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Jan-ken-pon #113 – Beauty, Big Cars, Smokes and for the Love of Cinnamon
December 13th, 2008
I recently bought all of the seasons of Mission Impossible and it’s amazing how many things jump out at me just 1 season into it. One, I’m not used to so many people on television not having ultra-white teeth. Even the women who you knew had to be in the business of being glamorous like former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley, who was a guest in episode and one of the stars Barbara Bain (aka Cinnamon Carter). You will not see a celebrity now (or really anybody that’s even slightly worried about the way they look) that have teeth that’s aren’t blinding these days. I do remember that month or two when I was in High School when it seemed like everybody in the county got their teeth bleached! Another aspect that stands out is that Bain always looks stylish, even by today’s standards. She could easily wear what she wear on that show today and blend in and I have yet to see her not look great on the show. What’s odd is her body-type. Now, we have a rather large television and everybody seems to look a little large, but there is a scene where she is dancing (formally) and while clearly she is a beautiful woman in a room full of other beautiful women, there is a point that while she has her arms around her dancing partner that you can tell she’s kind of ‘chunky’ in the arm. It’s definite fat that you hardly ever see anymore out of leading ladies, particularly ones that fill a role in a show of being in some sense eye candy (and MI cameras always focused on her and other female guest stars in what were obviously intended “alluring’ shots” – the aforementioned, Mobley’s part? Of course a circus performer wearing skin tight leotards, and spending a lot of time suspended in the air with a camera below her – angling up from below – for most of the episode). Now back to my television for a moment; the image is not that skewed due to size, as I watched Burn Notice (one of my favorites) later that night and Gabrielle Anwar is super thin on the screen (and rather fine). It always strikes me how what ‘beauty’ is kind of morphs in a relative short period of time and I always enjoy seeing older movies/film and like those 20’s and 30’s Vanity Fair or turn of the century issues of Vogue and pulps both the U.S SF/F and Crime stuff and like the French Smut magazines (which actually have classier cover than most modern comics). My personal favorites are those Margaret Brundage covers on those classic Weird Tales issues.
I love me some Cinnamon Carter!
Second, though we live in the era of the Galactic-class SUV I have never seen more large, long cars! I grew up I when Hip Hop became the music for the youth so I was all in that era where older cars from this era were fashionable (though I went more Euro-style myself with Imports) but watching Mission Impossible you see California streets packed with these tanks and they are pimpin‘! I’ve never wanted an American car before (though Supernatural really was testing me) but now I seriously digging getting one of these drop-top ironclads.
I also never knew how consistently great of an actor Martin Landau was. Until now, he was the guy who played twin brothers in a Columbo episode and the fantastic performance in Ed Wood. He’s the master of disguise in Mission Impossible and in many ways he carries the episodes.
There is also this rather refreshing storytelling choice that’s not even get to the point – it never deviates from the point. Don’t get me wrong, I love shows like Lost that explore the peripherals of peripherals but there really is something I’ have found oddly satisfying about an hour long show that has no backmatter at all – it’s get in, get out.
Last but not least, it seems like everybody smoked. I’m not a hater, I sued to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day (and don’t smoke at all now). I just love seeing images of people in libraries, embassies, and what not just lighting up.
Book Recommendation . . .
I was participating in that weekly Forgotten Friday feature but I just had too much to do putting content up at BSC but one of the books, or rather set of books, that I wanted to highlight was the Western Light series by Jeffrey Barlough. I’m calling it a series but these novels – Dark Sleeper, The House in the High Wood, Strange Cargo, Bertram of Butter Cross – can be read independently and only share the world they inhabit and the quality of the writer. You can read the author’s intro into the series here.
I thoroughly enjoyed each novel – this pre-historic, yet Victorian Fantasy/Alternate history that actually seem guided by a writer whose true affection may be to Mystery.
What I’m Digging . . .
Only the VALIANT, a podcast dedicated to VALIANT comics, just completed their 2-part interview with Janet Jackson (not the singer) a former employee at VALIANT comics. She talks rather candidly and adds yet another perspective to the happenings that occurred with the company, and with DEFIANT as well. She was a central figure in what was in my estimation the greatest attempt at a connected superhero universe ever in comics (at least since Marvel really went away from its history). Good stuff, check out part one and two.
Recent Quality Purchase . . .
Next on Jan-Ken-Pon . . .
We will look at my 10 favorite graphic novels/comics of 2008. My Top Ten Books of 2008 will be with other contributors in another feature here at BookSpot Central.
Jan-ken-pon is the time traveling, force-walking, multiverse crossing column of Jay Tomio, owner of 1/3 of everything you see currently on screen and the editor of Heliotrope. No power in the ‘verse can stop him. Some call him the Bodhisattva.