Friday, May 26, 2006

more television blogging

Ok, I'm back from a fabulous vacation in Crete. A totally random and wonderful trip...pictures of which may be viewed here.

Since coming home from a cramped delayed red-eye to find out that today is a holiday and no buses are running or stores open, I have had the time and inclination to catch up on various shows and whoa, finally another great episode of the Sopranos after a few ho-hum ones. But first I would have to say how impressed I was with the season finale of CSI:Miami. I think this show suffers a bit from 'middle child' syndrome when compared to the original CSI and the younger CSI:NY. Really, I think it is probably the most style-conscious show on television, the set alone being the police station of the future. Of course, I'm fairly certain the real Miami-Dade PD isn't holed up in the same luxury, who knows? It certainly has plenty of jaw-dropping location shooting, even if those locations are crime scenes. I was surprised that Boa Vista was the mole, because they made it such an obvious red herring that when the real perpetrators were unveiled and said dismissively "Boa Vista was useless!" in regards to being an imformant, that was a neat surprise. Also I didn't get the artistic choice of the subtitles for the big bad guy, but they were tres arty for prime-time. I've also noticed some great dialogue and line readings, especially from my fav character, Calliegh Dusquene, especially in the sunset denouement. But lastly, umm...CSI:Brazil? Well I'm down with that, only if we get to see some hot Brazilians.

As for the Sopranos, I really enjoyed 'Cold Stones', the penultimate episode in this year's 10-episode mini-season. It brought everything full-circle, leading poor gay Vito off a cliff. To bring everyone up to speed, Vito Spatafore was a captain in the Soprano family who in addition to being a sociopath, was also in the closet. After an uneasy exile to NH, his love of the made life sends him careening drunkenly down one of our charming NE forest roads, colliding with a truck, whose owner he shoots, of course symbolically killing his potential life there. He ends up dead in a motel room, at the hand of his brother-in-law, with a pool cue shoved up his ass. A gruesome ending like Jack Twist's in Brokeback Mountain, but remarkable for its restraint: reportedly, they filmed a few versions of Vito's demise, so presumably that includes a more graphic scene. One of them involves Vito being ambushed by Carlo Gervasi and some other New Jerseyites, who knock him out and dump him in a trunk. Vito's kids reading the newspaper account of their father's murder, especially when the girl asks, 'so daddy wasn't in the CIA?' the boy's no just broke my heart. I loved Ro and Carm's Excellent Adventure...it allowed for a reasonably spontaneous philosophy from Carmela, some great cracks by Ro and spectacular use of location, like the bust above the Guerlain shop. Although there was one very halting scene with Tony and Melfi, she totally got him good by telling him that he resented AJ because AJ's mother treats AJ like Tony wished his mother had been. It was great how he calmly smashes AJ's windshield after that and says "Don't test me." I loved how Tony rationalized it all in business terms in front of the crew but was bullshit to alone Sil. Most significant was all the hints towards Phil having his own homosexual tendencies in Vito's death scene: he literally comes out of the closet to confront the beat-down Vito, whose mouth has immediately been taped. Then Phil taunts Vito by cupping his ear and saying what was that? as Vito struggles to talk, an unusual taunt, begging the question about twenty years in prison.

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