Saturday, September 24, 2016

Selecting the Perfect Halloween Costume for an Office Party

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.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Top 3 TV Shows You Should Watch On St. Patty's Day

The luck of the Irish is around us. It's that time again to wear your green and raise a glass to the lads and lasses of the Irish land. However, while some of you will be hitting the bars, there are some of you who might like to celebrate the Irish day the Irish way from the comforts of your own home. So, kick back and relax as we share with you our quick Top 3 TV shows we think you should watch on St. Patty's Day!

St. Patty’s Day TV Show to Watch #3: Cheers
Like the theme song says, where everybody knows your name, you’ll have tons of laughs at this bar as everyone screams Norm as Norm walks in. They know how to treat their patrons with the old Irish manor and there's always plenty of beer to go around. That's the biggest thing you would expect of any pub at any time of year, but especially on St. Patty's Day. We feel you can't go wrong with this show.

St. Patty’s Day TV Show to Watch #2: Sons of Anarchy
You can always relax while watching Sons of Anarchy. Now, maybe laughter isn't your thing. If you’re a true Irishman, you’ll be ready to put up your dukes and lose your cool every now and then. You’ll get tons of that when you watch Sons of Anarchy, too. These guys like to stick to their crew and you better not mess with any of them or they will mess with you. So get ready to watch some bad-ass skills this St. Patrick's Day when you watch this show. Beware though, once you start watching it, it’ll be hard to turn it off. It’s gonna be a marathon, and you really won't want to watch it any other way....well, maybe with some green beer and some Irish food.

St. Patty’s Day TV Show to Watch #1: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

The last show we’d suggest you watch on the tube if you’re looking for a good St. Patrick's Day show would be Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We know what you're thinking. What does Philly have to do with the Irish? It has plenty to do with the Irish. Just like the Irish, these characters had to go through plenty to get their day of fame. Together they run a pub which come on, this just screams Irish. Together they serve patrons who view this bar as family much like the Irish are known to do. And don’t forgot the comedy mischief these characters get into as well. Seriously, what can be more Irish than this show?

It's time to spend some time with the lads and lasses you love most on television. Wear your green and talk like the Irish as you watch these Irish favorites. They will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you feeling like the luck was with you this Saint Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 11, 2016

TVSO PICKS: Top 5 Sketch Comedy TV Shows You've Never Seen (But Should)

Top 5 Sketch Comedy Shows You've Never Seen
When everyone thinks of sketch comedy today the first thing that instantly comes to mind is the television show Saturday Night Live.   That, firstly, and then for a few, a minor few, Fox's long-running MadTV.    But what people fail to consider or seemingly always forgot, at least, those who great up in the early 1980s, even the mid/late 70s was that sketch comedy was even bigger on television in those days than it is today.    While some of these shows can come to DVD in recent years, others haven't--which is sad because it deprives fans of sketch comedy from experiencing the full scope of the televised sketch show zeitgeist as they should be able to.     What follows is our list of favorite 5 sketch comedy shows that you probably haven't seen (but should):

Carol Burnett Show
Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978)
Perhaps the best sketch show in the history of television, and likely the main influence that inspired everything that came after it, The Carol Burnett Show (named as comedy great Carol Burnett, the show featured players Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, and Vicky Lawrence), after Saturday Night Live is the longest running sketch show in the history of television.  First hitting the air on CBS in 1967 running up until 1978, the Burnett Show earned several Emmy Awards and created the spin-off character for another long-running sitcom, Mama's Family, Mama.    Vicky Lawrence got her start on the Burnett Show right out of high school after writing Burnett a letter encouraging her to come and see her in a high school play.    What made the Burnett Show was that it didn't delve into contemporary political satire, but wished to stay within the parody of popular culture.    It never tried to be timely, political or a commentary, it was, in the purest sense, set to entertain only.  And it did, which is why TV Guide ranked it No. 17 on their list of the 60 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2013.

MTV The State
The State (1993-1995)
Running for what equated to just a mere year and a half on MTV in the middle of the grunge-alternative 1990s, The State featured a group of NYC improv actors who created surreal, yet edgy sketch comedy for the times that featured situations, culturally, of MTV's audience.   Well-known actors like Tom Lennon, Michael Ian Black, Ben Garrett, and Ken Marino all got their start in The State initially.

Fridays ABC Andy Kaufman
Fridays (1980-1982)
Put on the air to compete with the mega success that Saturday Night Live was enjoying since the mid/late 70s, Fridays was a shot in opposite of SNL, in that, while Saturday Night Live was shot in New York City, Fridays was a show that was shot on the West Coast in Los Angeles, CA.   Fridays had to work very hard to compete with SNL, and in the end, while they lost to Lorne Michael's brand, historically they attempted to be more edgy that SNL.  They did this by staging audience tricks courtesy of Andy Kaufman and edgy musical acts as special acts like: Devo, Kiss, and The Plasmatics.   Seinfeld's Michael Richards and Larry David were weekly cast members on the show on ABC. 

Julie Brown The Edge FOX Network
The Edge (1992-1993)
Running for a mere 6 months on the Fox Network, The Edge, while very funny and very "Los Angeles" had stiff competition with audiences already in love with Saturday Night Live (which was enjoying a resurgence with the success of Wayne's World at the box office), and those teens who were too hip for Saturday Night Live--who watched The State on MTV.   Running off the success that comic and actress Julie Brown had had previously with her series on MTV "Just Say Julie,"  Fox gave Brown and a collection of actors a sketch series.  Brown's collective featured: Seinfeld's Wayne Knight, Jennifer Aniston, and the voice of Spongebob Sqaurepants: Tom Kenny.

SCTV John Candy
SCTV (1976-1984)
Canada's version of Saturday Night Live, SCTV ran for 6 years on a hodge-podge of networks such as:  CNBC, NBC, and Cinemax.     While SCTV was a sketch series that featured some comedy legends: John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dan Thomas, Rick Moranis, Martin Short and several others, the show had a artsy premise which saw SCTV (Second City TV) located in the town of Melonville--ambiguously-suggested to be in the United States.    The show would air, as if you were watching a series of television network interruptions during a broadcast cast.  The satire was brilliant and the show was tackle parodies on sitcoms, movies, talk shows, commercials.   Perhaps, the best known sketch from SCTV was that of Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis as "Bob & Doug Mackenzie," two hoser-Canadian beer drinking hockey lovers that still lived with their parents.   A movie would be made about the Mackenzie brothers called Strange Brew.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Deeper Meanings Behind Dr. Seuss' Works

Dr. Seuss has been a household name for decades. Dr. Seuss has created quite a large collection of children’s books. Many of these books are quite entertaining and they hold a much deeper meaning that most people are aware. 

Seuss Geisel is the creator of Dr. Seuss. In addition, Geisel did most of his own illustrations for his many books and publications. One of the most popular and most celebrated works of Dr. Seuss is the book “Green Eggs and Ham”. This publication has been a favorite of children for many years. 

What many people do not know is that Geisel wrote many of these books based on his experiences as a child as well as his later years. Seuss Geisel lived through wars, the great depression and other historical events. 

Geisel wrote many of these books to reflect the imagination of the child. Most children think of kind thoughts, happy times, and exciting events. Geisel in a way was seeking a form of escape from the unrest and difficulties that many faced during time of war and unrest. 

All of Dr. Seuss publications have a happy and pleasant ending. This is why most children enjoy reading Dr. Seuss. Life would be a much happier place if everything ended happily. These publications can make it seem as if all problems of every day are virtually non-existent. 

Nearly all of Geisel’s books reflect his days growing up and living in Springfield Mass. For example, “Mirror in Watercourses” makes reference to Springfield Park. Springfield Park is a place that Geisel frequented during his youth. This seemed to provide a perfect setting for much of his later work. 

“To Think I saw it on Mulberry Street” was one of Seuss more popular publications. This publication is filled with imagery from Springfield. A great deal of Geisel’s publications were inspired by his early life as well as his many experiences which shaped his life.

One of Geisel famous sayings was “there are places to go” “there are points to be scored”. Many of these sayings in addition to his books gave great inspiration to countless people. The publications not only added humor to a situation but it also helped children and adults to not take life so seriously. 

Generally, there are much deeper meanings behind the works of Geisel. He was able to take all his knowledge and experiences into account while creating some of his best works. It’s impossible to ever forget Dr. Seuss and his wonderful contributions.

Friday, March 4, 2016

TVSO PICKS: Best Movies About Golf

Top 5 Golf Movies
It used to be a game for gentleman, but at some point, it turned into an outing for guys to get together, get drunk, and storm across the field in a golf cart.   We all love golf, perhaps, we all don't enjoy watching it on television as much as we do physically playing it--there's something completely peaceful about it at the end of the day.    It's a test of man's will and concentration, out there, starring down an goal with obstacles in his way.   Golf is a metaphor for life. 
Since we love golf as much as the next person we thought we'd put together a list of our favorite golf movies (in no particular order):

Thursday, March 3, 2016

TVSO Picks: Top 5 Hockey Movies Of All-Time

Top 5 Hockey Movies
For years in the United States Hockey was a dirty word.   If you were in the know and proudly exclaimed your admiration for the sport back in the 80s, you were either made fun of or just outright ignored.   Certainly, Hockey is violent enough to be more popular than football, but what's more American than Football?  Nothing.   Maybe, baseball, but we American's love our violence, and there ain't much of that on the diamond across nine innings.   There isn't another sport that exists that you can see one man crash another man into a giant glass wall while the both of them are skating around on little, thin, steel blades.    Where else, but hockey, can you see a little, black, puck flying in the air at a zillion miles an hour, and a guy that is left to defend a net that looks like he's a stunt double for movie monster slasher Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies?   Only in hockey.

And as we're die-hard hockey fans here at TVSO we thought we'd list our Top 5 Favorite Hockey Movies (in no particular order):

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Athletes Appearing on TV Shows

Athletes are human just as us, but people love them. They’ve a huge fan base. However have you ever wondered about what they do when their season is over? Many of you know they make great money, but did you know there are more things they do besides just playing the game?

One of the common things many are finding are athletes appearing on TV shows. There has been a huge increase of this happening and the trends are changing. What used to be athletes appearing on sports news shows and reality television programs is not so much the case any longer. That's not to say they aren't still appearing on these reality television shows and talk shows, but more so, they are appearing in sitcoms and nightly drama series such as Law and Order SVU.

Some of you might wonder why this is. There are many reasons to have them air on such shows. One of the main things is that it boosts ratings. Think about if you saw your favorite athlete on a show that you watch or even don't watch? Would you tune in? Of course you would. 

Another thing that it does is that it helps them find people they don't need stunt doubles for and such. Many of the players who appear on such television shows are appearing as the athlete they are. They might have a different name in the script, but a basketball player would still play a basketball player. 

It's really a win-win situation. The player gets paid to appear which helps them to bring in money during the off season. It also allows fans a chance to see their favorite sports players during the off season which allows the athlete to keep their fan base. This looks good on resumes as athletes know they can't play the sport forever. 

Yet, they’re still making their faces known on the reality television shows talking about who they’re and their skill with the game of choice. Many are making their air time a bit more useful than just talking about themselves though. Another trend we have seen with these athletes in the spotlight is how they use this time to talk about charities they have either started or are an active part of. This allows them to bring awareness all across the United States. The thought is that we’ll be seeing more athletes on television in more roles than what we're accustomed to.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Is it Time to Bring Back 'Saved by the Bell'?

With the debut of "Fuller House" on Netflix, 90s nostalgia is in full swing. The next candidate for a series revival could easily be the classic sitcom "Savedby the Bell," which ran from 1989-1993, spawned two spin-off series and two TV movies. There's no doubt that audiences love Zack, Kelly, Screech, Lisa, Slater, Jesse, and all their misadventures at Bayside High. But what would it take to update this series to the modern day? NBC would have a lot of variables to consider.

A New Format?
"Saved by the Bell," "Saved by the Bell: The New Class," and "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" were all 30-minute sitcoms. It makes sense to imagine that a new "Saved by the Bell" show would follow this same format. But does it have to? In their college years and in the TV movies, "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style" and "Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas," Zack and the gang began to tackle serious issues. If the show revisited these characters in their adult years, it might be suited to an hour-long drama instead. Supposedly, the original actors in the series always had a strong interest in more adult themes. This new format could entice them to return. 

Making a New Class
NBC attempted to recreate the original Bayside gang with "Saved by the Bell: The New Class," and that show was largely unsuccessful. If the network decided to make a new "Saved by the Bell" with new young stars, they would have to make sure they landed the right types of characters. There's the Zack-style lead - the charismatic troublemaker who is likable despite his unwise decisions. There's Kelly, the popular and genuinely kind girl, Slater, the jock with a heart of gold, Jesse, the lovable and brainy feminist, Lisa, the fun shopaholic, and Screech, the comic relief nerd. These characters have become tropes in many shows and movies, and NBC would need a new variation. Why not make Zack a girl? Why not make the Lisa of the group a young gay man? The characters, as well as the issues, should be updated for a new generation.

Deciding the Plot
So what would the issues be, exactly? High school has changed a lot since the days of gigantic cell phones and VHS in the classroom. A new "Saved by the Bell" would be handling the digital world, where teenagers often define themselves by the number of likes on a photo or by who responds to their Facebook post. This generation is also more socially and culturally progressive than the old days. Jesse's feminist views used to seem extreme, but now they are the norm. Schools are less homogeneous and life isn't as simple, and a new show would have to reflect young people in a changing world. But that could be good. Just as with "Fuller House," audiences are ripe for old-fashioned, heartfelt entertainment. If NBC can successfully update the types of shows that people feel nostalgic for, they're guaranteed success.

NBC struck a goldmine in 1987 when they produced a light-hearted teen sitcom that spoke to a generation. Today, "Saved by the Bell" remains an iconic show in television history. If the network brought back Bayside High, they would have to consider how to format the show, whether to ask back the original actors or rely solely on a crop of new ones, and how to make the spirit of the show translate to the modern world. But in an age where everything old is new again, it could be worth it to explore the world that Zack and the gang brought to life.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Gohan Needs To Get Serious

When the Buu Saga began, Gohan had taken seven years off from training and it showed, as he was significantly weaker than before. So far in Dragon Ball Super, Gohan has suffered a similar fate, as a lack of training has led to multiple characters surpassing him in strength. As one of the principle Dragon Ball characters since his introduction in Dragon Ball Z, Gohan needs to reclaim his former glory and become a valuable member of the team again.

As a half Saiyan with more potential than perhaps any other character, Gohan has always been an important part of the series' major battles. His rage helped in the fights against Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta. Against Frieza, Gohan was one of the main reasons the Z Fighters were able to hang on until Goku arrived, as his rage again gave him enough of a boost to take on second and later third form Frieza.

Gohan went from one of the heroes to the primary hero at the end of the Cell Saga. He was the only one strong enough to handle Cell. After years of waiting, he finally fulfilled his enormous potential, which made what came next so disappointing.
Gohan stopped training to focus on his studies. This led to him getting outclassed in the Buu Saga, until the Supreme Kai helped him unlock his potential and become Mystic Gohan. As Mystic Gohan, he was easily the strongest Z Fighter.

In Dragon Ball Super, Gohan has once again slacked off from his training. He went from being the most powerful Z Fighter by a wide margin, to being significantly weaker than Goku and Vegeta. He wasn't even able to slow down first form Frieza.
For the sake of the series, Gohan needs to start training again. With Vegeta and Goku frequently taking off for their own adventures, the planet needs a protector, and Gohan is the only one capable of reaching that level of power.

He also brings a valuable perspective to battles, but he can't contribute if he isn't powerful enough. Vegeta is arrogant and allows himself to get frustrated easily, whereas Goku is so relaxed that he can be caught off guard. Gohan, although far from the perfect fighter, doesn't have those same issues. He has a wealth of martial arts experience from his training with Piccolo and Goku. If he reaches Goku and Vegeta's level of power, he could help them in fights with more powerful foes.

Gohan was once seen as the fighter who would take over for Goku as Earth's protector. He was one of the most powerful characters for a large part of Dragon Ball Z. Seeing him become almost useless in Dragon Ball Super is a shame, as he still has the potential to be so much more. He may prefer studying, but as one of the most powerful fighters in the universe, Gohan has a duty to himself and to his planet. He needs to start training again so Dragon Ball Super doesn't revolve around only Goku and Vegeta.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Top 5 Baseball Movies

Top 5 Baseball Movies

What is it about baseball that affords us the option to label the game as "America's Great Pastime?"   There's something uniquely American about the game of baseball, and as it most often the case, many equate the game to feelings of nostalgia.   There's something ancient about the game, something pure, something noble, something stoic.    Which is why there is often times a nostalgic element to the movies that have been made about or around the game since the 1950s--and we're, for sure, stuck on that facet of movies about the game ourselves here at TVSO.

Which is why we've put together a quick list of our favorite baseball movies (in no particular order):

Thursday, February 18, 2016

3 Cool & Funny Old TV Shows You Need To Watch on YouTube Now

Today's TV Landscape, post prime-time, is a vicious cycle of syndicated re-runs and infomercials.  It kind of sucks.   Back in the 1980s and 1990's there was less of this, of course.   And what you missed back then was incredible, in fact, so much so, that most of what once aired on pay cable or via regional networks, at least in part, is currently in heavy rotation viewing on YouTube all of these years later.     Today, there's nothing edgy on TV has there once was--and it's too a fault.   While the internet, in some ways, killed the television of the 80s and 90s, it also affords us a unlimited viewing ability that allows for us to experience things that couldn't even air back on television back then!    But, the fact that some of the these shows once aired on television, and not just past prime-time hours, but sometimes, even, in the middle of the day speaks volumes to the morals and ethical acceptation of those decades versus the very politically-correct nature of today.

What follows are our favorite cool, funny, and weird TV shows of the 1980s and 1990s that you've never seen (but should).  In no particular order....

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bring Back Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a great show and should be brought back to life now that there are several different takes of vampire shows going on like the Shadow hunters, Twilight movies along with other SyFy shows.

However, using the original cast may not be the best idea because they’ve gotten older and aren’t able to portrait to the right demographics (specifically the younger demographic). They should pick it up with Buffy as the mom and trying to prepare her teenage daughter for what she’ll eventually go through. Just like her mom, the new Buffy will have help along the way, she’ll also have her mom by her side as well. 

Sarah Hyland should be playing the role of Buffy (daughter of the original Buffy and Angel). Zoey Deutch should play Buffy’s best female friend (like Willow), while Dominic Scott Kay or Jimmy Bennett can play a male best friend (like Xander) or an enemy (like Spike). The other characters should get to relive their character roles because the show was started with them. I believe that by adding a new generation to Buffy the Vampire Slayer will allow the show to create a new generation of fans. Of course, the names of the characters can’t be the same, so you’d have to come up with new names, but that’s a good thing. You have to be creative and start somewhere.

The new version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer should be very similar to the original, but with new characters there are new problems and challenges they face. There is more drama between friends and enemies as well as with finding the vampires that keep the new “Buffy” character on her toes. There are more enemies then there were when her mom was the slayer and yet she’s still coming to terms to who she is. The new “Buffy” isn’t sure if she wants to be the Vampire Slayer. She eventually figures out that she doesn’t have a choice as she is the “Chosen One”. Some of the enemies are teachers, a principal, a governor and others who’re involved in politics, book store owners, and so many others. 

The original show was an amazing one with drama and action all over the place. It’s definitely a show that should get remade and retold for the new generation to see. This show started the love of vampires, werewolves, and hunting them down and killing them as well as saving all of mankind. I believe that if it wasn’t for the original show that a lot of the shows that involve vampires or werewolves wouldn’t be as popular as they are. 

I believe that the ratings for the show would be around 8 or 9 stars. The younger generation is really getting back into the shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer was back in my generation. There are so many different shows that are similar and yet they are being watch all the time. Newer generations need more Buffy and the Scooby gang. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Top 5 Deadpool Comics You Need To Read Before Tomorrow

deadpool comics
Are you counting down the minutes before you can see Deadpool tomorrow?   We haven't seen this much marketing in connection to the release of a comic book-based superhero movie in quite some time, so it stands to reason Ryan Reynold's Deadpool is going to appeal not just to comic book lovers but also to kids as well who might not be familiar with the comic.   So with that in mind, we thought we'd assemble a list of the Top 5 Deadpool comic books that need to read tonight in order to go into the new Deadpool movie well-versed in the mythology and origin of the much-beloved dark horse comic book hero.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top 5 Greatest Episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek original series top 5 episodes
Are you a "Trekkie?"  Do you live for all things Star Trek?  Back in the 1980s Star Trek, at least in the early 1980s was considered by many to "cheesy"--that is, the show did not hold up culturally in terms of the ever-changing pop culture climate of the day.    Mostly, those that watched the show, always in re-runs on some local affiliate network, did so because of a certain nostalgic aura that it afforded.    However, with the rise of VHS, the video store, and the listing of Star Trek: The Original Series being made available in that time, the show went from being cheesy to being some cool, geeky--fun to watch.  And in some way it managed to get tied into the upbringing of a generation that were most focused on education, academics and not on sports.  Out of all of comes the term: Trekkie.   

Coined to represent a person who loves Star Trek over anything else.    In fact, there have been documentaries about Trekkies in the last 20 years, hell, even William Shatner aka Captain James T. Kirk from the show went on an episode of Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s and lampooned Trekkies.  Still the show lives on, and with each passing year, it gains new fans and loyal devotees.   

The original 1966 Star Trek show has spawned several movies in additional to a handful of post-run TV series continuations with other characters in the Star Trek universe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top 10 Television Theme Songs of All-Time

TV theme songs are sometimes the most important parts of every show. The theme is kind of pervasive because it finds its way into the music that’s in the show, and that’s going to make the show more interesting. You’re going to feel so ready to watch it, and then you’re going to keep hearing the music once it on. With that said, these are the 10 best themes, and some of them are going to hit you harder than others.

TV Theme Song #10: Saved By The Bell
Saved By The Bell's theme song is a sign of the times. You are a 90s kid if you remember this theme, and it never changed. The kids started out in middle school, but they ended up finishing off in college with a slightly altered song. Still, the song is the perfect one for the times, and the it’s going to remind you what it was like when you were in school, or just waking up and getting there on time. 

TV Theme Song #9: The A-Team
The A-Team theme is iconic, and it has been copied so many times. Anyone who wants to make a reference to the A-Team is going to copy the theme, and you’re going to recognize it after two notes. It’s that cool, and it makes you want to watch them build out a car to complete their next mission while BA complains about flying and threatens to choke out Murdock.

TV Theme Song #8: The Flintstones
The Flintstones are a modern Stone Age family, and they’re in the town of Bedrock. It’s a theme that anyone will remember, and it’s still a cartoon that’s popular today. There are a lot of kids who’re watching this show because their parents introduced them to it, and you as well will remember it exactly word for word as soon as it starts playing.

TV Theme Song #7: The Brady Bunch
This is the story of a lovely lady and her new husband. It was a show that was iconic for the times, and people are still referencing it to this day. The music turns up in all their movies and specials, and the song is one that anyone will learn when they listen to it with friends. We keeping talking about Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, but the theme song is still the most important part of this show.

TV Theme Song #6: Family Guy
There is no other show where the family dog is a struggling writer, and it points right back to the theme. You are totally ready for this show when you hear the theme, and you are going to get into it so much that you might actually have to rewind it to listen to it again because you were not enjoying it enough the first time.

TV Theme Song #5: The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory theme song is a great song that’s going to be the favored song of little kids who got to sit up and watch it with their parents, or it’s going to be the theme song of the couples that grew up watching this show together because they got married. They wanted to be like Penny and Leonard, and now they might be. This song will always be their favorite because it talks about how we got through world history in 30 seconds.

TV Theme Song #4: The Simpsons
The Simpsons theme song has been covered by everyone on the planet. A drum corps does the Simpsons theme song for fun, or you can hear it at your kid's band concert. It’s everywhere, and everyone knows it. The Simpsons are a firm part of our culture, and their theme song just reminds you of the time you started watching their show.

TV Theme Song #3: SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants has a theme that everyone knows. Parents are going to learn it when they watch the show with their kids, and it’s going to be one of the first songs that kids learn while they are watching the show. It’s still going strong, and it still has all the nautical nonsense you wish. You get to sing it with your kids, and you get to laugh because it is preparing you for what’s still a perfect cartoon.

TV Show Theme Song #2: Cheers
Some people will say that Cheers has the best theme song because it welcomes you to the bar. It tells you that everyone knows your name, and it reminds you that you’re valued when you go into the bar. This is a big deal for bar patrons, and it reminds that home is not always a house.

TV Show Theme Song #1: The Office
The theme song to the Office is a reminder that this show is unlike any other. you can feel yourself peering into their office when the song plays, but you are more than ready to see all of them get on each other's nerves. It is that much fun to listen to. Though it’s just a melody, it’s become so catchy and fits in so well with the theme of the show, it’s no wonder it’s #1 on our list.

You'll enjoy all ten of these songs, even if you don’t watch all of them. In fact, the song might be the reason that you start watching. So go listen to them all today!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Top 5 Best Sega Genesis Video Games

Top 5 Sega Genesi Video Games
God bless the 16-bit video game system!  Sega Genesis, known in Japan as the Mega Drive hit the stores in 1990.  It went up against the ever-popular Nintendo Game system as well as the early arrival of the home PC gaming movement.     While Nintendo was an 8-bit system, the Sega Genesis was the first video gaming system on the market, console-based wise.   
In its time, the Sega Genesis sold over 30 million units around the world.   The system, failing by the wayside to the stability of the Nintendo sales, and then eventually, the introduction of the Nintendo 16-bit system, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Genesis fell off the market in popularity. In the end, Sega tried to re-coop interest via the public in their brand via the introduction of the ahead-of-its-time CD-Rom console system Sega Saturn, but that too, didn't make the cut up against the Nintendo juggernaut.    But, the Sega Genesis was not without its fans, or without its run of wonderfully under-rated games that were exclusive to the system.    What follows is our list of our favorite Sega Genesis video games.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Can We Expect From Hail! Caesar When It Hits Theaters Tomorrow?

Hail! Casesr Coen Brothers

Hail! Caesar, the new comedy by directors Joel and Ethan Coen hits theaters tomorrow across the United States, and while the Coens have earned themselves high-status in Hollywood, even earning Academy Award nominations for such heavier fair as Fargo, True Grit, and Inside Llewyn Davis, their comedic work often times has left American audiences polarized. 

Certainly, they've hit the mark several times when it has come to pure comedy, an example of such would be 1987's Raising Arizona, and more recently The Big Lebowski and O Brother, Where Are Thou?--the previous, Lebowski, earning major cult status in the wake of its release.  There is even a yearly gathering of fans of the movie who dress up like characters, quote lines, drink and bowl at a bowling alley in the Midwest.  

And while these movies have maintained their fan bases for many years, it's the Coens' foray into genre-bending; the point where they mix-genres like comedy with who-dun-it, or remade slapstick films of the Hollywood 40s, with movies like Burn After Reading, Intolerable Cruelty, and Hudsucker Proxy that have caused audiences to leave the theater scratching their heads.

Which it why it's fascinating to consider the premise of Hail! Caesar, the Coen's 17th feature film, and it's premise:   "Eddie Mannix"-- a Hollywood "fixer" is tasked with getting a movie production back on track after its star, "Baird Whitlock," played by George Clooney is kidnapped by a grouped called "The Future."     Whereas, Hail! Caaser is being marketing across American TV as being a goofy comedy of sorts, its central premise of a kidnapping in 1920's Hollywood is a notion that is anything but humorous.     And yet, its likely that the story line of Hail! Casear will more likely be the same spirit of those previous Coen Brothers' films that left audiences completely polarized.      It's altogether possible that we may have another Hudsucker Proxy on our hands when this is released tomorrow.  

The ultimate question in mind is:  What can we expect from Hail! Caesar tomorrow?   Will it be just a comedy or will it be a slapstick comedy in the spirit of the classic movies of the 1920s, 1930s, or 1940s that came out of Hollywood like Bringing Up Baby, Ball of Fire, or any other from slapstick era.    There is a part of all this, that hopes that Hail! Caesar exudes some of the aesthetic and comedic ideal that the Coens' really hit a home run with in The Big Lebowski.  Certainly, based on the preview for the movie that has been in heavy rotation the last couple weeks on American TV, we'll be treated to something that seems like it could be very unique in terms of Hollywood releases, as we know them today, but really, not so unique, in the world of the Coen Brothers.