Brain Dump: Supergirl & The Flash, American Crime, Taken, Shots Fired

This and that about a few TV shows: a brain dump. This week I’m thinking about musical crossovers, hidden slavery in America, the ratio of Beals to violence, and the criminal justice system. Continue reading “Brain Dump: Supergirl & The Flash, American Crime, Taken, Shots Fired”

Review: Cake

This isn’t a review of Cake. This is a great big squee about Cake. If you haven’t seen it, watch it now. A big thank you to @joyfulng on Twitter for urging me to watch it.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Cake”

Brain Dump: Characters We Love to Hate

A brain dump is a series of short thoughts on this and that. Today I have a theme: characters we love to hate.

American Crime

The cast of American Crime. Photo © 2014 American Broadcasting Companies
Some of the cast of American Crime. Photo © 2014 American Broadcasting Companies

I have not discovered one likeable character in American Crime. Every person in the story – from the cops to the victims to the families to the criminals – is truly fucked up. I can admire the acting. I can say, “Wow, Felicity Huffman (or Timothy Hutton or Caitlin Gerard or Richard Cabral) is doing a fantastic acting job.” Huffman’s character in particular is the most distasteful person. I cannot bring myself to like her.

Since this drama is a reflection on the American legal system, on American racial (in)justice, and on American family values it makes sense that there isn’t much to like. But, dang, I wish there was some little thread to hold on to.

Nashville

Hayden Panettiere in Nashville
Hayden Panettiere in Nashville

Well, they haven’t dubbed her “The Queen of Mean” for nothing on Nashville. Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes has never been a sweetheart, but pregnancy and motherhood have turned her into a complete shrew. Why Avery (Jonathan Jackson) loves her is beyond understanding. Why her employees put up with her is a mystery. That Rayna (Connie Britton) maintains Juliette on her record label is amazing. Hayden Panettiere deserves much credit for being so convincing as a super-bitch season after season.

Scandal

Joe Morton in Scandal. Image © 2014 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Joe Morton in Scandal. Image © 2014 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

Everyone in Scandal has questionable ethics. It’s the ends, not the means, that count on Scandal. Let’s face it, neither of Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) parents are good role models. The people who work for her are truly scary. But Joe Morton as Rowan Pope has always been the worst of the worst.

Lately on the show Olivia has needed a white hat, a good guy. As Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) said in Orphan Black, she’s hoping for one good person in a corrupt world. Olivia’s having trouble finding even one good person. She’s turned on her dad, hoping to see him jailed for his multitude of crimes, but he’s so powerful he may either kill or destroy everything in Olivia’s world if she persists.

I’d hate to see Rowan Pope eliminated from this show. Joe Morton is outstanding in the part. But once in a while, even in the putrid world of Washington politics, don’t the good guys win? Or are there no good guys in Washington politics?

Watch This: Previews for Cake

Cake stars Jennifer Aniston as a woman in chronic pain. The big excitement is that she doesn’t wear any makeup in the film. Aaackk! Looking at a woman with no makeup on may cause brain damage! Are you prepared to put your brain in danger by going to see Cake?

That isn’t right. I made that up. The real truth is acting in a film without wearing makeup may lead to an Oscar. The point is, if you’re brave enough to show your face without makeup, you must be a great actress and not just some airhead from Friends.

All kidding aside, chronic pain is no joke. I deal with it. Many people do. I think the topic of the film is going to connect with a lot of people. Many people understand the agony involved in daily living with chronic pain depicted in Cake. And, yeah, give me ALL the pills.

The film also stars Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch and Britt Robertson. That’s an excellent cast. It’s directed by Daniel Barnz.

The film opens in January 2015. January is not the best month to release a film if you’re hoping for Oscar nods, but that’s the schedule.