Monday, January 30, 2012

Luck on HBO

"Luck," a new series about horse racing, premiered on Sunday night. This is another one that I did not think was for me.  I was right again.

I guess you have to really like horse-racing, horses, race tracks, and the people who populate this world to like this show.  I don't and I didn't.

However, it is more than just a lack or interest in the show's topic.  The characters were boring; the plot was boring.

There were no beautiful people or beautiful sex scenes in this one.  (The horses were kind of beautiful though, if you are into that.) The closest thing to a sex scene was when the female vet put on a rubber glove that went up to her elbow and lubed it up.  (If you are into that.)

I do like Dustin Hoffman, who is the star of "Luck".  He is a marvelous actor who always totally immerses himself into the part, to the point where I forget he is Dustin Hoffman.  He is the character.  (In this way, he is unlike many other actors.  For instance, when I watch George Clooney, no matter what part he plays, he is George Clooney.)  It is just too bad that his character did not interest me.

So I am three for three on this blog with respect to my reviews--panning all three shows that I have watched so far.  You might be thinking, "Why write this blog, if you don't like premium cable TV?"  I do like premium cable TV, and as soon as a good series starts, I will watch and report on every episode.


I didn't watch Spartacus (Starz network) during it's first season, and season two will start soon.  I discovered season one available "On Demand," so I decided to catch-up.  The series is about gladiators  in ancient Rome. I didn't watch it when the series first started because I didn't think it was for me.  I was right.

Nonethleess, I have a lot of good things to say.  The show could be sub-titled "Romanicing the Blood."  I have never seen so much beautiful, spectacular blood.  Blood doesn't drip; it explodes.  Starbursts of blood.  And whenever, there is a "kill", there is a freeze frame just before the sword peirces flesh--a "wait for it moment," a little cue to remind the viewer "here it comes."  It's actually quite beautiful.

Plenty of "eye-candy" too--both male and female. The first episode opens with Spartacus in a dungeon, shackled to the wall, head titled upward.  Black shoulder length wavy hair  cascades to his shoulders, deep blue eyes fringed with black lashes.  He is wearing only a loin cloth. As women from a genration before mine said, "He can park his shoes under my bed anytime he wants."  Kinky thoughts danced in my head; the shackles, the rippling muscles, the loin cloth--who could blame me.

It's nice to watch beautiful people who wear very little clothing, and these characters wear as little as possible.  Even when the characters are tromping through the snow, the fur cape is flung open revealing naked legs and arms--beautiful naked legs and arms. Even scenes showing the roman rabble show the everyday folk of Rome wearing very little clothing.

Of course, there are plenty of prolonged, beautifully choreographed sex scenes. Steamy soft-core sex scenes.  They alternate with the fighting scenes, which by the way are just as prolonged and just as beautifuly choreographed.

Even the sceneray is beautiful.  I'd nominate the show for a cinematography Oscar, it was a movie.

You may notice that I have said very little about the plot.  There's a reason for that. There isn't much plot.  The HBO series "Rome" was a much better show about ancient Rome.  It too had sex and violence, but the characters were real as were the plots.  Spartacus is not really about much.

Here's the kicker.  I watched the first episode.  And it made me watch the second episode.  I probably would have made a 13-episode marathon of it except I was too sleepy.  I guess there is just something about beautiful people, beautiful gore, and beautiful sex scenes that makes me want to keep watching.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

House of Lies

"House of Lies" premeired on Showtime last Sunday night.  I didn't have a chance to watch it until last night, Monday.  I should have saved myself the bother.

The show is about a group of ruthless management consultants who have no scuples who will stop at nothing to close a deal for a big fat profit. It is a cynical premise, but it could have been the basis for a smart funny satire about the world of business. However, in my opinion it was neither smart nor funny.

It was 30 minutes of sex-ploitation and little else.

The show stars Don Cheadle, as Marty Kaan.  I've seen Cheadle in other shows, and I've always liked him. I was prepared to enjoy the show. I did not enjoy the show.

It was 30 minutes of sex-sploitation and little else.

Marty is some kind of sexual superman--during the 30-minute show we see him have monkey-love sex three times--with three different women. He doesn't have sex with his pretty blond co-worker, but not for lack of trying. Just about every conversation they have is about how he wants to bed her.

And if that wasn't enough sex, there's a scene in a "gentleman's club" where the camera lingers on the pole dancers, and another scene of torrid lesbian sex in the ladies room of a restaurant. 

The show crams in even more sex because every conversation in the show is laced with crude sexual imagery. The F-bomb is dropped about every 10 seconds, just for good measure.

I had  heard that the show used a clever gimmick--the action freeze frames, where Marty steps forward and addresses the viewer directly to explain or comment.  I liked the freeze frame gimmick, but just about nothing else. 

I'm a business woman, but also, alas, I am " a woman of a certain age" as the French say.  Perhaps, I am just not the inteneded audience.  I had a similar reaction to Californication, and that show is has had five seasons and counting.  We'll see if "House of Lies" gets a second season.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Love TV

I like a lot of the premium cable episodic shows, like "True Blood", "Dexter", "Nurse Jackie", "United States of Tara", "Homeland", "Enlightened", "The Big C", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and many others.  Unfortunately, these shows are on haitus now.

As soon as the new seasons start up, I'll be blogging about the shows.   I mostly watch HBO and Showtime and sometimes Starz and other channels.  I'll give my opinions and encourage you to give yours.