I don’t usually get around to watching much Netflix. And not because Netflix isn’t great, but because there is so much content being offered all over. When I do drift back to Netflix, they never disappoint. But it is my place for seeing things on the BBC. The BBC has yet to disappoint me. With Luther and Sherlock under their belt, I knew that that I could get into most things they produce. I remember hanging with a friend of mine and her pointing out that I love period pieces… and made so much sense… like a light bulb went off in my mind. If you have read my post about Peaky Blinders…. then you are already aware. But much before I put onto the Peaky Blinders… I watched Ripper Street. Back when I had a DVD collection, I was looking for things to go into it…. and Amazon recommended that I buy this collection as it fit with my recommendations. (That damn Amazon.) They were right. I used to be pretty daring… I mean to buy a show that you have never seen is pretty bold to me.
Keep in mind, period pieces can be hard to watch. Particularly, when you know the time. Women who aren’t married… could only be prostitutes. I had to remember that when I started watching these shows. Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in the East End of London. The series begins in April 1889, six months since the last Jack the Ripper killings, and in Whitechapel the H Division is responsible for policing one and a quarter square miles of East London: a district with a population of 67,000 poor and dispossessed. The men of H Division had hunted the Ripper and failed to find him. When more women are murdered on the streets of Whitechapel, the police begin to wonder if the killer has returned. I find that I like Matthew McFayden as Inspector Edmund Reid (who was a real person btw). The series only lasted 5 seasons…. would have been 4 if Amazon hadn’t picked it up to stream on prime. Great casting, great acting, costuming and storyline. I couldn’t hate it if I wanted to. Sad thing there is not too many people talking about this show…. and THERE SHOULD BE. Even I didn’t even know of this show until the fourth season had been put out on DVD. Here’s to hoping it becomes a cult classic.
But like I normally do. I’ll list the episodes that stand out to me in the series. If you have any… let me know in the comments section. BBC shows are usually easy to bingewatch. So as always… there are spoilers ahead.
I Need a Light (Season 1, Episode 1) – A young woman is found brutally murdered, (violinist Maude Thwaites) What stuck out to me was the way she was found. While conducting a “Ripper” tour of London’s East End, the tour guide and his charges are horrified to stumble on the murdered body of a young woman, seemingly mutilated in the same fashion as the Ripper’s victims. However, an autopsy by Jackson suggests it is a copy-cat killing. One-time H Division boss Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline believes that Jack has returned, but Reid – the precinct’s new master – suspects a different evil at work. It was interesting to watch Reid’s mind work. It was great to see him thinking outside of the box. It sets the stage for how we know he will work as the series wear on. Detective Inspector Reid and his team enter stumble unto Sir Arthur Donaldson. He is revealed to be a pioneer in early photographic pornography and producer/star of one of the first ‘snuff films’. Reid learns that Donaldson purchased the services of Rose and another prostitute. Rose having already taken photos with him. He plans on killing two more prostitutes. But Reid and his crew find them before anyone else can could be killed.
Threads of Silk Gold (Season 2, Episode 5) – The murder of a telegraph boy uncovers a secret network of homosexual prostitution within the post office. Two of the young men are found to have been blackmailing a client, which could lead to potential scandal. The investigation leads Reid to Barings Bank and the apparent suicide of one of its employees and a missing folio of the Bank’s business in an economic disaster in Argentina that would bankrupt the bank. The great thing about the characters here are that they are real. In Jackson’s case… I could never tell whether or not I liked him from one episode to the next. Jackson’s means of ridding himself and Long Susan of the debt they owe the moneylender, Silas Duggan, backfires when he loses all their money in Argentine stocks. (The more things change the more they stay the same.)
A Man of My Company ( Season 1, Episode 7)– An American shipping magnate’s arrival in London coincides with a series of murders, while the man’s Pinkerton bodyguards plan revenge against their former comrade, Homer Jackson. An international shipping magnate, Theodore P Swift, arrives in London with his Pinkerton guard to complete the acquisition of an ailing London shipping line. The leader of the visiting Pinkerton clan, Frank Goodnight, badly wants to find Captain Homer Jackson. (Nothing good can come of it… especially for Jackson.) Jackson, however, doesn’t wish to be found. The murdered body of an engineer, inventor of a new ship’s engine that could save the ailing company, draws Reid’s attention. Reid’s investigation of the engineer’s wife, has disastrous results for Constable Hobbs. Poor Jackson, revenge is a hell of a thing. Goodnight’s handiwork places Jackson under the suspicion of Chief Inspector Abberline when a prostitute is found murdered in the same manner as the Ripper’s victims.
What Use Our Work? (Season 1 Episode 8) – With Abberline convinced that Jackson is The Ripper, the captain is in custody and facing the death penalty. Reid is convinced of Jackson’s innocence, and brings in Joseph Lavender who had seen The Ripper with one of his victims the previous year, but Lavender proves not to be the key to Jackson’s release from custody. (You think I wasn’t annoyed at this. And I don’t even think annoyed is the right word.) Rose leaves the brothel to stay at Mrs Reid’s shelter and, through a newspaper lonely hearts page, she seeks out a wealthy husband. When Rose disappears, Reid and Drake suspect that a white slavery ring is operating in their midst, with previous Ripper suspect, Victor Silver, at its head. (Did not see that coming at all.) Jackson is eventually given the chance to prove to everyone (most importantly Abberline) that he is not Jack the Ripper. Reid, Drake and Jackson are left free to continue cleaning up the streets of Whitechapel.
Our Betrayal Part 1 & 2 (Season 2, Episodes 7 & 8) – To say that there is a bunch going on in this 2 part episode is one hell of an understatement. Rose searches for a missing Drake. Jackson’s brother, Daniel Judge, arrives with a stolen rough diamond from a South African mining company. Long Susan has pressing matters when Silas Duggan moves into Tenter Street intent on taking her absent husband’s place. (BTW, Long Susan had to be my favorite character.) Reid and Flight investigate a confidence trickster who has cheated jeweler Nathaniel Hinchcliffe and under the protection of Inspector Shine seems untouchable. Jackson believes the diamond will solve his problems with Long Susan but agents of the mining company seek its return. Reid’s investigation of the confidence trickster is undermined by betrayal and a coincidence brings Drake back to Leman Street with the body of Hinchcliffe. Three corpses found in a slum tenement murdered in the same way as Hinchcliffe lead Reid, by Flight’s testimony, to Inspector Shine’s doorstep. Identifying the corpses leads to a property trail and Silas Duggan whom Jackson’s brother wants to sell the stolen diamond. Unable to prosecute Shine or Duggan, Jackson and Long Susan see a way to gain revenge on Duggan while Reid seeks Shine’s demise in a boxing match with Drake. (This is where we see dissension between Drake and Reid or at least start to which will mark the rest of the series.)
Whitechapel Terminus (Season 3, Episode 1) – Now this is the episode where I started to dislike Long Susan. Susan has always been well-intentioned, but never quite able to carry that over into practice. This season opener picks up four years after those events of the 2 part episode (Our Betrayal). Reid has fallen far from the moralistic, upstanding inspector he had begun the series as. Despite their separation, Reid, Drake and Jackson find themselves drawn back together in Whitechapel after a tragic train accident kills 55 people and leaves a mystery to be solved. A daring robbery is attempted and is successful but not without causing a serious accident. We find out that it is Susan’s solicitor, Capshaw, whose plan to balance the books of Susan’s Obsidian Estates results in the train accident. This is the season where we see Reid coming apart at the seams. The scene with Abberline quickly called attention to Reid’s fastidious attention to his work, now descending into obsession with his work in the archives.
Your Father, My Friend (Season 3, Episode 4) – Since Reid is away, it is Drake that steps up to run H Division and does well at it. Reid… was my favorite character. But he has had several issues. His daughter that disappeared and is presumed dead. It tears apart his marriage… as he throws himself into work. But at work, he fails to capture the ripper so he is also coming up short there. Rose’s sighting of Alice/Matilda running away from her captors prompts Drake to seek out his inspector and return him to Whitechapel. They return to Whitechapel and eventually locate Mathilda at a brothel, where she had been taken by teen-aged pimp Harry Ward. Matilda leads them on a merry chase through the streets of Whitechapel until Reid notices a pattern to her behavior that echoes the Ripper killings. Dr. Frayn tells Reid she has reason to believe Mathilda saw his files on Jack the Ripper and the details of his first two murders, with the images of his victims scarring her and pushing her away from Reid. Fred Best shadows Capshaw believing that he has something to do with the train crash and produces evidence to show that the stolen money belonged to Susan’s father – which he gives to Jackson. Was Fred Best annoying to me? Sure… but only in the way that I have seen journalist almost ruin investigations before. However, just like everyone else in the cast…. he has more too him and you wonder what he may do in the future. Reid is reunited with his daughter. Jackson confronts Susan and they reconcile romantically. Jackson believes she is innocent and points Reid towards Capshaw. Before Reid can arrest the solicitor, Susan shoots him from behind the curtains and then kills Capshaw as he gloats over Reid’s body, making it look as if they shot each other in self defense. (That damn Long Susan…. I love to hate her… but here again…. she is just trying to make it and keeps getting caught up with the wrong men…. this means more in a time when women have absolutely no rights.)
Live Free, Live True (Season 3, Episode 7) – Here is another topic that while in the middle of a period piece… we are still talking (read: arguing about) to this day. Inspector Reid is back to work in full force, while newly reunited daughter Mathilda stays home waiting alone. When a poor frightened-looking woman gives what appears to be her last dollar to a chemist—most of us already know what’s coming: abortion. Then as now, the illegality of abortions leads to unsafe, unsanitary conditions and the unscrupulous doctors who take advantage. The girl is found vomiting her guts out in the streets, and is tended to by her adoptive father, George. George works construction at Obsidian Estates. The chemist, Currie, is murdered, and it’s learned that he’s been treating his patients with a dangerous led solution—poisoning several. Drake and Reid investigate, though Drake is confident that Reid is back to work too soon. Jackson finds money stuffed into the facial cavities of the murdered chemist. (Just gross but one could argue that it is a powerful statement.) Mary is also being wooed by her father’s boss, Edwin Havelock. Mary has been taken to Obsidian clinic where Frayne is disgusted to see another young woman victimized by unscrupulous abortionists. Frayne maintains that she could perform abortions safely, cleanly, and affordably for them—except that she’d be breaking the law. Even then, criminalizing abortions only serves to negatively impact the women who need them. (I feel like I have heard this somewhere before.) Frayne meets her mentor, Doctor Rolle and agrees to petition Susan Hart to offer contraceptives and abortion services in her clinic. Susan won’t even consider it which I found to be weird and disturbing… in this line of work and given how intelligent she is… but I digress. Havelock takes Mary to the clinic, where Frayne assures her that she will not die. Rolle arrives at Frayne’s office to show her the procedure they’ll be using. But wait—this isn’t just abortion, it’s sterilization. When I tell you all that shocked wasn’t the right word for me. Rolle is totally fine with preventing women he sees as lowly from ever having children. (What a douche. We are good for pleasure but do not bear children. Another age old argument.) Frayne is about to throw her mentor out on his ass, but that’s when Reid and Drake show up to arrest him. She gives him up immediately, declaring him a criminal and looking more angry and sad than we’ve ever seen her.
