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Funkhouser

KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings

Funkhouser’s 2015 Royal Rumble Pool Contest

Funkhouser’s 2015 Royal Rumble Pool Contest

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Alright, ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for what that you all have been waiting for: The Royal Rumble Pool Contest.  For years, my friends and I have been doing this contest as a supplement to the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View.  There are usually 10 of us who get together during the evening and participate in the contest.  Before the match, we each put $5-10 into the pot that goes to the winner.  Because there are 10 of us, we each draw three entrant numbers from 1-30 out of a hat, that correspond to entrants in the Royal Rumble match.  Whatever wrestler comes out as the number we drew, becomes our wrestler.  If the number we drew wins the Royal Rumble, we win the money in the pot.  Also: the person who drew the entrant with the most eliminations on the night gets their money back as a consolation prize.

See Last Year’s Contest

Last year, I brought this contest to Funkhouser, opening the contest to anyone who wanted to sign up.  We had 86 people sign up and everyone seemingly had an enjoyable time following the best PPV of the year.  CNewt24 won the grand prize, a Filsinger Games Legend of Wrestling set.  Glensboro Icon picked the wrestler with the most eliminations, winning a mini set from Filsinger Games that included Macho Man Randy Savage and Daniel Bryan.  This year, we are going to do the same contest once again, while upping the prizes just a little bit.

The Prizes for This Year’s Contest:

Grand Prize:  Mini WWF White Intercontinental Title Belt (with cloth WWF zipper bag)

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Most Eliminations Winner: A number of classic looking Wrestling Posters, including one signed by Ring of Honor Roster circa 2011 from the Louisville, KY show they ran that year (poster is not from the Louisville show, but the roster from that show signed a different poster). All posters made by Joel Allen of Suplex Media.   An example of the posters below:

rohposterphoenix

Here’s how this will work:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment in the comment section below with A) who you think is going to win the Royal Rumble.  Also, write B) how many eliminations you think will be the most eliminations by a single wrestler.

2. I will randomly assign entrant numbers to the contestants, using a random number generator.  So, the first 30 people to sign up, will be listed as 1-30 in random order.  If we have more than 30 people, I will do a second list again randomized 1-30.  Also, if we have more than 30 people participate, and two people end up with the same entrant #, then I will go to who you picked as the Rumble Winner, then # of eliminations in your comments for the tie-breakers.

3. Watch the Royal Rumble Match, and cheer on your Superstar!

4. If your number wins the Royal Rumble, you win the prize.  The person who has the entrant with the most eliminations will win the second place prize.

To help with your picks, here are the confirmed entrants so far for the 2015 Royal Rumble:

  • Roman Reigns
  • Daniel Bryan
  • United States Champion Rusev
  • Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett
  • Bray Wyatt
  • Dean Ambrose
  • Goldust
  • Stardust
  • Big Show
  • Kane
  • The Miz
  • Damien Mizdow
  • R-Truth
  • Dolph Ziggler
  • Ryback
  • Fandango
  • Luke Harper

I will contact, via email, the winner of the 2014 Funkhouser Royal Rumble Pool to get your contact information.  So sign up in the comments below and check back during the Royal Rumble to see what entrant # you drew.  I will update this page during the match as wrestlers enter the match, so if you want to comment on the Rumble during the match, you can continue to do so in the comments.  Happy Rumbling!


Wednesday Night Was the Bro-iest Night in TV History

Wednesday Night Was the Bro-iest Night in TV History

[Editor’s Note: To really get the most out of this post, hit play on the video above before you start reading. You’re welcome.]

Fact: The holidays are done. If you still have Christmas lights dangling off your roof or, God forbid, a slowly rotting tree standing in the corner of your living room just waiting to catch a whiff of heat from a nearby vent and burst into flames, you should be ashamed of yourself. I love the holidays as much as anyone, but they are over, finished, kaput. Accept it and get on with your life. Besides, now that December has come and gone and we’re deep into the dregs of possibly the worst month of the year, that means we finally get new TV shows that don’t feature Michael Buble and Miss Piggy singing innuendo-filled holiday songs about interspecies relationships. Gross.

Several shows have made their season debuts over the last couple of weeks, and the good news is many of them are actually not terrible! The bad news is they are now forced to share the airwaves with whatever dreck most of the networks throw on during January to fill the minutes between commercials. Surprisingly, Wednesday has become one of the best viewing nights on TV, especially for comedy fans, and while scrolling through the endless options of things to watch this past Hump Day, I realized it might have been the bro-iest night in TV history. I love me some bro humor, so I look at this as a good thing, but others may see it as the first sign of the coming apocalypse. Either way, get a load of this lineup and tell me we aren’t living in the Brolden Age of TV.

 

Workaholics — Comedy Central, 10 p.m. ET

Workaholics1

Everyone’s favorite trio of can’t-quite-let-college-go slackers are back with their fifth season of shenanigans, and they are as bro-tastic as ever. There is no show on TV that contains more bro-per-minute; the dudes live in a post-college flop house, drink out of Solo cups, watch porn constantly, expend more energy figuring out how to get out of work than they would put in if they were to simply perform their assigned duties, and, in the immortal words of Nate Dogg (R.I.P), “smoke weed everyday.” Every episode contains at least a couple of truly hilarious bro moments, but like a dude nearing 30 who still shows up at college bars, even hardcore fans of the show would probably admit it’s past its prime. Hopefully Ders, Blake and Adam will deliver a final season filled with everything bros around the world have come to love about the show, and then go out on top, Brohammed Ali-style.

 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — FXX, 10 p.m. ET

AlwaysSunny1

Few shows have helped define a genre better and longer than Always Sunny has for Bro TV. The Gang are in season ten of their ode to bro-dom, and if the first two episodes of the season are any indication, they haven’t lost a step when it comes to delivering biting social commentary in the guise of bros-being-bros humor. This week’s episode saw The Gang trying their hand at group dating and other internet-related match-making services, and while Dennis was his usual creepy, uber-bro self, Sweet Dee’s behavior may have out-bro’d them all (and, let’s be honest, the best episodes usually feature Dee at her slimiest). Like Workaholics, you wouldn’t blame the Always Sunny crew for starting to think about life after Philadelphia, but until that day comes, it’s hard to imagine any show emerging as a serious contender to their Game of Brones.

