Notes: Another Tuesday, another murky weather forecast with no real inkling of whether these games will even happen or not. I even waited til 4:00 to post this and still looking like we’ll have to make an educated guess around 5:15 to prevent people from coming in for no reason. SAD. Don’t feel like writing hockey previews that will be rendered meaningless in just a few hours so instead, with July 1 marking the 2nd half of 2022, I’ll be listing my four favorite new shows of the year, in reverse order. Once we inevitably get rained out it’ll likely prove to be more useful to your life than further speculation on who’s subbing for whom, roasts of people for being bad at gambling, bad a hockey, shitting their pants…I mean don’t get me wrong, that stuff is our bread and butter, but needs to be saved for games that actually happen plus I need a little spice in these previews to make them more interesting to write. That’s why instead of generic google photos of gambling these previews have been and will continue to open with random pics from the archive and that’s why instead of writing about how this is probably the best Hippos team since Fall 2019 and how Cup Size badly needs Hilary to come back and stabilize their defense, I’m going to instead recommend that anyone reading this who enjoyed Lost check out Yellowjackets. It’s got similar vibes with a plane crash stranding a bunch of people in a mysterious remote place (in Lost it was the island, here it’s the woods). You even hear people say things like “this is what the woods wanted” just like the hundreds of times characters on Lost told me that the island was demanding sacrifices. There’s a lurking, somewhat present supernatural element but it only comes in bits and pieces. Also you get a heavy dose of 90s nostalgia as the show follows two timelines, one with the plane crash in 1996 and one with the survivors in the present trying to grapple with the consequences of all the fucked up things that went on in those woods. I generally avoid Showtime shows like the plague because they have a long and sad history of turning into complete trash after a couple good seasons (Dexter, Homeland, I’m looking at you) but this was the exception and one of the most fun shows of the year.
Notes: Red Rockets have played 3 games and are 4th in the standings, a solid start to the season for a franchise that was operating without a captain, although Vanessa may have initiated a hostile takeover of the position. Pink Lemonade somehow has not played a full game yet; they’re down 3-2 to blue with 5 seconds left but will have a 6 on 4 PP, a faceoff deep in the offensive zone and Cherie ready to rip a one timer so they can’t be counted out. I think Meg would be playing goal for red but it depends on if Austin can let her into the patio apt or if we can break in there which honestly shouldn’t be too hard considering their front door has been broken for over a year (I would say don’t go in and ransack the place but Jack would probably be proud of you if you did it). This would be quite a compelling D5 game but unfortunately it prob ain’t happening so instead I have to recommend you check out We Own This City. Any fan of The Wire is basically guaranteed to love it as it’s made by the same team that put that one together (David Simon, George Pelicanos, etc) and you’ll see like 15-20 actors from The Wire popping up here. Plus you’re getting elite level Bernthal which is just a whirlwind of charisma and screen presence. If the central thesis of The Wire was that institutions are failing us because they are built only to perpetuate their own survival, this one is somehow even bleaker suggesting things are already beyond repair. Based on a true story that happened five years ago and if Bernthal doesn’t win best actor there is truly no justice in the world.
Notes: Hooligans playing without Probert (Sam is now in), plus only 5 total rostered players, in a season where they already sacrificed precious depth to acquire multiple 1sts, would make them the underdog in this game. Of course, the real underdog is this game actually happening and if you want another underdog (segue alert), check out The Bear on Hulu. Show came out last week and is absolutely incredible. Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant will quickly realize this is probably the most realistic depiction of the chaos that takes place behind the scenes; even if you haven’t, it’s one of the great television achievements of the year. Best to go in fresh with as little info as possible but it basically follows an elite chef going back home to Chi-Town to run his family’s sandwich shop, it’s only 8 half hour episodes so it’s a breeze, the 7th episode is all done in one take which almost makes that famous True Detective set piece from a few years ago seem quaint by comparison and it almost made Caitlin cry on multiple occasions. At least I hope it was the show and not me.
Pink Lemonade (-120)
Melrose Place (-120)
Over 8.5 (-120)
Under 8.5 (-120)
Notes: This would’ve been a fun game to watch and handicap; not just two teams with new captains, but two new franchises entirely: pink and tie dye. Would’ve been fun to see the premier of the tie dye jerseys as well as Pink Lemonade actually playing a game. Of course, this shit is the least likely of all the games to happen so may I present to you what was shockingly my #1 show of the year: Severance. Somehow in a year that featured the new Lost, the new Wire, the 1st half of the final season of Better Call Saul (arguably a better show than Breaking Bad) and a ton of amazing wholly original shows like The Bear and Murderville, when I really sit back and think of what was the best hour of television I watched all season (assuming NHL playoffs don’t count), the Severance finale is it. It’s on Apple TV and it’s very weird, but man is it amazing. Cast is incredible (Adam Scott, John Turturro, Patricia Arquette, Christopher Walken), Ben Stiller directed six of the nine episodes and it’s both a great commentary on work/life balance and an elite Black Mirror concept turned into a full length series. By the end of the year Better Call Saul, The Old Man and Westworld will all complete their seasons and I’ll finish season 2 of Hacks. But I don’t see any of them displacing Severance or Bear at the top of my annual list. I’ll let you know in six months.