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Springtime for the Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations!

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Ah, spring—is there any season more climatically connected with expectations, both rising and dashed? For starters, baseball’s back, which means both the Yankees (world champions or bust!) and the Mets (division title or wild card or bust!) are arriving with new players and renewed assurances of success. In the cultural world, HBO—the ’27 Yankees of television—has seen its Sunday-night heavy hitters enter a rare slump: The Sopranos is weighed down by heavy new story lines, and Big Love’s struggled under sandbags of hype. But hope still blooms, as even the crustiest Updike naysayer is intrigued by the author’s forthcoming take on terror, and oft-burned Spike Lee apologists (remember She Hate Me?) are excited about Inside Man. Meanwhile, two B-movies loom as potential curve-busters: Fans are confident Snakes on a Plane will be so-bad-it’s-good, but what about Basic Instinct 2? Will it be Showgirls bad (i.e., deliciously good) or simply Glitter bad (i.e., bad)?


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