Chris and I recently started paying for CraveTv on top of Netflix each month to expand our non-cable using television selection. I have to say that CraveTV has one of the worst browsing interfaces I have ever encountered and it WILL drive you crazy, but it also has a number of quality programs that Netflix Canada just does not provide. There are three BIG CraveTV wins in my books, the third being today’s blog topic inspiration, it has: Broad City, Nathan For You, and Frasier.
I have really fond memories of watching Frasier while I was growing up! My whole family appreciated it and I had been wanting it to come onto Netflix for years. Like anyone who was growing up during Frasier’s run on air, I saw them when the television allowed me to see them and my schedule permitted. This means that I had definitely not seen every episode and with watching odd re-runs now and then I had not seen them consecutively either! Despite missing these story elements, I had fallen in love with Frasier many years ago. The older I got, the more I loved it (and understood the wit).
Finally, CraveTV granted my adult wish to watch Frasier all the way through to the end!
FUN FRASIER FACT: During my re-watch, I learned while exploring a google search about the end credits (because that’s the kind of cool I am [researcher cool]) that the black and white photos of celebrities at the end of the credits were callers in that season of the show! As in, celebrities would call a direct line and often improv their fictional problems on the spot (read more on this here).
This re-watch did not disappoint!
I surprised and impressed myself with how much I remembered from a show that I grew up with, but had a late start in actually watching due to being young when it premiered. Frasier ran from 1993 to 2004 with a hefty eleven seasons including twenty-four episodes each for a total of 264 episodes. This past while, no matter what kind of day I had, while Chris was working in Malaysia for the month, I would come home to Summit and laugh with Frasier. It’s definitely the kind of go-to show to make me feel happy and that’s a pretty great quality to have.
MY FAVOURITE FRASIER MOMENT Nothin’ But Net for Niles My all-time favourite scene is when Frasier and Niles go to a Sonics game with their dad. Niles wins/gets seat-selected to shoot a basket from centre court for a chance to win prizing including some sort of pick-up truck (very Niles). I love this scene so much and it was all the way in season eight – I had to wait so long! Season 8 episode 15, Hooping Cranes, has my favourite scene, this is how it plays out:
As a whole I really love Frasier, but it’s impossible to deny that the last season or so lacked a little in wit and included one too many horrible wigs. The writers did still end things nicely for their fans by giving us key moments and completed character story arcs. The finale went down easy like a classy glass of sherry that I have never tried, but Niles and Frasier would adore.
In my opinion, Frasier is one of the best sitcoms and deserves a proper re-watch (or first-time-watch for some of you), I encourage it!
I always (ALWAYS) appreciate when a television program includes a supporting character with a good bark! The level of participation in shows vary, but they are all important to me. This list of my top five (with five more honourable mentions) will be a bit nostalgic, very cute, and in no ranking order because every dog is the best dog.
We recently subscribed to Crave TV and I am loving rewatching Frasier! It is such a great show that always makes me laugh, one of my favourite aspects of the show is that Eddie consistently contributes greatly to each episode. He isn’t just a prop, his character might not have lines, but the writers definitely gave him personality. Eddie has complex relationships with Frasier, Niles, Martin, and Daphne who interact well with his physical comedy. I recommend you watch this fun video featuring some of Eddies best scenes. Frasier would not have been the same without the supportive Jack Russel Terrier.
descendants. The dogs, from multiple generations, starred in the movie, the original television series, and the reboot as well – it’s all relative!
Hobo is a Canadian icon! I watched this show occasionally growing up, I liked that the dog was quite literally the star and that he was way cooler than Lassie. The Littlest Hobo had multiple productions: the first being a 1958 American film of the same name; the second being the original television series that ran for two seasons from 1963-1965; and lastly, after increased popularity of the syndicated 1960s program, The Littlest Hobo was started up once more and ran from 1979-1985 -that’s six more seasons! It featured the adventures of a stray dog who would travel and help humans in need of some animal assistance. Take a look at some of the hilarious episode descriptions from Wikipedia as curated by Nicole Cliffe to get a better idea of what the plotlines were like!
Behind the Bark: Unlike Frasier’s Jack Russel pup, Wishbone was the lead character and therefore acted in nearly every shot.Wishbone was mainly played bySoccer who was
chosen due to his very expressive face, but the demanding hours required some scruffy stunt
doubles including Phoebe, Slugger, and the odd doggo-acting-extra.
This brings back childhood memories for me! Wishbone aired from 1995-1998 and featured a Jack Russel Terrier who was often clad in period-piece costumes while introducing youth to literary classics such as Robin Hood or Frankenstein. The fictional Wishbone lived in the modern 1990s, but would start day dreaming about himself in the lead role of many famous novels. The show encouraged reading and featured a dog in funny outfits – it’s an obvious A+ and I’d love to watch it for a laugh now that I’m older!
House where Comet needed to become an athlete), Comet was played by… Comet? The dog actor is largely uncredited, but appears to be the dog in the 1995 filmFlukewith a dye job!
Comet simply wasn’t in Full House enough. This was a pre-Air Bud world so a gorgeous Golden Retriever on my television screen was exciting! There would be some episodes with plenty of daughter-doggy time and then the series would go episodes without Comet in sight. It was always on my mind, I was always looking for that fluffy tail. What I really loved about Comet was that he was a lot like the dogs I had growing up: big; loving; lazy; and always there for a hug. I definitely love this cheesy show and the dog upped it’s cute-factor by a thousand.
Behind the Bark: The very obvious recast of Pilot-Episode-Backup (played by a white and brown American bulldog named Gordo) to Series-Regular-Backup (played by a tan
colored pit bull named Lefty) is said to be the result of the crew not wanting to work with the first dog’s unreliable trainer.
Here’s our most modern TV dog on the list, Backup quite literally had Veronica Mars’ back when she had to investigate some shady areas.
Veronica Mars was a kickass show from 2004-2007 that featured a teenaged girl who conducted some not-so-licensed private investigating. Admittedly, Backup wasn’t in the show very much, but when he was, I loved him. The name itself is worthy of making the list, imagine being able to say things like “don’t worry I brought backup” and then watching peoples faces when they realize you mean your dog – it’s brilliant! Backup not only protected Veronica on the job, but comforted her at home after boy trouble and acted as an occasional face-licking alarm clock!
I could talk about fictional dogs forever, but I think five is a good starter list. Some honourable mentions include:
Last Friday, April 21st, my friend Natalie and I got makeovers on The Marilyn Denis Show (see the actual episode here)! It was a great experience and I wanted to give you the details on how we snagged the opportunity and what it was really like.
A couple of months ago, I was entering a long list of online contests (as per usual) and came across a casting call/contest for two best friends who needed makeovers. I did the required blurb about why we needed them and submitted a couple photos of us together. A couple weeks later, I got an email from one of the producers letting me know that we were on a short-list, she asked for a more detailed write up as to why we needed the makeovers and some photos of us from head to toe. I quickly wrote a one page essay explaining how thrifty we are and describing our student lifestyles that have carried into our recent graduate lives. I sent the producer a reply letting her know that our write up was completed, but that I was waiting for an opportunity to get together with Natalie to take the photos. The producer told me that they had already filled the slot! I was shocked at how quickly the process really was since I had messaged her in under 24 hours. I sent her our write up anyway, along with a dozen photos of Natalie and I together. She told me that she would keep it in mind for future opportunities, but I didn’t think I’d hear from her again.
Two weeks later, I received an email from the same producer letting me know that she loved the write up so much that she and her team were inspired to give us makeovers with the general theme of “Thrifty to Thrilled!” I was over the moon excited and we quickly exchanged the proper information and I jotted down the scheduled makeover dates.
A field producer and cameraman came to my house one Friday morning and we filmed the backstory/home interview footage that was shown as our “befores.” For someone who sings, hosts events, and talks almost non-stop, it may come as a surprise to hear that I was pretty nervous about the interview sequence because talking on camera can get you tongue-tied. I definitely took multiple takes and had to have Natalie stand out of view because she unintentionally made me laugh, but otherwise it went well. Natalie did so well on camera and needed less takes than I did! Summit (my dog), although gorgeous, didn’t manage to get any air time, but luckily neither did a lot of embarrassing footage!
Our next part of the Marilyn Denis Show Makeover Experience was to go downtown Toronto for fittings and hair colouring. While waiting in the Bell Media building lobby, I noticed how many good-looking people work there! I was surrounded by beautiful, fashion forward media workers, but it felt like I was already on TV and the extras were prettier than the star (that’s me). Upstairs, we did more waiting (a common and understandable requirement when getting free services) and were eventually taken to try on our curated outfits separately. They wanted us to keep our finished looks a surprise from each other and somehow neither of us spilled the beans on what we would be wearing before the taping!
From the fitting, Natalie and I Uber’d to our scheduled hair appointments at The Cellar Salon. We had a bit of a wait and fawned over the salon dog (which every salon should have), he was a bit skittish, but cute to watch all the same. Aaron Obrien, Marilyn’s hair stylist, went gave us hair colour consultations. He really wanted to make me a redhead, similar to Emma Stone, but I knew that the up-keep would be too difficult and expensive while still searching for a job in my industry. He very accommodatingly agreed to do a darker blonde balayage so that my hair could grow out without having to touch up the roots and Natalie was to get a lighter blonde balayage. Over a few hours, two female stylists dyed our hair and we looked sci-fi-chic in our cling-wrapped hair. After a painfully long day, we headed home to our fur-babies and slept well later that night.
Our hair was dyed, our clothes were picked out, and we were ready to be made over! We were each allowed to bring a guest so our moms excitingly tagged along to Toronto for
filming day. The show was filmed on a Friday morning and we were both very appreciative of the makeup foundation they gave us for our appearance on the show pre-makeover. They cleverly tied our hair into ponytails so that it was harder to see that our hair had been dyed earlier in the week and we wore casual clothes. We did one stage rehearsal where we were shown x’s that marked the spots and the crew gave us some tips (like how we should hug each other because people like that).
After the audience settled into their seats, the show started and we eagerly waited outside the set for our cues. The producer gave us the okay and we officially met Marilyn on stage! We had a lot of fun during the segment with Marilyn and fashion stylist Alexis, but watching the show when it aired made me realize that I may need to get a better bra… which in turn made me think about how many women must come to that same realization after seeing themselves on camera.
