I love Corner Gas the Canadian made TV show, and I very much enjoy the Hiccups program that Brent Butt produced. I also watched the Corner Gas movie, but you won’t find any links to it here because it’s on the Amazon (Fire TV) channel “IMDB” — and, I don’t think it was quite as funny as the Corner Gas TV show or the Animated sequel — but that’s just me, please don’t be offended.
Okay, so this article is going to be short and sweet. There’s a clip here so that you can get acclimated with the series showrunner, and a link to add my FREE and ADFREE android app to watch the Hiccups TV program.
That’s Brent Butt, the series writer, a lead actor, and comic book illustrator. He’s married to Corner Gas costar Nancy Robertson, who plays the lead role of a children’s book author who ironically has a unpredictable, slightly mean hearted knee-jerk “no-filter” personality in the TV series, Hiccups.
Here’s the rest of the cast…
Pictured above is all Canadian talent: The very funny Nancy Robertson as Millie Upton, and standing to her right is Laura Soltis as Joyce Haddison, then we have David Ingram as Taylor Rymes, and next to him is Emily Perkins as Crystal Braywood — the receptionist/daddy’s-girl. Seated is Paula Rivera as Anna Dirko (Stan Dirko’s wife) — and of course the hilarious Brent Butt as “Life Coach” Stan Dirko
When and if I get the permission to stream this program or some of the clips on my channels, then you’ll hear about it on this blog — or simply stay tuned to my free, adfree connected TV channels. Here’s some links before I go. Brent’s Youtube site (not for his TV shows or movies) https://www.youtube.com/TheButtpod and his website (blog) http://www.brentbutt.com/ Cheers for now. (c) Dean Lachiusa
In this age of media-overload, why on earth do some folks find the need to be reminded of ongoing events? Are we so darn oversaturated with viral videos, movies, TV, and news broadcasts that we actually desire to watch programming that mirrors what is going on right now? I guess so, because despite the fact that we’re living in a Virus-Crisis, we have more and more entertainment that further explores the horror that our neighbors live with.
Horror and Sci-Fi programming War of the Worlds, the latest Epix network TV-Series adapted from the classic radio broadcast, and Snowpiercer — the TV-series spin-off of a feature film are now available.
I did enjoy a few of the War of the Worlds episodes, especially because the streaming was offered as part of a free preview with my Dish package. But I wouldn’t pay to watch the show, and it certainly didn’t encourage me to subscribe to Epix. The series was captivating at first because the situation was mysterious, and the creatures were quite frightening.
However, after a few episodes there was a scene that really disappointed me. We were given a glimpse of the alien-creatures early on in the show (don’t worry, this is really not a spoiler — unless you’re entirely new to the War of the Worlds story.)
A little history…In 1938 Orson Welles broadcast on radio an adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds. Notably, then came the 1953 film (my favorite) and then the 2005 version by Steven Spielberg with Tom Cruise. (There also are many low budget productions available, including two by C. Thomas Howell. Although I really like this actor, I have tried to watch these, and I can’t in good faith recommend them.)
Here’s a very cool short documentary about the 50’s films, complete with detailed examples of effects — and if you haven’t yet seen the “creatures,” or the “spaceships” it’s a must see — but you may wish to hold off on seeing this video until you can catch the entire feature film.
Oh yes, back to my sort-of spoiler. The creatures in the Epix series firstly looked very scary to me, but in a few episodes later, there is a scene where Bill (Gabriel Byrne) encounters one of them:
SPOILER ALERT: The creature just plods up to Bill like a dog with three legs, Bill then grabs it and holds it at bay as it (attempts) to kill him. Not scary – the creature appears to be less than formidable. What a let down. And there’s other holes in the story, like the predictable scene wherein “Catherine” is looking for her missing sister, only to find a young girl who was hiding in a cave. Does Catherine ask the girl if she has seen her sister…perhaps hiding in the cave too? Nope. I found it just dumb and a tell. Would Catherine’s sister show up later in the show…and where was she hiding? The answer is predictable! 😉 😉
Moving on to less epic films based upon previous broadcasts, we have the Sci-Fi “Snowpiercer.” When I watched the feature film, I tired of it after the first half hour. I just didn’t find it plausible. But, apparently many folks have, because now we have a TV series based upon the feature.
Recently AXS TV showed a few Snowpiercer clips that did entice me. So I guess I may watch the TV series sometime after this virus-crisis. But for now, I’ve had enough dystopian programming. I just can’t watch any more dark, apocalyptic movies and TV. Right now, I need positive TV. So instead — I’ll watch my Movies Plus and TMN Roku or Fire TV channels.
[Update 5/19/2020 – Dish offered me a free preview of the series with one of my favorites, Jennifer Connelly. So I decided to break my rule early — I watched SnowPiercer, one episode of the series.
SPOILER ALERT! Sorry, but I’m still not convinced that a train is best place to go in the time of an Apocalyptic Ice-Age. SnowPiercer is a train that bye the way – apparently never stops. Think about it — I did, during the show. And that’s not good. You’re not supposed to be thinking about the plausibility of a premise during a movie or TV show. After you watch it, sure — it’s okay to reflect upon the show. But during it, suspension of disbelief is supposed to take hold. But they never answer the question of how.
How do they get fresh water or energy on a train that never stops? Just show me a darn solar panel (oops — no sun!) Or show me a snow-scooper thing-a-ma-jig that turns snow into drinkable water. Uggh! I’m done, I won’t be watching this show again, despite the fact that I love Sci-Fi. Also, they showed a preview of the next episode, and it featured a bunch of people rebelling, and a bloody massacre. Who needs it – I don’t! Sorry to be so harsh…]
I hope you carefully choose what you watch and to be positive too, please don’t let negative distractions bring you down. Cheers to ya – and I invite you to join me in the conversation – especially if you feel that I’ve been too harsh in my reviews. (c) Dean Lachiusa
Ahhh, the 50’s an innocent era of television where you if you actually owned a TV, the reception was so poor and limited that you were likely to tune in black and white static and fuzz. And on a good day or during “prime time” the programming was limited to slightly out of focus live Boxing matches or family-variety shows by talent like Joey Bishop and Red Skeleton.
Local channels started to capitalize upon the relatively new medium by producing shows that were sponsored by manufactures like Lucky Cigarettes and Lark Automobiles. Usually a television show featured the sponsors advertisement prior to the show, but in rare occasions there was no promotion at all — like the California production “Captain Z-Ro.”
Captain Z-Ro was a family friendly show that is actually very well done, especially for something that resembles a “KINO” production.
Kino was the process of filming a live production for the purposes of archiving a program, and it was usually done in black and white, 16mm film. The quality was typically low-contrast because the film-camera recorded directly from a Television camera monitor.
That being said, Captain Z-Ro is a very nice watch because the editing is incredibly precise, and the sets are pretty darn good. Especially if you consider the high cost of doing “period pieces.” Also, if you watch the show you’ll enjoy the Mod looking exterior of the Captain’s Space-Base, and the groovy space-aged laboratory inside.
Show creator and lead-man Captain Z-Ro is played by Roy Steffens. His young, trusty sidekick Bruce Haynes plays Jet.
Every episode is History oriented. It’s actually quite entertaining and informative, in it’s quaint way — I mean, in our day and age television is competitive and the production quality is usually excellent. So, when I look at an old show, I try to appreciate it for what it was back in the day.
Captain Z-Ro is a family show, each week our hero’s use their cool ‘time-machine’ to visit a new place in history, and they correct any wrong doings or impending errors to the timeline. (And we all know that our history books are perfectly accurate — so you can see how Captain Z-Ro can apply what is written in order to…”safeguard mankind and history from impending harm…” wink, wink, wink 😉
That’s it for now, but please don’t hesitate to let me know (if) you’d like to see more episodes. Leave a comment or gift a buck or more on the Patreon site, and then I’ll post them here and on my Roku/Fire TV channels. Cheers! (c) Dean Lachiusa
I’ve found three rare Mr. Ed television sitcoms, and two are currently streaming. One episode is a hilarious story about a Cat and a beneficiary. The other is a very RARE PILOT & PITCH that is a must see for fans of the show, as well as anyone who is interested in how shows were pitched, produced and sponsored by Ad Agencies and Advertisers like the manufacture of the LARK automobile. The Lark? Seriously?
Okay so as it turns out, it’s not a “lark.” Studebaker was making cars back in the late 50’s to early 60’s and this one was being sold as the main promotional ‘vehicle’ for an up and coming series.
The tentative series was called “The Wonderful World of Wilbur Pope” and this episode (the pilot) is called Wilbur Pope and Mister Ed. And it stars two actors who were cast specifically for the Pilot – but not the series. That’s interesting, ehh? I didn’t think it worked like that. Scott McKay played (Wilbur Pope.)
And his wife (Carlotta) was played by Sandra White. Both were replaced within this video. Ed stayed. (Wink wink.) Sound confusing? Well, I was certainly surprised. Let me run down how the video plays out so that you may better understand.
First we start with an advertising pitch-man. He’s a boring looking character, tooled up with a pointer, chalk-board graphics and well placed, but verbatim dialog. Did you know that the average household watches 3.5 hours of TV a night? Groovy. Okay, so then we move on to the show, and it runs a good half hour. But immediately afterwards we have a new spokesperson…
That’s George Burns. He talks about how Sitcoms typically fail because they have nothing to write-about after six episodes or so, but this series will be the exception because of “Ed.” And then he proceeds to tell us about how the new actors for this series are funny, experienced and importantly the lead man is a “clean cut fine looking young man who will make a great salesman for your product.” Then the new actor is introduced, and he’s darn funny. This is the new Wilbur, Wilbur Post played by Alan Young.
Young talks about how George Burns will be overseeing the writing on the show. Then he proceeds by delivering an example performance, and then he really shines when he plays next to his new wife “Carol” Carol Post, played by Connie Hines. And I have to say I really enjoyed the way they played out a ‘sample’ scene. It was very convincing and the two demonstrated nice chemistry. This is the beautiful Connie Hines…
The cool “sales pilot” and other classic shows like Petticoat Junction and Fireball XL5 are available on my Roku channels, free & adfree. Oh bye the way, I noticed something of a mystery. Within the pilot — they never gave away the name of Mr. Ed’s voice-actor. Interesting, maybe that’s part of the charm. Watch the two episodes now, and stay tuned for a third,* VERY RARE episode in which Wilbur sells United State Savings Bonds.
*ADDENDUM 4/20/2020 – the episode “Wilbur gets the Message” is now on all of our Roku and Fire TV channels. While it does have a few funny moments, it does require a little patience. You may be asking “since when does a sitcom require patience?” The answer is because it’s basically a special program designed to sell Bonds and inform folks about the virtue of “Payroll Savings.” It was produced on behalf of the US treasury. On the plus size we have our favorites — Alan Young (Wilbur), and Connie Hines (Carol), Mr Ed – the “Horse of course,” ‘PLUS’ the character-comedian George O’Hanlon – from The Jetsons. (c) Dean Lachiusa
For many Star Trek lovers, the “Discovery” of Star Trek on Roku and other Connected TV devices is not entirely new. And for readers of this blog, you may already know what I think about the Star Trek Discovery series per my article last year. But this year, we have a new show to watch, and it features Patrick Stewart and other iconic actors from Star Trek’s Next Generation show.
I enjoyed the premiere episode, which (was) free on Youtube, and I am tempted to sign up for the entire series. Tempted, but not enough to pay them for it. Note: The following video is a SPOILER!
I did try to subscribe to CBS All-Access with what was advertised as the CBS “gift” code, but after giving CBS my name, email, DOB, and my first male child, the interface did not work, I didn’t get my free month — maybe the code expired, but it was only a week old. So I’m back to weighing the benefits of paying for CBS.
Based on my feelings for Discovery, and based on the things I’ve read about Picard on Facebook, I’ll have to pass. Why pay for it when CBS has operated as a Ad-Supported network for years, and now they expect me to change my viewing habits just for a few new shows – sorry, not enough.
I already pay for Hulu and others. I really wish CBS would reconsider their entire “all access” formula. Let’s talk about something a little more positive. Have you watched Star Trek Continues, Star Trek New Voyages, or the new shows from Tim Russ (of Star Trek Voyager) and his Atomic network? Here’s a full episode of Atomic’s “Renegades.”
I like Renegades, but I prefer the new Trek based series that they are working on. I’ll post episodes as soon as they are made public. I hope that they release the Atomic programs for free and ad-free because it’s the only way I operate. My Roku channels are noncommercial.
And I do this because I love the craft of filmmaking, and I enjoy supporting filmmakers, especially those who make programs out of pure passion for their subject matter. (You can help me support indie film here.)
This is also why I stream great programs like “The Verse” — a Firefly short that just begs to be developed into a series. If only we fans could convince the owners of the franchise to allow fans to produce more noncommercial content. You may watch The Verse on my Roku channels, and of course it is free and advertising free like all my programming.
I’ll talk more about fan films and the regulations later in a adjunct article. This is an enormous area of controversy that I cannot discuss without going into details. But, I will say that for years, the makers of Continues and New Voyages were allowed to produce Trek programming as an homage, as long as the shows were never commercialized/monetized.
And the producers of those shows, along with the Farragut producers did respect the network’s rules that were set forth in “guidelines.” (PS: Farragut is a long-running series of fanfilms that do not get rated very positively on Youtube, so I don’t have a sample for you here.) BUT, I do stream (2) Starship Farragut animated episodes on my Roku Channels.
Something happened a few years ago. Another guy decided to make a Trek fan film, but not with fans. Instead, he hired professional crew and talent, and then he raised money — allot of money with the intention of releasing a professional (perhaps commercially viable) film. He threw it right in the Network’s face on Kickstarter and social media. In the end, according to reports – he openly defied CBS and Paramount in court. To make a long story short, now would be fan-film makers have new “fanfilm guidelines” that really put the “AXE” on how a fan made film can be produced. The films must be 15 minutes…The story-lines and characters may not be continued for more than (2) episodes, etc.
The actions of the “Axe” have effected every producer of Trek films, and I think that in turn may set the course for other franchises. And I stream them all – from Croft to Alien (see my free/adfree Android “Fan Films” app.) So, what I’m getting at here is that one selfish action may just be the thing that is effecting how the new owner, Disney handles requests to do Firefly/Serenity fanfilms. Like I say, there’s more details and I’ll do an entire article on this in the future. For now, I’ll leave you with a look at “The Verse.” — (c) Dean Lachiusa
When I first took notice of Star Trek Continues the new “Kirk” through me for a loop. I wasn’t prepared to hear a new voice introduce the programs continuation of the “5 year mission.”
After watching a few episodes, I was hooked. The series is great. I started with the first of 10 epiodes, and each show got better and better. Buy the last episode I was close to tears. Excellent programming, and there’s plenty of nod’s to the original show. In fact, the set is a duplicate to the original Hollywood (1967) Trek set. The actors are great, and wow, there’s great cameos by actors from “The Original Series.” ‘Plus’ there’s talent from Star Trek – The Next Generation, Voyager, Farscape, Buck Rogers, and Battlestar Galactica (the latest series.)
But this show is NOT the only Trek-tribute series. There is another 10 episodes from a producer who made (the first) Trek studio duplicate. He’s the first Fan Film hero who produced a full size (9,000 plus sq. ft) studio-come-offical-Trek tour, Mr. James Cawley…But WAIT! There’s more.
Tim Russ, from Star Trek Voyager launched a production company that produced a feature-film with James Cawley of Ticonderoga, in Essex County, New York. Russ’s company is called “Atomic” and they are known as the “Renegades” who have and are still producing very professional online content for lovers of Trek, sci-fi and good drama.
I just might give you links to all this great content, but I’d first like to ask you to watch on my noncommercial TV channels. Check out my Roku channels via the TV-APP link herein. (You’ll need either a Roku or an Android device for my free, adfree “Fan Films” app.) You’ll be able to watch a few rare Trek films like this one…
And here’s another very professional Trek-homage that is on my Roku channels.
Okay, so below there are a few samples… Please bookmark this page for future updates to my streaming content, like Star Trek fan films “Horizon” and “Exeter.”
PS: The pic below is a homage to Trek actors who have passed...
Here’s some samples of Fan Made Star Trek films that are considered the absolute best!
A. From Vic Mignogna and the Neutral Zone’s Kingsland, GA Star Trek studio comes 10 shows and a few extra’s. Note, the new Kirk may take some getting used to. Here’s a preview of the show (and don’t forget that you may watch it on my ROKU TV-APPS AD FREE and FREE… This is Star Trek Continues! (Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile device.https://youtu.be/eLNgNsoZgrE)
B. One of the best episodes from a different group called Renegades, operated by Tim Russ (Voyager) and his Atomic network is a treat to watch. Here’s a one of my favorite episodes of the show that was produced with James Cawley. Please don’t forget that you may watch similar Trek programs on my ROKU TV-APPS AD FREE and FREE… The video opens with Walter koenig and then the episode starts and you’ll see Ferris Bueller’s Alan Ruck in the first scene! (Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile device.https://youtu.be/kFqAME7dx58 )
C. From the Hollywood-connected James Cawley and his NY Trek studio-come-Official-Star-Trek-Tour was one of the first to work with Stars like Walter Koenig (Chekov) and George Takei (Sulu) — and produce episodes with the folks who are now producing the “Renegades” programs. Here’s a compilation video of teasers, clips, and set-tours. This is Star Trek New Voyages (aka Star Trek Phase II.)Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile devicehttps://youtu.be/TDQ2LZbVut4.
Years ago I spoke with Travis Gordon, the writer/producer/director, CGI artist and the creative thrust for the Spellfury youtube series. He’s a great guy with high hopes for his micro-budget TV Sword and Sorcery (and comedy.) Spellfury is just plain fun.
I fell in love with it the first time I watched an episode. Does it have the big budget effects and talents like Felicia Day? Nope, but that’s okay by me. I don’t judge Spellfury on it’s merits as a high-tech show — because it’s not poised to be compared with Stargate or Dirk Gently.
She Punches With Elf Power!
Actress/Producer Julie O’Halloran answers questions about the popular web series “SpellFury.” She plays the role of Druinia, a passionate, multi-talented Elf on a mission.
Q: The outfit is a little tiny, do you ever get any feedback good or bad regarding how your character is portrayed?
Answer: The feedback has been positive. Although the outfit is a little revealing, I think Druinia comes across as a very strong and independent character. I think the fans think its just part of the fun of the show.
Q: What parts of Druinia’s character are strong, and how do you see her overall – as a sensitive character?
Answer: Druinia is very independent and strong. She’s tough when she has to be but she has shown her softer side as well. I think the interesting part of her character will be balancing how tough she will have to be in fighting off different creatures on the show, but also being vulnerable at the same time, showing that she’s a real person with real feelings.
Q: Is it difficult to work in green screen? Explain how you get ready for the process of working with characters that will later be placed into the scene.Any trouble with fight scenes?
Answer: I have a very supportive cast and crew who make the fight scenes fun. We rehearse them a lot, and work out all the movements so things go pretty good all in all.
Q: Any thoughts on how Druinia’s character will expand in the next season? Do you think your character will have a love interest in the story?
Answer: I think Druinia will learn more about herself and what lengths she’s willing to go to avenging her father’s killer. She will encounter more characters and more creatures that will test her in different ways.As for a love story…I don’t think anything is out of the question, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens!
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: “Spellfury is an action comedy web series. It is a “a comically low-budget fantasy series that gently mocks The Lord of the Rings genre with exploding monsters and bad wigs”. Spellfury is a comedic fantasy adventure web series written and directed by Travis Gordon and stars Julie O’Halloran as Druinia”
Meanwhile, I’ll contact Travis and see if there is a way to get Spellfury streamed on my TV-channels. Here’s the primary cast n’ crew: Jason Devlin, Penu Chalykoff, Sarah Ferguson, Travis Gordon, and Costumes by Ann Gunthorpe of “Ye Olde Bag Company.” Below is the youtube intro (episode 1.) Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile device. https://youtu.be/UNJ7sbfS4Xg
Thank you for watching, I love to support indies, especially Webisodes like SpellFury, and I hope you do too. — (c) Dean Lachiusa