Monday, June 18, 2007

Meadowlands Opens - with Tongues and Grooves

Showtime's Meadowlands
Meadowlands opened on Showtime last night. I saw the first four episodes a few weeks ago, but watched the debut again last night, and enjoyed it even more...

This may be the summer of strange tv shows - well, there are at least two of them, Meadowlands on Showtime and John from Cincinnati on HBO - and so far Meadowlands is well ahead in power, intrigue, and cavalcade of bizarre and compelling characters (though I haven't given up on John yet).

The set-up is a family of four, the Brogans, put into something like a witness protection program - in Meadowlands.

Presumably, everyone else in Meadowlands - whatever their ostensible job - has been put there for some dangerous reason, too.

The MD - Dr. David York (Tristan Gemmill) - falls instantly love with Mrs. Brogan (Lucy Cohu). The cop in town - Bernard Wintersgill (Ralph Brown) - clearly has a taste for torture. (He also had a nice sharp tongue - when the Brogans apologize for squabbling in public, Wintersgill tells them, "Don't be sorry - be quiet!") Mark Brogan, the son (played broodingly well by Harry Treadaway), enjoys watching the talk-machine middle-aged neighbor undress, after she tells the Brogans that her daughter is devastatingly beautiful (we haven't see her yet). Danny Brogan (David Morrissey) - previously Eddie Foy, and apparently the reason for the (Foy) Brogans' relocation - struggles to get his family adjusted to this life, as it is, in the new town.

My favorite exchange in the premier episode takes place between the daughter, Zoe, played with sass and style by Felicity Jones, and the slightly sinister handy-man, Jack Donnelly, played in just the right unsettling way by Tom Hardy.

Jack comes over and whispers his first, introductory words to Zoe with his lips an inch from the back of her hair and neck. Zoe pulls back, but clearly likes this. By the time their brief conversation ends, Zoe has "Jack (Of All Trades) Donnelly"'s card and phone number, and Donnelly has told her that his speciality is "tongues and grooves" ... (This is actually a carpenter's term. I also liked that Zoe pronounces Jack's last name Done-ally - so the "Done" rhymes with stone, or Doan's Little Liver Pills - but maybe that's just me, and my American accent.)

There will be plenty more where this came from ... If you like your mysteries just a touch cracked, with shots at unexpected times of humor, plain and demented, and savagery, stay tuned to The Prisoner on Twin Peaks with maybe Dexter looking in ... in Meadowlands...

Useful links:

Intriguingly Miasmic Meadowlands

reviews of other episodes: Episode 2 ... Episode 3 ... Episode 4 ... Episode 5 ... Episode 6 ... Episode 7 ... Episode 8







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