Friday, June 23, 2006

TV down to two.

Subject: TV
Now that it's the summer, I'm down to watching just two shows on a regular basis. And one of them I have to download in order to see it!

"Deadwood" season 3 started up the other week. We rejoin our dysfunctional desparados diligently deciding Deadwood's direction. *cough*. Oh that's right, they speak in iambic pentameter, not alliteration. My bad.

(I don't think I could speak in iambic pentameter on purpose, even if there was a gun to my head... Good thing I'm not on the show!)

At any rate, besides the mundane details of Deadwood's impending elections, and the starting of daily schoolin' for the young-uns (as it were), we quickly establish that there's going to be a whole lot of tension between Ian McShane's brilliantly nasty Al Swearengin, and the newcomer in the camp, the legendary mining kingpin George Hearst, played by Dabney Coleman.

By the end of of a tense (and strange) episode 2, you can tell that they're about to get their war on. But will it just be a cold war? Doesn't seem likely.

The dialogue seems a little awkward this season. It's like the writers are trying a little too hard, and the actors didn't get enough time to become comfortable with the lines. In previous seasons, it seemed a lot more natural. One other un-natural element would be Sherriff Bullock's attitude. Particularly towards former nemesis Al Swearengin, but also in general. He's softer, more agreeable, and maybe a little more anxious and fearful. There were a lot of events that closed out season 2 that likely percipitated these changes, I'll grant that, but it seems a bit disconcerting compared to my expectations. Still, he did suddenly beat the mayor to a bloody pulp all of a sudden... Hmmm.

Anyway, on to "Doctor Who". I finally caught all the way up with it this week. The second half of the "Cthulhu-in-space" mini-arc was quite an entertaining ride, and very, very old-skool "Doctor". This most recent episode focuses more on a young bloke who's path seems to keep crossing with the Doctor, ever since his childhood. And it's got some astonishingly silly sequences dominating almost the entire thing. Yet, there's this little dark edge to it that keeps building. And even though the end itself couldn't help but devolve into one last silly payoff ("We still manage to have a bit of a love-life" Bwa-ha-ha!!), it kicks you with one last dark message, restoring the "campy-vs-edgy" ratio to the usual.

I'm guessing the show is going to remain a bit of an acquired taste. It's too over-the-top, and it really relies on an overall exposure to the history of the show in order for the payoffs to be worth it. I think it might prove to be quite entertaining to newcomers though. As long as your expectations are to be entertained, not enlightened.

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