Tag Archives: television

Daily Discussion with BQB – Miss America Cancels Swimsuit Competition

What a strange new world, 3.5 readers.

Gotta be honest, I was outraged for 3.5 seconds until I realized the Miss America pageant was basically spanking material for lonely men in a time when there wasn’t any Internet porn.  Now that there’s Internet porn, there’s no reason to watch it.

I mean, really, when was the last time you watched it?  I haven’t watched it in many moons.

Ehh, let’s be honest though.  It’s not like they’re going to remove the swimsuit portion and then suddenly give it to some smart scientist woman who has a big brain but looks like Rosie O’Donnell or something.

They’ll just give it to the hottest chick in the evening wear competition.

I actually wonder if they’re doing this because Trump is president now and wasn’t he the big beauty pageant mogul for awhile?  I don’t remember exactly if he had any sway over Miss America but maybe when he was working in entertainment, casinos, the hot chick model industry, he might have been able to put his two cents in and put the kibosh on this tomfoolery.  Giving up power over the hot babe modeling industry to become the leader of the free world.  Sheesh.  Way to prioritize, Donald.

What say you, 3.5 readers?  My feeling is either it’s an antiquated contest where women compete like cattle at the county fair livestock auction and should be retired or otherwise keep it, but let’s not pretend it’s like a great competition of intelligence and talent when the hottest chick is just going to win anyway.

Americans really do love their BS.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Roseanne Destroys Her Show with a Tweet

Sigh, 3.5 readers.

If you ever wanted a lesson in how to ruin your career and/or lifetime legacy in less than 24 hours, today was the day.

I was really enjoying the “Roseanne” reboot.  I enjoyed the show as a kid and to see it back again was like seeing long lost friends come home.  Roseanne and Dan, Becky, Darlene and DJ, their kids, Aunt Jackie, all the extended friends and family that would stop by.

There have been so many attempts at rebooting old shows that have fallen flat (IMO) but this one was a winner.  I think Roseanne had cemented herself as the comeback kid and probably could have kept her show going for several years.

Alas, imagine my sadness when I heard the news that Roseanne referred to former Obama advisor (not sure of her official title) Valerie Jarrett as “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes have a baby.”

Oh God, Roseanne.  Why?  Why???  So wrong on so many levels.

Roseanne has a history of writing controversial tweets but this was one that couldn’t be ignored.  Aside from sadness that this thought was in her mind and that’s bad enough, but that she didn’t have any kind of self restraint to hold herself back.  How she thought she could post that and still have a show by the end of the day is mind boggling.

I feel bad for the cast members.  Goodman has been the most successful over the years, though Laurie Metcalf was recently nominated for an Academy Award.  Sara Gilbert was (is?) on a View-esque talk show.  That girl who plays Becky and Michael Fishman (DJ), this was probably their big break so to see it go for them is sad.

So, a lesson learned, 3.5 readers.  First, if you are thinking such thoughts, cleanse your mind and your soul.  Second, develop a filter, an internal control that keeps you from releasing unfiltered thoughts into the atmosphere.

This is so ridiculous that there is a part of me that wonders if Roseanne did this on purpose….maybe she didn’t want to do the show anymore and wanted to go out with a bang.    I don’t think she did. She lost too much money.   I think she just rattled off a tweet without thinking but then again, she’s been in show business so long that it amazes me she didn’t realize this was a career killing tweet.

What say you, 3.5?

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Bill Cosby to Go to Jail

Hey 3.5 readers.

Bill Cosby, “The Coz” is headed for the slammer, the hoosegow, the stoney lonesome.

It’s sad.  For you younger 3.5 readers, you may not realize this guy was once America’s Dad and that was a big achievement because, you know, he was black and that was a new thing at the time.  There weren’t a lot of good TV roles for African Americans at the time and then suddenly you’ve got this show full of positive role models for anyone, black or white, to look up to.

The Cosby Show was riotously funny for its time, managing to transcend racial lines to discuss issues about family, growing up, teaching kids to take responsibility for their lives, education, doing the right thing etc yet somehow it managed to do so with humor and without being overly preachy.

My favorite episode is the one where young son Theo claims to have it all figured out, he’s going to drop out of school, not go to college, fend for himself and Cosby shows him via Monopoly money just how much the world is going to take from him if he doesn’t push himself to reach his full earning potential.  “Are you going to have a girlfriend?”  “Yep,” Theo replies and then wham, Bill takes the money and leaves the kid with nothing.

Plus, he sold Kodak film (product that eventually became irrelevant), New Coke (people demanded a return of the old coke) and pudding pops (which were freaking delicious and does anyone know if they still make them?  I want one right now that I am thinking about them.)

