Sunday, September 07, 2008

cable's guilty pleasures

On a rainy day, scrolling through too many channels, I ran across this old gem. Not a great movie exactly - we're not talking Hitchcock, here - but once I start watching it I can't stop. And the main reason for that is Gary Cole.

Mike Brady: Cindy, you know by tattling on your friends, you're really just tattling on yourself. By tattling on your friends, you're just telling them that you're a tattletale. Now is that the tale you want to tell?

He is one of those actors who, whatever he's in, he's brilliant. Not a marquee name, but a great actor, and an interesting person, if you read his resume. He made the character of Mike Brady his own, so it's actually hard to picture Robert Reed anymore - and I grew up with that show. He totally nails the "wise 70s TV dad" lectures:

Mike Brady: A gift is only a good thing when the giver has given thought to that gift. But when the gift the giver gives gives grief, then that gift should give the givee regrets.

And his truly amazing portrayal of boss Bill Lumbergh in Office Space - well, who hasn't had some work experience with someone so vile as Lumbergh? He just nails it, every time, the inflection, the drawled "positive" words at the end of key sentences. The movie, because of him (and a little red stapler) is a classic, quotable.

Bill Lumbergh: Milt, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?

God bless Gary Cole.


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