 

Broad City — Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. ET

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We’ve written a lot about Broad City on this site lately, but that’s because it’s a show that anyone who is a fan of comedy — bro-centric or otherwise — should be watching religiously. Not only is the show filled with the kind of crass, drug-and-alcohol-soaked humor that every bro loves, it also says a lot about how far we’ve come as a society that the biggest bros currently on TV are played by two women. The days of dudes claiming sole possession of the bro lifestyle are long gone. Abbi and Ilana, the stars of Broad City, put any other bro duo to shame. They drink, curse, slack, chase tail, and try to stick it to “The Man” as hard as any set of bros in recent memory, and I for one welcome our new female CEBros. If you’re a guy and you haven’t been watching Broad City because you “don’t watch girl shows, dude,” get over yourself and get with the brogram.

 

Wahlburgers — A&E, 10 p.m. ET

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I’ve  never seen a single second of this show, but I’m pretty sure the title tells me everything I need to know. Marky Mark, Donnie “The Bad Boy of NKOTB” Wahlberg and maybe one or two additional Wahlbergs talk to, at and about one another in accents that are dripping with so much Boston-based “swaggah” that Boston natives who used to yell “NOMAH!” at Red Sox’s games are all like, “Hey, broh, tohn it dowhn a bit, kid.” Also I guess they open a restaurant and sell hamburgers? Who knows. Either way, any show that features Marky Mark, Donnie from the New Kids, and is set in or around Boston has to rate pretty high on the Bro-meter.

 

Donnie Loves Jenny — A&E, 10:30 p.m. ET

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A&E should change their slogan to: “If it stars a Wahlberg, it’s on A&E!” That’s right. We now live in a universe where Donnie Wahlberg stars in TWO shows on basic cable (yet Jonathan Knight, the glue that really held NKOTB together, sits at home, staring at his phone, waiting for a network to call and give him just ONE show of his own). And in this one, we get to watch Donnie bro down and romance a lady who used to co-host an MTV dating show but who now crusades against medical science. Again, this is another show I’ll never watch, and it’s probably not as bro-tastic as some of the other shows that populate the Wednesday night line-up. But if I were a betting man — and I am — I’d wager that enough Wahlbergs will cross-over from Wahlburgers to keep the bro levels sufficiently high.

 

Property Brothers — HGTV, 9 p.m. ET

6A BROTHERS

If you thought Home and Garden TV was on the outside of the bro craze looking in, you’re wrong. They have their own unique spin on the bro genre with Property Brothers. Drew and Jonathan Scott aren’t just bros, they are real life brothers (twins, even!) who love to fix up old houses. I mean, it just doesn’t get any bro-ier than that. Throw in the fact that, as demonstrated in this short “webisode,” they do all sorts of bro-y things like lift wood, eat huge bowls of cereal after waking up around noon, and hit on girls at the gym, and this quaint home remodeling reality show suddenly reveals itself to be right at home on the Wednesday night line-up of Must Bro TV.

 

@TheSEShepherd

 

 


Attn: Coach Martin

Attn: Coach Martin

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Hello, friends. You’re looking well. Why, there’s positively a spring in your step today! Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, that IS quite a pronounced limp. I didn’t mean to call attention to it in front of your lovely young lady friend.

Friends, I don’t need to tell you that the SEC, surprisingly, has become quite the League of Would-Be Assassins this season, taking us to repeatedly nailbiting finales since conference play began. Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt (Vanderbilt!) — they’ve all come to get us. This weekend, presumably, will be no exception when our Cats roll down into Colonial Life (Colonial Life!) Arena this weekend. Head Coach Frank Martin will certainly be gunning for us as his comments concerning his team after Tuesday’s loss to Tennessee were anything but flattering, a sentiment which may have gotten him into dutch with the administration. We explore that particular email, and Martin’s history of upsetting management, in a piece today which we’ll call Attn: Coach Martin. Shall we? We shall.

———-

From: Pastides, Harris – Office of the President
To: Martin, Frank – Basketball Operations
Attn: Coach Martin

Dear Coach Martin,
While your frustration with the team following Tuesday night’s loss to Tennessee was certainly understandable under the circumstances, your negativity toward the team — i.e., referring to the team as “no good,” and repeatedly emphasizing “selfishness” and “shame” — might not be the best course of action when instilling a positivity in your team and serving as a representative of the University of South Carolina. Please monitor your words and language more closely in the future to ensure stronger press and reception.

Thanks,
Harris.

———-

From: Pastides, Harris – Office of the President
To: Martin, Frank – Basketball Operations
Attn: Coach Martin

Coach Martin,
It has recently come to our attention that the Basketball Operations office has been neglecting to separate its plastic recyclables from its glass recyclables, which I have learned is becoming a problem for our physical plant to resolve when preparing deliveries to the Columbia recycling plant. Please see that this distinction is made in the future.
Thanks, Harris.

——–

From: Pastides, Harris – Office of the President
To: Martin, Frank – Basketball Operations
Attn: Coach Martin

Coach Martin,
We have rarely discouraged extracurricular “night jobs” for University of South Carolina personnel, but your current activities have been brought to our attention as we have been approached by several people in the community who claim you have threatened to cause them bodily harm should they not pay your employer. We feel this reflects poorly on the basketball program and would suggest you terminate said extracurricular employment immediately.
Yours, Harris

——

From: Pastides, Harris – Office of the President
To: Martin, Frank – Basketball Operations
Attn: Coach Martin

Coach,
While we regret the accident which recently doused you with dangerous gamma rays (we are still investigating the incident at the Physics Building), we encourage you to please attempt to keep your temper under control as we figure out our next steps. The several automobiles you threw through the bay windows of the Thomson Student Health Center last night are not inexpensive to fix and the hole you punched in the ground in front of the bookstore has caused several problems this morning. Please see that this does not occur again in the future.
Best, Harris

——–

From: Pastides, Harris – Office of the President
To: Martin, Frank – Basketball Operations
Attn: Coach Martin

