There is no Dana, only Zuul

This post was supposed a post about this nail polish I have that reminds me of Ghostbusters. But that has to be for another day. And that’s because I’m typing this on my phone. I contemplated not finishing this blogging challenge because I’m currently in New York. 

But New York and Ghostbusters are birds of a feather so I’ll just skip this nail polish post. 

This is my first real trip to New York since moving away in January of last year. (Real trip meaning it’s the first time I’ve been back for longer than like 6 hours.) 

Being back here has been both amazing and emotionally fraught. In many ways I feel like my heart is still here. But then I remember what are hard city this is to live in. 

Like everything will just be going fine and then one day there’s an evil demigod in your refrigerator. I just don’t think that happens in other places. 

Young Indiana Jones: Mystery of the Blues

You know, you don’t always have to learn a lesson in a very special episode. Sometimes you can have a very special episode simply because someone way cooler than the TV show agrees to appear on it. That’s what happened in this episode of Young Indiana Jones.

Now this is a series that I never really got into because to me Young Indiana Jones will always be River Phoenix, may he rest in peace. But it was a series that showed Indiana Jones at many different ages (so that’s neat) and in this case showed an “older” Indiana Jones. So here is the silver screen’s Indiana Jones chillin’ on the small screen:

Xena: Here She Comes Miss Amphipolis

There’s danger at the “Miss Known World” pageant, so Xena goes undercover to discover who is threatening the lives of the contestants. Yes, it’s Miss Congeniality but sent in fake-ancient Greece. Also, this episode aired a few years before Miss Congeniality so maybe some producer was hanging out watching Xena and started to think that this subject matter could make a great rom-com.

So just like Miss Congeniality, there’s a lot of like spooky scenes and you can see someone up to shenanigans but all you see is the camera shooting from their angle and their mischievous hands sabotaging things.

Also, in this episode Xena discovers that one of the characters is trans. She asks that Xena let her quit without “exposing” her but Xena is all like I don’t care. May the best contestant win! This show was so ahead of its time in 1997. (Except that they also did have a Baywatch-esque scene with all of the contestants running on the beach for no reason other than gratuitous boob-age so like maybe it wasn’t always ahead of it’s time…)

So all of these contestants have “sponsors” and this pageant is somehow supposed to be about “peace” but each sponsor is ready to start a war if his contestant is harmed. Meanwhile, Xena is learning backstage that all of these pieces of meat are actually people with hopes and dreams.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Xena’s pageant talent is (drumroll please) fighting off a snake that tries to kill another contestant (whose talent was supposed to be charming it)!

So Xena catches the bad guy and then drops out of the race. But then it’s kind of like everyone is all “I am Spartacus” because everyone quits once they here that Xena (or rather her alter ego) dropped out of the race. Then they’re like no pageant is worth our dignity! Also, this might be a little like the Hunger Games because I think one of the contestants says something about food for the winter not being worth her dignity…so…yikes. Rough times.

So lastly the only person left in the race is the trans contestant. (I’m just kind of assuming this person is trans. It’s not really explicitly stated but I didn’t get the vibe that this character was just dressing in drag). And she doesn’t drop out because she was the only person in the pageant for the right reason: self expression.

Very Special Lesson: Beauty pageants are rough, man.

Growing Pains: Viva Las Vegas

600x600bb-852I am recovering from a particularly awful migraine, so I’m going to keep this brief. Mike’s friend Eddie runs off to Las Vegas to with some girl he hardly knows so they can get married. Mike and Kate go with him. While there, Mike becomes increasingly uneasy about Eddie taking marriage so lightly.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Jason hear that Mike and Kate have gone to Vegas and automatically assume that they’ve gone to elope. Being as meddlesome as they are, they freak out and overanalyze what to do about the situation. Eventually, they come to terms with the fact that Mike is a grownup and decide to go to Vegas to welcome Kate to the family.

But back in Vegas, Mike has decided to tell Eddie what to do with his life. He decides to tell Eddie he’s making a big mistake while they’re at the alter. In my experience, it’s usually not a good idea to meddle in your friend’s romantic lives. So I assume it would be a horrible idea to meddle in their romantic lives as they are saying their wedding vows.

But this is Growing Pains so Eddie ends up being grateful to Mike after he makes his big dramatic, life-saving speech. Maggie and Jason show up for comedic relief and all’s well that ends well.

Very Special Lesson:  If you want a quickie marriage, you should probably not bring Mike Seaver along. Chances are, he’ll have something to say about it.

Brotherly Love: Uptown Girl

mv5bntu2n2y2owqtnzk4yy00m2yzltk2yzktowe4ngzizgfinjhjxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymti2otm0nzq-_v1_Okay, I’m doing a little “switcheroo” here and so “U” is for “Uptown Girl” in this case.

