While the denial of service attack was going on, I was hunkered down watching TV series.
As is my usual mode, I sit down and watch them one after another until I am done. So I guess I have been up for three weeks straight with no sleep. Just kidding. I did take time out for some sleep and other things, like, uh, work.
Luckily, I have a friend who's addicted to TV series DVD sets - the best kind of friend to have. So I was able to borrow these.
Entourage Season 2 is more fun from HBO. The fact that the shows are just a half hour long kills me. I blew through the whole season in just one night. There's the whole Vince as Aquaman thing. I was pretty tired of Vince mooning over Mandy Moore, but that was the point - you're supposed to be tired of it and not sympathize with Vince's character, and it puts the attention on the other characters. I especially love Johnny Drama's going berserk on the freeway and smashing a guy's car with a golf club. It was sad to see Chris Penn among the guest stars. I miss him. Jeremy Piven is the best out of the cast. His character Ari Gold goes through a major career setback right at the end.
I caught an episode of Desperate Housewives while in Ireland earlier this year, so I was interested to see more of the series. It's a dark and mysterious thing, with all the characters being flawed. I like that in a series. Who's my favorite? Well, it has to be Marcia Cross as Bree. When she puts on a red bikini lingerie set to seduce her husband, she wins me over, even if she can't stop obsessing about the dripping buritto. I was also impressed by Teri Hatcher's slapstick comedy chops. And there's a great roster of guest stars - Richard Roundtree (just talkin' 'bout Shaft) and Bob Newhart among them. Great cliffhanger of an ending.
Next up was a Showtime series that my friend insisted I watch. It's awesome. A great cast - Hank Azaria stars, with Oliver Platt as his drunken-coke snorting-whoring lawyer best friend. Blythe Danner (Gyneth Paltrow's mom) plays the character's mother, and she is simply astonishing. The show is about a Hollywood psychiatrist whose life is unmanageable. Lara Flynn Boyle has a recurring role as a violent bipolar former patient. But Oliver Platt is the best, especially when he says, "As your attorney, I ..."
In this whole raft of series, a couple of people turned up multiple times. First there's Bob Saget. In Entourage, he plays himself, essentially. He's actually a very coarse, vulgar man - at least that's the persona he's now cultivating. He's a neighbor of Vince and boys. In Huff, he plays a spoof of his Full House character, "America's favorite Dad", who's gone off the deep end and is holed up, Hunter S Thompson style, in a Palm Springs hotel suite, snorting heroin. Again, basically himself. Oliver Platt's character goes to rescue him. I really need to see The Aristocrats.
There there was Lucille Soong. She plays Gabrielle's lippy maid who's justifiably concerned about getting paid when Gabrielle's husband starts having financial troubles. She's in Huff as the Chinese wife of Huff's father (played by Robert Forster in the first season). In 1965, she was a "concubine" in Genghis Khan. While still playing stereotyped minority roles, at least in Desperate Housewives and Huff she can stretch her acting chops and become more than just scenery.