Monday, August 08, 2011

WSOP Recap Part Two: Grades

Bon Iver: B+

Bon Iver’s Bon Iver is a canoe ride / rocket ship of contradiction. Half of it is cutting-edge indie, half seems to have been unearthed from a time capsule from 1985. A sparse indie rock record populated with horns. Music for the dead of winter cut loose in the heat of the summer (which is why I am saving the new Fleet Foxes for November at the earliest). A deeply emotional and affecting album with incomprehensible lyrics, a timeless relic of unquestionable modernity.

Bridesmaids: D+

Sex and the City, the worst show in the history of television, began this inane crusade. Apparently treating men like shit is part of being a powerful woman. This is the opposite of feminism. How did this happen? How is it socially accepted? The perpetuation of protagonists like Kristen Wiig’s Annie - selfish, man-hating bitches who destroy men to inflate their flagging egos - is one of the most sickening developments in recent American pop-culture.

Cake: C

Showroom of Compassion, while still passable Vegas summertime music, is the weakest Cake effort in seventeen years.

Cosmopolitan: B+

The prototype for the future of the Vegas casino/hotel/resort/experience – classic and modern, voluminous yet sleek, contemporary but comprehensive.

Dallas Mavericks: A

Sometimes good does triumph over evil, sometimes years of pain and sacrifice do end in glory, sometimes teams do beat individuals, sometimes experience trumps talent, sometimes hard work does pay off, sometimes dreams really do come true.

Dr. Mario: B

It is amazing how much time and energy adult humans can spend repetitively pushing left, right, down, A, and B buttons, with nothing tangible or memorial to show for it.

ESPN WSOP Coverage: A

The live coverage of the WSOP Main Event on the ESPNs was the most entertaining and insightful poker programming ever made. The canvas was so broad, the analysis so sharp – this was the single most illuminating learning tool the game has ever seen. Olivier Busquet’s analysis was dumbfoundingly delicious, Antonio Esfandiari’s was nearly as sharp, and even Phil Hellmuth leant a cinematic air of excitement and immediacy to the broadcasts. It was such a pleasure to watch the final nine navigate their way to November, to see just how they were able to traverse that impossible voyage – and to see why and how the others fell by the wayside.

Game of Thrones: A-

There was genuine sadness at the conclusion of the compelling first season, facing ten months without George R.R. Martin’s mesmerizing Westeros, ten months without Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens, ten months without Valyrian Steel or the Knight’s Watch. Only the most exceptional entertainment can create that sadness, that feeling like a small part of life is lost without it. As intricate and rewarding as the books are, A Song of Ice and Fire may have found its ceiling adapted into the most expensive television show ever made.

The Hangover Part II: C-

The punchless retread it was doomed to be from the start, lazy, languid, and uninspired. Special demerit for cutting corners on the Thai-American characters – the simple Asian bride, the overbearing Asian father, and the cello prodigy Asian kid brother, who somehow emerges from the night happy with the fact he just lost a finger and spent 24 hrs roasting in an elevator shaft.

Harrah’s, LLC: C

They seem to run this monstrosity more efficiently every year. The flaws are shrinking every year, the complaints becoming more and more peripheral. The Harrah’s version of the WSOP will always taste sterile, but it goes down the gullet without incident.

House of Tame: B

Three final tables, a bracelet, two Main Event cashes, three Dr. Mario tie-game photo finishes, a dozen morning house runs on the blacktop, thirty some odd bags of recycled containers, zero foreclosed houses, zero punches to the face. Overall, a successful sojourn for one of the longest-running groups in WSOP house-renting history.

Las Vegas: C+

A full letter grade docked here due to the omnipresent, maladroit, static road construction found all over the city. None of this construction ever seems to get done – the signs, the cones, the delays just seem to grow without anyone or anything ever actually appearing on site. It all climaxes in the I-15, AKA The Highway To Hell, a racing video game level rife with wrecks, maniacs, drunks, speeders, motorbikes, unpredictable and unmarked construction and treacherous exits built right through incoming merges.

Lotus of Siam: B+

Spoiled by one inexplicably arduous meal near the tail end of the WSOP. Still atop Moon’s Vegas Restaurant Power Rankings (especially with the saddening departure of Rosemary’s), but teetering.

MrBigQueso: A-

MrBigQueso AKA Jim Collopy did not have a strong WSOP, cashing just once. But his enormous, ever-present smile never left his face. Every time you see the kid, he’s laughing and giggling. MrBigQueso was a constant reminder of how we should all view the WSOP: the best summer camp ever, a seven-week haven amongst the only people in the world who won’t judge you for being yourself.

My Play: B+

Typically Moonish, with few big mistakes or outstanding moves.

Super 8: C

Having missed the first five minutes and looking to plug the plot gaps, post-viewing research of Super 8 discovered its lead actress, Elle Fanning, is thirteen years old. Thirteen. Amazingly, this was only the second-most shocking age revelation of the summer after learning that housemate Big Eric Schwartz was forty.

Words With Friends: C

“Bugs With Friends” might just be the most awful line of coding ever written, but the iPhone is the perfect vessel for Scrabble, much like HBO television is the perfect medium for A Song of Ice and Fire, 2011 was the right time for the Dallas Mavericks, and Vegas is the only locale for the World Series of Poker.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best Entry: Las Vegas C+: the description of I-15 was both accurate and hilarious!


7:28 PM  
Blogger Seth said...

boy are you wrong about Bridesmaids

-hoop de doo

10:38 PM  

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