Sunday, January 23, 2022

Family Feuds

Began the morning with Vanilla Pear Pancakes for breakfast and the soundtrack from The Boy Friend. This British musical is a take on the small-scale English salute to 20's musicals. Twiggy is Polly Browne, the girl who has to go on in said musical for the ailing star, and Tommy Tune is her tapping guy friend. She has a crush on the leading man (Christopher Gable), but isn't sure how he feels about her. Thankfully, the soundtrack is based on the original, uncut version. It retains all of the songs from the original show, plus two MGM standards randomly added for Twiggy, "You are My Lucky Star" and "All I Do Is Dream of You." The movie is fun but long, but there's a lot of good performances here, from Twiggy's charming "Lucky Star" to Tune and Antonia Ellis showing off for "Won't You Charleston With Me?"

Mom called shortly before I started with the pancakes. I told her about my crazy schedule and not being able to find a place and how upset Jodie is. Jodie's convinced I can instantly move in with Rose and her family, and should have months ago. Rose thinks I can move in with Mom. Neither is realistic at the present. Rose and Mom have tiny houses that barely fit them, and Mom not only doesn't own hers, but may not be able to afford it much longer. Cape May County is even more expensive and has less housing than Camden County. The public transportation is useless; it would be harder for me to get to work. 

Mom also says Rose and her family continue to be sick, including Rose herself. That's a big part of why I haven't called them as often or seen them other than at the Acme since the week I cat-sit. I know Rose and her family pick up every darn illness that comes down the pike. I don't want to disrupt Rose trying to find a job or make her feel like I'm relying on her too much, especially after she got me these extra two months. 

And I'm fed up with Jodie and her ranting about all of us. I am TRYING to find an apartment! I'm looking for an apartment while working anywhere from 32 to 40 hours a week and getting all my usual chores done, and I just got over being sick. And doing all this during a pandemic when the whole world is up at arms. I understand that she's tired of being here and doesn't want to pay the expensive heating bills, but I'm doing the best I can. At least I have a job. Jodie doesn't work...and unlike Rose, who is actively looking for one, she refuses to work. Claims she's retired. 

Headed off to work shortly after The Boy Friend ended. Work surprisingly wasn't that busy for a Sunday. We were off-and-on steady until about 3:30-4 PM, when everyone got off work and the lines got long. Thankfully, by the time I finished, it slowed enough for me to leave on time without a relief.

Hurried home after that, but I still felt depressed. I expected to have found an apartment by now. I feel like I'm not good enough for anyone...and hearing Jodie ranting about my apartment looking like a pigsty didn't help matters. Sadly, she's right. I haven't had the time to clean or keep up with scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom. I should be doing better. I left off in the middle of making Banana-Coconut Muffins to clean the bathroom as quickly as possible, then the kitchen. I'll scrub the tub better and do the floors tomorrow. I can't believe I let myself go so badly. I'm usually good about cleaning once a month. I was going to get to it on Wednesday morning or my day off on Thursday.

Listened to The Desert Song for a while during my "fish and chips" dinner of fried crusted flounder, sweet potatoes with apple cider vinegar, and steamed broccoli with cheese. My favorite recording of this venerable operetta comes from England. Edward Hockinridge is The Red Shadow, the leader of the Riffs in North Africa who is really the dandified son of a Legion general. Margot is his love interest, whom he absconds with in the desert. The real interest here comes from energetic future game show host Bruce Forsyth, who gets to perform two rare comedy songs for the son's reporter friend, "It" about sex appeal in the 20's, and "One Good Boy Gone Wrong."

Finished the night after a shower on YouTube. Threw the spotlight on Family Feud in honor of Louie Anderson, who passed away on Friday. Feud began as a spin-off of Match Game on ABC in 1976, based around the Audience Match. Two families answer a survey question, hoping their answers will match the survey. The winners get to go onto to the Fast Money bonus round, where two members of the family guess answers to quick surveys for big bucks. 

Richard Dawson was tired of giving silly answers on Match Game and begged to host. He proved to be a perfect fit with the show, kissing women on the lips and throwing out wisecracks about some of the really strange answers from the contestants. Unfortunately, he was also said to be difficult to work with; his ego inflated when the show got to be a huge hit, and he did his own feuding with everyone from the producer to his boss Mark Goodson. For all the trouble her caused, he's still likely the host most people think of when this show comes to mind along with current host Steve Harvey.

My fondest memories of Family Feud came from Ray Combs. His version ran at a very difficult time in my life, and he and his equally weird contestants never failed to make me laugh. I looked forward to seeing their antics between Card Sharks and The Price Is Right. For me in fall 1988, they were the perfect triple play. 

Dawson returned in '94, but he was older and not as on his game, His version ended in 1995. Anderson debuted as host in syndication in 1999. Neither he nor his show were well-received, and I can see why. He's trying way too hard to be funny and just comes off as annoying in his loud suits and louder nasal voice. The streamlined set is bland and ugly, and having only one strike in the final question makes it way too easy for one family to trump the other. 

He lasted until 2002, when comedian Richard Karn took over...and had the opposite problem. While they did tweak the set somewhat to make it a little more interesting, Karn himself showed none of the comedy he did with Tim Allen on Home Improvement, fading too much into the woodwork. Comedian John O'Herily took over from him in 2006 and apparently went over a bit better, enough to keep going until he was replaced in 2012 by Steve Harvey.

It's time to start the Feud with the first episodes of this beloved franchise! (The Karn episode comes with its original commercials.)

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