Choices, choices

Tonight there are two television programs I look forward to viewing. Unfortunately they are on at the same time. Incredibly they are sort of on the same network too, at least the same family of networks. At 10:00 tonight on FX you have the season premiere of Fargo, and on FXX you have the next episode of Archer (or Archer: Dreamland or whatever the heck they’re calling it these days). Yeah, good job, Fox, putting on the only shows I care about at the same time. Thank God I live in the future and I’m sure to find one or both of these shows available on demand as well, but seriously…

Get it together, TV programmers. I’ve got sports to squeeze in there too, ya know, and a guy’s got only so much time between podcasts and magazines.

Why it’s great to be me right now

With yesterday’s win over Atlanta I feel pretty good about the way the Wizards are playing as they begin their playoff run, almost as good as I feel about their Verizon Center mates on the ice. Even with their current series now tied I feel the Caps are playing like a team destined to taste from Lord Stanley’s cup.

The Yankees and the Nationals have started their seasons well, both with wins yesterday in dramatic fashion. The Nats won on a walk-off three-run home run by a certain Mr. Harper, and the Yankees won not a close game but an interleague Sunday night game in front of Marlins Man himself. That’s a big win.

Add in 57-year-old Bartolo Colon pitching lights out for the Braves yesterday afternoon (well, not quite 57) and the new season of Fargo set to begin this week and you’ve got reasons, reasons, and reasons to live.

New Amazon series chronicles life of Hefner

Amazon has a new series called American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story. Calling it new is a bit misleading, as most of the content is culled from interviews conducted 20 or 30 years ago, but hey, a new package is a new package. The best way I can describe it is more History Channel than Ken Burns, as the program includes not only stills and clips from previous decades, but live actors reenacting Hef and company interspersed with the historical segments. Interesting idea, and of the couple dozen or so retrospectives I’ve seen of Hugh Hefner’s life or Playboy in general I believe this is the first one to do so.

That’s the worst part of it, actually. The actor who plays 20-something Hef, Matt Whelan, is not believable as Mr. Playboy. Among other things he’s about seven inches too tall, and worst of all he’s narrating the thing as well. He doesn’t sound like Hugh Hefner, and hearing someone who’s not Hugh Hefner keep referring to him as me, me, me, I, I, I is a bit disconcerting. They should have had the old man narrate the thing himself (or hire a better impersonator), and if anyone was going to play him on the screen it should really be the man’s own son, Cooper, though I believe he’s got the height problem as well.

I’m only a couple episodes in and there are 10 total. If you’re a fan of Playboy I think it’s worth your time. Amazon dropped all 10 episodes at once, so you can watch them at your leisure.

God I love living in the future. Full review to follow.

Don Rickles, 1926-2017

170406135716-don-rickles-exlarge-169

If I were doing a Don Rickles impression of the death of Don Rickles it would be something like… that guy was still alive?!

The joke would fall flat because, well, I’m not Don Rickles, and there are some things only Don Rickes can get away with saying.

Don Rickles passed away yesterday at the age of 90, another member gone from Team 1926, that set of nonagenarians who did their respective jobs waayyy longer than anyone thought they would. (See “Royal Birthday” for a full description.) Rickles was still acting and performing until very recently, among other things lending his voice known to a new generation as Mr. Potato Head from the Toy Story series.

There are many great Don Rickles moments on TV and film, and some of the best were the stories he told over and over. Like the one about Frank Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra actually saved my life once. One night these guys were beating me up in an alley… Frank Sinatra comes by and tells the guys, “All right, that’s enough.”

Or when he would secretly tell Sinatra to come to his table to impress his date, then hit him with: Stop bothering me, Frank! Can’t you see I’m busy?

You better be Don Rickles to get away with that one!

Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Rickles.

Some real investigative journalism

A front-page story in my local paper (that would be The Washington Post) this past Sunday describes a disturbing trend. It seems as though many impoverished areas of this country also have high rates of disability claims. In other words: false disability claims from people who just can’t find a job.

(Yeah, no one has ever made that connection before.)

The ground-breaking discovery in this protracted piece was not merely the above connection, though. It was that in addition to this insidious relationship, these same people also…

VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP!

Yup. Scum of the earth. Thanks for that hard-hitting journalism, Washington Post.

On TV yesterday

That was the Bullets you were watching last night, circa 1993. Let’s hope this is not an indicator of things to come. At least the Wiz can return home now that the circus has left town.

For those of you not in D.C. I mean that literally.

And oh, those South Carolina Gamecocks, playing a little better than their ’90s counterparts, but falling a bit short in their efforts as well. It was the women’s team, of course, who emerged victorious this weekend, no less interesting but no more useful to my wallet. I mean bracket.

At least there are the Capitals, playing their best last night against one of the NHL’s best. Unfortunately they are in mid-season form right now, that beautiful state which tends to fall apart the moment the post-season arrives.

Does this post sound a bit lugubrious?

(Pause while you look up lugubrious.)

No, no. For today there is a full slate baseball, and if yesterday’s games were any indication (the overall quality, not the sorry performance of my beloved Bronx Bombers), we have nothing to worry about.

All I want for April

There are two teams I need this weekend not to play like I remember them from my youth. One would be the Washington Bullets—er, Wizards—who Wednesday night played much more like the hapless Bullets with whom I grew up than their 2017 counterparts.

The second would be this year’s NCAA tournament Cinderella, the South Carolina Gamecocks. Growing up I’m pretty sure I didn’t even realize South Carolina had a basketball program. “Carolina” simply meant one thing: UNC. Well, now the Heels have got company, and if I want to see any return on investment from my annual foray into basketball bracketology, I’ve got to have the Gamecocks playing like their neighbors to the north.

Is that too much to ask?