May 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If you’re not dodging Mad Men spoilers online, then you may be trying to avoid those for “Game of Thrones.”
Depending on who you talk to, this HBO fantasy series is either a sophisticated political drama with sword and sorcery trappings — admittedly more sword and less sorcery — or a blatant excuse for some softcore porn exhibitionism.
I’d say it’s both, and the tug of war battle between the two factions is more likely to be the undoing of the show than, say, the child actors growing up too fast.
For those who have never watched, the show is based on a series of books by the unfortunately suspender-wearing author George R. R. Martin about the political realignments in a madeup world that vaguely resembles some barbaric period on earth.
The series follows the lives of people in various places during these conflicts, most notably two prominent families, the vile Lannisters and the rugged Starks. What has garnered as much attention as the sophistication in plotting and intensity in performances is the show’s tendency to indulge in exposition dumps amid fairly graphic sex scenes. I say fairly because though pretty much everything on a woman is revealed to the camera, less of the male characters play peek-a-boo with the audience, and if it’s two male characters having sex, you won’t see anything as graphic.
Though there is some male eye candy, it’s never required to sit doggie-style on a bed with clear lighting and the saliva of the scene’s director practically dripping on its rear-end while HBO counts its money.
Two women? You see almost anything your brain can conjure up, complete with long explanations of plot points that the writers are too lazy or rushed or something to just demonstrate with actual story.
The problem here isn’t that there are sex scenes— this is not about being prudish; go on, have sex scenes— or that the sex scenes represent lazy writing. The problem is that the sex scenes are meant to be part of a larger expression of the gender politics in the show, but the way the scenes are realized undercut any such meaning and, instead, work against the bigger point.
It’s like the old cautionary drug and sex films of the ’30s that wallowed in the behavior they supposedly railed against. More to the point, it’s not about the characters having sex — it’s about the viewer watching them have sex. And that’s an entirely different thing.
The idea is that within the world of “Game of Thrones,” women are objects, disposable in many cases and often just used and humiliated as receptacles for the base requirements of the male body. Point well taken, I say, especially when juxtaposed to stories of women fighting for their place in society and using the tools the men give them in order to seize power—“Game of Thrones” is full of these stories. The lot of women— and what they do to survive — is at the center of the show and part of its strength.
The problem is you can’t rail about women as objects and then use them as such on your own terms. If the sexual interaction in the show is supposed to be part of the unpleasant lot of women in this world, then why isn’t the sex presented as unpleasant and reflective of this situation?
“Game of Thrones” has publicly prided itself on a gruesome, violent realism of a darker, though admittedly made-up, era.
This permeates all portions of the story, especially with the craggy, portly, hairy, old, misshapen men cutting things off of each other and stabbing everyone and living in filth. It’s a grim view of humanity — except when a naked woman is involved, then all these counter-aesthetics are thrown out the window.
Why no gross, hairy, scarred women having unbearably repulsive sex?
Why are rapes or beatings featuring naked women shot with a gauzy steam and anticipation similar to the sex scenes? It begins to feel manipulative, and that’s a crummy feeling in otherwise well-realized fiction.
The real problem with the show is that roughly 90 percent of any given episode— it varies — doesn’t focus on hot women servicing male cast members.
This means there’s a whole lot more in there that’s worth seeing. It’s this 10 percent that’s causing all the issues — 10 percent, I have come to understand, that isn’t reflective of the books the show is based on, 10 percent that comes down to Hollywood producers who don’t trust the actual material to maintain an audience.
That 10 percent represents a casual form of sexism that too often gets overlooked in film and television. I think one day these moments will be like those unsettling ones when you’re watching a wonderful film from the 1930s when, out of nowhere, a black person finally appears as a servant and utters something in a dialect and delivery that is so comically racist that you can’t believe such an era ever existed.
It’s horrible, it’s disrupting, and it’s embarrassing for us in the future who witness such ugliness in works that are otherwise worthy and intelligent.
It also represents a missed genre opportunity. Like the “Lord of the Rings” films before it, “Game of Thrones” has the opportunity to not live up to the wider expectations that the fantasy genre merely exists as wishfulfillment for 13-year-old boys.
Such a shame that it insists on giving ammunition to every naysayer hoping to tear it down because they hate the clichés of the genre “Game of Thrones” is supposed to transcend.
February 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
As time moves forward, so many look back and find atrocity upon atrocity heaped on American citizens by its own country, so much so that it is hard to view injustice as an aberration. In that context, it’s hard to look at the country as fair or perfect or even good, but rather a fight between those who want it to be good and those who want it to be as it is. That might well be the definition of the American way of life.
But in many situations, people are willing to forgive institutional injustice and move on because all they really want is to live their lives as they see fit. That’s at the center of “The Loving Story,” the idea that though Richard and Mildred Loving’s story of interracial marriage and their legal battle for legitimacy is part of a larger brush of social history, it is foremost a personal story of people whose lives are affected by the huge monuments of oppression. The Lovings weren’t out to change history in the beginning — they just wanted to be together. At some point, however, they began to see their personal lives in context of the battle — if everyone could come to that realization, we’d be a much more informed nation.
“The Loving Story” will screen at Mass MoCA on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m., following the film’s Feb. 14th debut on HBO.
In 1958, the Lovings found the sheriff in their hometown in Virginia looming over their bed at four in the morning, shining a flashlight in their eyes and questioning them. They were then hauled away to jail and charged with an illegal marriage — he was white, she was partblack and part-Native American. A trial found them guilty, though instead of imprisoning them, the couple spent the next decade fighting for their right to not only return to their home state, but for their marriage to be recognized.
Enlisting the help of the ACLU — if you ever wondered the purpose of that organization, then this film can go a long way to explaining to you — the couple fought all the way to the supreme court against the backdrop of a racist society that justified its actions by evoking the word of God as the final one in the reasons for segregation.
The story is mesmerizing and powerful on its own terms, but director Nancy Buirski draws you in thanks to a miraculous wealth of original footage — TV reports, interviews, a filmed roadside meeting with lawyers debating about possible arrests, telephone consults, home movies and even the audio for the case being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court — that not only meticulously paints the world the Lovings lived in, but brings them to life as rich characters in their own drama. Richard Loving is reserved, rendered mildly awkward by the attention, while Mildred is the epitome of grace and the heart of the film — her kind eyes, her patient tone and her friendly smile in the face of such a stressful struggle speak volumes to the strength that was contained within her.
It’s a lesson worth remembering in our current era when gay rights and marriage are hot topics, and the tolerance of which is prescribed as anything from the end of marriage to the end of the world. There are still plenty of people who fixate on their own arbitrary prejudices in order to manipulate justice in order to cling to power — and following the day when gay citizens don’t have to fear for their rights or their safety, there will be another group of people who have to fight for what should be basic. With any of these oppressed, most of them will only partially care about the big picture — so many of them will be motivated by the desire to live their own lives in a free society.
I don’t know when America will ever get to that point, but when it does, I hope it doesn’t ignore the battles fought to achieve the perfection it always pretended it had.
September 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Kevin Clash might be one of the most famous people in the world, but you probably wouldn’t recognize him or even know him by his voice. He looks much different on television.
Clash is best known for his work on “Sesame Street” as the red Muppet superstar Elmo. He will appear at Images Cinema in Williamstown as part of “Muppets, Music and Magic,” a festival of film and events beginning Monday, Sept. 19, and running through Sunday, Sept. 25. Clash will make several appearances on Friday and Saturday.
Clash began his fascination with puppetry as a kid, famously taking the lining out of his father’s coat and fashioning it into a workable puppet. By the end of high school, he had secured two positions as a puppeteer on local shows in Baltimore, working with his mentor Stu Kerr — “Caboose” and a religious show called “Mr. Rainbow’s World.”
Clash had grown-up watching the Muppets on Sesame Street, but it wasn’t until seeing Muppet designer and builder Kermit Love on an episode of a kids’ show named “Call It Macaroni” that Clash even considered the possibility of working with Jim Henson’s Muppets. Clash’s mother became proactive and, through Maryland Public Television, got Love’s phone number and gave him a call about her son.
“He told her if I’m ever in the New York area to look him up, so he gave her the address and the phone number,” Clash said. “Fortunately, because of the timing, I was actually going up. It was on a 12th grade school trip that I got to actually meet him.”
Clash showed Love some tapes of his work and shortly after found a place in a professional development program that had “Sesame Street” bring up puppeteers to observe the filming of the show for a week. The hope and belief in Baltimore was that Clash would stay on there.
“I was so excited about it that I had told the station and they were thinking, ‘well, if they’re doing all of this, we still have ‘Caboose’ on, we’re probably going to need another puppeteer because Kevin is now on his way to New York to work on ‘Sesame Street,’ ” said Clash. “The local station, one of the anchors came down and interviewed me about how excited I was about going and starting all that. Stu went on and auditioned and hired another puppeteer for ‘Caboose’ and I went up for a week and it didn’t happen then.”
Instead, Clash ended up working on “Captain Kangaroo” during its final years, a job that mentor Kerr had helped broker through his friendship with the Captain himself, Bob Keeshan. For Clash, it was a fortuitous opportunity, as well as a magic one.
“It was amazing, just amazing. Lumpy Brannum, the man who played Mr. Greenjeans, he was exactly what you would think, doting, funny, he had a great sense of humor,” he said. “He would come in on Fridays and have an overabundance of tomatoes and cucumbers that had grown in his garden.”
During this period, Keeshan would have a stroke and the show would be revamped into another format that saw Clash still around, but moving onto “Sesame Street” when it ended. He entered that show with a group of new faces that were brought in as Jim Henson and Frank Oz were less involved in the Sesame Street set and more on other productions.
All that was left was for Clash to settle into some characters.
“There are always ‘A.M.s’ — which are Anything Muppets — or monsters or what have you that’s written in the show,” said Clash. “So the producers would look at the script and say, okay, Kevin would be good for this and tell me that, then I’d get the script and mark what Pig or A.M. or Grouch or whatever it is I’m assigned.”
“They tried a bunch of different things. The one thing that stuck was Hoots the Owl. That was one of the characters that they wrote in and had me work out, because it was an original character. There were some characters that they tried with me that just didn’t work. It was a process that all the puppeteers went though, which was really the miscellaneous characters in the scripts that were written in.”
It’s a long process to a puppeteer’s chance to make a character work for him. It starts with the writers work up scripts, pulling from the curriculum that the show wants to teach and figuring out which characters will be available to use for that script. Following a stint in research, where the particulars of teaching aspect are checked and improved, a director is assigned and props are created or procured. Finally, a puppeteer is informed that he is cast.
“Once you do that, you get on the floor, you block it out with the director, or he blocks it out and you do a camera blocking, and then we shoot,” Clash said. “The process of developing a character is very short for us. There’s not weeks to do it — there’s literally minutes to figure out what you want to do.”
With a demand for such fast development on the part of the puppeteers, improv becomes a key tool to finessing a character.
“Once we get on the floor, we start to play around and off of that, the humor starts,” said Clash. “Some of that’s in the script, some of that’s just playing around with the performers. We’re just trying to make the crew laugh and if that happens, for the most part it’s encouraged, and it’s not kiboshed.”
“So it’s always a constant development going on. The script is not the Bible. It becomes, I feel, like 80 to 85% the script and the rest the performers take on and start to make these characters three-dimensional instead of one-dimensional.”
Clash says the process of finding the right fit hearkens back to the earliest days of Muppet creation when Hensen and Oz worked to configure who would be Ernie and who would be Bert.
“Ernie and Bert’s relationship was Jim and Frank’s relationship,” Clash said. “They were best friends, they both had different personalities. Even at the beginning when they were both developing the characters, Jim tried on Bert first and Frank tried Ernie. For some reason it didn’t feel right so they switched and that’s when the puzzle pieces fit together.”
Clash’s signature character Elmo wasn’t originally his, but handed over to him after two other puppeteers gave it a shot and didn’t think their portrayal worked. For Clash, it was instantaneously the perfect Muppet for him.
As the character’s fame grew — the Tickle Me Elmo phenomenon pushing him over the edge of stardom — Elmo began to figure into the show’s plans more. This culminated in the unprecedented move of giving him a final, extended segment of “Sesame Street” that functioned much like a show within a show. This was a response to not only Elmo’s popularity, but a growing demographic for the show and the reality that he was the best Muppet for the job of speaking to that audience.
“We do a lot of research — we go out and talk to kids, we talk to different educators, we talk and find out what’s needed,” said Clash. “One thing that we found was that our audience was getting younger, and so the writers decided to think of what character could talk directly to that age group and that’s how Elmo’s World was developed.”
Over time, Clash’s role as Elmo has put him in a very unique position. He makes personal appearances with him and talks to children as him. This gives him an opportunity that few adults achieve — through the vehicle of Elmo, he can speak to kids on their own level, as a trusted equal. Sometimes this gives him insight that you wouldn’t expect a kid would offer Elmo.
“The one thing that really blew us away was that I would do shows and kids would come up to Elmo and they would do an Elmo picture and give it to him before they left,” Clash said. “When 9/11 happened, some of the cast and the puppets went out and did some songs and the pictures that they were giving Elmo were of the Twin Towers and a plane hitting one of them. The change was very, very saddening for all of us — and then trying to figure out how to say something that would be worthwhile to the child through their best friend from Sesame Street was a challenge.”
That’s how powerful and alive the characters become for kids, and Clash says that they constantly have to straddle a line that they don’t feel they can go over, not to overstep the boundaries that parents might have in regard to their own kids. That’s part of the reason “Sesame Street” is also aimed at grown-ups, to give them part of the insight gleaned and offer some televisual mentoring in how to effectively speak with their own children.
The one fear parents have is that the illusion will be spoiled, but Clash says they have nothing to worry about.
“We’ve had celebrities who said, ‘I don’t want to bring my kid because I don’t want to break the illusion for them,’ ” said Clash, “and I say, ‘you have nothing to do with that — your child keeps their imagination and uses their imagination for as long as they choose to.’ All you have to do is observe and see where they’re at, but you’re not going to break that illusion for them.”
April 2, 2011 § Leave a Comment
If you’re interested in the best new science fiction series currently viewable and you’ve been looking for it on TV, then you’ve been stumbling around the wrong medium. Its name is “Ark” and it consists of nine short webisodes on Hulu.com that were released in 2010 and serve to seize back the genre as one that doesn’t tell the usual stories, nor in the usual way.
With segments that run from around four to nine minutes each, “Ark” tells the story of two people, played by Renee O’Connor and Adam Cardon, who wake up to find themselves on a space ship — and they don’t know why. What follows the intro is a frenzied, tense unfolding of the mystery that leaves off at a major cliffhanger that will have you gasping for a second series.
The action is punctuated by a great sense of design and a creative way of letting everything unfold. I can only imagine this was on the cheap when compared to the typical Hollywood venture. It’s the work of director Trey Stokes, also a puppeteer and amusement park ride designer, but it looks better than most of what you’ll ever see because it relies less on splash and more on technique, little snips of video and cryptic editing, as the two characters deal with the mystery they’ve been handed.
One odd aspect is that the story plays like a vague remake of the 1970s Canadian science fiction show “The Starlost” — itself unfairly maligned — which involved members of an Amish-type community rebelling against religious tyranny. They discover that their “world” is merely a biosphere on a giant spaceship hurtling to its doom toward a sun.
There are aspects of the plot and even the design — particularly the area of the ship the two characters wake up in and the outside of the ship itself, not to mention various portals and tunnels contained. If this is an intentional inspiration, it’s a great one and the writer Robbie Thompson makes brilliant use of it.
One thing’s for certain, while the major television networks waste their time on dull spectacles like “V,” this is where the future lies for science fiction television. Too often ruined by mainstream production — and too often rendered toothless by a fandom that focuses its obsession with quality too much on visuals and too little on scriptwriting — “Ark” speaks to the power of what can be accomplished in our digital age aside from the mainstream.
For all the big profile shows that have scrambled to be the new “Lost,” “Ark” has beat them all to the punch by understanding that what’s needed in the genre is originality and spirit more than flashy effects and retreads that don’t bother to do any actual retreading.
April 2, 2011 § Leave a Comment
There probably couldn’t have been a more perfect moment for this DVD collection of a lesser-known British television show from 30 years ago, since no point in time has seemed more like the events portrayed in “Noah’s Castle” than the present.
If 9-11 accomplished anything, it set into motion a reality that sometimes seems to be disintegrating before our eyes, a reality similar to the one presented in this 1980 dystopian fiction production.
Sometime in the vague future or alternate present former soldier and current shoe store manager Norman Mortimer (David Neal) — an intense and grim father of four– sees a world of food shortages, inflation, riots, looting and military intervention and opts for decisive action in the protection of his family.
They move into a huge house on the far side of town that provides more security and a lot more space in order to hoard goods to ride out the end of the world.
Stockpiling food isn’t that easy, though. The family has to keep it a secret, especially once the government makes hoarding illegal, but such things have a way of sifting out into the community, as well as putting more weight on a family bearing the brunt of the world falling apart.
And so Norman’s family begins to crumble, most notably in the form of his rebellious daughter Nessie (Annette Ekblom) and his wife (Jean Rimmer) who finds herself a virtual slave to a most unwanted guest — Norman’s former boss, the creepy Mr. Gerald (Jack May). Gerald has insinuated himself on the family through implied blackmail in order to make use of the ample stocks, and with a lecherous eye toward Nessie.
Meanwhile, the family is also thrown into the middle of the struggles between an official food distribution group, an anarchic and socialist Robin Hood-style group of food thieves and shifty black marketers attempting to make a profit from misery.
It’s a grim vision of life doled out in half-hour chunks — a perfect way to view it since the mood could easily pile up with concurrent viewings, especially in this day and age. But it’s a remarkable testament to how so little has changed in 40 years — and with each episode punctuated by a news broadcast compiling the fictional days’ gloomy world news, there’s plenty for anyone to identify with.
The feeling of helplessness against the march of governments and desperate ploys to control your own destiny are surely played out now in the real world and “Noah’s Castle” portrays exactly that situation.
October 22, 2010 § Leave a Comment
For a perfect example of something that sounds dreadful when you read about it and dashes all your hopes of disappointment when you actually watch it, look no further than “Sherlock.” The show premieres on PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery this Sunday, Oct. 24, at 9 p.m., and runs for the two weeks following.
It is unexpectedly one of the best mystery shows in years, shining with its seamless blend of old-fashioned whodunnits and modern-day crime fiction.
The three-part series has a dubious sounding set-up. Imagine, if you will, Sherlock Holmes is a dysfunctional, reclusive loner obsessed with consulting with the police on tough cases, despite a dim view of his sanity taken by some officers. One day, he needs a roommate, and in walks the war-scarred Dr. John Watson, who becomes entangled in Holmes’ shenanigans as they give him a new lease on life — and also something to write about in his blog and someone to bicker with.
The ingredients that make the premise work on screen include some smart acting and equal storytelling.
In England, writers are very much the stars of television, and audiences still drift from project to project based on who has scripted it. One of the biggest sensations of that scene has been Stephen Moffat, who, in conjunction with Mark Gatiss, functions as show-runner — he also wrote the first episode, and Gatiss wrote the third.
Moffat displays the same clever delivery he has displayed in his work on the revival of Doctor Who. In “Sherlock,” though, Moffat practically reinvents the crime show by merely looking backward. It’s a genre that has become overburdened with lurid sex crimes and bad-boy gangster shenanigans, but Moffat has dispensed of lurid modern affectations by riffing on original Holmes stories to craft intricate adventures that hinge on a variety of wrongdoing — a string of suicides, an antiquities smuggler and a manipulative bomber.
The gift of Moffat’s “Sherlock” is that a family can set together and watch it — and it’s not even remotely pandering or corny. Imagine the thrill of a crime drama not made to automatically exclude some younger viewers, while neither whitewashing the plot.
The series wouldn’t work, though, without Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman, from “The Office UK” and “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Universe,” as Watson. The two provide their characters with down-to-earth personalities you can latch onto, even though the essence of these roles can traditionally feel like a list of characteristics.
This is particularly a triumph for Cumberbatch, whose Holmes seems almost like a high-functioning autistic, so sensitive and disconnected is he from standards and conventions.
It’s the combination of the two types — Freeman’s Watson is a by-the-book, no-nonsense sort of fellow who’s being dragged down to the reality of the imperfect and rather messy world — that draws the audience in.
They are guides to each other’s world, and the implication is that we all build our own intrigue within our own circumstances. All you need is the focus of Holmes and the open mind of Watson.
September 1, 2010 § Leave a Comment
For completists, there are plenty of reasons to purchase the new box set of “Lost” episodes — Season Six, now on sale — but for many others, there is at least a reason to rent Disc 5 from Netflix. “New Man in Charge” is a 12-minute additional episode that takes place after the series finale and is being touted as the official epilogue to the series. Most amusingly, it’s being floated around as an explanation of all the mysteries it didn’t lay out in front of you — or, least many of them — in the actual series.
What is it exactly?
At its core, “New Man in Charge” is a short comedy film that proves a point even as it spills the beans — be careful what you wish for.
It’s not that anything dreadful will happen. More likely you will find the mysteries were greater than the solutions. In some cases you will realize that the solutions were floating around in logic’s sight all though the show, all you had to do was pay attention, use your imagination, make an effort.
The set-up is simple, though explaining those without revealing too much is challenging. Suffice it to say that following the events of the final episode, we catch up with Ben as he runs some special missions, tying up some loose business in the issue of fairness and no more manipulation. What unfolds falls into the well-tread territory of Lost’s theory of repeated behavior — we see echoes of characters like Desmond, Sayid and Hugo in the situations presented.
What happened before will happen again — that’s something Lost has assured its viewers from the beginning and here it picks up the implied notion that there are no natural endings. You have to impose them as storytellers. One of the most common ways to do this is to focus on people, as they did in the series with the character of Jack Shepard.
You will note that in history, people rarely die at the same moment that all the story threads involving them come to any satisfactory conclusion. Deaths are rarely in sync with the other endings happening around them.
That should have been apparent from the run of “Lost,” but it takes what on surface to be a fun little trifle to make the final statement of the original thesis. “Lost: New Man in Charge” is an enormously funny, slightly silly, entirely cocky footnote with a powerful argument for the way “Lost” unfolded and finished, but I can’t see how it’s going to satisfy the naysayers who complained in the first place.
August 16, 2010 § Leave a Comment
“Being married is like having a color television set — you don’t want to go back to black and white.” So explains Danny as he and wife, Annie, talk about their first date in back in the late ‘70s for the kick-off to the StoryCorps short animated films that will accompany the main documentary feature on episodes of POV for the next month, starting Tuesday, Aug. 17.
It’s a fine example of the kind of candor contained within the works, as well as the raw humanity captured — from such a sweet part one, part two covers the couple’s struggle with Danny’s terminal cancer with the same sweetness as it reveals the power of human connection as sustenance passed the hard times.
Built around recorded narrative, these short animated films by Mike and Tim Rauch give a visual personality to the intimate stories being shared. The project itself has existed since 2003 for the purpose of capturing personal oral histories. The audio has been featured on NPR, but this marks the first time stories have been translated into animated versions for television.
In “Q&A” Joshua Littman, a seventh-grader with Asperger’s Syndrome interviews his own mother, asking a range of questions pertaining from those to his personal obsession with animals to ones that mine his mother’s views on subjects that hint at an interest in emotional knowledge that he may not have a clear understanding of but might desire more than anything. It’s an opportunity for Joshua to direct the conversation to his interests — and show himself as a a well-rounded, inquisitive human being who is more than just the sum of his autistic parts.
“Germans in the Woods” covers the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and small slice of a personal moment that haunts Joseph Robertson until the day he dies, revealing war as a dark transaction between two people, face-to-face, on a scale much smaller than nations consider in their bravado.
“The Human Voice” reveals what happened when they brought StoryCorps to the home of Studs Terkel — they got an Orwellian tale of robotic train announcements and its effect on not only our soundscape, but also the way we look at each other because of them.
Mexican immigrant Bianca Alvarez talks about her early years in the United States in “The Icing on the Cake,” covering the trials of raising children through menial labor, job loss and near starvation, and giving her daughter the chance to uncover some of the hazy details of her own childhood — and address how those affected how she came to her present.
The Rauch’s animation — which includes some beautiful contributions from Bill Wray — combines the absurdity and sweetness of many of the moments. By taking the visuals far from reality, they somehow managed to plunge them further inside it, giving vivid visuals to retain along with the affecting words
June 1, 2010 § 2 Comments
Television shows come with mature warnings all the time, but they mostly have to do with sex or violence. Sometimes — rarely — the occasion arises that maybe the warning should probably also caution people that complicated, grown-up ideas are contained within the following program.
With that in mind, I think the series “Lost” should have always been aired with this disclaimer preceding it: “Warning: The following program is an art film masquerading as a science fiction adventure television show. Please be advised that the content is not suitable for some members of the audience.”
That would have saved the makers of “Lost” a lot of grief with some of the viewers who are griping about the final episode, which aired May 23.
This is not an aspersion on the intelligence of the viewers but rather their expectations. When you’re committing to a six-year-long story, it’s nice to know what you’re entering into. And it isn’t meant to downplay the adventure side of the story — in that area, it’s one of the best.
My own view is that if you dive into the DVD collection with the right attitude, you will encounter the most sublime television show ever created and the most intellectually fulfilling. It’s drama, puzzle and meditation all rolled up into one exciting package. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 17, 2009 § Leave a Comment
It’s not that there’s nothing good on TV – it’s that you have to try a little harder to clear away the garbage in order to find the good stuff …