Wednesday, June 30, 2010

TV Meme: Day 30

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 30 | Saddest character death

This is it. The final day of the meme. So of course whoever originated it must be some sadistic bastard, because we end it with the most depressing entry to date. Saddest character death? Seriously?

In any case, this one was shockingly easy for me and it might surprise a lot of people. First of all, I didn't go for the obvious and pick a Joss Whedon-inspired death even though I would've had plenty to choose from. My friend Bunny wrote about Tara's death, so y'all should read it. Instead I picked a death from Torchwood that literally left me breathless and dehydrated from all the hyperventilating and crying I did.

The deaths of Tosh and Owen during the second season finale were heartbreaking not only because it involved one of my favorite characters (Tosh), but also because of how stretched out and emotional their death scenes were. Tosh fatally shot in the 28th minute of the 48-minute episode and she didn't die until almost the very end!

Of course for most of that, the viewer is still clinging to that hope that she would make it alive. As she bleeds out, she puts on a brave face against death and still manages to remotely help Owen to prevent a nuclear meltdown. And why not, as the usually shy and reserved Tosh said earlier, "Of course I can, I'm brilliant!"

Shit hits the fan though when the power plant goes on emergency lockdown and traps Owen. Owen, already prone to anger issues, freaks the hell out. Like going-mad-angry-at-the-world-fuck-everyone-else freak out. Tosh tries to keep him at bay...

Tosh: Owen, just stay calm.
Owen: Oh, why should I do that?! Where's the fun in that? I'm going to rage my way into oblivion! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!
Tosh:
Please stop.
Owen: Why?! Give me one bloody good reason! One good reason why I shouldn't keep screaming!
Tosh: Because you're breaking my heart.


That was when the waterworks started happening. The actress' delivery of that line was pitch PERFECT and actually this one particular scene I wanted to highlight in the Best Scene Ever entry, but I wanted to save it for the end. What makes the scene even more powerful was that as soon as Tosh says that, Owen stops. He even apologizes!

And thus begins his death scene. He asks Tosh how he'll die and she tells him though it pains her to do so. She, of course, blames herself, but Owen does the sweetest thing he's done the whole show and tells her she's always had his back and it isn't her fault. Now's a good time to say that Tosh has had a crush on Owen for the longest time, but of course they never became a couple until... this episode. They were going to have their first date after they took care of this crisis. How Whedonesque, right?

Owen: We never did get that date, did we? You and me? We sort of missed each other. It was my fault. I didn't, I didn't notice until it was too late. I'm sorry.
Tosh: Me, too.


Then the whole room Owen is stuck in goes nuclear white and he's gone. The rest of the team finally finds Tosh BLEEDING THE FUCK OUT and they try to help her. I remember telling myself that she had to live, because they just killed one main character, they couldn't possibly kill another! But she dies in Captain Jack's arms and I was just inconsolable after that.

Sadly, it wasn't over. We see the team putting away Owen and Tosh's personal stuff as well as updating their personnel info in the computer i.e. changing their status to "Inactive - Deceased" as they and the audience fight back their tears. If that wasn't already hard enough, when they finish updating Tosh's personnel file, a goodbye video she recorded pops up! Are you kidding me? I can't handle this shit!

Okay. So, if you're seeing this, I guess it means, I'm, well, dead. Hope it was impressive! Not crossing the road or an incident with a toaster. I just wanted to say, it's okay. It really is. Jack, you saved me. You showed me all the wonders of the universe and all those possibilities. And I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Thank you. And Owen, you never knew. I love you. All of you. And, I hope I did good.

Suffice it to say I proceeded to cry and hyperventilate for the next half an hour. Still hurts.

Wimbledon Report: Gentlemen's Quarterfinals

© AELTC

The shocks at Wimbledon continue into Day 10 of the tournament as the men take their turns in the main courts.

Defending champion Roger Federer was outplayed by Tomas Berdych as the Czech unexpectedly reached the semifinal beating the 6-time champion 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. In his presser, Federer said he was playing hurt, but with this loss and going title-less since winning the Australian Open, he drops to #3 in the world rankings since November 2003.

© AELTC

The other matches went as expected as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray won against their respective opponents. Nadal was down 0-5 in the first set against Robin Soderling and ended up losing the set before decisively winning in the 4th set 6-1. Djokovic had little trouble with Roddick-killer Yen-Hsun Lu, winning in straights. Finally, Britain's hope of a homegrown champion is still alive as Murray managed to recover from losing his first set of the tournament to defeat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Semifinal Preview: My predictions were shot to hell, but whatever. Even with Federer gone, the match-ups are quite juicy. It's difficult to see how both matches will go. All of them are extra motivated to win... Berdych to prove he can hang with the best of them, Djokovic to get that elusive second major title, Murray to get that elusive first major title (and at home too!), and finally Nadal to consolidate his mastery over everything.

Federer wasn't the only big upset of the day as the top American male and female doubles teams also lose. Top seeds Serena and Venus Williams, who have won the last four Grand Slam doubles titles, were defeated by Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva. Former champions and 2nd seeds Bob and Mike Bryan was ousted in four tight sets by 7th seeds Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wimbledon Report: Ladies' Quarterfinals

© AELTC

The ladies had the main courts all to themselves as they played their quarterfinal matches, delivering plenty of drama.

Five-time Wimbledon champion and last year's finalist Venus Williams was predicted to win easily against 82-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova. Instead it was the Bulgarian woman who played aggressively and dismissed the former champion 6-2 6-3. It's worthwhile to note that a day earlier, it was another player ranked 82 in the world who took out a big American name (Yen-Hsun Lu defeating Andy Roddick). The shock of Venus losing so thoroughly hadn't even had time to settle before the tournament had its second shocking upset of the day. Two-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters faded after winning the first set to lose in three sets to Vera Zvonareva halting the Belgian's hopes of getting her first Wimbledon title.

© AELTC

Bucking the upset trend, top seed Serena Williams handled a potentially dangerous opponent in 9th seed Na Li by taking her out in straights. Serena has not lost a set the entire tournament and has only lost her serve twice. Finally, Kaia Kanepi was expected to win against lower-ranked Petra Kvitova and was on her way with a 4-0 lead in the third set until things unraveled quickly. Kvitova ending up mounting an impressive comeback winning 8-6 in the third set saving five match points!

Semifinal Preview: Everyone expected Serena to make it through to the final four, but who could've ever predicted that the other three would be Zvonareva, Kvitova, and Pironkova? I certainly didn't. One thing is clear though, Serena will either get her 4th Wimbledon title this weekend or we'll have our second surprise first-time Slam winner this year. With everything happening this year, I wouldn't be surprised by the latter, but I'm not betting on it happening.

TV Meme: Day 29

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 29 | Current TV show obsession

I think I'm going to plead the fifth here, because you know what, I just spent nearly a month talking about TV and goshdarnit, I think you'll find that I don't have just one obsession. I have several.

So since this is the second to last entry of this neverending meme, I'd just like to give a shout-out to all the shows I talked about (positively) during the past month, namely...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Friends, Battlestar Galactica, Being Human, Firefly, Community, I Love Lucy, Arrested Development, The Good Wife, United States of Tara, So You Think You Can Dance, The 4400, Everwood, Frasier, Boy Meets World, and Power Rangers.

It was fun doing the meme. I re-discovered how much I loved Buffy, especially its third season. It helped me put this newest TV season in perspective with all of the buzz and awards going to Glee and Modern Family, it was The Good Wife and Community that made a lasting impression. It was fantastic paying tribute to the cast of Lost, the genius that is Lucille Ball, and the awesomeness of Being Human. I became all nostalgic over my first TV loves such as Boy Meets World and Power Rangers. It gave me the opportunity to introduce a few people to shows they haven't checked out yet. And finally, I got to read everyone's responses to my entries and/or their own answers to the meme. It truly has been a fun month.

After today, just one more to go and I've had that answer since I first saw the meme. If you want to see my entire 30 Day TV Meme, just CLICK HERE for the nearly complete list.

Wimbledon Report: Fourth Round

© AELTC

The biggest upset of the tournament happened this Monday when 82nd ranked Yen-Hsun Lu defeated last year's finalist Andy Roddick in five grueling sets. Lu was able to go up 2 sets to 1 winning tiebreaks in the second and third set. Robin Soderling was also pushed to a fifth set, but he was able to edge out David Ferrer in the end.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray won in straight sets with the latter defeating Sam Querrey. Murray is the only man to have not lost a single set this tournament. Other fourth round winners include Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Tomas Berdych. Djokovic defeated Lleyton Hewitt as well as promptly ripped his shirt open after he won.

Quarterfinal Preview: The match to watch will be the rematch of this year's French Open final between Soderling and Nadal. Nadal won comfortably on clay, but Soderling's pace will be much more difficult to handle on grass. Federer should win over Berdych, but do remember that the Czech recently defeated the Swiss last time they met. Murray should be the favorite against Tsonga while Yen-Hsun Lu should cost Djokovic all kinds of trouble.

© AELTC

Kim Clijsters continues her dominant return to the game by defeating Justine Henin for the third time since her comeback. Their H2H now stands at 13-12 in Clijsters' favor and it's back to the drawing board for Henin and her quest to capture that elusive Wimbledon crown. Serena Williams managed to edge Maria Sharapova in the other blockbuster match up, winning a tight first set tiebreak and breaking the Russian in the second. Venus Williams followed suit and won in her match.

While the Williams sisters and Clijsters defeated their lower-ranked opponents, the other matches all went to the lower-ranked player. 3rd seed Caroline Wozniacki (d. by Petra Kvitova) and 4th seed Jelena Jankovic (d. by Vera Zvonareva) crashed out winning only three games between the two of them. Jankovic retired due to injury. Other winners include Kaia Kanepi, Tsvetana Pironkova (d. Marion Bartoli), and Na Li (d. Agnieska Radwanska).

Quarterfinal Preview: The bottom half of the draw seems to be opening up for Clijsters and Venus as both should be favored to win their match against Zvonareva and Pironkova respectively to setup a semifinal blockbuster match. Na Li has the skills to trouble Serena, but probably not enough to actually defeat the defending champion. Finally, flip a coin for Kvitova vs. Kanepi!

Swiss Miss Sighting: Martina Hingis is set to play the Ladies' Invitational Doubles with old partner Anna Kournikova. I'm so jealous for those with Court 2 tickets tomorrow!

Monday, June 28, 2010

TV Meme: Day 28

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 28 | First TV obsession

It's morphin' time!

Mastodon! Pterodactyl! Triceratops! Saber-Toothed Tiger! Tyrannosaurus!

Go! Go! Power Rangers!

I'm sure it wasn't just me and my friends who pretended we were one of the Power Rangers. Though since I mostly hung out with girls, all of them would fight over who would be the Pink Ranger. No love for the Yellow Ranger? Sad. Me? I was the Blue Ranger aka "Billy" played by the actor David Yost. The fact that I know all of this without using IMDB is a testament to how obsessed I was with the show. But I mean Billy was the "shy smart one" who get to kick butt. My prelude to my Willow obsession perhaps?

Anyways, let's see... my level of obsession for the show was pretty high back then. I never missed an episode, I went as the Blue Ranger for Halloween once, I have a sweater with all of the Rangers, and I was there on opening weekend for the two feature films. When Zordon "died" in the end of one of the films, I was crying! Lame? Possibly. Embarrassing? Probably. Do I care? Hell no.

So to Rita Repulsa and her crazy laugh, to the flirting of Kimberly (Pink Ranger) and Tommy (Green Ranger) to Alpha 5's "Aye yi yi yi yi!," to the various states of sleevelessness most of the guys adopted... thanks. 'Twas a fun childhood.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wimbledon: Fourth Round Preview

Wimbledon began with 256 tennis players looking to grab the ultimate prize in tennis. Tomorrow the 32 remaining players, 16 men and 16 women, are all scheduled to play in one of the greatest day in tennis.


Serena Williams [1] vs. Maria Sharapova [16]

Agnieszka Radwanska [7] vs. Na Li [9]
Caroline Wozniacki [3] vs. Petra Kvitova
Kaia Kanepi vs. Klara Zakopalova

Kim Clijsters [8] vs. Justine Henin [17]

Jelena Jankovic [4] vs. Vera Zvonareva [21]
Marion Bartoli [11] vs. Tsvetana Pironkova
Venus Williams [2] vs. Jarmila Groth

With these match-ups, all eyes are on the blockbuster fourth round clashes between former number ones and Grand Slam champions. On the top, it will be former Wimbledon champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. They have not met in the grass of Wimbledon since Sharapova upset Serena in 2004 to capture the title. Based on form, it should go to Serena, but Sharapova should not be underestimated.

The other clash is between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. Both retired then unretired, they quickly rose up in the ranks with Clijsters claiming her second US Open and Henin reaching the finals at the Australian Open. Should be a toss-up, and thus a definite a must watch.

Other than Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Na Li, which is another toss-up, the other matches should be relatively straightforward with higher seeds winning.

Predictions: Before the tournament, I made my predictions and I went with Serena and Henin in their respective blockbuster match ups. My early prediction of Samantha Stosur and Jie Zheng to make it this far is wrong so I'll replace them with Caroline Wozniacki and Kaia Kanepi. Everyone else is still alive, so I'll remain with my earlier guesses.


Roger Federer [1] vs. Jurgen Melzer [16]

Tomas Berdych [12] vs. Daniel Brands
Novak Djokovic [3] vs. Lleyton Hewitt [15]
Andy Roddick [5] vs. Yen-Hsun Lu

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [10] vs. Julien Benneteau [32]
Andy Murray [4] vs. Sam Querrey [18]
Robin Soderling [6] vs. David Ferrer [9]
Rafael Nadal [2] vs. Paul-Henri Mathieu

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal has a tougher-than-expected first week, but they should get through their next match. Federer shouldn't underestimate Jurgen Melzer though since Melzer accomplished something this year that Federer didn't, reach the French Open semifinals. Andy Roddick should feel happy with his chances against Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu who is making his first 4th round appearance ever.

As the only two players in the men's side to not have lost a set, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling are looking very strong heading into the second week. Both will have to get through motivated opponents especially Murray who has to face off against surprise Queen's Club champion Sam Querrey.

A Frenchman will make the quarterfinals this year since compatriots Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Julien Benneteau will go head to head. The match of the day, however, will probably be Novak Djokovic going up against a resurgent and recent Halle champion Lleyton Hewitt.

Predictions: Surprisingly, other than Fernando Verdasco, everyone I had predicted before the tournament to still be around by the quarterfinals are still around. I'll put Tsonga in as my replacement quarterfinalist.

TV Meme: Day 27

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 27 | Best pilot episode

Weekend's been a bit exhausting so this will be brief and very predictable.

The 2-hour pilot of LOST, entitled simply as "Pilot," apparently cost about $11.5 million which is simply ridiculous for a TV pilot. With that said, they definitely spent it well, because the production quality of the pilot is probably the best I've ever seen.

Most of the costs probably had to do with the filming of the beach site where the epic crash happened complete with an actual plane and a cast of many extras. The "Pilot" itself was very good in hooking people immediately into its concept of regular people banding together after crashing into a mysterious island.

Mysterious island, seems almost like an understatement knowing what we know now. But back then all it took was some mechanical whirring noise, a few uprooted trees, a very very dead pilot killed by an unknown entity, and a message in French that's been playing for 16 years. The last quote of the episode was perfect as Charlie asked "Guys, where are we?"

Finally, the episode also expertly established its large and diverse cast of main characters as well as the show's important narrative use of flashbacks.

Toy Story 3 Turns Up Pixar's Volume to 11

Last year when Pixar released Up, its 10th animated feature, lots of people started ranking these films in their own top ten list. I was no different.

Since then, I've had time to digest Up as well as revisit a few of their other films. I also finally saw Monsters, Inc., but unfortunately I have not gotten the chance to watch Cars. Pixar has been busy as well in the meantime, releasing their 11th film recently, Toy Story 3.


I just saw the film last night so maybe I should sleep on it a few more nights, preferably whilst cuddling a childhood toy, but at the moment its yet another masterpiece from Pixar and definitely my favorite film of the year so far.

With all of that said, here is my new ranking of PIxar's films:
  1. Finding Nemo
  2. WALL•E
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. Toy Story
  5. Up
  6. Monsters, Inc.
  7. The Incredibles
  8. Toy Story 2
  9. Ratatouille
  10. A Bug's Life
  11. Cars (not yet seen)
You can see a bit of movement for some films from the list I only compiled last year. I do however, have to stress that even those in the dead bottom are fantastic films. Heck, if I had to grade A Bug's Life, it'd probably be a B+ or so. What does that tell you about how strong a lineup Pixar has?

I know I barely said anything about Toy Story 3, but I don't really do the whole reviewing thing. Let's just say, I really should've brought a box of tissues with me, because I was already starting to tear up at the first few seconds of the film when Randy Newman's famous song started playing. And then there were two moments in the end were it was just too much to bare. I don't see how anyone, especially those who have seen and loved the first two films, would be unaffected emotionally by this third and final installment. Suffice it to say, it is highly recommended.

Wimbledon Report: Day 6

© AELTC

While Andy Murray and Robin Soderling remained as strong as ever winning in straight sets on Saturday, top players Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, and Sam Querrey were all pushed to five-set matches before getting into the second week of Wimbledon. Nadal, in particular, seemed to be in huge danger down 2 sets to 1 against Philipp Petzschner and forced to get treatment for his elbows and his knees.

Other third round winners include Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Julien Benneteau, and Paul-Henri Mathieu who went toe to toe with Thiemo De Bakker in three very tight tiebreaks before prevailing 6-4 in the fourth set.

© AELTC

For the women, it was another round with straight sets wins all around. Both Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova moved on and now both former Wimbledon champions will face each other in the next round for a blockbuster fourth round match to parallel the Belgian clash in the other side of the draw.

Other top seeds to win on Saturday include Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Na Li. Seeded players that loss were Alxendra Dulgheru, Flavia Pennetta, and Victoria Azarenka. Those latter two top 20 women were both defeated by Czech players, namely Klara Zakopalova and Petra Kvitova respectively.

This crazy drama-filled tournament now takes a breather on Sunday with no scheduled play as a prelude to one of the greatest days in tennis all year, the second Monday at Wimbledon. On Monday, every single Round of 16 match, men and women, will be played. An analysis of these matches will be forthcoming.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TV Meme: Day 26

"30 Days TV Meme"

Day 26 | OMG WTF? Season finale

Wouldn't this be the same as best cliffhanger? Eh, whatever. Anyways, no one does "OMG WTF?" season finales better than either Lost or Battlestar Galactica. They practically do their best to end each season in some mind-blowing way. So why not just talk about each of their finales?

