See IT

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

This hilarious British sitcom about the IT department of a big corporation is bloody brilliant.  If you’re not hooked by the first episode, your brain may be experiencing technical difficulties.

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A must see = The Big C

“Listen, I’m a little pressed for time, so do you mind if I just pay for my stuff real quick and be on my way?  Thanks…  Hey, what the hell are you doing?”

“Sorry, I’m a little pressed for time too.  I have cancer.  So do you mind getting your shit off the counter so I can buy my Irises and plant them before I die?  Thanks.”

A comedy about cancer?  Okay, so it’s more of a dramedy, but don’t let that dissuade you from watching this expertly written series about a suburban housewife diagnosed with terminal melanoma.  This is not a sad show about a depressing illness.  It is a fun show about being happy even when everything sucks.  See how Cathy tackles her new circumstances with humor, passion, and an eagerness to experience all that life has to offer.

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Journey to Wonderland with ALICE

“Does this look like a kid’s story to you?”

This thrilling sci-fi/fantasy miniseries based on Lewis Carroll’s classic story originally aired on television in 2009.  Highly recommended for an enormously entertaining adventure through the looking glass.

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Your showtune for June 25 is

“Black and White World” – The It Girl

Music: Paul McKibbins   Lyrics: B.T. McNicholl

In this opening number, a cinema operator is sucked into the black and white world of the classic silent movie It where she becomes the new leading lady and girl with it all: style, sex appeal, and eventually, the man of her dreams.  It’s musical fluff that is not very memorable but pleasant nonetheless, much like the first color TV program broadcast on this day in 1951.  While pleasant, the program was not very memorable since black and white televisions prevented the majority of people from enjoying it.

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Your showtune for June 6 is

“I Read” – Passion

Music and Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim

Premiering on this day in 1983, TV series Reading Rainbow inspired children by teaching them the value of books.  In this number from Sondheim’s passionate and very adult musical about love and obsession, the ailing Fosca explains why she reads so much.  The song may not be as encouraging as Reading Rainbow was, but it is a brooding meditation that hopefully inspires you to pick up a book and [re]discover for yourself the joys of reading.

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Your showtune for May 26 is

“Cut, Print… Moving On” – Bombshell

Music: Marc Shaiman   Lyrics: Scott Wittman

The development of a new musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe was the focus of Broadway-themed television drama Smash which premiered in 2012.  This number ends act one of Bombshell, the stage show-within-a-show.  Unfortunately, the series was cancelled after the second season and ended on this day in 2013.  Cut, print…  Moving on.

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Your showtune for May 7 is

“Off to the Races” – The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Music and Lyrics: Rupert Holmes

Television viewers went off to the races on this day in 1949 when the first televised coverage of the Kentucky Derby took place.  As this high-spirited song gallops on, the audience is reminded to follow the clues in this musical whodunit based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished murder mystery.  This is important because the outcome of the show depends on the audience members, who vote to determine the killer/ending.

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