I love war. We’re still here. It’s like a jungle you survive. — Nicholas McGrade
As much as we all LOVE LOVE LOVE Damian Lewis on this blog, our feelings for the characters he brings to life could be slightly different at times… Take Bookworm and me, for example. We agree to disagree on Nicholas McGrade 😀 Bookworm’s earlier blog post about the tale of the two Nicholases perfectly captures who those two soldiers, namely Nicholas Brody and Nicholas McGrade, are. Bookworm loves Brody and does not love, not even like Nicholas McGrade. And I… Well, everyone knows about me and Brody, but I have had a secret crush on Nicholas McGrade that I am happy to make public today.
When we watched Colditz with Lewisto, he did not like McGrade, either; exactly for the reasons Bookworm lists in her post. And, to this day, he claims I like McGrade because Damian Lewis plays the character and I would not like him otherwise. Maybe. Yes, he is probably right that I would not like McGrade if another actor played him because another actor would not be able to make McGrade as human as Damian does. Damian brings out the bad and ugly in McGrade as well as the good in him. The bad and ugly in McGrade is BAD and UGLY. On the other hand, the good in him is GOOD. McGrade’s a nobody that becomes somebody thanks to war. This is his chance and he will take it. He is quite HUNGRY for life and so he is ready to go the whole nine yards and a bit more to be what he wants, to do what he wants and to have what he wants. Yes, he is flawed. But he is not evil. So, yes, I love Nicholas McGrade and it’s all Damian to blame! Continue reading “In Defense of Nicholas McGrade in Colditz”
It all starts with a good colleague with whom I share love for theater asking me to name my favorite male and female stage performances in 2015. Easy. It’s Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts and Damian Lewis in Mamet’s American Buffalo (with Mark Strong in Miller’s A View From the Bridge as a close second). And what is it about these performances that make me LOVE them? Just one word: Precision.
Then I think about the heart-breaking performance Lesley Manville gives in Ghosts which, in fact, has brought her an Olivier Award in 2014 (I saw the play much later when it visited Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015). I know Manville mostly from her work on big screen such as Secrets and Lies (1996), Vera Drake (2004), Another Year (2010) and Mr Turner (2014) all of which were some of my favorites in the year they were released. But I really do not know about her stage work. So I google her. And this is one of the first images I hit!
Bobby has the Replacements plugged into his ears as he swims. He comes up for air not a happy camper. Seems neither meditation nor exercise are quieting the demons these days.
Meanwhile the Axelrod kids are spending $100 bills of their chaperone’s money on squirt guns at an alcohol-serving arcade. The chaperone, as somewhat less wealthy than the Axelrods, seems to make much of the inequity, drowns his sorrows in beer after beer, then proceeds to screechingly and veeringly drive his charges home.
His slurry “I got your precious fucking babies home” totally deserves the quite credibly delivered “I will kill you, you mother fu..” and the tight middle-weight cross to the nose delivered by Axe. And there we have the title of the episode: The Punch. A totally morally justified punch as one book end to this roller coaster-y, yet still somehow thought-provoking, episode. Morally justified punch, but not quite legal. As is the premise of this entire series.
The Punch opens with a bang and throws a number of punches, literal and metaphorical, at us all.
We find Axe doing laps in his Hamptons pool and listening to Replacements’ The Ledge that goes “I’m the boy they couldn’t ignore, for the first time in my life, I’m sure” on his waterproof headphones. We cannot ignore the boy does not look okay today. We have never seen him like this before. The pressure is taking its toll on Axe. He is at the end of his rope. Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Episode 7: The Punch”