Cruise Control

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B+ | Grade It Now!
Lesson Five: Zip It! How Many Times Do You Need To Hear This?

Showtime, Synergy: Tammy does a quick and simple voice-over about how NLC is all freestyley and all that, and then they experiment with having the drab couple-shot in black and white, and Andrea complains in a way that makes no sense. She says that the shot, which has been corrected for her interference, has nothing to do with the cruise or the concept, and is just confusing. I don't really see what she means. The whole team is very annoyed. Even Roxanne, usually calm, is hissing through her teeth at this point, asking Andrea whether it's really that complex to have five tiny seconds of people having no fun, followed by twenty-five of all the awesome fun you would have on a NCL cruise. Andrea says that doing this will have the side effect of "making the product look crappy," and I could hazard a guess that she means it'll be confusing to watch and the viewer will end up thinking that the black-and-white shot will just look like more shots of the same boat. the point of making it black-and-white. Roxanne is now kind of yelling about how she doesn't see the problem in trying the black-and-white shot, when they have all kinds of time, and when her concept has been roundly supported the whole time. Andrea: "No way! That's totally untrue, Roxanne. I've been know my opinion, you know I don't think it's a good idea. But you're the PM, period..." blah blah blah blame-shifting and fake subordination. Roxanne interviews -- awesomely -- that "there comes a time and a place" when and where if one doesn't "stick up" for oneself, "you might as well just go home." She then puts that into practice, yelling at both Andrea and Tammy that she's been completely honest with her thoughts and process all day long, and that neither of them has really been interested in listening, and calls attention to the fact of how helpful she was when they were both Project Managers, and that she respected their calls even when she didn't exactly agree with them. Silence. Profound silence, except for the ice crackling all over Andrea and Tammy, who don't even understand that she's right, and they wrote her off before they even got started -- because her competence and willingness to accept delegation make her look weak to them, which is unfair.

Dan's still all sparkly, lit up like a swiftly tilting Christmas tree, as they edit the commercial together, screaming random words along the lines of "Euphoria!" Babe, we know. Your kids could be watching this, okay? Tarek proudly tells us his fucking stupid idea of having "nothing but text flashing, leaving the viewer wanting more." Wanting more...Dramamine? More voice-over? More what, exactly? He says something about how you can accomplish this through esoteric "wording techniques," but the finished product is, I guess, so subtly "worded" that it just looks dumb as shit. I'll probably find myself on a cruise next week and be like, "Damn you, Tarek! You have reprogrammed my mind with your 'wording techniques'! Your 'wording techniques' are unstoppable!" Bryce and Tarek make out with tongue about how great they all are, and Lenny mentions how, with constant "wording techniques" flying at you, in thirty seconds you are not going to absorb both that and the actual visuals they spent all day on. He asks them to consider voice-over instead, and then Tarek goes balls-out, whining and crying and making childish faces and getting really super-pissed at Lenny for questioning him.

Dan worries as the whole thing escalates because Tarek says that Lenny's not "listening" to him, meaning of course that he's not obeying, and Lenny says the usual, that Tarek's mother fucks donkeys in Tijuana, but this fact is not Lenny's responsibility or problem. Tarek says that you can eventually absorb the whole thing because commercials come on TV so often, and Lenny points out that they are not anywhere near the real world, and that they are not sitting the NCL people down in front of the TV for 24 hours, but instead for 30 seconds. Which is so very valid that it should have shut Tarek up and the whole team should have nodded quietly and fixed the problem, but of course Tarek's too busy pissing his pants with rage. He tells Lenny to "defend himself" in the Boardroom with that too, like Lenny's fucking with him or something, like every disagreement is a personal attack. Which -- it is, when you're Tarek, which is why the smarter people give in to him, and the smartest people of all just ignore him altogether. Lenny calls the whole fiasco "Craziness. Madness, really." It's hilarious. Flash back to Tarek being incredibly shitty to Lenny, and then Lenny and Lee looking hangdog as Dan approaches being "firm" and "managerial" and "Tarek's prancing bitch w/r/t the onscreen text."

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