Friday, March 10, 2006

At last, at long last...

... we're three days from "The Sopranos" premiere. My review ran today, but as you'll see from this excerpt, I had to do some fancy tap-dancing with it, so there will be another review on Monday where I discuss the episode in greater detail. Excerpting...

I CAN'T tell you anything.

Really, I wish I could. Here you've waited nearly two years for new episodes of "The Sopranos," and I'm holding back information about them like I'm a school yard bully playing keep-away.

You just have to trust me on this. I watched the first four episodes of season six in a state of total ignorance, so when things hit the fan -- and they hit it quick -- I was completely blown away. Whether you're going to love or hate the new season, you're better off going in with as little knowledge as possible.

Meanwhile, "Survivor." When I was a kid, my dream in life was to be an astronaut -- or, at least, one of those guys in Mission Control who gives the Go/No-Go call at lift-off. I read every book on Apollo I could find (I once gave an elementary school book report in a pair of imitation moon boots), watched every movie about space flight (even utter crap like "Capricorn One," starring The Juice), and did everything short of drinking Tang with every meal.

So it was a massive downer to see Dan Fuego get the boot last night, and yet really refreshing to see such an open, respectful Tribal Council. Probst was almost beside himself trying to figure out how to deal with these mature adults who understand that it's just a game. And the show's music guy went way out of control with that attempt to create suspense on what we all knew was a done deal.

Terry, who had been my favorite until now, made a really dumb decision here. The merge is coming within the next two episodes, and at this point keeping your team strong is a moot point. It's over; you lost. At this point, the goal should be to keep as many tight allies as you can in the event that someone on Casaya wants to cut a deal. Dan had sworn that he would never vote for Terry, and I believed that. Austin and Nick love Terry, but their first loyalty is to each other. If there isn't a merge in the next episode and La Mina loses again, I wouldn't be stunned to see Sally talk the two young guys into voting for Terry, either to eliminate their toughest individual competition or to make him cough up the Immunity Idol before it becomes a guaranteed ticket to the final four.

(And, yeah, I realize that the contestants are afraid of the Purple Rock of Doom and the possibility that they could go home even if they don't get voted for the first time, but again, Terry has that idol in his pocket for just such an occasion. If Casaya stays together post-merge and leaves Terry until he's the last La Mina man standing, all that idol will do is buy him another week until his lack of allies sends him home.)

Watched a few minutes of "The O.C.," in which entire scenes went on without any of the original characters, and where the Newport police department is once again proven to be dumber than Barney Fife with this investigation of Johnny's death. I'll get to the rest eventually, but it's not exactly a priority, y'know?

If you're a "Galactica" fan, check back over the weekend. Since I've already seen the finale, I'm going to write my blog entry in advance and post it either very late tonight or first thing in the morning. And with a kid who wakes up no later than 7, rain or shine, weekday or weekend, first thing in the morning is pretty damn early for me.


Mark said...

You're such a tease... I'm anxiously awaiting your Galactica writeup.

doogald said...

I'm pretty sure that Survivor dropped that silly purple rock rule. I think that from now on that ties are broken with a mini-challenge, like with Stephanie and Bobbie Jon a few seasons ago (Pulau?)

Alan Sepinwall said...

I think they only do tie-breaker challenges when there are four people or fewer at Tribal Council. The one and only time the purple rock was used was in Marquesas, with only four people left, but it was a mistake, which they owned up to later. (I had forgotten about the numbers thing, or else I would have realized Terry didn't need to fear the rock.)

But contestants are told that the purple rock is still around for any other tie situations, which is why you virtually never see ties; it's the nuclear option that everyone's afraid of.