Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Something Old, Two Things New

Four quick things:
1. I was on vacation and the only DVD in the house was Ice Storm. I hadn't seen it since it came out in the late nineties. It is an amazingly good movie. If there has been a better American movie made since it came out I can't think of it (maybe In the Bedroom, maybe The Hours, maybe Capote, maybe Juno, maybe anything with Penelope Cruz and a few others--these might be as good, but they're not better), and don't say American Beauty; it is a pale imitation. I love this move so much that I rationed it out over three nights. Watch it again if you haven't seen it in a while. It's funny, sad, wise, beautifully shot, and you can actually see how Ang Lee made this and then a few years later Brokeback Mountain.

2. Speaking of good suburban literature, check out the Franzen short story in the summer fiction issue of the New Yorker. I loved The Corrections and this has the same tone.

3. New season of Weeds just started. Is it just me or has it gone the way of farce like Desperate Housewives and Big Love. Can't watch it anymore; it's episodic and unbelievable. I liked it back in the early days when Nancy was a simple drug dealing surburban mom grieving her dead husband.

4. Finally, I just finished the pilot episode of Nurse Jackie on Showtime. Oh. My. God. I know I was excited at first about United States of Tara, but this is even better. Starring Edie Falco as a drug addled, adulterous, manipulative and conniving (for the good) nurse, it's the best written TV since possibly Six Feet Under, or West Wing. It's even got Anna Deavere Smith in it who I love (from her one-woman shows Twilight: Los Angeles and others as well as her turn in the West Wing as Defense Secretary). Jackie even has a gay best friend and hot husband. It's full of blood, foul language, shocking emergency room drama that wouldn't go on network television, and most of all humor and heart. This could possibly get us through the summer TV doldrums.