“We Don’t Know The Damage Yet”

There were lots of funny and interesting observations about our industry to be found today nestled in the LA Times reviews of new movies and TV shows.  Paul Brownfield, in his review of the new Showtime series WEEDS, laments:

What has writer Alan Ball done to his industry? He’s like President Bush — we just don’t know the damage yet…

…the show feels more like the spawn of Ball’s "American Beauty" and his soon-to-conclude HBO series "Six Feet Under," where the answer to the question "How much more implied and expressed pain and suffering can we be witness to?" is always the same:  "More."

Kenneth Turan, in his review of the movie version of THE  DUKES OF HAZZARD, observes that "subversive" has taken on new meaning in Hollywood:

"The Dukes of Hazzard" is a film that is not there. It can’t really be reviewed
because it doesn’t really exist. It is not empty calories, which implies
pleasure, but simply empty. It’s a cosmic void where a movie ought to be…

…The only person who thinks "The Dukes of Hazzard" is a substantial piece of work
might be its producer, who told the Los Angeles Times, apparently with a
straight face, that the film is "a tougher, more subversive movie than one might
expect." If you buy that, you probably think Krispy Kreme doughnuts are one
tough, subversive food group.

Rober Lloyd, in his review of the movie SLINGS AND ARROWS, had this observation about Canada, where so many movies and TV shows are filmed:

Canada is all over American television, standing in for New York and Chicago,
for foggy San Francisco and rocky Colorado, but it is only in Canada that Canada
gets to play itself…

When Canada stands for Canada… the country is
revealed not as a fake America but an authentic Canada.

Whatever that is. Lloyd doesn’t say. And although I’ve spent lots of time up there, I’m not sure I could, either.

4 thoughts on ““We Don’t Know The Damage Yet””

  1. Hell, I’ve lived here all my life, and it would be difficult.
    Canadians spend a lot of time trying to decide what the answer to that question is. I don’t think that, collectively, we’ve decided yet. It goes beyond universal health care and a lower murder rate.

  2. Minor point: Slings and Arrows is a TV Series, not a movie.
    And I understand that statement. I can’t imagine any movie filming in the US and claiming it’s Canada. Also, given how many of our big towns are stand ins for America, if you’re going to admit the thing is being filmed in Canada, why not go for a smaller town that has character, that isn’t a generic “big city?”

  3. Paul Brownfield is one of those glib idiots who has never set foot in a therapist’s office. SIX FEET UNDER is masterful. For the rest of us who have the cajones to confront our personal demons, shows with authentic depth like Alan Ball’s help keep us sane. For every “Desperate Housewives” there is a “Six Feet Under.” For every “Sex In the City” there is a “The Wire.” Thank Christ there are still writers, directors and producers out there intelligent enough to recognize the difference.


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