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.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mixing It Up: The 10 Best Fictional Bartenders

Over the 31 years of my so-called adult working career (and yes, I use the term working, quite loosely), I have spent about half of these employed at one bar/restaurant or another. Sometimes as a server, but just as often as a bartender. This has always been my favourite way to pay the bills, as they say. And until somebody starts paying me just to be me (or I get my book published), it'll probably stay that way. Anyhoo, after several years away from the bar biz (running an arthouse cinema for a while), I find myself back behind the bar at a new local downtown watering hole known as Bacco's. And, with my new lease on life shaking and stirring cocktails as my true calling, I thought I would bring that aspect onto everyone's favourite blog, All Things Kevyn (my true, true calling), and let ya'll in on my favourite fictional bartenders. So, without further ado, other than to quickly rattle off some runners-up (Steve Brady on Sex and the City; Sascha in Casablanca; Sam Noonan on Gunsmoke; Doug Coughlin in Cocktail; and maybe whoever the bartender was in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales), here are my choices for the best fictional bartenders.

And awaaaaay we go...

Special Mention: Joe of Sinatra's One For My Baby
Not much is known about Joe. No last name. No specific bar. We know he sets 'em up for Frank, and we know Frank bends his ear, and Joe doesn't seem to mind, even if he is getting a bit anxious to close. We also know that Joe serves him one for his baby, and one more for the road. So, I guess Joe is a pretty good bartender. I mean, Frank likes him, so what else do we need to know?

10. Georgie Santorelli of Bada Bing!
Georgie may have been a bit dim-witted, but he was loyal. Yeah, he was often an idiot, and got himself beaten with phones and cash registers and other such blunt objects at Tony Soprano's immediate disposal, but the big lunk always meant well. Plus, he was the bartender at a strip club. That's gotta count for somethin', right? Bada bing, bada boom.

9. Wuher & Ackmena of Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina
Bartender Wuher is first seen telling Luke Skywalker that his droids will not be served in his bar/cantina. He's kind of a bastard. A year and a half later, in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, we meet Ackmena (played by the always great, Bea Arthur), who apparently is the night bartender at Mos Eisley's wretched hive of scum and villainy. In the whole scope of the Star Wars Universe, neither of these bartenders made much of an impression, but hey, at least you could get Ackmena to do a musical number or two.

8. Razor Charlie of the Titty Twister
Yeah, so he's a blood-thirsty vampire, but that doesn't make him a bad bartender. Does it? As the bartender at the Titty Twister (secretly a vampire bar, but you didn't hear that from me), Razor Charlie, played by the ever kick-ass Danny Trejo (sexiest damn Mexican, this side of um...Salma Hayek?? - who incidentally, is another vampire in the film), is in charge of getting all the non-bloodsucking patrons wasted on Tequila, before the rest of the fang gang feasts on them. Not bad work if you can get it. 

7. Lloyd of The Overlook Hotel
Sure, the hotel drives men mad, and makes them kill their families, but Lloyd the bartender is always pleasant and dapper as all get out. The consummate barkeep. He keeps the drinks flowing at the Overlook, especially when we go back in time (or hallucinate, or whatever) and find ourselves at a posh ball at said hotel. Just don't go into room 237, and everything will be fine. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and we can't have that, so fetch another round, Lloyd, and keep 'em coming.

6. Guinan of Ten Forward
Imagine yourself hurtling through space at whatever speed one hurtles through space in, while riding in a Federation Starship such as the USS Enterprise, and you suddenly get a hankerin' for some Romulan Ale or an Andorian Spiced Nog. Where do you go? Well, to the Ten Forward Lounge, of course. With a great view of space hurtling around you (seriously, Ten Forward has the best view of that aforementioned hurtling space) and drinks of all galaxies being mixed together by Guinan, aka Whoopi Goldberg, what could go wrong. Oh wait, is that a red alert? Dammit! Now my Tribble Tea will have to wait.

5. Al Swearegen of the Gem Saloon
Al's not only the barkeep at the Gem Saloon, but he's also the owner. Not exactly the most peaceful of old western towns, Deadwood is probably not the place for the casual drinker (they best go over to the Long Branch and visit Sam the Bartender over there), but boy, you are guaranteed to have an adventure. Maybe not the adventure of the Titty Twister from number 7, but at least Al won't try to feast on your blood. Well, as long as you don't piss him off.

4. Isaac Washington of The Pacific Princess

Yeah, it's a pretty big cruise ship, but Isaac may be the only bartender on the damn thing. Okay, I do remember seeing other bartenders in the background, but poor Isaac does seem to be doing most of the work. But hey, he always seems to have a smile on his face, just below that grand ole mustache. I'm sure the guy makes a great Mai-Tai too. Granted, he has to put up with Gopher all the time, but even then, he usually has that damn smile going. But seriously, if I had to choose which Love Boat character to be, it would have to be Isaac. Then I could smile and point at the camera at the beginning of every episode. I'd still have to put up with Gopher though.

3. Mac, Dennis, Charlie, & Sweet Dee of Paddy's Pub

There's no way to pick just one of the bartenders at Paddy's Pub, so why not pick 'em all? Yeah, the gang of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia may be a bunch of idiots (or are they just assholes - or maybe both), but they seem like the kinda peeps you would want pouring your drinks. And maybe the kinda peeps you would want to get drunk with, as well. In truth, I didn't like this show when it first came on the air over a decade ago (really, that long ago?), but after a few chances, these four idiots grew on me. Perhaps like a fungus, but grow they did, and now they are (apparently) my third favourite fictional bartenders. So there.

2. Moe Szyslak of Moe's Bar
As far as animated bars go, Moe's is the place to be. Don't tell Seth I said that. I'm sure his Drunken Clam is a perfectly fine watering hole. But does anyone even know the bartender's name there? Yeah. Anyhoo, if you go to Moe's, you get to be served drinks by Moe himself. Yeah, maybe that's not such a great thing, but the local colour, and Moe's surly character, should be enough to get you in the door. Seriously, he is surprisingly charming, as far as old school barkeeps go. And hey, you can get yourself a Flaming Moe, while you are there.

1. Sam Malone of Cheers
Sure, I could have gone with Woody, or even Coach, on this one, but the definitive Cheers bartender, and the definitive TV barkeep, and the definitive fictional bartender overall, is Sam "May Day" Malone. This guy is so charming, so good with the cocktails, and so fun to be around, I won't even hold the fact that he once played for the Boston Red Sux, against him. Yeah, he got himself into some female troubles now and again (and again and again and again) but that's just part of the local atmosphere. Just steer clear of that guy dressed as a mailman. Cheers!

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

Saturday, June 6, 2015

It Was 30 Years Ago Today: A High School Remembrance

It has been thirty years since I graduated high school. A lot has changed in these past thirty years. I don't necessarily feel old, or anything like that (though I do have a bit less hair), but I am probably a completely different person now, than I was in June of '85. And I suppose the world is too. A gallon of gas was just breaking the $1 mark that Summer, and a trip to the movie theatre cost an average of $2.75 a ticket. And speaking of movie ticket prices, I went to see St. Elmo's Fire that Summer (and I guess it cost around $2.75 - I don't actually remember), and even though it wasn't exactly a great film (and maybe not even a good one), and was about college friends, and not high schoolers, but it made me sad, as the film paralleled what was going on in my life at the time. Everyone from my school (Cumberland Valley High, btw) was going their (mostly) separate ways, and the only friends I really knew, were no longer people I saw every day. But hey, it was a new chapter in my still young life, and onward I went. But this post is about my days from thirty years ago, so more on that.

For those young whipper-snappers of today (damn kids!), it was a different world back then. We had no cell phones nor anything called the internet. If we needed to look something up, there was no Google. We had to find an encyclopedia or something of that ilk, and leaf through the dusty pages. I don't have any facts or figures, but I assume there were a lot more paper cuts back in those days. It was a different time, indeed. Hell, I could get a comic book, at the supermarket's spinner rack, for 60 cents. Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to find one for less than $2.99, and those are the cheap ones! And forget about online comics, because...well, um...there was no online back then. We did have vinyl records though, and they're hip again, so there's that. And yes kids, our music (and our clothes), though different than today, still pissed off the older generation, just like yours does. That will never change. Nor should it. But enough of this. What were my high school days like, you ask? Well, thanks for asking.

Prince and Depeche Mode were on the radio (and on the Walkman), my clothes had zippers where no zippers needed to be, and the mall was the place to hang out after school. The mall (Capital City Mall, to be exact about where we mallrats hung out) had stores like Chess King, and eateries like Lucas Pizza and the York Steak House. It was the place I saw my first midnight movie (I believe it was Monty Python's Meaning of Life) and where I would eventually become one of those weirdo (yay!) Rocky Horror kids, after graduation. It was thirty years ago today. I remember hanging out with Russ and Jeff and Randy and Laura, and the rest of the so-called gang. Playing D&D (yes, I have always been a nerd), drinking Mad Dog and wine coolers (we were young and stupid, with no discernible tastes yet), and looking super cool (relative term) in my checkered Vans, just like Spicoli wore in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yeah, the Vans are actually back in style these days.

After graduation (29 years, 11 months, and 3 weeks ago today) brought on Senior Week at Ocean City, MD, a lot of Jack Daniels, a lot of stupid teenage partying, and the unofficial official end of my high school days. Now here we are, thirty years later, and the unofficial official end of this post. My actual high school reunion is set for September, but I have yet to attend one of these things, and I don't see that changing in the Fall. Just ain't my thang, as they say. To close, let me mention one of my favourite movies of my high school days - The Breakfast Club. Coming out a few months before that aforementioned graduation, it pretty much summed up my high school years. I always wanted to be Bender (the Criminal) but looking back, I now know I've always been, and always will be, Allison (the Basket Case), even if they ruined her with that ridiculous makeover at the end. Anyhoo, that's it gang. See ya 'round the web. Don't you forget about me.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A New Poll in Town: The Best TV Watering Holes

So here we are again, kids - at the start of a brand spankin' new poll, here at All Things Kevyn. So far, in poll history, you, all my fine faithful readers and true believers, have been asked to choose your favourite starship captain, your favourite Walking Dead character, your favourite Classic Universal Monster, your favourite Beatles Album, and your fave Quentin Tarantino pic. There was even an Oscar poll or two back there somewhere. So what is the new poll gonna be? Well, just in case you didn't already figure it out by the title of the post and/or the picture just to the right of these words, here's the dealio.

In this new poll, you are asked to choose your favourite TV Bar. The TV watering hole in which you would most like to hang out. Just like that! Easy peazy, lemon squeezy. Be it Ricky's Tropicana Club from I Love Lucy, Three's Company's The Regal Beagle, where the kisses are hers and hers and his, The Boar's Nest, Hazzard County's hottest hot spot, or Ten Forward, where Whoopi Goldberg slung drinks and advice aboard the USS Enterprise. You take your pick. Would you rather hang out at Moe's Bar, and have to put up with Homer Simpson, or at Cheers, and have to deal with Cliff Claven? Howzabout havin' a night out at The Drunken Clam with Peter and Quagmire, or braving the dangers of Jersey's Bada Bing! or Deadwood's Gem Saloon? Yup, it's time to make your decision. Will it be Paddy's Pub in Philly, where it's always sunny, or MacLaren's, where things can get legen-wait for it-dary? Maybe Beverly Hills' Peach Pit After Dark or Shooters, its watering hole spinoff. Perhaps you prefer Cooper's, where you can feel like a veritable King of Queens, or The Bronze, where you can get drunk AND slay vampires. Some might like picking up the tab at The Warsaw, with Drew Carey and the gang, while others would rather head North to Alaska, and hang out at The Brick, with Ed and Chris, and the maybe a moose or two. Yeah, that's how it's done. Pick your favourite TV bar. Howzabout Rosie's, even if it is at the front lines of the Korean War? Maybe heading back to the wild west, and visiting Miss Kitty's Long Branch Saloon. or heading out to the final frontier, and having a cocktail at Quark's. Then again, maybe The Bang Bang Bar is more your speed, though I would watch out for reverse talking little people or lady's who talk to logs. Of course, one could always take to the high seas, and have a mai-tai at whichever Pacific Princess bar that Isaac is tending. And in case there is a TV bar that I forgot to list (or just decided not to list - sorry True Blood fans), just let me know in the comments section either here in the post, or over at the poll itself.

So there ya go, gang! And just how does one vote. That too, is easy peazy, lemon squeezy. Just head on over to the poll widget, which can be found oh so conveniently near the top of the sidebar (seriously, ya'll can't miss it), and click on your choice. And please remember, you can comment all you want here (and we do encourage such) but in order for your vote to be counted, you must click on over to the poll, and do your thing. So head on over and get your vote on. The poll will run for six weeks, ending at Midnight, the night of July 13th, with the results being posted the following day, right here on the ole blog. Until then...well, you know. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web. I'll close with an illustration by James Carpenter for Punch Magazine. Enjoy.