Friday, May 18, 2012


The latest episode of "Missing" is up at Hulu.  I won't link to ABC since they axed the show.  It was great, the season ender.  Ashley Judd went places most people are scared to go.  She really deserves the Emmy for best actress in a drama.

And Becca went so dark on the finale.  And Ashley Judd wasn't afraid to let you be horrified by what she was doing.  I really think "Missing" was the best hour show of the season.

Everything came together perfectly and then you saw how they would have started the second season.  It's a shame there won't be one.  It was a great show.

Ava and C.I. had a really point in "TV: Score card time" Sunday:

One new show we did weigh in on was Missing.  ABC kicked it to the curb.

Score card: A+ because Missing is a great show and because it's part of the thread of the 2011-2012 season, in fact, it is the story of that season.

Missing starred Ashley Judd and was symbolic of the entire season. Patrick Wilson's awful TV show was beyond smarmy, it was maudlin and treacly.  Wilson was haunted by his ex-wife.  His dead ex-wife. But the show had a big name: Jonathan Demme.  So the critics went out of their way to fawn.  Reality: narrative isn't a stront point in the work of Jonathan Demme.  Reality: Narrative is all TV is.  There's no poetic, there's no reflection, there is only narrative.  But no critic wanted to point out that Demme has repeatedly lost the point of the film.  With a strong script (Ted Tally's Silence of the Lambs), his diversions don't harm the film.  With a mediocre script (Ron Nyswaner's Philadelphia), Demme wanders (which is why Philadelphia doesn't make for repeat viewings).  Critics could have addressed this, they could have addressed the studio's biggest beef with Demme (one that ended his big-budget film career the minute he flopped): They hired him for a Goldie Hawn film or a Michelle Pfieffer film or a -- you get the idea -- and he delivers something completely different because he's become fascinated with some supporting character.  The studio that paid X millions to land the star isn't thrilled to find that the director has filmed something other than what they greenlighted.

The Water Cooler Set didn't touch on that, wasn't interested.  What were they interested in?  Ashley Judd's face.  They wanted to write about it and rumors about it.  They weren't really interested in the show.  They just wanted to dissect Ashley Judd's looks in a way that could allow them to sound in-the-know but only came off bitchy.

Ashley Judd was and remains an attractive woman.  She also starred in a popular series.  And the Water Cooler Set wouldn't leave it alone, they picked at her week after week.  That's what they do.  They used to use that zeal to try to destroy film actresses.  For example, the eighties found them condemning Goldie Hawn for "the Goldie syndrome" and Jane Fonda for "the Fonda syndrome." They were two of the most popular film actresses.  That made them targets.  We've written of Jane's films before in 2006 -- her comedies, so let's focus on Goldie for a moment.  Private Benjamin and Protocol are not the same film.  Nor is Wildcats like the two nor is Overboard or Best Friends or Seems Like Old Times.  All were popular films in the eighties.  Goldie played a variety of characters.  Judy Benjamin was spoiled and entitled, Sunny Davis played cute and stupid because she thought it was what was expected, Molly McGrath was a shy and retiring person who stepped up when she saw one chance (the only chance) . . .  We could go on and on.  Jane's Dr. Martha Livingston was nothing like Judy Bernly or Viveca von Loren/Alex Sternbergen.

Now while those two actresses developed memorable and differing characters, Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood were giving the same damn performance over and over but Vanity Fair and assorted other magazines weren't interested in in talking about "the Burt syndrome" or "the Clint syndrome."  Just as the late 90s saw a marked effort to trash Meg Ryan for the alleged sins of the romantic comedy genre.  Having trashed her, they quickly moved on to others (Katherine Heigl being the most recent topic in their slam books).  Where's the guy?

If the romantic comedy genre demands trashing, if it's not just about that genre being one of the few places actresses could hold their own, then where's the man?  Matthew McConaughey wouldn't have a career in the last 12 years if it weren't for that genre.  So where are the jokes about him?  (Seth MacFarlane, an all purpose insulter, has regularly taken on McConaughey in the TV shows he's created.  Seth isn't a member of the Water Cooler Set.)

With Goldie, they worked overtime to trash her, the same with Jane, the same with Meg, the same with Katherine.  The point is to rip apart these women, serve them up for organized, mass ridicule and, in the process, ensure that they no longer breathe career wise.

That's what the Water Cooler Set did to Ashley Judd.  They tried real hard to do it to Whitney Cummings.  We addressed that in "TV: The perverts still drool over Shirley Temple."  And because so many people called out the sexist attacks on the TV show, because a large group of people said "no," the Water Cooler Set had to back off.  It still surfaces, the nonsense, the claims that the show was a flop.

I love their writing.  They're strong and fearless and they say what needs to be said.  It's why they're so loved online.

If you ever watched "Missing," check out the last episode because it really was something.

Going out with

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