well, that's it

Before the rant which is the primary purpose of this post I will mention that I caught North's (warning: myspace) headline, mainstage gig at the Knitting Factory on Friday night. A good show and congrats to them for rocking a worthy venue. Here is a picture:

Now to business.

Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip has become an awful show. A decision has clearly been made to turn the entire venture into a vehicle for crappy romantic comedy. No fewer than six of the principals are entangled with each other and you can up that to eight if you want to count the borderline homoerotic confrontations between D.L. Hughley's character and The Other Black Guy. As the most recent episode has demonstrated, Sorkin et al have reduced themselves to cheap sitcom plots (we're locked on a roof! let's reference the fact that this is a cheap gimmick in the hope that our self-conscious awareness will mitigate the lameness of the cheap gimmick!)... nay, MULTIPLE cheap sitcom plots (there's a snake loose in the building! I'm going to lie for no reason to this girl I like only because it will inevitably cause conflict two scenes from now!), and entirely abandoned the original draw of the show, namely commentary on creating television in our current cultural climate. Lip service is paid to that, occasionally, but it's nothing more than bare-bones scenery for more completely uninteresting and unbelieveable "romantic" developments.

Even the one relationship I was actually semi-interested in, between the characters played by Nate Corddry and Lucy Davis, has been derailed for entirely contrived and pointless reasons. Aaron, please... this is SEASON ONE. Why are you falling back on the kind of crap one resorts to when all other ideas have been run into the ground?

In contrast, we're three episodes into season 2 of HBO's Rome and I am enjoying myself just as thoroughly as I did last season. It's becoming a tad awkward that a good many years have passed since the premiere of the series and nobody's visibly aged but shigata ga nai, ne? The acting is still high caliber, the characters are well drawn, the production design continues to be top quality and I'm continually impressed by the pacing given the sheer scale of events being portrayed. Somehow all the necessary elision feels elegant rather than cursory and spotty. Hopefully HBO won't get petulant and start sending out Cease and Desist letters to torrenters while simultaneously polluting the torrent pool because lord knows I'm not subscribing to HBO for one program and, besides, all my Evil Internet Piracy resulted in my purchase of the season 1 DVD set. So suck on that a little bit, HBO. Thanks for the quality programming, but here's hoping you won't cling to your extinct business model too much longer.

Finally, I have succumbed to my technolusts and placed an order for a Pentax K100D digital SLR camera. It's an entry-level model, so called, but the price was rightish and I imagine I'll be very happy with it once it's no longer backordered and is, instead, in my grubby paws. I'll get back to you in two to four weeks.

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