Monday, November 26, 2007

Even Grandma Needs Some Lovin...No, No She Doesn't

My Thanksgiving was marred by the favorite annual past times, the awkward interaction with relatives I want nothing to do with, the ill fated attempts at guessing the respective ages of my cousins, and finally being subjected to an embarassing, impromptu prayer service I apparently was supposed to be leading for this group of 50+ people. Family; you've gotta love to not love 'em.

Penniless, poor, with poverity stricken prospects (as my various relatives have been adept at reminding me of) I indulged myself in the last refuge of an already dwindling existence : the annual free preview premium channel weekend. HBO, Showtime, TMC, Starz, and Skinimax at my beckon call, all for a four day period; ah, it's moments like these that make the death of my social life almost bearable.

At the top of my viewing list was the much-talked about Tell Me You Love Me, everyone's favorite borderline pornographic fall drama. As early reviews have indicated, "Tell Me" is exactly as advertised, showcasing some of the most realistic simulations of sex on mainstream television or even film to date. That being said, the fairly long scenes of intimacy work within the tone and pace of the show, the long drawn out moments of physicality balanced out by the intricate complexity of detailing each line of dialogue, movement, and look like a dance.

It's definitely not fast paced, nor even completely sexy for that matter. But haunting honesty of each couple's exchanges, the frank discussions that aren't so much shocking as painful, and the tragically comic ebb and flow of each scene works beautifully, as if the subtlety of each episode working as a small partion of a bigger art film-like whole.

Inadequate intimacies of middle age, frenetic insanity of youthful lust, and the belaboured agony of child rearing are all on full display, sans a melodramatic soundtrack or urgent editing choices.

Like a a perfectly constructed Agnes Varda film, it's about the power of the long take, and the immediacy of silence we're often too scared to face, or worried about enjoying too much.


Next on the list of shows I desperately needed to view before my free preview ended was "Weeds," the best dramedy about a pasty-skinned, pot dealing mother from White Land, USA.

Season Three, more so than both of the previous seasons, has definitely taken a full dive into the deep end of the crazy Kool-Aid pool, from full blown gang warfare to season's worth of gratuitous sex that would make Adrian Lynne almost proud. The somewhat fearfully leveled Nancy Botwin of prior seasons has let lose the inner MILF, sometimes to over the top, though somehow still satisfying results.

The addition of Mary Kate Olsen felt at times like a bit of a casting non-sequitor, but all in all, creator Jenji Kohan has done just enough to keep me wanting more. (Though the gimmicky "Let's get a random indie/world/pop artist to cover 'Little Boxes' routine" has gotten a little old.)


Californication, hmmm let's make this quick:

David Duchovny is a self destructed writer sleeps with lots of naked women, who have a habit of beating, vomiting, squirting, blackmailing him. Oh yeah, and he pathetically lusts after his newly engaged ex-wife.

Uh...oh yeah, and his best friend/agent is a closet perv who loses his wife to his assistant who doubles as a Suicide Girl/wannabe agent.

And Duchovny's daughter Becca, is fucking adorable and I want my unborn Isadora to be just like her.

Nuff said.

After several seasons of hilarious, though at times half hearted comedy,Curb Your Enthusiasm has enjoyed a revitalization of sorts, with David's misanthropic comedic genius putting his personal life right in the cross hairs.

Mocking his real life divorce from hardcore environmentalist Laurie has been nice subject of fodder for David, and coupled with great moments involving the erectile "5second rule," Steve Coogan and John McEnroe, forcing reconciliation due to dating laziness, and the occasional borderline-racist stereotype, "Curb" appears to be back in full swing, and that's pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

0 painful displays of affection:

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