Fan Girl Friday – TV Sitcoms with Juliet Madison

Thanks, Paula, for having me on the blog today to rave about something I’m a fan of. I ‘fan girl’ about a lot of things (so I’ll HAVE to come back to the blog again sometime!), but decided for today I’d discuss a few of my favourite TV sitcoms!

There’s nothing like a good, well-written, laugh-out-loud sitcom with authentic characters you care about and believe in. And as a writer, sitcoms are great inspiration for the romantic comedy stories I love to write. I love how they’re fast-paced, funny, and often extreme. They take real life scenarios and give them a fresh, unique spin.

So here are four of my favourites, which are sadly not on TV anymore 😦

sitcoms1FRIENDS

Probably my favourite show of all time. Who can go past an episode of Friends? Even though I’ve seen every episode a zillion times, it still makes me laugh. I am the proud owner of a Friends boxed set, which I watched with my son from beginning to end as soon as he was old enough.

Friends also has a great romance – Ross and Rachel. When they finally got together at the end of ten seasons I think I cried a little. Or a lot.

Remember when Rachel said: “I got off the plane.”? Waaa!

Do you have a favourite Friends character? I find it hard to play favourites, I think somehow all the characters combined to create one whole entity, and it wouldn’t be the same if one of them wasn’t there. Having said that, I do love Phoebe’s quirkiness, and Joey’s loveable nature, not to mention his trademark “How you doin?”

Some of my favourite scenes from Friends are:

  • The one when Ross gets a fake tan and counts to three, ‘Mississippily’, which gives him a very dark tan ononly half his body.
  • The one where Ross gets his teeth whitened and they glow like the Cheshire Cat when he’s on a date.
  • The one where Monica and Chandler get engaged. All those candles – wow!
  • Any episode where Phoebe sings a ‘smelly cat’ song.
  • The one where Rachel watches the prom video and then kisses Ross.
  • And… there are too many more to mention!

sitcoms4

3rd ROCK FROM THE SUN

I didn’t watch this much when it was on TV, but I got it on DVD and watched the whole series (again, with my son, who LOVED it). A sitcom about a four aliens who come to Earth in human form to learn our ways, 3rd Rock is hilarious, wacky, and has memorable characters.

How cute was Joseph Gordon-Levitt when he was younger? He played Tommy, the Information Officer who was really an old guy (or alien) in a teenage boy’s body. French Stewart, who plays Harry, was hilarious as the transmitter of messages from the Big Giant Head on their home planet. Dick “Oh my God, I’m gorgeous!” Solomon is sort of the leading man, who strikes up an on-again off-again romance with his just-as-wacky (though completely human) colleague Dr Mary Albright. My favourite character is Sally, the kick-ass heroine of the show – a combat specialist in a voluptuous female body who thinks she’s the luckiest woman alive to have scored Don, the incompetent cop.

My favourite moments:

  • When Harry gets hypnotised
  • When Dick’s evil twin takes over
  • The Soloman family’s first Christmas
  • When they stay in a hotel and get their first taste (and expense) of‘room service

sitcoms3

SCRUBS:

I watched this on and off when it was on TV, and later got the DVDs. I don’t think I’ve seen every episode, and certainly not in order. But it’s the type of show you can watch at any stage and get a good laugh. It’s a slightly quirky sort of comedy, so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m all for wacky comedies!

JD’s a bit of a wimpy doctor character who runs the show, alongside his talkative female sidekick, Elliot, and his confident best friend, Turk. I love how the show often has actual scenes to show what’s going on inside a character’s mind, and there’s a lot of slapstick physical comedy reminiscent of movies like The Naked Gun. Despite this, the show manages to balance out the humour with deep, heart-felt moments here and there.

Fave moments:

  • When JD and Turk haven’t seen each other in ages and Turk waves out the window, then runs back inside to try and meet JD but they keep ending up in opposite locations.
  • There was one episode that was completely in musical form, and everyone sang. Brilliant.
  • Any moment where the janitor (did he have a name?) got the better of JD

sitcoms2BEWITCHED:

“Oh my stars!” …An oldie but a goodie, this is pure comfort television viewing. I’m a huge Bewitched fan, and own all of the DVDs as well as a big Bewitched companion book. The premise – mortal everyday guy marries a witch and has to put up with her interfering mother-in-law and crazy relatives – allowed for endless possibilities and storylines for the characters to get messed up in. I love anything that resembles real life with a bit of magic thrown in, so Bewitched presses all the right buttons for me.

I loved how Darrin had to try to make everything appear normal while trying to win over new advertising clients and dealing with his demanding boss, while Samantha’s magical attempts to thwart the spells of her mother’s provided much humour and fun.

I think the unique secondary characters really made this show – the nosy neighbour who always saw the magic but no one believed her, the incompetent Esmerelda, the wacky Uncle Arthur, the meddling Endora, sneaky Serena, and of course the cute little daughter, Tabitha!

