Ep 1: Everything Must Go
Harry (James Belushi of ‘Traces of Red’) lives in LA in 2007, where everyone wears faux-Edwardian garb. Apart from the recurring dreams of a rhino in his swimming pool, Harry’s life is pretty good. He has a wife Grace (Dana Delany of ‘China Beach’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’) and two kids: Coty and Deidre. But all is not well, his mother in law Josie (Angie Dickinson) is unnerving, his best friend Tommy (Ernie Hudson of ‘Ghostbusters’) seems to know something and Harry’s ex Paige (Kim Cattrall of ‘Sex and the City’) has shown up in his life again.
Harry soon becomes aware that LA is not a nice place to be. There are stories of missing children, random background violence and an ongoing war between two political groups known as the Fathers and the Friends. When Coty gets an acting job on the dreadful sitcom ‘Church Windows’ and Harry gets a new job offer from Paige’s boss, life gets seriously out of control.
It’s all something to do with 3D holograms and interactive television, the internet does not seem to exist in this 2007. Grace’s father (David Warner) is full of foreboding mutterings. Josie is full of random violence. And everyone is full of secrets.
What is the link between Josie and Harry’s new boss Tony? What is the meaning of the synthiotics religion? What is New Realism?
This is some insane melding of ‘Less Than Zero’ and ‘Twin Peaks’. It is deeply insane television; it has a random William Gibson cameo and is continually weird. It’s good though.
“So this is how it begins.”
“I have seen the future and it is channel 3!”
“Someone should set him on fire.”
“His wife just left him, for his father.”
“You make me vomit.”
“I will send you to a hell you’re not familiar with.”
“You dried up monster.”
“I looked in the toilet and screamed.”
“What a wonderful likeness of your sister. You know if you went to the desert and dug Maisy up. You’d find the resemblance remarkable. You captured that, that tortured look she had the last eight or nine hours of the interrogation.”
The theme music for this miniseries is nice. Harry is manipulated by Paige and her out of control eyebrows. Grace who has become convinced that Coty isn’t her son tries to kill herself. Harry learns that the Friends have a secret hideaway under his swimming pool. Harry is told that his marriage was arranged and Coty isn’t his. Coty proves to be even more of a demented sociopath than Josie.
A mysterious kid named Peter runs around after Harry and Grace. Harry learns his father invented an important drug and goes to Japan with Paige where he hears mysterious talk about a go chip before he is attacked by an angry tattooist. Grace can’t cope with Josie and Coty. And she really can’t cope when she sees what was tattooed on her husband’s hand.
This was a weak ep, I couldn’t take much more of Grace either looking wan or screaming hysterically.
“There is a new reality.”
“Not everyone sees the rhino.”
“You’re having a very important nightmare.”
“We’re the shock troops of reality.”
“A subway for paranoids.”
“What the hell is going on?”
“We will dream him into infinity.”
Harry learns some more about his father, Dex. Tony leads a cabal of evil that includes Coty, Paige, Josie and Coty’s sitcom co-star Tabba (Bebe Neuwirth) Grace tries to tell Harry that he’s been bought by a cult. He doesn’t listen until it’s too late. Tony is the founder of the Fathers and Harry’s tattoo brands him as a member.
Harry hangs out with synthiotics types; Paige tells Harry she lied to him to pull him in and reveals that Josie is Tony’s sister and that Coty is Paige and Tony’s son. As Harry staggers from revelation to revelation (his fake son is a nutcase, his marriage was arranged), Paige gets involved in Uzi battles and Grace and Deidre are whisked away by Harry’s evil shrink.
There’s primitive CGI, 3D holograms operated by a huge floppy disc, bad child acting and TPTB show off their love of empty swimming pools. This was good with a nice use of the House of the Rising Sun song.
“The critics dismissed him as an acid casualty, which he was.”
“It will catch her and eat her.”
“My wife thinks I’ve become this off the wall cultist seduced by money and power.”
“One day in the middle of ‘Church Windows’ we’re gonna find out that our country no longer belongs to us and nobody will even care!”
“Conspiracy from hell!”
“Nothing matters, you’re with us now.”
“We will gut you in the street.”
“The women in your life are really going to hell.”
“And you’re driving the bus!”