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Posts Tagged ‘Parks And Recreation’

Unlike 2012, which was clearly Louis CK’s Foolish Flailing, and 2011, which was obviously Walter White’s Mad Cackle, 2013 wasn’t so easy to summarize in one moment of Television. On one hand, it felt like an epic year, one of immense dread and majestic beauty– much like the final scene in the 6th episode of Game Of Thrones’ 3rd season, where Littlefinger tells Varys how chaos is like a ladder, and then Jon Snow & Ygritte exhibit the exhilaration and tranquility that can await the good souls who are strong and brave enough to conquer “The Climb.”

Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.

On the other hand, 2013 was also an extremely fun year, popping with pleasant surprises and good-time sing-alongs. It was like, in some way, we were all Parks And Recreation‘s April Ludgate, temporarily shedding our smart-ass façades to belt out a few bars of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” with Anne and Donna.

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RonSwansonHunting

(I’ve never written fan fiction or mash-ups before, and I doubt I will again. But I couldn’t resist trying to combine one of my favorite TV shows, Parks and Recreation, with one of my favorite books of the past few years, Frank Bill’s Crimes In Southern Indiana.)

In the cloudy, gravel-gray dusk, Ron Swanson crept past the motel parking lot in his dark red Buick Park Avenue and rolled to a stop. He snatched the .12-gauge double-barrel from the passenger seat, flung open the driver’s door, marched toward the only room with piss-yellow lamplight seeping through the curtains. Didn’t bother to close the car door or even take the keys. No one was around for miles, and besides, he didn’t plan on staying long.

He knew this was serious business. Tom could be dramatic and fragile, sure, but Ron had heard much more than the usual Tom Haverford whining when the little man called him 30 minutes ago in a shrieking panic. Ron heard something he’d never heard in Tom’s voice before: genuine, blood-chilling terror. Ron didn’t even ask what landed Tom in this kettle of shit. He assumed it had to be the fault of Jean-Ralphio, that slimy skid-mark of  a human being. Probably stiffed some gap-toothed mullet-head dealer on a bag of whatever drug he was into this week.

Ron stood before the motel room door and pointed his shotgun at chest-level. He saw a sturdy November breeze rattle the door’s flimsy knob, and figured he could just kick the door open, save a shell. So that’s what he did.

(more…)

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The Sopranos is Francis Ford Coppola, duh.  Martin Scorsese‘s a little too flashy for The Sopranos so he gets to be Breaking Bad, with all the shovel-POV shots and such.

Steven Spielberg has to be LOST: heaps of gee-whiz! with a dollop of schmaltz.

I’ve never seen Battlestar Galactica, but I want to say that one’s George Lucas.  Of the shows I have seen, the closest George Lucas might be Heroes– though in fairness to Lucas, Heroes started sucking in way less time.

Friday Night Lights is Robert Altman, particularly Nashville, where country music is high school football and the acting is unbelievably natural.

Louie is obviously Woody Allen, only I think I could actually hang out with Louie’s alter ego without wanting to slap the neuroses out of him.

Mad Men is Stanley Kubrick, I think.  Clinically sterile on the surface, but still very human at its core.  Also because they both feel like Americans who love America but wish they were British so they could see America from a British perspective.

If all those Discovery & History Channel reality shows about dangerous, nature-battling jobs (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers) procreated with all those A&E and TLC reality shows about mentally-disturbed weirdos (Hoarders, My Strange Addiction), the offspring would be Werner Herzog.

If all those tacky, tasteless MTV & VH1 reality shows (Jersey Shore, Flavor Of Love) fucked each other, the offspring would be John Waters.  (This is meant as a compliment to John Waters, and as an insult to the reality shows.  I’m not sure how that works, but that’s how it is.)

If Wes Craven and John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper and Brian DePalma and Dario Argento had an orgy and the offspring got mostly recessive genes, that offspring would be American Horror Story

Carnivale is David Lynch, because of the genuinely eerie Americana and all the unanswered questions.

The Walking Dead is George Romero if he took his sweet, sweet time a la Terrence Malick.  Though of course Terrence Malick is more Planet Earth. 

30 Rock might have to be Mike Nichols, though of course it has plenty of Mel Brooks too.  But with all the genre-spoofing, Mel Brooks should probably be Community.  And I guess that would mean Arrested Development is John LandisThe Office (US Version) is Hal Ashby (unless Parks And Recreation is Hal Ashby).  The Office (UK Version) is more realistic and uncomfortable to watch, so that’s John CassavetesHow I Met Your Mother is meta-Arthur Hiller (the guy who directed Love Story as well as a couple of Neil Simon scripts).  I can’t think of who It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia would be.  Who’s the most mean-spirited and irredeemably obnoxious 1970s filmmaker?

I have yet to see Homeland or Rubicon, but they’re Alan Pakula, right?  Because conspiracies and shit?

The Wire would have to be Sidney Lumet, with the criminals and the scathing social commentary of modern urban…OK, I’m just guessing on this one too, since I’ve only seen like 4 episodes of The Wire, and I’m ashamed to admit this.

Deadwood is either Walter Hill or Sam Peckinpah, since it takes the brutality inherent in early-20th Century Westerns and reconfigures it through modern…

…all right, I’ve seen zero episodes of Deadwood.

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