Saturday, September 17, 2011

COLLEGE CONFERENCE DOSEY-DO UPDATE: Let me see if I've got this right—Texas A&M goes from the Bix XII to the SEC with West Virginia or Missouri as a possible Team #14 for the conference; Syracuse and Pittsburgh (two schools long seen as Big Ten possibles) may move from the Big East to the ACC; the Pac-12 may soon add Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and then either Texas/Texas Tech or Kansas/Kansas State to reach 16 (Texas may also go ACC); and then things could get truly wacky:
According to one conference official, the Big East and Big 12 could merge, with Rutgers, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, South Florida, TCU, West Virginia joining forces with Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. That would leave the Big East/12 with 12 football-playing members and 20 for basketball (including Seton Hall, St. John’s, Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Notre Dame and Villanova).
Everyone's got a theory, and we are rapidly approaching a world with five megaconferences. If it helps bring in a college football playoff system I'm happy, but the idea of Syracuse no longer playing Villanova, Georgetown and UConn in hoops would suck.
NATION CERTIFIED FREE OF CORRUPTION OF BLOOD FOR 224 CONSECUTIVE YEARS:  Happy Constitution Day, everyone. As always, David Currie Reads The Constitution is as good a place as any to start, unless you need more of a melody:

THE CANADIAN PRINCE NOW DIPPING HIS ARMS IN THE PUDDING, AS IS TRADITION: Matt Zoller Seitz hands out his Alternative Emmys in the categories of "best individual episode of a drama, comedy and unscripted series; best monologue; best love scene; best comedy sequence; best cameo; best death scene; best action sequence; and best monster."

FYI: just comments; not Cover-It-Live tomorrow night. (I don't want to commit to three hours of this show with an Eagles' game against it.) And my early Necrology Applause-O-Meter prediction: Peter Falk edges out Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Bosley, Leslie Nielsen, and Stephen J. Cannell.

Friday, September 16, 2011

WILL YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT?  I can't be the only adult here giddy about getting to see The Lion King on a big screen again, and from the preview we saw before The Smurfs the 3-D looks extraordinary. Of the animated features marking Disney's turnaround -- this, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin -- it's by far my favorite, and Scar is a pantheon-level Disney villain.  (Aren't we due for Jeremy Irons being awesome in something again?)
I PREFER TO THINK OF IT AS AN EXODUS FROM AN UNDESIRABLE PLACE: Dan Kois recently re-watched all of Steven Soderbergh's films and classifies them as "three masterpieces, four classics, six worthwhile divertissements, four really fascinating films that get better with age, four interesting failures, and one movie that's all of the above."

One Soderbergh question I saw posed recently which I find fascinating: in Ocean's Eleven, what was the source of the fliers which filled the duffel bags?  Because they weren't in the vault.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

THIS ONE EXPLORES THE SWEDISH CHEF'S DARK SIDE: There's another parody trailer for The Muppets out now, which, by its nature, doesn't tell us much more about the story, but does give us our first official glimpse of some of the other non-Muppet stars appearing in the film, including Rashida Jones, Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Silverman, and, yes, NPH.
BUT YOU NEVER THANK ME:  The 2011 Emmy Awards air Sunday night, and in one form or another (haven't decided yet whether to Cover-It-Live) we will be here for ongoing commentary and whatnot. Might as well start talking about all the Should/Will stuff, since others have already started (Vulture, HitFix) and we all have some strong thoughts on the need for an Amy Poehler win, the Mad Men v. Boardwalk Empire debate, and topics both various and sundry.

Nominees: in full; main categories.  (And our discussion from nomination day is here.)
COMMISSIONER, WE MAKE A GREAT TEAM! YOU FINGER THE PERPS, AND WE GIVE THEM OUR FISTS: Now that NBC is selling Ambiguously Gay Duo costumes for Halloween, can Canteen Boy and The Scoutmaster be far behind?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SEPTEMBER 13TH, 8PM, EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME, FROM HERE ON IN I SHOOT WITHOUT A SCRIPT: Tell me I wasn't the only one getting a very Mark Cohen vibe out of John (No-E) Cochran of Harvard Law School on Survivor, and while fellow Crimsons Victor and Tammy Jih won the Race back in the day I'm feeling he's got no better chance of thriving on this show than did Justin Deabler back on Real World Hawaii (or David Otunga on I Love New York 2, which admittedly I didn't watch, but I do know his career has improved).

[Also, who knew "Russell Hantz's Nephew" was a permissible occupation on the chyron?]

There is not much to say yet about this new season; we seem to have a gregarious set of narrators, but it's too soon to see if they know how to play the game in an interesting way.  Coach and Ozzy are not people I needed to see again, but I'm not annoyed yet.  Fienberg's pleased as well.
PERRY COX IS NOT RUSHING TO BUY TICKETS: After he finishes up his promotional duties for Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots: The Movie, but before he goes off to make Les Mis, Hugh Jackman's going to do a two-month run on Broadway of a concert show that seems guaranteed to be a hot ticket as well as being a lot of fun.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU CAN LINK TO A VIDEO OF KHRYSTYNE HAJE FAKE-PLAYING A SAXOPHONE, YOU HAVE TO DO IT:  The new fall tv season begins this week, with NBC's Up All Night and Free Agents debuting tonight. I, like all right-thinking people, am relying on our friends Alan Sepinwall and Dan Fienberg at to highlight the potential goodness that is out there, but, really, does anything excite you?  Or, more to the point, does anything excite you as much as these past network fall preview videos I've located, below the fold:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THE FAMOUS PLACES TO VISIT ARE SO MANY: Yet another in our occasional series of ALOTT5MA Travel Desk requests--one of our readers writes:
I have two and a half fast days in NYC with my 8 year old in October. She is dying to see the Statue of Liberty, but would love thoughts on other kid-friendly activities in the NYC area. I will have just subjected her to four days of museum overload in DC, so move-around experiences are particularly welcome. Kind of an aside, but has anyone had luck with Craigslist apartment listings in NYC? There are some cool listings on there but I'm not sure where good deal becomes too-good-to-be-true deal.
As a general rule, Craigslist (like pretty much every other sales site) is governed by the idea that if you think it's too good to be true, it probably is. My family's always had good luck with Priceline, especially on weekends, though it's easy to wind up getting stuck downtown, which is not the most convenient place to be.

As for activities, in a lot of ways, September and October are the best time to visit NYC, because it's usually warm enough to be outside without being oppressively hot, as it frequently can get in the summer months. As for activities, Central Park is the obvious one, but I'd also suggest hanging out in Union Square Park or Times Square and people-watching, and Madison Square Park for Shake Shack. In connection with the Statue of Liberty, it's been years since I've done the trek, but I'd also suggest Ellis Island, which is very well done. I'm sure the rest of y'all have suggestions, so weigh in.
THE BATTLEMENTS AND BARLEY REVUE: For his 60th birthday/25th-ish anniversary of going solo, Sting is doing a stripped-down-band-in-smaller-venues tour this fall.

added: Okay, here's a question: while I don't believe it's true of Sting himself, surely you can list artists who were, indeed, produced their best work after going solo. I'll start the list with Michael Jackson, Neil Young and Annie Lennox.

Monday, September 12, 2011

100% PURE UNNECESSARY!  A greenlit Point Break remake set in the world of "international extreme sports," written by Kurt Wimmer (Thomas Crown Affair, Salt, unnecessary Total Recall remake), is going out to directors soon. No word on whether Clinton or Bush rubber masks will be added to the rotation.
A LITTLE ... DONNY OSMOND FLAIR?  Trey Parker and Matt Stone will helm a film adaptation of The Book of Mormon, but not anytime soon.
YOU'RE AMAZING, VINCE:  Go ahead, I dare you: find something nice to say about the Entourage series finale, a fantasy of wish fulfillment perhaps not seen on tv since the days of MTV's My Super Sweet 16.  Seriously: who thought this made for good television?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

GOODBYE, BILLY:  IKEA is redesigning its signature bookshelf to account for a world in which people aren't buying books.

Speaking of which: the WSJ is reporting " Inc. is talking with book publishers about launching a Netflix Inc.-like service for digital books, in which customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content."
WE REMEMBER: The enormity of the day, even ten years later, still staggers me. Two thousand, nine hundred seventy-seven innocents, from the busboys at Windows of the World to Pentagon workers to those heroes forced into action on Flight 93 and those who knowingly risked and lost everything by choosing to enter the World Trade Center because of a sense of duty, three hundred forty three firemen among them.

Since the fifth anniversary we have regularly paused on this day -- sometimes as cultural consumers, sometimes as parents, sometimes as citizens (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). Remembering the good people of Choteau, Montana, is just one of the many stories to be told of selflessness and heroism which we'll be telling our kids and our grandkids. We can be funny again, and we can be divided again, and we can be normal again. We're just never going to be quite the same again.

This is an open thread for whatever reflections and reactions you have today.