The other day, I realized that I hadn’t posted anything in a few weeks. Rather than letting TDYLF remain dormant, now seemed like as good a time as any to bang out a quick article. Of course, I don’t have any specific focus. However, I do have a lot of random thoughts to dump out of my head. Let’s do this Larry King-style, with a bunch of meandering garbage that’s crept in and out of my skull in the last few weeks.
–Game of Thrones has returned, gracing us with first a tidy set-up episode and then a dynamite wedding in episode two. I don’t know what to make of who’s responsible for the death in the 2nd episode (see how I’m all cool and stuff about spoilers?), but there are quite a few clues floating around out there that point to certain characters. I know the volume of characters is hard to follow, but I enjoy this show so much more than anything else on TV right now. And that’s no knock on some of the other shows. Game of Thrones is legitimately that much fun, riddled with death and sex and power struggles and mad political wizards jockeying for power. For good measure, George R.R. Martin’s universe includes some really fascinating supernatural elements (dragons, the Lord of Light, white walkers, giants, direwolves, wargs, etc…). It’s a potent hour every week.
-On the flip side, Mad Men also returned this past Sunday. I think I’m officially fatigued with the various stories for the characters. I’m not going to dispute the quality of the writing. I’m simply bored with it. It’s quickly approaching critical mass with the downward spirals of Don Draper and Roger Sterling, as well as the feminist plights of Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway. I’m a ton more forgiving of the Joan and Peggy stuff because it gives the show so much more social significance. But it’s more or less a one-trick pony, with characters who haven’t evolved during the entire tenure of the show. And with the agency scenes taking more and more of a back seat to the rehashed drama, I’m less entertained. Sue me for not finding it as accomplished as many others do. I don’t begrudge anyone their fandom or appreciation of it. I’m just exhausted by the show.
To say the least, I’d be a million times more excited for Mad Men each week if it was this version from Leroy & Clarkson:
-I haven’t seen many movies lately for a variety of reasons. I did manage to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman with my nephew a few weeks ago. It was a surprisingly decent kids movie, even if it did take the poop, butt, and fart jokes a bit far. And that’s coming from me, so you know it really went too far. The overall story works great as an educational piece for kids. I thoroughly approved of the fact that my nephew could see ancient Egypt, Greece, and the French Revolution come to life on the big screen. You can do much worse than showing Mr. Peabody and Sherman to a kid.
–Fargo, the TV series based on the movie, started last night. In the middle of four sinus headache-induced naps, I prepped for the TV show by rewatching the film. It’s such an amazing work from the Coens. I’d love to proclaim it their best film, but one can not simply choose a best Coen film anymore than one can simply walk into Mordor. It’s an almost impossible task, and you have to remind yourself of that constantly when rewatching their movies. Claim Fargo as the best at your own peril, because they also made Barton Fink, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man, O Brother, and The Big Lebowski, amongst others. Every time I see Fargo, I’m in awe of Carter Burwell’s score, and the four main actors- William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Peter Stormare, and Steve Buscemi- are the Mt. Rushmore of 1990s character actors. The clever dissolves and the general camerawork with the snow, the pitch-black humor, the larger-than-life tale punctuated by the larger-than-life Paul Bunyan that looms over the film, and the homespun goofiness surrounding it all make it a perfect film in nearly every way.
–Justified wrapped up its fourth season. This clip from Happy Gilmore is the perfect summary of my opinion of Michael Rappaport’s “southern” accent, which we shall never speak of again:
-One of my new favorite things right now is ABC’s The Goldbergs. Ultimately, I was drawn to the show for Jeff Garlin. As it turns out, he’s just one of several great parts of a show that’s sweetly nostalgic about family life and the 1980s. TV in the 1980s tackled the 1960s with The Wonder Years, the 1990s had That 70s Show… I guess it was just a matter of time before my generation got their own period piece send-up, from laser tag to Goonies appreciation to Al Capone’s vault. And let’s face it- the dopey Reagan 1980s, desperately trying to replicate the 1950s, are perfect for a family sitcom. I swear I mean that in the best possible way. It’s narrated by Patton Oswalt so you know it’s good.
-Last but not least, I’m also enjoying Rick and Morty on Adult Swim. There’s nothing groundbreaking here. It’s just a funny show in the vein of, say, Futurama in that it borrows heavily from the sci-fi genre.