Monthly Archives: September 2012

by Margery Allingham

Tiger

 

British mystery novelist Allingham is less interested in clever plot twists than in her characters, which is both good and bad.  Good, because she’s created an unusually strong villain, the knife-wielding, tortured-soul Jack Havoc (a.k.a. “Johnny Cash” – I kid you not), but bad because her heroes are a bland bunch.  Whenever the action shifts to the story’s quartet of lovebirds, I was reminded of those old Marx Brothers movies – pure genius whenever the boys were on screen, but barely tolerable when the obligatory lovers took center stage.

 

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Mule

 

Bill Maher issues “New Rules” for whatever happens to be ticking him off.  After suffering through two weeks of political bluster at the conventions, I have my own new rule:  No more mentioning your ancestors in political speeches.

I’m touched that your grandma raised 38 children and rode a mule-driven wagon to the marketplace, and I’m happy that your daddy rose heroically from shoe shiner to president of the Lions Club.  But what, exactly, does any of that have to do with you?

 

*****

 

Gutfeld3

 

“Why is that?  Why do we need to work?” — Greg Gutfeld, above, on The Five

Because if you didn’t work, you’d have time for introspection.  And if you had time for introspection, you might realize how you come off on The Five.  Like a sad, bitter little turd.

 

*****

 

Epstein

 

“Europe is trying Republican-style austerity, and it’s driving them, literally, numerous countries, over the cliff.” — Democratic strategist Julian Epstein (above)

Unless the Italians have messed with Mount Vesuvius and the venerable volcano is erupting and steamrolling villages, then no, Europe is not “literally” driving countries over the cliff.

 

*****

 

Putin is in the news again, this time for ruminating about group sex and for hang gliding with wild cranes. Yet for my money, Putin’s strangest moment remains the day that he planted a kiss on a five-year-old boy’s belly.

 

Putin

 

*****

 

EW3

 

Yes, times are tough in the publishing world, but I’m tired of receiving “special double issues” of Entertainment Weekly.  A typical issue of EW contains about 80 pages.  A recent EW “special double issue” had 120 pages.  Do the math.

Next week, of course, there will be no issue at all.  I think it’s time to change your name to Entertainment Every Other Weekly.

 

*****

 

Fall TV Excitement!

“Take a deep breath, and lower your expectations.” — Producer Howard Gordon, warning Homeland fans about the show’s second season.  That sounds like a good idea.  A big part of season one’s appeal was the mystery of Sgt. Brody:  Was he a good guy or a bad guy?  The season finale pretty much answered that question.  So what do they do for an encore?

“[Networks] were all ‘Horror does not work.’ It does work.” — NBC producer Bryan Fuller.  Sure it does — on the big screen, not on the small one.  I enjoy American Horror Story (below) and The Walking Dead because they are freaky and creepy.  But there is one thing they are not:  frightening. I don’t know exactly why, but TV doesn’t do scary. Never has, probably never will.

 

Asylum2

 

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                                                                 by Thomas Harris                                                                      

Lambs

 

I suppose this is an example of why you should always read the book before you see the movie.  Harris’s Lambs is intelligent, suspenseful, and clearly one of the better serial-killer novels.  Yet in my Hollywood-influenced mind’s eye, F.B.I. trainee Clarice Starling has morphed into Jodie Foster, malevolent Hannibal Lecter is  Anthony Hopkins, and every dramatic chapter is accompanied by images from the film.  But kudos to Harris, because even though the book holds no surprises for anyone familiar with the movie, it’s still a gripping read.

 

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Honey

 

*****

 

Pelley2

 

At times, I have trouble taking Ted Baxter … er, Scott Pelley, seriously.  It doesn’t help when Pelley wears jackets that, at a glance, seem to reveal his tiny yellow arms.

 

.                      Pelley3              Pelley4              Pelley5

 

*****

 

Carey2

 

Airheaded Anchor Comment of the Week:

 

“I’m supposed to say nude, but I’m going to say naked.” — HLN’s Richelle Carey, pictured above, discussing rumors about the emergence of more Prince Harry pictures.

Yes, because your viewers might struggle with the definition of a big word like “nude.”

 

*****

 

Moore

 

Michael Moore was on a Huffington Post podcast the other day.  Michael Moore should really think twice before wearing shorts on national podcasts.

 

*****

 

Honey2

 

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  Sometimes the title of a show tells you everything that you need to know.

 

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