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Judge Parker, 8/5/12

The first time I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, it was at the tail end of a big Hitchock binge, and so one of the things I found most striking about it was that it was about half of a typical Hitchcock movie. Which is to say: As in most of his movies, we get a cast of quirky character trading snappy dialogue, and start to get a sense of dysfunction underlying their interpersonal dynamics. Usually, the story’s excitement would emerge from these relationships fairly early in the movie; but in The Birds, whatever plot you think is brewing is suddenly and violently pushed aside by an incomprehensible apocalypse, as (uh, spoilers, I guess) every bird in the world suddenly goes insane and starts attacking humanity. It’s well and truly shocking in particular if you’re a Hitchcock fan, because you watch one of his meticulously constructed universes suddenly shatter under assault from an external force that is never explained.

This is a long way of me saying that, if the current round of enjoyable but predictable Judge Parker antics were abruptly interrupted by a terrifying and bloody raccoon revolution, I for one would be fully in favor of such a development.

Mary Worth, 8/5/12

Guys, sorry I left you hanging on the Mary Worth boat-plot — metaphorically, I mean, not literally hanging off the side of a listing cruise boat, like these guys. Anyway, Wilbur didn’t fall to his death and it looks like our gang will be rescued by a helicopter instead? Which, call me a swimming-snob if you must, but is it really easier to pluck half a dozen terrified passengers from the tilted deck of a rapidly sinking ship than it is for those passengers to, say, swim the length of two swimming pools through warm coastal non-oceanic water to safety? Tell me I’m crazy! Am I crazy?

Rex Morgan, 8/5/12

I’ll probably get sick of “Rex Morgan smiles to himself while taking flack from sassy old people” plotlines at some point, but for now, I say bring ’em on! “Tell me something I don’t know!” Rex says to Melissa, trying to figure out how to get into the space suddenly left open in her will by her ungrateful niece.

Spider-Man, 8/5/12

As if you couldn’t tell from the entire run of Newspaper Spider-Man to this point, spider-sense can not predict or protect against public humiliation.