Some Endings…(and some that SHOULD Be)

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Here we are well into 2017 and this is my first post to this blog of the new year.

I had decided to wait long enough for the political dust to settle, but I figured that everyone is so polarized that I could be waiting forever.

Certainly, 2016 was not a fun year as my health took a major step backwards and I had several longtime friends decide to no longer want to be friends, some who were friends over 30 years.  Apparently, they felt that I was too polarizing for them.

I also didn’t want to offend any friends if I could help it.  As an examle, one of my friend’s father had passed away.  I decided to make neither a comment or leave an emoticon as I felt that the last time I made any comment I was blasted by one of their family members as I felt that the picture was funny.  Unfortunately, I decided not to let my feelings known in this very sad occasion.

It was best that I kept a fairly low profile when my health started slipping.  At this point, I still am not out of the woods regarding my health and therefore haven’t been writing much.  It is for this reason that I will not be offering any future annual predictions.  However, I will give the results of last year’s predictions.

So here are last year’s predictions and the results:

  • The Dow will slip to a low of 9,000. (No, didn’t happen.)
  • JCPenney will file for bankruptcy and close all its stores. (No, didn’t happen however the future of the local one is questionable as I write this.)
  • Sears/Kmart will close at least half of their remaining locations before going out of business by year’s end. (Not yet)
  • OfficeDepot/OfficeMax will shut all their locations to allow Staples to buy the company and satisfy the government. (Nope)
  • Playboy will have centerfolds again by September after suffering a huge drop in readers and its main focus will be on getting celebrities to pose for the pictures. ( They have returned so I was only about 5 months off..so I am calling this partly yes.)
  • Nickelodeon will replace all its programming with imported teen shows similar to what happened to Teen Nick over the past few years. (No, but the future of the network is in jeopardy.)
  • Star Wars 8 will be delayed as a major accident on the set causes filming to cease. (No, but the death of Carrie Fisher may slow down the next one.)
  • The Muppets will not see a second season. (Who really thought this mess would not get cancelled?)
  • The Voice gets cancelled. (Despite no big name winners, this show still slugs along.)
  • A new format superseding Blu-ray will be introduced, but will fail as it will not be embraced. (If you call Ultra 4k a new format, then it has not been a huge seller yet, but then again 3D discs are becoming scarce.)
  • MTV, CMT and VH1 will merge into one station. (The future of these Viacom stations are questionable at this point.)
  • Windows 10 will experience a widespread update problem that causes updates to fail for weeks. (Although some problems have existed, updates have been not interrupted much.)
  • Kylie and Kendall Jenner will both get pregnant. (As far as I know, this didn’t happen yet unless a big bombshell happens.)

Out of 13 predictions, I am calling 6 halves and only 1 fully correct.  I may bring predictions back in the future if people request it, otherwise they are history.

Now onto other topics:

“Girl Meets World” has officially been cancelled by Disney Channel.  After 3 seasons, this show has been tossed to the curb.  While I haven’t finished the last 4 episodes, I have no idea how this series will end.

I have read that there is an effort to have this show be revived somewhere else.  One of them was Netflix.  I don’t think this would be a good choice as this show is more of a linear show and not one that could be watched in some random order.  Since I don’t have this service, I cannot think that this would be a great move.
Another option would be to put this on Freeform or as I like to call it the “Harry Potter” network since these movies are always on.  They have 3 series “Switched at Birth”,”The Fosters” and “Pretty Little Liars”, all of which are soon ending.  The problem with putting the show on this network is that there are only 2 comedies and neither are what I would call family-friendly.  Unless this network revamped its entire lineup, this show would never have a chance.

My choice would be to put this show on Friday nights on abc, preferably at 8:30pm – the slot currently occupied by “Dr. Ken”. The best thing about putting this show on Friday is that it’s predecessor was on that night for several years.  Hopefully, this could happen and save this good show.

However I cannot say the same for “Riverdale”.  If you grew up in the 1970’s, then you might remember the Archie cartoon series or if you are older you might know the comic book series.  Unfortunately, this show is not a thing like it’s pedigree should be.  This show is more like a fanboy sick fantasy than a really great show.  This show has it all: murder, interracial relationships, lesbian kissing, and sex, just to name a few.  This is where the show has many of its problems.  Like many shows of this type, it all starts with a murder and the show goes downhill from there.  The only difference is that this show uses the Archie comic characters as the basis of the story.  Like “The Muppets” from last season, this show deserves to die quickly and not be rebooted at all.  My score: 1

This show has absolutely no redeeming value and it’s sick lesbian kiss between Betty and Veronica was just too much to unsee.

