The Ringer

CaptainLaddie

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Completely random thought: so, I love Kevin Clark and Slow News Day. I think he's fantastic, remarkably quick on his feet on podcasts and SND, and he's really good at interviewing and only getting better at it. I could see him hosting a late night talk show at some point in the (probably far) future.
 

thebtskink

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He's reminds me of Craig Kilborn in terms of wit, with a sense of self deprecation replacing the impossible bravado.
 

Foxy42

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The music festival fantasy draft on Russillo’s pod w KFC and Chris Long was a blast. How nobody picks The Beatles makes zero sense, but a fun listen no matter.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I really enjoyed the Ringer article about favorite Baseball-Reference pages:
Fun info on the worst team ever, the oldest player ever, Bob Gibson's great run in 1968, the player who was born in the ocean, players with funny names, and the hitter who had the worst ever day in his only game, and more.
 

Kliq

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I really enjoyed the Ringer article about favorite Baseball-Reference pages:
Fun info on the worst team ever, the oldest player ever, Bob Gibson's great run in 1968, the player who was born in the ocean, players with funny names, and the hitter who had the worst ever day in his only game, and more.
What a great idea for a piece. When I saw the headline I instantly said "Rogers Hornsby".
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Today they had a good interview with the guy who played Jonah Ryan on Veep (Timothy Simons).He was asked by the interviewer who his favorite TV character of all time was and he answered Shane from The Shield. Alyssa Bereznak had never even heard of that show. Isn't that a little weird? It looks like she writes a lot about reality TV and pop culture, and The Shield is definitely up there in TV pop culture. Doing some digging, she probably 31-32, having graduated college in 2010. So she was in college for at least the later seasons.
 

Cellar-Door

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Today they had a good interview with the guy who played Jonah Ryan on Veep (Timothy Simons).He was asked by the interviewer who his favorite TV character of all time was and he answered Shane from The Shield. Alyssa Bereznak had never even heard of that show. Isn't that a little weird? It looks like she writes a lot about reality TV and pop culture, and The Shield is definitely up there in TV pop culture. Doing some digging, she probably 31-32, having graduated college in 2010. So she was in college for at least the later seasons.
Not particularly weird to me. The Shield was basically done as a mainstream popular culture thing by 2005 (maybe even 2003), it limped along to 2008, but since it was on FX, didn't get much in the way of ratings, got shut out of the Emmy's post 2002, and was overshadowed by the breadth of other top shows (in quality or pop culture dominance) that came on the scene at similar times (Sopranos, West Wing, 24, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, CSI, Lost, Arrested Development, Sex and the City, Curb... etc.) The Shield is kind of a niche show in that way, when it first started it was a fresh anti-hero experience, but it quickly got boxed out by better and/or more popular shows. I bet she vaguely would know... the cop show with the bald guy but she was probably around 14 when the Shield started to fade from public view, and I don;t know that the Shield was a show that a 12-14 year old girl was likely to have a ton of exposure to.
 

kenneycb

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I'm the same age as her and the above is pretty much it. I know my dad watched it and it had the bald guy in there whose last name kinda sounds like Chiclets but that's the extent of it. And I say that as someone who, at that time / age, watched Six Feet Under, Oz, Curb, and those types of shows.
 

johnmd20

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I'm the same age as her and the above is pretty much it. I know my dad watched it and it had the bald guy in there whose last name kinda sounds like Chiclets but that's the extent of it. And I say that as someone who, at that time / age, watched Six Feet Under, Oz, Curb, and those types of shows.
Just to note, The Shield was better than Oz and Six Feet Under. It was phenomenal. And eminently more watchable.

But Curb stands alone, that show is historically great.
 

luckiestman

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Just to note, The Shield was better than Oz and Six Feet Under. It was phenomenal. And eminently more watchable.

But Curb stands alone, that show is historically great.
I never could get into 6 feet under but will take Oz over the Shield. I think Shield is vastly overrated. It is as overrated as Homicide is underrated.
 

johnmd20

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I never could get into 6 feet under but will take Oz over the Shield. I think Shield is vastly overrated. It is as overrated as Homicide is underrated.
Vastly is aggressive. It was a adrenaline filled ride down the tubes of police criminality. It was phenomenal to binge and every episode delivered. Oz was rough, but it was an achievement. I guess it was just so brutal and depressing, I wouldn't want to rewatch Oz. But I'd rewatch The Shield in a heartbeat.

I thought Homicide was considered one of the best shows ever made. I feel like that is properly rated. It's just so old, it's not talked about. I don't hear people talking about Family Ties or Frasier either.
 

Spelunker

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Not particularly weird to me. The Shield was basically done as a mainstream popular culture thing by 2005 (maybe even 2003), it limped along to 2008, but since it was on FX, didn't get much in the way of ratings, got shut out of the Emmy's post 2002, and was overshadowed by the breadth of other top shows (in quality or pop culture dominance) that came on the scene at similar times (Sopranos, West Wing, 24, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, CSI, Lost, Arrested Development, Sex and the City, Curb... etc.) The Shield is kind of a niche show in that way, when it first started it was a fresh anti-hero experience, but it quickly got boxed out by better and/or more popular shows. I bet she vaguely would know... the cop show with the bald guy but she was probably around 14 when the Shield started to fade from public view, and I don;t know that the Shield was a show that a 12-14 year old girl was likely to have a ton of exposure to.
Not haven't watched it wouldn't be weird. Not having heard of it- when your job is a pop culture/TV reporter- is pretty fucking bad.
 

luckiestman

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Not haven't watched it wouldn't be weird. Not having heard of it- when your job is a pop culture/TV reporter- is pretty fucking bad.
I agree. The Shield is worse than Who's the Boss but you should know about for a simple reason. You should know about Justified therefore you should know and want to know more about Walt Goggins which leads you to the Commish with a shaved head.
 

Cellar-Door

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Not haven't watched it wouldn't be weird. Not having heard of it- when your job is a pop culture/TV reporter- is pretty fucking bad.
I guess I just don't see it, The Shield isn't one of the essential texts and it's almost 20 years old, not automatically placing it doesn't mean much. I mean it isn't pop culture, even at the time it wasn't that popular, and as for TV history it's pretty anonymous. Would you feel the same about Huff or Judging Amy, similar levels of show from the same period (arguably more widely seen).

Edit- to be more clear, generally I think The Shield is a show you know if you know it from 2000-2003, if you missed it then there isn't a particular reason to expect it to come up among the absolute flood of content from the late 2000s on.
 

luckiestman

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I guess I just don't see it, The Shield isn't one of the essential texts and it's almost 20 years old, not automatically placing it doesn't mean much. I mean it isn't pop culture, even at the time it wasn't that popular, and as for TV history it's pretty anonymous. Would you feel the same about Huff or Judging Amy, similar levels of show from the same period (arguably more widely seen).

Edit- to be more clear, generally I think The Shield is a show you know if you know it from 2000-2003, if you missed it then there isn't a particular reason to expect it to come up among the absolute flood of content from the late 2000s on.

Started in 2002 and Chunklis got nominated for a Golden Globe in 2006.

edit: Would this be like a 35 year old baseball expert not knowing who Dontrelle Willis is? What is the proper sports comp?
 

Marciano490

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The Shield is better than Oz just because the last few seasons of Oz were a joke and The Shield has a top 3 TV series ending ever.

Also, I know very few women who watched The Shield (or Oz). I can definitely see it being a gender thing.
 

Cellar-Door

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Started in 2002 and Chunklis got nominated for a Golden Globe in 2006.

edit: Would this be like a 35 year old baseball expert not knowing who Dontrelle Willis is? What is the proper sports comp?
Hmm I was off a bit on the years, but not really similar because there is only 1 league in baseball. It would be like someone who is 30 something who generally covers sports as a whole not knowing who Danny Almonte is. Some things are memorable if you happen to hit them at the right point in time, but if you don't they are just one of a million pieces of cultural detritus out there in a massive ocean of content.

The Shield is better than Oz just because the last few seasons of Oz were a joke and The Shield has a top 3 TV series ending ever.

Also, I know very few women who watched The Shield (or Oz). I can definitely see it being a gender thing.
That's probably part of it too, The Shield is at best an important show only to a pretty limited audience, and that audience is overwhelmingly males 35 and up.
 
