Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TV on Paper: Thomas Pynchon and Perry Mason

But Roseman had also spent a sleepless night, brooding over the Perry Mason television program the evening before, which his wife was fond of but toward which Roseman cherished a fierce ambivalence, wanting at once to be a successful trial lawyer like Perry Mason and, since this was impossible, to destroy Perry Mason by undermining him. Oedipa walked in more or less by surprise to catch her trusted family lawyer stuffing with guilty haste a wad of different-sized and colored papers into a desk drawer. She knew it was the rough draft of The Profession v. Perry Mason, A Not-so-hypothetical Indictment, and had been in progress for as long as the TV show had been on the air.

"You didn't use to look guilty, as I remember," Oedipa said. They often went to the same group therapy sessions, in a car pool with a photographer from Palo Alto who thought he was a volleyball. "That's a good sign, isn't it?"

"You might have been one of Perry Mason's spies," said Roseman. After thinking a moment he added, "Ha, ha."

-- Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, 1966.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tough Talk 101: The Equalizer, 'Lady Cop', 16 October 1985.

"You. Are. Scum! You are scum! You make everything you touch dirty! And you've made me lower than you are. And that, I will not forgive. I do not forgive! I do not forgive!"

Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) has a word with Officer Nick Braxton (Will Patton) in The Equalizer, 'Lady Cop', 16 October 1985 (with a story written by Kathryn Bigelow, anticipating her later Blue Steel (1989)).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Killing Osama bin Laden, and David Mamet's Special Ops Drama, 'The Unit'

The Unit, 'Old Home Week', 31 October 2006.

In response to any criticism of major military action, David Mamet's 'The Unit' makes sure we target two threats to global security: 1) terrorists who would disrupt the democratic world, 2) the democratic world. (Plus: Jon Hamm as Bizarro peacenik Don Draper).

Read the article at Popmatters: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/column/141482-killing-osama-bin-laden-and-david-mamets-the-unit/

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On, you huskies!: Yukon King

"See there, your master's left you behind. Why don't you go home? Go on home! Think you're pretty smart, huh? Well, I'm smarter than any dog... mind if I stretch my legs a little bit? Don't growl at me. We're friends, partners. Get down! Get down!

Well, there's no sense of us sitting here staring at each other. Let's get a little shut-eye... Alright, so I wasn't sleeping..."

Bowker (Gregg Barton) in a battle of wits with Yukon King (King) in Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, 'Last Mail From Last Chance', 10 November 1955.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Storytelling in the Squared Circle: WWE RAW, 9 May 2011.

James Caldwell @ PWTorch on WWE RAW, 9 May 2011:

"Lowest common denominator all over the place with focus on race and stereotypes being the only thing that separated the competitors. Not who's the better wrestler or who's won the most matches, but who has the wrong skin color or heritage. WWE at its worst."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tough Talk 101: Gunsmoke, 'Kite's Reward', 12 November 1955.

"Listen, you. I've seen your kind before. You stand around in saloons suckin' up strong talk and cheap whiskey 'til you get the idea that you're a man. But don't let that fool ya. You came in here as nothin' and you go out as nothin'. And all the talk you hear and the whiskey you drink doesn't fill you out one little bit. Now get out of here. Go sit in the dark where you belong."

Matt Dillon (James Arness) greets Joe Kite (James Griffith), visitor to Dodge City, in Gunsmoke, 'Kite's Reward' 12 November 1955.