So, this is where the filter kicks in

One thing you guys don't often get to see is what happens when someone catches my attention and turns out to either be boring as hell, or interesting in a way that, for the sake of my sanity, I don't really care to know much more about.

Decent but ordinary people happen a lot. I looked up Carmine Giovinazzo from CSI: NY at one point, because the glasses are hella cute, and to find out if the "How you doin'?" bit was genuine or a put-on (real -- he's got an accent so thick you can practically see it, but he comes by it honestly, on account of being from Staten Island). He apparently has a band that isn't to my taste, but does produce something Pinocchio could characterize as "music" without any nasal growth.

Angie Harmon does a creditable job as Abbie Charmichael on Law & Order and now as Jane Rizzoli on Rizzoli & Isles, but is a Texas Republican and doesn't appear to have done anything of intellectual note. Her costar on R&I -- formerly of NCIS -- Sasha Alexander, I find enjoyably weird-but-not-dysfunctional as the super-smart coroner Maura Isles, but the extent of her interesting-ness as an actor is that she was once a Fly Girl on In Living Color and married one of Sophia Loren's sons.

[Side note: My parents used to let me watch In Living Color. No, really. I was like twelve. Sometimes I wonder if they even paid attention long enough to realize I could change the channels on the TV all by myself.  If nothing else, I'm pretty sure that watching Jim Carrey as Fire Marshall Bill can cause brain damage all by itself. I am occasionally tempted to respond to something with "Homie don't play dat," but then I realize it would make me sound like a moron, and I default to quoting Bullwinkle instead.]

Jayne Mansfield was disappointingly batshit insane. I've read her book; I don't think she meant anyone ill, but she was horrendously self-centered and the very definition of drama queen. She married poor Mickey Hargitay (father of Mariska, currently Detective Benson on Law & Order: SVU); divorced him; took up with him again; claimed that the divorce paperwork was a fraud or maybe a forgery and it was from someplace really sketch in Mexico and she never said anything about that anyway; re-married him for real because whoopsie the divorce really happened; and finally died young in a car accident, which appears to be just about the only part of her personal train wreck that wasn't actually her fault. I don't think she particularly meant harm to anyone, and she had a spectacular rack, which she apparently showed just about anyone who asked (I was reading the book at work, turned a page and wham! -- Jayne Mansfield's boobies, totally without warning, right there in the center of the first page of photoplates), but all in all I think I'm glad I'm in no danger of running into her.

Occasionally, I start to look someone up and discover vast untapped deposits of less-whimsical sorts of insanity. I looked up Ke$ha on the theory that I should at least give her a chance before deciding whether I really disliked her that much, and hoo boy. The way she tells her stories, and her reactions to personal questions, says to me that she has absolutely no idea what other people consider beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior, much less what things should embarrass her to the point where she should at least consider not volunteering that into a hot mic. We're talking "yeah, before I was famous, I totally broke into this rock star's house and sat around in his living room for a while, seemed like a really good idea at the time, ha ha isn't that cute and kooky?" She either has enormous entitlement issues or is determinedly destroying her thinking process with random chemicals or both.

Michael Moriarty played ADA Ben Stone on Law & Order for several seasons before giving way to Sam Waterston's ADA Jack McCoy. I hadn't particularly thought anything about his departure; about half the cast was shaken up around then for purposes of diversity, netting them a new detective, a new (female) ADA, a new (female) captain, etc. Turns out, Moriarty was effectively fired for shooting his mouth off and other disruptive and erratic behavior. On a scale of zero to Charlie Sheen, I'd put him somewhere around the guests who call in to collaboratively whinge at Len Osanic about the Kennedy assassination on the Black Ops podcast. He at one point loudly, angrily, and publicly threatened a lawsuit against the US Attorney General for mentioning they thought Law & Order was too gruesome for TV. He has a blog-ish thing that I do not recommend you ever look at if you're really attached to having things like Earth logic in your reading material. Ironically, if you can make yourself ignore the actual content, he's a damn decent writer. If he used more exclamation points and randomly capitalized things, I'd wonder if he were the mirror universe equivalent of Dr. Bronner. 

Moriarty lives up in Canada now, a self-declared political exile. As of the last tagged writing I can find -- late 2006 -- he sounded rather like he was either on far too much speed, or nowhere near enough lithium. You guys have fun with that.

Often if I target an actor for this, it's because they give me the sense of being highly self-aware when they're on screen. It's difficult to describe what gives me the impression that there's something ticking over constantly in someone's head, but a lot of it has to do with making it a point to look around at damn near everything, because when you have enough brains you can do that without distracting yourself and breaking character or forgetting your lines. I have good luck with people whom I've seen playing convincingly weird geniuses. A true aha! moment, where like ten things suddenly come together at once, seems to be very difficult to fake accurately without having some personal experience to base it on. 


  1. Not quite sure why you obfuscated it half way through. Selecting the text got around it.

    I'm always worried about finding out too much about an actor as I tend to enjoy the characters more.
    I figure if they have further qualities, they might end up presenting a documentary or at least in an interview.

    1. Oh goddamnit.

      I didn't obfuscate anything. Blogger for some reason has taken to deciding randomly that I obviously wanted to set the text to white-on-white at some arbitrary point in the entry. I usually catch it, but it was 4am and I was more interested in whether I could spell.

  2. Have you ever seen Criminal Minds? I ask because you like crime procedural shows, and CM is a good one with a great cast. I think you'd like Matthew Gray Gubler, who does (I think) a really good job of playing very young Dr. Spencer Reid, the team's resident genius with multiple PhDs and vast arrays of random knowledge.
    MGG himself is a cute goofball and an artist with a very entertaining Twitter.

    1. Heard of it, never seen it. I get conflicting reports over whether the personal-soap-opera part runs roughshod over the clever-puzzles part. I'll check Netflix when I get bored of L&O.

    2. I generally think the writers do a pretty good job of working the personal drama into the plot of the episode. And the characters are very professional -- they very rarely let the personal stuff get in the way of doing their best to solve the case. That kind of thing always bugs me in other shows, so I like that CM has very little of it.

      Oh! I forgot to mention that MGG has written and/or directed several of the episodes as well.


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