Surround… A Sound Idea


Last evening, Mrs. E. and I tuned in (via Netflix, of course) to a new HBO series that was recommended to us by friends. After all, we’re big fans of the vampire genre, from “Buffy” to “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” with a stop along the way for “Wes Craven’s Vampires”, we get a kick out of them all. And we sort of know what we’re in for. There is a certain amount of gore to be expected, some blue language and some sex. “Dracula”, after all, is a love story, from a slightly different point of view. And most of these things are aimed squarely at the teenage market — that seething cauldron of hormones.

“Tru Blood” is not.

My first thoughts minutes into the swamp fest were “!!!” and “errrr…. are we sure this is an HBO production?” It is very graphic. There is a redeeming element or two to the series. The dialogue can be very funny. The premise is interesting; especially if you’ve ever worked around lobbyists. I’m sure that we will continue to watch it, sometimes uncomfortably. And I’m sure that we will become inured to the show’s more graphic elements.

And that brings me to the topic at hand. If you are to channel your inner elegance, you are going to have to continually reinforce your beliefs by seeking out that which is elegant and surrounding yourself with it. Steep yourself in elegance and it will begin to show.

It’s not easy to do.

Not to pick on HBO, but as long as I was at the website, I took a snapshot of the line up of the channel’s original series.

Picture 2

Good shows, I’m sure. I’ve seen some of them. But there aren’t exactly of “The Thin Man” ilk. Or even “Remington Steele” and “Moonlighting”, two shows that I loved to watch in the 80’s. So called “smart writing” seems to have changed. We’ve all become so inured to the crass that it takes more and more to shock, titillate and amuse us. The shows that I mentioned a moment ago relied on witty dialogue, a quick pace and a certain degree of dynamic tension between the leads.

I’m not saying that we need to ban books, restrict television content and close art galleries. There should be boundaries, just as there should be those who challenge them. I just wish there were more elegant alternatives. I’m afraid that in order to surround yourself with elegance, you need to retreat to the past. Which may mean more books, more art galleries and more TCM and AMC.

I could be wrong; indeed, I hope I am. What’s out there that’s smart, elegant and new?

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