True Hollywood Story
"In Hollywood's galaxy of stars, few sparkle like Heather Locklear," says the narrator. Leave it to the typical True Hollywood Story collection of well-meaning celeb-types to miss the point.
Don't get me wrong. I love Heather Locklear for the way she took what by all rights should've been a limited-lifespan, pretty-blond Heather Thomas career and parlayed it into not only a long, successful run, but one in which she's bailed out more than one series.
But c'mon. Those series include T.J. Hooker, Dynasty and Melrose Place, for God's sake. She deserves props not just for having a career, but for having a far longer and healthier one than anyone would've ever predicted. But let's not take it too seriously, huh? It's just camp.
Funniest line in the whole thing? This gem: "In July 1986, Heather returned to the relative calm of the Dynasty set."
Who says the E! writers don't have any irony in 'em?
Six Feet Under
The question isn't about who's been sending George those stomach-turning packages. It's about the skill required to deliver the payload into the decorative tin in a pristine state. Disgusting, to be sure. But that's some serious aim.
Also, Claire's right: Russell's mustache ain't making it. She'd be doing him a favor if she told him, too. Not as big a favor, however, as she'd be doing Jimmy if she told him overalls-without-a-shirt never worked for anyone but Junior Samples and Haystacks Calhoun.
And am I the only one who doesn't find Edie to be nearly as cutting-edge or interesting as we're apparently supposed to think she is?
Anyway, when I saw his Jack Jericho taunting a biker on the air, the first thing I wanted to write was, what, he couldn't find a building to jump off? Didn't realize he was just working his way up to that.
So Johnny accuses Jack of trying to commit suicide by goading dangerous people into killing him, and the two most likely groups the writers come up with are the aforementioned bikers and postal workers. Not that I'm making light of the first. (Hey, I saw Gimme Shelter. You'll never catch me giving a biker any lip.) But postal workers? Sure, a few bad apples have made some headlines over the years, but the most dangerous thing my mailman does is leave way too many annoying supermarket fliers and credit-card offers.
I can't help but notice that for a place we're told is barely making it, Raskin's is packed day and night. So why are they in dire straits again?
An old writing rule dictates that just because something happened in real life doesn't mean it stands on its own in a story or film; you still have to justify it, still have to flesh it out. So merely knowing this is the product of workshops where they gathered real people's stories doesn't make it hold up any better.
I like the concept, but unfortunately, as much as I want to like this film, I'm not buying it. It looks good and the cast members are doing what they can, but all I'm seeing is an experiment where types wander in and out of frame, telegraphing their stories (though not enough to actually say much that's memorable) before the movie jumps to the next inadequately sketched life.
Its heart is in the right place, though, so points for trying. But this is not only a long day it's a long 90 minutes.
Sharona wants to punish Benjy for fighting at school, so she takes away his Playstation. Obviously, she hasn't seen me reduced to a puddle of rage and frustration after trying to get past Thanatos in Resident Evil: Outbreak. Take mine, too? Please?
Meanwhile, did anyone really think Darwin the chimp was the killer here? (And how come the only parts available for chimps these days always seem to be criminals, anyway?) Anyone who uses TV for all their info, and grew up watching Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, like me, knows chimpanzees, when they're not posing in ball caps for funny cereal-box pictures, are trying to save the world. (Well, except for those little monkeys I saw them ripping apart and eating in a documentary that one time.)
Dinner for Five
Not even 60 seconds in and Jon Favreau's given me a bigger laugh than I get from most comedies when he offers a Jew's perspective on visiting Munich: "When the exits on the highway are names of concentration camps, it's a little off-putting. 'Treblinka. Three past Treblinka and then make a right.'" Then George Hickenlooper follows with a funny riff on Leni Riefenstahl and I'm thinking, this stuff really wouldn't have had them rolling in the aisles in my Hebrew-school days.
I like this show. You get to listen to Arrested Development's David Cross diagnose Saturday Night Live's ailments, for instance, or eviscerate shameless fame seekers and then trash Fox, his own network. The biggest distraction, though? Whenever I watch, I want to know what wine they're drinking. And I want some.