26 September 2005

Reviews from Last Night, Papi Offering, Wanda Fucks Up...

Back in 2003, after Game 7 of the ALCS, I returned home from a trip to LA (where I watched the game, tore off my Nomar jersey and got lost walking around the neighborhood of the hotel) to start looking for apartments in NYC with Erin. I wore my Sox jacket because, even though they lost, I still had a tremendous affection for that particular team, and I was more emboldened than ever for "next year." My worry (not consuming, of course), was that any Red Sox paraphernalia would draw mocking and a distracting amount of enmity.

In a lot of ways, it did- when you give Yankee fans a chance to be Yankee fans, most of them take it. But I also got a sense of sympathy- not that I wanted it, but it was there. I got more than the usual "hey, great series- it'll be fun next year!" type of responses.

Anyway, here's my point- after what happened last year, that's gone. With their recent resurgence and two-day reign atop the AL East, the Yankee fans have been popping out of the woodwork. It's hilarious. I think I've seen more of those "Got Rings?" t-shirts than streetcorners. Guys buying Yankee hats (like ten of them at the Foot Locker where I bought my replacement Sox hat), people talking about them, their making the cover of AM New York. I'm just sayin'. Says a lot about a fanbase. They almost completely disappeared in this city from November of 2004 to about early September 2005.

So, last night marked the premiere of both the fifth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm- probably the best show on television- and Extras, both starting after Rome, which is really getting better with every episode. Wasn't sure if I liked it out of the gate- but then again, I didn't even like The Wire first time I saw it, now it's one of my favorite shows on TV. Anyway- quick reviews:

Curb: Strong opening episode. I've noticed that often with Curb, for whatever reason, the season opener is the weakest of the season, so if that's the case, there's a lot to build on. Not one of the greats, but still extremely funny, and better than anything else on TV for some time.

Probably my favorite part was the small verbal spat with Larry and Suzie Green over whether Larry is "nice to people." As the show opens, Larry's telling of this near-death experience, and how he almost felt as though asking God to help him might have saved him, and she says, "you see, this happened for a reason. Maybe now, you start treating people nicely, more respectfully..." They argue over whether this is true. Hilarious.

One of my favorite subplots ever on the show was the death of his mother- and how little it seemed to really bother him, and how he used it to his advantage. I thought that was tremendous- it really got to how dark a show it could be. When his father had the stroke in this week's episode, he didn't get up to help him, slap him on the back, nothing- he just maintained his seat and told him to "drink some water." For some reason, this ability to really stretch the limits of how ironclad he is in his persona, to the point where he barely reacts as his father has a stroke in front of him- unbelievably funny to me.

A lot of people talk about Pulp Fiction and that "high" you get in all that fabulous dialogue and conversation- I've always felt the same about Curb (and similarly, actually, with Kids in the Hall). Not every scene may be laugh out loud funny, but it almost doesn't have to be- you get this euphoric feeling just watching someone like Larry David (the TV version) collide through life.

Anyway, good start.

Extras: First off, Kate Winslet's fucking amazing. Jesus. I think she's my favorite actress.

Interesting show- some really, really funny moments, and as such I think I'd follow Ricky Gervais to any new series/ movie he made at this point. I love The Office. One thing though- seems like they're not entirely sure what kind of guy they want Gervais' character to be- either the put-upon realist who sees all the inanity around him as he tries to make his way as an actor, or the bumbling David Brent-type that sticks his foot in his mouth too often for his own good.

You see both in this show so far- and I'm sure they could get away trading on both aspects- but as funny as the first episode was, it seemed a bit uneven for that reason. Of course, there could be an attempt to really build a full, meaningful character there. Who knows. I really loved the scene where he was standing with his female roommate looking for him to find something to wear on his "date." I don't even recall their saying anything especially funny, but Gervais is just a geniusly funny person, and that red shirt he had on...

Looking forward to more. Good shit thus far.

Today's daily Papi offering:

Own Dave Bush tonight, David. Own him.

Just as a follow up to this story, I decided to take a quick shot of Wanda with the incriminating evidence. Here it is. Notice her unwilling to look into the camera (read: me), or at the destruction she has wrought. She is guilty, she knows it, and she is a bad, bad dog.

In all seriousness though, I think she did know she fucked up and felt back about it. I mean, for about two days afterwards, every time she saw me, she'd put her head down and look up at me, like, "do you hate me?" Then I kicked her.

Ha. I'm joking. It was more my fault than it was hers- I left the hat where she could get it. It was nice to know she was sorry. For that, I commend her. It takes a big dog to admit he/ she is wrong (and a lot of them never do!).

As you can see as well, she really destroyed the hat. Feel bad for me.

Even though it ultimately doesn't mean a whole lot, the BP Postseason Odds is interesting to look at if for no other reason than to see how hypotheticals are affected by strength of schedule and home field. To wit, the Yankees and Red Sox. Both have seven games remaining against very comparable opponents- Boston 4 vs. Toronto and 3 vs. New York, the Yankees with 4 vs. Baltimore and 3 vs. Boston. They are currently tied for first place in the AL East. Upon Davenport's 1,000,000 simulations, here are the odds:

NEW YORK___42.35225

Boston has the slight advantage because they play all seven of those remaining games at home, while New York remains on the road for the remainder of the season. So in this case, home field advantage appears to be worth purely 15.2955%. Pretty interesting.

Also, here are Boston's daily odds of winning the division, as they changed by the day:

Sep 13 84.25272
Sep 14 77.34126
Sep 15 78.57085
Sep 16 68.59631
Sep 17 68.00810
Sep 18 69.11870
Sep 19 68.96480
Sep 20 56.18000
Sep 21 58.44305
Sep 22 44.28925
Sep 23 38.35465
Sep 24 38.74770
Sep 25 55.45350
Sep 26 57.64775

Look at September 23/ 24. Yeesh. With the Yankee loss at home to Toronto, and Boston's win on the road, clawing their way to a win off BJ Ryan in the 9th, Saturday has to be the biggest day of the season thus far for the Red Sox. They went from a 38% chance at the division to a 55% chance. Huge.

Keep rollin' boys...

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