Not As Seen On TV

by The TV Guy

It is not like they show us on TV or in the movies; the stoic counselor with a beard and an office full of books and fine leather furniture with diplomas covering the walls. The reality is a rather young, untrained, “green” counselor floundering about attempting to guide clients through genuine life experiences that many of them have never had to deal with on any real life level while trusting the experience of other counselors or mediocre textbooks. I fear for the future of counseling!

I am working on a Master’s degree and having to banter back and forth with other students, some young, some old, and well I fear for those who will open up and share the deepest portion of their soul with these delightful morons. They have chosen to help others and for this I commend them, but I am so scared that they are headed out into the world to mess up people much worse than the world they have come in from to get the care they so desperately need.

So, if you are in need of a counselor, please take your time and ask a lot of questions and do not accept that because the person sort of sounds like they know what they are talking about that they really do. There are so many bad counselors/ therapists out there and this is your warning… be careful, do your homework, and if it does not feel like a good fit, find another one. There are good counselors out there; you just have to find them.  Counseling is a very personal experience and accepting the first yahoo as a qualified professional can be a traumatic mistake.


by The TV Guy

So this week, I made the decision that I wanted to be able to watch anything I could pull up on my laptop, iPad, or iPhone directly on my television.  Having Internet connectivity on the television does allow for connectivity of applications that are offered, but this was not enough. As a recent member of Fox soccer2go, I have access to a library of European league football that otherwise I would not have access on my laptop or phone alone.

Google Chromecast allows for me to open it up on my computer and immediately sync it with my television. I was able to look at photos using the Roku and through other applications I was able to access Netflix or Hulu plus but I could not simply take what I was viewing and pop it up onto the screen. Now, viewing anything on my laptop on my TV is possible using chromecast. The up-side is that this little piece of hardware is only $35 and plugs right into an HDMI connection on the side of my new TV. I haven’t had this long enough to say if it’s good or not but I am able to do things today I was unable to do yesterday.

For those of you who are still in the “dark ages” of television this may be a great solution if your television has an HDMI plug in the back. You would be able to simply load up Netflix or Hulu plus on your laptop and connect to your television without the need for the purchase of a more expensive piece of hardware. Over the next few months I will periodically update everyone on the usefulness of this piece of hardware. But in all fairness, for 35 bucks, I don’t know what else you could buy that does the same thing.

Revenge Gets Its Mojo Back

by the TV Guy’s Stepmom
thIt was several months into season one when I started watching Revenge.  The TV Guy’s father was already a fan.  This night time soap is engaging, and I found myself caught up in the lives of the uber-rich inhabitants of the Hamptons.
The plot: new Hampton resident Emily Thorne quickly becomes a thorn in the side of Victoria Grayson, as she ingratiates herself into the life of Victoria’s son, Daniel. Emily, born Amanda Clarke, returns to the Hamptons to avenge the wrongs inflicted on her father by the Graysons, deeds that destroyed her father’s life, and changed hers, too..
The second half of season two muddled along and became confusing, and I was ready to throw in the towel. Kudos to the writers for finding their way in season three, creating a major plot shift. When the Graysons were about to get their due, at Emily/Amanda and Daniel’s wedding, things went awry.
Emily and her loyal sidekick, Nolan, were ready.  Emily has now been exposed as a young woman desperate to become a part of the Hampton social scene, rather than one out for blood.
The show is on hiatus until early March, so this is the perfect time to binge watch. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors…

by the TV Guy’s Stepmother
“The thing I can do is can do is wave my head, and wave. ..I’m getting dizzy.”  I’ll bet you’ve heard those words.  What image did they conjure up as you read them?  For me, it’s those cute little kids and the nice man engaging them in conversation.
OK, next question-what product are they promoting? It took several airings before I finally paid attention to the product vs the cuteness. So I wondered, as I have before… is that commercial doing its job? If I walk away remembering everything but the product, I think not.
Now consider this ad.  As a young woman buys a $150 purse with her car insurance savings, her friend sings “I don’t have State Farm, so insurance find me money.” Annoying at best (and I would never buy a $150 purse), BUT there’s no doubt as to the product being hawked.
To advertisers and those who create their ads-it’s important to grab our attention, but if
we’re missing the point of your ad (and for me, AT&T is just one example of many),
you’re missing sales, and wasting lots of precious advertising time and dollars.

Jump The Shark

by The TV Guy

UnknownBack in the day there was a website that illuminated the exact moment in time when a TV show was on a downward trajectory. The name of the site was Jumpthe, based on the now infamous episode of the 1970’s/ 80’s iconic Tuesday night staple Happy Days.  Arthur Fonzarelli aka Fonzi had to jump a shark for some inane reason while on vacation in California. It sounds even more ridiculous saying it out loud, but that was the point, the show was never the same and soon after the show was cancelled. Now I cannot help but watch some TV and think to myself, when did this one jump the shark?

Very few shows can be timely and relevant much past year 5 of their network run. Now before you start naming all the shows that did not “jump the shark”, think of all the multitudes of shows that did. Most shows become ridiculous and stick around for no other reason than to “cash in” on what once was a good show.

So take some time and think about all the shows that were phenomenal early on and became almost painful to watch in the final seasons.

Dear, Simpson’s Producers….
Put a fork in it!!!!!

America’s Secret Slang

by The TV Guy

UnknownSo I was flipping through the channels as I often do, aimlessly looking for something different to watch. One morning I came across a show that intrigued me right away. The many colloquial sayings and bits of language we use without a second thought of where they come from were being explained. The word “cop” for police officer was originally thought to come from the copper buttons on their coats. Well, they now think that the word cop comes from the Irish word “coep,” which stands for hero. They theorize that because much of the Irish language was passed on in an oral tradition, none of these words were well documented.

The California gold rush gave us so many slang words and phrases that we still use today. “Acid test” comes from testing the gold to verify it was real, if it passed the acid test than it was genuine. “Heard it through the grapevine” is a saying we all have heard and likely used in our lives. This comes from stringing telegraph line from posts to trees to whatever would hold the line. The miners thought they looked like grape vines and when they got information on the telegraph, they would say they heard it through the grapevine.

So if you are a lover of words and language this show is something you will want to catch. Check your local listings on H2.

Watered Down Villains

UnknownI love a good villain, and so do lots of other people.  But it seems that the villains in books are way more colorful than those in movies and TV.  I’m not sure why, other than what appeals to readers may not always appeal to TV watchers.  For instance, Hannibal was a great villain, but he wasn’t completely black and white.  The movie transformed him into someone slightly, but ultimately very different than who he was.

I don’t typically find TV and movie villains all that believable or scary.  For one thing, I don’t really find anything I can see to be scary.  If I see it, it can be fought.  In books, the villains tend to be  more well-rounded.  Many of them are not all bad.   Many book bad guys have multiple sides to them, ultimately making them both more human and more scary than what can be portrayed on TV.  I like complex villains, especially ones with whom I’d sit and have a drink (though I wouldn’t leave my drink unattended).  I also like purely evil villains, who do things for reasons that would never occur to me.

My favorite movie villains are Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street), Voldemort (from Harry Potter), The Joker (The Dark Knight), Khan (from Star Trek), and Darth Vader (from Star Wars). Voldemort, Khan, and Darth Vader were all after power, the Dark Knight was after chaos, and Freddy Krueger was after revenge.  What made all of these villains great was their single minded adherence to their goals.

Best book villains are Mr. Hyde (Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson), Hannibal Lecter (Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, by Thomas Harris), Voldemort (from Harry Potter by JK Rowling), Gretchen Lowell (Heartsick by Chelsea Cain), Dexter Morgan (from the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay).

Who’s your favorite villain?

Cougar Town

by The TV Guy

Unknown Every so often a minor TV miracle happens. A chance meeting with a show that you found little or no interest in when you caught it first time around. Some shows seem too corny or cliché and you pass them by on principle alone.  Sometimes it’s an actor or actress for whatever reason you find them awful or simply ridiculous. I am not a fan of Courtney Cox, I am not sure why other than her annoying character on Friends which I watched once or twice and scratched my head as to why it was so popular.

So when Cougar Town came along in 2009 I passed it over quickly with a cursory nod of dismissal. When the show made its migration from prime time ABC to the slightly more adult TBS I gave it look and found the show had some redeeming value and decided to set the DVR to catch the new episodes. I realized quickly that I had set the DVR to record all the episodes and began to amass a significant collection of re-runs from the previously dismissed seasons. I can admit when I am wrong and I was wrong about Cougar Town. The show evolved passed its down right stupid title and began to develop a cohesive set of characters and story lines that made for interesting viewing. If you caught the show in season 1 and hated it, check out the subsequent seasons as the writing improved and the show developed a character of its own.

Save Me

by The TV Guy

imagesAnne Heche is back as both actor and producer with a brand new sit-com on NBC.

Save Me is a genuinely funny show about a Midwestern woman who after a near death is able to communicate with God.

Now the first thing I think when someone is talking to God is, did they take their medications today?

This show has a positive message about change and redemption. When this once out of control mom and wife wakes up one day and finds that she is missing out on her marriage and her daughters’ life.

This summer replacement is a quality little show worth a look!!!

TV Families..22 minute resolutions?

by The TV Guy

The television family has been deified in popular culture as the pinnacle of healthy family dynamics. Even though we know it is fantasy, there is still a part of the human psyche that yearns for Brady family perfection. Alas, this is but a dream that we must awaken from and look at our own real families. They are who they are, and some we see once every 20 years or so and smile awkwardly, feeling a certain level of guilt for not keeping in touch. The reality is that our own families are more disconnected than ever, with little time or ability to get everyone together. We can try and should try but it is often difficult to make up for decades of lost or disconnected time. Everyone has his or her own lives and responsibilities that come with doing what they need to do for their own small circles of family. So this week, when looking at TV families and having that little bit of envy because they have figured something monumental out in 22 minutes, keep in mind that our families are real and do not have the capacity for such magical resolution. We should cut them a break, as they are not working from a well-prepared script or being directed when to do and say the right the thing. They are our families, and although we cannot make up for lost time, we might want to give it higher priority. Maybe try a little harder to make a moment with the people who made you who you are… good, bad or indifferent.