As Season Two of Louie continues on FX, John S and Josh will be offering NPI readers their reactions to each episode. At the end of the season, they will rank the episodes. Get excited. Continue reading »
Archive for July, 2011
“We’re playing the game with a bunch of bitches and I’ve got the biggest one on my team.” —Nehemiah
Just a week after I broke down my problems with this season of the Challenge, Rivals had its best episode yet. Things that had been brewing all season long—fraying rivalries, the tension with C.T., C.T.’s love triangle—finally boiled over.
It seems that the moronic “D-Day” plan from two weeks ago did not die with its initial failure—the Wes/Johnny/Evan alliance put it in motion yet again last night. The plan was essentially the same: Evan would throw the challenge to get sent into the Jungle, where he would hopefully meet and defeat Adam/C.T. There were many obvious problems with this plan, the first of which was preventing Adam/C.T. from winning immunity. Continue reading »
What we read while acquiescing and finally going to rehab…
- For fans of Community, amazing news: Omar comin’! The show also presented at Comic-Con last week, and Dan Harmon previewed Season Three.
- An airline that may be able to dodge TSA regulations.
- Joe Posnanski on a critical moment for the Hall of Fame.
- Lady Gaga did an in-depth interview with Howard Stern, which is actually interesting even if you’re sick of her.
- An entire blog devoted to bringing down Michelle Bachmann (typical mainstream media!).
“Playing the ‘my-partner’s-what’s-holding-me-back’ card is getting tiring.” —Katelynn
Despite the great structure of Rivals, there have been a few things about it that have been hard to watch, and last night’s episode was a great example of them.
First, this season has featured almost a complete absence of strategizing. Part of this is due to the separation of male and female eliminations (since only half of the contestants are invested in any given vote, the other half is much more likely to jump on any bandwagon so as to avoid making enemies) and part of it is due to sheer stupidity (Here is a brief guide to strategy: 1) Count up the number of votes 2) Divide that number by two 3) Try to get one more than that number of people to vote with you… It’s really that easy, yet it eludes most of these players).
Most of it, though, is due to the voting rules. For one, even though it seems like the fairest way to do it, the last place team should not automatically get sent into the Jungle. Doing so immediately drains half the suspense out of any vote, and preemptively eliminates a lot of potential strategies and alliances. Continue reading »
- Breaking Bad finally returned from its long hiatus last night, with a stellar season premiere. In preparation, Bryan Cranston sat down for interviews with The A.V. Club and Alan Sepinwall. Sepinwall also interviewed Aaron Paul. Meanwhile, Vulture counted down the ten tensest moments in the show’s history, and broke down Walter White’s moral decline. That moral decline has, according to Chuck Klosterman, made Breaking Bad even better than The Wire (we wouldn’t go that far).
- Speaking of great television (and continuing Monday Medley’s recent run of oral histories): a brief history of Friday Night Lights, which concluded its run on NBC last Friday (as John S wrote about).
- 17th century guides to ladies’ decorum are sure to be entertaining.
- Tyler Cowen opines on the level of consumer surplus we get from the Internet.
- Louis C.K. was surprised by his multiple Emmy nominations. And every adult from Modern Family (even Ed O’Neill this time!) was nominated.
- Scott Tobias looks at the current state of Conan O’Brien’s career.
- What’s the deal with that crazy Sarah Palin documentary?
Well, Friday Night Lights has officially ended, and for good this time. FNL has had more shots at an ending than any show not named One Tree Hill. The show’s first and third season finales were both written as potential series finales before late renewals extended its life. And for those who watched the fifth season when it initially aired on DirecTV, the series ended back in February. Even the DVDs were released in April, but the show’s final run on NBC finished up last night. So, sadly, Friday Night Lights, one of the best series of the last decade, is over.
And for all the controversial endings to classic shows over the last few years—The Sopranos, The Wire, Lost, Battlestar Galactica—I’ve never been as upset watching a finale as I was watching the finale to Friday Night Lights.
The final image of the series was Eric and Tami Taylor walking off the football field. This was the perfect ending for the series… except that the football field was in Philadelphia, not Texas. Continue reading »
“The entire ‘D-Day’ plan was idiotic from the get-go.” —Evelyn
Should the fact that this week’s power rankings are a day late be taken as an indictment of this week’s episode? Of course not. With that said, this wasn’t exactly an episode for the history books.* It centered on the dominant alliance’s** plan—christened “D-Day” by Wes—to send Adam/C.T. into the Jungle. With only a few male eliminations left before the final challenge, they were desperate to get rid of the best team.
*You know, the history books with a chapter entitled “Competitive Reality TV Programming.”
**For those keeping track, the dominant alliance includes Kenny/Wes, Johnny/Tyler, and Evan/Nehemiah. Continue reading »
What we read while Derek Jeter got even more insufferable…
- Derek Jeter finally reached 3,000 hits on Saturday, with a home run to left field. The pageantry (and hyperbole) was in full effect. Joe Posnanski wrote both a before and after post about the chase, and Will Leitch broke down where Jeter ranks among those who’ve reached the milestone. The Yankees, meanwhile, made a pretty penny off the feat.
- Bryan Caplan explores the link between job satisfaction and education level.
- We at NPI have often wondered what story we would tell on Jeopardy, and it turns out it’s a common worry.