– Bloody Confused! by Chuck Culpepper is a great little piece of sportswriting – a journey alongside Culpepper during his time in England as he lives there for a few years and, being a sports fan generally, settles in and picks a football team to cheer for (in his case, Portsmouth), and in the process discovers why he likes sports. It’s engaging and intelligent and is readable both for the fan (for whom it will illuminate many of the reasons non-soccer fans have trouble understanding or appreciating the game, and how to get past those issues), and the nonfan (for whom it will illuminate both the joy of being a fan generally and the joy of being a soccer fan particularly).
– Punisher #6 is actually the execution of a pretty good idea: namely, bringing back everybody Scourge ever killed from the dead, and siccing them on somebody. That it is the Hood siccing them on the Punisher just makes it even better, because the motivations all make sense (the Hood wants a no-cost plan to kill or at least inconvenience the Punisher, the villains want to not go back to being dead once the spell runs out, and the Punisher wants what he always wants). All this, plus the return of Death Adder (probably one of the coolest minor Marvel villains ever), and hopefully the promise of getting, however briefly, into the mind of Turner D. Century.
– Caught up (finally) on the back end of Friday Night Lights‘ third season, and oh man does this show ever get bad? Other than last season’s “Tyra and Landry kill a guy” plot (which was dealt with in a mature enough fashion that its sensationalism was forgiveable), this show just doesn’t make missteps, not ever. Plus this is the first season where they’ve actually had enough stability to set up the fourth season, with a brilliant hook (forcing Coach to take over the just-reopened decrepit poor high school’s football team and letting the uber-successful Dillon Panthers now be the nemesis rather than the scrappy underdog). With the show’s cast set to change drastically next season (only Matt and Julie of the kids set to stick around, and one hopes that Matt Saracen will finally for once in his damn life catch a fucking break and pull a Smash by the fourth episode or something) the show needed exactly this sort of tactic to remain the powerhouse that it is.
– Dance of the Dead turns out to be a real disappointment, a movie that can’t decide if it’s a zombie comedy movie or a zombie parody movie and by extension mostly fails at both. It’s not funny. It’s not clever. It’s not even internally consistent. (This is a movie that seemingly can’t decide between “slow zombies” and “fast zombies,” instead going with the truly retarded decision of “both.”) Large chunks of it are really stupid. Large chunks of it are really predictable. Practically none of it is entertaining. And the obvious societal commentary that could be done with zombies plus prom is almost completely ignored. I know this was a low-budget movie, but you don’t need a high budget to make a good zombie movie – that’s one of the plusses of the genre, for crissake.
– You know, I’ve often said that Padma Lakshmi, the host of Top Chef, is a wooden self-important she-jackal. And this is true. But Kelly Choi, host of Top Chef Masters, makes Padma Lakshmi look like Julia fucking Child.
– Maksim instead of Kupono? Really, Nigel? (And you know this comes down to Nigel.) Are you trying to utterly invalidate the entire concept of dancing for your life? Because when Kupono A) dances like shit in his competitive dance and then B) pulls out a crappy, distracted solo, while Max A) dances well in his competitive dance and then B) nails his solo, your preferences become obvious. Yes, Max looks like a Russian mobster, but that’s not his fault. He is Russian, after all. (And now, lay odds on the new Kupono/Kayla pairing to get a contemporary routine next week so Kayla, obviously one of Nigel’s favorites, can make top ten.) Also, Ashley danced better than Kaitlyn did and similarly should not have gone, but they were both chaff anyway so it’s more forgivable.