Did everyone have a good weekend? Even though it was the Anniversary of Several Things Being Made Suddenly Clear for Some People, I had a good one. Perhaps yours was rote. My was, and that made it good. The cleaning and chucking-out of things continues, and that meant another trip to the hardware store - but I will save that thrilling narrative for later, since I don't know what else I have this week. It's a long grinding FIVE DAYS, you know. Not a short little sprint like last week.
Yes, a weekend of getting things done. Different people have different definitions. Finished that 12 pack, watched that game, ate that box of Totino's Pizza Wedges - got things done. Isn't that nauseatingly superior? What a jerk. But there are different standards, and while mine have been high for a while they are still lazy compared to my industrious wife. She noticed that the lilac bushes out back had some tall tall branches.
You're right. They do.
Which is where I would leave it, as I am not untroubled by uneven lilac bush branches. I will cross the room to throw open the cupboard to reassure myself that the glasses and mugs are stored in the right order, but an errant branch? Unless it's poking in my eye, I don't see it. So she bade me to get a pruning deice attached to a pole, and this I did - three weeks ago. It was the wrong kind. This kind had a saw. She wanted one that cut.
Now we have very tall poles that cut and saw. I'm ready for anything.
My job was to hold the ladder, and her job was to cut and cut and cut until the ground was thick with branches, and then she wanted to do the very sick Emerald Ash, and then when she was done she looked back at the lilac bush and saw more branches that needed to be cut, and so we went back with the ladder -
The wood ladder, I should note. Originally she said "we should use the metal ladder, the tall one."
"There isn't a metal ladder," I said. "That's taller, anyway."
"Isn't it in the shed?"
I went in the shed and got out the small metal stepladder and put it next to the much-taller wooden ladder.
"There has to be a metal ladder."
No, hon, there doesn't. There is no imperative on the matter.
"Is it in the garage?" she asked. I had cleaned out the garage two weeks ago and knew well there was no metal ladder in the garage, but I went down to the garage, looked around, said "nope" and went back up.
"There's no metal ladder in the garage."
"Maybe it's behind the shed."
You know what? It wasn't. Because it doesn't exist.
"I could have sworn." Anyway, I bade her to stop on the second assault, because she was going to make it lopsided, and then she would have to cut some more, and the end result would be a six-inch bush. Then she painted a room and sewed a scarf out of the silk she gets from the worms she raises in a box in the sunporch.
Well, no, but close. I have my own levels of industriousness, but she makes me look like something stuck on a pin under glass in a bug museum.
Now it's time to decide what TV I'm not going to watch. There's just so much. Several months ago I decided I would watch the second season of "Daredevil" on the weekends as I did before, one show a week, but the desire to do so ebbed - not because I don't want to, but because every time I think of the show I just see a dark space with dimly-lit figures, and it's hard to get enthusiastic for that. But I will! Same with "Man in the High Castle," because I saw the first one and liked it a lot, and it's sitting there on Amazon, but it's a heavy show, man, and it's like, an investment.
So maybe I should browse Netflix, and HOLY CRAP a new season of "Marco Polo"! I loved that show! Genghis Khan was awesome and Hundred Eyes was supercool and it was, like, historical? So you learned something? I totally will get to that this week although I feel guilty about "Daredevil." Anyway. Let's call up Netflix, and
HOLY HOLY CRAP a second season of "Narcos." Yes! I loved that show! "Goodfellas" meets "Miami Vice," with a great theme soaked in rueful realization of the perils of love and money and all that. I think. He could be singing about frogs. Made me realize that this is the second age of great TV theme songs, since the Sopranos started up - the 60s had catchy theme songs, but nowadays they're a different sort of song, and they set the scene so well. The late-night LA vibe of "Bosch," the brilliant "Rome" and "Deadwood" themes, "Bojack Horseman" - all my favorite shows have themes I really, really like. So it's "Narcos" then. Yes!
But first let's see if there's a new COPS . . . gah, DVR at 2% capacity. Time to dump off some junk. Oh thanks for recording the entire two seasons of "Fear the Walking Dead." Mass delete. Can't even muster the emotion to hate-watch it, and at this point I don't care if "The Walking Dead" ends in six eps, kills everyone, and ends with Daryl sitting in the Oval Office drinking Jack Daniels out of Rick's skull. 24 eps of something Daughter no longer watches . . . delete. Oh why did it record "Halt and Catch Fire"? That's over.
Except there are new shows. There's a third season. I had no idea. No one said anything. How did this happen? Why was I not informed? The first season I thought was iffy, the second got very good. I am glad it is back. This is now my Sunday show again.
It's good to have a Sunday show.
My Friend Tony. Hey, who-za the guy what's arguing here?
Another attempt by the industry to make a TV star out of James Whitmore. Plot:
The series features Enzo Cerusico as the title character, Tony Novello, and James Whitmore as John Woodruff, a professor of criminology who served in Italy during World War II. As a child, Novello had been a street urchin who survived as a pickpocket, with Woodruff being one of his intended victims. The premise of the series was that the adult (and reformed) Novello had emigrated to the United States to join Woodruff in a private investigation team. Novello handled the legwork and physical side of the investigations while Woodruff conducted painstaking analysis of the most obscure clues.
Another product from Sheldon Leonard, who said the show didn't last because of its time slot. (Its lead-in was Bonanza, so, yeah, maybe not. Wikipedia:
Critics had savaged My Friend Tony, calling the series "hackneyed and confusing" ... "the kind of minimal fare that has been ground out ad nauseam" ... "mundane" and "bilge."
Theme by Earl Hagen, so it had that going for it.
Back to school! And that means one thing here in Black & White World: switchblades and JDs.
Today's youth demand bongos
Almost James-Bondian there for a moment. (It's by Nicholas Carras.) At least with this one we have bongos up front, to let you know we're dealing with thrill-crazy youth who'll stop at nothing to get their kicks! Why, look at this guy, driving across Rubicon Street without even signaling!
Oh we hate this guy and all his troops.
When you're a Caes you're a Caes near and far / from your public high school to your SPQR
We're pitched into a life-and-death struggle right away; the stakes couldn't be higher.
The forces of the old Republic:
This is a level of JD sociopathy the screen hasn't dared to show:
That's John Ashley, who went on to produce "The A Team," among other things. He's supposed to be evil here, and he is indeed manipulative, conniving, and bent on winning the school council meeting so he can gain power and riches - really - but he seems too decent a guy to pull of this bad character.
His imdb page quotes him thus:
This is a terrible thing to admit, but maybe the key to my success with exploitation films is that I always LIKED those movies, and I never had any real reason to turn them down. I just enjoyed doing them.
Well, it's not a particularly interesting movie. We soon learn that Caesar has rich parents who are off in Europe, leaving him with the butler:
They send him money so he can enjoy himself, but it just makes him cry himself to sleep.
There's a race, and a popular kid is killed. Eventually everyone goes from despising Mat, aka the Caesar, to hating him. The punishment for being a petty thug, a braggart, a brute, and a careless fool who drives others to die? He's alone on his birthday.
Until everyone shows up to give him his come-uppance -
And he gets punched by the really popular guy. Then everyone leaves him alone, and he can't believe his best friend Cricket abandoned him.
He had to say that. He had to.
Well, that will have to hold you for a day, but I imagine there's lots of interent out there still unread. Probably 394,0434 pages added since you started this one. Get to it!
I think I forgot to upload matches last week. Forgive me.