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Before | After

A long time ago, we used to be friends

I'm kind of dreading tonight's Southland. After Ann Biderman left the series, it seems to have veered off into something I don't quite like as much, a "we're tough guys making a tough series for tough men to watch" or something. They've really kind of destroyed the audience-eye character, Ben Sherman, and have turned him into a complete and utter douchebag. And I admit, I'm biased, but I wanted Ben and Cooper to be together all the time, and I thought some kind of rapprochement with Cooper after the addiction storyline would have made for some really excellent drama, but no, now they seem to pretty much be done with each other for all eternity, and Ben's all judgey and shit.

But wow, Michael Cudlitz has been KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK every fucking week these past few weeks. Every episode, he just leaves me with my jaw hanging open. I thought all his scenes with his former TO were pretty amazing, but then they had him going to his ex-wife and offering to have a baby with her...after everything that had gone between them a couple seasons ago, I wasn't sure which way that scene would go, but it just made me all sniffly. And then came Chaos. I kind of feel like I was severely beaten myself and left for dead after that. I knew they were going for an "Onion Field" story there, but I still haven't recovered from Nate's brutal death on that show, and not that I had any love for Lucero or anything, but Jesus. That was fucking BRUTAL.

And I spent a lot of time thinking about the episode, because dramatically it bothered me, from a screenwriting standpoint. I mean, even though they are willing to kill people off (see Nate), we kind of knew going in that John would likely survive. So it was more a question of how far the tweakers would go, and how long Lucero would survive, or how Cooper would actually make it out of there. So that bothered me. I'm constantly afraid they're going to kill him off (see last year's neck-biting attack), because now that they've kind of gutted Lydia's character and turned Ben into a raging assface, Cooper's all I've got left, and they seem intent on trying to make people who watch the show and have been loyal fans since the beginning suffer. But I think I realized in that episode that dramatically, they were setting up Lucero to be offed, and that kind of made my teeth grind.

I always dislike when I can see the machinations in the minds of the writers, or the thumbprints of the producers. Somehow what I want is for the show to support everything Cudlitz is doing as John Cooper. I want the rest of the show (please write Lydia more better again) to be what it used to be, where he was a part of an excellent whole that kind mesmerized me to watch. They've condensed the cast too much, and there's not enough breadth, for one thing. Sammy being on patrol instead of gangs took us out of that world, which gave us some wider range.

But I think the worst thing might be that they've turned Ben into such an asshole. He was our representative in this world, our audience-eye-view, and that's so soured it's kind of...I don't know. I'm not even sure what the word is here -- disappointing doesn't feel strong enough.

Because godDAMN do they have a powerhouse in John Cooper and his actor, and nothing else is supporting it the way it used to. I know Cudlitz will never be nominated for an Emmy for his work, TNT shows never seem to get noticed that way, and it kills me because these past three episodes alone, he has carried this show, and his performance is one of the finest on television, if not THE finest. I loved him as Bull Randleman in Band of Brothers, and I've loved following his career, but he's never had a role like this, and he just tears it up every time.

Fuck, show, be better and be worthy of Michael Cudlitz, OK? And please to stop torturing the audience. You can be gritty without doing that.


So my baby Blues has been a very expensive kitty lately. In his checkup last week, they found a cavity, which in kitties I guess is more of a bleeding hole in the tooth. Turned out there were two, both of the molars behind his bottom fangs, and they had to extract them in his dental cleaning -- and the plaque on his teeth was so bad it was like having a whole other tooth on top of them. He has always had bad teeth and gums, but it's getting ridiculous. And ridiculously expensive; it couldn't have come at a worse time as my credit card was really feeling the pinch with all the plans and deposits and such for my trip next month.

They gave him another one of those pain shots that last for three or four days like he got when his paw was infected; it's hysterical watching him roll around, completely stoned out of his mind, his pupils totally blown out, purring like a motorboat. I just hope he's not in much pain when it wears off.

Myself, I had the second round of dental work done yesterday, and aside from the bloody pulp in my mouth later, my jaw just mostly aches from trying to keep it open that long. I'm really tired of this. Especially coming at a time when I'm planning an expensive holiday.

Speaking of which, anyone on my flist in London? Want to meet up? I'll be there from the 14th to the 17th, then off to Cardiff for a few days, then back in London till the 22. I'd love to meet someone for drinks or lunch or something.

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Comments

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killabeez
Apr. 18th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)
I wish I was going to be in London! :)

Yikes, Blues, stop it. *pets kitty*

I was supposed to have a major dental appt. today, but I got sick and had to postpone. UGH. *pets you sympathetically*
gwyn_r
Apr. 19th, 2013 12:04 am (UTC)
So, there's a silver lining to being sick? ;-)

I feel like my body is just crumbling into dust these days. Now it's my teeth. Just one thing after another.
mackiemesser
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
Poor kitty! And poor you! Double the dental works sounds like a tough time.
gwyn_r
Apr. 19th, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
I definitely wish I had the kind of good drugs that Blues had for my own dental work. I mean, that cat was TRIPPING.
mackiemesser
Apr. 19th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
...I now have a very entertaining stoned cat narrative in my head...
amnisias
Apr. 18th, 2013 07:58 am (UTC)
I'm still enjoying Southland very much, more than a lot of other shows. As you say, they have some brilliant actors there, and I really like the realistic, rambeling style, where the focus is not on the destiny and the focus.

Ben has gone off the deep-end, no doubt about it. He is currently thoroughly unlikeable and don't 'enjoy' watching him (makes your skin creep) I think it's a very logical and congruent development. When the show started he was an inexperienced noob who had so much to learn. Now he's grown in confidence, he's completed his training and he thinks he's the king of the world who can handle it all. He thinks he's as good as Cooper, but his personality development is lagging (severly) behind, and he behaves like a lot of young bucks do - cocky and arrogant. But boy, is it hard to watch. It's a great set up for some character development, but I'm afraid they won't get there, because the shows renewal seems unlikely. And if they leave Ben like this it would be very sad.
gwyn_r
Apr. 19th, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
I guess that TNT hasn't made a decision about it continuing next year, and this possible finale episode left me...beyond upset. I can't believe this is how they'd end it.
amnisias
Apr. 19th, 2013 07:45 am (UTC)
I know that McKenzie and Hatosy have booked 2nd position pilots for next season, so I'm assuming that the likelihood of renewal is slim. Not seen the finale yet - I hope they wrap things up as much as possible and don't dump a cliffhanger on us...
hypertwink
Apr. 18th, 2013 10:20 am (UTC)
Everything you said about Southland.
gwyn_r
Apr. 19th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
I'm...really, really upset about the season/potential series finale. I didn't think they could betray the fans this badly.
hypertwink
Apr. 19th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
I don't expect finales to be happy all the time and some of the best season/series finales have a tinge of wtfery and sadness but this was just horrible.

The last time I felt like this (betrayed/horrified) about a show was Torchwood.
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