Saturday, October 31, 2009

Can't Hurt

So, what does one lone fan, many miles away from Jacksonville, do to create some positive juju for The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party?

This morning, watched every available youtube video I could find with Dawg highlights of victory over the lizards.

Mixing up potent cocktails in a "Run, Lindsay, Run!" stadium cup.

Wearing the Dawg sweatshirt with the winningest record in the wardrobe.

Drank the morning java in a UGA mug.
Changed my twitter icon:

Listened to the "Best of Munson" iTunes mix this morning while assembling the potpourri post.

Tossed half a carton of OJ out this morning, even though it was within the expiration date, because you just can't have anyfuckingthing orange in the house today.

Switched to a new CrackBerry wallpaper:

Realistically and statistically, it appears we're going to get hammered. But it all can't hurt, right?

I'll take potpourri for $6,800, Alex

Don't forget to set your clocks back tomorrow. It's cheaper than building a DeLorean, and where the hell can you find a flux capacitor these days?

Best and Worst Dollhouse "imprints."

15 Celebrity Halloween suggestions.

7 Questions that keep physicists up at night.

Speaking of Dollhouse, here's a fun quiz. (And yes, I got 15 of 15 correct. And yes, I'm a geek).

Interesting recounting of 10 artists who hate their biggest hits.

Orci and Kurtzman (of Trek, Fringe and sadly, Transformers fame) are producing a new movie based on the legendary pulp character Doc Savage. I loved those novels as a kid, and think in the right hands, this could be awesome. Even better? Shane Black is writing the script.

TWOP Gallery of the biggest nerds/brains on television.

Aaaaah! Eye bleach. Celebrity cameltoes.

A great compilation: the definitive list of cliched dialogue. (See how many you recognize and chuckle all the way through. Aside: at a weekly trivial contest, we were asked for the "five words spoken most frequently in motion picture history." I'm not sure how this was determined, but the correct answer was #3 on this list).

A Q&A with Lost producer Damon Lindelof.

Also from Pop Candy, 5 things you should know about Caprica, the BSG spinoff starting soon.

The 20 Worst Sequels to Good Movies.

Timmy Tebow is up for a scholar athlete award
. I'm assuming his studies don't include any history, science or other classes that might date the earth more than 6.000 years. Speaking of little perfect Timmy, someone at the Red & Black is probably going to be kidnapped and burned alive for heresy.

An awesome collection of badass Batman illustrations.

Great piece from HitFix about watching Dollhouse.

The WSJ talks to the gorgeous Morena Baccarin, about V (which starts next week! Set your TiVos!)

A lengthy, and fascinating, AICN chat with Lance Henrickson.

A nice graphic guide to twist endings.

Okay, they are actually making a $175 figurine based on one of the worst scenes from the awful Indiana Jones sequel? Really? What's next? Figurines based on the "coarse sand" sweet talking from the Star Wars prequels? Of Malin Ackerman reciting dialogue from Watchmen? A collectible depicting the entirety of Transformers 2? Nuke the fridge indeed.

By now, everyone has seen the stunning pix of January Jones in GQ. Huffington Post has some hard hitting journalism determining whether or not her tits were airbrushed.

Larry David feels just like I do about his BlackBerry. And kids.

Even if you're not a dog person, you'll still mist up watching this.

Brilliant but Canceled: Sci-fi and supernatural shows killed before their time.

Good list of the 10 Funniest X-Files episodes. (Their #1 is mine also, and still makes me laugh).

10 Best Rock Anthems.

Your How I Met Your Mother translator.

For old nerds: 10 Best (and 6 worst) TSR games that weren't Dungeons and Dragons. (Yep, I had 7 of the "best" and fortunately, none of the "worst").

That was nerdy. This? Well, judge for yourself. It's a dude covering Eminem songs. In Klingon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

To our friends across the pond....Sorry.

Sure there was that little matter of "taxation without representation." But recently, the English have given us Spaced, The Office, Shaun of the Dead, Doctor Who and Torchwood. And we send them the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? For shame. Even if you factor in the Beckhams and the remake of Coupling, that just doesn't seem fair. But the Brits weren't the only ones to watch some terrible pigskin.

This was just an awful weekend of football. My alma mater (mercifully) didn't play, the SEC games were close but uninspiring (and again marred by horrific officiating), the remaining college contests were lackluster, the NFL was full of (mostly) uninteresting blowouts and the Falcons got their ass kicked by the Cowpokes. And this was before my brilliant apartment groundskeeper tried to remove my satellite dish just prior to kickoff (fortunately, I noticed the signal go blank and was able to run down to the street as he was putting the fucking dish in his van). Plus, in my fantasy league, I have Eli Manning and Tony Romo as QBs, and the only way to ensure a statistically superlative performance by one is to pick the other to start for me.

Also, Monday Night Football looks like a terrible matchup, with Ron Mexico wandering one sideline, and on the other, a guy calling plays who only a couple of weeks ago was yelling out "B-31!" in a bingo parlor. And this on a night when House, Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother take the evening off.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can you abort a fake baby?

Or rather, can you abort a storyline about a fake baby? Because tonight is Glee night, friends, and the story about Terri Schuester's fake baby is a four ton anchor strapped to the wings of a candy coated Concorde trying to soar into the skies.

Glee is unlike anything on TV today. An over the top melodrama-musical-hourlong sitcom filled with wafer thin characters and plot holes bigger than Kanye's ego that succeeds in spite of all of this, because it's a big box of fun wrapped up in a sparkly joie de vivre paper and topped with a huge bow of wit, placed under the Nasty Tree for opening on Sarcasm Day. The characters are broadly sketched, yes, but so capably and endearingly performed (dramatically, comedically and musically) that Glee overcomes almost all of its foibles. And of course, the incomparable Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester simply PWNS every scene she's in.

So what's the problem, you ask?

Well, it's the FAKE FUCKING BABY.

Look, I normally hate kids on my shows -- especially babies. I just don't have the patience for it. Have no interest in it. Don't care about the struggles and don't go "awwwww" every time a character gets all schmoopy about motherhood, fatherhood, or the miracle of life. But that's not it. No, it's the utter unbelievability of the FAKE FUCKING BABY as a storyline. (And this is from a show that features Mercedes not realizing Kurt is gay and falling in love with him. That features Emma deciding to marry the coach even though she's in love with Will. That features Terri getting hired (for a day) as a school nurse without any applicable background. That features a skeevy possible pedophile getting hired back into the school district. That features a lead character so dumb and naive that he thinks he impregnated his girlfriend via his sperm doing the backstroke in a hot tub). Every time the FAKE FUCKING BABY comes up, I shudder and reach to change the channel. It takes me right out of the giddy trance the rest of the show has put me in.

I mean, it's not like I can't accept some weird, otherworldy or preposterous situations on my favorite shows. For example, many of the programs on the top of my TiVo season pass showcase:
  • People that are wiped clean mentally via computer and assume the personality and skills of ninjas, mothers, hookers, social workers, dead people and assassins.
  • An island that travels in time and disappears, and has a smoke monster and polar bears on it.
  • Police departments and government organizations that week after week allow fake psychics, OCD detectives, pulp thriller authors, facial lie detection experts, twitchy mad scientists, mathematicians and convicted criminals to help them solve crimes.
  • Pill popping, snarky doctors that offend everyone around them and consistently violate the laws of man, decorum and the land to treat patients and stay gainfully employed.
  • A serial killer, who works for the police force and moonlights as a married father of three, all while butchering only other really bad people.
  • A world where everyone blacked out for a couple of minutes and had a vision of the future, and all the related issues are trying to be solved by a couple of folks and a website.
  • Two brothers, destined to be the meat puppet vessels of the angel Michael and Satan himself, who drive around the countryside killing demons and helping people with their supernatural problems while trying to avert the coming apocalypse.
  • A kickass government agent and high efficiency killing machine who regularly stays up for 24 hours straight, without eating, taking a shit or having his cell phone battery go dead.
You get the picture. My suspension of disbelief goes a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way.


Even though they worked in a half-assed plot thread last week about "staging" an ultrasound, how in the blue hell is this thing supposed to work?

First, you're telling me that Will, no matter how many late nights he spends trying to find another song for the Glee Club to perform or sharing hand sanitizer with the moon-eyed Emma, doesn't ever see his wife without her shirt on? Never catches her in the shower? Never sees her changing clothes? Doesn't snuggle up to her at night? And from TV (and thankfully, no personal experience), I've learned that dads want to actually touch the gestating bundle of expense, mess and noise growing in their partner's belly. None of this has happened? Really?

And second, I know Terri is written as being a bit dim and desperate, but what the hell is her final plan? Quinn goes into labor at the exact same time that Terri does? And they are in the same hospital? And Will isn't allowed in the delivery room? And no one else is either, except for the doctor she's bought off/blackmailed into helping her? And as soon as Quinn squirts out her little bundle of joy (also in a delivery room with no one else present), someone (maybe Terri's sister) swaddles it up, takes it away, and places it inches from Terri's vagina and declares "oh lookee what I found!?" And Terri tosses her fake belly in the delivery room trash can? And Quinn and her family and everyone else just assumes the magically disappearing baby ran straight from her uterus to a worthy adopting family, with zero post-birth medical care nor any official records? And the hospital staff doesn't catch on to this? And no one else notices this? Not even when the baby turns out to be sporting a mohawk?

Really, Glee? REALLY?

Where the hell can we go from here? Personally, I think Jessalyn Gilsig is a fine actress, and doing absolutely all she can with the worst major series plotline since a "sketch comedy show" spent untold eye-rolling hours dealing with a hostage crisis and a soldier STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN! Obviously, Terri's lies need to unravel, and unravel quickly for the show to have any shred of believability, even in a gleefully heightened reality like the one on the show.

So how do you feel about the FAKE FUCKING BABY, TNRLMers? (choose as many answers as applicable, and sound off in the comments if you like)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday is leftover pizza

Tuesday night is really the worst night of television of the entire week. Looking back at my fall season preview for Tuesday, I only listed four programs capable of making their way onto my TiVo. (For comparison, Thursday has TEN!) One of them (V) won't start for a while, one already concluded its delightful and promising summer run (Warehouse 13), and one is a passably entertaining procedural (NCIS) that I watch as I go to sleep (though it does continue to build as a ratings powerhouse, frequently ranking #1 in total viewers). Only the dark, engaging, challenging and well-crafted biker drama Sons of Anarchy stands out at all.

Obviously, it would be nice if the networks moved some of the shows from elsewhere on the schedule into the Tuesday void, but A. they're probably afraid of the NCIS juggernaut, and B. Tuesday isn't, as a whole, a well viewed night for advertising (again, compared to Thursday, which gets a lot of advertiser support, particularly for clients looking to motivate weekend purchases).

However, there are a few things that brighten up the night.

First, there are the TiVo carryovers that I haven't gotten around to watching yet, like last night's Castle, which just got an order for a full season. Huzzah! (Mondays are usually pretty busy, with Big Bang, HIMYM, House, Lie to Me and Monday Night Football).

Second, we have two outstanding documentaries going on. On IFC, there's the insightful and laugh out loud six part doc on Monty Python (which is entering its third episode tonight, and is really very good thus far). On ESPN, there's the third episode of their 30 for 30 series, which is surprisingly (and thankfully) free of the usual grating ESPN bombast and self-promotion, instead giving the creators total control of their hour. Tonight is a look at the USFL, which should be fun.

I guess it helps to have a "catch up" night, but man do I wish some of the scripted favorites would relocate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'll take potpourri for $6,700, Alex

I might have Jedi Swine Flu, since my midichlorian count is low.

Well, it's been a while since we did a roundup of fun stuff from around the interwebs. Here we go:

Total Sci-Fi Online lists the 100 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time.

Total Film has the recipe to make a Hitchcock movie.

7 Greatest Butlers in nerd-dom.

I don't necessarily agree with the list, but Den of Geek! has an interesting take on the 10 Best episodes of Angel.

9 Great movie monologues.

A great NY Times contributor op-ed about the NIH appointment. (and a more thorough follow up).

AMC lists the Top 10 Close Encounters of the Scintillating Kind.

Empire lists 10 Rules for Time Travel.

God, does this bring back memories. 10 Horrible Paintings from Atari 2600 Game Boxes. I think I had most of those (except soccer. It's lame even in a video game).

I think we all know my stance on this, but maybe prayer does work.

40 Best College Football Villains.

50 Greatest Movie Sequels. (Really?)

The A to Z of Quentin Tarantino.

Speaking of A to Z, this is just AWESOME.

For TV Nerds: The 100 Most Iconic TV Openings.

Sam Beckett's 10 strangest Leaps.

The best sci-fi show you've never seen. (Man, this was good. I was sad when it didn't make it to series)

20 Best Monty Python sketches, with video! Speaking of which, is everyone else setting their TiVos for the 6 hour Python documentary on IFC next week? If you're not, you should, dammit.

9 movies that always make guys cry. Yep.

Hey, someone actually raises a question about the Tebow cult
. How refreshing. Related: what athletes are going to burn in hell?

Top 10 Scandals in College Sports (proud my alma mater -- of the "how many points is a three point shot worth?" fame -- shows up here. Thanks, Harrick!)

Empire's 100 Sexiest Movie Stars (50 guys, 40 gals. And Grace Kelly, my eternal #1, is only #40 on the list? For shame, voters).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Well worth 6 minutes of your time

I linked to this in one of my previous "potpourri" roundups this summer, but it deserves a revisiting. The fine and witty folks over at Pajiba compiled a great list of the "Other 100 Best Movie Quotes of All Time." (compared to the classic, if a bit expected, lists usually assembled by AFI or some other organization).

The list itself is a good one, and includes many I reference on an almost daily basis. Well, their video editor went a step above and beyond, and compiled them all in video form. Enjoy:

The Willie Martinez Employment Act (Part 3)

Since it's quite apparent we've reached a point in his University of Georgia coaching tenure where Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez can no longer adequately perform the duties he has been given, we here at TNRLM thought we would offer some suggestions on future employment opportunities where his unique "skills" might be put to better use.

Job Opportunity:
Toll Booth Manager

Why Willie is a Good Fit:
Quite used to deploying his charges, only to have wave after wave of north-south travelers with someplace to go run through his strategic bulwark, which offers only minor inconvenience.

 Of course, from 2001 - 2004 this was the more likely result.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Willie Martinez Employment Act (Part 2)

Since it's quite apparent we've reached a point in his University of Georgia coaching tenure where Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez can no longer adequately perform the duties he has been given, we here at TNRLM thought we would offer some suggestions on future employment opportunities where his unique "skills" might be put to better use.

Job Opportunity:
Major League Baseball Bench Coach

Why Willie is a Good Fit:
Often, the responsibilities of the Bench Coach include positioning the defensive players so that a catch can easily be made, free of distractions.

As we've seen several times this year, Coach Willie does an excellent job of putting the defensive players in a position so that a catch can be made without impediment.

(Unfortunately for UGA fans, said catches are made by the opposing team, but this knack for allowing hassle-free catches should translate well to baseball. After all, in both baseball and UGA's defensive outings, it appears only one team is allowed to be around the ball as it descends into awaiting hands).

The Willie Martinez Employment Act (Part 1)

Since it's quite apparent we've reached a point in his University of Georgia coaching tenure where Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez can no longer adequately perform the duties he has been given, we here at TNRLM thought we would offer some suggestions on future employment opportunities where his unique "skills" might be put to better use.

Job Opportunity:

Why Willie is a Good Fit:
Bullfighters wave something red, only to have "opponent" run through it, momentum frequently undeterred.

Failure to competently perform even the "Ole!" can often leave the bullfighter in less than healthy condition.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hey there. Long time no blog.

Well, hello there blogverse. It's been a while. I would love to say that I've been an absentee landlord of these here parts because I've been on a fulfilling spiritual quest; seduced by a winsome nerd girl; or plotting how to spend my recent Mega Millions win (first on the agenda: "endow" a salary for a UGA special teams coach. Second? Fund a full season of a Whedon TV show and tell Nielsen families to go fuck themselves). However, that simply isn't the case. I made a long trek back to the motherland to see some friends and football, and have really just been suffering from a debilitating ennui.

So, I hope to get back to regularly blogging about television, pop culture, life and sports, but we'll just have to see how it goes, okay? In the meantime, here are a few random observations I made during my time away:

When you go through security at a college football stadium with a flask, never deviate from what's been successful. For example, if in two decades you've never been snagged by the popo with the brown elixir of life hidden in your waistband against the small of your back, then don't suddenly decide to just leave it in your back pocket on the day of the biggest home game of the season. (Related: watching a game at your local pub with other rabid fans gives you the opportunity to see endless replays of the incompetence of SEC refs over and over).

Good friends are worth their weight in gold.

The digestive system of a cat seems inextricably tied to its need for attention.

Cruel and unusual punishment for a southerner? Living in a state without a Krystal, Zaxby's or Waffle House.

You can never have enough half and half. Also, when you drink a LOT of java, it helps to have an easy to use coffee maker. At home, I use a combination of the Grind n Brew (which is not so user friendly, especially for that second pot of the morning, yet makes rich, wonderful coffee) and the Keurig single cup (which is about as easy as you can get). However, I came to appreciate the simplicity and charms of the BrewStation.

Starting a 12 hour drive at 6 in the morning, in the pouring rain, with an engine warming light and a quirky transmission? Not so fun. Having the light go away and everything return to normal after the first pee break? Better.

There's something thoroughly "Aughts" (at the end of the decade, have we finally decide that this is the preferred nomenclature?) about three people sitting in the same room watching TiVod shows, all with their own laptops and BlackBerries in front of them. (I recall the same "type" of thing growing up, except that the shows were live, necessitating group bathroom or popcorn breaks with everyone doing a mad scramble during the commercials, and instead of laptops, it was comic books, cross word puzzles and the National Enquirer).

Big decisions are looming.

I don't know how I made road trips before the advent of XM radio, iPods, podcasts and audiobooks.

Speaking of road trips, if I had kids (and thank Zeus I don't), I would never complain about them wanting to make frequent stops. I think on the way home from Georgia, I pulled over for coffee, gas and/or bathroom breaks 11 times.

You don't really appreciate how fucking awesome HD is until you watch it for a month, then return to a life of SD. I miss you, razor sharp blades of football field grass and bad actor complexions.

After careful consideration and much experimentation, I think I've finally come to the conclusion that the DirecTV DVR is an almost worthy alternative to the TiVo. (Gasp!)

Easy way to lose weight: don't fucking eat.

Small children don't seem to appreciate my ability to sculpt Mickey Mouse out of Play Doh.

Two words I would love to never hear again: "Favre" and "Tebow."

I have a sleeping disorder (complete with tubes and machines!), yet I can't doze off without the television on. However, the TV sleep timer is an invaluable aid to getting full REM sleep. Average wake up time with a sleep timer utilized? 6 - 6:30. Without? 7:30 - 8.

The Braves at least made it interesting for a while there, didn't they? A touch more hitting next year (and a bit less manager-directed work for the 'pen), and this club is a contender.

Lots of people are awfully nice, but I'm still afraid of most of them.

It doesn't matter where they are located, treadmills are still the most boring thing ever.

If Tony Romo keeps playing this way for my fantasy team, I think I'll wind up hating him more than TO and Jessica Simpson combined.

I don't care how many debates we have about it, the best way back from Sanford Stadium to the tailgate spot is via the Legion/Creswell route, and not the straight up Baxter Bataan Death March.

How do Lou Holtz and Mark May stay employed?

I've never purchased anything from E-Bay before. After the Great Freebird Satellite Debacle, I'm certainly less inclined to do so. (But for the viewing audience, all's well that ends well, I guess).

The Thursday television schedule is still a brutal trainwreck of epic proportions. I can't ever recall, in my decades of TV watching, that many interesting shows all stacked up at the same time.

Most effective method for getting "cat food dye" out of light colored carpet? A homemade concoction of vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and Oxy-Clean. Better solution? "Natural" cat food, without coloring or dye. (Hell, "brown" is more appetizing to me than "orange and yellow" too).

I would be (more) suicidal with life as a professional gambler. First week tailgate pick 'em pool? Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Next week? 0 for motherfucking 10. I don't think that's been done in the pool before, and you need a special kind of ineptitude to put up that "score."

Did I mention good friends are worth their weight in gold? Cuz they are.

More later, y'all.