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That's probably part of it too, The Shield is at best an important show only to a pretty limited audience, and that audience is overwhelmingly males 35 and up.
Not to get too far into Shield talk in The Ringer thread, but the Shield is way more important than you're giving it credit for. Frankly, anyone who writes about TV should have knowledge of it because:
- It was the first show produced by FX and put a network that only played reruns of mildly popular movies on the map as an original content creator. If it wasn't a popular, critically acclaimed show, who knows if they would have produced shows like Always Sunny, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, etc.
- The writers room famously had an all-star staff, giving breaks to Kurt Sutter (SOA) and Glen Mazzarra, who'd go on to show run the Walking Dead
- It's been featured in books about TV as one of the essential shows that opened the door for the golden age of TV (The Revolution was Televised, Difficult Men)
- For its time, and even now TBH, it was one of the most diverse shows on air and featured story lines that you just did not see on TV

To me, it's like a basketball fan not being familiar with Moses Malone - someone who changed the game, but isn't remembered as one of the all-time greats. If it didn't come out the exact same time as the Wire, it would be remembered differently.
 

TFP

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I have never watched The Shield. Where can I binge stream it?
Pretty sure it’s on Hulu. Absolutely worth watching and remembering it came out almost 20 years ago.

The Shield (and Chiklis) winning a Golden Globe and then an Emmy was a huge milestone in television history and was a huge influence on our current state of Peak TV. It was the first real show for FX and basic cable to prove they could hang with HBO while also being popular like network tv shows. Without it you don’t get Breaking Bad/Saul, Fargo, Mad Men, The Americans, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Walking Dead, etc. It pretty much put FX on the map as a network. And it had one of the best series finales of all time.

The Shield was a hugely important show and being a TV writer and never even having heard of it is certainly a major strike against her credibility/bonafides.
 

TFP

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Not to get too far into Shield talk in The Ringer thread, but the Shield is way more important than you're giving it credit for. Frankly, anyone who writes about TV should have knowledge of it because:
- It was the first show produced by FX and put a network that only played reruns of mildly popular movies on the map as an original content creator. If it wasn't a popular, critically acclaimed show, who knows if they would have produced shows like Always Sunny, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, etc.
- The writers room famously had an all-star staff, giving breaks to Kurt Sutter (SOA) and Glen Mazzarra, who'd go on to show run the Walking Dead
- It's been featured in books about TV as one of the essential shows that opened the door for the golden age of TV (The Revolution was Televised, Difficult Men)
- For its time, and even now TBH, it was one of the most diverse shows on air and featured story lines that you just did not see on TV

To me, it's like a basketball fan not being familiar with Moses Malone - someone who changed the game, but isn't remembered as one of the all-time greats. If it didn't come out the exact same time as the Wire, it would be remembered differently.
Whoops I missed this before my reply. What you said. ☝
 

nattysez

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This is somewhat interesting. I guess Ian Karmel is a comedian who has a relatively long-running podcast where they run "drafts" of everyday things. The Ringer apparently talked about acquiring the podcast, but Karmel ultimately said no. I guess the Ringer is now incorporating "drafts" into some of its podcasts, and Karmel is upset (tweet linked below is the start of a long thread).

On the one hand, I don't think drafting things is really protectable in any meaningful way, nor do I think it's very unique. Hell, I know Ken Tremendous has done something similar with JoePos in the past.

On the other hand, Simmons is the guy who cries about people "stealing" his ideas like live blogs and trade value columns, so this seems a little hypocritical.

View: https://twitter.com/IanKarmel/status/1247273127177928704
 

Spelunker

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Not "something similar": The KT/JoPos poscasts are built around their inane drafts of everyday objects. I have no idea which started first, but I don't quite believe Karmel's take that he's the only person to "have built a non-sports fantasy draft podcast". I'm sure he takes it much further than KT/Pos, but the idea is out there.
 

thebtskink

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I went through my podcast feed and can only find a music festival draft episode Russillo did with Chris Long and Big Cat.
 

JCizzle

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They should just rename it a Mount Rushmore (with ten Presidents) of music festivals picked in a snake format. Voila! Totally an original idea that nobody has ever thought of for non sports content.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Apparently it's that podcast episode, and only that episode, that spurred all of this from Karmel.

View: https://twitter.com/IanKarmel/status/1247257768978829312
Yeah, that is actually beyond Simmons-level of petty which is whom he is criticizing. That seemed like a total one-off podcast and if I'm not mistaken Russillo has had some other brainstorms about drafting things back on ESPN radio or his previous podcast before the Ringer. And if I'm not mistaken, Big Cat and PFT have similar off the cuff rankings during their podcast. If Simmons came out of the blue and started doing it with Joe House, that would be something different.
 

mcpickl

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Apparently it's that podcast episode, and only that episode, that spurred all of this from Karmel.

View: https://twitter.com/IanKarmel/status/1247257768978829312
This popped up again today because they did another draft, this one of fictional characters you'd like to be quarantined with, on JJ Redicks podcast that had Russillo and Big Cat as guests.

For Simmons, a dude who always whines about being stolen from, you'd think he'd be extra careful to make sure he's nowhere near stealing someone elses' idea. Especially from a podcast he tried to acquire last year.
 
Last edited:

PedroKsBambino

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What I conclude is that Ian Karmel just realized he should have taken their best offer because his idea is super easy to rip off

i expect he’ll be signed to Ringer within two weeks
 

Kliq

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So they had this "Greatest TV Characters of the 21st Century" March Madness style poll, and it kind of summarized everything wrong about The Ringer's pop culture mentality. That they have kind of a hive mind mentality and live in a bubble often outside of the public's perception of things. They did the seeding and chose the names based on staff recommendations, so this wasn't just one person's view of things. The seeding is a complete joke; worse than the names chosen. The most obvious is that PWB's character in Fleabag was a #2 seed and faced #15 seed Eric Cartman in the first round.

I haven't seen Fleabag, but I can imagine it is very good, funny show and PWB is great as the main star. That being said, let's take a look at the episode count from the 21st Century:

Fleabag: 12
South Park: 260

So of course in the public voting poll, Cartman upsets Fleabag. Then one of the Ringer staff members in the follow-up article writes about what a travesty this is, and that people were just remembering what they watched when they were 14 and were underselling the brilliance of Fleabag. I guess that is different than just voting for someone you started watching last year and not over the past 20. It was just dumb, and there are a lot of similar examples where shows of the past few years, even smaller niche shows like Fleabag, have multiple entries while wildly popular shows that might be a bit older (Lost, The Wire, etc.) have only one entry. Plus it ignores super-popular shows that maybe don't have the internet critical acclaim but are clearly very popular. Whether you are a fan of the Big Bang Theory, Family Guy or the Walking Dead or not, I think it is fair to say that Sheldon Cooper, Peter Griffin and Rick Grimes are among the 64 most memorable TV characters of the past 20 years.

Zach Lowe on his podcast asked Bill what was up with the tournament and why was Cartman so low, and Bill basically buried the tournament, saying that once he saw there was only one character from The Wire, he was out and it was just something the Ringer kids are doing.
 

Marciano490

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Oh, Bill finally watched The Wire? That’s cool. Guess he liked it like everyone told him he would.
 

Euclis20

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So they had this "Greatest TV Characters of the 21st Century" March Madness style poll, and it kind of summarized everything wrong about The Ringer's pop culture mentality. That they have kind of a hive mind mentality and live in a bubble often outside of the public's perception of things. They did the seeding and chose the names based on staff recommendations, so this wasn't just one person's view of things. The seeding is a complete joke; worse than the names chosen. The most obvious is that PWB's character in Fleabag was a #2 seed and faced #15 seed Eric Cartman in the first round.

I haven't seen Fleabag, but I can imagine it is very good, funny show and PWB is great as the main star. That being said, let's take a look at the episode count from the 21st Century:

Fleabag: 12
South Park: 260

So of course in the public voting poll, Cartman upsets Fleabag. Then one of the Ringer staff members in the follow-up article writes about what a travesty this is, and that people were just remembering what they watched when they were 14 and were underselling the brilliance of Fleabag. I guess that is different than just voting for someone you started watching last year and not over the past 20. It was just dumb, and there are a lot of similar examples where shows of the past few years, even smaller niche shows like Fleabag, have multiple entries while wildly popular shows that might be a bit older (Lost, The Wire, etc.) have only one entry. Plus it ignores super-popular shows that maybe don't have the internet critical acclaim but are clearly very popular. Whether you are a fan of the Big Bang Theory, Family Guy or the Walking Dead or not, I think it is fair to say that Sheldon Cooper, Peter Griffin and Rick Grimes are among the 64 most memorable TV characters of the past 20 years.

Zach Lowe on his podcast asked Bill what was up with the tournament and why was Cartman so low, and Bill basically buried the tournament, saying that once he saw there was only one character from The Wire, he was out and it was just something the Ringer kids are doing.
Yeah, when I saw that fleabag/cartman were a 2/15 seed, I naturally assumed Cartman was the 2 seed. I don't know what was the bigger joke, that seeding or the fact that no one from the West Wing was on.
 

Kliq

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Yeah, when I saw that fleabag/cartman were a 2/15 seed, I naturally assumed Cartman was the 2 seed. I don't know what was the bigger joke, that seeding or the fact that no one from the West Wing was on.
Yeah, Simmons mentioned that as well. He said that The West Wing and then Lost were the most important shows on television for a five-year stretch and it seems odd to not include them.

Young people in general are pretty bad at looking at things in perspective when it comes to quality, especially if it predates them, and the kind of conversations encouraged by social media doesn't help matters. I worry that in 40 years, I will be the only non-senile person that knows anything about Bill Russell.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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He watched it when it first aired.
There are like three things Simmons was right on that he never misses the opportunity to bring up, and being in early on the Wire is one of them (Durant over Oden and being against the Harden trade are the others).
 

johnmd20

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Yeah, when I saw that fleabag/cartman were a 2/15 seed, I naturally assumed Cartman was the 2 seed. I don't know what was the bigger joke, that seeding or the fact that no one from the West Wing was on.
And they picked Pete Campbell over Roger Sterling.(3 characters max from any show, so it was Draper, Pete, and Peggy) Sterling was one of the great and iconic characters of the 10s. Pete was a dweeb who had marginal impact.

It's baffling but i think that is the point of those dumb rankings. Just get people talking.

Fleabag is the most overrated show in the history of TV and that is coming from someone who absolutely loved it. But it was two long movies. It's not that hard to do twelve 25 minute episodes over the course of 4 years. It's certainly easier than doing 10 episodes annually. I don't think shows like that should be ranked against actual shows. Fleabag is a mini series that took years to get a 2nd season.
 

Dotrat

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Yeah, Simmons mentioned that as well. He said that The West Wing and then Lost were the most important shows on television for a five-year stretch and it seems odd to not include them.
His recourse to 'important' to describe pop culture he likes--without ever being able to articulate why by way of a coherent or sustained argument--is one of his worst habits as a pop culture critic. I've always found that he lacks the skills to go deeply into anything (besides maybe basketball) in an insightful way or even non cringeworthy way. But we're talking about a guy who thinks "The Shawshank Redemption" is an important film as opposed to a fine and entertaining one.
 

Kliq

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His recourse to 'important' to describe pop culture he likes--without ever being able to articulate why by way of a coherent or sustained argument--is one of his worst habits as a pop culture critic. I've always found that he lacks the skills to go deeply into anything (besides maybe basketball) in an insightful way or even non cringeworthy way. But we're talking about a guy who thinks "The Shawshank Redemption" is an important film as opposed to a fine and entertaining one.
I'm pretty sure he meant important as "a lot of people watched each week and talked about it afterwards" but you seem like a pretty big BS fan so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
 

The Social Chair

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And they picked Pete Campbell over Roger Sterling.(3 characters max from any show, so it was Draper, Pete, and Peggy) Sterling was one of the great and iconic characters of the 10s. Pete was a dweeb who had marginal impact.

It's baffling but i think that is the point of those dumb rankings. Just get people talking.

Fleabag is the most overrated show in the history of TV and that is coming from someone who absolutely loved it. But it was two long movies. It's not that hard to do twelve 25 minute episodes over the course of 4 years. It's certainly easier than doing 10 episodes annually. I don't think shows like that should be ranked against actual shows. Fleabag is a mini series that took years to get a 2nd season.
Two bad takes right here.