so, something i probably should have addressed at the time: the Wire proceeded to get fucked over by the Emmys again and, to a lesser extent, by HBO itself. now, granted, i’m a little behind the times on this (the snub officially came in mid-July), but that doesn’t mean i can’t still be totally outraged about this. i can be outraged by anything! at any time i like! and i don’t really even have to care that much about the topic! and i have done this kind of thing on command before! and i really like using exclamation points right now! but, if i may focus, here we go with the complaining:
target of janklowvian rage #1: the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences really wanted to have a Wire cast member up for an award, they swear, i mean, it’s not like they can’t relate to black actors starring on a show set in Baltimore or anything
first off, guys, way to have a name so pretentious that it literally turns my stomach. secondly, my beef with you boils down to two things: 1) you neglect to give a good show even a CHANCE at a notable award (the Wire didn’t make the short list for anything but “outstanding writing for a drama series”) and 2) the stuff making the list is totally bullshit in comparison. what’s the list? well, apparently, it consists of “Boston Legal” (ABC), “Damages” (FX), “Dexter” (Showtime), “House” (FOX), “Lost” (ABC), and “Mad Men” (AMC).
okay, now to be fair, i haven’t ever watched Damages or Mad Men, and i hear really good stuff about the latter. further, i think that Dexter, while over-hyped because it’s a guilty pleasure of a bloody show, is a good program and a VAST improvement on the books. seriously, i could go on and on about how Showtime turned mediocre books that only get worse and worse as they go along into a FAR superior television program, but i’ll restrict it to this: i think the third book implied Dexter had magical powers. seriously. we’ll do this another time; we can discuss our positions on plot and character changes and whether or not Jennifer Carpenter is a disagreeable choice for a lead actress (there is some debate about this) and whether or not i remind people of the title character in this show. okay, well, maybe not the last one. that’s creepy.
ANYWAY, so Damages, Mad Men and Dexter get a pass. but this still leaves us with the other three. Boston Legal flat-out sucks. SUCKS. this might be one of those things whether i find their major characters (i’m looking at you, Spader and Shatner) just unamusing, but seriously, there’s no way this is better than the Wire. Lost, well, is simply the most overrated show in the history of television, and you know i’m not someone prone to hyperbole. random shit that has no explanation isn’t “clever!” not planning out your plot in advance isn’t “smart!” killing off Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is just fucking WRONG (and that’s about where OZ lost me as well)! and as for House… well, i don’t have the rage for a show my sidekick and i once re-titled “Lots Of Sarcastic Doctors And Also, Some Omar Epps, If You’re Into That Sort Of Thing,” but again, it’s simply not in the same league as the Wire.
and don’t get me started on the lack of actor nominations.
now, i will concede that there’s obviously some degree of taste involved here – Boston Legal and Lost would probably never have been “my kind of shows” – but it strikes me that a body that did its best to proverbially deep-throat the additionally proverbial rotting sex organ of the Sopranos last year with 15 FUCKING NOMINATIONS could throw the Wire more of a bone when it’s completing its run. hell, it could easily have been nominated for best drama series, lost to fucking Lost, and at least have met us halfway. but all this being said, let’s move on to:
target of janklowvian rage #2: HBO
oh, NOW i get it, HBO, it’s that sets like this are so ridiculously expensive as to prevent you from funding those additional three episodes
thesis statement: plainly put, i think you guys make poor life decisions. now let’s get into why i think that.
so the thing here is that HBO’s long been this cable network that could put out shows that couldn’t be shown on broadcast television for content reasons, and thus, in theory, could put out edgier but BETTER shows, right? at least, sort of, because no one is mistaking Cathouse and Real Sex for anything of value. the whole theory there is not very accurate and the shows have been hit or miss (Arli$$ is a miss, it’s name coming from an ancient Arabic word “arliss” meaning “terrible fucking show featuring Robert Wuhl, who Allah commands us to wage holy war against”), but still, HBO has given us some classic programs of what i will call “real value”: stuff like the Sopranos, Rome, Deadwood and the Wire. i don’t like Six Feet Under. deal with it.
however, i don’t think HBO has handled these shows all that well. the Sopranos, for all its solid quality for the first four years, was allowed to drag on for three more seasons (if a fifth Wire season gets cut down and still counts, then that fucking season 6, part 2 of the Sopranos is now “season 7”) during which time, despite the decreased quality, HBO pushed that show out there for award after award and spoiled the hell out of the cast. look, James Gandolfini might be a great guy, but watch all seven seasons back to back (something i did recently, god only knows why): the latter years are all caricature of a person we saw earlier and who was fictional in the first place. listen to that accent! Edie Falco isn’t that good of an actress! and THIS is what HBO puts up for Emmy contention?
now Rome, okay, had legitimate financial issues, but take Deadwood and the Wire: the former is an admittedly expensive show that HBO pushed and pushed to kill to replace with the much cheaper John From Cincinnati… which was canceled immediately after its first season ended. yes, okay, Deadwood DID get put up for and win Emmys, i’ll grant that, but its end was handled rather shabbily (and the same could probably be said for just about any other series someone liked on HBO, really). and the Wire itself saw its last season chopped down from 13 episodes to 10… and Simon had to argue for those, because HBO wanted less (7, i think). in return, he’s made Generation Kill… which HBO also demanded be cut down to a shorter run of episodes. the Sopranos can be endlessly indulgent with those stupid fucking dreams and HBO begs for more episodes, but the Wire can’t get an additional THREE episodes to end the run – and at that point, that was it, there wasn’t going to be an additional season – of one of the most dense shows out there? fucking bullshit.
so whatever, the Academy sucks and hates actors that live on the east coast and shoot programs in Baltimore and HBO isn’t thankful for what it has got. i’ll calm down now, i swear.
oh, and incidentally, i figured that it wasn’t worth writing out the whole How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Hate The Emmys thing there in the title because a) ridiculousness on THAT level makes even your hero janklow pause and think about if it’s worth it (probably not) and b) come on, like anyone will get the Dr. Strangelove reference. this isn’t college where people watch movies and give a shit about shit. this is, as Angela Bassett would scream into your face, “real time, you hear me, real time!” and people might get this reference with more ease if Fatboy Slim had sampled THAT quote instead of the one immediately proceeding it. yeah.
uh… what about pistols?
oh, yeah, and now, in standard house of hate news: the newest member of the family has come home today. children, say hello to your new brother, the SIG P226. yes, i know that this is not a new and exciting selection, but a) the name of the game was getting a 9mm to plink with because my love affair with .40 S&W has gone on long enough and b) hey, i didn’t own a SIG yet. on the down side, now my Israeli pistol is outnumbered by German pistols 2-to-1.
and in totally unrelated matters, though, actually, they’re not totally unrelated because of the birthday connection, my sibling likes to specialize in gifts that i would never have thought i wanted but which are so ridiculous that i suppose i shouldn’t debate it; past members of this gift hall of fame include my infamous “sassy” pillow and that Willow DVD that i reviewed here after watching it two too many times. and now we have the latest addition: the Snak Shack.
it’s supposedly something for my ridiculous pigs to get inside of and eat at the same time, but there’s one problem with that theory (not counting the fact that my pigs can’t actually fit inside it): it looks way too nice to feed to a rodent. look at that thing! it’s made of fresh alfalfa and golden honey and features things like a “natural wood look” and a “handmade thatched roof.” seriously, i cannot feed this thing to those little bastards; instead, i shall be converting it to the role of “possibly tasty modern art.” also, seriously, people are employed making roofs for rodent snak shacks by hand? really? huh.