Monday, August 13, 2007

TV Notes

It may just be me but Entourage isn't clicking for me this year. The boys aren't all that interesting--well E is, I guess--and the attempt to "humanize" Ari seems ham-fisted and awkward. Last night was the nadir of that particular story track. Ari's jealousy over his former-actress wife kissing a Latin pretty boy in a soap opera scene was wildly overwritten and overplayed. For the first time I sense that the show is probably only a season or two from folding. Its starting to feed on its own cliches.

I finally caught an episode of The Flight of The Conchords. A number of amusing scenes, yes, but I sure don't understand what the buzz is about. Entourage felt like something brand new for a couple of seasons. Flight feels like sketch comedy rather than full-fledged character comedy. And not very original sketch comedy at that. Maybe it's the fact that all three of the principals are fools and incompetents. The only trio that ever got away with that was The Three Stooges.

I know nothing about fine art but I recommend the Ovation series about famous painters. The Goya segment is running this month and its truth is more powerful than fiction could make it, how a courtesan perfectly happy to be rich and famous flattering royalty with his paintings turned into an angry, bitter and horrorific chronicler of the lower depths after losing his hearing (among other senses and abilities). The latter-day Goya paintings integrate witchcraft (then a "fact" of everyday Spanish life) with reportage about life in the gutters and insane asylums, producing a look that dozens if not hundreds of commercial artists have imitated in trying to create a supernatural atmosphere. These are grim brutal paintingsyou'll never forget.

4 comments:

I. Michael Koontz said...

Ed:

I concur about Entourage. Too many plot-points where the boys are searching for some big important thing (party girls, good weed, a house, that desk of Busey's) and few inspired scenes (only the rabbit-squirrel fetish-bang comes to mind). This show got lost somewhere in Columbia with Medellin.

As for the Conchords: the first three episodes were inspired and terrific, with great songs. The last three prove that a very dry show is in danger of total evaporation at any moment. When the reruns come on, give the early ones a chance. Most of it is pretty clever stuff, especially for aficionados of self-deprecating New Zealandish-humor.

Long time listener, first time caller said...

I agree with Ed and I. Michael Koontz. Entourage is not the same. It "jumped the shark" with the fake documentary of the "making of the film" Medillien.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Also agree completely. Am also disappointed with this year's Rescue Me, which is just a retread of the last three seasons. Will we never get beyond the Janet years? The shock value of holding a baby over the river reminded me of last year's rape. Interesting to speculate on how far we will allow our "hero" to go. Tony Soprano's murder of Chris could only happen in the final season.

Megan Powell said...

Ah, bugger. Here I learn I'd somehow missed Entourage starting up again (yay!), but also that it's not so great (boo!). Oh, the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles that are the fate of the TV viewer.