Stuart’s Week In Entertainment March 12-18 (More Friday Night Lights, Celtic vs Kilmarnock, Fifa Street and United vs Rangers)

TV

As you might have guessed, I finished off Friday Night Lights last week. What a show.

Anyone who follows me on twitter (@sgmilne by the way) will have seen that I commented that the show came to a ‘well put together and satisfying conclusion’,and I stick by that, though having reflected on it a bit I have a few issues

which I have written in white text below, so as to avoid spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t seen the series end.

Highlight to read…

My issues with how the season ended were that they just seemed to drop a few of the storylines along the way, including  the one with Epic and the also the one with the ginger haired slut. Yes, these formed part of the whole Tami Taylor getting a new job thread, but still, both characters just ended up being dropped without a satisfying conclusion to their story arcs

I also understand that when shows come to an end, the writers like to bring characters back in for the finish, but I didn’t like the way they used Tyra Collette in the last couple of episodes. Why was she all of a sudden back in love with Tim Riggins and vice versa? For two and half seasons they pushed her complicated relationship with Landry yet in the final episode she announces that she’s been in love with Tim since she was 5. It didn’t really wash with me.

And speaking of Landry, while his appearances in the final season were realistic – the first episode has him leaving town and the last episode shows him back for Christmas – his appearance in that last episode seemed very much like an afterthought.

Those are minor issues though. It’s still a brilliant show and it finished on a high with that wonderful final montage.

As I say, even if you’re not into sports, it’s a show worth watching.

Abed & Troy strive to be 'Normal People' in last week's episode of Community.

Other than that, it’s time to get out the party poppers because Community is back! Huzzah!

This week saw a tremendous return for the show. Having recently gone back and watched some of the episodes leading up to it being put on hiatus, they maybe didn’t live up to the high standard set in Season 2 (specifically the episode where they make a new commercial for the College, which started well but ended poorly). The return episode, with Troy & Abed trying to be ‘normal’ for Shirley’s wedding was top quality, laugh out loud stuff.

I don’t know how many episodes will air between now and the end of the season but let’s hope it’s a full run.

I also watched Drive this week, and you can find my review of that here

Football

With all the hoo-ha surrounding Rangers and their troubles off the park, everyone has had their say on how Scottish football would survive. This is something I feel strongly about and will probably write about more in the coming days, but one thing I want to mention here and now is that people often say that one of the bad things about an SPL without Rangers would be that it would feel less special. I heard Tam Cowan say on the radio that there’s no better feeling than beating one of the Old Firm.

Up until recently I would have agreed on that. Both Rangers & Celtic are a scalp to defeat. When United knocked Rangers out of the cup a mere month or so ago, it was exhilarating for all United fans. But on Saturday I wasn’t remotely fussed about the victory in the game between Dundee United & Rangers. Rangers are currently a shell of the team they once were, and that’s with them retaining most of their staff. Yes, a victory is always nice, but playing against that Rangers team, I expected a win and my expectations were not let down. Dundee United won that dreary game without even playing well, which is not something you can usually say about a victory over the Glasgow giants.

With their young team -and incidentally, their team isn’t that young compared to Dundee United, it’s just that the younger players never get a chance at Ibroxand so they have no experience playing regular first team football – Rangers

Well done to Kilmarnock on their victory in the Scottish League Cup Final

are no longer a scalp, and so victory against them is currently no more or less special than a victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in my opinion.

Contrast that with yesterday’s League Cup Final between Celtic & Kilmarnock.

I’m not even a Kilmarnock fan but as a fully paid up member of The Alliance of Diddy Team Fans, I was thrilled for them when they beat Celtic. And they deserved their victory too. Yes, there was the penalty decision that went against Celtic, and I’m sure if the roles were reversed I would probably be screaming for a United penalty, but as a football fan I reserve the right to be a hypocrite. There is no evidence that the player was touched and if the ref didn’t see contact then he can’t give it.

Naturally, what followed on from there was Neil Lennon reverting to his ‘The Decisions Are Against Us’ patter. Lennon is fine when his team are doing well, but a more ungracious man in defeat you are unlikely to ever meet.

“I wouldn’t say they deserved it” is what he said in his post match victory

I’m sorry Mr Lennon, but they scored and you didn’t. They won and you lost. In his analysis after the game, Craig Levein said that the superb defending on the part of Kilmarnock is a sign of good play from them more than it was bad play from Celtic. Many football fans fail to see that.

Sadly, the game ended on a sombre note with the news that the father of one of the Kilmarnock players had a heart attack just after the final whistle and passed away as a result. I can’t imagine how Liam Kelly must feel and like everyone else would offer my sincerest condolences.

As a final comment on football, people in Scotland often criticise the quality of the product on display, but the last ten minutes of that game were as exciting as football gets. But that’s the point – you can see exciting football anywhere, regardless of the supposed standard of the participants. I’ve watched plenty of ‘big’ matches in England and Europe that have been dreadful, but people don’t really dwell on that. Up here in Scotland we piss on our own chips, telling ourselves that our game is of a poor standard and lauding a product down south that regularly presents football that is dreary in the extreme.

Next week I’ll be at Reading vs Blackpool so I’ll endeavour to make comparisons in the next edition of W.I.E.

Games

My love of Friday Night Lights has seen me press on with Madden NFL 11 on the 360. Sadly, watching Smash Williams terrorising opposition defences has ill prepared me for this game. My attempts at running plays usually end within two seconds. I was mainly playing against a friend of mine, but I imagine if I played against someone who knew what they were doing, I’d be pummelled.

The other game I’ve been playing (as I haven’t got back to Mass Effect 3 yet) is FIFA Street for the 360. It adapts the normal FIFA match engine to work with a variety of Indoor and ‘Street’ football formats. While there is a certain amount of reliance on tricks, and is therefore quite different from any game of five-a-side football I’ve ever played in, it’s a fun and easy game to pick up. My brother is not a football fan in the slightest and is regularly beaten when he tries to play FIFA 12 because he doesn’t appreciate where and when to make passes or how to defend situations. FIFA Street eliminates that and offers a competitive and easy to understand version of the sport for anyone to play.

If only there was a street version of Madden available in the UK!

 

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3 Responses to Stuart’s Week In Entertainment March 12-18 (More Friday Night Lights, Celtic vs Kilmarnock, Fifa Street and United vs Rangers)

  1. Friday Night Lights- one of the best shows on television…EVER. I feel like I have lost a friend now that its ended. i put off watching the last season simply because I did not want it to end!

    • sgmilne says:

      I know exactly what you mean.

      Because I watched all five series in a reasonably short amount of time I didn’t get that emotional bond with the show or the characters like I did with shows like The West Wing, but I was still sad to finish it. I’m currently without a new show to watch and it feels a bit empty.

    • Aidan says:

      Another vote of love for Friday Night Lights – a really wonderfully written show that I think became even better with the change of scenery for the fourth and fifth seasons. I miss it too but I’m just glad we even got those fourth and fifth seasons given how it looked like the show was going to get cancelled.

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