Memphis Beat, "Polk Salad Annie"
Originally Aired July 13, 2010
I'm taking the baton from previous Memphis Beat re-capper Greg Akers this week. We'll probably be alternating — or something close to it — the rest of the way.
Rowdy Memphis (Plot Synopsis): Detective Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee) and fellow officers Whitehead (Sam Hennings), Lightfoot (Abraham Benrubi), and Greenback (Leonard Earl Howze) chow down on several platters of ribs at Fat Red's Barbecue, where Greenback draws a standing ovation for his rousing takedown of a man attempting to rob the restaurant.
Back at the station, Lt. Rice (Alfre Woodard) readies her charges for the influx of tourists at the annual "Beale Street Barbecue Festival." This week's mystery gets underway when Fat Red ends up stabbed in the stomach during the contest. The initial suspect is hog farmer Bryce Harper, a former supplier with whom Red had severed ties. It turns out Harper has made an attempt on Fat Red's life, but not this time. A dispute between Fat Red and his sister Analise (Sing All Kinds favorite Melanie Lynskey guest stars) over a $20,000 order from Harper puts Analise under suspicion, and officer Sutton (DJ Qualls) is mic'ed-up and sent undercover to romance Analise at a Beale Street club in search of information. After revealing a conflict over the future of the restaurant, Analise hires Sutton to finish the job on her brother and, with Fat Red's help, Dwight and crew attempt to ensnare Analise in the murder plot. But Fat Red breaks character, leading to comic sibling-rivalry hijinks, a car chase, and Sutton having to use his downhome wisdom to talk the volatile couple down. Meanwhile, Lt. Rice is having trouble with one of her sons, who finds himself down at the police station for all the wrong reasons, and Dwight has decided to let his smokin' hot ex-wife Alex (Sunny Mabry) "stand on her own two feet."
Episode Named After: The Elvis song, which hit #1 on the Billboard charts in November 1956. The song also lends its name to the film featuring Elvis' acting debut. Presley debuted the song on his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1956.
Rowdy Memphis (Plot Synopsis): A man wants to kill himself by jumping off the top of a building downtown. Officer Sutton (DJ Qualls) tries to talk him down, and Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee) reasons with the man, who has woman troubles. Dwight gets some breakfast to go at The Arcade. Lightfoot (Abraham Benrubi) has wife troubles.
This week's mystery surrounds a missing Miss Southern Appeal. Ivy is a 17-year-old beauty contestant who has been working toward the Miss Southern Appeal pageant "all her life." Whitehead (Sam Hennings) says, "A rich girl lost in this city: never a good thing." The pageant owner's son Jimmy Masterson is a creepy guy and a suspect. Dwight's ex-wife Alex (Sunny Mabrey) is working toward opening a catering business, and Dwight helps out by getting her a gig at the police station. Masterson turns out to just be a drunk. The investigation leads to Kate Caldwell, Miss Bluff City, an enemy of Ivy's. Caldwell says Ivy had been fighting with her parents. When confronted, the Hatchers tell an unlikely story. Ivy's been hanging out at a biker bar called Bic's. Ivy's sister decodes Ivy's diary, which reveals abuses her parents inflicted on her. Caldwell is interrogated for more information; Caldwell quotes Ovid, and Whitehead quotes back Johnny Cash. Dwight figures out Ivy is pregnant. Her boyfriend is an employee at Bic's. Dwight does the right thing again. Ivy and her boyfriend were just getting set to run off together, to escape Ivy's parents. Dwight helps that happen. Lightfoot presses charges against his wife because she stabbed him.
Episode Named After: Elvis' Sun Records cover song of the Arthur Gunter original. Elvis' version hit #5 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in July 1955.
Plot Synopsis: Dwight (Jason Lee) sniffs out some graffiti artists just by staring them down — he's a crime whisperer or like the guy in The Mentalist. Alex (Sunny Mabrey) is introduced as Dwight's ex-wife with benefits. Dwight and Whitehead (Sam Hennings) straighten out some fighting youths and check out one of the boys' strange tale about a daddy kidnapped by terrorists. The boy's mom, Cleo (special guest star Juliette Lewis), plays dumb but the truth comes out in dribs and drabs. Dwight joins his mom and her neighbor on a date. Dwight's dad is revealed to have been a Memphis police officer. Whitehead reveals his thespian proclivities. Dwight plays "Baby, Let's Play House" alone on his couch.
Is this what Memphis is? Memphis Beat thinks so. The show, premiering tonight on TNT at 9 p.m. and airing on Tuesdays throughout the summer, embraces these associations. The extent to which you, as a Memphian, or you, as a neophyte, can live with the portrayal will determine the level of your enjoyment. (By the way, look for Chris Herrington’s Flyer cover story, out tomorrow, about the city from Mystery Train to Memphis Beat.)
Based solely on the pilot, titled “That’s Alright, Mama,” the show is a failure on multiple levels and a success on others. Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) stars as Memphis police detective Dwight Hendricks, an unconventional investigator who performs hometown songs for big crowds at night. His day and nighttime jobs are full of one thing: love for Memphis.
So, in advance of tonight's multi-hour series finale event, why not toss out a last batch of Lost predictions which will be proved hilariously wrong soon enough. This gets the usual spoiler alert: I never read what other people think is going to happen, so these stupid ideas are my own and not based upon anyone else's more informed guesses. If you've never watched the show, the following will read like gobbledygook produced by a noun generator.
St. Agnes (Red)
Julia, Junior (Captain)
Malcolm, Senior (Captain)
The Game: Though low-scoring, the contest was close and certainly in contention until the end. Neither team was proficient with bonuses (St. Agnes 2 for 9, Craigmont 0 for 9) but made up for it with efficient toss-up answering in the first two rounds. The Lightning Round saw more missed questions, but certainly Craigmont was playing catch up and feeling the need to buzz in even when they didn't know the answer.
St. Agnes advances to play the winner of St. Mary's/Munford.
For the Record: I picked St. Agnes over Ripley, who was originally slated for this game instead of Craigmont.
I could say "Spoiler Alert," but unless you watch the show, you're not going to have the first clue what I'm talking about. And please note that I don't read stuff online about the show ever, because I don't want to know anything in advance. So these theories are entirely my own and in no way informed by what might actually happen. They are, in fact, likely comically wrong.
I welcome all comments and discussion. Lost is on tonight! The excitement cannot be contained!
Last Lost List of Lust (Lest You Forget):
Okay, apparently I was one of the few Americans who didn't tune into the Hope For Haiti Now telethon last Friday night. I admit that after my mother called the next day, to rave about Justin Timberlake's version of Leonard Cohen-by-way-of-Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah," I resisted checking out the video on YouTube. Today, I finally watched. Wow! Timberlake and up-and-comer Matt Morris — who I remember performing with the Bo-Keys at the Cooper-Young Festival a few years back — really did it justice. Watch, listen, and be sure to donate.
Knowledge Bowl, Match 10. St. Benedict at Auburndale Eagles vs. Arlington Tigers. Aired January 2nd, 2010.
Round One: St. Benedict 170, Arlington 60
Round Two: St. Benedict 80, Arlington 140
Round Three (Lightning Round): St. Benedict 40, Arlington 40
Final: St. Benedict 290, Arlington 240
The Game: St. Benedict against Arlington made for the second-best match this season (behind Marion/FACS). St. Benedict streaked ahead in the first round, withstood a furious comeback in the second, and played Arlington to a statistical tie in the third to win the thing. Though St. B. registered a 50-point margin of victory, the decision remained very much in doubt throughout.
Knowledge Bowl, Match 9, Ridgeway Roadrunners vs. Overton Wolverines. Aired December 26th, 2009.
Round One: Ridgeway 90, Overton 40
Round Two: Ridgeway 150, Overton 10
Round Three (Lightning Round): Ridgeway 20, Overton 0
Final: Ridgeway 260, Overton 50
The Game: The Jim Jaggers Region tipped off with this match, and half of the first round is already in the books.
Ridgeway won on sheer buzzer volume. Both teams were 25 percent efficient on bonus opportunities, but the Roadrunners did it on 4 of 16 answering, while the Wolverines were but 1 of 4. Ridgeway captain Zach was active, getting 3 correct in the first round, 6 correct in the second, and 2 more in the Lightning Round. He and Derek provided a one-two punch that proved too formidable for Overton to keep up with.
Knowledge Bowl, Match 8, Southern Baptist Educational Center (SBEC) Trojans vs. Covington Chargers. Aired December 19th, 2009.
Round One: SBEC 110, Covington 50
Round Two: SBEC 90, Covington 60
Round Three (Lightning Round): SBEC 95, Covington 10
Final: SBEC 295, Covington 120
The Game: The match got off to a bumpy start, as host Jim Jaggers grabbed the Lightning Round questions instead of the toss-up batch. Whoops. The teams then settled in as it began proper, the contest remained within striking distance until the Lightning Round proper, when SBEC went great guns on the buzzers.
Stat of the Week: SBEC rang in early 10 times in the match — and only missed one. Dynamite.
Knowledge Bowl, Match 7, Raleigh-Egypt Pharaohs vs. Evangelical Christian School Eagles. Aired December 12th, 2009.
Round One: Raleigh-Egypt 10, ECS 170
Round Two: Raleigh-Egypt 20, ECS 160
Round Three (Lightning Round): Raleigh-Egypt 10, ECS 20
Total: Raleigh-Egypt 40, ECS 350
The Game: This was a one-side affair. ECS sewed it up early by building a big lead and kind of forcing Raleigh-Egypt to capitulate while there was still plenty of game left. Blow outs are much more common than close matches. With the TV set lights on you, it's hard not to feel that mounting pressure every time your opponent buzzes in. To ECS' credit, they didn't take their foot off the gas.
Knowledge Bowl, Match 6: Westminster Academy Defenders vs. Immaculate Conception Wildcats. Aired December 5th, 2009.
Westminster Academy (Red)
Josh (Captain), Senior
Katie (Captain), Senior
Round One: Westminster 60, Immaculate Conception 70
Round Two: Westminster 80, Immaculate Conception 70
Round Three/Lightning Round: Westminster 60, Immaculate Conception 30
Total: Westminster 200, Immaculate Conception 170
The Game: This was the tightest match since the FACS/Marion conflagration earlier this season. The score was tied going into the Lightning Round (each team capitalizing on 3 of 8 bonuses), and neither team really took control of the last round. The match decision probably came down to sheer volume as much as anything, with Westminster guessing 15 times in the final frame (and getting 6 right — four from D.J.) and Immaculate Conception ringing in only 9 times (and getting 3 right — all from captain Katie).
Knowledge Bowl, Match 5: St. George's Independent School Gryphons vs. Christian Brothers Purple Wave. Aired November 28th, 2009.
Round One: St. George's 20, CBHS 180
Round Two: St. George's 75, CBHS 155
Round Three/Lightning Round: St. George's 20, CBHS 90
Total: St. George's 115, CBHS 425
Mea maxima culpa: Translation: My bad, KB enthusiasts. Due to the confluence of deadlines at work and my strong desire to occasionally sleep, I've had to postpone getting up to my elbows in Knowledge Bowl these past few weeks. The past few weeks, I won't say no man has ever been busier, I'll just this man has never been busier. And I will say that if you wish to support to see the fruits of that labor, I encourage you to call the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce and request one of their annual magazines (just got them in this week) and/or buy MBQ magazine when it hits the newsstand on Jan. 1.
But my thoughts have never been far from my favorite dorks on the planet: KB participants and their loyal supporters and fans. And so it is with great joy that I dig back in to Knowledge Bowl coverage. Today: A day-night doubleheader, with St. George's vs. CBHS and then Immaculate Conception vs. Westminster Academy under the lights. Look for another doubleheader next week, and then we'll be caught back up.
Knowledge Bowl, Match 4: Hutchison Sting vs. Germantown Red Devils. Aired November 21st, 2009.
Hutchison (Red team):
Round One: Hutchison 50, Germantown 60
Round Two: Hutchison 110, Germantown 165
Round Three (Lightning Round): Hutchison 30, Germantown 30
Final: Hutchison 190, Germantown 255
Note: I'm on massive deadlines for a couple publications I edit, Germantown magazine and MBQ (Knowledge Bowl isn't my only day job, you know), so this week's recap's going to be a little bit shorter — sweeter, I say — than usual and I'm also punting hard-core statistics for another week. I'll make up for it word-count overload in a future post, I assure you.
Like last week, we once again have an instance where the score was closer than it would've been because of missed bonus questions. I'm starting to think capitalizing on bonus questions is the most important facet of Knowledge Bowl victory. I'll see what weighting statistics toward that hypothesis means for player ratings next week.
After round one, Hutchison was down by only 10, despite only getting 3 toss-ups correct versus 6 for Germantown. Round two saw the bonus-question-accuracy tilt in Germantown's favor, as they got 5 of 7 bonuses correct in the second frame. Germantown entered the Lightning Round with a 65-point edge and played Hutchison to a draw in the third round to secure the victory.