Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Last Day of 2007!

Happy New Year everyone (the three of you that read this)! Enjoy the celebration of buying a new calendar, and dont drink and drive, because if you hit a bump you'll spill all over yourself. I ripped that off from The Office, seriously don't drink and drive though.

Couple of blogs coming the next few days. Wednesday will be my thoughts on the NFL Network (which I love), Thursday is a good day for TV fans, I'll preview the strike edition of the 2007-2008 season. Friday we'll have some NFL Wild Card picks.

Also, big news here at Winks Thinks. We've just announced that in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, with our friends from What If Sports, we'll have a 64 team tournament of Super Bowl teams (winners, and half the losers) to find out who is the greatest Super Bowl Team off all time. (And yes friends and potential lovers, when I say that I am a dork, I mean it. But you knew that.) I'll also be recaping Packer games until they either lose or win it all!

Also, similar to my 24 blogs, I'll be doing recaps on Lost when it returns at the end of January.

A lot to look forward to, if you haven't left me already!

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Two Minutes in the Press Box

Went to the Packers / Lions game today, but unlike my adventure to St. Louis two weeks ago, it was not as a fan. It was as a member of the working media. As you can image, the two are highly contrasting situations. Just thought I'd share with you what this experience is like.

* It's a neat experience for sure. I'm sure when you work a game like this over and over, you might start to forget you're getting paid for being on Lambeau Field. But it was my first time on the actual field, and there is nothing like being on the field for Packer gameday.

* It's weird to try to turn off the fan-mode inside me and go into press-mode. Luckily, this game was meaningless in the standings, and I was able to concentrate on the work. I did however feel the need to sneak one picture on the camera phone when we were on the field after the game.

* Perhaps the neatest sight of my day was when I took a trip up to the Press Box for two minutes, just to see what it was like (the rest of the game we sat in the Media Lunch Room. We watched the game from there, as we're not allowed to go on the field anymore during the game after the NFL tightened up some of their rules a few years ago). I went up there as Favre through a touchdown pass to Bubba Franks, who was just standing at the goal line, and to see everyone in Lambeau get up on their feet at the same time was incredible.

* Getting interviews in the locker room afterwards is insane. The press really do enter the locker room like a herd of cattle, as we are often referred. Then the media lurches around from player to player as we try to get interviews, many while people are still trying to get dressed. It's weird.
* In the position I was in today, I didn't actually see much of the game. I only learned the final score was 34-13 Packers when I found it on the internet ten minutes ago.

* Even though it was fake, and will never air, it was pretty fun to say, "From Lambeau Field, I'm Bart Winkler."

In the end, I'm glad I experienced what it's like from the media side of the ball, and hopefully I can someday do it on a regular basis for my job. But until then, I'm looking forward to January 12th, when the Packers will host a Divisional Playoff Game.

And someone from the press box will be looking down at me, as I go back to being just one of the fans, standing up in unison after a Packers touchdown.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Driving Myself Madden

So about two weeks ago I decided I was going to be going full steam on this blog, updating it about five times a week. And just as I'm getting the ball rolling, I decide to take a week off. Now it was because I was home for the holidays, and a good time relaxing (thanks for asking), but any momentum I may have gained from a week of hard work blogging is now lost because I decided to take a week "off". I don't regret it though, because my relaxing gave me an idea for this blog, because it's basically all I did over my break.


You'll notice that this is the 2005 edition of Madden, and for good reason. Me and a couple buddies, Bear, Udee, and eventually Gweeds, decided to go retro and play the 2005 edition. You'll remember it as the one where Vick was unstoppable, and it was fun to do the two-minute drill as the Falcons, only the defense you matched up against was a team from NFL Europe Europa World League. We only came to the decision to play 05 because we didn't have 08 and 04 wouldn't work. And it did take some getting used to, because the buttons for defensive controls (speed and switching players) are different in the old games than in the new game.

Now, I'm not a big gamer, as they say. I buy one game a year, and that's Madden. I call my PlayStation 2 my "Madden Box". Actually, I have also bought 24: The Game (I couldn't beat a level where I had to drive, so that was the end of that game), and MLB The Show '07 (surprisingly not as good as the 05 Edition of MVP Baseball). I do however always buy Madden when it comes out at midnight. Then I play it for two straight days, put it away until the football season starts, play a game or two, and then put it away again. Then over Christmas break I'll go home and start a franchise with my friends. It never fails.

The whole reason I wanted to talk about Madden is how back then, and even now, uneven the difficulty levels are. First off, there is "Rookie", which is one play, touchdown. Next comes "Pro", which is no different than Rookie. The next level is "All-Pro", which is my level of choice. It's easy enough, you can build your stats, and sometimes you do get challenged by the computer.

The final level is "All-Madden", which is downright hard. At least at first. We played a few games on this level and it was impossible to do anything for four solid games. And it wasn't that the computer was better, so to speak, it just seemed like things would never go your way. It wasn't the popular "No F'ing Way" game that people like to speak off, it's more like the game puts you through an initiation when you decide to take on the All-Madden level. The other team catches balls, even when they are tipped twice. Reviews never go your way. Backup running backs become impossible to tackle. It's tough.

So what I wanted to do about this was propose a level inbetween All-Pro and All-Madden. A level where I didn't end up being so mad I'd reset the game in the first quarter. But then as we kept playing on All-Madden. And it wasn't because we figured it out, or things came easier to us. I swear it was because the game was telling us "Ok, we'll ease up now and actually give you a chance."

So that was my weekend. And now, like every other new Simpsons episode, I can't think of an ending. So I'll just do what every other article about John Madden references these days.

Hey look, a turducken!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Coming Up...

Couple of blogs in the works for the next few days. They include some concerns I have about playing Madden, a look at the strike affected state of televison over the next couple of months, and in the next month or two I'll be dusting off my "20 Greatest Packer Moments of My Lifetime", only it will now be 23 moments, and hopefully I can include Super Bowl 42 on that list. Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'll be Home for Christmas

I'm heading back to "the Lac" for the next couple of days, so I don't know how often I'll get the chance to write a blog, but there will likely be a few updates along the way. Feel free to read some of the blogs from this week to keep yourself busy, and vote on the poll. Thanks for reading, and tell your friends!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brewers Making Lateral Moves in the Offseason

After their first winning season since 1992, the Milwaukee Brewers were finally in a position to contend for some meaningful baseball. They failed to make the playoffs by a few games, but were now capable of drawing some big name free agents, and continue to make some of the key trades that had got them to this point. Three months after they played their final out of the 2007 season, I don't feel like the Brewers are any better off than they were in September.

Maybe the bullpen is better, but is it really? Gagne, Riske, Torres, Mota, Turnbow. It might appear better, but is it really any different then Cordero, Wise, Linebrink, King, and Turnbow? That and the fact that we still don't have a decent catcher, and we have no idea who is going to be playing left field, unless you believe in Gabe Kapler.

Let's take a look at the moves the Brewers have made since their season ended, and what impact it might have on the team.

10-15 Claimed C Eric Munson off waivers from Houston - This just adds depth to a position where depth is all the Crew has. At this time, we still had Estrada, and maybe Miller, so Munson figures to be a Triple A guy. I don't see him in the big leagues at all for 2008.

10-19 Declined the option on 3B Corey Koskie's contract - Had to do it, can't continue to pay a guy that might never play again. But if we're looking at guys like Scott Rolen and Hank Blalock (who I prefer over Rolen), then we maybe we should take another look at Koskie. Other teams are interested in him, and if he's good enough to play, why shouldn't we be the ones to sign him?

10-30 Declined the option on OF Geoff Jenkins' contract - No way we were resigning him, not for 9M as a platoon player. Jenkins signed with the Phillies today, and that's good for him. I was hoping he wouldn't be signed, sign back with the Brewers (I just noticed I was saying "we" in regards to the Brewers) for around 5M. A Mench / Jenkins platoon sure looks a lot better than a Gabe / Gabe one right now. We're also reportedly looking at Kenny Lofton, which I don't hate (I'd add a link to the article that's from, as links do enhance a blog. But I'm on a laptop on a right now, and laptops confuse me, so we'll stick with hearsay).

11-14 Signed RP Randy Choate to a one-year contract - Look at the Brew, big spenders in the free agent market. Borderline candidate to make the club.

11-20 Acquired RP Guillermo Mota from the Mets for C Johnny Estrada - Bascially the Mets just dumped this salary on us, on then signed Wise. So look at this move as a trade for Wise not Estrada, because as it appears right now, nobody wants Estrada. Mota was one of our two Brewers to be on the Mitchell Report, and he served a 50 day suspension last year for violating the league's drug policy. He'll be a good 6th, 7th inning guy, and at the time I thought we could get better value for Estrada. Guess not.

11-28 Signed C Jason Kendall to a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2009 - I'm not too high on Kendall, I don't think he does anything that the Miller / Estrada option couldn't. Best case he plays 130 games, hits .280. Worst case, he plays 40 games and Mike Rivera is our everyday guy.

12-5 Signed RP David Riske to a three-year contract - The funny thing about this Brewers team is we'll be paying 3.5M for a guy like Riske but 400,000 dollars to guys like Fielder, Braun, and Hardy. It's absurd. Riske should be a great 8th inning guy that competes with Turnbow, and could even get a shot at the closer's job by year's end.

12-10 Signed RP Eric Gagne to a one-year contract worth 10M dollars - I do like this move. It's costly, but only a one year risk. Gagne being on the Mitchell report doesn't bother me, I think he'll have a good year, and be excited to get the chance to return to the closer role, similiar to how Cordero responded when he was traded here. The NL Central is scary for closers, with Cordero, Gagne, Valverde, Isringhausen, and perhaps Joe Nathan to the Cubs. Gagne, if he returns to form, should be worth at least 3-4 wins.

12-20 Signed OF Gabe Kapler out of retirement to a one year contract - This is a guy who got cut in Japan ball, and then was managing a Single A team last year. He's basically an older Laynce Nix.

So have we improved? Maybe, but not by much. We still have a glaring hole at LF, and I think the dumbest thing to do would be to sign a CF, move Hall to 3rd, and Braun to left. I think we should keep Braun at third, and get a solid left fielder. The market out there is slim (i.e. Gabe Kapler), so we may need to unload one of our nine starting pitchers. But the Hot Stove season is still young, so we have some time. But if the Brewers don't do much from here, 83 wins might be as good as it's going to get in Milwaukee.

(Feel free to leave your comments. What did you get out of this blog? Was it new info, or just stuff you've read before in a more condensed version? More importantly, are the Brewers good enough to win the NL Central. Don't just skim my blog, leave some comments!)

End of the Journey, Man

This is my review about the final episode of NBC's Journeyman. If you haven't seen it, and are planning on watching it, well then I would wait to read this blog until you've seen it. If you have never seen or don't like Journeyman (ps impossible), then I guess I wouldn't read this. If you don't watch Journeyman, but just love my work, well then read away!!!

I'd also quickly like to comment on the poll, which has 3 people liking the tv portions of the blog, and 4 liking the sports (at this posting time), so that tells me two things - I'm still not sure which direction to head my blog, and at least 7 people read my blog! And now, back to the show.

Spoilers Ahead (gotta say it, everyone else does)

Oh, Journeyman. When I first heard of the show, I paid little attention to it, considering it to be just one of the many new sci-fi type shows on primetime for the 2007 season that were trying to piggyback off the success of Heroes. But when my trusted friend in TV Nick Marcou told me it was the best pilot he'd seen since Lost, I had no choice but to check it out.

And was I glad I did. The first episode of Journeyman was incredible. Let me go back 3 spaces (heard someone say this today, thought it was funny, stole it) and just set-up the premise. It's about a guy who one day discovered he can time travel, although has no control over it. When he time travels, he has "missions", to save people and basically rewrite history. But he has to be careful, as things he does can, and did, mess up the life he had come to known. At first it drew Quantum Leap comparisons (never actually did see that show), but then quickly settled into its own.

Wednesday night's episode was the thirteeth of the series, the last of the the completed episodes ordered by NBC earlier in the year. NBC hasn't gone to officially cancel the show, but they didn't pick up the option to produce the back nine episodes of the season. And while the words "series finale" were never uttered, that's basically what tonight's episode was.

In this "finale", Dan went back, although not long, to September 2007, before he became a traveler. He met a man named Evan in a mental instituiton, althouth Evan claimed to be a time traveler as well. Dan was skeptical at first, because after he helped Evan escape from the institution to find the girl he loved, it turned out the girl never even knew Evan.

Evan did have proof though, as this girl, the love of his life, did actually know him, and Evan had a tape of the two winning a salsa dancing competition in 2004. As Evan explained, his love eventually was killed and Evan's new life purpose was to try to stop that from happening while he was also traveling, saving people's lives. It never worked for him, so he decided to completely rewrite history and make it so the two never met, thus saving her life.

Dan and Livia, his time traveling buddy / "dead" ex-lover, ended up helping Evan's old love "remember" him, and there mission was complete. That is, until Evan died on the dance floor. As Dan found out, Evan's death was right before the first time Dan himself began to travel.

I guess I was hoping for more from this episode. I think at the time it was written, the expectation was to hopefully be picked up, but also to write it in a way that if it was cancelled, it would at least bring somewhat of a closure to the series. A few things were resolved, sort of. Livia told her new husband circa 1948 that she was a travler, Elliot Langley revealed why he's pretended not to know Dan, although not completely what he knows, saying "I'm being followed", and "no one is 'doing' this to you, Dan". And Dan told Katie that while he will still always come home, he feels like time traveling is bigger than himself, and it's something he feels he has to do.

By no means was this a bad episode, I completely enjoyed it. I was just under the assumption something more would be explained, or there would be a shocking, and most likely never to be revealed cliffhanger, something where Dan makes a huge mistake in the past, and his new goal becomes trying to fix it (that did happen in episode 12 with Zach, but he was able to fix that in 44 short minutes). But this episode didn't match what I thought were the three best - that being the Pilot, the episode where Dan is his own mission, and the Zach episode.

I don't at all think this show will be renewed, even though the ratings aren't terrible (not great, but not terrible), it's a show well-watched in high-income homes, and it has a large cult following. I think because of the cost of the show, and the toughness for someone to jump in this late in the game, NBC will let this one slip away. I've previously compared this show to Daybreak, a show on ABC last year starring Taye Diggs, as well as Moon Bloodgood (Livia on Journeyman), about a guy who kept reliving the same day over and over. That show too captivated me like this one, and was done after 13 shows. The thing with Daybreak, is it knew it was going to be cancelled, and ended in a way where the viewer was left satisfied. If the people at Journeyman knew this was going to be it, they may have written the episode a little differently, wrapping up a few more things. But at least, if this ever does return as a series (maybe a movie question mark), they at least won't have to start from scratch. I would also love to know what the show would have been like if it were just a thirteen episode miniseries, and the writers had the task of wrapping it up in 13.

I guess to recap, this show is gone to soon, the final episode didn't fully live up to my expectations, but I'm happy with the overall run of the show. It was a good show, one that I would recommend, and most likely will buy on DVD. The chances of it coming back are probably less than once percent, and I've made my peace. I do think though, that maybe it is too hard to wrap up a show that has so many possibilities.

In the end, a great show, not seen by enough people, done too soon. And even though the end of the episode took Dan on another journey, it's sad to say that we won't be able to go with im.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lambeau Field South - St. Louis, MO

So maybe it's not that original, but the phrase "Lambeau Field South" was spoken by a lot of people at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis last Sunday. I'm not sure how the game looked on TV, but I can tell you that from being there, you almost had to do a double take when you saw a Rams fan. It was as close to an away "home" game that the Packers could ever have hoped for.

In case you can't tell, I made the trip to St. Louis this weekend with a group of friends from Fond du Lac, for our first annual Packers road trip. We're trying to stay away from NFC North teams as long as possible, and we'd prefer driving. But as we are learning, there aren't that many teams that we can easily drive to, with much of the NFL being on the east coast or southern California. We've already learned the Packers roadies for next year are Seattle, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and New Orleans. So either we're flying, or the annual road trip doesn't make year two.

When we checked into the hotel Saturday night, it was already full of fans in the Green and Gold. Hell, we stopped at a Wendy's on the way in Bloomington, Illinois (the halfway point), and there was at least 50 Packers fans there for lunch. Before the trip my guess was with the way the two teams are playing, and the way Packer fans travel, the stadium would be around 30 percent Packer fans. But when I hit that Wendys, it felt like we were part of a full scale invasion.

I read today that there were around 10,000 no shows, Rams fans that didn't make the trip, either because they were 3-11, or because there were some pretty bad snow storms in the area. Well, those snow storms didn't stop Packer fans, even the ones that ended up in a ditch by flying across the southbound lane at 75 miles per hour (which would have been me).

People have asked me how many Packer fans I thought might have been at the game, and to give the Rams the benefit of the doubt, I keep saying it was about half and half. But I just don't think there is anyway, with all the fans we saw before, after, and during the game, that it wasn't at least 80 percent Packer fans. Chants of "Go Pack Go" and even "MVP" could be heard almost every fifteen minutes. I'd show you a picture of the crowd here, but sadly my camera broke sometime while enjoying the streets of St. Louis on Saturday Night.

The whole atomosphere of the game felt like we were in bizarro Green Bay. The best evidence of this may have been that when we walked by the Bud Light Tailgate tent around 10:30 that morning it was empty, and when we entered the Miller Light Tailgate tent that was selling brats, it was full. And full of Packer fans of course, even the legendary St. Vince (there's a picture of that too, somewhere).

As for the game itself, the Rams stayed close in the first half, but the Pack pulled away in the second, highlighted by the wide open Greg Jennings touchdown, and Favre's record breaking pass to Donald Driver for the career yards mark just minutes later. The Pack won 33-14, improving to 12-2 (I can't believe it, either) on the season. One note I will say about the game is that in light of all my comments about the dome being filled with Packer fans, there was one time the Pack were caught in a 3rd and ten, and the place was unusually loud. I looked around me, and no one was cheering, yet there was sound coming from everywhere, and the place was rocking. I'm going on record and saying I think the Rams pumped a little crowd audio from 1999 through the speakers sometime in the third quarter (although to be fair, I was the only one that thought this, and my sense of sound may have been distorted at the time.)

One of the cooler things about the game was that a surprising about of Packer fans weren't actually from Wisconsin. We sat by some people from Kentucky, met some people from Nebraska, and even Illinois that came to cheer on the Pack. Of course, there were plenty of natural born cheeseheads in attendance as well, but it was nice to see the nationwide support of the boys from Titletown.

As for the rest of the trip, we never went to the Arch (from what I remember when I was 12, it's kind of scary), I never tried toasted ravoli (the one thing I was told to do), but I did splend plenty of time down near the "Landing", especially with our friends at Joey B's, a place some of us will miss more than others (inside joke about Coyner). I should also mention the rooms at the Crowne Plaza, they were incredible. We found the better spots of how to travel in St. Louis, I'd say.

The trip may have nearly killed me, but it was worth it, one of the better weekends I can say I've ever experienced. The Pack got a big win as they still have the number one seed in their sights, and I was a part of a truly special Packers road game. I recommend a trip like this for any Packer fan. Of course, it's not a trip to Lambeau, but there's something to be said of bringing the show on the road.

See you next year, Nashville.


Welcome to my new blog, here at blogspot. I've moved over from myspace, because let's face it, this is a pretty nice layout. I've brought a couple of my old blogs with me, for good times sake, and you can check out my info, a poll, and some links to the right of the page. I'll be updating this blog at least five days during the week.

In a few hours, I'll be posting review of my trip to St. Louis for the Packers game. Thanks for stopping by!

The Mitchell Report

While the report may not have perfect, the findings of the Mitchell Report are most likely going to stay with baseball for a long time. It's this century's Black Sox Scandal. A controversy that rocked the sport and was bigger than the game itself.

Of course, the Mitchell Report was a study done by former Senator George Mitchell, about the use of steriods, HGH, and other performance enhancing drugs done by baseball players in the "Steriod Era". The report named about 80 players, two of which are current Brewers (Gagne, Turnbow).

The names of the players were acquired through clubhouse attendants, trainers, and the like. Only the ballplayers on the list that have actually admitted to using performance enchancing drugs have been proven to use them. Everyone else at this time should be considered innocent.
So what does Bud Selig do? He's just received a list of 80 some guys, including some big names (Clemens, Pettite, Bonds, Tejada, the aforementioned Gagne) that have most likely used some sort of drug. What does he do with this list. I say nothing. George Mitchell even agrees.

I have a hard time hating baseball players that have used these drugs, especially steriods. I agree with you until I die that if Bonds did indeed use steriods, the home run record is tainted. But I will never agree with you that we should place an asterisk by his record.

You say Bonds cheated. I say Bonds did what it took to win within the framework of the game. There was no enforcement on these players for taking steriods, so why not do it? Especially in the case where your career is on the line, and the only way to stay in the game is to "keep up" with the rest of the league.

Now, I'm not the best writer yet in my life, so I may not get my points across as well as I'd like. I just think it's time to move on. Baseball had a steriod problem, a drug problem, and it's impossible to ever know everyone involved, and to punish them as well. The games were played, records were broken. I really do think this is a case where we acknowledge the problem, but agree it's time to move on. Everyone knew something was up, from the owners to the fans. Barry Bonds grew like no human before him ever did, in no way was that natural. But you bought the tickets, you watched the games. It wasn't until he was within striking distance of the Hammerin' Hanks record that we as a society finally decided that what he was (allegedly) doing was wrong.

I think Mark McGwire should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Same with Sosa, and Bonds. Look, after the 94 strike I was done with baseball. As a soccer fan, I even had crazy dreams that the MLS would overtake the MLB. But that magical summer of 98, I was sucked back in. Because of the home run chase. Because of the home run chase which involved two people that didn't get those home runs naturally.

We knew it then that something was up, and we chose to ignore it. Now we're going to punish the people that decided to follow the footsteps of the "villians" we created to be heroes? I just can't justify punishing them for something we knew they were doing, but let slide.

Yeah, it's not fair to the guys of the past that records are being broken by players that are cheating. I say it's just the evolution of the game. You'll never see a pitcher break 300 wins again because of how much the game has changed. You will see a guy smash 70 home runs because of how much the game has changed. I may be nieve, but I think those are one in the same.

So listen the report, learn from it's mistakes, but let's move on. Don't punish the players that did what they thought was right in order to win. They will be punished enough, through the effects on their health, and through the public court. Let's not suspend anyone, and just move on, and finally put the Steriods Era behind us.

Plus, the Brewers are paying 10 million to Eric Gagne this year, and I don't want to see that money go to waste.

The Greatest Game Ever Played.

I hate the winter. Yeah, I love playoff football, and I love the holiday season, but that's about it. If I didn't love Wisconsin so much, my hatred of winters may have driven me elsewhere (probably not true, I'd be too afraid to move by myself). But last winter I was introduced to a sport that made me enjoy winters a little more, in fact, almost look forward to them.

Boot Hockey.

I didn't know what it was at first either. But it's pretty simple. It's hockey, without skates. Hockey with tennis shoes, and a tennis ball. And it is awesome.

Every winter in La Crosse, the Northside Oktoberfest Grounds are turned into a hockey rink, they put up boards, and freeze water (yes, into ice) and make a rink. It's no Rockefeller Center, but it will do. Sure, the ice sucks, and sometimes you have to use garbage bins instead of nets, but overall, it's not a bad time.

Like any sport I play, I'm terrible. I was never very athletic in my life, I've always been rode the fine line between "I guess he can play" and "What is he doing here?". Boot hockey is no exception. And while it's hard to run on the ice, hard to stop, and I'll be sore through the weekend, I'm already looking forward to the next time I take to the ice. If they let me, of course.
So if any of you ever get the winter blues, grab a couple friends, grab a pack of tennis balls, and head to the nearest ice rink. But don't make the same mistake I did tonight, and make sure you wear knee pads.

The purpose of my blogging.

Well, this it is. I'm starting a blog.

I've never really liked the word "blog", and I always thought that bloggers were people that had too much time on their hands and thought that other people actually cared about their cynical and "unique" outlook on the world. As it turns out, I am one of those people.

I've always been skeptical of these social networking sites as well. I mean, I like the fact that bands can use it to gain exposure, and you can reconnect with old classmates, as well as have a forum to show off some of the pictures of your life. But I also always thought that it was a little too personal, and that creating sites about yourself make you seem a little too self-involved.
Nevertheless, this is the age we live in. It's an age where "We" were Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year. Thanks to the internet, anybody can be somebody. People can make a living writing blogs or articles strictly for the internet, or have a quicker route to their 15 minutes of fame through the weekly "Dude, you have to check out this thing on YouTube" clip.

So I'm deciding to throw my hat into the ring, and not just because I've been on a quest to copy everything my friend and future roomate Mark does (he's writing a blog on his myspace as well, only his has a focus. He describes it as going beyond the headlines of the news you see on tv. You can check it out here.) And while his does have a focus, mine so far, does not. Sure, once a week I'll write about my true love, primetime television, which I'll label as a "TV Winks Thinks". And if it ever returns, I'll start up the 24 blog I did during season six last year. But other than that, somedays it will could be sports related, politically related, news related, entertainment related, whatever is on my mind that day.

If you read my blog and like it, thanks. If you're someone that hasn't talked to me in a while, and scrolls across my myspace page, and you say, "Wow what's up with that Winkler kid", well thanks for stopping by. You know, I do wonder if this is something I would do if there was no internet. If I would just write down my thoughs for the day and save them in a box.

But that isn't the case. This is the internet, where everybody can have an opinion, and have it be heard.

I was just a little late showing up to the party.

If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!

After it appeared for awhile that there may be an end to this writer's strike, it looks like we won't have serious talks again until after the new year. I hope something gets done soon, although I still stick by my prediction it won't be over until at least March. It's not just that we're running low on new episodes, but that everyone else that works in the tv industry is currently out of work. It's not the big shots or the actors I'm concerned about, it's the grip guys and the sound crew and the cameramen (and women, of course). These jobs don't pay the best, and their lives are basically being put on hold until the writers get what they want. Guys like Letterman and Leno have to pay money out of their own pockets just so these guys can live normally. I think the writers and studio execs should agree on a percentage of the cut they'd see off online revenue, sort of similiar to how it works in syndication, from what I understand. Apparently, internet is going to take over TV anyways, so they have to be making some money (more on the internet invasion of the tv industry later in the week in one of my dailies).

Speaking of Leno and Letterman, both CBS and NBC are resorted to not just showing reruns, but reruns from years ago. It's probably their best case scenario, and I like NBC's decision to show some Leno shows from over ten years ago. I just watched one the other night from 96, when he was in Phoenix for the Super Bowl. You think Leno isn't funny now? Try sitting through that episode. I'm not sure what the big appeal of Leno is, and why he gets more ratings than Dave. Dave isn't as good as he used to be, but at least their is some humor in the show. Of course, neither can top Conan, at least not presently.

Back to reality, literally. If you were sick of reality shows before, I'd probably stay away from your tv for the next couple of months. Reality TV will be taking over the airwaves, as networks are desperate to fill programming. I'm not excited to live in a world where there are ten hours of Deal or No Deal a week. From what I've read, none of the new reality shows standout, except for maybe one FOX is trying, where people are hooked up to a lie detector. I'd look up the name, but I'm not at the point of my blogging career where I realize it's important to do research.
As far as what I'm watching, NBC seems to be dominating my TV landscape lately. I just rewatched the first two seasons of The Office (the US version of course), and I enjoyed it even more than I did the first time around. I don't know about anyone else, but I know youre out there. I'm talking about the people that start to emulate the characters on TV shows they watched. I've been doing it all my life, quite honestly. I had my Chandler Bing phase in middle school, my Jack Bauer phase in college, often waking people up by yelling "Where is the Bomb?!?!?", and I need to watch myself before I develop a Jim Halpert phase. I've been comparing the show The Office to what's happening in my own office, and before you know it I'll be giving a look to a fake camera. So I need to lay off The Office, until at least Christmas (when I hopefully get the season three DVD!)

I've been loving 30 Rock this year, Scrubs has been solid, and I'm ready for what is sure to be the finale of Journeyman this week. I don't see it getting renewed, but at least NBC is letting the fans see all the episodes that have been produced. I guess, what else to they have to air though? Clash of the Choirs? (ok, I did look that one up). Still, I gotta say, I think Chuck is my favorite new show of the season. It's been sharp the last couple of weeks, and while it does have a foundation for a formula, each episode feels different and fresh. Really liking Chuck this year.
But, like most shows, it will be awhile before we can watch new episodes. In the meantime, we'll be left with a winter edition of Big Brother, "Celebrity" Apprentice, and an American Idol season which will probably see it's highest ratings ever. It might not be a bad idea to catch up on your favorite shows, or discover some you've missed on DVD's, might not be a bad Christmas present. Load them up, because it's going to be a long winter.

Bart Winkler thinks that his blog audience is bigger than it is, but deep down realizes the only people that read it are Jon and maybe Brent, and they probably didn't even make it this far.

November Sweeps

Alright, I know it's been about a month since I've written my "weekly" tv blog, but that just means I have much more to say about the 2007 television season, which could shape up to be one of the crazier seasons we've seen. Anyways, welcome back readers, and also a warm welcome to Nick Marcou. Nick is a friend of me, fellow television lover. He liked my last blog, in part because many of the thoughts were his! I can assure you Nick that I will not rip you off this time, and I hope you make it through the whole blog. And to not jeopardize my credibility, the thoughts Nick had were echoed by me, that's why I included them. Actually, I ripped him off pretty bad. Consider him a contributing partner.

Still here? Let's get started. First off, the writers went on strike last week and the whole 2007 TV season is in trouble, unless you love reality programming. Late night programs like Daily Show, Colbert, and SNL went into reruns right away, which is too bad, I'm enjoying SNL this year. Leno, Letterman, and Conan and the B-squad of Ferguson and Carson Daly are in reruns as well. The strike actually made Jay Leno say the first funny thing I've ever heard him say when he acknowledged that without writers he's not funny (although you'd never know he still had writers, he's been recycling jokes since the mid 90s.) Scripted shows will feel the effect soon enough, this week's will be the last new Office in a while (the hour long episodes were nice, but these latest episodes, back to a half hour, have been terrific), and other shows will follow shortly. 24 has been suspended indefinitely, which will maybe give them time to rethink the whole Tony back from the dead idea, although the trailer was intriguing, even with the shades of Die Hard 4. I'm the most worried about lost, which ABC says 8 episodes have been shot, out of the season long 16. They are planning to run the episodes, which the Lost creators aren't too happy about, because it will break up the season. And if you didn't know, there is a strike because the writers, among other things, feel they should be getting paid for when their shows, or their product, winds up on the internet in an ad supported form. If the website, the network, is making money off of the shows, the writers feel they should be getting a cut of that profit. I predict the strike won't be figured out until March. This could either mean that we see new episodes in the summer, we see shows airing multiple nights a week in April, May, or we'll have the closest thing to a re-run free season in 2008-2009.

As for the season so far, I've dropped a few shows from the radar. I wanted to get into House and How I Met Your Mother this year, but don't have the time, and would rather start from the beginning. Reaper, while entertaining, seems to have leveled off, and I dropped it from the DVR. Aliens in America, a CW comedy, is funny, and will probably get more play from me now that I dropped it's timeslot competitor, Prison Break.

I was a big fan of season one, and was alright with season two, as it followed the characters I have come to enjoy. If youre a Prison Break fan, the point where I started to lose interest was in season two, where C-Note hung himself, only to find out he wasn't dead. I don't know why, but that started it for me. Now, it's season three, Mahone is crazy, Haywire popped up for one episode for no reason, and I stil can't wrap my head around why Michael is in Sona in the first place. True, it was explained, but the reasons were just too implausible for me. Much to the dismay of my longtime friend Tucker Burr, I gave up on Prison Break, one of the most sloppy and confusing shows I've ever seen. One other Prison Break note, I know that Sarah Wayne Callies (Sara) couldn't work out a contract, but killing her off didn't do it for me. At first I didn't care, but now feel that it's one of the key reasons the show is struggling. To me, it cheapened the whole show. No more Michael or Lincoln for me.

One show that I do love is Journeyman. It's really the only show I feel I must watch the night it's aired, and that I won't let myself wait a couple days for. The time traveling element is awesome, but somehow the relationships play a bigger role in the series. My favorite parts are when Dan, the journeyman, goes back in time and see's his former self or other people in his life. In last week's episode, Dan actually came into contact with himself, and thought it was the best episode outside of the pilot. Now, the past is catching up with him (the cops are about to come after him for some stolen money he brought into the future) and we're learning more about Livia. There are so many questions, and we're learning more every week. Journeyman is a show where you don't know everything right off the bat, but the writing is sharp and you trust the questions will be answered. On the other hand, Prison Break is one giant question, and a complete mess.

The writer's strike may be saving Journeyman from cancellation however, as networks are now desperate for any new programming. Journeyman though pulled down a 3.5 rating last Monday, which is not what NBC was hoping for with a Heroes lead-in. I suspect it will finish it's initial order, and then not return. It will be too short lived, like my favorite new show of last year, Daybreak.

Speaking of NBC Mondays, I'm pleasantly surprised with Chuck. It's from the creator of the OC, Josh Schwartz, who I like a lot. There is some OC influence in the show. I think they use some of the same establishing shots, and the beach scene earlier this season looked very familiar. Some of the songs, such as Finley Quaye's "Dice" get reused. I will say it was weird to see Chuck running to his best friend the same way Ryan ran to Marissa on New Year's Eve. One character actually muttered the line "OC Season two, severly underrated". And Rachel Bilson will be on this week's episode! However, the spy angle works for Schwartz, the cast is great, especially Zachary Levi as Chuck. It's a cant miss for me.

So, for the shows that are currenltly showing new episodes, the can't miss category is this: Journeyman, Chuck, South Park, 30 Rock, Office, Scrubs, Pushing Daisies, The Simpsons, Family Guy

The "DVR now, watch later category" includes: Aliens in America, Samatha Who?, Back to You

The shows I still need to catch up on are: Mad Men, The Kill Point

I'm not watching as much TV as I'd like to, there are good shows out there I just cant get too, but there is also a lot of junk. I've never gotten into the big hits like CSI's, Without a Trace, Dancing with the Stars, and I've had enough of Grey's.

But that's how I feel about the 2007 season so far, and just when I settled into a normal tv watching pattern, the strike happens and everything will soon be in chaos.

But hey, it's only TV. (How's that for a new signature line?)

2007 Primetime Preview

Well, I'm going to give this a try. This may be the only one I end up doing, although I'll try to do it on a somewhat weekly basis, but I'm going to start a blog about my thoughts in the world of primetime television. The demand for it isn't necessarily there, but my favorite things to talk about are sports and television. And since there is always someone around to talk sports, and rarely television, I thought there'd be no better way to get out my thoughts in a myspace blog. Plus, I'm bored.

(Parenthesis time. I've lied twice already. I love sports, but don't really like talking about them. Especially at a bar, or with people I don't know. What I've found is that when people get together to talk about sports, all they usually do is repeat things they have heard elsewhere, or yell. Again, I love sports, but I'm not going to memorize Ryan Zimmerman's stats just to impress an acquaintance at Brothers. The other thing is, I'm not a big fan of blogs. In this day and age, everyone is a star. Time magazine even gave us internet communicators person of the year. Youtube annoys me, especially when people make a black and white music video to Imogen Heap and post it online. And blogs are just a way to make you feel more self-important. But, you didn't click on this blog for these thoughts, and I'm going to stop myself before I become more self-depreciating than Paul Shirley.)

Alright, we're about a month in to the 2007-2008 TV Season, and so far it's not that impressive. Ratings seem to be down across the board, and there are new shows that seem they would have been better suited to be made as movies. I'll go through a night by night basis to look at what shows I think are worth watching.


We'll start with Mondays. Everyone hates Mondays, but as far as TV goes, there is a lot to like. The shows I have been watching are Chuck and Journeyman. I agree with Matt Roush of when he says the third episode of Chuck has been the best so far. Chuck is fun show with good characters and is a good way to kill an hour. The term of the year with critics is "escapism fun", and this show is one of those that fits that bill. It's from the brain of Josh Schwartz, so don't be surprised when you see Chuck sitting on the beach while we hear the music of a band that would have played at the Bait Shop. And Chuck has the same ringtone as Marissa Cooper, which is unfortunate. But, this is one of my top three favorite new shows, and I'm excited for the Rachel Bilson episodes coming up. I recommend you check out Chuck at least once.

It's definitely better than the alternative at 7pm, Prison Break. I have loyalty towards this show, season one was a favorite of my college roomate and I. Season two was misguided, but still entertaining. There were weeks where I actually said Prison Break is better than 24, which shows just how bad Jack and the gang were last season. But season three is just stupid. I still don't understand why Michael is in prison, and everything behind why they need to break Whister out of jail. I do like to see all of season two's villians in a new setting, but there are way too many plotholes in this show to say it's a good show. Where Chuck is escapism at it's finest (downloaded government secrets into a nerd's brain is implausible, but it's part of the fun, and it's part of the plot, not a plot hole), Prison Break really is a joke. It's fan base is there however, but I wonder how many of them are like me, watching but not really sure why. And I think the latest death cheapens the last two seasons, rather than advancing the "plot".

Journeyman is an enjoyable show, it's probably the show I look forward to the most everyweek right now. And I say this because I like the show as a whole, and not just for my crush on Moon Bloodgood. There are mysteries to this show, such as why he is traveling back in time, and why is his "dead" fiance always around when he does, but I don't mind not knowing the answers to these questions for awhile. The same people that are irriated by these questions are ths same people that hate Lost. I'm actually more interested in the relationships on this show than I am the time traveling, and as long as they keep that at the forefront, they'll be fine. There is a lot that can go wrong with this show if they aren't careful, and it's one of the shows that may have worked better as a movie. But I'm on board, despite early rumors about cancellation. I've never seen Quantam Leap either, so I can't make the comparison everyone else decides to make. I have seen Sliders though!

Elsewhere on Mondays, I see the ratings for Dancing with the Stars, but who is watching this show? No room on my DVR for Aliens in America, but I'm going to try to catch it next week. Heroes is a waste of time. CBS's Monday Night Comedy Block is great if you don't like to laugh. Personally, haven't got into CSI: Miami. The Bachelor, really?


Tuesday is a well-watched night, but I don't find too many things here that excite me. Cavemen and Carpoolers are typical ABC comedys, shows that think they are better than they are (I'm looking at you Sons and Daughters). Cane has all the makings of a show that will be cancelled. I want to get into House, I've liked the episodes I've seen. The only show I really watch this night is on the CW (who knew?), Reaper. It's a light, fun show, and I'll agree with some that think Ray Wise as the devil is one of the best character matches ever. But to me, it's like a junior version of Chuck. It would have a bigger audience on a different network though.


