Friday, September 12, 2014

Our Picks For 2014 Fall TV season

It's that time of year when all the new network shows are about to premiere. As a kid I would pour over our weekly copy of TV Guide to familiarize myself with all the new shows and try to make my picks. Basically nothing has changes, I just go to now.

Here are my picks for this fall. Some of them I have picked because they look really good and some of them are chosen because of beloved cast members I feel a loyalty to and am pulling for. I'll let you know which is which.

Wednesday Sept 17 10/9c The Mysteries of Laura (NBC)

This is cop show starring Debra Messing as a police officer struggling to balance work and family. It sounds formulaic, but the trailers look genuinely funny. I love the line about no one ever believing she'll shoot them. I really like Debra Messing and it's been awhile since we've seen her in a part where she can really do something. SO here's hoping this is as good as the trailer looks.

Sunday Sept 21 8/7c Madam Secretary (CBS)

There are two White House shows premiering this Fall and nothing against Kaherine Heigl State Of Affairs, but I pick Tea Leoni's. She plays the secretary of state who is surprised to be tapped for the position but more than capable if a bit short on patience for the theatre that is Washington. I'll admit I'm hoping for another West Wing here.

Thursday Sept 25 10/9c How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)

This in Shondra Rhimes new show set in a law school. It star Viola Davis as a law professor who makes Kingsley in Paper Chase look like Mary Poppins. Based on the trailer it looks like her interactions with her students are going to cross every line there is and what they're learning from her may not be the best lessons.

Tuesday Sept 30 8/7c Selfie (ABC)

This is one of those shows with a cast member, Karen Gillian, whom I love. She was the female lead in Doctor Who for several years. This show is about a shallow social media addict, Eliza Dolley (Karen Gillian) who hires Henry(John Cho) to rehab her image. The names are straight out of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady we'll see how closely the show follows.

Thursday Oct 2 9/8c Gracepoint (FOX)

This is the American version of the hugely popular Broadchurch that aired last year on BBC America. I was told that the ending will change in the American version so all of us who were shocked by the English ending can experience it all over again, and hopefully be equally surprised by the American ending. This series will also star David Tennant but the rest of the cast will be new and includes Nick Nolte.

Thursday Oct 2 9:30/8:30c A to Z (NBC)

Here's a cute little sitcom about boy meets girl. That it stars Ben Feldman (Ginsberg in Mad Men) doesn't hurt at all. This looks like a fun premise and while I usually find sitcoms predictable this looks to have some original ideas. 

For a complete TV Guide calendar of all show premeire dates

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Complete List of Donut Shops on Westside of Los Angeles #Donuts #LA #LAFoodies

By John Derby

Its funny how the internet has made so many things easier.  However, while I was trying to look up all of the donut shops within 5 miles of my house, I realized that not everything is easy on the web. I paged through list after list of local donut shops, and realized that none of them were more than 50% complete.  So...after a year of searching for the best donut on the Westside, I have made a more complete list.  I believe I have listed all of the donut shops from Santa Monica to El Segundo, and from the beach to Overland, but there are still many shops to the East that we may try. My 10 year old daughter, my 13 year old nephew and myself, have traveled to many of the donut shops on the list, and I will post our previous ratings soon.

So, here it is.

If you find that I've missed a Westside donut shop please let me know in the comments and it will be added.

Donut Appetite!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mel Brooks Hand Print Ceremony at TCL Grauman's Chinese Theatre @Chinesetheatres #YF40

Mel Brooks hand print ceremony

Today the great Mel Brooks got his hand prints immortalized at the TCL (Grauman's) Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Just one day before the 40th anniversary released on Young Frankenstein on Blu-Ray! Who can figure out what is different about Mel's prints. Scroll to the end for the answer.

Max Brooks at Mel Brooks hand print ceremony

Here is Mel's son Max (who you may know as the writer of World War Z) introducing Carl Reiner.

Carl Reiner at Mel Brooks hand print ceremony
 Up next was Carl Reiner to introduce his best friend. He also gave us the definition of the word fart and said that based on Mel's famous flatulence scene in Blazing Saddles, no one need ever be embarrassed about passing gas again, and that we should all be eternally grateful to Mel for that.

Mel Brooks hand print ceremony
 And then the man himself. He opened with "Hello ladies and germs" which got a laugh (Only for Mel). He  kept it short and sweet. But did take time to remind Carl that this event was about Young Frankenstein's 40th anniversary Blu Ray release, so he shouldn't be talking about Blazing Saddles. Further, he said that they could do something for Blazing Saddles next year. So we all have that to look forward to.

Mel Brooks hand print ceremony
Then at long last the main event!

Mel Brooks hand print ceremony

Mel Brooks hand print ceremony
 Is it me or is there something unusual about Mel's hands???

Mel Brooks hand print ceremony
Mel told us his shoes were given to him by George Raft, long ago. They looked like patent leather tuxedo shoes. I'm not sure if it's true or not yet. But I've got feelers out and when I know for sure I'll report back.

UPDATE: with sources up to and including Mel's assistant, everyone is saying the Raft thing was a joke. I've yet to hear it from the man himself but I'm willing to believe the interpretation of those close to him. Even if the George Raft story is fun to believe.

He wrapped the whole thing up with a fond farewell and said I will see some of you across the street and I will see some of you in the motel later. More laughs and off he went!

Family and Mel Brooks hand print ceremony

Carl and Mel Brooks hand print ceremony

Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, and Mel Brooks hand print ceremony

 If you haven't figured it out yet...Mel had an extra finger on his left hand for his hand print. I love all the fun things people find to do to make their print unique. I loved Jane Fonda's peace sign fingers when she did her prints, because it was so symbolic of who she is. I think the silliness of Mel's extra finger is exactly that for him too.

Until the cement dries if you need a little Mel Brooks silliness, run out an get the 40th Anniversary Blu Ray release of Young Frankenstein. I'm sure Mel would appreciate it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Peg + Cat: Chicken On The Loose @PBSKids #Peg+Cat

September 9th you'll be able to own 8 Peg + Cat stories from the PBS series on DVD. The DVD is called Peg + Cat: Chickens On The Loose And Other Really Big Problems. It doesn't exactly roll of the tongue but I think it definitely speaks to it's core audience.

As always Peg + Cat will find themselves with a challenging problem to resolve in each story. They'll work on a solution in their own unique way using problem solving skills and of course math. The series has an amazing ability to not only teach math skills but also resilience, trying again until you find your solution. Of all the skills children need to learn I would say resilience is probably the most important. It is hard to fail at anything. Peg + Cat help kids see it not as failure but just a step in the process to solving a problem.

Peg + Cat: Chickens On The Loose And Other Really Big Problems is available September 9th $12.99

The episodes included are

The Chicken Problem:
Peg and Cat have to get 100 chickens back in the coop before the farmer sees.
Primary Goal: Size correspondence
Secondary Learning Goal: The number 100

The Space Creature Problem:
Peg, Cat and Richard must get the 100 chickens away from Big Mouth and back to their spaceship.
Primary Learning Goal: Counting by tens
Secondary Learning Goal: The number 100

The Messy Room Problem:

Peg and Cat sort through the mess in Peg’s room just in time for company to come over and see Cat’s masterpiece, “The Circles.”
Primary Learning Goal: Sorting
Secondary Learning Goal: Shapes

The Golden Pyramid Problem:
Peg the Bold and Brave Sir Cat, Knights of the Round Table, search far and wide to retrieve the Mermaid’s golden pyramids.
Primary Learning Goal: Solid shapes
Secondary Learning Goal: Counting by twos

The Three Bears Problem:
Peg and Cat bring the Three Bears, the Three Little Pigs, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff together to form a super group: “The Electric Eleven.”
Primary Learning Goal: Adding 1
Secondary Learning Goal: Counting to 11

The Giant Problem:
Peg and Cat must attempt a great escape when they think the Giants want to eat them and their 8 fairy tale friends for lunch.
Primary Learning Goal: Combinations that add up to 10
Secondary Learning Goal: Circle

The Dinosaur Problem:
When Peg and Cat get lost riding dinosaurs through a prehistoric forest, they use a diagram to find their way to safety before the Baby T-Rex catches up to them.
Primary Learning Goal: Following diagrams
Secondary Learning Goal: Patterns

The Beethoven Problem:
When Peg and Cat are helping their pal Ludwig Van Beethoven write a symphony, Cat laughs in a certain pattern that gives Beethoven a great idea.
Primary Learning Goal: Patterns
Secondary Learning Goal: Ordinal Numbers

In addition to the 8 stories the DVD also includes special features and printable coloring pages.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pre-Code Fridays All September on TCM #TCMPARTY @TCM

Stanwyck and Blondell in Night Nurse
September Fridays will be all pre-code all day on TCM. Pre-code films, for those who don't know,
are film between the "talkies" in the late 1920s and the strict enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code (AKA the Hays Code)  beginning in the mid-1930s. These films included sexuality, prostitution, illegal drug use, abortion and extreme violence. Without censors, criminals in these films went unpunished, and not only that, but were often successful. Loose women were even allowed to rule the day.

Every Hays code being broken in one still
The rollicking good time will run 24 hours on Fridays with TCM's Robert Osbourne and Alec Baldwin introducing the films in primetime as part of their series of Friday Night Spotlight. Just FYI you'll be hearing quite a bit of St. Louis Blues in these films so you might as well familiarize yourself with it now. (on a side bar I hear that one of the other cable networks is developing a Bessie Smith biopic with Queen Latifah)

See below for TCM pre-code schedule. All times are Eastern

Friday, Sept. 5
6 a.m. – The Big Shakedown (1934)
7:15 a.m. – Parachute Jumper (1933)
8:30 a.m. – Ex-Lady (1933)
9:45 a.m. – Virtue (1932)
11 a.m. – Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
12:15 p.m. – Safe in Hell (1931)
1:30 p.m. – Frisco Jenny (1932)
2:45 p.m. – Female (1933)
4 p.m. – Illicit (1931)
5:30 p.m. – Night Nurse (1931)
6:45 p.m. – Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
8 p.m. – Baby Face (1933)
9:30 p.m. – The Divorcee (1930)
11 p.m. – Footlight Parade (1933)
1 a.m. – Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
2:45 a.m. – Search for Beauty (1934) – TCM Premiere
4:15 a.m. – Taxi! (1932)

Friday, Sept. 12
6 a.m. – The Naughty Flirt (1931)
7 a.m. – Ten Cents a Dance (1931)
8:30 a.m. – When Ladies Meet (1933)
10 a.m. – Double Harness (1933)
11:15 a.m. – For the Defense (1930)
12:30 p.m. – Union Depot (1932)
1:45 p.m. – Mary Stevens, MD (1933)
3 p.m. – The Age of Consent (1932)
4:45 p.m. – Bombshell (1933)
6:30 p.m. – Red-Headed Woman (1932)
8 p.m. – Red Dust (1932)
9:30 p.m. – Design for Living (1933)
11:15 p.m. – Trouble in Paradise (1932)
12:45 a.m. – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
2:30 a.m. – The Story of Temple Drake (1933)
3:45 a.m. – Freaks (1932)
5 a.m. – Jewel Robbery (1932)

Friday, Sept. 19

6 a.m. – Parole Girl (1933)
7:30 a.m. – Three Wise Girls (1932)
8:45 a.m. – Lady Killer (1933)
10:15 a.m. – Possessed (1931)
11:45 a.m. – Two Seconds (1932)
1 p.m. – The Little Giant (1933)
2:30 p.m. – The Mind Reader (1933)
3:45 p.m. – Beauty and the Boss (1932)
5 p.m. – Waterloo Bridge (1931)
6:30 p.m. – Hot Saturday (1932)
8 p.m. – Blonde Venus (1932)
9:45 p.m. – I'm No Angel (1933)
11:30 p.m. – She Done Him Wrong (1933)
12:45 a.m. – Blonde Crazy (1931)
2:15 a.m. – Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
3:30 a.m. – Skyscraper Souls (1932)
5:15 a.m. – She Had to Say Yes (1933)

Friday, Sept. 26

6 a.m. – A Free Soul (1931)
8 a.m. – Downstairs (1932)
9:30 a.m. – Ladies They Talk About (1933)
10:45 a.m. – Loose Ankles (1930)
12 p.m. – They Call it Sin (1932)
1:15 p.m. – Heroes for Sale (1933)
2:30 p.m. – Employee's Entrance (1933)
4 p.m. – Midnight Mary (1933)
5:15 p.m. – Other Men's Women (1931)
6:30 p.m. – The Public Enemy (1931)
8 p.m. – Scarface (1932)
9:45 p.m. – Little Caesar (1930)
11:15 p.m. – Penthouse (1933)
1 a.m. – Three on a Match (1932)
2:15 a.m. – Call Her Savage (1932) – TCM Premiere
3:45 a.m. – The Hatchet Man (1932)
5 a.m. – State's Attorney (1932)