Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Andrew Review: The Office – Threat Level Midnight (s7e17)

In “Threat Level Midnight” Michael finally reveals his much ballyhooed, self-produced action film to the office. More importantly, the audience finally had a chance to see this oft-alluded to bit of comedy. Unfortunately the end result, and this episode as whole, were a let down. It might be that the expectations for “Threat Level Midnight” were impossibly high. In the course of the show, the audience has had many glimpses of Michael’s misdirected little spy film. In season two’s “The Client” we had our first look at it when Pam discovers the script and instigates and office-wide table read. We’ve seen bits and pieces of the movie since, including Michael reverting to his “Michael Scarn” character during all of his improv classes and off-hand comments about his situation with Jan has reaching “Threat Level Midnight.” With a gag built up this much, it may just have been too much for any comedy show to deliver on.

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The Andrew Review: The Simpsons – The Blue and the Gray (s22e13)

In Season 22's "The Blue and the Gray" Marge decides to stop dyeing her hair and stick to ner natural gray.

In the most recent episode of The Simpsons, entitled “The Blue and the Gray,” Marge takes the bold step of forgoing her usual hair dye and deciding to sport her natural gray hair color. I really enjoyed this main story. It was fresh and original without feeling forced or contrived. It’s hard to come up with a situation the Simpson family has not already dealt with, and Marge-centric episodes in particular tend to cover already well-trodden ground. Who would have thought that a pack of middle-aged male comedy writers would have a hard time coming up with interesting material about a wife and mother? That barb aside, this episode bucked the trend. The basic plotline of Marge deciding to embrace her self confidence by going gray soared. The central conflict of Marge balancing her commitment to being “empowering” against the town’s reaction, not to mention her concerns about whether Homer’s support for the new-do is genuine, carried this episode home.

Of course, my fellow Simpsons nerds and I have known since Season 5’s episode “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” that Marge has been as “gray as a mule since she was seventeen.” In that same vein, I have no doubt that this blip in continuity will be cause for much consternation for my fellow diehards, but I’m willing to overlook it. I am a firm believer in Matt Groening’s “waistband continuity” where the continuity can stretch to fit the joke. I did take some issue with the fact that they hand-waved the issue with the hairdresser that the fumes from the dye wipe Marge’s memory that she’s actually gray. It would be better just to play it off as though the hairdresser was keeping it from her, or just reframe it as Marge knowing about the dyeing all along, but choosing to stop. Still, that’s a quibble in what was otherwise a strong and unique storyline.

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The Top Five Terms Made Up By Yours Truly pt. 3: The Citizen Kane Effect


This is Part Three in our series of Five Terms Made Up By Yours Truly.
Check out Part One, Part Two, Part Four, and Part Five.


 

 

3. The Citizen Kane Effect

Definition – When a modern viewer is nonplussed by a classic film or other such work of art, because the elements of the work that were impressive or innovative at the time of its release have since become commonplace or outdated.

The Story – “Citizen Kane” is a tremendous film. It’s done quite well for itself without any need for further accolades from yours truly, but suffice it to say, “Citizen Kane” is widely acclaimed as one of, if not the, greatest movies of all time. Personally, before I had ever popped it into my DVD player, I think I’d practically seen the whole movie based solely on the many many homages to the film on The Simpsons. Yet, very often a modern audience will see this film, so firmly acknowledged as a masterpiece, and somehow they have a reaction that roughly amounts to “so what?”

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The Andrew Preview: Superbowl XLV

Your Top Stories

Jeff Fisher is leaving the Tennessee Titans after sixteen years as the team's head coach.

1. Last Thursday, Jeff Fisher resigned from the Tennessee Titans after sixteen seasons as the team’s head coach. It was believed that Fisher and QB Vince Young could not coexist in the organization, but with Titans’ owner Bud Adams announcing that Young would not be back in Tennessee, it was widely expected that Fisher would return. Then, Fisher, who had been with the Titans since the team was located in Houston, surprised the league by announce he would not come back for the last year of his contract as Tennessee’s head coach. He will reportedly receive an 8 million dollar settlement buyout. Rumors suggest that part of the departure had to do with Fisher losing two valued assistants in Check Cecil who was fired and Jim Washburn who was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles. Fisher leaves the Titans with a 142-120 record in the regular season and a 5-6 record in the playoffs for the team under his tenure.

