Thing 1: “Bored to Death”
I love HBO. Really do. Their shows are just better. You see a million commercials for new NBC dramas or TNT’s new show that’s more suited to 1998 (aka B.S. aka Before Sopranos). And even though I don’t at all get the craze over “True Blood,” I’m totally psyched about their new show coming Sept 20th – “Bored to Death.” Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zach Galifianakis – show is about a writer who’s read too many detective novels and decides to become a private eye. It sounds a little like the recent (brief) Andy Richter series “Andy Barker, P.I.” except I think this one has the legs to make it. I like the look of it. (Side note: I’m very pleased by the number of solid film actors who are jumping over to TV for a few seasons to do great work. I think Alec Baldwin has really lead the charge (although Mary Louise Parker was there a few years before).)
Thing 2: “Legion” trailer
Check out this 5 minute movie trailer below and see if you can spot one actor who didn’t laugh his ass all the way to the bank! There is no way this movie is going to be any damn good, but I can’t wait to see it. We’ve come to the point that campy movies are just as well made as the good ones (check out Granny Foul Mouth, though. Hilarious!), but the dialogue is uproarious. Dennis Quaid as diner owner!? Paul Bettany as an Angel?! Movie studio, take my money now, give me some popcorn, and let the good times roll. Notice the name of the diner? Paradise Falls diner. Outstanding. God is pissed, but lucky for us, it only takes bullets to bring down the rest of heaven’s angels. I know there’s a movie where they dip the barrel of the gun in Holy Water and then blast away the demons. I get that, that’s because they’re evil. How does it work when they’re angels? (Ohp!!! Or maybe that’s a hidden commentary by the filmmaker!) Thing is, it looks completely blasphemous in concept, but my spider sense is telling me I betcha they bring it all around to be some sort of test by God or something. Either way, my friend Adam has it right: I’m going to see the shit out of that movie.
“Generation Kill.” If you’ve seen “The Wire.” If you are interested in modern day warfare. If you love great television. Watch. This. Show. Holy shit.
- Iceman, Ray, and their transport
I’m not going to review the entire series, (1) because I’m not done with it, (2) because this dude did it better already on his blog here, and (3) because I want to focus this entry to one aspect of the miniseries: hopelessness.
I can’t sleep. It’s almost 3am. I finished the 3rd episode over an hour ago, and it won’t let go. The decisions that are made by those in command. The effects those decisions have on the troops and the civilians and what we know now looking back. It is cavalier at best, recklessly absurdist at worst. The way blame gets shifted. The way the soldiers can’t speak up. The way poor decisions aren’t discussed. The way “following orders” means ignoring logic. The way all the soldiers just have to swallow it. The way all they can do is laugh sometimes. The way they all know what’s really going on and discuss it with each other but no one else is paying attention. The way honor isn’t valued like it says on the commercials. The way you feel empty because of the shit these guys have to face and hopeless because of the decisions that are made for them. The way in spite of all of these things, the show isn’t anti-solider in ANY sense and wisely doesn’t preach about either perspective on the war in Iraq itself (because right then, at that point, it’s irrelevant, they’re THERE, and they have a job to do). The way it is only anti-bullshit bureaucracy that gets in the way of these men doing a good job and often ends up screwing things up for them. The way it leaves a weight on your heart for these men. The way it makes you realize that they’re there and I’m here and this show is probably only a small fragment of what they go through, so what the hell do I know anyway? The way the show can be bleak and heart-wrenching and make you want to cry and scream and shoot someone and hug someone all at the same time. The way it shows that even in the midst of this unbearable heaviness, there may be glimmers of hope amongst the men, shards of it stashed inside all of the chaos. This is not something a lot of people will want to watch. It is unpleasant, yet somehow both entertaining and deeply engrossing. It will leave you with a heavy heart and an ache. You may feel hopeless for a while after you watch it. I do. And I probably should.