If You Ever Catch Me Watching Young Sheldon, Please Just Euthanize Me

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I know everyone’s focused on football and the nonsensical storyline in NBA 2K18‘s MyCareer, but I can’t get this thought out of my head: If you ever see me watching CBS’s new sitcom Young Sheldon please just put a bullet in my head. Believe me, I’ll understand.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched any trailers or anything. I’ve avoided any Young Sheldon media like the plague. But I already feel the hatred flowing through my veins any time I see this little piece of shit adjusting his bow tie. Besides the immediate turn off of being a Big Bang Theory spin-off, it somehow manages to combine almost all of my least favorite things: Big Bang Theory, sitcom spin-offs, any comedy with a child as the main character, any show/movie/commercial/book/anything about annoying and unrealistically brilliant child geniuses, CBS sitcoms, and Big Bang Theory again. Big Bang Theory is terrible and if you like it you have horrible taste. I know why it got a spin-off (it rhymes with schmoney), but if you’re excited for it, I don’t really want to be associated with you.

There’s a larger rant to go on here about the cynical nature of the entertainment industry and how they’ll do anything for money, and it’d be easy to call September 25th the End of the Golden Age of Television and the death of whatever amount of inspiration and creativity we have left as a society, but for now I’ll just say that Young Sheldon is going to be the worst show ever made and you shouldn’t watch it. Ever.

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Who’s Ready for Some Hard Knocks?

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As is tradition, the start of NFL training camp brings us another season of Hard Knocks, the first real sign that the NFL season is nigh. The groundbreaking documentary series has changed the way we think about training camp, and, really, the way we think about sports documentaries in general. If you don’t have ultimate access, I’m not watching. If I don’t know what the third string QB’s meal plan is, why should I even care? Still, at this point I love what Hard Knocks represents more than I love the actual show. Much like with All or Nothing, any kind of football is good enough for me at this point, particularly when it means we’re mere weeks away from college and NFL kicking off for real. But the seemingly never-ending streak of getting super boring teams for Hard Knocks probably isn’t going to change with the Bucs this year. Hard Knocks is only as good as the head coach, and Dirk Koetter is…. well, he’s alive. I think. I honestly don’t think I could pick him out of a lineup. That’s a bad sign. Still, I’m going to watch it. You’re going to watch it. Everyone’s going to watch it and wonder why we’re doing so in the process. It’ll be great. As an experienced Hard Knocks viewer, there are certain things that appear time and time again. Time is a flat circle, and nowhere is that more apparent than on Hard Knocks. Here’s a quick primer for everything you’re going to see this season.

You’ll Find Out What Dirk Koetter Looks Like

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This is pretty unique for this season, but the fact remains that, unless you’re one of the dozens of diehard Bucs fans, this will be your official introduction to Dirk Koetter, and, if this picture is any indication, you won’t be in for much. My guess is he either loves to fish or play golf and stays until all hours of the night watching film. A real breath of fresh air in the coaching world.

There Will be a Heated Battle Amongst the Assistant Coaches for the Title of Coolest Coach

Happens every year. Every coach thinks this is his time to shine. Turn up the personality to 11, say the F word ten times a sentence, make a ton of sex analogies that don’t really work, talk about drinking or smoking, have a scene where they’re playing cards together, really anything to seem cool and relatable. Looking at the Bucs’ coaching staff, I’ve got together some prime suspects:

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Not the most promising batch of coaches. A lot of old guys, a lot of guys who look like they haven’t been out of a team facility in 20 years. I’m not positive these are the guys, but they’re some of the youngest looking, and defensive line coaches are always a little wacky. Same goes for the strength and conditioning coach. He looks like he’ll murder you and wear your skin if your squat form is a little off. He could be electric! Just kidding with Mike Smith. He’s the most boring person of all time.

The One Assistant Coach Who Used to be a Head Coach and They Awkwardly Talk About How He Failed In His Last Job

Hey, speaking of Mike Smith!

The Stupid Player Who They Exploit for Some Easy Quotes

One of the best traditions Hard Knocks has is filming a football player who hasn’t read a book that didn’t start with “play” since the first grade talking about something other than football. These guys’ world views are so skewed, anything could come out of their mouths! Tune in tonight to find out what they say! Anyway, there’s only one possibility for the Bucs. Anytime HBO can combine their Idiot screentime with their Starting QB screentime, you have to do it.

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Seeing Jameis Winston say something dumb is pretty much the only reason I’m excited for this season. Jameis was made for Hard Knocks. Everything that comes out of his mouth is liable to start and internet firestorm, and the beauty is that he doesn’t know any better. He’s so innocent (allegedly) and means well, but he can’t get out of his own way. He’s like a puppy without a leash, and he’s going to light up the screen.

The One Player Who Proves Himself to be the Zaniest on the Team

Similar to the war of attrition between the assistant coaches, all the players want that valuable screentime, too, and the best way to get it is to be super crazy and quirky. Is it forced? Almost always. Is it entertaining? Sometimes. But it’ll happen nonetheless. Luckily for us, the Bucs’ roster isn’t filled with J.J. Watts, so the competition might be that fierce (actually, I have absolutely no idea if that’s valid or not. I can name, like, five Bucs players. For all I know, it might be the biggest collection of hams outside a Smithfield store). Jameis, when he’s not obliviously saying something moronic, will undoubtedly try waaaaaaaaaaay too hard. It’ll be cringeworthy. I think Mike Evans has something going on, but who knows. I think it’ll be Gerald McCoy.

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This guy’s so zany. How do I know? Well, he wears oversized glasses all the time! What a wildcard! He’s so quirky and unique! McCoy’s been a great player since he came into the league, but has been relatively anonymous because of where he plays and the fact that he’s eternally tied to Ndamukong Suh since they were drafted in the same year. Look for HBO to try and pump him up as the unknown star who has a crazy personality.

Someone Will Have an Absurd Collection of Cars/Jewelry/Some Other Expensive Thing

Quickest way to kill some time is to show the viewers that no, these guys aren’t just like us. They have millions of dollars and don’t have to go to work for six months at a time. Someone’s possessions will redefine opulence for the millionth straight year.

The Guy Who Gets Cut

Easily the most recognizable and beloved of the Hard Knocks tropes. Notice someone you’ve never heard of soaking up screentime? Maybe we’ve met his wife and young daughter? Learned about his crippling debt or tough upbringing? Well, he’s getting cut. Sorry.

That’s pretty much all there is to Hard Knocks. It’s not a complex show, and this season may be particularly formulaic. But hey, it’s football.

I’ve Never Been as Sure of Anything as I am that the Sonic Guys Hate Each Other in Real Life

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Think of the greatest entertainment duos to ever grace the Earth: Abbott and Costello. Penn and Teller. Mike and the Mad Dog. All of them changed the show business game, and all of them absolutely despised each other. The same can undoubtedly be said about the Sonic Guys.

I don’t know why I thought of this the other night, but I did. Yet another Sonic commercial came on, and one of my friends asked if I thought they liked each other in real life. At first, I didn’t really have an answer. After all, how should I know if they like each other? I don’t know them, I don’t know their lives. But then it never left my mind. Like a bit of popcorn stuck in your teeth, the thought got lodged in my brain and started to fester. I went deep into Sonic Guy lore. I learned the complex cannon inside and out. And the more I watched, the more it became clear: these two would murder each other if they could get away with it. I mean, watch some of these:

I don’t know how you could film these and remain civil. If I had to do a million takes of one of these commercials once I don’t think I would ever speak to my co-star ever again. And these guys have been doing this for YEARS. Wikipedia says they’ve been together since 2004. 13 years of doing commercials together. Just the two of them every time. Every 30 second spot is a two-man play. How the dark-haired straight man hasn’t snapped and called out the other guy for all his stupid antics and bullshit is beyond me. How the lighter-haired one hasn’t tried to forcefully remove the stick out of the other guy’s ass is incomprehensible. If the next ad doesn’t have them coming to blows I might think about boycotting Sonic (not really). I’ve never seen a pair with more built up tension. They need some release. They need to brawl. They need to kiss. They need to do whatever it takes to relieve some of this stress they have built up. I’m actually worried about their mental health. Sonic is torturing these guys by continuing to force them to work together. Sure, they probably have gotten millions of dollars out of it, but at what cost? How much of themselves have they thrown away in pursuit of fame? Sonic has been there every step of the way, whispering sweet nothings in their ears and enabling this self-destructive behavior. They’ve turned two star-crazed men into angry, sexually frustrated zombies, all to sell a few more delicious burgers and tater tots. For shame, Sonic, for shame.

Game of Thrones is Officially Back Tonight

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Winter is here, bitch!!!! Feels like it’s been 8 years since the last episode aired. I can barely even remember what happened anymore. Oh, yeah, 60% of the relevant characters died. Gonna be tough to top that.

