Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Notes on Pop Culture: 'The Company Men' as a Horror Flick & 'Big Love's' Margene Drops Bombshell

Yes, I’m still here. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth or become trapped under 47 feet of snow in my front yard as we in the Northeast cope with with a never-ending-depressing-as-hell snow apocalypse. Truth is, I’ve been under the weather, but I seem to be slowly on the mend and have a pair of pop culture quick hits for you:

The Company Men as a Horror Flick

Before falling ill, The Spouse and I finally saw The Company Men. And it scared the hell out of me as I identified a bit too much with the Ben Affleck/Rosemarie DeWitt suburban dwelling parents. (When I saw DeWitt's character driving a black Volvo, drinking iced coffee, carrying reusable grocery bags and wearing clothes that look a lot like what I wear, suffice is to say it was unsettling.) Their life was idyllic . . . until Affleck’s initially arrogant character got laid off and he became humbled by the fact that he couldn’t find work for many months. His wife's nurse’s paycheck wasn’t enough to finance their lifestyle, forcing them to sell their home, move in with his parents. He wound up taking a job with his brother-in-law on a construction job.

I wrote a column about how The Company Men made me question what has happened to the good, old fashioned American dream which told us that if people from financially modest circumstances went to college, got a degree or even two (extra points for an MBA), worked hard (as in never seeing your family) and aggressively climbed the corporate ladder, you could reap monetary rewards, like Affleck's character did. In this new, frightening economic climate where millions of jobs have been shed, that doesn't seem to be the case any more regardless of what academic degrees are hanging on your wall or how well you do your job.

Big Love's Margene Drops a Bombshell

I also got a chance to review the third installment of Big Love in which a massive bombshell was dropped upon the Henrickson family. (Don’t read any further if you haven’t yet seen the episode . . . )
Margene admitted that she was only 16 when she married Bill when the age of consent in Utah is 18, seemingly leaving Bill open to potential statutory rape charges should this information become public. Like he needs any more bad PR. (I'm supposing this would make Barb -- who has now started drinking to the point of inebriation -- and Nicki accessories of some kind?)
Between that little tidbit, the horrifically awkward four-across ice skating and Adaleen’s odd Alby-embracing decision (remember when Alby tried to blow her up?), the episode was quite gripping.

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