Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer programming advisory

Okay, as promised last week, it's time to make more concrete plans for the two TV rewinds I'll be doing this summer: "Sports Night," and season two of "The Wire." "The Wire" reviews are going to start up on Friday morning (hopefully last week's post gave you fair warning to seek out the DVDs, and if not, you can always catch up quickly), with the first "Sports Night" post following a week from today. For the time being, that's the schedule I'll keep: "Sports Night" on Wednesday, "The Wire" on Friday, with disruptions at some point for my vacation, press tour, etc.

If it turns out that my schedule is looser than anticipated (say, if I get bored with every new summer series), I may start doubling up on one or both, but we're going to play it by ear. So go get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with Dan Rydell, Casey McCall, Brother Mouzone and Frank Sobotka, and we'll start talking about them all very soon.

39 comments:

Jefferson said...

"Eli's coming hide your heart girl!"

Is it okay to say that I am totally excited about this? DVDs all lined up and ready to watch right with you Alan.

Awesome that you're doing this!

SnotBoogie said...

Even though I was a big fan of the West Wing, I've never seen Sports Night.

I hope your blogging doesn't create too much of a Netflix run on the DVD set. I had better go Add to Q now.

Kevin said...

Alan, I know your summer schedule is set now, but I think an interesting exercise could be made by going through the first season of "Lost" and assigning a grade of relevant, not relevant, or could be relevant to the stories being told presently.

My guess is that the whole season means almost nothing to the current plot, especially the stuff about the long since dead characters like Boone and Shannon.

Oh yeah, and "Sports Night" is not worthy of your recapping skills. It's not even on the same planet as "The Wire" and "Freaks and Geeks".

Hatfield said...

I'm already four episodes in with Season 2, so I'm beyond excited for this. I always forget how good Chris Bauer, Al Brown, et al. were in this season.

Not sure I'll have the time for Sports Night, but at least now the write-ups will be here when I get to it.

Dan said...

Alan, do you plan to write a piece on The Guild? It could use more audience and its two seasons so far are a combined 90 minutes. Like Codex but love Vork, Clara, and Zaboo. Don't much care for the kids tho.

Theresa said...

Question (and forgive me if you've addressed this elsewhere): With Sports Night, will you be using the old version of the series or the new DVD set that was released last fall, and does it even make a difference? I can't wait to read your thoughts on my two favorite shows.

Alan Sepinwall said...

New DVD set. As we'll only be discussing the episodes, which version you have doesn't matter.

Dean Winchester said...

Alan, do you have a pretty clear sense of what summer series you'll be following and blogging about? I figure Burn Notice... and that's all I got.

Carrie said...

I am so excited for Sports Night! I finally have a reason to crack open my new DVDs and stop putting it off to watch repeats of ER on my Tivo.

Billy said...

I am beyond pumped for your Sports Night reviews. Can't wait to hear your take on it.

Hal Incandenza said...

Excellent news! Loves me my Sports Night. Haven't re-watched the eps in probably five years...does it still hold up? Looking forward to you pointing out what Studio 60 could've aped from Sports Night to have been a success, aside, you know, from actually being funny...

jennilynn said...

Got my Sports Night DVD set for Christmas. Can't wait to watch again & follow along with you...but first I have to find out where my teen son put the dvds after he hijacked them from me!!! Love Sports Night!!!!

John said...

I'm so glad you'll be watching Sports Night. I'll definitely be following along. I can always rewatch this show.

avincent52 (formerly Anon 1:04am) said...

I remember watching Sports Night in real time and not being quite sure if I was watching the best show on TV or the worst. Or both.

And season 2? That scene between Chris Bauer and Amy Ryan in the fateful penultimate episode? Oy.
Top 5 in all of Wiredom. Maybe Top 3.

And season 2 also features probably the sexiest moment in the least sexy quality drama in the history of television....

keyser soze said...

I am thrilled that you've decided to do Sports Night. While I think Sorkin fails miserably at writing women (Dana and Natalie are two erratic women who focus more on nagging and gossip than their jobs), with C.J. Cregg being an exception, I do enjoy the show. Dan and Casey have some of the best banter, and I do enjoy me some Josh Charles.

Can't wait until you get to William H. Macy in Season 2.

The Alden said...

I've been excited to watch both, but I think I was just waiting for you to start reviewing them again. Hell, though I enjoyed the experience, the only reason I knew what was going on for the first half of The Wire season 1 was your posts...

Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

What would that be, avincent? Considering the amount of sex and nudity in this season, I can't be sure.

Nevermind, point it out when it happens, I want the surprise

BF said...

It's never, ever, ever a good idea to watch a Wire marathon right before scheduling a trip to Baltimore.

Matthew L said...

What would that be, avincent? Considering the amount of sex and nudity in this season, I can't be sure.Personally, when I read avincent's comment, the scene that comes to mind would be the one that starts with McNulty adopting an (amusingly bad) English accent.

But perhaps that's not so much a sexy scene as a funny scene.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a Twitter or whatever, so this is in reply to Alan: Is it wrong that I don't love Tom Waits' version of the theme?

Yes, yes it is wrong. Surely that's one of Tom Waits' best songs.

(Although I'm personally not thrilled with the way The Wire folks cut it down from the version on Franks Wild Years.)

Anonymous said...