The Peace of Edmund Reid (Season 3, Episode 8) – By this point in the show, In an attempt to rob her father, Long Susan caused a massive train crash that killed more than 50 people. In the ensuing cover-up she also shot Reid, but not fatally. Still, he’s suffering some after-effects but nonetheless refusing to quit his job. Jackson’s just about to discover that Susan’s fingerprints are all over the gun that shot Reid, and he doesn’t even know that she’s pregnant yet. Fred Best is having dinner with a gross American reporter named Ackerman. Ackerman congratulates Best on uncovering information on the stolen bonds. Seems Ackerman’s been looking into Swift and now the two men are arranging an information exchange. Ackerman warns Best to get what he needs from his office and then get away from there and find someplace to hide. Ralph Ackerman is tortured and killed. Theodore P. Swift has returned to London to dissolve Obsidian Estates to make way for his expanding business. Meanwhile, having matched the fingerprints found on the gun, Jackson confronts Susan about shooting Reid, which she confirms, along with the revelation she is pregnant. Best goes on the run for fear of his life at the hands of Swift’s men. Reid meets with Susan, and offers to spare her instant arrest if she helps him bring down Swift. Jackson manages to find Best, and offers to keep him safe in the confines of his rooms, but Best ignores warning and goes in search of the truth.
A White World Made Red (Season 4, Episode 4) – The discovery of a body drained of its blood in a Whitechapel meat store leads Drake and Reid to suspect that a further victim lay dead elsewhere. A quick search turns up a young woman, dead, not far away, with a puncture wound to her neck similar to that on our male victim, both having been the subject of a gruesome blood transfusion experiment that appears to have gone badly wrong. During the post mortem of the first victim, Jackson discovers wounds which suggest the man was taken to the rope just 24 hours previously, and should therefore be held in the morgue at London City Hospital. Jackson lets Reed know this bit of information, and Reid pays a visit to Frederick Treves, who denies all knowledge of a body disappearing from his morgue. The victim’s identity is discovered when a card in his possession reveals him to be an occupant of the Polish workhouse. There, Thatcher finds another victim, Magdalena, and uncovers a man’s desperate plot to find a blood donor for his seriously ill daughter.
No Wolves in Whitechapel (Season 4, Episode 6) – Someone is roaming the streets of Whitechapel, biting the hell out of people and killing them. Vampires? Werewolves? The police thought it was Isaac Bloom, but since it looks like he/it has struck again, Bloom is now an unlikely candidate. Drake is distraught when Thomas Gower is found stabbed on the streets of Whitechapel, having been the victim of an attack by a perpetrator described as the ‘Whitechapel Golem’ by witnesses. Jackson’s post-mortem, however, throws up some interesting questions when Gower is found to have sustained similar injuries to that of the victim of incarcerated murderer Isaac Bloom. Reid begins to question if Gower’s murder is somehow linked to Bloom’s case, but his findings only throw further shade on Drake’s investigation. The investigation is now open once again, and everyone keeps telling Drake that this wasn’t his fault and he shouldn’t feel guilty. Drake does feel guilty because not only did his investigation lead to the hanging of an innocent man, it also resulted in the death of Thomas Gower. When a third victim is discovered by the local rabbi, Dove is forced to step in and gives Drake a grilling. Reid and Drake are forced to set their differences aside and work together to capture the now suspected serial killer operating in the city.
Edmund Reid Did This (Season 4, Episode 7) – Drake and Reid are convinced that Dove is somehow implicated in the case of the Whitechapel Golem, and with the help of Rachel Costello, uncover evidence that suggests that he was one of two young boys who were ambushed by wolves whilst travelling from their Jewish community to the streets of Whitechapel, in the care of the murdered Rabbi. Thatcher and Drummond organize a sting to capture those responsible for the theft of three priceless porcelain vases, but are shocked when they find Jackson in possession of the stolen loot. Incarcerated, Jackson gives Reid information which leads him to the docker’s yard, where he finds the Golem and Long Susan. Castello, meanwhile, stops by to tell Drake that his wife was walking arm in arm with Dove (gasp!) and Drake, already fairly worked up, goes home to confront the pair as they come in. He ends up beating the crap out of Dove and demanding to know if he and Rose have been having an affair. She denies it. He leaves. Dove asks Rose where Theodore was killed and she tells him it was in the basement at the new Cobden Estate. Reid’s plans to bring down Dove are screwed when Rose offers information which leads Dove to the body of Theodore Swift, and a message, which reads ‘Edmund Reid Did This’. Dove sends a message to Leman Street ordering the officers there to arrest Reid and Drake. Luckily, no one is eager to arrest their comrades/bosses, so everyone just sits on their hands. Reid, Drake, Jackson and Long Susan head to the tunnels to find Dove and Nathaniel but find Croker nearing death. The four separate to find the brothers, with Drake confronting Nathaniel. They viciously fight each other, which ends with Nathaniel biting Drake on the neck, mortally wounding him. Nathaniel flees as Reid, Jackson and Long Susan arrive to tend to Drake, but Drake dies. Let me explain how sad I was… but I was pretty sure it was going to be one of the three (Jackson, Reid or Drake.) Usually when they want a series to end, main characters start dying. I knew it was coming but it made it no better. Hard times in Whitechapel.
Closed Casket (Season 5, Episode 1) -The great thing about season 5 is that it almost did not happen. Thank goodness for Amazon. Also thank goodness for me finding this show as Season 5 was airing because I am not sure I would NOT have been okay otherwise. Reid, Jackson and Susan – on the run from the police – and in the care of Jackson’s former flame Mimi Morton (Now… that is a big woman… to have hid her former lover… and his love and their son) – must find a way to bring down Assistant Commissioner Dove, and reveal the truth about his long-lost brother, serial killer Nathaniel. Reid and Jackson discover that Nathaniel was responsible for an attack in which a fight dog was stolen from its owner, and set about finding out the location of the next dogfight. Before they arrive, Nathaniel sets all of the fight dogs free, causing a stampede through Whitechapel. Reid and Jackson pursue, but lose Nathaniel in the crowd. Meanwhile, H division are introduced to their new leader – the feared Inspector Jedediah Shine, former leader of K division. (That dude is no joke. UGH. Hated him.)
A Brittle Thread (Season 5, Episode 2) – Reid and Jackson are forced to run for cover when Shine and Thatcher arrive at the theatre, suspecting it to be their hiding place. Jackson is forced to control his trigger finger when Shine threatens to harm Mimi, but she manages to keep her cool. After the close call with Shine in the opening episode, Reid and Jackson devise a way of discrediting Dove with an inventive use of a corpse and some dentures. Dove seeks to continue his wrecking ball approach to Reid’s reputation by pulling the records of previous discrepancies and making them public. hey decide to use the recently deceased body of a docksman as a ploy to smoke Nathaniel out of hiding. They recreate the injuries caused to his earlier victims using wolves’ teeth, and leave the body in an alley just yards from Leman Street. Shine, however, is too clever by half and identifies the body as a hoax. When the morning paper portrays Reid as somewhat of a vigilante hero, Shine confronts editor Castello, but his interrogation proves too much for Thatcher – who, fed up with being under the reign of a bully and potential sexual predator, seeks out Reid, Jackson and Susan to offer them much needed help. The opposing forces of Reid and Dove were fun to watch. As Shine observes, it’s a battle of two tacticians, matched in wit and operating on the strength of their respective knowledge of the other.
A Last Good Act (Season 5, Episode 5) – The situation is looking bleak for Reid and Jackson. I had a love hate relationship with Long Susan but I was sad that the net was closing in on her. Long Susan didn’t take no shit though… With Reid incarcerated, Jackson and Susan plan their escape with Connor. Susan, however, cannot bear to see Mathilda’s relationship with her father laid in ruins, and in an attack of conscience, hatches a plan with Jackson to break Reid out of custody. Reid, however, has other ideas and refuses to go along with Jackson’s plan. Having sent Thatcher to exhume the body of Robin Sumner in the hope of proving Dove’s guilt, Reid lies in wait for the walls of H division to come crashing around him. Dove, however, is warned of Thatcher’s plans and, at the boy’s graveside, brings about Thatcher’s demise and disposes of his body in the river. Nathaniel, however, witnesses the entire event and takes Robin’s body to Susan.
Occurrence Reports (Season 5, Episode 5) – Dove is brought to justice, as are his brother Nathaniel and Susan. I think I wanted by this time for Susan to get away. But I have to say that on some level that I knew that she couldn’t escape the rope twice. To cover up the public scandal the Commissioner orders that Dove be imprisoned without trial under a false name. Instead of going to Susan’s execution, Jackson leaves with Connor for the United States. (I really want them to be together and ride off into the sunset. But they could never get it together and my heart just broke.) Reid is reinstated as inspector. Mathilda marries and, being pregnant, leaves Whitechapel for a healthier setting to raise her child. Reid refuses to go with her and contents himself with reading her frequent letters and looking at the pictures she sends him. Mimi’s Alexandria Theatre opens to the public and, on New Year’s Eve 1899, Mimi leaves with a suitor after getting news of Jackson’s death in the United States. Reid remains troubled by memories of Jack the Ripper and attempts to find closure for having failed to solve the case. This proves fruitless, and he continues to police Whitechapel as its sole guardian, spending the turn of the century alone in his office reading daily occurrence reports. For Reid’s character, I don’t see him ending up any different. I was not surprised. I can’t say I am mad about how he ended. Reid was a character that you knew wasn’t going to shy away from his calling.
I never have an issue if it was on BBC… especially if it was a period piece from the BBC. This did not let me down at all. There were plenty of highs and several lows. It is funny because I am used to shows that have several seasons with several episodes. The BBC is know for being great with a few episodes in a few seasons. If you need a good show… look no further. I can’t gush over this enough. If you have seen it, let me know what you enjoyed or what you hated.
As you guy know, I love a good list. I have been keeping myself sane by making lists of things I want to do when the world opens back up again. If you have been keeping up my word vomit, then you have read about my potential trips around different countries such as China, Japan, the UK, and Canada. But I think for this one, I am going to be focusing on different areas of the U.S. that I want to explore in the next few years. There is a lot to see and do in my own backyard. And I plan on dragging family and friends with me on my adventures. One of the things that I have been using to get by is WatchMojo’s Youtube channel of random Top 10’s. And I do mean random. What I was stoked to learn was that WatchMojo launched a travel channel. MojoTravels. Now, for me, here’s a channel where they have outlined great places around the world to travel. So let us jump into it. In no order, here we go.
Grand Canyon, Arizona – There is a lot of natural beauty here. I see a lot of opportunity here for awesome photos. New Camera on deck. You can take river trips here and even go biking. Seems like there is a lot you can do here that even I didn’t know about. (https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm)
The Adirondacks, New York – Because of Mojotravels, I have been able to see all the great things that Upstate, New York has to offer especially since everyone thinks about the city when referring to New York. Apparently, there is a bunch to do in the Adirondack Mountains such as Buttermilk Falls, High Falls Gorge as well as the Revolutionary Rail in North Creek.
Catskills, NY – So I have seen that Upstate New York has a lot to offer. But I was specifically looking at the Windham Bike Park. I am so into Bike Parks now. It will happen and I shall drag at least my sister and Leah. They also have great scenery. Keaterskills Falls, Hunter Mountain Scenic Skyride, and Thompkins Falls are all on my list. I shall conquer it all. And of course, the Catskill Park.
Finger Lakes, NY – There are 11 finger-shaped lakes cross the heart of New York in this region of refreshing waterfalls, gorgeous gorges, sun-kissed vineyards, and lush forests. There are several parks that I would want to hike here. But mostly this would be where I would settle for a winter trip in a cabin or a summer trip just chilling at the lake.
Branson, MO – I had a friend that had gone to Branson for a good time. In looking at there website, there seems to be a bunch to do for all ages. Zip lining/Canopies tours, helicopter tours, and other family fun. The website has a lot to offer. In terms of this list, this would probably be very low. It may be a bit too rustic for my tastes. (https://www.explorebranson.com)
Universal Studios, Florida – I can see my family having a great time together. I went back in 2014. I remember that they opened the third park, Volcano Bay, at the end of May. And it was fantastic. My nephew would love the spider man ride. I plan on staying at least 5 days and getting into all three parks. I am still trying to decide if we are going to stay at the resort or not. My sister would love the King Kong ride. Leah and I need to scope out that new ride at Harry Potter World (Hagrid Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure) I also didn’t ride the Escape from Gringotts. So best believe when I make it back there, I am going to tackle everything. And I like the idea of the new Jurassic Park ride (Jurassic World Velocicoaster). This is pretty high up there.
Disney World, Florida – It has always been my dream to drag friends and family through Epcot and the animal kingdom. Obviously, we need 7 days to complete everything. Totally looking forward to that Tower of Terror. Everyone better get ready, get on board. Let’s get it people. This will take a BUNCH of planning. I will go get some color coded sticky notes.
SeaWorld – Let me tell y’all something about my nephew. HE LOVES SHARKS. I didn’t know that SeaWorld has rides and other things. I can imagine that this will be great thing for the kids in my family. The great thing is that SeaWorld tickets can be bought in conjunction with other parks. Such as Busch Gardens… which I am sure we will be doing as well. Good times. I’ll have to start stretching now for all the walking I am going to have to do. Although, with all the things about SeaWorld in the news in recent years… I wonder if it is even worth it.
Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay – If you are heading down to FL to do the theme park thing, then why not stop here. It has stuff for everyone to do. I think for small kids the animal attraction is fun. My family will be there, and I’ll try and drag Leah along it will be great. Good times.
Lake Tahoe – This was something I have been talking with friends about for ages at least in passing. Hopefully that will be soon… but there are fun things to do there all year round. Of course, more water based things in the Summer… and Skiing and Snowboarding in the Winter. If and when I get there… I will write up my experiences. Been a long time since I seen snow.
Hawaii – All the things Hawaii. If someone told me to pack up we are heading to Hawaii… I would totally do it… and not even ask what part. I am sure that I will have fun learning and exploring not matter where I land. Leah better be ready. (There is also a Disney resort there.) I have had several friends get married there. No one has a bad thing to say about Hawaii. I will get there soon.
Yosemite, California – Yosemite National Park is located in the central Sierra Nevada of California. I hear it has great views. And I need something new to point my new camera at. Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, and glaciers. I am totally ready to drag anyone and everyone with me. But again, I am going to have to do a lot of stretching to get ready.
San Diego, California – I have recently been interested in visiting places on the west coast. San Diego pops up in my mind a lot. There is a lot that we can do on the beach, different harbor cruises… The San Diego Zoo and more. I think my sister is much more looking forward to the eats. But I am looking forward to the San Diego Museum of Art. I am ready for California.
San Francisco, California – Heading to the home of the San Francisco treat. I am looking forward to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. Definitely Alcatraz. I am also going to drag my sister to the cable car and out to Fisherman’s Wharf and ChinaTown. I am ready to paint the town red. Seems like a fun time to be had by all.
Las Vegas, Nevada – It wasn’t until recently that I was even remotely interested in visiting Vegas. Most people talking about drinking, and gambling. Of which I do neither. But there is definitely more to the city. Looking forward to visiting Red Rock Canyon, the Hoover Damn and the Titanic artifact exhibit. I am a nerd by the way. Shelby American Museum btw…
Miami, FL – Beaches… but you can do that in most of these places on my list… I like the idea of the Wynwood Walls and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. There is also a little Havana… which I think will be fun. Plus I hear the food is great. I am sure my sister will love that.
Seattle, Washington – I am definitely looking forward to dragging my friends and my sister here. I mean they all drink coffee. Why not go to the birthplace of Starbucks? I am looking forward to the Space Needle, and the Monorail. I have also heard great things about the Museum of Pop Culture. Seems like there is a bunch to do. I do not see a downside. I hear that it rains a lot so I will have to plan accordingly. (https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/sightseeing/top-25-attractions/)
Alaska – There is so much that can be done here. Northern Lights come to mind. Dog Sledding, Glacier tours, rafting tours, Ziplining and ATV Tours as well as Bear Viewing Tours. Sounds like nothing but a good time. I have had a few family members and friends that talk about their Whale watching tours and I can just see myself doing all of the things. .
I have a lot to cross off my list… I have a few other major cities to visit… so I better start putting money to the side. Let me know… where you want to head.
I have long said the great thing about streaming services is being able to watch things that were a bit over my head as a kid. With HBOMax… all old things are new again. So with my friend streaming it, I decided to give it a try. It is worth saying, I had a close friend that had the show on dvd. The Nanny is a sitcom which originally aired on CBS from 1993, to 1999, starring Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, a Jewish fashionista from Flushing, Queens, New York, who becomes the nanny of three children from the New York-British high society. The fun thing about this show is that I am also from Queens… so this first watch through, I was able to catch different references. Fun times. The show is also loaded with a number of guest stars some before they hit widespread fame. These include: Joan Collins, Jane Seymour, Patti LaBelle, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, Rosie O’Donnell, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, John Stewart, Jason Alexander, Jason Marsden and Elizabeth Taylor. So as is always the case. I have picked a handful of episodes that stuck out to me and had me in stitches.
So here we are in no particular order:
Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1) – I have to start with the pilot… because I remember breaking up with a guy that I worked with… and then needing a new career asap. Long story. But just like the theme song says she ends up being dumped and fired the same day. She is forced to try selling make up door to door for money. I admire her hustle. I mean she was out there door to door right after losing her job. It is funny that the theme song highlights the pilot episode perfectly. When she get to the Sheffield’s door, Maxwell believes she is there for the Nanny position. I think my favorite part is when Brighton comes in faking an injury and dies in front of her. Fran who claims this job will be easy… steps over him and continues talk to Maxwell. She claims to have experience taking care of children. Imagine showing up for a job where you have no experience and your resume written in lipstick… and still getting the job. There are a lot of character introductions made in this episode but somehow… it doesn’t seem like too much to remember. From Maxwell and his children, to C.C. Babcock, to Niles the butler… It somehow worked just fine. What I enjoyed most about this episode and becomes the catalyst for the show (Fran upsetting the apple cart.) Maxwell is have a backer’s party to fundraise for his production, and Fran is excited to go along with the children—until they inform her that they, along with the nanny, are not invited. Fran and the kid’s show up all dolled up (Fran in a loud red dress) and they are allowed to stay. It is one of the first times that Fran is fired from her position. Another running theme.
My Fair Nanny (Season 1, Episode 3) – This episode was pretty fun to me. Naturally, Fran would have been fired by now IRL… but she lives in TV Land. CC proposes to enroll Maggie into the debutante ball, an idea which Maggie objects to. Maggie is not a fan of the girls that are apart of this ball. Fran decides that she can ease the tension by throwing a high tea for Maggie to get in good with the mothers and daughters. However, C.C. (who is still annoyed that Fran is still around) puts in Fran’s head that she not going to fit in with the uptight group and will ruin Maggie’s reputation. (C.C. was on the right track with this assessment. Except she has no caring about anyone other than herself.) Fran seeks Maxwell and Niles’ tutelage of how to be a socialite. Fun scenes ensue with them commenting on how they need to get rid of her accent and when she points out that they, too, have an accent. They point out that they are British and will be viewed as classy no matter what they say. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPlyKPqXNzE&t=8s) Niles and Maxwell managed to subdue everything about Fran from her big hair to her big voice… and she wins over the mother’s at the high tea. But Maggie hates the new her and Maggies’s friends are bored out of their mind. She ends up changing back to her old self.
What the Butler Sang (Season 2, Episode 20) – There is something about C.C. and Maxwell finding out that Niles has other skills besides cooking, cleaning and doing their laundry. Niles has a great singing voice and auditions for Maxwell’s new play. That leaves them a person short. Of course, they need someone to cook for the family. Enter Fran’s Sister, Nadine, who is a caterer. This turns into a disaster as most things do when Fran and her family is involved. Nadine becomes more of a nuisance when she starts chasing after Maxwell. Nadine and her husband are estranged and she is looking for a replacement for him. Nadine starts to annoy Fran, who calls Nadine’s husband to come retrieve her. They have a big argument that almost ruins Niles’s audition. C.C. is swept up in the ensuing nonsense as she is trying to keep Fran and Nadine quiet. A tall order in itself. Nothing like 3 grown people running through a mansion top speed and screaming at the top of their lungs while Niles is signing his ass off is just laughable. In the end, Nile’s audition was a success but not in the way one would think. Onlookers were more impressed by what they thought was a slapstick showing in the background than they were about Niles. Poor Niles was soon back to his station in life without even getting a taste of stardom. Poor Niles. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUjaZLNIsi8)
Where’s the Pearls? (Season 3, Episode 20)– I should have known it was a star studded episode when Maxwell starts out trying to get Fran out of the house. Did I think it was going to be Liz Taylor? I should have known… it is 90’s tv. The iconic actress appeared in this episode — along with three other CBS series all airing on the same night — to promote her new fragrance. I am sure at the time… that this was a must see even. Even 20 years later, I am entertained. This storyline is a bit over the top. From Fran’s mother Sylvia (and grandmother Yetta) stowing away in the closet to meet Liz, to Liz handing over her black pearls necklace to Fran entrusting her to find a courier for them. Now even I know, she is the last person I would entrust pearls with. But it wouldn’t be a sitcom otherwise. In Fran’s defense, it was Sylvia’s idea that Fran take over the delivery. She takes a cab, and accidentally bumps her head against the window when the driver (Rosie O’Donnell) misses a red light. She wakes-up in the hospital with amnesia, and believes that she is Mrs. Sheffield (which Maxwell can’t bring himself to correct). However, news about an old rival restores Fran’s memory, and she blurts out that she lost Elizabeth’s pearls just as Maxwell enters.
Lamb Chop’s on the Menu (Season 2, Episode 18) – If I had to rank episodes, this would probably have been number one. If you grew up in in the 90’s, then Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop need no introduction. (I spent many an hour annoying the hell out of my parents with the song that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on my friends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz6OGVCdov8) Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop was a kids show that I watched RELIGIOUSLY growing up. It was very popular… or at least I remember it being. Oddly enough… people don’t really talk much about it anymore. I am 33 and hadn’t thought about Shari Lewis in years. Cue this episode. Fran offers to care for Chester while C.C. is having some work done in her apartment. Meanwhile, C.C. secures the film rights for “Lamb Chop: The Movie”. You guys should have seen my face when they said that Shari would be coming by the house. Now, I didn’t think it would actually be her. (I remembered that she died in the 90’s and wasn’t sure when.) I figured we would get a cheesy look alike… the way they do with Barbara Streisand. No. Shari Lewis herself walked through the door and I couldn’t stop smiling even as an adult. Maxwell tries to only talk to Shari and Fran has to point out that he should make nice with Lamb Chop. Maxwell, at first refuses to do so because she’s just a puppet. But Fran has to point out that he is making the talent mad. Props to Shari Lewis, her comedic timing is impeccable. There were so many sex jokes, I am not sure that I should be laughing. Mr. Sheffield invites guest star Shari Lewis to stay at his house, prompting a star struck Fran and Val to snoop around her guest room. While there, she accidentally lets Chester loose, who, she believes, eats Lamb Chop. Knowing she’ll get in trouble, Fran makes a “Fran-Chop”, a modified version of Lamb Chop, but Niles finds the real puppet in the laundry basket. It was a blast from the past and I was here for it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAT0_yWmSJ8)
Me and Mrs. Joan (Season 4, Episode 6) – Anyone who has watched Dynasty before got a kick out of this episode. I had the SOAPnet channel people. Enter Joan Collins. This episode we get to see a bit more of Maxwell’s family. Up to this point, we had seen his sister marry the chauffeur, and his overbearing mother. This time we see Maxwell’s father, James, is in town and Fran decides to help end the Sheffield family feud by inviting James for dinner. Fran obviously believes that if she can mend the issues between father and son that she will win Sheffield’s heart. That almost never goes according to plan. Especially since she has no clue what the rift is about in the first place. James brings Joan (guest star Joan Collins), his former secretary for whom he left Maxwell’s mother. There is real tension there… and you can also understand why Maxwell is so standoffish. His father left the family devastated and Maxwell doesn’t want to do that to his children. He is also still sad about his wife. Maxwell is outraged at his father’s selfishness during dinner, while Fran keeps wondering why can’t Maxwell act more like his father and marry the help. Fran doesn’t get the big family reunion she is hoping for. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUJNoL2cfGo)
The Nuchslep (Season 1, Episode 4) – This episode was super entertaining to me. Maggie has a first date… and Maxwell being the overprotective father that he is… doesn’t want her to go at all. (Been there done that.) Maxwell claims that it is because the boy, Eddie, (James Marsden), was the very same one he caught kissing Maggie in the pilot episode. Fran tries to argue on behalf of Maggie and Maxwell only relents if Fran agrees to be the chaperone or “nuchslep”. (At that age, I would rather die.) But Maggie seems to take it well. Maggie struggles to get a word in during the date while Fran has no problem keeping the conversation going. Poor Maggie was nervous as all get out. When Eddie calls the next day asking for Fran, Maggie gets jealous and accuses her of stealing her boyfriend. Fran is on the outs with Maggie. But Fran was really doing her job. Have a bit of fun but not too much. Fran blames Maxwell for sending her to be a third wheel. Maxwell blames Fran for not sitting a few rows back at the theater. My favorite was the couple in the theater talking about Fran like she wasn’t there. Fran realizes that she needs to serve as Maggie’s friend as opposed to her nanny, and decides to end things with Eddie, only to discover he just wanted to get his resume to Maxwell through her and that he really does like Maggie. (The big ballon pricker.) Aside from that, this episode also features the first appearance of Chester, C.C.’s vicious Pomeranian who hates his owner and loves Fran. Too funny. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O67-THf4LY4)
Val’s Boyfriend (Season 3, Episode 17) – You gotta love Fran’s friend Val who really is not all there. Both Val and Fran face the same issues, with being over thirty and looking for a man. Very 90’s for women to feel that 30 was the end all be all. (I had my own bout with that but I am reenergized… especially after staying home for a year.) In the way that I am sure has happened to most of us before… our friend gets a significant other and we are still single. So that takes a bit of getting used to. Val gets a new boyfriend and Fran goes through an unusual situation: her best friend has a date and she doesn’t! She tries to find a way to spend her time… and ends up spending it with C.C. C.C. is also at a low point herself because she asked Maxwell for an equal partnership, and after he denies it, she quits. When Val’s boyfriend makes a move on Fran, Val’s just chalks her claims up to being jealous. The memorable scene comes when C.C. takes Fran out for sushi for her first time and Fran mistakes a glob of wasabi for mustard. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YLkLOYrswU) C.C begs Fran to help reunite her with Mr. Sheffield. Fran does so by getting her old music teacher–who happens to look exactly like Marvin Hamlisch (and is played by him)–to pretend to be Hamlisch and convince Maxwell to take C.C. back. In the end, Val’s boyfriend goes too far and reveals himself as the dog he is and gets the boot. And C.C is back with Maxwell.
A Fine Friendship (Season 2, Episode 19)– Grace has a friend over and Fran meets his nanny. More like Hot Manny. Kurt Jacobs is a very attractive man, who Fran treats as one of her girlfriends because she thinks he’s gay. Stereotypes… doing what they do best. Being harmful. When he makes a move on her she freaks out (after all, this is a guy who’s seen her without makeup on). They still go out on a few dates, but it doesn’t work out. And I wasted time hoping that she would get a meaningful relationship… but hell what do I know. Meanwhile, Gracie thinks she’s pregnant after being late to watch The Lion King and overhearing Fran say women who are late are pregnant. Nothing like kids misconstruing something. Fun times. Poor friend of Gracie’s not really understanding how he got her pregnant. HAHAHAHA. Have the talk with your children people.
Fransom (Season 5, Episode 4) – Only Fran Fine would get herself mixed up in a kidnapping plot. Oddly enough, it didn’t dawn on me where this episode was going. Needing extra money for Yetta’s bridal shower, Fran is hired by to be Chester’s dog walker by C.C Babcock. C.C. and Chester were featured on the cover of a magazine so it draws the attention of dognappers. As Fran and Gracie are strolling in Central Park, a man distracts them and steals Chester. He asks for $20,000 for Chester to be returned safe, which C.C. balks at having no emotional connection to the dog. (She even forgets his dog breed.) Fran and Val decide, for that much money, they decide to take over the investigation and rescue Chester themselves. Fran has tracked the dognapper to Greenwich Village. But of course they also end up being kidnapped. Now the kidnapping couple is asking for $40,000 to return the ladies and the dog. Mr. Sheffield goes out for the rescue, but Fran gets rid of the kidnappers with some laxative chocolate Yetta gave her. A rule to live by… be careful of the chocolate given to you by old people.
The Two Mrs. Sheffield’s (Season 3, Episode 9) – Only Fran would run into Maxwell’s mother before she is set to arrive at the house. Fran scuffles with a woman while purchasing flowers to welcome Maxwell’s mother who is visiting. The woman later arrives at the Sheffield house where Fran learns she is Mrs. Elizabeth Sheffield! Oddly enough, or maybe not so oddly, C.C. is the only one that seems to get along with her. Mrs. Sheffield annoys everyone in the house. Mrs. Sheffield tells her son to fire the nanny as she assumes they are in a relationship and doesn’t want history repeating itself like his father (addressed in season 4’s “Me and Mrs. Joan”), but Maxwell proposes to Fran instead just to provoke his mother. (Total jerk move. But Fran fixes him.) When Fran realizes the proposal isn’t real, she decides to toy with Mr. Sheffield and make him feel guilty for the insincere proposal.
Kissing Cousins (Season 4, Episode 13) – Enter Jon Stewart. I love John. Fran meets an incredible man at a singles bar. He’s Jewish, a doctor, rich, and everything Fran ever dreamed of in a man. He looks great on paper. And even Sylvia wouldn’t have anything to complain about. But as we know all that glitters ain’t gold. Fran is stoked about having a date to her cousins wedding. However, they meet up at the wedding only to discover that they are cousins. Seeing Fran devastated, Mr. Sheffield decides to send her to a therapist, Dr. Miller (Spaulding Gray), who says Fran is obsessed with marriage. Fran decides to stop chasing men, just to make Mr. Sheffield guilty.
Stock Tips (Season 2, Episode 9)– Fran meets a man, Glen, at the supermarket and he tells her that he works on Wall Street. Fran introduces him to Maxwell. Glen convinces Maxwell to investing 100,000 dollars in stocks. At this point, I wouldn’t trust anyone that Fran knows… PERIOD. Fran later finds out that Glen is not a stock broker, but a hot dog vendor who literally works on Wall Street. Fran then needs to keep Maxwell from being scammed by infiltrating an exclusive gentleman’s club, prompting her to disguise herself as a man to get inside. Is it even a sitcom if no one is dressing up? Fran pulls it off.
This was a fun show to watch. Aside from the whole have to find a man craziness that woman are still judged on… The show remains hilarious. No one handled the kids better. And the casting was great too. I am not sure anyone other could have played Fran’s mother. I lived for Niles’ zings. Niles and C.C going at it was hilarious for me. Love it.