Posted on October 2nd, 2023
My love of movies and television cause me to get obsessive over them in ways that are probably not healthy. And one expression of that would be watching YouTube videos that are deep dives into them. I watch these videos for shows I don't even like particularly much. But for shows I do?
They don't even have to go that deep for me to be all in. They just have to remind me of why I liked the show or movie so much. And here's some that I've watched recently if you've got time to kill. And I mean a lot of time, because they're all over one hour in length.
Good Karma: A My Name is Earl Retrospective (1:12:32)
My Name is Earl is one of my favorite television shows of all time. It was just so... wonderful... to see. It had a good message and the cast was amazing (though I honestly think Ethan Suplee as Earl's brother Randy outshined every other actor). And somebody did a deep dive on a show that deserves it...
Scrubs: My Retrospective (1:38:08)
If the above retrospective of My Name is Earl was a good watch for you, then you might want to watch this retrospective of another show I love, Scrubs, by the same guy. This show was consistently funny while tackling subjects that run the gammut from devastating to heart-warming. But it was always smart and entertaining while riding that line, and this takes a look at all of it...
Jason Sudeikis on Becoming Ted Lasso: "I didn't want to snark out anymore" (1:12:59)
When it comes to shows that deserve infinite comprehensive deep dives, number one on my list is Ted Lasso. It's simply the best television show I have ever seen. We're not there yet... but I did run across this interview with Jason Sudeikis which has a great look at his career up to a lengthy discussion on Ted...
Breaking Bad: Full Series Retrospective (1:20:24)
Landing in many critics' Top Ten List (and with good reason) is Breaking Bad. It was an exceptionally well-written show that gave us the spin-off Better Call Saul, which is a genius all its own. There's many lines crossed and, by the end of the series, the consequences of it all is what makes the show so great (along with some incredible performances). If you like deep dives, here's one for you...
Better Call Saul: Full Series Retrospective (1:31:05)
The fact that Vince Gilligan managed to follow-up one of the greatest shows of all time... with another one of the greatest shows of all time... is often called a "Television Miracle." And they're not wrong. Because in some ways, I actually prefer the prequel sequel to the original show. A lot of why that is can be found in this video...
Better Call Saul Did It Better (19:42)
Now, I know that this video isn't over an hour, so consider it a bonus addiion to the previous video. One of my all-time favorite deep divers gives his insight into Better Call Saul which manages to say more about the series in under 20 minutes than most people could offer in an hour...
The ENTIRE Story of Adventure Time in 86 Minutes (1:26:53)
One of the most incredible things to ever come out of animated television is Adventure Time. It's so beautifully imaginative that I was properly gutted when it ended. But then we got some great continuations (like Adventure Time: Distant Lands and the new Adventure Time: Fiona and Cake), but this is the complete story of the original show where it all began...
The ENTIRE Story of We Bare Bears in 109 Minutes (1:49:28)
Another retrospective by JarToon is a retrospective of the horribly underrated We Bare Bears. I cannot for the life of me understand why this cartoon wasn't a massive hit that was talked about endlessly. It's such a fantastic show that I am almost reluctant to recommend watching this video because it would be so much better if you just watched the original show. It's that good...
And that's probably enough deep dives this time around. If you watch them all, that's over 10 hours of content, then you might just have as big a problem as me!
Posted on June 7th, 2023
Today is the day that a new episode of Ted Lasso would be airing if Ted Lasso hadn't (presumably) ended. The show has been so transformative towards my love of television, that I thought I might reflect on it for a minute so I can get it out of my blogging habit.
The year is not even half over, but I'm fairly comfortable saying that the third (and final?) season of Ted Lasso will top my list (yet again) despite being a bit of a mess. But, maybe as time goes on, it will have to battle it out with Jury Duty, Mrs. Davis, and Poker Face for the top spot. I dunno. I'll probably have to watch through a couple more times to know for sure.
The first season of Ted Lasso is flawless. Each and every episode faithfully pushes through a "narrative of nice" without ever becoming cynical about it. That alone is a massive achievement, even though it strayed into being overly-sweet and saccharine more than a few times. Furthermore, we get a conclusion that works along with a nice lead-in to the next season, which probably wasn't guaranteed at the time they filmed it. Talk about a massive achievement!
To me, the second season was almost as good as the first (even though the first two episodes felt a bit unsteady). And yet... I've read many reviews panning it. There were some fans of the show that roundly hated what it became the second time around. And a lot of that had to do with their inability to invest in Beard After Hours (Episode 09), which interrupted the season at a bit of a crucial moment. Meanwhile I'm thinking "YES! IT INTERRUPTED THE SEASON... THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF IT EXISTING!" and loved every minute of it. It was so very, very smart... both in purpose and execution. The previous episode had one of the most emotional moments of the entire series where Jamie's dad burst into the locker room and just wrecked his son. It was an abuse that was painful to watch. All the other players in the locker room were mortified and some looked away. It was unbearable. Jamie lost everything in that moment. But then, unexpectedly, Roy Kent approaches and... gives him a hug? And the moment just ruined me. Because as Roy approaches him, Jamie flinches just a bit. He was at his lowest point and was only expecting things to get worse. It was a masterful performance by Phil Dunster that took his character in an entirely new direction. It was the middle of a wide-reaching arc for Jamie that was concluded in the final episode in the best way possible...
In lesser hands, this scene could have been manipulative and awful. But the performances by Phil Dunsert, Brett Goldstein, and Kieran O'Brien (because, let's face it... the guy may have made you hate Jamie's dad, but his bigger accomplishment was being so awful that you felt sympathy for Jamie Tartt!). And that summed up the second season for me. Scenes that should have been a mess, but was elevated because the actors were too good to let them fail. And then we got Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, who ended up being the point upon which the entire season revolved, and Sarah Niles did not falter. How they managed to cast a character so perfectly (again!) is magic to me. If there was a fatal flaw, it happened at the end with Nate's betrayal. It was a wacky, inexplicable pivot out of nowhere and made no sense at all. I fail to see how somebody who was finally seen could ever betray Ted... especially over the trivial and nonsensical reasons that were provided. It was just so bizarre. It was as if the show worked overtime to create a villain where one just wasn't needed.
If the second season was messy but ultimately salvaged, the third was even messier and meandered into territory that couldn't be salvaged. Nate's entire redemption arc made zero sense. All the players hating him and then inexplicably wanting him back was idiotic. And they went way too far for him to ever be redeemable... even though they shoehorned it in anyway. I hated that. There was no redemption possible for Nate in such a short period of time, and having him return to Richmond first as kitman assistant... then as a frickin' coach?? WTF? But even worse was Keeley's breakup with Roy. Why? What purpose was it when the two of them together provided such wonderful material to draw from? And to add insult to injury, they wheeled in "Jack" so Keeley could have a same-sex relationship that went nowhere and ended so very badly. At least they left things with Jamie and Roy open-ended so they didn't also fall into the trope of having Keeley "needing a man to be complete" which would have been so much worse. These two major plots were nothing but distraction from moments that could have been spent in a much more productive way. But there were many great moments that overshadowed the bad. The setup to Ted leaving England was broadcast from miles away and didn't come out of nowhere... and it was delicately handled in a very real way. Colin coming out to his team was earned and not just slapped on his character. Rebecca finally finding somebody to share her life with had been treated as fate from the very beginning... so having the Dutch guy from earlier in the season pop up at the end so randomly was everything you'd hope for. Jamie, who had the most complete and satisfying character arc of anybody, had become a caring individual at peace with himself and others. We also got more Trent Crimm, who popped up at unexpected moments to provide insight or observation into what was happening in a way that was expertly woven into the story instead of being superfluous fluff. And then there were the many, many moments of brilliance that proved a show built around caring for others could actually work.
So, yeah, my favorite television series of all time. Without question. Nothing was ever going to live up to the incredible first season, and the following two really didn't. But they were a continuation of a story that I never wanted to end, and that was more than enough.
Here's hoping that we get a spin-off or three to fill the massive hole that has been vacated by Ted Lasso.
Posted on May 31st, 2023
And so here we are at the end.
I can tell you that Ted Lasso is, without a doubt, my favorite televisiion series of all time. It's everything I never knew I needed to see. The writing, the characters, the acting, everything... it's been mostly flawless most of the time.
And now we're at the last episode of the (presumably) last season...
I'm jotting down my thoughts as I watch, so spoilers ahead...
Well, the end was as good as it could have been, I guess. Especially for Rebecca, as I am very happy that she finally found the guy who makes her feel like she's been struck by lightning! Her moment at the airport is hands-down my favorite moment of the finale...
Well, I don't know what else to say. Except I hope the show comes back... in whatever form it can... and this isn't the end...
See ya 'round, Ted.
UPDATE: I still don't know who these people are?
UPDATE UPDATE: As noted in the comments (and on Facebook), that's John... the guy that Rebecca dated who didn't make her feel like she was struck by lightning!
Posted on May 10th, 2023
The latest episode of Ted Lasso was great... but still filled me with despair because now there's just three left.
I will probably just live-blog the final four because I have nothing better going on right now.
So. Spoilers. Obviously.
And we're off...
Here's that Bear Den song, just in case you need it...
Posted on May 4th, 2023
The eighth episode of Ted Lasso moves us further towards the season (and possibly series) finale. It also deals with something entirely topical: hacking people's digital privacy to release their personal data. In this case it's a sexy time video of Keeley that she sent to her boyfriend at the time.
The tremendous loss that's going to come when the show ends isn't just the characters, the stories, and the whole concept of it all... it's the artistry of everything that goes into it.
In this latest episode I was really struck by the visual language of the show. Like many good directors and cinematographers, there's a lot of thought that goes into every shot.
Spoilers from here on out...
When the show starts, there's a shot of Jaimie Tartt being Jamie Tartt. Of all the characters in the show, his journey has had the biggest arc...
The framing here is interesting. It's not a closeup of the camera filming his face as you might expect. They wanted to show his body language. He's centered in the frame because Jamie is all about Jamie. There's not room for anybody else.
They shift to Roy Kent, who is not centered on the frame. Roy's visual language is him standing apart from people. Note Jamie in the background as the conversation is revolving around the leak of private information, including Keeley. Roy was Keeley's last boyfriend, Jamie was the boyfriend before...
