The Wolves Rite of Spring, Distracting March

November 16, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former pro basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks to the crowd in front of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar statue that was unveiled in a ceremony in front of the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The dog days are over, my friends. For the Minnesota Timberwolves annual rite of Spring, we have the draft watch awakening that is March Madness. College fans get to tout their summations of every team, star and sleeper heading into the biggest cluster-f this side of South By South West, or SxSW, or whatever Mountain Dew and Doritos are calling it these days — the NCAA tournament.

Bracketology has always held limited appeal for me, as the records and analytics all get jumbled up and spit out in the bracket-busting first round regardless of your level of attentive preparations that year. As far as NBA indicators are concerned: for every Carmelo Anthony, there is a Mateen Cleaves. The wonderment and pageantry of a title run is sold by the college purists as the last authentic basketball in existence and insist it’s somehow unadulterated, while the rest of us look at the rotation of Butler and wonder how many future math teachers are filling out their roster.

I like good fiction inspired by real-life events. I’m game.

That’s why the last couple weeks of February — legitimately doggiest of the dog days — right up until earlier this week, was something of a wake up call for me. HBO had been selling Girls by Lena Dunham on Wolves Radio broadcasts last year. I saw Tiny Furniture, was not impressed; probably because I caught it on the heels of Miranda July’s The Future, and both suffered by association.

But before you ask, “Howl, what the hell does this have to do with basketball?” I just found this review the artist formerly known as Lew Alcindor wrote earlier this year. Among my favorite points:

2. They like to talk about (and sometimes engage in) sex.

It’s like a checklist of being naughty: masturbation (check), sex during period (check), oral sex (check), anal sex (check), virginity (check), etc. The show is actually at its most engaging during these awkward, fumbling, and mostly embarrassing (for the characters) scenes. The characters talk boldly about sex, but their actions are often shy and unsatisfying. The contrast of the generation that’s been taught that pretty much anything goes sexually trying to act cool while struggling with their vulnerabilities is generally fresh and original and insightful about this generation.

3. They’re too self-conscious, too cutesy, and not that funny.

We’re supposed to find these girls somehow charming because of their flawed characters. Their intense self-involvement is meant to be cute and it can be… at times. But not enough to overcome our impatience with their inability to have any personal insight. They’re all educated but fatally ignorant.

Kareem’s review pinpoints my hangups with this show. Forced awkwardness isn’t funny. It’s certainly not art. Vapid expression framed just so. Ugh.

My favorite basketball distraction right now is HBO’s other juggernaut, Game of Thrones. They recently commissioned hometown heroes, The Hold Steady, for a tavern song. Haven’t been a huge fan since Separation Sunday. But still, too cool.

This is “the Swish” off of their debut …Almost Killed Me.

Topics: Game Of Thrones, Lena Dunham, March Madness

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