For as long as I have been conscious, Pat Sajak has been the host of Wheel of Fortune. To me, a lifetime fan of syndicated game shows, he has served as a vanguard of comfort, a permanent, smiling fixture in the revolving door of TV personalities. He has stuck with The Wheel through its tough times. Remember in the early 80s when you did not win actual cash, but had to spend all accumlated cash in a gallery of crap-tastic prizes, including but not limited to ceramic statues of dalmatians? I do! He has stuck with The Wheel through the good times. Pat's got three Emmys for hosting and a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.
But Pat is so much more than hugs from overweight, midwestern contestants and all-inclusive trips to the Bahamas. As I recall, he has SHINED whenever filling in on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee/Kelly. He even had a taste of freedom when he hosted the short lived Pat Sajak Show for CBS, and again managed to pick through the cement wall with Pat Sajak Weekend for the Fox "News" Channel (see what I did there?!). However, the retractable umbilicle chord attaching him to The Wheel always manages to pull him back and away from the light.
Which brings me to last night's Wheel, a repeat of the first episode from its 24th season. There were not one, but two times where Pat let his guard down at looked at us, the viewers, with UTTER CONTEMPT. I can only assume Pat Sajak is not long for this world. That is why here at BoobTubers, I am starting the...
Pat Sajak Suicide Watch/Pool
Comment back with the exact date and year you think Pat will end it all, and if correct, you will, most definitely win a glorious prize.
In conclusion, here is a scene I wrote for mine and Alanna's opus, THIS SHOW BITES, a play documenting James Marsters' days at Juliard, featuring this relevant play within a play.
This Show Bites Act I, Scene 6
The lights go up dimly to reveal a completely black environment, which is actually a stage. James sits on a stool centerstage, also dressed in black. As the lights go up, James looks up at theaudience.
Audience: A play within a play! MAAARVELOUS!
James: (dramatically) Intrigue...
A bongo drum is heard in the background.
James: Passion... Bravery... Justice... Brilliance... Charisma... Animal Attraction... I (pause)am Pat Sajak, and this (gestures to figures dressed completely in black modern dancing their way onto the stage) is my life and times.
The drums continue to play and James participates in a modern dance with the black figures during which they strike a different, limber pose for each drumbeat.
Black Figure 1: This is the second grade, Pat. What is a vowel? WHAT IS A VOWEL?
James: I don't know. I DON'T KNOW.
Figure 1: MY CURSE TO YOU IS THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO ESCAPE VOWELS.
Black Figure 2 I am your illegitimate father, Pat. I am a carnie. Get on the ferris wheel. STAY ON THE FERRIS WHEEL!
James: WHY, GOD, WHY?!?!
Figure 2: MY CURSE TO YOU IS THAT THE WHEEL WILL EARN YOU YOUR BREAD!
Black Figure 3: I am your hairdresser, Pat. I will tease your hair. I WILL TEASE YOUR HAIR!
James: SWEET GOD, I HAVE A COIF!
Figure 3: MY CURSE IS THAT NO WIND, NO RAIN, NO LOVER'S GRASP WILL RELEASE YOUR HAIR FROM ITS POSE!
James: The vowels...the wheel... the HAIR. I can't do it, but I must. I embrace my calling...I am the host of a syndicated game show...
All black figures: (starting softly and increasing in volume until they are shouting) Free spin, bankrupt, LOSE A TURN. Free spin, bankrupt, LOSE A TURN. Free spin, bankrupt, LOSE A TURN!
All fall flat on the stage. The drums stop and the lights go out.
There goes my Heros drinking game of taking a shot every time Peter Patrelli pushes the hair out of his face.
How will they explain this in season two? Was his hair singed off in the nuclear explosion above the skies of midtown Manhattan? Was the explosion all a ploy, and Nathan actually flew Peter to a Lemon Tree in Weehawken, New Jersey? Did Claire offhandedly mention that she would never date anyone with man bangs, even her very own Uncle Boyfriend?
Last night's Entourage was highly anticipated, since we actually got to see the crew doing something other than dick around, smoke pot, and sleep with hot chicks. Now they were dicking around, smoking pot, and sleeping with hot chicks while making a move in Colombia.
Vincent Chase's acting as seen in the dailies is craptacular. But still not as craptacular as Turtle's. Turtle reached new levels of suckiness as he had to act candid for the documentary on the making of Medellin. I stand by my suggestion that HBO branch out into reality television for a show called Acting School in which Jerry Ferrera and Jamie-Lynn Siegler go to, well, acting school. Because they suck.
Fellow tuber Alanna speculated that this documentary we watched was going to end up being something along the lines of Lost in La Mancha, documenting the downward spiral of Medellin. I, for one, think Medellin is going all the way. Ryan Seacrest interviewing Vincent Chase on the Oscars red carpet would be ratings gold.
And finally, most importantly, confirm or deny: Adrian Grenier/Vince in full Pablo Escobar makeup is a dead ringer for Andy Kaufman's alter ego Tony Clifton.
Amidst the summer TV doldrums burns one ray of hope - my parents have begun watching Lost on DVD. They've heard so much about it from my brother and I, and they want to stay hip, you see.
I've always found enjoyment in introducing someone to a TV show (or book, even) that I love. My parents, with all their idiosyncrasies, make this experience an especially fulfilling one. Below, please find some actual conversations I have had with my parents about season 1 of Lost.
Me: Who is your favorite character? Mom: I like John Locke a lot. We just watched the episode with the Asians. Me: You mean Jin and Sun? Mom: I hate the husband! Me: Oh, he gets better. Who else do you like? Dad: What's up with the monster? Me: Have you seen Locke's flashback yet? Dad: Is the monster in it?
While watching "The Moth," Charlie's first flashback episode Mom: Why does he keep asking Locke for his drugs? He's just going to run out anyway. Me: Yeah, that's something you know a lot about. What a bummer it is when the drugs run out. Mom: Oh look! He threw the drugs in the fire. Me: Don't cry.
While watching "Confidence Man," Sawyer's first flashback episode Me: Hot. So hot. Dad: His body is weird. Me (grudgingly): Yeah, he does kind of have that sloping shoulders thing. Mom: I hate that. I don't like him anymore. (Later) Me: Oh, it's Sayid! Do you guys like Sayid? Dad: Haha, I love when Sawyer calls him "Abdul!" Me: That's... that's racist.
The New York Times has this interesting article in which TV writers sound off on David Chase and the last episode of The Sopranos ever. As always, David Milch, creator of Deadwood and the thus far impenetrable John From Cincinatti, offers a particularly insightful interpretation:
“It was a question of loyalty to viewer expectations, as against loyalty to the internal coherence of the materials. Mr. Chase’s position was loyalty to the internal dynamics of the materials and the characters."
Tim Kring, Heroes showrunner, said he found “the storytelling in the finale a bit disjointed, so that you lost the cause and effect of some scenes.”
I'm not surprised that the creator of a show featuring some of the most wooden characters and unnatural dialog I've witnessed doesn't understand how David Chase structures his show. I've noticed that often in the The Sopranos, the consequences of a scene do not surface immediately; characters are not always aware of their own reactions to events, which may manifest in unexpected times and places. They're psychologically complex, sometimes as mysterious to us as they are to themselves. In this way, The Sopranos is like real life.
And the ending was like real life, too, in that it doesn't stop with a shattering climax; it simply... goes on.
Last night was a huge programming dilemma for me as the 61st Annual Tony Awards went head to head with the finale of The Sopranos. Fortunately my decision was made for me by my viewing companions who did not share my unbridled passion for the theAYter ( know, crazy). However, thanks to DVR, I have seen both broadcasts and therefore feel fit to make a final call in the BATTLE OF THE TONYS (TONYS TONYS TONYS TONYS)!
::Ding:: Round 1 - Suspense
If one thing can be said for The Sopranos swan song, it is that it kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Everyone had such blood-thirsty expectations that every time Tony crunched on an al dente piece of ziti, we were all quivering and peering to see where the bullet came from. David Chase exploited our nail nibbling, depends desiring selves with what, in retrospect, I think was directing brilliance. While I could have asked for a better soundtrack (Really? We had to listen to 80 percent of a Journey song to end the series forever?), Chase showed the Soprano nuclear unit gathering, one by one, almost in slow motion. Each person passing in a car while Meadow parallel parked like she was Uncle Junior, or each person on their way to the restroom was given just enough camera time to make us think they were going to be the gunman that ended it all. That nervousness that we felt for just 5 minutes is what the Soprano clan can expect for the rest of their lives.
Meanwhile, at the Tonys Spring Awakening and The Coast of Utopia won a combined 15 out of 25 awards. Duh. Zero suspense.
ROUND ONE THE SOPRANOS!
::Ding:: Round 2- General Entertainment Value
For the male members of my dictionary definition, blue collar, New York suburban family who have watched The Sopranos religiously for doses of machismo and titties at Bada Bing, perhaps watching Phil Leotardo's head get squished by an SUV was entertaining. I covered my eyes.
Good old Uncle Paulie, however, did not disappoint. In my opinion, his visit to the kids table at dinner (where he unbottoned his pants) and claims to have seen the Virgin Mary at the Bing were priceless.
The Tonys gave America the chance to fall in love with Christine Ebersole's Little Edie as she serenaded us with "Revolutionary Costume." The Tonys let an even wider audience of America's youth move on from Rent as they saw the magic of Spring Awakening. And it was so. rewarding. to see an obviously shocked and touched David Hyde Pierce win the Tony for his role in Curtains. He thanked his partner of 24 years, which I am pretty sure he did each time he won Emmys...yet he was only openly gay as of last week. Please. Maybe David can give some advice to poor, little Mark Indelicato who has been turned into a gay icon before he has even finished puberty. Inappropriate much?
But I digress. The Tonys were a thrill and a half and chock full of beautiful moments.
ROUND TWO THE 61st ANNUAL TONY AWARDS!
::DING:: Round Three- Overall Sentimental Value
Going into last night's finale, saying goodbye to the goombahs that have entered our living rooms and hearts for the last sevens seasons was anticiated as something that was going to be hard...maybe a little sad. Instead, the show cut out so abruptly, that across America, millions were cursing their cable boxes and companies. I don't think anyone has pulled a stunt like this since Andy Kaufman (I forget the show, but he had "TV SNOW" inserted for 30 seconds, making everyone watching think their TV broke).
Conversely, the Tony Awards feel like a big family getting together again. Awww. Granted, it does appear there are lots of people crashing to date. If you are a C List celebrity that once thought about attending a Braodway show, they enlist you as a presenter in order to raise theater's profile. But then Bernadette Peters and Harvey Fierstein come out to present together, and you know all is right in the glorious clique that is the theater community.
It is also nice to have a nationally broadcasted awards show on a network known to skew old and conservative in viewers have men getting on stage and thanking their partners and husbands and supportive parents that gave them Judy Garland records when they were younger (Thanks, Michael Mayer).
ROUND THREE THE 61ST ANNUAL TONY AWARDS!
That means, according to Modus Tollens logic, The Tonys win the Primetime Battle of the Tonys. Booyah.
All is quiet on the television front these days, though HBO may provide the Tubers with some material as Big Love returns and new series John from Cincinatti debuts. For now, please enjoy other people:
Wow. Fans of the post-apocalyptic drama Jericho (starring the poor man's Johnny Depp) inundated CBS with their enraged mail when they axed the show. And... CBS listened to them. The show's renewed for at least seven episodes. Does this mean I should start calling the CW, demanding they resurrect Buffy?