Tuesday, May 21, 2013
What did I know about "Arrested Development" however? Virtually nothing. I knew it lasted three seasons on Fox and was canceled because of low ratings. I knew that the musical group Arrested Development sued and settled over the use of the name. I knew that it starred Jason Bateman, and that Ron Howard was somehow involved. That's it. Until very recently, I had never even seen one episode of "Arrested Development."
What confounded me the most is that there are cast members who are on other shows or other endeavors who I think are hysterical. There's Jessica Walter in "Archer," Portia de Rossi in "Better Off Ted," Michael Cera in some things, and David Cross in everything - yet in "Arrested Development," it's as if they are performing at a funeral.
I tried. I got through seventeen episodes before giving up, and not submitting to masochism. I just don't get it. The new season will be available on Netflix starting this Sunday, May the 26th.
Monday, May 20, 2013
This is a gut punch to me as strong as the passings of John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, or Warren Zevon. Ray Manzarek is a voice from my youth. I wasn't cognizant for the first coming of the Doors, but their revival in the late 1970s, due to many factors, was strong in my formation.
There was, and is, some hardcore realist inside me that knows that Morrison was just a sullen alcoholic bully, but it was Ray Manzarek that created the legend, wove the tale, built the rock god, and manifested the Lizard King from the ground up. Whatever Jim Morrison was, Ray Manzarek made him.
I remember listening to Jim Ladd and his Sunday night "Innerview" interviewing Ray Manzarek multiple times, as he told apocryphal and supernatural tales of Jim Morrison, building the legend word by word. Manzarek talked of the Native American shaman who possessed Morrison as a child, the concept that he might not be dead, and all sorts of fantastic stories of the legendary Doors, fact and fiction. And he did it all the finesse of a master radio manipulator. Ray Manzarek would've made Orson Welles jealous with these performances.
For decades, Manzarek kept the infamous Doors alive, both on radio, and in sales, as he maintained his own career as well. He created a wonderful rendition of "Carmina Burana" with Philip Glass, as well as producing several albums for LA punk band X. He also worked with Echo and the Bunnymen and Iggy Pop among others, and even toured with Ian Asbury of The Cult in place of Morrison in a version of the Doors.
His charismatic personality, his fabulous storytelling ability, and his unique keyboard creations will live on for decades to come. We have truly lost one of the rock and roll legends. Long live Ray Manzarek and the Doors. Hopefully he's jamming with the Lizard King right now.
We all (well, all of us of a certain age) have that one 45 RPM single that enticed us into the world of listening to the radio, that one single that we heard and then had to own. For me, and for many of my friends in the summer of 1977, it was "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day. I remember first hearing it on WIFI-92 FM and then having to have the single.
Alan O'Day passed away this weekend after a six month battle with brain cancer. He also wrote, among many others, the haunting and enigmatic "Angie Baby" for Helen Reddy. We've lost yet another icon of the 1970s.
I have talked about my issues with the amazing "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" being canceled here before. I had resolved not to bitch about the new series "Avengers Assemble" until I actually saw it.
Here's thirty-one seconds that have made me nothing but depressed:
"Earth's Mightiest Heroes" made me excited, every image I saw, every clip I watched, made me so excited for the series. This does nothing for me. And the Falcon talking like a teenaged reject from Jeph Loeb's "Ultimate Spider-Man" really makes me not want to even try to watch this thing…
A sneak peek of the first two episodes airs on Sunday morning, May 26th, so we can all see for ourselves. I don't have high hopes…
Friday, May 17, 2013
After a pretty dynamic escape, wishy-washily aided by Diggle, Oliver jumps from character to character playing emotional catch up. There's a real sense of finality to it all. Tommy to potential villain, Laurel to potential girlfriend, Quentin to potential ally, everything but Arrow to the rescue. There's a nice bit while Felicity is taken in for questioning, and she channels "Smallville"'s Chloe to Detective Lance, saying maybe The Hood is a hero.
The one thing that really bothered me about this episode was the lack of resolution, both on the island, and in the present. While the thinking behind Merlyn's redundancy plan is sound and logical, it's very unsatisfying storywise. I don't want to see the hero lose. Maybe that's something they can work in next season...