May 25, 2017
Vijaya Prasad

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I miss Patrick Swayze

rs_634x845-170407075018-634.Dirty-Dancing-ABC-JR-040717.jpgAbc/Liongate’s tribute – if you will – to the 1987 film Dirty Dancing – was a decent attempt – but some movies shouldn’t be remade. For movies that stand the test of time, their costumes may seem dated, their attitudes certainly are – but a new cast with familiar faces doesn’t guarantee that the story is told better a second time.  And it’s not that the cast didn’t try, though Debra Messing was woefully underused, and Sarah Hyland deserved more.  But the standards are pretty high – and the onscreen chemistry that (the late, great) Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray shared was undeniable!


Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray may not have been the best of friends off screen, but they sure had some chemistry!

Here are some related articles around the web:

The Vulture review described it best

Dirty Dancing, the new TV movie remake starring Abigail Breslin that airs Wednesday night on ABC, will probably not be perfect for you, or anyone else for that matter. For starters, Breslin, who plays Baby, and newcomer Colt Prattes, daring to step into Swayze’s cha-cha-ing shoes, don’t generate anything close to the Grey-Swayze sizzle factor. Nobody’s got hungry eyes in this thing. At best, their eyes are saying, “Eh, I don’t know. I guess I could have a snack.”

Fortunately, there’s always amazon video – where you can watch the original for a small price.

April 20, 2017
Vijaya Prasad

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LinkedIn: a case study for quality over quantity

linkedin-network-1940x1122When it comes to Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, I’m not too choosy with accepting followers. They serve different purposes- and to be honest, I’ve followed Instagram accounts for reasons as thin as them being positive. But when it comes to LinkedIn, there’s a case for exclusivity. Like making a recommendation for someone (the old schooled way – in person – you’re literally saying,

I trust this person enough that I think they’ll do a good job.

You’re connecting a recommendation to your brand – if someone’s an absolute disaster but their manager got a glowing recommendation from you, you’re indirectly responsible.  If you don’t know the person, that credibility, and quite honestly, will to recommend someone is diminished.  A continuation of that, is that you may be connected to someone at your dream company but it defies the network’s original purpose.

The Muse  published an article recently by someone who opened up her Linkedin network and accepted over 300 random requests. She essentially came to the same conclusion:

…will these people be who I turn to when I need something professionally? Will I be able to rely on them to tout my skills or offer any sort of benefit—other than making me look extremely popular on social media?

Probably not. It sounds harsh, but the fact remains: I don’t know anything about these people, and they know almost nothing about me—aside from the bits and pieces they read in that one article that I wrote. We could literally share a bus seat or sit in the same doctor’s office waiting room, and we wouldn’t even know it.

In other words – it’s quality not quantity. A 100 people who you can count on, and network with to expand your job prospects vs. 300 random people you don’t know, can’t credibly recommend, and may not be inclined to help when you have a limited number of “ins” with a company.

April 20, 2017
Vijaya Prasad

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Mindy loves her McDonalds

There’s a multi faceted brilliance to McDonald’s new ad featuring Mindy Kaling – for one it took me a minute to realize it wasn’t an ad for Coke or for Google. If you examine the details, her bright yellow dress against the red background is revealing. And for another, it’s an organic fit- it fits her public persona to promote a brand she’s referenced in her memoirs and one that has organic placement on her show.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 11.46.30 PMBeyond that, it invites the audience to be part of the story- the call to action is literally telling the audience to go do something. It’s constructed in a way that understands we’re all on our devices all the time and are probably multitasking. It respects the idea that their audience has intellect.

According to a recent New York Times article,

The ads, which started running last week, are meant to play on how teens and twentysomethings use their phones while watching TV, while also acknowledging “how they’re discovering information” they trust, said Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer of McDonald’s for the United States. “They are very influenced by word of mouth and what their peers say,” she said.

In case you’ve missed the ad, you can watch it here:

the doll who discovered Audi

December 26, 2016

We’ve all seen the stereotype – the macho driver in the hot car with the woman next to him. It’s a pity it took till the end of 2016 for this opposite ad to show up – but it’s worth taking a look at it. Situated in a toy shop, this ad finds our lead stranded in her carriage.  Instead of waiting to be rescued, much like the princesses in Shrek Ever After, the damsel rescues herself and takes control of an Audi A8, refusing the passenger seat and driving off for adventure. The tagline in Spanish says “Let’s change the game” –  the message is certainly universal!

December 13, 2016
Vijaya Prasad

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party of bravermans gilmores and bunheads

The Gilmore Girls is nothing if not an ode to pop-culture. From all the books that Rory Gilmore read over her years at Chilton and Yale, to their love for movies, it’s appropriate that their pop culture references moved at the rate of their dialogue. Fortunately, Netflix’s gift from the TV-gods this thanksgiving gave us the chance to see our favorites reunited on the small screen. And of course tv worlds collided with cameos from the cast of Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop’s next tv worlds.

Parenthood Alumni:

After Gilmore Girls wrapped up, Lauren Graham moved to another television universe when she became a Braverman, with a tumultuous relationship with her family, as a single parent.


Would Rory and Amber be friends? I don’t think so!*

Lauren Graham: obviously, but she’s an original Gilmore Girl. Her alter ego is Sarah Braverman

Peter Krause: as the park ranger who wouldn’t let Lorelei Gilmore experience her Wild (book not movie) adventure. He played the oldest sibling – Adam Braverman

Mae Whitman – The other daughter. Enough said. But also known as Amber Holt.

*Lauren Graham with her two on-screen daughters Alexis Bledel from Gilmore Girls and Mae Whitman from Parenthood at the ATX Television Festival. Credit: Courtesy Lauren Graham/Twitter

Jason Ritter – Mark Cyr in Parenthood, plays the Park Ranger who does accept Lorelai’s hiking permit, is the English teacher that Sarah Braverman falls for in the Parenthood universe.

Sidenote: Lauren Graham’s characters have a habit of falling for their daughters’ English teachers!

Bunhead Alumni

This abc-family/freeform show about a ballet school in Paradise, California –  sadly only lasted a single season – but Amy Sherman Palladino’s post Gilmore Girls project lives on. Kelly Bishop played the ballet teacher, Fanny Flowers and Sutton Foster  played her (spoiler) widowed daughter-in-law who inherits Fanny’s home and dance school, and subsequently moves to Paradise.

imagesSutton Foster – a “super fan“plays a struggling actress in Stars Hollow, cast in the musical (and stuns with her amazing voice!)

Julia Goldani Telles plays Sadie, a potential employer and E-I-C of a trendy lifestyle website. In Bunheads, she was Queen B.

Bailey de Young, was a fellow Bunhead, and also played Heidi in the GG revival.

Stacey Orisano, who played the eccentric but lovable Truly Stone on Bunheads was Fall in GG – living out her own version of Wild.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that you can watch the entire series of Parenthood on Netflix and (thank-you abc!) you can reconnect with Bunheads on freeform online


August 22, 2016
Vijaya Prasad

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Back to Nostalgia

If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, you know the show – Gilmore Girls: a Year in the Life is returning to the small screen – ie. Netflix on Thanksgiving, 2016. Presumably,  you’ll stock up on coffee, junk food, and sweats for a marathon viewing session  post-Thanksgiving. Earlier this year, Netflix came out with Fuller House, Abc Family/Freeform launched Girl Meets World – or Corey and Topanga are parents to a teenager. Which got me thinking – what are some other shows that were left unfinished – where someone (the original creators please) should take a stab at a revival? Here are my thoughts – the ranking system is an unscientific 1-10 with 10 being a likely to happen and 1 being Keep Dreaming.

1. What About Brian -This show premiered in 2006 and lasted two season before being pulled. The title character, Bryan, is the only single guy among this friends – and at 34, he is still searching for love. The show is meant to be about the adventurous side of dating in LA.

None of the main cast are currently committed to new projects – Barry Watson, Matt Davis is on the Vampire Diaries (Spoiler – that show is ending next year), Sarah Lancaster, Rick Gomez, and Amanda Detmer might all be willing to resurrect their old roles. Is Brian married, in a long term committed relationship, over his best friend’s fiancee? Or maybe the revival starts with him being at the alter.

Best Guess at the Chances of the show being revived? 6-7.


2. Studio Sixty on the Sunset Strip – NBC made the bright decision to air two very similar shows in the fall of 2006, and Thirty-Rock, the half hour comedy won out over Aaron Sorkin’s hour long drama. Fresh off The West Wing going off the air, chances were if you were a fan of political drama, you might’ve watched the behind-the-comedy-show drama. I certainly did.

Truthfully, the cast was more expensive – Amanda Peet, Mathew Perry post-Friends, and Bradley Whitford ie. Joshua Lyman were major characters and the premises too similar. The show was smart, well-written, with an impeccable cast. The amazing thing about shows airing in the naughts before competition from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon etc. has to be that the show was on air for its entire season as opposed to being pulled after just a few episodes.

Best Guess at the Chances of the show being revived? Less than zero


3. Happy Endings. I have to admit that I loved Friends, I grew up with that show and remember the original Must See TV ads in a land before Shonda Rhimes. This show was really what happens if you’re in the late 20s/early 30s and haven’t found that ever after – your friends are your family, but don’t live across the hall from you, and you actually worry about things like paying rent and having a job. Yes, it happens to be more racially diverse, the cast had impeccably chemistry, and the writing was self deprecating.

Damon Wayans Jr. is back on New Girl, but the cast did get together for Vulture Festival Cast Reunion in May, 2016. NYMag published the cast’s view on What might’ve Been. Me? I think we could still find out on Netflix – pretty please? We deserved a better ending than the one we got. Gilmore Girls is coming back after 10 years, perhaps Happy Endings – Penny’s Best Year – will air before 2023.  There is definitely more story to tell!

Best Guess at the Chances of the show being revived? 2-3.

4. Smash. Before she was Paige Dineen on the CBS show Scorpio, Katherine McPhee was in a far more glamorous role playing Karen Cartwright on the NBC show Smash. Starring Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, and Megan Hilty, this show was overflowing with talent when it came out. Both Hilty and McPhee are professionally trained vocalists and this was an opportunity for them to display their talents. The show, which was backed by Stephen Spielberg allegedly cost $4 million dollars an episode to produce (let that sink in) – and was cancelled after two seasons. Poor ratings, complicated plots, cost – here’s one explanation.

Best Guess at the Chances of the show being revived? Less than zero – none of the cast members are waiting around for the phone to ring.

July 7, 2016
Vijaya Prasad

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West of Tree Hill

In 2003, the world looked very different – for starters, no one had heard of Facebook, President George Bush was in power, and popular enough that he went on to win a second term, and Justin Timberlake was in his infancy as a solo artist.

There was also some damn good new television if you were in your early 20s – specifically Fox’s (then racy) The O.C and the CW’s One Tree Hill. The shows had some similarities beyond very preppy casts and kids with money- but the latter went on for nine seasons whereas the former concluded after four. It takes quite the fan base to follow a show for nine years – if you started watching the show at 17, it would’ve taken you through college, and your first adult job. Let that sink in!

Entertainment Weekly confirmed that the partial cast will gather in Chicago later this year for a OTH reunion:

The convention will reunite Chad Michael Murray (Lucas Scott), James Lafferty (Nathan Scott), Jana Kramer (Alex Dupre), and Antwon Tanner (Antwon “Skills” Taylor) for panels, autograph sessions, and performances from Kramer, who is also a country singer.

In 2015,  there was a less planned reunion – one without fans in attendance. Also missing, Lucas (Chad Micheal Murray), Nate (James Lafferty) and Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton).

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 2.20.27 PM.png

copyright of Sophie Bush/Instagram

Mark your calanders for Nov. 11-13 and buy those tickets to Chicago. The convention will be held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, and will be put on by EyeCon Conventions.

And if you’re very lucky, you might see Brooke Davis…I mean Erin Lindsay (Sophie Bush) filming Chicago P.D. with her not-so-new police family.

**I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention you can watch all 9 seasons on Netflix, or in my case see what happened after Lucas and Peyton drive off into the sunset

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