The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Top Twenty-Five Live-Action TV Villains

This one is long overdue, but I'm glad I waited.

25. Saffron

Did we ever learn her real name? I guess it doesn't matter, since her name didn't matter so much as her actions. Screwing everyone in her path to get what she wanted. I enjoyed her in both appearances, and would have loved to see more. That and it made me a fan of Christina Hendricks.

24. Khan Noonien Singh

While better known for his appearance in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (and another movie we will not speak of), Ricardo Montalban made his debut as Khan in one of the best episodes of the original series... and Nicholas Meyer was impressed enough to bring him back in what is considered the best movies of all time. But "Space Seed" is great, and you can easily see why Khan made an impression.

23. Brian Moser

This guy was creepy. Dexter's first Big Bad, and second best. His older brother who represents what he could have become. The first person Dexter didn't want to kill, but felt he had to.

22. Lilah Morgan

Angel Investigations' most enduring foe had to be Lilah Morgan of Wolfram & Hart. She menaced them for four seasons while working her way up in the firm. She was pragmatic enough to use them for her own ends, and even entered into an affair made in Hell with Wesley. I remember being pissed when she got killed, but her contract with Wolfram & Hart extends beyond her death. I like to think she would have continued to be a thorn in Angel's side, even had the show not been cancelled.

21. Arthur Mitchell

"The dad from Third Rock From The Sun as a serial killer? How am I supposed to take that seriously?" was what I asked myself when I first heard that John Lithgow was playing the Trinity Killer on "Dexter", and what do you know, he turned in a very scary performance as Dexter's Big Bad. His modus operandi was frightening, his abuse of his family made my skin crawl. Everything about this guy was nightmarish. Not killing him when he had his first chance was Dexter's greatest mistake, which would resonate throughout the rest of the show's run. You would think I would have learned after this experience not to underestimate someone who played a wacky sitcom dad, but we'll come back to that....

20. Irene Adler

After being utterly disappointed with Rachel McAdams in the bland and terrible Robert Downy Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies, Steven Moffat rides to the rescue with the brilliant BBC series, "Sherlock" and an Irene Adler that would make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle proud. Lara Pulver plays an Irene Adler who is a dominatrix, serving high-end clients. Possessing incriminating photos of a member of the Royal Family, Sherlock is hired to recover the photos and finds himself captivated by her. Probably the best episode of the series, and a wonderful performance.

19. Lord Antono Refa

Don't let his stupid hairstyle fool you, Lord Refa is one evil motherfucker. A scheming patriarch of a powerful noble house in the royal court of the Centauri, Lord Refa takes advantage of Londo Mollari's "associates" to put a psychopath on the throne all while he pushes for galactic war to restore the Centauri to what he feels is their rightful place in the galaxy. He destroys the Narn homeworld, enslaves its people, creates extermination camps and commits all sorts of atrocities. His death scene is one of the most satisfying in the history of television.

18. Nancy Botwin

I've talked about her before. A suburban housewife who starts selling marijuana after her husband dies to support her family in their upper-middle-class suburban lifestyle. She lies, she schemes, she uses people. She never kills anyone, but people die because of her. Even her children get involved in the business. She starts out as the sane one, but slowly descends into depravity, but she loves her family and occasionally has her heroic moments. But only occasionally.

17. Lilith

God created the angels, then he created the humans and ordered the angels to love the humans. Lucifer couldn't do it and corrupted a human, transforming Lilith into the first demon. For a millennia, Lilith held all of the contracts humans made with demons, and was freed from Hell at the end of the second season to free Lucifer from his prison. She took the form of a little girl most of the time, and proved to be a thorn in the Winchesters' side, as she would do anything and kill anyone to break the sixty-six seals she needed to free Lucifer.

16. Gustavo "Gus" Fring

The owner of a chain of fast food restaurants in the southwest, Gus Fring is an upstanding member of the community, and a frequent donor to law enforcement. He is also one of the biggest distributors of methamphetamine in the country. He is very intelligent, and always cool and collected. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of the Big Man from "The Spectacular Spider-Man". His coldness was what made him so intimidating, and he you never knew what he was going to do next. Very cool. Very scary.

15. Melisandre

A religious fanatic from across the Narrow Sea who becomes a major player in the War of the Five Kings, as she believes Stannis Baratheon to be the messiah of her faith, the disciple of the fire god known as the Lord of Light. Stannis may be married, but Melisandre is his queen as she coaxes him to do terrible things including murder his younger brother and eventually take the Iron Throne so she may purge Westeros of the other gods. She burns people alive, all for the future she reads in the flames. She is right about one thing, the night is dark and full of terrors.

14. Mayor Richard Wilkins III

The nicest evil guy ever. A conservative, family-values politician who is as into cleanliness as he is evil. He built Sunnydale for demons to feed on, in exchange for one day being able to ascend by transforming into a powerful and immortal demon, himself. The brighter the image, the darker the negative. He takes a photo with boyscouts while sacrificing babies to a demon. He becomes a surrogate father to the rogue Slayer, Faith, all while corrupting her into a vicious killer.

13. Morden

What do you want? Think very carefully when asked that question, it could be your undoing otherwise. Mr. Morden is an unassuming man you might not glance twice at. But that's the devil's favorite shape to come in, and Morden is an emissary of chaos. When first we meet him, he visits every ambassador on Babylon 5 and asks them what they want, and when he gets the answer he's looking for the galaxy is soon plunged into a terrible war as his masters, the Shadows work to create chaos... all while Morden gladly helps them, as well as serves as the hook that allows Londo Mollari to damn himself.

12. Cersei Lannister

The scheming queen of Westeros... sold into a loveless marriage to King Robert Baratheon, Cersei finds her own happiness in the arms of her twin brother, Jaime... and mothers his bastard children who are all raised as King Robert's own. Once the truth comes out, she arranges to have Robert killed and maneuvers her son, Joffrey onto the throne. Utterly ruthless and without morals, Cersei is feared and hated across the realm which she sees as nothing more than enemies. Her only redeeming quality is that she loves her children, no matter how monstrous they are.

11. Lucifer

Once an archangel of God who, in his eyes, loved God too much. He refused to love the humans, and after twisting Lilith into the first demon, he was imprisoned in a cage so deep in Hell, no demon has ever seen him. Upon being freed, Lucifer takes a widower named Nick as his vessel and prepares for the Apocalypse... his ultimate goal to wipe out the humans and then his own creations, the demons and create a paradise for the angels to live in. Basically, Lucifer is an angry child throwing a rebellious fit on a cosmic scale.

10. Dexter Morgan

A merciless killer, trained by his father to hunt down other killers. But make no mistake, he doesn't do this out of a sense of justice but a need to act on his sociopathic urges by killing those who won't be missed and will only hurt others. At least until Showtime tried to turn him into some weird superhero in the latter seasons, forgetting what he was entirely. The latter seasons have a lot o problems, but the first four seasons are classic TV at this point, not that I didn't enjoy some things about those seasons, but Dexter is an example of a show which stayed on the air for way too long. But the character of Dexter Morgan is still an amazing creation, and he is still one of TV's greatest villain-protagonists.

9. Angelus

Just about every vampire and demon on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is a metaphor for coming of age. Angelus was what happens when a young girl falls for the wrong guy, sleeps with him, and he changes. His first scene with Buffy as Angelus, when he breaks her heart in the bedroom is always a scene that makes me want to apologize for my gender. Men can be dicks. And Angelus was a cruel and ruthless killer, engaging in torture and mass murder for the fun of it, always with glee. Easily the best Big Bad in the Buffyverse.

8. Alfred Bester

Humans aren't the most tolerant bunch, are we? When telepaths came out, fearing for our privacy and power, we stripped them of every right they had and forced them to police themselves in a government run organization called Psi Corps. What did we get? Black uniforms, an organization that has grown in power and helped assassinate one president to allow a new one sympathetic to them to take office. What makes the Psi Corps so scary is that if telepaths did come out, I can't see us doing anything different with them in reality. And nobody embodies the Psi Corps more than Alfred Bester, a Psi Cop whose job it is to hunt down rogue telepaths... by any means necessary, all while expanding the influence and reach of the Psi Corps... when he's not running prison camps for rogue telepaths which are little better than Nazi concentration camps. Bester oozed evil, and he was proud of it.

7. King Joffrey Baratheon

Where do I begin with him? Joffrey is a sadistic spoiled little shit when we first meet him, and his ascension to the throne doesn't make him any better, quite the opposite. He has people tortured and killed for fun, he believes, as king, that everybody in Westeros is his to torment. The product of incest, Joffrey rules in the same vein as Caligula or Nero. He is so terrible that the rest of the cast often has to assure the audience in interviews that the actor who plays him, Jack Gleeson, is a very nice kid in real life. Never before have I seen such a contemptible character, which in turn makes for a terrific villain. I think the internet is going to have an orgasm when he finally dies.

