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.
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.