Category Archives: Bynum, Sarah Shun-lien

The Burglar: Read on April 05, 2016

I have no idea what the author was going for here. Was this all a plan for a TV episode? Were we supposed to ponder the racial stereotyping that goes on in media? Was this an examination of shallow, suburban lives? A sci-fi yarn about time travel?

I had hoped we were at least going to get a good twist at the end, but instead we get a whole bunch of exposition about what Emmett couldn’t possibly know (we’re even told he can’t know any of it), and then he just sees the boy go away with the satchel.


This wasn’t even fun, it literally serves no purpose. And it feels more as if the whole story is an idea for a story that was never fleshed out. Maybe the writer is trying to parallel the artistic struggle of the writer character – the episodic structure of the story mirrors how TV shows today are a series of multiple story-lines edited together fast enough to make you forget there’s no substance to any of them – but there isn’t enough in the story to convince me that there is anything really all that deep going on here. There’s no character “real” enough to feel like we can identify with any real struggle, be it race, or time travel issues.

Maybe I missed something, but just because the New Yorker publishes something doesn’t mean it’s going to be good.

I did like the line, “The warm commotion of a party.”, but that’s all this story felt like: “The warm commotion of a party”, heard from far away.

90% done with The Burglar

He (the writer) has a chance to be comfortable financially if he just makes the black man a cliche?

We get a lot of exposition at the end. Was this the TV show? Was Emmett seeing himself as a young man and this is a loop?

I’m not sure what I was supposed to take away from this, the characters were thin, there didn’t seem to be much insight and if there is some weird twist I sure missed it.

80% done with The Burglar

She must be a TV character because she’s even aware of how cliche everything she thinks is. The co-executive producer even says “I feel like I’ve already seen that a million times.”

“I guess I understand why, for purposes of edginess, we want Emmett Diggs to be killing white women.” Is this an indictment of the media?

50% done with The Burglar

I suddenly had the idea that this TV character is also the burglar? Is the wife the one who gets murdered on the show? That would explain why everything feels shallow.

So early 2000’s from the DVD’s. They still have all their comics, too.

So the burglar is black.

“She always likes it when her mother pays attention to the Disney Channel universe.” So a mom, too.

25% done with The Burglar

So she’s the wife of the writer and they live in the fake house about to be broken into because the dog isn’t as big as its bark: Rottweiler mix (not pure, mutt)

Do TV shows work where people are worried if it will get an order for 9 more episodes? I thought things were different now.

“The warm commotion of a party.” Nice. I like that.

10% done with The Burglar

The first of these mini scenes I like is the burger? seeing what a dump the backyard is though the front of the house (neighbors / world facing) is immaculate.

The other characters seem full of themselves. The lady is to happy about her money, the writer naive about how writing for TV works.

“She doesn’t want to get another ticket.” Another.