Monthly Archives: May 2009

worst finale ever.

Well, so much for my theory on the last post.  The season finale to Breaking Bad sucked.

(MAJOR SPOILERS follow, obviously.  You’ve been warned.)

This show is so much better than a “deus ex machina” ending.  This season had been fantastic too, maybe the best season of a television series I had ever seen.  Vince Gilligan was really on a roll with this show.  The first season was excellent, and somehow, the second season didn’t suffer from the sophomore jinx.  It was even better!

Until the finale.

Look, I get the symbolism.  I get the implications.  Walt, via the course of action he had taken over the season, indirectly set up the plane crash.  He gave Jesse the cold shoulder when Combo was gunned down trying to expand their territory.  Jesse then turned to smoking crystal, which went unchecked, and Jane soon joined him because Walt just left Jesse to wallow in his own drug-addled stupor.  Jane relapses and starts rocking the hard shit, which sinks Jesse even lower.  Both plot to blackmail Walt, which later results in Walt not saving Jane from choking on her own vomit when he has the chance.  Jane dies, which drops Jesse to rock bottom.  And (so conveniently) Jane’s father is an air traffic controller, who goes back to work too early and blanks while directing air traffic.  Two planes collide: BOOM!  Walt is indirectly responsible for the deaths of several people (not to mention breaking up his family.)

I get that.  I understand what Gilligan was showing, that all these small, seemingly inconsequential actions can build up to something huge – butterfly effect, right?

But that’s not what this show is about!  Or at least, not as conveniently as things happened in the finale.  Yeah, it’s about coincidence.  There are logical coincidences on the show.  And then there is this random J.J. Abrams crap that shows up for the finale.  Except at least that stuff belongs in Abrams’ work.

The way I see it, I have three primary beefs with the finale:

1) AMC and the Breaking Bad creative team completely misled everyone.  That’s fine if you just do it in your own show and subvert expectations.  But they went out of their way through marketing and advertising to do it.  Probably should have seen this coming as “next episode” previews were misleading all season.  But to go and quote critics as saying the finale would leave you wincing in pain?  Yeah, wincing in pain from how bad it was.  There was nothing shocking or upsetting or remotely impactful about the finale.  Yet AMC hyped it up like it was going to be the greatest finale ever.

2) None of the introductory teasers for the episodes were of any consequence!  They may as well have contained them/it to this one crappy episode.  They wasted air time by going in depth about all this crap that’s only marginally relevant to the main story.  We get all those shots of the burned teddy bear…who cares?  It fell from the sky.  Was it really necessary to tease that as much as they did?  And the bodybags…they’re from the plane?  From something else?  They didn’t expand on that at all.  Fanboys will say “oh that’s genius, they’re saving the juicy stuff for next season.”  And I say that’s crap.  They just wrote an ending out of thin air, and had to slap it all together.

3) Deus Ex Machina for a show like Breaking Bad does not work!  Yeah, we take certain creative liberties as an audience while watching the show.  It’s unlikely a non-smoker who lives a healthy lifestyle like Walt would develop lung cancer.  And it’s sure as hell unlikely that timid old bastard would become a drug kingpin with the alter ego Heisenburg.  But that all feels harmonious with the story.  We’re willing the believe that.  The show is enjoyable for it.  And most of the developments that emerge from that story are grounded in realism.  The series itself is heavily grounded in realism – in their portrayal of building a drug operation from the ground up, the horrors of meth use and the widespreading implications involvement in drug manufacturing/trafficking can have on not only individuals and families, but a community.  That’s all great.  But a freaking plane crash?  Seriously?  First of all, there’s no way in hell air traffic control would let Jane’s father come back to work under those conditions.  No way.  An ATC is one of the most mentally-exhausting occupations out there.  And they’re gonna let him come back a week after his daughter his died?  Bullshit.  Not only that, but the plane just happens to crash over Walt’s house?  And the bear just happens to fall in his pool?  That doesn’t mesh with this show at all!

I’m pissed.  What a great season ruined by an atrocious ending.  Breaking Bad has been renewed for a third season (probably a few more to follow, it gets great ratings), and I truly hope Gilligan can find his footing.  Because this is starting to feel like the show has jumped the shark.  In it’s second season.

I really hope that is not the case.

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the 10 most ‘wtf’ moments in tv history.

