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Archive for February, 2009

Will somebody punch this bastard in the face soon?

Will somebody punch this bastard in the face soon?

I’ve been lax on my FNL writing, so I’m going to condense two episodes into one blog this week and really just hit the important things.  This show continues to rock but I continue to sink into depression because I’m fairly certain that this will be the last season.  I check those ratings numbers every week and they’re terrible.  I don’t know what kind of ratings FNL pulled on its DirectTV run but I just don’t think it’ll be enough to save it.  I hope it is, but after the disappointment of Veronica Mars cancellation, I am quite prepared to see another quality show bite the dust long before its time.  I’ll always have the DVDs anyway.

My dad's a douche, punch him for me!

My dad's a douche, punch him for me!

When is Coach going to snap and punch Joe McCoy in the face?  It has to be coming, right?  Last week he pushed Riggins to take JD around town and show him what the kids do when they’re not playing football.  Of course this ends up with JD being drunk, because that’s what Tim does when he’s not playing football.  And sometimes even when he is!  Coach clearly wants JD to become more of a kid and less of a machine.  Riggins takes a very drunk JD home and the next day JD approaches Coach Taylor in church and apologizes for getting drunk and assures him that it won’t happen again.  Of course Big Daddy is standing right there guiding him to make that admission and Coach looks mighty displeased at that development.

Coach tells JD to forget his father and just enjoy the game; at least one adult in his life is worth a damn.

Coach tells JD to forget his father and just enjoy the game; at least one adult in his life is worth a damn.

This week, JD was all over the place in practice and his father (does the man work at all?) was there screaming at him from the stands.  Again, Coach not so much thrilled with this happening but more or less stomachs it, just telling Joe to give him a chance to coach the kid up.  There was more of the same at the game, the first half JD was overshooting receivers and looking listless out there.  His father took it upon himself TO GO TO THE LOCKER ROOM AND YELL AT HIS SON.  Good lord, it took all I had not to throw something at the TV, so you can imagine that Coach was pretty much beside himself at this point.  He hauled JD inside and told him to ignore his father and to ignore his coach and just go out there and run his own offense.  No huddle, QB making the calls.  JD did just that and of course the Panthers won, 16-14 and are headed to the playoffs.  So how did Father of the Year handle this development?  By steaming quietly in the stands (loved Tami’s looks at him) and then going home by himself.  Not congratulating his son after winning the game, god no, just going home to work off his anger.  Seriously, this guy needs a beat down.  I know Coach Taylor would get into huge trouble but I’m almost willing to risk it.  Maybe JD will smack him himself.  I don’t know but I do know that I loathe Joe McCoy.

She kissed a Landry and he liked it.

She kissed a Landry and he liked it.

In other happenings, Landry has a new girl in his band, Devin, and because she is nice to him for two minutes he decides that he wants her to be his girlfriend.  I was beyond mortified watching him kiss her and presume their togetherness, just waiting for the moment when she would unload the “lesbian” word on him.  I was so embarrassed for him.  Of course this happens after he tells Tyra that he’s got a new girlfriend, so that makes it 20 times worse when she finds that one out.  I’m kinda looking forward to it in a mean way.  Landry seeks out Tami and she tells him that once he gets out of Dillon his women problems will cease to exist, which is a pretty mean lie if you ask me.  He’ll still be Landry and he’ll still choose the wrong girls time and time again.  It’s what he does!

I would not buy a house from these guys.

I would not buy a house from these guys.

Jason Street and the Riggins brothers continued their housing rehab project and got it all fixed up.  Jason wanted to price the house at $295K but everybody else was afraid of that number so they fought all episode about it but an offer came in so all seemed to be well on that front.  Meanwhile Jason met a sports agent and decided that he should become one and he’s going to head to NY, where his son is, and take that on.  I shall miss Jason but I wasn’t as attached to him as I am the others, probably due to much diminished air time in Season 2 & 3.  I look forward to his sojourn to NY with Riggins next week, their trips are always a joy to watch.

Our newest Panther, Jamarcus, getting GOOD parental support.

Our newest Panther, Jamarcus, getting GOOD parental support.

There is a set of normal parents in Dillon, I was pleased to find.   By normal I mean not football obsessed like the rest of them.  Jamarcus, the teams fullback, was hauled in front of Tami again, for the 3rd time, for lighting a girl’s hair on fire.  Hmm…maybe his parents aren’t that normal after all?  Anyway, Tami calls the folks in and is talking about how he’d have to miss some games if he gets in trouble again and the parents are like, what games?  Turns out that their son didn’t tell them he was playing football.  They weren’t so much about him doing that and were prepared to pull him off the team but Coach and Tami showed up at the house and Tami ended up convincing them to come to a game.  Their son ripped off a couple of long runs and they were proud of him after the game.  See, that’s how a parent should act!  As long as their son stops setting people on fire, we could have a good family!

Post coital bliss?  How cute are these two?

Post coital bliss? How cute are these two?

The big news from last week, and what I probably would have written solely about, was the long overdue reunion of Matt and Julie.  Matt was sulking over being benched and Julie wanted to get him out of his funk so they went to the lake.  They swam and dunked one another and had a water fight and picnicked and such.  It was all very nice.  They were sitting on a log and Julie just looked over at him with a kind of funny look and then all of a sudden she was kissing him.  And he was of course kissing her back and they tumbled to the ground and presumably sealed the deal and devirginized young Julie.  The next time we saw them it was morning and Matt was driving Julie home and they were adorable together.  They weren’t speaking at all, just grinning at one another like fools and cuddling.  I loved it!  Of course I wondered how Julie was able to go into her house and not find her parents freaking out, but I figure she must have called them and lied about her whereabouts at some point.  Then in church they were both just looking at each other and smiling so happily.  Yes, Dillon’s best couple this side of Coach and Tami are reunited and it does feel so good!  Cheesy, I know, but this show brings out my inner cheese.  They weren’t on this week which I found extremely annoying, I wanted some follow up to the lovin!  Well hopefully next week.

