How's that for a headline? Not so great, I know, but the Chicago White Sox did finally win their first World Series championship in 88 years, defeating the Houston Astros tonight 1-0, and winning in a four-game sweep. Veteran outfielder Jermaine Dye, who drove in the lone run tonight, was named World Series Most Valuable Player, though that honor could have gone to relief pitcher Bobby Jenks, who preserved Sox leads last night and tonight, or shortstop Juan Uribe, who had made several errors in previous games but rang the Astros' final two death knells with a superb foul catch in the stands and brilliant fielding and a throw that led to the final Houston out.
General Manager Ken Williams, one of the few (the only?) Black GMs in the major leagues, and Manager Ozzie Guillén, a former star infielder, Venezuelan native, and one of the few Latino managers, also deserve tremendous praise. In fact sportswriters openly doubted and questioned the often outspoken (sometimes to the point of offensiveness) Guillén throughout the season, especially when Chicago experienced a late-summer swoon, before righting itself and winning its division.
This year marks one of the rare periods in Major League Baseball history, especially in the post-Jackie Robinson era, when the Series has had two consecutive years of four-game sweeps; the last time was in 1998-1999, when the powerhouse New York Yankees accomplished it, but they'd done it several other times, and have also won more than 20 Series crowns. Last year's winner was the long suffering Red Sox (originally Stockings), this year the White--and Chicagoland fans all across the vast swathe of the city and suburbs south of Madison Street (and some outside that demarcated territory) get to cheer what for years looked like an impossibility. Now it doesn't look like an impossibility even for the hapless Cubs! Congratulations, White Sox!
I finally caught the first episode of Noah's Arc, director and writer Patrik-Ian Polk's series on Logo, which C. had taped for me, as well as the second episode, which aired tonight, and I'm going to let C.'s previous, hilarious review stand. No quibbles here.
I do want to add that while there is so much to criticize with this show--the acting, the writing, the implausibilities, the characterizations (Chance?), the materialism, the constant reversion to clichés (I have never ever witnessed any Black people, let alone anyone else, eating out of Chinese takeout food boxes as they depicted here and as films and TV shows always depict--try plates!), the binaristic view of sexuality in terms of Wade, the 1980s feel, etc.--I actually enjoy it. I even felt moments of...well, if not exact recognition, something close to it.
Not one of the primary characters strikes me as especially likeable or, outside of Alex, Wade, and the two peripheral characters Eddie and Tre, resembles any Black gay person I know. In addition, I found Halle Minnelli's (Ricky's) lack of a living space outside his store/bathhouse bizarre (and his hairdo annoying), wondered whether Chance (like Noah) was independently wealthy or one of the most brilliant economists under the sun to afford his lifestyle (so perhaps just make him a business or med school prof and then, like Oz, dare anyone to recognize or even challenge the background change), and tried to figure out if Noah's character had originally been written as a woman (on the model of Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw, or any of the characters on Girlfriends), since it sometimes felt as if we were being read to read him, at least in a semiotic sense, in this manner. (Gender theorists, you betta work with this one.) In fact, in episode 1, the phrase that kept coming to mind in terms of Noah was "too many things...."
But still, I actually want to see it again. I do.
C. thought the second episode was better than the first, and I agree, though Chance's SUV-"shop-wrecking" (or "moving furniture," as C. told me was the more current term) was...totally implausible, probably would have meant he'd be out of a job (note to writers: most universities, including UCLA/USC/etc., will fire a tenured professor for felonious behavior, which driving a car into someone's living room/day room/den, etc., probably would qualify as, given the decided intent), and in any case, his character is so rebarbative (what's up with that voice, that delivery, the utter inability to show even the slightest emotion beyond a slightly upcurled upper lip?) that I really find it hard to believe the other three characters would want to spend more than a few minutes around him. I mean, can we really blame his boyfriend, Eddie, who appears to be far more interesting and nuanced, for looking for some on the side--or at least wanting to get the hell out of that house?
I did like that the episode played with some expectations, though, including bringing in the transgender (or gender-disrupting) designer, and having the new employee mack hir (I think that's the right pronoun, isn't it?), that it pressed the issue of safe sex, and that it evoked cybersex as sex, broached the issue of alternative sex play, and, at the risk of sounding crass, it's great to see lots of men running around in no clothes or cute clothes (or BDSM outfits!) and sexing things up. So it wasn't all bad. But....
And yet, I intend to keep watching it. Perhaps it is, as someone (Rod?) sagely said, like watching a car-wreck, which sounds rather morbid when Noah's Arc really doesn't have an edge: it's silly, at times to the point of absurdity, often unbelievable or like a fantasy gone awry, but also at times sexy and funny while intending to be so. Still the wreck simile, which I guess Chance's moment of payback literally (and ironically?) embodied, does seem to apply. And I'll keep staring/watching.