Friday FabOoolousness – The “Kiss and Kill Murder”

The time was 1961, and the place was Odessa, Texas.  High school football was king, and still is today.

In the ‘60s, teenagers lived for their weekly pep-rallies and frequent trips to Tommy’s Drive-In for their ice-cold cherry cokes.

Teens also spared no expense in driving up and down the strip, or cruisin’ as it was called.  After all, gas was cheap back then.

Teenage girls appeared innocent with their ponytails, bobby-socks, and penny-loafer shoes.

Not seventeen year old Betty Williams.

Elizabeth J. Williams lived with devout Christian parents.  Her father prohibited her from normal teenage activities such as dating and seeing movies, especially anything with Elvis Presley.

What sometimes happens with overly protective parents? Betty defied the rules.

She was flirtatious, and sometimes aggressive with the boys.  She mocked teachers and other girls, and didn’t shy away from making inappropriate comments.  She would wear tight clothing revealing more than she should, and she just didn’t care – outwardly, anyway.

Betty dreamed of leaving Odessa and becoming an actress, but her reputation stood in the way of her dreams.  She was overlooked during the casting of Our Town as “Emily” because she wasn’t innocent enough, but not being cast in Winterset really upset Betty.

Mack Herring was cast in Winterset, as “Garth” – the killer.  Mack played football at Odessa High School, and was Betty’s ex-boyfriend, many times removed.

The two teens had a tumultuous relationship.  They fought constantly, but couldn’t stay away from each other.  Publicly though, Mack refused to be seen with Betty.

After losing Mack and the play, Betty did the unthinkable.  She asked to die.  According to friends, she asked quite a few girls in class to kill her.  The girls of course didn’t take her seriously; Betty was an actress.

Late at night on March 21, 1961, Betty rode with Mack to a stock pond outside Odessa wearing only her pink pajamas.  Being a perfect gentleman, Mack helped Betty down out of his jeep and wrapped his red and white letter jacket around her to keep her warm.  The two walked together to the pond, where she asked for a kiss.

The two teens kissed, and Betty knelt down in front of Mack on the ground where he had removed the rocks and pebbles for her.

Mack picked up the 12-guage shot-gun that he had brought with them, held it to her head, and pulled the trigger after Betty said, “Now.”

From “Washed in the Blood” p. 84, 2004, Bristol Publishing Company

After a few days, Mack led the police out to the scene of the crime.  He immediately pointed to the stock pond where he had placed Betty’s body, remembering the exact location because he had centered himself between two mesquite trees before putting her into the water.

Mack never denied planning the murder or killing Betty.

Needless to say, murder charges were brought against Mack and his trial began in February, 1962.  Although he wasn’t the star athlete, the trial gave him celebrity status.  High school girls, known as “Mack’s Girls” filled the courtroom to support him.

The media soon named the shooting, “The Kiss and Kill Murder.”

The trial took place in Winkler County, since the stock pond was physically located within Winkler’s county lines.  Former Odessa District Attorney, Warren Burnett served as Mack’s defense attorney, while Andrews’ County District Attorney, Dan Sullivan represented the state.

In opening statements, Burnett clearly indicated that he had no intentions of disputing the murderous plot, or the fact that his client shot and killed Betty Williams.  He did, however, shock the courtroom when he announced that the court must first prove Mack’s sanity at the time of the murder.

Burnett continued to rock the courtroom when he introduced an apparent suicide letter written by Betty:

“I want everyone to know that what I am about to do no way implicates anyone else.  I say this to make sure that no blame falls on anyone other than myself.

“I have depressing problems that concern, for the most part, myself.  I am waging a war within myself, a war to find the true me and I fear that I am losing the battle.

“So rather than admit defeat I am going to beat a quick retreat into the no man’s land of death. As I have only the will and not the fortitude necessary, a friend of mine, seeing how great is my torment, has graciously consented to look after the details.

“His name is Mack Herring and I pray that he will not have to suffer for what he is doing for my sake. I take upon myself all the blame, for it lies on me alone.” – Betty Williams (Washed in the Blood, p 102-103).

Burnett called other classmates of Betty’s to the stand to testify that she also approached them for assistance in her death.  His star witness, psychiatrist Dr. Marvin Grice, testified that after Betty repeatedly asked Mack to kill her, Mack lost his ability to reason and agreed.

On Saturday, February 25, 1962, the jury found Mack Herring innocent by reason of temporary insanity.  The result was the same later that year when Mack’s sanity was tried again, this time in Beaumont, Texas by the Texas Supreme Court.

No one really won in this case. Betty was gone, and Mack’s life would never be the same again.  While Mack was looked at as a star during his trial, the celebrity faded and he slowly became a pariah.

Betty is still known around town as the “Ghost of Odessa High School” where she lingers around the school’s theatre.  She’s also known as “The Original Drama Mama.”

For more about the tragic story of Betty Williams, read Washed in the Blood, a novel written by her cousin, Shelton Williams.

Shelton “Shelly” Williams attended the high school across town at the time of his cousin’s murder.  He was actually a classmate of my mother’s and my aunt’s, which is one reason why I’m so intrigued by this story.   Washed in the Blood is a fabOoolous read, and I highly recommend to anyone that loves true-crime stories.

It was rumored that Hollywood, including actress Moira Kelly (Twin Peaks, Cutting Edge, and One Tree Hill), was interested in adapting Betty’s story to a screen play.  I’m not sure where the project is today, but I can only hope to see it come to fruition one day.

Were you familiar with the “Kiss and Kill Murder”?  Did you know of any particular person during your high school years that resembled misunderstood youth similar to Betty?  Do you think Mack was indeed temporarily insane?  What true-crime story has affected you?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, to lighten the mood, check out Lyn Midnight’s post – The Blog of Fame: Google Brain Farts.  Oh, how search engines amaze…

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Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Converting Bad Cons to Good

Welcome back to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday!  Today, Amber West and I continue reviewing the hit programs on TNT and USA.  Each network has a con and a medical story to tell, and we break them down in today’s special quadruple edition.   

Can a con-man change to good? 

TNT and USA think so!  Both networks have hit summer programs featuring some of the most likable con-men on television.  While each con might have to resort to their old ways in order to bring down an even worse foe, they all fight the good cause and do what’s best for mankind and to uphold the law. 

 Leverage – Sunday nights on TNT

The Leverage team consists of a group of criminals turned do-gooders that utilize their specialized skills to avenge those harmed by the wealthy and/or powerful.  Each character has his or her own flaw which helps the viewers understand their passion behind the individual cases they accept. 

Nate Ford (Academy Award winner, Timothy Hutton), “The Mastermind” – Nate leads this team of otherwise misfits.  He battles alcoholism trying to recover from the death of his son, which in turn cost him his marriage and his job as an insurance investigator.  Nate selects the team’s clients, and he uses his skills to anticipate the movement of the con’s marks while the rest of his team is in play.

Sophie (Gina Bellman, Coupling), “The Grifter” – Sophie is Nate’s right hand.  She has secrets that even the audience is still trying to figure out: is she royalty? Is she married? Or is she just a great actress? Well, maybe she’s not as great on stage as she is at playing the marks of the con.  And, what is her real name for crying out loud?

Now to the “side-kicks”, without whom, the show would not be the same.

Eliot (Christian Kane, Angel), “The Hitter” – Eliot has a bit of an anger-management problem: he loves to punch and kick, but he refrains from using guns as much as possible.  Eliot’s number one job is to protect the team; but, sometimes he takes on a character role that showcases his intelligence, and not just his muscle, in order to complete the con.

Hardison (Aldis Hodge, Friday Night Lights), “The Hacker” – Like one might assume, Hardison loves his computers, technology, and “Lucille,” his thoroughly pimped out techie van.  He has designed the team’s headquarters twice now (they had to blow the first office up to hide their identities), and the specialized equipment the team uses on each case. 

Parker (Beth Reisgraf, multiple TV appearances in shows like How I Met Your Mother and My Name is Earl), “The Thief” – Moving from foster home to foster home, Parker lacks many social skills, but might just have the biggest heart of all the cons.  One might think that Parker lacks empathy, but when she’s emotionally involved in a case, she’ll stop at nothing to take down the bad guys.  Parker is one of the best thieves around, and her supreme safe cracking skills and her extreme acrobatics make her crucial to every case.

The Leverage team gets it done, and I grant my second GTV (Gourmet TV) rating of the season: Leverage gives us everything we want and more.

White Collar – Tuesday nights on USA

Meet Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer, from Chuck and Tru Calling), a suave and sexy professional con-artist captured by FBI agent, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). 

Season one opens with Peter releasing Neal from prison under the strict supervision of an ankle monitor, AND one condition: Neal must use his criminal expertise to assist the White Collar division of the FBI in capturing bad guys. 

Neal enlists the help of his fellow con-man, Mozzie (Willie Garson, aka Stanford Blatch from Sex and the City), who despite his distrust of the government, stands by his friend’s side and builds his own relationship with Peter and Peter’s wife, Elizabeth (played by Tiffani Theissen, Saved by the Bell and the real 90210). 

In addition to solving a new FBI case each week, Neal focuses on discovering the truth behind his girlfriend Kate’s disappearance.  Neal continues his search while everyone, including Peter and his FBI right-hand Diana (Marsha Thomason from Vegas), investigates Kate’s story on their own, each hoping to bring closure to Neal’s heartache. 

White Collar builds fun and heartfelt character relationships: Peter/Neal, Peter/Elizabeth, Elizabeth/Neal, Elizabeth/Mozzie, Neal/Alex (another of Neal’s con-buddies played by Gloria Votsis), and Neal/Sara (insurance investigator/Neal’s current love interest played by Hilarie Burton). 

Season 2 ends with Neal’s previous mentor turned nemesis, Vincent Adler (Andrew McCarthy best known from his 80’s hits Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo’s Fire) escaping once again after the U-Boat treasure that Neal and Peter helped reveal, goes up in flames. 

Or does it? Neal is a con, remember. 

Will Neal flee with Mozzie and claim their fortune? Or will he stay and continue his new life helping the FBI catch other cons?  He is a great asset for the Feds…and our television screens!

This has never been done before, but I grant White Collar another GTV (Gourmet TV) rating of the season: it has everything we want and more. 

That’s two in one post!

Did I mention that Neal is sexy?  Neal’s piercing baby blues and charming smile illuminate in combination with his dapper tailored suits and his Fedora hat. 

Do you agree with my double GTV ratings this week?  Are you a Leverage or White Collar fan?  Would Leverage be worthy of a GTV rating without Eliot, Hardison, and Parker?  Will Neal stay or will Peter have to arrest him yet again?  I’d love to hear from you!

Did someone call a doctor?

Now click over to Amber’s review of this summer’s medical programs: TNT’s HawthoRNe and USA’s Royal Pains.  What will she rate two of the networks biggest hits?

Come back next week for a special recap edition as Amber and I revisit our earlier Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews. What are we still watching?  Have our opinions changed? 

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our August and September schedule and would love to chat with you!

Last, but certainly not least, did your favorite TV shows make the Emmy nomination categories?  Vote here for the 1st annual Tamberny awards.  Leave a comment by July 29th and you could win blog linkage on my special Tele-Tuesday Siskel and Ebert style Emmy breakdown where Amber and I promise to not agree!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

 A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds

SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out

NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer

LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday – New to Summer: Better Late Than Never

Summer is coming to an end, and we have some new programs to sink our teeth into before the fall television series return.  These new shows bring drama galore – police drama, dating drama, and teen drama.  What will you watch?

The new police drama:

Against the Wall – Lifetime

Wanting to advance her career in the Chicago Police Department, Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani most recognizable for her recurring roles on Cane and The Glades) is faced with a tough decision.  Does she wait for the necessary promotions as a female detective, or speed things up and join the Internal Affairs division?  Abby chooses IA, and her decision causes a divide within her family; a family with a long line of Chicago police officers.

Everyone knows that cops and IA officers do not get along – but what happens when a decision affects your entire family dynamic?

Against the Wall also stars Treat Williams (Everwood), as Abby’s father, and Kathy Baker (Picket Fences, Medium), as her mother.

Following the Internal Affairs division instead of detectives adds a nice twist to the ever popular television police drama.   Find out this Sunday if it’s worth a watch– Against the Wall premieres July 31st.

The new comedy – dating drama:

Friends with Benefits – NBC

Hot on the tails of the major motion picture success of No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits, NBC brings us this new thirty-minute comedy following a group of twentysomethings as they battle the dating world.

In Friends with Benefits, everyone is single and looking – Ben Lewis (Ryan Hansen, Veronica Mars) wants the perfect woman.  Sarah Maxwell (Danneel Harris Ackles, One Tree Hill; yes ladies – she’s married to Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles), just wants someone to settle down with and perhaps start a family.  There’s also the figurative “lady-killer” (Fitz played by Andre Holland), the “free-spirit” (Riley played by Jessica Lucas, who also played Riley on the new Melrose Place), and the “techie-genius” (Aaron played by Zach Cregger).

Oh, and Ben and Sarah are apparently the “friends with benefits.”  Who wants to bet they eventually decide they are soul-mates?

Produced by the great Brian Grazer (Parenthood and Arrested Development), Friends with Benefits might just make the grade.  Find out when the show premieres August 5th.

The new YA inspired drama:

 

The Lying Game – ABC Family

From the creators of Pretty Little Liars, and based on the novel by Sara Shepard, ABC Family brings the young adult audience another teen mystery this August.

Emma Becker learns that she was separated at birth from her identical twin sister, Sutton Mercer (both roles played by Alexandra Chando, As the World Turns).  Emma, a foster-child, agrees to switch places with her twin and live Sutton’s life with her wealthy adopted family while Sutton searches for their birth mother.

Not long into the switch, Emma learns that Sutton has disappeared and she’s faced with the dilemma of telling the Mercer family and all of Sutton’s friends the truth.  Is Sutton in trouble? Why were they separated in the first place?

Like most other ABC Family dramas, The Lying Game has cast a well-known group of actors: Andy Buckley as Ted Mercer (The Office), Helen Slater as Kristin Mercer (Supergirl, The Legend of Billy Jean), Tyler Christopher (General Hospital), Blair Redford (the new 90210), Alice Greczyn (Privileged), and Adrian Pasdar (Heroes).

If the mystery is anywhere near as decent as its predecessor, Pretty Little Liars, TLG is definitely worth a watch.  The Lying Game premieres August 15th.

What do you think? Do any of these shows interest you enough to watch?  Do you think starting in August will help or hurt these shows? Do you know of any other late summer starts?  I’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to go vote for the Tamberny Awards show by clicking here before July 29th!  And, just to show how fun Amber and I can be….

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Friday FabOoolousness – July’s MarvelOoous Mashups and Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Stacy Green awarded me my third blogging award – The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.

THANK YOU, Stacy!  Winning this award for my Tele-Tuesday, Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, and Friday FabOoolousness posts means so very much to me.  I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, and sweet isn’t one of them.  Just kidding!

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award icon on my site, they will experience Stacy’s fabOoolous blog!

I’d also like to thank my great friend, Kathy Owen, for awarding me the Stylish Blogger and Versatile Blogger awards this month.  PLUS, Kathy is the brains behind Amber West’s and my new blog series, The Tamberny AwardsHave you voted?

Kathy writes the best blog series.  Her Monday Masters of Mystery and Fashion Fridays are two of my must see posts each week.  Check them out!

Before I answer the questions associated with The Irresistible Sweet Blog Award, click on these fabOoolous sites in the July edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: A Trip Down Memory Lane – the ‘80s and ‘90s

Did anyone keep an old mixed tape? Check out The Lost Art of the Mix Tape by my dear friend, Jenn Alexinas.  What do you think?  Does every mixed tape say something about its maker?

“The Two Coreys” – Corey Feldman and Corey Haim.  What girl didn’t Dream a Little Dream of these two in the ‘80s?  Stacy Green (yep, the one and only from up above) takes us back to the classic film, License to Drive.

It may have all began in the late ‘70s with Halloween, but the ‘80s are often times associated with the birth of many horror films like Friday the 13thSonia Medeiros discusses Who was That Masked Slasher in this Fear Friday Feature.

Not to leave the ‘90s out, Catie Rhodes delves deep into the friendship, character conflict, and theme of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion in this great post.

PART II: FabOoolous writerly posts

Interested in writing fantasy? Check out these demon names and meanings by Graylin Fox.

Need help with the scenes? Check out Structure of a Scene by my fellow Warrior Writer buddy, Suzan Isik.

How many of us put a book down if the first page doesn’t hook us?  The Bookshelf Muse, aka Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, offer some First Page Tips.

Guilty of information dumps? Paying too much or not enough attention to setting? Check out 12 Pitfalls to Avoid by Roni Loren.

Want to use artifacts, archaeology, and human history in your writing?  Check out this great example by Gene LemppDystopia Island.

 PART III: Just because they’re fabOoolous

Heard about the new Google+?  Not sure what to think about another social media site?  Check out Amber West’s post.  She says to not be scared….

Deep in the woods, and inside a bloodied bunker, what exactly will we find at Site 27?  I mean, besides dismembered feet.  Vote Your Own Adventure here and support the great Jen Kirchner.

Like choosing the story’s direction?  Then remember Mark Lidstone’s Zombies Vote Your Own Adventure story.  There are zombies everywhere, and our protagonist is cut. How long before the infection sets in?

Love vampires, warlocks, and tons of action? Check out Steven Montano’s flasfiction series, Tales of Blood Earth.  The twelve chapters published on his website make for some fabOoolous reading.  Remember, start from the beginning….

And, now my answers to Stacy’s fun questions associated with the Irresistible Sweet Blog Award.  Enjoy!

If you were a vampire, which celebrity would you first sink your teeth into?  Wow, this is a tough one.

The word vampire immediately makes me think of Damon Salvatore, so I guess that would be Ian Somerhalder. 

What’s you’re middle name? Not your REAL middle name. Your middle name.  I try to keep this blog rated-PG, so let’s go with Brat.  Yep, it’s definitely Brat.

You’re stranded on an island. There’s a monkey with you there, but he’s not too chatty. You also have a ball at your disposal. A ship passes by, but it’s daylight. How will you attract their attention?  My mind immediately goes to streaking….

What are you secretly afraid of? And what are you REALLY afraid of?  I don’t keep many secrets; if I’m afraid of something, everyone around me knows it.  I’m deathly afraid of severe storms (I hide the second I hear the tornado sirens nearby, even if it’s a false alarm; okay, well maybe not on a false alarm, but you catch my drift), sharks (and pretty much anything that swims around in the ocean), scorpions, and things that fly and sting (well, moths too – they fly, but supposedly they don’t sting).

Describe your best friend in five words.  Incredibly intelligent, patient, strong, hero, and love (I’m not counting “incredibly” or “and” as words).

What’s the last movie you watched? Was it good?  Because I’m difficult, I’m breaking this down into two categories:

At the theaterTransformers 3. Great summer entertainment – full of fabOoolous stunts and special effects.  Plus, I actually teared up twice.  What can I say?  I love the bond between Sam and BumbleBee.

From RedboxHall Pass.  We heard really bad things about Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis’ film, but we laughed our rears off.  One scene especially caught us so off guard, that I was glad we weren’t eating dinner.  Someone would have spit his food everywhere; I’m just saying.

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? What are some of your favorite things from the ‘80s and ‘90s? What are you afraid of?  What’s the last movie you’ve seen?  Please share!  I’d love to hear from you!  Happy Friday FabOolousness everyone! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – SyFy TV

This week, Amber West and I switch things up yet again and review two of TV’s hot new science fiction dramas on TNT and SyFy.

Over the past few years, the SyFy network has rivaled the basic television channels with their original series such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Andromeda which all aired for at least five years each.

Today, SyFy has found new must-see television with series Being Human, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Haven, and Sanctuary, which is why when Alphas premiered July 11th, our household couldn’t resist checking it out.

Alphas follows five people who have super human abilities.  Together, they track and study other Alphas while also working with local law enforcement to ensure that other Alphas misusing their powers are sent to “The Compound” and kept off the streets. 

Dr. Lee Rosen – a non-Alpha played by Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Temple Grandin), leads the extraordinary team of Alphas, and uses his scientific research to better understand and control the Alpha population.

Each Alpha has a neurological difference providing them with an exceptional advantage over humans.

Would you like the strength to physically move a car blocking your path?

Meet Bill – a hyperadrenal-Alpha with super strength and training as a former FBI Agent, played by Malik Yoba (New York Undercover).  Bill reminds me of the Hulk, only he sweats profusely when his power is activated. 

Have you ever dreamed of pitching a perfect game?  What if you could master the art every time you stepped on the baseball mound? Or, what about the ability to toss a quarter into the vending machine change slot from ten feet away? 

Meet Cameron – a hyperkinesis-Alpha with perfect aim and motor skills, as well a history as an army sniper, played by Warren Christie (October Road).  Cameron appears vulnerable despite his physical stature.  He’s haunted by his failed marriage, and he misses his son desperately.

Would you like the ability to manipulate your way out of a speeding ticket by simply making eye contact with the traffic officer?

Meet Nina – an influencing-Alpha who manipulates others with her power of persuasion, played by Laura Mennell (Blood Ties and the motion picture, Watchmen).  Nina is absolutely beautiful, and she drives a new “borrowed” sports car in each episode. Now that’s what I call a super power! 

Have you ever wished that you could intercept the audio waves of a cell phone call so that you could hear the entire conversation taking place in front of you?  Or wish that you had the ability to read someone else’s text messages from a distance? 

Meet Gary – a transducing-Alpha or human antennae that can intercept any sound or radio wave, played by Ryan Cartwright (Bones).  Gary is always maneuvering his fingers through the air as he enjoys the different internet feeds, audio waves, etc.  He lacks a sense of humor, and the ability to lie.  I almost wonder if he has a form of autism.

Would you like the ability to eavesdrop on conversations taking place about you when you’re not around? How about the super power of microscopic vision?

Meet Rachel – a synesthete-Alpha, the most vulnerable of the Alphas with the ability to strengthen one of the five senses while leaving the other four useless, played by Azita Ghanizada (General Hospital: Night Shift).  Rachel’s powers are simply amazing, and she plays a large role in the investigations, yet she takes a back seat to her family.  Her current family drama surrounds their disagreement on arranged marriages. 

In the pilot, the Alphas help local law-enforcement officer Don Wilson (Callum Keith Rennie) solve the shooting of a federal prisoner locked inside a sealed interrogation room with no windows.  The investigation leads the team to the “The Ghost”, an Alpha with the power of persuasion via direct contact.  The extremist group known as “Red Flag” was also introduced as the main threat to the Alphas, and should return throughout the season as the Big Boss Trouble Maker.

The upcoming season promises to reveal more threats to the Alphas, and will test the Alphas loyalties to one another.

After only two episodes, I give Alphas the rating of SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out.  I was pleasantly surprised with the series start, and will definitely give a few more episodes a try before removing from my DVR.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? What do you think about Alphas? Has SyFy found another hit series?  Does it remind you of Heroes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, click over to Amber’s review of TNT’s Falling Skies where Noah Wyle battles aliens and machines trying to protect our world’s children.  What are those spike things the aliens attach to the children’s spines?  YUCK! 

Come back next week for another quadruple special – Amber reviews the summer’s medical programs: TNT’s Hawthorne and USA’s Royal Pains, and I take on the summer cons: TNT’s Leverage and USA’s White Collar.   

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  Amber and I would love to chat with you!

Last, but certainly not least, did your favorite TV shows make the Emmy nomination categories?  Vote here for the 1st annual Tamberny awards.  Leave a comment by July 29th and you could win blog linkage on my special Tele-Tuesday Siskel and Ebert style Emmy breakdown where Amber and I promise to not agree!

 A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds

SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out

NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer

LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday – The Tamberny Awards: Who should win?

Welcome to the first annual Tamberny Awards – where we can’t promise to agree!

Before we do, we want to hear from you!

From the nomination list below, who will win?

****

Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Glee
Modern Family
The Office
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock

 ****

Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

 ****

Lead Actress in a Comedy
Laura Linney, The Big C
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, 30 Rock

 ****

Lead Actor in a Comedy
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Steve Carell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

****

Lead Actor in a Drama

 Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

****

Lead Actress in a Drama
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law

****

Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family

****

Supporting Actor in a Drama
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Walton Goggins, Justified
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

 ****

Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

****

Supporting Actress in a Drama
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified

 ****

Mini-series or Made-for-Television Movie
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce
The Pillars Of The Earth
Too Big To Fail

 ****

Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
Conan
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

****

Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or movie
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

****

Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or movie
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

****

Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Deadliest Catch
Hoarders
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List
MythBusters
Undercover Boss

 ****

Reality Competition 
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

 ****

Host of a Reality Program or Competition
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Jeff Probst, Survivor

 ****

Leave a comment before July 29th, and your vote will be included in our special!  Better yet, leave a witty contribution and win blog linkage! 

Be sure to include who you think will win, or who should win versus who will win?  Who was snubbed? Which network will walk away with the most wins? Is Modern Family worthy of all the supporting cast nominations? Why didn’t the USA Network get any Emmy love? We’d love to hear from you!

Watch for the announcement of the 1st Annual Tamberny Awards this August.  The 63rd Annual Emmy Awards airs September 18th!

 

Friday FabOoolousness – The Titter Factor: Clueless

Comedies took over television in the 1990s with popular sitcoms Seinfeld, Friends, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Young viewers also found plenty of programs they could relate to in the ‘90s with the hit teen soap operas Beverly Hills, 90210, Dawson’s Creek, and Felicity

So, why be surprised with the 1995 blockbuster success of the now classic film, Clueless

That’s right – classic. 

Clueless combined humor with every teen drama stereotype imaginable: like the stress of training for a driver’s license, dealing with parents and step-siblings, partying and drugs, deciding which cliques to join, trying to keep up with style and dress for success, and, most importantly, awkward relationships.

Unknown at the time, Alicia Silverstone immediately gained star-status with her portrayal of Cher Horowitz.  Cher resembled so many of the girls in my school – exaggerated, of course.  Cher was sweet, but superficial and hailed from an extremely wealthy family.  Some would call her spoiled; she did have a rotating closet the size of most living rooms in her father’s (Mel Horowitz played by Dan Hedaya) mansion.

One of, if not the most attractive and popular girls in school, Cher uses her ability to negotiate her way out of all sticky situations.  But, when she can’t talk her way out of a bad grade, Cher decides to play cupid for the single and miserable teacher standing in her way.  

Feeling that match-making is now her calling, Cher then adopts the new girl in school, and plans to transform her into a beauty.  With help from her best friend, Dionne (played by Stacey Dash), Cher befriends Tai (Brittany Murphy) and immediately begins creating another paper-doll cut-out to follow in her footsteps.  She transforms Tai’s hair, clothes, make-up, and attitude – maybe too well. 

Tai instantly connects with the skater in school (Travis Birkenstock played by Breckin Meyer), but Cher refuses to allow Tai to date Travis; therefore, she hatches a plan to play match-maker with Tai and the popular boy, Elton (Jeremy Sisto), who just so happens to have his eyes set on Cher.

After failing her driving test, failing to successfully pair Tai and Elton, and falling for a gay, Jason Priestly look-a-like hottie (Justin played by Christian Stovitz), Cher crumbles and leans into her older, ex-stepbrother, Josh (played by Paul Rudd). Making matters worse, Tai figuratively slaps her in the face, and Cher decides it’s time to focus on her own life instead of others.  Step one – land Josh. 

Everything of course works its way out in the end, but viewers don’t get there without hysterical laughs along the way.  The movie was such a hit, that television producers attempted to recreate the popularity of Clueless with a television series, and cast many of the movie’s actors in the same roles (Stacey Dash as Dionne, Donald Faison as Dionne’s boyfriend, Murray, and Elisa Donovan as Amber, Cher’s nemesis). 

Conversations in the’90s would have never been the same without Clueless’ coined phrases: “Whatever” and “As If”.   

Can we please bring As If back? I mean, Whatever never left.

In addition to the words most repeated by teenagers across America, the Clueless writers also provided rich-clueless-valley-girl lines that Alicia delivered perfectly.

Dionne: Hello? There was a stop sign.

Cher: I totally paused.

****

Cher: Okay, so you’re probably going, “Is this like a Noxzema commercial or what?” But seriously, I actually have a way normal life for a teenage girl.

****

Cher: Isn’t my house classic? The columns date all the way back to 1972.

**** 

Girl: It’s just like Hamlet said, “To thine own self be true.”

Cher: Hamlet didn’t say that.

Girl: I think I remember Hamlet accurately.

Cher: Well, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn’t say that.  That Polonius guy did.

****

We can’t end the post without discussing the fashion.  High school girls across the country wore plaid mini-skirts with knee-high lace socks and baby doll shoes because of Cher.  What about the white, sheer shirts?  Clogs?  Platforms? C’mon, we all had at least one item in our closets that Cher wore in Clueless

Cher: Do you prefer “fashion victim” or “ensembly challenged”?

**** 

Mel: What the hell is that?

Cher: A dress.

Mel: Says who?

Cher: Calvin Klein

****

Teenage girls in the ‘90s were definitely fashion victims courtesy of Cher, and we spent too much money on our clothes. 

Clueless changed the ‘90s pop culture forever, and launched movie stars Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy (R.I.P.), and Paul Rudd into movie stardom.  Not to mention, Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash) and Donald Faison (Scrubs) might not have the television popularity they do today without their supporting roles in Clueless.    

Who’s singing, “Rollin with my homies,” right this very second (be honest)?   Do you believe or agree that Clueless is now a classic?  Who do/did you relate to more:  Cher, Tai, Travis, or another character? If you could have one movie phrase that was popular back in the day return now – what would it be and why?  What other ‘90s movies have you watched repeatedly that have changed pop culture forever?  I’d love to hear from you!