Thursday, July 31, 2014

Movies based on theme park rides

Theme park rides are generally thought of as having been based on movies.  Disney did particularly well with basing famous rides on existing movies (Peter Pan’s Flight, Mad Tea Party and Mr. Toads’ Wild Ride as a few examples).  Universal is known for creating entire lands based on movie franchises (the Wizarding World of Harry Potter being the most famous).  But for a brief period, there were a handful of movies based on existing Disney Theme Park rides.  While some of them were not so great, a select one or two were actually quite entertaining. 

The Made-For-TV movie “Tower of Terror” was made in 1997 and shows Disney testing the waters.  The original “Tower of Terror” was based on the Twilight Zone TV series, but this movie ignores that reference (probably due to massive licensing fees).  In any case, the story follows reporter Buzzy Crocker and his niece Anna, who investigate the mysterious disappearance of five people in the Hollywood Tower Hotel in 1939.  Along the way, they meet an old lady named Abigail, who turns out to be the sister of young child star Sally who disappeared all those years ago, and may hold the key to why they all vanished…

In 2000 Disney made “Mission to Mars”, which was based on the ride of the same name that was open from 1975 to 1992 in the Magic Kingdom.  Gary Sinise leads a group of astronauts who travel to Mars on a mission to find and investigate what happened to the astronauts on the first mission, which ended in tragedy.  Unfortunately, the movie was panned by critics and had only a modest box office.  It’s a mostly forgotten chapter of movies based on theme park rides.

In 2002, the first of three movies based on popular Disney rides were released theatrically.  This one was called The Country Bears, based on the animatronics show, The Country Bear Jamboree.  It focuses on a young Bear, Beary Barrington, who decides to find the band the Country Bears, which had broken up.  He finds the bears and convinces them to put on show to save their old concert hall, Country Bear Hall.  The movie had terrible reviews and box office returns, leaving it as interesting note in the history of theme park ride movies. 

In the summer of 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was released.  The movie starts with young Elizabeth Swann, the daughter of a governor, discovering young Will Turner adrift in the water.  Eight years later, Will Turner is a blacksmith’s apprentice and Elizabeth was just proposed to by Commodore Norrington, but she is saved by the Pirate Jack Sparrow.  However, there is danger afoot: pirates attack the harbor and kidnap Elizabeth.  It’s up to Jack and Will to save her and find treasure.  The movie had mixed to positive reviews and was a huge financial success, incorporating the elements of the ride subtly with the story.  The movie was followed by three sequels, the first two of which (Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End) were a continuous story line and the third being a stand-alone story. 

In the fall of 2003, Disney released The Haunted Mansion.  Starring Eddie Murphy, the movie focuses on a workaholic realtor father (Murphy) and wife and business partner and their two kids who go to Gracy Manor to do a business deal.  When they arrive, the find out the Mansion is haunted by ghosts who must be set free by Master Gracy and his lover Elizabeth, who must be reunited.  Of course, through the film the father learns to appreciate his wife and children.  The movie had the worst reviews of all of the theme park ride movies, but at the same time, it grossed $182 million worldwide on a $90 million budget, making it a modest success. 


For a while, with the exception the “Pirates,” franchise, that was the end of theme park movies.  Then it was announced that in 2015 a new movie called Tomorrowland will be released.  As long as the story is interesting and the characters are engaging (not an easy task), then the new films will succeed.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #31

Hello everyone! Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #31:

31. Chris and Lydia's mantra with each other is "Best Friends Forever".

Look for a new tidbit next week!  Here are the last 30 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014.
2. The title is Romance is for Other People.
3. There are four main characters.
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old.
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)
20. Lydia Character Profile (View Here)
21. Jeremy Character Profile (View Here
22. Amanda Character Profile (View Here)
23. Chris' Parents and Lydia's Parents are close friends with each other.
24. There is a fictional movie called Beautiful Disaster 
25.  There is a fictional band called Psycho Boyfriend
26. The main characters attend William Henry Harrison High School.
27. Chris and Lydia live on Hathaway Street
28. The release date is November 15, 2014!
29. Chris and Lydia live about a mile away from their school.
30. The play (that Chris & Lydia are auditioning for in Ch. 1) is A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Broadway Shows I Want to See

Broadway in New York City is considered one of the best places to see musicals and other plays.  In fact, the pressure is so high; many productions test the waters somewhere else, doing a preview production in another city before coming to New York.  Also, as a general rule, a production must be a musical.  Sure, there are dramatic plays in NYC, but the big budget ones that get all the attention are the musicals.  With that in mind, here are the Broadway musicals I’m dying to see!  Since I don’t live in New York, here’s hoping that maybe a US tour will bring it to my city.

The musical that has most piqued my interest is Matilda, based on the macabre tale by Roald Dahl.  The play originally started in the UK and became a huge hit there, scored more Oliviers (their Tonys) than any other production in history.  Matilda Wormwood is a 5-year-old who has self-centered, selfish parents and attends school for the first time.  She encounters the kind Miss Honey and the evil headmaster Miss Trunchbull.  With a biting sense of humor and careful attention to the agency of the children, this musical is a special production.  The children ultimately rise up against Miss Trunchbull’s tyranny and she leaves the school.  As this is going on, Matilda is slowly realizing she has special abilities that no one else has.  Matilda has four young girls who alternate the title role.  Another fascinating fact about this production: Miss Trunchbull is played by a man, originated by Bertie Carvel in both the London and the New York production.  Standout songs include Naughty (Matilda’s standout song), Quiet, When I Grow Up (the big emotional piece), and Revolting Children. 
Aladdin is the second musical that I would love to see.  The most recent of the three Disney productions currently on Broadway, it is based on the 1991 animated feature, also one of my favorites.  Jafar is an evil advisor to the Sultan of Agrabah, who desires the lamp in the Cave of Wonders, but the mythical Cave is looking for only one person, “the Diamond in the Rough.”  This turns out to be Aladdin, a street rat who while running from soldiers runs into the beautiful princess Jasmine, disguised as a begger.  Aladdin is captured and put in prison, and then kidnapped by Jafar for his secret mission.  Aladdin passes the test and finds the lamp, only to be surprised that a genie is inside it.  Aladdin, heartsick for the Princess Jasmine, wishes to be a prince to court Jasmine.  Genie transforms him into Prince Ali, who returns to Agrabah.  Jasmine is initially wary of Prince Ali, and Jafar is suspicious of the Prince who looks very familiar….  Completely hilarious due to the zany humor of the Genie, the broadways show premiered in Seattle in 2011, and had a few other productions, until its official Pre-Broadway tryout in Toronto.  The show officially premiered on March 20, 2014 (previews started on February 26).  Standout songs include, Prince Ali, Friend like Me, Arabian Nights, and the big love duet, A Whole New World.

Wicked is another musical that is near the top of my list.  Wicked is a prequel of the legendary movie and book Wizard of Oz.  Wicked tells the story of two people, Elphaba the green-skinned, acid tongued but good hearted witch who finds out her roommate at Shiz University is Glinda the spoiled but well-meaning witch.  Elphaba and Glinda at first hate each other but due to a misunderstanding, Elphaba starts to reconsider and starts being kind to Glinda, who is in turn kind to Elphaba. Elphaba, as it turns out, has a natural ability for magic, making her a standout student and gives her an audience with the Wizard.  She uses her ability to make the winged monkeys, but at the cost of their speech and spell is irreversible.  She refuses to go along with the Wizard’s plans and escapes, so he responds by calling her wicked and makes a call for her capture.  She escapes to Munchkinland to her sister, but ultimately decides to return to set free the Flying Monkeys, which she does and then escapes.  Madame Morrible, who works with the Wizard, sends the cyclone which kills Elphaba’s sister and brings Dorothy to Oz.  Meanwhile, the three characters who Dorothy meets are given back-stories.  The rest of the play is the story from the movie and original book told from Elphaba’s point of view, along with a twist ending.  Standout songs include Popular, Defying Gravity, For Good, and What is this Feeling? 


