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Clever, witty satire
This utterly delightful series features Mary Louise Parker as a young widow in a suffocatingly tasteful California planned community who takes to dealing marijuana to support her two sons. With a combination of innocence and native craftiness she enters a maze of growers, dealers, and users, building her own small business. Her ingenious maneuvers to keep her business going, and her employees out of jail, forms the core of the plot line, but the story is interwoven with ingeniously intertwined plot lines ranging across divisions of class, race, and income. Tonye Patano plays a more experienced drug dealer with regal and hilariously foul-mouthed majesty; Justin Kirk is Parker's ne'er-do-well brother-in-law; Elizabeth Perkins plays a delightfully loathsome neighbor, and a wonderful collection of supporting players makes this one of the most satisfying comedies on the air.
Simple, poignant short about being loved
This is a simple, poignant short film, shot on a budget of $150: a man with a survey stops passersby and asks them, "Are you anybody's favorite person?" What a heartbreaking question, for somebody who DOESN'T come first in somebody else's heart! Miranda July, who wrote the short story this is based on, had just finished shooting ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW and made this film in the week between shooting and editing the first rough assembly. Miguel Arteta, who directed, was still in love with her at the time, and in an interview with WHOLPHIN said, "The shoot was painless but sure enough, by the time I started editing, we were broken up. This little short is like a rear-view mirror that survived a fabulous, painful crash."
A brilliant performance by a young Leo McKern
Admirers of Leo McKern, whose delightful performance as Rumpole of the Bailey has so won our hearts, will be interested to see him as a tart-tongued science journalist grimly tracking down the implications of increasingly strange weather. This film is remarkable for intelligent, complex characterizations, and fast-paced, clever dialogue. Unusual among apocalyptic science fiction is the light touch with which we're invited to appreciate the rhetoric of political spin-doctoring; as the crisis deepens, our characters gather around the radio to hear the latest announcement from the Prime Minister; the matter-of-fact cynicism with which our heroes accept the various governmental cover-ups tells us far more than the predictable indignation which we've become so familiar with, in films such as Armageddon and Deep Impact.