Grab bag: Pufferfish, TV, good writing
"`So, Rafe,' Walter says when we're all seated. `Do you want to talk to the Bellyard affair?'
"And that's another thing that gets my goat, Walter's shameless use of corporate speak. I hope he asks me to talk to Rory Stillrock, because I'll reply I can't, the poor bastard's dead."
That's an amusing line with a righteous target. I should add, too, that while crime fiction offers plenty of acerbic protagonists and plenty of introspective protagonists and quite a number of funny protagonists, Pufferfish is among the few who are all three. The Pufferfish novels are: Pig's Head (1994), X and Y (1995), A Second Hand (1995), The Devil Taker (1997), No Weather For a Burial (2010), and the new How the Dead See.
"Are you inferring that I—"Misuse of infer for imply has long been a common mistake, and correcting it can get a copy editor in trouble. I loved the exchange.
Discussion here at Detectives Beyond Borders and on Adrian McKinty's blog, which introduced me to show, has elicited comparisons with celebrated television comedies of recent years, including Seinfeld.
What made Seinfeld the show that it was? Look at the post-Seinfeld television careers of some of that show's principals. Jason Alexander, who played George, and Michael Richards, who played Kramer, each starred in a show shunned by viewers and panned by critics as among the worst ever. Series co-creator Larry David, on the other hand, went on to make the excellent Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Conclusion? Writing matters. Maybe that's why another Seinfeld cast member, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. chose a show with a distinguished writing team behind it for her latest TV series: Veep, created by Armando Iannucci, who also created The Thick of It.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012