Whilst drawing this weekend (post to follow), I've had the TV on in the background as ever and stumbled across a Woody Allen season. I've only ever seen Sleeper (which I liked) and parts of What's Up, Tiger Lily? (or Pussycat?) and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex but can't really remember them. I'd always stayed away from Allen's later "mature" milieu so this was a chance to catch up.
Hmmm. Broadway Danny Rose was tedious and while Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters were good...I had issues with them. Beautifully acted, they struck me as US counterparts to Mike Leigh films (which I HATE) and seemed to focus on character over plot. I resisted the phrase character study as the characters aren't really looked at and fleshed out, both movies seeming like photos, snapshots of the characters rather than giving a fuller sense of their lives.
With no real plot or comments to make (though recurring themes of dating too young women and not helping who you fall in love with foreshadow the most infamous of Allen's future relationships), the movies rely on the characters to sell the films but the sketches are too light to draw any substance on. While your average late Review viewer may regard these as more natural and true to life as things trundle along as in life rather than following a tightly constructive narrative, I found them both watchable..but insubstantial, lacking in emotion and uninvolving.
Counter that with the Sunday morning Cheers marathons. I have great fondness for Cheers, watching it each Friday night on that new Channel Four thing. I liked it then but can see more of the nuances now. As well as having some of the best one liners and general writing in sitcom history, Cheers invests all of its characters with heart and soul, extracting genuine lines while also daring to pause for more serious moments. The audience cheering as Sam regains his mojo and slides a drink around the bar illustrates how invested we are.
Looping from the first series to Sam's cliff hanger plane ride to stop Diane marrying Frasier, Cheers is a genuine soothing panacea, a pleasant and warm time hanging out where everybody knows your name. I wish more shows were able to tap into that balance of humour and depth. It also strikes me how smooth and quiet it seems to some of today's sitcoms: crap like How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls are grating beyond belief and constantly seem hyper accelerated, becoming tiring to watch very quickly.
Anyway, here are some few quick art pieces: the colour Flash is another "save" (I substituted a new colour background until I do a whole new Flash piece), the Flash ensemble was done as a request (the Flash figure originally bearing somebody's likeness but I superimposed a Sam Jones head over the original...this was done while having my boiler fitted so I'm not best happy with it as I wasn't really at ease while drawing) and the last is a detail from another request, I edited out the other half as I thought the likeness was terrible but am fairly happy with this one...figure's body could be proportioned better but it was a caricature anyway...