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Showing posts from November, 2017

In My Opinion: The 12 Greatest Christmas Specials of All Time

In addition to the wide-eyed wonder of children and the good music, one of my favorite things about this time of year is watching the Christmas TV specials and movies. I ranked my top 12 essentials, not counting my own scripts. Why top 12? Well, 12 days of Christmas...so here goes, with types (see my July post on types of Christmas specials) enclosed.

12. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1965 TV Special, Type 4)
Upside: The fight against prejudice wasn't a common topic in family shows in 1965 and it's one of the reasons this special has stood the test of time. This classic shows that prejudice doesn't have to be based on gender or race - it can be as simple as choice of career. The message resonates well with me, because I have faced prejudice (mostly from myself, though) my entire life.
Downside: The songs can be too catchy at times, and it utilizes the old cancel/save Christmas trope too clearly. Santa (Paul Frees) is grumpy and not at all what a good Santa shou…

My Top 10 Favorite Television Commercials

Since most of my screenplays are based on TV commercials, I figured I'd rank my top ten favorite TV commercials I've ever seen. Many, if not most of these, have made me cry, but very few seem to have the magic touch that results in a screenplay.

10. "The Camp Gyno", Hello Flo
This ad for women's hygiene products may be a little disgusting because it uses words like "vagina", "menstruation", and "period", but its unrepentant usage of those terms isn't what I like about it. It's the unstoppable girl characteristics and assertiveness the girl (Macy McGrail) shows in her leadership role. That enough sealed the deal.

9. "This Girl Can", Sport England
This ad is aimed at getting girls to exercise and, to an extent, avoid the false perceptions that come with their body's shape and size. Yet another emotional "femvertisement" that really made me emotional, yet I did not cry.

8. "Real Beauty Sketches", …

The Complete Guide to The Family Programming Month (And My November 1 Post Wasn't That Already)

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A couple weeks back I posted some of the biggest telecasts of the Family Programming Month (what they are, mostly). Now, I am posting a complete guide to ALL network television family and big-time programming during the month, an unabridged list of where and when you can catch these telecasts. All times Eastern.

First up, the lineup on...





4:30 PM, Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23): NFL Football: L.A. Chargers at Dallas Cowboys. Thanksgiving Day football game number two. Keep an eye on Dak Prescott. 8:00 PM, Black Friday (Friday, November 24): Frosty the Snowman. A lovable snowman comes to life but will melt away unless a little girl with a big heart can protect him and his magical hat. 51st straight year on CBS. 8:30 PM, Black Friday (Friday, November 24): Frosty Returns. A sequel to Frosty the Snowman that pales in comparison and cheapens the original. I advise you not to watch it. 8:00 PM, Saturday, November 25: Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire. Whateverthatis. 8:30 PM, Sa…

Update

"Isabella vs. the Womp Womp" is cancelled. Upon watching the Old Navy music video that inspired the idea, I've decided I need to tell a story with similar themes that's not necessarily based on that ad.


November 1: The Countdown Begins

It's officially on. Slowly approaching is The Family Programming Month - the stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas when network TV - CBS, ABC, and NBC - airs programs that can attract the entire family. Not all of these telecasts are Christmas or Thanksgiving related, but most of them are, and no telecasts during The Family Programming Month are bigger than the Big Eight.

What are the Big Eight? They are the telecasts that advertisers rush to get their commercials played during (though nowhere near as big as that football game in February). They are the eight most watched television events during The Family Programming Month. They are:

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeRudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerFrosty the SnowmanHow the Grinch Stole Christmas (the 30-minute cartoon, not the feature film with Jim Carrey)A Charlie Brown ChristmasA Charlie Brown ThanksgivingSanta Claus is Coming to TownIt's a Wonderful Life Here's a brief (just kidding, it's in-depth) history of …