Saturday, September 03, 2011

Have you been watching "The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks"?


Creator-writer-director Peter Glanz talks about the AMC Web-only series The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks. Here's the link to watch Episode 1.

"I want to believe that all women aren't crazy, I really do. But my experiences and the experiences of those around me invariably prove otherwise."
-- Arthur Banks (Adam Goldberg), in Episode 2,
"Silent Treatment," of The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks

by Ken

The thing about this pearl of wisdom shared by Arthur with his therapist (played by Jeffrey Tambor; I see online that the therapist has been treating Arthur for 20 years) at the opening of the second episode of the new made-for-online mini-series (in the sense that the episodes themselves are mini -- so far in the 13-14-minute range) The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks, is that Arthur himself is pretty tightly strung, to put it mildly.

Yes, he's under some clearly unusual stresses and emotional confusions at the moment. He's about to go into rehearsal for a new play he's written (and is directing); he's reached a stage of dissatisfaction with the woman he claims to love (as far as I can tell, we're not told what exactly their relationship is except that they're living together); and oh yes, in Episode 1, "I Pulled a Polanski," -- he woke up one morning in bed with a fetching female he quickly deduced couldn't have been more than 17, who forms the notion that they're in love.

At the same time, even though we've only just met Arthur, it does seem pretty clear that stresses and emotional confusions like these are something of pretty much his way of life. At that, I was relieved to get confirmation from creator-writer-director Peter Glanz in the descriptive clip above that Arthur's best friend, the seemingly more or less normally married Chandler (Pete Chekvala), "kind of ironically is more screwed up than he is," which was the conclusion I'd come to.

I'm not much on watching TV or movies on the computer, which may be why it's taken me so long to get around to taking a look at the show. (There are already three episodes posted online.) I don't know that I'm crazy wild about it, though that may come. The show, in wide-screen black-and-white, looks really good on my computer -- with a visual sharpness to match the sharpness of the distinctive tone that's established: wry, even laconic, with a touch of old-fashioned serial melodrama (there's a narrator, Larry Pine).

So I expect I'll keep watching the show. What I'm really more interested in is the mere fact that it exists -- a web-only original series with a cast of solidly legit talent (in addition to the above, that solid veteran actor Barry Primus is a regular, as the play's producer, George), which certainly doesn't look as if it's produced on the barest-bones of budgets. I think you can look at this two ways:

(1) Isn't it interesting that this interesting new creative outlet is developing for accomplished talent?

(2) Isn't it alarming that there's a need for such a new creative outlet?

Something, or even somethings, to watch.



At 5:00 AM, Blogger annie said...

I really enjoyed it! Sophisticated humor. Peter Glanz feels like the Woody Allen of the next generation. More please.

At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Lee said...

Great show. I think you are going to see more original web series as people are sick pf high cable prices for more junky channels with nothing to watch


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