Three Contestants Enter, One Giant Hamster Exits

This is it, folks! After six grueling months, we’ve whittled down 30 contestants to the final three! We’ve witnessed tests of stamina, shocking betrayals, delicious Mexican meals, and even some forbidden love between spouses on the other side of the arena wall. Tonight, the final three will square off in the battle stadium for the right to enter the Metamorpho Chamber and become America’s Top Giant Hamster of 2013! Let’s get reacquainted with our finalists, proudly presented by Taco Bell!

First up is Derek Montoya of Kansas City, Kansas! Derek was seen as an early favorite to win the competition this season, exhibiting extraordinary speed and agility and winning 8 of the first 13 endurance challenges. He outpaced other competitors in the Hamster Wheel by no less than ten seconds each time, he completed the Taco Tube Maze a record three times without ever phoning a friend, and no one else could name more U.S. Presidents from memory than he could. Derek’s successes on the field awarded him seven pellet bonuses, two whisker trophies, and a record fifteen pounds of cotton which he used to make suitable bedding. Plus his victories earned his team three delicious FourthMeals in the early weeks of the show. His military training surely contributed to his physical dominance, but I wouldn’t discount his daily 4-hour exercise routine as an excuse to avoid that crazy wife. Let’s recall that Derek’s wife, Jean, was the first audience member in the show’s history to threaten other contestants with a crossbow live on-camera.

Our 2012 winner, Rebecca Shwinke, attending a celebrity charity event last month

Our 2012 winner, Rebecca Shwinke, attending a celebrity charity event last month

Our second contender is Denise Gauershot. She is from Lebanon, Pennsylvania and was considered an underdog throughout most of the year. She was placed in the Coffee Can of Expulsion nearly seventy percent of the time in the first half of the season, but she always managed to avoid a complete Burial. She became a fan favorite after she got into a heated argument with Buck Langdon after losing the Water Bottle Management team challenge in week 6, finally telling him off for the way he stole his teammates’ tasty Chips and Guacamole. Buck Langdon was a fierce competitor and it seems like after he was sent to the Coffee Can and then Buried, Denise filled the void he left behind. She ended up earning her team four chewing stick rewards, two pellet bonuses and three hours in the Hamster Ball.

Finally, we have Chet Polecki from Buffalo, NY. Chet played in the NHL for the Sabres for a total of 13 minutes before a career-ending injury involving a sharp skate blade and his remaining testicle. While he never played professional hockey again, he adapted to the world of sports as an eunuch with a renewed sense of competition and a laundry list of testosterone supplements. He underwent a number of extensive surgeries and months of rehabilitation only to later explode as a world-ranked Iron Man and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating competitor. His charity, Ball Strong, has raised nearly $41,000 in the last 12 years to benefit other professional and semiprofessional hockey players who have lost their single remaining testicle to horrific accidents and sometimes cancer.

The Taco Tube Maze hours before the audience was let into the stadium

The Taco Tube Maze hours before the audience was let into the stadium

Since Chet’s appearance on the show, Ball Strong raised nearly $2,400 in donations, and only a third of that money came from donations of plasma from family members and homeless guys who accepted a 30/70 offer up front. Chet has become an inspiration to viewers everywhere, only appearing in the Coffee Can elimination once, winning a record seven Wood Chip Tasks and being a true leader to his teammates in the Weekly Taco Bell Crunchy Gordita Value Meal Challengizer Event.

Tonight, Derek, Denise and Chet will take one more trip through the five-story Taco Tube House Maze, have another go ’round in the Hamster Wheel Steel Cage Arena, and face off in the Beefy Burrito Endurance Match. Now that we are in the finals, the intensity of this competition has reached Critically Hot salsa levels, which can only be satisfied by awarding just one of our contestants a year’s supply of icy and refreshing Pepsi Max. In the end, just one player will make history and be crowned champion. Only one will Live M√°s as an enormous crepuscular rodent with a brand new beach house in Santa Barbara! Only one will become… America’s Top Giant Hamster 2013!!

Join us after these tasty words from our sponsor!

The Official FAQ for my Mr. Ed/Quantum Leap Fanfiction Series, “Quantum Ed”

1. What is this?

This is the Official FAQ for my Mister Ed/Quantum Leap fanfiction series, “Quantum Ed.”

2. What is “Quantum Ed”?

“Quantum Ed” is a fanfiction series that combines the popular late 80s NBC sci-fi show “Quantum Leap” and the 1960s CBS show, “Mister Ed.” It is currently nearing the end of its second season of 22 episodes.

Quantum Ed

Quantum Ed Season 2 “cover art”

3. How many episodes are there?

Season 1 had 12 regular episodes and a 13th that was almost double in size. Season 2 will end up at 22 regularly sized episodes.

4. Who are these characters?

You can get complete dossiers on the main site where you can read detailed biographies on Sam, Al, Ziggy, Gushie, Mister Ed, Wilbur Post, etc.

5. What is with all the shorthand and acronyms all over the descriptions, etc?

It’s just easier to use acronyms instead of typing long phrases out a million times. Here’s a guide that should get you through most of it:

QL stands for Quantum Leap, usually also referring to a season and/or episode. ME stands for Mister Ed. QE is my show, Quantum Ed. For example, if an episode of Quantum Ed takes place right after QLS1E11, and right before MES1E6 then it would fall right after Sam’s main storyline Leap in Quantum Leap, Season 1, Episode 11, and right before all the action seen in Mister Ed, Season 1, Episode 6. BE stands for “Before-Event,” which is a reference to a nearly cataclysmic event that occurred in the beginning of QES2 but that also solidified Sam’s place in Mister Ed canon. You’ll often see editorial notes referring to previous episodes or memories that are either BE or PE (Before-Event or Post-Event).

6. Post-Event. That’s clever.

Thank you. ūüôā

7. Do you adhere to established continuity for either show?

My show, “Quantum Ed,” is designed to fit into the continuity of both shows without affecting the ‘canon’ of either one.

8. How is that?

The magic of time travel! And Sam’s Swiss cheese memory. And Mister Ed’s penchant for keeping things close to the vest. Sam leaps in and out of the Mister Ed-iverse multiple times throughout his time-traveling career. As we’ve seen, he leaped 15 times during QLS1, 3 ‘lost’ times sometime between QLS1 and QLS2, and now 15 times during QLS2.

9. In Quantum Leap, Sam leaps into the lives of people all around him. Why would he still leap into the lives of Ed, Wilbur, and all the rest?

Why wouldn’t he? Everybody needs saving, and sometimes more than once. The great thing is that Sam leaps in and out of their lives at different times.

10. Season 1 and Season 2 of Quantum Ed seem to have different feels to them.

Good catch! Season 1, as with most of my fanfiction series, was designed as a one-off season where Project Quantum Leap and the Mister Ed-iverse found themselves inexorably linked multiple times. Because of the series’ huge popularity, I knew it would survive at least another season. But as a careful reader will notice, more time and care has been taken to establish a ‘mythology’ and some overarching storylines for season 2.

11. How far ahead have you planned?

My dream would be to have 5 seasons, mirroring the run of the original Quantum Leap, but I’ve plotted out most major points through season 4. If we’re still going strong at the start of QES4, I will have set up a sweet story that will take us to the end of QES5. And it is extremely doubtful we’ll see beyond season 5.

12. So who is this guy Sam keeps Leaping into?

Jack Barnes. Jack is a neighbor of Wilbur’s and Roger’s, who technically shows up late in MES5 for one episode, but was never a major character. But just because Jack never appeared in the first four seasons doesn’t mean he wasn’t around the whole time. It’s the same reason we never see Ed talking to Sam during MES1 either. ;-).

13. Any chance we’ll see any other Leapers?

Some readers have posited that the reason Wilbur and Ed continue to need Sam’s help is because of another unseen Leaper. Stay tuned to find out what’s really going on!

Ed and Al

Ed and Al: True Friends

14. So Mr. Ed never travels through time?

Well, even Al Leaped in QLS4, so anything is possible. ūüôā

15. I have a great idea for a story/episode/arc….

I can’t accept unsolicited submissions, but if you want to have a discussion off-site about how you can contribute to the Quantum Ed-iverse, I’d be happy to chat. Skype me or drop me an e-mail anytime. I’m not against talented individuals helming spin-off mini-series type things, but the stories would have to match my vision for the series, and that’s not exactly clear to the readers. ūüôā

16. I have a theory….

Check out the forums (they’re free to register and use) and discuss your theories with other fans. I like hearing what you guys think is really going on, and I’ll often tease some info for the upcoming episodes.

17. Will Sam’s next Leap ever be the Leap Home?

The last episode of QLS5 kind of prevents that from being permanent. I’d like to think that Sam makes it home one day, even for a short visit. Stay tuned..!

18. Ed and Al seem to be kindred spirits these days. Did you plan that all along?

Sometimes characters and their relationships evolve while you’re putting words on the page, and you can’t do anything but just let it happen. So, it wasn’t my original intention, but their relationship just became so perfect as the series progressed. When I have to write an Ed/Al scene, I just get out of the way and let the characters do all the work.

19. In QES2E02, Sam Leaped into a character that was stuck underneath a bunch of rubble after a big earthquake. Did he Leap into Ed?

Sam Leaped into that character for only a few minutes, but that was all that was necessary for the purposes of that character. We’ll revisit that Leap in the future, but I’m not saying when. All will be revealed by the end..!

20. Thanks for this FAQ.

Thanks for reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Diabetes Medication Commercials Are Biased

A Typical American Family Watching Television

A Typical American Family Watching Television

I read books. But I also watch television, and plenty of it. To say that I actively monitor and follow 46 television shows during the usual Fall to Spring television season would be no hyperbole. Forty-six! Do you know how much of that can be classified as hour-long? Seventy percent!! I track shows broadcast on network TV, cable, pay channels, and specialty package cable! So when it comes to having a finger on the pulse of America and a hand in a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, let’s just say I’m the freaking best. And being the best means navigating the entertainment world with a sharp eye, keen button-pushing reflexes, and the stamina of a Golden Glove winner. Seriously, try keeping up with even 10 shows a season and you’ll realize how much work it really takes.

Anyway, some of these shows I watch live, so I can’t perform the now-classic DVR Commercial Skip Maneuver‚ĄĘ. It’s like I’m watching TV in 1999, and I get to experience television commercials the way the sponsors intended. Quiz me about Five Dollar Footlongs, Biz Stain Fighter, and soda swilling Ursus maritimus, and I’ll have your head spinning with my lightning-fast recall of advertising factoids. One thing I’ve gleaned from my incredibly obnoxious intake of television is that ads can come off a little biased against one group or another. Sometimes it’s a gender bias, like the AXE Body Spray ads where they depict hot women as complete nymphomaniacs who have somehow contracted Group Rapemind‚ĄĘ when they detect some layabout wearing AXE. On the flip side, commercials for almost every household cleaner, banking service, frozen meal, and color printer feature a shlubby guy ignorant about something and his attractive, smart, and confident wife comes in and teaches him a lesson and reminds him who really wears the pants. Just imagine an ad with ten dudes ripping off a woman’s clothes because she smells nice, or imagine a husband talking down to his dolt of a wife who didn’t know one doesn’t have to make appointments at Jiffy Lube. There would be rioting in the streets! Bias, and sometimes even extreme prejudice, can seep into the media messages.

Let’s not forget that famous 1997 vacuum cleaner spot where the one guy calls the other guy a faggot in front of his mother. By today’s standards, it’s hard to believe that ran for 6 months and won a CLIO.

Another thing I’ve noticed while giving in to my disturbing habit is that all diabetes medication commercials are extremely biased against people without diabetes. None of these ads talk about how the medication could affect individuals who have no need for it, which makes it feel like only certain people are targeted in these ads. Some spots talk about how you can get free blood sugar testers if you have diabetes and are on Medicare. What about the folks who don’t have diabetes, you say? Is there an avenue for them to get free testing equipment? You’d never hear about it in these commercials!

Of course, advertisers have certain demographics they want to reach. That’s why you normally won’t see Fruit By The Foot commercials during CSI: Miami and you won’t often see Cialis spots during reruns of iCarly. However, diabetes affects nearly 1 in 10 Americans, plus the 1 in 6 who are basically pre-diabetic, so I think everyone has a stake in folks getting all the facts. Something must be done against these biased commercials. You might say that if I don’t like the commercials, then I can turn the channel or not patronize the companies, but that sounds defeatist.

USA!The truth is racism in America isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s only growing and there is nothing we can do to stop it. But one thing we can do is get the word out to make everyone understand there is bias in our diabetes advertisements. I think we can agree all Americans deserve to be addressed in the spots, not just the ones with the illness. Once everyone is on the same page, we can begin to move beyond the dark age of diabetes medication commercials. So let’s all do our part make this country great again so I can get back to the newest episode of Burn Notice.

Our Warp Drive Problem Requires A Sexy Engineering Solution

Sorry, is there a problem I can solve for you?

Engineering problems? How about I give you a hand?

Being an engineer on a starship is at once an extremely difficult and incredibly fulfilling profession. Interstellar travel requires you¬†to know so many levels of physics and math and mechanics that go way beyond the standards for inter-atmospheric propulsion. We’re talking about traveling at multiples of the speed of light through space! It’s no easy thing. I’m not¬†even qualified to be Chief Engineer; I’m still years away from¬†being good enough for that level of responsibility. So I spend most of my days monitoring,¬†cleaning and calibrating¬†plasma manifolds and¬†anti-matter injectors¬†and¬†power relays.¬†But do you want to know the best part of the job these days? Whenever there is a major¬†engineering¬†problem, especially¬†with our quantum warp drive, it usually requires a sexy solution.

Last year, a consultant joined our crew after one of our more harrowing adventures through this vast frontier. She has made a tremendous impact in all areas of the ship, including Engineering, Communications, Navigation, and Astrometrics. Also, one hundred percent of all major Engineering problems she has worked on required some sort of sexy solution. She is utterly brilliant and extremely attractive, and she has this grace about her that reminds you of a ballet dancer. She moves so calmly and smoothly, never with any unnecessary movements. When she solves problems and saves the ship from near disaster, she practically glides through the ship, fluidly entering rooms with unmatched poise. Her brains and beauty and crisis management skills are so damn sexy.

Our Consultant

Would you like to see my scans?

Take last month, for example. We made a detour from our original course to travel through a Class 2 nebula and get some sensor readings because our goofy captain just looooves to do scientific exploration at every turn. To our horror, the nebula turned out to be a sentient being that quickly enveloped us and completely shut down our systems by draining power from the ship. We could not communicate with the creature at first, and everyone in Engineering was scrambling to figure out how to escape before we lost life support. But then our cool-headed consultant fired up a console and noticed a pattern in our sensor readings. She correctly determined that the creature was trying to communicate through minute radiation bursts off our port side. She recommended that we manually adjust the frequency of our shield harmonics to simulate the same patterns to tell the creature we meant no harm. I went with her deep into the narrow conduits with my portable phase inducer to make the proper adjustments, but those trips always require unusual contorting body movements, forcing us to reach and stretch deep into the panel to make any changes. The way she had to bend over the neutrino collection tube and twist her torso to reach the power nodes was beyond sexy.

Listen, I’m not just some perverted grease monkey.¬† Just about everyone on the ship agrees with me on this.¬†No one has any illusions about her skills and intellect, but she has other assets that get the job done. She is the most intelligent and analytical person the ship, but there is more going on with her. And I swear, I think I once heard our female captain say to her over the communication system, “Report to the bridge. We have a problem and we need your sexy expertise. Your sexpertise.”

There was an incident¬†two weeks ago¬†where the characters on our holographic simulation theater became self-aware for, like, the tenth time in three years. They basically held the Commander, our Captain’s second-in-command, hostage. We were locked out of all hologram systems and time was running out to save him. Well, Engineering¬†powers the entire ship so¬†our department¬†had to come up with a solution. We couldn’t cut power to the holo-systems without frying the circuits on half the ship because our feedback redundancies were turned off. But our consultant was monitoring the situation and determined the leader in the holo-sim, a character called Al Capone, was directly linked to all system interfaces. If we deactivated him, we could restore control to all ship systems and save our Commander’s life. But how do you kill a hologram? She said a magnetic field inverter placed on Capone would destabilize his program and destroy him, but it was impossible to get close to him without Capone killing the Commander. Fortunately, Capone had one weakness: “foxy dames with killer gams.” Enter our consultant in heels and a slim red dress with a slit that went all the way up. Some playful banter and two holo-tinis later she was able to slam the inverter onto his chest and deactivate him, saving the Commander. The sexy solution wins again.

Ready to consult for you.

Reporting for duty

She really has got it all, but¬†even she is not perfect; every now and then she loses her mind and tries to kill everybody on board. But I suppose one would have the occasional psychotic episode after being disconnected from a hive mind of billions and have to explore your humanity while serving on a starship that is nearly destroyed every few days by astrological phenomena and aggressive weirdo aliens with proton cannons. It’s fortunate our captain can talk her down from the ledge when necessary, because our brilliant life-saving engineering maneuvers wouldn’t be nearly as sexy.

I don’t even have time to describe¬†what happened last week, but let’s just say this. In saving the ship from some photonic-based lifeforms that invaded our infuser coils, she¬†ended up¬†drenched head to toe in warp coolant, and I had to hose her down with decontamination fluid to make sure she did not suffer any ill-effects.

Yes, life on a starship can be both hazardous and monotonous for a low-level engineer, but the excitement and sexy problem-solving that comes with the territory makes the job all the more worthwhile.

We need American Gladiators now, more than ever

Hot off the success of my terribly conceived and poorly writen Hayden Panettiere¬†post the other day, I thought I’d try to stick with another NBC show¬†for my latest. Of course, all fans of this blog know that¬†NBC shows have shown up quite often in my first thirty posts. I believe I mentioned Cheers, Frasier, Friends, The Cosby Show, Ed, and Scrubs, and probably all in the same post.American Gladiators!

ANYWAY, I believe¬†now is a time for Americans¬†to¬†take a moment to reflect the current state of our country. With increasing gas prices, bridges collapsing,¬†a¬†supposed “global warming” scare, the rise of secularism,¬†and a black man running for President, most Americans don’t know where to turn for answers or comfort. This post-9/11 world reminds us every day that Everything’s Changed. Stars are dancing, idols are singing, and sub sandwiches can be purchased for an even five dollars.¬†Last year CNN dedicated an unbelievable amount of hours to the death and funeral of Anna Nicole Smith, whose contribution to¬†society was, what, exactly?¬†Of course, there are no more easy answers.

That is why, now more than ever, we need American Gladiators. The hit show grabs somewhere around 113 million viewers every week, dazzling the citizens of this great country with feats of athletic Americans squaring off against unbelievably large and/or attractive Gladiators. Normal, everyday people, who mostly hail from upper middle class backgrounds, are the contenders who face off against the Gladiator powerhouses. Those contenders are there to tell us that everything is going to be okay. Your dreams of being on television do not have to submit to the disgusting standards of Tila Tequila or The Littlest Groom. You too can one day be upper middle class, or athletic, or a Gladiator. Maybe all three.

When the liberal mainstream media shows us a world where people are dying on the street and babies are having babies, where politicians want to tax you just for living, where suicide bombers blow up dozens of innocent people and our young men and women fight for our freedom in some mystical far-off desert wasteland, where it’s alternately in vogue and out of style to crack jokes about Starbucks,¬†this¬†country¬†will always have American Gladiators to show us that things can be simple. Nothing is more straightforward than Joust, where contenders must hit or be hit with sticks. Survive for 30 seconds or knock a Gladiator into the water to score points. Fall in the water yourself, you get nothing. If only life could be so black and white.

American Gladiators?But that’s the point. Most often, life is not like going head to head against Justice on Pyramid, racing up The Wall hoping that Venom does not pull you off, or wrestling Wolf on Earthquake. But for those brief thirty seconds, those contenders represent what is great about America. They represent perseverance, optimism and surmounting great challenges. In short, those contenders¬†represent the American Way of Life. The battles in the Gladiator Arena are not battles of good versus evil, they are more like battles of man versus self¬†than man¬†versus man. We are idealized through those contenders.

The battle inside is not whether or not you will pinch the occasional office supply. The battle is deciding whether or not pinching those binder clips is unethical to you. We must answer the bigger challenges inside of ourselves. Every day we must battle the Titan or Crush inside to help us choose to help our fellow man, use manners and be polite, make someone smile, or tip over 15%.  The world is full of too many gray areas, the Gladiators must show us who we are really made of and if we will accept the losses along with the victories. We need them now, more than ever, to reach self-actualization.

Thank you, Gladiators. Show us the way.

America Gearing Up to be Interested in Hayden Panettiere Again

The Cheerleader, played by Hayden PanettiereWith less than three months left before the Season 3 premiere of HEROES, America is getting ready to bring Hayden Panettiere, the young star of the NBC hit phenom, back to the forefront of¬†its consciousness. Filming has already begun for the next season of the¬†hit¬†series and according to Tim Kring, the show’s creator, everybody involved is excited to have Panettiere (and to a lesser extent, the show itself) regularly grace the covers of sci-fi magazines, Entertainment Weekly, the¬†weekend pop culture section of local newspapers,¬†and the LIFE section of USA TODAY. “It’s been a dry six months for Hayden,” Kring said in a conference call to any and all reporters and fans who would listen. “But she is ready to be back in the last story¬†of the early evening local news broadcast.”

The last time more than 2 million people were even aware of Penetierre at one single moment was during the HEROES season finale, which aired on December 3, 2007. All data collected since then indicates that no more than eight dozen people at one time have thought about, researched, Google-searched, or fantasized about Panettiere since December 4, 2007 at approximately 2:30pm EST.

“Sure, there were some press releases and human interest stories about Hayden’s charitable efforts to save dolphins or something earlier this year,” Kring said. But those stories failed to capture the hearts of Americans who would much¬†rather¬†hear about Panettiere’s work on HEROES, and her previous work on GUIDING LIGHT and ALLY MCBEAL. There was a slight buzz when one of the press release headlines read “HEROES Star Leads Cheer to Save Dolphins,” and it included a publicity photo of Panettiere dressed as her Cheerleader character from the first season, but that quickly faded as the release¬†only mentioned that she is cast member on HEROES and neglects say anything about the new season.

“I can’t believe that cute little Hayden has grown up into this beautiful young star in Hollywood,” says one fan. “It’s almost like she is an indestructible force, much like her character Claire on NBC’s hit show HEROES. I just wish the media would remind me of that every week before and after the show comes back on the air. I’d also like to know which superpower she would most like to have, whether it’s a power that’s been featured on the show or something else entirely.”

“Masi [Oka, who plays Hiro Nakamura on the hit show HEROES] is also excited to talk to entertainment reporters and news magazines this fall,” Kring told reporters. “From what I understand,¬†his agent has not heard from anyone since¬†the week before last Christmas,” where a young researcher from Entertainment Weekly called to see if the star knew how Panettiere might be spending¬†her time during the holidays. The story¬†was bumped from the issue for a 65-word ‘Quick Hit’ piece on Seth McFarlane, creator of FOX’s FAMILY GUY. Masi Oka usually enjoys a nice boost in media coverage while the show is on the air and he regularly fields questions about playing endearing hero Hiro, who helps his fellow heroes – inlcuding Panettiere’s Claire – on HEROES with his time-controlling abilities. “America is just about¬†ready to talk about Oka’s command of the English language and his¬†heritage again,” Kring¬†said. “The country needs to be reminded that while Oka is Japanese-born, he has lived in the U.S. since he was six years old and speaks English and Japanese fluently.”

Come August, there will be a massive demand for new information on Panettiere and HEROES, and the media is prepared to ask the hard questions like, “We’ve been hearing ‘save the cheerleader, save the world,’ for quite a awhile, and while Claire was saved in the first season, does that means the world is safe?”¬†And¬†Kring says he will let the hints fly at the end of the summer, but right now he wants to get the first half of the season complete. “Hayden will be available to answer that question and many more once we have episodes in the can,” Kring promises.

The third season of HEROES, starring Hayden Panettiere, premieres on NBC on September 22 at 9/8c.

I love Amazon.com!

Going through some old e-mails in my Yahoo acccount, I like to see what kind of cool stuff I forgot I had. It’s fun¬†to go through the old search box¬†with some different terms and see what pops out. I decided to to find any e-mails I sent or received that had “Star Trek” somewhere in them. I’m a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but not in that convention-going way, more in that I’m-also-a-fan-of-Frasier kind of way.

ANYWAY, below is an excerpt from an actual e-mail I received from Amazon.com with one of their helpful product recommendations in May 2006. Screenshot at the end.

How awesome is this:

“We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased Star Trek The Next Generation – The Complete Second Season also purchased Alf: Season Three on DVD. For this reason, you might like to know that Alf: Season Three will be released on May 30, 2006 on DVD. You can pre-order yours at a savings of 30% by following the link below.”

Keep in mind I purchased that Next Generation set¬†in 2002 or 2003 because I spent lots of money on this sort of thing back then.¬†And, three years later, Amazon figured they could maximize their potential revenue on Alf: Season Three by recommending it¬†to dorks like me because one moron bought these two disparate items.¬†I’m a little offended, though, and I suppose all Star Trek fans should be, because Amazon certainly wasn’t going to get much cash out of people who would buy it “ironically,” but from folks who – according to Amazon – really, really¬†enjoy stuff it considers to be incredibly dumb shit.

And a big “F You!” to the weirdo who pre-ordered (PRE-ORDERED!!!) Alf: Season Three; you made¬†my favorite online retailer¬†think I’m just like you. You make me sick.

Amazon recommends for you...

Huh, they also thought I might enjoy Frasier, too. How about that?

Holy Shit, “Ed” was on TV for 4 Seasons!

Whoa, guys, check this out. I was dicking around on IMDB earlier and found out some startling news. Did you know NBC had an award-winning show called “Ed”? Seriously, it won a TV Guide Award along with a People’s Choice, and it had multiple Emmy nominations in the first season. Holy shit,¬†check this out:¬†it was on TV for¬†4 seasons! Four! It says here that¬†83 episodes were produced. 83 hours of television on the Network that was number one for like 15 years!

Seriously, raise your hands if you’ve heard of this show. Apparently, it starred the guy who played Zach Braff’s brother on “Scrubs”. You know, back then I knew that guy looked familiar. Maybe I remember seeing his face on commercials for the show back when I got high and watched “Scrubs.”

The Cast of ED?????

Wait, what the hell? Fucking Michael Ian Black was on the show for ALL 83 episodes???? The comedian who captured our hearts with “The State” and “Viva Variety” and “Stella” was a regular on an hour-long dramedy on NBC for 4 years?? The guy who continues to change the face of Hollywood with his screenplays and comedic turns on various shows?

I… I don’t understand. Okay, okay, who actually knew about this? Let’s think this through. Someone had to greenlight this show, and it ran from 2000 to 2004. God, think of the untold millions of dollars spent on funding this thing!¬†Can you believe this show likely kept around 300 people employed for a stretch¬†during those four years?

Did you know Justin Long was also a series regular,¬†credited for ALL 83 episodes? The guy who headlined his own terrible comedic movie? The MAC in the MAC vs. PC commercials for Apple? The comic relief from “Live Free or Die Hard?” The¬†guy currently kickin’ it with Drew Barrymore??¬†Good grief!

It says here the show got cancelled due to low ratings for the 4th season. Well, shit, I would think it would have been gone after 3 episodes because who the hell heard of this show? You’d think I would have remembered NBC promoting this. I watched plenty of “Friends” and “Will & Grace” back then, surely this this thing would have clicked with¬†me.

The same network that had “The Cosby Show,” “Cheers,” and “Frasier” had a show called “Ed.” Golly, who knew? Consider my mind BLOWN.

Top 5 “Journeyman” storylines I’m looking forward to

JOURNEYMAN is today’s answer for the classic time-traveling for the betterment of humanity show. A fantastic cast, smartly written episodes, and just the right amount of humanity form a potentially breakout hit. Ignoring the obvious cutting down from a two hour pilot to a one-hour episode, each episode is done well and gives just the right amount of new information to keep us hooked. This show is in danger of not being picked up for a full season,¬†and looks like CHUCK and LIFE are safe. The ratings for the next new episode on December 10 will be a major determining factor. Improvement will mean a pickup, remaining steady may keep it in limbo, and any decline would assuredly get it cancelled. And this writers strike just adds another dangerous variable.

http://www.nbc.com/Journeyman/ 

The Cast

Well, let’s assume the show can get a full season pickup and renewed for next season (the WGA strike not withstanding)…. In no particular order, here are the top 5 potential storylines I’m looking forward to:

The one where Dan travels outside the San Francisco Bay area

Up to this point, the show has followed a careful, contained formula. The show is about Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd), a newpaper¬†journalist who keeps getting involuntarily pulled into the past to help a specific person in various points in his or her life, but Dan must struggle to keep up¬†his marriage and family life in the present. Fortunately, Dan’s travels keep him in San Francisco, the city he was born, raised, and currently resides in. He operates in relatively familiar territory, just in the past. His resources at the paper, cunning investigative skills, and instincts allow him to figure out his mission and execute it within the 44-minute episode. The show tactfully avoids the LOST-type cliffhangers and mysteries (who/what is pulling him through time, why does Livia travel from the past always to Dan’s mission, etc), and it slowly reveals only necessary information to the audience. The mysteries behind it are interesting, but, unlike LOST,¬†they are not the real reasons you tune in. Anyway, Dan will inevitably have to travel outside the comfort zone of Frisco and into unfamiliar lands, perhaps Cleveland or Hong Kong, as the show continues to slowly expand the limits of what we can see Dan accomplish.

The one where Future Dan comes back to help himself on a mission in the present (scar, odd haircut optional)

While Dan wants to get a handle on his time traveling and¬†figure out how to stop it somehow, we have to assume that¬†he will¬†be making¬†leaps through time for¬†the rest of his life.¬†We can also assume that¬†as he jumps within the confines San Francisco, his future self would probably come back and intersect with him in the present for some scheme. If you were a time traveling hero, wouldn’t you use your past self to accomplish your mission?

The one where Dan travels to the future 

Dan will have to eventually give us a glimpse of the future, and it won’t look much different than the present. Just sillier haircuts and interesting gadgets.

The one where Dan inserts himself in history as the direct cause of some event the entire world already knows about, even though it contradicts the internal logic of the show’s time jumping

No one wants to see Dan somehow being in the right place at the right time so the correct cable is plugged in so everyone can watch the moon landing in 1969, but it is an irresistible angle for a show about time travel. But we see how Dan’s actions in the past directly affect his present (see the conversation Dan had with Jack about his time traveling –¬†it turns out that never happened, due¬†to Dan’s meddling¬†in the past), so if he suddenly becomes the catalyst for a world-changing event that us, the audience, have already experienced, it would just be a cheap way to let us relate to Dan. The only way it could work without turning my stomach would be for him to be a ‘replacement’. In other words, he wasn’t originally there to plug in that cable, but he was standing next to the guy who was and so just decided to do it himself. Either way, the cable gets plugged in, but Dan is the one who accomplishes it. I hope they avoid this cliche altogether, but with how clever this show is I would like to see how they decide to do it.

The one where the show officially jumps the shark and creates a really silly premise where that physics professor starts giving Dan help and tools to use during his time travelling.

Ugh. There are a million ways to make something like this not work. I don’t know what creator Kevin Falls has in mind, but they’re clearly pointing to FBI Agent Garrity (played by¬†Paul Schulze)¬†and the physics professor (played by Tom Everett) to having specific prior knowledge about time travel. Those interested in the mystery behind Dan’s travels should be salivating by this point. Other people potentially know what’s going on!!

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I’ve been known¬†to get behind some really terrible ideas, like paying full price to see DEAD MAN ON CAMPUS and MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION,¬†to name two. But those who know me also know¬†my tastes have evolved and I’ve¬†backed some really solid entertainment lately.¬†And I fully advocate watching JOURNEYMAN, and most people who have seen it would likely agree. Set the DVR and watch it at your leisure or over at nbc.com. The series¬†settles in quite nicely¬†with the¬†everyman-hero shows that came out this year to capitalize on the unexpected success of Tim Kring’s HEROES. You don’t have to think too hard, you don’t get jerked around by perpetually appearing¬†mysteries, and each episode will satisfy with a solid story. The actors have the “it” factor you look for in a main and supporting cast and none of them appear out of place or outdo each other. Please watch and enjoy.