I love this show so much I’m planning on writing a Bewitched-inspired story one day 🙂

Two other sitcoms, The Big Bang Theory and I Dream of Jeannie, have together inspired a novella of mine which is being published on September 1st, called I DREAM OF JOHNNY. It’s about a woman whose wish on a magic lamp for a Greek God goes hilariously wrong, when she ends up with a Geek God instead. My current release, FAST FORWARD, is a romantic comedy where each chapter is like a little ‘episode’ in the story. Like my favourite sitcoms, it’s a bit wacky, has many embarrassing yet funny moments for the main character, and has a touch of magic in the form of time travel, when the main character, Kelli, is catapulted 25 years into the future to her 50th birthday.

Are any of these your favourite sitcoms too? What other sitcoms do you enjoy?

FASTFORWARD-JulietMadison

Juliet Madison is a naturopath-turned-author with a background in dance, art, internet marketing and perfume sales (yes, she was one of those annoying people in department stores who spray you with perfume). Nowadays she prefers to indulge her propensity for multiple careers by living vicariously through her characters.  Living near the beach on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales, Australia, Juliet spends her days homeschooling her son and running her internet business, and her nights writing fiction while doing her best to avoid housework.  Connect with Juliet at her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Buy FAST FORWARD via Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes/iBookstore, Kobo, Google Play, B&N/Nook, JB Hi-Fi.

 

 
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Fan Girl Friday – Tattoos with Kylie Scott

kylie scottHi, my name is Kylie and I’d like to tell you a story to introduce my Fan Girl Friday topic of tattoos. It’s Christmas Day in Australia about twenty years back. I was 18 and doing the traditional post lunch thing of lolling about letting the way-too-much food I’d eaten slowly digest. The fan spins lazily overhead, barely stirring the hot air, as I silently vow to never go back for thirds of Aunty Mary’s trifle ever again until next year (best trifle in the world). You know how it is…
Nan: What is that on your back?
Me: Nothing.
Nan: I saw something on our back, under your shirt.
Me: Nana, you need new glasses. Hey, isn’t it your nap time?
Nan: Did you get a tattoo?
Entire room packed full of relatives falls dead silent and commences staring at me.
Me: *flails*
Mum: I knew she was hiding something!
Dad: You better not have.
Me: *still flailing*
Mum: How will you ever wear a strapless ball gown now!?
Me: *stops flailing* *perplexed face* Wait. When did I ever wear one before?
Mum: No boy from a decent family will have you! Not once he knows about that!
Me: No, seriously … what??
Dad: *explodes*

Kylie tattooAh, yes, a great memory. I come from a pretty conservative background (go figure) and my parents honestly could not comprehend why I would do such a thing. But then tattoos tend to be something that either appeal to people or leave them shaking their heads with something less than wonder. I’ve always been fascinated by ink. Not just the art of the design, but the story behind it. So I put out a call on Facebook and Twitter for girls to pull out their trusty mobile phones and snap some pictures for me. The response was huge. Here are just a few of the people that volunteered to share their tats and tales. (Apologies to those I couldn’t fit in.)
We’ll start with me and my latest. Books have always been one of the great loves of my life, so for me, this one was a no-brainer. (And no, I’ve still never worn a strapless ball gown and my husband’s family seen quite nice. Though you never can tell…)

kylie tattoo2Kate Cuthbert, Harlequin Escape – This tattoo is of a questing beast. In Arthurian legend, Arthur’s best friend is a king called Pellinore. King Pellinore comes from a long line of Pellinore who have all had the same goal in life – to hunt the questing beast. The beast has the body of a leopard, the feet of a goat, and the head of a dragon. When it bays it sounds like 100 hounds all crying at once. However, the beast is invisible. So no one believes it exists, and the Pellinores are generally considered genial crackpots. So anyways, Arthur, being a logical fellow, takes it upon himself to talk Pellinore out of hunting the beast. He manages, and Pellinore abandons his quest. And that’s when the questing beast begins to waste away, eventually nearly dying. Without someone to hunt him, without someone to believe in him, he cannot live. I got my questing beast after a rough patch in my life as a reminder to have the strength and conviction to follow my own path, and to remember that my dreams and goals are only as real as I believe them to be.
kylie tattoo3Katrina Whittaker,  Page Flipperz  – It has my three girls on it. From oldest to youngest. As you can see they are wrapped around my heart always. The ribbon going from the beginning till the end. Forever!

Kylie tattoo4

Book Chatter Cath  – The Celtic band is on my left forearm and I got it done in England on a family visit back in 2005. I love Celtic myths, and really love the knot designs that they use in their art, and I have some Celtic blood (albeit watered down) running through my veins. And that tat is green, green is my favourite colour.

kylie tattoo5Jennie Brumley, writer – My dragon is taken from Aussie author Graeme Base’s book The Discovery of Dragons. I knew when I was 12 that I wanted a tattoo, I knew by the time I was 15 that I wanted a dragon, but it took me until I was 24 to find one I knew I could live with for the rest of my life. I have always been fascinated by dragons, perhaps because I was born in the Year of the Dragon, perhaps because I watched too many medieval fantasy shows when I was little, either way, dragons rock and funds (and hubby) allowing I want to add a Norse dragon to the mix at some point down the track.

kylie tattoo6Rhyll Biest, writer – I had a favourite live music club in Brisvegas called the Crash and Burn and their emblem was a sun. So my tat was in homage… I was in my 20s, but I don’t regret it at all. Having a tat makes me feel all kick-assy tough, even though I’ve only ever kicked ass in my imagination.

kylie tattoo7Shona Husk, writer – Here’s my seahorse. It’s about 12 years old. I’d had a partial molar pregnancy (which was fairly traumatic), my husband was in the navy at the time and sailed a week after I had surgery and I decided that if I was going to get a tattoo now was the time. Kind of a ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ moment. He was surprised when he got home…

colonistswife

Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better.  Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.  Her latest book release is Colonist’s Wife, and you can find her via her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Fan Girl Friday – Best Football Team Eva! by Cathryn Hein

2012 Grand FinalWhat an opportunity! An entire blog post where I get to wax lyrical about my darling Sydney Swans, the most beautiful Australian Rules Football team in existence. Thanks, Paula.  Oh, stop looking at me like that, all grumpy and scowly. You know how much I love my boys. Of course I was going to blog about them!

Ahh, what a year was last year. My red and white beloveds made it all the way to the Grand Final against Hawthorn and won in what proved to be an absolute thriller of a game. I cried, as I did when they won back in 2005. They were so brave, so hungry for that win. So magnificent.

Yes, I love my footy team. Probably a little bit obsessively, but a girl’s got to have a hobby and watching sexy fit men in red shorts is mine. Besides, I’m a romance writer. I need this kind of research!

So how does a girl from South Australia start barracking for a Sydney based AFL team? Well, the truth is I wasn’t always a Swans fan. I know, I know. They were the dark days before I found enlightenment. It was my mum’s fault really, and her Carlton obsession. Those cries of “Jesaulenko!” during the 70’s and “Kernahan!” during the 80’s infected my brain, and I found myself cheering the Blues alongside her. Yes, dark days indeed.

Swans trainingThen along came a St Kilda player by the name of Tony Lockett. Sigh. I still get the girlie wobbles at the mention of his name. The greatest goal-kicker the AFL has ever seen and is ever likely to ever see. And I loved him, even though he played for the Saints. By that time I’d moved away from South Australia, first to Victoria and then New South Wales, where not a whole lot of Aussie Rules found its way onto the telly. All the Swans games were broadcast though, so I’d get my footy fix by watching them. One day, to my utter, utter joy, the Swans recruited Plugger (Tony’s nickname) and I was a goner. The Swans became my boys and I’ve stayed faithful ever since.

Greatest Swans moment? I don’t know, there have been a few. But I still remember the 1996 Preliminary Final against Essendon. With 17 seconds left on the clock and the scores tied, Plugger marked the ball 50 metres out from goal. Any score would do it but Plugger had a groin injury (it seemed like the world was obsessing about Tony Lockett’s groin that season) and no one was sure he could do it. The siren sounded. Swans fans went to their knees in prayer. Plugger lined up, kicked and DID IT! A point instead of a goal, but what a point. I think I cried then too.

Here it is on YouTube so you can experience the emotion for yourself.

But the game is all about winning premierships and our wins in 2005 and 2012 are treasured things. The 2005 Grand Final win was amazing. We were living in France at the time and could only get AFL via an internet subscription, and on 24 hours delay. To stop hearing the result we didn’t answer our phones, check email or watch anything other than the French music channel for over a day. Friends and family were warned that there’d be dire consequences for any result revealing. If I thought the delay was stressful enough, it was nothing compared to the game. Another typical Swans down-to-the-wire show, with me a complete nervous wreck and full of bad thoughts that those rotten West Coast Eagles were going to steal our glory. But Leaping Leo Barry saved the day with a magnificent grab in the dying seconds and victory was ours.
Ahh, memories. I’m sure my red and white boys will give me many more yet.

Heartland_cvr_640x480Cathryn Hein was born in South Australia’s rural south-east. With three generations of jockeys in the family it was little wonder she grew up horse-mad, finally obtaining her first horse at age 10. So began years of pony club, eventing, dressage and showjumping until university beckoned. Armed with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture), she moved to Melbourne and later Newcastle, working in the agricultural and turf seeds industry. Her partner’s posting to France took Cathryn overseas for three years where she finally gave in to her life-long desire to write. Her debut rural-set romance, Promises, released in 2011, followed by Heart of the Valley in 2012. Cathryn’s third novel, Heartland, is out now.

Connect with Cathryn via her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.