Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Boys of Summer

As a longtime Mets fan, I was enjoying this season of baseball. Things hadn't looked so bright since the incredible summer of '86. The Mets haven't fallen into a full-blown tailspin yet, but the pitching is showing signs of eroding. Nevertheless, I've been lucky and found some other guys to keep me occupied so far this summer.


Yeah, yeah. I know it's not Shakespeare. But that's exactly what makes Entourage so perfect for summer viewing. I admit, when this show premiered three years ago, I didn't like it. The characters were one-dimensional and the whole thing was just sort of wish-fulfillment going on. But I kept watching, because I've always liked Jeremy Piven. (I was pissed when "Cupid" got cancelled.) Piven as Ari Gold was terrific out of the gate with his "Let's hug it out, bitch" attitude combined with his barely-controlled, manic, shark energy. And when Ari settled in with Lloyd as his assistant, and once Adrian Grenier grew on me as pretty-boy charmer Vince Chase, my only real complaint was the woodenness of Kevin Connolly as Eric. It's not easy playing a straight man, and I wouldn't say Connolly is great, but at least I no longer hope for him to crash and burn. But "Entourage" really hit its stride in the second season with the Aquaman arc, and Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara found a great buddy rhythm as Drama and Turtle. The writers (primarily Doug Ellin and Rob Weiss) don't overplay the pair of jokers, and because of that, Drama and Turtle are the perfect amount of sprinkles on this guilty pleasure ice cream sundae.

Now in its third season, Entourage seemed like it was losing focus with "Aquaman" out of the tank. The episodes were pleasant enough, and I've become addicted to the over-the-top success these guys get to revel in every episode, but there wasn't as much forward thrust anymore. But now that Vince is back in a pickle in having to choose between making "Aquaman 2" and his dream movie, "Medellin," I expect it'll pick up steam again. I do, however, wonder what the hell happened to Turtle's side-project of working with rapper Saigon, but as long as he and Drama are involved in silly shenanigans like hiding in bushes while looking for a stolen Shrek doll, I guess I don't really care.

Italy's World Cup Soccer team

Do I really need to elaborate on this? Have you seen these guys? Granted, I don't know shit about soccer, but I have a feeling that their goalkeeper isn't just a hot bitch, but he's pretty fucking good, too. But pictures don't do these fellows justice. You have to see them in action on the field to get the full gist of their appeal. Running. Sweating. Filthy dirty with turf stains all over. You've got one more chance to check them out as Italy takes on France in the championship game.

Speaking of dirty guys, I tuned in last night to Rock Star: Supernova. I never watched last year, so it was all new to me, and I think I'm going to like it, despite my moderate dislike for Dave Navarro. Jane's Addiction was a good enough band, and I love the Chili Peppers. But I didn't care for the Chili's album that had Navarro on it and I was amped when Frusciante came and took his rightful spot back. (And yes, before you say it, I know that Frusciante is no Hillel Slovak, I agree. Frusciante doesn't have the raw speed that Hillel had, but he's plenty funky enough for me and sometimes his licks are absolutely beautiful.) Anyhow, back to Navarro, he just bugs me. I don't care who he's fucking or how much eyeliner he wears or what his street cred is. Dave showed his Mr. Snooty-pants side last night when he told one contestant (in very Randy Jackson fashion) that he was a bit pitchy at the end of a song. Then, he immediately backtracked and tried up his cool quotient by waving it off and saying, "But it's rock and that doesn't really matter." If it didn't really matter, what the fuck is he mentioning it for? To sound like a know-it-all who can detect when someone is off-key? Yeah. That's a great, professional talent, Dave. I think anyone with ears can determine that.

But this year, Dave's going to have work extra-hard to be the cool kid on the show, because to up the dirty-boy quotient, we've also got Tommy Lee, as it's his new band, Supernova, that they're auditioning for. Tommy Lee, I noticed last night, is quite the camera fucker in his own right. He knows exactly when that thing is in his vicinity and he makes sure to give a smug look or coy smile or do something to acknowledge it. Normally, this is rather disagreeable behavior, but Tommy Lee gets latitude in the asshole department because, well, let's face it: he's got a really big dick. And we all know he's got a really big dick. And he knows we know that he's got a really big dick. So he gets to act mildly assholic and people don't really call him on it.

Anyhow, there were a bunch of wannabes on stage last night. The worst of the lot was this ex-ballplayer who dressed himself in tight pinstripes and screamed a bad version of The Police's "Roxanne" while doing the Mick Jagger hand-on-hip strut. I knew from his intro that he was a wannabe freak and not a real freak and he proved it last night to a nation of unadoring viewers. He had eyeliner and tight pants and bushy hair but he was still just way too squeaky-clean to hang out on a stage with the likes of Lee and Navarro, not to mention Jason Newsted of Metallica and Gilby Clarke of G-n-R. Anyhow, I'm not going to waste my letters running this dorky fuck through because I'm pretty sure he'll be gone tonight.

