We close out the day with the best in soundbites on Dale and Holley with Thornton.
We close out the day with the best in soundbites on Dale and Holley with Thornton.

[0:03:24] ... do. Are the American academy and I don't Mormon averaging in the Gulf Coast League in Frederick can Louis in the Delmarva more mention. I think very seriously the stuff they have to do get opportunities to ...
[0:03:57] ... that black. I do love it. Did he insult than it does Jamal Lewis to do and journalists. There's some good that your sometimes people with the FBI really like arrogant condescending view that beat out ...
[0:04:41] ... weren't. It was just a great year. I mean the way the World Series on full that was unbelievable. That whole season. Arabs call from the top of the Motley about a I don't 96. Great ...
[0:14:03] ... three touchdown passes. Virginia drop below I got six mr. crabs. For Christian Fauria Wednesday. Guide mister Kraft bowl and upset over Dan roach. Elena next Red Sox baseball Sports Radio WE. Yeah. ...






The premiere of “The Night Of” was arguably 2016’s best hour of television.  It so distinctly established itself as something different, I found myself amazed that:

A. HBO released it early on it’s on-demand platforms (a move reserved for shows that struggle to find an audience).

B. A bigger deal was not made of the fact it was available when it hit the internet. For all of the discussions this show is generating, it should be generating twice that amount. I’m both disappointed and ectatic that as a collective TV-mystery-sleuthing-cultural-task-force, we are yet to crack the mystery of “Who Killed Andrea Cornish?” Disappointed because the best theories out there right now either that the step-dad or a guy named after New York’s version of CVS did it, and ectatic because we have three more weeks of #PeakTV to roll around in.  

This is the type of show that Golden Age of Television truthers crave: a patient, aesthetically pleasing, crime drama with the DNA of a Mount Rushmore of Modern Age Media discussion pumping through it’s veins — “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Serial,” and “True Detective.”  

Since its debut episode, many viewers have argued that the slow-burn pace of the show has overshadowed the actual plot. If that is your take, you’re correct. This is not “The Night Of: Special Victim’s Unit.” If that is deterring you from sticking with the show, then you’re making the completely wrong move. Simply put: if you like TV, then this type of show is good for you. There is a reason why HBO paired this show with “Ballers” and “Vice Principals” — you have to eat all your vegetables before we roll out the ice cream.  

Shows like “The Night Of” are very rare, even more so in the U.S. “The Night Of” is a limited series; there are eight episodes and that is it. While anthology series are all the rage now on cable — “Fargo,” “American Horror Story,” “True Detective” — there is an inherent sense of “we’re gonna get a few cracks at this to get it right.” Even though each season is a standalone story, they are connected thematically, and designed to share lots of similarities. Within that, the audience knows that there will be multiple attempts for these anthologies to make up for any lackluster seasons. I don’t know if anyone really loved “American Horror Story”: Hotel and I doubt it will dissuade people from watching whatever AHS: 6 winds up being.  

A show like “The Night Of” doesn’t have that luxury, not that it needs it. This eight episode dissection is all we’re getting, and that is a good thing.  To put this in context, the three episode stretch of Naz acclimating to prison, John Stone’s gross feet, and the back and forth between legal teams representing our protagonist, was essentially season two of “The Wire.” While maybe the crisis at the docks isn’t your favorite part of that series, it’s all connected and a necessary part of the experience. Could you imagine bailing on McNulty, Bunk, and Kima because you didn’t like Ziggy and the Sobotkas?  You would have missed so much Omar!  

Part Five of “The Night Of,” “The Season of the Witch,” was the clear end to the second act of the show as each of our main characters met with some serious conflict all circling around the central question we’ve largely refused to ask ourselves: Who Is Nasir Khan? Seriously… who is he?  Throughout the show, we’ve assumed he’s a good guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He’s the son of immigrant parents. He’s the smart kid who is doing the best with the opportunity he has earned.  He’s a math whiz. Every single fiber of our TV watching being has been trained to think that this guy didn’t do it. But what if he did?  

One theory I keep coming back to in every episode deconstruction is that in dealing with Naz we’re dealing with an unreliable narrator, which is defined as a first person character whose credibility has been seriously compromised.  While “The Night Of” isn’t told from a first person point of view in the same was as its contemporary prestige-y dramas like The Affair or Mr. Robot (two other shows that lean almost exclusively on this narrative device), the idea that Naz doesn’t quite have a handle on what happened on October 24th, 2014 is developing into the most pivotal plot point in the story.    

As highlighted in The Season of the Witch, Naz’s tox screen came back reading like a recipe for bad news: ecstasy, alcohol, ketamine, and amphetamine. When his legal team, John and Chandra, present him with this information, Naz is visibly shook. Even taking into account the incredibly stressful situation Naz finds himself in during that moment– he is trying to complete a drug hand off for Freddy– he is agitated by Stone poking holes in his “just a Kid from Queens” persona. It takes several direct accusations but Naz finally admits to using adderall– the likely source of the amphetamine in his blood.  

