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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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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Elementary My Dear Watson: Lucy Liu, Gender Roles, and Power Suits.

I really don’t know shit about fashion. I won’t pretend that I do. I basically live in lounge wear, and though I wish I could step out of my (literal) comfort zone, I feel intimated and overwhelmed whenever I consider trying (but nonetheless, I am trying. I bought a necklace at the thrift store the other day, which, if you knew me at all, you’d know what a big deal that was!), but that doesn’t stop me from scanning through Instagram appreciating other people’s fashion sense. The same goes for Television.

We know I watch a lot of TV, and expert or not, there’s plenty to both love and loathe when it comes to television wardrobes. I (mostly) enjoyed watching Sex and the City, but oh goodness, I feel like I was the only one to hate Carrie Bradshaw’s outfits!! Who walks around in a tutu?! On my past blog, I wrote an ode to the fashion of Frasier character Daphne Moon, and recently on this blog, I wrote about Roz Doyle. All of these characters, presented a more or less typical femininity when it comes to what we expect from television. Different styles, yes, but these characters all portray strong females.

Wardrobes are a very mindful choice. They’re put together to give a certain vibe for a character, or to reflect different emotions. Sometimes wardrobe is used to reflect or foreshadow (for example, how Meredith Grey wears Derek’s ferry boat scrub cap following his death). The idea that we shouldn’t judge others on their appearance goes totally out the window when it comes to TV because we not only can’t help it, but we have to. Television has to portray to us an entire world, and unlike a book, there aren’t unlimited pages for character development and background stories. How a character dresses can help to tell us more about them.

I’ve always adored Lucy Liu’s wardrobe as Joan Watson on Elementary. From the very beginning it has been perfection. She pretty much lives in clothing that goes beyond my comfort zone, but which is still absolutely my style if I didn’t have said comfort zone. Even when an ensemble might have been a bit out there, it worked. Watson is strong and confident enough that she could likely make anything work. As the show has progressed, we have seen an evolution in her clothing choices. As Joan has gone from sober companion, to Sherlock’s partner and fellow consulting detective, she has largely dropped the more flowy, distinctly feminine outfits in favor of suits that many might consider more masculine. Yet, that’s just the thing: I’d argue that in the suits Watson has been opting for in past seasons, as well as this current one, she’s even more feminine, because through wardrobe choices, she is challenging the idea of what is femininity. 

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Sunday Seven – June 17, 2018

It’s been a minute since I’ve done the first Sunday Seven of the series, and I felt like perhaps it was time to share another. I feel like I’ve got a lot to talk about which is the point of this series – generally, it’s all the stuff I don’t feel merits its own individual post, but which I want to talk about nonetheless. 🙂

Alternative Buffalo – I’ll start this off with radio. Ever since I cancelled the Sirius subscription for my car, I’ve been listening to the radio a lot more. My favorite station, is and always will be the Canadian Edge (102.5 out of Toronto). Since I live in WNY, I’m lucky in that I can catch their signal (usually – I WISH I could listen in my house too). They play a perfect blend of new and older tunes and their on-air personalities are just great. However, since the station doesn’t always come in so clear, I’ve also been listening to Alternative Buffalo which is a decent second choice. My biggest complaint is that they don’t play enough older alternative (I’m mainly talking 90s and early 2000s). But either way, I’ve actually really been enjoying listening to the radio again – honestly, it’s the first time in a long while that I’ve done so and it’s a good way for me to actually discover some new music!

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Top Ten TV Characters I Loathe

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Last week we said goodbye to my favorite NCIS character: Abby Sciuto. I was really bummed when I first heard that she was going to be leaving the show after playing such an integral role in it for 15 years. I’ve honestly struggled to understand how the show could feasibly continue without her, especially after the team has seen so much loss in one way or another, in recent years (Ziva and DiNozzo being the most poignant departures). But alas, the show must go on…

I often think about the television characters that I love. The ones that make me laugh, or cry, or whom I just feel some sort of connection to. It’s easy to think about all the characters who are such an important part of the team, and it can be difficult to picture a show without certain characters. This might be an unpopular opinion, but while I wasn’t a huge fan of Derek Shepard (sorry!), it was still really hard for me to envision the show without him. Some shows continue along after the loss of significant characters, and others don’t. I know that many still aren’t over losing Derek. I get it, even if I don’t feel the same sentiment towards his highness. 😉

But today, I’m not looking to talk about my favorite characters or the ones who have had a strong impact on myself, or the program in which they exist. Today, I want to talk about the characters I loathe. The ones that make me cringe – who, no matter how many times I’ve seen a particular episode, still irritate the piss outta me. Read More »