Monday, May 17, 2010

Treme, Friday Night Lights and The Forest of Hands and Teeth

It's a perfect storm of entertainment right now. Everywhere I turn, every book I pick up is knocking it right out of the ball park. It's bliss. Let's start with Treme.

This show (despite being picked up for a second season) is doomed to fail. It's lighter than The Wire, but it doesn't have the forward driving plot that The Wire had and it doesn't have Idris Alba - which really is too bad. It doesn't have much sex appeal at all to tell you the truth. When the only character you see getting anything is Steve Zahn...well, that's not sexy.

Instead Treme has unbelievable music, Steve Zahn(who is hilarious to me), microscopic realism, the best most real and least dramatic characters to grace the small screen and dialogue that breaks my heart. Much like The Wire and Madmen (Madmen, which seems so innaccesible at times, has all that ridiculous sexiness that no one cares that they don't have a clue what's going on) I have no idea what's happening or what's going to happen next. It's so much smarter than me all I can do is sit back and love every minute of it.

Friday Night Lights is like eating a big bowl of chicken and dumplings with a big slice of cake for dessert. It doesn't have Treme's big brain, but is has a huge heart and it trades some of that brain for sex appeal - oh Tim Riggins, I want to write a poem about the way your butt looks in jeans. And drama. Good drama. Slightly better than reality drama. I watch that show and I feel like I can see the splits in the road in terms of plot and characters, but I also know that those writers are going to suprise me. And that is worth loving too.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a YA novel that Sinead has been waxing poetic about for weeks, so I finally got my hands on it and...Sinead is right - YA is the most jaw-dropping entertaining subgenre going right now. This book is shocking and exciting in it's violence and drama. Several times I put the book down thinking - there is no way NO WAY she got away with writing what she just wrote. But she did.

At the same time, this book is flawed. I thought it got a little over-emotional and lost some serious impact when we needed impact. And Sinead has her beef with it which I'm sure she'll share - but this book is a book everyone should go out and get, just so you can see what's happening in YA.

Could life get any better?


Chevy Stevens said...

I have such a thing for Steve Zahn. Love him.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh how I love Steve Zahn! He was part of an audio book called Letters Home. It was a bunch of soldier's letters from every war the US was a part of - Steve Zahn read a a bunch from a WWII soldier - he was amazing. Funny until he broke your heart.

karen W said...

Ok, thanks a lot. Just thanks. Yet another book I have to run out and buy. Grumble grumble.

Eileen said...

We watched the first episode of Treme and liked it, but apparently not enough to make time to watch more.

I, otoh, am mourning the loss of Trauma.

Sinead M said...

So far behind on everything.... Treme, FNL, and just caught the trailor for the 3rd season of Tru Blood and it looks amazing..

And yep, my issues with Forest were a little different, but I read every page, in a very short amount of time.
Compulsively page turning and bleak is how I'd describe that book..

Maureen McGowan said...

I didn't have the issues that either of you guys had with Forest of Hands and Teeth. My only issue, if I had one, was the ending fell a little flat. But didn't stop me from going out to buy the second one in hardcover the day I finished the book. (But still haven't read it. TBR pile too high.)

You should go back to Treme, Eileen. Like The Wire, it builds. But Molly's right, it doesn't build with quite so much urgency or intensity as The Wire did... But I keep thinking there are tons of little seeds being planted that could explode. Or not.

And FNL is just damn good television. Damn good television and Tim Riggins in his underwear.

Molly O'Keefe said...

karen you won't regret it - it's action packed, scary, the romantic aspect of it breaks my's a really good book. Plus there's zombies.

I agree Maureen, lots of little seeds everywhere and I'm totally totally fascinated - the hunt for the kid, Antoine's story, I'm totally glued, but the stakes while high - aren't the life and death stuff of THe Wire, which makes me think these seeds aren't going to blow up - but, that said, these dudes are way smarter than I am and I am loving every episode, so I should shut my mouth and just love it.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Treme... very hard for me. As my love for the Wire and their writers knows no bounds I of course watched.

First episode. Second episode... hard to hold on.... I haven't seen any since. (Although they are dvr'd in case the writers stop by and want to see proof of my devotion.)

I just found it SOOO slow. I had a hard time understanding what was going on and other than Bunk (who I still love) and Zahn to a degree I just couldn't feel the love.

But (and I'm about to be blasted here) I felt the same way about Mad Men. I TRIED. I swear I did. Now I think I came around season 3so maybe I was lacking context but I gave it 3 tries and then just found that after each episode I was lost. And it moved so glacier like to me.

I didn't find myself caring about any of the characters.

Anyway that's my confession. Since I trust you all - I will accept that I'm in the wrong here.

And if Forest is anything like Hunger Games... I'm in.

Oh and I saw the previes for True Blood... and this is all I have to say...

My boyfiend's back and you're gonna be in trouble hey yah hey hay my... boyfriends back!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Steph - I understand, those first few episodes it was hard to figure out who was what - but now, just like in the Wire, tensions are rising and things are happening. The two actors from The Wire are amazing in this show - and so different. The guy that played Bunk, actually plays the trombone! Anyway - I'm loving it.

As for Madmen, watching that first season was so freaking explosive to me. The pilot was incredible, made the reader love an unloveable man and the slow delcious teasing out of who Don Draper is? love it. Try it from season one on DVD, I assure you - you will watch. Also one of THE SEXIEST scenes ever on TV.

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