These are some of the questions I’ve been asked this week — by readers, by friends, by coworkers, or by myself.
Are you excited about Galaxy Quest becoming a television show?
When I saw that headline, I cheered. I think Galaxy Quest is a minor miracle of a movie — it’s so much better and funnier than we had any right to expect. I’m happy whenever I think of it. And it still holds up after 16 years.
But then I started thinking — which is always a dangerous proposition.
Will they bring back the original cast? Very unlikely. And that cast had a wonderful chemistry. It’s my favorite leading role from Tim Allen (indeed, the only Tim Allen performance I like outside of his work in the Toy Story franchise). Alan Rickman‘s self-effacing turn is a joy to behold. It was a star-making turn for Sam Rockwell, and thank goodness it was — his performance here gave us no idea of just how great he would become. Sigourney Weaver seemed to be having more fun than she’d ever had in a movie before. It’s bizarre to watch now and see that Rainn Wilson had a role in it, since nobody knew who he was back then. But the highlight of the movie for me has always been Enrico Colantoni of Vernonica Mars, whose absolutely insane turn as an alien is truly inspired.
They’re what I love about the film… but I have no reason to think any of them will be back. The chances of the show-runners finding that kind of chemistry with a new set of actors are extremely slim.
The most encouraging sign: The show will be written by Robert Gordon, who wrote the film.
But I would trade this in a heartbeat for the return of either Twin Peaks or Firefly.
What’s the most recent book of poetry you’ve actually purchased because you wanted to? (Buying it for schoolwork doesn’t count.)
Just this week, I picked up Jane Hirshfield‘s brand new collection The Beauty. And by the way, here’s a great interview in which the interviewer asks, “What makes a poem ‘good’?” And she replies:
You feel a poem is good if, having read it, you find yourself at its end a different person — larger, more permeable, wilder, more awake, more informed, more saddened, more free. The specific flavor or quality of the change almost doesn’t matter, so long as the movement is toward increase rather than narrowing. Galway Kinnell once said, “The title of every good poem might be ‘Tenderness.’
What’s your favorite album of 2015 so far?
I’m not ready to say just yet. But I will talk about several of my top picks in a few weeks, and you’re invited to the even. It’ll happen at The Kindlings Muse, a live podcast recording at Hales Brewery and Pub, on Monday, May 11. Dr. Jeff Keuss will host a discussion with a panel that includes Chris Estey, a music critic for The Stranger and Seattle Weekly, show producer Anna Miller, and myself!
I see They Might Be Giants have a new album called Glean. What are your favorite They Might Be Giants albums? I think their third album was best.
I’m right there with you. Flood is, for this Giants fan, the masterpiece.
But there are several TMBG albums I love. My top 5 would be
2. They Might Be Giants (the self-titled debut)
3. John Henry
4. Apollo 18
And I just ordered my copy of Glean.