G.L.O.W.

G.L.O.W. Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling was a wrestling show from the late 80’s (1986-1989). I used to watch it every Saturday night in my bedroom. Hey, I was about to hit puberty- what better way to get myself aquatinted with the female form than to watch them fight? Plus a tv in my room meant my parents had no idea what I was watching.

Women wrestling each other with big 80’s hair and spandex. These were active, hair pulling, smack talking, strong women. I think I developed a type that I began to like in those formative years. Most women I dated (and even married) have been very confident and strong females with a sexy side. And hair! But the show itself was laughable for the most part.

Fast forward my life to earlier this week. I completely forgot about G.L.O.W. until surfing on Netflix brought up the show. Season One was released a year ago and I never heard much about it. I saw it advertised on Netflix but pre-teen me didn’t think the show would be that good. Now this wasn’t reruns or a remake- it was a storyline style show.

I figured what the heck- for a quick show to fill the void of some other sitcoms, I’d give it a try. I was not disappointed. Even my wife got into the show. We watched 2-3 episodes each night this week- loving it. Then last night something odd happened.

We were watching the last two episodes of Season 1. We finished just after midnight. Season 2 began streaming at exactly midnight. What luck! We had managed to enjoy the first season and it rolled over into the next season all ready for our binge-watching enjoyment. In a way I’m glad I missed out on the show last year when it released. Now I am able to enjoy a second dose immediately! Check out G.L.O.W. this weekend, it is a lot of fun.

It makes me wonder though, will Netflix create a series based on “American Gladiators” or “Rollergames” in the future? My inner teen sure hopes so.

Aggretsuko

I have many bonding moments with my kids. Usually over a tv show or movie. I’ve shown them some of my favorites from my childhood and a few others from more recent years.

Last night was different in the fact that my daughter wanted to share with me a new show. She is a Hello Kitty Fan and this new Netflix show is from Sanrio (the people who brought us Hello Kitty). Of course I was expecting cutesy but got something else entirely.

Instead of a cute little kitty with a bow, we are treated to a female red fox in business clothes. She has a daily office job that is sucking the life out of her; so after work she resorts to drinking beer and singing death metal karaoke. The show is cute in many aspects. Such as the animation and the thoughts that go through the fox’s head.

Surprisingly our 14 year old daughter says she relates to the character. Putting on a daily show, but having a built up frustration that she needs to hide from everyone. The content and language aren’t suited for small kids, but teens and adults alike should get some enjoyment from the show.

We have finished watching half of the first season already and plan on finishing the rest before the weekend is over. Maybe now my daughter will appreciate more of my older music…

Big Mouth

Recently I binge watched “Big Mouth” on Netflix. A cartoon about puberty and the struggles associated with it. I enjoy cartoons that push the limits of humor. The show makes fun of “The Office”, “Seinfeld” and even themselves throughout the episodes.


Some jokes were funny as well as the interaction amongst the characters. The songs are catchy and seem to be where the strongest writing is. The rest of the show is written like a “no reason boner”. Awkward, hard to avoid and oftentimes just irritating. At a time when “Rick and Morty” and “Archer” are on hiatus, I was hoping the show would fill in the void. But it lacked something underneath the writing as the jokes were either obvious or over the top vulgar for the sake of being vulgar.


There have been numerous adult humor cartoons over the past couple of decades that push the limits. Most people think of “Family Guy” or “Robot Chicken” as they push a quick dirty joke. Older shows like “The Quads” tried for the offensive as quick as possible with just the characters alone.


The short lived “Undergrads” built up a story arc in only 13 episodes, but had me wanting more. Unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be. As Netflix decides if it wants to renew “Big Mouth” my suggestion is to hit the audience with better laughs, not just a few giggles. Keep up with the songs and follow through with the story arcs that are going on. 

Maybe season two will be better. You can’t always hit a home run, but getting to third base is pretty satisfying.

Stranger Things

If you haven’t watched The Netflix original: “Stranger Things” then you are missing out on some 80’s nostalgia.  The looks of the sets were true to the time. Even the feel of how it was filmed was nostalgic. Not to mention, the show has some excellent character interactions as well.

2016 Havelka Pumpkin Carving


I’m not going to go into detail of the premise or plot. That is something that should be experienced. But let’s just say, we marathoned through the first season when it came out. The next season is due out in October. 

The first trailer for season two hit me right in the nostalgia feels once again. More 80’s: Full blown greatness. And Michael Jackson Thriller was the perfect soundtrack in the background. Bigger monsters too! The boy inside me is excited about what adventures await. Marathon 2 is planned!

Death Note? More like Death No.

Sadly, not everything Netflix touches turns into gold. The other day, my family and I watched the Netflix version of Death Note. The only thing about the movie was that it was DNINO. Yup. It fell under the trap of using a name of a popular show and had nothing to do with it. It was “Death Note In Name Only”.


Death Note was originally written as a fantastic anime. Years ago, my wife and I fell in love with it. So much so that we bought props and merchandise that reminded us of it. My wife has a necklace with an “L” on it and sometimes I call her “L”. I have a copy of a “Death Note” for myself. We also have a couple anime t-shirts from the series. Our eldest daughter has the series in manga form as well.


“Death Note” is a personal favorite anime of mine. It’s up there with “Akira”, “Astroboy” and “Cowboy Bepop” for shows that make the anime genre what it is. The Netflix version of “Death Note” is terrible. Even as just a regular movie it’s not good. This new movie only had the names of most of the characters and Ryuk. Not much more than that was accurate to the original story.


If I could write in my Death Note the names of those responsible for this terrible film, I would almost be tempted to do so. This new film was sacrilegious to the original. After watching the film, I am heartbroken by the knowledge that it wasn’t true to the storyline.

