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Danny Franks

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About Danny Franks

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    Manchester, UK
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    TV and movies, obviously
    American Football
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  1. 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

    Putin never misses an opportunity to play psychological games. Him having a big umbrella while neither Macron or Grabar-Kitarovic did was such a petty bit of power play. But neither of them cared, because they were enjoying the moment so much. Even though Croatia lost, their president was clearly so proud of them. It was nice to see.
  2. 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

    This has been a cracking game. Far more competitive than I thought it would be, and far closer than the current score suggests. France will be deserving winners, over the course of the tournament. But I think Croatia have actually been the better team in this final, and France got a real slice of luck with that penalty, which should not have been given. I'm delighted for Paul Pogba. That he's had a really good tournament, that he's scored in the final, and that he's about to be a World Cup winner.
  3. Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero are so deserving of nominations. It's ridiculous that they were both overlooked. Even more ridiculous that the show itself was overlooked.
  4. 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

    Generally they don't care too much. Which is understandable, because the last thing you want to be doing after losing a World Cup semi-final is trotting out to play for third place, a day before the actual final. But Slaven Bilic said on ITV that Croatia really wanted to win that third place match, in 1998. He said at least it was a chance to come out of the tournament with something concrete.
  5. 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

    Croatia were more composed, had more stamina and just knew how to win that match. England started well, but panicked when Croatia equalised, and just started resorting to the worst stereotype of English football: Long balls lumped up, and a hope that the big no. 9 gets a few knockdowns for teammates. Meanwhile, Croatia just took control and dictated the rest of the game. The better team won, but it's going to be much harder for Modric and Rakitic to take over the game against France's midfield.
  6. 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

    Man, I don't see how England or Croatia can beat this French team. They've got all the talent in the world, in players like Mbappe, Pogba and Griezmann, but they're also as organised and disciplined as any team I've seen. It's a real shame, because I wanted Belgium to go all the way. They just couldn't find the breakthrough tonight. I think England will probably have a better shot against France than Croatia, because England have a bit more pace and dynamism. But they'll be exposed horribly by the pace of Mbappe.
  7. S02.E10: Every Potato Has a Receipt 2018.06.29

    Ah, I love Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now. You can't beat a bit of cheesy, 80s power balladry. It was a perfect song to end the season on.
  8. International Soccer/Football & UEFA Champions League

    Well, I'm glad Ronaldo's moved on. I didn't want him finishing his career at Real Madrid, but nor did I want United to go and spend stupid money to bring him back. This way, he gets to win a couple of championships in Italy, to further fatten his record. This also, hopefully, means Real will keep Bale, and save United from wasting money on him instead.
  9. S02.E10: Every Potato Has a Receipt 2018.06.29

    Bash's combination of grief and disgust (because he's clearly never admitted to himself that he's gay) was powerful. And the fear and horror about AIDS felt very authentic. No one knew what it was, and most people weren't sure how you could catch it. Marrying Rhonda to keep denying who he is? Well that just isn't going to end well. But the drama of the wedding ended up matching pretty much any wrestling wedding, so I guess that part of it worked out well. Already we're getting drama out of Sam/Ruth. No thanks on that. And they're already falling into the TV trap of one of the characters suddenly forgetting the messy feelings for the other, and being all lovey dovey in front of them. I did really like his sentiment about "you make room to let someone in. Then they go... and the room's still there." Justine definitely has to come back next season. This is too rich a storyline for both her and Sam, for it to end here. I also loved his "oh boy" when he saw Arthie devouring Yolanda with her eyes. Then teasing her over crushing on Yolanda. I also thought this was an interesting take on the 'oh, I've discovered someone I know is a stripper!' trope. Neither Sam nor Yolanda were the least bit ashamed, either of being a customer at a strip club, or of being a stripper. Usually, of course, it's the woman who's shamed for being a sexual being. Love that Sheila has a pack of devoted fans, even if it makes her uncomfortable. I didn't even realise this was a double length episode until they got to the battle royal part. I couldn't believe I was actually interested in seeing who would win the crown. Having Zoya come in and steal the crown was a brilliant ending. I thought the earlier scene, where Debbie looked wistfully at Ruth, Carmen and Cherry in the ring was about Debbie being envious of Ruth's close relationship with the other girls. But actually she was coming up with this plan for Ruth to get her due. Debbie also made an attempt to strike up conversation with Ruth, and tease her about Russell. Progress. And the horrified realisation about having to start dating again? Understandable. Chavo Guerrero has been an adviser and trainer for the show since the start, so it's nice to see him get some screen time, and to show us how wrestlers actually call moves in the ring. And Carlos Colon again, as Carmen's brother. And now they're going to Vegas? Skeevy strip club owner comes up good! But Sam in Las Vegas, pining over Ruth? In his own words, "oh boy". And they end the season with a bit of Starship. Of course.
  10. S02.E09: Rosalie 2018.06.29

    Hey, Grigori's back! Briefly. I missed him. I really love Sam as a grumpy dad, and the relationship between him and Justine actually feels earned. When he said he didn't want to lose her, I believed him. And he was honest and earnest with Rosalie, which makes me think the door is open for him to be Justine's dad without too much opposition. Britt Baron has really done a good job of creating Justine as this mess up, conflicted but genuinely goodhearted kid, and I really felt for her when she was on the dance floor with Billy. Hopefully she returns next season. But I really don't like Sam as an uncomfortable romantic interest. I just dread the idea of a relationship between him and Ruth. Each of them is enough of a mess on their own, without trying to be in a relationship with someone else who's a mess. There is no way it's ever going to be healthy for either of them, or for the show. As demonstrated here, with them almost kissing and the Ruth running off to sleep with Russell. The girls coming up with finale ideas, as well as the marriage of convenience for Rhonda, was fun. Carmen has surely never been high before, because I imagine her dad and brothers would have scared off anyone who tried to offer her drugs. The TV show fair, or whatever it was, was really interesting. I love the idea of these physical conventions being places where executives could find new shows, in the days where you needed physical copies on tape. And I guess those execs were more gullible back in the 80s, because that whisper campaign was far from subtle. Bash as the idealistic but slightly incompetent optimist was great. He's become one of my favourite characters on the show. And pairing him up with Debbie worked really well, with his energy bouncing off her dour pessimism, and then rubbing off on her, until she's as jolly as him. The phone call at the end... ah, damn. One of the harshest realities of the 1980s brought home. Really good acting from Chris Lowell. So has Florian been ill all this time he's been away? Quietly dying of AIDS-related pneumonia in a hospital, or in the company of some out gay friends he's never introduced Bash to?
  11. S02.E08: The Good Twin 2018.06.29

    Yeah, not a fan of this one. I could tell within the first scene that it wasn't going to do it for me. I enjoyed the wrestling scenes, with Bash presenting. But I didn't like the crappy sitcom parody scenes. It wasn't funny, and while I can happily accept a few minutes of not-funny sitcom parody, I don't want to watch half an hour of it, no matter how accurate it is. Simply aping something doesn't make it funny. Did this follow the format of the old episodes of GLOW? I don't know. The description of the show mentions that "music video clips and comedy skits were emphasized over the action in the ring", but if that's so, then the show we've been watching has not been a faithful adaptation of the original premise. We've seen nothing of them filming skits or character work, outside things they've done in the ring, which is something they really should have at least mentioned. Cherry's new character is pretty great, at least. I remember being terrified of Papa Shango, in the WWF when I was a kid, and this witch character seems very similar, the perfect sort of cheesy character for professional wrestling in the 80s and early 90s.
  12. The NBA

    If NBA fans want parity, then they're watching the wrong sport. There's never been parity in the NBA. It's been one would-be dynasty after another, broken up by a few outlying years, since... well, since the founding of the league. Before the Warriors, the Heat appeared in four Finals in a row. Before that, the Lakers appeared in three in a row. Then the Pistons repeated, then the Spurs, then the Lakers with three. Then the Bulls with six, split by the Rockets winning two. You have to go back twenty years, just to see half the teams in the league making appearances in the Finals. That's not parity. You have to go back to 1979 to encompass a period that has seen more than twenty different teams in the Finals. All "parity" means is, 'four or five teams are good, and share the championships out amongst themselves.' It just sucks for them that the Warriors have forced themselves into that equation. But it's sucked for a lot of the league for a long, long time. If the Warriors stop winning, it'll be because some other team builds a dynasty, and fans will still complain.
  13. S02.E07: Nothing Shattered 2018.06.29

    Kind of crazy that this is the first real injury any of the women have had, given they're all working out and learning to wrestle from scratch. Poor Russell, trying to be the white knight for Ruth, but being crowded out by all the women, and then dealing with Sam's pettiness. "Hey, I could have carried her too, y'know." But I'm not interested in a love triangle between those two and Sam. Especially because I imagine Sam's assholishness has no bounds, when he's got a love rival. And even without Russell, I just don't like the idea of a romance between Sam and Ruth. And the rest of the women taking the rest of the night to cheer Ruth up and distract her was really nice. It's a nice sign of how far they've all come, because Ruth wasn't popular with them in the first season. Not only that, but they were pretty clear that they were pissed at Debbie over it. Bash blaming himself was sweet (as was his naive bemusement that none of them had health insurance), Debbie blaming Ruth was shitty. But this is one of the blurring lines that's so fascinating about professional wrestling. A lot of people think that genuine ill feeling between wrestlers makes matches and rivalries that much better. But you still have to be able to trust your opponent. You're putting your body, and your health in their hands, and if they take liberties it's unforgivable. If they're careless, like Debbie apparently was, then it's still a serious issue. That fight was ugly. Petty, cruel, all those buttoned up feelings just bursting out. Both of them have done shitty things to each other, either deliberately or subconsciously. Or at least they've done things that were perceived by the other as shitty. And for some time before Ruth slept with Mark. Just a messy situation. Really good acting from both Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin. But perhaps they're going to find a place now where they can be friends again. I really like this as a contrast between another best friend fight over romantic betrayal, Tim and Jason in Friday Night Lights. After their initial blow up, they just didn't speak to each other for a long time, then reconciled simply with "friends?" "friends."
  14. Books vs Show: Has It Gone All Pear-Shaped Yet?

    I can see season 4 starting off with the colonists in Cibola Burn. That opening, with the scientist observing lifeforms on the colonised planet makes a good 'whoa, what the hell's going on?' opening. Then after the opening scene, cut to the Roci, ferrying Clarissa to her trial, and establish that Amos has built a rapport with her, while Holden still doesn't want to know. They could still wrap up that storyline in a few episodes, by perhaps slimming down the sabotage plot, and focusing more on Proto-Miller wanting to investigate the planet.
  15. 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

    Well done, Croatia. But they made a meal of that. They really didn't play well, Ann's looked hesitant throughout. Good old ITV, left it at least five minutes before starting to talk about what this means for England... even when they had Slaven Bilic in the studio. This is one of the many reasons I've never felt any affinity for my own nation's team: This hyper-partisan, chest-beating attitude from commentators and pundits. Not only that, but Lee Dixon unironically calls the England team "a juggernaut". Good grief.