Tag Archives: Brad Richards

A fantastic oral history of “The West Wing.” Monks with mad dance skills. And the Rangers win another epic Game 7

west_wing_oral_history_a_l

If you gave me truth serum (or threw Wonder Woman’s lasso thingie around me) and asked me what my favorite TV show of all time was, I’d say it’s a tie between “The West Wing” and “The Wire,” and would be unable to choose a favorite (and yes, my 5 favorite sitcoms and 5 favorite dramas are definitely blog posts you’ll be seeing on this site sometime soon).

“The West Wing” was, for me, a perfect show: It was funny, it was brilliantly written, it had tremendous heart, and it moved me emotionally like few shows ever have.
I miss it very much, and still watch the reruns with my wife on DVD when we’re in the mood for some snappy patter.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I saw this on the Web Tuesday: The Hollywood Reporter did a pretty lengthy oral history of the show, interviewing Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme (the creators) and almost all the major actors, including Rob Lowe, Allison Janney and Bradley Whitford.
Some of my favorite nuggets from the piece (and I highly recommend reading all of it): Eugene Levy and CCH Pounder were almost cast as Toby and C.J.; Sidney Poitier was the first choice for President Bartlet (and wow, would that have been a different show), and Bradley Whitford (Josh) had no idea he would be the one shot at the end of Season 1 until the day they shot the scene.

Really great stuff.  And now, one of my all-time favorite scenes, from when Bartlet greets one of his Cabinet secretaries who has to stay behind in case the Capitol blows up during the State of the Union:

**Next up, nothing much out of the ordinary to see here, just some Buddhist monks dancing awesomely in NYC to Beastie Boys music:

Rangers Penguins Hockey

**And finally, the New York Rangers. The NEW YORK RANGERS!
I’m exhausted after watching that game, pacing around the apartment, screaming. I don’t know what to say, except:
— Henrik Lundqvist is the best big-game goalie in hockey, and I’m so glad he’s a Ranger.
— Brian Boyle and Brad Richards, two Rangers who get all kinds of crap from the fans, both with huge goals Tuesday.
— This run to the Conference Finals (4 wins away from playing for the Cup) is so completely unexpected. They had no business winning this series over the more talented Penguins, no business at all.
— And Sidney Crosby, who scored ONE goal in this series: Can you imagine if he played a sport more American fans cared about, what the hailstorm of criticism raining down upon his helmet would be today? Wow. The Blueshirts totally shut him down.

Shocked. I’m shocked the Rangers are still around. Eight more wins.

The Grandma who wants to be a Cowboys cheerleader. The Rangers pull off a miracle. And a rare moment of truth on Fox News.

I am drained, emotionally and physically, after that miraculous New York Rangers win last night over the Washington Capitals.
And it was miraculous. Down 2-1 with 22 seconds to go, Washington’s Joel Ward accidentally high-sticks the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin, giving the Rangers a four-minute power play.
I didn’t think this would matter, since the Rangers power play had been beyond awful all night.
But sometimes miracles happen in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Brad Richards scored to tie the game with 6.6 left and send Madison Square Garden into bedlam.
Then, with the power play again in overtime, Marc Staal scored and the Rangers won.
SO huge. To be seven ticks away from going down 3-2 in the series, to tying it, winning in OT, and now only needing one more win to advance to the conference finals? Amazing how fast that game turned.
Couple more hockey thoughts on the game, if you’ll indulge me:
— Richards got signed to a $9 million per year contract last summer. He deserves it after tonight. Huge game for him.
— Rangers deserved to win after dominating most of the game, but in the words of Snoop from “The Wire,” “Deserve ain’t got nothing to do with it.” I was giving up hope with a minute left.
— I love him when he’s not playing the Rangers, so it’s great to see Caps star Alex Ovechkin finally playing defense and buying in. I just hope he doesn’t score any more this year.
— Please, Blueshirts, get this done Wednesday night and win it in 6. I can’t take another Game 7.

I love people who never let go of their dreams, no matter how improbable they start to seem.
Meet  Sharon Simmons, a 55-year-old grandmother of two who lives in Texas.
All her life, Sharon wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. She wanted to try out when she was 22, but life got in the way (bills to pay, kids to feed, that sort of thing).

Still, she didn’t give up her ambition, and last weekend attended tryouts for the world famous squad. We don’t know yet if she made the team (she said she forgot part of her routine partway through, which could happen to anyone, 5 or 55), but I love what she said afterward.

“For me, it has been about the journey.”

So true. I hope Sharon makes it and becomes the oldest Cowboy cheerleader ever.

**Finally, every once in a while a Fox News anchor lets his or her guard down and says something we’re all thinking. Shep Smith has always seemed like one of the rare “free thinkers” at Fox News; I’ve heard him call out anti-gay bigots, and his rant here about Newt Gingrich after the Egomaniacal One dropped out of the race was highly entertaining.

But he saved his best bit on Gingrich for after that, when Mitt Romney announced that he and Newt were best pals again. Click on the video above to see what Smith had to say at the end.
Bravo, Shep.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/true-but-rather-strange-to-hea.html

HBO’s “24-7” goes out with a bang. Celebrating National Trivia Day because, well, why not? And the most awesome hoops scrub cheerleader.

Thursday night was the conclusion of HBO’s remarkably awesome series “Flyers/Rangers, 24-7,” celebrating the lead-up and then conclusion of the NHL Winter Classic (which I regrettably haven’t blogged about because I haven’t seen it yet; was away and it’s stored on my DVR).

The four-episode show finale was Thursday night, and as good as the first three installments were, this last one blew them all away. From the fantastic on-ice chatter (the Rangers’ Brad Richards yelling at a mouthy Flyers rookie “you’ve been in the NHL for one day. You’re like at fantasy camp!”) to the slow-motion close-ups that show just how hard-hitting hockey is, to the wonderful writing and voice-overs by Liev Schreiber, HBO has taken all the things we diehards love about the sport, and shown them to the outside world.

If you’re any kind of a fan of human drama, I urge you to check out a few minutes of an episode (they’re all on HBO on Demand).
Bravo, HBO. Truly fantastic work for a second year in a row, taking us inside the locker rooms and onto the ice.

**National Trivia Day was Wednesday and that’s one holiday I truly ought to celebrate. You know how many hours of my childhood and teenage years I spent playing “Trivial Pursuit?” A lot. My friends and I had our own spin on the game, as the losing team was on the receiving end of painful wedgies from the winning team, but it was still great fun.

I love bar trivia, inane sports trivia (“who’s the only major leaguer to hit into an all-Cuban triple play?” Whitey Herzog. Don’t ask me why the hell I know that or remember it.), any kind of trivia at all.

So in honor of National Trivia Day, the folks at the great website mentalfloss.com have given us 119 amazing trivia facts (No. 5, No. 13, and No. 19 are particular favorites.).

Enjoy as you while away a Friday…

**One of the 4,585 things I love about college basketball is during March Madness, watching the bench scrubs on a big underdog go nuts when their team is hanging with a Kentucky or a Kansas.
Well, here’s hoping that Seton Hall gets into the Tournament this year just so this guy can become a national phenomenon. Meet Peter Dill, who plays hardly at all but is a freaking fantastic sideline rooter. Watch this and be awed as I was…