Sunday, October 02, 2011

Meager Round-Up Of TV Thoughts...

Episode one/season two of Falling Skies (written by yours truly) is now in pre-production so it's been a busy few weeks, but today the latest drafts are in, the sun is out, the Yayhoos are playing and all is more or less well...

Television-wise, I've managed to keep up with the new season of Boardwalk Empire, which is still enthralling but definitely moving at a slower pace as events (and friends) conspire against Steve Buscemi's Nucky Thompson. It's great to see Dabney Coleman back with a vengeance ("he dyes his hair!!") and Michael Kenneth Williams as "Chalky White" has become a much more complex character with the introduction of his wife and kids. The production design of this show is as much a draw as the story-telling, I continue to be impressed by the amazing attention to detail.

And Showtime's Homeland is off to an intriguing start, an updated Manchurian Candidate riff with great performances by Claire Danes and Damien Lewis. Be curious to see where this goes... it feels somewhat close-ended, but I guess that all depends on what the Manchurian Candidate fellow is planning. There is a wildly uncomfortable moment in the pilot episode between Claire Danes' character and Mandy Patinkin as her older CIA mentor/boss that sold me... Claire is one flawed heroine.

It's not new, but my other fave show at the moment is American Restoration, a Pawn Stars spin-off featuring master restorer Rick Dale and his shop of eccentrics. Basically, customers brings in beat-up old stuff (Coke machines, slot machines, old motorcycles, etc., etc.) and Rick's crew fixes 'em up like new. The "story lines" for each episode are a little silly (Brettly screws up Rick's car wash!) but I am fascinated watching these guys pull apart old, complicated mechanisms and then figure out how to make them work again. The fact that most of the machines ARE fixable is a testament to old school mechanical engineering... the complexity of a pre-electronic slot machine is something else.

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