2. The Associated Press selected New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick as the 2010 Coach of the Year. This is the third time that Belichick has won the award, having been voted the league’s best coach in 2007 and 2003 as well. With this third win, Belichick is behind only Don Shula, who won the award a record four times. Belichick received thirty out of fifty votes to win, with the second place finisher, Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris, receiving 11 ½ votes. With a prolific offense and rebuilt defense, he managed to coach the Patriots to a league best 14-2 record this season, that included wins over the Steelers, Packers, Bears, and Jets.

3. Steelers LB James Harrison unleashed more criticism for the NFL in the lead up to the Super Bowl. On Tuesday, Harrison facetiously suggested that he could use pillows to soften his hits on ball-carriers. Then, on Wednesday before the Steelers’ practice, Harrison questioned the NFL’s commitment to player safety, and pointed to the owner’s push for an 18-game regular season as proof of his position. Harrison said that, “It’s not about player safety. It’s about making money.” Harrison noted that Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney had spoken out against the idea of an 18-game season and that “He’s the most respected voice, I believe. He came out and said it, exactly what it was, what it is.” He also said that the NFL’s efforts toward player safety were “a show.” Harrison was fined earlier in the season for his big hits on opposing players.

Registering For The Draft

Here is the current order for the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

1. Carolina (2-14)
2. Denver (4-12)
3. Buffalo (4-12)
4. Cincinnati (4-12)
5. Arizona (5-11)
6. Cleveland (5-11)
7. San Francisco (6-10)
8. Tennessee (6-10)
9. Dallas (6-10)
10. Washington (6-10)
11. Houston (6-10)
12. Minnesota (6-10)
13. Detroit (6-10)
14. St. Louis (7-9)
15. Miami (7-9)
16. Jacksonville (8-8)
17. New England (14-2) — from Oakland
18. San Diego (9-7)
19. New York Giants (10-6)
20. Tampa Bay (10-6)
21. Kansas City (10-6)
22. Indianapolis (10-6)
23. Philadelphia (10-6)
24. New Orleans (11-5)
25. Seattle (7-9)
26. Baltimore (12-4)
27. Atlanta (13-3)
28. New England (14-2)
29. Chicago (11-5)
30. New York Jets (11-5)
31. Green Bay (10-6)*
32. Pittsburgh (12-4)*

* Final draft position depends on the outcome of the Superbowl.
One Big Match Up

1. Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay, 6:30 P.M. EST on FOX, in Arlington, TX – Two of the most storied franchises in the history of the NFL will meet in football’s biggest game this year. The Packers trace their lineage back to 1919, and they have nine NFL Championships and three additional Super Bowl victories going into this year’s championship game. For their part, the Pittsburgh Steelers were founded in 1933 and have won a league-record six Super Bowls as a franchise.  Now, in Arlington, Texas, two of the oldest and most decorated teams in the league will match up with a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as World Champions.

The Steelers take on the Packers in Arlington, Texas at Superbowl XLV.

The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled ahead to a big lead early in the 2011 AFC Championship game, and held firm against a late rally by the Jets to punch their ticket to Super Bowl XLV. Unlike the week prior against the Ravens where the team’s fortunes looked bleak at halftime, the Steelers went into the locker room at the halfway mark with a dominating 24-3 lead. The Jets mounted a furious comeback in the second half, but a goal line stand from James Harrison and the Pittsburgh D effectively shut down Rex Ryan’s team, and Pittsburgh secured the 24-19 victory over New York. One more win would give the Steelers their third Super Bowl in just six years, and it would put QB Ben Roethlisberger in elite company. Only four other quarterbacks in NFL history have won at least three superbowls: Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, and Tom Brady. With Big Ben leading an offense that features standouts like Rashard Mendenhall and Heath Miller, and a defense that features blistering hitters like James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, expect Mike Tomlin’s boys to put up quite a fight on the NFL’s biggest stage.

Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers have taken on and defeated division champions in every game they’ve played for the last four weeks. Their latest victim, a repeat customer, was the Chicago Bears who fell at home to the Packers 21-14. Aaron Rodgers threw for 244 yards, ran in a score, and even made a touchdown-saving tackle to send the Pack into the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998. With that strong performance, the Packers are currently three-point favorites for the Big Game and why not? Green Bay has not been down by more than a touchdown this entire season. With Aaron Rodgers under center and weapons like the explosive Greg Jennings catching passes and the workman-like James Starks getting the hard yards, the offense has been putting up big numbers. With a defense that boasts talents like lineman B.J. Raji, who returned an interception for a touchdown in the NFC Championship game and Cameron Wake who has been sacking quarterbacks all season, every offensive that has faced Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay squad has had their hands full. We have two stellar teams with long histories vying for the NFL Championship this Sunday. It should be a hell of a game.

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