Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We Need Another Show Like The Sopranos




The Deuce has a lot of things going for it, and this is as close as you’re going to get to actual adult programming these days:

“Who would have thought the most boring part of this whole thing would have been the fucking?”

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s prostitute turned adult filmmaker gets the line of the episode in Sunday night’s season two premiere of The Deuce, the ‘70s-set look at the sex workers and vagrants populating Times Square from The Wire’s David Simon and George Pelecanos

The quip doubles as a keen mission statement for a subtle, culturally mandated redirection in the series’ new season. To continue to merely titillate, scandalize, or expose the seediness of the sex industry, no matter what truths or humanities are revealed along the way, would be mundane to the point of problematic. 

This is a season that centers around female sex workers finding their agency, learning that they have a right to be protected, discovering their worth, and taking control of their rights and bodies. 

It’s a slight shift. Season one of the series was always headed in this direction, but season two accelerates down that path with showy purpose. And, despite his continued presence and entertaining dual performance as brothers Vincent and Frankie, you can’t help but suspect that the person—or at least the story—The Deuce is speeding away from is James Franco.

When The Sopranos appeared, it was actual adult entertainment for thinking people. It wasn’t just the sex and violence; it was the thinking that went into how the sex and the violence were used to tell the story. The same thing can be said of Breaking Bad and whatever else you like, but there is a real absence of television for thinking adults.

Anywhere you find David Simon, prepare to use your brain. My brain tells me James Franco probably isn’t going to make it to a third season, if it happens at all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Double Standard




Chris Hardwick has his gig back, and James Gunn is still out as director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

That's where we are right now. Someone can be credibly accused of sexual assault, and get back in front of a camera. A guy gets caught by some Gamergate losers making jokes a decade ago--and doesn't actually hurt someone physically--and he's unable to sit in a director's chair.

Fuck you, Hollywood. You're full of bullshit.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Look on My Works, ye Mighty, and Despair




Every monument to Trump is a symbol of folly and degradation:

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

 

At some point, there will be no buildings, no resorts, nothing that will dare feature his name. There aren't enough Rent-a-Cops in the world to guard these wretched places.