Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Your Weekly Viewing Assignments

Watch the following this week and discuss in the comments:

1 -- Damages: You're only a week behind, and you should be able to find the pilot on FX some time this week. Bitchin' Glenn Close and the best mystery on TV.

2 -- Mad Men: It's on AMC, not on A&E like I thought. No less than four people in the span of a day and a half told me I had to watch this show, and I'm glad they have. Watching the show made me realize how relatively seldom, on TV and in movies, the 1950s are viewed through the prism of sexism. It's halfway terrifying -- how can you fully trust anyone who displays the levels of misogyny that were so commonplace in '50s office culture -- but it's fascinating at the same time.

3 -- Weeds, season 2: It's newly to DVD, and it's required watching to get you caught up for season 3. To the best of my recollection, half the characters left off in the midst of various Mexican standoffs, while the other half were headed for various borders. Be as psyched for the new season as I am!

4 -- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: They did a really good job on this one, did they not? Lot of stuff had to get pruned away, of course, but that book was a motherfucker to adapt, and in a few areas I thought the movie might have been more successful than the book. Sacrelige, I know, but, for example, Harry's pissiness and isolation are much more sympathetic in this movie. And the Luna Lovegood character was depicted SO perfectly, I can hardly stand it. Great stuff.

So get to talking while I dig out from under this pile of recaps I haven't written. Discuss!


jessica said...

I can't comment on the first 3, but Order of the Phoenix knocked my socks off. Freakin' Imelda Staunton gave me chills, she was so deliciously evil as Umbridge. And you're right about Luna. So awesome. All in all, a spectacular adaptation and a perfect compliment to the final book.

patty m. said...

Total agreement on the Harry Potter comments, Joe. I'm a huge fan of the books and often find the movies to be slightly disappointing; however, Yates took my least favorite of the books and made it into far and away the best of the movies. I'm really looking forward to the 6th film, which he's directing.

Elena said...

Another in agreement about 'Harry Potter'. It was hard and beautiful, and the girl who played Luna was amazing - everyone I know who has seen it has commented on her. (Also, Tonks? HOT.)

What I found most interesting was that the director has never done feature films before. His background is in BBC documentaries, and I reckon it shows in the frankness of the direction: tight close-ups, less make-up and appropriately raw performances from the cast, who met the challenge very well. I hope he directs the last movie as well, because having read the book, I think he's do it brilliantly.

Deirdre said...

Everyone keeps talking about that Lynch kid as Luna and how great she was; I thought she was annoying, one-note-y and not at all like the Luna in the book.

But otherwise I pretty much agree with you on how good it was. My favourite moments had nothing to do with magic: the relationship between Harry and Sirius was so well done. Gary Oldman rocks my socks. I also think a lot of credit goes to Michael Goldenberg's screenplay; for the first time in the series, some of the dialogue improved on Rowling's. I couldn't believe that Steve Kloves, who wrote the beautiful "Wonder Boys" was responsible for the dreck that was the first four scripts, and sadly, he's coming back for the next one.

I really wish I could see "Mad Men" - I've heard nothing but good things and it sounds fantastic. Have to wait for the DVDs, I guess.

StickyKeys Says: said...

I've been recommended MadMen as well and I want to see it but something always stops me. Also, because it's on AMC I never know what day/time it's on. We'll see.

I can't do Harry Potter, I just can't, but I'm hearing this latest movie is fantastic, though not as good as the last.

Neel Mehta said...

Enjoying Mad Men thus far, but Elisabeth Moss (the newbie secretary) is all wrong for this look and setting. She strikes me as modern and anachronistic. Everyone else on that show (even recognizable faces, like Rosemarie DeWitt and John Slattery) looks pulp novel cool.

Cable is just crushing the networks these days.