Monday, May 31, 2010

WHY I LIKE JAMES PONIEWOZIK

Everything this columnist/reporter writes is interesting. He has a point of view that relates to my private thoughts, even though the shows he writes about are not necessarily shows I watch regularly.

He writes Time Magazine's "Tuned In" column, about pop culture and society, and the effect these shows are having on us -- our dreams, and pursuit of things, such as possessions, lovers, adventures.

He's got power. Time is a big daddy publication that influences other folks in the media. And Poniewozik is an artist with a seeing eye, who is feeling out, wondering, digging into what he feels. What he picks to praise or criticize isn't quirky, small, or unimportant -- it has philosophical impact.

His background -- he has a BA from the University of Michigan and studied fiction writing at NYU; he contributed articles to the New York Times Book Review, Fortune Magazine, and Rolling Stone, and was a media critic/editor at Salon.com (a major online magazine) -- so Mr. P. has come up in the world fast.

The picture says he's young, and energetic, the kind of a guy who'd jump on the train to Coney Island, or Florida, or Arizona (a place NOT to visit these days, unless you're ready to argue about immigration.)

His age isn't listed, but I'm guessing he's around forty.

I don't agree with him about "The Good Wife." JC knows Julianna Margulies from his "ER" days as Dad to Dr. Greene, played by our friend Tony Edwards. So, having chatted with JC and Tony about Julianna quitting "ER" to pursue a career in theater -- knowing how tricky New York show biz is, and wanting her to succeed -- well, I'm extra critical about how she's presented.

Poniewozik thought sympathy for the Good Wife character was immediately established in the pilot -- I thought Julianna's wife, in the pilot, was cold, too cut off. Poniewozik feels the show has improved, gained depth. I think there's too much law firm business stuff; I'm not sure who the Good Wife is sleeping with and Julianna's still too humorless, and stiff.

The head lawyer, played by Christine Baranski, is more interesting, and look out, Julianna -- the most exciting woman on the show is sexy, mysterious Archie Panjabi, who's playing "Kalinda," the Good Wife's drinking-buddy, and law firm investigator.

Yes, I think Mr. P. is wrong about the show, but I still want to give give him an Em Award for "Tuned In" -- his good writing, great subjects, knitting into his subjects his own feelings, as well as objective commentary.

He's keeping us up to date about what's, popular, weird, trendy -- what's worth watching and how it relates to the current issues. So I'm bowing to him, doing a dancer's curtsy. Thank you for being what you are James Poniewozik.

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