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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Somebody Throw A Pie

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      I've got to lighten the mood.

      I don't watch a whole lot of TV series.   I do sports, movies, documentaries and a handful of weekly shows that tell others just what a dark, twisted soul I truly am.

      I loved "Deadwood", "The Sopranos", and "Six Feet Under" on HBO.

     See a pattern there?

     The current rotation includes FX's "Rescue Me", AMC's "Mad Men" and HBO's "Entourage".

     I'm nothing if not consistent.

     "Rescue Me" and "Entourage" just wrapped up their current runs (if you watch these shows but haven't seen the season finales, stop reading here because I'm about to spill some beans here) and both went out with bangs.   Dark bangs, but bangs nonetheless.

      "Rescue Me's" Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) is last seen being grabbed by his paralyzed nephew and being blamed for putting the kid in his wheelchair prison.    That was the payoff for Gavin having already hit rock-bottom earlier in the season, the nadir reached when he went on a drunken rampage and almost got his daughter killed. 


      Needless to say, the laugh-track got the night off.   "Rescue Me" always walked the fine line between outrageous humor and deep dark drama.     The last episode was lean on chuckles and fat with tension.

      Then there's Vinny Chase on "Entourage" who is in the midst of cratering a franchise movie opportunity, his film career, all of his personal relationships and a previously clean criminal record as the show's final credits rolled Sunday night.     Plus, his agent's marriage is flaming out and one of his buds in caught up in the middle of a business coup. 


      "Entourage" wasn't afraid to go occasionally dark in the past, but this season has brought on a few more darker edges (not to mention a boatload more cameo appearances by the likes Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban and others too numerous to mention).   

      "Mad Men" is graphically detailing Don Draper's boozy swirl around the bowl, marked with lost weekends, drunken ad presentations, anonymous sex and seething, the odd fist-fight and tension-filled dealings with his angry ex-wife.   There still are some episodes left this season, and Sunday's hour actually held a ray or two of sun.    Little if any blue sky, but at least a glimmer of light.


      It's probably a good thing that "Parenthood" is starting again this week.   The NBC series (from the movie of the same name) centers on a large Bay Area family with predictable 21st century issues.   The adults are easy on the eyes.   Their offspring look like they fell from a Gap-For-Kids catalog.    Their problems, though occasionally dicey, almost always resolve themselves in the requisite 60 minutes, just like shows used to in the black-and-white days.     "Parenthood" won't win any Emmys, but it's a good guilty pleasure.  

      And, it's probably just what the doctor ordered, at least until I can get to my DVR stash of old "Family Guy" episodes.


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