Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
1. saying that the BCS has paired the top two teams in the BCS rankings for a national championship game every year. This is a circular argument. The rankings themselves are flawed, and just ask anyone who watched Nebraska back into the title game in ’01 if they were really the #2 team in the country.
2. giving countless reasons why playoffs in general are flawed. Just look at the front page of playoffproblem.com. There are half a dozen questions that try to make it seem like playoffs in general don't work. Except, you know, in all other levels of NCAA football and every other NCAA sport in America.
Friday, November 27, 2009
1 - Dollhouse
Status: canceled, will run off remaining episodes
I’ve already written about this, but I don’t think the failings of “Dollhouse” were specifically because it was a sci-fi show. The show failed because it struggled to establish exactly what it was and who we should be rooting for, character-wise.
2 - Eastwick
Status: canceled, will run off remaining episodes
A fantasy show, involving witchcraft instead of science, Eastwick seemed to have all the necessary elements to succeed. But it seemed like the creators wanted to downplay the genre elements and play up the characters -- who themselves weren’t particularly interesting. It resulted in an incredibly weak show that never had much of a chance of succeeding.
3 - V
Status: on hiatus until March
V’s four episode mini-run wrapped up on Tuesday, and that’s what sparked this idea. V has been plagued by behind the scenes problems from the beginning, as ABC tried to downplay the whole “alien invaders” aspect of the show. None of the show’s marketing referred to aliens, and even on the show, they’re always called “the visitors” or “the Vs”. Now, with the show on hiatus for three months, it’ll be easy for it to get lost in the shuffle, which is unfortunate, since “V” probably has the most deeply rooted sci-fi plots of any of these shows (including the sci-fi tradition of using aliens as a metaphor for something more Earth-bound).
4 - FlashForward
Status: full-season order received, but production halted
This show had such promise early on, but things have stalled. The last couple of episodes have been incredibly disappointing, and now ABC has called for a halt to production, according to a spokesman “to maintain the high quality of the show” (can you say “too late”?). In my eyes, the reason the show has bogged down is because it’s become character-centric, trying so hard to avoid being science fiction. When you’ve got visions of the future, an experiment that caused the entire planet to black out, and possibly magic rings, you’re sci-fi. Embrace it.
5 - Heroes
Status: still going, for some reason
Just go away. At this point, you’ve gone from being character-based sci-fi to boring primetime soap. Strangely, the shows listed above generally struggled creatively when they tried to avoid being “too” sci-fi. Meanwhile, as “Heroes” got deeper and deeper into the genre (with shadowy corporations, genetic formulas, time travel through centuries, butterfly effects, etc.) it got more and more unwatchable. Maybe the people in charge of the other networks saw that, and that’s what led to the toning down of the genre elements in Dollhouse, Eastwick, V and FlashForward.
Obviously, none of the shows listed above are on the SyFy channel, but a sci-fi show should be able to succeed outside of one small corner of the television universe. I’d say that “V” or “FlashForward” might be better served by getting away from ABC, but FOX cancelled “Terminator” and “Dollhouse”, NBC dropped “Medium” and is watching “Heroes” die a slow death and CBS stuck both of its fantasy shows on Friday night. Meanwhile, The CW continues to have success with “Supernatural”, “Smallville” and “The Vampire Diaries” -- in part because the network can afford to live with the lower ratings genre shows traditionally bring in.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Aside from being an awesome movie (despite the sob-fest that is the first 20 minutes), "Up" reminded me why Blu-ray is so amazing. As I was watchign the movie, I was continually stunned by the level of visual detail in the picture. Things I hadn't even noticed when watching the movie in theaters were clear as day on Blu-ray.
Think back 10 years, when DVDs first started to be mainstream. We were all amazed at how much better a DVD looked when compared to a VHS movie. But by the time DVDs had been around for awhile, they didn't seem nearly as amazing, especially when TV technology started to exceed that of DVDs (a 480p DVD doesn't look that crisp on a 1080p TV). The visual difference between Blu-ray and DVD is even more striking than the difference between DVD and VHS, but because DVDs themselves weren't that bad, sometimes that difference is hard to appreciate. That's not the case with "Up", which I'm pretty sure is going to become my new reference disc. Now I just need a new TV.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
New Moon smashed The Dark Knight's single-day and opening-day box-office records with an estimated $72.7 million Friday, its studio reported today.
If the movie's unprecedented midnight business was "absolutely freakish," then its unprecedented full-day take was simply phenomenal.
I haven't seen "New Moon", nor do I ever plan on seeing it (I did see "Twilight" and have spent the last year researching methods on how to un-see it, but that doesn't seem scientifically possible). Still, I can't believe that this:
... is better than this:
Also, I can guarantee that no one from "New Moon" is winning any acting Oscars any time soon. However, if "New Moon" surpasses "The Dark Knight" in final box office totals, then we as a country have failed.
Friday, November 20, 2009
With that in mind, I'll be sharing some of these outtakes for each episode from here on out. Here are some of the quick highlights from the 30-or-so minutes of audio that ended up on the cutting room floor for this one (note: there is no actual "cutting room", since this is all done in GarageBand).
DELETED SCENE - We have another laugh at Jay Cutler's expense (0:51)
BLOOPER - Adam confuses himself while trying to set up the third topic of discussion (0:27)
DELETED SCENE - PooZ lets Adam know that Tiffani Thiessen is still getting work (0:35)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
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Sunday, November 15, 2009
Well, whenever I get one of these ideas, it generally takes up all my creative thought until I get it done, so, here for your enjoyment is the final product.
At first, I was going to try and pick moments to match up with the lyrics, but I decided to just let the video flow naturally. I think it works better.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In general, the M-V-P chant has gotten way out of control in recent years. First of all, no MVP voter has ever considered “number of M-V-P chants” before casting his or her ballot. Also, there are so many more creative things to chant -- “M-V-P” is starting to feel like “over-rated” in over-used chants. If you’re a Cavs fan, trying doing an “Ak-ron Ham-mer,
So, with that in mind, here are my guidelines for chanting “M-V-P” at an NBA game:
No chanting M-V-P until at least 50 games into the season. Sure, it may have seemed cool to chant M-V-P for Kevin Garnett early last season, but how cool was it when he missed the last three months of the year? Plus, the last thing you want to do is suffer from a Guy Morriss-esque premature celebration.
- If more than 10 percent of your seats are empty, you shouldn’t be chanting for anything, much less M-V-P. Real MVPs can sell out their home venues.
- If the target of your MVP chants doesn’t rank in the top 7 in the league in scoring, top 3 in rebounding or top 3 in assists, then please stop. The only MVP in the last 30 years who didn’t meet those standards was Dirk Nowitzki, and after his 2007 playoff flameout, he should have had to return his award.
- You can only chant M-V-P in the final six minutes of a game in which the target’s team has the game in hand. If you start an MVP chant in the first quarter, or when your team is down by 10 points, you should be immediately ejected from the arena.
- Only chant M-V-P for a genuine MVP moment (thunderous dunk, buzzer-beater, crazy blocked shot). Do not chant M-V-P for routine jumpers, layups or free throws (exception: the M-V-P chant started after a thunderous dunk can continue during the free throw in an and-1 situation).
- Once the regular season is over, all M-V-P chants should stop (since, you know, the award’s already been voted on). M-V-P chants are allowed to resume for one playoff game, when the actual MVP receives his award. They must immediately cease again after that game.
- The only time an M-V-P chant should be started in the Finals is during the last minutes of a potential clinching game, and then only for the winning team’s absolute best player. If your team is about to win a title with Tony Parker or Cedric Maxwell getting Finals MVP honors, that’s great, but chanting M-V-P only demeans the actual superstar on the team.
- You can only chant M-V-P for a visiting player for two reasons: either you’re a fan of the visiting team, and have somehow scored tickets to a road game (in which case, all previous rules except the 90% capacity rule apply), or your team has spent much of the previous decade clearing cap space to woo the potential MVP to town. Otherwise, you should be ejected from the arena. If any home crowd starts multiple M-V-P chants for road players in the same season (I’m looking at you, 2007-08 Knicks), the entire front office should be fired.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It’s like Sesame Street (which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week)... this post on AdamReisinger.com is brought to you by the number Three.
How I Met Your Mother
- Best thing about the episode, by far, was the introduction of another potential ongoing gag (in this case, the search for Robin’s Canadian variety show). HIMYM does on-going gags incredibly well, sometimes letting them linger behind the scenes for years before bringing them back. Now, if they could only remember to “bring back” the meeting of the mother...
- Let’s be honest, the show was different with Barney and Robin dating. I’m not going to go as far as to say it was worse, but it didn’t have the same feel. Now with Barney single again, things should be legen - wait for it - dary, again.
