Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mystery Scene Number 106; Entourage; The Office

This has to be one of the two or three best issues of MS ever published. Art Taylor's article tracking crime novels written during the Civil Rights era is not only fine scholarship but also a reminder of several novels that deserve to be read even now; Gary Phillips' piece on the black singing and screen star Herb Jeffries provides a complementary look at other popular culture in last century's history; Kevin Burton Smith reminds us that whether you like his work or not Robert B. Parker has been the dominant influence on private eye fiction since the publication of his first novel (I wonder if there'd even BE a private eye market if Parker hadn't come along); and I interview Don Westlake who talks at length about the history of the Richard Stark books. With Jon L. Breen on reference books, Dick Lochte on audio books and Ron Miller discussing tv shows (and all the regular columns and book reviewers), the new issue should be snapped up by mystery fans of every kind.


I probably should ask Lee Goldberg about this but I suspect that when a show has run as many seasons as Entourage there's a tendency to up the ante dramatically. You know, to compensate for creeping familiarity. Last Sunday night's episode had so many over the top moments I felt the show was starting to lose its grip on reality. And most of the big moments felt contrived. What I always liked about the show was its wry sly observation of the Hwood scene. But last Sunday's episode was damned near operatic. The hell of it is I suspect that this is just the beginning of the soap opera antics.

--------The Office

To show you how hooked Carol and I are on this show we now own all four seasons on DVD and watch them over and over. We were like this with Monk for three years. At first I preferred Ricky Gervais' BBC original to the American version but now I actually think the Steve Carrell take is richer, deeper. All hail Dunder-Mifflin.


pattinase (abbott) said...

We're missing this season because we switched to Showtime but now I'm missing Entourage.
And Dunder-Mifflin is my favorite place of work. I love all those dunderheads. The British version is great, of course, but more remote.

Vince said...

I think what Ricky Gervais came up with - a premise that works in any industrialized nation, and that reflects the sensibility of that nation - is remarkable. The BBC show has a melancholy that is quintessentially English, while the Carell version has an optimistic American bent.

You're right about this week's Entourage, Ed. But I thought last week's was the strongest episode of the show ever. Especially Ari finally telling Vince what he thought of his talents.

Ed Gorman said...

I agree Vince. When Ari tells Vince the truth that was one of the great moments. But then Johnny Drama smashing the producer's car windows...I dunno. Maybe that'll be a plot point later on, which would justify it. But right now it seems contrived to me. The word is that Eric gets successful while Our Star fades. That should be good for a three story arc. I still like the the show but I wish it would chill out a little.

Adam Gott said...

It took me until about the second half of season 2 but once I got my wife hooked on THE OFFICE we are now in the same boat as you - we have watched the first four seasons over and over and never seem to tire of it. This is especially amazing for my wife who never watches anything a second time!