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Tony Island Blog
Monday, June 26, 2006
Red Sox Roll on!
Topic: Red Sox

Welcome back!

Less than 2 weeks ago, I wrote about how bad the Sox were doing -- and now I'm posting about how well they're doing! How times have changed! We're in a 9 game win streak (winning today's game over the Phillies in 12 innings with a walk off single by David Ortiz!). We're up two games over the Yankees - things are going well.

The only problems -- the last 9 games were played against (poor) National League teams -- and we're heading into a 3 game series with the Mets - who are at the top of the National League. Will we continue our winning ways or revert to our mediocre selves?

This 3 game Met series is a two-pronged reunion:

1) this is the 20th anniversary of the 1986 World Series Red Sox vs Mets (Sox lost of course).

2) Pedro Martinez returns to Fenway Park for the first time since leaving as a free agent in 2005. Wonder what kind of reception he'll receive as he takes the mound at the bottom of the first inning on Wed (6/28)?

Will you be watching the nationally televised Red Sox vs. Mets game on Wed June 28th? If not, why not? If so, who are you rooting for? Let us know by leaving your comments below!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 11:55 PM EDT
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Team USA Eliminated!
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

Well, as you can see by this entry's title, Team USA lost (1-2) vs Ghana. We made a spectacular goal at the end of the first half only to be "equalized" by a phantom (as called by US announcers) penalty/free kick against the US.

It was fun while it lasted - now, it's time to point fingers, blame the officials and move ahead to 2010 World Cup play.

While the 2006 FIFA World Cup chances are over for Team USA, Tony Island Blog is here to stay!

Leave some thoughts about our 2006 World Cup play by clicking the comment link below!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 12:17 PM EDT
Halftime --- USA - 1 / Ghana - 2
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

Well, we're at half time in the USA vs Ghana 2006 FIFA World Cup game. Ghana scored first when our captain went down trying to defend the ball. With less than one minute left in regulation play, the USA scored its first goal of the 2006 FIFA (the goal scored in the vs. Italy game was an "own goal" scored by an Italian player).

Now into stoppage time, the referree calls a foul against the USA giving Ghana a penalty shot. This is an unobstructed shot by one player against our goal and goalkeeper from 12 yards! Of course, the Ghana player makes the goal and the score finishes at 2-1 going into half-time.

It was a fairly good half, but the USA wasn't making the moves it needed to make until the very end (and it was a spectacular goal!). They need to turn up the pressure in the second half - they have nothing to lose. If I were the head coach, I'd pour it all on - getting fouled left and right. The hell with it all - we NEED to win!

BTW, Italy is ahead in their game (which is important to the USA if we are to advance).

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 10:53 AM EDT
Soccer!! Soccer??
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

Well, it's the BIG DAY for the United States team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup - they either win and move on to the next round of competition or they lose and go home.

I'm not a huge fan of soccer, but enjoy the game to an extent (I follow the New England Revolution here at home). I will be watching today though to see if the US can advance to the "Round of 16".

I can't figure out why Americans (and, I guess, to an extent, our neighbors to the north, Canadians) don't like soccer on the scale that it's enjoyed in the rest of the world. We tend to think of soccer as a school age game for the most part (and, if I'm not mistaken, Europeans view baseball in the same way). There is Major League Soccer in the United States that has been going strong for 10 years, but it just doesn't seem to have gotten the toehold that baseball and football have. Why is that? The game is fairly interesting, but there doesn't seem to be much happening - it's sort of like hockey on grass - a lot of running around for little result. I'm particularly impressed by the endurance of the athletes though. There are no breaks in soccer, unlike football, so they must run around for 90 minutes. There are susbtitutions, but once you are out you don't go back in.

OK - the game is just about to begin! The anthems have been played, the coin tossed and we're off!

GO U.S.A.!!!



Any thoughts on soccer? Have you been watching FIFA? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 9:44 AM EDT
Friday, June 16, 2006
I'm still here!
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

No, no I haven't disappeared (though I'm sure some of you wish I would!)