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR EVERY FINALE OF LOST AND BATTLESTAR GALACTICA BELOW



Lost, S1 Finale "Exodus"
- We end with Shannon/Sayid happy, Charlie possibly reverting to being a drug addict, Walt being taken by the Others, and Jack/Locke/Kate/Hurley blowing up the hatch to... what exactly?

Lost, S2 Finale "Live Together, Die Alone" - We have Desmond and Locke who let the timer run out in the hatch causing electromagnetic chaos with the bright lights and possible explosion. Last scene is of two men somewhere called registering the electromagnetic blip and then them calling Penny telling her that "they've found it." All of this and oh yeah Michael betrays his fellow friends and delivers them to "Henry Gale" the leader of the Others in order for him and Walt to sail off from the island. The Others let them go, releases Hurley, but captures Jack, Sawyer, and Kate.

Lost, S3 Finale "Through the Looking Glass" - If I had to pick ONE season finale from this show, it would be this. Not Penny's Boat. The people on the island contact someone off the island! Then the introduction of the flashforwards. That latter plot development/cliffhanger was definitely a WTF OMG moment. "We have to go back Kate. We have to go back!" WTF?!

Lost, S4 Finale "There's No Place Like Home" - Ben pushes the wheel and the Island disappears. Just BLOOP! gone. Jin is possibly dead. The Oceanic 6 are on their way to civilization with the help of Penny and oh yeah "Jeremy Bentham" aka LOCKE is in the coffin DEAD. WTF?!

Lost, S5 Finale "The Incident" - Episode opens with first time we see Jacob and the Man in Black together, their identities questioned and debated on until next season's premiere. This episode also brought us the long-awaited reveal that Locke isn't Locke, the confrontation between Jacob and Ben and the latter eventually killing Jacob, as well as Juliet setting off the bomb that may or may not change history forever...

Lost, SERIES Finale "The End" - Here were my thoughts on it. People are still confused at how it ended. Make that as you will.


Battlestar Galactica, S1 Finale "Kobol's Last Gleaming"
- Where to begin? How about Apollo and Roslin being arrested by Adama? Or how about Boomer1 telling Helo she's pregnant while Boomer2 finally realizes she's a frackin' cylon when she meets up with a bunch of naked Sharons? Or what about Boomer2 shooting Adama in the gut? Yeah... wtf indeed.

Battlestar Galactica, S2 Finale "Lay Down Your Burdens" - This would be my vote for most OMG WTF season finale from this show. Roslin tries to steal the votes, but is found out by the end and gives Baltar the presidency. Baltar moves on to colonizing New Caprica, but not before doing it with Gina who proceeds to blow up Cloud 9. ONE FUCKING YEAR LATER... we see the situation in New Caprica--Starbuck has long hair and is married, Adama has a mustache, Lee is fat and is married, etc. Then the Cylons appear. The Fleet jumps away leaving New Caprica unprotected from the Cylon who forces Baltar to surrender. Oh noes!

Battlestar Galactica, S3 Finale "Crossroads" - Okay this one was pretty OMG WTF as well. Baltar is acquitted in court and chaos ensues, but the big cliffhangers include the identity reveals of four of the five remaining unknown cylons and it's a DOOZY of a reveal as well as Lee seeing presumably dead Kara in a raptor next to his. Oh and she's apparently been to Earth... as the camera spans outward to show the audience that Earth exists. WTF!

Battlestar Galactica, SERIES Finale "Daybreak" - After an electrifying showdown between EVERYONE, we finally get our epilogue on Earth itself, but it's not the Earth everyone was expecting. Also Starbuck just sort of disappears. Like just gone. And then we time jump to the present in Times Square with head!Six and head!Baltar. WTF?

Wimbledon Report: Day 5

© AELTC / Pro Sport

Former champion Lleyton Hewitt who defeated Gael Monfils in straight sets led the top men into the second week in a relatively easy and drama-free day. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Roddick all won as well as Jurgen Melzer who defeated Feliciano Lopez and Yen-Hsun Lu who becomes the first Taiwanese to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam.

12th seed Tomas Berdych won, but was pushed to the fifth set. 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny wasn't so lucky as he lost in the fifth to Paul-Henri Mathieu. There was some drama on Court 18 again as 31st seed Victor Hanescu lost a 2 sets to love lead as he retired down 0-3 in the final set. Finally, 23rd seed John Isner expectedly lost in straight sets to Thiemo De Bakker, serving 0 aces, evidently still recovering from the longest tennis match ever.

© AELTC / M. Hangst

There was even less drama in the women's side as every match was one in straight sets. Among the winners are Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters who are seeded to meet in the next round for a blockbuster of a fourth round match. Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Marion Bartoli, Vera Zvonareva, Jarmila Groth, and Tsvetana Pironkova all move through with 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer and 12th seed Nadia Petrova falling, the latter to Henin.

Friday, June 25, 2010

TV Meme: Day 25

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 25 | A show you plan on watching

Arrested Development

All my friends love it. Everywhere I look in the internet someone is praising, quoting, or just talking about the show. It seems to be right up my alley and yet I've only seen maybe 2-3 episodes total.

There are lots of shows that fit this description (see below), but I'm picking this one for today because of the fact that a few months ago, I did buy the complete series (all three seasons) and they've been unopened since. Since I own the series now, I'm obligated to watch it and I will. Just have to find the time, I guess.

Currently, I'm doing my best to catch up on Big Love. I'm up to the third episode of the third season.

Other shows I need to watch/catch up on include Veronica Mars (saw first half of first season), Dexter (saw first season), Friday Night Lights (saw first three episodes), Damages, MI-5 (saw first three seasons), and The Tudors (saw first episode).

Wimbledon Report: Day 4

© Getty

Day 4 served up plenty of drama and spectacle to rival the first three days of the tournament. Not only did it see the resumption and the conclusion of The Neverending Match, but the All England Club got a visit from royalty, the Queen of England herself!

