Liz tells Frank what happened on BONES this week: "The Girl At the Airport"
I've been trying to figure out what the best time gap is between watching an episode of BONES and telling you about it. Sometimes I've waited a week and written something intensely detailed and dense; sometimes I'll do it a day later and it's concise and possibly much funnier. This seems like the opposite of how things should be, but I try not to judge.
This week, it's only been two days since I saw the episode, but between then and now I've seen the first two seasons of the animated Justice League. I've lived a lifetime in those two days, Frank. A lifetime. So be warned that at any moment, you might find yourself reading a very long and eloquent paragraph about how BATMAN IS TOTALLY HOT, especially just after making out with Wonder Woman. I might include visual aids.
So, right off the top we're looking at a dead dude, who the people at the Smithphonian need to prove is super-old and dead (as opposed to regular old and dead, I suppose). Beau pops in to sweep Bones off to LA, where there's a fun dismemberment case waiting for them, but Bones wants to stay and play with the dead guy.
Wow, that's... that's the first necrophilia joke I think I've told you, Frank, and now that the floodgates have opened, I don't know what'll happen. We'll just have to take each day as it comes, I suppose.
Anyways, Beau flexes both his literal muscles and his FBI muscles and drags Lesser Deschanel away to Cliche-LA, a town which bears absolutely no resemblance to the city I've lived in for the past six years. We'll call it CLAX, just to keep from getting confused. The X is for Airport, because CLAX is populated strictly by tourists and shallow whores. More on the shallow whores in a sec.
Beau and Bones go to the beach to enjoy some cool ocean breezes while examining the torn-up remains of some girl. Bones freaks out when they find the skull because it's been heavily altered surgically, making identifying the girl hard, but then they use the serial numbers on her breast implants to track her down.
And off into the CLAX party scene we go. The location budget apparently all went to pay off the dudes at the downtown Standard (the one with all the cool candy-shaped bed-couch shells), and there are at least three long, lingering montages of girls getting into and out of pools, wearing high heels with their bikinis. These montages are always made by people who have never seen how much a pair of calfskin pumps can cost.
Beau spends bunches of time interviewing a model/actress/whore who has deep and profound thoughts about how all CLAXians are struggling souls who live on dreams and never really say what they are -- like, she says she's a singer, but she really works as a call girl, and Dead Girl was an actress who was actually a call girl... Apparently, being a call girl is a fabulous day job for struggling MAWs. Take notes, girls!
Apparently the dead MAW was addicted to plastic surgery, and Beau and Bones meet a few doctors who go all Nip/Tuck on Lesser Deschanel, only to fail miserably at shaking her self-confidence and body image. Lesser Deschanel apparently has a moral problem with plastic surgery. This is a really easy moral problem to have when you look like her and you have a Tragic Past to distract you from any memories of junior high school.
The CLAX FBI agent on the case wears lovely tailored pantsuits and is working on a screenplay about a FBI agent who wears lovely tailored pantsuits -- I think this is the role originated by your friend, Frank, and she's pretty delightful. In a thoroughly enjoyable scene near the end, Beau rips her a new one for using the FBI as a means to an end, rather than treating it like a beautiful and strangely distant woman whose Tragic Past can only be healed by the application of exciting cases and dead bodies. That's not what he actually says. But subtext is everything.
Speaking of screenplays, it's the return of the Bones: Best-selling Author! subplot! Lesser Deschanel takes a break from solving crime to have a meeting with Penny Marshall regarding a possible adaptation of her most recent crime not-quite-fiction. But apparently, these days "having a meeting with Penny Marshall" means "being co-interviewed with Penny Marshall on a Fox daytime talk show." Which is the ultimate in bizarre, for the record. Lesser Deschanel wants to write the screenplay. Penny Marshall rolls her eyes. Penny Marshall should fight crime. I bet she'd be great at it.
Anyways, the whole time we think it's one of the Nip/Tuckers who killed the MAW, but it's really the other MAW whodunit. As she's being arrested at the Standard, she asks Beau, like a sad little girl, if he thinks she's pretty. I think he says yes? After all, what kind of jerk says no to that question?
(Batman would probably say no. But he could get away with it, because, you know, HOT.)
I suppose you're wondering what happened with that dead dude at the beginning -- and our supporting cast, for that matter. Really, don't. They spend the entire episode poking at the dead dude and arguing about it. ParaNerd is a jerk. Boring Black Boss is boring. There's a lot of archeology talk. It's the most boring archeology talk ever. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I'm decomposing. Bah-duh-ching!
So, what have we learned? We've learned that CLAX is a horrid cesspit of shallow whores, and that Penny Marshall will one day be called to rule them as their queen. We learned that archeology is stupid, call girls make great bank, Batman is hot, and everyone looks good in pantsuits.
Just another week of solving crime. Just another week of atoning for all those snipe-ees.
And so we come to the conclusion of this series. I might follow it up in later weeks with Obscure Celebrity Girl-Crushes and Obscure Screenwriter Crushes, but that depends on Temp Job Du Jour maintaining its dullness.
Anyways, the moment you've all been waiting for...
Obscure Celebrity Crush #1: Adrian Lester
Adrian Lester is pretty damn obscure, and pretty damn pretty, and a fine actor to boot. So it's a mystery to me as to why, after rocking so hard in Primary Colors, he drifted back into obscurity as quickly as he came: aside from the fact that no one on Earth loves Primary Colors the way I do. It's one of my favorite movies, one of the few that I feel the need to rewatch regularly, and Lester is a huge part of that love -- his character is the glue holding that movie together, the moral center and the impassioned outsider.
Plus, he totally gets to bone Maura Tierney's character. And sing country-western with Kathy Bates. And go to Miami with Kathy Bates. Can you imagine how much fun that'd be?
Ultimately, Primary Colors suffers from real-world factors, like the fact that it both tears down and builds up a fictionalized version of an extremely divisive political figure. But as that ship sank, it took Adrian Lester's career with it: some more theater work, a supporting role in Branagh's Love's Labour's Lost (which I have NOT seen, in part due to the somewhat scarring experience of playing King Ferdinand in a summer camp production during a particularly awkward bit of pre-adolescence), and semi-regular appearances on Girlfriends. He'd faded out of the limelight so thoroughly that when I saw his name in the opening credits of The Day After Tomorrow (right after Guy Who Plays Fake Cheney) I was pretty surprised. His role in that movie is tiny and tragic, but enough to remind me of how great he was, that one time in that one movie. How there was just something decent in him.
Last night, I watched a little of Hustle, the British import that he's toplining -- didn't totally hold my interest, but there's potential, and Lester's playing a con man, which is a fun change of pace. He's also using his natural British accent, which I can never argue with.
According to the IMDb, we'll be able to see Lester in the upcoming As You Like It and Spider-Man 3. In the latter, he's been cast as "Research Scientist," which promises to be a demanding role indeed, but hopefully he'll be around for slightly longer than Daniel Dae Kim in Spider-Man 2 (in which Kim has actual lines, however, as opposed to his Crash cameo -- yet another reason, by the way, that Crash is bullshit).
I doubt, at this point, that Lester will ever top his work in Primary Colors, either in prestige or in ability. And maybe that's okay. Part of the fun of having an ultimate obscure celebrity crush is that you don't have to share him. Even though, sometimes, you wouldn't necessarily mind.
The second-to-last installment, friends. Feels like it's hardly begun, right? Right?
On with it, I suppose.
Obscure Celebrity Crush #2: Alexander Siddig (nee Siddig El Fadil)
In many ways, Alexander Siddig could be #1 on this list for any number of reasons. I've certainly known who he was since 1993, which means that I've had his name in my brain for over HALF MY LIFE. (By the way, that is fucking depressing.)
The fact of the matter is, though, that during his seven years on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine my opinion of him wavered between mildly annoying to mildly amusing. Sure, when it was revealed that Bashir was genetically engineered to be awesome, I ended up liking the character a whole lot more, and the episode in which he mathematically determines that the Federation will ultimately lose the war is high on my list of favorites. But I never responded to the character the way I did others, so it came as a bit of a shock when, post-9/11, I realized two things:
1) He was never going to get another role intended for a white man ever again, 2) That was a shame, because he is fucking beautiful.
