December 26 – Christmas Cheer

Better to Give

Christmas may have passed, but to keep in the spirit, let’s have one more look at some great gifts given, this time in TV history:

#5: iPod – The Office

Looking to impress young intern Ryan, Michael Scott totally disregards the $20 limit on Secret Santa gifts and instead buys a $400 iPod, setting off a trading war for the music player. The real great gift was what Jim had put together for Pam: a tea pot filled with mementos and a private letter (which he later withdrew). Across the pond, the U.K. Office also had a memorable gift exchange, when Tim gave Dawn an art set, encouraging her to “Never give up” on her dreams.

the office christmas

#4: Blank Cheque – Mary Tyler Moore Show

While it was simply an oversight, Mary Richards’ Christmas turned interesting when she received a blank cheque from boss, Lou Grant, as a gift. What would you do? Personally, I would bilk TV station WJM of every dime they had and then vanish into the night, never to be seen again, as I live the rest of my days in some tropical paradise with Mrs. Sip and an endless supply of booze. Mary, on the other hand, had to go and inform the gruff managing editor of his error.

#3: Leonard Nimoy’s Autograph – Big Bang Theory

Christmas shopping can be an awkward exercise, especially when finding a gift for someone you don’t know so well. Part of the issue is you don’t know what they might be getting you in return. Sheldon Cooper seemed to have that all figured out by buying his neighbour Penny bath baskets in varying sizes. When she surprises him with a signed napkin from his hero Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek’s Spock), he rushes to his room and gathers every basket he had assembled.

#2: Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons

Down on his luck after learning he will not receive a Christmas bonus and that his second job as a mall Santa didn’t pay out as he had hoped, Homer Simpson had no presents for his family. Fortune has a funny way of turning around at Christmas, though, and as Homer and Bart are picking through the discarded wagers outside the dog track, hoping to find a winning stub, out comes the dog they bet on, in need of a new family. This special was the start of The Simpsons long animated run.

#1: Lost Love Letters – A Garfield Christmas

There are some incredibly thoughtful gifts in this Christmas special. While Odie’s construction of a backscratcher for Garfield was incredibly cute, the lasagna-loving cat stole the holiday by unearthing lost love letters sent to Grandma Arbuckle by her late husband. The funny thing is that if this were ever to happen for Mrs. Sip in the very distant future, a tuna water-loving kitty would have to dig up all my old e-mails to her. Hopefully the cat has no issues remembering my password.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Christmas Cheer

Some might argue that the greatest gift from TV might be the now real holiday of Festivus, from the Seinfeld episode The Strike. If that’s how you prefer to celebrate, I hope your airing of grievances, feats of strength, and Festivus miracles are everything you ever wished for!

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November 14 – Breaking Bad

Regretful Decisions

Recently, I did a series of articles about actors that probably regretted movie roles they had turned down. Today, I embark on a similar series, but change the medium. We’re looking at TV characters that have been passed up on… usually for the better!

Paul Giamatti as Michael Scott (The Office)

The iconic role that made Steve Carell a household name and launched his movie career could have gone to someone else. Paul Giamatti turned down the U.S.-version of David Brent and focused on his movie career. A few others were reportedly considered for the role, including Hank Azaria, Martin Short, Bob Odenkirk, and even Rainn Wilson, who ended up as the best possible Dwight Schrute imaginable.

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Pamela Anderson as Dana Scully (X-Files)

The show would have been much less sci-fi and a little more parody had this poor choice actually happened. I’m not a fan, but the X-Files staff made a great move by going in another direction. You can also bet that if Anderson had taken the roll, there would have been more slow-motion running scenes and the skimpiest outfits possible for a paranormal investigator!

John Cusack/Matthew Broderick as Walter White (Breaking Bad)

I’m a huge Bryan Cranston fan, long before he became a meth-making, cancer-surviving maniac. I even heard one joke that Walter White is Cranston’s character on Malcolm in the Middle after he goes into hiding! Getting back on track, apparently both Cusack and Broderick turned down the role, leaving the door wide open for Cranston. I can kind of see Cusack doing an okay job, but Broderick would have been a long shot to make this work.

Katie Holmes as Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Good lord I hate this show with a vehement passion. The story goes that Holmes passed on Buffy in order to finish high school (a commendable action), before she joined the cast of Dawson’s Creek the next year (an uncommendable action). Sarah Michelle Gellar had originally auditioned for the role on Cordelia, but thankfully the domino effect introduced the world to Charisma Carpenter, who later posed for Playboy and that’s all that really matters!

holmes-buffy

Ryan Reynolds and Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Speaking of that which shall not be named, my alma mater homey (The Green Lantern and I attended the same college) saw the writing on the wall and passed on this nerd-captivating show. He has since gone on to become a Hollywood heartthrob, while Nicholas Brendon has gone on to do a variety of work, but nothing near the level of his Xander Harris (the one character I didn’t mind on the show) fame.

John Hawkes as The Governor (The Walking Dead)

I’m not familiar with who John Hawkes actually is (he actually played a few roles you know, you jackass), but I find his reasoning to be sound. He refused the role of The Governor, as he thought someone else could do the character better. Enter David Morrissey, who has provided the character a hauntingly authoritative aura in his battles with Rick Grimes and the other survivors.

Paul Shaffer as George Costanza (Seinfeld)

I can’t imagine anyone other than Jason Alexander portraying Costanza: Lord of the Idiots. Shaffer, best known as David Letterman’s band leader, was left a message from Jerry Seinfled, offering him the role if he wanted it, but due to his other commitments, Shaffer never even returned the call. I just don’t think the show would have been very good without Alexander in the role of Jerry’s best friend.

Drink #318: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Blue Salt/Rock Candy
  • 2 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedges

What will tomorrow’s sequel list hold? Wouldn’t you like to know? And for a small fee, I’ll tell you. Hey, gotta support this project somehow!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I don’t have any major complaints about this cocktail, but it didn’t measure up to many of the drinks I’ve been making recently. I’m glad the Blue Candy Powder rim worked out as it helped with the Breaking Bad crystal meth theme. Tequila and Lemonade are a good combo, so give it a chance sometime.

October 18 – Spider’s Bite

TV Haunts

Most TV shows will take advantage of the Halloween season and put out an episode involving a party or trick or treating and while many of them are good, great even, some series really know how to salute the event. Here are the shows that took the Halloween formula and turned it up a notch, leaving their own mark on the holiday:

The Simpsons

You really can’t go wrong with The Simpsons ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Halloween specials. It’s hard for me to pick a favourite segment, but I’d probably settle on “The Shinning” lampoon of “The Shining”. I also love the story of Homer selling his soul for a donut and Ned Flanders being the devil. Mrs. Sip and I went back last year to watch every single episode, but only managed to get through 15 of the 23 shows (now 24)… on the plus side, that leaves us with nine airings to go through this year, leading up to the 31st!

Treehouse of Horror

Roseanne

Roseanne featured a Halloween episode every year from 1989 to 1995. The Connors were a wild bunch that loved Halloween perhaps more than any other time of the year. The whole family got into the spirit, with decorations around the house and wildly imaginative costumes. The best episode may be 1989’s “BOO”, which featured the family hosting a haunted house in their home and Dan and Roseanne taking turns trying to scare the crap out of one another.

Community

Every season of Community’s existence has featured a Halloween-themed episode and hopefully that continues in season five. The show has celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), examined what would happen if a zombie apocalypse took over the school, tried to figure out which member of the study group is a potential homicidal maniac, and ventured through a seemingly haunted house to rescue their friend. What could be next for the gang?

Community- Season 4

Home Improvement

With all of Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor’s hapless home renovations and gadgets, you knew each time Halloween rolled around that there would be mayhem and macabre in the household. Tim is also big into Halloween pranks, something that his family has also gotten into the spirit of as they try to get back at their father/husband. Watch a few of these and you’ll be interspersing your laughing with the odd grunt or two!

The Office

The Office was always good for viewing because it gave you touches of what you experience in your own daily working life. That includes the yearly ramp up to Halloween at, well, the office. The costumes worn by the characters have been full of gags, like Michael’s two-headed monster, all the women dressed as cats, and Jim’s lack of enthusiasm for choosing a getup, his outfits including three black dots (Three-Hole Punch Jim), wearing a “Dave” nametag, and writing “BOOK” on his face (Bookface).

Drink #291: Spider’s Bite

Spider's Bite Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Cranberry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Black Licorice

Have I missed your favourite show? Give me hell and let me know what to watch this or next Halloween season!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail was pretty tasty. The only downside was having so much Black Licorice leftover, but I was able to pawn them off on Pa Sip. All the ingredients combined to make a sour, flavourful martini… a much better experience than getting bit by a spider!