6. The Shadows

There are beings in the universe billions of years older than the human race. Once long ago, they walked among the stars like giants, vast and timeless. They explored beyond the rim, built great empires, and came to be known as the First Ones. Eventually the First Ones went away, but two stayed behind as shepherds and guardians. One was the Vorlons, who were lords of order. The others eventually came to be known as the Shadows. Eventually the Vorlons and the Shadows fell out as both wanted to shepherd the younger races from opposite positions, as well as both coming to believe their way was the right way, the only way. The Shadows came to be Social Darwinists, lords of chaos... who would come out every few thousand years and kick over all the ant hills, start wars, and destroy entire races. With their black and terrible ships, that could shriek a terrifying scream, they were the stuff of nightmares. While eventually defeated, their legacy lived on.

5. Jim Moriarty

The most radical adaptation Steven Moffat made when he re-worked the Sherlock Holmes mythos into modern-day London was a risky one... gone was the cape-wearing university professor who was a gentleman upstanding member of society and in was a gay little Irishman who reveled in his evil. He wasn't the slightest bit subtle, and sometimes acted cartoonish.  An evil genius who made an attempt to steal the crown jewels in a very public manner and still managed to convince the world he didn't exist, all so he could destroy Sherlock Holmes... so far he was willing to go, that he killed himself and pinned all of his crimes on his enemy just so he could get his jollies. It shouldn't have worked, but it did.... a terrifying version of Holmes' archenemy.

4. Tywin Lannister

The patriarch of the Lannister family, Lord Tywin is the most powerful and ruthless man in all of Westeros. If you've ever wondered if there are worse fathers in fiction than Norman Osborn or Fire Lord Ozai, well here he is. He is not particularly fond of any of his children, and unlike the other two, there are no Freudian reasons. He loved his father, said he was a kind and loving man... and he has many fond memories of him.... but his father also nearly bankrupted and ruined the Lannisters, something Tywin vowed would never happen again, and that he would build a thousand year dynasty on top of that. As grandfather to and Hand of the King, he rules Westeros in all but name and title. The Lannisters' song, the Rains of Castamere was written about his crushing victory over a rebellious house that challenged him, and is sung as a reminder of the fates of all who dare cross him.

3. Crowley

A "Supernatural" villain cracks the top three, and it isn't Lucifer. Crowley was once a human tailor who sold his soul for a bigger dick, before becoming the demonic King of the Crossroads, making deals with humans for their very souls, and being so good at it that he was Lilith's right-hand. A pragmatist at heart, caring only for his own self-interest, he helped the Winchesters defeat and re-imprison Lucifer before becoming the King of Hell, himself. Smart and cunning, he runs Hell like a business, always seeking to expand his power and reach. He is also the only one who doesn't underestimate the Winchesters, and when their usefulness to him ended, he made every move to eliminate them. Charming, evil, funny, and ruthless... and recently he had a portion of his humanity restored. What this means in the long run is anyone's guess, but I always enjoy watching him and will raise a glass to Mark Sheppard's performance.

2. Tony Soprano

Even if you've never watched him, you've heard of him. The boss of the DiMeo crime family based in New Jersey who not only changed the world around him, he changed television forever. He was always fascinating to watch and often fun, raising a family and running his business. He loved animals as much as he loved strippers, but at heart he was always a sociopath... even seeing a shrink so he could become a better criminal. He was surrounded by a colorful cast in both of his families while never feeling like a straight man. James Gandolfini's performance will forever be remembered, and Tony Soprano will never be forgotten as he is still influencing television to this day. Up until recently, he would have been number one on this list, without question, but someone else flew into my radar.

1. Walter White

A High School chemistry teacher, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a pregnant wife and a son with cerebral palsy, is diagnoses with terminal lung cancer... not wanting to leave his family with medical bills, and to make sure they're taken care of, he teams up with a former student of his to cook methamphetamine... and that's how it starts, as a "victimless crime". But there's no room in this business for nice people, and slowly Walt becomes more ruthless, and more monstrous. Known to the DEA and the criminal community by the alias "Heisenberg", he transforms from unassuming High School teacher into the most ruthless and evil person in the series. Or maybe it wasn't a transformation, maybe that was all already there, and it came out. Walt has many chances to get out, other options come along that could solve his problems, but he rejects them all out of pride, and continues to build his business, leaving many bodies in his wake. Whatever his intentions, it doesn't matter and the show never sugarcoats him; Walter White is a terrible person; a bastard who destroys the very thing he sets out to save, all because he is a prideful narcissist who blames everyone else for his own failings.

Now, I wrestled with making him my number one, I only recently watched and finished the series, and I didn't want to think it was hype getting to me. I thought about it for a long time, but there was no other clear choice. He was it. It helped that the series made no bones about what he was, and never rationalized it, as much as he, himself, did. You weren't meant to root for him. I felt sympathy for him at first, I grew to hate him as well as pity him. But I never wanted to be him, he was a complete subversion of the badass outlaw alpha male fantasy in ways others on this list aren't, and all while never feeling preached to, and keeping him a fascinating, three-dimensional character. Yes, he loves his family... but just because he's not a one-dimensional cartoon character doesn't mean he's not one of the most evil people ever to exist in the realm of fiction. I raise a glass to Walter White, I would say that I hope you are some day topped, but the thought is frightening. Oh yeah, and he was played by Bryan Cranston... the dad from "Malcolm In the Middle" who turned in just as surprising a performance as John Lithgow.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

You're a monster, Mr. White

Television hasn't been too kind to me, lately. I've dropped two major shows that just about most people are making a huge deal out of. Fortunately, I am passed the point in my life where I will keep watching a bad show just so I can bitch about it week after week. I needed something great, something to make up for the TV shows that have recently disappointed me. "Breaking Bad" has been on my list for a while, even after the much-talked-about finale. Over a month after the series ended, I realized I still knew next to nothing about the show, and the ending remained unspoiled for me. But how much longer would that last? I fast-tracked "Breaking Bad" to the top of my list and binge-watched it in less than a week.

I'm not going to summarize the show or the characters since I think just about everyone in the world knows who Walter White is, and the basic premise of the show. But he is a terrific character, and now at the end of all things, I don't know how I feel about him, after watching him devolve into the creature he became. I sympathized with him, I hated him, I pitied him. But I can't say I ever liked him, nor do I think he was a "badass" of any kind. He's very smart, but he is also lowly, pathetic, piece of human garbage with an uncanny ability to self-rationalize everything he does. He's narcissistic, has more than enough chances to stop, and in the end destroys what he was initially trying to save. He certainly reminds a lot of another character whom I am very well known for loving.

"Breaking Bad" was an emotional roller coaster, as all great dramas are. I laughed, I cringed, I was horrified. The episode titled "Ozymandias" came very close to breaking me, I almost turned it off... but I couldn't. I sat there mesmerized by the cruelty and evil of the entirety. It was a punch in the gut, and pushed a lot of buttons for me. It was horrific, and it was also one of the most exceptional hours of television I have ever watched.

It was a great reminder of how great cable tv is, especially after "Agents of SHIELD" reminded me why I can't stand broadcast tv. Some people I know are calling it the best television series ever. While I don't want to make a proclamation that bold, "Breaking Bad" is very easily a contender for the title. It just keeps getting better and better. There are no low-points in the series, everything fits together like an important piece of a puzzle. There isn't a bad or even a mediocre episode. I can't say the same for most other shows. "Breaking Bad" knew when it was time to go, because I would not be surprised if AMC wanted to keep milking the Golden Goose. It was a very rare animal, a perfect TV show just as "The Godfather" is a perfect movie.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's Time For Another Clue-By-Four

The FCC Released A Bunch Of ‘Simpsons’-Related Indecency Complaints, And They Are Pretty Great

Here's another example, some idiot on ToonZone a few years ago whining and moaning about how the "Gargoyles" episode, Deadly Force, shouldn't have been made. - this one is old, I know... but it still makes my blood boil.

If these people have a problem with the content of a show, there is a simple solution: change the channel, turn the television off or program the parental controls to only allow TV-G content. Oh wait, these people want to control the content that I get to watch on my own television? Mind your own business, you fundie puritan zealots!

I wish these moral guardians would do society a favor and pick up their guns, stick the barrel into their mouths and pull the trigger. They whine, they bitch, they moan. They fucking hate the First Amendment.... either move to the Middle East where nothing that offends their sensibilities will ever be aired, or commit suicide. But they need to get the fuck out of this country.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New York Comic Con

1. I attended New York Comic Con this past weekend, with a press pass. I had a great time even though I didn't hit any panels. I wanted to get into the screening for the third "Berserk" movie, but sadly I didn't make it in. But I got to meet up with some friends, meet some creators I admire... and creators I hold nothing but contempt for. For example, I can confirm that Rob Liefeld does indeed possess feet... I wasn't sure.

