Monday, December 28, 2009

Brooklyn Boxing

[I wrote this a while ago, never posted it, figured I should, for L Magazine pride and all.]

Photo courtesy of HBO.

November 10th, 2009

Last Sunday brought us the season finale of HBO’s Bored to Death, a very New-York-City-centric show penned by Jonathan Ames, where Ames-the-character, as played by Jason Schwartzman, is a writer who solves crimes on the side. Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis walk around Fort Greene Park! They trek to Brighton Beach! They run around DUMBO taking in the views of the Brooklyn Bridge! They take the F train (my train)!

The finale revolved around a boxing match challenged between New York Edition (which bears a striking resemblance to New York Magazine…) editor George Christopher (played by Ted Danson) and GQ editor Richard Antrem (played by Oliver Platt) after George pens a vicious slandering editor’s note about Antrem.

Writers? Boxing? Really? The idea’s a bit outrageous ad a bit too physical for writers, but somehow it seemed right, familiar even. Seeing Schwartzman and Danson don their boxing gloves, it hit me: This has happened before.

According to writer-Jonathan Ames’ blog about the show, he was indeed inspired by The L Magazine/NY Press showdown:

“[…]a few years ago, New York Press and The L Magazine, here in New York, had a boxing match to take out their animus for each other's publication in the ring. I wasn't part of that, but it set a precedent in my mind for two magazines fighting, and thus I felt it wasn't beyond the pale for Edition NY and GQ to go at it.”

The New York Press had beef with L Magazine back during L’s foundling days in 2003, stemming from the same orange color of their respective magazine bins on street corners. Soon it evolved into a back-and-forth lashing, Jeff Koyen of the NY Press called L “dreadful,” Scott Stedman of L (who’s still there today) challenged him to a soccer match. Koyen declined, but then agreed to the boxing match, which Stedman announced with an ad in the magazine.

The L Magazine/NY Press showdown took place at Gleason’s Gym, which is where writer-Ames boxed in real life and TV-Ames and George trained.

As for the fight, Mediabistro reported that it was a draw.

Vernacular: It's Always Sunny at Emerson College

[This is really late, but I'm posting it anyway. Next year, I'll be more on top of things...Anyway, from Emerson's Grad Blog, Vernacular, November 9th, 2009]

I’m a devout fan of all things It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (it’s only because of the show that I want to go to Philly, having never actually visited). So, imagine my elation at a recent episode, in which Mac (played by show creator Rob McElhenney) enters wearing that familiar purple-and-yellow Emerson football shirt (you know, “undefeated since 1880,” haw haw).

Did he go to Emerson? Because that would be a damn cool alum to have mad connections with, and that would mean he’d have to visit, no?

Unfortunately, that dream didn’t come true. My hopes were dashed with a quick Google search. According to the message board at Television Without Pity, someone found out that “last spring in our ‘Writing for TV’ class, we had a conference call with [McElhenney]. As a thank you our class sent him a t-shirt that reads ‘Emerson College Football - Undefeated Since 1880.’”

(Emerson has never had a football team, what irony!)

There’s good news, though. On the season’s hi-larious third season finale, Rob reprised his choice of garment, sporting very same t-shirt. Much to my dismay, he did not cut the sleeves off. To give credit, there’s also a brief write-up about the shirt on Emerson’s VMA page.

And unfortunately, the blog I mentioned earlier with the Emerson-McElhenney connection post isn’t up anymore. But in the meantime, there is a cool write-up about one Emerson student interning on the show. Now there’s an idea…