Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Ray Donovan"

"Ray Donovan" is a series on Showtime, about a fixer in LA who grew up in Boston, and his family and associates. The show is a wicked pissah.

Okay, first and foremost, my impression of Paula Malcomson as Abby "Abs" Donovan, wife of tough guy fixer Ray, mother of Bridget and Conor, in every episode of "Ray Donovan" that she's been in. Ms Malcomson was terrific in all 36 episodes of "Deadwood" a while back, she's been terrific in a lot of other stuff and she's been terrific in all 39 of the 48 episodes of "Ray Donovan" that she's been in

Okay, okay, so here's my impression of Paula Malcomson as Abby Donovan:

"Yer scarin' me, Ray."

Thank you, thank you! If you'd seen it in person you would have liked in even better, if you can imagine such a thing, because I imitate the voice pretty well, and when I do the impression I'm looking almost straight up.

But the other thing I have to say about the show is almost as important as the brilliance of that impression, if you can imagine such a thing: Conor could be headed toward a whole lot of trouble. Everybody's been really concerned about Bridget, who ran away from home -- but not far, and she came to the house for dinner recently -- and just turned 18 and is still in a relationship with her former schoolteacher Greg, whose hands Ray threatened to cut off if he didn't leave her alone when he first caught them together, but now Ray has changed a bit, and when Abs tells him that she just saw the two of them fucking in his minivan on the street right outside their house, instead of leaving right away to go cut off Greg's hands, he says that Bridget is 18 now and that if they interfere too much between her and Greg they'll just push her farther away; and Abs just found out she has breast cancer and the doctor wants to remove both of her breasts; And Ray's job constantly brings him in contact with very bad people and very scary things; and Ray's dad Mickey, a career criminal, is, even in his 70's and after having spent decades in prison, every bit as criminal and lacking in sound judgment as he ever was, which constantly causes the whole family a lot of grief up to and including Terry getting shot (but not killed) just because he was in the way when some gangsters came to kill Mickey, and then Ray getting shot (but not killed) when he and Avi went to kill the gangsters because they knew the gangsters wouldn't stop coming after Mickey and everyone close to him (for instance, they blew up Darryl's car), and now other gangsters related to the same situation created by Mickey have sent a gunman into the Donovan house, and Abby shot the gunman as Ray grappled with him, and now the whole family is in a hotel except for Bunchy and his wife, who just went into labor, so they headed to a hospital; and Ray's mentor and father-figure Ezra recently died, after having gone through a temporary stage of dementia brought on by a brain tumor; and before Ray went through the above-mentioned slight change, his inability to confront his own emotions had led to some nasty conflicts with his brothers, Terry, Bunchy and Darryl, and with employees, Avi and Lena, as well as severely alienating his wife and daughter (He seems much closer to everybody now: for example, when Bridget came over to dinner, when they all sat down at the dinner table, Ray said to Abs and Bridget and Conor and Darryl and Terry, "I love all of you so much," and everyone seemed astounded that he actually said it, except Darryl, who grew up in another family, and replied, "We love you too, Ray."); and Terry has a severe case of Parkinson's which began years ago when he was a professional boxer and Mickey let him fight too long before retiring; and Ray shot the priest who had sexually abused him as a child (leading to that very unhealthy state of bottled-up emotions, which, after having changed somewhat, he is now expressing much more openly), shot him right in front of Bunchy (whom the priest had also molested, causing Bunchy a lot of long-term emotional problems) and Terry (whom the priest had tried to molest, but Terry broke his hand) and Darryl; and Ray's sister Bridget (his daughter is named after her) committed suicide as a teenager for reasons which still haven't been explained to the viewer --

-- and a whole lot of other stuff too, so the point I'm getting at is that I'm afraid that in the midst of all of this extreme melodrama, people may be neglecting Conor, who I think is about 16 years old, and failing to realize that he seems to be very stupid and terribly devoid of good judgment about things like career plans. He constantly misunderstands very simple things that others say. He's not doing at all well at school. He says he wants to be "a gangster" like his father. (I debated whether or nor to put quotation marks around "a gangster.") A couple of years ago Conor severely beat another boy at school. I'm worried that it may be just a matter of time before he does something like that again, or something worse.

And, as I say, with all of the other melodramatic things happening, his family may be failing to notice that Conor is in trouble. That's why I'm worried.

In conclusion, France is a land of many contrasts.

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