Overrated/Underrated: The ugly loop of ‘Rick and Morty’ and its secret sauce, and ‘Sky Music’ honors a master
Katherine Hahn in ‘I Love Dick’: “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway’s latest series for Amazon has its flaws, but there’s no denying the impression made by Hahn at the center of the series. A mess of clumsy neuroses and raw desire, her character bumbles through the absurdities of the upper-eschelon art world as she works through her troubled marriage and an obsession with the show’s title character (portrayed with inscrutable ruggedness by Kevin Bacon) with comic grace. Even as she runs roughshod over most everything in her path, you can’t help but be on Hahn’s side.
‘Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal’: Spearheaded by Bay Area guitarist Henry Kaiser, this sprawling compilation pays tribute to a Norwegian guitar hero who has been blurring genre lines for more than 50 years. Though the contributors from the U.S. are enough to merit seeking out — Bill Frisell’s melancholy “Ørnen” and an atmospheric guitar-cello duet from Nels Cline and Erik Friedlander, to name two — it’s the jazz-rock Scandinavian super group that includes members of Dungen, the Thing and Supersilent that burns brightest in showcasing Rypdal’s timeless reach.
‘A Ghost Story’ (2017): A recent on-demand arrival, this film from the director of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” has been praised as a meditation on mortality and the passage of time. And although there are moments of beauty and sly wit surrounding a deceased lover (Casey Affleck) who spends much of the film with a sheet over his head, the film stubbornly refuses to connect with its deeper themes because of a vague, self-consciously arty structure and a pace so deliberate it approaches a stand-still. However, credit the film for reviving the season’s easiest Halloween costume.
The ‘Rick and Morty’ fan service feedback loop: A nesting doll of twisted riffs on sci-fi and family, “Rick and Morty” is a series that inspires cultish devotion online. Which is why a fast food chain, looking to draft off that enthusiasm, recently brought back a forgotten condiment that appeared as one of the show’s many ridiculously obscure references. Naturally, demand quickly exceeded supply, and an avalanche of nerd rage met misplaced corporate branding in a cycle that made considering the threat of extinction-level nuclear disaster suddenly not so scary.
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