Tuesday, September 28, 2010


  • The Monologue:
    • A Yahoo headline reads: "Michael Buble parodies Justin Bieber." I fell asleep reading those last five words.
    • Dallas rookie Dez Bryant had to buy a $54,896 dinner for members of the team. That comes to a whole $54,896 per Cowboy win this year.
    • Not sure why parents are upset that their young kids would see Katy Perry's cleavage on Sesame Street. Nobody seems to mind when they show hamburgers or pizza to grownups.
  • Random Pop Culture
    • I DVR-ed Lone Star, which was the best-reviewed network show of the young season. When it bombed in the ratings, I decided not to watch it. It just got cancelled after its second episode.
    • All of the new Monday shows fell in the ratings in their second week. There just aren't any really good new network shows this year, not like Community (or apparently Modern Family or The Good Wife) last year.
    • House, even with the additional romantic element, was still the same formula as always. Not sure if I find that comfortable or unimaginative.
  • Random Video:
    • The great J.T. Walsh would have had a birthday today. He, of course, played prominent roles in two of the most classic of new classic movies. One role was as the mayor in Pleasantville. He also happens to be in this scene.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Video

Marvin Lee Aday is 63. His name is Robert Paulson. There's an out-of-context reference for you.

Not Too Hard, Not Too Soft

  • NFL Week 3:
    • This week didn't shed much light on the murky top-middle echelon in the AFC. The Pats, Jets, Bengals, and Ravens, have all played at least one of the other three teams and all of them are 2-1. The Dolphins are probably the only of the four that hasn't put up a stinker performance at some point. We know the Steelers and Colts are very good. We know everyone in the AFC West stinks, even KC who hasn't played anyone good. Maybe Tennessee and Houston belong with the aforementioned four teams. That's pretty much your AFC picture right there.
    • The NFC is just a big mess. The only team above .500 in the East is Philadelphia, but I can't imagine many people think Vick can actually lead them anywhere long-term. The Packers may be the real deal, but I don't believe in the Bears. The Saints haven't put up a great game and trail the Falcons, but Atlanta looked awful against the Steelers in Week 1. The Seahawks and Cardinals? Right.
    • Pending tonight, I'll go with Indianapolis vs. Green Bay, as of right now.
  • Random Pop Culture
    • Mad Men: the plot of tonight's episode seemed a bit contrived. It was good -- it always is -- but the situations that Don and Joan found themselves in were a little too perfect, a minor problem that the show runs into every so often. Draper having a panic attack, as Tony Soprano a moment as the show has ever had, was maybe even more striking than the prospect that Lee Garner's withdrawal could destroy SCDP.
    • After last season's The Amazing Race where each team was dumber than the last, this season's may have a couple of teams that know what they are doing. The Home Shopping ladies are really annoying, watermelon in the face or no.
    • I didn't know what to expect out of the Dexter season premiere after how last season ended. I think, given that dark humor has always been first and foremost on the show, that I did not expect the premiere to be depressing. I don't know why I wouldn't have expected that. Dexter, finally having felt something for someone, had to deal with real emotion. He had to tell the kids about the death of their mother. All things that couldn't be anything but humorless. They managed to work in a little bit of that humor though, so the episode ran through a lot of different emotions. As usual, the show is only as good as Michael C. Hall's performance, and he was at the top of his game.
  • Random Video:
    • Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men turns 38 today. I'm still wondering who the hell Sudden Impact was.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Worst of the Worst: #69, The Cookout

As I go through this list, fifty-four movies down now with The Cookout, I'm finding more and more movies that are just sort of lame more than they are really awful. The Cookout is supposedly a comedy, though it has only one funny part, but the right sentiment is there in the movie and that means that it can only be but so bad. It's the type of film that you watch and know that somebody, somewhere, liked the movie. I'm not just talking about the 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but that someone in the audience liked it. Nobody liked Battlefield Earth. Nobody liked Master of Disguise.

The Cookout deals with a kid who has just been drafted #1 overall by the New Jersey Nets and grapples with his newfound money and what his family means to him. He moves into a house he can't afford with his gold-digging girlfriend and, upon learning that he needs an endorsement in order to keep the things he's bought, his agent sets up a meeting with a company. Of course, the company's representative comes over as the family decides to have a cookout. Hilarity ensues. It's all rather formulaic.

