Sunday, February 07, 2010

Justifying My Media Consumption

While laid up with a hurting back this weekend, I watched a great deal of media.

I also read a great book, How Fiction Works by James Wood. Great writing, beautiful typesetting. I just read a quip about Wood that he seems "to want to be his own grandfather." The throwback design of the book supports that notion, with it's wide margins, section numbers, and running heads that summarize the contents of the spread. I love that stuff, and yes, I've been trying to be my own grandfather for some time now.

But if I go on about literary criticism, I'll be misrepresenting the weekend. What I really did this weekend was consume TV and movies. Specifically:

Several episodes of Parks and Recreation: Great concept and characters. I particularly like the setting and the character of Ron Swanson, who may have the most earnest (= least ironic) mustache on television in the last twenty years.

Several episodes of Family Guy: So, is Peter raped in every other episode now? I think I'm finally writing this show off for good. Then again, they made a joke about Picard's flute from the episode "The Inner Light." So it kind of evens out.

Benny and Joon: This continues our series of watching VHS tapes we got for free at rummage sales. Can't say I was impressed. Johnny Depp's physical comedy was about 10% of the movie. If it had been 90% . . .

Sixteen Candles: The VHS series again. I don't care if you think this is a classic; it just plain stinks. Unintelligible, unfunny dreck.

Moral of the story: recommended books are better than recommended movies.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

I've been thinking of reading How Fiction Works (The Guardian posted his chapter on characters once and I liked it--it also got me to read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), but I'm scared off each time.

I like Parks and Recreation, the two episodes I've seen, better than The Office. And that man's mustache is earnest.

I think times when you're sick are the perfect time to watch (especially bad) media.

We missed you at book club; I hope you're feeling better!