Moneyball was funny ball, with Brad Pitt starring as Billy Beane, ex-baseball player, now the general manager of a sick franchise in Oakland in 2002. The story, based on a book by Michael Lewis, is all about the new use of statistics to predict what might help the A’s win more than when the scouts went by intuition about players and their abilities. It showed how the big city sites, with lots of money to spend, could win pennants and championships by simply buying them, the New York Yankees in particular. And Beane and his computer nerd Peter Brand (played like an mvp by Jonah Hill), showed the league that the most important stat of all was how often a batter got on base, not on how well he hit. Walks were as important as hits. Brad Pitt showed us again what a good actor he is, in this quiet film about baseball possibilities. And it was much better than its predecessor, Field of Dreams.
More on this season’s tv shows.
Terra Nova spent $20 million on the two-hour premier, most of which was well spent. The set and the dinosaurs were terrific, the story a little weak. But maybe it will get better in coming episodes. It looked like it was trying for a sci-fi mystery like Lost, with all kinds of odd possibilities for plot strands. But it will have to try harder if it expects to come up to the mysteries of Lost.
The Good Wife, The Mentalist, and Blue Bloods all picked up nicely from where they left off at the end of last season. Harry’s Law didn’t fare so well. The oddball shop with oddball occupants from last season were replaced with a busy, bustling law office without most of the oddballs and without the shoes. It looked like just another lawyer show, and who needs another one of those? Two-and-a-Half Men, even with Justin Timberlake, still looks like a loser, still too unfunny and raunchy to survive. Good riddance to Charlie, good riddance to the now three men. Then there’s the awful debut of Charlie’s Angels. Farrah Fawcett must be spinning in her grave, and Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith grinding their teeth. This one will be cancelled within a dozen shows.