Son of The Wire

Matt Yglesias says: What’s really depressing to me about the current TV landscape isn’t so much that we haven’t seen another Wire-quality show as it is that we haven’t even seen a serious effort to produce another show that’d be as good. The aesthetic message of the The Wire is that it’s possible to create…

Best Television Shows of the Decade

The Onion ranks ’em – let the arguments commence! After reading the list, you begin to realize how consistently excellent the last few years of television have been. My personal top five consists of The Wire, The Office (UK), Deadwood, Freaks and Geeks, and the first two and a half seasons of Battlestar Galactica in…

How robots replaced amateur artists.

James Matthew Wilson, an editor at Front Porch Republic, has posted the first four sections of an essay called “Art and Beauty against the Politicized Aesthetic,” and the fifth and final section is on its way. Though he’s posted excerpts for discussion at FPR, the full text is at First Principles (parts one, two, three,…

Football in the Northeast

…which, for football purposes, includes South Florida.  In 2005, the Big East – long a basketball-heavy conference – lost three of its five traditionally strong football programs to the ACC, while one of the remaining two, Syracuse, had fallen on desperate times.  To remain a viable football conference (and retain its BCS status) the league was…

Lost vs. Heroes

Following up a little on my last post wherein I quoted Peter Suderman lamenting the lack of direction and planning for the show Battlestar Galactica, let me just add that two other shows I watch have fallen into similar traps. Heroes started out quite good and has since deteriorated into what I can best describe…

Our National Drug of Choice

No one is above the outrage cycle. We have now, in our culture, synthesized the two worst elements of pre-9/11 and post-9/11 media: the pre-9/11 obsession with meaningless bullshit; and the post-9/11 obsession with filling every story with apocalyptic portent and over the top, tween-girl-at-a-Jonas-brothers-concert hysteria. We still care too much about J-Lo’s dress and…

Bloodsport

Contra Bill Simmons, Malcolm Gladwell’s latest article isn’t 2009’s best piece of sports journalism. In fact, it’s not even the best article about football-related concussions. For that, you’ll have to go to GQ’s “Game Brain,” an absolutely frightening look at the long-term consequences of on-field collisions. I’ve always enjoyed football, but I never really considered…

Time Travel

My favorite movie that involves time traveling is Twelve Monkeys.  Anybody know a better time-travel flick?  And, beyond that, has anyone ever seen a time traveling film that made enough sense to be believable?  I find time travel to be the most difficult plot device – it is either used lazily or despite its clever…

What should I do (with all of this fruit)?

So, I went blackberry picking this weekend, and now I have an unreasonable number of blackberries in my fridge.  I made a cobbler last night – and I intend to make another – but I’ll still have a ton of blackberries left over.  Any suggestions for what to do with them (besides nom them as…

Daft Draft Analysis

The fact that teams frequently overvalue a player’s potential while devaluing actual production has been amply documented elsewhere, but I’m consistently baffled by sportswriters who exhibit the same tendency. Here, for example, is SI’s Chris Mannix: PACERS — Tyler Hansbrough will probably have a long NBA career. He will collect NBA paychecks well into his…

a reading list for fantasy enthusiasts (II)

My initial reaction to E.D.’s latest post was something along the lines of “oh dear, I’m not sure we need a comprehensive rundown of our favorite erotic fiction.” Fortunately, he’s talking about the other fantasy genre, so I’m happy to chime in with my recommendations. My (short) list is proudly traditional and leans rather heavily…

5-And-A-Half Stories About The Same Thing

Coleman Collins, D-League journeyman, former Euro-basketballer, and a pretty entertaining author, is now contributing to TrueHoop. A taste: I was walking through Amsterdam the other day when I crossed paths with two German women, one of whom stopped directly in front of me, looked me up and down, and turned over her shoulder to yell…

Thoughts on the Champions League Final

After an unbearably over-hyped build-up, Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United was pretty darn anti-climactic. Adding insult to injury, the match forced casual or otherwise unaffiliated fans to choose the lesser of two (great) evils. Barcelona has gradually become the Iberian equivalent of Steinbrenner’s Yankees, and not since the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees has a…

Torture vs. Steroids

A cogent point from the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Mark Madsen: When the congressional hearing of Jose Canseco vs. other MLB players created questions about steroid use, Congress acted quickly and decisively and spent the next several years with multiple Congressional hearings related to this important issue. I remember watching impassioned speeches by senators and Congresspeople talking…

Star Trek

By the way, I saw Star Trek this past weekend and it was great fun.  I’m not a big Trek fan – though I loved some of the old movies when I was a kid – but this movie was sheer entertainment and you didn’t really need to be a fan to appreciate it, though…