I’m feeling literal today. There’s a fork in the featured image and in the road. As they used to say on The Good Place:
It’s time for the obligatory weather report. This year, we’ve had March weather in April and April weather in March. It was unseasonably warm last month and cool this month. It’s confusing as hell but I’ll take cool weather any chance I get. Summer’s Cauldron is on the way.
You may have noticed that I skipped Friday Catblogging this week. My models were feeling uninspired and they run the show. There’s always Caturday. Stay tuned.
This week’s theme song was the title track of Neil Young’s 29th solo album, which was released in 2009. Young was nominated for a Grammy in some category, but the details are too dull to share.
Remember: Don’t take the wrong Fork In The Road.
Just add an a to Neil’s title and you have this 1965 song written by Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, and Ronnie White:
There are only a few fork songs, but there are tons of road songs. Here are two from the twisted mind of the late, great Frank Zappa:
We begin our second act with a piece about the state of the True Crime genre in 2023.
Truth Is Drifting Away From True Crime: Sarah Weinman is the true crime and mystery editor from the NYT Book Review. She’s written what amounts to a True Crime manifesto. She poses the question: How true is True Crime?
It’s a mixed bag according to Weinman. Some practitioners are scrupulous with the facts; others are not. That vexes Weinman:
But if the facts aren’t there, or they’re flatly wrong, or they’re twisted beyond recognition, then true crime transforms into something closer to lurid fiction — and the entities cashing in on it are making a cynical, shortsighted bet. If creators want to benefit from the frisson of a “true” story, they must honor the truth — it’s that simple. If true crime practitioners give up on doing better and succumb to the temptation of exploitation, that would be a crime in and of itself.
I like the genre but I’m of the “just the facts m’am” school of True Crime consumers. Too much of it caters to the lowest common denominator. If that makes me a True Crime snob, so be it? Is such a thing possible? Discuss amongst yourselves.
Let’s close the door on this segment with a song from Spandau Ballet:
Spandau was the prison at which Nazi war criminals convicted at the first Nuremberg trial were incarcerated. But one of planners of the Holocaust escaped justice until 1961.
The Eichmann Trial: I try to avoid posting stories from the same media outlet back-to-back in this feature but sometimes it’s unavoidable. This is one of those times.
There’s a fabulous NYT op-ed by Tom Hurwitz. His father, Leo, was the man behind the filming of the Eichmann trial. It was a tough job, but Hurwitz did it justice as does his son’s piece about his work.
Leo Hurwitz’s work has inspired fictional films and many documentaries over the years. In The Eichmann Show, Anthony LaPaglia plays Hurwitz the elder. As you will see at the top of our second act, many fine actors have played the Bureaucrat of Death over the years.
Our second act has been overloaded with doom, gloom, and crimes against humanity. Let’s lighten thing up.
Night Court Reboot: As a fan of the original Night Court, I was skeptical of the 2023 reboot. I was wrong. Every time Dr. A and I watch it I say: “I never thought this would be so good.”
Like the original, the Night Court reboot has an ensemble cast of eccentric characters led by Melissa Rauch as Judge Harry Stone’s daughter who has taken the reins at Night Court. John Larroquette reprises his role as Dan Fielding. At Larroquette’s insistence, Dan has been updated. He’s no longer a lecherous prosecutor, he’s a curmudgeonly public defender. It works because Larroquette is so good in the role.
Have I told you lately that John Larroquette is from New Orleans?
The ensemble cast is every bit as quirky as the original and is diverse as hell. More importantly, they’re funny as hell. Night Court has always been about the laughs. The bigger the better.
Here’s the trailer:
One of the joys of the Night Court reboot is when 4’11” Melissa Rauch stands next to 6’4″ John Larroquette. It cracks me up every time.
Grading Time: I give Night Court 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+. Good job, y’all.
The last word of our second act goes to Robert Cray:
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Nothing but villains this week. The real Adolf Eichmann is flanked by Ben Kingsley in Operation Finale and Stanley Tucci in Conspiracy.
Oddly enough, Werner Klemperer who played bumbling Colonel Klink on Hogan’s Heroes was the first actor to play the Bureaucrat of Death.
The mood needs lightening again. Thank God for Eddie Muller.
Best Of TCM: The only video I could find of Eddie’s discussion of film noir fashion misspells his name. Oh well, it’s YouTube, not YouSpell.
In this clip, Eddie declares Humphrey Bogart and Claire Trevor the best dressed noiristas.
Kitty Claire Trevor is ecstatic:
Your Weekly Oscar: We have one of OP’s most interesting compositions from one of his best albums. What’s not to love about Clark Terry as Oscar’s plus one?
Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?
Are you ready for some fork dancing?
Saturday GIF Horse: Here’s Charlie Chaplin playing with his forking food in The Gold Rush.
Marxist Clips: This clip could also be called Groucho Teaches. Did he have tenure?
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.
Saturday Closer: I’m following up last week’s Beatles Dozen with a Beatles Covers Dozen tomorrow. This swell cover by Al Green just missed the cut.
That’s all for this week. The last word goes to the cast of Night Court 2023: John Larroquette, Melissa Rauch, India du Beaufort, Kapil Talwalkar, and Lucretta.