Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Name:
Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

3.10.09

I don't get SpongeBob

Norah recently discovered SpongeBob SquarePants, and she digs it a lot. Not to the point of obsession, but she still likes it. So I've been watching with her, mainly because I've been sitting in the same room. I know that a while back, SpongeBob was a bit hit with adults as well as kids (my brother-in-law, as far as I know, still likes it), but I just don't get it. SpongeBob is, in a word, annoying. In two words: REALLY ANNOYING. I mean, it's mildly amusing, but I can't imagine anyone over the age of 10 enjoying it for more than five minutes. After about five minutes I just get sick of it. It's not really that hilarious. I'd like to say that its popularity among older people is due to the fact that they watch while they're, you know, enjoying some natural consciousness-altering substances, but my brother-in-law certainly doesn't do that, so that can't be all of it. Can it?

Can someone explain it to me? I just don't get it. Frankly, Disney's Phineas and Ferb is much, MUCH better thant SpongeBob SquarePants, at least for adults. I think it's better for kids, too, but Norah digs the absorbant, yellow, and porous dude. There's just no accounting for taste!

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4.8.09

Conservatives who say Hollywood is liberal crack me up

We've been watching the burn-off episodes of Dirty Sexy Money this summer, and we just watched Saturday's episode on Sunday (long live DVR!). At the beginning of the episode, Karen (played by Natalie Zea) is upset because at the end of the previous episode, she found she was pregnant and the father was her ex-fiancée, Simon Elder (Blair Underwood), who ditched her at the altar when he was offered what he really wanted, which was half of Karen's father's company. So Karen is a bit upset. She and her mother (Jill Clayburgh) head off to a clinic, where Karen, naturally, has second thoughts about terminating the pregnancy. Simon finds out she's pregnant by following her to the clinic, and he tells her later that he's going to be very involved with the kid even though she now hates him. Got all that?

The reason I bring this up is because Karen and her mother never mention the word "abortion." I mean, it's not surprising that Karen doesn't have an abortion, because no one on television is allowed to have one. She later says that having Simon involved is going to be horrible but that she has no choice. Well, yes she does. She gets around this by saying it might be her only chance, but Karen is, presumably, about as old as the actress playing her, and Ms. Zea is 34. There has never been any mention on the show that she has trouble conceiving, nor were she and Simon trying to have a baby, so this "just happened." There's no reason to believe that Karen can't have another kid.

The funny thing about this is Sarah Palin's recent farewell speech, in which she blamed Hollywood for going against American values. This is a frequent rant from conservatives, but rarely in television shows do you see something as odd as, say, the Republican governor of South Carolina lying about hiking on the Appalachian Trail while he was in Argentina boning his mistress. But that's neither here nor there. On Dirty Sexy Money, which is a soap opera that aired at 10 o'clock at night and featured the usual number of murderers, cheaters, candidates for political office who cheated on their wives with transsexuals, and all the sexual transgressions we expect from a prime-time soap opera. Yet a show that has already been cancelled, is airing its burn-off episodes on Saturday night in the summertime, and in the same episode features a gay Congressman and his wife propositioning a Senator because they have an "arrangement" in their marriage, can't utter the word "abortion," much less let one of their selfish, spoiled characters have one. Television, I'm sorry to say to those moralist Republicans, is extremely conservative, because all television executives care about is money, which means they can't piss off any portion of their audience. So not only is a perfectly legal medical procedure forbidden to any television character, even mentioning the word is like Dick Cheney saying the n-word at the Apollo Theater.

So shut up, conservatives. You've neutered Hollywood. Congratulations!

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29.3.09

Legislation I can get behind!

Here's something fun:

California state Rep. Anna G. Eshoo ... introduced H.R. 6209, otherwise known as the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. The bill would require the Federal Communications Commission to "prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program they accompany."

In doing so, she has tapped into an issue that often rankles TV viewers: Why do TV ads seem to shout like a ringmaster at the top of his lungs, when the TV shows they interrupt often speak in modulated tones?


This woman is my new hero. Or heroine, I suppose.

Ms. Eshoo's bill, however, has sparked reaction among the people who count on TV commercials to help generate sales and purchases. Marketers themselves would prefer to devise a solution on their own rather than getting a government mandate on how loud Billy Mays can talk about OxiClean. What's more, major media companies such as CBS Corp. and NBC Universal have been working to address the issue.


Billy Mays does crack me up. Especially those ESPN commercials he does. They're awesome.

Some concern exists whether such a volume-moderation law could be enforced. The typical TV-ad buy often doesn't include information on the level of sound or the plotline of the program in which a commercial will air. "From the advertiser point of view, obviously they don't want to violate a law, but they may not have control over where the ad shows up," said Dan Jaffe, exec VP-government relations, Association of National Advertisers.

Ms. Eshoo doesn't seem to buy that line of thinking. "They haven't chosen to do a darn thing about it all of these years, and I believe it remains the top complaint to the FCC," she said.


I have one message for advertisers: Fuck 'em.

[S]ome ads are just loud because they're designed that way. Rock music has become a more common element in some TV commercials. Likewise, some commercials of the direct-response variety employ pitchmen who speak in booming fashion. Other loudness might simply be due to a viewer's perception [Yeah, right]. Ads often play at the higher end of broadcast volume, but the TV shows they support typically have noisy moments and quiet ones.


Once again: Fuck 'em.

There's more at the link. I miss most commercials, as I DVR most of the television I watch and can therefore fast-forward through the ads, but man! they're really loud. Occasionally I won't hit the FF button soon enough or I won't time it right and catch the very end of the block of ads and I can't believe how loud they are. A lot of television shows are doing what movies do these days - having really, really quiet dialogue and louder action scenes, which is annoying enough, but then, when the commercials come on, the volume is even louder. It's extremely annoying.

Yes, I know we have more important things to worry about. But this is still awesome legislation. Good for Ms. Eshoo!

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16.3.09

Happy Birthday, Erik Estrada!

Erik Estrada turns 60 today. In a perfect world, Estrada would be the host of Estrada Or Nada, the fictional game show that showed up on My Name Is Earl recently. But I guess we'll have to do with this:


What, Officer Poncherello? A strip search? Are you sure?

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16.1.09

Regarding last night's episode of My Name Is Earl

I don't want to live in a world in which a game show called Estrada Or Nada, in which guests challenge Erik Estrada to do things better than they can do (including playing the violin, chopping sushi, sewing, and chopping wood), exists only as a joke on My Name Is Earl. Someone has to make it happen for reals!

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22.5.08

Grounds for divorce?

Yesterday I accidentally deleted the first part of the season finale of Lost. I'm not sure how I did it, but there it is. So I checked out tonight to see if they were rerunning it, but there was a two-hour episode of Grey's Anatomy on. Uh-oh.

The question is, can Krys legitimately divorce me for this? I mean, we only watch it every week and are as caught up in it as anyone else. And this was the freakin' season finale! I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through last night alive.

Luckily, the crisis was averted. The second part of the season finale airs next week, and the first part is rerun right before it. I've already set up the DVR to record it. My marriage is saved!!!!

I'm sure everyone is happy that peace reigns in our home.

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10.5.08

Starring Ian Ziering as ...

I happened to be watching the Sci-Fi Channel tonight. What, you may ask, was on? Well, it was a fine movie called Tyrannosaurus Azteca, or its far cooler American title, Aztec Rex. Now, this movie, like many on the Sci-Fi Channel, was complete crap. A group of Spaniards lands in Mexico and finds a group of Aztecs who sacrifice people to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Of course, one of their number falls in love with a local lass (as I was researching this, I noticed the actress who plays her was born in Kathmandu, which is kind of neat), and the two fight against the dinosaur and an evil Aztec shaman. Two things made me laugh: at one point, the Spaniard and his Aztec girl flee the dinosaur with a monk, and as they hide in a stand of trees, the monk marries them and then they have sex. With a freakin' dinosaur breathing down their necks! Yeah, nothing turns you on like a giant lizard about to eat you!

Better than that, though, was the casting of Hernán Cortés. You may know him as blond, blue-eyed Steve Sanders on Beverly Hills 90210, but I'll forever know him as black-haired, poorly-bewigged, blue-eyed Hernán Cortés! Yes, Ian Ziering as Cortés. The mind reels.

Anyway, the movie sucks, but if you happen across it on the Sci-Fi Channel, stay a while. Ziering apparently isn't in the movie all that much (I saw him early on, turned it off, and saw him at the end, but I watched the last twenty minutes and he had no role in defeating the T. Rex), but it's worth it to see him. It's awesomely awful.

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29.4.08

Wacky events in the Congo

Saw this on The Daily Show ...

"Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft."

What a lede! The absolute best quote in the article: "But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Penis theft: Is yours safe?????

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3.1.08

Top Ten Day - My favorite television theme songs

I've been trying to get back onto a regular schedule here at the blog, instead of posting so haphazardly (I know I don't take months off like some people, but still), and one thing I'd like to do is get back to doing Top Ten posts, even though I stopped because I was having trouble coming up with subjects. Then I was watching The Rockford Files last week and was reminded about how cool the theme song was. An lo, another Top Ten list presented itself! So here, in alphabetical order, are my ten favorite television theme songs (you'll notice that most are older shows, because shows don't really do theme songs anymore):

1. The A-Team (1983-1987). I just love the faux-hard rock thing going on in this theme song, along with the hard-as-nails intro of the team: "If you can find them, maybe you can hire ... the A-Team" and then the bullets shooting up the screen before the music kicks in. It's a great song to get you in the mood for some ass-kicking, which is what the A-Team was all about!
(This is the theme song with no images, just a black screen. Sorry!)


2. Cheers (1982-1993). The theme song for the greatest sitcom ever makes you wish there was a bar like "Cheers" as much as the show did. That's not a bad feat.

2.5. Frasier (1993-2004). I was a bit hesitant to include this, because the beginning of the show never had a theme, but I always liked Kelsey Grammer's odd blues riff over the end credits, where he sings about tossed salads and scrambled eggs. Given the subtext between Frasier and Niles, I always wondered if it was some gay thing I was missing. So I decided to lump it in with Cheers so I could cheat and put 11 songs on the Top Ten. Forgive me!
(The theme song is in the middle of this brief video, which is very, very weird.)


3. The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). Man, what a great theme song. How can you not love Waylon Jennings drawling about the "good old boys" and how "someday the mountain might get 'em but the law never will"? It fit the show perfectly, and played over the fun credits helped.


5. The Greatest American Hero (1981-1983). I love this show, and although the theme song is kind of cheesy in an early-Eighties way, it still works well with the general cheesiness of the show itself (that doesn't detract from my love for it, of course). Of course, George Costanza's answering machine message has helped keep this tune alive long after the show's demise.


6. Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980). I actually have not seen very much of Hawaii Five-O, as it was on before I was born and while I was very young. But who doesn't know the kick-ass theme song, with some excellent opening credits as well!


6. The Love Boat (1977-1986). My mother used to watch this show religiously on Saturday night, so I saw a lot of the episodes from 1979-1983 or so, when I was too young to do much on weekend nights. I don't really like the show, although it was goofy enough to be entertaining, but the theme song is awesome. It's such a great, sweeping, dynamic burst of goofiness that you can't help but sing along. It promised hedonism, which is what the show was all about, but in a classy way. Top marks for that!
(Check out the guest stars for this episode. Anne Baxter is in this one! From All About Eve to a guest appearance on The Love Boat. Oh, the precipice is steep in Hollywood!)


7. Magnum, P. I. (1980-1988). That guitar rocks, is all I'm saying. Plus, we get to see Tom Selleck being cool. Was there a cooler guy in entertainment in the 1980s? I think not. Don Johnson? Please. Harrison Ford? No way. Bruce Willis? Not even.
(Check out this early version of the theme song. Man, I'm glad they changed it!)

(Here's the theme we all know and love.)


8. Moonlighting (1985-1989). The show itself went from classic to crap in what seemed like the blink of an eye, but I always liked the old-fashioned, sweeping love song that introduced it (sung wonderfully by Al Jarreau). It was classy, cosmopolitan, and a bit wistful - which is what the show was for the first couple seasons.


9. The Rockford Files (1974-1980). Duh. As the inspiration for this post, you knew it had to be on here! I always loved the messages Jim got on his telephone, and then the rolling drums announced the keyboards, and we got the cool scenes of Jim doing his thing and a nifty harmonica. A classic. (For some reason, the person who posted this on YouTube doesn't want to allow it on other sites, but you can hit up the link to take a trip down memory lane.)

10. WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982). "Baby, if you ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me ..." Sing along with me! I just love theme songs that explain the entire situation of the show AND happen to be a catchy tune. It's not the main reason why this show is a classic, but it's not an unimportant one!
(Here's another video with no images, just the song. Another shame - I can't find the opening credits! Of course, this is the complete song, so that might balance it out a bit.)


There are a lot more that I would consider for honorable mentions, from the 1960s sitcoms (Gilligan's Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie) to the pop culture staying power of Batman, to the 1970s sitcoms like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Barney Miller (but NOT All in the Family, the theme of which is like the rest of the show - overrated), to the brooding keyboard-drenched Miami Vice, to some cartoon themes, like The Transformers (plus more I'm sure I've forgotten). I miss television theme songs. The CSI shows using old rock songs don't really count. I want to say The Big Bang Theory, that new show on CBS, uses a theme song by They Might Be Giants (it certainly sounds like them), which is pretty cool. Maybe the pendulum will swing back in the future!

What are your favorite television theme songs?

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22.12.07

My dream

In my dream, there is silence. Across the land, entertainment venues are shut down. The writers have not gotten their just rewards, because the moguls do not want to release their miserly grip on any penny of their profits. And so the television shows, writerless, founder and sink, never to be seen again. Movie theaters are dark, their celluloid visions forever locked inside the minds of striking writers. But is there sadness throughout the land?

In my dream, there is no sadness. People writhed in agony without their fix of CSI, House, Pushing Daisies, and The Office. They were ecstatic when the late-night talk shows returned, but without their writers, their jokes were stale, and their audiences dwindled. Not even Hugo Chavez's appearance on The Daily Show couldn't help Jon Stewart's ratings. The moguls believed that the people in the land would demand that the writers cave, while the writers believed that the people in the land would demand that the moguls cave. Yet something strange happened.

Everywhere, televisions were turned off. Everywhere, no demands were made on the writers or the moguls. Instead, people started reading books. People started spending time with their families. People spoke to other people. Yes, some people played video games, but they did so with other people. People did puzzles! And there was happiness throughout the land. Living rooms were re-aligned around a central area rather than everything pointing at the television, and people no longer pictured their favorite actors when they read books, instead using their imaginations to create their own pictures in their heads. They learned unusual words by doing crossword puzzles. People discovered secret passageways in their houses that had been bricked up long ago. It was a Golden Age!

It's only a dream. Someone will cave, and there will be new episodes of Two and a Half Men, Back to You, and Samantha Who? Multiplexes throughout the land will light up with new releases of Michael Bay movies, Will Smith vehicles, and animated features with wise-cracking animals. We will all return to the warm cathode-ray glow and Dolby Surround Sound, and everything will go back to normal. Ah, modern entertainment!

But I can dream, can't I?

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23.9.07

The bridges of Portland, the befuddled Swiss army, plots to overthrow the government, Korean baseball brawls ... Yes, the links are back!

I decided to do some linking this week, and now I remember why I don't do this anymore. It took me a long time to find just these links, and I could only surf the web for the first few days of the week - at the end of the week I was just too busy. I love doing these posts, because there's so much weird stuff out there in cyberspace, but I probably won't do it again. Never say never, though! Who knows what the future will bring.

So let's hit the links. You know you love them!

THE WACKINESS OF POLITICS.

This is from way back in March, but I couldn't let it go: On a routine training exercise, the Swiss army accidentally invaded Liechtenstein. It's not as awesome as it sounds, but it's still pretty funny.

This is a bit old, but I thought it was interesting: Sonia ranks the U. S. presidents. Sonia leans a bit to the right, but she's usually pretty rational. Putting Bush II at #9 is a bit crazy, however (as is putting his father at #10). Actually, I don't think we can rank any president after Carter, because it's too soon.

Here's a very interesting article about a plot in the 1930s to overthrow the U. S. government and replace it with a fascist-style government. When it came to light, our government whitewashed it, because many of the plotters were heads of big business and the social elite. Today big business doesn't need to overthrow the government - it just buys it.

Scott Adams points out this story: A Nebraska state senator has sued God. He did to protest frivolous lawsuits, but it would be more fun if he was serious.

