Sunday, October 22, 2006

Weekend Update

Seven Soldiers

This week, Grant Morrison's megaseries, Seven Soldiers, finally comes to its conclusion. I read all the books in June, and it's been a tough four month wait for the finale. I've started rereading the series and am loving it even more. Being familiar with the overall arc makes it easier to appreciate the progression of each series. On the first read, I was a detective, searching for connections. Now, I'm trying to sit back and take everything in. SS #0 stands up as one of the best things Morrison's ever written, as does the start of Zatanna. I'm only through four issues, so I'll have to speed up a bit, since I know once #1 is here, I'm not going to do anything else until I've finished the series.

More Morrison

This week also sees the debut of two new Morrison series, revamps of The Authority and Wildcats. Critical reaction isn't ecstatic, and I'll admit I'm not that thrilled to see Morrison taking on those two properties. I'd rather see him do some more creator owned work, hopefully his Vertigo series with J.H. Williams III will turn up soon. However, I don't think he could take on much more work now since he's got four ongoing series going right now. None of them have appeared in trade, so I haven't had a chance to read anything yet, but I'll certainly get them all eventually, and I'm especially looking forward to All Star Superman.

The U.S. Office

When the U.S. version of The Office first aired, I had just finished an incredible rewatch of its British counterpart. I watched the first two episodes, but it felt like a community theater group taking over for master actors. But, I keep hearing good things, so I decided to put my bias aside and take another look at it. I've seen those same first two episodes, and I was still not impressed. The thing that makes the British series work so well is its total realism. The characters and the actors playing them are indistinguishable, and the reality of the social situations is what makes the interactions so intensely awkward. I think the bulk of the people on the US show are pretty good, but Steve Carell just ruins it for me. Gervais as David Brent was not funny, but in a way you could laugh at. Carell is not funny in a way that's just annoying. Brent is a regular guy who tries too hard. Michael Scott's Hitler bit in the first episode is totally out of reality, he feels more like an actor playing a regular guy who's trying too hard. I'm going to watch some more, but so far, I'm not impressed. If you're going to be compared to a masterpiece, you've got to be better than alright.

Rescue Me

I wrapped up the first season of Rescue Me. I've mentioned before that I feel like today's TV world is like film in the 70s, and Rescue Me feels like one of those minor 70s classics. There's much better stuff out there, but this is totally reliable entertainment, hitting that balance of interpersonal drama played out against a larger canvas that's so popular for shows today. The supporting cast has gotten more fleshed out as the season progressed, and the addition of Laura to the firehouse did a great job of messing with the established dynamic. It's not quite gotten to greatness, but I was consistently entertained by every episode of the first year, and I've got the second on DVD, ready to watch.

New Film

On Friday, I start shooting on my senior thesis film. It's a twelve minute sci-fi piece about time travel, with a lot of crazy, Morrisonian stuff in there. It's the most planned out film I've done, and I'm hoping it will be the best. I'll hopefully have a trailer up online in a couple of weeks.

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