Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 27: TV THEME SONGS!

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To arrive at their optimum relaxation zone, some people listen to the soothing sprinkle of a rainstorm or the natural sounds of a tropical rain-forest. But, for my ears, there’s something about TV theme songs that I find strangely comforting. Maybe it’s little details like the “sha-la-la-la” at the end of the Family Ties theme or the hum at the end of the Diff’rent Strokes intro that make me have that extra fondness for them. If you consider yourself the same kind of wacko, then you’re reading the right website! This week, the Purple Stuff Podcast brings you a show entirely dedicated to a select bunch of TV theme songs.

To say that my iTunes is quite a hodgepodge of various types of music is an understatement. If you listened to one of my playlists while driving around with me, you’d likely hear one of hundreds of TV theme songs. Chances are, you’d know the lyrics to the majority of them. That’s what makes it fun. You don’t even need to be an avid viewer of a show to have the theme song stuck in your head, which makes the genre that much more incredible. This is one of the reasons why I felt so compelled to convince Matt that we should do a whole show about some of the TV themes that stand out most to us.

After an arm bar into an Irish whip, followed up by a flying forearm, Matt agreed that it was a good idea. I’m kidding of course, but it did take a little bit of convincing since it is so difficult to do a show like this and not be accused of leaving all the important themes out. Everyone has their favorites, but these are just a handful that we felt compelled to talk about. Some of your favorites are ours too, but we’d need 8 episodes to touch on ALL the good ones.

Personally, I think some of the best TV theme songs are the ones that work on different levels. Some TV themes are great for what they are and work splendidly as a theme for a show, yet other TV themes soar beyond that. There are TV themes that are so catchy that you wonder how the hell they haven’t been deemed required curriculum in music classes in schools. Others are so versatile that they could be covered by metal and punk bands. Most of all, the best TV themes are the ones that pop into your brain the minute you hear someone mention the name of the show that it’s from.

I demand equality for TV theme songs. Even though a show’s theme usually undergoes subtle changes between seasons, a TV theme has the power to bring to mind the full reel of scenes in the opening credits. I loved when the opening credits of a show were so ridiculous. You can sit there and pick out the episode that each scene was from. The theme will also make you reminisce and sing along. Some themes are cheerful or quirky while others are arena-ready and triumphant. In all cases, there’s a lot to discuss so check out The Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 27 and share some of your favorite theme songs in the comments!

The Neighbors Nerdfest Number 2: Merry Crap-Mas

 

An instant holiday classic, The Neighbors episode “Merry Crap-Mas,” originally aired on December 5th, 2012. Let’s take a look at some of the best stuff from this yuletide episode.

Contained in this episode is the best Christmas morning scene in television history. You may not believe me right now, but by the end of the post I’ll make a believer out of you.

The story begins at the end of the episode and then we rewind to see how Merry Crap-Mas came to be. The Weavers roll a wheel barrow full of gifts over to their alien neighbors, The Bird-Kersees, because they need to hide the kids gifts in their house in order to for them not to snoop and find them. Remember, the Neighbors are aliens and they are completely unaware of the Christmas traditions. What Larry Bird does know about Christmas is that he feels it’s an “…orgy of commercialism.”

DEBBIE WEAVER:
“Christmas is about family and smiles and the joy of being together, the gifts are just one tiny part of it.”
LARRY BIRD:
“Oh yes, and there’s that fat slovenly burglar you call Santa Claus. Honestly, put on an apron for God’s sake fatso!”

Abby, instructing her parents on her letter to Santa:
“You should probably fax it, it’s getting pretty late.”

“I hated all three of them just now Marty, in that moment I hated all three of our children.” – Debbie Weaver, in reference to her “greedy little monsters”

“Can you remind me again why we want to be alone on an island with these children?” – Marty Weaver

“God what the hell? Is this the constitution? Who makes amendments to a Christmas list?” – Debbie Weaver

After being frustrated by their selfish kids who are all about the presents, The Weavers decide that they want to return all the gifts that they purchased and use the money to take the family on a tropical vacation. They decide on a time share in Hawaii. Marty is excited because this specific time share has that “tushy squirting thing.” Tushy squirting thing FTW.

 

Throwing a wrench into their new plan are The Bird-Kersees. At first, they just gazed at the tower of Christmas presents that were “hidden” in the middle of their house. It was mere moments before they tried to guess what was in all the wrapped boxes. Curiosity got the best of Larry and he started poking and ripping at one of the presents. Larry was overcome with the exhilaration of unwrapping a gift since he’s never done it before. Once he started ripping one open, the whole family joined in and triumphantly started tearing open ALL the gifts without realizing the consequences.

Larry’s sentiments of Christmas went into full reversal. Suddenly his feelings were incredibly positive as if he was Scrooge after encountering all the Christmas Ghosts.

LARRY BIRD:
(about little Abby) “…her teeth keep falling out of her face. What’s gonna fall off next? Her nose?”
DICK BUTKUS:
“Oh Father, I love when you make fun of children!”

The Weaver’s dilemma now is that they can’t return the gifts because the neighbors and all the other aliens in their community are playing with the gifts that the Bird-Kersees tore open with glee. They are inadvertently destroying them, doing insane things like tossing a brand new iPad around like its a Frisbee!

JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE:
“So, we really screwed your pooch on this one.”
DEBBIE WEAVER:
“Oh Jackie, not only did you screw my pooch but you didn’t call her the next day either.”
LARRY BIRD:
“I admit it, I was wrong about Christmas. It’s a lovely holiday. The things, the trees, the snow…the things.”
DICK BUTKUS:
“Christmas is magical father, magical!”

Larry reveals his adoration for The Muppets:
“Tell you what, let’s watch The Muppets a Christmas Carol again – The Muppets, I like. I can really get down with The Muppets…” followed by his Kermit impression.

*Heard in the episode is Kermit the Frog singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

“I have never been so wrong about anything in my life, I love Christmas.” – Larry Bird

“I’m totally joyous, I have sugar plums in my head…” – Larry Bird

Larry has a change of heart and realizes that The Weavers have been good to him and his family so he sets out to right his wrong and save their Christmas.

 

Larry enlists his son Dick and their mission to rectify the situation is engaged. This entire sequence is so completely haywire and I’m in love with every second of it. Larry and son slow-mo walk to the tune of “Christmas in Hollis.” With this kind of build-up you know shit is about to get real. First stop, Larry takes his son Dick to the strip club…to get some girls to play a role in his master plan. Then they buy some pigs and ride home on their golf cart adorned with a Christmas tree and strippers.

Dumbfounded, the Weavers woke up to see this on Christmas morning:

What a scene it was! Larry Bird went all out to make this day special as indicated by the giant Christmas tree he stole from a car dealership, a Tiki statue, Hula dancers, a Polynesian fire dancer and bongo players, some farm animals, Christmas carolers, and Dick Butkus (remember, the whole family is named after famous American sports icons) as Tiny Tim who even delivers the classic line “God Bless Us Everyone.”

 

After the initial shock of the visual that the Weavers woke up to, Larry Bird waltzes in dressed as the jolly old elf who he was wise cracking about earlier. I think they had all bases covered here. Larry recreated his neighbors would-be Hawaiian vacation and then some. I’d say he more than made up for what he and his family did.

In one of the funniest scenes, Larry opens a yet unopened package to find an Etch-a-Sketch which he mistakes for “the new iPad.” He asks the famous drawing toy, “Siri, did I really ruin their Christmas?” Siri does not respond. Later, after trying to speak to Siri again and growing frustrated, Larry claims that he’s “gonna go Kindle.”

The Neighbors Nerdfest Number 1: Thanksgiving is for The Bird-Kersees

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One of the themes of Thanksgiving is sharing your leafed-out dining room table full of intricately prepared foods and adorned with crafty centerpieces the kids made at school with all of your family and friends, and the occasional drunk uncle or nomadic cousin who tends to show up randomly, but only if it’s a leap year. I’m not much of a cook, so this year I’m serving up some nerdery as a gesture of thanks to a show that’s been cancelled by ABC, The Neighbors. Unfortunately, if that nomadic cousin does stop by, the chair you usually leave open for him will be occupied this year, so he’s S.O.L.

It’s only been a few months since it’s cancellation was announced, but The Neighbors deserves much more reverence than it received initially. I’ve been meaning to come up with a way to properly memorialize this wonderful show, one of my favorites of the past few years, and I’ve finally figured it out.

This post marks the first installment of a recurring column dedicated to random episodes where I’ll point out some of my favorite stuff from each episode. This could include favorite quotes, gags, jokes, scenes, and basically anything I found amusing.

