Where’d they go????

This week’s topic had me ready to go, as I always seem to get invested in a television show that subsequently gets yanked off the air.  It cracks me up when people say that a show was cancelled too soon if it was pulled after ten years (Friends, Frasier).  Honestly, at that point, the story has been told.  It might be funny to tell it again, but the story was told.  I always think of Cheers though, which was the dead last ranked show at #77 according to Nielsen the week it made its debut.  Thanks to Brandon Tartikoff it stayed on the air, but all too often shows don’t get the chance to stick around.

So here is my list of 10.  Oddly enough, many people appear in more than one of these shows before finding the show that kept them on the air . . . . Continue reading

Crashing Another Link Party

So since I started doing the Wednesday Hodgepodge, I discovered Monday Listicles.  I have thoroughly enjoyed both of them.  Once I started clicking on the other links, I discovered there is a whole world out there of random link party topics.  So I’ve now dedicated to a Tuesday list as well, just two weeks and two days late.  I’m joining on week eight, but here are the Tuesday Topics!

The Austin Family Diary

There’s a part of me that likes that I know the next seven weeks ahead of time.  Just in case I get snowed in and need something to do.  You know, like avoiding housework.  Again.

But here’s this week’s list!  Eight TV shows.  Sadly, it was hard to get down to just eight.  So–fair warning–I might cheat a little bit.  But here are the ones that I am currently obsessed with in no particular order.  The only rule I had is that they had to still be showing or awaiting the next season. Continue reading

Sheldon Cooper is my hero

Sunday night is the night where the girls hang out.  We watch tv or movies or play games, and two of the three of us knit or crochet to pass the time while watching television.  Tonight there is no new episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice, so we decided to catch up one of the girls with the Big Bang Theory.  She is through the first season, and we’re now into season two.

More than anything else, I love Sheldon Cooper.  There are just things he says to be a part of the conversation that crack me up.  His complete and total lack of comprehension of social norms is a hoot, and then there is the new go-to word for fun times.


Going back to season two now.  Have a great night!

Proof that Industry Standards need to change

Project Runway is one of my favorite reality television shows.  Yes, it’s starting to cycle.  Yes, it’s all starting to run together.  Yes, it’s formulaic.  But it’s still impressive to see the amazing talent (and incredible delusion) that the contestants have.  The new follow-up show, Models of the Runway, has been fun as well.  It’s been interesting to see the girls that never talked before and how they are going through the competition.

Last season there was a model that was visited by her son.  I remember thinking that there was no way on earth that those hips had borne a child.  This woman–a statuesque 5’10”, beautiful complexion, skeleton with skin–was just so stinkin’ skinny, I could not imagine her pregnant.  The picture I have in my head is of a woman toppling over because the weight of the pumpkin sitting on her front was pulling her over.

That being said, this past month was New York Fashion Week.  Models galore with the opportunity to walk the catwalk for genius designers, some working as many as three shows a day.  One of the more famous models recently is the lovely 21-year-old Coco Rocha.  At 120 pounds, she is, in my opinion, underweight for her 5’10” frame.  Yet the people in New York have been denying her work because her size 4 frame is considered too fat for fashion.

The average American woman is at least a size 12.  The average runway model has gained weight and moved to a size zero from a size double zero.  What about this is normal?  What happened to the Christie Brinkley’s and the Cindy Crawfords of old, the women with curves?  What happened to HEALTHY looking women?  Did the Kate Moss era change the perspective of every human?  Do people really think that skeletal hipbones are healthy and normal?

I’m not advocating a nation of obese people.  I’m not saying we all need to have Krispy Kreme for three meals every day.  I am just asking what the perception of normal is in an industry that is supposed to appeal to the common woman.

Women in bridal mode can be so catty!

My cousin and her new husband

I used to cater at a local botanical garden, a spot which is very popular for weddings here in town.  And rightly so, it is a beautiful location.  I worked through a change in the catering contract, serving two different employers through many changes in policy and menu.  I loved working at the tea house, as it was a fine dining location with a beautiful landscape and one of the few places in town where you could get a fantastic brunch.  We were only open on Saturday and Sunday from 10-2, and the rest of the weekend I worked weddings that occurred in the garden.  With the main house, a historic manor, a rose garden pavilion (where my best friend got married a few years ago), the tea house, the conservatory, and various spots in the garden for smaller, intimate weddings, trust me–there were plenty that occurred between April-October.  I was the point person on the weddings I worked, which means I was second only to the manager for what happened, who did what, how to get things accomplished, and was the primary (as we called it) bridal bitch, waiting on the bride (and usually the monster-mother-of) hand and foot to make sure that all was perfect on her special day.

I loved my job.  I really did.  Didn’t exactly go to college and graduate school to cut wedding cakes for a living, though, and when I had one Saturday, working from 8am to 2am, and I cut SIX wedding cakes that day, well, I realized I was over it.  Continue reading

In defense of the worst, part one

I recently saw a listing of the worst TV shows released in the past decade. Some of them, like According to Jim and Kath and Kim, rightfully belong in the top five (I still can’t believe that According to Jim was on the air for several seasons!  Maybe these two should be a lesson to not name the sitcom after the main character?).

I took issue with one of the ‘winners’ in particular: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  Granted, it wasn’t Aaron Sorkin’s brightest shining moment.  And yes, it was obvious from the character of Harriet Hayes that he was bitter about his then-recent breakup to noted Christian Kristin Chenoweth.  But there were some parts of the show that were outstandingly brilliant, and I think it deserves to be recognized as such.  It came on the air the same time that 30 Rock debuted, and as an hour-long drama instead of a half hour sitcom it was the runner up in the on-air battle.  Yanked before it’s episodes finished running, the set was destroyed before the final episodes aired. Thanks to DVDs, however, I am able to watch it in its entirety about twice a year.

Admittedly, I felt like it was overkill with the ‘you’re going to hell and I’m not just because I was baptized and you are a heathen’.  But correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t premarital sex, monogomy, and blasphemy outlawed by the Bible as well?  In which case, said character would be going to hell also, correct?

That aside, however, it was a remarkable use of an amazing cast.  Continue reading

Big Bang Theory Quotes Part 2

Okay, this show continues to crack me up. I managed to catch one today that I hadn’t seen during the season, and here are some great lines.  From “The Cushion Saturation”:

Leonard: You know what baffles me, Sheldon?
Sheldon: Based on your academic record, any number of things I would imagine.

Leonard: Are you done?
Sheldon: No. (pause) Despite what the name would suggest, the sivid cat is not a true cat. (pauses again) Now I’m done.

Wolowitz: One way to look at this is that I am getting new equipment and you’re not, and that’s unfair; but a better way to look at it is that I’m getting sex and you’re not and that’s delightful!

Sheldon: Hello Penny
Penny: Hello Sheldon
Sheldon: You’re in my spot.

Penny (regarding Sheldon): You know I love him, but he is one serious whackadoodle.

Penny: No, I’m from Nebraska. When we shoot things it’s because we want to eat them or make them leave our boyfriends alone.

Leonard: We?  No, no, no.  You had your chance to be a ‘we’ for a year and a half now.  You’re on your own.

Wolowitz as phone rings: Oooh! It looks like I’m going to have sex tonight!
Penny in an aside to Leonard: His right hand is calling?

Leslie Winkle, post coitus: You’re improving!
Wolowitz: Thank you! It helps when I get to practice with a real woman.

Big Bang Theory Quotes Part 1

It may be dweeby, but this show cracks me up.  And some nights, like tonight, there are lines that have me rolling over I’m laughing so hard.  So I’ve decided to start a running list of quotes from Big Bang Theory.  From the May 4 episode titled “The Classified Materials Turbulence”

Sheldon: For what it’s worth, my mother says that when we deceive for personal gain we make Jesus cry.

Wolowitz (with amazement): You don’t know what thing thing is?
Stuart/Comic Guy (looking befuddled): No
Wolowitz: Good. Get out!

Koothrappali: Oh get over yourself. It’s a high tech toilet.

Leonard: It must be hell inside your head.
Sheldon: At times.

Wolowitz: We gotta find a way using nothing but this to reinforce this so the waste material avoids the spinning turbine.
Koothrappali: You mean so it doesn’t hit the fan?

Sheldon: You know, I have to say I thought the toilet humor would get less funny with repetition.  Apparently there is no law of diminishing comedic returns with space poop.

Koothrappali:  Of course you feel terrible, you completely screwed up your karma dude!
Sheldon: You don’t really believe in that superstition, do you?
Raj: It’s not superstition, it’s practically Newtonian.  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Leonard pretends to be a friend and acts like a two-faced bitch, therefore he is reborn as a banana slug.  It’s actually a very elegant system.  You know, what goes around comes around.
(Later, after Leonard delays a coffee run to knock on Penny’s door to ask how her date went and apologize for giving bad advice and is rebuffed) Raj: You really want to clean up your karma, go get my freakin’ latte.

Wolowitz: Sheldon, I know what I am doing.
Sheldon: If you knew what you were doing there wouldn’t be a space toilet where my coffee table should be.

Sheldon: That was a joke.  It’s funny, because it’s true.

Penny: What the hell was THAT?
Wolowitz: Meatloaf.
Leonard: What was it doing on the ceiling?!
Wolowitz: That’s classified.

I have a bone to pick with Saturday Night Live

I have watched Saturday Night Live since I was in about 7th or 8th grade.  I have seen it through many cast members, highs, lows, stupid pranks, and inspired sketches.  I remember when Hans and Franz and the Church Lady made the daily vernacular in high school, I thought the cheerleader skit by Will Farrell and Cheri Oteri was like grating fingernails on a blackboard, and was so thankful to see Rachael Dratch leave.  I miss classic 80s performers like Dana Carvey and Victoria Jackson, and mourn the loss of the brilliant talents of Phil Hartman and Chris Farley, even if he wasn’t my particular brand of humor.  I think that Dennis Miller and Kevin Nealon did a great job hosting the news, no matter what Lorne Michaels thinks, and I think that Seth Myers should host the news without guests like Snagglepuss and Comic Strip Cathy.  I think that the show needs to not have an annual contract with Alec Baldwin or Christopher Walken, and I truly believe that Gilda Radner was singularly the best talent ever to appear on the show.

That being said, I do still watch the show.  I think that there are several entertaining minutes that can be found, thus the reason for watching via Tivo so I can fast forward through stuff that is running too long.   But there is a new recurring theme that is driving me insane.

I cannot STAND the MacGruber sketches.  It was funny–at first.  It was a spoof on something that I loved as a kid.  After all, who didn’t love a show where an ordinary guy could make a car run on an egg and a rubber band.  But the short enjoyment of the sketch was when they first started back in January of 2007.  It has been over two years!  Get a new gig already!  And for Pete’s sake why do you have an entire miniseries within the episode.  It’s all about fast forwarding, now, baby!  I think the two main characters are very talented, but the theme music alone has me reaching for the remote.

It’s not like there is anything that is much better as a substitute.  We have the anal version of breathe right strips, the edible diaper commercials, the Activa/Jamie Lee Curtis spoofs . . . see a recurring theme here?  This isn’t exactly a welcome alternative to the MacGruber shorts,  but at least they don’t have the awful theme music.

So is the show just in a rut? Does it need fresh writers? Or does America really need to have explosions and bowel movements for entertainment?

Doctor Grover, at your service!

dr-groverI have to say when I saw this photo I was absolutely thrilled.  Then I found out he was going to be on Scrubs.  Now I would normally watch Scrubs anyway, but this just made me want to watch even more.  It was a short scene, didn’t last more than 45 seconds or so, but he even managed to get in the “Near . . . . . . . . Faaaarrrrrr!” that instantly brought back images from the original Sesame Street TV show.

Here’s to the brilliance that is, was, and forever shall be Jim Henson.  What a wonderful way to continue these characters, and such a great use of an old favorite!

(Now if they had only had Super Grover crash through the door in order to save the day, or Waiter Grover deliver Kelso his muffin . . . .)

When Commercial Advertising Actually Works

As a devoted TiVo owner, I freely admit that I fast forward through 98% of all commercials that air on my television set–a cardinal sin for someone who used to work for a major advertising agency. However, while watching the BCS Championship Game this evening, I had to watch the commercials and all. I am so tired of Verizon phones, the Hardee’s Little Thickburger, Financial advisors, Olive Garden and Kevin James’s new movie, but there was one commercial that cracked me up.

It was for FedEx, the sponsor for the football game. It is a pretty generic commercial, and the last five seconds had me laughing out loud. It opens in an office where people are doing anything to keep warm–wastebasket fires, insular ware, etc. All due to Nordic Tuesdays. A coworker asks if the theme is just because it is fun (where everyone of course is miserable) or if it is because they need to save money. Enter the FedEx delivery man, who talks about how they can save money with the business plan and blah blah blah blah. Who cares. I tuned it out. After Mr. Announcer Man gave his spiel, it cuts to a man sitting against the bathroom wall next to the sinks working on a laptop. The background noise stops, and he reaches overhead and smacks the auto hand dryer that is just above his head. Instantly returns to typing without missing a step. Hilarious.

I guess you really had to see it, but trust me, it was funny.

As much as I love Joshua is as much as I am annoyed by Mary

And that’s a lot.

I am absolutely immersed in So You Think You Can Dance.  I have watched since Season 2, and it’s the water-cooler show for the girls here on the second floor at the office.

I love Mia Michaels and her ‘earthy’ style of choreography, I love the addition of Tabitha and Napoleon this year and their ‘lyrical hip-hop’ routines, I love that Doriana Sanchez thinks that disco and the hustle (which are admittedly difficult when done properly) deserve their proper place among the foxtrot and contemporary despite how cheesy they look.  I think that Tyce is hit or miss, I that Nigel is very well versed, and I think that Mary is extremely talented and full of great advice but needs to shut her yap on occasion and stop with the screaming.  It drives me nuts.  Be complimentary.  Have a shtick.  Just don’t do it at twelve decibles.

That being said, ohmigoshhowawesomewerejoshuaandkateelastnight?????  Continue reading

I don’t even LIKE Ashton Kutcher

It seems like every time I turn on the television, that crazy Ashton Kutcher commercial for Nikon is on.  Now, truth be told, I don’t even like the boy.  Granted, he has a beautiful wife and seems to be a great stepfather, but what on earth makes people think that his personal life combined with a dubious acting career makes him the prime pitch person for Nikon cameras?

Yet I can’t help it, I want one.

I’ve been looking at digital SLR cameras for awhile, now, and after decades of my Pentax and loving my point and shoot digital, I have to admit that Nikon was one of the two that I was looking at.  And darned if his commercial doesn’t make me want it more.

So while I would normally say that advertising on TV doesn’t have any bearing on my choices (usually because I am fast forwarding through them all) I guess, in this case, it actually worked!