Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My favorite things I watched last week (including my very late thoughts on Signing Day)

- Crowell and his AWWWWWWWW PUPPY! For any Dawg fan, the absolute best thing on television last week was probably this:

Also, pretty cool story on where that adorable puppy came from in the Ledger-Enquirer.

Obviously, I am thrilled with the way the Dream Team came together. The coaching staff did a tremendous job pulling a class like this coming off the last two years we have had on the field.

I will make one small side note...Richt got pretty lucky in the fact that in a year when he DESPERATELY needed a huge recruiting class, the state of Georgia was loaded with talent even by the state's normally lofty standards.

Even so, all of that talent was being heavily recruited by some of the biggest names in the country, and Richt and his staff was able to fend them off for the most part and put together a class that has the potential to be one that we look back on as the turning point of Richt's tenure as head coach.

The flip side, of course, is that there is TONS of pressure now on these kids...The Dream Team concept was fun, and it certainly worked as a recruiting tool, but the fanbase (myself included) now looks at them as guys who are going to turn the program around. Time will tell if that is the case, or if February 2, 2011 will be the high point.

One of the things I love about this class is how diverse it is from a positional standpoint (and Bubba 'n' Earl beat me to this point by a few days). With only a very slight amount of finagling, I can actually put together an entire starting lineup out of this class.

(Assuming a one back-3WR set on offense, standard 3-4 look on defense)

QB - Lemay
RB - Crowell
WR - Mitchell, Wesley, Conley
TE - Rome
OL - Ward, Dantzler, Andrews, Long, Debell (this one may get a little tricky, as far as tackle/guard combos, but it's conceivable)

DL - Bailey, Jenkins, Mayes
LB - Drew, Turene, Herrera, Wilson
CB - Swann, Marshall
S - Sanders, Moore

Seriously...I could make the argument that our starting lineup in 2013 might be pretty close to this, other than the fact that Jenkins will be gone after 2012. I know Bailey might actually play OLB, but he could also put on about 10 more pounds and fit right in at the 3-4 DE spot.

I also like the fact that we signed six offensive linemen, and none of them necessarily HAVE to play this year. We are really building some quality depth at that position, and that makes me happy.

Overall, fantastic job by the coaching staff, and definitely my favorite thing I watched last week.

- Most of Community. I really enjoyed last week's episode of Community, although like a lot of the really good Community episodes, it wasn't for everybody. I liked the conceit that the story was being told like a sci-fi/fantasy novel, I loved Senor Chang's costume and the entire scene setting up the game. I am in no way a D&D gamer, but I am familiar enough with the concept of RPG's in general that the way Abed was running the game brought plenty of laughs. The story itself was sort of Community at its best, in that it played around with a theme (the whole Dungeons and Dragons thing) while still having a soft gooey center of a heart (the group trying to cheer up and possibly save Fat Neal).

The one thing I didn't like is the one thing I always don't like when it comes to Community...Pierce Freaking Hawthorne. There is absolutely nothing likeable about this character or Chevy Chase's heavy-handed portrayal of him. The wonderful folks over at the Extra Hot Great podcast did a great job this week in talking about the long history of jerks in sitcoms and why they work, and why Pierce in no way works as that character. Bottom line is that I think this show would be tons better if you just took the character out of the show and gave his lines to other characters who could deliver them in a more effective way.

But Pierce is a problem every week...overall, this was one of my favorite Community episodes so far this season.

- Downton Abbey. Not going to go into a whole lot of detail on this one...it aired for four weeks on PBS as part of their Masterpiece Classics series, and the finale was last Sunday. A British period drama set in the time period between the Titanic and the beginning of WWI, it was tremendously acted, well written, beautiful to look at, and honestly...it just made me feel smart as I watched it. If it's not your thing, you would hate it...but it was one of my favorite things, and I am already looking forward to the second season. It doesn't hurt that the family that make up the main characters is the Grantham family, so I got to pretend it was actually about my ancestors.

Just for fun...one of my favorite scenes from the show, including a great line from the fantastic Maggie Smith. This scene pretty much spells out one of the dynamics of the series...the difference between even the upper middle class and the ridiculously rich in early 20th century England:

- Yep...Parks And Recreation. Again. My favorite comedy on television provided another hilarious episode. Being the only male in a house dominated by females who have totally bought into the Vampire craze, I especially loved the whole Twilight plot, especially Tom's excitement at discovering the books. The easy way out would have been to make fun of Twilight as the puffy piece of tween girl nonsense that it is, but the writers took the story in a much fresher direction, and it was ultimately much funnier because of it.

