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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts. FNL, You Will Be Missed

My first reaction after watching the series finale of Friday Nights Lights was WOW! My second reaction was, now that was the way you end a series. I'm not going to give you an official recap, because if you're a fan of the show and watched the finale, there's no need to give you a recap. If you're a fan, and you didn't watch the show, then all I have to say is, go watch it! It was the perfect finale. Loose ends were tied up, everyone moved on and there was an epilogue. Personally, when I read a book, I always hope that there is a good epilogue at the end. One that tells you where everyone wound up and doesn't leave anything dangling. So, I commend the writers for giving me exactly that in the finale. In the last segment, we learned that the Lions won state. Kudos again to the writers for not showing the end of the game but rather just the championship rings on Coach's and Vince's hands. Vince and Tinker both wound up on the Panthers super team, as did all of the Lions coaches, including Billy. Jess seems to have gotten a real coaching gig in Dallas, thanks to that call from Coach. Luke joined the Marines, leaving Becky crying at the bus depot holding his championship ring (that was the only really cheesy part that I wasn't totally thrilled with). Julie moved to Chicago, the assumption being that she transferred to a college there. Tim decided to stay in Texas and build his house, with Billy as his assistant. Since this was taking place 8 months later, I would have assumed that Billy and Mindy's twins would have been born, but I guess there wasn't time to address that. Either way, glad the final scene with the Riggins boys ended with "Texas Forever." Especially since the Taylors are now on the east coast. Tami beamed as she walked around the Braemore campus. Coach seemed to enjoy starting out the a new team. I liked the way he ended practice "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts..." pause "we'll get to that later". I would have liked to see their new house, but that's not really important.

I hope Buddy realized (maybe when that guy drilled the sign into the wall of the locker room) that it was his final early morning phone call to Eric that sent his straight to Philadelphia. Although cheesy, I'm glad that Luke decided to do something different with his life. I'm glad that the asshole Panther boosters realized that mistakes that they made, but I'm even happier that Eric turned them down. Speaking of which, can someone remind me what happened to the McCoy family? Did they get run out for town? It was nice to see Matt and Landry chat for a few minutes, adding a classic bit of levity to the episode. But mostly, I am glad that I had the opportunity to watch this amazing show for all five seasons (yes, I even watched season 2 and still stuck with it). Thank you to DirecTV for helping keep the show alive (even though I had to wait till it started on NBC to watch it), thank you to the writers for 5 seasons for amazing television that was unlike anything else on TV and thank you to the other FNL fans out there who helped keep the show alive. I cannot wait until the box set of all 5 seasons comes out on DVD. We will miss the Taylors and Dillon, Texas, but I am happy that they were around for as long as they were.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


In honor our my esteemed colleague's recent birth of the littlest Standing Blogger, I felt the best way to celebrate was with a list! Hey, everyone loves lists!  In honor of SB's beautiful little baby boy, I present a top 5 favorite TV births (based on nothing more than my subjectivity)!

5.  "Murphy Brown". Murphy Brown gives birth to a little boy eventually named Avery and gives Dan Quayle something to yell about.  This episode was controversial because of the whole Dan Quayle/single motherhood thing but was great because of Candace Bergen and her horrible singing voice crooning "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman". 

4.  "All in the Family".  Gloria gives birth to baby Joey. Archie shows up at the hospital in blackface. Classic All in the Family!  Bonus points for being the first television birth shown on screen. Its funny that a show made in the early 1970s could never get past network censors in the 21st Century. 

3.  "The Flintstones". Wilma gives birth to baby Pebbles.  Having grown up watching reruns of The Flintstones, I always wondered how a couple that slept in separate beds could give conceive a baby but as I entered my teenage years, I just accepted that Fred had an urge to go caveman on Wilma and voila.  Anyway, for a cartoon  to have a story arc is one thing but to do so in 1963 was groundbreaking.  In the end, Pebbles was cute and watching Fred be a dad continues to be an inspiration of sorts to all of us fathers out there.  Also, this was a rare occasion where adding a baby to a show didn't signal the demise of its creativity or freshness.

The Flintstones: "The Blessed Event"

2.  "I Love Lucy".  Lucy gives birth to Little Ricky.  Groundbreaking is the only way to describe this episode.  While Wikipedia tells me that this was not the first television show to feature a pregnancy storyline, the use of Lucille Ball's real life pregnancy and coinciding the birth with her real life C-Section birth of Desi Arnaz Jr. was ingenious and America agreed with me.  With 71.7% of all American television sets tuned in for the birth, it was the largest TV viewing of anything up to then (and easily eclipsed the Eisenhower inauguration coverage the next day). A bonus video of Ricky finding out they're having a baby!

1. "Friends". Rachel gives birth to little Emma.  Everything clicked in this episode.  The endless waiting of watching other moms come and go while you wait; "the sick bastard " mom to be; Janice!; the ending with Joey accidentally proposing to Rachel! Everyone wanted Ross and Rachel to be together and through Emma, they always would be.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

True Blood: I Hope You Brought Your Latin Phrasebook

True Blood
Season 4, Episode 2
"You Smell Like Dinner"

After some previouslies, we're back.  Mr. Jason comes to to find a young werepanther named Timbo to be licking his forehead wound. Hot Shot doesn't have band aids but it does have head licking werepanther kids.   Ah Felton, I forgot how much I didn't give a crap about this storyline.  When someone says that you're about to get "fucked" on True Blood, I think your best bet is to take that shit seriously and literally.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Covert Affairs: Argentina is Off My Bucket List

Covert Affairs
Season 2, Episode 4
"All the Right Friends"

First, sorry you didn't get a full recap last episode but time marches on and here we are at this week's episode.  We start with an Auggie v/o in full on teacher mode; so obvs he's talking to Annie.  This week, her on the job training has her learning the fine are of an ally spy transfer. Turns out one Mr. Carlo Reni (the "Italian Stallion" going forward) of the Italian AISE (Agenzia Informazioni e Sicurezza Esterna - the Italian CIA) was caught by the FBI spying on American soil. Auggie explains somewhat condescendingly (he calls Annie "Dorothy" which I do not think he means in the "Friends of" way) that allies spy on allies. DUH! Now, the next part took me a couple of times rewinding but what I think we see is first, a version of how the transfer goes off smoothly (i.e., the Auggie version of easy peasy spy transfers, NOT REAL - not when Annie is involved anyway) and everyone is happy like a Cafe Ole Commercial.  But, then, we back up and do it again in real time and well, you know things are going to go south when the CIA operative can't get cell reception.  I refuse to believe that with all I pay in taxes, the CIA's field operatives do not always have like 15 redundant satellites in geosynchronous orbit doing nothing but making sure they have cell reception.  That shits whacked if its not true.  Anyway, the Italian Stallion is bitching in Italian about how returning spies to their home country is a perfect example of why the world hates the CIA.  I don't think that's the only reason buddy ... When Annie reveals she speaks Italian (one day we'll have an episode where she deals with a foreigner in whose language she does not converse), the Italian Stallion is all sorts of turned on.  After they play a game of where their Italian heritage is from, the plane lands.

After Annie does the whole waving your phone around on the deserted airstrip, she get a signal and checks in with Auggie .. where she finds out that the contact had to detour to the Falklands because of bad weather.  There is also the first obligatory blind joke (I am going to create a drinking game for blind jokes on this show - but only when told by Auggie) revolving around how good looking the Italian Stallion is.  Their banter is broken up by the Italian Stallion's surely ill-fated escape attempt. I mean, he's handcuffed in the middle of fucking Nowhere, Argentina -- where does he think he's going to get to before Annie flying tackles him? Which she does, natch. they have some back and forth about what's waiting for him in Italy is worse than the CIA, SHOTS! Apparently, they were so consumed with the running and the tackling, they didn't notice the car roll up to the plane, the guy get out and draw his weapon. And where are the pilots? They should have seen the guy roll up? They are probably doing lines of coke in the back ... fly high the friendly skies!  Annie's advice when the shots ring out? Run! (I think that is always Annie's advice; really girl, start carrying a gun and maybe you won't always have to run away). Credits.