As folks are vacationing on all sides of the pond, let’s take a look back at summer 2016 when Damian made an appearance on Top Gear. Enjoy!
Boys and their cars. And girls too, for that matter. There’s something about being behind the wheel of a nice automobile, pressing the gas, shooting ahead with the force of however many horses, and letting a machine take you where your feet can’t. Damian made his second appearance on Top Gear in June 2016 and got to drive around a bit: recklessly, dangerously, at the sort of speeds humans probably weren’t ever designed to go, at least not unaided. Yes, no doubt, there’s a rush there, the burst of power and the addictive lurching feeling of hairpin turns at top speed, the balance between control and utter abandon. One small explosion in a combustion chamber to get things moving, then the lingering burn of the fuel made from our fossils, and we’re off to the races, quite literally. And for those few seconds of sheer joy, you sorta want to forget that these are the very machines that have summarily sent our planet on a not-so-slow burn. Alas, let’s keep this post about joy, and the joy of watching Damian play with cars. Read on!
Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers.
Il ne faut pas toucher aux idoles: la dorure en reste aux mains.
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
How I love when art gets meta: when a writer or artist has the self-awareness and genuine capacity to make fun of themselves. That’s what we mean when we say the writing is “honest”. There’s no agenda to convince or win over the reader, just a need to show, everything, even the warty not-attractive bits.
Taking a somewhat different approach to this Desert Island Disc challenge presented by my blog-mates. Conventionally, Desert Island Discs are those must-have pieces of music that would sustain you on a desert island. It’s music that you could listen to over and over again while you wait to be rescued. And it’s music that would give you hope that you would be rescued. But that music, for me, isn’t music that would necessarily be connected to Damian Lewis in my mind. So, rather than Desert Island Discs, my list is going to be a mixtape of music that reminds me of Damian Lewis specifically. It’s music that makes me think about characters he’s played and of him as a person too. As it turns out, it’s also music that I could listen to all the time. Some is sad, some is happy. Some is peaceful, some is angry. All the ways I like my art. This list is not just my personal list, but includes a lot of the best music ever made as determined by a lot of lists. One’s mind resists going anywhere less than the best when thinking of Damian Lewis.
A lot of time has passed since the Brody era of Homeland graced our screens. October 2011, to be exact, was when the series first started. Every now and then we still run into folks on Twitter discovering those first few seasons for the first time. Homeland does have this “eternal” thing going for it, themes that transcend time and space, maybe. Which is crazy seeing as how it’s so driven by the news and politics of the day. Maybe even for current events, the idea of we’ve been here before and we’ll be here again still applies? Whatever the case, the show begs revisiting and will be written in whatever books they keep about these things as one of the best shows in television history. I still watch despite the fact there’s no Brody, mostly because I loved Carrie a good bit more than I loved Brody. I know that doesn’t apply to a lot of the readers (or writers!) of this blog. Alas, here we are.
Carrie’s back in DC in Homeland Season 7, so little to no chance of her meeting up with Bobby. But that’s exactly what I couldn’t help but imagine during the year she spent in NYC. What better time than now to revisit a wee bit of fantasy where Carrie meets Bobby Axelrod at a coffee shop in Manhattan.
Ah, the romantic comedy: A genre when presented as an evening’s viewing option has sent many an otherwise lovey-dovey couple to opposite ends of the couch. I have to say the romantic comedy has never been my first stop when Netflix surfing. Actually, it’s rarely my choice at all, unless When Harry Met Sally is on (the last great romantic comedy, IMO) or the least appreciated but my personal favorite of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicles: Joe vs. the Volcano. [The guy falls for different versions of the SAME woman; how much more romantic (and comedic) can you get?]
William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about romantic comedies. In fact, he invented the genre! The formula of boy meets girl, they run up against some obstacles, surmount said obstacles with the help of a jocular coterie of friends, and live happily ever after: That’s Shakespeare! And perhaps the most seminal of his romantic comedies is Much Ado About Nothing. The plot and characters gave rise to many adaptations and permutations. There was the beautifully hilarious big-screen adaptation in 1993 with real-life couple-at-the-time Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. More recently, in 2012, there was another lovely big-screen adaptation, this time by Joss Whedon, set in modern times but true to Shakespearean language. And between those two, in 2005, our very own Damian Lewis starred as Benedick in a BBC adaptation of the story, set in modern times with modern language, for their series Shakespeare ReTold.
No doubt many people get married and start families because it’s the thing to do, a natural progression in life. Not everyone takes the time or effort to really think about what it means to bring new life into the world or go forth on the venture with conscious intentionality. How many times have we heard (or ourselves thought) David Byrne’s immortal refrain:
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself: Well…How did I get here?
Following Damian as we do on this blog, we’ve seen at every turn that he seems to have entered his current life with full intentionality. You sense, in his various relationships prior to Helen, what we know of them, that he was always quietly in search of someone to settle down with, someone to have children with. Not all men think this way, I’m guessing, particularly attractive men who have no shortage of female attention. A lot of guys fantasize about the attention that Damian has always gotten, right? So, if you’re lucky enough to be Damian Lewis, why settle down? Why let a woman and the resultant children cramp one’s playboy style? But, no, Damian, even though he IS Damian, wanted the wife and the house and the family. And how beautiful the stories we hear and the images we get of him in arguably the most important role of any man’s life, the role of father. Here are some of our recollections of Damian being a Dad.