Sep 18, 2008

What I'm Watching

Sons of Anarchy
What initially got me interested in this show was simply that Ron Perlman is in it. Biker gang soap opera. On the surface, the show just looks like the Sopranos on bikes... ah, but scratch a little deeper and you realize it's Hamlet on Harleys! Ah, better! Literary! On hogs.

Also staring is Katey Sagal as the ruthless mom Gemma. She's fantastic in this. Simply, she's playing anti-Peg Bundy. Against type. Also against type, (I guess?) is Drea de Matteo, who you'll remember portrayed Adriana on the Sopranos. In Sons, she is a crank whore, who just forced the main hero's (Jax) son to be born premature in a half assed junkie suicide attempt. Great comic stuff.

The show is about the "club" and how it was formed by Jax's dead hippie dad. Now the "club" is an organized criminal front for a gun-running business. Jax is the number two guy in the club. Everything is going great, except that someone just blew up their warehouse, is muscling in on their turf with the 1-9ers, and he has a premie son in the NICU. Oh, and Jax found his dead dad's memoirs in a box. It's like a blog, but on paper. In it, Jax's dead dad maps out how the biker club went south. No doubt, the story will evolve with Jax taking on Ron Perlman to take the club back to the good-ole hippie days, and how there might be some resistance to that idea.

The violence on this show is off the charts. The third episode involved the club's vigilante castration of a child rapist. There are corpses, and axes to the head... super ultra violence. There's not one character that really warrants the tag 'likability' but who cares? That's not why I'm tuning in. It's a fun ride. Better than another Sturgis documentary.

 Mad Men
I can't tell you how much I dig this program. It's akin to watching an Ayn Rand Fountainhead play. But with hotter chicks. It's a discussion of business and American society of the past, as much as it is a reflection of today. Let me give you an example. In a scene recently - Don Draper and family were out on a picnic lunch, off the road. They were enjoying their new 1962 Cadillac. When they're done, he throws his beer can into the woods, and the wife picks up the blanket, and dumps all the garbage right there on the ground. Well, there's no garbage can. No facilities for the park. It's way before Woodsy Owl said "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute." It's even pre-hippie earth day stuff. The camera lingered on the scene as they pulled away. 2008 audiences are stunned at the behavior of only 40 years ago. And that's just how they treat their garbage.

Wait until you get into the sexism in the workplace. A recent episode completely deconstructed and crapped on three of the main female characters. Warning though, the people on this show drink and smoke in every single scene. Even in bed.

The Shield
I've watched this since a camera guy I know tuned me in to it. The last season of this. I already put a pile of hours into it. Want to see how they end it.

Season two was a turd. I only started watching this because I suddenly realized that 24 had turned into a show about people with superpowers... Jack is Superman without the cape (the dude never sh*ts!) and the President came back to life. I figured if I'm going to watch a show about superheroes, I might as well watch the show that's actually about superheroes.

Too much time travel is causing issues. It's hard to keep track of ten people, and three that 'absorb' the other characters, and two of them can jump through time and space. That's not only silly, it's hard to absorb all those timelines.

They're going to have to be extra good this season after last season laid an egg- yeah, there was a writer's strike and all - and they foolishly wrapped it all up too quickly rather than playing it out. So I'll give them a chance. One. 

Yeah, I'm still watching it. I still stand on the idea that there are some flaws with this show. The big one is - how many do-overs or undo-s does SkyNet have? Simple game theory says that he who uses the time machine last wins. 

And did I mention there's some time travel? Anyone who thinks that Lost is hard to figure out, try following along with the Terminator timeline. It jumps, lines are erased, then come back. People and events in the future, possible futures, haven't happened yet because the third movie hasn't happened yet - plus there's another movie with Batman playing John Connor that is still being made -- Your brain hurt yet? I haven't even started discussing the events yet. That's just the framework of the continuity. And I thought Star Trek nerds had it rough.

Oh, and Shirley Manson of the band Garbage is on the show now... as a T-Melty model. Liquid Metal... never mind that the melty technology was wiped out because T2 ended that timeline of SkyNet win, so that means that THAT timeline was able to send another undo back in time to save that timeline, which is now in conflict with the third movie, and the new movies... ugh. Explosions, good!

I've got this TiVoed - I have read that the second episode had a 87% spike over the pilot. Might have to fire it up at some point. Looks like X-files monster episodes... and if it's all Big Foot and UFO's - I'm out. That's D student science. But I'll give it a shot.

Especially since i9o is comparing Fringe to a Live Action Venture Brothers! Now, you all know I think the Venture Brothers is the best show that's on television - but it's on pause while the masters write and color some more... 

Others worth mentioning
I'll be watching Lost and Battlestar once they start up in January.
Hours and hours of Football and then there's some kind of Series... that involves the World... sometime in October that might catch my attention... I've already diverted some travel plans for that show.

What're you watching? Anything I should pick up? Should I dump something?


Blah said...

Check out Chuck and Life on Mars when it starts. I totally agree with Sons of Anarchy, I can't believe what they get away with, the more violence and curse words, the better. In the 2nd episode some dude actually said something to the effect of "getting his dick sucked" or along those lines. And Peg Bundy walked into Jax's room and said it "smelled like gym socks and pussy". Awesome. F you Joseph Lieberman, mind your own business. If you don't like what's on TV, change the channel. Don't tell me what's right and wrong.

Capn said...

Life on Mars could be great, or a total disaster.

I really enjoyed the BBC thing - but it ended. Meaning, there was an ending to it. That bummed me out.

And if I see Harvey Kietel's wang ONE more time - I'm done.

Chuck - I've skipped it because it looks like a 'Geek Squad' dude has CIA codes in his brain... and that's the plot? This assumes that a Geek Squad actually touched or worked on a customer's computer... and everyone knows that's just bullshit. I just can't buy into the basic premise. I'll allow for a robot assassin from the future. But not a bullshit CIA secrets in a Geek Squad dude's brain.

Tell me where I'm wrong?

Oh, I left off the Office -- but that's not really a 'show' it's more of a improv skit with sneaky embedded corporate items they discuss for you to buy that lasts a twenty minutes too long.

Neal said...

I saw that bit with the garbage in Mad Men - yeah, also they wouldnt have had any plastic bags or crap that wouldnt decompose. the paper plates would have disappeared - only the beer can would have stuck around.

cthulhu said...

Chuck is pretty good, but I would have much more praise if they hadn't switched from a cool 80's tune playing in the background to the over-wrought soundtrack tunes, but....1. Geek gets the girl, & 2. The bodyguard from "My Bodyguard" as a sociopath? I'm in.

"Sons" might be good, but I will constantly compare it with "Beyond the Law," and Segal is no Linda Fiorentino.

Am mostly over "crazy fiction masquerading as pseudo-science" shows, so "Fringe" is off the list.