For me, the most painful scenes in Game of Thrones are watching Theon Greyjoy as his new ruined self, Reek, beholden to the cruelty of Ramsay Snow. Now the name Reek has become the word and face of depression and defeated self-esteem for probably an entire generation.
I don't watch Hoarders, but I was fascinated by the show's star Matt Paxton talking about what he learned doing the show on the Sklarbro Country podcast.
He said that the one thing that ties all hoarders together is enormous anger. They feel cornered like snakes. The second thing he said is that hoarders are willing to trade their children (letting them go to foster care, which Paxton says is often necessary) if they can keep their garbage.
The third thing he said is that the show is so unpleasant that the staff who work on the show are on the desperate side, on the heels of a failure or other.
Finally, Paxton said he likes doing the show because it helps him work through his own addiction issues (I believe he's an alcoholic).
My cousin recommended I watch his favorite TV show Pawn Stars about six months ago. Ever since then, I've been hooked.
People bring in their stuff to sell to a pawn shap in Las Vegas. The show's draw: You never know what they'll bring in and you'll often be surprised. War artifacts, Superbowl rings, celebrity knicknacks and clothing, weird inventions, Dracula killer kits, vintage cars, fighter planes, ancient weapons . . .
One thing I have noticed: This is a man's show. Bartering, trading, negotiating. All the pawn shop principals are men. I'd guess the viewership is mostly men.
Long-time fans of Jamie Oliver, my wife and I deleted his current season of Food Revolution from our DVR. His role as embattled victim, virtuous martyr come to enlighten the junk food addicts of America riddled with gimmicks (dressing up as a giant vegetable, for example) proved lame, an abysmal embarrassment. Bad career move, Jamie.
Saw the 2010 film Exit Through the Gift Shop last night on my Apple TV. This documentary directed by Banksy is about a deranged non-talented Thierry Guetta who dabbles in every artistic cliche in the book, stealing heavily from the ideas and images of Andy Warhol, and hypes himself into commercial greatness. But I wonder if the whole thing is a hoax (possible hoax element explained in the London Times). In any event, the film is a great look at obsession, art, and hype. Highly recommended.
It’s too bad the Sherlock Holmes film starring Robert Downey Jr. was a failure, at times embarrassing, because Downey, who plays an obsessive, crazed version of Holmes, does a great job: The film’s best parts are watching Downey absorb his environment so that by identifying the color of red dirt on your trousers he knows which part of town you’ve been traipsing in. Jude Law does a strong job as Holmes’ sidekick, Watson.
But the film is an egregious failure for three reasons. One, it’s too long and should have been edited down by at least twenty minutes. Two, there is a conflict of tone: Gothic vs. cartoonish. The film’s darkness is contradicted by Downey evading his adversaries like Bugs Bunny or Roadrunner. Had the film gone for pure darkness, it probably would have been more effective.
Another colossal failure in the film was its main villain, the satanic Lord Blackwood played adequately by Mark Strong. The Blackwood role is neither developed or scary. Without a compelling evil force and without a consistent gothic tone, the film feels at times ridiculous and ultimately the viewer becomes, in spite of Downey’s immense talents, disengaged, bored, and disappointed that such a great talent as director Guy Ritchie’s has been squandered.
I am for the most part a fan of ABC's Lost, especially the first four seasons, but the last two seasons showed decline. Why?
The first 4 seasons were character-driven with the principals well connected to the plot. In contrast, the last 2 seasons the writers decided to tie-in all the intricate plot lines with obvious, cliched, Christian allegory and this contrivance shows its ugly head mostly in the dialogue. Once gritty and character-based, the dialogue became sanctimonious, pious, mouthpieces for the allegory more than the characters. The characters were once dark and complex with hints of redemption, but in the last 2 seasons their redemptive qualities became transparent with Hallmark-special insufferable gushiness.
What "wisdom" do we learn from the last episode? Sadly, I can come up with little more than a trite and cheap aphorism: "We're all good people. We just disagree on how to get to the Promised Land."
I say farewell to Lost appreciating its first 4 years, but lamenting its last two seasons' capitulation to easy allegory.
I haven’t cried during a sports buddy film since
Brian’s Song when I was in the fifth grade. Now another athlete bromance is
rendered, less mawkishly, in the currently airing HBO documentary Magic &
Bird: A Courtship of Rivals. The documentary focuses on the intense albeit
unlikely friendship that evolved between the ostentatious Magic and the crusty
I learned that beneath Bird’s sometimes surly persona was a
soulful sensitivity that forged a friendship far deeper with Magic than his
supposed friends like Isaiah Thomas who threw Magic under a bus when Magic’s
HIV condition was announced.
I’ve always been a fan of Magic, but this documentary
gave me a deeper understanding, and deep admiration, for Larry Bird.