RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: January 2015

January 31

January 31, 2008 – The Comedy-Drama Series Eli Stone Premieres on ABC

ES_2

“See, until recently, my belief in a higher power was limited to worshiping the Holy Trinity of Armani, Accessories, and, my personal favorite, Ambition.”

On January 31, 2008, the comedy-drama series Eli Stone premiered on ABC. The series lasted for 26 episodes through 2 seasons, and received favorable reviews from critics through its run. It was created by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, and heavily featured the music of British musician George Michael. It starred Johnny Lee Miller as Eli Stone, Victor Garber as Jordan Wethersby, Natasha Henstridge as Taylor Wethersby, Loretta Devine as Patti Dellacroix, Sam Jaeger as Matt Dowd, James Saito as Dr. Chen, Julie Gonzalo as Maggie Dekker, and Matt Letscher as Nathan Stone.

The pilot episode “Faith” begins in Mundoli Village, India, where Eli Stone sits waiting for his guides, as he is off to the base of the Panch Chuli Peaks. He introduces himself to the audience, revealing that not only is he a lawyer, he might also be a prophet. He used to be a materialistic lawyer with a perfect life, and “the guy who has it all.” Suddenly, one day he hears strange organ music that only he can hear as he prepares for a meeting. He continues to hear the music while in his meeting; his meeting is with Beth Keller, who believes a company’s vaccine caused her son’s autism. He tries to convince the woman to take a $90,000 settlement before leaving, and heads home to his fiancé Taylor. That night, as they’re having sex, he hears the music, and figures out that it’s George Michael’s song “Faith,” but startles Taylor in the process. He traces the song to the living room, where he finds George Michael in his living room and promptly passes out. He then goes to his brother Nathan, who is a doctor, for a CAT scan, but Nathan determines that Eli is fine. Nathan thinks Eli is just stressed and overreacting, and Eli’s secretary Patti recommends that he see her acupuncturist, Dr. Chen. After she leaves, Beth arrives again, as she wants Eli to be her lawyer, although he says that he can’t, as he can’t sue his own client. Beth leaves, upset, and after she goes, he hears George Michael again.

Eli thinks an impromptu George Michael concert is being held in the lobby of his firm, unaware that it is a hallucination

Eli thinks an impromptu George Michael concert is being held in the lobby of his firm, unaware that it is a hallucination

Eli traces the music to the lobby of the firm, where a George Michael concert is seemingly being held. Unfortuantely, the concert is a hallucination, and everyone watches as Eli dances around the lobby. Embarrassed, Eli heads to Dr. Chen’s for help. As Chen helps him, he has a flashback to college, where he loses his virginity to a George Michael album. Afterwards, he heads to Beth’s house, revealing that she was the woman in the flashback. Beth doesn’t seem to want to talk to him, but lets him in anyway to meet her son. Her son has a fascination with blocks, and Eli notices the words “George Michael” written in the blocks, and tells Beth that he is going to ask to take her case. When he asks the board to take the case, he starts hearing bells, but dismisses them. He then is able to convince the board that it would be good for the company to let him represent Beth, although afterwards he keeps hearing the bells. Following them, he seems to find a train in the lobby. Someone seems to call him to the train, but the train leaves without him. He heads back to Dr. Chen’s, and gets another flashback to when he and his father went on a trolley car, although the relationship between the two is strained as Eli’s father is a drunk. His father then heads off the car into a bar, leaving Eli to head home alone.

The trial begins, although it doesn’t seem to be going well for Beth. However, Patti is able to find and internal document from the pharmaceutical company suggesting that there might be a link to the preservative in the vaccine and cognitive dysfunction, including autism. Unfortuantely, Eli can’t use it because of attorney-client privilege, and might get fired. Patti tells him to find a way to use it after all. He gets home to a family meeting between his family and Taylor’s, revealing that his boss is Taylor’s father, Jordan Weathersby. Jordan compliments Eli on his bravery in taking the case, although the two are at odds over the particulars of the case, including the internal report. Eli then has a vision of climbing the Panch Chuli Peaks, but is soon brought back to reality and realizes it looks like he’s planning to commit suicide by jumping from the balcony of his apartment. After this, he goes back to Nathan’s office, and it’s determined that Eli has an inoperable brain aneurism. Taylor, Nathan, and Eli are saddened by this news, with Nathan and Eli realizing that the symptoms are similar to their father’s, which they attributed to his alcoholism. Taylor isn’t sure if she can handle Eli’s diagnosis, and decides to break off their engagement. Hurt, Eli heads to court, and recalls the CEO of the pharmaceutical company. It’s revealed that the CEO’s own daughter did not receive the vaccine created by his own company, and the CEO tries to give Beth a settlement. Beth turns down the settlement, and thinks that they will lose because Eli believes he will lose.

Eli goes to Dr. Chen's once more for help, only to find that Chen has been putting on an act

Eli goes to Dr. Chen’s once more for help, only to find that Chen has been putting on an act

Eli heads to Dr. Chen’s office again, and Chen reveals that his whole thing is an act, except the actual medicine, as no one would want an acupuncturist from New Jersey. Chen becomes a confidant to Eli, and reveals that Eli may actually be a prophet. Finally, Eli gives his summation, using the theme of faith throughout. Patti stops by afterwards bringing his mother with her, bringing his father’s ashes in a coffee can. She says that his father wanted Eli to have his ashes, and Eli understands where to scatter them. The jury comes back quickly, and Beth wins, with the company having to pay her $5.2 million in damages. They agree to a further settlement, and Beth adds that Eli should keep his job, although he wasn’t in danger of being fired. Taylor stops by after the case, and apologizes for thinking about breaking off their engagement, but Eli tells her that he needs to go to India, although they head to lunch together. The audience is then taken to India, where Eli is scattering his father’s ashes at the Panch Chuli Peaks.

 

Advertisements

January 30

January 30, 1957 – The Episode of the Disney Anthology Series “All About Magic” Premieres

vlcsnap-2015-01-30-18h57m07s126

“Perhaps there is no art more fascinating than magic.”

On January 30, 1957, the episode of the Disney anthology series “All About Magic” premiered on ABC. It was directed by Hamilton Luske, and starred Hans Conried as the Magic Mirror.

The episode begins in Walt’s office, where he explains about the importance of magic, and takes the audience down to a prop room that is full of magical props. He opens the door with the magic words, and inside Walt uses a few of the props, including levitating a table using his concentration. He introduces them to the Decapitated Princess, who speaks when he utters the magic words. She is startled when he tells her that it’s the mid-20th century, but he quickly calms her back to sleep. Walt then continues his tour of the prop room, and pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Finally, he reveals the magic mirror owned by the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and summons the slave in the mirror; unfortunately, he arrives upside down. Walt hands the show over to the mirror, who sends Walt away with the magic words. The mirror then panics, as he’s not sure he knows the correct words to bring Walt back. Fortunately, Walt is still in the room, and leaves of his own accord. After doing several sleight of hand tricks, the mirror then introduces the stories and film clips featuring magic, beginning with the Mickey Mouse short film Magician Mickey. Afterwards, he introduces Halloween and the next short film, Trick or Treat. The episode concludes with clips from Cinderella and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice sequence from Fantasia.

January 29

January 29, 2012 – The Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Takes Place in Disneyland

Tinker Bell Half

“Tinker Bell, pixie dust, and a magical run through Never Land!”

On January 29, 2012, the inaugural run of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon was held, hosted by Disneyland and the city of Anaheim. The race was announced on April 19, 2011, after several clues were released to the public over a series of weeks. Racers were taken through Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, as well as several Anaheim landmarks. This race matches the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World as being a women-specific runDisney race, with the mission of promoting fitness and an active lifestyle to women, complete with an expo featuring the newest running products tailored towards women. With over 10,000 runners, it was one of the largest endurance events geared towards women of the time. The winner of the race was Kellie Nickerson from Albuquerque, New Mexico, finishing with a time of 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 52 seconds.

January 28

January 28, 1939 – Imagineer and Disney Legend Ralph Kent is Born

Kent-bio-pic-01

“He said he `fell under the spell’ of Disney when he saw Pinocchio, and much of his 41 years at Disneyland and Walt Disney World was involved in various artistic usages of the Disney characters for marketing, merchandising and Imagineering.” – Imagineer and Disney Legend Marty Sklar

On January 28, 1939, Ralph Kent was born in New York. At age 10, he was so enamored with Disney that he created a giant mural of popular Disney characters in his basement. Kent also sent a letter to Walt Disney the same year, as he wanted to work for the Disney Studios. After studying art at the University of Buffalo Albright Art School, he joined the Army in 1960, working on illustrations for military training films. In 1963, Kent achieved his dream of working at Disney when he was hired to work at Disneyland as a marketing production artist, working on marketing materials for several popular attractions. Kent also designed the first set of limited-edition Mickey Mouse watches for adults, which immediately gained popularity. Over his 41 year career with the company, Kent was known as the “Keeper of the Mouse,” as he was one of the handlers for Mickey Mouse, keeping the wholesome image of the character; this title was evident in 1990, when Kent joined the Disney Design Group as a corporate trainer, teaching new artists the proper way of animating the popular characters. Kent retired from Disney in 2004, and was inducted the same year as a Disney Legend. Kent passed away at the age 68 in 2007.

January 27

January 27, 1892 – Merchandising Executive and Disney Legend Kay Kamen is Born

vlcsnap-2015-01-27-17h39m52s160

“This was Kay Kamen’s genius, of tying products together and promoting the wonderful property.” – Mickey Mouse Collector Bernie Shine

On January 27, 1892, Herman “Kay” Kamen was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He began his career as a hat merchant before moving to advertising. In 1932, Kamen contacted Walt Disney about potential merchandising opportunities for Mickey Mouse, and two days later, Kamen met Walt and Roy in California, where they inked a deal to make Kamen the sole licensing representative for the Walt Disney Studios. In a span of three years, the number of Mickey Mouse products skyrocketed to the thousands, ranging from toys, games, books, watches, and more. Kamen also created a catalogue of Mickey Mouse merchandise in 1934, with seven issues to follow. The most well-known piece of the entire catalogue would be Kamen’s deal with Ingersoll-Waterbury Clock Company, creating the Mickey Mouse watch. The watches were a huge success, saving the company from bankruptcy. Kamen took his merchandising skills to other characters in the Disney line, including Donald Duck and the Seven Dwarfs; when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released, Kamen already had an extensive merchandising campaign at the ready, which was the first instance of tying merchandise to a film. In 1949, Kamen’s life and career were cut short when he was killed in a plane crash over Spain. For his work in Disney merchandising, he was posthumously awarded as a Disney Legend in 1998.

January 26

January 26, 2003 – The Late Night Talk Show Jimmy Kimmel Live! Premieres on ABC

jimmy-kimmel-live

“…JKL is packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians, and humorous human interest subjects.”

On January 26, 2003, the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! premiered on ABC, right after the Super Bowl. It is currently the longest running late night talk show for the network, and has run for 12 seasons. Like many talk shows, this one follows the format of celebrity guests and comedy sketches. It is produced by Jackhole Industries alongside Touchstone Television, and taped right next to the El Capitan Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard.

January 25

January 25, 2008 – The Disney Channel Original Movie Minutemen Premieres

vlcsnap-2015-01-25-13h36m34s97

“You know what would really make me happy? If you build something useful. And by useful, I mean something that will make me rich and popular. Or both.”

On January 25, 2008, the Disney Channel Original Movie Minutemen premiered. A single for the film was released on Radio Disney Jams Vol. 10, called “Run it Back Again” by Corbin Bleu. The movie had over 6 million viewers on its premiere. It was written by John Killoran, and directed by Lev L. Spiro. It starred Jason Dolley as Virgil Fox, Luke Benward as Charlie Tuttle, Nicholas Braun as Zeke Thompson, Chelsea Staub as Stephanie Jameson, and Steven R. McQueen as Derek Beaugard.

The film begins at Summerton High School, where best friends Derek, Stephanie, and Virgil arrive for their first day. Derek plans on trying out for the football team, and Chelsea tries out for cheerleading, while Virgil arrives to the tryouts to cheer his friends on. While trying out, a student drives onto the field in a souped-up golf cart, losing control of the cart. Derek manages to stop the cart by throwing a football and hitting the driver, knocking him out. The driver is Charlie Tuttle, a genius who skipped a few grades, and is soon tossed about by the football team. When trying to defend Charlie, Virgil gets caught in the tussle and is also beat up by the players, soon branded as a social outcast after being dressed up in a cheerleading outfit and hung from the statue of the school mascot. After this, the friendship between Derek and Virgil becomes strained, but a friendship grows between Virgil and Charlie.

Charlie and Virgil run into Zeke on their way to class, but quickly get out of the rebel's way

Charlie and Virgil run into Zeke on their way to class, but quickly get out of the rebel’s way

Moving forward to senior year, Charlie and Virgil cross paths with bad boy outcast Zeke, but quickly get out of the way before there is any altercation. At lunch, Virgil watches his former friends, who are now dating, at their lunch table, while he sits at the geek table, and wonders how it has come to this, and realizes it all goes back to that freshman year incident. He spies Stephanie alone at the vending machine and goes over to talk to her, and the two are still seen as friendly even though they don’t spend time together anymore. While in his class, Charlie bursts in for an “emergency” and pulls Virgil out to tell him about a new invention: a time machine. Virgil doesn’t believe that Charlie has built a time machine, but Charlie tries to convince him further. Charlie then has Virgil try and find a mechanic guy for building the machine, and Virgil picks Zeke, much to Charlie’s dismay. Zeke surprisingly agrees to help construct the time machine, and a strange partnership is formed between the three.

Charlie agrees to let Virgil pick the first trip back in time, and Virgil decides to go back and pick the winning lottery ticket, much to Charlie’s dismay. Zeke then lets the pair know that they’re going to need a lot of power to start the machine, and Virgil points out that they’ll need a large space with privacy. They try to talk to Vice Principal Tolkan about starting a new club at school, but all Tolkan does is give the trio a lecture on the pecking order in high school and how it will never change while ignoring one of the nerds that has been shoved inside a vending machine. Fortunately, they are able to convince him to give them Room 77, which is underneath the football field, and the boys soon set up shop.

The machine is soon built, and the guys are ready to take it for a test drive

The machine is soon built, and the guys are ready to take it for a test drive

Soon, the machine is built, and they send Charlie’s cat on the first trip through time. Meanwhile, at Pacific Tech, their machines are going haywire from the activity from the time machine, but they dismiss it as a computer glitch. Meanwhile, at school, Stephanie is suspicious of Derek spending his time with popular but dense student Jocelyn. Virgil talks to Stephanie after Derek leaves, with Stephanie admitting that she misses the three of them hanging out, and wishes that Virgil would let go of the past, especially since Derek tried to stop the incident from freshman year from happening. Later, lotto numbers in hand, the guys plan their trip in with the time machine, dressed in several layers of winter clothing to keep them warm as they travel through the vortex. The trip is a success, although they forget that they can’t buy a ticket because they are underage. They then ask a street performer to buy the ticket for them, but they only have two minutes to get back to the school, so they ask the performer to meet him there at noon the next day. They head back to the school, but when the group shows up the next day, the performer claims the ticket for himself, and wins the state lottery.

Virgil wants another chance to claim the lottery money, but Charlie shuts him down, as he believes it’s cheating. Charlie would rather do more noble things, but Virgil is obsessed with popularity and being rich. As this occurs, poor nerd Chester is still running into trouble with the popular kids when they steal his clothes after gym class. Charlie and Virgil then come up with the idea to use the time machine to help Chester become popular. Virgil proposes that they call themselves the Minutemen, and the other two reluctantly agree. As they prepare for the next travel, fellow student Janette shows up to join their club. Janette has been following Charlie around as she has a huge crush on him, although he has no interest in her. They then let her in on the secret about their time machine, and she agrees to keep the secret – so long as she can coordinate their outfits. They then head on their mission dressed in special snow gear and give Chester a new set of clothes, but destroy VP Tolkan’s diorama of the school in the process. Later, Tolkan issues a warning to the travelers, and the three just laugh it off.

Zeke spots someone getting picked on at the burger joint, and decides to make that the next mission

Zeke spots someone getting picked on at the burger joint, and decides to make that the next mission

Zeke is at a burger joint downtown and spots a nerd picked on by everyone, and decides to make this the next mission. The guys once again save the day and humiliate the popular kids, further incurring the wrath of Tolkan. They continue to perform good deeds, saving the unpopular kids from further embarrassment, with each travel through time causing the Pacific Data tech to go haywire, and guys find themselves followed by men in suits. The unpopular kids in the school find themselves rising in popularity, and copping an ego, but this leaves the Minutemen as the lone unpopular guys. Charlie then admits to the guys that he stole the blueprints for the time machine from NASA, and they agree not to use the machine for a while. Unfortunately, Virgil needs the machine to help Stephanie: she had to tryout for a cheerleading scholarship, but has broken her leg before the scout arrives. Although Charlie first argues against it, they finally agree as a group to help her.

