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They’re remaking The Rockford Files.

That sounds like one thankless task. Oh, it’s doable in the writing, I suppose (although not easy – even some of the original team members stumbled when reviving it as telemovies). But the casting? The role was quite literally designed for the strong and specific talents of James Garner, exploiting his ability to seem too smart to be heroic and yet too heroic to be smart. The Garner performance becomes the target, and thus you cannot get closer to the target than what he achieved. Even if you get amazingly close, thse that remember the original will still feel the need to find fault.

But if you don’t aim for Garner, you don’t have Rockford. And those that care will notice that, those that don’t care… well, for them, why make it “Rockford”?

And yet, if they can give me something that tells solid stories per episode, that deals with the ground-level view of Los Angeles, and which brings the sense of lack of glamor to the P.I., then I will forgive them for striving for the wonderful.

Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dark Blue

The new cable-original series Dark Blue is a look at the shattered lives of those who work undercover for a secret police effort and who dance somberly around the line of moral and immoral, and across the line of semi-smart and just plain stoopid.  It’s dark, very dark, not very blue, but dark indeed. It’s Very Serious. It’s Drama. It doesn’t feel like particularly realistic drama, but it’s oozing drama darkness. It’s no fun, it’s never fun, but it’s dark.

Having said that, some of it is quite well done. It’s well shot, well directed, there’s some good dialogue in here, and some good decisions (the bad guys are dealing with their own problems, not just with fighting the darkly good guys.) But it doesn’t feel real and it doesn’t feel like fun, so there’s not much here for me.

I’m under the weather, or I might otherwise go on in more specifics. Or I just might type “dark” a lot more times.

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Was the problem consumers, or government?

In a statement that sounds more dire than it likely is, Consumer.Gov has been permanently shut down.

Published in: on July 18, 2009 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Heaven Can Weight

A shallow hotty is sent up to the pearly gates, only to find herself back on earth occupying the body of an overweight, intelligent lawyer who was dying at that moment. In this situation, she uses her knowledge of fashion to help her achieve success.

In other words, it’s very much the set-up of the play Heaven Can Wait (and its film versions Here Comes Mr. Jordan and Heaven Can Wait… there was a more recent Chris Rock remake I don’t recall the details of) where in the soul of a good body (a boxer or a football player, depending on version) gets dropped from heaven and put in the body of a then-dying person of power with an angel from the pearly gates to help him navigte the world – overlayed with the functioning of Legally Blonde.

It’s a Lifetime series, and seems constructed to beaimed at some form of womanhood – the female empowerment, the fashion empowerment, the self-help fascination and the food as sinful delight line – all seem conspicuously designed to cater to some version of womanhood that I (unsurprisingly, I hope) do not possess. But that’s fine, not everything need be optimized for me.

But it’s all so telegraphed, every step, every twist, visible at all times. It’s humoresque without being humorous. And when they attempt to show us that she gets the lawyer’s intelligence instead of just showing it? Folks, be careful when trying to write dialog that is smarter than you are. She’s asking herself smart things to show she’s smart, and prattling off the answers.

“What’s the square root of 113? It’s a prime number – trick question!”

Um, folks, it’s 4.83. Smart people understand that not all numbers are integers.

This series is not aimed at me, and isn’t near good enough to be worthwhile for me despite that. If the workable premise appeals to you, certainly give it a try…

Published in: on July 15, 2009 at 6:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Nat solves the aging problem

I’m getting older, and quickly. I feel it every day. And if you’re like most of the people I talk to, you’re feeling it quite strongly. But I’m not going to let this continue. I’ve got a plan, and it’s one you may wish to consider:

I’m going to move to Australia and steal things.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s not some secret advanced chemical formula, mystical potion, or anti-aging totem that I plan to take. Honestly, I don’t think it matters what I steal, as I long as I engage in acts of physical theft, and if I keep it small I reckon I can probably get away with it. And the Australian government seems not only to not want to thwart my criminal plans, but actually to encourage them. Why else would the government have put out a press release announcing “Prison population ageing, but robbery offenders getting younger“? This information is derived from a report bearing the primary title Australian Corrections, and if getting me back to the age I picture myself as being isn’t a correction, I don’t know what is!

So the next time you see me, don’t be surprised if I’ve got more hair, tighter skin, and some Australian stuff I didn’t pay for.

Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 7:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Does that qualify as househusbandry

As of just the other day, the “is Peter married?” puzzle took a major step forward. Thanks to a new law, D.C. will now recognize same-sex marriages (although not grant them). If Peter is at home, then yes, he’s married! That means, I suppose, that he and Rob are no longer living in sin. But they can still vacation in sin!

Published in: on July 8, 2009 at 11:16 am  Leave a Comment  

The obvious crossover

I usually keep my comics madness away from this blog, but I cannot resist posting this:

(for parody purposes only, I swear)

(for parody purposes only, I swear; I may not keep this up long.)

Blame goes to Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin for getting me thinking about this.

Published in: on July 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

The God Game

If you thought the US went too far into unreality in our reality shows, take a look at what they’re cooking up in Turkey: a convert-the-atheists gane show.

Published in: on July 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why today

There are lots of reactions to Sarah Palin’s resignation today (me, I think she’s just preparing to run for the presidential term of 2013-2014.) And a lot of it is reaction to the timing – why make an announcement on what is for many people the start of a long weekend, so that the news gets less attention?

I just realized: both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are on vacation next week. Not only will this delay those shows making fun of her about this for as long as possible, but she’s got to know that this will tear out the hearts of the creative crews of those shows, who have given her such a hard time over the past year.

Well played, briefly-Governess Palin!

Published in: on July 3, 2009 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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