What to Watch: TV chat with Hank Stuever

May 16, 2019

Post TV critic Hank Stuever talked about what's bad, good and so bad it's good on TV.

Here's what Hank would watch if he wasn't paid to watch TV: "Game of Thrones," "Better Things," "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Insecure" Lately he's been digging "Barry," "Catch-22," "Ramy," "Killing Eve," and "Gentleman Jack."

Hello once again -- welcome back to Thursday's TV Chat.

I have a farewell piece about "The Big Bang Theory" in today's Style section.

Also, just posted: My review of Hulu's very good adaptation of "Catch-22."

And here's my live review from Sunday night's "Veep" finale -- I found it a satisfying walkoff.

What are you watching? Let's chat!

I thought it was the best of this season (maybe not high praise). A lot of commentary is outrage over Daenerys and dragon slaughtering their way through King's Landing. Apparently, it's too fast a turnaround from her being the heroine in quest of her throne. I thought it made sense. My only question is, who's going to kill her in the final episode? My guess, the dragon revolts against mommy.

That guess sounds as good (or better) than any I've heard or come up with. Just think, in another few days, we'll all know. 

Thank you for your review of Chernobyl. I'm mostly intrigued and it seems like something I'd enjoy watching... but I'm hoping you can shed a little more light on one thing. You mention the obvious "gross-out consequences" of the reactor meltdown, and I'm curious to understand how much of the gross-out is implied vs. shown literally. There's certainly a tipping point of "I know it when I see it" when a show crosses from 'good but a little gross' to 'no longer enjoyable.' For instance, Killing Eve and Handmaid's Tale I enjoy. The episode of Escape from Dannemora where they show the murders the inmates committed was right on the apex. Some GoT is fine but the Red Wedding or this past week's episode catch me watching through my fingers and no longer having fun. So I ask you (and other chatters), where would Chernobyl lie on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being, say, Sesame Street and 10 being Dexter/The Walking Dead/Insert other shows I've never watched because I assumed they'd be too violent for my sensibilities?

Because you so helpfully supplied examples of shows where a little bit of gross was acceptable, I am fairly confident in telling you that "Chernobyl" will be fine.

HOWEVER, I will once again point out that episode 4 includes the mass killing of radioactive dogs. For lots and lots of people, animal death is something they just will not watch, in any context. But I found it very necessary to portray and a key part of understanding the depths of the Chernobyl tragedy, especially from the perspective of the conscripted soldier who is assigned to dog-shooting patrol.

For just an average ratings TV show (not something like GoT) that is coming to an end of a season or a final ending, how widely known is the ending before airing? For example, the limited series The Red Line is coming to a conclusion this Sunday. Is it a widely known secret in Hollywood how everything wraps up ahead of time? Or is leaking the ending considered a fireable offense that everyone working for the show takes very seriously?

CBS couldn't have been too concerned about the ending to "The Red Line" getting out, because they sent critics and journalists who cover television all eight episodes. Luckily, most of us have good manners and wouldn't blab the ending in a review or feature story.

For more intense finale situations, I'm sure there are NDAs and other security precautions taken with employees and contractors. Heightened secrecy also means fewer advanced screeners, sent out to fewer journalists.

I have to say, I was very pleased at Richard's ascendance to the Presidency. He had one of the best lines in the finale. "Let's talk turkey." "Great pets."

And didn't he look so presidential at the funeral!

Thanks for your recommendation regarding Gentleman Jack - I've watched the first four episodes and am really enjoying it. It's so interesting to me that Anne Lister was progressive in traditions that impacted her directly (wanting equality with men and same sex marriage) but when her sister is contemplating marrying a tradesman she balks since they are landowners and it would be beneath the family. Also, while I believe she does love Ann Walker, her intentions do seem to skew towards being more interested in her money. The whole story has many different layers that make for a really entertaining series.

Yes, Anne is a big snobby snob! That's part of what makes her so audacious. Glad you're enjoying show -- hope others will discover it. Here's my review from April.

Selina sacrifices everything to be elected President, only to be outdone by Kemi and Richard Splett.....and Tom Hanks! This show has been prescient (hope I spelled it right) this season with Anti-Vaxx plagues and Muslems being blamed for math. What do you think is most likely to happen from the Final Episode?

In real life? I think Tom Hanks will indeed die someday.

I see things are so bad, that there is an internet petition out there to destroy all of the Season 8 Episodes and just make a "Do Over" of the entire season, starting with the new credits sequence and bad lighting on the Battle of Winterfell. Would you sign this partition? Is this Season 8 irredeamable?

No, but I would sign a petition to disable all online petitions, especially if they're about movies or TV shows.

GOT writing has definitely suffered in the past few seasons, becoming rushed and much less witty and nuanced. The network would have given them more time, were they just tired of it all, and wanting to move on to new projects?

By "more time," do you mean waiting for GRRM to finish another book? Another two books? Because that could have been never, or almost as long.

I agree with your assessment on the Veep finale- up until the second to last episode I really had no idea how they were going to finish it, and I thought what the ending was perfect, really. Selina got what she wanted but at the cost of her remaining allies and what bit of soul she had left. And poor Gary! That made me tear up a bit I must admit. You mentioned that the creators were always careful not to mention party affiliation, but I could swear at one point this season there was a reference to the “Democratic” primary or debate. Did I just imagine that? It would make some of the compromises in the finale a little less believable. Anyway, I’m going to miss Veep a lot. So what sarcastic comedy should I watch next??

I have also written before that they've slipped just enough to let us know Selina was a Democrat. Her story lines never really fit a GOP narrative -- however, she is the president who ended gay marriage, so ...

Hi Hank! Are you going to do a review of Catch-22 on Hulu? It's one of my favorite books (a must read if you are in the military or work for the government!) I feel like it will be good...I mean, George Clooney typically does good work, right?

See link in intro above. He's a little hammy in it, but it's a hammy role, in a story that is intentionally satirical. As for "Clooney typically does good work," I'll let you scroll through his IMDB filmography and judge for yourself. There are some clunkers in there, for sure -- especially recently.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first season but I’ve been forcing myself to watch this current season. I feel like I’m watching reruns. It’s the same show every week - don an elaborate costume and commit an elaborately staged murder. Have Eve exhibit her two emotions- confusion and fear. And then show her husband who has the same two lines each week. This show had an interesting premise but it’s not progressing at all

I admit I'm at least two episodes behind now (the work load has been pretty intense lately), but still have hopes that I'll enjoy watching them.

What do you think of the show? I thought it was scheduled last night but it looked as though it was pre-empted by Survivor. I think casting is great and they do a good job of showing emotions without being maudlin.

I wish it was about real seals.

I am one of those people and I really appreciate knowing this in advance. I'll be sure to skip it.

Is Sam Rockwell a smoker in real life? If not, he had to cultivate a really under-appreciated skill (?) for this role. I smoked a pack a day for 25 years and could never hold a cigarette in my mouth for any length of time--certainly not walking, talking, or dancing. The smoke goes straight up your nose and into your eyes! It's terrible! On top of all that, even if Rockwell is a smoker who does that, John Hamm, Mad Men smoker extraordinaire, said he had to use these herbal cigarettes that were just god-awful. Anyway. Minor point, but it's really important to getting to know the character, so mad props for him manging to pull that off.

I think everyone has to use the faux cigarettes now because sets are workplaces and smoking is not allowed.

Perhaps you forgot to hit the "Begin Chat" button

No, it's set to "LIVE" and coming through on my end -- and people are already responding to posted comments. Maybe you need to clear your cache or shut down your browser or any of those tricks IT always offers?

I promise not to ask this about every upcoming show, but also curious about how gross Catch-22 is? Obviously it's a show about war so violence comes with the territory, but if there are Saving Private Ryan-esque battle scenes with arms flying and guts spewing, it may not be for me.

There's one scene involving a propeller that's pretty gross, but, since you've said you're able to watch through your fingers, I'd still say go for it.

I thought Veep really nailed the finale. I never feel the need to personally like every character in order to like a show, but any other show in which the majority of characters act like especially narcissistic and vocal toddlers most of the time would probably try my patience. There are enough a-holes in the world--no need to spend a lot of time watching a whole screen full of fictional ones as well. But somehow they made it work for 7(?) seasons. Gary's goodbye was both painful and perfect, and really reminded me why this was one of my favorite shows ever. I will miss it.

I'll drink to that.

I'm a couple seasons behind on GoT but still following at a distance. The overwhelming complaint is the rush to the finish line. Since they're talking prequels/spinoffs already what was the big reason to sprint to the end? Was there an agreement with Martin? Or were the principals' contracts ending and it would be too expensive to continue with the original cast?

I guess it depends on if you think it's rushed or if you think the show finally picked up the pace. The fact is there are dozens of characters and stories to wrap up and that's what they're doing.

Sure, keep some really crappy shows next year, but kill off Speechless, For the People and The Kids Are Alright? I'm defecting to NBC.

Upfronts = unhappiness.

In the first episode they hinted at how the Soviet hierarchy works and how blame is rooted out (or not rooted out), but this runs throughout the whole second episode. When the “committee” is meeting on how to handle the problem, the lead person says “some radiation, but just like a chest x-ray” and the only physicist in the room has to pound on the table to keep the meeting from adjourning to point out that it is not just a chest x-ray, at the very least it is about 400 of them and probably much higher (I didn’t like the person playing Gorbachev, by the way… aside from the wine stain birthmark he looks nothing like him). Then, when the physicist and the government rep arrive on scene, they are told “A minor accident, here’s a list of the people that caused it, we’ve got it all under control.” When the physicist pushes back on this BS he is lectured with “How can you spread disinformation at a time like this” even when the power plant is literally glowing blue and pouring out huge clouds of smoke. The whole thing had an “Elephant? What elephant, I don’t see one!” that was almost comical.

Yes, the theme isn't at all hard to suss out in this series.

I’ve been enjoying “Killing Eve” immensely, particularly S1. The S2 plot is going a bit beyond suspension-of-disbelief territory (E5 and E6), don’t you think? I guess It’s a kind of cynical satire of black ops? But that’s OK because Jodie Comer as Villanelle is just so mesmerizingly watchable and (IMO) the real star of this show. (BTW, she’s won six awards for “Killing Eve”.) Comer’s fun-loving, fashionista psychopath assassin is just so entertaining and utterly convincing. I never thought psychopathy could be so much fun!

Season one was sublime, two was difficult to watch - but the final episode made it all worth it. Three is great. So why isn't there more talk about this one? Hank Azaria has really created a unique character and the actors with him in series three (including Tawny Newsome, Martha Plimpton, Linda Lavin, J.K. Simmons, Richard Kind) are all wonderful.

It's not possible to ever fully answer why a show doesn't get more "talk," but the biggest reason is usually a combination of "peak TV" (there really are 500 dramas and comedies in production for just the American market, oodles more from international markets) and where it airs. In this case, "Brockmire" is on IFC (a cable channel) and I'll bet not people could have told you that off the top of their heads. Too, there are ratings, which speak volumes: Last week's Live+3 ratings (that's original broadcast plus three days of delayed/on-demand viewing) came to 326,000 estimated viewers. That's the population of some medium-sized metro cities, but in TV it's practically no one.

None of that should stand in the way of your enjoyment (or the show's efforts), but I think you'll enjoy it even more if you don't let it bother you (or consider it any kind of personal affront to your tastes) that the show hasn't caught on in a bigger way. Three seasons is a gift in this case.

Binge watched this show on Netflix while quilting last weekend. It was kind of fun seeing all these vaguely recognizable young actors and trying to remember what I had seen them in before. The show kept making me think it was an updated version of Lord of the Flies, but there were some strangely tender moments, like the girl sitting on the bench waiting for her parents to return to pick her up on the appointed day. Maybe I am super affected by today's political climate, but I appreciate a show where it seems that a sense of justice and order will win out over some of man's baser impulses.

The show itself (or at least its marketing department) considers "Lord of the Flies" to be a key inspiration. Seemed more like a ripoff of "The 100" divided by "Under the Dome" to me. I found it unwatchable after one episode, but then, I wasn't quilting while I watched it.

Was wondering how, or if, you would comment on the show's ending; your column handled it really well. I'd say this show is a bigger loss than the other one ending this week, but really, Big Bang is nowhere near ending, given, as you establish, its foothold in syndication.

And "Young Sheldon," right?

Do you ever find yourself using or fighting a first impression of a show based on the "network" it's on? What if they're trying something different? Like if hallmark did a gritty suspense or a cw show that's not comics/90s reboot?

This is one reason I go to the TV press tour for three weeks in July/August and again in January/February: To pick up on the intent behind all the upcoming shows, whether that's from the creators/showrunners' perspective, or the writers or the producers; or from network executives; or from the cast, and usually a little bit from all three. Because at the root of each review for a critic is an answer to this question: Is this show good at what it is TRYING to do?

To be honest, it's much more interesting to see a network take a swerve from its usual fare.

I come at all of this as professionally as possible; it's quite different from just watching TV and deciding I don't like a whole swath of network programming based on my personal prefs.

Just wanted to say thanks for the retrospective article yesterday. Very interesting points, and I enjoyed what seemed to be a personal journey into admitting that you kinda liked the show after all.

Thanks. Again, it gets back to elemental criticism: Is "Big Bang Theory" good at what it set out to do? The answer is easily yes (especially if the goal of all network sitcoms, from a business perspective, is a robust syndication deal).

Great article of appreciation. I don't know if you ever bother reading comments. I especially enjoyed the three or four which said, "It's a terrible show; I've never watched it."

You really have to wonder about those folks who take time to leave a comment like that. My best guess is they're soooo lonely.

It's even more baffling in email form: "I'm just writing you to tell you that I have never watched this and never will."

Very happy with the finale. I had guessed that Jonah would be President and she'd be his Veep again, thus ending where she began, but the actual ending worked quite well with no one having learned a g*****ed thing.

I had the same guess toward the end, but liked the swerve -- and really liked the flash-forward to her state funeral.

Do you know why it's ending? Too many actors wanting to move on? Too expensive? This seems like a fairly short run for a show that was such a smash. For goodness sake, Grey's Anatomy is in its 234th season, and it can't be pulling in more viewers than Empire (right?).

Six seasons is a long, healthy run -- especially for a show that just goes around in circles.

Any shows that have been cancelled that are a shock to you?

Not really. You?

Did anyone else laugh at the shape of her crypt opening? And it took a woman to figure out how to get the casket into it? I will miss this show!

So many great, subtle moves in those last moments -- also her supposedly dead ex-husband pushing by at the funeral, unnoticed.

So what are your thoughts on how Legion is going to be remembered? Or will it be remembered at all?

By fans only.

Not only recommending Gentleman Jack (love it!), but also Dead to Me. Any chance Dead to Me gets renewed for a second season??

Did I answer this already? I say it's likely, but there's no official word yet.

Robust syndication, indeed. We were in Croatia a few years ago and turned on the television...only to find The Big Bang Theory airing back-to-back.

Is funny America, no?

What's with Constance Wu's angry tweets after they announced it was renewed?

She was hoping to be freed up so she could do a movie project that was important to her.

Should they just go all out and reveal that her husband was really a Russian Spy all along? Perhaps they should have an ending like "the Americans" where they wind up in a foggy Moscow?

Might get me to watch again.

I haven't been able to join in the past two chats, but did read them after the fact. I've also been watching some of the shows you've reviewed (and not reviewed) and had some thoughts. (1) I think the idea that GOT and other shows have bad lighting to cover up background stuff, etc. is not valid. I think they do it for the mood. Like you (Hank) and others have said, if you adjust the brightness, or watch it on a TV rather than an iPAD or your phone, and turn off all the lights, that makes a big difference and then you CAN see everything. (2) I started watching Broadchurch, and promptly finished it as I watched all three seasons straight through. I agreed with your initial review, in that I didn't love all the red herrings in the first season. But I disagreed with your second review for the second season. I think your thought about how the show automatically went the pedophile route wasn't a "lazy" tactic--I think it was more the thread (in addition to the Latimer family) that brought all three seasons together. I loved the show and was sad when it was over. (3) I started watching "Mindhunter." You had said in a previous chat that you hadn't watched it because Netflix didn't send you the show to watch. So far, I don't know if it's worth it. Granted, I've only watched the first episode but I'm pausing it a lot to do other things, which is a sign to me that it's not interesting. I'll probably give it two more shows and then give up. (4) True Detective--I started watching the first season and am almost done (just the last episode left). I actually don't understand the hype around this show. I don't love it. And based on yours and others accounts that the second and third seasons aren't as good, I'm definitely not going to watch them. I think it's so slow moving and I feel like I don't have an understanding as to the main characters at all. The only thing I'm taking away is that they have a definite loyalty to each other, even after all they've been through, but there's nothing else redeeming about it to me. (5) I'm sure you're going to get comments on the most recent episode of GOT so I have to give my input. I know I'm in the rare side of things, but I loved the episode. It was nail biting, but I don't think this "came out of nowhere" for Dany. I think she's always had this impulse, but she's been reigned in by her trusted advisors. She no longer has those trusted advisors, and she's alone now. That's what makes her dangerous--not her Targaryness or her "mad Queen" genetic predisposition, but the lack of the fact that she no longer has anyone she trusts to say "hold back on this."

Thank you for all of this -- for taking time to read my reviews and quote them back to me, for your take on "Broadchurch" (which has mostly faded from my memory, I'm afraid), and (going back to Catholic school) your clarity and neatness. I can't remember the last time I got a chat submission this clean and comprehensive. And I'm with you on Dany; we've had hints of this behavior all along.

wondered what you thought

Haven't ever watched it.

I just finished watching it last night, and I'm already ready for season 2. Will there be one, do you think? As your review noted, the ending certainly set itself up for another go-round. I agree that some of the plot twists were telegraphed way too plainly, but overall I found the show very compelling. And a lot of fun.

Agreed -- and I get the sense that more people are discovering it.

Still waiting for that renewal announcement, but yes, I think they will order another season. (I have no evidence to back that up; nobody does.)

OOPS -- I did answer it earlier, but then saved it for later in the chat.

Selina in the Oval Office as her staffers walk out: "The level of incompetence in this room is amazing!" She's the only one there. Perfect.

Your dog warning made me think of Veep...the American people had no problem with Selina bombing a wedding and killing non-combatants, including children. But once they found out an elephant was a victim as well, that was enough to tank her poll numbers!

Truly.

It wasn't a finale, but I am still shocked that the Good Wife kept Josh Charles' departure under wraps. It REALLY added to the shock/emotional gravity of the death.

Yes, that was a biggie.

I'm getting confictinreports and Wiki isn't 100% reliable. Did Nathan Fillon get another break from ABC and get a renewal for a seson 2?

No confictin'! "The Rookie" has been renewed for next season. That's straight from ABC.

I always like to get your perspective on television history. With the series finale of Big Bang Theory tonight, it got me thinking of past series finales, which I think happens whenever there is a "big" series finale. Do you have one or two (or more) that you consider the "gold standard?" Thanks.

In the buildup to "The Americans" finale a year ago, I made a list last year of the best series finales in the modern TV era -- that is, since 2005. (You'd be amazed at how many commenters still asked why Newhart and MASH weren't on the list.)

Which show will be the one true syndication winner? When I visited Great Britain about 10 years ago, Friends was on pretty much every time I saw a TV.

"Friends," probably; "BBT" still doesn't have a big streaming deal, last I checked.

Which leads me to another gripe. When I signed up for CBS All Access, there will all these promises of access to archives, i.e., episodes of CBS series. But I wound up having to pay $2.99 apiece for Season 1 BBT episodes (research), via Amazon.

Bull got renewed in spite of the sexual harassment business against its star. I do like the show and do wonder whether It is possible to separate the personal qualities (or lack of them) of the actors from the business of the show itself. For example, I liked John Wayne movies even though Wayne's political are not mine.

Not a great example, since having political opinions and harrassing someone are totally different. I forget what the "Bull" outcome actually was, other than blowing over, which is what a number of the situations still do.

If only Jim Morrison were still around!

He'd be 75 and quite possibly totally forgotten.

Just let me plug your amazing colleagues' ever-updating article that literally lists 100+ show statuses. Thank you, Emily Yahr, Bethonie Butler and Sonia Rao!

Hear, hear! This calls for a link!

Thanks for reminding me.

Maybe the finale will blow all of our minds collectively, but if "Game of Thrones" has had its big moment in pop culture, the "Red Wedding" right?

That seemed to be a big turning point in the show's success and cultural impact, yes.

Not a lot there in the Imagination Department, eh?

Well, if you're selling ketchup, you need the word ketchup on there.

The producers/network shelled out over $9 million to Eliza Dushku. Apparently some of the onset footage his defense entered to rebut her charges only strengthened her case.

Ah, right.

So the answer is money.

I read there's a feature film being made of it and curious since it started out on TV as a "miniseries" (at least for awards consideration purposes), would the movie still be under your beat? Also trying to remember if there were characters or storylines I was dying to see what was next for them and drawing a bit of a blank. It did recycle plotlines and spin its wheels a lot and I say this as a major fan until the end. Maybe it will come to me in a minute.

Nope. Theatrical movie releases go the movie critics. So sayeth the TV Critic. (This is the second time I've been asked this in a chat.)

I have to say that I thought this last season was uneven (but still sharp, funny, and mean), but the finale was superb. It really wrapped up multiple threads, and the acting was amazing. Obviously JLD will likely win her seventh Emmy for playing Selina, probably because it is the last season but also on the strength of the finale. But for me, the MVP of the finale was Tony Hale. I am still thinking about the way he portrayed Gary at the funeral. He filled that one line with bitterness, anger, and the sychophantic codependency we have come to expect from Gary. Will Veep enter your top 12 list of series finales from last year?

To your last question, the "Veep" finale, good as it was, does not knock anything off my original list. I would put "The Americans" finale in there, but not sure what I would sub out.

Probably for every show mentioned in this chat, in one way or another...

Yep.

It’s no secret that much of the disappointment with the final season of Game of Thrones can be traced back to the rushed, shortened season. There wasn’t time to develop the characters’ end games. How did Jamie really feel about Cercei? Why did Arya turn back from her life’s mission? What triggered Danny’s madness? All of those crucial plot and character twists could have been explained, but in past seasons would have take up a full episode rather than one or two minutes. My theory is that some HBO bean counter did the math and said, “this show is costing too much. Cut it back.” The showrunners did the best they could with the less generous resources they were given. As for all those unexplained character actions, viewers can always have the fun of using their imagination - either on social media or other fan outlets to fill in their own blanks.

I think your theory is wrong. I think the order was "Spare no expense, but let's wrap it up." And when told they would need 18-20 months instead of a year to do that, the network said, sure, fine, but wrap it up.

I know two reviews is too much, but whenever "Downton Abbey: The Movie" is released to the public, maybe one review from somebody who has seen all the previous episodes of the TV show and another review from somebody who is going in cold never having watched even one episode or knowing anything about the show and its world?

Don't worry, we got this. We've been covering culture for a really long time.

Is "Fresh of the Boat" that bad? I admit I've never seen an episode.

Maybe that's one of her concerns?

I expected a lot of Faux-GOT fantasy shows to come around here and there. Cable networks would have Feudal tales with a lot of Swearing and Gore. ABC would bring back the comedy, "When things were Rotten", and HBO would add sexposition scenes in every show. But No! Not even Netflix! What are we paying you for?

You missed "Galavant"?

Has Murphy Brown really been cancelled?? I just read it was renewed.

Wherever you read that, it was wrong. "Murphy" is cancelled. Or more politely, I think everyone involved agreed that a fun 13-episode reboot was just enough. (Also the ratings were low.)

Wasn't it the showrunners themselves who wanted to bring this to a close even more than HBO did? Unless I'm mistaken, HBO wanted two full, 10 episode seasons, and the counter-offer was the 7/6 episode ones (respectively) that we've gotten.

Could be, I've forgotten. Also? It doesn't matter now.

I can't watch, but I CAN read WaPo's coverage . . . "human dinner rolls" totally cracked me up! Also, speaking of comedy royalty, RIP Tim Conway.

Funny story about Tim Conway (frankly I already thought he was dead): When I was a wee lad, I started yelling out of frustration at some sketch Conway was doing on "The Carol Burnett Show" -- the old man skittering back and forth, I think. I was yelling at him to hurry up and do whatever it was he was supposed to do. My mother came into the room and said IF YOU DON'T STOP YELLING AT THAT TELEVISION I'M GOING TO TURN IT OFF.

So I said, fine, turn it off.

And she did.

If that's not a way to end a TV Chat, I don't know what is. Talk to you next Thursday, everybody! Thanks for dropping by and for all your comments and questions. Sorry I can never get to them all.

In This Chat
Hank Stuever
Hank Stuever, The Washington Post's TV critic since 2009, joined the paper in 1999 as a writer for the Style section, where he has covered an array of popular (and unpopular) culture across the nation. Stuever was born and raised in Oklahoma and previously worked at newspapers in Albuquerque and Austin. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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