'The Newsroom' Explains Everything Terrible About This Decade's Politics

Through the rest of December and into early January, we're going into hibernation. But every day, we'll have a new podcast for you to listen to, and sometimes, an article to read. You can keep track of everything we're talking about to look back on the past year (and decade) right here.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bvggxv/waypoint-of-the-decade
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This is a good reminder to me that I need to finish Iron-Blooded Orphans. I loved the first season then have taken two separate year-long breaks during the second season… It’s just really depressing. This is the kind of show that has maybe the best Gundam fight ever, followed by the main character being permanently disabled and freakishly accepting of his fate to die horribly for the PMC.

Some day I’ll finish that thing, I promise.

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I’ve been waiting for this thread:

In 2015 or so, the CW announced that they were adding a new superhero show to their stable: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. They were going to shuffle a bunch of their side characters plus Dr. Who veteran Arthur Darville onto a time traveling spaceship and send them off to fight Vandal Savage. Cool, right?

Nope.

The first season of LoT is about 98% a disaster. They clearly don’t have the budget to make a lot of their superpowers work. The writing is passable at best. The main focus of the season is on their worst characters. You can tell a show is bad when the season finale is mostly spent getting rid of things. Much to everyone’s surprise, LoT got a second season.

And then something extraordinary happened.

They got rid of the bad characters. They let Sara Lance, the bisexual assassin who came back from the dead, actually get romantically involved with women (and have jokes!). They brought in good villains. The writing got far better (thanks to some imports from The Flash). Legends of Tomorrow turned…fun?

And then a true television miracle happened: Legends of Tomorrow somehow got even better?!

To say much more beyond this would be a travesty, because Legends of Tomorrow is easily my favorite show on television and it’s not close, so the remainder of my sales pitch is this:

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I do think The Newsroom makes sense as a waypoint for the Obama-era delusions that have been really challenged in the second half of the decade, but I also always cringe a bit when The West Wing gets referenced as some Rosetta Stone of neoliberalism when it isn’t clear its popularity falls neatly along the lines it gets framed as. Main example being that Bernie Sanders loves The West Wing, he has said so frequently. And I often hear people use it in combination with insulting the Pod Save America guys - which while it may make aesthetic sense, goes against the fact they have regularly criticized - literally! - “West Wing style” politicking in their podcasting. I just think it’s more appealing in a “these jerk neoliberals liked this dumb show” way than it is an actually important piece of culture for the people who leftists despise.

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I hope that the 2% non-disaster is Wentworth Miller chewing the hell out of every scrap of scenery because I was legit mad when I found out he wasn’t returning.

Leonard Snart is the funnest character in the entire arrowverse (though I’m like 2 seasons behind at this point

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Correct. He was always the best part of whatever episode he was in.

I gotta say, some of my favorite Waypoints of the last year (and decade) has to be Waypoint itself. It really has brought me a ton of joy since I started listening. I really enjoy the crew and all the things they talk about. They’ve helped me realise a bunch of things about politics and the world around me, and lead me to other podcasts like Citations Needed. Some of the most fun I’ve had listening to podcasts were Lore Reasons and Be Good and Re Watch It. I love Jane Austen now, I can’t wait for the new Emma. Just keep remaking them, I’ll watch them all. I wish so much that they could just launch their own podcast, but know how much work that would take. I have a lot of other Waypoints for the decade, but Waypoint itself truly is special and important.

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Listening to this podcast now, reminded me how much I loved the non gaming stuff waypoint did last year, shout outs to pride and prejudice.

Coincidentally I watched Iron Blooded Orphans recently and had similar takes as Austin. Loved the mobile suit battles. There def is a wierd harem energy to this show that stands apart from the normal anime bullshit.
A strange red herring near the end of the second season where they introduce the “mobile armor”, civilization destroying AI controlled Gundams, that is basically dropped in favor of a more personal story about the main characters. Appreciated that, actually.
Gundam Unicorn is also on Netflix, I’d reccomend them both. You don’t need previous Gundam experience, Unicorn does make references to the older series, but Iron Blooded Oprhans is it’s own seperate thing.

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Iron-Blooded Orphans is one of my Top 5 Gundam series, so I’m glad it’s on Netflix and easier for people to watch. The harem stuff is definitely Something, but for whatever reason the way it plays out with the main characters (less so with Naze, though I adore Amida Arca) ended up appealing to the part of my brain that quietly craves even moderately non-garbage polyamorous representation.

Also, the fights are good as hell.

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In the second season IBO definately makes the attempt to portray Naze and his harem ship as not sleazy and having a warped power dynamic, you could even say the show goes out of it’s way to make him a heroic character. Over and over we are told that he’s the guardian and savior of these girls, not owner. But he still has sex with all of them, and the ship is filled with their babies (who are only briefly mentioned in the entire second season via a baby diaper joke).
Anyway, yeah mixed feelings. Everything when they get in the mechs is so good, and it was great to have a non-child of destiny falls in a gundam- story.

I think the Naze harem could have pulled off what it was going for in the ‘no really this is not as sleazy as it seems’ line if any of the major female characters from his ship (Azee!!) were explicitly not sleeping with him. I know at one point he says some of them don’t, but it’s Told, not Shown. Let me see the nuance if you want me to believe it’s there, writers!

But I do like the relationship between Atra, Kudelia, and Mikazuki. Spoilers: it certainly helps that it was confirmed Atra and Kudelia are married at the end.