Monday, August 10, 2009
The Best Show That You're Not Watching – Thief
As much as I love summer, it really puts a damper on the tv viewing. There's really nothing good to watch. And that's why I praise Quetzalcoatl for hulu.com because it's getting me a chance to catch up on old favorites.
And thus I present to you the short lived, award winning FX program Thief, which is the best show you probably didn't watch when it was on. And now thanks to hulu it's the best show that you're not watching, currently.
I say "short-lived" because it was only on for six episodes. But it what a glorious six episodes it was. It's the story of a professional crew that’s planning a heist while dealing with the fact that they stole from the wrong people. It's also set in a post Katrina New Orleans, so it was topical at the time.
The writing is great. It's does a great job of weaving two of the biggest "thief" clichés together and making it work. The direction is subtle; it's not ham-fisted like some hour long dramas tend to be.
But the real star of the show is the acting. First off it's got Andre Braugher who, I'd watch in pretty much anything. The fact that he was going to be starring in a show on FX was reason enough for me to tune in when it aired. To call his character "complex" would be an understatement. He's got loyalties and allegiances that are in competition with each other, and he's trying remain stable. It's a powerful performance.
But other actors give equally powerful performances. Clifton Collins Jr plays conflicted like no ones business. He manages to make his character vulnerable yet someone you root against at the same time. Will Yun Lee utilizes a different sort of vulnerability to make his character more sympathetic yet someone you can't fully root for. In fact character on the show plays a different shade of gray.
Thief also features two actors who appeared on the equally late and lamented Arrested Development. Mae Whitman and Malik Yoba. Granted the characters are completely different, but the actors both rock. Mae Whitman, easily one of my favorite young actresses out, nails every scene she's in. I completely feel her grief and anger. Malik Yoba meanwhile does a strong enough job that you wonder why he doesn't get more work.
So seriously, it's the summertime, there's nothing else on. Go to Hulu and watch the six episodes. Actually, here's the link It's self-contained and requires little more than an afternoon of commitment. After than make sure you come back here and thank me for putting you down with a fine television drama.