Frank,
Although your feelings toward the town eccentric Maurice’s lovely daughter are well founded, as she is an exceptional girl, I have been disheartened to hear that of late you have been bragging at the tavern that you will “make” her fall in love with you, as this is likely in violation of our campus’ sexual harassment laws. Furthermore, your claims that you are going to kill her monstrous housemate are uncalled for, especially since the fact that he was once a person still makes the act one of human murder and punishable as such. Please desist.
Sincerely, Harris

———

From: Pastides, Harris – Office of the President
To: Martin, Frank – Basketball Operations
Attn: Coach Martin

Frank,
I’m not sure what you were doing in the construction area of East Campus late last night but one of our industrial plumbers visited my office this morning to inform me that not only had you kidnapped a female student but that you were foiling attempts to rescue her by hurling oil drums at oncomers. You should consider yourself very lucky that no one was hurt during this incident and I can assure you that this behavior will not stand at the University of South Carolina. I hope not to hear of this type of event again going forward.
Sincerely, Harris

———-

From: Pastides, Harris – Office of the President
To: Martin, Frank – Basketball Operations
Attn: Coach Martin

It has been three weeks now and your deliberate ignoring of my multiple requests to separate glass and plastic recyclables is unacceptable.

Consider this strike two.

-Harris.


Morning Monologue: Sorry Conan, Drew Franklin Did It First…

Morning Monologue: Sorry Conan, Drew Franklin Did It First…

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It is well known that Conan is the undisputed king of the remote.  Whether it is Conan and Dave Franco joining Tinder, becoming a Mary Kay consultant or even visiting the American Girl Doll store, Conan kills it every time.  But we were surprised here at KSR that when he decided to do his next remote at the Taco Bell Headquarters, he didn’t bring resident Taco Bell expert Drew Franklin along.  But either way, Conan should just do an hour of remotes, never to interview anyone else again.

Hey Drew, was this anything like your experience?

@rbramblet


American Sniper Shatters January Box Office Records. What Other Films Were January Darlings?

Clint Eastwood-directed American Sniper has generated a lot of hype, including six Oscar nominations. While being nominated for an Academy Award doesn’t guarantee box office success—the other seven 2014 Best Picture nominees combined have grossed less than Transformers: Age of ExtinctionAmerican Sniper has had the best January of any American film, ever. Expected to pull in about $40 million in its opening weekend, Sniper grossed closer to $100 million, more than doubling up the next highest-grossing January film, Ride Along. (A side note: through some sort of sorcery, American Sniper is considered a “2014” film but has had its opening in January. Check out its IMDb entry.)

This is big news in the film industry because January is typically a slow month for movies. You get a lot of late Oscar-bait pics that don’t exactly burn up the box office. If you want proof, the sixth highest January opening was 1997’s Star Wars (Special Edition). That’s right, a Star Wars rerelease with a bunch of glossed up effects and useless additions.

There have been some January bright spots, though. Here are my favorites:

Cloverfield (2008): one of my favorite horror/monster movies of the last 10 years. Although by 2008 the shaky cam thing had been done to death, it worked as a narrative device for this film even if a little jarring. The emotional engine of the movie was cliché but still well done for a monster flick. The creature, though, was what really sold it for me: lumpy, asymmetrical, gross. My wife and I disagree vehemently about whether or not the monster should have been revealed. I say yes. It was so well designed, so repulsive, that it would have been a shame not to show it in full. She says no. The movie was scarier with fleeting glimpses of the creature or parts of it. And never the twain shall meet.

Black Hawk Down (2002): this movie is gritty and real. Yes, I know it’s a movie and lots of parts have been dramatized, but damn, some of those scenes: Tom Sizemore barely flinching as bullets are hitting the building right behind him, the medic doing his work, the American soldiers trapped in the downed helicopter—these are some heart-stopping moments. To think that people actually went through things even approximating what was on screen…

Along Came Polly (2004): I wanted to hate this movie for some reason. I’m not even sure why I watched it in the first place. Like I Love You, Man, though, I was pleasantly. Ben Stiller at his best can carry a comedy (There’s Something About Mary), and Jennifer Aniston was an able romantic interest, if almost unbelievably flighty. ACP also introduced me to Ethiopian food, which is wonderful. Lexington has no Ethiopian restaurants (try Sav’s on S. Limestone for West African, but Ethiopian is east), so you’ll have to drive to Louisville’s Queen of Sheba. Totally worth the trip.

Taken (2009): this is the first movie we get to see Liam Neeson as a complete modern badass. (I say “modern” because he was gnarly in Rob Roy, what with hiding in cow corpses and sort of losing but really winning sword fights with Tim Roth.  Video may be a little NSFW) Unbelievable and ridiculous? Sure! But so enjoyable that I just didn’t care. In fact, Neeson played such a convincing ass-whooper in Taken that studios brought him back for Taken 2 and Taken 3. Taken 4 is slated for 2016, in which Neeson exacts revenge on Comcast execs for their company’s shitty customer service.

–I haven’t yet seen Gran Torino or Zero Dark Thirty, but I hear both are amazing. I will never see Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

I’m still not sure exactly why WB decided to premiere American Sniper in January, but it seems to be working. We’ll see in a few weeks if the Academy agrees.


Flener’s Bachelor Running Diary: Episode 3 “Wedding Crashers”

Flener’s Bachelor Running Diary: Episode 3 “Wedding Crashers”

chris & jimmy

When it comes to The Bachelor I’m here for three things. The cat fighting, the tears, and the delusion. While you can argue that those three things are one in the same, you probably shouldn’t. If you are here for an in depth review of what girl he should pick, go somewhere else. You won’t enjoy this. I have no interest in the final outcome of the show. The future happiness or despair of the contestants on this show is of no concern to me. He will pick someone, they will be apart “trying to make it work” while the show airs. They will appear happy at the reunion show, then you’ll see something like this or this a week or a month later. The format of this column, as always, will be a running diary of my thoughts throughout the show. There a lot of places to go for Bachelor commentary so let me thank you for choosing a sports website. Let’s get involved, what do you say?

 

Preview

Episode 1

Episode 2

 

8:00- Jimmy Kimmel is the guest host tonight. When he walked in the room they all cheered. I have a feeling half of them didn’t really know who he was.

8:05- Jimmy brings in a big jar and calls it the “amazing” jar. When anyone says “amazing” they have to put a dollar in the jar. This is a great idea and there will be millions of dollars in that jar very soon. The amazing jar may solve the national debt.

8:20- They drew attention to Chris’ laugh and now I’m not sure when I’ll sleep again.

8:27- After Chris stumbled through asking Kaitlyn if she would accept the rose, Jimmy said “Are there people on the farm or just animals?” Kimmel is killing it.

8:38- They are still doing the black box over Jillian’s butt. That may turn out to be the biggest mystery of the season.

8:40- If I ever have to drink warm goat milk to win a competition then I’m going to lost that particular competition. I’m simply not going to do it.

8:47- Carly just said “I am a woman and you are a man and I just want to take advantage” as a pick up line before she leaned in and kissed him. To sum up her game, she says a couple facts out loud and then goes in for the kill.

One of my twitter followers sums up Carly like this:

8:54- Ashley S. hasn’t done anything ridiculous tonight and I’m not extremely happy about that. However, she did make this face when Becca got the group date rose.

ashley sad face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:00- Whitney gets a one on one date…WHITNEY!! WHITNEY!! WHITNEY!!

9:02- Whitney is owning this one on one date. She just said “YOLO” on national television even though no one says YOLO anymore and then suggested they crash a wedding, which they are going to do. Whitney is the Kentucky basketball of this season of the Bachelor. All the other girls are UCLA. She can do no wrong.

9:03- Chris is worried that wedding goers will recognize him from being on the Bachelor. Reminds me of this scene. 

9:05- If this couple didn’t know at the time that their wedding got crashed, I guess they do now.

9:07- If you were to crash a wedding, I would imagine you would try to attract the least amount of attention to yourself as possible. That is not what Whitney does. Whitney draws a lot of attention to herself by attempting to catch the bouquet. Watch this…

whitney toss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have to respect the effort.

9:11- The obligatory outdoor shower scene included Jimmy Kimmel and it was hilarious.

9:20- POOL PARTY!

9:21- The pool party means one thing. Yep, it means we’re getting more blurred out shots of Jillian’s behind.

9:27- And we’re also getting the sad suicide story about Juelia’s husband, apparently. Matt, what do you think?

 

9:41- As Ashley I. complains and cries about not getting enough time with Chris, I can only think of one thing.

9:46-  This tweet made me laugh.

So did this one:

LOL at “brain thong.” Strong work, Vernon.

 

9:47- Girls that spend their time with Chris complaining about not getting their time with Chris are not making the most of their time with Chris.

 

9:52- “Chris, whatever you do, don’t be yourself. Be someone who gives better speeches.”- Jimmy’s advice to Chris before he went to the rose ceremony.

 

ROSE CEREMONY

Jade gets a rose. The only thing she did this episode was run and jump on Chris’ bed.

Juelia, who you shouldn’t invite to your pool party, gets a rose.

Samantha, whom I’ve yet to see speak in 3 weeks, gets a rose.

Mackenzie, who can’t believe Chris is kissing other women, gets a rose.

Kelsey, who still fears getting diarrhea on first dates, gets a rose.

Britt, who employed the Juan Pablo strategy of kissing when you have nothing to say, gets a rose.

Megan gets a rose. Nashville stays alive.

Carly, who shucked corn, found an egg and cracked it, milked a goat and drank it, and then caught a greasy pig before anyone else could do all of those things got a rose.

Ashley S., whose only contribution to the show was the shade she threw at not getting the group date rose gets a rose! Let’s revisit that shade one more time.

ashley sad face

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikki, who we know nothing about, gets a rose.

Jillian, the human butt blur, gets a rose.

Ashley I., who wants to be a Kardashian, gets a rose.

 

Amber and two other girls whose names I don’t even know got sent home. I felt like this episode was a little lackluster, but after an all time crazy episode last week it was going to be a tough act to follow. I’m Flener, and I’ll be back again next week with more ridiculous thoughts and observations about a show where 30 girls go on national television to date the same guy and try to get him to marry them.

 

@AFlenerKSR


(image via FOX)

Rise of an ‘Empire’

(image via FOX)

(image via FOX)

Chances are if you watched FOX anytime in the past 3 months–any of the NFL playoffs, for instance–you’ve already seen at least a hundred ads for the new FOX show ‘Empire.’  Loosely based on King Lear–that’s right, the Shakespeare one–and The Lion in Winter–a 1966 play by James Goldman and an amazing 1968 movie starring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn–the show centers around a rap mogul and the inner workings of his business and his family.  Imagine an alternate universe where it’s 24/7 Jay v. Knowles for the soul of Roc-a-Fella and the whole Carter Family; those are the stakes.

If you watched the first two episodes, you know the soap-opera dramatics that the show dips into.  If you haven’t seen it yet, and you like TV Dramas, you’re guaranteed to enjoy some of the familial, social, and political conflict that erupts violently and often.  Using some of the best themes from its source material, and overlaying it with familiar dramatic themes, great performances, and an almost Glee-like tendency to stage musical numbers, Empire comes across as an effective, challenging, and only sometimes silly, drama.

(WARNING: There are spoilers from the first two episodes of Empire below!)

Empire centers around Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), a Hip-Hop mogul with a sprawling recording and entertainment company called, you guessed it, Empire Entertainment.  Lucious started out in Philly, peddling drugs to fund his up and coming music career, until his first album exploded onto the scene allowing him to accrue a fortune in music.  Empire Entertainment has become so successful, in fact, that Lucious has decided to take the company public with the help of his three sons, Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem (Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett, and Bryshere Gray respectively).

Very early on we also find out that his estranged wife, Cookie Lyons (Taraji P. Henson), took a fall for him in a drug bust and ended up spending 17 years in prison.  Early in the first episode Cookie is released and starts creating a rift inside the company by demanding recompense for the $400k in seed money she gave Lucious before going away.

Adding even more drama to the situation, Lucious is secretly suffering from ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and is looking to ensure his and his company’s legacy before he dies.  He straight up tells all three sons that they need to compete to win the right to run the company; AKA GREAT parenting.  As with any good, classical tragedy, each of his sons suffers from a fatal “flaw.”  Andre, the oldest and most straight-laced, is business minded and enjoys the running of the company.  He and his wife Rhonda (a very Lady MacBeth type role), though, are fairly conniving and spend a lot of time trying to pit different members of the family against one another for Andre’s benefit.  Andre seems to suffer from Bi-polar disorder as well.

Jamal’s “flaw” is a flaw only in the eyes of his father.  Jamal is gay, not a common (or perhaps commonly admitted) trait for an aspiring hip-hop musician.  While everyone else in Jamal’s life seems to accept him, Lucious at various times in the show tells him that homosexuality is a choice, that he needs to decide to be with women for the good of the company, that he can never succeed because of his sexuality, and that “many people” are disappointed in him for “choosing” to be that way.  In fact, in one of the many Godfather II style flashbacks, we see a young Jamal at a dinner party inadvertently embarrass his father by coming downstairs in heels and a shawl, which Lucious reacts to by literally picking him up and throwing him in a dumpster outside (heavy handed metaphor much?).  Needless to say, homophobia in society, and in the black and hip-hop communities has already been established as a major theme of the show.

The youngest son, Hakeem, is young, wild, and reckless.  He seems to have the most talent for rapping, the most talent for pleasing his father, and the most attention lavished on him, all of which have made him cocky.  Hakeem shows up to important rehearsals drunk; He’s rude to Cookie and most other women he meets; he even calls out President Obama for being a “sell-out” (Obama, in the show, seems to be a personal friend of Lucious’, and is name dropped, called, and called out several times on the show).  Like a lot of real-world examples, being young and rich doesn’t seem to do a lot for Hakeem’s empathy with his fellow man.

In a power struggle worthy of Shakespeare, the competition for the company pits Lucious & Hakeem against Cookie & Jamal (Cookie is a much more accepting parent of Jamal’s homosexuality) against Andre & Rhonda.  Using all the means that rich, shameless people have, the members of the Lyons family are constantly attempting to undermine each other and to make the other look bad to the public and to the people they care about.  Even two episodes in, the tireless scheming seems to already be taking its toll on some of the characters, and the web they’re collectively weaving isn’t all that deep yet.

B7A6sRJCEAAUsWY

(Image via @EmpireFOX on twitter)

One of my favorite parts of the show is the relationship between Hakeem and Jamal, which is refreshingly nice.  Throughout both of the first two episodes Lucious, Cookie, Andre, and Rhonda are consistently trying to get the two creative sons to compete against one another, all to their own advantage.  In the scenes when they’re alone, though, the actors portray a really wonderful, fraternal relationship and it’s really easy to see that these two characters make each other better people and better performers.  Though it is, admittedly, early in the run of the show, this is really the one example of a healthy relationship and it’s great to watch.

If this sounds like a labyrinthian familial drama, that’s because it is.  And, as if the stakes weren’t high enough, show runner Lee Daniels (of The Butler fame) and his writers have woven numerous story lines about Lucious’ drug-dealing & murdersome past, Cookie’s early release from prison, the daily grind of running a music label, and so many other topics on top of it.  This show is a world dripping with commentary on family relationships, on societal issues, and even on mortality.

While the musical numbers, the daytime soap soundtrack, and some of the silly one liners are distracting sometimes, the performances of these actors and the intricacy of the writing really shines through.  Empire will work for you if you like your TV dramas heavy-handed, if you like complex plotting, or even if you just enjoy watching good acting at work.  More importantly, if you want to see some of the most widely discussed social issues of our time dissected and laid bare, in the open, for all to witness (it’s really telling that one of the most consequential, combative scenes in the second episode happens in an elevator), you’ll want to check this show out.

Compelling plot, important issues, great acting, and lots of musical numbers?  If those aren’t reasons enough to give Empire a try, I don’t know what would be!

@KalanKucera

@FunkhouserKSR

KSRFunkhouser on Facebook


Let’s Watch Nerlens Noel Dunk All Over Some Hipster Comedy Nerds

Aw man, you know the only thing better than watching the statuesque former Cat with a haircut sculpted by God himself swat shots and dunk all over fools? When those fools are a couple of tight-jean wearing, thick-framed-glasses needing, turned-up-hat-brim sporting hipster comedy nerds. Get outta here, nerds!

The clip is obviously a spoof of the classic Michael Jordan/Spike Lee “Is It the Shoes?” Nike commercials of the 1990s, and it originally aired on TruTV’s sketch comedy show, Friends of the People. Those hipster nerds are The Lucas Brothers (Kenny and Keith, but don’t ask me which one is which; I still have trouble telling the Harrison Twins apart and most of the time those guys wear shirts with different numbers on them), an up-and-coming comedy duo who you may recognize from their scene-stealing appearance in last year’s 22 Jump Street.

The Lucas Brothers got their start when they dropped out of law school (NYU and Duke, respectively) and tried their hand at stand-up. The Brothers’ style is a mash up of deadpan stoner comedy and precise comedy duo timing. Think The Smothers Brothers after smoking a ton of weed. If you aren’t familiar with their stand up, their hilarious set from last year’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is a great place to start — come for the jokes about hoping their father is a murderer, stick around for the spot-on riff on how Jordan convinced Charles Barkley to appear in Space Jam.

The duo have their own animated series — Lucas Bros Moving Co. — which airs on FXX, and they are part of the cast and writing staff of Friends of the People, the first sketch show for the newly relaunched TruTV network (fun fact: TruTV was originally Court TV, which was HUGE back when OJ was trying on gloves in the courtroom and The Menendez brothers were cold-blooded killers, then morphed into TruTV in 2008 with a slate of law enforcement-focused reality shows, and then was reborn in 2013 in its current iteration as a destination for reality-based comedies). The show has been compared to Fox’s seminal sketch show, In Living Color, based largely on FOTP’s racially diverse cast. That’s probably not a completely accurate comparison, although my favorite sketch from the show depicting the true story behind the creation of the Steve Urkel character, definitely shares some sensibilities with ILC:

The Lucas Brothers and their slow-talking brand of pot humor may not be for everyone, but they are well on their way to carving out a niche in today’s crowded comedy landscape. I’m excited to see what they do next, and if they want to involve more former UK stars in their bits, then that’s just icing on the cake in my book.

 

@TheSEShepherd

 

 

 

 

 


Take the Alabama Fan Questionnaire!

Take the Alabama Fan Questionnaire!

Alabama-Crimson-Tide

You call yourself an Alabama fan? It’s time to put your loyalty to the test, Tide Nation! Take the following questionnaire to see where you rank among the crimson faithful. Good luck!

———

1. I always prefer to watch Alabama basketball with:

a. The other wealthy doctors who live in my neighborhood
b. My girlfriend, my kids, her kids, my sister, my sister’s kids and her boyfriend Ray
c. Pooter, Jimbo and them

———

2. My biggest superstition with Alabama sports is:

a. I have to be wearing my lucky red sweater-vest
b. I get my good luck hickey from Brandine
c. I shoot three bullets into my “Shoot Tree.”

———

Al+SEC+Basketball+Tournament+Quarterfinals+oZLJeaDaMESl

3. What is this?

a. “Big Al,” the Crimson Tide Mascot
b. A messed-up dog I seen over by Duane’s house one time
c. I don’t know but if it comes near me I will kill it and it and they can’t do anything to me because it came at me and I am protecting my space

——–

images

4. Who is Lane Kiffin?

a. The current offensive coordinator for Alabama football
b. A fancy man from Hollywood who runs our score plays
c. That pretty lady in the visor

——–

5. When Creighton beat us in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2012, I:

a. Accepted it and went to check on how the new addition to my house is coming along
b. Got into a fight with my ex-wife and we both got thrown out of Sport Clips
c. Wrote CRATIN on a board and threw my throwing stars at it

——-

6. My most disappointing moment as an Alabama fan was:

a. The ending of the 2013 Iron Bowl vs. Auburn
b. Losing to UCONN in the NCAA Tourney Elite Eight in 2004
c. The time I caught Ray and my girlfriend doing it in the back of my truck last week during the Tennessee game

——–

7. As a fan, you could best classify me as:

a.  A current booster for the University of Alabama
b.  A fan who never misses a game
c. The man who is going to karate chop Ray until his neck breaks

——–

8. My favorite snack on game day is:

a. Fried green tomatoes at a well-appointed tailgate party
b. Pizza and popcorn, with soda
c. Eleven Busch Lights and a jar of pickles

——–

9. “Crimson Tide” is:

a. A term popularized in the 1900’s referring to the Crimson color of a dominant Alabama’s team uniforms
b. A submarine movie starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman
c. What Ray is going to see coming out of his nose when I punch his nose bones up into his brain

——–

Ray is:

a. I don’t know who Ray is
b. Going to meet his demise when I see him at the next militia meeting so you tell him I am coming for him and it is time for him to die


Cue The Horns… The Price Is Right Announcer Wipes Out on Treadmill

Cue The Horns… The Price Is Right Announcer Wipes Out on Treadmill

George Gray

The Price is Right announcer, George Gray decided it was a smart idea to run backwards on a treadmill while announcing the next prize.  I’m just going to say, you never would have caught Rod Roddy on a treadmill.  I bet he was more of an elliptical man…

 


Flener’s Bachelor Running Diary: Episode 2 “Ashley S. is OUT OF BOUNDS CRAZY”

Flener’s Bachelor Running Diary: Episode 2 “Ashley S. is OUT OF BOUNDS CRAZY”

ashley s

 

When it comes to The Bachelor I’m here for three things. The cat fighting, the tears, and the delusion. While you can argue that those three things are one in the same, you probably shouldn’t. If you are here for an in depth review of what girl he should pick, go somewhere else. You won’t enjoy this. I have no interest in the final outcome of the show. The future happiness or despair of the contestants on this show is of no concern to me. He will pick someone, they will be apart “trying to make it work” while the show airs. They will appear happy at the reunion show, then you’ll see something like this or this a week or a month later. The format of this column, as always, will be a running diary of my thoughts throughout the show. There a lot of places to go for Bachelor commentary so let me thank you for choosing a sports website. Let’s get involved, what do you say?

If you missed last week’s preview and episode 1 running diary, they can be found here and here.

 

I apologize that this is two days late. I do not apologize that this is on a sports website.

 

– The episode picks up where last week left off, with Kimberly coming back into the house to talk to Chris. I want to point out that when they walked outside it was daylight, meaning the first night lasted literally all night. No wonder these girls are going crazy. You should see me on champagne and no sleep.

– Chris lets Kimberly stay. I mean, is nothing sacred? This is the Bachelor. THERE MUST BE RULES. How do you all expect me to respect our nations laws if we can’t even have rules on the Bachelor? I’m gonna park in the middle of the street tomorrow and then punch a stranger in the face.

– Chris does not dress like a farmer. He has low top Chuck Taylors on with no laces.

-Obligatory outdoor shower scene. I powered through where most of you ladies probably hit pause. I’ll wait…

-Okay, we ready to get back to it?

– Chris is apparently out of t-shirts. He’s going with the zip up hoodie with no undershirt.

– My favorite part of watching the show on delay is fast forwarding through commercials.

– Tara seems a little more sure footed on this group date than the last time we saw her.

-Kimberly doesn’t waste any time showing us why Chris let her stay. That yellow bikini pretty much tells the story.

-Why are they having to blur out the front and back of Jillian’s bathing suit bottom. Are there holes in it? Are they crotchless?

– Drew and I went to LA in April. If girls walking around in bikinis is going to become a thing we need to go back soon. See you all for lunch at In-N-Out.

– That tractor race was an embarrassment to racing. And it’s tough to embarrass racing anymore than it embarrasses itself.

– Julia’s story is really sad. I don’t really know what else to say about it so I’m going to not say anything else.

-Chris asks Mackenzie to go on a one on one date for the rest of the night and sends the rest of the group date girls back to the house. The rest of the group date girls take that news exactly how you’d think the rest of the group date girls would take that news. Not well. They handled it about like the people in this video…

My favorite part is the guy on the microphone who keeps saying “Oookayyy, time to go. Time to go.”

-Mackenzie started the date by talking about how she likes big noses and if Chris believes in aliens. What could go wrong?

-WHITNEY!! WHITNEY!! WHITNEY!!

– Mackenzie tells Chris she has a kid. Chris says he’s 33 and kids don’t scare him. Probably because he’s a lot bigger than kids, right? Or maybe it’s because he needs more help on the farm.

-Megan from Nashville gets a one on one date card. Speaking of Nashville, the SEC tournament starts in Nashville in exactly two months. Write that down. Tell your friends. Ask your boss for days off.

– Megan and Chris get on a private plane and then transfer to a helicopter to go on their first date and fly over the Hoover Dam. Because that’s how all first dates usually progress.

-Megan says the word “amazing” and amazing amount of times. I can’t really make fun of that because if he took me on that date I’d be all like “Amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing!!!”

-My goodness is this sad story season? Megan’s Dad died of a heart attack right before she came on the show. This is too heavy. I need to see Ashley talk about onion pomegranates soon.

– Megan got a rose and made out with Chris in the Grand Canyon. After that date, I think any of us would’ve made out with Chris in the Grand Canyon.

– The new group date girls just pulled up to an abandoned looking building and someone banged on their limo doors to scare them. If I paid attention to this show while I was writing this it probably would’ve scared me too.

-The absolute best part of the scaring scene was Ashley S. casually trying to open her door and get out as the other girls were flipping out. She couldn’t have been less startled. If that was a gif I’d never ever stop watching it. I think she might be a little off. (Editor’s note: Oh man just wait.)

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And the Nominees are…

And the Nominees are…

An Oscars statue

This morning at 8:30 EST / 5:30 PST, Hollywood dragged itself out of whatever bed it fell asleep in to bestow upon the public everyone they’ve deemed worthy of a 2015 Oscar.  At first glance, the most glaring omission seems to be in the “Animated Feature Film” Category, where the Lego Movie was conspicuously absent.  Also, do yourself a favor and watch the President of the Academy mispronounce Cinematographer Dick Pope’s name as “Dick Poop.”  Best part of the broadcast, hands down.

Anyway, here are the Best Picture nominations, brought to you by the Academy’s own Twitter account (more award nominations after the jump):

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Festival Season Is Here

Festival Season Is Here

screen-shot-2015-01-13-at-8-20-19-am

OK, fine no it’s not, but festival lineups are here! And more importantly, your favorite west coast poser fest (people still say poser right?), Coachella, has announced it’s 2015 lineup AND that it’s partnering with H&M to make a new Coachella themed clothing line affordable to we poors in the midwest! What a time to be alive.

If you haven’t been to H&M before, think of California style meets IKEA affordability and continuity. There you go.

Am I ashamed of my generation? Maybe a little bit, but I will hopefully be heading out to join in the debauchery of at least one summer festival and look forward to seeing many more lineups unveiled. Hopefully with less Kylie Jenner…

Check out the lineups to three of the country’s biggest fests, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and the Governor’s Ball below:

coa_2015_1800x2400_v32

 

bonnaroo-2015-lineup

 

GB2015_Admat_RGB_FullLineup_FINAL_800

 

Remember when festivals had distinct lineups/personalities? So do I…

Want to talk about who I’d most like to see this summer? Hit me up on Twitter or in the comments if you so please.

 


Parks & Recreation: The Final Season

Parks & Recreation: The Final Season

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h/t Hitfix.com

If you’ve been watching Parks & Recreation from the beginning, I don’t anticipate that you’re expecting anything awfully new from the seventh, and final, season.  Not that that’s a bad thing at all.  In fact, in recent times I think quite a few shows that have claimed to be character driven have worried far too much about “plot” when it came down to the finale.  I’m looking at you LOST.

Out of all the shows reaching their end in the past couple years, Parks & Rec seemed like one of the ones least likely to overstay its welcome (the anti-The Office).  Maybe that’s because it was always unsure if it was going to get an ending at all.  Maybe that’s because, of all the shows and movies from the past decade, this show was the most optimistic and earnestly nice entertainment around.  Sure, there was always comedic conflict–Pawnee vs. Eagleton, Ron vs. Tammies, Ron vs. Bureaucracy–but  at the end of the day these characters really embodied people at their best and relationships at their most honest (this is where the pessimist in me reminds myself that this is, after all, fiction).  It was never going to be a chore to watch the end of this show.

Picking up two years after the end of last season was also, in my estimation, a good choice.  If you remember (SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 AHEAD), last we saw Leslie had seemingly turned down a move to Chicago and suggested that the regional office of the National Parks Service be moved to Pawnee.  It was, Leslie was made boss and hired several people from the Parks dept., and we were left to answer important questions like:

  • What’s different in 2017?  Where is my jetpack???
  • Where is Jon Hamm, the intern/office doormat from last season?!?
  • How goes it with the Knope/Wyatt triplets?
  • What’s going to happen to [my favorite character]?

Only a couple of those get answered, but the first two episodes of the season–really a one hour episode–were a pretty good indicator of what’s to come.

**Very, Very, Very mild spoilers for Season 7 to come.**

The episode(s) begins with the Newports, those of Sweetums fame, selling a large parcel of land around Pawnee.  Leslie wants to make it into a National Park and the tech company Gryzzl wants to buy it for their new headquarters.  We find out that Ron has quit the Parks Dept. and heads his own company called the “Very Good Building & Development Company” who is, of course, working for Gryzzl.  One of the, likely, season long story lines will be what happened between Leslie and Ron (Morningstar) and how they become friends again.

We do get a second long Jon Hamm sighting here as “Ed” who offers to get everyone Subway.  No one wants it though because, as Leslie says, he’s stupid.  Jon Hamm cameos are as sweet as a Hershey’s Bar.

Aside: The moment that Mad Men is finished, and Jon Hamm is a legit free agent, I really hope that someone like HBO or FXX picks him up for a wonderfully written comedy.  FACT -> Jon Hamm can act, he is an incredible dramatic actor, but he is also really, really funny.  Someone needs to make this happen. End Aside.