Finally, I want to discuss the current state of the Time Warner/Spectrum merger.  Here in Maine, it has not happened yet.  We have been promised an updated program guide and still no changes.  Ads are still running with the TWC moniker and no indication of the Spectrum name can be found.  Rumor is that changes are supposed to happen by the end of this month.  The only changes to date is to the phone app, which is nothing more than rebranding the TWC app with the Spectrum name.  I really expected more than this especially after all these months since the merger.

To wrap up this post: 

  • My predictions have ended.
  • “Girl Meets World” has ended.
  • “Riverdale” should end.
  • Time Warner Cable should end it’s name locally and embrace its Spectrum name.

Finally, 2017 will be a year of anniversaries, 3 of them none that are overly happy.  Two will be discussed in my other blog, the third in this one.  The first will come next month.

My next blog post here will be the start of my Florida trip from last year.  It won’t be a boring travel log, but rather a look at interesting things along the way.

Until next time, comments are always welcome here or my Facebook page.

Going Back to Go Forward — Hilary Duff Style

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She’s back!

 

Yes, Hilary Duff has come back into the world of entertainment.

 

In the 8 years that she has been gone, she has gotten married, had a child, got tattoos (which she said at one time she would NEVER do), and gotten a divorce.

 

While she has never really been off the radar screen, she has not been doing anything in the entertainment field for quite a while.

 

However, this doesn’t mean that her return to the entertainment world has been stellar.

 

In the last few months she has costarred in the TV Land series “Younger”.   Honestly I do not like this show at all because it seems to be just a watered down version of shows like “Sex in the City”.  I could live without all the sex talk that this show has and this show is not the least bit funny to me.  Unfortunately this show will have a second season whether I like it or not.  Maybe I am just not the show’s target audience.  However, I don’t think that Hilary’s fans are the target audience for this show either.  I would have preferred a “Lizzie McGuire” sequel show sort of like what happened to “Boy Meets World”.  Well, maybe someday it might happen.

 

Now we have the release of her new cd that happened in the last week.  While I have not heard more than a couple of tracks from the cd, I must admit that she sounds like the same sort of kid style music that she released years ago.

 

While the lyrics may sound adult, the singing itself sounds like she did 10 years ago.  Whether this is a good thing or a bad one depends on your perspective of her.  Certainly her audience has matured and so should her music and her voice, but it seems someone is manipulating her voice to sound the same as it did back then

 

This leads me to the major issue that I have had with a couple of live performances that she has recently been on in the last week.  Both “Live with Kelly and Michael” and “The View”, it appeared that she was lip-syncing her song “Sparks”, which she performed on both shows.  On both shows, the performance sounded exactly the same with no change in pitch or any other inflections in sound.

 

However, after the “Live” show, the hosts quickly interviewed her after the performance and it was apparent that the microphone that she was holding was not working because it had a hollow sound when she spoke.  Of course, being a live show maybe they thought nobody would ever notice the difference.

 

While this is not the career-ending type of appearance that Ashlee Simpson made on “SNL” a few years ago, it does however bring up the long-standing question as to whether she lip-syncs her songs or performs them live.  I used to be part of yahoo groups that made this a major discussion and the consensus was that she was lip-syncing her live performances.

 

Quite honestly, I would love for her not to have to resort to this type of behavior, but it seems that this is the way she is always going to perform her music.  I will say that I like the song and the bits of other songs that I have heard but I have to give the performances a score of 3.

 

As far as the cd itself is concerned, I have not had a chance to listen to the whole cd yet I refer fans of hers to buy the deluxe version at Target, which has a couple of bonus songs for the same price as other stores have it at.  Just a note, that this edition will probably be available while supplies last only, so if you want it don’t wait until the holidays to buy it as I don’t think it will be around then.   So I will not grade this item at the foreseeable future.

 

Overall, Hilary Duff’s return is a mixed bag.  She is trying to perform like she did as a child, but her grownup role just doesn’t work.  If only shows like TRL on MTV were still around to make her more relevant to today’s kids.  But then again MTV is not relevant anymore either.

 

However, the early 2000’s are not dead for girl group Dream is reuniting to perform together again.  If they sound like they did back then, I think my head is really going to explode not that it hasn’t already done that.  Stay tuned.

