Tomorrow’s blog may be smaller than usual or may not even get done, so I’m packing some extra news into this one:
Time to start bikini-waxing nostalgic about the upcoming end of Nip/Tuck, announced Tuesday as March 3. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out if there’s ever been a show that fell so hard so fast as it did to go from one of TV’s best shows — the second season — to what amounts to a fancy, fictionalized version of The Jerry Springer Show. It’s getting harder and harder to admit that second season in 2004 remains one of the best, and maybe the best, seasons of television I’ve ever seen. And this scene, the final scene of the second season, is one of my favorite five minutes of television ever made and is what the show is/was all about:
Watching it again gives me chills. Hearing Art Garfunkel’s All I Know randomly on the radio gives me chills. But everything about the last couple years of the show — even before they moved to LA — screams strange. FX doesn’t help matters by splitting up seasons with uneven show orders and bringing it back and forth into and out of the lineup. Example — 22-episode season 5 started in October 2007 and finished last March in two separate installments. This 19-episode sixth season has been split up to air a new episode for the next three weeks (10 episodes since it started in October) then re-start Jan. 3 to end its run with nine more episodes. Just a weird, weird way for FX to treat what was for years — and in some ways still is — the most popular show on the network. I may work up a complete ranking of all 100 episodes in time for the finale. The only thing I can tell you about the final episodes is that the episode scheduled for Feb. 10 is called Christian Troy II. And the last time he had surgery, it was to repair his face after a woman du jour sat on it during sex. So there’s that.
Here’s how far I’ve become detached from independent movies and the whole cinema scene — I haven’t seen one nominee for the Independent Spirit Awards‘ version of best picture, “best feature.” I blame my 14-month-old. But it’s not just my fault — only one of these movies, (500) Days of Summer, was even in local theaters. Here’s the bright side — Sin Nombre is on DVD right now, Summer comes out on DVD on Dec. 22 and Amreeka comes out Jan. 12. So that’s three out of five, you’re on your own trying to see Precious and The Last Station. Both of them, however, seem like they might be coming to the Pocono Community Theater. Some other nominees already on DVD: Two Lovers (best director, actress), Goodbye Solo (best actor), Adventureland (best screenplay).
I tend not to trust any list of the best movies of the decade that includes the pretentious trifecta of Dogville (#7), I’m Not There (#19), Synecdoche, New York (#22) and for good measure includes at least 20 movies I’ve never seen and 10 I haven’t even heard of. I don’t consider myself a film genius by any stretch of the imagination — but I’m a pretty clued in movie-goer and if I haven’t even heard of it, there’s a good chance most of the free world never heard of it and certainly never saw it. That’s just including those movies to show how smart you are. For any list like that, there has to be some kind of accessibility, and I’m sorry, but movies like Lilya 4-Ever (#34) don’t have that.
The same goes for a list of favorite film scenes of the decade from a bunch of movies no one has seen. I’ve at least seen all these movies, but it has zero relatability to most people because not only have they not seen the movies, but if they did, they likely won’t remember the scene. But hey, look, the Poconos makes an appearance on this list! The last scene mentioned is the “going to town” montage from Wet Hot American Summer — and most of that scene was filmed in downtown Honesdale. I worked in Honesdale on occasion since then, and every time I passed the courthouse, I still can’t help but think of Janeane Garafolo holed up in the corner of a crack house shivering.
The Simpsonsis the most important show of this generation. It’s also one of the most successful. The biggest names in Hollywood have lent their voices to the show because they’re huge fans of its wit, brains and overall hilarity. So with a laundry list of Hollywood stars who no doubt would make themselves available to host the show’s 20thanniversary, it makes sense to go with … Morgan Spurlock? Yeah, him. the McDonald’s-hating, agenda-having “documentarian” who has ruined the genre for future filmmakers who actually just want to document life and not try to bring down a company. The bastard child of Michael Moore, who hasn’t really had any kind of relevance since Super Size Me gets to host the 20th anniversary of one of the best TV shows of all time. Excuse me for second while I attempt to eat my own foot.
There’s no explanation for why 30 Rock is one of the shows with the biggest ratings loss for the season so far. Except for the fact that it isn’t as funny as it was the last two years, so maybe that has something to do with it. Actually, it’s the only possible reason since The Office isn’t on this list. Sure, Thursday is about 100 times more competitive this year than it was last year, but if it were a full-scale NBC departure, then The Office would have lost viewers too. Apparently, it didn’t.
Not sure if I’m totally and completely ready to talk about the Sons of Anarchy finale last night yet or not. And I’m not sure I should that much in case it’s sitting on your DVR. But suffice it to say, I’m a little shaken up and I never saw the twist ending coming (MAJOR spoilers on there, don’t click unless you know the end). But one thing is for sure — stupid ATF agent lady needs to die, and she needs to die soon. All she’s done is muck things up from the first moment she stepped into town. The show itself was riveting for the full 90 minutes and didn’t disappoint on any level — except for the ending, which I’m still trying to decide whether it was good or not. I’m leaning toward good, but I’m still not sure if it’s believable enough to be considered good or just shocking. Feel free to discuss on the PopRox Facebook page (the comments for this blog page should be up and running very, very soon).
Can’t really decide on whether Natalie Portman’s best-reviewed movies is a good list or a bad one. I’m a fan of three of them, and I’d put Beautiful Girls in my top 100 movies of all time. But I hated Closer, and didn’t like Heat or the first two Star Wars movies. Safe to say her career is an enigma. She’ll always get a pass for Beautiful Girls, the movie that made a generation of 20-somethings say, “I guess it wouldn’t be that bad to start dating a 13-year-old.”
PopRox loves it when our predictions comes true. But when I said the other day The Hobbit looks like it would be pushed back a year, that just seemed too easy, so I’m barely even qualifying that as a win now that word is getting out that it’s going to be pushed back. Of course it’s going to be pushed back! There just didn’t seem like any way it could be released by Christmas 2011, and the franchise started as a holiday franchise. It was always going to stay that way. So it’s about 99.999999 percent unsurprising that the talk is starting that Hobbit won’t come out until 2012.
The sequel to Hancock doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon. Fine by me. But there’s two things that make me mad about this announcement: 1. Director Peter Berg just playfully says he would want to do another Rundown. Why isn’t that news just as big? The Rundown was twice the movie Hancock was on a much smaller budget. Now that The Rock is a star, it could be a fantastic sequel. 2. No mention on his schedule of any involvement whatsoever in the final two seasons of Friday Night Lights. You would think he would at least say, “So yeah, all these movies, plus, ya know, it’s probably the last season of FNL, so I really want to make sure we’re careful and have the show go out with a bang.” But nothing! I know that’s how it works with TV shows, JJ Abrams barely even goes near Lost. I know this. But other big-time exec producer/creators are still involved with their shows — Ryan Murphy wrote last week’s Nip/Tuck — so I was hoping Berg would too. Just goes to show you Hollywood is a business.
Oh boy, here come the Elyse Keaton jokes. Go ahead, hit me. I can take it. I’ll even start — did she have to tell Michael Gross before she announced she was a lesbian?