Pop Culture Gadabout
Friday, March 17, 2006
      ( 3/17/2006 06:01:00 AM ) Bill S.  

TOUGH GUYS . . . AND WIVES – Caught the second ep of The Unit this week (have the first on tape somewhere but haven’t gotten to it). I generally enjoy David Mamet when he's in Graham Greene-ish "entertainment" mode (Untouchables, House of Games, this series) than I do his more serious works of theater (American Buffalo, Oleana) – and his scriptwork here has much of his trademark toughness. Dennis Haysbert is as commanding as you'd expect him to be playing the head of a tip-top secret ranger unit, while Robert Patrick finally gets a chance to make up for those two (or was it three?) blown seasons of X-Files floundering as the in-the-know commander of Haysbert’s clandestine unit. The rest of the male cast has more than a whiff of Rat Patrol about 'em, but perhaps we'll get a better sense of who they are over time.

The episode divides its time between our heroes' sweat-inducing mission and the wives who wait at home. Gotta admit, I was a little wary, wondering how they'd handle this second aspect of the story – would we be treated to too many scenes of distraught base wives telling each other to keep their chin up? – but it was reasonably well-handled. Regina Taylor, playing Haysbert's experienced wife Molly, is the secret here, I suspect. She's tough, appealing and totally unlike all the other actress-like women in the cast.

This entry's mission revolved around retrieving a fallen Chinese satellite somewhere in the desert: our heroes work to keep it from the hands of an African group and their terrorist leader – and wind up trekking across the hot sands with the wounded terrorist on a stretcher. Back home, a member of the unit (Scott Foley) is interrogated by an F.B.I. agent who's peeved because our heroes had apparently trod on the bureau's turf in the pilot episode. Yeah, yeah, damn rule-bound pencil pushers keeping the real soldiers from doing the work that needs to be done: haven't seen that on a show since, oh, the ep of N.C.I.S. that aired an hour earlier . . .

I wasn't bored watching The Unit, even if the hopped-up part of me that's been gleefully gobbling up this year's 24 kept wishing they'd amp up the melodrama instead of working so hard at treating it all like another day at the office. (On the other hand, wouldn't it be cool if the overblown adolescents who comprise the CTU office talked like David Mamet grown-ups?) There were some fine small bits in the episode – Haysbert's guarded interaction with his prisoner, a moment when Foley's left-behind soldier blows up at his wife over a mis-delivered communiqué – that you know are better for Mamet's involvement. A series to keep an eye on, especially on those weeks Fox shoves House aside for one of its crappy puffed-up reality shows . . .
# |

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

On Sale Now!
Measure by Measure:

A Romantic Romp with the Fat and Fabulous
By Rebecca Fox & William Sherman

(Available through Amazon)

Measure by Measure Web Page

Ask for These Fine Cultural Blogs & Journals by Name!

aaronneathery.com News
Aaron Neathery

American Sideshow Blow-Off
Marc Hartzman

Arf Lovers
Craig Yoe

Sean T. Collins

Barbers Blog
Wilson Barbers

The Bastard Machine
Tim Goodman

The Beat
Heidi MacDonald

Kevin Church

Big Fat Blog
Paul McAleer

Big Mouth Types Again
Evan Dorkin

Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Blog This, Pal!
Gordon Dymowski

Rod Lott

Cartoon Brew
Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck

Cartoon Web Log!
Daryl Cagle

Clea's Cave
Juana Moore-Overmyer

Collected Editions

The Comics Curmudgeon
Josh Fruhlinger

The Comics Reporter
Tom Spurgeon

Christopher Butcher

Comics Waiting Room
Marc Mason

Comics Worth Reading
Johanna Draper Carlson

a dragon dancing with the Buddha
Ben Varkentine


Electromatic Radio
Matt Appleyard Aaron Neathery


Eye of the Goof
Mr. Bali Hai

Fred Sez
Fred Hembeck

Greenbriar Picture Shows
John McElwee

The Groovy Age of Horror
Curt Purcell

The Hooded Utilitarian
Noah Berlatsky

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Daniel Frank

The Horn Section

The House Next Door
Matt Zoller Seitz

Howling Curmudgeons
Greg Morrow & Friends

The Hurting
Tim O'Neil

I Am A Child of Television
Brent McKee

I Am NOT the Beastmaster
Marc Singer

In Sequence
Teresa Ortega

Innocent Bystander
Gary Sassaman

Irresponsible Pictures

Jog - The Blog
Joe McCulloch

The Johnny Bacardi Show
David Allen Jones

Dirk Deppey

King's Chronicles
Paul Dini

Let's You And Him Fight
One of the Jones Boys

Mah Two Cents
Tony Collett


Michael's Movie Palace

Nat's TV
Nat Gertler

Ned Sonntag


News from ME
Mark Evanier

No Rock&Roll Fun
Simon B

Omega Channel
Matt Bradshaw

Pen-Elayne on the Web
Elayne Riggs

Peter David

Dorian White

Progressive Ruin
Mike Sterling

Punk Rock Graffiti
Cindy Johnson & Autumn Meredith

Revoltin' Developments
Ken Cuperus

Marc Bernardin

Matt Hinrichs

Self-Styled Siren

Spatula Forum
Nik Dirga

Tales from the Longbox
Chris Mosby


The Third Banana
Aaron Neathery & Friends

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.

Toner Mishap
B2 et al

Trusty Plinko Stick
Bill Doughty

TV Barn
Aaron Barnhart et al

Unqualified Offerings
Jim Henley

Various And Sundry
Augie De Blieck

Video WatchBlog
Tim Lucas

When Fangirls Attack
Kalinara & Ragnell

X-Ray Spex
Will Pfeifer

Yet Another Comics Blog
Dave Carter

A Brief Political Disclaimer:

If this blog does not discuss a specific political issue or event, it is not because this writer finds said event politically inconvenient to acknowledge - it's simply because he's scatterbrained and irresponsible.

My Token List of Poli-Blogs:

Roy Edroso


Jane Hamsher

James Wolcott

Lance Mannion

The Moderate Voice
Joe Gandelman


Amanda Marcotte & Friends

The Sideshow
Avedon Carol

Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo

Talking Points Memo
Joshua Micah Marshall

This Modern World
Tom Tomorrow

Welcome to Shakesville
Melissa McEwan & Friends

Blogcritics: news and reviews
Site Feed

Powered by Blogger

    follow me on Twitter