Now and Again
I Am The Greatest

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Alex Richmond: D | Grade It Now!
I Am The Greatest

Last time on Now and Again: No one can know that the brain of Michael Wiseman is alive and occupying space inside the artificially created hunka-hunka-burning bod of Michael Newman, even though he really misses his wife and daughter and TV and junk food. Does everyone get this by now? Good. Now let us never speak of it again.

With Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" blasting, right off the bat we get a close-up of A.G.'s hunky face looking ecstatic. Rapturous. A step away from drooling. Why? Some goons are rolling in a TV and VCR. Wow, could I get along without TV? Could I get along without Now and Again? Is a bear Catholic? Does the Pope...oh, you get the idea. After three identical shots of A.G.'s idiotic mug, he stammers, "I need to know: Is she...cable-ready?" I need to know: Are you REALLY that simple? Dr. M. brings A.G. crashing down to earth by remarking, "Oh, it's only temporary." Ha ha. A.G. looks sad, sulks a bit, and says, "You're really an evil man." Then Dr. M. suggests that they "adjourn to the media room," which is right across the gilded gym in front of the lap pool. That apartment is like a freaking basketball court. It's huge! Dr. M. casually asks, "Do you like boxing, Mr. Wiseman?" Warily, A.G. answers, "Watching or participating?" Good question -- because you'll never know what the heck they're going to throw at you in this crazy land that is CBS on Friday nights! Dr. M. uses the remote to activate a tape in the VCR, which is a Entertainment Tonight-style segment about a boxer, a handsome bald black man named Maceo T. Jones. He looks way more than an actor than a boxer does. The TV makes up for this by admitting that he's "small for a heavyweight." A.G. would do all right in the ring with him. He's also "virile" but "guarded and introspective." What a sensitive description! I take back what I said about the ET-style. Dr. M. stops the tape and begins to describe a "black-budgeted government program," and when A.G. asks what the heck that might be, he says, holding up a finger for emphasis: "It existed. [pause] But it never existed." Thank you, doublespeak. This is SO not The X-Files. Apparently, the government transformed a Gulf War nerve-gas-damaged soldier into a biologically engineered fighting guy. All baby-bird are-you-my-mother?-y, A.G. says, "Another me?" Yes, because it's all about you, baby! Dr. M. pooh-poohs this idea, saying that the process of creating an artificial guy has come a long way since the '80s. "He was analog. You're digital." Maybe you'd like to say Maceo was an 8-track and A.G. is a CD. Then there's a shot of Dr. M. changing tapes in the VCR, and then some satellite-photography comes on. You know, a shot of the earth, then North America, then a gray map, then another map, then A.G. asks that they heck it is we're looking at and Dr. M. goes, "Don't you recognize New Jersey?" and finally we get an overhead shot of a very fancy compound, like Aaron Spelling's. It belongs to Maceo the boxer. What's the connection? A.G. wonders. Then there's a shot of Maceo punching a tree down. He punches the tree and wood chips fly everywhere. Maybe those commercial dudes thought boxers didn't like Planter's peanuts and he's...oh, never mind. A.G. FINALLY gets it and says, "I'll have to introduce myself at the next union meeting!" Maceo, I'll give you all the money I have in my wallet if you punch A.G. in the head like you punch that tree, all right?

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Now and Again




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