Sunday, September 19, 2010

The House Effect

Take a talented, charismatic actor. Give him an over-the-top, self-destructive character to play. Back him up with a cast of seven-words-or-less characters (the idealistic but level-headed African-American friend, the sexy and sarcastic female private eye, etc.). Put him through the most improbable plots imaginable.

And hope the critics haven't wised up.

1 comment:

  1. The gentleman playing the convict (RZA aka Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, or perhaps he is Robert Zitzgerald Aiggs) has a fascinating mannerism; he dips his head as he says his lines. "I did not kill (dip) ANYONE".

    There is a term for a particular type of thespian deportment as he is about to give a speech of great import on the stage. Placing one fist on his hip and pointing the other arm upward, this is known as "Teapot Acting", because that is what the actor looks like in mid-screed.

    I suggest that RZA is guilty of "Cockatiel Acting". Here is one of the pioneers of this style:

    I truthfully don't know who would like this show less. Latinos, who see a character who has a top job but gambles and sleeps around, Latinas, who see yet another Jimmy Smits character going after a woman who is not a Latina or the Stanley Hand Tool Corporation who is sadly not credited or remunerated in this script, even though their fine products are being used to hammer home various plot points.

    It is nice to see the sadly underused Dennis Boutsikaris (much better served in the late-lamented "Jackie Thomas Show". My favorite cliche pops up with the marvelous, "I hope you know what you're doing" line, which is unfortunately not accompanied by a long slow motion death-defying leap by two characters that I'm rooting for.

    At least it doesn't have a slightly ditzy blon...whoops, scratch that.

    Other random thoughts (no spoilers):

    Are we really supposed to believe that anyone can preserve and drive an AMC Gremlin, a car that seemingly was affected adversely by showroom lights.

    Look for the Cockatiel effect on Smits before the line, "it's my Dad's favorite".

    Cliches' two and three: "I'm not goin' anywhere" and "Let's do this" (sans "Leroyyyyyyyy Jenkins!"), drat the luck.

    I'm a big fan of Jimmy Smits, but I would definitely keep Aaron Sorkin's number handy.

    In closing, I have almost the same itchy feeling that I got watching "Dellaventura" with Danny Aiello (who I enjoyed in "Moonstruck" and "Do the Right Thing"). John Eisendrath is trying VERY much to get us to like this character. Both have that defining moment in which the character gives the camera a glance as if to say, "Look out, world!"

    Look quick. This won't last the season.