Me, Myself, and the Voices in My Head

A place to ramble and maybe make some sense about a thing or two.

Archive for the category “Television”

“Dallas” is still dull as dishwater….

Oh, the 1980s.  When not everyone could have cable television and even if you did, you didn’t have 800+ channels of crap from which to choose your evening’s entertainment.  Back then, people actually made plans around their favorite television shows.  Well, unless they were wealthy enough to own a VHS or BETA video recording machine to record a show for them, commercials and all.  No DVRs.  No commercial skips.  Watch it when it airs or wait until rerun season and hope the episode you missed is there.

I had to explain all of that to Youngest Son tonight as Husband sat on the couch (and for over an hour did NOT fall asleep!) and watched the new series of Dallas on TNT.  He was a big fan of the show back in the 1980s and wanted to see how stupid….I mean….good the modernized show would be.  Of course, when you get the old actors on there playing their old roles, you can’t help but remember what the show used to be and wonder if they can actually get it to be that good (or bad) again.

Now, I didn’t watch Dallas when it was on in the 1980s.  The only episodes I ever watched were when J.R. was shot (because, who didn’t watch that one?) and the one when Southfork burned.  That episode I was somewhat sort-of forced to watch because I was at a sleepover at a friend’s house and all of the other girls loved Dallas but I had no idea who anyone was other than J.R. and Bobby.  Oh, and I did see the episode when Bobby comes back in the shower — but that was a rerun many, many years after it originally aired.

So, I’m watching the show with Husband and it’s as goofy as ever.  Youngest Son asked, “Is this a male soap opera?”

Yes, Son.  Yes it is.

Nighttime soap operas like Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest were heavily watched by women but they were designed to get the men-folk into the sittin’ room to watch as well.  They weren’t as silly as the daytime soaps, but you still knew that every scene had to have someone looking off into the distance as if they’re thinking, “Did that cat pee in the litterbox?” (it’s an acting trick) while the camera either gets closer or pulls back before the scene changes.  Or before a commercial came on.  Or before another ad for the same show you were watching came on to preview the next week’s episode.  As if you’d miss it….

So, yeah, I’m not particularly thrilled with the new version of the old show.  I liked how they tried to keep the intro credits the same with the music and scenes of Dallas (Texas).  But, a neat intro does not a great show make.  I might give it a few more episodes before I totally write it off as a bad job.  Seeing Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy talking about what Miss Ellie did or didn’t want with her will is still interesting.  Goofy, but interesting.

The Woman in Black — My Review

AWESOME!!!!

That’s really all that needs to be said.  I never finished the book.  I did see the play when I was in London.  A friend of mine sent me a copy of the radio show.  Now I’ve finally gotten around to seeing the movie and I loved it.

Daniel Radcliffe was very good.  He’s always had that haunted look in his eyes, even in his first production.  He played the lead as young David Copperfield in BBC One’s television movie.  I’ve seen him in that, My Boy Jack, The December Boys, and of course the Harry Potter series.  He’s also been on Broadway and in the West End.  I was worried they’d try to take this ghost/horror story and try to “jazz” it up by getting the young Radcliffe so a younger audience would attend.  And when I saw that it was rated PG-13, I really feared the producers would try to play to a much younger audience (okay, specifically, teenage girls with a crush on “The Chosen One”).

They didn’t.  The movie does not disappoint.  Even Husband jumped a few times during it.

If I have to rate the productions I’ve seen/experienced, I still have to give the play top honors.  In the play, there are only two men onstage and in the program’s notes.  They never say that there’s a female who also appears and you never know if/when she’ll show up.  The skin-crawling creepiness of the play was excellent.  I would have to place the movie and the radio play as a tie because with the radio play you still use your imagination and can be genuinely scared.  With the movie, you get the great visuals and an expanded cast that helps make it more dramatic.

So, there it is.  Didn’t see anything worth watching on television so I figured I’d see the movie on Blu-Ray.  Now I’m watching Waiting for Guffman.  Yeah….I have weird tastes.

I wanna hollar the loud, funny words!!!

Good grief.  Another Wednesday evening spent watching American Diggers on Spike TV.  Why do I torture myself so?

Tonight they went to St. Augustine, Florida and down in the bayou area of Louisiana.  There were some neat relics found and I do have to give them kudos for finding a $20 double eagle, St. Gaudens’ design gold coin.  They’re rare and worth a LOT of money these days.

I could probably enjoy the show if it weren’t for one thing — the owner/host/announcer/blowhard Ric Savage.  He gives history and information about the places they go and the things they find as if he’s rehearsed whatever the production team’s researcher has pulled off the Internet.  He yells at the camera during the entire show and heaven help you if your television is accidentally turned-up a bit loud and he finds something he thinks is wonderful ’cause you’re going to hear him scream about it.  And not just any scream — the well-rehearsed scream that comes from professional wrestlers.

He fully admits that he used to be a professional wrestler (I still don’t remember ever seeing him in a match).  I once had some “professional” wrestlers (they got paid but weren’t on any of the big circuits) come into our store years ago and they talked about how they had to practice their “speeches” that they’d give after every match and there were classes on how to yell at the camera.  They also admitted that the hardest thing to do was to keep from laughing when their partner/friend/ally/opponent/enemy/whatever said something incredibly stupid.  That’s why when you watch professional wrestling, especially from the 1980s-1990s, you’ll see people gritting their teeth or sucking in their cheeks.  They’re not trying to look mean and vicious.  They’re just trying to not blow their cover as an actor.

And Ric’s got it down to a science.  Every time he yells he throws his arms up in the air and sticks his gut out with a loud howl.  And it’s usually a “boo-yah” or “woo-hoo” followed by something either unintelligible or the name of the place where they’re digging.  You can predict where every scream is going to happen in a show and they conveniently edit it so that you have to hear it multiple times.

Sadly, every time I watch the show I’m reminded of another show.  One that many people watched over the years and caused many parents to complain.  There’s an episode of the old Ren & Stimpy Show called “Mad Dog Höek” where the guys have just finished a wrestling match and both the winners and losers get a chance to make their cases.  It’s hysterical and I end up quoting it at one point during the show or another because it fits so perfectly.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, I give you the Ending Speech Scene from “Mad Dog Höek” — try to watch American Diggers and not think of this.  I dare you.

Last episodes of “American Stuffers”

Yes.  It is with a heavy heart and a hanging head that I admit that today I actually watched the American Stuffers episodes on Animal Planet.

You have to understand, though.  The satellite signals on the movie channels were spotty and there was nothing on network television worth watching.  Plus — and honestly, no disrespect to the Ross Family and their employees — but the show is just like a really bad car wreck.  You know you shouldn’t look but once you do you just can’t turn away from it.

I didn’t watch all of the episodes today.  I watched “The Dog Named Precious,” “The Cat Without a Nose,” “The Hairless Dog,” and “A Tornado Hits Romance.”  I will say that I’m very glad Daniel was able to put the cat’s nose back on before its owner came to pick it up (and no one noticed the problem).  The skin coming off of the Chinese Crested (which the owner proudly stated she’d paid $250 as a puppy) though was a close one.  And her having the dog’s testicles removed to have sperm harvested by a company in Washington just had me rolling on the floor.  Yeah, I’m not a biology major, but I can’t imagine them living in there for very long, much less long enough to ship them to Washington from Texas (where they drove from to get the dog freeze-dried).

The pet chicken being freeze-dried, though, had me baffled.  I know people keep chickens as pets.  I have friends that have had good and bad things come from doing that.  But if the chicken dies on its own, I’d be thinking about disposing of it correctly, not how it’s going to look in the center of the dinner table as a centerpiece.  Okay, the lady with the chicken actually said she was going to decorate her chicken coops with all of her pet chickens after they die and she has them freeze-dried.  And she named all of them after characters from Jersey Shore.  So, take from that what you want.

I can say that I was moved by the lady who had her Yorkie for 14 years and met the crew from Xtreme Taxidermy at the Big Buck Classic Hunters’ Convention (where most of the other attendees were grossed-out by the pets on display).  She’d had a lot of loss in her life and having her dog preserved as a way to help her cope may not be for me but I sure hope it helps her.  Plus, she wants the dog buried with her when she passes away.  Sadly, the dog will look better longer than she will, but at least they’ll be together.

And I also have to admit that the story about the dog that had been skinned by another taxidermist and left the crew of the shop with a puzzle on how to make him look good again was interesting.  Mostly because they were very careful to not tell the lady who brought in the dog how badly butchered the job the previous taxidermist did.  I was glad to see that they were able to take that idiot’s mistakes and fix it so the lady was happy.  Now I just hope she doesn’t watch the episode and see exactly what was done to her dog.

So, yeah, I let the redneck in me have a few laughs and sat agog at some of the things said/done on the show.  There aren’t any future episodes coming (it was cancelled), but Romance, Arkansas isn’t too terribly far from my family’s old stomping grounds.  I’m pretty sure I could find it if I felt the need.

Leave the bear alone you hillbillies!!

