TV Show Review: Boston Legal (2004-2008)

Quote by Denny Crane

“Alan, you know, one thing you sometimes forget is, no matter how hard your day is, no matter how tough your choices, how complex your ethical decisions, you always get to choose what you have for lunch.”

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Creator: David E. Kelley

Executive Producers: Many

Writers: Many

Directors: Many

Major Cast in Season 1: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Monica Potter as Lori Colson, Rhona Mitra as Tara Wilson, and Lake Bell as Sally Heep.

Major Cast in Season 2: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Julie Bowen as Denise Bower, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, Monica Potter as Lori Colson, and Rhona Mitra as Tara Wilson.

Major Cast in Season 3: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Julie Bowen as Denise Bower, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, Gary Anthony Williams as Clarence Bell, Constance Zimmer as Claire Simms, and Craig Bierko as Jeffrey Coho.

Major Cast in Season 4: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, Gary Anthony Williams as Clarence Bell, John Larroquette as Carl Sack, Tara Summers as Katie Lloyd, Saffron Burrows as Lorraine Weller, and Taraji P. Henson as Whitney Rome.

Major Cast in Season 5: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, John Larroquette as Carl Sack, and Tara Summers as Katie Lloyd.

Total Seasons: 5

Episodes in Each Season: Varies

TV Rating: TV-14

Running Time of Each Episode: 44 minutes

*******

It took me a while to get into this show, but again once I did, I was fully invested.  I encourage anyone to watch this show again to understand how a loyal Democrat and a loyal Republican can have their major differences (sometimes with too much paintball gun firing) and still be friends at the end of the day.  Life definitely recycles itself into a TV show with Denny Crane (Republican who likes real guns a little too much) and Alan Shore (Democrat who has trouble with just about everything related to women).  They challenge each other every chance they get and throughout the show there is personal growth in them both.  Many topics highlighted and cases tried are the same ones of today and when you throw in the upcoming Presidential election as well, it is TV mirroring life.  With this being said, this show is more than two friends who grow to love and support each other although the center of the show is often Denny Crane’s Mad Cow as he refers to his disease.  The other law partners and lawyers of Crane, Poole & Schmidt operate more like a dysfunctional family than peaceful co-workers, but their main objective always being to win any civil case walking through the doors.  The show had a revolving cast, but it was never not entertaining.

Season one focuses on Alan Shore and the rival he forms with Brad Chase.  It didn’t help they both liked the same woman.  The second season has an introduction of new characters especially with Denise Bower and Jerry Espenson.  Season three was the strongest in the diversity of characters and guest stars.  Jeffrey Coho and Claire Simms entered as lawyers.  Clarence Bell finds his place in the firm.  Bethany Horowitz is a great adversary for Denny and Katey Sagal was superb and chilling as the overprotective mother.  The fourth season welcomed Carl Sack, Whitney Rome, Katie Lloyd, and Lorraine Weller into Crane, Poole & Schmidt family.  The last season made for desperate times as the firm’s existence hung in the balance despite Denny and Alan finding themselves in front of U.S. Supreme Court again.  If you are not anything like Denny Crane, but still find him entertaining and likable due to the great writing and acting of William Shatner, watch the show.  The same goes for Alan Shore as played by James Spader.   The two together actors portraying their characters amounts to gold.  This is one show I’d watch again.

*******

BEST EPISODE OF EACH SEASON

Season 1 = Tortured Souls” is the 15th episode where Alan takes a case defending a police officer accused of torture.  Denny takes on a case involving a woman left at the altar and his son, Donny, as the opposing counsel.  It aired on February 20, 2005.

Season 2 = “Smile” is the 15th episode where Alan defends a girl for being rejected because she can’t smile.  Denise and Shirley take a case about a hospital that refused to offer emergency birth control to a rape victim.  It aired on February 14, 2006.

Season 3 = “The Nutcrackers” is the 10th episode where Alan bets Shirley he can win his case involving twin daughters.  Denise, Brad, and Jeffrey takes a case about a woman who wants to sue God while Denny takes a case about custody of an anorexic teenager.  It aired on December 5, 2006.

Season 4 = “The Object of My Affection” is the 6th episode where Alan attempts to prove his client was temporarily insane when she killed the man who killed her daughter.  Jerry helps a client with Asperger syndrome and Denny fires an associate lawyer for being fat.  It aired on November 6, 2007.

Season 5 = “Thanksgiving” is the 10th episode where Shirley reluctantly invites some of  the firm members to her house for Thanksgiving.  This leads to a lot of disagreements, cold mashed potatoes, and overall chaos.  It aired on November 24, 2008.

*******

I rate Boston Legal Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%.

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More You Know: Looking for a Different Job, Try This!

Let’s face it, we’ve all looked for that perfect job and again very few of us have that perfect job where we feel 100% positive about whatever job it might be.  Most of us would rather be retired than working although there are probably a handful that like a routine and need to have a job in order to function.  I’m not sure yet where I fall into this category as I like to keep busy, but also enjoy my free time.  I could easily fall into a pattern of eating, drinking ice tea, watching TV and movies (wait, I do that already) instead of doing other things I should be doing.  As a way to further not do what I should be doing, I looked up different jobs around the world.  Some are better than others.  Some are downright not a chance would I do that.  Anyway, here they are in no particular order.

Do you like hockey?  As a Stanley Cup keeper, you are responsible to making sure the Stanley Cup doesn’t disappear as the winning team gets to have it while they celebrate.

Do you like eating dog food?  You can be a pet food tester.  You will be eating dog treats and dog food.  It’s a good way of not having to buy lunch.

Do you like clean water and bikes?  Move to Amsterdam and be a bike digger/fisher.  They empty the over 10,000+ bikes from the canals every year due to tourists.

Do you like shoving people?  Move to Japan and you can shove people onto trains during rush hour times.  These train pushers shove as many people onto one train as possible.

Do you like riding bike and dodging traffic?  In large cities, bike messengers are necessary such as New York City.  They basically provide quick delivery services compared to the longer option of taxis and walking.

Do you like to cry?  You can become a professional mourner in Africa, China, and the Middle East.  All you have to do is cry and make sad noises.

Do you have an addiction to Facebook?  Those who have no issue with creating fake accounts to boost someone’s ego, you can be a fake Facebooker.  Yes, that’s right.  I aim to have three million followers and six million likes (just kidding).

Do you like chemistry?  Those who are smart in chemistry can be a flavorist.  They get paid six figures for deciding natural and artificial flavors.

Do you like ostriches? As an ostrich babysitter, you are responsible for making sure they don’t hurt each other with their beaks and not get eviscerated in the process.

Do you like being creative?  The nail polish namer comes up with those memorable and catchy names on the bottles.

Do you like gum?  You can be a gumologist which means you figure how much flavor and sweetness/tartness should be in a piece of gum.  It also includes chewing gum.

Do you like ears?  In India, you can be a ear cleaner, which is an art passed down in the family.  They use a cotton covered needle and a pair of pincers. 

Do you like snakes?  Or maybe aren’t afraid to handle venomous snakes.  As a snake milker, you basically squeeze venom out of snake fangs for various medical uses.

Do you like to be in traffic?  Move to to Tehran, Iran and be a car plate blocker.  This way odd number license plates can drive with the even because your body covers the plate. 

Do you like pens?  People often have special pens and so when one breaks, it’s not a good thing.  You can be a fountain pen doctor which means you more than likely be fixing the nib from which the ink flows. 

Do you like cleaning and movies?  As IMAX screen cleaner, you clean dust and anything else people throw at screens.  This is not a job if you’re allergic to dust such as myself.

*******

Which job would I like the best and least out of all of these?  I would say the nail polish namer the best and the dog food tester the least.  Now, it’s your turn to decide.

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Journal Entry Type #31: Troubling or Not, I Am Still Here

troubleI admit I’ve been struggling lately with my life, mainly my facial pressure and headaches, not to mention the ringing in my ears.  Why I’ve been blowing my nose for two months straight now without having a major cold or flu is beyond me.  It’s irritating to say the least.  My arthritis is acting up and I’m still waiting to see my ENT for get results on my medical issues from last year.  Enough of this particular bitch fest.  

There are still things I thought I had processed, gotten over, thrown away in the mental garbage only to come back full force.  I don’t understand why people can’t see certain things right in front of their faces.  Can’t we do better than fighting among each other politically?  Can’t we do better than having Trump in the White House?  I mean this is all seriousness.  I spent last Saturday standing in line to vote for who I want to be the Democratic nominee in the upcoming Presidential election. 

While three hours seemed like six hours, I was willing to stand in line to vote early.  I’ve never taken part in a caucus and nor do I want to be in one.  I will vote for whomever is nominated by the people, but if s/he loses, there will be hell to pay and not just from her or his passionate believers.  It will be from all Democrats and everyone else who changed party lines to defeat Donald Trump in November.  There is no illusion in me that his passionate believers are just as passionate as Bernie Sanders.  I sometimes wish it was already November so I could get on with my life. 

It’s been a little nerve racking and I’ve found it hard to do such things as reading, coloring, writing, and exercising.  My roommate finally started reading my first novel idea and already has given suggestions but this is only for the first chapter.  I made a face when he said some parts went by too quickly and others needed more description.  I thought back to how I had taken out some description as I thought I added too much in.  I’m a little miffed at the task of rewriting this whole thing again, but I want to publish it so I need to to do it.  I’m also a little miffed I’m not churning out my second novel idea as quickly as I’d like and how quickly the year is moving.  Like my roommate said, this is what writing is all about and don’t rush something that isn’t ready.

I really hope to get back into my groove again, but I’m finding it hard to find the motivation.  I feel like I’m in a deep frustrating slump.  I find myself protesting the things that would help me.  I feel entitled to sit on my ass since everything on my body seems to be working against me right now.  I keep saying every Sunday, tomorrow is the day to get more routine in my life I used to have.  But then I think, I didn’t this mountain of crap going on physically back then and my brain seems to be have changed.  When can I retire?  Oh yeah, that’s right, not for a long time.

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More You Know: The Top Cruise Lines

The U.S. News & World Report ranked the best cruises for different variables such as singles, children, groups, affordability, etc in 2020.  Here’s the list they came up with and based on reviews and health ratings.

If you have lots of money to spend, these are your top seven cruise lines.

Best Luxury Cruise Lines

1. Viking Ocean Cruises

2. Seabourn Cruise Line

3. Crystal Cruises

4. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

5. Azamara Club Cruises

6. Oceania Cruises

7. Silversea Cruises

If you’re on a budget, these are your top eight cruise lines.

Best Affordable Cruise Lines

1. Royal Caribbean International

2. Celebrity Cruises

3. Norwegian Cruise Line

4. Princess Cruises

5. Carnival Cruise Line

6. Holland America Line

7. MSC Cruises

8. Costa Cruises

If you’re single and want to mingle, these are your top 10 ships to sail.

Best Cruise Ships for Singles

1. Seabourn Odyssey by Seabourn Cruise Line

2. Silver Spirit by Silversea Cruises

2. Viking Sky by Viking Ocean Cruises

4. Crystal Symphony by Crystal Cruises

4. Silver Muse by Silversea Cruises

6. Crystal Serenity by Crystal Cruises

6. Seabourn Encore by Seabourn Cruise Line

8. Nieuw Amsterdam by Holland America Line

9. Norwegian Joy by Norweigen Cruise Line

10. Viking Jupiter by Viking Ocean Cruises

If you want to bring your significant other, these are the your top 10 cruise lines.

Best Cruises for Couples

1. Viking Ocean Cruises

2. Seabourn Cruise Line

3. Crystal Cruises

4. Azamara Club Cruises

5. Oceania Cruises

6. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

7.  Celebrity Cruises

8. Silversea Cruises

9. Cunard Line

10. Princess Cruises

If you enjoy being with your whole family, these are your top six cruise lines.

Best Cruises for Families

1. Disney Cruise Line

2. Royal Caribbean International

3. Carnival Cruise Line

4. Norwegian Cruise Line

5. MSC Cruises

6. Costa Cruises

If you love the Caribbean, these are your top 10 cruise lines.

Best Cruises in the Caribbean

1. Disney Cruise Line

2. Royal Caribbean International

3.  Seabourn Cruise Line

4. Celebrity Cruises

5. Carnival Cruise Line

6. Norwegian Cruise Line

7. Princess Cruises

8.  Holland America Line

9. Oceania

10. Silversea Cruises

If you love the Mediterranean, these are the top 10 cruise lines.

Best Cruises in the Mediterranean

1. Seabourn Cruise Line

2. Crystal Cruises

3. Viking Ocean Cruises

4. Azamara Club Cruises

5. Oceania Cruises

6. Celebrity Cruises

7. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

8. Royal Caribbean International

9. MSC Cruises

10. Costa Cruises

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TV Show Review (so far): The Crown (2016-)

Quote by Prince Charles

“Something as curious as the monarchy won’t survive unless you take account of people’s attitudes.  After all, if people don’t want it, they won’t have it.”

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DON’T READ ANY FURTHER UNLESS YOU’RE OKAY WITH KNOWING ABOUT MINOR PAST AND PRESENT SPOILERS!!!

Creator: Peter Morgan

Executive Producers: Peter Morgan, Stephen Daldry, Robert Fox, Andy Harries, Suzanne Mackie, Matthew Byam Shaw, Philip Martin, Tanya Seghatchian, Allie Goss, Nina Wolarsky, and Benjamin Caron

Writers: Peter Morgan, Edward Hemming, Laura Deeley, Jon Brittain, Jonathan Wilson, Tom Edge, Nick Payne, Duncun Macmillan, Amy Jenkins, James Graham, and David Hancock

Directors: Benjamin Caron, Philip Martin, Stephen Daldry, Julian Jarrold, Philippa Lowthorpe, Samuel Donovan, Jessica Hobbs, and Christian Schwochow

Cast in Season 5 (so far): Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II

Cast in Season 3-4: Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II, Tobias Menzies as Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Marion Bailey as Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother), Charles Edwards as Martin Charteris, Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, David Rintoul as Michael Adeane, Sam Phillips as Equerry, Jason Watkins as Harold Wilson, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Alex Jennings as David (Duke of Windsor), and Lia Williams as Wallis Simpson

Cast in Season 1-2: Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Matt Smith as Philip (Duke of Edinburgh), Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, Victoria Hamilton as Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother), Julian Baring as Prince Charles, Billy Jenkins as Prince Charles, Will Keen as Michael Adeane, Pip Torrens as Tommy Lascelles, Lizzy McInnerny as Bobo Macdonald, James Hillier as Equerry, John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, Jeremy Northam as Anthony Eden, Harry Hadden-Paton as Martin Charteris, Clive Francis as Lord Salisbury, Ben Miles and Peter Townsend, Greg Wise as Lord Mountbatten, Anton Lesser as Harold MacMillian, Jared Harris as King George VI, Alex Jennings as David (Duke of Windsor), Lia Williams as Wallis Simpson, and Verity Russell as Young Princess Elizabeth

Seasons: three so far and five when the show ends

Episodes in each season: 10

Running time of each episode: 58 minutes

Rating: TV-MA

*******

I was really hoping The Crown would last more than five seasons.  The first season two seasons had Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II.  It made sense to me to have two seasons with Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II and then at least two more with Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II.  It would have been interesting to see sort of a family arc come sort of full circle: staring with the Duke of Windsor leaving with Wallis Simpson and ending with Prince Harry leaving with Meghan Markle and their son.  Then again, most of the world already has intimate knowledge about the latter’s relationship so it probably makes better sense to end it in season five.  

It seems half the world’s people doesn’t care about British royalty where the other half is fascinated by it.  I guess I fall in the latter half.  I’m fascinated by all royalty including the Windsor and Mountbatten-Windsor family.  Queen Elizabeth II is in fifth among the longest reigns of sovereign states with exact dates.  She is the only one living from this list and has ruled for 68 years and 10 days so far.  The top spot belongs to Louis XIV from France with a reign of 72 years and 110 days.

This drama and history show begins with a change in trajectory of Princess Elizabeth’s life where she becomes Queen after her uncle abdicates the throne and her father dies prematurely.  She faces the task of keeping neutral as prime ministers come and go.  Highlighting is her marriage to Prince Philip and strong relationship with Winston Churchill in the first two seasons, but familial turmoil continue to as third season begins with new dramas as well as political fractures.

The Queen is older and a mother of two young adult children with a mind of their own.  Prince Charles and Princess Anne are about as different as the Queen and her sister. Prince Charles takes on more duty as a royal and catches the eye of Camilla Shand.  It is also where Princess Margaret and Princess Anne are trying to find their places in the royal family and illustrate no matter how big of a castle you live in, there are reasons not to celebrate.  And yet, season three ends with the Silver Jubilee for the Queen.

I rate The Crown Four Fingers and One Thumb.

It is NEAR PERFECT at 97%.

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Book Writing Exercise

You are a camp counselor.  Make up a story that will scare the bejesus out of of your eight-to ten-year-old campers.

campfire

When I was around your age, I too went camping with my friends.  We had convinced our parents we were old enough to handle it.  Boy, were we wrong.  By the end of the night, we all realized how wrong it all was, but it was too late.  We shouldn’t have left our beds.  We should have obeyed our curfew.  We should’ve brought more flashlights into the woods.

We had already stuffed our faces with roasted marshmallows when I heard something in the woods.  It was faint, at first, and no one else heard it.  When I told everyone to be quiet, they said I was being a cry baby.  I said no more, half turning my body so I could look out of the corner of my eye for danger.  I was going to protect my friends no matter how stupid they thought I was acting.  It wasn’t about thirty seconds later when I heard the noise again.  It got louder and stopped.

This time Marcus, sitting next to me, heard it too.  He turned around and grabbed my arm.  When I stood up, he stood up with me.  I searched for anything out of the ordinary, but couldn’t see anything, and this sent a shiver up my spine.  I quickly turned back and told my friends, roasting their hotdogs, that we needed to leave.  Their responses were amounted telling me to shut up and quit ruining the night.

Jacob was in the middle of telling his own story about how he was going to make out with Melissa at the next dance when his hotdog exploded in the fire.  He jumped up, thinking it was cool, and grabbed another from the plastic bag.  After he jabbed it on the stick, he stuck it over the fire, rotating it slowly.  He screamed in pain, dropped his stick, and when we asked him what was wrong, he couldn’t formulate words. Everyone was laughing at him, thinking it was a prank, but he kept patting his pockets. 

I shined a flashlight on him and to my horror blood was spilling out of his jean pockets onto the ground.  Soon his face had no color and his body shrunk to the size of a flagpole.  His flesh fell off his bones and on his face too.  The only thing remaining were his eyeballs. They were darting back and forth until they fell out too.  The last thing he did was collapse and land on a broken log that shattered his bones.  I couldn’t see what happened next because my flashlight went out and the fire had died out somehow.  I heard my friends scatter in all directions.

I was mad at my friends for not believing me and not sticking together.  I hadn’t taken more than a few steps when I tripped and my hand braced itself onto something wet.  It wasn’t a fallen tree and knew it was someone’s leg.  It was a dead leg.  A dead leg belonging to one of my friends.  A severed dead leg with bone exposed was what I felt.  By the time I got to the edge of the woods, my jeans and shirt were stained with blood and then I heard the same noise from before. 

I ran fast as I could and when I turned around, no one was there.  To my knowledge no one made it out of there alive except me.  I haven’t seen Marcus since that night and no one ever found the bodies of my friends.  I doubt the thing out there will come back and kill me, but there’s one thing I know for sure, I’m much safer when I’m around kids.

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Third Week in February Quotes

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Like them or not, here are some quotes from U.S. Presidents, starting with George Washington and ending with Donald Trump.  And yes, I posted this because it’s Presidents’ Day in the U.S.

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quote1

scquote

quote2

frquote

quote3

dequotequote4

boquote

quote5

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Weekly Facts #7

I spent some of Saturday working and then stood in line for three hours to vote for who I wanted to be the Democratic candidate to run against Trump in November 2020.  I remember a long time ago in my Political Science class how important it was to vote (in the semi-Democracy the U.S.A has), at least that is what my professor said.  We conducted a poll in his class and he said every year it had never been wrong.  This was during the time of the Clinton/Gore (Democrat) or Bob Dole/Jack Kemp (Republican) ticket.  I wonder if his students predicted it right in 2016 as Trump/Pence won the electoral vote but not the popular vote (despite Trump thinking he did).  This is the long version of me running out of time to expand on these facts plus I binge watched Narcos: Mexico over the weekend.  If you haven’t already watched season two, watch it.  Netflix better renew it for a third season so I can see where Walt Breslin next travels to and see the great acting by Diego Luna as Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo.

*******

An astronaut can be up to two inches taller returning from space.  The cartilage disks in the spine expand in the absence of gravity.  Sounds like I need to go to space to become taller?

J is the only letter that doesn’t appear in the periodic table of elements.  Interesting for science geeks or maybe not.

Abraham Lincoln’s corpse has been buried, exhumed, inspected, or reburied about 17 times since his death.  This doesn’t surprise me, but safe to say Lincoln won’t be dug up again.

Without an atmosphere, the surface temperature on Earth at the equator would be 176 degrees by day and fall to -200 degrees at night.  No thanks.

Kissing can reduce tooth decay.  Okay, I’d rather brush my teeth.

Brandy is the liquor most likely to cause the most severe hangover.  Good to know for those who drink heavily although this is probably already known.

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Trifecta #27

caucus

bird2

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Poem: Bubbles

bubbles

Knife moving through water,

swinging without abandon,

slicing without progress,

stability lost.

Waves gaining speed,

yearning to get away,

yawning to rest soon,

yellow arrives.

Blood claiming vital space,

growing much thicker,

gaining much wider,

guessing around.

Death confusing the sky,

madness with uncertainty,

morning with lightning,

purple now.

Knife moving through sand,

uncharacteristic bubbles settles,

urban bones drying,

universe sings.

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