Tag Archives: humor

TV Review – The Orville (2017- )

Space. It’s big, huge, and a never-ending source of comedic fodder.

BQB here with a review.

I have been meaning to check this show out for a long time and finally have, after noticing it was available through Disney Plus.

I’m six episodes in. My first impressions:

#1 – Critics call it a Star Trek rip-off but it’s an obvious Star Trek parody. Seth MacFarlane, the man behind the raunchy, constantly pop culture lampooning Family Guy, is obviously a big Trekkie, and relishes the chance to cosplay a spaceship captain. If you take Star Trek, then add in the ability to make crude jokes, you’d get this show.

#2 – I get why some might call it a rip-off in that it goes beyond the humor to build adventure of its own. If you stay for the funny, you’ll get plenty of serious. In my binge session thus far, I’ve seen Captain Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) and crew rescue an agrarian society living (unbeknownst to them) in an ecosystem built into a massive spaceship, a historic ship dealer who travels back in time to steal spaceships of the past and sell them to collectors of the future, and a battle to prevent a hostile alien species from getting their hands on an aging device. All of these sound like they could be straight out of Trek, so when you see the Trek like uniforms, the Trek like military organization, the Trek like set up of the ship, it’s hard to not feel like MacFarlane didn’t just hijack Trek, change a few things around, then add in plenty of dirty sex jokes.

#3 – Speaking of sex jokes, while I enjoy it, Disney Plus really isn’t the place for it. I get Fox and Disney are part of the same company now and apparently Disney Plus is breathing new life into the series by offering a sequel New Horizons, which is basically just a continuation of the show. However, young kids shouldn’t be watching it. It’s probably fine for teenagers, but if you’re one of those parents who subscribed to Disney Plus so you could park the kids in front of it while you do housework, eh, take another look.

All in all, Trek is the granddaddy of all space opera. Many would say Star Wars, but SW just changed the game by introducing badass special effects. Trek was the first who challenged us to go where no man has gone before. (There are probably others who would say Lost in Space or other 1950s offerings beat them all.)

At any rate, Trek is a 20th century view of what military style space travel would be like. The Trek ships are set up more or less like a large ocean going vessel, so one might argue that Trek doesn’t really “own” that concept. Then again, when you watch The Orville, when you see the captain, you think Kirk, the science officer, you think Spock, the engineer, you think Scotty. Then again, does Trek own the concept of a captain, a science officer, an engineer and so on?

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Enjoyable. In the end, I don’t think this takes anything away from Trek, and if anything, it’s a humorous love-letter to Trek. Maybe if Trek had been more open minded about captains finding their wives in bed, messing around with blue goo spurting aliens, MacFarlane might have made a deal to create Funny Trek. Ultimately, he did, with just the names changed to protect the innocent. Come for the funny, but stay for the space drama.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

I’m the Funniest (Free) Writer on Amazon!

Greetings, 3.5 readers.

Yup. Yup. Yup. It’s official. I have achieved my dream of becoming a great humor writer. With the assistance of a Freebooksy promotion, I gave away 2500 free copies of my new novel, Shop Buddy, and the results are as follows:

Hmm. Alas, someone needed to poop on it with a one-star rating, but that’s ok. You can’t please everyone.

The point is, look at those rankings!

#1 in General Humor (FREE) – I have been a humor blogger since 2014 and finally, I have some recognition for my humor chops.

#2 in Teen/Young Adult e-books (FREE) – I didn’t really set out to write a young adult book. The protagonists are 23, a year out of college, unable to find work in their chosen majors so they sling grocery bags for a shopping app. Meh, I guess it counts. It was up to #1 in this category yesterday.

#10 in Mysteries (FREE) – Agatha Christie, eat your heart out!

And #38 out of all the FREE books offered at the moment on Amazon. I made the top 100 here.

Growing up, I was one of those kids who snuck downstairs to watch Saturday Night Live. I quoted lines from In Living Color, The Simpsons and Married with Children on the playground every Monday. And my Mad Magazine collection? Forget about it.

