Category Archives: Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Flipping Virgins (2006-2012)

It has been said that experience is the best teacher. It is only through doing and making mistakes that we become better at whatever we are trying to do.

From the outside, the process of flipping a house looks simple. You buy a rundown property, fix it up, and re-sell it for a profit. But just because it looks simple does not mean it is simple. Flipping Virgins aired on HGTV from 2006-2012. Hosted by Egypt Sherrod, each episode follows those who are new to business of house flipping. Guided by Sherrod, the subjects will choose the property, renovate it (with the expected complications along the way), and hope that it is sold.

I like this show. Though it is reality television, it is a nice change from the other shows in this genre in which the experts go through the same process.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: Building Off the Grid (2014-Present)

The process of building a home from scratch is difficult in itself. Add in Mother Nature and the process becomes twice as hard.

Building Off the Grid has been on the Discovery Channel/DIY Network schedule since 2014. The show follows homeowners who want to build new houses. But instead of building in new or existing neighborhoods, their homes are located in the middle of nature. On top of the challenges that come with creating a new home from the ground up, the owners and builders deal with roadblocks that come with their choice of location.

I find this show to program to be interesting. What keeps me watching is the heightened question of whether or not the final product will come to fruition as promised.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: Fresh Air (1985-Present)

Knowing how to interview people is a skill that is always is need.

The NPR and WNYC podcast Fresh Air, has been on the air since 1985. Hosted by Terry Gross, the subjects and guests come from the varying worlds of politics, popular culture, and entertainment.

I look forward to listening to this podcast. Listening to Gross (who has the perfect radio voice) and Fresh Air is akin to sitting in on a lecture from your favorite college professor. The stories that come out of each episode are interesting, entertaining, and sometimes, a learning experience.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, New York City, Podcast, Podcast Review, WNYC

Flashback Friday: American Housewife (2016-Present)

The family sitcom is one of the cornerstones of television as we know it to be.

American Housewife has been on the air since 2016. Katie Otto (Katy Mixon) lives with her husband Greg (Diedrich Bader) and three kids in a picture perfect vision of suburbia that only exists on television. But the reality of the world outside is quite different from the imperfect day to day existence that Katie deals with at home.

I’ve seen enough of this program to dislike it. Given that it has been around for a few years, there must be enough viewers to warrant multiple seasons. But I cannot and will not watch this show.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Flashback Friday: Soon By You (2016-Present)

Dating, as we know it to be, is not as simple as it appears. Though some may find their potential love/spouse/life partner early on, others have to go through several relationships before finding that person.

Soon By You premiered in 2016. Taking place in New York City, it is sort of an Modern Orthodox Jewish version of Friends. The series follows a group of twenty somethings who are trying to find their bashert (soulmate) while juggling every other aspect of life.

Written by Leah Gottfried (who is also the series’ director), Danny Hoffman, and Uri Westrich, this YouTube web series is charming and entertaining. While it uses the rom-com narrative tropes and characters are used as the backbone, they are flipped in a way that does not feel predictable or boring.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Flashback Friday: The Secret Life of the Zoo (2016-Present)

When we go to the zoo, we only see the animals for a short time. Therefore the narrative we learn is different than the keepers, whose job it is to take care of the zoo’s inhabitants.

The Secret Life of the Zoo has aired on Animal Planet since 2016. Filmed at the Chester Zoo in England, the series was initially narrated by Olivia Coleman, who was then replaced by Tamsin Greig. The viewer is given a glimpse into the lives and actions of the animals when they are not in front of the public. On top of that, the employees give their perspective of what their working lives are like when they are tending to their charges.

I don’t watch this show often, but when I do, I find it to be interesting. I like going beyond the five or ten minutes that you usually spend with each animal or species. For me at least, I can appreciate and understand the work it takes for something that zoo visitor doesn’t normally consider.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: The Zoo (2016-Present)

When we are children, going to the Zoo is a good day out.

The Zoo has been part of the Animal Planet lineup since 2016. This reality series follows the staff of the Bronx Zoo in New York City as they take care of the thousands of animals under their care.

I love this series. Though it is a reality show, it is the type of program that the audience will learn from instead of having their brains fried. The staff clearly love their job, treating the animals as if they were a common house pet instead wild animals who are under their protection. I also love that they talk about climate change and animal conservation in a way that is palatable and educational without the audience being aware of the lesson they are learning.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Flashback Friday: Good Bones (2016-Present)

Watching HGTV, the impression one gets is that home building and renovation industry is a gendered one. The man handle the construction and the women are in charge of the decor.

Good Bones premiered on the channel in 2016 and has been a regular part of the schedule ever since. The redheaded mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, co-owners of Two Chicks and a Hammer, renovate and restore houses in their home town of Indianapolis. As is expected, there are issues along the way. But the hope is that once the home is done, it will be sold for a nice profit.

What I like about this show is the unique mother/daughter relationship. Mina is the levelheaded one while Karen is more creative. I also love that it disputes the myth that women are only able to and/or not interested in the construction aspect of home building and renovation.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: The Vet Life (2016 to Present)

There is no love like the love of a pet parent for their furry or scaly companion.

The Vet Life has been on the Animal Planet schedule since 2016. The series follows veterinarians Dr. Diarra Blue, Dr. Aubrey Ross, and Dr. Michael Lavigne as they balance work life in a busy animal hospital and their personal lives.

I really like this show. Though it is a reality show, it is neither mind numbing or salacious. It is I believe, one of the better shows within the genre to watch.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: Look Who’s Talking Now

On the surface, Christmas (or any holiday) is about family, food, and being with your loved ones. But, as we all know, this simple message is not always clear.

The final film in the Look Who’s Talking trilogy is Look Who’s Talking Now (1993). Taking place several years after Look Who’s Talking (1989) and Look Who’s Talking Too (1990), the family has grown. But so has their troubles. Mollie (Kirstie Alley) has lost her job due to the recession. James (John Travolta) has achieved his professional dream of becoming a pilot. Their children, Mikey (David Gallagher) and Julie (Tabitha Lupien) are now school aged.

The narrative kicks off with the arrival of James’s new boss, Samantha (Lysette Anthony). Samantha has eyes for James that go beyond the professional realm. Meanwhile, the family reluctantly adopts Rocks (voiced by Danny DeVito) and is forced to temporarily take care of Samantha’s dog Daphne (voiced by Diane Keaton). With Christmas coming, will they be together or will circumstances pull them apart?

I personally think that this movie is adorable. Though it fits neatly in the Christmas movie genre, it is neither too cutesy, schmaltzy, or over the top. There is just enough comedy and the message of being together for this time of year that makes it a pretty good watch in my book.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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