Category Archives: Television

Top 5 Comparisons of a 90’s Chubby Youth.

Life as a plump youth is not easy.  All children have the struggles and tribulations that come with growing up, socializing, and transitioning through puberty.  Nicknames and mocking is an everyday occurrence that really can be challenging when you are just trying to find a place to fit in.  As a child designated to shop in the husky jeans section I am full aware of the perilous nature and cruelty of childhood ridicule.  For the far less creative of bullies who couldn’t come up with something beyond a Shakespearean “fatty”, the go to insult was comparison to a pop culture pillar of plus size.  Here are the top 5 references that I received the most as a child of the 90’s.

5.  Goldberg-The Mighty Ducks

goldberg

Why couldn’t I play left wing in gym class floor hockey?  Well the answer was because I was destined to be the immovable object in net.  Everyone knows the fat kid is always the goaltender, especially when everyone learned that through Goldberg.  The best attribute that Goldberg had in my eyes that he was at least a quick talking smart ass that helped pad what little dignity I had being compared to a fat nonathletic goalie.  Smell the faint scent of an epic fart wafting your way, “Goldberg!”, or in my case it was blamed on me.

4.The Entire Cast of Heavywieghts

heavyweights

You are telling me there is a movie about about fat camp? There is no way that a whole generation of chubby youth will be asked how they enjoyed their time on The Blob, or better yet what Tony Perkis was like.  I wasn’t evened offered the dignity of being compared to a staring character in the movie, simply an assumption that I must had attended some iteration of Camp Hope.  After all fat kids globally are required by law to attend a weight loss camp so as to not be as revolting to the eyes of the rest of society.

3. Donkey Lips- Salute Your Shorts

donkey-lips

Personally for me nothing felt more insulting than being compared to Donkey Lips.  It is one thing when you are a bit less fit than your comparable friends, but Donkey Lips was such a notoriously gross and slovenly character I felt it was more a hygienically dig than anything.  I guess since I was fat that also meant I farted and burped continually, not to mention had an consistent appalling aroma.  It was this traumatic experience that caused years of refusing to eat chicken wings in public.

2.Patrick Renna- AKA the goalie from The Big Green AKA Ham from The Sandlot)

patrick-renna

Hands down the most prevalent of insults was, “Hey you’re the kid from Big Green”.  Now this may had been due to my overwhelmingly gingerific freckles, but I like to think it was because of my superior athleticism for a portly player.  Patrick Renna starred in so many pinnacle coming of age tales that it almost served as a reminder for any bully that I still exist through the annals of film.  From the great hambino to simply being that kid from the Sobe commercial, whenever someone said they say me on TV that weekend I always assumed it had to be a Big Green re-run.

1. Chunk- Goonies

chunk

“Do the Truffle Shuffle!”.  No other quote will live in such infamy for having done more damage to my 12 year old psyche than that quote.  Being forced to pull up my shirt and gyrate around my jiggling gut became an almost weekly occurrence come summer time.  After hundreds of jokes and instances to do it, I finally embraced the life that Lawrence “Chunk” Cohen had built for tubby pre-teens when I received a truffle shuffle t-shirt from my parents for Christmas.  At a certain point you just have to give in and embrace the joke so it will finally go away.  (Brief side note, the truffle shuffle did lead to my own creation of something I called Mr. Stomach that had a music and dance routine associated with it.  It swept the nation for a few months but never got the just due it deserved.)

 

Top 5: Kapow the Cape Crusaders Ranked

Movie Roles Recast

BRUCE WAYNE/BATMAN (l) Michael Keaton in Batman; Val Kilmer in Batman Forever; George Clooney in Batman & Robin; Christian Bale in The Dark Knight

Getting cast into one of the most iconic comic book Super hero’s of all time can be a huge windfall.  Dawning the mask of the caped crusader is the aspiration of many a youngster who has ever read comics, or for those a bit younger, been transfixed by the animated series.  Being such a popular character, there have been numerous iterations in the past 40 years.  With that in mind we rank the Top 5 (sorry Ben Afflect, you don’t make the cut).

5. Val Kilmer

val-kilmer

Hands down the blandest of all the Batman’s, the former Iceman brought his patented dead delivery to the city of Gotham.  The addition of his side kick Robin, as well as worthy adversaries in Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carey couldn’t drag along this dud of a hero.  Maybe notoriously difficult to work with Kilmer just couldn’t find his artistic vision, or maybe he is just a giant baby in latex.

