Friday, May 3, 2013

The "Preserve the Pretties" Philosophy

I haven't written an essay on anything in quite a while, so I figured, since I'm now writing and self-publishing my own original fiction, I'd share a rule that I've developed.

I have always been attracted to the female characters in any given story that I watch or read: Princess Lana on "Captain N: The Game Master", Princess Zelda on "The Legend of Zelda", Roll on "Mega Man", Jun on "Science Ninja Team Gatchaman" (a.k.a. Princess on "Battle of the Planets"), etc.. While everyone else watched "The Transformers" and "G.I. Joe", I was a "Jem" boy. My first comic book was "Supergirl". "The Real Ghostbusters" was one of my big series, but I really loved it when Janine put on a uniform and proton pack. I was ecstatic when I discovered "Sailor Moon" in 2000.

Over time, I have come to prefer the female characters, and my interest in the male characters has decreased. While I got into Transformers in the mid-1990s and into G.I. Joe very recently (last few years), my favorite characters are, of course, Arcee, Carly, Scarlett, etc..

I think my reason for this is I view female characters as cleaner and/or more mature than male characters - and, well, just pretty!

So it really upsets me when they're killed, maimed, arrested, or otherwise traumatized.

The positive viewing experiences of many movies and series that I've watched have been tainted by a character death, an arrest, or something else.

I watched a 26-episode series called "Devil Lady". In the final episode, the main character, a fashion model, survives, but she loses both of her arms. Bye-bye, modelling career. So depressing. I sold the DVD set to a friend.

There's Lamika Lee's pointless suicide at the end of the original "Vampire Hunter D". There's Katrina's and Tara's senseless deaths (not to mention a whole bunch of other girls) on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The Gundam franchise is littered with the corpses of beautiful girls.

Don't even get me started on cop shows. I saw an episode of "CSI: Miami" where one of the culprits happened to be the teen girl that initially reported the deaths. She had inadvertantly killed her mother in a flash of anger (with the object that she'd picked up for self-defense when she'd heard a noise) after learning her mother was sleeping with her (the girl's) boyfriend. She was found out at the end of the episode and hauled off to jail. Bite me. She was justified.

These deaths and other negative events make me enjoy the overall stories less.

That's why I'll never do it in my own fiction.

This brings me to what I called the Preserve the Pretties philosophy: never kill, maim, incarcerate, or permanently traumatize a cute female character. It's a rule that I live by in writing my own original fiction, and I encourage others to do the same.

Need characters to die, suffer, or face the consequences? Males will do just fine, thank you very much. At the end of the battle, the girl emerges triumphant, unharmed, and preserved.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Archie Radio Review: Jokes At Mrs. Lodge's Red Cross Party

Archie Andrews Old-Time Radio Show

"Jokes At Mrs. Lodge's Red Cross Party"*

by Carl Jampel

Original Air Date: 03/15/1947*

Length: 27:59*

Review by Mark Moore

*Notes: The title and original air date come from Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs. They may or may not be accurate. The episode length is the length of the MP3 that I have. The scene lengths include the transitional music after the scene.

00:00 - 00:21

The show starts with a skit between Jughead and Archie that's done in a lot (if not all) of the Archie radio episodes. Here, it goes like this:

Jughead's phone rings.
Jughead: "Hello?"
Archie: "Hello, Jughead, this is Archie. Come over right away. It's a matter of life or death."
Jughead: "Oh, relax, Archie. Relax."

00:21 - 00:37

The announcer, Bob Sherry, introduces the characters (not by name) to a live audience of cheering kids.

00:37 - 05:19

It's Saturday afternoon. Fred Andrews is sitting in the living room, "happily" reading his newspaper. Archie comes over and asks for the comics. Fred refuses. Archie asks for the sports section. Fred angrily refuses to give Archie any section, because Fred is reading. Archie gets on the floor to read the newspaper, but Fred makes him get up. Fred suggests Archie call Veronica, but Archie has nothing to talk to her about. Archie expresses an interest in the movies, so Fred gives him a dollar to see it twice. Mary Andrews walks into the living room and tells Fred to run next door and borrow two onions, because she needs them for dinner. After a bit of arguing, Fred agrees to go. After he leaves, Mary starts to complain, and the phone rings. It's Genevieve Lodge, Veronica's mother. She invites Mary and Fred to her Red Cross benefit party tonight. She wants Fred to tell his funny stories. Mary agrees but worries about it after hanging up. Fred arrives with the onions. Mary tells him about the party, but Fred is upset and badmouthes the parties, the "stuffy" people, the bad food, and Mrs. Lodge herself. Fred says he's not going to the party, but he changes his mind when Mary mentions that Mrs. Lodge wants him to tell his jokes.

05:19 - 12:05

Mary is in the kitchen, chopping the onions. Fred comes into the kitchen and wants Mary to listen to his routine. Mary agrees, but the chopping distracts him, and he tells her to stop. He starts to tell his joke, but she finishes it, which upsets him, and she apologizes. Fred starts to tell his second joke, but Archie comes home, singing, which continuously interrupts Fred. Fred calls Archie into the kitchen. Archie comes in, singing. Archie explains that he's imitating an actor in the movie that he saw. Fred tells Archie to be quiet, Archie apologizes, and Mary is upset at Fred. Fred tries to guilt-trip Archie. Archie apologizes again. Archie starts crying. Mary thinks it's because of what Fred said and makes him apologize to Archie. Archie accepts but continues crying. Fred demands to know why. Archie says there must be onions around here. Mary reveals her onions. Fred complains to Mary. Mary apologizes. Fred tells Archie to go into the other room and be quiet. Archie leaves. Fred finishes his second joke. Mary laughs but then cries. Fred asks if she's crying at his joke. Mary says no; it's the onions. Fred decides to go someplace else to rehearse.

12:05 - 16:46

Archie is outside, enjoying the fresh air. Jughead comes by. Archie tells Jughead about the movie that he saw, which was all about Al Jolson. Archie, who claims to be better than the actor (Larry Parks), demonstrates his singing for Jughead. Jughead joins in, which upsets Archie. Archie sings another song. Jughead joins in again, which upsets Archie. Archie and Jughead gets into an argument. Betty, who sees them from her house, comes over and interrupts them. Betty asks what they're arguing about. Archie and Jughead get into an argument again, and Betty interrupts them, asking since when either of them could sing. Archie asks if Betty wants to hear him sing. Betty says she should know better but agrees. Archie sings. Betty finds it nice and asks if he meant it about being in love. Archie tells her to never mind the song and asks about his singing. Veronica arrives in her car and honks. She gets out and meets with the others. Veronica mentions her date with Archie tonight and badmouthes Betty. Betty, trying to get back at her, says Archie has been "serenading" him. Veronica angrily breaks their date and leaves. Archie is upset. Betty apologizes to him. Archie brushes it aside, saying he's been looking forward to playing gin rummy with Jughead for a long time.

16:46 - 17:21

Mary and Fred are ready to go to the party. Fred asks if Archie's going with them. Mary says Archie has a date with Veronica. Fred is surprised, and Mary guesses Veronica isn't going to her mother's party.

