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Boring! Putin Employs Overdone ‘Will They or Won’t They’ Trope in Ukraine


Photo, with edits, from Twitter


Does artistic integrity matter to anyone these days? I’m not sure if you guys have been keeping up with the latest episodes of European conflict, but if you haven't, let me save you the time. You could probably select any American newspaper between the years 1950 and 1989 and read the same version there.

As a consistent consumer of the liberal mainstream media, I’ve noticed a few consistently disappointing themes. But out of all the horrible shit that I’ve come to expect from my daily news intake (terrorist attacks, Covid deaths, Kimye news, sad children, insipid Amy Gutmann farewells, etc) there is one thing that bothers me more than anything: lazy writing.

I’m sorry, but does Putin really think that anyone is still enthralled by this same tired old back and forth? That anyone is on the edge of their seat, salivating as they wait to tune in next week just to witness the exact storyline that’s been playing out for literal decades now? 

Grey’s Anatomy has been renewed for its 19th season, and do you know how Meredith Grey got ABC to pick-her-choose-her-love-her with that contract? By spicing things up. If a bunch of semi-hot doctors who are all having sex with each other need a plane crash, a mass shooting, 14 explosions and 138 separate main character deaths to get people to keep watching, why do the writers of great power politics think they can keep getting away with this bullshit East vs West, Cold War era snooze fest?

The slow burn, will they/won’t they plotline that Russia is going for might have worked for Nick Miller and Jess Day, but Putin and NATO simply don’t have the sexual chemistry that made New Girl exciting. The writers need to get with the times and face reality: there hasn’t been a real spark between these countries since Reagan’s iconic plea for Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!” Now THAT was some compelling dialogue. 

The truth of the matter is that all of Russia’s best seasons are behind it. Putin can try his best to push the envelope by “violating international law” and “ignoring the national sovereignty of neighboring countries,” but for true fans, all the dynamism of the former Soviet bloc is gone. When Putin manages to release an episode teaser that has American schoolchildren crouched under their desks to hide from hypothetical nukes, then I’ll be impressed with his artistic vision.

Until then, all my love to Ukraine. I'm rooting for this underdog story, even if the production is getting sloppy. And, uh, women still can’t get drafted, right?