Another reader requested post. If you have a pop culture request, email me (see sidebar). I get tons of requests and I can’t promise to get to every single one, but I’ll do my best. Most likely I won’t get to any new ones until after I finish the H:LOTS thing.
I am a huge Mandel Bruce “Mandy” Patinkin fan from the way back. Back when all I knew of was his voice and had NO idea what he looked like. In fact the first time I saw him he was in Alien Nation drag, though I didn’t actually see the entire film until recently. So I’m thinking Chicago Hope was probably the first place I ever saw this dude or possibly Yentl.
Like Matthew Modine – another actor I adore – Patinkin has a terrible habit of appearing in works I have absolutely no interest in viewing. Thus it’s taken a real long time to actually figure this Patinkin thing out. I know that I enjoy seeing his performances, but most often – as was the case with Dead Like Me and to a lesser degree Chicago Hope – I just didn’t care much for the programs themselves. Chicago Hope always seemed a huge waste of a sublime ensemble cast and that lead girl on Dead Like Me irked the heck of me with her monotone voice and limited acting range. Plus the other characters were annoying too.
Four episodes of Criminal Minds – a show which is a watered down combo of House and The Profiler – and I’m pretty much all set with that. Given that Patinkin left the series after the second year, I don’t feel too badly about my decision. The addition of Fat Tony, while intriguing isn’t enough to motivate me. My only interest in the program was Patinkin, as none of the other characters did anything for me. Most of the other characters – save Thomas Gibson (more on him in sec) – were copies of copies of copies of really poorly written characters from other shows. From the “handsome black guy” played by the go-to handsome black guy Shemar Moore to the bimbo a go go to the tedious socially awkward skinny white guy required on every cop procedural, despite the reality that nobody would let that character so much as push a paper, much less CARRY A CONCEALED FIREARM. There is nothing redeemable about this show other than Mandy and…
Thomas Gibson has really come into his own! I saw glimmers in Eyes Wide Shut, something interesting about his performance, some flash of the brilliance I had observed so very long ago in the stellar film Love and Human Remains. I don’t find him attractive, so that wasn’t at work for me. But I did want more screen time with him. Gibson is interesting to watch and gives the kinds of performances that Dylan McDermott probably “thinks” he gives, but DOESN’T. Gibson takes a scene done a billion times – sitting down reading a file while also talking to another character without looking up – yet always gives a subtle little something worth noticing. Anyway, I liked watching him.
But back to Mandy! Like Snarky, he has dealt with the pointy eye – keratoconus – which considering his back to back corneal transplant surgeries in ’97/’98 is an entirely more plausible reason for leaving Chicago than him merely being a diva, though he is most definitely a diva, and so fucking what. People are assclowns and often are in dire need of having their asses served to them. And generally, the divas of the world have to do it, since everyone else is usually entirely too cowardly. As an aside, TWO TRANSPLANTS and still uses glasses. Uh, me thinks I’ll take a hot bag of “no thanks” on that. Though, I suspect his progression was probably far more advanced than mine. Also, the disease MAKES YOU FUCKING CRABBY. So once I discovered he dealt with it, it is not at all surprising to discover he’s considered “hard to work with” and truculent. Yeah, that’s what daily shifts in vision, skull numbing migraines, constant watery eyes, facial tension and ineffective visual correction treatments DO TO PEOPLE.
As for Criminal Minds, that dog most definitely does not hunt and barely feels compelled to scratch fleas off its back – and it’s riddled with fleas. And I’m with Mandy on the violence tip. The show is entirely TOO VIOLENT. And you know when a gal whose favorite movie is SHARKY’S MACHINE says something is too violent she’s not just trading in hyperbole.