Monday, March 17, 2008

I think it's in 'The Best Christmukkah Ever'

One of the many moments which added up to turn The OC from a quite-good teen soap to a Work of Blimmin' Genius was when Summer, one of the less-bright characters, made a joke about Michael Chabon's 'Kavalier and Clay' and the makers of the the show didn't try and explain it to the audience, unlike ITV's The Fixer, the first episode of which I watched on the recommendation of a television critic I spat fish on once.

In it, an otherwise exemplary joke resting on the confusion between a hardback book called 'Genome' and the small porcelein homonculi that live in auntie's gardens and generally arse about in a static sort of way, was horribly messed up by The Amusing Idiot Character leaving the perfect space for the joke to sink in, then saying 'gnomes', while spangly-dressed women danced past holding placards saying 'DO YOU SEE, IT WAS A PLAY ON WORDS!!!!!'. I will watch the second episode, but only because the critic I spat fish on once still likes it, and the main character, a ruthless killer, reminds me amusingly of my deeply Christian, and very nice ex-landlord.

But to return to the start (collect two hundred pounds), I am three chapters into Michael Chabon's new one, 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union', which I started reading in Pizza Express with a fine glass of red, and almost immediately started composing a list of people to email with a sort of 'bloody hell you HAVE to read this it is REALLY REALLY good' and then I thought oh yeah, I have a blog, so I thought I'd put it here instead.

I could have linked various titles and stuff to Amazon, but in the spirit of The OC I will do you the respect of assuming you are not unfamiliar with Mister Google.

UPDATE: oooh ooh, by a weird coincidence, I've just realised that the subject of 'not apologising for jokes which need a bit of work' is also raised in the post in which I spat fish on a critic! (click on the 'critics' tag). I AM ON FIRE (not literally).


Jayne said...

oh, oh. I bought that today! Yay.

ps - loved the OC at first but it went downhill - mainly because that bloody Mischa Barton was as wooden as a plank (and her character was sooo deeply irritating that only a good actress could have carried it off).

wine - good idea!

Tim Footman said...

If you're on fire after one glass of red, why don't you have a glass of white to put it out?

patroclus said...

I enjoyed it more in series 2 when it got ludicrously self-referential, and it was obvious that whoever was writing it was having a massive joke at the viewing public's expense. Like what Moving Wallpaper and Echo Beach set out to do, only subtle.

Series 3 was rubbish, and Mischa Barton was utterly hopeless throughout.

Swiv said...

I'm thinking of giving everyone I know The Yiddish Policemen's Union, just to prevent them avoiding my Chabon recommendation *again*.

cello said...

Yes, The Fixer is really 'quite good'.

Mr C and I seemed to spend most of the first two episodes arguing over whether it should be Tamsin Oothwaite or Owthwaite. And how much that Jody Latham had grown since the first series of Shameless. And a curtain rail.

Anonymous said...

Ooh... i heart Michael Chabon! tAAoK&C is wonderful. Have you read Summerland or The Final Solution yet?
Everything he writes is genius, genius i say!


p.s. you're quite good too ;-)

llewtrah said...

Presumably the Matt Ridley "Genome" book (which is excellent by the way)?