2. Christopher Jones, who drew the third issue of "Gargoyles: Bad Guys" and the "Young Justice" comic book drew me a beautiful Demona. I already have a Mike McKone Demona and a Greg Guler Demona. I do have this insane hope to one day have every great comic book artist draw her. I'd love a Mark Bagley Demona, or if Hell freezes over, a John Romita Demona.

3. I met Bruce Boxleitner at Comic Con. He was doing a signing, and I stood on line for over an hour (and witnessed  the Green Power Ranger (I don't know his name, please don't tell me) hug Hulk Hogan) to meet TV's best captain. I called him that and he pointed and said "Shatner's down there." Very nice man. I've wanted to meet him for almost twenty years, so it was great to finally get the chance.

4. I cosplayed. It wasn't something I planned to do, but I had the clothes in my closet. A black business suit with a black shirt and black tie, and a black cashmere overcoat I had inherited from my father... so, last minute cosplay as Crowley, a crossroads demon and the King of Hell. Is it cosplaying when this is the type of thing I'd wear any way? I don't know, but I had fun. Yes, I'm a dork.

5. I didn't get to see Vanessa Marshall, and found out she was there after the fact.

So, I missed meeting up with Mary Jane Watson's voice actress while dressed up as the King of Hell. There's a "One More Day" joke in there, I'm sure of it.

6. Pondering the future of this blog. I seem to get the most comments when reviewing a certain show I refuse to watch another second of. I admit, I've even considered closing it since my interests don't seem to coincide with my audience's interests these days. But I will at least finish up the Tarantino reviews, I know I'll be reviewing "Thor: The Dark World" next month, and the second Hobbit movie. After that, who knows.

7. I've found that "Game of Thrones" is a very hard sell to other geeks, and I'm not sure why. This isn't only the best geek show of the last five years, it's probably the best show of the last five years, period. Three seasons in, and it might be in the top half of my all time Top Ten. The writing is spectacular. The acting is phenomenal. Everything about it is a home run... why can't I sell people on this one?

8. Planning a Top Twenty-Five Live Action TV Villains entry and video. It's not finished being compiled and ranked yet, but feel free to toss suggestions at me, in case there's someone I haven't considered.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

And Now For Something Positive

I recently finished watching the first season of "Downton Abbey" and this show is terrific. It's a British period piece, set in the years leading up to World War I (actually, season one ends with the war breaking out) about an aristocratic family in the Yorkshire countryside and their servants during the reign of King George V. Hugh Bonneville plays Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham whose heirs died when the Titanic sunk, and he can't leave his estate to his daughter, Mary and wants to, so he needs to find a new heir. That's the pilot, and it gets better from there.

The cast is terrific, the writing is very sharp. I've always been an enthusiast of history, and I love all the references to the events surrounding them. I've only just begun season two, and I'm loving it. It's a BBC show which airs on PBS. If you haven't seen it, I believe it's on Netflix. It features a footman named Thomas who is as much of a villainous scumbag as I've ever seen.

I plan to start "Breaking Bad" soon, too... and I'm sure I'll like it. Thank gods I have "Game of Thrones", "Downton Abbey", "Supernatural", and I'm sure "Breaking Bad" to keep me happy when other shows have disappointed me.

A Decision

I know a few days ago I said that I neither like or hate "Legend of Korra". But times change, things evolve, and so do opinions. The more thought I give "Legend of Korra", the more I despise it. There is nothing I despise more than wasted potential.

The story of the first Avatar intrigues me, so I'm sticking around for that. Once that story is over, I am done with the show. I know I said I'd give it the season, but I can't. I hate the show; it makes me angry. And I hate people who watch a show each week only to complain about it, and I never wanted to be one of those people.

This blog won't become the "I Hate Korra" blog. I'm out. I'm done. At least a Michael Bay movie is dead on arrival, and never had a chance to be good. This show could have been good, should have been good, but it was a piece of shit instead. Congratulations, "Legend of Korra", I'm rating you on the same level I rate Michael Bay's filmography and "The Goliath Chronicles".

It Is An Abomination

At the rate I'm going, I should re-name this blog "I Hate Korra".

