New Bill Simmons Show On HBO

Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by billythekid, May 31, 2016.

  1. billythekid

    billythekid

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    Anyone looking forward to Any Given Wednesday on HBO starring Bill Simmons? Looks like it's set to start in a few weeks. I'll give it a try, but my expectations are low. I used to really enjoy his Sports Guy columns on ESPN, but felt like his work had really gone downhill over the past couple of years. It was like he had started to believe his own hype and his column became a caricature of itself. Plus, I think I never forgave him for one or two of his podcasts where he and his buddy really laid into UConn.

     
  2. walker11

    walker11

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    I am excited for The Ringer, but not his tv show. I don't find him compelling but he has an impressive ability to collect and showcase talent.
     
  3. beerfan

    beerfan

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    I'm a fan and was looking forward to this but holy heck is that a bad promo. With all that time off I would expect more from him than an unfunny Bull Durham ripoff.

    What's next, have Artie Lange on his first show and tell him it is o.k to smoke?
     
  4. zyron

    zyron

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    That was great as he destroyed Joe Buck's show.
     
  5. progrocks

    progrocks

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    Not quite sure what the format is but I will certainly give it a go for a couple months.

    I am real excited for The Ringer though, I was a huge fan of Grantland and am interested in seeing what the differences are going to be.
     
  6. Deepster

    Deepster

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    I used to be on the Boston Sports Guy AOL mailing list back in the day. I feel like he peaked when he was in full swing of his ESPN Page 2 articles. He'd put out 2-3 a week? Lots of them were personal humor, friends of his that you sort of got to know, annual things like Draft Diaries, Vegas trips, etc. It felt like I was reading stuff my buddies would write and say to each other or things we'd do. Not sure when the tipping point was for me, maybe his NBA book and a pretty obvious focus away from other sports and onto just basketball. He's said that the baseball stat nerds ruined his baseball writing because any time he'd make a point, they'd avalanche him with stats as to why he was wrong. And football, he has no credibility because he only picks the Patriots for every game, every week, regardless of any other factor.

    I hated Grantland. Thought it was a bloated ego project and rarely read anything on that site. I don't like his podcasts. And, from what I've seen on The Ringer so far, it's the same as Grantland, just off of the ESPN leash for once.
     
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  7. CTMike

    CTMike Vanilla Cake > Fish Cake

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    Mostly agree - Page 2 (even prior to that) was when I most religiously read his stuff - Grantland I didn't hate as much as it just didn't interest me at all... And same for the Ringer. As for his show, I'll tune in for one if I have nothing better to do just to give it a go... But I'm largely over Simmons at this point.
     
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  8. Excalibur

    Excalibur

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    It absolutely was an ego project. The ironic thing is that the content was very good, except for the occasional stuff that he put up himself.

    As for the book of basketball, I thought it was great, but he was clearly disinterested in his column even after he finished the book.
     
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  9. progrocks

    progrocks

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    The Ringer is live, and the interesting thing is there is nothing written by him on the site for day 1. Must be focusing on the TV show at this point.
     
  10. Letsgohuskies11

    Letsgohuskies11

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    I liked reading the Zach Lowe NBA articles though on Grantland
     
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  11. beerfan

    beerfan

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    I will give it another week, but that first show was hard to watch.

    The non-interview segments were o.k., and what I would expect from a Simmons show, but the interviews were awful. It was obvious these were edited down from a longer interview but the editing was horrendous, no flow whatsoever.

    The Barkley interview was particularly bad. He did a podcast with him about a month ago that was entertaining. That interview was 45 minutes. Last night he tried to recreate the same podcast in about 5 minutes. Too many topics too quickly, very rushed. He should think about settling for one guest in a half hour.
     
  12. Deepster

    Deepster

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    I didn't catch it, but read a couple reviews on it that weren't kind. Already panning it as a flop after one show. Said something like "as creative and well done as the 30 for 30 series is, this was poorly done to an equal degree".
     
