Set my soul on fire

How I was unaware of this version of “Viva Las Vegas” until quite recently (well, actually, yesterday to be exact) is a bit of a mystery to me. But I have since found it, have fallen in love with it (not surprising, given who did it), and think you’ll like it too:

That bass line is… magnificent.

As it turns out

I’m not the only person who has problems with “The Bridge.” This guy goes into some greater length about the background to the series, and its problems, then viciously dissects a particularly egregious example that prompted me to start writing the post below. It turns out that “The Bridge” can be seen as less a TV drama and more as a rhetorical exercise by a particularly notorious figure in Canadian policing history — background I was wholly unaware of when I wrote my own review. So when I wondered whether “the producers [had] created this world through inattention and laziness — that it came about by accident, rather than because they wanted a framework to explore complex issues,” it turns out that my charitable explanation of laziness and stupidity was exactly that — charitable — and that the venality of the whole show is probably deliberate.

As one of the linked posts puts it:

But I’m quite confident in saying there’s barely anything in “The Bridge” that ever really happened — except to some guy with his own private movie playing in his head.

The entire series operates on a level of paranoia and self-delusion that beggars belief. Leo and his fellow officers are downtrodden and abused by all those of higher rank. Every Captain and Deputy Chief practically sneers with venality while twisting their Snidely Whiplash moustaches — and those are just the women!

Do read the whole thing; it made me feel much better. One should not get into the habit of changing a review based on information received after the fact, but this is particularly bad, so F– is now the new score for “The Bridge.”

I watched so you didn't have to

The “I Spent More Time Thinking About This Than The Guys Who Made It” Review of “The Bridge”

Back in the late 1990s and the early part of 2000s, I had a part time job as a TV critic. It was an interesting thing, inasmuch as I made a few strange acquaintances, and I discovered that fans have a lot invested in their favorite shows. It started as a labor of — well, maybe not love, but certainly as an enjoyable hobby, but because my team and I started right around the point where things started to go downhill, it quickly turned into a weekly slogfest. Things got so bad at one point where I stopped reviewing actual episodes at all, and pre-emptively wrote my snide, acerbic commentary ahead of time. (“It probably sucked, so… fuckit” was our motto towards the end.) Inevitably, we drifted away from the project — it had become too much like work-work, rather than fun-work, and life’s too short to spend doing Internet projects that cause you agony.

This may be why I have a difficult time forming attachments to television these days, and why my TV watching is almost entirely opportunistic, save for a couple of UK shows that get stolen on a regular basis.

One of the best pieces of TV I’ve seen in the past couple of years was “Battlestar Galactica,” so when I learned that Chief TyrolAaron Douglas was going to be playing a Serpico-esque cop in a new CTV series, “The Bridge,” I naturally thought I should pay attention. The pilot episode was somewhat promising, and the premise itself certainly holds a lot of potential: cop plans to clean up the department, the city, and the world, at some considerable risk to his/her own life. Yeah!

Only, you know, not so much. I’ve now watched all 11 episodes that have run on CTV this spring, and I have some… issues… with the show.

Continue reading “I watched so you didn't have to”

Encoding humor

I read this article about RCMP members flying commercially to serve as air marshals shortly after it was published last month, but somehow managed to miss what the actual URL was. And then I laughed, very hard. I think you will, too.

Pleading the Second

I’m not sure I understand the issues at work here:

“I think you’re going too far here,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday. He was speaking in opposition to a bill that would keep people on the F.B.I. terrorist watch list from buying guns and explosives.

Say what?

Yes, if you are on the terrorist watch list, the authorities can keep you from getting on a plane but not from purchasing an AK-47. This makes sense to Congress because, as Graham accurately pointed out, “when the founders sat down and wrote the Constitution, they didn’t consider flying.”

The subject of guns turns Congress into a twilight zone. People who are perfectly happy to let the government wiretap phones go nuts when the government wants to keep track of weapons permits. A guy who stands up in the House and defends the torture of terror suspects will nearly faint with horror at the prospect of depriving someone on the watch list of the right to purchase a pistol.

I give Graham partial credit for at least claiming that the enumerated rights in the Constitution (and relevant at the time of drafting) are the only ones worth defending, but I don’t suppose you’d have to work too hard to find other examples of sacred rights beloved by the GOP that aren’t specifically listed. That credit, however, does not go very far: of all the rights you want to defend, in relation to terrorists or terror suspects or people whom the government think might be possibly considering becoming terrorists, this is the right you choose to defend?

In my universe there’s a lot of political hay to be made over this. I do not live in the same universe as the Republican party, apparently.

(Note I have no specific opinion on Lautenberg’s bill itself; that’s not the point here.)