"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, September 27, 2021

American Rust 1.3: Highs and Lows of Life at the Same Time

A superb third episode American Rust on Showtime last night.  I like the way the show has a way of juxtaposing the best and the worst on the screen at the same time, exemplified in the concluding scenes last night of Billy in bed with Lee (she came over to his place, after saying the love they made last week never happened) and the guy who drove to West Virginia phoning in to the sheriff that he saw Billy punch out the former cop who wound up dead.

Except the caller didn't say that he actually saw Billy kill the ex-cop, and there's no guarantee at all that Lee will keep being with Billy, so it's not quite the worst or the best for Billy, and that ambiguity amidst the life and death is one of the best part of this series.

I also especially liked two of the many good conversations that animate the narrative.  Del's telling Grace why he left Pittsburgh provided a crucial insight into his life, helpful to Grace and us in understanding him.  And the young woman recounting her recollection of the man who fed his dog one night and "barbecued" it the next is not only a priceless little piece of Americana, but a good entree (pardon the expression) of what will be a significant relationship for Isaac, based on the coming attractions.

Meanwhile, the whodunnit of the murder still looms large.  Here's my current best guess: it's neither Billy nor Isaac, but the caller heading into West Virginia.   That would be his motive for calling the sheriff -- get the law to focus on someone other than him.  But, it's only the third episode, and we'll just have to see.  I have a feeling American Rust is going to take its own sweet time in making this ultimate revelation, and the trimmings in this narrative are so compelling, I'd say that's all for the better.

See you back here next week with my next review.

See also American Rust 1.1-2: Pennsylvania Noir

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