November 30, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#8)

I LOVE CHRISTMAS EPISODES!! I literally spend the whole month of Dec watching them, even from series I never watch otherwise. There is just something about them I can't get enough of. They're sweet and sentimental, and really put me in the Christmas spirit. In fact with some, it just plain would not be Christmas without these great episodes. Since I had so much fun doing this on Halloween I decided to do a Christmas version as well.So for the next couple weeks I present my all time favorite episodes.


A few things. First of all, nope couldn't settle on five again. And man was this a hard one. I love Christmas episodes so trying to find my absolute favorites was pretty tough. But the same rule as the Halloween list, one episode per series. Yes I will do honorable mentions again. Oh, and why top 8? Like with the Halloween list, I have already reviewed every episode of Seinfeld and Friends so I wont bore you be re-reviewing the Christmas episodes from those shows (sorry, no Festivus or Holiday Armadillo which would both be on here). Let's call those honorary entries which bump this into a top 10 list.

And finally, like before I am not suggesting these are the best Christmas episodes of all of the Christmas episodes that exist. These are MY favorites. Feel free to disagree or even hate these shows. I am sure I am leaving off plenty of other choices other people love and adore as much I do these episodes.

So to begin I decided to pick a show that rarely disappointed at Christmas. There were several but I chose the first because this episode is what every episode that came after it tried to duplicate. Which show?

"Have Yourself a Very Winslow Christmas"

Aired Dec 21, 1990 on ABC

November 23, 2014

Former Hit TV Shows That Get No Respect Today

There are some TV series which were very popular and even respected when they were on, which have kind of faded from pop culture over the years.  Oh sure the fans who loved the series still do, but getting new fans to appreciate that series is a real challenge. There are lots of reasons for this. Maybe the  series will do things that date themselves, and make the episodes a lot less relatable years later.  Maybe the series was so grounded in its time period that the only people who appreciate it are those who lived in that period. Some series do not have this problem, like The Dick Van Dyke Show. That show is just as relatable as now as it was when it was first on, because the stories were general tales that anyone who has a family or who works with nutty co-workers can relate to. How about The Golden Girls, why is that re-run constantly? Because the series was about growing older and who can’t relate to that?

But some series, for various reasons, aren’t so lucky. Here are five:

Murphy Brown

Probably the best example. This show was a major it when hit was on, but now you hardly ever see it in re-runs. True a cable channel has been re-running them this year which helps. There is only one DVD volume out, the interest was so low that no other season from the series has been released! Of course the show tried very hard to pretend that it was set in the real world with references to then recent political events and current news makers that no one would get these days. Unless you’re a history buff or something. It’s a shame to because the series was well written and funny (except the last two years but I digress). Speaking of TV series which can’t get a complete DVD release, where the hell is Who’s The Boss, Benson, or Perfect Strangers?

November 18, 2014

Analytical Episode Review:The Cosby Show, “Cliff’s Wet Adventure”

Today I am going to take a look at one of my favorite Thanksgiving episodes. Sitcoms have given us a LOT of Thanksgiving episodes, some are flat out classics (see WKRP and Cheers). I figured that since I did a whole bunch of Halloween episodes, and will be doing my top 8 Christmas episodes starting in a week or two, that it was only fitting to look at least one Thanksgiving show. Which did I choose? I decided to discuss an episode of a series I have discussed a lot this year:

Cliff’s Wet Adventure
This episode first aired on Nov 16, 1989. Yes my friends this episode is 25 years old as of Monday! Wow!!!!

November 16, 2014

Random Thoughts-Five Things I've Heard which Are Not True

Well my friends, one month from today I will be 40. Yeah, I know. It makes me little nauseous too. But as I look back over the last forty years I realize there are lots of things that were considered fact or people just believed that have been disproved since then as nonsense. For instance the whole “no swimming for at least an hour after eating or you’ll get a cramp” crap which was probably invented by parents to shut up whiny kids (FYI it’s not true go ahead and jump in). And yet people still think these things are true, in some cases to the present day.  It’s funny when you think about how serious they believed this stuff, and you wonder what stuff we take seriously today will be laughed at in another forty years.

Here are five other examples :

Sitting to Close to the TV will Hurt Your Eyes?

Maybe this is just some nonsense that parents made up, but I heard this a lot as a kid. And what do we have today? People shoving their phones or pads up to their faces all day long. Yeah I’m pretty sure that where we sit in relation to the TV isn’t going to hurt our eyes. I used to love the hate adults would throw at TV calling it “the boob tube” or “the idiot box”. Man if only they could see what TV was like today!!

November 12, 2014

A Look at Memorable Character Actor's

Sad news today. Carol Ann Susi passed away.

Don’t know her? She was Howard’s unseen mother on Big Bang Theory. And she was often the funniest thing in the show, with her yelling back and forth at Howard. But I’ve been a fan of her’s for a long time, she has a long list of credits as a character actress. If there was a show in the 90’s, bet anything she appeared in an episode of it! Seinfeld, Mad About You, Married..With Children, A Different World, Just Shoot Me…just to name a few.

Character actors don’t always get a lot of respect but I love them. These are the supporting actors/actress’s who we see but often take for granted. They appear in a million roles and always gets a laugh. You may never know their names but their faces, voices, and personality become famous and loved. Today I wanted to talk about a few of my favorites. In no particular order.

Jack Riley

I love this guy. He has a such a deadpan delivery that you can’t help but laugh. Most famous or being Elliott on The Bob Newhart Show, he has done tons of other roles and voice overs for commercials. By the way, all the patients that were on The Bob Newhart Show should be on this list. But Riley stands out for me with his several roles in Night Court and way to many more to series and cartoons to mention here. Often he will appear for a brief line and that’s all, like in the Seinfeld episode he appeared in.

November 9, 2014

Top 10 Greatest Comic Book Rogue's Galleries

Oh hell yeah, I am so going here! Well I talked about supporting characters the other day so this only made sense.
super-villains foes dc comics dick giordano 1975 joker catwoman ccaptain cold batman poison ivy riddler lex luthor superman poster - Copy

It’s one thing for a villain to have a worthy adversary. But what makes a real memorable character are the villains the hero has to go up against. For instance, I never read Sherlock Holmes but I know all about Prof Moriarty. That’s because Moriarty was the perfect foe for Holmes despite only appearing in two books! James Bond had several clever villains, starting with the evil Dr.No and including the likes of Goldfinger and Jaws (yeah yeah he was a henchman I know). And I knew who Romulans and Klingons were long before I really cared about Star Trek. The more clever villains you can throw at the heroes, the more remembered those stories become. And yes, comic books are no exception to this. For the really good comic book villains they were not only popular in the books they appeared, but even transcended the medium to appear in TV, movies, and possibly be even more liked than the hero that spawned them!

So today I want to look at those heroes who have several villains that are popular. So much so that they can form their own club (and in at one case, actually do!). Last time many pointed out, rightly so, that limiting the list for five was quite, well, limiting. Never let it be said I don’t listen to criticism, so here now is a top 10 favorite comic book rogue’s galleries. And yes, Marvel is included this time around.

#10.Dick Tracy
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(yes this pic is from the movie but it was the best I could find)
Yeah I’ll be honest. I never read those stories. My only basis for any first hand knowledge is the lame movie that came out years ago. And yes it was a lame movie. But one thing I did gleam from that movie, is that Dick Tracy has a very unique gallery of villains. When looking it up I realized that movie only scratched the surface! Staring with “Big Boy” who was a mobsters. And for some reason these villains had bizarre physical or mental deformities. There was also Pruneface, Mumbles, and Flattop. Weird. I won’t say to much but I think it’s fair to say that Dick Tracy may have been one of the first to have a colorful list of villains.

November 7, 2014

Top 5 Favorite DC Comic Supporting Chararcters

Ah, the supporting characters! Where would Batman be without Commissioner  Gordon? Where would Superman be without his pal Jimmy? These are the characters who flesh out the stores we love and make them more than just mindless action. They give our heroes a reason to do what they do, and in some instances become just as popular as the main hero. Today I want to countdown five of my favorite supporting characters from comic books.

The only rule here is the character had to be a good guy always, sometimes they will turn into villains like Green Lantern’s Carol Ferris or Batman and Harvey Dent. Oh and one character per hero.

#5.Oberon (Mr.Miracle)

This little guy was awesome! If you’re not familiar with Jack Kirby brilliance that was The New Gods…it’s a long story. Mr.Miracle was an awesome character, the world’s greatest escape artist. I could do a whole article on his kick ass wife Big Barda. But there was also Oberon. He was Miracle’s aid, and in the 80’s and 90’s he really came out on his own in the Justice League. He was a caring fellow with  a big heart who could get tough when he needed to.

November 4, 2014

Underrated Trek:Genesis (TNG)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. This will most likely be my last of these for the year, and decided that I had looked at enough early episodes of TNG. After all, the last year of that show offered episodes just as bad as Season One or Two. Today I want to talk about one which is almost unanimously considered awful. Then why do I like it? This is:

Poor Season 7. What happened? Let’s take a closer look.


November 2, 2014

Five Loved Saturday Morning Shows That WEREN'T Cartoons

We’re all sad that there are not more Saturday morning cartoons on anymore. Well, kids today aren’t but those of us  who remember those fantastic days are. Man the memories! I have talked a lot about the cartoons I grew up watching those days, but there were more than cartoons. Sometimes a live action show would get me just as excited as The Muppet Babies or Garfield. Or Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Or The Real Ghostbusters. Or Alvin and The Chipmunks. Or The Smurfs. Or…..what was I talking about?

All kidding aside, today I decided to do a run down of five Saturday Morning shows I loved that were not cartoons. The order is from shows I kind of liked to shows I really loved.

Land of the Lost

Uh, yeah. I watched this. For some reason. I have a brother and sister, can I blame them? Ok I titled this article shows that I loved but that may have been misleading. Because I did not love this show. I will admit to watching it, and finding it pretty silly. Of course I did not see the 70’s version since I was not quite born, but did see the 1991 revival. And what can I say?
It was stupid. But in a fun way. If you don’t know the show was about a family trapped in a parallel universe after after their Jeep Cherokee fell through a time portal while exploring the back country. You’ve stopped reading, haven’t you? This universe had dinosaurs, cavemen, and really corny acting. Did I mention the family lives in a treehouse? This show was just silly!