Saturday, September 24, 2016

Selecting the Perfect Halloween Costume for an Office Party

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When October is just around the corner, you know that the Halloween costumes are about to come out of the closet. Whether this is your favorite time of the year and you look forward to selecting a new costume or you're known as someone who never dresses up, you can't deny the excitement of a work party to celebrate this spooky holiday. It's your chance to network and have a little fun with your colleagues, but you need a costume that will impress without crossing the professional line.

There are thousands of costumes out there, but you may not have time to browse them all before making your selection. This guide will take the work out of your search by delivering a detailed list of the best costumes for work Halloween parties.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Is There Too Much TV Sitcom Drama?



Let's face it, we watch sitcoms for a good laugh. These are designed to bring in the laughs and make us forget our troubles. But there are those times during a sitcom where drama can come in to emphasize the scene. Why does this happen, what happen to the day when Abbott and Costello played it completely for laughs, and so did the Three Stooges. Well, perhaps this happened because the sitcom became pretty much what it stands for a situation comedy. In situations drama can come in even if it's just for a fleeting moment.

In the 70s the sitcom MASH along with the ground breaking sitcom All in the Family took the mixture to a new level. Where All in the Family was concerned, they too hard hitting relevant issues of the time yet found a way to mix the comedy into the drama itself. Where MASH was concerned, the first few seasons did seem to play out mostly for laughs but that was like ignoring the elephant in the room, namely the Korean War. There's little funny about war and when the program let the war in it also had to let in the drama. MASH became known as TV's first dramedy which was a combination of drama and comedy. For the program the formula worked, and fans continued watching it.

These days it'd seem that "dramedy" has made a comeback without even trying. There are highly popular programs such as Modern Family, Blackish, and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia whom although are classified sitcoms do also contain dramatic moments. These shows also work without the laugh track that can still be found in some sitcoms. Yes, there are viewers who still prefer that half hour sitcoms continue to just before laugh. That's not to say that some aren't Mike and Molly, Two Broke Girls and Last Man Standing do seem to still play it for laughs mostly even if there are a few moments of drama sneaking in. Hey, how can it not these are sitcoms of today. After all, who would of thought the day would come when a sitcom regarding a mother and daughter would exist that has them both battling a substance abuse issue which is the basis now for the sitcom Mom. Yes, this one does have a laugh track but it also has hard hitting issues such as friend dying from an over dose.


Perhaps the thing that has changed the face of the sitcom is the fact that the world continues to evolve. Now a days we can look at a wholesome show such as The Brady Bunch and shake our heads. This program certainly wouldn't make it in the market of today. Yes, maybe some would say that there is now too much drama in sitcoms and that isn't what we watch them for. We watch them to forget our troubles not to be reminded of them. But there is something that makes the shows that don't avoid today's issues so popular maybe for some we want to see these addressed. Maybe we want to see how our favorite characters that we have come to identify with deal with these same issues we have. But take heart if these become too much to bear there are always DVDs of Abbott and Costello or the The Three Stooges to fall back on, these were done for laughs only.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Audiences’ Opinions of the Mid-Season Finale of “The Walking Dead”


For those of you who haven't seen it as of yet, here’s a warning: this is article contains spoilers regarding The Walking Dead's mid-season finale which aired on AMC last Sunday. Anyway, the episode has been getting much hype online for months now. It would seem that it was leaked out that yet another beloved character was going to meet an unfortunate fate.

So, viewers braced themselves, after all this it wouldn't be the first time this happened on this long running program. Since it began, other characters such as Shane, Laurie, Andrea, and Beth all died and some in shocking ways that left fans reeling. So, why should this one be any different. 

So, many fans tuned in to watch who it would be, after all the notorious villain from the comics the series is based on Negan makes his first appearance. Yes, the survivors had to deal with the diabolical Governor and now this guy isn't it enough they have to always contend with walkers coming after them. Anyway, back to who dies, was it Carol who is highly featured in this episode, was it Morgan who came to Carol's aid, was it Daryl, was it Rick? The answer, brace yourself for this one, no one knows for sure.

That's right, after all the hype, viewers were left with a cliffhanger and were met with an untimely end won't be answered till the show returns in October no doubt during fear fest. Needless to say this didn't go over too well with The Walking Dead Fans. Twitter and Facebook were all ablaze with comments that ranged from calling it a cop out to individuals saying they had it with the program. All the while AMC was no doubt sitting there going right see you in October. 

The thing is, despite the outrage, The Walking Dead completed their task. People are talking about this episode and social media has been all the blaze. So what if some of its negatives are still banter, it seems that it’ll no doubt pay off for the cable network in the end. 

Not the first time and certainly won't be the last time a program has gone this route. Keeping viewers hanging goes all the way back to when someone shot JR Ewing at the end of season 3 and kept viewers talking about it all through the summer. This was back in the 80s before social media or the Internet existed. Just imagine what a fire storm that would have caused. Then of course there were the fire storms caused by Game of Thrones, the Red Wedding, the Purple Wedding and of course their notorious cliffhanger from last year with beloved character Jon Snow lying in the snow dying from a stab wound.
So, The Walking Dead isn't the first ones to take the shocking cliff hanger route and they won't be the last. No doubt viewers will continue talking for months on Facebook and Twitter contemplating who died as they’re right at the moment which again is pretty much what AMC wanted by leaving them hanging this way.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How Well Will This Upcoming Season of Game of Thrones Do on HBO?


With Game of Thrones soon returning to TV and HBO GO enabled devices around the globe, several people are holding their breaths and wondering just how the ratings battle will play out this year.

Over the past several seasons we've seen an endless rise in viewers, with the first and last episodes usually topping all episodes in between. Though several benchmark events have already occurred, with many people being turned into fans by book fans who encouraged friends to watch the Red or Purple Wedding, there's plenty left to behold.

A quick glance at several YouTube Season 6 prediction videos tells this author that people are still deeply entrenched in Game of Thrones with it entering this season, with plenty of views on nearly every video on the first few pages. 

The question is, will Game of Thrones continue to be a top runner for HBO? 

Most signs seem to point to yes. The faithful viewers seem to be ever-faithful despite changes within the storylines from the books to the show. With the expansion of HBO GO and other various internet-based viewing products, the Game of Thrones audience has more ways to watch now than ever and HBO is keeping up with those viewers. 

Game of Thrones also demands a prime spot in HBO's Sunday evening line up, a time when most people have sent the kids to bed but aren't quite ready to think about the work week themselves. With the show running at just about an hour in length, this is a nice cool down for both non-parents and parents before bed time for the dreaded Monday morning.

This season the prediction mills seem to be very excited about revisiting Bran Stark and his comrades. We won't spoil anything for those not up to date on the show, but having missed Bran entirely during season 5, fans of the Stark clan look forward to seeing this young wolf back. We may also get a glimpse or two of Rickon along the way. 

Dany's story has taken flight and, without revealing too much, her countless appearances in the released trailers have everyone wondering what the Mother of Dragons will be up to this season. If the hints are correct, we'll be seeing plenty of her and Drogon.

Arya's current storyline seems to be hinted that it will continue to be at the forefront of the tale. Nearly every trailer and teaser released has featured Arya in some way or another and book fans have a good many ideas where she's heading.

Along with other fan favorites such as Tyrion, Jon Snow and Cersei's never ending... Cersei-ness, season 6 of Game of Thrones promises to be a fun ride.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Kim Kardashian replacing Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman?! Say it isn't so!

Kim Kardashian replacing Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman?! Say it isn't so!: Warner Brothers announced this morning that Gal Gadot will not be continuing on in the role of Wonder Woman within the DC Universe.

Friday, March 25, 2016

How Cartoons Have Really Evolved: A Look at the Last 30 Years


It’s amazing how cartoons have really evolved over the last 30 years. We’ve gone from the weekly ritual of Saturday mornings to now being able to watch on-demand, virtually 24-7.

TV cartoons have also evolved for specific audiences, and are no longer just considered ‘kiddie fodder.’ Let’s take a look at how cartoons have really evolved through the past 3 decades:

TV Cartoons in the 80s

You might be too young to remember it, but there was a certain magic in the 80s to watching TV cartoons on Saturday mornings. It was roughly 5 hours straight of TV meant for children, but it was only once a week. A staggering 20 million viewers watched those cartoons.

A lot of the 80s cartoons were tied to toys, like Transformers and Care Bears for younger children, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the ‘tweens. Reagan’s repeal of toy advertising regulations allowed for tons of TV cartoons to be created for products.

At the same time, MTV videos started experimenting with cartoon crossovers for teens and adults. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits, for example, or A-ha’s Take on Me.

It wasn’t until ‘89 though, that a cartoon managed to unite the family as a TV-watching unit. The Simpsons hit the right notes for every age, from child to adult. And 25 years later, they’re still going strong.

TV Cartoons in the 90s

One of the biggest changes the 90s brought to TV cartoons was cable and satellite TV. Children of all ages were now able to watch cartoons daily, without waiting for Saturday. Families, too, were changing. With divorces becoming almost a norm, weekend visits were too important for 5-hour watch-a-thons of cartoons. Video games surged, taking up free time, while the Internet began growing at an astonishing rate.

It started in 1991, with FOX Kids airing TV cartoons 2 hours daily. NBC and CBS had drastically reduced cartoons. Then cable and satellite TVs trifecta (the Disney Channel, the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon) began airing cartoons and shows geared to children and teens almost non-stop. MTV also drifted away from a purely music video focus and began to add regular shows.

The 90s were good and bad for cartoons. They offered a lot of diversity and creativity in programming, but the overload also led to a large amount of ‘filler’ cartoons and poorer quality (My Little Pony Tales). They also added more ‘realism,’ with fast action, blood-and-guts and adult humor.

Cartoons for children included Pokemon and Rugrats; ‘tweens tastes went from Batman: The Animated Series and The Ren and Stimpy Show to Powerpuff Girls or Daria; and adult cartoons really expanded. The Critic, Family Guy, King of the Hill, South Park and Duckman, to name a few, were all popular.

TV Cartoons 2000s to Now

TV cartoons have- and are undergoing- another evolution in the 00s to now. Cable and Satellite TV are still used, but the Internet has taken over and improved on the cartoons 24-7 model. It’s also decreased the amount of viewers, because the audiences are so spread out.

Being able to stream, download entire series to watch at your convenience and binge-watch has almost brought watching cartoons full-circle from the 80s. It used to be a treat to watch cartoons Saturday mornings; now we can decide when to block a chunk of time to ‘treat’ ourselves.

Many people feel that children’s cartoon programming has been watered and dumbed-down, lacking educational value (Dora the Explorer is cited as an exception).

‘Tweens and what cartoons they watch have evolved differently. They’re much more discerning and individual with their choices, opting for smaller niches and mixing in a large dose of reality shows. Samurai Jack, Kim Possible and Ed, Edd, n Eddy are a few examples.

Teen and adult cartoons have morphed even further, into a cartoon channel of their own: Adult Swim. It offers some touches of nostalgia with Hanna-Barbera relaunches, anime series like Bleach and original series like The Venture Bros.

What's Next for TV Cartoons?

Looking back, it’s interesting how TV cartoons have really evolved over the last 30 years. We’ve gone from one specialized morning to non-stop cartoons, to being able to choose the tone, quality and amount of watching we (or our children) do. Who knows what the new form of cartoon evolution will be?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

TVSO PICKS: Top 5 Movies About Time Travel You've Never Seen (But Should)


Top 5 Movies about Time Travel
What is it about the premise of time travel that has captivated us for so long?   Certainly, we can look back to the great literature (books, ever read one?) of the 19th century for instances where time travel was used to catapult a narrative along.    There's a literal, physical time traveling that is features in science fiction, and then there's the metaphysical time-traveling--instances were our minds play tricks on us, or we are transported to another era through the power of our human minds.   Hollywood has never been shy about making time travel movies.  They've made science fiction films as early as the 1950s (maybe earlier, even) that transferred the science drama of HG Wells' The Time Machine--the book--into a successful movie starring Rod Taylor in the 1960s.    They have been time traveling television series, time traveling romantic movies, actioners, horror flicks, even time travel comedies--Hot Tub Time Machine, anyone?

So of the best remembered time travel movies would find a list that would include:  The Terminator, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Back To the Future, Interstellar, Groundhog Day, Planet of the Apes, the Austin Powers movies. There are also cult gems--movies that feature a revisionist take on time travel like The Butterfly Effect, Safety Not Guaranteed, Timecrimes or Donnie Darko, for example.    Even movies that ask us, the audience, to interpret the time traveling presented as being in the mind of the hero of the movie, like Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys.   There have also been lousy time travel movies like Jean Claude Van Damme's Time Cop for example (but let's not talk about that one.)

How A Lot of Us Can Relate To 'The Office'


There are many ways that people who work the “typical” 9 to 5 job can probably relate to the show, 'The Office' in many ways. From the relationship to your not-so-stable boss, to office rivalries to office romance, all of these things can happen in any office or business. Our lives around work produce many meaningful and funny story-lines and watching this show always brought them to the surface. The show was great because each of the characters presented something a viewer could relate to.

A Boss Who's Out of Touch
One of the best parts of the show is the behavior and antics of Michael Scott, the boss at the office. From holding meetings with no real purpose, to providing information that nobody really needs to know, Michael was the nucleus on which the show was built. He's relatable because everyone thinks their boss is a bit on the crazy side. From his infatuation with Ryan through his relationship with Jan, to his bankruptcy, Michael Scott keeps you laughing. It's partly the catchy dialogue but also it's the fact that we've been in uncomfortable work based gatherings, for training or for fun. A boss like Michael who acts alternately like a 10 yr old kid and someone without a clue brings a ton of situations we can relate to. We just wish we didn’t have to.

Annoying Coworkers 
Whenever there are people with different perspectives on life working together, there's a chance for someone to be annoying. You may not work with someone like Dwight Shrute but his antics probably remind you of what some of your coworkers can do. Jim Halpert was a likeable character because he was fighting the fight we all wish that we could. Many of us would like to pull pranks on our own Dwights. It'd be fun to send him messages from the future, wrap his desk in wrapping paper or just come to work dressed up like him. Dwight is the annoying, rule minding, suck up that we all have dealt with and with each prank against him, and we're all able to take pleasure in the payback for time wasted in our own work life. Jim provides the likeable jokester part of the equation that we all would like to be.

Dealing with Corporate Foolishness
Anyone who has ever worked for a large company understands the problems faced by all of the employees of Dunder Mifflin Paper. As the rules get sent down from the higher levels of management, the working class people have to implement them and make them work in real life. Sometimes it seems like things are going just fine and then a decree from one of the higher-ups comes to change everything. These changes seem to have very little to do with the reality of performing your job. So when Michael has to deal with the new policies that the New York Office sends, it's relatable. We'd all like to just ignore them and throw them away like Michael Scott but in the real world you've to follow the policy. No matter who you are, you can relate to having to deal with short sighted, difficult policy changes that're done for no good reason.

The Office supplied everyone who has ever worked in that type of situation a relatable visual experience. It provided a great escape from the mundane daily existence that work can be. Some of it might have been a bit unrealistic but in a world where things are constantly changing it was nice to be able to watch a group of people you care about deal with situations that you can relate to. Where we work's a huge part of our lives and the people we work with, good and bad are a part of it. That's why watching the office connects with so many people because it represents the modern version of the American Dream.