Tag Archives: TV

Charlie Day Time! *Special Craft Edition*

Spotted these while farting around at work today. After squealing like a little girl, I printed them out and started cutting away. Enjoy the end result.

These awesome little paper crafts can be found here.  And don’t worry fans, more episode reviews of It’s Always Sunny are on their way!

Posted by Wendy.

Women Matter: Modern Family and Parenthood Tackle (Non)Working Moms

Recently, two very different shows about families – Modern Family and Parenthood – addressed the difficult choices many mothers make when it comes to work and family.

In Modern Family, Claire (Julie Bowen) makes a catch-up date with her old friend, co-worker and business rival Valerie (Minnie Driver).  Claire left her fast track to executive-dom behind after she met Phil and became a homemaker, keeping together a loving yet typically insane household of three kids.  Valerie is single, maintains lovers on different continents and gets news that she’s been promoted and will be moving to Paris while at lunch with Claire.

At first, Claire thinks Valerie must envy her stability but then realizes that she actually pities her.   In her effort to one-up Valerie’s promotion, she invites her over to see her awesome family-life in action.  Instead, Valerie witnesses a house in disarray – kids barely dressed holding liquor bottles, a husband stuck in a porta-potty and bragging about having “taken care of business,” and a rat on the loose.  Valerie high tails it out of suburbia, and Claire gets over her initial embarrassment and anger in a sweet, “Gotta love ‘em” dinner time moment.

Parenthood addresses possibly opting back in.  Kristina’s (Monica Potter) former boss is about to announce her candidacy for Lieutenant Governor and wants her to come to Sacramento to help with her speeches, just like “old times.”  The stay-at-home mom’s initial reaction is to say no – life lately has been intense with her son’s Asperger’s diagnosis and her teenage daughter buying sexy Victoria’s Secret bras.  Her husband Adam (Peter Krause) encourages her and the clearly excited Kristina says yes to a three day stint.

Once there, she feels out of place amongst the 20 something campaign staffers sitting in front of laptops, calling each other “dude” and talking about tweets.  But, her moment of triumph occurs at about 25 minutes into the 43 minute episode during a pitch for an important endorsement.  She uses – gasp – a personal connection, a sense of history and a carefully placed “dude” to lock it in.

With that success comes the offer of a full time job and one of the better pieces of writing the show has seen.  Kristina explains to Adam:  “Honestly, while I was there, I felt so alive…It was like I was being seen for the first time in so long.”  And, Adam, perfect husband that he is, soaks it all in and starts making plans about how they can adjust to become a dual working parent household.  But the plans are too much, and the pull toward family even more, and Kristina decides against taking the job.

I’m not a wife or a mother, but I’m surrounded by women everyday making similar choices and being torn in similar ways.  And I can’t say that I haven’t thought about what being a mom would mean for my personal identity and level of fulfillment, and what working full time would mean for my time (or lack of time) with my child.

I was recently at a More magazine lunch about happiness in a post women’s lib world and when one older high-powered executive asked the younger feminists what they are fighting for, temperatures rose.  Of course, there is still a lot to fight for.  Women make significantly less than men, are severely underrepresented in positions of power and our reproductive rights are constantly at jeopardy – not to mention the horrible abuses that women are subjected to worldwide, from being forced to become child brides to being the victims of the sex trade (see Nicholas Kristof’s “Half the Sky”).

But one issue that the different generations agreed should be a major one to rally around is making life easier for working moms.  There’s a new book by Brooklyn-based mom Sharon Lerner called “The War on Moms: On Life in a Family-Unfriendly Nation,” in which she argues that the U.S. federal government needs to have better systems in place to support moms, including mandated paid maternity leave (it’s alarming to hear that only 42% of moms take off 12 weeks off after giving birth), a public daycare system and solid flex work options.

I’m going to keep tabs on the White House Council on Women and Girls as they tackle these and other policies that’ll help create that “21st century workplace to meet the changing needs of the 21st century workforce.”  They recently hosted a Forum on Workplace Flexibility that seemed to kick things off.

In the meantime, let’s thanks mom this Mother’s Day for her hard work, whether it’s in or out of the home.

Posted by: Mariela

Where Have All The Theme Songs Gone?

“You take the good, you take the bad you take them both and there you have…”  That takes me straight to Tootie, Blair, Jo and the Facts of Life gang and noon sandwiches at home after swimming lessons.

“Here we are face to face a couple of silver spoons.”  That one makes me wish desperately for a rideable indoor train, if only my apartment was big enough.

“I bet we’ve been together for a million years.  And I bet we’ll be together for a million more.”  That was the motherload, Thursday’s Must See TV that welcomed the slow but oh-so-stylish Mallory and the charming and forever young Alex P. Keaton.

In the last month, I even managed to get the theme songs for Disney’s Adventure of the Gummi Bears and Dear John stuck in my head and dutifully song bombed them forward.

Because they are memorable.  Because they wisp you back to a very specific time, when TV schedules mattered and brought people together.  Maybe it’s because I just watched more TV back then?

All I know is that, these days, theme songs have all but been washed away.  Blink and you’ll miss them.  Modern Family’s lasts all of 10 seconds and 30 Rock’s a mere 18.  A quick review of the 15 top rated TV shows last week showed, first off, that only six were original comedies or dramas (the rest were reality TV, the NCAA Championship Game and 60 Minutes).  Of those six, only one could be categorized as good and that one is “Who are You?” written and performed by The Who for CSI.  The rest all sound like a version of the same sort of Muzak.

So…what happened?  Is it a theme song revolt against our multitasking lives, impatient viewing habits and too-quick-to-fast-forward fingers?  Are the writers saying: “Enough is enough.  If you won’t respect us, then we won’t respect you!”

I bet that’s part of it.  And I even bet that shorter theme songs are part of the revolt.  The shorter they are, the harder they become to zip through in order to get right to the storyline.

I zip through them myself, but I do think it’s a shame that we’ll never find ourselves, late at night, having group sing-a-longs to any theme song post 1995.  And maybe that’s being generous?

Posted by: Mariela

Charlie Day Time! Episode 7 – Charlie Got Molested.

Charlie and the McPoyles

This week’s episode is “Charlie Got Molested”, in which the gang thinks that Charlie got molested by his gym coach back in the day, but in reality he didn’t.  It marks the end of Season One for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I love this episode for two non-Charlie reasons.  The main reason is that this is the  first appearance by the McPoyle brothers, who are so creepy and disgusting that you can’t help but bust a gut laughing just by looking at them.  The second reason this episode is amazing is because it features America’s favorite principal Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins) as the gym coach from Charlie and Mac’s past.

But enough about other people that are not our beloved Charlie Day.  This episode is chocked full of tidbits about Charlie.  So, without further delay, let’s look at some of the things we learned about Charlie in this very special episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

  • Charlie can come up with some pretty evil schemes when he’s wasted.  This is pointed out to Charlie by the McPoyle brothers when he comes to stop them from falsely accusing the gym teacher of molesting them in order to get wealthy off of the lawsuit.  They point it out to him that he was the one that came up with the plan one night when they were all out drinking together.
  • As a child, Charlie was a bit of a psychopath. Mac comes to Dee and Denis and tells them his theory of why Charlie couldn’t have been molested as a child because he wasn’t weak like child molesters like their victims to be.  Mac goes on to describe Charlie as a child:  “… Charlie was a little bit of a psychopath.  He had this thing when he got excited his face would just turn purple and he would start biting things.  I don’t think Murray would have put his dick anywhere near him.”
  • Charlie’s mom calls him her “little gingerbread man”. She states this when she is trying to compose herself, and tells herself to “be strong for your little gingerbread man”.  This is hilarious to me.
  • Charlie has an Uncle Jack.  This isn’t that exciting of a tidbit, except that I also have an Uncle Jack.  Although mine is not creepy, and doesn’t get enjoyment over watching people touch dolls in naughty places.
  • Charlie touched his sister’s vagina. Apparently.  This comes out when everyone is hugging and crying because of the intervention.

That’s it for this week’s Charlie Day Time!  Up next….Season Two and the arrival of Danny Devito!

charlie and the baby

Posted by Wendy

Can You Identify 100 Theme Songs in 10 Minutes?

This is the most fun I’ve had in 10 minutes in a very long time.  

I probably could name about 25 at first listen, but I’m about to break out a pad and pencil (non mechanical) to be sure.

Posted by: Mariela

Charlie Day Time! Episode 4 – Charlie Gets Cancer

I gotta say, for this episode having Charlie’s name in the title, it is very light on the Charlie action.  There is one memorable thing, though, about this episode…I IDENTIFIED WITH CHARLIE!!

I’m shocked by the fact that I started to identify with Charlie, but let’s look at the facts:

  • Charlie crys when alone in his apartment – I TOTALLY DO THIS!!!  When we first see Charlie, Dennis is stopping by to borrow a basketball.  He is questioned why he looks so “poofie”, to which he replies, “Oh, yea, I’ve been crying a little bit”.  This is also a good time to note this is the first time we see Charlie’s apartment.  Charlie, in my mind anyways, scores some point by having the “Trust” poster on his wall.  Considering the episode proves how un-trustworthy he is, it’s a great shout out.  CharlieTrust
  • Charlie never gets laid – NEITHER DO I!!!  Ok…’never’ is a strong word, but whatever.  My main point here is how Charlie’s friends react to finding out he has cancer.  Dee’s first thought is about Charlie and his awesome hair, and how sad it will be for him to lose it.  I have great hair.  I’m known for my awesome hair styles.  I think my friends would get a little sad about me losing my hair, too.  Also, I would hope my friends would gather around and try to get me laid if I ever tell them I have cancer.  Ladies – I give you full permission to do this.  I want some sex before I die.

There were also some adorable moments of Charlie and The Waitress in this episode.  I especially loved the part where Charlie trys to ask her out after discussing her “Live Strong” bracelet.  While asking her out, she walks away from him mid-sentence.  Charlie says softly, “Its not a thing to walk away about…”.  awww….

*Non-Charlie note:  This episode saw the introduction of Artemis.  I tried to find the clip online of her doing her “Coyote Ugly” audition for Dennis, but couldn’t.  She fucking rules!

Posted by Wendy

Say It Ain’t So: Academy Trying to End the Red Carpet?

Is the Academy really trying to convince Oscar presenters not to walk the red carpet in order to keep people intrigued in the show?

You can’t take away an awards show’s red carpet! Awards shows are all about awkward red carpet hosts, fashion credits (i.e. ‘So tell me, who are you wearing?’) and uncomfortable moments (e.g., Gary Busey, Issac Mizrahi’s breast grabbing)!!!

Require all presenters to change their outfit to present if you want  people to stay tuned, but you can’t try to take away the red carpet.

Posted by: Lisa

I Don’t Like The Wire…So Sue Me!

wire

About once a week, someone enthusiastically tells me:  “You must watch The Wire.  You’ll love it.” They say it with conviction, with the resolute knowledge that they’re passing on the key to unlock the show that will become a favorite of my life.

So, I added it to my Netflix queue.  I watched a couple of episodes, thought that it surely only starts off slow, and watched a couple more.  Nope, still slow. Other issues I had with it?  I couldn’t understand what they were saying half the time, partly because of the audio quality and partly because their slang is so incredibly authentic that I just can’t relate (apparently).  And…there were too many characters.  If midway through the season, I still don’t connect with one person it seems to me that the show is a little self indulgent or fond of spreading itself too thin.  Contradictory ideas, maybe, but not in this case.

The recommendations kept coming as I was plugging away at Season 1, so I was determined to make sure that there wasn’t some big pay off at the end.  There wasn’t.   Still, I sent away for Season 2, watched the first two episodes on the docks and called it a day.  That was early 2008 and just last night I had a group pleading with me to watch.

I tried very hard, but The Wire is not for me.  It never will be.  For all of you that keep insisting that it’s one of the best TV shows ever, that’s great, but I won’t be convinced.  Please stop trying to change my mind.  I gave it more than a fair break and there are just simply too many other movies and TV shows that I’d like to catch up with when I’m feeling lazy.

I gave it three stars on Netflix, only because I recognize that it must be better than a lot of other crap that’s out there like, say, Reba or That’s So Raven.  There you have it:  I don’t like The Wire…so sue me!

Posted by: Mariela

This Week’s Top 5: Most Memorable Moments in TV

Mariela:

1. Family Ties — “The Real Thing”

Michael J. Fox’s Alex P. Keaton falls in love with his future wife’s character, Ellen Reed, while Billy Vera and the Beaters’ “At This Moment” plays.  An enduring love scene.  It’s so sad that, because of copyright issues, this isn’t available online.  Instead, I’ll leave you with the Family Ties curtain call, where Fox’s eyes are welling up with tears.  I remember mine were, too.

2. Freaks and Geeks — “Girlfriends and Boyfriends”

This is painful to watch.  Nick invites Lindsay over, takes her to his candle-filled basement, presses play on the jukebox and “performs” Styx’s “Lady.”  Lindsay’s facial expressions are priceless — moving from is he kidding, to he’s not, to when will this end, to a desperate plea to just make out.

3. Cosby Show — “Rudy’s Slumber Party”

I always loved when Rudy’s friend Peter from across the street visited and this is the best of them. Mr. Cobsy entertains a pile of kids in what seems like a totally unscripted scene.  Watch for Alicia Keys as one of the kids.

4. Six Feet Under – “I’ll Take You”

Nate discovers Brenda’s duplicitous life and the episode gives us one of the most explosive breakups ever.  Superb writing and acting.  Warning: don’t watch if you have a problem with cursing.  There’s a hell of a lot of it.

5. Gilmore Girls — “The Final Episode”

This was going to be Pacey and Joey’s first kiss, but then I realized I have never once Netflixed or felt an inexplicable urge to watch Dawson’s Creek and I get one of those urges for Gilmore Girls weekly. Here, a scene from the final episode (which I still have saved on my DVR), when Rory is about to leave to follow Barack Obama on the campaign trail.  There has never been a more nuanced and fulfilling relationship on TV.

Wendy:

1.  Twin Peaks – “Cooper’s Dream”

I remember watching this as a kid.  I would make my parents tape it for me since it was on past my bedtime.  However, sometimes they would fall asleep on the couch and I would just stay out there and watch it.  BOB still scares the shit out of me.

2.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “Smashed”

I couldn’t find a clip of this online, but the scene is when Buffy and Spike have sex for the first time.  It is so rough!  I remember watching it with Mariola, and we heard a “zip”.  We just turned to each other and gasped!  It still shocks me everytime I watch it.

3.  Star Trek – The First televised interracial kiss!

Only approved by the censors because it was forced by sadistic aliens!

4.  The Office – Christmas Special

I loved Tim & Dawn from the original UK show.  I still have an insane crush on Tim.  When they finally got together at the end of the Christmas special I was bawling like a baby.

5.  Home Movies – “Daddy’s Home”

I should say H. Jon Benjamin is one of my favorite voice actors.  He is hilarious in everything he does.  This scene is just a taste.  I was also thinking of showing the Bully incident involving Dr. Katz and his son for this.  There was also the line, which I use a lot, “How am I?  I just drank pee, how are you?” from another episode of Home Movies.  Benjamin is a genius.

Mariola:

1. Diff’rent Strokes — “Green Hair”
When Kimberly Drummond washes her hair with acid rain and it turns green.  My first exposure to global weirding!

2. Family Ties —  “The Real Thing”
Alex P. Keaton and Ellen Reed dance to “At This Moment.”  And maybe I love this episode because it reminds me of Mariela, who probably loves it still more.  But Republican Alex falls for the strong, smart girl…sigh…

3. Moonlighting — “Atomic Shakespeare”
I loved watching this show with my mom.  Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Wilis had great chemistry.
In this episode the cast re-enacts Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”  At 10, my nerdy self began to love Shakespeare.

4. Beverly Hills 90210 — “Isn’t it Romantic”
Brenda and Dylan fall for each other.  I don’t know that this taught me anything, other than girls fall for the brooding, troubled type (see Jordan Catalano and Angel).

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer — “The Body”

Her mom dies, really a masterpiece. Why do we have to grow up and lose our parents?  So sad.


Lisa:

1. Gilmore Girls — “Those Are Strings, Pinocchio”
The relationship between Loreli and Rory is one of TV’s best. Rory’s high school valedictory speech is just a small look at its depth.

2. West Wing — “Six Meetings Before Lunch”
By the end of Season 1,West Wing was at its height. Great writing and kooky characters romanticized politics for me. C.J. singing the Jackal is one I always go back to.

3. Sex and the City “Ex and the City”
I was officially always a champion of Mr. Big. This episode & its The Way We Were references epitomizes the optimism of the show

4. Wonder Years — Pilot
Kevin and Winnie’s kiss makes my heart melt. Fred Savage was admittedly my first crush.

5. 90210 — “Commencement: Part 1”
The 90210 Senior Breakfast made me want to be older so bad!. Oh, High School in the 90s. Remember: Donna Martin Graduates?’

Autumn:

1. The Cosby Show — Pilot Episode, ‘Monopoly Scene’

All it took was the combination of cocky and young Theo Huxtable, ‘Monopoly’ as a learning tool, and the tough love of Dr. Cliff Huxtable in Episode 1 of NBC’s long running ‘The Cosby Show’ and I was hooked. This is arguably my favorite television show ever and I gravitate to it over almost everything else on television these days. I kid you not, I will use this series as a teaching tool for my some-day foray into parenthood.

2. Northern Exposure — Revelations, ‘That’s Not a Man!’

Chris Stevens, my high school infatuation and an unfortunately over-embellished design of a spiritually rugged mountain man that can’t possibly exist in real life, travels to a monastery to search out his inner religious secret.  He excels at the quietude, the contemplation and rather enjoys himself until he finds himself inexplicably sexually aroused by another monk who has decided to take a vow of silence. He struggles with his sexuality, his sense of spirit and ultimately confronts the monk to divulge with his honest yearning. It turns out she is a woman. He is relieved, of course, but he never condemns himself for the possibility of his homosexual urges. Love is blind, if you’re totally open to it. 

 

3. Northern Exposure — Only You, “Would you, just, smell me?”

Chris Stevens again, folks. In this episode he succumbs to his sometimes outrageous affliction of overwhelming pheromones and the whole female population of Cicely, Alaska, goes ga-ga over him. He, of course, becomes intrigued with the one woman in town who shows no interest in him whatsoever. She, a traveling optometrist, apparently is the only one who can see the truth. He approaches her and professes his love. He tells her: “I guess that’s why I’m crazy in love with you.” She puzzles: “Because I’m not interested in you?” He replies: “Yeah.”
Ain’t it just like life?

 

4. Twin Peaks — “Nasty Bob”

Bob crawls through the window. End of story. Or is that ‘Fire Walk With Me?’ 

