'll second the request and add my name to the list for a Kane-bot. *grin*

Joe Helfrich said...

"@susanne: Please can you put Hardison in a dress? If I ask nicely?

I'll ask Aldis."

I'm now tempted to actually start using twitter just so I can tag every post with #hardisonindrag.

Though there is that whole risk of it becoming an Eddie Murphy plays everyone gag. Don't go there.

Speaking of Eddie Murphy, is Taggart "Taggart" because Rick Overton looks so much like John Ashton that I had to fire up IMDB to be sure?

Susanne said...

Thanks for the answer! I think Aldis would be both hilarious and kind of hot in a dress, please tell him that :)

Oh and I agree with Becky up there, it is rather equal between Nate/Eliot and Hardison/Eliot. It's the snark you see *nodnod* snark = sparks

Thomas D said...

Thanks, Patrick. I'll pass that on.

Anna said...

Ditto on the love for these Q&A posts! The "behind the scenes" look at these episodes is almost as good as the actual show.

And THANK YOU for the phrase "competence porn"! "For the audience, watching competent people banter and plan was a big part of the appeal." So true and sadly, so hard to find on tv now!

Casey Moore said...

I thought it would be a Jesuit school. Then Nate could have really let go with his bastard side. And that would just be to the kids.

And we are still waiting on our Chinese drywall story. Just because it is such a weird spinoff from Katrina.

Joe Helfrich said...

I don't think the competence porn is just the banter. I like watching these people think and plan. Yes, I like the banter, too, but it's about watching them spot the problems (and trying to figure out where it's going to go wrong anyway.)

CandyMaize said...

Thank you for addressing one of my Q's :)

More fans are shipping Nate/Eliot. Let's be honest here.

Seriously, I think I broke something laughing at that one.

gwangung said...

People enjoy the competence porn because they see so little of it in real life, and just a smidge more in media.

catchester said...

Forgot to mention in my last comment (I blame time constraints! Har har!) but thanks for answering my budget question.

I know you probably hate the constraints but on the bright side, in my experience it's the shows with a smaller budget that produce the best television. Possibly because they have to try harder, I don’t know. Which sort of leads into the bottle episode you mentioned since they have even more constraints than normal episodes.

My interest is definitely piqued. They're usually either great and remembered as one of the firm favourites or awful things that require brain bleach. Here's hoping yours is the former (I'm sure it will be).

PhantomMinuet said...

Those of us who ship Nate/Eliot salute you.

alikitty619 said...

I need to remember not to read this QQ&A session while my babies are sleeping. Your snarkyness causes me to laugh and wake them up.

But seriously, I love that you do this for your fans. It really makes me feel part of the show.

Keep up the great work.

Darkrose said...

More fans are shipping Nate/Eliot. Let's be honest here.

I think it's a tie between the Nate/Eliot people and the Hardison/Eliot people. ;)

*waves flag for Parker/Hardison/Eliot* OT3, baby--because why should you have to settle for just one pairing?

Also, I want to see Aldis in a dress. He's totally got that model figure thing going on.

Lydia said...

And Sophie/Parker.

(It's the zipline scenes.)

It really, really is.

Tripod said...

Joe Helfrich: I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who had to do some research to realise it wasn't actually John Ashton...

So was Sophie's misquote of Hamlet a very deliberate nod to the fact she isn't quite the top of the trees actress she would like to believe herself to be?

Also, belatedly, thank you so much for taking the time to post this blog. I love the show as is, but your details and sense of humour, not to mention the reactions and insightful comments from other fans ensure I enjoy it even more (not that I have actually *seen* any episodes of Season 2 yet, of course, being based in the UK. I am instead waiting patiently for the DVD release. *coughs*)

gwangung said...

She has, at the very least, always believed she was improving, if not actually good.

And she could very well be right. As you say, she's not an idiot...

Tara said...

Casey Moore: Dood. Don't dis the Jesuits. Jesuits are awesome. They're, like, God's lawyers. You have to have a zillion degrees and be a genius, to rate as a Jesuit.

[Sorry--recovering Catholic I may be, but I can't help it. Jesuits are AWESOME. Even fictional Jesuits are awesome. Ever see "Nothing Sacred"? In a cage match, Jesuits would totally take Dominicans down without breaking a sweat.]

Maestro said...

First, thanks muchly for these "post-game" entries, and this blog in general. However, I am a bit surprised that such an adroit writer as you, who is also a fan of Burn Notice, didn't realize the appeal of "competence porn" before now. On the other hand, nice phrase coinage.

Scott said...

I think "competence porn" is also what's behind the success of reality shows like Project Runway or Top Chef. There's some of the usual manufactured 'drama' bullshit of course, but the cast also has to step up and do their thing well. It works even if the viewer knows squat about what's going on (as I do when watching PR).

DrGaellon said...

I don't know if you got it from the same place, but the "seriously" trope has been part of Grey's Anatomy since the first episode. Every character says it, and a little differently.


DrGaellon said...

Oh and... NATE/ELLIOT!!!!!

I am LOLing forever.

Mike Cane said...

I bring the bad news.

Someone else said it, and I'm now seconding it: something is "missing" from this season so far. The episodes seem less tight, pacing seems slower, and I'm wondering where all of what I liked about season 1 has gone! But if you ask me to draw up some sort of list, I'd be damned if I could do it.

Anonymous said...


glovin said...

Thanks for doing this. I know you're tired and you've been working all day and want nothing more than to crash out

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Anonymous said...

Casey Moore: Dood. Don't dis the Jesuits. Jesuits are awesome. They're, like, God's lawyers. You have to have a zillion degrees and be a genius, to rate as a Jesuit.

@Tara - You are so right. I'm an out-and-out atheist, and I adore Jesuits. They're basically Batman to the Justice League that is Christian religion. They don't like hanging out with the other members, preferring to remain isolated in their awesomeness. But when things go bad, they show up to kick ass and save the day. And they probably have secret files on how to take down the other groups if they ever get out of hand.

+ Their colleges rock.

Franciscans are cool too, but they're more so the vegan, tree-hugging, Sea Shepard-supporting, rebellious hippie child of the Catholic Church.

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mordicai said...

Straight up I do like me some Competence Porn. That is hot button for me as a consumer of fiction. Right on.

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Sullivan said...

Re. "competency porn" - don't knock it, it's part of what drove Mission: Impossible for seven years, and CSI for the first few. A show that you have to watch closely and even (FSM forbid) think a little bit about to get the most out of is not a bad thing.

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