Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Blog Was On Strike Until Notre Dame Won A Game

Sorry for the giant rift in normal posting. No excuses, really, so we power on through…


As if you couldn’t tell from their miracle run to get in that was preceded by decades of long-ball knocking, 70-win mediocrity, the Colorado Rockies are most definitely the official MLB postseason team of the Blog O’ Fun. They represent consistently crappy, October-less baseball teams everywhere, and as a Pirates fan, it’s impossible not to embrace them. Yes, the Indians might as well be cursed and it’s not like the Diamondbacks are bad people, but one of them was supposed to be good this season and the other had the best record in the National League, so it’s hard to consider them underdogs.

But we have the Rockies – generous, loving, Matt-Holliday-shouldn’t-be-MVP-because-his-road-OPS-is-so-bad- but-I-still-love-him – ready to take on the young, exciting Arizona Diamondbacks, who I actually saw play twice this season, once in PNC with Randy Johnson reigning terror on the Pirates and once in Wrigley with Micah Owings and Stephen Drew prevailing in a 3-2 pitchers’ duel. The 2001 World Series remains one of my favorite sporting memories of all-time, as perfectly encapsulated by Bill Simmons’ Game Seven running diary.

I’m not sure what the Rockies chances are when they make it to the World Series buzzsaw that will feature some combination of Sabathia, Beckett, Carmona and Schilling, but when you’re fated never to lose, you’re fated never to lose.

Sidebar: Incase you were unaware, and I certainly hope you were unaware, the Pirates have cleaned house in the last month, getting rid of their awful general manager Dave Littlefield and incompetent manager Jim Tracy. I can guarantee you everyone brought in to replace them will be better simply because no one could have done a worse job.


Middling crop of freshman shows this year. Nothing stands out as particularly great at this point, and I haven’t watched any of the stuff deemed excessively awful (Fare thee well, Caveman and Moonlight). A few thoughts, although I haven’t watched most of the stuff from last night yet, save for Pushing Daisies and Real World.

Gossip Girl: Already picked up for the entire season. As it’s been said in many a corner of the internet, like The OC but without a soul or Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows. This is made up for by the narration of Kristen Bell, who gets to quip snappy one-liners and say things like “fustercluck” on almost-network television. The actors, by no stretch of the imagination, are that good, but there hasn’t been a horrendous Mischa Barton incident yet. I’m all aboard, if only for the opportunity it gives for absurd wall posts, away messages and text messages. They also gave us this:

(Speaking of Mischa, how’s she doing after abandoning The OC ship a season early? Other than saving that show in a gracious act of charity, I’m not sure she’s done a whole lot. Surprising.)

KidNation: So contrived it might not be worth watching, but we enjoyed last week’s episode which featured juice-into-root-beer depth charges (kids these days; the future is ruined), one of the older kids randomly cussing out everyone in town and the town council beauty queen finally getting her just desserts after prancing around doing no work for most of the time she was there. I hate the producers’ stupid book that makes them insert things like curfews and religion just for the sake of conflict, as there has to be a less heavy-handed way to approach creating momentum for the show. I’ll probably keep watching, but it’s not great.

Pushing Daisies: Ingeniously creative, perfectly-acted, looks like a Tim Burton movie, has great narration and has a decent timeslot at 8:00 against the likes of KidNation, America’s Next Top Model, random FOX comedies and Deal or No Deal. The premise seems more fit for a movie than television show, but the second episode certainly carried a lot of momentum from the pilot, so I hope that’s a continuing trend. On the minus side, I’m so irrationally scared that the two lead characters are going to touch (if they do, death) even though I know they won’t it makes it almost uncomfortable to watch.

Chuck/Reaper: Similar concepts, similar leads, similar interesting pilots, similar failure to sustain momentum. Certainly a lot of time to turn it around, but these might be more along the lines of procedurals you’ll watch if they’re on than appointment television.

See, not a very inspiring crop. Apparently Private Practice has many of the sins of Grey’s Anatomy while Dirty Sexy Money is good, but I’m creeped out by the title. I didn’t realize Samaire Armstrong was in it, though, so I may check out the first couple of episodes on the Tivo.

Returning shows?

The Office – The hour-long episodes are stretched pretty thin, but there’s still a lot of good stuff there. Ryan has become a loathsome character while so far, so good, on handling the Jim and Pam (PB&J) relationship. Ken Levine has a great open letter to the cast about how to keep things going steady.

30 Rock – One episode, general awesomeness and perfect one-liners all over the place. Maybe the bridesmaid storyline was a little lame, but Tracy’s office marriage to Kenneth and the entire idea of SeinfeldVision were great. I think this is the best comedy on television, ahead of Office and now ahead of…

How I Met Your Mother – Some people have been lukewarm-to-cold on this season, but I really enjoyed the last episode about the tricycle championship belt because you got a lot of Ted/Barney/Marshall/Lily time, which is when the show is at its best. Yes, Robin’s individual storyline was lame and they need to either reincorporate her into the group or cut ties, but there’s still a lot of good here.

Friday Night Lights – I’m going to write a column for one of my classes on this tomorrow or tonight, so I’ll toss that up when it’s done and tweaked for blogdome. Long story short: They’re starting down a very slippery slope away from their generally very realistic storylines, and unless the writers have this masterfully planned out, things could go very, very poorly. There’s still so much good stuff – the Coach or Mrs. Taylor interacting with anyone, the new coach’s issues with Buddy, Riggins v. Lyla – that I’m of course going to watch, but for the first time since the show was renewed, I’m worried.


As usual, once the semester starts up I never seem to make it to the movies, meaning I still need to see Michael Clayton, 3:10 to Yuma and The Kingdom, but Chad and I did check out Shoot Em Up at the dollar theater the other night, and wow, I can’t even describe it. Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, 80 minutes of insane action scenes and no real plot involved. I can’t even describe it, you just have to go see it or rent it. I guess I’d recommend it, but just be prepared to be completely confused and unable to decide which scene was more absurd.

I will, however, make an opening weekend trip to see them try to kill HIS WIFE. I hadn’t seen this second trailer, which puts a Godfather-type spin on things, sans Jay-Z. Cannot wait.

No comments: