Family Sitcoms need to come back to Prime Time TV   Leave a comment

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Who could have imagined the late 1990s would have been the end of the Family Sitcom. We are in an age where “Reality” TV, hour-long dramas and docu-dramas dominate all the networks. While I would normally place all the blame on the networks for taking the easy road–it actually costs much less to shoot “Reality” TV than Sitcoms–the public is equally to blame for so readily buying into it. Those of my generation are the last to have grown up watching sitcoms. While sure you can watch the classics on Cable/Satellite and Netflix/Hulu, the fact of the matter is that’s still the past.

At the same time I’m well aware times have changed since I was in high school: 9/11, Social Media, The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Barack Obama becomes President, ISIS, etc. (American) Values have changed as well like it or not. There’s also the internet and You Tube. Networks have tried to launch family sitcoms but none have had the following shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Brady Bunch and Saved by the Bell in addition to the shows pictured above and many others had. They’re called classics for a reason XD

The sitcoms were also where many child actors who weren’t in the movie biz got their start in show business. Many people forget The Jamie Foxx Show (1997-2000) was when Jamie Foxx became a household name. Yes, he was known as a comedian who did stand-up work but this was the show where he went mainstream. A few years later folks found out he could sing, too in the Ray Bio-Pic xD

Random fun facts: Katy Segal, who played Peggy Bundy on Married with Children voiced Leela on Futurama. John Stamos, who played Uncle Jessie on Full House had a recurring role on the last 3 and a half seasons of the NBC Hospital Drama ER. Most famously, Extra’s Mario Lopez played A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell. Alfonzo Ribiero, who played Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air has appeared on various reality TV shows in recent years as a celebrity contestant. John Witherspoon, who played Pops on the Wayans Brothers voiced Grandad on The Boondocks. Finally LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kente in Roots and hosted Reading Rainbow is bringing Reading Rainbow back for a new generation.

We will never have anything like this again anytime soon. It really is a shame the networks are convinced “Reality” TV, Mocumentary and Docudramas are all people care about right now. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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For those who haven’t been paying attention, Full House is the latest classic sitcom to join the “New Gen” Bandwagon. Fresh off the heels of Girl Meets World (sequel to Boy Meets World) comes Fuller House, which of course is the sequel to Full House. It was announced a few weeks ago Netflix will carry Fuller House On Demand and may start airing episodes as early as this fall (!). The first season will be 13 episodes long.

The basic plot’s the same as the original: D.J.’s husband suddenly dies, leaving her to raise two children and another she’s expecting on her own. Her longtime best friend Kimmy Gibbler and her sister Stephanie move in to help her raise her sons and new arrival. Sound familiar? The rest of the original cast will make guest appearances as well.

Should be interesting.

A random fun fact: This has become a bit more known since the series ended in 1995 but the original premise for Full House called for Joey and Jessie (Played by Dave Coulier and John Stamos) to be gay and Danny Tanner (played by Bob Saget) to be revealed as having been in the closet about being gay himself so it would be three gay men raising three girls. The producers didn’t think the network would ok it so they scrapped the idea. The irony being the idea probably wouldn’t work now either since folks insist on being offended >.>;

It is also interesting to note half of the original cast stayed in show business since the original series ended. Candace Cameron, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber went back to private life. The story goes all three agreed to sign on to the new show when the whole cast got together for the original show’s reunion party earlier this year. Stamos pitched the idea a few years earlier but they needed everyone on board to make it work so…yeah. As you already know, Bob Saget hosted America’s Funnies Home Videos (before You Tube was thought of!) while also doing Full House. Dave Coulier returned to standup comedy after the show ended but also did theater work. Stamos himself…well, I already told you earlier.

As for the Olsen Twins…well, Google says hi. ‘Nuff said.

 

FOX25, Boston Globe partnering for Boston 2024 Olympics debate on 7/23/2015!   Leave a comment

Sharing the news so YOU can pass this along. Click the link below for full details but here’s the gist:

  • The debate happens this Thursday night (7/23/2015) from 8PM to 9PM and will air on Fox 25 (WFXT).
  • Boston Olympics Committee Members will be going up against No Boston Olympics, the group that formed the day the idea was proposed in opposition of the Olympics coming to Boston.
  • Boston won the U.S. bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics should it be chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The decision will be made in 2018.
  • Earlier today, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson announced his opposition to Boston hosting the Olympics. He expressed concern regarding who will be on the hook for paying for the Olympics.

…By the way I am OPPOSED to the Olympics coming to Boston.

See No Boston Olympics for the FACTS Boston Olympics orgranizers DON’T want you to know. In addition to that, I’m going to hit you with some more truth:

  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are two almost two dozen prominent voices in Massachusetts who oppose Boston hosting the Olympics and they have said so since March of this year.
  • The Koch Brothers–the second richest family in America–promised to fully fund the Olympic games should Boston win the U.S. bid. Right before the USOC voted, Koch conveniently cut its ties with the Boston Olympic Committee.
  • Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Baker’s predecessor) was brought on board by the Boston Olympic Committee. Patrick himself has not publicly stated his position on the matter. Yet.
  • The Olympics costs the host city $10 Million MINIMUM though in most cases, much more. $10 Million Boston can’t afford. Remember: We’re still paying for the Big Dig 20 years later.
  • Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh is trying to get the Olympics to come to Boston no matter what while doing nothing to assure residents and taxpayers they will not be footing the bill.
  • The Red Sox and the Patriots paid for all of those championship parades they had in the city, usually in advance by the team’s owner. The Boston Marathon is an international event and is funded privately. In comparison, Massachusetts Taxpayers are expected to write a blank check for the 2024 Olympics. It’s in the manual.
  • Taxpayers are intentionally being left out of the conversation.
  • The 2004 games in Athens bankrupted Greece.

I know I keep talking about the cost but at the end of the day, the Olympics is VERY (Read: VERY) expensive despite being just 3 weeks long. As I noted above, the general public is being kept in the dark about it. Boston also doesn’t have the infrastructure to host the Olympic games. Cost aside, construction of the necessary venues will permently displace whole communities who will in turn not be compensated. That’s exactly what happened with the 2012 London games.

 

Here’s the link to Fox 25’s announcement article. Enjoy:

FOX25, Boston Globe partnering for Boston 2024 Olympics debate – Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston.

 

In light of recent revelations, I will no longer defend or support Bill Cosby   Leave a comment

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…It really is something when even convicted rapist R. Kelly publicly condemns you.

Mind you, at this point it’s unlikely Cosby will face jail time due to the statue of limitations regarding almost all of his accusers. The details of recently unsealed documents in which Cosby admitted to buying date rape drugs and infidelity are indefensible AND Inexcusable. No doubt he was hoping to keep those records from ever going public. As one pundit put it, Cosby may be alot of things but one thing he’s not is stupid.

I feel I have now been convinced beyond reasonable doubt Bill Cosby is not the man everyone thought he was. He’s lived the last 33 years as a lie, a hypocrite and a fraud. The one responsible for destroying Bill Cosby’s legacy turned out to be Bill Cosby himself. It really is a shame. Now that his indescretions are completely exposed and out there, what he needs to do is come clean and own up to what he did. He needs to personally apologize to the women who’ve come forward so far (no doubt there’s others) first and foremost and try to settle out of court. Then he needs to disappear from public work for the rest of his life.

I really should have paid attention when ABC pulled the new TV Show starring him from their lineup that was originally set to air this fall. I shouldn’t have been skeptical when Disney removed his statue from their theme parks. Netflix pulled everything starring Cosby from their streaming and physical libraries. So have networks that run reruns of his past work. Looking back, they all never would have done that if they didn’t believe there was some truth to the accusations.

 

His career is finished and he knows it. There’s no way he will be given a second chance like Michael Vick and Ron Artest were. He’ll continue to connect millions in royalties from movies and TV Shows he starred in. The least he can do now is the right thing and own up to it. Cosby’s situation truly is the epitome of the saying “The longest rope has an end.”

 

Haven’t decided when but there WILL be a Blog #7   Leave a comment

That was always the plan when I made my WordPress account back in the day. As of this month, I now have six blogs:

  1. Serene Adventure (This One)
  2. Video Games
  3. Anime & Manga
  4. Fan Fiction
  5. Original and Non-Ficrion Literature
  6. WWE
  7. Last Day Christian*

*Coming Soon

Yes, my seventh blog will be about Christianity, my worldview of it and my specific denomination, Adventism. As many of you already know, I am a Seventh Day Adventist. The Church of the Seventh Day Adventists is most known for three things: Longevity, ADRA (Adventist Disaster Relief Agency) and our “Legalistic Interpretation” of the Bible. I’ll revisit the subject in more detail another timeĀ  in the new blog so I’ll leave it there.

I almost went on a tangent there as usual and got super into what I was talking about. More will come in the new blog. It shouldn’t effect my other blogs much either as far as I’m concerned. My posts will mostly be anecdotal and informative just like my video game blog is. Look forward to it. I will be able to say when it’s coming depending on certain things I’m working on over the next few weeks.

I finally figured out why Frozen feels nostalgic when I watch it   Leave a comment

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…And the funny thing is I realized it when I bought the soundtrack from a non-Disney classc, An American Tail. For those born after 1995, you probably have no memory of what I like to call the final days of children’s movie blockbusters. In plain English: Hugely popular movies geared towards younger audiences that became smash hits by fans of all ages.

I consider myself lucky to have grown up when movies like Aladdin, Home Alone, Hook and The Lion King premiered. For TOO LONG, there hasn’t really been a kid-centric movie since the late 90s that would easily have folks talking about it 20 years later. Then Frozen came on to the scene two years ago.

Let’s take a look at the hit song, Let It Go:

Not ashamed to say I bought two copies of Frozen’s soundtrack and have listened to this song over 400 times. Now, you millenials are new to the runaway hit phenomenon that is this song. It also asks the question of which is more popular: The song or the movie?

Disney did this almost every year during the 1990s starting with 1991’s The Little Mermaid. Here’s the hit song from that movie that I know parents are not ashamed to sing acapella in the family car/minivan, Under The Sea:

Samuel E. Wright voiced Sebastian, Triton’s majordomo and royal composer. Wright himself is an experienced musician. After the movie’s release, he recorded someĀ  kids’ sing-alongs. Here’s one of them:

 

…He’s got range to say the least! According to an interview with him, Disney approached him to offer him the role. He’s still in the business though obviously, the royalties from his work with Disney ALONE will ensure he’s set for life!

Moving on to Aladdin next. I’ll skip over Beauty & The Beast though the track Gaston (who, by the way is the movie’s bad guy BECAUSE he’s awesome in every way) has been enjoying renewed popularity due to cosplayers. That movie’s hit song Beauty & The Beast, like Aladdin’s hit song A Whole New World has two versions: The movie version and a single post-production version. Here’s the movie version:

We’ll look at three more songs before we stop. I’ll pause for a moment to remind folks the legendary Robin Williams had been tapped for this movie, contributing my personal favorite Prince Ali as well as the smash hit Never Had a Friend Like Me to the film. Disney established its dominance with this film. It was a powerhouse as a movie maker.

Then 1995’s The Lion King changed the game: Three years after its release, Disney was forced to change the movie’s rating from G to PG. The reason: Mufasa’s death scene and the aftermath involving Simba and Scar. That was pretty dark for Disney as they’d never done anything like that up until this movie. The other reason they changed the rating were the high-profile school shootings in America at the time (Columbine happened in 1997). The movie has a number of memorable songs but it’s the opening number that draws you in:

The Lion King was the highest-selling film in studio history until Frozen was released. It nuked all expectations when it was released. The Broadway Adaptation, which launched in 2005 for the movie’s 10-year anneversary has toured all over the world. Here’s the opening number:

Before I forget, the moment where Rafiki raises Simba atop Pride Rock is an homage to Alex Haley’s Roots. Here is the famous scene:

Oh and yes a woman is cast as Rafiki in the Broadway version. No biggie. Johnathan Taylor Thomas voiced young Simba while the legendary James Earl Jones (aka Darth Vader) voiced Mufasa. Moving on, we’re looking at another big budget film that had its teaser included in the original VHS release of The Lion King: Pocahontas.

Like The Lion King before it, Disney did its homework to be as accurate and respectful as possible to the descendants of the Native American tribe featured in the movie. I mean in terms of how they were depicted in the film and its sequel. In the movie’s teasier, Disney did something it hasn’t done since and gave audiences the movie’s lead song almost a year ahead of the movie’s theatrical release, Colors of the Wind:

…By the way, I didn’t miss an interesting message portrayed in the movie: The arrival of the Englishmen and Jamestown’s settlement heralded the beginning of the end of Native American life as they knew it. I don’t think this underlying message was intentionally put in but that message was pretty obvious. It’s more overtly done in James Cameron’s Avatar. The call to protect the unspoiled parts of our world is raised as well. America looked very different from how it does now 100 years ago.

Anyway, I say it’s about time the Disney and knew and loved as a kid made a comeback. The generation before mine has fond memories of The Sound of Music. The current generation now has Frozen. It was a movie that came in at just the right time. The musical numbers carried the movies. Thanks to Frozen, it looks like Disney is going back to its roots ^_^

 

The next several weeks are a transitional period for me   Leave a comment

Figure I put it out there.

As most folks know by now, I’m on a long-term paid leave of absence from BPS. In keeping in touch with contacts at the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) and educators at several schools in Boston, I feel my decision to move on from Education was the right call for me. In an industry that for years unfairly and systematically targets male educators–specifically educators of color–I’m more comfortable with my decision to publicly say I’m leaning toward parting ways with BPS.

