Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

Spurs of the Moment
The old saying goes, that you're never out of a series until you lose your first game at a home. Well the Cavs haven't had that opportunity yet, but based on the way the Spurs have run Lebron and his band of league average players around the arena during the first two, I'm willing to concede to the Spurs their fourth NBA Championship.

The only real question is whether Bron Bron's 2007 playoff legacy will be determined by his superhuman performance at the end of the Detroit series or the Vince Carter impression he's been doing so far this series. Granted his numbers aren't awful from last night's game, but he did shoot under 50% and had a 1-1 assist/turnover ratio, plus many of his points came in garbage time (which pretty much started after the opening tip). In our stunning "what have you done for me lately" culture, Lebron and his Cavs are going to have to win at least one game or Lebron is going to have to play superb in two close losses, if he wishes to salvage the good vibrations emanating from the conference finals.

Blah-da Bing
*****Spoiler Alert*****

So the series finale of the Sopranos has come and gone with barely a whimper as to how the lives of America's favorite fictional Italian-American family will be resolved. I really wanted lecture everyone on how brilliant the episode was and how those looking for blood and resolution aren't real fans and that the show ended in a fittingly artistic manner (a final scene both Rockwellian and Orwellian), but even the ardent contrarian in me can't do it. The ending was either David Chase's passive aggressive FU to the fans who wanted closure and/or a blood bath or it was nothing but an extended trailer for a potential movie (which all participants deny at this point). My biggest gripe with the episode was not the ending, but rather that the finale was almost completely devoid of suspense. The potential war with the NY factions was diffused way too easily. I understand that Chase wanted to avoid a cliched Scarface last man standing type confrontation, but a NY-NJ war would have been engaging television and would have kept the "will he or won't he get whacked" suspense going throughout the entire episode. Instead no character's fate was ever in question until the last scene, which was suspenseful, but was so over the top suspenseful that you just knew the scene was full of red herrings (and I'm not referring to Red Herring, whom Fred blamed for every crime in"A Pup Named Scooby Doo."). After all, most hits in the show had been telegraphed. You almost always knew when a hit was coming, the only question was whether or not it would be successful. If Tony and/or his family were shot in that diner by unknown assailants, it would have defied the rhyme and reason of the plot leading to that point and would have left the audience with just as many questions as the actual ending did. It would have been a swerve for the sake of having a swerve and that's just not good writing.

I think Chase kind of painted himself into a corner with how to end the show. He always saw his work on a higher plane than other TV shows so he couldn't just write an ending that Joe Averagefan could predict, but when you go for something high concept you're going to get a lot of people who feel betrayed by the ending. But hey, at least he didn't wake up as Kevin Finnerty.

P.S. I think I'm in love with AJ's gf Rhiannon. How does that sniveling emotionfest pull that?! Makes me want to throw a bag over my head, strap a cinder block to leg, and jump into my pool.

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