Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: television

Notes: 2022-10-25

The format of these is likely to change, but I do need someplace besides Twitter to dump random thoughts. We’ll see how this works. Thanks are owed to my pal Ginger for demonstrating the value of this sort of thing.

If you like music, Elizabeth Nelson’s piece on Marquee Moon is a must read. It’s such a perfect album made in such weird, imperfect circumstances. I learned not too long ago that those two “pantheonic instrumentalists of the 20th century” she mentions finally united on Matthew Sweet’s great three albums of the 1990s, starting with Girlfriend. Assuming that she meant Richard Lloyd as the first. It’s also worth checking out her band, Paranoid Style, which is as one might expect from the name.

My adolescent schooling trauma, such as it is (it’s not all that), was reawakened when I learned that a Sacramento teacher was just arrested for concealing a 15 year old kid for 2 years. Apparently she teaches at some kind of Waldorf-inspired public school? The lesson here is that you just can’t trust a Waldorf teacher’s judgement. I do wonder a bit if there’s not more to the story — real problems at home? But man, just letting a kid hide out is never going to be a wise solution.

I liked this interview with Scott Adkins. It serves as an introduction to the world of direct to video action movies, which is a pretty cool world if you ask me. I don’t care so much about whether or not John Hyams is an auteur; I just dig the never-ending stream of competent action movies with good fight scenes. It’s a bit like the hey day of Hong Kong action cinema.

Second Go-Round

The season two premier of Dollhouse got lousy ratings, which it deserved. The problem’s highlighted in the climatic scene, where Eliza Dushku is flipping through identities. You can’t really tell the difference between them. Which kick-ass identity is the meaningful one?

Kind of sad, insofar as Fran Kranz and Amy Acker knocked their scenes out of the park. Whedon just isn’t all that great at casting female leads, I guess.

Centralized Management

I woke up this morning thinking about FlashForward. (Jack Davenport, so big awesome potential. Susan notes concern that the show has absorbed all the British character actors, however, which could lead to a shortage over in the UK.) So I wanted to read some discussion on it, and I wound up missing Usenet.

Back in the day you could just go read the television newsgroup or the newsgroup and you’d get your fix of cranky geeks expressing poorly-formed opinions about new shows. These days, where do I go? I guess TWoP.

Kids, lawns, etc.

Lightning Struck Itself

I finally coax eMusic into letting me download the bonus tracks from the new Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs. “Marquee Moon” is one of the songs. That’s most of why I wanted them. I play it.

For a moment I’m worried that my headphones are broken, as the guitar is isolated in my left ear. Then the rest of the music comes in to the right, echoing through my skull. Two guitars twine back and forth like snakes kissing. It is abbreviated, terse. Every time the chorus occurs, the notes extend out, bridging across austerity with sudden melody. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd alternate solos… wait.

Matthew Sweet plays all the guitar himself. This is not a reinterpretation. This is a tribute. Richard Lloyd played guitar on his breakout album, Girlfriend. These cover albums of his aren’t just power pop meditations. The Who, Richard Thompson, Neil Young, Television, Eric Clapton: let us pause to honor our guitar heros.

For a few bars, Susanna Hoffs sings harmony. Not much. The final solo fades to nothing. The first verse repeats. Silence.

10 minutes, 50 seconds. The original is 10 minutes, 40 seconds.

I put the original song on. Lightning struck itself.

Madder Men

Rose Madder? Nah, probably not. But spoilers, definitely.

Mad Men is back. As the Anglophile in me decrees, everything’s better with Brits. The office politics are going to be sharper and, probably, meaner. And funnier, since we’ve now got a world of misapprehensions and bad cultural assumptions to play with. Since this is Mad Men, we even get that point thrust home with a Don Draper metatextual commentary.

Not his only one this episode, either. Consider the implications of his London Fog tag line given that he’s just seen Sal with a half-dressed bellboy. “Limit your exposure.” He’s quick, that Don. Whereas Mad Men is pleasantly slow. It took three seasons for Sal to get even a taste of the sexual release most of the cast has already seen; but it worked. A slow build is good. Good for AMC, as well, for not shying away.

Ah, metatext. The new British CFO is named Pryce? Cute; but I’ll forgive it since he’s played by Jared Harris. I didn’t realize until afterwards, but that’s no doubt while I had the little frisson of alarm when I first saw him. Some part of me was expecting him to try and break through into an alternate world, no doubt.

Awesome show remains awesome.