Category Archives: Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Of Mice and Men (1992)

When a book is adapted into a movie, the results can be mixed. The best of these films brings the novel to life while remaining true to the original content.

In 1992, an adaptation of the John Steinbeck novella Of Mice and Men hit theaters. Starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich, the movie follows two nomadic ranch workers in California looking for work during The Great Depression. George Milton (Sinise) is the brains of the outfit. Lennie Small (Malkovich) has a good heart, but he is not the brightest bulb in the box.

Directed by Sinise, this is one of the best book to film adaptations I have ever seen. It holds up to the source material while entertaining the movie-going audience.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Books, Flashback Friday, History, Movie Review, Movies

Karma is a Delightful Bitch: Don Jr. Has Covid-19

Back in September, I wrote a Flashback Friday post about the 2005 History Channel documentary, The Plague.

There is a specific segment that sticks out in my mind, given our present status. While the poor and working classes in the cities got sick and died by the thousands, the upper classes escaped to their country estates. They though they would be able to ride out the storm and stay alive. How wrong they were.

Among the millions of Americans who have been infected by Covid-19, there is one more name to add to the list. The oldest son of you know who.

Karma is a delightful bitch.

I wouldn’t wish this virus on anyone. But knowing that he has is a reminder that no one is safe. We need a national plan than is cohesive and followed across the nation. That is why we need Joe Biden in office. We will never return to some version of normal if he is not able to do the job we elected him to do.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, National News, Politics, Television

Flashback Friday: The Simple Life (2003-2007)

The fish out of water narrative has compelled humanity for generations.

The Simple Life aired between 2003 and 2007. Then Hollywood socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie leave their 1% world behind to see what life is like outside of their bubble. This reality show followed them as temporarily lived with other families and worked low paying jobs.

This show is nothing more than the reality television drama at its worst. Now granted, this program aired when the genre was in its infancy. As it was then, this is television trash and will always be television trash. It also set the stage for other “reality” television shows that took viewers into the lives of the rich and famous.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review

Flashback Friday: The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)

Of the hundreds of television pilots that are filmed every year, only a few are given a season to develop. Even fewer last well beyond the first thirteen episodes they are granted by the network.

The Big Bang Theory aired from 2007-2019. The narrative of the show followed the relationships between pretty girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and her nerdy neighbors, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons).

I’ve seen enough of this show to know that I didn’t get it. There was obviously enough people watching for it to last as long as it did. But it was not one of those television shows that I would say that I watched with any amount of regularity.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday: Law & Order: UK (2009-2014)

Television viewers have been taken with police procedurals since the beginning of television.

For thirty years, Law & Order has been a staple of our television schedule. Between 2009 & 2014, the British spinoff, Law & Order: UK was on the air. The plot of every episode is standard for the genre. The inciting incident is a crime being committed. The police investigate and then hand their findings over to the attorneys. Their job is to convince the jury that the accused is guilty.

I only watched a few episodes of the series, but I can say that I enjoyed it. The show had the same hook and energy as it’s American’s counterparts. The language and terms are slightly different because it is obviously set in another country, but that does not negate the program’s ability to entertain.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday-Halloween Wars (2011-Present)

When most of us think of sweet treats on Halloween, we think of pre-packaged candies and chocolate sitting in bowl, waiting to be distributed.

Halloween Wars (2011-Present), airing on Food Network, takes that concept and blows it up. Five teams compete to create the scariest and most delicious Halloween related deserts.

I’ll be honest. Among the seasonal cooking competition shows on the Food Network schedule, this is one that I pass on. It’s a fine program, it’s just not one I want to spend my time watching.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday: Mega Disasters (2006-2008)

Living on Earth requires the understanding that every once in a while, Mother Nature will reveal how powerful she is.

Mega Disasters aired on The History Channel from 2006-2008. Using a baseline of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, the program explores the potential destruction that awaits humanity.

When the program originally aired, the predictions made were purely speculative. Seeing this show through 2020 eyes, I can’t help but think that we were warned. Instead of heeding the warning of man made climate change, we went on as if everything was fine. The reality is that if we don’t do something today, there might not be a tomorrow.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review

Flashback Friday: L’Chayim (1979-Present)

Issues of religion and politics require a cool head and the ability to direct the conversation in a way that does not cause strife.

In 1979, L’Chayim made it’s debut as a radio talk show on WMCA, a local New York City radio station. Hosted by Rabbi Mark S. Golub, the topics discussed on the program are those of importance to the Jewish community. Back in 1990, the program switched from radio to television and presently airs on The Jewish Channel.

It goes without saying that it a very niche program with a specific audience. I’ve seen a few episodes of this show. It is one of the programs that I will watch while flipping through the channels on a weekend afternoon. While it is fine to watch while killing time, L’Chayim is not one of the programs that I would label as “must see TV”.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, New York City, Television, TV Review

Flashback Friday-Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (1984-1995)

For most, if not all of humanity’s time on Earth, there has been a fascination about how the other half lives.

Between 1984 and 1995, this curiosity manifested into Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Hosted by Robin Leach, the program took audiences into the lives and homes of the 1%.

For those of us who were around at that time, this show was appointment television. I think what made it successful is the fantasy of that world and how it introduce a “what if” mentality to the audience.

Do I recommend it? Yea, why not?

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Flashback Friday-Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001)

In our world, when we think of princesses, we think of a certain type of character. She is a dainty, angelic young woman, usually a damsel in distress who is waiting for her beloved to rescue her. She has no agency, does not have much of a character arc, and walks off into the sunset in some version of happily ever after.

In 1995, Xena: Warrior Princess premiered and destroyed the stereotypes. An off-shoot of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena (Lucy Lawless) is a warrior princess with a less than clean past. Seeing the need to redeem herself, she fights against evil with the help of Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor).

Back then, this show was revolutionary. As a female character, Xena (and Gabrielle by extension), broke the mold. She was everything the classic princesses were not. There was also an element of romance between the main characters, opening the door for LGBTQ characters and viewers.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Fairy Tales, Feminism, Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review