There's nothing special about the shot that follows. But it's funny because Jamie gets a look at Will Kitman's private photos that he's deleting. Which is assumably includes the threesome he recently had in Amsterdam...
But then we get to Colin leaving the room after Isaac instructs everybody to delete all sexytime photos of other people from their phones so they don't get hacked and released. Isaac assumes that it's because Colin doesn't want to delete his photos. But the truth is that he needs privacy because his photos aren't something he wants his teammates to see. So when Isaac follows him and grabs his phone away, he gets a surprise he wasn't prepared for...
Isaac is just right of center, so you're focusing on his face. He doesn't look happy. But is it because he found out Colin is gay and doesn't approve... or because Colin never told him. Even Colin doesn't seem to know...
Notice that Isaac is looming over him, making Colin seem as small as he is feeling. Something he has worked so hard to hide is out. And once Isaac leaves him, Colin is left alone. Except the framing of the shot shows that the entire sofa is there. Something unsaid and unknown is sitting next to him. He's got baggage we can't see that he has to make room for wherever he goes...
Roy tracks down Keeley to tell her he's sorry about what happened. They are having a conversation while actively avoiding looking at each other, which is to show that they're hiding what they really want to say...
Roy then makes the horrible mistake of asking Keeley who the sexytime video was meant for. He regrets it immediately. And now he's framed as alone and apart again as Keeley leaves...
We then get a shot of poor Richard still deleting all his sexytime photos from his phone which, given that he's a playboy footballer, is apparently a lot. And it's a traumatic experience for him. Note that he is centered in the frame, unlike Colin, because he doesn't have to make room of anything unsaid. His life is much, much more simple...
Ted's son wants to go to a football game, and the only team playing is the dreaded West Ham, coached by former Ted protégée Nathan. They made sure to frame the shot so you could see Coach Beard defiantly standing amongst all the West Ham fans...
After the game, they're off to Mae's pub where she's mortified to see that Henry is wearing a West Ham shirt. But they beautifully switch to a wide shot so you can see Ted's reaction... because he knows what Mae's reaction will be...
After Ted wanders off for a phone call, Coach Beard gives some sage advice to Henry and the post-divorce life of his parents. It's interesting that they decided to not do a side-shot where you can see both of their faces. Nope, they swung the camera behind Henry so you can really focus on what Beard is saying...
And then, at the end of the episode, we get yet another priceless moment showing how Jamie has grown and changed over these three seasons. He had deleted all his sexytime photos of Keeley once he knew her relationship with Roy was real. But he forgot about the emails. It was his phone that got hacked and it's where Keeley's video got leaked from. He feels awful about it, and wanted to apologize to Keeley for it. Knowing how Jamie was at the start of the show, you can't help but be touched by the gesture. Especially when you see how much Jamie still cares for her. When the camera is focused on Keeley hugging Jamie, it's close... it's personal. But when the camera is focused on Jamie being hugged by Keeley, it's a wider shot. Likely so you can see her hugging him back. And while it's no less personal, there's room in the frame for somebody else. Which I'm guessing is Roy...
It's nice to see that the incredible writing and acting are not being buried by crap photography. Every episode has people who really know their stuff... from directing and filming to editing.
Which is just yet another reason I'm having a really tough time at the thought of this show ending.
Posted on April 28th, 2023
I often wonder what it would take for me to love a television show more than Ted Lasso.
I dunno. But it's far and away my favorite right now.
Posted on April 19th, 2023
The latest episodes of Ted Lasso is incredibly frustrating while being achingly beautiful to watch.
This is (apparently) the final season, so what in the hell are they doing? Every episode is just spinning out of control with these stories that never seem to coalesce with anything worthwhile. Zava came and went, which was likely inevitable given how they hammered home that the team was capable without a ringer.
The latest episode... Sunflowers... is more spinning. But then you see these incredible moments with characters you love... and it's everything you want to see in the show.
I never not want to be able to find these characters on television, and this episode just hammered that home. Whether or not Jason Sudeikis is actually in Ted Lasso or not... Apple TV must find a way to continue. They MUST. I don't care if they rename it Roy Kent or AFC Richmond or whatever. This season just can't be the end.
And now is where I look at the latest episode as a huge fan of the show. If you haven't seen Sunflowers yet, some serious spoilers are going to follow... so watch before you read.
A Friendly Without Curfew in Amsterdam. I know that we have to see AFC Richmond at their lowest before they can climb... and I'm guessing that this half-way point is where things turn around (that seems to be the formula that the writers lean into every season). I laughed my ass off at Roy Kent and Jan Maas getting interviewed, because Roy is surly and Jan is... Dutch. They're the perfect match. And then there's Keeley heading off with her girlfriend. It bothers me more than a little bit that she's in a relationship with somebody other than Roy... it bothers me even more that this is the best thing they could figure out what to do with the character.
Heaven Knows I've Tried. Surely I'm not the only one who never, ever fast-forwards through the Ted Lasso theme song?
No Holiday from Training. I welcome absolutely any opportunity to see Roy Kent being his most Roy. But this season I'm almost as excited seeing Jamie getting to be his most Jamie with Roy Kent. Their history has them intertwined in ways that neither of them will ever truly understand, and it's a joyous thing to see.
Rebecca Swims the Canals of Amsterdam. It is wonderful to see how Rebecca and Sassy are friends independent of Keeley. Kudos to the stuntwoman who took a tumble off that bridge, but it's PHENOMENALLY stupid how Rebecca can't look at the little "bike lane" icons liberally painted on the bike path to understand that she's walking in the wrong place.
Beard's Got Plans. I gotta say... if "Yankee Doodle Burger Barn" doesn't exist, it should exist. How amazing is that for an American restaurant in a foreign country? And how great is it that we see such tiny little snippets of Coach Beard's odd lifestyle? His character is choice, and the fact that he's so consistent means it's not by accident.
AFC Richmond. I've been to Amsterdam many times. There's so much to do in the city that it's kinda of funny watching the characters run through the touristy stuff that defines it to foreigners. Jan Maas being on his home turf and coming up with something so genius is perfect for his character. And there goes Colin. I think we all know what his plans are for the night.
Water Pressure. Rebecca exploring this Dutch man's gorgeous house boat is one of my favorite moments. As is the fact that the Dutch guy was so gentlemanly as to leave and give her privacy while she took her shower (the note for the tea... It's not drugged, I promise). Interesting to note that the guy has a bedroom for his daughter, which could very well be the child that Rebecca is longing for. Just sayin'.
Leslie Knows His Jazz. Nobody thought that Higgins was heading to the Red Light District for sex... but it was hard to tell what it might be. Jazz. Makes perfect sense.
Coach Beard's Magical Tea. Beard is so delightfully weird. And he's brilliant on top of it all, which is what makes him such a great character. Ted not being able to drink tea is a part of what makes him great too.
AFC Richmond. Oh Dani. He's incredibly genuine and sweet under any and all circumstances, and you love to see it. Zoreaux's obsession with seeing a sex show is an odd aspect for his character, but also an interesting one.
Colin's Night Out. Trent Crimm is an outsider to the team, but not really. As a journalist (and now writer) he's getting to know them in a way that they probably don't know themselves. I was terrified that his secretly following Colin was going to be a way of gathering dirt on the poor guy... which would be so awful... and this scene certainly painted that picture.
Dinner on a Houseboat. Where did this Dutch gentleman come from? REBECCA'S DREAMS, THAT'S WHERE! It's so nice to see male characters on a show that are just genuinely nice by nature. It's a great contrast to what most guys are like in Real Life. And his kissing her foot after bandaging it (out of habit for his daughter, I'd imagine) just drove that point home. Doesn't hurt that Rebecca is absolutely gorgeous having just stepped out of the shower.
Roy and Jamie Training at Midnight. =sigh= Roy could do nothing but complain about life for hours, and I'd still want to watch.
Colin is a Prik. Ah yes... one of my favorite songs! Boy by Book of Love. Prik must be a gay bar (as if the name wasn't a big enough clue) because I've been told many, many times that my musical tastes are "gay." Can I ask... do you know who I am? Colin getting to go out to a gay bar... something he could never do back in London... is a nice thing for his character. But the fact that he still worries about getting recognized is profoundly sad (although... contrast and compare that Roy Kent didn't care at all that he ended up at G-A-Y in London with his over-60 yoga group... he didn't have to because he's not gay). If only the public at large could sympathize. Hopefully seeing it in Ted Lasso will change minds. And then in walks Trent Crimm! Colin having to immediately do a 180° makes this moment even more sad. But it turns out Crimm isn't there to cause a problem. On the contrary, he seems to be there as a... friend? And I gotta hand it to Billy Harris, he managed to go from being very scared to letting the relief show over every inch of his face. But not in a way that seems artificial. I have no idea if the guy is gay in Real Life or not, but the way he inhabits his character is admirable. And what a marvelous gem James Lance is! Trent Crimm is, by nature, an enigma. But you always know what's going on under the surface because you can see the gears turning. My favorite Trent Crimm moment is when he explained A Wrinkle in Time to Roy. This is a close second.
Ted on Magical Tea? I gotta say, seeing one of Keeley's infamous hotel ads dubbed into Dutch is hilarious.
Rebecca and Her Dutch Gentleman. Holy crap is Hannah Waddingham gorgeous. And I cannot believe how incredibly talented an actor she is. This kind of casual banter flowing so naturally is something that actors would kill to be able to do with such perceived ease. And then we get to hear her sing for a moment on top of it all. One of the things I love about Ted Lasso is how genuine wisdom is dropped like pearls scattered amongst the episodes. And here's one of my favorites being dropped out of nowhere "I realized that this thing didn't happen to me, but for me."
Roy Learns How to Ride a Bike. After that game-changing moment last season where Roy hugs Jamie after Jamie's father unloaded abuse on him, I still never saw them becoming close. But now that it's happening, how amazing is it? Brett Goldstein's comedic chops here are just beyond funny. But the real heavy lifting is being done by Phil Dunster. He has a very fine line to walk... showing genuine care and concern for Roy, but also being the character we've come to know. And hearing Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head all the while Roy is chasing Jamie with a bicycle once again shows that the writers at Ted Lasso know how to pick musical queues!
Higgins and Will on a Pilgrimage. Will was defined for the longest time as the object of Nate's abuse. It is so nice to see him in any other context than that, because I think there's a lot unsaid about his character. He has a line right here about being made fun of that cuts very deep. That's his life. Not just from Nate, but everybody. That he gets to have a better go of it with his Richmond AFC family is wonderful.
Colin and Trent on Coming Out. So Trent is also gay. And now we know. This is so utterly heartbreaking for Colin. "My whole life is two lifes, really." (the closed captioning says the proper "lives" but it really sounds like Colin is saying the grammatically incorrect "lifes" which adds another level to what he's saying). Colin doesn't want to be a gay spokesperson or fish for apologies. All the guy wants what everybody wants... to be accepted for who he really is, and to be allowed to be who he really is. Being gay in men's sports is still a very hard thing to do, and understandably Colin isn't willing to risk it, even though he'd like to think that his teammates would accept him. They tempered this genuinely heartbreaking moment with Trent's hilarious response to Colin wondering how he knew... then drop right back into melancholy by bringing in Anne Frank, then rebind beautifully with the pink triangle bit. That is some very deft writing. And a huge shoutout to Doctor Fieldstone! I love that she wasn't just an accessory to the show. She had genuine purpose, and what we thought we knew what she did for Colin ending up being something different is wonderful in all the right ways.
Ted and Vincent VanGogh. My favorite artist of all time making an appearance on my favorite television show of all time was nice moment for me. And the fact that they managed to roll Vincent into Ted's narrative so flawlessly... "Where I'm from... Kansas, my home... this here is our state flower"... made an already Emmy-worthy episode cross the threshold for me. And this is where we get the title of this episode from.
Team AFC Richmond. It would have been criminal if we never got to see Kola Bokinni truly bring Isaac to life. After his episode-centric turn last season, I can't get enough of him. And here he is being Ultimate Isaac.
Jamie on Amsterdam. Roy Kent is my favorite character ever to hit my television screen. And it's the fact that Goldstein manages to never lose sight of Who. Roy. Is. that makes him so compelling. In this scene he is mainly just listening. But the performance goes deeper than that, but not in an obvious way. Brett Goldstein is Roy Kent every time he appears. And that throw-away line... "I think Keeley has a girlfriend"... has double-impact considering that Jamie dated her too. They really needed something to tie them together for these scenes to hit as hard as they do, and here it is.
Ted at Yankee Doodle Burger Barn. This scene is hilarious from start to finish. Ted's disbelief as he attempts to tell the host where he wants to sit is gold. But it's the restaurant set itself that is the funniest thing of all.
Rebecca Goes Gezellig. I already knew what "gezellig" means... it's one of those words that's inherently Dutch, and beautifully encompasses the feeling of Dutch people in a way that no English word ever could. It's fantastic that the show managed to throw that in without hammering it with a sledgehammer. And note how this scene flawlessly echos when Rebecca loses her phone in the canal, so this Dutch guy throws his in... and now he follows her lead again by throwing water in the clothes dryer. If you didn't want Rebecca and him to end up together before this, you most certainly do now. Again, this is Emmy-worthy writing. I'd be shocked if it wasn't nominated. I'd be more than a little angry if it doesn't win.
Barbecue Sauce. They have been telegraphing Ted's endgame for this final(?) season since Season 03's first episode. Seeing him being at home in a foreign country because of the food (Freedom Fries!) and atmosphere of an "American Restaurant" is just one more log on this fire. His revelation of how AFC Richmond can compete via the Try-Angle is likely how things will finally turn around for the team. But in the most Ted way possible. There's a lot to unpack from the TSA's* graphically-enhanced monologue, but note that God's voice ("Woopsie!") is a woman's voice, which builds on what's come before so brilliantly. And how about that birthday song in the background? LOL. What I love most is how the employees muster such enthusiasm for it.
Higgins is Jazz-Worthy. Will Kitman getting some screen time is gold. Charlie Hiscock has got his nervous energy down pat. Nice that Higgins gets to put his bass playing to good use again. The random scenes of everybody's night out is terrific, and the way it advances their stories without trying too hard is the kind of writing that Ted Lasso excels at. And, Lord, how I want to see more of Will Kitman.
Rebecca Skips Breakfast. I gotta say... if Rebecca doesn't end up with this Dutch guy at the end of the season, it would be a real shame. This is exactly the kind of gentleman that she's been trying to find her entire life. And he's got a dark sense of humor that she can appreciate. What more could she want? So why not? Splitting their time between London and Amsterdam would be so easy with her money... and could be worth it to them both. Especially when the guy kisses her like this.
Heading Home. I love love loved the Coach Beard episode last season. And here's Beard back from exactly the kind of night he apparently falls into all the time. The fact that he speaks Dutch doesn't surprise me... but I died when he told Will "Don't tell Jan.". Then I died again when we find out that Will had a three-way with the couple from the jazz club... and told his mum about it. I like that it is Ted who figures out how to coach the team. The American who knows nothing about football. That will be a great crescendo to his finale. And, I have to say... seeing the featured characters get their story moments only makes me wish that every last one of them got the opportunity. Richard Montlaur is the playboy sports star living the life we would most associate pro football players having... I want to see it. Thierry Zoreaux (sorry, VanDamme!) has hinted at something far more interesting than what lays at the surface we've seen. And what about Jan Maas? Bumbercatch? Reynolds? Sassy? Phoebe? Sharon? Mae?!? And what I wouldn't give to see more of Beard, Isaac, and Dani!
