Sunday, May 22, 2022

Book Hauls--Some Unexpected Finds

Still more book hauls over the last few weeks and some unexpected finds.

One was a book written by someone I know. She and my late aunt were good friends. The friend unexpectedly called my cell (having looked up my number) for my mom's birthday. When we called her back, she mentioned having written a book. I then looked it up on Amazon, and saw that it was over $25, even for used copies. I then debated whether to get it or not, as I was so curious. I could have afforded it, but I was just too hesitant. But I wouldn't need to get it from Amazon, as four days later, I was looking at books at local thrift store. They were half-off that day, and just as I was about to leave the store, I glanced around one last time and there lay a copy of the said book. I grabbed it immediately. The book is here and pictured below.

Another book I had been seeing recently online also turned up at the same store when I went again about two weeks later. I was interested in this one upon first hearing about it, but was hesitant about getting it. And then there it was. For something that only came out a year ago, it was amazing to find it in thrift store so quickly.

And when trying to find an award-winning book from the year I was born (one of the Book Riot Read Harder prompts this year), I kept looking for such books, but none that turned up in searches could be found at the library or even on the e-book sites I have been using. Among those mentioned were this one:

I'm not certain I would have wanted to get this from Amazon. I only read so much sci-fi. But  this turned up at Goodwill in another town. I wasn't sure even then about getting it, but I was having trouble finding other books that were from the year I was born that won any sort of award (this is a Hugo winner). And no doubt it would have been more on Amazon. This was not something I'd expect to find at a Goodwill, though, but there it was. 

The Goodwill store is in the same town as the now-closed used bookstore was. I'm still sad about that 😢

Saturday, May 21, 2022

2022 Adult Summer Reading Challenge

This one is at Beyond the Bookends. It actually started on May 1, so I included books read this month that fit. Will cover as many squares as possible.

My Books: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Summer Reading Challenge: Read the Rainbow

 Booklist Queen is having this summer reading event.

Booklist Queen Summer Reading Challenge: Read the Rainbow

This summer, let’s try to read the rainbow. That’s right, I want you to read books in all different colors. You’ve got your standard ROYGBIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. And just for fun, I decided to throw in black and white, too.

My Books:

Red Cover:

Orange Cover:

Yellow Cover:

Green Cover: 

Blue Cover:

Purple Cover: The Wyndham Legacy--Catherine Coulter

Black Cover:

White Cover:

Monday, May 16, 2022

2022 Post A to Z Challenge Road Trip


Roadtrip #atozchallenge 2022

This is a great opportunity to catch up on the many blogs you would have liked to have spent more time visiting, but didn't during the Challenge, and a chance to visit the blogs of people who did the Challenge that you never got to. And, if you're one of those people who did the Challenge but didn't get a lot of visitors, this is a way to let people know that you'd appreciate a visit.

There's no set time limit to the Road Trip (i.e. no specific end date), so if you wanted to, you could visit everyone who was part of this year's Challenge between now and the start of next year's Challenge. If that's what you want to do, go for it! Most importantly, have fun!

Yes, I'm going to try to get to blogs I did not get to during the challenge. I'm one of those Blogger users who has been forced to comment anonymously, and that slowed me down on commenting. It still will, since the thing has seemingly not been resolved. But I will comment anonymously if needed. Since there is no time limit, I will view as many blogs as I can per day. I'm also hoping others will view mine as well, if they did not already do so. Happy road trip to all those who take part.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Fun Summer Reading Challenge for Adults @ JulesBuono

Wow, already seeing posts for summer reading challenges! Here is a new one to me, with a prompt for each summer month.

summer reading challenge instagram template




Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Chapter Break Bingo May 2022

 Here is the card for May.


My Books:

  1. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac--Gabrielle Zevin (6 squares): Physical Book, Shelf Love, Not in a Series, Book Club Read, Not a Recent Release, Empowered Female
  2. Dogs in the Dead of Night--Mary Pope Osborne (2 squares): Audiobook, In a Series
  3. Hour of the Olympics--Mary Pope Osborne (2 squares): E-Book, A Favorite Author
  4. Smoke and Mirrors--K.D. Halbrook (5 squares): Bright Colors on the Cover, Special Abilities, Urban Fantasy, Fae, Habits--Good/Bad  
  5. Twice Upon a Time: Rapunzel: The One With all the Hair--Wendy Mass (3 squares): Library Book, Mother, Multiple POV
  6. Sisters in Law--Linda Hirshman (1 square): Political Intrigue
  7. Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim--Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella (1 square): Laughed Out Loud
  8. The Wyndham Legacy--Catherine Coulter (2 spaces); Arranged Marriage, Free Space
  9. Dirty Rotten Tendrils--Kate Collins (2 squares): Flowers on the Cover, Spy

Monday, May 2, 2022

Blogging A to Z: Reflections Post

Reflections 2022 #atozchallenge


This week, participants in the Blogging A to Z are doing Reflections Posts.

This was my second time participating in the A to Z. I'd prepared my posts ahead of time at the end of March, then edited each as days went on. 

I was not surprised that my Forgotten TV Shows theme stumped so many people! A lot of those commenting did not know the shows mentioned! But I'm sure they learned some things. There were lots of comments on the first few posts, but  fewer as the challenge wound down. It was still great to get comments, though. And I was amazed when people said that they actually remembered a show I presented. There were lots of other shows I could have mentioned, and it was hard narrowing the posts down to just one per letter. I did some bonus posts, and wanted to do more of those, but as the A to Z would down, I got so blogged-out and TV-ed out!

As part of participating in the challenge, I visited other blogs and left comments on those. Several others wrote poetry, which is always fun. Another did TV show theme songs, one I knew I had to visit for sure. Yet another did songs from 1981, they year I was 10, so that was great flashback. Vinyl records, Youtube, and recipes were other themes I enjoyed seeing. And there are just too many others to mention!

I had several other themes in mind when the year began, though I wasn't sure about doing the A to Z this year.  But I'd already jotted down ideas for this one, and and when I tried to come up with other themes, I just could not decide on what to include for those. I now plan to begin brainstorming themes for next year as early as possible and hope to narrow my choice down by next March when the theme reveal begins. 

#AtoZChallenge 2022 WINNER badge

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Z: Zoom

 ZONKS! I can't believe it! We have now reached...

#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

Once again, I had to choose something I never saw, even though I was in the target age range for the particular show. This is not the first time I mentioned this on my blog, however. 

Years before Zoom was a virtual meeting app that became dominant as a result of the pandemic shutdown, Zoom was a series for children on PBS. Originally it aired from 1972 to 1978, and was remade in 1999. When the shutdown began and people began using the app for schoolwork and meetings with co-workers, memes on Facebook came up about the series from the 1970s. I looked up the Zoom series as a result. 

Zoom presented children with recipes, plays, jokes, games, songs, movies, science experiments and informal chats suggested by viewers. There were no adults on screen, and the cast of children (identified only by their first names) would change every six months. Zoom was one of many PBS series produced by affiliate WGBH in Boston.

The intros to both versions of the show, as well as a full episode from Season 2 are below (click to see more here):


Well, that's it for A to Z 2022. Hope you have enjoyed my posts. A Reflections post is coming on Monday. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Y: Your Big Break


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

I have not bothered watching shows like American Idol and The Voice. But before those shows, there was this one that was syndicated from 1999 to 2001, which I watched quite regularly. This was also well after Star Search, which I recall watching sometimes, even if it wasn't my favorite. Your Big Break was on my local NBC affiliate on Saturday nights.

The show's gimmick was that the contestants were "Performing as" different music stars. Thus they are look-alikes and/or sound-alikes. Before performing, each contestant's life story was presented, ending with the host proclaiming, "This is your big break!" The first host was Christopher Reid (Kid of Kid n' Play) and the second  was Alfonso Ribeiro (formerly of Silver Spoons and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air). 

I selected a few sample clips below, to give readers the idea (those not already familiar with the show), from what I could find on Youtube:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

X: Executive Suite


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

Once again, I had to search for something I never saw as I was too little to have seen it. Since it was an hour-long show, I likely would not have been allowed to watch it, given my age at the time. Also, I had to cheat a little, since, as everyone knows, X is such a tricky letter. And no one's forgotten about The X-Files, right? Like the previously mentioned Quark, this show was mentioned recently after the passing of one of its cast members. Executive Suite was one of three short-lived series in the 1970s starring the late Mitchell Ryan (Dharma and Greg, Lethal Weapon). 

The series was on CBS in 1976-77, and was adapted from a 1954 movie of the same name that starred William Holden. It was an hour-long prime-time soap set at the Cardway Corporation in Los Angeles. Don Walling (Ryan) was the company president, and Howell Rutledge (Stephen Elliott) was the vice president and Walling's chief rival. The struggle between the two was the main plot. The remaining cast included family members of the two lead characters and other employees and board members of Cardway. It's a rather large cast, so click above to see the rest. The title makes it sound less like an hourlong drama and more like a work-place comedy.  

It was not surprising that I did not find any clips, but I did not find the opening theme either. The best I could find were these promos:

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

W: Who's Watching the Kids?


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

Believe it or not, the letter W was a hard one for this challenge. So I had to dig a little and perhaps mention something I never saw (but have read about in books on TV) or just barely saw. I then remembered seeing reruns of this short-lived sitcom from 1978 on TV Land in 1997. At that time, the still-new cable station was playing old shows that did not last long, and I happened to catch a few episodes of this one. Most likely I did not watch it the first time it was on, at least not that I can remember:) It only ran for three months in the fall of 1978. I'm not sure how many episodes I saw on TV Land, as only nine aired before the series was cancelled in December of 1978.

The show was created by Garry Marshall, and was a reworking of an earlier series, Blansky's Beauties starring Nancy Walker. Both shows were about Las Vegas showgirls, and shared some of the same cast members. Who's Watching the Kids?, however, emphasized the younger siblings of two showgirls. Showgirls Stacy Turner (Caren Kaye) and Angie Vitola (Lynda Goodfriend, later to play Lori Beth on Happy Days) shared an apartment, and both had younger siblings living with them: Stacy's sister Melissa (Tammy Lauren) and Angie's brother Frankie (Scott Baio, already known as Chachi on Happy Days). Also on hand were the girls' landlady Mitzi Logan (Marcia Lewis), Larry Parnell (Larry Breeding), a weather reporter next door who was assigned the task of watching the kids, and Bert Gunkel (Jim Belushi), Larry's cameraman, who also helped Larry keep an eye on Melissa and Frankie. Kids aired on NBC even though Blansky's Beauties had been on ABC.

Larry Breeding later starred on another short-lived series, The Last Resort. In 1982, he filmed a sitcom pilot called It's Not Easy, with Gerald McRaney. The new show was to begin that fall, pending the fate of McRaney's previous series, Simon and Simon. When that show was renewed at the last minute, It's Not Easy was put on hold until replacement for McRaney could be found. Breeding then died in a car accident in September 1982. His final appearance had been earlier that year on an episode of Laverne and Shirley. And for the record, It's Not Easy finally made it to the air in the fall of 1983 (with Ken Howard and Bert Convy replacing McRaney and Breeding, respectively), but was quickly cancelled. Its competition included Cheers on NBC and wait for it---Simon and Simon on CBS.

The series intro is below. Caren Kaye does not appear, as according the comments on this video, she was let go after a few episodes due to retooling. I have not been able to find the intro with her in it. Read the comments for more. It's a lot to explain here, and I can't seem to find anything on this on IMDb or Wikipedia, which you think would have explained this! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

V: Veronica's Closet


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

I have actually talked about this show on my blog before. At that time, I had a flashback to this show, then found episodes on Daily Motion which have since been removed. Only a few people I know seem to remember this, one of the many work-place sitcoms that surfaced in the 1990s. This one ran from 1997 to 2000, and during its first year, was shown in the Thursday slot after Seinfeld (in its final season). But over next two seasons, the time slot was changed several times and in June of 2000 it was cancelled, leaving four episodes unaired. USA Network then reran the show, showing the previously unseen episodes in December of 2000. 

Four years after Cheers left the air, Kirstie Alley returned to TV as Veronica "Ronnie" Chase, recently divorced owner of a lingerie company called Veronica's Closet (a take-off on real-life lingerie company Victoria's Secret). Her staff included Perry Rollins (Dan Cortese, former MTV personality), the dimwitted publicist and a former underwear model; Leo Michaels (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, formerly of The John Laroquette Show, and currently on Fear of the Walking Dead), the harried market manager; Josh Blair (Wallace Langham, formerly of The Larry Sanders Show and later of CSI), her assistant, who continually denied that he was gay, finally coming out in the last season; and Olive Massery (Kathy Najimy, from Hocus Pocus and the Sister Act movies, and King of the Hill), the Chief Financial Officer. Seen during the first season was Robert Prosky as Ronnie's father Pat, who was also her chauffeur (he was written out without explanation). Ron Silver came on board the second season as Alec Bilson, who now owned the company with Ronnie, but his character was not popular with viewers. As such, Silver was dropped from the cast with the explanation that Alec had died from falling into a volcano. It was then revealed that before he died, he'd gotten married to June (Lorri Bagley), a regular on the final season. June got a share of the company from Alec until she was bought out by Olive. 

As I said, the episodes I'd once found on Daily Motion are no longer available, and can't seem to find any full episodes on Youtube either, though the opening theme for all three seasons and a few clips are available. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

U: Unhappily Ever After

#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

This was one of the four sitcoms that launched the now-defunct WB Network in early 1995, along with The Parent 'Hood, The Wayans Bros., and Muscle. All but Muscle returned for WB's first full season, each lasting until 1999. The WB closed in 2006, as did rival network UPN, the two merging into the CW.

Unhappily Ever After was basically the opposite of Married...With Children, the show that had helped launch the Fox network just eight years earlier. The focus was on the Molloy family of Los Angeles: alcoholic patriarch Jack (Geoff Pierson), a cynical and chronically depressed used-car salesman; Jennie (Stephanie Hodge) his irritable ex-wife (who was killed off in the final season), and their children Ryan (Kevin Connelly), Tiffany (Nikki Cox) and Ross (Justin Berfield, pre-Malcolm in the Middle). Bobcat Goldthwait was the voice of Jack's stuffed rabbit, Mr. Floppy, to whom only Jack could talk. Joyce Van Patten played Jennie's mother Maureen for the first two seasons. Gradually Tiffany became the focus of the show once her mother was killed off. 

In my area, there was no WB station for most of the time that network was around. Really hard to explain this in full, but one might seem to guess that I never saw this. Yes and no. At home, no, but when I left for college in fall of 1995 I saw maybe a few episodes over the two years I was on campus (we got cable hooked up in our housing). I can't remember a specific episode, but I do remember the opening theme song, Ray Charles's "Hit the Road, Jack," used beginning in the second season (watch below). Episodes can be found here on Youtube.  

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Bonus: Forgotten Cartoons Based on Prime Time Shows

Everyone remembers watching cartoons on Saturday while eating cereal in their pajamas. Since I didn't include any cartoon shows in my regular posts, I chose to post on some here. Specifically, cartoons that were based on prime-time TV shows. There are far too many to list in one post, so I will list a few that have stuck in my mind. More can be found in this link. Also, some prime-time series were made into animated specials (some can be found here).

Fonz and the Happy Days Gang: The gang from Happy Days (minus Potsie) went on time-traveling adventures, trying to get back to Milwaukee in 1957. Going them were Cupcake, a "future chick," and a dog, Mr. Cool. The intro, narrated by Wolfman Jack, is below:

Laverne and Shirley: The famous duo joined the army in this animated version of the hit series. Their immediate superior was Sgt. Squealy Pig, voiced by Ron Palillo (formerly of Welcome Back, Kotter):

The Fonz's and Laverne and Shirley's respective shows joined forces in 1982, welcoming another cartoon segment based on a hit show. Months after Mork and Mindy left the air, its characters were brought to animated Saturday morning TV:

And one that wasn't actually based on a series, but rather on the star of a popular prime-time show, The Gary Coleman Show. The cartoon was based on a made-for-TV movie starring the Diff'rent Strokes cast member, The Kid with the Broken Halo.  Coleman's character, Andy LeBeau, was dispatched to help a child in need and resolve his problem by his supervisor and fellow angel, Angelica. The antagonist in each episode was Hornswoggle, who tried to mess up Andy's plans. Andy's friends (who didn't know he's really an angel) included Tina and her brother Spence, Bartholomew and Lydia.

Another celebrity who was popular in the 1980s, Mr. T of The A-Team, also had a Saturday-morning cartoon based on him. 

Bonus: Total Television Book

One thing that inspired my theme this year was having owned several editions of this book:

The edition pictured was the last update of the book. The info contained only goes up to the fall of 1995, after the launchings of the now-defunct networks UPN and WB. A book that hasn't ben updated in more than 25 years. But it's easy to see why. With all the streaming services as well as the networks and cable stations carrying original series, it would make for a heavy, super-long book, bigger probably than an unabridged dictionary. And please, let's not get too argumentative--we have the Internet so....

My copy of the above edition is so wrong it's fallen apart. Nevertheless, I still glance it, and despite it being terribly outdated, I did use it to find ideas for my blog posts. Only two shows I included in my posts (both coming up this week, as the A to Z winds down) came out after the last edition of this book. 

While recently glancing through my worn copy of the book, I came across listings for TV shows I don't actually remember:

FTV (Syndicated; 1985) A show that parodied music videos hosted by former Eagles member Don Felder? How did I miss this? It must not have been shown on any station in my area. Sounds like something that might have gotten dumped to the afternoon TV wasteland on Saturday or Sunday, subject to preemption by sports and breaking news stories.  Here is a clip I then found on YouTube.

You Write the Songs (Syndicated; 1986). A contest for amateur song writers, with Ben Vereen as host. Again, I don't remember this being on any local stations. A clip on Youtube. Also, Zoobilee Zoo, which Vereen also hosted that same year. The series intro is here.

Again, I don't seem to remember these, and I'm old enough to have seen them. I can't even recall hearing about them! But given my age at the time, I might not have been interested in these shows, as most were aimed at younger kids. Something tells me I had better things to watch then. 

And this one I don't recall seeing or even hearing about: Getting In Touch, hosted by psychiatrist David Viscott, syndicated in 1987. Though I'm pretty sure I would not have wanted to watch this! And I'm now surprised my local NBC station didn't snag this to air in the off-network hours, but I guess they had better syndicated stuff to show at those times, like Oprah Winfrey and Wheel of Fortune.

Now you can see there are things on TV *I* don't recollect!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

T: Throb


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

Another post-Soap role for Diana Canova, in which she played a divorcee working at a record company with mostly younger employees. Both Paul Walker and Jane Leeves had early roles on the show. Walker, however, only appeared on the first season. Throb aired in syndication from 1986 to 1988. I watched this whenever I could, as I was never sure when to find it on. 

Sandy Beatty (Canova) was the divorced mom of the series, and her son Jeremy was first played by Walker, then by Sean de Vertich, who'd had appeared in Season One as  friend of Jeremy's. Sandy's boss was Zach Armstrong (Jonathan Prince, formerly of a short-lived series, Mr. Merlin), and her coworkers were Prudence "Blue" Bartlett (Leeves) and business manager Phil Gaines (Richard Cummings, Jr.). Sandy's best friend was Meredith, a teacher who lived nearby. She was played by Maryedith Burrell, formerly of Fridays, and later of the previously mentioned Parenthood from 1990, and the Tom Arnold comedy The Jackie Thomas Show

I was disappointed that Jeremy got replaced. The new guy just didn't compare. Though Paul Walker did go onto a successful film career before his untimely death (RIP). And of course Jane Leaves went on to play Daphne on Frasier.

Friday, April 22, 2022

S: Sisters


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

Though it had a six-season run and was rerun on Lifetime for a few years, this NBC drama from the mid-90s isn't widely seen today. It performed surprising well on Saturday nights at 10PM. It was notable in that several soon-to-be famous stars made appearances. Ashley Judd and Paul Rudd had recurring roles, and Kirsten Dunst appeared in two episodes. And it was another pre-ER role for George Clooney. 

This was one of my must-watch shows. I'd always wanted to have a sister and I kind of felt like I did as result of watching this show.

The title characters were four adult sisters and their everyday lives and challenges. The girls, whose late father had wanted boys, were thus given boyish nicknames. Alexandra (Swoosie Kurtz, of the previously mentioned Love, Sidney), the oldest was called Alex, Theodora (Sela Ward), the second sister was known as Teddy, Georgiana (Patricia Kalember, formerly of ABC's thirtysomething) became Georgie, and the youngest, Francesca (Julianne Phillips) was known as Frankie. Their widowed mother Beatrice Reed (Elizabeth Hoffman) was an alcoholic who later remarried and died at the end of the series. Husbands included Georgie's John Whitsig (Garrett M. Brown) and Mitch Margolis (Ed Marinaro, formerly of Hill Street Blues), originally married to Teddy and later to Frankie (they too, ended up divorcing). Children were Alex's daughter's Reed Halsey Philby (played by three different actresses over the series run, the second of whom was Ashley Judd), Teddy and Mitch's daughter Cat (Heather McAdam) Georgie's sons Trevor (Ryan Francis) and Evan (Dustin Berkowitz). While married to Mitch, Frankie, unable to carry a baby, asked Georgie to be a surrogate mother. Georgie gave birth to Frankie's son, Thomas George. Later on in the series another sister was discovered, the result of their late father's affair years earlier. The newly discovered half-sister was Dr. Charlotte Bennett (played first by Jo Anderson, then by Sheila Kelley--former of L.A. Law). In keeping with the boyish-naming theme, she became known as Charlie. When Julianne Phillips left the series in the spring of 1995, it was explained Frankie had gone to Japan to market a kids' toy (She would return for the series finale, however). Charlie thus became a regular for the final season (1995-96). As for other characters who came and went, there is such long list to put here! Click above to read everything you need to know.

A gimmick of the show had the characters interacting with their younger selves, played by younger performers. Usually it was just the sisters themselves who has this, but other characters did the same on occasion. (Dunst was seen twice as Cat's younger self, Kitten). A sample is in the clip below, from the pilot episode: 

Originally each episode opened with the title characters hanging out in a  steam room, but was changed beginning in season three (this video does not allow playback on other sites). The pilot episode, when aired on NBC, cut out the steam room opening due to a line (something I dare not mention!), though the scene did get shown on Lifetime.

Some clips from the show:

Not to be confused with Sister, Sister [ABC (1994-95), WB (1995-99)], about twins separated at birth and adopted by different families. After a chance encounter at a shopping mall, they force their very different adoptive parents to move in together so that the twins can get to know each other--sort of The Parent Trap crossed with The Odd Couple.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

R: Real People


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

Reality TV seemed to have taken off in the 1990s and 2000s with shows such as MTV's The Real WorldSurvivor, as well as the current slew of such shows. But the genre existed well before then, and one example is this series that ran on NBC from 1979 to 1984. Before Youtube and the Internet, and even before America's Funniest Home Videos, this was how "real people" (non-celebrities, the focus of this show) became stars for a day.

Produced by George Schlatter, who had produced Laugh-In in the 1960s, Real People was introduced in the spring of 1979, and was then renewed for the following season. Along with the pre-taped segments of people with unusual occupations or hobbies, the series also featured a segment showing funny pictures or newspaper errors sent in by viewers, kind of like Jay Leno's "Headlines" segment on The Tonight ShowThose whose items were featured on the air were then sent a Real People T-shirt (the items could not be returned to the sender, however). The success of the show (at a time when NBC was third place in the ratings) led to imitator shows, such as CBS's That's My Linewith Bob Barker (I never saw that one) and ABC's long-running That's Incredible!  (I saw that one several times). Real People also had two spinoffs, Speak Up, America and Real Kids, neither of which were as popular as the original. The show was syndicated in half-hour segments as More Real People

The various hosts of this series included Sarah Purcell, John Barbour, Skip Stephenson, Bill Rafferty, Byron Allen, and Peter Billingsley. Billingsley is best known as Messy Marvin in a series of commercials for Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and as the star of the perennial holiday-movie favorite A Christmas Story.

Real People aired on Wednesday nights as a lead-in to The Facts of Life, one of the shows I always watched as a child. This seems to the the only reason I ever watched Real People at all. These days, I could not even begin to watch any sort of reality TV. I basically tuned away from MTV once shows like The Real World started taking over. I did not even take to time to watch the Holderness Family on The Amazing Race recently, and I love watching their videos!

Below is a video highlighting the series. There is a Youtube channel is devoted to the series. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Q: Quark


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

For this tricky letter, I had to go with something I had never seen, only heard of.  Some time ago, a link to a list of Forgotten Science Fiction shows from the 1970s from MeTV came up on my Facebook newsfeed and one that was included was Quark. The show was also mentioned recently when one of its stars passed away. It was created by Buck Henry, who'd created Get Smart, a spoof of spy shows, a decade earlier. Henry tried to do the same for science-fiction with this one, but Quark only lasted a few weeks in 1978. The pilot aired in May of 1977.

The setting was the United Galaxy Sanitation Patrol Cruiser, an interstellar garbage scow operating out of United Galaxies Space Station Perma One in the year 2226. The cast included Richard Benjamin as the title character, Adam Quark, a commander put on garbage duty on the ship, cloned twins named Betty (real-life twins Cyb and Patricia Barnstable), a transgendered engineer  known as Gene/Jean (Timothy Thomerson), officer Ficus Pandorata (Richard Kelton, who died seven months after the series was cancelled), and Otto Bob Palindrome (Conrad Janis, who passed away in March), who is charge of Perma One. Janis went on to play Mindy's father Fred on Mork and Mindy, which premiered the following season and ran for four years. It took several months for a successful sci-fi comedy to reach the air, and more then a decade before Mel Brooks scored a sci-fi spoof with the film Spaceballs.

This is not something I likely would have watched at the time. There are episodes on Youtube, but I don't know if I ever will watch them. I can only take so much science fiction. I've been watching Land of the Giants on Youtube and that is a lot to take in. Below is the series intro, with a very disco-like instrumental theme:

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

P: Parenthood (1990 Series)


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

A year after Ron Howard's hit film Parenthood hit the cinemas, a TV adaptation was made. Like the previously mentioned Ferris Bueller TV show, Parenthood debuted on NBC in August of 1990 and was cancelled just before Christmas, with one leftover episode airing late the following summer.  The now-defunct cable network Trio named Parenthood as part of their Brilliant But Cancelled series in 2005 (the episode below was recorded from that series).

Unlike the later Parenthood TV series, the 1990 one carried over most the same characters from the film, except the brother Larry (Tom Hulce's role in the movie) and his son. Two of the kids from the movie reprised their roles on TV, and one of the TV children was played by an actor who'd played Steve Martin's character as a youngster in the film. The cast of the series is so large I can't mention them all here, but there are few of note. Thora Birch, Leonardo DiCaprio, and David Arquette all had early roles on this series, with Arquette taking on the Keanu Reeves part from the movie, and DiCaprio standing in for Joaquin Phoenix. Other notable cast members included former St. Elsewhere star Ed Begley Jr., in the Steve Martin film role, and MTV personality Ken Ober (Remote Control) taking on the Rick Moranis part. Click the link above to see a side-by-side table of the TV cast and the movie cast.

Not to be confused with The Parent 'Hood, one of the first sitcoms to air on the now-defunct WB network.

Monday, April 18, 2022

O: One of the Boys


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

I have some recollection of watching this comedy, a midseason replacement series on NBC in 1982. TV Guide ranked it among the "50 Worst Shows of All Time" in 2002. This didn't last long, but it did bring Mickey Rooney and Scatman Crothers back to TV for a while, and introduced three soon-to-be big stars: Dana Carvey, Nathan Lane, and Meg Ryan. Carvey would join the cast of Saturday Night Live  four years after this series, staying with the popular sketch-comedy show until 1993. Carvey recalled working with Rooney on One of the Boys on David Letterman. Lane would become a big star on both film and stage, and Ryan would have several hit movies, including When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle.

Senior citizens Oliver Nugent (Rooney) and Bernard Solomon (Crothers) decide to leave their retirement home and move in with Oliver's college-age grandson  Adam Shields (Carvey) and his roommate Jonathan Burns (Lane), both students at Sheffield University. Jane (Ryan), a recurring character, was a college classmate of Adam and Jonathan. Rounding out the cast was Francine Beers as Mrs. Green, the boys' landlady.

A full episode is at Youtube as well as some clips of Carvey's and Lane's characters:

One of the Boys was also the name of another completely different short-lived NBC sitcom in 1989. I never saw this one, as far as I can recall.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter & Some Easter Fun

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter (and what ever other holiday you celebrate). And want to share some funny stuff:

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Halfway Through A to Z

#AtoZChallenge 2022 banner

Wow, the month is already half-over, meaning Blogging A to Z is halfway done. 

Thank you for all the views and comments so far. 

Some of the blogs I have been visiting:

Doses of Wild YAM

Martha Reynolds Writes

The Versesmith

Lisa's Gardening Adventure

Teleporting Weena

Backsies is What There Is not

Tasha's Thinkings

Dena's Ramblings

Panorama of the Mountains

Tossing It Out

And I get to others as well. There are just a lot of them

It's been fun so far and I look forward to seeing the rest of the A to Z. Only two weeks left now. 

N: The New Gidget


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

The famous surfer girl played by several actresses on screen and by Sally Field on TV in the 1960s returned to the screen one last time in this syndicated sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1988. It outlasted the the original series by a year. A pilot movie, "Gidget's Summer Reunion" had aired just a year earlier.

In this series, Frances "Gidget" Lawrence was now in her 20s and married to Jeff "Moondoggie" Griffin. Caryn Richman (later to play Greg's wife in the Brady Bunch sequel The Bradys) played Gidget, who now ran a travel agency, and Dean Butler (who'd previously played Almanzo Wilder on Little House on the Prairie) was Jeff, a city planner in Santa Monica. William Schallert (best known as Patty Duke's TV dad) was Gidget's father Russ Lawrence. Anne, Gidget's sister, and her husband John were overseas; as such their teenage daughter Danielle "Dani" Collins (Sydney Penny, future soap opera actress, and mostly recently on Pretty Little Liars) stayed with her aunt and uncle. Dani was similar to how her aunt had been as a teen, as Dani and her friend Gail Baker (Lili Haydn, who played Jenny, the daughter on Mrs. Columbo, and is also a professional violinist) were always getting into trouble. Gail was much like Gidget's childhood friend Larue (played occasionally by Jill Jacobson). In the TV movie, Gidget's niece had been named Kim. 

I really loved watching this one. It was a guilty pleasure for me. One thing, though, I didn't really like the Gail character (she was bit annoying) and I would get annoyed if Russ was not in an episode but Gail was. She was only a recurring cast member. I was surprised she wasn't promoted to the opening credits for the second season. I wondered, when Gail was tagging along with the Griffins on vacations, who was paying for her tickets? We never saw her parents. And something that never occurred to me until I read something on this blog: No appearances by Sally Field. I guess she was too busy with her film career at the time. It would be years before Field returned to series TV. 

The theme song remained the same for both seasons, but new graphics were added for the second year. Going with the show's surfing theme, one episode featured an appearance by '60s surf-rock stars and Jan and Dean, and another episode was a tribute to Gilligan's Island, with Gilligan cast members Alan Hale and Bob Denver.