In the six years since DS9 went off the air, I have seen Alexander Siddig play terrorists and sheiks and princes and sherpas. I have, in short, seen Vertical Limit, Reign of Fire, Kingdom of Heaven, Syriana and that episode of MI-5. I've ordered them by quality, and Syriana is the borderline good one. So please understand that I've suffered for his art.
Watching Syriana under the influence of some serious cold medication, I spent most of the movie hoping that maybe, just maybe, nothing bad would happen to a Middle-Eastern prince interested in developing his country's infrastructure and not bending over for the US. And the next day, as I lay in bed with my remotes at hand, I watched hours of DS9, marvelling that once upon a time, I got to watch Alexander Siddig every week on my TV. That sometimes entire episodes would be about him. It's like remembering that hundred bucks you stashed away somewhere. It's like a dream.
He's talented, suave, looks great in a tux. So when I invent my time machine and start moving actors from the present to the past or the future, Alexander Siddig will be the first one I stop for. And I'll either take him to the 1940s, where his dark good looks would make him film noir's ultimate dangerous detective, or I'll take him to the future -- a place, one might hope, where a man of Sudanese heritage could be James Bond.
No, I haven't been struck by the plague. Instead, it's Harvey Danger that weakens my immune system.
The new Harvey Danger album is up on their website, and despite having no idea who they were (a small lapse in my One Hit Wonder trivia bank, I'll admit), I downloaded Little by Little and listened to it twice last night. I mean, it's thirty-five minutes long, so this isn't a noble accomplishment. But it's really good stuff. "Cool James" is a favorite. Very solid, toned-down alternative. Dad, you might dig it.
We're going to do two of these today, because I didn't post one yesterday -- apologies, but I died of boredom at my desk. Which, if you get the obscure in-joke, leads us in nicely to one of our winners:
But whereas these sorts of career moves would normally catapult a talented actor into the stratosphere, Martin Freeman remains relatively uncelebrated, in part because of his scraggly, self-depricating, unassuming persona, making him perfectly suited to play oddly charming British slubs -- and win my heart. His portrayal of Tim on The Office made me feel like I was in junior high school all over again, and I am not going to say how much I cried the first (and, hell, the second) time I saw the Christmas special.
My ardor for Tim has cooled slightly as the years pass and I feel less guilty about loving Jim, Tim's American counterpart. And you can only watch Hitchhiker's Guide so many times (in fact, two might be the upper limit). But there's something about a man willing to say:
No I don't talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don't have one. Which is very good news for the ladies-I am still available. I'm a heck of a catch, cos, er well look at it. I live in Slough, in a lovely house, with my parents. I have my own room, which I've had since yep, since I was born. That's seen a lot of action I tell you. Mainly dusting. I went to university for a year as well, before I dropped out, so I'm a quitter. So, er, form an orderly queue ladies.
That just makes me want to get in line.
Obscure Celebrity Crush #3: Will Kemp This one's a bit dusty, dating primarily to the summer before Van Helsing was released. But when I tracked down the Gap ad that lead to Will Kemp's brief flame-out of a Hollywood career, I realized that he could still make this list.
Anyone who's had the misfortune of, well, knowing me has probably watched me scan the supporting cast listings of any feature film and say, "Oh, it's [that guy]! I love [that guy]! He was great in [some movie or TV show that only I watched and loved]!" That guy is probably not talented in any real way. That guy probably just happened to be very pretty in something genre. Yet there is a listing in my mind for him and his credits. It's like a disease.
So this week, I thought I'd pay tribute to my absolute favorites, the B and C-listers, the Star Trek guest stars, the pan-flashes who never went on to succeed. Maybe you've heard of these actors. Maybe you missed them entirely. And maybe you're better off for it.
But I sure do love 'em. And maybe you do too.
