Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's Going to Start with MTV Reality Shows, but Only Get More Literate From There...

I started watching the newest Real World/Road Rules Challenge, Fresh Meat, and I immediately thought “I’m not going to be able to watch this because I hate both TJ Lavin as a host and all four members of the Real World: Austin cast that are here.” But guess what? Everyone else hates Danny, Melinda, Johanna and Wes, too! Everyone had to deal with their boring season, with every episode revolving around Danny trying to decide whether he wanted to explore other options or stay with Melinda, Lacey telling a rumor and Rachel eating. (Was the military one’s name Rachel? I can’t remember, that’s how lame it was.)

So Coral – immensely entertaining, she should get to pick the order of every challenge – immediately leads the targeting of the Austin cast, and whether it’s justified (they do already have an alliance of eight) or not, it doesn’t matter, because we’re still going to have the gleeful privilege of seeing them go down in flames one at a time. Despite the fact they’ll be no remainder of Austin a fortnight from now, there will be immense difficulty in following the show, as the elimination format is incredibly complicated. If every one goes like the first two, it goes something like this:

You have a challenge, where the winner, Team A, picks another team, Team B, to be in the elimination “exile”. The remaining teams, not teams A or B, then selected another team, to face Team B. Then you do another challenge, where if Team B or Team C wins, they select an alternate, but not Team A, to go into the exile challenge, which is basically a Gauntlet or Inferno, only with fewer syllables so TJ Lavin doesn’t butcher any more of the English language.

How confusing was that? Will it take two episodes for every elimination? They should probably say “Screw it”, and make each episode an hour. What else do they have to put on the Monday TenSpot? Probably going to be a failure as big as the Rookies vs. Veterans format, but at least we’ll get to see the culprits responsible for the terrible Austin season tortured for a bit.


I’m not sure where to start in describing The Hills, so I’m just going to ask a series of questions, some rhetorical, some in need of answers:

  • Will all Laguna spin-offs feature the word “rain” in the theme song lyrics?
  • Did LC really think she wasn’t going to get the internship, especially since her interview involved her having television cameras and an MTV producer there?
  • When Heidi gets into that fashion school – as we saw from the previews – does it immediately lose all of its credibility?
  • Seriously, how awesome was her interview?
  • Can she be that stupid?
  • Who gets an apartment before they get into school?
  • Never mind.
  • Will The Hills be cross-promoting with The Devil Wears Prada?
  • Why – oh why why why – did LC even consider letting Heidi and her loser friends in? She deserves to lose her job.
  • Jason in a Hat?


Tyler is probably my favorite homosexual in the history of the Real World. I know I probably wouldn’t like his personality if I actually knew him, but just to watch from the outside, he’s never-endingly hilarious. When Paula was flipping out on Jose in the van, and he just hung around to laugh hysterically at her, that’s probably when I realized how entertaining he was. Plus, he’s made to be even more entertaining in the Challenges, as he’s athletic, dramatic, gay, competitive and intelligent. Fantastic.


If not for their soul-crushing collapse on Sunday, the Pirates would have won their seventh consecutive game today, but I’ll take a 6-1 homestand and four game streak at this point. They pounded the Brewers the first three games, then fought back and won a gutty 4-3 game in the bottom of the 9th this afternoon to finish off Milwaukee’s Finest. I know they were terrible early, then got “competitive-but-unable-to-win-close-games” in May, but with NL-hitting leader Freddy Sanchez and the rest of the gang playing like this, things are definitely looking up.

(And thus is the eternal hope that springs for Pirate fans.)

Fun series with the Padres this weekend, as tomorrow night is Oliver Perez vs. Chan Ho Park and Saturday is what should be a great Jake Peavy/Zach Duke showdown. Sunday? Eh, not so fun, with Victor Santos and some guy named Mike Thompson, but equally as important to a team that’s over-.500 at home and 4-22 on the road.

Meet Freddy. And his mole.


What do I enjoy more: The actual Suns/Mavericks series or the coverage of it that includes sweet breakdowns like this? Also, with my impure jumpshot, I feel I’d fit in with Leandro Barbosa, Shawn Marion and the Suns. That, and the fact I didn’t realize just how fast they were –they’re outrunning Dallas – is why I’m now rooting for them, Mark Cuban be damned.


We saw X-Men III last night, and I was the only person not impressed. Dill, Livey, Chad and Patrick have all extolled its virtues to me, but I didn’t like it. I understand that once you reach the third part of a trilogy you don’t need much of a preamble, but everything was just jumped right into, including the death and power-removal of main characters. There really is only one action scene – the final battle – in the entire movie, and Brett Ratner pulled a Snakes on a Plane and actually used the line of dialogue “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!”. ­X-Men was never my favorite series, but I was still thoroughly disappointed by the movie, and I’m not sure if it was more by the plot or pacing. PopWatch and ThrowingThings cover some of my issues.

(Also, new Spiderman 3 photos, with Topher Grace looking pretty bad-ass and a look at the symbiote costume on Tobey. Yes.)


Athlon put Oklahoma as their number one team in the country, a slot ahead of Notre Dame. While I don’t necessarily feel the Irish deserve that spot: Oklahoma? I guess they do have Adrian Peterson and they finished the season strong, with Rhett Bomar looking like a real quarterback in the Holiday Bowl, but really, Oklahoma? I guess we’ll see.

This is Brady's number one opponent for the Heisman. Learn about him. Respect him. Fear him.


For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the brilliance that is the American version of The Office, NBC is running a two-hour block of it tonight, and hopefully on following Thursdays as well. It’s so good, Ricky Gervais is considering remaking the original British version using the American scripts. True story.


Cleaning off the book shelf of the things I’ve read so far this summer:

Thank You For Smoking – Loses a lot of steam in the third act, and I really enjoyed the movie a lot more, probably because they had some perfect casting, especially with Rob Lowe and Adam Brody as the Hollywood types. The family storyline that was the driving point of the movie was nonexistent in the book, and I really just liked the cinematic ending better. An entertaining read, but too-conspiracy driven for my like.

High Fidelity – Better than the movie – which I enjoy – just like a book should be. I don’t know why it took me so long to read this Hornby when I own almost everything else he’s written, but well worth the wait. Love the Top Fives, love the Barry character (Jack Black was perfect casting), love the Bruce Springsteen digressions and love the direct address of the reader in a “Oh, and you’re so perfect in the way you treat people?” sort of way.

Freakonomics – I really enjoyed this more when I was reading it, comparing it to Gladwell and such to various people, but it’s not nearly as good. While Gladwell gives you applicable concepts, this is just like a crazy uncle or professor telling you cool stories and backing it up with some sort of fact (Abortions stopped the crime wave of the 90’s, Superman killed the Ku Klux Klan revival). It’s a fun read, but I grow less fond of it the farther I get into Blink and think about The Tipping Point in relation to it. It’s a quick-read, and probably essential in a way, but it’s a ephemeral knowledge gained from it.

Big Fish – It’s only 180 pages or so, but I didn’t last past the 100th page. I’ll finish it at some point in time, but I just didn’t like the story breakdown – short, short stories as opposed to a flowing narrative – and I didn’t want to tarnish my view of one of my two favorite movies of all-time. I have too many good books lying on the shelf waiting to be read to struggle through something I’m not even remotely enjoying and whose seemingly-better DVD counterpart is in the front of my binder.


Enjoy your weekend, hope this update was better and I’m taking any and all DVD, television and book recommendations for the remainder of summer. Enjoy your weekends.

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