Okay.  Major spoilers follow, obviously.  I’ll post the show title first, and episode if possible.  If you don’t wanna know what happens in some of these series, don’t read.

Also, just my opinion on these.  Obviously I haven’t seen every television program in human history.  Just what I think.  You get mad…whatever.  No apparent order.  And after tonight’s season finale of “Breaking Bad”, I will probably have something else to throw on this list.

1.  Breaking Bad – “Negro Y Azul”

WTF Moment: DEA snitch Tortuga (Danny Trejo) is beheaded, his head placed on a giant desert turtle.  When the DEA approaches, a bomb inside the head detonates and blasts everyone to hell.

Why My Mind Was Blown:  The initial imagery of Tortuga’s head on the turtle was bizarre enough.  Then for the DEA to treat it like a giant joke, only to be blown to pieces for their pestering…just such a drastic change of events.  Eerie to somewhat funny to downright disturbing.

2.  Skins – “Effy”

WTF Moment: Josh springs an elaborate trap in which Tony is forced to have sex with his sister, or watch her die if he refuses.

Why My Mind Was Blown: Because it really went there.  This might be the most sinister plot I’ve ever seen in a series.  Okay, so Josh finally takes pity on Tony after beating the hell out of him and doesn’t make him go through with it.  But still, the lengths Josh goes to in order to get Effy to the party and drugged up, then lure Tony to the same party and present him with such a horrible ultimatum…it’s shocking.  And somewhat plausible.

3.  The Shield – “Post Partum”

WTF Moment: Convinced Lem is finally too much of a liability, Shane drops a grenade into his lap and walks away.

Why Mind Mind Was Blown: You just didn’t really think anyone was gonna pull the trigger, especially after Vic sets up an escape to Mexico.  It’s not only the suddenness of the act – it comes out of nowhere, you literally have no idea what Shane has done until he walks away and the car explodes – but the look on Lem’s corpse afterward.  Like “holy hell, you really just did this to one of your best friends.”

4.  The Wire – “Clarifications”

WTF Moment: Kenard murks Omar.

Why My Mind Was Blown:  This is the definition of anticlimactic, but thematically, it makes perfect sense.  The stage is set for a huge showdown between Omar and Marlo, then little punk-ass Kenard randomly guns down everyone’s favorite homo thug.  Omar Little was an absolutely iconic television character.  And to die like he did, at the hands of freaking Kenard, shocked everyone.

5.  Dexter – “The British Invasion”

WTF Moment: Lila leaves Doakes to die from a gas leak explosion in a cabin, Doakes almost makes it out but dies.

Why My Mind Was Blown: Similar to what happened with Omar, Doakes’ death was so anticlimactic.  There were a couple episodes really hinting at a showdown between he and Dexter, and there was some downright devilish matching of wits between the two.  But Lila just comes along and ends his life like it’s nothing.  One of the most prominent, interesting characters in the series…offed by the series’ worst/dumbest/most annoying villain.

6.  Oz – “You Bet Your Life”

WTF Moment:  Said and Adebisi fight to the death in a closed-curtain cell.  We assume that Adebisi – the strongest, most ferocious prisoner in Oswald – has come out victorious.  But really it’s the undersized Said, who has been forced to kill the man he had tried so hard to reform.

Why My Mind Was Blown:  It was probably a little gimmicky, but the order in which the men come out of the cell leads you to believe Adebisi was victorious.  And when you realize he wasn’t, you realize not only did Said win the battle unexpectedly, but will now be faced with owning up to murder – a blatant sin in his religion.

7.  Oz – “Works of Mercy”

WTF Moment:  Beecher receives a package in the mail room containing his kidnapped daughter’s hand.

Why My Mind Was Blown: You could write a ‘WTF moment’ list about “Oz” and have a good 20 entries.  Specifically with anything related to the Beecher-Schillinger beef.  This is where it just gets nasty though.  Beecher has the opportunity to really hurt Schillinger by messing with one of his jailed sons, but decides not to in order to seek out a truce with Schillinger.  Schillinger does not trust Beecher to make good on the truce and has his outside guys kidnap, torture and kill Beecher’s daughter.  That’s what you get for playing nice, Toby.

8.  Veronica Mars – “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner”

WTF Moment: Veronica and Duncan find Grace locked in a closet, Lamb actually sides with Veronica.

Why My Mind Was Blown:  There’s a lot going on here.  On the surface level, we find out that everything Meg was saying about herself, she was really saying about her little sister.  It then becomes evident that this “perfect family” abuses their daughters.  And on top of that, Lamb makes like he’s going to arrest Veronica and Logan, but really lets them go and goes back for Grace’s father.  You have to be immersed in the series to really understand any of this, obviously.  But if you are, hearing “Run” by Air will send chills down your back.

9.  Deadwood – “Here Was A Man”

WTF Moment:  Jack McCall pops Bill Hickok in the head at a poker table.

Why My Mind Was Blown: Because Bill Hickok was supposed to be a major character, right?  And he gets killed four episodes in?  I guess this isn’t surprising if you’re a history buff.  But how was I supposed to know that Jack McCall killed Bill Hickok?  It comes out of nowhere.  And the bastard gets away with it!

10.  Damages – “I Hate These People”

WTF Moment: Ray Fiske swallows a pistol.

Why My Mind Was Blown: It was really unexpected.  Patty’s blackmail ultimatum was tough, but did you really expect Ray to off himself?  Obviously Patty didn’t.  Especially in her office.

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the worst song i have ever heard.

Marc’s last entry inspired me to post the worst song I’ve ever heard.

And that (dubious) honor goes to none other than Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em.  Please note that is his full rap name.  Everyone shortens it to Soulja Boy, but I feel it’s doing him a great injustice!  He so clearly chose that specific name, so we must honor it.  I’ll correct anyone who doesn’t.

Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – Blowed

(Can’t believe I’m wasting DivShare space for this.)

But I think there’s an important lesson to be learned here.  Actually, a couple.  Number one is, if you actually like Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, you quite obviously have no music taste.  If you don’t realize that this kinda stuff is actually bad for not only hip-hop, but music in general, then you don’t deserve to ever be in charge of a playlist.  You shouldn’t even be able to play music out loud while driving around alone with the windows down.  Simply put, other people shouldn’t be subject to your stupidity, your inability to differentiate between actual music and this shit.  Yes, I realize we’ll all be subject to the occasional Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em track in the (insert frat house here) basement.  That happens.  It’s unfortunate, but it happens, because collectively people have no taste in good music.  But if you’re to the point where you actually have this stuff on your MP3 player of choice, or are bumping it on your daily commute?  You should be banned from music.  Forever.

The second lesson is that auto-tune is also attempting to assassinate hip-hop.  Slowly, perhaps, but by a thousand papercuts nonetheless.  God knows Kanye’s last album was straight garbage (yet you clowns all bought it anyway.)  And all those Weezy/Jamie Foxx/whoever the hell experiments with auto-tune as of late have been terrible as well.  But at least you could stomach those.  They weren’t good for hip-hop, but you could tolerate them in a crowded bar setting with lots of other distractions.  This…there’s no way, no way in hell, that you can tolerate this.  This is a crime against humanity.  Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em should face a tribunal for this abomination.  It’s beyond awful.  There really isn’t a word to describe how bad the auto-tune “works” on this track.  I’d say it’s embarrassing, but clearly Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em has no dignity/self-respect or else he wouldn’t have put this out for anyone to actually listen to in the first place.

In an arms dealer sort of way, I guess I am somewhat perpetuating this awful music.  But only as evidence of how bad this shit really is.  Please, support good music.  Stop listening to this crap.  I didn’t think I’d hear anything worse than Asher Roth this year.  I forgot Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em was still lingering.

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The WHut?!

chester

Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day

yo son WTF. you might have heard this song before, well this is the video. i was watching it on VH1 at like 4 AM after the bar and it really struck me. i have always thought that this band REALLY blew, but this song reminds me of a Guster song from the 90’s if every member of that band was taking estrogen pills. I love how serious the video gets – i was dying of laughter. Is Chester Bennington (not gonna google spellcheck that name – isn’t worth it) like Bono’s Hannah Montana alter ego?

what a terrible terrible song, video and band. i will never purposely subject myself or anyone else to this garbage

aside, watch Kno of Cunninglynguists video “Caucasian,” a remix to Yeezy’s “Amazing” NBA theme

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another ‘hangover’ on the horizon.

A lot of folks have had their eyes on this one for a while.  By all accounts, The Hangover, which hits theaters on June 5, will be one of 2009’s top comedies.  In a year that has already seen I Love You, Man and Observe & Report, that would be quite an accomplishment.

But more interesting than the inevitable stories that evolve from the film’s success: Zach Galifianakis’ long overdue chance at stardom, Todd Phillips’ triumphant return to comedy and the prospects of Mike Tyson’s acting career, is news that Variety recently broke: a sequel for ‘Hangover’ has already been slotted for 2010.  A sequel for a movie that has yet to be released in theaters.

According to Variety, the sequel will reunite the directing and producing team as well as the majority of the cast.  This is about as notable a “good faith” move as you’re likely to see in a non-action blockbuster movie.  Seconding this motion is this horrendously written review on Rotten Tomatoes (seriously, if this woman gets paid, it’s a travesty) claiming the film has franchise potential.  There are only four reviews up so far, but all are positive and claim that the movie is absolutely hilarious.

So catch a ‘Hangover’ next Friday.  Then catch the sequel next year.  Or Mike Tyson will come knocking at your front door.  And he ain’t selling no girl scout cookies.

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designated driver blues.

Ever notice how weird it is to go on a bar crawl and never have a drink?

I’ll preface this with saying that, for your good friends, you do what you gotta do.  That’s the point of friendship.  For a good friend’s 21st, I definitely do not mind being the DD.  That’s what friends are for and I’m more than happy to do it.

But not drinking at a bar?  Weird.

I’m not gonna pretend like I’m some hardened alcholic here or anything.  I’m 21 years old.  I drink socially.  Bomb shell, right?  Chances are I don’t drink as much as the average college student, not even close.  Some people might think that’s weird.  I would hope I have much cooler weird qualities than that.  But in any case, it’s still very strange to be in bars and only sip on an ice water (though I found you can make up drink names for your water…”Limp Dracula on the rocks” really seemed to interest everyone who asked tonight.)

Still, I can handle the prospects of socializing sans liquid courage.  Did quite well at it actually.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that most of the times I’m in Broad Ripple, it turns into some quasi-high school reunion.  But not the reunion where you see all of your good friends from wayback.  The reunion where you see a lot of people you kinda remember, but forget their names.  Of course, they remember you – they always remember you – and you’re stuck trying not to look like that ass who thinks he’s too cool to acknowledge the past.  I don’t want to make them feel insignificant, but truth is if I’m drawing a blank on the name, they probably are – in terms of their relativity in my life anyway.  Facebook friend me!  Then we can both take a “Which ‘Twilight’ Character Are You?” quiz.

But again, this is something I can handle.  Social awkwardness is nothing new.  Arguably, over time, social awkwardness has grown more entertaining.  If you can identify it and topsy-turvy that mofo, it’s always great to make everyone else feel uncomfortable.  So this isn’t much of a setback, in terms of enjoying the night.  It’s a mild annoyance, but on the whole, not too difficult to conquer.  Where does everything fall apart for me, you ask?

Puke.

I’m one of those guys who can’t handle puke.  I can’t handle the sight of it.  I can’t handle the smell of it.  And while I realize nobody enjoys the smell of puke wafting in their general direction, I feel that most people don’t react as strongly to it as I do.  Perfect example is tonight, a crowded little bathroom in Brothers.  Three urinals, two stalls and too many people packed in waiting to piss out the last pitcher.  Dull green tiles, boring place that smells more like a bar than my shirt does, probably from the collection of foggy drunkbreath that keeps collecting on the grimy mirror just above the sink.  I go in to check on my friend who is checking on Birthday Boy, and it’s your usual bathroom symphony of streamsplashing and story-swapping – who in the group has the best chance of getting laid, what bouncer was going out of his way to be a dick.  Except for the brown screams coming from the stall furthest to the right, closest to Urinal Row.

Well, friend opens stall door and that vomit smell, the toxic cloud containing the foul remnants of whatever was expunged from the stomach, leaks out into the room.  And I can tell other people smell it.  Their noses turn up, faces cringe a bit.  What I consider a normal reaction, a response to something unpleasant without feeling the need to note it beyond that immediate physical reaction.  But me?  My own stomach turns.  I can imagine everything in the act of worshipping the porcelain, and I taste it in the back of my throat.  That smell.  Christ, that smell.  I have to cover my nose and step away.  I can’t handle puke.

