AGENT COULSON ISN’T DEAD, YO
I’m not a person who puts much truck into “spoilers,” because I’m an old-school entertainment consumer. Back in 1980, I […]
Mad Men returns after a seventeen month scheduled hiatus full of insider machinations and salary negotiations that would have made Machiavelli pause for breath. In honor of its return, former advertising and marketing professional-turned-comic book writer and publisher Larry Young channels his inner Will Ferrell and instead of doing a full Mexican telenovella straight, answers Jon Hamm’s interview questions from Playboy:
Back in the late 90s and early aughts, I was good pals with Darick Robertson. Time passes, the gears of the clock turn; folks go off into the world and the responsibility of family takes precedence over, say, hypothetically, killing a bottle of whiskey with your friend and talking about making comics better with sharp talon of pen and ninja word powers and sheer dint of enthusiasm. Hypothetically.
Maybe I’ve had an extremely blessed existence, or something, but any song I’d choose as “Best Love Song Ever” would highlight unbearable happiness as well as the unbearable pain but I allow that may just be me. Love’s a two-sided coin, and any “Best Love Song Ever” would have to hit both sides, for me.
My friend Jon Hastings pointed out a couple weeks back about how unlikely it would be that the SFPD would be the ones to track down a perp in a Colma graveyard, and I went through some heavy mental contortions to try to convince him that of course they have no jurisdiction, but in hot pursuit a case could be made and he begrudgingly agreed. But last night was such a mess of not-even-trying-to-get-it right that from now on I’m not even going to point out the geographical and cultural differences between San Francisco and the “San Francisco” in which this show is set, because they’re not really even trying. And by “from now on” I mean “after this one.”
I really, really want to like Alcatraz, but it’s just not the English major Super Bowl that LOST was. One of the drawbacks of the Alcatraz set-up is that it’s the anti-LOST. The reverse of the LOST premise. Instead of wondering what’s happening to all the pretty people on the mysterious Island, we’re wondering what’s happening with the premise. Instead of cluing in on approachable characters, who the audience roots for to solve the mystery that unfolds in puzzle pieces, in Alcatraz the audience is presented a mystery and then doled out characters who themselves are puzzle pieces in the strange goings-on. If these two shows were desserts, LOST would be a great big cake with a gooey inside, and Alcatraz would be a collection of eggs, flour and sugar on the counter which will be a tasty cake someday with a little application of effort. I’m not saying it’s not a cake; it’s just not a cake yet. Which I suppose is appropriate for a show that hinges on time-travel of some sort.
One of the easiest ways to get the audience on your side right away is to put a little kid into jeopardy. Parents will freak out and join the story right away for obvious reasons, and everyone else recognizes the drama inherent when there is an innocent in trouble. But it’s a cheat. It’s like Brad Pitt showing up on Friends during sweeps week; it’s like having a 20 year old Dominican pitching your Little League game. It happens, and the that’s how the world works, but folks paying attention find it distasteful nonetheless.