TV...pop-cult's red-headed stepchild

So, the Emmy's have decided to officially reveal their Top Tens in the two big categories, Best Comedy & Drama. I'm not a TV fanatic, but I dabble, and these lists seem...somewhat boring, somewhat awesome.

The Emmys changed their voting system a whole helluva lot over the past ten years. Nowadays, actors submit one episode to represent their entire season performance (a limiting practice sadly, many of television's great performances reveal themselves over the course of the entire season...plus, a bad choice of episodes can kill an actor's chances, no matter how deserving), and voters have this initil round of voting to limit the pool of candidates. I'm sort-of a fan of this second process, because it forces voters to watch shows they might otherwise pass over. Thanks to AwardsDaily, here are the lists:

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Family Guy
Flight of the Conchords
The Office
Pushing Daisies
30 Rock
Two and a Half Men
Ugly Betty

Boston Legal
Friday Night Lights
Grey’s Anatomy
Mad Men
The Tudors
The Wire

Now, I haven't seen most of these, but I will comment on the ones I have.

Family Guy/Flight of the Conchords - The two biggest surprises on either list. Family Guy's inclusion isn't THAT surprising, as voters tend to go for quantity, not quality, in their yucks, plus they vote immediately after screenings, which favors shows with overactive funny bones, while doing a disservice to subtle, affecting work. Flight of the Conchords, on the other hand, is a very, very welcome surprise. I don't know a single person who hates this show (that may sound like a back-handed compliment, but television is a polarizing medium, and universal acceptance is damned near impossible), and it's nice to see a show that doesn't follow any established formula getting attention. I think that FoC has a real shot at a nomination this year, riding a wave of "new guy" enthusiasm. Plus, the actors on the show are very likeable, which helps.

The Wire -
I'm not sure it's gonna make it past this stage, but it's nice to see that it has made it this far. Best show I've ever seen, and there are many that would agree. Too bad this didn't happen for its superior 4th season.

LOST - Hopefully, voters won't be turned-off by just how sci-fi everything has gotten, but knowing them, they'll ignore this show's rejuvenation in favor of new blood like Dexter or Mad Men.


why hello!

Hello everybody, I'm back!

Yes, I have been on a bit of a hiatus from the pop-cult these days, but only officially. In spirit, I've been here all along.

A few things to catch up on:

-I finally got around to watching the first and second seasons of Battlestar Galactica, and all I can say is...frack ("fuck" in BSG lingo), this stuff is golden. But, you've all probably heard that before. My favorite elements of the show are kinda typical, but I can't help it. I just plain old love Mary McDonnell as President Roslyn. It's truly shameful that she hasn't gotten an Emmy nom yet. And Katee Sackhoff and Edward James Olmos are also dead-on as Starbuck and Adama, respectively. The show is smart, thrilling, and surprising. I found myself tearing-up during Season 1's "Flesh and Bone". What an unparalleled success this show has turned into. I'm in the middle of the Third Season, so don't spoil me...either of you.

- I also decided to heard over to the multiplexes to check out The Incredible Hulk, and I was not entirely impressed. To be 100% honest, I am not exactly an unbiased judge of comic book movies; I'm a huge Marvel fan. The comic book geek in me knows that TIH is a far more accurate and loyal adaptation of the comic's mythos, but I found myself longing for Ang Lee's bizarre stylings. There is evidently 70 minutes of character development strewn about the editing room floor, and I completely believe it. To tell the truth, I barely remember Edward Norton being in the film. He did what he could, but the film seemed to be bored with Bruce Banner, greatly favoring his green alter-ego. Tim Roth and Tim Blake Nelson were both fun as hell in their somewhat villainous roles, but I wish William Hurt had gone a little bit more over-the-top with Thunderbolt Ross. I know the studio wanted to erase memories of Hulk, but I really missed Sam Elliott's interpretation from that first film; he was the stand-out in that movie, and he would've really livened things up here. Overall: C+/C

- I'm going to go on record as being one of the few (sorta) proponents of The Happening. I'm not a fan of the characters, dialogue, or exposition, but the sheer cinematic bravado of the first half of the film was just breathtaking. I know that this is a very unpopular opinion, but I think critics dogpiled on the film because of Shyamalan's ego (which is very annoying, and still very present), but I think they missed the point of this project. The performances are terribly uneven, and the character development is laughable (John Leguizamo's character just plain makes no sense), but Mark Whalberg and Zooey Deschanel know when to go for laughs, and this redeems certain bizarre moments. M. Night could be one of the greats, but he needs to stop writing his own scripts. Concept work is fine, but he should definitely become more of a collaborator. Overall: B-



Late December, 1963...