And that’s the last two weeks of the show in a nutshell.  This show continues to hit on all cylinders and I am going to be around until the lights fade forever.  That may come way sooner than I’m ready for but I’ll enjoy the ride just the same.

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A fascinating character study of a man with low self-esteem.

A fascinating character study of a man with low self-esteem.

I fully expected to be bored stiff and throughly irritated by last night’s Lost episode.  If you’ve read any of my Lost blogs, you know that I’m not overly fond of John Locke.  I found him interesting and endearing in the first season but after he blew up that sub I really started to loathe him.  He’s probably my least favorite Lostie that’s still alive.  So color me surprised that I was fully engaged and interested for the entire episode.  Not that I particularly like the character again, but I was reminded why I liked him the first time around.

The episode begins with the Spanish guy we saw on the plane, Cesar, hunting around in some building and stashing a gun.  A woman comes in to tell him that they found a man standing in the water and wearing a suit.  They walk past the crashed plane, which looks pretty well in tact all things considered.  Cesar goes up and introduces himself to one John Locke, who is very much back to life clothed in his funeral garb.  Personal aside, my new high def TV makes Lost even more awesome, when John is standing by the water it feels like I’m sitting on the beach behind him.  The woman, Iliana, chats with John who is trying to figure out exactly how he got back and enjoying the hell out of a mango.  John tells her that he thinks his suit is what he was going to be buried in and that he remembers dying.  Way to kill a convo, John.

After turning the donkey wheel, Locke comes to in Tunisia, apparent return point for anybody leaving the island by that method of travel.  It’s the exit point as we find out from Charles Widmore, whose people have brought Locke in for medical attention.   Widmore tells him they met when he was 17 and now they were meeting all these years later, with Locke looking exactly the same.  He wonders how long it’s been since they met and John tells him it was 4 days.  He’s pretty blown away by that even though he knows how it all works.  Locke isn’t so much about working for Widmore but Charles tells him that he ran the island for 30 years til Ben fooled him into leaving the island (HA!).  Widmore tells Locke that there’s a war coming and if he’s not on the island when that happens the wrong side will win.  I assume he means Ben.  The island needs Locke, he says, and it has for a long time.  He tells John that he’s special, which of course speaks to Locke’s need for affirmation. Widmore sends Locke, in the care of one awesome Matthew Abaddon, to round up his islanders.  In a poignant moment, Abaddon gets out a wheelchair for John, bringing him full circle.

First stop is Sayid, building houses in Santo Domingo.  Sayid sneers at the thought of returning to the island, telling Locke that after working for Ben for 2 years and being duped into thinking he was protecting everyone, he wasn’t heading back there no matter what.  He got to spend 9 months with Nadia before she was murdered and he wouldn’t have that if he hadn’t left, so he wasn’t returning.  Sayid calls him on wanting to go back only because he has nowhere else to go.  Sayid actually seems very content with his life, wonder what happened a few days later to send him to break Hurley out of the nut house?

Next Locke heads to New York to see Walt.  Instead of asking him to come with him he just asks how he is and tells him he wanted to stop by.  Walt looks and talks like a man now, it’s pretty amazing.  He tells Locke he had a dream of him standing in the water back at the island in his suit. surrounded by people who wanted to hurt him.  He apparently sees the future too.  He also doesn’t know that Michael is dead so Locke tells him that he’s on a freighter near the island.  I hope we get to find out what his deal is.  Walt’s ability to communicate with the animals and dream the future is intriguing.  Ben is standing on the sidewalk watching Locke say goodbye to Walt and get in the car with a most murderous look on his face.  He’s not too thrilled with our boys mission, is he?

Locke heads to see Hurley who is sorry that he’s dead.  He’s convinced he’s a ghost until he checks in with a few other people at the asylum who confirm that he’s there.  I think Hurley would have gone with him but when he hears about the others having to go he is sure they won’t.  He sees Abaddon then and freaks out.  He tells John about him showing up and claiming he worked for Oceanic and runs away.  Success yet again!

Locke finally decides to question Abaddon, which since he’s seen him a couple times before he ought to have.  Abaddon tells him that he knows he remembers that he saw him right after his accident when he was working as an orderly and that he’s the one who recommended he go to Australia.  He tells him he helps people get to where they need to go.  Oooookay.  Not too mysterious was that?  He’s awesome though, scares the bejesus out of me.

They head off to Kate who gives Locke a quick no.  She is hard about that and glares at Locke when he asks if she cares about them.  She asks him if he’s ever been in love and said she thinks he must not have been if he’s so desperate to stay on the island.  He tells her about Helen, who he asked Abaddon to find.  Kate asked what happened and he told her that he got obsessed over something.  She stops him there and says, “Look how far you’ve come.”  This was a deep look into Locke’s life, I will say.

Abaddon doesn’t want to but takes Locke to Helen, who died of an aneurism a few years ago.  Locke admits that they could have been together if he hadn’t been such a moron, but Matthew points out she would have died anyway.  Locke’s path has always been to get to the island.  While he’s stowing Locke’s wheelchair in the trunk, the back window suddenly spurts with blood.  Abaddon is shot several times and Locke drives away, getting into an accident and of course landing in Jack’s hospital.

Rebearded, drugged up Jack is not listening to Locke’s nonsense either.  Jack sneers at the destiny factor yet again; says it’s not about fate it’s about probability that he landed in Jack’s hospital.  Science vs. faith, it continues on.  Jack tells him maybe there’s nothing important about him at all and he’s just a lonely old man who crashed on an island.  Locke tells him his father said hello.  That stops Jack for a second but he tells Locke his father is dead.  He refuses to help him and tells him to leave him alone.

We wind up with Locke in his hotel room writing his “I wish you believed me” suicide note to Jack and rigging up his hanging.  Just as he’s about to jump he’s interrupted by a knock on the door and Ben’s entrance.  Ben begs him to stop.  Locke asks how he found them and Ben admits to having everyone watched.  John screams about what he wants from him and realizes that Ben killed Abaddon.  Ben admits that without a qualm.  Damn I love him.  Ben tells him about Widmore saving him and Ben says he wants to use him to get to the island.  This gets out dear, naive boy all sorts of confused.  Ben tells him that he’s so very important to the island and that makes him sad.  He tells Ben that he’s a failure and there is no helping him.  He couldn’t get them to come back and he can’t lead anybody.  Ben tells him that Jack booked a ticket to Sydney.  Ben tells him he has too much work to do to die.  He unties his rope and convinces him to step down.

Of course, Locke makes his fatal error next.  He tells Ben that he can’t go see Sun, he promised Jin he wouldn’t bring her back.  Ben’s amazed that Jin is alive and he tells him about the ring.  Ben shrugs that off with a promise is a promise.  Locke tells him that they have to find Eliose Hawking in LA and she can help them get back to the island.  Ben hears that and asks if he’s sure.  Locke asks if he knows here and he says yes, he knows her, and then he strangles John with his noose anyway.  Hangs him back up, cleans up the scene, takes Jin’s ring, tells John he’ll miss him and heads off.  Damn that was cold…and pretty awesome.

Back on the island, Locke tells Cesar about the Dharma Initiative.  Cesar questions him about him already being there and asks about how long ago he left and how he got back.  John confuses him and Cesar asks him about what happened on the plane.  He says he sat near the big guy with the curly hair and he disappeared.  John now knows that Hurley and co were on board.  He asks for a passenger list and Cesar tells him about the people who got hurt.  He takes him to a makeshift infirmary and there he finds Ben.  Hee!  Reunion, so sweet!  Cesar asks if he knows him and John says yeah, he’s the guy who killed me.  Way to frighten and confuse your new pals Locke.

As I said above, this episode really allowed us to get another look at old Locke.  The lonely, naive, depressed person that he was prior to being on the island (okay, the naivete remained on the island).  He was lost off the island prior to the first landing there and he was lost again when he got back to the real world.  It served to reinforce the idea that Locke does belong on the island.  He needs that reinforcement, that idea that he’s special.  Major self esteem issues there.  One wonders if he was going to kill himself because he believed that he had to die as he was told by Christian or if he was killing himself more because he was a failure.  I think it was the latter, I really do.  Of course Locke decided to believe Ben, because he told him how special he was and that he was needed.  This may be true, but I promise you Ben doesn’t think so.  The fact that Locke continues to be Ben’s bitch amuses the hell out of me.   It’s sad but funny at the same time.  I look forward to seeing what happens when Ben wakes up.

Looks like he will next week, they show him stumbling around with a sling on his arm.  It also looks like our Losties are all going to be reunited, including the much longed for Kate/Sawyer reunion.  I can’t wait!

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My team lost its heart today.  Photo from TBO.com.

My team lost its heart today. Photo from TBO.com.

You know, I really shouldn’t be surprised.  It happens every single year in the NFL.  Some veteran player, some face of the team, gets whacked going into free agency.  Fans are left wringing their hands and wondering why and teams are stonefaced and “it’s business” about it.  They don’t call it the Not For Long League for nothing.  Jerry Rice went to the Raiders.  Joe Montana was a Chief.  Legends go on, usually don’t live up to our memories, and fade into the sunset.  I’ve seen it happen.  I really didn’t think I’d see it happen with Derrick Brooks.

It’s not like the Bucs haven’t done this before.  They let Sapp & Lynch go with nary a qualm.  And at the time I wasn’t that bothered.  I understood the business of it, the money being a big part of it, their ages being another.  Lynch got the last word by having a few more productive years in Denver.  Sapp didn’t really kill in Oakland, but now he’s on TV where he’s always belonged, so all is well there.  They were part of the Big Three in Tampa; Sapp was mouth, Lynch was the brain and Brooks was the heart.  I could live without the mouth.  The brain was good but could be replaced.  The heart though?  I just can’t imagine this team without him.

In their press conference today, new coach Raheem Morris and GM Dominik emphasized over and over that this move was not about age or money.  Um.  Okay.  Well it damn well better not be about money, since we were already $55 million under the cap.  Now we’re $65 million under it, and that money damn well better get spent and spent wisely.  I’m not going to support a team that’s just about cutting cost.  I’d root for the Marlins if I were about that.  I want a team that goes that extra mile and tries to win.  I don’t know if releasing these players is about winning.  It doesn’t much feel like it now.

Derrick Brooks played for the Bucs for 14 years.  He went to the Pro Bowl 11 times.  He was defensive player of the year in 2002.  His skills may have diminished in recent years, I can’t deny that.  But his smarts didn’t.  His heart didn’t.  A big part of Derrick’s excellence wasn’t his speed, it was his intelligence.  He could read plays with the best of them.  He anticipated where that ball was going to go and he got there.  I watched him chase down players like Michael Vick, who should have blown by him. That intelligence is still there, he still reads that field as well as anybody.

