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The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

The other day I was was at work when my husband texted me a great find from Walmart.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. DVD

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. DVD


The entire series!

For only $13!

Wait, what? Doesn’t anyone realize what a GREAT show this was? $13 is totally under-valuing it.

Haven’t heard of it? Let me fill you in.

“The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” to the casual observer was a comedy-western with a weird name that debuted on FOX in 1993, starring the guy from “Evil Dead”. If you actually watched a few episodes, you would realize it was actually a sci-fi western (Yes, ahead of its time) starring Bruce Campbell, in a role he was born to play. The supporting cast is stellar as well.

Bruce Campbell as Brisco County, Jr.

Bruce Campbell as Brisco County, Jr.

The late Julius Carry as Lord Bowler, who every week got referred to as “Brisco’s sidekick”, and he always objected to that. The great Kelly Rutherford as showgirl Dixie Cousins, who has Brisco’s heart. This is where she went when Homefront got cancelled. It’s no wonder I have trouble picturing her in the 21st century. I only know her from period pieces. John Astin is crazy wonderful as always as a professor with very progressive ideas. Christian Clemenson as Socrates Poole provides a good does of uptightness and bureaucracy to all the chaos. Billy Drago is sooo evil as John Bly. But I won’t get into him just yet. Oh, and don’t forget Comet the wonder horse.

I can remember standing outside on a hot, August evening as the sun was just thinking about setting, my mom and I talking to our neighbors. Their two young boys ran around as we talked. Then we all agreed that we needed to end our face-to-face interaction to go into our respective houses, because, as the neighbors put it, we “had to go in and watch the cowboy movie”. I knew that Brisco was a series premiere and not a movie. I am not sure that the neighbors knew that.

Random hot picture of Bruce Campbell

Random hot picture of Bruce Campbell

My mom and I watched Brisco every week. It was one of the few shows that we agreed on, although I am sure she probably always fell asleep before it ended. The show was packed with great characters and repeatable catch phrases, such as “Don’t touch Pete’s piece” and “The coming thing”. “The coming thing” was an obsession of Brisco’s. It was actually a device for the writers to work in modern (1990s) elements into a show set in the 1890’s. It was also a wink to the upcoming turn of the century. “The coming thing” included nods to hamburgers, motorcycles, sunglasses, tanks, rockets, and drive-thru windows.

The plot of the show was that Brisco County, Jr. was a bounty hunter tracking John Bly’s gang, who had killed his father the famous marshall, Brisco County. Within this framework, every week there was a new person to help or mystery to solve. But trailing John Bly led Brisco to a mystical object known as the orb. The orb would play a major part in the show’s mythology.

I got the opportunity to meet Bruce Campbell in person. Twice.

Books by Bruce Campbell

Books by Bruce Campbell

The first time he was signing his book “If Chins Could Kill” at Borders in downtown Ann Arbor. I bought two copies to get signed. One for me, and one for my mom’s friend Janet Jackson. (Yes, that is her name.) When I told him to make the one book out to Janet, he asked who she was. So then I went into an explanation of how Janet and my mom had gone to high school together. And how Janet’s husband Donald Jackson used to make low budge movies in Michigan, and did Bruce remember that he used to call him for work? He was like “Oh ya, Don Jackson.” And he said it like he really did remember him. (Don’t look up Donald Jackson’s work. His film credits aren’t that impressive.)

Later, a chick I worked with bragged about getting to talk to Bruce just before he went out to sign. But I’m pretty sure my personal connection with him was way more impressive.

Bruce Campbell's autograph

Bruce Campbell’s autograph

The second time, Bruce came to the Borders corporate office to promote his second book, “Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way”. He was very nice both times.

The great part is, he has been on a million shows and movies. It makes playing six degrees of separation a lot easier. Just think about that Bruce was in all of the Toby Maguire “Spiderman” movies (in awesome cameos, I might add). He was in both “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules”. I can connect myself to all the cast members of “The O.C.” through Bruce Campbell and Kevin Sorbo. (Wilson Bethel, that only makes me four degrees away from YOU!!!)

…AND only two degrees away from Matthew Perry!!!

If you have the opportunity to check out “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” at a bargain rate, I highly encourage it. If you like really gory, gross stuff, watch “Evil Dead” or “Army of Darkness” (I do not). If you like funny parodies of gory, gross stuff, watch the movie “My Name is Bruce.”

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.

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

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.

Under-Appreciated Cancelled TV Shows: WONDERFALLS

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WONDERFALLS-title card

From 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.


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”.)


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.


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 Or, you can watch episodes for free on

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

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!]

My Love of Ryan Atwood & All Things O.C.

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I was recently watching the FOX 25th Anniversary Special, where they showed clips from shows both successful and failed. There was one show which seeing only a tiny clip almost reduced me to tears. That masterpiece?

The O.C., bitch!

It was 2003. I had heard ads on my radio station for a few days about some new FOX show. I just knew in the ads some Ian Ziering wannabe belted out “Welcome to the O.C., bitch. This is how it’s done in Orange County.” I had no plans to watch it. I didn’t even pay attention to when it would be on.

I found myself that night with my TV on FOX at 8pm. A show began with a teenage boy in a car his older brother was stealing. The car crashed and the police arrested them. The teenage boy met with his lawyer with large eyebrows. He was released into his dysfunctional mother’s custody. She took him home, just to throw him out of the house. The teenager stands at a bank of payphones (imagine!) calling everyone he knows. As his options run out, he calls his lawyer’s cell. “California” by Phantom Planet builds, as the teenager and the lawyer travel from the gritty darkness of Chino to the blinding wealth of Newport Beach in Orange County.

What followed is the best pilot I have ever seen. I always say it could stand alone by itself as a mini-movie and feel complete. The characters stayed true in the series that followed to their personalities in the pilot. Sure, their characters evolved. But their weren’t radical changes or recasting (save for Kaitlin Cooper). Heck, the actress who played friend Holly probably thought she was done for after the first season, not appearing in season two or three, only to be brought back as an almost regular in season four.

I have to admit that Oliver was the worst character on The O.C. I guess Josh Schwartz thought the show needed a villain, but ugh. Later, I also would not like Volchok (Cam Gigandet). But that is what he was supposed to be—skeezy and slimy and bad.

Sometimes I get to the Oliver episodes and skip ahead to season four, which is the awesomist season ever! I could totally be happy if all my other O.C. discs evaporated and I could just watch the pilot and season four. I didn’t realize that I didn’t really like Marissa until she was gone. She seemed so ESSENTIAL. Until she wasn’t. It was worth it to sit through three seasons of her to be able to watch Ryan’s pain in the first episode of the fourth season, title “The Avengers”. Ryan has sunk so low that he has moved out of the Cohen’s pool house and is living in the back room of a bar. And cage fighting. All bloody and sweaty. And hurt and wounded and needy. Thriving on the physical pain as the only way to cope for his mental pain. All to the sound of “Running Up That Hill” by Placebo. And he has a Jeep Wrangler. Mmmmm…Down girl:) Of course, it gets all resolved with a Seth comic book (graphic novel). Cage fighting and comic books, you say? In the magical world of The O.C., it really all worked and was very logical. I feel as though The O.C. really hit their stride in season four. Too bad everyone but me had given up on it by then.


I like Taylor Townsend. She is needy, teacher’s pet, a goody-goody, clutching on to even the tiniest bit of affection and blows it out of proportion. She is not a character that anyone should like. She slept with the evil Dean of Discipline and made the Core 4’s (I hate that term) life a living hell. When it comes down to it, she is a big dork. But I do like her. Because if I was zapped through my TV into their Orange County, I would be Taylor. I would be the one not as cool as everyone else. The one who has never been to a high school party or played seven minutes in Heaven. I probably wouldn’t run off to France and marry a French writer. But I digress. Taylor has an apocalypse kit. She isn’t afraid to don a groundhog suit to stalk the one she loves. I love that she had the courage to tell her mom she is a bitch in the alt-universe. Because she is a bitch.


I love things that come full circle. I love scenes that harken back to earlier ones. I love scenes that pay homage to the series mythology that already stands. This was common on The O.C. Ryan carrying Marissa was a big one. He carried her in the pilot into the pool house while she was passed out to the sounds of “Into Dust” by Mazzy Star. He carried her in Tijuana when she overdosed on pills out of the back alley to the same haunting song. Ryan carries Marissa again after the car crash that will result in her death, but this time to “Hallelujah”. “Hallelujah” was a commonly used song on The O.C. during the scenes of loss, especially the version sung by Jeff Buckley. As Ryan carries her from the burning car, they actually fade the Pool house and Tijuana scenes into the current one. They often return to the shot of Marissa standing on the sidewalk in the cul-de-sac waiting for Luke, as Ryan looks back at her (from when he leaves Newport in the pilot, only to return again in episode 2). They make reference and return to the site of “The Model Home” several times, lastly the night of Marissa’s death. The series final episode uses the actual score from the pilot (I must admit I never noticed this. I learned it on the extras.). My favorite is how this episode shows Ryan in the future approaching a kid who appears in distress at a similar bank of payphones as seen in the pilot and offers him assistance. The scene is beautifully perfect. Except that no one has payphones anymore.

Car Crash

I bawled like a baby for like an hour the night The O.C. went off the air. You might not understand why, but let me try to explain. TV always felt like my family. A huge piece of that was the show Friends. Every Thursday night, there were my Friends. The O.C. came along just as Friends was ending. I had new friends. So, when The O.C. ended, I cried not only for The O.C., but also for ten years of Friends. And all the TV that had come before that was close to my heart. I felt like my empty life was crashing down on me. I felt empty and alone. It was almost indescribable.

Series Finale

One more thought: I always thought of One Tree Hill as a crappy second-rate O.C. rip-off (Truth: I have never watched One Tree Hill in my life). So how did The O.C. get cancelled after four seasons and One Tree Hill is still on? As Seth said, “Turn this into a body swap comedy, we could have squeezed another year or two out of this.”

If you want to see my Ultimate O.C. Playlist, click on over to the I’m not stalking you. Facebook page.

And now, I present to you…

100 Reasons I Love The O.C.

1. Benjamin McKenzie is hot as Ryan Atwood.

2. While Ryan Atwood was only supposed to be like 15, Benjamin McKenzie was almost the same age as my husband.

3. About half the music on the show was awesome.

4. Regis Philbin’s daughter was one of the show’s writers.

5. They actually brought up the fact that Peter Gallagher has freaky big eyebrows. Like twice.

6. Summer’s “Ew”.

7. Summer’s “You wanna pee? I gotta pee.”

8. The fact that four members of the cast of “Twilight” were on The O.C. Three all in the same episode, “The Heavy Lifting”.

9. Todd the waiter in the pilot gets to be a major player in the finale.

10. The use of everything is circular/comes back around.

11. Christmukkah.

12. The fact that Ryan finally fell in love, but unsuspectingly with his guardian’s illegitimate step-sister. (I don’t like that this prevented them from being together.)

13. Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) played Ryan’s father.

14. While I hated Gary Grubbs on Growing Pains, he was excellent as the Bullit (Bang!) on The O.C.

15. They went a step further for the season four Christmas episode than a simple “It’s a Wonderful Life” rip-off. They made an entire alternate universe.

16. The reoccurring homeless guys in season four.

17. The never-ending stream of social events.

18. The Area 51 alien rave.

19. Atomic County and Kid Chino (and Little Miss Vixen, The Ironist, Cosmo Girl…)

20. “California” by Phantom Planet.

21. I stood behind Phantom Planet in the cafeteria line at work.

22. “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Jem.

23. “Running Up That Hill” by Placebo.

24. Julie Cooper-Nichol-Cooper-Bullit-Atwood.

25. The tobacco-chewing, thong-wearing, Julie living in a trailer.

26. Taylor Townsend.

27. Summer dressed as Wonder Woman.

28. Anna saying “Oh my God. I made you a comic book. What am I, eight?”

29. Kirsten running the Newport Group.

30. Julie running the Newport Group.

31. Caleb running the Newport Group into the ground.

32. Sandy suing the Newport Group.

33. Ryan interning at the Newport Group.

34. Seth burning the Newport Group to the ground.

35. Taryn – Head Newpsie.

36. Newpsies.

37. Newpy-weds.

38. The Six-Pack Pack.

39. Pancakes.

40. Flapjacks.


42. Sadie.

43. Hailey Nichol.

44. Jimmy Cooper, who couldn’t do anything right, no matter how hard he tried.

45. Both Kaitlins.

46. China-“It’s just not right for a little girl to love a bald pony.”

47. Ryan and Seth’s reaction to the new Kaitlin.

48. Summer’s reaction to Marissa’s death (“The Metamorphosis”).

49. Summer realizing her environmentalism isn’t just a phase.

50. Che`!

51. “Lazy Eye” by Silversun Pickups.

52. The Diner.

53. The Bait Shop.

54. The bi-sexual bartender at The Bait Shop.

55. The mall.

56. El Paco Quapo.

57. Surfing.

58. Sailing.

59. Tahiti.

60. The Summer Breeze.

61. Newport.

62. Chino.

63. The pool house.

64. “lil’ bitch” carved on Sandy’s car.

65. Sandy Cohen.

66. Kirsten Cohen.

67. Kirsten’s drunk driving accident with the garbage truck.

68. Kirsten’s intervention.

69. Kirsten and Julie starting New Match.

70. Team Atwood vs. Team Bullit.

71. Kirsten finding out Julie turned New Match into a prostitution ring.

72. Julie having a case of “The Franks”.

73. Ryan and Taylor’s 7 minutes in Heaven.

74. Taylor stalking Ryan and keeping an “esthetically pleasing scrapbook” of all the details.

75. Luke’s gay dad.

76. Kirsten announcing she is pregnant (Oh, shut up! It isn’t a spoiler when the show has been off the air for four years!).

77. Mail truck! Mail truck! Mail truck!

78. Hello Kitty calendar.

79. Mermaid Inn.

80. Cotillion.

81. Dawn Atwood.

82. Theresa.

83. “You know what I like about rich kids…” BAM! “Nothing.”

84. [My hand hurts.] Ryan’s Jeep Wrangler.

85. The model home.

86. “Marissa has only one true love. And he looks a lot different in a wife beater.”

87. The Nana.

88. Ryan carrying Marissa.

89. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley.

90. “Into Dust” by Mazzy Star.

91. Harbor School.

92. Chris Brown’s bad acting.

93. Seth Cohen.

94. “Night Moves” by Bob Seger.

95. Holly’s beach house.

96. Anna Stern.

97. Yakuza Prep – “I watch it every night before I go to bed. It helps me unwind.”

98. How Benjamin McKenzie acts by looking out the corner of his eyes the entire first season. Many, many times per episode. It would make an excellent drinking game.

99. Luke.

100. “Welcome to The O.C., bitch. This is how it’s done in Orange County.”

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