Friday FabOoolousness – School’s Out, But These High School Movies Will Forever Live On!

With the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel, Football Sweetheart, I thought it would be fun to use this week’s Friday FabOoolousness post to share a few of my favorite movies about high school.

It all started for me when I was a little girl.  The movie may have been released when I was a baby, but it wasn’t long before I was singing along with Sandy and Danny…

And while many have agreed the sequel didn’t hold a candle to the original, I’m not ashamed to admit that I liked it too and can still remember the musical numbers.  Just ask my guy…

And then in 1984, John Hughes’ movies came into my life, some even stole my heart.  Yes, I said movies—plural.  I still watch every single one of these every opportunity I get.  If I still had a working VCR, I could watch them whenever I wanted…

And let’s not forget the non-John Hughes films…

As I got a little older, I turned to the more mature themed high school movies…

And I wouldn’t be myself without adding at least one slasher to the list…

And let’s not forget about the football movies…

Now as an adult, I appreciate one particular older film just as much as any of the above.  I can see why it’s a classic…

What are some of your favorite movies about high school?  What makes them so special?  I’d love to hear from you!

Come back next week when I share a few of my more recent favorites… you know, high school movies that have come out since the ’90s…

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Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Men at Work… on Dating

This week Amber West and I take on two new television programs on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in our first Boys versus Girls post—ABC Family’s Bunheads and TBS’s Men at Work.

TBS, a channel we don’t usually watch in our house, has launched a new sitcom created by the great Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash).  Men at Work follows four friends who all work together at the same magazine as writers, photographers, and reporters as they help a buddy get back on the dating horse after a disastrous breakup.

The series stars: Danny Masterson (That ‘70s Show) as Milo, the recently dumped friend; James Lesure (Las Vegas – we are big fans of Mike Cannon here at The Ooo Factor) as Gibbs, the sexual and sensual best friend; Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Neal, the only one of the four in a serious relationship; and Michael Cassidy (The O.C.) as Tyler, the beautiful and stylish one.

Rarely do we see a comedy centered around all men, about men.  Plus, Men at Work features four funny television character actors we’ve missed seeing around the TV screen for the past few years.  Add the funny-man creator to this, and we couldn’t help but think Men at Work could potentially be summer dynamite.

We weren’t far off—Men at Work is thirty minutes of fun.  I’d say it puts the “fun” in “funny,” but that might sound a bit cliché.  It’s nice having a comedy my guy and I both enjoy watching.  Not only are the relationships between the friends enjoyable, but the foursome introduces hilarious and spot-on new terminology for everyone to throw into their daily conversations with phrases like:

Heterotexual – a modern man who pleases a woman with his thumbs
HotZone
– things that pose the risk of infection
TruthBomb
– boom goes the conversation dynamite, or saying truths your friends might not otherwise want to hear
CrazyHot Paradox
– a woman who is easy on the eyes, but insane in the brain

And another one…

Honestly, these sayings remind me of “Barneyisms” from How I Met Your Mother, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them just the same.

Men at Work’s humor is a bit on the raunchy side, but then again almost anything sexual anymore is considered raunchy.  Perhaps that’s why the new sitcom is on TBS and not the basic network channels, joining the ranks of FX (Archer), Showtime (Californication and Weeds), and Comedy Central (Workaholics).

And since TV ratings are all about the guest stars here lately, Men at Work has ‘em lined up as well: Amy Smart (Milo’s ex-girlfriend), Stacy Kiebler (a girl who likes threesomes), Kathy Najimy (a sex blogger), J.K. Simmons (the owner of the magazine and Neal’s girlfriend’s father), and fellow That ‘70s Show‘ers Wilmer Valderrama (Milo’s upstairs neighbor) and Laura Prepon (not sure yet about her role, I think she guest stars this week from the previews) to just name a few.