4. George Clooney

george-clooney

Replacing Val Kilmer in the franchise came Dr. Doug Ross himself.  The television drama heartthrob gave a solid performance in an otherwise outlandish interpretation of the Batman heroic tale.  The cartoonesque quality and addition of yet another side kick all but towed the line of farce unintentionally, yet a decent staring job by Clooney helped ring in a critically panned visual disaster.

3. Adam West

adam-west

The original Batman, West served Gotham proud on the television sets of millions of Americans all through out the 1960’s.  With his pensive delivery he gave thought and determination to any problem that may arise the fair people of Gotham.  With a “Zowie” and “Kapow” he put down any villain that was dumb enough to take on Bruce Wayne, setting up his future career as the Mayor of a small Rhode Island town.

2. Christian Bale

christian-bale

Taking back up the reigns in the revamped Batman franchise, Bale came in a provided the longest tenure than any other Batman on film.  Ridiculous gruff voice aside, Bale took the Dark Knight to new heights with his updated trinkets and perfect balance between the arrogant cocky playboy of Gotham and the intelligent heroic masked avenger.

1Michael Keaton

michael-keaton

The first to throw on the cape on the silver screen, Keaton surprised many by he nuanced performance in the first two Tim Burton classics.  The dark quality of Burton’s cinematic vision had many people questioning if the Mr.Mom star could pull off such a polar opposite of the spastic comedic acting he had mostly done to that time.  Boy did he ever pull it off.  Going against heavy weight performances by Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson, Keaton held his own with his strong and mysterious portrayal.

It is inevitable that Batman will be reinterpreted time and time again.  There will be good portrayals and bad portrayals, but I think we can all agree that thank god Val Kilmer is too fat to fit in the Lycra.

 

 

Election Coverage, Coverage

One more day, we can all make it.  The onslaught of Facebook posts, feuding families, and Make America Great Again hats, are about to mercilessly end.  While I’ll save my personal political views from preaching, boring, or angering you to death, something that I do wish to discuss is the role of “news” in today’s society.  I’m not a stock holder in the perception that all media is blindly biased for one candidate or the other.  They might lean a particular way or have certain view points but the fact that “all media” is corrupt is just plain irrational in my eyes.  For every MSNBC you have a Fox News, or for every Huffington Post you have a Drudge Report, there are enough coverage on both sides for people to find a balance of their own opinions and the truth.  Something however that I believe gets lost in the shuffle and is egregiously overlooked is the money making aspects of all these news agencies.  News networks have transitioned from being what they were originally designed for disseminating noteworthy information and events into a salacious reality television spin off. In the space that used to occupy actual hard investigated and news worthy content now belies propagating the intent of a misconstrued tweet from a political party staffer.

When the Republican primary season began top news programs and noted “journalists” took to Donald Trump like a moth to flame.  He notoriously spoke about how he only used his own money in early campaigning, and part of the reason why he did was the lack of adds and coverage he had to manufacture himself.  Due to his often unpredictability and at times salacious comments CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and the like covered every single second of his campaign.  I hardly remember Wolf Blitzer breaking into an interview on the war on terror to go listen to Rand Paul speak to a retirement home in La Crosse, WI.  Aside from the inherent laziness of modern reporting when it is more important to get the story first than get it right, what caused this regression in actual factual newsworthy reporting is fairly simple, greed.  A Washington Post article notes that CNN for the first time ever will gross over $1 billion dollars in 2016, goaded on mostly due to their election coverage.  With such a large amount of capital to rake in the conspiracy theorist within me has started to wonder how close this election really is.  The more vicious attacks and built in drama from a close race, means more ratings, more people tuning in, more advertising.  Inevitably they turn November 8th into the largest lottery drawing of the night with all the money they can make on that night alone, (Powerball is only $236 million).

A competition for the leader of the red, white, and blue, has meant boat loads of green for the major news networks and that isn’t worth getting the story right as long as they are first.  I have a not so bold prediction that on election night there will at least be one retraction from CNN when they incorrectly call a state for the wrong candidate.  It’s better to take a 50/50 shot on Minnesota going for Hillary than wait 20 minutes be 100% sure but lose out on the scoop to MSNBC.  When it comes down to it Clinton and Trump could be tens of millions of votes apart, but would it be in the best interest of the news networks to report that and lose out on all the viewers, or bury it make it seem closer and rake in the profits, they are a business after all.

Top 5 Fictional Presidents

With Election Day quickly approaching us it is only fitting that we take a look at some of the great Presidents of Television and Film.  The Leader of the Free World is a reasonably important job and all 5 who graced the on screen Oval Office treated the appointment with dignity and grace……….eh well some of them sort of did.  Let’s jump right into the best of the best when it came to heading up the Executive Branch.

Josiah “Jed” Bartlett (The West Wing)

The West Wing

Courtesy of Huffington Post

Between being both a Civil and Vietnam War vet, as well as spending time as a union head of a small regional airline,  Jed Bartlett ticked off a lot of boxes when it came to the credentials that make an attractive President.  His time in office was rife with drama including an assassination attempt, congressional upheaval, and the discovery of his multiple sclerosis leading to a censure, yet through it all he conducted himself with the poise and grace that you look forward to out of Eagle.  If a tad on the goofy dad side with his jokes and historical references, he truly was what all Presidents should embody.

James Marshall (Airforce One)

james-marshall

Courtesy of Politico

With the patriotism of CIA super agent, bad-assness of an intergalactic smuggler, and intelligence and wit of an archeology professor, President Marshall was a true Head of State.  Not only would he stand up to the Russians in a time of political turmoil but he also wasn’t afraid to escort unwanted guests out of his own personal aircraft.  If he wasn’t so god damn presidential he could find a new career path in being a bouncer at a club, throwing people out would never be an issue again.  I believe certain presidential candidates have adopted his deplaning philosophy as theirs on immigration.

Frank Underwood (House of Cards)

frank-underwood

A true masked chameleon you never know what to expect from Francis Underwood.  At one point you think he is just a feeble cripple just for him to turn out to be a notorious international criminal.  He is so adept at channeling different ideals and sentiments to suit his needs at that time or for future endeavors he plays the game of politics masterfully.  Who else could get away with multiple murders and blackmailing, indirectly of course, the then President out of office.  Full knowledge of the necessity to gain political capital and use that to gain power is what gave Frank his presidentiality, no one was more powerful than him…….well except for maybe his wife.

Andrew Shepard (The American President)

andrew-shepard

With a firm grasp on the economy from his time spent manipulating the big banks on wall street, as well as a great source of duty having spent his early career as a humble police officer; the former most popular history professor at the University of Wisconsin was focused on consensus building for a majority of his first term.  It was when dirty attacks and political horse trading became too much to bare for the principled man, that he began to yield his power as Commander in Chief.  No longer willing to cower to the squabbles of individual Congressmen, President Shepard showed his teeth and how a President should lead from the front.

Selina Meyer (Veep)

selina-meyer

While she may not be the best dancer in the world, having ascended her way from Vice to full fledged President means Meyer was fairly adept at the old D.C. two step.  Despite initial failure when attempting to gain even the nomination President Meyer used the downfalls of others and perfect time to make her way into the Oval.  Despite having her second term election placed before Congress, the grace under ever changing political changes show the poise needed by Duchess.

What Your Favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Says About You.

Within a dorm room or around an office water cooler at this very second there is a debate raging.  A rage that has burned for many moons and will continue to break apart friendships and split up families.  I myself have felt the strain on a relationship when this very topic has emerged in a compromised crowd.  That very polarizing question is: Who is the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?  Wow, what a highly divisive question.  Feel no fear, for I am here to break down what each Turtle says about who you are as a person; a TMNT Horoscope of sorts.

leonardo

Leonardo: You enjoy order and routine in your life.  A natural leader you like to make firm decisions and always have a plan.  While not completely bubbling over with personality you are capable to have a good time, albeit reserved.  You are the true Alpha in any group you walk into and always lead by example.

donatello-good

Donatello: You are an intellectual and natural problem solver.  With a more docile personality you are more adept at being a peace keeper in situations, but if need be you aren’t afraid to kick some ass to get your point across.  While not the goofball of the group you enjoy being quite comical and like to make people think.

michelangelo

Michelangelo: You are a goofy free spirit.  Always viewing life in a positive light, you epitomize the phrase young at heart.  Always ready at the willing with a joke or impression to lighten the mood, other people may take that as an immaturity, but they are a Raphael so who cares about them anyways.

raphael

Raphael: You are a psychopath.  Moody and bitter you take your horrible attitude out on those around you and often get yourself into worse situations.  Being a malcontent is the only place you feel comfortable in your shell.  So go harsh everyone else’s buzz because that’s the only way to make you happy.

So there you have it, next time you find yourself in this debate now you can rightfully judge the person based on their choice, and be self assured in yours.  Especially if you have a far advanced intellect compared to the slovenly masses with whom you converse.

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