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July 20, 2006

I burn to a degree of 130.

The new wristband: W.W.DMX.D?

The networks are dead to us this summer, each of them preoccupied with "America's Got....A Serious Dearth of Talent"-type embarrasments. So it's up to basic cable to save prime time, and it's coming through.

Best by a mile is BET's "Soul of a Man," a "reality" show that follows around lye-throated MC DMX. Anyone who's followed his career since It's Dark and Hell is Hot knows that one of X's biggest accomplishments has been his crafting of a direct and unavoidable persona, a stance as the conflicted shadow that stands between light and dark, heaven and earth, the streets and the penthouse. That persona appears here and there in "Soul of a Man," usually when X is meting out threats on hentchmen and the like. But what makes the show so watchable is how it dismantles the legend the man has built. X becomes a volatile but regular guy with a punctuality problem (and very possibly severe ADD) who drives all the people in his life - his management, his label, his wife - bananas as they try to reign him in. But he doesn't want to be reigned in. He just wants to go target-shooting in the Arizona desert. Or at the very least be at the Gas 'N' Sip just as the fresh donuts arrive. "Soul of a Man" is event television not because of the crazed DMX-ocity that constantly burbles just off-camera, though that's highly watchable, too. It's important because it succeeds at humanizing its subject, instead of letting him hang himself with his own hijinks (as most reality programming would.)


How Julie Roberts floats above the pop-country fluff

"[Roberts makes Men & Mascara's] title track even better than its already terrific central phrase "'Cause men and mascara always run" because she delivers it with a wink and a rueful sigh, like she's resigned herself to the fact men will be idiots for as long as beauty maintenance is a chore."



Posted by Johnny Loftus at July 20, 2006 11:21 AM