When Dad Passed Away

Wonder YearsI used to do this little feature about shows I used to watch. One show I used to watch is "The Wonder Years".

Here's the closing scene from the series finale. The music you hear is from The Natural, and it never fails to get me all emotional. What man can resist the music from The Natural?

I liked the fact Kevin and Winnie didn't end up together but I always hated the four words that were only written to make you all misty eyed. It's so manipulative, but effective. Randy Newman's score from The Natural is bellowing and Daniel Stern says "when dad passed away".

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Seinfeld Cancelled?

TVWhen I named a recent entry I'm Telling You For The Last Time, it was a subtle tribute to Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry named his 1998 HBO special "I'm Telling You for the Last Time".

I still enjoy watching Seinfeld reruns when I stumble upon them. I can rarely stomach anything a second time, so the fact I can watch Seinfeld episodes over and over again is something special. I can really only do this with a handful of shows.

HH shared this earlier today and it's quite funny. If you ask me, Larry's been going through the motions for years. It's about time someone called him on it.

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Oz: Where Are They Now?

tvFor years, Friday nights at my house meant Oz. I'm not talking about the Wizard of Oz with Dorothy and the gang, I'm talking about the HBO series that aired from 1997 until 2003. I loved that show, and every time I'm reminded of it, I get bummed that it's no longer airing.

I'm constantly reminded of Oz because so many of the actors I knew from Emerald City appear in shows today. The Law & Order series are littered with them, I see a couple on Dexter and Lost and Dean Winters seems to show up here and there.

Here's a little "where are they now" list I've put together for those actors we loved in Oz. Ryan O'Reily, by the way, is my third favourite television character of all time. Here are my five favourite characters from Oz. Now on to the list...

  • Harold Perrineau (Augustus Hill) - Lost
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Simon Adebisi) - Lost
  • Dean Winters (Ryan O'Reily) - Rescue Me, 30 Rock
  • Lauren Velez (Dr. Gloria Nathan) - Dexter
  • Christopher Meloni (Chris Keller) - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • J.K. Simmons (Vernon 'Vern' Schillinger) - The Closer
  • Kathryn Erbe (Shirley Bellinger) - Law & Order: Criminal Intent
  • David Zayas (Enrique Morales) - Dexter
  • Lee Tergesen (Tobias 'Toby' Beecher) - Desperate Housewives
  • Scott William Winters (Cyril O'Reily) - Dexter, 24
  • Ernie Hudson (Warden Leo Glynn) - Desperate Housewives
  • Eamonn Walker (Kareem Said) - ER, Justice
  • Otto Sanchez (Carmen 'Chico' Guerra) - Kidnapped
  • Kirk Acevedo (Miguel Alvarez) - Law & Order: Trial By Jury, The Black Donnellys
  • muMs da Schemer (Arnold 'Poet' Jackson) - Boston Legal
  • J.D. Williams (Kenny Wangler) - The Wire
  • B.D. Wong (Father Ray Mukada) - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Luke Perry (Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier) - John From Cincinnati
  • Tom Mardirosian (Agamemnon 'The Mole' Busmalis) - Law & Order
  • Rita Moreno (Sister Peter Marie Reimondo) - Cane
  • Zeljko Ivanek (Governor James Devlin) - Law & Order
  • Robert Clohessy (Officer Sean Murphy) - Kidnapped
  • Edie Falco (Officer Diane Whittlesey) - The Sopranos
  • Seth Gilliam (Clayton Hughes) - The Wire
  • Luis Guzman (Raoul 'El Cid' Hernandez) - John From Cincinnati

That took longer than I thought it would. Phew.


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Out Of This World: Grade A Crapola

tvI don't know Lori, but she seems to have me all figured out. She likes it when I delve into the dusty corners of my 33 year old mind to come up with old shows I remember. That stuff really appeals to Ontarians born in the mid-70s, I've noticed.

Lori sent me a YouTube video and asked if I remembered the show. Unfortunately, I remember it all too well. In fact, I've seen several episodes of "Out Of This World" and would get that damn theme song stuck in my head on a continuous loop.

Out Of This World was just about as bad as a sitcom can get. The principle character was half alien which gave her the ability to freeze time, Zack Morris style. When everyone was frozen, Evie could still chat with her alien father, Troy Garland of Anterias, who was voiced by none other than Burt Reynolds.

The effects were cheesy, the plot was hokey and the show ran at strange times. I think it ran Saturday or Sunday afternoons on CFMT here in Toronto, but I could be mistaken. Here's that catchy reworking of Bing Crosby's "Swinging on a Star".

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Bill Maher the Bouncer

tvThis is a neat little clip from Real Time with Bill Maher. What I find fascinating is that there's this group of people out there who believe so strongly that 9/11 was staged they're willing to protest.

Of course, there are Holocaust deniers and people who think the moon landing was staged, so maybe it's not that surprising.

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Rescue Me Runs Its Course

tvI'm pretty much done with Rescue Me, the drama starring Denis Leary that airs here on Showcase. I've watched it since the beginning but this season seems so uninspired and boring I don't feel like watching anymore. That's it for me, I'm done.

Meanwhile, in other television news, I caught the last 15 minutes of Californication last night while I was flipping around. You may recall I decided I was done with this new David Duchovny vehicle. Well, for 15 minutes last night, I liked what I saw. Maybe it was the new Foo Fighters track they used so excellently, but I may give Californication another shot. Maybe...

And finally, a couple of shows I've previously enjoyed are starting up again this week. Tomorrow night Showcase is airing the new season of Weeds and Thursday night The Comedy Network is airing The Sarah Silverman Program. For those of you keeping track at home, here are the shows I'm currently following.

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Tell Me You Love Me
  • Dexter
  • The Simpsons
  • Family Guy
  • The Office
  • Weeds
  • The Sarah Silverman Program

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CTV and Global Battle With American-Made Weapons

tvI recently read about a supposed gunfight at the tv ratings corral. It's a war of words between Canada's private TV networks, CTV and Global. Each is making grandiose claims about how they've got all the important eyeballs as they chase the mega advertising bucks.

CTV and Global are going at it hard with the American produced shows they've each purchased. CTV has Grey's Anatomy, Global has 24, CTV has Desperate Housewives, Global has Prison Break, CTV has American Idol, Global has Survivor. The Canadian networks only seem to get ratings when they air shows they've bought from American networks. There are very few exceptions.

Yes, I know Corner Gas airs on CTV, but can you name another Canadian show on either network in Prime Time, excluding the infotainment shlop and Canadian Idol-like remakes? CBC is pushing Little Mosque on the Prairie, but it's getting stomped by CTV's Private Practice and Global's Back To You, a couple of American shows imported to attract eyeballs and eat our young.

CTV and Global can brag about their success, it's just too bad they can't brag about their successful Canadian programs. We're good at a lot of things in this country, but producing a successful sitcom or drama isn't one of them.

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Crap I Find Interesting

moneyThe New York Times blog today tells me media buyers pay an average of $419,000 to place an ad on "Grey’s Anatomy," making it the most expensive fall show on network television. This kind of crap fascinates me.

Next is "Sunday Night Football" ($358,000), "The Simpsons" ($315,000), "Heroes" ($296,000), and "Desperate Housewives" ($270,000). Note how "The Simpsons" continues to print money even though many shows attract more eyeballs these days.

News magazine shows are the least expensive, so if you're going to start a new show you're far better off with McDreamy than McFadden. If you got that weak ass joke, you truly are a news magazine show junkie.

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Letterman Interviews Paris

tvI've covered the whole Leno vs. Letterman thing. As I so delicately stated, anyone who prefers Leno to Letterman is the soulless spawn of Satan himself.

Case in point, check out this interview Dave conducts with Paris Hilton. Can you imagine Leno doing anything as interesting?

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I Don't Think I Like Californication

tvI watched another episode of Californication last night. That's five episodes and I don't think I actually like this show. I think I'm watching because I think it should be better than it is.

For starters, it stars Fox Mulder. That was enough to get me to watch the pilot. I like David Duchovny, but this Hank Moody character he's playing is just over the top. It's as if the writers took every "cool guy" cliche in the books and slapped them upon his persona. A tortured writer who beds beautiful babes, Moody is James Dean, Steve McQueen and The Fonz all rolled into one. It's enough to make you sick.

Then, there's this stupid subplot with his agent who has this secret dominatrix thing going with his hot secretary and a wife who demands a threesome with him and that same smokin' assistant. Please. I could write that, but nobody would tune in because everything is so overblown. There's no subtlety at all. Even the pig teacher flaunts his interest in teens and snorting coke like he's begging for a visit from the coppers. Californication isn't particularly smart, funny or interesting and the presence of Duchovny shouldn't have tided me over five episodes.

Tell Me You Love Me is far more interesting. If you're looking for a new TMN show to test drive, try that one... if you can handle the sausage.

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