Lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend about myself: I don’t get as excited about things as I used to. Perhaps it’s a merely function of getting older – I just hit the big 3-0 six months ago, after all – or, maybe, all the years of crushing cynicism and relentless snark has finally caught up to me. Passion, perhaps, is the provenance of the young and the unencumbered, and I’m no longer either of the two. For example, it would have shocked the ten-years-younger version of myself, maybe even the 2009 model, to learn that it took me, a devoted Wes Anderson-ophile, two months to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, especially after making a pilgrimage to see The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic during their respective opening weekends, and attending a screening of The Darjeeling Limited by myself because I just couldn’t wait any longer, even if that meant sitting alone in a small theater on a Tuesday afternoon. Likewise, I’ve yet to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, and that’s already been out for a whole week and is possibly the X-Men movie that I’ve been praying for these last fourteen years. There are spoilers abound and I run the very real risk of having the movie ruined before I get around to seeing it. It’s a danger I’m well aware of, and one, for some reason, I’m at peace with. Perhaps most egregiously – and this something I’m very much ashamed to admit on this blog – I’ve yet to watch last week’s Survivor finale. Yes, I was out-of-town for two weeks, but I’ve been back for four days already. Really, what good excuse could I possibly have for not immediately marathoning the last three episodes, including the two hour-finale and post-show live cast reunion? Heresy, is it not? Not only am I liable to inadvertently stumble upon the final result at any turn, removing any drama upon viewing, but shouldn’t this be tearing me up inside? It’s Survivor, the subject I’ve perhaps committed more space to on this blog than any other, and, yet, I’ll get to it when I get it to it. Urgency, shockingly, I do not feel. It’s not apathy or indifference – that would be truly alarming – but, rather, caring a bit less, being more patient. It’s an odd, peculiar, somewhat concerning notion to not experience the same sense of pressure, immediacy, and life-or-death importance about these shows and films and bands that I always did. Am I depressed? Should I look into Lexapro? But the change is also freeing in a way. There is a flipside to caring a little less. It means that it doesn’t hurt so much when something you love is taken away from you.
Tag Archives: Wes Anderson
Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happdeaned: Five (and Maybe More) Seasons of ‘Community’ and the Truly Jumping the Snark
Late at night last week we were absent-mindedly watching a rerun of The Office (“The Delivery, Part 2“), which is something we don’t often do. However, our decision paid dividends when something caught our eye during a commercial break, an apparent allusion to another NBC Thursday Night comedy. Thirteen seconds into a Honda Accord spot featuring two preternaturally mature, Wes Anderson-esque children, we just barely noticed the distinct markings of a potato chip brand recently featured on Community, that being the preferred chip of Troy, Let’s.
A couple enhanced screenshots:
Let’s Chips has actually popped up several times in the show, including in Season 4 when it was reviewed during the end credits tag by Greendale’s foremost nonagenarian and Korean War Vet (North Korean side), Leonard. The verdict was a firm “Buy,” advice that was clearly heeded by Dean Pelton and Troy. Britta, however, insists on sticking with her far inferior “Spwingles” brand chips, driving a potentially insurmountable wedge between her and Troy.
So what gives? Is this a wink to Community? A subliminal message intended to subvert viewers into watching the show against their will, thereby giving the series hope for a fifth season? Or has the Community soundstage already been shut down and dismantled, the props sold off to highest car commercial bidder? Should we expect to see Yard-Margs from Skeepers in an Daewoo commercial?
Or, perhaps, this a clue, an easter egg, showing that the world of Greendale is far greater than we ever imagined.
As promised, we’re going to quickly dip our toes into the somewhat toxic pool of The Newsroom analysis. Like with any review or analysis, anything we say is ultimately futile and inconsequential, because, in the end, it’s not going to change the way you feel about the show, and it’s certainly not going to alter Aaron Sorkin’s vision or persuade him to reconsider his writing style. But in the case of The Newsroom, anything we say, any argument we make, feels especially meaningless in the wake of all the criticism and (less so) praise it’s received. But, hell, let’s be a Greater Fool and try anyway.
Let’s just say out of the gate that we like the show, and while that might put us in the minority we stand by our verdict. But what’s interesting or pertinent to us is not so much that we like it – or if it’s “good,” assuming there’s some kind of objective rubric which can calculate a show’s quality (which there’s not) – it’s the question of whether or not the show is worth watching. And we think the answer is: absolutely. Doesn’t that fact that the show seems to be so reviled (or snickered at) in so many corners yet still watched obsessively indicate there’s something of worth there? Certainly, The Newsroom doesn’t garner the same level of propulsive minute-by-minute Twitter reaction on Sunday evenings as Breaking Bad (nor does it come close to the AMC show’s unanimous, breathless praise), but it’s definitely one of the most talked about shows, even if much of that talk comes with head shaking, finger wagging and head scratching. And if the show was bad, unrelentingly terrible, it wouldn’t have lasted, or at least the discussion would have quieted down. We can’t imagine that if Work It had not been canceled after one week the din about its repugnancy would have continued. We would have had our fun and then watched it fade away, nary giving it another thought. But with The Newsroom the debate continued for ten episodes, and seemed to increase as we approached the season finale. Clearly, people were entertained by the show. Which, we certainly concede, isn’t necessarily the same as enjoying the show.
Because Top Chef: All-Stars starts tonight! (did we mention how excited we are for this? Oh, we did. Well, we’re going to say it again: We’re really excited for this).Vodpod videos no longer available.
Our money is on Richard Blaise. And not because he was the clear favorite in Season 4 and, by his own admission, choked in the final. And not because we’ll squeeze an excessive amount of joy out of calling him “The Blaise.” But because The Blaise is rocking the orange Crocs. Dude is angling for a role in Wes Anderson’s next stop-motion film (watch your back, Batali).
We also like Las Vegas‘ Jennifer Carroll. Girl looks good. Good and ready.
(Hint: It’s the Crocs)
And speaking of these things, Top Chef finally returns tonight! Until then, play the Match the Tattoo game! (guess they didn’t have enough Croc-wearers for a Match the Crocs game. Shame)
And if you still need more Wes Anderson you can check out a recent profile done on him by New Yorker (subscription required), and if you’re feeling a little less elitist, then click over and read Videogum’s effusive praise for Fantastic Mr. Fox. Agreed!
More later y’alls!
Yeah, we went with that title. Give us a break, it’s early on a Monday, and it’s not fair to expect words of beauty.
Anyway, we contributed another post to the Awards Picks Red Carpet Blog, this time in praise/reverence of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Long story short, I loved Up, but I also loved this movie, and now I’m confused.
Now off to play some Whackbat.
What a roll Terry Gross is on! First, last Friday she had on Judd Apatow, and today she welcomed another auteur, Mr. Wes Anderson. Now I can connect Apatow, Gross and Anderson on the 2nd Level of the Judd Apatow Chart!
Anderson joined Gross of Fresh Air to talk about his new stop-motion masterpiece Fantastic Mr. Fox (when I say masterpiece it sounds sarcastic, but it’s not intended to be. The film is truly excellent). The Texan native talks about what drew him to the Roald Dahl book, how he unknowingly based some characters on himself and his older brother, and how they turned to Bob Fosse for inspiration. Terry Gross talks about cat postcards.
Listen here–> Wes Anderson Covers New Ground with “Mr. Fox”
Say what you want about Wes Anderson (and a lot has already been said), but he is one of the true visionary geniuses working today. He gets a lot of criticism for his obsessive devotion to the most minute details. But it’s one thing have an obsessive devotion to the most minute details, and it’s another thing to have an obsessive devotion to the most minute details and create these unbelievably vivid, unique, and charming worlds. He has begun to reuse the same tropes and devices, but they are his tropes and devices, and how many directors have created such a distinct style with such a small sample of work? Not many.
And if you still want more Anderson and details on Fox, here’s a behind the scenes featurette:
Unfortunately, Gross will not be hosting one of our favorite writer-directors tomorrow. Well, you can’t hit a home run everyday.