In today’s strip, Marianne is coming off as not simply composed but rehearsed, belying the nerves and words she had just a few days ago. Or maybe Marianne is just that good of an actress and really is worthy of that Oscar… I have to admit, only a great actress could say that Mason and Lisa’s Story deserve Academy Award nominations without breaking out in riotous laughter.
Let’s look at some odds on who this Oscar-worthy “very special person” is:
- 100-1 Cassidy Kerr, for giving Mason points on the backend
- 1,000-1 “Mr. Director” Martin Johns, for keeping his head when Marianne went AWOL from the Starbuck Jones set, actually trying to reach Marianne instead of pointlessly pontificating, and then contacting the actual authorities like a sane person
- 1 million-1 Cable Movie Entertainment and Clay Wallace, for letting Mason pitch Lisa’s Story at another studio with no resistance after he torpedoed their Lisa production by quitting to become Starbuck Jones (nope, it ultimately wasn’t the infamous “kill fee”)
- 75-1 Cindy, for arranging to use Bull’s funeral as a pre-production springboard for the movie
- 275-1 Holly, for demanding the movie be made but not demanding her role be portrayed
- 50-1 Rex Morgan MD, for… uh, aren’t people always giving him things for no reason?
- 700-1 Cayla, for being inhumanly comfortable with being treated as a silver medal
- 40-1 Marianne’s oncologist, for obvious reasons
- 10-1 Lisa, for dying
- 27-1 Lisa’s oncologist, for obvious reasons
- itsgonnabehim-1 Les, for absolutely no defensible reason at all
A sudden pivot to golf in today’s strip… huh? What is this, Gil Thorp? Not that I’m complaining about getting away from Les terrorizing the soundstage…
I hope against all hope that today’s strip marks the end of this chapter of Les Goes To Hollywood And Gets All Pissy- Part II, particularly for the sake of our own spacemanspiff, who has to write up the next two weeks of strips. Trying to come up with words to describe this horror is not a task I would wish on my worst enemy… or even Tom Batiuk.
On the emptiest beach in California, Masone engages in some criminal activity that doubles as the dumbest cult ritual this side of the Lisa’s Legacy Run. Not one aspect of this stupid movie project has moved forward since October despite the fact that four weeks worth of strips have been expended covering the inactivity.
Not even the prospect of s’mores improves things, which is terribly sad.
Is this today’s strip or the October 26 strip?! No, it is today’s… and it leaves us in the exact same place we were in October. THE. EXACT. SAME. PLACE.
Masone promises a “shopping agreement”, explains that he has to sell Lisa’s Story to some powers-that-be, assures him of his good intentions and that he is making the right decision by letting Masone pursue this stupid movie thing, Les prepares to wait for the shopping agreement in a snit… scene. It’s the exact same thing we got in October with two exceptions:
One, this week of Masone-wants-to-make-a-Lisa’s-Story-movie strips was preceded by a week of Les and Cayla arguing about whether or not they should fly to California to discuss with Masone the fact that he wants to make a Lisa’s Story movie. We wasted this week on repeating the October scenario PLUS the week of Les and Cayla debating whether to take the stupid trip… the trip that could have been resolved with a 15-minute telephone call!!!
Two, this week ends with the unfortunate promise of future strips in which Les takes Masone around New York for some unbearable Lisa reminiscence, undoubtedly griping all the way.
Misery. Sheer misery.
Now we’re getting to it in today’s strip! Finally!
“It” being Les trying to undermine specific elements of Masone’s Lisa’s Story passion project for no explained reason. And boy is Masone going to give Les EVERY opportunity to sabotage the project, inviting dragging him into practically every element that TB thinks exists in the film-making process. It’s a good thing Les has all of those unused personal days…
Also, what is Les’ problem here exactly? He doesn’t want Lisa to be played by an attractive and successful actress? Frankly, Marianne Winters seems like a fine choice to play late Act II Lisa based on looks at least. She’s for certain sure a dead ringer for the bewigged Lisa we saw during much of that first bout with breast cancer in 1999.
If only I could believe that Cayla’s question in today’s strip truly represented some self-awareness from TB, because YES! why didn’t Mason lead with this inevitable smoke-blowing? Sure, STILL nothing has actually happened, but we’ve wasted several days of strips even getting to Mason’s effusive and unwarranted praise, a scene we all knew was coming before this movie thing got to the point where Les could start trying to undermine specific elements of it.
As far as Mason’s opinion of Lisa’s Story goes, why would he think it would succeed in winning an Oscar where the beloved film Love Story (which, incidentally, turns 50 years old this year) largely failed. Does Love Story simply not exist in the Batiukverse? I guess I could buy that, given that this is a universe where Lisa’s Story was an Eisner Award finalist. But will Mason be satisfied with just a nomination or a Golden Globe? …or, more appropriately, a Razzie?
Today’s strip takes a pre-dick-tably maudlin turn. Like we didn’t all know “Les tries to sullenly undermine this dumb movie thing” was going to be the gist of this story arc.
Even if I wasn’t short on time to write this, I’m wouldn’t archive dive to prove that Lisa did or did not say what Les is claiming at some point in time… because I can quickly and easily point to a time when she pretty much said the exact opposite.
Well, as Mason himself said yesterday, “things never seem to be going anywhere”… and no where has that statement ever been more true than in today’s strip.
Mason closed out yesterday’s strip implying that something had happened with the production of the Lisa’s Story movie he has allegedly been pitching around “this town”*, but we gain not a single bit of information on that today. Instead, Mason bemoans being an attractive, successful, and in-demand actor as a fate worse than death. Being an action hero was once his goal, by the way, and now he’s mad that he’s in demand for the kinds of roles he apparently had been pursuing? Perhaps he’d like to go back to starring in whatever Dino Deer was supposed to be or working on second-tier cable TV projects that never get finished…
* While I am sure there are folks in Hollywood who refer to it as “this town” and manage not to sound insufferable and pompous, Mason is not one of those people. I’m reminded of the use of “this town” in SCTV’s Sammy Maudlin Show sketches, written and recited by people who understood folks like Mason (and TB) who play the put-upon auteur for the bags of wind that they typically are.
That’s just the thing ’bout
today’s strip… things never seem
To be going anywhere…
“Until all of a
Sudden they do” Mason says
Bloviation was first coined
In, yep, Ohio
Mason’s nose proves fertile ground
For growing palm trees
Les thought the deal died?
It’s not even been three months
Since they discussed it
Les is clearly pissed
That this movie could happen
Will be a looooooooooooooong week…
OK, when I typed “So, what’s the deal with airline food?” in yesterday’s post, I didn’t think Les would seize upon that and give us a airline complaints routine that even Milton Berle wouldn’t steal in today’s strip. I’m truly and terribly sorry. Seriously, I genuinely apologize and take full responsibility for this crime against newsprint. Somebody has to take responsibility…
Les griping about the airline nickel-and-diming him just doesn’t track, as Mason paid for his flight, a fact that was mentioned in the strip as recently as… literally yesterday. Well, I mean, the idea that Les and Cayla were charged extra for their stated “free” trip doesn’t track. Les griping at the slightest opportunity, of course, does. If Les was acting like this the whole flight he should be grateful that he wasn’t tossed out of the plane without a parachute. A nation sighs at the missed opportunity.