New Year, Old Problems?

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Well, here we are at 2015.

 

Did you notice any REAL differences from the year that past?

 

If you answered no, then you came to the right place.

 

If you answered yes, then you really came to the right place.

 

First off, let me say that this post is being placed into both of my blogs as I am only writing one year-end summary this year instead of two.

 

For those of you who read the annual report that I posted last week while I was off, let me say that I am more than disappointed by the results.

 

On the “Staples” and “Rants” blog, it seemed that more people were interested in my relationship with Tanya going south rather than most everything else.  It was sad that she decided to block me from all social media after her marriage.  Apparently, she never really cared about me whatsoever.  I am not the least bit surprised by that at all.

 

Both blogs also saw a lackluster number of comments to each.  Even though I limited the period for comments to 30 days after a post has been made, it still seems that I should have received more comments than I did.  Maybe it was because some people decided not to post rude comments as they knew they would be deleted anyway.

 

For all the bad things that my report stated, I am proud that the blogs continue to gain followers.  Granted the numbers are not huge yet, but I really would like to see the number close to 100 followers by this time next year.

 

Now onto the breakdown of each blog:

 

First we have the “Staples” blog.

 

The biggest topic of the year without a doubt was hacking.  I predicted the Staples hack about a year ago and by year’s end, Staples finally admitted that it was indeed hacked into.  However, their claim is that only about 115 stores were affected and a little over a million customers were affected.  I believe that Staples will eventually come clean with the real numbers as I believe that this was indeed a full company wide hack job.

 

I expect that hacking will continue to be a major topic in 2015 as companies will continue to do stupid things that will allow hackers to do their dirty duty.  With hacks such as the celebrity hacks and the Sony hack is only the beginning of something much bigger that will happen.  I really hate the idea of having to report this stuff as it just gets to be monotonous and just gets to be downright boring.

 

Besides the ongoing hacking scandals, I plan on discussing other topics as well.  My upcoming calendar includes (subject to change):

  • The continued decline of RadioShack.
  • The Night That Changed Everything.
  • org – Good Idea or Agenda driven.
  • Charity begins at home.

 

Along with these topics, I plan to continue my own story of my decline with the Staples Company.  After all, that was what this blog was originally set up as.  I don’t think I have actually strayed from my original goal, I just have taken many detours along the way and made several stops through this journey.  I am a long way from the end as if to say that there will actually be an end.

 

Now onto the “Rants” blog:

 

The major part of the blog this last year was dedicated to the continued decline of the Time Warner Cable service and how their so-called upgrades have caused more harm than good.

 

Certainly the political scene is scarred nationally and here in Maine by the onslaught of the republicans winning both the governorship again and taking control of the US Senate and the US House.

 

Probably the most popular topic of the year was my discussion of why I didn’t attend my high school reunion.  My belief is that some people can relate to what I am talking about and therefore I am continuing my story with a few more parts this year.

 

Television also was a topic of interest as well.  Some shows were complete failures while others have shined brightly.  Amongst my favorites are “Gotham”, the pre-Batman series and as I have mentioned before my absolute favorite show “Girl Meets World”.  This show blew me away with the Christmas episode reunion.  This is the way to do a reunion show and if you liked the older “Boy Meets World” series, the Christmas episode is a definite must-see.

 

I am less excited for the series “The Flash” as this show seems like it hasn’t completely broken away from the shadow of its birthmother of “Arrow”.  The crossover episodes were fun but the Flash may become a flash in the pan if the show doesn’t get more interesting.  They certainly have the villains from the comic books, but this show reminds me of the campy 1960’s Batman series.

 

Speaking of that series, it finally got its video release in 2014 in somewhat of grand style.  While this nearly $200 Blu-ray box set contains all 120 episodes and other special treats, it still is missing some episode content.  I still recommend this limited edition set despite its flaws.  A cheaper DVD box set also exists without all the extra products, but I still would ante for the better set while it is available.

 

So what is in store for 2015?  Here is a brief rundown of my possible topics:

 

  • The continuing story of why I didn’t attend my high school reunion.
  • TV Hits and Misses of the Season.
  • The biggest obituary of 2014 that was not reported.
  • Tag, Like, Share: A Dumb User’s Guide to Facebook failures.

 

Overall, 2014 saw its share of hatred against me.  From one person who wrote that I was a bad person and then stupidly liking that statement to the people who decided to unfriend me on Facebook and then not even having a logical reason why, this last year was a year of idiots showing their true colors.

