Category Archives: Teleivison

Gettin’ Down with the Party of Five!


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Yesterday I was on a nostalgic 90s-mood.  I caught the last few minutes of my childhood favorite Pinocchio, watched a few minutes of Disney’s Hercules before starting my blog post, then heard some good tunes from Nirvana and Sublime while strolling through the beach.  We may be pacing through 2017, but my mind has been craving for some nostalgic 90s content.  As a matter of fact, one classic series I’ve been binge-watching lately is Party of Five.

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Image result for Party of Five

Party of Five is a classic 90s teen drama revolving around the Salinger family in San Francisco.  The cast stars Scott Wolf as Bailey, Matthew Fox as Charlie, Neve Campbell (star of the Scream films!) as Julia, Lacey Chabert (voice of Eliza Thornberry on The Wild Thornberrys!), multiple kids starred as Owen, and Paula Devicq as Kirsten.  The parents of the household were killed by a drunk driver, forcing the kids to grow up real fast.  A lot of dark issues pop up during the series, especially with the long-term effects of parental loss.  Other controversial themes that come up during the series include cancer, domestic/substance abuse, abortion, and other ideas.

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After binge-watching two seasons, Party of Five has been amazing to check out.  It’s an emotional roller-coaster through some of the episodes, yet it’s got some mature content for a TV-PG rated series.  This is one 90s classic you can easily binge-watch all seasons on Netflix.

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If Full House and Shameless got together and made a baby, that baby would be Party of Five.  As a matter of fact, I noticed some strikingly similarities to Showtime’s Shameless in many ways.  For one thing, both sets of kids had to grow up quickly once their parents weren’t around (Frank and Monica are alive, but they were deadbeat parents that really weren’t around for the Gallagher clan!).  Both series explore some controversial ideas within each season.  Only difference is that the Gallaghers aren’t shameless about their actions (it’s called Shameless for a reason, duh!).

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Party of Five didn’t have as much diverse characters, but there were truly some colorful people hanging around the Salinger gang.  Ross Anderson came out to Claudia when she set them up on a date on season 1.  Either way, the family accepted Ross for who he was (because the 90s weren’t that homophobic).  Shameless featured not just one, but multiple gay characters in the series.  Ian Gallagher came out to Fiona near the end of season one and had an on-off relationship with Mickey (btw props to Ian for being shameless about his sexuality!  #GoIanGallagher).  Both Shameless and Party of Five have their share of colorful characters in each season.

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Other than the bold characters, both shows features characters doing drugs/alcohol in some of the episode.  Bailey’s former girlfriend Jill was hooked on speed and died of a cocaine overdose at the end of season 1.  There’s lot of drinking scenes, but the craziest of them all was when Claudia got caught drinking with Jody in her tent (FYI, Marla Sokoloff’s bad-girl personality can also be seen in Full House & Fuller House!).  As for Shameless…well, pretty much EVERY drug was used each season.  Cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, meth, and many other substances were shown since the end of season 7.  While drug/alcohol use was a big deal in the Party of Five household, everyone in the Shameless family were shameless about it (especially with weed!).

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At the end of my rambling between Party of Five and Shameless, I conclude that Party of Five is definitely an interesting show to start on Netflix.  It’s definitely a toned-down version of Shameless, yet features similar concepts between the two series.  I haven’t gotten through half of the series and I look forward to see what new adventures arise for the Salinger clan.  Who knows what crazy drama will stir up next in season 3 of Party of Five.  Who knows, we could see some shameless characters in the future!

Viceland’s Epic TV Criss-Cross!


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After the first day of my work week, I am most excited to come home to watch the new episodes of Weediquette and Bong AppétitWeediquette may have aired their final episode of the season (boo!), but Bong Appétit is still going strong.  Last week’s episode featured Abdullah Saeed throwing a pizza party for his friends featuring cannabis-infused pizzas.

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            Other than showcasing cannabis-infused pizzas, there were some notable guests that dropped by for the celebration.  These guests appeared on Bong Appétit for what is known as – wait for it—a TV CRISS-CROSS!  That’s right, folks!  Today’s post features a crazy TV criss-cross that brought together various guests from other TV series.  It was a TV Criss-Cross so spectacular that it is known as…the Viceland TV Criss-Cross!

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            So let’s break it down:  For the pizza-themed episode, the Bong Appétit crew welcome Frank Pinello from The Pizza ShowThe Pizza Show follows Frank Pinello as he travels across the country tasting various pizza pies.  Frank’s own series can be watched on the Viceland network!  Since The Pizza Show was on hiatus until season 2, Frank dropped by the Bong Appétit house to help out with making three infused pizzas.  He isn’t a heavy cannabis user, but he was enthusiastic about adding cannabis products into his pizza pies (props to him for that amazing dab hit at the end!).  Cannabis and pizzas, two beautiful commodities here in America, melded together for one fantastic Bong Appétit episode. 

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Image result for King of the Road Viceland

            But wait, there’s more!  The episode featured guests from Viceland’s other series King of the RoadKing of the Road follows three teams that go on a skating trip of a life time, shredding their dignity (as well as blood!) to be crowned as King of the Road.  It’s a wild scavenger that leads three teams all across the country to cross off each item on the list (for those of you who remember the scavenger hunt episode on MTV’s Viva La Bam, it’s basically that concept for the series!).  Some of the King of the Road crew dropped by for some pizzas, smoke some amazing weed, and to shred on the half-pipe ramp.

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And there you have it – three amazing shows on Viceland under one roof for Bong Appétit It was an amazing TV criss-cross that featured three shows from one awesome TV network.  There were pizzas, there were radical skaters shredding the half-pipe, and of course…LOTS of weed!  Skateboarding, cannabis, and pizzas…can it get any better than this?  This was the best Viceland TV Criss-Cross to date!

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            I haven’t done much TV Criss-crosses for MakeSandcastlesNotWar lately and I’m glad I found the time to write about this one.  It’s funny how you discover TV series intertwining for one amazing television event.  TV series have been crossing over each other for decades and it makes for great entertainment.  Viceland’s criss-cross of Bong Appétit with The Pizza Show & King of the Road made for a fantastic episode last week.  Who knows what other fantastic TV Criss-crosses we’ll run into in the future.

AHS Teases New Elephant Monster!


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It’s now been six months since American Horror Story: Roanoke ended and I really haven’t been doing much research on the newest season.  What I do know is that it will follow a new storyline, have new crazy enemies, and a twisted monster that will hack and slash some of the characters.  There’s always a new monster creeping around the corner every season and some of them will take our fears to a whole new level.  First there was Bastien the Minotaur on American Horror Story: Coven, then the Piggy Man graced us with his grotesque appearance on American Horror Story: Roanoke, and our new season will introduce…an elephant!

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On May 5th, Ryan Murphy teased us with a new tweet of an elephant monster for next season.  This elephant looks creepy AF, with black hollowed-out eyes and a red, twisted grin.  None of its body has been drawn, but the face itself will induce nightmares for months to come.  To put it bluntly, this new elephant monster already looks creepy…as…FUCK.

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Who is this new elephant monster?  What is the backstory behind this disturbing drawing?  Does it have any ties to the previous monsters within the American Horror Story universe?  What’s the reason for that twisted grin?

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While I don’t have any answers yet, there’s already a clue found within the drawing.  Recognize that twisted grin?  You should, because it’s the EXACT same mask Twisty the Clown wore on American Horror Story: Freak Show!  AHS fanatics will remember Twisty the Clown, the disturbing clown killer on season 4 that made Pennywise look like child’s play.  Twisty the Clown, played by John Carroll Lynch, was the monster who kidnapped or murdered his victims.  What’s even more frightening was the tale behind his mask that he wears as his costume.

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If the elephant’s grin bears a striking resemblance to Twisty, then the clue could be tied to season 4 in some way!  Whether it ties directly to Twisty the Clown or not, there’s a hint that we could be revisiting the Freak Show storyline during season 7.  No other clue has been dropped, yet we have an interesting idea for what the monster will be next season.

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Before dropping the twisted clown drawing, Ryan Murphy revealed that season 7 will revolve around the 2016 elections.  Rather than the storyline being directly about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, it will play as an allegory of the fears many people felt after the election results.  The elephant is the symbolic animal for the republican party; with that being said, the elephant monster will definitely fit well with the disturbing allegory for next season.  Who knows what kind of shocking outfit the elephant monster will wear during season 7.  The elephant monster could serve as an assistant to one of the characters (like The Addiction Demon was to Sally McKenna).

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This was so cool to find!  I honestly haven’t been reading much news about the upcoming season of American Horror Story these days.  Discovering this awesome tweet while on the train home from Boston really got me pumped about the new season.  The elephant drawing itself looked SO creepy and I’ll enjoy watching it do its dirty work!  It drives me insane how long I have to wait until I figure out what dastardly theme Ryan Murphy has planned for us.  There’s really not much on TV (except for Bong Appétit and Weediquette) and American Horror Story is really the only story I look forward to.

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There is no other major news about the new season of American Horror Story, but more news will be dropping in the future.  Ryan Murphy showed us the most disturbing animal creatures (Bastien the Mintoaur and the Piggy Man!) and now he’ll be scaring us shitless with an elephant monster.  Looks like people won’t be heading to the zoo anytime soon next year!

2017: The Summer of Franchise-Films


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Summer is about a month away, which can only mean one thing…Summer Blockbusters!  The summer blockbusters make waves every year, with the most action-packed films hitting the big screen.  From superhero franchises to action-packed stories, the summer blockbuster is the season where the film industry rakes in billions of dollars in profits.  With the kids out of school and parents taking more vacation times, more audiences check out the movies during the rainy weather.

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This is the pinnacle season where Hollywood really makes bank and this is the chance to wow the audience during the summer season.  Once the Spring season of comedy film is over, the action-packed franchises make their way into the big screen.  But in a twisted turn of events, Hollywood is bracing for a major decline this year.

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If you’re growing tired of the franchise craze, then you’re not alone – Hollywood is expecting a sharp dip during the box-office season.  Last year’s box office earnings were around $4.5 billion and one number-cruncher predicted that profits could drop as much as 10% this year (to $4 billion!).  While this isn’t a serious profit loss, this drop could cause studios to make some serious changes in the future.

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So why are the numbers going down?  How is it that profits are decreasing in one of the busiest box office seasons?  What underlying factors are hindering people from checking out features at the big screen?

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To start with our first factor, let’s take a look at some of the titles that are coming out soon:

  • Cars 3
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Alien: Covenant
  • Baywatch
  • The Mummy
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Notice anything about these “new” titles coming out?  They’re ALL franchises!  Every one of these titles will be a sequel, prequel, or a film based off of a familiar idea (Baywatch was a popular drama series during the 1990s before it became a film!).  This franchise-film fad has really taken a hold of the summer blockbuster trend; so much, that it’s the only safe bet that Hollywood plays these games.  Hollywood is playing it safe with the familiar franchise so that it won’t sever its ties with their ever-growing diverse audience around the world.  Releasing a summer blockbusters that audiences will see worldwide is easy, but drawing up an original idea for the domestic audience (audience here in the United States) is much more complicated.

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Hollywood can play it safe for now, but they’ll have to come up with a major plan if profits decrease further in the future.  This is a frustrating/complex situation we have going on.  On the one hand, these franchise films will rake in major profits because they are so well-known all across the world; yet on the other hand, audiences are growing weary of the same franchise ideas hitting the big screens.  Where exactly are those frustrating audiences moving to after seeing too many prequels/sequels of the franchise hits?  Netflix, of course!

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This is another factor in why summer blockbuster sales are decreasing (or box office sales, in general!).  Audiences are turning away from the big screen blockbuster to the silver screen hits from streaming services at their homes.  Streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other services are providing better quality content to watch.  For example, one of the most talked-about series last year was Stranger Things when it released on Netflix.  Out of all of the TV series/movies releasing, Stranger Things is the most popular series everyone is flocking to.

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Netflix’s series Sense8 released its 2nd season a few weeks ago and is already taking off with a hit.  The first episode came out back in December and audiences were already psyched for what season 2 had to offer (Hollywood blockbuster films got NOTHING on shows like Sense8, especially after that beautiful orgy scene in the middle of episode 1!).  While Sense8 is pleasing audiences with their action-packed storyline and steamy sex scenes, Hollywood films are boring audiences with their franchise sequels and prequels.  In general, people will save their money for movie tickets and watch films at home through Netflix.

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As an entertainment buff myself, going to the movies is one of my favorite activities on a rainy day.  I enjoy checking out a new film with unique characters and a heart-racing storyline.  Seeing another superhero film this summer won’t hinder my weed buzz, but I will grow weary of watching the same franchise films each year (why would I feel the need to watch ANOTHER Spider-Man movie?).  Why bother taking a trip to the movies when I can smoke up at home and find films on Netflix?  I’m already enjoying the unique content that Netflix offers, so is going to the movies even worth it?  At this point, it isn’t worth spending the $11 on a ticket for another sequel/prequel/franchise title film.

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With that in mind, Hollywood really needs to make serious changes to their range of films.  Since more consumers are watching titles on Netflix, Hollywood must think outside of the box to tap into those audiences.  Playing it safe with the franchise-themed films isn’t going to cut it now that consumers are spreading word about titles like Stranger Things and Sense8.  Not only is Netflix producing better-quality TV series, but they’re also producing amazing films as well.  These titles from Netflix will continue to dominate the entertainment scene as the franchise-films continue to sink from consumer’s interest.

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If you’re not interested in the summer blockbuster list this year, just skip the movies and search for content on Netflix.

The U.S. Pot Pipeline


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Wednesday nights have been great for one thing – new episodes of Weediquette and Bong Appetite.  These new episodes’ air on Viceland at 10 PM.  They aired the new seasons on April 19th and the episodes have been amazing so far.  Weediquette explores some of the complex dilemmas we face even with cannabis legal on the rise.  Last night’s episode dived into what is known as ‘The Pot Pipeline’.

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On episode 3, Weediquette host Krishna Andavolu follows a shipment of weed going across the country.  This pipeline of pot ships from California and drives right into New York.  There are three different routes to the destination and some of them can be much riskier than others.  This episode showcased how the legalization of cannabis ushered this golden age of weed smuggling.

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Watching this episode made me conjure up an interesting problem within the cannabis industry.  A majority of weed comes from California and is shipped all across the nation.  Since New England isn’t the best climate for growing cannabis, employers rely on shipments coming in from California (California-grown, bitches!).  States like Massachusetts and Maine are setting up their legal cannabis business that will be starting in 2018.

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Why would people choose to ship weed all the way to the New England region?  For more profits, of course!  Cannabis prices in California are DOUBLED in places like New York City or Boston.  A pound of cannabis costs roughly $1,000-$2,000 in California whereas that same pound will cost $3,000-$4,000 in Massachusetts.  Cannabis is being transported to the East Coast because it costs higher than what people get on the West Coast.

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The journey itself is a difficult one.  One trip from Los Angeles to New York City is 2,791.9 miles long, taking 41 hours total to reach your destination.  Daring travelers are driving across the country with pounds (that’s right, POUNDS) of cannabis in their vehicle.  Their task is to drive pounds of cannabis to New York and come back to California for another shipment.

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Sounds easy-peasy, right?  WRONG!  While California is a legal state, many other states have heavy fines for carrying pounds of cannabis in your vehicle.  Many states, especially in the southern region, have conservative laws where fines could lead to decades in prison.  In Oklahoma, anyone caught with 25-1000 lbs can be incarcerated from 4 years to LIFE in prison and a hefty fine of $100,00.  Life in prison, in Oklahoma, for transporting cannabis to a dispensary in New England.  Speeding tickets are one thing, but getting busted for carrying pounds of cannabis inside your vehicle is a WHOLE other ballgame!

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As you can see, transporting California-grown cannabis to legal states in New England is not an easy task.  Dispensaries depend on these cannabis strains because their customers need them for their personal use (whether it is medically or for recreational use).  Some customers have tried cannabis in California that they really enjoyed and want to see these strains in their local dispensaries.  Cannabis that is grown in California is in high demand because it’s grown so well and there’s much more strains to choose from.

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With legalization making waves around America, the pot pipeline is more essential now than ever.  We need to keep the supply flowing to satisfy the ever-growing demand around New England.  As risky as this idea is, this pipeline is the key to bringing more flavors into other states.  If legalization is becoming more of a reality in this country, why are other states not following through?  Why hasn’t states like Oklahoma or Georgia waken up this secret gold mine that is flowing across the nation?

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Whatever the other states decide on, one thing’s for certain – many states are missing out on a golden opportunity.  The pot pipeline will continue to flow as many businesses take advantage of the legal cannabis market.  As shady as this idea is, sometimes we have to jump through a few hoops to get the cannabis industry up and running.  Hopefully the noise will quiet down once legalization makes even more waves in the near future.

For now, Bostonians like me can thank adventurous Californians for shipping that luscious green into Grassachusetts.