Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Drinking to Arrested Development

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Now here's a funny one. My husband and I never really knew anything about Arrested Development. And I mean nothing. Not sure what years it ran, what network, who was in it, what it was about, even if it was a comedy or a drama (or heck, it might have been a reality show for all we knew). But, shortly after we moved back to Florida (for a whopping two weeks, but that's a separate story), one of our friends told us all about it, as he had recently gotten into it (and was working his way through the series).

So, after watching the first season and most of the second so far, I can report that it's most definitely a comedy. It's absolutely hilarious. It's very atypical. There are a lot of flashbacks, a lot of (absolutely necessary) narration, and a lot of unresolved stories. In case you also know nothing about the show, it's basically about a family who has gone from riches to rags. Granddad has gone to jail for embezzlement, and most of the family is ignorant of the fact that the money is actually gone. Grandma still lives in a lush apartment with her youngest adult child (a perpetual graduate student), while the rest of the family (the other three kids, one of their spouses, and two grandkids) resides in a model home that the family owned. Storylines revolve around dealing with granddad in jail and the middle son trying to run the company (and the family), the granddaughter rebelling, the grandson having a crush on the granddaughter, and everyone else being unsuccessful at actually working for a living.

Okay, it's bizarre, I know. But, it's a real knee-slapper. And, the drinking game for this show started before I had ever saw an episode - two of our friends had to make suggestions about what would be included. We've altered them somewhat since then, and what we currently use is reproduced below.

Take ONE drink:
- whenever they're at the banana stand
- whenever there's a flashback
- whenever someone is visiting the jail
- whenever Tobias is wearing cut-offs
- whenever Lindsay flirts
- whenever Michael refers to Ann by anything other than her name (like egg, "her," Annhog, etc)
- whenever George Michael alludes to having a crush on Maeby
- whenever Maeby says "marry me"
- whenever Lucille pokes at Lindsay's appearance
- whenever Oscar tries to point out that he's Buster's father
- whenever Gob attempts to do a magic trick
- whenever Buster talks about or is drinking juice
- whenever we see the staircar or the segway
- whenever we see a newspaper clipping

Taken TWO Drinks:
- whenever someone says "I've made a HUGE mistake"
- whenever someone says "No Touching!"
- whenever we hear an air horn
- whenever the house is falling apart
- whenever we hear the name, "Steve Holt!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Gossip

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

As I mentioned in this week's television commentary, I really like the new show Better with You. Here's a little video of Joanna Garcia & Jennifer Finnigan talking about the show.

Glee is having a Rocky Horror-themed episode, set to air October 26th. Barry Bostwick (Brad) and Meat Loaf (Eddie) are set to appear. I am gonna have to watch this one, as much as I dislike Glee.

Oprah is doing a few episodes from Australia.... bringing some of her biggest fans with her to tour parts of the country. It's costing Australian taxpayers almost $3,000,000, but the former tourism minister believes that the publicity is worth every penny.

Grad student (in Computer Science) Roger Craig won $77,000 on a single episode of Jeopardy!. This beats Ken Jennings, whose highest one-day total was $75,000. This was the fifth time in his life that he's tried out for the show, but the first time he's made it.

There are a bunch of celebrities who are afraid of flying. In particular, Ben Affleck recently told his story on Jay Leno.

The fact that a bunch of episodes in last season's How I Met Your Mother don't really fit a larger arc was because they weren't meant to. They also know bits and pieces about how the series is going to end, but no hints there. They have written a new Robin Sparkles song. Wayne Brady is coming back as Barney's brother.

Hulk Hogan is going to be hosting a new kids' show. The first season is ordered for 26 half-hour episodes where Hogan is a referee of sorts for kids' arguments.

Last week I mentioned that Penny on The Big Bang Theory had broken her leg and was missing a taping. Well, she's going to be missing several more, the the point where the show is on production hiatus.

Boardwalk Empire got picked up for a second season a mere TWO DAYS after it premiered.

The Flintstones turned 50 this month. To celebrate, Boomerang will air the original episode this Thursday, September 30th, at 8:30pm, which is the same slot the pilot occupied in 1960. Then two more episodes, The Man Called Flintstone, and a 24-hour marathon the following day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Favorite Episodes: Salute Your Shorts

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

A short-lived show this week. Just two seasons, but just about everyone I've ever talked to about this program agrees that it had the potential to last so, so much longer. The show is really divided into two part... episodes with Michael and the episodes with Pinsky. I actually have no idea why Michael left the show (although his character is written off as having chicken pox... how does only 1 person get them at a secluded venue like summer camp?), but since neither of those characters is my favorite, I don't know that it really made the episodes any better or worse as a whole.

Basically, it was Camp Anawana, a summer camp. We never see the general population, as the show focuses on a handful of kids and a single counselor. Other children fit in when a supporting character or rival is needed, but basically we have Budnick, the prankster; Telly, the sportsy one; Dina, the rich one; Sponge, the brain; Donkeylips, the fat kid; ZZ, the environmental one; and Michael & Pinksy, the regular ol' teenagers. Ug was the counselor, and Dr. Kahn was the director. He's remembered as yet another unseen-onscreen character. Nobody really ever made a big career out of the show, but it enjoyed a couple years of reruns on Nickelodeon before disappearing.

Season 1: "The Treasure of Sarah Madre" (S01E03) The gang is remembering the old dance teacher who did the cha-cha off a cliff years ago. They discover a map in the picture, and Budnick sells fake maps to two groups, in exchange for boomboxes. Everyone realizes the directions are fake, but they try to trick Budnick back. Budnick and Donkeylips go searching for the treasure at night, and dig right into a water main. This is going on, of course, just before the new camp brochure photos are to be taken, so Ug is very upset that the guys dug a hole in the baseball field.

Season 2: "Capture the Flag" (S02E10) This is my very favorite episode of the show. As the title suggests, there is a camp-wide game of Capture the Flag. While we see all of the main kids participating, it's Donkeylips who saves the day unexpectedly (he wanted to be offense, but was put on defense, but the offense all gets captured so he leads his team to victory).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

House & How I Met Your Mother are Back!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I need to open with an apology. While we're in the moving process, we have no DVR, so unless I'm home to catch it live or it plays on the internet, it's tough. I've been gratefully going over to a neighbor's house to try to keep up, as they graciously offered their DVR for me to (ab)use. However, we all know I watch a LOT of television, and I don't like to be over at their place for hours on end. So, I'm doing what I can. This will probably mean that certain episodes get missed and then caught up later (this week I ran out of time to finish 19 Kids and Counting), but just wanted to give you a head's up.

Monday:

Kate Plus Eight
(S01E07): So this explains why Hannah's hair is shorter sometimes... it got cut in this episode. But Kate crying over that was ridiculous. haha, everyone confuses the three little girls from behind now. "Here's one with a lizard." "no, you're a girl." um, Kate? It's 2010. If one of your daughters wants a lizard backpack, it's okay. haha, 1 extra lunchbox. Who tells their kid to run in a store??? Kate is too into shoes, LoL (but she wears an 8.5-9 if anyone's interested). "I don't know if I can get up that early anymore," really?? How much are you sleeping in these days, Kate??!? How long is this bus ride that Kate keeps emphasizing?!? "they better do it right from now on." um, six of your kids are only six years old. Have a heart.

Little People, Big World (S06E05 &S06E06): It's Father's Day. Jacob is still having phone control issues, LoL. whoa... deep sea fishing?? I wonder if this is any relation to the fact that Kate and the kids did that last week? Jacob brought Levi so he had someone his own age there... ok. Snow in June?? Oregon is crazy!! Meanwhile, in Newport, OR, it's beachtime. Amy bought ANOTHER camera because she forgot her two? AND the new one got totally wet an hour later so she got ANOTHER one!! Zach doesn't want Jacob to turn into a city boy, LoL. Zach sees Jacob as hanging with him now only because he can't keep up with Jeremy yet. Once he can, he'll be gone... interesting perspective. Wood-chopping contest. that's different! I'm not into fishing, but I don't know that I'd ever go when it's cold enough out that I'd have to wear gloves! LoL.
Zach got the call from the radio station?? How would they have his phone number?? Amy looked nice in that red suit jacket. "Dad, I need a job. And so does Jeremy." hahaha. Weird way to put this: "I don't know if I'm ready to drive a car with a new car small." Interesting way for Zach to hold his laptop... keyboard against his chest and screen on his lap. I've never seen that before... anywhere. Zach knew to shake the interviewer's hand at the end of the interview, good for him. Oh yay! I'm glad that Zach got the soccer job! I've never seen people more attached to an old first car, LoL.
House, M.D. (S07E01): I was totally lost on why House was hurt, LoL. Nice new opening. "right now, we are more important than what's at the hospital" hehe. Cuddy not being in the bedroom really looked bad for House to Wilson. ohhhh she hid in the closet!! How did Chase end up in charge of acting like they had a neurosurgeon on the premises? And if he actually really did have to perform surgery, what in the world were they gonna do? ewwwww! Is House really using his laptop naked??!? House and Cuddy are so cute together. I'm excited to see them take a trip together. House's big fears about it not working were thought-through, but still overly fearful. Why does Chase want to sleep with Thirteen? I feel like they just started dating and they're saying "I Love You," but I guess they've also known each other for like 20-25 years. Strange that Foreman did all of that research and realized that Thirteen just disappeared.

How I Met Your Mother (S06E01): "dude, you fixed church" hahaha Ted. He grades papers in the bar?? I love the "dibs" on stuff. What is the banjo music about? I'm surprised Barney let Ted buy him out... he has $$. Isn't Ted a little old to be fluff-spiking his hair tall like that? What was the 1 in 5 ankles thing?? why show those two lesbians that ended up together with a kid? Like, what's the point of showing the future there?

Tuesday:
Melissa & Joey (S01E07):
don't like Mel's dress. Oh goody! We know where we are! Toledo. Why does she have this strange new assistant? The tiny little message thing was funny. Mel thinking they won't twist anything she's going to say is naive, especially for having worked in politics for some time now! Zoning out in zoning meetings. haha. And I feel like they're hitting the "Toledo" thing hard, too. Ryder was dumb in that interview. Joe was rocking some biceps when he was stirring that chili pot! PRESCHOOL reform??!?!? I thoroughly loves watching Mel dance to that game. I love how Mel has one single cheer. haha Joe did kid commercials. awww... the Chinese food ended up being a work dinner.
19 Kids and Counting (S05E09): Oh. The studio interviews are in the shop. Interesting. I've always kind've wondered where they did theirs. Jordyn is cute. Anna made it there without Josh, LoL? Really, the theme of this episode is taking pictures? LoL.
(I didn't finish this episode, so I'll mention a tiny bit more next week.)
Teen Mom (S02E09):
Catelynn: sucks that her mom was a tool when Catelynn talked about calling Carly for her birthday. Interesting scrapbook. Sucks that Ryan doesn't know his dad's situation with the rehab and the jail and all. Butch & Catelynn's mom have a "no contact" order and they've been together all this time??!? I thought they were married...? Um, did Catelynn's mom think a lawyer was free? $1500 for a lawyer is pretty reasonable.
Maci: I'm surprised her parents aren't going to follow her there... help her move stuff, etc.
Farrah: she thinks she's going to learn to sew and make money?? Why didn't her dad ask for more details on the car scam? "Sophia's lawyer" ?? Why didn't Farrah think she'd need a DNA test?? Farrah had no idea what to do for a stove fire? She works in a kitchen!
Amber: ewww... Amber without makeup again. omg she left a fork and knife near Leah?? I thought Amber did mixed martial arts to lose all the weight... now she's acting like she's new at it?? Amber yells at Gary for letting Leah play with a glass candle, but she doesn't take it away from her until later. I hate how often she uses the f-word. haha, "supposably."
If You Really Knew Me (S01E09): Columbia High School. But, I decided that I'm donw with this show. I've mentioned a few times in the past that it was getting boring and that there's nothing really new... ever. So, after a few days of deliberation, I'm choosing to cut it.
Wednesday:
Better With You
(S01E01)
: Those tunnels aren't that dark, LoL. Nice little intro. "I like what I'm not seeing" haha. Picture count on the fridge was funny. Inventor is interesting, and unique. "quick thinking... not good thinking." Okay, older sister started dating that guy when she was like 16, so she's about 26. Mia and Casey are the young ones. Ben and Maddie are the un-married ones. I kinda love the "moving fast" thing... I think it'll create a lot of comedy. The breakfast invitation was funny. Vicky and Joel Putney are the parents. "I'm sorry. But I mean it!" "We really should start walking home soon" lmaoaoao. Vicky has a drinking game... I LOVE IT!!! The parents finding the tips card at the end could have been more amusing. I liked the framing closer, too... I hope all of the episodes start and finish with those!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season/Coming Up:

The Simpsons
(season 22 starts September 26th)
Family Guy
(season 9 starts September 26th)
South Park (season 14 continues October 6th)
Burn Notice (back November 11)
Hot in Cleveland (season 3 to start in January)
Mr. Sunshine (new show, starts in January on ABC)
Minute to Win It (season 3 to start...)
Cake Boss (season 3 to continue...?)
Wipeout (season 4 back next summer)
The Secret Life of the American Teenager (not sure)
Table for 12: (missing "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school")

16 and Pregnant
(unknown)
Huge (unknown)
Futurama (unknown)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Favorite Episodes: Brotherly Love

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I was channel-surfing one afternoon when I first came across Brotherly Love. It had been picked up by the Disney Channel and was running regularly there. It was some random scene in the living room, and the attractiveness of Joey and Matt Lawrence had caught my eye. It was mid-episode, and I finished it out. A week or two later, I caught it again, and made it a point to try to catch the show more often. It only ran for two seasons (and I was late to the party), but it was a cute show. Matt, Andy, and Joey Lawrence play brothers (all with the same father, but Joe has a different mother than the other two) with their same names. Their father died a year or so ago, and Joey came back to claim his part of the inheritance - part of a custom car place. He ends up staying to help raise the boys (much younger than he - Joe was in his early 20s while Andy was like 7 and Matt was in his teens).

I chose to feature this show today because I'm still really spending a lot of time thinking about Melissa & Joey, which is Joey Lawrence's new show. It's looking pretty good so far (we're about a quarter of the way through the first season), and the comedy just keeps coming. But anyway, without further ado, I present you with my two of my favorite non-holiday episodes...

Season 1: "Bait and Switch" (S01E09) Matt is having problems with a school bully (might be because Matt is the most dramatic teen boy ever), and Joe promises to help him out. However, Lloyd decides to lock Joe and Lou in the garage together so that they can fall in love. Joe misses helping Matt, and Lou misses a blind date. While they don't exactly fall in love, sparks do fly.

Brotherly Love - 1x10 - Bait And Switch - Part 1
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Brotherly Love - 1x10 - Bait And Switch - Part 2
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Season 2: "Motherly Love" (S02E07) Lloyd's mom visits the garage (played by Estelle Getty). Aside from her excellent work in this guest spot, the main storyline is Joe trying to force Andy into a derby race, to keep Matt's winning score from being beaten by a rival garage.

Brotherly Love - 2x06 - Mother Love - 1/2
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Brotherly Love - 2x06 - Mother Love - 2/2
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

News, Gossip, Spoilers, & Others

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This is the first in a weekly series on television news that I expect to be ongoing forever. Some weeks will feature more stories than others, as I'm not going for a "top five most interesting stories" format, but rather a "things I liked and want to pass on" design. The order is how I came across them, not necessarily oldest news to the latest gossip.


Jennifer Morrison, who is best known as Dr. Cameron on House, will play Zooey for 5+ episodes of How I Met Your Mother this season. I'm kinda excited because I wonder what that'll do to ratings, since those shows air at the same time...

Looking way ahead... Tim Allen is looking to return to prime time next fall. I wonder what kind of role he'll get... I like him in comedy, but lots of people seem to think he should do a drama.

The Disney Channel is running out of good tween stuff. Glad they realized it.

Two movies and a TV series are going to be made about Stephen King's The Dark Tower. I agree that it's a weird way to franchise that.

Jennifer Lopez is going to get $12million to judge American Idol. I think that's excessive.

Kaley Cuoco (Penny) broke her leg horseback riding and is going to miss a taping of The Big Bang Theory.

The new season of How I Met Your Mother is not planning to reveal the mother's identity yet. Barney is going on a quest to meet his real father (aka not Bob Barker). Marshall and Lily are in full-force trying to make a baby.

Lots of House spoilers. House's relationship with Cuddy is going public fast, so the team will find out AND he'll be doubling with Wilson. House is going to babysit Cuddy's daughter Rachel. Chase is totally playing the field with the ladies until a new doctor (played by Amber Tamblyn) steps in. Speaking of guest stars, Jennifer Grey will be the parent of a patient in an October episode.

Speaking of which, Candice Bergen has been cast to play Cuddy's mother on House. She'll appear in multiple episodes, starting in January.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a new, live show gala coming up. It'll be October 28th.

There was an interesting tidbit collection on The Golden Girls as it celebrated its start 25 years ago this week.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wipeout & Minute to Win It are Out!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Monday:

Kate Plus Eight
(S01E06): omg, 4 seasick kids at once? um, surfing? okay, 9 is young but not crazy. at least the older girls got to do something different. Now, I've never tried it but they sure made it look pretty easy. How many times does Kate need to say "Bald Head" is the "traditional" vacation?Won't that increase future paparazzi? Why were the kids so anti-pirates?? Selling Collin to the pirates was a funny idea. What else did they do in pirate school, tho? um, Kate's breasts are SO different now. Nice push for her latest book behind the interview chair (note, I finished it and will be posting a review before too long). Aidan throwing up on himself was gross - no need to show all of that. Hannah's hair is shorter! Why was there a plug for Chilean Sea Bass? Are we going to see another gourmet cooking episode soon? Joel didn't throw, up, LoL. Interesting prayer in repeat-style.

Cake Boss
(S03Exx): not this week

Little People, Big World (S06E03 &S06E04): I've never heard of Open University, although it is in the Netherlands. Interesting that there was a rally in Portland because of Uganda's forced army. I was kinda shocked that Amy was reading from papers... kinda amateur. That was a lot of flying on Amy's 2-week trip! It's also clearly winter, judging by Amy's attire, although maybe she just went to one place that was cold. And she was wearing a strange scarf in the interview, too. Matt totally blamed the hamburgers package on Jacob. Matt & Amy were cute in this episode, what with the whipped cream and when she was sick, etc.
Matt bought ANOTHER car??? & a truck at that!! haha, just so he could drive to Utah to pick up a "souped-up ATV," LoL. Matt looked shocked when Amy said Zach was going to sleep in the car a lot. It was so funny to see Matt tell Zach he needed to find a girlfriend and get married, LoL. "Do you like little people girls? girls at all?" LoLoLoL!! I wonder why Amy didn't give Zach more advice for this trip. Camo seat covers?!? Why show the vomit?? On this show AND on Kate Plus Eight tonight! Are you kidding me?? That ATV is HUGE!!! That jet-boating thing was interesting. There were a TON of people in the Salman house!! Why didn't the family go to the cemetery with Matt to see the grave? Like, why did he and Zachary go alone??
Tuesday:
Melissa & Joey (S01E06):
haha, slambook is the old blog. haha on the backpack compliments thing. "where's Joe and why isn't he here making us dinner?" was even funnier coming from Mel's secretary. LMAO pole dancers being a lateral move to politics! "the situation room" haha. Mel's outfits are so hit-and-miss in my opinion. The eggs to cereal thing was amusing. "Burke, you're going to love me" "why, are you suddenly made of cookie dough?" hahaha. I still can't figure out where we are! Ryder sounds like a NYer, but I kinda don't think that. Awww... Ryder is giving his stuff to a kid whose life his parents ruined, LoL. Okay, if friends go to Minneapolis for the weekend, maybe we're in the midwest... Chicago, perhaps?
19 Kids and Counting (S05E08): Michelle had on a little extra makeup in the interview than she normally does. Why did the Duggars have such a difficult time pronouncing Bontrager? Was that an electric bread knife?? "I only remember being early once" LoL. haha, the Production Assistant is expecting. James was lobbying for "James" or "Jill" to be the name of his baby, LoL. I wonder why he favors Jill the most, LoL. How many children are there in the Bontrager family? Usually the show offers a count when there's a large family joining them. And strange show of the Swanson family... I guess just because they were there? LoL. Joseph and John-David playing ping-pong and basketball was an interesting feature. They say the younger kids know some sign language, but didn't show any signing. Jennifer needed to be interpreted by Jana instead of Michelle because Michelle couldn't figure out what she wanted, LoL. OMG that's a big bow on Mackynzie's head!! Monkey See Monkey Do baby reading program with her... wonder how that's going. I also wonder if Josh and Anna will homeschool... that hasn't been discussed yet I don't think. Nice new office Josh has there!! It's big!!
Teen Mom (S02E08):
Catelynn: Did the social worker or whoever really need to see the gift? Is that why it was unwrapped before then? Cute birthday phone call. Tyler & Catelynn were so happy together afterward.
Maci: that looks like a REALLY nice apartment!
Farrah: calling the health department on an OUTDOOR mouse?? Wait, she's going to her mom's to ask advice?? What kinda short-term lease did Farrah sign that she only has a month left already? Omaha Zoo... is that near or far from wherever in Iowa Farrah is? Weird that Farrah's mom told her how to use a garbage disposal when Farrah is in culinary, LoL. Her mom wasn't being that nice about their rental agreement, either, LoL.
Amber: No date, no song, but they really want dance lessons, LoL. I didn't need all of that topless Gary. I'm tired of Amber's crao. back and forth ALL the time with Gary.
If You Really Knew Me (S01E08): Neenah, WI. 30 miles south of Green Bay. 2200 students, predominantly white, lower to upper middle class. First stoner we've had on this show. And he's hardcore, too! The kids they featured were more interesting than normal. Funny demonstration of hugs, LoL. The stoner is trying to stay clean?? "I'm going to start saying 'hi' to people everyday," um, okay, whatever. I think Riccardo thought too much was going to result, LoL.
Minute to Win It (S02E15): Andy & Ed - military heroes who both lost legs. Andy is the bald one, Ed has the braces on his teeth.

Game 1: Stick Balls: Roll marbles along to get 5 stuck to some tape. They now have you roll them under a glass so you can't cradle them too far, LoL. Andy goes for it and gets it with 28 seconds to spare.
Game 2: Spin Doctor: Together, one spins a coin across a table, and the other needs to stop it upright (you know, like we used to do with quarters in elementary school, LoL). They get it pretty quickly.
Game 3: Snap, Crackle, Topple: 13 cereal boxes need to be lined up like dominoes to knock one box (elevated on a table) over so it can pour cereal into a bowl on the floor. Ed goes for it. The key is to make a step at the end with the boxes so that one box can hit the one on the pedestal. He does it with less than 10 seconds to spare. Only a few adjustments made after his original setup.
Game 4: Marbles Grande. As a team, toss white ping-pong balls into a hula hoop (5 feet away) to knock out 7 red balls. I think this is a hard game to play because of the weird lighting. They get it with 21 seconds to go.
Game 5: Egg Tower: 4 paper towel rolls and 4 raw eggs must be used to create one tower. Lots of supplies to work with, tho. Ed goes for it. He doesn't get it, tho Andy was doing a nice job of getting the crowd to cheer him on. He goes again, but can't get it to stand alone in time. So Andy tries it and gets it.
Game 6: Mouth to Mouth: Pull a dollar bill from between the mouths of two bottles (one stacked on top of the other). You get 4 tries and have to succeed once. Andy goes for it. He comes closest on his third attempt, but he ultimately loses.
Wipeout (S03E16 & S03E17): Policemen & firefighters, military, Good Samaritan, dog rescuer, mailman, air traffic controller... this is stretching the "America's Heroes" a little bit, don't you think? Very patriotic course - why not for 4th of July as well?? haha, I was totally pulling for the cop who owns the donut shop, LoL. I wanted to see more of the shape shifter wipeouts from the qualifier. haha, the fireman tries to help someone in the second round. WOW that's a lot of confetti! haha on Uncle Sam being down on the platform with the contestants. That final obstacle (beater-totter?) in the Wipeout Zone really seemed to have it in for the donut cop. It tried to do the same thing to Corey but he prevailed. And apparently they weren't originally planning to run two tonight, since the sign-off said "see you next week," LoL.
Rough Qualifier! The food baby was awkward. haha, "did we take a time machine back to the 80s? I would've gotten a perm!" I miss the obstacle where they're all on individual platforms and the sweeper arm comes around and tries to knock them off and they have to jump over it, LoL. Haha on someone trying to cheat... twice! haha the guy lounged on the banana and then fell off. The bad breath guy was weird, too. The Hulk Hogan thing got old, too. His quitting was unexpected! I was surprised Tesara's time ended up making it! I also miss the waterfall that they had to climb up after the catapult in the Wipeout Zone. All those balls in the spincycle drum was interesting. Tesara really struggled there. The added ball-throwing during the arms & dangerous certainly makes it a more difficult obstacle! [Season Finale]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season/Coming Up:
House, M.D. (season 7 starts September 20th)
How I Met Your Mother
(season 6 starts September 20th)
Better With You
(8:30 Wednesdays on ABC, starting September 22)
The Simpsons
(season 22 starts September 26th)
Family Guy
(season 9 starts September 26th)
Mr. Sunshine (new show, starts in the Fall on ABC)
South Park
(have not yet heard, but I assume October or so)
Burn Notice (back November 11)
Hot in Cleveland (back in January)
The Secret Life of the American Teenager (not sure)
Table for 12: (missing "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school")

16 and Pregnant
(unknown)
Huge
Futurama

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Black and White" ...and every color in between

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Lie to Me
(S02E22) [season finale]

"Black and White" opens with a white reporter meeting her source (a black guy) in a motel room. She phones Lightman on the way and assumes he's coming after leaving a message. Cal stops home in the middle of the day to find his daughter there with some guy when he gets the message. As Cal drags the boy out to take him home, his daughter utters the phrase that every parent loves to hear: "It's just sex, dad." (Let's hope the plan is to enlighten her by the end of the episode...)

On the way to the home of his daughter's new lover, Lightman stops at the motel room specified by his reporter friend. The locks busted and he finds the reporter dead on the floor. Lightman tells Emily to take her boyfriend home and calls the cops. Reynolds and his FBI boss (who turns out to be a prick) show up. He tells Lightman to not visit the mayor (the suspect in the case Julie the reporter was working on). Lightman gets a good line in: "Are you telling me I can't go and look the man in the eye?" "And do what?" "You must be joking."

In a somewhat brief conversation with the mayor, he takes the news of Julie's death well and Lightman pokes at him a bit. On their way out Lightman spots Julie's source, who takes off only to show up immediately at the Lightman's Group conference room. The source walks in and bares all as two detectives from Baltimore show up. As Lightman goes to hide the source, Foster shakes her head disapprovingly. We learn the Lightman Group's building is pretty big as Lightman follows the source down the 5 flights of stairs to lose the detectives. He brings Lightman up to speed on the Councilman who's after him for bailing on doing some dirty work for him.

Foster and Loker have disappeared and have seemingly gone to cut-off the source while Lightman and Torres talk tactics and run around the office. Lightman ends up in his office where he finds Emily and her still-unexplained boyfriend. Foster comes strolling up and Lightman updates her on his offspring's sex problem and asks for her help on the matter. (Great camera work this episode.) "No bees on toast?" - Damn odd phrase.

Foster and Lightman visit the councilman to actually question him about recent events. He tests Lightman, claiming he knew his books and all of his techniques. He gives Lightman a long handshake and Lightman clarifies his involvement with the FBI as a business arrangement only... Seems like we're setting up Reynolds to leave...

As Foster and Lightman head to the most awkard dinner of the year, he notices someone snooping around his house. He maces someone in the face and Foster flips on the lights to show someone with a gun on them. It turns out to be the Baltimore cops and Lightman had maced the female one. Foster and Lightman grill the now-confirmed-dirty Baltimore cops who work for the Councilman and the dinner is called off. Torres and Loker continue their awkwardness lately as Loker has procured all the dead reporter's files. Torres isn't impressed much to his dismay...

Torres and Reynolds go to visit the man the source claims to have threatened in the name of the Councilman. A 'representative' comes instead and they push to meet with the real character as Torres shows off her lie-detecting skills. Reynolds' boss shows up behind Lightman's desk and tries to pull him off the case by telling him to investigate a dead civil war re-enactor's death. If his doesn't investigate, his "relationship with the FBI is over." Reynolds then questions Lightman about whether he failed his boss in a security check based on evidence or if he wanted to several years before. Lightman takes a call and leaves, basically confirming Reynolds is gone from the Lightman Group.

Moving on to a train station, Lightman goes to meet his source to get a copy of the evidence. A fellow in a leather jacket shoots him before they can reach each other. Reynolds comes in jumping over benches and yells FBI, to which the gunman just turns and shoots him 3 times. Lightman tends to Reynolds as the gunman walks out. Lightman keeps pressure on the wound, right next to a wire. Reynolds' boss showed up to explain that Reynolds wanted to wear a wire to prove Lightman's innocence. Back at the office, Torres sees guilt on Lightman's face and asks if it was his fault. Cal's obviously feeling guilty over being mad at Reynolds when he was trying to protect him.

Cook shows up taking everyone by surprise. Lightman sets up Reynolds' boss in the lab as the interviewer, while they surprisingly interview Cook in the room outside. Piping the audio into the room so they can watch both reactions to the new information, Lightman then goes in to grill the FBI boss on nefarious dealing with prostitutes. He basically confesses noncommittally but claims it has nothing to do with the death of the reporter.

They show Reynolds in the ER on lifesupport (hey! Mekhi Phifer returns to the ER!) as Cal and Foster visit. Back at the office, Loker has all the reporter's stories spread across the floor searching for clues. The Councilman has come down to the Lightman Group's office on his own free will and they begin questioning him on his 'Fornicatorium.' Lightman describes the 14th amendment as a "gray area" (nice try to fit the title in...) before walking out to setup the FBI boss for a confrontation between the two. Cal then literally locks Cook and the Councilman in the clear-walled room together.

Cook start making accusations against the Councilman and Cal steps back in to interpret his facial reactions. Lightman then turns the tables on Cook to reveal how he set up Julie's death and used the source as his hitman. Apparently, Cook was doing this to get back at the Councilman for giving him a DUI and stealing his fiance some years earlier. Lightman enrages him to attack the Councilman who promptly gets him in a headlock (ex-cop...) and Lightman makes him feel worse about having Julie killed before the FBI boss is finally allowed in to arrest him. Before he leaves, the Councilman sees all of Julie's work sprawled out on the floor. Cal says it's all about him and says he's basically going after him.

Back to the sex storyline, Lightman tries to warn Emily about sex and she reveals they really didn't have sex, but she has already had her first time a while back. Cal's definitely shocked by this and basically looks defeated as the episodes ends on this.

Best line of the episode: "Emily's lost her virginity." "Lost it?" "Well, misplaced it, you know..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2 Years of Blogging: Finding It

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

In the final installment to celebrate two years of existence on the internet, I wanted to take a few minutes to look at how readers find TheTalkingBox.

Well, I've been posting links on facebook and twitter for a long time (since almost the very beginning). So a lot of people who personally know me have come across it that way. Particularly my friends who also watch a lot of television (I sadly have several friends who abhor it). After I bought the domain readership went up (anyone remember when it was amykb.blogspot.com, lol?). Getting the RSS on there helped maintain some readership (and it's actually a September goal to get an email-subscribe option up there, too). After my other blog started picking up traffic, there's been a little overlap in audiences (not much, tho). TheTalkingBox got its own twitter account this past June, and while that seems to have done very little, it's given me some good ideas for the future.

However, as one might guess, most people come to find this blog through search engines (primarily Google). At some point in this blog's early life (pre-domain), I started up some analytics (three different types), and I've gotten some really intriguing feedback about what searches are done where people end up actually clicking onto this site (it also gives me statistics on what queries were done where this blog showed up, but wasn't clicked on by the reader). So, let's amuse ourselves by taking a look at the most amusing searches.

"Where was Grounded for Life taped" (this yielded a three-minute, three-page perusal of the blog.)

"What season of Frasier was your favorite" (25 minutes. looked at 5 pages. and, in case you were wondering the answer, try here)

"What is the diameter of the circle on minute to win it" (I have no idea, people)

"What breakfast did Cal Lightman have in exposed?" (I don't even know if this is a GOOD question...)

"Watch beverly hills 90210 hazardous to your health" (haha, I did note it as a favorite episode, but clearly I don't know where you can watch it... I only found it in Spanish)

"Top five tv sluts" (got more than s/he bargained for... I posted the top 10) (there was also a "television sluts" search that found us, too)

"Things from the duggar book" (again, jackpot. whole post on this. Person spent 11 minutes on two pages.)

"Someone doing minute to win it high strung video" (no videos, folks. but I've talked about how the game is played on two different occasions.) (there have been TONS of searches for how the various games on that show are played)

I've had several searches where people are just looking for multiple shows at the same time (secret life cake boss 19 kids and counting) (secret life of the american teenager 19 kids and counting wipeout)

"russian refuse vodka pakistan clear plate" (seems like a really strange query, but it comes from a quote on Burn Notice)

"richards brady's 33rd birthday party on youtube" (another one where I know nothing about what they're going for)

"Ralph cake boss freak" (this one actually yielded 4 minutes of reading on 2 pages - I assume one was this)

"Rainbow brite" (actually got 3 pages' worth of reading. not even sure how just those two terms brought my blog to light, unless maybe they were looking for recent posts at the time or something?)

"quotes and analysis from the secret diary of ashley juergens" (haha, someone trying to read that book for a book report or something? They didn't read the blog, but this is as close as they would've gotten)

Multiple searches about the slanted floor on Mad About You.

"Lizzie mcguire movie drinking game" (haha, that sounds crazy. I haven't seen the movie, but maybe I should)

"Huge alistair and chloe mother wheel chair" (2 pages, 7 minutes, and I didn't mention all that much about their mother)

"hidden camera home harass steal fraud stalk phone phreak" (um those terms found this site??)

"Frasier episode daphne's diary" (23 minutes on 3 pages... and I have NO IDEA what they found with that query)

The "favorite episodes" thing was pretty popular overall.

"Emeril is dumb stupid who wants to be a millionaire" (again, NO IDEA why I came up on that one)

"Colon capital P right now its always sunny quotes" (I've only mentioned It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ONCE on this blog, but the searcher found 13 minutes of interest on a single page)

"Burn Notice drinking game" (and other variants) got quite a few hits, probably because of the live drinking game via twitter that we did.


So, there we have it. Isn't Google wonderful, LoL? Although, I have to admit that twitter has done wonders for all sorts of things in my life (tho primarily areas which are covered in my other blog). I really don't think too many of my real-life friends are regular readers, going by the demographics maps I look at, LoL. But that's fine. If anything, it makes sense, since I don't really discuss television with too many of my friends anymore (tho back in the glory days of 7th Heaven, ER, and Jenny Jones, I frequently watched shows and chatted about them with friends).

What shows get the most hits overall ? Cake Boss, Wipeout, Minute to Win It. I think Huge may get into this category, should it become popular next season, as there were quite a few searches for various things about the show toward the end of the summer run.

Readers, I'm curious. A) Did anyone reading today find this originally by going through one of the methods mentioned above? and, B) How did you find this site otherwise?

Monday, September 13, 2010

2 Years of Blogging: Highlights

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Yesterday, I did a brief history of this blog. I covered where I started, when it became television-only, and gave some other fun facts regarding things that I've done in the past two years. Today, we take a look at some of the highlights. This will include favorite posts, popular topics, and other interesting milestones.

Popularity is subjective, as we all remember from 7th grade, LoL. The cool kids always like one thing, but by the time the rest of us have gotten into it, the trend is over and they've moved on to something else. Blog topics are similar in that there are hot topics which everyone cares about (like Jon & Kate during the divorce scandal) for only a short period of time. In the niche of television, this idea is even more specific.

Hands down, no doubt about it, the most popular pages on this blog are the ones that are commentary of shows I watched that week. The highest hit in a single day for this is 70, although we have numbers in the 40s more regularly. This also doesn't count subscribers... only people who visit the actual website.

But, most of those entries are only read in the month after they're posted. And that makes sense, since by that point there are most likely newer episodes of the same show, and the freshness of spoilers and predictions of upcoming events are stale by then. So, what non-time-specific posts have been the most popular (this is also discounting the "upcoming holiday specials" posts that I did late last year, since those also yielded high counts but were ultimately temporal)? Here's the top ten most popular, deemed so by metrics.

10. the coolest dog you ever knew! This was from the short-lived television shows series that I did last year. This specific entry was about Foofur, who was a blue dog (cartoon, obviously) that ran on Saturday mornings. There is very little information about him on the internet, so I think that is one of the reasons why people have turned to this blog to read about him, LoL.

9. 8 Things I Learned from India Eisley. This is one of the more recent posts to make this list. It's a post about things I found interesting in a Q&A I took part in with India Eisley, who plays Ashley Juergens on The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

8. Top 10 Catchiest Cartoon Theme Songs. This was a really fun one to write, partly because it was so difficult to choose! And, it appears that I never did a live-action counterpart, so look for that before too long (I know! This whole "birthday" series is giving away so much future stuff, LoL!)

7. 21 Interesting Things about the Duggars Book. I was ultimately surprised to see this one so high up on the list. But, with so many magazine covers being devoted to baby Josie and the "shocking" possibility of a 20th baby, I imagine that the family became a little more popular for a while.

6. Top Ten TV Sluts. I tell it how it is, yo. (Top Ten Man-Whores would've been #9)

5. NBC's Minute to Win It. This was a one-show review I wrote after the show premiered in March. It describes how to play the games that we first saw, and talks a little about whether the contestants were successful at each.

4. Top 10 Worst Male Middle Names. Jasper, Jojo, Leakey, Geraldo, Musselini, Yancey, Beverly, Barbara, Allison, Muriel. Yep, that about sums it up! I have kinda wondered whether potential parents are the ones driving up this reader count or not, LoL. (Top 7 Worst Female Middle Names came in around #8, but I included it here)

3. The Top Ten House, MD Tweeters to Follow. This one is a pretty plain and simple list, but it was near the beginning of last season, so that's probably part of the reason it has drawn bigger numbers.

2. Top 20 Sibling Rivalries! This one was actually a two-parter. And, although technically the first part has gotten more reads than the second (by about 30 or so), they're both pretty good.

1. Top 8 Character Closets I'd Raid! This post is from July 2009, just a week before I moved from California to Pennsylvania. I made a bunch of photo collages for it, to demonstrate the various pieces in each character's wardrobe that I loved. This page has been viewed over 350 times.

Popularity aside, highlights about this blog include the different series of posts that I have done...
There was the long-running shows, where I focused on shows that had long television runs (some are still making new episodes to this day.
There was its counterpart, the short-lived shows, that were all canceled too soon.
There was the favorite holiday episodes, which spanned Halloween through New Years last year (and yes, I am thinking of doing something similar this year as well... as the holiday season *quickly* approaches)
And, currently running on Mondays, I am showcasing specific shows and talking about my favorite episode from each season.

Lastly, I did want to point out that I do have some "personal favorites" which are in a box to the right of this post (yes, subscribers, you'd have to go to the website to see that). That needs to be updated to reflect some of the more recent posts, so look for an updated list sometime in the very near future (read: hopefully this week but realistically this month).

Tomorrow will feature the final part in this series of celebration. I think it may actually be the most interesting feature as well... I'm going to look at the various ways that people have found this site.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2 Years of Blogging: History

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Happy Birthday, Blog! It's kinda hard to believe, but this blog turned 2 years old today! It originally wasn't all television, but the very first post sure was! It was about Cheers, since it was running on daytime television reruns when I first finished graduate school and before I started my first post-school job a month later. I thought it would be nice to go over the history of the blog and point out a few highlights along the way. I'm seeing this as a three-post series... so here goes!

I didn't really know where I was going with this when I started. The first post was about what I watched on TV that day. The third was about the upcoming fall season of television shows (I never did try out, nor do I even remember the premise for, Opportunity Knocks). Then I talked about television channels. And the writers' strike. The next few weeks were filled with all sorts of random things.

About six weeks in, I began dedicating one post each week to television: long-running shows. It began with Sesame Street. There was a time when Mondays were television and Fridays were technology. About seven months into the timeline, I participated in a Blogger Challenge, and that really made me focus. April 22nd, 2009 marked the first day of a strictly-television blog. That week also marked the start of weekly reviews. And, more or less, I've been following the same format ever since. We've thrown in some fun stuff, like more book reviews and a few interviews with actors, and we've had a couple of contests. We picked up a second contributor, and even partnered up with AndDrink to do a live drinking game.

Now is as good a time as any to announce that, last week, I came up with a new idea, that I hope will bring some more interest to the readership. A fourth post each week will be added to the agenda! The purpose of which is to provide quick thoughts and links to things that happened in television news that week. This may include, but is not limited to spoilers, lists posted on other sites, reviews, guest stars, video clips, interviews, and new tv-on-dvd issues. The first post has already started being drafted, and it may take a little time to figure out the best day for such posts to go out, but look forward to some informational tidbits later this week!

Tomorrow, tune in for some highlights of topics covered in the past two years!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Roloffs are Back!!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Monday:

Kate Plus Eight
(S01E05): Bald Head Island again. Mady and Cara have their own room and bathroom but since it's one big bed instead of two, they were upset?!? It was just REALLY windy! Like that time years ago (maybe their first beach trip?) when the sand was pelting the kids. Cool that they got to go out and watch the sea turtle nest. The turtles being born and subsequently moving was awesome!

The Secret Life of the American Teenager
(S03E14):
[Summer Season Finale] hahahahahaha, Ashley was hiding out at Ricky's!! Madison & Lauren's outfits are slightly different - Madison has a green button and Lauren's are both yellow. Actually, maybe they both have a green button and the lighting is just bad? Ashley just wants to find out how good sex is, so she knows why people take a ridiculous amount of risks. George's plan was to force himself into a marriage??
Cake Boss (S03Exx): not this week
Little People, Big World (S06E01 & S06E02): Matt had vertigo, just to catch you up. I've always wanted to watch one of those underwater body fat things. I would've liked seeing an explanation of how it works, exactly. Amy was in an interesting mood after being told she has 38% body fat, aka clinically obese. "not sure I can keep it a secret much longer" ...really? I think I could, LoL. Interesting to hear everyone's thoughts on the Achon butt. Matt was hilarious. Listening to Matt talk about some of the crazy experimental procedures they did on him as a teen was scary. Amy was looking ROUGH after that workout. I had been wondering when they went skydiving when I saw it in the opening credits, and now we find out!
I wonder what was on Zach's shirt that they had to blur! 50 pairs a week, hahaha. It was funny to watch Amy put on Matt's socks and his subsequent happiness over it. Interesting stuff Amy had! What movie was it that you could see the back of her head in?? Interesting quip about "back when we liked each other" LoL. There was a lot of stuff there in storage, but at least it was all organized! Wow that was a TON of VHS movies!! Darn rain! Wow, the guys are 20 and still letting Amy do just about everything for them. Wow! $1600 is a lot to make from a garage sale!

Tuesday:
Melissa & Joey (S01E05):
Funny story of how Mel got those tickets! haha, "she'll call you back when she wins the Nobel Prize." haha, Valium as an element. I like Brock from Reba playing Mel's dad. But the fact that he doesn't seem concerned about Lennox failing was odd. haha on the Rolex bribery!! The party was "tweeted," LoL. Oh my, that moving to DC thing came out of nowhere! lmao: "glasses only slow me down." Really interesting dinner discussion about what living in DC would be like for Lennox. "Your face is wasted stuck on your neck" lmaooooo. Love how Mel's dad got the Detroit tix!
19 Kids and Counting (S05E07): okay, Jana and John-David met the family in Michigan and returned home with them from there. Nice to hear from John-David this episode. 16,000 diapers since Josh was born... wow. They've broken 1,000 toys?? That seems high... I think I've only broken like 10 myself, LoL. John-David, Jana, Jill are doing a First Responders class. That's cool. Jana did some doula training. But she still has no idea about career-wise stuff. Jessa has taken over a lot of the teaching while Michelle is busy with Josie. They drive Josie all the way to Little Rock for all of her doctor visits?!? Different helpers went with Michelle this time. Maybe that's normal. Josie seems really belly-bloated. haha, next week we see the hand-off from Michelle being the only caregiver to Josie to the other kids being able to start working on it. Um, why does Michelle think it's neat that she's spent so much time with Josie that she knows what the baby needs when, LoL? It's called being a good mother.
Teen Mom (S02E07):
Catelynn: she's apparently a size 9, but was a 3 pre-pregnancy. Her mom is such a strung-out loser. and she reminds me of my mom in that one little remark makes her pissed for the rest of the day.
Maci: Interesting that if there's a court order or stuff going through the process, Maci can't move more than 100 miles away.
Farrah: she left Sophia on the counter?!??
Amber: Gary's friend sucks. I can't believe he made Gary do that to Amber.
If You Really Knew Me (S01E07): Denver School of the Arts: they have 10 paths. There's a lot of crying. Lots of body image issues. Lots of people not feeling like they fit in. Some who have had their passions destroyed from going to the school. I dunno... "I think I might take a couple of classes in college" / "that's really, really cool" um, no. first of all, the "really, really" is crap. second, get over yourselves. go to college. done deal. and that deal with mohawk boy and his father is WAY dumb.
Minute to Win It (S02E13): um, a Minnesota Vikings football player and a 49ers cheerleader... sounds like an interesting premise. Bernard & Amber. And the games they play are a little heavy on the pint-pong balls. This must have been difficult to tape early, since they talk about "the game this week," LoL.
Game 1: Floatacious: build a floating tower of five empty soda cans on a floating plate in a bowl of water. Amber goes for it and thought she finished, but it didn't stay for 3 seconds so she had to go again, and finished around the 17-seconds-left mark.
Game 2: Ping Tac Toe: Playing together, bounce ping pong balls into water-filled glasses, trying to get a tic-tac-toe. The first three balls that make it into the glasses make the tic-tac-toe.
Game 3: Marbles Grande: Playing together, toss white ping-pong balls five feet from six red ones, knocking them all out of the circle (with raised lip) that they're in. They get it with 48 seconds to go!
Game 4: Bouncer: Playing together, bounce a ping-pong ball into each of eleven glasses (each). Bernard finishes his with 30 seconds to go, Amber finishes with 21 seconds to go.
Game 5: Office Tennis: Together, the team each has a clipboard and they volley a paperball back and forth as they move down a line to get the ball in a wastebasket. Several tries and 44 seconds later, they completed the game.
Game 6: Egg Zone: Put a football on a tee, then balance an egg on top. Do it 4 times. Bernard goes for it. He gets the first egg with 40 seconds to go, the second with 28 seconds to go, and doesn't finish the final two (tho he does attempt each separately). He goes again and the first one was FAST. The second was done slower, and up at 32 seconds left. The third had 10 or 11 seconds to go, and the final one didn't stay up long enough, being put up with only a second or two to go. Okay, so he tries a third time. The first two prove to be easy, the third up with exactly 30 seconds to go, and the fourth one goes up fast, too.
And so they passed the mark where I thought they'd fail.
Game 7: Spoon Frog: Playing together, each person must use a spoon to make another spoon bounce into a glass. Bernard finishes with 20 seconds to go, Amber finishes with 15.
Game 8: Ping Tac Toe: Alternate throwing orange and white balls, trying to get a tic-taco-toe into water-filled glasses (again).
um, we're out of time, to be continued tomorrow.
Wipeout (S03E15): Those velvet ropes are certainly adding a degree of difficulty! David totally had that final gauntlet, he should have won.

Wednesday:
Minute to Win It (S02E14):
continuation of the previous episode, picking up on...
Game 8:
Ping Tac Toe: Alternate throwing orange and white balls (keep throwing one color until it lands in a glass, then switch colors), trying to get a tic-taco-toe into water-filled glasses with either the orange or the white. Amber goes for it, and fails. In fact, she only ever got 2 balls in. I don't know why we couldn't have squeezed this into the previous episode!!

Now we've got a new set... two football platers- one a Saint (P.T.), the other a Viking (Visanthe)
Game 1: Buckethead: bounce ping pong balls off a wall and into a bucket on your head - each person must do it twice. They finish in just 10 seconds.
Game 2: Face the Cookie: Both of the guys must put a cookie on their foreheads and and use their facial muscles to get it into their respective mouths.
Game 3: hut, Hut, Hike: Playing as a team, snap ten rolls of TP into a hoop, fifteen feet away. It amused me that they were hardly even looking after the hike. At the half-way mark, they had 6 through the hoop. They finished with 15 seconds to go.
Game 4: Junk the the Trunk: 8 ping pong balls in an empty tissue box that's attached to your backside. The goal is to get all of the balls out without using your hands. The guys did not seem amused that this was the next game. The hop all over the place, and it takes until 2 seconds to go before they finish!
Game 5: Egg Roll: Use a pizza box to fan three raw eggs into a certain area. Viking boy took it and he came dangerously close to letting it go outside of the circle. He got them all pretty close in the first 30 seconds, but actually getting them all into the square was hard, and he failed by the slightest bit. Like true athletes, they "challenged" it and asked for a replay. No luck. He tries again, this time getting the first egg complete in before moving the other two towards the square. He gets it with 5 seconds to spare. "
Game 6: Split the Uprights: Flick two paper footballs through a set of cup-towers and into a punchbowl. The Saint plays, and gets the first one in about 20 seconds. The second is in with 27 seconds to spare.
Game 7: Don't Blow the Joker: the deck is set up on a bottle. Blow off all of the cards except the bottom one: the Joker. You have five tries. The Viking goes, knocks over the first three pretty quick and bumps the fourth before he even tries it, but ends up losing all around. Saints Guy goes next, spends a LOT of time on the first one but inevitably loses that one. The second goes quick, the third quicker, and he has less than 10 seconds to try the remaining two - which both fall over.
The most interesting part about this episode was seeing the "long-lost games," LoL.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season/Coming Up:
House, M.D. (season 7 starts September 20th)
How I Met Your Mother
(season 6 starts September 20th)
The Simpsons
(season 22 starts September 26th)
Family Guy
(season 9 starts September 26th)
Mr. Sunshine (new show, starts in the Fall on ABC)
South Park
(have not yet heard, but I assume October or so)
Burn Notice (back November 11)
Hot in Cleveland (back in January)
Table for 12: (missing "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school")

16 and Pregnant
(unknown)
Huge
Futurama

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Favorite Episodes: Family Matters

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Family Matters
, which is apparently known to today's youngsters as "The Urkel Show" (I don't know that ANY of the elementary schoolers I taught this summer EVER called it "Family Matters"), ran for nine seasons from the late 80s through most of the 90s. It was a spin-off from Perfect Strangers (which I am slowly in the process of seeing every episode of), and had quite a popular life. For the past ten years or so, near-constant airings of old episodes on channels like TBS and Nick-at-Nitehave almost flooded the interest market... only the first season has been released on DVD in the United States, and that was just this summer!

The show never broke into the Top 10 shows of a season, but generally hovered around #30 (except the final season, which aired on CBS instead of ABC, where the show finished at #99!), and the good plotlines came and went (probably because certain characters gained popularity and hence more episodes were devoted to the likes of Myra and Stefan, among others). I think the best seasons were 3-7 or so. There are some fantastic things in the early seasons as well, but the last couple are really hard to watch, and coincidentally, I don't seem to catch them in reurns as much, either.