Sigh.  It is sad that apparently while he was doing so much good he was also apparently drugging ladies and taking advantage of them…I guess people think that fame will help them get away with so many bad things but it finally caught up with him.

Dave Chapelle put it best.  Imagine something you really love, like ice cream, then imagine hearing that thing is a rapist.  Damn, ice cream is a rapist.  Now I can’t enjoy ice cream anymore.

Sad.  What say you, 3.5 readers?

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BQB’s Netflix Pick of the Week – Lost in Space

Danger 3.5 Will Robinsons.

I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet but previews look good.  Why don’t you 3.5 readers watch it and get back to me on whether or not it is worth my time.  I can’t do everything around here, you know.

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S3, Ep. 26 – “Little Girl Lost”

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Do you think there might be a gateway to another dimension in your house, 3.5 readers?

Little Tina is lost.  Her parents, Ruth and Chris (hey, together they can make a steakhouse!)…um, played by Robert Sampson and Sarah Marshall, can hear her but cannot see her.  After checking all over the house, they can hear her coming from inside the wall, but can’t figure the mystery out.

Luckily, the couple is friends with a physicist, because why wouldn’t they be?  Bill (Charles Aidman) ominously marks the entry to another world in chalk in the couple’s wall.  How the door to the other dimension got there he doesn’t know which means I basically know as much as a fictional TV physicist.

Blah, blah, basically all the humans fail and it’s up to the family dog to bravely run into the dimensional gateway and lead the girl to safety.  They’ll probably still cut his nuts off anyway.

I give Rod Serling credit for this one as interdimensional travel was probably heady stuff for the average 1960s TV viewer but its done well here.

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S3, Ep. 25 – “The Fugitive”

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I did not like this episode at all.  It was stupid, weird, dumb…especially to the eyes of a person in 2018 but honestly, even though values were different back then, I’m not sure how this episode didn’t leave a few 1960s people scratching their heads either.

OK.  So here goes.  And SPOILER ALERT because I can’t complain about it unless I lay it all out there.

J. Pat O’Malley plays Ben, an elderly man who spends a suspiciously large amount of time playing with the neighborhood children.  That’s weird but OK, initially it’s like…fine, it was the 1960s and adults were more “adultier.”  Maybe adults were more trustworthy or maybe child abuse claims were swept under the rug more back in those days I don’t know, but it was a common staple of old black and white television shows to see old people just hanging out and having fun with little kids that just lived near them that they were not related to whatsoever and the impression wasn’t that these adults were pervs or anything but rather were just nice old people who were nice to kids.

SIDENOTE:  Please don’t let your kids hang out with random neighborhood adults.  Honestly, don’t trust people you know or are related to either.  You know what?  Just keep your kid next to you at all times.

Back to the review.  Ben has a special power -he can turn into any living thing.  He plays a space game with the kids where the kids pretend to be space travelers and he turns himself into a scary martian.

The old man’s best friend is eight year old Jenny and surely this sentence is creepy even by 1960s standards.  Oddly enough, Jenny’s aunt/guardian, played by Nancy Kulp of Miss Hathaway from “The Beverly Hillbillies” fame is portrayed as the villain, yelling at the little girl to stay away from the old man and yelling at the old man to stay away from the girl.  She’s portrayed as an evil battle-axe trying to keep two friends apart but you know, 2018 me is like, “The aunt is the voice of reason!  If that kid was my niece I’d tell that old bastard to stay away from the kid too!”

Moving on, there are a couple of mysterious dudes chasing after Ben.  He ditches them by turning into a mouse (which makes me think Michael Jackson might have been inspired here with his song about Ben the rat).

Blah, blah, blah – the ending.  The dudes are Ben’s subjects. Ben is the king of a faraway planet.  He didn’t want to be the king anymore so he ran.  The subjects like him and want to bring him back.

Ben and Jenny pull the old switcheroo  – they both turn into Jenny and so, the subjects must take both Jennies to the planet if they want the King.  I couldn’t help but think that it will be hard for the aunt to lose her niece, but I guess the writers felt she had to be punished for the crime of thinking that her eight year old niece shouldn’t be spending all her free time with a sixty something year old man.  Go figure.

The twist?  Rod Serling, as he was known to do, pops out of the woodwork holding a picture of a little boy.  Turns out that Ben was a little boy all along and…I guess…what…we’re supposed to think it’s ok that Ben and Jenny run away together?  I mean, you really need to suspend disbelief because Jenny is eight whereas we were told earlier that Ben is over 1,000 years old so I mean, come on, even if he’s a boy he’s like an adult in a boy’s body, unless boys live for a thousand years on that planet before they become adults and ugh…I just went cross eyed.

It’s weird.  It’s creepy.  It’s insane.  I have no idea if the writers intended this, maybe they were just lazy and wrote themselves out of a corner but I mean, yeah, there’s just no circumstance in which it’s cool for this kid to be running away with aliens…especially one that’s over 1,000, who has taken the form of an old human man.

I don’t know.  There were a lot of episodes and they all can’t be winners I suppose. This one was a big time stinkburger.

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S2, Ep. 8 – “The Lateness of the Hour”

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Is technology making us soft?

Spoiler alert = YES!

But we know that today because we live in a time where you can sit on the toilet and order up your dinner, groceries, call a cab, text a friend and watch a TV show on your phone…while you take a dump at the same time.

Ergo, 1960s folk were prophetic, for they had none of these advances and yet they could see that tech was going to turn us into weaklings, robots being the big concern here.

Dr. and Mrs. Loren (John Hoyt and Iren Tedrow) have cut themselves off from the world, holing themselves up in their home where robotic servants of the doctor’s own design cater to their every need.  The old folks need not do anything but sit in their study and relax while their mechanical servants do it all.

Their daughter, Jana (Inger Stevens) thinks this is a totally crap lifestyle.  She’s young and she wants to get out of the house, see the world, develop skills and learn how to take care of herself.  She wants her parents to do the same, join her in getting out there.

Well, depending on your age you can probably guess the underlying themes.  The young want to explore the world and seek out adventure.  The old have had the shit beaten out of them to the point where the world has lost its luster – i.e. it’s better to relax at home rather than get smacked around by the cold, cruel world.

And of course, there’s the question of whether tech will improve our lives or turn us into big softies.  Even further, will robots be our trustyworthy helpers or will they scheme against us and take over?

Further, sometimes young people need to make a decision.  Your parents are old.  They’ve been around the block.  They’ve been to the school of hard knocks.  They’ll give you the best advice they know – set your sights low and focus on just getting by because if you shoot for the stars, you might end up crashing into the weeds.

Whether you follow that advice is up to you.  You love your parents but at some point, you’ve got to leave the nest and decide what’s best for you.  You want to follow their lame yet safe advice?  Do it.  You want to throw caution to the wind and chase that crazy dream?  Do it…but actually do it.  Don’t wait around for their blessing.  You won’t get it.  Just rip off that Band-Aid, have that blow out fight, then go on your way and make that dream happen.

Sadly, Jana seems trapped in that middle area where she wants to get out and chase dreams but she wants her parents to tell her they approve and that obviously isn’t going to happen.

Anyway, what say you, 3.5 readers?  Will tech help us or ruin us?

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S2, Ep. 17 -Twenty-Two

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Are dreams real?  Can they tell us anything about reality?  Can we ever be sure when we are dreaming and when we are awake, what’s real and what’s not?

Liz Powell (Barbara Nichols) is such a famous stripper, er…uh, dancer, that she even has an agent, Barney (Fredd Wayne.)  In fact, she’s been so overworked that she’s in the hospital for exhaustion.  Yeah, ok…just go with it.  If you can buy that premise, then you can buy the fact that she was allowed to relax in her hospital bed, not in a patient’s gown but in a dress that was, well for 1960s standards, kinda naughty.  Today, not so much but I’m sure in those days it turned an eye.

SIDENOTE: Nichols had that stereotypical Brooklyn floozy/blonde bimbo of the early 1900s voice.  Today, you might call it a “Harley Quinn” voice.  Nichols often played bar girls, dopey dames, gangster’s molls, and so on…so it makes me wonder if she might have had an influence on Harley’s style.

Anyway, every night, Liz goes to sleep only to wake up thirsty.  She reaches for a glass of water but then she gets up, heads to the lobby, goes down an elevator and walks to the morgue, where a mysterious looking nurse (the ever so exotic Arlene Martel) ominously states, “Room for one more, honey.”

There’s room for one more in the morgue?  That’s not news that anyone wants to hear.  Her doctor, who is never given a name but is played by Jonathan Harris of “Lost in Space” fame (“You clinkin’ calamity of bolts!”)  insists this is all in Liz’s mind and it’s just a bad dream.

I did wonder why the doctor didn’t have someone keep an eye on Liz to see if she actually was getting up to go to the morgue or if she was just dreaming it, but I suppose that would have ruined the story.

OK, that’s it.  I won’t go further because if I do I’ll ruin the twist.  But it’s an interesting question, where do dreams end and reality begin?  Do they intermingle?  Is the universe trying to send messages to us through our dreams?  Should we pay attention to what’s in our dreams at all.

Have you ever changed your life based on a dream, 3.5 readers?

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S3, Ep. 30 – Hocus-Pocus and Frisby

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Lying can get you in a lot of trouble, 3.5 readers.

Gas station owner Somerset Frisby (Andy Devine) is an epic teller of tall tales.  Some people might embellish or exaggerate their accomplishments but Frisby outright lies.  Gadflies hang around the station all day long just to laugh at his whoppers – from how he single handedly won World War I, to his thirty-something advanced degrees (he claims to hold doctorates in all the sciences) and his many inventions.  Mention any device and he’ll tell you he invented it.  Celebrities, politicians, captains of industry, so he says, all consult him regularly, why, Henry Ford even contacted him for assistance in constructing one of the first car engines.

While the townsfolk think he’s a goof, a duo of passersby take Frisby seriously…perhaps a little too seriously.  They kidnap the liar and whisk him away to a spaceship, where they remove their human masks to reveal their alien forms.  They’re intrigued by Frisby’s “accomplishments” and they want to take him to their home planet in the hopes his allegedly brilliant mind will solve all of their problems.  You see, these aliens have never heard of “lying” before so they take everything they hear as the truth, which makes me think this episode might have influenced Ricky Gervais’ “The Invention of Lying.”

As goofy as the show may seem, every episode of “The Twilight Zone” comes with a moral lesson.  Here, it’s don’t lie, or rather, don’t write checks with your mouth that the sum of your experience can’t cash.  Perhaps none of us run around telling everyone that we won wars and hold over thirty degrees, but maybe we embellish once in awhile and doing so could come back to bite us.  Saying you can do something you can’t in a job interview, for example, could leave you looking pretty stupid when you get hired and fail to deliver.

It’s funny, as I watch this show I have spotted many influences on pop culture that I never realized were there before.  There are a number of episodes where I can see an impact on movies, TV, comedy, parodies etc. that came later.

Do you know that old Will Ferrell Saturday Night Live sketch where Will and friends would gather around a bar and tell tales about their amazing friend, Bill Brasky?  Bill Brasky did this, Bill Brasky did that, etc.  Notice how Will and whoever joins him has crooked teeth and flushed faces.  For the longest time, I always thought that was just a random choice to make them look like dummies but now I figure that’s got to be an homage to Andy Devine aka one Mr. Somerset Frisby.

Have you ever gotten into hot water by claiming you can do things you can’t?  Discuss in the comments.

EDIT: I searched the Internet and couldn’t find confirmation that the Bill Brasky sketch was influenced by Frisby but come on, the similarities between Frisby and the Brasky buddies are pretty obvious that it makes me think these sketches were an homage:

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S2, Ep. 16 – “A Penny for Your Thoughts”

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I’m reading your mind right now, 3.5 readers.

You’re thinking, “Why am I reading this dumb blog?” and also, “In an episode where a character can read minds, the dangers of learning man’s inner secrets surely must be the main lesson.”

Answers – a) Because you’re a good judge of excellent blogs and b) wrong.

Lowly banker Hector B. Poole (Dick York of “Bewitched” fame) tosses a coin into a newsboy’s money box.  In doing so, the coin lands on its edge, which somehow gives Poole the ability to read minds.

As series creator Rod Serling (who regularly pops out of the woodwork in this series to narrate and/or explain a plot point or a moral) explains, the results of a coin flip are fifty/fifty.  Meanwhile, the odds that we will act on a given thought in our brains are the same – a fifty percent chance we will, and a fifty percent chance we won’t.

As Poole progresses through his day, he learns more about his coworkers than he ever knew before.  Dopey boss E.M. Bagby (Dan Tobin) is a pervert, cheating on his wife with a chorus girl.  Poole might have preferred to have not known that, as he loses respect for his supervisor.  Perhaps we aren’t meant to know the dark thoughts of the people we see everyday because if we did, we’d never want anything to do with them.

The gift comes in handy when he learns that coworker Helen (June Dayton) has the hots for him.  Knowing her feelings makes it easier to act on his, but why do two people who love each other from afar always tend to be reluctant?  Is it fear of rejection?

The gift becomes a curse when Poole overhears a surprising thought in the mind of elderly employee, L.J. Smithers (Cyril Delevanti.)  After decades of faithful service, Mr. Smithers is now planning to go to the vault, “withdraw” a bag full of cash and take the next boat to Bermuda.

SPOILER ALERT:  He doesn’t.  Poole ends up with big time egg on his face when he convinces Bagby to have a guard search Mr. Smithers’ bag, only to come up empty.

The lesson?  We all think bad thoughts, but bad thoughts don’t necessarily make us bad people until we act on them.  Mr. Smithers’ entertained a bad thought, fantasized about running off to paradise with his employer’s dough, but in the end, he decided against it.  The average person constantly thinks about doing bad things but until those bad things are acted upon, they’re just thoughts.  Actions really do speak louder than words, or at least the words being spoken by our internal monologue.

Would you like to be able to read minds, 3.5 readers?  Would you judge others for thinking bad thoughts even if they didn’t act on them?

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