May 3 – Sidecar

Sidekicking

The Sip Advisor has gone through numerous sidekicks over the years. I don’t have a good safety track-record with my associates and therefore find it hard to reel in replacements. Perhaps these guys and gals are looking for work. If so, please submit your resumes and head shots (females only) to Sip Advisor Headquarters, PO Box 84148. Best of luck to those applying!

Robin – Batman

Batman can get a lot of crazy stuff done on his own, but add in Robin and you have quite the dynamic duo. The ‘Boy Wonder’ is the quintessential sidekick. He knows his role as the number two and doesn’t overstep the boundaries of his part… except for his constant “holy, [insert something to do with their current predicament], Batman” musings.

batman-robin-cheap-budget

Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes

Without Dr. Watson around, surely Sherlock Holmes would go insane under the weight of his own superior intelligence. Watson is the calming force that helps Sherlock work his way through mysteries and there’s the odd time where the good doctor’s problem solving ability is crucial in cracking a case. Mmmm, cracking a case… right, we’re not talking about beer.

Barney Fife – Andy Taylor

While Sheriff Andy Taylor was the straight man and level-headed leader of the Mayberry Police Department, his counterpart, Deputy Barney Fife was his inept, hapless partner. Together, they made a good pairing that kept the town safe and orderly, although Fife usually needed Taylor’s help to keep him safe from himself.

barney-fife

Dale Gribble – Hank Hill

While Dale is the kind of sidekick that causes more issues than he solves, he certainly keeps things interesting for best friend Hank. Dale’s paranoia has frequently got the best of him and one has to wonder if his career as a pest removal specialist – and all those toxic chemicals – isn’t to blame for some of his delusions. Hank has to reel his friend in from time to time, which is easy for the serious leader.

Milhouse Van Houten – Bart Simpson

And everything’s coming up Milhouse! It’s hard to tell sometimes if Milhouse is friends with Bart because he likes Bart or if he just wants to remain closer to his crush and Bart’s sister, Lisa. If there isn’t some degree of friendship between the two boys, then Milhouse has gone through a lot just for his unrequited love. Bart has caused him to get into a great deal of trouble, and when pressed as to why he’s friends with Milhouse, Bart struggles to answer, saying it is largely due to “geographic convenience”.

Bart and Milhouse

Barney Rubble – Fred Flintstone

Fred’s little buddy Barney is always up for Fred’s shenanigans and despite warning him of what the end results could be, Barney often goes along with the scheme. The two pals are both members of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos and even work together at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company quarry. That’s a lot of time to spend with one person, but if it works for them, who am I to judge?

Mini-Me – Dr. Evil

The pint-sized clone of Dr. Evil may be small in stature, but he’s just as wicked as his “daddy”. Mini-Me also has the advantage of being at a perfect level for biting adversaries in the shin or delivering a devastating low blow. You can never stay too mad at the little guy, though, because he has such a sweet grin… even if it is hiding his evil side.

kinopoisk.ru

Diddy Kong – Donkey Kong

These two primates play off of each other so well that they have been able to keep Donkey Kong Country safe from evil crocodiles and slithering snakes on multiple occasions. Donkey Kong played the role of mentor to his young protégé Diddy, as they bashed their way over all the baddies who meant them harm. Diddy (no relation to Puff Daddy) even branched out and took the lead in his own game, letting Donkey enjoy a comfortable retirement in his banana horde. He hasn’t been seen in years!

Dwight Schrute – Michael Scott

In his constant pursuit of a management position at the Dunder-Mifflin paper company, Dwight Schrute idolizes manager Michael Scott, even if his treatment at the hands of his boss isn’t always the kindest. Dwight is often placed into the role of Assistant to the Regional Manager, which he claims means Assistant Regional Manager. Meanwhile, he’s stuck doing Michael’s laundry and other menial tasks, while others are promoted ahead of him.

Drink #123: Sidecar

Sidecar Cocktail

When I was younger, Broski Sip was my sidekick and partner in crime. He’s since moved onto other endeavors, while I continue to pursue worldwide awesomeness. Mrs. Sip was offered his spot, but she declined, wanting to live a long life. So, I ask, who has the intestinal fortitude to join me in this pursuit? You will never regret it!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m learning quickly that I really enjoy Apricot Brandy. It very nicely accentuates the already delicious Triple Sec. The cocktail, as a whole, was good and an optional sugar rim could have been added for those who want an even sweeter taste.