April 03, 2006

From Great to Awful in One Week

I was flipping through the channels two weekends ago and I came across a show on the IFC channel featuring Henry Rollins on stage spouting his deep loathing for the current occupant of the White House. But then he began a long, richly detailed story of his experience flying from Los Angeles to Frankfurt to Moscow, just to get on the Trans-Siberian Express train and ride it to Vladivostok, just for the experience. The resulting tale was as good as anything Theroux ever told, and yet, here was Rollins, who I was not really familiar with, telling this story alone on stage in front of a large theatre audience. And he pulled it off. Fascinating, funny, disconcerting, gross, sad, wise, and funny some more.

And when the show ended, IFC ran an ad for Rollin's upcoming weekly series, The Henry Rollins Show.

It aired this past Saturday night, and featured, in addition to some awful monologues from Rollins himself, an interview with Oliver Stone, and a performance by Sleater-Kinney. Sleater-Kinney were great. The rest of the show was beyond abysmal. It lacked all of the energy of the live performance I'd seen the week before. One big problem: Rollins is trying to do Charlie Rose, and it doesn't work. He needs a live audience. In the deadened studio, with too many camera angles, the whole thing is awkward and bad television. I could not believe how badly this show stunk. Whew. I doubt it'll last the whole season.

Posted by brian at April 3, 2006 08:49 AM

Comments

i saw the henry rollins show and i disagree. while i never saw the stand up show last weekend, i thought he is perfect in the chair with oliver stone and that the monologue is hard hitting. maybe you are a republican. i can see how that would suck. but overall, i am a fan.

Posted by: peter at April 3, 2006 11:52 AM

i saw the henry rollins show and i disagree. while i never saw the stand up show last weekend, i thought he is perfect in the chair with oliver stone and that the monologue is hard hitting. maybe you are a republican. i can see how that would suck. but overall, i am a fan.

Posted by: tony at April 3, 2006 11:54 AM

"Maybe you are a Republican." That's pretty funny, actually. Like, fighting words funny.

Just once, I wish Rollins would sit back in his chair, instead of on the edge of it. Just once, I wish he'd relax. At least Oliver seemed relaxed.

My main problem with the show is I expected it to be an hour long. And then I notice it's whipping by at a furious pace, and suddenly Rollins is reaching out to shake Oliver's hand and the interview is over and I'm like but hey, this is cable, let's let this run for a while, maybe the conversation can really get interesting, but noooo..... half hour, boom, over. SIgh.

Posted by: brian at April 3, 2006 11:08 PM

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