The way they spoke, it sounds as if the Bucs are changing their style of defense.  Maybe Derrick wouldn’t fit in anymore.  Maybe it’s better for him that he’s on the way out and can find somewhere else where he’ll fit in.  In a day or two I may feel that way.  Today I don’t though.  Today I feel like my team let my favorite player down.  He’s given them everything, he stood by them through several shitty moves and this time he’s on the other end of it.  It’s hard to digest that.

I was not overly thrilled with the regime change last month.  It wasn’t that I disagreed that maybe a change was needed, but I had a bad feeling about the veteran players on the team.  Sure enough, that feeling was dead on.  I wish I had been wrong.  I don’t usually like to be wrong but this time out I would have taken it gladly.

Regardless of how I feel, there’s nothing I can do about it.  The Bucs have made their choice and we all have to stand back and see what comes next.  They avoided using the “rebuilding” word but that’s what they’re doing.  Maybe in a couple of years that’ll pay off.  Right now it sucks.  I don’t see why Derrick couldn’t have finished his career with the Bucs.  He could have been more coach than player at this point.  Maybe that wouldn’t have made him happy.  Wherever he ends up, I will continue to support him.  He was the player that brought me to the Bucs (along with Dunn, another casualty of today’s blood letting) and I will follow him wherever he goes.

According to the Bucs, today wasn’t about money.  It wasn’t about age.  It would have been nice if it could have been about heart.  But it’s business.  It’s always business.  Sometimes it just shouldn’t be.

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Do you really want to get in this man's mind?

Do you really want to get in this man's mind?

So last night’s Heroes episode was HRGcentric, which always means never knowing quite what is up.  His flashbacks were shown in film noir fashion, showing his shades of gray.  You can’t classify him as all bad or all good, he’s always going to come in that in-between area.  This episode did nothing to clarify matters, other than to let us know Daphne is alive and HRG greatly dislikes Denko.  My money has always been on Sylar or HRG to kill The Hunter, now I’m betting the house on HRG.

Our boys figure sniping at one another is the best way to get things done.  Good plan.

Our boys figure sniping at one another is the best way to get things done. Good plan.

Since we were blessedly Hiro free for the episode, we only had the 3 Stooges to contend with.  We got another glimpse of their mad kidnapping skillz and then they were in the hotel room with Matt using his mind mojo to read HRG’s mind and find out who their real enemy as.  The first flashback was of him getting a watch from Angela and being told to live a normal life.  The second one, 4 weeks prior, was him doing crossword puzzles and being bored out of his mind playing family guy.  Then Nathan showed up and told him he’d “set things in motion” and it couldn’t be undone.

HRG is so gonna kill that guy.

HRG is so gonna kill that guy.

HRG went along with Nathan and met Denko, who let it be known that he didn’t believe in shades of gray or even shades of white when it comes to our Heroes.  They all need to be killed in his viewpoint.  Clearly, something has happened in the past with The Hunter, presumably someone he loved was killed by someone with powers or something.  Or he thinks they were.  He seems a little too gung ho with the killing for it to be anything else.  HRG tried to tell him there were good people with powers but that was like talking to a brick wall.  He later showed up at the guys door with alcohol to try to reason with him but that didn’t fly either.

So sexy, but so damn stupid.

So sexy, but so damn stupid.

As a result of these memories, Matt tells them that Denko is the guy in charge and dispatches Peter two places; first to HRGs storage locker to prove that they’re getting real memories.  Peter gets some weaponry but is being viewed on camera.  Denko sends men after them but Peter tear gasses their asses and gets away.  Then Matt sends him to Denko’s to kill him, cause he’s the problem.  Why would you send Peter in this instance?  Peter will kill nobody.  Sigh.  They so need Sylar.  Anyway, Peter pulls a gun on Denko and Denko tells him to kill him so he can be proven right.  Nathan appears and convinces Peter not to kill the guy.  He does shoot him in the arm but returns to his fellow stooges.

HRG also has a memory of warning Mohinder that the government was going to round them all up, which sets Matt to raging.  Mohinder is all whiny about it and says he didn’t believe it and Matt accuses him of not wanting him to read Noah’s mind because he knew he’d find out.  True enough.  They start beating on each other and HRG escapes, but Peter caught him and dragged him back.

Peter wonders why he has to do everything while Matt and Mohinder fight.

Peter wonders why he has to do everything while Matt and Mohinder fight.

During Peter’s Denko mission, the commandos are coming in to close on Matt and Mohinder.  Mohinder goes and fights them, of course ending up captured.  HRG tells Matt that Daphne is alive and gets him to read his mind and see it’s true.  The commandos come in and Matt willingly lets them take him rather than using his mind control, I guess because he wanted to be taken to wherever Daphne was.  Peter flies up and grabs Matt, but Mohinder is taken to the holding area where he is shown Daphne footage as well.  Nathan warns him that they may just have to kill them all because they’ve taken his peaceable mission of forming concentration camps and turned it into a bad thing.  Sometimes Nathan is so stupid that I want to smack him.

She's allllllllivvvvveeeeee!!!!

She's allllllllivvvvveeeeee!!!!

HRG walks out with Denko and commits fully to the mission this time out.  He has had enough of our heroes and he’ll do whatever it takes to round them up.  This pleases The Hunter and he heads off, while HRG veers left and heads to park bench to meet with Angela again.  He lets it be known that he’ll play the government game for awhile but that he’s clearly got his own agenda, which apparently meshes with hers.  He hands her back the watch and heads off.

Mohinder's holding facility, may he stay there for awhile.

Mohinder's holding facility, may he stay there for awhile.

A quick flip to the two stooges shows Matt painting the future.  One of the paintings if of him with dynamite strapped to his chest and he did an Isaac floor painting for the full effect of DC blowing up or something.  So I guess Matt’s gonna go nutso and attack the government.  That’s a great plan.  Sigh.

Matt does his Isaac impression and DC burns.

Matt does his Isaac impression and DC burns.

So, what did all the HRG stuff mean?  I wonder if the watch that Angela gave him allowed him to have some control over just what Matt was seeing in his head?  He seemed pleased with what had occurred and like everything was going  according to plan.  Why hand back the watch now?  We know Angela has some mind power of her own so perhaps she knew the best way to let the boys see only what they wanted them to see?  This reinforces the idea that she could be the rebel as well, directing the stooges to do as she wishes.  Angela is her own shade of gray, so combined with HRG they could be up to anything.  Right now they seem to be on the side of the good guys more or less, but that could change depending on who’s winning I suppose.

Which side does Mama Petrelli come down on?

Which side does Matrelli come down on?

I missed Sylar although I agree that we don’t want to overuse him.  He’ll be back next week.  I did not miss Hiro, at all, and I’m pretty sure he won’t be around.  I suppose Matt and Peter will now have to come up with Operation Rescue Daphne (and maybe Mohinder though I doubt they care that much).  Mohinder will of course give in and help the government try to find a way to remove powers from people, because he’s Mohinder and he’s just that dumb.  Being one man down, in the case of the stooges, is probably not a bad thing, it’s less depleted brain power to contend with.

I enjoyed this episode, as I generally do all things HRG and found the time really flew.  It was nice to have everything related instead of hopping from story to story.  Here’s hoping they do more episodes this way.  Not all, but an occasional break is a good thing!

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Watch out, Finchem, I'm gunning for your job!

Watch out, Finchem, I'm gunning for your job!

While watching my daily dose of PTI (Pardon The Interruption for the non-ESPN watchers) last week I was astounded when Wilbon & Kornheiser welcomed their guest for 5 good minutes.  He was introduced as Timothy Finchem, the commissioner of the PGA.  Did you know that the PGA had a commissioner?  Have you ever heard that name before?  I honestly had no clue there was a Commissioner of Golf, or why they’d even need one.  I guess to manage the money but seems an accountant could do that well enough.  It fascinated me and I got to thinking, could there be any better job than PGA Commissioner?  I’m sure the guy makes great bank and has few headaches, right?  That got me to comparing the various sports commissioners and weighing which job was better.  Hence this blog.  I’m not going to include the BCS Commissioner because being the commissioner of a league that lets computers decide its champion is a thing of shame, not to be glorified in a blog by me.

So, from worst to first:

MLB Commissioner:  Do you think Bud Selig is having any fun these days?  His biggest star admits to doing steroids, Congress continues to cast a baleful glare in his direction, two of his former biggest stars are getting ready to go on trial for steroids and lying to Congress, the All Star game decides home field advantage in the World Series…that’s a whole laundry list of problems.  And the fact that Selig turned a blind eye to the problems in baseball coupled with his kowtowing to the player’s union for years and years makes this job rather unappealing to me.   Not to mention just waiting for the hammer to drop and other names to come out.  I get an ulcer just thinking about it.  Nope, I wouldn’t want to be Bud.

NHL Commissioner:  I had a hard time placing this one.  On the one hand, hardly anybody watches hockey so you kind of get to exist in a vacuum.  Nobody really knows if you suck, because nobody really cares.  But that has to affect profitability, right?  The fact is they have been unable to find a star with drawing power.  Wayne Gretzky left and I don’t think the sport has been the same.  I’ve heard some not so pleasant things about Gary Bettman’s reign as commish, but I also heard that he improved the game somewhat with that OT shoot-out business.  The simple fact is, I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup, but at least I know his name.  He lands at #4 simply because his sport is pretty irrelevant.  Oh, and it’s too long for my taste, they crown a champ and it feels like they’re back to playing a month later.  Minus points for that.

NFL Commissioner:  Ahh Roger Goodell time!  The NFL is the #1 sport in America, so the job would appear to be the best of all of them when it comes to that factor.  Profits rise every year (unless you’re Detroit) and the league enjoys a lack of public scrutiny when it comes to things like steroids and drug testing.  This is because they have had stringent tests for years, although one suspects that the players are smarter than the tests.  Nobody cares like they do in baseball though, we just wanna win!  The reason this job is not the most appealing is because of the outside elements you have to deal with as commish.  The Pacman Jones’ of the world, if you will.  With each team having 53 players, it only takes one per team to create a lot of strife.  Dealing with the Mike Vicks and Plaxico Burress’ of the league would not be fun.  Nearly weekly someone is getting in trouble for something, be it drugs or DUI or shooting yourself in the thigh.  Points deducted for the troublemakers and the sheer number of people you’re dealing with and NFL Commish falls to the 3 spot.

NBA Commissioner:  I don’t watch the NBA, but I know who David Stern is and I could pick him out of a lineup.  I could pick him out because he scares me.  I would finger some other guy for the crime and hope that Stern would reward me in some way.  Basketball players are apt to fall into the same kind of trouble as football players are, pot smoking seeming to be the chief no-no they get nailed with.  But there are far fewer players to deal with here, so there’s less to worry about.  Hell, the #1 or #2 star in the league was charged with rape years ago and that affected nothing.  Points are deducted here because the NBA remains only the #3 sport of the big 4, with no signs of ever moving up the list.  Despite having some stars with name power, Lebron and Kobe, they’re still not MJ or Magic or Bird.  Your random person doesn’t care.  So Stern only gets #2.  I hope he refrains from hurting me!

PGA Commissioner:  Yep, that’s right, the guy I’ve never heard of, Tim Finchem, gets the top spot.  Think about it, who’s the league troublemaker?  John Daly right?  And everyone STILL loves the guy.  Nobody wants him punished, they want to sit down and have a beer with him.  Sure, you have Sergio take the occasional spit into a cup, but if that’s your biggest problem then you’re sitting on gold.  Your biggest concern is to make sure Tiger Woods is happy, right?  He was on PTI to celebrate Tiger’s return and what it means to the PGA.  Your #1 superstar is never going to get arrested for beating a woman or doing drugs.  He’s the ultimate family man and world ambassador.  Stern and Goodell would laugh at Finchem if he ever called them to complain about any of Daly’s silly acts.  Timmy gets to sit back and count his coins and maybe play a round or two of golf.  Tough life.

So there you have it.  There’s no better commissioner’s job than that of the Tim Finchem’s.  I’m aware that I have no idea what kind of administrative coordination these guys do, I’m sure it’s involved and whatnot but I still figure the PGA dude has it the best.  So, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring.  I’m running for PGA Commish.  Watch out Finchem!

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The best friendship on TV; Shawn & Gus of Psych from USA Network.

The best friendship on TV; Shawn & Gus of Psych from USA Network.

Last week I did my first mini-post on Psych, the awesome show on USA.  I’d never felt the need to write a whole blog about it before, I’m sure not a ton of people watch it and probably plenty have never even heard of it.  But this weeks episode was so awesome that I thought Psych finally deserved its own blog.

Psych is about an unmotivated, unfocused man who has a photographic memory and awesome powers of observation.  One day he decides to help the police solve crimes by pretending to be psychic.  His father was a police detective who trained him growing up (we get great flashbacks of young Shawn and his father in most episodes) so he knows what to look for and uses what he sees to help the police.  His best friend, Gus, is along for the ride and he’s generally the straight man to Shawn’s comedian.  The police call them in constantly for help and the dynamic between Shawn and the head detective, Lassiter (Lassie as Shawn calls him), is a thing of beauty.  The show is filled with pop culture references from the 80’s, which thrills my inner child.  Also, it’s just flat out hilarious but touching at the same time.  The friendship between Shawn and Gus is the best on TV, hands down.  This season finale episode really showed that.

This week, Shawn gets called in to help find the Ying/Yang killer.  This killer has confounded the cops for 13 years or so and likes to leave riddles and stop watches to taunt the people after him.  He’s decided to call out Shawn, deeming him a worthy opponent.  He kidnapped a waitress that Shawn was flirting with that afternoon and left several riddles that Shawn and the cops were able to solve.

The thing that really got to me early in this case was when Shawn was being his usual snarky self at very inappropriate intervals and Gus called him out on it.  Shawn took Gus aside and told him that he knew he was being a jerk but that he had to do it to keep his mind clear so he could focus on the case.  Shawn has never really admitted to that and a light went on with this viewer and with Gus and Gus, best friend that he is, set out to help Shawn.  The case was really pushing Shawn over the edge and every time that Gus saw him get close to snapping, he channeled his inner Shawn and made the dumbest but most hilarious comments to pull his buddy through.  He did a Michael Jackson impression while Shawn was struggling to figure out what clue a rat in a cage had for him.  He grabbed a toy airplane and started commenting about how much he bigger he was than it; like King Kong.  These acts were followed by long silences and you know Gus felt like a tool but Shawn would look at him and give him a wink to let him know that it was helping so Gus kept on.  It really was awesome to see.

Gus was also there in the end when Shawn finally went on his date with Abigail, the girl that got away in high school.  He called to ask her out prior to the Ying/Yang killer contacting him and he had to keep calling her and making excuses for why he might be late.  Since he stood her up in high school, this was not very well received.  Shawn doesn’t do relationships and he was scared as hell about finally putting it out there with Abby.  Gus knew this and was there on their date, sitting in the car awaiting his popcorn at the drive-in movie.  Shawn gave him a “thank you” type of look so you knew he wanted him there.  Best friendship ever.

Back to the case, which was really one of the best they’ve had.  Shawn snapped after they solved several of the clues and they got to one where he had to answer the phone by the 8th ring or the girl would die.  Shawn found the cell phone on a pier and instead of answering he stood there trying to figure out where the person was calling from.  As Lassie and Juliet yelled at him to answer it, he just got mad and said he wasn’t playing the killer’s game anymore and hurled the phone into the ocean.  This caused an apparent rift in the cop team; Shawn told them that he wasn’t going to participate any longer and to leave.  They headed off to investigate on their own and Shawn told Gus that he wasn’t giving up, he was just taking the game in a new direction.  That direction ended up being a hotel where they found the waitress alive but a new clue; Shawn’s mother’s purse.  The killer, irritated that Shawn appeared to be disinterested in playing, upped the stakes.  Shawn nearly lost it but he held it together enough to figure out where his mom was and meet up with the killer.

Mr. Yang was played by none other than Ally Sheedy, which is made of awesome.  Last week we had Justine Bateman and MacKensie Astin, this week it’s Ally Sheedy.  This show loves the 80’s as much as I do!  She was a great raving psycho but she gave up too easily.  She told Shawn they’d meet again though and I suspect they will.  Oh, and for more 80’s goodness, Cybill Shepherd plays Shawn’s mom (and her husband was calling her Maddy, Moonlighting shout out!)  and Corbin Bernsen plays his father.  And on the rare occasions we see Gus’ folks, they’re played by Clair Huxtable and Mac from Night Court.  Also when Shawn called Abigail to invite her on the date he called himself Judd Nelson.  A fantastic shout out to the unannounced appearance by Ally Sheedy at the end of the show.

There was other stuff happening of course, and we got our obligatory Shawn and Juliet moment.  She finally asked him out while he was busy getting popcorn for his date with Abigail.  I was glad that he admitted to her that he was already on a date and that he didn’t derail his date for Juliet.  I’m not one of those people that hates the idea of Shawn and Juliet hooking up but I’m not a shipper either.  Plus, Abby is cool and she deserved her real date with Shawn, even if it came a decade later than it was supposed to be.   Of course with Gus along for the ride, I’m sure things were pretty tame.  Clearly Shawn’s not ready for a relationship and when he is I’m sure it’ll be Juliet he gets with.  The actors date in real life so it’s only a matter of time.

You really couldn’t have asked for a better episode to end the season.  The humor was awesome, 80’s abounded, Shawn/Juliet shippers got a moment, Shawn/anyone else shippers got a moment, the case was fantastic and most importantly the friendship between Shawn & Gus was rock solid.  I’m already Psyched (pardon the horrible pun) for the new episodes this summer.

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My brain looks like Ben's face today; thanks Lost!

My brain looks like Ben's face today; thanks Lost!

Bloody hell.  Lost is like an abusive boyfriend.  We’re cruising along, things seem to be going one way and then out of the blue it up and punches me in the face, leaving me as battered as Ben was by the middle of the episode.  I don’t know how much sleep I got and I lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of Cuse & Lindelof.  I went to bed with a zillion questions running through my mind and it just wouldn’t shut off.  So here I am, out of bed and writing because there’s no rest for my wakeful mind.

Instead of recapping and commenting, I’m just going to list my questions and attempt to answer them.  Some I think I actually have a handle on (thanks to being awake most of the night) and others I haven’t a clue (as usual).  I thought the time travel explanation from Mrs. Hawking, now known as Scary Poppins thanks to a discussion Tripp & I had about her, was going to be the thing that had me confused all episode but I actually followed that fairly well.  Some Dharma dude was a math whiz (Daniel?) and came up with calculations of when the island would be at any particular time and they had a window to get there and they did.  Great, got it.  Moving on to my questions!

1. What happened to my Ben’s face?

Ben went from being his normal self to having his face nearly beat in down at the marina.  He had to alter his plan of picking up dead Locke and ask Jack to do it.  My theory is that Sayid beat the hell out of him and left him for dead.  I base this on Sayid’s surprised reaction to seeing Ben get on the plane.  He didn’t look Hurley surprised, he looked “what the hell are you doing alive?” surprised.

Sayid in custody?  And going to Guam?

Sayid in custody? And going to Guam?

2. Speaking of Sayid, why is he in the custody of a federal marshal and what is he doing on the plane?

When last we saw Sayid, he swore that he would kill Jack or Ben if he came upon them again (hence the face beating theory with Ben) and he wasn’t returning to the island.  Alright, I get that.  So why was he on the Guam flight with everyone else?  My best guess is that Ben turned him in as a hired killer or something and he was being deported.  Why at that time and why to Guam?  You got me!  We’ll chalk that up to fate and move the hell on.

What happened to make Kate get on the plane?

What happened to make Kate get on the plane?

3. Where is Aaron?

Kate went from absolutely not going back to the island to crying in Jack’s room and telling him that she would go.  When Jack asked about Aaron, she told him never to ask about him again.  Alrighty, so where is the little blond boy?  I have two theories on that one.  My favorite theory comes from Sawyer’s secret whispered to Kate before he jumped out of the helicopter.  My thought has long been that he told her about his daughter, Clementine, and asked her to check on her and make sure that she was happy and healthy.  Kate has met Sawyer’s baby momma in the past so perhaps when she went to check on the kid they remembered one another and rebonded and became friends.  I think Kate went to her and asked her to take care of Aaron while she’s away.

My other, less satisfying theory is that Claire’s mom was still in town and Kate told her the truth and handed over the kid.  Plausible but I prefer the Sawyer tie in, especially after Kate had comfort sex with Jack this episode.

Hurley's clearly not happy to see Ben, this cracked me up.

Hurley's clearly not happy to see Ben, this cracked me up.

4. How in the hell did Hurley get out of jail and why did he get on the plane?

Hurley seemed pretty gung ho about not listening to Jack and Ben, to the point that he admitted to Sayid’s murders and got slapped in prison.  Somehow, within 72 hours or so of that occurrence, he’s gotten out of jail and he’s even allowed to fly on an airplane with no repercussions.   Okay!  I’m sure Ben’s lawyer was instrumental in his release but how he got him approval to fly is beyond me.  Unless all charges were dropped on Hurley and are now on Sayid?

As to why he got on the plane?  It’s pretty clear that Hugo was well aware that they’re headed back to the island and I think the only thing that would make him fall in would be a visit from one of his ghost friends.  And the ghost friend most likely to convince him would be Charlie in my opinion.  His best pal.  I am definitely looking for Dom to appear in another flashback episode.

I forgot to mention that, clearly we’re going get flashbacks again for the rest of the season on what transpired in those 46 hours between Scary Poppins’ lecture and the Losties being back on the island.  Let the mindfuck begin again!

5.  Who is Jack’s grandfather?

Everything means something on Lost, so Jack getting a call about his grandfather and heading off to the nursing home is important.  And I think it means more than just grabbing a pair of Christian’s shoes for Dead Locke to wear.  Since Christian appears to be a favorite of the island somehow, it stands to reason that Christian’s father must be important in some way.  His name is Ray, which disappointed me as I bought into Tripp’s theory that perhaps Jacob is Christian’s father and Jack’s grandfather.  Could still be of course, but he’s alive and well so who knows?  I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ray, that’s all I’m saying.

Frank looks way better now, maybe shaving is his way of accepting fate?

Frank looks way better now, maybe shaving is his way of accepting fate?

6. Did the plane crash?  Are they all on the island now?  Is Frank alive?

These are all related so we’ll slap them together.  Thus far we know that Hurley, Jack and Kate are all back on the island.  I assume the others are there somewhere as well, though I do wonder if Ben is actually allowed back or not?  And we don’t really know if the plane crashed or not as we haven’t seen any evidence that it did.  Perhaps the island just yanked the Losties out and left the rest be?

I thought it was was wicked cool to have Frank be the pilot and I recognized his voice even before he said his name.  He was supposed to have been the pilot the first time around but Greg Grunberg took his place, so it was clearly his fate to crash on the island at some point or other.  LOVED his reaction when he saw Jack and the others and said, “we’re not going to Guam are we?”  I’m worried that Frank will get the Grunberg death treatment now, but hopefully he’s alive and well and going to rejoin his fellow freighter folks soon.

7.  Has the island stopped moving in time now?

This may hearken back to Scary Poppins lecture but I’ll have to rewatch and see about that.  We know that they’re in the 70’s now I think.  Jin pulled up in the working Dharma van (Hurley’s face was priceless when he saw that thing again) and he was wearing the Dharma gear.  So are Jin and co now working with Dharma?  And are our Losties all going to be stuck in the 70’s?  I had assumed that once the Oceanic 6 returned to the island that the time jumping was going to stop.  That is why they were supposed to return, right?  So the nose bleeds and death would stop because the island would settle the hell down?  I don’t know that I want our peeps to be stuck 30 years in the past for the rest of time though, so we’ll see.

The thing that came to mind when I saw Jin in the Dharma jumpsuit and started pondering the whole stuck in the 70’s thing was to wonder if now all our Losties are doomed to end up as bones in that pile of Dharma people that Ben gassed!  Wouldn’t that be a depressing as hell way to end the show?  To find out that they’re all dead at the hands of Ben?  I know that won’t be the case but it did enter my mind.

8. What happened to Desmond?

When last we saw our friend, he was being being stupefied that Jack and Sun were going to go back to the island.  Scary Poppins informed him that the island wasn’t done with him either, but he wasn’t on that plane, nor did I expect him to be.  My guess is he’ll show up there again, but when that will be I don’t know.  I wonder if he and Penny will sail there on accident?

He also could have been the Ben beater now that I think about it.  Ben still wants to get back at Widmore for Alex’s death and he plans to kill Penny, so maybe he went down to the marina to do that and Desmond stopped him.  I think Sayid is the most likely candidate but we may as well cover all our bases.

This face was very similar to mine upon reading Locke's suicide note.

This face was very similar to mine upon reading Locke's suicide note.

9. What kind of suicide note was that?

I have to give it to Locke, he even manages to be annoying when he’s offing himself.  His note itself was annoying but so was Jack’s refusal to read it til the very end of the show.  Wouldn’t you be dying to know what it said?  I sure was, I was screaming READ THE NOTE at Jack every time I saw him.  Then he finally does and all it say is, “I wish you had believed me.”  The hell?

It is funny that Jack read that right after Ben told him that it wasn’t his fault, what happened to all of them on and off island after he left.  Jack seemed to listen and then he reads that and I’m sure he’s back to blaming himself after all.  Good old Locke, it’s never his fault is it?   Never mind that Christian told him that HE was the one who was supposed to have moved the island.  Nope, everything is on Jack for not staying.  Whatever Locke.  Not everyone wants to hand themselves over to a mystical island til the end of time.

Of course this does reinforce the idea that Jack might be the most important of them all to the island.  Christian’s constant presence led credence to that theory as well, but I always assumed that Locke was the one the island loved above all others.  Maybe not.  Maybe Jack has to come back and battle it out for island supremacy.  Maybe that’s the trick, this has really been one long ass episode of Survivor and we didn’t know it!

10.  Locke becomes Christian.  Jack becomes Locke.  Sayid becomes Kate?

Bear with me on this one, it’s the last group of thoughts I have on the show and not really a question, I know that.  But it seems to me that everybody is adopting new roles.  Locke is the dead guy on the plane this time, brought aboard by Jack, just like Christian was.  Wearing Christian’s shoes, because it was important that he have something of Christian’s with him for some unknown reason.  Probably to zap him back to life.  Who knows?

Jack had to become Locke.  He had that conversation with Ben in the church, when Ben told him about Doubting Thomas having to touch Jesus and whatnot instead of just believing what he’d been told.  Jack has always been the doubter while Locke has been the man of faith, but since he’s been off the island Jack’s felt that pull to go back in a way that none of the rest of them did.  He’s had to give up that rational side and believe more in the mystical fate side in order to return to the place where apparently he belongs, just like Locke told him.  I wish you’d believed me indeed, Locke.

Sayid is in Kate’s place right now, shackled and being guarded by a federal marshal.  I don’t know the whys of this but the parallels are there.  Nor do I know who Hurley and Sun and Kate and Ben are now, I just thought it was interesting the way some of the characters were playing new roles.  If I thought hard enough I could probably decide who they were but I’d just be playing a game and this is long enough as it is!

So those are my questions and possible answers from one long night of pondering a TV show.  I think it’s a good thing this show ends in a year, clearly I need to get back to mindless TV that lets me sleep like a baby at night.  Next week is Lockecentric, so I’m sure to be annoyed and confused again.  Talk to you then!

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