Musings From the Bench 12/29 Edition

musings from the bench-2I read an online report about a leaked Sony pictures email that said Idris Elba should be the next James Bond. For those of you not familiar with his work or with the man, he’s British, he’s black and he’s an outstanding actor. I think he would make an excellent James Bond.  I asked the friend who told me about the British TV series “Luther” which starred Elba, and is available for streaming on Netflix, what he thought about the possibility of this happening, but he concentrated on the comments made by that bastion of bigotry and racism with a radio show Rush Limbaugh who said, “James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was. But now they are suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is, and I know it’s racist to probably point that out.”

So when my friend said it was sad that Rush had to feel that way I redirected idriselba-jamesbond-tsrmy question asking him what he thought about Idris Elba becoming the next James Bond and was he as excited about it as me, he told me that at the age of 50 Idris was too old for the part. My friend might be right because if you strictly adhere to the tenets of the double 0 section, retirement comes at age 45.  Still, it’s a movie, people, strict adherence to the rules be damned. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard would say, “Make it so.”

But my friend’s statement about the actors age and being too old for the part got me to thinking. That’s usually what they say about actresses. That the older the actress, the fewer the parts.  Can’t all be “Hot in Cleveland” I suppose.

Then again there are times when an actress plays someone older and it just doesn’t fly. Case in point, the movie “Tammy.”

Tammy is played by Melissa McCarthy whom I first saw in the movie “Bridesmaids” and thought she was comedy gold. She co-stars with Billy Gardell in the CBS TV show “Mike and Molly.”

Tammy_posterTammy is having a miserable day. She hits a deer with her car on the way to work as she’s looking for something in the back seat. She hits her head on the steering wheel and ends up all bloody as she exits the car to check on the deer. She gets down on the pavement and attempts to resuscitate the animal and as the deer revives, she gets hit with the front hoofs. The deer then scampers away. She returns to her car and continues on her way to work. She gets to work in her beat up car and of course she’s late and a mess and gets called into  the fast food restaurant manager’s office where she is fired. She takes revenge on her boss and the restaurant by touching or contaminating the food in other ways and tells the customers exactly what it is they are eating as she leaves the place for the last time. She gets back in her car for the drive home but when the car will go no farther, she collects her things and starts walking the rest of the way. As she heads off, black smoke comes out from the engine compartment and the car is on fire.

She gets home, opens the door, puts down her stuff telling her husband about what happened, she looks up and sees her husband and the female neighbor at the dining room table enjoying a romantic dinner for two. She explodes, collects things from the bedroom and leaves. She walks past the neighbor’s house and arrives at her mother’s. She tells her mother she needs her car because she’s leaving town but Mom won’t give her the keys, so Tammy says she’ll take Grandma’s car. Grandma has obviously been waiting for this day to come as she’s all packed and ready to go.   Tammy explains she only wants the car but when Grandma holds up a wad of cash, they both head out for the open road.

This movie has so many things wrong with it I’m not quite sure where to begin.

1.  Melissa McCarthy is 44 years old. That’s not old, but the actress playing her mother is Allison Janney (The West Wing, Mom) who is 55. Much too young to be believable as Tammy’s Mom.

2.  Susan Sarandon plays Tammy’s Grandma who lives with Tammy’s Mom because she’s an alcoholic diabetic with heart issues. (Grandma, not Mom)  When she goes with Tammy, she leaves all her medications at home, starts drinking to excess, has sex with a stranger yet the only health issue she suffers from is swollen reddish feet. Oh yeah, and Susan Sarandon is 68 years old. The no bra-saggy boobs and the grey curly wig aren’t enough to make you believe she’s old enough to be Tammy’s Grandma.

3.  Kathy Bates is just about the only one who can pull off a believable performance as Grandmas lesbian cousin. The two are close in age with Kathy being 66.

In my opinion, when Susan Sarandon guest starred on Mike and Molly as the lesbian writer who became Molly’s mentor the two women had so much fun it was decided they work on a movie together. Too bad it was so bad.



I can’t believe the NFL regular season is over already. Seems like it just began. My guys, the New England Patriots, have won the AFC East clinching the division, have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first-round bye.  To all those folks who tell me the Pats play in a weak division so of course they clinch it, I say  they still have to play the game, bucko and anything can happen on any given Sunday. Take yesterday….really, just take it…I can’t believe I didn’t see the loss to the Bills coming what with the number of starters that didn’t play.  Still, got to congratulate the Bills on ending a 13-year losing streak playing at Gillette.

So, how did your teams season go?


One last thing…..Thursday is New Year’s Day which means Wednesday night is New Year’s Eve. Play it smart. If you drink, don’t drive. If you and your loved one have a date-night party at the club or hotel ballroom, rent a room and sleep it off. Or better yet, celebrate with family, soft drinks and firework displays. I never could understand why anyone would want to start the new year off with the worst headache, fuzzy mouth and evidence of bad decisions.happy new year

Thanks for reading Musings From the Bench 12/29 Edition. Until next time.



Tiny URL for this post:



About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


  1. I’d like to see Idris take the role. Great in The Wire, great in Luther. Yeah, he’s black and he’s English not Scottish but what the hell? It’s soon to be 2015. Why not throw a Bond curveball?

    The age thing? 45? 50? Does it really matter? At least he’d look more believable than the Tammy casting.

  2. Good job Jane. Now, where do I start?? 1st of all, that “bastion of bigotry and racism” it appears, is still with us. I’ve also read he wasn’t “handsome enough.” Have you ever heard anything from Rush that wasn”t slanted one way or the other? September 6,1972 makes Elba 42. Just a baby. I’m not really familiar with his body of work, except for 2010’s Takers; which I thought was pretty good. He walked away with the money at the end. I’ve enjoyed the series over the years, and I’ll see the next one regardless.
    I also thoroughly enjoyed Tammy. Unlike many comedies, I thought it was hilarious. I was too busy laughing to notice that Sarandon couldn’t be her grandmother.
    Looking forward to Musings 2015 edition.

  3. Jane,

    Nice touch regarding changing the persona of a cultural icon, that is the new James Bond. This kind of thing clearly rubs some people the wrong way. I am reminded of such things as the way Slartibartfast was represented in the film “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” as contrasted to the way he was depicted on the radio show or in the books. Similarly for Chris Pine’s interpretation of James Kirk in “Star Trek” in contrast to William Schatner’s.

    I feel that the author of a work of fiction has nominal control over the characters that appear there. But the author of a drama only has partial control. The producers, directors, and actors have some freedom to develop the characters in a stage or film production as they see fit. For classical children’s stories on stage, for example, my daughter had a teacher that wrote a rock opera based on “Alice in Wonderland” which presented some of the darker side of Victorian Era humor. (The story started out with a New York girl falling through a manhole.) Recall also how “The Wiz” reinterpreted much of “The Wizard of Oz.”

    So if someone rewrote “Dr. No” or “Thunderball” with a black Bond, I would have to agree with Mr. Limbaugh (even though I would do so only under protest). But I would be in total opposition to insisting that a stage or film presentation should not be allowed to present Bond as a black, a woman, or even as a Martian. Or, like Archie Goodwin, the new Bond might even prefer milk to martinis. I am looking forward to see how Idris Elba handles things.

  4. I did learn that Idris would very much like to play Bond but not as the black Bond. As he stated it Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond and Daniel Craig isn’t the blue eyed James Bond so if he did play him he doesn’t want to be known as the black James Bond. Another thing that he has to face is that Daniel Craig will still be playing Bond in film #25 which hasn’t even been filmed yet. It’s the sequel to “Spectre” which has a release date of November 6, 2015.

    Oh well, we can all dream, can’t we?

    But i agree, it would be a mistake to remake any James Bond movie with a different actor playing Bond than the original actor of that movie.

  5. That not being handsome enough to play Bond came from Idris himself, man must not have a mirror in his house. And I found out he’s 4 years younger than Daniel Craig, the current James Bond!

    I’m glad you liked the movie “Tammy”, I just couldn’t get into it. I mainly wanted to slap her in the back of the head and yell grow up at her.

  6. I just reread this blog and wondered, given your thoughts about Tammy, what you thought of Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffanys”?

  7. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen “Breakfast at Tiffanys.” I’ll have to check Netflix and let you know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.