Monday, March 5, 2012

Comic Book Men: Kevin Smith Strikes Again

Kevin Smith inspires extreme reactions to whatever he does. The same goes for this new whatchamakallit part-fabricated-part-reality show on AMC. A bunch of ‘dudes’ go ‘watch their lives pass by’,(in the words of a store un-clerk Bryan), in the comic store and the show switches between their inconsequential musings and a collective elaborate musing session(more like a collective reassurance that this may actually be far from the worst job in the world) back in the apparent radio station where the gang discusses everything they do on the job. Once you get over the obvious distractions (why the fuck are they smiling so much, what’s with all the slo-mo’s and soft-porn nods, what do they know that I don’t, why is Smith the center of this limited universe etc.) you sub-consciously take in the trivia thrown at you and take this gang as another bunch of self-obsessed dudes you have seen hanging around in a neighborhood cafĂ© and wouldn’t actually care much about them lest they should pick on your indifferent ass.

It’s interesting how Smith underplays some of his more recently exhibited outrageous behavior mostly media paranoia, and brings out miles of trivia in a little less pretentious manner to this bunch. However, you do realize he can’t stay sober for long, sadly and eventually. For a ex-character called Silent Bob he surely goes too far! Walt Flanagan is quite a reveal. I like it that he plays his businessman handle well above his comic book artist one and comfortably leads this pack of losers, if you will. Bryan offers some great dramatic moments, his wit borders on a Ricky Gervais-type sarcasm, deriving fun from other people’s misery. Schadenfraude, it’s called I believe. And he doesn’t let you go until you acknowledge you have been victimized. Nice and edgy angle to this mutual admiration sausage fest I would say.
Having seen 4 episodes, I have reached a certain comfort level with the cast. The show fills the spot of a nerdier, more approachable Big Bang Theory. The bargains may be doctored, but the stuff they haggle on is real. Same goes for the racism and offensive humor. It’s really in good taste, if good taste for you means unjustified oppression and uncontrolled gasps of paranoid behavior, may be a couple peculiar cases of repetitive narcissistic acts too. I kinda like the show.

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