Am I a dumbass?

I accidentally bumped my ass against the TV in my bedroom, causing it to fall to the ground and cracking the screen. Now the only TV in the house that works is in the living room and my wife and son are always hogging it.

So the only shit that I watch nowadays is Curious George, Blippi, Blues Clues, and The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window (WHASFGW).

The reviews for WHASFGW, which I think came out last year, are confused about its strange tonal shifts. The name implies that there’s some parody involved, but while watching it I was also confused if the show was fundamentally a comedy or a tight psychological drama that occasionally made bad mistakes…which would very much summarize Kristen Bell’s character.

Was it genius or halfassed writing?

It brought to mind William Peter Blatty’s The Ninth Configuration. The tonal shifts in the film were all over the place, which on its face would come across as poor filmmaking. But it’s done so much that you become aware that Blatty is fucking with you. In fact, Blatty seems to deliberately make poor directing decisions. For example, in Stacy Keach’s death scene. Perhaps a more conventional director would have kept the shot focused on Keach’s face while Scott Wilson would have delivered the monologue with his back to the camera. Instead Blatty reversed it, which, to be honest, blunted the movie’s emotional climax. But that decision was firmly in character for the film, which comes across as a stroke of genius.

But the writers for WHASFGW aren’t so bold. They keep you guessing if certain creative decisions were deliberate; There’s a needless and over-the-top sex scene; The main character’s daughter dies in the dumbest way possible; And while the jokes themselves are somewhat clever, they almost never land. A less curious viewer would simply see poor execution, but I feel like this was the intention of the show runners. It keeps the audience off kilter.

This also subverts viewer expectations. From the name alone, you’d expect blatant parody. But that’s not what you get. We’re actually watching…and experiencing…one woman’s decent into madness.

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