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November 18, 2008:

THE PLUCKING PIZZICATO

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, if strings are playing the music of my life, right now all the notes are pizzicato. My goodness, what an abstruse opening line. But, it’s true – there is no legato right now, only the plucking pizzicato of never-ending details to be sorted out, never-ending e-mails to answer, never-ending errands and whatnot to do, and, in addition to all that, a ten-day trip to New York, New York to prepare for. Since everything is pizzicato, perhaps a slice of pizza is in order – that way I can have a plucking pizza pizzicato. I’m listening to Franz Waxman’s score to Demetrius and the Gladiators whilst I write these here notes and it’s making me want to do my Frank Thring impression – “danccccccce Ssssssalome.” Wasn’t that a good Frank Thring impression? I’m actually the only person who specializes in doing impressions in print. It’s a unique field and apparently I have it all to myself. Speaking of myself, yesterday was a day filled with the plucking pizzicato rhythms. I got up early, did the long jog, answered a ton of e-mails, found we’d lost another performer but gained an incredible sound designer, found we’d gained a wonderful performer, went to storage and retrieved a chart, had a telephonic call from the divoon Linda Purl, asking if we could create a new show for her (we can), and did some errands and whatnot for good measure. A friend was having a bad day, so said friend came over and I cheered up said friend and then said friend and I had some lunch over at The Studio CafĂ© – I had a barbecue chicken sandwich and a tiny side salad, and we shared some Buffalo wings – I forgot to ask for all drumettes, so I didn’t eat as many as I usually do. I was quite stuffed after that meal, but my jog was reasonably brisk so I’m sure I’m fine, weight-wise. I came back home, had a few more telephonic calls, a ton more e-mails, and then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night I watched another episode of Cagney and Lacey, which I enjoyed more than the first two. I still think the plotting of the show is weak, but Daly and Gless are so terrific together it doesn’t really matter. And I must say, I really don’t like the Al Waxman character, who is just irritating for no reason. He’s obviously modeled after Lou Grant, but he’s written badly and I don’t find that Mr. Waxman brings much to the role. The transfers are really good. I then watched the Hallmark movie, Accidental Friends, written by former dear reader Panni. These types of films aren’t my favorite, but I enjoyed it, and thought she did a good job with the script. I thought the two lead actresses and Ben Vereen were all terrific, but I didn’t like the male lead – just not the kind of actor I respond to. The direction was simple and fine, but I loathed the score – just more of that today’s film music sound – droning string pads, no melody, no getting under the skin of either drama or characters, and because it’s virtually all the same, the key emotional moments of the show don’t quite have the punch they would with a great and real score. I also will never watch this channel again – they have more commercials than network TV – it’s shocking – six minutes of commercials to twelve minutes of film. And every time we come back from a commercial they have these pop-up lower third advertisements for other shows. Talk about taking you out of the story – same thing goes for the Hallmark logo that stays on the right side of the screen for the entirety of the film. This is one that will play much better on DVD, and congrats to Panni on a fine job. I then watched all the extras on the new Sunset Blvd. DVD – sadly, they’re more of the Laurent Bouzereau-produced extras, and even though there are some interesting people being interviewed, he just can’t stop with the incessant use of music and the annoying sound of loud photo flashbulbs going off. Just shoot the damn people and let them talk and take this awful “style” and dump it in the trash. There’s one featurette on the score, which is all about the rerecording by Varese Sarabande – it features my former workmate, but I couldn’t watch or listen to it – more about the producer than the work or the music. And someone needs to put Andrew Sarris out to pasture – he looks like he’s going to expire during his interview bits and frankly his pronouncements make me nauseous – right up there with Dr. Drew in the annoying department. I’ll probably watch the film tonight.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because the plucking pizzicatos of life are beckoning ever onward. What the HELL am I talking about?

Today, I shall be packing a box of clothing and toiletries that I can’t carry on the plane and I’ll be shipping them ahead to my hotel. Yes, Virginia, they finally booked my hotel. It’s in a location that’s a little odd – on the East side, but the hotel itself looks really nice as do the rooms, which meet my two requirements – clean and high-speed Internet. I’ll then go to Fed Ex and ship it – three-day, so it shouldn’t be too expensive. That way, I can pack very light. I have to do the long jog early, as I have a 12:15 lunch meeting with the president of the LACC Foundation. I have no idea what it’s about, but I’m sure it will be interesting and hopefully fruitful. I don’t think I care for the food in the restaurant we’re going to, so I’ll try to eat as little as possible, so I can eat something I like later on.

Tomorrow, I have tons of errands to do, and a two-hour work session with two Bacharach performers who are coming in from LA to do the show. Thursday I have a morning meeting, and then I may buy a new pair of jeans and maybe a new polo shirt. Friday I have a little morning meeting, and then I’ll try not to book anything else for that day and for sure on Saturday, when I want to do nothing but relax and pack.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, have a lunch meeting, pack and ship a box of clothing to my hotel, and do a few errands and whatnot. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your all-time favorite ensemble casts from TV shows – the shows where the cast chemistry is absolute perfection right down to the smallest regular? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst the plucking pizzicatos continue unabated.

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