Girl-Meets-WorldIt seemed… familiar.

If you watched even the first five minutes of the new TV show “Girl Meets World,” you might have felt like you were watching something you’ve seen before.

Not because it was this generation’s reversal of “Boy Meets World” – the show that brought us the great angst of “Cory” and “Topanga.”

(That’s definitely how the show has been promoted thus far)

Thirteen2003PosterMore because elements in this pilot episode felt like a laugh-track version of the tragic movie “Thirteen.”

It all sounds good on paper:

  • Ben Savage’s character “Cory” wants his wide-eyed, 11-year-old daughter “Riley” to make her own world instead of live in his. He states, “I’ve already met the world. It’s your turn.”
  • Cory and Topanga have no problem letting Riley go out and explore the big city as she sees fit.
  • Riley has a cool, hip friend named Maya who knows the ways of the world.
  • Maya takes Riley on a subway, throws herself at a boy to teach Riley how to do it, and dares Riley to keep go even further with “reinventing” herself.

Thankfully, there’s more to it. The show ends in a happy place, and we’d expect the same in future episodes.

But… is that the landing place in the real world for the set-up we just read, though?

How often do we actually see parents who encourage their kids to reinvent themselves (under the influence of a cool, hip friend who knows the ways of the world) end up weeping over where their kids ends up versus chuckling along with a laugh track?

Hope/pray it goes somewhere more productive. Given the edge of where “Good Luck Charlie” ended, we may be in for more than an amusement park ride in this series.

Maybe this isn’t a big deal. Maybe it is. I can already hear “Boy Meets World” fans more excited to see their favorite characters onscreen than ponder what I’m proposing here.

Can we get Mr Feeny to weigh in on this?

P.S. If you don’t know the movie I’m talking about, Walt Mueller summed up its impact/effects quite well in this great post: - check it out.

accordingtotvTV suspends reality.

When someone gets playfully thrown into a swimming pool on TV, all I can do is worry if they have their cell phone in their pocket… because they obviously don’t.

Maybe I think about these things too much.

It’s why I dream about a TV Special called “Wizard Fight” where David Copperfield, David Blaine and Cris Angel try to make each other disappear.

I once heard that 50,000 TV sets are sold every day in America, and Americans watch 1.5 billion hours of TV each year. That adds up to cumulatively spending more than nine entire years of their lives watching TV in the course of their lifetime. Ever think about what that does to how we see life, let alone the world on the other side of the screen?

According to TV…

  • All mob bosses prefer to unwind by cooking their own food in an empty restaurant kitchen.
  • Everyone owns the same alarm clock with that awful sound that never gets turned off.
  • Capturing and owning other lifeforms (slavery) is okay… as long as they’re Japanese brand pocket monsters.
  • Really old friends have a hip, complicated handshake.
  • It’s not at all weird how much time people spend facing one direction standing up in their own homes.
  • After you shoot all your bullets at Superman, you’re supposed to throw your gun at him.
  • You can make a date with someone new and know everything about its logistics by simply talking with them and saying, “Great! I’ll see you tonight!”
  • Every guy in a somewhat soiled white tank-top who’s watching sitcoms in an Archie Bunker style chair is guilty of some sort of crime.
  • No one during the era of knights and kings ever needed to see a dentist – they all had perfect teeth, except for random characters who only popped up to make a declaration that the beautiful people didn’t like.
  • All high schools let you eat your lunch outside in an open area where it never rains.
  • Ninjas, Popes, prostitutes, Buddhist monks – these people can go to work in their pajamas.
  • 40% of all marriages are between two spies.
  • Vampires, although they can’t see themselves in a mirror, somehow still are able to style their hair into something quite amazing. (Do the vampires help each other out on this?)
  • No one thinks it’s weird if you’re walking around in public and start singing with your friends to a soundtrack that only you all can hear.
  • So far, the best thing about the future is that we don’t have to talk on the phone anymore.
  • There aren’t as many old or ugly people in the planet as there are attractive, coffee-drinking  twenty-somethings who feel unlucky in love… and yet are blindly sipping coffee right now with the person they were meant to be with.
  • The best way to hide after you fake your own death is to just wear a baseball hat, look down a city street, then pull the brim of the baseball hat down over your eyes.
  • At some point… you apparently get used to zombies roaming the streets.
  • Ms Piggy is hot. Like, crazy hot. As in, “Don’t ya wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” hot.
  • We’re actually supposed to care about professional wrestling… and not care that they’re wearing what they’re wearing.
  • It’s completely acceptable to literally, physically throw anyone named “Jazz” out of your house.
  • Three out of every four of my friends are gay.
  • It’s easier to escape spending time at Shawshank the prison than it is to escape spending time with Shawshank the movie.
  • Most people talk at a speed like an elevator door is closing on the conversation.
  • Every office has four people who do all the work and 15 people who just walk around playing pranks and eating salads.

What would you add to the list?

Have fun with this… maybe even use it as a discussion starter.

We’ve had this conversation already.

Haven’tpenrosesteps we?

Remember how we all took sides on the Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty thing a few months ago?

Some people in our churches said “blah, blah, blah.”

Others in our churches replied back, “Yeah, but blah, blah blah.”

Former church attendees and the world in general looked at us and just said, “Blah.”


Perhaps this is why when I saw a “trending” topic on Facebook yesterday surrounding some “anti-gay activists” that HGTV has canceled hosting a show with, my first reaction was… well… fatigue.

benhams__140507192645According to Deadline Hollywood, a group called “Right Wing Watch” reported that the twin brothers starring in HGTV’s recently greenlit reality series “Flip It Forward” are anti-gay activists. The network, in turn, retracted its offer to move forward with the series. The article further explained:

Right Wing Watch reported Tuesday that David Benham had led a prayer rally outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in 2012, in which he told conservative radio host Janet Mefferd that America’s Christian majority must repent for tolerating  “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation” and “demonic ideologies tak[ing] our universities and our public school systems.” He also said his brother had joined him in the prayer protest. The group also claimed David leads protests outside of abortion clinics.

I found it most intriguing that the article itself noted the irony of the situation. It ended with this line: “At the same presentation, HGTV also announced it had greenlighted a design competition show from Ellen DeGeneres.”


don’t worry about this.

You’re busy. You “gave” to the Phil Robertson debate. You did just fine.

If anyone brings it up, just copy-and-paste your previous comments… i.e. “Well, HGTV is a business, so…” or “Well, we should practice free speech in both directions, so…”

lazychristianBut by all means…

don’t worry about this.

We used to be concerned with the cultural impact of people coming out of the closet. Maybe we should just join in with HGTV and shift into sweeping it all under a rug… be it the topic itself or the people involved.

That sure would make life a whole lot easier for everyone.

Ya think?

jimmyfallonThis is a big week for Jimmy Fallon – between taking on the Tonight Show and all the press that’s involved with it.

Critics will be waiting to pounce on him, eager to summarize if he “nails it” or “fails it.”

There will be a lot of leadership lessons for you as you watch it all unfold. As you think about it, share any learning curves you’ve already observed about it (or circle back here throughout the week as you pick up on some more). For example, some people have already made up their mind that “no one will ever compare to Leno.” Have you ever faced that in life, your career or in a ministry as you took over from your successor?

Meanwhile, enjoy this fun riffing that Jimmy and his crew offer on their different church experiences growing up. This dates back to 2011 when Kirk Franklin was to be a guest and Jimmy’s house band The Roots started to play some “Gospel music” with a nod to their understanding of church.

61EjsSyOLuL._SL1500_The Super Bowl® is around the corner and this little gadget might be the tool to help get your party off the ground (check out this post about keeping your party legal). I have owned an EyeTV for several years and love it. This little gadget turns your Mac or PC into a TV. If you have an antenna and can pick up FOX (Yes, it picks up HD), you can watch the Super Bowl® in your youth room. It is not a guarantee, if you are in the basement (like me) you might have a hard time getting some stations, but FOX comes in loud and clear where I am.

Here is a quick search for an EyeTV. If you decide to purchase make sure it is for the USA and HD (there are UK and older non-HD sticks), I am not sure how or if the others would work. The USB stick is anywhere from $100-$200.



Discovery ChannelOkay, first off – how did I not know the show “Amish Mafia” existed?

I ask because I stumbled onto it through a random web link. I later did some research and learned that the show  isn’t as accurate as it presents itself to be. A great article from Lancaster Online gives testimony to how the main personas and storylines of the show are more “between 1 and 10 percent truth.”

Still, after watching these clips, I found something “familiar” about it.

Maybe you can help me out here. I’m not Dutch, I don’t live in Pennsylvania and I’m a big fan of electricity.

So from this preview alone, what am I identifying with?

Are there any implications or comparisons for what does and doesn’t happen in youth group circles… and the role some youth workers take on?

For example, I feel there is this subculture within youth groups where some kids want to go wild but create the sense they’re staying true to their faith. Then within that subculture there’s another subculture who encourages it (i.e. the Amish mafia), and yet another subculture (i.e. parents/church legalists) who are quick to pounce.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Curious as to your media consumption habits. Have you jumped off of cable yet? We’re 2 years in and running!


An age-old question came up the other day among a few of my friends, and as I mulled it over I realized the need for some definitive rules about when it is OK to openly talk about movie and TV spoilers. With the series-ending episode of LOST coming tomorrow night, with 24 counting down the last few seconds this season, with The Office screaming real-life comparisons to the co-workers in your office – how can you not talk about these things? Never fear geek gurus and TV jockeys, I’m here to rescue you from the swirling vortex of friendship-ending faux pas when it comes to the moving pictures:


In the age of Tivo, DVR, Hulu (2 years ago we cut the cable and use our Sony VAIO hooked up to the big screen) and mobile TV you almost have to cut people some slack. No one watches shows when they air on TV anymore: real-time has been brushed aside in favor of on-demand. At the very least people watch a show a few hours later, and I would venture that many/most aren’t seeing it until the next day. This delay can be frustrating, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than wearing your GLEEK shirt and talking about a Sue Sylvester line that no one has heard yet, only to be greeted by winces and people running away from you while covering their ears. Be proud that you are a better geek (and all-around friend) than they are but keep it to yourself for a day – then geek out.


What about midnight showings?
When a movie debuts at midnight, only .01% of the population of your office went to see it. Iron Man 2 at 2am might sound like fun to you, but with the exception of your cubicle cronies, it sounds lame to the rest of the crew at your workplace. If you see a midnight showing of a blockbuster movie, talk excitedly about how great the movie was in somewhat hushed tones with the dudes. If the movie was lame, it is totally appropriate to steal some of the joy form your coworkers by practicing a frustrated face that will let them know your epic late night sacrifice came up more than a little short.

What about my close circles of geek friends?
When you’re with fellow geeks, feel free to talk openly about spoilers the minute the show is over. In fact, why wait for the credits to roll at all? They are your friends only because of your superior knowledge of six degrees of separation and connecting obscure plot points. Impress them and guide them along by openly discussing plot points and openly speculating about what is next.

What about people in later timezones?
The Time Zone Effect, as I like to call it, penalizes people on the West Coast more than any other people group. We air the shows live for you to watch during prime time – which means they were recorded just down the street from us in Hollywood while we were still at the office. Then the show gets tape delayed hours later for us to finally enjoy. Lame. But hey, you have winter, so I guess that makes up for us basking in the sunshine at 77 degrees in January.

How do I handle social media?
Simply put, you need to go dark to truly enjoy your favorite show. It might be best to not make eye contact with coworkers you think may have seen the episode or movie before you did. Even on lunch break, know the table right behind you could switch from a discussion of sushimi to Glee in milliseconds. Have a pair of Walkman ear buds at the ready, with soothing sounds of tranquil streams to quell your disturbed state.

Do reality shows have different rules?
Absolutely. First, American Idol can be talked about freely, this is America, dog gone it. Second, Survivor has been on since I was in middle school, so talk about that tired formula all you want. No one watches Celebrity Apprentice so no problem there. Someone told me the other day that Amazing Race is still on (had no idea) and that Biggest Loser would be great motivation for me (which I didn’t understand). Add all of this up and since no one cares about reality shows, you don’t have to either.

What about series or season finales?
Soon 24 will end forever. This weekend, we’ll continue to all be lost but LOST will be over for good. There are no rules to series finales. Throw everything out the door when you’re watching the last episode of a sitcom or evening drama. In fact, embrace social media and invite the geeks over for a finale costume party to celebrate the passing of this old digital friend. Say farewell in style to

It has been 3 years since the movie came out, is it fair game?
The Statute of Limitations on any TV show is 48 hours – anyone who hasn’t seen it within a couple of days deserves to have it spoiled. You are a teacher, your office culture is your classroom. Teach them a difficult lesson – they’ll thank you later for it no doubt. The Statute of Limitations on a movie extends through opening weekend – if you didn’t see it at midnight, we’ll show you some grace, but if you haven’t seen it by Monday brace yourself because I’m going to spoil it for you. The only exception to this statute would be sold-out shows, which wouldn’t allow everyone to see the film at the desired time. Each sold out showing extends the statute one whole day.

I hope this guide has been helpful, my geek friends. May the Force be with you and leave your FAQ in the comments and I’ll answer them there.


Sony provided me with a free Sony Ericsson X10 phone and a PSPgo and FIFA Soccer 10 game in connection with my participation in the Sony Ericsson/Sony Style X10 Blogger Contest, which requires me to blog about Sony and/or Sony Ericsson Products.