Yesterday was Smallville and Buffy and verily they did not please me entirely, because they are de-Clexifying everything and it's not working. That story should have worked far better than it did because the end was genuinely chilling.
However, today was Angel and The West Wing and these both pleased me greatly. And lo, I am pleased *g*
I spent the first 10 minutes of the West Wing thinking "Why the hell are they talking about the *weather*?"
Torrential downpours in the Pacific North-West. RIght. I didn't understand half of what went on in that episode because of continuity issues. I only realised the joy of download sometime around when Sam left. The plot made me uneasy, though, given today's news reports.
Nevertheless, I was happy to see Danny, as I have been for the past couple of weeks, and I was delighted to see that Sorkin can still make me flinch: the scenes at the end with Ron and Leo (excellent work from both actors, particularly John Spencer) and the scene at the house with Andi and Toby were painful and I mean that as a compliment.
I thought the editing of the shot to Massive Attack's Angel was masterly, although I wasn't sure that the monochrome blipverts were anything more than a bit of stylistic pretension from someone who has seen one too many Radiohead videos.
Massive Attack's work is so sinister, arresting and beautiful that I am surprised I don't hear more of it in films.
Robert Del Naja is one of the foremost anti-war protesters in Britain, which is yet more proof of Sorkin's liberal credentials, I suppose. < g >I believe he was also pulled in as part of the same Operation Ore raids which netted Pete Townshend of The Who but there was found to be even less cause to prosecute in his case than there was in Townshend's, though I may be recalling that incorrectly.
(I meant to say on your LJ, SEP, the reason Townshend was placed on the sex offender's register, even though the police accepted his reasoning for being on those sites, is that paying money to access the pictures and viewing the pictures are in themselves criminal offences. Being placed on the register, in that context, was a lighter punishment than he might have been given.)
Massive Attack also works well as a sinister background rumble because the words are often simplistic, banal or both. The simple approach works beautifully for "The Hymn of the Big Wheel", which is one of those songs I want to burn to CD and give to everyone I like, but it works less well for Special Cases.
Special Cases is one of those songs where you wish the lyrics were in some dead language you didn't understand, like Aramaic or proto-Indo-European so you could imagine they were weighty and beautiful and whispered of love and death.
Anyway, to veer back post-tangent: I enjoyed the episode but dread the cliffhanger next week.
As for Sorkin leaving, we'll see how it turns out. I imagine there are enough talented TV writers out there who can ape his mannered, if brilliant, style but I fear the levels of network interference if WW loses its name writer and one of the big producers. Perhaps Bartlet will defect to the Republican party and that's the constitutional crisis they're talking about. Blair joined the Tories here in everything but name and no one said a thing.
Perhaps next season all the storylines could be about the benefits of slackening gun control, drilling for oil in Alaska and how the entire TV media is controlled by evil liberals who seek only to corrupt our children's minds. Over here you can replace "evil liberals who seek..." with the BBC and you've got every single Daily Mail media story EVER. (I know whereof I speak. I worked for those bastards.)
I popped over to the TWoP threads for the first time ever to see what the consensus was; subsequently, my consensus was that I would not be going to the TWoP threads again.
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Angel was wonderful, if a little odd. The reason it is was so great was the resolution of the Connor plotline and the brain-melting despair of Connor. VK and DB earned their cash with that one.
The way it all resolved itself, and the way that each piece clicked into place with a relentless, ironic and cruel logicality (and let's face it, I was ignoring any illogicality by that stage because I was loving it) really made me happy.
I can see why they pitched it as a semi-pilot. If they could concentrate on Wes/Lilah, on giving us a Gunn who is powerful and a Fred who is ever-so-slightly unhinged (preferably shading into a 'ship with Willow, but that feels like asking too much), keep Lorne doing his camp thing and let Cordelia just...go, I will be happy. I can't believe I didn't watch more of this this year.
* * *
Sometimes I think I should write about my personal life in here, but that would presuppose that I have one.
I can, however, build cupboards, tile and surreptitiously dump stones and discarded cans of paint into someone else's skip at 1am in the morning, thus sparing myself the cost of having them removed, while being watched by a very curious fox.
I think these would be sufficient qualifications for a change of career from journalist to cowboy builder.
I would certainly earn more. Yeehaw.