Tag Archives: tv shows

LA to Vegas – a diamond in the rough

Greetings, readers. I don’t very often watch shows on Demand, but a couple of months ago I caught the pilot episode … no pun intended … of LA to Vegas on Fox. I watched the first episode of this show and thought, How stupid, and didn’t give it another look. The other night I had nothing to do and thought, you know what, let’s go back and give that show a fair shake. I’m very glad I did. As the title says, it is a diamond in the rough.

The premise is quite simple. It is the cabin crew of four, a pilot, co-pilot, and two flight attendants, flying their regulars from L.A. to Las Vegas on Friday and back again on Sunday, on the fictitious Jackpot Airlines. On any given episode, as in most shows, the story will center around one character’s goings on, such as flight attendant Ronnie getting kicked out of her apartment, or Captain Dave not being able to fly because of a broken wrist. Although the 737 is full of passengers, there are a handful of frequent flyers. I shall now describe a few of them.

There is Nicole the stripper, who’s been lying to her mother about going to school while she works in a strip dance club on the weekend for extra money. She is sweet, smart, and very attractive. She is played by Olivia Macklin. Then there is Artern, played by Peter Stormare. I’ll be honest I don’t know if that is his true accent or not so I won’t even hazard to guess, but he is the bookie-loan shark character who is always getting into everyone else’s business. Even though that sounds like a bad thing, he can be kind, helpful at times, and is generally harmless. Next is flight attendant Ronnie. She is played by Kim Matula. She is my favorite character – and no, not just for her physique. Everyone turns to Ronnie to help them solve their problems, and she always puts herself second and comes to their rescue.

The other major players are co-pilot Alan played by Amir Talai, flight attendant Bernard, passenger Colin played by Ed Weeks, and last but not least good old Captain Dave played by Dylan McDermott. Yes, they do only use first names on this show. Alan lacks self-confidence of any kind. Colin the Brit likes to keep to himself but always ends up caught up in the middle of something. Bernard, the flight attendant, openly gay, is actually one of my favorite characters. He’s strong, knows what he wants, and is brilliantly played by Nathan Lee Graham. Last but not least, there is the arrogant, oozing with confidence Captain Dave, who thinks he is God’s gift to everything. This is where my title comes in to play the most. I cannot emphasis enough how much I hated this character in the pilot episode, but by the season finale he had mellowed and realized that this cast of characters were his family, whom he cared about. If you like Dylan McDermott, you will like this show. I gave the pilot a 0, but after watching all of season one, I give the series a solid 7-and-a-half stars out of 10. It is well worth a watch.

There is my entry for today. Until tomorrow, I hope you enjoy, stay cool if you are in the heat, and as always, happy reading.

Hodgepodge day and review of new Lost in Space

Greetings, readers. Much to talk to you about today. First of all, I have asked for and been granted time off from my fast food job for the summer. I talked to my manager two days ago and she okayed it. I’ll be off from May 7th until the third week of August. I asked Savannah if I will have a job to come back to after all that time. She smiled and said of course. That gave me a good feeling inside. I must still be a valued employee (I say modestly.)

What will I do with this time off you might ask. I’m going to sit my behind in a chair and write, write, write. I have three or four ideas on the board already and am anxious to flush them out and start the first drafts. My days will go something like this: Get up early, have my coffee while I wake up slowly, do some computer fishing on Fishing Planet, and after breakfast put on the thinking cap, as my dad used to say, and begin writing.

For tomorrow’s blog entry, if possible, I will try something new. I have an idea for a short story based on a recurring dream of mine. I’m going to relay that dream to you and have that be the blog entry for tomorrow. I think you will find it fascinating.

Switching gears, what happened to my summertime? We had 82 degrees F four days ago, and yesterday looking out the restaurant window, we had snow squalls and wind. Welcome to central Pennsylvania in April. Luckily I was able to get back up to my apartment from the bus stop without slipping or sliding. Low 50s are forecast for today. That’s better than a high of 25 I’ll tell you; I think we just got spoiled. Heck, even the crocuses were up.

On to another topic on this hodgepodge day. I watched all ten episodes of the Netflix reboot of Lost in Space. I went into it expecting it to be horrible. It is fantastic. Most of it was shot on location in the Vancouver area, which provided stunning scenery. I was also most impressed with the development of the characters. They stayed much closer to Irwin Allen’s original family idea than the 1998 film, except that John and Maureen started out distant and almost divorced; they grew closer as the season went on. Penny, Will, and Judy were right on the mark, and I was happy to see that Judy was a doctor, not just blonde eye candy as in the 1960’s series.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know what happens next, skip this paragraph. At the end of the last episode, Jupiter 2 is pulled through the black hole and comes out in a completely different alien solar system. They are now truly lost in space . . . which does lead me to believe there will be a season 2. END OF SPOILERS.

When I first saw the trailer on Netflix for a reboot of Lost in Space, I thought to myself, oh boy, that will be a 2 out of 10 at best. My final score for season 1: a solid 8 out of 10. If you liked the series in the 60s, you’ll like this. Check it out on Netflix streaming.

Update after publication today: Also heartfelt condolences go out to the Bush family on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. She was a wonderful lady, and she will be missed by the world.

That’s my news for today. As stated before, tomorrow will be a short story as the blog entry. I think you will like the change of pace. Until then, take care, think spring, and as always, happy reading.

A low-key day, plus a movie

Greetings, readers. I just woke up from a nap and my eyes are killing me. Sometimes when I sleep my sinuses back up and put pressure on my eyeballs, causing pressure and blurriness. After a while, my vision goes back to normal. This phenomenon makes typing a problem to say the least, but I shall push on.

Yesterday’s entry about taking a favorite old TV show and writing an updated version of it got comments on Facebook, letting me know that two ideas I had are already in the works by other people. It figures. I told Rebecca yesterday that I will find a TV show or movie idea and reboot it and this news does not change my mind. Oh! But don’t worry, if an original idea also bonks me over my noggin’, I’ll most certainly add that to the list.

On to another topic. Today I’m finally going to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I’m really looking forward to seeing a Star Wars film without most of the characters I know, such as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I’m sure I’ll love it.

After I get home I shall call bingo, then I’ll watch a little bit of TV before going to sleep. Next Wednesday I plan on posting that top ten list I’ve been promising. 😉 So until then, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

I’m on the verge of a major writing idea :-)

Greetings, readers. I have enjoyed the series reboots of Fuller House and One Day at a Time on Netflix very much. That gave me an idea. Why not think of a series from the 1970s or 80s and write a pilot script for it? Hey, don’t laugh. I know lots of TV shows.

At first I didn’t like the idea of reboots, but they seem to be the in-thing in television entertainment. Let’s see what’s already been done: The Love Boat – disastrous!, Charlie’s Angels – even worse!!, The Bionic Woman… lol. My point is, I know reboots have a tendency not to work rather than to succeed. But I am encouraged to give it a go because of the overwhelming success of these recent Netflix original series’. I feel confident that I can find an old show and bring it back to life.

The key is to add enough new elements to the mix so as to make it my own idea. For instance, The new One Day at a Time‘s family is Cuban, where the original show’s was not. They live in Los Angeles, not Indianapolis, etc. If I can find the right series, with the perfect new angle, watch out! I will once again be in writer’s heaven.

Some of my favorite series’ that I have enjoyed are Cagney & Lacey, The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, and Starsky and Hutch. My first idea this morning, I must confess, was a female version of The Rockford Files. Luckily, the original Rockford Files is on Netflix right now, so I can study the series in-depth. Then before I write my pilot script, I can peak and tweak, create my own new characters, and begin the first draft.

Whichever series I choose, it’s going to be fun. I feel like I am ever so close to finally getting into that writing groove that for so long I have been searching. I even found on Spotify music a movie soundtrack that I used to play over and over again while writing 15 years ago. I can’t tell you how many pages I cranked out to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back record one side two. 🙂

For those of you who were expecting the new top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes, that is still in the works and will be put up next week. I’m taking a personal day tomorrow but I will post a new entry a little bit later than usual in the day with Rebecca’s help in editing.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a good Wednesday afternoon, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite television show finales

Greetings, readers. The other day I began to think of all the TV shows I have watched and loved over the years. When I was younger, I was really into television. Here’s a top ten list of my favorite show finales. Please chime in with yours via comment if you would like to.

#10. Little House on the Prairie [It was wonderful that the population of Walnut Grove stood up for what they believed in and did not let someone else take over their town.]

#9. Futurama [I always knew that Leela and Fry would fall in love. I just wish they would have fallen in love earlier. It was a heart warming ending to the series.]

#8. Everybody Loves Raymond [Sweet ending, and to me it proves that even a family who fights a lot knows that they really do love one another.]

#7. M*A*S*H final movie [Even though everything that could go wrong did go wrong, the final scene where everyone was saying their good-byes made that film one of the best that I’ve seen in a long time. We must remember that a forest fire in California is what caused the re-write to explain the compound being destroyed.]

#6. Full House [Excellent series. I watched every episode. Michelle getting amnesia after falling off the horse was an eerie but likable twist to the series ending.]

#5. Cagney and Lacey [To me this show was left open as Lieutenant Samuels told Cagney and Lacey to go paint the ladies’ room. If the show came back for another season, they would have a freshly painted washroom. The series did not come back, so we were left knowing that the two characters went to the major cases squad.]

#4. Star Trek: The Next Generation [Probably one of the best series finales I’ve ever seen. The jumping through time wasn’t difficult to follow at all and I enjoyed the scene where Picard was shuttled to the Enterprise for the first time. Denise Crosby came back to play Lieutenant Yar, and Marina Sirtis was back in her original uniform and hair style. OMG.]

#3. Cheers [An definite closing scene, wonderfully done by Ted Danson. As he walked around the bar for a final time, and after getting a knock on the door, he simply said, “Sorry, we’re closed,” and waved. The scene was simple yet powerful.]

#2. Star Trek: Voyager [I always hoped that at the end of the series Voyager would get home. When Voyager shot through the vortex and Earth was in front of them, I must admit I had to hold back tears. Very well done and emotional scene. The acting was excellent. A great ender.]

#1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show [Not only were these characters saying good-bye to one another in the news room at WJM, but these actors and actresses were saying good-bye at the same time. To me, that is what makes that scene the best closer of any series I’ve ever watched. Bravo, and five stars.]

Honorable Mention:

The third season finale: The M*A*S*H episode where Henry Blake died. [Although this is not a series finale episode, it was for poor Henry. The character thought he was going home, but of course war is hell and not everybody gets to go home. I still remember watching this episode first run and cried at the end. I was around the age of ten. Sad, but extremely well done.]

Well, there you have it. Again, as mentioned at the top, chime in with comments or a list. Until next week, have a wonderful weekend, take care and happy reading.

Of grief, family, friends, and work

Greetings, readers. The tough last few days of Godmother’s viewing and funeral are behind me but the grieving process will continue for some time. I am still not over my parents’ deaths, and probably never will be completely. We always hold our loved ones in our hearts and keep them alive that way. Just the other day, though, I had a minor setback. I had some good news, picked up the cell phone, and was going to share it with Godmother. I’m still learning that I can’t do that anymore. With any luck, when it comes my time, I’ll see all my family in heaven.

I am looking at the beautiful yellow flowers that my cousin Wino and his family sent to me. They are magnificent tulips and carnations. So many people came up to me at the viewing and funeral to give me their condolences, as I gave condolences to Godmother’s family. It was nice to see everyone, of course. But I wish the circumstances were different. When we get to our age, however, occasions like this begin to happen more frequently. Again, thank you to all.

On to news of the day. Rebecca and I are off to our usual slow Wednesday start. We had our meeting with my accountant, which ran a bit late, and subsequently got to a slow start to writing today. It seems that Wednesdays are our let’s-get-caught-up, check-email-and-Twitter days. It is a good day to get back in the grove. Tomorrow, we are planning either working on a new short story or on writing exercises. My depression about recent life events is still hampering my creativity.

On a brighter, more encouraging note, I am reading a very good book. Yes, you may need to read that sentence again. I, the non-reader who wrote, am reading a book. For those of you old enough to remember The Waltons TV show, middle child Erin Walton was played by Mary McDonough. Her book, Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton, is keeping my interest and attention much more than previous books I’ve tried to read. Perhaps because this is a memoir, which is the genre that I write, it is most appealing. Although I am only on page ten, I have promised myself that I am going to finish this book and then drop her a note on Facebook telling her just how much I loved it.

Now before you all think I am some important person, no I don’t know Mary McDonough personally. But she does have a Facebook page and has actually responded to something I wrote to her. A very friendly person.

Lastly, most sincere and deep prayers go out to the families and friends of the passengers of Malaysia flight 370. I can only imagine what you are going through. I obviously will keep my fingers crossed for a favorable outcome, but I think any kind of closure would be welcome after nearly two weeks.

Until next time, take care, have a great day, and happy reading. P.S. Rebecca, I am glad you are feeling better 🙂

It is a hodgepodge day

Greetings, readers. I have a few things to talk about today. First up is the government shutdown. I know I don’t go for political opinions much, but I just have to put my two cents in on this topic. As far as I know, things like banks and the post office are still up and running. Hopefully they are deemed too important to be without. When I stop to think that we actually have a government that thinks it is perfectly okay to come to a screeching halt, leaving millions of people temporarily unemployed, not to mention leaving the Americans they serve high and dry, I wonder how these people slept at night. Do they have any sense of obligation and morals? Rebecca just told me that the FDA is all but shut down and I can only hope that there is some measure in place which will prevent dangerous drugs and unsafe food from being purchased.

