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“You’re over me? When were you … under me?”

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Oh, I don’t think I will EVER be over the TV series Friends.

Never has this been more apparent today than when I ran across this article that pointed out that the series finale was exactly 10 years ago today…and I burst out crying.

10 Years Later: Friends’ 10 Most Quotable Lines

I was never a big fan of Ross or Rachel. Their characters tended to annoy me and their relationship took away valuable time from Monica’s cleaning & Chandler’s wisecracking. But this was my most favorite scenes between them.

I have talked before on my blog about how the Seavers from Growing Pains were like my family. I wanted to live in their house and be one of them. Well, maybe be adopted by them, since otherwise I would have had lustful thoughts about my brothers.

But in the same way that I felt the Seavers were my family, that is how Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross felt like my friends. I invited them into my living room every Thursday night for 10 years. They were in my house every night for an hour when they went into syndication. I shared in their trials and tribulations. They WERE my friends in my head and heart, if not by the standard definition.

Don’t get me started on my crush on Chandler (Matthew Perry).

I was sooo devastated when Friends concluded. I cried for like an hour after the finale ended. Within the same week, a DVD of the Series Finale hit stores, and I bought it. I watched it over and over. As series finales go, it was a perfect ending.

My favorite shot of Chandler from the Friends series finale Photo: Warner Bros.

My favorite shot of a surprised Chandler from the Friends series finale
Photo: Warner Bros.

I actually filled the void left by Friends with Fox’s The O.C. While I didn’t necessarily wish to live amongst them, I was obsessed with their lives in a similar way. Therefore, when The O.C. ended in 2007, I not only cried for The O.C., but I cried for Friends (again, still) as well.

I have only added one new TV show to my all-time favorite list in the years since then, the short-lived FX show Terriers, starring Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James.

It somehow makes it even harder when you realize that Friends started 20 years ago in 1994,  the same year I graduated high school.  My WHOLE ADULT LIFE I have known these characters.

I can’t believe it is really 10 years later, and I still haven’t found a way to say goodbye.  Maybe if I could meet Matthew Perry someday, that would help…

For more of my thought on any or all of these shows, please visit my page: My Top Ten TV Shows of All-Time

And, to end this post, further proof that I may not be over The O.C. either.  A preview clip of the upcoming show Gotham, featuring Ben McKenzie.

What I Learned This Week – 2/16/14

This week I learned what “THAT” is, as in when Meatloaf sang “I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”

With Valentine’s Day this week, you may have seen this underwear on the Internet, especially as a Facebook joke meme:

Front: I would do anything for love Back: Butt I won't do that

Front: I would do anything for love
Back: Butt I won’t do that

The lyrics being a little unclear, I believe a large amount of the American population wonders if that is what the song actually means.  But, Meatloaf clears it up in the clip below (click on the picture):

Yahoo Daily Shot

Yahoo Daily Shot

He says the line of each verse is what he will NEVER DO,  and then “I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that” relates back up to it.  Apparently the songwriter told him no one would understand it, but he was like “How could people not?”  Below are the ones he lists in the clip:

“I’ll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life….I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that”

“I’ll never forget the way you feel right now….I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that”

Hmmm.  I just read the lyrics online, and I am still confused by this song, even with his explanation.

The cast of Phenom (1993-94) Angela Goethals, Judith Light, Todd Louiso & Ashley Johnson

The cast of Phenom (1993-94)
Angela Goethals, Judith Light, Todd Louiso & Ashley Johnson

This week I was also presently surprised to find Todd Louiso pop up in my Entertainment Weekly, with his reaction to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death.

Go ahead.  Ask.

Who the hell is Todd Louiso?

Well, after a quick check of, he has apparently been steadily working for years and I just didn’t know it.

I know and love him from a short-lived sitcom from 1993 called Phenom.  He played the older, neurotic brother of a tennis phenomenon.

I looked it up and sure enough, someone put a whole bunch of episodes TV-to-VHS-to-YouTube.  And I see why I watched this show in the first place.  It would have been Judith Light’s first show after Who’s The Boss? and Ashley Johnson’s first show following Growing Pains.  (I LOVED Who’s the Boss and especially Growing Pains .)

This comment from describes why I watched the show as well as I ever could:

The premise for the t.v. show “Phenom” was actually pretty original but the show was not particularly amazing. It was just ok. What I found myself tuning in to see was the older brother character played by Todd Louiso. He was neurotic and funny, not to mention much less gifted than the main character (played by Angela Goethals). He was a very original character for a sitcom…

You can watch the pilot on YouTube here:

Apparently, Todd has recently been on Suburgatory recently as “Bob”.  I watch Suburgatory religiously every week and I have no idea who that character is 😦

I appologize for the Phenom theme song.  It is, well, bad.  It makes me want to tune out before the show even starts!

If you want to hear about an even OLDER TV sitcom with a much BETTER theme song, stop back buy on Tuesday for my next post.

Sara Rue was on Phenom as well.  I love her.  Stay tuned to I’m Not Stalking You, and in a few weeks I will talk about another old show that featured Miss Rue.

My Top Ten TV Shows of All-Time

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[Unranked. Subject to change at any time.]

Criteria: I have to be able to watch it over and over again.

1. Punky Brewster
2. Friends
3. The O.C.
4. My So-Called Life
5. Terriers
6. WKRP in Cincinnati
7. Wonderfalls*
8. Homefront
9. Laverne & Shirley
10. Growing Pains

* A great, but short-lived show. During my free cable trial, I am currently enjoying reruns of Full House immensely. So much so, that I might have to squeeze them into my top ten, possibly replacing Wonderfalls.

The newest addition to this list is the FX show Terriers. I can almost guarantee you have never heard of it. Because I hadn’t either until a few months ago.

Neal Cassady on ABC's Once Upon A Time

Neal Cassady on ABC’s Once Upon A Time

When Once Upon A Time introduced a character named Neal Cassady (played by Michael Raymond-James), I was curious why the actor looked so familiar. A quick check of told me that I knew him from True Blood. This reminded me that I REALLY liked his character on that show. That is, until it was revealed he was the killer in the Season 1 finale. (In fact, I quit watching the show after Season 1–coincidence? Maybe not. I was still eager to know how Sookie was special–I mean, look at all the other supernatural elements she was attracting. But Entertainment Weekly eventually supplied me with the answer: Sookie is a fairy).

MIchael Raymond-James as Britt on FX's Terriers

MIchael Raymond-James as Britt on FX’s Terriers

Michael Raymond-James doesn’t have your typical actor’s polished looks. With unruly hair and five o’clock shadow, he usually looks like he has just rolled out from under a rock. And it totally suits him! It is part of his charm, along with his gravely voice that sounds like he has been gargling nails. He is like a Shar Pei puppy you want to adopt (and take home). There is just something about him that I want to eat up! And I found out he is from Michigan–my home state! I like Raymond-James so much that I used his physical description as a basis for a character in a story I wrote (or two). He could have a part playing Satan, and I would still love him. Actually, that would be an AWESOME part for him!

So then I looked to see what other shows I could watch the wonderful Michael Raymond-James in. That is when I went looking for Terriers on my streaming Netflix and found it (It must have been providential, because Netflix NEVER has what I am looking for!).

Raymond-James on Terriers (See how sunny it is?!)

Raymond-James on Terriers (See how sunny it is?!)

Terriers was sooo good I ended up watching all 13 episodes in a week. It is a hard show to describe, but let me try. It reminds me of the old show The Rockford Files in tone and premise. Terriers is about two guys who act as unlicensed private investigators and solve cases, usually for average Joes. There is also an over-arching plot in the first (and only) season involving a millionaire and his nefarious plans for the whole community of Ocean Beach. It all sounds dark and seedy and it would be, except it takes place in sunny California. Michael Raymond-James plays Britt, sidekick to the charming Donal Logue, who you probably know from humorous roles on shows like Grounded for Life. Donal Logue is humorous at times on Terriers, but he also does dramatic very well as the disgraced police officer/recovering alcoholic Hank.

I am not big on police/procedural type shows, but this one sucked me in. It has heart. It makes you care about all the characters. They are so real they jump out of the television screen and stick with you long after you have turned the TV off. You care about Hank’s issues with his ex-wife and sister who suffers from depression. You worry that at first Britt the rehabilitated criminal may not be good enough for his girlfriend, who is studying to be a vet. But by season’s end, the situation has flipped, and you see that in fact she is really not worthy of him. And there is a scene by Donal Logue that happens at a bank (he confesses an affair with the wife of the loan officer he is trying to get a loan from) that is so shocking, I do not believe I have fully recovered.

The way we view TV these days has pros and cons. I am so sad that this show was cancelled by FX in 2011 after only one season. If I had known its brilliance then, I could have campaigned to try to save it. I am positive I am not the only one who will discover how brilliant this show is without ever knowing it existed during its normal run.

The pros are that I have not had cable in my house for over eight years. If not for streaming Netflix, I would never have been able to find and enjoy Terriers at all. I wouldn’t have been able to add it to my Top Ten list. The theme “Gunfight Epiphany” wouldn’t have become one of my favorite songs.

Now that WOULD have been a shame.

Raymond-James as Neal on Once Upon A Time

Raymond-James as Neal on Once Upon A Time

Oh Look! There is Paco!

To understand this post, you will have to realize that my mom and I LOVE entertainment trivia. We love to find an actor or actress in a television show or movie that we already know from another project. It is even more fun when it is an old show you are watching and you find someone who has since become famous. (This is the 50% of my mother that I love. See People of Interest if you don’t get this percentage reference.)

This all started before there was an Internet, before there was an While IMDB is handy, it sort of takes the fun out of having to memorize all these actors and roles. My mom doesn’t have a computer and I am usually too lazy to turn mine on just to verify a past role, so we usually do things the old fashioned way–with our brains.

In this way, my mom and I have a code for certain actors. No one else would know who we mean.

This drives my husband nuts.

I will include the most often used nicknames below:


Eric Allan Kramer

There used to be a short-lived sitcom on television called “Down Home”, which starred Judith Ivey, Dakin Matthews, and Gedde Watanabe. On the show, there was a big burly blond guy who played Judith Ivey’s brother. I don’t even know if he WAS her BIG brother. But this role was played by Eric Allan Kramer. Ever since, we just refer to him as “The Big Brother”. He also was in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”, and often plays a bodyguard (such as on the most excellent “Growing Pains”). He was also on another of my favorites, “The O.C.” (as Ryan & Luke’s soccer coach). Kramer is great in whatever he does. Currently he stars on Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie”.


Laura Prepon

My mom started this nickname. One time she was like “You know, that big redhead from ‘That 70’s Show’. Claire Danes!” Although I quickly assured her that that role was not in fact played by Claire Danes, the nickname has stuck. So, anytime my mom or I see actress Laura Prepon in something, we say “Hey, it’s Claire Danes.”






This one is my fault. I frickin’ loved the 1990’s television show “Homefront”. One time I was trying to tell my mom about a storyline with the black servant couple on the series. I couldn’t remember their names, so I just called them “Honey & Frisky”. The name has stuck. The actual names were Gloria (played by Hattie Winston) and Abe Davis (played by Dick Anthony Williams). They are both very excellent actors. Honey went on to be a series regular on “Becker” with Ted Danson. just gave me the terrible news that Frisky died last February:( See what I mean? can be a blessing and curse.


Melanie Lynskey  Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris – ©

Melanie Lynskey
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris –

My mom used to watch “Two and a Half Men” pretty regularly, although I am guessing grandmothers in their 60s are not their target demographic. She seemed to be fond of Jake (Angus T. Jones), until he recently got all crazy Kirk Cameron religious. My mom ain’t down with that shit. But because my mom watched that show, now actress Melanie Lynskey will forever be known to us as “Charlie’s Stalker”. Which I must say is a lot shorter than saying “There is the chick who had her baby in a bar”, referencing one of my favorite movies, “Sweet Home Alabama”. Lynskey was also in “Coyote Ugly”, another of my favorites. She was very good as a disturbed teenager in Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures”, her first role. She is probably the best in the role we will forever identify her with, Rose, Charlie’s Stalker.


Carlos Lacamara Photo:

Carlos Lacamara

What of the Paco in the title, you ask? Once upon a time on NBC there was a little show called “Nurses”. It was a little, unassuming show that could be easily forgettable. Actor Carlos Lacamara played Paco on the show. Paco was always in romantic pursuit of one of the nurses (I don’t remember her name or face. Go figure.). Paco has worked A LOT in television and movies. My mom & I will always be “Hey, that’s Paco!” I always add “Paco! I love Paco!” Sidenote: Paco also played a character named Paco in the memorable episode of “Night Court” with all the pregnant chicks. Sometimes I have a little crush on Paco. He was also in episodes of some of my favorite shows, such as “Misfits of Science” (subject of a future post), “Growing Pains”, and “Friends”. Also was in the movies “License to Drive” and “Independence Day”.

I am sure there are way more of these type of nicknames, but I can’t remember anymore right now. These are the big ones. If I come up with a long enough list of actors I forgot, then I will make another post.

MOM: Am watching independence [day]. Think I saw paco. 12:05PM
MOM: Is Paco Carlos LaCamara? 2:32PM
ME: Yes. 2:33PM
MOM: Then he is in Indep Day. 2:34PM

TV Was My Family (A Tribute to Growing Pains)

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I watched a lot of TV as a kid—A LOT! In high school I once totaled my viewing hours to be 58 hours a week. And that was DURING the school year. More hours than a full time job.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, it was just my mom and I growing up. No dad or siblings. Not many friends. So, somewhere, in my head, I began to think of the people I saw on television as my family.

I had Grandpa Bob Barker. I had Cousin Chuck Gaidica (although I have heard he is an a-hole in real life. But, doesn’t every family have one?). Uncle Phil Donahue and Auntie Marlo Thomas. But, for the core family—mom, dad, sisters, and brothers—I wanted to be a Seaver.

I can remember watching Growing Pains at my Gramma’s house. My mom was taking evening adult education classes at Vo-Tech so that she could learn how to use a computer and go back to work for the first time in like 15 years. My Gramma was baby-sitting me. The class was on Tuesday nights. She let me watch Growing Pains and Who’s The Boss, although I knew she didn’t enjoy them.

I loved the screwball Seaver family. Jason Seaver, the kooky psychiatrist father. “Maggie” Margaret Katherine Seaver, the loving but flaky, journalist mother. “Mike” Michael Aaron Seaver, dim-witted, class clown, troublemaker, chick-magnet older brother. Carol Ann Seaver, genius but socially awkward middle child. “Ben” Benjamin Hubert Horatio Humphrey Seaver, adorably precocious little brother. The premise of the show was that Maggie went back to work while Jason stayed home with the kids. The show moved away from this and just became generally about a family growing up in the 80’s. Later, even switching the rolls between Maggie and Jason again as it became necessary.

Growing Pains
JASON: Mike, you look like you’ve been in a fight.
MIKE: Oh, yeah.
JASON: Who with?
MIKE: My sixth period speech class.
JASON: You fought the whole class?!
MIKE: I don’t know. I was on the bottom of the pile. My fight is not important right now, neither is my suspension.

I could have slid right into the role of Carol. I wasn’t as smart, but just as responsible and nerdy. Except that may have been a problem. Because I had a huge crush on Kirk Cameron at the time. It probably would have been bad to want to make out with my brother. There is an episode where Ben sees a pretty girl while at a taping of the Cosby Show and that throws him into puberty. That is what Kirk Cameron did for me. I have to admit, he is adorable as Mike Seaver. But it never would have worked out. Kirk has gone all uber-religious in his old age. I am not down with that. I used to pretend that my Rainbow Brite doll, my Punky Brewster doll, and my Flower Patch Kid doll were the triplets I had with Kirk Cameron. Yes, it was that confusing time of life when you think about sex but still want to play with your dolls. That time of life when you play Barbies and they have sex with each other all the time and you realize maybe you shouldn’t be playing with Barbies anymore.

All this “what if”-ing to join their family gets really crazy when you consider that there was an episode where Ben dreamed that his family wasn’t his family, but a TV show where actors just played his family. It was an awesome episode. They backed up the cameras and you got to see the sets and the crew and the studio audience and, heck, even the cameras. Joanna Kerns was even dating a hunky Spanish guy. I loved that episode.

Growing Pains
CAROL: Why are you screaming?
BEN: I don’t know! I’ve never been glued to a table before!

I guess some people would say they jumped the shark when they committed the TV sitcom cliché of adding a new kid when all the others are grown. Yep. I’m talking about Leonardo Dicraprio. A horrible skeezy actor that did not fit on my beloved show and I could not wait for them to write him out again. Ick. Ack. Yuck. Just the thought of him makes my skin crawl.

What other stars appeared on Growing Pains? How about a pre-90210 Jennie Garth (“Sticky, sticky. There’s my sticky boy.”). Pre-Full House Candace Cameron (ya, nepotism). Pre-Friends Matthew Perry (“Now you have a second chance!”). Pre-Thelma and Louise Brad Pitt. TWICE!

Growing Pains
[Upon thinking they have found evidence that their dad is divorced and assuming he has other kids:]
BEN: Dad’s other wife cuts his hair while he plays with his other kids. So they couldn’t live far away. I bet right on this street. Maybe they come over here when we are at school. And wear our clothes. And play with our stuff. [screaming] That’s why my room gets so messed up!

Ben grew up on the show. I loved when he became a teenager and he would take mom or dad’s car. Without permission. And without a license. I thought Ben grew up quite hot. But then he was wearing glasses. GLASSES! ON TV! Who does that? Except one of my other favorite people, Chandler on Friends. Get contacts, people! No character wears classes on TV unless they play chess! And even then they are FAKE DORK GLASSES!

The executive producers of Growing Pains also worked on another one of my favorite TV shows, WKRP in Cincinnati. Gordon Jump (Mr. Carlson) even played Maggie’s father on Growing Pains. There is just something about the writing and the characters on Growing Pains that makes them more relatable to me than most other shows (Relatable, get it?). I yearn to live in their world. Sure, occasionally they got robbed or got a new sibling or have to move or get cancelled. But they are always there for each other. There is always another “Goofy Glue incident” or “challenging dual role”. Unless you are cancelled. But then there is always a TV movie. Or two. Or a DVD bonus feature.

Wow. This post became about family, puberty, growing up in the 80’s, celebrities before they were stars, my hate of Leonardo DiCaprio. But, that is what Growing Pains was for me.


*Please, oh please, DVD Gods. Make sure all the seasons of Growing Pains get released. Amen.*

Andrew Koenig (1968-2010)

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