Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Brought To You By The Letter – WHY?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

I read an interesting blog by Ada Calhoun today on whether “Sesame Street” ruined Generation X in response to a New York Times article by Virginia Heffernan. Apparently, there is a warning on the back of the Sesame Street: Old School DVD that says “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

I purchase the DVD for my mother last Christmas. The show holds a special place in her heart, especially since it debuted the same week my oldest sister was born in 1969. We’ve watched the first two episodes so far, and one particular segment stuck out: kids running through a construction site, learning words such as up, down, over, under and through. I wish I could find the clip on You Tube, because it involved kids running around broken bits of glass, rusty metal pieces and on top of sawhorses, if I recall correctly. As I watched it, I thought to myself that if the same scene played today, it would involve lawsuits, tetanus and Child Protective Services.

How about some characters that are no longer on the show?

  1. Lefty The Salesman – A creepy salesman in trenchcoat trying to sell inncocent Ernie various goods from an invisible ice-cream cone to a bottle of air? Oh no! And don’t forget the gangster mentions of Louie the Lip and The Golden An.
  2. Roosevelt Franklin – The jive talkin’ kid was removed from the series “following letters complaining of a negative African-American stereotype, and because his rowdy elementary school did not set a good example for children,” according to Muppet Wiki.
  3. Don Music – The agonized musician “was abandoned because of complaints about his alarming tendencies toward self-inflicted punishment. Apparently, kids were imitating his head-banging at home,” according to Sesame Street Unpaved.

In my opinion, even Cookie Monster jumped the shark when he sang “Healthy Food.”

I think Calhoun summed it up nicely:

“Kids today are often presented by kids’ programming with a misleading ‘everyone wins!’ version of reality. They could stand a little more misanthropic Oscar, a little less ‘Prozacky Elmo.'”

I couldn’t agree more. My generation doesn’t know how good we had it.

Revisiting Old Fears

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Today, someone sent me a YouTube link to BoHeman Rhapsody. Of course, being a He-Man and She-Ra fan in my youth, I got quite a kick out of it. Then, I decided to look at what other 80s cartoon fodder resided in the sidebar. I then came across a TV cartoon opening that used to scare the crap out of me back in the day. It made me think – what else frightened me as a child? Apparently, enough to make a list – and most can be now found on YouTube. Thanks, Internet.

And here they are:

  1. When Cringer turned into Battlecat in “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” – Approximately 45 seconds into this clip, Battlecat transforms, roars, and makes me want to hide under a blanket.
  2. Kimball from “Romper Room” – Another dose of disturbance at approximately 45 seconds. A pre-courser to Barney, perhaps? And speaking of another big, fat character…
  3. Grimace – Although, the McDonald’s character is not a scary as he was back in the 1970s
  4. When Chrissy & The Alphabeats sang “You’re Alive” on “Sesame Street” – This band was probably the creepiest feature on “Sesame Street.” Twenty years later, I still have to breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out to calm myself down.
  5. Slim Goodbody – A man who wears his insides on his outsides. ‘Nuff said.
  6. Anne Ramsey – I though Sloth a little scary, but Mama Fratelli just takes the cake.
  7. Lady Elaine Fairchilde – I’m beginning to sense that I have an inane fear of certain puppets. I couldn’t even find a YouTube clip of Lady Elaine – I guess her and her big red nose disturbs others, as well.
  8. The music video for Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” – Ronald Reagan in Spandex. A talking stomach. Feet marching through a jungle of severed heads. Genesis.
  9. The Willy Wonka psychadelic boat trip – There’s no way of knowing, where direction the boat is going. And that’s enough for me.
  10. I’m sure there’s a #10, but I’ve seemed to surpress the memory. Hopefully it stays that way.

Come On (Thumbs) Down

Monday, May 28th, 2007

My Dell Inspiron 9300 laptop has been overheating the past week – to the point it burns my skin – so I did an online chat with Dell tech support. Boy, was I in for a suprise – and no, it wasn’t the fact that the motherboard and fan need replacing – but the tech actually had an Indian name! Yes, no more Kevin from Kolkatta or Donna from Delhi. Dell is no longer denying the fact that it outsources. I was quite amused. So, now a technician has to come replace those parts and put on new rubber laptop feet. I’m just glad I don’t have to ship the laptop to Texas again. Although repair turnaround is quick, I hate not having the laptop in my presence. I must say, though – Dell has excellent warranties.

And speaking of fixing and putting together, I had to assemble the new patio set today – our first new set in 26 years! However, the placement of the bolts in the chairs were such that they were extremely hard to tighten – and I had to use both an allen wrench and this cheap stubby wrench at a very bad angle in order to do so. Since my left hand is not as strong as my right, it was difficult to manuever both wrenches at the same time, and I flared up the tendinitis in my right thumb. My cousin was having difficulty, too, and by the time it came to put together the table, I enlisted the help of my sister’s boyfriend. If it were Ikea furniture, I doubt it would have been as difficult. Ugh.


For the past two nights, I have been laughing so hard that I’ve almost bust a gut. Over what? “The Price Is Right” bloopers. Some of the good ones:

Jingle All the Way

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Bad allergies have knocked me down and out, so I’ve been home the past two days. Although I’ve been filing news and writing articles remotely, the Benadryl is making me super-drowsy and dizzy. I also have a headache, but I wonder it’s from the (appropriate) Astalin advertisement that plays on TV during every commercial break.

As annoying as that commercial’s jingle is, it’s not as irritating as some others out there – particularly Behr’s Furniture. There’s no video, but you can listen to its jingle over and over again on its homepage. In fact, Long Island seems to breed a lot of bad jingles – so many, that my mom wondered if a special jingle school exists. Any Long Islander could probably sing the following:

  1. Rockaway Bedding – “Rock, Rock, Rock, Rockaway Bedding, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rockaway Bedding, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rockaway Bedding, Rockaway Bedding, yeah!”
  2. Nicolock – “Let Nicolock Pavers (let Nicolock Paaa-vers), pave your way… pave your way!”
  3. Sleepy’s (in a bad R&B beat) – “Trust Sleepy’s for the rest of your life, we’re the mattress professionals d-doing it ri-ight… trust Sleepy’s for the rest of your life!”
  4. Suburban Exterminating – “Call 8-6-4-6-9-oh-oh for Suburban Exterminating, Suburban Exterminating!”
  5. Eddie’s Trailer Sales – “T-R-A-I-L-E-R-S, trailers (Eddie’s), T-R-A-I-L-E-R-S, trailers (Eddie’s). For camping in the USA, call Eddie’s Trailer Sales today, it’s Eddie’s Trailer Sales!”
  6. 1-800-MATTRESS – “1-800-M-A-T-T-R-E-S (oh yeah, Dial-A-Mattress), 1-800-M-A-T-T-R-E-S… and leave off the last S for savings!”

There are quite a few more, but I’m conveniently forgetting them (and hoping it will stay that way).

The Heart Will Go On – But Not the 90s

Wednesday, February 9th, 2005

When a loved one dies, it’s natural to grieve and to with the person would come alive again to begin where you left off before the death. Even though, deep in our hearts, we know it’s best to let them settle in and get comfortable with their new afterlife.

However, there has been an influx of people digging up a certain fresh grave. The poor soul has only been dead for five years, but they keep shoveling up the dirt and disturbing his rest. It’s a horrifying story – really, it is. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. Oh, you say you haven’t? Just turn on your television. You’re bound to see him. His name is The Nineties. (more…)