Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Barney Fife a critical study

 Barney Fife  is a artifice, pure and simple, by all right he should be as normal as Andy, and yet he can't seem to get it together. Even though he lives in a swell town, has a swell Job, a swell best friend and even a swell girlfriend, he is still off center unable to fit into society.
   He always seems to find himself rejected by whatever group he wishes to fit into, they see through his Masquerade and judge him instantly as either incompetent or a misfit .
  But its all artificially created, a scam, Barney is made the way he is for only one reason : to make Andy look good by comparison, which is why Andy needs Barney, he needs to have an incompetent around just to make himself feel competent. Its common practice  in Sitcoms. Ralph Kramden for all his bluster desperately needs Ed Norton in a  attempt to at least feel superior to one person.
 So , Andy standing next to the shorter Fife, looks twice as large, Twice as handsome, it's a good strategy all the way through, and with a deputy like Fife his Job security was assured, where as a more competent ,better  educated deputy  might create friction and a sense of anxiety in The Sheriff's office. No. Andy likes things just the way they are and as he is the one man that needs Barney he is also the one man who appreciates him, which is why he always coming to his physical and emotional rescue.
  And yet when the writers aren't turning Barney into a complete incompetent , there are times when Barney shows a keener Gut instinct about Police work then Andy.
   Andy is so sure of his ability that he appears lazy in a way , while Barney  is always brushing up on the latest Police procedures, and many Times Barney  is correct in his assumptions its just in the execution that he Fails.
  Unfairly, in order to Make Andy look even better they felt they had to give Barney a cowardly streak, the episodes when he shows it are the weakest in the series, and should be mostly forgotten.
  The series shines when Barney is allowed to be human, albeit a fidgety high strung human, such as in the Pickle story, or the loaded Goat episode, however the mistreatment of the character is shameless, its just lazy writing going for quick jokes off Barneys back rather then writing stronger more sophisticated jokes.
  A measurement of adaption is missing from Barney, especially in cases where he is in over his head, like when he and Andy want to join a country club full of snobs. They like Andy but see in Barney everything they don't want in their club and reject him. It's a heck of a snap judgement, considering that Barney for the most part is a descent guy with a good heart, but to upperclass he can't come off as anything but common , Barney tries so hard to fit in, in a crushing need to be accepted, where as Andy is the opposite, secure in his own person, he fits in neatly in any social group precisely because he doesn't care if they accept him or not.
   The odd thing about Barney is disaffected as he is , Mr outside at the same time he is a authority figure, a law man, the Badge is his Talisman and Andy is his personal Jesus, his hero, his friend, protector, companion, without Andy  Barney would be lost, shieldless against all the evil and cruelties of an insane world, without Andy Barney is two steps away from being Travis Bickle.
  Barney has a  raw , big nosed wide mouthed face with big Cocker Spaniel eyes , resting on a Pencil neck and a caved in body that comes off as unhealthy , as though  he just came out  of some Hospital and needs about six months worth of recuperation
  He's wiry and fidgety always one step from freaking out, he's at times competent and at other times clumsy to the point of being dangerous to others. While Andy is a man in total control of himself especially his violent side, Barney has no control, contrary he's out of control, and fast to act , ready to run out the door without putting his pants on. So ready to pull his Pistol he inevitably pulls the trigger while still in the holster a symbolic sexual innuendo that makes me feel sorry for long suffering Thelma Lou
   tomorrow part 2

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Cosby Show: the one with Denise and Vanessa fighting
   There was a little misdirection in this episode that would have made Vince Lombardi proud. But whats it say about me that it took 24 years for me to notice it. Well, they say you never find the thing your not looking for.
  This particular episode of the cosby show is rather harmless by Cosby show standards, in fact it could easily have been a Bradys Bunch episode, with Marcia fighting with Jan over a sweater that Marcia owned and Jan wanted borrow, and this is how the show basically played out. The Archetypical family sitcom.
  The surprise comes at the end of the episode, after all concerned have gathered in the kitchen to work out the problems of the previous 24 minutes which are harmless and so easily solved, the actors then move into the Livingroom where little Rudy for some reason is up watching TV, on the television ( which back is to the camera) so we only get the audio, and the audio is the soaring voice of Dr Martin Luther King giving his powerful I Have a Dream speech, the African american Family comes together, suddenly the boy sits to the left, the mother and father on the couch, Vanessa and Denise make up and stand behind the couch, while Rudy falls asleep safely in her fathers arms, every one is posed , all watching the speech mesmerized.
   Its a bolt out of the blue, but it illustrates something perfectly, without hyperbole and ostentation, how far African Americans had come about 22 years after that speech from a period where when a show like the Cosby show would have been literally impossible to then to now when a Black President resides in the whitehouse.
  The whole point of the Cosby show was that the blackness of the character never came into it, the Cosby show could be played out with the same scripts without one edit with a white cast.
   The thanks that this country owes to Dr King can never be truly expressed.
  For all men for all people

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The greatest comic book series of all time was Marvels, the writing as well as the art was a step above anything done before....and sadly since it was 4 part series which spanned 30 years in the life of a common everyday man and the human races interaction with the super heroes that rose up suddenly in their midst