Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Studio 60 Sanctimony

"Sin City" was on over the weekend, so I watched it again. God, it's so frustrating! I loved the comics, but the movie, while translating the images with awesome fidelity, creates an absolutely unique visual experience, then kills it with these awful performances. I mean, even reliably good performers, like Bruce Willis, just seem to sleepwalk through this movie. Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro are simply awful, Owen killing any suspense with a plodding performance and Del Toro taking what should be a fascinatingly scary character, a flirty-funny dude who can explode at any moment in frightening ways, and yoking him with this goofy voice that turns him into a boring prop-that-talks.

Heroes (Freudian typo - I originally typed "Herpes" - silly qwerty) is about to hit what we thought would be the big climactic showdown with Sylar, but looks like it's just going to be another twist. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm finding that, week by week, I keep watching "Wheel of Heroes" not because I enjoy it so much, but because I want to be there when it turns cool. There's so much pent-up potential in these characters, and I want them to start realizing some of it. It's like watching some dude drive a dragster through a school zone at the speed limit; at some point, you know he's got to open up the throttle and let it rip, and you just wish he'd get to it already.

And Studio 60...


The two-parter in Pahrump, Nevada summarizes everything that's good and bad about this show. The cast of interesting characters played by appealing actors (Stephen Weber, who I thought was just adequate on Wings, is awesome here) gets into an amusing scrape, which rachets up through complication after complication into a potentially hilarious situation, only to fall flat because all the characters turn sanctimonious and preachy. The sermon du jour: gay marriage, with a side order of War Is Dangerous.

And on the subject of gay marriage, let me briefly dip my toe into these oh-so-treacherous waters. Mary Katharine Ham got pretty close to summing up my feelings on the subject here when she said:

I don't think all the pro-traditional-marriage amendments would have been so widely supported had conservatives not resented the redefinition of a long-standing social institution being imposed upon them by the courts and a small community of activists. It was "The Interference" more than "The Gay,"...

For my own part, I'm an atheist. I don't have a religious objection to homosexuality. But I recognize that marriage, in its various forms, has been a staple of basically every culture across the world thoughout history, and in about all of them I've ever heard of, the basic unit is man and woman. Not necessarily one-and-one, but male and female.

And suddenly, in the past couple of years, I'm being told that people want to change the meaning of this word I've known all my life, and furthermore, that if I object to this sudden political redefinition of one of the basic building blocks of civilization, I'm a terrible person. I'm a Nazi. I'm a slaver. I'm Evil Incarnate.

Dude, I just want you to leave the word alone. Sure, everything changes. According to Wikipedia, ketchup was originally the name for a Chinese fish sauce. But not everything has to change now.

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