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Posts from the ‘Hollywood & TV’ Category

11
May

Revenge: The Perfect TV Finale…according to Me

[Last night the ABC TV series Revenge ended its four-year run on Sunday nights. In my humble opinion, the Series Finale was perfect, which is high praise indeed. The entire series was great…but please, follow along and I will explain my rationale. Those readers who are still here, thanks, and please feel free to comment as to my artistic taste and sense of greatness in television.]

This is not intended to be a comprehensive re-cap of the show, or cast of characters.

Revenge is the first series that I watched from the very first episode through the finale. The pilot came across on my computer screen, and I watched it there. That show doubled as the first episode, which I watched again when it aired. This is noteworthy (for me) because of the on-line venue.

This show is packed with plot, characterization, and continuity. Situations are often “unlikely,” but usually plausible in a fairy-tale-soap-opera sort of way…once an equally convoluted back-story scenario has been placed. For example, it is perfectly logical that there was an Oriental guru of martial arts in Emily/Amanda’s past. That explains why she is proficient in skills such as fencing, underwater-breathing, and cat-burglar-type espionage tactics.

Emily/Amanda is bigger than life–this is true. She is the perfect heroine…strong, loveable, beautiful, ingenious, and resourceful. Also extremely rich. Her major adversary is Victoria, who is also rich, diabolical, a classic beauty, and a character we love to hate. (After all, she is vulnerable because of her terrible life experiences, and fans tend to cut her some slack. I do anyway.)

Emily/Amanda has important and influential friends–noteably Nolan Ross, who is a matrix-type computer genius who can hack any system, invent new techniques and has connections with all kinds of people in high places. Nolan had an affair with Victoria’s son Patrick, and married Louise–in order to protect her inheritance rights. Louise accidentally killed her brother, and Nolan covered for her, but most of Louise’s problems stemmed from her rotten mother.

She met her friend/adversary, Louise, in a mental hospital. This acquaintance was very influential for several reasons, and Louise contributed vital and numerous plot twists in which she befriended Victoria, married Nolan, killed her brother, and conspired in some really evil-deals with Margaux.

Margaux moved the plot along nicely through various scenarios: she had an affair with Jack, almost had a child with Daniel, was alternately BFF to Victoria and Louise. And did SHE have the interesting friends! Also very, very rich, Margaux had instant contact with an international assassin–who showed up and did her work at her bidding. She would have killed Nolan, who was mysteriously saved by a squad of heavily-aarmed-troops who played a bit-part in the production.

The major heart-throb in the show (for me anyway) was Daniel…Victoria’s son, Emily/Amanda’s husband, Margaux’s almost baby-daddy, and general international mogul.

The amazing thing (to me) about Revenge was the way in which every scenario was played out in the space of one or two episodes. Characters walked on and off the show as one-time guest-stars. Every one of these people served to move the plot forward, and when there specific role had been accomplished they were gone. No extraneous hangers-on.

I could go on and on (don’t worry, I won’t} as I have not done justice to any of the characters, scenarios, or plot-twists.

The young actress who played the child Emily/Amanda (Emily Alyn Lind) is a perfect choice.

Anyway….either you, the reader, 1) are already a fan of Revenge; 2) will watch it in re-runs; 3.) could not care less…in which case you won’t have read any of this post.

The absolutely PERFECT ending to Revenge is the wonderfully appropriate cliché Finale where Emily/Amanda and Jack–true lovers–are literally sailing off on Jack’s ship, into the sunset.

5
May

Word Police–stop editing our dictionary

[Warning: Not Politically Correct]

The Word Police are at it again.  We aren’t allowed to say the word “thug.”

Thug is NOT a racist word.  It is a term coined back in the olden days to describe a certain type of criminal–almost invariably a white (caucasian) male..

Just consider, please, the uses of the word in common useage… here is a short list, and I apologize if it is narrow in application.  Possibly there is some generation-specific meanings, but none of them refer to any racial group.  Basically there are two main classifications that immediately come to (my) mind:

1. “Jack-booted thugs,” which in common useage refers to military or government troops that go around smashing things and beating people with clubs.  They wear heavy leather-boots that are very effective.  The jack-boots are actually bigger than life, and as the saying goes, twice as ugly.  These are the “storm troopers” of another era, but hey–a thug by any other name is still a thug.

2. so-called “union thugs.”   We heard a lot about these guys back in the days of the union fights.  The picture that one might conjur up is of a stocky muscular white guy–remember Bluto the villain of the Popeye comics?   If not, he  was a big bruiser (another bad word for the Word Police to add to their list) who regularly attempted to whip Popeye’s butt, but always got beaten up himself by the end of the comic strip.

bluto

3. “Street thugs,” as they were known, allegedly blustered about just committing stupid and intimidating actions against innocent bystanders.   My version of these guys includes bullies who beat up other kids in school with no apparent reason (like robbery) but just for the heck of it.

I think it is noteworthy to mention that in other countries, such as the UK and much of Europe, the types of characters I think of as “thugs” — are known as “Hooligans.”

Stereotypical Hooligans are those that show up at soccer (fubol) or other sports events, and if their team doesn’t win (or DOES win, sometimes) take the opportunity to beat up the players, bystanders, fans, passers-by…and create general havoc in stadiums or nearby city streets.

I hasten to point out here that the term “Thug” is relative.  Some people think that I am very opinionated about things like words and…well lots of things.  This is true.

If there is a stereotype thug, then HE (although women can be thugs, they are not usually thought of in that light.  Please don’t take any of my ramblings about  word-use as sexist.    There are special words for women, but all I wish to say about that is that “thug” isn’t really appropriate for a woman.

So–Word Police–please stop looking for excuses to turn everything anyone says into fodder for Political Correctness.

(Most Popeye paraphernalia remains under copyright in the United States until 2024.   This drawing of Bluto is in the public domain.)

30
Mar

“One for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready, and 4 to GO…”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Show Must Go On.”

Today’s prompt reminds me of the old rhyme “one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.” Although rather obscure in origin perhaps, it rings clear in meaning.

ONE can be the Producer of the show.  He or she is the person, or more likely committee, that decides to put on a show.  Let’s say “they.”  They put up the money in various ways–through personal funds, community money in some form, investment capital, and LAWYERS who handle assorted legal matters.    Without these deep-pockets players there quite possibly would not BE a show.

TWO is the Director of the show.  This person hires and fires costumers, electricians and carpenters, painters, stage hands, all kinds of “go-fers” who go-for coffee, go-for needle and thread, go-for pizza.  Also the Director recruits and auditions writers, and actors — without whom there would hardly BE a show.  Then it is the Director who actually Directs the show, from mundane who-stands-where supervision to helping the Star to die perfectly when the murder scene happens.

THREE would be the various trouble-shooters that deal with all sorts of problems ranging from tempermental stars to malfunctioning wardrobes.   These people are charged with the responsibility of dealing with The Media, making sure there is sufficient publicity…of the right kind.   They get the show ready-to-go. They put out the brush fires when tempers flare and Murphy’s Law is at work–anything that can go wrong WILL go wrong, or at least someone will have to at least do the worrying about such issues.

FOUR certainly not the least of what makes the success or failure of the Show — those  actresses and actors who are the STARS of the show, upon whose names and personas are the magic that makes the show a hit or .. not a hit.   In this role at times a brilliant script can be tarnished by a less than stellar performance by the Stars….or on the other hand, a popular and perfect-for-the-role player can save a sub-standard plot and turn it into a huge hit show.

I would choose to be in the Three-To-Get-Ready category…which is where those involved are a variety of skills, each of them important to the end result.

Handling the Money angle would not appeal to me at all.  It is not in my area of expertise, for one thing, but also I think it would be boring and frustrating, and rather snobbish.

Being The Star might sound glamorous and exciting, but to me it would actually be anything but!  Working under the hot lights, dealing with The Co-Star, and trying to do exactly as Directed would not be fun.  Not only the Pomposity and big-feeling bossiness of  a prima-donna director would not be anything I would like to do either.  I would hate being criticized, or told how to format my performance.  Also as a Star it seems to me that a lot of the blame for short-comings in my ability would be unfair, and cause great resentment.

Actually I would like to be a Writer, but this task is not one of the choices for this prompt.  Therefore, I’d be in one of the sub-sets of the category of Director.  In that capacity I would be able to do my specific job, and make whatever difference possible to the outcome of the Show.

9
Feb

Quoting Lines from the Silver Screen–Will Smith

One of my favorite movie quotes is from INDEPENDENCE DAY, which has several comments worth quoting. In the scene when the heroes have just taken off to destroy the alien mother-ship, watching a super fast alien fighter plane doing impossible maneuvers, Will Smith says: “I have GOT to get me one of THESE!”

Yeah, I know, this movie was the one that had the TV advertisers declaring that “THIS IS THE MOVIE THAT WILL MAKE YOU PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.” I was skeptical at first, and that advertising line really had nothing to do with anything except to point out that if and when the world is called upon to fight aliens from outer space and save Earth, it will of course be Americans who lead the charge, as all nations of the world (especially real current enemy nations…such as Russia and Iraq) rally around at the battle cry of the American President.

Did they save the Earth? With Will Smith flying the space craft? On the outside chance that readers never saw INDEPENDENCE DAY, I don’t want to ruin the surprise ending. 🙂