Down and Outlaw

Cyrus Garza in Outlaw

I guess it all comes down to where you stand on Jimmy Smits. Me? I’m ambivalent. Let’s review.

He first showed up in L.A. Law as a Victor Sifuentes. I didn’t watch much L.A. Law. In the world of Steven Bochco, I was more of a Hill Street Blues guy.

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The Dowager Duchess

I’ve just read this fascinating interview with the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire in The Guardian.

The Duchess is the last of the Mitford sisters–a set with which I was only peripherally familiar.  Still a life on the interwebs means I’m able to fill in the gaps fairly quickly.

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Scotch Terriers

Shaggy and Scrappy

Another day, another TV pilot reviewed. Terriers is one of those shows that defies programming logic. It doesn’t belong on the air and yet here it is. It doesn’t have a well-known cast. It doesn’t have a unique premise. There is nothing original about the entire enterprise.

So how does a show like this get made? Well it’s chock full of talent. Industry talent. The kind of talent that gets shows made. Shawn Ryan is the big name to notice here. Ryan created The Shield which was the first breakout hit for FX Networks. Ryan helped put FX on the map for original drama. It even won an Emmy for Best Drama Series.

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Why Nikita?

Maggie Q as Nikita

Maggie Q as Nikita

There have been several incarnations of Nikita and I’ve seen them all.

The original movie Nikita came out in 1990. It was directed by Luc Besson and released in the US as La Femme Nikita. If Luc Besson ever went on Mastermind, his specialist subject would be ‘Style over Substance’. I must have seen it as a video rental back in the day. It’s a fine movie with a great central performance from Anne Parillaud.

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Dork Scratchings

King Dork by Frank Portman

I just finished reading King Dork by Frank Portman. Frank Portman is the lead singer and songwriter for a pop-punk band called The Mr. T Experience that I have never heard of and I’ve heard of a lot of bands (although not a lot of pop-punk bands, it seems).

The Mr. T Experience have released 10 studio albums over the past 25 years with titles like Milk Milk Lemonade and Revenge is Sweet, and So Are You.

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He’s An X-Box. I’m More Atari.

I remember when.

I remember, I remember when I lost my mind…

It was the Summer of 2006 and “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley owned the world. It was a joyous piece of pop that seemed to spring out of nowhere. You know the original, but here’s one of my favourite cover versions by The Kooks for you to play while you’re reading.

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Wolf Hall and the Man Booker Prize

In the past 41 years, 43 books have been awarded the Booker Prize, now called the Man Booker Prize. As of last night, I have read 27 of the 43 which is a pretty fair hit rate. Of the last 25 winners, I have read 21 (sorry, Barry Unsworth).

A selection of Bookers. How many have you read?

All that means is, I’m a sucker for awards. I’m the reason they give out literary awards. Statistics prove that I am more likely to buy a book by an author I have never read if it wins the Booker.

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It’s Only A Cat

I’m loving this story more than I should. It’s a terrible evil thing this woman has done. Clearly she is some kind of sociopath… and yet… every time I watch the video I chortle.

You’ll find better versions of this video online where it’s been edited down. Versions where you only see the evil act itself with none of the build-up, but this is the original and it’s glorious.

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Hey. What About Shlomo?

I appreciate this may not be everyone’s cup of cocoa. It’s an animated movie based on a little-known comic book. With zombies.

It’s not even an actual movie yet. David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club and the forthcoming remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is involved as producer and Paul Giamatti is on board as the voice of Franky. Continue reading

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“The Reveal” Vs “The Trying Out”

When I was young, I would get presents. For birthdays and suchlike. In most instances there are two distinct phases of the present.

The first is “the reveal”. The present is a surprise. You don’t know what it’s going to be. There may be clues such as your relationship with the present-giver or the weight and shape of the present, but the excitement of this phase reaches its peak when the paper is ripped off and the nature of the present is revealed.

Who among us can forget the thrill of getting exactly what you wanted or the nauseating disappointment of not?

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