Let’s be charitable or at least forgiving and call Woody Allen‘s Crisis in Six Scenes, a new six-part, 140-odd-minute Amazon miniseries, a dud that causes no pain. Tolerably substandard, it’s basically The Man Who Came To Dinner set in the politically incendiary climate of the late ’60s with Miley Cyrus as a kind of Sheridan Whiteside. I binged through the whole thing last night, and didn’t feel the least bit angry at the general lackadaisical atmosphere. A little bit bored, perhaps, but I got through it. I felt placated. And then I finally made it to the payoff, which happens during the final two episodes.
I don’t regard Allen’s failure to consistently churn out films along the lines of Match Point or Midnight in Paris to be a prosecutable offense. He’s pushing 81 and is naturally going to show signs of slowing down. Over the last half-century Allen’s films have almost always been satisfactory (original stabs at personal excavation, ambitious concepts, pointed urban humor, etc.) and have sometimes achieved greatness, but now the best that can be hoped for is that he might just luck into an extraordinary idea or hook of some kind and deliver another gem. Please, just one more.
Yes, eventually the biological odds are going to overwhelm and it’ll be time to hang it up. At the same time I admire his no-retirement, bop-til-you-drop attitude.