Monday, March 2, 2009

Culture High and Low

There's so much television and so little time it's hard for me to even know where to begin. I'll start by noting that, if you're a fan of Life on Mars, either US or UK version, you'll want to know that BBC America will be running Ashes to Ashes, the UK sequel, beginning Saturday night. Sam's story is done; in the sequel, another cop finds himself in the past, this time the past of 1981. I've never seen it so I can't comment on its quality, but I do look forward to finally seeing it.

I felt iffy about Big Love in its first season, liked it a lot more in its second, and am finding the third season frankly incredible. The long hiatus caused by the writers' strike appears to have allowed the writers time to intricately plot this season, and the way various threads hinted at in the past have been brought to the fore and woven together is something to behold. If you haven't been watching there's still time to catch up via On Demand, but you better start now; only three new episodes remain. Prepare yourself emotionally before playing catch-up, though. One of my complaints about the first two seasons has been that the toll of the Hendricksons' chosen life - not just polygamy but the fact that they have chosen a life of secrets, lies, and isolation, and the way their choices effect and affect not only the adults but also the children - had not been dealt with sufficiently. The toll of all choices is dealt with again and again in this season. It's tragic in many ways, and sad, and affecting. Don't miss it.

I have no idea how or why I became addicted to Bravo's Real Housewives shows, but here we are. The OC girls have been put out to pasture for the year not a moment too soon, because the level of downright nastiness between and among them had become as hard as it was fascinating to watch, but now we're back in NYC for a second season, which is reason to rejoice. Like most of America, I spent last season laughing at Alex and Simon's quixotic quest to be something other than the pretentious wannabe poseurs that they so clearly are, but this year they have been supplanted in my affections by the Countess.

The Countess is Luann Somethingorother from Connecticut, who parlayed a minor modeling career into marriage to some minor Eurotrash Count whose family bought a title a couple of generations ago. The Countess hangs onto her title in the way only a chick from working-class Connecticut can. She insists on being called Countess Luann and presents absolutely no indication of any knowledge that the words "Countess" and "Luann" should probably never be placed next to one another. She often referes to herself in the third person, as befitting a royal. "The Countess does not drink from a bottle," she chastised the wait staff at a benefit during the season premier, and I thank her for providing me with a new catchphrase.

Countess Luann is working on a book of etiquette, because people named Luann are naturally savants in this area. In last week's episode she became angry that those attending a funraiser were talking amongst themselves as she was being introduced as a contributor to the charity in question, so she strode onto the stage and shushed the crowd. She then strode back to her seat and proceeded to talk to her tablemates while the M.C. continued with the program. She's an expert, that one.

Catch it on Bravo, Tuesdays at 10, with marathons running pretty much anytime during the week that a Top Chef marathon isn't. You will not be sorry.

1 comment:

tunsie said...

I don't know about those programs.I watch 60 minutes live or the internet.monk or house.lately the weather channel has become popular.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie