You ever have that moment hit you, when you're walking down the street, loving and living life, and suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, it dawns on you that you haven't had KFC in, like, a year? Before you know it, you're back home, holding a plate of undercooked drumsticks, a cup of brown, motor oil gravy, and a greased through box of stringy potatoes that are to french fries what stubbing your toe on the cafe table is to a foot massage. As even your most base cravings flee the pleasure centres of your brain, you realize this is all too familiar. The stumbled upon stroke of gastro-genius, the thrill of putting thought into motion, the dreamy anticipation that follows on the way to the kitchen, and the cold, coagulated reality that greet you there are all part of a mistake you've made again, and again, year in, year out. You knew this was going to be the end result, because this is what happens every time you order KFC, and you've gone through these same motions more times than you can count. You should know better by now, you do know better by now. But you went through with it all anyway. You let the money change hands, and knowingly brought seven herbs and spices worth of sheer, southern-fried disappointment into your home. You see yourself as Memento's Leonard Shelby, having chosen to willfully ignore the truth of your own unchanging, self-destructive nature, and chase the glimmering mirage that's better left out of reach. Alone, you stare into the depths of the red cardboard bucket of chicken, and the chicken stare back.
Whoops, sorry bout that. Just cleaning fried chicken skin out of the keyboard. I wanted to start this week off with an extended metaphor for how finding stable, gainful employment after months of searching is like drifting onto an island moments before starvation...except then the very thing keeping you alive becomes a comforting deathtrap, and you wonder if it's worth sucking down coconut juice for the rest of your life. You know, the ol' "be careful what you wish for," type deal-y, except filtered through the universal disappoint that follows the five minutes each year you spend thinking, hey, I could really go for some KFC. Guess that sorta got lost in all the dramatics, my bad. And what the hell do I know about fried chicken anyway, I like Popeye's for God's sake.
Oh, right. Articles.
- Like clockwork, a new Arrow review materializes. I may have been assigned covering the show, but that just means I appreciate its recent hot streak all the more.
- And speaking of wooden objects that can be driven into the heart of a person, animal, or Dracula, the latter of which was created by late-Victorian-era author Bram Stoker (BOOM, SEGUE): here's my review for Stoker, the new movie from Old Boy director Park Chan-wook. I was lucky enough to catch it in limited release, and thoroughly appreciated its gothic style, and general fucked-up-idness. Plus, I think I've finally committed the proper ordering for Park Chan-wook's name to memory.
I also had the very industrious goal of rattling off some thoughts on the shows I'm watching right now, but KFC-slamming slam poetry got in the way. Here's the five-second appraisal for a few of the things I'm keeping tabs on:
-Four episodes after reviewing the pilot, I'm still playing the Homeland game of "is this the week a tightly constructed spy drama goes to shit for being to plot-heavy?" So far, it hasn't happened, and the great character work, combined with the beautiful, insane setpieces, make this a challenger to Justified's Stetson crown as FX's best show.
- Justified: One sawed off foot out of a pair of Walton Goggins bug-eyes.
-I might not have expressed this clearly enough when I reviewed the premiere for season 4 a few months back, but on the level of TV as entertainment, Justified is the best thing out there right now. Even the background music for the "Previously On" intros gives me more pure pleasure in 2 minutes than most shows manage in an hour. That it's a hoot every week, while also being consistently pretty great as a showcase for drama, acting, directing, writing, and all that, is just gravy.
- Bob's Burgers: One Jon Hamm-voiced transforming toilet out of Eugene Mirman's H. Jon Benjamin impression.
-I don't know if I've fallen for an animated family sitcom like this since The Simpsons. Okay, so there haven't really been too many shows that fit the profile, and I didn't really fall in love with The Simpsons, so much as devote an entire childhood to it, but I stand by the inaccurate hyperbole. Bob's Burgers lands in a perfect sweet-spot between low-key, and zany, and the voice cast is really something else.
- The Walking Dead: Thirty Walkers-appearing-from-literally-nowhere out of every furrowed brow Michonne gets to deliver instead of actual characterizing dialogue.
-I should more thoroughly hash out my near complete falling out with this show these last few weeks, especially after last Sunday's episode, which, while a significant step up from what the latest half season has brought, convinced me that The Walking Dead and I may soon be parting ways. And that's coming from a guy who enjoyed 50-odd issues of the comic, and reads The Ultimate Zombie Survival Guide at least once a year. "The Problem with Post-apocalyptic Programming" will wait for another time, but for now, I'll just say that between the two minutes of zombie action breaking up the tedium each week, and AMC's relentless efforts to Walking Dead-ify every waking moment of your life, I'm pretty strung out.
- Enlightened: One epiphany-inducing sea turtle out of a dozen ironically self-involved existential voice overs.
-Again, I wish I had more time to write this one up properly. Then again, just about everything worth saying about how insanely precious this show is to TV as a whole, has come gushing out of the critical community these last two weeks like an African rainstorm, so I don't know how much I have to add. It's a show that's hard to really do justice in a paragraph, or even find an easy point of comparison, so let's settle for this: it's the opposite of Breaking Bad, and that's a compliment. Maybe everyone on Game of Thrones just wears sweat pants for a week, and HBO can spare the change to give one of the best things to happen to modern TV a third season.
- Wordpress Shortcuts: 0 intuitive rulesets for font modification out of FUCK-YOU-I-JUST-WANT-THE-LAST-PART-ITALICIZED-WHY-IS-EVERYTHING-BOLD-NOW?!!?!
That's all for this week. To close up shop, please once again reflect on this picture of two-time Oscar-winner Ang Lee eating at In-N-Out Burger. I don't think we as a people have given the photo its proper due: