Cold, Gray Thursday (January 2012)

Self feels in no way inclined to step out of doors. Good thing her current Netflix rental, “The Conspirator,” is pretty good (James McAvoy, Robin Wright). She was going to go to German Haus Staudt in downtown to get sauerkraut to go with the corned beef simmering in the crockpot, and also drop by Peet’s for more French Roast. But that can wait.

It’s Sinulog Time in the Philippines. She was there last January. Oh what a difference a year makes.  A year ago, she remembers one of her Bacolod nephews returning from a smaller version of the Sinulog, in Kabankalan. Now he works for Qatar Airlines.

The mail thumped into the box a few minutes ago. The cover of Sports Illustrated is our very own 49ers. Self views the cover with mixed feelings. On the one hand, she loves what Alex Smith and the rest of the 49ers are doing. On the other hand, she clearly remembers telling the husband, “Whoever’s on the cover of the next Sports Illustrated will lose.” And you know, she successfully called the game for the 49ers last weekend!

Anyhoo, fie with the gloomy thoughts! Self is at the moment still reading last Sunday’s New York Times. After several days, she has slowly worked her way to the Art & Leisure section, and has paused to peruse an article on a new show, “Revenge,” which the Times critic Alessandra Stanley has called one of the Top 10 Shows of 2011.

It’s set in the Hamptons (What? Another show set in the Hamptons? When will it all end?) and one of the main characters is played by a tall, skinny, blonde actor named Gabriel Mann. The role is supposed to be that of a high-tech billionaire.

Self doesn’t recognize him from the Times picture, but the article cites a previous acting credit as being the Bourne movies, and she thinks, she thinks he just might be the guy who plays the assistant to one of the Treadstone bad guys (“Danny”), the one who gets off-ed near the start of Bourne II (a hunch later confirmed)

In “Revenge,” he plays, according to Times writer Megan Angelo, “the Eleanor Rigby of tech billionaires: brilliant, prickly, and palpably alone.”

What? Surely Ms. Angelo could have thought of a better parallel. Eleanor Rigby is the LAST thing on self’s mind when she looks at a picture of Gabriel Mann. But, to return to the matter at hand —

Ms. Angelo asks Mann who the models for his character are. Mr. Mann modestly declares that “there were definitely some names thrown at me, like Zuckerberg, but nobody’s going to do that better than Jesse Esienberg in The Social Network. The only description for Nolan in the script was that he’s a very bad dresser. (For the audition) I put on a red windbreaker and every other ugly, ill-fitting thing I could dig out.”

Angelo: There’s something unsettling about him onscreen — magnetic, but unsettling.

Mann: … Nolan just snakes his way through these events. I wanted him to be unreadable.

Angelo: Nolan’s a loner, and the Hamptons is a strange place to be a loner.

Mann: It’s an interesting dichotomy. He has built this castle made of money that separates him from everybody else. He doesn’t have social connections. People meet him purely because of his money. What does that do to a person over time?

Which is indeed a very interesting question, Mr. Mann.

*     *     *     *

(Several hours later)

Self inveigled the husband to search for an episode of “Revenge” on Play on Demand.  He dredged up Episode 6.  Wow!  That is indeed the most crazy, cheesy, entertainingly absorbing soap self has seen on network TV since “Dallas”!!!  She almost bust a gut seeing Gabriel Mann’s blonde, Beatle haircut!  Is he playing metro-sexual?  She loves the bitterness around his mouth.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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