Posts tagged #tv

Tattoo Inspirations

I made an appointment to get my next tattoo in September. Is it possible to have a tasteful homage to my love of wacky and weird pop culture-themed parties imprinted on my forearm for the rest of my life? Fingers crossed.

Over the past six years, I’ve had a slew of themed Friendsgivings:

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Thank You For Being a Friendsgiving (Golden Girls)

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I Get By With a Little Help From My Friendsgiving (The Beatles)

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and Imaginary Friendsgiving (The Shining).

I’ve also had a few backyard movie nights:

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Moonrise Kingdom

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and The Big Lebowski (backyard turned into living room thanks to the rain).

And I had a party room at the Reservoir Geeks’ Lovely Soiree in 2015:

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The Royal Tenenbaums.

For my tattoo, I decided to choose one icon to represent each of these special events with my friends. They really have been some of the best nights ever and looking back over some of the pictures just now made me feel so nostalgic - something I’m not opposed to feeling every time I look at my arm.

Each icon will be done in a simple, but graphic, blackline style. This is what I’ve chosen to represent each party:

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Golden Girls - Tropical leaf. I always imagine the lush lanai when I think of The Golden Girls.

The Beatles - The Apple Records apple. I’ve played their records so often, this fruit just means the lads to me.

Moonrise Kingdom - A vintage portable record player. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is Sam and Suzy dancing on the beach to a 60s French pop record.

The Royal Tenenbaums - The yellow tent upstairs. I’ve always wanted to hide out in that tent, but it also breaks my heart every time.

The Shining - Vintage motel keychain and key. These were actually the favors at my Shining party almost 3 years ago - a lot of my friends still have it on their key rings!

The Big Lebowski - A patterned rug. It’ll just tie the whole tattoo together, man.

Besides being reminders of all the fun times I’ve had with my friends, they all mean something more to me anyway because I wouldn’t have picked the themes if I hadn’t loved the movie or show or band in the first place. The wheels are starting to turn in my head for my next Friendsgiving… perhaps Pee-Wee’s Big Friendsgiving?

What pop culture tattoos would you get?

Posted on August 26, 2018 .

Stop What You're Doing And...Letterkenny!

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Navigating the world of series-streaming is hard. There are SO MANY options out there. The plethora of shows and the pressure to make good use of your screen time can lead to stream paralysis. Well, let me help you out of a bind and offer a suggestion to take your mind off that difficult decision.

Letterkenny is a comedy series centered around the day to day life of the residents of a small town in Canada. Most residents of Letterkenny fall into one of three factions: the hicks (farmers), the skids (druggies), and hockey players (they play hockey). Hick siblings Wayne and Katy and their friends Daryl and Squirrely Dan are at the center of this strange universe and the bulk of the series deals with their interactions with the other two groups. Katy seems to be the common denominator as hockey players Reilly and Jonesy are involved in some weird sexual love triangle with her and skid Stewart is secretly in love with her. Wayne has recently sworn off fighting but gets dragged back into the fray when assorted locals begin jockeying for the title of toughest in Letterkenny. Daryl and Dan are Wayne's best friends and thus not far behind in all of his exploits.

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The best way to describe the tone and feel of the show is a cross between early Kevin Smith and the Trailer Park Boys. The dialog is quick and snappy and instantly quotable although the subject matter is definitely not high brow. All of that toilet humor isn't without substance though (eww) as there are some clever observations buried in there. They guys have some pretty funny things to say about social media when they set up their own platform called "FartBook" for friends to share farts with their friends. 

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Letterkenny probably won't be your new favorite show, but it will definitely grant you a few chuckles while you wait for your favorites to return or for the next new sensation to drop. 

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Seasons one and two of Letterkenny are available to stream on Hulu. 

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Posted on August 13, 2018 .

The Return of Rick Moranis

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High on the list of favorite actors from my childhood years is a bespectacled “every-man” capable of vanquishing ghosts, shrinking teenagers, and channeling “The Schwartz” to co-head an empire. That man and comedy legend, is Rick Moranis.

While I, personally, am the level of Rick Moranis fan to name my Fantasy Football team “The Louis Tully All-Stars” (accompanied by a pic of his character from Ghostbusters 2 as the icon, see below), hearing his name seems to spark a smile and a “Hey, what ever happened to that guy?” out of most anyone who hears it.

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The answer to that question is sad but respectable. In 1991, Rick lost his wife Anne to breast cancer, and was unexpectedly thrown into the role of single parent to their two young children. The next couple years that followed gave us a few more memorable Moranis roles including a “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” sequel, a turn as an underdog football coach in “Little Giants”, and as Barney Rubble in 1994’s live-action “The Flintstones” movie. However, after a few years of tapering down the workload while trying to balance it with personal priorities, eventually he completely stepped away from the big screen to raise his son and daughter full time.

(*Rick Moranis' children NOT pictured below*)

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Unfortunately for his fans and the comedy world in general, Moranis’ appearances have been very scarce since. More specifically, he hasn’t truly appeared in anything, but only limited himself to very sparse voiceover work since the early 00's. The most notable being his 2003 role as 1/2 a duo of moose brothers in Disney's otherwise forgettable animated feature "Brother Bear" which reunited him with long-time comedy cohort Dave Thomas in a clear callback to their famous “Bob & Doug McKenzie” characters from “SCTV” and their movie “Strange Brew”.

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In recent years the Moranis void in our lives has felt extra apparent due most recently to the fact that he declined a cameo in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot which managed to feature all the other stars of the original. But while you couldn’t find him on screen in the past decade, he’s been contributing to pop culture in a less expected medium. In 2006 Moranis released an album of 13 twangy tunes called “The Agoraphobic Cowboy”; it’s self-deprecating title simultaneously confirming that if there was any doubt, “yes, this is THAT Rick Moranis” and poking fun at it’s author’s post movie star life. The album is as likely to make you tap your foot along as it is to audibly chuckle. In 2013 he released another album, the hilariously named “My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs” that in title alone, confirms the comedian we know is still in there, he’s just found another outlet.

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Tonight we get a rare treat. Rick Moranis will once again entertain us anew through a screen! Anyone who's caught an episode of ABC’s The Goldbergs can attest that no show better caters to nostalgic 80’s kids. Tonight’s May 9th Spaceballs episode promises to be no exception as Rick Moranis will lend his voice to Lord Helmet again. While I would vouch for The Goldberg’s high comedy quality regardless of guest star, it’s extra impressive and further evidence that they got The Agoraphobic Cowboy to leave his house to take part. In whatever capacity it ends up being, I’m glad to have Rick Moranis back, even if it’s for just one night.

 

[If you miss The Goldbergs live, catch it on ABC.com and Hulu.]

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Posted on May 9, 2018 .

Cobra Kai REVIEW

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A lot of revivals and revisits have been happening in recent years. It's seen by many as "unoriginal" and "lazy" but what needs to be understood is that starting with the late 70's movies and television began having a more solid substance as far as extended story lines and world building. Sequels existed before but did not reach their full potential until the 70's with the Planet of the Apes series, Star Wars, the Star Trek films, Indiana Jones... The list goes on. Before then films and television did not require revivals because there wasn't as heavy of a fandom. So the continuation of stories from the those years may not be needed but, when executed well, are welcomed.

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In that world of welcomed revivals is the return to the world of the Karate Kid but through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence. YouTube Red has not had much success with original programming, a division they seemed to make a mistake with by featuring popular YouTube stars in series that seemed hastily thrown together. A move that left a bad taste in the fans of those stars' mouth by ostensibly putting new content behind a paywall. 
As a subscriber to Google Music I got YouTube Red for free and enjoy it for it's commercial free videos but have never found anything worth bragging about when it came to programming until now. 

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Cobra Kai is what YouTube Red should have led with. A series that within the first two episodes can go toe-to-toe with a Netflix or Hulu original. It pays respect to the original three films without ever making it feel like lip service or cheap. As I stated in the Super Trooper 2 review, often sequels lean to heavily on the crutch of the original but Cobra Kai is the complete opposite. The villain is now a lowly loser underdog and the hero is now a self righteous douche, both clinging so hard to the past that they can't see each other as anything more than the enemies they once were. This is a move that flips the dynamic on it's head but, I'd imagine, over the series will prove for both men that they have more in common than they think. The series hits the ground running and through a few flashbacks and a little character development to catch the audience up, by the end of episode one, you're in. I don't know how it will end but I already hold out hope for a second season.
The first two episodes of Cobra Kai are available now for free on YouTube and with a free month of Red you can burn through the other eight, as I plan to immediatly after posting this. If YouTube Red continues producing quality programming on the level as Cobra Kai they definitely will be able to give other streaming services a run for their money.

CLICK THE BANNER TO CHECK OUT THE FIRST TWO EPISODES!

CLICK THE BANNER TO CHECK OUT THE FIRST TWO EPISODES!

Posted on May 2, 2018 .

Westworld: Season 2 Spoilers!!!!!

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

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Season 2 of Westworld premiered tonight and all signs point to a well built, multifaceted story of a ride we are going to be journeying this summer.

Right off the bat, we get some answers to questions everyone had. We learn they are on an island, location unknown, and there are multiple parks that share borders.

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Continuing from where we left off last season, Dolores is still on her killing spree with Teddy by her side along with the other hosts. The guests are scurrying for survival.

While Maeve made it to the top level and could have escaped, she was compelled to stay and find her daughter.

We get to follow Tessa, Bernard and a group of guests as they try and make their way to safety. Let just say it doesn’t end well for the guests.

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Tessa and Bernard do make it to refuge and ill just leave it at that. I don’t want to give away everything from the first episode. It is a critical scene and seems to give a direction for this season.

We close out with a scene that had Bernard shaken to his core. All I’ll say is it leaves lots of questions and I cant wait to see how we get there.

If you were on the fence after season one, make sure and give season 2 a chance. It looks like its going to be a complex, twisted tale that I will be looking forward to each Sunday.

Posted on April 22, 2018 .

First Look: Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

On Thursday via Facebook Live, and with considerable fanfare, Nickelodeon unveiled the character designs for their upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show, Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As a lifelong fanatic of “those turtle boys, [who] don’t cut ‘em no slack” I’m sad to say I was not impressed. Likewise, comments on the event’s post overwhelmingly suggest that my opinion is far from a minority.
The reveal confirmed that this new show will be in the overly-simplified, "thick line" animation style that's unfortunately more common these days than not. What’s worse- like a bad dream, inside a bad dream, that I can't wake up from; they seem to have they carried over a lot of character design elements from the 2014 and 2016 big screen Michael Bay embarrassments that were otherwise starting to finally fade from memory.
You’ll see what I mean below. 
Now put a clothespin on your nose and let's dig through this garbage piece by piece .

Leonardo

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As everyone knows, Leo is the Leader. That’s been true in every incarnation of the turtles that’s ever existed. So I’m sure that’s also tru- NOPE! Not on this show! Now he’s just “the self-professed, coolest brother”, which sounds so douchey that if I didn’t already know otherwise, I’d assume he was voiced by James Franco. Leo has a slight build that suggests he may eventually transition into Venus, the female turtle (not that there’s anything wrong with that) of the cringe-worthy late 90's show, TMNT: The Next Mutation. But far more upsetting than any of the aforementioned- Leo only has one sword now instead of two. How could anyone claim to be so cool with LESS swords?  More swords = more cool! Everyone knows that!

Raphael

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On this show, Raph is the leader of the group. He is also now the big brother, both literally and by age. His over-sizedness and full head bandana stink of the Michael Bay movie design more than any other element. At least he lost the leather tiki skirt from the first movie, but probably only because it’d be inconvenient for them to animate it. The meathead vibe from Raph’s appearance is further emphasized by the fact he's the only turtle who has yellowed teeth in this art. I don't know about you, but I'm not following any leader that doesn't even brush his teeth.
Oh, and because apparently nothing is sacred to these people, Raph’s signature Sais are nowhere to be found. He has twin tonfas instead. As you can see, Tonfa is Japanese for “those sticks that cops hit people with”.
So to keep a running tally on signature weapons, that’s 1 missing sword and 2 missing sais.

Donatello

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Don has some gadgety eyewear on his head because without glasses how would you know he’s smart?! Again, we can thank the Bay movies for that lazy and hackneyed design choice. He looks to be the turtle that’s sized most normally, but for some reason his shell looks like a Lego brick. Please keep the Lego likeness in mind incase your kids should ever leave their new Don toy on the ground in an area you walking around barefoot. Instead of his usual bow staff, Don is holding something that looks like a giant novelty fountain pen. Is anyone else noticing a trend of missing weapons yet?

Michelangelo

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As you can see, Mikey is wearing knee pads, one of which has a smiley face and one that for some reason has an angsty face. I can’t think of a creative way to say how stupid that looks, it just speaks for itself. Since they’re assigning specific ages on this show, the scribbly kneepads combined with the fact he looks smaller than the others- it's a safe bet to say he’s filling the "troublemaker, youngest sibling" trope. This would also help explain his weird weapon that looks like the lovechild of a yo-yo and a medieval mace. He’s without his regular dual nunchucks, so, with the exception of one half of Leo's swords, that completes the disappearance of the classic weapons these guys had carried in every incarnation since 1984.

Splinter

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What in the hell is that thing?! Did they mutate a pig and a rat together? I've seen many a' comment online point out that this Splinter looks like a Ren & Stimpy character and I wish I could disagree with them. My first thought was that it looks like a really bad caricature of a different sensei, The Karate Kid's late, great, Pat Morita. To specify, I mean the now deceased Pat Morita in his current "midway through decomposing in the ground somewhere" state. Whatever description you choose to land on, I think we can all agree Splinter looks straight up horrific. In a week where the internet gave us “shower rat“, who won our hearts and showed us everything an adorable anthropomorphic rat could be, this is quite the opposite. If all rats looked like this version of Splinter I could better understand my wife’s high level phobia of them.

April

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In 2018 when April O’Neil goes to the Doctor’s office, she checks the African American box on her forms. That’s totally cool, but she’s doesn’t look to be just a darker shaded version of the same April we’ve always known, she’s completely unrecognizable. There is A LOT going on there. If they were going for the hipsteriest possible hipster, they nailed it- complete with 60’s cat-eye glasses. I dug that look on Lisa Loeb, but April was doing fine without vanity eye wear. Ironically, this version actually looks way more like Irma, April’s obnoxious friend from the 80’s cartoon, aka the Kimmy Gibbler of the TMNT universe. April appears to be wielding Green Lantern’s baseball bat as a weapon which actually looks pretty cool. I just hope there’s an explanation coming for it that makes some sense.

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Look, I’m a realist, it’s obvious from the style this show is probably meant for the little ones. I was hard on it because it’s the best way to mine some comedy out of a disappointing situation. When I’m feeling optimistic, I remind myself that Teen Titans has a similar animation style and still pulls it off because the humor is top notch. But even that thought is quickly squashed by me realizing the difference- Teen Titans uses the comic origins of it’s characters as the foundation for all their wackiness, whereas Rise of the TMNT seems to just be spitting in the face of their history. Case in point, the turtles are brothers, yet this show has specified each is a different species of turtle.

Despite all of this, I'll still give this show a chance to win me over. I know that all we’ve seen so far are stills and hopefully as more comes out, there’ll be reason to have hope. I've always been fine with updates and changes where they make sense, but the fact remains that so much about this show does not pass the smell test. It truly feels like they’re trying to change the "DNA" of the turtles brand. I'd say the time four baby turtles fell into a glowing green ooze, and mutated into human sized martial arts experts was the only DNA change these guys ever needed.

 

Posted on February 2, 2018 .