Thursday, March 27, 2008

Miss Guided Navigates

Thank the gods of light entertainment! Someone is actually developing charisma on Miss Guided! Kristoffer Polaha, more specifically. Okay. Judy Greer is growing on me. Slowly. I loved the way Polaha delivered the line: "Maybe they were just gay" on the second show.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

John Adams

Finally got around to watching the second episode. Actually had to force myself to see it. Wow. It was like watching an hour of C-SPAN. Maybe that was their intention. I should have gotten a clue when John Adams spent the first fifteen minutes griping about how boring sitting in Congress was. Who knew they were going to prove their thesis. If the main character is griping about the show ...

(BTW, I hope the real Thomas Jefferson wasn't as chronically depressed as the one on the show. He made John Adams look like a ray of sunshine.)

The actors, however, are great. I LOVE Tom Wilkinson's Benjamin Franklin. He really makes you believe all the legends: Franklin the ladies' man, Franklin the wit. Laura Linney's performance is really the only major one that seems a bit weak. Maybe she's feeling trapped by her accent (or her corset)? It reminds me of certain Meryl Streep performances where the accent is the performance. Or maybe it's just a typical Laura Linney performance. All her characters seem stifled and in need of a corset loosening.

I wish the writers could have remembered they were doing drama. John Adams is the TV equivalent of reading something with intrusive footnotes. That's the problem when you're too enamored by a book. And you want to deliver truth, justice and the American way. Even Hollywood Bible movies have more fun. Maybe that's what's missing. Charlton Heston. Anne Baxter. Yul Brynner. They should have channeled Cecil B. DeMille. Or at least taken a class with Andrew Davies. I can't believe I was actually rooting for some battle scenes -- and I hate the stuff -- but anything with a little momentum! When you can actually see quotation marks coming out of people's mouths, that's when you have to just throw in the towel. Certainly tempted here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Christina Hendricks

What happened to adult female sexuality? Watching Christina Hendricks on Mad Men, I wonder that. On a show filled with outstanding performances, hers pops out with so much fun and so much sophistication. Just watching her walk away is watching a master performance.

In contrast is Elisabeth Moss's performance. Peggy Olson should be a young, smart, naive girl full of ambition. At first she thinks her ambition is to be like Hendricks's Joan -- a woman who knows how to use sex to wrap bosses around her pinkie. Slowly she realizes her talents are much more nuts and bolts -- much more like a man's. She becomes a copy writer, on her way not to her boss's bed but her boss's corner office. But the way Moss plays it, Peggy turns out to have Aspergers. Confusion and awkwardness is played by staring blankly. While the cast around her grows into their roles, Moss has disappeared out of hers.

The only other crinkle is a minor one by Jon Hamm. Playing a younger, hick version of himself wasn't too successful...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lost, Lost, Lost

Oh, man! They just killed off my favorite person! What good is Lost without Danielle? Who can forget that unbelievable mother & daughter moment when Danielle and Alex tie up the jerk together right after the emotional family reunion? But this is Lost. Who really ever dies on that stupid show. My favorite part of the whole hour is "Bad Robot!" Or, as I like to say, "Bad Writers!"

I absolutely love Mira Furlan. She's an incredible actress. Remember Babylon 5? (Great first season -- after that just nonsense.) That moment when Delenn releases all the souls? Who else can animate a white basketball? I love it when great actors get work. Shame on you, Lost.

Miss Guided

Watching the show right now. Scrubs cross-dressed with Ugly Betty. Sans any charismatic actors. The British show Teachers did it better. And I didn't like that either. But at least it's not going back in time like the shows listed in the entry below.

TV ennui

When Squawk Box is the most exciting thing on TV, something's oh, so wrong. Lipstick Jungle, Cashmere Mafia, The Return of Jezebel James ... are these shows really coming out of the same era as Malcolm in the Middle and Mad Men? The third season of Battlestar Galactica was deathly boring so I'm not looking forward to the April premiere. God, I hope they don't find Earth. We're nobody's answer -- not even lost shows. I wish I could blame it on the writers' strike, but I can't. Of course, we have Lost -- but I've always watched Lost with a great deal of resistance. The writers use the viewers like one big inflatable sex doll. (I got burned by Alias.) I sorta hope Mad Men doesn't return. It's perfectly complete as it is.

Oh, and isn't The Tudors a complete waste of time? Okay. The Tudors liked to have fun. So what? And all that over acting by Jonathan Rhys Meyers... (Compare to Cate Blanchett, Class.)

On the other side of the historic drama:

I'm trying to like John Adams, but so far, it is as slow as Revolutionary molasses. And it's not even historically accurate. Two of the soldiers were found guilty in the Boston Massacre (in real life). I mean, if you're going to be slow and ponderous, you might as well be historically accurate. Know what I mean?