Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Good, The Bad, the Ugly—Part 4

We’re back for another week, my Puddlers.  I’ll be on vacation for the week of April 11-15, so there won’t be any posts that week. However, we’ll be trying to pack in as much content until that point.

Taking a break from some of the headier material that I’ve been posting over the past two weeks, I wanted to return to an old fan favorite. I thought I had done one of these posts back in the fall, but apparently I haven’t done one since last June. A lot has gone on in that time. A lot of it as been good, a lot of it has been bad, and well some of it has been just plain ugly. That’s right, my Puddlers, it's the fourth ever, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY!


- Season 4 of Mad Men. As if you couldn’t tell from the episode-by-episode synopses I put up last year, I thought Season 4 of Mad Men was phenomenal. It was their best season by far and it left us with a real cliffhanger as we wondered where Don’s head is as he starts his new marriage to the beautiful and lovely (but do we trust her?) Megan. Some phenomenal acting and episodes all around (Suitcase, Blowing Smoke, Tomorrowland). Damn, I love this show. Good thing its coming back this summer. . .

- Angles by the Strokes. Obviously you all read my review on the blog the other week. Two weeks and a thousand listens later, I still firmly believe in the greatness of this album—even the weak points make sense and feed into its overall appeal.

- Derrick Williams of the Arizona Wildcats. In case you don’t follow college basketball (and I know many of you don’t, its really not as great as it once was) Derrick Williams was quietly one of the best players in America this past year. However, his introduction to the public came this past weekend when he almost singlehandedly destroyed Duke and threw down this monster dunk. As well as taking UConn to the limit on Saturday night.  This kid is going to make it in the pros.

- Tolstoy’s Youth. Tolstoy wrote this “novel” or memoir when he was 28 years old and it basically sets the tonal and visionary framework for the rest of his work. Tolstoy’s observations and recollections at this stage of his life are so vivid, so far-reaching and full in their understanding that sometimes it is baffling. The descriptions he makes about nature, about how he feels when viewing other people in social gatherings are completely relatable even today. It shows the God-like powers he would use in his masterworks down the road. A must read.

- Twitter. I started in the Twitter game back in August and I have been hooked since. It’s probably the best place to see comedians work out their jokes as well as take a stab at your own one-liners. It gives great insight into what it takes to be successful as a commentator in the world today: having an opinion that people want to hear and read all the time, even at 140 character intervals. It’s also great for self-promotion, so FOLLOW ME!

- The Larry Sanders Show DVD box set. If you want to learn about comedy, comedic acting and humanity, you need to watch this show. I won't  elaborate.

- Community. This is probably the best new network comedy since 30 Rock bust on the scene. I still think its better than Parks & Recreation. I just like the sheer breadth of the places they go and the tones they take on. The characters are great as well. The latest episode inspired me to watch My Dinner With Andre, which is a fantastic movie. What other show makes a nod to another piece of art or entertainment that you actually follow up on? And are rewarded by?

- Kemba Walker. Kemba has been a big story in college basketball all season, but he has been fantastic since the Big East Tournament earlier this month. He is clutch, likeable, full of energy. He reminds me of Allen Iverson, but seems like he’d be more fun to play with and less volatile/a force of nature from another part of the universe.

- Derrick Rose. Rightly or wrongly he will be the MVP of the NBA this year. It may be voter boredom that its not LeBron or voter foolishness that its not Dwight Howard, but you can’t argue with how good Rose has been. He’s a tough competitor, great teammate and extremely talented. I like him.

- The stock market bouncing back in the past three or four months. Maybe jobs for college grads after 2006 will increase as well? Maybe?

- Boardwalk Empire. It was the best new show of the past year. It really gained steam as the season went along and I am really looking forward to Season 2. Great mixture of historical and fictional characters. Really interested to see how the Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky stories take off next year.

- Great House by Nicole Krauss. Franzen and Freedom got most of the press last year, but in my opinion Great House was the best book of 2010.

- The Social Network. This easily should have won the Oscar for Best Picture. The movie is instantly rewatchable and mesmerizing. It will be the movie we remember in 20 or 30 years. Not, The King’s Speech.

- Franco at the Oscars. I know people hated it and thought he was detached or being an ass, but, c’mon, didn’t the Oscars sort of need that? When we look back at the 2011 Oscars, it will be seen as being smack in the middle of the era of Franco. A sort of poor man’s version of the era of Brando, like when he sent a Native American woman up to accept his Oscar for the Godfather. I thought it was a piece of genius along those lines.

- Rhianna’s thighs. Come on. Did you see the NBA All-Star Game?

The BAD:

- No Mad Men until 2012. It’s looking more and more like this will be a reality. Puddles of Myself will be the homebase for people who feel like they are getting close to the edge come August or September.

- UNC losing to Kentucky. They had a better team! They should have won! Why, God? Why?!

- Freedom being overrated by the reading public. I know the reading public isn’t very large, but still, you should be ashamed. That was some serious Kool-Aid drinking. I don’t think you even knew what went into that drink.

- Outsourced on NBC. Come on!

- The White Stripes breaking up. It's the end of an era whether you want to admit it or not.

- Walking Dead getting higher ratings than Mad Men. What? People love zombies more than they love psychological and slow-moving period piece dramas that focus on a tragic main character? How dare they?

- The Pitchfork review of Angles. I can’t wait until I can use high levels of unjustified snark and bias when promoting things.

- The Tsunami in Japan.

- The Ghaddafi situation in Libya.

- The unrest in Egypt.

- This last grasp of cold weather on the east coast. Just when you want to open yourself up again, the weather drops and you pull your coat tighter, walk faster and scowl harder.

- The fact that the Los Angeles Lakers look like they might win the 2011 NBA Championship.


- This was a tough choice, but when I actually thought about it, there could only be one answer:


That wraps up this edition of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. We'll roll along this week with some more new content. Hopefully you will be surprised (pleasantly) by tomorrow's post.

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