Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When More "Killing" Is Good

Exactly What Took AMC So Long?

AMC has finally made it official, says The New York Times, and re-upped "The Killing." I'm thankful, but at the same time, duh.

First off, the show is doing very decent Nielsens, certainly on par with "Mad Men" if a tad short of "Walking Dead."

More importantly: it's a great show. Too many shows are all story, no character. With "The Killing," there are abundant helpings of both. Virtually every scene is flowing with ruptured souls, skeletons threatening to burst out of the closet at any given moment, and leaps for redemption that somehow fall short.

Yet, it's hardly morose, even if the producers overdo it with that blasted rain. Yes, we get it, it's supposed to be Seattle. But it's a city more prone to mist and drizzle than the monsoons "The Killing" ensemble often finds themselves in. Enough already. You'll catch cold.

After last week's episode, which went off the rails as Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos)--and priceless sidekick Holder (a great Joel Kinrahan)-- went looking for her wayward son instead of Rosie Larsen's killer, this past Sunday finished up with a delicious twist of which I'll say no more in case your DVR is cued up.

However, I will predict all is most decidedly not what it seems. Or not. In any event, looking forward to another 13 episodes of angst next year, though between this show, "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad" and "Walking Dead," it'd be nice if someone would crack a smile on AMC every once in a while.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

When Reading The New York Times Online Isn't Enough

It's Harder to Sell the Drama of the Wildfire Online

Most of the top half of the front page of today's New York Times national section is covered by a stirring photo of the Arizona wildfire shot by Joshua Lott of Reuters. It's a winner, pure and simple.
You can see a smaller version of it here.
And that's the point. It looks good on the monitor. But it looks a helluva lot better at the top of a broadsheet.
Before you start dancing on a newspaper's grave, open up today's Times to page A-12. While the paper's been making this abundantly clear for a while, it's always good to be reminded that The Gray Lady knows a thing or two about color.

Don't Frack with Mark Ruffalo

Actor and a Bunch of his Celeb Friends Say "Shale, No" to Keep Hydrofracking Drilling from Wreaking Havoc Upstate

Sometimes, celebrities getting involved in social causes can be a little too hollow, overly precious. Good intentions will only take you so far beyond a six-second blurb on Access Hollywood.
Thankfully, Mark Ruffalo doesn't fall into that category. Ruffalo has been a steady but strident voice against moves by oil companies to ban hydraulic fracturing in the quest for oil embedded in ample shale reserves in upstate New York.
Ruffalo, who has a home in the Catskills, and his compadres are concerned that all that drilling will spell the end of the clean water the region is famous for (not coincidentally, it's the source of much of the Big Apple's water supply).
So, Ruffalo enlisted some of his celebrity buddies (Zoe Saldana, Ethan Hawke, Nadia Dajani, Josh Charles, Amy Ryan) to soft-pedal the anti-fracking message, and it comes at a time when Albany is considering a moratorium on hydaulic fracturing. Suffice to say, lobbyists for the energy companies are enjoying this big-time. And having to contend with a little movie-star firepower will only keep the needle moving on those billable hours.
Here's the ad: