Monday, June 29, 2009

If I was a teenage prodigy...

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

...I wouldn't have chosen to be a doctor. But, Doogie Howser did!

I actually seem to be one of the few (my age) who never saw Doogie in real-time. Instead, I came to it in April 2008 on Hulu, and have since watched the entire series free of charge. The show ran for four seasons (97 episodes), and really ended fairly abruptly.

Neil Patrick Harris (the protagonist) was absolutely adorable, and the little-Doogie seen in some episodes was equally disarming. He was an only child, and yet a handful for his parents (living in LA). He had a best friend (Vinnie), a steady girlfriend in the early seasons (Wanda), and work friends from the hospital as well. The main idea: kid genius balances being a doctor with being a teenager. As the introductory sequence shows, he got a perfect on his SATs when he was six years old, finished high school in nine weeks, graduated from Princeton when he was ten, and completed medical school when he was fourteen. The show begins as Doogie (whose given name is Douglas) turns sixteen, and stops his driving exam in order to help an injured person in the street.

Most of the time, Doogie has patients in the hospital (mostly working in surgery and/or with children), and drama going on at home. Sex is discussed often in the first couple seasons, and Doogie ends up making love to Wanda, which he keeps quiet from even his best friend. Other issues, like race, homophobia, child abuse, and the LA riots, are also seen here and there, but not really made a major issue in the series. Throughout the years, his friends all graduate high school and go on to college as well. Doogie also moves out of his parents' house and into a run-down apartment (which is amusing because we all know he has the money to do better), and decides to pursue trauma surgery.

There are several awkward moments and storylines in the show, including Doogie dealing with older women, having to perform a pelvic exam on his girlfriend, teaching sex ed in high school, longing for an expensive car, seeing Vinnie through his family's divorce, and being alienated after his girlfriend's mother dies. Of course, each gets written about in his diary, an action which becomes a trademark for the show (and for Neil Patrick Harris, for that matter). Many of these one-liners are catalogues on a blog.

While the first two seasons had decent ratings, the show was ultimately canceled for poor ratings, a problem which struck the writers by surprise, as they had at least another season's worth of ideas in the making. Our last view of young Douglas is his early-life-crisis over whether he is truly meant to work in medicine for the rest of his life (it would be beneficial for the greenhorn to know that Doogie survived leukemia twice before he was ten, prompting his desire to treat others). He thinks of writing as an outlet (he and Vinnie penned a screenplay in the fourth season), and a fifth season was to deal with Doogie's disenchantment with medicine and new-found proclivity for writing.

Hop on over to hulu and catch an episode or two if you never have before!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

summer seasons started!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Sunday:

The Simpsons
: September 27th

Family Guy: September 27th

The Cleveland Show: premiering September 27th

American Dad: 27th

Monday:
How I Met Your Mother: September 21st.

Little People, Big World: off-season

House, M.D.: September 21st.

Lie to Me: September 21st.

Jon and Kate Plus Eight: well, they're divorcing. And the whole world is talking about it. I'm not sure if they went through counseling or not... but if not, I am sad they're jumping into divorce. If so, I'm just sad for the family. It'll be rough on the kids (we already know they miss seeing their daddy all the time). The crooked houses were somewhat interesting, but they START at $1,250!! People in this recession aren't going to pay that, so I think it was a dumb plug for the show. In other news, next month I'll be blogging from Pennsylvania, just 90 minutes or so from the current Gosselin home. Not gonna lie, I kinda want to casually see them in real life one day, I think it would be neat.

Table for 12: off-season. or maybe even canceled.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Grace having sex was a big disappointment. Grace's dad dying was a sudden plot twist, and I'm unclear on what that'll do for the show, and why Ben and his dad are so concerned. It's disturbing what Ricky had to say throughout the show, and I wonder if his speech to Adrian's dad will come back to haunt him. Anne being pregnant was written in for the actress, but it's still nuts. I think Anne should give the child up for adoption, and I'm hoping that'll give an interesting spin to the "educational aspect" of the show. I don't understand Tom's reaction yet to his dad yet, but maybe it'll just hit him next week. Amy's naivety about crying babies is annoying, and George is surprisingly being decent for some reason. All in all, should make for an active season (take the pun as you will).

Make it or Break it: I missed the premiere, but hopefully I'll catch the show next week.

Cake Boss: not gonna lie, I was jealous of the bachelorette cake. My girlies made me some phallic sugar cookies for my party, but the cake was so cool. Problem: there were only 6 girls at their party and that was a HUGE cake. The other cake was super awesome. I was impressed with the zombie. I kinda wanna start working with fondant now (which may be in my benefit, since it's my husband's preferred cake topping anyway), but I can't invest in ingredients since I'm moving in less than a month (see the Jon & Kate blurb for location).

Tuesday:
18 Kids and Counting: yay, a birthday party! It was fun to watch the kids all rollerskating, and I was pretty psyched to watch Michelle, who usually takes such a passive role in the family's activities. As Jim Bob pointed out, she's usually pregnant or nursing so she can't do the fun stuff. And Michelle realizes how important it is that she's at 100% so she takes these things carefully. No update on Josh and Anna. I am also trying to figure out when we're going to see the Tennessee episodes! We know Jason's birthday is April 21st, and we know that the Duggars were in Tennessee for at least two weeks (Anna was two weeks shy of knowing the sex when she did a webisode and we also know the Duggars were there when Josh and Anna found out), so I'm guessing soon!

Lincoln Heights: August 4th

Wednesday:
South Park: October 7th is really far away.

Glee: September 16th.

Wipeout: I liked the guy with the Neil Diamond outfit, that was funny. The dad (who was the first to run the obstacle course) with the neon shorts was funny. I thought the tribute to the new Ice Age movies was cool, but kinda unincorporated. The fat girl at the end was useless, she seemed so surprised that "the motivator" pushed her at the big bouncy balls. And her stupid lying there was dumb, I thought it would've been much more interesting to watch her try to get through the up-and-down circular hurdles... not gonna lie, but when she started the course, I was ready to bet she'd get herself stuck in them, hehe. Browlicious got some bad hits to the noggin. It also became a lot more obvious in this episode that they've removed or foam-covered all of the dangerous parts of the various courses, which is good. Sadly, as I'm moving very soon, I won't be able to try out to be on the show after all. Some of the best trash-talking of the season took place with the final three on the sweeper. The Wipeout Zone was definitely geared (haha) toward various strengths today, as the first two contestants struggled in completely different areas. Browlicious quit way too early, he totally had a shot at the 50 grand! The final guy really cut it close (as the girl did when she beat the first score), but he surprised many and made it!

Thursday:
16 and Pregnant
: Amber and Gary make a strange couple. While they have been together for two and a half years (when she was pregnant), they don't seem to know one another very well. They have a lot of issues, and we never really find out what it is that Amber does (but she did leave Steak and Shake to take her current job). He buys her a $20 engagement ring from WalMart, but I guess when you're seventeen and pregnant you should take what you can get. Yet another reason to wait and marry someone with hopes, ambitions, and a bank account with more than $500 in it. Amber was happy, although mom and dad weren't exactly thrilled. Her older brother used to be BFFs with Gary, but at least he's mature enough to not do anything stupid on camera. Mom and Auntie, on the other hand, badtalk Gary and his whole family while being filmed. Amber has a rough labor, with more than four hours of active labor. They seem to have the parenting part down okay, and don't seem to complain as much as some of the previous mothers, although Gary doesn't seem to have any qualms about pawning off the child on his mother.

Friday:
Monk: August 7th.

The Goode Family: The idea of a "lending library" is very fitting for the Goodes. The rivalry between Helen and Margot continues I love the spunk that Helen has sometimes - in this episode, when she decides that the freegan Heinrich Mueller will be at their party! Ubuntu made a funny joke about needing a strong German influence (Hitler much?), and Bliss and Grandfather have a good time messing with the freegan. The idea of crying on your food to season it was a little creepy, as was using grey water in a dunktank! Now, I had never heard of a "freegan" before, so if you are also not in-the-know, it's basically a freeloader, who doesn't buy anything at all (or even use items that have been harvested or processed), living off of refuse, pretty much. I particularly enjoyed the idea that a freegan would dump a woman, since they don't throw away anything, LoL. (of course the idea that he already has 1-2 wives and 6-8 children and he left them all is not addressed)

Surviving Suburbia
: caught this just because it was before Goodes. It was a pretty funny episode, where the family is trying to convince Henry to go to college by playing the Game of Life. Unfortunately, although Courtney is a doctor and the mom is a veterinarian, Henry (hairdresser) is doing much better because life is about "luck" and not "hard work." Similarly, Courtney wanted a "pink spouse" instead of a "blue spouse," so mom flips out without making too big a scene. Courtney had some really great lines, and I'm glad they cast such a quick little girl. I have mixed feelings about the parents cheating in the game at the end, but life goes on (haha again).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Midnight Releases

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

...yeah. This one is a movie post, not a television post, I know. But I just had to interrupt the regularly-scheduled blog post to talk about Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. It was absolutely fantastic, and I saw it at the midnight release. I've been seeing midnight release movies since I was fifteen (to my mother's credit, this was one thing I was allowed to do on school nights that most kids weren't), and I thought it might be nice to make a list of the ones I've seen to go with the "list" theme before I discuss Transformers 2.

I know there's more than this, but here's what I came up with off the top of my head:
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (my first midnight release, I went with my neighbor)
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
- Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (first midnight release I saw with my now-husband)
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (BK and I organized like 30 residents to go as a joint RA program, so this is a memorable one)
- Spiderman 2
- Spiderman 3
- Iron Man
- The Dark Knight
- Star Trek (the only StarTrek film I've ever seen was the one that came out last month)
- Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

I truly enjoyed Transformers 2. I'm usually one of the first people to rip apart a movie that does poor CGI. Last night/this morning, I made no evil comments. Instead, I was marveling about how well it was done. I loved the vivid expressions that could be seen in the robots' faces and body language. I am still lusting after the silver Autobot (a Corvette Stingray), it was just so beautiful! There's clearly a paper to be written about the use of gender roles in this film, but I spent ten minutes talking about it last night, so I won't bore you here with a long diatribe.

