Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday... something different, and a li'l Frank Robbins!

I'm gonna write a bit today about something besides comics. I watched a few tv shows in the past week, and I figured I'd spout off about them today, because each left me with strong feelings.

The first show I'll talk about is HBO's new things, TRUE BLOOD. I'm not a vampire nut. I've never seen an episode of Buffy. But, this show was created by Alan Ball, whose work (American Beauty, Six Feet Under) I've really enjoyed, so I figured I'd check it out. All in all, it was pretty dreadful. Heavy-handed character development, clumsy direction, a silly premise, and generally not so good. Really kind of shocking after the overall brilliance of Six Feet Under.

And, that said, I'll probably keep watching, at least for another week or two. I dunno why, for sure. Hell, I continue to watch Entourage, and I think it's pretty vapid. Call it a guilty pleasure. In the case of True Blood, I guess Ball outsmarted me, to some extent. There was enough melodrama there for me to want to come back. I'll probably be still watching, and still bitching, three years from now.

If that does prove to be the case, maybe I'll be rewarded, as I have been with the other show I'd like to discuss, MAD MEN. I watched the show all last season, and I came to it with high expectations. I love the era, the creator, and the premise, but I thought the highly-touted pilot was clunky. You could cut the clever with a knife, right down to the obviously-conflicted-gay dude in the office. It was, alternating, brilliant and plodding. Again, I stuck with it because of the stuff I liked. The acting is great, I love the sets and fashions, and there was some very smart writing.

This season, Mad Men has started strong. I like the leap of over a year between seasons. The performances continue to be really strong, and the show seems to be really finding its feet now. The last episode to air, "The Gold Violin", was amazing. The gay character I used to cringe at has come into his own, and Don Draper (the lead) is becoming as interesting in his disgusting way as was Tony Soprano (well, almost).

If you haven't seen either show, you should check them out. Mad Men is becoming a real work of genius. True Blood is anything but genius, but it will probably keep you entertained in a fun, shallow way.

And, just to keep the theme of this blog intact- here, without comment, is a scan from my art collection. More pure Frank Robbins genius!

Enjoy, and see you next week.



Jamie S. Rich said...

It's always nice to know I'm not crazy. Your assessment of MAD MEN is exactly how I've felt about it, and I even ended up not watching it until reruns because the pilot had turned me off so. But the last few episodes have been so good, and Draper is really turning into a dark character.

Anonymous said...

Don Draper is my new hero.

Shawn Crystal said...

The second panel in the Robins strip has my brain whirling. WHAT A COMPOSITION!

Ande Parks said...

Jamie- Well, I'm glad to hear I'M not crazy. It is a lot like The Sopranos, in that it's hard to find anyone to root for. I'm clinging to the secretary that crapped out her kid and never looked back. What does it say when she's got the strongest moral fiber on the show?

TJ- You need to watch some Jimmy Stewart movies... stat!

Shawn- Yeah... that panel is killer. He does so many things there, including setting up the next panel and the against the grain takeoff. He was the man!