We’re nearing the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. I can’t believe we’re getting toward the end of October already, because I’m not ready for my writing venture for this November’s National Novel Writing Month…
…And, I have to catch up on getting some posts up here on triscribe or over at my tumblr site.
The thing I love about fall tv is checking out the new shows – trying to be hopeful to find the next new thing (umm, I’m going to hope that Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD will get better. And that Agent Coulson is NOT an android or a clone of his previous self from The Avengers movie, and I wish, for sentimental reasons, that Michael J. Fox’s new show was funny for me) or seeing how crappy a show is and figuring what would be the first show to go down (that turned out to be ABC’s Lucky 7).
Meanwhile, FOX pushed back the series premiere of Almost Human, the J.J. Abrams’ exploration of a human cop-robot cop partnership, with Karl Urban (the Dr. McCoy of Abrams-verse Star Trek) and Michael Ealy. I’m intrigued to see what J.J. Abrams and Friends will do this time, and Karl Urban doing American tv! But, really, cops and robot cops have been done before on tv. I remembered NBC’s summer experiment, Mann and Machine. I was too young at the time to realize that something entertaining could be so cancelled, but it was a real series – at least, it’s on imdb; Yancy Butler as the robot who wanted to be human and David Andrews as the cynical cop (who has gone on to be a credible character actor in shows or movies that require an authority figure like a cop or military person; pretty good for an ex-lawyer!) – with a touch of the battle of the sexes and odd chemistry – since the robot just happened to have a sexy female form… well, I have no idea if Urban and Ealy will go in that kind of direction, but if FOX can give me a solid friendship chemistry, a la Holmes-Watson or a House-Wilson, I could be pretty content.
Speaking of Holmes and Watson, I like watching Elementary. Last season’s season finale was really good and brought on the feeling of “I want more!” So far this season tries to hit that level of “Gimme more!” The season premiere took us to London, and has Holmes trying to patch things up with Lestrade (yep, a nut job addicted to fame, and still not nearly a good detective; and probably not as good as Gregson, which probably was the case in the books/stories) and Holmes gets a new point of restraint with Mycroft (yay, Holmes’ brother showed up!).
Holmes and Watson are friends, although trust issues might still crop up. I’d like them to stay friends because there’s just not nearly enough solid friends shows (not when every show seems to insist on having the foundational romantic relationship; and the Holmes-Watson relationship has historically been fraught with interpretation that should just be left to the readers/viewers anyway!). Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes is definitely more human than Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes – and I like that. It makes the levels of ridiculous easier to swallow. Lucy Liu as a smart Watson is also fun.
The recent episode of Holmes’ telling Watson about his first interest in a murder, back when he was a teenager, was a curiously interesting episode, especially once I realized that the actress who played Holmes’ crush/pen pal from his adolescence, Laura Benanti, had also played the first love of Miller’s character, Eli Stone, of the old ABC series, Eli Stone (where Miller was the crazy lawyer; umm, the show was entertaining, I swear!). Benanti and Miller still have a nice chemistry (which I never quite understood how Eli Stone didn’t push more, but that’s another discussion entirely).
I do think that Captain Gregson and Detective Bell need to have beefed up roles. An ensemble is more fun tv. Bell’s sarcasm has had some good moments and could be deepened. And, why on earth would you waste actor Aidan Quinn by not giving Gregson more lines/action?
Meanwhile, CBS has been filming Elementary in downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights. I have not yet spotted either Liu or Miller.
The passing of Marcia Wallace (see here for commentary over at Entertainment Weekly), a character actor who popped up in a lot of sitcoms over the years (including Full House) and whose voice is memorable as Mrs. Krabappel from The Simpsons. As Mrs. Krabappel, she brought a lot of humor, bitter humor, sarcasm, and grace to the character.
My two cents on Mrs. Krabappel: Mrs. Krabappel was exhausted as Bart Simpson’s teacher, as life made things a joke (her husband left her, kids don’t care, and Springfield Elementary…). The episode where Mrs. Krabappel and Mr. Skinner had their romance (and the whole community so didn’t get it, and Bart was a pawn) was one of those funny and poignant episodes that shows don’t do enough. Krabappel and Skinner were just two lonely people, so why couldn’t they get it together? Well, besides the complications arising from, say, Skinner’s mom… and I kept cracking up over Krusty the Klown’s reaction to the town’s uproar to the relationship (as Mrs. Lovejoy – the reverend’s wife – had said something along the lines of outrage over the idea that the teacher and the principal were or could be having “s-e-x in front of the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n”; and Krusty – who either couldn’t spell or was semi-illiterate – said: “What? The Sex Cauldron? I thought that place closed?”)…
Anyway, the point is, Mrs. Krabappel was a great character and I don’t see another actress taking it on. I understand that the producers of The Simpsons will have to retire her now – it makes sense. So, farewell to Marcia Wallace; so long to Mrs. K., wherever you are!
I liked how this tumblr had put it, showing a set of images from the episode where Bart had foolishly set Mrs. K. up with “Woodrow,” who had the face of hockey legend Gordie Howe (at least I think those images came from that episode; it might be from the episode when everyone thought that the meteor was going to wipe out the town, which was also bittersweet). Mrs. K to her kids, with a sad faced Bart: “Well, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to all of you. / We’ve had a lot of fun together. / Where does the time go?”before fading to black to the show’s credit of Marcia Wallace.
I’d like to think that Mrs. K. finally found happiness somewhere.
Thinking about the retirement of Mrs. K reminds me of this article over at Slate from September: the proposition that the powers behind the Simpsons seriously consider letting the Simpsons age already. Frankly, for me, the more poignant and funny moments from the earlier seasons were the flash-forwards to the future – like the episode where Lisa got married, or the glimpse of Chief Justice Bart Simpson of the US Supreme Court finally getting to watch the Itchy and Scratchy movie, or the other alternate universe where US President Lisa Simpson has to ask her deadbeat brother Bart talk the allies into letting the US off the hook (or buy more time) on debts. If the Simpsons were to age, it might even motivate me to watch the show again.
See, it didn’t seem so funny anymore when Apu’s octopulets were suddenly older toddlers than Maggie Simpson. And, I can only watch so much “Homer is a bad dad and then realizes he loves his family after all” or “Marge tries to find a new hobby” stories and how many ways can the show go to focus another character? (did Bumble Bee Man have an episode yet?). Can the Simpsons go on forever doing the same thing, over and over, and being the same while time moves on for the rest of us? Bart was once a kid in the late 1980’s/1990s – the episodes recalling Homer and Marge’s past as youngsters of the 1970’s were sweet stuff. Rebooting the Simpsons as if Homer and Marge were youngsters of the 1980’s… that doesn’t work for me. (I think FOX had an episode that time-shifted when Homer and Marge were young; it really felt wrong).
Aging the Simpsons would at least explain why Bart is no longer being taught by Mrs. K and we can all move forward and move on already. The character development (yes, even for a cartoon) would be fascinating to watch. So, come on, FOX and the Simpsons’ producers – let’s do it. Think of Marcia Wallace, Phil Hartman, and all those who passed and how we can never forget their characters – and think of finding a resolution.
(or if you really want a cartoon where no one ages or learns a lesson – well, you could bring back Futurama. Again.)
And, FOX – or your sister entity, FX Speaking of cable tv – AMC: thanks for that final run of Breaking Bad. Powerful, well-written, and just nicely done. The series finale was good stuff. It didn’t hit the levels of brutal-what-the-eff level of the other episodes of the final eight, but I think it hit the right note. And, I’m speaking as someone who didn’t get to jump on the Breaking Bad bandwagon during the rest of the series.
New York metro area sports at every level is not spectacular. NY Jets isn’t nearly as bad as expected, but suffered a crappy loss today. NY Giants is 2-6 as of today; being 0-6 was horrid. NY Mets and Yankees didn’t make it to the playoffs. Yankees gave Mariano Rivera a nice farewell, as the great reliever retired, but how will the Yankees fare in the future? Meanwhile, the NY Rangers as a team isn’t very good either. Let’s see how the NBA teams will be. (my alma mater hit new levels of bad college football by losing yesterday to Dartmouth, with the score of 0-56; you can understand how I probably should not follow college football).
Well, the World Series between Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals has been weird and wacky. May the best team win…
Postscript: according to A.V. Club, Mrs. Krabappel actually re-married to Ned Flanders, of all people. Seriously, I fell so behind on The Simpsons. In my mind, for all the bitterness and banter between Mrs. K and Principal Skinner, they would always have the little spark between them.