As someone who’s been on the GOT Express since season 1, I’ve experienced every off-season, and, as is natural for what is now the most popular show in the world, the hype surrounding this season is at an all-time high. Literally everyone in the world is talking about it. From the fantasy geeks cool people like me to the trendiest socialites. It’s pretty much the only show left with such a massive following. It’s probably the most culturally-important thing on TV right now, and, naturally, people are excited for its return. And this season is going to be awesome. It has to be. There’ll be dragons and White Walkers and Sam reading books and lots of death. What else could you want? But, deep down in places I only talk about in my Safe Space (www.briansden69.com), I’m a little disappointed. For a show that prided itself on re-writing all the classic fantasy tropes and blurring the lines of morality more than Robin Thicke, I can’t really see a scenario where the series doesn’t end with a pretty standard “good vs. evil” final battle. It’s already taking shape: Jon Snow will inevitably join Daenerys when she arrives in Westeros, which will mean literally every good guy will be on the Targaryan side while every bad guy is either with the Lannisters or a White Walker. Doesn’t that feel kind of cheap? In the earlier seasons there were no good guys or bad guys (outside comic book villain Joffrey), just people whose unique circumstances surrounding them shaped their actions and outlook on the world. The whole point was that you had no control over your life and viewing morality as just “good” or “bad” was pointless because anyone could become the hero or villain. Now it’s going to end with all the good guys teaming up to fight the bad guys? I mean, it’ll still be awesome and I’m going to love it, but I can’t help but feel a little cheated. I don’t even know how I’d end it. Maybe George R.R. doesn’t either, and that’s why it’s taking him so long to finish the books. Either way, I wish the show writers hadn’t just taken the easy way out. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, though. This is Game of Thrones, after all. And as the old saying goes, anything can happen on Game of Thrones.

The National Nightmare is Over. I Finally Have CBS Again

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Praise Dolan, it’s finally over. Today I woke assuming I’d have to watch all the college basketball games on my laptop since I didn’t have CBS (America’s oldest channel) (and a staple of basic cable), when lo and behold, channel 3 exists once more on my television. Dreams really do come true. Some people see having HBO and Showtime as status symbols, but I view CBS in the same light. I mean think about it- CBS is basic cable. You don’t need cable service to get it. You just need an antenna and you get it for free. How many people do you know that can say they have CBS? I’m not sure I know anyone good enough to have CBS.

I just want to send a sincere thank you to the Dolan Family, lead of course by the immortal James Dolan, for such a swift resolution to this matter. I mean, when you’re a billion dollar company, finishing negotiations with one (1) CBS affiliate that wanted a few hundred dollars more in only three months is crazy. Such a great display of compromise and charity. Letting us normal folk enjoy the luxury of CBS. I’ve never been so touched before in my life. From now on, I’m going to recommend Optimum to everyone I know who has no other cable option and doesn’t want Dish.

When you get CBS (yes, that CBS. The one you’ve had your entire life) back:

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Why does Harry Connick Jr. have a talk show?

As I spent yesterday trying to come up with some ideas for posts (maybe a new Burning Questions), I found myself flipping channels. Lost in the miasma of daytime TV, prospects were looking bleak. I thought I might have to settle for an uninspiring news story or movie trailer analysis. But then I saw something that shook me to my core. Something so shocking, so unexpected, I had to stop and take note. Harry Connick, Jr. has his own talk show. No, really, he does. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I decided I had to watch this spectacle. Results were absolutely wild.

I couldn’t believe what I was watching. How in the world did Harry Connick, Jr. get his own mid-day talk show? How many stars had to align for this to happen? Is he the least likely talk show host in history? I mean they tried to give Magic Johnson his own talk show, but at least he’s infinitely more famous than Harry Connick, Jr. He’s the definition of a D-list celebrity. This is like if someone gave the lead singer of Deep Blue Something his own show. I really wish I was in the room for this meeting. “Alright, so we all know Harry Connick, Jr. for that good Christmas album from the 90s and his memorable roles in Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2. Well, what if he had a midday talk show?” What skills does he have that translate to talk show success? A slight New Orleans accent? Thinking about it, the person that greenlit this show maybe the most reckless and courageous man in the history of the entertainment industry. I mean, this show was a crazy combination of the most boring television I’ve ever watched and the most enthralling entertainment ever produced. I might have to become a regular watcher. I think my new life’s goal is to somehow be a guest on this show. Or better yet, his sidekick. He obviously had a jazz band with him but I didn’t notice a witty sidekick to help add mother-approved comedy for the 3 o’clock crowd. Hey, Harry, sign me up. I’d add some much needed spice to the bland gumbo that is Harry. (a little New Orleans humor to get on Harry’s good side. I can tell we already have great chemistry.) I can help take your show to unprecedentedly middling heights. I need my life’s work to be lost in the ether of daytime TV. Have your people call my people, Harry.