Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"I'm like Mozart. And you're like that guy that was always jealous of Mozart..."

(And, no, I don't care that the photo has nothing to do with this post. It was a damn fine episode.) where were we? Apologies for my prolonged absence.

A few points...

1. NBA Playoffs: My excitement is building (which isn't saying a lot, since I probably watched three NBA regular season games from start to finish this year, down from ten or so last year, and 300 when I was seventeen), but, goddammit, San Antonio vs. Phoenix and New Orleans vs. Dallas in the first round? It seems like a bit of waste. When you have six teams out of sixteen that could win the championship (I'm tempted to include Utah as the seventh because I love the way they play, but I don't think they have a chance against L.A.), you really shouldn't have four of them facing off against each other in Round 1. So what if the NBA seeded teams from 1-16 in the playoffs, as so many have clamoured for in recent years? Glad you asked.

Rules: a regular season conference title guarantees you a top 2 spot, and winning your division guarantees you no worse than the 4th best seed of teams in your conference (which is the current rule). This first batch simply re-seeds the sixteen teams that qualified this year...

Round 1:

(1) Boston vs. (16) Atlanta
(8) Phoenix vs. (9) Orlando

(4) New Orleans vs. (13) Washington
(5) San Antonio vs. (12) Cleveland

(3) Detroit vs. (14) Toronto
(6) Utah vs. (11) Denver

(2) Los Angeles vs. (15) Philadelphia
(7) Houston vs. (10) Dallas

Or, if you don't think that the conferences need to represented equally (for argument's sake, let's say that each conference has to have six representatives...though I can't see this ever being an issue, how about this (changes in red/caps)?

Round 1:

(1) Boston vs. (16) PORTLAND
(8) Phoenix vs. (9) Orlando

(4) New Orleans vs. (13) GOLDEN STATE
(5) San Antonio vs. (12) Cleveland

(3) Detroit vs. (14) WASHINGTON
(6) Utah vs. (11) Denver

(2) Los Angeles vs. (15) TORONTO*
(7) Houston vs. (10) Dallas

*= Toronto and Portland were both 41-41 in the regular season and split the season series 1-1. I've given Toronto the better seed because they had the better conference record (29-23 vs. Portland's 26-26). Now, I do feel kind of shitty rewarding Toronto for playing in a weaker conference, but what can you do? Plus, on a neutral court, they're probably slightly better than the Blazers. Doesn't matter--both are would be fodder for Boston and L.A.'s this for a potential 2nd Round?

Boston vs. Phoenix
New Orleans vs. San Antonio

Detroit vs. Utah
Dallas ("upset" pick) vs. L.A.

Followed by...

Boston vs. NO/SA (too close to call--that quarterfinal would be amazing)
Detroit vs. Los Angeles


Boston vs. Los Angeles.

Now, what we'll actually likely end up with is: Boston-Cleveland, Detroit-Orlando, LA-Utah, NO-SA....which is still pretty compelling (well...except for the Eastern Conference), but, man, that crossover draw is sexy.

2. This comes courtesy of Ken Jennings's blog (which I've recently stumbled upon and am enjoying immensely): Match the MPAA rating warning with the appropriate film. (No googling the description, either. I didn't...honest.)

1. 1999: “R for graphic shark attacks, and for language.”
2. 1998: “R for pervasive extreme drug use and related bizarre behavior, strong language, and brief nudity.”
3. 2006: “PG for boxing violence and some language.”
4. 2004: “R for graphic crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language - all involving puppets.”
5. 1996: “PG-13 for intense depiction of very bad weather.”
6. 1999: “R for disturbing and graphic depiction of violent anti-social behavior, sexuality and language.”
7. 1997: “PG-13 for disaster related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality and brief language.”
8. 1998: “R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence, and for language.”
9. 2003: “R for drug use, self destructive violence, language and sexuality - all involving young teens.”
10. 1995: “R for grisly afterviews of horrific and bizarre killings, and for strong language.”

My answers (highlight to reveal): (1) Deep Blue Sea, (2) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas [FYI, the tip-off is "pervasive extreme drug use."] (3) Rocky Balboa?, (4) Team America: World Police, (5) Twister, (6) Fight Club, (7) Titanic, (8) Saving Private Ryan, (9) no clue?, (10) Natural Born Killers?

answers found here (I think).

3. The Bachelor: while I've enjoyed this Bachelor season (officially: Carrie makes me watch it) more than most (the final five girls seemed more or less reasonable which happens--approximately--never, and Matt, the Bachelor is easily the most likeable Bachelor in the show's history--by, like, several orders of magnitude), I have to say that Matt, in sending home Amanda yesterday, committed a grievous error. Here's why:

-Shayne, finalist #1, while undeniably attractive, has revealed herself as truly vapid. You know what's a dead giveaway that you're kind of dim? When you make statements like "I'm aware of what's going on in the world. I know about politics" in an interview...and then provide no follow-up information. Also, can we stop with this whole "Shayne [who is Lorenzo Lamas's daughter] is a big-time actress conceit? An 18-episode stint on General Hospital, a cameo on Air America the series (which one presumes not at all coincidentally, starred her father), and a billing in the upcoming Endless Bummer ("Red Bikini Girl") which completely smacks of porn does not a resume make. (On the plus side: there was an Air America series?? It only lasted eight episodes--or: seven longer than I would've guessed--but don't you just feel better knowing this existed? Has there ever been a movie that was less in need of being made into a weekly series? Maybe Mannequin?).

-Chelsea, the other finalist, spent more than half of her last date with Matt acting like he had leprosy. She's generally fairly pleasant (and the one, I suppose, that I'm rooting for now), but clearly has relationship issues. This seems like a good enough reason to send her home.

-Amanda, who was sent packing, was responsible for this (six minutes...but well worth watching)--far and away, the greatest moment in Bachelor history. She deserves to win for that alone. (Although, again, on the plus side, her departure led directly to another Bachelor first: the dropping of a "douchebag" bomb during her tearful goodbye. Carrie and I watched that part again today to see if it actually happened...since it was bleeped out. Verdict? Yup.)

4. American Idol: despite some truly horrific theme nights orchestrated by Nigel Lythgoe and company--all together now: a second Beatles night that was destined to fail, Dolly Parton, songs from the year you were born, inspirational music (for the virtually unwatchable "Idol Gives Back" telethon), Mariah Carey, Andrew Lloyd Webber (which was actually kinda awesome), and Neil Diamond (which was not)...I mean, really, if you were deliberately trying to make people less interested in your show, you probably wouldn't be able to do better than this...--I'm actually enjoying this season quite a bit. That said, it's almost completely inconceivable that it won't come down to the two Davids--Cook (who, simply put, is fantastic...and wayyyy too good for the show) and Archuleta (who is technically perfect, but in a boring the point where he might be a robot set to "adult contempo." I heard him tonight and thought "he'd be great on Star Search." Forty minutes later, I discovered that he was on Star Search and won $100,000. Oh. Well...that proves my point then, doesn't it?). In other words, it's going to be a dull three weeks until we get to the finals.

5. Real World: Hollywood: having seen the first two episodes, I can safely say: when MTV said that they were going to go back to their roots and cast "real" people for their 20th season, I did not realize that they were only picking from the smaller subset of the "absolutely fucking clinically insane." Should be interesting.

6. A few McSweeney's links that I highly recommend: one on bomb defusing, one on first drafts of biblical parables. (And this one, which I came across while procrastinating with this post.)

7. Up next: since I actually get to, you know, read actual books (instead of staring at page after page of statutes and procedural rules until I go blind), there should be more book reviews up in the coming weeks and months.

On tap immediately is (at Taylor's request) the Top 10 video games of the 1990s. After that, I'm hoping to assemble my Wire vs. Sopranos post. That one is bound to be a long one, so it may take a while.

In addition, stay tuned for a post on the wedding blog this week (topic: most memorable/best TV weddings).


RT Murphy said...

My guess for the 9th movie would be Kids, but what it actually was is a terrible movie.

Thanks for the McSweeney's links, and looking forward to the wed-blog getting updated!

What did you think of this week's HIMYM?

Kyle Wasko said...

My first thought was Kids, but I was definitely in high school when that came out, setting the outer bound at 1998. The movie in question came out in 2003.

Kyle Wasko said...

I think I figured out #9 (though I haven't seen the movie).

Re: HIMYM--> I actually enjoyed this week's episode quite a bit (far better than last week's, imho, though this seems to run counter to what everyone else is saying). Glad they've decided to play the Barney and Robin thing this way (for the time being at least), and I'm intrigued by the 31st birthday reference (though I'm not impressed that they totally copped out on the goat. If Carter and Bays honestly think that whatever they tell us about the goat will pale in comparison to our wildest imagination--which is likely enough--they should just stop talking about it altogether.)

travis said...

HIMYM answer: Ted is living with Stella, Robin moves in with Lilly and Segel's wang. The problem with my correct assumption is that we will never know how right I am since the show is destined for cancellage within 4 days.