I watched the “Alamogordo, NM” episode of Carnivàle dubbed in Spanish last night. Now, I don’t actually speak Spanish, which made it a bit of a surreal experience, but it’s a surreal show, so I suppose the whole scene was meant to be.
I had it in Spanish because the channel guides for TiVo and Cox cable were at odds with each other for about a week, and it screwed up a lot of recordings. By the time I noticed I’d missed the latest Carnivàle, the only available repeat was on HBO “Latin” which I didn’t even know I could pick up (and which – disappointingly – doesn’t actually dub any shows in Latin, which would be really surreal, but it’s understandable since only a handful of eggheads and hundred year old shut-ins understand the language, and they couldn’t really support their own version of HBO).
I know, that’s a damn long parenthetical tangent I went off on, but I’ll leave it there for now.
Carnivàle is a tremendous show if you have a hankering for weird-but-good TV. It’s a tasty visual treat/mindfuck leading up to an eventual metal cage grudge match between the forces of good (a hayseed who can heal people by touching them…though every time he’s done that, something else – or someone else – dies) and evil (a priest, who may or may not be “Lord of Shadows, the usher of destruction”).
An old story, for sure, but there are only 12 stories in the world, right? And the Greeks wrote all of them. Maybe HBO should dub things into Greek.
Speaking of HBO, has there ever been a network that has hit the nail on the head so consistently in such a short amount of time? Carnivàle, Six Feet under, The Sopranos, Oz, Deadwood, Curb your Enthusiasm, Da Ali G Show. These are not only watchable (which is pretty much the best you can hope for with most TV shows), but actually very, very good.
Even the new show Unscripted is an addictive, weirdly-line-blurring take on how self-absorbed and useless most actors are in Los Angeles. I’m sure that’s not what the creators had in mind, but I lack the sympathy gene, and find 99.9% of actors to be worthless crapsacks, so that’s how I see it.
Sure, they have a couple of clunkers, like The Wire and Entourage, but on average they’re way ahead of the game. HBO alone is worth whatever cable might cost you, so pry open that wallet, you cheap bastard. You have something better to do? Trust me, you don’t. Reading (or writing) books is so 20th century!
Besides, anything you’ve got to say, the Greeks have already beat you to it.