Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Sunset Limited

If you have HBO, check out this super production starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. I've watched it twice now, once when it was first shown Sunday night, and again the next day using 'On Demand'.

This is a freaky, disturbing drama with two guys hashing out the 'meaning of life' debate. And the ending, like all great stories leave us with more questions than answers. Who won the argument? Who lost? And what the eff was that all about?

Are the characters 'real'? Who knows?

Tommy Lee Jones wants to die. He blames his death wish on the death of the things he loved most ...music, books, art...and I think that's the core of the story. He describes those things, which he once thought were indestructible, as fragile and now lost in a world of shit.

So true. And while the writer of the piece, Cormac McCarthy, is most likely talking about highfalutin culture, I feel the same sense of loss in pop culture, which was riding so high for such a long time.

If you had asked me in 1970, 'What do you think pop culture will be like in 2011?', I don't think I would've guessed it would be a cesspool of loud violent movies, television programs that pretend to be 'real' but are actually people pretending to fight and exhibit crude behavior, and a music scene without heroes or melodies.

But the irony of 'The Sunset Limited', a television production, is that television has actually improved over the last ten years or so. A sort of 'Silver Age', if you will. And while 99.9% of movies, novels and music suck for actual grown-ups, television offers a lot of well written shows that actually seem to care about character and message and manage to be entertaining. Yeah, there are still fake 'reality' shows and tons of crap but you also get gems like 'The Sunset Limited'. Check it out, Pilgrim!


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