The View From Jackie’s Head #8 – 12/16/16
Let’s start off this conversation talking about Carrie Preston. She is the actress from Macon, Georgia who has won my heart with each and every quirky performance she has given. Top of the list is her portrayal of Elsbeth Tascioni on “The Good Wife”. When that show ended I was hoping the powers that be would create an Elsbeth Tascioni spin-off. Well they have created a spin-off but it focuses on the roles played by Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo. There is a silver lining however as “Deadline Hollywood” reports Preston’s Elsbeth will recur on this new show.
Preston will also be featured in the new TV series Claws” which is supposed to air on TNT next year. In this one she appears opposite Neicy Nash in a show about the world of a beauty salon. Preston plays a manicurist with a record. This sounds like a lot of fun.
The movies I have seen recently are giving me a complex. I come out of them and can’t figure out what certain key elements are or why they have been included. Example A is the movie “Arrival”. In this film Amy Adams plays a linguistics expert who is asked to try to make contact with aliens that are hovering above our planet.
When she tries to communicate with them they draw round shapes with hairlike coverings in different spots. After a few scenes and a non-determined amount of time Amy has suddenly been able to translate these renderings. My question is how, and it is not explained. I asked my son, who loved this movie, and he said, “She’s a linguistics expert” like that explained everything. Not for me!
Example B is “Collateral Beauty.” This movie deals with people recovering, or trying to recover, from the death of a loved one. One of the women in the film tells a story about when her six year old daughter was dying. A woman sitting next to her was commiserating with her about her loss. Then the woman tells her not to overlook the collateral beauty. The woman telling the story says it took a couple of years but she finally did understand the collateral beauty. I didn’t, and at the end of the movie I still didn’t.
Now I don’t have to have everything spelled out explicitly in a movie but when it is a crucial plot point I want to at least have a hint as to what they are discussing or showing.I can watch a movie like “Memento”, which a lot of people found indecipherable, and come out without a single question. But take a movie like “Nocturnal Animals” and I am screaming – what’s the point!
Finally, what is this new thing in TV about having an end of season show in December? “This Is Us” announced a couple of weeks ago they were having their winter finale. At least that show will be back on January 10. “Designated Survivor” announced this week’s episode was its “winter finale” and it won’t be back with new episodes until March. I know we have shows like “House of Cards” that have ten episodes a year – but that is Netflix. Amazon Prime does the same thing with its shows. “Designated Survivor” is on network TV and we are supposed to get a year’s worth of shows in a long cycle, not with gaps of months in between.
I think this is going to backfire on shows like “Designated Survivor”. The average viewer does not expect to have these spaces and gaps in the viewing schedule, and so by the time the show returns they will have moved on to the next big thing. “Designated Survivor” will be yesterday’s news by the time it returns. Its ratings were already headed downward and I think they will slide even more when the show returns. And that’s too bad because it is a good show.
And I leave you with the question, what do you think? Leave your comments below.
Jackie K Cooper