ABC debuted the rarity of having an entire night of new shows. The only one I've watched is Pushing Daisies, and it's lived up to it's hype. It's different, which is an understatement. The show will have a hard time living up to it's "Pie-lette" which was spectacular. After this pilot, and Journeyman this season, I had the same feelings I did after the first episodes of 24 and Lost, shows I knew were going to be on the top of my list. I'm more interesting in the dynamic of Chuck and the Pie man, as he is called, than I am about the weekly mystery. The premise is as unique as it gets, and the fact that Ned and Chuck (Chuck is girl in this show, a lot of "Chucks" this season), can never touch despite their extremely high sexual tension, is extremely interesting to watch. The show has a very whimisical, romantic feeling, and you can't help fall in love with Pushing Daisies!!!!!

Kid Nation wasn't as bad of an idea as it was made out to be, but you can see the influence the people behind the scenes have on the show, so it falls flat. It was actually heartbreaking to watch the eight year old boy leave during the first episode, and heartbreaking in an uncomfortable, why am I watching this way. I've heard Life is ok, but haven't seen it, meanwhile I heard Private Practice was awful, but it seems that the people that watch Grey's only watch this show because they feel like they have too. Not excited about Bionic Woman either, but apparently it has an audience. I like Back to You, and still haven't decided if I'm going to check out Gossip Girl or not. The fact that I've even mentioned CW shows is shocking me as well.

Don't forget about new South Park episodes, which are getting better with age.


Thursday! Historically, the night of the best television. Let's go through this one show by show.

Ugly Betty - Haven't seen it, but I don't think I'm their intended audience. Apparently, this is a big hit too. Another show that has good ratings, but one no one ever talks about. How can this show possibly be good?

Big Shots -It's good to see Christopher Titus is alive.

Grey's Anatomy - I used to watch this show, the Super Bowl promos hooked me in. When it moved to Thursdays, I passed on the show to watch The O.C. fade into oblivion. Well, it looks like if I want my taste of over the top drama with outrageous storylines and negative things continually happening to the characters, it looks like I can still get that thanks to Greys. The episode where Meredith "dies"? Come on. The wife of's Bill Simmons says it best when describing why I don't need to get back into Grey's. Her thoughts can be found here: Scroll down a little, it's on the right hand side. Here's an exerpt.

Grey's jumped the shark when T.R. Knight's dork character cheated on his overweight wife with blonde, beautiful, leggy Izzy -- that "relationship" is about as realistic as Spencer from "The Hills" getting a job..... Also, the gay-bashing saga with Isaiah Washington overshadowed last season when Katherine Heigl (who plays Izzy) defended T.R.'s sexual preference and T.R. seemed so wounded by everything (I felt so bad for him). Now, we're supposed to be watching T.R. and Izzy have an affair?

CBS (Survivor, CSI, Without a Trace) - Eh.

Smallville, Supernatural - Nothing to say, I've already given this network enough credit.

FOX - They have been trying since the days they Johnny Depp to get something going on Thursdays. Their games shows have actually been their best choice. I think hour long game shows are a bad idea. This is a trend that Millionaire started, which was a great game show before ABC abused it like the cash whore it was. Then came The Weakest Link, which was never good, everyone was just like, "Hey, this is kind of like Millionaire, and the chick is British, so when she is mean, it's funny!" I am excited for Regis to come back and host Password. Game shows these days are not as much about the game as they are the drama. Power of 10 was good, but you only saw about five questions get answered in the hour it was on. And this, "We'll find out... after the break!" stuff needs to go. It's not so bad with DVR, but it's annoying. Especially know that every host knows people hate it, and give the "I'm sorry, we gotta pay the bills" routine. Come on Foxworthy. PS on Jeff Foxworthy, the guy is a genius. The punch line to everyone of his jokes was "You might be a redneck", and it cracked people up every time. What the hell?

My Name is Earl - Just haven't got into it, but like it.

ER - People have been watching this for the last ten years waiting for Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway to come back. But really, how many times do you see shows end with completely different casts then what it starts with? I think ER works well that way though, over the last 14 however many years, you've basically had three different medical dramas. Its sounds like it may be coming to an end soon. I wonder if Clooney will indeed come back. The real question is: Would he ever come back if Roseanne had a reunion show???

30 Rock - All I am going to say is that when it started last year, I thought it was ok. I got out of it, but was told to get back in. If you're not in yet, GET IN. It's more than deserving of it's best comedy Emmy. It's just a half hour of fun.

The Office - The office used to be a half hour of fun, until it decided that going an hour long would make the show better. I don't know, I don't mind the hour long episodes, but it doesn't always feel like they are needed. I do like Jim and Pam together, and I hope it stays that way. I love that Ed Helms is a regular, he fits right in, and his song to Angela was classic. Can't wait to see how that affects the Dwight / Andy rivarly. But when Michael and Dwight drove around town trying to get the gift baskets back? It was funny when Michael drove into the lake, although of out character a little bit. I love Steve Carell, but there are times when Michael Scott becomes more annoying than anything else. It is my favorite comedy on tv however, and I'm glad it's found it's own way after copying scripts of the BBC version.

Scrubs - Come back!

Mad Men - Have only seen the pilot of this AMC show, but I'll write more about it once I plow through a couple more episodes.

Friday / Saturday

It's only approapriate to write off these nights, since the networks have. I think you can still find an audience for new shows on these nights, and don't like to see the networks give up on them. Friday still has plenty of new shows yet. I want to see the first season of Friday Night Lights before too long, but I hear the second season isn't what fans were hoping for. These nights appear to be best suited for reruns, sports, and newsmagazines (remember when those exploaded? There were five Datelines per week. Why, I ask you? Why???)


Not much to say about Sunday nights, in terms of new shows. ABC has it's feel-good Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and then big hits Housewives and Brothers and Sisters, neither of which I watch. I'm in the M18-34 demo, so I'm usually not drifting towards ABC this night. If I can remember, Home Edition was sort of a "spin-off" of the original Extreme Makeover, which simply gave people makeovers, and didn't do well. It's a feel good show, and it does good things for good people, but I've never liked it because when the show came within a half an hour of my hometown paper, the "Fond du Lac Reporter", news was put on the backburner for a two-week magazine about Ty Pennington and the crew. Like Dr. Cox, I'm not a Hugh Jackman guy, so I'll be staying away from CBS, I'm a FOX guy on Sundays, although the Simpsons hasn't been good this year (and I always defend Simpsons), and Family Guy has peaked already as well. The CW is irrelevant, really, on this night, and I'm busy watching NBC's Sunday Night Football.

This could be the longest blog I've ever wrote. If you read it, feel free to add your thoughts below, otherwise if no one read it, it gave me something to do besides watch the Badgers get pummeled out of the top 25. I hope you enjoyed it, and I tried not to steal too many thoughts of other critics I've read. Maybe I am no better than the people I talk sports with after all. But hey, if I did write similiar things, and you haven't read it, they are new to you! (Ah, the days of Must See TV.)

24 Season Six Finale

"In case you've forgotten, I'm very good at disappearing. And if you try sending someone after us, I'll kill 'em . . . pretty good at that, too."

Season six was uneven, rehashed, and at times dull. A lot of plotlines were weak, too many storylines weaved in and out, and not everything got resolved. But those last fifteen minutes were beautiful television, and they were exactly how I expected season six to be. The conversation between Jack and Heller may be the best one-on-one conversation 24 has ever had.

I'll put that talk aside and get some of the other season finale issues out of the way first. The first hour was pretty tense with the exchange of Josh for the component. Jack was right, as usual, about his father's motives. Everyone seemingly did not want to go through with the mission, but no one at CTU was strong enough to run their own course. Thank god Karen brought Bill Buchanan back in the mix, the best Bill scenes are always when he is stuck at CTU. Noah realized that being President is easier to do from the sidelines, Lennox showed he's a decent guy, showing a sign of faith giving the recording back. Karen and Bill get pardoned, live happily ever after. Palmer was mentioned, but no status on his health. Still wondering why Logan was in this season.

I thought the Russian stuff was ok, but sort of odd. It seemed like Russia really wanted to go to war with us, and by go to war I mean attack an army base in Asia... they'd do more than that if they were serious. Suvarov eventually backed down on his threat. Question though, could neither the White House or the Russians see that a helicopter was escaping from the oil rig? Who's to say the component wasn't on that helicopter, getting away? And why did Cheng give Phillip the component anyways?

I liked the Josh stuff. I liked that Jack said he didn't care that he was his nephew, but rather a sixteen year old innocent boy. I liked that Josh took matters into his own hands and shot Phillip. Great speech by Jack with his father, which I'll get to later. Phillip is apparently dead, as he "got off easy."

Back at CTU... where was that Division badass from last week? Nadia kept getting kudos for her work... but I thought she did a terrible job, never able to make her own decisions. Her character was an odd one this year, it seemed like the writers changed her role many times. First, she's Muslim, so she has restrictions. Second, she's tortured. Then, she's all of a sudden in charge of CTU? It's hard to imagine this season started off with all the Muslim backlash, and we haven't heard anything on that for most of the season's second half. Morris and Chloe are having a baby, good for them. If we only got one episode this week, and the cliffhanger was that Chloe collapsed, I would have been disappointed because it came from nowhere. All week we would have been, what happened to Chloe? Oh my god! I guess I wouldn't have cared too much, it seemed kind of forced. With Milo dead and Chloe in bed, Morris was really the only analyst left that we knew. When they introduced him last year at the end of season five, you knew he'd be back in six, but really we could have done without him. Without Nadia, Milo, and Chloe for that matter. I hated the CTU drama of this season. I'll fast forward those parts in the DVDs, as well as much of the White House stuff probably. Cheng is in custody, and I loved his line to Bill about how his country won't turn their back on him.

Doyle was this year's Chase Edmunds, right down to the unfortunate accident towards the end of the season. His character was all over the place too... What happened in Denver? Why is he in love with the Quran, the Bible, whatever he can get his hands on? Now it appears he is blinded. I did love he when did the Jack Bauer "Dammit" though. Doyle and Jack could be friends if they were outside of CTU. And another question, was there a point of Milo's brother Stuart? I mean, yes, in the fact that it reiterated how much he loved Nadia, but his disappearing act was pretty weird.

Speaking of disappearing, we move to Jack Bauer. 24 hours ago he arrived back in America ready to die for a purpose. Now, he has nothing. No job. No food. No money. His pet's head would probably be falling off, if he had one. Jack has nothing. No home. No friends. No purpose. Nothing.

It was different not to see Jack kill either Cheng or Phillip. Jack didn't need revenge, he wasn't seeking it anymore. He told Josh that no matter how much better it might make you feel, taking someone's life is a hard thing to live with. And Jack has done it a countless number of times. A broken soul indeed.

He didn't want to go back to CTU, and I don't blame him. I don't think he ever will either. Jack needs a fresh start, out of L.A., out of CTU, maybe even out of the country that has asked so much of him. But first... he wanted Audrey.

But to get through Audrey, you have to go through James Heller, a man whose life he saved, a man that acted as a father figure to him. It was chilling, and to me the perfect, and only way to wrap up season six. Jack is a broken man, he's gone through hell and back more than once, he's done everything right, saved his country, his family, his friends. But now he's left with nothing. Jack and Heller's talk summed up everything that Jack has been through since day one. The killing of his wife. The debt America is in to him. The fact that Jack can't walk away from "the game", even though he's tried. Just ask Frank Flynn.

It was also good to see Jack defend himself to Heller, to explain that he has done everything that has been asked of him, and then some. But it's cost him everything. Which is why Heller was right, and Jack had to say goodbye to Audrey. I'm already rooting for Audrey to come back in the series finale's finale minutes.

Again, season six was a mess. My brother Brock told me before I was able to watch the show that the final hour made up for this season's shortcomings. Maybe not all of them, but to be honest, I didn't mind sitting through the uneven season six if it brought us those last fifteen minutes. As I've said, I love when Jack gets personal, when the show is centered on Jack's struggles. It's cool when the villians are personal enemies of Jack (Drazen, Saunders, Henderson, Phillip, Cheng, Nina) rather than some random villain (Marwan, Kingsley, Amador, Araz). The show is so much better when it's centered around Jack and his struggle. That's what season six brought us in the first four hours, that's why it was great. It lacked that for most of the season, until the final hours of the episode. And that's when season six was at it's best.
I will rewatch the final scenes as soon as this blog is written, it was a great way to cap off the season, and this second trilogy. It seems that 24 is blocked in sets of three, with the first seasons focusing on Nina, Mason, Tony, Michelle, Kim, CTU, Palmer, Chappelle and the latter season focusing on the Chinese, Logan, Bill, Heller, Karen, Audrey, Chloe. And at the end of season three, Jack was overwhelmed by it all, crying in his Jeep, but ready to head back to CTU and get to work. Now at the end of season six, Jack is left looking over a cliff, wondering what is next. Wasn't the best season finale ever, or even final scene (they will never top the first season).
I agreed with the use of the silent clock, because 24 as we know it is seemingly dead. As Jack looks off the cliff, wondering what direction to head, the writers are seemingly doing the same. After all the service, all the death, all the pain, where does Jack go from here?

I guess we'll have to wait another day.

5:59:58.... 5:59:59.... 6:00:00.

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