The A.V. Club's "TV Club 10" feature has my appreciation of the 1970s sitcom The Odd Couple, and in particular Tony Randall's performance as Felix:
Randall adds the “manic” to Felix’s depression, and the character crashes hard whenever his enthusiasm leads him astray. (“You always go too far,” Oscar says near the end of several episodes.) Felix can be described as a prototype for the ’90s metrosexual—he must have been a pioneering consumer of moisturizers for men—but his character is even more predictive of how chatty society would become about anxieties and neuroses. In his less hyperactive moments, Felix is candid about his hang-ups (to use a word from his era), a trait that bewilders Oscar but would be considered normal today.
Also at the A.V. Club, my review of the third-season opener of the HBO political comedy Veep:
Veep is can be seen as an argument for libertarianism, since it scrupulously avoids presenting any public official as being concerned with anything other than holding onto power. Last season, for example, the show gleefully revealed that one of Selina’s principal rivals, war hero Danny Chung, was just as petty—but even less disciplined—than the vice president. At the same time, the Mayberry Machiavellians of Veep (to steal a phrase from an appointee of George W. Bush disillusioned by the constant political strategizing in the White House) don’t seem to have much influence over how the country actually runs. Maybe the Leslie Knopes in local government actually help citizens, but Washington is just a sideshow.
And my regular blogging at America magazine has touched on such topics as Jeb Bush and immigration reform, the launch of Ezra Klein's Vox.com site and his musings on politics and stupidity, and the problems of relying on charity to reduce poverty.
Last week, I also wrote about the Koch brothers, big money in politics, and the ouster of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich over his donation to an anti-gay-marriage campaign in California:
Free speech was clearly the loser this time, but Mozilla seems resigned to the outcome. Andrew Sullivan has a predictably heated response: “There is only one permissible opinion at Mozilla, and all dissidents must be purged! Yep, that’s left-liberal tolerance in a nut-shell.”
As a supporter of marriage equality, I have some admiration for the lightning tactics used against Mozilla. What we have here is hardball politics as practiced by the National Rifle Association (and, yes, by the Koch brothers). The campaign against Brendan Eich is similar to the NRA’s battle against President Obama’s nominee as surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, for the sin of tweeting in favor of gun control after the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The strategy is the same: No compromise, no mercy.