Category Archives: New Favorite Show

Brooklyn is the Center of World (Cup)

WorldCupHeadquartersWell, it’s finally over. After a month of great, often breathtaking games matches and gorgeous goals, the World Cup finished its 2014 run in Brasil yesterday, leaving us both sad and already overflowing with excitement for 2018 (and 2022 on our home turf?) I watched more soccer football in the last month than I had in my whole life prior, and it’s not even close. Even more, I think I watched more of the beautiful game in the last four weeks than I have of baseball all season. And I love baseball. But the Mets are mediocre and uninspiring, and just plain difficult to watch. And, well, the World Cup worked very well with my current unemployment flexible schedule. Will I continue this trend and begin to tune into MLS games on a regular basis. Probably not (last night’s Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers prime-time matchup notwithstanding). I already went down that road four years when I really thought I was going to be big LA Galaxy fan, and that didn’t last long (but that’s the worldwide appeal of David Beckham, I guess). Truth is, I’ll probably finally get back into baseball post-All-Star break, or, perhaps, if the Mets continue to make mediocre an art form, I’ll just kill time until hockey starts again (whose void was filled so wonderfully, and at just the right time, by the World Cup). But I’ll be ready for 2018 in Russia, and I’ll always treasure the last month, when I felt at one with the world and the world felt like it came to Brooklyn (and I spent way too much time in a bar before 5pm).

My lasting memory, I think, will be that every bar, cafe, restaurant, McDonald’s, hair salon and tax preparation office seemed to be broadcasting the matches, trying to capitalize on a popularity that I didn’t quite realize the tournament possessed. There was no shortage of establishments showing the matches, and, it felt, no shortage of people who were interested in watching. Walking around Brooklyn, it sure felt that soccer, after two decades of promise, had finally arrived.

World Cup Bars Brooklyn, Greenpoint


Our collective  fútbol fever may now have subsided, not likely to return for another four years. But from now until then, we’re still infected, with another outbreak just lying in wait, from Brooklyn to Chicago, from Seattle to Kansas City, to Los Angeles to the White House. I look forward to the relapse.




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Filed under Across the pond, Local Flavor, Matt Christopher Books, New Favorite Show, The Roaring 10s!

America’s #1 Fake Real News Show: On ‘The Newsroom’

Will McAvoyAs promised, we’re going to quickly dip our toes into the somewhat toxic pool of The Newsroom analysis. Like with any review or analysis, anything we say is ultimately futile and inconsequential, because, in the end, it’s not going to change the way you feel about the show, and it’s certainly not going to alter Aaron Sorkin’s vision or persuade him to reconsider his writing style. But in the case of The Newsroom, anything we say, any argument we make, feels especially meaningless in the wake of all the criticism and (less so) praise it’s received. But, hell, let’s be a Greater Fool and try anyway.

Let’s just say out of the gate that we like the show, and while that might put us in the minority we stand by our verdict. But what’s interesting or pertinent to us is not so much that we like it – or if it’s “good,” assuming there’s some kind of objective rubric which can calculate a show’s quality (which there’s not) – it’s the question of whether or not the show is worth watching. And we think the answer is: absolutely. Doesn’t that fact that the show seems to be so reviled (or snickered at) in so many corners yet still watched obsessively indicate there’s something of worth there? Certainly, The Newsroom doesn’t garner the same level of propulsive minute-by-minute Twitter reaction on Sunday evenings as Breaking Bad (nor does it come close to the AMC show’s unanimous, breathless praise), but it’s definitely one of the most talked about shows, even if much of that talk comes with head shaking, finger wagging and head scratching. And if the show was bad, unrelentingly terrible, it wouldn’t have lasted, or at least the discussion would have quieted down. We can’t imagine that if Work It had not been canceled after one week the din about its repugnancy would have continued. We would have had our fun and then watched it fade away, nary giving it another thought. But with The Newsroom the debate continued for ten episodes, and seemed to increase as we approached the season finale. Clearly, people were entertained by the show. Which, we certainly concede, isn’t necessarily the same as enjoying the show.

More as the story develops…

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Filed under Analysis, Checks & Balances, It's Not Television, New Favorite Show, Other people's stuff

My New Favorite Show: Don’t Cry For Me, Tony Danza

My new favorite show finally premiered this weekend, as A&E’s Teach: Tony Danza graced the airwaves after a year of waiting.  And it did NOT disappoint.

And, as we surmised, we were actually drawn in by Danza, because he’s taking this so darn seriously (now, that is a good thing.  The show would be no better than I Love Money if the celebrity teacher wasn’t taking his assignment in earnest).  We knew that he would approach his role with a total commitment, but we didn’t anticipate that he would be so emotional, so nervous, so insecure and fragile.  Here’s Tony Danza, star of screen, film and (tap) stage, former boxer, reduced to tears by a class of pimple-faced, metal-mouthed 10th graders.  It was hard not to feel for him, but it was as equally difficult not to empathize with the students, most of whom clearly feel that they’re smarter than their teacher (and we all remember enduring a teacher or professor who was obviously overwhelmed and over-matched, if we weren’t smarter than the instructor then we were at least more savvy and aware ).  But fortunately for Danza, and for the students, he’s not teaching math or science, or another subject where he could fumble the curriculum and critically damage their educational development.  Instead he’s teaching English, where it’s equally important to learn how to express yourself as it is to read The Chocolate War.  So, using his life experience, charisma, guile and tap-dancing skills, hopefully Danza can get his students to open up, to learn something about themselves.  Certainly, this is going to be a journey for Tony, and we’ll along for it.  The question is if his students will follow as well.  He should probably start by screening Who’s the Boss?, because apparently only Chloe, who is “a big fan of the 80s” is truly familiar with his oeuvre (also, chill with the hand sanitizer, Mr. D!).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Looks thin though, doesn’t he?  And where’s that coif we’ve come to adore?  Does nothing stay the same?

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Filed under Century 21 Reality, Flashback!, New Favorite Show, Nostalgia Corner, Who's the Boss?