Obscure Celebrity Crush #5: Michael Weatherly When it comes to obscure celebrity crushes, you learn to pinpoint certain behavior that puts you borderline on the edge of weird. Did you at one time have a printout of his charmingly-bespeckled face taped to your dorm room wall? Did you have a TiVo wishlist searching for his name for close to a year (sure, you did it to keep an eye out for reruns of his minor sci-fi hit -- surrrrrre)? Have you watched more than one episode of his incredibly lame crime procedural?
Michael Weatherly is not a particularly good actor. He has never done anything particularly of note. He just co-starred on Dark Angel and played a few bit parts in a few feature films before moving on to solve crime on a JAG spin-off.
But man. That man can rock the scruff HARD. For that, and for the glasses, and for the fact that I really have seen at least an episode and a half of NCIS (and no, not for Mark Harmon), he makes the top 5.
Come back tomorrow to see who's #4 on the list. Will he be talented? Will he be traditionally asthetically pleasing? Will he have a British accent? I ain't saying.
Next week: I don't give a fuck what happens as long as Laura gets fixed. I mean it. They could fully meet magical beings from the future with googly eyes and eldritch potions, I wouldn't care, she and Lee could bond over having beat the Reaper and become weird kamikaze freaks with Starbuck and just do intentionally dangerous adrenaline-rush stuff all the time, she can find some kind of nanotech bracelet in the hallway that kills cancer as long as she wears it and then have a farce episode where Ellen Tigh gets drunk and runs off with it and they get it back at the last second, she can run into Gina in the hallway and get shot only in the cancer, she can turn out a Cylon, she can download into another body that looks like Laura, harvest Boomer's fetal stem cells, whatever it takes, I don't care, I don't care. She can just wake up and be like, 'The cancer was only a dream!' and Bill can be taking a shower. Fuck story logic. I need Laura Roslin.
How hot is Gloria Steinem? She's Christian Bale's STEP-MOM. I'm sure I had that fact in the back of my brain somewhere, but the internet has reminded me. Sweet, blessed internet.
I have been significantly less bored at work today and yesterday. Mainly because I've stopped being so lazy and gotten back on top of a couple of projects. No writing, in general, makes Liz a dull, dull broad. Dull, dull, dull.
However, I did see Crash (not the wound-sex one, the racism one). And that movie is the opposite of dull. And by opposite of dull, I mean BULLSHIT.
The danger of having a blog that some of your friends read is that you end up repeating all your jokes. Which I'm sure is annoying for said friends. But whatever, I'm going to say it again: I did like the parts of Crash that didn't address racism in an incredibly heavy-handed and over-the-top fashion.
Those five minutes were really great.
The rest of it, bullshit. I mean, Oprah's a woman, right? How is Oprah okay with this movie? Why is Oprah not MORTALLY OFFENDED by some of the crap that happens? I refer, specifically, to this particular scene:
A Climatic Scene from Crash In Minature Play Form (containing some delightful SPOILERS) Matt Dillon: I'm so racist and evil! I'm going to SEXUALLY ASSAULT Thandie Newton on the side of the road just because I can! Thandie: Hey, but that's okay, because you'll pull me out of a completely randomly flipped-over burning car later! Matt Dillon: You're right! It totally doesn't matter that I SEXUALLY ASSAULTED YOU on the side of the road in front of your husband! Thandie: I mean, you're a cop, and it's your job to pull people from burning cars and save lives, but hey, the fact that it's YOU saving my life, when you'd much rather be raping me, is totally heroic and noble! Clench me to your chest! Make it all better! Matt Dillon: I will, and you know why? Because my dad was totally nice to black people once, and he got dicked over, so that makes it okay for me to hate black people and thus engage in sick sexual assault power trips during traffic stops. Saving your life totally excuses the fact that I forcibly penetrated your vagina with my fingers against your will! Thandie: Everything's connected! Except, of course, for this totally bizarre and unconnected car crash! Matt Dillon: Why must man be so cruel?! Thandie: Beats me! But as long as he pulls you from a burning car later, it doesn't count! Matt Dillon: I'm totally not copping a feel this time, Thandie! I promise! Thandie: Thanks, Matt Dillon the Racist Rapist! Thanks so much!
