Tag Archives: television

Daily Discussion with BQB – Child Actors Need Help

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  As you know, I am involved in a number of noble causes, ranging from the Oscars So Pretty Movement (we will not rest until Steve Buscemi brings home the gold) to finding a cure for Lightning Infused Toaster Pastry Toilet Death (we will find a cure).

I’m also going to throw my hat into a new ring.  Let’s do what little we can to help child actors.

I mean, there’s very little I can do as I am not a Hollywood mogul or anything.  But perhaps I can at least raise awareness amongst my 3.5 readers.

TMZ reports that at the time of her passing, Erin Moran, who played Joanie on Happy Days, was living in an Indiana trailer park.

That sucks.  And I’m not going to speculate about how she got there.  I have no idea about the journey that took her from child star to living in a trailer park.

What I have seen, in general, as a lifelong watcher of TV and observer of pop culture, is that all too often, child stars grow up thinking they’ve got it made, that America loves them as kids and pretty soon, they’ll be adults and they’ll crossover into being the lead in big time films, making lots of money and earning praise and adoration from legions of fans.

Sometimes, in the case of say, Leonardo DiCaprio, it works out that way.

More often, in the case of say, Macauley Culkin, it doesn’t work out that way.

This could be for a variety of reasons but I believe the number one reason is this:  that a kid was adorable as a kid doesn’t mean they are going to grow up to become a good looking adult.

Most kids are cute.  And some, just like those scrunchy faced pug dogs, are so ugly they’re cute…when they’re little.  Macauley Culkin nailed his role in Home Alone as a little boy who is wise beyond his years and manages to outfox two bumbling burglars.

But, adult Macauley Culkin as a leading man in a Hollywood film?  Maybe if the right film were to come along but otherwise…not so much.

Child stars becoming adult stars happens, but not often enough, and sadly, it all depends on looks.  Scarlett Johansson started out as a child star, appearing as a kid in films like Just Cause and The Horse Whisperer.  When she grew up, she turned into a hot babe and thus her career as an actress skyrocketed.

Meanwhile, who can even tell me the name of that little kid with the glasses in Jerry Maguire?

Sadly, Hollywood is a looks based industry.  That you were once a cute little kid doesn’t mean you’ll end up as a hot adult.  And sure, there might be some niche parts you might find but overall, many child actors have a tough time when they reach adulthood.

Some play it smart.  Some find a way to work in some kind of behind the scenes role in the entertainment industry.  The kid who played Chunk in the Goonies, for example, grew up to be a respectable entertainment lawyer.  Jason Hervey, who played Kevin’s older brother on The Wonder Years, became a producer.

Sure, child actors ought to try to see if their youthful stardom can translate into adult success.  But after awhile, if they’ve put their bait out in the Hollywood sea and no one’s biting, they need to be content that they had a good run and then search for a more practical way to make a living.

I know that’s easier said than done.  I can only imagine what a tremendous disappointment it must be to be on top of the world as a kid only to have no one return your calls as an adult.  You thought you had it made in the shade and now everyone is throwing you shade.  I’m sure that’s a depressing situation that can lead to epic sadness, humiliation, drugs, drinking, and so on.

I assume part of the issue is money.  Some of these kids have parents who manage their money well.  Others, not so much.  Perhaps there should be greater oversight as to what happens to the money of child actors.  Then again, it’s not like the government can worry about that what with all the other problems it has.

Perhaps some studio representative should sit the kids down when they are in their teens and say, “Hey, just because this works out today, doesn’t mean it’s going to keep working tomorrow.”  Get them working on an exit plan and on the path to supporting themselves in the event studios don’t want to give them the time of day after their 18th birthday.

There is one thing we can do as a society and that is, don’t bust on child stars who don’t continue with adult stardom.  Child stars who grow up, can’t find acting work, can’t find a behind the scenes job in entertainment, have every right to support themselves, so they should be encouraged to find any kind of ordinary, humdrum job that will support them without feeling embarrassment or shame.

In other words, if one day you enter your local burger joint and find your favorite child star all grown up and flipping burgers, just accept the burger and walk away.  No need to point or gawk or stare or write a snarky post about how that child star became a loser.  Maybe they aren’t a loser.  Maybe they are brave for getting up and carrying on everyday, supporting themselves in a regular way and learning to cope with disappointment and feelings of “what could have been.”

I have a feeling that public ridicule, i.e., “That child star just flipped my burger ha ha ha” is a big reason why child stars who can’t catch a break in Hollywood when they grow up don’t purse traditional jobs to support themselves.  We normals can’t do anything to help adult ex-child stars get Hollywood jobs, but we can control ourselves and not be dicks when those ex-child stars seek traditional employment.

Anyway, that’s my 3.5 cents, 3.5 readers.

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RIP Erin Moran

Sad news in the entertainment world, 3.5 readers, as Erin Moran, who played Joanie on Happy Days and the spinoff, Joanie Loves Chachie, has passed away at 56.

Too early, 3.5 readers.  Too early.  As I said with Charlie Murphy, everyone should get at least 100 years guaranteed.

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TV Review – Mystery Science Theater: The Return (2017)

Lousy old time science fiction movies!  Snarky robots!

BQB here with a review of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return.

Big time nostalgia factor for me here, 3.5 readers.  When the original MST3K film came out in the 1990s, my buddies and I watched it over and over again.  Oh, how we laughed and laughed.  We used to run around quoting lines like, “Science!  Men with screwdrivers!  Twisting things…and turning them!”

Ahh, you had to be sentient in the 1990s to get it.

Hmm…now I think I realize why I ended up as a lowly blog proprietor with only 3.5 readers.

Anyway, if you’ve never checked it out before, now’s your chance.  It’s back, this time with a series on Netflix.  Oh, Netflix.  Is there anything you won’t green light?

The premise is basically the same as the original.  A human is trapped in a space lair of some sort, forced by an evil villain to watch terrible old science-fiction movies for hours on end, supposedly as part of some study of how the brain operates while watching crappy movies.

The majority of the show is devoted to the human, Jonah Ray (Jonah Heston) and robot sidekicks Crow and Tom Servo, watching these horrendous films and busting on them with reckless abandon.  When you watch, you’ll see the film in your screen, with just three little shadows of the hecklers in the lower right hand side.

The movies are awful, old, poorly thrown together, devoid of any kind of decent plot, and usually suffer from a combination of laziness and a lack of special effects technology, because, you know, they were made a long time ago.  Also, they’re often foreign.  At any rate, there’s a strong chance that but for MST3K, you would have never have even heard of any of these films, that’s how bad they are.

The movie is broken up with Jonah and his bot buddies in various segments, doing interesting, wacky things.  Noted Internet nerds Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt star as Kinga Forrester and TV’s Son of TV’s Frank (crazy name), the villains who are keeping Jonah and the bots captive.

The segments are produced with low quality, low budget effects, assumably to mock the films that are being watched, but more likely because the studio didn’t want to shell out the cash.

I can’t quite put my finger on it.  It may be that when I was younger, I had a less discerning sense of humor.  Or maybe the original movie was great and then other versions, i.e. the 1999 show, the web show, or this Netflix show, are just attempts to recreate the glory of one very awesome film.

Maybe the 1990s were just a happier time where people weren’t as jaded and thus they laughed easier.

Maybe the big joke behind the concept was original then, but now it’s sort of played out.

I’ve only watched part of the first episode, Reptilicus, thus far.  In this one, the boys heckle what is essentially the 1960’s Dutch version of Godzilla.  It’s about as 1960s as you can get, complete with male scientists being surprised that women might know anything about science.

Much to my surprise, Erin Gray, aka Kate Summers aka Ricky Schroeder’s step-mom on the 1980s sitcom Silver Spoons, has a cameo.  I know.  I am ashamed of myself for knowing who she was.  Still, for a broad in her late sixties, she looks pretty good.  I would watch shitty movies with her anytime.

Overall, it’s a fun distraction and something to put on when you want to be entertained but don’t want to expend a lot of brain power.  It’s also a fun exercise to see what movies used to be and how far along they have come.

Moreover, it’s a tribute to the olden days, a time when networks would actually try to keep you entertained between commercials.  Local TV stations would often run a movie, then have some kind of weird character introduce it and talk about it between the commercials.  I mean, so I’ve heard.  I’m not that frigging old.

At some point we learned that the movies should not suck of their own accord and that a host shouldn’t have to keep the movie interesting.

STATUS:  It’s fun.  One issue is that the movies are, you know, long movies, so the episodes often run like an hour and a half.  That’s a big time commitment but hey, in true Internet style, if you put it up there, someone will check it out.  3.5 someones in my case.

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SNL Goes Coast to Coast at the Same Time

Hey 3.5 readers.

You know, I always had a question.  What time does Saturday Night Live come on in the West Coast?

I never really knew.  But now I assume it must have been taped live and shown live on the East Coast and then, what, they held it and showed it at 11:30 in the West Coast?

Is that what happened?  I don’t even know.  If you’re one of my 3.5 West Coast readers, fill me in on this.

I suppose the problem with that is then technically it’s not Saturday Night “Live” and also with social media being so prevalent, half the country is in on a joke for hours before the other half.  If you’re on the West Coast, your East Coast buddies are talking about stuff you haven’t seen yet.

It’s like time travel!  Freaky!

Anyway, Jimmy Fallon celebrated this momentous occasion with a song and dance number:

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Charlie Murphy Kicks Habitual Line Stepper Rick James

Hey 3.5 readers.  Still feeling bummed about Charlie Murphy.  There ought to be a law that everyone gets at least 100 years, no matter what.

Anyway, I’ve been watching Charlie’s True Hollywood Stories from Chapelle’s Show, where he recounts how he met lost a basketball game to and was later served pancakes by Prince and how he kicked Rick James because Rick had punched him the face and left a big mark on his forehead earlier in the evening.

Here’s a GIF I made to memorialize the kick.  For some reason, I can’t get it to embed unless I post it as my Twitter comment.

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TV Review – Louis CK 2017

Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie…

BQB here with a review of Louis CK’s Netflix comedy special, Louis CK 2017.

Louis CK’s still got it.  For some reason, he’s out of his standard black T-shirt and in a business suit.  I’m not sure why.  I noticed he was wearing a suit when he hosted SNL too.  Is he retiring the black shirt?  Is he becoming more square as he approaches fifty?  Who knows.  If he wants to wear a suit, let the dude wear a suit.

I don’t want to give too much away.  You want to hear Louis tell his jokes, not me.  Highlights include his take on abortion, the Christian calendar, and how he’d be gay if it didn’t require him to take a you know what up his you know where.

As usual, Louis has a unique ability to take the most cringeworthy subjects and make them uproariously funny.  Check him on out on Netflix.

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Review of Homeland Season 6 (Spoilers!)

Ominous jazz music…ominous jazz music…

BQB here with a review of Homeland Season 6.

FYI this is a review for people who have seen it.  If you haven’t seen it, don’t read below.

So honestly, for most of this season, I wanted to hate it.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.  In theory, the whole idea of various elements of the government conspiring to carry out a coup on the president is not only possible but maybe even more possible than usual, given that the left and right sides of the political aisle are more at each others’ throats than ever before in our country’s history.

However, this particular plot just seemed far fetched.  Also, I thought it had been made clear that Quinn died at the end of Season 5.  The choice seemed like a bold move.  Getting rid of a favorite character to prove a point of the show, namely, that intelligence officers like Carrie are often called upon to do shitty things in the name of keeping America safe, i.e. waking up Quinn out of his coma too early and putting his body at risk.

But they brought him back and the way that Quinn was portrayed just made me sad.  Even so, he has his John Wayne moment of heroism at the end but still, I thought he had it in Season 5.

They also moved the character of Dar Adal from quasi-evil to super evil.  That seemed like a dumb move to me.  Dar had always been the CIA boogeyman, the one who was willing to do bad things in the name of good, thus another illustration of the show’s main point – that intelligence work often means doing bad in the name of good.

Further, the whole Brett O’Keefe (Alex Jones parody character) subplot where a boiler room had been created with all sorts of computer technicians generating massive amounts of phony online criticism against the president-elect seemed far fetched and silly although technically, yeah, fake things happen on social media all the time.  Hell, I wish I had my own computer tech boiler room to drive traffic to my website.

Anyway, I wanted to hate the show but the season finale episode really tied the whole thing together and has left me interested in watching season 7 so, brave Homeland, bravo.  You draw me in yet again.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Saturday Night Live is Getting Useless

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB with a complaint here.  It seems lately that SNL has averaged like one show a month, if that.  I haven’t sat down and figured out how long it is between shows, but it has been weeks since there has been a new one and that happens all the time.

WTF?  It used to be that whenever a news story broke, you could go, “Oh, I bet SNL will have fun with that” but now by the time they do a new show the story is old news.

I’m not sure what the deal is.  Maybe the actors are all working on movie deals, maybe everyone wants time off or something, I don’t know.  All speculation on my part.

It just seems incredibly lame to me that they can’t do better than this.  There should be a show every Saturday.

I’ve wondered if the Internet has had an impact on this.  Perhaps people don’t stay up for SNL anymore because of it.  However, for me, I watch SNL now more than ever because of the Internet.  I just go right to YouTube and watch whatever sketches I want.  I don’t know if that hurts their bottom line though I feel like there’s got to be some ad revenue even in posting sketches in the web.  I like it because I don’t have to stay up late and can watch whatever I want and skip over whatever seems lame.

Just a complaint I’m putting out into the universe.  A lot is happening in the world and SNL is missing out on it.

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The Walking Dead Recap – Season 7, Episode 16 – Season 7 Finale – “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”

Wowie zowie, 3.5 readers.  All I can say is:

mknight

What a twist!  So many twists in this episode and they were all very unexpected.

I won’t spoil it with the details, but it was the best episode of the entire series.  My only worry is I don’t know if they will ever be able to top it.  I hope it’s not all downhill from here.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale

Are you Geekensteins watching it?  Tweet along with me – @bookshelfbattle

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