My advice to those thinking they should watch this new version of the show, watch the original anime instead. Trust me- you will love the character interactions and the climax of the storyline much more.

Netflix, I am saddened by what you have done to a beloved anime. Furthermore, if any director takes on “Akira” you better make it as accurate to the original as possible. You wouldn’t want fans going Neo Tokyo on you.

Set It and Forget It

I used to watch infomercials all the time.  They were the best.  A half hour devoted to try and get people to buy their product “In three easy payments“.

Ron Popeil was one of the greats.  Pieces of crap that he could convince everyone that they needed in their lives.  I mean this guy created  “GLH” for Christ sake!  Spray on hair in a can!  Winnning!


The best part was people’s reactions.  An entire audience of overactors behaving with such amazement that this product never existed before for a problem they never knew they had.  What?!!


But wait! There’s more!” Now we get to the meat and potatoes of the infomercial: Some freebie that comes with the piece of garbage.  Or better yet- you get two for the price of one!  And free shipping!  Just pay a processing fee and set up easy 4 payments of only $19.95! Sign up now and we’ll even take off one of those payments.  Only three easy payments!


I never fell for the ads.  In fact- I often analyzed the way it was laid out before the viewer.  It was like a group of teens from drama class sat around and decided to try and write a screenplay or bad sitcom and the product company stole it from the trash. Even the dialogue was childish. “You’re gonna love my nuts!” Still so much fun to quote.

No more late night infomercials for me since we cancelled cable.  I think Netflix should have the option to watch classic infomercials and leave the phone numbers still there! I’d watch them- maybe even call and place an order.

TV Watching

Like most people my age, TV has been a regular part of life since being born.  However, how we watch TV has evolved and is still evolving.

 

Program your own TV.

Picking up the remote and flipping channels has become a thing of the past.  Everything is “On Demand”.  Netflix paved the way for people to marathon through TV shows.  Watching 4-5 episodes (or more) of a show in one sitting is becoming the norm.

Back when I could barely afford cable TV, I enjoyed downloading TV shows on my computer.  YouTube had just started, so I found myself spending hours on my computer watching two minute clips at a time, wasting away the wee hours of the night. I discovered many channels that created a “one hit wonder” (can we say Numa Numa– holy crap that’s ten years ago!)  Now, you get only a few seconds to become an Internet Celebrity. (Damn Daniel).

I still stay up way past my bedtime, watching a screen or two until 3am.  I am often watching some sort of streaming video service.  I enjoy being able to watch TV shows on my time, not the time slot that we used to have to wait for.  I’ve also started to cut out shows that don’t grab my interest.  I don’t see the point of watching a series just because everyone else is.  Or, if a series has suddenly “Jumped The Shark”, I quit watching.

About a month ago, I had an opportunity to try out different Virtual Reality devices.  On one of the devices I watched a short film that was created by some former Pixar animators.  Wearing the goggles, the viewer is immersed in a new environment.  There was full 360° viewing capability.  When you focused on the main character, the story moved forward.  If you looked around to check out the environment you were in, the story would suspend and wait until your focus returned.  If you followed the main sequence of events, the movie went fairly quickly.  I love technological advances and this blew me away.  Something unique has been created and could be the future of video watching.

Stay tuned…

Pee-Wee Herman

My childhood was filled with strange and wonderful television shows. Most memorable was the character “Pee-Wee Herman”.

I first saw him on Superchannel when I lived in Edmonton.  It was 1981 or 1982, I was around five or six at the time.  It was Paul Reubens’ first TV special devoted to his character, Pee-Wee Herman.  Most of the adult jokes went over my head, but it was so much fun for me to see a grown man in a suit acting as a child.  All the adults at that time in my life appeared super serious and well in control of reality.  Then Pee-Wee showed up on my television.  Quirky, strange, and wishing to fly.  My little mind was shaken up:  Adults have dreams?

Years later, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” came out.  I was ten years old when I saw it on video.  I rented the film numerous times from our local video store.  I could probably quote to you nearly every scene. I also became a huge Tim Burton fan.  Later in my life, I even dressed up as Mr. Herman for Halloween.

 

“Exhibit A: A photograph of the victims…”

 
 

“Exhibit B: Another photograph. What’s missing from this picture? It’s just me. WITHOUT MY BIKE!”

 
“Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” became my regular Saturday morning routine from ’85-’90.  I watched and sang along to the theme song every week.  After watching each show, my friends and I would try and make each other say the secret word of the day.   

The secret word of the day is “Cool”.

Fast forward from the early 90’s to 2011.  “Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway” was released.  My memories came rushing back.  I showed this gem to my children (It allowed me to explain the safe way to use our deep-fat fryer through visual effects).  Paul Reubens was back.  I started following him on Facebook and Twitter.  A fun and crazy world opened up in the virtual world. My childish humor came back; I can joke with my children, and they joke back.  Then Netflix did something crazy.  They announced a new Pee-Wee Herman film. I was excited.  Soon after, a release date was announced.  The perfect gift for my 40th birthday.  Unfortunately, I was going to be in a hotel when it was released, hoping for a strong enough wi-fi.  A few days on the open road is worth a lifetime…  I waited up until 00:01 March 18, 2016 to be one of the first to watch “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday”.   

 

Best 40th Birthday Gift Ever! How’d they know my name was Joe?


Something strange and special about the film resonated with me.  It was quirky, unrealistic, laughable, and fun.  I could never expect anything less.  Father Time has been exceptionally kind to Paul Reubens: he still looks and acts like an oversized, naïve child stuck in an adult body. Thank you Pee-Wee Herman.  You haven’t changed a bit.

“You look really busy. Let me let you let me run.” ~Pee-Wee Herman