Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30 Rock is ending and now I don't know what to do.

This feels like the last day of summer camp.

30 Rock is coming to an end after seven seasons, and while I know I'm lucky to have watched it for that long (as Tina Fey said, she got to make 140 episodes of the kind of show that usually gets cancelled), I'm not quite ready to let go. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I've grown too attached.

When I first found out that Tina Fey would be leaving my beloved SNL for a show of her own, I was ecstatic. The concept sounded hilarious, and I looked forward to seeing all sorts of in-jokes about cool SNL stuff. Plus, it had Alec Baldwin in it. The actual, real Alec Baldwin who was usually in movies and stuff. Little did I know that the show would evolve into something even bigger than that. Little did critics know that they would grow to love a show they originally panned, and that the mess of an Aaron Sorkin melodrama that they praised would end up retooling itself more than a Real Housewife, only to flounder in its first season. (I guess Sorkin was right: smart girls do have more fun!) Despite the cast changes and such that 30 Rock went through, the show continued strong. I remember some of the third season's best episodes as if they just happened. I don't know why NBC decided to give this gem a chance despite low ratings (Lorne Michaels), or how they knew it would have more staying power than Studio 60 (Lorne Michaels), or why they kept a show on the air that relentlessly made fun of the network (Lorne Michaels), but I'm glad they did.

They must be glad, too, since 30 Rock arguably changed the game.

30 Rock proved that an original, fast-paced, single camera series could work on network television, all while staying true to the structure of the TV season and bringing in big-name guest stars, much like its Must See TV predecessors did. It also proved that sometimes the zany, quirky comedy doesn't get cancelled, and just gets more popular. I'm pretty sure that one of the best compliments I ever got was from a friend who started watching the show in its second season and told me that Liz Lemon reminded him of me. (I high-fived a million angels.) I honestly wish that I could be more like Liz Lemon: completely in control of all my character quirks, eating cheese whenever I want to, hanging a framed picture of food in my office at my TV writing job. More than that, though, I wish I could be more like 30 Rock itself: genuinely funny (even when I'm not), a survivor, someone who manages to make other people happy while staying true to herself.

So I'll just be here eating my Sabor de Soledad, yelling at a plastic bag outside my window, and wondering why that guy at the bar wouldn't buy me mozzarella sticks if you need me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Plus/Minus: Locked out of heaven

Okay, yes, I took this post title from a Bruno Mars song.
Sometimes at the office, it seems like everyone around me is talking at the same time, which can be a little distracting (to say the least.) So I drown them out with music. Last week I listened to Bruno Mars, and no you are not allowed to judge me for it. I danced in my office chair, despite my best efforts not to. That's kind of how I feel about having NHL hockey back in my life. I'm trying to play it cool and pretend nothing has changed, but sometimes the excitement just takes over and I dance in my office chair. (In my defence: "Runaway Baby.")

+ 2 One for each of our rookie Gallys, in honour of their first NHL goals.
+ Every time Ryan White accomplishes something, he gets a Plus. That's just how I run things around here. Ryan White scored a goal(!) and thus, he gets a Plus.
+ Czechtacular and I were hoping that Brandon Prust would not disappoint us. Between the punching and the scoring, he most definitely met our high expectations.
+ In my most recent appearance on the Habs 360 podcast, I said that Andrei Markov would be back in full force. I'm not giving myself this Plus - I'm giving Andrei Markov this Plus for being the amazing player I know he is.
+ A good captain has to "get" his role. He has to know what his team needs from him, and what his fans want from him. Brian Gionta delivered both in the season opener. I couldn't be prouder to have him as my captain.
+ Oh thank goodness I can finally stop hiding my #76 jersey between cardigans in my closet because P.K. is back!

- Max Pacioretty's 3-4 week absence is a nightmare. Literally. I have this dream that seems to recur whenever I have a major event or responsibility coming up: The big day is just around the corner and I suddenly end up in the hospital with appendicitis, and I have to get on the phone and tell someone that I can't make it. (And, in the dream, I act like I'm really sorry to let everyone down, even though in real life I'd probably be all sick and feverish and asking for Tylenol.) Get well soon, Max.
- "A Girl's Guide to Watching the Rangers"? Just no. Stop. Anyone who writes garbage like this should just stop writing altogether.

- Hey, Fox? I understand that Ben & Kate's ratings weren't great, but you do realize that you had the two-hour comedy block that you've always wanted, and it was good, and you just punched a hole out of it, right?

Note to readers: For the rest of the season, Plus/Minus may be published intermittently, rather than on a weekly basis.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coming back from the NHL lockout (explained through Backstreet Boys songs)

(Sometimes I worry that my post ideas aren't original enough. Somehow I'm not worried about this one.)

When the LA Kings won the Cup at the end of last season:

When it looked like CBA negotiations wouldn't be over in time for the preseason:

What was probably going on between the NHL and PA:

There were the fans who missed hockey so much they couldn't take it:

There were the ones who heard the siren call of other sports:

And who gave in and cheated on hockey:

Through it all, the NHL and PA tried to pretend they still cared about the fans:

But it got to the point where we weren't mad, just disappointed:

And we felt abandoned:


And then hockey gave its fans all kinds of free stuff as a way to show their appreciation:

Actually, it sounded a little more like this:

Oh, and this was how a lot of people reacted when they saw I published an entire blog post about the Backstreet Boys:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Serious Question About Scott Gomez

When Scott Gomez was traded to the Canadiens, I was livid. The New York Rangers wanted to shed cap space and the Habs, dumb enough to accept that trade, were probably going to suffer for it.

Eight million dollars a season on a guy who doesn't score a lot of goals seemed like an awful lot of money. "But he's good at assists," cried people who have since forgotten that fact, "and he won a Stanley Cup." I didn't really care. The most that Gomez could be to me, was a guy who made me laugh.

Fast-forward to this season. Gomez scores about once a year. No one is singing his praises. Instead, they're so happy that Marc Bergevin basically fired him that they're breaking out into song-and-dance numbers that they've probably been practicing for months. And, to be honest, I'm a little tired of it. I want off of the bandwagon that I built. Making fun of Scott Gomez isn't fun anymore.

I think what I'm trying to say is that I hated on Gomez before it was mainstream. Does that make me a hipster?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Top 5: Things I'll Miss About The Lockout

So, hockey is back, according to the email I just got from Geoff Molson, and also everyone on the Internet who is unable to talk about anything else. I'm not going to miss living a life without P.K. Subban - or, rather, a life with minimal P.K. Subban - but there are some things I'll miss about this lockout.

Being spared from idiots. Most hockey idiots didn't really follow CBA negotiations. I'm not saying that I'm a hockey genius, but I'm not a hockey idiot all the time either. It was nice to not have to talk to people who clearly only read a headline or listen to a Michel Bergeron soundbite once every few weeks. You know, the people who literally have one opinion about the entire sport? I'm not looking forward to hearing my cousin's boyfriend use literally every opportunity to say that the Habs should trade for Milan Lucic. And, unfortunately, I didn't spend enough time during this lockout trying to figure out creative ways to change the subject.

Quiet evenings at work. I work a lot of overtime. I will likely work a lot of overtime during the postseason, when games start half an hour earlier than they do in the regular season. And I work the late shift on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday. When I was assigned the Tuesday late shift back in June, this was not a problem. Now, well, I guess I can look forward to watching the Habs' western swing, if there is one.

Not having to deal with casual sexism. Yeah, I know, some people don't want to hear this, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I kind of enjoyed not being on the receiving end of comments implying that I only watch hockey because Carey Price is really really ridiculously good-looking. I also enjoyed not trying to make small talk with a co-worker about last night's game, only to have him answer "I don't watch hockey," when I know that he does, because he talks hockey with the guys at the office. Oh, well. Time to build up some walls and deal with it again, I guess.

Identifying people by their character, not by the team they cheer for. Sometimes these are one and the same. Sometimes, though, they're not. A lockout was a great opportunity to see people for who they really are. Now, am I going to have to start liking the jerkstores who are Habs fans and hating the rare person who is both decent and a Bruins fan?

Having more time to watch TV. And partake in other social activities as well. As my longtime readers (if they still exist) already know, I became a hockey fan during the 2007 Writer's Guild strike, during which there was almost no good TV of which to speak. Seriously. Every network was putting out FOX-style reality shows. It was atrocious. It was worse than finding out that TSN is showing a game from you don't even know what year. During this lockout, I had a little bit more time to reacquaint myself with TV, and not load up my DVR with so many episodes that I didn't know where to start. Now, I'll be torn between two worlds again. Oh well.

Welcome back, NHL.