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Ep.28: “Star Wars – Rogue One”

A brand new episode is up for you to listen to as you wind down your holiday traditions! We do a little bit more of Christmas and talk about some personal traditions the two of us have and then hit you with our thoughts on the new Star Wars flick, Rogue One which, if you haven’t heard, is in theaters now. Make sure to listen, subscribe, review and share with friends. We’re on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Google Play. Enjoy the show and merry Christmas.

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A Muppet Family Christmas

By now, we all know how I feel about Christmas. It’s not my favorite. Or even close. But I do engage in a personal tradition of watching the Christmas stuff I do enjoy on Christmas Eve. So today, faithful readers, I bring you into my living room.

Although now living in Florida makes it hard to really get into the Christmas season with it being over 80 degrees today, it’s good to have some traditions and this is one of mine.

For years now, I’ve watch two TV Christmas specials every year on Christmas Eve. The first of which is “A Muppet Family Christmas”. So we’re going to dive into that and, of course, I’ll share some links so you too can join in the fun!

“A Muppet Family Christmas”: Original Air Date: 12/16/1987

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Plot:

We open with our favorite Muppets all driving to Fozzie’s mom’s house on the farm to surprise her for Christmas. They’re all singing along to “We Need A Little Christmas” and having a rollicking good time when Kermit the Frog suggests they should have called ahead and let Mrs. Bear know that they would be coming.

Fozzie proclaims that it’s not necessary because his mom loves surprises and he knows, for a fact, that she’s got the house all decorated and is just a tinge on the sad side with having to spend Christmas alone.

We cut to Mrs. Bear who is hardly feeling lonely. In fact, she’s packed up and ready to head out to catch a flight to Malibu to spend Christmas in paradise catching some rays. It’s then that we’re introduced to Doc and his dog, Sprocket. They’ve rented Mrs. Bear’s farmhouse for the holiday to spend a relaxing, quiet Christmas away from the bustle of city life. Mrs. Bear was wayyyyyyy ahead of the Air B&B trend. Doc and Sprocket head upstairs to put their stuff away and while they’re up there…

SUHPRISE!

Fozzie and friends barge into the house effectively ruining Mrs. Bear’s plans for Malibu in addition to Doc’s wish of a nice, quiet Christmas. They house starts filling with freaks and weirdos who slip upon their entrance because of an icy patch right outside the door.

Doc, obviously, is not happy about this seeing as how he paid good American greenback to rent the house for his desired tame holiday, but Mrs. Bear basically dusts him off with the shrug emoji. Nobody is happy. Except the Muppets because they’re assholes.

The phone rings and it’s Miss Piggy calling that she’s tied up in a last-minute photo shoot and will arrive to the farmhouse to join them all whenever she can. Great. More Muppets. Doc is not happy. In walks the Swedish Chef because – well someone has to prepare the holiday turkey after all. He takes a huge bump off the icy patch and then heads to the kitchen to prepare his office.

We get another song, this one started by Kermit and his nephew Robin who sing “Jingle Bells” before Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem kick out the jams of “Jingle Bell Rock” totally bringing this party to 11. We also get the first appearance of my double main man, Zoot killing it on the saxophone. He’s terrific.

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Rowlf the Dog shows up. He chased a truck the entire way and, boy, is he exhausted! Get it?! Truck? Exhaust! HAHAHAHAHA! He sees a piano and immediately jumps on and starts playing “Sleigh Ride” even though the piano is a bit out of tune. It’s all good, though, because Rowlf loves out of tune pianos. We get some singing, of the song, but Fozzie makes a new friend as the snowman he was building comes to life and begins singing with him. The Snowman is so legit, that he even starts telling jokes and BAM – a new comedy duo is born.

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We get another Miss Piggy update and she’s still behind because she’s got last minute shopping to do. Just like a woman. Never on time. Pssssssssh. Meanwhile, the Swedish Chef is looking for the turkey but is attempting to cook Sprocket the dog because the Turkey told the Chef that the dog was the turkey when – in fact, the turkey’s the turkey.

Scooter sets up a projector because he’s been snooping around Mrs. Bear’s attic like a real deal piece of shit and found a home movie of the Muppets’ first Christmas together. He turns it on and we’re treated to basically Muppet Babies singing “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. Floyd kills it when a baby Miss Piggy comes on the screen and he says, “It’s Miss Hamhock! When she was just a little sausage roll!” Incredible stuff here. Animal ends the movie by busting through the screen effectively ending everybody’s good time. Even Doc enjoyed the movie as he seems to be warming up to the Muppets.

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Gonzo and the Turkey are about to throw down over the love of Camilla the chicken when Kermit hears carolers. Everybody runs to the door to find the gang from Sesame Street heading to the house singing “Deck The Halls”. Worlds colliding! This shit is great!

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They all head into the house with everybody taking turns slipping on the icy patch. Doc realizes he’s going to have to give up his bed at this point and heads off to build some bunk beds in the broom closet to try to accommodate all these freaks.

Swedish Chef is trying to get the turkey in the pan, but he turns the tables. If the Chef thinks he’s a good-looking bird, he’s got an even better one. He then points Swedish Chef in the direction of Big Bird and the Chef spontaneously orgasms at first sight. The TV comes through with a breaking story and Muppet Newsman informs us that we’ll be getting the worst blizzard in like a billion years. everybody needs to stay inside, but Kermit is nervous AF because Miss Piggy is out there.

Janice decides to surprise everybody with a plate of Christmas cookies, but she’s immediately ambushed by Cookie Monster who attempts to eat all of them but lets pieces and chunks go to waste all over the floor because he eats like a gavone. Janice is absolutely horrified. I met a girl once in a bar who reminded me of Janice. That’s not a compliment. When you see that kind of mouth in person, it becomes all you can see about her. She may have been the sweetest girl ever. I don’t know because I was so focused on her mouth that I didn’t pay attention to a word she said. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.

Ernie calls for everybody to gather around so they can begin their performance of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas”. Bert is horrified that Ernie booked the monsters as reindeer and the Two-Headed Monster as Santa. Even Sam The Eagle is offended when he sees this as he chimes in with an “Is nothing sacred?”

Doc comes running in from collecting firewood and the storm is has picked up considerably. Things are getting dangerous when the phone rings and we get our next Miss Piggy update. She’s gonna try to grab a cab to get up there. Kermit tells her to wait out the storm, but she refuses because she’s Miss Piggy and never faces repercussions for her actions.

Fozzie takes this opportunity to introduce Kermit to his Snowman comedy partner. They don’t even begin their act when they start getting heckled by Statler and Waldorf who have suddenly appeared out of nowhere and effectively shred Fozzie and the Snowman. Big Bird joins Swedish Chef in the kitchen and he begins measuring the bird for the pan, but they get to talking and Swedish Chef begins to long for home in Sweden and appreciates Big Bird’s understanding and decides to spare a life. I guess nobody gets to eat tonight.

Doc sees how nervous Kermit is and offers to head out and look for Miss Piggy. Kermit asks why he’d do that and Doc tells him because they’re friends now. Friends do good for friends, friend. He heads out the door in a blizzard and Robin the tadpole calls to his uncle in the cellar because he found a Fraggle Hole. They walk into Fraggle Rock and encounter a whole group of Fraggles. We find out they’re currently celebrating their own version of Christmas and they sing a song about trading a pebble for joy before the frogs head back to real life.

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They head upstairs and hear a commotion. It’s Miss Piggy pulling up to the farmhouse in a dog-pulled sled being guided by Doc who is in full uniform because Piggy is prepared for situations like that. Everybody sings, “There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays” before heading back inside where Miss Piggy takes a Curt Hennig-like bump off the icy patch.

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Now, with everybody finally gathered, they all sing Christmas carols and enjoy the company of friends both old and new. The Fraggles hear all the singing and come up from Fraggle Rock to join in. It is officially Henson-Mania made even more so when Jim Henson himself is shown washing dishes in the kitchen and peeking through to watch the house full of his creations having a good time with the smile of a proud father. It. Is. Perfect.

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Final Thoughts:

I love this special. It’s my favorite Muppet-related thing ever and I very much enjoy the Muppets. The combination of the Muppets, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock coming together is amazing.

