Friday, February 06, 2009

Comedic Conjunction

Last night a conjunction occurred, not between celestial bodies, but television shows. First, 30 Rock worked its way out of a relative slump (apart from episode five, Reunion, which was brilliant, the offbeat has become rather mundane this season, though only in terms of show’s regular radiance). Baldwin was remarkable as the Generalissimo, a perfect parody for Lemon’s own “diabolical” actions towards Dr. Baird. Jon Hamm, as always, dominated the screen with his suave magnetism; likewise, Salma Hayek’s star power cannot be underrated, since she also has breathed new life into the show.

Many time zones away another stroke of brilliance flashed through the airwaves, the Skins episode “Thomas.” The third season, which began with the gutsy replacement of nearly the entire cast, has gotten off to a good start; however, Merveille Lukeba with his quiet resolve, vulnerability, and transparent confidence adds a new layer to the show. First, he is what so many characters are not; black, subtle, and visibly skilled — most of the characters lack confidence and are offensive or unsure of their skills. Furthermore, his character adds a sure hand in uncertain waters, a true leader due to his sure goodness. I appreciated his kalimba and voice performance and Mamadou Cissokho’s Kora playing. When speaking about the show one cannot omit the rat-like Johnny White, played by the ubiquitous Mackenzie Crook, nor can one forget Dev Patel’s blossoming from the past series — Slumdog Millionaire nearly justifies all the Oscar hype (too bad Millions did not receive the same recognition).

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