While yes I’ve said many times I’m ready to move on, I never outright said I am or what my next plan is.

Now I can.

Before I talk about my next step, I do want to address some things I know some folks who follow me on Facebook have been waiting for me to say.

  • I left the Mission Hill School in April because the stress I was under at the time was too much for me to handle. The combination of work-related stress as well as stress at home–the latter of which I still have to contend with–threatened to send me back to a place I’m in no rush to return to. A very dark place mentally and emotionally. Everyone deals with different types of stress differently. The key is balance. For me, there was simply too much bad stress I was dealing with.
  • Some might call my departure from MHS almost a month after a former colleague quit more than a coincidence. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I won’t speak to his reasons for leaving. It’s not for me to put someone else’s businss out there without their permission and more importantly, I wouldn’t do it anyway. That said, as I said above I had my own reasons for leaving. Unlike my former classroom partner, the school community knew in advance when I was leaving. It’s just not my style to leave without saying anything personally. Call it an ego thing or chivalry if you want.
  • I’d be lying if I said I don’t hold ill will toward BPS for some of the things I experienced over the last 10 years. What I will also say is I don’t think it was because of my race. I am not prepared to say what forms of discrimination I think was at play at this time because I’m still trying to figure that part out. Actually even if I did, I wouldn’t share that detail publicly until well after I’ve sought legal counsel.
  • I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say recent incidents in Education involving male educators have made me more and more self-conscious of my being in the minority in an industry dominated by white females. Something the American education system failed to pay attention to during the 80s and 90s were the children/students of single mothers and the unique needs of those students. Specifically minority families. This is not the time to drive male minority educators out of schools. This is the time to bring them in and most importantly, KEEP THEM IN. This is a disproportionate problem nationwide that can no longer be ignored or “kicked to the next person in charge”.

I learned alot over the years. This much is true. I learned alot of important life lessons my two years at Mass Bay Community College failed to teach me: Experience is the Greatest Teacher one can ever have. There are ALOT of things you will never learn just sitting in a classroom and that includes grade school. Going with my final point above, I’ve gone as far as I could this year. Looking back at this year, I feel if I leave BPS, I’m leaving in a good place mentally. I gave it my best and there’s not much to be said beyond that.

The most important lesson that I learmed–and a very hard one, at that–is it’s ok to be selfish when it comes to your personal goals. Until four years ago, I was content giving up my own goals in life to just focus on working in classrooms for the next 30 years. Then I met student teeachers and high school students whose dream was to become teachers. That was when I realized I really didnt’t want to work in classrooms for the rest of my professional life. After all, my colleagues could tell at first glance I would be better suited doing something I really wanted to do. Something I was both passionate about and something where I could make better use of my unique skillset.

 

So I am taking steps to make that happen. For the first time since I left high school, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. Most importantly, its time I got started.

 

Reminder: The Presidental Election is 16 Months Away   Leave a comment

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Bobby Jindal

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Democratic Presidential Candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Hillary Clinton (D)

 

…And holy crap, there’s 15 (official) candidates!

Fresh off the heels of CNN finding out Rick Santorum, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz accepted money from White Surpremacist Earl Holt–and are now returning it after being outed–it’s become more important than ever to know who exactly supports the 2016 Presidental candidates financially and otherwise.

For example: You know the Westboro Cult, right? I use the word “Cult” because they are no longer officially considered a church and are officially considered a hate group by the U.S. Government. Hate-filled demonstrations at funerals will do that. Now here’s where things get interesting–and I know you’ll get a chuckle out of this like I did when I found out–the Ku Klux Klan has a problem with WBC. My theory is the attention. The Klan wants to be relevant again. Anyway as you can probably guess, WBC plans to demonstrate at the funerals of the 9 people who were killed in Charleston, S.C. Here’s where things get interesting: The Klan plans to be there to block them. This creates a bit of a dilemma for us normal, non-racist non-hatin’ folk: Do we intervene or make some pop corn and watch both groups destroy each other?

I mention WBC and the Klan in the same sentence—and I still can’t believe I just did–because of the the issue of racism last week’s shooting brought front and center. As CNN Political Analyst Mark Blount often said, alot of white people thought racism died with Obama becoming president. As we all know, there’s been a string of high-profile shootings in which unarmed black men have been killed by whites police officers or while in police custody in recent years. I bring that up because thr Charleston Church Shooter specifically mentions the Trayvon Martin case in his manifesto.

I also mention it because the candidates are going out of their way to avoid talking about racism.

Given 13 of them are White (Carson is Black and Jindal is Indian), 12 are former or sitting elected officials (Carson, Florina and Trump never held political office) and two are related to the previous three presidents (Clinton and Bush), the public DOES deserve to know what they think about racism in America. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, former pastor and presidental candidate reluctantly talked about the need for the Confederate Flag to be removed from the South Carolina capital but only after the state’s governor called for the state’s congress to vote for its removal on Monday. Remember: This is a guy who wants to become the next POTUS–President of the United States.

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Switching gears, of the current Republican candidates it’s obvious Trump is only doing it for the publicity. He’s not going to win the nomination. No way, no how. We all know this is just a publicity stunt. Nothing more or less. That leaves 12. Dr. Carson’s political inexperience is made painfully obvious every time he makes a public statement. I’m sure he has advisors but he’s obviously not listening to them. He’s gonna embarass himself at the next upcoming debate with other candidates. That leaves 11. Florina’s running with the mantra “I’m not Hilary” and not much else. Huckabee’s time as a political analyst for Fox News will always be a weakness for him. That leaves 8. Graham, Santorum, Cruz and Pataki simply don’t don’t have the support needed to win in the primary.

That leaves Bush, Paul, Perry, Jindal and Rubio. Of the five, Bush’s last name prevents him from becoming president. It won’t happen so we’ll put him down as a possible V.P. Perry and Rubio are Tea Party-backed while Paul has voiced opposition to the Tea Party fairly recently. Jindal is anti-establishment across the board and anti-Tea Party. It’s how he became a Republican governor despite not being White. No doubt Bush wanted to be the dark horse Jindal now is bur due to pressure from the media, he was forced to officially get in the race earlier than planned. As much as I hated Paul’s rcently retired father (a former senator), he and Jindal are the GOP’s best shot of the current thirteen. I say that for two reasons: They’re both outspoken and don’t mind disagreeing with members of their own party. As for a running mate, Bush would compliment either of them IF they’re willing to take him. Or even each other. Of the two, it could go either way. A Paul/Jindal or Jindal/Paul ticket would be a tough match for either of their democratic opponents. If not Bush or each other then they might end up being forced to take Perry or Rubio to keep the Tea Party happy like McCain did in 2008 with Palin.

On the Democratic side, there’s two choices (so far): Clinton or Sanders. I’ve already thrown my support behind Sanders 100% obviously. Sanders, who is in fact an Independent is a no-nonsense common sense guy who actually knows what he’s talking about. And he can make snap decisions. Once more people hear his ideas, support for him will grow. There are alot of Conservatives who support him already. That said, Hillary Clinton is CNN and MSNBC’s picks to win despite her baggage: Like Bush, she is related to a recent former president. She was also a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State during Obama’s first term. The weird thing is like I mentioned before, WBC endorses her as the next POTUS.

Let’s say Clinton wins the Democratic nomination. Who will be her running mate? I can’t see Sanders willing to be her V.P. since they disagree on more than a few things fundamentally. He’d be a distraction as her V.P. Biden has said he might run himself so he’s out. That leaves New York Governor Andrew Coumo (D), older brother of CNN anchor Chris Coumo (whose father died a few months ago) as a possible running mate. A possible dark horse she could tap is Arizona Senatatorial Candidate Aaron Marquez (D). I know him personally from our time in City Year 10 years ago and I know that if asked, he would definitely would run as her V.P.

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As for Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) is the obvious choice. They agree on alot of things and like Sanders, she is both a whistleblower and outspoken. It’s how she was elected. In other words: The elite, rich, Wall Street and Super PACs fear her as much as, if not more than they fear Sanders. She’s been sharing their agenda publicly on social media along with Sanders ever since she was elected a few years ago. Like Clinton, she doesn’t have a problem telling it like it is to the elite who come grovelling to congress asking for tax breaks and special exemptions. A Sanders/Warren ticket would be awesome XD

…Here’s the best part I saved ’til now: Sanders holds no alliegiance to the Democratic Party. There’s no lip service with him. He’s running literally for the reasons he said he’s running. He was up front about it when he decided to run for POTUS. He’s just using the party to get elected because this country insists on being slave to a two-party system. Even if Clinton wins the primary, he’s raised enough money and has more than enough support to run as the Independent he truly is. It’s how he got into Congress =D

I will do two, maybe 3 most posts on the presidential race between now and next October. The Republican field is sure to get bigger butthe Democratic field is expected to grow as well. Things should get interesting come the National Conventions next year ^_^

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