I have had other books get some decent rankings during free book promos, but humor will always hold a special place near and dear to my heart, so this is great.

BTW, it’s not too late to get your FREE copy.

Now I just need to put more work into becoming one of those writers who make it high onto the PAID charts because if I’m being honest, I like money.

SIDENOTE: What’s it about, you ask? Picture it. You work for an online shopping service. One of your customers orders all kinds of weird, dangerous stuff. Rope. Axes. Knives. Chainsaws. Power tools. Do you assume he’s just remodeling his house or do you fear something more sinister is afoot? Grab your free copy today, then use the money you saved to get some extra cheese on your taco.

Oh, and whatever you do, please don’t buy any of the other books I have on Amazon. Writers should never make money at any time. It dilutes the artistic chemistry.

Tagged , , , , , ,

FREE BOOK!

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

You know what’s expensive? Gas.

You know what’s free? My book.

Buy my book. Entertain yourself. Use that money you saved to buy 2.99 worth of gas and take a nice drive to, I don’t know, the end of the street?

Anyway, here it is, my first novel, totally FREE:

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You Need to Know If Your Girlfriend is a Russian Spy – NOW MORE THAN EVER!

Check this out, 3.5 readers. I called it way back on March 31, 2016:

The Russians.

Oh sure, they say they want to be our friends but then as soon as we aren’t looking they kick the Ukraine in the balls and give East Europe a wedgie.

See that? Ahh, if only the head muckety mucks over at NATO HQ had bothered to read my fine blog, we could have avoided Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine and be putting our focus where it needs to be, namely, why the hell does the Academy keep nominating movies we have never seen for the Oscars?

But I digress, 3.5 comrades. In case you missed it, here are the top ten warning signs your girlfriend might be a Russian spy.

Tagged , , , ,

Shop Buddy Cover

Hey 3.5 readers. Well, it’s here. The cover for my upcoming novel, Shop Buddy. It’s about a recent college grad who can’t find the job he wants, so he gets by working for an online shopping service. One of his customers puts in strange orders – rope, chains, knives, a chainsaw and so on. He and his ex-girlfriend who also works for the service (in fact, she’s his boss) get suspicious and unravel the mystery of what said strange customer is up to.

SIDENOTE – I went grocery shopping for the first time in I can’t even remember yesterday and I have to say, I need to go do my actual shopping more because online shopping/delivery just isn’t cutting it.

My complaints about online shopping (which mostly get worked into the novel in one way or another)

A) How is it possible in today’s information age that the website says the store has something and then the shopper gets me and tells me they don’t have it? Supply chain issues aside, every item has a barcode right? So can’t some tech genius hook those barcodes up to the site and when the last one is bought, make it say OUT OF STOCK when you order it? Ah, but there’s the rub. That thing was probably the thing you wanted the most and if you knew they didn’t have it, you wouldn’t have placed the order in the first place. If they made things go out of stock on the website they’d get less orders.

B) Every so often, I get a result that makes me question my faith in humanity. In the book, the main character ruins a child’s birthday party. Charged with shopping for and delivering a birthday cake, the company’s wonky algorithm tells him to buy and deliver a box set of Oingo Boingo’s greatest hits. This becomes a running joke throughout the story i.e. customer asks for a jar of pickles, algorithm tells the shopper to buy a velvet painting of Einstein fighting a velociraptor, customer asks for cat food, algorithm tells the shopper to buy an autographed photo of Abe Vigoda.

I haven’t received anything on the level of Oingo Boingo’s greatest hits or an Abe Vigoda autograph (I’d actually like an Abe Vigoda autograph) instead of what I ordered but there have definitely been times when I ordered, say, an apple, and got something where I just put it on the counter and scrutinized it, saying to myself “How…why…what…how on earth did they see “apple” and think I wanted THAT?”

Pre pandemic, I think these delivery services worked better because the shopper would actually come into your house, put the stuff on the counter for you, and review any discrepancies to your face. Now, they just do a gangland style drive-by where they whip all the bags at your front door while NWA classic hits blare on their speakers. By the time you open the bag and realized they got you a macroni statute of Bette Midler (cue Seinfeld) instead of your tub of egg salad, they’re half way down the block. If they actually had to look you in the eye, they woudn’t make such bizarre subsitutions.

I will say this of yesterday’s in person shopping experience:

A) Often shoppers would text me and say they’re out of this they’re out of that and I’d wonder if they really are out of something or if this is just a lazy shopper. Sometimes I’d curse the inflationary times we live in when my shopper texts me, “They were all out of cookies” and I’m like, “Damn it! It’s like we lost a war!” (Fun fact we actually lost 2 major wars in ten years but that shouldn’t prevent me from getting cookies. It’s not like I’m the Secretary of Defense after all. That guy should be sans cookies for losing wars.)

B) When you’re in store, you see stuff you wouldnt think to look for on the site. Maybe this is good because you’re getting more stuff or then again maybe you are spending more then you would. Then again that extra you are spending would just go to a tip to a guy who is just going to toss the bags at your front porch in an early 1990s style Boyz in the Hood esque drive by. “Break yoself and take yo potato salad, fool!”

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Disco Werewolf

I wrote most of a book called Disco Werewolf. I still have it. I had a cover made for it though that was back in a day when I had an addiction to ordering covers before I knew I was ready to hit the publish button.

The synopsis is it’s the 70s and by day, Mitch is a picked on nerd. By night, he lets his werewolf freak flag fly on the disco floor ( he hails from a family of werewolves who traditionally prefer to keep their lycanthropy hidden).

He has a love interest trying to become a journalist who is trying to determine Disco Werewolf’s true identity. There’s a werewolf hunter and also a demon taking the persona of a disco dancer who wants to be DW’s agent but secretly, needs his dancing skills to unlock…some sort of evil Maguffin.

This is where it gets tricky. I wrote tons of pages for this but what I’m learning is books really need to be quick and snappy. Too many villains. Too many characters. I’m trying to figure out how to consolidate it into one plot. Make it simple. He’s a werewolf. He disco dances. Who is the villain and why does he challenge him?

Many characters and plot points will have to be cut. Maybe if it’s successful they could come about in a sequel.

I really love the cover though.

Tagged , , , ,

Was The Seinfeld Series Finale That Bad?

What’s the deal with all these posts about Seinfeld, 3.5 readers?

Ah, Jerry Seinfeld. He was that comedian who taught us all that you don’t necessarily need a punchline so long as you can offer a humorous observation. In 9 seasons, he brought us a show about nothing that surprisingly, meant something to many of us, not to mention how it added a lot of sayings and expressions to the cultural zeitgest.

Channeling Jerry. “What’s the deal with bloggers using the word zeitgest like they know what it means?”

The finale was greatly panned back in the day and there are still fans who despise it. Why am I even talking about it 23 years later? 23 years. Wow. It’s been off the air that long.

In the last episode, Jerry gets the call he has long been waiting for – that NBC has decided to resurrect his long defunct Jerry TV show. An earlier season saw Jerry and George trying to get the NBC to pick it up only to fail in a variety of humorous ways, from skirmishes with the actors to misunderstandings with the network prez.

Jerry, now a network big shot, is granted free use of the company plane, and decides to celebrate by taking pals Elaine, George and Kramer to Paris. Alas, a Kramerian goof up causes to the plane to have to make an emergency landing in rural Massachusetts. There, the quartet runs afoul of a new Good Samaritan law which requires bystanders to help those in need. The fab four sees a portly fellow getting robbed and rather than help, they laugh, make jokes – heck, Kramer even records it on a camcorder.

This leads to a trial that basically turns the whole thing into a glorified clip show. The DA argues that the 4 are by far the most selfish, self-absorbed people in the world, with a long track record of hurting people with their cavalier debauchery filled lives. He even brings in all the people who have suffered due to their shenanigans over the years, from the old lady that Jerry stole a marble rye from (in his defense, George really needed it) to Cidra aka Terri Hatcher who is convinced Elaine’s accidental stumble in a gym sauna was designed to determine if her breasts were real or fake so she could report the info to Jerry. (In Jerry’s defense, Elaine’s stumble was an obvious real accident because given the option, men have no problem finding out on their own, and frankly, would prefer doing their own detective work.)

It’s funny how time flies. I remember being very young when this came on. I remember everyone being disappointed. Yet, I also remember thinking basically the same thing I think today. How else could they have possibly ended it?

Larry David’s rule for the show was “no learning, no growing.” Seinfeld is a comedian’s comedian who truly believes his job is to make an audience laugh. It isn’t to educate or lecture or scold or give you a special message or anything like that. He makes with the ha ha and if you want a show where characters learn or grow, you’d better change the channel.

Ultimately, they worked that into the series. The characters literally never learn or grow. They start the show as a quartet of young schmucks and they end the show as middle aged schmucks. Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer all have their problems. They’ll be the first to tell you that, ad nauseum and in way too much detail if you let them. Yet, for some strange reason, they demand perfection, be it from their lives, their careers, or most frustratingly, from their mates.

George is bald but has qualms about dating a bald woman. George isn’t very handsome but has a problem dating a woman with a big schnozola. Jerry is a skinny health nut germaphobe and on the show, is a comedian who earns a middle class living on his craft. He’s a better catch than George but he’s far from perfect and rejects women for having man hands, catching gonorrhea on a tractor, having a belly button that he imagines has a funny voice and on and on.

Elaine’s boyfriends are more of a parody of what women have to go through – the schmuck who takes “it” out on a first date, the guy with a bad back who buys her an orthopedic mattress and she can’t tell if it’s because he is trying to give her a thoughtful gift or if he’s hoping to sleep with her and so on.

Kramer is the wild of the bunch. Is he so stupid he has no idea that his life is a mess or is he so smart that he has realized the secret that life is a mess no matter which way you play it so you might as well goof off all the way through it?

At any rate, though I admit the finale is rather lackluster, I’m not sure they could have done better. Could they have had Jerry and Elaine get married? Could they have had George finally settle down? Ultimately, as the jail doors close on the crew, the final joke is that these four are stuck in an eternal purgatory- they will never change their ways, they will never settle for less yet they will never get better enough to accomplish more (Which Larry David has always said is the source of his psychosis as well as his comedy.)

To the show’s credit, there is a moment where Elaine almost tells Jerry she loves him when the plane is going down, Jerry and George do finally get their big break (albeit as George says God would never allow him to be successful and thus why something bad happens to intervene) and it does feature the greatest Newman “I’ll get you, Seinfeld” speeches followed by maniacal laughter of all time.

Bonus points because it tackled the whole “why do people stand around, making fun of someone and recording them in peril rather than help them” long before cell phones with video cameras were ever invented. Overall, the Good Samaritan law seems rather unlikely because while it sounds like a good idea to demand people help those in need in theory, in reality, could an untrained bystander really disarm a mugger without getting mugged or killed him or herself?

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Credit to Jerry for going out on top rather than try to squeeze another five years, let the show get crappy while he cashed in. It’s not the best episode but I’m just not sure anyone could have come up with a better ending. The idea behind the show is that these people never get a happy ending or even any kind of an ending or closure. They will never change their ways and thus, they are forever trapped in a purgatory of their own design, a Waiting for Godot style life that they carry with them wherever they go.

Tagged , , ,

FREE BOOK!

This book is FREE the next couple days, so grab your FREE copy:

Tagged , , , , , ,

Bookshelf Battle Cast – Movie Trailer Outro

I paid for these, so I feel like I need to post them and give them a little mileage once in awhile.

Anyway, I had a go who does a mean movie trailer voice do this and he did an awesome job.

Tagged ,

Top Ten Reasons Why Die Hard is a Christmas Movie

Welcome to the party, 3.5 pals.

John McClane. You know him. You love him. He’s America’s favorite divorcee turned terrorist fighter. Is his movie a Christmas movie? Yes it is. From BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, USA here are the top ten reasons why Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

#10 – It’s All About Love

You don’t think so, but it is. John and Holly love each other but are going through a rough patch and trying to work things out. Officer Al loves his wife and his job and is trying to overcome his feelings of inadequacy so he can be the man his family needs him to be. Even Hans Gruber’s #2, Karl, loves his brother so much that he vows vengeance upon McClane when he kills and defiles his brother’s corpse. (Seriously, I get JMC had to defend himself but did he really have to put a Santa hat on Karl’s brother’s dead body?) BTW what is the name of Karl’s brother? I’m too lazy to look it up.

I’ll admit it is a lack of character development in that we don’t learn who Hans loves, or if he is capable of love. Frankly, he is cold and calculating and just loves money. It would have been cool to have gotten some backstory on how he ended up this way. Rather than the two stupid post trilogy sequels, Hollywood might have invested in some Hans prequels telling us how he became a terrorist/robber. Hollywood, feel free to hire me to write this. I’m not doing anything constructive.

#2 – It Takes Place at Christmas

A lot of movies and TV shows reference or take place during Christmas, but Christmas is a big part throughout. I mean, it happens during an office Christmas party, right?

#3 – A Lot of Rooftop Action

Santa and John. Two dudes that like to hang out on your roof. Santa goes up there to deliver presents. John goes up there to transmit radio messages, hide from terrorists, shoot at Al’s car to get his attention and so on.

#4 – Christmas Music

Run DMC’s Christmas in Hollis. Al humming Let It Snow while he buys twinkies. (BTW where does that fat store clerk get off busting on Al for being fat when he, himself, is fat?)

#5 – There’s a Pregnant Lady

You know who was born in a barn? Jesus. You know who was born at the Nakatomi Office Christmas Party? Holly’s secretary’s kid. Oh, wait. He or she wasnt. But the pregnant lady was pretty close such that your first time watching you wonder if amongst all the chaos there’s going to be a baby delivery as well.

#6 – Hopes. Dreams.

Hans and friends hope to be super rich. John hopes to save the day. (Sidenote: should John have just sat back and let the crooks run off with the dough? Answer: no because remember the crooks were going to load everyone on the helicopters and then blow them up as a diversion so the cops think the terrorists croaked and don’t look for them when they run to the Carribbean and earn twenty percent interest off their stolen bearer bonds.) BTW why do so many robber movies involve bearer bonds? Channeling Seinfeld. What’s the deal with all these bearer bonds? Why do I want to buy a bearer bond when anyone can steal it from me and claim to be the bearer of the bond?

#7 – Al Gets His Mojo Back

Funny how times change. Back then, Al shot a kid and was benched because he became psychologically unable to draw his weapon again. This made Al ineffective as a street cop because if he faced a bad guy carrying a bazooka, three chainsaws, a nuclear bomb, 17 handguns and a pile of ginsu knives, Al still wouldn’t draw his gun because of the fear that he might accidentally shoot a kid again.

Times sure have changed. Today, quite understandably there is a lot of heat on cops to make sure their shoots are clean, in light of a lot of high-profile cases where police shootings have been anything but. Back in 1988, we cheer for Al when he finds the courage to draw his gun and gank Karl before he gets the drop on John but ultimately, if the movie were made today, Al probably would have been canned after shooting the kid and would have never even made it to Nakatomi.

#8 – Every Tool is a Johnson

You know the FBI agents who play into Hans’ hands are Johnson and Johnson, the joke being the government has oodles of non-descript, clean-cut schmucks ready to go by the rulebook even when the rules are being thrown out the window….did you know the anchorman Dick Thornburgh fights with is Harvey Johnson? In conclusion, every useful idiot is a Johnson though I’ll admit I have no idea how this connects to Christmas. Maybe because it’s funny and Christmas is a good time for laughter?

#9 – Who Wouldn’t Want a Ride Through LA in Argyle’s Christmas Limo?

I sure would.

#10 – It’s Christmas, Theo. It is the time for miracles.

Hans wants the miracle of independent wealth. John wants the miracle of saving everyone and reuniting with his wife. What miracle do you want? Now is the time to think about it.

Tagged , , , , ,