Monday, March 24, 2008

American Gothic

I found the entire run of American Gothic on  I remember that show form when I was a kid.  I adored it.  Lucas Buck was the perfect kind of villain, a total bastard who was smart, calculating, seemed like a great guy on the outside, had vague power over reality and lost only because he expected certain people to be more cowardly or meanspirited than they actually were.  I never saw the entire season through, so I'm not sure if he was ever revealed to actually be the Devil, but there was a pretty good case for it in the episodes I remember.

I just spent a good part of the night the uploaded episodes.  I made it to #8, which was the "Strong Arm of the Law.  This is an episode I only ever saw once, but that I remember it more clearly than any other episode.  Because it was awesome. .  It showed that Sheriff Buck was even worse when he was the protagonist you had to root for than when he was the antagonist.  Four would-be crimelords set up shop in town and start extorting money from the shopkeepers as part of a protection racket.  They are clever enough to cover a murder, but otherwise they strike me as total fucking idiots.  No sense of subtlety.  They extort money for the "Sheriffs' Retirement Fund" and the "Policeman's Ball".  They beat up an off-duty Deputy in the middle of the street just to show that they freaking can.  When the Sheriff comes to confront them, they act like he can't do anything to them.  The only reason they manage to get away with anything is because the townspeople assume they are working for the Sheriff, and the entire town is scared shitless of him.  Buck spents the first part of the episode letting this crap go on, then starts to pick them off one by one.  And he doesn't arrest them (he must have an aversion to paperwork), and he doesn't just kill them.  He tortures them.  The entire point of the episode seems to be demonstrating just why the entire town is scared shitless of Sheriff Buck.

As villains go, this guy may still be one of my favorites.  I am so freaking happy this series was put on the internet


  1. Oh, man, I loved that show! Sherriff Buck was one of the best creepy villains I ever saw growing up. Thanks for pointing this out! You've just inspired another few hours of insomnia on my part. :D

  2. And then he went on to become Vice-President of the United States...

    Sorry, I always imagine characters if they kept going into one of the actor's next roles...

    But yeah, AG was pretty sweet. I'm trying to remember what else I've seen the kid in...

  3. The kid (Lucas Black) was in Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Sling Blade (I like the way yew talk, too), and Jarhead, among other things. He's a pretty good actor, actually, but boy should he have stayed out of that Fast and the Furious flick.

    I loved that show, even after CBS started tinkering with it towards the end (Nothing major, just little subtle changes to goose ratings, which were REAL low). There was talk of a movie a while back, but nothing's come of it to date. I wish they'd do it before Gary Cole gets too old...

    Cast members keep popping up in odd places, especially Caleb's sister Merlyn, played by Sarah Paulsen. Since AG, she's been in Studio 60, really miscast there; Serenity, and Deadwood (she was really good there as Miss Isringhausen).

  4. "Someone's at the door!"

    I loved that program. It was like THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW if Andy had actually been in league with the devil.

    I also liked it better before CBS decided to actually show the sheriff doing magic (morphing, etc.) instead of just having bad shit happen to people in his general vicinity.

  5. Remember watching the show late night on Channel 4 in England before they decided to move it all around the schedules in a bid to shake off viewers but it still made enough of an impression that I remember it today.

    Oh and if your enjoying saphire and steel then you might like both "Children of the stones" a very strange TV series about a remote village that you can still find on the internet somewhere complete with flaired trousers and kipper ties. OH and "The stone tapes" (if you can find this one) a semi horror/ghost story both very much in the vain of Saphire and steel.

  6. Huge American Gothic fan, and more importantly it left me a life long fan of Gary Cole there after, between that and his hilarious impersation of Robert Reed's hammy assed over acting on The Brady Bunch I honestly believe that the man is one of the most under rated dramatic and comedic actors alive. I'm thrilled to death any time he appears anywhere, including voice work.

    I'm very happy for you, but very sad for myself. I'm on dial up and so downloading the episodes is out of the question. And I boycotted the DVD release because they felt they need to put the episodes in broadcast order instead of the order they should have been in in the first place. I know it's kind of petty but I refuse to reward that kind of corporate buggery with an artists vision.



  7. I cut myself a wav file of "Someone's at the door" a while ago, and made the mistake of using it for my new mail notification.

    It was okay up until I left my mail client open all night and got an email at 4 AM. Woke me up faster'n any alarm clock.