Archive for TV

17 Things I’ve learned about life from watching movies and TV

Posted in hollywood life lessons, humor, movies, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on March 4, 2010 by Paxton

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My wife and I watch a lot of movies and TV shows. We love the s**t out of them. We try to see a movie at least every weekend and we have multiple shows we watch during the week. It’s hectic keeping up with that.

However, having watched all of these movies and TV shows, we have come to take away many deep and thoughtful life lessons. Things you can’t learn by living life, but by watching hours and hours of Hollywood entertainment.

So here are 17 things we’ve learned while watching all of these TV and movies.

Davy Jones
You will always have need of a celebrity (for a charity performance or prom) at the exact time that celebrity is in town for a concert or filming a movie/TV appearance. If you need to get in to see them, it’s very easy to sneak past or distract their security people because they are always completely ineffective. The celebrity will never get pissed that their security people suck and everyone keeps sneaking in to their hotel room.

Monica's Apt
Large, studio apartments (with or without wacky roommate[s]) are affordable even for the most meager of budgets. As are furnishings from Potterybarn or Crate and Barrel. College kids and people right out of college have immaculate decorating sense.

Jolie Wanted
If you are being held at gunpoint, start running away just as the shooter starts shooting and tip over a table/couch/chair to hide behind. The bullets won’t be able to hit you. Odds are the shooter is a terrible shot anyway, and will hit EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE ROOM except for you. If you do get hit, don’t worry, bullet wounds apparently don’t hurt very much as no one cries out or whimpers with a bullet in them. You mainly shrug it off and wait for someone to bandage you up (heavy, stuttered breathing and sweating may be the only symptom that you have been shot). You may also have a sudden urge to tell your partner to “go on without you”, even with a non-fatal bullet to the shoulder.

Dirty_Harry
When you walk into a room and see the person you are trying to capture or shoot, call out their name or yell ‘Hey!’ or ‘Stop!’ first to give them a sporting chance to run. The element of surprise is overrated…and unfair.

Mr Miyagi
If you are being bullied at school, seek out the friendly, ethnic janitor or find your apartment building’s gardener or handyman. All of these eccentric, foreign, older men were actually master martial artists back in their homeland and gave up the fame and glory of being badass tournament fighters to live the dream of being a janitor/handyman here in America.

Defeat
You can defeat a master martial artist who has been studying for his entire life if you spend a few weeks/months learning to fight from the aforementioned janitor or handyman.

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Cola Wars: Awesome Vintage Coke commercials

Posted in 80s, Coca Cola, New Coke, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Yesterday I was reminiscing about the Coke/Pepsi “Cola Wars” back in the ’80s and ’90s. I took a look back at a bunch of Pepsi’s most famous commercials from that era. If you missed it, I urge you to check it out.

Now, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin, Coca-Cola. They have come up with some pretty famous commercials of their own. Let’s take a look back in time at some of Coke’s most famous TV ads.


Coke’s 1971 Teach the World to Sing commercial (video above) is undoubtedly their most famous advertisement.  It is so famous that it received two official sequels.  First, during the 1971 holiday season, Coke released a Christmas version of the commercial that ended in darkness with all the candles the people were holding in the shape of a Christmas tree. Then, in 2005, Coke inexplicably allowed singer/songwriter G Love to create a horrible douchebag hipster alternative rock version called Teach the World to Chill.  Might have been a worse idea than New Coke.


If the “hilltop” commercial above isn’t Coke’s most famous, then this 1979 Mean Joe Greene commercial is.  It’s still today a fantastic commercial.  Of course, in 2009, Coke filmed a sequel to the Mean Joe Greene commercial with Troy Polamalu.


The 11:30 Diet Coke break from 1996 is another popular Coke commercial.  I remember it airing what felt like every 5 minutes.  And, wait, I’m shocked to say this, but, in 2007 Coke filmed a sequel to the 11:30 commercial.  Talk about milking a concept dry.  I wonder if any of Coke’s commercials haven’t had a sequel.

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Cola Wars: Awesome Vintage Pepsi commercials

Posted in 80s, advertising, commercials, Michael Jackson, Pepsi, pop culture, soda, TV with tags , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Pepsi and The Hoff

Shawn Robare over at Branded in the ’80s is reviewing his trip to the World of Coke in Atlanta and it got me thinking about the Cola Wars of the ’80s.  More specifically, soda commercials I loved during the Cola Wars.

I love the battle between Coke and Pepsi during the end of the last century.  So much awesome merchandising and memorabilia come out of that time period it’s mind boggling. Both Coke and Pepsi unleashed on our consciousness oodles of celebrities, pop songs, commercials and advertising that sculpted our current pop culture consciousness and is still remembered today.

Let’s take a look back at some of Pepsi’s best soda commercials.


Just this past weekend I watched Michael Jackson’s This Is It on Blu-Ray and loved it. The man new how to perform and he had SO MANY good songs. In the ’80s Michael was a pretty big spokesman for Pepsi and made several commercials (one in which he famously caught on fire). For me, one of the best, if not THE best, Pepsi commercial ever made was Jackson Street (clip above), which premiered on the 1983 Motown 25 TV Special. I still get goosebumps when I watch it. This commercial featured an unbelievably catchy jingle-version of Billie Jean. It also starred a young Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).  See another Pepsi commercial MJ made called The Chase.


Ray Charles’ “Uh-Huh” commercials were all over the place in the early ’90s. They had 6 or 7 versions of them including Ray in a courtroom and playing his twin brother, Irv. My favorite version came in 1993 which showed other celebrities (Charo, Tiny Tim, Bo Jackson, Jerry Lewis) auditioning for Ray’s singing part.


Around the time Michael Jackson was a Pepsi spokesman, another Michael (J. Fox) was also signed on.  Fox starred in several commercials, mainly for Diet Pepsi, that are considered classics.  The commercial above is one of his first featuring him in the library trying to be quiet while buying a Pepsi from a vending machine.  See another Pepsi classic called My New Neighbor here in which Fox tries desperately to find his hot, new neighbor a Diet Pepsi.

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ABC’s Awesome Saturday Morning Cartoon PSAs

Posted in cartoons, commercials, pop culture, TV with tags , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Paxton

Saturdays_on_ABC_smallMost of us remember waking up as kids on Saturday morning around 6am just to watch cartoons.  It was a ritual.  I did it, and I loved it.  There were so many good cartoons when I was a kid.  But it wasn’t just cartoons shows I remember from my early Saturday morning viewings, I remember fun and musical public service announcements that would air during commercial breaks.  We’ve all seen them.  They have colorful characters, clever songs and wind up teaching us about our government, good eating habits or proper hygeine.  The most remembered and visible of these public service announcements were the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. Airing on the ABC network, Schoolhouse Rock taught kids the Preamble to the Constitution, how your nervous system works and how a bill becomes a law. But ABC produced more than just the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. ABC produced scores of other cartoon PSAs with catchy tunes and fun mascots that taught kids about healthy eating and how to get a job. Many times these PSAs are lumped into Schoolhouse Rock when we think back on them, but they were separately produced with different voice actors.

Let’s look at some of the other awesome cartoon PSAs produced by ABC in the ’70s and ’80s.  You will probably remember most of these, if not, your welcome for putting songs about nutty snack mix into your head for the next 12 hours.

timer1timer_fridge1
Time for Timer – ABC starting producing these “Timer” commercials in the early ’70s. These are probably the most remembered shorts next to Schoolhouse Rock as they played well into the 1990s.  I actually didn’t realize this little guy’s name was Timer, even though I’ve seen the clips a thousand times and at the beginning of every one he says, “Time for Timer!”.  I’m not even sure I knew what that meant.  Now, I get it.  Timer was supposed to represent a person’s “biological clock”.  He carried around a giant stopwatch that went off whenever something was about to happen in the body (hunger, sleepiness, etc).  None of the Timer shorts have titles, they are known by their catchy songs.  His most famous is probably “Hanker for a Hunka Cheese!”.  Another favorite of mine is “Sunshine on a Stick” where Timer teaches us how to make ice pops using orange juice. I remember actually doing this several times.  I also love the “Eat Breakfast” short because the song is catchy (it actually reminds me of the songs in a Rankin-Bass Christmas Special).  There’s also “U Are What U Eat” which features cool animation of the “factory” in your body. Timer was so popular that he actually made an appearance on Family Guy.

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TV Technology to Prevent Skipping Commercials? Yes.

Posted in technology, TV with tags , on May 4, 2006 by Paxton

”TV

I was checking some tech/entertainment news this morning and this article caused me to do a spit take all over myself and my computer. After wiping up Full Throttle energy drink from my pants and in my cubicle, and then apologizing to the people around me, I got back to reading the article.  Apparently, Royal Phillips Company, also known as Phillips and one of the world’s leading electronics companies, has developed, and is trying to patent, a technology that would freeze the TV channel when commercials are airing.  This technology would reside either on the TV itself or in a set-top cable box and would force TV viewers to watch commercials.

Being a TiVo owner, I have come to loathe commercials like poison.  It’s so nice to be able to flip the fast forward button twice and get right back to the show.  After having done this for so long, the idea of being forced to watch commercials causes my banana and breakfast bar to make a return visit to my esophagus.  Every once in a while, my wife and I will watch a show live and have to sit through commercials.  It’s like water torture.  Not only are most commercials extremely irritating with fast-cut MTV editing, they are broadcast at least one and a half times louder than the show you are watching.  I do admit that there are some commercials I enjoy watching.  The Geico commercials are funny with the gecko and his limey accent.  I also enjoy the Burger King big-buckin’ chicken commercial.  Bud Light will always come up with some genius spots also (to check out the latest funny Bud Light commercials go here).

This technology, however maddening or close to patent it is, could never survive real life testing.  Consumer corporations like Sony and JVC may buy it and put it in their TVs, Motorola and Texas Instruments may buy it and put it in their cable boxes.  This is a technology you know the networks and ad executives can get behind.  And all of this can be implemented inside your hardware and not turned on.  As a matter of fact, this technology could be bundled with a larger service pack and the cable companies told they need it on their boxes to be able to capture the satellite signals.  It will then sit there until one of the companies gets the testicular fortitude to turn it on for a test audience.  The minute Joe Six-Pack can’t change the channel during commercials, he’ll flood the cable company with calls thinking his box is broken or malfunctioning.  The cable company may or may not know what is going on.  The technology will then be turned off and labeled a glitch in the system.  That’s how, in all likely-hood it should play out.

At least I hope so, because if I’m forced to watch commercials, the next logical step is staking out a small place of business and taking a hostage.  You can see me on the news, while being forced to watch the commercials.

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