Monday, January 31, 2011

Arya talks Needle and her "dancing lessons" - latest Game of Thrones video

Courtesy of HBO's Making Game of Thrones site, here is Maisie Williams discussing preparations for her role as Arya Stark (spoiler free).

Maisie is absolutely perfect for the role of Arya...she is exactly what I pictured, and she seems to have a great passion and understanding of the role.

Only 76 more days...Winter is Coming!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My favorite things I watched this week

- Ray Drew. Of all the things I watched this week, I don't think I enjoyed any of them more than I enjoyed this....

(courtesy of UGASports)

I think we have a great one, folks...not only his play on the field, but he seems to be a guy who is going to be a real leader both in the locker room and in the field. He has already been identified as a guy who the rest of the Dream Team looks to as "the guy". Can't wait to see him on the field!

- Southland. I meant to say something about this show last week, but I works out, though, because this week's episode was much stronger, and was truly one of the best things I watched this week. The ending, especially, was extremely effective.

I am not usually a big fan of "procedural" type shows, and though this isn't exactly that, there are very few if any serialized components to the show. But every week, I feel like the show tells compelling stories, it has a tremendous cast, and also has a great cinematic look and feel to it. This was one of those shows that struggled to find an audience on the network side for some reason, and I for one am thankful that it was saved by TNT. Not to mention some of the coolest opening credits on television:

- Parks and Recreation. This will likely be on this list for as long as it is on the air. Another fantastic episode from the best comedy on television, highlighted by Rob Lowe as health freak Chris dealing with some of the worst, um, byproducts of the Pawnee Flu:

- The return of Archer. In all of its politically incorrect, raunchy glory. What is Germany, the Alabama of Europe?

- Casey and Morgan sing Happy Birthday on Chuck. In an episode made most notable by a new look on Sarah (short verdict: not a big fan of the hair, HUGE fan of the outfit), there wasn't much that made me happier this week than Casey and Morgan singing Happy Birthday to the unsuspecting security guard.

- John Noble and Joshua Jackson on Fringe. Again, not one of my favorite Fringe episodes...I thought some of the writing was downright painful, although I did like where the show took Peter in his quest to find out what is going on with him and the Doomsday Device. But both of the Bishop boys brought their A game, including some of Joshua Jackson's best work so far in my opinion.

And good news again on the ratings front, as the show was solid enough again to boost Fox to a win in the coveted 18-49 demographic.

- 30 Rock. I don't always love this show, but when they are on their game there are few funnier. This was a particularly strong week.

What about you? What were your favorite things you watched this week?

Friday, January 28, 2011

I love our new #47 already...

Quote from Ray Drew's announcement today:

"I just want to say, after the end of Jay's (Rome) announcement, I heard your call," said Drew. "Isaiah Crowell, we're waiting on you. Antonio Richardson, we're waiting on you. John Jenkins, we're waiting on you, and Jeoffrey Pagan, we're waiting on you. Come join what we have put together as the Dream Team. But remember, a dream is only a dream, until you make it a reality. I'm calling you out on this one. I hope you're not afraid to be thrown into the fire, I hope you're not afraid to be the ones who make the change."

I literally got chills just reading that.

Here's hoping that the new #47 carries on the legacy...


Monday, January 24, 2011

My favorite things I watched last week

Hopefully, this is going to be a weekly feature on the blog. In a normal week I would plan on getting this up over the weekend, but some family issues kept me from doing much blogging this past weekend.

These lists will be in no particular order, and will certainly not contain everything I watched or enjoyed during the week...just my very favorite things.

- The return of Parks and Recreation. Probably my favorite comedy currently on television, and it returned in top form. Even if there was nothing else good about the episode (and there was TONS), it would have made the list just for this:
(Click to me, it's worth it)

- The ratings for Fringe. The first Friday show itself was not one of my favorite Fringe episodes...I thought it was good-not-great, even though every scene with John Noble and Christopher Lloyd was brilliant. But the really good news is that they managed to maintain the same ratings on Friday that they were running on Thursday, which was enough to win the night for Fox in the key demographics. Great news, and if they can keep that up they will have overcome the dreaded "Friday Slot of DOOOOOOOOOOM".

- Phil Dunphy eating breakfast on the floor. My favorite part of the scene was that neither he nor Claire even acknowledged it. It was just like, "Well, I'm hungry....and Claire won't let me go downstairs until we figure out how to deal with this. So I'm gonna try and salvage these eggs".

- Everything Busy Phillips did on Cougar Town. Wuh-BAMM!!

- Surprisingly enough, American Idol. I was pleasantly surprised by the judges panel, though I am still mostly reserving judgment until we get to the live shows and they can no longer edit out the awkward/annoying moments. But what I was most excited about was the noticeable reduction in freak-show/mentally challenged auditions. I liked what Jacob on Television Without Pity said: "What if the big change this year is that we are no longer playing to the Lowest Common Denominator?"

- Breaking Bad and Deadwood. Two shows on almost everybody's "Best of the '00s" lists that I had missed. I'm catching up on Breaking Bad by watching the replays on AMC, and I'm into season 2 of Deadwood on iTunes. Both are living up to their lofty reputations, though Deadwood's language is causing me some problems...I'm no prude when it comes to profanity (in that I understand that if you're going to write realistic dialogue, you have to write how people really talk), but the air around Deadwood is so blue it is actually distracting at times. But the writing and acting on both of these shows are tremendous, and I no longer begrudge Bryan Cranston beating out Jon Hamm for his multiple Emmys.

- Jay Rome's announcement. Got me believing again that the Dawgs may pull off this whole Dream Team thing, especially when it was quickly followed by his teammate Malcolm Mitchell following him to the Classic City. With Drew, Crowell, and Jenkins still on the board (and supposedly all strong UGA leans), I may actually get excited about football again.

How about you, fellow TV watchers? What were your favorite things on TV last week?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My thoughts on the American Idol season 10 premiere

I usually don't post anything at all about the audition episodes, but since this was the first edition of the completely revamped show, some very quick initial thoughts:

Ryan Seacrest - Still awesome.

Randy Jackson - Still useless.

Steven Tyler - I think his act is going to be REALLY annoying once we get into the live shows. Remember last season...Ellen was actually very entertaining in the taped shows when they could edit out everything but the funniest parts, but once we went to the live shows there was no way to edit out the awkward parts. I have a feeling the Steven Tyler situation is going to be very similar.

And, dude...he has GOT to stop leering at the sixteen year old contestants. He is old enough to be their GRANDFATHER. That's not "rock star"....that's "pervert".

Jennifer Lopez - She is entirely too nice for this job. At this point, she is supposed to be a JUDGE, not a mentor, and she's not doing people any favors by sending people on to Hollywood who aren't ready.

I will say this, though...I will definitely miss Simon (and Kara, for that matter), but Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are by FAR the most qualified judges they have ever had, as far as having actual career success to draw on.

As for the contestants...I like that we seem to be focusing less on the mentally challenged freak show, but my concerns about whether we can get a better batch of contestants this season remain. There was not a single contestant that made me say "WOW", but there were several that I am looking forward to hearing more from.

I probably won't post any more recaps until we get to the live far, I'm still on board, but the caliber of contestants we end up with in the top 20 will be the real factor that will decide whether I'm out or not.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My 500th post...a State of the Blog address

It figures that my 500th post would basically be an apology for my lack of posting lately. But here we are...

Real life has really intruded on my blogging time lately...I hate it when that happens. Having your priorities in order really stinks sometimes.

So what's been going on?

- I have never been more happy to see a football season come to an end. Horrible and embarrassing season by the Dawgs. A constant stream of ridiculous, inequitable, and illogical rulings by the NCAA regarding eligibility. Pantywaisted sports announcers wringing their hands and clutching their pearls every time somebody gets hit hard in a football game. The fact that our National Champions are a bunch of filthy cheaters, and everybody just seems to be OK with that. Brett Favre. Michael Vick.

Ugh. Just a barrage of stories that either A) I don't want to hear anything else about, B) Make me sick to my stomach, or C) Both.

So that has actually been one of the reasons I haven't posted as much. I just did not enjoy much about this football season, other than the way the Falcons were playing. So it is fitting that this football season would effectively end for me with the Falcons laying an egg on the national stage last Saturday night.

Not much to say about that game, other than that the better team won. I will make one sour grapes argument, does it make sense that the #1 seed doesn't get to play the team that had the losing record in the regular season? What was the point in getting the #1 seed if we don't get to play the worst team left? We would have been better off tanking the game against the Panthers, as it turned out.

Oh, well...I still have faith in Demitrof and Smith, and I expect that this modest run of success we've had the last few seasons will continue.

Four weeks till pitchers and catchers report.

- Until then, I will spend most of my non-work, non-church-related, non-daddy time on the winter television season, and that will probably be the focus of this blog for the next several months. Apologies in advance for those of you who get here through Dawgbone...I will have some recruiting-centric stuff up over the next couple of weeks, but other than that it will probably be mostly non-sports stuff until the summer.

Here is what's on tap:

- My sincere goal is to do at least a weekly post that will basically be a "What I'm Watching" roundup, probably starting either late this week or early next. Many of the shows that I watch on a regular basis are coming back this week, and some new ones I'm looking forward to will start up not long after that. Not sure exactly what the format will be yet, but I'm looking forward to doing it.

- American Idol returns this week, with TONS of changes...almost complete overhaul of the judges table and MANY tweaks to the format. Last season was an unmitigated disaster, which is what the changes are in response to.

I am not excited about the new judges panel at all, other than that they have at least cut it back down to 3 judges rather than 4. Out of the three, I actually have the highest hopes for J-Lo...and that can't be good. Randy Jackson will continue to be useless for the foreseeable future, and I guess Steven Tyler is the new Paula.

I am more intrigued by the tweaks they have made to the semifinal/final rounds. Apparently we will have an extended Hollywood/Vegas portion of the show that will narrow the field down to 10 guys and 10 ladies, at which point the Top 5 of each will advance plus a few Judges Choice type candidates. They did something similar to this a couple of seasons ago, and I thought we ended up with a much higher quality batch of contestants in the finals. This is obviously a reaction to the fact that the Top 10 from last season was a steaming pile of poo, and I welcome the change.

And, really, the quality of the contestants is what is going to end up making or breaking the show matter what the Judge portion of the show turns out to be, if we get another batch of contestants like last season it's not going to matter.

I am still planning on doing my recaps once we get to the Top 20...but that's tentative based on whether the show is still something I want to spend any time talking about by the time we get to that point.

- I have been looking for a show to do long-form "LOST" type recaps for, and I think the one I will be recapping is still three months away...HBO's "Game of Thrones". This show is based on the Song of Ice and Fire series of books by George RR Martin, a series that I have now read multiple times and contains maybe my favorite book of all time (A Storm of Swords, the third book in the series). To say I am excited about what HBO will do with the series is an understatement...I have been VERY happy with everything we have seen so far. I highly recommend the books, and will almost definitely be doing regular recaps once the show starts up in April.

So...for the next few months, this space will likely be mostly TV/Pop Culture stuff, with some occasional sports posts as things come up that I want to talk about. Hopefully, you guys will stick around...I love to talk about everything I will be posting about here, and I hope to have some conversations with all of you in the comments sections, on Twitter, etc. That was probably my favorite part of the LOST and Idol posts I have done in the past, and I hope it continues.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm tired of writing posts I don't like

I really don't want to be a Richt-basher. I want very much for him to turn the program around and get it headed back in the direction we were going at the end of 2007.

But two quotes from his press conference today moved me to respond, and considering the sporadic nature of my posting here you know that takes some doing.

(All quotes courtesy of Seth at Bulldogs Blog)

Quote #1: "Mike Bobo’s the coordinator, Mike Bobo’s the quarterbacks coach. Stacey Searels is the running game coordinator. And they’ve done a great job.” (emphasis added)

No, Coach...they have not. I'm not nearly as upset with Bobo as a lot of folks are (though I am more disappointed in Coach Searels's O-line than I am with any other unit on the team), but you went 6-7. SIX and SEVEN. That means NOBODY is doing a "great job". The quote SHOULD have read something along the lines of "We are all on notice, myself included. Our entire staff is aware that we failed at our jobs this year, and we will fix it no matter what it takes."

Quote #2: “All I know is that whoever comes back is going to be 100% motivated to help us get back on top of the Eastern Division.”

Our goal should be the National Championship. Period. It's not that I don't understand the logic (win the East, play for the SEC Championship, which probably means you are playing for the MNC), but this goes back to a problem that I have had for a while now. Namely, our goals are too low, and I think it permeates the entire program. Being on top of the Eastern Division? That's our goal? Who are we, Kentucky? (Don't answer that)

Finish the Drill. Remember that? It seems like a long time ago.

I love Coach Richt. I think he's a great man.

I also love the Georgia Bulldogs.

I wish those two loves weren't at such odds with each other, but that's the way it feels right now.