If you want to protest the Iraq war, why wouldn't you dress like this?
I found the story at Donklephant, which links to the original story. Why people are surprised that others treat them better when they dress in nice clothing is beyond me.

This is interesting: Blackwater USA has been banned from Iraq. Blackwater is a private security firm contracted by the State Department. Apparently some of the guards killed some civilian bystanders on Sunday. It will be interesting if this has any effect on the practice of farming out important tasks in Iraq, like security. Probably not. I found this at Majikthise.

ALL ABOUT THE IDIOT BOX.

Apparently, Kathy Griffin upset some people with her sacrilegious Emmy acceptance speech. A FOX news correspondent helps explain things to her. That was awfully nice.

As the Emmy awards were this week, Go Fug Yourself was in heaven. This is Phoebe Price:

And just to be fair, Kristen Bell looked quite good:
(By the way, I didn't know who Phoebe Price is either. Here's her IMDb page.)

How can you tell if the television shows you loved when you were a kid are really any good? Dave Campbell provides the calculus!

COMIC BOOK CRAP.

Alan David Doane lists the three reasons people get to work in the comic book industry.

Some famous fashion designer named Luella (we know she's famous because she only uses one name) has come up with a clothing line based on Batman. Yes, you read that right. Check it out:
I found this at Blog@Newsarama.

Devon looks at major DC comics crossovers and what character developments came out of them here and here.

WHO DOESN'T LOVE FOOD?

If you're interested in buying a product that makes everything taste like bacon, why not try Bacon Salt? Under the product name is the actual tag, "Everything should taste like bacon". Um, sorry, but no it shouldn't.

Speaking of which, here's a story about ... bacon-flavored chocolate bars. Go here to purchase yours today!

TV chef Gordon Ramsay burns his plums. Not the ones he was using in a recipe, either.

I know you're dying to go to Chicago and eat at Moto, the "postmodern" restaurant. This is what the food looks like.

Oh dear Lord:


SLIGHTLY RISQUÉ SECTION.

I love the first sentence of this post. It's a bit ... pornographic, though, so be warned (no pictures, however, so it should be safe for work, unless your boss is reading over your shoulder, in which case you shouldn't be reading this anyway).

This is a bit old, but too good to pass up: Ashley points the way to ... OhMiBod. Just check it out - I can't ruin the surprise. You can also watch a video demonstrating the product.

SPORTS-RELATED GOOFINESS.

With Leather points out how cool Shelley Duncan is when kids ask him for an autograph. Shelley Duncan, by the way, is a Yankee outfielder. The kid who asked for an autograph was a Red Sox fan. Things went downhill from there.

Woody linked to this video:
It's Korean baseball getting nasty. But "nasty" to Koreans means something far stranger than it means to us.

ICKY EXPLOITATIVE STUFF.

Do you know who Maddison Gabriel is? Why, she's the 12-year-old (she's now 13) who was chosen as the "official ambassador" of Gold Coast Fashion Week in Australia. I read about her here, which is also from where I stole this picture:
The Prime Minister of Australia is outraged, and wants to ban models younger than 16 from appearing on catwalks. Ms. Gabriel, you see, actually did some modeling of decidedly adult fashion - bikinis and such. She, of course, thinks it's great. Her mother thinks John Howard, the PM, owes her an apology, saying a bunch of idiotic things, including "We're trying to get our teenage daughters to act older." Why, exactly? This just makes me sad. I'm not going to link to a picture of her in a bikini but not post it, because it's just icky. The picture isn't too objectionable, but it's still a 13-year-old modeling a bikini. I guess fashion designers like her because they design clothing for women with no breasts and no hips - just like normal 13-year-olds!

FUN MISCELLANEOUS.

I found this picture here. There's another fun ones there as well.

Jeff Parker has been blogging about the bridges of Portland. Well, I find it interesting.

French surgeons removed a woman's gall bladder ... through her vagina. Wow. I found this at Ace of Spades, where there's some other weird news for your enjoyment.

Is this history's most wicked woman?
Read about her at the link and judge for yourself!

Why you need to watch what you say around children.

Blogger Play lets you view every single photograph uploaded to Blogger. It's mesmerizing and oddly touching, looking at peoples' lives flash by (you can pause it, too). I stole these two stunning photographs of New York from this post:

I found the link at The Giant Fighting Robot Report.

CHEESECAKE AND BEEFCAKE. I'M ALL ABOUT EQUAL TIME!

You know what you need in your life? A calendar featuring Mormon men without their shirts on:
This is causing some consternation among the Church elders, as you might expect. Sheesh, lighten up, people! Part of the proceeds go to the charities that the missionaries were involved with on their missions. The calendar, as you might expect, is big in the gay community.

I know this is a shameless excuse to post a picture of college girls in bikinis, but does this really look like a swim team?
One of them is wearing a belt, for crying out loud! And don't they look a bit, um, chesty for a swim team? I stole the picture from here after seeing it at With Leather.

Tom's latest Object of His Affection (full list here!) is Olivia Munn:
I usually have at least a marginal reason for posting attractive women, but not this time. I just think she looks pretty darned good in that costume.

That's it for this week. I hope you like the links, because I very much doubt they will appear again. Savor them! Remember: the Internet is a wild and wacky place. It's always fun to zip around it!

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15.6.07

And lo, there shall come endings!

The series finale of The Sopranos this past weekend (which I didn't watch, by the way, because I've never been that huge a fan and would rather buy the DVDs and watch them in the future) reminded me that I was going to do a post about all the shows I watch on television and how they left things this season and whether or not they were good. So let's go - and of course, there will be SPOILERS!

Fox:

24: Well, the entire final third of the season was a bit anticlimactic, wasn't it? I mean, the nuclear bomb going off in California was cool. Jack feeling all conflicted about doing the job after shooting Curtis was cool. The plot to kill the president was pretty cool. Once they got Fayed, however, everything went a bit to shit. I know they had to clear up some loose ends, like Jack's father, but the whole Russian threat and the Chinese and the kid ... it went on way too long. The only cool thing that happened during that time was Milo's sudden death, which was pretty neat. Of course, the action was well done and the resolution was spectacular as usual, but the whole plot felt tacked on, even more so than it has in the past. It just seems like they're really running out of ideas on the show. I'm going to start next season, but I really hope they can come up with something different. Otherwise, it's just not that interesting anymore.

House: Occasionally this year, Dr. House got almost human, and the show suffered because of it. I get that they can't keep him a bastard forever and want to move him forward as a character, but most of the show's charm is that he's a bastard and always will be. The whole story with the threat of him going to jail was okay, but again, tried to make him contrite, which is boring. Similarly, toward the end of the season, when his three employees/worker bees/slaves were either fired or quit, it was a bit more interesting because he insisted on being hard-ass with them. I have no idea what's going to happen, if the three will be back or if he'll just get new peons to browbeat, but they need to get back to Hugh Laurie being a total jerk. As for the medical stuff, Scott at Polite Dissent does a wonderful job going over it each week, and apparently it got sloppier than usual this year. The worst transgression was the "pro-life" episode, where a fetus seemingly grabbed House's finger. It was supposedly based on a true event, but the "true event" has been debunked. It's still an interesting show, but it suffered a bit at the end of this season.

Bones: I really like this show, and I like how the writers balance the gruesome crimes with the soap opera. I also like how Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz flirt but haven't jumped into bed yet, and also how they talk about them not jumping into bed yet. I have no idea how "real" the science in the show is (not very, I suspect), but I don't worry about it too much. This is a cheerier version of the CSI shows on CBS, which I don't watch. And the chemistry among the cast is better than the CSI shows, too, as far as I can tell when my mother's in town (who watches them religiously). That being said, the season finale, with its unbelievably cheesy wedding between Angela and Hodgins, was just dumb. I love that Angela is that guy from ZZ Top's daughter, but their romance has been pretty weird. And it would be great to see Stephen Fry back in a guest-starring role occasionally.

The Simpsons: I don't even know if this counts as a show I watch anymore. I'm pretty sure I didn't miss an episode, but it's no longer a show that is "must-see." It's like a comfortable shoe. It's still mildly humorous, and occasionally it will come out with something really funny, but it's just there. Everything's been done. I may or may not watch next season (probably; that's the beauty of DVR), but it's not like it's going to register very much. It's just a nice way to kill 22 minutes or so.

NBC:

Heroes: Because I'm a comic book geek, you knew I'd love this show. For the most part, the writers did a good job this year with the various storylines, although for a show about superpowered people popping up worldwide, it seemed pretty localized to the United States. The ending, which was disappointing, wasn't horrible. The creator, Tim Kring, gave an interview in which he attempted to explain the gigantic holes in the finale, including why Peter didn't fly away his own damned self, but his excuse doesn't make much sense. Writers should have better reasons for why things happen, especially on a show where we're already suspending our disbelief. That being said, it was a satisfying first season, and Hiro in 17th-century Japan is awesome. We'll see if the show can keep up the goodness.

My Name Is Earl: This is the only Thursday night comedy I watch, and yes, I know the others are good too. There were a few things that disappointed me about this season, but generally, it kept up the quality. I was happy that they did a few episodes "outside of the list," as it kept things fresh. The two things I didn't like: the end of the Randy/Catalina romance, which was handled very poorly; the season finale, with Earl going to jail. It just seemed ridiculous, and I'm sure it will be rectified in the first episode or two of the new season, so I'm not that put out by it. I've also noticed that Catalina seemed to be pushed to the background after she and Randy had their night together, and that sucks, because she's an awesome character - much better than Joy.

Interestingly enough, I DVRed every single episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and haven't watched them yet. Tom came up with the word "TiNo" for the phenomenon of recording shows and never watching them (at least I think he came up with it). That's a great word, and I have a feeling this show will fall into that category for me.

CBS:

You know, I watch nothing on CBS. Weird.

ABC:

At the beginning of the year, we watched a few episodes of Desperate Housewives, and I was really shocked to see how bad the show has gotten. Talk about a steep drop!

Lost: This is my favorite show currently on the air, and although the first part of the season was tough to watch, I didn't hate it as much as many people did, and the show regained its footing nicely in February when it returned. The season finale was fantastic, and sets up the remaining 48 shows nicely. I hope this experiment that ABC is doing, with 16 shows per season for three years, works, especially if they run them all in a row. 24's ratings went up when Fox started the season in January, and if Lost follows suit, maybe the networks will start running shows without a break and make the seasons shorter. Then we could see more shows and kill reruns. Wouldn't that be nice? Anyway, it sounds as if the creators actually have a plan, and without the pressure of keeping the show on the air forever, this could be one of the great shows in television history. If they don't screw it up.

I used to watch some shows on HBO, but Deadwood went away, Carnivàle got the axe, and I was never really into any of the other shows. I did watch the first episode of John From Cincinnati, which has some potential. We'll see.

One more ending has to be mentioned: the NBA season. The Spurs swept the Cavaliers in one of the worst-rated Finals ever, and if the people who vote for MVP had ANY sense of humor, they would have voted for Robert Horry for taking out Steve Nash and basically winning the series for the Spurs over the Suns. Phoenix should have done a better job making sure their players stayed on the bench and they should have used their bench more during the regular season, but I wonder why, in that one instance, David Stern chose to enforce "the letter of the law" instead of giving the Suns some wiggle room, which referees always do in the postseason. It's weird. If the NBA wants to make the playoffs more interesting, there's one thing they need to do: call more fouls. The idea of "letting them play" is idiotic, because that means good players get mugged far more than in the regular season and that means punks like Bruce Bowen are far more important than they deserve to be. Recently, hockey started getting tough on the players in the playoffs, and the game is fine. Basketball is a beautiful game when played well, and I'm sick of hearing about how fundamentally sound teams like the Spurs are. Has anyone seen Phoenix play in the past few years? They spread the ball, the find the open man, the play unselfishly, and somehow they're NOT fundamentally sound? In the playoffs, everyone knows how to beat the Suns: beat them up. Why? The refs "let them play." So what is everyone talking about here since the Suns' elimination? How they need to get "tougher." Good job, NBA. Phoenix may win a championship, but they'll do it playing "Spurs" basketball. And nobody will watch. Remember the 1970s? They showed Finals games on tape-delay, because nobody watched. Who brought the NBA back? Magic and Larry Bird. Two guys who were "fundamentally sound" but really fun to watch. If Magic came into the league today, Bruce Bowen would hack him every time he had the ball, and there would be no Showtime Lakers. But at least they'd be playing "fundamental" basketball. Sheesh.

Sorry for the rant. It still pisses me off. What did everyone think of their favorite shows and how they ended the season?

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11.6.07

The Women of Jerry, Part 7

It's Part 7, but it's only Season Six! How does that work? It doesn't matter, let's check out the women in Mr. Seinfeld's life in 1994-95.

Episode One (87), "The Chaperone" (aired 22 September 1994). This begins the new era for Seinfeld, as George gets to work for the Yankees and Elaine finds a job with Mr Pitt. It's not a terrible episode, but it's not a great one. Miss Rhode Island, whom Jerry dates, is part of the problem - she's kind of dull. She's played by Marguerite MacIntyre, and this was her first role, according to IMDb. She doesn't do much, and she doesn't really look like a beauty pageant contestant - she's not ugly, but she doesn't look glamorous enough. Oh well. I'm going to give Ms. MacIntyre a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, because she's worked pretty steadily since 1994, generally as a guest star. It looks like she has a starring role on Kyle XY, but since I don't watch that show, I don't know. Marguerite was 29 when this episode aired, which might be why she looks off as a contestant - she's too old. Jerry was 40. The ten-year age gap is in effect! Ironically, given what happens in the episode, MacIntyre has sung on Broadway. And it looks like she graduated from high school (in Scottsdale) when she was 14. Interesting.

Episode Two (88), "The Big Salad" (aired 29 September 1994). In this episode, George gets grumpy that his girlfriend gets a "thank-you" from Elaine that he feels he deserves, and Jerry dates a woman who was rejected by Newman. Newman!!! Naturally, this vexes him. Finally, the show parodies the O. J. murders when Kramer thinks he may have pushed his friend into a shooting, whom he then helps escape in a white Bronco. Marita Geraghty plays Margaret, Jerry's girlfriend, and I'm giving her a Fame Rating of 4 out of 10, because she's a career guest star, it appears. In fact, the only reason I'm not knocking her down one point is because she played Nancy in Groundhog Day, and because, according to Bill Murray, she makes sounds like a chipmunk when she gets really excited. I have no idea how old Ms. Geraghty is, because I can't find it anywhere. She was acting for a while before Seinfeld, so I have to think she was probably in her 30s when she appeared on the show. I could be wrong. Also, that's the best picture I could get. It's from Charmed.

Episode Three (89), "The Pledge Drive" (aired 6 October 1994). Jerry cashes old birthday checks from his grandmother and overdraws her account, Elaine can't tell the difference between the voice of a friend of hers and that woman's boyfriend (he's the "high talker"), and Mr. Pitt eats his Snickers bar with a knife and fork. Jerry has no girlfriend, but Lisa Guerrero is in this episode, which is kind of interesting, considering she later posed nekkid.

Episode Four (90), "The Chinese Woman" (aired 13 October 1994). George sees his father with a cape, which leads to a patented Seinfeld conversation: "It's good cape weather." Kramer goes sans underwear ("I'm out there, Jerry, and I'm lovin' every minute of it!") because he's worried about his sperm count. Interestingly enough, he seems to get Noreen pregnant at the end of the episode, but we never hear anything else about it. Jerry dates Donna Chang, who's not Chinese, which leads to all sorts of trouble when she gives Estelle Costanza advice. This is a pretty good episode, as any that explore societal stereotypes are. Angela Dohrmann plays Donna, and although she's perfectly fine, I can't give her any higher than a Fame Rating of 3 out of 10. She didn't do anything much prior or after this episode, although she starred as Don Johnson's sister on several episodes of Nash Bridges. I can't find an age or a picture, but according to Wikipedia, she currently teaches at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Hmmm.

Episode Five (91), "The Couch" (aired 27 October 1994). This is a pretty funny issue, as Elaine begins dating a delivery man and Kramer gets Poppie to help him with his make-your-own pizza restaurant. Unfortunately, the abortion issue comes up, which leads Elaine to conclude her boyfriend must be pro-choice, "because ... he's just so good-looking." George tries to bluff his way through a book club discussion of Breakfast at Tiffany's, but doesn't realize that "George Peppard" is gay in the book. Oh, and Poppie pees on Jerry's sofa. No girlfriend for our hero, though.

Episode Six (92), "The Gymnast" (aired 3 November 1994). George acts like a bum at inopportune time ("if it's adjacent to garbage, it's garbage") and Kramer has a kidney stone. Meanwhile, Mr. Pitt looks curiously like Hitler at a stock merger meeting. Jerry's girlfriend is Romanian gymnast Katya, whom he thinks will be crazy in bed, but disappoints him. She later tells him, "You may tell jokes, Mr. Seinfeld, but you are no comedian," in reference to a myth about a man called the Comedian who is likewise crazy in bed. Katya is played by Elina Löwensohn, who is actually Romanian. She wasn't bad, but a bit lacking in charisma (until her final put-down of Jerry, which is pretty darned good). I'm actually going to give her a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, because even though she never became a big star, she showed up in Schindler's List, Dark Water, and she got a hug from Jude Law in a movie once. Not bad. Elina was 28 when this episode aired, and Jerry was 40. As Jerry ages, the ten-year age gap begins to stretch just a bit!

Episode Seven (93), "The Soup" (aired 10 November 1994). No girlfriend for Jerry, although the waitress with whom George goes for a walk and discusses manure, thereby ruining any chance of a relationship and even driving him from the diner for a time is Tracy Kolis, who played Marlene back in 1991. She looks totally different!

Episode Eight (94), "The Mom & Pop Store" (aired 17 November 1994). No girlfriend again. This is the episode in which George buys "Jon Voight's" LeBaron, and Jon Voight actually shows up (and bizarrely bites George).

Episode Nine (95), "The Secretary" (aired 8 December 1994). Yet another episode with no girlfriend, but Kramer does get Uma Thurman's phone number in this episode (and then loses it to Bania, who doesn't know who she is). George hires Vicki Lewis as his secretary because he decides to pass up the attractive applicants to pick someone he's not attracted to, but they end up having sex anyway.

Episode Ten (96), "The Race" (aired 15 December 1994). Jerry finally dates a woman named Lois, so he gets to act like Superman. He cheats to win a race against an old rival and gets to go to Hawaii with Lois. This is a very funny episode, not only for the race plot ("I choose not to race!") but also because Elaine dates a Communist (but he doesn't have to look like one) who gets Kramer interested in the literature. When the kid accuses "Santa Claus" of being a Communist, that's comedy gold, baby! Lois is played by Renée Props, who had done a little bit of work before appearing on the show, but not a lot after (she was in Get Shorty, however, which is a great movie). I have to give her a Fame Rating of 4 out of 10, because although she's in a memorable episode, it's not memorable necessarily because of her. Props was 32 when the episode aired, so only 8 years younger than her boyfriend. I can't find any pictures of her, unfortunately.

Episode Eleven (97), "The Switch" (aired 5 January 1995). This is an absolute classic episode, as Jerry is dating a woman who never laughs, yet is attracted to her roommate who has a wonderful laugh. So he and George try to figure out how to do "the switch," and George comes up with suggesting a threesome, which will offend the current girlfriend but intrigue the roommate. Of course, both women are "into it," which freaks Jerry out and leads to his great monologue about having to become "an orgy guy," with weirdo lighting and shag carpet and new friends - "orgy friends." As an added bonus, we find out that Kramer's first name is Cosmo. Excellent. I'm going to count two girlfriends for Jerry in this episode, because the roommate was willing to hop in the sack with him and his current girlfriend. The non-laugher is played by Jann Karam, and the roommate (who's more attractive anyway) is played by Heather Medway. Neither woman had much of a career in television, so I'll combine their Fame Ratings and give them 7 out of 10, just for this episode. Of course, Medway was in Models, Inc., and we all remember what a kick-ASS show that was! Karam actually has a web site, and I guess she's doing well. I can't find ages for either actress.

Episode Twelve (98), "The Label Maker" (aired 19 January 1995). No girlfriend, but George does try the "ménage à trois" trick with his girlfriend (who has a male roommate), and they, too, are "into it." Oh dear. This episode also introduced "re-gifting" into the vernacular.

Episode Thirteen (99), "The Scofflaw" (aired 26 January 1995). Jon Lovitz guest-stars as Gary, who faked having cancer because everyone was being so nice to him. There's no girlfriend in sight for Jerry, although Elaine has a nice exchange with Jake Jarmel, her ex-boyfriend. She's mad because she had the upper hand in the post-breakup relationship, but Kramer ruined it. Not a bad episode.

Episode Fourteen & Fifteen (100 & 101), "Highlights of a Hundred" (aired 2 February 1995). A clip show.

Episode Sixteen (102), "The Beard" (aired 9 February 1995). Elaine tries to convert a gay man, but fails. She also throws George's toupee out the window after George gets all uppity about dating a bald woman. Jerry gets a girlfriend, a cop to whom he lies about watching Melrose Place. She hooks him up to a lie detector test, which he fails (even though George tells him, "It's not a lie if you believe it"). Jerry's girlfriend Cathy is played by Katherine La Nasa, who I always thought was very attractive. She's never been a big star, but I'll give her a Fame Rating of 6 out of 10 because she's been working steadily in show business for almost twenty years, and even if you haven't seen this episode, chances are you've seen her. La Nasa was 28 when the episode aired, so we're back on track! She was also married to Dennis Hopper once. Wha-????

Episode Seventeen (103), "The Kiss Hello" (aired 16 February 1995). Jerry has no girlfriend. So sad! This episode does guest-star Wendie Malick, however, who was pretty darned funny on Just Shoot Me.

Episode Eighteen (104), "The Doorman" (aired 23 February 1995). Larry Miller guest-stars as the titular character, and Kramer designs the Bro (or Manssiere) with Frank Costanza's help. Alas, Jerry goes girfriendless.

Episode Nineteen (105), "The Jimmy" (aired 16 March 1995). Personally, I love this episode. Jimmy, who speaks in the third person, is just so bizarre, and everyone (including Mel Torme) mistaking Kramer for someone who's mentally challenged is brilliant. Jerry finds Penthouse at the dentist's office, and later believes Tim Whatley and his assistant violated him while he was unconscious. I won't count the hygienist, played by Alison Armitage, as a girlfriend, but I looked her up, and discovered she was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in 1990, under a different name. Here's a (SFW) picture of her. Why the pseudonym???? Here's her web site, in case you're interested.

Episode Twenty (106), "The Doodle" (aired 6 April 1995). This episode gives us one of my favorite girlfriends, but it's George's - Christa Miller playing Paula. She's a cutie. Plus, any woman who doesn't care if her man dresses all in velvet is awesome. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson plays Shelly, whom Jerry must stay with when his apartment is being fumigated. He can't, however, get over his cleanliness to use her toothbrush, especially after he accidentally ate a pecan that had been in her mouth. We had seen Jerry's neat-freakness before, but this is the first episode where it really becomes the issue it would be later in the series. Anyway, Wheeler-Nicholson gets a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10 because she was freakin' Gail Stanwyk way back in Fletch, plus she was in Tombstone. She was 34 to Jerry's 40 when this episode aired, which makes her positively ancient compared to most of his girlfriends.

Episode Twenty-One (107), "The Fusilli Jerry" (aired 27 April 1995). This is the first appearance of Patrick Warburton as Puddy, one of the great minor characters in television history. Other than that, it's notable for the whole ASSMAN license plate thing, and all the talk of "moves" such as the one Puddy steals from Jerry. No girlfriend for our hero, though.

Episode Twenty-Two (108), "The Diplomat's Club" (aired 4 May 1995). In this episode, Elaine is going to quit her job with Mr. Pitt until she finds out she's in his will. Of course, circumstances lead Mr. Pitt to believe she and Jerry are trying to kill him, so he fires her. Meanwhile, Jerry's trip, organized by his manager, played wonderfully by Debra Jo Rupp, goes horribly wrong, and he almost misses meeting his supermodel girlfriend at the airport. Said girlfriend, Bridgette, is played by Berta Maria Waagfjord, who gets a Fame Rating of 1 out of 10. Good job, Ms. Waagfjord! She is barely in this episode and was in only one other show, according to IMDb. I can find no pictures of her nor a birth date. She had to be in her early- to mid-20s when this episode aired, right?

Episode Twenty-Three (109), "The Face Painter" (aired 11 May 1995). No girlfriend again, but Puddy returns. So there's that.

Episode Twenty-Four (110), "The Understudy" (aired 18 May 1995). This is kind of a weak episode, all the more strange because it's the season finale. Elaine gets Frank Costanza to translate what the women at her nail salon are saying (something many women, I bet, would like to know!) and meets J. Peterman, her new boss. Jerry is dating Bette Midler's understudy for the Broadway show "Rochelle, Rochelle" (a nice bit of continuity from earlier episodes) and is suspected of sabotaging Midler to get her on stage. The girlfriend is played by Adelaide Miller (I think), who also gets a Fame Rating of 1 out of 10. Sheesh, there were some lousy girlfriends at the tail end of this season! Miller didn't do much else and, frankly, is annoying in this episode (although I suppose that's the point). Once again, I can find no birthdate or even a photograph of Ms. Miller. Sigh.

So let's check out this pretty weak season for girlfriends. Jerry had 10½ of them (I don't really count Heather Medway, but I'll give her ½ of a credit), but none were really that stellar. None were even really that interesting in the episodes in which they appeared, which is odd. Wheeler-Nicholson is probably the most famous, but even she's not that big a star. It's weird. In terms of quantity, this season has the most girlfriends yet, but in terms of quality, this is probably the worst of the "real" seasons (the first two seasons weren't "full" seasons of 20-some episodes).

If you're curious, check out the other parts of this series: the pilot, season one, season two, season three, season four, and season five.

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24.5.07

Well played, Lost writers

Boy, I didn't see that coming.

So, who's in the casket?

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15.5.07

The Women of Jerry, Part 6

Let's check out Season 5 of Seinfeld to see how the girlfriends stack up, shall we? Yes, we shall!

Episode One (65), "The Mango" (aired 16 September 1993). This is the episode when Jerry found out Elaine faked her orgasms, so he wants another chance. He gets one, and then fails to perform. I can't really count Elaine as a girlfriend. Besides, we already covered her as Jerry's girlfriend.

Episode Two (66), "The Puffy Shirt" (aired 23 September 1993). No girlfriend, but this is a great episode. Jerry can't hear Kramer's girlfriend, who asks him to wear her "puffy" shirt on the Today show. George gets a job as a hand model (and we find out he won the "no masturbation" contest, even though later we find out, in typical George fashion, that he cheated), but of course it all goes horribly wrong. Excellent stuff.

Episode Three (67), "The Glasses" (aired 30 September 1993). George's glasses are "stolen," so he needs new ones. While he's blind, he claims to see Jerry's girlfriend kissing Cousin Jeffrey. This is a not bad episode made better by the presence of Timothy Stack (now seen hilariously playing himself on My Name is Earl) as the glasses salesman who Kramer helped get off sweets. Jerry's girlfriend is played by Anna Gunn. Ms. Gunn has had a pretty decent career, and her Fame Rating is 6 out of 10 simply because she played Timothy Olyphant's wife, Martha Bullock, on Deadwood. What a great freakin' show. Gunn, by the way, was 25 when the episode aired. Jerry was 39. Pretty decent age gap there.

Episode Four (68), "The Sniffing Accountant" (aired 7 October 1993). No girlfriend. Jerry suspects that his accountant is using drugs even though he's just allergic to mohair, and this leads to various complications. Elaine is angry that her boyfriend, Jake Jarmell, doesn't use enough punctuation. It's that kind of goofiness that makes this sitcom such a classic.

Episode Five (69), "The Bris" (aired 14 October 1993). Jerry and Elaine are godparents, Kramer sees a "pigman," and George parks outside a hospital in a bad place. A pretty funny episode, but no girlfriend in sight.

Episode Six (70), "The Lip Reader" (aired 28 October 1993). Jerry dates a deaf woman! The deaf woman, of course, is Hollywood's go-to deaf woman, Marlee Matlin, who gets a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10 for filling the "deaf-woman" niche so ably all by herself. This is a pretty funny episode, as Elaine pretends to be deaf so she won't have to talk to her driver, Kramer becomes a ball boy and takes out Monica Seles, and George uses Matlin to spy on his girlfriend. Matlin has done a ton of work, and on network television, she has been playing Jaime Pressly's lawyer on My Name is Earl (Earl, of course, falls for her). Matlin was 28 when this episode aired, and Jerry was 39.

Episode Seven (71), "The Non-Fat Yogurt" (aired 4 November 1993). No girlfriend in this episode. Jerry, however, curses a lot and influences a child, who begins cursing a lot. We meet Lloyd Braun for the first time (and when he came back, he was played by a different actor). Not a bad episode.

Episode Eight (72), "The Barber" (aired 11 November 1993). Ugh. First of all, no girlfriend. Second of all, the whole "Jerry-switching-barbers" thing is stupid. A lousy episode.

Episode Nine (73), "The Masseuse" (aired 18 November 1993). Jennifer Coolidge shows up as Jerry's girlfriend, the masseuse who refuses to give him one. It's a pretty funny episode, for two reasons: Jerry's attempts to get her to give him one, which result in something like sexual harassment (it's funny in an uncomfortable way) and George ditching his girlfriend, who likes him, to chase Coolidge, who "dislikes [him] so intently" that he starts to like her. I'm going to give Coolidge a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10, because she's been a bunch of stuff even though she's never really achieved big-time stardom. She's always a riot, though, whether she's guest-starring on Friends, being schooled on how to pick up a man in Legally Blonde, seducing teenagers in American Pie, or showing up in one of Christopher Guest's "mockumentaries." Seinfeld was her first job in the entertainment field, by the way. Coolidge was 30 when the episode aired, and Jerry was still 39. Not bad. George's girlfriend, by the way, was played by Lisa Edelstein, who currently plays Dr. Cuddy on House.

Episode Ten (74), "The Cigar Store Indian" (aired 9 December 1993). This episode mainly deals with Frank Costanza's obsessive collecting habits about TV Guide, but it also features Jerry dealing with stereotypes, and is pretty funny. His "girlfriend" in this episode (do they ever actually go out on a date?) is Winona, played by Kimberly Norris, who I always thought was very attractive. Norris gets a Fame Rating of 3 out of 10, because she hasn't really done much in television or movies. She does, however, have a web site, and she is a Native American, which is nice to see (because of the subject matter in the show). I can't find any pictures of her to steal (her IMDb page and her web site have plenty, but I can't steal them), and I haven't been able to find her birthdate, but I would venture to guess that she's at least ten years younger than Jerry.

Episode Eleven (75), "The Conversion" (aired 16 December 1993). George converts to Latvian Orthodox, Kramer learns he has the "kavorka," and Jerry finds fungus cream in his girlfriend's medicine cabinet. His girlfriend is played by Kimberly Campbell, who never made much of an impression on me - she seemed vacuous. I'm giving her a Fame Rating of 2 out of 10 because she was on Seinfeld (her first job), but it's interesting that this was her first job and the last thing she's appeared in is Memento. I just find that neat. I have no idea how old Ms. Campbell was when this episode aired, but once again, I would say at least ten years younger than Jerry.

Episode Twelve (76), "The Stall" (aired 6 January 1994). Seinfeld went for some stunt casting here, as Elaine's boyfriend is played by Dan Cortese (remember Dan Cortese?) and Jerry's girlfriend is played by Jami Gertz. This is a pretty funny episode, mostly because of Cortese and George's man-crush on him. Krys and I still say "step off" and ask each other what we're doing "mañana." I have never liked Gertz, so her part of the show is less enjoyable, but the idea of not sparing a square is pretty funny. I give Gertz a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10, because she's still working and, let's be honest, she was pretty darned famous in the 1980s. For having been around a while, Gertz was only 28 when the episode aired, while Jerry was still 39. The ten-year age gap seems to be in effect!

Episode Thirteen (77), "The Dinner Party" (aired 3 February 1994). No girlfriend in this episode, as the gang splits up to find appropriate gifts for a dinner party. George wants to bring Pepsi and Ring Dings. Jerry eats a black-and-white cookie and throws up, breaking his non-vomit streak. Of course, this is the episode in which George and Kramer see Saddam Hussein on the street. It's not a great episode, but it's not bad.

Episode Fourteen (78), "The Marine Biologist" (aired 10 February 1994). This episode was just on TBS a few days ago, and that's good, because I love this episode. I especially love George's account of how he saved the whale ("The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli"). Jerry has no girlfriend, although Elaine accuses him of wanting to date the woman who was hit in the head with her organizer, played with grating goodness by Carol Kane (which would have been unusual, as she's two years older than Jerry). I always liked Rosalind Allen, who played Diane. As George puts it, she was the "It" Girl, and you can see why.

Episode Fifteen (79), "The Pie" (aired 17 February 1994). Audrey, Jerry's girlfriend, inexplicably refuses pie. He spends the rest of the episode trying to find out why, but never does. It's quite funny. This is, of course, the first appearance of Poppie, Audrey's father, who shows up again even though Audrey never does. Audrey is played by Suzanne Snyder, and interestingly enough, this was NOT her first appearance on Seinfeld. She was the female neo-Nazi who picks up Jerry and George in the limousine at the airport in Season 3. This episode actually came toward the end of her career (in entertainment, that is). I'm going to give her a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, because she was in some fun stuff prior to Seinfeld, including Killer Klowns from Outer Space. That has to count for something, right? Snyder was either 32 or 31 when the episode aired (I have only a birth year, 1962), which is not a bad age gap.

Episode Sixteen (80), "The Stand-In" (aired 24 February 1994). Jerry is girlfriend-less again! This episode is the first with Mickey, Kramer's actor pal. This is also the episode in which Elaine dates the guy who "takes it out" on their first date. Not a bad episode, but not really that memorable.

Episode Seventeen (81), "The Wife" (aired 17 March 1994). Jerry makes up for the previous episode by having two (2) girlfriends! The most famous one, of course, is Courteney Cox, who dates Jerry for most of the episode before their fake marriage (contrived so Meryl (Cox) can get a dry cleaning discount that is offered to Jerry and his family), but he dumps her to give the discount to Paula, played by Rebecca Glenn. (I have to admit, though, that I'm not positive Paula is the girl he "cheats" with. I can't find anyone else who's a likely suspect, and I can't remember the girl's name. Can anyone confirm or deny?) This is a pretty good episode, as they often are whenever the gang plays around with a social convention without actually engaging in that social convention. Cox gets a Fame Rating of 10 out of 10 (this is for Tom, who wondered if Teri Hatcher couldn't get a 10, who could?), because since this episode aired, she hasn't really been out of the spotlight. Prior to this episode, she was in that Bruce Springsteen video, Masters of the Universe (man, that's a unintentionally funny movie), and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. After this, of course, she was in Friends, Scream and its two sequels, and her latest show, Dirt. And there's the marriage to David Arquette. I would put in the claim that Cox is the most famous of Jerry's girlfriends. When this episode aired, Cox was 29, and Jerry was 39. Back to normalcy in the age gap!

Episode Eighteen & Nineteen (82 & 83), "The Raincoats" (aired 28 April 1994). This two-part episode aired on the same day in April 1994, the day before Jerry's 40th birthday. This is the episode in which Jerry's parents are going to Paris but Kramer gets Morty involved in a business deal involving his beltless trenchcoat, "The Executive." Elaine's boyfriend, played nicely by Judge Reinhold, is a "close talker" and takes an inordinately weird liking to the Seinfelds. Jerry, meanwhile, is dating Rachel, played by Melanie Smith, who actually stayed Jerry's girlfriend for a few episodes. Ms. Smith only gets a Fame Rating of 4 out of 10, because she's never really done much, although she did work pretty regularly (including some time in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). Melanie Smith was 31 when this episode aired. Jerry, as we've seen, was 39, but when the other episodes with Smith aired, he was 40.

Episode Twenty (84), "The Fire" (aired 5 May 1994). This is one of the great episodes, even though Jerry has no woman. After Kramer's date, Toby, heckles him at his performance, he goes to her office (she works with Elaine) and heckles her, causing her to run in the street, where a street cleaner cuts off her pinkie toe. This leads to Kramer's tale of how he got on the bus to take the toe to the hospital (Jerry: "You kept making all the stops?" Kramer: "Well, people kept ringing the bell!"). In this same episode, George exhibits ridiculous cowardice by pushing over women and children at his girlfriend's son's birthday party in order to escape a small fire in the kitchen. Jon Favreau is the clown, and he's very funny.

Episode Twenty-One (85), "The Hamptons" (aired 12 May 1994). Jerry's girlfriend is Rachel again, played by Melanie Smith. This isn't a bad episode, as the gang heads out to the beach to "see the baby" - their friends' baby, who's absolutely ugly. Rachel catches George with his pants down after he gets out of the pool, which leads to the word "shrinkage" entering the pop culture vernacular. The notable thing about the guest stars in this episode is that George's girlfriend, who sunbathes topless, is played by Melora Walters, who has been in a bunch of stuff from Dead Poets Society to The Butterfly Effect but was absolutely brilliant in Magnolia (of course, everyone was brilliant in Magnolia, but still).

Episode Twenty-Two (86), "The Opposite" (aired 19 May 1994). In this absolutely brilliant episode, one of the best ever, George realizes that he must do everything the opposite from what he's ever done, which gets him a girlfriend and a new job with the Yankees. Meanwhile, Elaine turns into George and loses her job and her apartment. Rachel breaks up with Jerry, but everything always works out for him, so he's not worried. A great episode, and a good place to end a season.

So that's the fifth season of Seinfeld. Not a bad tally at all. 9 girlfriends, plus the girl he dumps Meryl for (I won't count her). One Oscar winner (Matlin), one quirky character actress with an impressive body of work (Coolidge), one 1980s "It" girl (Gertz), and one über-celebrity (Cox). Even the ones who are only famous for being in Seinfeld appeared in some good episodes. A fine season for Mr. Seinfeld. Who knows what future episodes will bring!

Here are the rest of the entries in this particular group so far:
Part One (the pilot), Part Two (Season One), Part Three (Season Two), Part Four (Season Three), Part Five (Season Four).

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10.4.07

The Women of Jerry, Part 5

I don't know if anything can top Tawny Kitaen's appearance in Season Three, but we'll give it a look, as we move on to Season Four of Seinfeld!

Episodes One and Two (41 & 42), "The Trip (1 & 2)" (aired 12 and 19 August 1992). Jerry and George head to Los Angeles to find Kramer, who left after the brouhaha last season over the keys to Jerry's apartment. They have many misadventures, but the "fish-out-of-water" stories in Seinfeld never really worked. There's some funny stuff (George accosting George Wendt and Corbin Bernsen, for instance), but not enough. And no girlfriend for Jerry!

Episode Three (43), "The Pitch" (aired 16 September 1992). This is where the show really got good, as it goes all meta on us with NBC asking Jerry to pitch them a show, and he and George come up with a show about nothing. Extremely brilliant, but no girlfriend for Jerry.

Episode Four (44), "The Ticket" (aired 16 September 1992). Two episodes on one day! This continues the pitch story, and poor Jerry has no girlfriend.

Episode Five (45), "The Wallet" (aired 23 September 1992). No girlfriend again, as Jerry's parents come to town. Mr. Seinfeld's wallet is "stolen" at the doctor's office. Not a bad episode.

Episode Six (46), "The Watch" (aired 30 September 1992). This is the conclusion to the previous week's story, as Jerry finds out that the watch his parents gave him, which he threw away, was found by Uncle Leo. Elaine starts to date Crazy Joe Devola, although she doesn't know he's the crazy guy stalking Jerry. Jerry's girlfriend from the next episode shows up, but we'll get to her in a second.

Episode Seven (47), "The Bubble Boy" (aired 7 October 1992). Jerry gets a girlfriend, Naomi, whose laugh sounds like Elmer Fudd's. She ditches Jerry, but later ends up at Susan's father's cabin with Kramer, and they promptly burn it down. This is a funny episode with Brian Doyle-Murray and the kid in the bubble. George, of course, argues with the Bubble Boy over a Trivial Pursuit question. Naomi is played by Jessica Lundy, who began her career in Bright Lights, Big City and Caddyshack II. Now that's a résumé! She hasn't really done much since Seinfeld, guest-starring in some television shows (including It's Like, You Know ...), getting one of the title roles in Hope and Gloria, and starring as Tom Arnold's wife in The Stupids. She's not even that memorable a girlfriend, although the Elmer Fudd laugh is pretty good. I'll give her a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, and that's kind of pushing it. Lundy was 26 when this episode aired, and Jerry was 38. Is the age gap beginning to show, or is this a fluke? Read on!