The Queen, decked out in a turquoise outfit that popped with the green lawns of the club, had a busy day. After touring the grounds, she met up with a few tennis players including Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Laura Robson, Anne Keothavong, Elena Baltacha, and Heather Watson. Afterward, she watched from the Royal Box as British number 1 Andy Murray defeat Jarkko Nieminen. Both players did a traditional bow in front of the Queen upon entering and leaving the court.

© AELTC / M. Hangst

The Queen promptly left after the match, which meant she missed Wozniacki and Rafael Nadal win in their matches. The latter was oddly pushed to five sets by Robin Haase continuing the trend of top men being pushed early on in this tournament. Other five-set survivors today other than Isner and Nadal include Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Philipp Petzschner, Julien Benneteau, Fabio Fognini, and Jeremy Chardy. Others who had a relatively easier time winning were Robin Soderling, Sam Querrey, David Ferrer, and Gilles Simon (who won with a walkover).

Wozniacki and Serena moved on in straight sets, with the latter playing unexpectedly in Court 2 where she dominated former top 5 player Anna Chakvetadze in 48 minutes. Former champion Maria Sharapova, Agnieska Radwanska, Na Li, Flavia Pennetta, and Victoria Azarenka all won. These seeded players, however, lost: Aravane Rezai, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jie Zheng, and Daniela Hantuchova.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

TV Meme: Day 24

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 24 | Best quote

Suffice it to say, like "best scene," there's just way too many choices for this one. Weirdly enough, I picked a quote from a scene that should have been included in my "best scene" entry. It's from "The Prom" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and this particular quote came from the recurring character Jonathan Levinson presenting Buffy with a special award at the prom:

We're not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you. But that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you. We don't talk about it much, but it's no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here. [...] But whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you or helped by you at one time or another. We're proud to say that the Class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history. And we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class offers its thanks and gives you this. It's from all of us. And it has written here, "Buffy Summers, Class Protector."

It's a beautiful moment between two characters who didn't exactly have the best high school experience. Jonathan is your typical dork who everyone picked on and only a few episodes before this one he was going to commit suicide. Buffy saved him of course, which just puts the quote above into new context. Then there's Buffy. She knows her responsibilities as the Slayer, but she also strives to be a normal girl, wanting that "perfect high school moment." She got it here and it's awesome.

The Neverending Match at Wimbledon

© T. Hindley/Prosport

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut made history at the All England Club at Wimbledon this year during their epic first round match. They started playing their match on Tuesday and after it was 2 sets all, the match was suspended for darkness. On Wednesday, they resumed their match in the fifth set where there are no tiebreaks. Both men held their serves over and over and over again. 10 hours later, their match was suspended yet again for darkness. It was 59-59 in the final set. Today, they played about an hour amidst all of the buzz and media and finally John Isner d. Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68. Epic doesn't even begin to cover it. The numbers speak for themselves...


Lasting 11 hours, 5 minutes, including an 8-hour, 11-minute final set (over three days), their match is the longest tennis match played... ever. In fact just the fifth set alone would've broken the old record of 6 hours, 33 minutes. The old record of total games played is 122. Isner and Mahut combined won 183 games, 138 of those coming from the fifth set. Both men blasted past the old record of 78 aces served in a match, surpassing the century mark--Mahut 103, Isner 112. Finally, the previous longest fifth set in Grand Slam history is 21-19. That score looks absolutely small compared to their 70-68 final score.

What else is there left to say except to congratulate both players who held their serves 80+ consecutive times. It's too bad someone had to lose, but that's the nature of the game. Huge props to Mahut who had to endure a last-minute presentation that included on-court interviews and a photo op. Both are still playing doubles, which is remarkable in itself.

I'm already hoping for a rematch sometime soon. Also, who thinks Mahut should be given an automatic wildcard at next year's Wimbledon (if he needs it of course)?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wimbledon Report: Day 3

© AELTC

First I want to talk about the women, because they were pretty drama free. Top contenders such as Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin, and Nadia Petrova all got through in straight sets. 4th seed Jelena Jankovic needed a third set, but also won. Marion Bartoli didn't even need to play any sets to move on with her opponent withdrawing. A few seeds fell though namely 13th seed Shahar Peer, 30th seed Yaroslava Shvedova, and 33rd seed Melanie Oudin.

Now onwards to the men. Sure, we can talk about how Roger Federer looked human two early rounds in a row. We can talk about Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, and Tomas Berdych moving through routinely or even about how lucky Lleyton Hewitt was that his opponent retired in the third set. We can even lament the loss of 7th seed Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets.

But it was all about those matches that went the distance. Jurgen Melzer, Albert Montanes, and Philipp Kohlschreiber had to win in the fifth set with the latter winning 9-7. Sounds tough, right? Not even. In a continuation of their suspended first round match yesterday, Thiemo De Bakker and Santiago Giraldo had to play their final set today. The fifth set score? A whopping 16-14 with De Bakker winning.

© AELTC

And yet that was nothing compared to what transpired on Court 18 today. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut's first round match was also suspended yesterday due to bad light. They played their fifth set today... and play... and play... and play. It went on for so long (10 hours total, 7 hours just for this final set), with both guys solid on their serve, they had to suspend their match a second time due to bad light! They stopped it at 59-59. That's just unreal. Of course they broke all kinds of records: longest tennis match ever, most games played, longest set, etc. Both players even broke the old record for most aces in a match (78) by about 20 aces. Epic. I feel so sorry for the one of them who will lose tomorrow.

Xan Brooks over at The Guardian live-blogged the entire day, but you should really read his humorous take on the epic Isner-Mahut match starting at 4:05pm. Zombies!

TV Meme: Day 23

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 23 | Most annoying character

I thought this was going to be a bit more difficult, but it really wasn't. After I surveyed all the the shows I watch in a regular/semi-regular basis, it was clear who I should put here and that's the character of Susan Meyer from Desperate Housewives.

I'm not knocking Teri Hatcher, per se, since to me she will always be the awesome Lois Lane opposite Dean Cain's Superman. But Susan is the epitome of annoying. She's accident-prone to a default and whines about every little thing. And while these traits aren't necessarily so terrible, seeing a 40-something year old act like a child is never fun. I mean I know the title is "Desperate" Housewives, but there's a difference between desperate and pathetic.

She's hot... a hot mess. She's pretty... pretty dim. She also gets the lamest storylines and/or doesn't do much with what she's given. Gabrielle Solis can act like a child, too, but she seems more put together than Susan and that character is still infinitely more fun. With that said, I actively root against Susan. Too bad the creator, Marc Cherry, actually thinks she's the main character and thus gets more air time, dialogue, blah blah blah.

So... Susan Mayer. Out of all of the characters they've killed off in that show, and there have been plenty, why can't they get rid of her?

Looking Forward To...


The Kids Are All Right
Release: July 9, 2010
Distributor: Focus Features
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Mark Ruffalo, Annette Bening, Josh Hutcherson, and Julianne Moore

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TV Meme: Day 22

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 22 | Favorite series finale

Like a lot of people, be it because they are fans or they just can't avoid the constant reruns, I've seen every episode of Friends. And I was one of 52.5 million viewers who tuned in to watch the show end after ten years being on air and being a staple in NBC's lineup.

When it comes to series finales, I require a few things to be present or happen for it to be satisfying to me. First, it should more or less wrap up any dangling storylines. Second, it should just be a good episode in general. Third, it should have some callback to the pilot or the series as a whole. Finally and most importantly, it should focus on the characters. After all, they are the reasons why we watched all the way to the end of the series, right?

The series finale of Friends had all of that. There were only two dangling storylines that needed to be addressed in the episode: (1) the birth of Chandler & Monica's baby and (2) the resolution to Ross & Rachel's relationship drama. The episode was even structured with these in mind with the first half focusing on the babies and the second half focusing on Ross/Rachel.

The episode itself was one of the best episodes the series had to offer providing each of the main characters witty zingers and memorable lines. And while it was one of the longest episode of the show ever, it was also one of its more quickly paced episode with everything happening all at once.

Of course, my favorite parts of the episode were all of the callbacks and shout outs for the long-time fans. It was great seeing Gunther finally express his feelings for Rachel. It was fun that Joey gave the babies a duck and chick just as he and their father had when they were roommates. It was heartbreaking to see the Foosball table, a staple of the show since the first season, dismantled. It was neat seeing Phoebe's cab and her use of "phalange." It was all kinds of neat that when Ross & Rachel kissed in the end, they used the same music from when they first kissed. And of course there was Ross' line about "being on a break." Don't make jokes now!

As for the characters, the finale served all of them well, save for Joey. Chandler & Monica have their babies and are moving out. Ross & Rachel are finally together. Phoebe is happily married to Mike who changed his mind about starting a family. And Joey is about to go to Hollywood to star in a godawful spin-off. It was also quite nice that they structured the episode so that the last half hour only starred the original friends (minus the new babies of course) with Gunther, Mike, and Erica having their last scenes in the first half.

So the episode, entitled "The Last One," was just satisfying through and through. The fans could be happy where all the characters ended up by the final scene and had an enjoyable time watching it all unfold to boot with a few twists (twins!) and turns (wrong airport!) thrown in among the heartfelt moments such as all of them in the empty apartment placing their keys in the counter.

The final few seconds were also handled brilliantly with Rachel asking Monica and Chandler if they have time for a cup and coffee and Chandler ironically delivering the last line of dialogue "Sure. Where?" as they all made their way to Central Perk once more. Camera then pans across the the empty apartment, from the living room to the kitchen, and settles on the door. We see the picture frame around the peephole. Fade to black.

Just for the record, OF COURSE, I considered the season finales of Buffy, Angel, and Lost. That last one is still a bit fresh and I still need time to process, and much as I love the finales for both Buffy and Angel I still wished they were both supersized to two hours of awesomeness each with appearances from Oz and Tara (in Buffy) and Buffy, Faith, or Cordelia (in Angel). Plus others have already said it better. Case in point, my friend Bunny shares with us why Angel's series finale is her favorite while Andrew tells us why he chose Buffy's series finale to write about today.

Wimbledon Report: Day 2

© AELTC

The top seeds of the bottom half of the draw moved swiftly to the next round during Day 2 of the championships.

2008 Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal wins his 8th consecutive Wimbledon match defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in straight sets. Other top contenders that won in straight sets include 4th seed Andy Murray, 6th seed Robin Soderling, 9th seed David Ferrer, and 18th seed Sam Querrey. Other notable seeds to make it through to the next round are 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny, 25th seed Thomaz Belluci, and 26th seed Gilles Simon.

Former top ten player James Blake was ousted, in straights, by Robin Haase. With that said, some seeded players were also eliminated early on, such as 8th seed Fernando Verdasco, 14th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, 19th seed Nicolas Almagro, and 24th seed Marcos Baghdatis. The match between 23rd seed John Isner and Nicolas Mahut were suspended as the American tied it with 2 sets a piece. They will play the final set tomorrow.

© AELTC

Like the men, the top half of the women's draw more or less stayed to form as some of the matches barely lasted an hour.

Defending champion Serena Williams needed only 63 minutes to defeat Michelle Larcher De Brito. And yet that was still too long compared to the 47-minute rout 3rd seed Caroline Wozniacki delivered to poor Tathiana Garbin or the 54 minutes required by 16th seed Maria Sharapova to dispatch her opponent. Other seeded players with straight set wins include 7th seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 9th seed Na Li, 10th seed Flavia Pennetta, 14th seed Victoria Azarenka, and 23rd seed Jie Zheng.

Following Francesca Schiavone's surprising early exit yesterday, her fellow 2010 French Open finalist and 6th seed Samantha Stosur was shockingly taken out in straights by Kaia Kanepi. 25th seed Lucie Safarova was the only other seeded player to get eliminated today. 18th seed Aravane Rezai, 19th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, and unseeded Anna Chakvetadze all had to go the distance to stay around while 24th seed Daniela Hantuchova and American Vania King have to wait until tomorrow to resume their suspended match. Finally, we say goodbye to familiar names such as Jill Craybas, Sybille Bammer, and Kimiko Date Krumm.

Wimbledon Report: Day 1

© Getty

The top half of the men's draw led by Roger Federer played on Monday and to most of the seeded men, it was the longest day of their lives.

Top seed Federer was down two sets to love to Alejandro Falla before he managed to stage a miraculous comeback saving four break points in a crucial game during the third set and then breaking Falla as the Colombian was serving for the match in the fourth set. Federer took care of business in the final set by winning six straight games, but he was only a couple of points away from exiting early. Fellow top ten players, Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko also had to come back from 2 sets to 1 down, but both managed to squeezed out a win. Djokovic and Olivier Rochus played under the roof due to bad light.

Top players that weren't so lucky include 11th seed Marin Cilic, 17th seed Ivan Ljubicic, 20th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, and 30th seed Tommy Robredo. Others such as 5th seed Andy Roddick, 12th seed Tomas Berdych, 15th seed Lleyton Hewitt, 21st seed Gael Monfils, among others, moved on much more routinely.

© AELTC

For the women, the bottom half of the draw led by Venus Williams saw a pretty uneventul Monday as most of the seeds went through.

The favorites such as Williams, 4th seed Jelena Jankovic, 8th seed Kim Clijsters, 11th seed Marion Bartoli, 12th seed Nadia Petrova, and 17th seed Justine Henin all moved on without dropping a set. Other seeded winners include 13th Shahar Peer who defeated former number one Ana Ivanovic, 33rd seed Melanie Oudin, 21st seed Vera Zvonareva, and 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer. Kirsten Flipkens join Wickmayer and their more popular Belgian counterparts into the second round.

The lone upset of the day in the woman's side was the ouster of recent French Open champion and 5th seed Francesca Schiavone, losing to Russia's Vera Dushevina. While grass is not her favored surface, this must be quite disappointing for the Italian after her results at Roland Garros and her quarterfinal showing here the year prior. Like Ivanovic, other recent former top players exited early including Patty Schnyder and Agnes Szavay.

Monday, June 21, 2010

TV Meme: Day 21

"30 Days TV Meme"


Day 21 | Favorite ship (aka relationship)

Willow/Oz

This shouldn't be too much of a shocker considering how much I love the show and the character of Willow as I've written recently. It's also the first ship I truly got obsessed over, which again goes hand in hand with my strong feelings over the characters and the show.

OZ: Hey. That girl. Who is she?
Devon: She's an exchange student. I think she's from South America.
OZ: No, not her. The Eskimo!

One of my favorite things about this couple is how different they are to one another. Oh sure they are both adorable, smart, and whathaveyou, but when they first meet he's this cool senior who has a band while she's the computer geek junior who can't talk to boys. Couples that provide this type of contrast really intrigue me in movies, books, and TV. And since I've mentioned already how much I related to Willow during the series, her dating the cute-rocker-guy-next-door wasn't too shabby.

OZ: I'm gonna ask you to go out with me tomorrow night. And I'm kinda nervous about it, actually. It's interesting.
WILLOW: Oh. Well, if it helps at all, I'm gonna say yes.
OZ: Yeah, it helps. It-it creates a comfort zone. Do you wanna go out with me tomorrow night?
WILLOW: (cringes and slaps her hand to her forehead) Oh! I can't!
OZ: Well, see, I like that you're unpredictable.
WILLOW: Oh, it's just it's Buffy's birthday, and we're throwing her a surprise party.
OZ: It's okay.
WILLOW: But you could come. If you want to.
OZ: Well, I don't wanna crash.
WILLOW: No, it's fine! Well, you could be m... my date.
OZ: All right. I'm in.
WILLOW: (to herself) I said 'date'.

WILLOW: Do you wanna make out with me?
OZ: What?
WILLOW: Forget it. I'm sorry. Well, do you?
OZ: Sometimes when I'm sitting in class... You know, I'm not thinking about class, 'cause that would never happen. I think about kissing you. And it's like everything stops. It's like, it's like freeze frame. Willow kissage.

It was fantastic seeing their courtship develop from Oz noticing her from a distance to their chance first meeting to the wait fans (and Willow) had to endure for the couples first date, first kiss, and finally first time they made love. It wasn't all roses and puppies. While they were usually adorkably awkward or painfully sweet, it was the obstacles they had to endure (Oz's werewolf self, Willow kissing Xander) that made their relationship stronger and made me want to cheer them on even more.

OZ: So... Maybe it'd be best if I just... sorta...
WILLOW: What?
OZ: Well, you know, like, stayed out of your way for awhile.
WILLOW: I don't know. I'm kind of okay with you being *in* my way.
OZ: You mean, you'd still...
WILLOW: Well, I like you. You're nice and you're funny. And you don't smoke. Yeah, okay, werewolf, but that's not all the time. I mean, three days out of the month I'm not much fun to be around either.
OZ: You are quite the human.
WILLOW: So, I'd still if you'd still.
OZ: I'd still. I'd *very* still.
WILLOW: Okay. No biting, though.
OZ: Agreed.

WILLOW: Oz, please believe me.
OZ: This is what I do know: I miss you. Like, every second. Almost like I lost an arm, or worse, a torso. So, I think I'd be willing to... give it a shot.
WILLOW: Really?
OZ: Yeah.
This also has to do with my penchant to like or be invested more in the supporting characters over the main lead character(s). Their relationship, to me, was more accessible, than the Buffy/Angel saga or the Xander/Cordelia fling.

With that said, their relationship did end during "Wild At Heart," which is still the Buffy episode that made me the saddest I've ever been, when Oz left town after sleeping with Veruca and realizing he had to find a way to control his inner werewolf. Oz did come back in "New Moon Rising," but by then Willow had moved on. Thankfully for this Willow/Oz shipper, the writers gave us a beautiful end scene between the two:

OZ: You're happy?
WILLOW: I am. I can't explain it...
OZ: It may be safer for both of us if you don't.
WILLOW: I missed you, Oz. I wrote you so many letters, but I didn't have any place to send them, you know? I couldn't live like that.
OZ: It was stupid to think that you'd just be... waiting.
WILLOW: I was waiting. I feel like some part of me will always be waiting for you. Like if I'm old and blue-haired, and I turn the corner in Istanbul and there you are, I won't be surprised. Because you're with me, you know?
OZ: I know... But now is not that time, I guess.
WILLOW: No... What are you gonna do?
OZ: I think I better take off.
WILLOW: When?
OZ: Pretty much now.
Cue the hugging, the crying. Oh gosh, it still gets me every time. I haven't read any of the official comics yet, but I do know both of the characters have moved on. And yet I'll always think about some time in the future, maybe not Istanbul, but somewhere when both are ready again, they'll be together. Call me a hopeless romantic, a werewolf in love.

Birthday Boy: Kris Allen


I'm a little pawn still in your game • And you ignore my advances • I turn my head and I look away • But I can't control my eyes are on you • You're on the run and I'm chasing you • Feels like war with all your glances • I'm just a boy without a clue • And I can't control following you • But it's alright, alright with me • It's alright, alright with me


I know you better than you know • You can fight but it's not over • I say to stop but you start to go • I guess that means it's L-O-V-E • I say to look but you turn away • I say we put our best foot forward • Will you believe, come next to me • Oh, why can't you see, I'm begging you, please • But it's alright, alright with me • It's alright, alright with me

Happy 25th Birthday Kris Allen!

Wimbledon: Women's Preview


Defending champion and top seed Serena Williams will try to get her first title since winning the Australian Open earlier this year. It'll be a loud first round match against Michelle Larcher De Brito and her second round against potentially Anna Chakvetadze could be tricky. 25th seed Lucie Safarova or unseeded Dominika Cibulkova awaits her in the third round. After that, she could face 24th seed Daniela Hantuchova, but more likely it'll be a blockbuster match between two former champions as Serena could face 16th seed Maria Sharapova. Winner of that could meet 7th seed Agnieska Radwanska, 9th seed Na Li, or struggling 19th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.

Still trying to heal from a recent injury, third seed Caroline Wozniacki will be tested in the early rounds with dangerous floaters such as Tathiana Garbin and Sybille Bammer lurking. If she reaches the fourth round, she can look out for 14th seed Victoria Azarenka or 23rd seed Jie Zheng. In the quarterfinals, recent French Open finalist and 6th seed Samantha Stosur awaits as well as 10th seed Flavia Pennetta, or 18th seed Aravane Rezai. In this same quarter, superwoman Kimiko Date Krumm will try to win another slam match against a seeded player this year going up against 31st seed Alexandra Dulgheru.

The Belgians commandeer their own quarter in the other side of the draw with a possibility of meeting one in the fourth round. Before that, 8th seed Kim Clijsters might have to get by a few tough qualifiers such as Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Shenay Perry, and Anastasiya Yakimova not to mention 27th seed Maria Kirilenko. 17th seed Justine Henin, whose primary goal for coming back was to win this title, shouldn't face too much of a challenge until the third round with either a meeting with 12th seed Nadia Petrova or unseeded Patty Schnyder. Winner of Clijsters-Henin will have to contend with 4th seed Jelena Jankovic, fellow Belgian 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer, 21st seed Vera Zvonareva, or 28th seed Alona Bondarenko in the quarterfinals.

Finally, five-time Wimbledon champion and second seed Venus Williams look to continue her dominance in this surface. Based on skill and history, she should have little problem until the semifinals even with the winner of the first round duel between 13th seed Shahar Peer and shockingly unseeded Ana Ivanovic as a potential third round opponent as well as 33rd seed Melanie Oudin who reached the fourth round last year. Venus can meet recent French Open champion and 5th seed Francesca Schiavone in the quarterfinals, but the Italian's record at Wimbledon is inconsistent. Venus can also meet former finalist and 11th seed Marion Bartoli.

Quarterfinals
Serena Williams d. Na Li
Samathan Stosur d. Jie Zheng
Justine Henin d. Jelena Jankovic
Venus Williams d. Marion Bartoli

Semifinals
Samantha Stosur d. Serena Williams
Venus Williams d. Justine Henin

Finals
Venus Williams d. Samantha Stosur

Wimbledon: Men's Preview


After losing in the quarterfinals at this year's French Open and losing his number one ranking, top seed and defending champion Roger Federer will want to prove he's still top dog by capturing his record-tying 7th Wimbledon crown. His draw looks good until the third round where he could face 30th seed Tommy Robredo or dangerous floaters such as Janko Tipsarevic and Arnaud Clement. Fourth round opponents could be 16th seed Jurgen Melzer who is coming off a semifinals appearance in Roland Garros or 22nd seed Feliciano Lopez who reached the semifinals at Queen's Club recently. In the quarterfinal round, he could meet up recently struggling 7th seed Nikolay Davydenko, 12th seed Tomas Berdych, or his compatriot and 20th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.

Former semifinalist and 3rd seed Novak Djokovic will be tested early by Olivier Rochus of Belgium in the first round. If fit, however, he should do well to reach fourth round where he could meet 21st seed Gael Monfils or more likely former champion and 15th seed Lleyton Hewitt who recently won a title on grass in Halle beating Federer in the finals. Djokovic's most likely quarterfinal opponent is last year's finalist and 5th seed Andy Roddick. Roddick will have to get through hard-hitting Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round and then 11th seed Marin Cilic, 17th seed Ivan Ljubicic, or good friend Mardy Fish in the fourth round first.

Hometown favorite and 4th seed Andy Murray will try and do one more round better than last year and reach the final especially with the Queen planning on attending. No one should trouble him in the early rounds if he's healthy. His first seed would be 26th seed Gilles Simon who has been struggling more than the Scot. The fourth round will be a bit more challenging 14th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero or more likely 18th seed Sam Querrey who will be looking to redeem his slam season after a terrible showing at the French Open. Murray's quarterfinal opponents could be red hot 8th seed Fernando Verdasco, 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, or 19th seed Nicolas Almagro.

Finally, top ranked but second seeded Rafael Nadal will be looking to extend his 7 match win streak at Wimbledon after withdrawing last year unable to defend his title from 2008. He has a potential tantalizing match with unseeded James Blake in the second round, but if he makes it through, he should cruise to the fourth round where 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny, 23rd seed John Isner, or unseeded Dudi Sela awaits. It just gets harder from there on in as he'll have to defeat 6th seed Robin Soderling, 9th seed David Ferrer, 24th seed Marcos Baghdatis, or 25th seed Tomaz Belluci. It'll probably be Soderling, which would be a French Open final rematch. The Swede, however, will have to get through another Robby first in Robby Ginepri in the first round.

Quarterfinals:
Roger Federer d. Tomas Berdych
Andy Roddick d. Lleyton Hewitt
Andy Murray d. Fernando Verdasco
Rafael Nadal d. Robin Soderling

Semifinals:
Roger Federer d. Andy Roddick
Rafael Nadal d. Andy Murray

Finals:
Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal