Monday, October 02, 2006

A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends...

That might be the longest break between blog posts since high school. Blame a combination of Notre Dame’s football implosion against Michigan and one of my roughest non-midterms/finals week of writing ever. But I’m here, and I have no interest in talking about Hamlet, Pennsylvania politics, the BCS, the role of women in medieval Irish literature, Jesus’ role as a dual agent or anything remotely-related to the Mario Manningham.

I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. Matt said he was going to climb into cyberspace and burn down this site so clicking on it didn’t make him feel bad anymore. I’m back. Try to enjoy.

Grey’s Anatomy

That’s right, we’re going to return with some solid chick stuff. I really wish I enjoyed Grey’s more, but the truth is, I don’t. I find too many of the characters – or at least the leads – completely reprehensible. I can’t root for them. I don’t find it realistic. Although sometimes the random hospital patients are extremely likeable and therefore I find their stories compelling and tear-jerking, you understand that about fifty percent of them are going to die on every episode.

I’m paying attention to it now in the way you pay attention to the presidential election: maybe it’s not the most interesting thing to you, but it’s rather important in the area of television. It womped CSI in the first heads-up Thursday matchup, but after a rather weak premiere – ABC didn’t like the original, which was the second episode, so they ordered that one up – it picked up a little pace on Thursday night, although the lead between it and the bunch from Vegas grew a little slimmer. I don’t think CSI can pass Grey’s unless the quality bottoms out, if only because the former is a show you can Tivo and watch a few days later with little repercussions while the latter is a water-cooler/Internet discussion immediately after it’s airing.

Still, I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy the show beyond noting how completely selfish and terrible the characters portrayed by Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo are. I don’t like them. This is the couple we’re supposed to root for? A couple of homewreckers who sulk and whine most of the time they’re on the screen, taking responsibility for absolutely nothing they do? I read somewhere that they’re going to replace Ryan and Marissa as the couple nobody likes nor cares to stay together on Thursday nights, and I think that uncredited writer would be correct.

Fall Movies

We’re still a month out from Borat (why they didn’t release that in the summer when it would have been the hit is beyond me), but we’ve got the first big Oscar movie coming out Friday, with the absolutely wonderful looking The Departed. The first few reviews I read confirm the greatness, with Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen and Marky Mark Wahlberg all involved in the latest Martin Scorcese Oscar bait. How can you not be excited about that cast? Just look at the early reviews! I’m positively giddy just writing this.

Also, the Jude Law Curse continues as All The King’s Men flops horrendously. I think that’s karma from Sean Penn getting all snippy over Chris Rock’s Law/Tom Cruise comparison at the Oscars a couple of years back. Go and look at Law’s box office history sometime. Since he went on his crazy 2004 streak and tried to make a thousand movies in one calendar year, including great films like Closer, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Alfie, he’s been the kiss of death for everyone. Jude Law, thanks for hexing Norah’s first cinematic venture. I hate you.

Also, just incase you somehow thought Dane Cook was still funny (he’s not), Employee of the Month should solidify the fact he is not. Still love the first CD to death, but success did not go well with the big guy.


What’s that, you say? The Pirates season was a wash? Too bad you’re wrong, because Freddy Sanchez won the NL batting title! He also ended up leading the league in doubles and general awesomeness, all while rocking out a freaking club foot. Despite how completely dreadful the Pirates are year in and year out, maybe with Jose Bautista, Freddy and Jason Bay, there’s a little bit of hope for a nucleus next year. We’ll still probably lose close to a hundred games, but a guy can dream, right?

Also, very excited about the playoffs, although I’m pretty disappointed that the Cardinals ended up making it. Can’t wait to see the Padres try to get some vengeance for last postseason and eliminate the NL Central champions. Also, a couple of great pitching match-ups in the DS’s, as Johan Santana and Barry Zito open things up on Tuesday, with old friends and lovers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine going to the hill for Game Two of Dodgers/Mets. Plus, won’t every game of Yankees/Tigers be a David-and-Goliath-sort of war? No Red Sox, no White Sox and very sadly, no Phillies and no more Ryan Howard. Still, some nice distraction to get us to the NBA season.

The Office

Due to some misadventures with my credit and debit cards, I haven’t been able to get Season Two on DVD yet, but that countdown is clicking down rather quickly with a few shopping trips coming up this weekend with my dad coming to town. Simply put, the best comedy on television, and also one of the best dramas. Every show is a work of art, from the minor glances each character makes and general heartbreak surrounding some of the aspects of the show to the one-liners and Jim’s pranks on Dwight.

Season Three has been a hit and miss so far, in my opinion, with the season premiere being an A+ while the second episode left a little bit to be desired. Still, a bad episode of The Office – much like Arrested Development - is like a great episode of dozens of other shows, so it wasn’t a complete waste. Please please please borrow/buy/rent Season Two on DVD and get caught up, because your chances of getting a classic love story combined with gut-busting laughter are few and far between. Trust me.


When we were walking over to see this, MacKrell was angrily and confusedly asking if this was a movie about crossword puzzles.

“No Andy, it’s a movie about people. The crossword puzzles are just a theme for which to reach them.”

Of course, I had no idea for sure, but I could assume that the movie wouldn’t just be about the creation of crossword puzzles. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Instead, it was everything you could ask for out of a documentary – informative, yet crafted around a story and people you cared about. As cool as it was to see Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton and Mike Mussina extol the virtues of Will Shortz and the Times crossword, this film was really about the myriad of personalities competing in the National Crosswords Championship. That’s right, there’s a crosswords championship, and if you think I’m not going there at some point in time during my life, you’re crazy. It’s going to be me versus Patrick versus Sean versus MacKrell versus Caitlyn in a no hold’s barred square-filling war.

And the best part about the sensational 91 minutes of film? How about the fact that it’s directed by a Notre Dame grad and Dillonite? Patrick Creadon is going to accept his Oscar for Best Documentary and give a shout out to the Big Red and ND. How fantastic is that? Watch Wordplay. I demand it of you, somewhere between asking you to watch The Office and asking you to watch…

Veronica Mars

Which starts this Tuesday! WOOOO! Wanna see what the new intro looks like? Of course you do.

Now I’m not sure if I like the remix of The Dandy Warhols, as the original looked/sounded like this:

I’m a little scared about this season of Veronica. Not because it has to hold onto some of the failing Gilmore Girls ratings, but because this will be the first season where I watch it live. What’s it going to be like going a week between episodes, as opposed to my usual forty-five seconds when watching the DVD’s? Will I be able to make it? Who knows, but it’s going to be a painful journey for a while before we find out.

I’m going to dedicate an entire post to the genius of Veronica Mars, probably over fall break when I have nothing to do but read for pleasure, hang out around the Ranchero and catch up on Laguna Beach. Season One is just setting here in the room, waiting for some brave soul to risk their GPA and any sort of free time they have to watch it. It’s like crack, only crack addicts can go through rehab and eventually return to a normal place in society. Kristen Bell doesn’t allow for such regression to the norm.


Next post will be about some of the new shows this season – Studio 60, how I love you – and then maybe we’ll get onto some NFL stuff, although a lack of Sunday Ticket leaves me so unqualified to commentate. Still, what would be football season without some Dolphin lamenting (We suck) and Steeler bashing (you guys suck, too, but not nearly as bad as the orange and teal)?

If ever again a greeting I send, long and rambling to the soul I intend.

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