I like to think it's my anarchic creative daredevilry that's made me too hot for mainstream comics to touch, but of late I've begun to wonder if perhaps it may have more to do with my lack of talent, bad temper, refusal to take direction or criticism, and my insistence on starting all emails with "greetings, fucker."
Been watching Amazon's season pilots, and while I haven't got around to the one I assumed I'd be in a rush to watch - The Tick, featuring as it does creative input from the property's originator and well-seasoned tv turd-polisher* Ben Edlund - I have managed to watch I Love Dick, which ironically, I did not love in any way, even though it stars Kevin Bacon as Kevin Bacon. It's one of those shows where horrible people go about their lives being awful and we have to sit and watch it without ever knowing why we're doing so, but presumably in the hope that the hook or the leftfield swerve will be along any minute to turn everything we've seen so far on its head. No such luck, sadly, this is just a half hour of unlikable people being varying degrees of pretentious.
As with Kevin Bacon, Jean Claude Van Damme plays Jean Claude Van Damme - though in this instance I mean he plays a fictional version of himself rather than simply displays a lack of range - in Jean Claude Van Johnson, and as with his previous foray into playing himself in 2008's JCVD, he plays a pathetic, lonely creature only just managing to live off his dwindling fame and finding no solace in occasionally turning that fame into hollow and meaningless sexual encounters. Basically, all those years in the US making films where he jumping spin-kicked serial murderers in the head in slow motion never stopped Van Damme being European and he was always going to make something as depressing as this, it was only a matter of when - and that when is now.
Van Damme's yearning for validation forces him to return to making the terrible films which made his name in the hope he can rekindle a relationship with a makeup artist, but there's a catch: his terrible films were only ever an elaborate cover for his true trade as an international murderer-for-hire. There are lots of references to those terrible films, and one good running gag about how Looper is just a poor copy of Timecop, but the laughs mainly come from seeing JCVD so willing to play himself as a wretched sadsack to the point he doesn't even mug for comic effect, he just lets his hangdog face sink ever lower with each new kick in the balls that life brings.
Admittedly I am its target audience - someone who grew up watching JCVD head-kicking people and now is older but won't have the good grace to die so a young family can take my flat and use it as something other than a repository for dog hair and PS2 games - but I found it highly enjoyable, as much as I can enjoy anything while waiting for death to claim me.
* He's worked on the likes of the dreadful Revolution, as well as the seemingly endless televisual purgatory that is the CW's Supernatural.