"TOO MUCH of a good thing is wonderful," said Mae West.
Well, that might have worked for Miss West, but for mere mortals trying to watch TV without their DVR working properly, all of last Sunday night's "good things" happened at once. The Golden Globes..."Downton Abbey"...the season premieres of "Shameless"..."House of Lies"...and "Episodes" on Showtime, and the first installment of the acclaimed limited series "True Detective" on HBO. (Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey at their best!) And HDTV was probably running some kind of "House Hunters" marathon.
• I SUPPOSE it's best to dispense with the GGs first off. They moved along as well as anything that runs three hours can. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were intelligent and hilarious. They've got class and wit that is pointed but never pointlessly mean. Tina's joke about "Gravity's" George Clooney was classic: "He would rather drift away into space and die than spend one more second with a woman his own age!"
The winners? I was happy indeed that so many of my favorites--and some that were particular favorites of this column--took awards. Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Michael Douglas, Jon Voight and the divine Jackie Bisset. Miss Bisset has come into some criticism and wisecracks because of her stumbling acceptance speech.
Well, too bad people don't recognize genuine emotions when they see them. Or is being flustered and unprepared only for the young? (Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Moss)
Jackie was apparently told her category was not until later, and she was seated WAY back in the Beverly Hilton. (Whose bright idea was that?) She was expecting only her dinner. Bisset was and is one of the great beauties of the world, and that beauty has stood in the way, I've always felt, of her being regarded seriously as an actress. That she has not ruined and distorted her face with plastic surgery has its issues as well. Some people--despite their cries for "graceful aging"--are wildly offended by a beauty who presents herself naturally.
She was stunned; it was a real moment up there. Okay, so it was a real long moment. That's what award shows are for. Reality is not to be despised at the podium.
• HAPPY OF course for my favorite meth-maker, Bryan Cranston and "Breaking Bad" and also for the super-talented Robin Wright who won for "House of Cards." She is a great actress. She appeared in a movie several years ago about the assassination of President Lincoln. Wright played the lone female accused in the plot to kill Lincoln. The movie itself, titled "The Conspirator," was deeply flawed, but Wright's performance was terrific. Had the film matched her, she might have nabbed an Oscar nomination, at least. That she has never been nominated is one of those frustrating Academy mysteries.
Speaking of Oscar, I do hope Amy Adams' GG for "American Hustle" puts her in the Oscar running and pushes toward a win. She has been nominated four times.
• AS FOR who wore what, I'll leave all that to E!'s The Fashion Police. But just remember, you guys, if you criticize Lena Dunham, you are sexist, misogynist and possibly a male homosexual. (Even if you're a woman.) Don't say I didn't warn you.
One critique only--Lupita Nyong'o! The "12 Years a Slave" actress was the most stunning, eye-catching young woman at the ceremony. Top to toe, classic, simple perfection in blazing red Ralph Lauren. You could not miss her. She didn't win a Globe, but hers was a hypnotic, star-making appearance.
• THE NIGHT'S other offerings? There was a shocking assault in "Downton Abbey"..."House of Lies" remains as entertainingly hard-hearted as ever, and "Shameless" as grimy (and darker!) than ever. "True Detective" is probably great, if the reviews are to be believed, but by the time it was on in its second showing of the night, I was show-bizzed out and couldn't concentrate or appreciate it properly. I'll wait till visions of Golden Globes stop dancing in my head.
• I WROTE last Friday, raving about the trade paperback of Robert Crais' thrilling hit about a Marine fighter dog. It is titled "Suspect." I said I would attempt to do this story justice today.
But now I don't want to tell you anymore about why you should buy "Suspect" if you love dogs. I will just urge you again to do so. The emotionally charged novel with its heroine "Maggie" will teach you if only you'll let it. There is a good, fast, well-plotted story enclosing it, about a wounded LA detective and what happens when "they" try to frame him. But that's not the point for me about "Suspect," The reality of what we mean to our dogs and how much we mean and how much greater their love and devotion are than we can imagine, is what I am after here.
I realized while reading this book that I've been walking dogs, taking various types out as a chore, for many years. I never realized until now what the "walk" means to the dog and how there is a right way and a wrong way to approach it. The role of "Maggie" in recognizing thousands,literally thousands, of scents and smells is an education.
Please read "Suspect" if you like dogs. (In 2013 when this book was first published, Dog Fancy Magazine gave it its own rave. "The power of the human-animal bond, and the amazing ways that dogs comprehend our world, have never been better portrayed...") Now everyone can afford "Suspect."