Wednesday, June 18, 2008

weeds, secret diary of a call girl: premieres

Weeds: Not your typical premiere. No big bang, just character development and putting the storyline into place. Nancy and her bandit family have left Agrestic, and I think this premiere will be the last time we hear "Little Boxes" over the titles. I was wary of the addition of Albert Brooks as Judah and Andy's father - since I have never laughed at anything he's said - but his delivery of "You're eating German food in my mother's living room, and you smell of gas? She was at Aushwitz, for Christ's sake" was well done. My favorite line of the episode goes to Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker): Upon hearing about brother-in-law Andy's masturbation stains, "Great, my children are sleeping next to their unborn cousins." Now, these are awful people, and I don't deny that (and the show doesn't even try to hide it). In numerous occasions, Nancy could have left the drug-dealing world and made an honest woman out of herself and provided (legally) for her children. Andy is a screw-up who shows no signs of changing his ways. Celia is the front-runner for World's Worst Mother. And Silas needs to be punched. BUT they're an interesting bunch, and the blending of irony and comedy entertains me. Not a strong premiere, not much happened (other than finding a new residence), but I have high hopes for this season. New things.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Umm... I was hoping that this show would be more about loss of identity/absence of the self than it would be about sex. In 24 minutes, Hannah (call girl name Belle), played by Billie Piper, had sex with two men twice. On average, that's sex every 6 minutes. And those scenes last about 3-4 minutes... which leaves roughly 10 minutes left for character development and set up. Hannah has a best friend (Ben?) but he rarely had any lines, let alone time, to develop a character. BUT there was one moment - maybe a whole sixty seconds - where Hannah called Ben, who did not answer, and it showcased her vulnerability. There was a close-up montage of her looking around (which was a boring way of showing boredom) and lighting a cigarette (sexy?). These close-ups were screaming, "Hey, audience! She's lonely! She's torn between her private and professional lives!" If the show is going to continue the looking-at-the-screen narration, the narration needs to be more philosophical and insightful - a la Sex and the City. The premiere was little more than fetishistic sex (a horse saddle ride?) and retrogressive feminism ("I like sex, and I like money" is Hannah's justification/explanation for her career). The only insight came in the last few seconds, where she, via voiceover, says she can only be with a man who doesn't want to be with the real her. She has to dump a client who wants no makeup and jeans, no shoes in the house. She needs clients who want the fantasy. I'll watch a few more episodes, but please, for love of God, change the title sequence. Fragmentation was so eighteen years ago (ahem, Pretty Woman, ahem).

Side Note: Hey, Showtime, could you be a little more blatant with your Women=Sex campaign? I don't think the message is coming across... come on, a bathing suit in a potted plant and a mini-dress in a martini glass? And in high heels?


Samir said...

Billie Piper was a teen pop sensation in the old country. Then she married an overexposed TV host, disappeared for a bit, and is now a serious actress. That is weird.

keyser soze said...

Seriously? Who was the overexposed TV host? It wasn't Bob Barker... or was it? Because that WOULD be weird.