Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The General Lameness Of ESPN, And Other Musings

Last night, the Mets' Tom Glavine had his first shot at joining the exclusive 300-win club. The former Brave may be the last pitcher in quite a while to reach that mark.

But did ESPN bother to air the game? No. It chose to run a regular-season WNBA game instead. Now, I'm not using this as a forum to bash the WNBA or anything, but while ESPN is making a big deal of Barry Bonds' home run chase (as well it should), Glavine's pursuit of 300 wins was listed behind Alex Rodriguez's quest to reach 500 home runs during last night's SportsCenter. A-Rod isn't even the first guy to reach 500 homers THIS SEASON.

It's just more proof that ESPN has stopped being relevant as a news provider years ago.

GET WELL, ROBIN: Speaking of ESPN, former anchor Robin Roberts, now on "Good Morning America," was just diagnosed with breast cancer this week. Roberts discovered a lump doing a self-exam after reporting on the cancer-related death of "GMA" film critic Joel Siegel.

Here's hoping that the cancer was detected early enough for Roberts to have a complete recovery, but it should also serve as a reminder to women on how important those self-exams are.

PIRATE MASTER DEATH: One of the worst reality shows in recent memory has been CBS' "Pirate Master," a show so bad it got pulled with five episodes left.

Now it borders on the tragic: One of the eliminated contestants, Cheryl Kosewicz, a deputy D.A. in Las Vegas, committed suicide two months after the suicide of her boyfriend. While I don't think her elimination from the show had much to do with it, she did post on another contestant's blog that the show had increased tensions between the couple.

ON THE LOT RECAP: I blundered in a big way in yesterday's posting, forgetting to mention Adam as one of my favorites to win. And Adam showed me up for it by delivering the film of the night, about a radio that seizes control of everyone around it. Adam has been one of the stars of the entire season, particularly with his musically-based films. I'd say Will was second, with his anthropomorphized car that fights its driver, while Zach was a solid third. Jason, with guest actor Jerry O'Connell, bombed.

Of all the contestants, I think Adam and Zach will actually have solid careers even if they don't win the competition, because their stuff has been so much above the rest of the field from a technical sense. That means I'm kind of pulling for Will at this point, who is basically staking his whole future as a filmmaker on how he does in the competition.

Meanwhile, while it was great to see one of Hollywood's best auteurs in Gary Ross as the guest judge last night, what the heck was up with Penny Marshall, who was there filling in for her brother, Garry. I mean, was she blitzed? Every time she spoke, it was a train wreck (not to mention she managed to insult about 2 billion Asians). Penny is a talented filmmaker, but boy, here's hoping her brother returns next week.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: One of the most anticipated shows this fall - and one of the biggest busts - was "The Nine" (ABC, 10 p.m.), a show about the aftermath of a bank robbery gone wrong. ABC yanked the show in the fall, but is now burning off the remaining episodes. I'd probably be more excited, but given "The Nine's" serialized nature, it's hard for me to remember where the show has left off. Also, because they stopped filming episodes long ago, like ABC's "Traveler," the show will end in the middle of the story without any resolution.

Two of TV's very best will again go head-to-head. "Rescue Me" (FX, 10 p.m.) continues its run with a darker episode that gets away from the lighter tone the show has had this season. It airs against new hit "Mad Men," (AMC, 10 p.m.) perhaps the most critically acclaimed show of the summer. As I've posted before, cable TV has come through in a big way with its summer offerings, and these two shows are a big reason why.


zodin2008 said...

With regards to the Robin Roberts news, Phillip, she said they indeed caught it early and the prognosis looks good.

As for Glavine, keep in mind there were 3 major happenings with A-Rod, Glavine and Bonds--and as I have complained about as Braves fan, they are always going to choose Yankees & Red Sox first, along with anything Bonds is doing. Everything else is treated as secondary---though the Mets get a lot more love than most teams.

This Summer in general has been insane in terms of good TV---and it's ALL on Cable. I have basically ignored Network Television with the exception of the burining off of "Standoff" episodes and "Traveler".

I HATE and LOATHE realtiy TV so not only will I ignore "Lot" and anything else that's reality, but to hear that Reality TV helped lead to 2 suicides, makes the genre all the more sickening to me.

As for the battle at 10 PM, wow, that's tough. I have really enjoyed the first two episodes of "Mad Men"--a very addicting show. I will probably tape both and get some much needed sleep.

I did also finally watch the pilot (from last week) of "Damages" and it was very intriguing and different, certainly a smart show and another tour de force performance by Glenn Close (and by Rose Byrne, who's absolutely gorgeous) but I just don't quite enjoy it as much as say "Rescue Me" and "Mad Men".

Although as entertaining as "Rescue Me" is, this season has not been up to par with the previous 3 seasons.

Hotspur said...

Agree with you about Glavinw. Zodin and I met him in Philadelphia and he was really a nice guy. We spent a long time talking to him. I suppose it is his nice guy image which hurts him with ESPN. He doesn't radiate headlines like Bonds or ARod.

Damages is really a gripping show as is Mad Men. You never mention "Hell's Kitchen" one of the best offerings this summer.

Phillip Ramati said...

Like I said, I had no problem with the Bonds' chase, it is a huge deal. But there isn't going to be another 300-game winner for a long time, and the 500-HR mark doesn't have as much meaning as it used to. Ironically, if Glavine were still a Brave, we'd have more chances to see him get to 300, because one of the Braves' networks would carry it.

Hell's Kitchen is reality TV and something I don't watch. With the exception of On The Lot, I don't do a whole lot here with reality TV.

Edge said...

Last nights 'On the Lot'. Will to me is now the best, and I will vote for him to win. I have enjoyed all of his films so far. Zack to me has gone way down hill, and I did not like his film AT ALL last night or the previous 2 weeks. He is just not delivering what he did on the first several weeks which were great. And yes I am still a fan of Jason's even though last night was disapointing for me. I thought it started off good, but crashed on that last sceen. But I still really like him, and most of his previous films. Adam and Sam's where very good last night, but I did feel like I had seen Adam's film before, then I relized that it was his 'dancing man' film that he had done before. So I did like his film, but felt he could I had seen it before. So again right now Will is my Man!

Phillip Ramati said...

Zach is far and away the most technically proficient director, but isn't the strongest writer. Will is incredibly imaginative. Adam's song and dance routines are insanely clever and very hard to choreograph especially considering they have just days to shoot the films.
Jason has been up and down all year. His first film was borderline offensive by making his main character seem retarded, but he improved over the next several weeks until last night's bust.
I think I'm pulling for Will from here on out, mainly because I think Zach and Adam will get agents no matter how they finish. If Will doesn't win, he may stop filmmaking altogether, which would be a shame.

Jonathan said...

I'm also a huge baseball fan and caught the rankings last night. And as much as I agree that Glavine will probably be the last pitcher to reach 300 for awhile (especially with pitch counts and what not being more of a focus), I find both records between he and A-Rod to be kind of a toss-up. While, I agree Phil that the 500 mark is not as prominent as it once was, the quickness with which A-Rod has reached it factors in more than anything. The fact is that healthy, this guy has another 10 years in him at the least, and to imagine the numbers he's going to have across the board is just shy of earth shattering. And I also agree with Zodin that A-Rod is just always going to get more attention than Glavine just by being who he is. This is no knock on Glavine, but it's the way it is.

I quit watching "On the Lot" three weeks ago for no other reason than I was just watching so much other stuff I had to get rid of something on the schedule, and this was the one I was losing interest in the quickest. But based on what you guys have been saying about it over the last few weeks, I might have to catch back up on-line. Sounds fun.

And "Mad Men" after just two episodes is easily the best show of the summer so far.

Phillip Ramati said...

You already Sosa reach 600 and Frank Thomas reach 500, plus Griffey is closing in on 600. True, A-Rod has gotten there faster, but there is a been-there, done-that feel.

The only other pitcher right now with any sort of shot at 300 is Randy Johnson, and that is unlikely due to age and injuries.

Of the three milestones, A-Rod's is the least significant, yet is being placed on the same level as Bonds' record.

Plus, ESPN seemed to saturate the coverage during the 17 or so starts it took Clemens to get No. 300.

zodin2008 said...

Yes, even though I am a die hard Braves fan, I am a Tom Glavine fan. Hotspur is correct.

It's very difficult for me--on one hand, I always wish Tommy well and hope he gets 300, but in complete contradiction, I want my Braves to catch his Mets so the Mets losing a game last night, overall, helped my Braves.

Plus, I feel confident Tommy will get his 300th soon. Ironic I suppose if he actually got it against the Braves next week though he's set to face the Cubs this Sunday night.

i have to agree..."Mad Men" is the best show of the Summer. My ranks would go like this:

1. Mad Men
2. Rescue Me
3. Entourage
4. Standoff (I am counting it as a summer show)
5. My Boys
6. Big Love
7. Kyle XY
8. Traveler
9. Damages
10. The Bronx is Burning
11. Psych
12. The 4400
13. The Dead Zone
14. Monk

Again, these are the shows I watch over the Summer and did watch or stick with shows such as "John From Cinncinati" (hated the first 10 minytes) or "Burn Notice" (just had to cut somewhere.

In fact, the 4 veteran shows at the bottom, of my personal summer rankings (The 4400, Psych, Monk and The Dead Zone) have all gotten to a point where I am ready to officially retire them all. I am bored with all of them.

Jonathan said...

I think "The 4400" is suffering from the fact that while three years ago it seemed fresh and exciting, it now pales in comparison to other sci-fi shows like "Heroes" and "Battlestar Galatica." Although I've read where a lot of people think this is its best season yet, but I just don't see it. I think it's been on the downhill trend since the great finale of seson 1, and it is becoming more and more evident that it doesn't even know where the story is heading.

Phillip Ramati said...

The 4400 is one of those shows I could take or leave. It's not really must-see TV, but I generally find it enjoyable. But yeah, it does seem like the storyline has lost some direction.