Overrated/Underrated: ‘Star Wars’’ Domhnall Gleeson leads a new generation of Hollywood gingers

There’s a lot of pop culture to sort through week after week. Times staff writer Chris Barton offers his take on what’s up and what’s down in music, movies, television and just about anything else out there that’s worth considering.


Domhnall Gleeson at the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on Dec. 14, 2015.

Domhnall Gleeson at the premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Dec. 14, 2015.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Domhnall Gleeson: Perhaps doomed to be best known as Bill Weasley from “Harry Potter” or that general scowling through the new “Star Wars,” Gleeson is a terrific character actor outside the blockbuster universe. The son of the equally magnetic Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall has showcased a talent for genially awkward ginger sincerity in “Frank,” “Black Mirror” and “About Time” as well as appearing in Oscar’s orbit in the recent “Ex Machina,” “The Revenant” and “Brooklyn.” May he continue to lead a new generation of gingers out of the shadows in Hollywood.

Glenn Jones’ “Fleeting”: Solo acoustic guitar records are often considered only vintage objects from record shelves long gone by with the likes of John Fahey, Leo Kottke and Robbie Basho offering signposts pointing to the furthest points six and 12 strings can be taken on a single instrumental album. Fortunately, modern fingerpicking explorers remain like Jones, who on his latest album offers a meditative yet engaging album-length journey that casts a rustic spell, particularly on the nod toward his forebears with the track “Portrait of Basho as a Young Dragon.”


Overrated/Underrated: Pop culture’s best and worst >>


“Flaked” on Netflix: Will Arnett will hold a place in every comedy fan’s heart as magician/Segway enthusiast Gob from “Arrested Development,” but that makes this misfire only that much more painful. For starters, a browser filter needs to be invented for L.A. viewers who may be tired of the many shows unable to look beyond the most tired spots in their own backyard. As personal as what’s ostensibly a story of recovery may be for Arnett, we didn’t need yet another series about a selfish character who’s not only unlikable but unfunny too.

James Bay at KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Forum on Dec. 13, 2015.

James Bay at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Forum on Dec. 13, 2015.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

James Bay: Listed improbably high on this year’s Coachella bill, this twentysomething Grammy nominee for new artist was seemingly assembled at the same United Kingdom-based factory that generated the more soulful Sam Smith, the more dramatic Hozier, and the since-forgotten James Blunt. While there’s plenty of raspily anthemic, ballad-adjacent flourishes to swoon by in Bay’s music, such as “Hold Back the River” and “Let It Go,” there’s precious little here to remember. Think there’s any crossover between his crowd and headliner Guns N’ Roses?