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Binging and Stuffing - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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Binging and Stuffing
I just finished the first of the Netflix late-May series drops- the second series of Bloodline.  Just ten hour(ish)-long episodes this time, compared to thirteen for the first season; one of the advantages of on-demand television is the writers can fit the length to the arc rather than feeling forced into a 13 or 24-episode shoebox of exactly 44 minutes.  Overall, I loved the performances and casting (one character's son is amazingly well-cast for him), liked the writing and the uses of flashbacks, but ultimately had trouble with one of Eleanor's standard litmus tests for anything fictional: I just don't like these people.

The tag line for the first series was, "We're not bad people, but we did a bad thing."  Going into the probable third season, the new moniker should be, "No, we're bad people. Every one of us."  You don't want them to be. For crysake, Sissy Spacek is the matriarch of the family, and it goes against every fiber of your being to dislike her.  By the end of these episodes, you will. Maybe not completely- she suffers from the most withholding of information and likely has some PTSD from spousal abuse- but the bad things she did know of, mostly from long ago, she supported or suppressed or at least acquiesced in.

Likewise, Linda Cardellini's lawyer character, played by an actress who I love (she briefly showed up as Hawkeye's wife in Age of Ultron), makes me want to blow her in to the attorney grievance committee about three times an episode. Her brief Escape to New York B-story was as inaccurate as it was inevitably doomed to failure.  The remaining Rayburn sib is the baby brother Kevin, who runs through recycled plotlines from Nurse Jackie (failed recovery) and The Sopranos (the mob moving in and taking over his business).  They use his wife's pregnancy to give him something to hope for, and it's that hope which motivates him until (and possibly into) his final scene in the season which will give the inn's roaming janitorial crew yet another mess to clean up.

Oddly, though, as his living relatives continue to stoop again and again to their late son/sibling's levels of fuckeruppery, Ghost Danny becomes perhaps the noblest and worthiest character of the entire season. He's again played with a perfect South Florida accent by Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn (and he may have even sung over the final episode's closing credits- waiting for a confirm on that), and while his role is limited by the character being dead and the actor having just come off  a lead role in the Star Wars 7.5 short project, he remains one of the finest to watch.

Not only are the cops in this series no better, in this season, at least, they're clearly among the worst if not taking up the top three spots. Eldest Rayburn son John, who we saw get in such trouble last time out, spends this entire arc trying and failing at different ways to get out of it- and the course he selects, at least for cliffhanger purposes, is to go against the spirit of the Florida Keys and head north.  His boss and partner are just as bad: the former, new to the series and played by David Zayas of Dexter fame, has some major skeletons in his closet and seemingly adds more bones to the coatrack before the season ends.  Meanwhile, John's partner Marco severs all connections with the Rayburn family by the final episode, except for what by then is an almost Ahab-like desire for revenge; as usually happens with such obsessions, Marco pays for it dearly in the end, with this season's Tschocke of Death™ being leveled on him.

Probably the only redeeming character in the entirety of Monroe County (FL) is the one played by Chloë Sevigny, who can appear as unredeemable trailer trash in one scene and a heroic medical professional ten minutes later; who can go from timid to badass in ten seconds when needed; and who is the only one who always does the right thing and only breaks the rules if it's to stop a greater injustice from occurring. Everybody named or related to a Rayburn could learn a lot from her.

As for the probability of that third season: nothing is yet confirmed, and apparently Florida is ending the film studio tax credit that let this show use the lush on-location beaches and aerial shots of real Keys beauty, which often muted the violence and tension of the closeup scenes.  A lot may turn on how much hardware this cast picks up at the next round of Emmys and such.  Plus, as at least one prognosticator said, It's Netflix- they don't care what shit costs.

Neither do the Rayburns, which can be unfortunate for people who get on their bad side:P Now it's on to Season Three of Peaky Blinders- another family drama where the blood is as important and visible as the bloodlines.

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The second part of this post about "stuffing" was to have been about the internet ballot-box variety- but (a) I'm tired, (b) the subject deserves its own post, and (c) I may have a thrilling conclusion to report to the story to be told. 

So y'all come back now, hear?
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Comments
glenmarshall From: glenmarshall Date: June 3rd, 2016 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
We finished Bloodlines last night. The degree of fuck-up in the main story-lines is astounding. The character I was expecting to get killed did not. And I think that Danny's son might not be a Bad Seed after all, if there is another season.
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