I've still been watching DVDs and stuff, but didn't want to continually post DVD reviews -- but then, I didn't know what else to post! I mean, I do have some nutty things rattling around in my mind, but I wasn't sure anyone wanted to read about them! :-)

I still have my Wizard of OZ trading card box to crack open along with some other boxes -- but of course I have yet to do it! I will soon though.

Oh! I know what I had to ask - does anyone out there use a standalone "blog editor" to create blog posts off line? I am currently using Qumana's Editor/blog manager (beta 3). It's fairly decent, but I was hoping there'd be one out there with some more polish and power. I don't need a ton of power, but something with a little more oomph would help. Post your suggestions using the comment link!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 11:18 PM EDT
Sunday, June 11, 2006
DVD: Tarzan, The Ape Man
Topic: DVD Review

Welcome back!

Believe it or not, I never saw the 1981 Bo Derek feature movie Tarzan, The Ape Man until just the other day! After checking out Disney's animated take on Tarzan a few weeks back, I decided to check out this live action "classic". I was expecting it to be terrible and perhaps because of that low, low expectation, I didn't find it that bad!

OK - it's not Shakespeare, but what is these days? Bo Derek is there simply for the eye candy value - which isn't a bad thing! She has a lovely body, which we're lucky to see fully naked several times! And, her acting isn't that bad either (again, low expectations at work here ;-). For those who don't know the story...basically, Jane (Bo Derek) goes to see her father, who is on an expedition in Africa. They head off with a group of natives to explore an area with a large mountain. At the mountain, they encounter the "Tarzan yell" - and from that point on, it's just a matter of time before Tarzan (a chiseled Miles O'Keeffe) meets Jane and vice versa. There isn't too much story at this point (Jane's father goes to hunt for her after she's kidnapped by Tarzan). It's not until the tail end of the movie, when Jane and her father are captured by a tribe of savages, that things begin to pick up. In one particularly erotic/disturbing scene, Jane's naked body is covered with mud, by the savage women, in preparation for the tribe leader's pleasures. In the end, Tarzan rescues everyone and Jane stays with Tarzan, in the jungle, to live happily ever after.

It's not a perfect film, by far. A bit of overacting by Richard Harris as Jane's father grates a bit. The film is also too long - at just under 2 hours, it could have been cut by at least 30 minutes or so. I was impressed with the sets and scenery and especially the trained "jungle animals". They did some neat things! I thought it odd that Tarzan would be so chiseled - sure, I can see him being thin living in the jungle, but chiseled?

I'll give this one 2.5 vines out of 5! Rent it for fun - and a little peek at Bo in her prime!

What do you think of the Tarzan character? Like him, hate him or neutral? How about his portrayals in the movies and on TV? Share your thoughts by leaving some comments using the link below!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 5:22 PM EDT
Thursday, June 8, 2006
LOVED it! / hated IT! / Loved it! (again)
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

OK - have you ever watched a film, read a book, watched a TV series and thought "WOW! I loved that! Can't wait to see it again!"...then, when you finally do see it again, you think "What the hell is this crap?? What was I thinking?!?" But, thru some odd coincidence, you happen to catch a snippet of the movie/tv series, etc. sometime later and think "Wow...this is pretty good! I do like it!"??

This has happened to me several times over the years - for example, I have a love/hate relationship with Logan's Run. Saw it as a kid, remembered liking it...caught it a few years back as an adult and thought it was total dreck! Caught a snippet on TV and ended up watching the film thru to the end -- and thought "This wasn't so bad!" I even bought the film when I joined the Columbia House DVD club! Of course, I haven't watched my DVD - so maybe I'll hate it again! Who knows? I will let you know my latest opinion when I do watch it though!

Another obscure love/hate relationship film for me is Capricorn One starring OJ Simpson, of all people! (And for those who don't know, OJ is not related to Jessica Simpson! :-). For those unfamiliar with Capricorn One, it's about the first manned landing on Mars. The mission goes awry -- and has to be "faked" by NASA (on a soundstage!). Of course, the astronauts can't be allowed to live lest they give away the secret to the world. So, NASA has the reentry vehicle crash with no survivors. Of course, since there was no real re-entry vehicle, the astronauts need to be killed...

Again, I liked it when I first saw it in the theater (as a kid!), hated it the next time around, liked it the next time...and, of course, I just had to have it when I joined the Columbia House DVD club!

This phenomena isn't limited just to movies for me - some of my favorite tv series are affected, too! From Seinfeld to Mary Tyler Moore to Space:1999, there are episodes that I see-saw on. I like it, I hate it, I like it. Or the vice-versa - hating then loving it (or at least not hating it!). I think with some series, such as Seinfeld, the expectation each week was so high, that any misfire resulted in a "hated it" (at the time). This was especially true after outstanding episodes like "The Contest" or "Soup Nazi" -- usually the next ones didn't appeal to me as much. Sometimes the phenomena strikes as a series gets older - I find that some of the latter seasons episodes are not up to par to the earlier. I found this especially true with Cheers - didn't care as much for the Kirstie Alley seasons when I first saw them. Years later, they're not too bad in TV Land re-runs - but the whole pregnancy arc is still stupid!!

Apparently , there are a lot of conflicts running in my head! :-)

Do you have love/hate relationships with inanimate objects such as TV shows, movies or books? If so, let the world know by leaving a comment below!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 10:42 PM EDT
Monday, June 5, 2006
Boston Red Sox ... suck???
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

As I sit here typing this post, the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox are taking a pounding from the Evil Empire New York Yankees (3-13 bottom of the 5th). The Yankees made mincemeat of Boston Red Sox star pitcher Josh Beckett (he won the his first outing against the Yankees this season, but went seriously wrong in this outing. He also won against the Yankees during the 2003 World Series). They then took Boston Red Sox pitcher Van Buren to the woodshed, adding another 5 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning. So far, the Yankee bats have been cooled down (as have the Red Sox bats unfortunately) in the 5th inning.

THIS JUST IN - Boston Red Sox score 2 runs in the 6th inning! Woo hoo!

Well, it's too early in the season (still!) to call it quits, but it doesn't seem to bode well for the Sox if they can't muster a few more wins against the Yankees this season. We still have another 3 games to play this week against the Yankees, so maybe things will turn around. They certainly did during the exciting ALCS games in 2004! My concern is if we can't beat the stronger teams in our division (the New York Yankees and surprisingly, the Toronto Blue Jays), we may have troubles getting into the post-season. Oh well, time will tell. Until this game is over tonight, Boston is still in first place in the American League East (by a .5 game!).

BTW, I got a chance to view another DVD - The Brothers Grimm (Matt Damon) -- and I won't even bother reviewing it here. I have no clue what it was about. Truthfully, I didn't want to rent this DVD - I had no interest in at all - but I had a free Blockbuster rental coupon and slim pickings (I've seen most everything I want to from my local Blockbuster!), so I chose Brothers Grimm. Anyway, it's not really my type of film, so I can't say if it's good or not. I won't rate it - just thought I'd rant some more! :-)

Well, back to the ball game -- maybe we'll pull something out of our hats and ....win??

Are you watching the Red Sox vs. the Yankees? What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 9:29 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 5, 2006 10:15 PM EDT
Sunday, June 4, 2006
DVD: (not so incredible) HULK
Topic: DVD Review

Welcome back!

Well, I just finished Ang Lee's HULK -- and I don't know where to begin! Do I start with the acting (fair)? The "comic book style" shots [picture in picture, split screens, multi-scene shots, etc] (ugh!)? The lame non-story that tries to be "deep" (ew)? Hmmmmm...maybe you get the picture or, in this case, maybe you shouldn't!

Ang Lee's HULK is just a plain mess - the film attempts to be some sort of serious drama with the HULK as the centerpiece in place of a menacing villain. Instead of radiation turning Bruce Banner into the Hulk, it's some hooey about nanobots, etc. It's all too silly. The CGI Hulk is not very convincing - how can human sized Bruce Banner become as large as a skyscraper when he becomes the HULK? And, then, to top things off, this HULK can "leap" 3-4 miles at a time! There's a scene in the desert where the HULK is leaping between moutains - practically flying - it's all too silly. The story line is sloooow.....really, this was a mess and it all runs OVER 2 hours!! Sorry, Ang, but this one is a dud.

The Hulk was never my favorite of the Marvel Comics characters, but I still would have enjoyed a quality, yet fun Hulk movie (which didn't rely so much on CGI) in the spirt of the recent Spiderman/X-Men series. For now, I'll recommend checking out the TV series with Bill Bixby (Bruce Banner) and Lou Ferrigno (Hulk). Speaking of Lou, there's a deleted scene which featured a cameo of Ferrigno as a security officer. Too bad they didn't keep it in the film!

Another 2 of 5 stars movie!

Have you seen HULK or perhaps the original TV series "The Incredible Hulk"? Which did you prefer? Which is your favorite Marvel superhero? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 1:43 PM EDT
Saturday, June 3, 2006
The wait is over - the Wizard has arrived!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Non-Sport Trading Cards

Welcome back!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was waiting for my Breygent Wizard of OZ trading cards box to arrive - well, it finally has! The box is very colorful - with a die-cut box top. Remember, these are the same boxes you would see in your local trading card hobby shop. On the bottom, there's a bonus box bottom card - mine is Dorothy. I'm not sure if each box has a different bonus card. The card will stay there as I doubt I'll ever cut the display ("wax") box!

Now, the big question is.....when will I open this puppy? Open all the packs, sort thru the cards, find the special cards and put them away safely, make a "base" set and store it in a binder.....when? I dunno! You'd think I'd rip open the box the moment I got it, but that would be wrong! I have sealed boxes from 2003 that I haven't opened! I also have DVDs from a year ago or so that I haven't opened!

Why is that? I have no clue - I think part of it is the "let down" or the post-opening depression. You know - you get the new toy, play with it for a few days and toss it aside. By keeping the trading cards boxes sealed, I can continue to look forward to the day that I will open them and be surprised (or more likely, disappointed - which is another reason I think I don't open the boxes!)

I think some of this has to do with getting those cereal prizes as a kid - they looked super neat on TV or the back of the box photos, but when you opened the cereal (soley for the prize mind you!) you were almost always disappointed! Yea, I guess things that happen to you in your childhood define you as an adult.

Do you buy things only not to open them/use them? Perhaps CDs, DVDs or something similar? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

And be sure to always open your Tony Island Blog links as they appear in your RSS feeder!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 4:38 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 3, 2006 5:31 PM EDT
Friday, June 2, 2006
Surfing Fatigue
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

OK, for those of you who are thinking this post is about ocean wave surfing, sorry to disappoint! I'm talking about Internet surfing or more properly Web surfing.....

I've been online for over 15 years - from local BBS accounts to AOL to the Internet, I've seen it all - well, almost all. It's fun for a time, but then it gets to be a drag, but luckily something new comes along to re-spark the fires. Now, of course, there's not too much new with the Web. Sure, there's a lot of flashy graphics and new fangled things like blogs and RSS (have you subscribed to the Tony Island Blog feed? ;-) But, other than that, there really isn't much - most of the newer stuff is a continued evolution of the older stuff.

When all is said and done, you get a bit of surfing fatigue - the lack of desire to turn on your PC and surf the Web (or post to your blog!). So, that's where I've been the past few days - just taking a break. Refueling the enthusiam tank and getting ready to surf the Web (and post post post) like crazy over the next few days!

Have you suffered surfing fatigue? What did you do to snap out of it? Share your ups and downs by leaving a comment below!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 10:52 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
DVD Review: Mrs Henderson Presents
Topic: DVD Review

Welcome back!

Well, after the other day's fiasco with Mel Brooks' High Anxiety, I sat down to watch Mrs Henderson Presents (Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins) and I must say it was a total 180 in experience!

It's a wonderful little film, based on a true story, about an eccentric rich widow (Dench) who buys a run down theater, renovates it and then reopens it, with the help of hired manager Van Damm (Hoskins), as a British vaudeville theater. Soon after, the other local theaters begin to copy the success of the Windmill Theater, causing it to lose money. Dench decides that they'll introduce female nudity and the rest, as they say, is history.

The story take place just before and during World War II and as such the war makes an impact on the theater and vice versa. Dench does an Oscar nominated performance as Mrs Henderson. Though not nominated, Hoskins' Van Damm is just as good. Their chemistry together is truly wonderful. The supporting cast does a very good job as the Windmill Theater cast. There are lots of cute musical numbers throughout the film, along with some wonderful naked breasts!

The one thing I was surprised with was the MPAA rating - this film got an "R", restricted rating. I honestly can't understand why. There's no sex, very minor bawdy language (one appropriate use of the "F" word) and a smattering of naked breasts. If anyone kows why this lovely little film would get an "R" rating, please let us know! It makes no sense!

I really can't recommend this film enough - go out today and rent it! I enjoyed it so much I'm thinking of buying it!

I'll give it a hearty 4 of 5 stars!

Have you seen Mrs Henderson Presents? If so, what did you think? If not, do you think you'll watch it based on my review? Share your thoughts by leaving some comments using the link below.

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 12:05 AM EDT
Monday, May 29, 2006
DVD Review: High Anxiety (but low tolerance!)
Topic: DVD Review

Welcome back!

So I decided that I wanted to try a comedy - I've been doing lots of dramas, etc and it was high time for a comedy in the mix. Mel Brooks box set was recently released and I hadn't seen all the films in the set, so I dutifully added them to my Blockbuster Online queue.

The first film from the box set, High Anxiety (Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn), arrived the other day. Now, normally, I don't rent films I've seen (if they're good, I buy them!) and I had seen this film as a kid (for some odd reason, I didn't delete it from my queue when it was added automatically with the other films from the box set). Anyway, I vaguely remember the film as being so-so and I totally forgot it was Brooks' homage to Alfred Hitchcock (an opening blurb mentioning that reminded me!)

Well, I wasn't in for my expected laugh fest - maybe in 1977 when I was 13 years old I found this funny.....but now, when I'm -- um, never mind-- I found it stupid. Madeline Kahn was a hoot (as usual) and her parts held up. The only Mel Brooks part I liked was his routine with Kahn as they tried to get past airport security by playing a bickering old Jewish couple.

The film also starred Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman in supporting roles. Not very funny overall, but they did have one funny part - which I also thought was comically creative. They are having coffee on a couch with the scene being shot from under the glass coffee table looking up at the actors. As they place their cups and saucers down (along with sugar holder, teapot,etc), they constantly are covering the camera's lens -- it's quite cute - doesn't sound funny, but it was good for a smile and chuckle in an otherwise flat comedy.

Maybe if you're 13 years old you'll get more laughs, but if you're 3 times that age, you probably won't!

I was so ticked off at the end, I deleted the rest of his films from my queue! (Oddly, I still want to check out The Producers, which I saw on stage locally and enjoyed)

I'm giving this the dreaded 2 of 5 stars rating.

I do have a nice review to share with you next time!

Until then, leave a comment about High Anxiety or Mel Brooks...or anything else you'd like, before you surf away!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 5:33 PM EDT
Happy Memorial Day!
Topic: Current Events

Welcome back!

Well, it's a long weekend here in the United States - the unofficial beginning of the summer season (which will end unofficially Labor Day weekend in September).

Monday is Memorial Day - a national holiday we set aside to remember the dead, especially those who died in the armed forces serving our country, from major conflicts like World War II to anti-terrorist strikes in Afghanistan and peacekeeping in Iran.

There is a White House Commission on Remembrance which is tasked as follows:

"The White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress as an independent government agency. The Commission encourages Americans to honor the sacrifices of America?s fallen and the families they left behind. It promotes acts of remembrance throughout the year and asks Americans to pay our debt of gratitude in memory of our fallen by giving something back to the Nation. The Commission is also tasked to unite the country in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.

The Commission is dedicated to educating this and future generations of Americans to remember the sacrifices and costs in human life made to preserve our liberties, and to instill in them an understanding of what it means to be an American."

So, today, at 3 P.M. local time, please take a moment to remember all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives so we could live freely -- even to create silly blogs like this one!

Happy Memorial Day!

Peace.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Posted by atd1999 at 12:08 AM EDT
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Are you LOST?
Topic: Rants and Raves

Welcome back!

I have yet to watch a minute of the ABC hit series LOST, but I own the entire first season on DVD and am looking ahead to purchasing season 2! Is that crazy or what? The first season got such good overall reviews that I took the plunge and purchased the DVD set when it was on sale. I just read a strong positive review of last night's season 2 finale -- so, I'm thinking of picking up season 2 without having seen season 1! It's crazy, I tell ya!

You know what else is crazy? I have the first season of Desperate Housewives on DVD and, you guessed it, haven't seen a minute of it either! I did read that season 2 wasn't as strong, so now I'm in one of those conundrums - do I take it on faith that I will like Season 1 (when I finally view it) and thus take the plunge on season 2 while it's on sale? Or do I eBay season 1 and rent the whole damn thing instead?!? Life poses such hard choices!

Oddly, none of the above indecisions apply to Will & Grace, which had its series finale last Thursday night (with a repeat tonight). Am I the only one that found this final episode stupid? OK, I will admit, I have not sat thru the entire episode from start to finish -- only caught occasional scenes between innings of a baseball game. But, still, it was enough to turn me off to the whole thing. I will probably sit and (try to) watch it thru at some point - but I'm in no rush.

I had high hopes for Will & Grace when it debuted - I thought this would be a quality ensemble comedy (think Frasier) with a twist (main character is gay). Yet -- it sort of spun off into drivel. It was fairly funny, but not consistently. They brought characters (mainly extended guest star stints) in and out - for no good reason. Why did Jack have a 13 year old son in one season and not a mention of him since including the finale? What was up with that? Was Jack retarded (never could hold a job, etc) or just a comic foil without a brain? Yes, Jack is hilarious, but it all seemed to be a string of on-the-spot gags instead of anything consistent that came from within the character. For example, Lucy Ricardo was wacky, but in a way very smart. You could believe anything she tried to pull off since it came from within her character. Whereas with Jack we just got (seemingly) impromptu outbursts that were strung together for a laugh. The same can be said of Karen. Again, very funny - but mostly done for the gags. Her character was fairly well defined - rich, drunk/drugged non-worker. Funny stuff - but will it hold up in 10 years? And if it does, will it be a "classic" comedy, defining the 90s/00s? Or will it just be a long running comedy?

Will & Grace were fairly well defined - but the writers never did much with them to make them grow over the series run. They were basically the same characters we saw in season 1. Grace gets married and divorced for no reason. Will sorta gets a love interest but it doesn't go anywhere for the most part. After sitting thru several seasons of non-starts, I tuned out more or less a season or two ago.

Anyway, I won't be buying any Will & Grace DVD sets anytime soon (disclaimer, I do own the first season, but it's still sealed :).

OK, I've ranted and raved long enough - now, it's your turn! Leave your own rant by using the coment links below!

Thanks for checking my blog!

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Posted by atd1999 at 11:26 PM EDT

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