Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thoughts on Lost

Well, Damon and Carlton said that starting this season we would be seeing episodes that provided more answers than questions, and I think "Jughead" may be the first episode that has fallen into that category. Let's get to it...

- The scene with Desmond describing the "special island" to his little boy was a great scene. Henry Ian Cusick, as most actors on this show, doesn't get enough credit. To me, there was a real sense of longing as he described his homeland to his son, knowing that he would never be able to raise his son there, or in any other type of "normal" setting. It's been about 6 years now that Desmond has either been living on the Island or on this boat, and the uncertainty as to what kind of existence his son is going to be able to live is what lent a bit of melancholy to the scene.

Not to mention the fact that, as my friend Brent (the father of a 16-month old boy) said...can you imagine trying to raise a little boy on a boat? It's hard enough to keep them from sticking their head in the toilet, how are you going to keep him from running off the edge?

- When the British chick with the rifle told Daniel, "You couldn't stay away, could you?" I don't know if she meant him personally or just who she assumed was his group, but Daniel sure did have a guilty look on his face.

The reason I don't think she meant him personally is because later, when they were walking to the bomb, she never mentioned knowing him and in fact seemed to have figured out that he is not even with the US military, as she originally thought.

- Speaking of which, very interesting that the US military has been on the Island in the 1950's. I don't think the US military would set up an operation on an island that they can't travel back and forth to. Perhaps that means that the Island hasn't always been so hard to find and get to, and maybe something happens that "hides" it? Maybe by dislodging it from time-space?

- Several blog posts (including Vozzek's, which I posted on Thursday) have mentioned that the library archivist at Oxford is the same girl who helped Hurley get on Flight 815 (as we saw in Exodus, the season 1 finale) and wondered if this was some sort of clue. According to this article, however, she just appears to be an extra who happened to get picked for two different parts. Darn it, I thought we were on to something!

I do agree with Vozzek that the guy who came in and caught Desmond sniffing around Faraday's office was not just a janitor. Somebody has been keeping an eye on that place and waiting for someone to come.

- Faraday has turned into quite the playa, hasn't he? First there was the picture that Desmond found in his lab of him and the blond, and then there was his profession of undying love for Charlotte. Let's look at both of these ladies:
- Teresa: This was the girl in the picture, who I believe is the girl now laid up in bed with some sort of time travel sickness (more on her in a minute). My theory is that this was in fact Daniel's love at one time, and perhaps he was trying to help her talk to her Dad (who has been dead for 5 years, according to her sister). Regardless of the reason, he was obviously experimenting on her and things went wrong, which is why she is in her current catatonic state. Her sister said that Daniel bolted to "the States" as soon as her condition deteriorated, abandoning her. I believe that Daniel instead "bolted" to the Island, where he is trying to find a way to bring her back.

Of course, if Teresa turns out NOT to be the girl in the picture, this all goes down the tubes. Except that I do believe that Daniel left to find a way to help her, rather than abandoning her, and maybe he is motivated by guilt over what happened to her, rather than by his love for her.

- Charlotte: If my above theory is true, then I'm sure it's making it double difficult for him to watch what is happening to Charlotte. Here is another woman he loves who is succumbing to some sort of time travel sickness. I still don't believe that Charlotte is going through the same sickness that Desmond and Minkowski went through, since we have seen no evidence of her consciousness time traveling, but she may very well be going through what Teresa did. If Daniel can figure out how to save Charlotte (which....yeah, Rebecca Mader did LOTS of the pre-season media, so I don't see them killing her off anytime soon), then maybe there is hope for Teresa.

- Think we were supposed to draw any conclusions from the fact that they are supposed to bury the H-bomb? I went back and checked the transcript on Lostpedia, and Daniel says "bury it" 5 times in about a 20 second span. Let's see...surround the radiation-leaking H-Bomb with concrete and then bury it. Build a hatch around that, and you might have the Swan station, no?

- Another theory that is rapidly making its way around the blogosphere: Let's assume that Mrs. Hawking is Daniel's mother (which I think is pretty safe at this point). Her name is Eloise Hawking. The young British lady with the rifle trained on Daniel...her name is Ellie. Hmmm....more on all that in a minute.

- Yeah, "Jones," I do in fact think that the "sodding old man" can track you and he DOES know this Island at least as well you do...don't you even WATCH this show?

- How awesome is it that Desmond and Penny named their son after Charlie? That actually brought a lump in my throat.

Of course, I admit that for a split second I thought that with all the time travel trippiness going on that this was in fact CHARLIE. Until I remembered that he actually has parents. Oh, this show...I believe it has broken my brain.

- Desmond really is a bad liar, isn't he? He was looking everywhere in that cabin other than at Penny when he was trying to convince here that Daniel's mom is dead. She is, instead, in Los Angeles, which is where Ben is, which is another clue that she is in fact Mrs. Hawking.

- We, of course, know that Richard DID, in fact, visit John when he was born, as John suggested. Last week we got more insight about the later meeting when Locke was a boy, and this week we found out what Richard was doing at the hospital when John was born.

Something I thought of, though...Richard is obviously the leader of the Others in the 50's. What happened that caused the Others to start looking for a NEW leader (first Ben, and now Locke), especially since Richard never ages (as Juliet said, "Richard has ALWAYS been here").

My working theory is that Richard has ALWAYS been the true leader of the Others, even when Ben and now Locke have been named "leaders." In fact, Richard may even be Jacob....regardless, I think he is really the one in charge. A friend of mine (hi, Amanda!) theorized that maybe Richard knew that someone would have to turn the Donkey Wheel and never be able to come back, and that somebody else would have to die in order to get all of the Oceanic 6 back and save the Island. So maybe Richard appointed these two as leaders so that they could be "sacrificed" like pawns, for the good of the Island, while he was able to stay on the Island and continue in his current role. Just a theory, but it makes sense to me.

OK...on to some of the most important stuff we learned last night. We got quite a bit of insight into Charles Widmore, some of which (of course) may lead to some other questions.

- Widmore was on the Island in the 1950's as a member of the Others. Something obviously happened that caused him to leave the Island, and now he is trying to get back.

- Remember, in the conversation that Ben and Widmore had, they both acknowledged that Ben could not kill Widmore. Wonder if that means the Island is not "through" with Widmore, similar to what we have seen with Michael and Jack?

- Also, some of what we've seen is adding some shades of grey to the heretofore totally evil character of Charles Widmore. He is paying the medical expenses for Teresa, and he is genuinely concerned for Penny's safety. Remember, last time he talked to Ben, Ben promised to kill her...that was two years ago, and he hasn't had any contact with Penny since then. He is willing to let Desmond take Penny away from him again, as long as he promises to keep her safe.

This is similar to what the writers have done at times with Ben...paint him as 100% bad for a while before humanizing him a bit to add shades of gray to his character.

- Many believe that Widmore and Ellie get together on the Island, with the result being Charlotte. I'm not sure how the timing works on that...the events we saw on the Island occurred in 1954. Charlotte looks to be in her early 30's, which means she wouldn't have been born until around 20 years later. Of course, that is plausible, with all of the time jumping going on.

Another interesting theory...Widmore and Ellie are in fact DANIEL's parents, which would be supported by the fact that Widmore has been funding Daniel's research and is now paying for the medical expenses of Teresa.

One reason I wouldn't be surprised to find that Daniel and Charlotte are at least HALF brother and sister...that storyline (man and woman begin to fall in love, unaware that they are in fact half siblings) is very reminiscent of the Luke and Leia storyline, and Damon and Carlton are serious Star Wars fans.

- Another interesting aspect to the Daniel story...Mrs. Hawking, his mother, is working with Ben. Ben's mortal enemy, Charles Widmore, has been funding Daniel's research for the past 10 years and put him on his freighter to get to the Island. So, whether Widmore is Daniel's father or not, Daniel certainly has ties to both sides of the Widmore/Ben struggle.

Some of my favorite lines of the night:
MILES: Four U.S. soldiers, dead just under a month. Three of them were shot. One died of radiation poisoning.
FARADAY: Miles, hey, hey. Did any of them happen to mention what year it is?

SAWYER: I hate to bust up the "I'm an Other, you're an Other" reunion, but Faraday--the guy that's actually gonna save us--is being death marched into the jungle right now.

FARADAY: Whoa. Take it easy. I can explain myself a little better. I know how this sounds. Believe me, it's... oh, it's hard to explain. 50 years from now, me and my... me and my friends--that's where we're from, okay? And--here's the key--everything's fine. I'm not saying it's perfectly fine, but there hasn't been any atomic blast, all right? (Yeah...I would say it's not PERFECTLY fine. Way to clarify that, Daniel)


*****SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you want NO info about next week, even if it's just from the previews that we saw*************

Next week looks AWESOME...from the looks of the previews (stop reading NOW if you don't want to know)....

It looks like our time travelers actually jump into a period of time that they are on the island. You can see the light coming from the hatch window in one scene (reminding me of when Locke was banging on the hatch door), and Sawyer told Juliet he saw Kate in the jungle. Also, we get back to the Oceanic 6...with everything happening on the Island this week, I can't say that I missed them all that much!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Countdown to Signing Day - O-line

Although we have around 14 returning offensive linemen, you can never have too many, and the Dawgs have three guys coming in that are very highly thought of. Austin Long, Dallas Lee, and Chris Burnette will definitely keep the pipeline full of O-Line beef.

Austin Long: 6-5, 268 out of Memphis, TN looks to be out of the Stinchcomb mode. Pretty lean right now, but has a good frame to add some weight, and as you can see from this clip he has a little nasty streak.

Chris Burnette: 6-2, 300 out of Lagrange. #3 offensive guard in the country. He was scheduled to enroll in January, but will not enroll until summer due to academic reasons. These are not your typical academic reasons, however....he's locked in a close battle to have the highest GPA in his class, and he wanted to stay in school and try to achieve valedictorian status.

Dallas Lee: 6-4, 290 out of Buford. As good as the other two are, this is the guy I am most interested in seeing. He supposedly is out of the Ben Jones mold, which means he doesn't have a mean STREAK...he just plays MEAN. Most of this video is him as a D-Lineman, but you can certainly see the style with which he plays....he's #64, the guy running around like his hair's on fire.

Last night's Lost left me momentarily speechless...

But while I'm gathering my thoughts, do yourself a favor and check out Vozzek's Things I Noticed much good stuff that I had not thought of, which left my head spinning even more.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Countdown to Signing Day - RB

Only one verbal committment at running back, but he's a good one...2007 AJC player of the year Washaun Ealy:

Even with Knowshon declaring early, the Dawgs still return several players at tailback (King, Samuel, Dontavious Jackson, Carlton Thomas). King and Samuel will be sophomores, Djax and Thomas will both be redshirt freshmen, so really one was all that was needed in this class. Look for Ealy to push for early playing time, but if he doesn't get in early then he redshirts to keep good class separation at the position.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Erika has her always entertaining and insightful Lost recap up over at I highly recommend checking it out, but THIS part was especially interesting to me:

But was it Widmore who did something to change the rules? Or was it Desmond (who Daniel claims is the only person who can)? Let's not forget how our favorite Scotsman greatly delayed Charlie's death. Desmond had visions of several ways Charlie was supposed to kick the bucket... but he managed to keep them from happening. Until, that is, the ex-rocker drowned in the Looking Glass after enabling communication between the Island and the freighter. This allowed Keamy's team arrive. They killed Alex, the freighter blew when Ben killed Keamy, the Oceanic Six left and then Ben moved the Island and all hell broke loose. As Ben had said to Locke, doing so was "a last resort"... Ben knew he was out of options by that point. If Desmond hadn't tried to save Charlie and had heeded Ms. Hawking's warning that he should never interfere with fate, would everyone still be chillin' on the beach, drinking stale DHARMA beer after a long day of participating in the second Island Open?

To those of you who might wonder why Ben was so cavalier when Richard told him that he'd agreed to let Kate and the others leave the Island in the Season Four finale, I think the explanation for his behavior is that he already knew he had to move the Island at that point. Once the communication lines were opened by Charlie and once Jack answered the freighter's call, Widmore knew where the Island was. Ben was probably happy the helicopter left with those 815ers aboard it, because they would give him an opportunity to return to the Island after he moved the Frozen Donkey Wheel. (Or at least right now it seems like Ben's going back with them because he keeps using the word "we" about the return trip.)

Countdown to Signing Day

First of all, hope I don't get sued over the title to this post...I'm not exactly SCARED of Jamie Newberg, per se, but he does seem to be the litigious type.

Signing day is now a week from tomorrow. I'm no recruiting guru, nor do I play one on TV (like Jamie Newberg, I'm really asking for it), so I'm not going to go into things like star rankings and stuff like that. But, I do enjoy following recruiting, so as we get closer to Signing Day I thought I would post some of the highlights of the young men who have verbally committed to the Dawgs so far. The class is going to be lighter on numbers this year, because of a lack of available scholarships, but so far it appears we are making up for quantity with quality, and there are still a couple more big names we are going after in the home stretch.

We'll start with the quarterbacks...we've received verbals from two guys, both of whom are very highly thought of. Aaron Murray is currently #3 in the QB rankings at Rivals, and Zach Mettenberger is #11. Mettenberger is a guy who was not getting a lot of attention early because he does not put up big numbers. However, a lot of his lack of production is due to the team he plays for. He has ZERO big time talent around him. Zach went to the workouts for the scouts and absolutely wowed everybody, with several guys saying he may have the strongest arm in this year's class.

Aaron Murray is one of the most sought after players in the country, and we took him right out from under Urban Crier's nose in Tampa, FL. He became something of a legend this year, when he came back from a serious leg injury about 2 months early and led his team to the Florida State Championship.

Both of these guys are enrolled already, and there will be lots of curious eyes on them when G-Day rolls around, including mine.

Aaron Murray:

Zach Mettenberger:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lost thoughts

I am ridiculously excited to have this show back. It's so refreshing to have shows like this one that ask you to turn your brain ON in order to enjoy it, rather than requiring that you turn your brain OFF in order to fully appreciate it (I'm looking at you, Heroes!!).

Here are my random thought, theories, and questions after Wednesday's show:

- I knew this season was going to be awesome, just based on the interviews that Darlton has done leading up to it, but you got an idea of just HOW awesome it could be in the very first scene. Dr. Candle/Halliwax/Chang waking up to a little Willie Nelson, in an eerie callback to the opening scene of season 2 with Desmond in the hatch (I actually thought they WERE in the hatch for a minute, until they showed him walking through New Otherton), on his way to film an orientation video that I don't think we've seen yet. Interesting to me that this film was much darker in content than the ones we've seen before...this one was all about military maneuvers, monitoring the "Hostiles," etc. I think we may find in this season that the ole D.I. may not have been the peace-loving beatniks they have been made out to be so far.

Follow that up with the discovery of the Frozen Donkey Wheel (and subsequent death of a worker due to the "Minkowski Effect), and then, of course...Daniel Faraday, not looking a day older or younger than when we saw last saw him ferrying people to the freighter! At that point, I just shouted "YES!!" at the TV screen and settled down for a couple of mind-blowing hours.

- Something about Ben fussing around doing domestic things (like when he was worried about drying out the ham he was cooking for Juliet last season) just cracks me up. Watching him meticulously packing for their trip to the island struck me as funny.

- I do not believe that Ben doesn't know what happened on the island after the Oceanic 6 left. As usual, if Ben's mouth is moving there is at least an 80% chance that he is lying.

- Why didn't Richard and the Others move when Locke moved? This is a question that has to be addressed at some point. I think it will be, since it was mentioned in the later conversation between Locke and Richard. Did they not move because they are somehow anchored to the island? What are the "rules" as they pertain to the Others?

Another random thought about the Others...we have lumped them all into one group that we call the "Others," but there are actually several different subsets to that group. You have the Natives (or Hostiles), which includes Richard and his group that seems to predate everybody else. You have at least one person (Ben) who was part of Dharma and lived through the Purge, with the possibility of there being others like him. You have Cindy the stewardess and the children, who were survivors of 815. And then you have people like Juliet (and Ethan, in my opinion) who were brought over from outside the island to fulfill a certain purpose. Remember, Ethan was a physician. I wonder if the same "rules," whatever they are, apply the same way to this whole group?

- My wife really appreciated the fact that Sawyer went shirtless for the first hour.

- "Your camp isn't gone. It hasn't been built yet." Cue goosebumps.

- Locke watches the Nigerian drug plane crash. Cue many more goosebumps. So cool that Locke is the one to see this, since this plane factors so much into his time on the Island. This is the plane that he and Boone found, it's the plane that convinced him that he did in fact have a destiny on this Island, it was this plane that fell and killed Boone, which led to him pounding on the Hatch door and simultaneously saving Desmond's life and also producing one of my top 3-4 favorite moments in Lost history, when the light comes shining through the Hatch window.

- OK, they have obviously been drawing similarities between Locke and Ben for a while now. Did anybody else get a "Ben" type vibe when Locke all of a sudden pulls a piece of info out of seemingly nowhere in order to temporarily save his hide? "I know you, your name is Ethan." How often have we seen Ben pull this same trick? Maybe now we know one way Ben was able to know all this stuff he "shouldn't" have known...

- Something is going on with Sun, I just can't figure out what it is yet. For some reason, I don't believe her when she says her goal is to kill Ben...I think she's just telling Widmore that in order to get him to help her. And that later scene with Kate was filled with a really strange tension. "Maybe we would have all died, and not JUST my husband.'s Jack?" AWKWARD. Also, shouldn't Ji Yeon be about three years old by now? Why does she only have a baby picture? We've all known new parents in our life...don't they all carry the most recent picture of their kids, at least until they get to be a little older? That was weird. Something is up with her.

- "You know maybe if you ate more comfort food you wouldn't have to go around shooting people." Hee. And now you know why I've never been a serial killer...I eat LOTS of comfort food.

- Very smart of Sayid to load the dishwasher with the knives facing UP. Maybe he's time traveling, too, and he did so for just this occasion?
(Just kidding....)
(sort of)
(unless that turns out to be right, and then I was serious the whole time)

- Obviously, a very important conversation between Daniel and Sawyer...time is like a string: you can move forwards or backwards, but you can't create a new string. This is one of the rules we will be paying attention to this season.

- Loved the scene with Locke and Richard. Some really great exchanges here:
LOCKE: How did you know I had a bullet in my leg?
ALPERT: Because you told me there was, John.
LOCKE:, I didn't...
ALPERT: will.

ALPERT: Next time we see each other, I'm not gonna recognize you, alright? You give me this.
LOCKE: What is it?
RICHARD: It's a compass.
LOCKE: What does it do?
RICHARD: It points north, John. (I loved Richard's delivery of this, "DUH. It's just a compass. Who do you think you are, James Bond?)

Also, this scene kind of sheds new light on the whole "Pick the item that ALREADY BELONGS TO YOU, John" scene from Cabin Fever last season, doesn't it?

- My favorite Sawyer line of the night: "Open up, it's the Ghost of Christmas Future!"

- My inner geek was geeking out all over the place over the Desmond/Daniel conversation. My first thought was, "Wait...if they met when Desmond was in the Swan, why didn't Desmond recognize him when they met on the beach?" Then it hit's only Desmond's consciousness that time he did not have that memory until the conversation actually happened, which in Desmond's actual time line was multiple years later, as he was in bed with Penny. So he didn't remember it earlier because it had not happened yet. That's AWESOME.

- Charlotte is in TROUBLE. Nosebleeds, headaches, memory loss...where have we seen that before? I don't think she's going through EXACTLY what Desmond went through, since we haven't seen her go catatonic while she was mind-tripping. I think it's more like what Daniel was going through last season when he couldn't remember the playing cards. But then, he found his constant (Desmond), and he's been fine ever since. The only thing that has bugged me about that is that Daniel said it had to be something or someone you care deeply about...does he really care that deeply for Desmond? Maybe something happens in the future (past?.. whatever) that causes his and Desmond's relationship to take on a deeper meaning?

- After the tension-filled hour of the first episode, "The Lie" had some very welcome lighter moments thanks to it being a Hurley episode.
"Yeah, I like Shih Tzus."
"Looks like you heart them."


- The Ana Lucia thing was surprisingly case you didn't know, the story with Michelle Rodriguez (who plays Ana Lucia) is that she was supposedly written out of the show because she had too many run-ins with the Hawaii police, including at least a couple of DUI arrests. So her last advice to Hurley ("Don't get yourself arrested...stay away from the cops") was a nice little self-deprecating jibe.'s my working theory on Hurley. I think he may just be having hallucinations, not being communicated with by the Island, or Jacob, or Ben, or whomever. Hurley has some tendencies towards crazy, as we know (he was in a mental institution before he ever went to the island). As we saw in his conversation with his mother, he is distraught over the fact that so many people died on the island, and now they are lying about it and what happened to them. As we saw in the scene where Sawyer clinked his beer can against Roger Workman's dead skull, dishonoring the dead is a big deal to Hurley. I think his subconscious is haunted by the thought of those left behind, and the fact that they are dishonoring their memories by lying about what happened to them.

The only wrench I can think of that would throw this off is if one of his "visions" gave him information that he would not have known on his own. If you can think of any instances of that, leave it in the comments, and I'll have to reconsider my position.

- The scene with Hurley and his mother is priceless, and I could never do it justice, so here:

What a great mom, huh? "I don't understand, but I believe you." Kind of like we feel about the Lost writers sometimes, huh?

By the way, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) is extremely underrated as an actor, in my opinion. Watch him break down in that scene, or the scene when he had to tell Claire that Charlie was dead, and then try and tell me he's just playing a big goofball funny guy. He has range.

- "Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?"

- Interesting exchange between Jack and Ben:
JACK: He's dead, isn't he?
BEN: (no response)

OK, so maybe not an "exchange," but certainly raises some interesting questions.

- Anybody recognize Frogurt (the guy who took the first flaming arrow)? Two words...."Aawon Buwww." That's right...he's the guy from the original "Got Milk?" commercial! And, yes, of course he was wearing a Red Shirt.

- I think our beloved Losties got caught in the crossfire in a battle between two different factions, one made up of Island "natives" (the ones with the flaming arrows), and then the other militant organization that we don't know yet (the ones with the guns).

Something interesting I thought of: remember Danielle speaking of one of her crew members (Montand) losing his arm...and then in the Swan video Dr. Chang has a prosthetic arm (in the video released at Comic Con this year, he seems to reference losing it in a "violent purge"). So, when Juliet is captured, what do they threaten her with? They are going to cut off her hand. Hmmm....

- And FINALLY...the scene with Mrs. Hawking at the end was awesomely spooky. When I first saw it Wednesday night, it was very late and I was very sleepy, and I had to really concentrate to make sure I wasn't having some sort of weird dream.

Some details I have gathered from the interwebs:
Looking at the screen captures over at DarkUfo, it looks like the map on her monitor is marked in specific points...maybe the Vile Vortexes that have been theorized about? Special places on the Earth that are like wormholes, where you enter in one point and end up in a completely different point?

The equations on the board apparently have to do with radiation and probability formulas.

Also, did anybody else get the vibe that Ben is working for her rather than with her? He did not want to tell her that he lost Hugo, and then she cut him off really quick with the admonition that what he NEEDS is of no consequence...what he HAS is 70 hours.

Or God help us all.

Idol thoughts on hiatus

OK, after the hot steaming garbage they have shoved at us this week, I am officially shutting down "Idol Thoughts" until we get to Hollywood week.

