Monthly Archives: May 2009

A Multipart Discourse on Reunions

JESSICA BADER: My five-year high school reunion is just a couple of weeks away, and I’m already a bit nervous about the whole thing. You see, I wasn’t particularly popular back in high school, and I haven’t really done the best job of keeping in touch with the people I was friends with back then (unless you count passively viewing whatever status updates are on the front page whenever I go on Facebook as “keeping in touch”).

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: My ten-year high school reunion is around the corner, and my feeling is, either I’m showing up with Hugh Jackman on one arm, pushing a stroller full of nonuplets with the other, or I’m not showing up at all.

STEPHON JOHNSON: I believe it was Bridget Fonda’s Janet Livermore character in the film Singles who said “Somewhere around twenty-five, bizarre becomes immature.”

As I write this, I’m one year past that age where bizarre starts being immature. Next weekend, my alma mater holds its annual class reunion. It marks five years since I graduated from college and many old pals have requested my presence.

But I’m not going. Continue reading

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Jon Huntsman: Rising Political Star / Postpartisan Supernova

CHRIS PUMMER: Just weeks ago Jon Huntsman was one of the brightest stars in the Republican sky –- which though admittedly dim still left the popular Republican governor from Utah with a universe of opportunity.

Perhaps a contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2012, Huntsman’s political calculus has obviously changed after accepting an offer from President Obama to become the U.S. Ambassador to China.

CHRISTIAN HEINZE: Calling Jon Huntsman a “postpartisan supernova” is absolutely right. Whether that’s right for his national ambitions is another matter. Barack Obama worked the postpartisan angle as well as you can, but that was after he’d spent time forming close ties to liberal groups. Once he was safe for the base, he was safe for the general. Continue reading

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David Wright vs. Ryan Zimmerman

CHRIS NEEDHAM: The idea that Ryan Zimmerman would be as good as David Wright seemed laughable two seasons ago. Not anymore, though. Zimmerman may have passed him.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Based on the available evidence, David Wright, who has been the better player by far during both his and Ryan Zimmerman’s career to date, is the far better bet moving forward. Continue reading

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Scrubs: Eagle… Soar! OR Beating a Stuffed Rowdy

HOWARD MEGDAL: I am not one of the members of my generation who seems to revel in falling idols. I don’t eagerly anticipate the “Jump the Shark” moment for once-great television programs, any more than I have enjoyed seeing a great hitter, David Ortiz, become useless in the Boston Red Sox lineup.

EMILY SAIDEL:What are the options after an episode called My Finale? Continue reading

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American Idol in Review: Season 8

JESSICA BADER: As the business portion of the Idol results show takes up only a small fraction of the allotted time (and this was true even when it only ran a half-hour), filler has been a major part of Wednesday nights since the very beginning of the show’s existence. Having all of the contestants sing as a group (with the song or medley of songs usually being at least tangentially related to the previous night’s theme) has been a results show staple since Idol’s first season way back in the summer of 2002.

STEVE MURPHY: Lip-syncing on American Idol should be outlawed. Even the guest singers should be forced to sing for real or simply not appear. It’s a singing competition. To use prerecorded tracks is to bastardize the entire point of the show. Continue reading

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Two Views on the Lost Finale

JEFF ELDRIDGE: Lost is like adulthood. With age comes responsibility and confusion. It’s possible to have so many people around that it’s a relief when they cut loose. One day you’re foraging with Anna Lucia and Libby, and the next they’re shot dead by Michael. Just when you think you really know Michael, he’s gone in a boat explosion.

TED BERG: I also found much of the fifth season of Lost disappointing, but still, while reading your post I found myself thinking, “No, Jeff — we still don’t know if they can change the future! Faraday might have been wrong!” Continue reading

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Crist/Rubio: What is the Florida GOP?

CHRIS PUMMER: So will Rubio win a primary by painting Crist as too liberal? I think that won’t be as easy for Rubio to do as some expect.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I think Chris makes reasonable assumptions based upon what the numbers say the Republican party currently is. I have my doubts about whether those numbers reflect the reality, however, though Mason-Dixon currently has Crist ahead of Rubio, 53 percent to 18 percent. Continue reading

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SNL in Review: Will Ferrell & Green Day

STEVE MURPHY: I love Will Ferrell, and he’s always funnier live. I remember one sketch in particular when he was still in the cast, with Jimmy Fallon and Pierce Brosnan working at a Gap store. The sketch was pretty funny already, but then Will Ferrell comes out riding an electric wheelchair and starts ramming into things and ad libbing some hilarious questions, even takes a call on a tiny, Zoolander-size cell phone. Both Fallon and Brosnan cracked up the entire time. I hope we get some of that uncontrollable Will Ferrell tonight!

HOWARD MEGDAL: My expectations for a Will Ferrell episode are mixed. I love Will Ferrell. But the writing and surrounding cast during his years on SNL were often among the weakest of any during SNL’s history. Will it simply be a return to old characters? If so, it might disappoint. Continue reading

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The Economy Will Change Everything

HOWARD MEGDAL: Fat pets will grow thinner, as people cut back on cat food. Normal-sized pets will become fashion-model thin. Thin pets will die, and be burned for fuel, as people cut back on traditional, expensive means of heat. Fashion models will also become less reviled, incidentally, as Americans without enough to eat begin to more resemble what was previously thought of as an unreachable body type…

DAVE TOMAR: Pet owners, no longer able to feed their pets or themselves, begin eating their pets for sustenance. Dogs, increasingly aware of the danger that they are in, begin to eat their owners in self-defense. Continue reading

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Are Women Funny?

STEVE MURPHY: I’m pretty sure everyone (or at least all men) can agree that there are more funny men than funny women. Certainly there are more male comics and comedic actors than there are female, but even in everyday life the funniest person you know is just statistically more likely to have a penis.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I think there’s a fundamental difference between a pair of questions. In one, are there as many female comedians as male comedians? The answer seems to be, clearly no. But are there as many funny women as funny men? Are those funny women as funny as men? The answer to that, to my mind, is clearly yes.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: None of the women stranded on Gilligan’s Island had decent comic timing; Smurfette was dull as dishwater. But to me, the lesson there was still not ‘girls in general aren’t as funny as boys’—it was ‘those girls aren’t funny’. Continue reading

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