Two new episodes of Galavant this week, and a funny thing happened. It got better! A little. Enough that I stopped taking notes and watched instead. Twice each!
Hoo boy. I don’t even know where to start.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. It’s a sci-fi action comedy. Buckaroo Banzai, of course, is a practicing neurosurgeon theoretical physicist test pilot who also fronts the world’s most low-energy band (until the Decemberists sprout from a pile of peat moss roughly fifteen years later) and invents a device that lets him drive through a mountain/other dimension, which means that the bad aliens can finally go home (somehow) and the good aliens have to get Buckaroo to stop them. Or something.
Galavant was back again this weekend opposite the Golden Globes with two new episodes, “Two Balls” and “Comedy Gold”. Somehow, I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Last week I said that Alan Menken and Glen Slater’s musical work for this show is reminiscent of Mel Brooks, though far less pointed and raunchy. But I still didn’t expect the show to go for the full Catskill the way it does in the third episode, “Two Balls.”
Before I tell you about Signal to Noise, go have a listen to this playlist of the songs and artists mentioned in the book. It’s a wonderful mix of everything from jazz standards to treacly mid-80s Mexican pop. Perfect.
Now. The book. Signal to Noise is set in Mexico City in both 1988/89 and 2009. As a teenager, Meche is obsessed with music, a behavior she picked up from her father, an alcoholic failed musician and would-be writer. Her best friends are Sebastian, a tall and awkward bookworm, and Daniela, who dresses like a doll and would rather play with her Easy-Bake Oven. First Meche, then her friends, discover that they have the ability to do magic: hexes, glamours, and spells to get them what they’ve always dreamt of. But, as these things so often do, things go much differently than they hoped.
Last week, we saw what happened when Jeff Goldblum collected a bunch of rocket jocks for NASA in The Right Stuff. We don’t get too far from that “oh, weren’t the ’60s great for white guys!” vibe, but this time we’re coming at the decade from another angle. Goldblum’s still playing within type for this period in his career: gawky, cerebral at first glance, and slightly endearing. But, boy, is this a whole different beast.
Lawrence “Father of Jake” Kasdan’s The Big Chill is the kind of nostalgia piece that seems poignant and meaningful. In the movie, a bunch of thirtysomethings gather for the funeral of one of their friends, who committed suicide, and take stock of their lives fifteen years after they were in college together. It was absolutely catnip for the Baby Boomer audience it was aimed at.
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