Double Vision: Sitcoms & the Great Recasting

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – you’re watching a TV show and you notice that one actor who was on the show in its first few seasons, is back as somebody else. Well, I recently noticed this with Golden Girls when in one of the episodes Rose was dating a guy named Arnie Peterson who looked really familiar. Turns out the character was played by Harold Gould who would go on to portray another of Rose’s love interests with Miles Webber. A whole dissertation could be devoted to the way Golden Girls reuses actors or has several actors playing the same characters, but it’s not just Golden Girls that I’ve picked up on this, it’s sort of a whole thing…

 

Harold Gould as Arnie Peterson (left) and Miles Webber in The Golden Girls.

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Why I Hated The Last Season of The Office

So I’m probably one of the last people out there to watch The Office (what can I say I’ve been living under a rock), but it was one of my goals for the new year to finish watching every single episode of the show which spanned the course of nine seasons. I started watching the show around the time I was finishing my undergrad and I quickly understood why it’s such a favorite. But I have to admit that in contrast to prior seasons, the last season just wasn’t as good in my opinion. Hear me out – it wasn’t all bad, but there were definitely things I thought could’ve been better about this cult favorite show’s final season.

The Bad, The Good and The Ugly

First off, I really hated the way that Andy just up and left everyone (especially Erin) to be on a boat/in the Bahamas for three months! I know comedic writing makes sure to incorporate the foibles of characters, but it just seems rude that Andy would make such a profound misstep after telling Erin that he loved her, by acting like such a jerk during season nine. One of my other gripes about the last season were the conflicts between Jim and Pam. I really felt uncomfortable with the way Jim was splitting his time between Philly working for his company Athlead, and working in Scranton part-time at Dunder Mifflin. All while Pam was left to hold down the fort as a single mother. I was conflicted – I wanted Jim to follow his dreams, but also I could see the strain being put on Pam and felt sympathetic for her. Especially as there were several moments during the season that I felt Jim was being really dickish to Pam unnecessarily (say for failing to get a video of Cece’s ballet recital)! I just felt like after watching Andy and Jim for so long, they suddenly were acting completely out of character. Here were two guys who at one point, would have done anything for the women they loved. Everyone is entitled to their missteps in life but it just felt like too much. Long gone were the twelve days of Christmas and teapots with secret love notes.

It was hard (that’s what she said) to watch the ninth season with the roller coaster ride that Angela and Dwight’s story lines had become in the final season. Angela finds out that Robert is cheating on her with Oscar, but she continues a short lived facade of a happy marriage to The Senator. Dwight then asks Angela for assistance caring for his elderly aunt as the two reconnect, but any hopes of the two reuniting are squashed by Angela’s mention of her husband Robert. Dwight soon ends up romantically pursuing his neighbor Esther while Angela’s marriage to Robert continues to unravel when during a televised press conference he comes out as gay. The results end up providing one of the sweetest moments from Oscar as he offers a place to stay after Angela is evicted.  It’s difficult because you just know that Angela and Dwight belong together!! The will they, won’t they of their relationship extends dangerously close to the end of the final season. I’m just happy there was a happy ending, or this entire post would be one long bitch about how they belong together!

Another area of frustration for me was the warehouse mural. Pam’s artistic skill is so underappreciated throughout the show and few really seem to acknowledge it (I’m still a little choked up from Michael’s reaction to Pam’s paintings in the Season Three episode “Business School”) so when someone defaced the mural (with butts, really?!?) that she was working on in the warehouse it really bugged me, but then we find out who did it. Is it just me or does Brad William Henke (who portrays new warehouse worker Frank) play the whole douchey antagonistic type of character really well as evident by his character in Orange Is The New Black? Things were definitely made better when we were provided another sweet instance of Pam and Dwight teaming up as they painted on his truck together. It can’t be said enough – Dwight and Pam’s friendship throughout the show is seriously underappreciated!!

This might be controversial, but for me, one of the highlights of season nine was the exit of Ryan Howard’s character. I did miss the sass that Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor brought to Dunder Mifflin, but I’m not going to lie – I absolutely couldn’t stand Ryan so I may have clapped when it was mentioned by Toby that he had left (sorry, not sorry)!!

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In a 90s Kinda World, I’m Glad I’ve Got My (DVDs): Physical Media in a Digital Age

I’m a creature of habit. In most scenarios, I don’t like change. Change taunts my anxiety and makes me feel threatened, uncomfortable, and like I have lost whatever control or trust that I might have had. I love a good routine and dependability. Knowing that I can trust a certain aspect of my environment to be consistent is incredibly valuable to me. When I turn on the television at night, I take comfort in seeing The Golden Girls, or Frasier on my screen. Not only are they funny and entertaining, but they’ve become reliable aspects of my routine. I enjoy watching my sitcom reruns, but more than that, they keep me company late at night when I often struggle to find comfort, or sleep.

I’ve always had a pretty dysfunctional relationship with sleep – I remember as a kid closing my eyes and thinking, OK, if I fall asleep right now, I can get five hours of sleep before I have to get up for school. I got in trouble for reading in bed by the light coming through my window, or seeping in my room from another You’ll ruin your eyes!, my mom would scream. Check mate mom – I’ve worn glasses for years (though, I DON’T wear them for reading). I used to love going to sleepovers at my maternal grandmother’s house because she was a night owl. We’d watch I Love Lucy together, or The Golden Girls. We’d head to the grocery store at midnight, cruising around and stopping for DIY sandwiches in the car made from the deli and fresh bread we had bought. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not as much an insomniac as much as someone who just isn’t meant to ascribe to normal sleeping patterns. I’ve come to realize it’s sort of a family thing – my aunt, mother, and sister are all night owls. The difference being for them, is that they can all fall asleep quickly. Me on the other hand, not so much.

Which brings me back to my beloved sitcoms. I welcome their company every night because they’re so familiar. Often times, I find myself lying awake not simply due to insomnia, but because of painsomnia. My joints, nerve pain, or some other discomfort like to keep me awake at night. So having Rose Nylund, Roz Doyle, or even Lucy and Ethel to hang out with me is a nice comfort. But come October, I find myself at a loss because Hallmark likes to go crazy for Christmas and removes their overnight sitcom reruns in favor of their Christmas movies. So I surf around looking for other sitcoms to take comfort in. Luckily there isn’t much of a shortage, and I am grateful that multiple channels air them. During Christmaspalooza, I’m often watching The King of Queens, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, The New Adventures of Old Christine and others.

Christmas has come and gone, and generally, the start of January means that Hallmark goes back to their regularly scheduled programming. This year? Not quite. They’ve changed the schedule, eliminating shows, extending some and reducing others. This creature of comfort was not happy. But I’m not writing this just to bitch about how a television network messed up my routine (although, they did and I’m not gonna lie – I’m bitter about it), I’m writing this because it got me to thinking about a larger issue that has been on my mind a lot recently: digital vs. physical media.

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The 12 Episodes of Christmas: 12 Must-See Sitcoms for the Holidays

Can you believe there are only eight days until Christmas? That means that there are only eight days to figure out last-minute gifts, wrap them, and perhaps most sad to me – only a few days left of my new favorite Moser Roth chocolate truffle advent calendar. One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is giving myself the gift of some self-care and R&R (rest and relaxation) and that’s definitely true this year after wrapping up my first semester of grad school. I can’t think of a better way to relax than kicking back with my sitcoms (unless you add some advent truffles into the mix). Before you set out cookies and milk for the Big Man, here are the 12 Episodes of Christmas to get you in the holly jolly mood!

Frasier – “Perspectives On Christmas” (S5, Ep. 9)

This episode shows how things go awry for many of the characters through the course of one week leading up to the holidays, but arguably one of the best parts is the late John Mahoney attempting to sing “O Holy Night”.


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The Four Best TV Shows of 2018*

*in my opinion anyway…

As I compulsively consume content, I’ve been having many feelings. Lots of nerdy happiness, and plenty of moments in which I thought of writing dedicated posts, but didn’t (because sometimes I struggle between wanting to over-analyze a show, and wanting to just enjoy it).

So I figured I could put together a post in which I could just generally ramble about the different shows I’ve been watching this season. More specifically, I want to talk about my favorites and the shows I think are the true winners of this season thus far.

 

Doctor Who

Holy shit have I fallen down the rabbit hole. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to all the hoards of fans that I perhaps judged because for some reason I can be stupidly stubborn about popular shows and refusing to jump on bandwagons. Well, I started watching some older Doctor Who (David Tennant is an angel) this summer and fell quickly in love. I’ve been watching the new Doctor Who (I LOVE Jodie Whittaker) since it began, and holy Tardis it is in-fucking-credible!!!

To those who have been Doctor Who fans for years, I’m sure they understand how hard I’ve fallen for this show. It’s just incredible. I’m loving the adventures they go on, the humor, and the feeling of family between the Doctor and her companions (love the casting here!). It’s just excellent. The Rosa Parks episode was absolutely my favorite, and somehow I survived Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and a million giant fucking spiders.

Fairly certain you can catch up on previous episodes online / through the BBC America app – which you should.

Doctor Who airs on BBC America, Sundays @ 8pm.

 

 

The Neighborhood

I remember when Monday nights were a comedy heavy night for me… 2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, TBBT… now there’s only one show that I watch on Mondays and it feels a little strange. The Neighborhood is a great new sitcom that delivers the comedy in that good comforting sitcom way. It’s great to see Beth Behrs on TV again, but I’ll be honest and say that the real gems on this show are Marcel Spears, Tichina Arnold, and of course Cedric the Entertainer! Marcel is easily my favorite – he’s always delivering the laughs and his body language always gets me!

If you’re looking for a feel good comedy to escape into, this is it. The Neighborhood airs on Monday’s at 8pm on CBS.

 

Young Sheldon

I’ve talked about this show briefly before – but I’ll say it again: I LOVE this show!! It’s such a good sitcom. It’s cute and so funny and just all around excellent. Even if you’ve never seen TBBT, I feel like this show could easily stand on its own. Meemaw is absolutely my favorite character and Annie Potts kills it every single episode. I feel like every time I watch, she tops the last episode. I could go on and on about Young Sheldon, but I’ll keep it brief and just say that it’s simply a wonderfully comforting and funny sitcom. If you’ve yet to see it – fix that immediately.

Young Sheldon airs on Thursdays @ 8:30pm on CBS.

 

The Cool Kids

I don’t think I’ve mentioned The Cool Kids yet, but I feel like its an underrated gem. It centers around four older people living in a retirement community and the adventures they get into. Trust me – they do! The casting is excellent – Martin Mull, David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan, and Vicki Lawrence (as well as excellent supporting cast and guests)! It sort of gives me Golden Girls vibes which is the highest of compliments, trust me. The snark level is high and I’m here for it. I also enjoy how the show focuses on an older age group which frequently is ignored (like The Golden Girls did). Of course the sociologist in me can’t help but analyze everything I watch. 😉

The Cool Kids airs @ 8:30pm on Fridays on FOX.

NCIS:LA Season 10 Premiere – To Live and Die in Mexico – Review & Recap

So we’ve made it. Tonight, we finally got to see what happened to the team on NCIS:LA after last season’s two part cliff hanger finale. If you missed the finale, you can read a recap here. Tonight’s episode, To Live and Die in Mexico (S10,E1) opens up the spin offs tenth season with the team knocked out in their bombed out truck, where Deeks is having a dream/hallucination of him and Kensi in bed, with Kensi being pregnant (!!). Sam, Callen and Kensi come to, but Deeks is still knocked out, with his condition unknown.

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MOM Season 6 Premiere – Recap & Review

Tonight the sixth season of CBS’s MOM premiered. We’ve both been watching this show since the very beginning and it’s easily one of our top favorite sitcoms. Despite our love, we’ve never really talked about it all that much, so we felt it was time to change that!

Tonight’s premiere episode – Pre-Washed Lettuce and a Mime (S6, E1), starts off with Bonnie making Christie breakfast for her first day of law school (which made me hungry for pancakes). The show opening was also re-done with more of a focus on the adults rather than Christie’s kids which I absolutely love tbh.

At group, we learn that Bonnie’s wedding planning hasn’t been smooth sailing, that is, until she learns that she can literally turn it into a big day wrapped around her. Meanwhile, Christie’s first day of law school turns out to be harder than she thought (And that was before she has to take over for another sick waitress at work and forgets her backback full of books in the locked restaurant.) Bonnie dreams that Adam is cheating on a woman named Louise from Trader Joe’s who he thinks is cute. Christie’s troubles with law school get worse when she decides to quit law school, but advice from Marjorie and a woman’s speech at what is her first meeting spurns a flashback of her own first meeting that brought a change of heart. And of course we got Marjorie’s sage wisdom which the show would feel incomplete without (forget “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, I’m all for some Marjorie wisdom)!

Overall tonight’s episode reminded me why I love this show and I’m so glad that it’s back! The writing in combination with the cast is just the perfect combo, which was certainly evident in tonight’s episode. I was ammused by Bonnie’s fear of mimes, and her love for HGTV’s Property Brothers (And now I know what to call those windows above doors)! I’m absolutely looking forward to Bonnie and Adam’s wedding (I just hope that Adam’s handsome dog makes an appearance)! All in all, I liked the direction that tonight’s episode took the story in and it’s so good to have this comedy gem back for the season.

If you watched tonight’s premiere, please let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments!