Tag Archives: “Big Love

“Masters of Sex” is back, and still great. Why parents don’t get anything done, explained in 80 seconds. And Denis Leary’s new show? Eh, not so hot.


The show I think is the second best on TV these days is back on Showtime, and two episodes in, I’m totally overwhelmed and once again hooked in deep.

“Masters of Sex” is, if you don’t know, a wonderful hour-long drama about the real-life groundbreaking sexual research partnership between Dr. Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1950s and ’60s, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzie Caplan.

The show was fantastic in season 1, dipped a little in season 2, and has been stellar so far in season 3. SPOILER ALERT, IF YOU’RE A FAN OF THE SHOW AND HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FIRST 2 EPISODES THIS YEAR, SCROLL DOWN TO THE VIDEO.

So in Season 3 we’ve skipped ahead to 1965, with Masters and Johnson finally about to publish their first book after 12 years of research together. But of course, it’s not going smoothly. Virginia’s pregnant by her louse of an ex-husband, Bill’s wife Libby is finally getting more to do and asserting herself all the while knowing Bill and Virginia are shtupping, and all the kids on the show pretty much hate their parents.

This week’s episode was particularly awesome, though totally overloaded with plot (it’s the first time I’ve seen a TV show cover an entire pregnancy in an hour). It reminded me of an old “Big Love” episode where 15 things would happen in an hour and you had no idea what was really a big deal.

Any scene with Sheen in it is pretty terrific, and when he finally showed some human emotion and feelings in the hospital room with Virginia, it was a magical moment, one of the best “Masters of Sex” has ever done.
There are so many ways the show can go from here, and they’ve been jumping ahead in time so much already that I couldn’t possibly predict what’ll happen.

Which is exactly what you want in a show. The acting is great, the writing usually sharp, and the subject material is fascinating.

So happy “Masters of Sex” is back.

**Next up today, this short video made me laugh out loud, because this is basically my life now. It’s from a group called “Story of Life,” and it’s titled “Why Moms get nothing done.”

My guy has just discovered how to open and close drawers, and yes, he now removes his clothing randomly when I’m putting other clothes away. It’s delightful.


**Finally today, I’m a pretty huge Denis Leary fan. Longtime readers may remember that I used to praise his last TV show, the transcendently great “Rescue Me” regularly in this space. I loved his stand-up comedy routines, I think he’s a terrific writer, and will watch anything he puts out.

But man, the last two TV shows he’s done have been really piss-poor. His most recent one I had high hopes for: “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll,” Thursdays on FX, starring Leary and John Corbett as aging rock stars from the early 90’s reuniting thanks to the efforts of a hot 20-something aspiring singer who is the daughter Leary’s character Johnny never knew he had.

I’ve watched the first two episodes, and the show just stinks. The writing is lazy, Corbett, who’s almost always great (hell, his voiceover work is so good he almost makes me want to eat at Applebee’s) looks like he’s mailing it in, and the pilot episode had so much profanity in one scene even I was like “Enough already!”

It’s too bad, because the premise of the show isn’t half-bad. But I’d definitely take a pass on this one, even though you can get lost staring at Leary’s great hair here.

Tim Tebow and why I have never been more disgusted to be a Jets fan. And Facebook helps a man’s two current wives connect

It’s totally irrational. I’m 36 years old, I have a great life, a loving and beautiful girlfriend, a terrific family, and so many good things around me.

And yet I allow myself to get completely worked up and pissed off because my favorite professional football team continues to do the stupidest things possible.
Seriously, it’s like they TRY to anger every single fan they have.
Let me start to discuss  the Jets acquiring of Tim Tebow in a trade by saying this: In three decades of being a fan, I have never been more frustrated and angry at the Jets than I was today.
Wasn’t this mad during the Kotite years. Wasn’t this mad during the ’86 playoff game with Cleveland, or the many, many late-season swoons.

I’m going to try to keep this rant as concise as possible: This is a terrible, terrible, terrible move for the Jets. For so many reasons.

First of all, let’s start with this: TIM TEBOW IS NOT A GOOD NFL QUARTERBACK. Seems to me that if you’re going to acquire a player as controversial as Tebow, you might want him to be kind of good. Tebow has terrible accuracy, a not-very strong arm, and has trouble completing simple passes.
Next, how about this: You just gave Mark Sanchez, your franchise QB, a huge new contract extension, telling him how wonderful he is, how you’re committed to him, yada yada yada.
Now you bring in a guy who, to millions of football fans, is a cult hero, a messiah-like figure. And as soon as Sanchez throws a few interceptions next season, you’re going to hear the drumbeat from the stands of “Te-bow!,” Te-bow!”

It will go on all season, and it will be loud, and it will be an enormous distraction. It’s going to make Sanchez feel awful, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is Tebow IS NOT AN UPGRADE. So even if they do pull Sanchez, things won’t get better.

Then there are these reasons to hate the deal: You gave away two draft picks for a guy who will only play 8-10 plays per game in the Wildcat, if things are going well; nobody runs the Wildcat effectively in the NFL anymore so even Tebow’s effectiveness there is in doubt; you’re adding a highly polarizing figure to a locker room that already has plenty, and just let me throw this out there, in total seriousness:

There’s a huge contingent of Jets fans who are Jewish. Do you think they’ll feel all warm and fuzzy about a high-profile Jets player who believes that all of us Members of the Tribe are going to hell? (A great tweet today from Parks and Recreation writer Michael Schnur: “Well, if there’s one place a crusading Christian and decidedly mediocre athlete should mesh perfectly with the local culture, it’s New York.”)

Ugh. I just hate this so much. This reeks of the Jets wanting to make headlines, steal some of the Giants’ thunder (here’s a way to steal their thunder: Win a Super Bowl!!!) and get people talking about them.
I don’t know who this franchise is anymore. They’re the pro sports equivalent of a dope fiend hanging out on the corner, doing anything to get their next high. When that one fades, got to get another one. Peyton Manning doesn’t want to play here? We’ll go get God’s quarterback!

It’s the middle of March. I really shouldn’t get this worked up over the Jets.
But I hate them right now, and everything they’ve become.

**OK, moving on to a less-inflammatory topic: Bigamy.
I laughed quite heartily about this story. It seems that a county corrections officer in Washington state has been charged with bigamy after Facebook helped uncover his secret double life.
What happened? According to this story, Alan O’Neill’s first wife recently found out about Wife No. 2 when Facebook detected their connection to O’Neill and suggested the friendship connection.
Well sure, they have a “friend” in common!  Wife No. 1 then called O’Neill’s mother (fabulous!), and a short time later the police got involved.

Alan, Alan, Alan. It’s the first rule of plural marriage: Stay the hell off Facebook.

A sportswriter turns into a pimp, literally. “Big Love” finale makes me angry. And the 1-legged champion wrestler inspires all

This is one of those days where there are 17 things I want to blog about. But you don’t have that kind of time and frankly, neither do I. So I’ll stick to three things.

There are not that many other things besides writing that I’m qualified to do. Trivia expert on the 1980s New York Rangers hockey teams. Reciter of every TV sitcom theme song from my childhood. Expert on watching 3-4 different sporting events at once, and keeping track of them perfectly.
But you know, maybe I’m selling myself short (easy to do, as I’m 5-foot-5). Maybe I could look at second careers of other sportswriters and see opportunity.

Like Monday, I read about this guy, Kevin Provencher. He was a sportswriter for a newspaper in New Hampshire when the current newspaper downturn forced him to take a pay cut. So Kev did what just about every other sportswriter I know would’ve done:
He became a pimp. Yep, Provencher went from writing about balls and strikes to, well, I guess his job still involves …
Provencher would recruit women through craigslist and other sites, and “arranged for them to meet men in hotel rooms, then demanded half of their earnings plus the cost of the hotel room,” prosecutors allege.
I know this is not a laughing matter. I know it’s a serious crime that Provencher committed, taking advantage of desperate women.
It just boggles my mind to think of a guy in my very profession also being a pimp. (hey, sportswriters have a hard time getting girls, but really now …)

**So, “Big Love”, a show I loved, came to an end Sunday night. SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen it yet, but really, it’s Tuesday people;  if you’re a fan, you’ve seen it.
I was disappointed with the finale, mostly. I am angry they just let Bill “off the hook” by having him die. They totally dropped last week’s riveting Albie storyline, barely making mention of it. And I totally didn’t understand what happened to Home Plus.
But the finale did have its great moments, like Lois and Frank lying in bed together, as he euthanized her (trust me, it’s sweeter than I’m making it sound). And the final scene was touching, as all three wives seemed to finally be at peace.
For five years, “Big Love” was a maddening, wonderful three-act drama of a show, and I truly will miss it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was damn good.

**Finally, an uplifting story that ought to inspire you. A kid named Anthony Robles of Arizona State University won an NCAA wrestling championship at the 125-pound weight class on Saturday.
Also, Robles was born with only one leg.
And yet through years of training and dedication, this kid made himself into one of the best wrestlers in the country.  He defeated the reigning champion in his class and finished his college career on top.

With one leg, Robles became the best. A sensational kid and a sensational story. To think what most of us complain about on a daily basis, and yet look at this kid… so inspiring.
I loved this quote at the end of that story I linked:

“I wrestle because I love wrestling, but it inspires me when I get kids, even adults, who write me on Facebook or send me letters in the mail just saying that I’ve inspired them, and they look up to me, and they’re motivated to do things that other people wouldn’t have thought possible.”

“Big Love” is back and great. And the worst halftime promotion ever

For you tennis fans out there,  I’m once again doing a daily Australian Open blog for my newspaper. Check it out here

One of favorite HBO shows ever, “Big Love” pretty much jumped the shark last season.
It didn’t just jump the shark, it soared over it, cruised over three more sharks along the way, and then parachuted down into the ocean with a thud.
The writers of “Big Love” tried to do way too much in every episode; there were 17 huge things happening every hour, and it was just insane and way too hard to keep track of.
And, for a show about polygamy, wildly unrealistic.
So when Season 5, the final season, kicked off Sunday night, I was dubious. I hoped the saga of the Henricksons would get back to being as fantastic as it was the first three years.
And thankfully, it did. Loved the season premiere. Loved how finally, the consequences of Bill’s secrets are coming back to bite him. I loved Don, the long-suffering best friend, finally getting the stones to stand up to Bill in a great scene near the end.
And well, Chloe Sevigny as Nikki continues to be awesome. God I love her character, especially when she bullied that Boy Scout who bullied her son.
So great to have “Big Love” back.  Course, I’m going to miss next week’s episode when it first airs Sunday at 9, some sort of big football game going on then…

God, it’s only Tuesday. Can Sunday at 6:30 get here already?

**Oh, this was just so bad it’s good.  The Boston Blazers are a professional lacrosse team. And last weekend, they decided to forego the traditional halftime entertainment at sporting events.
No cheerleaders dancing. No wacky race for kids. No contest where a fan tries to perform a tiny athletic feat.
Nope, the Blazers decided to have three scantily-clad women compete to see who could give the team’s mascot (Scorchy), the best lap dance.
Yes, seriously. This really happened. With kids in the audience
Here’s some video. I mean, how fast do you think the marketing and PR people in this organization got fired?

The guy who ate the evidence. “Big Love” goes out big. And good news about airlines!

If there’s one thing I love, it’s an inventive criminal.

So it is with a degree of awe that I bring you the tale of Florin Necula, a New York City man who was in custody recently. Necula and three accomplices were arrested outside of a bank and had several cell phones and USB

flash drives on their person at the time.

So, as he’s being interrogated, and realizing the trouble he’s in, Necola grabbed one of the flash drives and swallowed it.

Yep, ingested it right there on the spot, in front of the cops (no word if he used a computer monitor to wash it down).

I want to think the thought process for our man Florin was this: If they can’t see the evidence, they can’t convict me, right? If it’s in my lower intestine, it can’t be used in a court of law!

The cops weren’t amused, and neither was Florin’s digestive system. After four days of the perp being unable to, um, eject the drive (sorry, I just had to go there), doctors at New York Downtown Hospital operated and removed it.

In addition to three other felonies, our quick-thinking criminal was charged with obstruction of justice, though of course, justice wasn’t the only thing obstructed in this case (ba dum bump).

Read the incredible but true details here.

**So after three days of the people in my “Big Love” posse (well, we’re not really a posse, just some people who I know that watch the show and like cowboy hats and riding horses) telling me I MUST watch the season finale, I did.


So glad Bill had the stones to actually go through with his “outing” of the family as polygamists. Was totally grossed out by the “implanting eggs” thing; anything involving JJ usually grosses me out.

I thought they teased a great new direction by having Barb say she’s not sure she wants to be married to everyone anymore. Can’t believe she’d go so far as to call in the paternity test. That was truly stupid.

If she breaks away from the family, they could have all kinds of new storylines. Also LOVED seeing JJ burn in the fire; I swear to God, if he’s not dead and somehow escapes, I’m going to be pissed.

After a crazy season that I went back and forth loving an dhating, I actually thought the final episode was a little calmer, but still riveting. Good stuff.

And I’m super excited that “United States of Tara” and “Nurse Jackie”  are both coming back next week. Showtime has definitely matched HBO with great shows.

**Everybody rips on the airlines. Sure, they’ve shrunk the seats and given us less legroom. Sure, they barely serve food anymore, and jack up the prices. Sure, they tick us off for any other number of reasons.

Maybe I’m weird, but I’ve always loved flying. And for the most part, I like airlines, too. Sure, I had some troubles with US Airways about 10 years ago (which is why I never, ever, ever, fly them anymore), but really, I’ve had mostly good experiences.

If you hate those who allow us to fly the friendly skies, well, here’s a bit of good news that may make you feel better. According to a report from the U.S. Transportation Department, the airlines had their best on-time arrival percentage in four years in January.  Seventy-eight percent of the time, you got where you wanted to go when they said you’d be there.

So there you go. Remember that next time you’re whining that the guy in 18C is leaning his seat back too far and the irritable flight attendant won’t do anything about it.

An Olympic curling heartbreaker, the wonderful Vonn, and a kick-ass John Hughes tribute

Oy, so many things to blog about tonight, and so little time … I know you’re all as busy as I am so a bunch of quick-hitting thoughts today:

— Why I love the Olympics, Reason 467: Lindsey Vonn’s emotions after winning her

first gold medal, in the women’s downhill. If LeBron James or Derek Jeter lose a playoff series, they know they have next season. These Olympians have to wait four years to try to reach the pinnacle of their sport again, and the thousands and thousands of hours of training and suffering aren’t worth it unless you medal.

Vonn, who has had so much pressure on her in the run-up to the Games, since she was NBC’s poster-child for Team USA, came through with the race of her life. And then, after it was over, she wept and sobbed and embraced her husband in such a beautiful moment. (Though hey, NBC, could we have given them their private moment without filming it? I mean, it was great television, but a few minutes of privacy first would’ve been nice for them.)

— Julie and I were absolutely riveted between 6-8 p.m. Wednesday night, as the U.S. and Switzerland’s men’s curling teams battled in a great match. I’m telling you, this curling stuff is phenomenal. The strategy, the announcer guy Don (who has a fabulous Canadian accent and such a folksy charm; he’s like the Tom Bodette of these Olympics), the fact that there are timeouts (that kills me), the cool but enormous measurement tool they use to see which rock is closer to “the house” … it’s all fascinating.

Brutally tough loss for the U.S., as our skip, John Shuster, couldn’t quite do enough to lead America to victory.  It was our second-straight one point defeat; couple that with the U.S. women’s loss Wednesday morning, and it’s safe to say our rocks haven’t been, well, rockin’ so far.

— A brief non-Olympics interlude: I am truly blown away by how bizarre “Big Love” is getting. I mean, it’s bordering on the ridiculous. Still, I’m riveted. OK, end of digression.

— I have no idea how Shaun White does what he does. But damn, it’s awesome.  I don’t want to say he was up high on the half-pipe course, but three people boarded him thinking it was the plane for their flight to Seattle.

— The short-track speed skating continues to thrill. Good for Shani Davis to win again, and watching the women’s 500 late last night was awesome; there were four crashes in the prelim races; this sport truly is NASCAR with skates.

— And finally, I wrote about my love of the late, great director John Hughes here when he died.  For some reason I hadn’t seen this yet, but my old college buddy Rob Kalesse put this on his Facebook page tonight, and I was blown away.

If you’re a child of the 80’s, or just love John Hughes, this is five wonderful minutes that you’ll enjoy.

The sad tale of John and Elizabeth, and a whole lotta “Big Love.”

You could say I asked for it, the utter and complete disappointment I felt at the collapse of John Edwards.

I bought in completely back in 2003, even though I knew most politicians are phonies, that they tell you what they want to hear, and that they’re not worth the physical and emotional investment people like me, the true believers, invest in them.

But still, just because I knew it could end badly, and maybe I was naive when I spent months volunteering for him in New Hampshire and New York in the winter of 2003-04, doesn’t make it any less sad, as over the past year the real John Edwards has been revealed.

The shallow, egomaniacal, out-of-control philanderer who keeps on being exposed, the latest evidence coming in this excerpt from a new book about the 2008 campaign just out, “Game Change.”

If you follow politics, you probably know by now that John comes off like an awful person in the book; forget just the cheating on his wife, he’s seen as a tyrannical, obsessed human being who lusted for power like I lust for chocolate chip cookies.

What’s more surprising is Elizabeth, who up till now had a sparkling reputation, comes off in the book as a fairly evil shrew. Screaming at staffers that “none of you get health care coverage until John and I do,” going on wild behavioral mood swings, and often acting like a total jerk. It’s so at odds with her public reputation that my first reaction to all these revelations was “No, that can’t be true.”

But it is, presumably, and a man I once felt so certain was going to be our next President, a man whose 2004 campaign I put my heart and soul into, is revealed yet again to be just another lying, scheming politician.

I don’t think watching Edwards’ downfall has made me more cautious about believing in politicians, nor has it shaken my belief that all of the ideas and principal points he was making while running for President were correct.

I still believe in what he preached out on the stump.

Sometimes, the message has to outlive the man. I’m waiting for someone else with a chance at power to talk about the extreme poverty in this country that no one wants to confront. Someone else to talk about the “Two Americas,” and all the other issues John Edwards championed.

Someone will pick up that mantle. The man and his wife have been disgraced, but the message must live on, for someone else to grab onto, and lift up so many who want to believe.

**So as usual I’m a few days late on this, but the new season of “Big Love” started on HBO Sunday, and I’m quite happy. I love this show, have loved it from the start, even though each season the storylines and the characters get more and more ridiculous.

Still, a great start to the season in the first episode, I thought. I’m glad that damn casino they’ve been talking about forever is finally open, and I’m also glad Roman Grant is finally dead, because man, if he was somehow alive after being strangled by Joey at the end of last season, I was done with the show for sure.

The acting was typically great; I can never decide if Margene or Nikki is my favorite wife. And Albie, oh Albie, you know better than to go cruising for a quickie in a public park!

Can’t wait to see where they go next with the story; poor Bill always seems so overwhelmed each episode, I’m thinking he has to have a breakdown at some point.

Until he does, though, the show is great fun.