The rest of the team is spread out in different spots.  Ben is helping Leslie to raise their triplets (off-camera) and is about to accept an award for Pawnee Man of the Year 2017.

Tom Haverford continues to run his extremely successful restaurant and is set to introduce Ben at his awards ceremony.  He also is incredibly lonely, and there’s a great subplot involving he and Andy taking a drunken taxi ride to Chicago ($830!) to look up a lost love who messages him over Gryzzl.

Speaking of Andy, he and April as boredly content.  Andy is on a kid’s show called something like “Johnny Karate’s Super Awesome Explosion Musical Show” (it’s close to that) and April works in the National Parks Service.  They are beginning to freak out because of how normal they are.  They are aging in pretty funny ways; as April says at a party when Andy suggests doing shots, “I’d love to do a shot, because wine makes me sleepy now.”  Me too April, me too.

Gary who was Jerry who became Larry is now Terry.

Donna is not featured very heavily in the episode, but is around.

The best plot in the two episodes has to do with Jeremy Jamm (council member) and Tammy One (Ron’s ex-wife and Nick Offerman’s real life wife) who are now dating.  There’s a wonderful training scene in the second half where Ron and Leslie work together to get Jamm trained to resist Tammy’s charms, it’s definitely a highlight.

I don’t want to try and re-tell the jokes here.  I don’t want to ruin any plot payoffs.  I just want to say that if you have enjoyed the previous six seasons of Parks and Recreation, you’re going to enjoy this one.  The jokes are still sharp, the cast enjoys being there, and this show has the best callbacks since Arrested Development.   I’m not sure if there’s going to be an arching plot to this last season, but this last go-round will be worth it whether or not there is anything deeper to it.  Unless they have some severe surprises in the next couple episodes, this is really just a victory lap for these writers, these directors, and this wonderful cast, and it’s one they’ve earned.

The Final Season of Parks and Recreation airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

@KalanKucera

@FunkhouserKSR

KSRFunkhouser on Facebook


The 35th Annual Razzie Award Nominations Have Been Released

The 35th Annual Razzie Award Nominations Have Been Released

Razzies

It’s that time of year again, just one day before the announcement of the 2015 OSCAR Nominations, which means that the 2015 Razzie Nominations have been released.  Annually, the Golden Raspberry Awards (aka The Razzies) are held every year the day before the Academy Awards to poke a little fun at the worst of the worst in cinema from the past year.  The Razzies even have a live ceremony every year, and sometimes the stars will actually come and pick up their award, including Sandra Bullock who did so with a great sense of humor.  The nominees will be voted on by 757 G.R.A.F. members for 10 of the 11 categories, where the winners will be announced on February 21st at 8:00 PM.

Some of the worst in film are listed in the category below, but there has been one special category added this year that honors the better in film.  The Razzie Redeemer Award will be given to the nominee who has the best turn around since winning the Razzie in the past.  The potential winners include Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Stewart, Mike Myers and Keanu Reeves.  Voting will be available at Rotten Tomatoes for this category.

Below are your 2015 Razzie Nominees (via Razzie’s YouTube Channel)

35th Annual Golden Raspberry (RAZZIE®) Awards Nominees

WORST PICTURE
Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
Left Behind
The Legend of Hercules
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Transformers 4: Age of Ex-STINK-Tion

WORST ACTOR
Nicolas Cage / Left Behind
Kirk Cameron / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
Kellan Lutz / The Legend of Hercules
Seth MacFarlane / A Million Ways To Die in the West
Adam Sandler / Blended

WORST ACTRESS
Drew Barrymore / Blended
Cameron Diaz / The Other Woman and Sex Tape
Melissa McCarthy / Tammy
Charlize Theron / A Million Ways to Die in the West
Gaia Weiss / The Legend of Hercules

THE RAZZIE REDEEMER AWARD (New Category!)
Ben Affleck (From RAZZIE “Winner” for GIGLI to Oscar Darling for ARGO and GONE GIRL)
Jennifer Aniston (From 4-Time RAZZIE Nominee to SAG Award Nominee for CAKE)
Mike Myers (From RAZZIE “Winner” for LOVE GURU to Docu Director of SUPERMENSCH)
Keanu Reeves (From 6-Time RAZZIE Nominee to Critically Acclaimed JOHN WICK)
Kristen Stewart (From RAZZIE “Winner” for TWILIGHT to the Art House Hit CAMP X-RAY)

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cameron Diaz / Annie
Megan Fox / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Nicola Peltz / Trannies #4
Brigitte Ridenour (Kirk’s Sister) / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
Susan Sarandon / Tammy

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mel Gibson/ Expendables 3
Kelsey Grammer / Expendables 3, Legends of Oz, Think Like a Man Too and Trannies #4
Shaquille O’Neal / Blended
Ah-Nuld Schwarzenegger / Expendables 3
Kiefer Sutherland/ Pompeii

WORST DIRECTOR
Michael Bay / Trannies #4
Darren Doane / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
Renny Harlin / The Legend of Hercules
Jonathan Liebesman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Seth MacFarlane / A Million Ways To Die in the West

WORST SCREEN COMBO
Any Two Robots, Actors (or Robotic Actors) Trannies #4
Kirk Cameron & His Ego / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
Cameron Diaz & Jason Segel / Sex Tape
Kellan Lutz & Either His Abs, His Pecs or His Glutes / The Legend of Hercules
Seth McFarland & Charlize Theron / A Million Ways To Die in the West

WORST SCREENPLAY
Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, Written by Darren Doane and Cheston Hervey
Left Behind, Screenplay by Paul LaLonde and John Patus,
Based on the Novel by Tim LaHaye andJerry B. Jenkins
Sex Tape, Screenplay by Kate Angelo and Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Written by Evan Daugherty and Andre Nemec & Josh Applebaum,
Based on Characters Created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman
Trannies #4, Written by Ehren Kruger, Based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures

WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF OR SEQUEL
Annie
Atlas Shrugged #3: Who Is John Galt?
The Legend of Hercules
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Trannies #4

___________________________________________________________________________________

Who was really the worst of the worst this year?  Let us know below.

@rbramblet