Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Joss Whedon.

The very name evokes a lot of different feelings in a whole lot of people.

Joss, as his fans usually refer to him, created two of my all-time favorite television series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

I still remember how I found out about Buffy. I noticed the listing in the TV Guide and realized I had to check it out. That night, I had some news for my husband. "We're watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer tonight," I informed him. He gave me a funny look but figured I knew what I was doing. As it turned out, he liked the show just as much as I did.

I was enthralled with Buffy, and later, with Angel. Joss did some incredible things with both series. Who would have thought a musical episode would work? Joss thought so, and it did. An episode with very little dialogue was even better; "Hush" was both absolutely hilarious and incredibly creepy. One of my favorite episodes of Angel was about puppets. I never knew what to expect, but I knew it would work.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer lasted seven seasons and ended in 2003. After five seasons on the WB, it moved to UPN. Angel, which began three years later than Buffy's premiere, ended in 2003 after a five-year run on the WB. These two shows introduced me to some of my favorite actors, and Joss has included many of them in his other ventures.

Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer became a series, it was a movie. The history and basic premise were carried over into the series, but with all new actors and mostly new characters. Now, a new Buffy movie is supposedly moving forward, but without Joss.

Buffy without Joss?

That's hard to imagine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Viral Videos Starring Cute Animals

I love watching videos of cute animals. There's just something about them that manages to brighten my day. Dogs, cats, and ducks are just a few of the stars of the great animal videos I've seen.

If you enjoy watching videos of adorable animals, check out these great viral videos. They're guaranteed to make you smile.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I was pretty much unaware of U2 until they released The Joshua Tree in 1987. That's when a friend urged me to check out their music. I was skeptical but decided to find out what all the fuss was about. I'm glad I did.

Here is a very short list of some of my favorite songs by U2:

"All I Want Is You" (Rattle and Hum)
"Love Rescue Me" (Rattle and Hum)
"One Tree Hill" (The Joshua Tree)
"Red Hill Mining Town" (The Joshua Tree)

Saturday, April 23, 2011


On Thursday night, while watching The Vampire Diaries, a new commercial got my attention. The announcer stated that vampires are in my area and that I should check out this website to learn more. A locally produced web series about vamps? Cool!

Transitions premiered last August and is being produced by Ream Enterprises, which is based near Kalamazoo. So far, the first half of season one is available on the website, and the remaining six episodes will be available later this spring. The second season is under development; auditions are by appointment.

I haven't been able to watch this web series yet, but I definitely want to check it out.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spin-Off Ideas

Some of my all-time favorite shows were spin-offs of other shows. Angel was a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is another one of my favorites. Even Port Charles was a spin-off, although I didn't (and don't) watch General Hospital.

A while back, I wanted to come up with a few spin-off ideas for some of my favorite shows. Which shows had the best potential? I thought about what they would be like and who would star in them.

I came up with three shows that I felt had terrific spin-off potential, based on a character in each one. I planned them out carefully and came up with my dream casts. If you're interested, you can read all about them here.

Granted, this isn't something I would expect to happen. Most of my shows don't get spectacular ratings; they're usually hanging by a thread, hoping not to be canceled. In fact, since I came up with these fantasy spin-offs, one of these shows was canceled, but my ideas for its spin-off are still valid.

It probably seems like a silly waste of time to a lot of people, but I enjoyed it. After all, people are always thinking about their favorite shows and actors. They also like to come up with dream casts for movies or shows made from books. This isn't much different, and it was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Protest ABC Across America

ABC's recent announcement that both All My Children and One Life to Live have been cancelled has a lot of people very upset. Protest ABC Across America is a campaign intended to let the network executives know that soap fans have had it.

Hoover is even getting in on the protest, with the company's marketing VP writing a message to fans of the two shows and pulling their advertising from ABC. In addition, Hoover has set up a special e-mail address for fans and promises to get all messages to the network. Wow!

Please visit the above links for more information. Even though they're on Facebook, the pages are public so that everyone can read them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

One-Hit Wonders

A one-hit wonder is a recording artist that has one major hit and then never achieves that level of success again. The exact criteria vary from one definition to another, from placing the song anywhere on Billboard's Hot 100 to maintaining that only #1 songs qualify.

While looking at a lot of lists of one-hit wonders and the songs that made them famous, I came up with a list of my favorites. I had doubts that some of the ones I saw really only had one hit, but I wrote them down anyway. Then I chose ten to mention here.

Here are some of my favorite hit songs by one-hit wonders, in no particular order:

1. "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (The Verve) - A phenomenal song, and a great video to go with it.

2. "Under the Milky Way" (The Church) - It's hard to get better than this song, which was later included in the Donnie Darko soundtrack.

3. "I'll See You in My Dreams" (Giant) - One of only two power ballads included on this list, although there are probably others I could have mentioned.

4. "Bad Day" (Daniel Powter) - A catchy song with a good video.

5. "Don't Close Your Eyes" (Kix) - The second power ballad I decided to include here.

6. "Tainted Love" (Soft Cell) - This one will always remind me of Port Charles, which made good use of the song during its "Tainted Love" arc.

7. "The Promise" (When In Rome) - This is a nice, catchy song.

8. "Cry Little Sister" (Gerard McMann) - This theme from The Lost Boys has been covered by several bands and re-recorded by the original artist, but the original version is my favorite.

9. "Cry" (Godley & Creme) - Somehow, I completely missed this one until seeing the video a few years ago. Priceless.

10. "Major Tom (Coming Home)" (Peter Schilling) - This follow-up to David Bowie's "Space Oddity" tells what happened to Major Tom.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nolan North

Who is Nolan North? Many people recognize his name. In fact, if you're a gamer, you're probably quite familiar with his work; for the past few years, he's been concentrating on voiceover roles.

That's not the only place you'll come across Nolan North, though. His acting career started when he landed a major role on a new soap opera. He's also been on primetime television and in movies, and he currently has a recurring role on Pretty Little Liars, as Spencer's dad.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Michael Easton

Michael Easton has been one of my favorite actors for many years. His portrayal of Caleb Morley on ABC's Port Charles made Caleb my favorite TV vampire.

He's a fan favorite as one of daytime's leading men. He was on Days of Our Lives years before resurfacing on Port Charles. He also had a memorable guest role on Ally McBeal. However, his talent isn't limited to acting. In fact, Michael Easton is a man of many talents.

In his latest role on One Life to Live, his character is in transition. The woman he loved betrayed him, and he left her at the altar. Will he go back to her?

With OLTL on its way out, many fans will probably want the two characters to reunite and live happily ever after. I would have preferred to pair him with any of the other actresses I mentioned in my article about his leading ladies, but at this point, with the show ending in a few months, that's not likely to happen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Loss of Two More Daytime Soaps

If you're a soap fan and haven't heard the news yet, make sure you're sitting down. This is a doozy.

ABC has announced the cancellation of both All My Children and One Life to Live. Fans were expecting it to be one or the other, but certainly not both.

If this trend continues, there won't be any daytime soaps left.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


For me, the classic rock band Kansas and the TV show Supernatural will always be intertwined. Whenever I hear or even think of "Carry on Wayward Son," I think of Supernatural.

Kansas released "Carry On Wayward Son," one of the tracks on Leftoverture, as a single in 1976. Who would've thought it would resurface thirty years later as a kind of anthem for Supernatural fans?

For those unfamiliar with the show, Supernatural is about Dean and Sam Winchester, two brothers who were raised as "hunters" and who now continue the tradition as adults. In this case, hunting means tracking down supernatural and demonic entities and vanquishing them. There's much more to the show; this is just the simplified version of what it's about.

Supernatural doesn't really have a theme song, but Dean's love of classic rock music is an integral component of the show. Most songs have only been in one episode, but "Carry On Wayward Son" has been used prominently in several episodes, beginning in 2006, near the end of the first season. Therefore, as someone who has seen every episode since its premiere, it's only natural that "Carry on Wayward Son" will always make me think of Supernatural.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Journey has been one of my favorite bands since the late 1970s. I bought seven of their albums in a row, from Infinity (1978) through Raised on Radio (1986).

I couldn't begin to rank my favorite Journey songs, so I won't even try. What I will do is list ten that I would recommend to anyone asking about their classic work (the Steve Perry days).

"Feeling That Way"
"Opened the Door"
"Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'"
"Good Morning Girl"
"Stay Awhile"
"Be Good to Yourself"
"Why Can't This Night Go On Forever"

I've heard some of their newer songs, and they're good. Someday I'll get around to checking them out more closely.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"I" Songs

I started thinking about song titles that begin with "I." For this post, "I" songs are songs with titles beginning with the word (not just the letter) "I." Here are just a few of the ones I like, listed in alphabetical order:

"I Don't Care" - Finnish cello rockers Apocalyptica are brilliant, and this is a great song with a great video. It features Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier on vocals.

"I Don't Want to Be" - Gavin DeGraw's theme from One Tree Hill was eventually dropped from the opening credits, but fans of the show will never forget it. The best line? "All I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mind."

"I Drove All Night" - Cyndi Lauper was the first recording artist to release this hit, which was actually written for Roy Orbison. Although it's been covered a few times, this is the version I always think of.

"I Just Can't Help Believing" - B.J. Thomas sang a sweet song about a belief in a future with the woman of his dreams.

"I Love You" - I was surprised to learn that the Climax Blues Band released this hit in 1980; if I'd had to guess, I would have said it was a year or two earlier.

"I Never Cry" - This is a fantastic power ballad by Alice Cooper.

"I Ran (So Far Away)" - I always liked this song by A Flock of Seagulls, but the video is priceless.

"I Want to Know What Love Is" - Foreigner had a mega hit with this one. Besides the fact that the lyrics could reduce people to tears, the inclusion of the choir was a major plus.

"I Want You to Want Me" - I think this was the first Cheap Trick song I noticed. I ended up buying the Live at Budokan 8-track tape. Yes, 8-track.

"I Wish It Would Rain Down" - This hauntingly beautiful ballad is easily my favorite Phil Collins song.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

House of Anubis

When a friend first mentioned an interest in Nickelodeon's House of Anubis, I was skeptical. I decided to look it up anyway, and what I saw persuaded me to watch the first episode. After that, I was hooked.

As a kids' show, it's appropriate for anyone. There's no graphic violence or sexual content. There are 60 episodes, but they're paired up with two per half-hour.

House of Anubis is a mystery, and it's a doozy. It's set at a boarding school in England, and Anubis House is one of the "dorms" where several of the kids live. There's also quite a bit of comedy in this show.

The first five episodes aired together, as a movie, although they were edited to fit the timeslot. When they aired later as individual episodes, there were no edits. I decided to write summaries of the first five episodes, and I didn't hold back on the details. Whenever a show is very short, it tends to have a lot of information and action packed into it. This show is no exception.

Episode 1 is "House of Secrets," episode 2 is "House of Attitude," episode 3 is "House of the Black Bird," episode 4 is "House of Dares," and episode 5 is "House of Lies."

I also wrote character guides for the teens and the adults.

This show has been renewed for a second season.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Exciting News for One Life to Live Fans!

For quite some time, fans of One Life to Live have been hoping for the return of Roger Howarth to the show. Well, now it's finally happening. Roger Howarth, the original Todd Manning, is coming back!

What does this exciting news mean for the the show, for Todd, and for the two actors who have played the role? There's a lot of speculation out there, and as someone who has watched the show for many years, I can speculate with the best of them. I pay attention to little details and always ask questions about what I see--and what I don't see. If you're interested in my thoughts, check out my article.

I'm looking forward to seeing Roger Howarth back on my TV screen. That doesn't mean I want Trevor St. John to go anywhere, though. Both are good actors who have brought something unique to their portrayals of Todd Manning.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Borgias

This morning, I noticed that my friend Kenzy England had written a new article about The Borgias. She had mentioned this upcoming series to me a while back, but with everything else going on--including all my shows and their various premieres and hiatuses--I forgot all about it.

In anticipation of this new Showtime series, Kenzy wrote a cool character guide about Rodrigo Borgia. It's definitely worth reading, whether you plan to watch the series or not.

I'm going to have to pretend I have enough room in my schedule and add The Borgias. The way I see it, a few shows are ending for the season anyway, so I can probably handle it. It premieres tomorrow, April 3, at 10:00pm Eastern Daylight Time on Showtime. Check the official website for more information.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Arthurian Shows: Merlin and Camelot

If you're into Arthuriana, you've undoubtedly come across plenty of different versions of the legend of King Arthur and Camelot. Two current television series explore the legend, and each has its own take.

Merlin has been on Syfy for the past two seasons after completing its first season on NBC. As season three is about to wrap up, there's a new player ready to get our attention. Camelot is an original series from Starz that is scheduled to debut April 1 (today), although the network did offer a sneak peak earlier this year by airing the first episode.

As an unapologetic fan of Merlin, I wanted to see what Camelot would be like. I was curious to see how it would differ from the show I've already been watching for three seasons. Would it be worth my time?

After watching the sneak peak, I thought about different aspects of each series and wrote an article contrasting the two.

The verdict? I'll be watching both series, but they're quite different. Camelot officially premieres tonight at 10:00pm Eastern Daylight Time on Starz. It's a 2-hour premiere, so I'm guessing the sneak peak was the first half. Check the official website to see when the encore presentations will air.