There was a good vocal performance by the guy who sang "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." But his name is Toby or something sweet like that and I'm not sure if he's quite freak enough to hang in there when he's up against that strange Puerto Rican Elvira bitch and then Dilana and Lukas Rossi. Cause let me tell you, Dilana and Rossi? Freaks. Freaks of the highest caliber. And, as a fairly dirty, freaky girl myself, I mean that as a compliment. They chose the two best songs of the night, Dilana doing "Lithium" and Rossi doing "Rebel Yell," and though a small part of me rebelled against hearing those songs abused by a reality show, it's something I've now learned to accept. They'll have to be careful, because although they certainly got the attention of the audience and won raves from the band, freakdom alone doesn't make a rockstar. Now they'll have to keep our attention and that'll take a little more than the raw intensity, tattoos, and willingness to stomp around out-of-beat that they've already shown.

But I'll definitely tune in again to see how they do. I was concerned that there wouldn't be much in the way of negative reinforcement from "the band" or from "Dave" as they pass judgment because they all had either positive things to say or just kept quiet. But once the clean ballplayer boy fucked up "Roxanne," Gilby Clarke showed that although he may not have the impressive dick size of Tommy Lee, he had enough balls to tell the kid that the performance sucked. (and hey, maybe he does have it all over Tommy Lee in that other area, too. I've just never seen video to know.) So I'm hoping Clarke's bitchy side will intensify and hopefully at least one of the other dirty boys will be noticeably smashed on a few occasions, too. Then it'd be just like American Idol, except with a more "goth" set and better music. (with the exception of Nickelback and "Yellow")


laura petrie said...

Sooooo glad to see you're bringing your fantastic commentary to RS:S, my dear. Will make the viewing experience that much better for moi.

And that assclown who butchered "Roxanne?" Better never meet me in a dark alley. That song is sacred to me -- I named my beloved cat Roxanne in its honor.

My favorite: Patrice with "Somebody to Love."

And didja notice the plethora of wallet chains -- here, there and everywhere! Just the thing to snap me out of the summer TV doldrums, dontcha know...

Jacqualine said...

I can't wait for more of your commentary on Roc Star Supernova. I know it's just going to get better and better as these asshole's egos grow bigger and bigger.

meep said...

Whoot! Let the RockSnark begin!*

Why do I love this show? Two words. House. Band. Check them out Susan, these guys truly can rock. They got more screen time last year during the reality/mansion episodes, which this year are online only, so that's a disappointment. The rehearsal segments with HB and the contestants made for great teasers prior to performance night, and HB up close and personal was a bonus. I look forward to seeing and hearing them each week just as much as any "rocker" favorites.

I also have to admit to missing the eye candy that is Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke between seasons. Pwetty!! Flog me now.

It's an interesting group of singers this year. I already have some favs, Patrice being one of mine as well, laura petrie. Austin knows how to grow their musicians.

I'm still "sizing up" SuperNova. Without an idea of what Tommy Lee means by "fresh and new", I'm not sure how much love I'll feel for them as a group until the season progresses. Tommy isn't bugging too much yet, but the band name alone prevents me from taking this very seriously.

*Susan, you've just made my summer.

Alice Brooks said...

So glad the Mets are doing well this year. Poor the Braves. Of course, part of the problem is they keep throwing away great players by refusing to give them good contract renewals (read: Tommy Glavine!). I'll pull for the Mets unless Smoltzie is pitching for Atlanta.

Now onto Rock Star: I'm thrilled you decided to tune in. I loved it last year - started watching because I am an INXS fan, but got hooked by hearing great songs each week. The bottom three thing was definitely different last year with the 3 having to sing INXS songs in order to stay in the game. I don't know how this Supernova thing will work, but I did tape it and watched it this afternoon for the first time. (I immediately thought of you when I saw the plethora of wallet chains!) Also liked the Toby guy who sany Dylan and a few others stood out as well. Looks like a fun time and glad you're "reviewing it." By the way, listen to Meep for sure. The one thing consistently great about this show is the House Band! They're so good they need their own show. Far as I can tell, they're all back from last year, too. Keep the faith and keep enjoyin' your summer. It's hot as hell down here - as hot as your books, all of which I've finished. Great reads!

SusanD said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Ladies! I will for sure be on the listen for the house band (nice change from Ricky Minor's shitty AI band, eh?) on your advice. I know I'll be watching. I'll try to comment, but I think I'll need to find a favorite to root for to really get into it. We'll see.

Alice -- even I can't believe the year Glavine is having. But I'm glad for it. I still love Smoltz, too. He's a class act. Maddux-Galvine-Smoltz was the best rotation I'd ever seen.