Category Archives: On TV

Gotta Love 80s TV

Did we actually think the acting in these shows was good at the time?  I mean, seriously.

Last night I happened to catch an episode of The A-Team, c.1983.  This one happened to be about a hijacked plane…kind of funny, considering…

You can watch the full episode on hulu.  I beg of you, with my entire being, please watch the first five minutes. For even more fun, wait until they shoot out an airplane window, and they have to land the plane:

 

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Social Problems, The Middle, and Popeye’s Chicken

While you’re in school, certain classes, certain lessons, stick with you.  You remember a particular person in history, or a particular formula or math equation, a certain poem you can still recite.  I don’t know why one thing sticks while so many others are forgotten – something about it sparks a flame inside your mind, and it stays lit for years.

One such lesson for me came in a community college course I took called “Social Problems.”  In that class, we studied sociological, economic, political, and environmental issues that we face, some of us daily.  I had a great professor, and I think that’s key in lessons sticking with you.  He was intelligent, personable – he was very much “one of us.”  He was young, and cute, come to think of it…maybe that’s why I remember him.  😉

Anyway, the one thing that stuck with me in this class was a film we watched.  In it, this couple, very poor, could not afford to feed their three kids and themselves.  They would periodically give up one or two kids to the foster system, so that they would be taken better care of, so that they could eat.  I thought that was very noble of them…until I found out that both parents were two-pack-a-day smokers.

You know what?  IF YOU QUIT SMOKING YOU COULD AFFORD TO FEED YOUR KIDS!

People struggle.  I can bitch and moan all day that I’m struggling, being unemployed, but I know that others struggle much, much more than I do.  I know that I don’t know what poor is.  I don’t know what struggle is.  I think most people who “struggle” also have no real concept of the word.

The Middle

 

ABC’s The Middle is about a middle class family in the Midwest.  It’s a cute little show, with the working parents, the academically challenged child, the socially awkward child, and the bright but quirky child.  They are the typical middle-class family, struggling to raise good kids, keep their marriage together, pay bills, work their jobs, and get dinner on the table.

In this week’s episode, the mother accidentally buys a $200 jar of eye cream, thinking it cost $20, which she already thought of as exorbitant.  She knows her husband will be upset, and he is, but, we find out, not because she made the mistake she made.  He’s upset because a $200 mistake means they both have to take a second job.  He’s upset because he doesn’t want to be in a position where that small of an amount, $200, makes that big of a difference to their finances.  He thinks they should be old enough, have learned enough and saved enough and be making enough, that $200 isn’t a big deal.

It was a great episode, and I think a lot of people, especially these days, are in the same boat, where a $200 mistake is a big deal.

But here’s where I tie all this together:  Being the “typical middle class family,” their dinner regularly consists of fast food.  The mother very rarely cooks, because, like the typical middle class mother, she doesn’t have the time or energy after a long day of work.  And I just flash back to that video of the smoking parents, and I think, Maybe if you didn’t buy fast food all the time, a $200 mistake wouldn’t be as big of a deal.

Of course, the fact that they were eating Popeye’s Chicken at the end of this episode, making me incredibly jealous because I can’t get Popeye’s Chicken where I live, has nothing to do with my angst.  🙂

What’s your dream job?

Ah, the Dream Job.  Getting paid to do what you love.  Preferably paid a lot.  It’s everyone’s dream, isn’t it?

But there are categories of dream jobs, I think.  There’s the dream job that you might actually be able to get.  There’s the dream job that is so completely out there that it’s not likely to ever come your way, and there’s the dream job that only lottery winners can do.

My dream job, the one I could get and have actually had, is to sit in a room, by myself, and count money.  The problem, of course, is that it doesn’t pay much.  The dream job that is so out there, for me, is to be able to travel and actually make a living off of it.  If I won the lottery, my job would be…doing anything I damn well please when I want.

I think most people would agree that Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, of MythBusters,  have incredible dream jobs.  They’re essentially science geeks that get to blow things up on TV for a living!  How cool is that?!

However, personally, I think Zane Lamprey has topped them.  Lamprey is the host of the TV show Three Sheets.  For those who don’t know the show, this guy gets to travel around the world on an international pub crawl, checking out local bars and trying local drinks.

So, wait, my job is to travel around the world and drink as much as I can, and I get PAID for it?  Sign me up!!

What’s your dream job?

The Amazing Race is Back (!…?)

I have always loved The Amazing Race with an almost religious zeal.  It’s the season premiere I’m always most excited about.  It’s the only reality show I would ever want to be a part of.  Not in any attempt to get my 15 minutes of fame, but because of the fun and adventure and endurance of it.  I designed my own little scavenger hunt around Charlotte for my ex as a gift.  It was a gift to myself just as much as it was a gift for him.  Just yesterday I “competed” in the Challenge Nation scavenger hunt around Charlotte (I swear I’ll post about it in the next couple days), although we went in just intent on having fun, not on actually winning.  I love the concept of learning new things and traveling and doing all kinds of activities I haven’t had the chance to do.

I am always rabidly excited about the start of each season.  Last season was the exception.  I started TiVo-ing the season, which started in February, but I just couldn’t make myself watch it. 

The Pilot and I discussed going on The Race together.  I mentioned that I wanted to do it, and he said, “I’ll do it with you.”  I printed out the rules and the application.  Filled out mine.  Gave him his.  Asked him about it a few weeks later.  “I can’t get out of work for that long!” 

Gee, you think maybe that’s why I couldn’t watch this last season?  Because just the thought of air travel makes me think of him? 

So, I haven’t been paying much attention to the show and when it would be premiering.  I just happened to be scrolling through the TiVo guide for the week when I saw it was starting tonight.  I hesitated on hitting record.  Did I want to watch it?  Should I go ahead and record it, to watch later?  I went ahead and hit record.  Why not. 

Now, having watched the first episode…I’m still not nearly as excited as I have been in the past.  So…we’ll see.

How low can you go?

A few months ago I was flipping channels (note: I do not have any premium channels) and my eyes nearly popped out. I flipped back to see if I actually saw what I thought I saw. I blinked a few times. Shut my eyes really tight. Opened them again.

Okay, there. She is wearing a swimsuit. For a minute, I thought she was nekkid. She might as well be, that itty bitty little bikini, flesh-toned, which is why I thought she was nude.

“What in the world am I watching?” Women, in tiny little bikinis, walking a runway. A fashion show? Nope – the Hooters Beauty Pageant.

I admit it – I watched for about 5 minutes, my eyes popping out of my head. I just knew that at any minute, I was going to see parts of a woman that are not suitable for basic cable. The tops, of course, were little triangles, but they weren’t quite to the point of being indecent. It was the bottoms. Using all of about four square inches, between back and front, there wasn’t much to them. Put your fingers up into about a 4”x4” square, imagine it split diagonally and tied together with string. How much do you think that would cover, really? Need a visual?

Well, I would post pictures, but I’m worried about some porn linkage.  Do a search yourself.

Not too long after that, I picked up a couple of new bikinis from Target. I’m usually able to buy a medium string bikini right off the rack without any problem. Since they’re adjustable, the fit isn’t an issue, it’s just coverage, and in the past, mediums have provided adequate coverage.

Not this time. I felt like I should be wearing 6” heels and walking a runway – except, you know, I’m not as insanely hot as those girls.

These bottoms were super low, front and back. Crack showing in back, and…curls…showing in front. And (not to get too graphic) I keep my…curls…trimmed a little lower than the natural…curl…line.

That’s a little low, don’t you think? Seriously, who wears these? Oh, right, Hooters girls. And strippers.  And really really hot girls that can pull it off, which, let’s face it, are few and far between.

A couple of weeks after I watched the Hooters Beauty Pageant, my friend Mr. GeauxGirl told me they had recorded a little bit of this show I had to watch. He said he and his wife were flipping channels one night, and they saw these girls wearing the skimpiest little bikinis known to man. “I saw that!!” I said. “I nearly called you guys to make you watch! It’s like a train wreck!!”

You can see video, if you are so inclined, here.

The Amazing Race, Episode 11

We’re still in Prague.  We get a brief recap of the season (and I’m totally calling BS at this point, for the first time in Race History – more on that later), and we are off to Vegas, Baby!

Briefly…if you’ll remember from the last episode, there was a 2 hour time difference between the 1st team to leave the pit stop (Megan & Cheyne) and the last team (Brian & Ericka).  They are still in first and last place, respectively, but there is now a 4 hour time difference.  Granted, Brian & Ericka had that speedbump, but that couldn’t have taken but an extra half hour.  I think it shows what great racers Megan & Cheyne really are.  Of course, the time doesn’t mean crap, because I’m sure all three teams will be on the same flight to Vegas, but…I’m just saying.

It looks like the teams were all super smart this time.  They’ve lightened their load and are carrying the smallest amount of things that they can.  The big backs are gone, and it is ON.

Roadblock – who’s ready to climb down the mountain?  I’ll do it.  One team member must do a face-first rappel 62 stories.  Easy-peasy.

Gnarly.

Heh.  Cheyne did the entire rappel with his eyes closed. 

Most of the tasks were kind of meh – nothing incredibly exciting, nothing that anyone could really do different.  All three teams stuck pretty close together.  More Sam and Dan bickering – GOD I can’t wait until they are off my tv.

All three teams are waiting to find out if they correctly counted out $1M in casino chips.  Megan & Cheyne got it correct.  The other two teams did not.  Sam & Dan get it next.  Brian & Ericka are wrong again.

And it’s Cheyne & Megan!  Big surprise there – they’ve rocked it the entire time. 

Sam & Dan are second.  Pricks.

Brian & Ericka are third. 

Until next season…

The Amazing Race, Episode 10

For some reason, I was completely exhausted last week, and didn’t watch The Race.  And I haven’t had an opportunity to watch it until now.  But that means I get two episodes in a row!  Yippee!

We start out in Prague.  (Have I mentioned how jealous I am?)  Megan & Cheyne leave first, and they really seem to be the team to beat.  What’s funny is that no one seems concerned about them.

Roadblock:  “In order to obtain the impossible one must attempt the absurd.”  Well, that may be the longest clue ever.  I’ll do it.  One person must enter the buerocratic word of kafka-esque.  The team member must search for five ringing phones among dozens that have a person on the other end.  They will be given 5 letters, which they need to unscramble.  The letters are A-F-Z-R-N.  Can you figure it out? 

Ha – Sam telling Dan not to get frustrated on the roadblock – that’s pretty humorous.  Dan is the biggest drama queen in The Race.

There was a two hour difference from first to last team, and the last team has a speedbump. 

Oh, my.  teams but strip to their skivvies and enter a cryo chamber.  Two minutes in -180 Celsius.  That’s cold as HELL.  Good god. 

Cheyne just used the word gnarly.  What year is this?

There was a two hour time difference from the first team to the last, and Brian & Ericka have a speed bump.  The team must go to a bar and prepare and drink absinthe.  Ick.  I’m not an absinthe fan.  But at least this speedbump, like the last one, is pretty quick.  Brian makes a point though – he doesn’t drink alcohol.  I don’t know why, but what if he’s an alcoholic?  I don’t know that it was a great speedbump.  But they get through it pretty quick, and now they’re off to the Roadblock.

And once again, Dan shows that he’s a complete ASS.  After working with Big Easy to get the word Franz, both of them taking turns with different letter combinations, Dan manages to get it, and when Big Easy asks what it is, Dan says, “It starts with the letter F, that’s all I’m saying.”  If I were Big Easy, I would knock him on his ass.  Fucker.  And he knows it. 

Detour:  Legend or Lager.  In Legend, teams will build a gullum, made out of straw and clay, and transport the figure across town.  In Lager, teams must carry 30 beers across the town square and deliver to soccer fans in a bar.  Um, yeah, The Pilot and I will be doing Lager.  No doubt.

The Globetrotters end up taking a penalty instead of finishing the roadblock, giving them a 4 hour penalty until they can resume the race.  I don’t know that it was a smart move.  I mean, all the teams have passed you at this point, so you know you’re in last place.  You have no idea what’s ahead.  You think unscrambling 5 letters would take longer than 4 hours?  Although, evidently, Big Easy has already been at it for over 2 hours. 

First place – Megan & Cheyne.  Shock!

You know, as much as I actually like Sam & Dan at the beginning of The Race, I HATE them now.  They are SOOOOOO aggravating!  And, actually, I think it’s mostly Dan that pisses me off.

Brian & Ericka seemed to have a hard time with the beer task, but I still believe it’s the better task.  That gullum thing was obviously heavy as hell, and they had to pull it further than you had to transport the beer.

Sam and Dan broke their gullums arm at the very beginning.  I am WAITING for the rabbi to tell them they have to redo it.  I will LAUGH.    Ugh – he let them have it.  dammit.

Sam & Dan are number 2.

Brian & Ericka are number 3.

The Globetrotters are stopped before they go into the cryo chamber and sent to the next pit stop.  They’re out.  At least they had fun with it.

The Amazing Race, Episode 9

4 teams left.  Man, this season is going fast.  They always do, though. I love the show so much, I want it on all the time.  If they had an Amazing Race Channel, it would probably be enough to make me pay for extended cable again.  It satisfies my desire to see the world at the same time as it stokes it.  It feeds the craving, while making me crave more. 

It’s crack!!

Off to Prague.  I am so jealous.  Prague is definitely top 10, maybe even top 5. 

Oy.  “Prague?  Do they speak Spanish there?”  “No, it’s a country!”  You could tell the second guy was thinking, dumbass.  Yeah, pot, meet kettle.

The teams are really, really close together starting out – there’s only 22 minutes between the first team and the last team leaving the pitstop.  I don’t remember time being so tight leaving the pitstop before.

Brian and Ericka took a risk and followed some advice from people on the plane.  They were told the subway was the quickest way to get where they were going.  They took a bus to the subway, while all the other teams took cabs to their next clue.  It was a gamble to take the subway, and it didn’t pay off.  But I would have probably chosen the same option.  If a local tells you this way is quicker, then it ‘s probably quicker.  …But not in this case.

Detour:  Fast or Slow.  In Fast, teams must kayak/raft a course and grab a ribbon with their next clue.  If they tip, they have to start over.  In Slow, teams have to pull themselves along a ropes course.  Hmmm….I think The Pilot and I could do either.  I’m sure the rapids were only a class II or III.  But the ropes course would definitely be easy.

The brothers did Fast, and both Megan & Cheyne and the Globetrotters did the ropes course before the brother tipped the third time.  I didn’t realize I didn’t like the brothers, or maybe it’s just that they were both being whiny b*tches tonight, but I was clapping each time they tipped over.  It was fun to watch. 🙂  They ended up switching to Slow.

Megan and Cheyne end up getting in an argument about working with the Globetrotters.  They decided to tell them what they had learned (that the tram was the quickest way to get to the next clue), since they knew the Globetrotters were going to follow them, anyways.  Then Megan got directions from a local, and Cheyne grabbed a taxi that was driving by.  They ended up taking the taxi, and Megan was upset because they had told the Globetrotters they would work with them, and she told Cheyne he was being rude.  Cheyne’s take:  we’re in a race, they could have grabbed a taxi just as easily.  Personally, I’m on Cheyne’s side on this one.

Roadblock:  Who can remain composed under pressure?  Oooooo…..  I’ll take this one.  You have to search through the 600 seats in a theater for a miniature mandolin.  Psh.  600 seats, no problem.  Better than a football stadium, as they’ve done in past seasons.

(Damn Folgers Coffee commercial is making me cry.  The one where the guy comes home (I think from the military) and he brings his little sister a gift, and she takes the bow on the present and puts it on him and says, “You’re my gift.”)

The Brothers stole Brian & Ericka’s taxi – far worse than what Cheyne did to the Globetrotters.  I hope Karma comes back to bite them in the ass.

Prague Castle.  The largest ancient castle in the world.  Did I mention I was jealous?

Megan and Cheyne come in first, again.  They are smokin’

Top Three is set.  Brian & Ericka are out.  Was it because of the stolen taxi?  Maybe.  They may have had a shot if the brothers had to wait for a taxi to be called.  But, we’ll never know.

HOLY CRAP!!!!  ANOTHER NON-ELIMINATION LEG!!  BRIAN & ERICKA HAVE BEEN SAVED! 

I totally did not see that coming.  AWESOME!

Can’t wait for next week!  🙂

The Amazing Race, Episode 8

5 teams remain.  Who will be eliminated…NEXT?

Stockholm, Sweden.  Birthplace of “Super Group Abba.” 

Off to Estonia.  Huh – I don’t know much about Estonia.  There’s a “Brotherhood of the Blackheads” there.  Now you know.  And the two hour head start the globetrotters had are completely negated by a 12 hour wait for a ferry.  Yikes.  And a 16 hour ferry trip.  Double Yikes!

Roadblock:  (I hate it when they describe the roadblock before giving the “hint” that the racers get.  How am I supposed to say who would take it if we were on the race?  “Who can solve a menial mystery?”  I need to do a roadblock, so I’ll do it.

The Brotherhood of the Blackheads is a secret society of merchants that has existed for at least 600 years.  The roadblock person must descend to the cellar, find a candelabra, find a room, and find the invisible clue on a scroll. 

Gary & Matt need to do a speed bump – but they’re not super far behind anyone, so it’s not that bad.  And they need to take a 5 minute sauna.  Kind of a silly speed bump, I think.  Although – a sauna bus?  Is that kind of like a relaxi-taxi?  And Matt was sitting next to this beautiful woman, dressed in nothing but a towel.  I think he enjoyed it a little.

And then…Matt doesn’t know what a candelabra is.  Ah, he’s pretty.

Detour:  Serve or Sling.  In Serve, teams play volleyball in a bog.  In Sling, teams use a sling shot to fire veggies at a target.  Hmm – I think Sling.

Poor Matt & Gary – it’s just one mistake after another.  I dont have high hopes.

For some reason, the brothers had their groin areas blurred out – are they flashing everyone????  One brother was wearing his boxer briefs, so I could see if maybe there was a peek through the hole.  But the other brother was wearing khaki shorts!  Seriously, what were they blurring?!

Okay the Globetrotters were getting on my nerves all episode, and it was getting worse and worse.  Then “Elbow-Gate” happened.  The brothers were running for the pit stop.  The Globetrotters were behind them.  They were on this boardwalk, and the Globetrotters tried to outrun the brothers, and something happened where one of the Globetrotters and one of the brothers went down.  The Globetrotter said the brother threw an elbow.  The brother said he didn’t.  I watched it in slo-mo, and I gotta say – I don’t see an elbow.  Then the bigger Globetrotter says, “I’m 6’10”, 260, so….”  Kind of sounds like a threat.  I don’t like it. 

Father and Son are eliminated, thanks to a lot of mistakes, I think.  I don’t think the speed bump did anything, as there was still a team at the Roadblock when they got there.  They could have pulled it out.  And Matt will never forget what a candelabra is, ever again.

Next week, on TAR – Prague!  And the beauty queen is going for the jugular!

The Amazing Race, Episode 7

I need to start doing some roadblocks – I think The Pilot is up to 4, and I have one, and the first was rockpaperscissors.  I already know what the roadblock is tonight, and I would know what it is if I was on the race, because I saw Kristy & Lena lose to those darn hay bales the first time around.  So I know that I would do this roadblock.

Off to Stockholm.  I didn’t realize we were already down to 5 teams.  This will probably be a non-elimination leg.  It’ll be this one or next one.

One member of each team must ride the “drop” ride.  This doesn’t seem to be a roadblock.  I love roller coasters, so I wouldn’t mind doing this one at all.  The first two teams have the right idea – work together to find the clue that you can only see at the top.  At this point, you’re the first two teams, so it’s the smart play.

Oh, and it’s time for the Travelocity Roaming Gnome.  I can’t decide if I like the extremely blatant product placement or not.  I mean, it’s rampant on the race, but the gnome is the primest example.

Detour:  Nobel Dynamite, or Viking Alphabet.  Blow stuff up or decoding a message.  Something tells me we’ll be blowing stuff up.  Because, afterall, there’s a boy on our team, and boys love to blow stuff up.  (What is that?!)

Oh, man, the faces on the “drop” ride are hysterical!  Flight Time just closes his eyes, scrunches his face, and shakes his head, not making a sound.  Hee hee!  I’ve been on rides like that – I completely lose all ability to make a sound or anything else.  In other words, I pretty much go into shock.  But it’s still fun!

BOOM!  Boys:  “WOOHOO!!”

Note to racers – If you are hopelessly lost, driving in circles (literally), STOP AND ASK FOR DIRECTIONS!!

Roadblock:  Who thinks they can spot a needle in a haystack?  And they’re calling it a “switchback”, a task that has occurred on another season.  186 hay bales, 7 clues.  Dem’s bad odds.  The odds kind of go in favor of later arriving teams, right?  If, say, 50 hay bales are already unrolled, and no one has yet found a clue, then it’s only 136 bales with 7 clues.  But since it’s such a crapshoot, does that matter?  I’ve never been good at odds.

OMG, Meghan totally psyched Cheyne out – it was AWESOME.  She said she couldn’t do it anymore, crying, then handed him the clue.  Yay, her!

If I remember from last time, the clue was just in between the layers of hay, so when you unroll it, you see the clue.  This time, it seems you have to dig a little more for the little flag buried in there.  Yeah, as if it wasn’t hard enough to begin with!!

Yes!!! Non-elimination leg!  I knew it.  Yay for the father/son team!  They’re awesome!

I’ll say it again – I pretty much love all the teams currently still in the race.  It’s so much fun to watch when there’s not an asshole or a bitch on my tv.  Note to producers:  Bad behavior does not equal bigger viewership. 

Next week:  Matt doesn’t know what a candelabra is.  Can-del-a-BRA?