Nov 28, 2006

comeback?: I never left, beyotches!

For reasons that will be apparent in forthcoming days, my year in film, TV, etc. pretty much came to a crashing thud last week. Naturally, I'm still planning to see all the fantastic Oscarbait pics and the TV year doesn't really end until the last Battlestar Galactica of 2006 (12/15/2006, before the big Sunday move of '07), but, yeah, the arts kinda died a little, for me, over the week of Turkeyday.

That said, I'm trying to move toward optimism, toward celebration rather than fear, apathy, dullness. Let's start handing out the fun "Stuff That Rox My Sox" awards for 2006, 'kay?

The "COMEBACK?: I never left, beyotches!" award goes to:

Desperate Housewives (9 pm/Sundays/ABC) for its surprisingly dark turns this season.

I know. I *know*, right? But the thing is I've been there since the beginning, since before the hype, the catfights, the obscene ratings. And this season is pushing us to places that aren't just "shocking" or "controversial" (which the show never really was, to someone like me who watched Nip/Tuck and Twin Peaks) but are downright unsettling.

We're talking pedophilia.

We're talking a character most never really liked getting gunned down and you still feeling it, gasping with dread in the pit of your stomach, watching with uncertainty as Felicity Huffman goes iridescent with rage, fear and madness.

We're talking suggesting that Orson may indeed be Bree's soulmate due to their love of Martha Stewart-level cleanliness, even though he's probably a psycho adulterer-murderer-dude (but isn't Bree as well, kinda?) They would be able to get the blood stains out of the carpet...together!

What strikes me is the increasingly tossed-off quality to the enveloping darkness. Rather than a wink-wink-nudge-nudge "oh, aren't we being subversive!" quality, the show just kinda tosses bits and pieces of truly pitch-black humor aside and let's it hit you on the rebound.

I'm talking Dixie Carter's "Well, it's one way to kill time while you're waiting for death"

Or Bree's skewering of her friend with "We all have convictions, Susan. I believe Mike's last one was for manslaughter."

Or Gabby's truly awesome line, "I look like something Ike Turner would hit." *

Whoa. Like all good laughter, it comes with a sting.

If you've never watched the show because it's overhyped and popular, well, guess what, kiddies? High school is over. Hating something because it's popular is just as stupid and simplisitic as mindlessly liking something because it *is* popular. You're a sheep, just of a different wool. S1 and S2 are out on DVD, and the latter isn't nearly as bad as everyone suggested. And included the awesome "everyone dead is alive again" finale.

Plus, with people like Kathryn Joostyn, Dixie Carter, Alec Mapa and a zillion others (including, as Evany on TWoP has pointed out, half of Roseanne), Wisteria Lane has become a rich, fully lived-in place, perhaps the wackiest this side of Stars Hollow, sure, but an unceasing delight of randoms, guest stars and HITG!s.

There's a woman who walks her cat on a leash.

Cat. On. A. Leash. = Comic Gold.

Superduper bonus points:
For adding megagenius Joe Keenan to the staff, who not only is behind Frasier's greatest years (and wrote "Bang," the aforementioned Huffman showcase and one of the finest hours of TV this year. period.), but is also a genius, wicked satirist in his novels. My Lucky Star is all of 8 BUCKS at Amazon (hence the linky-linky) and it's the funniest send-up of the TomKat madness there is (though it was written prior.) He makes madcap screwballs like Bringing Up Baby seem sedate.

Bonus points to Dougray Scott. For being mad sexy.

Didjaknow that amnesiac James Denton is a fellow Tennessee boy? True story, he went to UTK.

ETA: I started writing this at the beginning of watching "The Miracle Song." Holy. Fracking. Shit. That final scene between Matt Roth and Felicity? That's darkness. That's pure black as vinyl, night, coffee sans cream darkness. Simply bone-chilling. Who would've thought that a mainstream, hit show would *dare* to go to such a place five, ten years back?

* - there's nothing funny about domestic violence. except when there is. see what i mean about the unsettling?

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