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'The Art of More': Greed Is Still Good
November 18, 2015  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment
 

The Art of More
, a new Crackle drama set on the dark side of high-end auction house, revives the notion – as if it ever died – that greed is good.

Dennis Quaid stars in The Art of More, whose 10 episodes become available Thursday on the streaming service, as Samuel Brukner, a wealthy real estate shark who collects art and manipulates the art market.

“He doesn’t really think about anybody except himself,” says Quaid, and he has the same sort of power and charisma in the art world that Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko held in the world of high finance in the classic film Wall Street.

So Brukner, like Gekko, becomes a role model for an ambitious young man who aspires to that same power.

In The Art of More that’s Graham Connor, played by Christian Cooke.

Connor, a blue-collar kid with no blood ties to the world he wants to crash, got involved with an antiquities smuggling ring when he served as a soldier in Iraq, and now he’s using that unsavory connection as part of his move for an auction-house career.

All this may suggest, correctly, that there aren’t many candidates for Mr. Nice Guy in The Art of More.

Cooke doesn’t think that’s an issue, particularly with television drama having been what it is lately.

“I don’t think it matters if the audience likes the characters,” he says, “as long as the characters are interesting. Who really liked Walter White?”

Cooke also says that as the show progresses it will move into some grey areas, with the characters becoming more nuanced and complex than they first seem.

“We’ll see a lot of sides to Graham,” he says. “He’s still finding his place. He’s still the blue-collar kid and he’s not a big fish in this world.”

Since he’s also hiding secrets and no one in a show like this can entirely outrun his past, Connor has a lot of juggle.

“People have been hurt and betrayed,” Cooke says. “They know things. So Graham always has that fear of their holding that power over him.”

And that’s even before we get to the potential complication of Graham’s relationship to Roxanna Whitman (Kate Bosworth, left with Quaid and Cooke), a rival dealer who does come from blue blood.

“Graham’s a great character to play,” says Cooke. “I started acting when I was 9, so I’ve been studying people ever since. There’s a lot in Graham to work with.”

Quaid, who is an executive producer of the show, says Brukner has some of those same deceptive layers.

“He’s a climber,” says Quaid. “Some of the people around him are genuine bluebloods, but he’s still rough around the edges.

“He used art to get a foot into a society that didn’t want him, and now he’s determined to stay. He isn’t going anywhere.”

Quaid also says that beyond the interplay among the characters, The Art of More offers at least one other hook by which the casual viewer could feel a connection to the show’s multimillion-dollar world: the fantasy of the big score.

“Everyone dreams of finding a garage sale painting that turns out to be worth $2 million,” he says. “It’s like winning the lottery.”

Nor does Quaid think it’s a stretch for viewers to accept that unseen, rich and nefarious forces pull many of the world’s strings.

“Because,” he says matter of factly, “they do.”


 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
I came across this while doing research for a painting I'm doing called;
"GREED." Sounds interesting I'll have to check it out.
Thanks, Rusty
Jul 29, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for under $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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