I keep waiting for “The Bridge” to get better. And folks, it’s not getting there. It’s fine, sure. But it’s not great. And in a summer crowded with bleak summer crime-serials, I’m not sure this one is worth your time or investment. In fact, there are only two bright spots that I care to point out. 1) Demián Bichir is such a charisma and gravitas supernova that I’m currently working my way through his entire back catalogue. Yeah I may even revisit the bad seasons of “Weeds.” 2) There are a lot of Latino and Latina actors in this cast and while it might not be the very best show out there, I’m glad to see a story crowded with non-white faces. In fact, at least a quarter if not a third of the dialogue in every episode in in subtitled Spanish. Which is pretty neat.
So like I said. The show’s fine. And, hey, it might get really good at the end. If it does, I promise to check back in with you and humbly eat all my words. In the meantime, I’d much rather you while away the last month of August with the following pieces of pop culture. In my opinion, it’s better to rewatch something great than to watch something that’s only okay.
Check out Fat Kids Rule The World: I loved this movie to bits and pieces. I’ve pimped it here before. But not all of you have taken me up on it. I can’t imagine why. Who doesn’t want to watch an overweight kid and his drug addict friend find confidence and healing love through punk music? Come on!
FKRTW is what I throw up in everyone’s face when they cap on Matthew Lillard. Sure, ol’ Shaggy may have done a lot of stupid things in his day, but that flick redeems most of it. Lillard is perfectly adequate in “The Bridge,” but this isn’t his best work. Not even close.
Rewatch “Breaking Bad”…Hurry Up! Seriously, what what WHAT are you doing if you’re not rewatching AMC’s power house drama in anticipation of the premiere this Sunday. All the cool kids are frantically doing it!
Emily Rios (who played Brock’s mother Andrea on “Breaking Bad”) plays a buttoned up reporter who “got out” of the slums and is trying to make it in America. Her thesis as for why she got out is tied to her sexuality and is…interesting. Borderline offensive, but interesting. I prefer her winnowing her way into Jesse Pinkman’s heart.
I’d Be Really Surprised If You Hadn’t Watched “Top Of The Lake” Yet: I’ve been on about it for months. But suffice it to say that you’d much rather watch Thomas Wright tussle with Elisabeth Moss in a stark New Zealand forest…
…than watch him iron a man to death in his filthy underwear in sweaty Texas. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.
In Case You Missed It The First Time, Track DownMaria Full Of Grace: If you want a more harrowing look at US/Mexico border conflicts and the damaging nature of drug trafficking, I recommend Catalina Sandeno Moreno’s luminous debut.
She’s perfectly serviceable as the beleaguered wife to our hero on “The Bridge,” but she’s swinging way below her capabilities.
Go Ahead And Revisit That Tavern Scene From Inglorious Basterds: It’s like a perfect little film unto itself. And Tarantino (one of my pop-cultural weaknesses to be sure) packs more tension into those 25 minutes than “The Bridge” has managed to conjure all season. I have a pet theory about certain actors being exponentially better in their native tongue. Diane Krueger is without a doubt one of those actors. (Though she speaks plenty of English in Basterds.)
Her defective detective is supposed to be robotic and still she comes nowhere near engendering the sympathy of, say, a Will Graham from “Hannibal” or even Data from “Star Trek: Next Generation.” I much prefer her flirting and cursing in German.
Do Yourself A Favor And Make Some Time For A Better Life This is one of those films that got a lot of recognition around Oscar time (particularly for Demián Bichir), but looks so upsettingly harrowing that we, the average moviegoer, are disinclined to rent it on a Saturday night. As is usually the case with such films, I absolutely promise you it’s worth your time. Bichir (who was nominated for Best Actor) is incredible.
As I mentioned up top, he’s the very best thing about “The Bridge,” I can’t even muster a negative thing to say about him.
Listen To The “This American Life” Segment Called ‘The Real Housewife Of Ciudad Juárez’: Listen to it here. It’s really quite stunning. No FX drama will ever do that city justice.