25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS

CAST
Johnny Depp (Public Enemies)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Dianne West (The Lost Boys)
Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight)
Kathy Baker (13 Going on 30)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and A Half Men)
Vincent Price (The Fly)
Alan Arkin (Argo)
An elderly woman tells her granddaughter a bedtime story of where snow comes from, by telling her the story of a young man named Edward who has scissors for hands. As the creation of an old Inventor, Edward was a human-like boy who had everything except for hands. The Inventor suffered a fatal heart attack and died before he could give real hands to Edward.
Local Avon saleswoman Peg Boggs visits the decrepit Gothic mansion on the hill where Edward lives. She finds Edward alone. She is at first startled, but, upon realizing he means well and is virtually harmless, takes him to her home. Edward becomes friends with Peg’s young son Kevin and her husband Bill. He later falls in love with the Boggs’ beautiful teenage daughter Kim, despite her initial fear of him.
Peg’s neighbors are impressed by Edward’s adept hedge-trimming and hair-cutting skills, though an eccentric religious fanatic named Esmeralda and Kim’s overbearing boyfriend Jim are fearful and contemptuous of him. Joyce, an ageing, unfaithful housewife in the Boggs’ neighborhood, has become fascinated with Edward and suggests that Edward open a hair-cutting salon with her. While examining a proposed site, she attempts to seduce him in the back room, causing Edward to leave in a panic.
Wanting money for a van, Jim takes advantage of Edward’s ability to pick locks to break into his parents’ house to steal from his wealthy but bullying father. The burglar alarm sounds and everyone except Edward flees after he is trapped by the automatic locks triggered by the alarm, despite Kim’s insistence that they return for him. Edward is arrested and released when a psychological examination reveals that his isolation allowed him to live without a sense of reality and common sense. Upon questioning by Peg, Edward takes full blame for the robbery. Infuriated by Edward’s rejection, Joyce claims that he had tried to rape her. During the Christmas season, Edward is feared and cast out by almost everyone except the Boggs family. When Edward returns home he reveals that he knew it was Jim’s house they were trying to rob and that he did it because Jim asked him to, much to Kim’s shock. This in turn causes Kim to show a sour demeanor towards Jim.
While the family is setting up Christmas decorations, Edward creates a large angel ice sculpture (modelled on Kim). The shavings create an effect of falling snow, which Kim dances under. Jim arrives and calls out to Edward, startling him, resulting in Edward accidentally cutting Kim’s hand. Jim accuses Edward of intentionally harming her and attacks him. Edward runs away, wandering the neighborhood in a rage. Kim, fed up with Jim’s behavior towards Edward, breaks up with him, and he goes to his friend’s van to get drunk. While Peg and Bill search for Edward, he returns and finds Kim alone in the Boggs’ house. She asks Edward to hold her, but he is afraid that he will hurt her. She pulls his arms around her and they embrace. Jim returns to the Boggs’ house in a drunken rage to confront Kim, forcing his friend to drive his van while inebriated. Kevin is almost run over, but Edward pushes him out of the way, cutting Kevin’s arms and face, causing witnesses to think he is attacking him. When the police arrive, Edward flees to his hilltop mansion as the neighbors pursue.
Kim runs to the mansion, reuniting with Edward. Jim follows her and attacks them with a handgun, beating Edward severely, who refuses to fight until Jim strikes Kim across the face when she intervenes. Edward stabs Jim in the stomach, causing him to fall out a window to his death. Kim confesses her love for Edward and they share a kiss before saying goodbye. Kim tells the townspeople that Edward and Jim fought each other to death and tells them that the roof caved in on Edward, showing them a discarded scissor-hand from the Inventor’s lab. The neighbors return home with Joyce feeling guilty for framing Edward being the one causing the neighbors to hate Edward.
The elderly woman, revealed to be Kim herself, finishes telling her granddaughter the story, saying that she never saw Edward again. She chose not to visit him because she wanted him to remember her the way she was in her youth. She believes that Edward is still alive, seemingly immortal since he can never age. It is revealed that Edward creates the town’s snow by carving ice sculptures that scatter shavings over the neighborhood.
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This has always been my fav childhood film & now it looks even more amazing than it did back then.
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REVIEW: BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions)
Nicholas Brendon (Faking It)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Charisma Carpenter (Veronica Mars)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Anthony Stewart Head (The Iron Lady)

Charisma Carpenter in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kristine Sutherland (The Perfect Wedding)
Robia LaMorte (Spawn)
Andrew J. Ferchland (The Fan)
Dean Butler (The Final Goal)
Brent Jennings (Moneyball)
Armin Shimerman (Star Trek: DS9)
Michael Bacall (Death Proof)
James Marsters (The Runaways)
Juliet Landau (Ed Wood)
Ara Celi (Machete)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Jason Hall (American Sniper)
Clayne Crawford (A Walk To Remember)
Danny Strong (Billions)
Greg Vaughan (Days of Our Lives)
Todd Babcock (Gods and Monsters)
Jordana Spiro (Ozark)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Robin Sachs (Galaxy Quest)
Larry Bagby (Walk The Line)
Jason Behr (Roswell)
Will Rothhaar (Battle: Los Angeles)
Julia Lee (A Man Apart)
Bianca Lawson (Save The Last Dance)
Saverio Guerra (Becker)
Kelly Connell (Spider-Man 2)
John Ritter (8 Simple Rules)
James MacDonald (Broken Arrow)
Jeremy Ratchford (Cold Case)
James Parks (Kill Bill)
Brian Thompson (Hired To Kill)
Vincent Schiavelli (Ghost)
Ryan Francis (Hook)
Jack Conley (Fast & Furious)
Mercedes McNab (The Addams Family)
Elizabeth Anne Allen (Timemaster)
Richard Herd (V)
Willie Garson (Hawaii Five-O)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Charles Cyphers (Halloween)
Wentworth Miller (Legends of Tomorrow)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and A Half Men)
Shane West (Gotham)
Max Perlich (Terminator: TSCC)
Julie Benz (Roswell)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Richard Riehle (Office Space)

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, and Nicholas Brendon in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is quite possibly the best season of the bunch. Season 2 is by definition, where things get darker and more complex, this was the season that really made Buffy an unpredictably smart series. The season opens with ‘When She Was Bad’ which deals with the fallout of Buffy’s momentary death in the previous year one finale; this episode is appropriately handled and sees Buffy acting rather out of character after returning from her summer away from Sunnydale. The preceding episodes are a fun affair and help the viewer to settle back into the rhythm of the series with various episodes focusing upon certain characters.Juliet Landau and James Marsters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)The ‘Big Bads’ of the season appear early on and come in the form of Drusilla and Spike, the former being a rather off-her-rocker vampire and the latter a bleached, leather wearing, cocky undead Englishman! As villains they are a lot of fun and help to shape season 2 as something unique and well constructed. However, come the end of the year things are considerably shaken up in terms of ‘the Big Bads’, with the appearance of Angelus.Willow, Xander and Giles all find themselves venturing into new territory: dating! Cordelia continues to redeem herself and becomes a fully fledged scoobygang member, whilst Buffy and Angel undergo many changes to their relationship which is mostly the driving force of the season. By the middle of the season the episodes gradually become darker and a more coherent storyarc begins to emerge, starting with the events of ‘Surprise (Part 1)’ which culminate in the emotional and incredibly shocking ‘Innocence’ (Part 2). Said episodes are some of the best in the history of the series and set in motion events that help to lead to the end of the season. The circumstances surrounding this two parter does literally change everything once established between Buffy and Angel; and brings into question their future. The continuity, witty one liners, oblique use of language does continue into this season and helps to boost the chemistry between the actors as they discuss, for example the oddness of some TV movies and sore thumbs. These subtle touches give the season a vibrancy and kooky edge; what makes Buffy such an enjoyable show is the warmth and heart it retains, mostly provided by the actors but also by the wonderfully consistent writing.Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)The two part finale ‘Becoming’ is well set up as a consequence of the episode ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, which happens to be beautifully moving and tragic respectively. The complexity of the Angelus arc presented here really sets up and supports the actions that lead to the occurrences of the finale. ‘Becoming’ part 1 & 2 with all it’s flashback goodness brings about tumultuous change and throws one through the emotional wringer all the while its still surprising, sad and gut wrenching upon each rewatch. The issues dealt with this season are far more adult and dark than is the usual, and in turn it delivers a wonderfully realized arc which never fails to amaze.

REVIEW: TWO GUYS AND A GIRL – SEASON 1-4

MAIN CAST

Ryan Reynolds (The Voice)
Richard Ruccolo (Desperate Housewives)
Traylor Howard (Son of The Mask)
Julius Carry (The New Guy)
Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein)
David Ogden Stiers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Suzanne Cryer (Bones)
Jillian Bach (American Pie)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

 

Sean O’Bryan (Yes Man)
Matt Landers (Commando)
Jean Speegle Howard (Apollo 13)
Rena Sofer (Traffic)
Jason Clarke (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Amy Van Horne (The Amityville Haunting)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Howard Hesseman (Flight of The Navigator)
Harve Presnell (Fargo)
Maury Ginsberg (Voodoo)
Sarah Thompson (Cruel Intentions 2)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Kenneth Kimmins (Lois & Clark)
Kathy Kinney (Scrooged)
Brigitta Dau (Retro Puppet Master)
Jane Carr (The Five Year Engagement)
Suzy Nakamura (Dodgeball)
Jon Cryer (Two and A Half Men)
Dick Martin (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Adam Carolla (Family Guy)
Bobbie Phillips (Showgirls)
Marguerite MacIntyre (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Beth Grant (Wonderfalls)
Conchata Ferrell (Mr Deeds)
Anthony Head (Buffy)
John Ducey (Sabrina)
Suzanne Krull (Go)
Giuseppe Andrews (American History X)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Heroes)
Cheryl Ladd (Charlies Angels)
Terry Kiser (Lois & Clark)

James Denton (Desperate Housewives)
Tiffani Thiessen (Saved By The Bell)
Sam Anderson (Angel)

Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Christie Lynn Smith (Swamp Thing)
James Avery (That 70s Show)
Bo Derek (Tommy Boy)
Alanna Ubach (Meet The Fockers)
Lacey Kohl (Secretary)
Robin Riker (The Glades)

TwoGuys-PizzaBefore single-camera sitcoms became a mainstream thing, the multi-camera, laugh track-powered sitcom was basically the only option on network television. This was certainly the case in 1998, when ABC slotted their new series Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place into their Wednesday night prime-time lineup, behind Spin City, Dharma & Greg and The Drew Carey Show. The Boston-set comedy, about a pair of grad students named Berg (Ryan Reynolds) and Pete (Richard Ruccolo) and their PR-flack gal pal Sharon (Traylor Howard), is a show about growing up, as the three friends face down adulthood and attempt to delay it at every turn.1465993115_1The obvious draw here is Reynolds, who followed this series with his breakout role in Van Wilder, starting his climb to stardom. The wiseass persona that’s made him so popular (reaching its pinnacle in Deadpool) is fully on display here, a genuine comedic lead in the making as Berg, a ladies man with a heart of gold. There a boyish joy to his performance that raises the show’s set-ups and plots above their traditional sitcom trappings, making them far more enjoyable. Though he has his “act” down pretty well even this early in his career, it’s fun to see him trying out elements that would emerge more fully later on, like when hints of what he did in The Voices could be seen in the second season’s enjoyable Halloween episode.

1465993116_3As Pete, Ruccolo has the unenviable job of being in Reynold’s shadow, which is made no easier because his character is drifting through relationships and careers, never quite happy with where he is at the moment. It makes him a bit hard to root for, as he comes off as more of a loser than he should be, particularly when he continuously throws away good things, like first-season girlfriend Melissa (future filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt.) Howard’s Sharon isn’t much better,  A definite cute ditz who can still hang with the guys, she lives up to some unfortunate female stereotypes, and when paired with blue-collar second-season addition Johnny (Nathan Fillion), her character often is shrill, materialistic and cruel, and rarely goes an episode without heavily fighting with her supposed love.1465993115_2Despite airing for only four seasons, the show saw a dramatic number of changes from premiere to finale, not the least of which was the title, which dropped “the Pizza Place”, as the location became less of a focus (before it was completely abandoned in season three.) Series regulars Julius Carry (pizza shop owner Bill), David Ogden Stiers (M.A.S.H.), who plays a local loon who shares movie plots as memories, and Westfeldt didn’t survive the first season. Though the show is meant to center around Berg, Pete and Sharon, as the seasons go on, the focus expands to include Fillion as Sharon’s put-upon, penny-pinching boyfriend-then-husband and Berg’s cold-blooded colleague Ashley. However it’s another side character who becomes a key element of the show later in the show’s run, as crackpot neighbor Irene (Jillian Bach) transitions from the obsessive across the hall to a genuinely enjoyable, utterly adorable and altogether kooky part of the show, her crazy side wisely dialed down over time. Her appeal is most obvious when she’s paired with Berg, as they play off each other to great effect, with Reynolds’ wiseass nature mixing well with Bach’s sweet brand of insanity.3162030205001_4770471577001_twoguys-2Though the series often trafficks in very traditional sitcom tropes and rather easy gags, it managed to surprise regularly, whether with its unusually fantastical Halloween episodes, including one of the show’s most memorable, or convention-breaking entries like the wordless “The One without Dialogue” and the musically-narrated shows featuring the Barenaked Ladies and The Dan Band. It could also wring laughs out of well-worn territory, mostly thanks to Reynolds’ delivery and an unexpected amount of physical comedy. The biggest surprise however is in how the show was almost serial, telling ongoing stories about the characters and following through on the repercussions of their actions, as well as its willingness to get serious, which it did frequently as the characters struggle with adulthood and problematic relationships. two-guys-a-girl-and-a-pizza-place-lg (1)The show’s finale came in an episode where the ending, which centered around a possible pregnancy, was voted for online. The pregnancy was supposed to be the focus of season five, but the show was cancelled. All the possible endings were filmed in advance of the vote, and all four are available on this set. Unfortunately, only one of the four is actually enjoyable, and piled together as they are here, the whole thing ends the show on a real downbeat. Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place is too uneven and too unsure of what to do with its characters to be as entertaining as it should be considering the talented performers it featured. The consistency of the quality improves in later episodes, but there are only a few characters you’ll find yourself pulling for. This set provides the show in decent shape, but provides no extras, so if the show doesn’t do it for you, there’s nothing else to make you want to own it. Tread cautiously unless you have clear positive memories or you’re a huge Reynolds and/or Fillion fan.

REVIEW: SABRINA: THE TEENAGE WITCH – SEASON 6

MAIN CAST

Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey)
Nick Bakay (That 70s Show)
Caroline Rhea (2 Broke Girls)
Beth Broderick (Lost)
David Lascher (Blossom)
Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster)
Elisa Donovan (Wolves of Wall Street)
Trevor Lissauer (La La Land)
Nate Richert (Gamebox 1.0)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Sisqó (Get Over It)
Winston Story (Masked Rider)
Jesse Plemons (Battleship)
Geoff Pierson (24)
George Wendt (Cheers)
Douglas Sills (The Closer)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Dorie Barton (Down With Love)
Gregg Binkley (My Name Is Earl)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Barbara Eden (Burke’s Law)
Vitamin C (Scary Movie 2)
Parry Shen (Hatchet III)
Carnie Wilson (The 60s)
Gary Bullock (Robocop 2)
Usher Raymond (Killers)
Jere Burns (Bates Motel)
Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory)
Emily Hart (Raising Helen)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Masi Oka (Heroes)
Alley Mills (The Bold and The Beautiful)
Chyna (Tracker)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Sean Cw Johnson (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)

