Wankers We Have Known

This week’s Six Feet Under (which I watched last nite, rather than in the traditional Sunday nite slot, thanks to my DC trip) was very slightly marred for me by the fact that it was directed by Matt Shakman, who is a wanker. I went to college with him and he directed a play I was in, and also starred in another play I was in. It was frequently mentioned in Yale dramatic circles (and what circles they were) that he had been the child star of some 80's sitcom which all the American kids were intimately familiar with but I didn’t know anything about, and whose name now escapes me. Anyway, he was a pretty good director, and his performance, as Sir Robert Scott leading his ill-fated mission to the Antarctic in “Terra Nova” was decent, if self-importantly over-wrought. But jesus what an asshole. We had this one scene where my character, Evans, a member of Scott’s crew who would subsequently go crazy from hypothermia and take his clothes off and then die, confessed to Scott that he, Evans, had been concealing the fact that his hand was almost useless from frost-bite. It was a pretty well-written scene, in which both characters were going thru various interesting realizations, transformations, etc. But for Shakman it was all about him. It was like everything I said or did, he was just waiting to step all over it with his next line. Its hard to describe but I’d never had such a total feeling of getting absolutely nothing back from the other person on stage. It’s incredibly irritating, and fit in perfectly with his personality.

Anyway, he did a good job with 6FU, especially in the scene where that lawyer dude asks Claire out when she’s sitting at her desk, which was very realistic and charming. Claire is by far the best character over the last season and a half. Her whole development feels incredibly believable and real. The fact that she has these arty old friends will definitely make the lawyer dude (who, by the way, will obviously soon be revealed to only enjoy sex in semi-public places – everyone has their weirdnesses when you get to know them and this will be his) like her even more.