...from a Tuesday point of view!
Since it's the only remaining award show with any substance, I'll once again give my annual review of the Oscar presentation. I was fairly pleased overall with the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night, both in terms of presentation as well as who won. I have to confess to pure ignorance by saying I didn’t even know who Huge Jackass—er uh—Hugh Jackman was before Sunday, but I didn’t think he was so terrible as the emcee, in spite of the mixed reviews he seems to be getting in the media. I at least found him more entertaining than Jon Stewart was last year or Ellen DeGenerate was the year before. I thought the show was well-paced and liked how they kept the montages and ancillary stuff to a minimum this time. Good thing I didn’t bet the over/unders on the show’s length, because it clocked in at just under 3.5 hours, and I'd have bet anything it would’ve exceeded that. This year’s show was an added treat for me, after having actually seen the Kodak Theater (on the outside, anyway) and the whole Hollywood Blvd. scene in person last year, thus giving me a better "lay of the land", so to speak, during all the red carpet pre-game show folderol. I do have one question, however: what the filth-flarn-filth does Miley Cyrus have to do with the Oscars and why was she there? She was clearly out of her league...come back when you grow up and can compete with the big girls, okay sweetheart?
As for the winners, those favored to win pretty much did so in all the major categories, particularly Slumdog Millionaire, Wall-E and Heath Ledger for Dark Knight, and about the only disappointment for me was my girl Marisa Tomei not winning for The Wrestler. I was tickled to death that my other girl Kate Winslet finally got her first Oscar, even though I have yet to see The Reader—she should’ve already won for at least one of her previous nominations anyway, so this was a make-good win for her, if nothing else. I’d also like to point out something about Ms. Winslet—she looked quite classy and elegant the other night, unlike her tattooed fellow nominee, the overrated Angelina Jolie. I’m already on record here for taking a very dim view of tattoos on women, so call me biased all you want, but at least Kate doesn’t go around with what appears to be a grocery shopping list scrawled on her bicep. Skank City, here we come…
I’m also very much looking forward to seeing Sean Penn’s Oscar-winning performance in Milk when it comes out on DVD. I have sort of an oddball connection to the whole Harvey Milk thing due to my very vivid memories of that terrible night in 1978 when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated as it just happened to be when I got a brand new color TV for my bedroom, and that story was all over the news when I first turned on my set. By extension, my first "Monday Night Football" game on the new TV that evening was slated for—where else—Candlestick Park in San Francisco, between the 49ers and Steelers, thus quite a pall was cast over the proceedings. There was actually talk of postponing the game, but it would’ve been a logistical nightmare for the NFL to reschedule it, so they played on. Didn’t matter much anyway, because this was the pre-Joe Montana/Bill Walsh/Ronnie Lott 49ers who totally sucked at the time, and the Steelers easily won, 24-7.
WHILE I’M ON MOVIES…
…a couple of quick reviews. I recently viewed Oliver Stone’s W just for shits and hoots and was pretty underwhelmed by it. Josh Brolin does a fairly impressive Dubya imitation (better than hack comedian Frank Caliendo even), but the film itself didn’t reveal anything earth-shattering to me that I didn’t already know about #43, and it was a tad too long for my liking. I also struggled through Dark Knight last week. I say struggled because the DVD I rented was so scratched and scuffed-up that it kept skipping around and I finally gave up about midway-through. I saw enough to get why Heath Ledger deserved his posthumous Oscar, but I found the story rather boring. Then again, I was spoiled by the TV version of Batman, so anything else pales in comparison to my Caped Crusaders.
JUMPING THE GUN A BIT, AIN’T WE, OBAMA BASHERS?
President Obama’s administration has just surpassed that of William Henry Harrison in terms of duration, which was the shortest of all-time (32 days), but that hasn't prevented all the pundits and letter-to-the-editor writers from already declaring Barack Obama to be the worst U.S. President ever. Uhhh, he’s only been President a freakin’ month! Although he’s had a few missteps so far, Obama hasn’t even come close to rivaling the ineptitude we witnessed over the past eight years. Put your poison pens away until the man actually does fuck up big-time, mmm-kay?
JOLLY GOOD SHOW, YOU BRITS!
Gold star to the British government for declaring that the Rev. Fred Phelps and his merry band of roach droppings ain’t welcome in Merry Olde England and will not be allowed into their country under any circumstances to protest at some poor Brit’s funeral. What I still want to know is where the hell do they get the money in the first place to be able to not only criss-cross our own country like a Rock band on tour, but to also travel abroad to demonstrate at people’s funerals whom they don’t even know. Too bad we can’t just permanently eject these tick turds on some space pod, eh?
CLASSIC OVERUSED MOVIE/TV CLICHÉ #9
This one mostly applies to TV, the frequently-used bit of two or more cast members doing a weekend getaway at a remote cabin in the woods where some calamity usually takes place—being stranded with no food and/or heat, getting snowed in after arriving, or having a big pissing match erupt between lovers or friends, etc. It’s amazing how TV people always happen to know someone who has a cabin in the woods, let alone who is willing to allow access to said cabin to these city-dwellers who wouldn’t even last five minutes in the great outdoors. "Happy Days", "Cheers", "Mork & Mindy", "Frasier", "Benson", "The Partridge Family", "Sanford & Son" (minus the cabin, anyway), "All In The Family" and countless other shows are guilty of using this predictably lame gambit.
And in a related cliché, there’s the equally-implausible scenario where a show’s entire cast goes on vacation somewhere en masse, like on "Happy Days" (the infamous dude ranch and shark-jumping episodes), "Friends" (when they all went to Las Vegas) or "Saved By The Bell". Or even wackier, how about when a show’s entire cast relocates to another city en masse, á la "Laverne & Shirley"? Only in Hollywood…
ANOTHER NOTCH ON MY GUN BELT
Thanks to the miracle that is TV shows on DVD, I can now add the "Partridge Family" to my ever-growing list of old-school TV shows that I’ve seen each and every episode of. Season Four of TPF was a bit grueling, too, as we innocent viewers were subjected to the shrieky moppet neighbor kid with the Moe Howard haircut, Little Ricky Seagall, who entertained the Partridges at the end of each episode he was in by warbling some dopey little song while everyone stood around with equally-dopey looks on their faces doting on the little shit. In one particular Ricky bit, Danny Bonaduce showed great prowess at faux-guitar playing by continuing to strum away on his acoustic even when the music momentarily stopped. Midway through that fourth and final season, the show’s producers wised up (too little, too late) and phased Little Ricky out and sent him into oblivion. According to this tribute page, he was a Christian minister, at last report.
Anyway, here is a fairly comprehensive list of TV show that (to the best of my knowledge) I have seen every episode ever made of:
"All In The Family"
"Are You Being Served?"
"Gomer Pyle, USMC"
"The Odd Couple"
"The Partridge Family"
"Pink Lady and Jeff" (all six episodes!)
"Sanford And Son"
"Starsky And Hutch"