CBS_SABRINA_120_CONTENT_CIAN_1280x720_1198932035531Sabrina the Teenage Witch stars Melissa Joan Hart as the titular Sabrina, who is still a witch but no longer a teenager (they were not allowed to change the name of the show, due to the licensing agreement that was signed when they first adapted the comic book). At this point in the show, Sabrina is in her second year of college, she’s living on campus, and she’s even looking to start her career in journalism. All this while balancing family and her magic.CBS_SABRINA_105_CONTENT_CIANThe show tended to have a lot of changes each season. The transition from season five to season six might be the least disruptive (only the transition from season two to season three is even close). That said, there are plenty of major arcs throughout the season. Early in the season, Josh returns from Prague, but he’s offered job there and Sabrina is afraid they will be separated again. Fortunately, he decides to take a local job (and George Wendt becomes his boss). Harvey returns, and he’s dating Morgan. There’s some question as to his feelings toward Sabrina, and Sabrina’s feelings towards him. Hilda gets into a bunch of relationships, one of which leads to the major finale.5b9bb59464dce825308b5165-750-500Before the end of the season, Sabrina gets the gang stuck in an Other Realm murder mystery train for Halloween. She uses her magic to help Harvey win at hockey, to help Morgan not be so selfish, to dig up dirt on a politician, to travel to the past so mend a broken heart, etc. She gets a job at a newspaper, she becomes addicted to spending time on cloud ten, she gets stuck in an arranged marriage, and she accidentally turns her mom into a ball of wax. Overall, it’s a solid season. That’s a partial compliment. There are not many episodes that can be seen as classics, but there are none that really miss either. Most of the major changes worked out. Having Harvey back (albeit in a less central role) was good, as his character knew Sabrina was a witch, which added to the story’s potential. Also, it was fun to see George Wendt on TV again. Fortunately, the season goes out on a high note, as was the case with most of its seasons. Sabrina has to make a great personal sacrifice to save Hilda, and apparently cutting back on the term, “Woo hoo” isn’t enough. (Also, Harvey and Salem teaming up to cheat at poker is a fun B-story.) It ends with a pretty good cliffhanger (although, if I remember the opening of Season Seven, the resolution is not very satisfying).CBS_SABRINA_122_CONTENT_CIAN_640x360As is the usual for this show, there’s plenty of stunt casting, starting right from the season premiere, which has Sabrina and Miles making a student film about vampires and cheerleaders. When their original leading man doesn’t work out, they cast a new man (played by Sisqo) but Sabrina thinks he might be a real vampire. A lot of stunt casting occurs in this season with Adrienne Barbeau, Usher, Andy Roddick, and Chyna stopping by, usually with little effect on the story. On the other hand, Emily Hart returns as Amanda for her yearly guest spot. Sadly, she’s mostly B-story. But at least she’s part of the story, unlike a lot of the other guest stars. Barbara Eden also has a couple guest shots as the disapproving Aunt Irma. Her episodes are among the best the season has to offer. It’s still an enjoyable season and a must for fans.

 

REVIEW: THE RANCH – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST

Ashton Kucther (Two and A Half Men)
Danny Masterson (That 70s Show)
Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment)
Sam Elliott (Ghost Rider)
Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door)

RECURRING /NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kelli Goss (Victorious)
Debra Jo Rupp (That 70s Show)
Jim Beaver (Breaking Bad)
Grady Lee Richmond (Girlfriend’s Day)
Molly McCook (Excision)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show)
Barry Corbin (Anger Managment)
Kathy Baker (Saving Mr. Banks)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and A Half Men)
Sharon Lawrence (Me, Myself and I)
Dawan Owens (All Night)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Chasty Ballesteros (FInal Destination 5)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
John Amos (Two Evil Eyes)
Darlene Vogel (Beyond The Break)
Kurtwood Smith (Agent Carter)
Aimee Teegarden (Scream 4)
Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)

A fun and enjoyable plot driven sitcom that hits home in terms of jokes, characters and an entertaining storyline. The show as a whole will never be the next friends but sometimes that’s what makes it so unique and intriguing to watch, a cute little show that many wont have seen but that you can be proud to have watched. Ashton Kutcher plays the lead role with his 70’s show castmate Danny Masterton playing his crude and wisecracking older brother. The rancher family is something that is rarely seen on-screen and shines in originality.The success of how each episode is structured with a wonderful bleed over between episodes that keeps the timeline flowing fantastically and makes it so seamless its hard not to like. The love interest being Elisha Cuthbert is subtle yet plays an important role in the show which takes it to another level but by far the main story is about how being a rancher is incredibly difficult, how hard times can fall upon them and how they cope with such troubles. This story is wonderful and I thoroughly loved watching it unfold. Season 2 deals with everything from child loss, heart attacks and wedding preperations. The show goes from strength to strenth with each episode.Overall a small show that packs a heavy punch of a story, greatly casted and acted with the timeline flowing effortlessly which adds up to a slick little gem of a show.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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CAST
Charlie Sheen (Anger Management)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Conchata Ferrell (Mr. Deeds)
Holland Taylor (Legalley Blonde)
Marin Hinkle (Dark Blue)
April Bowlby (Mom)
Jennifer Tayor (Wild Things)
Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show)
Amber Tamblyn (The Grudge)
Edan Alexander (Outliving Emily)

SANTA’S VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED

GUEST CAST
Josie Davis (Bones)
Alan finds a new girlfriend, Sandy- his cooking class teacher. In the first scene Charlie wakes up and thinks that he had a one-night stand with her, but when Alan walks in and kisses and greets her he (Charlie) realises that Alan is with her. He also describes her as a “nester”. But she is a great cook and gets Charlie and Alan hooked on to her food. They also gains lots of weight. When they sing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve, Charlie sees that his house has been transformed in to – what he calls – Santa’s Village of the Damned. In bed she also remembers that she forgot to put out cookies and milk for Santa. They realise that she is crazy.
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WALNUTS AND DEMEROL

GUEST CAST
Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Susan Sullivan (The Increible Hulk 70s)
Charlie’s friends and family put a crimp on his plan for a romantic Christmas Eve date. Evelyn talks to his date, learns about who she is, and then takes extreme measures to prevent them from having sex, but Charlie begins to have sex with her anyway until he learns that she might be his half sister.
Alan has to mediate when Herb becomes more interested in Kandi and her breasts, making Judith angry. Rose and Berta discover Charlie’s boundery after following the couple around the house and stopping at his bedroom door to eavesdrop. Also, Jake gets into the egg nog, unaware that the egg nog’s filled with burbon and becomes inebriated, starting with his dancing and muttering around the house and ending with his narrating “T’was the night before christmas” and throwing up all over the back of Herb and Judith’s car on the way home.

WARNING IT’S DIRTY

GUEST CAST
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
It’s holiday time at the Harper house and it has everything you’d expect—booze, singing, womanizing, and an old man soiling himself. This year, Alan has written the Harper Christmas newsletter to send out. Now, I sometimes get newsletters in lieu of a Christmas card and for me it just seems a little too impersonal. Unfortunately, there was nothing impersonal about this newsletter. In it we learn that Jake passed his class by the skin of his ass, Charlie is single no more after getting engaged to a lady, not a whore, and Evelyn rejuvenated her secret garden—turns out nothing rhymes with vulva. I think the best part of the scene, besides the poem of course, was Alan’s responses, in his best Oliver Twist accent, to Charlie’s bah-humbug attitude. I’m not sure if Alan was hitting the sauce or if the holidays just puts him in a jolly mood, but he was downright witty!
The real story of the evening, though, involves Charlie giving Jake some much unneeded advice about how to cheat. Charlie notices Jake scamming on some girl down at the beach and gives him a hard time for not going down to meet them. Jake reminds Charlie that he’s in a committed relationship and, in turn, Charlie reminds Jake that he’s only 13 (though he’s actually 15) and shouldn’t be tied down so young. Maybe Charlie is feeling a bit too tied down himself at the young age of 40 (though he’s actually 42), because it seems that he wants to live vicariously through Jake. After much prodding, Jake finally agrees to go talk to the girl. Throughout the evening, and despite Alan’s repeated objections, Charlie helps Jake with the rules.
Unfortunately, Charlie has no rules to help prepare Jake for when Celeste shows up unexpectedly with his Christmas present, and finds Jake with the other girl. As soon as the new girl learns of Jake’s girlfriend she storms off, the now ex-girlfriend leaves in a huff, and Chelsea gives Charlie a look that would castrate a lesser man! In other Harper family news, Evelyn brings a Hollywood producer to the Christmas Eve dinner. Mr. Pepper, played by the ridiculously funny Carl Reiner, is a wheelchair-bound spitfire whom Evelyn just couldn’t bear to see spending the evening alone in his $60 million estate—and with the $2 million she could make off of selling his house when he buys the farm, who could blame her? It turns out that he knows Lucille Ball wasn’t a true redhead. He’s willing to share with them how he knows but warns them, “It’s dirty.” and complains that he’s sitting so close to the fire his chestnuts are roasting. In the end, it looks as though Mr. Pepper really does pass away. He slumps over and is unresponsive. As Evelyn mentally calculates her commission, Mr. Pepper awakens to say “She thinks she’s going to sell my house when I’m gone. But I ain’t going!” Then he looks down at his lap and realizes “Oops. I am going.”

ONE FALSE MOVE, ZIMBABWE!

GUEST CAST
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Sophie Winkleman (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Jane Carr (The Five-Year Engagement)
Graham Patrick Martin (Major Crimes)
Jim Piddock (Independence Day)
Walden wakes up on Christmas and gives Zoey a key to his house. Zoey says that giving her a key to his house is premature. He asks if he can meet her parents (who are flying in), but she tells him that next year might be a good time as they are still learning about each other, However, Walden counters by telling Zoey her eye color, pants size and that she runs the faucet to cover her peeing. Walden’s mother is coming to visit him. Alan tries to get Evelyn to come over seeing as though this is the family’s first Christmas without Charlie. She declines as she is having a “two man sandwich”, which Alan learns over the phone in disgust. Walden then wonders where Lyndsey is, but Alan tells him that she has a new boyfriend now, leaving him single and lonely again. Jake calls and tells Alan that he is with Judith, Herb and his sister, actually not being there and is instead smoking pot with Eldridge somewhere else.
Walden’s mother arrives and Alan is smitten with how young and beautiful she is. They have dinner, Walden’s mother asks if Walden was now a homosexual and hiding it; they quickly due a recap of Season 9 to clear things up. She then explains that she is a primatologist and mainly works with gorillas. Walden mentions “Magilla”, an imaginary gorilla friend that he had when he was a child. However, she tells him Magilla does exist and he shared the first four years of his life with him, which lead to Walden learning sign language; she wanted to see if a gorilla baby could learn as fast as a human baby. She sent him back to the jungle after he tried to kill a Jehovah’s Witness. This revelation shocks Walden deeply as all his memories of Magilla clear up and he explains that he was so perfect during his childhood because he feared that he would be sent to Zimbabwe just like his gorilla “brother”. He leaves in a huff.
At Zoey’s apartment building, she opens the door to find Walden holding a bottle of liquor, inquiring if he was drunk; Walden himself is unsure, but thinks he is due to drinking and invites himself in. With hid thoughts muddled with alcohol and anger, Walden questions Zoey’s parents, who are very British and appear to like him despite his odd behavior, if they would do something similar to what happened to him. At the beach house, they then get a call from Zoey, who tells them to come over as Walden is acting crazy. They arrive to see Walden has climbed up to the roof of the complex, where Zoey meets Walden;’s mother and briefly forgets the situation. Alan climbs up to talk some sense into him, telling him how he knows the pain of losing a brother (referring to Charlie’s death). On the street, Jake and Eldrige, both baked, eat doughnuts and blankly comment on the situation before deciding to get more food.
Later, Walden is taken to the place Magilla is being kept and reunites with his “brother” after identifying himself through sign language. Alan becomes shocked that Walden’s mother brought a taser to stun Magilla if he attacked Walden.

GIVE SANTA A TAIL-HOLE

GUEST CAST
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Brooke D’Orsay (The Skulls III)
Patton Oswalt (Agents of Shield)
Still pretending to be the poverty-stricken “Sam Wilson”, Walden spends Christmas with Kate, who urges him to get a job. He then gets a call from his internet business partner Billy, who tells him that they have been offered $800 million for their “electronic suitcase”. Billy wants to sell, but Walden wants to hold out for a higher price. “Sam” gets a job selling Christmas trees, which he takes to immediately and enjoys.
Billy stops by the Christmas tree lot multiple times with new offers, urging Walden to sell, but Walden repeatedly shoos him away, saying he will not sell for less than $1.4 billion. Just as “Sam” closes a $40 deal with a Christmas tree customer, Walden and Billy close a deal to sell their electronic suitcase for $1.2 billion. After Kate’s sewing machine breaks, Walden uses his Christmas tree commissions to buy her a new one for Christmas. Walden feels much happier with Kate in his new blue collar world. Meanwhile, Alan plans to spend Christmas Eve with Evelyn, Jake and Lyndsey, but none of them are able to come. Jake plans to spend Christmas with his girlfriend and her children, Evelyn is having plastic surgery, and Lyndsey has to go to Cleveland to help her grandmother, who broke her hip. Alan begins to feel alone and miserable, until a less-than-willing Berta comes to seemingly comfort him.

ON VODKA, ON SODA, ON BLENDER ON MIXER!

GUEST CAST
Diane Farr (Roswell)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Paula Marshall (Veronica Mars)
TWO AND A HALF MEN
 Jenny hooks up with a bikini wax technician named Brooke who catches Jenny’s heart, but gives her a fake phone number. Walden visits Brooke’s salon to get a painful wax, but gets Brooke to promise to call Jenny. Alan is still with Paula who introduces Alan to her former wife of 20 years, Rachel. Rachel starts coming onto Alan who initially refuses. After Alan finds out that he and Paula are not exclusive, he unknowingly takes Rachel to the same bar that Paula visits every Friday. Paula is pissed off to see them both together. They discover that they still have feelings for each other and that Rachel was going out with Alan only to make her jealous and then they get back together in a lesbian relationship.
The night of their date Jenny gets bombed and then Brooke shows up bombed because she usually never does second dates and passes out on the couch with Jenny.
Walden narrates that Alan is sleeping with lesbian dreams of Paula and Rachel. Jenny and Brooke slept together. While he and Berta are busy getting stoned.

FAMILY, BUBLE, DEEP-FRIED TURKEY

GUEST CAST
Richard Riehle (Halloween II)
Kari Klinkenborg (Castle)
It’s Christmas time and Rose comes over and offers her help, but is turned down. Louis doesn’t believe in Santa as he never got presents, so Walden and Alan want to prove him Santa exists by hiring a Santa who will be captured on video. Unfortunately, while Alan and Walden are in the garage putting together Louis’ new bike, sex between Evelyn and the fake Santa leads to a trip to the emergency room for the latter. Sometime later, Louis can’t sleep, and asks Walden and Alan to stay with him; the two wind up falling asleep. In the morning, however, they discover all the presents under the tree and a video of Santa. Walden realizes Rose was responsible when he sees “Santa” leaping over the balcony railing. Rose tells Walden she really does want to be friends with him, and surprises Walden with a Christmas gift – a cuckoo clock (that, unknown to Walden and Alan, is actually a spy cam).

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A show lasting 12 years was bound to end up a few Christmas episodes 7 specials are all good I especially love Santa’s village of the Damned. Josie Davis was a brilliant guest star playing a woman who still believe sin Santa and is obsessed with making every perfect for Santa. the second Walnuts and Demoral is just a brilliantly well plotted episode with several neat twists and turns. As you watch these specials you get see how much the show changed throughout the years especially when you get to the last 4 seasons, the years without Charlie, but even those xmas specials are just as good. All seven are worth watching over Christmas a good 3hours + to keep you entertained.

REVIEW: THE ZETA PROJECT

MAIN CAST
Diedrich Bader (Batman: TBATB)
Julie Nathanson (Sofia The First)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Lauren Tom (Futurama)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST~
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Eli Marienthal (American Pie)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Tom Kenney (Super Hero Squad)
Chad Lowe (Floating)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Dave Coulier (Full House)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angel)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Steven Weber (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey)
Chris Demetral (Lois & Clark)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Mae Whitman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap)
Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory)
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In this Batman Beyond spinoff, Zeta, an assassination & infiltrator robot, rebels against its programming. The authorities think it has been reprogrammed by their enemies, and tries to bring Zeta in for reprogramming. Zeta goes on the run, trying to find his creators and assisted by an orphan girl, Ro.
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As a spin off for a character introduced in Batman Beyond, this cartoon series went beyond the scope of adventure. Zeta was an experimental infiltration robot equipped with weaponry and a holographic self-projector that allows it to assume any identity. However, negating his own programming, he refused to kill. He fled his employers merely attempting to find his creator to prove that he is acting on his own free will. The government doesn’t know that, and hunt him down as they think he is rogue. Along the way Zeta hooks up with Ro, a teenage girl, and they assist each other in their treks.
165770_fullDiedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) lends his voice to the peaceful, naive and near-human robot, sounding the least bit threatening and true to Zeta’s nature. The friendship between the child-like Zeta and Ro is genuinely portrayed. The supporting characters who chase him are great, including the government agents, and a young genius whom at one point reprogrammed Zeta. The Zeta Project is indeed a combination of Short Circuit and The Fugitive, balanced out by fantastic action, excellent characterization, and plenty of comedic moments.  In one episode, Batman Beyond even makes a cool guest appearance. Sadly, KidsWB canceled this exceptional show after 2 seasons, leaving Ro and Zeta’s quest hanging.