Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Random rants

This is what happens when I bang out a blog post at 1 AM.  I take no responsibility if nothing makes sense. 

Is there a show where Titus Welliver isn’t the bad guy?  He's a good actor but seriously, it's getting ridiculous.  There’s not one other heinous guy in Hollywood? Where’s Dabney Coleman? The sniveling Nazi from RAIDERS? Wile E. Coyote? Ann Coulter?

In a recent episode of GIRLS, Hannah’s lowlife boyfriend takes another girl home, coerces her into having painful anal sex then masturbates on her. And this is the Golden Globe COMEDY of the year.

I saw Mel Brooks in a Japanese restaurant yesterday. No punchline. Just that I saw Mel Brooks. How fucking cool is that?!

HuffingtonPost headline: Air Traffic Controller Furloughed Just 1 Week After Winning Safety Award.

HBO has cancelled ENLIGHTENED. Maybe if Laura Dern was naked in every episode and none of the characters liked each other they’d still be on the air.

Annie’s writing partner Jon wondered if David Isaacs and I were going to create After SMASH.

Another HuffPost Headline: Bruno Mars: 'Sex Is A Great Party Starter'. Yeah, if you're Bruno Mars.  If you're a skinny Jewish kid you rent a disco ball and hope for the best. 

There will be not one but two reality shows where stars jump off the high dive board. SPLASH on ABC (and when that fails – AfterSPLASH) and the better-titled CELEBRITIES IN DANGER on Fox. Among the major superstars participating: Nicole Eggert, Ndamukong Suh, Kim and Kyle Richards, and this I gotta see – Louie Anderson diving off the high board.

Sunday night is the premiere of the Phil Spector biopic starring Al Pacino on HBO.  Written and directed by David Mamet (Shoshanna's dad) it supposedly disregards all the actual facts of Phil's murder trial and you've got Pacino in a fright wig.   With any luck, this could be his most over-the-top out-of-control absurd performance yet.  I can't wait!

Considering how THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE bombed at the boxoffice, perhaps Steve Carell should beg the producers of THE OFFICE to let him back on for the final episode.

For many sports fans this is the best weekend of the year – March Madness begins tomorrow with an orgy of college basketball tournament games, and baseball fans can turn from the World Baseball Classic to the more meaningful exhibition spring training split-squad B-games.

MODERN FAMILY executive producer Dan O'Shannon reads from his book, WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?  A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE COMEDIC EVENT tonight at the Barnes & Noble at the Grove in West L.A.  I'll see ya there. 7 pm.

The spin-off of ONCE UPON A TIME is taking shape. It will be set in the parallel worlds of Fantasyland and Scientology.

And finally...

How big a deal was the World Baseball Classic (held every four years)? The day before the championship game tickets were $8. More people care about the finale of CUP CAKE WARS.

In an earlier game between those hated rivals Canada & Mexico there was a huge brawl.  SFGate baseball writer, Henry Schulman wrote, "Yeah, there'll be some big suspensions in 2017." 

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Annie’s writing partner Jon wondered if David Isaacs and I were going to create After SMASH.

Full of win!

The Curmudgeon said...

The WBC was a lot of fun and 15 out of 16 participating nations took it seriously. Someone suggested to me that, for 2017, if the schedule is going to remain the same, the U.S. should use D1 pitchers -- whose arms are more stretched out at this time of year and who could have an opportunity to attract scouts' interests and enhance future contracts -- and use MLB position players. Preferably MLB position players who can hit.

Maybe we should just field an all-college team against the world's pros. It was pretty exciting when that was the case in Olympic basketball -- and the U.S. still dominated in a game invented here.

How would you tweak the WBC, Ken? Or are you a hater?

Johnny Walker said...

I guess this's Mamet's biggest production since his conversion to pro-Romney, anti-gun control, anti-Obama, anti-British, conspiracy theorist lunacy.

Phil Spector x Al Pacino x David Mamet = Insanity x Insanity x Insanity!

It cannot be boring! :)

Tudor Queen said...

Titus Welliver played a good guy - an honorable cop in a special task force in the NYPD in the series "Big Apple". It was pretty good. It tanked.

I'd say, given the complex morality of the show "Deadwood" that his Silas Adams was a reasonably good guy.

Jaspar said...

"Annie’s writing partner Jon wondered if David Isaacs and I were going to create After SMASH."


The nerve of Jon to make such a comment. You have every right to "rant" about such an insensitive remark!

benson said...

Maybe we should just field an all-college team against the world's pros.

And maybe get Al Michaels for the call. "Do you believe in miracles?..." Oh, nevermind

Ane said...

After Smash: Where they all give up and become drama teachers.

Ray Heiden said...

If I were in the neighborhood (and I used to live in Las Vegas) and knew that Louie Anderson was about to jump in any pool, I would don an overcoat, put on galoshes and sport an umbrella.

(Not only can I not prove that I'm a robot, I cannot prove that I'm from an identifiable planet.)

Keith said...

David Mamet writing Phil Spector's dialogue?

"It's called the Wall of Sound. The method, that is. It's a method using layered tracks, you see. That's what produces the Wall of Sound. Would you like to hear it? An example, I mean. Would you like to hear an example of the Wall of Sound".

Hmm....

Mark P said...

Malcolm McDowell is still getting the bad-guy roles he's so good at.

And if you want someone to portray a long-lost father, James Brolin is apparently the go-to guy this year.

Ron said...

I had more interest in the CBI "play-in" game than the WBC. Cute concept at the time. But now it's time to put that baby to bed.

Mac said...

"In a recent episode of GIRLS, Hannah’s lowlife boyfriend takes another girl home, coerces her into having painful anal sex then masturbates on her. And this is the Golden Globe COMEDY of the year."
By this logic, "Backdoor Babes 5" should do great at the WGA's.

There's an article in Newsweek/Daily Beast by a guy who was shooting a documentary on Phil Spector's trial. That humongous wig was Spector's idea of a joke - he thought it would make the jury laugh and in their joyous laughter they might forget the whole woman-brutally-murdered thing. Which is taking optimism to a whole new level.

Laurie Gelman said...

Yeah, I used to see Mel Brooks at Juniors. It's a beautiful thing.

Anonymous said...

I think Ken's point was that a girl being coerced into painful anal sex isn't particularly comedic. Not that it was pornographic.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Marc Maron interviewed both Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner (separately) a couple of weeks ago. Good stuff, and you could tell Maron was thrilled/honored at the opportunity (and I think he did a nice job with each). I haven't listened to the recently posted Dick Van Dyke interview yet.

Lorimartian said...

Re SMASH, it's unfortunate for Katharine McPhee that her big break came on a show that also features the incredibly talented Megan Hilty, to whom McPhee can't hold a candle.

The Lifeguard said...

I'm sorta hoping that somebody comes up with a show called SPLAT. A show about celebrities whose career has taken a real nosedive and they can't fill their swimming pool with water anymore.

Charles Warn said...

The DR showed us all how baseball should be played. Looking forward to 2017.

RCP said...

Now let's be fair - After Dame Maggie Smith turned down SPLASH, they had to go with second-tier stars. At 417 pounds, Louie Anderson's dive was impressive but imagine the insurance policies.

Just the thought of Mel Brooks in a Japanese restaurant is funny.

Christodoulos said...

Some of Laura Dern's tweets.

Monday. HBO sent me a DVD of LAST TANGO IN PARIS. I don't understand why.

Tuesday. HBO sent me a copy of DELIVERANCE. I don't get it.

Wednesday. HBO sent me REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. Are they trying to tell me something?

Thursday. HBO sent me the latest episodes of GIRLS. I don't think I like what they are trying to tell me.

Barry Traylor said...

I very much agree with you about Titus Welliver. He is a wonderful actor but as soon as he shows up I know his character is up to no good.
I so wish they would cast him as a nice guy once in awhile just to surprise me for a change.

Anonymous said...

Wondering why you would interpret that GIRLS scene as portraying anal sex. That's not what that was.

I remember M*A*S*H, at its worst a mawkish exercise in schmaltz, portraying much darker themes and winning the Golden Globe for Best COMEDY.

Michael Stoffel said...

Of the Mamet's, I prefer Clara on my favorite guilty pleasure, "The Neighors"

YEKIMI said...

I think I could swim a lap around Louie Anderson but I don't have all day.

BigTed said...

They made it look as if Louie Anderson was going to dive off a high board, but it was only 10 feet. He basically leaned over and fell in head-first. But they gave him a high score for degree of difficulty (as they also did for 712", 65-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), which seemed fair.

The judges expected more from the young, in-shape contestants, and as a result they almost sent the beauty queen in the hot bathing suit home -- that must have had the network executives quaking in their boots.

D. McEwan said...

I watched both of the celebrity diving shows. At least the Fox show had brains enough to use "stars" (They stretched the meaning of "Stars" thinner than Dancing with the Stars did, though tWitch will always be astar to me) who looked great in bathing suits. NBC opted for a freak show. Right off with the title, Splash. One of the things you aim for when you dive competitively (Men's diving and men's gymnastics are the ONLY sports I ever watch!) is to make as small a splash as possible. You need to cut into that water and disappear with little more than a ripple. No one managed this on the Splash premiere. A couple of the "stars" on the Fox show did. (But Greg Louganis showed he could still do it, and still looked better in a Speedo than anyone else on the show.)

