'The Newsroom' on HBO - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 409 Old 06-28-2012, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Imp View Post

Difference though is in Broadcast News, William Hurt's character was just a pretty face with no real intelligence. He was just put behind the desk because he looked good. Here, Jeff Daniels based on his opening rant seems to be very intelligent and well informed in a matter of subjects.
Hell, I couldn't even imagine knowing all that info he rattled off.
That said, as far as this show goes, like others I don't care for the dialog. It's never people just talking to each other. It always feels like a speech being given where no two people would actually have a conversation like that. Too over the top.

Unfortunately that's how Aaron writes. People never just talk. No one has conversations. It's speeches and attempts to one-up each other. It's probably why I tend to enjoy his shows at first and then they wear on me after awhile. Just a bunch of people with ADD jabbering at one another.
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post #92 of 409 Old 06-28-2012, 07:38 AM
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Just off the floor laughing. From Twitter.

"Today is going to be such an awesome episode of "The Newsroom" in 2 years."

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post #93 of 409 Old 06-28-2012, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Imp View Post

It always feels like a speech being given where no two people would actually have a conversation like that. Too over the top.

Yes, everyone's so smart, they're about to explode wink.gif
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post #94 of 409 Old 06-28-2012, 02:40 PM
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Yes, everyone's so smart, they're about to explode wink.gif

It's why I find Sorkin's work so relatable.

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post #95 of 409 Old 06-30-2012, 05:01 AM
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It took me 3 tries to get all the way through the pilot. I'll probably watch the next episode but at this point I really don't care what happens with the characters.

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post #96 of 409 Old 06-30-2012, 10:31 AM
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It took me 3 tries to get all the way through the pilot. I'll probably watch the next episode but at this point I really don't care what happens with the characters.
larry

I didn't find myself rooting for Jeff Daniel's character, that's for sure. You can be a crusading idealist without being an inconsiderate, self-centered jerk. Maybe the show is about his redemption into a decent human being as well as a crusading idealist. Add to that the inevitable re-falling in love with his hot producer - she came across as a little too needy for me - and the 3-way romantic triangle between the hot, naive chick and the two alpha-male producer-guys, and you've got the makings of drama!

Problem is, Sorkin is a lot better at the Big Idealistic speechifying than he is at the romantic comedy stuff. Hope he doesn't insist on writing every word himself this time. Aaron - delegate dude!
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post #97 of 409 Old 06-30-2012, 10:34 AM
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I left this on the DVR all week, not sure if I was going to give it a try or not. We did last night and I enjoyed it. While all the criticisms of Sorkin's work are valid, this one still might work for me. Like the cast, Sorkin can be very clever and who knows maybe I won't get worn out.

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post #98 of 409 Old 07-01-2012, 05:16 PM
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I'm in. The premiere was great. "I can only use 140 characters" lmao! As for Munn... I hope they just kick her arse out and keep the show. She WILL really drag this show down...

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post #99 of 409 Old 07-01-2012, 08:03 PM
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Liked this episode, minus Allison Pill. What a terrible actress. She needs to go.

The interview segment was hilarious. Jeff Daniels has transitioned seamlessly into his role. He's a real treat to watch.
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post #100 of 409 Old 07-01-2012, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post

Liked this episode, minus Allison Pill. What a terrible actress. .
Frankly her part has been badly written and directed, I'm not sure it's her fault. If "stupid and irritating" is what passes for funny these days then she's funny.
But there was enough "stupid and irritating" to go around in this episode.
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post #101 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 07:38 AM
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This is just too way over the top ridiculous with this dialog (yes I know, that's a Sorkin thing), but it's just too much to be enjoyable to me. That whole scene with Mackenzie freaking out while talking to Olivia Munn's character about the breakup and then the topper was how frigging annoying Maggie was the whole episode about everything. I'm done with unrealistic conversations. Have fun the rest of the ride for those who like this type of writing.
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post #102 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 08:39 AM
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I have always been willing to forgive Sorkin's dubious storytelling skills because listening to his dialogue has been sufficient pleasure. It used to be like listening to music.

This isn't dialogue. The characters are just taking turns orating (or ranting) at each other. There's no poetry, no rhythm. I'm finding it actively unpleasant. Even more because I'm concurrently re-watching The West Wing, so the contrast is highlighted.

And I need reasons to like the characters more. Reasons demonstrated by things they do, not just what somebody says about them.

The plodgy soundtrack music doesn't help. Where's Snuffy Walden when you need him?

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post #103 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 08:48 AM
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I loved episode 2 as much as I had loved the pilot. I am getting into The Newsroom much the same way I got into David E. Kelley's Boston Legal: by simply ignoring the inevitable left wing preaching and enjoying the delightfully funny and sometimes moving interplay between a bunch of smart and interesting people.

I have enjoyed Allison Pill's Maggie Jordan. Maggie is very smart but her social clumsiness makes her her own worst enemy. I have even found Olivia Munn's Sloan entertaining, although its rather a long stretch to accept Munn as a brilliant economist with a PHD from Duke.

I really like Emily Mortimer's Mackenzie. Nobody does a better job of portraying a combination of toughness and vulnerability that Mortimer.

In short, so far, so good.
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post #104 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post

Liked this episode, minus Allison Pill. What a terrible actress. She needs to go.
The interview segment was hilarious. Jeff Daniels has transitioned seamlessly into his role. He's a real treat to watch.

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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Frankly her part has been badly written and directed, I'm not sure it's her fault. If "stupid and irritating" is what passes for funny these days then she's funny.
But there was enough "stupid and irritating" to go around in this episode.


I thought she was ok in the first ep but her part in the second was really annoying and badly written. I'm not sure better acting would have improved it at all. I get that she is the noobie and has potential. The boyfriend arc is stupid and pretty much undermines her character. The fact that she came up big in the first ep and then failed in the second ep for such ridiculous reasons made her part almost unwatchable. Not sure if AS is trying to balance the "just happened to have friends and family in good places which helps" versus "knowing a source is sometimes bad." Both bad writing.

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post #105 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 10:38 AM
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While I liked the pilot ep, I absolutely hated this one.  It wasn't Sorkin's preaching and speech making dialogue or his left wing slant to everything - it was just badly done.  The banter became machine gun style and distracting.  The dialogue wasn't realistic in the least and not even (IMO) that well written or interesting.  I can see now why the critics who panned it said that it dropped badly in eps 2-4.  I'll never know how bad it actually gets, because after ep 2, there is no way I could stay in for 3, 4 or any more.  I made it to the end (just in case) then immediately deleted the series recording.  Yuck.


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post #106 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

I have always been willing to forgive Sorkin's dubious storytelling skills because listening to his dialogue has been sufficient pleasure. It used to be like listening to music.

This isn't dialogue. The characters are just taking turns orating (or ranting) at each other. There's no poetry, no rhythm. I'm finding it actively unpleasant. Even more because I'm concurrently re-watching The West Wing, so the contrast is highlighted.

And I need reasons to like the characters more. Reasons demonstrated by things they do, not just what somebody says about them.

+1
There needs to be a LOT more solid characterization than we're seeing at present. Otherwise it's just a lot of unpleasant people ranting on screen. Daniels thus far is the only one who's shown us an interesting character, but he seems to be more of a supporting role than anything else.

This episode seems to be "The Allison Pill Show" and pretty much stank.
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post #107 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 12:22 PM
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This show is like watching text messaging put to sound and video, and the characters might as well wear theater masks as it doesn't matter who they are, the focus is on the words, if dogs and cats could speak I bet we'd have nearly the same end result.

I've enjoyed most of what Sorkin has done to date, and I'll stick this one out for at least one more episode, but my thumb will be lingering over that Delete button.
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post #108 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 01:42 PM
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Renewed for a second season.
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post #109 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 02:10 PM
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Renewed for a second season.

They did that with 'Luck' too. eek.gif
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post #110 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 02:13 PM
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They did that with 'Luck' too. eek.gif

ha. biggrin.gif


Good news!
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post #111 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 02:13 PM
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The Ex. Producer screaching with her Brit accent, and the young producer's voice was like nails on the black-board.... More Will, [Nice phone throw], and I like the S. Producer guy, but quit chasing the the girl who screwed up the telecast.... Getting annoying.
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post #112 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I loved episode 2 as much as I had loved the pilot. I am getting into The Newsroom much the same way I got into David E. Kelley's Boston Legal: by simply ignoring the inevitable left wing preaching and enjoying the delightfully funny and sometimes moving interplay between a bunch of smart and interesting people.
I have enjoyed Allison Pill's Maggie Jordan. Maggie is very smart but her social clumsiness makes her her own worst enemy. I have even found Olivia Munn's Sloan entertaining, although its rather a long stretch to accept Munn as a brilliant economist with a PHD from Duke.
I really like Emily Mortimer's Mackenzie. Nobody does a better job of portraying a combination of toughness and vulnerability that Mortimer.
In short, so far, so good.
I guess gwsat and myself are the only ones here who liked the second episode of The Newsroom. I'm enjoying the interplay between the characters and I thought that having a disaster of a newscast after nailing the last one was effective, showing the hit and miss nature of a daily news show and the pressures involved. I'm in so far and if I like the third episode as much as the first two I'll go ahead and do the series recording thing. smile.gif
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post #113 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 07:23 PM
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I liked it fine. There's no doubt that it uses dialog as exposition more than usual for him, but I don't mind, too much.

Here's an interview with Sorkin from last week - I take it he doesn't directly write the all the dialog, but he does have his prints on all of it.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304765304577478462070587278.html

As a screenwriter, you're known as a one-man show. So how does your writers' room operate?

It's not a traditional staff. On most shows we'd all get together at the beginning of the season, talk about the arc, and I'd assign episodes. The writers would give me pitches and outlines and write drafts, then I would do the final polish. That's not how it works here. Some people were hired because they have news backgrounds. Some are new writers who are OK with not writing for a year and consider it a good paid apprenticeship. Their job, in addition to research, is to try to [plan] the next episode. Anytime anybody actually writes dialogue that comes out of somebody's mouth, I share the writing credit.

The little blond is growing on me, she's showing some acting chops by the end of the episode. I think some people who don't care for it aren't seeing the show that's being made, they're seeing a show that's not what they expect, and not allowing it to be itself. There's an arc here, and it needs time to play out.

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post #114 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 11:06 PM
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I liked it fine. There's no doubt that it uses dialog as exposition more than usual for him, but I don't mind, too much.
Here's an interview with Sorkin from last week - I take it he doesn't directly write the all the dialog, but he does have his prints on all of it.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304765304577478462070587278.html
As a screenwriter, you're known as a one-man show. So how does your writers' room operate?
It's not a traditional staff. On most shows we'd all get together at the beginning of the season, talk about the arc, and I'd assign episodes. The writers would give me pitches and outlines and write drafts, then I would do the final polish. That's not how it works here. Some people were hired because they have news backgrounds. Some are new writers who are OK with not writing for a year and consider it a good paid apprenticeship. Their job, in addition to research, is to try to [plan] the next episode. Anytime anybody actually writes dialogue that comes out of somebody's mouth, I share the writing credit.
The little blond is growing on me, she's showing some acting chops by the end of the episode. I think some people who don't care for it aren't seeing the show that's being made, they're seeing a show that's not what they expect, and not allowing it to be itself. There's an arc here, and it needs time to play out.
I agree with this. While I'm not in love with the show so far, it just needs some development, to slow down in spots outside the newsroom, let the characters settle in...and...I think it will get better, maybe great. I'll give it 5 or 6 episodes. Last night's was a cacophany, but I see some arcs developing and I never really commit to characters or a show until it gets going. I'm interested so far.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #115 of 409 Old 07-02-2012, 11:10 PM
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The plodgy soundtrack music doesn't help. Where's Snuffy Walden when you need him?
Although I enjoyed his work on Sports Night and The West Wing, there were several moments during Studio 60 were I openly questioned which was more heavy handed and saccharine, the writing or the soundtrack.
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post #116 of 409 Old 07-03-2012, 12:39 PM
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Caught the 2nd episode last night. The writing and casting is superb.

Starting to get a crush on Maggie played by Alison Pill. She's such a dork sometimes tongue.gif
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post #117 of 409 Old 07-03-2012, 04:01 PM
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I was absolutely blown away by the pilot, which ranks right up there with the best pilots I've seen. But the second episode was marred by bad dialog, overacting and poor direction. The only characters acting remotely normal are Nilesh (Dev Patel) - the young Indian kid, Sam Waterston and Maggie's EP-in-transition boyfriend. Emily Mortimer was simply unbearably screechy and hamming it up horribly. The pace of dialog needs to be slowed down to let the impact of the words sink in with the viewer.

Being a proud liberal myself, the caricature of the right wing characters seemed cheap and unnecessarily heavy handed. I was left underwhelmed by the second outing, and hope things pick up in future episodes. For now, I am firmly hooked on the show.
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post #118 of 409 Old 07-03-2012, 11:17 PM
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This is a very good show. Some of the dialog doesn't ring true, all right, but the characters are vivid, and the writing is memorable if not always true-to-life. The premise is an important one - that news programs have changed for the worse, ratings trump professionalism, and being serious about journalism is an aberration. The complaints about presenting the conservative viewpoint in an unflattering light are valid, I guess, although it's rare to hear a Republican on television these days who doesn't sound like a moron or a shill. (This from a registered Republican who has always considered himself conservative on a number of issues, liberal on others.)

The main thing is, there's not a lot of competition nowadays in the way of quality dramatic programming. I'm thankful that I have this one to record every week.
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post #119 of 409 Old 07-04-2012, 06:42 AM
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Finally got around to watching the 2nd ep. I liked the first one, but the first half was much better than the 2nd half. In episode 2 both halves were equally terrible. Allison Pill is atrocious. Hard to look at, hard to listen to, and her dialogue is insipid. A political correctness rant about the words we use to describe illegal aliens? Really? Thanks. I'm a liberal but what makes it hard to admit that are all the liberals that resemble Allison Pill's character, and now I get to watch a bunch of them for an hour a week...joy. Biggest problem though is that the show's already devolved into no one talking to each other. They talk at each other and never with each other. I fully intend to watch the next two episodes to see it fall off the tracks like reviewers said it does in episodes 3 and 4. I like a good train wreck. It's rare for me to watch a show in which I wouldn't mind seeing any single person on the show get shot in the face and die. I doubt I'll be watching much more of this.

With the terrible writing, directing and acting in the episode, the thing that bothered me most was the cellphones. You never hear them unless Emily's character sends an email and then the entire newsroom erupts in ringer tones? Does no one get emails any other time? So cheesy, and so sitcom-y.
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post #120 of 409 Old 07-04-2012, 08:05 AM
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Just watched this weeks episode on my DVR.

The base episode wasn't bad. But yes, the writing was over the top in many, many places, but I have seen similar things in my own station so they are not out of the realm of reality. And yes, when things tank in the newsroom, they TANK, BIG. There is no in between. You either have a great show, or you want to hide you head and die. I have seen too many days like that in my stations newsroom. Yesterday was one of them! The 5pm started out by bad and never recovered. The 6pm show was pitch perfect. You never know. My wife made the comment that after watching that episode, she is exhausted by trying to keep up with the dialog at the pace it is delivered. No one talks that fast in a newsroom. But the content of the dialog isn't bad.

I am glad to see that Mackenzie is growing a pair. That is what EP's do. They lead and let you know what is right and what is wrong. They set the tone, if not the rundown for the newscast. Of course, Mackenzie is no Leo McGarry, not that I have seen so far, but she is getting there. And yes, EP's do put anchors in their place at times. Remember a lot of the words that come out of an anchors mouth someone else wrote. There isn't enough time in the day for an anchor to write all the words delivered in a newscast because the news comes in at all hours of the day. An anchor (or managing editor) worth their salt finds the best EP they can and get the hell out of the way! Will knows that and is doing that. Charlie Skinner knows it. That is why he hired Mackenzie behind Will's back and then told him, I am the boss and this is how it is.

While the Maggie "faux pas" does happen too frequently (maybe not for THAT reason) of booking a guest and they back out, you usually know from the start who you can count on when you call. You normally don't cold call a big "get" in a vacuum. You work your way up. Now I know for the sake of the story they needed drama. OK. Over the top, but the basic premise is solid. Guests will back out for all kinds of reasons, including not liking the host/show or more than likely cold feet and they usually don't give you much time when they do and so you have to scramble and sometimes the replacements are not very good or not the exact fit for the story and the interview suffers. Having interviews go down the toilet like that one did, does happen more often than you think though, but more at the local level and not the national. Will handled it pretty well, but Sorkin just couldn't help himself going over the top with Will. Good anchors, local or national will know how far to go with a guest before it is time to bail. It usually doesn't take the producer to make the call. When a producer sees an interview going down in flames like that one, they are already moving on to the next story, just waiting for the right time to bail not whining and apologizing over the IFB to the anchor. You will have more bad interviews than good. That is the way it works, particularly at the local level. And then on the rare occasion you just get an interview that doesn't work at all, like in the episode, you just bail after the first or second question and move on. It just gets too painful to watch to the audience. Before the interview after the wife and I saw on the Kalideo preview multi monitor in the control room the guests in the boxes, we were shouting to the screen, "Move on! Nothing to see here!" because we knew this was agaring in HARD! Good bookers don't let that happen or they never become "good bookers" in the first place. We did laugh though, knowing of times when we had both (she works in a newsroom too) had seen the same thing happen at our jobs.

I can name people I have either worked with or work with now that could fit any character so far introduced in the show. The background work shows even if the writing is over the top. I am in for the time being. It is a good laugh to me.

Sidenote: There was a mention of the newsroom computer software the "show" is using and it was Avid I-News. And they even called it I-News on camera. It also looked on the, now PC computers, (I didn't see any Macs this week) on the desks either I-News or a look-a-like for it. I didn't hear any alarm bells this week like last weeks which were the alarm bells of I-News. It is a nothing factoid but a little "Inside Baseball" that at least they are trying to make the environment as close as possible. Like the Miranda Kalideo preview multi monitor in the control room. Not sure the size. Could be the 32 input or could be the 64 input off of a router. Got several of those along with several Evertz VIPA versions at my place. Know them well!)

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