Pop Culture Gadabout
Monday, March 21, 2005
      ( 3/21/2005 03:04:00 PM ) Bill S.  

THIS 'N' THAT – Still in the midst of juggling house cleaning/repair with real-life job responsibilities – which renders me incapable of doing much more than dribs and drabs of pop culture observations. So here are some bullet points, sans the usual title reference to a gun lyric. (For the record, I'm listening to an old Rhino collection of late 70's UK Pop, XTC's "This Is Pop" currently sending radar blips from the CD player.) Haven't had the brain capacity to read any comics in the past five days, so there's nuthin' here on that front, unfortunately. Current events? It is to laff. . .:
  • So is there a male in the audience who didn't deeply cringe watching this week’s episode of Deadwood? I know I sure did as Ian McShane's Al Swearengen underwent a prolonnnnnged frontier medical examination courtesy of Brad Dourif's Doc Cochran – up the penis and to the bladder in search of a pain-inducing stone. When Deadwood is cited in years to come as the final coffin nail in the myth of the Old West, this is the moment that'll be remembered.

    That said, I also should state that three episodes in, the second season of HBO's series is proving to be even stronger and more beautifully written/improvised than the first. Listening to actors like Powers Boothe – so often underused in mainstream action films – wrap their tongues around the vivid dialog they’re given on this show is a joy in itself. Reading about the series in Entertainment Weekly, it appears that many of the characters' delightfully labyrinthine turns of phrase are developed by the actors in collaboration with series creator David Milch as the episodes are being shot. I'd love to see a copy of an episode script alongside a transcript of the finished product. . .

  • HBO's other current dramatic series, Carnivále, is one episode away from its second season finale, with HBO keeping mum about whether the series will be renewed for a third. (According to creator David Knauf, the show was originally plotted for six seasons – with two seasons apiece comprising a "book" in what would ultimately become a trilogy.) I'm of two minds about whether the show should continue. As much as I've enjoyed the offerings to date, the series has so resolutely led to its upcoming confrontation between "hero" Ben (Nick Stahl) and Clancy Brown's increasingly malevolent Brother Justin that it's difficult to see where they'll go from there. Perhaps it is time to call it quits, though I've gotta admit I'll miss a lot of these characters . . .

  • Have caught several films on HBO and Starz recently that I haven't had time to discuss. In brief: I enjoyed Hellboy as a lightweight comic book movie (Ron Perlman's performance was a treat) and liked looking at and listening to the Coen Bros.' remake of The Ladykillers (even if the flick didn't make me laugh once – unlike the much slyer British original); tried watching Freddy Vs. Jason in the middle of the night recently, but aside from the novelty of seeing Joan Girardi's brother as a (walking) potential victim, I was either too tired or bored to make it all the way through the movie. Was a time in my life when I enjoyed the dumbest, most plotless slasher outing much in the same way you get a charge out of visiting the Jaycee's Haunted House around Halloween. But perhaps that particular thrill is gone. . .
S'it for now. . .
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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