- During the stakeout scene, Lily and Marshall got into an argument about stormtroopers, and Lily, upon realizing they were people and not robots, was aghast at the sheer amount of death caused by the blowing up of the Death Star. Marshall said the stormtroopers knew what they were getting into. I’m pretty sure I’ve had this same conversation before. Like word for word. And I know I’m not the only one.
- Any threesome involving Hilary Duff is fine by me. But more than just the obvious threesome, this episode was actually all about trios of people teaming up for good or bad. You had Blair-Serena-Chuck, Blair-Eric-Kira and even Jenny and her two escorts (not what you’re thinking).
- The actual purpose of the threesome, from a future plot development perspective, seems to be to create tension between Olivia, Dan and Vanessa. This is great, because I felt like they were all getting a little too chummy, especially with everyone around them being at each others throats.
- As for Jenny, who was the focus of the A-story, I thought she was at her most likable awhile back when she was with Nate. Hopefully the cotillion incident can re-kindle that relationship.
- First up, as I tweeted last night, the more the episode went on, the more it felt like a re-make of Season 1 of “Veronica Mars.” I am completely fine with this. I miss that show so much.
- I almost thought we were going to go the entire episode without an Alexis moment, but then she showed up right at the end to have a great moment with her dad. I felt like she was over-used in the previous episode, but in small doses, she’s perfect.
- Captain Montgomery hasn’t always had much to work with, in terms of story, on this show, but last night’s episode was his time to shine, and he did. I immediately like the character significantly more.
... and as for last night’s clunker:
- You can’t use a scene in promos all week, then try to build it up as a shocking moment in the episode. As soon as the tow truck guy showed up, we knew Sylar/Matt was going to kill him, but they took forever building to that moment. Just more wasted time on a show that perfects that.
- We get it, H.R.G. wasn’t always the nicest guy in the past. Does that have to be the motivation for every new character on the show?
- Please, please let characters die. We thought Nathan was gone when he got shot and re-shape-shifted into Sylar, but now he’s back. And based on the promo from next week, Parkman will be revived and Mohinder is alive and well too. This is just getting stupid.
-It looks like it’s going to be harder to get to a true BCS Nightmare Scenario, now that Alabama beat LSU (with some more dubious SEC refereeing) and Iowa lost. Still, there is the potential for five unbeatens at the end of the regular season, including three from major conferences. I don’t think most people would object to a Texas-Florida/Alabama national championship game if both are unbeaten, but if there’s a one-loss team in the championship game over one or two unbeatens, people are gonna be pissed. Also, if there really are five unbeatens at the end of the year, there will be even more calls for a playoff.
-I’ll have my full thought’s on Monday’s TV shows later today, but for now, a bit of news from the land of TV: “Eastwick” has been all but cancelled. ABC has said it won’t up its order from the original 13 episodes, and it doesn’t even have all 13 on the schedule. As far as I’m concerned, this is a mercy killing. The show is awful.
-As I mentioned above, I’ve been sick for six days now. I took the first week of November off from work, fully intending to work more on my Covington Curse novel, but instead spending most of the second half of the week unable to look at a screen. For those of you who’ve been waiting for the next short story in the series, it might be awhile, since that “short story” is feeding the plot of the novel. I have to go back and cherry pick introductory elements from the first six short stories so the novel can stand on its own, but the bulk of the story is coming from what would have been the next six short stories. Stay tuned, because I hope to have more regular updates on my progress, and I’d like to have something to share with you by the end of the year.
-I don’t know if you’ve seen the little box on the front page, but I’m on Twitter now (and have been for a couple months). You can follow me at http://www.twitter.com/adamreisinger. Mostly I use it for making sarcastic comments about sports and television. Think of it as AdamReisinger.com Lite (plus, I’ll always send out tweets when I publish an update to this blog or LeBron2010.info).
-Speaking of LeBron, I’ve got one last anecdote to mention from last Friday’s game. Kevin Rudolf provided the halftime entertainment. You may know him from his one hit song, “Let It Rock”, which featured Lil’ Wayne and got completely overplayed at sporting events last year. Well, apparently, New York does not like overplayed one-hit wonders, because they booed the crap out of Rudolf. The boos got particularly loud when a hype man tried to do a call-and-response, subbing for Lil’ Wayne’s verse. Then at the end of the song came the loudest booing I’ve ever heard. Seriously, it was impressive. I can never hear that song again without thinking of the boos.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
That said, I have been following the season, and I’ve decided that I’m rooting for one of two possible BCS nightmare scenarios:
-Currently, the top 7 teams in the BCS Standings are all undefeated. At least one of them has to lose, since Florida and Alabama are on track to meet in the SEC Championship Game. But if there were six unbeatens at the end of the regular season, that would be one huge mess.
