Rate & Review: "Step Brother from the Same Planet" (UABF22)

How would you rate this episode?


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Brad Lascelle

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Season 34, Episode 8
Original Airdate
: November 20, 2022
Writer: Dan Vebber
Director: Matthew Faughnan
Showrunners: Matt Selman & Carolyn Omine
Synopsis: Homer is stunned by his feelings of rage and resentment when Grampa becomes a doting stepfather to his girlfriend's quirky young son. Meanwhile Lisa and Bart throw the ultimate slumber party.

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R&R Poll Average Score: 3.63 / 5 (as of January 1, 2023 / 30 votes)
IMDb User Rating: 6.4 / 10
 
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HomerFan1998

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I don't know how to say this, but I kind of enjoyed this episode myself. However, the Bart and Lisa subplot was really epic because that they had a slumber party, so... I'll just give this episode 4/5
 

Financial Panther

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The first act of this episode wasn’t much, but the episode really grew on me as it progressed. I thought Grampa’s girlfriend would have a much bigger role, but I’m glad she didn’t lest it be a retread of Old Money. Calvin grated on me at first, but he gradually became more of an interesting and unique character. Homer being envious of his dad treating Calvin well struck a chord with me, because I remember my stepfather and me butting heads a lot, but he always treated any friends of mine wonderfully, which made me a bit resentful. The conclusion was strong; I liked Grampa’s admission of fault, which felt wonderfully backhanded.

The subplot also felt odd at first, namely because Lisa was the one who suggested the party. But then I realized she was addicted to being treated well, and it suddenly made a lot more sense. I enjoyed her little descent into being addicted to planning the parties, and the end with her in the police car was solid too. Overall, a very strong episode after a slow start. 4/5
 

GlitterCat

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The final joke of Abe calling to say he's glad Homer and him can communicate now with Homer ignoring it thinking it was an accidental call was more depressing than funny to me. And a lot of the story was predictable and mushy but I did enjoy Homer's crappy googly eyes shell craft.

Not really sure yet how I'd rate it. Found myself pitying Homer throughout the episode but it lacked humor to balance the fraught relationship, a problem that grampa vs sexual inadequacy didn't have, for instance. I guess that's the trouble of a show lasting so long, a lot of the meatier character studies have already been done better.
 

Jackomon

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Just watched the first two minutes of the episode (the site I use to watch the episodes is slow (although it could be me), so I'll check the rest of it later), so far it seems interesting. Something I did notice is that Janey (who I'm glad has another speaking role so soon after her previous one) seems to have a new voice actress, at least her voice does sound different here, could mean she is voiced by someone else (my guess would be Kimberly Brooks), but not sure. Also, this is the first time I've noticed Sherri & Terri's voice sounding different with Russi Taylor's passing, and honestly, it feels kinda off. Still have to see the rest of the episode to give a rating. Another thing I will say is in regards to Grampa's new love interest, and that she reminds me of Elaine Wolff from "The Way of the Dog".
 

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I thought this was great. It's gonna be the episode of the season that's not necessarily the best but I'd probably call my favourite or at least one of them. Also you can tell a new character is successful when you wish they'd stick around, so its a bit of a shame that's not the case, because Homer an Calvin had a pretty great dynamic due to Homer basically being a giant kid. I loved the subplot too an that's really what bumps this up to close to a 5 for me. Always love a Bart and Lisa plot where they're on the same side, and I liked the idea and how it was executed. I think my only real problem is after such great bonding the post credit scene kind of deflates things, not just the Abe part but knowing that's basically it for Homer and Calvin.

Also is Mellissa McCarthy really good at voice acting? It was a pretty good voice that felt very different from her normal voice. In comparison, Sheri and Terri just sounded like Grey Delisle doing the Loud House twins, but I can accept that if it means we get more of them.
 

Sandboy

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I'm going to dissect the main plot later because I loved it. But the subplot is not far behind, probably the best of the children of... The entire HD era? I already said it, but I love when children are characterized according to their age and it is also a favorable presentation of Lisa that takes advantage of a side that has rarely been explored: her fun side and her role reversal with Bart being the voice of the reason. It's a refreshing change from the tired dynamic of the two of them.

Man, Carolyn Omine is superlative. Between Pixelated and Afraid, My Octopus and a Teacher, Treehouse of Horror XXXIII and now this, she's become the most consistent co-runner yet and the guaranty of modern Simpsons default.

