Tuesday, October 02, 2018

We Make Our Dreams Come True

Began a sunny and warm morning with a Three Stooges short during breakfast. They're "Mummies Dummies" in ancient Egypt when they sell a lemon of a used chariot to the head of the Pharaoh's guards. Fortunately for them, the Pharaoh has a toothache that Shemp is able to help him with. After he makes them his newest counselors, they uncover a plot for his head adviser to steal tax money.

Continued with the Stooges while making the bed. "The Hot Scots" head to the highlands to check out a supposedly haunted castle that's been targeted by thieves. They run across more than a few ghosts...but it's Moe who discovers how real these spooks are.

Did some chores in the back room while an episode of Wonder Woman was on. "The Deadly Sting" from the third season has Diana investigating gamblers who use a professor's inventions that allows them to control humans to turn losing football teams into sure winners.

Headed out to the laundromat around 10:30, hoping to avoid the inspector that Miss Willa said was supposed to come today. (If he did come, it must have been after I left. I never saw him.) The laundromat was very busy when I arrived, mostly with older people and college students. Good thing I had a small load. I worked on story notes and half-listened to talk shows and Eyewitness News while my clothes were in the washer and drier.

Put everything away when I got in, then had a quick lunch and made lentil-mushroom stew for dinner. I saw this recipe in that slow cooker cookbook Lauren gave me a few years ago and thought it might be nice for a low-fat, low-cost, meatless meal. It did take a little while to chop up all those vegetables, so I ran the first Halloween special of the year. Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special gives us bits of famous horror and Halloween-oriented Looney Tunes shorts, including two revolving around Jekyl and Hyde. What little plot there is between the shorts has Witch Hazel chasing Bugs for her potions. Also did "Hare-Raising Hare," the first cartoon featuring Gossamer the Monster.

Went out for my second errand run of the day around 1:30. The Haddon Township Library was quiet when I arrived, despite the increasing clouds. With the kids back in school, there weren't that many kid DVDs to shelve, but there were still quite a few adult titles. I also put away audio books and CDs and TV sets.

Finally got to taking out Season 6 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. They also had the third horror-themed Friendship Is Magic set in, along with the first set for the new version of Muppet Babies. As a big fan of the original show, I had to see that. I'll be discussing the classic Oscar-winner My Fair Lady and the flop Nine on my Musical Dreams Reviews blog this week. Found an earlier Bryant & May story The Water Room, and another series by Kate Carlisle (who writes the Bibliophile series), this one revolving around repairing houses. I took out the first two.

Made a quick stop at Target on the way home. Yes, they finally had Solo: A Star Wars Story on DVD in. Of course, I bought it. At 21 dollars, it was a little cheaper than Amazon is right now...and when it comes to Star Wars, I'd rather not wait for it to come in the mail.

Went into some writing when I got home. Clarence does not want to enter that spooky ruined temple. That's not in his job description, either. Harry finally talks Charel and Artie into staying with him and looking for Laurence and Wedge and their groups. Leia's eager and Luke is worried, but Harry...must go in. Something is calling him...some strange power that needs him...

Broke for my lentil stew at 6. Yum! It came out very well. I haven't had lentil stew in a while, but this was a nice blending of flavors. The rosemary really added the perfect earthiness.

Watched Muppet Babies while eating dinner and Cranberry Oatmeal Bars for dessert. Some things remain the same in this recent version of the long-running 1980's cartoon. We still have Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozzie, and Gonzo as toddlers being looked after by a "Nanny," whom they only see from the waist up, and they still have some pretty imaginative adventures. Skeeter and Scooter have been replaced by Summer, the art-loving penguin, and Rolf, Bunsen, and Beeker only show up every now and then. Where the original show was restricted to the nursery and hall (and the kids' imaginations), most of the current show takes place in their backyard. Perhaps reflecting how many people today keep chickens, Camilla is an actual hen instead of Gonzo's toy. It's also done in CGI, rather than a blend of traditional animation and live-action.

We start off with "Sir Kermit the Brave." The kids dress as fantasy archetypes to go seek out a "dragon" who may have made off with Nanny's sweater. Kermit doesn't want to admit he's afraid of the dark, scary closet...until a friend makes him feel better about his fear. "Animal Fly Airplane" when the kids pretend to fly to Paris. They try to keep Animal in his seat, but when Kermit gets dizzy, someone has to fly the plane!

It's a "Hatastrophe" when Kermit loses Fozzie's favorite hat over the fence. Fearing he'll lose Fozzie's friendship if he tells him, he tries to get the hat himself, and then recruits the others to help. Gonzo's worried that Camilla and her friends will "Fly South" for the winter after Nanny says she's taking them somewhere. He first tries to learn to fly with them, then does a beach number with the kids to bring a bit of the south to them.

The kids take part in "The Great Muppet Sport-a-Thon" after they can't get the adult version on the internet. Poor Piggy just can't seem to win, and Statler and Waldorf's commentary next door doesn't help. She's ready to quit, until Nanny encourages her to give it another try. Gonzo says "You Say Potato, I Say Best Friend" when he digs up a spud in the garden that he literally falls in love with. The kids can't figure out how to include it in their games, but after they see how upset Gonzo is to be left out, they give it another go.

The boys have noticed that Piggy rarely plays with Summer. (Piggy had problems with Skeeter in the original show too, come to think of it.) They pretend to be a frog in distress and the mad Weirdo who captured him in "Super Fabulous Vs. Captain Icecube." Piggy wants to be a superhero alone, but Summer wants to play, too. Piggy finally figures out how important working together is when she's also captured. "Piggy's Time Machine" takes the kids on a trip from the dinosaur era to the future in an attempt to get to an impatient Piggy's birthday sooner.

For some reason, these last two episodes were included as bonuses, rather than with the others. Rizzo the Rat makes his debut in "How Kermit Got His Groove." He tells the kids he'll let them have the nursery back if Kermit defeats him in a dance-off. Thing is, Kermit's no dancer. The others try to teach him, but it takes a reminder of his everyday chores to get him stepping to the beat. Summer has "One Small Problem" when Bunsen's newest invention shrinks her to the size of an ant. While she can't play with her friends in the same way, she can rescue Kermit's remote-control car from under the couch.

Summer and Piggy set up "The Blanket Fort" for the others. Piggy makes a long list of rules that prove impossible for the others to follow. She can't figure out why they won't listen to her, until she realizes how ridiculous her rules are. Kermit's the one who wants to work alone in "Playground Pirates." They pretend to be pirates who search for Nanny's earring, but he thinks a captain has to do everything by himself. The other kids try to prove otherwise.

The original show was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid...and yeah, I think I like this one just as much. I'm hoping they eventually bring in other mini-Muppets, even just in one-off appearances, like Bunsen and Beaker. The animation in particular is awesome. I love how detailed the Babies are. They look like puppets - you can even see their felt. I also like how the animation blends computer and 2-D effects, and even some live-action footage briefly in "Piggy's Time Machine." It's also another brand-new show, having just debuted last March.

If you have fond memories of the Babies yourself or have young kids who are the appropriate 4 to 8 target audience, this show is highly recommended and is just too cute for words.

Finished the night with My Fair Lady, which I go into more detail about at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

My Fair Lady

The clouds started building up as early as my making the lentil stew. By the time I was riding home from the library, it had begun to spit a little. The storm didn't really arrive until around 11:30...and when it did come, it was a dilly, with heavy winds, loud thunder, and lots of lightning. It's long gone now, though a bit chillier.

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