I’m halfway through the fifth and final season of The Wire. I like the way they change up the theme song each season. I just realized that Steve Earle, who sings the theme for the final season, also plays Bubbles’ AA sponsor. The evolution of the characters over the course of the five seasons has been a fascinating study. Carver turned out to be a good cop once he was free from Hauk, who was a screwup and remains a screwup. Lester stepped out of the background in the first several episodes to demonstrate that he was a great detective, but he’s infected by some of McNulty’s obsessiveness. McNulty was almost invisible in Season 4. Dry, back on the beat, in a good relationship. And then he gets summoned back to Major Crimes and he’s on a downward spiral again. Tragic to see the fates of some of the younger characters. And I thought Omar was toast when he walked into an ambush in Season 5. I’ll be curious to see how his story turns out. Can he really fly?
Has there ever been a tribe that has performed as poorly as Blue Team on this year’s Survivor? And, yes, Jeff Strand, I’m looking at you. I thought for sure they would summon up a victory but, no. It wasn’t to be. I’m surprised Russell lasted as long as he did. He seemed surprised when the final vote was revealed. I agree with his assessment: he and Survivor weren’t meant for each other.
Hard to imagine that the current structure will remain intact too much longer, but there was no hint of a merge in the preview. Instead it seemed to be all about a possible medical evac. Baseball player Jeff’s knee injury doesn’t seem to be holding him back. I thought it was clever of what’s-his-name to fan the ashes between Ms Brazil and RC by hiding the idol clue in RC’s bag. Poor RC has no idea what’s happening to her.
Law & Order: SVU has been surprisingly strong this season. No preachy plotlines or issue-based soliloquies. And it looks like they’re bringing back Eames for at least one episode next week. That’s a good sign. Goran and Eames were always my favorite part of all the L&O franchises.
As soon as they let the guy out of the storage locker on CSI this week, I said: suspect. Good intuition, though it was a much more complicated story than that.
When the statuesque lady walked through the door, I figured she was a transvestite. The moment she opened her mouth, I knew who the actor portraying her was, and you could have scraped my jaw up off the floor with a spatula. The scene where SAMCRO set up a town councilman on this week’s Sons of Anarchy has to be, hands down, one of the funniest and most astonishing things I’ve ever seen. He nailed it. And I like that he didn’t really soften his voice much but he was a woman in every other way. Even Tig couldn’t keep his eyes off her. The kiss with Jax was apparently an improv moment. Venus Van Damme may return later this season. Wow. Talk about taking risks as an actor.
Last weekend we watched a movie called People Like Us, starring Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer. A decent drama about a wheeler-dealer who returns home after his estranged father dies. He discovers something about his family and has to figure out what to do with a satchel full of money and this stunning information. Pfeiffer is his mother. Elizabeth Banks is really good as the single mom and I’ll never complain about Olivia Wilde, who has a small role but plays a strong woman. The plot relies on Pine’s character holding back a secret far longer than necessary, but other than that we liked the movie.
Fringe is beginning its end game. It’s a show that deserved a larger following, especially once it found its footing in Season 2 and got away from being a “creepy incident of the week” X-Files clone. It developed a mythos and ran with it. The acting (especially Anna Torv) became better, and it is responsible for one (or two or three) of the great TV characters in Walter Bishop. I didn’t know Lance Reddick before this show, where his character isn’t given a lot of range (except for one or two incidents), so it’s been fun to see him laughing and being expressive on The Wire. I’m not sure that he will be on the show any more since the final season is set a couple of decades in the future.