5/5
 

Smear-Gel

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I'd have to rewatch it but Cue Detective was up there as a great episode for Bart and Lisa in thte HD era
 

John95

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Another episode that felt longer than it really was since I couldn't give a shit about the main plot, and the ending scene explained how Abe's girlfriend broke up with him was really fucking lazy! Also felt like the ending scene before the credits scene was a lazy rehash of the ending to the Pizzabots episode (Abe agreeing he's terrible to Homer). Subplot was an alright mild distraction I guess.

Ironic how this episode has Sherri, Terri and Martin all appearing since Grey DeLisle continues to slip as the first two (this was them at their most Lola Loud-esque) while Martin still sounds identical to Russi Taylor.


1.5/5 rounded down.
 

Venomrabbit

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Yeah, Janey's voice sounded very different. Guess they got around to recasting her since she was still Pamela Hayden in Sorry, Not Sorry. Maybe they need to give Pam some other roles though, else all she'll have is Milhouse since Sarah got recast too.

And yep, it feels like the twins are a bit off. On the flip side they actually had a fair bit of dialogue without dying so that's like once in a blue moon. Annnd on that note, is probably why Grey's having a harder time getting them down, how little dialogue they got especially when they emote so hardly any reference material. Shame because Russi could actually emote well but just very, very rarely got the chance to do anything. Strangely enough though, their giggling is spot on. Just they never got enough time before to have any frame of reference for crazy-excitement or the like. And well, this is probably the most screentime they've had since perhaps Sleeping with the Enemy or Das Bus?
Think also their voices aren't differentiated enough? Sherri actually sounds pretty close but under Russi, Terri sounded like a midpoint between the former and Martin, or at least generally softer. Martin's been lucky in getting a fairly decent amount of screentime both under and without Russi.

Get that perfect voices aren't easy but I don't think Janey's va really knew what she sounded like before.


... anyway I only skimmed at most so can't form an opinion on the ep itself right now. I'll maybe properly watch later.
 

Frankbags

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This is a strong 3.5 for me. I'm rounding it up to a 4.

The structure was there, it had good bones. It didn't feel rushed for time or meandering. It was nice seeing the other kids again. Lisa was characterized well enough and so was Bart. The main plot was pretty funny and emotional too.

Me enjoyment of the episode was a little like a sawtooth to me. I enjoyed some moments a lot and felt other moments didn't work out too well but overall this is a solid episode.
 

B-Boy

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I really liked this. It's the most lightweight episode Omine has co-ran thus far, but I think that's to its credit. It was a smart, inspired choice to focus on the Homer/Calvin relationship rather than Homer and Abe. Their 'sibling' interactions offered up a tonne of amusing lines and moments. Homer himself was terrific (as he has been for some time now) and there was some genuinely heartfelt pathos in his story. The backhanded resolution was great, deftly juggling both emotion and humour. The subplot was also a lot of fun. Not to mention there was some wonderful character animation. As a writer and co-runner, Omine has this way of bringing out the truth of these characters and their relationships. Her work has rarely been dishonest and this is yet another success. Her output in recent times has been nothing short of exemplary. Kudos to Vebber as well, of course.

For now, a 4.5 (could increase to a full 5 on a future viewing). Sans maybe Forgive and Regret, I'd be hard pressed to name a better Homer/Grampa episode in the HD era.
 

Scrooge McDuck

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Though I enjoyed this episode, especially seeing Lisa go in with Bart to have a big slumber party the main storyline is just repetitive and redundant. How many times must we show Homer wanting love from his father who just won't give it in return until the end where they kiss and makeup and blah, blah, blah. The ending was a little weak too. Might have been jice that Abe actually ended up happy other than being dumped for a guy who won the lottery. Which btw, I remember this plot line from another show, maybe That 70s Show with Bob, who knows.

So basically what saved this episode other than the side plot was Homer hanging out with possible step brother. They actually had a connection.

So 3/5 for now. Might move to a 4. No way this was a 5, but to each their own.

Peace.
 

Jackomon

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I was originally worried about this episode. When I first heard of this episode, I thought it was a sequel episode to "Brother from the Same Planet" and I was concerned due to how "Kamp Krustier" turned out. Then after the synopsis released, I was concerned as I felt like it was going to do forget about Herb Powell.

Thankfully, the episode didn't do either (although, I do wish Herb was mentioned). However, the A Plot in particular is a mixed bag for me, I hated the fight between Homer & Calvin, felt like something you would find in Family Guy, however, I do like how it touches on Abe & Homer's relationship (something I know has been done before), but that post credit scene does ruin it a bit (although, I wander if Abe ever knew about Bart & Lisa's Ultimate Slumber Party). I do love how Homer uses a Pikachu hat to help Calvin put on a disguise of Homer. Abe's new love interest was kind of forgettable as she did fade into the background in the episode (alongside Marge). As for Calvin, he was okay, Melissa McCarthy does a good job in voicing him, but he reminds me of Martin Prince a lot too.

As for the B Plot, its mainly the only reason why I liked this episode, it was fun seeing Bart as the voice of reason for Lisa in this episode, do wish there were more scenes of the slumber party, but I still like what we got. It was nice to see Janey have another speaking role, and I have a feeling Kimberley Brooks is voicing her now, as Janey's voice did sound familiar. Speaking of similar sounding voices, Sherri & Terri definitely give me massive Lola Loud vibes from this episode, and honestly, I'm not a fan off it as I don't think it suits the twins. Not sure how much Grey has voiced the twins compared to Martin thou, so Grey could be trying out the perfect voice for them while trying to live up to Russi's legacy. Part of it is also been more used to Russi Taylor's voice for the twins too. When it comes to Janey's voice, I like it, although I can see Kimberly doing a voice similar to Skara from Owl House (another role also voiced by Kimberly). The only other prominent VA that I can think off is Cree Summer, but a lot of her voices sound similar to Susie Carmichael, and I can't really see Janey with Susie's voice. As for their roles in the episode, surprisingly, I think it fitted perfectly. I don't think they are overly mean to Lisa in this episode as they do point out some valid points (and are similar to the complaints that I do have with Modern Lisa. Also, the stuff they say that Lisa has done feels very Sheldon Cooper in a way). Also, regarding the points they made, I feel like they are points you could make to say, Twilight Sparkle before she moved to Ponyville, and I'm pretty sure I've seen similar plot points in other shows before where a character is called out for been a ""wet blanket". I also loved how the trio behave like kids, alongside Bart & Lisa which was nice to see. Glad the B Plot ended with them still friends with Lisa, as it could of easily turned into a "They Hate Lisa" ending. Surprised the retirement castle was okay with a bunch of 8-10 year old kids partying in Abraham''s room thou.

Also, another nitpick I have has to do with a continuity error regarding Moe, as he states that his family were gravediggers even thou a few Seasons ago it was established his family owned & worked in Mattress King, I know Simpsons isn't known for its continuity, but this is a very notable & annoying one.

Finally, something interesting that I want to point out, but I think this is the 2nd episode in a row where Maggie doesn't appear (although, do correct me if I'm wrong as I'm not sure if she appears in the beginning when the family are at the fair).

I give this episode a 8/10 (4/10 in this poll), has a pretty solid B Plot, but the A Plot is a mixed bag that goes nowhere in the end, could of been a better episode. I do hope to see more from Carolyn Omine as the showrunner, as I do think she does a good job.

Overall Ranking out of 736 Episodes Aired, I rank this episode at 337th Place between "The Seven-Beer Snitch" at #338 & "Chief of Hearts" at #336.
 

BloodySimpsonChibi

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5/5 That resolution with Homer's seashells almost made me tear up and everything about Lisa's subplot was simply a delight to watch. Got another user title out of it to boot!
 

Wile E. the Brain

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I'd say "Please let Omine be the main co-runner for the rest of the show" but if her sporadic contribution means that we get to have bangers like this one and her previous ones every now and then, I'll gladly take it.

Really enjoyable episode. It kinda feels like the Lisa's Belly of this season. It's just sweet and heartwarming while dealing with relatable topics at the same time. I was one of those kids who were neglected by their father (AND one of their father-in-law !) so it struck a chord with me a little, but the execution is what makes this a winner. The direction is as sharp as the writing and the characters feel like actual characters. Homer's rivalry with Calvin is fun, and yet he remains sympathetic because the line between envy and outright mean is never crossed (we're fortunate that an episode like that didn't come up during the Scully era), and he knows that he's blaming the wrong person : Calvin is just like Homer once was and he finds it unfair that he gets to have the affection of a father while he didn't. There's actual chemistry between Homer and Calvin and Dan Castellaneta delivers a strong performance (supported by some great character animation ; especially Homer and Calvin arguing in the car). Too bad the ending slightly undoes that but Abe isn't meant to be forgiven overnight so I get it, continuity nitpicks aside.

Really liked the subplot as well, I somehow even wish it was longer, but Bart and Lisa are terrific. Just charming all throughout. 4/5
 

Brad Lascelle

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I have two nits to pick with this otherwise excellent episode... both of which are actually issues I had because of how good the episode is otherwise (something we're clearly getting accustomed to with Omine co-run efforts; she's spoiling us).

