Wednesday, April 18

ABC sitcoms on Wednesday mirror each other in plots

Even though "The Middle" was a rerun, one of its plots mirrored tonight's plot of "Modern Family." And the plot of the new "Suburgatory" was similar to "Don't Trust the B... in Apt 23." "The Middle" had Axl writing a paper on a life-changing experience and was about adventure and family. In "Modern Family," a neighbor dies and Phil wants to share a big memory with his middle daughter because he realizes they didn't have a moment like that. It wasn't exactly the same but had a similar theme. Both were just subplots. "Suburgatory" had a major plot point reuniting Jeremy Sisto with Alicia Silverstone (as they were last together 17 years ago in Clueless) where they had a first date and had to stop because of complications. Same thing in "Don't Trust the B... in Apt 23." That is where the similarities end. 

In "Suburgatory," Jeremy's character George meets a woman he likes (Silverstone) but finds out she is the surrogate mother to his friend and his wife. His friend and his wife don't want them to be together and George begrudgingly breaks up with Silverstone. In "Don't Trust the B... in Apt 23," the bitch gets her roommate June hooked up with what seems like a great guy (Michael Landes)... who ends up to be her father... who later turns out to still be married. In Suburgatory, George gets back with Edna (Silverstone) but in "Don't Trust," June doesn't get back with Scott (Landes). Landes is really hot for a 40 year-old!

Tuesday, April 17

Female Characters in Boy Franchises

I just covered male characters in girl franchises, they got sold less jut like girl characters in boy franchises, hence little toys made of them or just one girl per franchise.

April O'Neil (Ninja Turtles)
April was in the original Mirage Comics and she has been in every incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or Hero Turtles in the UK) except for Saban's Next Mutation. In the 80's-90's cartoon and first three movies, she was a news reporter. In the 2000's series and comic, she was assistant to Dr. Baxter. She has been heroic in most incarnations even though sometimes she needs help.

 Venus DeMilo (Ninja Turtles)
She was the only female turtle and only appeared in one incarnation Saban's Ninja Turtles: Next Mutation. Her real name was Mei Pieh Chi and she was raised in the Chinatown district and wasn't the turtles' sister, in order to let open the potential of a love interest. Co-creator Peter Laird hated her and didn't like her because of the idea that the Ninja Turtles were the last ones of their kind and the idea of a female would give potential to survival of their species. Fox Kids, which aired Next Mutation, urged for her creation.

 Arcee (Transformers)
Although a group of Female Autobots had already been featured in one episode of the original cartoon series, Arcee quickly became the most famous due to her position as a recurring cast member following her introduction in The Transformers: The Movie. The female Transformers did not appear in the American Marvel comic book series, where it was specifically stated that Transformers do not have genders. Arcee was initially set to be in the 2007 Transformers film, but due to negative fan reaction and to the fact that there was not enough time in the movie to explain the presence of a "female" in a robotic race, she was dropped from the script and replaced with Ironhide. She did appear in the Revenge of the Fallen. She mostly appears as Pink except in the current Transformers: Prime where she is blue.

 Blackarachina (Transformers)
She first appears in the 1996 series Transformers: Beast Wars where she is part of the Predacons. Her toy was the first female Transformers toy to be produced. She later becomes a good guy and is one of the main characters in Beast Machines. In Transformers: Armada, she was an autobot known as Crystal Widow. In Transformers: Animated, she was initially Elita-1 (which was Optimus Prime's boyfriend in the first series) and wanted revenge on Optimus. In the current Transformers Prime, Airachnid is a homage to her.

Pink and Yellow Rangers and other assorted ones (Power Rangers)
As you may know, I am obsessed with the Power Rangers and I have my blog Henshin Grid. In the past 19 years, there has been various versions of Power Rangers. Most teams have a Pink and Yellow Ranger. In the original series Super Sentai, most Yellow Rangers have been male so that explains why some Yellow Rangers had no skirts. So far there has been 2 blue female rangers, 4 white, and 2 silver. Soon there will be a red female ranger in Power Rangers Super Samurai, making 2 female Red Rangers in the franchise. They make less female figures because of the belief that they sell less. It used to be that Pink Ranger got motorcycles and other accessories but now has been reduced to just one or two figures.

Teela (He-Man)
I mentioned Bow of She-Ra, Teela was He-Man's Gal Friday/Love Interest. She was a jerk to Adam and kind of liked He-Man. Another female in the series was her mother the Sorceress. In the 2002 reboot, Teela was the leader of the Masters of the Universe.

Gwen Tennyson (Ben 10)
She is depicted as snobbish and very mean due to her young girl attitude.She is Ben's cousin. When she is 15 in Alien Force, she's not nearly as fiery or short-tempered as before, Gwen is still always looking out for her first cousin.

Amy Rose (Sonic)
Known earlier as Rosy the Rascal, she debuted in Sonic CD (1993) as the third recurring protagonist. Amy Rose is based on one of Kenji Terada's characters. She is a pink, female, anthropomorphic hedgehog who is obsessed with Sonic, even going so far as to declare herself his girlfriend. She has been trying to win his heart in everything from the series' games to animated TV shows and comics.

Misty (Pokemon)
Misty started out as part of the original trio of Ash, Brock and herself. She specializes in water-type Pokemon. She had more focus in the Anime. The book The Japanification of Children's Popular Culture described Misty's portrayal in the anime as a mother figure, calling her a "nurturing component" for the original trio of herself, Ash and Brock.

Princess Toadstool/Peach
Mario's love interest and Damsel in Distress in the franchise. She is not a playable character in the main Super Mario games except for the American NES Super Mario Bros 2. However, she is the main protagonist in Super Princess Peach and is a playable player in most Mario spin-offs such as Mario Party and Mario Kart. In most games she is portrayed as selfless, perky and generous. Typically, she does not show an aggressive nature even when she is fighting or confronting her enemies. However, in Super Princess Peach, she shows wild mood swings from Joy, Sadness, Happiness, and Anger each of which give her a special ability.

There is plenty more like Batgirl of Batman, Black Cat of Spider-Man and Black Widow of the Avengers, which are from the comics so I rather not put them here because they had their own focus comics and other incarnations.

Monday, April 16

Male Characters in Girl Franchises

I will cover female characters in boy franchises next, but it happens much more often than in girl franchises. Most are rare and no longer common practice.
My Little Pony 
Rarely known as there is currently no male My Little Pony toys (even though they have appeared in the new show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Back in the day in the late 80's, there was the Big Brother ponies. They appeared in the original cartoon series. There was 6 and later 3 more, each had a hat and most had a theme of a sport (Football, Baseball) or job (Firefighter, Sailor) or token male role like a Native American, Cowboy or Pirate.

In the UK, there was the Mountain Ponies, they never appeared in shows but some do have fan followings.

Baby Brother Ponies There was quite a few baby brother ponies, some came with family of ponies, mom, dad and son.

She-Ra Princess of Power
The late 80's series, spin-off He-Man had mostly women and the only male human hero was Bow. Bow would often get in trouble or be in danger. Bow has been made fun of for his abs. She-Ra did have a boyfriend by the name of Seahawk, but he appeared rarely and had no toy.

In the mid-90's, Galoob started the Skydancers. Galoob released a similar toyline aimed at boys called Dragon Flyz. An Animated series came out in 1996...

There was quite a few male Skydancers including Slam and Breeze. Breeze was Native-American.

Strawberry Shortcake
Huckleberry Pie was, for the most part, the sole boy character in a female-dominated franchise, a condition that prevails even into the 2003 reintroduction of the show. In 2003,nation,  Huckleberry Pie remained the token male of the line, although his character has been updated, and distanced from literary allusion. His wild abode features a skate plank full of ramps and secret entrances, a testament to him being a skateboarder.

The obvious inspiration for his character was Mark Twain's literary creation Huckleberry Finn. Huck bore more than a passing resemblance to the more famous Huck Finn, from his straw hat and overalls to his tendencies towards fishing and general laziness.

Of the Strawberry Shortcake's original 1980s friends, Plum Puddin' was the bespectacled genius of the group. A surprisingly non-token second male character in Strawberry's early adventures, Plum Puddin' vanished from Strawberryland in 1982, only to return to the series in 1984 as a brainy female. Strawberry Shortcake seemed not to notice. In every other incarnation, Plum Puddin' has been female.

Rainbow Brite
Other than Buddy Blue and Red Butler, there was Krys who was introduced in Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer and appeared in one or two subsequent episodes. Buddy Blue and Red Butler who part of the Color Kids and they barely got any character focus in the episodes of the series. Brian, a boy who could see Rainbow Brite, got more focus. Neither Brian nor Krys had dolls.

Winx Club
In the Italian 2004 series, the Winx girls each had a male counterpart in the Specialists. They were co-heroes and boyfriend potentials. It should be noted that throughout the series, the boys often need the girls' help. However, they can manage on their own at times.

Monster High
In the current toyline and animated web series, most of the males are boyfriend potentials like Deuce Gorgon (who rarely speaks) is Cleo's boyfriend and there is Holt Hyde/Jackson Jekyll and Heath Burns.

Heath Burns was not originally a doll but a character created exclusively for the animated web series and soon will be a doll.

Sunday, April 15

Men In Black 3 Nerdiness over Josh Brolin playing young Tommy Lee Jones

Lots of people have been saying that Josh Hartnett should had played a young Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black 3 instead of Josh Brolin. Now I admit I am a nerd and making an ant hill into a mole hill. Will Smith's J travels to 1969 to find a young K. Tommy Lee Jones is now 66 and you can suppose that K is 66. In 1969, Tommy was 23. Josh Brolin is currently 44 but this is a movie so I suppose K is not 23 in the movie.

I think Josh Hartnett looks more like Tommy Lee Jones. Hartnett is currently 34, not exactly the age Tommy was in 1969 either but it is Hollywood. Tommy Lee Jones is 6 feet tall and Will Smith is 6'2". But Josh Brolin is 5'10 1/2"--a  bit shorter than Tommy. And Josh Hartnett is way taller than Will Smith at 6'3" so maybe that would had been an issue to. Anyway, this is as mute as the Angela Bassett as Storm in X-Men debate.