At least, Jeff Goldblum’s leaving the show amidst questions about its renewal. I think this is for the best. The show doesn’t have a vibe right now, and much more so than any of the other entries in the franchise, it was character-dependent. With the show moving to Los Angeles, and across the pond, I think it’s okay if there’s a serious refresh. I wouldn’t object if they came back with some new attempted spinoffs—a show that dealt with crimes below the level of crime or sexual assault might be one way to revitalize the show, and to change its timbre. Trial By Jury wasn’t a terrible idea, but cutting out the cops was probably a mistake. Stanley Fish isn’t entirely wrong about who Law & Order doesn’t like, but he forgets that we like cops more than we like lawyers.
Man, the world’s not fair. A girl goes out on a limb, writes a semi-ridiculous-but-sincere defense of Bones, and how do they reward her? They cast The Situation on the show. Or at least, they try. If they’re hard-up for material, bring back Wallace as Michelle’s boyfriend and do some more of the mother-daughter thing with her and Cam. Or get Angela pregnant and continue the show’s theme of created families. Or let Booth’s kid have more than the occasional cute-kid line. Bring back Dr. Goodman! RESOLVE THE ZACK STORYLINE.
Wow, sorry. Got a little heated there. But in keeping with my gripes about casting extremely famous people in guest roles, why would you do stunt casting like this, even for a murder victim role, when you have so many interesting things to do with the people you’ve got?
One of the great joys of watching excessive amounts of British television is that you keep running into Anthony Head all over the place.
My latest encounter with him came in the Doctor Who episode “School Reunion,” where he plays a headmaster who happens to have wings and a plan for world domination. It’s a really nice little performance. Even though his character is wearing human skin for most of the episode, he’s not actually human, and Head conveys that nicely. When he’s feeling particularly angry, ravenous, or alien, the angle and range of motion of his shoulder goes wrong. For long periods of time, he’s stretching his mouth wider than it can comfortably go, and makes it seem like the unpleasant placidity he wears for most of the episode is the real mask. It’s a good bit of physicality, more than he got to do as Giles.
He’s less alien in the guest role he takes on Spooks, which sadly lasted only an episode—he plays a deep cover agent gone over to the other side (in this case, ecoterrorists) for love. I wish they’d kept him around. His character was eccentric and brilliant, and it was disappointing when he bit it.
I don’t really get why the guy doesn’t have a more extensive American career. Is it just that he’s too type-cast as Giles? Is he too old, or too unconventionally good-looking to play one of those sexy Brits who charms American ladies? He’s really quite versatile, and it’s unfortunate that he hasn’t found a subsequent place where I get to enjoy him more often without waiting for Netflix to load.
And at Ta-Nehisi’s, I spun off on our discussions of George R.R. Martin to write about how much space authors should give their readers and how much work they should hope for them (or allow them) to do. The discussion’s terrific, and I highly encourage you to check it out. I particularly like this fan’s credo from ralphdibny:
Different people look for different things in their fiction, and their preferences say much more about them than the authors. Some readers do want to use fiction as a jumping off point. When one of those kind of readers says “I don’t care for Tolkien,” that statement doesn’t mean “Tolkien is rubbish and you are a fool for liking him.” It simply means “Tolkien’s fiction doesn’t allow me to achieve my primary goal as a reader.”
That’s worth keeping in mind in these kinds of conversations, I think.