-The other possible mess is this: LSU beats Alabama this Saturday, then goes on to beat Florida in the SEC Championship Game, leaving three one-loss teams in the SEC: Alabama (who wouldn’t even play in the title game in this scenario), Florida (who beat LSU in the regular season, but lost in the title game) and LSU. Would the BCS reward a one-loss SEC team over an unbeaten Iowa, Cincinnati, TCU or Boise State? And is it possible, in that scenario, that Florida (who would likely enter that game at No. 1) could stay in the top 2, despite the loss?
The second scenario lends itself to more of a mess, particularly if Texas loses between now and the end of the season too, but neither scenario is tidy. In the past few seasons, the BCS has lucked out and had things pretty much take care of themselves before Selection Sunday, but they need so much to happen between now and then that it’s more likely we’re headed toward another 2004 (when there were three major conference unbeatens). Of course, the odds of any of this mess leading toward an actual playoff system are nil, so it doesn’t really matter, except for giving us college football fans something fun to talk about for the month between the conference championships and BCS Championship Game.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Let’s run down some of the reasons why I loved this episode so much:
-It happened so quickly that I didn’t notice it happening, but somewhere along the way this season, Chuck Bass matured and became the show’s moral compass. That may seem fucked up, but somehow it works.
-I’ve always felt the show works better when there’s conflict between the main characters, but when it’s not forced. All the conflicts that came to a head in this episode happened organically, and over the course of multiple episodes, but now everyone (aside from Blair and Chuck) is at each other’s throats.
-Hilary Duff has been an incredible addition to the cast. I never thought I’d write that sentence, but there it is.
-For two-plus seasons, I hated Dan Humphrey, and through most of this episode, I thought he was a moron (how could he not see something was up with Olivia), but he somehow redeemed himself with the whole “candles in the loft” thing. I’m not ready to say I like the guy, yet, but at least I don’t hate him.
-Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Blake Lively’s “improvement” this season. She’s really “enhanced” her interpretation of Serena, and is “busting out” from the ensemble. “boob job” (whoops, did that defeat the purpose of the innuendo?)
I also want to take the time to address Leighton Meester, specifically her “singing” career. Don’t do it. Look, Leighton, sweetie, lots of actresses have done this before. Just because you can act, and are on a popular TV show or in a popular movie, doesn’t mean you should be a singer, too. Just ask Jennifer Love Hewitt. Or Lindsay Lohan. Hell, take some time during a break in shooting and ask Hilary Duff. You may sell some albums, and get your video played on... well, not on MTV, since they don’t play videos anymore, but somewhere... but if you don’t legitimately have the vocal chops (and based on that clip I saw, you don’t), then your second “career” is gonna get torn apart. And it’s not worth it.
That said, I seem to be on some kind of ridiculous streak of bad luck right now. Let me run through this real quick:
-About two weeks ago, my MacBook -- which I rarely use -- stopped running off its battery.
-Around the same time, my AT&T (there’s that shitty acronym again) U-Verse gateway started randomly resetting. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, and AT&T won’t replace it.
-Last week, one day after I bought “Uncharted 2” for PS3, my PS3 decided to stop turning on. Yeah, so that sucks.
-A few days later, my MobileMe account went into some weird state of limbo, and Apple had a hell of a time straightening it out -- and what they did to “fix” it fucked up my iPhoto/MobileMe connections on an epic level.
-Last night, I tried syncing the old iPod that serves as my alarm clock, and something went horribly awry, and now it doesn’t “alarm” so much anymore.
-Then today, as I was driving to work, my car started acting wonky, and it’s now in the shop.
So, I’m here at home with no car, no PS3, down one laptop and with a sometimes functional Internet connection (to be semi-fair to AT&T, the gateway doesn’t go down for extended times, it just resets, which is more annoying than anything).
Of course, all this comes right after I wrote a big list of things on my wall that I needed to have done around my condo. Things I can’t really afford to do if all the technology I use daily keeps failing (and, of all the things I’ve listed above, the most important, by far, is my car, which I’m told will be ready tomorrow, and for not that much money).