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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 IMDb.com 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

What I Learned This Week – 5/12/13

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This week I learned that the Disney “classic” Peter Pan is really rather sexist. It premiered in 1953. Had it come out after women’s liberation, it would probably be written differently.

Tinkerbell is portrayed as a female with a hot-temper and a large ass. Wendy is treated badly by everyone, including Tinkerbell. Wendy is expected to “mother” her own siblings, and then the lost boys and Peter Pan as well. If a flying boy comes to my window and asks me to come be his mother–I would quickly decline!

I also learned this week that you can buy pre-made Puppy Chow! You know, Puppy Chow for humans…

It is a confection made with Chex cereal, melted chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. I can’t make a batch because I will totally eat the whole thing myself.

But while at Family Video this week, I found a bag of it ready-made, under the name “flixMix“.

flixMix by Imaginings 3

flixMix by Imaginings 3

It was sooo good! It was rice cereal drenched in peanut butter and chocolate, just like how you would make it at home. Every piece was flavorful and worth the calories in every bite.

My family devoured that bag instantly. Being at Meijer a few days later, I looked for the same brand there, but could not find it. I did find Chex Mix brand Muddy Buddies. Seemed to be the same thing, so I gave it a try.

Muddy Buddies by Chex Mix

Muddy Buddies by Chex Mix

Muddy Buddies were NOT the same. They were made with corn cereal. (C’mon Chex! You have all your various flavors at your disposal and you pick CORN?!) The strong corn taste, combined with a very inferiorly light coating of chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, made the Chex Mix brand ones not worth the effort to chew them.

Here is a comparison of the two products:

flixMix                              
by Imaginings 3
$2.99/4.5oz
Serving Size 1/3 Cup
Calories 200
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 15% DV
Saturated Fat 35%
Total Carbohydrates 9%

Muddy Buddies
by Chex Mix
$3.19/10.5oz
Serving Size 1/3 Cup
Calories 130
Calories from Fat 40
Total Fat 7% DV
Saturated Fat 13%
Total Carbohydrates 7%

The proof of good taste is in the Fat and Calories!

FYI–I can’t resist mentioning that I CANNOT WAIT for the season finale of Once Upon a Time tonight on ABC. And I really hope we see what has become of Neal (There is NO FRICKIN’ WAY he is dead!). And hopefully I will have a longer post about actor Michael Raymond-James on here next week.

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