Obsessions of the Month

The 80’s were, and still are, some of the best years of many a Gen xer, I’m currently writing a story which takes place in that era. Wow, what an era. The clothing styles, the hairdos, the video games, the movies, and the music—Jesus, what a bunch of cringe-inducing stuff. I’m setting my story in the world of heavy metal music, cocaine trafficking and the “satanic panic” of the era. Writing this story is taking me back to when I was trying to learn to play the guitar parts to those power ballads just so that I could impress the ladies—it didn’t work. The research is a lot of fun though (better than the grim research for my other story about a serial killer in Arizona).

Stay tune.

I’m currently watching the TV series/ crime drama The Wire (I know, fifteen years later, that’s how I do) all fifty episodes spread over five seasons. Great show, albeit a bit dated, what with all the new technology at the government’s disposal these days. One thing that remains the same is life in the hood, fucking shit is still pretty much the same with the little hoppers slinging drugs and killing each other while the politicos and their labyrinthine laws and insidious bureaucratic policies steal, and make life a living hell for those living in the margins of society.

Politicians =gaping assholes.

Very few superhero movies excite me these days—too many to keep up with, and most are just CGI inducing headaches, and this is coming from someone who grew up consuming comic books in unhealthy doses. When Sam Raimi came out with Spiderman in 2001 (Good lord of the flies, I’m fucking old) No one was more excited than me; finally, one of my favorite superheroes on the big screen! I loved it, it was awesome, but then it when to shit and now they’re re-booting it *ugh.* Enters Wonder Woman to save the day, I loved Linda Carter on the old TV show, but this new one looks fucking a-m-a-z-i-n-g, and once again; I’m happy to see a superhero movie. Not like she needs it but: here’s me rooting for Diana, founding member of Justice League, Princess of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta aka Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman.

What you waiting on playa? Go see the movie!

Just One More Thing

Photo Credit: Quora.com

Columbo popularize the inverted detective story format which begins by showing the audience the commission of the crime and the perpetrator, the audience then gets to see how the detective goes about solving the case and securing all evidence needed for a conviction. There’s a not-so subtle class warfare in every episode of Columbo. You never see him trying to solve a double homicide committed by a bunch of gangbangers, or drug dealers killing each other in a turf war. The perpetrator is always rich, suave, good looking and did I say rich? Inevitably these One Percenters are always looking down at this working class bumbler type detective, who refuses to go away. Watching these rich fools come to the realization that this ‘inconsequential’ and ‘scruffy little man’ has them by the balls by simply being smarter than they thought he was is pure delight.

Episode Structure:

*The famous guest star kills someone (Jack Cassidy played a murderer in three Columbo episodes, brilliantly)

*Columbo arrives in his dirty car

*The killer thinks they can get away with it because Columbo is clearly a fucking moron

*Columbo just won’t leave the killer alone and you start to feel sorry for them

*Columbo gets his man and takes him/ her down without much fanfare.

Columbo (Peter Falk) says things like:

“I worry. I mean, little things bother me. I’m a worrier. I mean, little insignificant details — I lose my appetite. I can’t eat. My wife, she says to me, “You know, you can really be a pain.”

“Watch my hand, it’s full of grease. This is my dinner. Would you like a piece of chicken?”

Columbo asks one villain “How much does a home like this cost?” and when he finds out, he says “Oh, sir, I could never afford that on a policeman’s salary.”

Don’t you love this guy already? With his disheveled trench coat, his beat-up1959 Peugeot convertible, and his cigar chomping ways this sleuth is the antithesis of what anyone would expect from a Los Angeles Homicide Detective, yet in the end, this ‘uncouth’ man outfoxes the smug monied gentry and takes them down much to the delight of the cheering audience.  He loves animals, the wife—we never get to see, and cigars.

Oh uh, just one more thing… I sincerely hope that Hollywood doesn’t do a re-boot of this classic TV show.

READ 16 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT PETER FALK AND ‘COLUMBO’

San Junipero.

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Image Credit: collider.com

There’s this show call Black Mirror which I’ve been harping about since its inception, because aside from being a well-written and well-acted show, with top notch direction; it reminds me of the old Twilight Zone. I’ve seen the third season already and it’s fantastic, except for the ‘Nosedive’ episode, (Bryce Dallas-Howard is a great actress but for some reason, I didn’t like that episode, maybe a little too predictable?). The other standout episodes of this season for me were: ‘Hated in the Nation’ and ‘Shut up and Dance’ (Shut up and Dance being the bleakest one) ‘San Junipero’ seems to be the true stand out episode of the season, let me whet your appetite on it…

A girl named Yorkie (like the dog) is a new comer to the fictionalize 80’s California surf- town of San Junipero, we first see her climbing out of a car playing Belinda Carlisle’s ’87 hit ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ A giant poster of 80’s vampire flick The Lost Boys greets her. Bespectacled, mousy and shy Yorkie spots Kelly; the quintessential 80’s cool chick and follows her into a club named Tucker’s where the DJ spins nothing but 80s tunes. Yorkie seems /feels out of place, she heads to the arcade machines and plays Bubble Bobble a fellow player entices her to play Top Speed—at first we don’t get why Yorkie doesn’t want to play a game about car crashes, we’ll soon learn why.

Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) meets Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) while trying to ditch her new boy toy, a guy name Wes, who warns her “Two hours thirty five. Not much time left.”  Kelly rejects Wes by saying she wants to spend time with her ‘friend,’ who only has six months to live, her ‘friend’ Yorkie replies “Five.”  Kelly invites Yorkie to dance, Yorkie replies, “Dance floors aren’t my thing. I can’t.”  We, the audience don’t know yet, that the real Yorkie is telling the truth when she says, “I’ve never been on a dance floor.” She then runs outside, it’s raining while the song ‘You’re a Fake, baby’ plays, she holds her foot out in front of herself, as if admiring her ability to do so.

And so begins San Junipero, my favorite episode of Black Mirror Season Three, where things are not always what they seem and danger, death and dread are just around the corner. With this episode, the show seems to stray away (albeit momentarily) from the usual Black Mirror canon of having us see technology as warping humanity. This episode offers hope in the face of mortality, where two people use technology to connect with each other and find true love.

Go stream it.

Snowcalipse Post Four

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Image Credit: laceyentertainment.com

Okay enough with the video games already, let’s get back to the meat and potatoes of this site shall we? And by the by; this is the last of the so called-Snowcalipse post (Yeah I can hear the collective sigh of relief) Anyway…Back in 1996 there was a little syndicated TV show call America’s Dumbest Criminals. Some of the stories on that show were hilarious because as we all know criminals say and do a lot of dumb shit and dumb shit’s funny. Anyway while staying put during Snowcalipse, I took the liberty of transcribing five of those stories here for your reading pleasure, enjoy.

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A guy gets arrested and booked for a string of vending machine robberies; bail was set at $400.00. He made his phone call and waited for his girlfriend to arrive with the money. Eventually she did, bringing bail money for her paramour. All fifteen hundred quarters.

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4:00 a. m. Las Vegas

A patrolman sees a white van swerving all over the road, he pulls the van over. As the officer approaches the van he sees the driver sliding to the passenger seat. The officer ask for his license and registration.

“It wasn’t me officer,” says the drunken driver, “I wasn’t driving… it was him,” he says while pointing at a giant Teddy bear who’s been sitting quietly in the backseat.

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Mr. Larry Johnston of New York was issued 2,800 parking tickets between the years of 1985 and 1988. He used 19 different addresses and 36 license plates in order to evade paying the $150,000.00 in fines.

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Joey was a well-known fellow in the neighborhood, he was harmless if a bit delusional, but also known for not being ‘all there.’

Cops get a call about a suspicious individual walking around sporting a brown paper bag over his head, when an officer gets there, right away he knows who it is under the paper bag and says.

“Joey what are you doing with a paper bag over your head?”

Joey was also known to be a very unattractive guy. Joey says.

“Just trying to get a date.”

Okay that previous anecdote was more sad than criminal, however, please—ugly or not—do yourself a favor and don’t walk around with a brown paper bag over your head.

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An officer tells on the stand, on how two dumb criminals had their number come up by saying that while patrolling the streets one night, he came across a cash dispensing machine with its chain still attached to one end; while the other end was attached to a car bumper.

Cash machine and bumper; just lying there in the middle of the road.

Well it turns out that the bumper still had the perpetrators license plate on it.

*

Sadly the TV show is no longer around, but you can still find a bunch more of these morsels at the America’s Dumbest Criminals website.

Hilarious shit I tell ya. Later Sport .

Top TV Shows

TopTVshows

Whatup home skillet,

Yup, you knew this post was coming sooner or later. See the quality of TV shows has grown exponentially over the years, more so than most movies actually. That being said; let’s reach for the remote and turn to my favorite TV shows.

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BANSHEE—Holy mother of balls, why is this show not as popular as it should be is beyond comprehension. The fight scenes alone should be a major selling point, dig this: Ex-con assumes the identity of the newly appointed (yet murdered) sheriff of a little Amish town by the name of Banshee, Pennsylvania. Said ex-con brings his own kind of justice to the ‘not so sleepy’ little town where violence erupts at every turn, even the Mayor kicks ass. Go watch it right now, I’ll wait…

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GAME OF THRONES—I know, very popular show, but it took a while for me to check it out as I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre. i. e. dragons, magic and all that jazzy jazz, author George R. R. Martin is unforgiving to his characters which is a big plus. I’m really digging the mythical universe he’s created.

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BLACK MIRROR—a tinge of the old Twilight Zone for the 21st century on this episodic TV show, Speculative fiction with dark and satirical themes at its finest. Can’t wait for what’s coming up for the next season.

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HAPPY VALLEY—This English show feels very organic, it has a down to earth quality to it, and it features a no-nonsense Yorkshire Police Sergeant by the name of Catherine Cawood as she navigates this morality play which has been created, written and produced by women. Aside from being a great show, you will not see a supermodel type on it, which is a breath of fresh air in this day and age of beautiful people trying to convince us that they’re hardened cops (I’m looking at you True Detective)

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LONGMIRE—I’m probly not the show’s ‘demographic’ but what I really dig about this show is the fact that, for once, Hollywood has decided to peppered one of its productions with Native Americans which, in my opinion, are the most marginalize people in this country (Okay so Lou Diamond Phillips is of Filipino background, and actor A. Martinez is of Puerto Rican descent) but at least they’re trying. This show is as close to a Western you’ll likely get these days. The lovely and talented Katee Sackhoff is on this (She was fantastic as Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica.) Here’s hoping they put some meat to the bones of her story.

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TRUE DETECTIVE (2th Season)—I didn’t like the first season, found it a tad boring. This season was slightly better, and despite of the fact that I disagree with their casting choices. i. e. having a lot of pretty faces playing hard-assed detectives (they should cast this show with character actors to give it a gritty authentic look and feel. Just one man’s opinion) Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams brought great performances to the piece, however whenever I saw Vince Vaughn on screen I always thought that he was going to spit out one of his famous lines from ‘Wedding Crashers.’ ‘Old School,’or ‘Fred Claus.’ I guess the typecasting struggle is real yo.

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LUTHER—saw this one a while back and it left a great impression, then again is what happens when you cast the great English thespian Idris Elba on just about anything he’s on. He’s like the English Julian Moore. I can’t wait for next season.

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WENTWORTH—what guy doesn’t like a good old female prison premise? I equate this show from Down Under to as a much ‘sober’ answer to Orange is the New Black. Fantastic cast and superb performances all around, but my favorites performances are those of Pamela Rabe and Nicole da Silva, just tops mate.

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To keep in touch with the geek in me I tune to Halt and Catch Fire and Mr. Robot. Both great character driven dramas peppered with misfits, computer programmers, hackers, etc. Both shows are about the underdog, and who doesn’t like an underdog story filled with freakazoids?

HONORABLE MENTIONS (Shows I don’t watch on a regular basis, but I still dig.)

ORPHAN BLACK—the performances (yes performances as she plays several characters) of Tatiana Maslany are well worth the watch of this outrageous sci-fi series.

SOUTH PARK—I don’t have Cable (I ain’t a playa like you son) but on the rare occasion that I catch an episode online I’m always laughing my ass off—even if it’s an episode I’ve seen before, and that to me is a sign of great comedy.

FAMILY GUY—the same goes for this old stand-by; always brutally funny, and the non-sequiturs are a big selling point for moi—Ladies and Gentlemen: Mr. Convay Twitty.

BROAD CITY—I don’t get to see this one as much as I’d like to, but what I’ve seen so far, me likes very much. Ballsy comedy from a couple of fearless ladies. Hysterical and sometimes disturbing to watch. I’m going to take this opportunity and do something… I’m just gonna throw this out there okay? bear with me.

Dear Abbi Jacobson, and Ilana Glazer. Which one of you would like to become my future ex-wife?—call me.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK—as stated earlier, what guy can resist an all-Female Prison Premise? However, the diversity of the cast is a huge selling point for me, although it seems that Hollywood only does this (diverse casting) whenever they tackle prison and/or drug dealing type stories. Not enough Diane Guerrero for me tho, hey Netflix, can y’all find a way to fix that? Thanks a bunch!

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Believe it or not I’m a voracious reader, so don’t despair. Next month: My Favorite Flicks.

Stay stoned, I mean stay tune.

Clicks Off.