Merlin

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I’m delighted to see that season four of Merlin is making good on the promise of the show.

I love the Arthurian tales. Their telling is like pizza — good, even when it’s bad. Not that there’s anything wrong with the first three seasons — on the contrary, there is much there to love and admire.

But toward the end of the third season, the show really seemed to find its legs with the coming together of the round table. No doubt the good people who bring us the series realized they have a hit on their hands.

Now the story is going from strength to strength — with verve, sweep, and romance … and magic!

Good for them. Good for us.

____________

PS,

O, drat — they’ve cancelled the series.

____________

 Merlin @ BBC 1

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Game of Thrones

There is a wealth of good things to be said about Game of Thrones, the terrific series on HBO, easily the most grownup sword & sorcery epic I’ve ever seen.

Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, is at the top of my list. He’s a generous actor, but his instincts, intelligence and gift for invention make it impossible to take your eyes off him.

Fascism TV

I have nothing against cops on TV, per se. Like many others, I think The Wire was one of the best offerings in the history of television. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed Without a Trace, Law & Order and CSI. My new fave rave is Justified.

That said, I’m increasingly tired of the whole genre. It’s gone way beyond the saturation point. In recent years we’ve had The Shield, The Academy, Cold Case, and Flashpoint. Today, we have The Closer, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, Prime Suspect and multiple clones of Law & Order and CSI. We have NCIS and now NCIS: LA.

It gets better. Tuesday nights on CBS, all of prime time is dedicated to cop shows. Last week, I had a gander at the ironically titled Unforgettable. It’s about a beautiful woman cop who never forgets anything. It’s a predictable procedural, but with a twist. In this episode, she tells a bunch of activists to go ‘camp out in the park, knock yourselves out.’ You could cut the sneering condescension with an axe.

Friday night, confronted with a vast wasteland, I had a peek at CSI: New York, which is typically all too forgettable, and with no twist in sight. We find a noble cop talking with his adorable girlfriend. It’s an intimate morning-after scene and all very affectionate — right up to the point where she makes a smirking reference to some “sexually ambiguous” person of interest.

In the cop show called Person of Interest, we recently had the computer-savvy-nerd half of a vigilante team make an approving remark about fracking.

You get the picture.

Justified

Timothy Olyphant and Joelle Carter

My new fave rave

Fans of Deadwood will remember Timothy Olyphant as the intense lawman turned store keeper. He returns as a Federal Marshall in this terrific series, produced by Elmore Leonard and based on a character from one of his stories. Exciting, colorful, sexy, powered by great writing — it’s a heaping helping of good fun.

IMDB: Justified

Save the Internet: Take Action

Look at it this way: If the fat cats take over the Net, it will start to look like prime time TV — full of vacuous “reality” programs featuring no-talent buffoons fattening the wallets of brain-dead producers.

Noooooooo! It’s too horrible to contemplate. Act now, before it’s too late!

Save the Internet: Take Action:

US Media Ignore Al Qaeda Torture Manual

I propose that sensible moderates everywhere do whatever they can to shatter the echo chambers on both left and right:

lgf: US Media Ignore Al Qaeda Torture Manual

This kind of groupthink is inexcusable. I watched a normally sensible guy interviewing Charles Krauthammer the other day. Krauthammer was arguing, rightly, that the recent turnabout in Anbar was huge. The interviewer said, without so much as a thought, OK, maybe it is a slight improvement — or words to that effect.

I wanted to reach through the TV screen and repeatedly slam the guy’s head into his desk. Meanwhile, subgenius politicians continue to drone on about our failure in Iraq.

Try to keep up, kids. Iraq and the Middle East have never known democracy as we do. It took centuries for us to evolve our practices. Trying to shake-n-bake a modern state in the region is just going to take more time than MTV might have you believe.

You Sick Bastards

To think I used to trust CNN…

MichaelMoore.com : SiCKO : SiCKO News : SiCKO Truth Squad Sets CNN Straight

I was watching a notorious conservative talk show host expostulating as to how, if Michael Moore gets his way, you’d better pray you don’t get sick.

I couldn’t help but think, “And that would be different… how?!

For millions of Americans the answer is, of course, “Not much.”

As with the working poor, so with millions of immigrants: The haves are happy to enjoy the fruits of their labor — but give them a fair shake? No way, José!

Meanwhile, stupid little piggies parade their idiot celebrity, erect ever more McMansions, foist reality programming on the masses and drool over martinis costing thousands of dollars.

Before they start squealing about class warfare, let’s hand them their heads — on a gilded platter.

Let’s start at the top:

Bush suggests uninsured children go to ER