Question: Is this the behavior of a character you can trust?  

As the waiting room hand-off unfolds, John launches into a laundry list of reasons why a college kid taking adderall who is also on trial for murder is a bad thing:

“1. Without a prescription it’s illegal. 2. You weren’t up studying you were going to a party. 3. It counteracts the sedative effects of the K making your ‘I passed out story’ less believable. 4. You take enough of it, it makes you psychotic. 5. You lied to me.  So I’m going to ask you, because your life depends on it: What else have lied about?”

As all of these accusations are being hurled his way, Naz is trying to time the distraction of a prison guard to the exact moment when his accomplice, Petey, will be walking by him with a hand full of eight balls that he must then dry swallow in front of his lawyer. Lots to process for both main character and audience. I had to re-watch the scene five times to catch Stone’s entire list of ‘drugs are bad’ bullet points.  

The audience is being manipulated purposefully into confusion to show that Naz can’t things straight when situations get stressful, even when those stressful situations are controlled and he knows what is coming.  

This point is driven home in the next scene when Naz has to deliver the product in front of Freddy and his team. After passing the three bags he swallowed, Naz insists there are four, a statement with which Petey instantly agrees. Petey’s reasons aside (stress, the knowledge that if he says there are only three the obvious implication is that he and Naz are trying to hide the fourth from Freddy, etc.), we know Naz is wrong. The audience has watched Naz swallow three eight-balls, not four.  This is done to show us that no matter how stressful the situation, no matter how much danger or perceived danger he is in, Naz’s recollection of the situation is flawed. He is as unreliable a narrator as you can get.  

Question: How can this character, all things considered, be counted on to remember anything and what proof do we have that we should believe him?  

In trying to answer these questions, I did a little digging on Wikipedia, and I thought this example summed it perfectly:

Sometimes the narrator’s unreliability is made immediately evident. For instance, a story may open with the narrator making a plainly false or delusional claim or admitting to being severely mentally ill, or the story itself may have a frame in which the narrator appears as a character, with clues to the character’s unreliability. A more dramatic use of the device delays the revelation until near the story’s end. This twist ending forces readers to reconsider their point of view and experience of the story. In some cases the narrator’s unreliability is never fully revealed but only hinted at, leaving readers to wonder how much the narrator should be trusted and how the story should be interpreted.

So what else is Naz misremembering?  

Naz’s guilt or innocence hangs in the balance of what he both remembers and is willing to admit, and after The Season of The Witch, that is not an easy thing to pin down. Consciously, Naz believes he is innocent, but unconsciously he might know something different, with his physical transformation being the biggest hint. In addition to trying mirror Freddy physically — boxing, the tight space workouts, and big dogging Treach from Naughty By Nature after deciding the TV room will be watching Ellen — Naz decides to shave his head. In any visual storytelling medium, that is a sign of transformation and it rarely carries a positive connotation.  

Elsewhere in prestige cable land, a close up scene of a main character shaving his head is the manifestation of guilt. Walter White shaves his head and commits to becoming Heisenberg. He evolves from mild-mannered science teacher to Caucasian Scarface. It doesn’t happen immediately, but the ball is now rolling.  On the Walking Dead, Shane — a most reluctant villain — shaves his head after literally throwing someone in front of a horde of animated flesh monsters in order to save himself.  Instead of admitting to the other survivors what he did, he shaves his head and things get more evil from there.  He evolution into villainy is a bit faster — from people’s champion in post-apocalyptic Atlanta to zombie.  

In both cases, the change comes from the character struggling to come to grips with their specific actions. It’s the easiest way to show the audience that there is something the character is struggling with. Very literally, they have a hard time looking themselves in the mirror and opt to make a drastic change.  

While Naz probably won’t become the Walter White of Rikers Island and I doubt the final twist of The Night Of is that the dead rise from their graves, there are real monsters at play here. More so than the evil step-dad, the random guy from the funeral, or the elusive Duane Reed, the evidence we have points to Naz having the most potential to evolve into the monster we’ve been hunting. He remembers more than he is letting on even if he isn’t ready to admit it.  

 

Blog Author: 
Padraic O'Connor

In honor of Marblehead’s Kayla Harrison winning gold in Judo, I go to the greatest karate scene (non-Bruce Lee Division) in film history. While I’m happy for a fellow Masshole being triumphant, I’m inconsolable no one on her side of the mat yelled “Finish her!” And as far as I can tell, there wasn’t a single cry to “Sweep the leg!”

But congrats to Kayla. Strike first! Strike hard! No mercy, sir!

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
The MFers preview the Patriots' first preseason game against the Saints. They discuss how much stock to put into player performances, and what they'll be looking for during the game.
Lou and Christian discuss Yankee manager Joe Giardi's usage of Alex Rodriguez in his final days in a Yankee uniform

[0:00:00] ... What you've done this. Two Alex Rodriguez junior this year is just below do you have it here anyways when children are basically I. Alex Rodriguez and he's just pleading from all angles. I get this again this isn't you know this is the way you want to ...
[0:01:18] ... maybe a different if he didn't do it two years ago what Derek Jeter. Exactly like he was being criticized for playing Jeter's much he did who could output position anymore. It kept them Alina second he couldn't play short. He wasn't the best shortstop on the team. And yet he rolled them out there because it was a farewell tour he did the exact same thing for Derek Jeter two years ago it wasn't Rivera. Three years ago because Mo was still one of the best closes and games are gonna ...
[0:03:09] ... that's why they're paying them if he was retiring. It would pay Ryan Dempster couple years back spring training you're thirteen million dollars hired extra Red Sox denote to a Prince Fielder. He's not he's not about retiring. He's done playing because of an engine out there or he's getting his money if he ...





Lou and Fauria react to Minihane's latest podcast with Gary Tanguay. Tanguay discusses how Christian initially wanted him over Ordway on the midday show. Tanguay also takes credit for the creation of "angry Lou"

[0:00:28] ... from was off you know it was Chicago. We're seeing the Rangers. New Jersey I think was the thirteen minutes or so like one of those things like you know you. The pretty girls school a ...
[0:04:23] ... Yeah he's the best added I think you knew that legacy greatest Jerry Taylor also it's anchored by Steve as well I think well. Do you get the sense he's frustrated now whether or voice. I ...
[0:05:20] ... job might I was actually going to be worked him for fox college football out in New York's been an LA. And I was going to be doing I'm cause of bullets and on that most of the same time with skip Bayless who don't get to a national down on Iowa this outs in the process of leaving ESPN trying to figure what I was gonna do. And I ended up just I didn't wanna do the commute at a wanna leave on Wednesday and come back on Monday afternoon from covering college football and NFL does not have a life. It's also right at it and yes oh yes you said bitch -- anyone. Yesterday ...





With Ordway away on vacation, Lou and Christian begin the show talking about the Red Sox frustrating loss to the Yankees. Angry Lou makes his feelings known early and often.

I hate to say “I told you so,” but …

Actually, I love to say “I told you so.” As a matter of fact, I will never miss the opportunity to say it. And no sooner had the plans been announced to bring the Olympics to Boston in 2024, I warned you that getting into financial bed with the sticky-fingered weasels at the International Olympic Committee would spell disaster for us. And this business of two pools turning the color and clarity of a blended Margarita is just the latest episode that proves my case. Here’s the explanation FINA, the thieving dooshnozzles in charge of the pools in Rio came up with for GreenGate:

FINA can confirm that the reason for the unusual water colour observed during the Rio 2016 diving competitions is that the water tanks ran out some of the chemicals used in the water treatment process. As a result the pH level of the water was outside the usual range, causing the discolouration.

“Ran out of the chemicals.” Ran out. Less than a week into the games. You can keep all the pools at your local Y completely stocked for a couple of hundred bucks a year at your neighborhood Ocean State Job Lot. But the people running Rio bought about five days worth.

So perhaps the under-stocked bozos running this clown show can explain what they did with all the up-front money shelled out to them by Coca-Cola, McDonalds, the tire companies, the cell carriers, the car manufacturers? Because they obviously didn’t invest it into running the games properly. Brazil is a country wracked with unemployment. There have to be millions of capable, conscientious out-of-work guys who expected to be given a tool belt, some building supplies and the plans to the athletes’ apartments. But they weren’t.

Just like I’m sure they could have hired the Rio equivalent of my Darling Irish Rose, who manages to keep our humble, above ground, white trash pool sparkling all summer long. But instead all those billions in sponsorship deals line the pockets of people who provide nothing to anyone but themselves.

All I can say is every day I thank my maker it’s happening to someone other than Boston.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

 

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Introducing Nicole Van Der Velden of the Aruban Sailing team. I first became of Nicole during a scouting trip through the Opening Ceremony on my TV last Friday when her country had the honor of letting her carry their flag. I instantly made a note to look her up later because my blogger sense told me her Instagram account would not disappoint. And as always, I was right.  I point this just to let you know that there is never an off moment in the blogging game. I’m always working. Whether it’s a Friday night in front of the TV or a Thursday morning combing through pictures of a world-class sailing athlete, the sun never sets on my empire. Now if only my girl Nicole can avoid swallowing the sewer water or capsizing on an underwater sofa, I’ll rest easy.

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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton