Carried Away – Yes, Even You Can Have a Punny TV Show

I love a good pun. Ok, so perhaps the very essence of the pun means they can’t be “good.” But, still. However, the naming-a-television-show-with-a-pun-of-the-main-characters-name has got to stop. In flipping through my Entertainment Weekly fall TV preview issue, there are two new shows with these titles:

Hart of Dixie – Rachel Bilson plays doctor Zoe Hart, who leaves NYC for a practice in Alabama.
Reed Between the Lines – Tracee Ellis Ross plays Dr. Carla Reed, a psychologist who works AND has kids, people.

Other examples:
Raising Hope
Hope and Faith
Hart to Hart
Grey’s Anatomy
Better Off Ted
Saving Grace
Joan of Arcadia
Grace Under Fire
Sonny With a Chance

And on and on and on…

Here are my predictions for future television shows just waiting their chance at word play and ratings glory:

Itis What It Is – Jo Itis is a single mother raising three kids and juggling her juggling career and the rest of life’s hassles.

Two Birds, One Stone – Kendra and Patrick Bird are jewel thieves wrapped up in international intrigue and love for each other.

Old Hat – Gary Hat, a resident of the local retirement home, is a retired cop. Everybody bugs him for advice on cold cases. (Spin-off will be Old Adage, about a lady named Adage Adams)

Tossen Cookies – Cookie Tossen is a baker, and perpetually single. She needs a man to do it with her and some help in the kitchen! She also has a sensitive stomach.

Fall on the Sworde – A sci-fi show where the entire nation has mysteriously stopped experiencing Winter, Summer, and Spring. It’s up to scientist Harold Sworde to figure out why.

Steve All About It – Steve Hunch is the managing editor of a struggling newspaper. His life pretty much sucks.

Half and Half – Two detectives – Ronnie Half, an idealistic newbie, and Dan Waite, a grizzled and cynical dwarf – try and get along while stopping crime in the city of Atlanta. If it’s on the same network, maybe they can get occasional help from Gary Hat. And oh my God, there has already been a show called Half & Half about half sisters. It ran for four years. Crap. Potential new names for my show: Half-Pint, The Ron and Short of It, or The Waiting is the Halfest Part.

E = M.C. Squared – Twins Michael and Charlie are aspiring rappers. Their rapping duo act is called Energy. They rap at the local town square for tips and also help the locals with their various problems.

MY TV show will be called “Carried Away,” about a woman obsessed with coming up with TV show titles with puns in them.

I could do this allll day.

What? No, 1950s, wanting a pair of Santa Claus slaves is totally normal. Stop worrying.

I love stuff from the 1950s and 60s (pre-hippie and avocado green). Specifically, I love Made in Japan ceramics from that era. Salt and pepper shakers, planters, figurines, Christmas decorations – I’ve got a good amount of it. Unfortunately, most of it has been packed away for a couple of years now because we tried to sell our house two years ago, I’m lazy, and we’re going to try and sell our house again someday. The upside to that is when I finally get to drag them all out of their boxes, I won’t remember half of it. It’ll be a nice surprise.

One of the reasons I really like this stuff is because it is weird. Very weird. It’s like everyone was on a post World War II high and decided to channel that through crazy kitchenware items. Luckily, two of my favorite things aren’t packed up.

First, my favorite thing, ever. This is a Holt Howard relish condiment jar (the Holt Howard line of condiment jars like this is called “Pixieware,” btw). Don’t even try to tell me you don’t want one. Back in the 1950’s, if you were a real hostess, you didn’t humiliate your guests by forcing them to accessorize their hamburgers with faceless, soulless jars and dispensers. You put condiments in a ceramic jar with a spoon too short to reach the bottom, and you put a whimsical face on that spoon, or you can fucking forget it, I’ll eat my hamburger plain.

You have to get your relish out of the jar it came in? Oh, God, I'm SO sorry.

There are tons of these jars. I own several. But this relish one is my favorite. Partly because of the colors and he has my favorite thing-that-represents-the-condiment-expression, and partly because it was a Christmas present from my sister and parents. The relish jar is rare, and my relish jar is in mint condition – so suck on that, it’ll make your breath fresh. But, I show you this only as a gateway to my second specimen. I don’t think you could have handled it by itself.

You know all those people who lament about how unequivocally awesome and more better “simpler times” were? About how “back then” you didn’t have to x, y, and z, and Back Then is the captain of the football team and Now is the slutty drop-out under the bleachers? And kick the can, apple pie, gingham tablecloths, lemonade, scooters, and Norman Rockwell? You can argue until you’re blue in the face that time moves forward, awesomeness is always a give and take/subjective – some people in the 50s thought it sucked, just like people think now sucks, etc. Or, you can just show them this picture:

Yah, Santa! Yah!

Yes. That is a blond angel, dressed to the Christmas nines, holding a giant candy cane with one hand, and wrangling two tiny Santa Claus’ on chains in the other. My sister and I inappropriately call this the “Santa slaves girl.” That came from the 1950s, y’all. In the 1950s, somebody said, “Let’s make a figurine of an angel, and let’s have her walking one, no, two Santas, each attached to a chain. You know, for Christmastime.” A more innocent time, my ass.

There’s actually a lot of big-thing-with-two-littler-things-on-chains figurines from that time. Most of them are animals – a mama and two babies of the same kind of animal. Here is one. Here is another.

Here is a lady with two sophisticated children, I’m guessing. Weird, yes, but I can see that perhaps, like the real-life modern day child leashes, that this was done for safety’s sake.

But two malnourished, failure-to-thrive Santas? On chains? Look at it!

Ok, ok. How about this – anyone who thinks that the past was a more morally “pure” time than the present, admit that this figurine is totally and completely messed up, and I’ll do you the favor of modernizing it so that you can feel comfortable that the original version is less sick. Deal?

I’m just glad we could all come to an acceptable compromise.

Saturday Morning Ridiculousness – Super Friends S1 Ep2

This is part of my weekly Saturday Morning installment dedicated to archiving and commenting on the wonderful “what else can we put in here to make it an hour” ridiculousness that is the cartoon series, Super Friends.

Season 1 – Episode 2: “The Baffles Puzzle”

Airdate was September 15, 1973.

The Super Friends consist of Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman, and Robin. Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog are the “Junior Super Friends.” They haven’t made partner yet. They also have no super powers other than Wonder Dog’s ability to almost speak.

Short Synopsis: Professor Baffles keeps stealing stuff, but not really. He’s using a chemical that disintegrates everything except for glass and ways to escape when in peril. The chemical smells like almonds. Professor Baffles is destroying art and literature because he believes that’s what corrupted man. PB is shocked and appalled to find out the two henchmen who have been helping him are only in it for the money. The henchmen kidnap PB, Wendy, and Marvin – everyone is (eventually, good lord, eventually) saved by the Super Friends. Wonder Dog is allergic to almonds.

Weekly Meeting Shenanigans
This is the 2nd episode with the Super Friends in their weekly meeting. From what I can gather so far, the weekly meeting is in the same vein as a book club where no one has read the book or a band practice where no one can play an instrument. This week, at their weekly meeting:

Batman hustles Robin.
Superman waits by the phone for an emergency like a desperate woman waits for a date to call.

Important Super Friends Acronym: S.D.I. – Secret Department of Investigation. They are totally legit.

Lamest Proof of Skillz Ever: Professor Baffles calls the S.D.I., stating that he plans on absconding with rare lithographs that France has lent to the U.S. for exhibition, currently residing at the American National Museum. To prove that his threat is very real and that there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him, he cops to a previous sinister theft – he totes stole all the encyclopedias from the local library, y’all.

Logistics! Not a Super Power.
Professor Baffles clearly explains that he will steal the lithographs at precisely 8 p.m. No kidding, this is what the narrator says in the next scene: “That night at ten minutes before 8, the Super Friends stake out the American Museum.” Are you shitting me? Ten minutes? I think this sums up why there’s no reason they couldn’t have at least committed to a half an hour prep time:

Superman Thinks He’s the Bees Knees
“If they’ve tricked me, then they’ve tricked the others, too.”

Best. Instructions. Ever.
“You check the coast of Spain, and I’ll see about Batman and Robin.” – Superman

Shut Up, Batman
Superman (double checking that the money they have been tasked with protecting is still in fact, there): The money is gone!
Batman: I suggest we investigate.

“Learning is something only Marvin can do for Marvin – right, Superman?” – Batman

Batman chiding Robin for not keeping off the grass.

My husband doodled this at work last week. Unrelated, but eerily appropriate:


If you would like to witness these shenanigans in all their glory, the first season of Super Friends is available on DVD. This is an affiliate link.

Two Things You Don’t Want to Hear a Doctor Say in Sequential and Horrific Order

I went to the doctor recently for a yearly check-up. First of all, I learned I was 1 and 1/4 inch taller than I thought I was. Now my driver’s license has a big fat lie on it and there’s been so many things I thought I couldn’t reach and didn’t bother to try, now only to find out I should have.

That was the GOOD news to come of the appointment. I also figured I’d kill two doctor appointments with one stone and get my stupid pap smear over with. Yay! The mention of a pap smear! Trust me, I’m right there with you. But, the two things I heard the doctor mutter that day were so hilarious and horrific that they warrant documentation. Sparing you every detail, I present, the two things any woman who takes herself too seriously should hear:

1. “I can’t find your uterus.”
2. “I’m going to need some assistance.” (Gets up and cracks the door) “AMANDA! Could you come in here please?”

After Amanda arrived, with a flashlight, I guess, the doctor then completed the following SAT analogy question:

The Holy Grail : The Fountain of Youth ::

a. wallet : money
b. car : television
c. keys : uterus

“Never mind, I found it.”

Holy Grail : Keys

The Goonies vs Super 8 – A Sign I May Be Ready for Parenthood

Whether to have kids is a much discussed topic in our household. One of my concerns is that I don’t feel like an adult. I still feel like a kid – I don’t know how the world works, I’m not responsible enough (and don’t do enough adult-y things like know how the stock market works), I like the freedom to watch all the violent R-rated movies I want to, and so on.

I’ve “grown” to realize that most people either don’t feel like adults, are actually irresponsible/crazy/just shouldn’t be a parent, or are an adult but still don’t have all their adult bases covered like I expect myself to. “Adult bases covered” sounds like some term from the Hays Code, but I assure you I don’t mean public indecency.

Like most things in my life – I have used Pop Culture to help me understand where I’m at as a person.

We saw Super 8 when it came out this year. It’s about a group of adolescent kids trying to solve a mystery/avoid being eaten about/by an alien. Additionally, one of my favorite movies is The Goonies – it came out when I was roughly 8 years old – which is about a group of adolescent kids trying to find a pirate’s treasure/not be ruthlessly murdered by a trio of ex-cons.

As I was watching Super 8, I was hit with the strangest sensation: I’m not reacting to this movie, which has the same general theme and plot, as I do to The Goonies.**

These are my feelings while watching The Goonies:

Skeleton Piano
You play that skeleton piano until you make it to the treasure or someone gets impaled, there’s a neighborhood at stake!
Troy's Bucket
Don’t go up Troy’s bucket to ensure your safety and let your parents know they don’t need to release an Amber Alert, it’s your time, your time down there! Your parents don’t understand! Obviously y’all battling homicidal maniacs for a pirate treasure is the only viable option to preserve your happy childhoods!
Sloth Love Chunk
Wow, that’s so great that Chunk, an 11 year old boy, offered up his parents’ home and life to a giant, mentally handicapped man-child.

In summary: I identify with the kids. I now know the reason for that is because I saw this movie for the first time when I was a kid, because watching Super 8 was very different:

That girl stole her father’s car? Oh dear, she must come from a troubled home. I hope she doesn’t wreck it because the insurance premiums will go through the roof.
What in the fuck are these parents’ deals? They are setting horrible examples and emotionally neglecting their children. I certainly hope they come around to understand how great their kids are and get themselves together.
You turn around right now, go back to that gym, and find a goddamn doctor! And, many, many other instances of “Be careful;” “That’s not your responsibility, or, shouldn’t be;” and “Oh, babies, it’ll be better once you get out of high school.”

So, if I end up with a kid, I can tell them that a movie about One-Eye Willie’s booty and a movie about a bunch of teens making a zombie movie had something to do with their existence.

**I understand that E.T. is the blueprint for Super 8, but I’ve only seen that movie once, when I was 5 years old. But, I’m sure the identification with/concern for dichotomy exists there as well.