Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Four Comparisons between the A-Team TV Series and the A-Team Movie

Cover of "The A-Team 2: Small But Deadly ...Cover of The A-Team 2: Small But Deadly WarsFor children of the 1980s like me, the A-Team represented something. It was an exciting show that was filled with explosions, comedy and a great soundtrack. There wasn’t a lot of mushy romances or things that we didn’t like as preteen boys. It was the perfect TV show. And then when the movie came out last year, those feelings of excitement were reignited. For the most part, the movie stayed true to the TV series which made it a great adaptation. Did you find yourself comparing the movie to the original TV series? Here are a few of those comparisons that you may or may not have noticed.

• Is the crew still from the Vietnam War?
In the original TV series, the A-Team was a crack crew of commandos that escaped from a Vietnam prison during the Vietnam War. But if the movie had stuck with that storyline, the team members would likely be in their 50s or 60s, which may be good for Hannibal but not the others. Instead, the team comes from the time when America is withdrawing from Iraq. Since this hadn’t happened at the time the movie was made, it was likely set in the very near future.

• What crime did they commit?
The reason the A-Team went into the prison in Vietnam is never really explored except for the fact that it was a crime they didn’t commit. But that story line is explored in the movie and it takes up a good chunk of the beginning. They are accused of blowing up a superior’s vehicle and killing him in the process, but it wasn’t them that committed the crime. So, in essence, the movie stays true to the series but it goes into detail.

• Do they still help people?
In the movie, the A-Team is hell bent on saving themselves and reinstating their reputation instead of helping ordinary people like in the TV shows. Maybe, however, this will leave some room for an A-Team 2 in which they continue their mercenaries of justice attribute so they can help others who cannot afford to help themselves.

• Is B.A. still afraid of flying?
Not only is he still a bit hesitant about hopping on a plane, the movie gives a little back story about how he began his fear of flying. Let’s just say that it involves Murdock, a helicopter and fighter jets trying to shoot them out of the sky.

When it comes down to it, you simply cannot recreate the magic that the original TV series created. But the movie is still a great adaptation with its updates and the film making technology that we have today that wasn’t even thought about when the show premiered in the 1980s.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Seven Fun Facts about Jersey Shore’s Snooki

English: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi at ...Image via WikipediaThe name “Snooki” may be one of the most recognizable names in the United States today. When someone says Snooki, most people immediately think about the petite bronzed Italian girl on MTV’s Jersey Shore. Her real name is Nicole Polizzi, which many people wouldn’t recognize. Here are seven other fun facts that fans of Jersey Shore may or may not know about this fun-loving reality TV star.

  • Jersey Shore isn’t Snooki’s first appearance on the TV screen. Before MTV shot the pilot for Jersey Shore, Nicole Polizzi made an appearance on another MTV show called “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” The show as about a variety of nice girls and the jerks that they were dating. She was on episode 14 in the show’s first season and her boyfriend was Justin.
  • Since her initial appearance on TV Shows, she has made several other guest appearances because of the popularity of Jersey Shore. In 2010, Snooki was one of the award presenters at the CMT Music Awards. Yes, that’s the Country Music Television awards, which seems like a mismatch but it just goes to show how popular she is.
  • If you have an iPhone, you can download an app that will “Snookify” your pictures. Upload pictures of you or your friends and use the app to make the picture look more like Snooki than you ever thought possible.
  • In college, Snooki’s major was in veterinary tech.
  • According to reports from people close to her, Snooki has never written a personal check in her entire life. However, as a result of her popularity in recent years, I’m pretty sure she has cashed some fairly sizable checks and she’s probably rather proficient in doing so by now.
  • Snooki is adopted. However, she does not have any plans in the near future to track down her biological parents.
  • For you Avon representatives, you may like to know that she is a big fan and user of your products. Depending on your clientele, this may be a major selling point or it may hurt your sales, so use your judgment if you want to use this fact in your Avon selling endeavors.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Community Coming Back

Pilot (Community)Everybody’s favorite show that has not been on TV is coming back on TV. Arrested Development!!!! No, we already talked about that. But Community is back! Yeah, I know, it’s not as exciting, but at least it’s something funny that’s coming back, and not just a reboot of an already not funny show with a younger more annoying guy with longer hair and old ex-wife who does too many drugs.

