eli stone reviews essays
Of course, it’s hard to believe that Eli was ever a bad guy. He’s a nice enough doof who slips pretty easily into doing right ’cause Trainspotting notwithstanding, Jonny Lee Miller doesn’t look like he has a mean bone in his body. Still, when he introduces himself via voiceover, he explains that he used to be a corporate lawyer who only believed in three things: Armani, accessories, and ambition. He’s engaged to the boss’s daughter and represents sleezeball corporations, including one that makes a vaccine that causes autism. But after a couple handy visions, he decides to switch sides: he renounces the big pharmaceutical company, and goes to work for the single mom who’s suing it. And that’s where the lazy writing starts.
Quirky shows sometimes get away with thin plots, but almost nothing in Eli Stone passes the smell test. Our lawyer hero manages to switch sides from representing the defendant in a case to representing the plaintiff – and I don’t have a law degree, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. But ethics aren’t an issue here: Stone’s brother is his doctor, his fiancee is the boss’s daughter, his sassy African-American secretary steals evidence, one of his key witnesses could’ve just invoked doctor-patient privilege, and oh yeah, did I mention the whole show’s really stupid?
There’s a jammy undercurrent not just to the nine-minute “Hawkwind,” or the later “Turtles Dream,” but that serves as the foundation to even the more structured material like the duly Southern-tinged “Moonshine Witch” and the it’s-called-“lead-guitar”-because-you-follow-it “Atlantean,” which departs its early verses for solo-laced oblivion past the halfway point. There’s a cross-generational element at play, between Isom and Watson, Alger and Dinges, but that does nothing to interrupt the overall fluidity of Totem or bring any sense of incongruity to the band’s style. If anything, the inclusion of Isom seems to have tightened The Druids‘ songwriting approach, as heard in “Turtles Dream,” which takes elements from “Turtles” and “Dreams” from the EP and combined them into one progression. “Hawkwind” is an exception and clearly intended as such, but most of the material on Totem is shorter and more structurally sound, so that even as The Druids decide to take off on the occasional interstellar trip, they have solid ground from which to launch. That provides balance for the listener making their unsuspecting way through, and sees moments like the drift in the concluding “Sky Submarine” all the more effective.
Interestingly, Totem seems to be rawer in its production than was the EP. Listening to the sample from The Wild Angels that lets “Sorcerers” open what would be side B on a vinyl release before giving way to the trippier “Turtles Dream,” “High Society” and “Sky Submarine,” there’s an almost garage-psych sensibility to what The Druids conjure here, with a grit cast on some of the shimmer in the guitars their last time out. Could be a circumstance of recording live as they did, or could be a purposeful aesthetic choice on their part — I don’t think we can know until their next time out, but it enhances the ride that is “Cruising Astral Skies” and makes the nodding “Atlantean” all the more of a wash of dirty fuzz, classically doomed in the Maryland tradition, but not necessarily beholden to Maryland doom in terms of its psychedelic vibe and general stoned fuckall.
“Eli Stone” is committed to a quaint, flimsy populism and a kind of 12-step “God is where you find him” spirituality. Faith and science are necessary if unreliable co-dependents. Eli’s Asian-looking acupuncturist postures as a Chinese mystic calling himself Dr. Chen but turns out to be a former philosophy student at Berkeley named Frank Liebakowski. And his accent is fake too.
Casting Jonny Lee Miller as Eli was a smart move toward shielding the show from getting preachy or too serious. He is an impish-looking actor who appears as though he’d need the assistance of pliers to furrow his brow. How Eli managed to graduate at the top of his law school class and clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsburg (as a future client informs us in the first episode) we’re not so sure, but it seems a shame to get picky when Mr. Miller carries himself so breezily that he makes receiving a terminal diagnosis seem like getting overcharged at the grocery checkout.
ABC was a standout performer during Fall ’07, prior to the strike-related scheduling disruptions, leading its nearest competition (CBS) from the start of the season through the end of November by 11% on average in Adults 18-49. Furthermore, ABC delivered the No. 1 position among young adults on 7 of the first 10 weeks this season, and ranked either first or second on 6 of 7 nights of the week throughout the fall. ABC won the November Sweep in Adults 18-49, its third consecutive year to hold the top spot for the month in the key sales demo.
Power, privilege and family money are a volatile cocktail. Living proof of this are the Darlings of New York City, so absurdly wealthy, they put the “upper” in Upper East Side. This preeminent family are always getting mixed up with the wrong people and finding themselves in the middle of bad situations. It’ll take a miracle to take care of the legal and sometimes illegal needs of the Darlings. That miracle comes in the form of Nick George.
Welcome to a special Sunday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we look at Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s Heroes – Season 2 . Watch the Emmy nominated show and experience all the new and exciting twists of the astonishing series in this 4-disc set that includes every gripping season two episode. Rejoin the epic phenomenon as Heroes – Season 2 arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on August 26, 2008. See my mini-DVD review of Heroes – Season 2 :
There is a nice mixture of special features spread out over the 4 discs. The best extras are the audio commentaries by the cast and crew on all 11 episodes. I haven’t had a chance to listen to all of them yet, but they offer a lot of interesting trivia and behind the scenes details. Other special features include 17deleted scenes, Heroes Season 2 “A New Beginning” featurette, Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint featurette, The Drucker Files featurette, Genetics of a Scene featurette, season 3 sneak peek, Generations alternate ending, Inside the Alternate ending of Generations, Untold Stories that never aired, NBC.com featurettes and a gallery of Tim Sale’s screen art.