Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ephemera et Cetera

It's been a billion eons since I've postered anything to this blog, so I'll just do a quick recap of the teensy things I can actually recall, and then go straight to the ephemera.

Firstenly, remember the video I did for Damn the Flip Flops? Of course you don't, because even though I shot it 3 years or so on my digital camera, I was never able to sync up the sound and mix it properly, and then shrink it to a size that could be uploaded to these Inter Nets. But now, thanks to the magic of youtube and the editing talents of filmmaker Corey Smith, the video has finally seen the light of day! Wheeeeee! Of course, the concept of the vid changed a bit in the editing process, since long after I shot the scenes, I recorded the song of the same name (all of which is based on the real-life events experienced by Mark Baratelli and me back in the day in Tally. It's mapped on my platial). Originally there was just going to be the spoken parts mixed in with a bit from Superpowerpusssy (yeah, I still lerv that CD; it's still one of my fave projects); but it totally works synced up with Damn the Flip Flops. And, I have to say, the end turned out great! Thanks, Corey! Go and

Speaking of Corey Smith, we recently finished shooting a film for a class of his titled, Practical Reasoning. It's a 'philosophical comedy,' and it takes its name from a philosophy class I enrolled in at my first college and subsequently had to drop after I corrected the professor's grammar. (Yes, the correct phrase is "The reason is that," NOT "The reason is because...") I play a pretentious hipster know-it-all who goes around yakking nonsense in peoples' faces. The acting is way over the top, which is to say that it's just a bigger version of me. Kind of like me drunk, only without the screaming or that odd New Yorkish accent that seems to come upon me whenever I'm overserved. And more articulate. And more tired-er, since we filmed at the crack of dawn, and I was always running on practically no slizzeep. Unfortunately, at this moment I am lacking of the screenshots, but I may have some in the future. Watch for it!

Lastly from the pastly, I meant to put a post up here announcing when I had a post on the WFMU blog, but I lazed out, predictably. So in case you missed it (and it was a goodun), go here to read it. I talk about merkins, gawker and Pseu Braun living in a teepee.

And now, on to the current ephemera:

To paraphrase my character Mollie from Aguilleratry, "I'm completely obsessed with that show House on Fox." I lerv it. I came to it late, so I haven't seen all that many episodes, but already I'm totally enamored with it--I haven't been this all about a show probably since V. And Voyagers before that. I tell you, I'm so into it, I've even gone so far as to read slash! (!!!)(House/Wilson, of course.) What's the draw, you ask?

I'll tell you.

Like the two aforementioned shows, the appeal of House revolves all around its main character, Dr. Gregory House, a witty, crabby, Vicodin-addicted misanthropic genius who insults patients and talks down to his staff of hotties (and has some kinda romantic tension going on with his best friend Dr. James Wilson, played by Robert Sean Leonard of Dead Poets Society fame; or maybe not--I might just be reading too much slash). (In case you're wondering, V revolved around Diana (duh), cux of her scheming, charisma and hotness, and to some extent Lydia, cux of her English accent and German popstar haircut; Voyagers revolved around John Erik Hexum, because of his hotness, hottitude and hottricity; and that whole traveling-through-time-with-a-boy-who-was-about-my-age-at-the-time didn't hurt either.) I know what you're thinking: a mean, witty doctor who's addicted to Vicodin? It's too good to be true! Yeah, that's what I thought at first too, but after a few episodes, I realized that it is all it's cracked up to be, and I was hooked.

Now that I've gotten more into the show, I realize that the character of Gregory House only succeeds because of the talent of Hugh Laurie, the actor who portrays him. Apparently he's been around forever, but on English TV, so no American ever across the nation has ever, ever heard of him ever before, even though he's also been in movies & stuff. And I had no idea he was English until someone told me, because his American accent is perfect. (Even though some contest that, noting that there appear to be regional inconsistencies in the way he pronounces certain phonemes. To that I say, show me someone who has a perfectly consisten accent. Only people with uber-thick regional accents who've lived in one place their entire lives have perfectly consistent accents. If someone said that my American accent wasn't real, I'm sure someone could piece it apart completely in 10 seconds: His long i's often sound Southern, but then sometimes he comes out with a Canadian-sounding short o, and he even has a hint of Brooklynese at times, espeically when he says words like 'dog' and 'coffee.' So to anyone who says Hugh Laurie's American accent isn't spectacular, I quote Blair Warner to you: Turn blue.) Laurie manages to play House as the acerbic, damaged person he is, but at the same time humanize him and make him, I dare say, loveable. I also can't imagine any other actor his age who could bring enough charisma to the role to make House sexy, which he also amazingly accomplishes.*

