POSTED BY STUART LEVINE
A few wandering thoughts while waiting for the season two premiere of "Mad Men" Sunday night. More on that later, but for now …
-- You can take the NBA Finals, Wimbledon and British Open, but I'll go for ESPN's World Series of Poker coverage every time. I find very few TV events -- even though this one is highly edited -- that has as much drama. Tuesday, the cabler premiered the tourney, with satellite games to start out with the main event to begin in a few weeks. (Pictured right is 2007 WSOP champ Jerry Yang and his $8.25 million in winnings. Cash.)
While attending the Cinevegas Film Festival at the Palms last month, I walked across the street to the Rio and caught part of the WSOP in person. Two massive rooms with hundreds of tables, the sound of chips rattling around like the white noise of honeybees busy in a hive. As a player, it was music to my ears.
-- Caught "Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal" and didn't care for it. I'm a big fan of the HBO's documentaries, but this one didn't bring anything new to the table except that Heidi is ravished by lifelong drug use, has little sense of reality and really believes that women are going to flock to her "stud farm" north of Las Vegas, a legal brothel where women will be catered to. Sure, I guess it could be a success but it seems highly unlikely, and Heidi -- at least at the end of the doc -- was way more interested in her exotic birds than creating a business venture.
-- My favorite show of the summer continues to be "Hopkins," the weekly ABC doc that focuses on the doctors and patients at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. I watch a few of the medical programs on the Discovery nets and other places, but this one feels more authentic and captivating to me, for reasons I'm not sure I can articulate. Originally, "Hopkins 24/7" aired in 2000 and it's hard to say why it didn't make a return visit until eight years later, but the results are addictive.
-- Wrapping up the week Sunday will be "Mad Men," and I must confess I've already seen the episode but will watch again to make sure I absorb every nuance and inside joke creator Matt Weiner is throwing our way. And, with Cynthia Littleton and possibly a few other Variety types, we'll be blogging our thoughts every week here for On the Air -- similar to what we did for "The Wire" and continue to do for "Lost" -- and marking down observations, thoughts and other minutae that makes "Mad Men" worthy of all the high praise it's currently receiving. Check it out here immediately after the episode airs, or at your leisure Monday morning.