Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wednesday Top Five 08/24

Five things that impressed, appalled, or otherwise held my attention for more than 15 seconds during the past week:

01 – I know I’ve blogged about her before, but Kathy Griffin’s Allegedly DVD is real damn funny. I’ve always been pretty much a fan of hers – and it’s been lonely on this side of the mountain – but this whole telling tales out of school / burning bridges thing is brilliant. And I’m pretty sure the dumbass pro wrestler she makes fun of during her USO tour bit is Bradshaw, which makes her all the more golden, in my book.

02 – Speaking of stuff I’ve previously blogged, I recall that during a previous post in which I raved about the Ricky Gervais/BBC version of The Office, I referred to the Steve Carell/NBC version as a “pale imitation.” Which, in my defense, it was, based on the one episode of the American version that I’d seen – the pilot. But having seen the remainder of the first season, I’m totally taking that back, because that show came into its own in record time – like second episode record time. The Diversity Day episode . . . the basketball game . . . the one where Dwight picks the health care plan . . . that’s like three classic episodes right there, and they’ve only made six episodes in total. If they can bring that kind of material into the second season, we may have a third great network sitcom on our hands.

03 – One of the trailers I saw before The 40-Year Old Virgin (and more on that hilarious little gem of a movie later on) was for this comedy called Waiting, which looks like you basic grossout comedy, this time set in the all-too-relatable world of a restaurant waitstaff. But the cast, my god the cast! Headlined by Ryan Reynolds, which is great in its own right, the cast includes Justin Long (hilarious skinny kid from Dodgeball), Robert Patrick Benedict (Richard Coad from Felicity), John Francis Daley (Sam from Freaks and Geeks), Luis Guzman (got stabbed in the enck by Rebadow on Oz), and Dane Cook (crazy-ass comic of the “who shit on the coats?” variety). Done. Sold. I’m in. I may never eat at TGI Friday’s ever again afterward, but I’m totally seeing this.

04 – Okay, so is Jerry Sullivan the biggest douchebag in the world or what? If you’re from Buffalo and follow sports, you already know what I mean. If you’re not . . . well, get used to this, because with football and hockey season coming up, I’m going to be ranting in this vein a lot. This column is pretty standard for ol’ Jer – condescending, shit-stirring for the sake of shit-stirring, oozing a weasely “charm.” He’s a Boston guy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, except Buffalo isn’t Boston. We don’t secretly revel in our misery.

In this column, about how Sabres owner Tom Golisano is cheaping out on the free agent market this offseason, Jerry is his usual self. He’s pretty much trying to convince the fans that the team is going to suck this year. After the NHL ended the lockout, there was an actual enthusiasm around town about the returning season, with the exciting new rules and a team that, last we saw it, were promising and young. Sullivan basically tries to disabuse us of such positive thoughts. He then busts out with this maddening, if typical, gem:

Golisano has a right to make a profit. He's a businessman, not a philanthropist. But it gets tiresome hearing about how Golisano saved hockey in Buffalo. You get the notion that fans are supposed to be on their knees, grateful for the privilege of having an NHL team and willing to tolerate a mediocre product on the ice.

Yes, we are grateful to have an NHL team. We’re a dying city, asshole. We lose the Sabres or the Bills, they’re not coming back. We’re not Charlotte, who loses the NBA’s Hornets and get the Bobcats a year later. We’re not Los Angeles, who keep getting NFL franchise offers tucked into their g-string by a sweaty, desperate Paul Tagliabue. We allow jerkoff sportswriters to run our hockey team out of town, we’ve put one foot in the grave, and it’s not coming out. Yes, we’re grateful. Grateful sports fans. Obviously it won’t last – no grace period does - but quit greasing the damn tracks, Masshole.

05 – I’ve decided to re-read Stephen King’s It. The motivation came from catching an airing of the TV mini-series of the same name on Sci-Fi Network. God, that was just so poorly done. I mean, it’s probably unfilmable anyway, but seeing the crap-ass way it was rendered made me sad, because the book was so, so good. I was a lot younger when I read it (high school), so maybe it won’t have aged well, but for me it was the quitissential Stephen King book, with all his themes of childhood and monsters under the bed reaching their apex. It’s a long damn haul, but I need to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.

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