I have always enjoyed quirky, unique characters. I have had a lot of friends
who could not be ‘pigeon-holed’ into any certain group. One thing or another
led us to each other, some for a season, like a poem says, and others for Life.
I have very eclectic taste in my television and movie watching, as well as my
book reading. It takes only something different to pull me in!
Here are some criteria: eclectic characters, different settings, weird or unusual
plots, mysterious going’s on, along with some humorous qualities. In other words,
‘one of a kind’ television or movies.
I prefer the descriptive words, “Unique” over “Cute,” any day of the week!
When the show (or movie) is over, you may feel like you had a visit with distant
family members, who you will ponder upon for awhile. If the show really captures
your heart, you may miss the people when they are gone. . .
Examples from the past include, “Barney Miller,” “Taxi,” “Seinfeld,” and “I Love
Lucy.” When we remember Robin Williams, we can think of his earlier t.v. show,
“Mork and Mindy.” Ray Walston created an alien in “My Favorite Martian,” but
no one could do improvisational comedy and ‘wing it,’ like Robin Williams.
The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” along with its spin-off, “Rhoda,” included a
lot of diverse persons, along with strong female roles. For a mild, kind and
dry humored, soft-spoken man, I loved, “The Bob Newhart Show.” (Both of
them, in fact!) Bob, in his farmhouse Inn, had some strange neighbors, 3
handymen (were they Darryl, Larry and Larry? Who remembers this trivia
fact? Let me know!), the dentist and his wacky receptionist in the first show.
Both wives (from the 2 shows) were beautiful and very patient with good ole’
Bob. Many fell in love with them, wondering how he managed to capture each
I liked movies like the Thin Man series, along with ones starring Charlie Chaplin
and Errol Flynn. Way too many of the ones from the black and white era, up to the
newer color ones, to list my ‘favorites of all time!’
For comedic variety shows, I enjoyed the “Carol Burnett Show” and “Rowan and
Martin’s Laugh-In.” Each one had a purpose: the first was to entertain families
and the second one was to be a ‘sign of the times.’ Many iconic quotations had their
roots in these shows. They managed to attract many famous comedians, for guest
appearances on both of these shows. Totally different styles, but both met my quirky
and strange criteria.
More recent favorite t.v. shows featuring quirky characters were:
“Northern Exposure,” “Still Standing,” and “Gilmore Girls.”
I finished one whole season of Robin Williams, with Sarah Gellar playing his character’s
daughter, in “The Crazy Ones.” If you wish to see funny, then you want to go with the
‘best’ comic in his time. The episodes with the baby ducklings, promoting roasted coffee
and McDonald’s ‘feel good’ commercial which their father/daughter advertising agency
made were all hilarious. Now that he is gone, many of us will value the talent, energy and
unique ‘crazy’ characters, that Robin William created.
I have some favorites that I have wondered if anyone else out there is watching currently,
on their televisions?
1. I have been watching and enjoying, on Sunday evenings, “Last Tango in Halifax.”
This PBS story that unites two outrageously different families in marriage, via two
characters who knew and loved each other over 50 years ago, is quite addicting.
The older couple is unsure which home to live in after marrying, one of their
children murdered someone, in self defense, there is a gay woman who longs for
her soul mate, another woman to fall for her, and other plot twists. The scenery
and the dialogue are quite interesting!
2. I have been watching and laughing at Amy Poehler’s writing and her brother,
Greg Poehler’s acting in, “Welcome to Sweden.” This is on regular television on
Thursday evenings. A bonus is Lena Olin, in the cast. Greg plays an accountant
who marries a gorgeous blonde Swedish woman and had to find a job, among
other things, in Sweden.
3. I have my dental hygienist and my youngest daughter watching, “Hart of Dixie.”
If you start on the first show, it explains how someone from the North, from a big
hospital ends up in little “Bluebell” town. The characters are played by fairly
familiar actors/actresses, Rachel Bilson, Tim Matheson, with two handsome men
playing a lawyer named George and a bar keeper named Wade. The character of
the black mayor is well done, along with an uptight but sometimes sweet and soft
as a marshmallow is named Lemon.
4. “The Goldbergs” is hilariously about the 80’s. It is like another kind of “Wonder
Years.” It has George Segal, who always will be part of my favorite memories of an
ensemble cast in, “Just Shoot Me.” He plays a grandfather living with the family.
I like the intergenerational ‘feel’ to this show.
(In “Just Shoot Me,” also were comedians, Wendy Malick and David Spade.)
“The Goldbergs” is told from the ‘nerdy’ son’s perspective who has a big ‘jock’
brother and a popular big sister. He has different problems, with girls, with his
interests and sometimes within his family. The plot line that is a good example of
funny stuff is when the son wants to make a film, his dad being cast as, “Alien Dad.”
He requests lots of bottles of ketchup and other different stuff to help him make
this. His father has to adjust to this idea, it is a tough one, he is more accustomed to
his older two’s interests. In the end of each show, as this one does, you find out there
are ins to each episode to the climate of the times, like “Say Anything” movie, the
boy uses a big boom box, to help get a girl’s attention. In another episode, how he
studies the movie,”When Harry Met Sally” to try and understand girls. The message
he gets from it is one that will bring chuckles.
5. On Hallmark Channel, I have fallen for “Signed, Sealed and Delivered,” and now
must wait a season for the continuing story. There are mail clerks, one boss and
the staff need to read letters that come down the shoot/chute from the Lost Mail
Department. Each letter holds a story, not all love ones, either. They have been to
different parts of cities, using partial labels on envelopes and other ways and means
to track down one or both parties on the envelope. It reunited a couple, it brought
death to someone who had hoped the other was alive, it brought parent with child
together, etc. The way I got started is, I had read the scripts were by the author of
“Touched by An Angel.” I also saw that good old Rhoda, from the “Mary Tyler
Moore Show,” Valerie Harper, was guesting in the first couple of shows. The main
boss was from the show, “Ugly Betty.” (My mother liked this one, due to the Spanish
connection and liked the way America Ferrara’s family used their heritage in their
decorating and there were sometimes chances for Mom to practice using her own
6. When they come back there are a few female-driven shows, with interesting topics,
along with great ensemble casts like “New Girl,” “The Mindy Project,” and “Rizzoli
and Isles.” My Filipino friends like the show with Cloris Leachman playing a silly and
forgetful grandmother in, “Raising Hope” and also the three families in “Modern Family.”
I still enjoy the show with Patricia Heaton in, along with the husband who played the
janitor in, “Scrubs,” in the show about mid-American incomes, homes and families:
I called my two friends who are dear to me, that have battles with depression, which
can sometimes lead to addictions last night. I asked them each had they heard about
Robin William’s death? One said, “I’m good, at least for today. I know you are worried
about me. When Robin Williams decides this world is not where he belongs, it makes
you consider whether you need to stay here anymore. But, I’m good.”
The other one answered with a little sob, she was not so good. She had heard the news,
immediately knew I would be wondering whether she was taking it well, coping with
her life, as it is a struggle for her. She stopped her moment of crying, I could hear the
‘wheels spinning,’ and she finally let me in on her thoughts,
“I think I won’t take my medications tomorrow and clean the bedroom and bathroom,
then do the laundry. I need to ‘feel’ and action will keep me moving forward.”
If you would like to talk about Robin Williams, your favorite movie or anything, you
may do so.
If not, I had the idea of sharing our favorite television shows, current or past. . .
What are you watching on television that may be of interest to all of us? Do you
mind giving us an example of a plot or story line?