The First Serialized Musical … Wait, What?

I’m just going to throw out a few words to you: podcast, satire, true crime, musical.

Many times I feel I’m quite often on the search for a new podcast; either a season has ended, or I’m patiently waiting for the one episode per week to drop. I recently stumbled upon Secrets, Crimes, & Audiotape, which I thought may be similar to Homecoming (a fictional podcast told without a narrator & through only character dialogue).

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I’m the type that likes to start a podcast from the beginning so I scrolled down, down, down on the episode feed to start with episode one: an imaginative retelling of the hours right after President Kennedy was assassinated (sidebar: my husband and I just recently watched Jackie with the stunning Natalie Portman, so the Kennedy assassination is a hot button issue in my household right now; enjoyed the movie, felt it was a bit too artsy for my liking … moving on…)

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After listening and enjoying that story, I decided to see what else Secrets, Crimes, & Audiotapes had to offer. I found a five part episode titled “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” and the premise was this:
Like Serial Season One, only with much more singing. In the opening episode, a young Sarah Koenig, a beat reporter for the Baltimore Sun, needs a big start to boost her career. Voices in her head give her an idea that could make her dream of working for Ira Glass come true. Years later we find Sarah working at This American Life, where Ira wants to do a show about murder. He asks a nervous Sarah to recount the murder that made her career and possibly solve it, something she immediately regrets.”

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Wait, wait, wait, wait. You’re saying this episode is going to retell the story of Sarah Koenig, narrator of the Serial podcast, the non-fiction Peabody award winning show that retells the murder of Hae Min Lee by her boyfriend Adnan Syed (supposedly) in … song?! Plus features Ira Glass … in song?! Kristin Thomas are you freaking out yet?? #shoutout

I can’t even begin to imagine how it was pulled off!

Granted, I’m about a year behind, as this five part episode was released in November of 2016. So yeah, they pulled it off.

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If you’re not familiar with Serial, click here for a background into the case. As I said, I’m only two episodes into SC&A, yet all the main players in this story have sung (yes SUNG!) including Sarah, Adnan, Hae, Asia McClain, and Jay. 

Below are a few other details I both love &  can’t get over, plus questions I still have from this podcast: 

The character of Ira Glass

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Ira is played by Jessie Cannizzaro.

I should probably stop here and mention that I do love me some show tunes, but I’m not a big Broadway buff. My favorite musical is Hamilton (but isn’t it everyone’s?) and I only have ever watched the Tony Awards the past two years (first because Hamilton was nominated so many times & then because James Corden hosted).

So with all the being said, I can’t tell you much about Jessie Cannizzaro. What I can tell you is she is hilarious as Ira Glass. Jessie gives Ira a screechy voice which is a distinct opposite from his soothing This American Life gig. Plus he’s pushy with Koenig, and allows his dog to feed on rhino. Ira might be my favorite character of the whole podcast.

Satire

The spoofs are not lost on me. First, Sarah’s podcast gets sponsored by “Online Correspondence Chimp” which, if you listen to many podcasts, you know that a big supporter of this media platform is MailChimp.

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The songs are really funny as well. There is even one titled “Physical Evidence,” which lists out (you guessed it!) all the physical evidence from the case, but again in song form. And I KNOW the premise of a musical is that the story is told to song, but when you’ve invested quite a bit into the Serial story, only to have it sung, it’s a hard pill to swallow.

Last, did Sarah kill Hae?

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Sooooo I’m picking up a theme with Secrets, Crimes, and Audiotapes which is each episode contains a secret from one of the characters. While the secret may not be as large as murder or conspiracy, someone has a secret.

The first episode of “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” talks about how there was a brandy bottle found at the crime scene and how one suspect was ruled out because while he was out drinking around the time, he was drinking beer not brandy. At the end of the episode (in a flashback scene to the very start of her career), Sarah listens to the voices in her head (who are teaching her how to become famous and a real reporter) and decides to buy a bottle of brandy (this is before Hae’s death).

In the second episode, Sarah does not want the evidence examined. There is also discussion (or song – I can’t remember) about red fibers found at the scene Last, Sarah calls an ex of hers and asks about her red coat from years ago, if he still had it.

Is the show taking things too far?

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After I post this, I’m probably going to travel far down into a rabbit hole of research to find out how the real life Sarah, Ira, and Adnan feel about this production. (Kristin, can you help me with this?) Were they upset? I mean the show is pretty much accusing Sarah of killing Hae and portraying Ira as kind of a raging psycho with a feminine voice. Or, perhaps they loved it?! I feel like I know Sarah and Ira well enough since I listen to them so often, I would think they’d love it. Or … maybe they don’t even know about the show?!

Two: I guess it’s okay to make a satire musical spoof of a murder case because the case became so sensationalized through the podcast. Everyone felt like they knew Hae and Adnan. There are even podcasts about the podcast Serial. But maybe it’s not okay. Maybe it’s not okay to be singing a song called “Physical Evidence” regarding the murder of a young, high school girl. Then to insinuate that Sarah killed her, for laughs? I don’t know. I guess all of it is up for debate. Like I said, I’m sure I’ll be down an internet research hole all evening reading comments and reviews regarding all of this.

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If you have feels about this spoof of the Hae Min Lee murder case, find me on Twitter @myhollywoodh or Instagram @myhollywoodhangover.

Let’s discuss!

 

 

My Paradise Picks

I spent FOUR HOURS of my life last night getting caught up on Paradise. (okay, okay, it was on my dvr so I skipped commercials but still!). Also, how annoying is it that we’ve had eight hours worth of BIP (four last week and four this week) and have only seen ONE ROSE CEREMONY?!

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Get it together ABC.

However, from those eight hours we’ve learned Taylor and Derek seem pretty great together, plus Amanda and Robby are slowing forming into something (which now we know is real). Diggy and Dominique seemed to have a pleasant date and may be the start of a new couple, along with Sarah and Adam, plus Dean and Danielle. I think those are all of the established couples or couples starting to melt into something. But what if, just what if, I had Paradise go my way?!

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Proud of you if you get this reference…

Here are the couples I’d prefer sprout and blossom this season…

Alexis & Jasmine: 

Girl power! Seriously, the hot tub scene with the two of them was probably the only thing I really liked from the past two episodes. I love and appreciate their friendship! They are also truly funny, especially when they had their Australian accents and were narrating Paradise as if it were a nature show (which let’s be honest, it kind of is!)

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Get me in this girl gang ASAP!

Danielle M. & Wells:

I think we can all agree while they may not be the most drama filled, Danielle and Wells are two of the best people on the show. I’m talking genuine, good, people. Who knew they were actually friends from years back? And, while it may just have been for production purposes to ship them, I was all for it. Also, on Danielle’s Instastory this week, she was hanging out with Wells, Taylor, & Derek. #doubledate ??

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Adopt me

Kristina & Dean: 

I agree with all of you that Dean is an awful person for basically ditching Kristina after they returned from “The Shutdown.” I agree that in the real world Kristina is too good for Dean and I don’t want them together. However, that doesn’t mean I wish it never happened. I thought Dean and Kristina were good together (before Dean got all douchey); they had hard childhoods and could understand one another on that level. I thought they looked super cute together as well. Sigh. RIP #Kean (Destina?)

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It was good while it lasted …

Raven & Ben Z:

I don’t really have strong, strong reasonings as to why I like these two together, besides the simple fact they seem down-to-earth, genuine people. I didn’t watch Ben Z’s season but I did see Raven’s and learned she needs good dude. Let’s be honest too, Ben Z got a bad edit regarding his dog. Or maybe I just ship them because I simply think they look good beside one another?

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Sarah & Adam:

Originally I wanted Raven with Adam. I don’t think Adam got enough air time on Rachel’s season; he legit seems great. However, he appeared to drop Raven pretty darn fast once Sarah asked him out. I don’t know you that well Sarah and I’m sure you’re nice, but no one can be better than my girl Raven. Bad move Adam. Also, aren’t Sarah and Raven pretty dece friends? If so, kind of lame that Sarah went after a dude that just went on a date with her good friend. HOWEVER, if I must play devil’s advocate (which I hate to do) it seemed like Sarah and Adam already had a history of attraction from “The Shutdown” so it seems fair that Raven understood (and should just date Ben Z).

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Amanda Stanton: 

Go home to your kids. It didn’t work out last time and it won’t work this time. I’m trying really hard not to hate, but just go home. 

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It didn’t work then; it won’t work now

Danielle L. & Robby:

First, I’m probs a bit salty that Danielle took Dean away from Kristina (maybe the word took is too strong but I’m using it). However, Danielle and Robby just seem like pretty people. You know the people I’m talking about (Raven even described him this way last week) who have every hair in place, polished outfits head to toe, and seem like the model type. I’m not saying others on the show aren’t GORG but they don’t appear to also be, well, high maintenance, which sadly is exactly how Danielle and Robby appear and why I ship them. 

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Lacey & Jack Stone:

These two would be perfect for one another because no one else really wants to date them. I don’t mean this negatively at all but you know how people say things like, “There’s someone for everyone” ?? Welllllllll, I think maybe that applies to these two getting together; they just don’t know it yet, and thank goodness I’m here to let them know! 

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          (Look at the way she looks at him!)

So who’s left?

Diggy, Dominiquie, and Matt I think. I guess I’m cool with Dominiquie getting with either dude. She seemed to have a good date with Diggy, but Matt doesn’t seem like a terrible person either. Am I missing someone? If I am, a) I’m sorry to that person but b) you aren’t that great if I’ve easily forgotten you. 

Sadly though, I’m not sure many of these couples (okay, any of these couples) will develop. Ah, a girl can dream right?? Who do YOU ship in Paradise?? Find me on social media and let’s debate/discuss/dive into it! 

Thanks for all the support!! 

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“Peace Never Lasts My Dear” GOT Recap 7×2

It wouldn’t be Game of Thrones if there weren’t a sex scene or battle scene and this week we get both!

Before I start, I want to mention the podcast, A Cast of Kings. It’s my go to for episode recaps, and while they may be long, David Chen & Joanna Robinson do a phenomenal job discussing the latest episode. I’ve learned more about the series, especially tiny details I wouldn’t have even thought of, so if you’re a podcast AND Thrones fan, check it out!

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Okay, let’s get started with alllllllll the emotions felt during this week’s episode. Thank goodness we started with Daenerys instead of her being in the final scene because I couldn’t wait the whole episode before I saw her like I had to last week. I’m obsessed with the fact that Dany is discussing Cersei and how to move forward towards her King’s Landing takeover. For six seasons we’ve seen her so far removed from Westeros and now she’s here! She’s arrived! She’s going to sit on the Iron Throne! Also, who didn’t love her questioning the bald guy whose name I forget but is known for having all his “little birds?” Dany = bad. ass!

Current Emotion:

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To keep up with this excitement the red lady (oh, her name is Melisandre) comes to tell Daenerys that she’ll (shoot I don’t remember exactly what she said) but basically that DANY WILL RULE AND SO WILL ANOTHER *cough Jon Snow cough.” Which is really exciting because Jon realizes and verbalizes they need the dragons to kill the White Walkers (meaning Dany & Jon will probs meet up soon and maybe even work together!)

Current Emotion:

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I doubt many would agree with me, but I’m a little annoyed with Daenerys and Cersei; like, I get it’s all about world domination, and you have worked really hard to get where you’re at, and mother freaking GIRL POWER to you both if it comes down to you two, but do you not understand what you’re up against that’s bigger than anything in the natural world?! Hello, White Walkers anyone? Hello, Night King anyone?

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I guess we’ll see how it all plays out. Moving on, Sir Jorah! So good to see you agai — oh no, he’s not good. We’re going to come back to Sir Jorah in a bit. Not that I want to continue talking about her, but look at Cersei around all those dragon bones! It does look kind of cool to be down there with them, until I realize she’s down there to learn how to kill Dany’s dragons, with some giant spear nonetheless. Again, are you braindead? Do you not realize YOU NEED THE DRAGONS AGAINST THE WHITE WALKERS?! Plus the dragons are my favorite characters so they can’t be killed off.

Current Emotion:

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Moving on. I don’t know if you were wanting a Grey Worm and Missandei sex scene (and if you weren’t wanting one, you were definitely wondering how it’d go down if it did happen), but fans of Missan-dorm got one. I’ve heard multiple theories that this was a long and drawn out scene because perhaps this was the final time we’d see the two together, as if it was some sort of farewell. I did like Grey Worm’s speech about weakness and fear and how Missandei is that for him.

Grey Worm & Missandei's Current Emotion:

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As I previously mentioned, we’d come back to Sir Jorah and here we are!  He’s granted one more day to stay at the Citadel before he’s banished because his grayscale has progressed too far. But, my favorite and yours, Sam I Am, is going to cure him. Honestly what is it with Sam getting two disgusting episodes back to back because basically Sam’s “cure” is to literally peel off the grayscale (puss flying everywhere) and then put a special ointment on it. Oh yeah, and Jorah is to not scream during the procedure because Sam isn’t allowed to be doing any of this.

Current Emotion:

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The Starks: Arya, Jon, Sansa.

Arya learns that Jon is King of the North, so she scraps her plan to kill Cersei (for now) and heads for Winterfell. Oh yeah, and her pet wolf doesn’t recognize her anymore … #metaphor anyone?! Jon is literally the only one in the entire show who knows what he’s doing because he trusts my favorite guy Tyrion & his favorite guy Sam who both tell Jon he needs to travel to Dragonstone. The most important reason for going is so Jon can mine Dragonglass to kill the White Walkers. Man is his head on straight! He knows the real threat! Then there is Sansa who is a whiny brat who seems to always disagree with Jon (especially in front of others). But, Jon trusts her and she’s in charge of holding down Winterfell while Jon’s gone. Little Finger likes this, but don’t fret friends, Jon threatened him before he set off!

Current Emotion:

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The final scene. You think it may be a lesbian scene with the Greyjoy sister and the lady whose husband’s head got popped like a balloon by The Mountain, but nope! The horrible Greyjoy uncle appears to take them all out! This sure will put a wrench in Dany’s plan because the Greyjoys were part one in defeating Cersi. Of course the awful uncle is working with Cersi and he just annihilates the fleet. I would say it’s the most intense scene thus far in the season (& I get it; we’re only in episode two so thanks Captain Obvious) because I covered my eyes for most of it (that’s how I judge intensity in GOT). However, the craziest part was Theon. Guys, mental health is REAL and I think people are forgetting how much he suffered at the hands of Ramsay Bolton. If you watched, you know he jumped into the water instead of trying to save his sister. She dead now. And we’re left waiting to see what happens next week.

Final Emotion:

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#TryPod

The majority of my readers right now are family and friends, or those referred from my family and friends. So, until I become the next Perez Hilton & have unlimited readers  –I understand it will take timekkk—  I want to start including posts that can refer people I care about to try or watch something new.  Enter podcasts! 

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What is a podcast? I won’t bore you with the digital details of what a podcast is (probably because I don’t fully understand it myself; click the link if you need that definition) so I’ll give you my definition. Podcasts are Netflix for your phone. They are audio episodes on an unlimited amount of topics you download to your phone as you would music (EXCEPT IT’S FREE!) and then can listen wherever you go: on your drive, working out, walking around the park, doing laundry, etc!

How do I get a podcast? Again, for my techie friends, click the link. However, if you have a iPhone or Android, you should have a podcast app on your phone, which will then link you to an available site, like iTunes, where you can search and download podcasts.

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Why should I care about or try podcasts? There are a few reasons I love listening to podcasts. First, I live in a rural area and have to drive about 20 minutes to work or the grocery store. If you listen to any radio station, it seems like the same song is played every half hour. Podcasts have made my drives so much more bearable and enjoyable. This also goes for when I’m walking my dog around the neighborhood. I can forget any worries of my day and just listen in on the story, which is the next reason I love podcasts so much: storytelling. I’m a HUGE reader, love escaping into a book, and there are some amazing stories to escape into (both true life & scripted) in the podcast world. Scroll down to examine a few. Finally, I get my news from my podcast app, including political and entertainment. It’s a quick and easy way to stay in the know.

News:

Need news fast? Start right here!

 

Upfirst – This podcast is from NPR and the hosts bring you the most up to date news stories each morning. What I love most is each episode isn’t longer than 15 minutes, so while you’re getting dressed and combing your hair, you get the top news stories of the day!

The Morning Breath – Claudia & Jackie Oshry give you the “top five stories you need to know before you wake up and brush your teeth.” Technically it’s not world news, it’s celeb news so after I listen to Upfirst, I put on these girls to get my celeb dish. for the day Follow them on social media at @girlwithnojob and @JackieOProblems.

Story Telling:

Good stories like the following can’t possibly be true, but they are.

 

S-Town – From the people of This American Life and Serial (see below for both), comes a story revolving around a man named John B. McLemore and will grab your attention right away. While there is no HUGE shock or twist at the very end (although there is at the end of episode two), if you keep in mind as you listen that this is storytelling at it’s finest, I have little doubt you’ll dislike this podcast.

Heavyweight – Jonathan Goldstein brings you stories about people from all walks of life. Episodes two and six are my favorite. Each story centers around a person and a story they need to tell. It’s truly great.

This American Life – As I write this, This American Life has released their 619th episode, so it’s safe to say this show is the podfather. Each episode revolves around a theme with multiple “acts.” Ira Glass hosts and I honestly don’t think I can say enough good things about how wonderful this show is. While each theme or story may not be for you, you’ll enjoy more of them than you hate.

