How about that Magic City season finale? The little premium
cable show that could (the one about our fair city, anyway) wrapped up quite nicely, by which we
mean everyone is miserable. Good job, very dramatic.
Sure the Miramar may be
saved by its new investor Meg, but can it survive with Ike in jail? Probably --
it's a hotel, not a child or something.
That said, we're eagerly anticipating
the second season to see how our favorite characters get out of this mess. (And
good job giving the show a second season, Starz! After all, it's the biggest
success since your last hit: Nothing.)
The newly discovered redhead Judi Silver is being held in an
interrogation room where White Dude: District Attorney knocks her around a bit
and withholds food and water. This isn't Law and Order, people. (What if it
was, though? Quick, write in a role for Richard Belzer next season. He'll do
anything.) But White Dude: District Attorney gets results. Granted, it's
through pointing a gun at Ms. Silver, but he finally has what he needs to pin
the murder on Ike. Talk about unorthodox!
Vera quietly prepares for her dancing re-debut, unbeknownst
to Ike. Let's just acknowledge that this is the least important, least interesting
storyline and move on. Ike doesn't want her to dance, but she does, and he comes
to terms with it. There, done. Vera does do an admirable job holding down the
fort with the television executives when Ike gets incarcerated, though. Yay, new wife!
Ike desperately attempts to drum up network television
interest in the hotel. He is still courting Meg for a limited partnership in
the Miramar, whatever that is. There's the displeasure of telling Victor and Mercy that
their wife/mother won't be joining them anytime soon, or ever. Then it's jail
time! How unfair. Though, not to split hairs, but he did murder Judi's would-be
assassin. Oh, Ike, sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is on your
shoulders, like a Jewish Atlas. (Was Atlas Jewish? We were never good with
Stevie successfully ransacks his dead blackmailer's boat
apartment for evidence of his and Lily's tryst. Guess that's the end of that!
Oh wait, it isn't. There's the matter of the Butcher, who stays out of the
picture for most of the episode. Once the photographic evidence is in his hands,
it's strangulation time for Lily. But she outwits him, going for a psychosexual
power play that works and ends with him suckling on her breasts like an infant. Then she sleeps with Stevie for old time's sake as the Butcher watches from his sex ceiling. We just can't wait for the marriage counseling in season two!
Let's hear it for Danny, who finally bedded (or showered)
Mercy! Break out the novelty balloons! But their consummated love was not meant to
last, as Mercy's mother died in her attempt to make it from Cuba to Miami.
Wrought with sadness, Mercy headed on out to New York, leaving our newly
deflowered Danny behind. Embrace the sadness, Danny. If this were 2012, we would
say you should head to a karaoke bar and pour your heart into a rousing
rendition of Hall & Oates' "She's Gone." Oh, sure, the crowd will cheer and
laugh, as par for the course for the duo's quasi-ironic resurgence, but for you,
it will mean so much more!
And that's it for the first season of Magic City. We have to
admit, we were pretty skeptical of this show starting off, given the relative
failures of other recent period dramas not created by Matt Weiner. But Magic
City was persistent, first giving us beautiful cinematography and strong
performances until it finally delivered on engrossing stories to match. Oh, and
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boobs. If Mad Men has been compared to Literature with a capital L, then Magic
City is it's breezier, if trashier, dollar pulp novel equivalent. Feel free to
use that as a pull quote for next year, Starz!