Later, it’s time to get Birthday Boy back to the car, and he’s done a number on himself.  His shirt is soaked with his stomach lining.  His breath sprays like shotgun shells of vomitsmell, tearing through the sinuses and sticking to the sensory.  It’s a sensation that, for me, makes me back away a bit.  Nobody else seems to mind much.  I get the car and drive back around to pick him up.  Now begins the difficult process of being the designated driver.

You have to drive slow and smooth, so the bumps in the road won’t induce any more heaving than necessary.  But you can’t drive too slow, because that’s how the police pull you over.  His head has to be out the window, and you just pray he vomits in between the squad cars stationed on the corners.  Again, the goal is not to make the act too obvious.  Then there’s the matter of where the vomit goes.  Tonight’s location of choice: the side of my car.  Looks like I’ll be washing it tomorrow, though we did get one good wipedown in.  Last comes the most difficult part, getting Birthday Boy out of the car.  It was a strangely familiar feeling.  As I struggled to call out directions and swing his legs over and out of the side of the car, I couldn’t help but envision myself back at my grandparents a few weekends ago, helping my quickly-detereorating (bless her soul) grandmother off her walker and into her wheelchair.  She did not have the mental capacity to understand my directions.  Neither did Birthday Boy.  We narrowly avoid having the door closed on our fingers and heads as he slams the door shut and falls back down into the backseat, obviously unsure of where the hell he is.

With enough manpower, we finally manage to maneuver him out of the car and carry him into the next car that will transport him back to his place.  It takes four guys.  And I think back to my grandma again, and how many people it takes to walk her over a single step these days, and how she’s so oblivious to what’s going on.  Just like here.  In both cases, I want to help out.  But I don’t want to be the one responsible if anyone gets hurt.

Finally, we get him into the car.  I’m driving back on the interstate 20 minutes later and almost hit a man sprinting across the road.  I’m too shocked to lay on the horn.  I look back at him and see him standing in front of a car parked on the far left hand side of the road, talking to another man holding a large bag.  They’re both black males, and I wonder if that’s a relevant fact or not.  As I drive back through the flashing yellows and reds of my sleepy suburban town, I wonder just what the hell I did with the past five hours of my life.  I saw a lot of people I kinda knew.  I looked out for a lookout.  I walked away from that rotten breath and I offered the minimal required support for a friend in need.  I probably watched myself do all these things bored from a stool near the window, staring at my ice water and thinking of ridiculous names to call it to elicit laughter out of the cute girls who could be easily entertained.

Such are the Designated Driver Blues, I suppose.  A lot of time spent being useless.  A little bit of time spent pretending to be helpful.  And if I wasn’t so drunk off all those Limp Draculas, I might say that’s an appropriate metaphor for my summer thus far.

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lebomb james

lebomb

just got back from the bar. thinking DAMN if people like kanye have a frequently updated (devoid of grammatical convention) blog why can’t i ever find the time to write some bullshit?

the lebomb james is a drink that is sweeping the…uh people from my fraternity who are taking summer classes on campus. it’s essentially a whiskey bomb – Crown Royal in some Red Bull, all topped off with rubbing salt in your hands and throwing it up in the air like LJ23 in the games/commercials. it’s really fun to take

anyways, sober posts worth reading coming to a MacBook Air near Brooklyn soon

Geto Boys – Yes Yes Y’all

this song was like the comeback Geto Boys single. look out for Bushwick Bill’s show-stealing first verse. don’t even want to tease the lyrics. one of my favorites. and the beat bangs in the trunk

no, fuck it i should just post the whole verse:

Well this is Chuck Dawg (will you ever love another bitch?)
Fuck nah! (What’s your position on a snitch homey?)
Fuck laws! (They say the Beatles was the biggest)
Nigga fuck Paul, and the rest of y’all!
I’m the little motherfucker with the big dick swangin
Nuts still hangin, got hoes singin the blues
Geto Boys in this bitch still bangin
And ain’t shit changin, ain’t shit changin
Don’t like faggots, hate politicians
Can’t stand snitches, know the Feds listen
So I, send the whole world a fuck you note
Schumacher’s got a desk job, fuck you hoes!

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