Damages on FX had excellent advance word, but now it's come along and exceeded every possible expectation. Yes, yes, another show about lawyers, but the thing here is that it's entirely about fierce commercial litigation: None of the cute shit you get from David E. Kelly, where the clients are transvestites or lovable murderers. None of that monotonous Law & Order proceduralism. Damages is about smart, blistering, serious people fighting over hundreds of millions of dollars -- here, it's pension litigation, of all fucking things.
Its pilot episode didn't have a single cheap moment, from its glossy opening sequence of the Manhattan streetscape through its closing burst of White Stripes. Glenn Close comes out roaring. As with Dangerous Liaisons, she's always the smartest, toughest person in the room. The pilot is packed with great moments and conflagrations, each of them developing convincingly and naturally. No one is a good guy, no one is exactly a bad guy, and the pilot episode develops a special, almost unbearable tension. Almost Se7en-quality tension, but now I'm at risk of overpraising. The creators have said that they won't include a single courtroom scene. Given the staleness of the genre, this is a great thing.
For just $6.99 you can purchase from iTunes an album by a Scottish band called The View. Sometimes a person gets tired of flexing analytical skills learned in 400-level English class just to understand an album, only to realize that no one involved is having fun. Barely out of their teens, these guys aren't trying to deconstruct New Wave or show off what they learned in art school. "Hats Off to the Buskers" isn't going to change your life, but it's a burst of unpretentious, enthusiastic fun.
Enjoy the video of "Wasted Little DJs."