The Umpire Slayer
"I don't know what they're all talking about...
That dress doesn't make you look like a hooker!"
After completing Angel season four (very interesting twists), I borrowed Patsy's Buffy seasons one through three (suitboyskin says he'll send me seasons four and five in the mail next week... thanks!) and started from the beginning. The first time I watched them, I though that the first season, although very entertaining, didn't have the same cojones that the second season started; I am now ready to amend this opinion. The writing in the season finale is the first hint of the much more complex character relationships and psychological depth that the second season immediately starts delving into. I suspect that the success of the first season allowed Joss Whedon more leeway in the creation of the second, but the first season really does have quite a few very memorable moments. It does not have the sophistication of the subsequent ones, but that works from a textual point of view (the characters get to know each other much better over the course of the show). There are hints as to how dark and unpredictable the series would eventually become (I was not expecting the inept but well-meaning Principal Flutie to meet the fate that he did), but overall it sticks to a pretty standard episodic formula that was thankfully abandoned in favor of developing characters and allowing them to change over time.
Of course, as soon as I got the box sets back, I watched "Band Candy" and "The Zeppo," two episodes that Suit and I agree are hilarious. It's nice to have these back. Even though I've only seen the first three seasons once, watching them again is like revisiting old friends.
It was interesting to see the collective sigh of relief going through the different progressive on-line communities after the debate, especially the ecstatic response to the polls swinging away from Bush and the panic on conservative talk radio. The Daily Show had a funny little bit in which they showed a "reverse angle" of Kerry taking notes during the debate, in which they "revealed" him writing, "I am SO winning this."
It was a simple equation: Bush, although he was no doubt prepped to the gills by Karl Rove, is not used to being questioned or having to think on his feet (or having to think, period), while Kerry was quite comfortable in the debate forum, and thus presented the country with his best public appearance yet. I notived a lot of people responded to the fact that the cameras were positioned in such a way to give Bush parity with Kerry; this was a simple eyeline match, something any competent television director would do, but it made it much more obvious how much taller Kerry was than Bush; such a thing is silly, to be sure, but it does effect the gravity of statements.
Of course, the best aspect of the whole thing was the fact that the Republicans insisted on a certain format in order to mollycoddle Bush, and it blew up in their faces. In order to get around the ban on cutaways, the media did the split-screen, something which meant that Bush's petulant pouting was seen constantly throughout the debate.
It really is difficult to vote for a spoiled brat, isn't it?
Classic films being shown in Massachussetts
From October 22nd to the 27th, the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts will present a tribute to Elmer Bernstein featuring the following Bernstein-scored features -- Sudden Fear, Sweet Smell of Success, Walk on the Wild Side, National Lampoon's Animal House, Far From Heaven, An American Werewolf in London, Cape Fear, Devil in a Blue Dress, The Magnificent Seven, and films by Charles and Ray Eames. For more information, go to Brattle Theater's website.
More to come after class!!!