Monday, December 9, 2013

Me, Van Meter, Chotiner On Julia Louis Dreyfus

Van Meter on Julia Louis Dreyfus:

Isaac Chotiner briefly on Van Meter:

And me:

....I think she's great, was great in Seinfeld, so funny in Old Christine and a complex, funny, subtle character in Veep, which is an incredibly smart and funny show that seems to nail a lot of the way politics is, in a way that David E. Kelly would like too but can't IMHO.I haven’t seen Enough Said, and look forward to it. Dreyfus has the gift of the zotz.

But I found the sheer, non stop gush of Van Meter's portrayal, finally, an irritating obstruction, (too bad too, for all the vivid, stylish and smart writing), and redolent of a particular sensibility--what could that be I wonder?-- not that there's anything wrong with what it, whatever it might be.

Being a devotee of Larry David, I'd quarrel, without disinterest, with this:

... the fact that Louis-Dreyfus, 52, is the only person from that show who has completely moved on and remained … vital and modern and daring.

Besides that this isn’t a fact, it’s a judgment, it's also comparing apples and mongooses. No fight she’s a more capacious actor than him, and specifically a better comedic actor, his range being so limited, and no fight Clear History was ok, but only so,so. But, besides being the fundamental creative comic pulse of Seinfeld, which will likely never get old, and can stand up well, in its own way,with Veep,the staying power over time of which I tend to doubt, let alone its sheer lack of comparable cultural iconography and resonance, David puts together Curb Your Enthusiasm, writing, acting, producing, sometimes directing, a kind of hovering genius-God over it, the way David Simon was to The Wire, David Chase was to The Sopranos, and the way David Milich was to Deadwood. The Davids have it. And who's to say his accomplishment in Curb Your Enthusiasm is less vital, modern and daring than all of what Dreyfus has *acted in* since Seinfeld?

Some comparisons are necessary and wanted. Some are unneeded and unwanted, or, even if needed and wanted, fallacious in their substance. As here. Hence odious.

Plus I’d add this gush of Van Meter's to Chotiner's list of nine.

As a kind of sidebar postscript, what’s with this: ... Elton John: a national treasure, still trying to surprise us... Really, a national treasure, say the way Sinatra was, or Elvis, or Ray Charles, or Billie Holiday, or Bessie Smith, or Ella Fitzgerald, or Miles Davis, or James Brown, or John Coltrane, or Charlie Parker, or Dylan, just to pick a few immediate names from the hat of my mind? I don’t think so, not hardly at all.

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