Email Roundtable #51: TV in Fits and Spurts, or what we watch when we are busy

Kerri and Jane attempt to discuss how they fill their down-time during busy times.

Jane: So, full disclosure, Kerri and I are both fully immersed and crazily busy with the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Obviously, we still have time for TV; meaning we have some things to say this week. We’ve discovered that both of us turn to cooking shows during those hectic, busy days when we have a bit of time to ourselves. Kerri, why are cooking shows so important to your down-time and what are the favourites that you rely on? Continue reading

Best Cooking Show Ever.

The blog rotation has fallen on me this week and, as fate should have it, Breaking Bad wrapped. I was going to pontificate about my latest passion which has become mid-nineties Australian sitcoms – but the timing isn’t proper. The fine folks at AMC decided to thumb its nose at the Netflix enthusiasts and DVD buyers of world. They put one of their franchise shows, Breaking Bad, on in marathon form in a build up to this season. Friday nights were marathon sessions. I missed it during the first run and was very miffed when Bryan Cranston would beat out Don Draper at the Emmys. To me, Cranston will always be Malcolm’s dad. I hated Malcolm in the Middle. He was Tim Whatley, Jerry Seinfeld’s lecherous dentist. I knew him on the pilot episode of the Pam Anderson action series VIP -but his work as meth master Walter White must be celebrated. As he moved from sheepish milquetoast to evil drug lord, he turned into having the traits of a great wrestling champion. He started off as a good guy, with tag team partners like Hank and his wife. He had a protégé to mentor and bail him out in Jesse. Then he got a manager, in lawyer Saul. He battled in feuds with the likes of contenders to his meth title with the likes of Tuco, the grizzled Mike, and Gus. Like the great wrestler he became a villain. The bad guy. He turned on his wife, Hank, and his son. He put on his literal black hat with greed and power taking over for family loyalty. And in ultimate wrestling fashion, left to go to do movies. Continue reading

Email Roundtable #25 – The Friends (but not those Friends) Edition

We are all friends here at The Golden Age of Television. We spend a fair amount of time outside of this space together. This week in a “take home” Email Roundtable we decided to discuss our favourite TV friendships.

Kerri: When I was formulating the question for this week I didn’t give an awful lot of thought to my answer. I knew that I wanted to select a friendship between two or more women but that proved really difficult. Sex and the City presents female friendship in a way that has nothing to do with my own. In fact, I think a lot of shows use friendship (and especially female friendship) improperly. Continue reading

Email Roundtable #16 – Family Time

It was Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and Family Day in other parts of Canada on Monday. On that note, we thought we’d have a potluck-style Roundtable and discuss the shows we remember watching with our family.

Family and Car

Jane: Watching TV with my Grandparents created some of my favorite memories as a child and as a grownup. As a child there were strict TV rules. Bedtime was directly after Cheers and there was to be no talking during the final segment of Wheel of Fortune. My Grandpa had a thing for Vanna White and that was the only time she got to speak. Later in life my Grandpa’s favorite show was “the written news” aka The Weather Channel. My Grandma and I would patiently watch with him, until it was time for his nap, when we would flip to that crazy Hyacinth Bucket on Keeping Up Appearances. If I didn’t laugh at the funny parts my Grandma would explain them to me.

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Quintessential Quintuplets of Television

Written and Conceived by Raphael Saray

Hey Yo, I’m the only dude writing for this whoopteedoo. I was asked to contribute and thought about waxing poetic about bosoms and football, but that would probably be better served for So, I’ll start with a solid top 5 examination of my favorite TV moments. In no particular order as that would be like picking my flat screen Sanyo’d children.

Jim tells Pam he loves her – The Office

I’ve lost touch with The Office. I don’t know who the new boss is or if Cece is being played by Abigail Breslin or Skyler Lavigne-Kroeger. The first five or six seasons were very enjoyable. What should’ve been the series finale was Jim declaring his undying love for Pam, but I can see how keeping such a plot device in one’s back pocket would be difficult. It was unexpected and I was floored. Full fledged shaking, knowing that this was what TV can be. As Jim goes through his “I want more than that” spiel and Pam nervously mutters – “don’t…please don’t do this” My mouth was agape. It was well written and very well acted to the point where I had a solid adrenaline rush. The kiss afterward in the actual office was a bit much for me but those two in the parking lot is still for me some of the best TV…ever. I kept up with The Office well passed the point I enjoyed it because I felt I owed it something for giving me that. I can’t watch that scene when it comes on again in syndication. It only works if you don’t see it coming.

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Email Roundtable #4 – Candy Corn Edition

Kerri: There are a couple of Halloween episodes of television shows that made a pretty big impression on me when I was a kid.

Katie: A Halloween themed episode is almost certain to tickle my delight bone.

Jane: Up there on my list is the Community Halloween special where everybody is turned into Zombies. Although zombies aren’t my thing, I will watch a zombie apocalypse scored by ABBA songs any day!

Kerri: That Community episode is stellar, Jane, one of the more creative Halloween episodes I have seen in recent years

One of mine is the pretty much universally hated Halloween episode of My So-Called Life where Claire Danes meets a hot boy ghost! It was basically the exact opposite of the rest of the series, which, generally, is incredibly realistic. But I enjoyed it as a kid because I loved ghost stories and I also loved that the little sister, Danielle, dresses up as her older sister, Angela, for Halloween. That is something I remember doing myself, not for Halloween mind you…

Although, I think that what I like most about that episode is what I like about most Halloween episodes: Characters that you know well are allowed to act like completely different people. In fact, that’s what I like about Halloween the day too!

And obviously the “Treehouse of Horror” Simpsons episodes are also a childhood favourite. There is an awful lot you can do in an animated series that you can’t really do in a live action show. Basically, the rest of the series is forgotten for these episodes and the Simpson family and other folks in Springfield just play the parts of classic horror characters. My favourite: “The Shinning”.

Katie: The best Halloween episode, in my opinion, is from Season 2 of The Office (US). Michael was supposed to fire an employee by the end of the month but he left it until Halloween day. Then over the course of the episode he fires 3 or 4 unsuccessfully and 1 successfully.

Throughout the episode, Michael is such a dick but it’s only because he cares about everyone so much. He doesn’t want to fire anyone. The moment at the end of the episode when Michael is alone in his house, handing out candy to trick-or-treats is devastating. Continue reading