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Random Observation and Pointless Tirade

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Random Observation: When I saw Jarhead in Fall 2005, I thought it was quite good. Few others seem to have shared that view, and I didn’t think too much about it afterward. Watched it again tonight, and I must say that my first impressions were confirmed; Jarhead was a damn fine film. Mendes certainly has his limits, as Road to Perdition was just plain terrible. American Beauty is deeply flawed, but after the initial warm glow wore off I think we may have gone too far in condemnation; it also has some serious strengths.

Pointless Tirade: What the hell is up with Charmed? It was a terrible show, relentless awful, and not a semi-watchable train wreck CSI-Miami kind of terrible, either. The acting was bad, the plotting bad, the dialogue bad, and the special effects poor. I have never watched an entire episode, but every snippet I glimpse as I surf by confirms the impression. Nevertheless, it appears to be on TNT during all non L&O timeslots, which, I can only presume, means that there are morons out there who like it. Said morons please step forward; why do you enjoy this dreck? Adding insult to injury, Angel is a genuinely excellent show covering the same subject matter, yet I have to get up at 6am if I want to watch it.

Random Observation II: Good article on House and Hugh Laurie in particular. There’s a big part of me that doesn’t want to like House. The plotting is predictable almost to the point of cliche, and none of House’ assistants really stand out (although Robert Sean Leonard and Lisa Edelstein are both quite good). There’s no point, for example, to reading a TWOP summary of House, since every episode is essentially the same. The longer arcs are also repetitive, as House’ conflict with the police detective this year was essentially just a replay of his conflict with the Edward Vogler in the first season. In the end, it all comes down to Hugh Laurie, whose performance as House is about as close to perfect as you could imagine. I find it difficult to even conceive of another actor in the role; I can’t think of anyone else who could pull it off. Especially given the nature of House’ dialogue and Laurie’s experience in comedy, I wonder how many of the sarcastic quips come from the writers and how many from Laurie himself.

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