|François Truffaut and Steven Spielberg on set. How ridiculously amazing is that?!|
|Just imagine watching Richard Dreyfuss run across this field....while you're basically sitting in the field.|
My youngest sister is now 15 (and a half, she would quickly point out) and I'm still working on my mission to introduce her to all the wonderful joys that classic Hollywood, feminist analysis, and various other pursuits and topics often unfamiliar to ladies of her age. When I moved home for a while during a post-graduation unemployment slump, one of our favorite activities was to go troll through the Target, Walmart, and Best Buy DVD bargain bins for cheap films. As a result, we watched everything from Labyrnith and Sabrina to An American in Paris and Funny Face. Seeing as it was the summer of the final Harry Potter film, we also marathoned all of those films and attended a midnight screening of the final volume.
It probably shouldn't have surprised me that, having introduced her to many of the formative movies in my filmgoing experience, my sister has developed....fondnesses for many of the actors I was also fond of at her age (Bogart, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, David Bowie, Hugh Grant, etc). Unfortunately, just as they were for me, many of these men (and others she crushes on) are not exactly age-appropriate or logical choices to her Beiber-obsessed peers. I end up getting wonderful texts like the following, though:
Me: "I always get teased by my friends because I like older actors and musicians. Like Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, and David Bowie, because I mean, they're gorgeous men. And Gene Kelly, well he's Dead. That's like the oldest you can get."Preach, sister! I think you're finally ready to hear what that ballet in An American in Paris is really about...
Friends, I have a problem. A middle class, first world nerd problem, but a problem nonetheless. This fall, for the first time in who knows how long, there are several science fiction/fantasy offerings on the major broadcast networks. Rejoice, nerd viewers! We've got time travel, fantasy-procedural mash-up, fairy tales In Real Life, alternate universes, demons and angels....and dinosaurs! There are going to be dinosaurs. on my television.
|This is Steven Spielberg, directing a dinosaur for Fox's Terra Nova. How am I supposed to resist this?|
Personally, I will almost certainly watch Fringe live (as I encourage you all to do!). It has been increasing in creativity and quality at a steady pace and the cast has been throwing out phenomenal (if sadly under-recognized) performances. Also, it almost always seems to be in peril come renewal time.
|John Noble, how do you still have no awards or nominations for Fringe?!|
I realize that everyone has these issues with their tv viewing, but (with the high cost of high-concept/effects-heavy shows) these kinds of scheduling/viewing issues can be a sci-fi/fantasy program's death-knell. For an expensive program that struggles in viewership early on, networks have two choices: cut their losses (and the program) early on or throw their full weight behind them. Hopefully, the fact their networks have scheduled Grimm and Fringe on Fridays isn't a hint at which approach they might take.
What do you think? Should you support a promising new show by watching it live and DVRing/streaming returning shows? Does your tactic change if your returning show came through on the skin of its teeth?
Green Wing on my iPod. In my defense, it is a rather brilliant British comedy. Imagine a more absurdist, uncensored Scrubs with very little moral compass and you'll begin to enter the ballpark of the wonderful craziness that is Green Wing. [Fair warning: Thar be some spoilers within this post!]
When I discovered Green Wing, I was dragged relentlessly along from episode to episode by its sheer ridiculousness and the adorable/frustrating "will they or won't they" of Dr. Caroline Todd (played by the always lovely and hysterical Tamsin Grieg) and Dr. "Mac" Macartney. This all still holds true, but the beauty of second (or third or fourth...) viewings is that new/different aspects can come to light. While rewatching Green Wing this time, I was struck by the adept and sometimes subtle characterizations of many of the "loonies" that populate the fictional hospital. Every actor physically embodies his or her character in such unique ways (like the weird, lumbering gait Grieg gives Dr. Todd) and there are many little shifts and aspects of characters that give them more depth than meets the eye.
Example: Mac's humor. Dr. Macartney rarely takes anything seriously (exceptions include his reaction to a particularly cruel joke another doctor plays on an internist), preferring to twist people's words about or humorously change the subject. At one point toward the end of season one, Dr. Todd is trying to get an honest, serious answer out of Mac and asks why he makes a joke out of everything. Mac replies that it allows him to avoid "grown up" conversations and responsibilities. It's very nearly a throwaway line as delivered, particularly considering how quickly the episode moves on to more momentous things (one character inadvertently sleeps with his mother, Dr. Todd and Mac finally kiss, Mac and two other characters are trapped on the edge of a cliff in an ambulance).
|Mac (left) is not amused....but Holly is (right)|