Category Archives: Teleivison

Queer Eye for the Netflix Guy


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Many nostalgic series are getting reboots on Netflix these days.  TV series like One Day At a Time, Fuller House, and even The Magic School Bus got their reboots the past year or so.  These particular shows received such high ratings that audiences all across the nation were still asking for more episodes.  Netflix’s newest surprise is a reboot of Bravo’s popular series Queer Eye For the Straight Guy.

Image result for Queer Eye Bravo

Image result for Queer Eye Bravo

Queer Eye For the Straight Guy (now shortened to Queer Eye) was a reality series starring five gay men who are experts in the field of fashion, personal grooming, style, interior design, and even culture.  These men are known as the ‘Fab Five’, being the most FABULOUS group of men helping people in the city of New York.  The ‘Fab Five’ consisted of food and wine connoisseur Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas as the ‘grooming guru’, Thom Filicia as ‘design doctor’, Carson Kressley as the ‘fashion savant’, and Jai Rodriguez as the ‘culture vulture’.  Each episode takes viewers into a new person that the ‘Fab Five’ must work with for the episode.

Image result for Queer Eye Netflix

Image result for Queer Eye Netflix

Image result for Queer Eye Netflix

Over a decade after being cancelled on Bravo and the series is now rebooted for Netflix.  The new ‘Fab Five’ cast features design expert Bobby Berk, food expert Antoni Porowski, grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown as the culture expert, and fashion expert Tan France.  They work together in their shared office in Atlanta, Georgia to brainstorm a winning strategy to help make people’s lives better.  It follows a similar storyline from the former series – five gay men work together with a straight/gay man or women on transforming their lives for the better.  Only difference is that the rebooted series focuses more on transforming the participant’s inner-self rather than just their outer-self.

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Times may have changed since Queer Eye For the Straight Guy aired on Bravo, but there’s still many hurdles many gay men face in the 21st century.  There are still many men and women of the LGBTQ community who face backlash over their identity.  One of the opening lines of the series premiere is ‘our original show was fighting the tolerance.  Our fight is for acceptance.’

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What makes the show more interesting is the setting changed from New York City over to Atlanta, Georgia.  The South is known for its conservative viewpoints towards the LGBTQ community and Queer Eye shined a beacon of light on what acceptance truly means.  Their fight was for ACCEPTANCE of the LGBTQ community, not tolerance.

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Image result for queer eye for the straight guy Netflix

It’s shows like Queer Eye that shifts the public policy to the point where the LGBTQ community becomes more acceptable in our social world.  Think about this — gay marriage wasn’t even LEGAL when the show first premiered on Bravo.  It took YEARS of fighting and protests and discussions for that acceptance to happen.  And yet, even with all the PR miracles happening with the community, there is STILL work to be done.

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This Queer Eye reboot is a nationwide message that the fight for ACCEPTANCE is still going on.  Even in the digital world where social media continues to bridge more gaps each year, many people still face discrimination over their sexual identity.  But even when times seem bleak, the new ‘Fab Five’ have become the new role models that are helping people find their true selves.  It’s not just the participants that receiving the help, but the audiences THEMSELVES are getting help from the positive messages in the show.

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With that, Queer Eye continues the fight to help people everywhere be comfortable with their true identity.  It’s up to Antoni, Bobby, Jonathan, Tan, and Karamo to help more members of the LGBTQ community.

If you’re looking for another amazing reboot to watch, Queer Eye is definitely worth checking out.

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Altered Carbon’s Altered TV Criss-Cross!


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Image result for Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs

One of the latest Netflix crazes I have gotten into lately this month is Altered Carbon.  Based on the 2002 science fiction novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is set in a future where interstellar travel is effected by transferring consciousnesses between the bodies (or ‘sleeves’).  The story follows former U.N. elite soldier turned private investigator Takeshi Kovacs as he investigates a rich man’s death.  Netflix released its first season on February 2nd.

Image result for Altered Carbon

Image result for Altered Carbon

It’s an intriguing cyber-punk sci-fi thriller series that is action-packed full of violence, drugs, and even sex (I’m talking LOTS of nudity in this show!).  The dystopian series features a cast that includes Joel Kinnaman (Takeshi), James Purefoy as Laurens Bancroft, Martha Higareda as Kristin Ortega, Chris Conner as Poe, Kristin Lehman as Miriam Bancroft, and other members as well.  But it’s two recurring cast members that really struck a chord with me.

Image result for Altered Carbon Oumou Prescott and Mickey

Image result for Altered Carbon Mickey

Oumou Prescott and Mickey are played by none other than Tamara Taylor and Adam Busch.  Coincidentally enough, both Taylor and Busch had a role in another former crime series as well.

You know what that means folks…it’s time for another epic TV CRISS-CROSS!  Oh man…it’s been QUITE a while since we discussed a TV criss-cross here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.

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Here’s the revealing connection – both Tamara Taylor and Adam Busch had a guest role in CBS’s NCISNCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is about Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs investigating crimes that have evidence connected to naval and Marine Corps personnel.  Both participants had at least one guest role in the whole series.  Tamara Taylor guest starred as Special Agent Cassie Yates and Busch played Arthur Jankowski in the episode ‘Home of the Brave’.  While they didn’t appear on the show together, the fact that they still had a role in the same series still makes this an interesting TV Criss-Cross.

Image result for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Warren

Image result for Bones Dr. Saroyan

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Those who are sci-fi fans would remember Adam Busch as Warren Mears on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Tamara Taylor was most famous for her roles as Grace Wilcox in Party of Five and Dr. Camille Saroyan in FOX’s Bones.  Both Taylor and Mears definitely had their share of roles in drama series before being featured in Altered Carbon.

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This was a pretty interesting TV criss-cross to spot!  I knew both actors from previous tv series and it was great to see them both on screen together.  Taylor and Busch may not have appeared in the same episode of NCIS, but they did make the appearance otherwise.

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Altered Carbon is definitely a great cyber punk thriller series to check out.  Tamara Taylor and Adam Busch did amazing for their part in the show.

And that was another epic TV criss-cross.  Come back again for another shocking criss-cross discovery.  Who knows what actors/actress will pop up again.

Social Media Superstar McKenna Meets Timberlake!


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Here we are at the beginning of February and another Super Bowl has ended.  It was a tough game, but the New England Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 41-33.  The Patriots may have lost, but the amount of delicious food I had was definitely a WIN in my book.  We’ll have to wait months later for the 2018-19 season to start.

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Other than the insane number of amazing appetizers, there was another WIN that was entertaining for me during the Super Bowl.  This event took place during Half-Time Show that Justin Timberlake was showcasing.  During Timberlake’s music number, he walked over to a section of the seats to sing near the people.  One lucky teen took a snapshot of the moment, only become the newest viral sensation.

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

Meet Ryan McKenna – Thirteen-year-old seventh grader from Hingham, Massachusetts.  McKenna was the lucky teen seen trying to capture the epic moment on his phone.  He was seen on the Jumbotron busy fiddling with his phone (which it turned out, he was trying to get the camera going!).  After capturing the moment, McKenna sent out his picture to his friends and family.

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

And just like that…Ryan McKenna’s phone exploded with messages.  Messages from friends, families, acquaintances, and other people continue to flood his phone.  He became the talk of the town, even making an appearance on Good Morning America.

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

Both parties of this fun PR story got something out of it – Ryan McKenna got his famous snapshot with Justin Timberlake and Timberlake helped McKenna with that picture.  On a random note, it amazes me that thirteen-year-olds still know who Justin Timberlake is (Fun Fact: McKenna would have been at least 1 year old when ‘SexyBack’ was released!).  NSYNC may not have reunited during the Super Bowl, but we got this cool PR story out of it instead!

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

Image result for super bowl Ryan McKenna

I’m usually not a fan of the Half-Time Shows during the Super Bowl, but this was definitely interesting to catch!  It’s always fun to see random people gain their share of fame within the social media realm.  Better yet, social media is being used more and more to spread awareness of what is happening in your life; that’s not really surprising, being that this has been going on for quite a while.  Nevertheless, it still makes for a great sports/music PR story.

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Ryan McKenna is one of many personas hopping in on the social media fame craze.  He is just one of many notorious social media stars here in America.  Social media stars come in all forms and each one presents something amazing.

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That’s all for today’s sports PR story.  For now, it’s time for the New England Patriots to prepare during the off-season.

The GOAT Vs. Time – By Facebook Watch


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With all this talk about game (The Guy’s weed game and Nintendo’s Labo game idea), I completely forgot to mention the most important game happening soon – the Super Bowl!  It will be just FOUR days until the New England Patriots face off against the Philadelphia Eagles.  All of the 2017-2018 football season comes down to this final showdown.

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Every Patriot team member is preparing themselves, both physically and mentally, for the 52nd Super Bowl.  Each team member is building up their strength for the big game; Tom Brady on the other hand has been revving up the audiences with his special six-part documentary.

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Image result for Tom Vs. Time

Facebook released a six-part documentary series called Tom Vs. Time on January 25th.  Dubbed in social media as ‘Patriot Porn’, Tom Vs. Time chronicles the life of Tom Brady.  The six episodes takes viewers into the life of one of the greatest New England Patriots quarterbacks of all time.  Hailed as the greatest of all time (#TheGOAT), Tom Brady continues his winning streak five rings later.

Image result for Tom Vs. Time Facebook Watch

Image result for Tom Vs. Time Facebook Watch

Each part chronicles a different aspect of his game plan.  Other than his football strategy, Tom Vs. Time focuses on his personal life as well.  It’s definitely the kind of ‘Patriot Porn’ that Patriot fans can enjoy.

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Tom Brady’s brand has been flourishing since his winning streak with the New England Patriots.  He endorses many various brands (Aston Martin, Uggs, Movado), launched his own brand of vegan snacks, voiced in shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy, made a guest appearance in Entourage (both the show and movie!), and was even a cameo on Ted 2.  Brady’s legacy continues to flourish in the social media universe even when he’s off the field.  Even though the New England Patriots is one of the most hated brands of the sports business, fans all across the country still can’t get enough of Tom Brady.

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Audiences only get to see Tom Brady when he plays for the Patriots, but this documentary shed a humanistic side of the Brady brand.  You get to see the Tom Brady off of the Gillette Stadium field and into his home/office.  It’s the kind of sports documentary where Brady looks back at his winning seasons and reflects upon his football career.  He’s come so far since starting with the New England Patriots and he isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

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So far I have been enjoying this documentary series.  I love Tom Brady as a Patriots player and it was great to see another side of him.  This is one mini-series I will follow while waiting for the Super Bowl.

If you can’t wait for the Super Bowl this Sunday, check out Brady’s new documentary series Tom Vs. Time.  You will get a glimpse inside Brady’s personal world.

And with that… FOUR days left until the 52nd Super Bowl!

HIGH-Quality Storyline of High Maintenance


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Weed-related shows are some of my absolute favorite series to watch.  I always like when cannabis becomes the main subject matter in the story.  Bong Appetite, Weeds, Weediquette, and even Disjointed are some of many shows where the plot revolves around cannabis.  In a literature sense, cannabis was known as either a cameo or extra as part of the story in the earlier TV series (mainly because cannabis’s reputation was still heavily damaged in the 20th/early 21st century).  Now that the cannabis community continues to flourish, cannabis plays many aspects of the storyline.  Cannabis can play as part of the main setting, the theme, become tied in with the plot, and even become a major hand prop as well.

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It’s truly a blessing now that cannabis use has become increasingly favorable in the United States each year.  The liberal shift in public policy towards legal recreational use is reflected upon in the latest trending series.  Viceland and Netflix have their share of 4/20-friendly series, but there’s one hidden gem tucked within HBO.  That gem is known as High Maintenance.

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Image result for High Maintenance

High Maintenance follows unknown cannabis delivery man called ‘The Guy’ (Ben Sinclair) as he delivers cannabis all around New York City.  Each episode showcases a small storyline featuring the clients who purchased the cannabis from The Guy.

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Here is what’s really interesting about this show – this is a series where cannabis takes a BACKSEAT in the plot.  Cannabis becomes a major hand prop for each of the characters, yet it doesn’t overpower the overall story-line.  It’s the character plots within each episode that really caught my attention.

Image result for High Maintenance

Image result for High Maintenance

Each episode centers around various colorful characters– women finding a mouse in their apartment, a couple regretting their decision of moving into the suburbs, a cross-dresser dealing with writer’s block, and many other plots.  The desire for cannabis remains the same amongst each character, but their stories are vastly different.  They’re all visited by The Guy at some point of the episode.

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There’s something else I noticed – The Guy acts less as the main character and seems more like a minor character.  The Guy is the main character, yet his story remains unknown.  We don’t know much about his backstory, yet we learn about another new character in the next episode.  He drifts (both literally and metaphorically) around the storyline and pops up in the plot every now and then.

Image result for High Maintenance

Image result for High Maintenance

I could even say that its almost as if there is NO major character of the story.  What I can say for sure is that cannabis is the major hand prop amongst the characters…and yet, it doesn’t make up the whole plot.  This kind of creativity makes for a very unique way of storytelling.

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Image result for High Maintenance

This is NOT a show about cannabis; rather, this is more about cannabis consumers and viewing into the worlds they live in.  We know that the average cannabis consuming audience has dramatically changed over the past decades and High Maintenance showcases those new audiences.

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Our public stances towards a 4/20-friendly nation is being reflected upon shows like High Maintenance.  Many TV series and movies overdo it with the cannabis-themed plots, yet High Maintenance is one of few series that did things right.  Cannabis stars as the major hand prop amongst the characters and still came out to be an amazing series.

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In the end, High Maintenance is an amazing weed-themed series on HBO.  With its bold characters and their need for a weed delivery figure called The Guy, the show is definitely worth watching.  High Maintenance surely sets HIGHER standards as a weed-themed show.