…of far more vital happenings, but I have to get this HBO Sunday night shows post out of the way before any more time passes and it takes over my brain, totally. After the jump, for those interested:
Six Feet Under:
As for me, if not and my house as well, I gave the finale mostly a thumbs up. There were points about the main part of the ep, before the epilogue, that bugged me, namely Brenda’s Amazing Giant Preemie and David’s Amazing CGI-Induced Healing. Thank goodness the baby was okay, but for a 2-month premature baby to go home in like, a week, was silly. And David’s final embrace of himself in the red-hooded sweatshirt was, I hate to say it, laughable.
But the rest? I liked it. Did it wrap everything up? I guess…but good heavens, these characters have endured enough misery. They can have some happiness – and if Nate had to die in order for that to happen – well, better him than anyone else. Well, except Keith. But that’s just my opinion.
And I did like the epilogue very much. It was entirely appropriate and sort of ingenious, to take us ahead to the deaths of all of these major characters. The best, really, was Brenda, an ancient Brenda with the white fright-hair that all the old women characters had, sitting, still, with her mentally-unbalanced brouther Billy, listening to him ramble, as she had for decades, looking as if she was thinking, "If I have to listen to him for one more minute…I’ll just die." And she does. In case you didn’t catch it, Billy was going on about Ted’s reaction to their confrontation, what, forty years before? Nice wrap.
I would like to have seen Ma Chenowith’s demise though. One of those characters whom, when she walks through the door, you just want to cheer, knowing she will say something marvelously hideous.
But really, the death of Claire expressed so powerfully what this whole, flawed, interesting series has been about. She dies an ancient woman – 103, I think, a successful photography career behind her, and the last shot of her as she lies dying is tight on her eyes – ironically blinded by cataracts. A shot which pulls back to the fresh, wide-open eyes of the young Claire, embarking upon her adult life, the open road and endless possibilities in front of her.
This show about death was always about life, and as person afflicted with ever-vague but entrenched and constant artistic impulses, those last shots gave me quite an inspirational jolt – enough for a few months at least.
And if you were a 6FU watcher – what were your favorite aspects and images in the series? Mine: the treatment of death as part of life, and as completely unpredictable, what I sensed repeatedly as a subtle anti-abortion sensibility (extending even to Ted’s comment in the finale about his own role in an abortion); Ma Chenowith, Nate jogging, everything Brenda, and especially the Nate-Brenda fights and intense conversations. Astonishing, very real energy in those scenes – absolutely draining.
Entourage: I didn’t watch this last season at all, and am only vaguely interested in it this season. Jeremy Piven is the main attraction, of course, although I’m surprised there’s any scenery left at all, considering how much it’s been chewed on. I can’t quite get the supposed male-bonding/party thing, and would like a little more sense of how this whole fantasy could disappear in an instant- but perhaps that’s coming. Hug it out.
The Comeback. If you’ve watched this show since the beginning, you might appreciate this Entertainment Weekly short blurt of a piece on The Six Stages of The Comeback: which track with my own experience of watching it pretty closely: Befuddlement, Revulsion, Anger, Addiction, Acceptance, Adulation. Well, I can’t claim that I adulate the show, but am fascinated, and usually end up watching it twice every week. What is this show about? I’m not sure. Self-delusion? Superficiality? Determination? The completely shallow world of network television? The folly of enduring constant humiliation for the sake of fame? All of the above, I’m sure. Lisa Kudrow deserves an Emmy. The guy who plays her husband deserves a CD of "Sweet Baby James." (He looks just like James Taylor, as my husband observes). Paulie G. deserves just what he got this week. Ohmyword, is this not a genius creation? Has there ever been a more hated character on a television series, especially one who has perhaps spoken 47 words in the whole season to date?
Rome: I, Claudius with more blood and skin? Or something else? I thought it was interesting, if a little more standard, artistically, than other HBO dramas. I have to say there was just the smallest moment that struck me as indicative of something real – the moment where Octavian off-handedly slaps away a slave. I realized I had never seen anything like that in a dramatic depiction of an ancient society, and it lent, in a split-second, a deeper sense of authenticity to the project than first met the eye. Well, as authentic as you can get where the Romans are speaking in British accents. Of course!