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  13. Fishy

    Fishy Puncher of Throats

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    I didn't mind the Barkley interview - just turn down the Klieg lights when you have a fat man on. He was sweating Bartolo buckets out there.

    The Affleck interview was just plain strange. Deflategate, at this point, is a hot topic in about five zip codes in Massachusetts - the rest of us don't care anymore. That's a weird way to go for your first show -between that and the Larry Bird stuff with Barkley, it came off as a YouTube episode aimed at some sliver of Boston sports' fan.

    Two other observations:

    1) Simmons is straight spooky looking.

    2) I thought American Eagle Outfitters went out of business, but they must have found some new old stock from the 80's to dress him.
     
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  14. whaler11

    whaler11 Kickoff: 11:11

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    The website sucks out loud.
     
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  15. billythekid

    billythekid

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  16. Letsgohuskies11

    Letsgohuskies11

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    Bill should have stuck with podcasts and mailbags. His ego got too big.
     
  17. CTMike

    CTMike Vanilla Cake > Fish Cake

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    Good job by you Billy!
     
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  18. intlzncster

    intlzncster i fart in your general direction

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    Dunno about his ego, but he's definitely not built for TV. His on-camera presence sucks.
     
  19. Deepster

    Deepster

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    His last show had 82,000 viewers. That's almost impossible for an HBO show.

    Curious to see what he does next? He can't go back to ESPN. His HBO leash has to be pretty short. The Ringer is a flop. He already did the NBA studio thing. I wonder if he's completely flamed out of options.
     
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  20. superjohn

    superjohn

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    Guy had his niche and then got way too big for his britches.
     
  21. intlzncster

    intlzncster i fart in your general direction

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    Some of that was simply trying to adjust with evolving media (dissemination) channels. When he started, blogs were really all there was. Now there's so much competing multimedia, it's tough to ignore if you're a content distributor. The real problem is, Bill isn't all that versatile. He's a good blogger, and decent in his podcast niche, but struggles everywhere else. As I said before, he's got no onscreen presence, and he's not very good off the cuff.

    Also note, setting aside his mostly failed efforts into multimedia distribution, he didn't evolve from his original style. He didn't leave behind enough of his regional stuff, keep up with the times in terms of pop culture references, nor rotate in newer guests (ie not House/cousin Sal). It just got stale.
     
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  22. superjohn

    superjohn

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    Agree with all of this, his MTV Real World and Different Strokes references were funny when he was the Sports Guy but even then they got stale. Guy just has zero screen presence and his pop culture references are funny if you are a 40 year old white guy who used to watch MTV, he doesn't play to a big audience.
     
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  23. Deepster

    Deepster

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    Read an article on the cancellation of his show. Some "unnamed execs" listed out things that led to his demise. Obviously, his voice and on-screen appearance were tops of the list. Just doesn't have the chops for TV. They also went into some other reasons though:

    1) Softball interviews. He criticized Golic for being a soft interviewer, then Simmons blew sunshine up everyone's skirt on his show.
    2) He just wasn't edgy at all and he wasn't topical. He wasn't right on top of issues that just happened like PTI is, and when it was time to give his take, he was soft. Like, he never addressed Kaepernick, didn't do things like poke at the WNBA anymore, etc.
    3) They also mocked him for his bit with Affleck and acting like he's still some Boston Sports Guy. He has lived in CA for 15 years now and hobnobs with Jimmy Kimmel. He's a Kings and Clippers season ticket holder.
     
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  24. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    This guy went from being somebody with maximum likeability to someone I actively rooted against and I am not sure why.
     
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  25. intlzncster

    intlzncster i fart in your general direction

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    Even his original promo commercial for the show was soft as $&!^. It was supposed to be a hot hot-take, but just came of as cheesy. In fact, I laughed (at him).
     
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  26. Dogdeacon

    Dogdeacon

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    I guess I'm somewhat in the minority in that I still like his podcasts. The Ringer is meh, I read maybe one or two articles a week though I'd like to read more. Its simply a little too broad, too hit or miss so I won't waste the time. Grantland was better and way more interesting and reliable.

    100% agree with all though that Simmons has/had no TV charisma or persona, voice wrong, looks wrong just hard to watch. Ideally he coulda done a Bryant Gumbel/Bob Costas 3.0 type of show, but the fact that he isn't good on TV AND that he Jimmy Fallon-ed his guests made it a total snooze. I still don't know what he was even trying to do.

    The HBO partnership/contract always seemed weird from the known perspective that Simmons simply was NEVER good on TV (kinda reminiscent of Mike Francesa back in the day = trainwreck on CBS). So his behind the screen talents from 30-for-30 and Grantland HAVE TO BE why they hired & pay him. I'm hopeful that the TV cancellation will make the Ringer better and more consistent and down the road lead to some good sports docs on HBO.

    There is a lot of schadenfreude about Simmons. My assumption is this comes from his start as an everyman and that he lived the blogger dream creating his own sports job out of a hobby/passion and made millions. He bottled lots of guys sports experience and now gets paid a lot for what most of us do for fun. For me its weird that people root for him to fail or are surprised that he's not an everyman anymore after he succeeds. Ironically Affleck actually said on the show that Affleck initially failed in Hollywood by trying to remain 'who he was', but being a rebellious hard-drinking 20-year old know-it-all isn't cute once you are 30 and starring in huge movies, its juvenile or worse. I think the points about not evolving as a columnist are legit and to his credit that's why he's gotten away from writing (yet some of same people critical of his style also complain he doesn't write anymore?). His biggest strength now seems to be finding talent (I.e. Zach Lowe, Jalen Rose, David Jacoby, Katie Baker) and getting them to work for him. And maybe shmoozing with some big names too (Gladwell, Klosterman, Al Michaels) So now he just needs to make the Ringer a lot better & create 30-for-30 2.0.
    So morale of story for me is even as one that still enjoys Simmons I'm glad the show was cancelled.
     
  27. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    I don't get what the difference between the Ringer and Vice Sports or even Deadspin is. It seems like we have too many of these edgy outlets. It's a tough market to break into in my opinion.
     
  28. Deepster

    Deepster

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    Here's my Ringer routine.

    1. Click on all of my other go-to sites, get bored, click on the Ringer.
    2. Scroll through the horrible set up, looking for something.
    3. Find an article that sounds okay, click on that.
    4. 90% of the time? I read a paragraph or two, then X out of it. 10% of the time, I finish the article.
    5. X out of site completely.
     
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  29. Deadrody

    Deadrody

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    Simmons is just the epitome of the sports "hot-take" genre. Not particularly interested in that in the first place, so whether he was an innovator or not, I see the whole snarky universe, Simmons, Stewart, Colbert, Daily Show as a big drain on the past and future of any form of discussion. Now everyone is busy DESTROYING this or that. It's tiresome, really.

    He was a very regional character at the outset, so his appeal was limited to begin with. Generally sitting on the opposite end of the spectrum from that region, I was never interested in his schtick anyhow.

    I saw the original promo for the show and thought "And why is anyone going to watch this ?".
     
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  30. Dogdeacon

    Dogdeacon

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    Globally I completely understand/agree with your point. Nitpicking I'd strenuously assert that Stephen A. Smith & his ilk are the epitome of the hot-take genre & deserve 0 attention. And Simmons HBO show sucked.

    But Simmons is a parallel 'think piece' genre that is somewhat similar because its often a story about a story about a game (actual event). Give me the actual event every time & most of the time I can watch it or read the 'gamer' article only. But if you follow the NBA or NFL, Simmons offers additional insights (i.e. is QBR relevant - no, are there good new bball analytics = yes, what is the NFL really doing about concussions = nothing, trying to distract us) and I think an actual thought provoking perspective vs just bloviating LeBron or Aaron Rodgers is not the greatest ever because of 'today's breaking news'.