The main star is a nobody and the woman who plays the strong matriarch who keeps the family together is vaguely familiar, though not Tyler Perry. Ja Rule is top-billed, but thankfully barely in it. The supporting cast of Jonathan Silverman, Frankie Faison, Tim Meadows, and Danny Glover is just Terry Crews short of comedy armageddon. It's a little distressing to see two Wire vets (Faison and Reg E. Cathey) have scenes together, but they're okay and Tim Meadows is not horrible, as one would imagine.

Hard to get too worked up. Not good by any means, but not hate-worthy. I think I need a kick start with a really, really awful movie next week. We're going to go near the top of the list. Two words: Scott Baio.

Friday, September 24, 2010

No Tears Shed

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • To my surprise, as this evening approached I found myself more excited about the return of Community than any other show. Based on the premiere, my anticipation was justified. They did a superb job of wrapping up the finale and setting up the dynamic of the new season while being very funny -- the war between Jeff and Britta, in particular -- in the process.
    • While Community used a Twitter gag to harshly mock [Bleep] My Dad Says, the problem of different time zones presented itself. Hence, I got the actual tweets once the show had aired on the West Coast and the tweets wouldn't ruin the jokes for that audience. Necessary, but annoying.
    • 30 Rock was also pretty funny, but I'm mostly just thankful that they've left it open for Matt Damon to return in the future.
    • I did watch the critically-maligned Outsourced for a few minutes, just to see how bad it is. It's really bad. The world definitely needed a sitcom that is blatantly racist and unaccepting of other cultures, because we're Americans and we like to eat cows instead of worship them, unlike other funny-sounding people.
    • The premiere of Grey's Anatomy did a good job of dealing with the aftermath of the shootings in last season's fantastic finale. The real story is going to be whether that aftermath hangs over the show for a while or whether it is forgotten relatively quickly like George's death was. One imagines that the post-traumatic stress of a workplace mass killing is something that sticks around longer than makes sense for a TV show that has to keep pushing the plot.
    • I've now seen all of the new shows I'm going to see besides No Ordinary Family and FX's Terriers is far and away the best so far. Boardwalk Empire has the best chance to pass it. Terriers is really, really good though, funny and well-acted.
  • Random Thought: On Nostalgia
    • Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy, an action that has been coming for quite some time. There was a time not so, so long ago when people lamented the death of the locally-owned video store that came at the hands of Blockbuster. Blockbuster seems to get no such sympathy from people for its death at the hands of Netflix and Redbox. I think a small masochist part of me will miss spending way too long perusing shelves to decide which movie to get. However, I mourn neither Blockbuster nor the previous smaller stores, like I do not mourn the locally-owned bookstore or whatever kind of store Wal-Mart and Target have replaced. That kind of nostalgia makes no sense. Progress is good. In the state of this economy, would those who mourn these smaller stores have stood for the higher prices and smaller selection when compared to the big box chains? Would they realistically stand up for it even if the state of the economy was great? These stores have gone because our consumption habits have changed. Nostalgia in this case is just us lying to ourselves.
  • Random Video:
    • Birthdays today: Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, Bruce Springsteen. Amazing. Oh, and Toni Basil!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Omar Coming, Y'all

  • The Monologue:
    • David Hasselhoff was the first person booted from Dancing with the Stars. He will fare much better when he finally goes on Tanzen mit den Sternen.
    • On the Today show, Jimmy Carter said he was a superior president. He later said that he was very lucky to have his appearance coincide with National Opposite Day.
    • A girl who messed up her privacy setting received 21,000 replies to her 15th birthday party. The first one came from Chris Hansen, who plans to pitch a 72-hour-long episode of To Catch a Predator to NBC.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • My Name is Earl was one of my favorite sitcoms of the last number of years and while I was hesitant about creator Greg Garcia's Raising Hope (I said the other day that I would rather watch an ant crawl back and forth on a piece of grass than watch it), I finally gave in last night after reading a number of decent reviews. I lasted ten minutes before giving up.
    • Finally caught Boardwalk Empire. It is visually gorgeous, but the pilot was about as slow as people said. I've heard it gets quicker and I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Good acting, decent amount of gang violence, and Michael Kenneth Williams was only in it for half a second. It's like they showed him just to tease everyone into watching more.
    • Fox's Lone Star was said to be the best network pilot of the year (so far, FX's Terriers is my favorite new show of the young season) and I DVR-ed it and planned to watch it yesterday. Until I heard that it pulled a 1.3 rating that actually dropped at the half hour mark? I don't care how good it is; I don't feel like putting any time into something that is going to be cancelled before you can say "Flash Forward."
  • Random Video:
    • Liam Gallagher turns 38 today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Opening Day

  • The Monologue:
    • A report has determined that the FBI overstepped its bounds and misled Congress after 9/11. In other news, the FBI was part of the government after 9/11.
    • IKEA is expanding into India, meaning that a Bollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can't be far behind.
    • Lady Gaga held a rally in Maine to convince the state's senators to vote to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". The two lawmakers became so confused by her appearance and music that somehow there's a new law that gays can only serve in the military if they wear meat uniforms.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • The relatively high amount of great one-liners on this week's Mad Men, coupled with the great physical humor as the SCDP staff tried to drag a dead Miss Blankenship away from her desk behind the clients' back, were all almost too perfect. It was very entertaining but, I don't know, over-written (?) for a show that is often perfect by being not too fine dialogue-wise. Still, the best season yet of the best show on TV continues to roll along.
    • There is that special moment at the beginning of each TV season where I begin to smile at a joke on How I Met Your Mother and then remember that the show has a laugh track. Tonight's episode was fairly funny and I'm glad that they are moving the mother story along, but still. Laugh track.
    • On the other hand, the realization that House (the character, but also the show) is back is as positive as that laugh track is negative. The show, with its grand change from the very end of last season, is not fundamentally different, but still entertaining. "There's an 'I' in Cuddy." Great line.
    • Hawaii Five-0 gets a B-minus for the show and an A-plus for the title sequence. The show is formulaic, but it's not entirely boring. It's not as good as Human Target, but I foresee it filling a similar role -- a fun show to DVR and watch on weekends when I'm looking for something to do.
    • Still have to watch the pilots for Boardwalk Empire and Fox's Lone Star (which has been critically-proclaimed the best network pilot of the year).
    • When the Saints took the ball back with just over a minute, I commented that Brees is probably second to Manning in terms of QBs that I would not want to see in that situation if I were the other team. A fairly distant second, but second all the same. When he got the ball quickly to 49ers territory with 45 seconds left and a timeout, I proclaimed the game over. Not rocket science.
  • Random Video:
    • On this day in 1967, we got two for the price of one as both Matthew and Gunnar Nelson were born.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Didn't do much yesterday besides watch football (i.e., no Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire yet). Here's what I saw:
  • With the exception of maybe Green Bay, nobody is as good or bad as they looked in Week 1. In fact, teams flip-flopped so much that I don't know what to think.
  • The Steelers D has led them to be one of two good teams in the AFC (with the Dolphins, still not totally sold on Houston or Kansas City) to be 2-0, but their offense is horrible right now.
  • Speaking of horrible offenses, the Ravens were pathetic, so shockingly bad on offense that I don't even know what happened. Hard to believe that will continue.
  • The Chargers looked weak last week and then unbeatable yesterday. Ditto the Colts, who iced that Giants game in approximately the third minute.
  • The Jets played poorly last week and the Patriots looked great. They switched places yesterday.
  • The aforementioned Dolphins are probably for real, but who knows since Favre has looked less than competent so far in this young season.
  • I'm not sold on Houston because they had no guts in that lucky win yesterday. Punt from the 34 in overtime?
  • I'm focusing on the AFC because, other than Green Bay and probably New Orleans, the entire NFC seems to stink. How could anyone believe in the Bears when they are a Calvin Johnson brain fart away from being 1-1? The Cowboys, who many people thought were so great, are coached by Wade Phillips. The Eagles looked fantastic offensively, but it was against Detroit and they still almost choked the game away. The NFC stinks.
  • Next week's schedule is rough, with at best five good games. The best game of the week is the Sunday night game, Jets-Dolphins. Other than that and Falcons-Saints, you have to look at the iffy Cowboys-Texans, Titans-Giants, or Packers-Bears for entertainment.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Worst of the Worst: #68, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie

It's a cartoon and involves an hour straight of two characters playing a card game where the rules seem to be made up as it goes along. I didn't care and I'm not the target demo by a long shot so I'm sure the producers aren't concerned. I imagine they were able to sell lots of cards from this. It doesn't belong on a list of real movies. But it's on the list and, therefore, I had to watch it. Done and done.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

  • The Monologue:
    • A man has built a miniature village to host 660 stray cats. Also living there, 130 stray old women.
    • Ray Lewis' son rolled up a combined 504 yards in a Florida high school game. He celebrated by finding Dustin Keller's son and hitting the s*** out of him.
    • Time-lapse video of the New Meadowlands being changed over from the Giants' field to the Jets'. Wait, they painted the Jets' end zone? Would anyone have noticed if they didn't?
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia returned with an episode that seemed to be a setup for the rest of the season, which is rare as most episodes are one-off. Nobody would accuse Sunny of being the best put-together comedy on TV, but it may be the funniest. I probably have it second behind Curb Your Enthusiasm. The best put-together comedy is either Curb, 30 Rock, or Parks and Recreation.
    • I'm hearing really good things about Greg Garcia's new show, Raising Hope. I figured it would be horrible because it's a sitcom on Fox. Instead, I may watch it for the short time until it gets cancelled because it's a sitcom on Fox.
    • Casey Affleck came clean that the Joaquin Phoenix documentary is a hoax. I find it hard to believe that anyone thought differently. I thought that was pretty obvious by his body language from Phoenix's famous appearance on Letterman.
  • Random Video:
    • Thirty-one years ago today, the first rap single was released. Judging by this video, it also began a long and rich tradition of white people not being able to dance to hip-hop.

You Know The Deal: 39 Days, 20 People, 1 Something Or Other

Usually within the first 10 minutes of any Survivor season, I'll latch onto a contestant as the favorite and that person usually goes very deep into the game. Last night, as Survivor's 21st iteration premiered, I found not one person I could get behind. The tribes are a collection of mainly either stupid or extremely annoying people, often both. Like the guy who managed to injure himself twice quickly by stepping on a stick and then trying to pick up a crab, but everyone high-fives about it so it was all cool.

So, this is not to to say that the show wasn't entertaining. The problem in settling in is two-fold. One, Jimmy Johnson dominates the camera time (for good reason) and we all know he has no chance. Second, and more important, we're coming off of the best season in show history and two straight iterations that featured the most interesting player in show history. It'll take some time to adjust to a Russell-less game, but the format is the star of the show and it'll be great by the end, as it almost always is.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Can't Believe Javier Is Dead

  • NFL Week 1:
    • Some quick thoughts on what I saw of the first week of the season.
    • There are three teams that I think showed even this early that they are to be reckoned with: Tennessee, New England, and Baltimore. Vince Young's consistency is at question, but he and the rest of the Titans were great and they beat a Raiders team that people thought might be a little better than usual, at least. Wes Welker is somehow all the way back and New England just wiped the floor with what should be at least an okay Bengals team. There's no way that last year's Ravens win that Jets game. This year's version didn't make the stupid penalties that last year's did and the presence of Boldin and Houshmandzadeh was the difference as the Ravens dominated on third down. I am really excited about what that offense is going to look like when they aren't playing the Jets D.
    • Otherwise, there's reason to doubt every other victory in some way. Houston was probably the next most impressive, but they were close to the Colts last year and they have focused specifically on that game for a long time. Seattle won big, but it's the NFC West. Kansas City looked young, quick, and exciting, but there was emotion there in the first game and nobody knows how good the Chargers actually are. The Packers won a tough road game, but barely against a team that may not be very good and their offensive line looked no better than last year.
    • Should I update my Super Bowl pick each week? Right now, it's New Orleans vs. Baltimore.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Any episode of Mad Men would be a letdown after last week's barn-burner, but this week's was especially weird with the film noir style, complete with voice-over. The show has gotten more adult this year in general, but this episode seemed to be especially so. I looked it up and Christina Hendricks is 5'7" and Elizabeth Moss is 5'3". So, there is a height difference, but not as much as the camera exaggerated it to be in the scene where Joan tries to put Peggy in her place.
    • If last week's Mad Men was one of the best episodes in at least recent memory, the season premiere of 90210 was one of the most awesomely bad. Let's see. Annie conveniently got past her house arrest and guilt over killing a guy. Teddy blew his knee out and seemingly began to go gay overnight. Naomi was just about over her rape until the teacher showed back up. Nothing happened to Matthews for driving drunk into the school's sign. Liam got over his summer-long anger with Annie in approximately thirty seconds. The "best" was definitely the death of Javier and how quickly Adrianna dealt with it. I expect ridiculousness out of this show, but this may have even been pushing it.
    • I'll continue to sing the praises of Sons of Anarchy, which is as good this year as last, a huge compliment. It amuses me, apropos of Sons, how what we learn from some shows informs our understanding of others. At one point in tonight's episode, the fugitive Gemma gets a call on her cell and makes sure that Tara is using one of Jax's pre-paids. Well, of course. We all know how hard it is to get a wire up on a burner.
    • Tomorrow is the second episode of FX's Terriers, which is pretty good. I like Donal Logue an awful lot, but it's still funnier than I expected it to be. It's a buddy cop show about two small-time private investigators trying to unravel a big crime.
  • Random Video:
    • For the record, this is the most awesomely bad TV moment in recent memory.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Busy weekend with no time for a bad movie so I realized I haven't posted since Wednesday so, here, until a full post on Tuesday night are some quick jokes about the New York Jets from around Twitter (except for the first one that was mine):
  • The only thing they still need to add to the new Meadowlands is cameras and microphones in the end zone so the Jets will go there.
  • Antonio Cromartie had eight penalties by six different receivers.
  • Cromartie can't remember the name of all of his penalties last night.
  • Ray Lewis hit Dustin Keller so hard that Keller could only count to nine and thought he had the first down.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

