Sports Night
Shane

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Daniel: B | 3 USERS: A
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Shane

So the last episode was called "Kafelnikov," and I had no idea why, since the name Kafelnikov was not mentioned once during the whole show. And the name rang a bell with me, but I couldn't place it, so I figured Sorkin was dropping in an obscure reference because maybe one of the plotlines mirrored a plot from a Dostoyevsky novel that I haven't read (which is, I guess, all of them except Crime and Punishment, and the guy in that one is Raskolnikov) or something so I didn't worry too much more about it. Then, the day after I send it to Sars, I'm watching the next episode where Dan has trouble pronouncing the name "Yevgeny Kafelnikov" and I said, "Of course! Yevgeny!" and I have to get in touch with Sars because I figured I got mixed up on the episode guide and put the wrong title on the recap. But getting in touch with Sars is a major deal because I have to set up the computer because she's got like this video phone thing and I have to set up my computer camera too, which means I have to shave and put on a tie just to talk to her. And of course she's really busy and irritated to hear from me, like, "What is it this time, Daniel?" kind of like how Reverend Lovejoy responds to Ned Flanders, and I explain the problem and she sighs and we figure out that this episode, where Dan has the pronunciation problem, is called "Shane" which makes sense since Casey's plotline revolves around a ball player named Shane. So "Kafelnikov" is the right title for the last episode but why it's called that I don't know. And of course Sars is irritated that I wasted her time and she never forgets these things, like months from now if I make a mistake in a recap and need her to change it, she'll say, "Is this like the Kafelnikov thing?" Anyway, thanks a lot, Sorkin, for being all cryptic and sloppy with your titles; now my boss is pissed at me. ["Not least because she has to hear about it again in the recap. Let it go, MacEachern. Jesus." -- Sars]

At Anthony's, Abby is further blurring the date/appointment distinction, since she's having a drink with Dan, but he's talking about his family. I know you do that on the first few dates anyway, but the thing with Abby is she asks questions that I know would have me paranoid that she was cataloguing and analyzing everything I say. We already know about Dan's dead younger brother, and we learn he also has an older brother named Dave. "And what about the cafeteria?" says Abby, and Dan is confused, and she reminds him he said something about how "after Sam" (presumably meaning after Sam died) he would get nervous with people. "I would walk up to a table in the cafeteria, and these would be people I like, and I'd be good for two or three minutes before I'd have to leave. My friends called me 'Hit-and-Run Danny.'" Abby wants to know what happened after he left. Dan says "nothing." Abby doesn't really seem to buy it. "You actually do that on the telephone too," she says. Dan says he's not that good on the phone. Abby asks if he's not that good at a table, or on a phone, where is he good? and I was worried Dan was going to say "the bedroom" but he says, "I'm good on TV." "I'll say," says Abby. He asks her if she watched the show today. She did. Did she like it? She did. Dan says he's won awards, but then admits he's just been nominated. Abby says she's sure he'll win one. Dan keeps asking her if she liked the show and wants to make sure she isn't just saying that, because of his insecurity, obviously, and Abby reassures him she liked it. "You look great tonight," says Dan. She does, too. Abby thanks him. "You're beautiful and charming," he says, and she thanks him again, but this time she sounds like she's wondering where he's going with this. "You see how I said that without being solicited?" he says. She did see that. He asks if she wants another drink and she asks if he's being Hit-and-Run Danny right now. Uh, sounds like he's being Courteous Drinking Companion Danny right now (I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he's not being Get Her Drunk Danny).

Meanwhile, in another part of the bar, Jeremy and Casey are getting food from some sort of buffet. Casey asks if he mentioned his Close-Up interview to Jeremy yet. "Several times," says Jeremy. "Well, bear with me because the audience has to hear it," says Casey. He explains that he's interviewing "Mr." Shane McArnold, who Jeremy says is a twit. "How about a lifetime .303 batting average, how about 348 home runs, how about back-to-back 30/30 seasons?" says Casey. I admit those are good numbers; unless I'm mistaken, only Tony Womack, Jeff Bagwell and the highly underrated Raul Mondesi had 30/30 seasons in 1999, but how sad is it that Casey offers a person's ability to swing a bit as proof of his intelligence? "How about the fact that he's a twit?" says Jeremy. Touché. "He happens to be a friend of mine," says Casey. "He also happens to be a twit," says Jeremy. Once again, Jeremy, well played. They are sitting down at a table, and Casey childishly tells Jeremy he's not speaking to him anymore and shifts his focus to Natalie, lucky her. She's too engrossed in the paper, though. She's reading a story about the Vatican saying hell isn't a place; instead, it's a state. Yeah! New Jersey! ["First the Kafelnikov thing, and now you insult my home state? You're on a roll today, Jobless Mahoney." -- Sars] Jeremy says the fact that there's no hell takes a load of his mind, I guess because he's such a bad-ass. Casey reads my mind and says, "I shouldn't be here with you people."

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