I do not want my outrage tempered by knowing the facts. The Herald Sun today is as miserably dishonest as you could get away with in a mainstream newspaper, commencing with this outrageous and unsupported caption.
Front page of the Herald Sun:
CONTROVERSIAL Footy Show star Sam Newman will be missing from the program tonight after Channel 9 management ordered him to take an extended break.
Everyone - Caroline Wilson, women at the AFL, women in general, Channel Nine, squawk-back radio, assorted honkers, professional outragists - has got it wrong. As usual. This is not an issue of gender respect, sexism, yobbism, taste, manners, ratings, or whether the Footy Show will tank while Sam's "recovering and convalescing". Categorically, this is an issue of diction. Suddenly everyone is saying mannekwin, not mannekin. You people make me sick.
Call me Tony. Some minutes ago - never mind how long precisely - I was reading the Age:
IT'S a massive week in world sport. What, with the Champions League and Heineken Cup finals, NBA and National Hockey League play-offs, the Super 14 semi-finals, not to mention the long-awaited Hawthorn v Melbourne rematch.
The best bit:
Meanwhile, the foreign-born sumo can't keep out of the papers. This week, Russian-born Wakanoho was warned strongly after smashing up a communal bathroom when he lost. "I don't want to break things," the 19-year-old said, "but when I see dishes and stuff I just have to smash them."
Cricket this late in May just doesn't seem right. The last Test in 1999 finished on April 7, the last Test in 2003 finished on the May 13, yet here we are just about to start the first Test in 2008 on May 22. It's not the IPL's fault; that wasn't around when the scheduling was done. And I'm reasonably confident this tour is not an extension of last year's World Cup. Whatever the reason, I'm slightly addled by this late start. I suppose that's what cricket in the West Indies in May and June and matches starting at one in the morning can do to you.
Given the late starts, I won't be much of a presence around here during the wee hours, but if you are not also sanders lape then get stuck in. If the last two tours are anything to go by, there will be plenty of cricket to watch around breakfast time. My only concern are those dreaded hours between three and five when I often wake up anxious about the state of play, wondering whether I can resist the bloody temptation to come downstairs to watch the telly.
What do you reckon of our chances? Silly question. I know how notoriously edgy we are at the AGB, always looking for trouble. My brother recently said to me that he couldn't believe how pessimistic we are. I reminded him the Pat and Carrot are prone to bouts of optimism, but he looked skeptical. Plus, he's really just like the rest of us: old enough to remember the eighties and reluctant to revisit them. Still, nothing lasts forever, and with the retirements of McGrath, Gilchrist and especially Warne we can all smell the writing on the wall.
It's fortunate we are playing the Windies. No! Don't worry. I'm not going there. If we were playing a better side, say the Indians in India, I'd be very worried, but I haven't seen half the Windies players and am only moderately concerned about an ambush.
Ambushed by who? (I suppose that's an age-old military question.) With the four Windies quicks averaging in the low thirties at best, it's not exactly Holding, Garner, Ambrose and Marshall. And even though one of their spinners is called Juggernaut, we shouldn't have too much to fear from their tweakers.
Hopefully we are ready to bat. There's been a long layoff for some, T20 for others, and injuries and absentees have thrown the lineup around. From over here it doesn't seem like the best preparation. Katich, Jaques, Ponting, Hodge, Hussey, Symonds, Haddin is not the best ever lineup, either, but nor is it dreadful. Every one of those batsmen would have played a lot of Test cricket for other countries, and not just Bangladesh. Hopefully Ponting can get back into the runs.
As for our bowling. Lee was fabulous against the Shrees and India. Johnston was very good in patches. Clarke was down on pace but was still naggy. Roy can roll his arm over, but I hope he bowls mediums because his offies are rancid things. Although MacGill has been injured he can certainly bowl, and despite it being a long time ago, he was better than Warne in the West Indies in 1999. Warne only had one arm, though.
I just hope I don't wake up tomorrow with Straya all out for bugger all, or the Windies none for 300.
Ian Chappell in print is a copy machine, continually churning out quotable headlines via contentious remarks and, if you accept he's got axes to grind, venting vitriol. Ian Chappell on telly is a snore-a-minute bore. WHY? Chappelli, your country's viewers need you.
Today he's into the baggy green:
FORMER Test skipper Ian Chappell has joined the baggy green debate, labelling it a "$5 piece of cloth" overly glorified under Steve Waugh's captaincy.
"There is too much made of the baggy green," Chappell said.
"All touring players used to wear it whether they played a Test or not. It has been overdone."
"I guess there is some credit to Brad Haddin that he didn't want to wear one before he played a Test match, but he could have put a white cricket hat on."
Chappell said reverence for the baggy green, inspired by former captain Waugh, bordered on overkill.
"It is a cap, a nice cap, but has only become more than a cap since Steve Waugh started to jump up and down about it," said Chappell, who retired in 1980.
"Cricket memorabilia has also played its part, going for ridiculous prices. It is a $5 bit of cloth. I haven't got one, haven't had one since the day I finished. I don't need to look at an Australian cap to remind me of what I did."
I gots ta say it: I agree.
Big deal if the players wear VB caps in a trial match. It's not as if they would completely replace the BG caps, which are only worn en masse at the start of a Test and are largely restricted to ceremonial duties. New players get presented with one before a Test, the players wear them out at the start of play, and then as the day progresses, some keep them on, while others put on their Cancer Council approved, Greg Chappell autographed, stiff-brimmed, slip-slop-slap hats.
Having said that, why did the players opt for uniformity in a trial match? If they'd all worn their usual hats/caps, including Haddin wearing whatever he wears, no one would have batted an eyelid. Well, actually, why is rhetorical given the correct answer is fistful of moolah: "CUB, the brewer that passes off VB as the quintessential Aussie beer, have been good to Cricket Australia and so why not do them a favour in return?" The Aussie hierarchy should have realised that wearing the caps, while not of itself a bad thing in the circs, would not play well image-wise back in Straya.
Still, it's not surprising BG caps get up Chappelli's bugle. The implication of Steve Waugh's "jumping up and down about it" is that Waugh was big on tradition and the honour of playing for Australia, while Chappelli wasn't.
Chappelli is right about the memorabilia, too. He's from Channel Nine, after all, so he should be an expert. (Who wouldn't love to hear him bag memorabilia on air. "Tony, that replica bat is just a $5 piece of wood.") The bigger the song and dance the players make over their BG caps, the greater the value they will attract when it comes time to cash them in.
Poor things. Footbawlers have been banned from reading blogs and websites because they will get sad:
AFL players have been banned from scouring fan websites, for fear the vicious player appraisals could lead to depression.
At one club, support staff also have been threatened with the sack if they are caught blogging or leaking valuable information to the websites.
Labelled "cyber bullying" and "big brother" blogging by the AFL Players' Association, clubs have taken the drastic step of encouraging a boycott of the popular fan sites.
Doesn't look like Robbo knows the difference between a fan forum and a blog.
It sounds good... at the moment:
JUST 16 months after retiring from Test cricket, Shane Warne last night dramatically opened the door for a comeback.
Australia's greatest leg-spinner said that if circumstances were right, he would consider returning against arch-enemy England in next year's Ashes series.
"If Australia really needed me and there was no one else around, and Ricky thought I could do the job, you would weigh up the options," said Warne, who will turn 40 during the Ashes series.
Warne's still the best spinner, if not bowler, in the caper.
Straya are on the decline and are one Brett Lee injury away from having an ordinary attack. Warne gives our attack a very different complexion.
Engerland are trending upwards and will (also injury notwithstanding) have a very handy attack: Sidey is a good bowler; Broad will improve into next year (good to see him tune up that slapper McCullum); Monty looked good last night and will be a handful on English pitches; and Flintoff is being touted as ready for next year.
The Poms sound like they fancy themselves. Gower, Athers, Bumble, Hussain and Botham are obsessing about Straya now, twelve months out. Imagine how painful would they be next year if England won back the Ashes.
Comebacks rarely work out.
When I think of wolf packs, I don't think of dogs, I think of German subs.
Anyway. Enough comedy.
What is missing from this article?
WHEN the Australian team was denounced for "hunting like a pack of wild dogs", fielding coach Mike Young turned to the players and said, "Well done."
Truth was, he had asked them to apply the "wolf pack" theory in the field, but wild dogs would do.
For a few summers now, Young's cries of "atta boy" have sounded loudly at Australian cricket training. The broad baseball phrasing is strangely out of place in this most sacred of national sports. It jars like a Muslim prayer in a Catholic cathedral.
The journalist below, who probably didn't do the headlines, is John Ralph. Ralphy was on SEN this morning trying to suggest that Trevor Grant (News) and Richard Hinds (Fairfax) were well within their rights to criticise David Schwarz's commentary on SEN and Seven because they put their names to their articles, but that Leaping Larry L (Fairfax) has no right to criticise Schwarz because he hides behind a nom-de-keyboard.
"At least people who take issue with Grant and Hinds can ring them up at their papers and ask to speak to them." If someone like Schwarz has a problem with Leapster, surely they can pick up the phone, call the Age, and ask to speak to Leapster.
"Grant has been a well credentialled journalist for 40 years and has earned the right to make criticisms." If a pundit has something worthwhile to add, it doesn't matter how long they've been at the caper. Nevertheless, Leaping Larry L has been around as Leaping Larry L for at least 20 years and his opinions, always backed up, are every bit as valid as Grant's.
For the record. I happen to agree with Leapster's column on Schwarz:
Special comments man Schwarz was unambiguous about the latter, making sneering reference to one section of the ground as "the worst stand ever designed for spectators" (who else, giraffes?), and taking the sneer up to Warp Factor 12 in describing the local supporters as, quote, ferals, unquote. Right. Lead us out of feral-dom, oh Great One.
Over the course of the day, Schwarz also managed to disparage the level of courage shown by certain players, the umpiring (frequently), cited Steve Johnson atop his half-time list of the most disappointing players, complained about "stupid" actions that one gathered were being committed by everyone outside the commentary booth, possibly including the pie-boys, and inserted a bizarre swipe at the courage of Richmond players, a reference that seemed starved to the point of malnutrition for anything resembling context. During this broadcast, Schwarz frequently manifested a tone of nose-lofting disdain like he'd just discovered a Great Dane turd nestling atop his prize begonias. The last football notable to perfect this approach on the airwaves was Sam Newman, and it's interesting that you don't hear him so much on the radio any more.
Schwarz is an ordinary commentator, offering nothing in the way of insightful analysis. He is much better as a cheeky oaf, which he uses to good effect on SEN's drive program.
Anyway, Trevor Grant is Trevor Grant just as Leaping Larry L is Leaping Larry L. The journalist IS the name on the byline. It would only matter if Leapster was an alias for another journalist, say, Catherine Deveny.
Maybe there is more to it. "There are a few people out there very unhappy with this Leaping Larry." A few people. Has Ralphy been talking to a mate with a grievance? You probably won't be surprised to know that both Ralphy and Schwarz work at SEN. Because I'm wondering WHY he's is even slightly interested in taking aim at Leapster. It's not as if the Herald Sun isn't full of pseudonymous writers. Come to think of it, 3AW have had loads of people working under an alias: Ross Stevenson, Sly of the Underworld, Truth Serum, Doctor Feelgood, even Caroline Wilson used to operate as Anne Tenna.
And apart from anything else, if anonymity is a problem, wouldn't The Age step in and insist Leapster use his real name, Jumping Johnny J.
(Mind you, the Age just sacked their sports editor, so who knows.)
Must be a slow news day. What sort of rumpus is this?
Back flip? Back flop, more like. I know the Herald Sun is one of your more tabloidy, sensationalist newspapers, but how is the AFL changing the grand final, ahem, entertainment anyone's idea of a backpage splurge and a backflip gotcha? That sort of thing should be reserved for grand political squibbery, not pissant pageant details. Going from a motorcade to last year's tribute and back to a motorcade strikes me as being about as important as changing from girls waving streamers to boys waving balloons and back again.
The mighty Bartlett Pear Shaped haven't been to trivia for a while, only once since winning last year's grand final, so last Tuesday we figured we may as well try out this new venue we'd read about. We came third. Not that we were too fussed we didn't win. More like we were slightly pissed off at the way we went about not winning.
Karma got us.
There were three rounds of fifteen questions with a three point 'who/what am I?' at the end of each round.
The WAI? at the end of round one was about Daniel Defoe. During the fourth clue, by which point I'd openly sh1tcanned the three other tables who'd shouted out French people despite the person being banged up in Newgate Prison, I yelled out Alexander Dumas. I really did mean to yell out Defoe, but probably for reasons French, I yelled out the wrong bloke. I have the same problem with Sigrid Weaver who I automatically confuse with Sigourney Thornton. Anyway, the host misheard me and gave us the three points. Given my mellifluous diction, fvcknose how he would mistake Alexander Dumas for Daniel Defoe. Naturally, because I'm a very good sport, I accepted the umpire's decision. "You gots to take the good with the bad," I advised Boynton. "What goes around comes around." So, there we were after round one, leading on 13 with four or five teams on 10 and 11. A close run thing with the WAI? making the difference. After round two, the team that got the second WAI? led on 24 with us tied on 23 with another team. (It was a "what am I?" but I can't remember what it was.) (Update! It was Mt Fuji.) Then. The round three bonus question started off "Born in 1901, married in 1925, famous for charity work... ". My first thought had been Elizabeth Murdoch, but I knew she was coming up to her 100th birthday so I didn't say anything. Fool. As soon as I'd dismissed Dame Liz, one of the other tables yelled out "Elizabeth Murdoch!" - which was payed. I muttered something along the lines of "she's not 107 this year" to which the host replied "I meant 1909." Thanks. Pal. Nor did I have the time to add that she was married in 1928. Did I say "time"? Sorry, I meant Wiki. The final scores ended up with the Murdoch team on 35, the team that got the second bonus on 34 and us on 33. Like I said: you sews what you reap.
We also got dudded on Wattle Day. The answer was August 1 - wrong! Boynton knew it was September 1.
The unfinished business of 1913, that is, proclamation of Wattle as the national floral emblem, was completed during the Bicentennial Year, on the First of September 1988. Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha, was the actual species chosen. Continuing confusion over the actual date of Wattle Day required a long-awaited agreement among the Commonwealth and States to unify Australia's Wattle Day as the First Day of Spring (1st September) in every State and Territory. This took place in 1992 at the urging of Maria Hitchcock and supporters.
I dudded myself on Coke and Pepsi. "Which was invented first?" I wrote Pepsi thinking it must have been a trick question. That's despite knowing Coke was invented in the 1880s and thinking it was extremely unlikely Pepsi would have been invented before then. Unless you absolutely positively know an answer, once you get the idea a question might be a trick it's virtually impossible to shake the feeling you're being sold a dummy.
The old dude running the trivia looked like he crawled out from under a shelf at the nearby university library and he announced three rounds of fifteen questions. By question five of the first round we knew that we were going to be totally pwned. This wasn’t your “name the title of Britney’s latest single” kind of pop trivia. This was all about European battles of the seventeenth century and obscure references to obscure literature. As Jeremy said at one point: “At least when I’m hopeless at pop trivia I can dismiss the questions as being irrelevant. When I’m hopeless at this trivia I feel dumb because I should know the answers.”
It is true about the "old dude" but in his defence I should add that he must have been young at heart - his pants were full of holes.
Agree about the questions, which as far as we were concerned, were good ones. No stupid music, no dumb celebrity stuff, bugger all TV, minimal pop culture. Obviously there was a Logies question, but we got that right. (Curtain.) Even the sport questions were tough. Usually you cop the odd gimme: "Who won last year's NRL grand final?" or "Who won last year's Norm Smith medal?" But we got curly questions on aussie rules, bullfighting, racing, boxing and serate (a form of boxkicking). NONE of which we got right.
We're not going back, though. Despite the questions and food being fine, the vibe of the place was ordinary. There were shouter-outerers; they are never as funny as they think and way more annoying than they don't think. The host needs to polish his act; sitting at a table reading out questions without amplification is no one's idea of a good idea. Nine points out of 48 is too heavy a weighting for the three bonus questions; seven points out of 48 in mistakes is a juicy percentage. The team that won was a bit too pleased with themselves. If you don't do well, despite having eight players in the target demographic, you are morons. Courtesy of the Grodsoids, we knew you had to pay to play, but the sudden appearance of a basket accompanied by "it costs five dollars to play" was still strange. Leading at the time, we should have upped and walked out. That would have made a statement. And finally, no one seemed to know if you actually won anything?
For a moment I thought the bit below read "allowing each team to lodge up to three challenges per innings". Fat lot of good that would have done in Sydney. Naturally, I read it again. Three "unsuccessful" challenges works for me. (Who will be the first team to call for more?)
ALREADY under unprecedented pressure, Test umpires may have their decisions challenged by players under an International Cricket Council proposal for expanded use of technology, which has drawn scepticism from Australian coach Tim Nielsen.
Cricket Australia is reserving its judgement until director Mark Taylor, a member of the ICC's cricket committee, presents the detailed recommendations upon his return from Dubai.
But Nielsen warned that such a system, allowing each team to lodge up to three unsuccessful challenges per innings, could slow down the game and create more intense conjecture about decisions.
Similarly, I'm not philosophically opposed to a predictless Hawkeye.
It is expected umpires would have at their disposal "Hawk-Eye" to judge whether a batsman has been struck in line with the stumps in leg-before-wicket decisions, stump microphones to determine whether there is an edge in caught behind appeals, and "Super Slow-Mo" for close bat-pad decisions.
They could not, however, use Hawk-Eye to predict the trajectory of the ball in lbw calls. Nor could they use "Snicko" or the infra-red "Hot Spot" technology used in television broadcasts.
As we are all aware around these parts, the problem with Hawk, apart from it being a sly excuse for Nine to plug ACA, CSI and other upcoming programs, is its inability to accurately predict trajectory after the ball has bounced; especially when the spinners are on. But using it, for instance, to see if the ball has pitched outside leg is definitely a valid application. Not that you couldn't do that with super slow-mo or freeze-frame. I generally try to avoid getting between Nine and a good gadget.
I wonder why the umpires will be allowed to use stump microphones and won't be allowed to use Hot Spot. I'm not wild about Snicko.
Anyhoo, what's Tim Nielsen been smoking?
Nielsen warned that such a system... could create more intense conjecture about decisions.
A crack research team comprised of Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, James Cook, Hercule Poirot, Phileas Fogg and every single winner of The Price Is Right would struggle to unearth any more "intense conjecture about decisions" than existed last summer.
Victoria versus the Dream Team: wake me up next week.
OVERWHELMINGLY, fundamentally, footballs fans follow the game through the wonderfully irrational prism of their allegiance to clubs.
Fans admire other clubs, but love only their own. They would no more change club than gender. Even the unmoved in this city feel compelled to declare for a club at some stage.
A club provides its fans with important links, to a place, to the past, with all its resonances, and to each other. It provides a sense of tribalism, of belonging, of righteous struggle — week by week, season by season, decade by decade — in which no game stands alone, but is a step one way or the other in that ceaseless and unifying struggle.
The Tribute Game, by definition, sits outside this dynamic. It is a one-off, an exhibition, between two representative teams, one rarely seen, the other made up. Little, if any, emotion bubbles up in anticipation of it. I am not excited by it, but nor can I work up enough feeling to loathe it.
I feel indifference.
That's in spite of living in WA in the 70s and 80s and having to put up with wall-to-wall West Aussies droning on about how they'd beaten "you" as in me as in Victoria again.
There was even this one bloke, Blubsy, who would get stuck into me when Victorians lost on It's a Knockout. He seems a bit mad, but Blubs maintained he had an excuse: he played in a WAFL grand final, but a prominent Victorian football identity screwed his chances of a premiership. So he wasn't nuts, he was bitter. As, I suppose, were many other 'Gropers who were sick of seeing WA get spanked by Victoria despite the Victorian sides being loaded with the likes of Polly Farmer and Barry Cable.
After enduring 15 years of that you'd think I'd have been driven to support the Vics, but no, I never identified with my state team the way the West Aussies identified with their state team. I didn't care who won. I probably would have if I'd had to put up with it every week, like what happened when the Toast entered the VFL/AFL, but with state games being scheduled only once in a while I built up no animosity. Not that there weren't some good matches, but many of them were on weekdays so I didn't get to see them, and the one match I actually went to (1987) was a bore.
The only thing that did shit me was the number of locals who refused to accept that I didn't care. They thought I was trying to take the edge off their sledges.
No, for me a state game has always been a match in which Carlton* or the Demons aren't playing.
* "They would no more change club than gender." I've changed from Melbourne to Carlton to Melbourne, so I guess I'm a bloke again. Last time I checked, anyway.
Go ahead, you're talkin' to Mocca.
G'day, Mocca, it's Joe here, from Eltham.
Hiya, Joe. How's the petrol station?
Ohhh, y'know, pretty good, I s'pose. Run outta mixed lollies.
You mean those bags with the teeth and too many milk bottles?
Yeah, that's them.
Bugger me. How you off for marella jubes then?
No worries there.
Bewdy. Love 'em.
Listen. You gonna come up here to see us?
Dunno, Joe, the Eltham's a fair hike from Richmond. Might manage to get up that way with the G'Day G'Day Gang next year.
Look forward to it. Gotta go. Some bloke in a turban can't work out the bowser.
Cheers, Joe. Joe's been workin' that station for years, grew up there. His dad used to play hockey with my dad. Top bloke. Everyone called him Sticks... you know, because he was from the sticks.
Ok... love to talk to you, wherever you are. Next is Geoff from Franger; that's Frankston, down the road a bit. I prefer Geoff to Jeff, don't you? Hello there, you're talkin' to Mocca.
G'day, Mocca. Just thought I'd give you a bell before I set off down the Peninsula.
Blimey. That's some trek, must be half an hour at least. Got your GPS? Yeah, of course you have. Tell me, how's the beast goin'? Geoff drives one of your authentic big rigs, a Conny - that's a Ford Econovan. What you got on board?
Haulin' for Ferguson Plarre. Big rush order for Mother's Day. Gotta get a batch of tiddly oggies to Rosebud Rotary.
Chop, chop then. See ya, Geoff.
G'day, you're talkin' to Mocca.
Hi, Mocca, it's June from Sunshine here. Remember me?
I met you at the Croxton Park Hotel in 1988.
That's a fair while ago, June. Lotta water, and all that.
Twenty years or more.
Sigh. That it is.
You were in a band, playing the trombone.
The trom. Grand instrument. What you doin' today?
I'm waiting for a train at Clifton Hill.
I love trains.
Me, too. But the 9:57 to Epping's just been cancelled.
It's a funny old world, doll. You must be cold out there.
I am. I love autumn, though. They call it "fall" in America, you know, cos of the leaves.
I do know. I'm always interested in the seasons... hey! Look at the time. It's comin' up 10. Thanks, everyone. Be uplifted.
I understand you are "redefining television". That's nice. But could you please refrain from also redefining the language of football. A News reporter tonight referred to the third "period" of the Hawthorn Collingwood match, not the third quarter. What next? Stepping up to the plate? Coast to coast? Turnover?
Let it happen again, and I will refuse to pay my licence fee.
Cheesed of Richmond
In light of Rollerboy's recent slap-headedness, the excellent Patrick Carlyon harks back to the summer of Spank:
INDIAN spinner Harbhajan Singh the other day slapped an opposition bowler and national teammate after playing out a Twenty20 match in the Indian Premier League. He was rubbed out for 11 matches.
Of itself, the incident is of little consequence and hardly surprising. Singh has always been cranky and petulant. If he was to be called a tosser, the label need not pertain to his bowling action.
"Don't miss the new series on Showcase that was too hard for the Americans to watch."
That's the Foxtel spiel for an up-coming series, The Black Donnellys. To drive the point home, as the spruiker says "too hard" there's a clip of Dokey (Peter Greene, Zed from Pulp Fiction) bringing down his axe on a competitor's protestations.
TBD is about an Irish family in Hell's Kitchen and the trouble they have dealing with the aforementioned Dokey, living with the legacy of their murdered father, getting on with each other, and coping with a local Eye-talian "family".
It's not that great.
At 8.7 on the IMDB ratings-o-meter, it emphasizes a long held opinion that there should be a time limit on polls. Say, five years. TV shows, movies and albums should not be polled until five years after the initial rush of publicity has dissipated; until such time as the viewers have had a chance to discover whether something is actually, as opposed to supposedly, any good.
Nevertheless, when a show is sold as "too hard for the Americans to watch" I start to wonder. Maybe it was "too hard" - for NBC. The show contains a lot of swearing and violence so it's a stretch to think it would sit comfortably in the notoriously sensitive American network television schedule.
Still, NBC gave it a reasonable time to bed down before pulling it after 13 episodes.
The Black Donnellys is an American television drama that debuted on NBC on February 26, 2007 and last aired on April 2, 2007. Thereafter, NBC began releasing new episodes weekly on NBC.com until the series was officially cancelled.
On April 2, 2007, NBC announced that the series would be pulled after the April 16 episode. Two days later, however, the show was dropped from NBC's lineup, presumably because of not enough viewers. It was replaced by the series The Real Wedding Crashers.
Replaced by Real Wedding Crashers. Ouch. It would appear the oaf demographic voted with their remotes.
Not that I'm about to can a show because it had a short run on NBC. That would be like canning Far Canal Road because it had a short run on Nine. Had? It will. It's rubbish. Network television both here and in America is based on ratings, not quality.
So let's compare potatoes with potatoes. TBD needs to be held up against the likes of The Sopranos, The Wire, Brotherhood and other crime programs that have come out of the cable channels.
Was the Sopranos "too hard" for the Americans? No. Yet it was very "hard" and had a long run on television. The Wire? Nothing in TBD comes close to the "hard" of Chris and Snoop and The Wire ended up the choicest five seasons in TV history.
TBD didn't have a long run because it wasn't good enough, not because it was "too hard" as the Fox announcer would have us believe.
It's more like Brotherhood. A show that wants to be tough, but despite the odd confronting moment, doesn't quite pull it off.
It tries to pull it off, but ends up trying it on. Director Paul Haggis (Crash) gives it the look, feel and sound of a righteous television event. It's a con. Synthesizers and opera cue your emotions. Close ups draw you into the characters. Such that they are. There is barely a person in the show who I warmed to, who I cared about, who even made me laugh. Perhaps Nicky Cottero (Kirk Acevedo from Band of Brothers) an ambitious Eye-talian. Sepia lighting gives it the Godfather look. Joey Ice Cream's voice-over chases Goodfellas.
Not that it is dreadful. I suppose. I managed to sit through the whole series on DVD. Whether I would have managed that had I been forced to endure it on, say, Nine is another thing.