And now a very brief explanation on why I was inspired to start this column. The sharp writing and likable cast on The Neighbors had a lot to do with how I got so wrapped up in it. After the first couple of episodes aired, I wasn’t hooked, but that’s so typical of me. It wasn’t until I continued watching my buildup of DVR’d episodes that I really got where they were going with it. The creator and writer, Dan Fogelman, is a Jersey guy and he’s damn proud of it, hence the alien neighbors in New Jersey plotline. What’s not to like? Originally I thought that this theme had been done before, but this show is influenced by tropes from all kinds of classic shows with a nice hefty dose of sarcasm and relevant pop culture references that impressed the hell out of me.
Would I have been as in love with this show if it weren’t for the New Jersey setting? I can’t say the Jersey aspect makes a huge impact on the show, save for a few license plates and mall mentions, and it’s not like the kids from Jersey Shore live next door, they’re actual aliens. What really makes a huge impression is the cast whose chemistry is a dream come true for the production. The casting director has to be commended. It sounds preposterous, but all the main cast members make me laugh. No exaggeration, Jami Gertz is brilliant in this role and she’s never been properly complimented for her versatility. Plus, she’s still a hottie. I had such a crush on her when I was a kid. F*ckin’ STAR!
There’s a lot more I could say about the show, but this is supposed to be a recurring column, so I won’t blow my load of commentary prematurely.
The Weavers upgrade from an apartment in Bayonne, NJ to a town house elsewhere in New Jersey. They come to find out their neighbors are aliens who have inhabited their gated community and taken on human bodies until they can get back to their planet. The alien family, The Bird-Kersees, are all named after famous American sports figures. With that out of the way, HERE WE GO!
Here’s my favorite stuff from EPISODE 8 
“THANKSGIVING IS FOR THE BIRD-KERSEES”
Originally aired: November 14th 2012
The Weavers are trying to weasel their way out of having Marty’s parents over for Thanksgiving because they always ridicule him and disparage his wife Debbie for making shitty Turkey. Marty tells his parents that “The oven is broken” and they want to cancel.

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After Marty gets offended that his dad is insulting him and calling his new place a “condo,” he feels the need to prove to his parents that he has a nice new town home. Ultimately, he reneges and re-invites them only to find out that Debbie has invited their neighbors, the Bird-Kersees, over as well so they can experience their first Thanksgiving.

This episode solves mystery of the crop circles:

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“We live in New Jersey I drive a mini van, I’m built for fine.” – Debbie Weaver (Jami Gertz)
Marty asks his Dad if he’d like to have a tour of the town house and his father looks around and replies, “I just took it, maybe a nice cold beer can take a tour of my mouth” – Marty’s Dad, Dominick is played superbly bitter by Stacy Keach.
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“AWESOME, I always wanted to wear genocide!” – Amber Weaver in reply to receiving the nifty homemade Thanksgiving sweater that her grandmother knitted for her

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Abby, The Weavers poor daughter astonished and disgusted expression upon seeing the turkey sweater her grandma gave her:

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The kids then take kitchen utensils and beat the hell out of the evil sweater: “We have to kill the sweater!”
“She’s in the car pouting and you’re eating Meersh-mal-ow out of a bag.” – Reggie Jackson’s pronouncing Marshmallows in the most awesomely wrong way possible.
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“Thanksgiving is HELL. The only good parts are the day before when everything is possible and the day after when everyone goes home. In between it’s just a feast of self loathing and gluttony with a side of shame and all you can do is just hunker down and accept it.” – Debbie Weaver

“Better crack a window Theresa it’s a long way home and that turkey’s going right through me” – Marty’s Dad as he and his wife depart another disastrous Thanksgiving.

Nerd Lunch EXTRA Helping: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park!

In case you missed this news, hot off the heels of a fun Nerd Lunch Halloween special with guest Dinosaur Dracula, I’m back again with Jeeg and Pax for an EXTRA HELPING of the podcast where we discuss all the intricacies of the legendary film KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park! We had a great time with this one so definitely check it out right here, or on iTunes!

Pete and Pete, Pumpkin Eaters, and Pictures

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Captures from the The Adventures of Pete and Pete Season 2 episode “Halloweenie”
A good way to measure how much older you are than someone you meet is to calculate how many years ago the debut of Nickelodeon is from the year they were born. I grew up with the golden age of Nick and so many of my younger friends have a difficult time relating to that era because they weren’t born until later. They started watching Nick in the mid to late ’90s. Nowadays you can just dial up any show old or new on the Internet, but looking back at some ancient Pinwheel episode doesn’t do it justice. Comparing it to shows today is unfair. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, but when shows like Pinwheel and You Can’t Do That On Television were popular they were mind blowing to kids, and especially to stoned adults. I would never say Nick’s lineup throughout the ’90s was any less great, but it’s in a different way because times were a-changin’.

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One of the many beloved shows that aired on Nick in the ’90s was The Adventures of Pete and Pete which premiered on Nick in November of 1993. I’d say by 1992 I was pretty much phased out of Nickelodeon for the sole reason that I stopped watching TV so often and getting more into activities that required actual movement rather than vegetating on the couch. Although the ’90s were definitely not my Nick time, I really wish I hadn’t missed out on The Adventures of Pete and Pete, a show that was set in Wellsville, NY, but predominantly filmed in New Jersey.

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Recently I asked my friend Steve, resident Pete and Pete expert, if there was ever a Pete and Pete Halloween episode, and he rapidly replied “YES.” I was pretty excited to hear this because I was looking forward to checking out the old Nick show that I never got a chance to watch when I was younger. I recently got a hold of it and my first reaction to the episode “Halloweenie,” which aired in October 1994, was jackpot. Here’s the synopsis taken from Nickipedia:

“Younger Pete decides to enter the annals of history by breaking the record for most houses visited on Halloween and tries to enlist the help of Older Pete. Older Pete is torn between his loyalty to his brother and the coming of age and abandonment of the childhood ritual of Trick-Or-Treating. He must decide whether to face the ridicule of his peers and go Trick-Or-Treating or to join the notorious “Pumpkin Eaters”, a group of vandals who terrorize neighborhood “Halloweenies.”

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I’m a kid at heart so little Pete’s love for Halloween and desire to break the trick or treating record appeals to me, but I can totally relate to big Pete’s fear of becoming a Halloweenie. As a fellow suburban kid, there was a definitive point where I stopped trick or treating because I felt that the ritual needed to be reserved exclusively for the kids and I never went back, but I remain a mega-fan of Halloween.

The amount of nostalgic Halloween images contained in this episode was an unexpected surprise. The story was fun, albeit not as horrific as I was hoping for, but it was on Nickelodeon after all. The Pumpkin Eaters looked cool, but they weren’t very formidable, they just made a mess of everything. The episode evokes an awesome Halloween vibe and as the credits rolled I sat wishing it lasted another half hour.

“Halloweenie” Facts:

*Production of the show was moved to Cranford after the show made such a mess of the town during the filming of “Halloweenie.” They did make quite a mess. There’s hundreds of smashed pumpkins and streamers, etc. It looked like a thousand kids who mainlined Ghoul-Aid were let loose on mischief night.

*Iggy Pop appears as, Mr. Mecklenberg, a recurring character who is little Pete’s best friend Nona’s (Michelle Trachtenberg) father. In this episode Iggy Pop calls someone a “Stooge.”

The Ghastly Side of Boardwalk Empire: A Gallery

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Tonight is the Season 4 premiere of HBO’s incredible series Boardwalk Empire. Set in Atlantic City during the prohibition period, the superbly acted show brings you into the life of politician/gangster Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi). Often, his world isn’t as glamorous as you might think.

Such as with most of the shows on HBO, many beautiful women have starred in Boardwalk Empire such as Gretchen Mol, Aleksa Palladino, Kelly Mcdonald, and Heather Lind. The beauty ends there because most of the time, the show isn’t pretty. Brutal killing is common practice, so if you are faint-of-heart, you’ll be looking away often. Richard Harrow’s mangled face might also prove to be unsettling for you as well.

Events that take place in Boardwalk Empire can be considered shocking and gruesome so let’s take a look at the dark side of the show. I’ve scoured the Internet to bring you an array of ghastly, grotesque and downright creepy interpretations of some characters featured in Boardwalk Empire.

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I own this piece – couldn’t resist getting it a while back: 
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I never knew it existed but it’s f*cking awesome: Pearl Cosplay! via RedChurippu on Deviant Art
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This Richard Harrow mask has made the rounds all over the Internet thanks to one of my favorite artists Jon Defreest via the original Vulture link

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Richard Harrow Fan Art via NastyNoser on Deviant Art
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Phantom of the Boardwalk via Jhanquaza on Deviant Art
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Ventriloquist dummies are almost ALWAYS creepy so here is Nelson Van Alden (a.k.a ZOD) as a ventriloquist dummy via artist Micro on Society 6

Thanks for checking out this post. Pay a visit to all the amazing artists featured here. I leave you with Van Alden’s eye bugging out. Your welcome.

VanAldenBugEyehttp://www.hbo.com/boardwalk-empire/index.html

Laura Prepon is August’s Garden State Playmate!

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“Pardon me, would you have any Grey Prepon?” What are the chances that actress Laura Prepon got that about once a day as a kid living in Watchung, NJ? You might say the chances are extremely low that someone would say something that supremely lame, even a kid. Although, you might think differently when you find out that Watchung is a pretty well-to-do town and it’s very common for inhabitants of those types of places to have an affinity for gourmet mustard puns. Fortunately, it seems that the condiment related harassment that quite possibly ruined her childhood didn’t have any effect on her acting career. Or did it? Prepon is still working so that’s a good sign.

Apparently there’s a small group of Prepon detractors out there who like to make their passionate hatred for the actress abundantly clear. One of those guys is “parlance-263-43691,” who, in an IMDB review, felt strongly enough to rant about her performance in the short lived Chelsea Handler (former Garden State Playmate) inspired show, Are You There, Chelsea?

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She may not be the most versatile actress, but I don’t think she’s as awful at comedy as this guy claims: “Where do I begin? Laura Prepon couldn’t act her way out of a box; the timing and delivery of whatever comedic value there is in the writing is completely lost when it falls limply out of her mouth.”

Even if she was the worst actress of all time, would you ever would go out of your way to write and post a review on how miserable of an actress she is on IMDB? It’s true that actors put themselves out there and become vulnerable to online punishment, but I don’t think Laura Prepon is so bad that she deserves to be ruined on IMDB. That said, people should have a little bit of sympathy for her considering the lifetime of heartache she went through with that damn mustard joke. It drove her straight into Scientology.

At 5’10” she’s a tall drink of water and I wouldn’t recommend messing with her in a woman’s prison, if you’re ever in one with her that is, or if you’re near a TV when she’s on it and in prison. I’ve never seen Orange is the New Black and even though I’ve heard it’s getting good reviews I probably won’t be investing my time in it since my viewing schedule is booked up through my death. In the Netflix original series, Prepon plays Alex Vause, a lesbian and fomer drug dealer. Recent news stories covering her possible departure from the show have caused quite a stir. The rumors range from monetary disputes to the possibility that her character may get killed off and the producers want to keep it under wraps.

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Pictured here in a 3-way kiss as Reanna in the 2002 comedy Slackers. I remember seeing this in the theater and the best parts included Prepon trying to have some “alone time” and of course Jason Schwartzman being highly entertaining as Cool Ethan. 

Prepon also appeared on a few short lived TV shows, one off roles, and also landed a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother. In addition to her on-screen roles, she voiced characters in the animated series American Dad and the video game Halo 2. None of that can come close to the character I first saw her play. She will ALWAYS be Eric’s girlfriend Donna Pinciotti from That ’70s Show. That show was a huge part of my life for its entire run, except for a few episodes toward the end. You may remember her as Hot Donna. How about some pricey mustard to slather on that Hot Donna of yours?

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments 76: Rules of Engagement in A.C

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Rules of Engagement
Jeff and his friends winning at a blackjack table 
while their friend Timmy is supposedly bringing them good luck.
I find it to be a challenge to keep up with sitcoms. Every Fall season I see one or two commercials for a new show that I get geared up for, and then, after I watch two episodes, my attraction for them usually fizzles out. Rarely, there’s one that I get really into. Rules of Engagement wasn’t one of them. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the particular episode that we’ll be looking at in this post though. Actually, it was mildly amusing and moderately memorable. To be honest, I’d probably be writing that it was completely forgettable if the action of this specific episode didn’t happen in one of The Sexy Armpit’s favorite places, Atlantic City, NJ.

If you’ve never seen an episode of Rules of Engagement, here’s the quick IMDB synopsis:

“Two couples and their single friend, all at different stages in their relationships, deal with the complications of dating, commitment and marriage.”

The recently cancelled Rules centers around Jeff (Patrick Warburton) a financial manager who claims he buys socks in New Jersey to avoid paying additional tax on them, and his wife of several years, Audrey (Megyn Price), an editor at Indoor Living magazine.

The show is set in New York. Exactly what part of New York is beyond me. Jeff loves New York sports teams, so it seems like they probably live in a nondescript part of Manhattan, especially since his wife works for a magazine which is likely located in the city. In this episode, everyone wound up about 130 some odd miles away in A.C…at the Taj Mahal to be exact.

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In Season 4 episode 3, “Atlantic City,” Jeff is heading down to A.C for a bachelor party, but the plans get squashed after he finds out that the bride has decided to dump the groom at the last minute. Jeff and his friends soldier on because they want to party despite the wedding plans being cancelled. Jeff opts not to inform Audrey about the non-existent bachelor party, but she winds up finding out anyway when she sees the former groom at a local cafe and confronts him.

Rather than sit home and take care of her annoying Aunt Judy, Audrey coerces her friend Jennifer into heading down to Atlantic City along with her, using the enticing offer of a free spa weekend as bait. Her plan is to get Jeff back for lying to her.

Soon, Jeff finds out that Aunt Judy cancelled her visit with Audrey, so for the rest of the episode the two of them make phone calls to each other featuring Aunt Judy impressions, fake doctors, and anything else that would keep up each others lies. Neither of them give up the battle, which is how Miss Sexy Armpit and I would probably act in a situation like this.

This was a decent episode, and I checked out a few others to get a better feel for the show. It’s not a classic show, but it’s fun for what it is. I enjoyed Patrick Warburton’s dry delivery and his chemistry with Megyn Price. They’re certainly not written to be the typical TV couple because they share a more realistic, imperfect relationship.

Rules occasionally whips out some pretty snappy dialogue also:
Russell: “Look If I wanted sex with strings attached, I’d bang a marionette.”
Timmy: “Now there’s a puppet show you don’t want the kids to see.”

Presently, you can watch Rules of Engagement streaming on Netflix also starring David Spade, Oliver Hudson, and Bianca Kajlich.

Vera Farmiga Is March’s Garden State Playmate!

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Ukranian-American beauty and Oscar nominated actress Vera Farmiga is our Garden State Playmate for March 2013! She was born in Passaic County, NJ and graduated from Hunterdon Central Regional High School. If by chance you aren’t familiar with this talented actress, you will be soon since there’s sure to be a buzz about her upcoming role on A&E’s Bates Motel.

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It was brilliant casting her as Norma (Norman’s mother) in the Psycho prequel series set in the modern day. The premiere episode was outstanding, mostly due to Farmiga’s ability to easily sink into a role so perverse and brutal. She was a perfect choice for such an iconic role. After I viewed the first episode I have a feeling she’s going to give Olivia Hussey (Norman in Psycho IV) a run for her money!

Before Bates Motel you may have seen Farmiga in movies like Autum in New York, 15 Minutes, Orphan, Up in the Air (in which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress), and Safe House.

A few interesting facts about Vera:

– Farmiga’s parents are Ukranian immigrants and according to IMDB she is the second of seven children.
– She didn’t speak English until she was 6 years old

– She plays the piano
– She owns pet angora goats.
– Had her first child at age 35 and her second at 37

Judith Light is February’s Garden State Playmate

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“ANGELA!” In my head I can hear Tony Danza’s rough voice ascend into a higher register as he replies to his boss with some mildly comedic response. I grew up watching Who’s The Boss and Judith Light played the uptight, ’80s yuppie Angela Bower to perfection. There were times when I lost a dream or two, but I found the trail and at the end was February’s Garden State Playmate, Judith Light!

Born in Trenton, NJ, Judith Light was starring in TV shows well before she broke out with Who’s the Boss. In fact, all throughout the late ’70s and ’80s you could catch her on TV pretty much any day of the week. She appeared on One Life to Live, St. Elsewhere, Remington Steele, Kojak, and Family Ties.

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One of her most well received performances was in the 1989 made-for-TV movie The Ryan White Story, about a 13 year old hemophiliac who contracted AIDS. In 1999, Light bravely took on the role in the off-Broadway show Wit where she shaved her head completely as she played a “literary academic dying of ovarian cancer” according to IMDB.

More recently, Light has appeared on Law and Order SVU, Ugly Betty, Nurse Jackie, and now you can catch her on one of my favorites…DALLAS! In the TNT reboot of the long running show, she plays Judith Ryland, the rotten and controlling mother (mother? really?) of the 2nd season’s villain.

*She attended St. Mary’s Hall in Burlington, NJ. (IMDB)