Monday, January 31, 2011

How Good is YOUR Memory?

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

When I was in elementary school, and even before, (short-term) memory games were the hip thing. Everyone had a card set where you flipped them and matched them. Go Fish was partly based on memory (which I didn't get when I first learned to play... thanks, Nana, for pointing that one out to me!). More than one birthday party pulled that 20-items-on-a-tray, a-minute-later-take-it-away, name-the-items-on-the-tray game. And there were certainly others we well. Nowadays this is probably not as cool, since kids have video games coming out the wazoo, but twenty years ago this is what we did for fun.

Coincidentally, (Classic) Concentration stopped making new episodes nearly twenty years ago. Let's take a look at this almost-forgotten gem. (That apparently not everyone liked. I found it as the #25 worst game show here.)

Brief history: Concentration has had three basic incarnations, the first began in 1958, running for 14 years on NBC daytime television (filmed almost entirely at Rockefeller Center). This resulted in 3,770 telecasts! During those years, a primetime version was attempted twice - first in 1958, then in 1961. Neither really worked... the first lasted a month, the second five months. The show eventually faced cancellation because it began losing its audience... to The Price is Right. The first rebus was "It Happened One Night," and the last was "You've Been More than Kind." Less than six months after the first series ended, the show was re-created in California, going another five years (1973-1978). In 1985, the game was completely changed to try and get a primetime slot, but the pilot was not picked up. It was later re-vamped as Classic Concentration, and Alex Trebek hosted it from 1987-1991, with reruns going through the end of 1993. Allegedly, other re-vamps have tried to develop around this concept, but NBC (owner of the copyright) just hasn't green-lit anything. The show began in black-and-white, but eventually became colorized. Notably, the producer, Norm Blumenthal, created every single one of the rebus puzzles (7,300 of them!) for the game AND all 24 editions of the board game!

The game: It was a 30-minute format with two contestants (one came from winning the day before), and a 30-square board. Each of the squares had 3 sides, and all began with the numbered side showing. A player called out a number, it flipped to the second side, the prize. The player called out another number, it also flipped to the second side. If the pair matched, the player "won" that prize for now, and the third side of each was revealed - pieces of the rebus puzzle. If you got the pair, you played again (or tried to solve the puzzle, then played again). If you missed, it was the other player's turn. If there were only two numbers left and the prizes didn't match (because of wild cards, mentioned in a second), they got turned over so everyone could see the full puzzle. Whoever solved the rebus won all of his/her prizes - the other player went home with the board game for Concentration. If you had no non-gag prizes, you won $100. Of the 30 squares, only 20 were prizes, meaning there were 10 possible prizes (nothing major. One prize might be worth $1,000, a couple around $500, but most were valued under $100). The remaining 10 squares contained: two "wild" cards that matched with anything (if you picked two wilds, you got extra prizes, like cars), two "take a gift" cards that allowed you to pick a prize from the other player if you got both, and six "give a gift" cards that forced you to give up a prize to the other player if you got both. Also, of the 10 prizes, 2 or 3 would be gag gifts, both for fun and because it helped you out if you had to "give a gift," haha. Oh, and you could "pass" if you uncovered one card and didn't want to uncover another. If neither person could get the rebus after one guess each, they got a new board, could carry over up to 3 prizes each, and played again. This sometimes forced the game to go into another episode. You could win up to 20 games in a row before you couldn't be on it anymore.

Notable changes to the way the game is played: When the game moved to California in 1973, there were a lot of changes - no more carry-overs to the next episode, and no more "returning champions." Plus, rather than have three pairs of "give a gift" and one pair of "take a gift," it was now the other way around. There were also no more gag prizes. Plus, if you had no prizes when you solved the puzzle, you got $250 instead of $100. Matching the two "wild" cards netted you $500 instead of a car (and this went down to just $250 after 1975 added two more "wild" spaces). And, at the start of the first two rounds, four prizes were quickly shown, to give you a "head start" on knowing where some of the matches would be. If there was time for a third round, contestants played for money rather than prizes, so if there wasn't enough time to finish the game, whoever had matched the most money (which was listed in foreign currency but awarded in American dollars) would just win that. The winning contestant from all previous rounds went on to Double Play, and had 10 seconds to solve another rebus. If you solved it, you got $100, and the chance to win a new car by solving ANOTHER rebus within the remaining time (so if the first rebus took you 7 seconds, you had 3 seconds to go for the car). In 1975, only 9 prizes were on the board, and they went down to two pairs of "take a gift" matches to make room for 4 "bonus number" cards - if you got a pair of those you could call out a third number if your NEXT two picks didn't match. And, "forfeit a gift" was removed, using those two squares as "free look" spaces, which disappeared when selected to reveal more of the rebus.
Starting in fall 1977, players "chose" what they'd play for by matching prizes in a 9-square board, which had one "wild." The first "match" was what they'd play for. If a "wild" was revealed, they'd play for everything seen up to that point.

I'm going to skip what was done for the 1985 pilot that never got picked up and jump right into the changes that were made for Classic Concentration. The show was now done through CGI, so no more panels that rotated. There were now 25 squares instead of 30, and boards had 2-3 wild cards (getting two in one turn gave you $500... getting three in one turn gave you $1,000. similarly, all of the prizes were now worth more... instead of accumulating $2,000-3,000 per round, it could be $15,000 or more per round). And, when you used a wild card, the "natural match" card also disappeared to reveal more of the puzzle. There were originally no "forfeit" or "take" squares, but a few months into the run, "take" was put back in - just two squares. Three months after that, two more "take" squares were added - but two were green and two were red, and you had to match the color to "win" them. AND, you didn't have to use it right away - you could use it at any point in the round before the puzzle was solved... AND you could use it to "protect" one of your own prizes rather than take one of the other person's if you wanted. Starting in 1989, there was also a jackpot that accumulated (starting with $500). If the player who found the prize was not the one to solve the puzzle, the jackpot went back into the next game, and added on another $100 each time it went un-won. Oh, and the winning contestant (or Alex Trebek) got up and explained the rebus to the audience, LoL. The winner of the regular round went on the bonus round, which consisted of 15 squares, which had the names of 8 cars (7 matches and a matchless decoy). If you matched all 7 pairs within 35 seconds, you got to keep the last car matched. If you didn't win, the next person to try got 5 extra seconds, which kept accumulating. In the first year or two, it was one-puzzle-then-bonus-round repeated (and you had to lose the puzzle twice to be eliminated), but after that it was switched up to multiple puzzles before the bonus round.

Special contestants: The had a Boy Scout Week and a Girl Scout Week. There were charity games played by celebrities. They also had a Tournament of Champions for the top 4 players of the year to win a trip around the world.

Favorite Rounds: I honestly can't say that I was particularly partial to any of the rounds, but man do I wish I could have won a fur coat on this show! It's such a rare prize nowadays (remember when you could win it on Wheel of Fortune, too?), but they gave them away all the time (from what I remember, LoL)! I guess I actually liked watching the players compete in the final round more than I liked the first couple rounds (even though there was no rebus in the final - well, in the version I'm old enough to have seen!), because I liked to watch the people win the cars, LoL.

My take: I'd compete if given the opportunity, and while my family and friends might think I'd excel, I'm really kinda torn if I'd do all that great. I have a very visual memory, and I used to be really good at a match-game that PackRat used to have. But, really, I think my skills would better be used at the rebus puzzles. My brother and I only saw a handful of episodes on television, but we did have the NES game, and we played that rather often for a while.

Did you ever watch Concentration or Classic Concentration? Are you better at matching or solving rebus puzzles?

Oh, and if you've never watched the show, take a look... this is a game from the early part of the run, since it goes puzzle-bonus-puzzle-bonus, complete with old-school commercials, LoL!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Say Hello to the Kitchen Boss!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Sunday:

Bridalplasty (S01E09):
Jenessa is already talking about getting Cheyenne knocked off, LoL. And she wants Allyson to think that she and Dominique care about her opinion, when they clearly don't. Jenessa was a nanny??!?!? Allyson can't stand Jenessa. The nose will take another three months to be 30-40% better?? Many brides and grooms go about 20% over budget, and the average wedding in America is $25,000. Jenessa doesn't talk about her budget, but she mentions that she knows that she can get twice as much in Indiana than she could in New Jersey, so she'd have it there. Allyson had a $25,000 budget, then a $20,000 budget, and now not much of a budget at all. It pisses Jenessa off to hear about it. An office building?? for a wedding?? Dominique would take out a loan for her wedding? of $7,000? A destination wedding? in this situation? Cheyenne already has a venue and date, but says nothing else. Jenessa comment about fearing that Allyson would take the money and run was odd. I'm sick of Jenessa at this point. Each bride will draw a question (mostly things that they learned throughout the past weeks), choose someone to answer it, and if she gets it wrong, she loses a rose. The first person to lose three roses goes home. Cheyenne wants it to be fair, Jenessa says something about taking turns, Cheyenne wants to study together. Jenessa gets out of the room and tells Dominique to use hand gestures to indicate whether or not she knows an answer ahead of time. Dominique and Jenessa tell Cheyenne that they plotted against her. But Cheyenne isn't sure she believes them!! DUMMY. Jenessa goes first - what does 'something blue' represent? Dominique gestures "no" so she gives it to Cheyenne. Cheyenne says "no idea" which was dumb. Answer: fidelity. Dominique goes next - which French monarch started the white wedding dress? Jenessa give the "no" signal so she gives it to Cheyenne. She guesses "Queen Elizabeth" who isn't even French. It was Queen Victoria. Dominique feels guilty. Cheyenne goes next - what sewing technique hides a belly? She chooses Jenessa, who says "ruching" which was right. Jenessa goes - What does a mermaid silhouette hide? Dominique gestures "yes" but she picks Cheyenne. Allyson knows there's hand signals going on. Cheyenne says "hips" which was right. Dominique goes - how do you slow things down on your honeymoon? Jenessa gestures "no" so she picks Cheyenne. Cheyenne says "foreplay" which is accepted. Cheyenne goes - what ancient Indian Hindu gives sextips? She picks Dominique, who says Kama Sutra, which is right. Jenessa gives "what is your mother-in-law's middle name?" and Dominique gives the "yes" gesture. She gives it to Cheyenne, who knows it's the woman's maiden name, but she can't remember what it is, so she just guesses "Ruth," which is wrong. It's "Lee." Cheyenne is very disappointed that the other girls played her like that. Allyson will select who she will compete against in the finale. She likes Dominique better, but feels she's a greater competitor. Dominique tells Jenessa that she hopes Jenessa wins. Dominique asks Jenessa if she can talk to Allyson, and they both go in there. Jenessa walks into the Recovery Room saying, "Hello, God," which makes everyone laugh. Jenessa leaves so the girls can talk alone, then she'll have her chance. Jenessa hears Dominique crying so she butts in to get her turn. Jenessa asks Allyson how she'll make her decision. Dominique wishes that she would have talked to Allyson second, and just keeps harping on the fact that this is really her only hope at a wedding in general. Allyson tells Jenessa that the way she treated Lisa Marie in the end wasn't fair (telling her that others were calling her a "cockroach"). Jenessa cries, brings up how she gave a surgery to Allyson, but Allyson still thinks about how she still means nothing to her. Jenessa thinks she'll go home so she tries to convince Dominique that she HAS to win overall. I don't think calling Allyson the "top bride" at the moment really fits... she didn't compete this week, LoL. But, at the same time, we know that she's in the finale, so I guess technically she IS a "top bride," LoL. Allyson chose to send Dominique home specifically so she could beat Jenessa at the last moment. She didn't want to "take the easy way out." I couldn't believe she did that!! Jenessa tries to play the "thanks so much" card," but Allyson doesn't want to look at her. Jenessa thinks Allyson is stupid for thinking she can beat her. Next week is the finale (which takes place the next day). We see some of the other girls in the preview... I had completely forgotten about Jessica! I think there were too many commercial breaks this time, but I guess there's not much substance left, LoL.

The Simpsons (S22E12):
Archer introduction was odd. ski-jumping in the opening was, too. "Prince is not the son of Martin Luther King" also wasn't that great. The newspaper/couch skit was just okay. Was that dentist show parodying something real? If so, I didn't get it. Bart's eyes popping out scared me. Marge irons garbage bags?? ::eyes wide open in shock:: I don't know what was funnier - Homer going to buy something from the catalog, or the fact that he was writing to the World Trade Center, LoL. The CIA, FBI, and ATF groups were funny... but I was still trying to get over what exactly Bart would have fairly traded while he wrote to those entities. How did they get a car in a bumper-car ring?? Vodka in a vaporizer?? The laser shooting Homer was frightening. How did Bart get the bike over the gates at the zoo? Homer going to China wasn't that amusing, but the subtitles were. The Actor's Studio thing at the end was dumb. "whammy bar," haha.

Family Guy (S09Exx): episode 10 to come.

Monday:
Cake Boss: Next Great Baker (S01E08): [season finale] Megan is ready to compete, Dana is ready, and Corina will go down fighting. The final challenge is to do Buddy's average day - all 24 hours and free-run of the bakery. It looks like this is the first time they saw Carlo's Bakery, since they get a tour. First, the Baker's Challenge: cleaning the grease trap. 1 minute to fill up a bucket as fast as possible - whoever gets the most in a minute gets an advantage for later. I was grossed out. It looks like Dana got the most. When they weigh them, Megan's is 41.1 pounds, Corina's is 38.8 pounds, and Dana's is 46.6 pounds. Man that's a big grease trap! Elimination Challenge: fill display cases with their own pastries and sell the most in two hours (whoever sells the most gets an advantage, too). 400 cookies, 20 cakes, 20 pies, 2 pastries -100 each, and do a big theme cake. They each get to pick a salesperson, a baker, a decorator, and a sculptor from the Carlo's staff. Dana picks first - that was his advantage. Megan will pick second. But, what do they really know about these people to make an educated decision? Dana chooses Grace for sales, Mauro for baking, Frankie for decorator, and Ralph for sculpting. Megan goes with Mary, Joey (tho Mary pushes her to pick him, LoL), Liz, and Tai. This leaves Corina with Madeline (which is an advantage since she has baking experience that the other sales girls don't), Danny, and two others (non-family, I guess). It's 6pm, 13 hours before opening. First, everyone talks about what they're going to make. Corina tells Danny to alter her recipes as he thinks would be better... I thought that was interesting. Frankie tells Dana that he has to go to Back-to-School night right then. Megan is doing Italian cream cake with cream cheese frosting and devil's food cake with fudge filling and chocolate buttercream. Praline cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream and fruit tarts for her pastries. Lemon chess pie and pecan pie. Dana is doing 5 kinds of pie (only two were required): sweet potato, nutella, apple, blueberry, and cherry. For cakes, he's doing vanilla and southern lemon. For pastries, he's doing death by chocolate, eclairs, and creme puffs. Cookies - chocolate chip and pumpkin raisin oatmeal. Corina is doing chocolate-chocolate chip cookies with white chocolate chips and white-chocolate-blueberry-pistachio biscotti (um, that's odd!!). Cannolis and cream puffs. Red velvet cake and pina colada cake with a toasted coconut buttercream. Apple pie and Coconut cashew caramel tart pie. Mauro isn't thrilled with the recipes being done in cups instead of pounds and gallons, LoL. "lead with respect and encouragement and try to use others' strengths" was Megan's leadership style. Joey measures vanilla by how many seconds he has to pour it, LoL!! Megan thinks she has an advantage over Corina since Corina has never done high-production before. Red velvet gets its color from beetroot... cool. Grace doesn't know much about baking, but she wants to help so Dana is letting her. The mayor of Hoboken shows up, and Dana wants to meet with her first. She asks for a cake to celebrate the city, wants landmarks, baseball, public transit. Chocolate cake. Needs it by 1pm. Dana doesn't make the mayor's cake a big priority, but Corina sure does! Grace put too much pumpkin in the cookie batter so they have to scrap it. When Megan's Italian cream cake is done, it's supposed to sit in the pan a little longer, but Mary pops them out right away, and they're not done. The coconut stopped them from baking quickly or something. Joey thinks they'll be fine. Corina's Hoboken cake is vintage and layered and diverse in people on the cake. The look on Buddy's face when he sees that Grace is in the kitchen was priceless. I was surprised that Dana didn't tell Buddy that Frankie is still missing. Frankie shows up at like 11pm. Dana's cake has a lot of characters. Megan's cake is a map of sorts. Frankie announced he's going to sleep for two hours. Mauro goes, too. Mary and Madeleine peace out at like 2am. Joey, Grace, and Danny stay. 6-6:30am Frankie and Mauro get back and get right to work. At 6:30am, Corina panics, Joey says Madeleine will be there by 7am. At 6:52, Madeleine shows up. Megan has some extra items in case some things sell well. Dana has too much stuff for the cases. Mary asks Megan to make cut up some samples. Corina panics that the others have more variety than she does. Buddy gives the people coming in 10 tickets to buy what they want. Cakes and pies are 5, anything else is 1 ticket. Megan is happy with Mary and Dana is happy with Grace. Half an hour into selling, Corina goes to bake more stuff. Buddy questions her about not selling, then tells her to go out there, with 30 minutes to go. Megan is sold out of cakes with 20 minutes to go. That was a very long last 30 or 40 seconds, LoL. They tally up the tickets, and the lowest seller is going home right now. 432 tickets goes to Dana. 388 tickets goes to Megan. This leaves Corina with 244 tickets, and she gets sent home before ever finishing her Hoboken cake. Dana and Megan go back to work. Their cakes are very different, and the quality is very clear that the real bakers are doing it... not people hoping to work with them, LoL. I thought both cakes looked nice. Buddy tricked them... it's not a party for Hoboken, it's a party for their families and cake fans! Main judges are Buddy, his mom, and the Hoboken mayor. Taste-wise, Dana had a vanilla cake with buttercream icing and chocolate ganache - good, moist, sweet, it's not wonderful, and it's not chocolate. Megan had a devil's food cake with a fudge filling and chocolate buttercream. Heavy, sweet, delicious, moist, good texture and consistency. Dana's cake - captures a lot of Hoboken, great colors, nice water, looks grand, nice details. Megan's cake - captures things Hoboken stands for, very detailed, baseball-centered, prominent name, river is strange. Buddy's mom identifies more with Dana's. Mayor chooses Megan's. Buddy asks them each why they deserve to win over the other. Megan says that she demonstrated her ability under pressure, she can manage a team well, sell, and do what the client wants. Dana says that he's a fighter, is a team player, goes above and beyond, and is a go-to guy. Buddy goes with Dana in the end, and Megan truly looked thrilled for him. Megan is happy with how much she learned from competing. They celebrate with champagne. Buddy had a Dana bust cake that looked cool. Overall, I liked how close it was. And I was okay with either Megan or Dana winning (I didn't want Corina to win).

House, M.D. (S07E10): one of the many reasons I hate the military... all that meanness and doing this crap in the rain and mud. so sad. um, and when your head is bleeding, you may indeed be in immediate danger. haha, one of the girls from Chase's triple-girl-night put up a profile of him featuring someone else's genitals. oh, it wasn't real military. it was for bad kids... I don't really care about them. Chase's password was "password" ???!? "I want you to know how much your humiliation has eased my burden," hahaha. After House gets Wilson to inadvertently give advice about Rachel's situation, he really should have popped his head around the corner and said "thanks for playing," like in Dead Poets Society, which Wilson starred in. And no, I can't take credit for thinking of this, my husband gets the points for this one! "prison now or later doesn't make that big of a difference to me" ...interesting. I am in love with the fact that House is trying so hard to make Rachel "pass" her admissions interview, LoL. wow, that's a lot of pink at that girl's place!! A dog-training clicker? oh my goodness... high school??? "maybe you don't care if children shew on your caterpillar, but I do," was funny after I got the reference. hahaha, the drill instructor is the cut-up's father! I also love that House is proud of Rachel's lying. haha, the girl who WOULDN'T sleep with Chase.

How I Met Your Mother (S06Exx): episode 15 coming up.

19 Kids and Counting (S06E01): Slightly updated opening. It's Jessa's 18th birthday. It's fall. They got a new bus. It's November, since Josie is 11 months and 15 pounds. Nice montage of Josie. She's really cute now. Michelle said she'd go through it all again, because she got Josie out of it. "I would be happy to receive another gift." haha on JimBob saying that it won't be long until Jessa has a family of her own... she's #5 and only #1 is married, LoL. Shooting range, gun safety... everyone went but Josie, who stayed with Grandma, so they took 3 cars. Josiah driving was cool. No Duggars have a February birthday. Johannah was scared of the sound. I didn't realize they let younger kids shoot! Joy did better than JimBob. Michelle taking 50+ pregnancy tests was amusing... on one hand, you'd think that's pretty low, less than three per conception. On the other hand, I guess she's never not trying and she doesn't really do much that a pregnancy would affect, so it doesn't much matter, LoL. Josie gets to go to the airport to see the family skydive. JimBob was worried about the wind, but he calmed down when he saw the jumper was the same one who went with him. Michelle jumped first. Michelle and Jessa fist-bumping at the end was strange.

Tuesday:
Kitchen Boss (S01E01): The premiere features chicken sorrentino with fusilli, asparagus with breadcrumbs, chocolate-covered strawberries with tuxedo design. This was filmed at some point before "the holidays," LoL. always peel eggplant. he keeps breadcrumbs in a jar on the counter, LoL. Dip eggplant in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. add 1 tbsp salt per 2 qt water when boiling. crushed tomatoes with olive oil and garlic, salt, pepper, and a packet (tsp) of sugar, some torn basil. Chicken only cooks 7 minutes per side, and it's not quite done - finished in the oven. Eggplant went 5 minutes per side. Buddy repeating everything that Lisa does was funny.

so... I'm not sure how interesting reviews of this are gonna be. you can see all of the recipes here.

Teen Mom 2 (S01E03): It's summer 2010.
Jenelle: she applies for some jobs. She signs over temporary custody to her mom. She can't go with Jace to the grocery store without her mom? Now she's a waitress at a pub. Her mom got upset that she spent $3 on a skirt, LoL. She wanted to take Jace to see the fireworks, but her mom said no, not alone.
Kailyn: Jo's parents tell her not to forget about her priorities: career, school, kid. not dating. Sucks that she has to get Jo's brother to drive her to orientation. Her mom feels bad that she didn't go with her to the orientation, so she gives her an old car for free. She breaks up with Jordan, blaming it on the fact she can't date while under Jo's parents' roof. She walks around the neighborhood with one of Jo's cousins to see fireworks.
Chelsea: Dad's giving her money for groceries, too?? haha, she's trying to get Aubree to say "mama." She has to go to Orientation for beauty school, and she leaves the baby with Adam. She has 1 month to finish high school or she can't enter beauty school in September.
Leah: 2 months until they can do the MRI. She's blaming herself since Ali was squished in utero. She's struggling to act strong. bowling was awkward. Now she's back with the babydaddy. They go see fireworks on their own. They get on a boat to watch the fireworks.

Wednesday:
Kitchen Boss (S01E02): Today we have Street Fair Food. Buddy's cousin Frankie, who is a year or so younger than he is, is today's guest. We have sausage/peppers/onions sandwiches, calzones, and zeppoles. Boil sausages before cooking them on the grill, so the insides cook fine. Buddy pulls the middle out of the bread! :( Wow, he takes quite a few steps in allowing his calzone dough to rise, LoL.

Minute to Win It (S02E21): we're letting a guy named Mark come back, since he walked away empty-handed last time. I search my blog three different ways before I found his first attempt. Turns out, he was from the very beginning, and I didn't include contestants' names yet. Here he is if you want to read about his first attempt, it was carried into a second episode, and he never got past the fourth round.
Game 1: Hanky Panky: Using a single hand pull out 160 tissues from a standard tissue box in 60 seconds. Mark is excited about this one, LoL. He finishes with 27 seconds to go.
Game 2: Noodling Around: hold an uncooked piece of spaghetti in your mouth, and load up six pieces of uncooked penne on it, they're around a table. Don't break the spaghetti. He's only okay with this one. He struggles at the end, but wins with 7 seconds left.
Game 3: (Blueprint Bonus: this is new... if you get this one, you get an extra 10 seconds to use later) Bottoms Up: use a yo-yo to knock over soda cans... the yo-yo is tied around your waist, and the cans are spread out across various pedestals. He;s not great at this game but he's not bad. He finished with 22 seconds to go.
Game 4: Johnny Applestack: Red Delicious apples... stack 5 of them, one on top of another, to make a tower that stands for at least three seconds. He takes his time on strategy and rebuilds his 3 bottom apples several times. He ends up losing a life on this one. He tries again and gets it with just 10 seconds to spare!
Game 5: (Blueprint Bonus again - this time he'd win an extra life) Spoon Tune: Arrange 10 water-filled glasses in a row so that they play "Row, row, row your boat / Gently down the stream" when you clink a spoon against them. I think he's kinda off-balance on this one, but when he starts, he's sounding the tune, LoL. He gets it with 18 seconds to go, and was really sure of his memory or something with the middle glasses!
Game 6: Sticker Picker Upper: balance a round (only one hand) tray so that an egg rolls around on it and picks up four stickers... don't let it fall off for at least three seconds after they're all picked up. He's excited about this one. He gets the first two without a problem. At 30 seconds he's starting to get shaky, and has them all with 14 seconds to go!
Game 7: What a Racquet: hold a racquet with your thighs (just under your crotch) and guide a marble into a specific hole (no hands allowed). Once it's there, hold it for three seconds. You have a ton of marbles to work with. Mark says it's tough. His wife looks a little skeptical. He gets close, drops a bunch, was almost there, drops some more, ends up running out of time. I wouldn't think that this is a big one for using extra time, and Mark agrees. He goes again. He gets super-close but can't get it in the right place... the wife is looking worried... ends up running out of time. He adds the 10 seconds this time (it is his last life) and tries again... Now his wife looks like she is about to cry. This time he gets it in like 5 seconds, so a real waste of the 10, haha.
Game 8: they actually let the idiot look at the game before he decides to go for it! HATE THIS IDEA! it's Mag-Nutstacker: with a chopstick, create a hanging chain of nuts and move it to a pedestal. The wife gives him really, REALLY bad advice. I'm glad that he goes against her!
Overall - the little present rounds were cute with the Christmas episodes, but I'm NOT a fan of the "Blueprint Bonus" junk. The game was fine the way it was before!

Better With You (S01E12?): okay, so we're still having issues with determining whether "Better without a Couch" will keep its status of #12 or if it'll be #14, since chronologically it'll air then. And, no episode this week. But, I did catch the rest of "Better with a Cat" which is either #12 or #13. Here's the full review below, part of it carried over from last week:
"pajamas at a restaurant" being the dream was funny. Ben and Maddie trying to get the baby to stop crying was funny. Taking THREE entrees off the bill was ridiculous. "We don't take classes well together" and the fact that they almost DROWNED at a SCUBA class was amusing. haha, giving the baby a cocktail. Leaving Mia IN A STROLLER at a restaurant was nuts! haha, challenging Ben to make fake boobs out of anything. I'm confused as to why Joel and Vicki would want to be the guardians after they proved how bad they were with raising baby Mia, LoL.
I like how the parents are trying to win godparent status by taking the cat, while Maddie and Ben take an infant CPR class. Maddie asking questions and getting kicked out was funny. I'm actually surprised that Joel has an interest in being a guardian. I like how careless they're being with the cat, tho. Mia getting kicked out because she's Maddie's sister was funny. Mr. Meowgi was a cute name for a cat. I love that the parents can't even remember what color the cat was. I adored the "telling of grievances" between Maddie and her parents... very Friends. 4 guardians??!?!? hahaha, stealing a cat! haha, they're not the actual guardians, and Mia and Casey aren't worried about it because by the time the others find out, they'll be dead. "we saved nine" was funny.

Hot in Cleveland (S02E02): odd Victoria opening. Elka drunk was weird. "she had to, she's under indictment and his son's running for office," LoL. "8 or 20" hours, haha. I'm not in love with this Joy-greencard-marriage storyline. haha at the "'too skinny' - I like her" comment. haha on the "hand-me-downs from Hank" thing even pertaining to Melanie! haha, Elka spills the beans! "benderover" was funny.

Retired at 35 (S01E02):
Scotch at breakfast? haha, dumping the OJ into the plants. I love that the mom tried to act like she was still away while sitting in the SAME restaurant, haha. blah blah blah, this is boring. Onr more and I think it's getting the boot.

Thursday:
Kitchen Boss (S01E03): Aunt Anna and cousin Grace come by. Breaded chicken and vinegar peppers, spinach and mandarin salad, and manicotti (made with crepes instead of pasta). Grated potato to take out acid from sauce is interesting. Crepe batter can sit for up to a day before use.

Wipeout (S04E04): chimney sweep? today we have a blob, then the big balls, then a sweeper with snowmen heads, and the log jam. HumanGarbageCan wore a LOT of makeup. and she had some BIG lips. She panicked when she got to the end of the snotivator and bounded off the back of the first ball and into the platform, LoL. She actually did well on the log jam until the end, LoL. SuperstitiousGirl was funny. Blob caused some great wipeouts! That one girl flew 40 feet in the air! Round 2 today has the ski lift, which is the one where everyone stands on individual platforms that rotate. You have a handle above your ahead to pull yourself up on to avoid the sweepers, which keep going higher. SuperstitiousGirl fell off. Mikachu is the only girl left. DaddyLonglegs wins, which makes sense, given the obstacle and his strengths. Next we have the W-I-P-E-O-U-T, each with its own obstacle. There's now a costumed polar bear on the P, which is new. Mikachu was close, but DaddyLonglegs made it first. I don't remember the "I" swaying as much before. haha on the ad for According to Jim. I was happy that Mikachu made it over those giant hurdles on the U! Perfect10 had a really funny face-smack into one of the poles on the "O," LoL. HandTalker takes the third slot. Wipeout Zone tonight features the bobsled blastoff, the icy stairwell from hell, the frostbite sweeper, and the sinister snowflakes. HandTalker goes first. He makes the stairs on the first try - he's the first contestant to ever do that! He falls on the frostbite... twice. He falls off the first snowflake immediately, and I laughed pretty hard. Then he falls off the second one. Then he makes it, time of 12:10. Mikachu is next. She falls off from the top set of steps. She makes it on the second try. She gets knocked off the frostbite on her first attempt, but makes it on the second try. She jumps onto the first snowflake and promptly fell off. She makes it through with a time of 8:13. DaddyLonglegs He makes it across the stairs with no problems. He gets knocked off the frostbite, then doesn't quite make the platform as he fell the next time. He makes it the third time, and falls off the first snowflake. Next time, he falls off the second snowflake. Less than 30 seconds to go, and he catches himself from a fall on the second snowflake. He finishes with a 7:54, winning.

Friday:
Kitchen Boss (S01E04): Today we have Pasta Alla Norma (two kinds of eggplant, tomato sauce), Steak Pizzaiola (steak with onions, mushrooms, peppers), Granita Lemon (Italian ice, Buddy's personal favorite). They're all Sicilian dishes. Peel the eggplant, cut it in strips, then dice into large chunks, strain it with some sliced eggplant. Add a bunch of salt, let it sit for an hour so the eggplant isn't moist and bitter. to cook steak evenly, bring it to room temperature before grilling... interesting. 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Don't cut a steak right away - let it rest for a couple minutes so the juices don't run out. Granita has larger ice crystals than sorbet.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season/Coming Up:

Cake Boss (Season 4 back January 31st)
Mr. Sunshine (premieres Wednesday, February 9th at 9:30pm on ABC)
The Secret Life of the American Teenager (season 3 continues March 28th at 8pm)
South Park (season 15 starts April 27th)
Melissa & Joey (some point in the Spring)
Futurama (Season 6 continues with episode 14 in the Spring)
Kate Plus Eight (not sure when season 2 episode 2 is)
Teen Mom (no idea)
16 and Pregnant (no idea)
Terra Nova (previewing in May; premiering in September)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Television in 2011

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I wanted to do a little list of television facts I found here. Some of the facts are pretty shocking, others are about as I expected. What do you think?

- There are 15.7 million homes with at least one TV but no DVD player.
(this amused me until I realized that there's a lot of people who just use an xbox instead)

- 70.6 million homes still have a VCR.
(um, I do. how else would I watch my Disney VHSs? Disney DVDs never go on sale, yo! {to combat this, I'm planning to have my off-in-the-future baby shower in a Disney theme and kinda entice people to give their favorite Disney DVD as part of their gift, hehe})

- 43.1 million homes have DVR.
(I got mine almost exactly a year ago {for my birthday, which was yesterday, LoL}, and I'm not ever planning on being without again!)

- People with DVR watch shows through playback 21% of the time.
(sounds about right to me.)

- 45% of all recorded ads get watched.
(for me, it's probably a little less. things I record and review generally get fast-forwarded through the commercials. things I record and just watch generally don't.)

- 2 hours and 9 minutes is the average amount of time-shifted watching by DVR owners.
(um. per week?? why own a DVR if you only need to record 2 or 3 shows?? On Mondays alone I might record like 7, LoL!)

- The average household has 2.5 televisions.
(technically this would be the exact number we own. one in Florida, one in California, and one that only partially works, haha.)

- 31% of Americans own at least 4 televisions.
(holy crap! that's almost 1 in 3 people! we don't even have 4 rooms I'd want a TV in! tho, at the same time, we have two in the living room currently...)

- The average American watches 35.6 hours of television per week. The average kid aged 2-11 watched 25.8 hours per week. Those over age 65 watch 48.9 hours per week.
(I was a little surprised at the senior citizen fact. I think that the rest make sense. I'm above-average at the moment, but dip below average sometimes, which is intriguing to me, since I consider myself a heavy-watcher, LoL. I guess there are more heavy-watchers than I thought!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lie to Me - Saved

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

(S03E10)


This episode starts off with a bang as we witness a woman help an injured girl from a recent accident with an exploding car. We then see Lightman's office with the DA presenting a video of the car accident. Lightman is constantly eating nowadays... In the video, Lightman reads guilt on the face of the woman rescuer and the team brings in the other members in the car for questioning.

Lightman heads off to stalk the woman who performed the rescue. She turns out to be an EMT who he classifies as an adrenaline junkie. After pushing Ilene about her addiction, he leaves - convinced that she caused the crash. In the meantime, the lie team is still questioning relatives and others on who could have caused the crash (which claimed the life of a sports star).

Driving home (on the phone with her daughter), Lightman gets T-boned at an innersection. Who comes running up but Ilene to help him! Cal wakes up and immediately tells Ilene to 'get lost.' He sends Emily away on a tea run and then tells Foster his theory about Ilene's problems. Lightman takes his time in the hospital as an opportunity to break into Ilene's locker and look around. Ilene catches him and they have a discussion on trying to save the person blamed for killing the sports star she couldn't save, or not... Lightman doesn't convince her.

Loker and Torres interview the troubled youth blamed for the crash and confirm that she didn't run a red light. They head to Lightman's house with Foster to run through how Ilene could be responsible. They find that Ilene is causing an accident once a year around the time her mom died. They head off to visit Ilene and only find her brother at home. They get a description of the accident that orphaned them. Back at the office, the lie team determines it's actually Kent, Ilene's brother, causing the accidents and she just cleans them up.

Torres and Loker quilt the DA into doing the right thing and arresting Kent while Lightman goes to confront Ilene at her place. While there, Kent gets hit by a car on purpose to prove his sister can't save him. Lightman eggs sibling rivalry to try to end the craziness. Ilene saves Kent's life by re-inflating a collapsed lung. Ilene and Kent get pinned for the accident and their pattern of destruction and saving gets broken forever.

Back at home, Emily brings down a photo album from the attic and gives Lightman a memory test. Turns out this is just a ploy to ask for a trip to Cancun...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wipeout!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Brief history:
Wipeout is a newer show, only debuting in 2008... so there's not a heck of a lot of history, really. There was another, completely different gameshow with the same name in the late 80s, but it is completely unrelated. The show does pretty well, and has a lot of accolades regarding its ratings. When the third season debuted Nintendo DS and Wii released a game to go along with the show. We are currently in the fourth season, and I'm gonna be kinda smug and say that I believe that I have seen nearly every episode. Head's up, "Winter Wipeout" will last eight episodes before the show goes on hiatus, airing the remaining 16 episodes of the season in the summer.

The game: 24 people start, individually going through a qualifying round, trying to get through the quickest. The 12 fastest times move on to round 2. Round 2 trims the 12 down to 6. Round 3 takes 6 down to 4. The 4 remaining go through the "WipeoutZone" individually, and the fastest time wins $50,000. The first three rounds are during daylight while the fourth is at night. The obstacles all tend to change, and if you fall off the course you generally need to swim, LoL. Some of the most notable obstacles in Round 1 are the Big Balls, which very few people make it across without bouncing into the water, and the SuckerPunch, which is a wall of boxing gloves popping out at random. Rounds 2 and 3 are sometimes time-based and other times a see-who-can-last-the-longest extravaganza. Round 2 often contains a version of "The Sweeper" which has rotating arms that contestants must get by.

Notable changes to the way the game is played: In the fourth season, only three people go to the WipeoutZone as opposed to four. I'm not sure if this is going to continue, since we're only four episodes into the season, but I miss watching four people give it a go. Otherwise, the game changes quite often, as there have literally been dozens of different obstacles introduced and rotated in and out.

Special contestants: No celebrity contestants or anything come to mind, but I do like how the announcers give nicknames to all of the competitors, based on something they say in the pre-show interview most of the time. They did an episode with random pairs... that was weird.

Favorite Rounds: I like it when they have the second or third round be one where the goal is to last the longest, rather than get through something first or the fastest. Also, like the average American, I love to watch people attempt the "big balls," and I'll never forget the "seal girl" who made it across them with her unique technique.

My take: I'm actually going to admit that I've looked at the application before. About two years ago I thought about trying to get on the show... seriously. Now, I wonder if it's the best idea. I mean, the courses generally look crazy fun, but I think that it would be much more fun as an obstacle course with friends rather than a race-the-clock competition with strangers. Now, maybe I'm flashing back a little too hard to a time when my friend, BK, and I ran through an inflatable obstacle course in college (and both of us struggled to climb up the wall, hahaha), but I'd like to think that I'd want all similar courses to be like that one. Plus, you really get beat-up doing this one... and I'd be paranoid about chipping teeth or something. So, I'll pass.

Are you someone who watches Wipeout? Is it a guilty pleasure for you? Would you try it if you could?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Holiday Reviews

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

So, while I watched various holiday specials in 2010, I jotted down some commentary, much like I do in the weekly television reviews. This year I only did this for annual events and specials that I was seeing for the first time, with one exception (which I explain below). Since we're nearly a month after Christmas, I wanted to get this out.

Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special:
It opened like a bit of a movie review. The first half is really boring. Then the panda asks the other warriors to help him with dinner. In the end, Panda skips out on dinner to help his dad instead. That weird rabbit was kinda annoying.

Macy's Day Parade 2010: 84th! This is my favorite. omg I LOVED Meredith's jacket!! The parade starts more than 2 miles uptown of where they are now. Central Park West and 77th is where Al Roker is. Yay clowns. Yay dancing to start it off. Where did the lassos come from? Memphis musical, yay! Cheers to GreenDay! Flashback to middle school, LoL! Caterpillar balloon was different. Interesting take on "Beautiful Day." I was excited to see a number from Elf, the new Broadway show. Man, do I wish I was back in PA!! The Rockettes were gorgeous as always. Cool, Purdue. LOVED the Ocean Spray/Mayflower float! Kermit looked a little different. haha, there's a Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon. Cute baton-girl outfits from Wisconsin. Jimmy Fallon has a band? A Mount Rushmore float? for real? Mannheim Steamroller!! They looked like they were having just the best time!! "Come On, Get Happy" was nice to hear - it's been a while. Yay, CruiseShip Mickey! I actually had resolution issues on the cheerleaders, which I thought was strange. Yay, kids from Seminole, Florida!! Cow Chip Bingo fundraiser... go figure!! The pirate ship was very cartoony. Juanes wasn't mic'd right or something... he was too quiet to hear sometimes... so my translation was awful, LoL. Weird-looking artist clowns. Awww... bye bye, Shrek! Whoa, Power Rangers!! hehe, Kung Fu Panda balloon. This was the first I'd heard of the music group, Big Time Rush. Liked them. WHOA!!!!! There's still new Pokemon characters??!?!? Tapping rain boots... I like it! This was very step-y for tap. Horton is so cute!! Dora was cute. "Carol of the Bells" and other songs done by penguins. YES! Yay, Teddy Bears' Picnic! I loved the Stepper-Ettes uniforms. VERY synchronized! Impressive. 375 members in a baton-twirling organization??!?!? Wow, I didn't realize Smurfs had been translated into over 40 languages! 27 floats and 16 balloons later, we come across SANTA! The sled actually looks upgraded, LoL.

TV's Funniest Holiday Moments: A Paley Center for Media Special: I didn't care for the first few in the Top 30 countdown, but the first flashback was an I Love Lucy that was really cute. Five Santas to surprise Little Ricky was funny. The #24 Family Guy scene was okay. I love me some A Charlie Brown's Christmas, but I think I would have gone with a different scene, although this one was really the quintessential part, LoL. #22 is the Seinfeld Festivus! Yay! #21 is The Simpsons episode where they sing to "The Nutcracker" !!! I didn't know that the Simpsons had a dumpster next to their house tho, LoL. ooooh, #20 is "Slapsgiving" from How I Met Your Mother. :) $19 was Murphy Brown but not fabulous. #18's All in the Family was nothing to write home about, either. Tho Archie opening the door to a nun was amusing. Cute little flashback to Happy Days. #17 is the original The Simpsons episode. #16 was not the choicest episode of Roseanne. #13's Golden Girls was just weird. Silly Rose. #12 was some Scrooge-y Family Ties, which I don't think I've seen before. Strange interview with the dad... how big of a gauge does he have in his left ear?? Flashback to the Grinch cartoon. The famous food fight from Cheers made #10. But they cut it before Norm's wife walked in! #9 went to Two and a Half Men, which was another episode I hadn't seen. #8 gets the Seinfeld Nipple Christmas Card. #7 goes to Frasier!! Yay!! But I would've went with the one where they are pretending they're Jewish... it's MUCH funnier, LoL. #6 for Everybody Loves Raymond, but not the Christmas where Ray is trying to go golfing... instead it's the one where they're trying to eat low-fat. I've never seen The Honeymooners, but the flashback was cute. #5 for some Home Improvement... sweet. But there were so many other good episodes... this wasn't the funniest clip. #4 is the Holiday Armadillo episode of Friends. #3 is Big Bang Theory. #2 is my favorite of the Cosby Show Thanksgiving episodes!!! Yay!!! And the clips were pretty good, too. goes to the Friends episode of Thanksgiving when the turkey is stuck on Joey's head. Apparently they used a real turkey.
Overall, I don't know that the "classic" moments were the best-fitting... maybe they should have done shorter jokes instead, since this was overall a comedy special, LoL.

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown: I've seen the original Charlie Brown Christmas special a ton of times, but this is the first year I've caught this one. I honestly didn't known that Rerun was a verbal character before this. It had a really cute commercial for Walmart with an original Christmas song (as far as I know). hehe, Rerun has Linus' intelligence. haha, you can tell it's newer because of things like "harassment" for asking a girl to go to Paris, LoL. Rerun crying was sad. Apparently Mrs. VanPelt isn't very good at riding a bicycle, LoL. Schroeder was wonderful, as usual. That basketball was gigantic compared to Rerun. Rerun and Snoopy were cute playing together. haha, flipping a coin on whether to bark at someone, LoL. Rerun and Charlie Brown talking definitions was amusing. Oooh, I also got to see the yearly Christmas Coca-Cola commercial. :) "You're as thin as a promise" haha, Lucy about Spike.

Little Drummer Boy Book II: I've seen the first one a number of times, but I think I only even found out that there was a second last year. So, this year I made a point to watch it. The Drummer Boy (Aaron) wants to minstrel to the tax collectors in exchange for coins or wheat or animals. Brutus (the leader) wants to melt the bells, but there's no dry wood to start a fire. He steals the drum and the drumsticks to make the fire. The animals take the bells while the mean guys are preoccupied. The Roman soldiers realize they're gone, and Aaron hides the bells in the sand, to look like a dune. The Wiseman tried to console Aaron about the drum. They go to hear the bells rung. They play "Do You Hear what I Hear?" The bell-maker made him a new drum. The bells went on to ring every Christmas Day.

Frosty's Winter Wonderland: Now, I've seen the original Frosty and the Frosty Returns specials many times, but I had never seen this one, so I caught it on DVR this year. We start with the kids missing Frosty and Frosty at the North Pole. He reads a paper about it snowing, so he wrote a letter to the kids about coming. Apparently this is the story of Frosty taking a wife. Jack Frost shows up and is jealous that the kids don't love him like they love Frosty. Jack Frost tries to steal Frosty's hat, but he gets the wrong one. Frosty gets lonely when the kids go in at night, so they tell him to get a wife, but he doesn't know what that means. The kids build him a wife, and they talk about names, before settling on Crystal. But they don't know how to make her real. Eventually we find out that "Frost Flowers" make Crystal real. Apparently she was conscious while un-alive, but she's excited about getting married immediately. Jack Frost steals Frosty's hat, but Crystal gives Frosty a flower and he's back to life. Parson Brown won't marry snowpeople, but he'll help build a snow-parson. To make him "all living," he gets a Bible and comes to life. Jack Frost shows up to screw things, but they ask him to be the Best Man, and he accepts. It gets to April and starts getting warmer, but Jack Frost keeps it winter. Parson Brown talks to the snowfolk about it, and they agree that the trees and flowers deserve a season, too. Overall, there were some new additions to the verses in the Frosty the Snowman song that I'd like to learn and incorporate, LoL.

The Christmas Toy: This is one that I've known about for years and years, but it's never come on when I could see it, or never on a channel that I subscribed to. This year, however, I got lucky and was able to see it (that HUB network is SO awesome). It's live-action with toys and real kids. The voices are all from regular Muppets Puppeteers (as far as I could tell). There's a rule that you can move around when there's no people around, but if you're caught out of place, you'll never come to life again. It's Christmas Eve and the toys have mixed feelings about new toys coming. Rugby the Tiger was a Christmas Toy, and he thinks Christmas is all about him. Balthazar the Teddy Bear gives a speech about accepting the new toys. Rugby is out of the room at the time, thinking he needs to go get in a box for Christmas. The mom comes in, and a toy is no longer alive, "frozen forever." The toy had gone to save Rugby, who is still out there. A Cat Toy tries to help Rugby. More toys go in search of Rugby. Rugby makes it to the tree but the presents are wrapped and he can't figure out how to get inside the box. They get the new present out, and she's high-tech, LoL. The dad comes to see what's going on, but the cat toy meows to make him go away before he sees anything. The new toy doesn't want to go back in the box. They get her to go into the box and they're going back to the playroom, but the cat toy is frozen in fear from being seen, and is then seen and frozen for real. The mom moves him downstairs and Rugby goes after him, to apologize. Apparently Rugby's love brought the little cat toy back to life. We hear the "Old Friends, Dear Friends" song that is just like "Old Friends, New Friends" from A Muppet Family Christmas. And the clown toy comes back to life, too!! Super-cute. The cat gets another toy so now there are two cat-nip mice. Rugby watches the little girl love the new doll, and hears her say "just like I love all my toys."

Yes, Virginia: I didn't know quite what to expect in this one. The opening was quite captivating... going through town and all. Virginia has a really neat pop-up book that she's been making. I liked that the idea of a subway system being ridiculous, haha. 9 1/2 and using the words "circumnavigate" and "infantile" haha. Charlotte messing with Virginia's book made me sad. The Believe Meter was odd. The argument over whether or not to answer Virginia's letter was amusing. Charlotte randomly seeing Virginia's letter was waaaaay too coincidental. It was very sweet of Virginia to give a coat to the street Santa. And, in turn, kind of the street Santa to try to get Virginia's letter answered. I got goosebumps when the editor of the paper cleared his desk to answer Virginia's letter. The Believe Meter as a pocketwatch was a cute ending. I had a difficult time recognizing Neil Patrick Harris' voice, which was odd.

Leprechaun's Christmas Gold: This one is from 1981, but this is only the first or second year I've ever heard of it. It opens with a sea captain telling a cabin boy to dig up a tree from an island so they'll have a Christmas tree. But there are leprechauns on the island. Digging up the tree frees Magdag (sp?) who makes it storm. But, a rainbow appears which opens up the ground to reveal some gold treasures. There are two types of leprechauns - miners and shoemakers. Magdag the Banshee wants gold on Christmases (but he's not allowed to steal it), because otherwise they (Banshees) turn into saltwater. So they use fairy-powers to try and sneak it from people. Magdag had once turned all of the miners into shoemakers except one (the one who is telling this story), since shoemakers are more likely to gift gold. Lord Patrick asked Magdag how they turn to tears, and asks her to demonstrate before he is gifted Blarney's gold. When Magdag is melted, Blarney plants a pinecone with the liquid. Back in present day, Magdag puts a spell on the leprechaun, but the leprechaun grants the gold to the cabin boy instead. His ship left him behind at this point, and he finds a shipwrecked girl on the beach. He tells the girl the story, and she suggests he give the gold to her. Turns out, she's Magdag in disguise. Magdag puts the boy (Dinty?) to sleep. The husband and wife who got into a fight long ago make up, and Lord Patrick puts a rainbow in the sky, and the boy wakes up. Magdag goes for the gold, but it's Christmas morning already so she's out of time and she melts away. The rainbow then helps the boy find his ship, and he takes the gold and leprechauns with him, bound for Ireland.

The Christmas Blessing: I recorded this one purely for Neil Patrick Harris, haha. We see the red "Christmas shoes" get donated and picked up. I love NPH as a doctor, haha. The first patient of the day dies, and NPH takes it hard. He's burnt out, so he goes home for "vacation." His dad is pretty surprised. (NPH has kinda a hairy chest - we see when he's sleeping.) Turns out that NPH is the grown-up version of the kid who bought the Christmas shoes. He's helping out in his dad's shop, and is played by a girl who pretends she only speaks Spanish until after her car is fixed. Turns out that the guy who picked up the Christmas shoes plays the dad of Charlie, played by the kid who plays the kid on Two and a Half Men. His teacher is the woman who faked the Spanish. NPH is an afterschool volunteer now, and incorporates Charlie into some basketball with other kids. Charlie is pretty good. NPH's name is Nathan, and he runs into the teacher again. He doesn't mention that he's a doctor. Nathan and Charlie bond when they find out neither has a mother. Nathan helps him rake leaves. Looks like Charlie's dad is an alcoholic. He isn't thrilled about Nathan playing in the leaves with his kid. Nathan finds out that his own dad is looking to sell the family home and move. Charlie is doing homework in a back room of a bar, and questions whether his dad has been telling him the truth about his mother's whereabouts. He gives his kid the shoes so he'd believe she was a dancer. Next thing you know, Charlie collapses playing basketball, and Nathan makes sure he's taken to the hospital where he worked. Charlie has a heart problem, but he's not a candidate for transplant, so it's not looking wonderful. This whole thing also shows the teacher that Nathan is really a doctor (he had been pretending to be a mechanic). Charlie shows Nathan the Christmas shoes, and it shocks him. It looks like Nathan's dad is selling his garage, too. Nathan and the teacher are dancing when she collapses, and he brings her to the hospital. She has hepatitis B, and her liver is very badly damaged. Charlie finishes his report (on his mother) and the teacher gives it a great grade. But Charlie isn't feeling well, either, and gives Nathan the shoes to give to the teacher. Charlie's dad gives him a photo of his mother, and he says that he just saw her... it's really looking like he's going to die, and maybe he knows that his mom's dead (a fact that the dad hasn't told him). The dad was going to go work, but Charlie asks him to stay, just this once. Charlie dies, and the teacher gets his liver. It turns out that the mean guy who is going to help fund the daycare house was the guy who helped young Nathan buy the shoes for his mom all those years ago. Sidenote, it amuses me how often they give NPH a black BFF, haha. And, this movie had me crying my eyes out, so it's certainly one of the sadder Christmas movies out there.

Rudolph's Shiny New Year: I will admit it outright: I love Rudolph. He's like my personal Christmas icon, LoL. I've seen the original probably close to fifty times at this point. I've seen Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July a bunch of times. I rushed out to get Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys a couple of years back (even though that was a disappointment). So I was excited to see this one, about how Rudolph saved the New Year. Happy, the Baby New Year, is missing, and since it's storming, only Rudolph can go searching. Father Time is telling the story. He sends Quarter Past Five, a camel, to help Rudolph, and Rudolph rides him across the Sands of Time desert. We find out that there's a condor who wants the Baby New Year to stop the next year from starting, because an eon will have passed at that point, and he'd die. The baby ran away because he was made fun of, since he has large ears. Rudolph goes to the Sea of Auld Lang Syne, so he can get to the Archipelago of Pasty Years, to search for the baby. haha, Rudolph as a calendar month for a sail. Big Ben, a whale, helps Rudolph out by giving him a ride. Rudolph starts out at One Million BC Island, and meets OM, who goes by that instead of One Million, LoL. The baby was there, but moved on after people laughed at his ears. OM calls along to help out, and they get nowhere for a while. They go to 1023, where a knight greets them. Humpty Dumpty lives there, and so do the seven dwarfs. Rumpelstiltskin saw him, too. The baby showed up at the bears' house that Goldilocks once visited. 1776 rescues the baby, and he looks like Ben Franklin. But the condor gets him. Everyone makes it to the Island of No-Name to get the baby back, and it's 11:30 on New Year's Eve. Rudolph tries to calm the baby by sharing his own tale, and the trees sing the song, LoL. I was surprised that even Rudolph laughed at the baby's ears, claiming he "couldn't help himself." Santa comes in and flies uber-fast ("faster than joy") to get the baby to the gate of Father Time's castle during the 12 "bongs" of midnight. It's 19wonderful, hahaha.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!: This one I've seen before, but never with the counterpart, She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown! So I watched both parts... New Year starts out with Charlie Brown and his class receiving the assignment to read War and Peace and write a report over the break, which anyone will tell you is ridiculously thick for youngins. Linus' informative facts about how Leo Tolstoy wrote it were interesting, and so characteristic! Peppermint Patty and Marcie are throwing a New Year's party. It's boy-girl, and everyone has their hopes, hehe. Lucy decides that everyone needs dance lessons. Charlie Brown looks for other versions of War and Peace, like a comic book, a tape or cassette, a record, a computer game, and film strips. Charlie Brown goes to watch the kids learn to foxtrot, but he brings along his book. I've always adored the scene where Linus and Lucy are blowing up balloons, but Rerun blows square (or rectangular) balloons every time he tries. It might have been the first time I was introduced to Rerun, really. Lucy and Sally are hoping that Schroeder and Linus will respectively ask them to the party, but neither plans on it. Patty wants Charlie Brown to ask her, but he wants to ask the Little Red-Haired Girl. Charlie Brown's worst nightmare happens, and his hand gets caught in the mail slot in the door, and it opens, LoL. He cries out to Heather (I apparently forgot that the Little Red-Haired Girl had a name...). I liked Snoopy in a tux. CHarlie Brown goes to the party, brings his book, excites Patty, admits that he was hoping to see the Little Red-Haired Girl, and then everyone plays musical chairs. I liked how they played a song that gave the rules to musical chairs, LoL. It comes down to Patty and Charlie Brown, and as one would expect, Patty takes the win. Everyone is going to toast with root beer, LoL. Lucy pouring her root beer into a dish and using binoculars to look for "dog germs" was funny. I always laugh at Charlie Brown's "rules" for the next year, LoL. Sally and Linus toast. Heather shows up, but Charlie Brown is asleep on the porch, and nobody knows that. Patty is upset that he left her hanging. Linus danced with Heather instead of Sally, so she's mad, too. Charlie Brown missed Heather completely. Marcie kisses Charlie Brown on the cheek. Back at school, Charlie Brown gets a D- on his report. Crime and Punishment is the next novel for the kids.
Good Skate begins with Patty skating on the lake to classical music, Snoopy coaching her, preparing for a competition. Snoopy growls a lot. Some boys come out to play hockey, but Patty and Snoopy push them around and they're good to go again. Patty tells Marcie to make her a skating dress, and Marcie does... to the best of her ability. It's floor-length and it doesn't have sleeves, LoL. Snoopy gets to work and soon the dress is great. Now Patty is upset about her hair. Snoopy also drives the Zamboni, LoL. Charlie Brown talks of 3 things people like to stare at: "a flowing stream, a crackling fire, and a Zamboni clearing the ice." Snoopy also runs the sound booth at the competition, LoL. Three or so girls go before Patty, and she begins to shake in fear when her tape is damaged. Luckily, Woodstock whistles her music instead. Patty wins.

The 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade: Paula Deen is the Grand Marshal, LoL. "Building Dreams, Friendships, and Memories" ... okay. 23 equestrian units, 23 bands, and 47 floats. The Living Rose was mildly amusing. A flyover for a parade... that's different! It would be useful for you to know that I'm not a big fan of flowers, so as a whole this parade never thrills me. I liked how Medieval Times had a little group of knights and such riding. I liked the Cal Poly float that won the Fantasy Trophy. I liked the University of Wisconsin marching band... the mascot did some cool things (like a headstand), and the marching style was refreshing. The hula dancers were cool. The didn't really showcase the poi. TCU's mascot was funny in the parade. The pool with the dogs and the board-paddling was cool. Lasso-ing for 5 miles is intense!! I actually learned lasso-ing last summer, and let me tell ya, it's HARD!! Overall, I'm not thrilled that everyone is using random themes, LoL. Kinda strange. wooden saddles... whaaaat?!?! Shaun Robinson is not the best parade anchor... shw doesn't seem to know what's going on, she looks down a lot, and she picks up the paper just a bit to read, LoL. Some cool cowgirls. I liked the teddy bear float a LOT! That was super cute!! A float actually broke down!! The "Best Depiction of Life in California" winner (Sierra Madre Rose Float Association) was really pretty. Nice butterflies, some Spanish Mission architecture. The City of South Pasadena's pirate treehouse was cool, too. hehe, the Animation Trophy goes to Trader Joe's. The Judges' Special Trophy for Outstanding Showmanship and Dramatic Impact goes to Namco Bandai Games America, Inc. for their AWESOME Pacman float. Pacman is 30... wow. The dragon by the City of Torrance was also nice. All of the stats on the saddles and their weights and building materials was kinda interesting. I would have preferred to see it all in a chart form, tho, LoL. I liked the building theme for La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association's float. Some really cute things, and I love the movement. 800 volunteers on that one! 16,000 yellow carnations on this one! I'd like to end with pointing out that I had no idea there were so many horses in this parade!! Did you know that??

