Friday, February 01, 2013

And I Smell Like One Too

Some musings on this year's birthday extravaganza (aka CherneyFest 2013)

In my new guise of societal vigilante, I have taken it upon myself to change the moronic phrase that never pays "At the end of the day" to the more aesthetically pleasing  "In the middle of the night". For one thing, it's more specific. "At the end of the day" is vague and ultimately lazy. At the end of the day-when? Sunset? Bedtime? Midnight? Last call? As an eternally nocturnal creature, "In the middle of the night" suits me just fine. It must be my Hungarian roots. We're basically night people, don't you know. And "In the middle of the night" is sexy. Again, it's the Hungarian in my blood.  We're basically sexy, don't you know. "At the end of the day" is bland, suggesting a warm glass of buttermilk. Bluch.

ABC's new food competition show THE TASTE is a waste, both of air time and my time. Normally, I would just write this off without another thought were it not for the unfortunate participation of Anthony Bourdain. Sad. This is the kind of show he would have torn a new asshole. Now the asshole's on the other foot. The major networks can't mange to make a decent food related show. it's all about the cable. THE TASTE may not be as putrid as that bottom feeder known as THE CHEW, but for someone I admire as much as Bourdain, this is a kick in the reputation. Hopefully, the rest of his career won't be reduced to a series of snarky sound bytes like this. It won't negate his previously excellent work, but it doesn't make for smooth sailing into the sunset. Sure, everybody's a whore, but I hold Bourdain up to a higher standard because he's basically responsible for raising the bar in the first place.

(UPDATE 6/6/13: Bourdain rebounded with his new CNN show PARTS UNKNOWN, just a retitle of  NO RESERVATIONS. This is what he does best. Unfortunately, THE TASTE has been inexplicably renewed for a second season, even though its ratings were in the toilet. Hopefully, Tony will not return. This ain't for him and frankly, leaves a bad TASTE in the mouth of one his biggest supporters, namely me.)

FOX's THE FOLLOWING was one of the best pilots I've seen in quite awhile, genuinely creepy and downright jump out of your seat scary. I wonder about its limited premise and how it can extend into a series. Too many shows like this are getting green-lit and when the major selling point reaches a logical conclusion, it flounders. (example: last year's Ashley Judd show MISSING or even AMC's THE KILLING) Why not just make it a limited-series and be done with it? Of course, it could end up like the second season of Ryan Murphy's show, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: THE KITCHEN SINK.

(UPDATE 6/6/13: A good pilot does not a series make. This show grew stupider with each episode and made me angry at myself for recommending it at all.)

A birthday gift for myself is a trip to the movies, an annual tradition I've kept for the past twenty years. This year's film was none other than Quentin Tarantino's bugfuck crazy-ass spaghetti western/blaxspoitation mix tape DJANGO UNCHAINED. Here is a list of why this was made for yours truly: The retro Columbia Pictures logo, the stylized opening credits, NEW Ennio Morricone music, Christoph Waltz. Jamie Foxx, Jim Croce's "I Got a Name", Big Daddy and his gang of "hoods", Leonardo Di Caprio and Samuel L. Jackson at his Samuel L. Motherfucking Jacksonest. Sam has been unjustly overlooked by most critics and this awards season even though he is as compelling as either Waltz or Di Caprio in this film. I can only assume that this is a casualty of the PC backlash DJANGO is receiving. his portrayal of a duplicitous house slave must have really upset the rank and file. Calling tarantino and his film irresponsible is missing the point. He's working with two bastardized genres to begin with and then propels everything so far over the top that it lnds on the other side. There's another perspective from that angle and if you're not tall enough for this ride, you shouldn't try to take it. He's dealing with themes within this framework that are otherwise getting swept under the rug. The end result tries to fulfill a revenge fantasy and there's no sensitivity involved in that sort of conclusion. At least it's an attempt to right a wrong, however cartoonish. That's his canvas or are you dopes unaware that Tarantino's been around for the last twenty years? Wake up and watch the blood spurt. Or don't. DJANGO has some drawbacks including a clunky final third and the lack of decent female characters, but this was a birthday present for me and I thank Quentin for it.

I want to give myself major props for meeting my own personal deadline (with hours to spare) in completing the final draft of my first new book for this decade. Hooray for me. It's only about goddamn time. But, instead of kicking my ass for procrastination once again, I think I'll just kiss it instead. Well done, me bucko. Smooch. More info to come on said book du Chern,so stay tuned. I won't start the pimping here. Besides, I'm at the end of the blog. I'd be burying the lead.

So happy stinkin' birthday to me.

Just how old am I? Nunya. Let's just say that I went to high school with dirt. I was a senior when he was a sophomore.
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