My husband refers to DVD menu screens as the loneliest places in the world. You could put in a disc and then leave the house for years and years and years and the world could come to some kind of terrible apocalyptic end and that DVD player would just keep playing its little loops of sound and vision for ever and ever and ever. If someone kept paying the power bills, that is.
Still, the music played in the menu for renegade series Deadwood is quite stirring, if a little repetitive after a while. The Pixie is always wondering about the show with the “beautiful music” that she hears from her bed at night, which is better than her wondering about the show with the “goddamned cocksucking language”.
Why, just yesterday, she said she wanted “Deadwood the DVD” for Christmas. Because it’s entirely appropriate for a five year old to want to watch Deadwood. And it’s also entirely appropriate to be making christmas present requests in the first week of January. That’s just how my daughter rolls.
“What do you actually think Deadwood is about?” I asked The Pixie.
“Dead things,” she replied. “I’m very interested in things. Even when they’re dead.”
“Well, you’ll have to wait until you’re much older before you can watch it,” I remarked.
“Can I watch it when I’m eight??” The Pixie asked hopefully.
“NO, PIXIE! You have to wait until you’re 15 because it has a MA15+ rating!” Mr Justice interjected with some force.
I asked Mr Justice, obviously an expert in film and literature classifications, what he thought would earn a DVD an M15+ rating.
“MA15+ means there is Strong Violence and… um… Strong Scary Bits. Basically, anything that’s got the word ‘Strong’ in it gives a DVD an MA15+ rating,” was his measured response.
Well, most certainly, “strong” would have been a good word to describe the emotions evoked in my own good self by Deadwood, particularly when my husband and I started watching Season Two.
As the first episode unfolded, I observed that there were a lot of new characters, not many of them given any introduction. Then it turns out that some people who were previously acquaintances were now inexplicably married. And one character was mysteriously bed-ridden while another tried to commit suicide, completely out of the blue – just like that! And elsewhere, someone started speaking Cornish. It was all very confusing indeed.
After the episode finished and we returned to that loneliest place in the world, I saw the words “SEASON THREE” emblazened in large letters. We had missed an entire season.
Of course, I immediately blamed my husband. It would have been counter-intuitive to do anything else. Long-time readers of this blog might remember how he once launched us into the Robbie Coltrane series Cracker by putting on the second-to-last disc on first (see “Remains of the Day (and Night)“).
“But I checked the box!” my husband cried when I gave him my best accusatory stare. “It said Season Two! It did! IT DID!”
I, too, checked the box to verify his story. I then cross-checked its contents with the Season Three box: an exact match, disc for disc. We had two sets of Season Three.
“God-damned quagmire of piss and bull shit!” I muttered to myself as I put the discs away. Already, I was planning my trip into Sanity Records to put these wrongs t’ right, with my guns blazing and shouting “LISTEN TO THE THUNDER, COCKSUCKERS!” while threatening to feed every single one of them to Mr Wu’s pigs if they didn’t hand over the Second Season IMMEDIATELY.
And then I planned to ring the distributors of the DVD and request that Those Responsible be placed immediately in DVD-menu-limbo for the rest of their natural lives. Where the Keyboard Cat will be playing its theme tune again and again and again. And Mr Wu’s pigs will constantly gnaw on their dangly bits. And an undergraduate student will endlessly recite that Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch in a corner – and badly. And where Barney The Dinosaur keeps dropping by to say “Super Dee Dooper!” and to unleash a large gang of toddlers who will chase them around with sticky ice-cream hands and snotty noses and then piss unceremoniously on their shoes while screaming “Map! MAPPPPP!”.
Either that or I’ll just make a written complaint to Consumer Affairs.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to do with all these strong emotions.