Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday-The Graham Norton Show (2007-Present)

Talk shows are a dime a dozen on television. For such a program to last, it has to stand out from the pack.

The Graham Norton Show premiered in 2007 in the UK. Hosted by Graham Norton, this talk show has all of the hallmarks of the genre with the celebrity guests and performances.

I love this show. Graham is brilliant, hysterical, and a little on the naughty side. Instead of coming off as your talk show, it like a party that everyone wants to be at. I can’t think of a better reason to watch.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday: The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)

There are television shows and there are television shows. The first is watchable and entertaining, but ultimately, fades from memory. The second lives on and continues to reach audiences across the generations.

The Dick Van Dyke Show originally ran for five years, from 1961-1966. Created by the late Carl Reiner, the show starred Dick Van Dyke and the late Mary Tyler Moore. Van Dyke played Rob Petrie, a TV writer who lived in the suburbs and worked in the city. Tyler Moore played Laura Petrie, Rob’s wife who was a homemaker.

There is a reason why sixty years on, this program is as revered and beloved as it was during its original run. Though it has the flavor of the family sitcoms of the era (e.g. Father Knows Best), it is a bridge to the modern family sitcoms that we watch today. Unlike their predecessors, the characters are imperfect humans who like the rest of us, are trying to get by.

The program was also revolutionary because Laura wore pants. Up to that point, the mothers in this genre all wore dresses or skirts. Though it is not a huge moment in the march for equality, it was a step that looked upon today is ground breaking.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday: Nostradamus Effect (2009)

We would all love to be able to predict the future. It is human to wonder and ask what is to come.

In the 16th century, Nostradamus was known as an astrologer, a doctor, and a reputed seer. The quatrains he wrote are said to have predicted the future. In 2009, Nostradamus Effect premiered on the History Channel. This “documentary” series promised to explain how his prophecies have come or will come to pass.

This is one of those history programs that tries to sound legit, but it is questionable at best. The information presented sounds good. But watching it, I have to wonder how much of it is real and how much is embellished to add to the drama.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday: Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

In the world of beauty competitions, the ultimate goal is to win. For some contestants and their handlers, that means resorting to tactics that break a few rules.

In the 1999 movie, Drop Dead Gorgeous, a small town in Minnesota is preparing for their annual beauty pageant. Gladys Leeman (Kirstie Alley) is the matriarch of the wealthiest family in town. She will do anything (and I mean anything) to ensure that her daughter Becky (Denise Richards) comes out on top.

But Becky has a rival in Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst), whose mother Annette (Ellen Barkin), is equally as eager to see her daughter take the crown. Before the winner is announced there will be some roadblocks along the way. One of which maybe a dead body.

It’s not quite a satire, but it has elements of the genre. What I remember about the movie is that is both entertaining and a treatise of how we treat young women. If all they learn is that their looks are the most important thing in life, what will their expectations be for the rest of their lives?

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-True Blood (2008-2014)

Fiction has a way of reaching an audience in ways that the real world cannot.

True Blood (based on the books by Charlaine Harris) aired on HBO from 2008-2014. The core narrative of the series was the relationship between telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and gentleman/vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).

While I did not watch the complete run of the show, what I watched, I liked. It had fully formed characters, a compelling narrative and an underlying message about human rights.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday: Warrior Women with Lucy Lawless

History is written by those who have access to pen and paper. Unfortunately for 99.9% of women, this means that our stories remain confined to the dustbins of time and memory.

In 2003, Warrior Women with Lucy Lawless premiered. Hosted by Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), this brief documentary series followed the lives and history of women who became warriors and heroines in their own right.

I’ve seen this series only briefly, but what I have seen, I have enjoyed.Without hitting the viewer over the head, this series is both a history lesson and a reminder that women are just as strong and capable as men.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

When a book (whether it is a traditional book or a comic book) is transferred to the big or small screen, it has to be much more than a soulless copy. Whatever qualities made the book successful, those qualities must be transferred to live action adaptation.

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer hit theaters in 2007. The sequel to Fantastic Four (2005), the film adds to the world of this narrative by introducing the characters and the audience to the Silver Surfer (voiced by Laurence Fisburne and physically played by Doug Jones). Sent by Galactus, the Surfer arrives on Earth to warn of it’s residence of his master’s impending arrival and our destruction. It is up to the Fantastic Four to save the day and ensure that the planet remains intact.

Though it is slightly better than it’s predecessor, this is far from the best comic book movie ever made. Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the type of film one watches on a lazy weekend afternoon when you need to something, but don’t want to leave the house.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward maybe with a possibility of a no.

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Throwback Thursday: Desperate Romantics (2009)

Art is forever changing. For every artist that creates work based on the standard of the era, there are other artists who are willing to take risks and try something new.

Desperate Romantics was a television miniseries that aired back in 2009. Starring Aidan Turner (Poldark), Amy Manson (Once Upon a Time), and Rafe Spall (Wide Sargasso Sea, a prequel to Jane Eyre), the program tells the story of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Set in Victorian era England, the viewers follow the story of four artists who set out to create a new way of seeing the world through painting.

When I originally heard about this series, it seemed to be right up my alley. It had all of the elements of a BPD (British Period Drama) that usually grab me as a viewer pretty quickly.

But, I am sorry to say that I couldn’t get into the series. There was something about it that just didn’t click.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Books, Charlotte Bronte, History, Jane Eyre, Once Upon A Time, Poldark, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Throwback Thursday: The Joy of Painting (1983-1994)

I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about creating art that is both gratifying and relaxing. I think it has something to do with the creation of the art and the focus on something that makes the person happy.

The Joy of Painting aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994. The viewer followed along with the late artist and art teacher Bob Ross as he taught the viewer how to paint landscapes.

I remember watching this show as a kid. He had a way of teaching that was ideal. He spoke softly, encouraged the viewer to believe in themselves, and taught in such a way that it anyone believe they could paint as he did.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday: You Live In What? (2012-2018)

A house is much more than the four walls and the roof that make up the physical structure. It is made up of the emotions, the memories, and the familial connections that make a house a home.

You Live In What? aired on HGTV from 2012-2018. The show took viewers into homes that at another point in time were used for other purposes.

Among the television programs that HGTV presents to their viewers, I think this is one of the most interesting. It shows the creativity and the ingenuity that it takes to transform any building from just a building to something more.

I recommend it.

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