It is just over 100 degrees outside, and the power went out at work this afternoon, so they sent us home. It’s sad – I dIdn’t know what to do with myself. I was thinking about going to rent 300 but…

Because I’ve been making an effort to be more ‘green,’ as is the trend right now, I felt guilty about sitting inside with the TV system and air conditioner on. And I didn’t want to pollute the air further by driving any more than I already have today.

I could sit and read a book, but that won’t happen. I’m the kind of person that reads right before bed or on vacation only.

And I certainly do not want to start packing for my upcoming vacation to Alaska; the idea of handling wool or fleece in this weather is not very appealing. 

Somehow my guilt dissipates when I’m on the computer. Yes, it takes up energy, but I justify it because I am productive.

So for lack of any other original ideas, here is quick look inside my brain at the moment:

Ugh. My team is not good this year. Ok, they’re average, but I’ve been spoiled by playoff runs for the past several years and this has been a trying season for loyal fans. And now, the fire sale. Loiaza to the Dodgers? COME ON. Next thing you know, Piazza will grow out the mullet and rejoin the evil blue empire as well.

And if you think I’M bitter, check out Athletics Nation.

For baseball’s version of TMZ or Perez Hilton, visit On the DL. It is a guilty pleasure.

Last weekend I finally went to see The Bourne Ultimatum. Now THAT is what I call a sequel.  I wish other studios and filmmakers would take the same approach: more action and less dialogue (memo to Michael Bay). This movie was an intense ride, and the best one I’ve taken all summer. Matt Damon is ten times the actor that Affleck ever was or will be. I’ve always felt that Damon is a tad underrated. The Talented Mr. Ripley? Crazy creepy good. Bonus points for putting Jude Law out of his onscreen misery.

I would rather play Eve’s ‘Tambourine’ than hold Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella.’

As much as I love my Mulder, Duchovny’s latest small screen venture isn’t working for me. Are any of you hooked on Californication?

Is it sad that I was very excited to hear that the cast and crew of Lost are back to work, filming the first few episodes of Season 4? I am rewatching Season 2 right now, which is fascinating because of what we learned in Season 3. Before the new season begins, I will address lingering/annoying questions in a lengthy blog.

If you aren’t already hooked, I really think you should go out and buy the first season of Friday Night Lights for only $20. It is not a football show, I promise. Yes, there are pigskin scenes, but relationships and angst are the focal points. Jump on the bandwagon now, before Season 2 begins next month.

Even though the show has been canceled, there is going to be a Dead Like Me movie. Am I the only one who watched and loved that series?

I love Top Chef, but reading the blogs after each episode is almost better.

Damages is the BEST show on television right now. If you haven’t watched it yet, FX will be airing a five episode marathon of the series beginning at 3pm PST on Labor Day – this Monday!

Have you checked out Michael Cera’s site yet? Hysterical.

Over at The House Next Door, Matt Zoller Seitz has written the best article I’ve seen yet about Owen Wilson.

I read A LOT of other people’s blogs, and I tend to leave comments when they cover topics that I’m passionate about. So I appreciate when readers do the same here, and would like to recommend two sites by two new friends: Cinematically Correct & Ex-Everything.


And screw it. I’m off to rent 300 and Blades of Glory. You can’t get any more random than that.

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Tomorrow marks the 2 year anniversary of this blog.  The timing is perfect; last week was the most amazing and surreal experience in the two year history of my site.

It has been estimated that there are more than 70 million blogs in existence. And most of the major pop culture sites receive millions of hits per month. Which kind of gives this site an inferiority complex. But last Wednesday, after actor Jim Beaver responded to my letter to David Milch, my page views shot through the roof.  And there are a few people that deserve a shout-out for playing a major role.

Mr. Jim Beaver is a class act and a refreshing voice in an otherwise disingenuous industry. He doesn’t know me and wasn’t trying to do me any favors. He just took the time to write an honest response to disagree with one fan’s strong opinion. It took me by surprise but I am grateful that he not only set the record straight about Milch’s role in the cancellation of Deadwood and creation of John From Cincinnati, he agreed that the fans of both shows deserved to hear his perspective.

If you haven’t done so already, you need to bookmark Whitney Matheson’s Pop Candy blog for USA Today. It is a daily must-read. As a shot in the dark, aiming high and hoping for the best, I sent her the link to Jim’s response, because I know she’s covered Deadwood, JFC and Milch in previous posts. She not only wrote a little blurb providing back story, she linked
directly to my site! This resulted in at least 3,000 new hits and
introduced me to several new friends with similar entertainment sites
and interests. Keep in mind that before last week, I was averaging
75-100 hits per day. So thank you, Whitney!

If you’re a true Deadwood fan, you must visit Save Deadwood. It is the best source for updates about the status of the cast and series.  I totally appreciate that they posted a link back to Jim’s response on this site as well! I also enjoy visiting and then listening to The Real Deadwood Podcast with Paul Dennis. 

Apparently there are links to my story on HBO’s Deadwood and JFC community boards, as well as on the message boards of Joss Whedon fan site Whedonesque. This saga continues to amuse and overwhelm me at the same time.

Overall, the response to Jim’s email has been 100% positive. And hey, I emerged from this mini-storm relatively unscathed; only one person expressed true umbrage with my letter to Milch. As the dust settles and this becomes tomorrow’s news, I hope to simply retain some new readers. The ride was inadvertent, but worth the journey.

Thank you to everyone who visited and also to those who left comments. I hope you’ll add this site to your list of pop culture perspectives, and return in the near future.


Here is an entirely trivial glance at the last two years of my life as a blogger. To some, these numbers would be a joke. But I am proud of my readership and what I have been able to create and share, especially considering that I have a regular day job.

August 2005 – August 2007
Number of entries posted: 225 (I will increase the frequency, I promise)
Number of subscribers: 10 (small but dedicated, like Mel on The Flight of the Conchords)
Most popular entry: Really Early Oscar Predictions – The Best New Releases of 2006 (no idea why)
Top 3 topics covered: Television, Film, Lost
Number of overall hits: No idea (I was too cheap to purchase a counter)

Now what will I do to celebrate the silly little anniversary of this site? I’m glad you asked! I will be obtaining Season 1 of both Friday Night Lights and Heroes on DVD as soon as possible, and then starting to research new laptop options.  Four years later, my baby is out of style; the technology is sadly archaic and the performance increasingly sluggish. Any suggestions?

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Getting the girl can be hard work. Believe me, I know.

That being said, the beauty of Superbad is that is presents a recognizable retrospect for those of us who are no longer teenagers, and it also illustrates that nothing has changed for the less-than-graceful years between 13 and 17.

When I started high school, I was a hyperactive honors student/jock hybrid with short feathered hair and braces. By senior year, my hair was down to my hips, I was the lead in the musical, and somehow ended up on the prom court. Trust me, that visual requires a giant stretch of the imagination in reverse. Anyway, I never felt cool or popular, especially with the boys (which makes sense now, but certainly didn’t at the time). My point? I’m a fan of teen movies and TV shows, many of which have stemmed from the mind of Judd Apatow. He not only produced Superbad and wrote/directed both Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, Apatow also produced/wrote/directed canceled cult shows Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared.

All of this is to say that I understand and appreciate the awkward years of youth. And clearly Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg do as well. They co-wrote Superbad, which features the best onscreen representation of floundering teenage boys in years. Rogen and Goldberg offer up very thinly-veiled versions of their younger selves (the characters names are…Seth and Evan). We all knew guys like Seth and Evan, and some of us were them, on many levels.

Jonah Hill (who has lost a LOT of weight since Accepted) plays Seth, the slightly bulky and extremely undersexed senior with a penchant for phallic illustrations and yelling with great exasperation.
I couldn’t help but imagine the character of Seth as a 17 year old Ben Stone, Rogen’s character in Knocked Up. Besides the physical similarities, the stunted maturation fits the mold.

Seth’s best friend Evan is played by the unflappable Michael Cera from Arrested Development, which was yet another in a long line of my favorite shows that have been prematurely canceled. Cera is quite talented; he embodies and has mastered the art of bumbling boy far better than any of his contemporaries. I really hope that Superbad elevates his profile and Cera is offered opportunities above and beyond the gawky teen typecast.

I can’t help but compare Superbad to Knocked Up, especially when some of the same cast and crew had their hand in the creation of it. I laughed out loud far more during Knocked Up, but I would recommend Superbad as a funny, dirty alternative to the shit sequels that have polluted our summer. It is a very entertaining film, but not one that needs to be seen in the theater.

In short (too late?), visualize the angst of My So-Called Life, but with a sense of humor and a more horny/less brooding Jordan Catalano.

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Well this is a first, at least for me and this little Blog.

Last night I published an entry featuring a letter to Deadwood and John From Cincinnati creator/writer David Milch. I certainly did not write and post it with the belief that anyone besides my family and friends would actually read it, let alone anyone remotely involved with the topic at hand.

This changes everything.

Below is the email I received from actor Jim Beaver (pictured above), who played Ellsworth on Deadwood and Vietnam Joe on John From Cincinnati. He was quite upset with my article, but provides a very detailed rebuttal in response. Frankly, he rips me a new one but I kind of deserve it. I obviously did not have all of the facts regarding the cancellation of Deadwood and birth of John From Cincinnati. I am not apologizing or retracting my post; it stemmed from an honest reaction after watching both series and reading multiple news stories about the subject.

I respect Mr. Beaver as an actor, and totally appreciate the time he took to pen a very passionate response to one blogger’s opinion. He took a risk by sharing some of this information, but I asked and he granted me permission to reprint his email here. He stated that “some of what I said is my impression of events, but I believe them to be true. I’m sure that everyone involved with the shows would have his or her own perspective. This was mine.” I was thrilled but surprised, because some of what he has to say about HBO, Milch and John From Cincinnati is quite eye-opening and potentially controversial.

So here is the original email, in his exact words:

Hey there.

I just read your David Milch blog, and I have to say it got my dander up. There’s an awful lot wrong with your conclusions.

had no intention whatsoever of replacing Deadwood with JFC. He fought
long and hard to keep Deadwood on the air. He was furious at what HBO
ultimately decided. He then spent several weeks trying to raise capital
independently to keep Deadwood on the air by subsidizing the production
costs, which were enormous. He was unable to do so.

JFC was
written, in its earliest version, before Deadwood ever started. David
had every intention of doing both shows, just as most other TV
producers with a hit show choose to expand on that success with second
or third shows (see David Kelley, Dick Wolf, etc.). Development for a
show can take a year, often more. David, I believe, never dreamed HBO
would drop one show before its time in order to pick up the new one. He
expected (or hoped) they would do both. The day he told me that
Ellsworth was going to be killed, he said he knew how hard it would be
for me to see Deadwood go on without me, but that HBO had promised him
a second show and that I’d be on that. He made it very clear that he
believed that both shows would be in production — not at the same
time, but alternating, so that when Deadwood’s season finished airing,
JFC’s would start, and back and forth. He was dumbstruck, just like the
rest of us, when HBO decided to take on the new show and let the (more
expensive) one they were splitting profits with Paramount on die. To
accuse him of choosing to drop Deadwood in order to do JFC is just
wrong, and it pains me greatly to hear it, because I know how trying
that time was for David.

It’s none of my business whether you
liked JFC. Loads of people did, loads of people didn’t. I was on it and
I had problems with it, sometimes big problems, in terms of following
the dramatic threads. But no one who has ever been present at the
creation of a David Milch show would accuse him of the Mix-Master
approach you described. I understand a little of what David was trying
to do with JFC, and I can promise you that his quest to bring sense and
meaning and order to his perception of the human community was no less
engaged on JFC than it was on Deadwood. It’s widely said that David is
a genius and I am in the camp that believes that. In fact, I thought I
knew what a genius was until I met David and found out what one really
is. But what’s not said, but what is an increasingly vivid part of my
experience with him, is that there is something — dare I say? — holy
about what he wants to do with the lowly tools of television. I don’t
mean that every crumb dropping from his mouth should be revered. It’s
just that I’ve never experienced anything in my life like the devotion
to humanity that I see in him in his creative process. He’s got more
money than God, yet he lives simply. To him it’s all about what good he
can do with his writing. It’s appalling to hear his method on a show
that didn’t resonate with viewers described in such crass and trivial
and dismissive terms as you used. It’s painful, because I see every day
I work with David the pain he experiences trying to say something that
will unite and bandage and assist the human condition.

would have been my favorite show even if I hadn’t been on it. JFC, on
the other hand, would not, because I just didn’t get everything David
was saying. But I feel it was a noble effort and I’m proud to have been
part of it. I wish it and Deadwood could have co-existed as David
originally planned. I think a few people might have had quite a
different take on JFC if that had happened, because a lot of people
weren’t going to give it any kind of a shake just because they wrongly
perceived that David chose to do it INSTEAD of Deadwood.

hoping David retreads me in his cop show, if it gets made. I would work
for him for the rest of my life if he let me. The cop show is mainly
the baby of Bill Clark, the former NY cop who partnered with David on
NYPD Blue and upon whom it’s loosely based. David’s production deal
with HBO, like most production deals, calls for multiple projects. The
cop show, by the way, has been in development for about four years,
since before Deadwood started airing. Who knows, if it had been ready a
year ago, IT might be the show Deadwood fans hated because David
“chose” to do it instead of Deadwood. They’d be just as wrong, but
we’re not a culture that relies too heavily on facts before making up
our minds.

