PICK UP THE REMOTE, STEP AWAY FROM THAT PHONE – TOM CURLEY

Ellin wrote a blog on that same topic as this and it follows immediately right here. We didn’t plan on doing. it. We both came up with the same idea separately.  Two takes on the same theme.


Last night my wife and I watched “Galaxy Quest.” It’s one of our favorite movies. We’ve seen it so many times we can both recite the dialogue with the actors. We hadn’t planned on watching it. We have a ton of shows and movies we haven’t seen clogging up our DVR. We only meant to watch a minute or so because we just got a new TV and I wanted to see how it looked on a better screen. Then the movie was ending. Ellin and I looked at each other and said “I can’t believe we just watched the whole movie again”. But we both had smiles on our faces.

Then I noticed something.

Ellin hadn’t looked at her phone once for more than two hours. Lately she — like most of us — is constantly reading news about the latest insanity coming out of the White House and Congress. It’s become an obsession. I find myself saying more and more to her while we’re watching TV at night, “Put the phone down! This is your favorite show!”

Most of the time, I’m guilty of doing the same thing.

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I’ve realized to keep our sanity, we need to set aside a few hours each day and NOT READ THE NEWS. Do anything else. Watch your favorite TV show. Watch a movie, read a book. Take a walk. If you have a fireplace, light a fire. Stare at it for a while.

I can give you a few suggestions of shows you might want to check out. My favorite shows are ones I call “Too Hip For The Room.” These are shows that didn’t get great ratings, or slipped under the radar. Not that many people watched them, but they were fantastic shows. People didn’t watch them because they were put on at the wrong time slot, or people didn’t understand what the show was supposed to be.

These are some of my favorites.

Firefly. BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHOW EVER! To this day, it has a following that rivals Star Trek. It got canceled because the moronic suits at Fox had no idea what they had. How much of a fan am I? I named my boat “Serenity.” After the ship on the show.

Powerless. There’s a show now on NBC TV. It’s an office comedy, but takes place in the DC comic universe.

It’s not about Batman, Superman, or the Flash. It’s about normal people who live in the cities where super heroes and super villains routinely destroy property. It’s a common occurrence to leave work, walk to your car, and watch a bus fall on it because a super battle is going on nearby. The show centers on an R&D group working for a company owned by Wayne Enterprises.

The boss is Bruce Wayne’s cousin. A rich idiot who wants nothing more than to get to work at the main building over in Gotham City. They make products to help people survive the DC Universe. My favorite, an “Anti-Joker Venom Epi-Pen.” Don’t leave home without it. The show is Better Off Ted — with super heroes.

Better Off Ted is on Netflix. Also an office comedy. Ted is head of an R&D division for a large multi-national corporation called Veridian Dynamics. They make everything from food to military weapons. Anybody who has ever worked for a large corporation will love this.

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In one of my favorite episodes, the company removes all the motion sensors that open doors, turn on lights and turn on the water fountains. They replace them with new sensors that don’t recognize motion. Instead, they recognize people. Unfortunately, there’s a glitch in the system. It doesn’t recognize black people. Suddenly all the black employees can’t get in or out of their offices. They’re all in the dark and the water fountains don’t work. When Ted suggests to his boss they put the old system back, he is told it would cost too much money. And upper management never admits that they did anything wrong. So instead, they first install manually operated water fountains. Just for the black folks. This doesn’t go over very well.

Next they come up with the idea of hiring young minimum wage white people to follow all the black people around. This works until the HR Department points out that to avoid company anti-discrimination rules, you have to hire a low wage young black person for every low wage white person. But of course, when you do that you have to hire another low wage white person for the new low wage black person.

Ted saves the day by pointing out to senior management that under this current plan, they would be employing every person on Earth in just under one month. They didn’t have enough employee parking space for that many people. So they switched back to the old system.

Brilliant.

Father Of The Pride is on Netflix. This was a cartoon which originally aired on NBC at 8PM during the height of the Bush Administration when the 8 pm was the ultimate “kid friendly” hour. It was one of the first TV shows done by DreamWorks Animation, the same people who did Shrek. Each episode cost over a million dollars to make. And it was not for kids. It was basically a sitcom.

It takes place in the animal compound owned by Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas. The main characters were a family of lions who performed in the show. John Goodman was the voice of the lead character. The show shot a full season of episodes, but it was pulled after the fourth episode. Why? Well, in that episode the parents find a vase in their house with a plastic baggie full of catnip taped to bottom.

They immediately think it belongs to their teenage daughter. She’s a “nipper.” She denies it. The parents then go on to accidentally end up eating some “nip-laced sausages” and get ridiculously stoned. It’s any episode of “The Honeymooners” or “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Just with animated animals. And drugs.  Oh and it turns out the catnip belongs to the Grandpa. Played by Carl Reiner. They eventually ran all but two of the episodes, but during off-ratings time periods.

Check them out. You’ll have a good time and forget about reality for few hours. Oh, and don’t forget those late night comedy shows! They are on a roll!

Or you could just light a fire and watch it glow.

5 thoughts on “PICK UP THE REMOTE, STEP AWAY FROM THAT PHONE – TOM CURLEY

  1. Avoiding the news is something I do regularly. I don’t own a smart phone so I’ve got one less gadget to tempt me.
    I don’t think “Powerless” is available in Australia yet but it sounds like fun.
    I have seen a couple of episodes of Firefly on Netflix and quite liked them although not as much as I loved “Eureka”, there was a quirky show.
    I think “Better Off Ted” might be on our Netflix too, Will have to check, it sounds Dilbertian.

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  2. Flynn asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony.

    This may be THE show for which we have all be waiting. Even Garry went all smiley about it. Remember when Nixon’s guys all started to crack and the whole thing popped open? With just a wee twiddle of luck, this will be ever so much better. Watching NCIS? Nothing compared to the Real News. Or even Scandal, though they do have more killings.

    I KNEW someone would crack. That’s the way they do it on TV. You know, you may be righter than you knew. It’s entirely likely that this has been on HUGE reality show … and it’s just getting rolling. Meanwhile, the lads on late night comedy had a lot of fun with it last night.

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  3. I know lots of folks like “Better Off Ted”. I can see the humor. Unfortunately, it’s also a dead on reminder of my former workplace.

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