The Palindromists: Was it a rat I saw?

By C.J. Hirschfield

Longtime word nerds like myself have been delighted by recent documentaries that celebrate letters and the wondrous ways they can be arranged. Films include Obit, about New York Times obituary writers, Wordplay, which covered a major crossword puzzle tournament, as well as Spellbound and Spelling the Dream, which welcomes us into the stressful world of spelling bees.

Clearly, it was only a matter of time before the “magic little puzzle” of palindromes—words, phrases, and sentences that read the same backward and forward—were thrust into the spotlight. The new documentary The Palindromists turns out to be much more of a “wow” than a “huh?”, palindromic words used to judge contestants in the World Palindrome Championship, around which the film is centered.

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Class Action Park: A Crazy Ride

By C.J. Hirschfield

The huge success of the Tiger King documentary series showed that we love watching a story about a park that is badly run by an eccentric/unsavory person, is dangerous, and ends up being an unqualified train wreck. The new HBO Max documentary Class Action Park may be about a waterpark and not an exotic zoo, the basic elements are the same, but its death count is much higher. It is a story of greed, corruption, coverups, bankruptcy, the 1980s, and ironically, some really good times as well.

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LAUGHING WITH CARL REINER

Carl Reiner made the world laugh. We will miss him but his legacy was to leave us laughing no matter what. And boy do we need it now.

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As a kid I loved Your Show of Shows. Other than the program’s stars, Sid Ceasar and Imogene Cocoa, I had no idea who the other people were except that they were funny and we loved them for that. The actors and writers included unknowns like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and Carl Reiner.

 

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