I’m sorry for the rant. So many people, fans and
entertainment writers, have publicly excoriated David for things they
mistakenly believe he did or wanted or chose, and, while he doesn’t
need my defense, I feel he is too often unjustly blamed and I get
defensive for him. So I hope you’ll take my remarks in the spirit of
increased understanding in which they were intended.” – Jim


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Dear Mr.

is easily one of my favorite shows of all time. As a matter of fact, we are
re-watching all three seasons right now, keeping a chart for the use of the
work c*cksucker. That is actually how we refer to the show (i.e. “Hey, let’s watch
the third episode of C*cksucker after dinner tonight.”).

It is a
well-documented fact that you are a genius. But John From Cincinnati was a
colossal failure.  You should have
christened it Driftwood, because it will forever be known as the The Show That
Killed Deadwood
.  You had to know that
regardless of the fact that your new series was nothing like Deadwood it would
forever be compared to it. The nail in the coffin is that you killed a
brilliant show, only to replace it with a far inferior product.

understand that John From Cincinnati was your baby, your dream project. Wait…no
I don’t. Did you initially only envision three seasons of Deadwood, or did you
end that series in order to get John From Cincinnati on the air?

I loved
NYPD Blue, which you created and wrote almost every episode of.  Those characters, in that setting, speaking
your language? Amazing. And your Shakespearean dialogue worked brilliantly on
Deadwood. But it simply distracted from the actors, story and cinematography on
John From Cincinnati.

It seems
as if this was your recipe for a 10-episode bucket of JFC:

  • Add: 6 recycled
    actors from Deadwood
  • Toss in: 6
    sentimental favorites from the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s (Luke Perry from Beverly
    Hills 90210
    , Ed O’Neill from Married with Children, Mark-Paul Gosselaar from
    Saved by the Bell, Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing, Rebecca De Mornay from
    Risky Business, and [with a wink wink/nudge nudge] Howard Hesseman from WKRP
  • Mix in: 1
    real-life world champion surfer chick (Keala Kennelly)
  • Spice it up
    with: 2 seasoned character actors (Bruce Greenwood; Double Jeopardy & I,
    ) and (Luis Guzmán; Traffic & Magnolia)
  • Sauté all into
    the most bizarre television show scenario ever

To be
frank, the six actors from Deadwood served as painful, frustrating visual reminders
of what we’re missing.

Mr. Milch,
I am an educated viewer, fully and willingly able to suspend my disbelief. I am
currently obsessed with a show where the villain is a moody cloud of black
smoke, for crying out loud. And I love the supernatural more than most (hello,
my cats are named Mulder & Scully). But in my opinion, John From Cincinnati
introduced and crammed far too many elements before allowing the series to

John from Cincinnati = Jesus

I am
convinced that the religious angle of the show was one of the strongest paths to
its demise. If I had to guess, I would venture that most of us who tuned in to
your new show were Deadwood fans; people who were acclimated to and enjoyed the
sex, violence and foul language for three seasons, and who would not
necessarily label themselves as devout or particularly religious. And we were
more than familiar with your favorite themes of redemption and salvation. But
to presume that we would view John as a living, breathing,
surfing incarnation of Jesus Christ was a stretch and a risk.

You don’t
need to redeem yourself. You’re David bleeping Milch. But when I read that you
are already planning a new series about a police drama set in the Vietnam war
era, I reacted with mixed feelings. On one hand, you have proven with both Hill
Street Blues
and NYPD Blue that you bleed law enforcement blue, but on the
other hand…it is a sign that those long-overdue Deadwood movies may never get

When John
From Cincinnati
was canceled, I was relieved. You might argue that at least I
watched all ten episodes, but now I have that one hour a week back to spend
watching something that doesn’t make me scream at the television in anger and

- Jo

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