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( 15 May 2017 02:21 pm)
Longmire - Season 5:
Longmire is a show about a sheriff out in rural Wyoming fighting crime and being a grizzled old cowboy.
it was a show on AMC, i think, for three seasons before it got canceled.
i decided to get into it about the time that it got canceled because i read somewhere that it was a thing but moreso because i like watching shows that are complete.
the idea that there were three seasons of the program and that's it was attractive to me.
the indefinite commitment of currently-airing television is way too 20th Century for me to have to tolerate anymore.
so i watched the first three seasons and they were good enough.
nothing great. i think i wrote then that watching Longmire was like watching something you would expect old people to watch on CBS.
just a mystery-of-the-week, nothing innovative, nothing serialized, nothing demanding.
but in the Golden Age Of Television, watching something that didn't ask a lot of you is almost an innovation in and of itself.
i ranked the first three seasons ofLongmire kinda high, but that's before Netflix came along and picked up the rights to the series and made a Season Four and now a Season Five.
goddamn, if i knew this was going to be as much of a commitment as it is, i might have given it a second thought.

Season 5 of Longmire picks up right where Season 4 left off, with the Sheriff laying bloody on the floor of his cabin, with his girlfriend kidnapped.
you would think that that would be the plot of Season 5, what the Sheriff has to solve the mystery of who shot him and who kidnapped his girlfriend but that shit gets wrapped up by the third episode.
thinking in terms of a serial does not work with Longmire.
though there are a few plot elements that stretch across the season, namely:
-the Sheriff finds himself in a civil suit for abusing his authority
-the Sheriff's daughter goes to work at a legal aid clinic on a nearby Native Reservation
-the Sheriff's best friend is Indian Batman, running around the reservation righting injustice with vigilante brutality
-the Irish Mob are up to something with the local Native Casino Owner and
-the Sheriff can't stop accusing the local Native Casino Owner of being involved with all the crime in the Sheriff's jurisdiction, even though he doesn't have the slightest bit of evidence.
this all carries on in the background for a while as the Sheriff deals with mysteries-of-the-week.
in the end, the Sheriff ends up finding out that his best friend is the Reservation Vigilante, and it turns out that the people suing the Sheriff are doing so to try to bankrupt him to force him to sell his land so developers can turn it into a golf course.
also, from the audience's point of view, the Sheriff does abuse his authority all the time and likely should be removed from office.
in no less then three of the ten episodes we see the Sheriff breaking and entering into somebody's private residence without warrant to gain evidence to arrest them, and in a fourth episode he makes a deal with the Irish mafia not to tell the FBI vital information that they need to arrest the Irish so long as the Irish close up shop and leave his Wyoming country.
the Sheriff might not be corrupt, but he is pretty fucking offensive from a civil libertarian standpoint.

for being a show about a character with integrity and grit that you want to like and respect but you just can't because he keeps tripping all over himself not following basic rules of civil procedure, Longmire Season 5 earns a 5.7/10.

The People vs OJ Simpson:
The People vs OJ Simpson is a show about the OJ Simpson trial from back in the 1990s.
because it's been long enough now that maybe there are people walking around watching TV who couldn't tell you the OJ story from memory.
there is a whole mess of stuff that idiot millennial don't know about so, the people at the FX channel decided to cash in.
the show was produced by the same people who brought you the American Horror Story series, only instead of being about sexy vampire and spooky ghosts and whatever other dumb shit, they decided to make it about something that is legitimately scary, a short-tempered, powerfully-built Black man and a justice system that couldn't manage to not repeatedly trip over its own dick.

for those of you millennials who somehow might not know OJ Simpson was a footballer and part-time movie actor in the Naked Gun movies who killed his wife and some other dude and got away with it because some asshole on the LAPD got caught saying “nigger” too much.
also, the glove did not fit, so you must acquit.
i don't care who how much of a head-up-your-own-ass millennial you are, everybody knows that one.
anyways, the OJ trial it was kind of a big deal for the entire world because back then there was no internet and not much else going on on TV.
the whole thing was a national spectacle that sucked up everybody's attention for a year and a half and made everybody choose sides, White and Black, rich and poor, powerful and disenfranchised.
it became a Rorschach test for how people see the world, for how we talk about important social issues, with the actual reality of two dead people getting grotesquely shoved to the sidelines.
it was a pretty good time for everybody, really, except for all the people who were actually involved in the travesty.

in real-life, the OJ Simpson story can be told in nine parts; the physical murder, OJ's slow-speed police chase down the 405, Marcia Clark's hair, whatever the fuck Kato Kaelin's deal was, Johnnie Cochrine's alliterative showboating, Mark Furhman is a Nazi, if the glove don't fit, you must acquit, acquittal and White people losing their shit.
the ten-part The People vs OJ Simpson tracked that roughly, only they never bothered to explain who Kato Kaelin was or why OJ let him live in his pool house, and they spent a whole lot more time on Chris Darden, Marcia Clark's second-chair who the Prosecutor's office brought on because he was their Black guy.
they did have an entire episode about Marcia Clark's hair, which is right.
even though i lived through OJ, i remember the whole trial pretty clearly, there were still plenty of new things i learned in the series.
apparently Judge Ito had a wife who was a supervisor of Mark Furhman's at the LAPD and nobody bothered to vet that, or like how the jury only deliberated for four hours and after they gave their verdict and were released, one of them gave OJ a raised Black Power solidarity fist as he walked out the door.
that's all some shit.

the two best parts of The People vs OJ Simpson are Robert Kardashian and John Travolta [of all people!] playing Robert Shapiro.
when's the last time John Travolta did anything except give people the creeps but here the motherfucker is, strutting around as Robert Shapiro with his lips pursed and his asshole puckered, perpetually offended by one thing or another.
and then you've got Robert Kardashian. fucking Robert Kardashian.
Robert Kardashian is played as a sensitive man of integrity and religious conviction who comes to the defense of his best friend OJ Simpson because he genuinely believes that OJ couldn't have done the horrible things that he has been accused of.
throughout the course of the season, you get to watch the slow-motion crash of this poor guy's faith in his friend and in himself and in any good that there might be in the world until by the tenth and final episode, after he's helped to win OJs innocence, you can tell that he has finally come down with the cancer of the soul that would kill him a few years later.
that was the best part of a show that was full of many, many best parts.
Marcia Clark's fidgety smoking, OJ's self-centered petulance, the sequestered jury arguing about whether they should watch VHS tapes of Seinfeld or Martin.
they get to watch Martin, and all the Black people get up and start dancing.
the whole show was fucking brilliant.

for being fucking brilliant, for being compelling, for being interesting, for teaching me things i did not know about a subject i thought i knew well and about as funny as you can get for being a true-life story of a double-murder that never gets justice, The People vs OJ Simpson earns a 9.6/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]
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September 2017

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