Snow Day Entertainment

The swirling snow outside the window signals the early arrival of winter weather and with it the obligatory scanning of things to watch on the TV. 

Given the ‘more choices than ever/less quality than ever’ quandary which is the modern entertainment industry, many are choosing to avoid the viewing decisions of some faceless droid and instead go to subscription services such as Netflix, online shows, or their own DVD/Blu-ray collections. 

Here are a few nuggets from the library…

Fawlty Towers (BBC 2 season: 1975, 1979, 12 episodes)

The iconic British show about the notorious Torquay hotel owned by Basil and Sybil Fawlty is considered by some to be the greatest sit-com in television history.  The blend of the perfect characters dealing with ingenious situations results in a classic with an appeal that spans international borders.  Some of the most well-known comic lines in history are found in the episodes, delivered by some of the most memorable characters ever.

The fact the series was restrained to two seasons and 12 episodes – preventing it from becoming drawn out – adds appeal to the show.  North American remakes/revisions have been attempted, all of which fizzled out, and thankfully so. 

Firefly (Fox, 2002 1 Season, 14 episodes)
In a previous television life, Castle used to be Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds, a war vet ('Browncoat')-turned-smuggler operating at arms-length from the victorious Alliance.  A great cast led by Edmonton, Alberta native Nathan Fillion enjoys excellent writing in this blend of sci-fi and western.  This Joss Whedon creation delivers interesting storylines punctuated by elements of suspense, action, and thriller, sprinkled with a healthy dose of chuckles.

Featuring a cast which includes Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, and Alan Tudyk, Firefly is one of those television creations which enjoy a far higher level of popularity after cancellation than it ever had while on the air.  Followed by the critically-acclaimed motion picture Serenity.

The Job (ABC, 2001-02, 2 seasons, 19 episodes)
This ill-fated network prime-timer came and went with little fanfare.  Featuring Denis Leary as the main troubled character (sound familiar? Read on), inevitable comparisons are still made between this effort and Leary’s follow-up effort Rescue Me.  In fact, the post-September 11th environment, along with ABC’s decision to go more ‘family-friendly’ in its programming, proved the ultimate slice for this show’s chances. 

But whatever elements of Rescue Me which are missing, caused in part by the restrictions of network television, The Job still features smart writing, hilarious characters, and a borderline allowable Denis Leary.  


Trump Joins Reagan, Bentsen with Zinger

The history of Presidential debates is one of a long line of snoozefests with random memorable – and sometimes election changing – flashpoints. 

During the 1980 battle, challenger Ronald Reagan hit a home-run with this quip:

Early on in the campaign, media talking heads and political pundits of the time thought Carter would run away with the vote en route to a second term.  Reagan, who fought many Establishment-types within his own party as well as Carter (sound familiar?), saw the pitch coming and nailed it.

In four words, the Gipper showed Americans his strength, as well as affording them a peak into his personality.  Some say this moment, along with the Iranian hostage crisis, ultimately won him the election.

Not all memorable lines result in an electoral victory, yet are still burned in the pages of historical pop culture.  In a televised Vice Presidential debate between George Bush Sr.’s running mate Dan Quayle and challenger Lloyd Bentsen (yawn….), Bentsen unexpectedly and effectively crushed Quayle with this zinger….

Not only did this stand out as the high-point of the debate, it began a narrative of Quayle as an aloof idiot which dogged him throughout his time as VP.

Right now the buzz rages on about the full and complete smack-down Donald Trump delivered on Hillary Clinton in the second debate.  Given in a debate setting much different than the previous two examples, the vitriol between the candidates had already been long established before they went head-to-head.

And in what could be the next historically memorable moment, Trump absolutely killed it:

Trump, still dealing with the fallout of the latest lame attempt to destroy him – a decade-old recording of him saying ‘pussy’ – took off the gloves and, when the opportunity presented itself, went nuclear.  And it was a direct hit.

In one quip, the Donald dared to ‘go there’, much to the delight (and relief) of voters who have grown tired of the leftist MSM running interference and covering for their political masters.

While the outcome of the election is still up for grabs, Trump’s line will be added to this list of best debate verbal grenades. 

In 20 years no one will remember the pussy remark, but they could very well remember “…because you’d be in jail.”

His Name Was Steven