First off, the main plot wound up better than I could've possibly imagined. McCarthy turned out one of the best celebrity guest star stints on the show in recent memory with her turn as Calvin and I appreciated how that entire multi-layered story was told from beginning to end. Yeah, Blythe kind of got short-shrifted but she was more of a plot device here than anything in service of the three-way story between Abe, Homer and Calvin and juxtaposing Abe's differing treatment of them both. I found Homer's attempt to reach out to his father via an unorthodox taxidermy stunt rather novel and very true to how he would approach such a dilemma. Castellaneta brought his A game this week as well.

This made the 4th act reset button to wipe all of this progress and character growth away sting just that much harder. Yeah, it was an exceptionally funny bit and a nice callback to the ignored voicemails that kicked off the plot... but man, can we ever really just embrace this stuff for once instead of hand-waving it away immediately afterwards. Hell, I'm already getting the impression that the Ms. Peyton introduction was something I hallucinated. Ditto for Maya and Moe's engagement. And those weren't even reset button ploys. It's frustrating as a viewer when you get invested and then you're summarily told after 22 minutes that your investment didn't matter and you may as well have just not watched. I find it does a disservice when you tell great stories and you're just tossing them on the pile like discarded children afterwards.

Secondly, the B-plot was excellent in terms of its execution for the 5 minutes total it was allotted. Thing is, I feel like a premise this earnest was arguably due an A-plot treatment. It's refreshing to see Bart unequivocally support his sister in her goals of pursuing popularity with no ulterior motives. It's great seeing the other Springfield Elementary kids get their time in the spotlight and a party gone haywire plot told from multiple perspectives could've been really sweet.

The initial celebratory "you did this" victory for Lisa doesn't exactly come off as earned when it happens after 3 total minutes of exposition from crisis to successfully surmounting one's popularity obstacles. We can assume Bart had to twist some arms to get the kids to show up for his "wet blanket" sister's ultimate sleepover experience but we never saw it. Then we got to see Lisa's patented addictive streak kick in as it often does and for her to push the limits to see how much more "ultimate" her experience could get. The off-screen radio joke approach Omine referenced in her live tweets for the out-of-control chaos of the 2nd slumber party was definitely the correct choice for the B-plot's runtime. It just feels like there was another 5-7 minutes that could've been effectively mined for this idea that we missed out on.

Lisa's rep with the kids getting vindicated over "being arrested" at the end was the perfect capper. One noteworthy plothole presents itself for this 5-minute side outing... namely who financed Lisa's party supply budget. Bart's gift card racket was post-arrival (I guess he did have ONE ulterior motive) and couldn't exactly be directly translated into the expense that clearly went into Party #2. But hey, it's probably not something we're supposed to think too deeply about.
 

Brad Lascelle

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Finally, something interesting that I want to point out, but I think this is the 2nd episode in a row where Maggie doesn't appear (although, do correct me if I'm wrong as I'm not sure if she appears in the beginning when the family are at the fair).
Maggie does indeed appear in the beginning during the fair scenes. You can even see her in this promo pic.

800px-Step_Brother_from_the_Same_Planet_promo_1.png
 

HomerFan1998

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By the way, I think Kimberly D. Brooks did indeed voice Janey in this episode, if any of you are already aware of that
 
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Bohdan

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In short: the episode has everything from laughs to tears (literally). After fully ramping up and transitioning to the conflict of the main story, it turned out to be a great story about jealousy due to step relatives (albeit with a slightly too pronounced note of Homer and his jealousy). This is what I was thinking - Abe really was never nice to Homer!😔 The parties plot was kiddish, but well

I didn't like: Homer being overly jealous in Act 2

I liked the ending (act 3) of the main story - I cried, honestly..😢 And at the same time, for contrast, I really liked the fight between Homer and Calvin.

Favorite moment - shells and their "deep meaning".🤣 I was laud of laughed, honestly:lol: However, also the end of act 2/beginning of act 3 - when Homer and Calvin discover how Abe feels about the other "brother". Emotionally.

Final words: according to the style of Carolyn Omine, it's emotions - both laughter and tears. Everything was here. Actually, I'm not sure and look forward to rewatching the episode. However, at the moment 4/5, downtaken from strong 4.5
 
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Kaine

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Solid episode that didn't end up being similiar to Brother From the Same Planet which was my only fear. It managed to tell a proper story centered around Homer and Abe's relationship with the new kid where he played his part well. Also the sub plot with Bart and Lisa's slumber party was a good watch that brought in most jokes. For an episode that has 2 plots going it did its pacing well.

I like the first act building up to the slumber party, the foreshadowing with the wood polish and Homer finding out his dad is with a new woman (not sure what her name was) for apparently 6 months. She didn't play a large role in this episode but she didn't need to, and as of the end credits she is quick to leave Abe anyway. I kinda like how she has her house decorated. The new kid Calvin is introduced and is a normal and likeable kid, with Homer being the one acting as the jerk which I didn't like for taking it out on Calvin rather than his dad. I didn't mind their rivalry as it brought some good scenes and when it gets to the 3rd act it gets a lot more emotional once Homer and Calvin experience how Abe acts to them when they switch roles. Got a good laugh out of Homer using a Pikachu hat to dress up Calvin. The final confrontation at the taxidermists convention was really good, its not often that an episode gets better near the end but this episode pulled it off. The whole clam project by Homer was actually emotional for Abe to see. The credits show them return to status quo which is kinda to be expected.

As for the sub plot it was good aswell. We saw much more of all the kids than usual and they got to do kid stuff, portaying it as if they were older teenagers going to a rave and getting loud and drugged out by candy. I like that it was mostly Lisa's story while you'd expect Bart to be the one wanting to do all these things, but then you'd get more of a repeat of an older plot where Bart was the center of attention at his own parties. It also had a good ending and didn't take much out of the main plot.

Its a fun watch for some more down to earth stories that are well written and paced. Some really good characterisation for Homer, Lisa and Abe while the rest of the cast was done well. I also like the new characters and wouldn't mind seeing them back. If I had to pick a negative then I'd say its missing a good amount of jokes despite that the ones they had landed for most part. Its more of en emotional episode which if done well is enough for me to give it a pass, and the Bart/Lisa sub plot brought in most of it anyway. Its a good episode that I wouldn't mind rewatching, so I'll give it a:

4/5
 

Brad Lascelle

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Unless things take a drastic shift, this will easily be the lowest-scoring Vebber effort under Selman as a showrunner.

It also presently rates below Jean-run Vebber scripts like Lisa the Veterinarian and 101 Mitigations.
Hard not to view its reception as a disappointing one given that context.
 

Frankbags

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I read very little about the actual episodes before watching them and I'm just learning now that Melissa McCarthy voiced Calvin, amazing work.
 

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Unless things take a drastic shift, this will easily be the lowest-scoring Vebber effort under Selman as a showrunner.

It also presently rates below Jean-run Vebber scripts like Lisa the Veterinarian and 101 Mitigations.
Hard not to view its reception as a disappointing one given that context.

You mean scoring as in TV ratings or as in grades here on this forum and/or external sites?

I haven't been checking reviews for this episode yet, but have a hard time believing it's been that badly recieved, though if it is I'm really quite surprised with the lackluster reception. Even with its flaws, such a solid and well balanced story such as this is rare to see on the show nowadays (but at least on this board the reception is rather overwhelmingly positive, even though it's a 4/5 episode for most).
 

B-Boy

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Den of Geek: 4/5

Bubbleblabber: 4/10
Both of these sites have zero credibility.

You mean scoring as in TV ratings or as in grades here on this forum and/or external sites?

I haven't been checking reviews for this episode yet, but have a hard time believing it's been that badly recieved, though if it is I'm really quite surprised with the lackluster reception. Even with its flaws, such a solid and well balanced story such as this is rare to see on the show nowadays (but at least on this board the reception is rather overwhelmingly positive, even though it's a 4/5 episode for most).
I suspect he's referring to IMDB on which this episode currently scores a 5.9. Ridiculous.
 
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StarfishHair

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Both of these sites have zero credibility.


I suspect he's referring to IMDB on which this episode currently scores a 5.9. Ridiculous.
Haven't seen the episode yet, but there are 20 or so IMDB users who ALWAYS give any new Simpsons episode a 1/10 before it has even aired.
 

CousinMerl

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The IMDB scoring is a 5.9 as of right now? After 'Star Of The Backstage' got undeservedly downvoted to oblivion while many much worse episodes didn't get the same amount of downvotes I'm not surprised.

Anyhow, I wouldn't take IMDB scores as a clear indicator. IMDB has become a joke over the last few years with review bombings etc. even of movies and episodes that are generally well regarded by critics & most audiences. Some years ago I guess it was somewhat reliable, but the trolls and their obsession with downvoting with 1/10s has ruined any credibility the site had.
 
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