Dialing It Back
Episode-2 wasn’t as successful as the pilot in some ways BUT I liked the changes I saw in Davis and Creighton. Both John Goodman and Steve Zahn dialed it back a few notches. In short, they dished out less ham. Creighton was less of a ranter and shows signs of becoming a fully realized character as opposed to a caricature.
In the pilot, Zahn was frenetic, manic and generally OTT, in Meet De Boys, the performance was energetic as opposed to frantic. It makes Davis more interesting and *may* placate some of the Davis haters. I just read all the comments to Maitri’s post, The Battlefront, which has an epic debate between pro and anti factions: the latter cabal includes my friends the cartoonist and the tabloid editor. 57 comments and counting. Hmm, that reminds me of Springsteen’s dig at cable teevee, 57 Channels.
I come down on the pro-Davis side even though I can see why people think he’s egregiously obnoxious. He *is* obnoxious but I saw a nicer side to the character when he was manning the desk at the hotel. As a French Quarter merchant, I’ve dealt with the types who came Davis’ way: the drunkenly clueless Texans were spot on. Davis bit his tongue and ignored their douchebaggery, which is what you gotta do. I thought he was quite sweet to the young volunteers. Apparently, some viewers thought he was being an asshole and sending them into harm’s way. I disagree, he decided to give them an authentic New Orleans musical experience and they loved it. Their interactions with Antoine were hilarious, he, of course, was flirtatious as hell with the girls but that’s just Antoine being Antoine. (Earth to the very fertile Antoine: wear a Jimmy hat for chrissake.)
Now that I’ve praised the changes in Zahn’s performance, it’s time to bury the opening scene. I was hoping, praying and lighting candles that we could have a teevee show set in NOLA with nary a mention of voodoo, which has become such a cliche in a fictional setting and in the tourist driven economy of the Quarter: paging Angel Heart. The scene *was* entertaining, how could anything with Coco Robicheaux be anything else? I could, however, have lived without it. The real witch doctors in Debrisville, after all, wear cassocks and dog collars…
Finally, I got a kick out of seeing the wide-eyed slightly goofy young volunteers in this episode. The city was full of them for years and they’re still coming albeit in diminishing numbers. I’ve met a lot of them and liked at least 95% of them. The only malakas among the voluntourists tend to be Baptists from the Deep South but the church groups from the Midwest are all right with me, Jack.