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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

ERIC and the dance

The whole world is suddenly singing this song this song ... because of Benedict Cumberbatch and a puppet.  ERIC.

What is it with Cumberbatch, anyway?  An absolutely brilliant actor who seems to specialize in portraying absolutely horrible men.

There was that evil genius behind the Brexit movement, "Brexit, the Uncivil War".  The cruel cowboy in The Power of the Dog.  And now a puppeteer with serious mental health issues who is out of his mind with vodka and whatever he has been popping or sniffing, and who has an endlessly vile tongue, lashing out at a world he considers unfair.

He also talks to a puppet.  The puppet is Eric, the star of the TV show everyone is talking about.  ERIC

He even dances with the puppet to the tune of Laura Branigan's "Gloria" in a mad and totally wonderful scene, the keynote of the six-part Netflix series.  This guy has lost his son in the dangerous underworld of vintage New York, yet he gets drunk, sniffs coke and dances with a puppet.  You have to watch to see how weird it is.  ERIC

So what did I think of the show?  Puzzling, absorbing, and all over the place.  It covers far too many issues.  Let's see if I can tick all the boxes.


Rapacity of property developers a la the Trump dynasty

Cop corruption (One black character says, "You know how you spell 'racism' in New York?  NYPD.")

Deviant sex

The problems of being black in NYC 

The problems of being gay in NYC

Corruption in the sanitation department (Why are baddies always Eastern European, these days?)

The problems of keeping kids safe in NYC ...

No, I can't tick them all.  Too many.  This abundance of serious social issues makes the series confusing, with just too many all at once. The final episode does tie up a lot, but questions remain. The Dad, played by Cumberbatch, cleans himself up, but still the major query is when he is going to fall off the wagon.

He's doomed.

But watch it. It's compelling, even when at its most awful.  ERIC


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