Thursday, June 02, 2005

TV: Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool

This may cost me some street cred (like I have any), but here goes: I’ve never gotten Steve McQueen. Director Lawrence Kasdan, a fan who appears in this TCM documentary, describes watching him in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN as a boy, and his comments hit on my problem with the actor: McQueen always seemed to be playing a child’s version of a man.

Using the doc’s title to put it another way, there’s the kind of cool that comes from genuinely not caring what anybody else thinks (see Marvin, Lee and Mitchum, Robert). And then there’s the McQueen variety, which always involves a look in the mirror of other people’s eyes. Granted, his style of acting can be enormously effective. But I can’t say I’ve ever watched a film because McQueen was in it.

This documentary doesn’t shy away from the actor’s dark side, and as a result delivers a well-rounded picture of him. It made me want to check out a few more of his films. And I’ll say this for him: he was one hell of a driver.

TV: Dancing With The Stars

LOST? Haven’t seen it. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES? Nope. But put on a celebrity ballroom dancing competition in which the most famous participant is the guy who played J. Peterman on SEINFELD and I’ll watch it. Or at least record it and speed through it later on.

God, I love summer television.