All the interesting basketball news happens off the court.

Basketball is a beautiful game, but what’s really great (or awful, or awfully great) about it is that it’s a space where issues of race, class, and gender collide and swirl around, conflicts and questions played out and mashed up on a stage for all to see.

Compulsion to repeat?

I was hoping for something to dazzle me, to remind me of the ways in which games can completely turn your world on its ear and create a new one out of thin air and light.

Freddie. (2005 Fall Premieres)

It’s not like I had anything but the lowest expectations for this show, but for some reason I was hoping that the last premiere of the Autumn would provide me with some kind of satisfying closure, a lesson that I could take away from all this pilot-watching.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. (2005 Fall Premieres)

Martha Stewart has become a sort of modern-day Confucius, encouraging us all to observe traditional rituals and relationships in order to ensure a harmonious, tastefully-decorated world.

Out of Practice. (2005 Fall Premieres)

Despite its constant efforts to kill itself, the three-camera sitcom just. Refuses. To. Die, already.

Related vs. Hot Properties. (2005 Fall Premieres)

Entering the last leg of the race to watch all of this season’s premieres, running out of things to say about mediocre-to-bad TV shows.

Close to Home. (2005 Fall Premieres)

Beyond an extra helping of paranoia, there’s little to distinguish Close to Home from any other suburban-hell, crusading-lawyer or working-mom show on the air.

Killer Instinct and Criminal Minds vs. The Night Stalker. (2005 Fall Premieres)

Beneath the thin layer of forensic technobabble and buddy-cop banter that most procedural crime shows ostensibly revolve around, there lies a nasty, insatiable appetite for images of mutilated bodies and terrified women. Why watch that when you can watch Gabrielle Union instead?

Commander In Chief. (2005 Fall Premieres)

Geena Davis is pitch-perfect in the role of President Allen, trying to manage her cabinet and her family all at once while taking in stride the hostile forces that press upon her from all sides.

Inconceivable. (2005 Fall Premieres)

If the two lead characters had an Odd Couple-y, joker/straight man dynamic going, that would be one thing, but they seem to pull the center of the show back and forth between camp and drama, and it suffers as a result.