30 For 30 – If you’re familiar with the 30 for 30 documentaries brought to you by ESPN, then here is a podcast under the same pretense. Check them out if you enjoy sports stories!

Ear Hustle – This podcast is made INSIDE a prison and tells different stories about inmates and what life is like “on the inside.” I started listening to it because I felt it was an interesting concept and each episode has proved me right!

True Crime:

If you love the ID Channel as much as me, these are some great podcasts to listen to!

 

Serial – Serial is the show that started my podcast obsession. Sarah Koenig, the host, has an amazing radio voice, SNL spoofed it, and with two very different seasons, it’s bound to spark your interest. I’m very certain you’ve heard of this podcast and if not, but you’re interested in trying one, here is where I would start.

Sworn – Sworn investigates the gruesome murders of Russell and Shirley Dermond. Who are they? The Dermonds were an elderly couple and while they aren’t well known for anything, the fact that Mr. Dermond was found decapitated in his home (but pronounced dead BEFORE the decapitation) and the crime scene was extremely clean, this makes for an interesting case.

Crimetown – This podcast takes place in Providence, Rhode Island and basically tells the story of the mafia in the city. It involves the former mayor of the city, Buddy Cianci, and the political corruption he was involved in. However, there are additional stories involving other “wise guys” that will completely hold your interest as well!

Pop Culture:

For all things movies, music, celebs, & famous personalities …

 

Pop Culture Happy Hour – From NPR, a panel of pop culture experts discuss the latest in movies, music, & television. Make sure to listen to the entire episode though because the end segment, “What’s Making Us Happy?” is the best!

Straight Up with Stassi – From Vanderpump Rules, Stassi Schroeder opens up more than she ever does on the show (impossible I know!). You’ll laugh out loud as she has interviews and converses about celebrity gossip, pop culture, relationships, and more!

Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss – These two comedians interview a different guest each episode and the guest scores Theo & Matt on who asks the better questions. Because of this, Theo and Matt do NOT hold back! Check out their list of episodes (they just celebrated 100!) and download those with celebs you know or like, then you’ll grow to love this show (even if you don’t like the guest).

(Sidenote: almost ANY famous television show you’re into probably has a podcast to go with it. Some examples include The Bachelorette, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl; the list honestly goes on and on!)

Katy’s Top Picks:

I can’t get ENOUGH of the following podcasts!

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Homecoming – I just finished the entire first season of this podcast yesterday and where do I even begin? First thing to understand is this podcast is scripted, not true life, and it’s told through interview and phone conversations mainly. There is no narrator. Plus the conversations jump from past to present in a flash (there is a literally a flashing-whooshy sound when it jumps), so you have to pay attention. However, the episodes don’t last much longer than 20 minutes so it’s quick to get through.
I’ve never heard anything quite like this. I’ve heard phone conversations on podcasts before, but they have never been scripted. I just keep thinking what it would have been like for the cast to record. Speaking of the cast, some members of the cast include Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer. I don’t feel like I can say much about the storyline or plot because I’ll give too much away, but trust …. listen to this!!

Broses Before Roses – I can’t recall how I even came across this podcast, but out of this entire list it’s probably my number 1 and what makes that annoying is you have to be a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan in order to listen. If this applies to you, go download this podcast right now!
The podcast features five grown men simply discussing the latest episode of whatever Bach program is currently airing. I feel like each person I tell about this podcast laughs a bit and will say, “That’s a funny premise,” and then blow it off, but don’t blow it off! I LITERALLY laugh out loud every. single. time. I listen to an episode. I appreciate how the guys will take the episode seriously, but how they are also cynical (because they’re men commenting on The Bachelor!) because I’m usually super cynical about the show too.

Criminal – Phoebe Judge hosts a show in which yes, each episode does center around something to do with breaking a law. However, each episode is not about murder or violence, but rather every topic under the sun. Did I mention Phoebe Judge, the host? Here is the thing I have come to love about podcasts and it’s that some hosts (Jonathan Goldstein, Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, & especially Phoebe Judge) almost become like family each episode you listen to. Their voices soothe you and you look forward to hearing from them. While each story in Criminal is worthy, Phoebe makes the show.

So, have I convinced you on trying a podcast? Go download one; what do you have to lose? (And, follow me on Twitter @myhollywoodh to discuss these & other podcasts I love!)

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