Of course, at this point I have to admit that it should come as no surprise that I love the character of House. He represents a myth that I find irresistible, even while I acknowledge that it's nothing more than fantasy: the misanthrope who callously defies society's conventions and wins in the end through his sheer brilliance. Why wouldn't I like that, being a misanthrope myself? I'm always rooting for the crabby underdog, because I'm crabby! So while some viewers find House 'mean,' I'm always cheering him on when he makes a caustic comment (usually following up with a comical expression that I can't imagine anyone but Laurie being able to pull off). There are other ways I can identify with the character, but I need to see more of the show to understand whether I'm grasping the actual character of House.

So I love House. And I'm all about the House/Wilson slash. But now for some criticism. Just to address the most common criticism of the show, yes, it's totally unrealistic and often hysterical and operatic. But I don't really have a proglem with that. I did a little with that two parter where House shot the corpse and ruined an MRI machine, thinking that the show had gotten too over the top even for me, but I'm over that now. Here's my real problem: the seemingly inevitable romance between House and Allison Cameron, the young hot doctor on his staff who never comes off as particularly bright. From what I can tell from the fan forums ('s is quite good; myspace's is predictably bereft of intellect), everyone and her sister wants 47-year old House to hook up with 20-something Cameron. I gather from reading the forums that something must have already happened between the two characters, and in the season finale, the writers seem to imply that House is 'interested' in her. There's a scene where he essentially touches her by proxy, through an operating room robot--a button is cut from a blouse, a navel is blown on... Because this occurs in House's mind, a lot of people are inferring that House wants to have 'a relationship' with her. Now, my thought is that it's occuring in his mind because, on some level, he wants to fuck her. Because she's young and hot. But that doesn't mean that he wants a 'relationship.' Getting to the point, however: I fear that this storyline is going to be explored deeper in future episodes, and I'll be terribly disappointed with the show if it is. Because if House hooks up with Cameron, then suddenly we have every other show on television, and that tired cliche of the older, charismatic man getting the piece of cheesecake. Moreover, the show would become a soap opera, less House, M.D. than Who's the Boss?, and there's a reason that Who's the Boss? has become nothing more than a punchline: because that kind of show, where two characters dance around an inevitable, 'right' romantic pairing, is tired and stupid. Which, ironically, would superbly suit it to most of the American public (the booboisie, if you will).

If you're still reading, you're either agreeing with me or thinking that I want House to hook up with Wilson. Well, I do, but that's obviously not going to happen, even though it would allow for some rich, complicated storylines. So who do I think House should hook up with? None of the characters! I mean, granted, I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, but I've never worked in an office where everyone hooked up with each other just because they were there. Why would House hook up with anyone at his hospital? Being so intelligent, he would surely be familiar with the phrase, "Don't shit where you eat." Furthermore, why can't he just not be interested in dating at all? He is a 'broken man'--wouldn't he either have given up on love, or at least be too wary of it to engage after the debacle with Stacy? Didn't he even tell Stacy, the love of his life, that he couldn't give her what she needed, in one episode? So why would he hook up with Cameron, who, predictably, would 'heal' him? It's ludicrous. But let's say that House had to hook up with someone in the hospital: why not Cuddy? She's intelligent and gorgeous, and not afraid to meet House on his own turf intellectually. She's a woman, not a girl. So wouldn't it make more sense for House to be attracted to her? I mean, Wilson's (suposedly) attracted to her, and he's 10 years younger than House. (Then again, I just remembered all the 40-plus men I've known who seem to only be attracted to 20somethings. If that's true across the board, and it seems depressingly like it is, then perhaps it is more logical for House to be more attracted to Cameron. Hmmmmm...) But in the end I don't want to see anyone in the hospital hooking up with co-workers. It's unrealistic-in-the-bad-way for me, and I don't find it compelling. I hope they keep writing the show with adults in mind.

WOW! I didn't expect to write all that about a TV show. I guess I'll have to save my "Why Ace of Base's Cruel Summer sucks butt warts and how I would have produced it differently" for later. I've gone waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy too comic-book-guy in this entry already.

So that's the bizzzeep for now. More later, beepnerlets!

Ed Shepp