Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Did that just happen? That just happened...
So Eloise sent Daniel back to the Island, KNOWING that she would shoot him? Maybe she also knows that she will take Daniel to the temple, and he will lose his innocence forever, but still be alive? Please?
No wonder he kept the tie on for so long...he finally takes it off, and he gets shot. By his freaking MOTHER.
Oh...OH!!! AND!!! Widmore is Daniel's FATHER. Not uncle, as I suspected. Wow.
So...are Charles and Eloise "Adam and Eve"?
Back in a day or so with full recap....as soon as I scoop my brains off the floor.
THIS....is AMERICAN IDOL!!!
1) Kris Allen - "The Way You Look Tonight": First, let me say this...Kris was looking very sharp tonight. I'm secure enough in my heterosexuality to point that out (obviously...I blog about AMERICAN IDOL, for Pete's sake).
I love this song, and I thought Kris did a very good job with it...I loved the first part, when he was sending out the crooner vibe. The middle was just OK for me, dawg...I don't like his falsetto voice, and this little R&B part just seemed unnecessary to me. I get what he was doing by trying to change up the original a little, I just didn't really like it all that much. I also think he should not have ended with the falsetto...his falsetto voice is just not strong enough to pull that off.
Despite what this is starting to sound like, I actually did enjoy this...probably in a 2-way tie for my second favorite of the night. I just would have enjoyed it more if he had sang it straight, but that's probably going to be the way I feel about everybody since I love this style of music and think these songs are some of the most beautiful ever written.
2) Allison Iraheta - "Someone to Watch Over Me": I absolutely LOVED this...I watched it three times in a row, and then called Carrie in to watch it with me. Gorgeous song, she sang it pretty much straight, backed off the power in all of the right places...plus, she doesn't look like she picked her clothes out of Hot Topic tonight. This was gorgeous, and my favorite of the night by far.
I agree with half of what Simon said to her...I don't think the problem is her personality. I actually enjoy her personality. But I do think she lacks confidence, and her reaction when he asked her if she thought she could win was pretty telling. The correct answer is "Yes." No qualifiers, no backtracking.
Oh, and I have to once again call Paula out on the pre-written commentary. Yes, it makes her sound more coherent, but it's also blatantly obvious that she's not coming up with it on the spot.
Come on...this is an exact quote: "We all know the driving force that your vocals posses...but what you delivered tonight had an innocent sensibility that was both alluring...and very tender." All delivered with the subtlety of a 10th grader who has been given her first lead in the school play. You're telling me that Paula A) came up with that on the spot, and B) managed to get it out succinctly? Methinks someone got a little nervous when they brought Kara in, and decided to take steps to make sure there are no more screw-ups like the "I thought Jason Castro already sang twice" fiasco from last season.
3) Matt Giraud - "My Funny Valentine": Yeah, I think Jamie just didn't have anything useful to add, got bored, or whatever, and sent Matt out...only to have the producers say, "Jamie, Baby...we're letting you come on this ratings behemoth of a show for no other reason than you have a movie coming out...you have to give us SOMETHING to work with here." So they called Matt back in, so that Jamie could "advise" him.
He actually gave good advice that I wish ALL of the mentors would give Matt...it's the same advice that Tarrantino gave him. Don't fall so in love with the vocal gymnastics that you forget to sing the freaking song.
Once he started singing, though, I was confused...did Jamie tell him to LOWER the key? I thought he told him to RAISE the key. Regardless, now Matt is singing in his lower register, and it is pitchy for me, dawg. He seems uncomfortable. He's just flat all over the place until he gets to the end. I did like the ending, but he should have just held that last note out...he can't help himself, though, and he has to break off into the little falsetto run at the end. His falsetto is not NEARLY as good as he thinks it is.
I have no clue what Simon was listening to...I'm usually pretty much in lockstep with him, but I didn't get his effusive praise of that mess at ALL.
4) Danny Gokey - "Come Rain or Come Shine": Here's my take on Danny...I really do love to listen to him sing almost every time he performs. I just can't watch him. When he's being "sincere" he strikes me as smarmy, and when he goes into the "big" parts, I just don't buy him as a performer. I've brought up Taylor Hicks before in comparisons to Danny, and I still stand by it when it comes to performance style...spastic, I guess, is the word I'm looking for.
Again...vocally, this was a FANTASTIC performance. I just listened to it again on YouTube (without watching, sound only), and I can't find one single thing wrong with it. I just don't connect with Danny, apparently. And...somehow, to me, Adam manages to come off as more humble than Danny. Not sure how he's pulling that off. But Danny, in his reactions to people, just strikes me as smug.
I don't know...I'm sure people will tell me I'm just being mean or whatever, but don't you have those people who you just don't like, even if you can't put your finger on why, and everybody else seems to love them and thinks you're crazy for not liking them? Yeah, it's like that.
Oh, and, Randy...AMERICAN IDOL IS NOT A SINGING COMPETITION. STOP SAYING THAT. SERIOUSLY...NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU SAY IT, IT DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE. IT WAS NEVER A SINGING COMPETITION. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A POP STAR COMPETITION. IF YOU DON'T GET THE DIFFERENCE, THEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION FOR THE LAST...I DON'T KNOW...40 YEARS OF MUSIC HISTORY.
OK...all better now.
5) Adam Lambert - "Feeling Good": I'm telling you, when he came sashay/strutting down the stairs, I thought for sure this would be the week that Adam just unleashed on America with full fury (if you don't know what I mean by that, then check this out). As it turns out, it was another pretty typical Adam performance. Honestly, this is maybe my least favorite of his performances...I actually enjoyed "Ring of Fire" more, just due to the sheer audacity of it. I am amazed by what he can do vocally, but I would actually like to hear him do a song one time WITHOUT exploring the upper reaches of his range (if we've even heard the upper reaches of his range yet). And the tongue thing is starting to be distracting. But, this was still very good, and he is just so much more "complete" as an artist than anybody else on this show that it's not even funny.
Loved Simon's comment to Randy: complaining about Adam being too theatrical is like complaining about a cow who moos.
Allison was my favorite tonight, followed by a two way tie between Adam and Kris, then Danny, then Matt.
I LOVE these songs, and they are perfect for a show like this. They are beautiful enough that you can just sing them straight (like Allison did), because they are written for great singers. But there is also a lot of freedom in the melody so that you can change it up if you want to and still sound great (like Danny did).
Hard to come up with a bottom two this week...everybody except one was really, REALLY good.
Who SHOULD be in the bottom two:
Including my personal (and as yet unexplained) bias: Danny and Matt
Without my personal (and as yet unexplained) bias: Kris and Matt
Who WILL be in the bottom two:
Kris and Matt
Who SHOULD go home:
Who WILL go home:
Monday, April 27, 2009
- First of all, congratulations to Matt Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Mohammed Massaquoi, Asher Allen, Corvey Irvin, and Jarius Wynn. This was a proud weekend for the Bulldawg Nation, and I can't wait to see what these guys do on Sundays!
- Confession time...I always tear up a little when I see reactions like Aaron Curry's on Draft Day. I can only imagine the emotions that the players and their families must be going through at that moment when they hear their name called as a first round pick in the NFL draft...the moment their dream comes true, the moment their life changes forever, the moment that makes all of the sacrifice, time, money, effort, and hard work worth it. Even if you've known for some time that you would be selected, THAT moment is when it becomes reality. There's something very cool about that.
- The Raiders are remarkably stupid, and like the text message my brother sent to me on Saturday said, "They DESERVE to suck." I've tried thinking about their drafting of Heyward-Bey at #7 from every possible angle, and I have yet to find one that makes sense. Let's say, just for argument's sake, that you like Heyward-Bey more than Crabtree or Maclin. Laying aside the fact that this alone makes you a moron (in my not-so-humble opinion), why not trade that pick to someone who actually DOES want the best receiver in the draft (Crabtree), pick up some additional draft picks, and move down to the middle to late first round? Trust me...Heyward-Bey would still be available. Most teams are actually NOT looking to take track stars with frying pans for hands that early in the draft. On top of having more picks, you could also save money by not having to pay #7 money to Heyward-Bey .
Oh, but they weren't done...ever heard of Michael Mitchell? The defensive back out of Ohio University? Don't feel bad....neither has Scouts, Inc. They didn't even bother to RATE Mitchell...at BEST, he was projected to be a 7th round pick, and was thought by most to be undrafted. Per Peter King in his Monday Morning QB article (which is a weekly must-read for all NFL fans, btw), he mentioned that Mel Kiper had him as the 73rd best safety in the country. Not the 73rd best player...the 73rd best SAFETY.
So the Raiders pick him in the 2ND ROUND.
Yep...they DESERVE to suck.
- I was pretty pleased with the Falcons draft. Six out of their seven picks were on the defensive side of the ball, which makes me want to give Thomas Demitroff a big ole man-hug. First round pick Peria Jerry may step in and start immediately at DT, and at worst he should provide some quality depth. I like what ESPN.com said about him...he may be the most bust-proof pick in the whole 1st round. You know EXACTLY what you are getting out of this guy, as long as he stays healthy...a run-stopping beast who is going to fill space and occupy blockers in the middle. Think of him as a slightly faster version of Grady Jackson. I'll take that.
Only thing I wish would have gone differently is that I wish the Vikings hadn't taken Asher Allen four picks before the Falcons spot came up in the third round...if he was still available, I think we would have taken him.
Here's the bottom line...unlike in years past, I can look at what the Falcons did in the draft and see exactly what their plan is. That's all I ask...drafts are a crapshoot at times, as far as how the players turn out, but I at least want to be able to see a plan at work, and with Demitroff we have that. Thank God.
- Stick a fork in the Hawks, which means Mike Woodson should be DONE. Saturday's performance was absolutely infuriating to watch. Miami went on a 26-9 run at the end of the first half to basically win the game, and during that time I didn't see Mike Woodson do ANYTHING other than stand there with his arms folded and a sour look on his face. No timeouts, no adjustments...NOTHING. What is he being paid for?
We continue to stay in a zone defense, even though Miami is raining open three pointers down on our heads. We continue to have ZERO half court offense, with no real semblance of a plan as far as I can tell. Our offense seems to consist of bringing the ball up, passing to Joe Johnson, and then dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, 3 seconds on the shot clock, dribble, shoot/pass to Flip Murray for a desperation jump shot at the buzzer. Kenny Smith said it on TNT after game one of this series...the Hawks are great when they can get out and run, but if they have to execute in the halfcourt they have no shot. And that was after a game that the Hawks WON.
This is nothing new...Mike Woodson has taken this team as far as he can. They are going to lose this series, to a one-man team, but even if they don't Woody has to go. The above paragraph is going to continue to be true, whether we make it out of the first round or not.
- I'm worried about this eye "injury" that Brian McCann is dealing with. I only put injury in quotation marks because it seems nobody can pinpoint what is wrong, only that he has blurry vision in his left eye. The latest diagnosis is an infection, but they've put him on the DL for 15 games...that seems to be an awfully long time for an infection to heal, doesn't it? Hopefully, they can get it taken care of...from a purely selfish perspective, I can't see the Braves having any real success this year without Mac's bat in the middle of the lineup. For his sake, unexplained blurry vision is scary, especially for a baseball player, and ESPECIALLY for a catcher.
- Speaking of the Braves, the highlights of the 1991 World Series were on the MLB network this weekend. Brought back some bittersweet memories...
- Kent Hrbek still being a big stupid lying cheater.
- Ron Gant looking positively TINY compared to how big he would get a couple of years later. Lucky for him, this was about 15 years before the Mitchell Report.
- My Dad pitching Game 1 (that's an inside joke, unless you've ever seen a picture of both Charlie Liebrandt and my Dad...the resemblance was uncanny. This started being less awesome after Kirby Puckett's Game 6 homerun).
- Jerry Glanville, Jamie Dukes, and Prime Time in the crowd at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, crowing about how the Braves are 2 Legit 2 Quit.
- Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, with the 715 marker over the left field fence.
- The Tomahawk Chop when it was REAL and not piped in. They should have let that thing die when it stopped being spontaneous...they NEVER should have started trying to manufacture it.
- Bobby Cox's weird tinted glasses.
- Steve Avery, with the world on a string.
- Mark Lemke turning into Willie Mays.
- Jerry Freaking Willard with a game winning RBI.
- Smoltz and Morris in a pitching duel for the ages.
I turned it off once Game 7 went into extra innings. Watching that the first time was bad enough.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Gonzalez had 96 catches for over 1000 yards and ten TDs last year.
Needless to say, I am 100% in favor of this move....Thomas Demitrof continues to make me swoon.
ESPN article HERE.
This excerpt is from the article he posted today about why the Boston-Chicago playoff series has a chance to be special:
And, yeah, the fact that he wrote it about a Gayter makes it even funnier.
10. The Agitator
There's hate and there's sports hate. Real hate is not OK. Sports hate is OK. We are fans. We are allowed to "love" certain athletes and "hate" others. It doesn't mean we actually love them or hate them. So under that umbrella, I present you with the following statement: I hate Joakim Noah. I hate looking at him. I hate his hair. I hate how he dunks. I hate the way he high-fives. I hate every reaction he has. I hate his game. I hate the
way announcers pronounce his name. I hate the story that I've heard a million times about his tennis-playing father.
I want the Celtics to win for a variety of reasons, but one of them is because it means Joakim Noah would lose. I want him to cry when it's over. And we are only two games in. I can't imagine how I'm going to feel about
him by Game 5. He's like a cross between Bill Laimbeer, Marcus Camby and Lisa Bonet. Near the end of Game 2, he wandered over to the Boston bench after a whistle and lingered there pretending to be disappointed about a call -- breaking the NBA code of "don't hang out for too long near someone's bench," because, you know, he's a complete jerk that way -- and I was screaming at Kevin Garnett (on my TV), "PUNCH HIM! PUNCH HIM! DON'T LET HIM GET AWAY WITH THIS! YOU'RE NOT PLAYING ANYWAY! PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE!!!!" I hate Joakim Noah. I hate him.
Little does he know, but I already exacted my revenge on him a few months ago, when I took my daughter to a Clippers-Bulls game. She was entranced by Noah's hair for some reason and asked me in all seriousness, "Is that a girl?" I thought it would be funny to convince her that, yes, Joakim Noah was a girl. She didn't fully believe me for about a quarter. By the end of the game, Noah was her favorite player and she was excited that girls could play in the NBA. We came home and she said, "Mommy, we saw a girl play at the Clippers game!" My wife thought it was evil that I did this. She made me feel bad. Now I feel happy. I love that it happened. Just retelling the story makes me happy. I hate Joakim Noah.
(Of course, if he played for the Celtics, I'd love him.)
Jim Cornette's rant here...warning, some mild offensive language. But he NAILS what the problem is...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Short and sweet:
The Great: Adam and Kris
The Good: Allison and Danny
The OK: Anoop and Matt
The Bad: Lil.
Who SHOULD go home: Matt and Lil. By the way, Kara and Randy have it wrong...the problem is not that Lil is not showing us who she is as an artist. The problem is that she IS showing us who she is as an artist.
Who WILL go home: Anoop and Allison. Just a gut feeling. And if Allison goes home this week, then that makes last week's save of Matt an absolute travesty.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
At some point, the luck that has helped UF and LSU make it to BCS title games in years where they had 0ne or two losses will fall UGA's way, and Richt's teams have been consistent enough on the field that I have every reason to believe they will take advantage when that happens.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The rather lengthy product of that discussion is linked HERE.
We had a good time going through our thoughts, theories, crushes, and tangents galore. Believe it or not, this is actually the EDITED version. We'll release the full version on the Director's Cut.
Hope you enjoy it!
Friday, April 17, 2009
I was reading this, thinking about how these type stories don't get published enough. Sure wish I had an outlet to get these type stories out there more readily.
Here's the link to a very rare FREE article on Rivals.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I liked the episode, didn't love it...felt very much like filler to me, and Darlton basically said as much on the podcast this week. They said they were proud of the episode, but that basically it was there to add a little levity between the heaviness of last week and the ridiculously intense build up to the finale. I guess it did that, though I actually thought Miles and Hurley were funnier when they were discussing time travel. I did like the fact that Hurley was re-writing Empire, with the sole purpose of avoiding the Ewoks.
As for Idol...I was (obviously) not surprised that Matt was at the bottom, but I was very surprised and disappointed that they used the save on him. They still had one more week to use it, and I think there were others, specifically Kris and Allison, who are more deserving. If one of them goes home next week, I'm going to be pretty ticked off.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
On with the show...
1) Alison Iraheta: "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - Did not like the fact that she chose a ballad for the second week in a row, and I don't like that she is having to go first. With the problems she has had building a fan base, neither one of these were good for her, in my opinion.
As for the performance, am I wrong or did she miss some words going into the bridge? I didn't like the arrangement at all in the beginning (plus I thought it was a little low for her), but I thought she pulled it out in the end. Still love her voice, still love her, but this might have been her weakest performance, in my opinion.
2) Anoop Desai: "Everything I Do" - Anoop picks another ballad, but at this point it's a good choice for him. This is what he has proven to be good at. This was a GORGEOUS performance...near perfect vocally, and I thought he had an emotional connection with the song that we don't always get from him. Kara was right...taking pop songs and injecting his soulfulness into them is what his wheelhouse is.
3) Adam Lambert: "Born to be Wild" - Verbatim from my notes: Sounds like a techno version. Holy Crap. Maybe the most amazing thing I've ever seen on this show.
Seriously. That was just crazy. In a good way. Simon talks about "indulgent" performances all the time like it's a bad thing, but is there a better word to describe a rock star than indulgent? This was the most "indulgent" performance we have ever seen on Idol, and it was awesome. It wasn't the greatest vocal, but, man...it was fun, wasn't it?
Simon is trying to be a little negative, so that he doesn't seem to be playing favorites, but he can't even keep a straight face. Plus, when he said it reminded him of Rocky Horror, Adam was like, "SCORE!! I freaking LOVE that movie!" Ha!! And...yeah, that's kind of what it's like, so they're both right.
4) Matt Giraud: "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" - I thought Quentin gave him great advice (as he did pretty much all night)...don't fall so in love with the runs that you lose the lyric. Matt chose to totally ignore that, and lost not only the lyric, but the melody, the rhythm, and pretty much everything about the song. This started out OK, but as soon as he started doing all of the vocal gymnastics he went totally off pitch.
And it MUST have been bad, cause that's the first time I can remember Randybot actually DISCOURAGING contestants from doing runs and riffs. Something must have gone wrong with his programming.
5) Danny Gokey: "Endless Love" - Good grief, ANOTHER BALLAD. You can't blame the contestants, I don't guess, since they are picking independently. But I keep waiting for Delilah to start talking between each performance.
Anyway, there was one little pitch problem early on, but after that it was a very nice performance. Very nice and very boring. The harp was cool, though.
6) Kris Allen: "Falling Slowly" - YES. I LOVE this song. I've been known to listen to it 4-5 times in a row. I know, very manly, right? Shut up, this song is beautiful, and I'm only crying cause I stubbed my toe on my weight bench on my way to drop an engine into my pickup truck so I can go shoot some animals and do a bunch of other manly stuff. Ahem.
I thought Kris sang this very well, though he continues to confound me with his choices as to when to play his guitar. Maybe he thought it was too much like the original if he played and sang?
Regardless, it was a nice performance, and the backup singer(s) had one of their few bright spots of the season. I totally disagreed with both Randy and Kara...Randy thought it was pitchy from the start, and Kara thought it was his best moment so far. My thoughts were somewhere in the middle, but I am predisposed to love the song so I may be biased. I will now listen to that song on a loop as I finish this recap.
Here, you can listen, too...
7) Lil Rounds: "The Rose" - Once again, Q gives great advice that will ultimately be ignored. The key to selling this big change in the middle is to commit to the FIRST part, so that the audience is surprised when it turns into something more.
Anyway, I really liked the arrangement...I just would have enjoyed it more if it was sung by someone whose voice I really liked. Once it goes "gospel," she is pitchy ALL OVER. She's really just not that good, as it turns out. Very disappointing, considering I really liked her in her initial audition and in Hollywood. She's just really been exposed on the big stage.
I sort of feel what she's saying in her retort to Simon, and I thought she did it in a respectful way. She DID try to change the song up and do her own thing with it...the problem isn't so much that it's a "Bette Midler song" as Simon said, it's just that she doesn't sound that good singing it. Plus, somewhere along the way she became REALLY boring as a performer, and I totally didn't expect that when we first met her. I think she has really let the judges get in her head and it has locked her up mentally.
- Hate, hate HATED the 2 judge format. Would have been much improved if they had let Simon speak every time and just alternate the other judge.
Even worse, they STILL didn't make it out on time, due mostly to those stupid conversations Ryan has to have over on the stools with the contestants. I understand wanting the audience to get to know the contestants, but they really ought to save that stuff for Wednesday night, and get rid of the stupid group number that everybody hates.
- Mentioned it a couple of times, but what was UP with all of the ballads tonight? I've been going to movies all of my life and I know for a fact that I have heard several upbeat songs. They would have been better off just limiting them to songs that were in Tarantino movies. Then someone could have sang Stuck in the Middle With You and cut Randy's ear off, as Shan suggested to me via Twitter.
Is this the week they start doing bottom two instead of bottom three?
Who SHOULD be in the bottom two: Matt and Lil
Who WILL be in the bottom two: Matt and...Alison. Just a gut feeling.
Who SHOULD go home: Based on this week, Matt. Based on body of work, Lil.
Who WILL go home: Matt
And just to throw it out there...I say again that if Kris or Alison ends up with the lowest number of votes they will be saved by the judges. Otherwise, they will save it until next week, which is the last week it could be used.
By the way, if you want to see a really GOOD version of the song Matt G did tonight....
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Let's look at the things I was looking forward to and see how they turned out:
- Glorious High Definition. I was pretty happy with the ESPN broadcast...it was a nice little commercial for UGA football: Coach Richt in the booth, the Herbstreit-Stafford interview at halftime (where he managed to plug Richt/Bobo for any young QB's out there looking for a launching point for their NFL career: We don't run any of that sissy-boy spread football here...we play big boy football, just like they do in the NFL). Only thing I would have hoped for was that they were a LITTLE more familiar with who is who...I know it's the spring game, and they probably did around ZERO research beforehand, but maybe their spotter could at least be able to identify guys who are on the 2-deep?
As a side note, I though Stinchcomb sounded great. Nessler said in an interview beforehand that this was kind of a "mini-audition," and I think he probably helped himself. I loved the self-deprecating joke about that clip being the only time he blocked Kearney all game....it's funny cause it's TRUE. Maybe we'll see him instead of that imbecile Robert Smith on College Football Live next year?
- All four quarterbacks. We did in fact get a good look at all four. I thought Cox looked pretty good, other than he is LOTS shorter than I remember. They list him at 6-1, which is ridiculous. If he's 6-1, then so am I (I'm a quark shy of 5-9, if any of you ladies were wondering). He was accurate, he made good decisions for the most part...we'll have to get used to the fact that we no longer have Staff's cannon arm back there, but all in all I was pleased with his performance.
I was probably most impressed with Logan Gray. Very accurate, nice touch...the ball that Troupe dropped (more on that later) was about as pretty a pass as you can make, and would have been a sure touchdown. I think he ended up 6-9, and at least two of those incompletions were drops. Also, we didn't really get to see his full skill set, since they weren't running him at all due to his green jersey. If he's performing like this all the time, then he'll provide Joe C with good competition all year, although I still think the QB1 position is The Ginger Assassin's to lose.
As for the freshmen, I though Aaron Murray looked really good (and he was JACKED...apparently he worked out upper body a lot while rehabbing his leg injury). The throw he made where he was scrambling to his right and whipped a perfect 25 yard strike down field showed a glimpse of his ability...I think the future is in good hands.
Mettenberger didn't get a lot of opportunity, only throwing three passes. He completed none of them, plus he threw an UGLY interception. I think he is the most likely to redshirt, since he is far more raw than Murray, but he has all the physical tools you can ask for. He is making a huge step up as far as quality of both teammates and opposition, so he'll have a learning curve.
- Caleb King/Carlton Thomas. Neither of these guys really shined on Saturday, but I didn't see anything that would make me nervous, either. The defense played really well against them, so they didn't get a lot of opportunities in the open field or anything like that. I would have liked to see more, but I still feel the same way as I did before Saturday: We're going to miss Knowshon's heart and spirit more than we miss his considerable talents. There's a good bit of talent left in our stable of running backs, and I think with the improved offensive line our running game will be just fine.
- The secondary. Kind of a mixed bag here...the good first. I think Bryan Evans looks very comfortable at safety, and his experience and speed are going to be a big help for us. Sanders Commings is freaking huge, and I think he may be a playmaker at the nickel corner spot.
As for the bad, there sure were a lot of guys running free over the middle...if our receivers had held on to a few more balls, we may be lamenting how poorly our secondary played. Part of the problem there was that the QB was getting quite a bit of time, allowing those routes to come open, but they were a few too many soft spots in that zone for my liking.
So, I am still a little concerned about the secondary, but we still have some guys who are learning in some of those roles (Evans, Commings, Brandon Boykin), so there is ample opportunity for improvement.
- Defense as a whole. Well, I didn't ask for much...just look like you want to be there and you have a clue. They definitely fulfilled those expectations. I was happy with the effort, and there seems to have been a focus on the fundamentals this spring, which I appreciate. The most encouraging development was probably the play of both Justin Houston and Marcus Washington. If those guys continue to grow into legitimate pass rushers, and then add Jeff Owens alongside Gino Atkins, our defense will be vastly improved.
First of all, the wide receivers...I'm not really concerned about the dropsies for two reasons. Number one, several of them were by guys who I don't think we're going to be counting on to catch many passes this year. The one exception to that was Aron White, who I think is projected as the starter at TE, but we also have Bruce Figgins returning from injury and also uber-athlete Orson Charles arriving in the fall. Israel Troupe had a couple of drops as well, which was a little concerning, since we may need him to step up in the absence of Kris Durham.
The other reason I'm not really concerned is that, by all accounts, this has not really been a problem in the spring and they just had one bad day. The fact that this one bad day occurred in front of 42K fans and was captured by ESPN cameras will, of course, cause us all to obsess about it for the next 4-5 months, but it doesn't necessarily indicate a trend.
Something Coach Richt said in one of his sideline interviews really stuck with me while I was watching this...we have about 20 guys who did not participate Saturday due to injury who will be ready to go by the time fall practice gets here, as well as 20 incoming freshmen. That means there will be FORTY more bodies available in fall practice than what we had in uniform on Saturday. So, let's not get too hot and bothered about what we saw on Saturday. Take that team we just saw and add:
Those were some of the injured. Not to mention Marlon Brown, Branden Smith, Washaun Ealy (hopefully), Orson Charles, Abry Jones, Chris Burnette, etc, etc...
The pont is that the team that takes the field on September 5 may just barely resemble the one we saw on Saturday. So while it sure was fun to get to watch football played between the hedges on Saturday, I certainly don't think we can draw any conclusions about what this team is going to be. That being said, I definitely thought there were more positives than negatives, and I can't wait for kickoff!! Only 144 days away!!
Friday, April 10, 2009
- Maybe it was Charles' idea for everybody to walk around in ancient clothes and live in tents...he seems to really embrace this whole "jolly ole England" vibe. As TWoP said, he looks like Prince Valiant.
- Again, I ask...how did Charles end up in charge when Richard is still there? Especially since it appears that Richard is communicating with Jacob while Charles is not?
- The actor playing Young Ben is doing a nice job with this part...I thought you could actually see a change in his demeanor now that he has been healed by the Island and "lost his innocence."
- Ben wakes up to find Locke staring at him...is that all Locke has been doing since he found Ben in the infirmary? Just waiting by his side so that he can be the first thing that Ben sees? That may sound weird, but you know what? I probably would have done the exact same thing, now that I think about it.
- OK, let's stop here and try to sift through the different stories/lies that Ben tells in this episode, rather than try to address each one as they come up:
- He tells Locke that he KNEW that he would be alive when they got to the Island. In fact, he says that the reason he killed him was because he knew that it was the only way to get everybody back to the Island, and that once they got here everything would be OK.
- Later, he tells Sun that he has no idea how Locke is still walking around, and it in fact scares him to death.
I think, as usual with Ben, the answer lies somewhere in between...he DID think that Locke's death would be what convinced everybody to come back, but he did NOT think that Locke would be alive when they got here. This is at least partially confirmed when we learn later (via Smokey Alex) that Ben is planning on killing him again.
Also....the whole "Locke has to die in order to convince everyone to come back to the Island" thing. That's not really what happened, is it? Kate came back for Claire/Aaron. Sun came back for Jin. Sayid came back by force. We're not sure why Hurley came back yet. Frank came back by happenstance (best we can figure). The only one who is coming back because of Locke's death is Jack. Maybe Ben thought that if he could get Jack, he could get everybody, but that turned out not to be the case, either...everybody has their own reasons for coming, and none of them have to do with Jack.
So what ARE Ben's motivations? Stay tuned..
- Is it just me or is Ben even creepier when he is trying to be nice?
- What is in that crate that Ilana seems so intent on?
- Wow, Ben finally found somebody who is easier to manipulate than Locke. He has Caesar on a string within 5 seconds of meeting him.
- Man, Ethan was just ALWAYS a creepy dude, wasn't he? He is practically begging Ben for the opportunity to go kill Danielle. Wonder how many ants he has fried with a microscope in his life?
- Love all of the backstory fill-in that we are getting with Danielle this season. This was something the producers promised, and I didn't know if they were going to be able to do it since A) Danielle is dead; and B) The original actress who plays her didn't want to live in Hawaii anymore and has gone back home to France.
This is, of course, the scene she described way back in season one when she had Sayid captive, and it also explains why she is so skittish about The Whispers.
By the way...a little more info given here about The Whispers, too...apparently they ARE somehow tied to The Others. Still doesn't explain why they often appear backwards, though.
- LOVE Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson's scenes together. And they win the line of the night:
LOCKE: Well, Ben, I was hoping that you and I could talk about the elephant in the room.
BEN: (Long pause) I assume you're referring to the fact that I killed you.
- Not going to go too far into this scene, since I already talked about the gist of it. But I did want to point out what a great job that Emerson did making Ben look UNCOMFORTABLE this week. Watch him in this scene with Locke, when he is trying to convince him of why he killed him...he looks TWITCHY. Very nervous. Not at all the eerily calm Ben we are used to seeing. Things have begun to spin out of control for him, and that is not a place that Ben is used to being.
- Even those words that usually work magic on Locke, "in the best interests of the Island", are not enough this time. Locke is now calling the shots. Awesome.
- I really didn't understand the point in Ben blowing away Caesar. I don't think Caesar was necessarily going to kill John there, do you? I think he was going to threaten him with the gun, for sure, but I don't get where Ben can claim to have "saved Locke's life." Maybe he is just desperately looking for some way to have John indebted to him?
- Another GREAT exchange between Locke and Ben on the dock...O'Quinn and Emerson just rock my socks. Some highlights:
BEN: That would be Sun and Lapidus. I showed 'em where the boats were, and Sun thanked me by smashing me on the head with a paddle.
LOCKE: You just make friends everywhere you go, don't ya?
LOCKE: No sense in me dying twice, right?
- And while I'm at it, O'Quinn also is doing a great job with the "new" Locke. Dying has done wonders for him. I think that the fact that the Island brought him back to life confirms to him for good that he does have a purpose, he IS special. His confidence and assertiveness show that he now is totally convinced of that. Which means that if things start going downhill for him again, it's going to get UGLY.
- Locke and Ben spend this whole episode slowly switching places. We see another step in that direction with Locke calling Ben out on what he REALLY is being judged for. Ben seemed surprised and a little frightened that Locke was able to figure that out so easily.
- Man, they keep jerking me around on the whole Ben vs. Widmore thing. Every time I think I have figured out who the "good guy" is they throw something else at me. This time it was the whole "Widmore calls Alex "It" and wants to kill her" while "Ben has a soft spot for babies...and wears bad hairpieces" scene. How can you root for Widmore after that?
- I know I sound like a broken record...but add this to the list of Ben/Locke exchanges that I loved:
LOCKE: Well, your people were living in the jungle. And then after you murdered the DHARMA folk, you relocated here. I just wondered if it was your idea.
BEN: Do you disapprove, John?
LOCKE: It just doesn't seem like something the Island would want.
BEN: You don't have the first idea what this Island wants.
LOCKE: Are you sure about that?
As this episode went on, every conversation they had just kept turning the wheel of power more and more, with Locke moving to the top and Ben moving to the bottom.
- Does Ben know who Christian is? He didn't seem to recognize the name when Lapidus mentioned it. Interesting...
- Loved everything to do with Smokey tonight, including the "summoning". Just spooky and weird, which is what I would hope and expect it to be. What is that water? Has it just collected on the surface over the years? Is it what "forms" Smokey? I wouldn't think so, since Ben just stuck his hand right in it.
- So now we know why Charles was banished. Pretty ironic, isn't it, considering that we know that Ben is later going back and forth from the Island as well?
Also, Ben mentioned that Charles had a daughter with an "Outsider. " We can safely assume that this is Penny, I would think, but I wonder if Outsider refers to someone off-Island or just someone who is not an "Other." A member of the D.I., maybe?
And also, maybe it's somehow WIDMORE'S fault that babies can't be conceived and born here on the Island, since he fooled around and got an Outsider preggers? And maybe that's one reason why Ben hates him so much?
- Runner up for Line of the Night:
LOCKE: Last time we didn't have to wait this long.
BEN: It's not a train, John. It doesn't run on a schedule.
- LOVED the look on Ben's face when Locke told him that he knows where Smokey is. Awesome, awesome.
- I FREAKED when Ben shot Desmond. FREAKED when he pointed the gun at Penny.
- And then I cracked myself up when Ben started his speech with "Hello, Penelope. My name is Benjamin Linus" and I fell all over myself finishing it with "You killed my father. Prepare...to die." I am such a dork.
- We get further confirmation of Ben's soft spot for kids...he can't pull the trigger once he sees Wee Charlie.
- That must be some SERIOUS adrenaline Des has going on right now, considering he just took a bullet in the shoulder. Still able to hold Ben down with one arm and pummel him with the other. Of course, we all know Ben...he's a liar, not a fighter.
- A minor problem I had with the writing this week was Ben's whole "Tell Desmond I'm sorry" scene with Sun. That was obviously thrown in there just to make us think that he killed Penny. I don't think he would be that broken up about just shooting Des in the shoulder, do you? He just unloaded a shotgun into somebody's chest like, 5 minutes ago.
- What lies in the shadow of the statue? Umm...what? And...WHAT IS IN THAT CRATE? Oh, this is going to be good, I can just feel it...
- It was right about here that I started thinking that Ben might actually die. Like I said last week, Ben was not part of the original story, he was only added as a major character because Emerson Rules All. So they could conceivably kill him off at this point and still tell the original story they wanted to tell. It was just all shaping up too well...we filled in a good bit of his backstory with Alex, we see that at the last minute he couldn't kill Penny, he comes to terms with his own culpability in the death of Alex. He could have died here and it would have made perfect sense from a storytelling perspective. So I was nervous when he entered that temple.
- Here is a screen shot of what was over Smokey's Hole:
Looks like the Statue and Smokey have met before, huh?
- I'm not going to rag too hard on the special effects, but the scene with Ben in the Smoke Shroud while various scenes played out in front of him looked like a "Made for Sci-Fi channel" movie. Not good. I appreciated the concept, just not the execution.
- The scene where Alex gets shot gets to me EVERY time I see it. Keamy's death could not possibly be slow or painful enough for me.
- BEN: Ohh, Alex. I'm so, so sorry. It was all my fault.
ALEX: I know.
Yep...that was the moment I thought Ben was a goner.
Oh, and...you all know that "Alex" was Smokey, right? Just like when he appeared as "Yemi" to Eko right before he died. Which was ANOTHER reason I though Ben was toast.
- So...the Island DID want Alex dead? Otherwise, why would he be allowed to live?
Or...maybe his punishment isn't death. It's that he has to live with Locke as his superior and obey every order he gives.
I think Ben would rather have died.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Spring game is Saturday at 1:00, televised by the WWL. Should be a fun event, and tickets are free this year, so hopefully the crowd will be a little larger than in years past. I can't berate you to go, since family committments will keep me from attending, but if you get a chance it's always better to be at Sanford than anywhere else, right?
Here are some things I look forward to seeing on Saturday:
- Glorious High Definition. Sorry, Matt and Buck, but I will definitely be watching the ESPN telecast rather than the JP-level broadcast on CSS.
- All four quarterbacks. Joe C is the obvious starter for '09, but it will be fun to see our first real look at the future with Murray and Mett, as well as seeing how we may use Logan Gray. Should be good weather for once, as well, so maybe we'll throw the ball around a little.
- Caleb King. TONS of pressure on this kid. Nobody expects Joe C to be Matt Stafford, but there are certain expectations of Caleb to at least mostly fill in Knowshon's substantial shoes. He's been less than impressive in limited time so far...let's see what he does as the de facto #1.
- Carlton Thomas. Almost every day, there is another article written about how impressive this little waterbug has been this spring...can't wait to see him in live action.
- The secondary. Defensive end may concern me the most on defense, but the secondary isn't far behind. Since you can't hit the QB's in the spring, we probably won't get a great look at how well the DE's are progressing, but we should be able to get a good idea of how the secondary is coming together. Starters in the secondary are Evans (FS), Jones (SS), Miller (CB), and....Boykin (CB)? I guess? All have been getting good reports this spring, but all four of them are still unproven at best.
- Defense as a whole. See, here is where the dichotomy of the spring game comes into play. I want to see both the offense and the defense do well, but that is, of course, an impossibility. I will settle for the defense swarming to the ball, not missing tackles or assignments, and in general looking like they A) want to be there; and B) know what the heck they are doing.
This will be the last morsel of football until fall practice cranks up in August...I plan on recording it and then watching it whenever I get the football DT's over the next several months.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
1) Danny Gokey: "Stand By Me" - This was a nice vocal performance, but I hated the arrangement and I was pretty bored by the whole thing.
Danny has reached the point in the competition where all he has to do is not screw up, and he will advance. Now, that mindset is not enough to WIN the competition, but it will keep you around. Danny is good on a pretty consistent basis, but he does not have that one big blow-you-away type performance yet, in my opinion, and he needs to pull one of those out if he wants to derail the Adam Lambert train.
The judges are pretty embarrassing in their overly enthusiastic praise of Danny, other than Simon who was dead on as always. Randybot even broke out the dreaded "It's a SINGING COMPETITION" falsehood that always makes me scream at the TV and throw things.
2) Kris Allen: "All She Wants to Do is Dance" - Again with the guitar you can't hear? I don't get it.
I did not like this song choice, or the arrangement. I guess he felt he needed to go up-tempo? He sang it OK, except that there were several of the high notes in the chorus that he did not quite reach and stayed a little under the pitch.
Randy actually got one right here...the band was distracting. Bad song choice, arranged badly, performed OK. Kris may be in trouble.
3) Lil Rounds: "What's Love Got to Do With It" - I think Lil has totally lost the thread mentally at this point. Like I said last week, I think she has become WAY too caught up in "Winning American Idol" and she is just out-thinking herself every week. Or maybe she's just not that good in the first place.
Anyway, this performance hit all of the low points...pitchy, flat, she was off rhythmically (I think because she was over-enunciating her words on the verses). She sounded pretty good on the glory notes, but the rest was just dull and flat.
And the judges are SOOOO done with her, too.
4) Anoop Desai: "True Colors" - Man, I enjoy him so much more when he is doing stuff like this than when he is bouncing around the stage pretending to be hip-hop. THIS is his wheelhouse...soulful ballads. I don't know that I would buy a whole album of this, but I know I would download this song. I thought it was a great choice, sung beautifully, and he seemed really genuine, unlike last week's Hip-Hop Karaoke.
5) Scott MacIntyre: "The Search is Over": COPY/PASTE:
As a singer, he's not that talented...average at best. Great pianist. Picks the most corny, boring, white-bread song available on a weekly basis. Seems like a great guy.
I will add that this, to me, was his worst vocal performance so far. Just painful to listen to at times. I still really like him, and hope for good things for him, but he is totally out of his league here and it's time to go home.
6) Allison Iraheta: "I Can't Make You Love Me" - Anybody else uncomfortable with a 16 year old (SIXTEEN!!!!!) singing about "turn down the bed" and "lay down with me"? Just me? OK then, moving on....
I absolutely love this song, and I thought it was a really good song choice for her. I think she "needed" to do a ballad to keep from being repetitive, and a Bonnie Raitt song is a good choice for her voice and her style. Her voice was awesome as always, and I think she changed the melody up just enough that it didn't sound copycat. Great job.
7) Matt Giraud: "Part Time Lover" - Dude...when are they going to learn that you don't sing songs that have been made famous by the masters?
I mean, if you know that you aren't going to be able to top the original then why try?
That's right...stay away from Chicken Little, if you don't want to be compared to him!
Seriously...this was a great choice for Matt, I thought, and he sang it pretty well, but man...can he sing just ONE note straight without going off into a series of riffs and runs? I think that's a crutch that a lot of people lean on if they don't have a great voice, and Matt falls into that category. His voice is good, and pretty unique, but not great, and he covers up unnecessarily by going off into riffs and runs all the time that would make Mariah blush.
8) Adam Lambert: "Mad World" - Wow, why are Ryan and the judges talking so fast? Anyway, looks like Adam is going to slow it down again, give us another tender performance, and the lighting is...HEY!!!! WHAT THE %$&!#? WHERE'D THEY GO?
Yeah...they went long last night. WAY long. I had my DVR set to tape 3 minutes past, and I still didn't get the last 3-4 minutes of the show. Luckily, I also record Fringe, which comes on right after that...
This was yet another virtually perfect performance, gorgeous song, perfect choice, blah blah blah. Seriously, isn't it a foregone conclusion at this point? I mean, SIMON gave him a standing ovation...I honestly don't remember that EVER happening before the finale.
Only one little nit to pick...I think he decided at the last minute to jump up to that last note (in the taped rehearsal we see when they are flashing the numbers, he ended on a lower note that I thought sounded better), so he had a MINOR little wobble getting up to it. But that was like Cindy Crawford's mole...it was almost necessary to confirm that we were watching a human.
Who SHOULD be in the bottom 3: Scott, Lil, and...Matt, I guess?
Who WILL be in the bottom 3: Scott, Matt, and Kris
Who SHOULD go home: Scott
Who WILL go home: Scott
Now, once again I am a little spoiled, having seen the DialIdol predictions. They have Kris pretty solidly at the bottom. I'm hoping that's not true, but if it is then I predict that the judges will save him.
- Kris has had a very consistent run on the show, and was (in my opinion) the best of the week last week. This is the first week that he has not been great, and the judges may decide that one bad week is not enough to have him go home.
- They only have two more weeks after this week to use it (can't use it once we hit the top 5). If they were saving it for Adam or Danny, then it's not going to be used...those guys are going nowhere near the bottom until we are well into the top 5. Only other person I can see them saving it for would be Allison, who has been in the bottom 3 a couple of times (inexplicably), which is the only reason I can see for them NOT using it on Kris (if it comes down to that).
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Anyway, enough of my whining...Dr. Shephard does more than enough whining for both of us this week!
- First off, the big controversy of the week...in last week's episode, and in the previouslies this week, it's pretty obvious that Ben is shot on the left side of his chest. This week, the wound has magically moved to the right side.
So...what to make of this? Production error? Maybe, but I really hope not...that seems like a pretty big error to make, and would have been easy enough to fix in the previouslies.
Intentional misleading by the producers? They could have had the wound on the left side to build a better cliffhanger, because it increases the chances that Ben is going to die. However, does it really matter what side the wound is on, as far as whether he is going to live or not? The question of Ben's survival lies more with the very title of this episode, right? Either you believe that it's possible for Little Ben to die without honking everything up or you don't. If you don't believe that he can die, than it really doesn't matter whether he was shot in the heart or his pinky finger...whatever happened, happened....right?
Other possibility is that the bullet DID go through his heart...but the Island isn't ready for him to die yet (duh), so it "moved" the wound.
Unfortunately, my gut says it's one of the first two...either a pretty egregious production error, or some pointless misleading by the writers/producers. Because if the Island didn't want him to die, why did the wound have to move in order to accomplish that?
Anyway...enough analysis on the first 5 seconds of the show. Moving on.
- Jack just can't keep his mouth shut. Always has to be the smartest guy in the room..."How could he have set the fire if he was locked up?" "Well, I'll tell you, Mr. I'm-New-Here-Which-Automatically-Makes-Me-Pretty-Much-The-Number-One-Suspect, he had help on the inside. Probably you. Any more questions, Smart Guy?"
OK, so I jazzed up Horace's response a little, but jeez...between Jack popping off at the worst possible time and Kate showing up later in the security station, you really have to feel sorry for Sawyer. He really did have things pretty much under control until all of these wild cards showed up, thinking they were still running this place.
- "Nice to meet you, Roger Linus. Pardon my look of surprise. With Ben being your son, I thought you would look more like....Satan."
- The Roger/Kate vibe in this whole episode was just...EEW. He really seemed to take a liking to Kate, which....duh. But didn't she seem kind of like she was enjoying it? Even encouraging it a little? RUN, Roger....run while you still can!!
- Kate does love her some Patsy Cline, though...that's twice we've heard her playing this song (she was playing it in the barracks when she was living with Claire, too), and there have been other instances of Patsy Cline songs in Kate's episodes before. So I guess she's not ALL bad.
- Speaking of music..."Catch a Falling Star" is also what Christian used to sing to Claire, and it's also the song being played by the mobile over his crib in the Staff station.
- I keep forgetting that not everybody is as obsessed as some of us are...it's been the assumption for months now that what Sawyer was whispering to Kate in the helicopter was related to her taking care of Cassidy and Clementine. So while that was a pretty weak "reveal" to folks like us, I guess it had to be there for the more "casual" fans.
- Cassidy makes me sad. So cynical, so pragmatic...she's TOO good at this now, you know? Sawyer has taught her to always assume the worst about people, and the sad part is that this kind of thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy most of the time. If you EXPECT people to disappoint you, then you start LOOKING for ways to be disappointed. And those, unfortunately, can always be found if you look hard enough.
- Remind me never to play poker with her: "This money is not even his"...."That's not your baby."
- On to what was definitely the highlight of the show....the interaction between Miles and his "prisoners," especially Hurley.
- "You're all free to leave whenever you want...but I'll shoot you in the leg." Would have been the line of the night, if not for...
- "I'm waiting for my hand to disappear."
- And Jack slips into his Drago impersonation: "If he dies...he dies." Needs to work on the accent a little, but he certainly got the sentiment right.
I've come around a LITTLE bit on Jack's attitude since I wrote my initial thoughts. Maybe, based on his speech to Kate, as well as his later one to Juliet, he is simply embracing his new role as Man of Faith. But I still think he's being a jerk. Like Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet all realize (and oh, the irony of how it turns out)...he's not Ben yet. He's just a kid who is dying, and Jack has the ability to possibly do something about it and chooses not to. However you want to paint it, that's just selfish.
- Nice job securing your prisoners, Miles. Kate walks right past him, out of the house and Miles' only response is: "Hey...where you going?" Didn't he learn anything about prisoner security from his time under Locke's watchful eye?
- Nice to see Roger gaining at least SOME self awareness...he seems to at least somewhat acknowledge his utter failure as a father. Although, "I guess a boy just needs his mother" isn't quite as accurate as "I guess a boy just doesn't need to be serially abused, and/or accused of murdering his mother every time his birthday rolls around."
Or, I would also have accepted, "I guess a boy needs a role model, not a bitter old drunk who does nothing but drink, complain about his lot in life, and take out his own bitterness and insecurities on his only son."
But, hey...your mileage may vary.
- Interesting exchange between Roger and Kate:
You have any kids?
- And on to the next conversation between Miles and Hurley, which is too awesome for me to do justice here.
Couple of points, though...
- How does Miles know that Ben turned a wheel? Is that something Daniel knew and could have told him?
- Miles is 100% right in his theories...it's too complicated to go into here, but if you want to ask me why, feel free to do so in the comments and I will attempt to explain. But I warn you...there are visual aids involved.
- Something interesting I thought of after multiple viewings...Ben has Kate's blood running through him, since she donated (quite a bit, apparently...he had certainly lost a lot). Probably doesn't have any real significance, I just found it interesting.
- EXCELLENT piece of acting by Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) in her conversation with Kate. You could see the realization creep into her face of what they had to do, all of the inevitability and enormity of it. She went from distraught, to a little bit sickened, to resolute, all within about 10 seconds and all without saying a word. Kudos.
- The more we see of this little conversation on the dock, the more we realize that this was the moment when the O6 fell completely apart.
- I'll admit...they got me with the scene in the grocery store. First, I thought something had happened in the timeline somewhere that caused Aaron to disappear. Then, I thought for sure that the blond haired lady was Claire. Either that was a really nice job, or I'm extremely gullible.
- Cassidy, FTW: "Well, Jack sounds like a piece of work."
I heart Cassidy.
- Although, I don't totally agree with her assessment of the whole Kate/Claire/Aaron thing. "You took him." Well...kind of? I mean, Claire did disappear and leave him in the woods. They did look for her and couldn't find her. It's not like she conked Claire over the head and took Aaron from her arms (at least, as far as we know). I get that she DID lie about being the mother, and that was probably more out of Kate's need for some sort of familial connection than for the good of Aaron.
- Oh, and more kudos to hand out...Evangeline Lilly knocked it out of the PARK this entire episode. Although I'm not a big fan of Kate, it's certainly not the fault of the actress.
- "Where's Jack?"
" Is he in trouble?"
- "I came back to save you." " We didn't NEED SAVING!"
She makes a good point. What WAS all this talk about "You all have to go back...you have to save them...God help us all...etc...etc..." Everybody seemed to be fine and dandy before these guys came back, and in fact everything seems to have gone downhill fairly rapidly ever since they got there. Maybe it's because they DIDN'T bring everybody back? Or maybe Ben wasn't supposed to come with them?
Or maybe...all of these things that seem to be bad are actually necessary for some greater good?
- I love the new Sawyer. That conversation he had with Kate about Cassidy, Clementine, Juliet, and their (Sawyer/Kate) relationship was one of my very favorites of the season. He is absolutely right...he's done a LOT of growing up over the last three years.
- Also glad to see the apparent end of the "Love Quadrangle."
- Sawyer is happy with Juliet, and has made peace with the fact that he and Kate would have never worked.
- Kate didn't come back to the Island for Jack OR Sawyer...she came back for Aaron, to bring his mother back to him.
- Kate hates Jack.
- Juliet hates Jack, and loves Sawyer (or James, as she always calls him...it's like her pet name for him is his ACTUAL name, since she's the only one who calls him that. At least until Ben and Locke come back.)
- Jack hates everybody, particularly Ben, and up to and including....Jack.
- Am I the only one who still think something weird is going on with Claire's mum? Did she really come all the way to LA just to meet with her lawyer (who also happens to be BEN'S lawyer) about the lawsuit? Maybe, but it just seems sort of contrived.
- And, wait a minute...Claire is ALIVE? Says who? Why is Kate so convinced of that? She disappeared into the Smokey-infested woods three years ago, leaving her bay-bee behind, and nobody has heard from her since as far as Kate knows, except for Kate in her nightmares. I mean, WE saw her hanging out with Christian in Jacob's cabin, but Kate doesn't know that.
- Just to heap more praise on Evangeline Lilly...Kate always looks so HARD, tough, closed off. She has never looked younger or more vulnerable than she did during the conversations with Ms. Littleton, and then in the heart-wrenching scene where she says goodbye to Aaron.
GAH. Got a little dusty in the living room when that scene was going on. Even on my THIRD viewing, when she turns around and says, "Bye-bye, Baby"...SNIFF.
- OK, and on to the real pivotal point of this episode...Sawyer and Kate deliver Ben to Richard. Richard tells them: "He's not ever going to be the same. He'll forget that any of this ever happened. His innocence will be gone. He will ALWAYS be one of us."
Is Richard a member of NAMBLA? Cause that sounded pretty creepy. "His innocence will be gone"? GROSS.
Anyway...this is obviously the turning point in Ben's life. It explains so much about his relationship to the Island, to the Others, to Dharma, and also why he doesn't remember Sayid shooting him or his interactions with the other Losties.
And here is the irony I referred to earlier...this boy was NOT the "Ben" that they all knew and despised. He was just a sad, lonely little kid. Until Sayid showed up and shot him, and then Jack refused to help him, both because they didn't want him to grow up into the monster that they knew. Which he WOULDN'T have, were it not for their own self-serving actions. And THAT, Alannis....is IRONY.
I think it was Erika at LongLiveLocke that brought up something interesting...remember, Ben wasn't originally going to be such a major character. But Michael Emerson was so awesome that they expanded the part just for him. So while some find this "memory wipe" story cheap and a way for the writers to gloss over any paradoxes like Miles and Hurley were discussing, I think maybe it was necessary to tie up any loose ends that may have been caused in the over-arching "big story" by inserting Ben into it. Thoughts?
- OH, and how could I forget Richard's reaction to the names "Ellie" and "Charles?" So, obviously, Hawking and Widmore are still on the Island, and presumably in charge. But like I have mentioned earlier...I think Richard is always the one "in charge" even if he doesn't bear the actual title. Right now, he's allowing Charles and Ellie to run things, but like he says...he doesn't answer to them. Can't WAIT to get resolution on this.
- And we finally see Locke again, after what seems like months.
I don't watch previews, because they give too much away, but I can only assume that next week we will be dealing with Locke/Ben and maybe Sun/Frank as they begin the "long journey" that Christian said was ahead for them.
Still unanswered...what exactly is Daniel up to? What is the "war" that Widmore referred to? When do we get to see Hurley perform Johnny B. Good at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance?