Episode Eight (48), "The Cheever Letters" (aired 28 October 1992). This episode is most notable for the fact that it's revealed that Susan's father had an affair with John Cheever (a fact never mentioned again, and Mr. Ross stayed married to his wife), which is a very funny scene, especially because Jerry and George are stuck in the middle of this very personal family drama. But Jerry sort of has a girlfriend in this episode, as he takes out Sandra, Elaine's assistant, after she threatens to quit because Jerry doesn't like talking to her on the phone and tells Elaine about it. After the date, he and Sandra are fooling around, and Jerry says the wrong thing to her, which freaks her out. Of course, she tells Elaine, causing embarrassment for Jerry. Sandra is played by Lisa Malkiewicz, who was barely in anything else. This means her Fame Rating is a paltry 2 out of 10, and that only because this is a pretty good episode of Seinfeld. But she did star in a vampire movie with Henry Rollins! I have no pictures of Ms. Malkiewicz, nor do I have an age for her. She gave up acting, it seems, to create a bedtime CD to help your kids relax. It certainly looks like her.

Episode Nine (49), "The Opera" (aired 4 November 1992). No girlfriend, as Jerry and Elaine go to the opera and Elaine finds out she's dating Crazy Joe Devola. It's a pretty funny episode.

Episode Ten (50), "The Virgin" (aired 11 November 1992). Jerry's girlfriend is a virgin, and Elaine takes it upon herself to educate her (Marla) about men. It's a funny episode, and Marla is played by Jane Leeves, who had a pretty good career before she appeared, most notably as a recurring character on Murphy Brown (although she was on The Benny Hill Show in the mid-1980s), but really became famous for her work on Frasier as Daphne Moon, Martin Crane's caregiver and object of Niles Crane's desire. Just for that, she gets a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10, although her role on Seinfeld is also quite good. Leeves was 31 when the episode aired, and Jerry was 38. So not a bad age gap.

Episode Eleven (51), "The Contest" (aired 18 November 1992). Quite possibly the best Seinfeld episode, which makes it one of the ten best sitcom episodes ever. Man, it's funny. Leeves is the girlfriend again, but she runs out on Jerry when he explains the contest to her and ends up losing her virginity to John Kennedy Jr.

Episode Twelve (52), "The Airport" (aired 25 November 1992). Jerry and Elaine are forced into separate classes on an airplane, with Jerry going to first class and Elaine flying coach. Of course, their journeys are much contrasted. George and Kramer, meanwhile, get into trouble at the airport. I'm with Jerry on this one: I've flown first class (not very often), and it's extremely difficult to go back to coach. So Elaine wouldn't know what's she missing! Jerry meets his next girlfriend, Tia, on the plane. She's played by Jennifer Lynn Campbell, who was Miss Hawaiian Tropic International in 1989 but never did a lot in show business beyond the obligatory Baywatch appearances. I suppose I can give Ms. Campbell a Fame Rating of 3 out of 10, because this is a pretty memorable episode of Seinfeld, she appeared on the show again, and she's Miss Hawaiian Tropic International! That's good stuff! Ms. Campbell was 25 when the episode aired, and Jerry was 38.

Episode Thirteen (53), "The Pick" (aired 16 December 1992). Tia dumps Jerry when she catches him picking his nose - but did he really? George and Jerry debate the actuality of the pick. Elaine sends out a Christmas card that shows her nipple. I never figured out how she could be showing her nipple in a Christmas card photo. What was she wearing????

Episode Fourteen (54), "The Movie" (aired 6 January 1993). Jerry and the gang try to get together to see a movie, but nothing goes as planned. This is an amusing episode, but Jerry has no girlfriend.

Episode Fifteen (55), "The Visa" (aired 27 January 1993). This episode features the Chinese lawyer who thinks George is funny, and when he tells Jerry to NOT be funny, she becomes attracted to him. Cheryl (the lawyer) doesn't really count as a girlfriend, so I'm not going to get into her statistics. It all goes horribly wrong, of course.

Episode Sixteen (56), "The Shoes" (aired 4 February 1993). Jerry has no girlfriend in this episode, which deals with he and George getting feedback on their pilot and Elaine getting bent out of shape because another woman is discussing her shoes. The woman is Gail Cunningham, who is an ex-girlfriend of Jerry's, and she's played by Anita Barone. Ms. Barone actually gets a Fame Rating of 6 out of 10 for a few reasons: this is a very funny and memorable episode; she was the original girlfriend of Ross' lesbian wife in Friends; she stars currently in The War at Home, which I've never seen but looks truly wretched. However, it's a sitcom on a network, so it's kind of high-profile. Anita was 28 when the episode aired, and Jerry was 38. She actually dated Kramer, who was 43 at the time. This episode is also notable for featuring Denise Richards in one of her early roles as Russell Dalrymple's 16-year-old daughter, who bends over while Jerry and George are there, flashing some cleavage at them. George gets caught staring at her. Richards was just shy of her 22nd birthday when the episode aired, so if you've ever felt icky about leering at a teenager yourself, worry no more!

Episode Seventeen (57), "The Outing" (aired 11 February 1993). Another classic, as George and Jerry are "outed" by a college reporter after they play a joke on her. The reporter is played by Paula Marshall, who was 28 when the episode aired (Jerry was still 38). Marshall is the kind of actress who you always think is more famous than she is. She's instantly recognizable, but when you look at her résumé, she hasn't really set the world on fire too much. I'm not entirely sure what to give her as a Fame Rating. I think 6 out of 10 is probably appropriate.

Episode Eighteen (58), "The Old Man" (aired 18 February 1993). Jerry, George, and Elaine volunteer to help the elderly. Elaine meets Gandhi's lover, while George gets oil rubbed on his bald head by the hot housekeeper. But no girlfriend.

Episode Nineteen (59), "The Implant" (aired 25 February 1993). Yes, it's the Teri Hatcher episode! Such a great closing line: "They're real, and they're spectacular." I never understood why Jerry would take Elaine's word for it. Okay, I get that he doesn't want to be "misled." But he's always discarding girlfriends, right? So why doesn't he just sleep with Sidra and find out for himself? If they're not real, at least he gets a night of sex out of it. Stupid Jerry! Hatcher, of course, did some work prior to this, and since then, she's been in Lois and Clark and Desperate Housewives, as well as showing her "real" and "spectacular" breasts in Heaven's Prisoners (ironically, they really weren't all that spectacular, although they were nice). Hatcher had just turned 28 when the episode aired, while Jerry was 38. I sense a ten-year-age-gap trend! I'm going to give Hatcher a Fame Rating of 9 out of 10. If she's not the most famous of Jerry's ex-girlfriends, she's in the top five.

Episode Twenty (60), "The Junior Mint" (aired 18 March 1993). Another classic, with Kramer asking Jerry how on earth he could turn down a Junior Mint ("it's chocolate, it's peppermint - it's delicious!"). Jerry dates a woman whose name he can't remember, who will forever be known as Mulva (her name rhymes with a female body part - it's actually Dolores). "Mulva" is played by Susan Walters, who actually had a ten-year career prior to appearing on Seinfeld. She wasn't a big star, but she was working. She hasn't done much since beside guest-starring on Melrose Place, CSI, and The Young and the Restless. Let's give her a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10. Walters was 29 when the episode aired. Jerry was closing in on 39, so the ten-year age gap sort of works.

Episode Twenty-One (61), "The Smelly Car" (aired 15 April 1993). No girlfriend. Jerry's car gets a monstrous case of B.O. Nothing is safe!

Episode Twenty-Two (62), "The Handicap Spot" (aired 13 May 1993). No girlfriend. George, egged on by Kramer, parks in a handicap spot at the mall. Hilarity ensues.

Episodes Twenty-Three and -Four (63 & 64), "The Pilot" (aired 20 May 1993). This is a pretty funny episode, and it guest stars Mariska Hargitay, who now stars on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. I don't remember her; I'll have to look for her next time that episode airs. Jerry's "girlfriend" is the woman who plays Elaine in the pilot, who is played by Elena Wohl, whose Fame Rating must remain low, at 2 out of 10. This is really her only role of note. I can't find anything much about her, including her age. Oh well.

Another season in the books, and not a bad one for Jerry's amorous life. 8 "girlfriends" and 1 ex-girlfriend. Two of the girlfriends have recurring roles, and two of them had long runs as stars on other shows, while the ex-girlfriend also has been on a sitcom for while (even though it sucks, at least she's working!). This is probably his best season yet. Too bad he didn't get to check out Sidra's breasts, because Jackie Chiles sure enjoyed them!

More later - can Jerry top this season????

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