On to another topic. I am still completely hung up on Madden25 football. I’m still tinkering with what they call sliders. When my running back gains nearly 3,200 yards in a season, I know it is way too easy. Somehow I will need to made an adjustment. But so far it is without a doubt the best sports simulation I’ve ever played. I know I said that about MLB13 baseball last March, but of course that’s the point, isn’t it? That every year these games and sports simulations just get better and more realistic. After I was done with Madden football last night, I turned on my Netflix streaming and to my happy amazement one of my favorite shows is back. It is Masterpiece Theater Classic’s Upstairs, Downstairs. I think I shall start at the beginning and watch one a night until I’ve seen them all.

On a personal note, the writer who doesn’t read very much actually found an author he loves. His name is Garry Disher, from Australia. I’m currently reading book one in the Hal Challis series, called The Dragon Man. I often found it ironic that I was a non-reader who wanted other people to read his writing. Well, if I can find a few more authors like Mr. Disher, I might become a reader after all.

Lastly, tomorrow is a big ouchy day for me. I’m having dental surgery, which is going to include the cutting of some gum tissue, to expose more of a damaged tooth so it can be worked on by another dentist. I was given a prescription for a rather powerful pain-killer and I’m not too happy about that. As I have told many of my friends, I am, “quite allergic to pain.” That is what is on my agenda tomorrow. I might ask Rebecca to come into the office at least for a little while, and if she wanted to put up a From Rebecca blog post, she will be more than welcome to do so.

So until soonest, hopefully I can speak normally on Friday without pain to dictate to Rebecca, take care, have a good couple of days, and happy reading.

Top ten long running television shows

Shows that have endured the test of time with at least seven or more seasons, not necessarily in my least-to-favorite order.

10. Full House [ From Danny’s obsession with cleaning to Jessie’s perfect hair to Michelle’s “Auscream” and “You got it, dude!”, this show had the right mixture of family love and comedy. Great job, Warner Brothers, Miller/Boyett Productions, and a host of others.]

  9. Star Trek: The Next Generation [ The gamble to redo a classic paid off. TNG ran for seven seasons]

  8. The Love Boat [ My love of cruising, plus a great theme song, made this highly enjoyable for me.]

  7. Little House on the Prairie [ This show plus my # 6 selection centered on good old-fashioned family values.]

  6. The Waltons

  5. Happy Days [ Another family values sit-com from the 1970s… set in the 1950s.  😉  ]

  4. Bonanza [ As a child, I only have a few memories of watching episodes with my grandmother. She loved it.]

  3. The original series of Hawaii Five-O [ Book ‘em, Danno]

  2. Gunsmoke [Until the Simpsons, this show was #1 in longevity]

  1. M*A*S*H [Top notch series. I own all the DVDs.]

Honorable mention: Charlie’s Angels [1076 – 1981. This is my all time favorite show and it gets the HM only because it ran five seasons. Sorry ladies.]

There are a few shows that I did not put in, such as the Simpsons and Saturday Night Live. They are still on the air, and I don’t know how many seasons they will continue to run.

Well, there you have it. Let the debates begin and chime in with a comment if you wish to. Until next week, have a great weekend, and take care.

Top ten list of my favorite TV cars

Greetings, readers. I was talking to Rebecca today trying to come up with a really good blog entry idea. I started to think about all the tv shows I’ve watched over the years and thought to myself what about my top ten favorite TV cars list? Breaking from my mini tradition, I am going to put them in order from least favorite to most favorite.

#10. The Monroe sister’s 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra in the series Charlie’s Angels. [Jill turned it over to her sister Kris after the first season when Farrah Fawcett left the show.

#9. Joe Friday’s Ford Fairlane from the second Dragnet series.

#8. Jim Rockford’s 1974 Pontiac Firebird Esprit from the Rockford Files series.

#7. Starsky’s Ford Torino from the show Starsky and Hutch.

#6. The Dukes of Hazzard General Lee. [From the tv show, not the movie.]

#5. Magnum P.I.‘s Ferrari 308 GTS.

#4. Burt Reynold’s black Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am. [This is the one car from a film, not a tv show, the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit.]

#3. The Green Hornet‘s Black Beauty, a 1965 Chrysler Imperial Crown.

#2. The Batmobile from the 1966 Batman series with Adam West. [The car, according to the internet, was listed as a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car; that model was never put into production as far as I know.]

#1. Steve McGarrett’s 1968 Mercury Parklane Brougham from the original Hawaii Five-O series. [In the pilot episode, a snazzy ’67 Mercury Marquis was used. The ’68 Parklane was reportedly damaged in a chase scene and was replaced with a newer Mercury model for start of the ’75 season.]

Rebecca and I will be doing more work on the new book tomorrow. I’m going to try my darndest to post another new entry on Sunday evening or Monday. Oh, by the way … Tuesday the 5th, MLB 13 The Show hits the stores. The countdown beginneth. I will be at our local GameStop at 9am.