17:21 - 27:26

Mrs. Lodge greets Fred and Mary and mentions that "Mrs. Hastings" is playing the piano. Fred complains about the music, and Mary admonishes him. Mrs. Lodge seats them. Fred fidgets. Mary tells him to stop. Fred applaudes prematurely when he thinks Mrs. Hastings is done but then apologizes. Mary shushes him. Mrs. Hastings finishes playing. Everyone except Fred applaudes. Mary gets him to applaud. Mrs. Lodge addresses the guests and compliments Mrs. Hastings on the music. She walks over to Fred and Mary. Fred compliments Mrs. Lodge on the music. Mrs. Lodge says she'd heard better. Veronica comes over to them and says some of the guests are leaving. Mrs. Lodge says she was afraid of that and introduces the guests to Fred. Fred goes over, makes some introductory comments, and starts to tell his first joke, but Archie starts singing. When he stops, Fred tries to tell his joke again, but Archie starts singing again. Fred goes over to the garden and demands that Archie come into the house. Archie is embarrassed when he sees the crowd. Jughead comes in, too. Mrs. Lodge is upset at Archie, but Veronica sticks up for him and convinces her mother to let Archie sing for the party, which upsets Fred. Mrs. Lodge moves his jokes to later. Fred says he and Archie are going to have "a long, long talk". Archie sings "Sonny Boy" by Al Jolson while Mrs. Hastings plays the piano. It receives thunderous applause and cheers. Mrs. Lodge, Veronica, Mary, and Fred praise Archie's singing. Veronica apologizes for thinking Archie couldn't sing and offers Archie "a great, big kiss", which causes the crowd to cheer. Fred apologizes to Archie. Mary says she's proud of Archie. Mrs. Lodge uses the moment to take up another Red Cross collection. Fred asks Archie why he didn't tell them about this secret talent, but Archie says that wasn't talent; he was standing next to a table with onions.

27:26 - 27:59

Bob Sherry gives the closing remarks. Only the writer, Archie and Jughead's actors, and the director are credited.

As you can tell, I decided to review an episode of the old Archie radio show this time. Why? I must hate myself.

Seriously, this is one of the most banal Archie stories that I've come across. It's filled with a lot of small talk and moments of confusion among the characters that fills up the time. I didn't even bother summarizing everything, because it's so trivial. The writer seemed to be lazy and just threw in a bunch of filler to ssstttrrreeetttccchhh things out. Look at those scene lengths! Every episode that I have is like this. This plot could have been told as a 6-page comic book story with no important losses. Hey, Archie Comics! Why not do that? Adapt the old radio episodes as "new" comic stories.

This episode is odd in that there are no commercial breaks, which means the story is a bit longer than usual.

Here is the main voice cast:

Archie Andrews - Bob Hastings
Jughead Jones - Harlan Stone
Fred Andrews - Arthur Kohl
Mary Andrews - Alice Yourman
Betty Cooper - Rosemary Rice
Veronica Lodge - Gloria Mann

This isn't the original cast. The show ran for a long time. These are the NBC actors.

Bob Hastings is annoying and wimpy as Archie. Interestingly, he'd voice another comic book character, Commissioner James Gordon, decades later on "Batman: The Animated Series", where he'd do a much better job.

Harlan Stone is atrocious as Jughead. Enough said.

The rest of the cast is fine.


Archie and Jughead are annoying.

Fred is the world's most impatient and inconsiderate person.

Veronica has a Southern accent. I can't picture that.

Mrs. Lodge is stuffy and arrogant.

Random thoughts:

Genevieve was one of Mrs. Lodge's first names before they settled on Hermione.

Archie's singing is annoying - except for the final song.

The movie that Archie sees is "The Al Jolson Story" (10/10/1946), which seems a bit old for this episode.

Jughead has an annoying joke whenever he shows up. It goes like this:

Person: "Oh, good grief, Jughead."
Jughead: "Who'd you expect? [names someone]?" *laughs annoyingly*

It happens twice in this episode. It's annoying.

Archie is speechless and makes "funny" noises whenever he hears Veronica's voice for the first time in an episode. The audience of kids finds it hysterical. I don't.

Was Mrs. Hastings Bob's wife? She doesn't speak, but is it her playing the piano?

What was Archie actually doing in the Lodges' garden? We never find out.

Does Veronica actually kiss Archie or not?

That's all that I have to say about this episode. It has some nice lines, but it's mostly painful.

