I've kind of gone off the television deep end in order to watch Tatum O'Neal's new telenovela "Wicked, Wicked Games." It's on EVERY night at 9 pm on "My Network TV," which reminds me a lot of George Carlin's old routine about how ladies used to call their soap operas "My stories." As in, "Can't talk now, my Stories are on..."
I manage to catch 12 to 15 minutes of Wicked, Wicked Games (WWG) almost every night. I don't watch the Saturday wrap-ups so I'm not completely lost, but I do enjoy Tatum's portrayal of Blythe Hunter, a real estate magnate who plots ceaselessly to destroy her former lover because he betrayed her 25 years ago by marrying a wealthier woman. How she does this is not important, nor is it plausible or even that interesting. What's interesting is watching Tatum O'Neal grimace, sneer, laugh maniacally, seethe, brood, toss her hair and GRIN. She grins through most of her manipulations and it's downright scary. I'm not sure what dental work she's had over the years, but her teeth are extremely white, even, and LARGE. Carnivorous is the word. I wish I could find a photo of her "acting" in one of these scenes. I'm highly addicted to her insane interpretation.
She also gives the best dirty look of anyone born and raised in Hollywood and put on screen for our entertainment. Just look at that puss! It's what won her the Oscar at age 8 for "Paper Moon." I snuck into a theater with my cool friend Pam (who later became a volley ball champ and lesbian) and we saw "Paper Moon" while we were the same age as Tatum. "Paper Moon" is one of those films that is NOT made for children whatsoever. It's all-adult themed, all the time. And it's hilarious and bizarre. It probably made me what I am today (pretty much). Anyway, thank you Tatum. You deserved that Oscar.
So you see, I'll follow her career to the ends of the earth, apparently. Reading up on WWG, I found out that the show is produced just like a Spanish telenovela and will only run for 13 weeks then never will be seen again on television. That's good, because if she kept acting as Blythe, I'm sure Tatum would have an aneurysm by season 2. It also explains the completely over-the-top nature of the show and the ridiculous story-lines that barely make sense. But who notices all the other actors anyway when there's TATUM grinning and seething and beating Debbe Dunning (that "Tool Time" woman from "Home Improvement") to a pulp in the middle of an expensive bridal shop. According to her show bio, Debbe also starred in "Leprechaun 4: In Space." She's about as good an actress as you can imagine, so thank you Tatum. Your work is top-notch as always.
I do have to mention "Deadwood," which is my new favorite obsession and available on DVD. Season 1 should really be called "Deadpan" since all the best characters have such a high degree of talent in this area. Especially Keith Carradine as Wild Bill Hickok. Here was a man, indeed. HBO is really churning out the quality pay-TV. When I watch "Deadwood" I just start swearing for the rest of the week (in my head, mostly) and it gets me through the hard times. And the clothes are to die for. Even the ripped, dirty ones--still stylish. Like punk rock in the wild west. There are plotlines that definitely remind me of living in Oakland, which is often lawless and randomly violent as well (no gold rush though). But mostly it reminds me of Shakespeare because it's big and historical and human in scope--with plenty of good swearin'.