Applebee’s using Welcome Back, Kotter theme song in commercials

Depending on your age, where you remember first seeing John Travolta will vary.

Me? I can’t remember if it was the movie Boy in the Plastic Bubble (that movie, although it wasn’t a horror film, just freaked me out with the idea that breathing outside air could kill), Stephen King’s first adaptation Carrie (also my intro to Sissy Spacek and a chilling film) or the 70s TV show Welcome Back, Kotter.

Certainly the latter I remember him most for early on, because he was on weekly and prominently. Of course he’d go onto other iconic roles in Grease and Saturday Night Fever, but Kotter is where I most remember Travolta from in the beginning of his acting career.

Add to that very catchy theme song to Welcome Back Kotter. The 70s and 80s had crazy good memorable theme songs.

Travolta played a Henry Winkler like Fonz character in the TV show as one of the Sweathogs. Gabe Kaplan as the teacher and Ron Palilo as Horshack — with that zany hoarse laugh.

Palillo’s character was part of a group of remedial students known as “Sweathogs,” in a Brooklyn high school. He was known for his catchphrase, “ooh, ooh! Mr. Kotter” and his unique laugh. Some of the cast members in the show, including Palillo, have passed away.

Ron Palillo — Life and Death of the Beloved ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ Star

Sadly, Palilo passed away in 2012. He joined others that we remember on the show that are no longer alive including: John Sylvester White who played Mr. Woodman in 1988, Robert Hegyes (who played the sweathog Epstein) in 2012, Marcia Strassman (Gabe Kaplan’s character’s wife Julie Kotter in the show) in 2014.

The only main surviving main characters as of this writing are, in fact, Gabe Kaplan (age 77), John Travola (age 66) who played Vinnie Barbarino and the other prominent sweathog, Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs).

Inevitably the death clock catches up with us all, but this is one of several 70s and 80s TV shows I remember fondly.

Imagine my surprise and delight when Applebee’s ads playing on Hulu are now using the opening theme song to Welcome Back, Kotter.

While it might be premature, Applebee’s want potential customers to realize their restaurants are back open in many places. We probably won’t be going to Applebee’s any time soon, but it’s a well marketed way to let us know they’re open and available.

Imagine there will be plenty of other catchy theme songs to use for returning businesses. Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” perhaps? (joking!). Licensing is one of the few remaining non-concert performance ways for music artists to make money from their songs.

Love Is Blind Participants We Want To See More (and less) + Season 2 Challenges

Love is Blind Season 1 ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

To all the mom’s out there, today is Mother’s Day 2020, so happy Mother’s Day! Love is definitely blind with moms, so celebrate these wonderful women everywhere, every time, but especially today — her day.

Now, to the post topic at hand.

It’s been over a month since watching the reality TV relationship experiment and there are some participants I’m seeing or hearing news about and others I’d be interested in learning more about.

The producer said there are like 300 hours or unseen tape, “enough for 20 shows”, so here’s to wanting to see another follow-up episode or two covering the following people.

Rory – the counselor, the “plant”

This counselor/friend of multiple participants was prominently featured in season one first episode and then just disappears from the show. There was also a triangle between Rory, Danielle and Matt:

Danielle became engaged to Rory but ended up having a two-month relationship after the show with Matt. Both of Danielle’s romances had a roller coaster of emotions, but they helped lead her to her “healthiest” relationship, her current relationship with her new boyfriend.

Love is Blind’s Matt Thomas Calls it a ‘Relief’ to Not Have His Story Shown

Taylor – the virgin

Confessed virgin during the show, Taylor, apparently had interest in several women — and it was at least somewhat reciprocated — but he also couldn’t make a successful connection. What happened to him?

There are stories about him being somewhat possessive with his connections in the commons area with the men. Is that true? Surely, footage exists to support this story.

Jon – the CEO with the bizarre pod questions

A whole episode, maybe two could be devoted to Jon and more of his awkward questions. This made for really compelling TV.

Bonus extra outtake Jon episode, please!

The girl who hates hearing others breathe

She was a spirited participant, so let’s learn more about her.

What were her pod dates like with Jon?

Nick & Vanessa Lachey – The hosts we barely saw

At the beginning introducing the show format and later in Mexico and at other introductory moments, we see the hosts.

We didn’t see it in the show, but it sounds like Nick and Vanessa Lachey had a lot more interaction with the participants than shown in the episodes. How about an episode or two showing their Q&A after the pod dates, perhaps their own commentary on who seems attracted to who and whether or not they think a connection is in the works.

Love In Sight Podcast shares a lot of behind the scenes details

If you want to learn a lot more about people we did and didn’t see, then I recommend listening to the good podcast, Love In Sight. It is co-hosted by the real participants of the show, Gi, did the first nine episodes, and now for a “few weeks” it’s Barnett along with the primary host Matt “Money” Smith (why he’s called “money” I don’t know).

New episodes are available every Tuesday and drop around 1pm PT (GMT-8).

Next Love Is Blind to be taped in Chicago?

Casting for season two is happening in Chicago at the moment with the casting team looking for the right mix of participants for the “experiment.” I like how they refer to it that way and not as some reality dating show. This is what makes this show more compelling is that it doesn’t feel as shallow and phony as other relationship-related dating shows. Too Hot To Handle, for example, is all about the drama and tension, complete with a sarcastic narrator bagging on the participants stupid actions.

There are challenges with filming anything right now, as evidenced by various news articles.

What is unclear at the moment is exactly how producers plan to move ahead with shooting the show post-COVID-19. According to Kinetic Content, right now the casting process is all they have control over, and thoughts beyond finalizing the singles haven’t been decided. The details on how the singles will live or if the show would be altered on capturing moments outside of the pods hasn’t been revealed or planned out. What will not change is the premise that the singles won’t get a look at their potential love interest but only hear their voices while isolated in the pods. All eyes will be on Illinois and the City of Chicago

How Netflix’s ‘Love Is Blind’ Is Forging Ahead with
Its New Season During Quarantin

Whenever they get production started, my guess will be maybe in the fall 2020, just like season one that started filming in October 2018, I think we might have a chance at seeing season two on Valentine’s Day 2021. This assumes life can return to normal, of course, by the fall. Some signs of that happening have already begun.

In the interim, Netflix could pony up for another interim bonus episode or two beyond the reunion episode. Several ideas exist above, but those might focus a little too much on the reality TV train wreck. The producers and Netflix might want to keep a little more respect in tact with this show, since it has ordered two more seasons.

Cost surely shouldn’t be that much of an issue to edit some additional love stories, yes, even if we know how they ended up after the fact, we don’t know what happened in the pods and commons areas. Wouldn’t be surprised if they do something with that footage to at least promote and market season 2.

Love is Blind Season 1 is available for streaming on Netflix.

MLB players and personnel offering binge-watching streaming picks

While we are missing movie theaters, not having Major League Baseball (MLB) for sports fans — even semi-casual fans — is also traumatic. Baseball is America’s pastime, after all.

When and if MLB comes back, there are talks of numerous changes to the way the 2020 game is played including the use of robotic umpires, no visits to the mound, empty ballpark stands except for players and more. How they will handle players getting thrown out of games is unknown. Maybe robots running players?

Who will managers and players yell at over bad calls?

Meanwhile, MLB players are home like so many others, binge-watching streaming movie and TV. Below you’ll find in the linked article many picks by them.

Whether it’s revisiting a tried-and-true classic or catching up on something that seemingly everyone else has already seen, here are some binge-watching recommendations from players, managers and other club personnel from all 30 big league teams.

A binge-watching option from every MLB team

I had to look up my hometown team, Seattle Mariners and see what was recommended (pictured top of post). Marco Gonzales has picked Explained. I had never heard of that, so looked it up on Netflix.

There was an episode “Cryptocurrency” that was only 14 minutes, so I tuned in. Other show topics include pandemic, monogamy, programming, the racial wealth gap, billionaires and more. There are two seasons worth of shows, 30 episodes in total as of this writing, and true to Scott’s recommendation, the episodes are all fairly short.

What is your favorite team recommending/watching?

How many of these 10 cancelled Netflix TV shows have you watched?

According to Google as of April 18, 2020, Netflix has 165 TV shows. Assuming this number are Originals or series they have commissioned to be continued like Black Mirror and doesn’t include TV series they have licensed from others like Star Trek.

I’m more of a movie person — hence the name of our site — but enjoy watching a great TV show from time to time (will never tire rewatching The Twilight Zone!), because they have the ability to extend that entertainment experience much longer than a couple hours.

Sources: Wikipedia Netflix Original TV series, Reelgood A-Z Netflix TV show list

Back in 2017, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made the surprising statement that, “Our hit ratio is too high right now. I’m almost pushing the content team, ‘We have to take more risk, you have to try more crazy things,’ because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.”

10 cancelled Netflix TV shows that are worth binge watching | TechRadar

The article linked above links and described the following 10 Netflix TV shows:

  • Bojack Horseman (2014-2019)
  • House of Cards (2013-2018)
  • Jessica Jones (2015-2019)
  • Mindhunter (2017-2019)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 (2017-2018)
  • Orange is the New Black (2013-2019)
  • Santa Clarita Diet (2017-2019)
  • Sense8 (2015-2018)
  • She’s Gotta Have It (2017-2019)
  • The OA (2016-2019)

I’ve only watched (briefly) Orange is the New Black. Am familiar with a few others including House of Cards. Would be open to checking out others on the list, particularly Bojack Horseman, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Santa Clarita Diet.

How many of these 10 cancelled Netflix TV shows have you seen? Recommended or not?

Jennifer Aniston Teases that Friends Cast is ‘working on something’ – Just Not Friends Reboot

Friends is one of the greatest comedy ensemble TV shows ever, period.

Friends was on for 10 years

People have been clamoring for a Friends movie since it went off the air but producer Marta Kauffman has repeatedly shown zero interest in any sort of reunion/reboot/continuation of the Friends.

It doesn’t stop the fans of the show to keep asking, especially in this age when just about everything is getting the reboot treatment. So many streaming channels looking for original content, something with the original team of friends together again would ring a giant cash register.

I bet the cast is tired of being constantly bombarded with questions about something they don’t have any power to create on their own.

But clearly the ensemble would like to do … something.

Jennifer Aniston teased about this “something” on Ellen Degeneres’ TV show recently:

We would love for there to be something, but we don’t know what that something is,” explained Aniston. “So we’re just trying. We’re working on something.”  She later joked it’s a “huge, huge, huge movie” but added the main reason the group reunited for dinner a few weeks ago was they “miss each other and we all happened to be in the same part of the world.”

Jennifer Aniston is still against a ‘Friends’ reboot but concedes cast is ‘working on something’ |

Me? I am intrigued by the idea of the cast working on something other than Friends together. Sure, if the producers could come up with a seductive storyline for a reunion/reboot, I’d like to see that too, but I’m not as obsessive as some fans are about it.

What kinds of “something” could/would this ensemble cast do that isn’t compared to Friends? Perhaps some Ocean’s Eleven type movie? Your guesses are as good as mine.