So much for the "new look" of Idol. Seemed like the same old audition show crap to me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finally, LOST is back!!!

Still trying to absorb everything from last night's ridiculously awesome return, and I will post later, but in the meantime here are:

Doc Jensen's interview with Darlton regarding the premiere.

The good Doc's recaps of last night's twin bill.

Vozzek's always excellent "Things I Noticed" recap (beware - occasional mature language in this one).

Both of these guys consistently notice stuff that I don't and make connections that I don't always make right away, and are well worth the time to read them.

Be back later with my thoughts!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The rest of Doc Jensen's Darlton interview

As promised, here are the remaining three parts of the 6 part usual, very entertaining, very informative stuff from the two best writers in television.

Idol thoughts and other non-Lost related TV stuff

Happy LOST day, everybody!! I'll be posting the latest installments of Doc Jensen's interview with Damon and Carlton later, as they discuss their defining moments of Seasons 3 & 4, as well as their thoughts on how people are dealing with the sci-fi elements of the show.

But there is some other stuff on TV that I'm watching...I know you're shocked.

First of all, last night's American Idol...ugh. That was everything I normally hate about the audition episodes, and the less said the better. I don't understand how we actually got MORE filler crap during the one-hour audition episode than we did in the 2-hour episodes last week. I mean, we're going to watch a dude work a Rubix cube? Seriously? And then the guy couldn't even sing, so it was a total waste of time. The segment with the Puerto Rican chick went on about 5 minutes too long, and although she wasn't mentally challenged per se, I think it's safe to say she was at least mentally disturbed. At least she was a decent singer. And then we spent another 10 minutes on Jesus...nice guy, cute kids, boring voice.

Then there was the girl with the braids who couldn't pronounce any words correctly...was it necessary to spend about 10 minutes on this person? She had no talent besides being an obvious product of our public school system. Even PAULA walked out on her. I totally agree with Kara on this one when she asked Simon why he yells at some people, and then encourages others to just go ON and ON.

The result of all this time wasting was that we didn't really get to see any talented singers, which is what they said they were going to focus on during the audition process this season. The guy who has been in "Wicked" for the last year and a half was good, everybody else was just meh in my opinion. They sure did show a bunch of people with golden tickets there at the end, would have been nice to have heard some of THEM rather than spending the entire show dealing with all the other crap.

Hollywood week can't get here soon enough.

On to better things...

24 appears to be BACK. Last season was a disaster of epic proportions, to the point where I swore off the show. But I was intrigued by the "Redemption" promos, so I watched the prequel, and it hooked me back in. This season has been great so far, with some real "old-school" type 24 moments. This past week's episode even included the "silent clock" at the end....does that mean Agent Walker is dead? Probably not, but it was still a cool act-out scene, with Jack throwing that last bit of dirt on her, from her perspective. And the stuff going on right now with the First Gentleman freaks me out...that's something that always gives me the willys, when people are completely paralyzed but concious. That's just creepy. That's like the whole "I'm awake but they don't know it, and now they're doing surgery on me" stuff. ::shudder::

So far, so good...hopefully they can maintain this through the end of the season. We've gotten a lot of what would normally be considered pretty big reveals (the Tony situation, the fact that the FG's Secret Service guy killed Roger, etc) very early in the season...wonder what else they have coming?

And one more returning show last night...Fringe. This show is really starting to find its stride, and they've even made Olivia more interesting in the last couple of episodes. That whole ending sequence last night was VERY interesting, as Olivia ended up making some points I had not really thought about. Why DID her abductors keep her alive? Why DID Mitchell react that way to his wife's death, and what does he mean "You don't even know what the sides are?" Good stuff. And, of course, Walter steals the show again: "This kind of stuff used to happen in the lab all the makes me feel NOSTALGIC" he holds a trash can over a gigantic slug that can go about 50 miles an hour. HA!

OK...back to our regularly scheduled LOST Day broadcasting!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More of Doc Jensen's Lost stuff

All of these videos are great...still more to come before tomorrow. In the latest set, Damon and Carlton talk about what they feel were the defining moments for them in Seasons 1 and 2. I imagine their thoughts on Seasons 3 and 4 will probably go up over the next day or so.

VERY interesting and entertaining interview with Damon Lindelof

This is from, via DarkUFO. The DarkUFO link says this is a Damon and Carlton interview, but it looks to be just Damon. Very fun stuff.

What material did you have to leave out because of the strike that you won't be able to get back to?

I don't think that there's anything that just got basically junked. There's stuff that got truncated, so you're getting the Cliff's Notes version of the story. Whereas there might have been an entire episode that was Charlotte's flashbacks if there hadn't been a strike, now you get the story but not the flashbacks. I think the complete jettisoning of a story plan would take the whole Jenga tower down. We have to do all that stuff to get to where we're going. Nothing was so expendable that you could just say we couldn't get to do this. The show would suffer for it. But the Michael story, we wanted to do something that was more redemptive for him than staying with the bomb and allowing Jin to get to the deck as he was spraying liquid nitrogen onto it. But it ended up having to be that, as opposed to something that was probably more heroic, more emotional, by virtue of the fact that we had to collapse our time frame. Originally, we were going to do an hour less than we wound up doing, and we had to beg for that. We were still rolling film, like, 11 days before it was on the air. It was all we could do to cram everything in there, and you go, "What are the major story points you can play?" and you need to connect the dots. The primary story focus was on the Oceanic Six, and everyone else had to defer. We had to explain how Jin died, and so that gave us less time for Michael's redemptive arc, and we regret that.

One of the things you and Carlton talk about a lot, and I never quite understood until we got to "There's No Place Like Home," is that you're always afraid of doing these episodes where people stand around and explain stuff and you give a lot of answers at once. Those three hours answered most of the questions of that season, and while it was good, it definitely felt like, "Okay... okay... alright..." It was not as thrilling as the hours leading up to it.

Sure. For us, we always think the reason that the show is a water cooler show, or still generates the audience it does and the Internet culture that it does is the audience wants to talk about the show. If the characters are talking about the show, you basically have a scenario where they're so interested in catching each other up that you can't propel the story forwards. Now if they need to share info for the purposes of story, then you have to write the scene. But the season four finale was really about bringing everything together. The drama of knowing, "How are these guys going to get off the island?," well, you've known that they did get off since the end of season three, so now we're just going back and showing you things you didn't already know about it, like that Penny picked them up. It's a big reveal, but everything else is, "Oh, they're in a helicopter... the helicopter's going into the water... is Demond going to survive because he's not one of the Oceanic Six?" So you can kind of do these things, but things like the press conference, Kate having dreams about Claire, you need to do them, but they're more about filling in blanks than moving forward. That's the nature of the year. You're telling a story out of sequence, and so the finale wound up being a lot of middle.

Let's get back to the question that I asked at the summer tour: Watching last season and seeing the Oceanic Six in the present, I start building up scenarios in my head. "Why these six? Why do they have to be so secretive?" And in the end it just turned out that those happened to be the ones who were on the helicopter, and Jack, for whatever reason, gets into his head that they need to tell this specific lie to avoid the wrath of Widmore. Did you know that was how it was going to play out going in?

We knew that the season was going to start with Locke and Jack splitting up, Locke taking a group of people with him, Jack a group with him, Jack group's mission was to get off the island, Locke's group mission was to stay on, and when we got to the end of the season, Jack and Locke would have one more scene. And in that scene, Locke would basically say to Jack, "We're supposed to be here, it's our destiny, you've gotta stay." And Jack would say, "(Bleep) you, I'm leaving." And Locke would say to Jack, "If you're gonna leave, you have to lie." So the idea to lie is Locke's. That we knew with great specificity. We also knew for over a year that Locke was in the coffin and that all the actions Jack is going through in the season three finale, reading the obituary, suicide attempt, are in the wake of Locke's death. The Jack/Locke of it all was incredibly mapped out in detail. The intricacies of the lie were, Jack is lying because Locke told him to, and there's a part of him that realizes maybe Locke was right. He's not consciously ready to accept that yet, so the lie's going to be sloppy, and he's making that up on the fly...

I pitched to the DVD team that it might be fun to have a documentary crew poke holes in how (bleepy) the lie is, on every level. You see those things about the WTC, on that trajectory. I thought it would be fun, but these guys came back with the film and I was, like, "Wow, the lie's even worse than I thought." It's one of those things where you basically say, if this really happened, if these six people showed up on some island in the South Pacific and said, "Here's what happened," no one would ever think to question the story. If there's any conspiracy, you have to start with the premise, "Why did they lie?"

How did you choose the Oceanic Six?

We basically looked at it as a very simple equation first, which is, "Who would want to leave the island, and who would not want to leave the island?" and that's what the whole season's about. Kate kind of waffles, Sawyer doesn't want to leave the island, and leaps off the chopper when he has a chance to do so. He's perfectly fine where he is. And clearly someone like Juliet would want to leave the island, so we had to figure out geographically, where people would want to be, and present a lifeboat situation where Billy Zane's running around the Titanic with a gun, and it's whoever can get on the chopper in time. Jack and Kate we had committed to, obviously, but when we talked about who the Six would be, we realized the majority of storytelling in season four would involve those people. But we were also setting things up for the ultimate endgame of the show which will hopefully reveal some more specificity about, "Why them?"

I've wondered about the team from the freighter, Faraday and those people. When we initially see them being put together, Naomi's supposed to lead them, they have some specific mission that apparently requires a mercenary, a physicist, a medium and an anthropologist and a chopper pilot. Are we still going to find out what that was? Did that get left by the wayside by the events of season four?

The intent was that their mission was to find Benjamin Linus, then call the mercs and they'll show up and remove Ben. But Faraday and Charlotte are both there for personal reasons. He's doing time/space experiments while he's there, Faraday has a lot of story yet to reveal. As does Charlotte, as does Miles. But the mission they've been tasked with to find Ben.

And this particular combination is the best Widmore could put together?

One would assume Miles was selected for his unique abilities. As to why Faraday comes, I think that the strategic thinking in sending those guys over first is, Faraday is the one who can figure how to get from the freighter to the island safely. Charlotte's an expert in anthropology and dead languages, and Widmore thinks that skill-set would be useful for locating Ben for some reason. Hopefully, once you have all the information from season five, that will not be as much of an unanswered question, and you'll have a little information as to why those people.

Time travel plays a big part in this season... This gets back to what I'm always asking you about: long-term planning. Obviously, some things get changed on the fly depending on what's working and what isn't, but did you know from the start how important time travel would be to the show, or is that something that evolved?

We were being asked, certainly as far back in season two, "Are you guys ever going to do time travel on the show?" And we responded, "Who says we haven't already?" The time travel elements of the show have been built into the DNA of the show all along.

Obviously, the big question going into this year is this idea of, there's only two fundamental approaches to time travel. There's the "Back to the Future"/"Heroes" approach where you can go back and change things, that stepping on a butterfly, suddenly, there's a different president, people have anetnna, George McFly's a best-selling author. And the other way is, if you went back in time and tried to kill Hitler, you would fail, because Hitler wasn't assassinated. What would happen if you were in the past and tried to change the present as you knew it, would you A)Fail, or B)Succeed, or C)Cause the thing you were trying to prevent. And that's really interesting to us, because there's no (do-over's).

You've been covering the show since the very beginning. There's been this very interesting thing for me, in terms of certain audience's members to grasp the idea that they're not watching a genre show. To them, I'm like, "What show were you watching? When the big column of smoke is in Eko's face in season two and he stares it down and it retracts into the jungle, that's not a genre show?" And they say, "No, it's not." And it makes you go, "Okay, this is how there can be both evolutionists and creationists." You can take the same data and apply it to your own spectrum. You can go, "Oh, it's not a genre show, because I don't like genre shows, but I like 'Lost.' Therefore, 'Lost' is not a genre show." That's the logic they apply. Well, we've been writing a genre show from the word go. We're sorry that it's getting more genre.

The biggest audience that ever watched the show was the premiere of season two, where we revealed that Desmond was down in the hatch pushing the button every 108 minutes because he's told the world will end. The show had a critical mass at that point, we'd just won the Emmy, people were talking about it, and they tuned in to see, 'What is this thing?" And they saw that, and went, "Alright, it is exactly what I thought it was. No thank you. Not for me."

But there's been a steady attrition over the years, because the show demands that you watch every episode. And Lord knows, I wish there was a way we could do the show where the casual viewer could come along, but once you start writing for those people, the long-term fans will (bleeping) kill you, as well they should. We always thought it would be a cult show, and that's the show we've been writing. But the fundamental strength of the characters -- and our ability to say, "Nobody's perfect, we've made mistakes, we'll continue to make them" -- as long as everyone's acting in a way that makes sense, even when the story doesn't entirely make sense, you can understand why they're behaving the way they are. If you introduce a time travel element on the show, maybe one character will say, "I don't want to be on the time travel show. I don't like time travel." That might make it more palatable to those viewers who don't like it, either.

And the other thing is, nothing on "Lost" lasts forever. These are books in a series of six books. If season five gets a bit too far out there in terms of its genre for you, it's just 17 hours in the grand mosaic of the show. Our hope is that, I feel like the greatest achievement that the show could have in terms of its legacy value, is that, 10 years from now, there'll be an active debate about what were the best and worst seasons of the show, and two people will be able to say to each other, "My favorite season was this season," and the other would say, "That's my least favorite season! It was terrible!" And they'd still be fans of the show as a whole.

Let me put it to you this way, then: Up until the time you cut the deal to end the show (after season six), you and Carlton had to write not knowing when you could move certain stories forward. If you'd somehow known going in that it would be six years and out, what things would you have done differently in those first three years?

It's a question that's impossible to answer, because that wasn't the condition of it. I think there probably would have been less internal pressure to introduce new characters into the show, but at the same time, new characters make it fresh. What would the show be without Ben and Juliet as series regulars? I think many shows that are on the air for a long time require a certain degree of cast turnover. We were certainly going to be killing people off and you then need to bring new people in.

But I think there would have been a lot more confidence in the storytelling, particularly in season's two and three. There's a stutter-step feel to season two and the first part of season three where you'd take two steps forward and one step back and one step forward. Even though the storytelling was emotionally-based, we'd realize that we didn't need to do 25 episodes in a year, we only needed to do 17. For us, the big win wasn't just setting an end date; it was also that the remaining seasons would have a reduced episodic order, so you could never get to a point where you're like, "Wow, we really want to activate the endgame of the season, but we're seven episodes away from that, so we need to just do a rollicking boar-hunting episode."

That being said, some of my favorite episodes of the show are ones like Hurley in the van. Which doesn't advance the plot in any way at all, except that they find Ben's dad, that's cool, but did you really need any of it?

No, but it's a really good episode.

A good episode of "Lost" is not necessarily one that gives you major plot revelations. It's one that works emotionally and kind of justifies its own existence. And there's some episodes that never needed to have existed.

I think that's what would have been different. If we'd known we could be six and out, we wouldn't have done 25-pisode seasons, the narrative would have been a lot tighter, but I wonder if those episodes like finding the Dharma bus would have existed. So I don't know that I would go back and change it.

Not only was it a good episode, but it sets up that wonderful moment in "Through the Looking Glass" where Hurley saves the day with the magic bus.

That's right. That was all (Edward) Kitsis and (Adam) Horowitz (who wrote "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead"), that pitch. They were saying, "Well, Hurley finds this bus and then uses it to save them in the finale."

