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What I Learned This Week – 5/11/14

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This week a big, momentous achievement was reached in my goal toward self-publishing my own book.

I printed it out.

The longest story that I have ever written and printed, to date.

The longest story that I have ever written and printed, to date.

I know, that sounds really stupid.

In high school, I used to print out my stories all the time. But,

1. I didn’t have a computer at home to edit them on, so I had to use the hard copy.
2. My stories were short enough that I could print them out repeatedly.

My husband incorrectly assumed that because I printed out my story, that it was done. He questioned me when he saw I was immediately writing and editing on my newly printed pages.

No, it is not done. But, the achievement is in that it got to the stage where I needed to look at it on something other than a computer screen. And, I felt that it was worthy of “wasting” 115 pages of paper and ink to print it off. My husband is not a writer. He doesn’t understand my convoluted stages of writing, or the value I put on our limited supply of ink and paper.

I will revise, edit, and put away this draft, while I then proceed to do some preliminary editing on books 2 and 3 in the trilogy. Afterall, I need to make sure that the details and characters are consistent through all three books. Then, I will come back to book 1, update the file, and proofread it.

When I print it out the next time, I will tie my asbestos friend to a chair, hold her eyelids open, and force her to read it. And if she gives me any negative feed back, I will shock her with my dog’s shock collar.

But don’t tell her that.

Unfortunately, I also learned this week that 5 of the 12 TV shows I regularly watch will not be back next year. The following shows were cancelled this week. Some have links to other posts you can click through and read more about that show.

Star-Crossed
The Tomorrow People (This has consistently been one of my most popular posts for the last few months.)
Suburgatory
Super Fun Night
Enlisted

Most are not surprises, but I will miss them anyway. I believe that Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People were The CW’s attempts at putting some of that special effect heavy, super-hero type stuff that plays well in the theater on their channel. And they were really well done. But, I think already having shows like Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and The Orignals, The CW probably just couldn’t keep up the special effects budges on all those shows. The CW will have to stick to cheaper shows, such as Hart of Dixie. Which is a real shame. These two shows were like reading a short sci-fi teen romance novel each week, except better, because you could just watch it. They were the perfect shows for me. Or maybe I was the perfect audience for them.

The fact that ABC cancelled Super Fun Night isn’t shocking. ABC never really promoted it, and therefore it never found an audience. It was a nice little bit of escape on Wednesday nights that I enjoyed, along with actor Kevin Bishop who played Richard Royce. Now he will be off on his business trip to Berlin, indefinitely:(

I loved the first two seasons of Surburgatory, but it was just off this season and never regained it’s footing. I hope the series finale will find Ryan and Tessa reunited. In real life, that relationship wouldn’t work. But I think the actors both have chemistry and I like to watch it.

Ryan & Tessa breaking up on Suburgatory

Ryan & Tessa breaking up on Suburgatory

And it is possible that Ryan could show up on Suburgatory again, now that the actor who plays him, Parker Young, have more spare time, as the show he left Suburgatory to co-star in, Enlisted, has now been canceled by FOX as well. I was never a fan of the army setting, but the cast was great. Playing the other two Hill brothers were Geoff Stults (of the cancelled “October Road”, which I own the DVDs of both seasons) and Chris Lowell (who I just recently got to watch as Piz on the cancelled “Veronica Mars”).

Here is to hoping that all these fine actors find new shows in which to star in future television pilot seasons.

Oh, how cool would it be if they ALL ended up in the same show together!

Mind blown.

Grand

A few weeks ago, I talked about the TV show “Phenom”, and said that I would have more Sara Rue for you. And, here it is…

Years ago on NBC, there was a little TV show called Grand. The details of the show are very foggy to me now. But I always make a point to think of the title every now and then so that I don’t forget it. I search Amazon.com for DVD of it. I search WarnerArchive.com for it. I search Nexflix to stream it.

Hmmm.  When was this available on DVD?  Not now... Photo: Wikipedia.com

Hmmm. When was this available on DVD? Not now…
Photo: Wikipedia.com

No luck. And that is no big surprise. It is not a show that anyone would still want to view. Except for me.

It didn’t have any super famous stars. It didn’t create any breakout stars during its barely two season run. Although there were many fine character actors. It was offbeat at a time before people were into that. It would probably be a huge hit now, in a time of 30 Rock and New Girl quirkiness.

Grand was the name of the town in which the show took place. What I remember about the show most is that it was soap opera like. I mean, there was a lot of comedy and it took place in situations, so I guess it was mostly a sitcom. But it was a sitcom wanting to be a soap opera, in the same way that the classic TV comedy “Soap” was. There was a rich family and a poor family. The poor family featured a mother and a daughter, played by Pamela Reed and Sara Rue, who lived in a trailer. Being a daughter who lived with her mother in a trailer at the time, I deeply identified with them. They were my favorite characters. I believe Pamela Reed worked as a maid for the rich family. I also believe that they had the most realistic set of a trailer I had ever seen depicted on TV. It conveyed how cramped it was to live in one, always on top of each other.

There was also a cute policeman played by Andrew Lauer. He was on every show at that time (Going to Extremes, Caroline in the City). Sara Rue’s character was in love with him. (I was too.)

Everyone on the show seemed to be an oddball. Pamela Reed’s character often seemed like the only semi-normal one. Maybe that is why I liked her the best and remember her the most.

I wanted to write about this show:

1. So that I don’t have to hold this information in my head any longer.

2. Maybe this post will help others remember this show.

3. Maybe someone will see my post and actually release this on DVD, so that I can watch it again.

4. Maybe Sara Rue will send me a “What’s up, girl?” on Twitter. (I don’t know her. But she seems like she has a “What’s up, girl?” personality, doesn’t she? I always watched her on Less Than Perfect, with Andy Dick and Sherri Shepherd.

The cast of Less Than Perfect, Sara Rue - center

The cast of Less Than Perfect, Sara Rue – center

5. My blog gets many hits from people searching for the show Homefront daily. I am lucky to remember a high level of facts about it. I feel people are search on the Internet for random scraps of knowledge to find out what that show was that they loved about life in America, just after WWII. They are grasping on to tiny little facts about Homefront, as I am about Grand.

So, in order to be a more useful search engine result, I am going to supplement my limited memories from above with this info from Imdb.com

GRAND (1990)
NBC

ACTOR … CHARACTER
Pamela Reed … Janice Pasetti
Bonnie Hunt … Carol Anne Smithson
John Neville … Desmond
Joel Murray … Norris Weldon
Sara Rue … Edda Pasetti
John Randolph … Harris Weldon
Mark Moses … Richard Peyton
Jackey Vinson … Dylan
Michael McKean … Tom Smithson
Andrew Lauer … Off. Wayne Kasmurski

This is about the total amount of footage from the show that I could scrap up on YouTube for you enjoyment:

Interested in my Top Ten Favorite TV Shows of all time? Please click on the tab at the top of the page!

Under-Appreciated Cancelled TV Shows: WONDERFALLS

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WONDERFALLS-title card

From Amazon.com Wonderfalls DVD reviews:

If you like quirky, deadpan humor, great acting, fun stories and good writing, you’ll like this. A. Bloom

Wonderfalls is a great show that everyone should seek out and find a way to watch it.  Especially if you are interested in the odd things I write about in my other posts.

I just rewatched all the episodes, and I figured that makes this the best time to write about it, while it is fresh in my memory.

Wonderfalls was broadcast on FOX in 2004.  It only has 13 episodes.  I watched it when it first aired.  I really enjoyed it and was sorry to see it canceled.  I happened to procure a partial set of the full series on DVD.  I am so glad I did.  Otherwise, this could have been a gem that could have slipped my mind and would have been lost forever.

Instead, it now lives on My Top Ten TV Shows of All Time list.

WONDERFALLS-trailer

It is a wonderfully quirky show about a twenty-something girl who is over-educated and under-employed.  She lives in a trailer that looks like the inside of Jeanie’s bottle, but isn’t quite as big.  She works at Wonderfalls, a souvenir shop for Niagara Falls, where the series is set.  It is one of those cheesy souvenir shops, with all the toys and stuffed animals that I love to visit when on vacation.  Except, well, the stuffed animals (and wax lions with smooshed faces) start to talk to her.

The first season is spent with her trying to hide this life-complicating issue from everyone, because she believes she is crazy.  (There does seem to be a higher force at work behind the voices, be it God, Fate, or Satan.)  Sometimes I wished she would just tell her family and friends.  Even when she tried, they mostly did not believe her.

If there had been a season 2, I would like to think everyone would have found out that inanimate animal objects were talking to her and causing her to act so out of character for her normal personality.  In the Special Features, the creators said they would have had her in a mental hospital for Season 3.  Eek!

Jaye’s best friend Mahandra McGinty and her family round out the rest of the cast.  Her family are supposed to be unlikeable people.  But they are all such fine actors that I tend to start liking them anyway.  Some of you may know Lee Pace, who plays her brother Aaron, from another show called Pushing Daisies.  I have never watched it, but I hear that was good, but under-appereciated as well.  He also plays Garrett in Breaking Dawn-Part 2.  I kind of liked him in that.  Didn’t realize until this week that it was the same actor!  (FYI—Alex Rice who plays Sue Clearwater in the same movie was also on Wonderfalls, featured in the episode called “Totem Mole”.)

WONDERFALLS-collage

Every time I watch the show, I re-fall in love with Tyron Leitso.  He hasn’t been in any other TV shows or movies that I watch since, but I really like the character of Eric, the messy love interest, that he plays for Jaye.  And I think that is my second biggest draw that keeps me re-watching and enjoying it: the blossoming love between Eric and Jaye, complicated by Jaye’s voices and Eric’s wife.  (Just watch the show.  The wife is a bitch.  No one would ever root for them to get back together.  Especially after what she did!)  Their relationship always puts me in a hopeful, romantic mood. Leitso is very similar in looks and mannerisms to Matthew Fox. It bothers me a little, because I prefer Leitso.

WONDERFALLS-wax lion

The first biggest reason I keep watching?  I really like Caroline Dhavernas as Jaye Tyler.  She is the type of person I wish I could be (except maybe without a voice so deep).  She lives her life how she wants, she tells it like it is, she doesn’t take crap from anyone (she does have to take crap from the talking objects though).  She sinks into a depression after Eric’s wife returns, and that is very painful to watch.

But every time I watch it anyway.

Because I keep rooting for them to be together.

Will Fate bring them together or push them apart?

And what is with all those non-specific pro-nouns anyway?!

I feel like the last five minutes of the final episode that show you what happens with Eric and Jaye is rushed and was probably added after they found out they were being canceled.  But I am grateful for that tiny piece of closure.

Oh, you want to know if they get together?

You will have to find it somewhere and watch for yourself.

The complete series box set is available for purchase at Amazon.com. Or, you can watch episodes for free on YouTube.com.

It was the little show that couldn’t [keep from getting cancelled], struggling for ratings as soon as it first came on the air.

It currently has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon and a 7.9 out of 10 rating on IMDb.com.

You can add this to the list of other great shows cancelled before their time like My So-Called Life, Terriers, and Homefront.

Hey, wait a minute…Those are all shows on my Top 10 list as well!

From the final episode “Caged Bird”:

Eric: I’d like to return these.

Jaye: Are they broken? ‘Cause we sell a lot of crap here.

[Oh God!  Makes me cry just to read that!]

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