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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


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Pathetic Parker at the Lenawee Humane Society

To continue from last week’s blog, here is how Dave got her name. I always wanted a “dog named Dave.” I think it may have come from Laverne & Shirley, because Shirley would talk about wanting to marry a doctor, have a boy & girl, a house with a white picket fence, and a dog named Dave. I also always knew I wanted a girl dog, because that is what I was used to. In high school, I decided someday I would have a dog named Dave D. Canine, because it sounds like a real name & then I could scam credit card companies into giving a dog a credit card. I never knew what the D stood for until we got her. She looked like a dingo (australian wild dog), so that is what the D came to stand for. We started calling her Daveweena. So her real full name is Daveweena Dingo Canine.

After we had Dave for a little over a year and gotten her reasonably trained, my husband was itching to get a dog of his own. Unlike myself, he made weekly trips to the Lenawee Humane Society before finding the dog that was right for him. He found a noisy, jumpy German Shorthair Pointer named Archer. Archer had been a stray, so the Humane Society had held him for a week. My husband spotted him the first day he was available for adoption. I infamously said,”You like THAT dog?” I stand by that statement to this day. We took Archer in the room to play with him. He was overly friendly, trying to sit in my lap the whole time. My husband was sure that was the dog for him, so we took him home. He was renamed Parker.

Parker on duty

Once home, Dave walked around plastered next to Parker’s side for a week, trying to dominate him & get him to play with her. He is not a very playful dog. We have hardwood floors, and Parker did not lay down on them for over a year. We took him camping. He refused to lay down. However, he was very fond of the couch. It is interesting how the couch was a doggy no-no zone until Parker came along. As we couldn’t keep him off of it, Dave was then allowed to lay on it as well. (The rule of the house is that animals have to move if humans want to sit on it, though. Dave is the guard dog of the house. I always say that Parker’s job is to hold down the couch, because gravity is very weak right there:) Parker only got a month of dog obedience training, whereas Dave got 16 months. It shows.

We learned that Parker is actually very cat-like. He can go lay on the bed & sleep for hours & you won’t even know he is there. But if it is dinner time, watch out. He will start begging & whining like 2 hours before feeding time. He also goes out to the bathroom more than any dog I have ever met. Part of that is due to the fact that he can drink an entire bowl of water at one time. But I really wish he wouldn’t. He is so whiny, that our best friends who used to dog sit for us, have said they will only continue to watch him if they can freely complain about him. Needless to say, he is going to be boarded on our next out-of-town adventure.

Parker is a giant flight risk. I can’t count the number of times he has runaway. He finds an open gate or he skinnies out between the fence & the house. I find it truly unbelievable that I have a nicely fenced backyard & I still have to tie my dogs up on leads, because otherwise they will escape. Once Dave broke her lead & jumped over the fence, all in the time it took me to take a wizz in the bathroom. Parker usually runs away in the middle of winter during an ice storm. But he once ran away on the first hot day of summer & was found after swimming in a lake. (Ew, stinky dog). Once, that we know of, he has crossed the busiest road near our house. Just the thought of that scares me. I think one time his running away could be partially blamed on my friend who threw a Pure Romance sex toy party at my house. She was making everyone sample lotions & perfumes with pheromones in them. Parker was shut in the other room, but making a God-awful wailing. Shortly after I think he escaped & went looking for love. His dog identification tag is the best investment we ever made. We now have him microchipped as well.

Oh, and as soon as we got Parker & he leaped into the back seat of the SUV with no problem, that is when Dave said,”Well, hell. If he can do that, so can I.” We never had to lift her up into the backseat of the car again.

Parker’s full name is Parker Jo Buhdoo. “Buhdoo” is a great word that I believe my friend invented. You want the definition of buhdoo? Look at Parker’s picture from the Humane Society.

Parker today

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