Category Archives: Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Frost/Nixon (2008)

In a democracy, an interview between a reporter and a political figure is a normal event.

The 2008 film, Frost/Nixon, written by Peter Morgan (The Crown), is based on the play of the same name. In 1977, the late American President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) sat down to a televised interview with British television host David Frost (Michael Sheen). It has been three years since the Watergate scandal and his ouster from the highest political office in the land. Over that period, he has not spoken publicly about his misconduct and its aftermath.

Up until that point, Frost’s reputation is not exactly that of a journalistic heavy hitter. Nixon hopes to use that reputation to revive his public perception and earn a hefty check in the process. For his part, Frost has to overcome the doubts that his team has in his ability to succeed. What neither knows is the game that the other will play and how challenging it will be.

This movie is fantastic. The acting is top notch and the story immediately pulls the audience in. Langella almost disappears into the character of Nixon. Though the makeup and prothesis helps, it is the actor who does the heavy lifting. For his part, Sheen as Frost, has the more difficult job. He has to prove that his character has the chops to take on one of the most infamous men in American history.

If there is one takeaway from this movie, it is that politics never changes. Though the narrative takes place nearly fifty years ago, it is a relevant today as it was then.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Frost/Nixon is available for streaming on Peacock.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, History, Movie Review, Movies, Politics, Television

Flashback Friday: The Kitchen (2014-Present)

There is nothing like getting together with friends. Adding food into the mix can only make the experience more pleasurable.

The Food Network series, The Kitchen, has been on the air since 2014. Five celebrity chefs (Katie Lee, Alex Guarnaschelli, Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, and Geoffrey Zakarian) chit chat about life as they each create a dish based on a specific theme or style of cooking.

This is one of those shows that I will watch just because I feel the need to turn the television on. I am not a foodie, so watching a straight up cooking show is not my idea must see TV. After 7 years of being on the air, there is obviously a loyal following. But I am not one of them. It’s fine a program, but it is not for me.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday: Tammy and the Bachelor (1957)

Love can be a strange thing. We may think we know who we want to spend our lives with. Then the right person walks through the door and everything we think we know goes out the door.

In the classic 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor, Tammy ( the late Debbie Reynolds) is a girl from the country with a big heart, but little experience in the world. After she saves Peter Brent (the late Leslie Nielsen) from a plane crash, Tammy’s grandfather is sent to jail. With no one to care for her, she is sent to live with Peter’s family. Though she is akin to a fish out of water, her time with the Brents changes them. Tammy also falls in love with Peter, but he has a fianc√©.

I think from the 2021 perspective, this particular movie may seem a little quaint and old fashioned. Yes, it is entertaining, but it is also very fitting for the late 1950’s.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies

Flashback Friday: Extreme Homes (1996, 2012-2015)

One of the ways we can know a person is by the way they decorate and add personal flourishes to their home.

The HGTV show, Extreme Homes (1996, 2012-2015), took that idea and blew it up times 100. Each episode tells the story of the building of what can only be described as a unique house and how the owners make use of the space within their home.

I find this program to be fascinating. It doesn’t take a genius architect is create your average three or four bedroom house with a garage and a backyard. It does, however, take imagination and ingenuity to color outside of the lines when it comes to home building.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday: Love It or List It, Two (2013-2019)

Home ownership, as great as it is, has its own unique set of challenges.

Love It or List It, Two (otherwise known as Love It or List It Vancouver) aired from 2013-2019. An offshoot from Love It or List It, the premise of the show has not changed. A couple of homeowners are fed up with their current home. One wants to move, the other argues they only need to do a renovation. Interior designer and former Bachelor contestant Jillian Harris will remodel the home. Real estate agent Todd Talbot‘s job is to show them possible new home. At the end of the episode, they will decide either to stay in their current home or move.

The thing about Love It or List It is that after watching a few episodes, it become background noise. The spinoff is fine, but at some point, it is likely that I will change the channel.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Flashback Friday: Fantasia (1940)

When a brand is successful, the easiest thing to do is to create factory line like replicas of the product that created that accomplishment. The harder thing to do is try something new.

In 1940, Disney temporarily broke away from what decades later would be their princess narratives and released a film that was and still is completely novel. Fantasia is a series of short films set to the music of classical composers.

What I like about this film is that it is different. The risk paid off. Though each individual narrative is able to stand on its own, it is the music that ties them all together in a seamless and entertaining fashion.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies, Music

Flashback Friday: Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style (1992)

Sometimes, getting out of the house and away from our everyday surroundings is the thing that we need at that particular moment.

In 1992, the gang from Saved by the Bell left California for a vacation in Hawaii. The TV movie was entitled Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style. Kelly Kapowski’s (Tiffani Thiessen) grandfather owns a hotel in Honolulu. Harry Bannister (Dean Jones) has invited his granddaughter and her friends (chaperoned by Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins)) to enjoy their time off at the Hawaiian Hideaway. But as usual with SBTB, it is more than a week to chill and enjoy each other’s company. Unless Harry can save the Hideaway, he will be forced to close his hotel. It is, therefore, up to the kids to save the day.

Is it Shakespeare? Obviously not. But it is on brand for the series, taking fans out of Bayside High and into a larger world.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review, William Shakespeare

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