Category Archives: Television Reviews

How I Met Your Mother Is Surprisingly Good For A Sitcom

While one of the disadvantages of not bothering with cable or other access to broadcast television is that I don’t stay current on “hot” shows while they’re hot. So I tend to get to them a little bit late if I get to them at all because I usually wait until I can rent the DVDs of a show one season at a time or hopefully they’ll make their way to the Netflix instant streaming so I don’t have to bother with a disc being mailed. The advantage to this is that I get to enjoy the show commercial free and several episodes at one time. In a way it’s kind of like taking a crash course in show. Recently one of the shows I’ve rented from Netflix is the “How I Met Your Mother” series.

As far as I know, “How I Met Your Mother” is still on the air producing episodes, and I’m sure if I cared enough, I could Google it and and find out for sure, but in all honesty it doesn’t really make much of a difference to me because I’m not going to be watching it when it broadcasts. I had added the first season of the show to my Netflix rental queue ages ago and it finally made it’s way to the top of the list and it was delivered to me on DVD courtesy of the US Postal Service. While I was a bit reluctant to start a television series, this one actually was a lot of fun so I added all the other available seasons to the top of my list. I made my way through all four of the seasons that are presently available on DVD in about three weeks time. So instead of having to suffer through four years of waiting, I got it all in a very short period of time.

Continue reading How I Met Your Mother Is Surprisingly Good For A Sitcom

Doctor Who Returns With A New Face

When Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005 at the hands of Russell T. Davies, it was returning after nearly a decade away from the public eye. Russell T. Davies viewed the relaunch as more of a picking up where the story left off as opposed to being a complete restart as the current trend for bringing new life to past entertainment properties.

To aid new viewers in getting up to speed with the lore of Doctor Who, a new companion, Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper, so the getting to know the world of Doctor Who is told through the eyes of a character that’s meant to be the audience, someone from our time and experience being drawn into this fantastic world for an incredible journey. Old enemies of the Doctor, familiar to long time fans are new to Rose and new audience members and they become educated quickly. The end of the first season taught the audience about one of the Doctor’s greatest tricks to ensure it’s long term endurance, the ability of the Doctor to regenerate.

As Christopher Eccleston left the series and David Tennant took over the role, for the character of the Doctor, what this allows is the Doctor to take on a new face and personality every time the Doctor regenerates. This easy way to change actors also allows each new actor to bring their own touch to an established character. David Tennant’s first season as the tenth Doctor was aided by Billie Piper’s second season as Rose Tyler, as those of us new to Doctor Who had Rose’s getting used to the new Doctor to help aid us through the process as well. Eventually the storyline had Rose depart being the Doctor’s companion and we had a few others take on being the Doctor’s companion during David Tennant’s run.

Continue reading Doctor Who Returns With A New Face

Ugly Sweater Party & Bea Arthur In Star Wars

Ugly Sweater Party 2009Last night I attended an “Ugly Sweater Party” at the home of a local friend, Mike Kurtz. The premise of the party is that you’re suppose to find an ugly sweater or sweatshirt to wear to the party. You have the option of buying something new that’s hideous or comb the racks of the local thrift stores to find something ugly. It’s just a fun excuse to have a great theme party.

The party is also a pot luck of sorts and I brought some cookies. I didn’t have time to make some sugar free ones so I just bought some pre-made cookie dough packages from the supermarket and baked those up for the party. Pretty quick and easy. Some people did some creative things, such as one person brought a whole plate of olives that were creatively stacked and stuffed with some carrots and cream to look like penguins. Mike and his partner Ian had wonderful meatballs for the party.

To compliment the theme of ugly sweaters, one of the worst television holiday specials ever was screened. It’s the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s so bad that George Lucas has said if he had the time and a hammer he would track down every bootleg recording of it and smash it. And yes, it was horrible. I’m amazed they got the original actors to consent to making this steaming pile of crap holiday special. The sets looked terrible. The costumes were pretty bad, especially the Wookies that made up the rest of Chewbacca’s family. Even the animation for the cartoon segment introducing Boba Fett was bad too.

Continue reading Ugly Sweater Party & Bea Arthur In Star Wars

Amazing Deal On Doctor Who TODAY ONLY At Amazon

Doctor WhoIf you’re a fan of the rebooted Doctor Who that’s had Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant in the title role, then Amazon has a great deal for you, but you have to act now, because the deal is for today only!! If you’re like me and previously though the DVD sets from the BBC are considerably overpriced, then today is your day!

