Sunday, July 26, 2015

It's Been So Long...Have U Forgotten My Face?

Okay, I rarely ever put my so-called face up on my blog, although one can catch a glimpse on my Facebook or Instagram pages, now and again, but you get the drift. I am currently on my Summer (& Early Fall) Semi-Sabbatical, so I can work more freely on my book (which is going swimmingly, thanks for asking), which means the neglecting of my blog, the one you are currently perusing, is oh so shameful right now. And perhaps even more shameful than I had originally anticipated. As my regular faithful few know, in regular times, I tend to post 3-4 times a week on here, but have taken off the Summer (and Early Fall) to concentrate on my book (called "Forgotten TV," and about lots of forgotten shows of the past), and therefore have not been seen 'round these parts much lately (still rambling on Facebook though). But hell, I did promise I would be posting 10 doo-dads between the beginning of my Semi-Sabbatical (aka, June 22, 2015), and its closure (aka, Oct. 4, 2015), and so far have only posted one damn time. One damn time! I suck, right? 

Anyhoo, I thought I would at least check in to say hi, and let ya'll know, I'm still here. I will be posting a coupla fun little lists in August (maybe even three, if I'm feeling cheeky), so keep an eye out for them. I will be hooking up links on FB, so check that out. I may even be doing a Facebook countdown beginning the first day of August, so check that out too. Meanwhile, I'm working on that book (hoping to have it finished and ready to go to a willing publisher by the end of the calendar year) and livin' life (L-I-V-I-N). The nasty old day job (God, I hated that place!) is gone, and I am free to be me once more. Working at tending bar (Bacco in downtown Harrisburg, for all those local readers) and writing, hopefully for an actual living soon. Great time to be me, I suppose. There may also be some collecting going on. Check these guys out. But hey, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still here, and there will be a few random posts during my Semi-Sabbatical (though maybe not the ten I arrogantly promised), before I return full force in October, after my book is finished, or at least finished enough to do a final draft and get it ready for publication. Until then, keep reaching for the stars, or some other nonsense thing like that. Huzzah! That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

My 48th & The Heavenly Body of the Week: Special B-Day Edition, aka A Very Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey Gallifrey Kinda Day

So, as anyone who read the most recent post before this one (and I'll wait while you scroll down and do that) already knows, I am on a semi-sabbatical of sorts for the fifteen weeks between last week, and the beginning of October. During this time, I will be working on my book (and if you did indeed scroll down earlier, you know all about said book), and not so much on my blog. But hey, I couldn't just walk away altogether, so I will be posting ten posts during this fifteen week semi-sabbatical. Nine of these will be some sort of list or another. Either a top ten or one of my Worst to Best lists. The tenth, or actually, the first, will be this post here. A sort of celebratory birthday post combined with the always fun Heavenly Body of the Week. So let's get on with things, shall we?

Anyhoo, today is my 48th birthday. Well, if you happen to be reading this on the day it was posted, it is my 48th birthday. Otherwise, my 48th birthday was the day I posted this, which, not so incidentally, would be July 2nd, 2015. I know, it's a wibbly wobbly kinda thing. Which brings us to the Heavenly Body of the Week aspect of this ole post. You see, the iconic TV show known as Doctor Who, has been around for more than 50 years now, but it was not until earlier this year that I finally took it upon myself to watch an episode or two or three (or 44 or 57 or whatever). I always knew that I would like the show, possibly even become obsessed with the show, but for some reason or another, I never took it upon myself to watch the damn thing. Well, that has all changed now, and Doctor Who is a show I like, and possibly one with which I have become obsessed. The show has been around only a few years longer than I have, and finally I am catching up. There is still a lot more to catch up on (50 plus years!!?) but I'm working on it. Oh yeah, the Heavenly Body of the Week. In all my rambling, I almost forgot.

So, when one is talking about the planets of the Doctor Who Universe, there are a lot from which to choose. One of these has already been a Heavenly Body of the Week. That was New Earth. Today, on my 48th birthday, I give you the home world of the Time Lords. The grand planet known as Gallifrey. It is the home of The Doctor, and even though it once fell and died, it is just alright these days. Yeah, time travel gets a bit complicated. One could even say it's a wibbly wobbly, timey wimey kinda thing. Trust me, if you are in with The Doctor, that last line was pretty freakin' heee-larious. Gallifrey is a fantastic planet, and a place to be at any time. So there ya'll go. Gallifrey is The Heavenly Body of the Week. Now I have got to go work some more on my book. I mean, I don't want to waste this semi-sabbatical I got going here. I will be back here next week sometime, with a new post (#2 of the 10 aforementioned promised posts during said semi-sabbatical). It'll be a list-type post, so you should look forward to that. Anyhoo, that's it for now gang. See ya 'round the web.




Monday, June 22, 2015

Welcome to the All-New, All-Different (Sorta) Hello, I Must Be Going / Semi-Sabbatical Post: Summer & Early Fall Edition

It was the 1930 film, Animal Crackers, where the great Groucho Marx sang the song, "Hello, I Must Be Going." It went a little like this: "Hello, I must be going, I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going. I'm glad I came, but just the same, I must be going." With that being said, I must now take this song as my own, and bid all my blogging fans, my faithful readers and true believers, a fond and tearful farewell. Okay okay, stop your weeping. I'm not really going away. Well, I am...sorta. But not for long, and not completely. Please allow me to explain further.

You see, as many of you may already know, I am currently at work on a book. That's right, a book! It's title is "Forgotten TV: 101 TV Shows You've Probably Never Heard Of." Please pardon the prepository ending of the subtitle. I may fix that in post production. Anyhoo, I am writing this book on TV shows that have been forgotten throughout time, some wrongfully forgotten, others rightfully so (check out an earlier post about this book), and I plan on having it done and ready to go by the beginning of October, at the latest. After that, with a hopeful publication date of early 2016. If anyone will publish the damn thing that is. But those are worries for after I finish writing the book. For now, I need to focus most of my so-called creative energy (all 'dem flowin' juices) on finally finishing said book. And in doing that, I must take a semi-sabbatical from All Things Kevyn. But only a semi-sabbatical, not a full blown walk-away. So, for the next fifteen weeks, aka the Summer and early Fall, I will be working a lot on my book, and very little on this blog. I know, it's sad. You won't have your All Things Kevyn fix 3 or 4 times a week like you are used to. Instead, over the next fifteen week semi-sabbatical, you will only get that fix ten times. That's right, just ten posts over the next fifteen weeks, not counting this one. Now do not worry, these will be ten fun posts. It's quality, not quantity, and all that jazz. Mostly, other than a birthday post next week, these will be top ten lists or something of that ilk. So, ya got that going for ya.

Anyhoo, please allow me to bid you all a (slight) farewell, and say, hello, I must be going...for now. Like I said, I will be seeing you ten times over the next fifteen weeks. And you can still check me out on Facebook and Twitter, and all those outlets. Come October, when I am finally finished with the aforementioned book-a-roonie, I will get back to a regular blogging schedule of 3 to 4 posts per week. All the old regulars will be back. The Alphabet Game. The 11 Question Interview. People Who Need To Be Punched in the Face. The Heavenly Body of the Week. Film & TV reviews galore. All the fun stuff. Until then, take it easy, enjoy my ten Summer/Early Fall posts, and check me out on Facebook and Twitter. Oh, and put aside a few bucks to buy my new book when it comes out. Ya know ya wanna. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Heavenly Body of the Week: Gobotron

The Go-Bots have often been thought of as second-rate Transformers. This is mainly due to the grand success of the Transformers, and the rather utter fail that was the Go-Bots. The Go-Bots were transforming robot toys that got their own cartoon. Although the two franchises viciously competed for revenue between 1984 and 1987, the Transformers rocketed out of this world (so to speak) in the late 1980's, and by 1991, Habro, the Transformers' owners, had bought the rights to the Go-Bots (or GoBots, if you will), and the toy war was essentially over.

I don't know if the Go-Bots get a bad rap or not. Both toys and cartoons are pretty dumb in my eyes, but others seem to like 'em, so there must be something there. Actually, what many people may not realize (or even care about) is that the Go-Bots actually came first. Granted, just by a few months, but they did debut in late 1983, while The Transformers did not arrive until early 1984. Either way, I never really got into these guys, being that I was 16 at the time, and too busy with more adult-oriented things. You know, like The X-Men and Dungeons & Dragons. Anyhoo, to get onto the real reason we are all gathered here today - the Heavenly Body of the Week.

After a six week period of just two Heavenly Bodies of the Week (what kind of math is that!?), we seem to be back on track with back-to-back editions. So with that said, here we are at week #76 (not counting the aforementioned missing weeks) and the planet known as Gobotron. Waaay back in week #30 (a little less than a year ago), we celebrated the planet of Cybertron, homeworld of those damn Transformers. Now we give a big ole shout out to the homeworld of the Go-Bots. I suppose if I was forced to choose sides in the whole Transformers/Go-Bots war, my allegiances would lean toward the Go-Bots. Go Go Go-Bots, or whatever one says in these situations.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.



Monday, June 15, 2015

Before They Were Stars, They Were Guest Stars on Seinfeld: My 10 Favourite Guest Spots From One-Time Unknowns on Seinfeld

Between 1989 and 1998, Seinfeld was one of the most groundbreaking shows on TV. It has been a major influence on many of the situation comedies that came after it. Some shows even stole much of their shtick from Seinfeld. Yeah, I'm looking at you, How I Met Your Mother. But other than being a groundbreaking and influential show (and isn't that enough!?), Seinfeld was also a stepping stone to bigger and better things for their guest stars.  Granted, there were a few already established guest stars during the show's run, from James Spader to Wilford Brimley to Molly Shannon to Brian Doyle Murray to Jon Lovitz to Oscar winner Marlee Matlin to Bette Midler playing herself, but for the most part, Seinfeld's vast roster of guest spots were done by actors who would go on to become big name celebs on other shows. Some of these stars before they were stars who missed out on the list, aka, the runners-up, include Denise Richards, Amanda Peet, Lauren Graham, Marcia Cross, Christine Taylor, Peter Krause, Patrick Warburton, French Stewart, Kathy Griffin, Bob Odenkirk, Jennifer Coolidge, Kristen Davis, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Maggie Wheeler, aka Janice on Friends - just to name a few. But what about the top ten? Well kids, let's stop all this pre-show babbling, and get right to that.

And awaaaaaaay we go...

10. Mariska Hargitay as Melissa

The Law & Order: SVU star was only in one little scene during the two part final episode of season 4 (six years before she became Det. Olivia Benson), where she plays a sexy actress trying out for the part of Elaine in the TV show pilot that Jerry and George are making for NBC, and said scene consists of just a handful of lines at best, but considering how big of a star she has become, and how her Melissa character owns the room during that one little scene (and those legs), I couldn't just leave her off the list. So, here she is. 

9. Jon Favreau as Eric the Clown
Favreau would go on to write and co-star in Swingers, before moving onto the directorial chair with such films as Elf and the first two Iron Man movies. Favreau's also been a guest on Friends (as Monica's super rich boyfriend) and recently directed and starred in the wonderful indie film, Chef. In his one episode of Seinfeld though, he is rather unrecognizable behind all that clown make-up, as he gets in an argument with George because he doesn't know who Bozo the Clown is. Nowadays, the guy's doing pretty well for himself, as he is one of the exec producers on most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. I guess he can pay the bills without having to play a clown anymore.

8. Jeremy Piven as Michael Barth
In the two-part final episode of season 4 (the same one that featured Mariska Hargitay), Jerry and George finally got NBC to agree to shoot a pilot for their show about nothing. Jeremy Piven was cast to play George in the pilot, and he did a pitch perfect job in the role. Piven had already started co-starring in the Larry Sanders Show by this time, but it would not be until his role on Ellen a few years later, and of course, his iconic douchebag Ari Gold on Entourage in 2004, for which he won three consecutive Emmy Awards, that Piven would come into his own as a success. No more schlubby losers for him.

7. Michael Chiklis as Steve
Before he became The Commish, before he was on The Shield, before he was on American Horror Story, even before he was The Thing in The Fantastic Four, Michael Chiklis was Jerry's friend of a friend of a friend from Long Island, where Jerry and Elaine overstay their welcome (thanks to George abandoning them at a party), and who later comes into the city to hang out with Jerry, only to get drunk and bring a hooker to his apartment. A hooker that ends up getting Jerry arrested for solicitation.And check it out, he had hair back then.

6. Catherine Keener as Nina
Before becoming the indie film darling that she is today, and starring in such films as Lovely & Amazing, Adaptation, Synecdoche New York, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Capote, and Being John Malkovich, and receiving Academy Award nominations for the latter two, Catherine Keener played Nina on an episode of Seinfeld. Other than just being another in a long line of guest star girlfriends to Jerry, Keener's role has a bit more importance, since she was the artist who created that now famous Kramer painting that hangs in every dorm room in America.

5. Courtney Cox as Meryl
Just a few months before she would break out big as Monica Geller on Friends, but a full decade after she was brought up on stage in Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark video, Courtney Cox was Jerry Seinfeld's wife. well, sorta. Cox played Meryl, Jerry's girlfriend. After pretending to be a married couple to get a discount at Jerry's drycleaner, the two began pretending they were married all the time. This of course would quickly spell disaster in the relationship (as if anything and everything else would not), and the couple would break up and get a make-believe divorce. It would work out better from  Monica and Chandler a few years later.

4. Brad Garrett as Tony
Before he would become the moaning and groaning brother to Raymond (whom everyone did not love), Brad Garrett was Tony, a mechanic who steals Jerry's car because he did not think Jerry was taking as a good a care of it as he should have been.  This would eventually lead to a chase scene involving Kramer and Newman in a mail truck, and Tony tossing the recently purchased JFK golf clubs out the window. Garrett was actually in another episode of Seinfeld three years earlier, but he can only be seen for a second or two, as he is one of an array of Kramer wannabes sliding through the door at the audition that also involved Jeremy Piven and Mariska Hargitay.

3. Teri Hatcher as Sidra
The year before she would become Lois Lane opposite Dean Cain, and several years before she would become a Desperate Housewife, Teri Hatcher was Sidra on Seinfeld. Sidra was a woman Jerry met at the gym, and who he wanted to date, but was put off when Elaine mentioned that she thought her breasts were fake. Later, Elaine would accidentally trip and fall, hands first, into said breasts in the sauna, making her recant her story about the authenticity of the breasts in question. So are they real, or not? The final answer, from Sidra herself, as she's walking out of Jerry's apartment in disgust: "By the way? They're real, and they're spectacular."

2. Jane Leeves as Marla the Virgin
A year before she would become the loverly Mary Poppinsesque Daphne Moon on Frasier,  Jane Leeves played a virgin on several episodes of Seinfeld, including one of the most iconic episodes, The Contest. As we all should know, The Contest involved the gang making a bet on who could be the master of their domain longer. If you don't know what that means, well...just watch the episode. Meanwhile, Marla, whom Jerry is chomping at the bit to deflower, finds out about the contest, and is disgusted by the whole shebang. But don't worry about Marla, as she finds love (and deflowerment) at the hands of JFK Jr.

1. Bryan Cranston as Tim Whatley

Six years before he was the idiot dad on Malcolm in the Middle, and 14 years before he became Heisenberg (his Breaking Bad wife, Anna Gunn, appeared in an episode of Seinfeld as well), Bryan Cranston was an obnoxious dentist on Seinfeld. Cranston would actually play Tim Whatley on five episodes over a three year period. In one episode, he turned his dentists office into an adults only place, complete with porno mags and even assistant swapping. In another episode, he would convert to Judaism, which offended Jerry, as he thought he was only doing it for the jokes. I don't recall there being any blue meth in any of these episodes (though the adult only dentists office may have had some) but he did get to date Elaine for a bit.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Worst to Best: All the (Live-Action) Catwomen

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Worst to Best, where we take a particular subject, and rank all of its components, from the worst of the bunch, to the best. This time around, we are taking a look at the eight actresses who have portrayed the infamous and quite sexy Catwoman on screen. I have kept this to just the live-action versions of the character, so the actors who have given voice to the various animated versions of the character (Jane Webb, Melendy Britt, Adrienne Barbeau, Gina Gershon, Nika Futterman, Stephanie Sheh, Tress MacNeille, Vanessa Marshall, Eliza Dushku, and whoever else has taken on the role) are not counted in our little countdown here. So, that leaves the eight actresses who have portrayed Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, on the big and small screen, all listed from worst to best. So here we go...

8. Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004) - Now Halle Berry is not a bad actor. She has done some good work in some good films, but when it comes time to discuss this film, and Ms. Berry's performance in it, well...let's just say this is the performance upon which all other Catwoman portrayals is measured, and not in the good way for which one might hope. If, someday, another actress gives a performance of Catwoman, that is worse than this one, then we (and she) will know that rock bottom has been reached. Sorry Halle.

7. Maggie Baird in Birds of Prey (2002-03) - I am not sure if Maggie Baird even spoke in her two brief flashback appearances on this little remembered TV show (seriously, I remember very little about this show), but even if she did not, and even if it is not remembered, she is still not as awful as Halle Berry, so into the number seven spot she goes.

6. Lee Meriweather in Batman: The Movie (1966) - Although Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar played Catwoman in the Adam West/Burt Ward series, it was Lee Meriweather who took on the role in the film version of the hit TV show. Meriweather did appear on the show though, twice, but not as Catwoman. She played a random love interest for Bruce Wayne on two episodes.

5. Camren Bicondova in Gotham (2014- ) - I must admit that I am not that big of a fan of the Gotham TV series. I find it a bit too heavy handed. Must we mention how much like a cat the 14 year old Selina acts, every single time she interacts with another character.? Yeah, we get it, she's going to become Catwoman someday. No need to pound us over the head with the idea. Seriously though, the young Miss Bicondova does do a fine job in the role, in spite of the piss poor writing of the show.

4. Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - This final part of the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman Trilogy is the weakest of the bunch, but Anne Hathaway still makes a pretty good Catwoman here. Not one of the greats (that honour belongs to the top three on this list), but still pretty darn good.

3. Eartha Kitt in Batman (1966-68) - The quite vivacious Ms. Kitt, already a star of the stage and the radio (her Santa Baby was delicious long before Madonna was even born), took on the role of Catwoman in the third and final season of the Batman TV series. Although, as far as the 1960's TV series goes, I prefer Julie Newmar in the role (obviously, since she is higher on the list), Eartha Kitt was certainly va-va-va-voom as the slinky Catwoman. Orson Welles didn't call her "the most exciting woman in the world," for nothing.

2. Julie Newmar in Batman (1966-68) - As far as I know, Julie Newmar is the only Catwoman to have her name immortalized in the title of another film,To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. By the time she took on the role of Catwoman in the 1960's TV series, she was already a well known dancer and actress, but the role of a lifetime, gave the lady an iconic status (check out the pic above). Almost iconic enough to make it to the top of this list. Almost.

1. Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992) - Let's face it kids, no matter how good Newmar or Kitt were in the TV show, they still pale in comparison to Pfeiffer and the stitched-together leather body-suited version that Tim Burton handed us in his Batman sequel (and the best pre-Nolan Batman movie). In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Michelle Pfeiffer is (and ya'll knew this was coming) purrrrr-fect in the role. Yeah, I went there. Anyway, I think the picture below says it all. Meow.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.




Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Heavenly Body of the Week: The Dark World, aka TrES-2b

This is going to be a rather brief edition of The Heavenly Body of the Week, for it is too scary a place to dwell upon. This bad boy is a planet so dark, it's as if it were covered in flat black paint, but also a planet so hot, that it burns like a piece of coal in a fire. Yeah, this could be called the Coal Planet, but Dark World sounds so much better, and a lot more ominous too.

Not to be confused with the so-called Dark World of the second Thor movie (not that the movie was all that memorable to begin with), Planet TrES-2b, as it is so commonly called by the more stick-up-their-butts scientists, is one hell of a Heavenly body. Or perhaps, we should call it one Heavenly of a Hellish body. The temperatures on the surface can reach as high as 1800 degrees, and even with the faint red glow of this heat (it burns so hot, baby!), the planet is the blackest planet known to humans. I wonder if anyone from Public Enemy knows about this place? Yeah, they probably meant something else altogether. Whatever. Sometimes, the world is a very dark place. And sometimes it burns like Hell. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you die horribly on a dark, burning distant planet. Fear it. Fear it, indeed.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.