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Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Ultimate Catfish: Te’o vs Rod and Ebony

In present, TV, writing on 03/08/2013 at 14:26

Will catfishing be remembered as one of the strangest trends of the new millennium, or does it signify a social media-driven sickness that will slowly consume the world in a plot worthy of high science fiction? Here we examine two of the more bizarre cases of “misleading identity,” some of which end in an odd yet happy couple, other times in murder.

Manti Te’o is perhaps the most famous victim of a catfish, even if many suspect he may have been complicit in the plot from the start. Here are the facts, as best as they can be surmised:

-In fall of 2012, Te’o told several media outlets that both his grandmother and girlfriend had died on September 11, 2012. Te’o said his girlfriend, Stanford student Lennay Kekua, died after a car accident and subsequent battle with leukemia. He had promised Kekua that he would play football even if she died Te’o emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate throughout the season, and his story was widely publicized.

Considering Kekua never actually existed, it seems trivial to point out that leukemia is not a common side effect of car accidents.

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Declaring Ineligibility: Royce White, Unlikeable Hero

In sports, TV on 02/18/2013 at 19:32

It is an odd decision for a potentially 18 year old kid to make: go pro, or sign up for classes next fall. Once a kid has made up his mind to try his hand at NBA basketball, he “declares eligibility” for that year’s draft. There is no guarantee the kid will be drafted at all, and that puts him in a precarious position. While he can return to school and further his education, he can no longer ball.

So when Royce White said he was ready for NBA basketball going into the 2012 NBA draft, one of the deepest in years, he was indeed making a declaration: I am prepared to put my college days behind me and become a professional athlete. Sure, an NBA player is no police officer, brain surgeon, NASA launch officer (Oh wait, no one is!), but they are a professional nonetheless.

White declared his eligibility, but has yet to log a minute of NBA play, and until a few days ago hadn’t played basketball period since ending his college career. He declared eligibility, but he surely hasn’t been professional.

Hero? Hated.
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Maria Sharapova: $1000 per minute

In girls, sports, TV, Uncategorized on 01/23/2013 at 19:44

The 2013 Australian Open is midway through its second week and the eight Men’s and Women’s semifinalists have all spent varied amounts of time on court. Maria Sharapova has looked particularly dominant in her first 5 matches and will seek to keep that streak alive in tonight’s semi against the charming and dangerous Li Na.

Masha Masha Masha!

But let’s examine just how dominant (and just how lucrative) Sharapova has been so far:

R128 Sharapova def. Puchkova 6-0, 6-0 (55 minutes)
R64 Sharapova def. Doi 6-0, 6-0 (47 minutes)
R32 Sharapova def. V Williams 6-1, 6-3 (79 minutes)
R16 Sharapova def. Flipkens 6-1, 6-0 (78 minutes)
QF Sharapova def. Makarova 6-2, 6-2 (66 minutes)

Maria has lost 9 games in 5 matches and no sets. She has yet to play a match that lasted an hour and twenty minutes or exceeded a 6-3 scoreline. In fact, with just over 5 hours on court and a cool $500,000 already in the bank, Sharapova is earning an astonishing $1539 for every minute she’s on court.

To put that in context, a typical 9-5 job with that sort of rate would pay $3.7 million every week. Lucky for the Happy Slam, Maria isn’t logging that sort of time. And her efficient play has been as impressive as her minute/dollar ratio.

Through five matches Maria is +21 winners to unforced errors. Her serve percentage is erratic, but she’s winning 80% of first serve points and 54% of second. Azarenka, the defending champion and Marai’s kryptonite of late, will dominate any weak serving, so there is certainly cause for alarm.

With Serena Williams out, Sharapova has a huge opportunity not only to reclaim the world #1 ranking (she only needs to reach the finals) but earn her 5th career Major. While her numbers have been encouraging, I’m sure she would not mind Sloan Stephens scoring another huge upset on her behalf.

THE TIME MACHINE: First Star Wars, Now This!?

In TV, writing on 11/05/2012 at 21:16

Like any American boy, I grew up on a healthy diet of Star Wars, original and prequel trilogies. The recent announcement has left me, in a word, winded (I’m not necessarily sure that’s the best word). The announcement is too big in terms of culture for me to write a post on (it’s Nano, after all!) and too vague in terms of specifics for me to add anything to the conversation.

However, in the wake of acquiring Lucas Films, Disney made another announcement that many 90s babies will be excited for: the Disney Channel is working with original creator Michael Jacobs to produce a sequel series to Boy Meets World.

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Tree House of Horror History Lesson

In TV, writing on 10/31/2012 at 14:07

You can make an argument for 1-10, but for me “The Simpsons” had 8 great seasons. Sure, even today you can get a decent episode here and there, but those first 8 were prime Simpsons. So let’s take a look at the first seven Halloween specials, the beloved Tree House of Horrors.

TREE HOUSE OF HORROR
Season 2, 10/24/90
Frame: Bart and Lisa tell each other scary stories in the Simpson’s tree house. James Early Jones has a voice cameo in each story, most notably narrating “The Raven.”


1. “Bad Dream House” – The Simpsons move into a haunted house.
Quote: “This family has had its differences and we’ve squabbled, but we’ve never had a knife fight before and I blame this house.” –Marge


2. “Hungry Are the Damned” – The Simpsons are abducted by seemingly friendly aliens, but Lisa suspects they feed on humans.
Quote: How to Cook Humans; How to Cook For Humans; How to Cook Forty Humans; How to Cook for Forty Humans


3. “The Raven” – The Poe classic is retold with Homer recast as the protagonist and Bart as the taunting Raven.
Quote: “Come here, you little raven!” –Homer

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“The Halloween Tree” by Ray Bradbury

In fiction, TV, writing on 10/29/2012 at 16:27

I recently concluded my list of 30 Halloween TV specials (read it here) and featured The Halloween Tree. It’s a great TV special, but it’s an even better book.

“It was a small town by a small river and a small lake in a small northern part of a Midwest state. There wasn’t so much wilderness around you couldn’t see the town. But on the other hand there wasn’t so much town you couldn’t see and feel and touch and smell the wilderness. The town was full of trees. And dry grass and dead flowers now that autumn was here. And full of fences to walk on and sidewalks to skate on and a large ravine to tumble in and yell across. And the town was full of…

Boys.
And it was the afternoon of Halloween.
And all the houses shut against a cool wind.
And the town was full of cold sunlight.
But suddenly, the day was gone.
Night came out from under each tree and spread.”

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Top 10 Halloween Specials

In movies, TV, writing on 10/23/2012 at 18:25

At long last we have reached my ten favorite Halloween specials of the season….

10. Freaks and Geeks “Tricks and Treats”

The Freaks Halloween special takes a serious hit due to budget restraints prohibiting the episode from being filmed at night. Halloween at 3PM is just awkward. However the typical Freaks merits are on display (Seth Rogen laughing, James Franco grinning, Jason Segal being super gangly), winning Judd Apatow’s high school dramedy the 10 spot on this year’s countdown.

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Happy 500 Tommy Haas!

In sports, TV, writing on 10/19/2012 at 15:56

Inspired by Tommy Haas’ 500th career win this morning and William Miller’s post here, I decided to take a look at one of the most interesting careers in sports today.

With a routine 6-4, 6-2 win over American Jesse Levine in the second round of Vienna’s Erste Bank Open, Germany’s Tommy Haas reached the illustrious 500 win mark. With Andy Roddick’s recent retirement, Haas is now only the fourth active player on tour with 500 or more wins, joining Roger Federer (871), Rafael Nadal (583) and Lleyton Hewitt (566).

“I knew for a few days that I would reach the milestone if I won this match. This was a big goal of mine,” said Haas. “In April, I was at around 472 wins and I knew it wouldn’t be easy to win another 27 or 28 matches.” In honor of the achievement, Haas was gifted a custom Fiat 500 by the tournament.

500f

Haas, who won Vienna in 2001, faces a qualifier in the next round and likes his chances to add to the win column. “For now I’m focusing on next year,” Haas said. “One of my goals for this year was to win my 13th title since 13 is my lucky number. Next year is 2013 and as long as I’m fit I want to play the whole year.”

Not many 34 year olds are focusing on “next year” in the world of professional tennis. In tennis, 34 year olds are about as effective as corpses. But then, Tommy Haas has had a career unlike any player before him.

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5 Scary or Halloween-themed Disney Channel Originals

In movies, TV, writing on 10/17/2012 at 18:15

I looked over a list of Disney Channel Original Movies last night, for fun, and quickly realized there aren’t nearly as many quality picks as I’d imagined. Of the dozen or so I really enjoyed, though, five of them were released in October and had ghoulish themes. What better time of year to revisit them?

HONORABLE MENTION
“Susie Q” (1996)

Susie Q

“Susie Q,” released right before “The Paper Brigade,” was one of the last two Disney Premiere Films, as they were called from the early 80’s, not nearly as frequent as the ’97 onset of DOMs. It was about this hot ghost from the 50’s or something, who could only talk to one kid, this 30 year old dude who plays a high school student.

“Susie Q” wasn’t that scary, but it featured the pink power ranger in a hot prom dress for 80 or so minutes. There was also something kinky about the fact she appeared in his bedroom randomly, and the kid’s mom couldn’t see her.

I knew I wasn't making that up............

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Using Sports To Teach Children How To Hate!

In boston, sports, TV, writing on 10/16/2012 at 17:15

I remember the chant dimly, a Red Sox/Orioles game when I was seven or eight years old. It didn’t seem odd, or menacing, just slightly out of place. A few months later, when my parents took me and my brother to a taping off WWF Thursday Night Smackdown, it erupted again. Finally, when it burst out randomly in Faneuil Hall one evening, I had to ask. “Dad, why do people yell ‘Yankees suck’ all the time, even when no Yankees are around to hear it?”

I can’t remember my dad’s exact response, but it went something along the lines of this: those people are idiots, that chant is senseless, and it’s embarrassing that Red Sox fans–and Boston citizens in general–took it up as an unofficial slogan.

While it’s a regional example, the “Yankees suck” chant is an example of how we can all learn a lesson between uneducated hatred and spirited competition.

Do they!?

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