There’s a video on YouTube that is a direct recording from a live broadcast from WTVD which is an ABC affiliate in the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina. It’s complete with commercials and I go out of my way to watch that specific one every year. I don’t know…sure, usually I go nuts about commercials with everything I watch now, but there’s something about seeing nearly 30 year-old commercials in between something as originally presented. To make it easy on you, I’ve included the link so you can watch for yourself.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and maybe include it in your own traditions going forward. Merry Christmas.

❤ Joe

 

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.3,E.7: “Burne’s Blues”

Welcome to a Sunday edition of TMNT! I actually hit the entire weekend! Go me. Yesterday, we were privy to Shredder and Splinter having their minds swapped because of some infernal machine. By the title alone today, it seems we’re going to get some kind of focus on Burne Thompson, April’s boss and the head of Channel 6.

I’m looking forward to this. We have to get the focus away from just the Turtles and Shredder even if only for a day. There’s only so many machines Krang can want stolen from the surface to be able to bring the Technodrome out from the center of the Earth. So, hopefully, this will be a nice change of pace.

And, with that…

S.3, E.7: “Burne’s Blues”. Original Air Date: 10/27/1989

Plot:

April does a story for Channel 6 news about the Turtles foiling a robbery at an area restaurant. She’s proud of her work, but her boss, Burne Thompson, feels she didn’t do enough. Specifically, that there was no footage of the Turtles themselves. April says that the TMNT asked her not to include footage of them, but Burne says that’s hogwash and that in his day reporters would stop at nothing to get the most important news. Vernon Fenwick, April’s producer, says that Burne’s right and that if he weren’t so old and out of shape, he’d get a real story on the Turtles. Burne takes this a challenge and heads out to do just that.

Meanwhile, April’s investigating an air conditioning repair company since it’s 112 degrees in NYC and every business, home and building that has been serviced by “S&K Repairs” still has faulty units. To make matters even crazier, while it’s hot, hot, hot on the surface, in the sewers it’s cold, cold, cold as there’s even an unexplainable sheet of ice coating the floors of the Turtles lair.

April tracks down the S&K truck and is immediately captured by Bebop who is disguised in a repair man uniform. She’s tied up and brought inside the truck while Shredder FaceTimes with Krang about all the Freon he’s been stealing from the city that they can use to power the Technodrome. Krang says Freon is bollocks and wants him to rob a factory that produces Nutri-Freeze which is 10x more powerful than Freon.

Cut back to Burne and Vernon who have been captured by some mobsters for asking where to find the Turtles.This all seems to be a misunderstanding, however, as there’s a mob boss in town named Don Turtelli – The Turtle. It’s pretty fucking stupid since there’s been stories all over the fucking news for months about four genuine turtles running around NYC stopping crime and palling around. Uhg.

Shredder, his mutants and a group of Foot Soldiers are at the Nutri-Freeze plant and are loading the truck when the TMNT crash the party. After dismissing the Foot Soldiers with ease, Bebop and Rocksteady charge at them with cylinders of Nutri-Freeze while Shredder has a conniption. Leonardo hits them both with a monkey flip and renders them disabled, but Rocksteady’s horn pierces one of the cylinders and freezes a nearby Michelangelo in solid ice. April is heard screaming from the truck, but as the Turtles get near, it turns out to be a trap. Shredder jumps from the van with a cylinder strapped to his back and a vacuum tube used as a gun to spray the other three Turtles in the freeze-gas. He then delivers a line that would have made Arnold Schwarzenegger jealous in Batman & Robin:

“As Michelangelo would say, chill out, dudes.”

Stupendous.

OK, so there’s this running gag going on with Burne and Vern where they have their feet tickled with a feather by mobsters to try to find out what they know. In truth, they know nothing, they were just snooping around in the wrong place. Once the mobsters are satisfied that these two are worthless, they dump them out in an industrial part of town that just so happens to be right where the Nutri-Freeze factory is. Burne is hyped because he’s gonna find the truth about those Turtles when – and I am not kidding when I say this – they are abducted by alien Elvis-es and taken to space where they have their feet tickled with a feather to try to get them to talk.

What this has to do with fucking anything, I have no idea, but it is 100% fucking retarded and I now I’m mad.

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Um…what else? The Turtles track down Shredder, save April and the Nutri-Freeze is blown up underground after those Drill-Trains the bad guys have crash in the sewers.