Would you like me to review more of these radio shows? Let me know!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Star Trek: fun with ratings

I recently decided to crunch some numbers regarding Star Trek to see what the results would be.

I went to and copied the average rating as voted by users (on a scale of 1-10, decimals allowed) for every episode and film. Ratings are current as of 1/26/13 except DS9 seasons 2-7, which are current as of 1/27/13. DS9 Season 3's "Through the Looking Glass" was unlisted, so the rating comes from IMDb. I then figured various averages.


Star Trek (The Original Series)

Season 1

248.1 total / 30 episodes = 8.27

Season 2

209 total / 26 episodes = 8.038461538461538

Season 3

174.9 total / 24 episodes = 7.2875


632 total / 80 episodes = 7.9

Conclusions: Each season got worse, though the drop between seasons 1 and 2 is small compared to the depths that season 3 sank to, which is noticeably below the series as a whole.

Star Trek (The Animated Series)

Season 1

122.5 total / 16 episodes = 7.65625

Season 2

46.5 total / 6 episodes = 7.75


169 total / 22 episodes = 7.681818181818182

Conclusions: Um,...TOS Season 3 is still the worst. Not much else to say here.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1

189.6 total / 26 episodes = 7.292307692307692

Season 2

158.2 total / 22 episodes = 7.190909090909091

Season 3

207.2 total / 26 episodes = 7.969230769230769

Season 4

206.5 total / 26 episodes = 7.942307692307692

Season 5

203.9 total / 26 episodes = 7.842307692307692

Season 6

209.2 total / 26 episodes = 8.046153846153846

Season 7

202.8 total / 26 episodes = 7.8


1377.4 total / 178 = 7.738202247191011

Conclusions: Seasons 3-7 are far above seasons 1-2. Season 2 is technically worse than season 1, but that's only because of "Shades of Gray".

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 1

154.9 total / 20 episodes = 7.745

Season 2

204.5 total / 26 episodes = 7.865384615384615

Season 3

212.5 total / 26 episodes = 8.173076923076923

Season 4

213.9 total / 26 episodes = 8.226923076923077

Season 5

212.6 total / 26 episodes = 8.176923076923077

Season 6

211.4 total / 26 episodes = 8.130769230769231

Season 7

216.6 total / 26 episodes = 8.330769230769231


1426.4 total / 176 episodes = 8.104545454545455

Conclusions: The series went out on top. Five of its seasons beat TNG's best season. Its final season beat TOS' best season.

Star Trek: Voyager

Season 1

129.7 total / 16 episodes = 8.10625

Season 2

198.3 total / 26 episodes = 7.626923076923077

Season 3

205.1 total / 26 episodes = 7.888461538461538

Season 4

210.3 total / 26 episodes = 8.088461538461538

Season 5

209.2 total / 26 episodes = 8.046153846153846

Season 6

201.9 total / 26 episodes = 7.765384615384615

Season 7

211.2 total / 26 episodes = 8.123076923076923


1365.7 total / 172 episodes = 7.940116279069767

Conclusions: The series has higher average ratings than I expected. I was surprised that some of these seasons beat seasons of TOS, TNG, and DS9. Even more surprisingly, the series as a whole beats TOS and TNG. Oh, and TAS, but who cares?

Star Trek: Enterprise

Season 1

211.9 total / 26 episodes = 8.15

Season 2

212.8 total / 26 episodes = 8.184615384615385

Season 3

205.9 total / 24 episodes = 8.579166666666667

Season 4

186.4 total / 22 episodes = 8.472727272727273


817 total / 98 episodes = 8.336734693877551

Conclusions: Well, I'm certainly surprised, considering how much flack that Enterprise got back in the day. Um, I'll get more into this later. Let's get through the movies first.


Star Trek: The Motion Picture: 8.0
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: 9.2
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: 8.2
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: 9.2
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: 7.0
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: 8.8
Star Trek: Generations: 8.0
Star Trek: First Contact: 9.5
Star Trek: Insurrection: 8.8
Star Trek: Nemesis: 6.5
Star Trek (2009 film): 9.5

Film Rankings (Best to Worst)

1. Star Trek: First Contact
1. Star Trek (2009 film)
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
5. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
5. Star Trek: Insurrection
7. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
8. Star Trek: Generations
10. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
11. Star Trek: Nemesis

Conclusions: A bit surprising. I expected Wrath of Khan to be on top and Final Frontier to be at the bottom, just under Nemesis.

Series Rankings

Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek (The Original Series)
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek (The Animated Series)

Conclusions: Whaaa...? TOS and TNG totally got their butts handed to them by Enterprise, DS9, and Voyager!

Season Rankings

ENT Season 3
ENT Season 4
DS9 Season 7
TOS Season 1
DS9 Season 4
ENT Season 2
DS9 Season 5
DS9 Season 3
ENT Season 1
DS9 Season 6
VGR Season 7
VGR Season 1
VGR Season 4
TNG Season 6
VGR Season 5
TOS Season 2
TNG Season 3
TNG Season 4
VGR Season 3
DS9 Season 2
TNG Season 5
TNG Season 7
VGR Season 6
TAS Season 2
DS9 Season 1
TAS Season 1
VGR Season 2
TNG Season 1
TOS Season 3
TNG Season 2

Conclusions: The second half of Enterprise is the best Star Trek television EVER. Think about that. TNG Season 6 and Voyager Season 5 tie EXACTLY. TOS Season 3 isn't the worst Star Trek after all. Thanks, "Shades of Gray".

Various Averages

TOS + TAS: 801 total / 102 episodes = 7.852941176470588
TOS film franchise (excl. Generations): 50.4 total / 6 films = 8.4
TOS film franchise (incl. Generations):
58.4 total / 7 films = 8.342857142857143
TOS franchise (incl. TAS, excl. Gen.):
851.4 total / 108 stories = 7.883333333333333
TOS franchise (incl. TAS, incl. Gen.):
859.4 total / 109 stories = 7.884403669724771
TOS franchise (excl. TAS, excl. Gen.):
682.4 total / 86 stories = 7.934883720930233
TOS franchise (excl. TAS, incl. Gen.):
690.4 total / 87 stories = 7.935632183908046
TNG film franchise:
32.8 total / 4 films = 8.2
TNG franchise:
1410.2 total / 182 stories = 7.748351648351648
Film franchise (incl. reboot):
92.7 total / 11 films = 8.427272727272727
Film franchise (excl. reboot):
83.2 total / 10 films = 8.32
Television (incl. TAS):
5787.5 total / 726 episodes = 7.971763085399449
Television (excl. TAS):
5618.5 total / 704 episodes = 7.980823863636364
Prime Universe (incl. TAS, excl. ENT):
5053.7 total / 638 stories = 7.92115987460815
Prime Universe (incl. TAS, incl. ENT):
5870.7 total / 736 stories = 7.976494565217391
Prime Universe (excl. TAS, excl. ENT):
4884.7 total / 616 stories = 7.929707792207792
Prime Universe (excl. TAS, incl. ENT):
5701.7 total / 714 stories = 7.985574229691877
Live-Action Franchise:
5711.2 total / 715 stories = 7.987692307692308
Full Screen Franchise:
5880.2 total / 737 stories = 7.978561736770692

Well, that was exhausting, but I certainly had fun doing it, and I was surprised along the way. Thoughts?

Welcome to my blog

Hello and welcome to Tuxedo Mark's Pop Culture Blog.

My name is Mark Moore. I've been on the Internet since September of 1996. I've written many things over the years, spread across many sites, and I thought it was a good idea to finally have a centralized place where I can share my thoughts on any geeky aspect of any part of pop culture that I wish. Topics will skew toward sci-fi and fantasy and will cover live-action, cartoons, anime, comic books, etc.

Enjoy your stay and have fun!