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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dinner for Five

Since I still don't have IFC, I have yet to watch a lot of episodes of Dinner for Five. I rented the first season via Netflix and have watched various episodes on YouTube and have loved what I've seen. Now that the entire season is available to buy, I really don't have any more excuses. Where else can I see uncensored roundtable discussions featuring people like Kevin Smith, Rob Zombie, Bruce Campbell and Vince Vaughn talking about their working experiences? Definitely not anywhere else on TV.

Call it "bullshitting," but I find a lot more meat in the discussions as compared to other quickly-paced shows claiming to be about entertainment and/or Hollywood. Be it Roger Corman talking about how his low budget movies rarely lose money or Mark Hamill talking about his voiceover experience as the Joker, this goes beyond the standard chitchat. Actors can talk all they want about how much fun a film was to make and how brilliant the director was while reporters can talk all about how money the actor was paid to do the film, but that just doesn't interest me. There was a time when it did, but that time has long passed.

I don't enjoy listening to fluffy talk, but I don't enjoy excessive mudslinging or sour-grapes either. Thankfully, the show walks a clear line between all of this. It's the kind of stuff that would only really be brought to life on a commentary track or a book. Besides, you can't talk for four hours straight about all things fluffy or sour without getting tired of it.

One other thing I should mention: I really dig how a lot of rumors get cleared up on the show. I'm talking about rumors that make headlines and fall into lore because they're never fully explained. If you never saw the episode featuring Jon Favreau's Daredevil co-stars, you'd think Kevin Smith and Favreau still have a beef with each because of a comment Favreau made while doing press for Made. It's cleared up right away in the episode and it's a pretty funny moment. Frankly, this is way more compelling than reading and believing what the IMDb "trivia" section says about this kind of stuff.

Dinner for Five may only really appeal to the people that want to learn more about the entertainment industry beyond EPK-fare. It may suck that Favreau is not doing any new episodes. But I say at least it's out there and people can find it . . . and not have to pay the hefty price for a top-tier cable package that has IFC.

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