Community has been a solid show over the last couple years, but for ratings issues and some schedule testing, NBC placEnglish: Logo from the NBC television program ...ed it on the disabled list for a few months. Parks and Recreation has really come alive in the last year, and 30 Rock is back to its old awesomeness, so it’s conceivable that NBC now has some more confidence in their viewership. Community is set to return to the lineup on March 15th, after being gone since the middle of December.

NBC is also throwing in some new shows to help out the roster. A new show called “Bent”, starring Amanda Peet, will duke it out with ABC’s “Modern Family”, which clearly shows some confidence in the show from NBC, since Modern Family is one of the most popular network shows, and it doesn’t seem to be waning one bit.

Community is one of those great shows that mixes it up each episode, much like Modern Family. They don’t really follow a formula, which may cause issues for some viewers, like those who watch CBS shows religiously, but it makes for a great show to throw on whenever. You don’t really need to know too much about the characters to enjoy the comedy, although if you do know the characters there are also a lot of great inside jokes.

One drawback to Community coming back is the great surge from Parks and Recreation will be lost for a six week hiatus after March 8th. The Thursday lineup will consist of Community coming before 30 Rock, then “The Office” and then “Up All Night”. NBC also will be inviting the new show “Best Friends Forever”, which apparently is some kind of female buddy comedy. Good News for that is that Fred Savage is an Executive Producer on it, so hopefully he keeps his solid track record going. Needless to say, NBC is charging ahead making moves mid-season to spice up their lineups and keep things fresh. It’s a good approach considering the only time people really watch NBC is Thursday night, and they’re always kind of scratching up against the other networks despite such a solid ratings day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Top Five Best Sketches on Saturday Night Live Ever

For more than three decades the folks over at Saturday Night Live have been working their tails off by ensuring that their minuscule and typical one or two week deadline to concoct a hilarious show of various and often adlibbed comedic sketches results in a parody that is beloved by the masses. Of course, when thinking about Saturday Night Live, we all remember that there have been good years and bad years. Generally speaking, the good years are best remembered for the famous cast members that made the delivery so iconic that you couldn’t help but chuckle. The bad years often are replete with miscues and poor delivery, most often occurring when previous starring cast members left the show in pursuit of their careers. Today, we choose to remember the good times at SNL – and in par with this notion, we will also relive a few of the most memorable sketches to ever be created for live performances on Saturday Night Live.

“Celebrity Jeopardy”: This easily one of the most memorable sketches from SNL ever. The episode starred Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Tobey Maguire and Jimmy Fallon. Easily, Hammond was the most memorable as Sean Connery, and Ferrell as Alex Trebek. When a drunken and malodorous Connery won’t play along, charities are deprived of key funds due to celebrity idiocy and bickering.

Schweddy Balls”: The best play on words ever. Host Alec Baldwin along with cast members Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer delivers a comedic bit that revolves around two boring and dull radios talk show hosts that are interviewing a meat packing plant owner about his new product: “Schweddy Balls.” The play on words made this sketch pretty damn funny and memorable.
“More Cowbell”: We have already talked about this scene in prior blog posts. However, when recanting the top sketches from SNL, this episode that starred Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz and Christopher Walken is easily the most hilarious one of the bunch. When the band, Blue Oyster Cult, struggles with a cowbell player while cutting “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” Bruce Dickinson (played by Walken) helps the band come to terms with the fact that the prominent cowbell heard in the actual record is a staple to the song.

“Buckwheat Sings”: Go back in time to the reign of Eddie Murphy on SNL and you will have the number two sketch ever. When Buckwheat decides to cut a pro record called Buh-Weet Sings, the vocal fathoming by Murphy is simply timeless, particularly in his version of “Looking for Love,” which is mumbled and barely comprehensible, but certainly laugh-out-loud funny.

“Chippendales Auditions”: Our top nod for the day goes to the timeless sketch that was made possible only by Chris Farley, who starred in it alongside of host, Patrick Swayze, and cast members, Kevin Nealon and Mike Myers. When a tubby and rotund Farley tries to outdo the ripped and chiseled Swayze for a spot at a premier male cabaret lineup, what ensues is simply one of the funniest, most awkward and uncomfortable sketches ever.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Heroes to Come Out of Shell

The TMNT logo of the 1987 animated series.Image via Wikipedia
The artistically named, combat perfected turtles known to what should be just about everyone as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or just Ninja Turtles for short, are making a much anticipated cow-a-bung-back. That was too much with the word play, but it also seemed like the right thing to do.
Initially a cult favorite comic book from the 1980’s, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have gone through just about every media medium. There were the comic books early on, the very popular cartoon TV show, (One of my favorites as a kid) the movie franchise, the action figures, and one of my favorite old Nintendo games. The Turtles have made their way around town, but with all the reboots and surge of comic book based movies, it’s actually been surprising how little the Teenage Mutants have entered into the spotlight in the last decade. It’s possible they were a bit overplayed in the 80’s and 90’s. The franchise may have jumped the shark at the same time Vanilla Ice did, and who to blame is still up in the air. Vanilla Ice of course mad a cameo in a Turtle movie, and it wasn’t long after that when both started to tank.

Today we can look forward to a reboot of the franchise coming out of Paramount Studios and directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Liebesman is the director of the much promoted Wrath of the Titans set to come out on March 30th. We can also look forward to more than a few explosions and probably some less than stellar story representation since Michael Bay will be one of the producers. I know it’s become almost cliché to hate on Michael Bay, but who cares, it’s easy and fun. Just like his movies.
The writers are coming off of Paramount’s Mission Impossible– Ghost Protocol, so they’re also no rookies when it comes to action based, popcorn flicks. I actually think there’s potential in this franchise still, but as we learned from Superman Returns, it all comes down to that first installment in the reboot. If it sucks, we may not hear from the Turtles for another decade. However, if it’s good, prepare to strap on your Spiderman and Batman shoot-it-until-it-dies-3D-fun-never-stops plastic glasses. I really hope it’s good, because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were my Harry Potter and Twilight growing up. Only instead of lots of pale white, there was lots of green.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Top 5 Songs Used on Miami Vice

Miami Vice was one of the most innovative shows in television history and it revolutionized the prime time crime drama into what it is today. One of the things that made Miami Vice popular was the choice of music that was played during the episodes. Here are some of the songs that you may remember hearing from this 1980s crime drama that featured hot women, drugs and boat chases.

In the Air Tonight:
One of the most popular episodes of Miami Vice was one in which Phil Collins made a guest appearance as a high ranking drug dealer. But his music was also featured in several episodes. His song In the Air Tonight was a perfect choice for the episode “Brother’s Keeper” and it helped the former Genesis drummer catapult his solo career. This also happened to be the pilot episode which helped launch the career of Don Johnson.

Dirty Laundry:
Don Henley’s song Dirty Laundry was a perfect fit for the episode Rock and a Hard Place in which two music executives try to ruin a singer’s comeback by telling people she is married to a drug dealer.

I Want to Know What Love Is:
Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love Is is a song that is as recognizable as almost any other song. It was used in the episode entitled Rites of Passage in which Tubbs runs into a former love interest, played by Pam Grier.

You Belong to the City:
Glenn Frey’s iconic song You Belong to the City was one of the best things to come out of the 1980s and the Miami Vice soundtrack. In fact, it was used in two episodes, one of which was titled Smuggler’s Blues. This episode had Crockett and Tubbs going undercover as drug smugglers to help expose dirty law enforcement members who were killing drug dealers and their families.

Little Miss Dangerous:
Who would’ve ever thought of having Ted Nugent on a show that takes place in Miami? In addition to a couple of his songs, including Little Miss Dangerous, being featured on the episode entitled Definitely Miami, Nugent also has a guest appearance on here.The Miami Vice intertitle.Image via Wikipedia
These are just a few of the great songs that were featured on Miami Vice along with some of the artists making guest appearances on episodes when their song was featured. There aren’t too many TV crime dramas that have matched Miami Vice’s raw subject matter and combined it with popular culture. This formula may never be recreated again.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Three of the Funniest 30 Rock Characters

As far as innovative comedy is concerned, NBC’s 30 Rock is one of the leaders in the field. One of the many things that makes 30 Rock such a funny and successful show is the characters. The people that have been chosen to play these characters is a stroke of genius which only adds to the comedy effect for the show. Here are some of the funniest characters on this NBC show and what makes them give viewers belly laughs several times each episode.

Leo Spaceman
You may not know this character by name, but you might know Leo Spaceman, played by Christ Parnell, as the “doctor of all trades” on 30 Rock. Over the years, he has played the doctor, the child psychiatrist, an addiction relief professional and even a fertility specialist. Parnell’s delivery of his lines make the character three times as funny as it already is. How can you not laugh when he tells Jack Donaghy that there is no way to tell where a person’s heart is because, according to him, “every human is different”?

Kenneth Parcell
The naïve page steals pretty much every scene that he is in with his high pitched voice and stories of his family back home. His childlike nature is refreshing but it is also great fodder for setting up jokes and making fun of his character. Even though he doesn’t get a ton of screen time, he still has the highest ratio of laughs than any other character on the set.

Tracy Jordan
Nobody can argue that Tracy Morgan’s delivery is anything less than genius. If you didn’t know better, you’d think that Tracy Morgan was playing himself because he is so comfortable in his character’s skin. Sometimes I sit there and wonder where the writers come up with lines for him to say because more often than not, they make absolutely no sense, which makes them even funnier.

If this list had a fourth option, it would be Liz Lemon. Tina Fey is absolutely wonderful in the character that she plays and her self-deprecating humor takes comedy to a new level. If you’ve missed out on 30 Rock, get the DVDs of the previous seasons to get caught up and then you won’t want to ever miss an episode and the huge laughs.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Four of Our Favorite Beavis and Butthead Moments

Beavis as The Great Cornholio.Image via Wikipedia
If you’re anything like us, you were excited to hear that Beavis and Butthead were making a comeback late last year on their home network – MTV. With the programming changes since the less than dynamic duo last appeared on TV, there weren’t many choices for music videos that they could make fun of. But their return was still something that I thought would never happen. It will be hard to recreate some of the classic Beavis and Butthead moments of yesteryear, such as the following favorites described below.

Recreating David Letterman’s Late Show
Within just a few months of their first premiere on MTV, Beavis and Butthead had become a household name. As a result, it was only natural for them to take on some of the culture’s biggest icons. At the time, David Letterman was one of those icons. When Mike Judge appeared on the Letterman show, he brought a clip of Beavis and Butthead taking over the show in which Butthead portrayed Letterman and Beavis portrayed Paul Shaffer. It was comic genius a la Beavis and Butthead style.

Beavis’s Nosebleed:
A couch cushion fight with Butthead in one episode resulted in Beavis getting a bloody nose. But don’t worry – Dr. Butthead is to the rescue. First, he smacks Beavis again to cure his bloody nose. He then tried to scare him, put a paper bag over his head and perform the Heimlich maneuver. Then, when it came time to call 911, Butthead messed even that up and called 411 instead. Finally, they went to the gas station bathroom where they bought a feminine napkin to put up his nose to absorb the blood.

Leave it to Beavis:
There probably aren’t any two TV shows that are more diametrically opposed than Beavis and Butthead and Leave it to Beaver. So when Mike Judge decided to spoof the 1950s sappy sweet sitcom, it was hilarious. Beavis played the title role of The Beaver while Butthead portrayed the pipe-smoking Ward Cleaver. The episode featured a laugh track and several other characters from the sitcom played by characters from Beavis and Butthead for one of the funniest episodes in the series.

No Laughing:
No list of great Beavis and Butthead moments would be complete without mentioning the “No Laughing” episode. The boys get in trouble for laughing and Principal McVicker orders them to refrain from laughing for a whole week or else suffer the consequences. It’s not easy for the boys to do when it’s sex education week in one of their classes. 

Check out all of these classic Beavis and Butthead moments by getting the series on DVD. And don’t forget to look fat our Beavis and Butthead shirts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three Famous Guest Stars that Appeared on I Love Lucy

I Love Lucy is one of the most iconic and recognized TV Show in the history of television. Regardless of a person’s age or generation, they know what you are talking about when you say those three words – I Love Lucy. The show’s popularity is due to the chemistry between Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley and Vivian Vance. But there were also many guest stars that appeared on the show throughout the years to make it even more popular.

The tough-as-nails star of many western movies made a very famous guest appearance on I Love Lucy during the season when they were living in Hollywood. The name of the episode was “Lucy and John Wayne” and the storyline involved Lucy stealing John Wayne’s footprints from the Grauman’s Theater. Lucy had to get the footprints back to where they belonged before anybody noticed. With Ricky’s help, John Wayne created another set of footprints to get Lucy out of her dilemma, but she ends up breaking those. It’s one of the more memorable episodes in the entire series.

Any fan of I Love Lucy remembers the scene when Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx are mirror images of each other. Lucy decides to dress up as Harpo Marx in order to impress one of her friends, but she didn’t know that the real Harpo had showed up. Harpo also plays his harp in this episode. Rumor has it that only Harpo was asked to be on the show because Lucille Ball didn’t get along well with the other Marx Brothers.

The man who created a nationwide panic with his War of the Worlds radio broadcast is also famous for two other things: Eating 18 hot dogs in one sitting and making a guest appearance on an episode of I Love Lucy. In “Lucy Meets Orson Welles,” Lucy is trying to push her way into Welles’s show which also features Orson Welles. When Welles hires her to be a part of the show, she wants to rub it in the face of her high school theater coach. But Lucy doesn’t know that her role is really just helping Welles with a levitation routine during his magic act.
I Love Lucy will probably live on in syndication for as long as TVs continue to broadcast over the airwaves. True fans can also get the seasons of I Love Lucy on DVD so they can enjoy their favorite episodes any time that they want.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

30 Rock Adds a Page

English: Tina Fey at the 2010 Comic Con in San...Image via WikipediaThis season of 30 Rock has proved that good writing, good acting, and brilliant fresh faces combine well to create an everlasting TV environment that continues to make funny happen. In seasons past you might have questioned its longevity, but whatever reason this season feels fresh in a way that provides hope for all those die hard 30 Rock fans hoping for a ten year run.

The newest addition to the show that should prove to bring even more funny is that quirky, fun-loving, and hipster cute Kristen Schaal. Most people will recognize her from her awkward stalking of the guys on Flight of the Concords. She also has some pretty great voice over work in movies like Toy Story 3 and Shrek Forever After, or TV shows like Bob’s Burgers. She’s also stolen scenes in guest appearances on hit shows like Modern Family, and How I Met Your Mother. She even graced the small screen in an episode of Mad Men. She kills her parts in movies like Get Him to the Greek, Dinner for Schmucks, and the newest Muppets movie.

Now she’ll have a character arc on 30 Rock, which seems like a perfect fit given the tone of the show and the comedic female voice that Tina Fey constantly knocks out of the park.

She plays a page that rivals the beloved and naive Kenneth (Jack McBrayer). This is also a perfect match for her, as she’s great at exuding awkward confidence that seems to stem from complete ignorance in her characters. Schaal has commented in the Hollywood Reporter that her favorite show is 30 Rock, and she was so nervous on the set that she fears she was talking way too loud.

One thing she doesn’t have to fear being on the show 30 Rock is a guest star being ignored or thrown aside in future episodes. 30 Rock is notorious for ongoing side characters that seem to be gone forever, only to show up just a few episodes later. Will Arnett’s recurring role provides a great back and forth with Alec Baldwin’s Jack character. The guy who is now the “Mayhem Guy” for Allstate, and of course also plays Johnny Gavin on Rescue Me, was a great recurring boyfriend for Liz Lemon beginning in Season One. It will be interesting to see what 30 Rock does with Kristen Schaal in future episodes. I think she’s a perfect fit for the show.

Friday, February 3, 2012

WWE’s Royal Rumble History by the Records

Promotional poster featuring various WWE Super...Image via WikipediaIf you are a fan of the WWE’s annual Royal Rumble, you know that it’s one of the most important pay-per-view events of the year. It’s one of the major four events that take place every year with the other three being Summer Slam, Survivor Series and, of course, Wrestlemania. But the Royal Rumble helps set the stage for Wrestlemania because the winner of the actual Royal Rumble match gets a free ticket to be in the main event at Wrestlemania which is a chance at the championship belt. Many things have happened at the Royal Rumble in its 25 year history and here are some of the numbers that have made this event such a spectacular one.

Most Wins
The Texas Rattlesnake is credited with winning the most Royal Rumble matches in WWE history with three wins. He won this coveted match in 1997, 1997 and 2001. It’s difficult enough to win one Royal Rumble match so winning three is unheard of! Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels are both tied for second place with two wins each under their belts.

Being the Runner-Up
How difficult must it be to come so close to winning the Royal Rumble and then being the last man tossed over the ring ropes and down to the floor? To have victory so close in your grasp and then lose it must be heartbreaking. And for those who have had this happen to them more than once, it must be twice as difficult. But three WWE superstars have had this distinction of being able to taste the win and then losing. Those three are The Big Show, Triple H and John Cena.

The Longest Time in the Ring
With the Royal Rumble match being a brutal and exhausting event, it’s a wonder how some people stay in the ring for more than a few minutes without their bodies giving out. But there are some WWE superstars who have managed to stay in the match for a very long time without being eliminated. Ray Mysterio holds the record for being in a Royal Rumble match for one hour and two minutes in 2006. He ended up winning the match that year. Chris Benoit and Bob Backlund both stayed in for just over an hour and one minute in 2004 and 1993 respectively.

Shortest Time in the Ring
If we are going to discuss the longest amount of time in the Royal Rumble match, we should also talk about the shortest time. In 1995, Mo held the record for lasting only three seconds before both feet hit the floor outside the ring. The Warlord, however, held the not-so-coveted record at two seconds when he gave it a shot in 1989. But Santino Marella broke that decades-long record in 2009 when he was knocked out almost instantaneously after one second.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hulkamania! 10 Beefy Factoids You Never Knew About Hulk Hogan

Hulk HoganHulk Hogan (Image via most people think about pro wrestling, the numerous “federations” or “clans” and the crazy in-the-ring banter that commences before a fight gets under way, they generally all tend to think of one pro wrestler in general—a man who helped the sport become what it is today: Hulk Hogan. The much celebrated hulkster deucedly placed a remora of fear into his combatants time and time again in the rings, and starred in countless movies, including a reality TV show that was his most recent stint. However, we are about to reveal some few known factoids about wrestling’s most famous denizen, who dominated the “sport” for the better part of two decades.

Ten Beefy Factoids You Never Knew About Hulk Hogan:

  1. He was overweight as a child. You would never think that Mr. Muscle Man himself had a weight problem. But during his adolescence, Hogan struggled to keep trim. In fact, many considered him to be slightly obese, something that motivated him to hit the gym daily.
  2. His cameo as “Thunderlips” in Rocky III consisted of this famous line: “To all my love slaves out there: Thunderlips is here. In the flesh, baby. The ultimate male versus… the ultimate meatball.” – He was paid $150,000 for that.
  3. Before he was the Hulk … he was? Any guesses? His first wrestling character name was actually “The Super Destroyer.”
  4. His first match took place on August 25th, 1977, where he fought one Don Serrano on the independent wrestling scene in Florida.
  5. His real name is actually Terry Gene Bollea.
  6. April 29th of 1985, Hogan would make history? Why? Because Terry Gene Bollea – ahem, Hulk Hogan – would be the first pro wrestler to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine.
  7. In 1995, he released a best-selling kid’s record called “Hulk Rules.” He actually played the guitar on that record himself.
  8. In 1985, he was a top pro athlete, raking in more than $10 million per year.
  9. Richard Belzer sued Hogan for $5 million in 1985 because the wrestler made him pass out when he demonstrated a choke hold on him on Belzer’s TV show “Hot Properties.” They settled the case out of court.
  10. He defended Vince McMahon in a famous steroid case in 1994, and many believe it is what kept McMahon out of prison.