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(Live Journal is FUCKING WITH MY HEAD. I spent 5 minutes trying to put some of this entry behind an lj-cut. No matter what I did or how carefully I read the FAQ, it wouldn't do it. So I gave up, and edited the entry to slap a note on the top saying, sorry, I tried. When I posted that, IT HAD THE LJ-CUT. So I went to edit it again to take *out* the now-superfluous note. When I then hit "post"... THE LJ-CUT WASN'T WORKING, AGAIN. Now I am editing it AGAIN to pour out this tale of woe. Will the resultant post have the lj-cut, or not? Who knows?)

Last night, telepresence, my_tallest, and I held an impromptu meeting of the "Die Alone in the Rain" club. We can't entirely blame Bill for starting it, even though he was the one going on about being in a funk in his LJ earlier this week, but certainly, by Friday, Len and I were in a monumenal funk as well.

It wasn't that SG was in reruns this week (because, I don't know about the boys, but the anticipating of weekly SciFi Friday isn't an unmitigated joy this year; I tend to approach it with more of a wary caution), although that certainly introduced a certain formlessness to the night (and nothing can be as soul-sucking, sometimes, as sitting around staring at each other saying, "I dunno -- what do *YOU* wanna do?"). It might have been the letdown after the excitement of having raqs pop up spontaneously last weekend. (Judith ought to feel very flattered that we all confessed that it was about all we could do to keep ourselves from hugging her ankles to keep her from going back to Long Island.)

Whatever. We employed the following recipe to counteract our General Feeling of Overwhelming Ick:

-- dinner at a nice but surprisingly inexpensive Thai restaurant, where all the dishes that everybody had were just stupendously good. I can personally report that two glasses of wine helps with ANY funk, although it does make me sleepy.

-- a less traumatic experience in the local Blockbuster, trying to decide what all three of us could stand to watch, than one might have expected.

-- a viewing of "Shaolin Soccer", which we hadn't realized was out on DVD yet and which therefore made the choice easy. That is a very...special...movie.

-- a viewing of Bill's Tivo'ed "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: London Edition". Verdict: we don't think it's as good as the original.


The five guys are kind of homogenous, as compared to the NY Fab Five, making it difficult to tell them apart, except by levels of obnoxiousness, and that isn't good. They looked like the Backstreet Boys, or something. Even now, I can just about remember that the tall blond one, Dane, was the interior design guy; the shaved-head one was Peyton, the food guy (we liked him best); and the guy who was trying really hard to look like Johnny Depp was the grooming guy, but he was pretty useless. We deeply disliked Culture Guy, and Fashion Guy wasn't that useful either except that he did have a cute little wiener-dog.

The other problem with the show, or at least with this episode is: they just don't have as much improvement that they have to do with British guys, as the NY show does with New Yawkers or worse, Jersey guys. Also, culturally, a good bit of the tension that is sometimes there in the American show just *isn't*. And this, even though they were dealing with an Australian guy living in London who wanted to propose to his South African girlfriend. This guy was so game that there seemed hardly to be a challenge in the make-over. While his flat (actually, it was a little terrace home) was pretty *blah* and a bit cluttered with geeky stuff, it really wasn't the horrible pit of disgusting despair that you often see on the American show.

(They really kept POUNDING the "these people are GEEKS" button, too, and I think that may have put me off, because just the word "geek" doesn't have to mean "hopeless", and let me tell them -- this guy they had was 80% normal-acting, and if they'd wanted a real geek CHALLENGE in the London area, I could have introduced them to...oh, a *lot* of geeky male acquaintences who would have offered them a lot more *work*. Their pounding of the Geek Button would have worked better, in other words, if I didn't already know so many much, much worse geeks.)

But the main problem, I think, is that at least in this ep, it just wasn't as *sharp* as the American version. The beginning with the guys going through the place and being all brutal about existing conditions? Not very brutal at all. Really. (Mostly it was a lot of "wow, are these people geeks! it's so cute! look, geek love!") The humor of the guys wasn't really nearly as barbed and dry as the NY crew's. Maybe it was because while this guy needed some slight improvements, he wasn't nearly the project that he could have been, so they didn't need to be that pro-active. Or something. It was 3/4ers of the way through before we actually returned to the question of whether they were going to do any interior redecorating at all. Felt like there wasn't as much discussion as there ought to have been of "this is what really needs improving; this is how we're going to address it".

Mostly I think it failed to grab me, because of the team of guys. Each of the NY Fab Five is very distinct, each is a ham, each has humor and it's usually pretty dry and sarcastic (except for Jai), and I've never been turned off by any of them (except sometimes for Jai). When the London Fab Five sat down at the end to view the results of their labors -- they were *ALL* freaking wearing *SUITS* in neutral shades (greys, blacks, taupes). Very fashionable, very sleek. But am comparing that in my mind with the outrageously colorful fashions that even *Ted* will don for the end of the American show. The London guys seemed to be dressing down, and dressing so that no one of them really stood out.


-- then, finally, to top off the evening -- watched the repackaging of the *pilot* episode of "Queer Eye", which was shot in Boston, which I didn't know until Bill told me about it. And lo, it was good; and fascinating to see the origins of stuff they would do later in the show. Interesting of course because Carson and Ted were the only crossovers; as they put it, the other three guys "had real jobs" and therefore couldn't uproot and go to NYC to do the ongoing show. Which, in the case of Culture Guy, is a darned shame, as we thought he was *so* much better than Jai at actually talking about cultural substance. And the interior design guy? *Eerily* looked and sounded like Thom's identical-but-less-Jewish twin. The straight guy they picked on for the pilot was actually a friend of one of the producers, and VERY game, as was his girlfriend. And we got to play "spot the Boston store/location!" during the ep, which made it extra fun for us.

I think we were all in ever-so-slightly less of a funk than we had been at the start of the evening, which is good. Plus, it's a long weekend! Yay!

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
my_tallest
Sep. 4th, 2004 04:59 pm (UTC)
Keep at the LJ Cuts, Hol. It's worth it to all of us for you to keep trying.

It was weird to see the UK credits, soo eeriely like the US credits... then to see the original pilot and realize it's been a trend all along.

"Lawson C." was truly a great episode. I loved the outtakes of the Queer Eye Guy Hint bits, especially as two of them have been seen a bunch of times in the past.

All in all, a terrific evening.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )