08 March 2012

Do You Know This Man?

I've found that when you watch something three to five times a week on your favorite cable affiliate and then you catch a new episode on a network, it's a total mindfuck.

For example, when you see Tim "The Toolman" Taylor adressing the importance of honesty with young JTT and even younger Mark and then the other one who's name I think was Brad, that shapes your view of Home Improvement. When you see it on whatever channel airs syndicated sitcoms you form the picture in your head of a cast eternally frozen in a three-ish year span. Plot lines are never resolved, nothing is in chronological order and no one ever ages.

Then when you accidentally watch Home Improvement in its prime time slot (no longer possible as it is badly off the air) everyone is old and everything is serious and Jill kisses another man and there's drugs and sadness and you think maybe it was another show entirely.

That's kind of how I feel about Law and Order: SVU. I don't know if you've had a chance to catch an SVU marathon -- they run them several times a month -- but they're mostly "Olivia has short hair" and "Stabler exists". Richard Belzer isn't yet old enough to only show up periodically back at the station and District Attorney Alex Cabbot is an asshole and has not yet been fake-killed.

Importantly, Liz Lemon's future boyfriend Dennis is not on the show (first season) and the go-to psychiatrist/FBI Guy is not the professor from Farmers' Insurance commercials (also, the Nazi from Oz).

The role of the team's go-to FBI pscychologist is played by none other than a Bradley Darryl Wong; credited as BD Wong.

His character's name is Dr. George Huang -- which to my mind shows a certain lack of imagination.

Trust me, I'm a doctor.
BD Wong shows a tremendous range as an actor. You may recognize him from the new breakout hit on NBC's Awake

Dr. John Lee
He's traded up the sweater for a vest. Also interesting? He's playing a doctor.

Digging deeper we see that in All-American Girl, a mid-nineties Margaret Cho TV vehicle, BD Wong spread his wings a bit:

Dr. Stuart Kim
Actually no, that's a doctor again. But his hair used to be way long! Let's step back a bit further.

Did you know he was in Jurassic Park? Had you perhaps forgotten?

Dr. Henry Wu

According to the Jurassic Park Wikia, Henry Wu was the park's chief geneticist and at this point to the surprise of no one, a doctor.

Not all of his roles were large enough to be easily Googled (which for me is synonymous with research) so I'll just throw some cherry-picked screencaps from imdb in here:

Those all say "Dr."
Is BD Wong a real doctor? No, BD Wong is not a real doctor.

Why does BD Wong continue to play doctors on screen? Unresolved. Unless...

Let's suppose though that you, as a young actor, were approached to do a film with Martin Short and Steve Martin. You'd say yes without reading the script, right?

If you did, then that would make you the guy on the right:

One of these charcters is Howard Weinstein. It is not Martin Short.

So way back in 1991 you play a buffoon and spend the rest of your life playing the Serious Asian Doctor to atone for it.

Right? Maybe he has a good doctor voice. I don't know.

07 March 2012

Wanted: Bass Player

I don't understand politics, and in the grand tradition of hating things we don't understand, I also hate politics. Hate is a strong word; it's more of a passionate disinterest.

Often I feel like I'm being forced to choose between vanilla and tapioca (although that's not fair because tapioca wins every time because it's great and his has a unique texture). Also as Kodos and Kang pointed out, voting for a third party is tantamount to throwing away your vote. So maybe a better metaphor is choosing between vanilla and vanilla?

I feel like I should list the names of the current Republican nominees in here a bunch of times with links so I can pull in clicks but that seems... unethical. But damn though, that's a fine idea.

Anyway, of the entire field of republican nominees over the last something years there's only one that stuck out in my head:

The guy that played bass.

That's pretty cool. Les Claypool plays the bass as well and if this guy (Mike Huckabee, as it turns out) is anywhere near his calibre then I would definitely vote for him as President of the United Bass of Rock. But I probably wouldn't vote for Les.

That's a total lie. If Les Claypool was running with the reanimated corpse of Jaco Pastorius as his VP I would vote for them both because of the necromancy implicit in bringing Jaco back to life (Les as a dark wizard?) and also because I'd like to guarantee entertainmening, technical bass playing for four solid years.

Back to Huckabee, though. In all honesty I couldn't even remember his name; just his stance:

First of all I'm ashamed to have used Bing for anything besides a punchline.

But also, how awesome is it that he played bass? Obama smoke(d)s and that's pretty cool but it's not as cool as if he was frontman for Black Flag.

Someone else already did that.

Bill Clinton played saxophone. This was addressed in the theme song to Animaniacs and in probably one thousand Tonight Show monologues but the sax isn't a very cool instrument. I feel like it's been done, ya know? If Bill Clinton played jazz vibraphone then I don't think anyone would have made fun of him, and then Monica Lewinsky joke!

There isn't really a point here, I don't think. All I'm saying is that if I heard "Newt Gingrich something something tons of divorces prog rock drum solo," then I'd say "I dunno maybe I'd vote for that guy who I heard played the drums?"

But also, if Obama announced that he was working on his two-hand tapping chops for guitar, and that his band was called "The Echoing Halls of Democracy" and that on his next vacation he was actually going on a mini-tour of the American Southeast with Mike Portnoy filling in on drums (because Mike seems to do that these days) then he (Obama) could pretty much guarantee four more years in office.