Before “Downton Abbey” I was Obsessed with “Avonlea”

The Road to Avonlea, or Avonlea as it is commonly known, aired from 1990 to 1996. It was adapted from the Anne of Green Gables books by L. M.  Montgomery, which were written in the early 1990s. Set in Nova Scotia on Prince Edward Island in Canada, the series was a Canadian import that aired on the Disney channel. At its helm was Sarah Polley who went on to receive an Oscar nomination in 2008’s Away From Her for Best Adapted Screenplay. She has become an award-winning writer/director and successfully transitioned from child actor to adult industry heavy-weight.

Like Downton Abbey, Avonlea became the coveted show to get a guest spot on. Industry names like Dianne Wiest, Stockard Channing, Christopher Reeve, Christopher Llyod, and Eugene Levy all did guest spots. Oh, yeah, a young Ryan Gosling appeared in an episode in 1996. Personally, I would have loved to work on that show. Also, it made me want to move to Canada. I am currently reading Anne of Green Gables (the first book in the series) because I never read it as a kid. The 1985  Anne of Green Gables was a popular movie adaptation that lead to making Avonlea a series. They also had great resources with Montgomery’s books which made for a long-running, popular series. I love Downton Abbey, but I think I’ll always love Avonlea just a bit more. I’ve always wanted to go back in time and with Avonlea I was able to. It’s available on Netflix, but I think you can watch it for free on YouTube. So get watching!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The “Law & Order: SVU” Guest Spot

Actors Reg E. Cathey & Dean Winters on “Law & Order: SVU”

Many actors (some of my friends included) have appeared on television series. Sometimes they appear on the same show more than once as different characters. I am specifically talking about  Law & Order SVU, which just happens to be one of my favorite shows. It has been one of my personal goals to get on the show for the past five years to be on the show  (Philip Huffman, seriously, I’m still around. Once you have the right role for me, call me.) The Law & Order franchise has always been famous for reusing actors in different facets. Diane Neal, who played A.D.A. Casey Novak, first appeared on the show in a 2001 episode called “Ridicule.”  One of the guest stars, Reg E. Cathey,  in the most recent episode entitled “Undercover Blue” has appeared on all of the various incarnations of Law & Order. He first appeared in an  SVU episode in 2008 playing an undercover cop. Since then, he has appeared in four episodes as an attorney. I have a friend whom I did the play Trailerville, has appeared on the show twice. P.J. Marshall first appeared in a 2001 episode as a homeless man. He had what is known as an “Under 5” which literally means the role is under five lines.  A year later, he appeared in the episode “Mother” playing one of the lead guest stars. There are so many people who have appeared on the various different shows as completely different people I can’t even list them all.

I am happy that actors are getting work. It’s great. YAY for employment. However, I think that I could have swapped out   actors who have appeared on the show more than once with several actor friends that I know. Hell, sometimes I look on the screen and say, “I could have done THAT. Geez.” I think that we need to have more diversity in casting. That includes the tendency to reuse people in different roles. Do they think that we don’t notice? Avid fans of the show certainly do. New York has wonderful actors. Dear casting people, give us other people a chance. Thanks.

Before She Was a Bridesmaid, She Was a Chef: Melissa McCarthy

Marion Ross, Melissa McCarthy & Edward Hermann on “Gilmore Girls” (2000-2007)

Before she was the brash, fun-loving, bridesmaid Megan that earned her and Oscar nomination, Melissa McCarthy played chef Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls. Most of my high school years were spent watching Rory, Lorelei & Sookie craft witty arguments from complex language. I wanted to live in Stars Hollow. I wanted to stay at the Dragonfly Inn. I wanted to watch Kirk have one of his meltdowns, and I wanted to eat Sookie’s food. I think that Melissa McCarthy deserved an Emmy for Gilmore Girls more than her win for Mike & Molly. Although, I thought that her Emmy win was an all-encompassing win for Bridesmaids, Gilmore Girls, and Mike & Molly. A career win, if you will. She’s a versatile actress who really showed her range on Gilmore Girls I really hope we get to see more of it in the future. Here are some of Sookie’s funniest moments: