Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Have A Strong Urge to Name Every Post "The rest is still unwritten", but I Refrain

“I know…you know…that I’m not telling the truth”: My favorite new show of the summer thus far, which is not a difficult selection considering the slim crop harvested through the end of July, is USA Network’s Psych. It bares a strong resemblance to the network’s other quirky sleuth offering, Monk; one of those shows that I don’t plan to watch anymore, but if there’s a marathon on my entire afternoon has just become shot.

The basic premise is that the son of a cop is trained from childhood in the skill of observation to the point where he essentially has a photographic memory. Instead of becoming the police force’s finest, he ends up a screw-up, basically disowned by his dad and helping the police solve cases by calling in tips he picks up from watching the local news. When the police assume he’s in on a job from the detail he can extract from a simple television interview, he’s forced to make something up quick or get thrown in jail. His plan? He tells them he’s a psychic, staying one step ahead of the investigation and reporting his findings via visions. James Roday does a great job as the lead, and Dule Hill complements well as his lifelong-bestfriend/forced-into-it-partner.

I like the premise more than the execution, as it gets sort of awkward to have a case basically figured out for you, but then you have to see it laid out by some ridiculous séance scene. I almost wish Shawn Spencer was just an Adrian Monk-esque, “We don’t want to use him but we have to” private eye, but the show would lose some of its charm and would then bare no relation to the title, so c’est la vie. The pilot was a solid two hours of fun, the second episode about a spelling bee a little bit weaker, but the latest show about a theft and murder close to a big wedding was a lot better. If you like Monk, you’ll like Psych. It’s not earth-shatteringly good or anything, but you could definitely find a worse way to pass 42 minutes of your time.

(Bonus: the father Shawn is becoming reconnected with? Played by Corbin Bernsen, who I immediately recognized but couldn’t remember where I first saw him. So I looked at his IMDB profile. Look at Corbin Bernsen’s IMDB profile. This thing is amazing. The guy has been in so much stuff, from crappy movies to guest-starring roles in shows that range from great (The West Wing) to God awful (VIP). I really enjoyed that: thank you Corbin.)

There are actually more than a couple good movies this summer: I realize I saw this opening weekend and never commented on it, but You, Me and Dupree is a quality night out at the movies depending on one very important factor:

How much do you enjoy Owen Wilson?

If you love Owen Wilson, you’ll love this movie. If you don’t like him, you’ll find no joy in it; it’s as simple as that. Michael Douglas and Matt Dillon are so-so, but the real fun is in Wilson’s relationship with Kate Hudson, which goes from enemies-to-best friends in a lovely little arc. Everyone who I’ve talked to who saw this enjoyed it, despite the fact RottenTomatoes despises its very existence, averaging out to a meager 20%. I understand a majority of the flaws they point out – the storyline, with Dillon getting into difficulty with new wife’s dad/boss at work – is weak and doesn’t really carry the movie, but Wilson and Hudson do.

Again, completely depends on how much you enjoy the stylings of the Butterscotch Stallion. Or, perhaps more importantly, how much do you want to see Kate Hudson in a swimsuit and high heels? (That’s not worth the high price of cinema admission alone, but it will be worth the time spent watching it when this comes out on TNT in a few years.)

As the sands of time shifted, I forgot how much I hate Mark May: You all probably saw this video when it made the rounds at the end of the semester, showing the first year of Charlie Weis set to some hip Hoobastank music, but I just rewatched it the other day, and it occurred to me how freaking much I cannot stand Mark May. It’s that stupid smirk on his face when he’s talking about “I’m from Missouri, show me”.

I try to limit the obscenities on here, so I’ll just issue a short, curt letter to the worst analyst ESPN’s college football crew has:

Dear Mark,

I’m sorry your alma mater (Pitt) sucks at football and you picked Auburn to win the national championship in 2003 but were a year too early and that everything you say is basically wrong. Please predict another team to go 0-6 – doesn’t have to be the Irish – only to have them make you look retarded. Try Iowa or something. It would be fun to see Drew Tate mocking you all the way from Des Moines.

Burn in hell,

Chris Wilson


Speaking of 0-6...: Steeler fans, you know I love you, your Laguna-esque quarterback and felon of a first round pick, so it pains me to say this and interrupt your trash-talking, but have you looked at your opening schedule? Miami (with Culpepper apparently cleared to start training camp), at Jacksonville (at night), Cincinnati, at San Diego (at night), Kansas City and at Atlanta. Those teams averaged …carry the 3….9.8 wins last season. Now, we can assume that San Diego might not be as good without Brees, but Miami and Atlanta will probably be better with the other teams not dropping off too much. Good luck, though.

(I like this guy’s prediction and love this picture. Can’t wait for September 7th.)


Speaking of Laguna: The Hills has been on fire the last few weeks as they gear up for next week’s season finale, which features perhaps my favorite Gateley manipulation of them all: giving LC some sort of job offer in Paris, forcing her to choose between a house in Malibu with Jason (How rich are these people?!) and fulfilling her dream with a position somebody created just for the purpose of this television show.

I forgot to mention it in the Cali notes, but we stopped by FIDM – not that it factors into the show anymore – and sweet goodness, Ms. Lauren Conrad would have fit right in with all of the lovely ladies. I tried to get onto the second floor to get an application, but security wasn’t having it and just handed me a brochure. I guess I’ll never get to sit in those sweet chairs where Heidi first revealed how she’d already skipped all of her first day classes. Also in Laguna news, the new season apparently debuts the week before classes at ND start, so that’ll be nice to get everyone back into the groove. I’m not sure how this whole “new generation” thing will work, but as long as it involves Kelly Clarkson, limos and bowling, I’m game.

Staying on the MTV reality front, I’m really enjoying this season of The Real World, and looking forward to whatever it is in Jose’s life story that makes Paula remark “Damn, Jose, you’re awesome”. You’ve got a story of redemption (Paula, although it seems things were so well redeemed that she needed to bite her boyfriend), a classic tale of growing up (Svetlana, although it remains to be seen how much she’ll actually grow up), a frat boy with heart (John), a great support player (Zach) and two people who are either most well-spoken and intelligent people in the history of the show, or just two diva-ish crazies (Janelle and Tyler). Plus, who doesn’t love Jose? After the disappointment that was Austin, and Philadelphia before that, it’s nice to have a quality Real World again.

The Pirates Are Hip Enough for The Onion To Cover Them: Voila. And please, DL, don’t screw up this trade deadline. Dump Randa, Casey, Burnitz and Hernandez. I beg of you. For the children!!!

And finally, because September 2nd simply cannot come soon enough: A Texas website – yes, something good coming out of the Longhorn fanbase – has created a chart of the preseason rankings released so far. Again, completely frivolous, only good for talking points and without the ever important AP and coaches’ polls (which have yet to be released) included, the Irish are ranked 7th, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 4th and 7th. I was thinking about who my preseason number one would be, and since none of the top teams are without flaws and question marks, why shouldn’t it be the Irish?

(Because that’s an insane amount of pressure, the defense is a rather large question mark and there’s little depth at the…)

Exactly. Bring on GT.

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