This short lived television series that only lasted for 7 episodes on ABC, which David Lynch created, produced and directed (well, he directed episode one at least) was about a 1950's television studio that aired the live sitcom; 'The Lester Guy Show'. Every episode some wacky disaster behind the camera would happen while the show was airing, and the characters would spend the rest of the episode trying to rectify the situation in order to save the show. The main characters included...
|"Lester Guy" - a has-been/egocentric actor and star of the "Lester Guy Show"|
|"Betty Hudson" - an incredibly stupid, yet sweet actress who becomes popular over night by accident. Lester Guy spends most of his time trying to sabotage her only to have it backfire in his face.|
|"Bud Budwaller" - the mean TV executive (actually Miguel Ferrer, an underrated character actor, did a really great job in a performance that was reminiscent of his more recognizable roles as the "unlikeable guy" in 'Robcop' and 'Twin Peaks').|
|"Vadja Gochktch" - director of the lester guy show that speaks his own language that no one can understand but his assistant "Ruth Trueworthy"|
Its kinda sad that my first blog entry on the films of one of my favorite directors is about one of his biggest failures. Twin Peaks may not have lasted very long, but it still holds its place in television history, has a cult following and spawned an underrated film that was nominated for best picture at Cannes. Even his other "failed" television attempt turned in to one of the greatest movies of the last decade (mulholland drive). 'On The Air' tried too hard to be satirical and slapstick and it just ended up falling flat. Sorry, David. I still love you though. If curiosity gets the best of you, a few episodes of On The Air are on youtube. But unless you LOVE David Lynch, chances are you wont dig it.
EPISODE 1: TRICKS
Moe (played by David Lynch regular Harry Dean Stanton) and his friend Lou take a hooker back to room 603 for a fun time, but things turn dark. Instead of jumping right away in to sex, the characters confess personal stories about themselves to one another. Eventually Lou starts to get weird & violent and scares the hooker away. Then Moe & Lou's friendship is put to the test. This is by far my favorite story of the 3. Its interesting that Lynch takes a pretty cliche story (2 guys take a hooker back to a hotel room and things get dark), yet he still manages to make it interesting.
EPISODE 2: GETTING RID OF ROBERT
A stuck up gold digger (Sasha) and her friends (one of whom is played by a pre-law & order Mariska Hartigay) sit around room 603 talking about whether or not she should marry her wealthy boyfriend Robert (Griffin Dunne). Things take a dark turn when Robert arrives. An argument ensues between him & Sasha, and after he calls her a cunt she hits him over the head with something and seriously injures him.
EPISODE 3: BLACKOUT
In this story, a married couple (played by Crispin Glover and Alica Witt) sit through a major power outage and as the story unfolds, we learn that the wife is mentally unstable due to the loss of their child a few years ago.
Nowadays more and more movie directors have switched over to television: Todd Haynes (mildred pierce), Spike Lee (directed the pilot for 'Shark'), Michael Mann (Luck), Martin Scorsese (boardwalk empire) and John Cameron Mitchell's upcoming HBO series.
'Tricks' is also available on youtube in 2 parts.