Very excited for the Sports Night rewatch. I might take my laptop down to a neighborhood park all covered with cheese and join in.

Eric said...

Sports Night: The Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition happens to be on sale at Amazon right now, for $40.49.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001B187BQ/?tag=mmbevigaotst-20

Andrew said...

What would that be, avincent? Considering the amount of sex and nudity in this season, I can't be sure.

I'm guessing it was the "They were staring right at me" scene. The most out-of-nowhere great rack in TV history, that scene.

Karen said...

Ooh! Ooh! Just the sight of Josh Charles got me all a-quiver: I am SO EXCITED!!!

Hurrah for "Sports Night"!!!

Hatfield said...

Oh yes, they were staring right at me. Man, so good that West and Williams comment on it on the commentary track for a completely different episode. Even my girlfriend didn't begrudge me my excitement at that scene.

Also, I was the anonymous that asked avincent that question; not sure what happened there. Maybe Catholic guilt?

domino87 said...

"The most out-of-nowhere great rack in TV history, that scene."

*Nods head in agreement*

Haven't watched Sports Night since it first came out and I was younger, it'll be nice to revisit it.

Sports Night, The Wire, Mad Men, Burn Notice. Not a bad summer recap lineup.

Based on the pilot, plan on recapping "Hung"?

Isaac Lin said...

I confess: I liked Sports Night so much, I double-dipped and bought the tenth anniversary edition even though I had the original DVD set. The commentaries and special features made it well worth it, as well as the map of the set. And contrary to the previous poster, I thought Dana's and Nathalie's characters were well drawn as sports fanatics who just happened to be women and could clearly hold their own ground against any of the men on the show.

Savvy Veteran said...

I just spent the last six days watching, for the first time, the first season of The Wire (five whole episodes yesterday!) so that I could read along with your recaps this summer, Alan. I was amazed that it is actually as good as everyone says it is, and your newbie-recaps were very useful in helping me to decipher and analyze the show, especially for the first couple of episodes. Thanks so much!

I have also downloaded Sports Night, and as a relative Sorkin-newcomer (I've only seen a few scattered episodes of The West Wing and Studio 60), I'm excited to both watch the show and to read your analysis of it.

digamma said...

The sexiest scene in season 2 is when Ziggy whips it out in the bar.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited that you'll be reviewing the second season of "The Wire"! Thanks in advance for the time you'll spend on this; I've been reading your work since your NYPD Blue recaps!

Lodi2k6

avincent52 said...

Oh yes, they were staring right at me. Man, so good that West and Williams comment on it on the commentary track for a completely different episode. Even my girlfriend didn't begrudge me my excitement at that scene. Exactamundo Fonzie.
It's the only time I ever hit the pause button in The Wire except for "What the F did he say?"

Kristin Proctor's moment of greatness. She had a (fully clothed) walk-on on Entourage as Dana Gordon's boss' s secretary.

I got the episodes on Itunes, so I missed the commentaries (darn it)

Not even sure what the next sexiest scene is...maybe something with Rhonda?

BF said...

The sexiest scene from season 2 would be when Dana confronts Sam Donovan about the location of her panties.

Hatfield said...

I feel like we're hijacking this post, but as Alan is not likely to ever ask that question, I'll say it has to be either McNulty's one night reconciliation, or the scene with the waitress. Rhonda just doesn't do it for me

jasctt said...

F'n Zig!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wire Season 2 reviews and Matt Wieters!! All on Friday!!

James said...

Season 2 just finished airing on the BBC here in the UK (it was shown Mon-Wed).

Bad timing for us Brits, cos a lot seem to be watching it through for the first time. Or like me, rewatching it for 2nd/3rd/4th time.

avincent52 said...

The sexiest scene from season 2 would be when Dana confronts Sam Donovan about the location of her panties.Um, Dana who?

What am I saying? As much as I loved "staring right at me," this is clearly the sexiest scene in the history of The Wire, and makes Nip/Tuck seem like the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

Need a hint? "Trace evidence."

Give up? Here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai3R1g7UEyg

Ian said...

Oh man!!!! You are going to do season 2 of The Wire! So thrilled and will be with you every step of the way!

dad1153 said...

Alan, I must really like you because the moment I heard you were about to recap "Sports Night" (read it on Mo Ryan's website) I bought the 10th Anniversary Box Set from amazon. Your soon-to-be recaps were the excuse I needed to buy something I planned to purchase anyway. The Shout! folks can credit you for at least one sale of their new "SN" Box Set. :-P

I passed the original DVD set (after watching it many times) on to friends and family. Sadly nobody 'got it' so it was all for naught (gave the set finally as a gift to a co-worker for Christmas; still unwatched by him after all these months). I stumbled upon "Sports Night" by accident while in transit at then-Dulles Airport in Washington. I was waiting for a connecting flight when the TV at the bar started showing 'The Apology' with the sound turned down but the closed captions on. I basically got introduced to Sorkin-speak by reading it and wondering how the CC people could keep up with the rapid-fire dialogue. When Dan did his on-camera monologue at the end I just sat in an airport bar, reading CC'ed dialogue on a TV screen, with tears streaming down my cheeks. The next episode was much better when I could actually hear the dialogue in the comfort of my NYC apartment.

Been a "Sport Night" and Aaron Sorkin fan ever since. Can't wait to tag along as you review the show throughout the summer.