Burne goes on the air raving like a madman about the Elvis aliens and everybody has pizza.

Final Thoughts:

So, I wasn’t hating this episode by any means. It wasn’t the Burne-centric story I was hoping for, but it wasn’t bad. Burne and Vern get mixed up with the mob…OK, I’m still with it. But then aliens come and abduct the two and they turn out to be Elvises and honestly, this show can go fuck itself.

Zero reason. Zero purpose. Zero entertainment. Fuck you, TMNT. Fuck you so hard. After that, who cares about the rest of the episode? Goddamn, fuck this show. I can’t believe someone put this in. What gets me is that I probably thought this was hilarious as a kid. I don’t know. I definitely don’t remember this episode and that’s a good thing. As an adult I’m hoping to forget it as soon as humanly possible.

Until tomorrow, folks.

❤ Joe

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Episode 27: Love Actually & Christmas Movies!

Hey! Episode 27 is here! This week we spend our time talking about LOVE ACTUALLY and other Christmas favorites as well as discuss our hero, John Cena’s failed episode of SNL and more talk about eating shrimp! It’s good. Listen, subscribe and review on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Google Play!

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.3,E.6: “The Old Switcheroo”

Yeah, I know. I got flustered yesterday. Lost my cool. But I challenge any one of you to watch yesterday’s episode and feel different. It was absolute garbage. At some point, if you feed a guy shit, he’s gonna call you out on it.

When I write these blogs, I do it literally as I’m watching the episode. It’s not a recap that I do afterwards. So you’re getting my thoughts concerning what’s happening – for better or worse – in real-time for the most part. And one thing I’ve never been able to do is pretend I like something when I know it’s shit. This show is starting to grate on me like Quint’s nails on a chalkboard. It’s not on M.A.S.K. level quite yet simply because there’s at least a purpose and a backstory to the purpose here whereas there was zero history in the other show. But something needs to change before I take my talents to a new show. I’m not going to force myself to sit through shit that is whack.

For now, however, we continue to watch this.

S.3, E.6: “The Old Switcheroo”. Original Air Date: 10/26/1989

Plot:

April gets a tip that some suspicious activity is happening at CyberTech Labs and goes to check it out. When she arrives, she finds Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady doing bad guy stuff so she calls the Turtles. April is hiding in the rafters…like Sting…but makes too much noise and is discovered by Shredder. Just as she’s about to be captured, the Turtles and Splinter come busting through the door.

Our first battle of the day ensues and this one is a bit more even than normally. OK, I’m on board. Let’s see where this goes. During the brouhaha, both Splinter and Shredder get thrown on to opposite platforms of some giant machine. A rogue laser activates said machine and both leaders are hit with some type of radiation. Bebop and Rocksteady grab Shredder and head out of Dodge, while the Turtles attend to Splinter.

As both chiefs are coming to, each realizes that their minds have been transferred into the other’s body. Whooooooooooooaaaaaaaa!

Both Shredder and Splinter realize that this is their chance to infiltrate each other’s base and take it down from the inside. They raise the suspicions of those around them, but – for the most part – the Turtles and Krang just attribute it to the knock they took during the fight.

The Turtles do begin to question Splinter during a training exercise where he fights more like Shredder. Krang then demands Shredder take a brain scan since he’s asking too many questions about science. Splinter is able to use his meditation to control his brain waves to match Shredder’s and ease Krang’s worries and then takes Bebop and Rocksteady back to the surface to get another device Krang needs to mobilize the Technodrome.

April swings by the sewer to check on Splinter, but an angry Splinter kicks her out because she’s distracting the Turtles. She turns to leave, but the Turtles leave with her because they understand now that Splinter is pulling a Bobby Hill and just ain’t right.

As they arrive on the surface, so too does “Shredder” and his mutants. The TMNT disable the mutants quickly and then set their sights on Tin Grin (which is my face insult they use on Shredder), but the Splinter inside him is able to convince them of who he really is and, together, they come up with a plan to take down the real Shredder.

The Turtles return home to an irate “Splinter” who verbally castrates them for leaving without finishing their chores, but they calm him down by saying they’ve located Shredder and can nail him for good. Splinter’s inner Shredder voice is excited that this is working out even better than he hoped for and still believes he’s not being suspected.

Splinter – in Shredder’s body still – returns to CyberTech Labs to try to set a trap for Shredder so they can reverse the mind-transfer. The Turtles arrive with “Splinter” and – although they know the deal with the switched-personas, Bebop and Rocksteady do not. During the heat of battle, Bebop charges at what he thinks is Splinter and battering rams the fuck out of him leaving his prone body one of the mind-transfer devices platforms. The real Splinter, seizing the opportunity, runs to the other platform and gives the signal to Donatello to activate the machine. The machine, however, is still damaged from last time and time is running short as Shredder – in Splinter’s body is about to come to. Rocksteady shoots his laser at Donatello who dodges it. It hits the control unit and activates the device causing another mind-reversal. Both Shredder and Splinter are prone on the floor, but the shot has caused the machine to short-circuit. The entire thing is about to blow and the TMNT take the chance that the reversal worked and rescue the body of Splinter before escaping the building.

When Splinter comes to, he has reverted to his body and everybody celebrates by having pizza.

Final Thoughts:

Well, not exactly a new and innovative episode, but at least the wrinkle of Shredder and Splinter changing bodies made it somewhat interesting. Thankfully, today’s episode was light years ahead of yesterday’s. Thankfully. Mercifully.

That being said it was still “unfortunate weapon that needs reverse polarity to alleviate the unintended effects” which I probably should have kept a score for how many episodes have the same premise.

I haven’t seen any of the current edition of TMNT and maybe I should to see what kind of writing and storytelling go on. I’m not a fan of the current wave of CGI animation that seems to be prevalent in all current cartoons, but maybe I should check it out just for comparison’s sake.

All in all, though, a thankful improvement over yesterday and something I’m not hating myself over watching.

Thanks to all those reading. See you tomorrow.

❤ Joe

 

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.3,E5: “Sky Turtles”

Welcome back to another edition of daily TMNT. Still waiting on that hot storyline to pickup some steam. Still waiting to see what happened to Baxter. The world may never know. So why waste time? On with the cartoon!

S.3, E.5: “Sky Turtles”. Original Air Date: 10/25/1989

Plot:

Shredder’s new weapon of the day is a gravity-control device. But of course. So that’s how him and Krang are planning to take over the city. They set the device on almost high power and people all over the city begin floating around like astronauts. This is absurd.

Shredder sees on his surveillance screen that it’s working great and – despite Krang’s objections – pushes it to full power. The device overloads and everybody is dropped. The Turtles and Splinter are convinced Shredder is behind it. Shredder begins to make some fixes to the machine and adds alterations so he can do some REAL damage!

The machine is altered to be hyper-gravity and pulls everything tight to the ground including people, places and things. Shredder sends Bebop, Rocksteady and some Foot Soldiers to the surface equipped with anti-gravity boots to take over the place. Yep.

Rocksteady comes upon the Turtles in their turned-over van, but when he steps into it, the Turtles act quickly, trip him up and steal his boots. They’re able to throw them on to Michelangelo’s feet and send him out to beat up the Foot Soldiers and take their boots as well.They decide they need to get above the hyper gravity force and go to get the Blimp. Because it’s not already off the ground or anything. I’m dying.

Shredder gets the SOS call from Bebop and Rocksteady that they Turtles took their boots so he heads to the surface to take care of them himself. He sees the Turtle Blimp and reverses the gravitational pull to have all sorts of shit start flying into the air to make flying difficult. This shit is bananas. Everything from cars to buildings are being sucked into the air. I can’t wait to see what the city looks like in the next episode.

I don’t even know what happened here. The Turtles take the satellite dish off the Channel 6 building and do something to save the day. Until Krang jacks up the power even more until the gravity device fucking explodes and everything crashes back to the Earth. We see only Bebop and Rocksteady fall from the sky, but I’d imagine thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people are now dead because of this. I fully expect the next episode to be a memorial to the tragic destruction and senseless murdering of basically all inhabitants of New York.

Final Thoughts:

Just fucking kill me. Kill me like one of the people who died in this show. This was fucking hot garbage.

That’s it. I hate myself for sitting through this episode. I’m gonna go watch hockey.

❤ Joe