Thursday, January 31, 2013

TV Obituaries, Vol. 1: January 2013

Pardon me if this sounds grim, but probably the best innovation of the contemporary television drama is that you're allowed to kill off major characters.

It's easy to take for granted in this post-Buffy, post-24 TV era of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire and the like (hell, the new Fox show The Following was damn near marketed with the premise "Expect shocking deaths!" to victorious ratings), but this was a big, big innovation that really gave serialized drama the freedom to be bold and surprising and have real stakes in a way they just plain weren't allowed to for the first, oh, four decades of the medium's lifespan. Today a character death is simply one of the thousand tricks in the dramatic TV toolbox, not only accepted but a popular enough trope that fans can get restless and complain if a life-or-death-stakes serialized drama goes too long without one.

Thus my latest monthly feature, TV Obituaries. It's exactly what it sounds like: At the end of each month, I'll highlight prominent TV characters to kick the bucket since the last column. Obviously, even a TV nerd as pathetic as me doesn't watch everything, so I'm sure to miss major deaths here and there, but I'll aim for completion at least within the realm of shows I watch (and if people wish to let me know in comments who I've missed, I'll strongly consider adding them). Now let's get started with January 2013.

Spoilers follow for FringeJustified and Last Resort.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spartacus Power Rankings, Vol. 1

Spartacus: War of the Damned, Episode 1 - "Enemies of Rome"

(As a means to share my thoughts on each installment of Spartacus: War of the Damned without having to write full reviews, I've decided to do weekly Spartacus Power Rankings, wherein I outline who blew it, who kicked ass, and whose cock rages on. Spoilers abound, of course.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spartacus Returns Big, Bold & Bloody, With a Great New Villain

Spartacus: War of the Damned, Episode 1 - "Enemies of Rome"

If there's one thing I feel a great certainty about, it's that Spartacus – now in its final season, subtitled War of the Damned – is the most underrated show on television.

I could go on and on about how this fucking mind-blowingly kick-ass show has continually refined and bettered itself since its January 2010 debut, making the vast swaths of TV critics who wrote it off after its very first, table-setting episode look increasingly stupid. I could go on and on about its surprising thematic depth in its exploration of freedom and choice and power, or about the fascinating moral questions it raises on a regular basis, or the way it marries an epic scope to intimate concerns in a way that should make damn near all other sweeping genre sagas envious, or its rich, multi-dimensional character development, or about how it can deliver a moment to make you bolt upright and go "HOLY SHIT!" like few other films or TV shows I've damn near ever seen.

I could also appeal to TV fans' love of Joss Whedon and point out that Spartacus boss Steven S. DeKnight honed his writing, producing and directing in various combinations on Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngel and Dollhouse over nine years (including writing Buffy's "Seeing Red," by far the most controversial hour of the Buffyverse), and it shows. Spartacus is unmistakably familiar in its season-spanning story arcs, building long-term villains to eventually be satisfyingly defeated, always maintaining tension and conflict among the heroes' makeshift family and never shying away from killing off a character (at a rate that would make famously kill-happy Whedon tremble in fear, I might add).

I could even take the basest road and go on and on about the pure, unadulterated visceral pleasure of its ultraviolence and ultragore and ultranudity, though, recalling much of the criticism I've read of the comparatively gentle, PG-rated Game of Thrones, the milquetoast fucking buzzkill whining about this aspect of Spartacus would probably make me wish I could hit undo and make critics unaware of its existence again.

But for the purposes of not making this introduction to my review of Spartacus' final season premiere, "Enemies of Rome," into a 5,000-word dissertation, I'll whittle the show's greatness down to one core guiding principle: It's the pacing, stupid.

Put simply, this sucker moves. I mean, it really, really moves. It had to hone itself in the first half of its first season, but what emerged was a show as lean, fat-free, and ready for action as its well-oiled cast. There isn't a speck of filler on it. The status quo changes so quickly, storylines are squared away (generally with massive bloodshed) hours before they can even begin to grow stale, climactic arc-ending episodes that any other serialized drama would have saved for their finale are tossed casually into the middle of seasons. This is aggressive, thrilling storytelling.

Let me put it this way: If Game of Thrones was run by Steven DeKnight and his Spartacus writers, everything from the pilot to Blackwater Bay all would have gone down in one season. If The Vampire Diaries was run by DeKnight and company, Klaus would have been dead a year and a half ago. If The Walking Dead was run by DeKnight and company, the season 2 farm arc would have spanned about ten minutes.

I cannot overstate how incredible it is to me that "Enemies of Rome" is only the 30th episode of Spartacus (and, were it not for the prequel, would only be its 24th episode!). Going by the usual standards that govern TV pacing, it feels like 150-200 episodes worth of incident has gone down. This show has established new status quos, burned them to the ground while slaughtering half the cast, rebuilt with brand new settings and status quos, and it's done so again and again. It's fucking dizzying, and breaks all the rules of television in the most spectacular way.

And then, about six months ago, Steven DeKnight made the most ballsy and badass creative decision yet: That War of the Damned, the show's third main season following Blood and Sand, Vengeance, and the prequel miniseries Gods of the Arena, would wrap up the story and conclude the series. I'd be lying if I said the decision didn't upset me, but doesn't burning bright, hot, and quickly reflect the spirit of the Third Serville War itself? Spartacus is the highest-rated show on Starz by orders of magnitude, and DeKnight could have kept this cash cow going ad infinitum, but he's a man with a fucking vision, and that's so rare and so awesome on television.

And that brings us to "Enemies of Rome."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Plea to TV & Movie Writers: Stop Having Your Heroes Successfully Guess Passwords

On last night's episode of NBC's new soap Deception, protagonist Joanna – a detective going undercover as an assistant for the wealthy Bowers family to find out if one of them is guilty of murder – had a late night conversation with family patriarch Robert Bowers, whose computer she needs to get into. In this conversation, Robert sadly mused that when his rich prick oldest son Edward was a little boy he used to call him "Eddie Spaghetti." Joanna casually asked Robert how old Edward was when he called him that and Robert told her he was four.

Then Robert left the office and Joanna hopped on his computer and got access to his incredibly important secret files and showed off how smart she is by correctly guessing on her very first try Robert's password: Spaghetti4.

Yes, she's so smart she knew it wasn't "Eddiespaghetti4" or "Eddie_spaghetti4," but just "Spaghetti4." She's so fucking smart she even knew the "S" was supposed to be capitalized, and that there weren't any underscores or punctuation. That it wasn't "SPAGhetti__four," or "spaghetti4_!", or, being a computer containing life-shattering corporate secrets worth billions of dollars and possible murder convictions, you know, like, "kKg89H1_rb8," or something like that.


Up to this point in my life, I have yet to ever see a single scene in a film or TV show where a character successfully guessed another character's computer password based on shallow details of their life or, worse, stuff in the same room as the computer (see the insanely fucking stupid password-guessing scene in Sherlock season 2 episode 2, "The Hounds of Baskerville," for a truly godawful example of the latter) that wasn't suspension-of-belief-shatteringly fucking moronic. Every single scene of this type sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, fucking sucks out fucking loud.

Even if you ignored stuff like numbers and underscores and punctuation and alternating capitalization, these scenes would still be fucking stupid. How many people's passwords are really just the names of the most obvious things in their lives? I know mine aren't! Based on TV and movies, the passwords I use for like, posting on internet forums about TV shows – much less my bank account – are a million times more secure than the passwords guarding massive conspiracies, life-or-death stuff, even nuclear secrets.

So, here's my plea to all screenwriters: If you're writing a scene involving your heroes trying to get into someone's computer and not knowing the password, try having them find it written down somewhere, or bribe/coax/torture the information out of someone, or give the damn thing to a hacker, or see the computer's owner type it in, or dust for fucking fingerprints or just not be able to get into the computer at all or anything else other than guessing the password, and if you can't, then please delete your shitty screenplay and burn the manuscript.

(Note: The one exception to everything I've written above is in comedies when people get into their coworker's computer by correctly guessing that the password is "password," which is admittedly pretty funny. But it's been done in multiple shows, so don't do that either.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Big Bang Theory Spews Mean-Spirited Bile, Calls It Comedy

Season 6 Episode 13 - "The Bakersfield Expedition"

I don't want to spend too much time on this, because every second spent even thinking, much less writing about The Big Bang Theory is toxic to my soul, but its latest episode, "The Bakersfield Expedition," actually does merit a little discussion. Not over its comedic value – this is The Big Bang Theory, so it is of course 22 minutes of hacky generic lame-brained sitcom idiocy that shouldn't be funny to anyone with a drool-free chin – but over a question regarding the show's very soul:

Does The Big Bang Theory hate Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, Howard and their lifestyle?

It's an honest inquiry. While the show and the roaring studio audience were obviously mocking them for it, the characters did actually have a couple minutes of fun at the start of their journey making Star Trek poses on the side of the road, but that led to Leonard's car being stolen and after that the episode was an incredibly grim slog of the guys being insulted, dismissed, and humiliated for being nerds. There wasn't anything that even suggested warmth or compassion towards these people. It was just a grotesque spectacle of mockery scored to a cacophony of hateful laughter.

I think the iconic moment of this episode – in a way, a moment that sums of the spirit of the entire series – is when the guys, already beaten down, exhausted and depressed from their march down the highway, have their misery compounded by a jock motorist hurling a slushie onto Sheldon with a bullying cry of "NERDS!" It read to me as a very depressing moment of salt being rubbed into fresh wounds, but the studio audience disagreed, instead exploding with joyous laughter. The message is, "This is what you deserve, nerds."

Of course The Big Bang Theory isn't the only sitcom out there to lampoon nerds – Ben Wyatt's Game of Thrones and Star Trek fandom has been a subject of humor over on Parks and Recreation, ditto for Liz Lemon and Star Wars on 30 Rock, and like half of Community is sendups of geek culture via Abed Nadir. But the difference is really one of tone and presentation. Those shows make fun, sure, but there has never, to my knowledge, been an underlying implication that these people would be more complete, happy, self-actualized individuals if they abandoned their passions and conformed. The Big Bang Theory on the other hand absolutely seems to imply that we're looking at stunted, loathsome creatures worthy of scorn.

Now, you might point to the not-inaccurate fact that the episode seemed to end with a moment of impending victory for the guys as they were about to walk in on Penny and the girls (who spent the episode exploring the world of comic books, getting gawked at by the poorly-groomed comic store patrons who had of course never seen women before) discussing Thor and finally getting to enjoy their nerdery.

But if that deserves to be pointed out it also deserves to be pointed out that the episode cut off before we actually saw the guys inside their apartment enjoying even a moment of onscreen triumph or happiness. It's almost like Chuck Lorre and the Big Bang Theory team perceive the show's audience as being repulsed by the idea of seeing anything simultaneously nerdy and joyful. The show is exclusively interested in nerd misery.

In the end, I guess it doesn't matter, because The Big Bang Theory sucks and isn't funny one way or another. But "The Bakersfield Expedition" definitely suggested a hateful show with a fundamentally pessimistic worldview, which in a way makes it the perfect successor to the previous highest-rated sitcom on television, the equally mean-spirited Two and a Half Men.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Parenthood Sets the Bar Early for Great TV in 2013

Season 4 Episode 13 - "Small Victories"

Now that's what I'm talking about. This is the Parenthood I put at #4 on my top shows of 2012, the Parenthood that making-you-cry-with-television warlock Jason Katims has somehow stuffed full of pure Friday Night Lights-era magic, the Parenthood that leaves all other pure human dramas on TV (and yes, that includes your precious Mad Men, internet) bowing at the feet of its effortless superiority.

Yeah, I thought "Small Victories" was a damn good episode.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bunheads Returns Still Light, Frothy and Enjoyable

Season 1 Episode 11 - "You Wanna See Something?"

Funny thing about this TV game is that someone creating one show you love often has little bearing on how you feel about their next show(s). The iconic example at the moment would probably be Aaron Sorkin's twin marks of shame, Studio 60 and The Newsroom (and now there are even some weak-kneed types retroactively pretending The West Wing and Sports Night weren't great, which is obviously dumb and wrong), but the list goes on and on. I don't like Armando Iannucci's Veep nearly as much as The Thick of It; Shawn Ryan's Last Resort is but a shadow of The Chicago Code, much less Terriers; plenty of Wire fanatics couldn't care less about Treme; and Mitch Hurwitz's quasi-remake of Arrested Development, my favorite work of fiction ever crafted by the hands of man, was the instantly forgettable Running Wilde.

So it's nice to know in these uncertain times that there are TV writers you can count on: Your Joss Whedons for genre serials, your Jason Katims for warmhearted family dramas, and your Amy Sherman-Palladinos for light dramedies about motormouthed, pop culture-referencing young women in charming small town settings. In its first three seasons Gilmore Girls was one of the most special shows on television, and Sherman-Palladino's new show Bunheads has picked up that baton admirably, merely swapping out inns and academia for ballet and more ballet. It could never be as good as Gilmore Girls without Lauren Graham or Stars Hollow, but it's a damn fine little program. After The Legend of Korra, it's my second-favorite show to both start in and make it alive out of 2012.

Like many season premieres (ok, this is technically season 1 episode 11, though with five months since the last episode and a substantial time jump in-Buniverse, it's a de facto season premiere), "You Wanna See Something?" is largely dedicated to undoing the seemingly show-shattering events of last season's finale. In this case that involved getting Las Vegas-showgirl-turned-small town-youth-dancing-instructor Michelle Simms back to said small town of Paradise after she was exiled for accidentally macing her students, and yes, like many season premiere retcon jobs, it played out with a slight sense of stale inevitability.

But I thought it was fitting and in-character that Michelle wasn't returned to Paradise through any realization of her own but by another character, in this case Fanny, reaching out to her. Really, after macing a dozen children, that's the only way it could be, and it felt at least 80% earned. Michelle's final moment with Sasha was also quite nice, and I enjoyed the way it sliced through the bullshity scene with Sasha's generic bad boy romantic interest. (Sorry, generic bad boy: I watched Jess Mariano, I knew Jess Mariano, Jess Mariano was a fictitious friend of mine. Generic bad boy, you're no Jess Mariano.)

The real magic in this episode lay not with Michelle but with the titular bunheads, something it shares with the show's second-best episode so far, "Movie Truck" (an episode which, I might add, was one of the very last cut from the rough draft of my best episodes of 2012, though I think that's made up for by the pilot almost cracking the top ten). Ginny and Melanie already feel like much more integrated parts of the ensemble than they ever did last year, and Boo's unwitting starring turn as the "it's time to dance!" girl was one of the infinitesimally few fictitious viral videos I've seen that had even a passing resemblance to a video that might actually go viral.

I also rather enjoyed the way "You Wanna See Something?" functioned as the mirror image of the series' pilot, which was all about Michelle in its first act and didn't bring in the rest of the main cast until deep into the episode, by featuring everyone except Michelle until thirteen minutes in. It was a clever way to subtly but strongly announce that the show, which began as the story of a single person, is now about Paradise itself, a town which now feels empty absent Michelle. It widened the show's thematic scope through just a slight change of narrative emphasis.

The ratings aren't especially great on Bunheads, making it a very real chopping block risk on not-shy-to-axe-underperformers ABC Family. But I know I for one enjoy the adventures of these teenage ballerinas more than a grown man who doesn't give a shit about ballet probably should, and I'll be bummed if the next seven episodes wind up the show's swan song. Bunheads is "chill the fuck out" TV done right.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Brief Tribute to Megan Ganz

On Wednesday night, news hit that my favorite currently employed TV comedy writer, Megan Ganz, is departing Community for the infinitely greener ratings pastures of Modern Family.

Now, following the losses of Dan Harmon, Chris McKenna, Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, Neil Goldman, Garrett Donovan, and most recently Chevy Chase, this definitely feels like yet another death knell for the already-bleeding series. And yes, like many Communists, my initial reaction was one of "NOOO!!" But honestly, there's no lack of doom and gloom out there, so I'd rather take the opposite approach and whip up a quick tribute to Megan's work on four of the finest sitcom episodes of the last decade.

Her first script, season 2 episode 8, "Cooperative Calligraphy," is a concept episode of both the simplest and arguably most horrifying kind for a TV writer (much less a brand new one): The bottle episode. The group is stuck in the study room looking for Annie's pen, and from that point forward the episode is driven by twenty minutes of nonstop dialogue, maybe the series' purest writer's showcase to date (save Harmon's script for the pilot having to set up all the characters).

And it's a masterpiece. For real. There's so much energy and emotion to it, it's so thunderously paced and exciting with so little outward action, it's so funny, and it does such an amazingly good job of balancing big jokes and moments and reveals for every one of the Greendale Seven. The reveal and explanation of Abed's menstrual calendar is as good of an uproarious "Oh shit!" moment as I've seen a sitcom pull off in years. Everything about the episode is fantastic, and it's all there on the page.

Abed: "Ok, if I could just take this time to share a few words of sarcasm with whoever it is that took this pen. I want to say thank you for doing this to me. For a while I thought I'd have to suffer through a puppy parade, but I much prefer being entombed alive in a mausoleum of feelings I can neither understand nor reciprocate. So whoever you are, can I get you anything? Ice cream? Best friend medal? Anything? Mm-mm? Ok, sarcasm over. You're last up, Shirley. Dump your comedically huge bag and end this."

Megan's next two episodes, season 2 episode 16, "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking," and season 3 episode 8, "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux," are notable not only for being among the best TV episodes of 2011 but also because they're two episodes that aired only seven months apart with what outwardly seems like the same gimmick, yet they feel so different.

The former, via Abed's painfully sharp skewering of the "explaining things to the camera" crutch, is mostly a sendup of The Office and Parks and Rec and, ironically, Modern Family (and is also, between Firefly and Reading Rainbow, an incredible episode for Troy, and Britta and Jeff's "dumb gay dad" exchange is an all-timer). Meanwhile, the escalating derangement of the Dean's film project in the latter makes it a clear Hearts of Darkness parody, with The Office barely coming to mind at all. This is smart, controlled, hyper-specific pop culture riffing of a caliber other series with their throwaway references just can't even dream of.

Both episodes are also alike in the way that they root all their goofiness and pop culture in meatier character deconstruction than any non-Community sitcom out there has any real interest in. "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking" is the best episode of the "Evil Pierce" saga after "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons," and actually surpasses that episode in the way it examines the why of Pierce's newfound evilness via his increasing isolation from the study group. And "Redux" is just a delicious examination of Dean Pelton's ambitions.

And finally, Megan's fourth and most recent episode, the Law & Order parody "Basic Lupine Urology" (which I recently put at #17 on my best TV episodes of 2012 list), is, along with the Glee parody "Regional Holiday Music," one of Community's two episodes that are just start-to-finish full-bore parodies of other TV shows, and it's terrific fun. In fact, I think it probably qualifies as my favorite Law & Order episode of all time.

Every second is flawless spoofing, from the initial discovery of the "crime" scene to the early onscreen planting of the real culprit to the good cop/bad cop routine to Leslie Hendrix as the medical examiner to a gratuitous chase scene to the lawyer's closing arguments to the final surprising "tragic" note the episode ends on. It's the shallowest of Megan's four episodes, but it's 22 minutes packed to the brim with pop culture perfection.

And in a way those four episodes show an arc of mastery of every facet of what Community is: Ganz started with a totally character and dialogue-centric episode that's as light on pop culture as post-season 1 Community gets. Then she moved on to two episodes that balance a roughly even mix of pop culture riffing and character analysis of Pierce and the Dean. Then finally she capped off her initial run with a colorful, straight-up, just-for-fun TV parody. And all four are perfect 'A' episodes. It's one of the highest quality averages for any TV writer I can think of in any genre, drama, sitcom, cartoon, whatever.

Now, I'm gonna level here: I have no intention of watching Modern Family, Ganz or no. It's awesome that she got a job on the second highest-rated comedy on television, but it's just not my thing. But thankfully, all of Community season 4 is already in the can and Megan worked on it start to finish (she wrote the season finale, in fact). I may be in a state of perpetual dread about what the show's post-Harmon year(s?) will look like, but I'm also really excited to see the final act of Ganz's Greendale career. Bring on October 19th February 7th!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Retro Review: Community, Season 2 Episode 12 - "Asian Population Studies"

(I'm still a little burned out from writing my top fifty list, so instead of a new TV episode review I'm gonna chill out and post a review I wrote a while back for the Community message board on The A.V. Club, where I post under the screenname Eolith. The review includes "Stray Observations" and "Commentary Commentary" categories that aren't part of my regular routine but I did to fit into the board's review style guide, so don't be alarmed. We'll return to our regularly scheduled weekly episode reviews and Wednesday essays/lists next week.)

"Asian Population Studies," the kickoff of the gang's fourth semester at Greendale, is never mentioned alongside "A Fistful of Paintballs"/"For a Few Paintballs More" or "Curriculum Unavailable" when discussing Community's spiritual sequel episodes, but maybe it should be. The episode too directly echoes the previous January midseason premiere "Investigative Journalism" to be entirely an accident, both centering around the study group debating the merits of adding an eighth soul to their merry band as they return from winter break. But rather than a celebrity guest spot, the two men applying for group membership this time around are established characters within the show's universe: Jeff's offputtingly perfect pottery rival Rich and former Spanish teacher Ben Chang.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Best TV Episodes, December 2012

(I'm still a little burned out from writing my top fifty list, so I'm gonna keep this month's best episodes feature short and sweet. Look for me to return to my usual excessive verbiage in a month's time.)

10. Fringe, Season 5 Episode 9 – "Black Blotter"

Just a few hours shy of its likely grim and apocalyptic endgame, Fringe reminded us of its sense of humor in a winking episode fueled largely by Walter Bishop tripping on acid and building to a climactic Monty Python-esque animation sequence.

9. Arrow, Season 1 Episode 9 – "Year's End"

With the introduction of what seems to be its debut season's "big bad," Arrow took shape and found narrative focus in its last installment of 2012.

8. Last Resort, Season 1 Episode 9 – "Cinderella Liberty"

After slipping a bit episode by episode following an impressive pilot, Shawn Ryan's (soon-to-be-finished) naval thriller finally got the blood pumping in this tense, climactic hour, revolving around a hostage crisis at sea.

7. Parenthood, Season 4 Episode 10 – "Trouble in Candyland"

While this episode's focus on a more straightforward "antagonist" (Pamela Adlon's Marlyse, trying to shut down the Braverman brothers' recording studio) was a slightly odd change of pace for Parenthood, it came to a heartwarming conclusion that earned a huge smile. The episode also provided another strong, angsty showcase for Matt Lauria.

6. Boardwalk Empire, Season 3 Episode 12 – "Margate Sands"

A flawed finale in certain ways, but one thing's for sure: Richard Harrow rescuing Tommy was fuckin' fantastic.

5. American Dad!, Season 8 Episode 6 – "Adventures in Hayleysitting"

The sequence of graphic ultraviolence ending this episode was one of the darkest, funniest things I saw in any sitcom – animated or no – all year long. One of the best Steve and Hayley stories of the entire series.

4. The Vampire Diaries, Season 4 Episode 9 – "O Come, All Ye Faithful"

Capping off a half-season that occasionally felt stagnant, the final ten minutes of The Vampire Diaries' midseason finale assertively, violently reminded us that Klaus is not a Spike-esque lovable antihero or a grumpy harmless cartoon villain, but a full-fledged murderous bad guy, and thank god. Outside of the third season finale it's the show's best 2012 episode.

3. Homeland, Season 2 Episode 12 – "The Choice"

Was Homeland's second season finale dumb? Yes. Was it entertaining? Hell yes.

2. Fringe, Season 5 Episode 10 – "Anomaly XB-6783746"

Fringe did an awesome job raising the stakes in its final episode of 2012 and the fourth-to-last episode of the series, moving the greater plot forward and making damn sure that we sufficiently hate ultimate villain Captain Windmark going into the final stretch.

1. Bob's Burgers, Season 3 Episode 7 – "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks"

Tina very slowly crashing Bob's car is one of the most staggeringly fucking funny things I've seen on television in I can't even tell you how long. The rest of the episode ruled too, but seriously, that car crash is easily one of the greatest television scenes of 2012. (Also, I assume the #1 slot on these monthly best episodes lists is going to be dominated by dramas – especially as we enter this uncertain, Dan Harmonless fourth season of Community – so I'm going to leap on every opportunity to put a sitcom in the top slot.)