WHERE THE $%&!%@ is VINCENT???
I feel like we are part of a big stone rolling downhill, picking up speed towards an inevitable collision. These last few episodes have been slower, with just enough reveals and awesomeness to keep the appetite whetted. I think that when it DOES all break loose, our minds are going to be blown.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Some quick thoughts on "What Happened, Happened":
- I usually don't like Kate-centric episodes, but this one was probably my favorite of hers. More than anything, I was glad to learn that her reasons for going back to the Island was not for Jack, not for Sawyer...it was for Aaron. The new love of her life. She's going to bring his mother back to him.
- Miles and Hurley were hilarious, and it showed again how well the writers know their audience. Their conversation mirrored what I'm sure are thousands of conversations that LOST fans have had this season, especially during the first few time-travel episodes.
"I'm waiting for my hand to start disappearing."
- Jack is a whiny baby. "Wah, Wah, nobody likes me..." Whatever, dude. He needs to come up with better motivation than, "I'm doing this so people will like me."
- Richard said that when Ben comes back he will have "lost his innocence." Do I even WANT to know what that means? Seemed kind of....icky.
The more I think about this episode, the more I like it...at first I thought it was just OK, but as I'm writing this I'm thinking of more and more stuff to get into. Be back in a day or so with the full recap!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Anyway, on with the show!
1) Anoop Desai - "Caught Up": Perfect example...I'm guessing this was one of the more current songs on the playlist tonight, and I have never heard it. Nothing about it caused me to re-think my belief that I am not missing anything by staying away from current music.
Maybe it was because I didn't like the song, but I did not like this at all. The vocals were fine, but the performance made me uncomfortable...I was embarrassed for him, because he looked like a big ole dork. He says he wants to be an R&B artist, but I just don't see the R&B audience taking him seriously. The judges were right...this looked like another frat party performance, much like I said when he did "Beat It." He doesn't really put on a great show on stage...it's very "Walk to this side...pose. Walk to the other side....pose. Walk to the front...give the camera my "cool face.""
It reminded me of...me. When I was 9 years old, Thriller was released. I would put that album (yep...ALBUM) on and give a performance in my basement, performing the entire album to an imaginary audience. My performing style at 9 years old was very similar to what Anoop did last night. I can't see how that is a good thing.
For either of us, really.
2) Megan Joy - "Turn Your Lights Down Low":
Q: "Hey, Megan...which necklace do you want to wear tonight?"
A: "Well, I don't know....how about ALL OF THEM?"
OK, here's the thing with Megan. When she actually stays on pitch, I really like the tone of her voice...it's just that those moments are so few and far between. This started out AWFUL, got a little better by the end, but sorry darlin'...it's time to go.
I think a lack of experience is a big part of the problem with her, and I'm hoping the tour helps that because I think with some training and the right songs she could be a good artist. She's just nowhere near there yet.
3) Danny Gokey - "What Hurts the Most": Now THIS was good. Great song choice, sung beautifully, definitely my favorite performance of his so far this season. I do think he could have moved around a little more...I know what he was doing, since I myself said he looked like Taylor Hicks last week. But there is a happy medium.
That's just a nitpick, though...this was a very, very good performance. I loved him until he started talking his usual talk at the end that makes me want to smack him upside the head, but I'm choosing to ignore that. There were too few good performances this week.
4) Allison Iraheta - "Don't Speak": Good Lord, what is she wearing? She looks like a frakking clown. That is the definition of trying too hard.
Anyway...I love this song, it's maybe my favorite No Doubt track, and I can see why she would choose it. But it really doesn't work for her voice, I don't think...she is a better vocalist than Gwen Stefani, is the problem. She should have put this in a different key if she was going to do it, because it started WAY too low, and then it never got high enough to allow her to flex the golden pipes. She sounds fine, and I still love her, I just disagreed with the song choice. Like I have said earlier (and I think Randybot said tonight), just because you LIKE a song, that doesn't mean you need to be singing it on American Idol.
Kara was actually being nice in her commentary, the audience is just too stoopid to realize it. She IS a rocker girl, so there's no need to play dress up.
5) Scott MacIntyre: "Just The Way You Are": Copy-paste:
As a singer, he's not that talented...average at best. Great pianist. Picks the most corny, boring, white-bread song available on a weekly basis. Seems like a great guy.
6) Matt Giraud - "You Found Me": Ugh. This was another one that made me uncomfortable to watch. People want to know what Simon means when he says it was an "affected" performance, this was it...the growling, the phrasing, everything about it was just an imitation of the original.
Again, the judges were pretty much right on, as they were all night for once...he sounds much better when he leans more to the R&B side than when he does the sissy-boy pop rock stuff (like the Coldplay disaster during his top 36 performance).
7) Lil Rounds - "I Surrender": Dumb, dumb song choice. Good grief...how do they all keep screwing this up? They can pick virtually ANY song that Idol can get clearance for, and yet they continue to make stupid choices.
Lil is a good vocalist...not a great vocalist, but a good one. What made Lil a contender (way back in a time that I can barely remember now) was that she was FUN. She made the audience have a good time, and her voice was just good enough that you didn't care if it was perfect, as long as you were having fun. What she is NOT good enough to do is stand there in a prom dress and sing Celine Dion. The vocals were fine, but I don't think they were good enough to win over any fans that she didn't already have.
Here is the thing that I think a lot of them (not just Lil) are missing: Stop trying to win American Idol, and just worry about going out and giving a kick-butt performance every week. If you do that, the votes will take care of themselves. The only ones who worry about stuff like "oh, you did something similar last week, you have to do something different now" are the judges and idiot recappers like me. If you just go out and be awesome, then people will vote for you.
Case in point:
8) Adam Lambert: "Play That Funky Music": Seriously, when you hear that somebody is going to do this on American Idol, do you think "Oh, that is a stellar song choice"? No. But Adam just goes out and performs his butt off, has a blast, the band has a blast, the audience has a blast, the judges have their mind blown and forget to be critical...this is the way you win American Idol. Just be awesome...you don't have to play mind games with the voting audience.
I enjoyed this on TV, but I can't imagine how awesome it must have been seeing it live. It's just such a fun song for the audience, and he is dancing around using the whole stage, the band is going nuts, his voice just keeps going higher and higher and you think that he is going to reach the ceiling, and then he blasts on through that and keeps on going...I would have been going bananas, too.
9) Kris Allen - "Ain't No Sunshine": OK, here is the problem with Kris, and I'm not exaggerating just to make a point (which I have been known to do, believe it or not): After Adam sang, I was looking at my notes, realized that there had only been 8 performers...and I could not for the life of me remember who was left. It's not his fault...he comes out every week, does a great job, makes good decisions with his song choices and arrangements, and I really enjoy his performance...and then 5 minutes later I completely forget that he exists.
Maybe this week will change that, because THIS was my favorite performance of the night. This is one of my all time favorite songs, so he already had that going for him...but then he sang it beautifully, I was pleasantly surprised at seeing and hearing him on the keyboard, and he did just enough with the arrangement that it didn't come off as an impression of the original. Great, great performance...hopefully I will remember it when it comes time for him to sing again next week.
If you couldn't tell, I was not overly impressed with the performances this week. I don't know if I was just tired and cranky when I watched it or what, but I was disappointed with almost everybody...I only really liked Danny, Adam, and Kris.
The judges were amazingly coherent tonight...I even thought that Randybot made some great points, which caused me to really question my mental state. I do think, however, that a lot of what Paula said was pre-written (maybe by her, maybe by her assistant)...didn't it sound like she was reading a lot of the time? And using too many multi-syllable words?
Who SHOULD be in the bottom 3: Everybody but Danny, Adam, and Kris.
Who WILL be in the bottom 3: Scott, Megan, and Matt
Who SHOULD go home: Megan
Who WILL go home: Megan