Karen Berg-Raftakis

Top Ten Things I Loved about Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report

by Arianna Archer

1. After arguing with someone for a while, as soon as he gets the person all worked up and exasperated, he says, “you’re welcome” or “moving on."

2. When he moves his eyebrows up and down when discussing various “conspiracy theories."

3. His “Better Know a District” interviews, especially when he tries to get the congressmen to admit something scandalous (of course, untrue) about themselves.

4. That he addresses his audience/viewers as “Nation.”

5. His “Colbert Bump”, “March to Keep Fear Alive”, ”Colbert Super-Pac”, and ”Colbert’s South Carolina Serious, Classy Republican Debate."

6. He's extremely multi-talented – he speaks Spanish very well, sings and dances superbly and has the ability to flip his pencil high up in the air and always catch it.

7. Whenever he loses an award to anyone, he puts up their picture on air, yells their name, and shakes his fist at it.

8. When he asks someone if he can call them by their first name and when they say no, he does it anyway.

9. He doesn’t know if people are black or white because he “doesn’t see color."

10. He’s just so darn adorable.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and Other Great Partnerships
by Arianna Archer

I just finished watching the BBC’s Season 2, Sherlock episode “The Hounds of Baskerville,” and I’m sitting here thinking about why I love the character of Sherlock Holmes so much.  Well, for one, I like the idea that he is easily bored. I can definitely relate.  To me, there’s almost nothing worse than being bored.  I always have to be doing something. Even vacations start to bore me if they go on too long.  Secondly, I feel that Sherlock gets to say all the things I sometimes want to say to people that I refrain from saying, mainly because I value my life.  Also, like Sherlock, I love a good mystery.  I think most of all though, that there’s something extremely captivating about observing a brilliant mind in action.
It’s interesting that when you have a character like that, there is almost always a partner or friend who has to be their foil.  A genius like Holmes needs someone who is also smart and brave, but nice and very average like Watson. We also have Agatha Christie’s characters, Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings, and House and Dr. Wilson from the TV show “House.”  Watson, Hastings and Wilson are all long suffering partners who tend to bring out the best in these vain but brilliant men.  They stimulate their thinking, so that many times they’re only able to solve their mysteries because of one of their off-hand benign remarks.  They respect their partners’ intelligence and talents so much, that they’re fiercely loyal and find it almost impossible to leave them. Poirot even compares Hastings to a loyal English bulldog.  This is especially admirable of them, considering the fact that their friends can be so very trying and difficult.  Poirot and Holmes even insult their friends’ intelligence occasionally, mostly without realizing it, and well, House insults Wilson all the time, pretty much purposely.  Watson worries about Sherlock’s addiction and dangerous escapades and Wilson worries about House’s addiction and his dangerous escapades.

 Watson, Hastings and Wilson are all men who get along rather well in society. Watson and Wilson are doctors while Hastings was an officer in World War I.  Their counterparts have a hard time obtaining any information or getting anything done without them.  People don’t trust Poirot because he’s strange and foreign, they consider Sherlock weird and rude, and they see House as just plain mean and obnoxious.  It’s very difficult; however, for Sherlock and House to openly express how deeply they care for their friends, but the discerning reader or viewer can still tell that the love is there.  At least with Poirot, it’s pretty apparent how much he values Captain Hastings.

 Now, if we could only get a great FEMALE partnership on TV that very much mirrors these great partnerships, that would be something!

Things I REALLY Miss on TV

by Arianna Archer

1. The Daily Show’s early correspondents, Beth Littleford (God, was she funny!), Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Mo Rocca, etc. (Most of the later ones including the current, in my humble opinion, are horrible.  Last good one was Rob Corddry.)

2. Sex and the City

3. The Sopranos

4. Seinfeld

5. Joan of Arcadia

6. Steve Carell on The Office

7. Peter Jennings/Tom Brokaw

8. Phil Hartman (RIP)

9. A time when there were no Real Housewives of Anywhere

10. When Grissom and Warrick were still on CSI and there was only one CSI. (For the record, CSI-Miami is mediocre and CSI-NY – unwatchable)

11. Any comedy before there was a wedding and/or a pregnancy (practically every show is ruined by this – case in point - Friends, The Office)  You’re next, “How I Met Your Mother!”

12. When Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight Show and David Letterman was on NBC.

13. When SNL was funny (It’s been TOO MANY years)


What I’ve Learned from TV

by Arianna Archer

My boyfriend, Mike and my mother, Sandra are constantly knocking what they call, my “obsessive” television watching.  People are such hypocrites!  Like Mike watching hours of sports or my mother glued to the Fox News channel isn’t a waste of time, but my watching “House” is!  Little do they know how much I’ve learned from so many years of watching television.  For example, if I hadn't watched “House” for so many years, I wouldn’t have amassed so much medical knowledge.  Like, did you know, sometimes doctors actually put people in comas or give them heart attacks on purpose??  I won’t explain why, you’ll just have to take my word for it.  Did you also know that transplant determinations have to go through a Medical Board, almost every disease mimics Lupus, and everybody lies?? Also, when all else fails when trying to diagnose a patient, no matter what they say to the contrary, assume they are a sex maniac and then treat them for some obscure venereal disease. 

In addition, I’ve learned all about Vicodin addiction, and that there’s a very good chance your house or place of work is a death trap!  So, if you suddenly fall ill and cannot get properly diagnosed, who would you rather get advice from?  Someone who spends all their time listening to Mozart and going to the opera, or someone who has logged hundreds of hours watching “House”, “Nurse Jackie”, "Mystery Diagnosis", “Untold Stories of the ER” and countless other medical shows?  Yeah, I thought so!  Now, let’s just say you're having severe stomach cramps but have no idea what the problem could be.  Even though you were told you could never have kids, from my vast experience watching “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant”, I would IMMEDIATELY know you might be in labor.  The first thing I would tell you is to avoid the bathroom at ALL costs, for I've learned that anytime a woman thinks she has severe constipation, it’s only a matter of time before "Surprise!"  There’s a crying baby in the toilet!

- NEW!

What I Think When I Watch American Pickers

by Arianna Archer

1. Where do these junk collectors get the money to amass such an enormous collection of cars, motorcycles, etc.?

2. How do these collectors manage to remain married when their homes/garages/yards are filled with such treasures/(junk)?

3. It’s great to see two men truly passionate about what they do and really love their job.

4. I like it when Mike calls Danielle, “Danny D”.  BTW, it’s obvious (at least to me) that Mike likes Danielle more than Frank does.

5. How even though I hate to shop and couldn’t care less about shoes, I definitely know I have two X chromosomes, because car/motorcycle/bicycle parts fail to make me all “tingly” inside.

6. Frank and Mike are truly nice guys.  They donate important historical items they’ve bought to museums, when they could have made a lot of money selling them.  They’ve also at times paid more than the seller asked for when they felt the item was being undervalued.

7. Mike’s laugh is like a little kid’s, it’s very infectious.  I also admire his TV show knowledge, and I think he’s cute.

8. Considering the fact that when Mike takes a chance on buying something that he’s not sure the value of, almost all the time he ends up making a lot of money, but when Frank does it he almost always loses money, I think maybe Frank should consult with Mike first before he makes big purchases.

9. I'm a little tired of hearing about Frank's clever “bundling” ploy.  Yes, we get it, sometimes people will come down on the price of an item, if you buy more than one.  Anyone who has ever shopped in their lives should be pretty much familiar with the “Buy 2 and get the 3rd 50% off" marketing technique.

10. How even though the show has been on quite awhile now, you never hear these people who Frank and Mike cold call say, "Hey, you’re the guys from American Pickers!"  Do these people just not watch TV, do they not get cable, or do the producers edit that stuff out?