“I know she’s a great competitor, but then there’s also the fact that I hate her.” —Ty
“We do not talk. We are not Facebook friends. Nothing.” —Diem
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re back!
MTV is back with another installment of The Challenge and this time, fresh off the success of the Rivals format, it’s embracing a similar concept: Battle of the Exes will pair players with partners who they hooked up with/dated/sloppily-made-out-with-while-drunk on previous challenges.
Of course, it should go without saying that I love this season’s format, but I feel the need to stress something: I love this season’s format. There’s the obvious drama factor—always-quotable Paula called this season “drama’s wet dream”*—but this season also addresses a lot of concerns I have about challenge format. First of all, I almost always prefer individual or paired competitions (like The Duel, Fresh Meat, Rivals) to team challenges (The Gauntlet, The Inferno, Cutthroat). They prevent players from skating by and force everyone to strategize. Continue reading »
“I’ve mastered the art of losing right before the final, but now we’re officially in the final.” —Paula
“I would have never thought I’d see the day when the only person to really have my back was my worst enemy… but she’s got me.” —Cara Maria
Why’s everyone been acting so messed up towards Cara Maria?
Last night was the final female elimination before the final challenge, so everyone was probably a little on edge, but Cara Maria ended up taking the brunt of it.
The episode started with the mob questioning Laurel’s loyalty, given her recent closeness with C.T.* As a result, Kenny/Wes were thinking putting them second in the order for the next the challenge. As Johnny Bananas** put it, “How would you feel if we were fraternizing with the enemy?” But when Cara Maria pointed out that it’s not only Laurel who was doing some treasonous fraternizing, but also Jenn (who seems to be getting more serious about Adam)—well, that kind of evenhanded logic has no place on the Challenge. Rather predictably, Jenn did not react well, but the argument was quickly quelled when Cara Maria agreed to go second. Continue reading »
What we read while acquiescing and finally going to rehab…
- An airline that may be able to dodge TSA regulations.
Mad Men, which premiered its third season last night, is a cool show to like. Stuff White People Like (which, let’s face it, should really be called “Stuff White Hipsters Like”) sums it up pretty well: “Mad Men is a TV show on cable with low ratings, multiple awards, critical praise, and full seasons available on DVD. It’s no surprise white people love it.”
But it’s not just white people who like the show; everyone loves Mad Men: black people like it (though not the way it deals with race), women like it, the Emmys love it, Banana Republic loves it.
There are a lot of reasons Mad Men is so well-liked (the most important probably being that it is a very good show). One reason is that it manages to balance prurient, intellectual and emotional appeals all at once; it is simultaneously inclusive and esoteric.
Last night’s Season Three premiere, for example, uses the pregnancy of Don Draper’s wife (Betty, played by January Jones) to examine his own birth, how he feels about his oncoming child, the nature of wishes and wish-fulfillment, which dovetails nicely with a secondary plot in which Peter (Vincent Kartheiser) and Kenny (Aaron Staton) receive the same job. But it also had Don and Sal flying to Baltimore, where Don (Jon Hamm) takes a flight attendant to bed while Sal gets hit on by the bell-boy, only for them both to be interrupted by a fire alarm. Continue reading »