Amazon has the box sets for each of the four seasons of the show on sale today for $32.49 a piece. That’s 59% off the list price of $79.99 and 50% off of Amazon’s regular price of $64.99. I’ve been hesitant to buy the sets myself because quite frankly I felt they were a complete rip off at their regular price. The show has been remarkably good and I definitely wanted the sets but I’m sorry $65 to $80 a set was way too much money in my opinion for a show that only does 13 episodes a season. Maybe if they were 26 episode seasons like most American shows, it would be a reasonable price, but for 13 episodes, forget it. So for literally half price today only at Amazon, the sets are actually affordable.

The show is brilliant and well written and getting all four sets is truly the best option if you’ve never seen it. The way the show ends in the fourth season ties back to the entire series in such a well thought out way that you get the feeling the ending was always in mind when they established the series. Few shows pay off and spread out the storyline over so many seasons that you’re going to be amazed and wish American shows would do this. Lost may eventually pay off in this way, but we won’t know for sure until the final season completes it.

Continue reading Amazing Deal On Doctor Who TODAY ONLY At Amazon

The Stockholm Syndrome: Is America Becoming Like Sweden?

Stockholm SyndromeWith the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States, and the election of the most liberal congress in many years, the concern is that socialistic government ideas are going to be making their way to America and turning America into another Sweden. Sweden is one of the most highly taxed nations in the world and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” a politically minded show with a strong emphasis on the comedy of it, takes a satirical look at what they dubbed, “The Stockholm Syndrome.”

To accomplish this task of seeing out the differences between America’s traditionally capitalistic society and it’s proposed future as a socialistic society, the Daily Show sent “reporter” Wyatt Cenac to Stockholm to explore socialism. In the process he meets up with Swedish people for interviews on the street, interviews of conditions in the factory of a Swedish truck manufacturer as well as government officials and Swedish pop stars Robyn and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA. The topics include health care and high taxation. There’s even an amusing surprise revelation at the end of this two part report.

Continue reading The Stockholm Syndrome: Is America Becoming Like Sweden?

Bea Arthur Passes Away At 86 Leaving Behind A Golden Legacy

Bea ArthurIt was sad news to hear that Bea Arthur, best known for her role as Dorothy Zbornak in Golden Girls. In addition to Golden Girls, her other major television role was as Maude Findlay which started out as a character giving Archie Bunker an outspoken foil to battle with on All In The Family. Her popularity in the role led to Bea spining the character off into her own show entitled Maude. And long before her television fame Bea was a Broadway star who created a legendary performance as Vera Charles in Mame, a role she would later reprise in a film version.

To me, Bea Arthur will always be a reminder of my late grandmother Beverly Severin. My grandmother preferred to be go by Bev, much like Bea was better known as Bea than Beatrice. Also my grandmother looked a lot like Bea Arthur, so much so, that she often got several double takes especially during the Maude years. As my grandmother’s hair was also transitioning from black to silver at the same time. She even got double takes during Bea’s Golden Girls years as well but not to the same degree as the Maude years.

In fact some of my best memories I have with my grandmother have been watching Golden Girls with her. My grandmother was also quite sassy as Bea was on the show. When my grandmother passed away in 2001, it made the episodes of Golden Girls all that much more important for me to feel a bond with my grandmother. So I will always love Bea Arthur for being a special part of my memories with my grandmother.

Continue reading Bea Arthur Passes Away At 86 Leaving Behind A Golden Legacy

Star Trek: The Next Generation Cast Reunites On Family Guy

Family Guy - Star Trek: The Next Generation EpisodeOne of my all time favorite shows is “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Well thanks to following Wil Wheaton on Twitter, I found out about the episode of “Family Guy” that was going to air. I don’t pay attention to current shows on television so without being online, I never would have known about it.

I gotta love modern technology though. I didn’t catch the broadcast of the episode on television, I waited until the day after the show aired, and then downloaded it to my
Roku Netflix Box using the new access to the Amazon On Demand feature. For $1.99 I got to see one episode commercial free, and since I bought the episode, I can watch it anytime I want. I thought that’s pretty cool. The Roku Netflix Box keeps getting better all the time, what a great investment.

Continue reading Star Trek: The Next Generation Cast Reunites On Family Guy