December 28, 2017

Five Classic TV 50th Anniversaries I Overlooked

You may recall that last year I spent a great deal of time discussing the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

December 23, 2017

The Quintessential Songs of Christmas

Remember the other day when I talked about Burl Ives and how he owned Holly Jolly Christmas? I don’t care how many versions of the song are out there, this is the first and best one in my book!

December 21, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Rankin/Bass Songs

I’ve talked before about the classic Rankin/Bass specials, for better and for worst, but one of the reasons I love coming back to these every year is the music. These are either Christmas songs that have been recorded a million times by a million people, but these versions always stand out from them, or they are original songs that you can never forget.

December 17, 2017

Five Things I Hated in “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Let’s talk about the Christmas classic, a story so familiar that it has been homaged and parodied to death!

December 14, 2017

Ten “Christmas Carol” Sitcom Episodes

I talked the other day about sitcom characters dressing up as Santa. But that’s not the only trope that persists in these shows. How about Christmas Carol episodes? Course we all know Charles Dickens immortal classic, and it has been redone a million times on TV and in movies. The funny thing is that as hard as they try these episode never quite get the point of the book. That’s because the character getting the Christmas Carol treatment isn’t a miser who hates people like Scrooge was. He or she is usually someone who is usually kind and loving, but are having a bad day.

December 10, 2017

Five Rare Christmas Specials I Watch Every Year

I talked a few weeks about how Christmas special’s have changed. So it only figures that in order to see specials the way I liked them, I gave to watch my own. Thank goodness for VHS!

Here are five Christmas specials which aren’t shown anymore but I still watch them every year.

Olive, the Other Reindeer

I talked about this one a couple years ago in my list of my favorite animated Christmas specials. This was the only one that wasn’t a classic or that I simply don’t watch every year. It’s amazing how much I love this considering when I first heard the premise I was afraid I would hate it. I thought it would be like the awful Robbie the Reindeer. But to my surprise, it was charming and I love it the story of how a dog saves Christmas.

He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special

Ok I’ve talked about this before, and it’s a real guilty pleasure. It’s He-Man and She-Ra, what do you want? The plot is contrived, the dialogue is corny, and it barely connects to Christmas. But I don’t care I still watch it and love it. 80’s gave up tons of cool specials including The California Raisins, Alf, and Pee-Wee Herman, but this is the one that has stuck.

December 5, 2017

Ten Favorite Sitcom Characters Playing Santa

In my article the other day I had wanted to include a sitcom Santa. But there were two problems. One, I couldn’t think of one I hated. Even when the character is grumpy about playing Santa it still kind works. The other problem? There are to many to pick from! Have you ever noticed how many sitcom characters play Santa? It’s almost a cliche! From Norm on Cheers to Carl on Family Matters to Ray on ELR to Frasier on Frasier to Michael Scott on The Office, lots of people have donned the red flannel and white beard.

December 3, 2017

My Five Least Favorite Santa’s

November 27, 2017

Five Ways Christmas Specials Have Changed

It still makes me sad that we don’t have Christmas Specials like they had back in the old days. Some may be wondering, they still have Christmas specials! Well, yeah they do but the one’s they had when I was growing up were really special and unique. It’s kind of hard to explain how if you weren’t fortunate enough to be around all those years ago. But the specials we got in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s weren’t the same as the stuff we get today. Some of these things were fading away when I was a kid, and I still miss them.

Here are some examples of things those specials did that you just don’t see today :

Talking About Jesus

I mean, why in the world would you want to bring religion into a Christmas special? Before everyone became so worried about being PC, these specials would in fact discuss what the holiday actually means. Going all the way back to Linus’s speech (to be fair even then the network didn’t like that). But yeah specials back in the day didn’t shy away from talking about WHY we celebrate the holiday and, heaven forbid, saying Merry Christmas at the end instead of Happy Holidays!! John Denver and The Muppets is a great example of this, with John Denver reciting passages from the bible.

November 24, 2017

Five Christmas Movies that Ignore Christmas Day

Last year I talked about how very often a TV episode will be set at Christmas, with decorations and all, but Christmas has almost nothing to do with the actual story. Now the natural follow up would be movies set at Christmas which have nothing to do with the holiday, but let’s be honest. We all know those films and you’ve probably already thought of five of them just reading this (Die Hard, Gremlins, Lethal Weapon, Batman Returns, Red, etc etc).

November 19, 2017

Five Reasons I love "It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie"

The Muppet movies tend to be easily categorized. The original three which are classics, though "Manhattan" is kind of the weakest. The horrible one's like Muppet's in Space and Muppet Wizard of Oz. The fan favorites like Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. And of course the two recent installments which are pretty damn good. But this TV movie from NBC doesn't seem to fit any category. It never gets mentions or talked about, but I don't think anyone hates it per se. For me it's a guilty pleasure that I watch every year.

The Plot? Well if you know "It's a Wonderful Life" then you can probably guess the plot. The Muppets need money to save there theater, Despite getting it in time Fozzie proceeds to lose the money which causes Kermit to have an existential crisis. It's only the intervention of a kind angel that reminds him what's really important. So, let's take a closer look at the five reasons I love "A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie".

This is one of the few Muppet movies that remembers that The Muppet Show existed. Why is that? Even "The Muppets" didn't do as good a detailed job recreating that ole studio the way this one recreated it. They got the stage right and auditorium but the backstage felt larger in scale and not quite right, the recreation in "Very Merry" is just beautifully done. It's just like it was on the show! The Moulin Rouge parody is one of the best things in the movie, it does feel like something out of the old show even if the number is a tad dated today. A lot of care was clearly put into those moments.

November 16, 2017

Five Christmas Commercials That Have Run Forever

What’s that? A week before Thanksgiving is to early to discuss Christmas commercials? Hey, if these stupid networks can begin playing Christmas commercials BEFORE HALLOWEEN EVEN ENDS, then I can discuss this today.

Now then….

It’s always amazing when something becomes so much part of a holiday that it’d hard to believe there was ever a time when it wasn’t. Yes Santa wasn’t around the way we love him today until the 1900’s. Rudolph came years later and became just as big a part of the holiday. Even It’s a Wonderful Life came out in 1946 so there was a time when people didn’t watch it every single year. But something that truly fascinates me are the commercials.

Christmas commercials are always a cut above the norm, especially back in my day when actual thought and effort was put into them. They were clever, they were cute, and they were memorable. But usually they aired during one Christmas season, ok maybe for another year or two, and then disappeared. Oh sure we remember them, but most ads come and go and are never seen again (aside from YouTube and old VHS’s of course). That is except for a few ads which are so memorable that they seem to air year after year and never go away.

Now I could do (and have done) a list of all the memorable ads out there but here are five Christmas ads that are so simple and yet so perfect that they’re more than just memorable. They have almost become synonymous with the holiday!

Norelco Razor
Oh sure this as has been updated, from black white to color to CGI. But these simple ads, Santa riding on a Norleco Razor, are pretty popular and well know. I’ve even seen sitcoms make references to the famous ad. To be fair these kind of come and go a little, I dont think they air every single year, but we all remember them.

November 12, 2017

800th Blog Special:Ten Archaic Technology That I Had Growing Up

On January 17th I published my 700th blog.This amazes since when I to 600 I wondered what else I had to talk about. However thanks to the Everybody Loves Raymond episode guide, I have hit 800 blogs before the end of the year. As you may or may not know I always celebrate the milestone of 100 blogs with something special. Either something a little bigger or something I’ve put off, but always something personal. So what am I discussing this time?

As I have approach another birthday and find myself getting even older, I can’t help but look back at awe at the way things have changed since I was a kid. The things we have today and the thing amazing technology from the era that we’ve discarded since. So I decided to list ten pieces of tech that is either nonexistent or just plain outdated today. Now of course, I am not THAT old. You could go back further than the 80’s, but since that is when I was a kid that is the time period I will be comparing to today.

Analog TV’s

Do I even need to get into this one? While I didn’t grow waaayyy back when households only had one TV, and no color, I did grow up in a time when not every TV was wired to cable. Ah, the endless hours desperately trying to pick up a station using antennae! Whatever happened to UHF anyway? When we did watch cable, the choices were a lot more limited than we have today. And of course we didn’t have flatscreen, HI-Def or 3-D Plasma. Remotes were primitive to, basically they changed the channel and that was all!

November 9, 2017

A Look at AT4W Storyline Segments

As you may know I have been a fan of AT4W for a long time now. I have discussed episodes I loved, and episodes I hated, and gone over jokes from that show I love. But a big part of the show that I haven’t discussed is the storyline segments. So, let’s go through them quickly. In my opinion the AT4W segments rise above the usual reviewer story lines, the effects are decent and the characters are realistic. Add to that Lewis’s Lovhaug’s wonderful writing and these storylines comes close to professional caliber. How do they fare broken down?


Ok I wont be offering long plot summaries, I’d be here all day and if you don't know the storylines than my giving you the plot breakdown wont mean much. The first storyline is the Terminator knockoff (er, homage) and the introduction of Mechakara. And compared to later stuff the storyline doesn’t hold off that well. The effects aren’t bad, aside from the makeup, but it feels a lot less professional and the seams show a lot more. There also isn’t as much plot, with very little real build up. I am biased since I didn’t experience this first run but compared to later arc’s this one isn’t bad but not the best.

November 5, 2017

Ten Theme Songs Which Transcend Pop Culture

I’ve talked about TV theme songs before, and how some of them are so good not only do they get you hyped for the show but they help you to remember and want to come back to the show. Sometimes though, a theme goes one step even beyond that. There is something about the lyrics or the way they are sung that makes a part of the theme, if not the entire theme, a part of pop culture itself.

November 3, 2017

Five Most Forgettable Star Trek Episodes

So when I was talking about “Impulse” I noted that the episode wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t very memorable either. In fact I had to watch it again to even remember it. But that isn’t the only episode that doesn’t quite make the cut.

Even a bad episode of Trek can have something in it I remember. Spock’s Brain is goofy, Threshold is astoundingly dumb, Heart of Stone is just ridiculous. Even  Plato’s Stepchildren and Sub Rosa may be nauseating but I remember them. When an episode leaves you with nothing, it’s failed at a level that only a select few episodes can achieve. Here are my five most forgettable episodes of Trek.

Requiem for Methuselah (TOS)    

Picking a forgettable episode from TOS third season is not that easy. There were a few. But this one is especially bad. The plot involves Kirk, Spock, and McCoy meeting a man named Flint who has a female android. And the episode becomes a love triangle as she develops feelings for Kirk and Flint. Then they fight over her like two lovesick teenagers. What? The android is so torn up she dies, sure. Did I mention Flint was also Leonardo DeVinci and Brahms? Whatever. Except for a scene were the Enterprise is turned into a tabletop model (for ages I remembered that scene but couldn’t pinpoint the episode), there is nothing in this episode. Spock echoes my sentiment when in a gesture of friendship to the heartbroken Kirk, he does a mind meld and just says “forget”. No problem.

October 29, 2017

Special TV-Michael Jackson’s Halloween

Well I haven’t done one of these in a very long time. But my friends, we have to talk about this one. This aired last Friday (Oct 27) and I watched it last night. Normally I would feel bad I need Wikipedia’s help with some details, but this time I really did. So here are my gut reactions after only seeing this once…..


I’m rushing this a bit, I admit, so forgive the lack of details. And spoilers by the way

The Plot-OK, I am going to to try to make sense of this. A young and woman cross paths on Halloween night, and the woman loses her dog. They follow him into a haunted house, and after listening to a Monkey named Bubbles (of course he’s named Bubbles) the two end up on a magical journey where they meet a scarecrow, a spider security guard. and a cat mad scientist (all three who become Michael Jackson? I missed that part) and an evil witch they all have to stop. What’s her goal? Getting ti of music and dancing. Of course it is. The thriller dance saves the day and I wont even try to talk about how the villain is defeated.  Let’s just say it was the power of love. Of course.


October 24, 2017

Underrated Trek:Impulse (ENT)

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. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek. So we’ve had Jack the Ripper, nightmares, a horror movie and ghost stories. What could be left? How does Vulcan Zombies sound?! This is….

October 21, 2017

Underrated Trek:The Haunting of Deck Twelve (VOY)

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. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek with a look at an episode of Voyager. If last time was a classic horror movie, what would an old fashioned campfire story on Star Trek look like? Let’s discuss :

October 19, 2017

Underrated Trek-Empok Nor (DS9)

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. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek with a look at an episode of DS9 that is scary. But unlike last time, it is a good episode too! This is:

October 16, 2017

Underrated Trek-Night Terrors (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. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek with a look at an episode of Next Generation that is scary. Even if it’s also a far from perfect episode. This is:

October 12, 2017

Underrated Trek-Wolf in the Fold (TOS)

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. I wanted to do something Halloween related, but I already did Catspaw. So what else can I check out? Looking at a list there are plenty of creepy Trek episodes which are perfect for the season.In fact each series has a handful. So for Halloween something a little different. Five Trek articles on scary episodes from each Trek series. I want to be clear, these are EPISODES that are creepy not just an episode that has a random creepy scene. Today we start with :

October 9, 2017

Another Look at Retcons in Sitcoms (and Trek)

Four years ago I did a short list of some of my favorite sitcom retcons. You can see that article here:

Retcons of course is when established continuity is disregarded or even changed to further the current story line. They often piss people off, but I find them fascinating. The way a show will so blatantly disregard something that has been established in the past like we’re supposed to forget it. Sometimes they work, let’s be honest isn’t forgetting “The Brady Bunch Variety Show” ever happened a good thing?, and other times they can be aggravating like the Everybody Loves Raymond episode that brought up the fact Ray and Debra had a maid when they were first married, a fact which was never mentioned before and make no sense in context with the series.

Here are some more I just love. Some small and others a little more problematic:

Will & Grace

Gee, I wonder what brought this idea up? Yeah Will & Grace returned to network TV the other week but there was one little problem. The show had a firm final episode which closed the book on Will & Grace’s lives. How do you get around it? Make it a dream of course! Well a drug induced one that Karen had anyway. Final episode basically never happened in fact they also retconned Grace being pregnant so basically that whole final season never happened.

This wasn’t the only retcon for Will & Grace. Besides the others I mentioned in the other article we also had Karen’s mother. Karen commented a couple time she’d had her mother committed and when we finally met her she said “she was only joking” about that. Also Jack had said he made a vow to his mother when he came out that he would never deny who he really was. Which was a lie when we find out he never told his mother he was gay in one memorable episode.

October 4, 2017

Eight Favorite Fantasy World’s From TV and Movies

I talk a lot about sci fi and comedy, but one genre I hardly touch upon is fantasy. Fantasy is awesome when done right, giving us new worlds and characters that we could never see in the real world. Some of these movies and TV shows give us amazing world’s we never forget, like Wonderland. Or Neverland. These are amazing places that we find ourselves wishing that were real places we could visit and play in. In some cases, we can. Azeroth is the magic world that World of Warcraft takes place in and of course Dungeons and Dragons has several campaign settings including Greyhawk and Khorvaire.

October 2, 2017

Five Special Effects From 80’s Movies That Seem Dated Today

With the release of the new “IT” movie that came out recently, I thought about how back in the 80’s the Tim Curry version scared the hell out of all who watched it. But looking back that movie doesn’t seems as scary with goofy acting and noticeably bad special effects. A few weeks ago I talked about special effects from Star Trek TNG that seem outdated. Including that awful shuttle sequence from Star Trek V. But there are other 80’s effects which have not aged well. And it’s not the fault of anyone who made the movie, they were great at the time, and it sure doesn’t make the movie bad now. But it’s still fun to look at these today and say “Wait, that’s not real!”

September 27, 2017

Five Best/Worst Trek Holodeck Malfunctions