TV Show Review: Ray Donovan (2013-2020)

I’m not the kind of guy you fire.

-Ray Donovan-

Long before Ray Donovan came on the screen, there were real life fixers in Hollywood.  The two most notable being Eddie Mannix and Fred Otash.  While Ray didn’t work during the time of Lana Turner and Marilyn Monroe, he was equally willing to do whatever it took to get what was asked of him and always something for himself.  Ray Donovan is about how a fixer in Los Angeles survives by doing everything that often leads to an unstable life during and outside of work: excessive drinking, inability to deal with past issues, extramarital affairs, and being emotionally distant from his family while loving them fiercely. 

Major cast includes Liev Schreiber plays Raymond “Ray” Donovan and Paula Malcomson plays Abigail “Abby” Donovan.  She is Ray’s wife. Eddie Marsan plays Terrence “Terry” Donovan, Dash Mihok plays Brendan “Bunchy” Donovan. They are Ray’s brothers. Pooch Hall plays Daryll Donovan.  He is Ray’s half-brother. Kerris Dorsey plays Bridget Donovan and Devon Bagby plays Conor Donovan.  They are Ray’s children. Jon Voight is Michael “Mickey” Donovan.  He is Ray’s father. Steven Bauer plays Avi Rudin.  He is Ray’s right-hand man. Katherine Moennig plays Lena Burnham.  She is Ray’s investigative assistant.

It’s clear the way he acts is the result of his poor upbringing and when his father returns, it becomes a push and pull between Ray and Mickey throughout the series.  There’s a slim chance he will ever heal from his wounds because he doesn’t take the time to deal with them and would much rather lock horns with everyone.  He is the quintessential antihero in where he loves his family, but he drives them to the point of desertion or pity for his inability to acknowledge his weaknesses. His life is a mantra of “it is what it is” or “a Donovan is always a Donovan” or “repeat over and over because that’s all you know.” 

His inability to make any worthwhile change or his father who has more lives than a cat is what makes this series binge worthy.  I would say the most confusing season was five, but the interaction between Abby and Ray were some of the best between them. The other appeal to Ray Donovan is the casting.  His brothers Terry, Bunchy, and Darryl, his wife Abby, his co-workers Avi and Lena, and his father Mickey compliment the show in such a way you want it to last forever.  There’s a reason why Jon Voight won a Golden Globe for playing Mickey Donovan. After seven seasons and 82 episodes running 60 minutes each, the show came to an end.  I’m hoping they create a movie like they did for Deadwood and now Dexter (to semi-reverse the ending most people did not like).  Everyone deserves that much especially the creator, Ann Biderman.

I rate Ray Donovan Four Fingers and One Thumb at 97%.

More You Know: Some Voting Stats and Innocent U.S. President Facts

Most of us know the presidential election is coming up in the U.S. I’m sure most everyone will have their eyes glued to the TV screens to see who might be the winner on November third. I still have to get back to Richard Nixon’s Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA or as some people refer to him as “Tricky Dick.” While he was tall, he wasn’t the tallest president because that goes to Abraham Lincoln who was 6’4″ or 1.9304 meters. The shortest president was James Madison at 5’4″ tall or 1.6256 meters. Who was the biggest president in terms of weight? That was William Taft who was 340 pounds. Who was the lightest president? That was James Madison who was 100 pounds.

In terms of presidents who were assassinated, there were four with Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy in 1963. The longest living U.S. president still alive is Jimmy Carter at 96 years and the longest living president who recently died is George H.W. Bush. The youngest president who died from gunshot wounds was John F. Kennedy at 46 years of age. The youngest president who died from sickness was James Polk at 53 years of age in 1849. Some presidents did not find the need to have children and there were five including George Washington, James Polk, Warren G. Harding, James Buchanan, and Andrew Jackson. The president with the most children was John Tyler who had 15 children between two wives.

So what does this all mean? Nothing really. I just like putting together information such as this. In terms of U.S. voting stats, there were only three years where voting turnout percentage during presidential elections was above 80%. They were 1876, 1840, and 1860. The lowest voting turnout percentage were the years of 1920, 1924, and 1996 when it ranged from 48.9 to 49.2%. As you can see below, the U.S. isn’t that motivated to vote in recent years. We haven’t gotten to 60% turnout since 1968. Time will tell if we reach it this year. One can only hope.

Weekly Facts #43

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge, 17.91 mm in diameter and 1.35 mm in thickness. 

Brown and black hair are the most common, followed by blond, and the rarest color is red at one to two percent of the population.

Before digital cameras and camera phones, there was the pinhole and photographic camera.

Theodor Seuss Geisel received a Pulitzer Prize award for Lifetime of Contributions to Children’s Literature in 1984.  He died at the age of 87 in California.

White hot chocolate drink is about 590 calories for a venti, which is one of the highest caloric drinks from Starbucks.

There are three types of distractions while driving: visual, manual, and cognitive.  Due to cellphone usage, manual is the number one distraction that causes accidents. 

More You Know: Top 10 National Parks and Service Sites in the U.S.A.

I’ve been to a handful of national parks, but only two listed on here. I hope to visit more in the future. I’m ready to get out in nature and see something new.

Top 10 National Park Service sites (419 total) by CNN in 2019
1. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA) :15 million visits
2. Blue Ridge Parkway (NC/VA): 14.9 million visits
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN): 12.5 million visits
4. Gateway National Recreation Area (NY/NJ): 9.4 million visits
5. Lincoln Memorial (DC): 7.8 million visits
6. George Washington Memorial Parkway 7.5 million visits
7. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (AZ/NV): 7.5 million visits
8. Natchez Trace Parkway (AL/MS/TN): 6.3 million visits
9. Grand Canyon National Park (AZ): 5.97 million visits
10. Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL/MS) 5.6 million visits
Top 10 National Parks (62 total) by CNN in 2019
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN): 12.5 million visits
2. Grand Canyon National Park (AZ): 5.97 million visits
3. Rocky Mountain National Park (CO) 4.7 million visits
4. Zion National Park (UT) 4.5 million visits
5. Yosemite National Park (CA) 4.4 million
6. Yellowstone National Park (ID/MT/WY) 4 million
7. Acadia National Park (ME) 3.4 million visits
8. Grand Teton National Park (WY) 3.4 million visits
9. Olympic National Park (WA) 3.2 million visits
10. Glacier National Park (MT) 3 million visits

Six Quotes about Politics

In politics you must always keep running with the pack. The moment that you falter and they sense that you are injured, the rest will turn on you like wolves.”     

-R. A. Butler-

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”    

-Ronald Reagan-

Politics, noun. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

-Ambrose Bierce-

Politics is the art of postponing decisions until they are no longer relevant.

-Henri Queuille-

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

-H. L. Mencken-

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”  

-Ernest Benn-

More You Know: Past and Upcoming U.S. Presidential Results

If you haven’t noticed or heard, there’s a lot of debate going on whether to trust the polls. In 2016 U.S. presidential election, half the nation was stunned and sad/mad while the other half was stunned and happy/thrilled. Fast forward to 2020 and we seem to be in the same predicament except four years have passed and we are in the middle of a pandemic. The U.S. has shown no hope of the COVID going away any time soon and other cities in the world are seeing an increase of this resilient virus strain and yet here we are without a vaccine. I’m willing to take it after there has been adequate testing and not rushing it like Ford did that ended in people getting sick in 1976. Let’s not do that again, but the U.S. seems to have a problem lately of repeating past mistakes.

Without getting any more political although unless you are a person who just doesn’t give a damn about either major party (can’t really blame people for this either) or belong to another party, I do encourage those people to get out there anyway. I know it is hard to care about something you don’t give a shit about and while your life may not depend on who gets elected in November or should I say January, this year seems more dire than others I lived through where I could vote. I never even voted in the 1996 election when I should have and since 2000 I have voted mainly as an Independent until I had to declare a party in 2008. As with most people, there are certain core principles I will not and cannot stray from and while I never thought of myself as political, it’s increased over the years since 2000.

I’ve seen more questionable things occurring from the Republican side of the coin as of late and I hope soon it can stop being a follow behind your leader and give no dissent party. The presidential debates leading up to an election is what makes life exciting, but not so much this year. I will spend the next two weeks trying to remain calm and know whatever the election results, I will have to accept. Trust me, I accepted Trump as president in 2016, but that didn’t mean I liked it. I had a tiny sliver of hope he would succeed on some level and while he did to a the littlest point, he has failed in more ways than not. From what political experts are saying, it will be a while until we know who is the next president of the U.S. after the election. I’m looking for more common ground in 2021 and beyond because we all deserve it. No one gets anything done when you are dealing with polar opposites or people when they close the door before it’s even opened.

I posted below the past presidential election winners. It’s interesting how there’s a flip flop of Republican and Democrat presidents since 1972 for the most part. Will Trump end up like H.W. Bush in 1992? Will Biden end up like Gore in 2000? No one will get a better picture until November 3rd and even then, still no one will know who is the clear winner because both sides have an arsenal of lawyers ready for the fight. Like I said before, buckle up because either way it’s going to be a bumpy ride from any angle one sits.

Presidential YearRepublicanElectoral CountDemocratElectoral Count
1972Nixon520McGovern 17
1976Ford240Carter297
1980Reagan489Carter49
1984Reagan525Mondale13
1988H.W. Bush426Dukakis111
1992Bush168W. Clinton370
1996Dole159W. Clinton379
2000G. Bush271Gore267
2004G. Bush286Kerry252
2008McCain173Obama365
2012Romney191Obama201
2016Trump306H. Clinton232
2020Trump???Biden???

Trifecta #44

Weekly Facts #42

October 12th is international moment of frustration scream day where people from Greenwich scream for 30 seconds to let out their frustrations.

Dark chocolate has more cacao in it, which makes it darker and purer.  Milk chocolate is lighter in color because it has milk or condensed milk in it.

The California Gold Rush happened between 1848 and 1855.  It started in Coloma, California and it led to an influx of people where it is the largest state in the U.S today.

The oldest casino in the world is Casino de Vencia in Italy and was built in 1638 and the oldest casino in the U.S. is Golden Gate Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and was built in 1906.   

The country with the highest birth rate is Angola where there are 44.20 births out of 1,000 people per year and country with the lowest birth rate is Monaco where there are 6.6 births out of 1,000 people per year.

Journal Entry Type #61: Expect Nothing but Do Much!

The emotions I felt with finally self publishing my poetry book are now gone. Am I feeling like I achieved something? And accomplishment? Somewhat to both. I remember saying I would send to bloggers following my blog a PDF version of my revised poems. I still will do that if you want it. Just email me at pisariescreator@yahoo.com and I will send it to you. If you want to read it on Kindle, you can buy it there too and maybe for free as it says on Amazon. I don’t use Kindle because I’d much rather read books I can touch and pages I can turn with my arthritic fingers. Note to self to tell my doctor to take X rays of my ankles because there is something going on with them. It is preventing me from sleeping well and I’m not that damn old to be having this kind of pain down there. If you want to buy it in actual book form, you can also do that too. I’m making more progress on my rewrite and confident once I get it proofread for grammatical errors, I will be able to self publish it in 2021. I plan on working on my rewrite this weekend again, but still dealing with another neighbor who loves to wake up early, which wakes me up too. I guess it’s the price I pay for apartment living. I’m eight days into my no junk food 30 day eating plan (which includes more than junk food such as fatty foods). This is about all I have to offer today as I’m going headstrong with watching Ray Donovan tonight and should finish the whole series by the end of this week. I hope everyone is having a good week and more later.

Kim Berg (aka: Pisaries Creator)

Poetry Collection: It’s Finally Here!

As promised in October, here is my reworked poems I’ve written in the past 25 years. Take a look and buy it if you are interested. It is in Kindle and paperback form. I know some of my followers have read these poems before, but I took a good portion of the year to revise them to make them better. Yes, it is true that even with poems, sometimes they don’t make sense when you read them again or in other words poems should also be rewritten and completely discarded if they don’t make any sense (to a point). Sometimes, I have to write that poem that doesn’t make sense. Anyway, follow the link below and I look forward to publishing my first novel next year. Until that time, I wish everyone a good day. Keep creating creators whatever that may be.

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