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Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Links (5/14)

My inbox currently contains 216 messages, all of which require some sort of attention and response. Some date back as far as early March. This has been weighing on me for weeks, and today is the day I go through and clean the inbox up.

So while I know I promised a mailbag this week, I'm going to put it off just a bit longer and hopefully come across a few lost inquiries along the way today. (As opposed to inquiries about "Lost.")

In the meantime, some links and some TV discussion to keep you busy this afternoon...

-- The Senator offers a fantastic example of why you shouldn't take preseason polls too seriously.

-- UGA Blog wants fans to get behind the Bulldogs' lone legitimate option at QB.

-- Chip Towers writes that Logan Gray's decision to stay at Georgia likely means the Dawgs won't be signing another QB this year.

The obvious question some fans might ask is -- if Logan isn't going to play QB, why not still sign another? The answer, I think, is that the caliber of QB Mark Richt might land in the same class as Christian LeMay won't be as good as what he might get in 2012, and while Logan won't be practicing at QB, he'll at least be on the roster.

-- Of course, as Dawgs Online points out, Georgia's still not in the best position with QBs regardless.

-- A handful of soon-to-be Bulldogs didn't perform particularly well at the track-and-field state meet.

-- Dawgs Opinion came up with what seems like a reasonable evaluation standard for the 2011 recruiting classes so far and has Georgia ranked third in the SEC -- ahead of Florida.

-- If you're planning to head out to Boulder this season, Georgia Sports Blog reminds you that Colorado season tickets are now on sale.

-- Bulldog in Exile, at long last, reveals the winner of his WTF moment of the decade.

-- The Georgia softball team was upset by Tennessee in the SEC tournament.

-- Mile High Report looks at the challenge facing Knowshon Moreno in Denver this season.

-- If you're looking for some summer reading material, I'm going to highly endorse (before even reading) "Cardboard Gods." I read the Cardboard Gods blog routinely and it is fantastic. Essentially, it's a blog that revels in the mysteries of life through old baseball cards. Genius isn't a strong enough word.

-- Here's an interesting read if you've been watching "Treme"... It's a blog about the music of the show written by Davis Rogan, who Steve Zahn's character is based upon.

-- The original members of Big Star are reuniting this weekend along with several other musicians including R.E.M.'s Mike Mills for a concert honoring the late Alex Chilton.

-- "Top Chef" has announced its next cast of contestants for the upcoming DC edition.

-- Great news for "Chuck" fans... the show will be back for at least one more season. Thank God NBC is so bad at creating new shows or we'd have lost "Chuck" and "Friday Night Lights" a long time ago.

In other TV news, "V" got a second season, while "Flash Forward" was axed. I can't say that I've really loved "V" but it has at least been semi-watchable. I completely gave up on "Flash Forward" a while ago.

And with all that in mind, how about ending the week with my TV awards for the Fall 09 through Spring 2010 season...

Biggest Disappointment: "Flash Forward". Figured we'd start here. This show was "The Candidate" to replace "Lost," but proved to be about as useful and Nikki and Paulo. Terrible casting, poor writing, no action. I dumped it after about six episodes.

Runner up: I'm tempted to say "Lost" but, while I'm not entirely sold on the wrap-up, taken as an individual season, this year has been decent. Instead, I'll say "30 Rock" which has been continuing a downward trend all season.

Biggest Surprise: "Parks and Recreation". The first season of the show bordered on terrible, and I considered dropping it from my DVR schedule this year. But since I was recording the rest of the Thursday comedies on NBC, I gave the show a reprieve, and I'm glad I did. It's been a complete 180 from Season 1, mostly by making the lead character far less irritating and giving the suburb supporting cast more face time.

Runner up: "Survivor". I wasn't expecting much from an all-star season, but the heroes vs villains episodes have been great, bolstered by the immense stupidity of most of the contestants. Why is stupid so much fun to watch on TV and so intolerable in real life?

Best episode: "Modern Warfare" on "Community". If you didn't watch last week's episode about a paint ball war on campus, do yourself a favor and watch it now. Absolute perfection. (And followed closely by another episode a few weeks earlier spoofing "Goodfellas.")

Runner up: "The Son" on "Friday Night Lights". I don't want to give away any spoilers because the episode hasn't aired on NBC yet, but this episode is the epitome of what has made FNL great.

Second runner up: Couldn't leave this one out... "The Table Read" on "Curb Your Enthusiasm". Probably the most I've laughed during any half-hour all year, and revisiting so many of the old "Seinfeld" characters was absolutely awesome. The finale didn't exactly live up to my hopes, but the penultimate episode of the year was perhaps the best in the show's history.

Best character: Ron Swanson on "Parks and Rec". Experience. Leadership. Mustache.

Runner up: Trinity on "Dexter". I was getting a little bored with "Dexter" after Season 3, but John Lithgow injected so much into this recent season with his serial killer character that I'm 100 percent back on board.

Worst character: Shaw on "Chuck". Brandon Routh might be the single worst actor to continue to get screen time since Keanu Reeves. Just an utter miscast by a show that usually is exceptional in that department. I wanted to love this season of "Chuck," and for the most part I did, but Routh was just terrible.

Runner up: Nancy on "30 Rock". I've almost stopped watching the show because I just don't think I can tolerate any more of Julianne Moore's awful Boston accent. How can Maude Lebowski make me this angry?

Most Overrated: Betty White on "SNL". Call it blasphemy if you must, but I thought the Betty White episode fell far below what it could have been. The CSI: Sarasota sketch was good, but aside from that, the entire episode was essentially about an 88-year-old woman making lesbian jokes. I have to believe that Betty White is better than that, and it's one more example of how lazy the writing at "SNL" has become.

Runner up: "How I Met Your Mother". I hate to say it, but most of this season has been more misses than hits. I'm still excited to watch it each week, and there have been a few highlights -- last week's robots vs. wrestlers was pretty solid -- but for the most part this show reminds me of the comedy version of Season 2 of "Lost" -- just dragging out worthless storylines to avoid getting to an ending.

Happiest Drop from my DVR: "Family Guy." This show is absolutely worthless now. It's essentially an animated version of a pop-culture mad libs, with its plot points only derived to anger the easily offended and offer zero entertainment value. In other words, it's TV's version of Skip Bayless.

Runner up: "Glee". Watching this show is almost exactly like attending a bad karaoke bar and not being able to get drunk. Perhaps next time I'll learn not to get suckered in by one Journey song.

Sad to say goodbye: Conan. I didn't love the new "Tonight Show" but Conan's ouster was the perfect example of why, in a ratings-driving culture, appealing to the lowest common denominator will always win out over actual talent. Screw you, Jay Leno.

Runner up: "Scrubs". The new incarnation of the show wasn't terrible, but it was likely doomed from the start. In the end, it was a shell of its former self, but I'm still a bit sad at the prospect of a future without Dr. Cox, Turk and JD.

Best comedy: "Community". After a great start last fall, the middle of the season dragged a bit, but when the show returned in January it found its voice and has been pitch perfect since. Hands down the comedy highlight of my week. (And bonus points for their continued jabs at "Glee"...)

Runner up: "Parks and Rec". As I said, it's been great this year, although if I'd been smart and started watching "Modern Family" I probably would have that show here. But I promise... I'll get the DVDs and catch up for next season.

Best drama: "Friday Night Lights". I haven't even finished watching the season -- only about six episodes so far -- but I'm sold. This is easily the best season since the first, and possibly better.

Runner up: "The Pacific". I'm still working my way through some episodes of this, too, but so far it has come very close to living up to the lofty standard set by "Band of Brothers."

Show I wish I was watching but didn't: "Breaking Bad." I was going to watch this season but then decided I needed to go back and start with Season 1. So now I have a project...

Runner up: "Modern Family". I know. I'm dumb.

Looking forward to the most: "Eastbound and Down" Season 2. Let's see... take already awesome show about redneck former baseball player and set Season 2 in Mexico. I cannot wait...

Runner up: "Treme". Kind of a cop out, but I've really enjoyed the first few episodes, but I'm still not quite sure where all of it is going. I think it's an odd show because while "The Wire" had the obvious cops vs criminals dynamic, this show really is just about normal characters trying to do normal things in a very abnormal situation.

How about you guys? Any favorites for the year? Or are you just angry that I didn't write more about football this week?


jferg said...

Skip the email inbox...go straight to Hulu, do not pass go.....and watch EVERY Modern Family episode. Holy Cow Hale....this is the funniest shows on TV bar NONE.

I'm also up on the new FX original Justified. Watch the pilot and if nothing else.

Oh, and a little Survivor trivia...Parvati is a Dawg...which makes watching a reality show ok. By the way, who awesome had Russell been this season...I hate him but he's been brilliant in a stupid kind of way.

As for up and coming...can't wait for Lie to Me to come back this summer.

jferg said...

ignore all grammar in the previous post...apparently I am an idiot today.

JE said...

David - Greetings. I am a loyal reader of your blog and living out here on the beach in LA. Yeah, I know, tough life, kid. It likely goes w/o saying I am a UGA alum, and enormous Dawgs fan. I've never commented b/c truly I did not have gmail account until now. Anyhow, I truly appreciate your work, and enjoy it immensely. And occasionally I take the time to read you TV postings as well. . .to that effect. . .I only watch about 3 shows nowadays (Breaking Bad, Curb, and Dexter), and I have to highly, highly recommend Breaking Bad. I watched the first 2 episodes ever, and fell off. . .then before season 3 I was having an all too familiar insomniac night, and AMC got the cast and did a "quick catch up" on Season 1 & 2. . .with cast commentary between missed episodes and playing the most important ones. Needless to say, it got me super stoked for Season 3 and I haven't missed one yet. It has gotten uber intense. So bear with the first few episodes, or netflix the AMC catch up, and enjoy. You will not be sorry. Keep up the great work, and thanks for all you do.

Jason Eley

David Hale said...

I think I'm rooting for Parvati.... although Russell is fun to have around.

Definitely going to catch up on Breaking Bad from the beginning at some point this summer. I actually have Disc 1 of Season 1 from Netflix sitting on my desk but haven't taken the time to watch yet. Maybe I'll get an ep or two in this weekend.

And JE--- I'm very jealous. I miss the West coast!

Anonymous said...

Man, you sure do watch a lot of TV, Mr. Hale!!

Keese said...

Breaking Bad imo is the best show on TV. Not since the Sopranos have I had to watch a show every week.

dawgystyle said...

If you aren't watching Breaking Bad, then you are probably watching Glee, which means you're either a girl or suck at life.

Weazle said...

Worst Character: Ted Mosbey from "How I Met Your Mother." The reason the show may be in such a downward spiral is the main character is the least likable one too...and every week seems to reinforce that notion more.