Monday, September 26, 2011

TV Stuff-Boardwalk Empire; The Office

I watched about twenty minutes of Boardwalk Empire last night and switched channels. Boardwalk is one of those series I liked without feeling attached to any way. I'm a big fan of Steve Buscemi but still say he was mis-cast in this. And while the entire cast offers memorable performances the souped-up crafting and pacing of the show tends to make my eyes glass over. Last night we were introduced to so many different characters and plot points a feller could get whiplash just jerking scene to scene. The more serious flaw is that I don't believe any of it. Not a minute. The writers and directors are so dedicated to shock and crisis that there's no air, no grace notes (except when they laboriously signal HERE COMES A GRACE NOTE) and thus no believable (for me) humanity. A lot of fine people involved in what could have been a triumphant piece of television.

-----The Office

James Spader was so cool in the final episode of last year's The Office but when he returned this year the writers clearly didn't know how to play him. Now The Office was once a show I was really attached to. What writing, what a cast. But I'm afraid it's lost its way as has been obvious the past two or three seasons. Michael Scott was the only thing holding it together. When you watch how they wrote Jim in the season's opener (unlike any "Jim" we'd ever seen) you know how far astray the writers have gone. I imagine this'll be the last season. I say this with no pleasure at all.


Judith said...

Congrats on your award, Ed.

Todd Mason said...

BOARDWALK EMPIRE's two biggest strikes-against for me have been the scripts and Michael Pitt, not always in that order. Yeah, it's pretty wrong-headed. I didn't hate the season premiere of THE OFFICE, but no love, either.

Max Allan Collins said...

I thought the OFFICE was very funny, particularly the pregnant Pam stuff. I was in a high school class divided into Winners and Losers -- we actually lined up on opposite sides of the room - and guess which group I was in?

I don't know what it is about BOARDWALK EMPIRE that keeps me watching while not really liking it. There's something strained and precious about it. Buscemi is a fine actor terribly miscast, and Michael Shannon's Eliot Ness type is as horribly acted as it is conceived and written.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear THE OFFICE is getting off to a bad start this season. We haven't seen the new episodes, just the reruns which we've enjoyed a lot.

Ed Lynskey

Kelly Robinson said...

I watched the first episode of the American Office, and when I realized that they were repeating the exact script (sans Britishisms), I was turned off. The British cast improvised parts of the original run, which made for much of the character's realism. As soon as it was clear the Americans weren't doing the same with their characters --embracing them as their own instead of parroting them-- I turned it off.