From Rolling Stone magazine, Yaphet Kotto, Star of ‘Alien’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street,’ Dead at 81. And let’s not forget Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Well, on second thought ….
Yaphet Kotto had a long career and did some very good work. He was a Bond villain (Live and Let Die), a prison trustee (Brubaker), and a Ugandan dictator (Raid on Entebbe). However, for some reason, the first thing I think of when I hear his name is an episode of the otherwise-forgotten Alfred Hitchcock Presents called Prisoners (1985). Kotto played an escaped convict who broke into a woman’s house to evade the cops, and he kept her hostage so that she couldn’t rat him out. The way he was caught (spoiler alert!!!) was he coached her when she answered the phone, allowing her to carry on a conversation with a friend on the other end of the call. That tipped off the friend that something was wrong because the woman (hostage) was deaf. She’d been reading Kotto’s lips the whole time, and his character didn’t realize it. The show had a bit of a twist to it, which shouldn’t surprise you considering its namesake.
This is the second post in a row where I just yell at the clouds.
They were both inspired by my watching of season one of Bloodline on Netflix (more on that tomorrow). Again, I must warn you that I’ve been thinking.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I enjoy binging shows where each episode is 30 minutes or less. Longer episodes aren’t a deal breaker — just try to pry me away from an episode of Star Trek — but it’s easier to fit a short episode into my schedule. In the case of a 20-minute or less show (e.g., The IT Crowd, Aqua Teen Hunger Force), I can even watch an episode while I’m eating breakfast before heading to work.
The downside is that the collection isn’t as good for telling a story common among all episodes. In other words, that works well for sitcoms, but not so much for dramas. So, sometimes I have to accept that there have to be 60-minute episodes so that a complete thought can be expressed by that episode. If that’s the case, then they need to keep the number of episodes relatively short (8-10 episodes). If the story plays out over 12 or more episodes, it risks overstaying its welcome despite otherwise good writing and a remarkable cast.
I should add a category to this blog’s menu for Old Man Yells at Clouds. Here I go again, speculating about how my age is affecting my perception. I started watching Bloodline on Netflix (more on that soon). I was urged to watch it by an article I read that said fans of Ozark would love Bloodline, but once I researched it more, I was convinced to watch it by yet another incredible array of actors starring in it. Unfortunately, that got me thinking.
It seems like there are a lot of shows that have rock-solid casts from head to toe. Why would such accomplished actors take television roles when they could be making huge dollars in the movies? It’s not like they’re making Citizen Kane (thankfully) for the small screen. These are bit parts that won’t have a huge impact.
Maybe I don’t appreciate how much Netflix, Hulu, etc. are paying. After all, the big stars are certainly getting paid. On the other hand, maybe the actors simply can’t make huge dollars in the movies anymore. Maybe I think they’re great, so by definition the younger generation doesn’t, so they’re not the draw I think they are despite their clear talent. Or maybe I’m overthinking things.