5. Amazing Stories, “The Golden Wheels”

I remember watching this show with my parents as a kid. Amazing Stories was a short-lived Steven Spielberg series somewhat reminiscent of the Twilight Zone. Kevin Costner and Kiefer Sutherland star in this episode called ‘The Mission’ which tells the tale of a WW2 bomber plane crew. The plane takes on some heavy hits during combat which causes its landing gear to no longer operate. There is an artistic gunner who occupies the capsule underneath the belly of the plane and they may have to sacrifice him to save the lives of the other crew members in an emergency landing. The crew flies home searching for a miracle. The artist daydreams, grabs his drawing pad and hopefully draws the wheels he so wishes the plane to have. The crew braces for landing, having said goodbye to the gunner, but the plane lands and the artist survives. The crew gets out to see it has miraculously landed on the golden cartoon-like wheels that the gunner had drawn in his sketch book. It was an amazing image that has stuck with me throughout the years.

Charlie Day Time! Episode 1 – The Gang Gets Racist.

Charlie Header

Some of us here at Matterful have discovered we share a common “problem”.  We are obsessed with Charlie Day.  In case you are unfamiliar with him, Charlie Day is an actor and writer for the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX.  The character he plays on the show is also named Charlie.  The character he plays on the show is the reason we are all obsessed with him….and we are trying to figure out why.

The character of Charlie on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is not a good human being.  Just read this description of him I found on Wikipedia:

Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly: Mac’s childhood friend and a co-owner of Paddy’s. Arguably the most unhappy and pathetic member of the gang, Charlie is a volatile loser who displays little ability to cope with day-to-day problems and is prone to Bobcat Goldthwait-styled outbursts. He also has poor hygiene, lives in squalor, and frequently abuses inhalants. Several characters refer to his dingy apartment as a “shit hole.” His poverty is in part caused by a tendency to make “bad investments,” at one point selling several shares of Paddy’s to Mac for half a sandwich. Throughout the show, Charlie shows signs of learning disabilities, including dyslexia, and is often accused of being illiterate and “retarded” by other characters. He is sometimes unable to comprehend what people are talking about, and has a poor grasp of history and current events. Charlie has no success in dating, and harbors an unrequited crush on “The Waitress.” He also exhibits a flair for dressing in costumes and assuming other personae, including the enigmatic “Green Man,” the film character Serpico, and “Texas Charlie.” In the season three premiere Charlie’s mother reveals that he was the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.

Why would anyone find a character like that attractive?  WHY?  The ladies of Matterful are on a mission to understand why we find Charlie so attractive.  We are going to take turns watching episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and try pin-point the charms of Charlie.  Unfortunately for some, Hulu.com has just announced that they are taking down all the episodes of It’s Always Sunny on January 25th.  Fortunately, I own all the dvds (minus this last season).

Let’s kick things off with Episode One, “The Gang Gets Racist”.  In this episode, the gang get a promoter for Paddy’s Pub, only to discover it is being turned into a gay bar, and Charlie tries to convince the Waitress he is not racist.

This is our introduction to the whole crew, and I found myself immediately drawn toward Charlie.  I think this is in part to the fact that Charlie Day looks just like my friend Drew, sans glasses.  His voice even sounds a little like him, and since I think Drew is the bee’s knees, I instantly found Charlie very endearing. Here are some of the other highlights of Charlie that made me swoon a little.

  • “Well, sometimes you’re not too cool” – I love it when people give extremely childish responses to insults.
  • He knows about ‘crazy eyes’ – His response when Dee’s friend is talking about a man he met in a bar.
  • His crush on the Waitress is kinda adorable.  This is before we know that he hires someone to spy on her, and before it is revealed that she is in love with Dennis.  Still, I found it cute that he would carry around her picture in his wallet.  Unrequited love always gets a vote from me.
  • Black chicks dig him.
  • This adorable sideways look he gives Mac; look at those puppy eyes!!!  Adorable!

charlie

Posted by Wendy