Oh, yeah… and the four friends like to have meals at a local diner. Kinda reminds me of the girls from Sex and the City…

So how does Meyer’s baby rank?  All in all, I’d say I must award Men at Work with the JFTV rating—it’s like that bag of potato chips that we know we should put away after a few bites, but can’t help going back for more.  The crunch of the chip and the explosion of flavors is just what the doctor ordered to accompany an ice-cold beer after a long day at work—technically a long week at work since Men at Work airs on Thursday nights.

What do you think? Have you watched Men at Work?  How would you rate it?  Do you have any phrases you’ve coined that you feel we should incorporate into everyday conversations?  I’d love to hear from you!

For more Men at Work’isms, follow @MenatWorkTBS or the hashtag, #MenatWork.  TBS also has four of the episodes available online.  Check them out!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC Family’s Bunheads.

Come back next week when Amber and I review something..it’s summer time and the heat is taking a toll on our planning ahead.

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.

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
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
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: Topnotch Teen TV, the Supernatural

With the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel, Football Sweetheart, I thought it would be fun to use this week’s and next week’s Tele-Tuesday posts to showcase a few of my favorite YA and teen television series on TV today.  I may be past my teen years, but these programs have what it takes to keep this thirty-something tuning in week after week.

First up, the supernatural.  While Football Sweetheart doesn’t have any vampires, werewolves, witches, or anything of the sort, I still love the supernatural element. Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever tire of vampires and werewolves and we’ll always have a place for them on the television screen.  But what do these shows have besides the supernatural that keeps us coming back for more?  The pretty people…

Teen Wolf, MTV

Scott, the wolf
Derek, the alpha
Jackson, the jock
Allison, the girlfriend
Lydia, the mean girl

The Vampire Diaries, CW

Damon, the bad brother
Elena, the heroine
Stefan, the good brother
Tyler, the hybrid
Caroline, vampire “barbie”
Matt, the human
Alaric, the hunter
Jeremy, the little brother
Bonnie, the witch

Do you watch Teen Wolf or The Vampire Diaries?  What do you watch on television, if anything, that is geared toward the teen audience?  What keeps you coming back for more?  The story?  The pretty people?  I’d love to hear from you! 

And speaking of the pretty people, who keeps you coming back for more?

Come back next week when we visit two of our favorite YA mysteries on TV today…

Friday FabOoolousness: Our Favorite Motion Picture Footballers

In continuation of Tuesday’s blog, Our Favorite Television Footballers, and with the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel, Football Sweetheart, I thought it would be fun to use today’s Friday FabOoolousness post to showcase a few of the cutest football players from our favorite motion pictures.

After researching my favorite football movies of all time, and I love football movies so there are a lot, I realized this list could go on and on with the likes of Adam Sandler (The Longest Yard and Waterboy), Mark Wahlberg (Invincible), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (The Game Plan), George Clooney (Leatherheads), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), and Keanu Reeves (The Replacements) to name a few.  But in keeping with the Football Sweetheart YA genre, I only listed the high school and college players… well, and one coach.  🙂

Friday Night Lights

Mike Winchell
Don Billingsley
Boobie Miles

Varsity Blues

Lance Harbor
Jonathon “Mox” Moxon
Charlie Tweeder
Billy Bob

The Program

Joe Kane
Darnell Jefferson
Steve Lattimer

Remember the Titans

Petey Jones
Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass
Alan Bosley
Louie Lastik

And while he may not have been a player, why not include at least one coach?

We Are Marshall

Coach Jack Lengyel

So, what do you think?  Vote for your favorite now!

Who’s your favorite football player from the movies—any generation?  I’d love to hear from you!


Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Welcome back to Southfork!

After celebrating our one-year blogiversary last week, Amber West and I return to somewhat of a normal Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday review as we take on a web series, Leap Year, and TNT’s continuation of Dallas.

One of the most anticipated programs this year is the continued story of the duel between the members of the Ewing family.  And after only two-hours, the new Dallas does not disappoint!

TNT has successfully revived the popular soap opera that ran from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s, even mirrored the original opening as best they could.

Back in the day, we watched the great sibling rivalry between J.R. and Bobby Ewing.   Whew!  Those two brothers never saw eye to eye…

They still look good, don’t they?

We had J.R. (Larry Hagman), the cut-throat oil-tycoon who would stop at nothing to earn his next riches, and Bobby (Patrick Duffy), the more family oriented and rule-following of Miss Ellie’s boys.  And because of these tendencies, Miss Ellie bequests Southfork to Bobby, leaving J.R. with a sour taste in his mouth.

In the new series, J.R.’s wife, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), has left him.  The Texas courts awarded her all of J.R.’s money, making her one of the most successful women in Dallas (and she may even run for Governor).   Since Bobby lives at and runs Southfork, J.R. has nothing.  These events cause him to fall into a deep depression and someone, we’re assuming Bobby, puts J.R. up in a nice retirement community.

Speaking of Bobby, he’s now married to Ann (Brenda Strong), and is suffering from a recent diagnosis of intestinal cancer.  He decides to sell Southfork—the only requirement being that whoever buys the ranch must continue with Miss Ellie’s wish to not drill on her property.  And like the “Good Ol’ Boy” he is, Bobby settles the deal with a handshake.

The new generation of Ewings… HELLO!

But what about these younger Ewing boys we keep hearing so much about?  Fast-forward twenty years, and the Ewing family is still going strong, bickering included, only with two new faces: John Ross, played by Josh Henderson, and Christopher, played by Jesse Metcalf.

Let’s start with John Ross…

While secretly drilling on Southfork, John Ross and his girlfriend/business partner (Elena, played by Jordana Brewster) hit oil.  But when Bobby finds out about it, he forbids anyone from drilling on his mamma’s ranch.  This prompts John Ross to act just like his daddy.  After all, “he’s a chip off the old block.”  Lying, cheating, and backstabbing seem to be John Ross’s methods of choice—but does he have what it takes to outplay J.R.?

And then we have Christopher, sweet and idealistic Christopher…

Christopher runs Ewing Alternative Energies where he researches and experiments with methane drilling.  Unfortunately, his work appears to have caused earthquakes off the coast of China, and while he commits to finding a way to protect the people and preserve the methane, John Ross is the first to point out his cousin’s failures.  Skipping his honeymoon with Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo), Christopher decides to change his daddy’s mind about selling Southfork—but will Bobby listen?

See now, “the fun is just beginning.”

I’ve used a few of the opening episodes’ one-liners above in this post, but I’m not done.  The writers and creators have definitely impressed me with some of the dialogue in these first few hours, especially when it comes to describing J.R. Ewing:

“Some people are just too damn mean to die.”
“It’s better to be old than to be the devil.”

Larry Hagman still has it!  There’s nothing quite as mischievous as J.R.’s smile…

Before we wrap, let’s not forget to mention the soap opera element.  First, we have the business partnerships between John Ross and Elena, Christopher and Elena, and Sue Ellen and Elena.  Surely one if not more of these are going to blow up in their faces, specifically Elena’s.

Let’s stay on the topic of Elena for a second.  Elena is the daughter of the Ewing’s long-time cook and Christopher’s former girlfriend/fiancé.  But when she received a supposed email from Christopher ending their relationship the night before their wedding, she ran away to Mexico and into the waiting arms of John Ross.

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there.  At John Ross’s suggestion, and knowing full well of Christopher and Elena’s past, Rebecca asks Elena to stand up for her at her and Christopher’s wedding.  That’s only the first sign we see that Rebecca may not be as sweet as she appears…  When we meet Rebecca’s brother, we deduce that they have been planning to scam the Ewing family for a few years now—but why?

TNT knows Drama, and the new generation of Ewings promises to bring us just that!

And what about the sale of Southfork?  Well, Bobby thinks he’s selling to the Del Sol Corporation on the promise that the ranch won’t be developed.  J.R. knows about this sale, but thinks the Del Sol Corporation is going to turn around and sell him the ranch thirty days after the sale closes, making him the rightful owner of Southfork.  But John Ross has an idea all his own—he brings in a fraud to play the part of Marta Del Sol, and unbeknownst to Bobby and J.R., John Ross plans to take the ranch as his own.

Dallas is definitely still a soap opera.  But how does it rank?  It’s still early, but I must award TNT’s Dallas with the MacTV rating.  The first two hours were definitely a guilty pleasure, and I personally can’t wait for more.

Bring on the oil fields, cattle ranches, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and family feuds.  Dallas, we’ve missed you.

What do you think? Have you watched TNT’s Dallas?  How would you rate it?  Who do you think will win out in the long run—the good Ewings, Bobby and Christopher, or the evil Ewings, J.R. and John Ross?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about the web series, Leap Year.

Come back next week when Amber and I review something..it’s summer time and the heat is taking a toll on our planning ahead.

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.

Last week, we offered a special anniversary giveaway where Amber promised one lucky commenter from my blog and another from hers to receive a red carpet event photo with the celebrity of their choice.  First, THANK YOU to everyone who participated!  But sadly we can only have one winner.

After using the random number generator at www.random.org, lucky #8 won here at The Ooo Factor.

Who is lucky #8?  That would be Andrew Mocete… 

Congratulations, Andrew!  Please email  me a photo where your face is quite visible.  The closer, the better… but Amber can work her magic with pretty much anything.

Andrew’s first choice was Spider-Man as his red carpet date, but being that might make Amber’s job a bit more difficult, he mentioned he also wouldn’t mind being seen with Shirley Manson from The Sarah Connor Chronicles.   Who will Amber choose for Andrew? Come back next week and see!

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
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
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: Our Favorite Television Footballers

With the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel, Football Sweetheart, I thought it would be fun to use today’s Tele-Tuesday post to showcase a few of the cutest football players on past and present television series.

I guess my love for football players dates back to the late ‘80s-early ‘90s when 1st & Ten aired on HBO.  I fell head-over-heals for the California Bulls’ quarterback, Tom Yinessa.

I couldn’t find a picture from his 1st & Ten years, but this still shows how cute Jason Beghe was!

And who didn’t love our favorite Bayside Tiger, A.C. Slater from Saved by the Bell?

He played a stud-muffin back in the day, but I have to say Mario Lopez is much cuter today.

But now, let’s look at TV’s hottest football players today.  Sadly, there aren’t many.  But courtesy of Friday Night Lights, The Vampire Diaries, and Necessary Roughness, we do have a few…

The Dillon, Texas Panthers
Friday Night Lights

Tim Riggins
Jason Street
Vince Howard

The Mystic Falls Timberwolves
The Vampire Diaries

Stefan Salvatore
Tyler Lockwood
Matt Donovan

The New York Hawks
Necessary Roughness

Terrence “T.K.” King

So, what do you think?  Vote for your favorite now!

Did we miss your favorite football player on TV today?  How about from the past?  I’d love to hear from you!

Come back Friday when we list a few of our favorite football players from the movies…

Friday FabOoolousness – “We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes”

It’s time again for Catie Rhodes and I to break down another cinematic original and its remake.  But this time we switched things up a little—Catie reviews the remake and I take on the original.  I know, crazy…   Anyway, this month we discuss Psycho.

First, let’s check in with Catie’s Homemade Summary that applies to both the 1960 and 1998 versions:

Marian Crane steals a large sum of money from her employer with plans of using it to help her and her boyfriend start a new life together.  Her plans go awry when she checks into the Bates Motel and is killed in the shower.

Marian’s sister and a private investigator trace Marian to the Bates Motel.  Will they find out what happened to Marian before the same thing happens to them?

Today, Psycho is known as one of the best Alfred Hitchcock films of all time, or at least one of the most popular.  Everyone knows about Psycho.  Everyone recognizes the names the Bates Motel and Norman Bates.  Everyone thinks twice about taking showers in motel rooms.  Everyone shivers just a bit when they see a motel vacancy sign.  Right?  Or is it just me?

Still creepy today…

Adapted from Robert Bloch’s novel and loosely based on the true crimes of Ed Gein (see Catie’s Freaky Friday post today!), Psycho received mixed reviews but eventually earned Academy Award nominations—that doesn’t happen for the thriller genre all that often.  So what makes Psycho special?

As with any cinematic success, Psycho first attracts an audience with its cast, starring all young and beautiful actors: Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, Janet Leigh as Marian Crane, Vera Miles as Lila Crane, and John Gavin as Sam Loomis.  Next, we have the score—haunting and suspenseful music by Bernard Herrmann that raises the movie’s tension and impending violence.  Just listen as we play the trailer:

Along with the score, Psycho raised the bar and was a bit ahead of its time with its heightened sexual element and violence.  Heck, in watching the film again for the purpose of this post, I was shocked to hear the characters use the term “transvestite” when talking about Norman’s personalities.  Today “transvestite” is socially acceptable, at least in the form of everyday conversation, but in 1960?

Before jumping into the most obvious reason as to why Psycho is and was such a successful suspense and horror film, let’s pay homage to some of the film’s fabOoolous dialogue—dialogue that not only left viewers on the edge of their seats, but specific lines with insight into the classic element of foreshadowing.

“Mother isn’t quite herself today.”

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”

“A son is a poor substitute for a lover.”

“We all go a little mad sometimes.”

“We’re all in our private traps.”

Think about the overall story arc of Psycho, and then re-read these lines—all shared between Norman and Marian before the famous shower scene.  Every single piece of the above dialogue hints at what viewers learn at the end of the film when the psychologist shares his findings with the rest of the characters following his interrogation of Norman.

And since we brought up the famous shower scene, this might be the number one reason why the 1960 version of Psycho is still relevant today.  Queue Herrmann’s orchestra…

Viewers never see the knife actually stab Marian; the scene grabs a hold of the audience by the music, the screams, and the blood washing down the drain.  Hitchcock adds dramatization by Marian’s pulling at the shower curtain and it ripping off ring by ring, and uses excellent cinematography, flashing from the bathtub drain to the close up of Marian’s lifeless eye.  The movie may be over forty years old, but I truly appreciate the genius behind this scene—one little old scene.

The Original “Scream Queen”

Psycho is dark, literally and figuratively.  Not only is the film black and white, the lighting scheme oftentimes shades the characters faces to where viewers only see their silhouettes and shadows.  But this darkness launched Hitchcock’s film into the franchise world, with three sequels (Psycho II, Psycho III, and Psycho IV: The Beginning) all starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the 1998 remake directed by Gus Van Sant that Catie reviewed earlier this week, as well as other television and documentary pieces.

Norman is CREEPY!!

Speaking of the franchise, Anthony Perkins is just as recognizable today as the creepy Bates Motel and the two-story residence located behind it.  He had a very successful career before his death in the ‘90s, was even nominated for an Academy Award for a different role, but he will forever be remembered as Norman Bates.

And before we go, let’s talk about the original “Scream Queen” Janet Leigh.  Man, was she beautiful and not afraid to show off her sexuality.  It wasn’t until watching Psycho for the I-don’t-know-what-time preparing for this post, that I recognized the similarities between Ms. Leigh and her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis.  The two practically mirror each other with their tight-lipped grins and expressions.  It’s no wonder Jamie Lee took to slasher movies as well and followed in her mother’s footsteps as the modern-day “Scream Queen.”

Hello, Mother…

If anyone hasn’t seen Hitchcock’s masterpiece, check it out at least once.  For any AT&T U-verse customers, Psycho (1960) is currently available on Movieplex’s OnDemand films until August 1st.

What do you think?  Have you seen either the original or the remake of Psycho?  If you’ve seen both, which do you prefer and why?  If you haven’t, do you want to?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Remember to stop by Catie’s blog discussing the original if you haven’t already.