Maybe someday I will have enough money to go to New York and see these awesome musicals, but until then, I will appreciate the soundtrack and reading about it online.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #30

Hello everyone! Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #30:

30. The play (that Chris & Lydia are auditioning for in Ch. 1) is A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 29 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014.
2. The title is Romance is for Other People.
3. There are four main characters.
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old.
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)
20. Lydia Character Profile (View Here)
21. Jeremy Character Profile (View Here
22. Amanda Character Profile (View Here)
23. Chris' Parents and Lydia's Parents are close friends with each other.
24. There is a fictional movie called Beautiful Disaster 
25.  There is a fictional band called Psycho Boyfriend
26. The main characters attend William Henry Harrison High School.
27. Chris and Lydia live on Hathaway Street
28. The release date is November 15, 2014!
29. Chris and Lydia live about a mile away from their school.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In Praise of Doc and Sue Thomas F.B.Eye

On August 31st, 1998, Lowell “Bud” Paxson created the national network Pax.  Designed to be a place for families to watch without the excessive violence or sexual content that plagued other networks, the show’s original programming was family friendly.  While not all the shows produced on Pax were Christian, on this network, religious, Christian programming was produced on a national scale for the first time.  Two of these shows were Doc, starring Billy Ray Cyrus, and Sue Thomas F.B.Eye, starring Dianne Bray. 

Doc was created by brothers David Alan Johnson and Gary R. Johnson.  Doc follows Billy Ray Cyrus as Clint “Doc” Cassidy, a Montana doctor in a rural town who travels to New York City to pursue his girlfriend, a reporter named Samantha who was on assignment in Montana.  When he gets to the big city, he finds a job with Westbury Clinic in downtown New York.  However, his county ways run in conflict with the big city lifestyle his reporter girlfriend was used to, and they break up.  His folksy ways aren’t appreciated initially at the clinic either by some, like Donna Dewitt, the hospital administrator and Dr. Oliver Crane, though some of the staff take a shine to him, like the nurse Nancy Nichols and Dr. Derek Herbert.  At the same time, he befriends a Hispanic mother and son living in the basement of a church.  When the mother becomes sick, she makes Clint promise to take care of her son, named Raul, and he does.  He also meets Nate Jackson, a police officer and apartment building supervisor.  Nate helps Clint find an apartment where he stays for the run of the show.  Ultimately, Raul is adopted by Nate and Beverly instead of Doc, because Clint recognizes a two-parent household is better than a single parent household.  A typical episode features a guest with some medical or mental problem and Clint tries to help them with their problem, along with scenes of interaction between the clinic staff and Clint’s time in the apartment complex with Nate, Beverly and Raul.  The episode always ends with Doc writing to his older mentor, Dr. Harley Johanson, about the week’s events.  During the first season, Tippy Williams joined the cast as a slightly loopy but quick on her feet secretary, providing some of comic relief on the show.  Doc shared a slightly flirtatious relationship with Nancy, but he never acted on it until the final episode.  The longest storyline in the show was the relationship between Tippy and the straight-laced solider Steve Doss, which ultimately resulted in their marriage and child in the final episode.  Much of the clinic atmosphere remained unchanged throughout the shows’ run, though for a four episode arc in season 3 and first episode of season 4; a man named Richard Black comes to promise positive change only to not deliver, resulting in Donna Dewitt losing her job and Clint quitting.  In the final episode, he is revealed for the fraud he is and everything is set back to right.  The show’s family friendly nature enabled it to last 5 seasons (4 production seasons) and 88 episodes. 

Sue Thomas F.B.Eye was based on a true story.  Sue Thomas was an actual deaf lip-reader who would watch surveillance and other video and tell the investigators what they subjects in the video were saying.  In this fictionalized version of the story, Sue Thomas travels across the county away from her family to join the F.B.I.  Her unique skills were put to good use in the pilot episode, and she receives a job.  She also finds a roommate with Lucy Dodson, who is the base coordinator and unit office manager.  She befriends the other members of the unit, Jack Hudson, the unit leader, Bobby Manning, an Australian charmer, Demetrius Gans, a senior agent and often supervisor, and Miles Leland, whose ego and poor attitude sometimes gets him in trouble with his fellow agents, and Tara Williams, the computer expert.  Also in the pilot episode she gets a “hearing dog” named Levi, who helps notify her to noises such as the doorbell.  Sue Thomas was more action packed than Doc by the nature of its setting, but it never had overly graphic or excessive violence.  Like Doc, there was a lot of time spend on the interpersonal relationships between the F.B.I. unit.  Unlike Doc, the show had several exciting cliff-hangers, leaving things unresolved or the characters in peril.  Sue Thomas shared a mild flirtation with Jack Hudson but ultimately, in the final episode did not act on it.  Unlike Doc, which ended when everyone including the creators and star felt was right, Sue Thomas was cancelled at the height of its popularity because CTV, its Canadian co-producer (it was made in Toronto) pulled out of funding.  The show lasted 3 seasons and 56 episodes. 

While the first season of Doc is only available right now, in 2010 the entirety of Sue Thomas F.B.Eye was released on DVD!  Check out these two awesome show and hope that we ultimately get to see all of Doc! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #29

Hello everyone! Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #29:

29. Chris and Lydia live about a mile away from their school.

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 28 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014.
2. The title is Romance is for Other People.
3. There are four main characters.
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old.
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)
20. Lydia Character Profile (View Here)
21. Jeremy Character Profile (View Here
22. Amanda Character Profile (View Here)
23. Chris' Parents and Lydia's Parents are close friends with each other.
24. There is a fictional movie called Beautiful Disaster 
25.  There is a fictional band called Psycho Boyfriend
26. The main characters attend William Henry Harrison High School.
27. Chris and Lydia live on Hathaway Street
28. The release date is November 15, 2014!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The J.J. Abrams Trifecta

J.J. Abrams is known for creating extraordinary stories with heartfelt human drama.  His ability with human drama was showcased in his early films like Regarding Henry.  After writing screenplays for several years, however, it was his role in three television shows that catapulted him into stardom.  He finally got notice with these three shows: Felicity, Alias and Lost.  Each shows a different side of J.J. Abrams personality and character.  Here I am going to profile each of the three shows. 

Felicity premiered in the fall of 1997 on the WB (what is now the CW).  Felicity focused on Felicity Porter’s adventures in the University of New York.  Each of the shows four seasons corresponds to Felicity’s four years in college.  The show featured the semi-regular device of Felicity recording a tape to send to her friend Sally.  Felicity starts with the title character deciding to go across the country to her friend Ben’s university after he wrote in her yearbook that he wanted to know her better.  Eventually she realizes she needed to go not only for him but for herself, to pursue her own path away from her family’s ideals (she was originally supposed to go to Sanford).  The show from then on follows Felicity’s college life, as well as romantic complications with Ben and with Noel, a resident advisor at the college.  Felicity’s college struggles and romantic triangles ultimately come to a surprising conclusion, when J.J. Abrams and the other writers use time travel in the final season to answer a “what-if” question about who Felicity will end up with eventually.  The time travel episodes were much maligned, but nevertheless it showcased how J.J. Abrams was experimenting with supernatural or fantastic elements to tell human stories.  The show left the airwaves in 2002.

Alias premiered in 2001 and was an immediate hit.  Almost always ever changing, the show started with a graduate student named Sydney Bristow who recently became engaged…and is a secret agent for a division of the CIA known as SD-6.  In the pilot episode, Sydney tells her fiancĂ© about her secret life – and he is immediately killed for it.  Then she finds out that SD-6 is actually a fake CIA branch and is actually part of an evil group called the Alliance of Twelve, though only a select few know this.  She completes her mission in the episode, and then immediately goes to the CIA and tells them everything, and agrees to become a double agent.  Complicating things is the fact that her father is also a double agent inside SD-6.  Every episode in the first season ended with a cliffhanger, which was resolved in the opening scene of the next episode.  The first season also had three major storylines: Sydney’s missions with SD-6, her time with the CIA, and her life as a graduate student trying to finish her studies with her friends.  Throughout the entire run of the show, the show focused on a renaissance inventor named Milo Rambaldi and the artifacts which may or may not have special powers.  In Season Two, the show made a huge change when in the big Superbowl episode, Sydney and her CIA partner Michael Vaughn team up to take down SD-6 once and for all.  They succeed and kiss in the final moments of the episode, changing the show forever.  The rest of the season is them taking down the remnants of the Alliance of Twelve.  At the end of the third season, the show again took a huge leap when Sydney, after being nearly killed by Allison, who was impersonating her best friend Francie, wakes up two years later with her boyfriend Vaughn married to someone else.  The third season obviously deals with the fallout from that, and reveals not surprisingly that the woman Vaughn married in a traitor.  In the fourth season, the characters start a version of SD-6 but this time approved within the government called APO.  The fifth season deals with Sydney’s pregnancy while trying to be a secret agent at the same time.  One thing about the show that stands out: the show was always changing, the fifth season very different from the first.  J.J. Abrams and the writers may not have always known what they were doing, but they always kept us on our toes.

Lost premiered in the fall of 2004, to immediate critical acclaim and was a ratings hit.  The show, about a group of plane crash survivors on a mysterious and inhabited island, was the crowning achievement of J.J. Abram’s television career.  However, he is mostly only known for the first two seasons and left to pursue other projects after the third season premiere.  Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were more associated as the creative force behind Lost for most of the shows’ run.  Still, the first season is considered one of the shows’ best, before the reveals led to more and more questions.  The reason the first season did work so well was that the rules for the island and the show itself were not yet established, so anything could happen.  The polar bear in the pilot episode was the first extraordinary thing, and then later a monster that has unknown properties.  Several episodes later, the passenger manifest reveals one of the people on the island was not on the plane, and he suddenly turns dangerous when the truth is revealed.  Not only that, a mysterious metal hatch has been found on the island.  Complementing this fact is the human drama of the varied main characters, a doctor who becomes a leader, a captured female convict, a father and son, a pregnant woman, a drug-addicted musician, just to name a few, with flashbacks in each episode spotlighting individual characters.  While Lost in the following seasons was criticized for the direction the show took in explaining the mysteries and changing the show, nevertheless the focus was just as much on the characters as it was on the resolving the elements of the island. 

Later on, J.J. Abrams did create and produce Fringe, but this was after he had established himself as a sought-after director with films like Mission Impossible III.  The three shows that put him on the map were Felicity, Alias, and Lost, each one having a bigger impact on popular culture than the last.  While each one had varying quality from beginning to end, each one was nevertheless just as entertaining throughout the show’s span.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #28 (Big Announcement!)

Hello everyone! Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #28: The Big Announcement!

28. The release date is November 15, 2014!

More details about the release in the fall!

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 26 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014.
2. The title is Romance is for Other People.
3. There are four main characters.
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old.
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)
20. Lydia Character Profile (View Here)
21. Jeremy Character Profile (View Here
22. Amanda Character Profile (View Here)
23. Chris' Parents and Lydia's Parents are close friends with each other.
24. There is a fictional movie called Beautiful Disaster 
25.  There is a fictional band called Psycho Boyfriend
26. The main characters attend William Henry Harrison High School.
27. Chris and Lydia live on Hathaway Street

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Whose Line is it Anyway’s Colin & Ryan: Greatest Duo Ever?

On the Fifth of April 1991, in the third series (the name for season in UK shows) of the British improvisational show Whose Line is it Anyway, Colin Mochrie appeared for the second time on the show and Ryan Stiles appeared on the fourth on the show.  For those who don’t know, Whose Line is it Anyway is an improv show where the performers do “games” or improvised scenes with suggestions provided by the audience or by the host.  In Whose Line, the “games” are assigned points (many times arbitrary and useless) and then at the end a winner is declared.  What the games and points part did was to give a little structure to the improvisational skits that the performers did for the audience. 

In any case, right before the very first game, “Film, Television and Theater Styles,” you can see Ryan Stiles shake Colin’s hand and say “good luck.”  Who knew this would be the start of an incredible partnership.  By the time the fifth series rolled around, Ryan Stiles was one of the regular performers, appearing in nearly every episode, and Colin Mochrie was a regular rotating player, appearing in four or five times a season.  Finally in the 8th season, Colin and Ryan were appearing in every single episode together.  Clearly, by that point, their chemistry together was making them a sought after duo.  From series 8 to series 10, they were together in every single episode.

Just as the British Show was on its last legs, it was brought to America by sitcom star Drew Carey.  Ryan Stiles, who was a regular on The Drew Carey Show, introduced Drew Carey to the improv show, and he brought it to the network, ABC.  (While third chair favorite Wayne Brady was not quite a regular, he did appear in most of the first season episodes and from then on appeared in appeared in every episode following that first season).  Colin and Ryan were regulars from the start, and their chemistry already developed from their British days that the American audience grew to love and appreciate the duo even more.  Here are just a few examples of their hilarity: A regular “game” of the American Whose Line during this time was called “Greatest Hits” and featured Colin and Ryan as TV pitchmen selling a compilation album around a particular theme (“Songs of the Fireman,” “Songs of the Lunch Lady,” etc.), while Wayne Brady (and a fourth, if they also could sing) would sing the title and performance style that Colin and Ryan suggested.  However, Ryan would set up Colin by asking questions, “what comes to mind when I say…” and would sometimes put two seemingly nonsensical items together and ask their connection.  Colin wouldn’t bite and would come up with something completely of the wall.  Another example would be Narrate (doing a parody of a film noir sequence), and Colin and Ryan would try to top each other with dramatic pauses and outlandish twists.  The game “Sound Effects” had two versions, both hilarious: in the first, Colin would act out (silently) to sound effects done by Ryan, and in the second version, Colin and Ryan would act out sound effects by two audience members; the audience member version typically would get the biggest laughs because Colin and Ryan would deliberately misinterpret the audio cues done by the audience members.  Improbable Mission, a mission impossible parody with a ludicrous mission, was a fourth game that showed off the skills of Colin and Ryan, with each performer trying to top each other with the craziest, funniest solution to solving their mission. 

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and in 2004, Whose Line was cancelled by ABC.  While unaired recorded sessions of the show eventually made its way to ABC family from 2005 to 2007, the show had seen the last of the incredible duo.  Colin and Ryan appeared together for a while with Drew Carey’s live touring show, Drew Carey’s Improv All-Stars, but then Ryan Stiles took a break.  But then in 2011, Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza premiered and while not successful, nevertheless featured Colin and Ryan together for the first time in several years.  Finally, in 2013, the unthinkable happened: the CW brought back Whose Line is it Anyway, with the three favorite performers, Colin, Ryan, and Wayne and a new host, Aisha Tyler.  Finally, and amazingly the duo was back.  Here’s to hoping that Colin and Ryan will entertain us for years to come.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #27

Hello everyone! Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #27:

26. Chris and Lydia live on Hathaway Street

 Big Announcement on or around July 9th!

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 26 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014.
2. The title is Romance is for Other People.
3. There are four main characters.
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old.
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)
20. Lydia Character Profile (View Here)
21. Jeremy Character Profile (View Here
22. Amanda Character Profile (View Here)
23. Chris' Parents and Lydia's Parents are close friends with each other.
24. There is a fictional movie called Beautiful Disaster 
25.  There is a fictional band called Psycho Boyfriend
26. The main characters attend William Henry Harrison High School.