Yesterday at 9 PM two giants of TV from the 70’s & 80’s went up head to head. Michael J. Fox went up against Robin Williams head to head as their two new series premiered on opposite ends of the Television dial.

The victory went to Robin Williams as The Crazy Ones 4.0 rating was almost double of The Michael J. Fox’s respectable but comparatively unimpressive 2.1.

Ironically the tactic that was used to bring Robin Williams a victory was employed 35 years prior using his old show to prevent another classic series from establishing itself as a rival. Gilligan’s Island.

While the classic 60’s sitcom running on MeTV Monday-Thursday from 8-9 PM EST remains popular people who have not read Sherwood Schwartz’s book Inside Gilligan’s Island might not be aware that Gillian’s Island nearly returned as a TV series in 1979.

After three successful years where it won three different time slots in three years Gillian’s Island was unexpectedly cancelled in order to give the spot to the ailing series Gunsmoke in the hopes of reviving it (it worked) leaving its popular audience base wondering if they missed an episode when they were rescued. Schwartz after shopping the idea of the TV movie Rescue from Gilligan’s Island for years and being rejected high, low and in-between finally convinced NBC to give it a shot. The TV movie socked everyone pulling a 52 share and dominating the ratings as the castaways were rescued and thanks to Gilligan’s ineptitude re-shipwrecked again on the very same Island.

After the phenomenal success of Rescue From Gilligan’s Island the companies that balked at backing it were falling over themselves with offers to Schwartz for a revival series.

Despite the offers. Schwartz was hesitant to agree citing the physical demands of a series on the 15 year older cast, and how such a series might affect the highly profitable and popular syndication of the old series and finally if the joke might get old after all those years. He proposed a compromise that he had intended with the base series in case the ratings started to drop.

The plan was for the castaways to be rescued again and the Howells build a resort on the Island for people who want to get away from technology & the world with the rest of the (former) castaways as partners. This way guest stars could carry part of the load while keeping the story fresh.

There was resistance to the idea and a compromise was made. Another movie The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island was made based on Schwartz’s idea. The cast and publicity was all set the movie filmed and publicity set to promote it and the series that would follow when NBC unexpectedly moved broadcast 11 days AHEAD of the schedule despite all the publicity for the old date, even TV Guide couldn’t be changed in time.

Seemingly the move was made to counter the CBS movie Ike a highly promoted film about the ex president at a time when there was a lot of living memory & interest in him.  With an 8:30 start time, it’s likely the idea was to have people already watching Gilligan a half hour before Ike could get off the ground and they would stick with Gilligan right through the end.

Unfortunately for the network & Gilligan was prepared.   The normal Thursday night lineup for ABC was Robin Williams Mork & Mindy one of the most popular series on Television followed by Benson.   Rather than risk losing part of the Mork audience to Gilligan ABC scheduled back to back episodes of Mork & Mindy.  Not only did that solid lead in protect Ike but despite the best efforts of the Gilligan & Co which managed to more than double the ratings of their 8 PM lead, their 26 share while respectable was no 52.

Suddenly the money that people were rushing to throw at Schwartz dried up and Gilligan was reduced to one final TV movie special The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island two years later and a short-lived cartoon series Gilligan’s Planet.

Apparently CBS knows it’s TV history because rather than risk the lead from their new series the Millers, they put that off a week and started The Big Bang Theory’s 7th season with their first two episodes back to back.

In addition to absolutely crushing ABC’s Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D (which they might have hoped would take some of the comic book geek audience away from Sheldon & Company Big Bang gave 5.8 lead-in spotting Robin Williams 19+ million viewers already tuned in.

The Crazy ones only kept 15 1/2 of that 19+ Million but that was still more than double of any other network show that night except for Big Bang.

It was a VERY funny show and Robin Williams still has it all except for money after two divorces which is why he did the series.  His sad loss will have the side effect of a lot of laughs for a lot of people (Kelly Clarkson cracking up at the end credits was worth it alone).  But he didn’t get those rating alone.

But while I’m sure Williams & Geller will earn plenty of ratings on their own they should tip his hat to CBS execs who were smart enough to help make sure plenty of new eyes see the old dog’s new trick.

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Olimometer 2.52

I’ve been much luckier than Robin Williams in marriage but i’m still $56 shy of this week’s paycheck with no daily series in site.

The only people who can change this is YOU, by hitting DaTipjar below.

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The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary:  Craig Owens gets the strangest roommate a man can ever get.

Plot: Something is very wrong with Time, Amy is trapped in the Tardis and it all centers around Craig Owens apartment, can the Doctor Work it out before Amy is lost in the Time Vortex, whatever is killing people finishes him off or he drives Craig Mad?

Writing:    Gareth Roberts delivers one of the most delightful episodes of the season, mixing the danger of an alien menace that is killing person after person with the concept of average bloke Craig trying to sort his life out. The misadventures of trying to live with the Doctor keeps the show going and going till the very end the worst part of it, that it actually has to end.

Acting: Comedian James Corden is not only funny and delightful but he and Matt Smith play off each other so well they could easily be Doctor and Companion. If there was any more chemistry between them they’d be arrested for operating an illegal lab. The ending is romantically sappy but I’m a sucker for stuff like this.

Memorable moments: The football game, Kiss the Girl, I’m going to regret this my God is this episode fun! Nines and threes.

Oddities: The doctor speaks cat?

Pet Peeves: The Doctor Flying the ship will blow up the solar system? Please.

Great Quote(s):

The Doctor: Hello, I’m Captain Troy Handsome of International Rescue, please state the nature of your emergency.

Craig : Is that a reference from the Archbishop of Canterbury?
The Doctor: I’m his special favorite.

The Doctor: It’s art. A statement on modern society, Ooo, ain’t modern society awful.

Final Verdict: Five Stars, you’ll watch it again and again.

Ranking in Series 5 to date 2nd out of 11 The best of the “regular” episodes of the year.

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. The Lodger
3. Time of the Angels
4. The Vampires of Venice
5. Amy’s choice
6. Flesh and Stone
7. Cold Blood
8 The Hungry Earth
9. Victory of the Daleks
10. Vincent and the Doctor
11. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (top 5 out of 10)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. The Lodger
3. Time of the Angels
4. The Vampires of Venice
5. Amy’s choice

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary:  Something Van Goghing on 1890 and the Doctor is going to find out what.

Plot: The Doctor notices something Amis in a painting by Van Gogh and decides he and Amy must find out what is going on.

Writing:    I really expected better of Richard Curtis of Black Adder fame. While there are several really humorous moments the story itself doesn’t invoke really have the feel of a Doctor Who episode. It just may not be the type of thing for him. Over time it has grown on me because of the number of good individual bits but put it together, meh.

Acting: Tony Curran is not bad as Van Gogh but doesn’t have a lot to work and Bill Nighy works well in his bit part. All in all the actors do well with the material he has.

Memorable moments: The Doctor’s images 1st and Second, “I buy my own drinks” The “I’ll be there will be hundreds of new paintings scene” The Bow Tie Appreciation Society

Oddities: Where exactly does Amy get all those sunflowers?

Pet Peeves: Seriously Van Gogh has a painting that’s been out there forever and it isn’t till his 11th regeneration that the doctor recognizes? Please.

Great Quote:

The Doctor: Nice bowtie!

The Doctor: [to Amy] Bowties are cool!

Curator: Oh! Well, yours is quite…

The Doctor: Oh, thank you,

Final Verdict: Three Stars.

Ranking in Series 5 to date 9th out of 10 I once ranked this episode dead last but it grew on me over the years.

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
4. Amy’s choice
5. Flesh and Stone
6. Cold Blood
7 The Hungry Earth
8. Victory of the Daleks
9. Vincent and the Doctor
10. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (top 5 out of 10)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
4. Amy’s choice
5. Flesh and Stone

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary:  Something’s brewing deep underground and it coming to the surface

Plot: The Tardis crew finds was dressed for Rio but instead find themselves in England at a drilling location They’ve discovered the Silurians, but the Silurians have discovered them what happens when both start capturing each other?

Writing:    Chris Chibnall gives us so much to think about here, misdirected Tardis, Future Echos, Amy kidnapped early, and a selection of Human personalities with different strength and flaws.  There is so much here you almost wonder how he managed to put it together

Acting: This episode to me more about the supporting cast than the leads and there wasn’t a bad performance there period.  Additionally Rory was used well again.

Memorable moments: The whole Dream vs Nightmare sequence is the closest thing to a real memorable moment, but this one nothing really jumps out.

Oddities: You know the Tardis DOES have a scanner that allows one to see outside,  Can someone explain why they never use them?

Pet Peeves:   I really never card for the Silurians.  The better makeup and writing helped but it still doesn’t make me any more of a fan of them.

Great Quote(s):

Elliot: Have you met monsters before?

The Doctor: Yeah.

Elliot: Are you scared of them?

The Doctor: No. They’re scared of me.

Nasreen Chaudhry: This is like every day to you.

The Doctor: Not every day. Every other day.

Final Verdict: Four Stars but strangely enough I found myself constantly giving up chances to watch it.

Ranking in Series 5 to date 6th out of 8 That an episode with the strengths of this one can rank as low as 6th at this point is a testimony to the quality of the season as a whole not an attack on the episode.

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
4. Amy’s choice
5. Flesh and Stone
6 The Hungry Earth
7. Victory of the Daleks
8. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (top 5 out of 8)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
4. Amy’s choice
5. Flesh and Stone

This is the first episode so far to not break into the top 5 when given the chance.

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: what does Amy Pond really desire.

Plot: The Tardis crew finds themselves in two different realities one in which the Tardis is plunging toward a cold Star and one in which Amy & Rory and the visiting Doctor in Upper Leadworth find themselves besieged by elderly alien assassins. and who is the Dream Lord in charge of all of this?

Writing:  Simon Nye gives us two stories in one but one real plot, Who does Amy really want to be with, The Doctor or Rory? It’s that interaction and debate that drives this story and makes it one of the most interesting of the entire run.

Acting: The strength of the combination of Smith, Gillian and Darvill is very apparent here and Toby Jones as the Dream Lord really works.  This will remain constant throughout their time together.

Memorable moments: The whole Dream vs Nightmare sequence is the closest thing to a real memorable moment, but this one nothing really jumps out.

Oddities: I SWEAR the guy in that van with the doctor looks like David Tennant and I really thought it might have been him in a fun cameo when I saw it.

Pet Peeves: I was really disappointed as to who the Dream Lord was, I was hoping for the return of an old villain but this one really didn’t peeve me either.

Great Quote(s):

AMY: Er, Dream Lord. He creates dreams.
DOCTOR: Dreams, delusions, cheap tricks.
DREAM LORD: And what about the gooseberry, here. Does he get a guess?
RORY: Er, listen, mate. If anyone’s the gooseberry round here, it’s the Doctor.
DREAM LORD: Well now, there’s a delusion I’m not responsible for.

DOCTOR: Where did you pick up this cheap cabaret act?
DREAM LORD: Me? Oh, you’re on shaky ground.
DOCTOR: Am I?
DREAM LORD: If you had any more tawdry quirks you could open up a Tawdry Quirk Shop.

Final Verdict: Four Stars Given how little of this story stood out that ranking might seem odd, but this was one of the steadiest Doctor Who stories I’ve ever seen.

Ranking in Series 5 to date 3rd out of 7

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
4. Amy’s choice
5. Flesh and Stone
6. Victory of the Daleks
7. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (top 5 out of 7)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
4. Amy’s choice
5. Flesh and Stone

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The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: Amy & Rory’s wedding day is tomorrow will the world still be there for them to receive it?

Plot: After Amy makes an advance on the Doctor he decides she and her fiance Rory need a trip together as a couple so he whisks them off to a romantic Venice in on a Romantic Trip to Venice so Rory can experience what Amy has to this point, but what is the mystery of the great school for girls and why do the attendees hate the sunlight…and have fangs?

Writing:  Toby Whithouse addition to season five puts the Doctor in the past for the second time this season and mixes fun with danger very well. It seems to be the story of vampires/aliens trying to take over the world through a girls school in medieval Venice but the real story is Rory coming to terms with the Amy traveling with the doctor. Both contain twists and turns that keep you interested until the very end and other than a what I considered a sloppy finish it really works. (other than one HUGE plot hole, see below)

Acting: We get a very strong performance Helen McCorry who has instant chemistry with Matt Smith and steals every scene she is in but the real discovery is Arthur Darvill who rather than stealing scenes makes every person he is performing with better. It becomes instantly clear that he not only belongs in the TARDIS crew but we almost ask ourselves why he wasn’t there since day one?

Memorable moments:The Doctor and the Cake, The Doctor’s library card with the picture of the 1st Doctor,

Oddities: Nobody Reacts to the Tardis’ landing or to the T-shirt with the photo of Rory & Amy?

Pet Peeves: They have only a limited amount of females, why wouldn’t she enlist one of her 10,000 sons to go after the Doctor & co instead of risking the few females they have painstakingly converted.

Great Quote(s):

The Doctor: I’m a time Lord, you’re a big fish, think of the Children!

The Doctor: Blimey! Fish from space have never been so… buxom!

But the best quote is a dramatic one and really crystallizes what the Doctor is:

Rory Williams: You know what it’s dangerous about you? It’s not that you make people take risks, it’s that you make them want to impress you. You make it so they don’t want to let you down. You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you’re around.

Final Verdict: Four Stars With a slightly better resolution, it could have been higher.

Ranking in Series 5 to date 3rd out of 6

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
3. Flesh and Stone
4. Victory of the Daleks
5. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (top 5 out of 6)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. The Vampires of Venice
4. Flesh and Stone
5. Victory of the Daleks

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Olimometer 2.52

3 1/2 hours $52 bucks, is anyone at home reading blogs tonight?

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The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary:  River Song is back but so are the weeping Angels

Plot: River Song leave a clue for the Doctor in his past to get help to solve a mystery concerning a Weeping Angel.  What is it doing on the planet of the Alfalfa Metraxis?  And what is the secret that the good Doctor Song and their heavily armed clerics keeping from the Time Lord?

Writing:  Steven Moffat combines two of his greatest creations the weeping angels and River Song and the result is simply wonderful, not only is it the best story to this point, excluding the 11th hour, but you can actually sense his pleasure in writing the story as the lines are delivered as if he’s had it in his head for years.

Acting: This is Alex Kingston’s first pairing with Matt Smith as the Doctor ad they simply ooze chemistry, it’s a situation that will continue during her returns.  Kingston Song make you regret that Russell P Davies didn’t choose to have at least one more adventure with her after the silence in the library.

Memorable moments:  the dive into space,   the cliffhanger as the episode ends.

Oddities: There is absolutely no reason the angel needs voice to accomplish its mission it’s the one weak plot device

Pet Peeves:  I’m sorry but while the “you leave the brakes line” is clever, it doesn’t wash.  Did the Master leave his breaks on too?  Did Romana not know the breaks were on?  Or K-9?  Finally Do we really need the gratuitous “law against marrying themselves” bit?

Great Quote(s):  River Song:  He thinks he’s so hot when he does that.

However that quote pales next to this one that simply demands video

The Doctor: Oh, big mistake. Huge. Didn’t anyone every tell you there’s one thing you never put in a trap? If you’re smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there is one thing you never, ever put in a trap.
Angel Bob: And what would that be, sir?
The Doctor: Me!

Final Verdict. Only the Eleventh Hour surpasses it and not by much it’s an episode that keeps you wanting more and as it’s part one of a two-part story your wish will be granted

Five Stars

Ranking in Series 5 to date 2nd out of 4

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. Victory of the Daleks
4. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (out of 4)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. Victory of the Daleks
4. The Beast Below

Olimometer 2.52

Home stretch can you bring me over the line.

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Cobb: From what I’ve seen, Paden doesn’t care about money. He says he doesn’t care about anything, but he does. There’s just no tellin’ what it’s gonna be.

Silverado 1985

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

Luke 12:34

Yesterday while driving with my son’s we listened to Michael Graham ask an interesting question.

Looking at the President’s sudden drop in popularity among youth, the question became why?

You have a lousy economy where college students and high school ones have no prospect work, but we had that for 4 years and they still voted for him.

You have Obamacare but the young now increasingly living on their parents insurance have not been affected, except for the cutting of some hours.

You have Benghazi but with so few young people serving that might as well be a video game.

The IRS scandal?   You have to actually have a job and paying taxes to worry about the IRS and with the young so disengaged how many ARE involved in the tea party or even know what that’s about?

But the NSA scandal:  THAT they understand.

Young people spend their entries lives on the net or smartphones. When not in the nearly quaint act of calling they are texting or surfing or downloading (legally and illegally).

So now think of it. The NSA scandal means that Barack Obama’s people have access to every call, every download and every peep on the net and even a low information voter can’t miss that the entertainment industry absolutely loves this president.

And while the youth might not care about the implications of silencing the Tea Party or dead navy seals but they know that industry and they how much they want stiff penalties for illegal downloads.

My son told me he has friends who have been downloading movies and songs for years who literally are afraid of using their computers since the NSA scandal broke.

To old fogies like me who doesn’t think .99 cents for a song is a big deal it’s the least of our worries in term of the NSA and other scandals but while we’re busy fighting on immigration the young kids have noticed stories like this:

The US Supreme Court refused Monday to take up the case of a woman ordered to pay a $220,000 fine for illegally downloading music off the internet.

The country’s top court upheld without comment the verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset in the long-running, high-profile digital piracy case.

…and seen themselves.  The woman in that story could be any one of them.

Of course the president could solve that problem by pushing for laws loosing up download rules, but if you thought the entertainment industry moved the White House on Gay Marriage that’s nothing to how they’ll howl if anything is done to loosen the copyright rules that puts money in their pockets.

The youth of America are disengaged and disinterested but when the generation that’s living with their parents,  can’t pay their college loans and won’t get hired full time to avoid Obamacare see the possibility of fines they can never pay for laws they KNOW they’ve broken they notice.

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Olimometer 2.52

The great paycheck drought continues and after two consecutive weeks of missing my paycheck going into Tuesday with only $2 toward the $305 paycheck can not be spun in any positive way.

It can only be corrected and the final arbiter of if that correction is to take place, is you.

If you think I’ve earned that paycheck then I’d encourage you to hit DaTipJar below so I don’t remain over $800 shy of the mortgage bill this month.

If not, I’ll try harder. no amount of optimism will pay this month mortgage.

Victory of the Daleks (Initial review here)

Summary: Has Winston Churchill made an alliance with the Doctor’s greatest enemy in order to defeat Hitler?

Plot: The Doctor arrives in London during the blitz to find the new secret weapon of Churchill’s strongly resembles the Daleks. Are these actually the Ironsides invented by a Scottish genius or do the Daleks have a cunning plan, and why doesn’t Amy remember them the Dalek invasion of earth anyways?

Writing: There is a lot to digest here, the supporting characters are written pretty cardboard, but Churchill is much better as is Bracewell. The “lit up city” business while a fair plot device isn’t earth shaking. The “spitfires” were a lot of fun, a tad corny but had to love it. On the down side the resolution to the final problem was meh.

Acting: McNeice did Churchill very well and Patterson’s Bracewell was just as good and we see another Angry Doctor episode sequence. While I didn’t like some of the resolution I really like Gillian’s pond in this one. As for the rest of the supporting cast, I found them over the top.

Memorable moments: Jammy Dodgers, Spitfires in Space, Paisley boy

Oddities: The Dalek progenitor device is designed to create Daleks based on a totally different design rather tan an existing Dalek one, apparently after being teased by the Cybermen they have developed a sense of elegance.

Pet Peeves: Shouldn’t Brits of the 40’s be treating Amy different than they do, particularity with her clothing.?

Great Quote(s): Dalek: “You do not require Tea?”

Final Verdict. A stronger episode that the previous one but the first of several that will have weak resolutions.fun episode if you don’t think about the plot holes too much but I’ve found the more I’ve watched it the more the plot hole scream out at me.

Three 1/2 Stars

Ranking in Series 5 to date 2nd out of 3

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Victory of the Daleks
3. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (out of 2)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Victory of the Daleks
3. The Beast Below

The Beast Below (Initial review here)

Summary: What is the secret of StarShip UK that is so horrible that everyone chooses to forget it?

Plot: The Starship UK which allowed the population of England to escape the time of the Solar flairs is the first trip for Amy with the Doctor but at a price. When Amy decides the Doctor must not be told will her first trip with the Doctor turn into her last (and the end of humanity)?

Writing: There are a lot of fun tells in this story, the Doctor who “doesn’t interfere” until he sees a child cry. The tie in with the Solar Flares from Tom Bakers 2nd episode (Ark in Space) works as does Liz 10. I very much like the idea of people calling the Doctor which is introduced in this episode. Nevertheless there are even more holes, You have a police state yet the queen is loved. Only two children in the below decks and really can someone explain how all the rest of the world escaped without using the same tactics?. It’s as if the people writing for Sylvester McCoy decided to come back to play. One other thing, we see the “Angry” Doctor come out and play, it will be something that comes back a lot in the Matt Smith era.

Acting: The parts are all played adequately. Gilliam does a good job trying to round out Amy, but there are no performances that jump out for either good or ill.

Memorable moments: Liz 10 talking about the history of the Doctor. The entire “mouth” sequence” and the epilogue.

Oddities: The lead in to the next episode, is very 1st Doctor.

Pet Peeves: Why would there be a “record” button in the voting booth and if Scotland has their own ship, what is it’s power source?

Great Quote(s):

MANDY: You sound Scottish.

AMY: I am Scottish. What’s wrong with that? Scotland’s got to be here somewhere.

MANDY: No. They wanted their own ship.

AMY: Hmm. Good for them. Nothing changes.

Final Verdict. A fun episode if you don’t think about the plot holes too much but I’ve found the more I’ve watched it the more the plot hole scream out at me.

Three Stars

Ranking in Series 5 to date 2nd out of 2

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (out of 2)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. The Beast Below