November 22 – Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Reunification

Earlier this year, the online world became abuzz, when a poster was released, teasing a Friends reunion for this Thanksgiving. It turned out to all be a hoax, but that got me thinking of shows where I’d love to see a reunion episode or some other gathering of the cast/characters, injecting new life into the stories many of us grew up on. Here is the cream of the crop of those I’d love to see one more time!

#5: Recess

Perhaps in a similar vein to All Grown Up, the Rugrats re-launch, it would be great to find out whatever happened to the Recess kids – T.J. Detweiler, Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli, Gretchen Grundler, Mikey Blumberg, and Gus Griswald – and where they lives led after their fourth grade adventures at Third Street Elementary School. Did any of the kids ever hook-up (my bet’s on Mikey and Gus!)? The new story could be set in any time period, whether it be high school, college, adulthood, old age, etc. If a more adult network took the reins of the show, instead of Disney, we might get some very interesting and scandalous (thank you The Ashley’s) stories!

Recess Grown Up

#4: That 70’s Show

When we last left Point Place, Wisconsin, the 1970’s rolled over into a new decade. Therefore, the most pressing question to be answered, is how did the gang find life in the 80’s? Hell, for that matter, how did their 90’s and 2000’s go? I guess you can’t go too far ahead or you might lose the participation of the parents, Red, Kitty, and Bob, which would be too bad. I’d love to find out if Eric and Donna finally managed to stay together. What about Hyde, Kelso, Fez, and Jackie? What became of Kelso’s child? Was he as dumb as dear ol’ dad!? These are the kinds of questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night… it’s tough being me!

#3: Full House

The Tanner clan was sent off into the television abyss with the show’s typical nice, neat wrap up. Since then, a lot has changed for the cast and would make for some crazy storylines, should there ever be a reunion episode. Would they incorporate Jodie Sweeten’s real-life meth addiction into the storyline ala the classic “On a very special episode…” trope. How would they handle Bob Saget’s departure from the squeaky clean image that made him neat freak single father Danny Tanner, as well as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And you just know there’s some juicy yarns out there, should the Olsen twins elect to participate.

Full House Reunion

#2: Cheers

There was the odd mini-reunion on the Cheers spinoff, Frasier (which would also be a decent series for a reunion), but I’d love to see everyone all together again at the classic bar set, enjoying a mug of fine brew and reconnecting. With Cheers being such an ensemble cast, many of which have gone on to thriving careers, it may be hard to get them all back onto the same page, but at least you know Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin would be present, as their butts have been stapled to those bar stools since the series finale in 1993. You’d have to imagine that at least one of the bar regulars would now be suffering from cirrhosis, but it should make for good viewing!

#1: Saved by the Bell

As a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, you could never say that you didn’t have at least some fondness for this show. While we got a decent finale with the wedding in Vegas movie, a whole generation thirsts for more. Did Zack and Kelly survive to rigors of getting married young? How about the kids that surely came along (I mean, who wouldn’t want to tap the former Miss Kapowski!?). If they did relaunch this series, they could do something similar to what Boy Meets World did, where they brought back Cory and Topanga as parents to a teenage girl. Jimmy Fallon (among others) tried to get the whole crew back together, but all efforts have failed thus far.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Sadly, the TV reunion just isn’t done as much anymore, compared to the past where shows like Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, and even Growing Pains all got together again to update viewers on the status of their favourite characters. And that’s all too bad, as there are so many series I’d love to see a follow-up from. Honourable mentions go to basically any TGIF show and let’s throw Beavis and Butt-head in there, as well, just to irritate Mrs. Sip!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I chose this shot to go with this article because it (the cake) seemed like the kind of thing that might be served at an actual family reunion. As you can see by the measurements, there’s very little booze in this shooter, so you’re basically just getting Pineapple Juice and Grenadine. My suggestion is to up the alcohol and have some real fun!

September 20 – Jager Barrel

Rush Week

With the upcoming DVD release of the movie Neighbors, I thought that this was as good a time as any to take a look at some of the best fraternities out there. Never a fan of the whole Greek system, I prefer my frats on the fictional side. Will the Delta Psi’s in Neighbors ever measure up? Time will only tell!

#5: Alpha Alpha – Undergrads

Rocko Gambiani is not very popular among his brothers, as they are more into the philanthropy and networking aspects of the fraternity, while Rocko wants to experience all the stuff these groups are typically associated with: hazing, partying, pranking, womanizing, etc. Rocko wasn’t even supposed to be a member of Alpha Alpha, but is begrudgingly accepted after passing the initiation tasks he places upon himself, upon learning the Alphas don’t do tests anymore.

Rocko Undergrads

#4: Lambda Lambda Lambda – Revenge of the Nerds

The Tri-Lambs were created when a bunch of outsiders needed a place to live and their subsequent feud with the guys of Alpha Beta and the girls of Pi Delta Pi, showed us all that nerds aren’t bad at all. The success of Revenge of the Nerds did nothing for nerd nation in the real world, but did spawn three sequels, a failed TV show, and cancelled remake. Perhaps the group’s greatest legacy was seen in a number of Tri-Lamb fraternities actually being created, with five currently existing in the U.S.

#3: Oozma Kappa – Monsters University

In a similar vein to Revenge of the Nerds, Oozma Kappa is made up of the outcasts who can’t get into the more popular groups. When Sully finds himself kicked out of Roar Omega Roar and Mike never gets in for not being scary enough, they join Oozma Kappa, hoping this unit of unpopular monsters will help them win the annual Scare Games and gain them re-entry into the renowned Scare Program. Once again, we learn that athletic ability isn’t the only trait needed to succeed.

Oozma Kappa

#2: Lambda Epsilon Omega – Old School

The best part about this fraternity, is that it’s open to anyone who wants to pledge. This includes folks who don’t even attend the nearby campus, and perhaps most notably, the geriatric Blue, who sadly passes away during his own birthday celebration, when two women flash the old timer. What a way to go! In typical fraternity challenge style, the boys need to complete a number of trials to keep their chapter open, while staying clear of the nefarious Dean of the school.

#1: Delta Tau Chi – Animal House

This film made being on double secret probation popular and also brought the toga party into the mainstream. John Belushi is an absolute stud in this film, stealing the show as the drunken troublemaker, John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky, who we learn during the epilogue to the film, became a U.S. Senator, despite a GPA of 0.0. Animal House is actually one of the highest grossing films of all-time, thanks to its miniscule $2.8 million budget and worldwide success. Sadly, a TV spinoff only lasted 13 episodes.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Jager Barrel

Jager Barrel Shot

  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Root Beer Schnapps
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

It’s funny how many stories are about a ragtag group coming together to make their own fraternity succeed against the established houses. Even on Futurama, Bender takes the fledgling Robot House (aka Epsilon Rho Rho) and wages war against the members of SNΘΘΤΥ House. There’s also a really clever frat name in an episode of Boy Meets World. The group is called Magnum Pi, which is a wonderful homage to my boy Magnum P.I.!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
When you’re honouring the world of fraternities, Jagermeister has to be used in your shooter. This recipe originally comes from a cocktail that is supposed to use Root Beer as a mixer, so I shrunk it down to shot form and added Root Beer Schnapps, instead. It tasted quite nice, as anything with Root Beer does, in this Sip Advisor’s opinion!

July 5 – Too Cool for School

Teacher’s Pet

I have never felt comfortable in a teacher or trainer position and while these folks only play the role on TV and in movies, they do a pretty damn good job of it. I tip my metaphorical hat and give them my full attention. Here are the top five educators in media:

#5: Mr. Feeny – Boy Meets World

Guide and neighbour to the young, impressionable Cory Matthews, Mr. Feeny will always be remembered as the voice of Knight Rider… I mean as the voice of reason when Cory was facing a dilemma at school or in his personal life. As the kids moved from grade school to high school to college, Feeny came along with them, jumping from teacher to administrator to professor to pedo… no, he never went that far. When you really think about it, though, how awful would it be to live next door to your teacher/principal/professor? He’d always know what you were up to and there’d be no separation of school and not school.

What Would Mr. Feeny Do

#4: Mr. Belding – Saved by the Bell

Mr. Belding is the authority figure children of the 80’s most identify with, as a school disciplinarian. His many run-ins with Zack Morris and the gang led to many of our fondest childhood memories and without him, we probably wouldn’t realize that principals actually do have a heart and are, in fact, real people. Belding was not without his faults, though. His relationship with his students bordered on creepy. He had a guy’s night with Zack, Slater and Screech, eating pizza and talking philosophically with the boys in Zack’s bedroom. What kind of absentee parents would allow this to happen under their own roof?

#3: Mr. Garrison – South Park

Mr. Garrison, has gone from Mr. to Mrs. and back to Mr. again. He’s been straight, gay, lesbian and even hat-sexual. While dealing with the potty-mouthed children at South Park Elementary, Garrison is just as likely to be caught cursing up a storm and acting as childishly as his students. His antics have resulted in his being fired or suspended on a few occasions and he seems to suffer from a number of mental health issues. Whether it be Mr. or Mrs. or something completely different, Garrison is one of the funniest recurring characters on the show and being in his classroom would be a very unique experience.

Mr. Garrison

#2: Dean Pelton – Community

Much like Belding, Dean Pelton has an odd affiliation with his student body, particularly that of Jeff Winger, unofficial leader of everyone’s favourite study group. While he just wants to better the image of his school, he goes about it in all the wrong ways, often leading to mass chaos on the campus. For example, end-of-the-year paintball tournaments have turned the community college into a post-apocalyptic warzone. If that is enough to make you want to enrol at the school, which for the Sip Advisor it is, then well done Dean… mission accomplished!

#1: Principal Skinner – The Simpsons

Perhaps the longest running school official and therefore, the most famous on this list, Skinner has a tough job, trying to operate Springfield Elementary on a shoestring budget and dealing with delinquents like Bart Simpson and below-average intelligence pupils, such as Ralph Wiggum. When he’s not challenged by the student body, he has to deal with Superintendent Chalmers breathing down his neck. And did you know that he’s not even the real principal Skinner??? Oh wait, we were supposed to completely forget that ever happened. My bad.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Too Cool for School

Too Cool for School Shot

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 0.3 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.3 oz Mango Rum
  • 0.3 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.3 oz Orange Juice
  • 0.3 oz Pineapple Juice

Honourable mentions include Gabe Kotter (Welcome Back Kotter), Peggy Hill (King of the Hill), and anything Ben Stein does (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/The Wonder Years). I only include them so as to avoid the omnipotent threat of detention!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Yet another cocktail I had to convert into a shot for my own purposes… what is this world coming to!? The shot was heavy with tropical juices, but it was nice to have the Mango and Coconut Rums come in with the aftertaste. This shooter provided my first opportunity to use the Bols Blue Curacao foam I picked up in Europe and I think I’ll have a lot of fun playing with this neat product in the future!

May 17 – Carry Me Home

Won’t You Be My Neighbour?

Neighbours… sometimes you love them and sometimes you hate them. One thing is for sure: you rarely get to choose them. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be looking at some of the best and worst neighbour pairs, so be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here are the Top 5 best neighbours to have:

#5: Ricardo Family & Mertz Family – I Love Lucy

Sure, Lucy and Ethel get into a lot of trouble together, which can wreak havoc on the collective group’s relationship, but this quartet has managed to remain friends through the thick and thin of some of the greatest sitcom misunderstandings. Ironically, off-screen, Vivian Vance and William Frawley, who played the Mertz’s did not like each other, with Vance even turning down a proposed spinoff and own series for the two. Instead, Vance chose to share a house with Lucille Ball in another series, The Lucy Show, becoming the first divorced character in American TV history. I guess Vance wanted to be even closer to her longtime neighbour.

Lucy and Ethel

#4: Monica Geller/Rachel Green & Joey Tribbiani/Chandler Bing – Friends

Chandler moved in to the apartment building in Greenwich Village, Manhattan thanks to Monica telling him about the available flat across the hall from her. By the end of the series, the two were married and starting a family together. Rachel and Joey (their eventual respective roommates) almost became a couple, as well, but it wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t watch a ton of Friends, but the best episodes I ever saw were when the two sets of roommates competed for apartments. The boys won, but swapped properties back in exchange for the girls kissing.

#3: Leonard Hofstadter & Penny – Big Bang Theory

The only thing better than a decent neighbour is one you can have sex with. When the gorgeous Penny moves in across the hall from geeky Leonard, his world is turned upside down. She is certainly out of his league, but this tale of nice guys never win has a happy ending, with Leonard and Penny finally becoming a couple. I still wonder why the two haven’t moved in together, to at the very least, save rent money, but perhaps Penny still needs to have a sanctuary where she can get away from Sheldon. Interestingly, I hadn’t noticed that Penny’s last name has never been divulged on the show until putting together this article. Soon enough, it may be Hofstadter.

Friends with Geeks

#2: Matthews Family & Mr. Feeny – Boy Meets World

Mr. Feeny is a wealth of knowledge (likely thanks to his experiences as the voice of a car) and while his tutelage isn’t always openly accepted by young Eric and Cory Matthews, he is there for all the members of the Matthews family when needed. It would be rough going through your entire education with your neighbour as either a teacher, principal, or dean, but that’s exactly the hand Cory, in particular, has been dealt. If it weren’t for Mr. Feeny being so awesome, it may have been tough sledding for the young Matthews men, although it’s not like they didn’t ever stir the pot and put Feeny through some hell.

#1: Tim Taylor & Wilson Wilson – Home Improvement

When you get into as many sticky situations as Tim Taylor, it’s a blessing to have a neighbour like Wilson Wilson around to help you sort through your dilemmas with offbeat allegories and thought-provoking messages. And Wilson wasn’t only help to Tim. He practically had a hand in raising each of the three Taylor children, as well as keeping Tim and Jill’s marriage running as smoothly as possible… given Tim’s penchant for putting his foot in his mouth or a tool through an appendage. You may never see Wilson’s full face or get a sense of his lifestyle, but one thing is for sure: the dude spends a lot of time in his backyard!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Carry Me Home

Carry Me Home Shot

  • 0.5 Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Dash of Kahlua
  • Splash of Milk
  • Garnish with Cocoa Powder

Like a good neighbour, State Farm is there… or at least these other pairings are. Next week, we delve into the worst neighbours of all-time. Oh, the stories I could tell from my own experiences… I’m still going through counseling thanks to some of them!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty good with flavours of Butterscotch Schnapps and Crème de Cacao competing for your attention and the Kahlua coming in with the aftertaste. Make sure to share one of these with your favourite neighbour!

August 3 – Roasted Mellow

Friends Forever

Today is Friendship Day and it gives up the perfect opportunity to huddle around the campfire with this awesome and creative shot and our best buds. With that in mind, we’re looking at BFF’s in media. Duos and groups that stand by each other through thick and thin, sharing triumphs and defeats together. Here are some of the best:

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble – The Flintstones

Always up to something, Fred and Barney are total bros. When either of them is in need of help, whether it be dealing with thugs, their wives, or even dressing in drag together to win a pastry competition, the other is quick to step up and lend a helping hand. The two even work together at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company.

Fred and Barney

Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir – Community

While seemingly having opposite personalities at first – Troy a popular jock and Abed a media-obsessed geek – the two Greendale Community College students quickly formed a tight bond, hosting a campus morning show together and inventing their own handshake. Eventually, Troy and Abed moved in together so they could continue their fun together at all hours.

The Boys – Entourage

Vince, E, Drama, and Turtle are virtually inseparable as they traverse the Hollywood scene together. When actor Vince hit it big in the movie industry, he took his best friends (and brother Johnny Drama) along with him for the ride. Drama is also an actor, while Eric becomes a talent manager, and Turtle dabbles in a few side businesses, trying to find success on his own.

Bart Simpson and Milhouse Van Houten / Homer Simpson and Barney Gumble – The Simpsons

The Simpson men each have a friend who’ve they’ve known practically their entire life. The apple obviously didn’t fall too far from the tree, as while Bart is the impetus for Milhouse getting into sticky situations, Homer is the one who introduced Barney to beer, pushing him into years of alcoholism and failed opportunities.

Homer and Barney

Danny Tanner and Joey Gladstone – Full House

When Danny suffered the death of his wife and had to figure out how to raise three young girls on his own, his buddy Joey was quick to step in (and move in) to the Tanner family home. Joey becomes a second father to DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle and an integral member of their family unit. The jokester and impressionist knew just how to keep the mood light around the house.

Harry Dunn and Lloyd Christmas – Dumb & Dumber

Upon further inspection, Harry and Lloyd have only each other. No one else could possibly tolerate these two idiots for long enough to form a bond. While not the brightest guys in the world (in fact, far from it), they are decent human beings who are only held back by their complete lack of intelligence.

Kevin Arnold and Paul Pfeiffer – The Wonder Years

These two grew up together, through all the awkward adolescent years (especially for Paul… I’m mean, have a look at him) and despite the odd falling out, the boys were always there for each other. Paul was there all along as Kevin fell in and out of love with neighbor Winnie Cooper. I wonder who would have done Paul’s adult voiceovers, if it was ever needed…

wonder years

Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz – I Love Lucy

Poor Ethel was put into so many awkward situations and got into so much trouble because of Lucy… but she probably wouldn’t have had it any other way! Lucy definitely made life interesting for the housewives through her various schemes. Actresses Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance were friends offstage, as well, which likely helped with their chemistry.

Beavis and Butt-head – Beavis and Butt-head

Beavis and Butthead were partners in crime (sometimes literally) as they wasted great chunks of their life together, watching music videos, idolizing all the wrong people, and chasing after women outside of their league. In flashbacks throughout the show’s run, you get a sense that the two only had each other and that’s all they ever needed.

beavis-and-butthead

Bert and Ernie – Sesame Street

They may simply be roommates (or are they?), but Bert and Ernie come as a package deal. The only thing that could possibly come between the chums is Ernie’s rubber ducky, but that’s only for tub time. Bert sometimes grows frustrated with Ernie’s antics, but in the end, the two learn a lesson together, which is also imparted on youngster’s watching at home.

Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter – Boy Meets World

Before Topanga entered Cory’s life and took over the “best friend” role, Shawn was his preeminent pal, as the two tried to survive growing up together. From grade school all the way through college, there was rarely a time when the two were apart, with Shawn even living with Cory and his family for long stretches of time.

Drink #215: Roasted Mellow

Aug 3

  • 0.5 oz Marshmallow Vodka (I used Smirnoff Fluffed)
  • 0.5 oz Scotch
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • Pour shot in Giant Marshmallow

How are you spending Friendship Day? Make sure to share some time with the folks that make you who you are and you couldn’t live without!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
You know, this shot didn’t taste that bad. Did it taste like a roasted marshmallow? Perhaps a little, thanks obviously to the Marshmallow Vodka and even to the Scotch and its smoky aftertaste. The addition of Chocolate Liqueur should change the recipe to being call The S’more or something of that ilk. Massive credit to my wasteland of a brain for coming up with putting the shot directly into a Giant Marshmallow!