Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Move in a little Closer. . . if you dare

The word "fierce" was over used at exactly the same time it was first used to describe anything other than a mad dog. It's a word for drag queens and teenagers. But--you know where this is going, don't you--what other word can describe Glenn Close in Damages? Well, consider "committed." She is committed to every single scene with clear intention; she signals to the audience in every utterance that Patty Hewes is duplicitous, manipulative, brilliant, righteous, deceitful, ambitious, selfish, and selfless all at once. I believe it is her screen actor chops that are working here. In film, and not so often in TV--except perhaps in the shows I'm ranking as part of the Golden Age of Television (Six Feet Under, Sopranos, Weeds, Mad Men are the most notable)--we see actors reaching for more dimensionality than television commonly affords, because of its pace, timeline, simplistic (or too complicated) plots and straightforward moral dimensions. But Damages delivers complexity solely in the character of Patty Hewes, not so much the other characters who are more standard / stock--with the exception of Tom (Tate Donovan), who is handsome, loyal, vulnerable, yet seething, but all heart to Hewes' brawn.

I have one gripe about the show. I might save this for another post. It's basically that the whole flashback structure doesn't work for me. I don't think it adds anything, and it's cheesy in its mock horror effect. I think the dramatic tension might have stood on its own with just the plot.

And I'm not crazy about the stalker either. This show is better than that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've only seen the pilot of Damages. I liked it because I adore Glenn Close.

My recent addiction on Netflix is the FX series The Shield. Have you seen it? It's incredible. Michael Chiklis is amazing, and in Season 4 he goes head to head with Glenn Close. It's some of the best TV I've ever seen. Almost as good is watching Chiklis with Forest Whitaker in season 5. Mesmerizing!

I started getting The Shield because I missed The Wire and I was tired of waiting for season 4 to be released. The Shield is EVERY BIT as good, even if it doesn't have McNulty, that sexy Irish devil.