In the 1970’s television was both looking back at America’s past and looking at its future.
Set in the 1950’s in Milwaukee, Happy Days (1974-1984), revolved around the all American Cunningham family. Father Howard (Tom Bosley), Mother Marion (Marion Ross) and two teen-aged children Richie (Ron Howard) and Joanie (Erin Moran). Adding some flavor is Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, Richie’s bad boy biker best friend who is taken in by the Cunninghams.
Happy Days could have been a sugary sweet predictable replica of the family comedies of the 1950’s. But it has a bite and a kick to it. After 41 years, it still makes audiences laugh. And you know a show is a classic when a top 40 music group uses an episode for one of its music videos.
In 1978, while America was wrestling with the racial strife, Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986) premiered.
In New York City, Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain) is a widower and a single father to Kimberly (the late Dana Plato). Keeping his promise to his late African-American housekeeper who herself was a widow, Phillip adopts her sons, Arnold (the late Gary Coleman) and Willis (Todd Bridges). Replacing Arnold and Willis’s mother as housekeeper is Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae), who would later have her character spinned off into Facts Of Life.
I was not around in 1978, but I can imagine that this show had it’s fair share of controversy. While today it is common for Caucasian parents to have adopted children who have a different skin color, 38 years ago, it was not so common. It was funny, slightly irreverent, but also showed America what she could be. Unfortunately, during the show’s run, the on-screen action was marred by the negative publicity surrounding the cast.
The path that is life can often throw us strange curveballs.
In Night At Museum (2006), Larry Daly (Ben Stiller) has a dilemma on his hands. Divorced with as young son, Nick (Jake Cherry), Larry has no job and is about be evicted from his apartment. The only job he can find is a night guard at the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Larry is replaced three security guards, Cecil (Dick Van Dyke), Gus (Mickey Rooney) and Reginald (Bill Cobbs) who are being forced to retire. Larry thinks the job will be easy. How wrong he is. At night, the exhibits come to life. Larry soon learns that his predecessors want the stone that brings the exhibits to life. Can he save the museum and prevent the theft?
While the movie has its slapstick moments, it’s also very well made. And, without knowing it, the audience is receiving a history lesson.
Weddings are supposed to represent the best that life can bring. Love, marriage, friendship and coming together to celebrate two people who want to publicly declare their love and commitment to one another.
But it can be stressful and extremely tiresome in its planning stages.
In 2011 comedy Bridesmaids, Annie (Kristin Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) have been best friends for a very long time. Then Lillian gets engaged and Annie agrees to become maid of honor. Helen (Rose Byrne), Becca ( Ellie Kemper), Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and Megan (Melissa McCarthy) round out the bridal party as bridesmaids. But as wedding gets closer, Annie begins to suspect that Helen wants more from Lillian than just being a bridesmaid.
Co written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo, this film was one of the funniest of 2011. While weddings are not unusual story backdrops for films, what made this film stand out was the very funny and talented female cast. There was a truth about planning a wedding and the stress that comes with those plans. The films also proved that not only can women play gross funny that men usually play, but they can also be a box office draw by themselves. The standout performance of this film is Melissa McCarthy’s Megan who is rude and crude and hilarious.
I absolutely recommend this film. If you have not seen it, you are missing out one of the great female comedies of the last decade.
With 2016 only a half a day old, this is often a time of reflection for many of us.
While I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions because they always fall by the wayside, I believe in change.
Change is possible. We can learn from our mistakes.
2015 was a challenging year for me. On the professional front, I changed jobs and finally took the steps to start the career I have wanted for a long time.
Personally, 2015 opened the door to new opportunities and new relationships. I’ve had experiences that I would have not thought myself to have last year at this time.
I have also made many mistakes and learned from my mistakes. The biggest lesson I learned is that we all have an inner strength and an inner voice, we just need to trust it and not let our fears guide us.
2015 is gone. 2016 is brand new. The future is bright, but also murky. Take chances, love life and accept that there will always be challenges in our life.