Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Socks, Riches, and Legends

Filed under: Knitting,Movies,Television — folkcat at 2:55 pm on Thursday, March 15, 2007

Obligatory Knitting Content

Gryphon’s first sock is completely finished, including weaving in the ends. The second one is an inch or two past the toe. And we’re going to stop by the LYS today so he can consider choices for his next pair of socks. Added later: We did, in fact, stop by the yarn store. Gryphon selected a nice Trekking XXL in shades of brown for the next pair. Hooray! I get to knit with Trekking!

Entertainment Notes

Cast of The Riches

I just watched the premiere episode of The Riches last night, starring Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. I’m not sure what I expected, but I liked what they gave us.

In case you’re thinking of watching – it’s not a lighthearted, whimsical comedy. This is a story about people with a dark past, using a tragic accident to try to grab a little peace for themselves. The Riches are a family of Irish Travellers – think gypsies, conmen, thieves. Mom is just out of prison on parole, daughter has been ordered to marry a dimwitted member of another family by the “leader” of the Travellers, youngest son prefers to wear his sister’s hand-me-down dresses.

Life among the Travellers is by the skin of your teeth, always watching for the law, and considering your next mark. Through a series of events I won’t even try to explain – but including, among other things, that forced betrothal of the daughter, and the elderly, dying “king” of the Travellers losing power – our family finds themselves involved in an accident that forces another car off the road, killing the occupants.

They wind up taking on the identity of the couple killed – the Riches. The Riches had been moving from Tampa to a mansion in a gated community in Louisiana. No one has ever met them in person before – the house was even purchased over the Internet. As the pilot winds to a close, we see our Traveller family considering whether this rich, mansioned life is something they could possibly possess.

The message that came through to me in the pilot was about the thin veneer of civilization that we live with. We are able to fully relate to these characters, although they come from a background vastly different from our own, because we see that they have many of the same insecurities as we do.

I’m having trouble finding the words to convey what this show meant to me as I watched. So I’ll just leave you with a recommendation to check it out yourself. I enjoyed the pilot, and I’m looking forward to seeing where we go from here.

Loss of a Legend

bettyhutton.jpg

Betty Hutton may not be as well known to younger movie fans as, say, Judy Garland or Betty Grable. But she was every bit as large a star of comedies and musicals as they were. She passed away on Sunday, March 11th, from colon cancer. She was 86.

Perils of Pauline Poster

I’ve always enjoyed every movie of hers I’ve seen – among them, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, Annie Get Your Gun (where she replaced an ailing Judy Garland), and Cecil B. DeMille‘s Academy Award-winning The Greatest Show on Earth. But when all is said and done, one of my favorite Betty Hutton films of all time has to be The Perils of Pauline, a fictionalized biography of silent film star Pearl White.

Betty Hutton gives a lively performance as Pearl White, a sweatshop seamstress accidentally turned actress. In the days before films, Pearl White was a not-so-great stage performer. But once she found Hollywood – or Hollywood found her – her over-the-top gestures were perfect for the screen, and her fearless bravado made for a great star of serial adventures.

Along the way, Pearl falls for the leading man of the stage company, before leaving him behind for the big screen. We’re treated to some wonderful love songs, as well as hilarious, crowd-pleasing, vaudevillian numbers. In the end, a tragic twist of fate brings the lovers back together.

If you’ve never seen The Perils of Pauline, I really encourage you to do so. Watch it, and you may wonder why Betty Hutton’s name doesn’t come as readily to mind as those of other stars of classic film musicals.

3 Comments

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Comment by sarebear

March 15, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

Trekking yarn! I’ve seen a few socks ’round the blogosphere lately using that (I have exploded my bloglines list of blogs to a huge level with a bunch of knitting blog additions lol!). It looks like fab yarn!

That dark comedy sounds interesting.

Perils of Pauline! My dad rented that in the first year or so we had our VCR back in the 80’s (I think!). I liked it, and watched it several times.

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Comment by Claudia

March 16, 2007 @ 9:28 am

Shucks I missed it! Was out with my daughter helping her pick out an interview suit. I’ll have to try and catch it next week. Wow – the Peril’s ofPauline – I haven’t thought of that film in ages! I loved her in Annie Get Your Gun! There – i’ve dated myself – LOL!

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Comment by Carrie K

March 16, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

Betty Hutton died? That’s so sad. She was great.

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