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hot in Cleveland is Back!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Sunday:

Bridalplasty (S01E08):
[This one actually aired on Monday this week because of the Golden Globes] Jenessa looks like she's in a lot of pain right now. Cheyenne is homesick. She cries to Dominique. Cheyenne saying (to her fiance on the phone) that she doesn't care anymore about how far she's made it gives Kristen a new perspective of her. Christopher Knight and wife show up. Allyson had the playboy issues of Adrian Curry... odd. The blindfolded fiances show up. Kristen's fiance notes that her boobs are squishier when they hugged, LoL. Jenessa's fiance says it's been a month... so, like I suspected, they're probably doing two episodes per week. Money, chores, sex are important conversations. The challenge is lie-detector tests - ten questions each. The couple with the lowest number of lies wins. The two with the most lies are bottom brides. Dominique doesn't have to participate, but her fiance said they would have won anyway, LoL. Everyone watched on a monitor, so it's not secret. Cheyenne goes first. Cheyenne's first answer is a lie, regarding whether she's had doubts about getting married. Her second question is a lie, too. And her third. And her fourth. Cheyenne doesn't think she'll have to do her own laundry, LoL! They have 5 lies. Allyson is next. Allyson gets 2 lies, and both are her fiance's. Kristen got 4, and they belonged to both of them... but Kristen thinks that they did really well. Jenessa lies right off the bat, and they get 3 total. Allyson is top bride so she'll go to the finale and she gets a surgery. Kristen and Cheyenne are the bottom brides. And they're superclose so it kinda sucks that they have to be against each other on this one. Those are some nice Movado watches! Kristen decides to angle for Dominique's vote, and Cheyenne doesn't want to talk herself up. Allyson wants new teeth... she has missing teeth and missing crowns and stuff. She has a lot of decay and infection, so they're taking out the abscesses and stuff and putting on temporaries. The quality of her teeth is so poor! Wow, the new ones look SO GOOD on her! Jenessa talks to Dominique about getting rid of Kristen. Dominique would hate if Cheyenne actually won, since she thinks she's spoiled. Jenessa gives her standard line about hating not being in complete control. Jenessa asks Cheyenne why she should stay, and she says that they deserve it the same, and that's about it. Allyson gets back and Jenessa is pissed that Allyson has ever gotten top bride, let alone twice. Allyson asks Kristen about what's going on, but she knows nothing. She does say that she's hoping Allyson will break the tie and give it to her. She also points out that it's Cheyenne's very first time in the bottom, so she's more of a threat. Kristen tells Cheyenne about her line to Dominique about the homesick thing, and Cheyenne takes it personally and offensively. Jenessa has to reveal her vote first... she calls Cheyenne selfless, and quickly sits with her. Jenessa says to the camera that she and Dominique agreed to vote for Cheyenne, but that almost doesn't make sense with all of the comments about how she had no control. Dominique says that she loves Kristen and that she shines and has great energy and spirit. She then tells Cheyenne that she's beautiful and that it's incredible that she wants the wedding for Scott. Dominique then gets tongue-tied about her thought process and just goes to sit with Cheyenne, leaving Kristen out in the cold. Cheyenne cries. Kristen hugs everyone and leaves, blaming herself for faltering along her way. At this point I'm between Cheyenne and Dominique... I don't want Allyson or Jenessa to win at all, and although I don't like Cheyenne or Dominique all that much either, I'm kinda even with them.

The Simpsons (S22E11):
the ice cream couch gag wasn't that good. "Persia & Mesopotamia" was funny. drinking for fun vs. drinking because of an addiction was amusing. I like how Comic Book Guy has a cousin named Comic Book Gay haha. a dog named Neil Patrick Hairless was funny. Nice trompe l'oeil jokes. 3 weeks of Spring Break and 4 weeks of Christmas Break just to take a girl to the arcade?? hahaha, Skinner! Willie as principal when Skinner takes off is funny. The 1 day vs. 3 months thing was strange.

Family Guy (S09E09): Stewie dressed like a sailor to be seen at church, LoL. Lois vomiting on Stewie severely grossed me out. BILF?!?!?! Julie Andrews and a gun? what? The housekeeper thing was strange. The high school bullying was horrific. "Random background people" was funny. Pariah and Piranha was funny, too. "the burning bush" was inappropriate. ?

Kate Plus Eight (S02Exx): not sure when episode #2 is.

Monday:
Cake Boss: Next Great Baker (S01E07): No Baker's Challenge tonight, we jump straight into the Elimination Challenge. Mauro is a guest judge. They're doing a cake inspired by the new Chevy Cruze. Everyone goes out to look at one. They take turns riding in it a little bit. The person who wins the end will get the car! Everyone is working for themselves and they have 8 hours in one day. Cakes, cereal treats, and ingredients were supplied this time. Megan brought a remote control car, haha. Brian wants a very accurate replica. Dana has modeled 4 cars, Brian has done more than 500. Dana goes with a tire base and a layer of red, white, and blue, and a trophy for champions. Corina wants to go with the driving experience. Jay was confused about that decision. Megan goes BIG. Jay spends 3 and a half hours just sculpting the car! Brian's base is getting out of control. Corina realizes that everyone is having problems. Jay had a time management issue with fondant sticking. Nice ad for Glad ForceFlex bags, LoL. Megan has a car, but I don't know if it's a Chevy Cruze! Brian decides to scrap his base with 90 minutes to go. He goes with styrofoam covered in fondant. Jay hated what he did with the color (silver) and calls himself "cake-whipped." Jay cut and covered his car in 28 minutes, not 4 hours, LoL. He went with more elements. Buddy walks around and talks to people about their process, and he doesn't really have anything positive to say about anything. Jay is still on his car with just 1 hour to go... he has nothing else yet. Everyone sucks and Buddy tells them to bake him something... anything. LoL. He also adds 30 minutes and says they'll be judged on the cakes and the desserts. Jay chooses to make "Lord Have Mercy Bars," which is a graham cracker crust with layers of different chocolates and nuts. Corina goes with pumpkin bread. Dana doesn't think his cake sucks... he goes with a Southern Lemon Cake with fresh strawberries and a cream cheese icing. Megan goes with chocolate chip cookies. Brian is struggling with his fondant tearing, and he realizes that he covered the wrong side! :( Brian covered his base like eight times. He went with snickerdoodle cookies. Jay's cake was a mess. At least it had lights, LoL. Brian burnt his cookies, but with only 5 minutes to go, there's no chance to re-do them. Dana's dessert got great remarks. His cake gets good marks from the Chevy person. Brian's dessert wasn't too good. His cake... doesn't contain any cake at all. Jay's dessert is sweet (a little too sweet), but good. His cake had little comment. Megan's dessert was slightly overbaked, which would make it hard in the long run. Megan's car does move, which was good. Corina's dessert was very good. Her cake got smiles from the Chevy woman, wasn't that clean, and had a good concept. Final Elimination time... Dana got first in cake with his concept and a great dessert as well. Brian's cake being cakeless was problematic. He had the best car, but that was it. Jay's cake didn't make sense, it was crappy and small. Buddy has no positives at all. Megan's dessert was all well and good, but the car didn't have enough likeness, but it did move. Corina's cake was too broad of a concept, leading to poor execution. Buddy announces that Megan will go on to the finale. Buddy talks about Jay's great victories in the past and how today was the choke of the century... he gets sent home. Corina gets to go on, which sends Brian home. Buddy thinks that Corina is a baker first and an artist second, and Brian is the other way around.

House, M.D. (S07E09): House scheming Cuddy once again. Taub on a billboard, haha. House defacing the bus stop was typically awful. Awesome move, Cuddy! Either way she was gonna get House to the dinner, hehe. Racism rears its ugly head once again. I hate how Cuddy's daughter and Taub's wife share the same first name! Banging on a person's back and their ears hurt... that's a new one. hahaha, House has been nice to Jewish women in case they were Cuddy's mom and then she turns out to be a shiksa (a gentile woman who is attracted to a Jewish man). The just looks like an awkward dinner, LoL. "I didn't read any studies, I just raised children." The "will you convert to Judaism" question was amusing. "I just don't want Rachel growing up thinking you're a slut," hahahahaha. He sedated her! awesome! And Wilson, too!! haha, Cuddy's mom thought that she was drunk and went to bed, hahaha. I wasn't thrilled with Cuddy's mom's remark about children being horrible and always getting her sick. Does anyone believe that there's something that Wilson would never forgive House for?? Interesting ending with the paint balloons. Even more interesting was House's attempt to spend some time alone at any cost.

How I Met Your Mother (S06E14): Wow, the whole gang went to Minnesota for Marshall's dad's funeral. Wow that's a lot of ways to get injured in the cajones, LoL. WOW Robin's prepared! I was getting goosebumps from the nice things that everyone said about their last words with Marshall's dad, and then the stupid little punk said mean things. The Koreans thing was amusing. How does Marshall keep mis-remembering his dad's last words to him? That's a quick-charging phone! who calls it "juice" LoL? Why did Lily take the blame for Robin? cheese, mayonnaise, and jellybeans??? "nothing beats the immediacy of live theatre." Marshall's dad's last words after the pocket dial made me cry. "that dress makes you look like a Kansas City whore." Robin pulling out Crocodile Dundee III was great. Why is Marshall's parents' house so formal-looking? I liked Barney calling his mom at the end and telling her that he was ready to meet his dad.

Tuesday:
Teen Mom 2 (S01E02):
Jenelle: she's been away from her baby for a week. Her mom was kinda a b!tch about telling Jenelle she's not going to have money for a lawyer. "The only drug I use is marijuana... and I don't use it that much." $200/hour, 15-100 hours, plus $5,000 retainer. She then calls her mom and says she wants to go home. She was hoping that her mom would drop the custody battle too, but it doesn't look that way.
Kailyn: horrible cursing in front of the baby. She goes out on a date. One of her friends suggests she go public by saying on facebook that she's "in a relationship." Jo's parents find out fast and give her the third degree about it. Jo's mom accuses her of not caring about her kid, and the dad suggests that she just can't be alone. The dad says she's starting new problems. Jo says that it's disrespectful for her to bring the baby around other guys, and she better not do that. She does not admit that she already has.
Chelsea: ewww... who drinks out of a 2-liter bottle??!? She misses Adam. Her dad reminds her that if she doesn't take school seriously, she'll lose his support. Adam comes to see Aubree.
Leah: she decides to take Ali to the doctor because her legs aren't the same at Aleeah. She wanted to start nursing classes (her mom's a nurse, too), but with Ali's heath issues, she put it off. Corey's parents go with her to take the girls to the doctor. Her arms are disproportionate and there's a nerve problem... she needs an MRI. She has no bone issues, but perhaps a spinal issue. I didn't like Leah's nails. Leah is crying a lot and Corey and she agree that they need to stop arguing... there's too much going on. Corey reminds her that she has to be strong.

Wednesday:
Minute to Win It (S02E20): Random Pairing. Michelle and Derald. Overall, I thought it was a little early in the show's lifetime to show "favorite moments." The joke about trips was good.
Game 1: Sticky Balls: roll marbles across a flat surface to get them to stick on a strip of tape. Michelle goes for it (her sister in the audience tells her to, LoL). Her first five or so miss, then she gets one, then a bunch more miss, then 2, 3, 4, and 5 all come in a row.
Game 2: Spin Doctor: Team Game. One spins a dollar coin, it has to spin across a line, then the other person has to stop it upright. Derald gives a quick direction or two, then Michelle starts spinning. Derald knocks down the first few, but gets it with 23 spare seconds.
Game 3: Tweeze Me: There's an upright tennis racket and there's a tennis ball balanced on top. Get a mint (like a tic-tac) through a marked hole in the racket so it lands on a cup on the other side, but don't knock off the tennis ball. You have 5 attempts and you only have to do it once.haha, Derald wanted to show how shaky they were, but she thought he wanted her to go, but he covers. Michelle gets one through but it misses the cup, so does the second. The third stays in, 18 seconds to go.
Game 4: Office Dominoes: Team Game, as they're both doing it, but in separate instances. Balance 10 reams of paper so that when you knock them over, they ring a bell. Both look pretty good in setup, but I trust Michelle's a little more. Both get it, 6 seconds to go.
Game 5: Triple Pong Plop: Team Game here since they're both trying to get to the 4 total. Bounce ping-pong balls across 3 11" dinner plates and into a fishbowl of water. Get four in. Derald gets close, then they both get it, next thing you know, it's over and there's still 44 seconds remaining!
Game 6: Pop Top: Flick bottlecaps off the ends of a round table into a glass that's in the middle. There are 48 around the table. Derald says he grew up playing this "as a guy" so he goes for it. He gets it on the first try, so 57 seconds to go, haha!! This is the "FASTEST WIN EVER" and everyone is ecstatic.
Game 7: Breakfast Scramble: Team Game. 16 squares are on a table... they make a puzzle. You don't even know what it looks like ahead of time, but you know it's a cereal. They talk strategy. It's the Frosted Flakes box and they're going strong at halfway. I got frustrated when they had a piece from the bottom row rotated 180 degrees for the longest time! They get it with one second to go.
Game 8: Oh-Nuts: 8 nut-and-bolt pairings on a ruler, you have to stack a tower. Don't let it fall. Derald goes for it. Michelle tells him to have a steady hand. He's kinda slow... he was out of time and tried to rush and fell. He tried to get her to do it the next time, and she flat-out refused, claiming that he knows what he's doing now. He goes again and has a much better start. A little sloppier but not too bad. It falls at 32 seconds. She looks upset. They have one life left, but he can't play because of the 3-plays rule. So Michelle has to go. She goes WAY too slowly and ends up knocking it over with 3 or 4 more to stack and only a second anyway.

Better With You (S01E13): [Episode 12 got overrode last week because of President Obama's speech. Not sure how they'll work on when this will air...]
Episode 13: MISSED THE FIRST NINE MINUTES OR SO. I like how the parents are trying to win godparent status by taking the cat, while Maddie and Ben take an infant CPR class. Maddie asking questions and getting kicked out was funny. I'm actually surprised that Joel has an interest in being a guardian. I like how careless they're being with the cat, tho. Mia getting kicked out because she's Maddie's sister was funny. Mr. Meowgi was a cute name for a cat. I love that the parents can't even remember what color the cat was. I adored the "telling of grievances" between Maddie and her parents... very Friends. 4 guardians??!?!? hahaha, stealing a cat! haha, they're not the actual guardians, and Mia and Casey aren't worried about it because by the time the others find out, they'll be dead. "we saved nine" was funny.

Hot in Cleveland (S02E01): I loved Elka with the harmonica in jail. Mary Tyler Moore was her cellmate, haha! Elka insulting the judge was funny. "talking more" punishes a man, haha. "people are plucking their own brows? Are we living in a third world country now?" LoL! "you're not even that famous," LoL. "in Cleveland they're called 'garage sales,'" haha. Joy needs a greencard so Rick automatically proposes. Rick's "balls" comment was odd. "call us 'miss' to the day we die." hahaha, Joy gets locked up for announcing that she sold drugs to the mailman in front of cops. So she totally may get deported now. Apparently she got arrested for shoplifting earlier in life. Victoria wanting to choose her Botox over getting Joy out of jail was strange. Rick is also the name of Victoria's agent?? Why do we recycle names like this?? Rick (the Wayne Knight one) sells some balls to donate the money to the girls. Turns out, Elka gave him his first ball so he felt like he owed her. There's also the possibility that Rick meant sex... Joy tries to accept Rick's proposal, but Rick makes her get down on one knee and ask him this time. The tornado was still just the night before?? A final thought: I feel like this episode ran fast.. like extra commercials or something.

Retired at 35 (S01E01):
I wasn't really planning on watching this show. But, for some reason, a day or two before the premiere, I just up and decided to add it to my DVR. I think I had seen a commercial that pushed me off the fence, LoL. "they still think that cell phones have harmful rays," LoL. "it's like college in slow motion," haha. "all food-related wood," haha. "I should have thumb-wrestled him, my thumbs are huge from texting." I like all of the "wrong words" for technology, like "tittering" and "facialbook." The dad not caring that the mom went to Portugal was odd. Sleeping with an old woman was weird. The woman's daughter being the waitress at the bar was problematic. I gotta say, I'm not thrilled with this show, and the scenes-from-the-next were only worse. I'll try it again, but I don't see it lasting.

Thursday:
Wipeout (S04E03):
The qualifier course looks a little more difficult than last week, but otherwise it's pretty much the same. The "blind librarian" had a funny course. CreepyRobert (who does a Golem voice) had a nice wipeout on that first obstacle. "safety third" was weird. Man, Ballsy has great aim with those snowballs!! Art History girl had a great wipeout, too! It also looks like they're cleaning off the big balls more often, since they don't have as much mud on them with each new person going at them. Oatmeal Girl got beat-up on the log jammer! Next is the ski lift, the one where everyone stands on rotating platforms and hangs onto an overhead handlebar to pull themselves up as necessary to avoid sweeper arms. The hats over the helmets didn't look as cool or fitted this week. Oatmeal Girl was getting flown around! Some Dancer Boy gets the $1,000. Third Round is the W-I-P-E-O-U-T level, with different obstacles on each letter. Riding the sweeper arm all the way around was funny. CreepyRobert snuck past DangerDan to get into the finale. The Wipeout Zone features the stairs, the icicle sweeper thing, and the sinister snowflakes. You start with the bobsled launcher. CreepyRobert goes first. It's snowing kinda hard to start off. He falls off the second set of stairs. Then he falls off the middle stairs. There's also pink goo out tonight. He falls off the icicle sweepers, then falls again when he tries to get off this obstacle. He slips off the first sinister snowflake. He makes it on the second try, finishing at 10:28. He must be a pretty fast swimmer, really. RocketScientist is next. He falls on one of the last stairs... it looked like he was just going too fast. On his second attempt he falls backward on one of the last sets of stairs. He falls off the icicle sweepers pretty quickly. He almost made it across the sinister snowflakes but falls getting to the platform. He then falls face-first on his second try, again on the second snowflake. He then makes it, finishing at 9:38. Jacob the Dancer is last. He falls off the top/middle stair, which is a two-story drop. He struggled HARD to stay on the final stair on his second attempt, but he makes it. He had too much speed coming off the sweeper, but luckily he got both feet on the platform before he went careening into the water. He makes the snowflakes in his first attempt, finishing with a miraculous time of just 3:46!!!! You know, I thought about it... it would be cool if they picked 3 or 5 wipeouts from each episode and we could vote on our favorites the day after each episode airs or something.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season/Coming Up:

Kitchen Boss (Season 1 premieres January 24th and runs in the afternoons)
19 Kids and Counting (Season 6 starts January 24th - we're moving to Mondays! as if those aren't already my busiest day!)
Cake Boss (Season 4 back January 31st)
Mr. Sunshine (premieres Wednesday, February 9th at 9:30pm on ABC)
The Secret Life of the American Teenager (season 3 continues March 28th at 8pm)
South Park (season 15 starts April 27th)
Melissa & Joey (some point in the Spring)
Futurama (Season 6 continues with episode 14 in the Spring)
Teen Mom (no idea)
16 and Pregnant (no idea)
Terra Nova (previewing in May; premiering in September)
Table for 12 (I found out this week that this show was canceled last October. too bad. I guess it was just "too real," LoL. I'm missing 5 episodes from the series, which I may never see. missing "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school." I'll remove this from Friday posts starting next week. Should I ever finish this series, I'll do a "favorites" from each of its two seasons.)