Sunday, March 18, 2012

Inspiration... :)

It appears I may end up with only 12 or fewer blog entries by December, judging from the current frequency of posts. It's been a super-hectic 3 months so far, and I predict it will only get worse.

To keep up the writing momentum, it helps to get a jolt of inspiration once in a while, and I'm glad to report that there've been two in the past few weeks.

First, a new series which premiered on AXN Beyond a fortnight ago. Titled Necessary Roughness and based on a true story, it traces the life of an attractive female psychiatrist whose career takes an unexpected turn when (1) she discovers her a-hole husband's infidelities, (2) they commence hostile and costly divorce proceedings, and (3) a chance encounter with a football team's assistant coach lands her high-profile clientele.

Despite the "true events" proclamation, any show needs brilliant writing and equally brilliant acting to sustain itself - and Necessary Roughness has got it in spades. Supporting players Scott Cohen and Marc Blucas are personal faves - the former a Gilmore Girls and Law & Order: Trial By Jury veteran ( if you haven't seen Gilmore before, look it up online, or buy / rent the DVDs. Now! ), the latter from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz blockbuster Knight & Day ( which I happen to love to pieces ).

Cohen relishes his role as a shady but stalwart "security specialist", while Blucas charms as the hunky yet sweet trainer. ( Though to be honest, I can't for the life of me believe a guy like him actually exists. :))

However, it is lead actress Callie Thorne who carries the show, and this she does most impressively. Bursting with class and sass, she hits her lines with precision and keeps you glued to the screen.

As for the writing, let's just say I laughed my guts out during episodes 1 and 2. Episode 3 hasn't aired yet, but I'm ready for my dose of joy juice!

Next is American Horror Story, a series I've been looking forward to since it was first announced, but somehow never got round to watching till now. ( Missed the premiere when I was in the U.S. last year, dammit! )

Read a slew of mixed reviews, but after catching the pilot yesterday, I am optimistic that this will join my list of favourites, which already include other dark-and-twisted fare such as Dexter, Game Of Thrones and True Blood.

Do not for one second brush this off as just another run-of-the-mill haunted-house cliche. Yes, a family moves into a creepy mansion fully aware of its violent history, enticed by the low asking price. Yes, there's marital strife in abundance, causing the couple's teenage daughter to "act out". Kooky neighbours - check. Psychotic / evil housekeeper - you bet. Malevolent spirits - lots in the first hour, so expect more as the show progresses.

Connie Britton, whose work I'm not familiar with, is compelling as the tormented wife, while Taissa Farmiga stands out as the troubled daughter.

However, I have a soft spot for Dylan McDermott, who won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy for his role on legal drama series The Practice. A lot of his best work was on that show, and although a foray into films floundered ( does anyone remember that moronic love story co-starring Aishworiya Rai? ), followed by a couple of misses when he returned to television, I couldn't be happier that creator / producer Ryan Murphy picked him for Horror.

Aside from looking bloody awesome at 50 - nudity included! - he reminds us precisely why he won that Emmy in the first place. The pilot features an explosive scene between McDermott and Britton, as their marital conflicts come to a head and painful memories are dredged up. It is so amazing I actually stopped breathing.


( It also made me think of the Broadway musical Follies, which I saw in New York last September, and which featured similar high-octane scenes of marital tension. )

It's good to have you back in fine form, Mr. McDermott!

Last but not least, Game Of Thrones season 2 returns in April, and local cable will air it soon after. YES!

Look out for next month's blog entry, coming soon... :)