The guys head back to the previous day’s cheerleading practice, and Zeke has already set their plan into action to prevent Stephanie from falling off the top of the pyramid. Stephanie soon figures out the identity of the strange Minutemen when Virgil saves her. She comes by his house later to thank him and let him know that she does know who the “snowsuit guys” are, and he accidentally lets slip that they are time travelers. At the next football game, the guys are there to see if there are any incidents to correct, and Derek blows the game thanks to the antics of Chester, who streaks across the sidelines. Stephanie tells Derek about the time travel, and he stops by to ask Virgil to fix the game. Virgil isn’t sure, but when Derek seems sincere about wishing they could be friends again, Virgil agrees. Charlie, however, is not convinced, and thinks that their travels may be destroying the time-space continuum. However, they feel responsible for what happened, and decide to save the game.

Derek, Stephanie , and Virgil watch the tape from before time was fixed, using it as proof of the time change

Derek, Stephanie , and Virgil watch the tape from before time was fixed, using it as proof of the time change

Derek is grateful for what Virgil has done, and tries to convince Virgil to celebrate and come to a party. Virgil decides to ditch Charlie and head to the party, and he talks with Stephanie. Stephanie starts to wonder if she actually chose the right path of life freshman year, as being popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Meanwhile, Charlie finds out that Virgil ditched him, and is hurt, but forgives Virgil, only to find himself ditched again when Stephanie calls. Stephanie finds out that Derek has been cheating on her with Jocelyn, and Virgil rushes over to help her out. Derek calls her while they talk, and Virgil leaves so she can talk it out with him. Meanwhile, all the time traveling has caused a ripple effect, and a giant hole starts to appear in the middle of the football field. Derek also confides in Virgil about the incident, saying Jocelyn made the first move, and pleads for Virgil to use the time machine to stop Stephanie from catching him kissing Jocelyn.

On his way home, though, Virgil is caught by the FBI, as is Charlie and Zeke. The guys get into a fight, as Zeke and Charlie feel that Virgil has become a sell-out. Derek pushes Virgil for an answer, and Virgil decides to time travel on his own. Charlie runs some calculations overnight, and finds that the time traveling has created a black hole. Charlie then runs to the FBI to let them know of the black hole, and there are only four hours until the black hole swallows up all of America. Meanwhile, Virgil is heading to the school dance with Stephanie, and Derek once again checks with Virgil to see if he’s change the situation. However, Stephanie is falling for Virgil, and Virgil is reluctant to change this, as he’s had a crush on Stephanie for ages. Charlie rushes to the dance to stop Virgil from jumping through time. Derek takes Virgil away from the dance, but Charlie intercepts them to stop the jump. As the black hole starts swallowing the football field, Charlie, Virgil, and Zeke have to go on one last jump to save the world.

Virgil plans on changing the incident and changing high school, but Charlie tells him that this was an important day for him

Virgil plans on changing the incident and changing high school, but Charlie tells him that this was an important day for him

The guys jump into the black hole, and they use the reversal sequence on the hole once they land. After picking up a newspaper, Virgil realizes that they landed on the day of the incident – the first day of freshman year. Thinking that he can stop the incident once and for all, he races to the school, but Zeke and Charlie stop him. Virgil argues that he has a chance to be someone, but Charlie shoots back that this was the day that he made a real friend for the first time in his life. Zeke then says that it’s up to Virgil what will happen, but he’s enjoyed the ride nonetheless. Virgil looks at the scene unfold, and realizes that Derek gave the football players the idea to dress Charlie and Virgil up. Charlie and Zeke race back to the vortex, but Virgil grabs Charlie’s cart and the three make-up before racing to make it back to the vortex just in time. They arrive back to the day that they first time-traveled, and after Derek insults them, Virgil lets slip about Derek’s cheating on Stephanie with Jocelyn. In the end, everyone is happy: Zeke has the attention of two girls, Charlie kisses Jeanette, and Virgil tells Stephanie how he really feels, with Stephanie reciprocating. Unfortunately, Charlie has a new idea for an experiment: teleportation.