Life Is Like A Box Of – Never Mind
Since the Corona lockdown, I’ve been watching a lot of TV, a lot of TV. Turns out that there are some shows out there now that are based in the South, some of them filmed right here in Georgia. A few of these shows have developed a cult-like following. I don’t know whether that speaks to the fact that regional differences are not as pronounced as the media would have us believe, particularly the rural areas, or that the stories are so universal in nature that they appeal to all. Maybe it’s just that the strong Southern man as a hero is admired by male and female alike.
I prefer the last one, although I suspect number one and two are strong contenders. Rural America is a lot more homogeneous than we are led to believe. For example, the states of Indiana and Michigan have higher Klan memberships than many Southern states. Wherever two or more poor ignorant white people are gathered together they’ll find an excuse to blame their lot in life on another group. Usually there’s a hustler nearby to sell them a sheet, a gun and a lifetime subscription to hate speech. We’ll need to talk about the Klan another time. Sorry I lost focus, it’s the Corona lockdown.
My marathon TV watching has allowed me to power-watch three series based in the South that have been universally popular. I’m talking about, “The Walking Dead” based in Georgia, “Justified” based in Kentucky and “Rectify” based in Georgia. Now before I start my rant I would like to say thank you to all of the Hollywood types who have moved facilities here to Georgia. The story lines now have scenery that is really from the locale they’re talking about.
That fine portrayal of Southern Life, “The Dukes of Hazzard” ran for 5 seasons with just 5 episodes of the first season being shot in Georgia. After that, we were treated to views of the California hills, which even to the inebriated, don’t look like Georgia. To the crews that start here and stay here, God bless you, we appreciate it. That said, we come to the crux of my discord.
Most Southerners develop an ear for accents, and those of us who are well traveled can pick up nuances from East Tennessee to South Georgia. Our audial senses are so finely tuned that we can confidently tell a stranger “you ain’t from around here, are you?”. After listening to just a few words, we can generally tell when “furreners” have been sent in to play the leads in our story.
I will give the cast of “Justify” a near pass on this miscarriage. The lead actor, Timothy Oliphant, was born in Hawaii. The balance of the cast are for the most part from the South. Two members of the troop are Georgia born and bred.
Now, a Kentucky accent is different than a Georgia accent, but at least the “Justify” producers hearts were in the right place. They used Southern actors to fill roles about Southerners. Mulva rarely had to interrupt “Justify” to say, ”What’d he say?” after the actor mangled some phrase.
Also, doing a fairly good job with the accents is “The Walking Dead”. The lead, Rick, and the main protagonist, the Governor, are both British. So are Maggie and Morgan, two characters that have made it through all 10 seasons . With so many actors waiting tables throughout the South, couldn’t you employ a couple of locals? Still love the show though. Best part is Mulva doesn’t watch “The Walking Dead” so there are no interruptions.
This brings me to “Rectify”. I totally love the concept. I recognize a lot of the scenery and I feel a kinship to the character. That said, the main character, Daniel, is from Canada. The hot sister-in-law, Tawney, is from Australia. Again I ask, was there nobody in Atlanta looking for work when this was cast? Please. The killer here, no pun intended, is that Aden Young’s (Daniel) voice coach must have been the guy who taught Tom Hanks to talk in Forrest Gump. Jiminy Crickets, the hour long show takes an hour and half to watch sometimes because of rolling back the DVR to try to figure out what he said. If it wasn’t for Teddy, who is from Alabama, we’d lose half of what’s going on.
In summation, Hollywood, hire regional actors, please! They need the work and we need the peace of mind. There, I feel better. @#%#$&$# Corona!