All day I have been listening to the local police scanner.  I keep it on because if there’s an emergency that isn’t being broadcast on the local news channels, I can usually get some information from the scanner.  Plus after years of having worked as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and disaster preparedness/response person, I’m just addicted to it.

So today’s noteworthy broadcasts have been about a small black bear that has wandered into town.  It’s not hurt anyone; it’s not gone into the residential areas; and it’s trying to find its way back to the woods.  At first someone thought it was a dog when it was near a residential area but it stayed over by the local airport (not an overly busy one).  It has been wandering around and I’m not worried about it coming over into the area where I live because it would have to cross a large Interstate highway plus the busy traffic at the intersection that crosses over it.  The state conservation agents have been working with the county law enforcement to track the bear and make sure that it keeps heading towards the woods.

Sadly, though, all the yokels in town have been coming out in droves to see it — especially after the story was aired on the local news.  Now the police are being called by the businesses in the area next to the Interstate highway because people keep trying to get closer and closer to the bear so they can take pictures of it.  Some have brought their dogs with them, like the conservation agents need that little bit of “help” with a bear that really doesn’t want to be where it is in the first place.

Right now it’s up a tree next to the local Pizza Hut.  It wanders between one of the banks, the Pizza Hut, a furniture store, and a Captain D’s restaurant.  I’m sure it smells plenty of trash from that area it would love to eat.  Hopefully the conservation and law enforcement agents will get rid of the crowd before the bear hurts itself.  The poor thing just wants to get back to its home (with a snack to-go if it can grab one).

Here’s an idea — if you want to see a close-up photo of a bear, pick up a book!  If you want to see a bear in person, go to a zoo!  If you see a bear in the wild, then lucky you — but for cryin’ out loud, stop trying to get in its way!

Well….at least now there’s something else to listen to.  Some drunken fool is chugging a Mountain Dew and whiskey outside a local grocery store and has pushed carts into the major 4-way intersection of town.  Now that sounds more like an average night.

How bored am I today??

Got a chance to sleep-in a bit this morning.  Mostly because I forgot to set my alarm and Celeste realized I was sleeping soundly and didn’t want to wake me.  Sadly, that made me late for taking my medication.  Oh, it wasn’t so late that it made me ill or have a bad reaction — it just meant that the time I would be zonked-out because of the side-effects would be much later in the morning and could have screwed up my schedule for the day.

But then I remembered, I didn’t have a schedule for today.  Laundry was done by Husband (THANK YOU!) and the dogs and cat were watered and fed this morning by Youngest Son.

So, what have I done today?  Sadly, I’ve sat and watched a marathon of The Pink Panther, Return of the Pink Panther, and Revenge of the Pink Panther.  If I wanted to, I could switch the channel at the moment and watch A Shot in the Dark — the funniest of all of the “Pink Panther/Inspector Clouseau” movies.  Actually, my favorite characters are Cato and Inspector Dreyfus.  Burt Kwuok was hysterical and Herbert Lom perfected the nervous tic that showed just how insane Clouseau made Dreyfus.

I remember watching the early “Pink Panther” movies on television (since I wasn’t born when they were made) but the later ones I remember going to see in the theater.  Of course, as a kid, I thought the slapstick was hysterical.  Now that I’m much older, the same things don’t make me laugh but I still get a big chuckle out of the jokes I didn’t understand years ago.

Classic movies are the ones that can stand the test of time.  I worry, though, that these classics will soon be removed from the “classic bin” because many people today would not get the jokes and/or cultural/current event references made in them.

Towel and Star Wars Day — Celebrate both!

No new news on the job front.  My Cadre Manager was supposed to get back in touch with my ERO counselor but that didn’t happen.  I have been given lots of really good advice and had friends recommend a lot of options.  I’m keeping everything open at the moment.  I’ll continue fighting for what’s best for my family and me.

So, since there’s really nothing new, I’ll just wish everyone a Happy Towel Day and Happy Star Wars Day.  Towel Day is for fans of Douglas Adams and his “Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy” (all six books) and in memory of his death on this date in 2001.  Star Wars Day marks the anniversary of the premiere of Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope in 1977.  35 years ago….wow, I feel old.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read Douglas’ books (not just the H2G2 series) as well as listened to the radio shows, audiobooks, and watched the movies.  Douglas Adams also worked on episodes of Doctor Who and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  You can tell I’m a big fan, huh?

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen the original trilogy of Star Wars.  I even have the theatrical releases on DVD because I can’t stand watching all of the added on stuff from 1997.  I remember seeing the movies in the theater, when that was the only option, and then recording them off HBO onto our Betamax player (yes, I really am that old) and watching them every day after school.

Hey, when your dad is the principal of your school, you don’t hang out with a lot of people, and you’re focused on keeping your grades high you find yourself as one of the biggest geeks doing what geeks do best — reciting movie lines.  After I’d seen each of the original three over 500 times each, I quit counting.  I still have no idea how many times I’ve seen them all.  In college I could win bets by having people play a part of the soundtrack and begin to act and recite the exact scene just based on the music!  Okay, it was only good for winning bar bets and has never helped me in any sort of career, but it was fun all the same!

So all you hoopy froods, get your towels and grab a bottle of Old Janx Spirit (from H2G2 or SW, your choice) and head out to Millyways!

Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. — Douglas Adams

To “Potter” or to “Potter Squared”

Just returned home from finally being able to see The Avengers.  Really enjoyed it, even more than I thought I would.  A lot of the “inside” jokes and the two scenes during the credits were very good.  Saw the movie in 3D but it really didn’t seem to make a difference.  Of course, with my poor vision, I’m not surprised.

Now I’m debating with Husband and Youngest Son about what to watch on television tonight.  HBO is premiering Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 tonight.  I have them all on DVDs and Blu-Ray, but I still love watching the movies (and reading the books).

In honor of the premiere, HBO is showing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1followed by Part 2 as a sort of “mini-marathon.”  HBO East is currently showing Part 2 (and I’m watching it as I write) but Youngest Son also wants to watch both which will start in about 20 minutes on HBO West.  Husband doesn’t want to watch Part 1 but I think he’s been outvoted on this adventure.

And I still think Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling missed the boat when these movies could have been shown back-to-back in the theaters during the release of the 2nd part.  I can do 2 in a row, but if they ever try to show all 8, they’ll need to provide lots of caffeine and blankets for naps.

Still irritated at Mythbusters’ “Swinging Pirates” episode

I know it’s just a minor thing, but I really liked the effect in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie that showed the six pirates swinging in a ball made of bones and climbing their way to the top of the cliff and saving themselves.  The Mythbusters tried to recreate the myth that it could be done and messed it up.  Big time.  In my opinion anyway — I’m not a scientist.

They used metal to create the ball — good idea.  They had openings at the bottom of the ball large enough for them to crawl through — bad idea.  They used two cables to hold the ball above the ground — not accurate since in the movie it’s supposed to be a single vine.  But they did prove that they could climb up the “cliff” by having everyone help climb a cargo net on the side of a building.  They really should have replicated the actual conditions.  The two safety cables impeded the ability for the momentum to increase.

However, on the same episode, the Build Team made a pulse jet and had an expert come and show them an effective way to build one and how it should run.  I wonder how many WWII British survivors watched the episode and had bad memories afterwards?  The one their expert built sounded just like a V-1 flying bomb, also known as a “Buzz Bomb” or “Doodlebug” by the British who listened to them as they flew overhead before crashing and exploding.  And if you’ve never heard of the V-1 — go look it up.  They did lots of damage.

Now I’m going to watch the new episode for this week — any time you make a hot water heater explode on television is awesome.

Survived another sleepover!

Why is it when Youngest Son has a friend or friends over to spend the night I’m the one completely exhausted the next day?  It’s not like I’m up watching movies at 2:30 a.m. or trying to finish the last slices of the jalapeno pizza they ordered on a whim!

Fortunately, Youngest Son’s friend (to whom he was going to introduce the game Warhammer 40K) enjoyed it very much.  I loaned him some of my army since he wants to play the same one I have and he picked up the rules very quickly.  They played for over 3 hours and then started another game this morning.  We all then went out-of-town to the closest gaming store and Youngest Son’s friend had left-over birthday money that he used to purchase some figures so he can start his own army.  We even bought him a really cool figure that was already put together and painted that he saw and liked (and it wasn’t too expensive) and gave it to him as a belated birthday gift.  After having lunch and a running a few more errands, we came back to the house and Youngest Son began teaching his friend how to assemble the figures.  They got two done in the short time they had left and they’re both looking forward to the time after school gets out for the summer when they can spend more time together assembling, painting, and playing with the figures and ships for their respective armies.  I’m very, very thankful Youngest Son has friends here.  We were worried that it would be hard for him to make friends since we’re “not from ’round here” but he’s fitting in with a pretty good group.

Well, this is going to be short ’cause in an hour Syfy is going to be showing the new “Treasure Island” with Eddie Izzard, Elijah Wood and Donald Sutherland.  DEFINITELY want to see it!!

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