PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

September 27, 2007

Reruns Already

For those who might have missed them, the networks (and related channels) are running some of their pilots a second time, taking advantage of a new ratings rule which allows them to count repeated airings within a certain number of days as part of their ratings totals.  Expect to see a number of shows claim to be “America’s Number One New Show” or something like that.

The reruns are:

Journeyman.  Tonight at 6 on SciFi.  Don’t know if this will be a regular re-airing, as they’ve done with Heroes in the past.  I’ll check and get back to you.

Reaper.  Tonight at 8 on CW.  Taking SUPERNATURAL’s slot for a week, and trying to build on the expected crossover fanbase the two (three) shows share.

K-Ville.  Tomorrow at 8 on CW.  NASHVILLE has been pulled from the schedule, supposedly to return in October after the baseball playoffs, screwing up a number of tv dead pools by not providing a clean cancellation.  K-VILLE will take the slot, at least for the near future.

Moonlight and Cane.  Saturday at 7 and 8 p.m. on CBS.  Look for reruns on Saturdays on CBS, leading into 48 HOURS MYSTERIES.  Whether it will be the same shows every week, or whatever CBS thinks needs ratings boosts, it’s too early to tell yet.

Heroes, Chuck, and L&O: SVU, Saturday at 7, 8, and 9 p.m. on NBC.  Ditto, NBC Saturdays.  Of note here are the SVU episode, which featured a great turn by Cynthia Nixon (SEX IN THE CITY) as a woman with multiple personalities, and Bronson Pinchot (PERFECT STRANGERS — Yes, Cousin Balki) as her shrink; and the limited-commercial-interruptions HEROES, which took a breakneck pace and brought us up to date on almost all the cast, while introducing at least 3 new characters.

View on!


September 25, 2007

TV Premieres Wed 9/26 – Sunday 9/30

Filed under: Entertainment,TV — CPav @ 5:54 pm

7 p.m.
NBC Deal or No Deal – Whether you watch it for Howie “I don’t shake hands” Mandel or for the hot suitcase models, you watch it.  You know you do.

8 p.m.
ABC Private Practice – take a supporting character from a hit tv show and spin them off into their own show, totally changing their personality and motivation in the process and what do you get?  Lou Grant?  No, that show was good.  This season, we get Private Practice, featuring Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery, Dr. McDreamy’s ex.  She’s relocated from rainy Seattle to sunny So Cal, and taken a place at a family practice clinic run by her two best friends from college.  The pseudo-pilot episode of Grey’s last spring had problems, and they’ve evidently addressed some of them with recasting (Merrin Dungey out, Audra MacDonald in), but I think the problems go deeper, and the reviews haven’t been good.  View at your own risk.

CBS Criminal Minds – Mandy Patinkin pulls his patented “if this is the third season, I must be going” routine, and comes back for one episode to explain why his character is leaving.  Joe Mantegna will take over in a couple episodes.

NBC Bionic Woman – The latest ’70s show to be reinvented, this one, from Battlestar Galactica producer David Eick, changes Jamie Summers from thirtysomething tennis player to twentysomething bartender.  When she and her scientist boyfriend are in a car accident, Jamie is rebuilt using the latest experimental bionic technology.  As she learns to adapt to her new abilities, she must contend with a predecessor (Katie Sackoff, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), and the demands of the shadowy organization of which she is now unwillingly a part.
The pilot was action-packed and engaging, a good parallel for what’s been done with the new version of Battlestar:  darker, edgier, and far less kitschy than the original, but not disrespectful of the source.

CW Gossip Girl – The CW tries to establish a tentpole series to attract the young’uns, to replace such past hits as DAWSON’S CREEK and THE O.C.  While I was an O.C. fan for a while, this type of show has simply passed me by.  The reviews seem to indicate that it’s good for what it is.

9 p.m.
ABC Dirty Sexy Money – SIX FEET UNDER’s Peter Krause stars as a lawyer who unwillingly inherits his father’s job of watching after a dissolute, wealthy family and keeping them out of jail and trying to keep them out of the news.  He doesn’t want the job, but takes it, putting him in conflict with the family, lead by Donald Sutherland, Jill CLayburgh, and William Baldwin.  In my Cane preview, I said that soaps had lost some of their luster for me, but I may make an exception for at least the first few episodes of this one.

