Category Archives: Woody Harrelson

“Lassie” and Television’s Progress

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On Friday, September 12, 2014, 60 years of television had passed by, since “Lassie’s”

first debut episode. The show was simple, meaningful and encompassed all areas of

rural living, (1954 – 1973). When they list the ‘longest lasting television series,’ they

place this show close to top of the list.

 

The years I remember the show, “Lassie,” best had June Lockhart as portraying my

favorite mother of all time. The father was genuinely well-acted by Hugh Reilly and

my favorite little boy, “Timmy,” was played by Jon Provost.

 

Although the leading “human” roles changed over the years, there was always the

faithful dog, “Lassie.” (Many dogs played this role, of course, through the years.) I

enjoyed the various transitions of “Lassie,” having family values and including life

lessons.

 

Fast forward to September and October, 2014 for the New Fall, 2014 television

season.

It would be nearly impossible to picture most of the newest additions to our current

television programming to last ten years, let alone 19 years.

 

The “CSI” and “NCIS” shows are still going strong and on this Fall’s t.v. line-up.

I am going to miss having the original show, “CSI,” with its location of Las Vegas,

when it moves to its new Sunday evening slot. Sunday is my favorite ‘catch up’ night,

with PBS, Hallmark and I still am a big fan of “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”

The new Fall line up is already getting over-crowded on my own Sunday night.

 

I was talking to a good friend who thinks some of the shows sound “silly” and was

pointing out a Columbus Dispatch critic thought Debra Messing would be hard to

imagine being a cop, in the new show called, “”Mysteries of Laura.”

Since I would first respond, I love the silly show, “Mike and Molly.” I may be quite

blasphemous to say that “Mike” would NEVER make it on a real police force, due

to his large size…

Criticism from someone who loves all kinds of wild SyFy shows like, “Haven” and

“Eureka,”  and on regular network t.v., “Under the Dome,” should be wondering

about their own ways they stretch their imagination! I am laughing with you; not

at you, my friend!

 

Can you suspend your sense of disbelief and let your imagination go?

I remember the funny ways we learned, as children to open our ‘escape hatches’

and step into the Lands of Wonderment.

 

I shall try all the shows with female-driven plot lines. They have had ‘good fortune’

in the past. Imagine “The Good Wife” not being on,  not receiving another round of

Emmy Award nominations. I think it is nice to see women in professional situations,

not wearing an ‘apron’ and carrying out the character of a ‘housewife and mother.’

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy programs that have women who have chosen to

stay at home to do

this very important job and having this be part of the plot line, too. Choices are what

makes this a different world from the Fifties and Sixties’ television programming.

 

“We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

I like the characters in this sweet little show about a single mother with a son, you may

recognize him from big screen movies, I “About a Boy.” I am sadly not pleased with

where they tucked this show into a 9:30 time slot. It is ‘not cute’ but original and quirky.

We, if you are a viewer, are ‘rooting’ for the handsome neighbor man to become the single

mother’s date. Although it is about a boy, it is definitely about the mother, too. Having

raised 3 children on my own, I am particularly happy to watch this one. I also like the

upcoming role of Katherine Heigl getting another chance on television in “State of

Affairs.” While Katherine Heigl left “Grey’s Anatomy,” definitely getting better comedic

roles in movies, she is still sorely missed as the character of “Izzy,” on that show. I am

looking forward to seeing her as a CIA agent. She was funny in “One for the Money,” a

movie based on the hilarious antics of a bondswoman in more than 20 books by Janet

Evanovich.

 

If you liked Tea Leoni’s funny past roles you may have seen her show her acting chops

in serious dramas, too. We will see which direction she heads in, “Madame Secretary.”

She was one of the wackiest women on television for 2 years in a show called, “The Naked

Truth.”

 

I have read a decent review of “Red Band Society.” It is not a “Breakfast Club,” nor

is it one that will be all laughs, but will tackle diseases and illnesses with a touch of

humor and give it an uplifting spin. It is a group of young people who are ones who

have hospital experiences, who are dealing with personal challenges. I picture it more

like the movie, “Stand By Me,” in its tone and togetherness. It is about a ‘band

of young misfits.’

 

Critics are harsh when it comes to some and not so much with others. I remember

when I discovered, “How I Met Your Mother.” It was before the critics endorsed it,

awhile back. I am sad how they chose to end it, with the death of the mother but

happy the main gal, Robin, got her ‘man.’

 

The serious shows genre are tougher to predict. I would imagine Scott Backula will

knock the New Orleans’ version of “NCIS” out of the park. I happen to have liked his

‘goofy’ portrayal of character in “Quantum Leap.” I am not sure about, “Stalkers,” but

will support Dylan McDermott, since he is still okay after all these years since his role

as a non-supportive ‘husband’ for Julia Robert’s dying ‘wife’ role in “Steel Magnolias.”

 

Another serious plot line can be found in “Gracepoint.” (Not to be confused with the

CIA/FBI show about the safe house, “Graceland.”) David Tennant, from the British

show, “Broadchurch,”and Anna Gunn are two strong actors that will head up the

already critically-acclaimed and well-promoted television show. This show is set in a

fictional California coastal community.

 

I think that the “Forever” show that is listed on two consecutive days, for its kick-off

first two episodes sounds good.  Sadly, I lost “Journeyman” and also another traveling

through  time show just in the past two years. I will hope this one ‘sticks’ because I like

the concept. I used to enjoy “Time Tunnel” on television and “Back to the Future,” on

the movie screen.

 

I have been a fan of Josh Dushamel ever since the show, “Vegas.” I have enjoyed his

forte into romantic comedies, too. The actor, Dushamel will be on a new show called,

“Battle Creek,” This will be loosely based on likely crimes to be found in Battle Creek,

Michigan. His co-star/partner will be that of Dean Winters. You will recognize him,

but not necessarily ‘place’ him. I will check this one out simply because I love crime-

solving television series.

 

I will return to comedies. This is what a good friend in Lancaster, Ohio mentioned

when we turned 50: “Try to laugh more, watch comedies!”

I came up with a slogan, which I will hope no one else has coined:

“Humor is found in the ‘ear’ of the listener.”

(“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)

So, if you liked “My Favorite Martian” did you ever try 2 seasons of “Neighbors?”

I think not, since it did not make it. This was clever, witty writing with four likable

adults, along with poking fun at Suburbia. I will miss this, unless it is on a later

schedule, it did not make the ‘cut.’

 

If you liked “Scrubs,” you probably followed the guy who was the janitor on over

into “The Middle,” who became the ever patient, sometimes ‘clueless’ Dad in this

sit-com. This also includes Patricia Heaton, who played the Mom/wife roles in

“Everyone Loves Raymond.”

 

If you liked “Taxi,” “Barney Miller” and “Psych,” you may have discovered last year’s

Emmy-awarding comedy, “Brooklyn 9-9.” Hilarious, quirky and goofy at times, but

watch out, you may laugh out loud anyway.

 

I am wishing that Nielson’s Rating chart were in my mailbox, because I had such a

lovely time about eight years ago, studying and analyzing the television Fall Season

Line-ups back then. The first time I had the full control of a remote control.  I wrote

some comprehensive and profuse notes for those receiving my multiple page Nielson

Ratings Report. I  am not a paid writer nor do I write for a newspaper. I was able to

honestly say this, it was all for the love of television and the future of programming

that I was inspired to carry out my ‘duties’ in this report.

 

My final thoughts on the Progress television has made since “Lassie” was on.

You are invited to ‘debate’ these comments, too. I love a good and lively discussion!

 

I personally feel current shows embrace more ethnicities, culture and show characters

with wider world views in our programming. They encompasses much more ‘diversity’

on television since my childhood days. This means the people who are represented

are not stereotyped as much, anymore.

 

I like that there are two children with special needs included in some popular shows.

I recommend, “Parenthood,” and if you have never seen this, start by watching the

first shows. It is cool to watch this fine young actor, “grow up” with two caring

‘parents’ who disagree about how to handle him, along with a supportive ‘family.’

I am not sure how they would ‘label’ the character, “Brick,” in the show “The Middle,”

but the family accepts him just as he is.

I feel the shows today give better examples of the way families really act, showing

varied relationships, how to handle or not able handle serious and controversial

subjects such as addictions, challenges and sexual orientations.

 

We have heroes and villains. The same as in the past, sometimes more graphically

(and honestly presented.)

 

World conflicts and images are horrifying.  We cannot ignore what is going on, bury

our head in the sand. Powerful, and yet maddening, events are daily depicted (some

consider, ‘bombarded’) on our television sets.

We are urged to ‘act’ and ‘choose’ which side of the dilemmas we will take, as a nation

and other countries must, too.

Along with this serious, somewhat negative impact of television’s immediacy to

situations, we have positives.

We have the opportunity to watch the Olympics, sporting events and international

specials, shown across the world. My coworkers and friends from the Philippines

were captivated by Pope Francis being chosen to be the Roman Catholic Pope.

Other friends were entranced by the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. Then,

many followed the tragic ending to Lady Diana’s life. They were hopeful for the

more recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The baby’s birth and

now, the next one on its way, are subjects that many feel are happy bits of news.

 

History, social studies, geography and science are subjects of programs, for

everyone to  learn about, grow to enjoy and get more educated. There are so

many fascinating shows to watch. Nature, musical and art works may never be viewed

or listened to, first hand. Other countries and animals, places that may not be within

everyone’s budget or ability to travel.

 

Some people are not necessarily able to buy or read the newspaper. They find out

information about the world they live in, from the television news shows.

Hurray For National Geographic, Travel Channel, PBS, Weather Channel and

other quality network programming!

 

We have real and make-believe images still, with our magic carpet rides taking off,

from our own homes.

 

There are subjects and shows I may never care to watch. I embrace and support

those who like QVC shopping, cooking shows, reality shows and true dramas,

because they are part of the wide community of television watchers.

 

Many of the shows I choose to watch, you may not want to watch. I got hooked on a

soap opera, during our second break at work. For the past six years, I am ‘guilty’ of

watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

All the years I stayed home and babysat, I did not watch any soap operas. I did in

college, much to the chagrin of my parents, when I mentioned I was scheduling my

courses around a couple of soap operas!

 

I was listening, the first year of American Idol, to all the animated conversations in

the teachers’ break room. They were talking about the ‘bad’ try-outs and the odd

characters. It was in the very beginning of the national search for those who would

make it to “Hollywood.” This caught my attention and I am so glad that I started

watching it.  I can say, “I remember when I first heard Carrie Underwood’s fantastic

voice, was medium built and had frizzy hair!” Along with several well-known singers

who made it to the Top Ten or higher.

 

I am grateful that I don’t have to sit on a sofa and listen to radio to imagine the

great radio characters of the “Green Hornet,” “Gracie Allen and George Burns,”

or how the President of the United States looks like as he is speaking. I enjoy

hearing my Mom’s excitement when she heard about Amelia Earhart’s trans-

Atlantic plane trip and her memories of the “Fireside Chats,” with President

Roosevelt, though.

 

I liked how we  used to watch to find out if we had school on Snow Days. Later,

if our children or grandchildren have school cancelled. I enjoy watching to see

how ‘my’ candidates or ‘my’ issues are doing, as the voting polls report in their

results.

 

I am saddened that there are blind people who cannot see, but grateful for the

inventions of special devices and increased equipment due to new technology

allowing them ‘to see’ the shows. The descriptions of the setting, characters and

other visual ‘clues’ are given. I have read about these and think the inventors are

brilliant for creating and providing this service. There are new creations in hearing-

impaired equipment, too.

 

Many people cannot afford to go to the movies or take a vacation with their families.

They may not go to Broadway but on PBS, they can see a Broadway play or musical.

They get their main form of entertainment from television.

 

There are others, lying on their back sometimes, healing from surgery or permanent

disabilities. My Dad liked to watch the comedies, while getting his chemo treatments.

Laughing made him feel so much better on those days he was nauseous.

 

The elderly in the nursing home I worked at for 4 1/2 years, liked to watch the shows

on TV Land, old reruns of “Lawrence Welk” and  “Bonanza,” along with their church

programming on Sunday mornings. The beauty of fireworks in our country and

celebrations around the world, brought big smiles to their faces. They enjoyed, as

I still do, the lovely creations in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

We get a sense of conscience from our ‘small screens.’  The night I watched, “Stand

Up 2 Cancer” impacted me, along with millions of other people watching. It moved

us to donate to some form of Cancer (Society) fund-raising, including Hospice Care,

research and local hospitals.

 

Remember “One Small Step for Mankind?” We now look forward to continued

space travel, inventions and research. When we hear of satellites making it to

Mars or other planets this gives us information that we may use in the future.

 

A quote about freedom from H.L. Mencken, American author and journalist

(1880-1956):

“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom,

for no price that is ever  asked for it,

is half the cost of doing without it.”

 

My soap box, put away for now. . .

 

 

 

What do you watch?

Have you heard about any new t.v. show compelling you

to ‘set your DVR’?

 

The 66th Emmy Award Show predictions

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Maya Angelou described her life’s dreams but could have been summarizing the

66th Emmy Awards Show tonight in this quotation:

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive:

And to do so with some passion, some compassion,

some humor and some style.”

The Emmy Award Show will be hosted tonight, 8/25/14, by comedian, Seth Myers.

We can hope his sense of humor and wacky ideas of comedy will be just the right

combination to deliver some silliness and ‘zingers’ at the prestigious audience, too.

If Myers somehow waylays those winning envelopes and chooses his “alma mater,”

the “Saturday Night Live” show will win best variety show.  There are many who

are already missing the “SNL” outstanding announcer, Don Pardo, (who recently

passed away and the show could get the ‘sympathy’ votes.) Otherwise, the Emmy

for comedy/variety show will probably go to Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel or

another traditional talk show.

I enjoy the drama, the flair, the gowns and tuxedos, along with the speeches for

the  ‘Best’ of television each year.  I have some predictions and hopefully, a little

something for everyone to consider.

While you may not watch the show~ you will hear about it tomorrow! Let’s say in

the break room, at the water cooler, or on the actual ‘news’ shows, where they feature

entertainment and popular culture as, “newsworthy.”

 

Nora Ephron is an author and screenwriter, one who has had several of her books

made into comedies. After they appeared on the movie screen, you may catch them

on television.  Some of my favorites are: “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail,”

“Julie and Julia,” and the serious and incredibly well written, “Silkwood.” This was

with dramatic performances by Cher and Meryl Streep.

 

Here is a quotation that suits the Emmy Awards night and our own lives, too.

Written by Nora Ephron:

“Above all, be the heroine of your life,

Not the victim.”

 

There is the Dramatic category for television shows, which I predict Matthew

McConaughey will win this, since his life is “on a roll” this year. He has already

collected the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for, “Dallas Buyer’s

Club.” Now, with his unique twist of acting he gave to the character in the t.v.

show called, “True Detective.” he may win the 2014 Emmy Award for Drama.

Woody Harrelson’s partner detective role, may win instead. We will see. . .

 

Who do I wish would win the dramatic male lead?  Jeremy Pivens, who has

played on PBS’s  show, “Mr. Selfridge” for three seasons. This period piece is

about a department  store owner, along with his family and his employees’ lives.

The setting begins in 1908 England and has advanced three years past this.

This is the upscale place to shop, with its lavish displays and Victorian gowns.

The store has much to view,  everything so ornately beautiful that you may let

your mind wander off the subject matter. A serious accusation of an affiliation

with Germany was the season ‘cliff hanger.’ With the store and all the employees

possibly facing financial ruin, setbacks, letting go employees  or closure of the

department store impending.

 

Who do I wish would win the dramatic female lead?

I would like to see the character, Sarah, played by Jorja Fox, win from “C.S.I.”

I like the whole cast of the “old” Las Vegas, “C.S.I.” with Ted Danson as one of

the “new” lead characters presently. They still have “Sarah’s” character, from the

original cast, understatedly played by Jorja Fox. I happen to like “Sarah’s” flaws

and her unique idiosyncracies. She was the one who ‘won,’ my favorite “past”

male lead’s heart, William Peterson, who played “Grissom.” Occasionally, we hear

about him,  via his “wife, Sarah’s” character. (“Grissom” has been investigating

entomology, the study of bugs, in foreign lands.) I miss William Peterson, but like

Ted Danson’s straight forward approach and will always like Marg Helgenberger.

She has won the Emmy before, not sure if Jorja has. . .

 

While there are many comedies who are ‘repeat winners,’ like “Modern Family,”

“Big Bang Theory,” “Mike and Molly,” and others come to mind, I like to think

that one of the “New Kids on the Block,” may win again. At the Golden Globes,

Brooklyn 9-9″ was nominated and won.  I like, “The Middle,” “The Mindy Kaling

Show,” and the silly alien show, “The Neighbors.”

 

Who will win the Best Comedic Role? I believe a ‘nod’ to Robin Williams will be

for his performance on the show, “The Crazy Ones,” to win. I agree, the cast and

guest stars were brilliant. The lines were delivered impeccably and timed with

enough space to laugh out loud at them. The shows with famous people included

Brad Garrett, from “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I liked the episode with Josh

Groban, who was hired to make up a song for Australia. While he was visiting, it

turns out he had dated “Sydney,” who is Robin William’s character’s daughter.

“Sydney” was the one who had broken up with this ex-boyfriend.  Josh Groban,

a singer/songwriter, is still “love sick.” His silly song for “Sydney” works out, after

all,  with the Australian campaign. The baby ducklings’ episode and the coffee

roasting company horror episode were among my favorite shows. The first one,

even has an assistant wiping the little baby duck’s behinds, as per Robin William’s

character’s wishes. The huge coffee pot display, set out in the middle of a busy city

square tipped over, on a windy day. The hot coffee, which had seemed like a ‘good

idea at the time,’ for advertising, was made into a scary black and white horror

commercial. This was hilarious; just perfect for their coffee advertising campaign.

Mistakes made into genius decisions. . . Reminds me of the “Dick Van Dyke Show!”

 

It is too soon to have the character who plays a doctor in “Rush,” to win an Emmy

Award, but I highly recommend watching this quirky, self-absorbed character.

I was watching a triple episode DVD of  “Sugartown,” a British comedy show (2011),

and had to pause to study the man who is in this mini-series, as the brother who

wants to close down “Burrs” candy factory.  Yes, Tom Ellis, is the leading male

character in “Rush.” He was a womanizer in “Sugartown” in England. Now, he is

playing a similar kind of man, as a doctor with high end clientele, in Los Angeles,

California.

Since the series, “Rush,” just kicked off on July 17, 2014, you may not even know

about this show on ABC.

 

I hope the Emmy’s will be full of fun and excitement.  I hope it will entertain the

people who enjoy awards ceremonies. I like to see the way people accept their

awards. I enjoy the way the show features the best moments in television from

mid-year, 2013 until mid-year, 2014. The Emmy may still go to “Breaking Bad,”

due to the inclusion of this other part of the year. In this case, you will see

Bryan Cranston taking the best dramatic role, instead of Matthew McConaughey.

 

Who can forget Sally Fields exclaiming, ” You really like me!”?  This was when the

known television series actress of “The Flying Nun” and “Gidget,” won an Academy

Award for her supremely well done acting in the movie, “Norma Rae.” Of course,

she has also won an Emmy for her “Sybil” television role and been nominated as

President Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, in the movie, “Lincoln.”

 

I live for those award ceremony moments of surprise and humility.

 

Will you be watching this or Monday Night Football?

If neither of these, what are your plans tonight?

Many at work were talking about the Bengals playing. . .

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Among Friends, Right?

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At the risk of appearing immodest or vulgar, let me say those under

50 plus years may not want to read this! I have spent over 20 years

walking with a couple of girlfriends, with covering the whole gamut

of subjects. We cannot believe we have come to the topics we now

discuss. Some of these are ones I’m sure if we had had a crystal ball

to search and gaze into back in our thirties, we would have been so

shocked to hear the things coming out of our mouths!

Here are a few comments about each subject matter, hopefully not

too shocking these days with what is on commercials and more open

discussions, too. Here in no particular order or priority are what has

come up lately:

“Why do bald men have such long and curling hair coming out of their

ears and other places like the back of their neck?”

“Why do I have a couple of odd and errant places that I need to weed

whack with my razor on my chin, upper lip and neck?”

“Do you ever feel that you need to try some of those enhancement 

products to make everything “smooth sailing?” (For examples “warming

gel,” “personal lubricant, or “pure pleasure arousal gel?”)

“Does your partner need to try the products for erectile dysfunction?”

(I once had a partner who really did think if God intended him to have

an erection, than he would have one. Otherwise, there was no need 

for sexual intercourse since we already had procreated. I wanted to

scream! “But what about God’s gift of intelligence that created such

products and medicines? Also, why on earth do some men’s sex 

drive go the opposite direction from their wives? And, visa versa.)

Last, but not least of recent topics, from a movie way back when

we were in our thirties, (1993) “Indecent Proposal.” If I had been

approached by Robert Redford in that time period, I would have

been 38 years old, still single then! Yes! Yes! I would have taken

a million dollars and had sex with his character in that movie.

I could not believe Demi Moore’s character and her husband,

Woody Harrelson’s character debating about such a subject!

Oh, yes, I do know this is totally irreverent to marriage and its

sacred sanctimony. But come on! Once and you are rich!!

I believe that we have covered enough stuff but will not venture

into the gross subjects that include the leakage from different

orifices and the products and pads needed to correct and 

collect such matter.

We have gone over the line today, I am sure! But, we are 

among friends, aren’t we?