To you I'm just a friend
That's all I've ever been
You don't know me
My workday lunches usually consist of a homemade sandwich that I eat at my desk. Sometimes that sandwich is supplemented with a salad or a cup of soup from the cafeteria in my building.
I used to read a book or a New Yorker while eating that sandwich. A couple of years ago, I started watching public-library DVDs of cable TV series -- one episode if it's an hour-long drama, two episodes of half-hour comedies.
So far, I've made it through Breaking Bad (five seasons), Entourage (eight seasons), House of Cards (three seasons), Justified (five seasons watched, one to go), The League (five seasons watched, two to go), Homeland (three seasons watched), Orange Is the New Black (two seasons watched), and Masters of Sex – I just finished season one of that series.
Recently, I started season one of The Americans, which is off to a good start. The episode I just finished is set on the day that John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan.
I was working in the Federal Building in San Francisco then, and I remember everyone in my office crowding around the one television in our suite to watch the news. A few weeks later, I flew back to Washington, landing at Dulles Airport and taking an airport bus that drove past George Washington Hospital – where Reagan was treated after he was shot – en route to the Washington Hilton, the site of the attempted assassination.
I was glad to see Margo Martindale in The Americans. She also had a small role in Masters of Sex, and was the primary villain in season two of Justified.
|Katie Aselton ("The League")|
I'm not sure where I'll go after season two of The Americans. The new season of Orange Is the New Black is scheduled to be released next month, and I'm hoping the final season of Justified will be available not too much later. (I could have watched Justified when it aired on FX earlier this year, of course, but I hate waiting a week between episodes – and I hate commercials.) Eventually I'll get around to Bosch, Fargo, True Detective, Better Call Saul, Boardwalk Empire, Rome . . . who knows what else?
(Don't hold your breath until I watch Game of Thrones, Mad Men, or anything with zombies or vampires. It ain't happenin'.)
I've seen bits and pieces of The Sopranos, Californication, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Wire over the years, and someday I'll go through each of them more systematically. I actually own all the DVDs for The Wire, but I'm saving them for a rainy day. (Yeah, yeah, I know . . . I'd better not wait too long. I'm not getting any younger.)
I've also got the DVDs for The Larry Sanders Show in the bank. Most of you have no doubt forgotten about that show. It ran on HBO from 1992 and 1998 – 89 episodes altogether – and starred Garry Shandling (as an insecure and passive-aggressive late-night talk-show host), Jeffrey Tambor (as his buffoonish second banana), Rip Torn (as the Machiavellian producer), and Jeremy Piven (as the flaky head writer).
Wikipedia lists 172 of the show's celebrity guest stars – everyone from Jennifer Aniston, Alec Baldwin, Warren Beatty, Sandra Bernhard, the Butthole Surfers, Jim Carrey, Carrot Top, Ellen DeGeneres, Angie Dickinson, Peter Falk, Farrah Fawcett, Al Franken, Hugh Hefner, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marlee Martin (who calls Brooke Shields the C-word in sign language), Sean Penn, Tom Poston, William Shatner, Gloria Steinem, Sharon Stone, Alex Trebek, Robin Williams, and the Wu-Tang Clan.
The show also featured guest appearances by a number of real talk-show figures, including David Letterman, Jay Leno, Ed McMahon, Doc Severinsen, Tom Snyder, and Larry King.
Today's featured song is Lizzy Caplan's cover of "You Don't Know Me," which was originally recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1955. The version that Ray Charles recorded was a #2 hit in 1962, and the other artists who have covered it include Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Jerry Vale, Mickey Gilley, Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Bette Midler, and . . . Meryl Streep?
(When in doubt, just start listing famous people.)
Lizzy Caplan, who plays pioneering sex research Virginia Johnson in Masters of Sex, sings "You Don't Know Me" during the ending of the first season's penultimate episode:
Here's a better recording of the song: