I Just Love Him Ok; Also, Television
October 10, 2013 § 1 Comment
This morning Chris and I were shopping for batteries or whatever at the CVS, and while pursuing the Halloween section (there are few things I love more than spooky black and orange plastic shit), I came across this pumpkin-ghost-spider guy, who just stole my heart. I don’t even know why. If I were ever to be murdered by a reanimated lead-painted plastic Halloween drug store figurine, I would hope it would be by him. I mean that face! It’s like he’s looking right into my soul.
In other news, Chris and I have been searching for a Breaking Bad replacement (although the show never really imprinted on me, there sure was a lot of it to watch, leaving a gaping Saul Goodman-shaped hole in our evenings once it was over). We’ve spent the last two weeks re-watching the first few seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race (I could not recommend that show highly enough; Ru gives the contestants all kinds of excellent life tips, for example, what other people think of you isn’t your business, plus drag queens are a better example for girls than weak-ass Disney Princesses), and have revisited both seasons (excuse me, both SERIES) of Ricky Gervais’ Extras.
On the recommendation of my lovely and amazing former PhD advisor, we also watched Gervais’ newest show Derek, which focuses on a slow but kind-hearted retirement home worker of the same name. Derek is a strange, sweet little show that critics don’t seem to know what to do with, but which Chris and I loved. It got me in the first “making of” episode, in which Gervais admits that Derek is his hero — there is nothing ironic about anything he says, nor is there anything ironic about what any of the other characters say. This is a show free of irony, as Gervais explains in this making-of interview, cued to 2:22 (the bit with the dog is just perfect):
Which isn’t to say that the show is overly precious. In one of the funniest scenes of the whole series, homeless alcoholic Kev scrawls dirty words on some crabs:
The real punchline comes a scene or two later, when the home’s caretaker Dougie (played by Karl Pilkington, Gervais’ real-life comic foil) reveals that after Kev’s stunt, he had to spend the day scrubbing ‘twat’ off a crab. “I bet you’ve never heard that sentence before,” he says.
I have no problem admitting that I was teary-eyed pretty much throughout the series, it was just so humane and gentle (qualities that are not mutually-exclusive to vulgarity and crassness; welcome to the human condition). At one point, Chris turned to me and said “this show is kinder than I am,” at which point we both completely lost it (it didn’t help that this song was playing over the credits). Yes sure maybe a few scenes here and there were a bit mawkish (I could have done without the stuff about Derek’s estranged dad), but I believed that Gervais believed in what he was doing, so who cares. Sometimes it is nice to just enjoy the niceness of something.
Speaking of exactly NOT that, Chris and I also started watching the third season of American Horror Story, one of the meanest and most sexually hateful series I have ever had the misfortune of cringing through. I was curious about this season (for those who don’t know, every season tells a different ghost/horror story with different characters played by many of the same actors from previous seasons) because it’s about witches and stars Kathy Bates plus the always perfect Jessica Lange. And I really like spooky-scary stories, especially around Halloween.
But dear god I felt like I needed to take a shower after I watched the first episode. First, three words: slavery torture porn. Second, for co-creator Ryan Murphy (yes the same Ryan Murphy behind Glee), sex is a tool of torture — it is humiliating, violent, and in the opening episode of the series, an actual curse. The single act of consensual sex (which resulted in the unintentional murder of the male participant) was flanked by not just one but two stylized rape scenes, plus a scene that could only be described as supernatural sexual assault. And yet the critics looove this series, which I do not understand — it’s not even that fun to hate watch, and half the time doesn’t make any goddamned sense (please see nonsensical Nazi/alien/Frankenstein/devil subplots from last season).
In conclusion, television. It is the worst of times, it is the best of times. Now go watch RuPaul’s Drag Race.