Tag Archives: TV series

Jumping the Soapbox: Halloween and Chill! 5 Awesome Specials for a Stress Free Playlist!

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The images you see in this editorial are the property of their respective owners

Halloween is the season of frights, monsters, cheap movies, and a hedonistic approach to eating candy, but while I do enjoy all of that stuff immensely, I’m feeling a bit mellower this time around and am not in the mood to get fully immersed in the seasonal excesses.  Maybe it’s the never ending horror show of a year we’ve been having so far, or maybe it’s because I’m already seeing scary movies on a regular basis for review purposes, but the thrill of hunting down the most obscure and blood drenched VHS horror camp isn’t doing it much for me right.  Not all is doom and gloom however for those that aren’t feeling the frightful mood as I’ve compiled a list of a few Halloween themed TV specials that you can easily chillax to that will hopefully get you back into the festive mood!  Oh, and obviously Treehouse of Horror episodes are great choices for a list like this, but neither the prospect of narrowing them down or filling up the entire list with them seems like a worthwhile endeavor; especially considering how well known they are at this point.  Anyway, let’s get started!!

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3rd Rock from the Sun – Scaredy Dick (S3 E5)

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Dick Solomon, the high commander of a team of aliens in human disguises trying to learn about humanity, is now faced with a new emotion that he’ll have to find a way to deal with; IRRATIONAL FEAR!  To keep his job as a university professor he’ll need to take a physical, but for some reason he becomes extremely terrified whenever he goes into the doctor’s office.  Not helping matters is that this problem JUST SO HAPPENS to crop up right around Halloween and since he can’t deal with his ACTUAL fears, he starts being afraid of everything around him; including what appears to be a ghost haunting the apartment.

This show is one of the best sitcoms ever made and while SOME of the episodes don’t hold up (the family reunion episode has some VERY off-putting and creepy moments), the ingenious premise that allows the phenomenal cast to explore all the messy facets of humanity feels like the benchmark of what sitcoms SHOULD be striving for.  The Halloween episode is another great example of that as Dick Solomon who is played by John Lithgow is acting like a child with how fearful he becomes of everything which is hilarious to watch but also has a degree of poignancy to it with how our internalized fears and shortcomings can bleed into other aspects of our lives.  This storyline also has the benefit of focusing on Harry Solomon who is played by French Stewart (another member of the alien crew) and the way that he and John Lithgow complement each other’s vaudevillian comedy chops.  I’m not all that thrilled about the subplot with Sally and Tommy played by Kristen Johnston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the two remaining crew members) where they’re house sitting for a coworker of Dick’s (Dr Mary Albright played by Jane Curtain) which is… FUNNY I guess, but it feels a bit too lightweight when compared to what Dick and Harry are up to at the apartment; especially when we get to the reveal of what’s ACTUALLY been haunting them.  Last time I checked the show is no longer on Netflix, but the box sets of these are INCREDIBLY cheap at this point and I’m pretty sure you can find the whole series for a measly twenty bucks, so do yourself a favor and watch ALL of the episodes, but make sure squeeze this in on the big night!

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“But what if it’s an ALIEN, Dick!?”     “Well we’re aliens too, so I’m sure we can reason with it.  Not if it has acid for blood!!”

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 1 (The River’s Edge)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Lee Toland Krieger

The day has finally arrived for Archie and the gang to get their grim and gritty reboot that I’m SURE at least one person out there was asking for!  Alright, the trailers didn’t give me a whole lot of hope for this series considering it looked more like The Vampire Diaries than its source material, but adapting ANYTHING from one medium to another does require there to be some changes, so I’m more than willing to give this a shot even if my expectations have been lowered based on what I’ve seen so far.  Does the pilot manage to assuage my fears and deliver on the legacy that these characters have, or is this a subpar teen drama with Archie branding splattered all over it?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with narration by Jughead (Cole Sprouse) that reminds me more of an embittered noir detective rather than the easy going burger chomping bro who inexplicably wears a crown, but at least it’s better than whatever the hell they were doing with him in the LAST live action adaptation.  At the very least, he does provide us a bit of backstory as the all the interesting stuff seemed to have already happened before we go here.  So what DID happen?  Back on The Fourth of July, the Blossom twins, Cheryl and Jason (Madelain Petsch and Trevor Stines) pulled a James Franco and went off to do something dangerous without letting anyone know and apparently without any cellphones.  The dangerous act in question turns out to be an early morning boat ride on the Riverdale River (I assume that’s what it’s called) where they don’t even bother to bring safety equipment or even life jackets.  Then again, I assume those would be ripped off right away ALONG WITH ALL THEIR CLOTHES.

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“Did we really need to get a boat to do this?  We could have just driven to a motel or something.”

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The Cartoon Physicist’s Noughtie List: Top 11 Things I Would Like To See Be Done (And Not Done) in Kevin Smith’s Buckaroo Banzai Series

Considering Buckaroo Banzai is my favourite movie, I have a few suggestions…

DISCLAIMER: This video was supposed to be out in September. This video is not for Halloween.