What a very special time for me...

A friend on the SOMB message board reminded me of how much I love this song.


I've read those Englsh dramas to-OO, they're Cru-OO-l

Lou Reed is a very grumpy dude when it comes to money vs. art. Understandably so.

I went and saw him on 4/20 in Northampton, and he did a GREAT job.


I'm hypothetically on Spike's side in the Clint vs. Spike debate, but I'm not sure he needed to point to Clint's films to explain his own. Eastwood's films did focus on the white-only battalions, which were still segregated during WWII, but I'm not sure that the law of "presence of an absence" so much applies to Clint's film as it does to the photography of the War, which is what Clint's first of the two films (Flags of Our Fathers, that is) was inspired by.

I'm in favor of free speech and artistic dialogue, so Spike's my man. Plus, it's not like Clint has been especially gracious about other people's films.

Remember when he criticized Peter Jackson for using special effects in a FANTASY film? And when he tried to act as though Mystic River, as a star-studded melodrama, was somehow handicapped at the Oscars? PUH-LEEZ.

Just a thought.


"If Obama can reach me he can reach anyone."

The Huffington Post doesn't need my help, but here is a fantastic piece written by a 55-Year-Old Republican about why he supports Obama. He pretty much sums Obama's basic appeal up.


We can make it better, tell me (readers) wouldn't that be sweet?

It's time for me to admit something to all of you...

I really enjoy "The Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani.

I'm so, so sorry. Akon & T-Pain have control of my heart, and I just can't help it.

Nate "Dawg" Tyson

Mr. Carter, tell me where you been

Two thoughts...

1) Obama/Clinton. If you care about this at all, please visit VOTEBOTH to sign your support for a "unity ticket." Unlike many young liberals, I did not cannibalize Hilary at the first opportunity, I believe that she could be one of the great modern statesmen, and the backlash against her is both unfair and unwarranted. I supported Obama's nomination, but not at the expense of Clinton's presence in the campaign. Please sign if this matters to you at all.

2) Just got Lil Wayne's Tha Carter 3, like all college-age white kids, and it is awesome, as expected. After Da Drought 3 last year, as well as an entire aborted version of this LP, Weezy still's got shit to surprise us. He's really awesome. Just admit it.



a WWII medal of honor at age 17...no wonder they complain about kids these days

For your enjoyment, here's the obituary for a real-life Captain America. I may not be a fan of war, but stories like this are sort of undeniably...heroic.

Nate Tyson

PS: I'm watching Braveheart at the moment, and its interesting that 5 year later, the opening battle of Gladiator would totally reverse the aesthetics of good and evil. William Wallace's men completely mirror the barbarians from the opening battle of that film.
Also, isn't Maximus' aide, who gets hung towards the end, also the guy whose wife gets royally screwed in the first act of Braveheart?

PPS: I, myself, enjoy the phrase "Knuckle Bump to the face."

Idi Amin had a funny eye

Watching Last King of Scotland (2006), I am struck with very mixed emotions.

On the one side, I feel the the film barely skims the surface of African identity, heritage, and life.

But, I am tempted to read the film as an anti-colonial narrative, with Idi Amin turning colonial practice against the British, and therefore, setting up an anti-British allegory. But to only use the country of Uganda and Amin's regime as a storytelling tool to criticize Britain degrades the worth and importance of Uganda as a country. Plus, how many movies depict multiple interracial romantic entanglements?

(BTW, Gillian Anderson looks like Virginia Madsen when she bleaches her hair.)

But, the hero still has to rely on the British, and then himself for rescue.


Ah, the travails of the modern day left-wing liberal film critic.

THAT SAID, both Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy are wonderful in this. McAvoy got a BAFTA nom, but was pretty much ignored otherwise. I am here to tell you that this is some horse-shit; McAvoy may be a pretty boy, but he also happens to be a great actor.

(Ultimately, I feel that the film is flawed, and deserves a B-, with the storytelling skills getting most of the credit. I still recommend a viewing. McAvoy and Whitaker each earn an A. Whitaker is awesome - truly awesome - but McAvoy has the harder task.)

Personally, I would list Whitaker as a Supporting Actor.


Uh oh! Impromptu list time!


05. Jeff Bridges
He may not be as traditionally handsome as the other men on this list, but Jeff Bridges has been making acting look easy since he was born. With the one exception of the 1970s King Kong. Hasn't won an Oscar, and has only been nommed for one. But, c'mon, I mean...he was The Dude, dude.

04. Hugh Jackman
Bro played Liza Minelli's husband AND Wolverine convincingly, and totally carried The Fountain. Not to mention besting Christian Bale in The Prestige. Oscar nomination-less, Golden Globe nomination-less. However, he has won a Tony, and has hosted it multiple times.

03. Brad Pitt
I need only point at his cameo on Jackass, plus all of his film appearances as proof.

02. James Marsden
Listen. I've never disliked him, DESPITE the fact that he was given the absolutely shit role of Cyclops in the X-Men films. But his good-sport showing in Enchanted was enough to endear him to me. His sportsmanship in Hairspray is only additional.

01. Tom Cruise
Before you jump down my throat, admit this: Tom Cruise can be extremely charismatic in the right role. Magnolia tops my list.

Nate Tyson

PS: This is pretty funny.

My favorite is "When Obama wins...people will stop making bad remixes of Billy Jean."

My hypothetical contribution...

"When Obama wins...Chuck Norris jokes will be made illegal."


walk of dignity

I really like the new Amp'd commercials. I know, they're cheesy, but something about the "hair smells like a bar" and "got real far" actors really, really cracks me up.

I also LOVE the new Fuze commercial's use of Holy Fuck's "Lovely Allen". What a fantastic song, no?



So, we've already determined that Bruce Skaug is a brave, anonymous gay basher, but did you know that he finds cancer les threatening than homosexuality?

Here is the Family Crusader himself in an article from 2006:

"'I'd rather my 9-year-old take up smoking than see the pictures in this book,' Skaug said."

He also lists his Jaguar automobile as a member of his family on his official gov't bio.

What an ambulance-chasing, ignorant shithead.

Nate Tyson (because I sign my name to things I write on the internet...unlike a certain Mr. Skaug.)



Here's a refreshingly straight-forward (and brief) interview with Harold Perrineau about his time on LOST. I enjoy reading how much he was invested in Michael as a character, because I felt like the writers DID kinda shaft him on his big scene in the finale. Christian's appearance was much more the focus than Michael's sacrifice.


I'm sorry I made your life so miserable

Oh yeah, by the way...this ruled.


PS: I can't wait to see Sun vs. Jack.

thousands of frogs sound like thousands of demons

Night time in Florida is still humid.


"I hassled the old jews...my work here is done."

So, I'm watching HBO's Recount at the moment, and I have a few thoughts:

+ Tom Wilkinson has become the go-to over-40 character actor. His work as James Baker is a little overwrought, but he seems to capture the man rather well.

+ Casting for this film was pretty wonderful. Just saying.

+ Everything you've heard about Laura Dern's performance is true. Her Katherine Karris is too, too wonderful. It's a work of strange art. What an underused talent she is. (Her makeup at the first press conference is just marvelous.)

+ It's really sad when Kevin Spacey talks about how the recount has reinvigorated Gore. I noticed it at the time, and it's just sad to think of what could have been. I'm sad he's disappeared during primary season. I wonder what he would have done.

+ I have a friend working for William Daley these days. Just wanted to say.