CBS CSI: NY – Never got into it, but it’s back.  I think there’s something scriptural stating that the number of CSIs can never be less than the number of Law and Orders.  That’s the only reason I can come up with for this and Criminal Intent to still be on.

NBC Life – A police officer, wrongly imprisoned for 12 years, gets out of jail and attempts to resume his old life.  A tv viewer, already 12 hours behind on the new season, doesn’t have time to find out if he’s successful.

7 p.m.
ABC Ugly Betty – I’ve enjoyed the couple of episodes that I’ve watched, but my plans to catch up over the summer fell by the wayside under an unusually large number of quality Summer shows.  If you’re a fan, it’s back.  If you’re not and the other shows in this time period aren’t your cup of tea, then you could do a lot worse than giving it a try.

NBC My Name Is Earl – Earl starts the season in jail.  As the season progresses, he’ll hook up with Alyssa Milano and teach her a little bit about his own funky brand of karma.

CW Smallville – One word.  Supergirl.  Oh, and the return of the JLA.  And if you’re not ready for Lana’s return, then you really don’t know the way these things work.

8 p.m.
ABC Grey’s Anatomy – Young doctors in lust.  It’s a planetary phenomenon, the show that finally (sort of) brought down CSI.  Hopefully the behind-the-scenes drama is done, and they can focus on the on-screen drama.

NBC The Office – Another one I never got into, but it has its fans.

CBS CSI – We start the season with Sarah trapped under a car, then evidently vanishing.  This show it the entergizer bunny of procedurals.  It just keeps going and going and going.

9 p.m.
ABC Big Shots – In every season there must be a show, a show that stands above all others in pure stinkitude.  Based on the early reviews, this is the one, no small feat in a season that’s also bringing the world Cavemen.  Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermott, Christopher Titus, and Joshua Malina (one of these things is not like the others) star as four friends who are up-and-coming executives.  It’s got a pretty good cast (Paige Turco is also included, and Charisma Carpenter will have a recurring role), but that’s pretty much the Thumper moment for this one. (if you can’t say anything nice…)

NBC ER – Along with Law & Order, NBC’s energizer bunny.

CBS Without a Trace – Back on Thursday with it’s original lead-in of CSI, Trace always struck me as mildly interesting but unexciting.  The addition of James Marsters from the Buffyverse is also mildly interesting, but only just so.

7 p.m.
CBS Ghost Whisperer – Even this show’s two biggest assets — Jennifer Love Hewitt — haven’t induced me to watch it.

8 p.m.
NBC Las Vegas – I stopped watching a few seasons ago.  With Tom Selleck replacing James Caan and Camille Guaty stepping in for Nikki Cox, there may be some new life in this old dog.  Somebody let me know.

CBS Moonlight – It’s amazing to me that no one’s ever come up with the idea of a vampire as a detective before.  Oh, wait, they did.  It was called Forever Knight.  And then it was called Angel.  Now it’s called Moonlight.  I’ll give it a try, since I’m a sucker for the supernatural genre (see what I did there?  I’m a sucker for vampires?), but I find that being a fan of certain genres makes me less tolerant of the bad examples, rather than more.  This one’s had some behind-the-scenes turnover, so I’m interested in seeing if the onscreen stuff has been affected in any way.

9 p.m.
CBS Numb3rs – One of the more interesting procedurals, this one enters its fourth season dealing with the ramifications of last season’s revelations that one of the team’s agents was a mole.  While a number of television shows have multiple web sites, this one’s got an academic one, explaining the math used in the episodes in layman’s terms.  (


6 p.m.
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – I got nothin’.

8 p.m.
ABC Desperate Housewives – Another one I used to watch but don’t any more.  Even the additions of longtime favorites Dana Delaney (CHINA BEACH) and Nathan Fillion (FIREFLY) haven’t gotten me to reconsider my viewing habits.  Well, maybe a little bit.

Showtime Dexter – Michael C. Hall returns as the cheerfully amoral serial killer/blood splatter expert.  But this time, instead of hunting a rival serial killer, Dexter Morgan is himself pursued by an FBI expert (Keith Carradine).

8:30 p.m.
FOX American Dad – Bumped from its time slot by the riotous FAMILY GUY STAR WARS parody, Seth (FAMILY GUY) McFarlane’s other comedy is back this week.  At least my sons care.

9 p.m.
ABC Brothers & Sisters – I watched the first episode of this family drama, which features Sally Field, Calista Flockhart, and Rob Lowe, but never made it to the second.  A lot of people are strong advocates, though.

Showtime Brotherhood – Another series where I didn’t get past the first episode, but which I hope to catch up with at some point.  This one concerns two brothers in  Providence, RI, one a politician, the other a mobster.

That’s it (finally) for this week’s premieres.  I welcome your comments in the comment section.

September 24, 2007

The Jena 6

Filed under: General,Politics — CPav @ 3:44 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve been meaning to do a post on the Jena 6 controversy for a few days now, but I’ve been putting it off, and now I’m glad I did; Yahoo has a great article (from the AP) regarding the misconceptions surrounding the case.;_ylt=ApvcexcbjCKgxnvxcvoZglwkeedF

As to  my views on it, I think there is plenty to question, and plenty to get worked up about, but it seems that a lot of people are making a lot of assumptions about the case without having all of the facts.  The above article helps out with some of that.

Monday and Tuesday Premieres

Hi, all. A crazy weekend prevented me from blogging about last night’s premieres.
All the Sunday debuts were returning shows, most of them long-time Sunday staples, with little of note (the exceptions being the relocated Shark and the hour long, Star Wars parodying Family Guy.)

As I’ve been editing together my comments for this summary, the file just keeps getting longer and longer. So I’m going to post tonight and tomorrow’s shows, and will get the rest of the week’s shows up in a post or two later on.

7 p.m.
ABC Dancing with the Stars – Co-host Samantha Harris just had a baby. And that’s about the most interesting thing I could think of to say about it. My daughter seems to be excited that two of the pro dancers are brother and sister. Me, I’m more interested in potential wardrobe malfunctions. But there’s too much else going on in this time slot for me to care too much.

CBS How I Met Your Mother – This underrated sitcom got some additional attention last season, and will probably get more this year, as Mandy Moore guest stars in a number of episodes (beginning tonight) as a potential love interest for main character Ted.

NBC Chuck – My second-favorite hour-long pilot of the new season, Chuck features Zachary Levi (LESS THAN PREFECT) as the title character, a twenty-something working at a Best Buy-type store (as part of the Nerd Herd), who inadvertently downloads all the contents of a National Security database into his brain. Pursued by evildoers and protected by a beautiful CIA agent (Yvonne Strzechowski) and her dour NSA counterpart (FIREFLY’s Adam Baldwin), Chuck finds himself immersed in a world of action beyond his wildest imagination. Created by Josh Schwartz, who previously brought us The O.C., Chuck is sweeter than REAPER, and a whole lot of fun.

7:30 p.m.
CBS The Big Bang Theory – Another in this season’s ubiquitous nerd shows, this one is a fairly traditional sitcom. Leonard (Johnny Galecki, Roseanne’s David) and Sheldon (relative newcomer Jim Parsons) are egghead roommates whose lives are changed when an attractive young woman (Kaley Cuoco, EIGHT SIMPLE RULES) moves into the apartment across the hall. Created by Chuck Lorre (DHARMA AND GREG, TWO AND A HALF MEN), BIG BANG shares much of the same humor with those shows. Think of TWO AND A HALF, with Jon Cryer’s character as the suave one. There’s some work that needs to get done, but its simple presence is enough to dispell those rumors that the sitcom is dead.

8 p.m.
NBC Heroes – Last season’s breakout hit enters its second season asking a new question. Instead of trying to find out what would happen if ordinary people had extraordinary powers, this season will deal with the question of how the extraordinary people will live ordinary lives. With some interesting cast additions (David Anders, ALIAS’ Mr. Sark; and Kristen Bell (VERONICA MARS)), the show’s braintrust has already shown that they’re not satisfied with the status quo, before a single episode has aired.

CBS Two and a Half Men – This show takes a lot of heat, but it’s one of the few comedies that we go out of our way to watch.

8:30 p.m.

CBS Rules of Engagement – Stars David Spade. Your opinion of the show will depend on your reaction to that statement. Mine is not particularly positive, though it also stars Bianca Kjalich and Patrick Warburton.

9 p.m.
ABC The Bachelor – This is still on?

NBC Journeyman – One of the four pilots NBC made available to the general public, JOURNEYMAN is intriguing. My first impulse is that the show is a combination of QUANTUM LEAP and THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE (one of my favorite books of the last few years). ROME’s Kevin McKidd stars as Dan Vasser, a reporter with a wife and young son who, at some level, still mourns his first love, Livia (Moon Bloodgood, DAY BREAK), who’s died in a plane crash. And then Dan starts blacking out (or, more appropriate to the show’s visual effects, whiting out). As part of these whiteouts, Dan finds himself jumping through time, following one person in particular over the course of an episodes. There are challenges in the present, as well, as his friends and relatives attribute Dan’s disappearances to alcohol or drug abuse. And there’s an overarching mystery as well, as Dan doesn’t appear to be the only time traveller, and the travel does not appear to be random. The first episode was sufficiently engaging to encourage additional viewing.

CBS CSI: Miami – Horatio has a son he’s never met, and Tim Speedle is back, even though he died a number of seasons ago.


7:00 p.m.
CW Reaper – This slacker/geek comedy is getting a lot of press, but I’m not entirely convinced. The premise is amusing, with Bret Harrison starring as Sam Oliver, a slacker working at a Home Depot-type home improvement store, who discovers, on his 21st birthday, that his parents sold his soul to the devil before he was born. Now the devil has come for his due. And what a devil. Ray Wise (TWIN PEAKS, 24) plays Satan with a gleeful twinkle in his eye, as he explains that Sam and his friend Sock will now serve as demonic bounty huntesr, retrieving souls that have escaped from hell and returning them to the neter regions. I wasn’t sold on the Kevin Smith-directed pilot, though there were some gleams of interest. The fact that the retrieval instrument the duo used to capture their errant target was a dustbuster (the tools will change each episode) was amusing, and, as noted, Wise was a hoot, but I didn’t feel it in quite the way I did CHUCK or PUSHING DAISIES. I’ll give it time to grow on me. Just not a lot.

Fox Bones – Fox’s lightweight procedural doesn’t have the grit of the Kathy Reichs novels it’s based on, but it’s got enough engaging characters to make it interesting. It looks like the primary change for the season will be a darker demeanor for Eric Millegan’s Zack, upon his return from Iraq.

8:00 p.m.

Fox House – Taking a cue from Fox’s other big hit, HOUSE is doing its own version of American Idol or, given the nature of its main character, SURVIVOR. Having lost his entire team at the end of last season, as a result of firings and resignations, Dr. Gregory House is attempting to assemble another group of foils. He starts with dozens of applicants and, in typical House fashion, winnows them away through threats, abuse, and all around misanthropy. Not to worry, though; in addition to the newcomers, the old crew will be back in some fashion or another.

NBC L&O: SVU – The strongest of the L&O shows now, even SVU is showing its age.

CBS NCIS – Military show meets CSI. Don’t watch it.

CBS The Unit – Military show meets 24. Haven’t watched it since the first season.

CBS Cane – DALLAS, with a Hispanic caste (and cast). Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo lead the family of a sugar empire. Pretty people doing nasty things in the name of family. A good cast, but soaps have lost a lot of their interest for me.

September 21, 2007

$1 Summer Movies

Filed under: Entertainment,Movies — CPav @ 5:49 am
Tags: ,

Just a quick early-morning note: For the next week, Wehrenberg Theaters are offering three of the top summer movies — Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Spider-Man 3, and Shrek 3 — for just $1. There appear to be 1-3 shows per day. And all combo packs at the concession stand will also be $1 off. This run will be only September 21 – September 28, so if you missed one of these and want to see it on the big screen, act fast. All three were fine sequels, and fun movies (though Spider-Man and Pirates both could have used a bit more judicious editing), so you can’t go wrong for a buck.

September 18, 2007

Reality and Fantasy

Filed under: Entertainment,TV — CPav @ 9:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is a big week for reality — reality television, that is. Big Brother 8 ended tonight, Kid Nation starts tomorrow, and Survivor China comes in on Thursday.

I enjoyed Big Brother, as I’ve enjoyed the show for all of its seasons except the first. This year, between walking train wrecks, whiny blondes, and a stereotypical rocker seemingly out to offend everyone in the house and everyone watching the show, it never lacked for entertainment value. And, in my opinion, the right person won, based on game play.

I’m uncertain on Kid Nation. As a concept — a group of kids dumped into an old western ghost town and charged with forming a society of their own — the show is intriguing. As competition for viewing time in what looks to be a pretty good Fall tv season, I think it would have been better off debuting in July. I don’t think I’ll be tuning in, but if any of you do and enjoy it, let me know, and I’ll get caught up.

And finally, Survivor. The show has fallen under some harsh criticism from long term fans for recruiting contestants who claim to never have seen the game, rather than building its cast from among the show’s legion of willing applicants. Then they wonder why, in every season, there’s at least a couple of people who, long about week six, decide that they’ve had enough and just stop trying. Heck, I’ve got a friend at work who’s applied four times and can’t get a callback, and they keep bringing in these pretty boys who, after all this time, still claim to not know what they’re in for when they sign up. This season’s the worst for egregious, obvious casting, as one of the “regular people” sent to survive in the Chinese wilderness is Ashley Massero, a WWE wrestling diva and former Playboy cover girl.

Perhaps the most interesting new reality show is not on television, but on the ‘net. Alex Boylan, a former winner of The Amazing Race (don’t worry, I didn’t remember him either) is endeavoring to travel around the world without any money. He’s wearing a big backpack, and taking a pair of camera guys in tow, but he’s attempting to travel aroundt he world with no money, working for food and money and bumming lodging off willing hosts. The site is, and this could really be fun.

And, for fantasy of a different type, here are two online fantasy games involving television:

Survivor Fantasy League ( is the official fantasy game of Survivor, hosted on CBS’ web site.

TV Big Shot ( is brought to you by the snarky folks at Television Without Pity. It gives you a budget and asks you to schedule your own tv network. Unfortunately, the game servers are down right now, so that’s all I can give you.

September 16, 2007

Two Very Different Shoot-em-Ups

Filed under: Entertainment,Movies — CPav @ 9:03 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Last weekend, I saw two movies which were, at their base, shoot-em-ups. That’s about the only thing the two had in common.

The first, 3:10 to Yuma, a remake of a 1957 Glenn Ford/Van Heflin oater, is a taut Western. Christian Bale (Batman Begins) stars as Dan Evans, a Civil War veteran who lost part of his leg in the war and is about to lose his ranch to debt and the intrusion of the railroad. When notorious outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe, Gladiator) and his gang rob a stage coach near Evans’ land, Dan aids in his capture and agrees to join the posse which will escort Wade to Contention, where he will board the 3:10 train to the army prison at Yuma.

A battle of wills and bullets ensues, as Wade tries to convince Evans to let him go, and Evans determines to do the honorable thing and see to it that Wade gets on the train. With Evans’ son, who idolizes Wade as a result of pulp magazine stories, along on the posse, and Wade’s cutthroat gang trailing closely behind, the journey becomes a race not only against time, but against life and death as well.

With outstanding, nuanced performances by Bale and Crowe, as well as Logan Lerman (Jack and Bobby) as Evans’ son William, the movie makes it clear what the right thing is for Dan to do, but provides more than enough reasons for him to not do it. The action sometimes gets hard to follow, as the Bourne-style handheld camera work gets occasionally jerky. Otherwise, the cinematography is beautiful, and the film on the whole outstanding.

Shoot ’em Up, on the otherhand, is not a film I’d call outstanding. It is a lot of fun, if you accept the premise of a non-stop, totally unbelievable gunfight, and can get past the obviously fake baby who’s present through the whole shebang.

Clive Owen (Croupier,Children of Men) stars as the mysterious Mr. Smith, who stumbles on a crew of thugs roughing up a pregnant woman, then appoints himself protector of her baby when he’s unable to prevent her death. Add in Paul (Lady in the Water) Giamatti as Hertz, the henpecked leader of the gang, and Monica Bellucci as a lactating hooker (no, there’s no way that could be a typo), and you’ve got yourself…well…a shoot ’em up.

Hertz and his men are after the baby for a very complicated reason (which you may not understand even after watching the whole movie), but that doesn’t really matter. This movie plays as though someone took a pile of action movie scripts, took every scene that anyone threw out somewhere along the line with the words “too unbelievable”, and threaded them together. And, once you accept that no attempt should be made to actually understand the movie, and that no semblence of reality should be applied to the proceedings, you can sit back and enjoy it for what it is.

This movie has nothing to recommend it except that it’s an all-out, mindless thrill ride of implausibility upon implausibility that not only doesn’t ask you to think too hard about anything, but would prefer that you not.

TV Premieres, September 17 – 23

Filed under: Entertainment,TV — CPav @ 8:16 pm


7 p.m. (FOX) Prison Break. Yeah, so they broke out of the prison at the end of season one. This year, one of ’em’s stuck in prison again. And it’s not a cushy American maximum security prison, either. It’s a Mexican prison, so nasty that the guards are even afraid to go in. So now Linc has to break Michael out. This show, as much as any, makes the argument that some shows should be designed to run a season and end.

7 p.m. (NBC) Deal or No Deal. Don’t get used to it here. It’s just warming up Chuck’s timeslot. Howie Mandel will be avoiding shaking hands with contestants on Friday nights after this.


8 p.m. (FOX) K-Ville. Is the world ready for a cop show set in post-Katrina New Orleans? Fox says yes. Let’s see what the public has to say.


7 p.m. (CW) Beauty and the Geek. While that actually could describe a number of the new fall shows (Chuck, Reaper, The Big Bang Theory), this is actually a new season of the reality show. This year’s twist? There’s gonna be geeky girls too!


7 p.m. (CW) America’s Next Top Model. I don’t watch it. If you do, you’ll be anxiously awaiting this.

7 p.m. (FOX) Back to You. Sitcom vets Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) and Patricia Heaton (Everbody Loves Raymond) return to the genre as former news co-anchors reunited when Grammer’s character returns from his big break.

7 p.m. (CBS) Kid Nation series premiere

7:30 p.m. (FOX) ‘Til Death. I’ve never found it funny. And yet, it’s still on. Shows what I know.

8 p.m. (FOX) Kitchen Nightmares. ‘Nother one I don’t watch. If I want a kitchen nightmare, I’ll go start killing ants.



7 p.m. (CBS) Survivor: China. The casting director’s recruitment of contestants reaches a new low, as they move from having little-known, struggling actors to a woman who’s a World Wrestling diva and had her own feature pictorial (and cover shot) in Playboy. Not that I disapprove of Playboy (I don’t), but this show is no longer about “regular people” trying to cope in the wild.


7 p.m. – 9 p.m. (FOX) Simpsons, King of the Hill and Family Guy. The Family Guy musical number to open the Emmys was priceless. These shows are all known quantities, and have consistent, built-in audiences.

7 p.m. (CBS) 60 Minutes. The granddaddy of news programs, and the trick answer to a trivia question if they don’t specify that they’re looking for an entertainment show. (The correct question is “what is the longest running prime-time entertainment show on television?”. If they don’t specify “prime time” and “entertainment”, it’s Meet the Press. If they don’t specify entertainment, it’s 60 Minutes. If they ask the question properly, it’s The Simpsons.)

8 p.m. (CBS) Cold Case. A good, somewhat underrated show in which detectives investigate crimes which have gone long unsolved. The hook here is that the background music comes from whatever era the crime took place in. We don’t watch this show as much any more, as it’s challenging to schedule recordings, because of frequent late starts due to football overruns.

9 p.m. (CBS) Shark. There’s nothing deep about this show, even when they killed off a cast member, but it’s fun to watch James Woods chew up and spit out everyone around him. And Jeri Ryan has proven a much more adequate foil than most people would have expected.


Filed under: General — CPav @ 4:43 pm

Welcome, everyone, to the new PavCo Multimedia Synergistics (PMmS) blog.

PMmS is an entirely fictional coporation wholly owned and operated by me, Charles Pavlack (aka CPav), or it would be, if it existed. PMmS serves as the umbrella covering the fevered output of my mind, as it splatters across the web. In its prior incarnations, PMmS was a series of posts on my web site, followed by a Yahoo! mailing list.

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