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Shows I Want To Like Vol. 1

I was really looking forward to "Agents of SHIELD" and while I enjoyed the pilot; and even the second episode to a certain extent, there is something about the show that doesn't engage me, and it took me a while to figure it out. Which characters did I enjoy the most? Coulson, Hill, and Fury. Which ones am I having trouble caring about? Everybody else. The second episode was all about trying to make us care about these people, and thus far I cannot bring myself to.

I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Coulson as a character, but this feels more like a bad 90's syndicated series like Mutant X or Xena than what I was expecting from this show. I know most shows have their growing pains and need time to find their feet, so I plan to give this four more episodes. But if it doesn't hook me, I'm gone. And the scene with the inflatable raft was as stupid as Bolin.

Which brings me to "Legend of Korra". As for this week's episode? Well, I didn't hate it. But I hate how everyone is being made worse just to make the Creators' Pet, Mako, look good. Yes, I agreed with his actions in this. And Korra gets dumber and dumber every week. If Nickelodeon pulled the plug on this show right now, and it ended with Korra being eaten by an angry spirit, I wouldn't miss her... and I'd probably call it a happy ending at this point. I didn't hate her last season, but I despise her this season.

Water Lord Ozai sends his kids (including his crazy daughter) to hunt the Avatar and it succeeds in reminding me that I'd rather be watching the original series. Eska is no Azula. And Unalaq isn't even Fire Lord Ozai.

By the way, Varrick was behind the explosion and is trying to manipulate this war so he can make a profit. I don't know if he's going to turn out to be the real villain, or just an opportunist, but we'll see. Hell, I think that judge last week was paid off by Varrick to volunteer the info to Korra. She just demanded the sentence be changed, and then he just easily lets slip that Water Lord Ozai framed her dad years ago?

And what the hell is a prince of the Fire Nation doing working for another country's military? Shouldn't he be the commander of the Fire Nation navy?

Bolin, oh Bolin:

"Mako, that tingling feeling is back."
"Bolin, we've discussed this. Go to the Men's room, unzip your fly and pee. This is the 300th time this year. Go pee."
"Oh yeah... thanks, big brother."

When is Darwin going to kill off this retard so he can't infect the gene pool with his own crotch spawn?

I don't hate these shows, but I don't like them either.

EDIT: For the time being, I'm going to talk about both shows in a segment now titled "Shows I Want To Like"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Another Show That Died Too Soon...

Because I'm tired of talking about a show that probably should have been cancelled after its first season let me talk about a show that I loved that didn't get to finish its debut season.

Another victim of the Fox Network comes one of the most vicious and yet funniest sitcoms that ever aired. I loved it, but most of America seemed to fucking loathe it. Yes, I'm swearing... they did on the show. The 1999 comedy, "Action" starring Jay Mohr as the sleaziest producer in Hollywood, Peter Dragon.

I remember watching this show as it originally aired and being disappointed when it was cancelled. Then, while attending film school in Los Angeles, I stumbled across the DVD set and bought it... hell, not even all of the episodes aired. The show's satire of the film business and the people in it was so dead-on, so brutal... and I appreciated it even more now than I did as a teenager.

Illeana Douglas plays Wendy Ward, a former child actress who was once very famous before her career tanked due to a cocaine habit and now works as a high-priced call girl. Circumstances in the pilot lead her into going to a movie premiere with Peter and after giving honest criticism of his latest box office bomb, she becomes his Vice President of Production while in an open relationship with Peter.

There are other main characters, but the basic premise revolves around Peter producing a bomb and buying a script that he absolutely needs to succeed, and the trials and tribulations of getting it into production all while being the most vile human being on the planet. Obviously this isn't a show that would play well in flyover country. It did well in big cities, but middle America loathed it. Well, what do those ignorant rednecks know anyway? I kid, I kid... I always enjoyed the country every time I flew over it.

It's mean spirited. It's not politically correct. None of the characters are likable, but that's totally by design. Peter Dragon is obviously based on producers such as Joel Silver and Jerry Bruckheimer, and it cuts. It cuts deep. I thought it was brilliant, and I wonder why it was on Fox at all. This should have been an HBO show. But the premium channels hadn't risen to what they were today. Broadcast was the wrong home for it, and it was killed. A shame, it was ahead of it's time.

For now, I'll leave you with the pilot. When my brother first came out to visit me in LA, we watched the pilot and he looked at me and asked "you want to be like this guy, don't you?" I'll let you guess what my answer was.