NFL 2010: Z to A

We're counting down this year's NFL teams from Z to A, with each team brought to you by a different letter, Sesame Street-style. There are thirty-two teams but only twenty-six letters, you say? The Rams, Bucs, Seahawks, Bills, Raiders, and Jaguars are brought to you by the letter "suck."

  • Z: Cleveland Browns, as in "zig-zag." The Browns looked great at the end of last year and brought in Jake Delhomme, who's good for a good game or two. It's all about inconsistency, though, as there's nothing to say they will be able to put together a whole season, considering their division.
  • Y: Detroit Lions, as in "young." They have some talent, starting with the three offensive weapons in Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, and Calvin Johnson. I don't buy that they can make any kind of leap this year, but they can finish in third in the NFC North? Sure.
  • X: Arizona Cardinals, as in "xenophobia." Ok, that's more for the state than the team, but the team has to be afraid of their newcomer at quarterback after Kurt Warner retired. They could be better than expected, but they should be really, really bad.
  • W: Chicago Bears, as in "who we thought they were." You think they have a QB that is too much of an ass to buy into Mike Martz's offense? You think Mike Martz hasn't actually had a good offense in years, anyway? You think it's only minutes until their best defensive players get hurt? Well, crown their ass, then.
  • V: Denver Broncos, as in "verisimilitude." Did we have to suspend disbelief when they started out 6-0? Well, it turns out we actually didn't. Do we have to suspend disbelief that Tim Tebow is somehow going to make them into a good team after they lost Brandon Marshall and have running back problems? Probably not.
  • U: Washington Redskins, as in "unknown." Everything tells me that the Skins are going to be worse than many people think, which means that they'll probably be good. There's a lot to like, but Albert Haynesworth aside, Donovan McNabb has never been the best locker room guy. I'm seeing some chemistry problems with an already fragile talent base.
  • T: Carolina Panthers, as in "transition." Steve Smith has injury problems. Julius Peppers and Jake Delhomme are gone. Matt Moore has shown some flashes of being a good quarterback, but not yet.
  • S: Kansas City Chiefs, as in "surprise." Young team, decent quarterback, good backfield. I'm not saying that they'll win the AFC West, I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised if they did.
  • R: Houston Texans, as in "risk." As in "pick them at your own." They have a giant bandwagon. They have a division with the Titans and Colts.
  • Q: Philadelphia Eagles, as in "question mark." Kevin Kolb was great in his short time as starter last year while McNabb was injured. Andy Reid's offense is always good and they have speed around Kolb. I'm not buying that they will be consistent enough or that the defense will be good enough to win in that division.
  • P: San Francisco 49ers, as in "playoffs by default." That division is horrendous. The 49ers have a nice defense and a great running back. Alex Smith was decent last year and Tim Crabtree is a star. I have a feeling that we won't really know how good they are until they get destroyed by Minnesota in the first round.
  • O: Atlanta Falcons, as in "overachieved two years ago." They are mediocre. Good enough to make people pick them, but not good enough to beat out the better East and North teams to get into the playoffs.
  • N: Pittsburgh Steelers, as in "nil." Peter King picked them to win the Super Bowl. Their actual chance? Nil. Karma is a bitch. See Patriots, New England and Steelers, Pittsburgh (2009 version).
  • M: San Diego Chargers, as in "my gut feeling." The Chargers are the team with which I disagree with people the most. No Tomlinson, no Vincent Jackson, no Antonio Cromartie and his eight-kid cheering section. They have Norv Turner as a coach. I'm seeing a drop-off.
  • L: Cincinnati Bengals, as in "look at me! Look at me!" Carson Palmer is low-key. His wide receivers? They call themselves "Batman and Robin." I can't decide between "Constant and Distraction" and "Wildly and Overrated." Maybe Robin is apt since this team laid a big fat egg in the playoffs last year.
  • K: New York Giants, as in "King Eli." Eli Manning may have the most underrated weapons in the league around him. Sure, they collapsed after a good start last year, but the bonafides are there. I'm seeing the potential for big things.
  • J: New England Patriots, as in "Jurassic." Time has passed the Patriots by. They were embarrassed at home against the Ravens in the playoffs last year. I'm not buying their defense. They still have no running game.
  • I: Tennessee Titans, as in "In Vince We Trust." This team goes as far as Vince Young takes them. I believe. From here on out, every team is a playoff team.
  • H: Miami Dolphins, as in "Henne's house." I believe in Chad Henne even more than in Vince Young. I think the Dolphins take a big leap this year, with an offense that should be much better than you think and a fine defense. I also think the AFC East is also a little more up for grabs than it appears.
  • G: Minnesota Vikings, as in "go for broke." This is presumably the Vikes' last chance for the immediate future to win the ever-elusive Super Bowl. The defense is good. The offense has an aged Brett Favre (playing all year this year), no Sidney Rice for half of the year, and a migraine-addled Percy Harvin. Playoff team, but nothing special.
  • F: New York Jets, as in "feel good story of the year." No, not because they're going to come out of nowhere to win one for a fan base that hasn't seen a Super Bowl in 42 years. Because everyone, I assume, hates them and with a shaky QB, a questionable O-line (if Hard Knocks is to be believed), and a gimmick defense that Peyton Manning shredded in the AFC Championship Game last year, I'm seeing them falling a bit short of expectations.
  • E: Dallas Cowboys, as in "everyone wonders why Wade Phillips still has a head coaching job." The Cowboys are loaded on offense with Dez Bryant looking to replace the pathetic and annoying Roy Williams and the only team besides Baltimore with three legitimate backs. They have loads of talent on defense, especially up front. They have Wade Phillips as their head coach. Are you buying into them as Super Bowl picks?
  • D: New Orleans Saints, as in "Dap." I give them all the respect in the world for winning the Super Bowl, especially in how they were able to come back. I haven't even soured on them, now that they've won and won't be the same feel-good story. It's just really, really hard to repeat.
  • C: Green Bay Packers, as in "command performance." I basically see the Packers as last year's Saints. Their offense should be nearly unstoppable. Their defense should be good enough. They have a great home field advantage. Your NFC champs.
  • B: Indianapolis Colts, as in "boring." Everyone hates to pick them because they're always so good. They're not really going anywhere. Until proven otherwise, they have to be the favorites to win every time they step on the field unless it's weeks 15-17.
  • A: Baltimore Ravens, as in "assuming jinxes don't actually exist." They have three Pro Bowl receivers, a QB who began to "make the leap" last year, three good backs including one that is a force of nature regardless of his size, a secondary that is better than last year (whatever that means), and a front seven that is better than last year and will make the secondary even better. Their schedule, particularly at home, is very easy and the other teams in their division are slightly above average at best. I'm joining the masses in picking the Ravens to top the Packers in the Super Bowl.

Previewing The TV

Here you go, by day, the shows I'm planning on watching this year. Maybe more than in the past because I've had so much time to catch up on shows I wanted to watch, though I found that last year I was able to drop shows midstream (Heroes, Flash Forward, V) easily.


  • The Amazing Race (CBS, 8PM): Last season had some weak teams, but it's not like that is a trend like on Idol. Anticipation: 8/10
  • Dexter (Showtime, 9PM): It's going to be hard to follow last season and last season's final two minutes, but the show has improved greatly each of the last two seasons. Anticipation: 9/10
  • Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 9PM): The hype says that this new mob show is as good as anything on TV from second one. The commercials say that Michael Kenneth Williams is on the show. Anticipation: 10/10
  • Others: I'll give The Walking Dead a shot when it premieres on AMC on Halloween.


  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8PM): I still hate the laugh track and the frame story, which moved along more slowly last year than it ever has, but it still manages to surprise with funny storylines. Apparently the frame story is going to get a kick in the butt at the beginning of this season, so we'll see. Anticipation: 7/10
  • 90210 (CW, 8PM): A great last season finale and a much-anticipated plot point for this season should keep this show dumb but fun, which is fine as long as it doesn't try to be anything else. Anticipation: 8/10
  • House (Fox, 8PM): Last season was one of the show's best and it ended with House and Cuddy finally getting together. With Lost gone, House is the best network drama. I have it at #5 overall after Treme, Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad (tie), and Mad Men. Anticipation: 9/10
  • Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 10PM): I'm giving it a try but a very short leash. I'm only giving it a shot because of a cast that includes Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park (Boomer from BSG), and Scott Caan (who has been great on Entourage this season). Anticipation: 5/10


  • Sons of Anarchy (FX, 10PM): As I said before, I have it tied with Breaking Bad as the second-best drama on TV. It is amazing and tonight's season premiere did not disappoint with a shocking and violent ending. Anticipation: 10/10
  • Note that I would rather watch an ant crawl back and forth on a piece of grass than watch Greg Garcia's new show, Raising Hope.


  • Survivor (CBS, 8PM): My favorite show on TV moves to Wednesday night with a season that includes former U and Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson. It's going to be great. As always. Anticipation: 10/10
  • Terriers (FX, 10PM): I'm going to check this out for three reasons. One, I like Donal Logue. Two, the critics love it. Three, FX is killing it with shows right now (Sons of Anarchy, Archer, Louie, Sunny). Anticipation: 6/10


  • Community (NBC, 8PM): The best new show from last year returns. Anticipation: 9/10
  • 30 Rock (NBC, 8:30PM): After much of last season was weak, the season finale absolutely killed. I'm curious to see if and how much Matt Damon shows up this year. Anticipation: 8/10
  • C.S.I.: (CBS, 9PM): The show just keeps ticking away. The serial killer arc from last year was okay and the resolution was sort of anti-climactic, but the standard formula works. Anticipation: 7/10
  • Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 9PM): The last episode was probably second to only Dexter among last season's finales, so riveting that I was sick to my stomach for the first hour or so of the two-hour episode. Will that carry over? Probably only but so much, but it's an entertaining show. Anticipation: 7/10
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX, 10PM): Curb Your Enthusiasm is the funniest show on TV. This might be second. Anticipation: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation will return at some point during the season and I'm very excited about that. The show is really, really good. Here's what it would take for me to watch $#*! My Dad Says: them to pay me a million dollars and even then I'd probably shut my eyes and pretend I was watching something else.


  • Human Target (Fox, 8PM): One of the most fun shows on the air. It's similar to the great action shows of the 1980s. Turn your brain off and enjoy, which is pretty good for a Friday. Anticipation: 7/10

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Perfection

I'm going to talk about TV a bit more with a big rundown tomorrow night as the first season premiere comes Tuesday, but a quick note. Tonight's episode of Mad Men is why it is the best show on TV. It's not just that it might be the 3rd or 4th episode of the year where one could say, "This is the best episode yet," but it's the imagery and the narrative fortitude.

The second someone mentions Clay-Liston, the first thing one thinks about is the famous picture. On top of that image, they used Don betting on Liston as a continued metaphor for how history is beginning to pass him by. Clay is the future of the country in so many ways. Add to that the storyline of Anna's death and how Don's fear of actually hearing the news is crippling him because he knows Anna is the last vestige of Dick Whitman, of who Don really is. It's a big reason why the drinking has gotten so out of control. But, avoiding the phone so he doesn't hear the actual words, Don knows for sure with the vision/dream of Anna's ghost. At the same time, he knows that all is not lost and that he can be himself with Peggy. That, on top of what's become of Duck, makes me wonder if Don is going to come out of the other side of this drinking thing soon. My only reservation is how often AA is brought up this season (and again tonight). Building on last year's "I'll spend the rest of my life trying to hire you" moment, the show continues the platonic "love" story of Don and Peggy and that is something that is difficult to pull off. Most shows don't even try to be that complex. That's why most shows aren't the best show on the air.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Worst of the Worst: #53, Modigliani

