When a movie is successful, the natural thinking is a sequel. The question is, how will this sequel compare to it’s predecessor?
The 1992 movie, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) is the sequel to the 1989 movie, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Wannabe scientist Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) is again experimenting with shrinking things and people. This time, the machine he has invented makes people and things bigger, not smaller.
Instead of shrinking his older kids, Wayne has increased the size of his toddler son, Adam. But there is more. When Adam touches anything electrical, he gets bigger. At his tallest, he is over 100 feet tall. In true toddler fashion, he goes through Las Vegas, creating a path of destruction in his wake.
To be fair, I have not seen this movie since it was released into theaters. As I recall it to be, it was mildly funny. But I was also a kid back then.
For some, having your standard square shaped pool on their property is just fine. But for others, they want a little more when it comes to their pool. That is where Lucas Lagoons comes in.
Since 2015, the crew at Lucas Lagoons has been creating fantastic pools for their clients on the Animal Planet show Insane Pools. This reality program follows Lucas Congdon and his staff as they meet with clients and create the pools of their client’s dreams.
This show is an interesting one for me. As a writer and a human being, I’ve always been curious about the creative process for any artist. Creating these pools requires a certain amount of artistry and talent. It’s not just digging a hole in the ground, filling it with cement and then filling it with water. It takes a creative mind to create the kinds of pools that will wow clients and keep them swimming in their pools for years to come.
Excellence in a specific area in adulthood requires years of hard work and study. Excellence in this same area as a child is something to cherish.
Kids Baking Championship has aired on Food Network since 2015. Hosted and judged by Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli, this competition reality show puts its young contestants through their paces. Judged on their dishes based on presentation, taste, and quality, at the end of the season, one contestant is named the winner.
I don’t watch this show very often, but when I do, I am impressed. The level of skill, passion, and talent that these kids have is impressive. I also appreciate that because of the age of the contestants, there is a gentler approach to the competition.
Winning the lottery can be described as wishful thinking. We often say “I will do x when I win the lottery or I will buy y when I win the lottery”. But for a lucky few that do win a significant amount of money, it can be life changing.
My Lottery Dream Home has aired on HGTV since 2015. The premise of the show is that the home buyers have won a significant amount of money playing the lottery. With their winnings, they are looking to purchase a new home. Host David Bromstad takes the home buyers to three potential new homes. At the end of each episode, a decision is made as to which house they will buy.
Watching this show is akin to wishful thinking becoming a reality. It’s as if the viewer is living vicariously through that episode’s subjects. What makes this show so curious and compelling is the question as to which home the buyers will choose.
Satire is a beautiful thing. But it has to be done right.
The 1984 film, Johnny Dangerously is a satire of the gangster flicks of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Johnny Kelly/Johnny Dangerously (Michael Keaton) is devoted to his sick mother. Unless she is able to pay for several expensive operations, she will die.
The only way for Johnny to pay for the operations is to turn to a life of crime. This of course, is not smooth sailing, especially when he crosses paths with Danny Vermin (Joe Piscopo) and gets involved romantically with Lil (Marilu Henner).
The reviews of this film, back in the day, were a mixed bag. To be fair, the criticism is warranted. Though there is plenty of material to spoof, at some point, I want the narrative and not an easy gag.
When we are young, summer camp is not just two months of relaxation, fun, and friends. We grow up in ways during those months that we do not expect to grow up.
Bug Juice aired on the Disney Channel from 1998-2001. It was a reality show that followed campers and their counselors during their time at summer camp.
Most reality shows are brain drains. They are mindless, dumb and cater to our worst sensibilities as human beings. But Bug Juice was different. Granted, it was aimed at the Disney Channel audience, all of whom were young kids and their parents. Among reality shows, then and now, this program actually lived up to the name of the genre. It actually told the story of the subjects without resorting to lowball dramatic tactics for the sake of ratings.
There are two paths in life to take: the one that is easy and the one which is right (and by nature is much more difficult).
In the 2004 TV movie, An American Girl Holiday, Samantha Parkington (AnnaSophia Robb) is a young lady growing up in the early 20th century. She has just moved in with her grandmother, Grandmary Edwards (Mia Farrow) and will soon begins lessons on how to be a lady.
She has also become fast friends with a girl next door. Nellie O’ Malley (Kelsey Lewis) is not the daughter of the neighbors, but a servant of the family. Can these girls remain friends in spite of the differences between them?
I recall liking this TV movie. It has moments where it becomes a little preachy. However, the message of doing what is right instead of simply taking the easy way out is timeless and ageless.
George to the Rescue (2010-Present), has aired on NBC for nearly a decade. Hosted by contractor George Oliphant, the show follows George and his team as they renovate the homes of deserving families.
What I like about this program is that the renovations are more than vanity projects or the homeowners looking to add value to their house in order to sell it. It’s about giving back to a family who is going through hard times and desperately needs a leg up of some sort. I don’t know if one might classify it as reality television. But if it does fall under that category, it certainly makes up for some of the brainless programs that also fall into the category of “reality television”.
Since it’s debut about twenty years ago, reality shows have become the norm on our television schedules. It is therefore, not surprising that this genre has left no television stone unturned.
Tough Enough (2001-2015) originally aired on MTV before moving to UPN and then the USA Network. The premise is pretty much the same as any competition reality show: thousands of potential contestants send in their tapes. Of those thousands, twenty three are chosen to compete to become professional wrestlers. Over the course of the season, the contestants are eliminated until the winner(s) are chosen as future WWE superstars.
Though I only watched this show while it was on MTV, it was interesting while it was on the air. Granted, it was aimed specifically at the WWE fan base and not the general audience, it was still compelling as a television program. Granted, as time has gone by, it has become just another reality show.
For a late-night talk show to succeed, it has to do more than making the audience laugh. It has to give the audience a sense of comfort before they go to bed.
In 2014, comic and SNL alum Jimmy Fallon inherited the mantle of host of The Tonight Show. Renamed The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Fallon is the sixth host in a storied line of legendary late-night TV hosts. Following the standard format of opening with a monologue with perhaps a skit and a series of celebrity interviews, this program continues the legacy that started in 1954.
Though I am rarely awake when this program airs, I find myself enjoying it when I am awake. As a host, Fallon comes off as personable, friendly and entertaining.