Category Archives: Television

Thoughts On Last Night’s Democratic Debate

As we get ever closer to the 2020 Presidential Election, the pool of candidates gets ever smaller. Last night the top ten candidates put their best foot forward and tried to prove why they should be the Democratic nominee come next fall.

Though former Vice President Joe Biden is still the front runner, I am not sure that he is the right candidate to go up against you know who. Though his decades of public service are very much appreciated and recognized, I feel like it is time for Biden to hang up his hat. I don’t quite agree with the low blow that former HUD secretary Julian Castro laid on the feet of the former Vice President, I think that he has a point.

You know who is a bully. Like all bullies, he had a way of sniffing out and using his opponents or victim’s weaknesses against them. Whoever wins the nomination must have an airtight campaign. Vice President Biden’s campaign, as I see it, is not airtight.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) and businessman Andrew Yang are the long shots from my perspective. I would honestly not be surprised if in the coming months, they decide to end their campaigns.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) is really starting to grow on me. At the beginning of the year, I was not so sure if she was the right person for the job. Last night, I found her to be a political breath of fresh air. I like that she is not only prepared, but that she had to pull herself up by her own bootstraps. She was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she has to earn and continually fight for her place in the world. On that alone, she has my respect.

My opinion of Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) has not changed. I certainly agree with his ideas. What he is proposing is necessary if we are to become the country that is truly democratic and diverse. However, I have to wonder if the logistics of putting these policies into place match the ideas.

Those are my thoughts. Readers, what do you think? Who stood out to you and who do you think has a chance of being the Democratic nominee?

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Flashback Friday- Maury (1998- Present)

When it comes to daytime television, there are generally three choices: news, soap operas and talk shows.

Maury (1998-Present) is a talk show, but only in the loosest definition of the word. Hosted by Maury Povich, the program has such wonderfully intellectually stimulating topics such as paternity and polygraph tests, shocking secrets and out of control teenagers.

If there was a category of television programs with the labels of trash, Maury would fall into this category. This show is so horrible and mind numbing that it makes reality television look Oscar worthy.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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Law & Order SVU Character Review: Peter Stone

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

When it comes to one’s career choice, many are influenced by their parents or other family members. But going into the family business is not as easy as it seems. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, District Attorney Peter Stone (Phillip Winchester) is a second generation District Attorney. His late father, Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) was also a New York City District Attorney.

D.A. Stone’s introduction to the characters and the audience is via his father’s funeral. He became the District Attorney after the previous D.A. Barba (Raul Esparza) resigned. Like many new relationships, there was some initial tension with the SVU detectives, who were used to Barba and his perspective of the law. But that tension disappeared as Stone became another member of the team.

Over the course of his time with SVU, Stone revealed more about himself than his knowledge of the law. He had a promising career in baseball before an injury forced him to change professions. He has a sister who lived with mental illness, she died in his arms during a police shootout.

In the courtroom, Stone is a professional, but he is also imperfect. He is accused of rape, but the charges are lifted when the real rapist, a friend of Stone’s is arrested. He also was able to take down a rapist who his father was not able to. In his final character arc, he put his career on the line to stage a prosecution in order to win what seemed to be in an unwinnable case. When his plan is revealed, Stone resigned. His heart and his morals were in the right place, even if he stepped over an ethical boundary.

To sum it up: Stepping into the career shoes of one’s parent or family member has it’s own set of challenges. But D.A. Stone is not one to simply stand in his late father’s shadow. He is a brilliant lawyer in his own right and thoroughly human.

Which is why fans still appreciate him, even if his time on SVU was all too brief.

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Throwback Thursday-Jersey Shore (2009-2012)

We all know that there is no “reality” in reality shows. They make look like they are made on the fly, but they are just as slickly produced as fictional television programs.

Jersey Shore (2009-2012) is one of tent poles of the recent MTV schedule. The show follows eight housemates of Italian descent as they live and work together during the summer in Seaside Heights in New Jersey.

There are few television shows that I hate with a passion. Jersey Shore is one of them. Not only is it trashy beyond trashy, it is a waste of brain cells and precious television time that I will never get back.

Do I recommend it? Let me put it this way. No is the gentler way of describing how much I dislike this television program.

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A Very Brady Renovation Review

Fifty years ago, a little family show premiered. It told the story of the marriage of a widower, a widow, their combined family of six children and their maid. It was only on the air for five years, but this show is as iconic as it gets.

The show is The Brady Bunch.

Monday night, A Very Brady Renovation premiered on HGTV. Last summer, the house was used as the exterior shots The Brady Bunch was put on the market. Purchased by HGTV, the house is being renovated to match the set. Led by HGTV stars The Property Brothers and advised by the actors who played the Brady kids, each episode focuses on the renovation of a specific portion of the house. At the end of the season, the home will look like it came straight out of the Hollywood sound stage.

I really like this show. It is unique, entertaining and full of nostalgia with just enough of the home renovation process to easily ensnare home renovation show addicts.

I recommend it.

A Very Brady Renovation airs on Monday nights at 9pm on HGTV.

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Is It Me Or is You Know Who’s Feuds Getting Old?

A President, or any political leader for that matter, has, well, a lot on their plate. The last thing I hope any of them would need or want is unnecessary feuds.

You know is not surprisingly the exception to this rule.

His latest feud is with musician John Legend and his model/television personality/author wife, Chrissy Teigen. This latest feud is due Legend’s appearance on MSNBC during a referendum on criminal justice reform.

Is it me, or am I the only one who is getting tired of these feuds? When he was just another private businessman, he could have these ridiculous public feuds and no one gave a sh*t. But this man is no longer just another private businessman, he is President of the United States. He is responsible to this country and the voters, who like it or not, need him to lead this country.

P.S. I think he has much bigger fish to fry, especially one called Hurricane Dorian.

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Filed under Music, National News, Politics, Television

Flashback Friday-Chopped Grill Masters (2012-Present)

For many people, nothing say summer like cooking via the grill. That of course, leads to another off shoot of the Food Network show Chopped.

Chopped Grill Masters premiered in 2012. The premise and format of this program is similar to that of it’s predecessor. The only difference is that the contestants are all professional grillers and it is held outside as a posed to be filmed in a kitchen with professional chefs.

I like this show, as I do all of the various incarnations of Chopped. While it is a reality show in the strictest sense of the word, it’s fascinating to watch. The competition by itself is enough to keep the viewer hooked, but the process of watching these pros create a meal is the icing on the cake for me.

I recommend it.

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Law & Order: SVU Character Review: Dr. George Huang

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Not every character can be the main character. Sometimes, a supporting character, who comes and goes as needed, is just as important as the main character. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dr. George Huang (B.D. Wong) is not always on screen. But his input and advice in helping to solve the crime is as important as the detectives in the field.

Originally on loan from the FBI, Dr. Huang joined the SVU as the resident psychiatrist. Though he initially did not get on well with the detectives, the edges smoothed out as he became a respected member of the team. His job is to understand and explain the psychological motives of the victims and the accused to his detective colleagues.

However, there are cases in which Dr. Huang does not agree with the choices of the detectives or the D.A. This occurs when he agrees with the mental health diagnosis stated by the accused and their legal representation.

To sum it up: As a character, Dr. Huang stands out because even though the audience does not see him as often as the other characters, he is important. As writers, we have to remember that every character is important, regardless of whether they are the main character or a supporting character. It’s important to give them the spotlight, even if the spotlight is temporary.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, New York City, Television

Throwback Thursday- Smart House (1999)

In our technological driven age, a fully automated house seems like a dream come true. But dreams and reality don’t always mix.

In the 1999 Disney TV movie Smart House, Ben (Ryan Merriman) and his family have just won a fully automated house. The computer, known as Pat (Katey Sagal) seems easy enough to control. But when Ben starts tinkering with Pat, whatever plans Ben had go out the window.

Smart House is one of those TV movies that is meant for a specific audience. The problem is that unless your part of the desired demographic, this TV movie is neither memorable or entertaining.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday-Judge Judy (1996-Present)

It’s easy to tell a lie. It’s harder to tell the truth, especially if the person who needs to hear the truth does not want to hear it.

Judge Judy (1996-Present) has been on the air for nearly a quarter of a century. Judy Sheindlin is a real life retired New York City Judge. Coming before her are real life small claims conflicts. Held in what looks like a real court room, Judge Judy hears both sides before making her ruling.

Though Judge Judy falls within the reality show genre, it’s far from the brain drain that is most reality shows. Judge Judy is a no nonsense, tell it like it is Judge, who does does not bend because the cameras are on her. Using logic and reason, she makes judgments that may not appeal to everyone, but make sense, given the parameters of the case.

I recommend it.

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