Re: Louie Anderson. We used to be friends. Louie is one of the sweetest guys I've ever known who was a stand-up comic, a breed not normally known for sweetness. You can't know him and not like him. I was horrified to see he was up to 417 pounds. There was no comedy for me in seeing him plummet into a pool-emptying splash. Just horror. Louie, I beg you as a one-time-friend, lose some weight before it kills you! Please!

Ron said...

The WBC was a huge deal in Japan and the Latin American Countries. The reason the WBC isn't a big deal in America is because baseball is a regional sport and people don't think about it as a national sport. Also it was on the MLB network and ESPN did not tell sports fans to like it. It is a great event although a bit short to get true best talent winners even though the best team did win this year. ANyway just because Americans don't like something doesn't mean it isn't a great thing.

Ken Levine said...

Without the US participation there is no World Baseball Classic.

The problem is there's no good time of year to hold it, most of the best US players don't participate, players get injured, and there are participants representing countries who have never set foot in those countries.

LouOCNY said...

Ken - that happens in the Olympics as well

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I liked Titus Welliver on THE GOOD WIFE; he didn't play a *bad* guy, just a guy who happened to be on the wrong side of the story who thought his side ought to be the right one.

wg

Johnny Walker said...

Yes, they were great weren't they? I love Marc Maron's podcast!

Mary Stella said...

Someone at work asked me today if I'd watched the premiere of Splash. I thought it was a joke.

Is anyone really watching that show? Are the "celebrities" so desperate for work and exposure that they'll do absolutely anything for a gig? Do they figure their careers have tanked enough that this is sort of a reality metaphor?

I watch Good Morning America every morning. It's painful to watch the anchors when they have to promo Splash or talk about it. Today they had to interview Keeshia Knight Pulham who was the first star voted off of the show.

Could your life get any worse than being the first person booted from the least interesting reality show ever? Is Keeshia married? If so, maybe now that she's freed up from this commitment, she can audition for Celebrity Wife Swap.

Tom in Vegas said...

You might enjoy this, Ken:
http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/tv/louie-anderson-has-high-hopes-splash.

Anonymous said...

Steve Carrell is doing just fine. He will make more money from The Office residuals than you will make in your entire career.

Jerry Baylor said...

@ Anonymous:

And your point is....what? Ken said Burt Wonderstone sucked. The fact that Steve Carrell made a ton of money on The Office doesn't invalidate Ken's point. Your snarky shot that Carrell makes more money than Ken Levine also doesn't invalidate the point that Burt Wonderstone sucked. Using your logic, you could never criticize someone like Dick Cheney for war profiteering simply because he makes a lot of money doing it. Though I admit, life must be simple if your only criteria for the quality of a product is that the person who made it made a lot of money selling it.

Jake Mabe said...

Did some anonymous poster (the lowest form of scum currently on the internet, unless Roseanne has a blog) actually compare "M*A*SH" to "Girls"?

I don't know whether to laugh or puke.

Or I would say, "Hi Roseanne!" but she wouldn't know big words like "mawkish" or "schmaltz."

Jerry Baylor said...

I've never seen GIRLS, so I can't comment on the anal sex scene, other than it must have been open to interpretation (as evidenced by the fact that two people have seen it and have different interpretations). With regard to MASH, though; I loved MASH, and I've re-watched it recently on Me TV. As much as I've enjoyed it, the anonymous poster isn't wrong. At it's worst, it IS a mawkish exercise in schmaltz, more so in it's final three seasons or so as the show took on more and more of Alan Alda's personal viewpoint. The performances of the actors deteriorated, and even the ever wonderful Harry Morgan couldn't save his character from looking more and more like a caricature of the original Sherman Potter. And there's no doubt that the show won Emmys for comedy, in what essentially became a drama interspersed with comedy elements. I'm not defending GIRLS since I've never seen it, and based on all the descriptions of it I never will. I'm only saying that MASH in my opinion, as great as it was, did suffer from the very characteristics that the anonymous poster described.

jbryant said...

I agree with "Anonymous"--Adam took his girlfriend from behind, but it wasn't anal sex.

Titus Welliver played a decent guy in a first-season episode of SUITS.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken,

I'd like to ask you a Friday Question.

Please can you share your insight in how far translations usually get guidance from the original writers, if any? In Germany, every single non-german series or movie gets broadcast dubbed or, on rare occasion, subtitled. Over the years many translations (The Simpsons an often cited example) have been mocked by fans for notoriously bad translations, missing or misreading lots of jokes. Are translations generally supervised, or would this even be negotiated when something is sold to tv-stations abroad?

Thank you in advance, Anja

Ref said...

Welliver is a "pretty good" guy in The Town and Gone Baby Gone.