The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

ARLI$$ NOW A FREE AGENT
After seven seasons, HBO has decided to end Arli$$.

Arli$$ was once one of my favorites; I'd make a point of watching each new episode, and, along with reruns of The Larry Sanders Show, was the only reason I bothered to keep subscribing to HBO/HBO2. A show that combined not only comedy and sports, but the business of sports--man, I was in heaven! Yeah, the guest spots by most athletes were pretty dreadful, especially with the obligatory dialogue intro for each (e.g., "Hey John Randle, how's the terror of the gridiron doing?"). But in many cases, the script and the plot and the pacing was so crisp, it was a pure pleasure to watch. If you're a sports fan, it was a show that just did it for you in terms of blending realistic sports scenarios and comedy (unlike, say, the ridiculously overrated SportsNight).

Of course, it didn't stay good for long. Best as I can recall, it started to slide after the third season, and by the fifth season it just reeked. I remember finally turning it off in the middle of one episode that was really sucking hard; it had to do with the ethics of using American Indian figures as sports mascots, but the writing and plotting were so terrible that it became unwatchable. I can't really comment on the shows after that point since I never saw them, but let's face it, it's not like a series ever gets better once it starts to slip.

Still, here's hoping that we can enjoy the series in syndication someday, like Larry Sanders now.