Into the media wasteland that is the first week of January plops One Missed Call, a horror film starring Ed Burns—Mr. Christy Turlington to you, pal!—which is unworthy of even a marketing campaign (Mr. Burns is still hot, but apparently no longer making movies fit for when people go to the movies). And in increasingly rare television happenings, HBO celebrates the final season of The Wire—or rather, the fact that they managed to finish it before the strike—with a screening at Chelsea West Cinemas, followed by some sort of blowout at Gotham Hall (we’d rather sit home and watch it on DVD with our own refreshments, thank you). Then, grungy hipster mecca Pianos attempts to clean up its image with a reading by Jim Shepard from his short story collection Like You’d Understand, Anyway. (He’s a man after our own heart!) “It’s all first-person narrators, and they sort of sprawl all over space and time,” explained Mr. Shepard when we called him up in Massachusetts, where he teaches at Williams College. “You have one story narrated by a miser boy in Bridgeport, Conn., and another narrated by an auxiliary legionnaire manning Hadrian’s Wall in Roman Britain. And then there’s one of the engineers present for the Chernobyl disaster.” (The man paid attention in World History!) Mr. Shepard admitted that the acclaimed “Love and Hydrogen” is probably his favorite of his own short stories—being as it is about “two gay crew members on the Hindenberg.” But even our smartest writers are not impervious to call of canine literature: Twelve years ago, Mr. Shepard edited a book called Unleashed: Poems by Writers’ Dogs with Amy Hempel! And in more jockstrappy matters, plucky Xaverian High School in Brooklyn honors erstwhile football player and Project Runway guest Tiki Barber (takeaway: He’s insecure about the junk in his trunk, too!) at a Joe DiMaggio Awards Gala at Cipriani, a plum that has previously been won by everyone from Henry Kissinger to Regis Philbin. And speaking of sports! After passing countless painful Christmas season hours in the company of a big-screen TV blaring a football game, we finally get it: Tom Brady is delicious. We’re rooting for the Patriots this year. (Wait, did we really just say that?)
[The Wire premiere, Chelsea West Cinemas, 333 West 23rd Street, 7:30 p.m., party at Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, 212-512-7084, invite only; Jim Shepard at Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street, 6:30 p.m.; 2008 Joe DiMaggio Awards Gala, Cipriani 42nd Street, 6 p.m., 718-836-7100]
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