Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

The Best Show America Isn’t Watching!

So much tension, psychological games, culinary delights, a new serial killer, and much more Gillian Anderson.  Needless to say, the season two premiere of “Hannibal” was incredible.

If you missed it, it’s still available on nbc.com.  Here is the blog I posted about its return last Friday.

The critically acclaimed and ratings challenged NBC series based on the Thomas Harris novel, “Red Dragon”, returns tonight (February 28th).

Hannibal S2

For the 2 million people in the U.S. that were still watching the series for the June finale last year, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) had done his part to drive FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) mad and Will was jailed for murder.

If you didn’t catch this incredibly creepy, gory, and complex series, you’re missing out on great drama and television.

“Entertainment Weekly” and NBC released this two-minute opening teaser for tonight’s premiere.  Let me warn you, it’s awesome and violent.  It also makes you wonder what led up to this scene because once you watch it, you know they will flash back to let you know how this transpired!

“EW” definitely likes the season 2 premiere!

EW Hannibal Review

For the thirteen episodes this season, I really hope that we see much more of Gillian Anderson, who plays Hannibal’s psychotherapist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier!

Gillian Anderson Hannibal

I can’t get enough of my crush, Gillian Anderson!

All all new “Hannibal” airs this Friday at 10/9c.

Anthony

Re-posted from  “Random Friday Thoughts — February 28, 2014

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/random-friday-thoughts-february-28-2014/

Random Friday Thoughts — February 28, 2014

It’s hard to believe that the first two months of 2014 are already behind us.  I sure hope that with March starting this weekend that spring can’t be too far behind.  With that being said, enjoy the snowy weekend.  Here are my random thoughts for this week.

DISGUSTED WITH UGANDA

This past Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a controversial law that makes being gay punishable by life in prison.  Before this week, a gay person faced 14 years of jail time.

Uganda President

Museveni had been going back and forth over the issue and just last week he said that gay people were “sick” and needed treatment and not imprisonment.

He added that this is necessary because of the arrogance of Westerners promoting behavior that threatens Ugandans’ “way of life”.

Here’s a reality check for you, President Museveni:  my being gay and open about it does not threaten the “way of life” in your nation (and the other 37 African countries that make it illegal to be gay).  What you should be threatened by is losing the $1.6 billion aid that you received in 2011 from the United States!

UGANDAN AID BEING CUT

In wake of Museveni signing that law, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands were the first three countries to cut aid to the Ugandan government.

Pink News

Pink News, Europe’s largest gay news service, reports that Norway and Denmark will donate money directly to human rights groups now and not the government there.

The news service also reports that the U.K. is making changes.  It will now only send money to multilateral aid agencies and non-governmental organizations in Uganda.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT — ARIZONA

Normally, in this segment, I don’t add commentary.  But, this week, I must.

Wednesday night, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062 that would have allowed individuals and businesses to refuse service based on religion, especially toward the LGBT community.

While I applaud Governor Brewer for vetoing it, in my heart, I feel that she did it because of the money Arizona stood to lose and not because it was the right thing to do.

Today’s “Food For Thought” is for the 17 Senators and the 33 Representatives that voted for the ill-fated and bad SB 1062 in the first place!

Uganda Arizona  ArizonaGay Wedding Cake

“HANNIBAL” RETURNS

The critically acclaimed and ratings challenged NBC series based on the Thomas Harris novel, “Red Dragon”, returns tonight (February 28th).

Hannibal S2

For the 2 million people in the U.S. that were still watching the series for the June finale last year, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) had done his part to drive FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) mad and Will was jailed for murder.

If you didn’t catch this incredibly creepy, gory, and complex series, you’re missing out on great drama and television.

“Entertainment Weekly” and NBC released this two-minute opening teaser for tonight’s premiere.  Let me warn you, it’s awesome and violent.  It also makes you wonder what led up to this scene because once you watch it, you know they will flash back to let you know how this transpired!

“EW” definitely likes the season 2 premiere!

EW Hannibal Review

For the thirteen episodes this season, I really hope that we see much more of Gillian Anderson, who plays Hannibal’s psychotherapist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier!

Gillian Anderson Hannibal

I can’t get enough of my crush, Gillian Anderson!

BREAKING NEWS…. MORE SNOW THIS WEEKEND

Sick of Winter

Remember, I’m only the messenger.  But, in reality, I’m shooting for 70″ this winter and the all-time record!

This is where we stand right now before any snow falls today, tomorrow, and Sunday in the Quad Cities.

Snow Stats -- Friday Morning

Light snow is on the way later this evening and tonight.  This first wave will be gone by daybreak Saturday.  Accumulations will generally be less than an inch for most of us.  Northern hometowns near the Wisconsin border may see a little more — closer to 2″.

More snow is on the way Saturday afternoon into early Sunday night.

This Weekend

Here is how much snow I’m expecting from Friday evening through Sunday night.  This snow will be falling over a three-day period and not all at once!

Snow This Weekend

‘Tis the season!  Yes, it’s still winter!

SNOW SWIMMING!

Obviously some in Duluth, Minnesota, look at snow differently than we do in the Quad Cities!

Duluth has had about 84″ of snow this winter and there’s still about 29″ on the ground.

Snow?  I didn’t notice snow in the video!

OSCAR WEEKEND 2014

I’ll be staying up past my bedtime Sunday to watch some or all of this year’s Oscars with host Ellen DeGeneres.

While I’ll post my Oscar picks for all 24 categories Sunday morning, including Best Picture, I’ll touch on a few here.

After seeing the incredible performances of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, both nominated this year, for “August: Osage County”, I wanted them both to win.  Their performances were flawless.

august-osage-county- Julia Roberts Meryl Streep

However, I don’t think either will take home the Oscar.

Although I haven’t seen “Gravity” yet, I don’t want  Sandra Bullock to win, as much as I love her.  Yes, I’m still jaded that she beat Meryl for “The Blind Side”.  Meryl’s Julia Child in “Julie & Julia” was much more deserving.

Cate Blue Jasmine

For Best Actress, Cate Blanchett will win for her devastating and heartbreaking performance in “Blue Jasmine”.

DALLAS-BUYERS-CLUB

I also pick Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey to win for  “Best Supporting Actor” and “Best Actor”, respectively, for  their incredible performances in “Dallas Buyers Club”.

My other 21 winning picks will be revealed Sunday!

“BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD”

Last weekend, we watched two more of the late, great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s movies, “The Savages” and “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead”.

Both were amazing and I highly recommend them for different reasons.

“Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” was released in 2007 and was director’s Sidney Lumet’s last movie before his death in 2011.

before_the_devil_knows_youre_dead

The $18 million dollar crime drama barely made its money back at the theaters ($25 million), but it was highly entertaining and it kept you guessing as to how it would end.

Hoffman played Andy, a finance executive at a New York City real estate firm, who was embezzling money from the company to help support his drug use.  In a scary case of real-life deja vu, it was hard watching Hoffman shooting up drugs.

He devises a plan with his brother Hank (Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke) to knock off a small mom & pop jewelry store, which would net them about $120,000.  As you can guess, things don’t go as planned.

The movie also stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and five-time Academy Award nominee Albert Finney.

I have a warning and a spoiler about the movie:  I’ll never get the image of Hoffman’s naked butt, while having sex with his wife, in the opening scene out of my mind — ever!!!!

GRADE:  B+

“THE SAVAGES”

We also watched Hoffman’s 2011 family dramedy, “The Savages”, which earned co-star Laura Linney an Oscar nomination.  The movie was also nominated for Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Tamara Jenkins.

E25SavagesB

Hoffman and Linney star as a couple of single New Yorkers, who have to come up with a plan to take care of their estranged elderly father suffering from dementia in Arizona.

While the subject matter is heavy at times, it’s also heartwarming and funny.  I’m a huge fan of Laura Linney, so it was a pleasure seeing her in the movie.

The movie was produced by Academy Award winner Alexander Payne, who’s up for an Oscar this year for directing “Nebraska”.

GRADE:  B

With these two movies, I’ve now seen ten Hoffman movies:  “Twister” (1996), “Boogie Nights” (1997 — his Scotty J. was heartbreaking), “Happiness” (1998 — a sad, creepy performance in an amazing movie that made you want to shower after watching it), “Magnolia” (1999), “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999), “Red Dragon” (2002 — slimy, sleazy, but unforgettable as Freddy Lounds), “Doubt” (2008 — touching and worthy of the Oscar nomination), and “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire” (2013).

PICK HIT

“Take Me Home” by the dance band, Cash Cash, featuring vocals from Bebe Rexha is my pick hit of the week.

While the song has already reached the Top Ten in Australia and on the Billboard Dance chart, it only reached #64 on the Hot 100.

However, it’s one of the 20 most played songs right now on Top 40 radio stations in the  U.S.

It’s still a great song to get your weekend off to a fun start.

“MICHAEL TOLLIVER LIVES”

I’m almost done with Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of The City” nine-book series.  Over the past week, I read books seven and eight, “Michael Tolliver Lives” and “Mary Ann in Autumn”, respectively.

If you’re familiar with the series, Michael Tolliver (“Mouse”) is one of the original tenants of Mrs. Madrigal’s 28 Barbary Lane.

Michael Tolliver Lives

It’s now 2005, almost thirty years since the first book.  Michael is no longer a youngster from Orlando, Florida, living in San Francisco’s Castro.  He’s now married to a younger man about 20 years his junior.  It’s a very happy union.

The bleakness from the sixth book in the series, “Sure of You”, is gone, even when we learn of an original “Tales” character’s death to cancer and the death of a loved one closer to Michael.

Also, the book is told in first person from Michael, which is a departure from the third person story telling of the previous six books.

“Michael Tolliver Lives” is one of my favorite books of the “Tales” series.

At the end of “Michael Tolliver Lives”, Mary Ann Singleton, now a married woman on the East Coast, returned briefly to visit an elderly friend that may not recover from a stroke.

Mary Ann

In “Mary Ann in Autumn”, it’s a couple of years later and Mary Ann and “Mouse” are back together again in San Francisco almost thirty years after they first met in 1970s.

A couple of secrets brings Mary Ann back to cry on Michael’s shoulder.  All of the years and the tears of twenty years apart are forgotten when they examine their friendship and what they’ve been missing.  It brought me so much joy to see them together poking fun at each other and pushing each other’s buttons as they head toward their golden years — both are in their late fifties and early sixties now!

And, boy, does Maupin have a few shockers up his sleeve that go all the way back to the original “Tales” book.

As much as I loved “Michael Tolliver Lives”, “Mary Ann In Autumn” is my new favorite after the first book.

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

One of my favorite songs as a kid was “Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Texan Jeannie C. Riley.

Jeannie C. Riley

I used to play the record over and over as a 4-year-old.  I played it so much that my older step-sister too the record away from me and broke it!

The song went on to sell six million copies and it became the first song by a woman to top both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Country charts at the same time.   That was in 1968.  The next time that would happen would be in 1981 with “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton.

From 1968-1972, Jeannie C. Riley would score 14 hits on the country charts.  Of those, six would reach the Top Ten.  “Harper Valley P.T.A.” was her first and only #1 hit.

Later in the 1970s, Riley would become a “born again Christian” and she briefly distanced herself from the sexy and risque song, but she never stopped performing it.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

That’s enough random thoughts for one blog.  I have no plans this weekend and I just might take advantage of the freshly fallen snow and go sledding with Gretel.  It’ll take me back to December 2010 when Ray, Gretel, Miss ABBA, and I took advantage of the winter wonderland.

Sledding December 2010

Ray Gretel ABBA December 2010

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s going to be a snowy one in Iowa and Illinois, but it’ll make it more romantic! 🙂

champagne

I hope you and yours have a great weekend.  If there’s no “yours”, you still have every reason to enjoy the day and make the most of it.

I had many single years and I still treated myself to champagne and chocolates whenever I wanted them!  Indulge.  Life is too short.

Here are my random thoughts this Friday.  As always, thank you for checking them out.  If you agree with me, let me know.  If you disagree, let me know nicely. 🙂

BEST WISHES TO MICHAEL SAM

Michael Sam, the Associated Press defensive football player of the year in the Southeast Conference, came out last Sunday telling the public something that his teammates have known since last fall.

Sam told ESPN, “I came to tell the world I’m an openly proud gay man.”

Michael Sam

Sam is expected to be drafted into the National Football League and that would make him the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL.

Michael, I wish you the very best in football and in life and I’m not alone.

Bette Midler

And, here is an incredible commentary from Dale Hansen, a sportscaster with WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas.  This is so true!

However, we still have a long way to go.  This is a series of tweets from Kent State University wrestler Sam Wheeler.  He’s been suspended indefinitely until the athletic department decides on how to handle the situation.

Sam Wheeler Kent State Wrestler

ZOMBIES SLAY OLYMPIANS

While the ratings for the 2014 Winter Olympics for NBC are off slightly from four years ago, people were watching this past weekend.

However, last Sunday night, in the key television viewing demographics, 18-49-year-olds, the season four mid-season premiere of “The Walking Dead” killed the rush for the gold, silver, and bronze.

The Walking Dead

In that demo group, “The Walking Dead” scored a rating of 8.2 beating the 6.9 for NBC’s Sochi Winter Olympics.  Overall, 15.8 million people tuned in for “The Walking Dead”.

RACIST SOCHI TWEET?

Former Russian gold medalist figure skater Irina Rodnina, who lit the Olympic torch for the opening ceremonies of the Sochi games, is now at the center of a controversy that screams of racism.

Rodnina

Rodnina, who is now a member of Parliament in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, tweeted this doctored picture of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama from last September.

Racist Sochi Tweet

Pro-Kremlin television personality Vladimir Soloviev says this is not a big scandal and that Rodnina is free to post whatever she wants.  He went on to say the Tweet was not racist and that the reaction is too sensitive, “I advise everyone who attacked her that the next time they go out for a coffee, they should not call it a black coffee but an African-American coffee.”

I think this is racist whether it’s posted by a Russian politician or someone in the United States who feels as Rodnina does!

Your thoughts?

THIS “ARROW” HITS THE BULLS EYE

“Arrow” actor Stephen Amell wishes the athletes that have been training all their lives the very best in Sochi, Russia, but he holds nothing back on this thoughts about the country’s anti-gay laws.

Stephen Amell

On Facebook, Amell posted, “For everyone asking, we’re taking a mini hiatus so people can grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia and mediocre public interest.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHTS

Weather ChannelSnow

Davenport Cold

That was in Davenport, Iowa, the other morning.  Luckily, it was actually only -23°!

SO LONG, MULDER & SCULLY

We just finished watching all 202 episodes of “The X-Files” and the two movies.  While enjoyable, I still feel that the series finale was rushed and not very rewarding for such a stellar nine-year series that changed television.

the_x_files_i_want_to_believe-wallpaper

After watching “The X-Files:  I Want T0 Believe” again, the 2008 big screen movie is incredible and greatly under appreciated.  While it did have the feel of a more adult (language, violence, and gore) expanded television monster-of-the-week episode, it is very powerful.

Mulder, Scully, Skinner, Doggett, Reyes, Krycek, The Smoking Man, the Lone Gunman, aliens, and Chris Carter, thank you for the memories.

HELLO FISHER FAMILY OF FREAKS

Before we move on to “Fringe” to wrap up the last two seasons, we’re going back to “Six Feet Under”.  We’re now on season three (of five).

six feet under

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dysfunctional family like the Fishers and their crazy friends and loved ones.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love Michael C. Hall.  And, to see him as a very tormented David Fisher, who’s also gay, is very interesting.

PICK HIT

Singer Hailey Rowe is back with a very inspiring song and video.

Hailey Rowe

While she isn’t a household name, she scored my favorite song and video of 2013 with “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.

Her latest release is “Don’t Need Your Approval”.

“CAPTAIN PHILLIPS”

“Captain Phillips” is nominated for six Oscars this year, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Barkhad Abdi.  It also gained attention when Tom Hanks was snubbed for a Best Actor nomination.

Captain Phillips

The $55 million movie earned $215.3 million at the box office.  It’s based on real life events when Somali hijackers took over the “MV Maersic Alabama” in April 2009 and kidnapped the cargo ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, for ransom.

It’s a well crafted movie by director Paul Greengrass (“United 93”) and Oscar winner Hanks does a great job playing Phillips as a strong leader in the face of terror and possible death.  Even Adbi and the other three first-time Somali actors hold their own in the movie.

If you didn’t follow the story when it was news almost five years ago, you’ll enjoy the movie more.  As I was watching it, I kept wondering if Hollywood would change something in the outcome for dramatization since it’s “based on a true story”.

After seeing the movie, was Hanks snubbed?  I don’t think so based on the two Oscar-nominated performances I’ve seen so far (Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” and Christian Bale in “American Hustle”).  Will Abdi win the Supporting Actor award?  No.

If you like an action packed thriller, you’ll definitely like “Captain Phillips”.  If you want to see Greengrass at his best, watch “United 93”.

GRADE:  B

“RUNNER RUNNER”

This thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck is entertaining enough with a few twists.

Runner Runner

Timberlake plays Richie Furst, who used to work on Wall Street and is now getting his Master’s Degree.  Since he isn’t eligible to get help with his tuition, he recruits college students to gamble online and he get a kick back.  When he’s reported, the school’s dean tells him he must quit or he won’t get his degree.

He takes a chance gambling on the site knowing the odds and loses all his money.  He then flies to Costa Rica to try to get his money back from Ivan Block (Affleck), who is the online gaming king.

It’s a cat and mouse game, but you don’t know who’s playing who.

GRADE:  C

NEW TWITTER FOLLOWER

I’m still relatively new to Twitter and I find it interesting.  I only have 142 followers, but one of my new followers is someone I’ve been a fan of for almost 30 years — Andy Bell of Erasure.

Andy Bell

Since the follow, we’ve corresponded a couple of times.  If you’re an Erasure fan, check out this encouraging and fun tweet from Andy.

Andy 2

“Make It Wonderful” is the second single from last fall’s “Snow Globe” album and the remixes will be available February 24th.  Here is the amazing “Morlando Club Mix”.

Some of the “many” things that Andy may have been talking about is the anticipated new album and tour this fall!

“BABYCAKES” & “SIGNIFICANT OTHERS”

If you read my “Random Friday Thoughts” each week, you know that I’ve been spending a lot of time on the treadmill walking and reading.  I’ve lost 8.8 pounds since the beginning of the year, but it’s getting harder now.

I’m also reading Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of The City” series.  I just finished the fourth and fifth books in the nine-book series.

“Babycakes”, the fourth book, takes place around 1983, seven years after the first book.

babycakes

The AIDS pandemic claims the life of a recurring character and a main character is dealing with the loss of his best friend and lover.  He takes a trip to England and runs into a major character that was absent in the third book.

One character becomes a television reporter after breaking the story of the survivors of the Jonestown Massacre.  Another story line involved a favorite couple trying to have a baby with sterility and infidelity playing a major role.  As the book ended, one life started and another ended.

This was my least favorite of the four books, so far, and part of it might have been the fact that it was new to me since it wasn’t made into a miniseries like the first three books.

SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

The series found its mojo with the fifth book, “Significant Others”.

Two different retreats, one for a women’s festival (lesbians) and one for older men (rich Republicans), take place on Russian River north of San Francisco in 1985.  We meet three new characters that play a big role in some of the lives of the original “Tales of The City” group.

One character faces the unknown when he takes the HIV test and what he’ll tell his wife and another is still dealing with the loss of his friend/lover from AIDS in the third fourth.  He meets a new friend that could be something long-term, but they live on opposite coasts!

I can’t wait to see what happens in the sixth book!

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

Kentucky-born singer John Conlee had a long, successful string of 27 hits on the Billboard Country charts from 1978-1987.  Of those 27 hits, 22 reached the Top Ten, and 7 topped the charts.

My two favorites are “Backside of Thirty”, his third hit and second number one from 1979, and his first country hit, “Rose Colored Glasses” that peaked at #5 in 1978.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

Have a great weekend.  I think we’re having heart-shaped pizza and a heart-shaped strawberry ice cream cake this weekend with Gretel and my sister, Tammy.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 3, 2013

After working eleven of the last twelve days, I’m ready for the weekend.  While the weather will not be perfect, it’s going to be better than the rainy, chilly 40s that we’re going to experience today or the 4-11″ of snow that parts of Iowa saw Thursday!   Have a great one.  Here are the random thoughts on my mind today.

Iowa Mow Snow

STILL LACKING MOTIVATION

While I exercise daily, I really haven’t mastered the art of losing any weight.  Thus, I’m still 13 pounds from my ideal weight for the summer.  One of these days I’ll get back into the same groove from last summer when I lost 25 pounds.  Don’t worry, I didn’t have any trouble finding twenty of those pounds!  🙂

WEEKEND PLANS

Saturday night, we’re having friends over for dinner.  I’m making the appetizers, the salad, a veggie dish, and two desserts, while Ray is making two entrees (one meat and one vegetarian).  Gretel is looking forward to it because there will be three other girls here that she’s never met.

On Sunday, I’m taking part in a fundraiser for the “Metropolitan Community Church QC” as a judge in a chili cook-off contest!  I’ve done this in the past and it’s a fun time.  So, if you don’t have plans Sunday evening and you’re in Moline, come on by.

MCCQC Chili Cook-Off

“THE FOLLOWING” SEASON FINALE

After getting disgruntled with “The Following” midway through the season, I knew that the finale would be mind-blowing and it was!   All I can say is AMAZING!  The payoff was worth it and I’ll be tuning in next January to see what happens.  For a time there, I was ready to move on after this season, but not now!

The-Following-Season-Finale

“DEXTER”

The countdown to season seven of  “Dexter” on DVD is now down to 11 days and I can’t wait!  The final season (the eighth) begins on Showtime at the end of June and I bet that they have it out on DVD before Christmas because if spoilers announce how the series ends, who would want to buy it on DVD?

Dexter

Spoiler alert:  The season 8 trailer is incredible.  Don’t watch it unless you have already watched season 7!!!!!!!!

KSL, SALT LAKE CITY, GET A CLUE!

Censorship continues to thrive at the NBC affiliate, KSL, in Salt Lake City.  In August 2012, the station refused to air “The New Normal” and it passed on “The Playboy Club” (as did the rest of America, by choice), and it doesn’t show “Saturday Night Live”.

The latest victim of the station’s self-imposed programming censorship is “Hannibal”.

Hannibal_Gory_3_22_13

On its Facebook page, the station posted this:  “PROGRAMMING NOTE: After viewing the past few episodes, as well as receiving numerous complaints from viewers, KSL TV will cancel the airing of the NBC show “Hannibal” on Thursday evenings.  This decision was made due to the extensive graphic nature of this show. The time slot will be replaced with a special edition of KSL 5 News at 9 p.m.  NBC remains a valued partner to KSL TV.  KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so.”

It really ticks me off when individual stations pick and choose what they think people should see.  Let people decide by watching or not watching the show.  As much as I love “Hannibal” and its gore and violence, America doesn’t seem to agree with me.  The premiere garnered 6.77 million viewers and the ratings have dropped big time in just four episodes.

LOVE IT, BUT I STILL HAVE AN ISSUE WITH IT

As I was watching the episode, “Coquilles”, last Thursday night, I felt a disconnect with the show.  It felt like something was missing.  There was no mention of characters Abigail Hobbs or Dr. Alana Bloom, both integral to the plot line in the first three episodes.  Upon a little investigating, I found out why.

Show producer Bryan Fuller decided to pull the original “fourth” episode, “Ceuf”, because of the recent real-life events in Boston and the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings last December.  In this episode that will air in its entirety in international markets (and will likely appear on the DVD), Molly Shannon plays the “criminal of the week”, a teacher who brainwashes kids into killing other kids.

My problem with this is that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings took place almost five months ago and if the producers were that uneasy about the theme of this episode, they knew that back there and they could have done some editing or re-shoots to maintain continuity in the show!  Come on, NBC “Hannibal”, nobody is watching you anyway, so don’t tick me off. 🙂

I’m still patiently waiting for Gillian Anderson’s five episodes as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, Lecter’s psychotherapist!  Her hair may not be as gingery as FBI agent Dana Scully from “The X-Files”, but she is one hot mama!

HANNIBAL-GILLIAN-ANDERSON

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Two years ago this week, Mr. Panda, our little blind shar pei friend from Chicago, was spending the spring with us.  As you can see, he was sunning and Miss ABBA was enjoying the shade.  Panda, now 11-years-old, may be coming back to spend some time with us soon.

May 2011 Panda ABBA

The planting and gardening season was much further along last year.  We had already planted tomato and peppers plants in memory of Miss ABBA.  We always grew tomatoes for her because she couldn’t get enough of them!

May 6 2012 ABBA Memorial Garden

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Gross... Not Gross922836_10151442556066997_352912627_n  BubleNice

STILL BEHIND, BUT CATCHING UP

As I’ve said before, I always read the new “Entertainment Weekly” when it arrives and I don’t get too far behind on “Instinct”, “The Advocate”, and “Out”.  However, I had a huge stack of old “Men’s Fitness”, “Details”, and “Boston” magazines that I’ve recently blown through and recycled.  Now, I’m working on the three-year-old “Rolling Stone” issues.  Luckily, the subscription was only for six months!

Ironically, last week in my blog I talked about my health and the thought of dying.

And, in the July 8-22, 2010, double issue of “Rolling Stone” with Lady Gaga on the cover, she talked about her health.  And, it sort of touches on what I talked about and was pretty much a scary precursor of her own health issues this past winter when she was forced to cancel the rest of her “Born This Way Ball” tour because of a labral tear of the right hip caused by strenuous repetitive movements involved in the shows and required surgery.

Lady Gaga Las Vegas

On becoming a hypochondriac, Gaga said, “I don’t want to be one, so most of the time I’m like, ‘F**k it, I’m fine.’  At a certain point, you’re so beyond the point of exhaustion that you don’t know:  Do I have a health problem that may or may not be real, or am I just really tired.”

I guess I’m not alone. 🙂

I saw Lady Gaga in concert in Las Vegas this past January before she cancelled the rest of the tour.  She was incredible and the mammoth set was over-the top!

Born This Way Ball Tour Stage

Check out this amazing time lapse video of how much work and detail went into putting on this spectacle of a show in each city.

A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE COMES OUT

By telling “Sports Illustrated” this week, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay”, Jason Collins becomes the first professional athlete in the United States to come out.  Most of the reaction to his announcement has been positive.

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While I’m happy that Collins can finally live his life without hiding who he is, I’m just sorry that we still live in a world where it still matters!  The bottom line should be “good for him” and “who cares”, just be happy”.  People are just so concerned with what others are doing when they should be focused on their own lives.

Pro tennis player Andy Roddick says, “Yesterday was an incredible day for athletes everywhere. Jason Collins’ courage and leadership in coming out reminds me of how important it is for an athlete to be able to be true to him or herself.  As an Athlete Ally, I want to support every athlete to feel comfortable and confident being themselves and to make sure that all people – players and fans alike – are  welcome and included in tennis.”

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Good for you, Andy!  And, good for us. 🙂

LET THAT FREAK FLAG FLY!

In about a month (June 9th), we’ll be seeing Ke$ha and Pitbull in concert outside Chicago for Gretel’s birthday!  I cannot to see Ke$ha just to see what crazy things she’ll do.  Say what you will about her auto-tuned music, but it’s fun.

Ke$ha Tickles The Ivory

And, regardless of what you think of her, check out this outrageous interaction with Conan O’Brien about how she composed some of her favorite songs on her “Warrior” album, which came out in late 2012 that I gave a grade of “A” and blogged about in January!

Too flipping funny!

It’s okay Ke$ha, I love dinosaurs, too!  Roar!!!!!!

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Everyone knows Madonna and everyone has an opinion about her.

In 1983, my freshman year in college, I fell in love with her when she was just a dancer and singer from Detroit, Michigan who moved to New York City to be a star.  Before her first song, “Holiday”, made it to pop radio in the fall of 1983 and peaked at #16, Madonna had already scored two #3 dance club hits, “Everybody” and “Burning Up”.

I KNOW YOU REMEMBER THAT ONE, BUT PROBABLY NOT THIS ONE!

English singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor has scored 9 solo hits in the U.K with six reaching the Top ten and the first three reached either #2 or #3.  She was also featured on two other hits in the U.K., including Spiller’s #1 smash, “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”.  “Groovejet” also reached #3 on the Billboard Dance chart here in the U.S.

Sophie never crossed over in America.  Her biggest chart success on this side of the Atlantic was the #26 Billboard Dance hit, in 2002, “Murder on the Dancefloor”.  It was one of my favorite songs during my last two-year stay in Chicago and at Roscoe’s.  It’s from the album, “Read My Lips”, which includes a remake of the Cher smash, “Take Me Home”.

Now, I want to dance and have fun.

Have yourself a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

Anthony

Come Into My House, But Not For Dinner!

“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”.

“I do wish we could chat longer, but… I’m having an old friend for dinner.  Bye.”

“Good nutrition’s given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling?”

“”Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?”

Those are just some of my favorite quotes from the Oscar-winning 1991 movie, “The Silence of The Lambs” with the infamous serial killer/cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) and FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster).

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It’s been six years since we last heard from a young Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising”.  “Hannibal the Cannibal” is making his return Thursday night, but this time it’ll be in the luxury of your own home on the lowest rated network, NBC.

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Hannibal Lecter has appeared in four Thomas Harris novels and has been the focus of five movies.  Before “Silence” and its sequels, “Hannibal” (2001), “Red Dragon” (2002), and “Hannibal Rising” (2007), there was the 1986 movie, “Manhunter”, based on the first Harris novel, “Red Dragon”, which ended up being the third movie of the popular series.  Are you still with me?

While Anthony Hopkins will always be Hannibal to me, I’m ready to give the new television Hannibal, played by 47-year-old Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, a chance.

TV Hannibal

On the 13-episode ‘Hannibal” television series, the story will focus on the relationship between Dr. Lecter and FBI special agent/criminal profiler Will Graham, played here by English stud and husband of actress Claire Daines, Hugh Dancy.

Hugh Dancy

As you recall from the “Red Dragon” movie (Spoiler Alert!), Lecter and Graham would have a working relationship to catch another serial killer after Graham got too close to Lecter and almost paid the price with his life.  In the movie, Graham was played by Edward Norton.

From the trailers, I feel that NBC is definitely pushing the envelope with the network’s standards and practices department with the gore and violence.  But, then again, this is a story about serial killers and a cannibal.  This isn’t Disney!

Scary, gory version:

Psychological version:

From what I’ve seen, I’m very excited to see this new adaptation of “Hannibal”.  I believe that this show can run the distance, unlike “The Following” on Fox.  I was very excited about “The Following”, but that love affair is fading like a flower as we head toward the season finale April 29th with a lot of filler just to extend it to 15 episodes.

And, if the story of Hannibal Lecter wasn’t enough to arouse my curiosity for the series, here’s another reason!

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) will have a recurring role as Bedelia Du Maurier, Lecter’s psychotherapist!

“Hannibal” premieres on NBC Thursday night at 10/9 central.  And, if like reviews and grades, “Entertainment Weekly” gave the premiere an A-.

Anthony

P.S.  Note to self — Chianti is okay, just don’t make fava beans and liver for dinner Thursday night!

Remembering The Woman That Inspired Me To Go Into Television News

While I credit my mother’s strengths, and weaknesses, to getting me to where I am today in life, she never saw me working at a commercial, network-affiliated television station.  She did see me on television as a weathercaster and music show host (“Music Visions”) on MSU TV-11, our campus television station in Murray, Kentucky, back in the 1980s.

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She was always proud of my straight As in high school, for which I thank  my favorite science teacher, Roxanne Ferguson, and my favorite math teacher, Vasteene Rives.  They inspired to me to follow my dreams of being a scientist.

As a teenager, I confirmed that I wanted to be a television meteorologist.  For that, I have current “Good Morning America” weatherman Sam Champion, who was working at WPSD in Paducah, Kentucky, back then, along with WPSD meteorologist Paul Boucherau to thank.  Also, there’s former “Good Morning America” meteorologist John Coleman, who started the “The Weather Channel”.

However, the person that inspired me the most to get into the television news “rat race” was a woman who tragically died on this day back in 1983.

While some Americans first learned of Jessica Savitch on the radio in New Jersey and New York in the 1960s as the “honeybee”, while she attended Ithaca College in New York, her first television job was at KHOU in Houston, Texas in 1971.

She worked her way up from being a reporter to becoming the first woman news anchor in the South three months after starting there.  It didn’t take long for the big markets to seek her out.  In 1972, she was hired at KYW in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the fourth largest television market in the country, for the weekend newscasts.  She then became that station’s main anchor.

From there, NBC News came calling in 1977 and offered her a position as the Washington correspondent.  Although it was tough on her because many thought she was given the position for her beauty, she fought to prove herself and become the weekend news anchor.

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On air, Jessica was magical.  The camera loved her.  America loved her.  And, I  loved her.  As much as I wanted to be a television weatherman, I remember as a teenager sitting on my bed reading the newspaper to the wall pretending it was a camera and wanting to be just like Jessica Savitch.

It’s often said that fame and success comes with a price.  And, that’s true.  For Jessica, the price she paid for success was rumored to be drugs.   I won’t say that it’s true or it wasn’t because I wasn’t there.

Nevertheless, her private life was a mess.  It started with her abusive boyfriend back in Houston, who was a reporter at a competing station and continued with her two failed marriages in 1980 and 1981.  Her second husband, Dr. Donald Payne, committed suicide in the basement of their Washington DC townhouse  with her husky, Chewy’s, leash knowing that Jessica would find him.

It had to be rough on all women, including Jessica, working their way up in the male chauvinistic world of television in the 1970s.  For women, it meant you had to work twice as hard as men to accomplish less and it also meant that you made enemies.  Enemies that would make  recorded tantrums public.

Being a television personality, I’ll defend Jessica here.  I have been burned several times by the production crew, directors, and producers with timing issues.  You are the person on the air that is cut off, rushed, or made to look bad.  You are the face that people at home see when things go wrong.

As the rumors swirled about Jessica’s possible drug use and erratic behavior, it all reached a climax with this NBC News Digest from 1983.

Jessica blamed it on a faulty teleprompter (the magic words of the scripts on the camera that an anchor reads), yet her publicist said it was adverse reaction to prescription medication and a glass of wine at dinner.  Nevertheless, it added fuel to the fire about Jessica.

Jessica began dating Martin Fischbein, the Vice President of the “New York Post”, and seemed happy.  On the evening of October 23, 1983, they drove to New Hope, Pennsylvania, to have dinner at Odette’s Restaurant.

When Jessica and Martin left the restaurant in heavy rain, she got in the backseat with Chewy.  In the inclement weather, Martin apparently missed the posted warning signs and the car dropped fifteen feet and sank in the mud to the bottom of the old Pennsylvania Canal’s Delaware Division, which is on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River.

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Jessica, Martin, and Chewy were trapped inside and they all died.

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The official cause of death was asphyxiation by drowning.  No drugs or alcohol played any part in the crash, according to the coroner’s report.

In the fall of 1983, I gave a speech about Jessica Savitch and her death in my “Introduction to Radio-Television” class at Murray State and I made a “B” for my presentation.

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Jessica, I still think of you 29 years after your death and I thank you for inspiring me and so many young women that followed in your footsteps.  You set the standard for television news that is still being mimicked today.

Anthony