Saturday, February 11, 2017
I'm midway through a big project that I'm trying very hard to finish by the end of the month, and to make that work, I need to chisel out a chunk of extra time. Ergo, U.N.C.L.E. recaps and Friday Roundups are going to be on hold until the end of the month. It's a necessary evil. Duranalysis Facebook page updates may continue, albeit sporadically.
Take good care of yourselves and be kind to each other. Illya, Napoleon, and I will see you back here in March.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Illya and Napoleon hang out at the docks in Hong Kong, being all delightful and charming while spying on a ship chartered by THRUSH. Illya sneaks on board to search for THRUSH’s latest fiendish device, a contraption that can generate deadly tidal waves. Displaying his usual level of competence, he somehow accidentally ends up locked in the hold. The ship sets sail while Napoleon remains behind on shore.
This is the last scene Illya and Napoleon will share together until the final seconds of this episode. It’s not a terrible episode or anything—by the grotesquely lowered standards of season three, it’s pretty darn watchable—but it does make the key mistake of keeping Napoleon and Illya separated the whole time, thus depriving viewers of this show’s major strength, i.e. the magnificent chemistry between the leads. This is the first episode Norman Hudis wrote for the series, and, despite some problem areas, he did a decent job of it: The pacing is sluggish, but the characterizations are good, the plot is solid, and the dialogue often has at least a faint echo of the signature snappy banter of early episodes. Alas, Hudis would go on to write a handful of the worst episodes in the show’s history, episodes so relentlessly terrible and tedious that I dread the day when I finally have to get around to recapping them: “The Five Daughters Affair”, “The J Is For Judas Affair”, and, most craptacular of all, “The Seven Wonders of the World Affair.” This episode isn’t strong enough to mitigate that dire legacy.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Bear with me. I sliced the pad of my thumb apart on Wednesday in some inexplicable kitchen-related way (I have no idea what I did; I was just in the middle of cooking, then suddenly noticed I was bleeding), and typing is a bit of an ordeal.
I finished the first draft of my forthcoming Duranalysis book today, only three days behind schedule. Which, considering that January threw all the hurdles it could in front of me, isn’t too shabby. The book consists of fifteen essays on the Duran Duran experience, short-ish and sweet. I’m still aiming for a mid-April publication date. I’ll let you know more details as things fall in place.