- The Chicago Code. This was technically not "last week" since it premiered last night, but since this post is a couple days late I can throw it in here. This is the latest from Shawn Ryan, the creator of The Shield (the much respected series that is next on my iTunes list, right after I finish Deadwood), and the fantastic and much-lamented Terriers (maybe my favorite series of 2010). I was very impressed with the pilot episode, especially if you apply the grading curve that I normally apply to pilots (due to the level of difficulty involved with introducing entirely new characters in an entirely new show universe, while still telling a compelling story). I am especially excited about Jason Clarke's character (Det. Wysocki (sp?)), who seemed sort of cool, funny, dark, and quirky all at once. The acting in general seems to be top notch, the show makes good use of its on-location shooting in Chicago, and most of all...the American viewing public OWES it to Shawn Ryan to watch this show, after failing miserably at keeping Terriers on the air despite its awesomey goodness.

Pretty slow week overall, for me...some of my favorite shows (like Chuck, Cougar Town, Fringe) fell into the good-not-great category for me.

Looking forward this week to the return of Raising Hope (I know...I'm as shocked as you are that I actually have become a big fan of this show) and, especially, Justified. (Wednesday at 10 on FX...check it out)

What about you? What are your favorite things that you are watching? Am I missing anything good?


UpDawg said...

I loved the Chicago Code pilot, really liked Community (not a D&Der either), loved 30 Rock this week too and am really looking forward to Raising Hope beginning again.

Have you watched Detroit 187? It is well-acted and has great character development if you watch from episode 1. Also, it gives me that feeling that I'm learning something about a city that I don't hear much about. Having watched that show made the Chrysler / Detroit ad featuring Eminem during the Super Bowl my favorite ad. I suggest you check it out if you haven't already.

Scott said...

I actually tried Detroit 1-8-7 when it first started, but I dropped it pretty quickly. I don't really remember why...maybe a time slot issue?

I will say that I don't normally watch "cop shows" or other procedurals. I made an exception for Chicago Code because it's Shawn Ryan. Maybe that's why I wasn't as intrigued by Detroit 1-8-7...I may go back and check it out, because you aren't the first person to suggest it to me.

Thanks for the feedback!

brad said...

Parks and Rec is rolling this year.

Teresa said...

You know that I don't watch a lot of tv, but I've been watching Harry's Law. I really like it. There are some quirky characters and I just generally like almost anything Kathy Bates does. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Bernie said...

Interesting point on Pierce. I'm fairly new to Community, so was wondering if you felt like he has evolved into that or whether it has been that way from the beginning. I ask that because I found his role humorous at first (quirky, refreshing old man perspective interspersed with the younger characters' issues), but definitely tired of it now.

Agree on Chicago Code. I re-watched it last night to lift my spirits after another Georgia basketball loss. They have a way to go before they become my favorite thing on tv.

Scott said...

Bernie - I find it very hard to watch the Hoop Dawgs, to be honest with you. It's not that I think Coach Fox is doing a bad job, because the team has made tremendous strides since he took over and I think the future is bright.

There just seems to be something "off" about this team that I can't quite put my finger on. They really remind me of our football season in that respect...it's not one thing I can point to (other than our ongoing difficulty guarding big men who can shoot), it seems to be something different every time. Even in games we win, I feel like we rarely put together a solid 40 minutes.

You know, the more I think about this the more similarities to the football team I see...maybe there's a blog post in there somewhere.

Shan said...

I'll finally get around to watching Chicago Code this weekend, and I'm looking forward to it. Like you, Scott, I'll always check out a Shawn Ryan show, even if the subject matter is well-trod ground. (Ryan is another writer/showrunner who learned a great deal in his time spent in the house of Whedon).

Bernie, Pierce has "evolved" a bit over the course of the show, becoming, IMO, even more prickly and unlikable than he started out. I was never a big Chevy Chase fan post-Fletch era anyway, and the character is really the only demerit on Community's otherwise terrific lineup. It seems like they are trying to do something story-wise to address this, with his pill popping, but he is still a drag on the rest of the ensemble.

amanda young said...

Incredible talent, only wish you the best Isaiah. Hope you get your head straight Dawg.Amanda Vanderpool CEO