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9 Aug

Recently I was traveling on a bus and found myself thinking of ways to kill the time between destinations.  Then it hit me…I have a smart phone…with Netflix!  titleSo there I was scrolling through everything the online streaming services has to offer.  There was Sharknado (an instant classic), Guilt Trip (Barbra and Seth Rogen…eh…shhh…I actually watched this later), Mad Men (can’t refuse Roger Sterling!), a documentary on eating grass or saving dolphins or Steve Jobs or something…and then I found it.  I had finally come across something that I knew, loved and would really enjoy….again.  The Wonder Years!!  That’s right…a little Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper would surely make this the most enjoyable bus ride ever!!

Before I knew, that recognizable theme song written by John and Paul but performed by Joe Cocker was blaring in my headphones:  “what would you do, if I sang out of tune….”.  Immediately I was transformed back to a place where my bed time is 9:30pm.  Where my little league games and school dances meant everything in the world!  Where sleepovers and talking on the phone turned into all night affairs.  

But as I started to watch this show, something strange happened.  Suddenly I was no longer watching it through the eyes of Kevin; as I did when I was younger.  But I was now watching it kevin and winniethrough voice-over Kevin…or the incomparable Daniel Stern.  You see, the first time I watched this show, as a kid, the things they were showing Kevin go through, I was going through many of those things at the same time.  So I remember the show being fun to watch because it related to my everyday life as a kid…just like Kevin’s (plus the fact that I kind of looked like him helped as well).  But now, now that I am 32, now I was reliving those same stories and memories…just like voice-over Kevin was…they were in my past….and I was feeling great nostalgia.  And this gave me a whole new experience of watching the show.  

I started with a classic episode of Kevin falling in love on a family vacation with a girl that was older…with a girl that he instantly clicked with…with a girl he would never see after that weekend.  kevin and caraI transitioned from there to the great ‘Lake’ episode…where we find a chain smoking teen name Cara (pronounced Car-a…remember her now?) falling in love with a 15 year old Kevin…and him falling in love right back.  And the episode ends, of course, with Kevin going right back to the real love his life:  the legendary Winnie Cooper.  Of course in between the adventures of teenage love we get a taste of a family growing up, growing apart and coming together again.  Along with the never ending friendship of Paul and Kevin and the times when we actually start to see our parents as real people and not just, well, not just our parents.  So as I was watching these terrifically crafted episodes, I was transported back to the days when I was a kid.  Thinking about family vacations.  Thinking about having crushes on girls and how I felt with just a simple kiss or conversation from them.  Thinking about getting together with friends and just causing trouble…thinking about the past and all the mistakes, successes, loves and friends & family along the way (I know, I know…its just a tv show…but you try it and tell me the connection you feel!).

(Cue in my voice-over for this paragraph please)…As I rode in that bus watching Kevin, Paul, Winnie, Wayne (Butthead) and the whole Arnold Clan, I started to think.  I went back to a time when summer vacations lasted a lifetime.  When the love a girl meant your whole world had changed for the better.  When friendships seemed like they would never end.  And you didn’t think about mortgages, medical bills, debt or unjust wars…your biggest concerns were what to wear to school the next day and wondering how to ask out that girl or boy you had a crush on…I mean do they even know you’re alive??

(Ok, end voice-over)….Never has a show really given me a whole new watching experience from kid viewing to adult viewing.  Sure I have rewatched plenty of shows that I used to watch when I was a kid.  But The Wonder Years…rewatching this show is something special.  So do yourself a favor, get on Netflix and watch The Wonder Years again!  kevin and pauls sisterEnjoy Kevin diving for Paul’s sister’s earring at her dance, that Jets jacket and the first kiss with Winnie after her brother dies tragically in the war.  Cringe when Becky Slater yells “friends, I’ll give you friends”.  Laugh along with all of Pual’s allergies and medications.  Enjoy the cameos by stars of today before they were stars (David Schwimmer, Juliette Lewis, Screech, Zach Morris, Robin Thicke, Jeremy Davies, Seth Green, among others).  And just let yourself be transported back to simpler times…back to times when our dreams felt within reach, worries didn’t exist and we had our whole lives in front of us to do everything and anything we wanted to do.  

And just remember, as the song goes:  “Oh I get by with a little help from my friends”.

The Wonder Years DVD



6 Aug








With the recent announcement of the 2013 Emmy Award nominations, I thought it would be fun to go through what I think, in no particular order, are the 10 best shows on t.v. (and online) today!  Now of course I don’t and can’t watch every single show out there.  So this is just based on the shows that I watch…obviously.  Enjoy the list and let me know what some of your favorite shows are!!  Oh, one more thing…no reality t.v. on this list!

Joffrey's Name Day. A joust fight is in progress. Tyrion returns from battle . Intrp Ser Dontos.-GAME OF THRONES:  In my opinion, this is the greatest show out there today!  GOT is gripping, suspenseful, emotional and action packed.  Sure, it can be hard to follow since there are literally a million characters involved in each episode (ok, not literally).  But by the end of each Sunday night you are so wrapped up in what you just watched that you feel like you are part of the game yourself!  Plus, anything that combines Peter Dinklage and Dragons has to be good!!

mad men-MAD MEN:  With the final season coming next year, you can feel Mad Men definitely starting to wrap up.  However, this series continues to be packed with top notch writing and acting.  Don Draper will go down as one of the most admired and liked but most troubled characters in television history…and don’t bypass the comedic instances of a tremendous supporting cast…including my favorite, Roger Sterling – that silver haired son of a bitch!

new girl-NEW GIRL:  Ummm…hilarious!!  Watch this show…give it a chance…and enjoy laughing your ass off to Schmidt’s Shmerson and Mordecai baby names, Nick Miller’s angry rants and liking to men that smell of strong coffee and going to see a man about a horse (I could keep going with Nick quotes…”I want to kill you because I respect you…I think I understand hunting!”), Winston’s pranks that actually end in death, and Jess’ failed relationships, jobs, friends…ok she fails a lot.  But this show does not…watch it…and love it!!  Thanks for the advice Tran…you always have so much to say!

homeland-HOMELAND:  Well first you have Claire Daines just dominating the acting thing every single week (although her lip is always quivering with sadness).  Then you have Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride playing the calm and thoughtful Saul.  And to top it off, Captain Winters from Band of Brothers is the bad guy…or good guy…or bad guy….oh man, obviously this show is stressful, but kills it every time!

newsroom-THE NEWSROOM:  Aaron Sorkin’s latest show is right on par with everything he’s ever done.  Ok it might not be as memorable as “you can’t handle the truth”.  Or as quick and witty as Jed Bartlett’s West Wing.  But The Newsroom is a damn good show.  Jeff Daniels and crew bring out that famous Sorkin sarcasm that will keep you laughing and entertained.  Check out the episode “Fix You” to experience the true gambit of emotions this show can bring out in the viewer.

parenthood-PARENTHOOD:  The Braverman family takes you along for the ride as this family experiences the highs and lows that every family goes through.  Each week I find myself laughing and crying (and then getting mad at myself for crying to a show that Dax Shepard is in…although he is really good in this show) as emotions run high and you really feel touched after the hour is over.

modern family manny-MODERN FAMILY:  When you have a poetry reciting, lady loving 12 year old in Manny Delgado, drinking milk out of a courvoisier glass, a flamboyant ex-college football lineman singing showtunes, and a family man playing Clive Bixby in a hotel lobby, you know funny is happening.  Plus, Al Bundy is in this one!


PARKS AND RECREATION:  Ron.  Swanson.  Enough said….ok well maybe not totally enough, but Swanson is one of the greatest characters in this history of television…non-arguable.  I mean he saves his money in gold, and says things like:  “Capitalism:  God’s way of determining who is smart and who is poor” and “Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets”.  “TREAT YOSELF” and watch this show!

the league rafi-THE LEAGUE:  Ok yes, this is a little bit of a “man’s show”.  But the crew in The League (including wife Jenny) is vulger, rude, sarcastic, selfish, terrible at friendship…and awesome for all of that.  And if you want to meet another hilarious character, go watch an episode with Rafi…the El Cunado that says things like…well…ok I can’t really put any of his quotes on here since this blog is on my resume….but go learn the way of life from Rafi on your own, and thank me later!

happy endings-HAPPY ENDINGS:  Ah-mah-zing, twinzies, Damon Wayans Jr., The Girl Next Door, Meax (Max with a Chicago accent), Dave’s v-necks, derahmaaaa, Steak Me Home Tonight, Penny Hartz, not needing a permit to drive a limo and so much more are in this show.  Unfortunately, this show’s entire audience consisted of me and the four others I turned into Happy Ending fanatics.  So now you have to catch this canceled gem online…do it now!!

The-Walking-Dead-04-cast-THE WALKING DEAD:  Every episode of this show leaves me wanting more, makes me feel like I was just punched in the face and makes me remember why I love this series!  This zombie filled program is really something special.  From the mentally messed up sheriff-hero and the pirate eye-patched governor to the walkers and their bloody kills, TWD is one of my favorites shows on television and has really come out of nowhere to be an instant success and cult classic!

I realize that was 11 shows and not 10…but I just couldn’t eliminate any of them!  Now stop being productive in your life and go watch these shows!!!