Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sometimes It Snows in April

Damn, it just doesn't feel real, does it? The headline "Prince Dies at 57" still does not compute, and it's freaky to even type that. I had the same issue with Bowie's death. It's like both Prince and Bowie were sort of these ethereal figures--almost supernatural--like it was just sort of understood that the rules of the universe did not apply to them. They were on a higher plane than the rest of us mortals. 

My writer buddy Dan Kennedy said it best: 

As shocked as I was by Bowie's passing, the fact that Prince is gone just seems harder to fathom somehow. My friend Marcus posted on FB that although both deaths were a huge shock, Prince hits closer to home (for Gen-Xer's like us) because, growing up in the '80s, Prince was "our guy." I totally agree. 

"Little Red Corvette" (1982) was the first Prince song I remember being aware of. I recall my sister and other "big kids" really digging it, but I was just sort of neutral (also, at nine years old I was more obsessed with horses than current pop music). Then in 1984-85 there was an amazing explosion of artists and albums that coincided with that sort of musical awakening a lot of kids have at around 11 or 12 years old and I discovered Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince--specifically the Purple Rain soundtrack--which blew my mind. 

I saw Purple Rain (the movie) when it premiered on HBO in the summer of 1985. It was so dark and "adult" that it's funny to think of my little 12-year-old self watching that. I mean, my family (along with everyone else in our neighborhood) had gotten premium cable a few years earlier, and it was a big thing for us neighbor kids to secretly try to catch "the dirty parts" of movies like Porky's and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (or if we were feeling really brave, one of the Friday the 13th movies) when we were at each other's houses. But Purple Rain was a lot racier than the typical teen sex films of that era, so I'm pretty sure it was one of those movies I sneaked out to the living room to watch at like 2am while my mom and stepdad were sleeping. That was something I got really good at: creeping into the living room and turning on the TV so it was barely audible and sitting like five inches from the screen so I could hear the movie while simultaneously listening for my mom in case she woke up. (In the event that she did, I would switch off the TV, race into the kitchen, and pour myself a glass of milk so it would look like I'd just gotten up to get a drink. Back in the day, we had to be really creative with stuff like that. I think kids today have it a lot easier, they can just watch whatever they want to on their smart phones and their parents probably don't have a clue.)      

Speaking of access, everyone knows by now how impossible it is to find Prince clips on YouTube; the only ones that exist seem to be live performances from award shows (which are awesome, admittedly), and the only Purple Rain clips viewable online are the ones from the trailer.

I guess this is indicative of how many times I've seen Purple Rain over the last 30 years (um, a lot), because there are a few little flashes of scenes I don't recognize: 

00:28 -- Apollonia in a barn? WTF was that? 
00:51 -- Prince getting smacked around by his dad (I think?) at what looks like a rehearsal space?

Marcus, help me you remember any of this? I'm also unsure about the snippet with the cop car driving by Morris and Jerome. I'm guessing they were deleted scenes, but I want your opinion. 

Anyway, Prince is gone, and it sucks. I have more to write on this subject but I'm still getting my head together. 

(Psst...looks like someone posted the video for Take Me With U in the past few days, but it will probably get yanked ASAP, maybe by the time this goes up.) 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Fuck HBO for cancelling this show. 

When Togetherness debuted last year, I wasn't all that interested. The previews made it look like a grown-up rip-off of Girls (a show that I continue to love, even for all its flaws) only instead of navel-gazing Brooklynites it's a navel-gazing couple and their two slacker friends. But then I checked out a few episodes and damned if Togetherness didn't suck me right in. 

Season two has been even better than season one, kicking things up a notch as shlubby struggling actor Alex (male slacker friend) lands a movie role as a "sexy vampire," which is so off-the-wall for that character that it kind of works.....

Yes, this dude as a middle-aged Lestat in a ruffled shirt. So wrong, yet so right.

Michelle confesses her one night stand to Brett, and he responds by barfing in her lap....

Then Alex and Brett take off for a "lost weekend" in Detroit....

And there's the episode where Tina creates a distraction at the fundraiser party by bursting into an awesome rendition of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" so Michelle can snoop in that weird chick Anna's email....

I had no idea Amanda Peet was this funny. 

And UGH! Seriously, why is HBO cancelling this show?!?!?