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Tag: television

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.