Pub(l)ic television

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Update: preliminary Casanova review. Okay, here’s a memory from my childhood. I think I’m in high school, and I’m, I don’t know, in my room doing whatever — listening to Jimi Hendrix on the radio or something (I was in high school in the disco era but I managed to avoid that in my bedroom). Anyway, I go out to get some more Coke or Doritos or something, and my mother is watching teevee, and she says “My gosh, you should have seen this — they just had this woman having sex with all these men right there on tv in front of God and everybody.” The show she was watching was the I, Claudius episode where Messalina makes a bet with the whore that she can sleep with more men, and then has sex with, I think, 74 men in one night. She won. Let’s just say that Masterpiece Theater has always been a reliable source of prime time sex scenes since the 70s, and you could even get the occasional flash of ass, all before cable was even a dream. Now if you’ll excuse me.

Update, and ending thoughts: actually, it surprised me, though not really — like all of these “ain’t rampant sex and fun fun fun grand” epics it ends on a sad, chastened note, with a not very convincing declaration by the young amanuensis that, inspired by Casanova’s wild, useless life, she’ll “strike out on her own.” Yeah I guess the filmmakers have to say that, but the obvious lesson one gets from Casanova is that the wild life is no life to live.

As for the production itself, it was “hey it’s that guy” for anyone who watches current British tv. (For example, Casanova’s servant/best buddy was played by the same actor who played Martha Jones’ dad correction: the Captain in the “Impossible Planet/Satan Pit” episodes in Doctor Who.) The performances were all good — these are British actors after all. I’d like to know what they did to turn David Tennant’s normally brown irises blue to match Peter O’Toole’s — probably some film treatment thing. The costumes were anachronistically avant garde, especially in the hallucinogenic Naples scenes, but the series was obviously not dedicated to stringent historic verisimilitude. Russell T. Davies was the executive producer, so there was a gay-ish atmosphere all over everything, but they chickened out with the castrato love interest who turned out to be a real girl. I was rooting for a real boy, myself. I guess he used all that daring stuff up on Queer As Folk.

11 Responses to “Pub(l)ic television”

  1. Skubie Says:

    Don’t tell us…

    “I’ll be in my bunk.”

  2. Andrea Harris Says:

    Heh. “Indeed.”

  3. MarkL Says:

    Wish I had the time to watch TV, but in all honesty I just don’t. Just a bit of enws, really, and what I check it, the reports were BS as often as not! Funny about that…

    A question fro those dropping by. I looked at Tim’s Tele site, and there was a post entitled ‘Diary of Denialist’. Now its gone.



  4. Celaeno Says:

    I guess the ultimate in “live fast, die repenting” films is The Libertine, with Johnny Depp as the wicked earl. The wildboy stuff would seem unbalanced without the sadder/wiser afterword, but I have to say, the wildboy parts are a lot more fun.

  5. Celaeno Says:

    Damn. Did I let the italics out?

  6. Celaeno Says:

    Phew. *Wipes forehead, slinks away quietly*

  7. Andrea Harris Says:

    I fixed the italics, you naughty boy.

  8. Andrea Harris Says:

    Hm, I must check out that Depp film, BTW, though I am not as much under the spell of La Depp as some people. He’s fun in the Pirate movies, tho.

  9. Celaeno Says:

    It’s worth seeing on several levels, but it is a major downer. John Wilmot was one of those amazingly brilliant, fabulously self-destructive people who just invite the world to stand back and watch while they flame out; Depp does a very creditable job, I have to admit.

  10. blogstrop Says:

    Andrea, you have been warned about “I’ll be rooting for …”
    As for turning brown eyes blue, (a) there has been a song about this, and (b) I have noted my dear wife’s interest in blue eyes these many years, and am not surprised by TV perfidy of this sort. My eyes, I have to admit, are green. She likes them though.

  11. Andrea Harris Says:

    I have blue eyes, so I’m not as into them. (And whenever I look at my own eyes in the mirror they either look green or gray — everyone else tells me they are blue. Either they are color-blind or I am.)

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