Monday, March 20, 2006

What have you been watching, reading, listening to?

The Sopranos (Warning: Spoilers!)
Let's leave the comments thread free of Sopranos spoilers just in case someone hasn't seen yet, but I'll throw in my 2 cents worth here, so scroll down past this entry if you're waiting to catch last night's episode later in the week.

I thought it was a really fabulous episode, better than last week. I loved the metaphorical "who am i?" story that ran parallel. And I thought that Edie Falco was tremendous--displaying that kind of grief the situation called for but with lots of other emotions ornamenting it: frustration with AJ, contempt for her friend whose name I can't remember. Here's my problem: if Tony doesn't come back, and soon, I'm going to be disappointed. He is easily the most multi-dimensional character, whose perspective and particular self-understanding have framed our entire experience of the show. This is not a story-driven mob plot, the Sopranos. At its best it's a character study, and while some of the other characters are well formed and fascinating, Tony is the show. All that to say, let's bring him out of this coma, sans brain damage, and soon. I'll watch the others jockey around for power position for a week or so, but that's not really why I like the show. Couldn't help but notice that he didn't appear in any of the coming-next-week scenes.

Lastly, I hope they're not preparing to make AJ suddenly a completely different person than we already know him to be. His threats were kind of creepy, but if the show pursues them and makes him out to be anything other than fundamentally bungling then they're making a mistake.

Al Gore on Film
Just finished reading a story in The American Prospect on Al Gore, and it included this bit of info I didn't know about.
On May 26, Paramount Pictures will release “An Inconvenient Truth,” a made-for-theatres version of Gore’s digitized global-warming movie presentation. (Hundt says Gore views global warming as “the biggest challenge this species ever faced, the ultimate nightmare of technology, the ultimate nadir of pure capitalism unfettered.”) Deadening as it sounds -- Gore giving a slideshow on climate change -- the film received a standing ovation at Sundance and excellent reviews that seemed to leapfrog consideration of the work and trigger a larger reassessment of the man. The Village Voice’s Amy Taubin called him Sundance’s Celeb of the Week, and marveled at all the attendees saying, “He’s so amusing. Why wasn’t he more like that when he was running?” Kim Voyner at was similarly appreciative, writing, “Gore is surprisingly entertaining, peppering the salad of scientific facts he serves up with sparks of humor, wit, and insight that frankly, I didn’t know he had in him.”
More info on the film here.

South Park Online
The South Park Scientology episode--reportedly canned this week because Tom Cruise threatened not to promome his new movie if they ran it again (he denies that) is not only going to air next week thanks to all the publicity, it's also posted online for all to see (via Volokh Conspiracy). You need a pretty good and fast connection to make it work. But while you're at it, make it a double feature and watch my favorite SP episode: "All About Mormons"

Weekend Box Office
1 V for Vendetta
2 Failure to Launch
3 The Shaggy Dog (is Tim Allen on drugs again?)
4 She's the Man
5 The Hills Have Eyes

Poker on the tube
An article on Newsweek/MSNBC recently called poker the third most-watched televised sport, behind car racing and football. I watch 3 or 4 programs a week. What/how often are YOU watching?

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