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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

February 2001


Sunday
February 25, 2001
7:28 PM EST

"If you play your cards right
Everything will be alright"
-2Pac and Jodeci "Play Your Cards Right"

The past week has gone quite well, a far cry from the difficulties of earlier this month. Not to say that work was easy, far from it... but even the challenging situations ended up turning out well.

The Mardi Gras theme was in full effect here in Huntington last night. It was quite a fun time, to say the least. Being in New Orleans would have been nice, but things here were similarly fun, without the massive crowds.

The new season of The Sopranos starts one week from now. I'm pretty excited about it. With all due respect to The Simpsons and Survivor, The Sopranos is the best show on television.


Sunday
February 18, 2001
12:15 AM EST

There's not much to say these days. As good of a month as January was, February has been almost a polar opposite. One exception was this past weekend, as I went up to Oxford, Ohio to visit my friend Josh, who works in the sports information department at Miami University (don't call it MIAMI OF OHIO, they don't like that up there). They have a killer German bar there, with some of the best beer on tap that you'll find anywhere. Plus, I saw my first college hockey game, which was a lot of fun. It was Miami (OH) vs. Ohio State, and the 2,200 seat arena was packed. OSU has a couple of guys who might turn pro after this season. The hitting was hard, and the action had more discipline than you might imagine on the college circuit. They also had one near-fight, or as close as you can get to a fight on the college level.

Also that weekend, I saw the movie Traffic. GREAT movie -- it's the best film I've seen since American Beauty. Here's hoping it takes home the Oscar for best movie. It's intense, at times gritty, but it felt very realistic, much different than the average Hollywood fare. See this movie and you'll see why.

The waiting game here continues, and I mean that on many different levels.

Let's talk reality TV, shall we? Last week, Temptation Island was pre-empted by, of all things, Barbra Streisand in concert. On Valentine's Day, the Hallmark-manufactured scourge of all "holidays", no less. But that just builds the anticipation for this Wednesday night, when the women will decide who they will go on their "final date" with. Two weeks of build-up for that, and we'll see how the ratings pay off.

Steven, the undercover cop, is the double agent on ABC's The Mole. I'm convinced of it, and I have been since he refused to do his challenge (posing nude) on the dice roll several weeks ago. If you listen to his comments, he never seems to talk about trying to figure out who The Mole is. Last week, he said how he and Jim had been teaming up, and how they managed to get rid of Jennifer the week before (and then he hinted that Jim would be next, though he made it through last week's episode, as Kate got the ax). Watch and see if I'm right.

And then there's that other reality TV show, hmm, what's it called again? Oh, yeah, Survivor. Jerri is cunning enough to win it all, so she gets my pick, though Colby's stupidity cost her this week, as he turned on the coalition (Jerri, Amber, and Mitchell) to give Mitchell the heave-ho instead of Keith.

Speaking of Amber, who barely says anything on the show, she might be the smartest of all. Keep your mouth shut, attach yourself to a brash, easily hated character, then go along for the ride under the radar until the end. We'll see if it works for her. Oh, and how could I forget, this past weekend in Oxford I talked with Josh's friend Burt, who went to school with Amber at Westminster College in Pennsylvania. But... Burt wouldn't tell me anything about her. Prick. He's lucky I didn't throw him down the stairs at the hockey arena for his insolence, but since he's friends with Josh I spared him. Only joking -- he's actually smart, no sense burning bridges with a potentially famous millionaire...


Wednesday
February 7, 2001
7:40 PM EST

This week has been dragging on at an interminably slow rate, moreso than even last week, which was unusually slow by the recent standard of days and weeks and months flying by. And in my world with consultants and e-mails that go unanswered and the lingering hope of uncertainty, I'd say at this point Wednesday night is alright by me. Two days till the weekend. 7:15 AM Friday won't get here soon enough.

The XFL debuted last weekend, and I thought it was great. It's interesting how some football fans didn't like it, but for the most part people who liked the WWF who I know seemed to enjoy the XFL. They will be switching things up this week, moving Jim Ross to the "A" Team to broadcast with Jesse Ventura, though interestingly the word is that there is a great deal of animosity between the two dating back to their respective tenures as commentators for World Championship Wrestling.

I've enjoyed the second season of Survivor so far, as they seem to have maintained the excellent production values and the trickery that helped make the first one be so captivating. Compelling storytelling about interesting people... it's outstanding.


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