Tag Archives: TV

If You’re Defending Josh Duggar, You’re the Problem

Josh Duggar repeatedly molested underage girls, including his sisters, while his parents sought to cover it up and avoid talking to the proper authorities. You’ve seen the news by now and you know how utterly revolting it is from every angle. I don’t need to cover the horrifying details here.

I read the news last night as I was going to bed. I thought finally, even the most ardent supporters of TLC’s clown show won’t be able to spin this, and perhaps common sense will prevail. The blanket condemnation and the collective horror at not just Josh’s action, but the duplicitous cover-up by his parents, will be the nudge all of the extreme fundamentalists require to come to their senses.

Turns out I was giving that particular group far too much credit.

Right, Samantha. Because the first thing a rational person thinks after finding out about a serial child molester who targeted sleeping children including his own sisters aided by his parents in a massive coverup to hide the facts until the statute of limitations had run out, should be “Boy, I really hope I can still watch all these people on TV every week.”

Oh you’re sorry, Republican Girl. You are very, very sorry. Mainly because your definition of “amazing people” includes child molesters and those who enable them.

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Catherine has taken the “blame the media” approach and given it an Alex Rodriguez level steroid injection. Instead of questioning why Josh Duggar is molesting young girls and, more importantly, why his parents wouldn’t alert the proper authorities, she points the finger at the DAMN MEDIA! After all, how dare reporters look under the surface for things and file FOIA requests to obtain information from official sources and then publish that information for people to read. Wait. What? That’s PRECISELY the job of media members everywhere? Oh. Well, nevermind then…

These two esteemed Twitter users were far from alone in making this point. As instructed by the Far Right Emergency Handbook, religious conservatives everywhere immediately started shouting about Lena Dunham (and Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton too, just because) and pointing out the LIBERAL HYPOCRISY of getting upset about one and not the other.

Dunham, in case you hadn’t heard, described a moment in her childhood when she — at the age of 7 — looked in her 1-year-old sister’s vagina, found some pebbles, and then alerted her mother. Clearly this single incident is exactly the same thing as being a 14-year-old, repeatedly groping and fondling young girls while they’re sleeping, having your parents cover up that abuse over the course of years, all the while telling anyone within earshot gay people are dangerous pedophiles.

That’s not just apples and oranges, it’s apples and fire hydrants.

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Got that? It’s less about the criminal molestation and more about the actions afterward. And Josh Duggar apologized, so dude — move on already! Right? Hell, this thing has been in the news cycle a whole 20 hours and we’re STILL TALKING ABOUT IT! But it’s interesting Valerie thinks failing to alert the authorities and trying to pass off a summer remodeling homes as “therapy” is “lifting up the name of Jesus.” Jesus didn’t return an email seeking comment for this piece, but I have to believe he’s not too thrilled to be involved in this one.

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This is the craziest comment I’ve personally seen on this issue. And it’s also the most frightening, because it’s 100% pure, unadulterated praise. For Josh Duggar. An admitted child molester.

Kelly is right in that Josh Duggar didn’t “justify or defend.” Mainly because there’s just no way to justify or defend being a serial child abuser. And yes, he confessed. Bravo. It only took him 13 years, a hidden letter in a book that was sent to Oprah Winfrey’s show, and multiple FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests that revealed hard evidence in the form of police reports that couldn’t be denied.

But “humility and redemption?” Is it humble to publicly call gay and transgender people dangerous pedophiles when YOU are actually the dangerous pedophile? Sorry, but I fail to see how Josh Duggar is “redeemed” by being exposed as a dangerous and utterly hypocritical fondler of young girls, and part of a family that would DARE cast stones regarding homosexuality when they were housing and covering up for a pedophile in their own four walls.

When you think about it, several members of the Duggar family seem more like sociopaths than anything else.

All I can think about are those poor girls, the victims of Josh Duggar’s abuse. Did they get the help they need? Have they suffered additional trauma having to live with their abuser and see him every single day for all these years? Or were they afterthoughts in the mad scramble to protect poor Josh’s reputation?

Either way, if you’re someone publicly defending Josh Duggar or the Duggar family after this unspeakable atrocity, you are every bit as big of a problem as the perpetrators.

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5 Reasons Parents Will Love Marvel’s Daredevil

DaredevilI’m not a comic book guy. Hell, I was never even a comic book kid because I worshiped at the altar of Boston sports. My superheroes growing up consisted of Larry Bird, Reggie Lewis, Roger Clemens, and Drew Bledsoe. Yet now, as a parent to two precocious boys, I’m suddenly knee deep in Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of The Avengers.

But Daredevil? Never heard of it and had no plans to watch it. But boy am I glad I’m wrong a lot.

Marvel has proven once again they are completely on top of their game, by bringing the story of Matt Murdock to life in a riveting way. By day, Murdock is a lawyer in Hell’s Kitchen who went blind as a child after an accident in which some nuclear goop got in his eye. But by night, he is a vigilante superhero whose heightened senses from the accident allow him to be a ninja badass taking on the city’s criminal element.

You might watch it for the acting, which is superb. Or for the fight scenes which are meticulous and smooth in their complexity. But as I voraciously consumed watched Season 1 in record time, I realized I was enjoying Daredevil on an unexpected level as well — as a parent.

So with that in mind, here are five reasons parents will relate to Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page as they take on the evil Wilson Fisk.

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5. Knowing When People Are Lying
Matt Murdock’s heightened senses allow him to basically be a human lie detector. Even though he can’t see, he can sense when people are breathing heavy, experiencing rapid heartbeats, and trying to deceive him. This is no different than knowing your kids so well you don’t even need to look at them to know they’re trying to pull one over on you. And sometimes the most difficult part is knowing they’re not being straight with you, but not letting on and allowing them to make their own mistakes.

4. Being Filled With Self-Doubt
There are no parenting manuals for new moms and dads. As a result, we often pretend we know what we’re doing, but in reality we have no clue. We’re just making it up as we go along, doing what we think is best, and hoping it works out. Likewise, I really enjoyed how Murdock has no real plan. He’s got his sense of right and wrong and the bare bones outline of a plan, but the specifics often come into focus on the fly.

3. Relationships Become Difficult
When you’re a blind lawyer/vigilante superhero leading a double life and spending your nights risking death for the sake of your fellow citizens, it’s safe to say secrets are a big part of your existence. And that makes relationships fairly difficult. While nights with a newborn aren’t about battling villains in epic martial arts showdowns, they’re still pretty horrific. You go a few months with little to no sleep, and you’ll feel like a human punching bag too. Nothing wreaks havoc on a marriage like a baby. Well, nothing except being a superhero crusader.

2. Struggling to Keep Tempers in Check
As with all great superheroes, the line between good guy and bad guy often becomes blurry. Murdock gets so blinded (pun intended) by his need to bring his nemesis Fisk to justice, he often worries he becomes as obsessed as the people he’s battling. While he prides himself on never crossing the line of taking human life, his temper constantly flares as he approaches the point of no return. Likewise, my kids routinely drive me to my breaking point. Like the time when you tell your kid not to hit, explain why hitting is bad, sing songs about not hitting, and then — SLAP! He hits you right in the face anyway. The urge to yell and spank is strong. So strong.

1. Protecting Loved Ones At All Costs
In the end, this is what Matt Murdock and Daredevil is all about — selflessly and unceasingly protecting the people you love. Even when they can’t see it or don’t know he’s doing it, Murdock always keeps everyone’s safety at the forefront of his mind. Parents know this feeling all too well, as the safety of our children is paramount. All the worry, obsessing, and precautions are because we care so much. That’s why Murdock takes all the beatings and it’s why parents endure the Terrible Threes.

For some other great things to watch on Netflix, check out the following:

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1. Revenge
2. Pretty Little Liars
3. Bloodline

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I was compensated by Netflix for writing this post. Although I did not receive monetary compensation, I received free Netflix for a year and an iPad Mini. However, as always, my opinions are 100% my own. Check out Netflix on Facebook.

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The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Is a Role Model

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The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a new show on Netflix. And it is freaking spectacular.

Seeing that it’s co-written by Tina Fey, I had a feeling it’d be great. But I underestimated how wonderful, funny, smart, silly, and simultaneously uplifting it would be. You see, Kimmy was part of a cult for 15 years and spent that time in an underground bunker with her sister-wives. Then one day she was freed by the authorities, and despite being completely out of touch with modern living, she joined the world.

Does she have issues and some life turbulence? Oh yeah. But remarkably, she never uses her past and what happened to her as an excuse. Instead, she moves to New York City and decides to find her own path no matter what.

I couldn’t help but think of my fundamentally awesome wife, who is her own version of unbreakable.

My wife is an amazing person. And while Kimmy climbs out of a literal hole to rejoin the world, my wife constantly has to scratch and claw her way out of the metaphorical hole of mental illness and depression. When MJ could no longer work as a bank manager due to her condition, I feared for the worst. Here was a workaholic, Type A, career-driven woman who suddenly finds herself unable to work, saddled with depression, and a baby to take care of while I was working my job.

But just like Kimmy Schmidt, MJ reinvented herself.

She didn’t have much of a plan and the odds were against her, but with persistence she did it. And just like Kimmy, she had help from a few friends (Tituss, Jacqueline, and Lillian are hysterical in the show). My wife found her way as a TERRIFIC stay-at-home mom. It’s not a role she envisioned for herself early on, but she rolled with the punches and eventually found what makes her happy.

You can continue to watch our lives unfold here on this blog, but visit Netflix to enjoy watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and get inspired to reinvent yourself as well.

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If your little ones want to be similarly inspired, check out these great movies on Netflix.

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  1. Turbo
  2. Antz
  3. Mulan

For the adults, here are some of my favorite movies where characters reinvent themselves.

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  1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  2. Chef
  3. Silver Linings Playbook

StreamTeamBadgeI was compensated by Netflix for writing this post. Although I did not receive monetary compensation, I received free Netflix for a year and an iPad Mini. However, as always, my opinions are 100% my own. Check out Netflix on Facebook.

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Puss in Boots Now Showing on Netflix

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I hate cats.

Not only am I allergic to them, I just can’t stand them. They’re elitist, holier-than-thou feline devils who only want to give and receive affection on their terms. My wife had three cats when I met her, and I was in hell. One of them routinely pooped in my shoe. And naturally, despite wanting to be left alone, they would proceed to climb on top of me during the night as I slept. My wife told me it was them showing their love for me. I maintain they were trying to drape themselves around my neck and kill me in my sleep.

We still had two of the cats when Will was born, but had to get rid of them when we moved. And as much as I loathed them, I was sad for him. So imagine the joy he felt when I told him I had found a cat we could have in the house that both of us liked.

Netflix Originals has just come out with The Adventures of Puss in Boots, an animated series that expands on the popular and lovable kitty with huge eyes featured in Shrek and the Puss in Boots movie. The swashbuckling smart-alec cat is back and embarking on a bunch of zany adventures that my 6-year-old laps up like milk. Your kids will love it too.

But if you really hate cats that much (and I don’t blame you), Netflix has some great stuff for dog lovers too.

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And if you’re an adult looking for some great pet-themed content, Netflix has you covered there too. Feel free to eat your four-legged loving heart out with these awesome movies and shows.

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So whether you align with soulless kitty cats or loyal and honorable dogs, jump on over to Netflix and start enjoying some great original programming and terrific shows and movies they have.

C’mon meow, go on and do it. Throw me a bone here. Doggone it, I’m serious. Sorry, but I can’t paws-ibly stop.

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StreamTeamBadgeI was compensated by Netflix for writing this post. Although I did not receive monetary compensation, I received free Netflix for a year and an iPad Mini. However, as always, my opinions are 100% my own. Check out Netflix on Facebook.

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How to Lower Your Cable Bill

As parents, we’re very into milestones. Unfortunately, not all milestones are positive ones.

Earlier this month, I received my monthly cable TV bill from Comcast (or Xfinity or whatever the hell they call themselves now), and something in me just snapped. It was $215 for wireless Internet, a cable TV package, and a landline — part of their Triple Play package. It had been much less in the beginning, but just kept creeping up and up and up until it became another car payment.

I’m partly to blame (and by partly I mean mostly) for this, as I’m an unmitigated TV nut. I have it on constantly, even when I’m not watching it. But usually I am watching it. Everything from news to sports to movies to sitcoms — you name it, I watch it.

But even a TV freak like me has limits, and $215 was mine.

When I stepped back and took an objective look, I realized a few things. First of all, there is absolutely no earthly reason to keep a landline. Second, yes we watch a lot of TV. But most of it wasn’t cable.

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I realized we almost exclusively use Netflix when we watch TV.  For $8.99 a month (plus the one-time $35 cost for a Chromecast to stream it to my TV in HD glory), we get thousands of movies, TV shows, and documentaries that keep us and our kids completely entertained. And while we do supplement it with a few other free and paid services, Netflix is the one we use the most by far.

Will, my 6-year-old, easily logs in to Netflix and chooses from his favorite titles we have set up for him. Things like:

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The Oscar’s Oasis one is especially wacky, and we would’ve never found it had we not been tooling around on Netflix looking for new stuff. Now it’s his favorite thing to watch.

But make no mistake, Netflix is hardly for kids. In fact, I’m pretty addicted to a whole bunch of shows including the following:

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And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Every month Netflix swaps out new movies and shows, and you’ll never lack for things to watch. Not to mention you’ll be paying as little as $8.99 to do it instead of hundreds of dollars. If you’re OK with harnessing the power of Netflix, then you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Even though you don’t want to completely cut the cord, you need to pretend you’re willing to do so when you call the cable company.

Most of their lower cost, special offers are for new customers. If that’s you, great. If not, you need to do a little wheeling and dealing. Telling them you’re planning to leave altogether usually does the trick and lo and behold, suddenly they’ll come up with some new offer they just started running in the last 12 seconds that includes you. Hooray. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry because you still have alternatives.

When Comcast wouldn’t offer us anything better, we simply ended my time as a customer there. And then we immediately began an account in my wife’s name with some downgrades. We gave up DVR and some of the premium channels, but kept HBO and Showtime. And by doing that, we were able to keep a lot of what we had but pay way, way less for it.

How much less? We reduced our monthly cable bill by $105 a month! I don’t know about you, but that makes a significant difference to my family. It can for you as well. Good luck!

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StreamTeamBadgeI’m happy to announce I’m now part of the Netflix Stream Team. Although I’m not receiving monetary compensation for my work, I have received free products and services. However, I’ve been using Netflix for years and my opinion, as always, is 100% my own.

Visit Netflix here to learn more or sign up for streaming, and check out the Netflix Facebook page as well.

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