Ultimately this episode was fantastic because we got to spend real time with everybody in a way we don't see very often. A diversion, certainly, but not in a bad way.
And with that, we're half-way through the season.
*Interesting to note that talented cartoon voice actor Corey Burton was the voice of the "True Spirit of Adventure" this episode!
Posted on March 12th, 2023
We are on the advent of greatness! But before Season 03 arrives, I'm going to run my thoughts about everybody from the first two seasons... because an all new Very Special Ted Lasso Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Roy Kent! Never in the history of television have I been more invested in a character. He is multi-faceted in a way that 99% of TV characters never are. And he's frickin' hilarious. Which is to say that if Jason Sudeikas actually does hang it up after Season 03, the show could easily transition from Ted Lasso to become Roy Kent and pick up where the current show ends. Whether they would be able to maintain such exceptional stories is anybody's guess, but I'd sure like for them to try. In the first season Roy went from team captain and football legend to retirement with no idea what the future holds. In the second season he tried coaching a 9-year-old girls' football team (to hilarious result), sportscasting (to hilarious result), and ultimately ended up where he was destined to be: a coach at AFC Richmond (to hilarious result). And while it looks as though there may be bumps in the road with his relationship with Keeley, that's something that's just too perfect to destroy completely. Because if there's one moment in all the television I've ever watched that crushed me like no other... it's when Keeley sat with Roy after he ruined his knee and lost his career. Whatever the third (and final?) season brings us, for better or worse, it's hard to imagine a more perfect television moment than that.
• Ted Lasso! As mentioned above, Jason Sudeikis has said that the show is three and done. For obvious reasons, I hope this isn't the case. He is the focus of most every show and his presence lingers even when he's not on-screen. Ted is deceptively simple as a character. He's a goofy, naive American from Kansas who's more than a little out of place coaching a British football team. But his innate goodness is contagious, and he has a genuine wisdom which shines through... making him far smarter than what people understand. That was pretty much played out in the first season, which is why they then expanded upon his character by digging deep into his psyche this past season. I don't know what that leads us to in the upcoming season and it's tough for me to picture where they could go next. The obvious endgame is for Ted to reconcile with his wife and move back home. That wouldn't be the worst way to end the series. But it is a bit simplistic given the reality of why they parted in the first place. Ultimately the show is bigger than its lead character. Which is probably why it's so successful. But it's also made things a bit tricky because Ted's ending isn't going to land unless everybody else does too. You can't just have Ted ride off into the sunset and call it good.
• Rebecca Welton! Once Rebecca redeemed herself and set aside wanting to destroy Richmond, you kinda had to wonder where her character would go. She didn't seem to have much purpose left. But then they went and made her even more relevant to the show when she was the villain... by making her the owner that cares for the team in a way that's likely far healthier than owners who buy a team for profit. Then the really stepped things up for her in the second season. On top of a romance with Sam Obisanya, they also delved into your past and her family... and presented her with new challenges. It's a pretty safe assumption that whatever is in store for Rebecca, it's bound to be a big part of the show. Hopefully it's also interesting and fun to watch.
• Keeley Jones! What's fascinating about Keeley is how the show is working so hard to have her not be defined by those around her. Whether it's her surprisingly healthy friendship with Rebecca... or her refreshing relationship with her boyfriend Roy... Keeley is her own person first and foremost. They took that to the next level at the end of last season by having her start her own PR firm and decline an invitation to go on vacation with Roy. She is as she has been from the start... fiercely independent. She says and does what she wants while still having a full life with the people she chooses to allow in. It's a bit worrisome that this is all setup for her independence coming back to bite her in the ass next season, which I truly hope doesn't come to pass. It would be really nice if Keeley gets to keep being Keeley while having it all. It's not always necessary to have to strip somebody down in order for them to grow.
• Jamie Tartt! If it weren't for Jamie being a complete ass in the first season, it would have been toothless television. There has to be a note of conflict or else the overly-sweet context will come off as disingenuous. To that end, Phil Dunster had a rather thankless role. And an impossible one. His character had to be likable all the while he was being awful. This is rarely pulled off well, but he managed to get there. But you never really understood how well until the second season where he finally confronted his father, who we were made to understand is directly responsible for Jamie being such an ass. Jamie had finally had enough and decided to stop being the person he was molded to be and become the man his team pushed him to be. But it's after that moment where he punched his dad that you truly knew exactly who Jamie Tartt really was all along. Roy Kent walks up to him and he recoils. He's afraid. He thinks he's going to get attacked because any time he's ever stood up to his father he's been beaten down. But then Roy hugs him and he falls apart because the scared, unloved little boy that's been living inside him all his life is finally given all he's ever wanted. It was a brief blink-and-you'll-miss-it-moment... a point of vulnerability that was expertly portrayed... but it completely turned a corner for the character. And, to be fair, the show as a whole.
• Coach Beard! Nobody... nobody... provides a reaction shot like Brendan Hunt. Many times a joke is sold because of how Coach Beard reacts or, more often than not, doesn't react. On first blush, his cringe-worthy, never-ending, on-again-off-again relationship with Jane defines the character because it's so infinitely relatable. But it's the mystery of the character that actually makes him so compelling. There's many, many hints that Beard's life is full of adventure and intrigue that makes the rest of us seem excessively boring by comparison... even though it's Beard himself who outwardly looks like the boring one. You have to wonder just how much of what Beard claims is fiction and not reality. And then the infamous Season 2 Episode Beard After Hours comes along and we actually get to see the bizarre life he lives. I know that even a lot of die-hard Ted Lasso fans didn't care for the episode, but I absolutely loved it. Truly brilliant TV. And it made me love Coach Beard even more than I already did. As if that weren't enough, you get the feeling that he saw through to what Nate really was, and I appreciated that greatly.
• Leslie Higgins! The one thing that Ted Lasso manages so beautifully is to add surprising depth to what would have been one-note characters in any other show. Higgins is always just there in the beginning. He was the nerdy assistant who bungled his way through life while other more important people pass him by. But slowly all that begins to change. And by the time the incredible Christmas episode drops, you actually know who he is. But, more importantly, why he is. Higgins is deceptively unimportant but, if you really pay attention, he's frequently an important part to what's going on in the background.
• Nathan Shelley! I understand why they took the character from innocent and likable to evil and horrendous. It's the setup for a redemption arc that would put Rebecca's to shame. But is that what we really want for him? I tell you what, I do not. This would be a really good opportunity to show that some people are utterly irredeemable. Doesn't matter how much you supported them and helped them to grow, they can turn on a dime and do everything they can to destroy you. And that's just the way it is. People don't always wrap up in a pretty little bow. And now that they've turned him into an abhorrent asshole, Nate shouldn't be wrapped up that way either. His speech to Ted in the final episode of Season 02 tells you everything you need to know about who he's become. And it shouldn't be easy for him to escape it. And I'd feel better about the show if it weren't even possible. Let him rot in his hate and die there.
• Sam Obisanya! Sam had a very specific role in the first season. He was the new kid that was trying his best to navigate life away from all he knew in Nigeria, and struggling with it. Then in the second season he found his footing and became a standout player. He also found romance with Rebecca. Of all the players, he's the one with the biggest arc as a player, and it's no leap of imagination to see that it will probably continue in the third. If the show is smart about it, this could be an interesting area to explore. He turned down the irresistible offer at the end of last season because he believed he wasn't done at Richmond and his future was there. But what will that future look like? His rise to god-like super-stardom could very well be in the cards, in which case any future stories
• Isaac McAdoo! In the first season, Isaac was the guy who picked on Nate with Colin. He really didn't have anywhere to go as a character. But then he stepped up to become captain of the team when Roy Kent had to step down. And not only did we discover that he had somewhere to go, we found out it was interesting and darn funny. The episode where he rediscovers his love of football was the turning point for where the show was going, and we discovered that if Isaac wasn't a football player, he could have been an amazing hair stylist. The guy is a bit dim, but astoundingly capable. Not just as a player, but as a leader. And I sincerely hope we get to see more of that when the third season gets here. And a look at his private life could be about the funniest thing ever.
• Dani Rojas! It's interesting to note how important that Dani has been to the show. He was brought in as a ringer to knock Jamie down a few pegs in the very first season. Then he was the catalyst for everything that would go on to happen in the opening of the second season. Whether he continues to be this kind of instigator for the the third season, but I at least hope that they end up having something interesting for him to do. Because after his pivotal use at the front end of last season, he was just written off as mild comic relief for the back-end. He was the guy who couldn't wear dress shoes to Rebecca's father's funeral. I sincerely hope that this isn't what we're left with, because that would be a waste.
• Colin Hughes! Colin is one of the background Richmond players who usually ends up being the butt of some joke. From the first season we learn that he is Welsh and advocates for Welsh independence while not being a top-tier player. And not much else. But then... the second season comes along. Nathan rips him to pieces because he's not a great footballer, and you genuinely feel bad for the guy. He's clearly trying to be the best player he can be at a game he loves, but it's just not enough. And he has to live with that every single day. We also get a tease that he might be gay, which could be an important moment for next season. The fact that his fellow players would love and accept him regardless would be an easy win. A more difficult turn would be for him to be cut from AFC Richmond and what the fallout would mean for him. Whichever way they go, I really, really hope that they at least go somewhere. The actor deserves to see Colin through. And the audience does as well.
• Richard Montlaur! Of all the top-tier named background players, the most wasted potential can be dropped squarely on Montlauer's doorstep. He's a skilled player from France who dates super-models. That's about all we know. It's a side to pro footballers that is hinted at on the show all the time. But Montlauer would give us the opportunity to actually see that life. Even if he only ever served that purpose, it would provide some insight that is sorely missing from the show. And if they took that leap, it would also be a huge opportunity for the character if we could see behind it. No idea if he's going to be tossed aside again in Season 3, but one can always hope we get something more.
