10/15/08

Rufus v. Christian, A Review

So I've watched both "Eleventh Hour" and "My Own Worst Enemy" now, the newest television vehicles for movie hotties Rufus Sewell and Christian Slater.

"Eleventh Hour" is like "The X-Files" without the ground-breaking and without the subtlety. I mean, Chris Carter wasn't the most most artful dodger on the block, but at least he let things between Mulder and Scully simmer and percolate and other cooking metaphors for a while. They took their sides and argued their points. And while "Eleventh Hour" shares a number of similarities, it's no X.

First up, Rufus. What the hell accent is that? It's not his regular southern English, and it's not American either. Kinda...posh American? Educated and quirky? Weird. Bothered me, actually. And speaking of quirky, I think he was trying to play for a bit of Hugh Laurie's House or Jeff Goldblum's Dr. Malcolm from Jurassic Park. Oddball, offbeat, unpredictable ScienceDude. Only problem is that Hugh has that brand of ScienceDude cornered, and Damian Lewis plays "maladjusted psycho on the side of good" much better on "Life."

As for his sidekick, she's droll and humorless. Even Scully had a damn sense of humor. Said female sidekick is a bodyguard of sorts, which means she has ample opportunity to run around in gratuitous underwear scenes and to take gratuitous shots at dudes' groins. Yes, repeatedly, on both counts. What the hell? No assault charges? Oh, but just in case you American anti-science types don't understand shit, Rufus's Dr. Hood will explain them to his idiot partner using fruit. Beat. Over. Head.

Rufus Sewell in Eleventh Hour
Ah, well. I'll give it another episode for Rufus alone, just to see if it improves. But right now it holds more in common with the CSI types than anything I'd prefer spending time watching.

I'm quiet happy and pleased to say that, despite my gut feeling it was going to be disappointing and crap, Christian Slater's "My Own Worst Enemy" fared much better. He's still Slaterific--all surly and mean on one hand, then likable, self-effacing, and earnest on the other. Literally. Quite a nice job inhabiting the only two roles he's ever played with success.

However, dude, Christian, my boy, my illicit crush...please lay off the Botox. You had more wrinkles across your forehead in 1993 as Clarence than you do now. It's harder to act when half your face won't move.
Christian Slater talking about My Own Worst EnemyThe plot was fairly interesting. Nice set-up. They're playing up the James Bond angle with Alfre Woodard as the "M" Judi Dench-style boss, but other characters are considerably less fleshed out. Needless to say, I'll be catching this one again. With Slater as the lead, any result other than Painful Fail guarantees my return. So far it's been fun.

Oh, and after a rather lackluster, bumpy start to his new year, Damian Lewis really hit his stride as Charlie Crews this past Friday. SUCH a good episode. I'll have to go watch it again, just to see his face freeze up, all clenched and fighting inside himself. Wonderful, brilliant stuff.

Speaking of "House"--anyone watching this season? The finale last year kinda pissed me off so I haven't seen it. And any other new shows floating your boat?

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