Monday, March 12, 2018

TV: Don't pull at the string

TV, it's not just networks and cable these days.  It's CRACKLE, it's HULU, it's NETFLIX, it's AMAZON, it's . . .

Of all of the streamers, NETFLIX offers the most choices and the most solid of choices.  AMAZON and HULU?  Even CRACKLE's limited offerings beat them.

There's not really any excuse for the crap they repeatedly greenlight.

Take THE LOOMING TOWER.  There's not enough time in the world for us to trudge through that crap. Jeff Daniels is not a male lead.  The man's only known 'gift' is The Sahara Effect -- the sight of his face alone can dry out any woman's vagina.  He was perfectly cast as the trash Shirley MacLaine knew didn't deserve her daughter Debra Winger in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.  Queen Fussbudget, as he's been known on too many sets, has gone on to muck up many films such as THE BUTCHER'S WIFE, MAMA'S BOY, RADIO DAYS, THE HOURS, etc.

Notoriously disgusting sexist Aaron Sorkin cast him as the lead in his flop THE NEWSROOM.  He was a natural for that show.  This is the same Sorkin, remember, who finally found a way to write a script with a female lead (MOLLY'S GAME) -- but, of course, he could only do so by surrounding her with men.  The token.

THE LOOMING TOWER is another sausage fest.

Only it's worse than anything Sorkin could spit out because this wants to be a true story about a major event.

What major event?

9-11.

Now there are people we might trust to handle such a story.  Alex Gibney isn't one of them.

CIA asset Alex is the son of CIA asset Frank Gibney.

When you realize that Alex Gibney is the spawn of trash, you start to grasp what he's doing with those so-called 'documentaries.'

He's making them up the same way his father did, they are propaganda just like the 'books' his father wrote (with so much help from the CIA).

Is it any coincidence that the propagandist did a hatchet job 'documentary' on WIKILEAKS?

Or even worse, Alex's Iraq 'documentary' offers the propaganda that the problem with the illegal war was that it wasn't planned better.

That's the problem?

Not the illegal nature of the war itself?

We'd tell Alex Gibney to go to hell but it's crystal clear he's already packed his bags.

The same can be said of Lawrence Wright, a propagandist who gets praise for THE LOOMING TOWER from . . . the CIA.

Like a good propagandist, Wright gives interviews pretending the CIA is against the book but, point of fact, they praise the book.  From the CIA's own website:

The Looming Tower offers by far the best explanation of the barely comprehensible radical Islamic reasoning behind 9/11. It is wonderfully written and thoroughly documented. Wright conducted more than 600 interviews in his research. The book ends with John O’Neill’s death in the World Trade Center and the disappearance of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri into the mountains.


Grasp that reality the next time liar Wright starts claiming the CIA's opposed to the series or his book.


Add Jeff Bezos to the mix and the only issue becomes how they could hooked up with a Jewish fundie for the project?  (The answer: The fundie Jew's been all over CIA-linked media projects for some time -- FOXTROT and A MIGHTY HEART being only two examples.)  Well that and the fact that Jewish fundie's daddy was all up in the CIA as well -- a detail that Dan Futterman leaves out of his otherwise too wordy resume (which includes his four episodes of WILL & GRACE).

It's pure garbage and, no, we won't sit through it.

Jeff Daniels ensures that.  We made it through the first episode barely.  It was quite enough.  We don't need to stay through the end -- which includes a final episode -- oh, how delightful -- entitled "Boys At War." How clever, no?  A main cast of ten and only 3 are women -- one of which is a 'love interest' (and special ed teacher!  they used to make the window dressing be museum curators back in the day).

The one episode reminded us of when we had to sit through the garbage that was HAND OF GOD.

Remember that?

When others finally started noting how awful the show was, Elaine remembered:


September 2, 2015, Deadline thinks Amazon's Hand To God is the worst show Amazon's ever done.


Hmm?

Who could have seen that coming?

Ava and C.I.


From August 31, 2014: [. . .]




AMAZON puts so much garbage on.

Last year it was YOU ARE WANTED.

Watching, we kept reminding one another that ABC (wow, CIA connections everywhere, Wiliam Casey must be so pleased) aired ITV's THE AVENGERS on Monday nights (right after PEYTON PLACE) and then on Friday nights (right after THE PHYLISS DILLER SHOW).

Maybe this was that sort of thing?  The way NETFLIX sometimes buys up the rights to existing shows?

Nope.

AMAZON PRIME actually made YOU ARE WANTED.

It's a spy show.

It's supposed to be inspired by Ed Snowden's whistle-blowing but it's difficult to tell that by watching the series.

In fact, it's difficult to tell much of anything from watching the six-episode series -- including how did it get a greenlight?

Unlike AMAZON's pretense in the US that people have voted for the shows they develop, with YOU ARE WANTED, they set out to make a series with (and in) Germany.


For some reason, they went with comedic actor Matthias Schweigh√∂fer -- who appears to alternate between beliefs that he's Germany's answer to Kenneth Branagh and that he's Germany's answer to Suzanne Somers.  But at least Suzanne wasn't responsible for those cheesecake shots throughout THREE'S COMPANY.  As director, writer and producer of YOU ARE WANTED, Matthias is responsible for the carefully lit and carefully shot shirtless scene his character Lukas participates in.

His chest will never rival Suzanne's and his directing will never rival Kenneth's but having managed to fumble through six episodes, AMAZON PRIME thinks he's worth a second season.

Were they watching the same show we were?

Possibly, in German, YOU ARE WANTED is not as bad -- still confusing, but not as bad.

But in English, dubbed English, it's bad.  The dubbed in vocals are far worse than 1964's MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA.

Matthias, as producer, apparently sought out the highest pitched male voice actor he could find to dub his scenes.  Even the actor dubbing the child's voice has a deeper voice.

But worse is that you're left to wonder if the dub actors understood English?

They pronounce the words correctly, they just don't seem to understand what they are saying.  In fact, AMAZON's Alexa speaks more convincingly.

In terms of suspense, CRACKLE's CHOSEN had a lot more tension and suspense.

Is there a reason for the actress playing the wife in YOU ARE WANTED to even show up for her scenes?

If her character has an actual reason to be present, it's never clear.  But this is AMAZON PRIME where males do and females watch.  It's been one sausage fest after another on AMAZON.  The upcoming HOMECOMING and the currently airing THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL can only do so much on the streaming service that's been dominated by BOSCH, HAND OF GOD, MAD DOGS, SNEAKY PETE, ALPHA HOUSE, JEAN-CLAUDE VAN JOHNSON, THE TICK, etc.

And YOU ARE WANTED is just another show where men do and women fret -- that includes the main police officer Sandra Jensen (Catrin Stiebeck) who's falls for so many red herrings and is so repeatedly wrong you keep expecting her cousin from Hazzard County, Boss Hogg, to show up and start screaming 'bout them Duke boys.

If the show needed anything, it was an active female character with actual motivations that went beyond save the man.  If one thing was obvious in season one, it was that the 8 main characters were awfully short on women -- in fact, the numbers lay out as 6 males and 2 women (to qualify as a main character, you needed to appear in all six episodes).  So imagine our surprise to learn that season two's 'big fix' will be adding Michael Landis to the cast.

We've got nothing against Landis.  We praised him for his work on HOOTEN & THE LADY.  But YOU ARE WANTED is not lacking in male characters -- let alone male characters who do.  He's going to be playing a CIA agent coming after Lukas.  Oh, joy, more dick swinging from AMAZON.  At least Landis qualifies as a hot looking man -- maybe that's the new quality he'll be bringing to the series?





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