Ohhh, the blond is Harry's secretary! I thought she came with the shoes (sharing space and expenses). I don't remember seeing her do anything secretarial.
Anybody watch cable's Spring Spectaculars this weekend? I found Starz's Camelot disappointing. The dialogue is generally clunky, sprinkled with occasional bits of modern idiom ("Good luck with that!"). Some of the changes to the legend are a bit puzzling (Guinevere betrothed to another knight, for instance). Merlin is more political manipulator than wizard; as played by Ralph Fiennes, he looks like an unkempt Christopher Meloni (Eliot in L&O:SVU). The biggest disappointment is Arthur, shown here as a libidinous teenager badly in need of a shampoo. The only cast member with any real presence is Eva Green as Morgan. Oddly, I'd thought she was the only weak link in Casino Royale; she was too young and too, well, green for the role she played. But she's matured in the years since then, and she makes an impressive Morgan.
As far as spectacle goes, Showtime's The Borgias wins, hands down. Rich, rich visuals in this $45 million production -- but with a somewhat impoverished content. The life story of the Borgias is so complex, so multi-layered, that any dramatization is forced to simplify. But so many intriguing matters are left out to make room for as many sex scenes as can be crowded in that the plotting, the double-dealing, the bloody ruthlessness of the family are given short shrift. Jeremy Irons is a believable Roderigo Borgia / Pope Alexander VI, a nice mixture of aristocratic cold-bloodedness and humane love for his illegitimate family.
Until its own spectacle airs (Game of Thrones, April 17), HBO is making do with Mildred Pierce. This production follows the James M. Cain novel more closely than the Joan Crawford movie did. It's still soap opera, but it's pretty good soap opera. Kate Winslet will probably win all sorts of acting awards.
Reelz is showing The Kennedys. This is the series The History Channel commissioned but then declined to show because: 1) the Kennedy family pressured them to drop it, or 2) it has so many historical inaccuracies. I suppose those two reasons might not be mutually exclusive. Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy is his usual marvelous self; he has the Boston accent down pat. The rest of the first double episode I found flat and uninteresting. It reminded me of all those quickie biopics TV used to show so much back in the 70s.
For my money, AMC's The Killing has them all beat. One of the problems with one-hour crime dramas is that there's not enough time to show the consequences of violent death other than the police investigation. The Killing takes the time. A young girl is killed, and slowly and with restraint, we're shown the emotional effect of the killing on three groups of people -- the police, the girl's family, and the suspects. This is not a murder-every-week show; 13 episodes are devoted to this one crime. No flash, no gun battles, no witty cop banter. The Killing is quiet and intelligent, and utterly absorbing. I can easily do without any of the other shows I've mentioned here, but I'll not be missing The Killing.