Deadline
Red Herring

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Heathen: D | Grade It Now!
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Sweet Merciful God, It's Over

First off -- mighty big props to Mighty Big TV for its glowing mention in both Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone.

Wallace sits alone in his darkened office contemplating life, liberty and the pursuit of drunkenness. It's neatly apropos, given that his life revolves around having complete liberty to pursue drunkenness. He begins to pontificate. "Who, what, where, when," Wallace voice-overs. "The four easy Ws. The fifth -- why -- is the hardest one. And I'm supposed to answer that three times a week." I'm already too bored to feel pity. Hey, Wallace, here's a "w" for you -- wpiss off. We see scenes of New York City and Wallace's aimless strolls through clogged sidewalks. He's stumped on some of the whys of life. Why would a woman steal someone else's newborn baby? Why would a twentysomething kid jump off the Brooklyn Bridge? Why would McDonald's make "hamburger" patties that are far smaller than the buns? Wallace's voice-over continues. He's thinking all this stuff at his father. "You always called me 'My little observant one,'" Wallace says, recalling how he and his dad would people-watch and make up stories about each weird character creeping past. ['"Little'? Benton p&egrave must have died when Wallace was three weeks old." -- Wing Chun] Mr. Benton used to encourage Wallace to "see them as fellow sufferers. But you never talked about your own suffering." Wallace stops outside an apartment building and stares up at a female figure silhouetted against the closed blinds. "You said I'd understand when I was older," Wallace voice-overs. "I've got news for you, Dad -- I have no idea." The writers are apparently tapping into Benton's demons, but I'm not sure I'm wholly ready for that insight. Not without a passel of prescription drugs at my disposal. Wallace watches the woman remove her shirt. A cop car pulls up and an officer ambles toward Benton with a look of light admonition. Officer Extra urges Wallace to move along, because he's publicly intoxicated and being a peeping tom. "One, she's my Daddy's widow. Two, she ain't a whole lot to look at," Wallace says. And yet he watches her shadow as she undresses. How very Oedipal -- a word close to Wallace's heart because it rhymes with "edible." Wallace explains that he's standing vigil outside the apartment because it's the anniversary of his father's death, and, clearly, spying on the widow is the best way to pay respect to a dead parent. Officer Extra looks sad. "I pray on his grave every year," Wallace blathers. "'Daddy, God give me the strength to dig you up and beat the crap out of you with a shovel for leaving me the way you did.'" Confronted with this kind of crude, slurred cynicism, the cop immediately realizes he's talking to Wallace and that prolonged exposure could lead to nausea, headaches and a minor rash. "Oh yeah," Wallace growls for no reason. So, we've established that Wallace is in a funk. Roll credits.

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