So this is interesting: The 10 Best Conservative Movies of 2005, as ranked by Don Feder, lists several films that I saw and liked (okay, I didn't LIKE The Island, but I sure did enjoy parts of it). Was I thinking of them as conservative when I watched them? No. Are they?
Well, that's something I'd debate if I had any sort of brain power this morning. Alas, I do not.
I've been listening to a little bit of country recently, not too much, just the Brokeback soundtrack, some Johnny Cash, and that song Stef and I couldn't stop listening to while driving across the country in August.
So perhaps that's why this weekend was The Ballad Of Small Hurts And Pains. I mean, my man didn't run off with a truck stop whore, I've never had a dog, and Momma's doing fine, far as I know. But I sure did lose my wallet, hear plenty of bad news, continue coughing up a storm, and drop my printer on one of my toes, breaking the nail at the base. Straw that broke my back? Opening up my box of macaroni and cheese on Sunday, the only food in my apartment and the last food I'd been able to purchase with my shiny credit cards and cash... To discover that there was no cheese sauce packet in the box, just macaroni. That was when I just started laughing.
However, the not-particularly-interesting country song that is my life just got a happy ending -- I just got through to the bartending company in charge of the event where I lost my wallet, and it turns out they had it the whole time. There's even one dollar more than I thought was there!
Score one for the good guys. Minus one for country music. Though I'll still keep listening.
Yesterday I stayed home from work and watched TV. This is not to be confused with Monday or Tuesday of this week, because yesterday I watched all the Star Trek Spike had to offer. And man, it'd been a while since I watched 80s/90s vintage Trek.
Not the high level of analysis you're used to, I'm sure, but given that most of my critical faculties, over the past few days, have been reduced to "Why is she being so mean?" or "Oh, he's so nice" this entry is pretty impressive.
You know what? Pulaski's gotten a bum rap. I mean, I know she's not Dr. McMILF, and I do so enjoy that episode of TNG where Crusher gets sucked into the alternate universe where everyone keeps vanishing (mainly for the line: "If something's not wrong with me, then something is wrong with the universe"). But Pulaski was cool. I saw that episode where she wanted to save the Khan babies who were making everyone sick, and she totally stands up to Picard whole bunches, and then he gets pissy with her, but when they cure the Khan baby illness with transporter magic the two of them totally hug! It's really sweet. I find it interesting that early TNG really tried to have some characters that challenged gender assumptions, then ultimately reverted back to women in caretaker/nurturer roles, despite later season attempts to give Troi cajones and a real uniform. \'Cause back in Season 2, Pulaski was kind of neat.
Klingons are awesome. AWESOME. Mainly because they seem to be the only people on TNG who think about having sex regularly. Yesterday was that episode with the officer exchange program, and Riker totally got hit on by the two Klingon chicks! I also saw that DS9 episode "House of Quark" and it was crazy, how much I was really enjoying Quark, given that I tend to reject the character as somewhat overdone, and I think it was because he wasn't acting like an idiot and was instead being all bad-ass. Because hanging with the Klingons makes you more bad-ass. It's a rule.
While watching Syriana, I was so delighted to be enjoying some fine work on Alexander Siddig's part, but what was crazy was remembering a) how, um, "green" he was in the earlier seasons of DS9, b) how much he improved and c) how hot he was the whole time. (I mean, he's a pretty pretty man. His child with Nana Visitor will be one of the next generation's uberbabies.) The DS9 on yesterday was third season I think (no Worf, plenty of Defiant) and he was thus pretty good. Also, how weird are the Trill as a race? Super-weird, when you really think about it. That episode where Dax confronts her past as a homicidal maniac/pianist was full of strange symbolism and hallucinations that you don't normally find in mainstream sci-fi...
...unless you're watching Battlestar Galactica.
In conclusion: Ronald D. Moore! Invented the Klingon backstory! Helped make DS9 a serialized powerhouse! There's new BSG tonight!