• Dr. Sharon Fieldstone! When the character first appeared, it seemed as though she was going to be nothing more than a way to dive deeper into the psyche of the various players to get some kind of story beat out of it. We saw that when it came to Dani Rojas on her first day. And she was entertaining enough that you didn't hate her sticking around. But then you slowly came to see just how critical she was to what was happening and how important it was that they got Sarah Niles to play her. Deadpan by trade but introspective in her every look, you always knew there was something going on with her. Then she gets hit by a car and we get a glimpse into what her world is like. But it's all in service of Ted's story, which is fine because that's why she was written in the first place. But finding out she's been confirmed for the third season has me really hoping she ends up being more than that.
• Trent Crimm, no longer from The Independent! A lot of how we looked at Richmond from the viewpoint of Britain was through the eyes of Trent Crimm. His perspective on the team... and Ted Lasso... were important to the show because it was a viewpoint we didn't have of the characters. Because we've always been on the inside. And then Crimm threw out his career by revealing his anonymous source to Ted. Which neatly paves the way for him to write a book about Ted, and that could be a great wrap-up for the character. Maybe even the show. It's been confirmed that he's returning, so there's bound to be a reason for it.
• Will Kitman! Nate's replacement ended up being a highly sympathetic punching bag for... Nate. Now, the show could easily leave it at that. Heck, now that Nate's journey into evil is complete, he doesn't even have to appear again at all. But regardless of where Nathan's journey takes the character, Will is an opportunity to go behind the scenes of somebody who is tangent to the team in a material way. He has a girlfriend. He's nervous and sensitive. He works hard. He does his job well. But what else is there? He will never be a star but is constantly surrounded by them. What's that like at the end of the day? The guy could be anything. He could have come from anywhere. He's pretty much a blank canvas that could fill a role for the show that is critical. Or he could stay nobody. It would be more interesting if it were the former than the latter.
See you for the premiere on the 15th, everybody!
Posted on February 14th, 2023
Remember when I used to make Valentine cards every year? Pepperidge Farms remembers.
And here we are with yet another Valentine's Day upon us. The day has never meant much to me... except I always gave flowers to my mom and grandmother. After they passed, there wasn't much cause to think about Valentine's Day at all. When it came to girlfriends, it was usually a disaster, so I actually don't. Think about it, I mean.
But there was something that made me really happy about the day. It happened when I received this Valentine's Day gift...
I hope for two things...
Is that too much to ask?
Posted on February 20th, 2022
Do not go gentle into that good night... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• LEGEND! To say that Roy Kent is my favorite television character of all time is kinda underselling it. And to them get him to do something like THIS?!?
• Well, Fuck! Doesn't it just figure? After decades of finally trying to find the perfect frozen pizza, I actually DO, only to have Red Baron fucking change it...
The cheese, which used to be creamy and gooey has been cut bigger and now tastes chewy... like I have a mouth of pencil erasers. The crust looks the same, but it doesn't cook up light a airy like bread... it's more pasty and dense. This could be because the cheese and sauce has changed... but it really doesn't seem the same. And it's like... WHY?!? Why change something that's actually good? Oh well. I was eating way too much pizza anyway (I was buying six at a time)... so that problem is solved.
• Marple! Ever since not being able to go to the theater to see the remake of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, I've been obsessing over other Agatha Christie adaptations. And I think that I've found the book which has been adapted the most... A Caribbean Mystery. This evening I started with the 1983 Helen Hayes movie, which is my favorite. Then tomorrow I'll finish up with the BBC/ITV versions from 1989 and 2013...
The BBC version with Joan Hickson is likely the most faithful version... but I'm just such a huge Helen Hayes fan that it's difficult for me to see past it.
• MIWANDA! Dead. Legit dead. If you've seen Sex and the City: And Just Like That... this is one of the funniest things you'll see (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@zzzachariah Justice for silly Steve 🤪 #satc #sexandthecity #ajlt #andjustlikethat #mirandahobbes #stevebrady #carriebradshaw ♬ Sad Emotional Piano - DS Productions
Steve was thoroughly trashed by the sequel series, and this puts a cherry on it.
• Threat! For whatever reason, I have been getting a shocking number of viruses attempting to take over my computer these past few weeks. Four appeared just yesterday...
There was a day that Mac users didn't have to worry so much about viruses, but now? Yeah. If you're a Mac user, I would install some kind of virus protection sooner rather than later. I went with BitDefender because I got a deal on it, but anything you find is bound to be better than nothing.
• EmmyEmm! I find it fucking hilarious when dipshit ass-clowns like Rudy Giuliani dare to talk shit about anybody. They just don't have the brains to do it without getting fucking roasted in the rebuttal...
Gotta hand it to the writers at The Late Show, this parody of Eminem is funny as hell. Not that it was very difficult for them to come up with something... Giuliani is basically a parody of himself.
• Peace, Mutherfucker! The season finale of Peacemaker was sublime. Absolutely perfect. Thanks to James Gunn for such a terrific show... but especially for Vigilante, who is easily one of my favorite characters now. Freddie Stroma was inspired casting! And then there's Adebayo. Holy crap did she get an amazing character arc in this series! "I was made for this shit!" is right! Cannot wait for Season 02.
Until next Sunday, true believers...