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Mixed Notes Thursday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 9, 2013

Family business took me away yesterday and, frankly, has been distracting me from some things today. But here are some brief notes.

Jeanne Cooper, the soap-opera legend and mother of Corbin Bernsen, has died. Last year, when her autobiography came out, I had the pleasure of talking with her (and Corbin helped make that possible). She was a terrific talker, and a great dame. The story I wrote about her is here.

Tonight is the season finale of "Community," a show that is very much on the bubble. So watch. While you do, DVR tonight's "Big Bang Theory," which sees a chance in the Sheldon-Amy relationship and Howard doing impressions.

Today's mailbag is here.

I saw "The Great Gatsby" on Tuesday night but, because of those family commitments, did not write a review. So here are the basics: It was not as bad as the trailers made me think it would be, with the big musical pieces in the trailer more intermittent in the movie. In fact, it drew a lot from the book, and Leonardo DiCaprio is a very good Gatsby. Tobey Maguire's Nick is less effective in some early wide-eyed scenes, but fine in the later parts of the movie; Carey Mulligan's Daisy has no depth. But director Baz Lurhmann can't resist excess -- look at the apartment where Tom and Myrtle canoodle -- and that pushes the movie out of what is at times an attempt at realism.

In addition, Daisy and Jordan are much softer in this interpretation than they are in the book, which makes Nick's rage at the privileged classes less comprehensible. The line about the rotten crowd is still there, but the rot has been covered up a bit. Nor am I crazy about the device used to establish that this is Nick's telling of the tale.  I would call the movie a respectable try, but an unsuccessful one.

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