Friday, May 04, 2007

Thursday Night TV Feast

What a night to be a couch potato.

The evening's entertainment offerings featured a little bit of everything: off-color humor (The Office), do-or-die playoff action (NBA & NHL), an epic baseball game (Red Sox/Mariners), and, if I'm not mistaken, the world's first scratch & sniff sitcom (My Name is Earl).

Hard to top that for flat-out fun without making it rain, but I'm going to try and do my best to recap it for those of you who were, like, doing something productive last night other than sitting in front of the set.

Mariners at Red Sox 7PM
The second match up of Japanese baseball gods Daisuke Matsuzaka (Boston) and Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners) got off to a rocking start when Seattle plated 5 runs in the first inning off Dice-K, but Boston answered right back with a 5-spot of its own in the 2nd to tie the score- so it's gonna be one of those games...

...Earl 8:00-8:36 NBC HD
This "groundbreaking" super-sized edition of the karma-centric comedy seemed like a little bit too much of a gimmick for me, so I abstained from partaking in the inter-active episode.

Okay, I forgot to pick up the stupid card that had all the corresponding odors on it.

Either way this show is starting to reek of repetition in its second season- I mean how many times can Earl cross something off a sheet of paper and it still be funny?- but it still delivers occasional raunchy, racist, non-PC chucklers, like when Earl is about to chainsaw a horse carcass or when Joy (big-as-a-house preggo Jaime Pressley) tells Catalina "...I've been called a bitch in every language, beyotch. That's black."

Still, I was pissed that I didn't have the scratch card, so every time a number popped up on screen and I couldn't get the full aroma of the scene it just made me want to change the channel.
Which I did, over to the Red Sox game, just in time to see Manny Ramirez blast a 2-run homer into the Monster seats to give the Sox a 7-5 lead after 4 innings. Surely Matsuzaka would hold that lead, I said to myself, so I flipped back to NBC to catch a super-sized (isn't that concept played out by now, Peacock net?) version of...

The Office 8:36-9:18 NBC HD
In what had to be one of the funniest episodes ever of the dry-but-deadly comedy, Phyllis is the victim of a flasher and it's up to Dwight, Michael and the rest of the men of Dunder Mifflin to make sure the ladies feel safe.

Well, that is after Michael sticks his finger through his zipper and reenacts the horrible event to a stunned crowd of employees. This was just the first of many below-the-belt, penis-related jokes in the show, and although many were childish and sophomoric, some of them were side-splittingly funny.

Like when Michael decides the best way to find out who the culprit is by checking everyone's junk. "Let's see your penis," he blurts out, then qualifies it with "as that was coming out of my mouth I knew it was wrong."

Later Dwight mentions that he's got "penises on the brain", and when Michael decides to hold an impromptu Women's Appreciation meeting, he let's loose with this philosophical gem:

"A penis, when seen in the right context, is the most wonderful sight for a woman, but in the wrong context, it's like a monster movie."

Even for Michael that sentence is not only apropos but oddly poetic.

Those comments plus gags about cross-dressing, homosexuality and female domination (Michael's GF/boss Jan says she'll pay him $300 to come over and service her) made for one raunchy episode, and it was the perfect antidote to the high-intensity contests that were taking place elsewhere on the dial.

After the show ended I watched the conclusion of the Sox game. Matsuzaka allowed the M's to tie the score again at 7, but then Manny Ramirez did what Manny is known for- other than faking injuries, hawking other people's grills and not granting interviews- he hit a titanic homerun over the bullpen in the 8th inning to give the Sox to a sloppy-yet-entertaining 8-7 victory.

Mavs @ Warriors 10:30, TNT HD
That game ended at precisely the right time, so I was able to catch the most intriguing playoff game of the evening, the Dallas Mavericks at the Golden State Warriors. Sure there was other playoff action on the dial, and I did catch some of Utah's win over the Houston Rockets, which forced a Game 7 between the two tomorrow night.

But in all the excitement and channel-changing I missed the thrilling conclusion of the Vancouver Canucks/Anaheim Ducks series, which Anaheim won on a fluke flip of a goal past goalie Roberto Luongo, who made 61 saves in the game, in the 2nd OT to take the series, 4-1.

Oh well, another spirited Mavs/Warriors tilt should make up for it. These two teams truly don't like each other, especially after former Dallas coach Don Nelson had the Warriors on the verge of knocking out the league's best regular-season team, and the series had more subplots than a Roger Altman film:

Nellie is suing bumbling billionaire Mavs owner Mark Cuban for $6 mil in back pay; Cuban is lobbing bombs at Nellie's questionable coaching style; probable MVP & former Nellie draft pick Dirk Nowitzki is playing like a 7-ft cream puff; and if Baron Davis & the Warriors don't win this series after blowing a late 9-pt lead in game in game 5, Steven Jackson might just go postal on the unsuspecting Bay Area.

Unfortunately the game didn't like up to the previous barn-burners in the series. After playing each other even for most of the first half, Golden State used a 36-15 third quarter scoring binge to pull away from the discombobulated Mavs, and by the time crunch time rolled around, Davis, Jackson and the rowdy Warriors fans at Oracle Arena were already celebrating the team's first playoff series win since 1991 and the Mavs were looking to jump on their latest chartered flight to nowhere.

Speaking of those Warriors fans, it was quite amusing to watch the camera scan the arena and focus on the low-wattage star power the team has dangling from the back of the bandwagon now that the team is decent again:

...none other than clueless Kate Hudson, her brainless boytoy Owen Wilson and has-been hemphead Woody Harrelson

Throw in fellow courtside club members sometime Laker fan Snoop Dogg and hard-hitting Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott, plus strip club king Jackson and all I can say is boy would I have liked to have been at that after party!

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