Sunday, April 26, 2015

Broadchurch, Season 2

I didn't imagine what the BBC could do at the end of the first season of Broadchurch to lure me back.  Boy, was I wrong.  The series came back full of dark innuendos, angst, mystery, and madness.

Like the first season, this one was slow paced and somnambulistic, as if the audience slept walked through a nightmare landscape in which everyone and every story dreamed their own reality. There was an ever present undercurrent of tension and anticipation of worse things to come.  The audience was not let down in their expectation.

Like the first season, this one kept me guessing and eagerly awaiting the next episode.  We learned many things about the primary characters in the second season, some of which we did not like.

A cold case from the lead detective's past is introduced.  Instead of one child being murdered, two sisters were involved.  The body of the young one had been found, but the older one disappeared and has never been found.  It is the one case Detective Alec Hardy never solved, the one case that haunts him and made the case in Broadchurch of Danny's murder imperative to clear.

With the trial of Danny's killer going on, the town lives in a state of siege due to the community's interest and presence of the Press, Alex is side-tracked by the cold case of the two sisters.  His past haunts him and robs him of whatever he has left. He enlists Detective Elly Miller's help in solving the cold case for her help and to spare her some of her husband's trial for Danny's murder. It helps as she becomes immersed in the other case with Alec.

Is it solved in the season's ending episode? Yes, though there are loose ends.  But nothing is ever what it seems in the sleepy seaside village of Broadchurch.

I am delighted to announce the third season will film soon. An engaging plot with a talented cast and well-written scripts sometimes adding to the mystery is what you'll find in any season of Broadchurch.

David Tennant and Olivia Colman as Alec and his grudging partner Elly will break your heart in the intensity of their situations. Matched with a fine cast, particularly the addition of longtime British actor Charlotte Rampling in Season 2 (anybody ever see a film called "Georgy Girl"? She played the sex-crazed roommate), Broadchurch boasts a fine ensemble of actors.

Check it out.  I will await the third season.

Until then beware of storms and falling trees...

Monday, April 13, 2015


Look, I admit I've had a bizarre day...But I was sitting here writing my check to the US Treasury for my 2014 Income Taxes when the song "Imagine" by John Lennon came on the radio. It catapulted me away from my day-to-day woes (sometimes it feels like always-and-forever-woes).

For some reason I thought about the rush to announce the intention to run for the US Presidency already starting. Seems ridiculously early to me.  But then, the House and Senate aren't really getting much done these days.  So why not grab the personal distraction of running for President? I mean, what can it hurt? An elected official of the United States has to have something to do, after all.  Otherwise, he or she might get bored.  We can't have that.

After all, as most of them have forgotten, we pay their salaries, we care what they do.

They are working for us, be they federal officials, or the governors of states.

Sobering, thought, huh?

I'm sure dodging the reps of special interest groups is taxing, not to mention tiring. Maybe running for higher office changes the dynamics of dealing with those of special interests.  Who knows? I don't and never will.  I have never had the desire to run for public office. I'd be more likely to run FROM public office...

And then there are all those barnstorming trips one gets to take to small cities and smaller towns in the heartland.  Course if I were to run for national office, I'd want to court the voters of the Hawaiian Islands, a sadly neglected population....uh huh. Then I'd probably swing by New Mexico and back home to Austin, just to get a feel for the electorate and some GOOD Mexican food.

Anyway, I don't like hearing about the rift between the parties, the stubborn refusal to cooperate with each other, or the blatant gamesmanship that takes place between the executive and the legislative branches.  It makes me sad to see our country's ideals tarnish and drop away on all sides. I'm not saying anyone who disagrees with me has no right to their opinion.  Freedom of speech is one of the founding principles of our nation.  It's fine to disagree, but you can't dig your heels in and refuse to work out a compromise. Such behavior stalls the work of our government on many levels.

To paraphrase the late Strother Martin in his role in the movie "Cool Hand Luke" - "What we got here is failure to cooperate."

Boy do we ever.  I don't see any light at the end of this horrendously long tunnel.

So I'll stick to watching entertainment and only watching the news or current affairs when I feel up to it.

The "second" season of television is in full swing, so there are distractions aplenty.  Outlander (sigh) is back.  As of last night so is Game of Thrones...I knew Dani would have trouble with her dragons!

Hmmmm, I wonder if she'd like to run for president?

Take care until next time...

P.S. Shout out to Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters Champ.  He is a Longhorn from the University of Texas.  HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jersey Boys

I saw the film, Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood, recently on cable.  I was very interested in seeing this as it's a fairly accurate biopic about the sixties group, The Four Seasons.  You have to understand I was a young teen-ager in those days - an opera student who liked all kinds of music and was just discovering pop and rock n' roll. (Much to my father's chagrin, but that's another story...)

The first national hit for The Four Seasons was a little ditty called "Sherry." Since that was my childhood name, spelled Sherrie, I felt they were singing just for me and fell instantly in love.  They were eclipsed subsequently by the British Invasion.  I discovered the Beatles and knew everything about them.  Not so much with The Four Seasons.  I just knew I liked most of their songs.

As the teen-age judges on the popular tv show of the day, American Bandstand, would say, "I'd give their music a 90 because they had a good beat and their music was easy to dance to..."

So Jersey Boys was a revelation for me.  Sure, I recognized the songs, found myself singing along on most of them, and remembered how much I liked them. But I knew nothing of the groups' story or of their individual stories.

Mostly Italian Americans from the "mean streets" of New Jersey, they came from working class families.  In their neighborhoods it was easy for the boys to become connected as in organized crime.  The guys in the band had their brushes with that life, but they were saved by their music and Frankie Valli's incredible voice. He had an impressive vocal range as did the young man who played him in the film

Life didn't go smoothly for all of them, despite their number 1 records.  One of the members stole most of the money they made and blew it, leaving the others to deal with his mess.

They split up and did not come back together until the group's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the 1990s.

Mr. Eastwood has given us a wonderful, entertaining picture with comic moments and pathos.  I was stunned by the story that I never knew, the problems they faced. Remember we didn't have anything like the internet. There was no such thing as instant communication.  Even a phone call took longer to complete in that era. The fan magazines did not print gossip about the downfall of the popular entertainers.

It was an entertaining film, with lively music indicative of another era.  One of my favorite bits was the "curtain call" at the end of the film, reminiscent of the movie Hairspray, with the entire cast singing and dancing as they took their bows. I suspect this is from the Broadway musical, but it works on film and gives a lift at the end.

This film is worth a viewing.  It's got a great cast and catchy music. Get your popcorn, surround yourself with your loved ones and be prepared to be entertained.

I'd give the movie a's got a good beat and is good to dance to...

Until next time...