The NBC Thursday Night Conspiracy

I don’t watch a whole lot of current television shows, but I make sure never to miss a single episode of “Community” or “The Office”. Both shows continue to make me laugh, but they are very different styles and clearly take place in different universes. This season, however, I’ve been noticing more and more similarities between the shows…

HEADS UP: This post contains spoilers for the current seasons of both shows. If you’re waiting for the DVDs, just move along. Continue reading

In Memory of a Genius

20 years ago today, we lost one of the most original creative geniuses ever: Jim Henson. The man knew how to take ordinary materials like felt and ping-pong balls and turn them into some of the most memorable characters in the history of entertainment. As a designer, writer, director, and actor, Jim brought characters to life that we fell in love with as kids, and who often continue to stick with us today. Not only was he creative, but he knew how to surround himself with creative people, like Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, etc, and how to bring out the best from them.

I recently watched through season one of “The Muppet Show” and was delighted–but not surprised–that it held up so well. Looking past the celebrity guest stars, the intentionally stupid puns, and even the remarkable physical special effects, at the heart of the show were wonderful characters and their relationships. Kermit wanted to put on the best show he could. Fozzie wanted to make people laugh. Gonzo wanted to fit in, even if it had to be through bizarre stunts. Piggy wanted to be a star, and to get Kermit’s love…and despite his irritation with her, he still liked the attention, as evident from the times she would make him jealous. Even Statler and Waldorf, for all their complaints about the show, enjoyed the very act of mockery, and would miss Fozzie when he wasn’t there to heckle. Everyone can easily identify with at least one of the Muppets, though we may not always want to admit it.

We leave here with this video by YouTube user “TimeMachine”, set to the heartwarming and tear-jerking song “A Boy and His Frog” by singer/comedian Tom Smith. If you don’t get at least a tiny bit choked up by this video, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

Christmas Specials II: The Second Best

Last year, I compiled a list of my top five favorite Christmas movies/specials/animatronic shows/smoke signal stories, because it was the only post idea I had. Since the Nostalgia Critic recently compiled his own favorite specials list, I figured I might as well round out the list by sharing my numbers 6-10. Now, as always, you may consider some of these a stretch, but if you have a problem with it, go start your own blog. On to the list! Continue reading

My Top Five Favorite Christmas Specials/Movies

It’s Christmas Eve, and what better way to celebrate the season than with passive entertainment? Christmas specials and movies abound, with more produced every year, ranging from the classic to the not-so-classic. And because I have nothing better to write about at the moment (unless you want to hear about my uneventful dentist appointment this morning), I figured I’d try one of those newfangled “lists” that all the popular young bloggers have been compiling for generations. Here are my five all-time favorite Christmas bits o’ cinema/television. Because I’m too lazy to compile multiple lists, this particular list includes everything, be it a feature film or a half-hour episode of a television series. Continue reading

A great disturbance in the Force…as if millions of voices cried out in terror…

My ire has been raised, and whenever my ire gets raised, the ol’ “post new entry” button doesn’t know what hit it.

My favorite British show of the past ten years is probably “Spaced”. I first illegally downloaded and watched the entire series some time after I saw and loved “Shaun of the Dead”, and before I saw and loved “Hot Fuzz”. The show was very well written, directed, and performed, with likable and offbeat-yet-real characters, delightful bits of surrealism, and a great use of geek-culture references. “Spaced” was a show about geeks that was actually created by geeks, not by network suits attempting to pander to the geek crowd through generic, vague sci-fi allusions and easy jokes about social awkwardness. (Not that I’m above joking about my own social awkwardness, but there is so much more to geekery than that.) As a geek, I can truly relate to the characters created by Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson/Hynes, and Edgar Wright, because the creators themselves are geeks, and know how to write a true geek who is more than a flat stereotype. In lesser hands, or at the very least, in the hands of people who couldn’t identify with the characters they were writing, “Spaced” would be a disaster.

The sad news is, it looks like we may actually get to see just what kind of a disaster. Continue reading