Monday, May 10, 2021

Love Boats and Neverending Stories

Began the morning with Pineapple Pancakes for breakfast and Blockbusters. I came in as the solo champ tied with a mother-son pair. The solo champ just barely won as the show ended. 

Switched to Disney Plus for the newest Muppet Babies episode while I did the dishes. "It's Not Easy Being Greeny" for Summer's beloved daisy Greeny McPlant Plant. She's noticed he's not blooming the way he used to. The other kids try to help her revive him, but it's not use. In the end, Nanny explains the cycle of life and death to the disappointed kids. Fonzie and Rizzo have "Dueling Harmonicas" when Rizzo decides he'll be playing the harmonica in the talent show...which happens to be what Fozzie's doing. He tries to find him another talent, so he'll be the only harmonica player in the show.

Put Sailor Moon on Hulu as I did a few things around the apartment. Ran "Protect Mom's Dream: Double Moon Attack" in honor of Mother's Day yesterday. Chibi-Usa loves her Earth mom, Usagi's sweet and caring mother Ikuko. When a young man claims Ikuko is his birth mother, Chibi-Usa runs for help...and the girls return to find that this fellow isn't what he claims. 

Went to Cartoon Network for the latest DC Superhero Girls episode while I gathered up the laundry. Diana Prince is thrilled when her Aunt Antiope visits Metropolis in "#AwesomeAuntAntiope." Antiope always let her do things her strict mother, Queen Hippolyta, forbid. Diana learns a lesson in responsibility when Aunt Antiope takes her and her friends out for a wild night on the town that culminates in them being chased by the police and having to stop a rampaging Hydra Antiope forgot to put back in its cage. 

Headed out shortly after that. Had a lot of errands to run, starting with a quick stop at the post office. I finally dropped off my Mother's Day card to Mom and bought stamps at the post office. They couldn't change my five for ones, so I made an earlier stop at Dollar General than planned. Cashed the five for the laundromat and picked up sugar, sponges, and chocolate chips.

The laundromat was busy when I arrived with mothers who likely put off doing their loads yesterday during the holiday. I worked on story notes for my latest idea while my large load was in the washer. Hit WaWa after I stuffed it in a drier. Their big summer drink this year are Refreshers - green tea mixed with berry, passion fruit, or dragon fruit juices. The strawberry passion fruit was so tasty, I may have to try strawberry green tea at home sometime.

Oh, and I have another fanfic idea. This one was inspired by part of my recent order. I've rather enjoyed listening to the unusual Broadway cast album Wonderland on YouTube, about an older Alice who finds herself in a darker Wonderland that seems entirely too familiar. 

Brett Somers wishes she was in Wonderland, or anywhere but a little house just outside of Beverly Hills. It's 1976, and she and Jack Klugman are going through a messy divorce. Richard Dawson understands, having endured a painful separation himself, and wishes he could keep Brett from making the same mistakes he did with his ex-wife. Charles Nelson Reilly comes over for a couple of drinks and a shoulder to cry on. 

Brett swears she sees her boys going down a rather large rabbit hole in her garden...and the white rabbit is just as nervous as jumpy panelist Bill Daily. She follows her boys into the rabbit hole and finds herself in Wonderland, where nothing is as it seems. The White Knight (Richard) insists he'll defend her and keep her from harm. The jumpy White Rabbit (Bill Daily) is the messenger for the Queen (Betty White) and King (Allen Ludden) of Hearts, who aren't as demanding as they sound. The March Hare (Gene) fears the new Mad Hatter (Ira Skutch) may be working for someone who wants to take over Wonderland, while the grinning Cheshire Cat (Lee Merriweather) comes and goes as she pleases and seems to have her own agenda. 

As much as I like this idea, I like the superhero idea, too. I'll see if I can get further on that before I go into this one.

Put the laundry away when I got home, then had a Banana-Strawberry Smoothie for lunch while watching The Neverending Story on The Roku Channel. Bastian Bux (Barret Oliver) is an outcast in his New York school. He's constantly picked on by bullies and misunderstood by a businessman father (Gerald McRaney), who wishes he'd get his head out of the clouds. Ducking into a book store, he finds a leather-bound novel being read by the store's gruff owner (Thomas Hill). He borrows the book and hides in the school attic to read it alone...and ends up getting so caught up in the story of warrior Atreiyu (Noah Hathaway) attempting to save the land of Fantasia from a being called "The Nothing," he remains there all night. He's a bigger part of the story than he realizes. It'll take all his courage and creativity to finally save Atreiyu, The Child Empress (Tami Stronach), and Fantasia from being devoured by the Nothing...and him from losing his own childhood dreams.

The girls and I loved this one when it showed up frequently on cable in the mid-80's. It's a lot darker than I remember. Fantasia is a dying land, and everything is dark and shriveled. There's also scary sequences like Atreiyu losing his horse that may upset some animal-loving adults, let alone kids. Some of the special effects are pretty obvious today, including the use of green screen behind the dragon's flight. Others still work well. The Luck Dragon is an amazing creation, expressive and flowing. Some of the makeup for characters like Fantasia residents Teeny Weeny and Nighthob still look darn good, too.

Despite not really having much in common with the book, I still recommend this for older elementary school kids upwards who are fans of fantasy or fairy tales and have some idea of what's going on in Bastian's mind. 

Moved to the second half of Tattletales while making a Chocolate Chip Bundt Coffee Cake. Mary Ann Mosley and her long-time husband Gary Collins were the last-minute winners today, over Pat and Marge Harrington and Buck Owens and his big-haired lady Lisa. Press Your Luck skipped ahead to the week future talk show host Jenny Jones was a contestant. After a fairly subdued first half, things got a lot wilder in the second round. Jones just barely beat the other lady after she Whammied out on a final passed turn.

My Amazon package showed up around this time. Along with Wonderland, I splurged and picked up the hit Broadway show Come From Away on LP. I've wanted more recent Broadway shows on record. 

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Reporter Lee Merrieweather is rescued from falling into a cage filled with firecrackers going off by a mysterious man in a black cape. He shakes the ground, forcing the firecrackers and the Master Magician's men into the fissure, and throws a pool cue to switch off the lights. She's dying to know who he is, but he would prefer to remain anonymous for now.

Oh, and I finally signed up for Paramount Plus. Oh yeah, this is much better. Admittedly, they have a lot of the same sitcoms as Hulu, including I Love Lucy and both versions of The Odd Couple. On the other hand, they have other shows exclusive to them (including the entirety of the original Love Boat), along with almost every show Nickelodeon ever did and every version of Star Trek (including the animated series). Some good movies, too, including most of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin's vehicles. This is absolutely a keeper, and the price is right at $5.99 a month, too. 

It was quarter of 7 before I finally broke for dinner. Made pasta with chicken meatballs, roasted broccoli, and tomato sauce while watching Match Game '79. Real-life Texan Guich Koock got to show off his Grand Ol' Opry charm with his reading of the first question about what big object a cowboy puts in his drink. Charles, meanwhile is happily teasing Brett with "Bad Answer" awards. There's judging trouble on Match Game PM, including a near-riot on the first question. Later, we get some interesting answers to how a senator gets rid of incriminating evidence from a sex scandal. 

Low-scoring game on Sale of the Century. No one really did very well with the questions in the first half, though the champ bought both Instant Bargains and all three contestants won a Fame Game. The champ barely pulled ahead in the Speed Round, but she still couldn't figure the Bonus Round out.

Finished the night on Paramount Plus binging The Love Boat. I've really enjoyed these wonderfully cheesy all-star Aaron Spelling shows lately, partly due to many Match Game panelists appearing on them as guest stars. Began with the second season episode "The Man Who Loved Women." A charming fellow (David Doyle) romances three divorcees (Jo Ann Pflug, Brett Somers, and Cathryn Damon), not knowing they're best friends sharing the same cabin. "Oh, My Aching Brother" has enterprising brothers (Marty Ingels and Sonny Bono) trying to pass off a phony accident as real to get the insurance claim, until one falls for a gorgeous passenger (Judy Landers). Captain Stubbing's godson (Grant Goodeve) discovers he's married "A Different Girl" when the wife he barely knows (Bess Armstrong) claims she wants to wait to start a family.

Since it's mentioned in the Allen Ludden/Betty White biography as one of the last times they appeared on TV together, I did "The Horse Lover" next. Ludden is a horse owner who's so obsessed with the beautiful filly his has entered in a race in Acapulco, he ignores his wife. She ends up spending the night with the man (David Doyle) who wants to buy the horse. "Gopher and Issac Buy a Horse" and try to keep it out of sight before the race...and for some reason, "The Village People Ride Again," as they too have a horse in the race. (And act slightly better here than in Can't Stop the Music.) "Julie's Decision" is whether or not to marry a handsome playboy (Robert Stack), while a "Secretary to the Stars" (Loni Anderson) romances a reporter (Charles Frank), but she's really a Hollywood actress looking for privacy.

Brett turned up again in the third season - and made a surprisingly cute couple with Phil "Baloo the Bear" Harris - in "Y Gotta Have Heart." She's a woman whose husband just had heart surgery and keeps nagging at him to not push himself too hard. Doc wishes he could get that lucky with his current girlfriend (Misty Rowe). She brought her sister (Vicki Lawrence) with her to help her get over a bad break-up, but she's clingy and depressed. He gets a "Rent a Romeo" playboy (Joe Namath) to romance her. Vicki's new guy friend (Mark James) tries to play "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" to his divorced parents (Ja'net DuBois, Cleavon Little). 


Linda said...

I seem to recall your STAR TREK fan love is pretty moderate, but you might like DISCOVERY. It is full of some great female characters, including the lead, Michael Burnham, and I love Sylvia Tilly. (I think you would find a lot in common with Tilly.) The first season is a bit of a struggle, because it's about politics between the humans and the Klingons (who are re-designed), but you get a good intro to all the characters. Season 2 picks up with the addition of peripheral characters from the original STAR TREK (Captain Christopher Pike, Number One, and a young Spock, who has a surprising connection to Burnham). Season 3 is the latest, and the crew is now in the future where the United Federation of Planets barely exists thanks to a cataclysmic event some years earlier. There is a new character in this series I think you'd like, too, Adira.

I am less sure you would like PICARD. It takes some patience. However, if you just want to forget about the story, you could watch the part titled "Nepenthe," where Picard visits Riker and Troi. Their daughter is priceless.

Anyway, since you love animation, I urge you to watch STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, which is just plain fun. No complicated storyline to worry about. Ensign Mariner is a trip.

Emma said...

I've heard good things about "Discovery" from a couple of corners and may be willing to give it a shot. I remember watching the Animated Series on local stations as a kid and kind of enjoying it as well; it was one of the few cartoons my stepfather ever willingly watched. "Lower Decks" might be worth checking into as well.