What's interesting is, it's almost a time travel conundrum, which is, if I could go back in time and be more convincing about saying, 'I will write this pilot, but we need to be six years and out,' and therefore those episodes don't get written, would I do it? The answer is no. The journey is the journey. But more importantly, if "Stranger in a Strange Land" -- which, universally, is (considered) the worst episode we ever produced -- had not been produced, we would not have been able to convince the network that, "This is the future of the show: how Jack got his tattoos. Everything we've been saying for two years about what's to come, is now all here on the screen. You argued that an hour of Matthew Fox in emotionally-based conflicts, it doesn't matter what the flashback story is, it'll be fine. But now that we're doing his ninth flashback story, you just don't care."

We can't go back and apologize for the creative mistakes that we made, because we had to make them. If that episode hadn't been made, we weren't able to get a notes call that said, "We don't like this episode," and where we could then say, "We don't like it, either, but it's the best we can do if we're not moving the story forward. And we're now at a point, guys, where we can't move the story forward." And they asked, "Well, what would you do if we allowed you an end date?" And we said, "Give us an end date, and we'll tell you what we'll do." And the conversations then reached a new pitch.

Everything has to happen the way it happened.

You brought up the introduction of Ben before, and people who are agnostic to atheistic about the idea of a master plan will say, "Well, geez, they hired (Michael) Emerson to be a day player for an episode or two, and now he's the fulcrum of the show." Could you clarify?

We have plans, but the big plans have trap doors. Basically, the plan on the table was Rousseau captures the leader of The Others, but doesn't know who he is. She turns him over to Sayid, Sayid tortures him, he claims he's a balloonist, it's a case of mistaken identity, and it becomes a David E. Kelley story of "Will Sayid believe him or will he not?" It'll be a three-episode arc, at the end they'll realize he was lying all along and he'll escape. That was the plan all along. The trap door of the plan is that, once it's revealed that he's an Other, he'll admit to it and talk about the leader of The Others being a great man, in the third person. So if the actor is awesome, he's referring to himself. But if the actor is not awesome, he'll just be a lieutenant. He'll go running off, or get killed, and we'll meet the actual leader of The Others in the finale of this season when Jack and Kate and Sawyer and Hurley are double-crossed by Michael. We already had the spinal surgery story in our back pocket, and that's where the story was going. Emerson basically, not quite guaranteed, that the story ballooned from a three-episode arc to a six-episode arc that tied into Michael's return and the killing of Ana-Lucia.

At the beginning of the year, we have all these ideas, but we're writing a script every eight days. I love that people think we're smart enough -- I understand why there are atheists and agnostics out there, because they believe in a subjective reality of it. They believe that JK Rowling outlined all seven Harry Potter books because she had unlimited time, nobody to answer to and an unlimited budget. She could make her characters do whatever she wants. WE can't make our characters do whatever we want; our characters are played by actors. if we were just writing a novel, "Lost" would be uncompromised in its vision, and probably a lot worse than it's been for being realized by a cast and crew of 500 who helped realize it in their own separate ways. The idea that Michael Emerson, the way he played Ben, is more Napoleonic -- when you had thought of the leader of The Others, you thought of a big scary dude, and the fact that it's him is fascinating. Which was our thinking when we cast him. We cast the leader of The Others, but we didn't commit to it until Michael said, "You guys got any milk?"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lost Cast interviews

More Damon and Carlton goodness

Doc Jensen at is going to have several new videos go up this week for the Lost premiere. Here is a pretty cool interview with Damon and Carlton discussing the EW readers picks for favorite episodes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dwight insight...

The more we learn about life in the Schrute household, the more we understand how Dwight turned out the way he is....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tonight's lineup...

Here is a nice article on Friday Night Lights and BSG returning tonight.

If you're not watching these shows, you're missing out on some really fantastic television. If you want to watch FNL, you can probably just start tonight and pick up on things pretty easily. I'm always available for questions if you have any. :-)

For BSG, well...if you're not watching, do yourself a favor and go back and watch from the beginning. This is really a ridiculously amazing show, one that goes so far beyond sci-fi that it's not really fair that it gets lumped into that genre. Remarkable characters, superb acting, and some of the smartest social commentary you'll see from a TV show.

Can't get this vido to embed, but here's a great trailer for season 4.5 on

Tonight is kind of bittersweet for both shows, since I think it's the last season for FNL, and we know it's the last season for BSG. So tonight really is the beginning of the end for both.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Idol thoughts

I was a little distracted during last night's show, but I felt like there was actually more talent on the KC show than there was on the Phoenix show, particularly (again, for the most part I don't remember names at this point in the season):

- The girl who sang the Simon "Footprints in the Sand" song, the cute girl who sang "Thousand Miles". Problem with these two is that this is all I can remember about them...they will have to find a way to stand out. We tend to see a lot of these "pretty girls with pretty voices" girls early on every year, and they all seem to blend together, which usually means they don't last long.

- The big welder guy with the family. Of course, I am a sucker for "Ain't No Sunshine," and if you have any kind of voice at all you can NAIL that song. Great "singer's song." This guy was no exception...nice soulful voice.

- Kumar. For those who don't get that reference, he was the Indian-looking guy (Indian like Ghandi, not Indian like Wahoo McDaniel) who Simon said looked like a geek. Well, yeah, he did, but also an amazing and very surprising voice, as well.

- The girl with the adorable grandmother who sang "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin. First of all, it's refreshing to hear somebody sing a Janis Joplin song without doing a Janis impersonation. Second, that's a VERY difficult song to sing (Janis had more range than she gets credit for), and I thought she pulled it off.

- Elliot Yamin v2.0. The widower guy has a story that is going to be exploited like, whoa, if he gets to continue, and I like his voice, do you mess up the words to "Heard it Through the Grapevine?" Not a big fan of the California Raisins?

- Lil Rounds. The exception to the "no-name" rule, for obvious reasons. This girl is my early favorite. Great voice, great personality, great story, nice look. That's the combination for a top 4 contestant. Not to mention a name that sounds like it came straight off of Death Row Records.

Other observations:

- OK, maybe Jason Castro wasn't really stoned all last season. Maybe it just runs in the family. Although, I admittedly couldn't hear much of what was being said/sung while he was on the screen due to our oldest daughter's constant screams of "OMG, he's SO HOTT!!!" What is it with teenage girls these days and these little wimpy emo boys? Anyway, pretty nice voice, and he may stick around awhile due to name recognition, but I don't think he has the chops to go too much further than Hollywood.

- I'm going to have nightmares about that one girl screaming "NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO" over and over again. I wish I could have seen the audition...apparently Simon must have murdered her firstborn or something while she was in there, to warrant that kind of reaction.

- It was really nice of Maggie Gyllenhal to stop by and cheer for that one guy. Pretty cool to get an established movie star to take time out of her schedule to come support an undiscovered singer, and dressed like a cheerleader to boot. Unfortunately for him, he's going to stay relatively undiscovered. His problem was that he took two beautifully written and soulful melodies (My Girl and Ain't Too Proud to Beg) and then tried to do a bunch of unnecessary extra stuff to them. Some songs just deserve to sung straight, you know?

- What they did to Michael Nicewonder last night is a prime example of what ticks me off about the early audition episodes. This guy has obvious mental deficiencies, he is singing original songs that he wrote about his mother and grandmother, he seems to be a genuinely sweet guy in that innocent way that it seems that only the mentally challenged can naturally be. What am I, as a viewer, supposed to do with the judges laughing at him, and then the close-up interview of him in tears afterwards? Is that supposed to be entertaining? Funny? There has been less of that crap this season, but every time they pull something like that it infuriates me. Like my brother said...why not just give the judges rocks to throw at them while we all point and laugh? "M-O-O-N, that spells Hollywood, that's where Tom Cullen is going, laws yes." (sorry...just got through reading The Stand).

All in all, I'm still enjoying the early auditions this season more than I usually do. But that little promo on the end of last night's show has me itching for Hollywood week already!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why I list Bill Simmons as one of my favorite authors

Just a few random sections from the Bill Simmons (ESPN's The Sports Guy) mailbag today:

Q: If you could have the best seats in the house for any sporting event of the past century, which would you choose?-Max A., Cleveland
SG: The only answer can be "USA 4, USSR 3." A tougher question: Which sports-movie event would you choose? I'd pick the game in which Michael J. Fox first turns into Teen Wolf. Name me a more stunning sports-movie moment. Fans in the stands are frozen for, like, 45 seconds. You're not topping the experience of being in a sparsely attended high school hoops game in which one of the players turns into a monster, then dunks on everybody. I'm sorry.

Q: If you were playing dodgeball and had first pick of anyone, who would it be? -Blake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
SG: I'd say a QB makes the most sense, because they're used to throwing bigger balls with a quick release. So the answer should be Georgia's Matthew Stafford. That kid has a bazooka. But I'd pick Brett Favre just for the chance to make the Eric Mangini Did-Somebody-Just-Fart-in-the-Car Face after Favre singlehandedly kills my team by getting picked off two minutes in.

Q: You do realize that J.D. Drew will be the highest-paid Boston player in '09. That's a bad omen for the coming season, right?-Hefe, Manchester, N.H.
SG: Short of chicken blood squirting from the Green Monster, yes, I'd say it's about as bad an
omen as you can have.

Q: Can you guess which two jerseys the Heat have retired? Michael Jordan's and Dan Marino's. Quite a franchise.-Ian S., New York City
SG: I've confirmed it on the Internet and still can't believe it. Preposterous. Is it too late to retroactively void Miami's 2006 title? We already had plenty of ammo after Games 3 and 6 were rigged and the fans did the whole everyone-wears-white-T-shirts-to-playoff-games gimmick. Isn't this the final piece of the puzzle? I can't take it. Marino and Jordan? Why not put Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas up there?

Idol thoughts

First of all, I'll bet there are 1.21 gazillion blogs with that title this morning. Hey, I never claimed to be original.

Those of you who started following this blog strictly for the Dawgs football stuff, sorry...the next few months are probably going to be pretty TV-centric, with Idol, BSG, Friday Night Lights, Damages, and (of course) LOST all getting started in this next couple of weeks.

Yes, Idol is BACK! For those who don't know, I grew up as a Performing Arts kid, so these are my people, and I love them. I make no apologies.

Okay...season 8. Love the new judge...Kara Di-something. I guess I'll have to learn that now. Anyway, she seems to be in the middle between Simon and the Paula/Randy circle of lunacy, just like she said she would be. She's snarky when she needs to be (like with the Bikini Girl last night), but she also can let people down relatively easy (like she did with the pink cowboy hat wearing stalker).

I was also pleased to see less obvious mentally challenged people last night. There were still some delusional folks, for sure, but I didn't feel like they were playing "Let's All Laugh at the Retards" the way they have the last few seasons. That crap is not funny, it's sad.

As for the talent last night:
The Good: I can't remember everybody's name yet, but the 16 year old girl who sang "Put Your Records On," the 16 year old girl who looked 25 and was named after Stevie Nix, the 17 year old guy who makes horror movies, and the bartender from Kentucky who sang "Dock of the Bay" were my favorites.

They were obviously trying to make the blind guy a favorite, but I wasn't all that impressed, to be honest. He seems to be an amazing piano player, and obviously an inspiring story, but his voice was only OK, I thought.

Although, he did provide the funniest moment of the night, when Ryan tried to high-five the blind guy. I love Wee Ryan, and that moment captured why. He was obviously happy for the guy, and wanted to share the moment with him, and in all the excitement forgot that the guy COULDN'T SEE HIS HAND RAISED. But then, since it's Ryan, and he is 100% committed to the idea that The Show Must Go On, he couldn't just drop his hand and act like nothing happened...he had to grab the guy's hand and be like, "Hey, buddy...I'm trying to give you a HIGH FIVE!" And then he got the shot...which is why Ryan Seacrest is the beast that is taking over the entertainment industry. He ALWAYS will get the shot.

The Bad:
Well, obviously all the people they told us were horrible were, in fact, horrible. But special mention must be given to Bikini Girl. What a horrible, horrible person. Her body wasn't even all that. She did have one nice asset, which the cameras paid special attention to, but her legs were too skinny. Maybe that's just me. Anyway, what an insufferable whore (sorry, but when you take your clothes off in order to get what you want, without any merit, that's what you are). I want bad things to happen to her. Can't wait for Hollywood week, and the tears start flowing.

Great to have the show back!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Only eight days from Lost

EW's Doc Jensen has a typically insightful article up on today.

Several cool insights, including the five most essential episodes to re-visit in order to prepare for Season 5.

But he also has an interesting theory. Remember these quotes?:

Hurley: You're not supposed to raise him.

Claire: Don't bring him back, Kate...DON'T YOU DARE BRING HIM BACK!!

Who are these about? Aaron, right? Who else could it be? That the island may not want "raised" or "brought back"?

Hmmmm....Locke, maybe? Interesting...

The hits just keep on coming...


You know, sometimes I'm embarrassed to be a Dawgs fan. In the aftermath of Asher's announcement today, the Dawgvent and the blog comments are full of people condemning Asher, as well as Stafford and Moreno in some cases, for their decisions to leave school early (although, to the credit of the Dawgvent admins, they are trying to nuke some of the more mean-spirited comments as soon as they can). Posters are using words like selfish, not a team player, no leadership, etc...

Are you KIDDING ME????!!!???!? These young men have busted their butts their entire life to get to this precise moment in their lives. They have spent the last three years of those lives sweating, bleeding and generally giving everything they have for the team and university that these "fans" supposedly pull for. They are now making decisions that affect their lives, their livelihoods, and the future for themselves and their families. If they feel that they are at the point that they are ready to leave college and enter the workplace, they don't owe ANYBODY another year of their lives...not the coaching staff, not their UGA teammates, and CERTAINLY not me. Who's really being selfish in this situation?

Good luck and God bless to all three of these men, and if I ever got the opportunity to meet them, I will either thank them for the great memories they gave me as a Dawg fan and for the hard work and effort they put forth during their time in the Red and Black, or I will keep my mouth SHUT. I sure as heck won't condemn them for making the decision that they felt was best for them and their family, no matter how disappointed I am that I won't get to see them between the hedges in '09.

Meant to post this yesterday... is the 2nd newest addition to the Braves rotation (since apparently Derek Lowe signed today)

I may be getting ahead of myself, and I know this is just a clip of highlights (they're not going to show him getting blasted), but something in this guy's delivery and stuff reminds me of...Greg Maddux. Yeah, I pressure or anything. But the delivery is similar, after the usual Japanese-style hesitation at the top, and he throws that back-up cut fastball to lefties like Maddux used to.

I think I'm getting sucked in again...I'm starting to look forward to spring training!

OK, this makes me throw up in my mouth a little...

This is a picture of the world tilting slightly on its axis.

Friday, January 9, 2009


No matter how well King/Samuel/DJax/Thomas/Washaun fill in next year...this guy is irreplaceable.

One week to go!

One week until BSG!

This video only takes us through season 3, but it's still teh awezome.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reason for optimism...

Great stuff from Ally today on Joe Cox (the Ginger Assassin, per Dawgsports). I'm really getting fired up...I've always loved the guy. Every time Stafford has made a big play, the FIRST guy off the sideline to congratulate him was Joe. No pouting, sulking...just a TEAM guy.

Here is the interview that Ally posted from yesterday...this is what a leader sounds like.


Another new show returning...

In addition to Lost, BSG, Friday Night Lights, Idol, etc., another of my favorite shows returns this week...Psych! This show is consistently funny, and I think the guys who play Shawn and Gus probably have very bright futures ahead of them, because they know funny.

Check the show out if you haven't...USA on Fridays at 10. Entertainment Weekly gives us 10 reasons to love the show here.

Good luck to Stafford and Moreno...

...and thanks for the memories.

The team may not have accomplished all we had hoped for while they were in Athens, but nobody in their right mind can lay the blame for that at the feet of #7 or #24. These two guys provided Dawg fans with stellar play the likes of which we have never seen, not from both of these positions at the same time.

Also, I haven't seen this mentioned, I don't think, but the fact that we got these two guys out of Texas and New Jersey has helped our coaching staff and recruits around the country realize that UGA is now a NATIONAL program, not just a regional one.

So, good luck and Dawgspeed to us proud!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thoughts on the Citrus Bowl, and the Dawgs in general

First of all, I'll say this...10 wins is a successful season, no matter what the expectations were. We can be disappointed that this team didn't accomplish what we all hoped, and we can vent our frustrations over a defense that brought to mind the Donnan era with their consistent inconsistency, and we can bemoan the injuries and constant barrage of yellow hankies...wait, where was I? This was supposed to be the POSITIVE part. Right, 10 wins...and for the 6th time in Richt's 8 years. Nothing to sneeze at, and we are certainly miles ahead of where we were pre-Richt if we have come to the point where we can be disappointed by a year like the one we just completed.

That being said, I was strangely frustrated by the Citrus Bowl performance by the Dawgs. First of all, that first half was U-G-L-Y on the offensive side of the ball, which means at best this was going to be one of those games where we didn't play our best football for the full 4 quarters. Remind me...did we actually have a game this year where both sides of the ball clicked for the entire game?

Anyway, the the first half, NOTHING worked. Couldn't open holes for the running game, and Stafford looked awful. Not sure if he was trying to throw the Lions off his scent or what, but he was under throwing, over throwing, wide right, wide left...just awful. Then, in the second half, the light came on, at least for the passing game. Still couldn't really get anything going in the run game, but Stafford looked like an entirely different player. Almost perfect, and looking every bit the part of the #1 overall pick. Once the passing game got going, we were never really in any danger of losing the game.

As for the defense...where was THAT all year? I think it was Blutarsky who said a couple of weeks ago that he wasn't sure what would be more frustrating...if the defense came out and made the same mistakes they had made all year, or if they all of a sudden came out and looked like we all expected them to before the season started, now that the game was COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS. So, I was glad to see them play well, but it is certainly frustrating to think about what could have been.

And...I told you Willie reads the blog. I asked for Ron-Dayne-circa-98 Outback Bowl type numbers for Ringer. Well, Ron Dayne rushed for 36 yards on 14 carries against the Dawgs in the 98 Outback Bowl, and Javon Ringer had 47 yards on 20 carries...pretty close. Also, six sacks, 4 from the D-line, and pretty consistent pressure on the QB all day. Best day the defense has had since the South Carolina game.

Special teams...ugh. Blair kicked ANOTHER one out of bounds, and I still feel like EVERY SINGLE opponent's kickoff return has the chance to go the distance. Kickoff coverage HAS to improve next year. Not sure how much the injury situation hurt our kickoff coverage team, but we did have a LOT of guys out there who never see the field in any other situation. But injuries have nothing to do with the fact that Blair can't keep the ball inbounds on a regular basis.

I'm sure my somewhat negative view of the game has something to do with the fact that when the season started I did not expect the Dawgs to be in anything less than a BCS bowl. If the team had put together this same game in, say, the Sugar Bowl, I'd probably be heaping praise on them. As it is, it's another 10 win season, another bowl victory, and I'd still rather be a Dawg than anything else.

Couple of other thoughts:
- Stafford/Moreno: I still think both are gone. The only one I can even make an argument for is Stafford. I can see him POSSIBLY saying that he'll put off the millions for one more year in order to improve his game and give him a better chance at long term success in the NFL. But that seems extremely unlikely to's almost impossible to turn down the chance to be the number one overall pick, and if I was advising him I'd probably tell him to go on, take the money and run (Woo-hoo-hoo).

As for Moreno, the shelf life for a running back is so short, especially for somebody like Moreno who doesn't appear to have the physical build to take an NFL pounding for many years. He almost has to go and go ahead and start making his money.

So where does that leave the Dawgs? I actually think we'll miss Moreno more than Stafford. I'm intrigued by the idea of Joe Cox and Logan Gray perhaps sharing the QB position the way David Greene and DJ Shockley did. At running back, on the other hand, I was not impressed with what we saw out of Caleb King this year. However, maybe he is one of those guys who needs to be The Man and get 20 or so carries to really reach his potential...hopefully. We also have Richard Samuel (unless he switches to LB), and Dontavious Jackson and Carlton Thomas both redshirted. Plus Washaun Ealy comes in next year as well, so at least the cupboard is not bare.

- There has been some good news this offseason...first of all, Stacey Searles rebuffed Auburn's advances in favor of staying in Athens. This was, of course, great news for the Dawgs, as I don't know very many coaches who have done as amazing a job as Searles has in patching together these O-lines the last two years.

Then, Rodney Garner turned down the big orange Brinks truck in Knoxville in order to stay on Coach Richt's staff. I, for one, feel bad...I thought for sure that the Vols offer to nearly double his salary would make a move a no-brainer for a relative nomad like Garner, but he proved that money really isn't the only thing to him by telling to keep their stinking $400K...he don't want their orange money.

By the way...what UT is doing with their coaching staff is ridonkulous. $2M for a guy in Lane Kiffin who has had exactly ZERO success as a head coach is one thing...but $1.2M for Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator? As a comparison, we pay Coach Martinez around $350K. I understand that Kiffin the Elder has had a great deal of success as Tampa Bay's DC, but keep in mind two things:

#1 - The "Tampa 2" defense that his defenses have made famous is not his creation, not his alone anyway. Tony Dungy was extremely instrumental in devising this scheme, and Kiffin has simply continued what he and Dungy started, with the luxury of a GM who will get him whatever defensive talent he wants.

#2 - Tampa 2 is not comparable to, say, Urban Meyer's Spread, as far as innovation goes. Virtually any defense who runs a 4-3 has at least some Tampa 2 mixed in to their playbook, so it's not like he's bringing anything to the table that SEC offenses have never seen before.

UT is also paying the always entertaining Ed Orgeron in to be the recruiting coordinator (since I don't see Monte Kiffin burning up the recruiting trail) and D-line coach, and paying him $600K a year. We paid Coach Garner around $230K last year to do the same job.

The insanity didn't stop there...I think every position coach they have brought on so far makes more than we (along with most other schools) pay our coordinators (at least for now). It's their money, and they can do what they want, but what happens when they go 7-5? And what in this coaching staff's past leads you to believe that 7-5 is not a very real possibility?

Other thing it does is drive the market up for all the other major schools...thanks a lot, Vols. One more reason to hate these orange morons. Higher ticket prices.

So, the season is over...seems like we just got started. I'm no recrootin' guru, but I will probably post some recruiting stuff as we approach Signing Day. And there's only 242 days left till kickoff!


Monday, January 5, 2009

Asleep at the wheel...

Yes, I am aware that I am failing in my blogging duties...real life has intruded once again.

Short answer: I am moderately happy about the Citrus Bowl victory. I am moderately unhappy about the Falcons performance in Arizona.

I'm still pumped about the Hawks, I am barely acknowledging that the Thrashers exist, and I am VERY excited about the upcoming winter TV season (hello, LOST, BSG, Friday Night Lights, and Idol...missed you!).

Be back later (hopefully tonight) with more detailed posts.

Until then...I will be monitoring the Great Rodney Garner Cash Grab of 2009. Ugh.

***UPDATE***Garner is staying...per Great news for the Dawgs!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Well, that helped a little...

Kudos to The Hat...LSU's defense finally showed up in a ROUT over the Techies.

That was pretty fun to watch...I'd say my favorite part was the fake punt up 35 points in the 4th quarter...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Although...this makes me even more furious about the performance by our defense against this same Tech team.

Willie, if you're reading this (and be are) - your D better make Javon Ringer look like Ron Dayne today. Otherwise, this could be a long and painful offseason.


P.S. - Prediction? 38-20, good guys. They can't stop Matt Stafford, they can't even hope to contain him.