Tuesday, September 18, 2007

0-12 Has A Nice Ring To It, No?

You’d think a television addict like myself (although to be truthful, I haven’t religiously watched anything non-NBA playoffs since the season finales back in May) would love the Emmys, but sadly, I think they’re the biggest waste of an awards show there is. Name any other award show you hate – the Grammys, VMA’s, CMA’s - and I’m sure I hate the Emmys more. They managed to go fourteen combined seasons without a single nomination of merit for either Buffy, Veronica or The Wire, then slapped the face of anyone who actually watched television this past season by shunning Friday Night Lights. Without doubt, FNL was one of the two or three best shows on any channel, and Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton wrapped up their Best Actor/Best Actresses somewhere around February, but they weren’t even nominated. Who was? Shows in seasons where even the fans admitted things weren’t so hot, such as 24 and Grey’s Anatomy.

So while I’m pleased that 30 Rock got some love, it’s sort of the “Well, at least they managed to get something right”. Thankfully, Salon has had an excellent award in existence I’ve managed to remain unaware of, but that’s been corrected, so now I’m passing it on to you.

The Buffy, Salon’s “annual token of our deep and abiding love for a relatively underappreciated TV show”. This year’s winner? Friday Night Lights, so I was loving it already. Then I looked at the history. Last year? Battlestar Galactica, a show I never watched but I’m sure I would love with my various affectations towards Star Wars. Two years ago? Veronica Mars, a show I’ve maybe mentioned in this space a few times in the past. The inaugural award? The Wire, a show I’ve yet to truly praise here as I wait to fully catch up. However, trust me when I say it’s probably better than certain high school/college action dramedies with blonde, SoCal heroines, which from me is the greatest compliment that can be bestowed on a show.

So while I shun the Emmys, I’m more than happy to embrace the Buffys, and while we’re at it, Television Without Pity’s The Tubeys, which are divided into a variety of interesting categories you can find here, here, here and here (thanks to ALOTT5MA for the links). You’ll notice the TWoP folks, who, of course, might all be insane, were not very high on Grey’s Anatomy and gave some love to those that deserved it.

After a month of down at the box office – top grosser below 15 million?! – and the darkness before the coming light of season and series premieres , the Blog O’ Fun is back in full force. There aren’t a lot of new shows that appeal to me after skimming them: Reaper, Chuck (which are basically the same thing, only substitute “government” for “devil”; or don’t), KidNation (which could just be both awkward and abysmal) annnnd really that’s all I can think of right now. I’m sure something will emerge from the crowd, and I have the added bonus of needing to catch up, or at least start watching Heroes, because Kristen Bell is onboard.

Television life is good.


Remember how I described Jimmy Fallon’s SNL career in relation to him maybe replacing Conan in NBC’s Late, Late Night slot?

Which leads us to perhaps the funniest news of the week: NBC is thinking Jimmy Fallon might be a good late night host. This would be the same Jimmy Fallon whose Best Of SNL collection contains all of his Weekend Update song parodies and the grand total of three skits he made it through without cracking up in his time with the show. I imagine every movie or taped segment Fallon ever made is just like the 30 Rock episode where Jack makes the product placement video, needing hundreds of takes to do it correctly because he’s so nervous. Instead of nervous, Fallon just busts out laughing at himself or anyone else in the room all the time.

As it turns out, viewers weren’t the only ones annoyed by Fallon’s antics. Also upset with his constant smirking was…Tracy Morgan? Say what?

IT'S a wonder Tracy Morgan never hauled off and slugged Jimmy Fallon on the set of "Saturday Night Live." The "30 Rock" star tells the October issue of Penthouse that his castmates were bothered during skits by Fallon's "laughing and all that dumb [bleep] he used to do - he wouldn't mess with me because I didn't [bleep]ing play that s - - t. That's taking all the attention off of everybody else and putting it on you, like, 'Oh, look at me, I'm the cute one.' I told him not to do that s - - t in my sketches, so he never did."

I can imagine Morgan, stoned out of his mind, just glaring at Fallon at dress rehearsal, slowly shaking his head. You can be sure there was no Phil Collins mixtape made.


Dozen NBA fans left in the universe after the Spurs/Suns screwjob and officiating screw jobs, do you find yourself becoming sad about the Greg Oden season-ending injury? FreeDarko urges you not to.

So while Oden's lowers upon us a mightly symbolic void, I don't feel like anything has been stolen from my bosom, or forcibly unhooked from deep within my heart. Maybe this makes me immature; I also never bother to check how the stock market affects my savings. Or, perhaps, we need to acknowledge that big men like Oden are very much like investments: even at their most glamorous, they will never send the same frisson through us that fleeting bills and coins can. They are more secure, and the right move, and all that. But there's a not-so-fine gulf between even the least responsible dabbling and tossing stacks up to see where they fall.

What this means, then, is that waiting for Oden will not mean the end of the world. The big man narrative isn't going anywhere; it can not be antiquated, outmoded, or otherwise tarnished by progress. Most importantly, though, Oden was never going to surprise us. We could already imagine what dominant Greg Oden would look like; we have also already seen far too many times how a seven-footer goes bust. He would make the Blazers very happy, and enhance the NBA's credibility. Really, though, he wasn't going to teach us anything about the game. And now, he'll sit on the shelf maturing like a very tall African-American bond. When he arrives, we'll appreciate his contribution that much more, because we'll have spent all these months calmly, knowingly prepared for it. If Amare, a far less orthodox big man, could be First Team All-NBA post-microfracture, the outlook is hardly bleak for Oden.

Shoals also provides this picture, which is fantastic:


A few more quotes and a few more links before I depart:

First off, when discussing how to fix various things in various classes, I always end up at the conclusion that so much is messed up and people are mad about so many things, it seems like it’s impossible to ever achieve victory. Bill Simmons, of all people, sums this up rather eloquently in defending the Patriots after last weekend’s camera indiscretions:

But since they've already paid a steep penalty for a one-time indiscretion, can we move on with the 2007 NFL season, please? Is everyone done piling on and competing in the "The Race To See Who Can Seem The Most Disgusted and Outraged" contest? As a Massachusetts reader named Sidewinder e-mailed me Friday, "I can't believe how hysterical Peter King sounded on WEEI when talking about Belichick's indiscretion. Talk about getting his skirt up in a bunch. Does this guy realize sports is the toy department of life? Save the righteous indignation for the 9/11 anniversary or the waste of a generation in Iraq."

See, that's the thing. It's sports. People cheat. People do bad things. People make mistakes. It's just like real life, only it doesn't matter nearly as much.

We live in a world in which global-warming activists charter private jets to take them from speech to speech, then tell people not to use so much toilet paper. We live in a world in which American kids are getting killed every day in the Middle East and nobody will mobilize a valid protest until the President finally decides, "We're having a draft lottery." We live in a world in which you can Google the female star of the most popular Disney TV movie ever and see her naked, and NBC runs a popular show in which they trap potential child predators and film the confrontations on TV. We live in a world in which high school kids can decide they don't like another high school kid, so they can build an anonymous slam page and libel the hell out of him, and even though this happens and keeps happening, we still don't have any set-in-stone Internet laws to prevent this. We live in a world in which Perez Hilton and TMZ.com get their own TV shows, but "Friday Night Lights" is two months away from getting canceled. We live in a world in which every home run record from the past 10 years has to be taken not just with a grain of salt, but an entire salt shaker.

So save me the moral indignation about CameraGate. The whole world is screwed up. We watch football every week because the games are entertaining, because it's something to do, because it gives us something to discuss with our friends, co-workers and family members. If you're searching for a football-related moral cause with some meat, watch this month's feature about Earl Campbell on "Costas Now." He's the Texas hero who got chewed up and spit out by professional football; now he suffers from crippling back and knee problems and needs a cane or a wheelchair to get around. The NFL makes roughly a kajillion dollars a year, only its player's union doesn't give two craps about a deteriorating ex-star like Campbell, one of the watershed stars of the '70s and someone who helped push the league to its current heights. They have a lame pension program and no disability benefits, and they have a union head (Gene Upshaw) who openly admits he's paid to worry about current players and not former ones ... even though he's a former player himself. Of course, that story isn't nearly as controversial as the current Patriots scandal because we can't slap a "Gate" behind it. Too bad.

Life’s great, yes? Couple of links…

Andrew sent me this link which has me favoring the Yankees even more in the AL East race. Only 3.5 back, baby!

At least Notre Dame football being awful gets Rakes some attention. ~Sigh~ I enjoyed not having a lot of pressure on the team coming into this season, but I also didn’t want to be completely worthless in the grand scheme of things. At this point I’m kind of rooting to go 0-12, just so I can tell my children and grandchildren I was there for the worst season in Notre Dame football history. It would be like walking uphill both ways to school in the snow, only a lot more painful and with visual evidence.

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