A joke here, a joke there, we held our own on stage and went down the hall to get made over (in separate rooms). I was lucky enough to have Aaron cut my hair and I really love it! We had a lot of fun in the dressing room singing Spice Girls songs while Aaron snipped away and the makeup artist, Amy Janisse, painted my face! I really loved both beauty professionals so much and couldn’t say enough about their amazing personalities. I changed into the floral pencil skirt, black top, and striped blazer, but waited to slip into the high heels until the last possible moment.
The next step went by in a bit of a blur and was the best part of the experience. I climbed into the back of the reveal box
and popped out with the cue of a shoulder tap. Natalie and I saw each other for the first time and I felt ten times more confident than the first time that we had shared the stage with Marilyn and Alexis. My other favourite moment was seeing our moms beaming with pride in the audience and looking like they were having the times of their lives. Marilyn and Alexis helped make us feel special and beautiful and we were also able to get a quick photo with Marilyn after the show.
All in all, I would definitely recommend the Marilyn Makeover Experience, but advise you to be patient and appreciative! It aired a few weeks after taping and we were showered with love once more from our friends and family. Thank you to everyone who watched and I hope some of you get inspired to look into casting calls after reading this post!
Over four years ago, just as we were starting to date, my husband bought the house we now live in together. I remember helping him move in and him telling me about his plans to forego getting landline or cable services in his home. It all made so much sense to me and I had the easiest transition when I moved in. I rarely used the landline when I lived with my parents, except for times of frustration when hanging up on telemarketers, and I had already started watching a lot of television shows online. Flash-forward to today where Chris and I happily live (essentially) wireless and are extremely content with the money we save and the services we use.
Per month, we pay approximately $12.00 for Ultra 4K HD Canadian Netflix and have just subscribed to CraveTV services as well for another $9.00. On top of our streaming services we watch a lot of streamed TV on our computers so as you might have guessed, we definitely use a lot of internet. We pay roughly $62.00/mo. for our internet services (50 MB/second and 400GB internet usage which we have never gone over) with TekSavvy (a company that has lowered our rates twice now without any prompts [thanks TekSavvy]). What do you currently pay for television and internet services combined?
In terms of living without a landline, do it. If you presently pay monthly fees for mobile phone plans, why bother paying for the landline? I think we have come to a point in time where it is largely unnecessary in a household setting. It’s been so long since I’ve wondered “is it for me?” when a phone rings because I know that if someone needed me, my cell phone would be ringing.
We’re definitely not alone in this popular cord-cutting trend (we are technically cord-nevers rather than cord-cutters as we have never paid for cable or satellite since living on our own).
“What are BDUs? Broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) provide subscription television services to Canadians. They redistribute programming from conventional over‐the‐air television and radio stations. They also distribute pay audio and discretionary services (i.e. pay, specialty, pay‐per‐view (PPV) and video‐on‐demand (VOD)). Most BDUs are cable, national DTH satellite, or Internet protocol television (IPTV) service providers.” –CRTC
Emily Jackson of the Financial Post writes that over half a million Canadians got rid of their landlines “between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016” alone. The number of Canadian cord-cutters during these quarters came to approximately 540,000 people – that’s almost double the population of my home town and it’s a lot of customers to lose in a short time period.
My main reason for loving streaming services in comparison to BDUs is the lifestyle. I am no longer bound to the schedule of my television programs and don’t have to fast forward through commercials of PVR’d programs. The two most common questions that I get asked when preaching the cord-cutting lifestyle are:
How do you get your news?
What about sports?
For news, I follow local Twitter accounts to stay informed about my city and province or I access Reddit’s /r/WorldNews to keep up with international events. Both internet sources pride themselves on consistent updates from news platforms as well as citizen journalists and keep me possibly more up-to-date throughout the day than TV news viewers.
Sports…? Sports-smorts – Chris and I don’t really watch sports, but just because I don’t like to watch sports doesn’t mean that you don’t so I did a little homework for you and found out that the following sports oriented streaming services are available in Canada: SportsNet Now, Rogers GameCentre Live, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, and NFL Game Pass.
Another alternative is the program Kodi, this streaming method allows me to find shows that aren’t available on Netflix or CraveTV, like Jeopardy!Kodi also provides you access to live sports streams and even the news.
So there you have it folks! Join Chris and I on the dark side of being thrifty and cutting the cord(s) – babies don’t need them and neither do you. Start by getting rid of your landline, it’s okay to slowly sever the cord with a knife if you want and this is the easiest way to start.
Here’s some further reading on pros, cons, and some how-to’s on cord cutting. Maybe you’ll get lucky and start hating sports (it’ll save you money)!
My relationship with TV can be defined in two words: lifelong friendship, it’s always been there for me and provides me with an easy escape from reality – it’s also just plain fascinating with never ending new shows to consume. I have always watched a lot of television, I had two older siblings and both of my parents appreciated TV. I watched all kinds of cartoons, sit-coms from the 60s to present day, and my family went through a long-lasting gameshow phase where we watched old episodes ofMatch GameandThe Newlywed Gamealmost every night. As an adult, I still adore TV and it’s possibly become an even larger part of my life.
My husband works overseas for a month at a time so it’s just me, the dog, and the television (a truly happy family). Admittedly, I keep myself quite busy while my husband is away with having friends frequently visit, seeing my family often, and exploring my
hobbies like writing this blog, but the house does get pretty quiet. I often binge-watch shows while I’m multi-tasking, whether that be applying to jobs, writing this blog, playing with summit, doing Sudoku, or playing the computer gameStardew Valley. Television keeps me company and the character’s voices make the house feel less empty (I absolutely talk and sing to my dog on a regular basis, but she’s not that great of a conversationalist).
The 100: 2014 – ongoing Best Features: Dystopic, Great Twists, Strong Female Characters, Great Character Development
I watched the first three seasons of The 100 last year and fell hard. I’m all up for some dystopic teenage fiction, but this show is so much more than that. The age of the main stars in the first season seems unimportant in the larger scheme of things; this is not a teenage soap-opera, it’s a well written science fiction show.
The premise: Earth has been left uninhabitable by a series of nuclear explosions, but before the world was essentially destroyed the human race ascended into space to live together on a massive ship. With limited space and resources on the ship, there were laws instated including: only one child per household, and any committed crime (no matter how little) is punishable by death. The stipulation to this latter law was that if you were under 18 years of age, you would go into prison until you reached the age of majority to then face official judgement. For reasons that you will quickly discover, all of the under-18 prisoners are sent down to Earth and it gets a little ‘co-ed-Lord of the Flies’ (one of my favourite books) before the well written twists come into play.
I strongly recommend this show, they paint a fictional future with a lot of issues, but gender, sexuality, and age don’t seem to be the issues that they are in our reality. The series is still airing and Netflix updates the fourth season with a new 40-minute episode each week.
Heartland: 2007 – ongoing Best Features: Canadian, Beautiful Cinematography, Character Development, Grandpa’s Moustache
This show has been on for ten years, it’s been on since 2007 when I was still in high school! I remember seeing commercials for this CBC program when it was first airing on TV, but I paid no attention to it. I started watching it last month after finishing Weeds and wanting to watch something a little more moral. I am an animal lover, but have never been very interested in horses yet I really enjoy Heartland. It is an insanely good background show because it doesn’t have subtitles, it has a moderate pace and is really easy to follow. I actually liked the earlier seasons that get a lot of flack for having lower production budgets, I liked them because of the high school flashbacks I was having with the casts’ wardrobe.
The premise: After the passing of a single mother who lived and worked as a ‘horse whisperer’ at her family’s horse ranch in Alberta, Canada, her 14-year-old daughter is left to cope with her inherited gift to keep the family business afloat. She lives with and has
the help of her grandfather (my favourite character), her much older sister who is home from New York, and a young ranch-hand who is hired as a rehabilitation project while on probation.
Heartland really focuses on family, caring about animals, moral work ethics, small-town life, and Canada’s gorgeous scenery. There are minor love triangles, estranged family reunions, and more action than you’d think. Grandpa himself gets into the odd fist fight, the family saves/steals a lot of mistreated horses, and fighting off cattle thieves is surprisingly more common (on the show at least) than I would have originally thought. This is a show you can watch with your family and even my husband has admitted that it’s not as bad as he thought it would be – Grandpa’s rockin’ moustache and tough-teddy-bear personality makes it a hard show not to love! Netflix has nine seasons available, and season ten is currently airing on CBC.
Jane the Virgin: 2014 – ongoing Best Features: Hilarious, Ridiculous, Fun Narrator, Twists out the Wazoo, Diverse Cast, Fresh
This is probably my favourite show that is currently airing new episodes. The Mindy Project has kind of fallen by the wayside with some disappointing plot choices and its failure to have characters live up to their originally likable natures. Jane the Virgin has filled the Mindy-Project-sized hole in my heart. This show is delightfully dramatic and constantly makes me laugh. It is witty, quick-paced, diverse, and so incredibly fresh. Jane loves romance stories and is obsessed with telenovelas, Latin soap operas that consist of insane plotlines. The show itself, Jane the Virgin, is a modern American-made telenovela that airs onCW. The show has a fantastic (third person omniscient/commentator) narrator who interjects periodically with helpful reminders or he lets us know how the characters are really feeling. So much happens in each episode that what I am about to tell you is not really a spoiler at all – you find it all out in the first episode!
Jane has been brought up in a household with conflicting views on sex; her single mother had Jane at a young age and exudes sexual promiscuity confidently, while Jane’s grandmother is very religious and has drilled the sanctity of one’s virginity into Jane’s head from a young age. The three women live together in the grandmother’s house and Jane is now in her early twenties. Working a waitress job at a fancy hotel while finishing her post secondary education, Jane is in a happy committed relationship and is still waiting for marriage to lose her virginity. Within the first episode, a grave mistake occurs at what is supposed to be a simple appointment with her Gynecologist and this is the point in which her average life is inseminated with outrageous drama.
I fell in love with the show immediately, but if you think that it seems too overdramatic for you, give it a few episodes to see if you get the humour behind it all. Netflix currently has up to the middle of season three available and the new episodes are being released on a weekly basis. (PS. Prepare yourself for a moderate amount of sub-titles that are completely worth the portrayal of the natural flow of conversation in a Spanish-American home environment)
Do you watch any of these shows? What are your opinions on them? Let me know a TV show that you think I might like and I hope you might try watching one of mine.
In 2014, Netflix revealed some of their early plans for an updated animated series based on the hit scientific show The Magic School Bus that ran from 1994-1997. This show has a special spot in my heart as it taught me so much at
such an early age! For example, there were many times throughout high school and even university when I would get a Frizzle-flashback (I’d like to believe I just made that up) and I would know that the cartoon had taught me this information years earlier.
Netflix Canada has had the original series available in their library for a while now and I absolutely still watch it. Obviously, I enjoy it mainly for nostalgic reasons, but I remember the episodes and characters so clearly that it feels like I’m rehashing personal stories with old friends. The nostalgic element is what makes this reboot a risky move to me; I believe that they will likely disappoint their grownup fans in order to properly hold the attention of and educate today’s youth (a valid reason).
My mixed feelings surrounding the Magic School Bus revival lie mainly in my fear that the animation will be too modern for my taste and that the writing will be less punny. I honestly loved every Carlos pun and I think
that the innocence of dad-humour played a large part in the overall likability of the show. The Magic School Bus captivated young audiences with visual learning in a way that wasn’t common in elementary schools of the 90’s. Kids today may not fully understand that teachers had to book one of maybe three tube-televisions that would be wheeled down the hall for an allotted hour or so, and that this was a big deal because you rarely got to watch videos in class. The Magic School Bus took textbook knowledge and relayed it in an entertaining fashion!
Although I have my reservations, I am trying to have faith in the reboot and I will definitely give it a watch.
It will be computer generated animation (this makes me nervous [I’m not always a fan]).
Stu Stone, the voice actor who played Ralphie (one of two characters who we got to know from the inside-out), is on board as one of the producers of the reboot!
Multiple other cast members have signed on to help in some way (I’m hoping that they pull a Degrassi-The Next Generation and have the original cast play parents)
Top secret celebrities will lend their voices throughout the new series.
It will likely be titled “The Magic School Bus 360˚”
The early concept art indicates that the Ms. Frizzle character seems to be a similar age as she was in the 90s. If the original Ms. Frizzle were to have aged with us, I would love for
her to still be voiced by actress Lily Tomlin and I also hope she married a woman (I just feel like she could have)!
It has been twenty years since The Magic School Bus ended, this has allowed for extensive technology advancements and many new discoveries about our planet. These changes in scientific development are enough reason to justify why the reboot’s relevance. There is a large amount of educational content to teach the modern generation that so many youth television shows are simply not covering.
Topics that I would love to see covered in the new Magic School Bus:
An emphasis on women in STEM careers
A new space episode talking about changes within our galaxy (*cough* Pluto)
Corrections on new discoveries with dinosaurs (our apparently fine-feathered-friends)
Life before cell phones
Crime Forensics (to an extent)
There are so many choices in topical scientific studies that I’m really excited to see what the creators decide to showcase. Hopefully it will be just as successful as the original series and we will have a positive program that is trusted by parents who learned from an familiar fiery Frizzle.
I think that we (as older viewers) need to either
watch it and love it if they do it justice nostalgically (Fuller Housedid this well, but the original was already geared toward both kids and adults) or
let go of our nostalgic reigns to let a new generation benefit off of an educational program aimed to please and educate kids, not adults.
The show is currently in production and I’m hoping to see it released soon!
Are there some quality scientific television shows already out there for youth today? Let me know some of them! I’m thinking of shows similar to Bill Nye, The Science Guy or the Magic School Bus for us 90’s kids.
Scroll down for a list of 16 ‘bad’ holiday films on Netflix
Remember those bad ‘made for TV’ movies that your mom used to watch when you were growing up? Somewhere along the line, somehow, my sister and I ended up loving them too and there are a lot more to choose from now compared to when I was a kid. Thanks Netflix Canada!
So why do I watch these movies when I also acknowledge how awful they can be? People may think that it’s a ‘guilty pleasure’ of mine, but I don’t feel shame in my enjoyment. I, like everyone else, think that I have incredible taste in quality media productions; however, again like everyone else, I like to watch meaningless bad television and movies from time to time. Hallmark Channel movies are no better or worse than the average reality television show
detailing the latest fad occupation (i.e. Shows about being a baker, a stay-at-home pageant mom, an ice truck driver, etc.). Both genres have productions that are: often poorly scripted; predictable; funny without being intelligent; cringe worthy; good to be on the background while you’re doing something more important; and lastly, they frequently star nostalgic actors and actresses who we haven’t seen since the 90’s or early 2000’s.
I’m not telling you to not expect more out of Hallmark movies though – they should still be held accountable for their white-heteronormative plot lines that consistently push the need for a prince charming and feature an insanely low percentage of racial diversity in their cast. We as an audience need to voice our want for more depth and options as white heterosexual women are not the only viewers. There is likely a very diverse audience that wants to watch low quality holiday love stories. If Hallmark Channel is making as many as 22 films for just one season, why do they all have to feature single white women looking for Mr. White – er I mean Right – as their Christmas wish? They don’t. The demand is out there so supply it to us you capitalistic card company conglomerate!
Back to my ‘So Bad It’s Good’ Holiday Movie list:
Phew – got that out of my system, so now let’s list the selection of bad-holiday-rom-coms on Netflix Canada 2016. I’ve already watched a bunch, but you may need some background fluff to put on the TV while you finish the last of your gift wrapping or while you get ready for Christmas with the family.
Here they are (not ranked), feel free to click the links below and watch the trailers ahead of time! You can type the title into your search bar or browse for these in the “Holiday Favourites” category on Netflix.
PS. I’ve watched the first seven PPS. As an atheist I often just choose to ignore whatever religious undertones come with Christmas movies as it’s the original basis for the holiday
DISCLAIMER: You must read the following blog post twice as fast as other blog posts.
I was just hitting double digits when Gilmore Girls first aired in the year 2000. My sister and I watched the show regularly and I found myself looking to Rory as a bit of a teenage role model. She was 16, smart, kind, genuine, and a brunette – all things that I looked for in someone to admire at that age and exactly what I hoped to be at her age. Of course, Rory’s character became less admirable as the seasons went on (her character was pretty annoying sometimes), but I wasn’t any less interested in who she dated as I vicariously lived through her love life.
I was eager to rewatch the series when Netflix put Gilmore Girls online. It was funny how different my viewing perspective had become as I was now more interested in Lorelai’s love life (team Max forever) and Rory’s boyfriends seemed a lot less perfect than I had remembered them being. Jess was actually a terrible boyfriend, Dean was a bit obsessive, and Logan, who I used to hate, wasn’t actually that bad of a guy – all conclusions that I never would have come to at the young age that I had originally watched the show. Amazingly, Netflix announced the upcoming Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life mini-series while I was in the middle of the rewatch which made my excitement for the new productions even greater!
So what do you need to know before midnight tonight?
Luckily one of my good friends Harley Pageot, founder of the independent record label Fallen Love, has documented some of his age calculations that he made during his rewatching process! Here are the ages of some important characters that we hope to see back in Stars Hollow:
Our leading ladies and one cute canine:
Lorelei – 48 (will turn 49 in April)
Rory – 32
Paul Anka – unknown; at least 12 (his breed usually lives 12-15 years)
And what about all the kids that were born in the GG universe?
Luke’s daughter April – 23
Lane & Zack’s twin sons
Steve – 9 (will turn 10 in March)
Kwan – 9 (will turn 10 in March)
Rory’s dad Chris’ daughter Gigi – 13 (will turn 14 in February)
These ages could be central to new plotlines; I’m really hoping that the show gives us a glimpse of some of the firsts that we got to see with Rory for these youthful characters. Part of the Gilmore Girls charm is the presentation of relatable life experiences through the eyes of different generations. Netflix’s accessibility has already introduced the series to a new younger audience that missed the show originally air on television. I’m hoping that the creators feature a few of these younger characters in their own version of 16-year-old-Rory-like-innocence, experiencing the ups and downs that come with coming of age.
What else do I hope to see?
A lot of fans are team Jess, team Dean, or team Logan, but Rory will likely be a reflection of Lorelai in the original first season – single, independent, and strong. #TeamIndependentWoman #TeamDestinysChildSongTitles
I have less specific hopes and a more general desire for the four mini-movies to feel like home. Gilmore Girls always had Stars Hollow at it’s heart of the story and the town felt immersive – who wouldn’t want to imagine living there? The seven seasons allowed us to feel right at home as we became overly familiar with the quirky town residents who seemed lovely on TV, but you’d likely want to kill in real life.
I’d like the new episodes to have a similar feel with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s amazing writing style, use of pop culture references, sense of humour, and warmth that originally drew ten-year-old-Cassy to keep watching each week.
I haven’t set my expectations too high in terms of wanting exact plot outcomes because I know that the creator and writers of the show will provide viewers with what we need: more mother-daughter moments that seem almost too good to be true, romance, character closure, some mistakes, some tears, a lot of hugging, Kirk and Taylor getting on Luke’s nerves, and small town nosy neighbours. We will get answers and like anything in life, not everyone will be pleased, but TV would be boring if we always got what we wanted.
Therefore, my expectations are that Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be what us fans need rather than what we want, but maybe…just maybe… it will be both!
Over the last four years, Chris and I have come to look forward to special holiday traditions. Pumpkin picking and carving are two favourites of ours.
I grew up in a household with parents who loved holidays more than other parents that I knew. We really celebrated and they made the holidays so much more fun. I happily carried this attitude into my adulthood and Chris has enjoyed being a part of the excitement.
We like to get our pumpkins from Pingle’s Farm, they are local, they have the best prices, and the biggest selection (last year we looked at another farm and immediately went back to Pingle’s).
As adults without children we don’t partake in the other autumn activities that are available at the farm, but families really should! In the past, my mom and I have taken my niece to the petting zoo, bunny hole town/sanctuary, smaller mazes, puppet theatre, hand painted face photo-cut-outs are all really fantastic. Pingle’s is also known for their massive corn fields that feature really creative designs.
Chris and I set out on Tuesday afternoon all smiles, but I was a little cocky about the weather. It was very cold out at PIngle’s, a farm located on a bit of a hill surrounded by a lot of open space. The chilly weather didn’t dampen our spirits, but it definitely put the trip on fast forward as we hurriedly went inside to pay after some humming and hawing over the over-sized vegetables.
My friend Lori Anne and her boyfriend Brett got a HUGE pumpkin this year and Chris wanted to try to ‘out pumpkin them.’ Since they’re not next to each other and we don’t have a scale to weigh ours, we can’t be completely sure, but I’d say theirs is the winner!
You can pick your pumpkin at Pingle’s either by choosing from a few heaping piles or by wandering their fields for a little more authenticity. We chose the first because it was cold man! We found ourselves a big pumpkin, then looked for a smaller cuter one for my Yoda decorations (you’ll see), and finally a tiny white pumpkin just for variety. We normally carve our own, but decided to share the big one this year.
When we got home, Chris wanted to spray them off before bringing them in the house (the adorable clean-freak that he is).
After dinner, Chris and I moved our coffee table aside, laid down the sheets we use as paint drop cloths, grabbed our garbage can and started to think of some jack-o-lantern ideas over some drinks. I sketched some typical face shapes while we watched an old Fresh Prince of Bel AirHalloween episode and Chris carved our lid.
Suddenly, I thought of (what we consider to be) a brilliantly hilarious idea. Chris and I are really into this odd comedy program called The Eric Andre Show (you need a special sense of humour to watch this show – you are now officially warned). Part of the show includes street skits in a style that is similar to those of Tom Green. One of the many skits that we love is one where the actor wears a ridiculous outfit, carries/drinks a bottle of ranch salad dressing, and shouts “Ranch it up” or “Legalize Ranch.” Like small children, we proudly began our pumpkin carving joke.
We emptied the pumpkin of its gook and guts pretty quickly. For someone who considers themselves quite artistic, I’m quite average at carving pumpkins. We use a regular steak knife and are moderately sloppy. Let’s just say that many toothpicks get used to repair designs that get cut off and we’re very okay with that.
We wanted to include a bottle of ranch dressing next to our pumpkin, but don’t really use it so we used an empty bottle, took the labels off, put less than an inch of baseboard paint in it and shook to our hearts content.
No, our pumpkins aren’t exceptional works of art, but they’re a lot of fun. More importantly, we have a lot of fun while working on them.
Tuesday night was memorable, we both really enjoyed ourselves, and it was one of those times that reconfirmed our love for each other. We’re best friends who like to laugh and hang out.
What did you carve into your pumpkins this year? Let me know!
Maybe you have a Halloween party or two to go to this weekend, waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or you’re just looking to get into the spirit of the holiday at home, here’s my list of really great Halloween themed episodes from TV shows that you can find on Netflix Canada.
We all have our favourite Halloween movies and there are plenty of lists naming the greats, but the issue is that Netflix Canada kind of dropped the ball on providing us with a decent selection this year.
Where’s Hocus Pocus? Where are all ten of the Halloween franchise films? What about those amazing animated holiday specials we used to watch on TV each year from Peanuts, Garfield, and other greats?
We need to see people dressing up, celebrating, and/or being spooked actually ON Halloween.
The perfect alternative to putting your favourite Halloween film on in the background while you get ready this year is to watch some of these holiday-special television episodes. I always love Halloween-themed episodes so I’ve taken the time to figure out the season and episode numbers of some of the shows that I like on Netflix Canada.
I hope that this makes it easier for you to coordinate your own Halloween-TV-marathon with Netflix Canada.
Cassy Curates: Halloween Episodes on Netflix (in no particular order):
S1 E7 – Introduction to Statistics [Day of the Dead Party]
S2 E6 – Epidemiology [Dena’s Halloween Party = Zombies]
S3 E5 – Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps
S4 E2 Paranormal Parentage [Pierce’s Mansion)
(NOT ON NETFLIX) S5 E8 – App Development and Condiments
For some reason, Netflix Canada only has the first 4 seasons of Community, but if you’re up to streaming the last one good for you! Community has made some of my favourite holiday-themed episodes of modern television. Definitely watch these ones for your marathon to either continue your love of the show, or to ignite your desire to start watching this fantastic comedy series!
I LOVE The Mindy Project and only hope that they make more holiday-themed episodes. We need to see Mindy Kaling in more costumes please! Also I really recommend that you read her two books that she has published, because she is one hilarious woman (especially beneficial if you’re also a fan of The Office as she has many behind the scene tidbits in her first book).
Simple titles, but these three episodes do not disappoint. If you don’t watch the show already, you’re going to want to start from the beginning after seeing Andy Sandberg’s adorable character dressed in a variety of costumes and carrying out more tricks than treats in an ongoing bet against captain Holt.
A show that everyone knows should have been granted with the go-ahead of a season two, luckily (for me) had a Halloween episode in it’s first. Many shows don’t do holiday-themed episodes every season so thank you Judd Apatow. This show is stacked with some great actors and actresses who had yet to see the fame that waited for them with later projects. If you’re a fan of 80s nostalgia, good writing, and teenage shenanigans than you should definitely give it a watch – I mean look how awesome actor Martin Starr, playing Bill, looks as the Bionic Woman!
Obviously Friends is on this list, it was my sister’s favorite show so I have seen every episode multiple times. It’s been nice to rewatch the series now that I’m in my mid-twenties too! This is strangely the only episode dedicated to Halloween and it took them until the eighth season to do it. A sexy cat and a soft pink bunny host a Halloween party, plus a bunny and a potato have an arm wrestling contest = gold.
I’m shockingly not a huge fan of How I met your mother, but I can admit that the show makes me laugh when it’s on. I dated someone who loved this show and I therefore saw quite a number of episodes, these two were far apart in seasons, but I loved that they exist. I also really appreciate the titles since so many shows go with the lazy ‘Halloween’ and leave it at that. If you’re single this Halloween and attending a party, these two episodes should be at the top of your Netflix marathon list. Be hopeful, and definitely dress up so that you don’t look stupid next to your very own slutty pumpkin soul mate.
S1 E8 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part I)
S1 E9 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part II)
S4 E7 – Hex and the Single Guy
I am still very pleased that Netflix put The Fresh Prince of Bel Air on their roster. I was/still am a huge fan of this show. It was able to be innocently funny while also producing some very touching and emotional scenes for teenagers to relate to. “Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect” is a very memorable two-parter for me, not only did it focus on one of my favourite holidays, but it also had a fairytale ending. Watch as Carlton and Will compete to get a date for the party and enjoy the amazing costumes! The fourth season’s Hexing Halloween episode also features Carlton looking his most hilarious as McCaulay Culkin!
I watched 3rd Rock on an irregular basis when it originally aired on TV, but I am so glad that I took the time to watch the entire series when it arrived on Netflix. It is now one of my favourite television shows ever and I strongly urge you to watch it from episode one. Since the show is about aliens, the sci-fi element always exists so it makes sense that only one episode in six seasons focused on Halloween. Maybe I’m biased, but I personally don’t think that there is a bad episode and you will laugh while Sally and Tommy attempt to guard Mary’s house from egg-ers and Harry gets spooked by a ghost.
I have a soft spot for Buffy as she represents a tough on-screen woman who is both strong and feminine – everything I strive to be! Yes she slays vampires and other supernatural beings, but she also takes the time to try and experience what it’s like to be a teenager which means Halloween parties, mishaps, and monsters who totally take the fun out of her downtime and put the fun in the series for the audience. In case you don’t know, Joss Whedon and his fellow writers incorporate humour insanely well and the Halloween episodes have some of the funniest lines! Even though “Hush” from the fourth season isn’t technically on Halloween, I included it because it is definitely the scariest episode in the series for me – check it out if you’re into creepy villains.
I watched Gilmore Girls when it originally aired and was heavily invested into Rory’s love life, it was funny to be more interested in Lorelei’s suitors when I rewatched it this past year. For a series that loved featuring the small town’s festivals, the creators tended to steer clear of holiday-themed episodes. The show was more episodic than some of the other sitcoms on this list, but I still wanted to include this one so that you can get a healthy dose of Stars Hollow-een in your system if you’d like. Plus I’d like to acknowledge all the times that Rory dressed in costume throughout the series – she had some pretty good ones!
Look at all the Halloween episodes to choose from! The Office was one of my true loves in high school, I’d say that it was my boyfriend instead of actual human males. The sheer number of holiday-themed episodes is reason enough to explain why. I drifted from the show after high school for a bit when it was heading toward its fifth season, but Netflix has made it easy to catch up on what I missed since then. Three-hole-punch Jim is a classic costume and seeing Dwight as a Sith Lord makes me very happy as well. If you’re an Office fan, you could just have a mini marathon of their Halloween episodes alone.
Scrubs is a work-centered medical dramedy so a lot of the costumes you see in this episode are at work. The Halloween themes are subtler than some of the other episodes on this list, but enjoyable just the same. J.D. and Turk are their ever-adorable selves so why not watch them bob for apples?
S3 E4 – Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die
This show makes me laugh so much, I love looking at the retro fashion and home décor. If you’re also a fan, you already know that it’s one of those programs that ran on a little too long, but these episodes were in the earlier seasons so they’re really great! In “Halloween,” Fez goes trick or treating for the first time as Adam West’s Batman and the gang watches the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in theatres. In “Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die,” the show parodies classic horror movies while Fez dresses in drag (Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque).
I only just started watching this show, it’s a bit wild, but is a great background show that makes me laugh. What’s exciting for me is that I haven’t actually seen this episode yet! I will definitely be including it in my own personal Netflix Halloween marathon. I don’t want to spoil the laughs for myself so all I researched was this one picture!
S1 E8 – The Magic School Bus: In The Haunted House
I included this one because it’s nostalgic and always educational! The great thing about including this one on your list is A. nostalgia and B. it’s nice and short. If you’re short on ideas for Halloween costumes still you should definitely go as Ms. Frizzle, you might not get another good opportunity to wear a wacky dress while being simply fabulous.
There you have it, 15 shows, 33 episodes, and plenty to choose from to make your own marathon! Hope you enjoy watching Halloween specials this year and I’ll be very jealous if you get to see Peanuts and Garfield.