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December 2008
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the l word is back

I wrote about the return of Big Love, "it looks like more of the same, which is good news if you like the show, and if you don't like it, you aren't watching it anyway." Just take those words and apply them to The L Word. Oh, they've added a murder mystery, but basically it's hot babes having hot lesbo sex while their personal lives swing from great to miserable. The acting is variable, the writing is worse, but it's the last season so I might as well watch to the bitter end. Did I mention the hot lesbo sex?

what i watched last week

The Exorcist. This was "The Version You've Never Seen," no less, which wasn't an improvement, especially with its tacked-on ending that was extremely stupid. I've never been a big fan of this movie, but I will admit it looked better than I remembered, perhaps because the annoying Catholic stuff seemed more horror-movie than dogma. I'm not sure why I'm kinder to this commercial for the Catholic Church than I am to Top Gun, a commercial for the Navy that I detest, but I am. #193 on the TSPDT list of the 1000 Greatest Films. 7/10.

Becket. Lotsa blah blah blah between two actors, Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole, who can blah blah with the best of them. Burton is more subdued than O'Toole here, and the contrast makes for a more interesting movie than it would be if they both chewed the scenery. It's still no classic. 7/10.

here come the sunday shows

Lots of Sunday shows, so many that I can't actually watch them all on Sundays (a situation not helped by the fact that Robin watches three other Sunday shows that I don't watch, so the DVRs get a workout). A quickie note on a couple of them ...

Big Love is back, and it looks like more of the same, which is good news if you like the show, and if you don't like it, you aren't watching it anyway. I've always found it a notch below the best shows ... always watchable, rarely more than that.

United States of Tara features Toni Collette as a woman with "dissociative identity disorder," what we used to call multiple personalities ... four, in this case, the titular Tara and three alternate personas. As one character points out, Tara doesn't act like those other people, she IS those other people. The concept has the potential to be a bit too precious, and your enjoyment of the show might depend on your enjoyment of the work of Diablo Cody, who developed the show. Even the critics who have liked what they've seen have pointed out it takes a few episodes to get rolling. We've now seen two episodes, and we'll be back for more ... Collette is terrific, and there is potential for a lot more than just precious.

The L Word is back for its final season, but we didn't get around to watching that one yet, so more later.

fucking dickheads

Tomorrow is a celebration of Martin Luther King, and Tuesday is a new beginning. One last time, let's recall what we've been through for eight years. Mr. Bush, it isn't enough to make the tough decisions ... you need to make the right decisions. When you make the wrong decision as often and as consistently as you have, you create disaster. You are, in short, a fucking dickhead ... worse, you are a fucking dickhead who is so convinced of your essential rightness that you proclaim Mission Accomplished in the midst of the abyss. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

BushMean cheney

friday random ten, 1960 edition

1. Rosie & the Originals, "Angel Baby." The video link is to a scene from one of my very favorite movies, My Family, Mi Familia. Subbing for Rosie in the film is Jeanette Jurado from Exposé.

2. Duane Eddy, "Because They're Young." The video link here is classic, the trailer for the movie from which this song comes. That movie was Dick Clark's first ... yes, that Dick Clark.

3. Brook Benton and Dinah Washington, "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)."

4. Connie Francis, "Everybody's Somebody's Fool." The stuff you learn on Wikipedia. "She recorded in thirteen languages throughout her career: English, Greek, German, Swedish, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian (and its dialect Neapolitan), Hebrew, Yiddish, Japanese, Latin and Hawaiian. During a concert at the Golden Stag Festival in Braşov, Romania in March 1970, Francis performed live in Romanian."

5. Ike & Tina Turner, "A Fool in Love." Turner and his band were ready to record this song, but the vocalist was a no-show. Tina stepped in ... she wasn't called "Tina" yet ... and just like that, Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm became The Ike & Tina Turner Revue.

6. Fats Domino, "Walking to New Orleans." Is it possible to be underrated when you're in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you were the best-selling black rocker of the 50s, and the instant one of your songs comes on it brings a smile to the face of the listener? It has always seemed to me that Fats is left out when they talk about the pantheon of great early rockers. Maybe I'm wrong ... I'd put him up there, anyway.

7. The Fendermen, "Mule Skinner Blues." One-hit wonders, sure, but the video of them revisiting their moment is delightful.

8. Harold Dorman, "Mountain of Love." The "video" link is to an audio-only version from 1975 by some guy named Bruce who will be playing in Washington D.C. soon.

9. The Capris, "There's a Moon Out Tonight." Originally recorded in late 1958, and released on a tiny label in '59, after which The Capris broke up and their lead singer went into the Army. Through an odd sequence of events, in 1960 the song became a local hit in New York, and when the singer got out of the Army, he found out they were playing the song on the radio. A lot. The band quit their day jobs and reformed ... soon afterwards, they were playing the Apollo.

10. Muddy Waters, "Got My Mojo Workin'." I don't know if it's possible to overstate how great I think this video is, especially the last minute or so.