Monday, August 20, 2007

Judi Rohrig/JDM; HBO

From our friend Judi Rohrig:


From time to time readers will inquire as to the truth of the rumor that JDM
wrote a black McGee, to be published after the writer's death.

It makes for fascinating stories and theories and they do abound.

However, there is no truth involved. Both his widow, Dorothy, and his son,
Maynard, stated categorically that "There is no book or manuscript by John
which ends in Travis McGee's death.

We think John would have missed him as you would."

JDM himself said this many times. On one such occasion he replied:

"It would be really wicked so to do because of the people who haven't yet met
the gentleman.

"That would be a poor legacy to leave them."

Here's where the site is:


Ed here: I checked out the sight. Really fine.


For me last night's Entourage was the best episode of the season. Not a great show but a solid one. The big problem, as I've mentioned before, is that there are only two characters who seem capable of any real kind of growth or at least serious change. E & Ari. E has brains and a conscience. Despite the treacly attempt to make Ari more likable (which for me was a hammy failure), Ari is interesting enough and substantive enough to become the focus for the whole show. Last night Walsh the director slid a handgun under his chin and threatened to kill himself. I was seriously hoping he'd do it. I don't usually get all that involved with fictional characters but spending an hour or to bitch slapping Walsh with a lead baseball bat might be a way to get some good exercise. Johnny and Turtle remain one note and Vince isn't even one note, a total cipher. The end, I think, is near.

Flight of The Conchord was better for me the second time through than the first. The faux music videos were the wittiest elements of the episode. The agent strikes me as much funnier than the two musicians who again (not unlike Vince in Entourage) really don't have much personality. I know that most great comic characters are static and immutable in some respects and therefore asking for comic creations to change is probably wrongheaded on my part. But the operative word here is "great." Seinfeld went seven good and many times great seasons; The Honeymooners did thirty-nine near perfect half hours; and Mary Tyler Moore did five often brilliant seasons. Even The Honeymooners, mostly restricted to that sad little apartment, had enough comic and emotional latitude to hold our interest. The problem with Conchord dramatically is that I don't know where you can take it. It seems to be one of those hot house creations that will die of oxgyn starvation.


Vince said...

Last night's Entourage was a season high point. Ari's wheeling and dealing at the end was totally implausible but greatly entertaining. HBO announced last week that Conchords will be back for another season. The show hasn't lived up to the first three episodes, which were brilliant, but I'll keep watching for the musical numbers.

Just curious, Ed - have you seen Mad Men, AMC's first foray into drama series, about the Manhattan advertising world circa 1960? Best show of the summer by a country mile.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It was definitely the best Entourage episode. I think the problem has been doing the two seasons back to back this summer. And the vacuous Vince has also been at fault. What does he do other than strut around?
Too often, they haven't brought interesting secondary characters in to fill things out. They want to float A-names past us as if that's enough. It isn't.
Agree on Mad Men. Terrific show. Don Draper is the quintessential tragic figure,

Dave Zeltserman said...

Ed, I think Flight of the Conchords is a show that grows on you. While I agree with Vince that the first 3 episodes were brilliant, the show has been consistently good--even last weeks which poked fun at all the bad behavior from rock & rollers. My favorite episodes so far have been Brett quitting the band, Jermaine + Brett getting mugged (the line with the monkey at the end had me cracking up), the David Bowie episode where Jermaine was close to brilliant as different phases of Bowie, and the one where Brett and Jermaine are discriminated against because they're New Zealanders.

Ed, while I agree Murray the band manager is very funny, Brett and Jermaine are quite good in a more subtle understated way. I don't know, I see this show like Seinfeld where it's a show about nothing except instead of the characters being neurotic nature they're slackers. I think this show could go on as long as they want to without losing anything, but I'll happily take whatever episodes they're willing to give us.

The HBO show that is truly inspired this season is Big Love. In my opinion, with the Hollis Green stuff, Bill's self-delusion and underhanded way of stealing Weaver Gaming, Barb's realization of how much she doesn't want this lifestyle, and all the bad blood building between the Henrickson's and Roman+Albie, the show is at the level of the best of the Sopranos. What I love about the turn the show has taken is it reminds me of Boogie Nights--as much as the beginning just seemed like fun and games, there's a real price these characters end up paying for the decisions they made. Also glad to see HBO can John From Cincinatti. Gawd, what an ill-conceived show that was.