Not a whole lot going on this weekend, but let’s him some quick local links then go all world after:
Warrior Dash this weekend at the Pocono Raceway puts us about halfway through the amazing summer of extreme race events in the Poconos this year. It was the first nationally touring, crazy-extreme race that committed to the Poconos, signing on right after the Ironman Triathlon in 2010. It’s like Tough Mudder Lite, which is fine, since most of us don’t have the time — let alone the patience — to run 11 miles. Warrior Dash is only a 5K, which means you can be in and out of there in about an hour if you wanted. But you don’t want to. You wanna hang out, drink beer and listen to bands. That’s how you roll, I know it. You can’t register anymore, but this is the kind of thing you don’t register for on a whim anyway. After you finish, the Pocono Tap House in Albrightsville is giving 10 percent off if you have a medal saying you finished the event. It’s about five miles from the track.
This is Barley Creek’s favorite weekend of the year, Summerfest 8 gets underway at 4 p.m. and goes to midnight in its Pint Sized Park. There is food and beer (naturally) and the Maybabies play the show (as always). The $10 cover goes to the Pocono Township Volunteer Fire Company. It’s an all ages, family-friendly affair.
Two more chances if you’re a lovely lady of the Poconos if you want to get in to the Pocono Mountain Girls of Playboy Search. the first is tonight at Grace O’Malley’s in Stroudsburg and then tomorrow at Gypsies at Mount Airy — both from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. If you win, you get the great honor of hanging out at the golf course on June 24 while a bunch of the biggest gawkers in the Poconos come by to your assigned golf hole and try to make awkward conversation like, “Sooooo, do you like golf?” Fun.
Looks like you have two chances to see the Miller Lite girls this weekend in the Burgs: Friday at Siamsa, then Saturday at Rudy’s. More awkward guy-girl conversation. Except this will come from drunk guys, so it’s more like, “Do, umm, do you do this full-time?” Those of you who haven’t been part of the scene will think I’m exaggerating. Those of you who have seen these guys in action know I’m under-selling the stupidity and insanity of it all. But it’s always funny. None of it is as bad as my favorite awkward guy, Guy Who Tries to Strike up Conversation with the Stripper on His Lap. He’s my favorite.
And the rest of the links:
Depending on your point of view, this is going to be the most boring box office weekend of the year or the best. If you like competition between multiple movies for the top spot, then you’re gonna feel like a pig in slop this weekend. But if you think two poorly-reviewed new releases both losing out to two holdovers is pretty boring, then enjoy your Father’s Day with the Open instead of keeping an eye on the box office. I’m probably somewhere in the middle. I like good competition between four movies -- which will finish Prometheus, That’s My Boy, Madagascar 3, Rock of Ages, in that order — but there’s a good chance that both That’s My Boy and Rock of Ages completely bomb and Madagascar and Prometheus both do the normal 60 percent drop from opening weekend and we’re stuck with four movies that all make right around $20 million. And that’s not fun. It’s a little sad, actually.
Biggest TV surprise in a while — I liked Dallas. Apparently a whole lot of other people did too. My mom watched it religiously when I was a kid, I was told to leave the room when she watched it. But I caught enough to have a working knowledge of it. People forget — you couldn’t be a TV fan in the 80s and not know about Dallas, no matter whether you watched it or not. You can make a good argument that it was the first “buzzy” TV show. Everyone kept up on what was going on. It was the first show that really, really used the cliffhanger device between seasons, a device so popular that you can’t have a season finale on any show without a cliffhanger. It was the most watched TV show for three years, second two more and in the top 11 for seven straight years from 1980 to 1987. And it did it all on a Friday — imagine that. It was probably the last mega-hit Friday night show we’ll ever see. So since most of its starts are just kinda hangin’ out doing nothing, sure, why not, let’s bring them all back. And the show brought them back very prudently — J.R. and Bobby are both on death’s door, so you use them for a year to bring in the fans, introduce the new cast and get people hooked, and then next year, they don’t care that Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman aren’t around anymore. It’s pretty brilliant, when you think of it. It made me pretty angry when I spent most of the premiere trying to figure out where I saw that Rebecca girl before and couldn’t place her — but she’s Amber from Dodgeball. Dammit!!! IMDB, I swear, has ruined my brain. She’s got a little Minka Kelly thing going on there that’s pretty cool.
Forgot to dissect the 15-second Breaking Bad commercial that aired during Sunday’s Mad Men finale. Frankly, I feel like I let everyone down. Anyway …
First of all, what the frigg took so long? You just aired 13 episodes of Mad Men, which must have a huge crossover fan base, and you took this long to show a promo? Shame, shame, I know your name, AMC. Personally, I don’t plan to watch AMC until July 15 unless I tune in this weekend to find out who killed Rosie Larson and laugh at The Killing some more. So I won’t be seeing any of the new promos. But on to the here and now. We can take away one major fact from this exchange between Walt and Saul — Walt is going all bad-ass on us. And why not? That’s when the show is at its best, when Walt is so ridiculously self-confident that he’s setting himself up to be taken down. He could have co-existed with Gus just fine, but he decided he was smarter than him — and it almost cost him everything. We don’t even need a new villain, Walt is just fine as a villain unto himself. July 15 is on the calendar.
For the last few years, I’ve bitched and bitched that TV networks aren’t starting their fall programming early enough. Who says it has to actually be fall? The one successful example I always point to is Prison Break, Fox’s most hyped show of the 2004-05 season that premiered near the end of August. And you know what? A whole crapload of people watched, rightfully so. I understand why networks wouldn’t necessarily want to start their programming in August. It’s still the summer, there are vacations, Little League games, the weather is nice … it’s not the best time for TV viewing. But isn’t, like, every school district in the country starting in the last week in August these days? If you’re a network that is absolutely desperate for attention, then maybe you should think about premiering your shows earlier before they get swallowed up with everything else that’s coming on in September. Are your ears ringing yet, NBC? We should also mention that other than looking for any discernible kernel of attention, NBC also will be airing the Olympics — the most-watched event of the year — leading in to August. So will NBC go with the smart, daring play and start its season in August? Of course not! The network will “preview” its comedies Go On and Animal Kingdom during the Olympics, and Grimm will start in August, but everything else gets a standard September start. Smart move for Grimm, doomed move for everything else. Have fun in the basement, NBC. Again.