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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I was minding my own business yesterday, just sitting on the couch and watching TV. As I was flipping through the channels I saw that Willy Wonka was on and decided to watch for a minute. Forty-five minutes later, I realized that I was totally engulfed in the movie (one I’ve seen a hundred times) and couldn’t bring myself to change the channel. That’s the beauty of this flick–it never gets old.

I was going to compare Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to the semi-recent remake entitled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp. But I decided against it because there’s simply too much to talk about in the initial film for me to even touch on the second. Plus the second one isn’t even worth writing about.images

The story begins with poor Charlie Bucket. Amazing name, not-so-amazing life. He lives in a ramshackle house with his mother (a laundress) and his four grandparents that just won’t kick the bucket (so to say). I’m not sure where this family lives but it’s definitely not in the United States. Charlie’s teacher has a British accent and I think the candy shop salesman also has some kind of weird accent.

It is announced world-wide that Willy Wonka, owner and creator of Wonka Chocolate, is having a contest for free entry and a tour of his magical factory. The winners must find a golden ticket lining the wrapper of their Wonka Bar in order to win.Willy-Wonka-and-The-Chocolate-Factory-A-Replica-Wonka-Bar-1

The world goes absolutely insane looking for these golden tickets, acting as if Wonka’s Factory is better than heaven or Disney World (it’s not). The first person who finds a ticket is a gluttonous German boy named Augustus Gloop (another amazing name). It’s easy to understand how he found the ticket–he’s constantly pictured shoving food into his pie hole.augustus-gloop2

The audience is next introduced to Veruca Salt. Leave it to Roald Dahl to come up with so many prime names. Veruca is a spoiled British girl who’s father has transformed his nut-shelling company into a chocolate-unwrapping production in order to find her the next ticket. Despite all of the whining that comes from Veruca, their plan works and she gets a ticket.article-0-0C4D477200000578-917_306x423

After that, an obnoxious gum-chewing American girl named Violet Beauregarde finds the third golden ticket followed by another American boy named Mike TeeVee who simply watches TV all day. I like the light in which Americans are viewed. What are you trying to say Mr. Dahl?violet-1971 pariswonka1

Before the last ticket is found, Charlie’s teacher makes fun of him for being so poor that he could only afford two Wonka Bars. Charlie’s mom sings him a song in hopes that he would cheer up (It’s called “Cheer Up Charlie” so as you can see, she’s not only an amazing laundress, but a talented singer-songwriter. Mrs. Bucket is a jack of all trades, really.) and it’s by far the most boring part of the movie.

There are rumors that the last golden ticket was found in Paraguay by a grown man which is just weird. Like, shouldn’t you be working? So Charlie finds a coin in a storm grate (he’s such a little homeless weirdo) and decides to buy one last chocolate bar after reading that the Paraguayan made a fake ticket. Charlie finds the last one and runs home to his family.charlie

After each child finds a ticket, they are confronted by Arthur Slugworth (these names are killing me) who introduces himself as a rival candy maker looking for the secret to Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper. If Charlie gives him one, Slugworth will in turn give Charlie ten thousand dollars. And we all know that Charlie could use ten dollars, never mind ten grand.

Charlie’s Grandpa Joe dances around the room when he hears of the good news that Charlie found the last ticket. He’s been bedridden for years, yet it only takes minutes for him to easily recover and start dancing. Like, wtf Grandpa. You could’ve easily had a job all these years. I like to think that Grandpa Joe willed himself to have a spring in his step because if he didn’t Charlie wouldn’t be able to attend the tour. Charlie’s mom would be too busy washing everyone’s laundry except her own family’s.

Meanwhile the movie has already been on for an hour and we still haven’t met Willy Wonka. How was I ever patient enough to sit through this film as a child?

At the gates of his factory, Wonka introduces himself by hobbling out and then faking a fall and turning it into a flip. The crowd cheers as if to say, “It would’ve been really disappointing if you were crippled because crippled people aren’t any fun.” So whew!

Inside, all of these tricks are played on the children and their parents–the coat racks grab their belongings, rooms shrink, everyone gets confused–it’s fun! Finally the chocolate room is in front of them but they have to wait for Wonka to sing his song first. It’s a great scene. Especially at the end of the song when Gene Wilder (Wonka) takes a bite of the buttercup cup that he drinks out of. This kind of establishes that Wonka is a psycho.384-2

Augustus finds the chocolate river and starts to drink out of it like the little pig that he is. He eventually falls in (help. police. murder.) and gets sucked up into this tube. We are then introduced to the Oompa Loompas who basically run the factory. They sing a song about how gross August is and how you shouldn’t ever be like him. They are commanded to go rescue Augustus before he gets turned into fudge.

After that the group rides in a boat on the chocolate river. It’s basically the ride from hell because Wonka becomes oddly possessed as he sings a song while disturbing scenes flash on the walls of the tunnel they ride through. WillyWonka1

As the families wander through various machinery, Violet takes interest in a piece of gum that tastes like a three course dinner. The gum turns her skin blue and blows up her body into a balloon shape so that she resembles a blueberry that she tasted. The Oompa Loompas roll her out and sing a song about how dumb she is.violet-beauregarde-willy-wonka-1971

Soon after, Wonka brings the remaining families into a room of geese that lay golden eggs. I forget the purpose of them, but they’re rad and Veruca agrees. She begs her father for a golden goose to which Wonka replies that they’re not for sale. Veruca flips out and sings a song called “I Want It Now” as she destroys the room. She accidentally ends her song by standing on an egg scale that deems her as a “bad egg”. The Oompa Loompas go to work and sing a song about how annoying Veruca was. willy-veruca-560_large

Having only two survivors left, Charlie and his grandpa take a drink of this soda called Fizzy Lifting Drink that makes the float and almost kills them. That scene caused me a lot of anxiety as a child, but they survived by the skin of their teeth. I think this scene happens earlier in the movie, but whatever. They also ride in a sudsy car with Mike and his mother which proves to be messy and not that much fun.

fizzy

Mike meets his fate when he shrinks himself to be the size of a shrunken candy bar that fits inside a television. Unable to bring him back to life-size, Mike’s mom puts him in her purse and is escorted out by the Oompa Loompas who sing a song about how Mike is the worst.

Mike_Teevee

After that, the tour is over and Charlie and Grandpa Joe are expecting to win a life-time supply of chocolate, when Wonka tells them that they were disqualified after they smudged his ceiling in the Fizzy Lifting room. Wonka shouts at them when they don’t leave and says “I SAID GOOD DAY” which is an amazing scene. Grandpa Joe threatens to talk to Slugworth but Charlie is a honest boy and gives Wonka an Everlasting Gobstopper that he pocketed for that purpose. good-day-sir

When Wonka sees the Gobstopper, he turns to Charlie and smiles, knowingly that he was the child he needed. Wonka explains that Slugworth works for him and it was all a ploy to see which child would be an honest heir for his factory. Wonka, Grandpa Joe and Charlie all enter a glass elevator that shatters a glass ceiling and the fly among the clouds as Wonka explains that the real prize is his entire factory and Charlie will be able to reside there with his family. How embarrassing.

Six Reasons Why Mr. Rogers Was Probably the Best Person Ever

In the wake of the Boston bombings, this Mr. Rogers meme made its way around the Intertron:

This made me happy for two reasons. One, Mr. Rogers was basically the mascot of my entire childhood and nostalgia is my kryptonite. All you have to do is show me a clip of the Duck Tales theme song and I will become your slave. Guys, it’s bad.

Two, the words in the picture are pure and true. The fact that so many other people found rest in them reassured me that life was not all terrible. My daughter who turned one around the same time soon decided that Mr. Rogers was the only person she wanted to watch, and this was fine by me because he beats all the magenta-colored cartoon characters on TV 9,327 to one. The more I watched, the more I remembered the man who was Mr. Fred Rogers. And I’m convinced he was one of the most wonderful people to ever grace our planet. Here’s why.

Mr. Rogers sweater 1. Those sweaters? His mom made them.

Every single one of them. Mr. Rogers was going homespun back when Etsy was just a glimmer in its mama’s mama’s eye. Supporting the uterus you came from is probably the most local thing you can do.

2. He validated your feelings and helped you find the tools to deal with them.

Ever feel like the only way to deal with your frustrations is to glue gun your flip-flops onto your feet to keep them on and to pin eleventy billion pictures of the life you’ll never have? Try being a kid. Kids do with what they have. If they get angry, sometimes they bite because they have teeth. Sometimes they throw because they have arms. A lot of times, they internalize their anger or sadness until it comes a-bubblin’ up later on to hurt not only themselves but others too. Mr. Rogers taught kids (and adults) to vent in safe, productive ways. He gave them a vocabulary to express the emotions they were entitled to. He saw them as humans, which, it turns out, they are. I know. I was surprised too.

3. He was a borrower who treated his friends’ stuff like it was made of gold-plated diamonds fused to Faberge eggs.

Mr. Rogers didn’t hoard every precious thing he could find. In almost every episode, he came through that door with some random item – a snow globe, a VHS of the making of cereal, a whirly gig – that one of his neighbors had loaned to him, and he treated those random items with respect. I never borrow anything because OMG TARGET NEEDS ME NOW. Yeah, Target doesn’t need me. We could all do a little better to borrow instead of buy.

Mr. Rogers Neighborhood set

Mr. Rogers: man caving since 1968

4. He clearly decorated his own house.

Um, so, Mr. Rogers’ curtains were ugly. They always kind of reminded me of this sofa in the back of my grandparents’ house that smelled like mothballs and had 900 Cheerios jammed between the cushions. But it was OK that his curtains were ugly. Instead of hiring out the decoration of his pad, he probably did it himself and aimed to please no one. There was no Pinterest back then but even if there were, he would still march to the beat of his own home décor drum.

5. He did not endorse any products.

I am all for talking about stuff that I love. I am an adult (they tell me), and usually I am telling other adults about the crap that I’m obsessed with. But kids don’t have as keen a filter as adults do. Just saying the word “Cookie Monster” to my daughter makes her pass out in sheer delirium. Mr. Rogers got this, and he didn’t try selling stuff to the kids who looked up to him. His role was one of helper and guide, not purveyor of sugar-coated toys. He didn’t want to take advantage of them, and that’s why when Burger King created an ad based on the persona of Mr. Rogers in the ’80′s, he insisted that it be removed.

6. He made time each day for make believe.

Our mind is a place that is plastic and meant to be explored, but often we shut off our relaxed, artistic inclinations when we become adults. Not Mr. Rogers. He did not use his adulthood as an excuse to be stoic and practical all the time. Whenever Trolley pulled into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Mr. Rogers’ thoughts could wander and they were allowed to be ridiculous and borderline nonsensical. Seriously nonsensical. How is Lady Aberlane – a real live person – the niece of King Friday XIII – a puppet? My brain cannot wrap around this. But Mr. Roger’s brain? It could, and he convinced me that it was totally normal and awesome.

What was your favorite thing about Mr. Rogers?

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

Some things in life are meant to be savored and not rushed through. A jar of peanut butter for instance. Don’t be like me and eat it all in one sitting. When I get a jar of peanut butter I eat it standing up because I have convinced myself at least I’m standing and burning more calories that way. Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over is more like cough syrup for cancer. It doesn’t really do the job, it’s not very good, you want it to be over with as quickly as possible, but it’s something you just feel you have to do.

spy kids 3d

As this was the third installment of the Spy Kids series, there is a little bit of knowledge you must know. Spy Kids is about a family of spies. The third one is in 3-D. The dad is Antonio Banderas, the mom is Carla Gugino, the daughter is Alexa Vega, and the son is Daryl Sabara. Unfortunately this film is mainly about Daryl Sabara’s character Juni Cortez. He has the least amount of star power of anyone. At least Alexa Vega has a giant fake rack now.

vega-300x231(I’d make a joke about her boobs being in 3D, but no joke is better than just stating the idea)

The film’s plot is pretty simple. There’s an evil villain named ‘Toymaker’ played by Sylvester Stallone. Oh my, how the ugly and impossible to understand have fallen. Oddly enough Alexa Vega’s character Carmen is missing. Nobody thinks to call the police or ask any of her friends if they’ve seen her around. Nope. Instead it’s discovered by Salma Hayek who plays a hot lab nerd that Carmen is inside a new videogame created by Toymaker. Juni must go into the game to save her.

Juni gets strapped into some device that already looks outdated. How is this film already a decade old? I remember it like yesterday telling my mom I didn’t want to go see it in theaters.

Once Juni enters the game he meets some friends who are there to help him find his sister. There are different challenges they must do and through these challenges he learns whether or not he can trust them. One person he certainly can trust is his grandpa played by Ricardo Montalban. Outside of the game, Grandpa Cortez is wheelchair bound. I’m not sure why exactly. He might be lying and could just be a lazy old man.

ricardo(The main characters in this non-award winning film)

The majority of this barely 75 minute film takes place within the game world. The special effects are nothing special. Worst of all, you must have special equipment to see anything in 3-D coming at you. I’m not about to go buying a DVD copy of this film for the lone sake of having a cartoon robot’s fist appearing as if it’s about to smack me. By all means, if that’s something you’re into, go out and do it. Who am I to judge? I own The Last Action Hero and I don’t care who knows.

When I watched this film it was more for background noise than anything else. The thought of sitting around without noise terrifies me. This movie provided me with exactly what I needed at the time, simple brainless entertainment. If you’re looking for anything more than that then watch something else by Robert Rodriguez. The new Sin City is finally supposed to come out later this year. Until it does, sit quietly and don’t watch anything else.

Disney Princess Misfits

I really didn’t know what to title this one. Not too long ago, I wrote about Disney Princesses and while I was writing and researching (I’m making this blog sound so important) I came across so many female characters that get swept under the rug because they aren’t technically princesses. So I figured I would touch on some of those gals because being a princess these days is totally overrated.

I guess I’ll start with Alice from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which Disney turned into “Alice in Wonderland”. You still with me? Can you tell that I don’t know how to use quotes or italics? Sweet.

Alice was a pretty chill kid who lived in the English countryside. I always loved her blue poofy dress with the white apron, white tights and mary janes. So adorbs. Even though the girl can dress, she’s not a princess. She falls asleep under a tree and when she “wakes up” she chases a white rabbit down it’s hole. Lots of white in this story. Soon Alice is tumbling down into wonderland where she meets many different characters. Some of them are super trippy (The Caterpillar), some are mad (The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, The Cheshire Cat), and some are just plain weird (Tweedledee and Tweedledum, The Queen of Hearts). Alice doesn’t talk too much in her animated movie, but she manages to cry a lot. Typical girl. At the end we realize it was only a dream and that Alice must be on some sort of drug.tumblr_md3d96OozM1rkbqbko1_500

This next babe didn’t make princess status either, but she’s probably the most undeserving so it’s fine. Wendy Darling from Peter Pan didn’t want to grow up. Oh cool Wendy. I’m pretty sure there’s a club for that–it’s called EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Like Alice, Wendy goes on an adventure, but she has to bring along her brothers, John and Michael. Peter Pan, their guide, never grew up because he escaped the real world and went to live in Neverland. He shows the kids how to fly, introduces them to all of his friends, and almost gets them killed multiple times. Gee, what a pal. Wendy ends up going home because she can’t hack being a kid forever and ends up playing “mother” to all the lost boys. BUZZKILL.tumblr_meb489Edbo1qgwqw9o1_500tumblr_meb489Edbo1qgwqw9o2_500

After that I would have to say my main bitch Pocahontas makes the list. Now, she was probably the closest to being a princess because she was the daughter of a chief and eventually made it over to England to dress in the finest gowns. She knew what was up. However, she was a bit of a free spirit and didn’t wear shoes for a good portion of her life. John Smith made her realize that white men aren’t so bad, even though they end up killing most of her people. She’s basically a traitor is what I’m trying to say. But she’s a pretty traitor, who can talk to animals and paint with all the colors of the wind and cliff dive. All the makings of a Native American princess. tumblr_mq4wnfpAB01rtol7zo1_500

Esmeralda definitely belongs on this list because she’s beautiful and kind and has a goat. She’s also a gypsy. In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, she plays the object of affection towards many men. Almost every man. This movie was kind of messed up actually. Like, Quasimodo was super into her and so was Phoebus the knight (or whatever he was. He wore armor so he’s a knight in my eyes.). Frollo, the evil archbishop who locked Quasimodo away was also into Esmeralda but in like, a creepy, rape-y way. She befriended Quasimodo for reasons unbeknownst to me (she’s nothing like the gypsies on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding) but ultimately chooses Phoebus in the end. Smart decision, but very improbable. Nice try Disney.tumblr_mcb719pKRb1rfsim9o14_500

Is it just me or are there more non-princesses than actual princesses? This is exhausting. Megara makes the list because she’s a bitch and super skinny and sings really good songs. She has a past of falling in love with the bad boys and for some reason she makes deals with Hades, the god of the Underworld. Hercules, half mortal, half god, grows up on Earth and makes a name for himself with his strength and fighting powers. Hades puts Meg in Herc’s path to distract him from fighting. They both end up falling in love. Meg sacrifices herself for Hercules and ends up becoming a goddess which is way better than princess status. So screw you Meg.tumblr_mrdvq0FO3y1s07c2eo3_r1_500

Last but not least is Fa Mulan. She’s the daughter of a lower to middle class Chinese family. I don’t know why they didn’t leave her to die (didn’t they hate girls?) but it’s a good thing they kept her. Instead of going to the matchmaker and becoming a perfect bride, Mulan sneaks off to the army to protect and honor her family’s name. I’m pretty sure cross-dressing would only tarnish people’s idea of your family, but Mulan goes for it, trains hard, saves China, and eventually gets a husband. She also has a pet dragon and talks to her ancestors. So I guess you could say that she’s well rounded. The perfect anti-princess.tumblr_mq68ppVWA61ql8bk7o2_250

Who is your favorite Disney misfit? Can you think of others?

Summer Vacation

Kidz Showz is currently on Summer Vacation, as you may have realized. We will return sometime later this month or early September. Until then, enjoy our Almanac where everything we have written about has been archived.

tiny toons summer vacation

A Christmas Story

As far as classic Christmas films goes, A Christmas Story is one that gets better with age. It’s like the fat chick in middle school who got really hot then went on Ricki Lake and showed off to her old bully. Is Ricki Lake still even on? Is she still alive? Either way, A Christmas Story is film that nobody liked until around the early 1990s despite coming out in 1983. In this piece, and it is a piece because it is a work of art, I discuss the film’s plot and what makes this a classic.

A Christmas Story is about a kid named Ralphie living in Indiana during the 1940s or 1950s. I’m not sure. Television doesn’t really exist yet, but there is no mention of Hitler throughout the entire film. It can’t be the 1930s either because they have nice things. There’s only maybe one black person in the whole film so it’s clearly not during Civil Rights. Whenever it takes place, it’s a nostalgic time in America.

acstory

Christmas is right around the corner and Ralphie wants more than anything to get a Red Ryder BB Gun with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. I think there’s also pump action. Throughout the film the adults tell him that if he gets this gun he’ll shoot his eye out. Ralphie is convinced he may never get his dream Christmas gift and we follow this loser through his sadness at not having the greatest Christmas ever.

Ralphie also has a little brother named Randy. Randy is a little special and the only way to get him to eat mashed potatoes is if he pretends to be a pig. Ralphie’s mom is a redheaded woman who is strict yet reasonable. She also could probably get a man much more handsome than her husband, Ralphie’s father. Ralphie’s father is a strict man and probably related to Charles Grodin. He curses and never seems to enjoy anything in life. He’s pretty much what I’m going to become by the time I turn 27.

paker-family-christmas-stor(I never realized how big the dad’s nose was until this picture)

Ralphie’s best friends are Flick and Schwartz. Flick’s classic scene happens when he is triple dog dared to lick a pole in the middle of winter by Schwartz. His tongue gets stuck and it’s a really funny scene when you’re younger and even funnier when you get someone to do it. Schwartz’s best scene happens when his mom beats him and we hear it over the phone. Yeah, this movie was dark.

In addition to not getting the one thing he wants for Christmas, Ralphie has to deal with a bully, Scut Farkus. The actor who played Scut Farkus, Zack Ward, actually has gone on to have a decent career. Scut Farkus wears a coonskin cap and has an evil ginger’s smile. He’s everything a bully should be; aggressive, violent, sinister, and bigger than everyone else. He eventually messes with Ralphie on the wrong day and gets his ass kicked in front of everyone by Ralphie.

scut_farkus-300x300(Oh my this is terrifying)

I would be a failure at writing about this film if I didn’t mention the leg lamp. The leg lamp was something the father won and had delivered to the home. The mother didn’t like the leg lamp because it was too sexual and she was jealous of it. She eventually ends up secretly breaking it when really I think the best thing she could have done was bought a penis shaped door handle as a compromise.

My favorite part of the film is the scene at the mall and everything after it. Ralphie is eager to meet Santa and tell him what he wants for Christmas. In a horrifying scene, Santa kicks Ralphie in the face and he goes down a slide. This made me frightened of mall Santas for the rest of my life which isn’t a big deal because what good are mall Santas to me? It’s not like I ever caught one sleeping with my wife or anything…

After the mall comes the part when Ralphie drops the F-bomb. Since this is a kid’s movie, he says “fudge” instead. This always made me think fudge was a bad word. Because I thought it was a bad word, I ate a lot of fudge as a kid. Now I have diabetes and one foot. The dad tells the movie that he said it then she washes his mouth out with soap. She wants to know where he heard the word, the real answer being from his father, but instead Ralphie says it was Schwartz. Ralphie’s mother calls up Mrs. Schwartz and then we hear the old Jewish woman beat her son and hilarity ensues?

When Christmas finally does come, Ralphie’s parents trick him into thinking they’ve given him all the gifts they purchased. Then the dad tells him to look somewhere else and Ralphie gets the BB Gun he has always wanted. He goes outside and on the first shot he takes the BB ricochets off something and hits him in the eye. He lies and says an icicle hit him and he gets to keep the BB Gun despite almost getting blinded by it.

ralphie-christmas-story-red-ryder-bb-1(Fact: The NRA used this image taken out of context as their logo for 3 years)

The film concludes with a racially stereotyping moment of Chinese men singing Deck the Halls and replacing L’s with R’s. I never saw this whole film until I was much older, when they started showing it on TBS for 24 straight hours on Christmas Day. I used to think this movie never ended. I was such a stupid kid. How does a movie not end?

The Cat in the Hat (1971)

One of my all time favorite children’s videos was Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. This movie had it all–lovable characters, good songs, a level of creepiness, frustration, and some good old fashioned rhyming. What more could a semi-retarded child like myself ask for? Not a whole lot.

Before starting, I just want to make sure it’s clear that I’m talking about the 1971 TV special, not the disturbing Mike Myers movie nor the modern-day show for preschoolers, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That. Barf and barf. (I actually wrote a letter to the children’s TV network about the latter, informing them that they had some of their facts wrong in the show. I never got a reply.)

The story of this larger than life feline interrupting the playtime of two siblings stuck at home is somewhat of a classic. What I love about the show is that most of it is unexplained. And by the end you still don’t really know what happened. Cat-In-Hat-16-600x450

Basically this brother and sister are left at home on a rainy day while their mother runs some errands. Why couldn’t she take them with her? They’re pretty young. Like, maybe ten years old or younger? The audience doesn’t know why they’re home–is it the weekend? Where’s their father? Are they children of divorce? Or perhaps their father died tragically? The world may never know. Or care.

The kids sit in front of the window waiting for their mom to get back. They’re like dogs. Why wouldn’t you turn on the TV or eat something? When all of a sudden this huge cat comes in the house exclaiming that he lost his moss-covered-three-handled-family-gradunza. The kids are like dafuq is wrong with you? And he explains how he must have left his moss-covered-three-handled-family-gradunza there and they have to help him find it. So like normal children reacting to a stranger in their house, they’re like okay cool.

There is a bit of a buzzkill in the house though. Karlos K. Krinklebein, their talking fish tells Cat that he needs to leave and that “he should not be there when their mother is out!” Why do I know this stupid movie word-for-word? In a normal response, Cat plays a game called Up Up with a Fish and balances Mr. Krinklebein’s bowl on a stack of bubbles to show him who’s in control. Pretty trippy.2882281

After that, Cat wrangles the kids into helping him look for his lost item by using Calculatus Eliminatus which is a method of finding something by marking where it isn’t. I always liked this part because it was so absurd. I think the little girl said “It isn’t on my knee” and Cat replies “mark the knee 57B” as if he has this whole thing under control. When the house is sufficiently marked up, Mr. Krinklebein gets pretty pissed and tells Cat to leave. So Cat sings the fish a lullaby and he goes to sleep temporarily.

Then he remembers that he has Thing 1 and Thing 2 to help him. Thing 1 and 2 really set off my anxiety. They know how to destroy a house. They’re basically like two feral troll creatures who like to play and cause trouble. I don’t know why Cat thought they would help solve the problem because they only make matters way worse. Mr. Krinklebein flips a shit and yells at Cat which causes the over-size feline to break out in my favorite song of the whole show. Basically Cat claims how he’s a Cat in a Hat in many languages and the kids randomly chime in. I didn’t know they were deca-lingual. Mr. Krinklebein wants to join in and brag that he can speak Russian so he teaches Cat a new name for himself. Precious.

Interrupted by the sound of their mother’s car horn, the kids freak out because the house is a mess. Cat walks out the front door and comes back inside riding on this machine that cleans up the entire house in seconds. He sings a sweet song while he straightens up and then rolls out the door as if nothing ever happened. Their mother comes inside and claims that she saw the weirdest thing–a cat in a hat with a moss-covered-three-handled-family-gradunza. cathatpart2

So confusing, but so good. (The whole movie is on youtube and it’s only 25 minutes total. Enjoy!)

Max and Ruby

Based on the popular children’s books, Max and Ruby has become a cutesy show for toddlers and of course for myself as well. Max and Ruby are bunny siblings living together without parents. Yes, you heard right. This show teaches kids that living on your own when you’re under 10 years of age is possible as long as there are two of you. So technically, it’s not really living on your own, but whatever. I’m assuming Ruby doesn’t pay bills, yet they live in a house with running water and electricity. So idk what’s going on.imgres

Although the whole parent thing is a mystery, Max and Ruby are pretty normal otherwise. Ruby is the bossy “grown up” sister who orders Max around. She loves Max and includes him in her play time, but she can’t replace a real mom. I mean, I’m still freaked out about the absence of parents on this show. Maybe their mom and dad bought them that house because they have so much money? Yeah that must be it.

Max is a mischievous little bunny boy who likes food and playing games. I don’t remember him saying much of anything in the books, but in the show he’ll say a couple of words here and there. I like Max’s muteness. It makes him cuter. He and Ruby are very chunky and I definitely wouldn’t mind cuddling them or just buying some rabbits and naming them Max and Ruby…I mean what?

Ruby has a couple of girl friends that will come over and play with her. Normally her friend Louise will come over and occasionally she’ll bring her cousin Morris who is Max’s friend. Max doesn’t have as many friends as Ruby, but then again he’s not a member of The Bunny Scouts like she is. Wouldn’t that be something that you need a parent signature for? Ugh forget it.

I'm pretty sure the brown one is Louise. I don't know who the little soccer bunny is.

I’m pretty sure the brown one is Louise. I don’t know who the little soccer bunny is.

There are a handful of other characters but I don’t really care about them. However, through some serious research (or just looking at Wikipedia) I’ve found out that Max and Ruby have a grandma that visits sometimes. At least she’s around. I really worry for Max and Ruby’s well-being if you haven’t noticed.

Overall, Max and Ruby isn’t a very exciting show. It’s not super creative, but it’s good because it helps kids understand how important siblings are. It also teaches you that not having any parents can still be pretty fun. And if you’re an only child, you’re pretty much doomed.

How to Rock

Give me some credit, I actually watched a few episodes of this show to learn what it was all about. In many ways I regret watching it because it’s only right now and I had never heard of it before. That gives you an idea how not good it is.

How to Rock is a show that was on Nickelodeon last year in 2012 and was cancelled after one full season. When I said it was bad I didn’t mean it was that bad. It definitely deserved a longer run. Then again, the plot is so simple and the characters are so lame that I cannot imagine what else they could have done.

how to rock

The show stars Cymphonique Miller as Kacey, a girl who used to be popular but no longer is. She’s no longer popular apparently because she had braces for a year. Really? That makes someone unpopular? Popular kids are cruel and shallow. Braces would make her cooler because she’s being vain and taking care of her crooked teeth. Not that she’s no longer popular Kacey is in a band called Gravity 5. She’s the bossy leader in the band and it’s clear she still wishes she was popular. She comes off very mean to her friends most of the time and it was hard to ever feel sympathetic for her.

Gravity 5 of course has four other members. The bass player is Stevie, a girl. Stevie is tough and by far the best character on the show. She’s apparently supposed to be the brute in the group, but she’s actually really pretty and lovable. There’s also Zander. He plays the keyboard and guitar. Zander is vain and I know this from one episode because they all made a bet and he was no longer allowed to look in a mirror. He eventually does because Multiple Miggs threw semen on his cheek and it was the only way to get it off.

how-to-dress-like-gravity-5-2(Vain guy, flat character, main  girl, tough girl, other flat character)

Also in the band are Nelson and Kevin. One is black and one is white. Other than that, they are the same person. They are idiotic and don’t really have personalities. They remind me of a lot of people I went to high school with.

This show isn’t a simple “Let’s be in a band and make music” type of show. No. Gravity 5 have rivals known as The Perfs. I believe their full name is The Perfumes. The Perfs are led by Molly and her cohort Grace. Molly is basically the typical mean girl and Grace is a dimwitted sidekick. There are many other girls in The Perfs. I keep wanting to call them The Pervs. Really though, I guess that’s what we should call any adult male who watch this show.

Perf_Pose(The Perfs doing what the director told them would be funny, but isn’t)

The plots to the episodes seem to be about Kacey trying to look cool in The Perfs’ eyes while The Perfs try their best not to let Kacey know they miss her. That’s what I understood at least. All the while, Kacey seems to get embarrassed by her new friends in Gravity 5. I didn’t actually hear any of the music the band played because when that part came on I decided to watch YouTube videos on different hip stretches I can do. The sound on the YouTube videos was low so I had to mute the television.

How to Rock’s humor was a little below average for these types of shows. Not that many ever make me laugh out loud, How to Rock’s was just much more juvenile and simple. I almost felt bad during a few jokes at how simple and unclever they were.

Now instead of watching How to Rock I’m watching a show about haunted houses. In this episode a woman invited an old Native American friend of hers to get the ghost out. I would say this is racist except the Native American actually does seem to know what he’s doing. He’s telling them to burn sage then pour olive oil everywhere. We’re only a third of the way through the episode. I bet this doesn’t work.

Wings

We haven’t written about many Nick at Nite shows on this site, at least not for a while, so it’s time we write about a classic one, Wings. Is Wings considered a classic? In my mind it is and that’s all that matters, what I think.

wings-tv-movie-poster-1990-1020470124

Wings is about an airport on Nantucket Island in New England. I once knew a man from Nantucket. He had a really small penis and I was ashamed I paid $50 to see it. That’s the last time I ever believe a dirty limerick.

The main characters are the Hackett brothers, Joe and Brian. Joe owns the airport and he’s always wanted to be a pilot. He was such a lousy pilot though that he had to buy a small airport with one plane because no one else would hire him. While Joe is real down to earth and conservative (he hates abortions!), his brother Brian is a bit wilder. In one episode Brian takes a picture of his penis and mails it to Joe’s mother-in-law by accident. He also slept with Joe’s former fiancé and they stopped talking for a while. Wow. This show was dark.

wings6(Brian is the one in the weird sweater vest and Joe is the one who looks more annoyed for this photoshoot)

Joe is now married to someone new, Helen. She has a weird accent and dresses like women from the early 90s. Considering the show takes place in the early 90s, she’s pretty trendy. She likes to cause some mischief and she works the kitchen at the airport. I’m pretty sure she gave up her dreams to help Joe. I want a girl like that.

One thing you should know about this airport is that there are two airlines in it. Across from them is Roy Biggins who runs his own rival airport. He has a lot more planes and crew so most people fly his airline. He’s fat and mean though with a villainous mustache. In a later episode he has a gay son and they play a game of basketball to determine whether or not the son can be gay or something like that.

The Hacketts have a very small crew working in their airport. There’s Faye, the ticket counter lady. She always has smartass comments to make about everything, especially Roy. There’s also Lowell who you may know best as The Sandman from the third Spiderman movie. The Sandman you may know best as a Spiderman villain you never knew existed. Really? They couldn’t have gone with someone better? Lowell is a dimwit and the airport mechanic. He’s probably good at his job because there was never a crash.

Tony Shalhoub was a cast regular. He is a taxi driver who comes in and drinks coffee. He seems to have a very depressing life. Most of his storylines are with Helen since she’s the one who makes the coffee. Amy Yasbeck also comes into the picture later on in the series, playing Helen’s sister. She ends up having sex with Brian a lot. That may actually not be true. She has sex a lot in the Wings fan fiction I write though so that has to count for something, right?

wings (1)(The whole main cast minus Thomas Haden Church. Really, it’s impossible to find them all together)

Wings is one of those shows I may have seen every episode of. I’m not even exaggerating. Every day during my summers when I was younger I would watch Wings on USA Network during the day. They would air at least 4 episodes a day. I associate this show with my mom because she enjoyed watching it too. Somehow this show was on for 8 years and amassed 170 episodes. How does that happen? This show never was as big as a few other sitcoms on at the time and still managed to put out so much material. I blame Middle America. They were far too afraid what a man from Nantucket might be packing. Why is everything a penis joke with me?