Biopics are generally pretty boring because there can only be but so much really interesting drama in someone's life. Modigliani, to worsen the blow, is a biopic about the last days of an Italian artist who died in 1920. Not really my cup of tea. The film follows the artist's final days in Paris as he is about to die from tuberculosis worsened by drugs and alcohol. I learned lots of great stuff from the movie. He had a heated rivalry with Picasso (he didn't actually), the two artists entered into a great competition to see who was the best artist in Paris (there was actually no such competition), in said competition Picasso entered a portrait of Modigliani (he never actually painted one), Modigliani won the competition but was not there because he was being beaten by robbers and that led to his death (again, no actual competition and he actually died solely from the disease and was not beaten by robbers). So a truly factual and interesting biopic, albeit with direction that fed off of needless melodrama and looked like I might have shot it on my Nikon Coolpix. At least, with the movie taking place in 1920, all of the techno music during the montage scenes made sense. To be honest, I could barely pay attention to the movie because it was so boring. If they were going to make so much crap up, couldn't they at least have had him fight Godzilla or something?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Everyone's gone crazy today because of the date that only happens once every century -- September 2, XX10. I've read a bunch of blogs about Beverly Hills, 90210 nostalgia and I have Bill Simmons' two-part podcast on my phone, but I'll go one step farther than all the others I've seen and not ignore the new 90210. It's cheesy and unbelievable, but so was the original. Maybe Kelly Taylor is an upstanding guidance counselor now instead of a vengeful rape victim/coke addict, but the last season finale ended with a teacher raping a student while another teacher drove drunk right outside the window. How good is that? So we'll go with our top 5 favorite characters and some moments, but we're spreading the love around.

Top 5 Favorite 90210 Characters:
  • 5. Noah -- He was a douchebag and I like that.
  • 4. Liam -- Played with just the right amount of angst and faux cool indifference. The Annie-Ethan-Naomi love triangle from the first season was good, but the show really took off when Liam joined.
  • 3. Silver -- She went from hosting a slanderous video blog that went after Naomi to making some sort of freaky pornographic art film about Dixon and showing it in an actual theater. Plus, she's going out with Teddy and, spoiler alert, that is about to go in a very unexpected direction.
  • 2. Valerie -- You're going to bring on Kelly Kapowski and have her be evil and do drugs and screw everyone over? A big reason why I enjoyed the college years more than the high school ones.
  • 1. Brandon -- Obviously.

Random Great 90210 Moments:
  • Adrianna's Band Sucks:

  • Joe E. Tata In The Credits?:
  • Annie Kills A Guy:
  • Donna Martin Graduates:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I watched Kick-Ass tonight and really enjoyed it. It picked up quite nicely as the movie went along. It fit into a trend I've noticed lately. People often complain that are no new ideas. For every Inception, there are a hundred movies like A-Team or Sex And The City 2 or Iron Man 2, etc. Kick-Ass, original as it is (or as it can be, seeing how it's based on a comic) is an homage to older superhero books, movies, and TV shows. Another fairly original movie (also based on a comic), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, is an homage to video games. One of the better TV shows, Community, is a mish-mash of pop culture references. Even a lot of the more "original" things out there are pointing back to older source material. Are there no new ideas? Are we only interested in celebrating nostalgia and not really pushing boundaries of creativity?

Speaking of nostalgia, stay tuned for some tomorrow night, though I won't be as tied to the old as others may be on the day after 9/01/10.

In the meantime, here is one of the great songs of the last 25 years. It replaced Ray Parker, Jr's ripoff song, "Ghostbusters", at the #1 spot on the Hot 100 on September 1, 1984.

No, No, I'm Saying, "Mooooooooose!"

  • The Monologue:
    • So the Iraq war is finally over. Thank God we got revenge for 9/11, finally.
    • So the Iraq war is finally over. Thank God we stopped their WMD program, finally.
    • Mike Wise was suspended a month for a fake tweet when he tried to make up a story to see if it would catch on and not, surprisingly, for the poor quality of his radio show.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Of the tons of magazines out there, Vanity Fair seems to be the one that is still knocking it out of the park and some would call this new expose on Sarah Palin "devastating." I disagree, seeing how a) it comes off a bit slanted and b) it doesn't come out with anything that I presume most of us didn't already guess or assume? She's a fake with a bad temper and a God complex? Really? I never would have thought that for a second!
    • As I watch more and more TV during this paternity leave, I find more and more reasons to disrespect the Emmys. How in the world did Nick Offerman not get nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ron "F***ing" Swanson on Parks and Recreation? He's by far the funniest thing about a really funny show.
    • I've been thirty page into The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest for a few weeks now and I realized that I liked the first book in the series so much more than the second that I found it easy to hit the lull. Too much exposition in the second book for the great last fifty or a hundred pages to make up for it.
  • Random Video:
    • Why honor Van Morrison when it's also Debbie Gibson's birthday?!