Remote Destination

I hate Nancy Grace. I got caught up watching some of the coverage of last week’s courtroom shooting in Atlanta, and I realized that Nancy Grace sucks.

I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but she was so personally involved in what happened and so venomous that I swore I was watching Fox News and not CNN. I understand that she’s angry, but she’s also got a degree in law. I can’t recall her using the word “allegedly” once.

Before that, my only opinion of her was that she looked funny. But afterwards, I was curious why she even had a job at CNN at all. Like, she really sucks.

Last Week’s Viewage

Law & Order: Trial By Jury – I like this show. That said, the appearance of two cast members of The Wire doesn’t fill my job with hope. But the episode was cool.

Real Time With Bill Maher – Interesting. Something seemed a bit off this week. I can’t place my finger on it, it just wasn’t entertaining. But I do have to give credit to Bill for making a joke about the Atlanta shooting when the story was mere hours old.

Saturday Night Live – This episode was barely funny. In fact it was awkwardly not funny.

Carnivale – This was such a dope episode. I barely realized that Sophie was Justin’s daughter before it was revealed. And the fact that Scutter was duped into using his powers was a genius stroke by Justin. I don’t like the idea that there are two episodes left, but that’s mostly because I’m really digging the show right now.

Deadwood – The drama in this town is intense. It’s nice how Swearengen had to play nice with Bullock. Bullock appears to be on the verge of consummating his marriage, which spells tension between he and Mrs. Garrett. Mr. Tolliver appears to be a very dastardly man indeed. Deadwood is getting more and more compelling every week.

Tilt – What an interesting way to end the season. If everyone is rich, why is there a need for a second season? The Matador might not go to jail, but is that enough to really compel a second season? It was nice to see the “looking through the cards” gimmick. But since I’m not an avid poker watcher, I’m curious as to how many of these games actually go down to the “River Card.” I’m not rabidly awaiting the second season, I’ll probably watch if it returns.

The Simpsons – Man, other cultures are funny.

Arrested Development – How do the writers come up with such insane scenarios? “Motherboy?” Hilarious. Of course the show could always use a bit more Gene Parmesan.

The Shield – I’ll admit that my expectations were kind of high, but the season premiere was pretty disappointing. It was slow. Vic wasn’t “Vic” enough. In fact Shane was much more “Vic” than Vic was. The blow up with Aceveda was nice, but I’m worried that he’s going to fall by the wayside. Lem appears to have completely lost his manhood. Ronnie is still a background character with a name. I do wonder if Julian is “still” gay.

Glen Close did do a solid job in her debut. I hope she continues throughout the season.

Oz (edited for Somebody) – Wow, what a way to end the series. We finally find out what happened to _________. We also find out why ________ killed _______. _______ returned to replace ________, and implemented a new policy. ________ manipulated _________ into killing _________. But then _________ committed suicide and implicated ___________. Poor _________ I don’t think he’ll ever catch a break. Speaking of that, it appears that ________ will never get paroled, because of a stupid grudge. I’m not going to lie, I got a bit teary when ________ was finally executed. It wasn’t quite the build up it was last time, but it still tore at my core. Finally everyone has to transfer because of a plot that _______ had to protect ________ from the _________. And we get no closure!

Maybe it’s time for Oz: The Next Generation.

Greatest Show Ever”¦this week: Miracle’s Boys

I know this miniseries premiered in February, but I wasn’t bored enough to watch it until now. My bad. It a great story of three half Puerto Rican/half Black brothers in Harlem, trying to make it on their own. The writing was solid. So solid that it was completely believable despite the lack of cursing. It still felt real. Probably because it reminded me of some of my closest friends.

Spike Lee directed the final installment, and even managed to work his “signature shot” into the show. It’s dope heartwarming story, and it made me feel warm inside.

I’ve got to admit that I’m going to miss Oz. But the really cool thing about the show is what I’ve taken from it. Thus I present;

Ten Things I Learned From Watching Oz

#1 – The East Coast Isn’t That Large

By my count there are ten actors who appeared regularly on Oz, who also appeared regularly on one of the following East Coast based shows Homicide: Life on the Streets, The Wire, or various Law & Order spin offs.

#2 – Prison Will Make You Do Desperate Things

When Robson was cast out of The Brotherhood, he took some drastic measure, even becoming a prag. Watching what he had to endure truly made me realize that I don’t want to go to prison.

#3 – Quite a Few Good Actors Aren’t Working Enough

When was the last time you saw someone from Oz? And I mean outside of a Law & Order episode. Sure “Augustus” is on Lost, and “Vern” and “Leo” get film work, but what about the rest? When was the last time you saw a Muslim? Or even a C.O.? These folks need more work.

#4 – If You See Bobby Cannavale, Chances Are There’s Going to Be Some Penis to Anus Action

I first came across Bobby on Kingpin and when he got raped it was difficult to watch. Then he showed up last year on Six Feet Under, as a gay bodyguard. So when he showed up as the flamboyant Torquemada, I was less than surprised when the eventual homosexual seduction took place.

#5 – Sometimes Celebrities Do Go to Prison

Jackson Vayhue went to Oz. Kareem Said was a celebrity of sorts, and he ended up there as well. And what about all those rappers? Method Man, Lord Jamar, LL Cool J, and even Master P. Hoyt was that guy from Biohazard.

Ok, so clearly in the real world celebrities don’t get convicted, but via Oz we saw what would happen if they did.

#6 – Prison Is Very Much Like A Soap Opera, Only With More Violence.

Keller and Beecher had a relationship that was straight out of a Soap Opera. Here’s what happens when you use their first names (and make “Chris” a female) ;

“Ok, so Chris totally helped Vern set up Toby, but then Chris realized that she loved Toby. So then she tried to convince Toby that she really did love him. So she helped Toby get revenge on Vern. So then Chris and Toby got together, and everything was cool. But then Toby started hanging out with Kareem and he kind of made Toby break up with Chris. So that caused some tension. But when Toby tried to get back with Chris, Chris so wasn’t trying to hear it. So then Toby started hooking up with a lot of other (girls) trying to make Chris jealous. And then right when Chris and Toby did get back together Chris had to move away.”

Y’see what I mean?

#7 – Televison Can Still Be Creative and Innovative

Oz was essentially a dramatic Cheers, only in prison. It combined traditional Greek elements (the chorus) and combined them with political commentary. It also fully utilized it’s abbreviated seasons to give characters sweeping arcs. It also provided a unique look at an oft ignored segment of society; the criminal element.

#8 – The World Isn’t “Black and White.” Rather It’s Composed of Varying Shades of Gray.

On Oz the traditional “good guys” (those who work in the prison) aren’t always “good.” And the traditional “bad guys” (the criminals) aren’t completely bad. In many episodes the murders and drug dealers are the most likeable characters. Oz is just one big ball of gray.

#9 – Bad Guys Can Be Great

The reason why Oz, The Wire and The Sopranos are such great shows on HBO is because HBO allows criminals to go unpunished. On network television criminals must be punished. Even if you take away the violence and language those three shows still couldn’t be shown on network television, because over there the rule is “bad guys have to lose.”

To the best of my recollection the closest network television came to having a show with any complexity was Line of Fire, a show that I genuinely miss.

#10 – It Was All Just a Dream

Apparently Oz never really happened.

Remember that nurse who killed Morales? Well when Leo checked into her background it turned out that she worked at St. Eligius AKA St. Elsewhere. And we all know how that show ended right?

That sucks, because I really dug Oz.

To Be or Knotts To Be

Last week I posed the following scenario;

Good News; you’ve got a hot date. Bad News; for some reason you have to have a chaperone. Maybe you’ve been transported back to high school? Maybe this woman (or man) has a way overprotective family. Maybe she has to take care of a family member. Who knows? The point is your date has to have a third wheel.

So who is accompanying you on your dream date; Mr. Furley (Three’s Company or Barney Fife (The Andy Griffith Show)?

Sadly only Aaron Cameron replied to my Question of the Weekâ„¢. I’m assuming it’s because the rest of you had your digits bitten of by attacking chimpanzees, and thus were unable to type.

Ralph Furley is my chaperone of choice. Why? Wardrobe. Barney Fife and his Mayberry Deputy duds would be instant buzzkill. Furley had that whole landlord/pimp vibe goin’. Plus, there are just not enough men who rock paisley ascots, anymore. And, m’man *always* had money as every Three’s Company ep. featured Furley shaking down the trio for the rent money. $300 in his pocket at all times? That’s a lotta supersized french-fry goodness. Finally, I gotta believe that a character from early ’80s Santa Monica is a little more, um, “progressive” than one from the 1960s South, y’know.

I completely agree with Cameron. But for the sake of balance I’m going to cast my vote for Fife. Let’s be real; you can’t go wrong with a guy named Barney. Homer Simpson has Barney Gumble. Fred Flintstone has Barney Rubble. Millions of parents trust their children to a purple dinosaur named Barney. Barney is the perfect right hand man. Yes, he’s going to be clumbsy, but he’s also going to follow my lead, like every good Barney does. I also think he’d be easier to ditch. It’s go something like this “Hey Barney, that guy across the street just littered!”

Edit – Colin got this one in just under the wire.

Mr. Furley. Maybe. Juuust maybe you can get close enough to Jack Tripper to hit him over the head with a lamp. Or an anvil. And then the girls will need a new roommate….

Of course this brings us to the most neglected feature of the column;

Good News/Bad News/Question of the Week

Good News; you’re rich. I’m talkin’ more money than you know what to do with. Bad News; you’re under four feet tall. Maybe your parents killed and you inherited the money. Maybe you just worked hard for it. Or maybe you just avoided the Net Bust. The point is you have loads of money. Bad News; you’re a cartoon character.

So Who Would You Rather Be; Scrooge McDuck (Ducktales) or Richie Rich (Richie Rich)?

J.A.M.

Cam hasn’t got a new Bootleg up. But I’m guessing when it does appear it will feature an Oz/Lil’ Kim reference. Or is that too obvious for him?

Joe Reid on the other hand references both Marlon Brando’s corpse and takes you on a trip through the Matrix that must be read to be believed.

Greatest Video Ever”¦this week

Mariah Carey – It’s Like That

I’m not going to lie; I watched this one on mute, because I was too lazy to change the channel. But I was surprised that Eric Roberts is making a career out of lusting after women in videos. Does anyone remember when Julia Roberts was “Eric Robert’s little sister?” Anyway what makes this video great is Jermaine Dupri’s new hairstyle. He finally got rid of those stupid braids he’s been rocking for 15 years and shaved his head. That alone makes this a great video.

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