 

I expect a better reception this year as things should get clearer in some aspects of my continuing drama and the drama of the rest of the world.

 

Speaking of getting clearer, next post will have my annual predictions as I once again bring out the crystal ball and look back on how I did last year and make new predictions for the year.  After that, the two blogs will hopefully separate into their own stories for most of the year.  I continue to plan on writing each blog on alternating weeks with the next post to be next week to both blogs.

 

Until next time, enjoy 2015.

 

 

 

 

Nick and Disney and the Mostly Bummer Summer Thus Far

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Well, it was bound to happen.

 

Just it wasn’t expected to be this soon however.

 

“Sam & Cat” is officially dead.

 

I wasn’t really surprised that this happened, but given the facts it is pretty easy to understand why.

 

Many of the problems as far as I can tell revolved around actress Jennette McCurdy.  Between the racy lingerie pics to her not showing up for the Kids Choice Awards earlier this year, it was apparent, she was not happy.

 

In the last week or so, she has even written that she is “not a role model” and that she thought the real reason for the show’s cancellation was that she was not happy how adults were portrayed on the show, mostly as stupid people.

 

As if this was really the case that caused the show to be cancelled.

 

I believe that between her costar Arianna Grande’s music career taking off and Jennette’s career otherwise being stagnant, Jennette felt she was going nowhere fast.  While I can understand her pain, it certainly was not a great idea to sabotage the show like she did.

 

My thought is that Jennette wants to get out of working for Nickelodeon once and for all and possibly even out of kids shows as well.

 

So what does she think her future lie?  Here are my ideas (in order from best to worst):

 

  • Bring back her country music career. She has already released one EP last year.  Maybe it is time to get to the studio to start recording again.
  • Get a new show on a non-kid’s network possibly like ABC Family. She really is not standard network material yet.
  • Follow in the career path of people like Lindsay Lohan by doing a Playboy and adult films like “The Canyons”. She has already proven she has a body and likes to show it off so maybe this is what she really wants to inspire to do.  Of course, this only works if she goes on drugs and starts drinking and partying.  Certainly, not the ideal career choice if she wants to have any fans left.

 

Beyond Jennette’s problems, this show was full of problems of having lousy storylines and a couple of stunt castings.  It also had many jokes that would go over the heads of most of their audience only to be appreciated by older viewers.

 

The blame for that lies strictly on creator Dan Schneider, who seems to be in burnout mode as his latest creation of “Henry Danger” was not so great.  It was a lousy superhero movie (it was less than an hour, which I don’t call a movie, by the way) that lacked anything close to being either funny or dangerous.  This show reminded me of the 1960’s Batman series, just not nearly as entertaining and certainly not memorable.  My grade after the premiere episode is a 2.  I will report back later if I feel if it gets better or worse.

 

Speaking of movies, both Disney and Nickelodeon aired lousy movies in the last few weeks.  “Zapped” (Disney)  and “Terry the Tomboy” (Nickelodeon)  were both forgettable movies and both were pretty bad.  Both were 90 minutes of torture and neither was enjoyable.  My score on both is a 3 and I would rather watch anything for 90 minutes than either of these clunkers.

 

All has not been totally bad this summer on the kids show front.

 

There is one shining knight in a sea of junk.

 

And that shining light is “Boy Meets World—The Next Generation”.

 

Oops, that is not the title.  Its real title is “Girl Meets World” and it has joined the Disney Channel lineup.

 

For those people who loved the show in the 1990’s with Cory and Topanga will be happy that they are happily married with 2 kids.  This new series focuses upon their daughter and her best friend and their everyday struggles just like the original series did 20 years ago.  I loved the original and I love this new series as well.  The only downside to this series is that it is running on Disney Channel and may get an early end given that Disney has a policy of cancelling shows when they reach a certain number of episodes regardless of how well the show is doing.

 

My suggestion would be to move this show to its sister station of ABC and put it on Friday nights just like the original show was.  The memories that this placement would create and possibly even last longer than the original.  I highly recommend this show and give it a grade of 9.

 

Overall, we have one more official month of summer and only one winner in a crowded field of wannabes.  This week Nickelodeon is running a new live-action “Odd Family” movie.  My hope is that it is equal to the previous one and not be more summer garbage.

 

My fingers are crossed for a better August. Of course, we always have the fall to look forward to.