Inspirational Lubricant Du Jour: Root!
Men: I’m a little late this week. But it’s like Paul always says about your first time: better never than late. Like when you’re really old. ‘Cause that’s gross.
Besides, my penchant for procrastination (in addition to signaling that my body is subconsciously readying itself for the school year with the calendar turned to August) gives me a nice occasion to do a quick “After Dark” edition of The Pretentious Corner, in which I discuss all manner of seedy topics, not to mention malfeasance and skullduggery.
The arrival of August has also clearly had an effect on my diction and syntax. So, you know. Fart.
Anyway: if Paul gets mad at me for the deadline, he’ll probably do it adorably, like this:
Taking my inspiration from my big sis Jean Louise, as I often to do when it comes to things about which she is expert – like brown liquor and cake – I’m going to expound upon a television trend that you’ve no doubt noticed (unless you’re dumb) on which she initially got me hooked. What’s that trend you ask (because you’re dumb)? Namely:
Gritty crime dramas centered on grisly murder investigations!
That’s right kids, emotionally compromised detectives who get their jollies by tracking down sociopaths and pal-ing around with mutilated corpses. All the kids are into it these days! And by “it” I mean a dumpster. In pieces.
I mentioned Sherlock in a previous post, but the grisly factor on that program is actually pretty low (but made up for by witty banter and whacky oddness, of course). This being the “After Dark” edition of the column, I’ll go ahead and share some of the more NSFKids options currently on offer by that glorious red repository of time-wasting goodness: The Netflix. (Don’t you wish more people used unnecessary definite articles? They have a really high comedic floor and, in the right company, can be great. Just consult The Twitter.)
Turns out Europe has crime too. Who knew, right? What is the EU even doing over there? Without further ado, here are two killer (!) shows where European folks get all effed up and smart-type people try puzzle out what had happened:
I know, I know. I tell you there’s a really great, gritty French crime show and you say “What? Do the characters spend the whole episode surrendering?” Let’s move past your terrible joke that I would totally have made. Instead, let me introduce you to Capitaine Laure Berthaud!
My favorite thing about “Engrenages” (besides saying it) is that it exposes a seedy Paris underbelly (are there any underbellies that aren’t seedy?) lurking beneath all of the froofy Romantic shtuff we usually see Paris perpetuating on film. Drugs! Corrupt cops! Murdah! Both the overarching storylines and the by-episode procedurals are compelling. Besides: everyone’s whacky and French! And if Captaine Berthaud isn’t enough for you, may I present… Maitre Josephine Karlsson:
Hey look! It’s pudgy Ken Branagh. This one takes place in Sweden and it follows the Sherlock/BBC model of a three-episode mini-series format for each season. The only weird thing here is that everyone is obviously British, even though all the documents and writing in the show are clearly in Swedish. Beyond that, it’s got good (read: horrifying) stories and stunning vistas. Rural Sweden is captured beautifully on screen here and it presents as the perfect place for Mirielle Enos and Jean Louise to live happily ever after.
And did I mention fat Hamlet? Cause Fat Hamlet!
My one major gripe is that the show (which also stars Tom “The-Guy-Who-Played-Loki-In-The-Avengers” Hiddleston) would have been far more successful if they had pitched as a Buddy Copy show and called it “Hamlet and Loki: Norse Force!”
That seems like as a good place as any to call it. And if you’re looking for more horrifying European crime-solving fun, Jean Louise would be happy to tell you about The Fall, otherwise known as “Scully: The Menopausal Years.” (I haven’t watched yet, but hear good things.)
Finally, if you think this post was late and slipshod – just wait until football season starts. From September to February, Sundays are God’s Day. And by God I mean, of course, Tom Brady. I’ll have so little time for this BroCast nonsense that I might degenerate all the way down to Tom Mooney levels of incoherence.
Happy belated birthday, Tommy!
(The real Tommy, that is. The better Tommy. I can see how you’d be confused, though.)