Saturday, April 10, 2010


My first exposure to Judd Apatow was a TV show called Undeclared. I never saw Freaks and Geeks, his debut on TV, although I've heard a lot of good things about it. Like some film folks Apatow has a group of actors who tend to show up in production after production and many of them appear in these two television shows. Seth Rogen is in both. Jason Segel and James Franco were in Freaks and Geeks and Segel was a part of about half of Undeclared's episodes. Jay Baruchel and Carla Gallo were the stars of Undeclared.

I really liked Undeclared. It was quirky and funny and well written and so of course it was cancelled before its first season was even finished.

Apatow landed on his feet though. As a matter of fact he has been ubiquitous over these past few years, showing up as a writer, producer and director on movie after movie after movie. The 40 Year Old Virgin is one of the great movies as far as I am concerned and Knocked Up was excellent as well, even though I can barely stand Catherine Heigl. It seemed that every comedy that came out had Apatow's name in the credits and Rogen, Segel, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Elizabeth Banks, Baruchel, Bill Hader, Franco, Gallo and Jonah Hill could be found here there and everywhere as well.

And most of the shit has been good. Even the ones that are kind of meh, like Pineapple Express, have a lot of funny moments, and when they hit the mark they are right on.

The one movie from this group of clowns that didn't really work for me was Superbad. Now in this case it may have been the hype that did me in. Everyone I talked to said it was great and so I had pretty high expectations and one night the wife and I sat down to watch it.

I like Michael Cera and I can handle Jonah Hill in the right role but spending an hour listening to Hill talk about his dick was a little much. We nearly turned it off it was so awful but we stuck it out and I found the second part of the movie was pretty decent but my wife couldn't bear it at all. Overall it was pretty disappointing.

So we do the PVR now - we rarely rent movies anymore but this was back when we had a membership at the Blockbuster that we used pretty regularly. Anyways it was a while later that my wife went to the Blockbuster to rent a couple of movies for the week. She gets the DVDs and heads up to the front and the girl rings her up and informs my bride that it is a cool thirty bucks or thereabouts. Pardon me says my wife. Yes says the clerk, it seems that you never returned Superbad.

Now we're not sure what happened but there is a second Blockbuster that is near us and what probably happened is that we dropped it there by mistake.

So you see my wife has a bit of a temper and she's not afraid to express herself and so she tries to explain to the girl that it was returned and the girl says well there is no communication between the stores (which I can barely believe except Blockbuster is one of those big soulless corporations that really are the reason that communism still exists, I mean they embody evil, imo) and so my wife begins flinging her crap like a gorilla and the girl just sits there and takes it and my wife is ranting and raving because we now basically own Superbad.

And so she goes on and on about how ridiculous this is and the worst part of it is that Superbad is an absolute piece of shit of a movie and fuck you very much and when she finally stops her tirade and silence falls over the store and she looks at the clerk for her response to this grave injustice and the clerk looks absolutely stunned and replies:

You didn't like Superbad?

And my wife turns and looks at the lineup behind her and everyone is looking at her like she has eleven heads, not because she just tore a strip off of this girl but because she ... didn't ... like ... Superbad.


Dubnyk steals a win today and now there is only one game left in this awful season, the worst in Oilers' history. Oh sure they have two points more than the 92/93 club but that club didn't have the benefit of extra Bettman points and they also weren't a cap team.

Make no mistake. This is the worst team in club history.

And it rests on management. Interesting to note that down the road in Calgary after a streak of five straight seasons in the playoffs ended this spring it looks likely that the GM, the coach and the team president may all be taking the gaspipe.

Meanwhile in Edmonton it will be business as usual.

Is there any reason for optimism for next season? Well in Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney it looks like they have a quality pairing to anchor their D. Gilbert had a tough go earlier this season but he's been just terrific and looking at his stats from last season one notes the PP production and wonders if increased time with the extra man this year might have brought his numbers close to last year's totals. In any case they have a nice pair back there, if not much else going on after them.

And Penner has really had a terrific year anyway that you look at it. Regardless of who he played with he produced and to be a plus player on this joke of a team is astounding. Next season he might play power v power or maybe he'll try and kill the soft with some kids but he is perhaps the one player who can look back at his season and be satisfied with what he has done.

What else? Well Gagner looks to be able to take on a tougher role and I would like to see his production with a couple of quality wingers on his flanks. Brule can shoot that puck and he's still a kid so I would say that he will get better. Cogliano certainly looked better once he had quality on his wings himself although I would guess that he will be a goner this summer. If Seguin is the Oilers' pick then you can bank on it. If Hall is the choice then maybe he gets another shot with Edmonton.

Overall though there wasn't much. Poor Fernando looks done and Moreau was awful despite a fairly strong finish himself. O'Sullivan was a disaster and Nilsson, well Nilsson is Nilsson. Buddy is a dogfucker. He looks terrific and then he disappears forever and he's not a kid anymore.

Potulny was useful and good for him on hanging around a full season. Pouliot looks like he may finally have gotten it. Jones and Stone look to be useful role players and Bruce McCurdy Junior actually looks to be a plus player at the end of all of this. Stortini plays the dregs and so on but you know what, a plus player on this club no matter what the situation is something and he has played almost every game so good for him.

Who else? Well I love Horcoff but good God we need a better season from him next season. Hopefully he will be healthy and will get a couple of quality wingers and he will bounce back. He has finished strong so lets hope it carries over.

I would guess we see Comrie back, especially if POS and Nilsson get dumped which is likely and Eberle is in the AHL next season. On a one year cheap deal he adds enough to be useful.

On the back end we will see how Smid does without Lubo. Right now he and Souray are the second pair. Oh my.

And God help us if Strudwick is back.

With the playoffs coming I'll be posting my predictions in the next few days and then I'll grade the Oilers for this absolutely forgettable year. Superbad is not strong enough an adjective for this mess.


Coach pb9617 said...

even though I can barely stand Catherine Heigl.

Oh thank Pete. I thought I was the only person that didn't like her.

PDO said...

You didn't like Superbad?!


I think a lot of what this team does starts at whether we are taking Hall or Seguin.

The reason of course being, you can't send Hall back. There's nothing left for him to prove. Seguin though, never made the WJC nor has he ever won the Memorial Cup.

You can send him back to junior, and I honestly think you do send him back to junior, regardless of how many jams he kicks out at training camp.

Until we have the lottery though (and believe me, if the Oilers are picking 1st, they're taking Hall), it's going to be very hard to know what this team will do moving forward.

Regardless though, I'm holding out hope that we somehow swing Souray + Cogliano for Rozsival + Dubinsky... I'm just not going to let it go ;)

Lord Bob said...

Nilsson, well Nilsson is Nilsson. Buddy is a dogfucker. He looks terrific and then he disappears forever and he's not a kid anymore.

This is... a known thing that dogfuckers do, then, is it?

My verification image was completely unreadable. Just like the Oilers' future.

doritogrande said...

If you haven't already seen it, I'd recommend Zombieland. Scared the shit out of me in some parts, and others I was laughing for minutes after the joke was over.

Does anyone happen to have a breakdown of the type of minutes Whitney-Gilbert have been playing? Surely they're not playing the worst opposition, but are the coaches still attempting to throw Gilbert to the wolves? If the 6-77 tandem is putting up these results facing the vaunt...sweet fuck we've got ourselves a top-pair locked up for the next half decade.

The Forechecker said...

Hilarious stuff indeed... I was surprised to find that you don't have Netflix in Canada.


Black Dog said...

dg - that would be a question for, well, not me, anyhow, but I think that they've been playing the toughs for the most part. Quinn just rolls them but they're playing 25 minutes plus and by my eye they're high quality comp. and with a wide range of teammates. I could be wrong though.

L.B. - do you have dogfuckers out west? maybe that's a Northern Ontario term? a dog fucker is someone who is lazy, who instead of working, fucks the dog

Black Dog said...

PDO - agreed absolutely

If its Hall then you're looking at a LW depth chart which includes Penner and MPS. A Hall pick means he's likely with the big club next year unless he is a total disaster in camp. It might impact whether or not they bring MPS over.

If its Seguin well they might send him back to junior first of all although I would doubt it. With Seguin I think Cogliano will get moved this summer because then you're looking at Seguin, Gagner, Horcoff, Pouliot up the middle (how I'd run anyways). If they don't pick Seguin then its possible that Cogs gets another shot.

shepso said...

Funny thing about superbad... I had the pleasure of meeting Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (the writers of Superbad...Apatow only directed that one) and the real life McLovin, a dude named Fogel, at a wedding last year. It seems Evan's brother Dave, the mastermind behind all of the penis drawings, married a close family friend. At one point, myself and two other good friends from edmonton were in a hanging out with the three of them, doing what their films suggest all of us would like to do, and in this hazy moment, all 6 of us kinda looked around and realized that had it been them in Edmonton and us in vancouver, considering our own penchant for writing similar styles of comedy (and me as the pudgy Jewish actor type...) could have lived each others lives... It was a bizarre moment. And then I think they stole my hash. Jerks...

Superbad is a surprisingly apt metaphor to describe what we have witnessed this season, something so pathetic that it could almost be passed off as a comedy, something so funny it almost has to be wretched, just to make everything make sense. Even the stars who you expect to perform up to their standards previously set, or at least live up to critically acclaimed underdog status, ended up looking like a bunch of poorly drawn dicks. That we have a player who played like his own initials still makes me giggle a little every time.

BTW, Seth wasn't all that funny in real life. He was just a regular guy who got lucky being in the right place at the right time. The Oilers could use a few more of those types.

Lord Bob said...

L.B. - do you have dogfuckers out west? maybe that's a Northern Ontario term? a dog fucker is someone who is lazy, who instead of working, fucks the dog

Nope, we don't have that one out here. On the west coast we call those sorts of people "everybody".

doritogrande said...

Cogliano's been moved to the wing already, at least as I'm seeing it.

Potulny's lining up as the C with Cogliano and Penner, so far as the faceoff charts are saying.

Pete. said...

Yeah, we've got dogfuckers out here. Tons of them, and even a few who don't play for the Oilers. To fuck the dog: to either (a) do nothing at all, or (b) to do meaningless pseudo-work in order to avoid doing real work. "Goddammit! I don't pay you to stand around fucking the dog all day - this shit's gotta get done!"

Come to think of it, though, I think it's kind of a rural term - I've mostly heard it from pickup-driving hockey-playing beer-drinking kinda guys. I think anyone in construction or the oilpatch would understand it.

Pete. said...

Lord Bob: ha! That's kind of how I feel about the west coast. "Vancouver: beautiful city, but too bad about the people. Buncha latte-sipping giant-stroller-pushing yuppies."

Completely unjust, I know, but every time I go to Van something brings out the prairie redneck in me. It doesn't happen when I go anywhere else in Canada. Odd.

Bruce said...

I don't want to offend your Irish sensibilities, Pat, but if you want to talk about dogfuckers on the Oilers, you gotta start with Patrick O'Sullivan. That said, maybe it's the wrong term since POS wouldn't go into the corner with most dogs.

Btw, I've come to the conclusion that the "P" is "POS" is short for "Piles". The Biggest disappointment on a team just chockablock with them.

Black Dog said...

Bruce - I'd agree with that.

Pete - that's exactly where I picked up the term, as a summer student working for the gas company, hanging out and working with construction guys.

dg - I can't keep track - this is what pisses me off about this club, a couple of weeks ago he was a centre, now he's a winger again.

Decide and put him there already, its only been three years. Stupidity.

Black Dog said...

Great stuff Shepso.

Dennis said...

I really liked the beginning and end of Superbad but i found the middle lagged something fierce.

I'm a big TV watched - once upon a time I read Ebert's reviews religiously and I watched a tonne of indie and foreign films but eventually cable TV lead to a stream of seriously outstanding TV series and now that's what I watch most - so I don't say this lightly: Freaks and Geeks was to dramedy what The Wire was to dramas.

F and G had humour and heart and smarts in abundance and I believe the DVD sets are still awfully dear but you and the wife should love them and it's worth the money.

HBomb said...

I only had one issue with Superbad - the portrayal of Michael Cera's character and the girl who has a thing for him. Massive bullshit - I WAS that guy in high school (fucking 10 year reunion this summer), and I KNOW that guy doesn't get that girl, period. Otherwise, that movie was quality front-to-back IMO.

Also, I'd recommend Hot Tub Time Machine. Fantastic and loaded with 80's references from the obvious to the obscure. I could use that thing right about now to go back and relive spring 2006, Gilooly Cam Ward before game 7, stop the Moreau and Staios signings, and convince Lowe to both get Smyth done and give Horcoff six years at 3.6 per as opposed to just three.
And now Souray wants out. I actually like the guy more than ever, considering the balls he showed in calling out management. The season may be over, but things are just about to start getting interesting.

Black Dog said...

Dennis - I'll give it a whirl, with summer coming most of our shows are just about done so we need something to while away those summer nights now that Sex has up and left town with the arrival of baby #3.


HBomb - another one for the list and yeah Souray calling out management is pretty good stuff, I'm going to try and get something out about it later today

Bruce said...

we need something to while away those summer nights now that Sex has up and left town with the arrival of baby #3.

BDHS: You've woven some pretty unbelievable tales on this blog and I think I've pretty much believed all of them cuz you're very convincing, but that last remark just doesn't ring true.

Black Dog said...

lol Bruce, yeah I do ok.