Wednesday, February 09, 2005

And While You're At It Hike Up Those Britches, Little Mister

This is what San Francisco Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman wrote today:

I am rethinking Jennifer Garner.

Like many other people, I have been thinking about Garner for some time now. Even before "Alias." From this moment forward, the column will veer wildly around Garner and a Top 10 Celebrity (Can't Print This Word) List (the point of which is simple: If given the chance to do someone on that list, your spouse will allow you to do them without guilt or gunplay).

Am I a filthy old bastard or did Goodman just pretty much say that Jennifer Garner is on his Celebrity Fuck List? And is his final parenthetical comment some kind of bizarre boast about a marriage in which star-fucking is a perk if the star is sufficiently fine?

I am interested because if I were his editor, I would have spiked this column -- if his supervising editor in fact has the power to do so, given my impression that Goodman is quite a popular columnist, a man who draws the eyeballs to the printed page.

Which apparent fact always startles me.

He writes about television the way I would write about television, more attitude and ego than thoughtful analysis, the How something can be said frequently thrusting aside or just flat trampling the What of it all.

I mean, ride the llama that brung you up the mountain, but sometimes I really do miss John Carman.


mackdoggy said...

"more attitude and ego than thoughful analyis"

This from a man who says of Mick LaSalle/Agate

"he consistently comes up with a nice turn of comic phrase, and I don't read newspaper movie reviews for any great wisdom about movies"

(There lies the danger of blogging--your words thrown back at you)

I certainly don't read Goodman for any great wisdom, but in the nice turn of comic phrase department, he makes Mick look flater than a fashion model's chest.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Well, I just managed to lose a very long comment to MackDoggy's comment. Damn. So here it is in brief.

Yes, I am so busted. Part of the explanation is that day to day I am more interested in tv than I am in movies. That's so embarrassing, but there it is. Take me to MOMA and I'm looking for Mona Elvis on black velvet. Part of the explanation is that I think Goodman writes more words per week than Mick, so I am less patient with G's perceived self-indulgence. More tools in your toolkit, please. Also, he can be quite funny but television is so lowest-common-denominator I want more smart talk about it than I get. That is, there's not that much tv criticism out there unless you go looking for it, but I constantly have tolerable movie criticism thrust before me. Somehow what Goodman is doing comes off as lazy, while I get the feeling Mick is dancing as hard as he can. That's condescending, but I'm pretty much a condescending prick. It's my persona.

Now as for the "fuck list." In this blog it's fuck fuck fuck fuck all the time. Thus, I am surprised that I was such a geezer, was such an old Puritan, when G. decided to tell the world he is a manly man with a woody as big as all outdoors. Also, I don't know who he is never met him, while I remember Mick when he was just a fresh Chronicle punk. Whaddya expect from a kid?

All that said, yes you have got me. But when you write with my power, my great booming voice sucking all the air from the room, of course the words will occasionally come bouncing back off distant walls creating a kind of wave-phase interference with what I might be saying at the moment.

Or that earlier post you quote could be CIA disinformation.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

A final word in which I retreat and regroup: Mick writes conventional movie reviews. The best part of his reviews consists of his clever phrasing. When placed in the larger world of movie reviewers who work for newspapers, he's right in the middle when it comes to introducing personality into the review. On the other hand, Tim Goodman tends to write a very personal kind of tv column in which much of the time -- enough of the time for me to notice -- he doesn't really say that much about tv. It's the review as escape act. He is very playful, far more than Mick is, and he's better at it. But he's more about himself than the subject matter. Mick isn't. Mick is trying to say something about the movie, though he often falls short. *I do not withdraw my remarks about either of these young gentlemen.*

mackdoggy said...

Bringing together two threads, I give you Tim Goodman on The Wire.

Hell of a piece of analysis if you ask me.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Okay, that was very good. He needs to do that more often for me to fill the air with kudos. On the other hand, his throwaway column exercised me enough to write about it, and making that kind of connection is what he's hired to do. You don't see me complaining about Debra J. Saunders. You don't see me reading a DJS column.

....J.Michael Robertson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
....J.Michael Robertson said...

So why doesn't he write so thoughtfully more often? Is he a victim of how frequently he must write? Or is the subject matter too thin for him to get enough intellectual traction? Or do all the focus groups indicate people want him to joke more than think? Is he simply staying within the lines laid down for him? Now I will pay more attention and return to THIS BLOG with a retrospective judgement. This will be worth waiting for.