Also, nothing very special happens in this episode. I’m just cheating because U is a hard letter and because I think 1995 was one of the best years for Joey Lawrence’s hair.

Also, Terry Bradshaw is randomly in this show. He speaks to Andy’s class for some reason. He also has an acting credit from Blossom, so I like to imagine that Joey Lawrence was like hey we gotta get Terry Bradshaw on my new show!

So in this episode Joey dates a rich girl. An “Uptown Girl,” if you will. Joe’s stepmother used to babysit her and even dated her older brother.

Joe gets so caught up in living life in the fast line that he neglects his family. (He doesn’t help Andy with his science project like he promised!)

The rich girl wants Joe to spend all of his time jet-setting with her. Then she forgets who she is talking to and says that Joe’s stepmom could have just married her brother instead of marrying “some loser.” Uh, that loser is Joe’s dad you idiot. She then he realizes she’s a snob. The end.

P.S. Terry Bradshaw ended up helping Andy with his science project.

Very Special Lesson: Being accountable to your family is more important than dating a rich lady.

That 70’s Show: Happy Jack

Okay, let me just give you a little background about how I decided I had enough material to to this blogging challenge:

  1. I read about the challenge
  2. Oh my gosh how exciting! I want to try to do this with very special episodes!
  3. But wait…do I even know shows that start with every letter of the alphabet??
  4. Let me look up a show and episode for each letter and then I can sign up!
  5. Let me make sure I can find all of those shows/episodes!
  6. Actually, let me get really excited about this challenge and think that I have found all of the show/episodes!

Today’s episode was supposed to be Too Close for Comfort‘s “High and Inside.” Too Close for Comfort is a show I only knew existed because my mom doesn’t have cable or internet but she has some kind of TV that gets like 8 channels–one of which was “Antenna TV.” I was just chilling out a few years ago watching The Monkees, as one does, when I saw this show with Ted Baxter from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. So when I saw that there was an episode about pills I was like, DONE!

But now I can’t find that episode anywhere. Like where did I get the idea that I could actually view this episode?? I have no idea. So here’s what I’m going to do instead…I’m going to talk about one of my favorite shows of all time and how they parodied the very special episode!

The sixth season of That 70’s Show featured episode titles that were also songs by The Who. It seems like the writers tried to match up the episode themes most literally with the titles of the songs (not their original content.) So if you think about “Happy Jack” in very literal terms and within the context of a show about a teenage boy then you could see how this would be ripe for parody. Apparently, the original promos for this episode kept the details under wraps and joked that it would be a “very special episode.” And that’s how we ended up with this:

Saved by the Bell: The College Years: Slater’s War

600x600bb-851This is a super timely post because I just impulse bought 2 tickets to Saved by the Max earlier today. See you in June, Chi-town!

Anyway, this is a college years episode. I actually didn’t think I had seen it before but then I got a few minutes in and realized I actually had seen this on TBS when I was like 15. And I loved these characters so much that I didn’t even think this episode was dumb.

But it actually is dumb, so I’ll focus on that for now. There’s a Latina in Slater’s class and she’s like really smart and brings up really great, thoughtful commentary. So Slater’s like getting to know her and she introduces him to Chicano Studies. He starts to learn more about his roots, which is cool. So like yeah, I can see how this could have been a great episode. Except that…

Slater gets all pissed off that Zack doesn’t know he’s Chicano. (Zack assumed he was Italian). But like Slater didn’t really seem to know he was Chicano. I mean sure, he probably knew it technically but Slater is like suddenly aware of his ethnicity. And then he thinks that he’s being discriminated against.

3164366bd56da9c27_wBut then Slater explains to Zack that he didn’t even know that his real last name was Sanchez until he started researching his heritage and that knowing his history is really important to him. Okay, cool. So like great. We’re all on the same page now, right? Wrong. Never underestimate Zack’s penchant for being an asshole. He once again makes everything about himself. (He’s pissed off because Slater won’t ditch the Latina he likes in order to go skiing with him and some babes). Zack says, “If you want to be a Chicano then be a Chicano. Just be one in Lake Tahoe.”

tumblr_inline_o2wvrjg3bg1s786z0_1280Slater says, “Haven’t you ever cared about anything other than your self?” NO! He hasn’t. Why are you even friends with this dude?? Kelly, Jesse, Slater, Lisa, and even Tori–they’re all relatively nice people. Why are they hanging out with this dude who has been treading water on the path to emotional intelligence for at least 4 years at this point? His hair is not that great. Especially not in the college years!

Also, hello Zack. Did you not spend like an entire freaking episode being a Native American and saying that was important to you??? So now Slater is a jerk for being into his Chicano heritage?

But he’s our “hero,” so he has to redeem himself. He goes to the sit-in that Slater and the other Chicano students are staging (because they want to establish a new department–it is basically a B plot–don’t worry about it.) While there Zack talks a cop out of arresting all the Chicano students, but actually the cop wasn’t going to arrest them in the first place. So the only benefit of this speech is that Slater realizes that Zack cares about him and their friendship.

Just wait Slater. He’s going to screw you over in the next episode. This has already happened like 72 times.

Very Special Lesson: You know what, Mark Paul Gosselaar has got to be like the nicest man on the planet because based on the script alone Zack is the least sympathetic character ever. I’m convinced that he’s probably like a saint or something who when given that script somehow balanced out into this compelling character.

Hi, Here’s a 2019 Update: I edited this because I feel like I’m so into shitting on Zack Morris that I said he was trying to be a “white savior” in this episode. (I didn’t go back and watch it) but I think convincing the cop (even if he turned out not to need convincing) not to arrest Slater and his friends was a good example of using his white privilege for good. I also removed some O.J. Simpson jokes (I was watching American Crime Story when I wrote this post) because I have since seen “O.J.: Made in America” and I also listened to some of Kim Goldman’s podcast “Confronting: O.J. Simpson” and I just don’t really feel great about those jokes anymore. I also now realize that Slater was coming to terms with his cultural identity in a non-linear way because he grew up in a culture that didn’t value it or even recognize it (hence Zack assuming he was Italian and Slater not really even knowing the truth).

Roseanne: Lies My Father Told Me

701555752I’m a little late posting tonight. I’ve been busy listening to this Minneapolis radio station live stream Prince’s entire discography.

So I actually wasn’t allowed to watch Roseanne as a kid because it was too crass. But I did catch a few re-runs in high school and thought it was pretty funny. This, friends, is not a funny episode.

It opens with Darlene and Roseanne telling DJ that their grandma is in a mental institution. Then we learn from Dan that she’s had multiple breakdowns over the years because Dan’s father was “abusive.” And by “abusive” I mean he traveled for work a lot.

Dan gets really drunk decides to go over to his Dad’s new wife’s house and tell her that she’s in a bad marriage. Only, she isn’t actually in a bad marriage. Actually, Dan’s dad is a nice guy and his mom had been in and out of mental institutions long before she ever met his father. Depressing enough yet?

Well hold on, it gets worse. Dan’s father has just been letting Dan blame him for his mother’s problems forever so that Dan wouldn’t think less of her. But like now he just has a mom who is in a mental hospital and hates his father for no reason…so how was that a good idea???

So then Dan and his dad makeup once Dan knows the truth. Omg. This was sad for no reason. Today is just a sad day all around. I’m going back to live streaming Prince’s music.

Very Special Lesson: I don’t think alienating your children is ever the right solution to someone in your family having a mental illness, but that’s just me.

Quincy, M.E.: Next Stop Nowhere

20 Thoughts on Today’s Episode:


  1. Can you believe we’re already at the letter Q?? This month has flown by!
  2. I can’t decide if I like Jack Klugman better as Oscar on the Odd Couple or Quincy on Quincy, but I do know that I love him forever.
  3. The lead guest star in this episode is a young Melora Hardin (Jan from The Office)
  4. Also, I’m just going to call the character by the actress’s name (Melora Hardin) from here on out because I suck at remembering characters names in these one-off episodes.
  5. This is some weird punk. I’m pretty sure the lyrics to the first song are “Saw a blind man the other day. Took his pencils and ran away.” I don’t want to be limiting or judgmental of the blind…but do they frequently carry pencils? Or use pencils? I mean if you can write with a pencil whilst blind, then I’m impressed. I usually smear pencil everywhere and I’m not even blind. Like I’ll just forget that I have smudgy sweaty hands and then I’ll let them linger over something I’ve already written or point for emphasis and drag my finger along like an idiot. Pencils are the worst. But I do kind of like them anyway.
  6. Some girl has given Melora Hardin a Quaalude in the bathroom at this punk club. And she’s like cool but don’t give me codeine because I’m majorly allergic. This is the Checkov’s Gun of this episode, people!!
  7. So I understand from what I’ve seen on television and read about Sid & Nancy  (so obvi I’m like essentially a punk historian–said like Moon Zappa on the “Valley Girl” song) that part of the “punk” culture is “roughing one another up.” (Did any of you follow that sentence? Try diagraming it.) But I didn’t realize that stabbing someone with an ice pick was on the table. Actually, I don’t think it is. But I think that Quincy, M.E. would like me to think that it’s a real possibility.
  8. I’m gonna change it up and give you the very special lesson in the middle of this post because it’s so freaking obvious. Very Special Lesson: Punk Kills. Stay away, you innocent children of America!
  9. Quincy and his friend (who is maybe family counselor?) investigate the punk scene. And I mean they go to a punk club in business casual attire and whisper/scream in each others ears as the “observe” the punk kids.
  10. OMG there is actually only one punk song in this episode. And it’s that awful song about the blind man and the pencils. Melora Hardin scream/yells it at herself in her bedroom mirror as she’s grieving her dead, ice-pick boyfriend.
  11. Quincy gives some kind of statement to a newspaper and they print the headline: “LA Coroner Quincy Says Punk Rock Contributed to Teen’s Death.”
  12. Took a short break to listen to the Teen Witch soundtrack. I guess (fake) Punk isn’t really my thing, but I’m back now.
  13. Okay, so now they’re like all on a Donahue-type talk show. And Quincy basically just argues with a bunch of kids. He says how much better his generation about handling themselves when they didn’t agree with the world. (You know, protesting the Vietnam War…no hate to the Baby Boomers but it seems like a lot more people claim credit for war-protesting than the number of people that were actually out protesting). He says they’re just whiny losers and should stop venting and do something with their lives.
  14. One of the punk kids says, “We’re not psychos. We’re not bikers. We don’t go around terrorizing people.” Uh, bikers, do you have a response to that?
  15. Okay, so now things are getting really Sid & Nancy. Melora Hardin is accused of stabbing her boyfriend (her fingerprints are on the ice-pick apparently) and one of her friends even says that she saw her do it.
  16. Thanks to a “graphics computer” that can take “two combined images and separate them” Quincy is able to get a more detailed forensic analysis going on here. Then he realizes she didn’t commit the murder because the killer’s fingerprints are not hers.
  17. Melora Hardin goes to the ER because she’s having an allergic reaction to Codeine. (She knows she is allergic and would never take it.) But then she disappears again before Quincy can get to her. But now they think someone is trying to kill her.
  18. Quincy makes an announcement to the whole punk club that the real killer is trying to kill Melora Hardin. And luckily the real killer’s friend is there and doesn’t want her to kill Melora Hardin, so he tells Melora Hardin the truth. And then the real killer (she’s some Punk girl but Lord knows what her character’s name is) is like “noooo you’re my only friend. Don’t be mad at me for killing your boyfriend and then framing you for it!”
  19. So then the real killer says she was just caught up in the music. And she didn’t actually mean to hurt him. Uh yeah, okay. Have fun using that as your defense.
  20. But then Melora Hardin forgives her because she was also so overcome by the music that she just as easily could have been the one who picked up the ice pick?? What?? OH right, I also forgot to mention that the ice pick belonged to the dude who was eventually stabbed with it. So he was probably a killer also. Ugh these are all horrible people. I’m going back to the magical world of beauty and justice that is the Teen Witch soundtrack.

P.S. If we’re talking music, I really wish there was an episode where Quincy Jones was on Quincy, M.E. And yes, that’s because those are the only people I know named Quincy.

Punky Brewster: Cherie Lifesaver

I know that everyone likes to make fun of this show because who the heck is going to get stuck in a refrigerator? Well, friends, I decided it would be a great idea to sit in the refrigerator as a kid. Luckily, I was a little too big to fit between the shelves at the time and therefore couldn’t get the door to shut all the way. Also, it was 1995 and I’m pretty sure I could have just kicked the door open unlike the door on this this really ancient death-trap refrigerator.

So this episode occurred in 1986, but Punky’s guardian loves the fridge he’s had since c.1945. When it pretty much explodes, he’s forced to get a new one. He leaves the old on in his backyard (and has some kind of plan to remove the door for the Salvation Army). Meanwhile, Punky and her friends are playing hide and go seek. Having seen Punky’s friend Cherie go inside earlier (before she doubled back to the refrigerator), he tells the rest of the kids to come in out of the snow.punkyfridge

Then we just watch the locked refrigerator for a few minutes as Cherie cries for help before she passes out. After a few hours, the adults and kids alike figure that maybe they should go looking for her. Like maybe it’s kind of odd that an eight year old has been hiding for like two freaking hours. No one is THAT dedicated to hide and go seek.

maxresdefault1Finally, they discover her in the refrigerator, unconscious. Punky and her friend administer CPR. Now, I have to admit that my CPR certification expired in June of last year. But I’m still 99.9% positive that you’re supposed to check for a pulse like first and foremost. But instead Punky just kind of like says she’s not breathing and starts mouth-to-mouth. Then at some point they realize she doesn’t have a pulse and start chest compressions. I feel like maybe this is not correct CPR, but Punky did just learn it that very same day in elementary schools, so I guess she’s some kind of “expert.”

Then Punky’s other friend cried because he didn’t know CPR. Her guardian says he’s the only one to blame because he didn’t take the refrigerator door off in the snow (???) like that’s the weirdest survivor’s guilt I’ve ever heard of. Except they all survive because Punky learned CPR in 20 minutes and Cherie doesn’t even need to go to the doctor because Punky is such a good medic!

Very Special Lesson: Pay attention in class!