Saturday, May 24, 2014

I DEFINITELY DON'T WANT TO SEE KIDS SPELLING THAT WORD ON LIVE TV:  Shonda Rhimes explained to the folks at Scripps just while she'll be spending a lot of time here next week -- our tenth together -- as well as which of her characters might have competed in the Bee, and what parts of the Bee she loves the most.

Friday, May 23, 2014

PREPARATION: Next week's Bee schedule (infographic too) is the same as last year's:
Tuesday: computerized test (spelling + vocab)
Wednesday, all day long: everyone has two chances at the microphone. Ding and you're out. The top up-to-50 (based on computerized test) survive to Thursday, but they have to take a computerized test first.
Thursday, 10am: three rounds at the microphone. Top up-to-12 (based on Weds night test) make it to primetime, unless the cutoff would leave them with less than nine, in which case they can (but don't have to) add another tranche of spellers who'd bring the total over 12.
Thursday, 8pm: championship finals.
Yes, again, the dictates of television and having a manageable group for primetime (remembering the 2010 controversy when the afternoon competition stopped mid-round to have the "right" number of kids for primetime) impose artificial elimination points in the competition. Last year, the final 18 became a final 11 based on the computerized test, while I think the kids would rather see it all settled at the microphone. Yes, judging all the kids on the same set of words leads to slightly-less-arbitrary results, but at that level the results are inherently arbitrary. Oh well.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

THIS MEANS WAR:  Jon Stewart rants against Philadelphia; Jon Stewart attempts to apologize, but it's too late, because the mightiest seventeen-member legislative body on earth has responded:
WHEREAS, Stewart has apparently never been to Philadelphia, where a decade of development has transformed our dining and nightlife scenes into an abundant array of world class options that aren't overrun with overpaid Wall Street j@#%offs and where you won't need to sell your first born child to get a table; and
WHEREAS, While New York City has many wonderful sights and sounds, you simply cannot beat Philadelphia for the most passionate sports fans, more acres of parks and public murals than anywhere else in the country, a shockingly affordable cost of living, lack of crowded streets, and more American history than you can shake a stick at; and
WHEREAS, Jon Stewart should check himself when starts trash talking Philadelphia; last time we checked the Mets haven't won the World Series in nearly thirty years....
ACTUALLY, PRETTY GREAT, BOB: Everybody loves Bob Benson, so let's give him his own 80s sitcom (with appropriate theme music, naturally).
COLBERT'S COMPLAINT: Even though he's not un-retiring, Philip Roth will do an "extended interview" with Stephen Colbert over the summer.  This is the sort of weird and random stuff that Colbert does that I sincerely hope we won't lose when he moves to CBS.
A LIST OF THINGS I WISH WE HAD SEEN ON THE GOOD WIFE THIS SEASON:  Not that it wasn't a fantastic season of television -- the best fifth season of a network drama since ...? -- but it was lacking some old favorites:
  • Ana Gasteyer, in my opinion the best judge on the show. (Either her or Judges Johnny Sack and Uncle June.)
  • The Daddy Detective Guy
  • The talking lion phone.
  • Smoke Monster State's Attorney
  • Eli's daughter
  • Mamie Gummer
  • Parker Posey
  • Even More F. Murray Abraham
But a hearty welcome to the rotation to, among others, Christian Borle, Michael Cerveris, and Eric Bogosian. MZS says: "The season worked on many levels: as a crackerjack case-of-the-week legal drama; as the ongoing story of heroine Alicia Florrick's evolution from humiliated political spouse and lowly associate to tough and almost unfailingly coolheaded leader and public figure (Julianna Margulies is as sneakily deep on this show as Jon Hamm is on Mad Men); as a portrait of a rough-and-tumble legal and political battle zone that often feels like Bonfire of Vanities moved to the Windy City, and with better female characters and more compassion; and as a borderline-screwball comedy filled with sharply etched supporting characters delivering quotable lines."
AND WHAT ABOUT THE HAVERING?  An in-depth exploration of where the Proclaimers if they had walked 500 miles, and then 500 more from Leith.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'M 6'5", 220, AND THERE'S TWO OF ME: Are you ready for Winklevoss Radio?
I AM THE ONE WHO BLUEBOOKS:  The University of New Mexico Law Review is doing an upcoming issue focusing on the legal issues from Breaking Bad.
PERHAPS BATMAN IS SEEKING A DECLARATORY JUDGMENT CONCERNING PROPOSED USE OF KRYPTONITE:  Our friend Linda Holmes speculates on what litigation could lead to the now officially titled Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  
JUST LIKE A WAVING FLAG:  The Washington Post presents and grades all 32 of the national World Cup team slogans.  (Apparently, Bosnia-Herzegovina is in Westeros.)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

POMP, CIRCUMSTANCE:  With much happiness, plus an ample dose of "wow, time flies," I am pleased to announce that ALOTT5MA Middle Junior Correspondent Maddy, who first made her presence known to us as a high school junior in January 2009, and for whom we've had lots and lots of advice and questions regarding her mindset over the years, today has graduated from Scripps College.  Huzzah!