How nice it is to watch the Rangers in my own living room, playing on Versus, which has finally agreed to a new deal with Directv.  Versus is nearly priceless to us because of the 10 or so Rangers games they carry each season, but if Dr. J was here, he’d tell you about some of Versus’ other programming, like the Tour De France.  Speaking of which, is Lance Armstrong a machine or what?  We are hoping that Dr. J will take the reins for a guest column, to tell us how.  Yes, I already know, but again, Dr. J is our science guy and our Tour guy (seriously, he’s the only person I know who watches that shit), so we will patiently await what he may say about Lance, drug testing, and cycling in general.

FX comes to air with an “original” drama tonight, Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant, who is probably best known for his portrayal of “Montana” in Deadwood, and more than probably, is the sole reason for this show.  FX has pulled a page from NBC’s “knock off a popular show” playbook, under the Deadwood category.  You may remember, Kings, featuring Al Swearengen, um, I mean Ian McShane.  In today’s New York Post, TV columnist Linda Stasi called Justified a “true male fantasy show,” damning the show lightly with faint praise, if you could call it that–but with good reason–she works for the Post which is owned by Fox which owns FX.  Conflict of interest much?  And she deftly slipped in product mentions of practically all of FX’s other original dramas, probably under mandate from Old Rupe himself.

If you missed Stasi’s article, we have it here in a nutshell: blah blah blah, Justified, blah blah blah, men suck, blah blah blah, and don’t forget Sons of Anarchy or The Shield

I have mixed feelings about FX, but must say, I credit them for having made a genuine effort with their dramatic television.  Sons of Anarchy happens to be one of my guilty pleasure shows, and they have casted the show superbly.  Especially the women.  Maggie Siff is excellent as Jax’s girlfriend (NYU Tisch School of the Arts, holler!), and was also excellent as Rachel Menkin on Mad Men, who played one of the many love interests of Don “The Man” Draper (Jon Hamm).  Also, I was shocked how moving Katey Sagal’s performance is as the matriarch on Sons, in which she plays her role flawlessly.

And then there is The Shield, which is supposedly pretty good for a show about pigs, and Rescue Me, also supposedly good–for a show about thieves.  We’ve also heard good things about Nip and Tuck, and have followed the star, Julian McMahon’s career, since he first caught my wife’s eye on Charmed.

One more word about Justified, premiering tonight on FX at 10 PM: I’ll give it a try, but the veil might be too thin.  I’d have appreciated the irony in having Timothy Olyphant’s character be an old fashioned western marshal in Montana, as opposed to Kentucky, because he’ll always be Montana to me.  Anyone jonesing for the real thing can catch Deadwood on Directv channel 239 or 101.

Back to Mad Men for a sad mention.  Bryan Batt, who plays the effeminate, closeted art director, Sal Romano, did not receive a call back for season 4.  This info. was confirmed by Matthew Weiner and came to me by way of Jack Kerouac over at the Mad Men Lounge.  We are sad to see Romano go, as his storyline was most compelling, though the hand writing was certainly on the wall, considering how that story arc exploded last season. 

(Batt as the popular Sal Romano)

To end with a positive, Larry David has confirmed that Curb Your Enthusiasm will be returning for at least 1 more season, and he said that the Seinfeld plot has been exhausted, and that there will be no further references to the iconic NBC show, though last season’s plot was a definite, emphatic triumph.  If anyone can top himself though, it’s LD.