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September 21, 2010

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Ariel

I hoping the next post is about the premiere of The Event, which asks the age old question: How do men live with themselves after doing the terrible things that time traveling aliens make them do? As far as this viewer is concerned, The Event's pilot episode passes the Darius Amos Test

Kristina

I was not previously familiar with the Darius Amos test and feel infinitely wiser now -- thank you, Ariel! I second Ariel's request for commentary on The Event, though I have not watched it yet.

This is beautifully written, Anne. I just love the way you describe what very much appears to be the most prominent organizing principle of "serious" television today. I have no interest in this show, but I'd read as many commentaries on it as you care to write.

Ben Owen

Mmmm... brains. You pin the central preoccupation of modern TV and then move on to a thoughtful and sympathetic review. My question, though: why are we so worried about how men live with the terrible things they do? What's going on? I wanna do something sweeping like blame it all on 9/11, but Tony Soprano was everybody's darling before that, before the US was at war and real men were having to deal with the truly terrible things they'd really done all the time. So what's the story?

Ben Owen

Wait, wait... to clarify... plenty of men were doing terrible things before the US was at war. I just think that's the most visible sign of something new and terrible in the popular imagination (though I have war on the brain cause it's what I'll be teaching my students about this quarter).

Anne Moore

Thanks, friends!
So I think the obsession with Sinning Men has to do with global empire more generally--the war is just the clearest example of all that gone awry. But it's like you say, Ben, it's not as if people weren't being awful to promote their own interests.
Lone Star is interesting to me because, so far, you aren't encouraged to take the kind of distance from the hero that you are in the other examples I cited above (Mad Men, Dexter, etc). James Wolk's charisma is like a hammer, so it becomes hard to think straight. Although we're meant to judge the things he does, all the blame goes on the Bad Dad. The feeling is like, "I know capitalism is bad, but I'm trapped! I just want love!"
Again, I'm curious to see if this will develop into something more nuanced. I think it can, but I'm not holding out too much hope.

99

I held off on reading this until I saw it. I finally did yesterday and it did live up to the hype and this review hits it on the head. I think one of us (maybe me, maybe you?) mentioned that TV seems to always be about maturing and this certainly has those hallmarks.

You're right that the whole show is kind of a con: Wolk's charisma and the confidence of the filmmaking convince you that this totally, obviously, utterly implausible thing is real. There's not much there there yet. I'm hoping they find a way.

Oh, and does anybody else think that Bob's dad is going to turn out to be mysterious, maybe-dead Old Uncle Roy? Dun Dun DUN!

Richard Martin

The show has given me more than enough reason to love Bob Allen. He has the most charming and adorable face, plus his way of acting there (The Lone Star) was just amazing and superb!

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