Recently, my family has been re-watching ‘Avatar-The Last Airbender’, one of the shows that we marathoned together some years ago.  Widget was apparently too young to retain much of the story, while I never really got into it, except for that one Mick Foley cameo.  The second time around, though, I’m really enjoying the voice work, the story and the careful balance of characters in our main trio.  I even got to hear James Wong and Mako both being incredible in the same episode, with Tsai Chin starring in the next, making for a voice-acting nerd’s dream game, leading to today’s elemental query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t really remember why it never clicked for me, but Aang’s glider/staff is incredible, asking: What shows, books or movies were better the second time around?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

7 Comments

  1. Every record by the band Cracker gets better on subsequent re-listens. Don’t know how many of their releases I disliked upon purchase only to have it be my new favorite Cracker album 3 months later.

    The Illuminatus! Trilogy gets better upon multiple reads, because it’s so dense, and you really don’t know what the hell s going the first time. You get more out of it the second time. This is true of almost all of Robert Anton Wilson’s work.

    The 2016 movie ‘Hail Ceasar!’ by the Coen brothers. Funny, funny movie, and it deserves a second watch, even it you didn’t like it on the first viewing.

    NewsRadio, a great show difficult to fully appreciate in its own time, because it was so mistreated by its home network. Liked it then, love it now. One of the best workplace sitcoms of all time.

    • Also, Jimmy James doing a book reading for his autobiography that was translated into Japanese and then back into English, I think was a comedy scene on par with the funeral of Chuckles the Clown on the Mary Tyler Moore show.

  2. Man, this is a hard one for me. I tend to find nearly everything better on a second viewing, because you pick up on so many things you missed the first time around. The first viewing allows you to experience the story, but the second allows you to appreciate the way the story is told.

    I guess maybe my favorite example is the show Black Sails. It’s a little under-recognized as it has a very slow start, as most people (myself included) go into it expecting a swashbuckling pirate adventure, and that is most definitely NOT what the show is.

    What it is, is a masterclass in writing and dialogue. The best scenes are the dialogue and interactions between the major characters and watching their relationships change and evolve, and once you know where everything is going, you just appreciate the writing, dialogue, acting, cinematography and just all the talent that went into this incredible production.

  3. Malone_hasco on

    Long, historical novels with hundreds of people with similar (or different at different times) names and equal amount of places. Ones like Heike Monogatari or Romance of Three Kingdoms. On a lighter note, things that feel somewhat cheap first time you see them, but later realize their genius. Like Big Trouble in Little China.

  4. Daniel Langsdale on

    Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eighth Dimension. It throws so much at you that the first time through it’s all you can do to try to figure out what’s even going on. You need a second time through to even begin to actually enjoy it.

    • I only ever watched it once – maybe that’s why I didn’t really get what was so special about it.

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