Season 1: "Mr. Badwrench" (S01E08) Carl sets out to renovate a bathroom for his mother while she's out of town. The job turns out to be much larger than he was expecting, and Eddie isn't the greatest help. Harriette keeps suggesting that they hire a contractor, but Carl is dead-set on completing the job himself. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Season 2: "Busted" (S02E19) Eddie and Urkel go to an underground casino (fronted by a bakery) to obtain enough money to fix the car (Eddie got into YET ANOTHER accident). But, the funnier storyline is that Carl mixes the ashes of Harriette & Rachel's great aunt with those in the fireplace and has to act like nothing happened... Part 1 | Part 2 [I'm not counting on this working very long, it's only been up a couple weeks]

Season 3: "Born to be Mild" (S03E09) The Dragons gang makes an appearance. First, they tear up Rachel's Place, the diner that Rachel runs, then they beat up Eddie pretty badly. When Eddie enters the diner all bloody, it shocks me... every time. Urkel ends up being the savior, wearing a wire and infiltrating the gang to get them to confess. [no video]

Season 4: "Mama's Wedding" (S04E19) Estelle and Fletcher are preparing to marry, but Carl wants them to have a much larger affair than they desire. They eventually all come to terms on the small ceremony, but it ends up being a rocking event anyway... Waldo put the wrong date on house party invitations, and Eddie's friends show up at what was supposed to be an adult-free house. [no video]

Season 5: "It Didn't Happen One Night" (S05E02) Laura misses the bus with her cheerleading friends, so she can't go to Cincinnati for the competition unless she finds another ride. Urkel must take her, but Laura is constantly annoyed with his problematic vehicle. They end up breaking down and staying the night in a run-down motel, where Steve finally confronts Laura over her behavior. Meanwhile, Carl is upset about the public displays of affection that Fletcher and Estelle show one another... as he never kisses Harriette in public. [no video]

Season 6: "The Gun" (S06E15) In perhaps one of the most memorable episodes of the series, this "very special episode" centers on gun safety and control. It all starts when Laura gets pretty beat-up when some gang members want her jacket. She begins to fear for her safety, and considers buying a gun. Steve begs her not to, and we cut to a shooting at school: rather than beating the next girl up, she gets shot when she won't give up her shoes. Then we get a fun rap by Steve, and Laura and Steve head up a "turn in your weapon" drive. Here's the rap & the PSA:

Season 7: "The Naked and the Nerdy" (S07E02) The title comes from the storyline where Laura and Steve see one another naked when they both go to take showers. However, the amusing part of the episode is the plot where Carl is holding onto a diamond bracelet for a neighbor, so the neighbor's wife doesn't find it. Harriette ends up finding it, and assumes it's a very expensive anniversary gift for herself! Carl has to come clean. Part 1 | Part 2 [note, sound quality is poor]

Season 8: "Father Time" (S08E16) I'm always a fan of alter-life episodes, where we see "what could have been" (except for the one in Friends... that two-parter is weird). In this one, Steve and Carl go back to the 70s and Carl gives himself some stock tips (I *believe* they were Microsoft & Holiday Barbie, but not positive) and ends up being the richest guy ever. But he has no kids (and they act like Judy never existed, as they only mention Laura and Eddie not being born). Plus, Harriette and he are getting a divorce. It's a very sad alternative, but it's interesting nonetheless. [no video]

Season 9: "Lost in Space, Part I" (S09E21) This is the first half of the series finale. Eddie, who dropped out of college a while back to become a cop, has really started worrying Harriette, so she gets him assigned to parking meter violations. He ends up getting shot anyway, but lives because he had a bullet-proof vest. Meanwhile, NASA buys the patent to one of Urkel's artificial-gravity inventions, and wants Urkel to go up into space and test it with the astronauts. He does, but problems occur and he ends up possibly trapped in space (he makes it home in part II). [no video]

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Things I Learned from Joey Lawrence, Part II

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I posted yesterday about some of the things I learned from a Q&A with Joey Lawrence. I thought he had some really interesting things to say, particularly about the way he lives his private life. Today, we take a look at some of the things that he talked about regarding his new show with Melissa Joan Hart, Melissa & Joey. We're now four episodes in, so it's not too late to tune in and have some good laughs; it comes on ABCFamily on Tuesdays at 8 Eastern/7 Central. (It also tends to repeat at 10pm, so if your 8pm is booked like mine, catch it a couple hours later.) And, in case you were wondering about which questions I asked, because of the way many of the questions were going, I chose to use my question and follow-up on his personal life: I asked about if/what he likes to cook and since he enjoys the live audience, how he felt about doing Chicago. However, I think there are many interesting facts to learn below, too.

- the original names for the main characters were Jack and Annie. When they went with Melissa and Joey, the marketing people pointed out that it would be easier for the population to find the show with simple names, like The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and Seinfeld.

- He wrote the theme song, and you can hear a little bit at the end, "I guess you're stuck with me." The whole thing is going to be up on iTunes at some point. A (possibly reggae?) remix of it will be on Joey album, due out early 2011 (remember when he did a couple albums way back when??). He's been working with Matthew Gerard on the album, if you're familiar with him.

- when asked what he likes best about his current character, he said that Joe's a "guy's guy" and that he's "brutally honest." He was hoping to bring back the non-pc, smart, honest man. Actually honesty is possibly the only thing Joey has in common with Joe; he says that the character is very different from him, but that's what he enjoys playing.

- I'm particularly excited that both Matt and Andy (the younger Lawrence brothers, who co-starred with Joey in previous projects like Brotherly Love, Horse Sense, and Jumping Ship) are planned to guest on Melissa & Joey, albeit separately and not as Joe's brothers. Other guest stars coming up? Well, there's a Dancing with the Stars crossover September 28th. Oh, and Joe's ex-wife will end up being played by someone cool, too.

- he likes the live studio audience. He considers it a "rush" and likes knowing if a joke works (great audience response) or if it doesn't work (so you can change it).

- I had read on his Twitter that he tore his cornea on the set last week. Turns out, a script got jammed into his eye accidentally, and his vision will be blurry for another few weeks! And, speaking of Twitter, he mentioned that he's a "techno-idiot" but he got pushed into Twitter by his friends.

- Should this show go for more than five years, the Joe character is going to have to make a tough decision: at that point, he could legally go back to trading.

- he called romantic tv comedies "warm chocolate chip cookies" because "it makes you feel good." Similarly, he recognizes that the Mel and Joe characters will probably get together, but they want to put that off for as long as possible since it "starts to signify the show wrapping itself up."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Things I Learned from Joey Lawrence, Part I

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Last week I posted two entries about a Q&A with Melissa Joan Hart. This week I was part of a Q&A with the her counterpart on the show Melissa & Joey, Joey Lawrence. Again, I decided to go with two posts: this first one covers his personal life, other projects, and past shows. Tomorrow's entry will address Melissa & Joey-specific thoughts & ideas.

- he went to the same private school in PA (K-12) the entire time... he'd fly back every 3 weeks as a teenager and whatnot... he never did the homeschool thing.

- he believes that 16-year-olds are "baked," as in, you are who you are going to be. "It's just a matter of final toppings on the sundae." If I was the same me from 10 years ago, I'd be completely different. I would be a pharmacist for crying out loud, LoL!

- he turned down some movie roles when he was doing Blossom because he didn't want to get burned out as a teenager, and possibly get over-exposed and never have work again. One, maybe two of those films turned out to be big hits. ...You know, I personally have never seen Blossom, but it must have been amazing... Joey said he was probably the most successful 16-year-old in the world at the time.

- he's always tried to work hard, and follows his grandfather's advice, "try to make as many of the right decisions as you possibly can."

- I was delighted when Joey said that he thinks "every good dad and husband is part nanny." Excellent forward-thinking! Similarly, it was refreshing to hear him say, in referring to managing the series and his family, "I'm not any different than any guy who's an upstart lawyer or an investment banker or a construction worker or a teacher or anything like that." Sidenote, he also tries to keep his private life private, which seems to be hard to do when you see the crazy tabloids and paparazzi these days!

- he likes to cook. He mentioned his "baked salmon with a little bit of mushroom couscous stuff and roasted cranberries on top," lasagna, spaghetti, grilled chicken. He likes to experiment, as there are three or four things the he makes "awesome," but he's constantly looking for new things to try.

- after doing Billy Flynn for four months in Chicago, he now has "mad props" for stage actors. He knows how draining it is to do eight shows a week, and "it kicked (his) butt."

- one of the several upcoming films for Joey is Havana Heat, which is similar to The Expendables in that it's an action film. He plays a cop. Wesley Snipes is also in it. Another film (which he wrote) is called Mr. Everything, and he describes it kinda as Doc Hollywood meets Sweet Home Alabama (which means it'll be a big hit in my house!). But, as a whole, he doesn't have all of the patience needed for writing.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bye, Huge! Where's Cake Boss?

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Monday:

Kate Plus Eight
(S01E04): the edge of Hades?? Isn't that a little rough? I'm curious as to which train station that is, LoL. Hmmm. they took Amtrak. I always take NJTransit into NYC, LoL. Kate didn't seem to enjoy the train, LoL. Two doesn't seem like enough adults for six kids in New York City. "you have to eat candy to get ice cream" - what kinda logic is that? When one of the twins doesn't like Kate's plan, she tells the girl to shush... kinda strange. Kate sprinting for the bus was funny, too. They were dripping hardcore, tho. Cara wanted a milkshake or bust, LoL. I feel like Kate wasn't keeping a close eye on her kids in Chinatown. And her constant heat complaints got old. haha, Kate didn't know what dim sum was. Seeing the forks at a dim sum place also threw me for a second there, LoL. I wonder if they took subways or taxis to get from one area to another... I doubt Kate walked from Chinatown to Central Park! Pennsylvania is not THAT much cooler than NYC, people. Of course you're going to win whack-a-mole, Kate! Your kids are small and have slower reflexes than you! Why didn't some of the kids want to be in the photo? I wonder if they're calling the kids by numbers now to avoid them being noticed as quickly by others? Watching Kate climb the ladder in heels was strange. I also wasn't sure how I felt about the reference to the Duggars. hahaha, Kate telling the crowd to email her their pictures so they get a good one was funny. If you're not allowed to film at the pedestal, why are they showing "personal footage" ??

The Secret Life of the American Teenager
(S03E13):
I think the actress who plays Amy is getting much better at acting, LoL. Henry and Alice are weird. Leo is looking mighty tan. Grant's mom looks really young, and Grace's hair looks weird. Random sleep-speak by Tom. Random that Ashley was sitting outside Amy's room, listening. And I can't believe she STILL likes Ricky! Anne really gave Ricky a chewing-out. This episode is really too Ricky-Amy heavy. What's with all the group-sleeping again?? Ricky acted REALLY weird when he brought John in the next morning.
Cake Boss (S03Exx): not this week

Huge (S01E10): I can't believe Will took Amber to the locked cafeteria! Salty knows she's the only one who knows where the key is kept, so they'll know immediately who it was! Amber chewing the brownie but then spitting it out was gross, and I liked how Will called her on it. At least we see some overweight parents this time. I'm glad that Becca finally confronted Chloe. I wonder why Chloe & Alistair's parents left early... That's a big gap in children... a 15-year-old and someone in their thirties... Alistair cutting his shirt and putting on that necklace was an interesting scene. Again, strange double meanings in most everything Dr. Rand says. I don't know whose face was more shocking when Ian & Amber showed up holding hands: Will's or George's! Impressive that Becca confronted Will, too.
I feel like there were more, shorter segments this week instead of more longer ones.

Tuesday:
Melissa & Joey (S01E04):
haha Easter joke. That's a GIANT closet. I like how Joe had to remind Mel to ask who the guy was that she just said Lennox could see the following night. "tall, dark, and neck-deep in law school debt," haha. that closet became GORGEOUS. I want one. I'm ready for a Ryder storyline...
19 Kids and Counting (S05E06): "Life in the Pond" is their cartoon of choice. It's a radio show first, and the Duggars will get to participate. This is their first time voicing characters, but they've been in almost 100 TV programs!! I wouldn't have guessed half that many! I thought it was funny that he knew Jackson was a ham and wanted him to have a big part, and then found out the kid can't read yet, LoL. Funny how they got the littlest kids to be able to participate. I was surprised that they splice together so much of it later instead of having the characters read back-to-back. Although, the guy did say that he thought it would take a lot of "takes" so I imagine that was part of this strategy. Why in the world did they bring a moving truck of that size?? Oh goodness, apparently they did need it! They moved 5 tons of stuff... when I moved to California for the first time I think we moved like 800 or 900 pounds, LoL. I wonder how they decided who to bring to Little Rock to move Michelle and Josie... and SURPRISE! Jana is home!
Teen Mom (S02E06):
Catelynn: her mom sucks.
Maci: transferring with 9 credits, LoL. you mean, starting over, more or less?
Farrah: I kinda want her to be written off, LoL.
Amber: interesting that Amber really wants the diploma instead of a GED. Amber was awkward in that counseling office about her academic future. She wants to get the GED and then GO BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL??
If You Really Knew Me (S01E06): Paris, Texas. Drill team is more popular than cheerleaders? And cheerleaders actually have a leadership role. 900 students. self-segregates. the woman called adolescents "creatures" ....um? really, Jock, you think stereotyping is over now??
Minute to Win It (S02E11): this started at some point before we got it broadcast, because of Obama. They were on that game where they had to organize the cans of pennies by holding/weighing/shaking them. The girls seemed really upset that they cut to a commercial just before they found out if they got the jars all correct.
Game 5: Triple Pong Plop: Team game. Bounce ping pong balls on three dinner plates and into a bucket. Do it FOUR times between the two of you. They got it pretty fast.
Game 6: Separation Anxiety: 50 M&Ms have to be sorted into 5 cups. Use one hand and put them all in the right places in 60 seconds. The cups are now labeled so you can't choose your own order. They both kept saying the colors together and went down the line, "red, orange, yellow, green, blue" so smart. She finishes with 8 seconds left.
Game 7: CD Dominos: 20 plastic CD cases have to be placed around so the last one lands in a bucket. She messes up and knocks some over the wrong direction with less than ten seconds to spare, and coincidentally doesn't have time to fix it. The second try runs out of time to set-up, and it doesn't work, anyway. It doesn't happen on the third try for them, either, and they're out.
Wipeout (S03E14): all ladies tonight. Obama cut in and made it start late, and subsequently I missed the last person in the Wipeout Zone and part of the second-to-last person. All that rain is ridiculous!! awesome faceplant wipeout immediately I didn't realize high school students were ever on this show, LoL. We have twins here, LoL. A famous trapeze artist? How hurting for ratings are we?? The last girl was pretty darn good on the qualifier, LoL. Interest blue-and-white hibiscus wetsuit...err, whatever. Nothing over-exciting about the second round. The real estate woman was REALLY bad.

Wednesday:
Minute to Win It (S02E12):
wait, she's a press secretary by day and an ATLANTA FALCONS CHEERLEADER by night? That's original. He's a family man who delivers soda. They're a random pairing, this Natalie and Scott. They are hilarious together. I've also decided to start guessing how far each (pair of) contestant(s) will make it when we first meet them. I put these folks at game 7, and they made it to 7!
Game 1: Candelier: Stack a tower: one can, a plate, two cans, a plate, three cans, a plate, four cans, a plate, five cans. It has to stand for three seconds. Scott goes for it, and finishes with 21 seconds to spare. His technique really was putting an entire layer on the plate at once, so it was never unbalanced: smart.
Game 2: Face the Cookie: both play, put a cookie on each forehead, and get it into your mouth without touching it. You can use another cookie if yours falls. She gets it early on, he struggles and drops quite a few before being victorious with like 6 seconds to go.
Game 3: Yank Me: place index cards between four plastic cups, making a tower. THEN, yank out the cards so the cups fall onto each other. Scott builds it fine. He yanks 'em fast and he's dine fast!
Game 4: Magic Carpet Ride: Scoot around the floor track by inching along on a bath mat. They do it.
Game 5: Bouncer: Team game. Operate a ping pong ball assembly line by bouncing a ping pong ball into each of 24 glasses. That's 12 each. He's much better than she is, but she gets the hang of it after a while and flies for a while. He finishes, she has 4 glasses left, and finishes with 22 seconds to spare!
Game 6: Defying Gravity: keep three balloons in the air for a minute. And stay in a certain area. Twenty seconds in it started getting harder. He had them more organized halfway through. I was worried when he had about 15 seconds to go, but he makes it!
Game 7: High Roller: One cup, one hand. Scoop dice, swirl them around, make stacks of three, four, and five dice by lifting the cup off of them. Stacks have to hold 3 seconds. This game looks insanely difficult! The video clip shows people doing much higher stacks on uneven surfaces, but this is freaking nuts! Although, maybe if I took the time to try it, I wouldn't feel that way. She struggles with 3, I think because she doesn't make a nice circle to get centrifugal force going. Scott cheers her on nicely, but she never even gets the 3. They decide Scott should try next. He gets the 3 on pace. The 4 is harder, he keeps getting only 3 of them. :( He's immediately ready to do it again. He gets the 3 pretty fast. The 4 gives him the same problem: three keep stacking but not the fourth. He gets the 4 with 7 seconds to go, but the 5 just runs out of time.

Thursday:
Futurama
(S06E12): season finale and 100th episode. Heart medicine via souffle?? The "running start" thing was stupidly funny. I did laugh at the "I'll take it here, under my fork." What was with the ton of dalmatians??!? (This was kinda funny for me to watch, as I had DVR'd it and watched it right after seeing some of Titanic on TV.) Funny cut at Safeway ice cream. hahaha, "Landboat." The way the Astor storyline fit in at the end was weird, but I think my favorite part of the episode was when they added in a random demand just so they could drop it in the negotiations.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season/Coming Up:
Little People, Big World (season 6 {the final season!} starts next week!)
House, M.D.
(season 7 starts September 20th)
How I Met Your Mother
(season 6 starts September 20th)
The Simpsons
(season 22 starts September 26th)
Family Guy
(season 9 starts September 26th)
Mr. Sunshine (new show, starts in the Fall on ABC)
South Park
(have not yet heard, but I assume October or so)
Burn Notice (back November 11)
Hot in Cleveland (back in January)
Table for 12: (missing "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school")

16 and Pregnant
(unknown)