Thursday, September 27, 2012

Were Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine Prohibitionist?

The Real Reason the for the Fall of the Galactic Empire.

Mark Goldstein creator of and I were discussing the finer points of the current 2012 US presidential election. Mark stated he would prefer to endorse Palpatine/Vader for 2012. I informed him that Vader would probably want to repeal the 21st amendment.

For those of you that don’t know, the 21st amendment repelled the 18th amendment which was prohibition. I was of course thinking of the 22nd amendment which set term limits for the presidency.

Mark holding a deep intellectual discussion about Star Wars with some lifelike statues. The weird part was he lost the debate.

Rather than admitting I was a total moron that didn’t know the constitution I threw down a gauntlet of historically geeky proportions. I began to insist that Darth Vader would be against the purchasing and selling of alcohol. Mark stated Vader would be all about getting his subjects intoxicated in an effort to better oppress them. We debated for several days and then realized an article should be written discussing the finer points of this topic. In an effort to show blog superiority I have decided rush my blog into publication first and thus thrust’s article into the poor imitation category.

In Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan Kenobi was offered the option of buying death sticks at a local hot spot on the planet of Coruscant. Given the colorful name and the cloak and dagger approach from the Death Sticks supplier the viewer is left to assume that he is propositioning Obi-Wan for expensive loving or some type of narcotic. The ever wise Obi-Wan uses his Jedi Mind Trick to convince the poor narcotics dealer to stop peddling the Star Wars equivalent of E and go home and think about the direction his life is headed. Obi-Wan seemed pretty confident that this drug dealer had no future in Death Stick sales. Obi-Wan is so confident this dude's career choice is wrong. He manipulates this dude’s life ambition of becoming a drug lord into getting a minimum wage job and the Star Wars equivalent of Chic-Fil-A.

Our friendly Death Stick salesman Elan (third from the left) in a group photo with his food service colleagues.

As we all know Obi-Wan trained Darth Vader in the Jedi arts before he turned to the Dark Side of the force. The strict view on Death Sticks can at least apply to a dislike for all types of inebriating substances. Therefore Darth Vader was raised to be personally against alcohol. These ideals grew into adulthood. Even when Vader was all hardcore evil, he was still trying to enact his childhood ideals, just in a more ruthless manner.

Darth Vader embracing his inner child with a quick game of Red Lightsaber, Green Lightsaber 1-2-3. The kid in the cape didn't survive.

Let’s look at Darth Vader running the Empire with Emperor Palpatine. Emperor Palpatine knows that Darth Vader is planning to take out the Emperor and rule the galaxy himself. As referenced in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back when Vader plotted several times to take out the Emperor. Palpatine needs something to keep Vader busy. Palpatine already had his apprentice hunt down and kill all the remaining Jedi. What’s left? The best way to keep Darth Vader busy is to give him a task that will be all time consuming and a cause he believes in. Thus the 18th amendment is passed. Alcohol is illegal.

Darth Vader and Nancy Reagan promoting the Empire's anti-drug campaign.

History shows that a black market will crop up to compensate for such an oppressive law. Palpatine decided to have his best and brightest put this new black market in its place. Thus Darth Vader becomes one of the biggest prohibitionists in the galaxy. With an iron fist and goes from system to system crushing the degenerates that buy, sell, and consume alcohol.

The reason the rebellion against the Empire was so organized was because no one had the chance to get wasted. Notice how the Ewok celebration at the end of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi had plenty of dancing but few drinks. Jabba the Hut’s failed public execution of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker had plenty of drinks but Jabba was a known gangster who found ways around little things like the law. He was a gangster who placed a bounty of Han Solo for dropping his illegal cargo (probably liquor) before being boarded by an Imperial Cruiser. What other cargo would someone smuggle to different systems? It wasn't Tickle Me Elmos.  The deflector shield on Endor wasn’t still on when the rebellion fleet arrived because Han and Chewy were hung over from partying with the Ewoks the night before. It was still on due to the efficiency of sobriety from a very sober Darth Vader regiment of Storm Troopers.

A very rotund but sober Rebel Alliance.

The Emperor’s fear of a Vader uprising caused him to create a policy that gave the illusion of power as well as the application of distraction. The distraction kept everyone sober enough to realize the regime sucked and also kept the men in charge from truly focusing on the rebellion until it was much too late. While being drug and alcohol free definitely is better for society it should not be at the cost of people’s liberty to make that decision themselves. One last item to note regarding prohibition in the Galactic Empire is directly connected to Lando Calrissian. Billy Dee Williams did not start endorsing Colt 45 until after Return of the Jedi, thus solidifying that prohibition ended with the fall of the Galactic Empire.

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Abandoned on the Side of the Road

Herbs' car. At the end of it's life it only drove in reverse.
It was the following week after we ruined poor Phil’s sweet 16.  Joe Herbert (Herbs for short) was driving his Lincoln Town Car and Mike, Greg and I were passengers.  It was decided that this weekend we were going to leave Kristen be.  As we cruised down Langdale Street Mike glanced out the window and noticed something peculiar.
“Guys I got an idea” Mike says reluctantly.
“What?” Greg says.
“Nah, it’s stupid.” Mike says.
“What is it?” I ask.
“We just drove past a Lakeville Pharmacy shopping cart.  Let’s leave it on Kristen’s stoop.”  Mike says.
“We should really stop bothering her for a while.” Greg retorts.
“But that would be hilarious!” Herbs states.
“Let’s do it. We just have to make sure we don’t get caught.” Greg postulates.
We all laugh at the idea thinking how silly it would be, to leave the store shopping cart that both Mike and Kristen work at, right on her stoop.

The local drug store that hired many of the teenage workforce in the area with offers of low wages and discounts on toilet paper.
Herbs turns the car around pulls up next to the fallen shopping cart and pops the trunk.  Mike, Greg, and I get out of the car, pick the cart up and try to fit it in the trunk.  Unfortunately the cart was too large to fit in the trunk.
“Joe this isn’t going to fit in your trunk” says Mike.
“Do you have some bungees or something?” I ask.
“No, there’s some rope in the trunk tie it down and I’ll drive slow.” Replies Herbs.
Greg adds “yeah, Kristin’s house isn’t too far away.  We should be okay but if anyone stops us we’ll say ‘we found it in the street and we’re bringing it home to return to the store when it reopens.’”
So Greg and Mike tie the cart to the trunk door and we all get back in the car and drive to Kristen’s block.  We park on the avenue just around the corner from her house and devise a plan similar to the ring and run situation.  The plan was to bring the cart to the porch, ring the bell, bang on the doors and windows and leave super quick.

A satellite view demonstrating the exact plan of attack.
We get out of the car, remove the cart from the trunk and proceed to push it down the block on the opposite side of the street from where her house is located. 
What was so odd about the situation was we all pushed the shopping cart together. So Mike’s on the outside left, Greg is next to him, then me, followed by Herbs on the outside right. We’re all quietly giggling at this brilliant plan.  We get right in front of Kristen’s house, and are about to cross the street.  There is no porch or living room light on.  The only visible light on was emanating out of the bedroom upstairs. So it was clear to us someone was home.  As we start to make the final approach to the house we hear a dog bark and all of us, without saying a word instinctively run back to the car.  Back at the car we’re all laughing at how silly it was that we ran away all because of a dog barking and make the decision that no matter what happens we’re placing the cart on that stoop.  

A picture of Kristen and her guard dog at the Islanders game.
We quietly walk back to where we left the cart in the street.  We get into our positions again and get the cart up to the front walkway of the house leading to the door. As we get closer to the house the front door sensor light turns and we all run for our lives back to Herbs’ car.  Again, we are all laughing at ourselves about how ridiculous we’re being over the sensor light.
We finally resolve ourselves that this time we’re doing it, no matter what! Herbs unlocks the doors to his car so we can make a quick getaway.  We begin our approach again but this time the bedroom light is off.  The only light radiating from the window is the light from the television.  None of us were concerned though.  We were too focused on getting the cart onto Kristen’s stoop. We get to the cart and grab it, begin to move it, the sensor light turns on, we ignore it.  Then, we hear the sound of a window opening.
“YOU GUYS GOT NAILED!” Kristen’s mom yells out.

We all run right to Herbs car, jump in. He turns on the engine and floors it.  We go straight to Anthony’s house and tell him if anyone asks we were at his house the entire time.  That was the last time we ever stalked Kristen.

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®

Friday, September 7, 2012


Awesome new website you should all check-out.

Monday, September 3, 2012

This 2012/2013 TV Season

It’s August 2012 and time for the annual 1-3 sentence review of upcoming “original” programming due out for the 2012/2013 television season. 

666 Park Avenue (ABC)

Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10/9c
Combine the eeriness of Lost with the ruthlessness of Desperate Housewives and you get this adaptation of Gabrielle Pierce's book series. A melting pot of ABC alums, the supernatural drama stars Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and Rachael Taylor (Charlie's Angels) as an innocent Midwestern couple who get hired as resident managers of The Drake, a tony Upper East Side apartment building owned by Lost's Terry O'Quinn and his wife, Housewives's Vanessa Williams. The catch: The residents have all made deals with The Devil to have their deepest desires fulfilled.

This is like that Stephen King Hospital show.  Sounds boring, looks boring, not interested.

Animal Practice (NBC)

Premieres: Wednesday, September 26 at 8/7c
Justin Kirk headlines this comedy about an irascible House-like veterinarian who prefers the company of the four-legged creatures over their two-legged owners. Kirk may get top billing, but the true star of the show — and let's face it, the whole fall season — is Crystal the Monkey (The Hangover: Part II, Community), who plays Dr. Rizzo. Mark our words: It will be the best TV monkey performance since Marcel's arc on Friends.

In recent years all the NBC comedies are pathetic and gimmicky this will fit right in with their soon to be canceled lineup.

Arrow (CW)

Premieres: Wednesday, Oct 10 at 8/7c
This is not your older brother's Oliver Queen. Stephen Amell stars as Queen, aka the Green Arrow, a wealthy playboy by day and a vigilante crime-fighter by night, in a gritty, brooding retelling of the famed superhero. Queen honed his archery skills on a deserted island for five years after surviving a boating accident that killed his father and girlfriend's sister, with whom he was having an affair. He returns to civilization to take down his dad's enemies to clear his family name (how Revenge-like!). Katie Cassidy co-stars as Queen's girlfriend, Dinah "Laurel" Lance, who may or may not be the Black Canary.

I’m a comic book media whore and will watch this no matter how good or bad it is.  If it’s like Smallville or the Cape it will suck.  If the Arrow avoids being like Smallville and the Cape and all cost then it will be awesome.

Beauty and the Beast (CW)

Premieres: Thursday, Oct 11 at 9/8c
Kristin Kreuk and Kiwi Jay Ryan star in the titular roles, but don't expect dancing candelabras or even a hairy beast. Ryan's Vincent Keller/beast will have nothing more than a scar on his face, though his actions will get "beastlier," as the producers put it, as the series progresses. The show is a remake of the 1987 procedural starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman.
Hamilton sent Kreuk and Ryan notes and photos wishing them good luck.

It needs some Angela Lansbury to really make awesome status.

 Ben and Kate (Fox)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 25 at 8:30/7:30c
Oscar winner Nat Faxon joins his Oscar-winning Descendants co-writer Jim Rash (Community) on TV, playing the lovably goofy Ben, who moves in with his sister, single mom Kate (Dakota Johnson), to take care of her daughter Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones). Ben is based on the brother, a "Ferris Bueller-type," of series creator Dana Fox. Fun fact: Real-life Ben's nickname for his sister is Phlegmer.

This has a nice 80s plot vibe to it.  It comes off as something that might be fun to watch.

Chicago Fire (NBC)

Premieres: Wednesday, October 10 at 10:00/9:00c
Dick Wolf is back with another procedural, this one focusing on the firefighters of Chicago's Firehouse 51 and starring Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney and David Eisenberg. But unlike his Law & Order franchise, this drama will focus on the personal lives of its (often shirtless) heroes. So how long before a New York Fire or a
Los Angeles Fire?

I saw this show when it was a movie called Backdraft.

Elementary (CBS)

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c
Sherlock is all the rage these days. If you're not getting your fill from the films or PBS' series, CBS' procedural offers a modern take on the crime-solver with Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock, a recovering addict and NYPD consultant. His Watson is his "sober companion," a former surgeon — and a woman (Lucy Liu). Twist!

Perfect for that 50 and older crowd and a great fit for the Cop Broadcasting Station (CBS)

Emily Owens, M.D. (CW)

Premieres: Tuesday, Oct 16 at 9/8c
Mamie Gummer just loves playing doctor. Meryl Streep's eldest, who is also an Off the Map alum, plays the titular character, an awkward, heart-on-her-sleeve-wearing medical school graduate who learns that hospital life is not so much different from high school antics. Justin Hartley and Michael Rady co-star. So how long before Streep guest-stars?

Hasn’t everyone gotten their fill of Doctor shows yet?

Go On (NBC)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 11 at 9/8c
What's so funny about grief? Matthew Perry's about to show us. The Friends alum returns to NBC as Ryan King, a sportscaster who turns to a motley crew support group after his wife dies. How eclectic are these guys? The lead therapist, Lauren (Laura Benanti), honed her skills in a Weight Watchers group.

NBC has to stop casting Matthew Perry in their shows.  He’s had so many failed attempts that I automatically assume it’s going to suck and will not waste my time watching it. Try moving to Florida to enjoy retirement Perry, or go back on drugs and become funny again.

Guys With Kids (NBC)

Premieres: Wednesday, September 26 at 8:30/7:30c
As the title suggests, this comedy from Jimmy Fallon is about guys with kids — specifically Jesse Bradford, Anthony Anderson and Zach Cregger. The three pals all live in the same apartment building and are learning the ropes of parenting together. Erinn Hayes (Worst Week) co-stars as
Bradford's ex-wife, Jamie-Lynn Sigler plays Cregger's wife, and Cosby Show alum Tempestt Bledsoe plays Anderson's wife. And the kids? Fourteen are used to play seven children.

This reminds me of that What to Expect When You Are Expecting movie that’s trailer looks so terrible I have been writing letters to different movie studios demanding refunds whenever I am forced to watch the trailer before viewings of whatever nerd movie I am attending.  It’s probably not similar except for those awesome promotional photos but has really bad timing thus, I am soooo avoiding this one. 

Last Resort (ABC)

Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c
What do you get when you cross Crimson Tide with The Rock? This Shawn Ryan thriller starring Andre Braugher as the leader of a renegade submarine crew that goes on the run after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles. They find sanctuary at a NATO base where they declare themselves the world's smallest nuclear nation. (Yeah, just go with it.) Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser, Daisy Betts and Robert Patrick co-star.

I want to like this show.  I want to be interested in the idea but the more ads I see for it the less interesting it looks.  ABC needs to stop promoting it.

Made in Jersey (CBS)

Premieres: Friday, Sept. 28 at 9/8c
Move over, Snooki! Martina Garretti (played by Brit Janet
Montgomery) is a streetwise Jersey girl attorney trying to make it in a big-time Manhattan law firm. And yes, like, Snooki, she sports a bumpit too — CBS and producers have even had discussions about the height of the 'do. But we don't think she has the time to GTL all day long.

New Jersey sucks and so will this.

Major Crimes (TNT)

Premieres: Monday, Aug. 13 at 10/9c
The Closer will (finally) wrap its seventh and final season this summer, but it's never truly going away. Mary McDonnell will star in this spin-off focused on her Captain Sharon Raydor of the Major Crimes division. A bevy of Closer stars will join her too: G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene. See? The Closer is here to stay.

Didn’t watch the closer I will not watch this.

Malibu Country (ABC)

Premieres: Friday, Nov. 2 at 8:30/7:30c
Stop us if you've heard this before: Reba McEntire plays Reba, who splits from her husband after she learns that he's cheating on her. No, it's not 2001 and this is not The CW's Reba. So what is different about this one? Well, this Reba will move from
Nashville to Malibu to start anew. Lily Tomlin co-stars as her mother and Sara Rue as her new neighbor.

I am not interested but there are people who swear by Reba and loved the last show so the remake will gain the same amount of fans.  I really just want her to reunite with Kevin Bacon for Tremors 5.

The Mindy Project (Fox)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 25 at 9:30/8:30c
Think Bridget Jones' Diary, but less British and with more scrubs. Mindy Kaling, who created the show, stars as the titular character, a single woman whose career is blossoming, but is much less lucky in her love life. Mindy works as an OBGYN, which was Kaling's mother's job, and is a shameless rom-com aficionado. A girl after our own heart!

Just reading the description made me want to change the channel.

The Mob Doctor (Fox)

Premieres: Monday, September 17 at 9:00/8:00c
Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) is a thoracic surgeon who has lifelong ties to the
South Chicago mob. Sounds ridiculous, right? The drama, from Drop Dead Diva's Josh Berman, is actually based on the nonfiction book Il Dottore, in which a doctor becomes complicit in organized crime. William Forsythe co-stars as Constantine, the head of the mob.

This sounds awesome.  A nice twist on the doctor show genre by adding some Sopranos into the mix. 

Nashville (ABC)

Premieres: Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10/9c
Ah, the life cycle of stardom. So fickle, isn't it? Connie Britton stars as Rayna James, a 40-something country singer whose star is fading. So her record company suggests she open for new teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), and you can imagine how well that goes over. Throw in some politics (Rayna's husband is running for mayor) and sexual escapades, and you've got some Southern-grown drama. Let's just hope this ends better than Country Strong did.

This is just the movie Crazy Heart.

The Neighbors (ABC)

Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8:30/7:30c
3rd Rock From the Sun had aliens moving to Earth, but it will be the reverse case here: A New Jersey family — Lenny Venito, Jami Gertz, Isabella Cramp, Clara Mamet and Max Charles — moves into a gated community populated by aliens. Our advice: move.

Enough of freaking Jersey!!!

The New Normal (NBC)

Premieres: Tuesday, September 11 at 9:30/8:30c
Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) hire Goldie (Georgia King), a single mother, to be their surrogate just as she's trying to start a new life for her and her daughter Shania (Bebe Wood). The series already has the (dis)honor of being the first new fall show to be boycotted. Creator Ryan Murphy, however, pays no mind, because he thinks the protestors, One Million Moms, will like it if they watch it.

They should protest not because of the content but because it doesn’t look interesting at all.  It’s gimmicky nonsense. It's also a wannabe Modern Family rip off.  It's someone reminiscent of how Bill Gates changed Windows around just enough to avoid copyright infringement from the Mac and thus Microsoft obliterated Apple in the 90s.  The big difference here is that Microsoft improved on it's changes and made a better product at the time.  The New Normal is amputating the gay couple from Modern Family and hoping that gimmick will be enough to carry a show.  Perhaps they never heard of Sofia Vergara. 

Partners (CBS)

Premieres: Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:30/7:30c
Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick give us another pair of straight and gay BFFs, but this time, it's a bromance! However, the tight bond between Louis (Michael Urie) and Joe (David Krumholtz) is tested after Joe proposes to his longtime girlfriend Ali (Sophia Bush). Don't feel too bad for Louis — his boyfriend is Superman Brandon Routh.

The bad in this is too painful to talk about. 

Revolution (NBC)

Premieres: Monday, September 17 at 10:00/9:00c
Leave it to J.J. Abrams (Lost) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural) to come up with a mythology-heavy drama. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where there is no electricity, the series stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito as a group of people struggling to figure out how the technology vanished and who holds the figurative power among the survivors. We don't think this is what people meant by going green.

The advertisements don’t look very good but the concept is so intriguing I am still going to check it out. 

Stars Earn Stripes (NBC)

Premieres: Monday, Aug. 13 at 8/7c
The godfather of procedurals, Dick Wolf, and the godfather of reality TV, Mark Burnett, team up for a military-style reality series in which nine celebrities (including Nick Lachey, Laila Ali, Todd Palin, Terry Crews and Dean Cain) compete in rigorous challenges adapted from actual military exercises. Prize money will be donated to a military charity of the star's choice.

I’m tired of reality shows.

Vegas (CBS)

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c
Ready for another 1960s period drama? There are no Old Fashioneds or Playboy bunnies, but cowboy hats. Based on the true story of Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, the drama stars Dennis Quaid in his TV series debut as Lamb, a rancher who goes up against a powerful gangster (Michael Chiklis) to help bring order to
Sin City. Jason O'Mara, Carrie-Anne Moss and Sarah Jones co-star

This looks so awesome! It’s network TVs answer to Boardwalk Empire and they might be answering correctly.  It’s got great actors a clever idea and gives the audience the option to root for the good guy or the bad guy.

Joseph Ammendolea
"I Like To Play With Toys" Productions®