I kinda hope that the public loses interest in Megan Fox now, but I have a feeling that isn't going to happen (given the public's reaction to her onscreen appearances in the film). I was weirded out by the fact that roommate doesn't appear in the final classroom scene, since he should have been right there next to Sam. I thought the jokes were absolutely hilarious, and loved the character use of the roommate and the butcher (I don't want to give away too much for those who have not yet seen this masterpiece). The plot did have a small hole which didn't seem to add up, but perhaps seeing the deleted scenes on the DVD will solve that. I did want to know what happened to Wheelie, though. I was also impressed with the way in which they wrote in Shia LaBeouf's wrist injury, but I had read all about that in EW a few week prior so that wasn't an issue.

Sign me up for 12:01am, July 4th, 2012. I'll be there to see the yet-to-be-written Transformers 3.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

There Once was a Show...

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

... and nobody has ever been able to tell me what it was called.

I adored it, and thought it was fantastic. Apparently nobody else did, since I believe it only lasted a few episodes. I'm writing about this one this week in the event that somebody remembers it and can tell me what it was called!!

It was on somewhere between 1996 and 2000. It ran on a major network (I waaaant to say ABC). I want to say it was only half an hour and starred nobody famous at the time. It was a bunch of athletic teenagers who were Olympic-bound. There was a swimmer, and a runner, and a gymnast. I also want to say a baseball player, but not sure how that would fit in. They went to high school together, and had practice before and after classes. Steroids were an issue, as well as eating disorders. I know for sure it ran 3 episodes. At least one of the girls was blonde, and there was a black guy. I also want to say "High" was in the title, but that's doubtful given the amount of time I've put in to figure out what this show was called.

I have no photos. I have no lines. I have no names. Crappy, I know. But, I wish it hadn't been canceled, so that's how it earned its rightful place in this series.

Friday, June 19, 2009

at least we have lots of Fall start dates!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Sunday:

The Simpsons
: off until September 27th

Family Guy: off until September 27th

The Cleveland Show: premiering September 27th

American Dad: off until September 27th

Monday:
How I Met Your Mother: back September 21st.

Little People, Big World: off-season

House, M.D.: back September 21st.

Lie to Me: back September 21st.

Jon and Kate Plus Eight: Jon gets a motorcycle. Kate gets a scooter that she donates for a Ronald McDonald House auction. I find out that Orange City Choppers are actually in New York. Really, nothing else happened!

Table for 12: off-season.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: back next week!!!

Make it or Break it: starting next week!!!

Cake Boss: omg. Bridezilla. and she was such.a.b!tch. She RUINED one of Buddy's FOUR TIER cakes!! (And demanded another one, for THE NEXT DAY! The family wanted to just serve the ruined cake (as did I!), but Buddy was the bigger man and made her a new, very intricate cake. Her mother was very appreciative of it, but the b!tch wouldn't even acknowledge that there was a cake!!! ahhhhh! Plus, the original cake was way beyond gorgeous! Stretch was Stretch (did anyone else have the ostrich beanie baby? I won one at my 8th grade dance and his name was Stretch, LoL). No family drama this week. They had to make a 3D cartoon plane for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I hope they charged that bridezilla so much more than DOUBLE.

Tuesday:
18 Kids and Counting: On Monday, Josh and Anna were on the Today Show with Meredith Viera. They found out that they are expecting a girl, and they're about 22 weeks currently. It was really neat that they found out by cutting into a cake that had pink layers instead of blue! The normal Tuesday episode showed the clan heading to Big Sandy, Texas for a homeschool convention. It was neat to watch the kids participating in different activities, since they all do such similar things at home. The older girls played in the orchestra, some of the boys did some outdoor climbing and stuff, everyone did some singing and bike-riding. It was interesting to watch some interactions between the Duggars and other children (particularly the Bates family yet again). I'm really looking forward to the Tennessee episodes now, since I think we'll see Erin and John-David, or maybe Nathan and Jana (or even Jill). The whole thing made me wonder if JimBob and Michelle would have issues with their children getting married out of chronological order. It might not be an issue with the older kids, but when the six little boys hit their twenties (or even in a few years Jessa and Jinger could get courted before Jill, for example), they could find women at different ages. I see no problem with it, of course, but I'm not a Duggar, LoL.

Lincoln Heights: returning August 4th

Wednesday:
South Park: back October 7th.

Glee: Starts back up September 16th.

Wipeout: I only caught the last two contestants going through the final round. They weren't that impressive (and apparently they had no great falls earlier, since the announcers weren't making fun of them as much as normal).

Thursday:
16 and Pregnant
: I actually didn't plan on watching this show again, but it happened (and since I know nobody is watching it, I'll recap instead of just commentary). I was channel surfing two minutes after it started so I figured I'd watch it. This week we had a cheerleader get pregnant (over the summer). She dumped the babydaddy, he wanted to get back together, she changed her number and blocked his. She flat out wouldn't even tell him she was pregnant. She was being made fun of so she decided to go to community college instead of finishing at her high school. Her dad was kinda just there. Her mom kept telling her she needed to focus on her life, not boys (she had a couple dates or something during her pregnancy). Neither her mom or her sister wanted to be in the delivery room, but mom ended up in there anyway (but really offered no support, although she did cut the cord). She lucked out with just a seven hour labor before she began to push (between one and two hours), and with her epidural she wasn't screaming or panting or anything. The girl had never held a baby before (personally, if I was a sixteen year old idiot, I'd find a way to be around babies if I was planning to keep mine), so she was a bit shocked and surprised. She completely left the baby in the changing position while she went to the other room. New-grandma thinks it's bad to put covers on the baby's hands, yet mom's biggest complaint was that grandma won't help at night - only during the day. The brat wants a car (she crashed the one she was GIVEN at sixteen), knowing she can't afford it, and blames it on her dad. Her grandfather (baby's great-grandfather) takes her to the Ford dealership and she test drives a Ford Focus. She ends the episode talking about how she'll teach her daughter right and wrong so she'll make good decision without parental guidance... which I took as a blow toward her own parents not teaching her these things. Oh, and they went to Perkins a LOT. Next week's episode looks REALLY BAD tho, definitely a trashy UGLY girl.

Friday:
Monk: will begin its final season on August 7th.

The Goode Family: going to the SF Giants game tonight, so I'll miss the show and have to catch it online next week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Top 10 Catchiest Cartoon Theme Songs!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I'm counting these based on how easy they were to learn, fun they are to sing, and likely they are to be stuck in your head. My choices are also clearly based upon the years I grew up (with one obvious exception).

10. Alvin & the Chipmunks: a lot of shows I'd try to sing in the characters' voices... not this one.

9. The Wuzzles: I thought this theme song deserves better than 9th place, but so many people never saw it, it couldn't have been as catchy as I want to believe.

8. TaleSpin: I think the drums and the "oy ee ay" make this one fun!

7. Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers: This was fun to sing, I think mostly because you got to go, "Ch-ch-ch-chip and Dale" hehe

6. Pepper Ann: she was so cool, and the song reflects that (along with how wacky she was). (oh, and in the second and third seasons she found something new under her desk every episode!)

5. DuckTales: the "woohoos" are fun. I liked the setup of the song, too... like it actually had verses and a chorus, which wasn't all that common at the time.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: all the videos on youtube are poor quality, and I'd rather have just audio than poor video.

3. Muppet Babies: I wasn't the biggest fan of the show, but thought the theme song (and the intro in general) was downright cute and amusing. They changed it up at least once, but here's one version.

2. Tiny Toon Adventures: this one was adored by many, because I remember singing it at recess, LoL. I think we liked it because we got to sing fast, and since rap wasn't big in the 1st grade, that was the only shot we had!

1. Gummi Bears: um, I'm not gonna lie. I still sing this song. I think it's in good range for me, LoL. [For my FSU readers, I'd sing it in the Landis arcade (and Ariel's part in "Unfortunate Souls" too!), it sounded so good in there!] In fact, I may have the verse "Magic and mystery are part of their history..." in my head for the next couple hours now!


Three Honorable Mentions (no order): Denver the Last Dinosaur, Doug, Heathcliff

do you think anything's missing? (if you are my sister's age, I'm sure you think I left out your favorites, hehe.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Maybe High School is Better...

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

...than college. At least the gang at Saved by the Bell seemed to think so. I mean, after all, they did 87 high school episodes but only 19 in college (I don't consider the middle school 13 episodes to really be SBTB due to the completely different settings, but that's another story). And that's not even considering the sequel show, The New Class.

I seriously doubt that anyone who reads a television blog has never seen Saved by the Bell. It ran on Saturday mornings originally, and I'm not sure if it's EVER been out of syndication on early mornings and afternoons on channels like TBS. In fact, one of my favorite episodes was on this morning (in the 8:30am slot), the one where Zack and Jessie do Snow White and the Seven Dorks.

The show was one of those late eighties-early nineties pioneers into teenage programming, and while it never explicitly dealt with sexual relationships, vague references were made here and there. I never thought the material was that deep, but I did have a friend in sixth grade whose parents wouldn't let her watch the show because of its themes. It was immensely popular during its run, and the final episode aired in primetime (it might have been the very first series finale I ever had to ask my parents to stay up and watch... I was only 9!), with the pilot for The College Years running right afterward.

I really enjoyed SBTB:TCY, and thought it did a lot toward addressing the characters getting older and handling more mature situations. My only real gripe about the setup of the new rendition was that the guys and gals shared a suite, which kinda gives the idea that boys and girls could/should live together. (Minor nitpick, I think it was rude of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen to NOT do the "final thirteen" episodes of SBTB, but then she signed on for TCY... but whatever.)

There were a lot of continuity issues (which really seem apparent when you watch the "Graduation" episode and the College pilot back-to-back), mainly the fact that the gang was going to different colleges originally, but somehow Kelly, Screech, Zack, and Slater all end up at the same place (I'll be nice and not touch the fact that there's no way Kelly would've found housing that easily). I was upset that they wrote out Essence Atkins' character (I loved her later in Smart Guy) out of the show, and that took away a big diversity factor (well, as big as it could be when you remember that in the original series, Lisa was the richest girl in school with very successful parents). I included the only photo of her on the show I could find, seen with RA Mike. TCY didn't do well, and was canceled after one season (allowing Tiffani-Amber to do 90210 and Dustin Diamond to do SBTB: The New Class).

Why was it canceled? It had really bad ratings... as in, every single episode finished in the bottom five of all primetime network shows every week. But why would it have bad ratings if the high school edition was so popular? There's a few different ideas on this issue... one of which is the stories. They weren't as cut-and-dried as the original series, and many longtime fans didn't appreciate the fact that Zack was going after Leslie when Kelly was available! Another idea: when it was airing. First of all, it started running against Full House, which was ABC's family powerhouse of the time. Another reason: it got move3d around a lot... it kept being moved (Saturday night is never going to be a good time slot for a show about college kids!), and was preempted at least five times for other broadcasts.

One last nitpick: the two-hour "Wedding" special isn't included on the SBTB:TCY series DVD set.

Friday, June 12, 2009

nearly everything is off-season.

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Sunday:

The Simpsons
: off until September

Family Guy: off until September

The Cleveland Show: yeah, I'm gonna be watching this. even if the previews are horrible.

American Dad: off until September

Monday:
How I Met Your Mother: still no return date yet.

Little People, Big World: off-season until...?

House, M.D.: back September 21st.

Lie to Me: back September 21st.

Jon and Kate Plus Eight: there were supposed to be two episodes this week, but we only saw one here on the west coast. We saw the Emeril episode, but missed out on "Cara and Mady learn how to cook" which looks to be a doozy. Emeril was okay. Nothing too neat. I looked up the chili-mac recipe, and will be trying it for my husband at some point (minus the kidney beans). Previews for next week show that there's gonna be a motorcycle being built for Jon... yawn.

Table for 12: off-season, I guess.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: back June 22nd.

Make it or Break it: starting June 22nd.

Cake Boss: yeah, I've been keeping this one secret. I've seen every episode. I love this show. but the cat's out of the bag. If you haven't seen it, it's an Italian family who owns a bakery in New York. They fill some pretty big orders, and do amazing work. "Buddy" runs the place, aka the Boss. There's a dopey teenage delivery boy, Stretch, who messes every.single.thing.up. Reminds me of Urkel in a way. This week, he does a roulette cake for a mafia-esque group, and a few wedding cakes, with beautiful results.

Tuesday:
18 Kids and Counting: Jana and Jill are getting their wisdom teeth out! The commercials made it seem like a much more extreme "surgery" and the date happened to correspond with my sister, who had hers out the next morning. I've had mine out (wasn't put to sleep tho), it happens. It was nice to see how the family adapted (Joy Anna playing nurse, others taking over the jurisdictions/chores of Jana and Jill, the prayers, etc.). The new webshort by Anna revealed that she's almost 18 weeks, and they will be finding out the sex of the baby (although Anna said "gender," but given their convictions I'll bite my tongue on that...) soon and reveal that on an upcoming episode. We also find out the Duggars are in Tennessee to help build a new house (or wing?) for the Bates'.

Lincoln Heights: returning August 4th

Wednesday:
South Park: back October 7th.

Glee: Starts back up September 16th.

Wipeout: okay, apparently we're just gonna keep changing up some of the obstacles. I don't know how I feel about this, but I can say that I really want the courses to turn into a theme park, I'm dying to play! And I happen to live in California, which is a requirement. I am THISCLOSE to filling out an application! There was a double dose this week, which included a stupid woman who quit before she started and three sisters, all of whom were really ditzy. The dancer guy was funny. There weren't a lot of memorable characters this time, but I continue to be amazed at the housewife a couple weeks ago who withstood the 1,000 gallon rush of water, but nobody else has been able to do that since??

Thursday:
16 and Pregnant
: yeah, I really did waste an hour of my life to watch Maci have baby Bentley. This Chattanooga teenager at least took accelerated courses to finish high school shortly after the baby was born, and enrolled in a real college afterward (as opposed to a community college, which would have been the standard move for a teen in this situation). The babydaddy didn't really want anything to do with mom or baby, and I think that makes this a good episode to pioneer the series. I'm adamantly pro-abstinence until you are ready to take on the potential responsibility of a child, and irresponsible teenagers should pay attention to the fact that having a baby is "hard work" and "not what (you) expected." Maci's parents were overly helpful, which I guess goes to their credit, as they'd watch baby Bentley at least two whole days, and parts of a few other days, so Maci could work, go to school, and continue dancing (which she does decide to give up in light of supporting her child). Now, the show is very whitetrash, and the previews for future episodes all look this bad (with the possible exception of one), which is a poor representation of teenage pregnancies (I've known several well-off girls who got pregnant before they were eighteen), but at the same time, a good one. I don't plan on watching again, because the show was so bad. That, and to imagine having a child nine years ago is extremely unfathomable to my mind, as I'm not ready to be responsible for another being even now!

Friday:
Monk: when the hell is this coming back??

The Goode Family: yep, this got moved to Fridays at 9:30pm. Not really an ideal time, I'm afraid the show will die out. Oh well, once less thing for me to follow! I missed it... was out getting Chinese food.

Surviving Suburbia: yeah, this got moved to Friday night to finish out the end of its already-canceled self. Was planning to see it but was at the mall, LoL.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top 20 Television Sibling Rivalries! Part II

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Here we go, the top ten I chose for biggest sibling rivalries!

10. Doug & Judy Funnie. They're a pain in eachother's butts. They pick on one another, scheme to get the other's goat, and generally argue to no end. Doug tells a white lie to Judy about his Christmas List, and the next thing you know, Judy gets to name their baby sister Cleopatra, and Doug's joke of "Dirt Bike" becomes her middle name. Mom is too meek to really care about their arguments, and many times Doug and Judy just battle it out until the bitter end.

9. Marcia & Jan Brady. You should've seen this one coming. It's definitely one of the classic rivalries. We all know that Marcia is the pretty one and that Jan just gets ignored. Hating your glasses and wanting to wear a wig to get a different perspective is one thing, but inventing a fake boyfriend and having the operator call your house so you can pretend it's George Glass is another. Still, Marcia did a lot of showing off, whining, and proactivity to get her way in the family, so she deserved to be hated.

8. Raymond & Robert Barone. omg, who does Mom love more?!? such a big deal, for no reason at all! But, even when Robert manages to do something stellar enough for recognition, Raymond pretty much always manages to steal the spotlight in one way or another. There's not really a lot of different things that they fight eachother for, it's really a main focus on their "dear" mother.

7. Ren & Louis Stevens. I see this one as a real classic sibling rivalry. Ren was the smart one, Louis was the mischievous one. They often had to bribe eachother to get what they wanted, and the other would go along with it... sometimes. Rarely, they would actually go far to cover for one another, but generally speaking, they were cutthroat enemies. And they were CRAZY CREATIVE with how they got back at one another, which is something you see pretty rarely these days.

6. DJ & Stephanie Tanner. All Stephanie ever wanted to do was be just like DJ (except have a BFF smarter than Kimmy Gibbler. not that Gia was that great, but anyway...). Stephanie would con DJ into doing what she wanted (often because DJ would sneak out or make out or stop eating or get a bad grade or scratch the car or....). On MANY an occasion, Stephanie stole an article of clothing from DJ, only to have something go wrong (the mustard from the Funky Franks, for instance). Plus, how many times did Mr. Bear have to get thrown around to make a point?

5. Cory & Eric Matthews. They often fought over the use of their bedroom (and mysteriously switched sides of the room several times, so I guess their space issues carried on off-screen, LoL). They fought over belongings. They fought over girls. They each had their go-to parent, but sometimes wanted the attention of the other instead. Eric was the more athletic one, but Cory gave sports a try with wrestling at one point (although there was the baseball obsession, the failure at basketball, and the attempt of scuba diving in the first season... none of which really ever surfaced again). Lastly, I think part of the fact that Eric was so girl-crazy was that Cory always had the steady Topanga by his side.

4. Monica & Ross Gellar. Um, so the main reason they're so high up on the list is that they remind me of my relationship with my younger brother. As the eldest, I pretty much always got him to do what I wanted. We tricked eachother with trivia and played board games hardcore (even now, we rarely get together without playing a game of some sort). You might go as far to say that I'm the obvious favorite, and if my mom wanted to create an exercise room, there's a good chance she'd do it in my brother's room (since I have trophies and plaques and all that jazz). And if you didn't see the parallels and thought I was just talking about myself, you need to watch more Friends.

3. Becky & Darlene Connor. This one is a true favorite. Mostly because of the early years, when Becky was the smart perfectionist and Darlene was the tomboy who didn't give a damn. Becky's obsession with hair, clothes, and boys was often a subject of ridicule by Darlene. Likewise, Becky would tease Darlene for her drab clothes and pessimistic demeanor. Darlene would also make fun of Becky's "bubble butt," right up until "original Becky" left with eloped-husband Mark. Oh, and this is all before we consider their arguments over stuff like chores, the phone, and their generic, blue-collar, crappy life.

2. Mary & Lucy Camden. Yep, I'm totally defending how high I put them on the list. I don't even know that I can remember how many different boys they fought over. The same goes with outfits. And with the family's attention. And popularity. Plus, they have a full-out brawl at least twice. Even when they date separate boys, they still act in complete competition (think Ben and Kevin!).

1. Dana Foster & JT Lambert. They were enemies even before they were step-siblings! In the pilot episode we learn that JT put a (dead) rat in Dana's locker. Dana was definitely the smartass in the family, and would often come back at JT (and Frank and Cody) with witty insults. JT referred to Dana as "Barky," and she had an endless supply of nicknames for him, too. I don't know that I have a favorite interchange between the two, but this is from a very early episode, and it showcases the Lambert's famed way of consuming chocolate milk.


who didn't make the list? Tia and Tamara; Kim and Christine; Wally and the Beav; Mary & Laura. And many others, obviously. But these pairs were considered.

So what does this mean? There were no correct guesses. But never fear, a more exciting contest is in the making, to be brought to light as soon as I can secure a good number of players, so interested lurkers might want to consider sending me a message or making a comment! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Last Day to Cast a Vote!!!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

But, tomorrow around noon (pacific time) I'll be unveiling the top 10 sibling rivalries. Go to the post of #11-20 and wager a guess on who you think I chose as #1!

Friday, June 5, 2009

not much of anything going on...

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Sunday:

The Simpsons
: off until September

Family Guy: off until September

American Dad: off until September

Monday:
How I Met Your Mother: still no start date for fall.

Little People, Big World: I guess we're off-season. I hate not being told these things. I also found out I missed an episode where Zach is in a tractor accident back in May. d'oh!

House, M.D.: back September 21st.

Lie to Me: starts back September 21st.

Jon and Kate Plus Eight: episodes this week. back to the norm, yay. First, a guest star. They go decorate cakes. yeah.... boring. Jon is off to snowboard with a child who has disabilities. Pretty neat, especially as a tribute of sorts to his father, who spent his whole life working with disabled children. Kate and Mady are in SAN DIEGO having a spa day. Why go that far? I'm not sure, but they did hit up Sea World, so maybe that was part of it. But whatev. And poor Alexis bit through her lip. Well, let me tell you. I've seen a child who has bit through her lip, and it looked nothing like that. It was a bloody mess. (two points if you can tell me what kid I'm referring to!)

Table for 12: I think we're off-season, although that hasn't been said on TLC. I also found out that I missed two episodes while I was in Denver and I haven't caught them re-run yet.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: back June 22nd.

Make it or Break it: starting June 22nd.

Tuesday:
18 Kids and Counting: the Duggars visit a public school. Mom Michelle goes on record saying that she's "not against public schools." For some reason, the four oldest girls and Josiah are the ones who go along. At first I thought they were just taking the oldest kids, but what about John David and Joseph? Nothing outstanding about the episode, the kids read and answer questions. We also get an overview of how the Duggar Homeschool System works, and the parents' views on higher education. I would have liked a small ditty by Anna on how her family handles this (I'm pretty sure she has a college degree, even if it's online).

Lincoln Heights: returning 8pm August 4th

Wednesday:
South Park: back October 7th.

Glee: Starts back up September 16th.

Wipeout: missed it this week.

The Goode Family: this now gets two slots on Wednesday night, and I can't decide if it's a good thing. I missed this week's.

Surviving Suburbia: and this got canceled. so this will be the final post about the show. too bad, I only tuned in last week, which ended up being a repeat of the pilot... I hadn't realized that. 5 episodes have aired, and three more will sometime in June. but the show's over.

Friday:
Monk: off-season, returns in the summer... not sure when, but at least not until the third week of June.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Top 20 Television Sibling Rivalries! Part I

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

So this topic interests me quite a bit, so it's going to be a two-week series, with the top ten next week! PLUS, there's a bonus. If you can guess what I'm going to list as #1 (that post is already finished) before I post that list next Wednesday, you win a prize! Your only hint: it's from a 90s show. 1 guess per person.

20. Clarissa & Ferguson Darling. she tries to kill him in the very first episode! It didn't work. They scheme against eachother to make money off neighborhood kids, fight over their parents' attention when it comes to school activities (think about the episode when Ferguson is running for President!), they are masters at the silent treatment, and Clarissa even tries to break up Ferguson and a girlfriend in one episode. Plus, once they pretend to be awesome siblings to win a car, which is funny given their history.

19. Pete & Pete Wrigley. Most of the time, their storylines were complementary. BUT, when they went head-to-head, it was a big deal. Like the time their parents go out of town, and Big Pete decides to go on a date instead of race bikes, so Little Pete SELLS THE HOUSE. Big Pete has all of a day to smooth things over. Or when Big Pete is going out for a lifeguard position while Little Pete leads a revolt against the local pool's policies.


18. Malcolm & Reese Wilkerson. Some people might put this one up higher in the list. I was never a fan of the show, except that I loved the theme song. And while Malcolm was supposed to be the main character that everyone loved, I couldn't stand him. Anyway, Malcolm and Reese (and the other brothers, for that matter) went at it all the time. If it wasn't blackmail or pranks, it was humiliating acts, lying, keeping lovers apart, you name it.

17. Frasier & Niles Crane. One of our four adult pairs to make my Top 20 list. These two Brit brothers are pretty freaking cutthroat. Who does the dog like better? Who puts on a better party? Who has better connections? Who is a better speller? Really, name a competition and it's probably been fought between these two.



16. Bart & Lisa Simpson. I actually don't see these two as being huge rivals, since many times they just pick on eachother. They also work together to scheme a heck of a lot. BUT, they do both vie for their way on vacations, meals, even a science project at one point. I think one of my favorites is when their square off on the ice, playing for opposing hockey teams.

15. Cara & Mady Gosselin. seriously, I think they try to steal the spotlight from eachother. EVERY EPISODE. Being twins, they fight over toys, no big deal. But they both try to be more helpful to Kate, a better "teacher" to the little kids, and a better hider in games. Most recently, Mady thinks it's unfair that Cara got to go skiing with Daddy, so she wants to go CROSS COUNTRY to have a spa week with Mommy.



14. Lizzie & Matt McGuire. I think these two make a great rivalry. Matt is so cunning, and Lizzie is such a girlie-girl (most episodes) that most tricks work on her extremely well. But, when she wants to be conniving, she knows Matt's weak spots, and hits him where it hurts. They're both always trying to get the other in trouble with mom and dad, and every report card seems to be its own competition.

13. Mike & Carol Seaver. Mike was always in trouble, we all know that. To get attention, Carol had to be the biggest brainiac ever (and her two greatest accomplishments in this might have been learning to read before her older brother, and skipping a grade to be in his class), and yet that wasn't enough. Mike was always finding new things to tease Carol about (and it was so constant that when her beau died in a bad accident, she thought he was telling a cruel joke), and Carol was always trying to catch Mike in a lie.

12. Shawn & Jack Hunter. Easily the hottest pair on this list (including the other ten we'll see next week). And while they're never really after the same girl, I'd personally be hard-pressed to choose between the two! They get off to the rockiest of starts, with Shawn moving in with Jack (and Eric) his senior year of high school, at their father's suggestion. They get into it big time over everything for a while. As time went on they seemed to get a long better and better, but at the same time, they both use the other as a scapegoat when necessary.

11. Zelda & Hilda Spellman. I think that some of their antics would force them higher on the chart, but they weren't really the main characters on the show, and I think that's why they're sitting here, just missing the Top 10 slots. Aside from their abilities to play tricks on one another using magic (which was much more Hilda's style), they have several hundred years' of past rivalries that are mentioned semi-regularly on the series. They fought over men, family heirlooms, businesses, trips, parenting styles, and decor, for starters. It's a good thing they had Salem to keep the peace!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My So-Called Life

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

My parents keep asking how school was. It's like saying, "How was that drive-by shooting?" You don't care how it was, you're lucky to get out alive.

Pretty much everyone I've ever heard talk about this show has wished that it would have lasted longer. I heard about it for the first time in the sixth grade. My math teacher asked for a popular TV show to use as an example and a popular girl in class responded with My So-Called Life. I jotted it down in my notes, vowing that if she watched it, I must find a way to do so as well. Problematically, I found out that it was already off the air and in reruns. It lasted a mere 19 episodes, and without any closure, assuming that a second season was gonna happen. It ran on ABC, so it was a real network in the beginning (many people seem to think that since the reruns were on MTV - a strange enough feat - that the show was always on that channel).

It was really a long series of "very special episodes" that had the same characters. I mean, in 19 episodes, the serious issues each had like a single episode devoted to them, and that was it. Unfortunately, the only ongoing topics were Angela's (Claire Danes) crush on the infamous Jordan Catalano (played by the dreamy Jared Leto), which led to dating and a breakup. The other always-there issue was Angela's breadwinning mom being way more serious and strict than her culinary-loving father. Another tie-in for the show: Angela did a lot of "thinking out loud" in the show, portraying her thoughts the existence kinda sucks, adding up to what isn't really a life.

Angela has a creepy little sister, Danielle. Creepy might not be the best descriptor, but she's very much a "middle child" without having any younger siblings... ie she's just ignored. However, she dresses up as Angela for Halloween. Now, I didn't have any older siblings to idolize, but that still seems creepy to me. Angela also has several different friends. There's her lifelong BFFs Sharon and Brian, and her new crowd of Rayanne and Rickie. Sharon is a goody-goody in the band, but is sexually active. Brian is the Jewish dork with people-skills issues and a secret love for Angela. Rayanne is kinda wild, doing the alcohol, drugs, and sex thing, with some tarot mixed in for variation. Rickie is biracial, beaten by his uncle-guardian, and about as openly gay as you can get. To round out the misshapen group, Jordan is a cute rebel who is pretty much illiterate, yet writes songs and hates vandalism. yeah, go figure.

Here's the thing about its low ratings... the problem wasn't that it was a bad show. It wasn't that it had young actors. It wasn't bad writing. The problem was that it was an hour. Now, the plots sustained an hour really well. BUT, in order to be an hour-long show, you are forced to run up against 2 half-hour shows on every other network, so that's a ton more competition. If a person even watched 1 other show religiously, they aren't going to tune in for just half of My So-Called Life. In the 8-9pm Thursday slot, the show was up against the powerhouses of Friends, Mad About You, Martin, AND Living Single. Oh, and the fact that Claire Danes wasn't really keen on doing television forever... she wanted to move into film, and had the opportunities knocking on her door.

Here you can see the first ten minutes of the first episode. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-8MmqM-glQ It shows all the characters (Brian is the photographer at the very end).