Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!...

My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture would like to wish you a very happy and safe Halloween! Hopefully you will score lots of free candy tonight (and for you older readers, lots of free drinks!).

And if you happen to dress up as a beloved TV character or actor (past or present), please send them my way! This is My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture's official mascot/executive assistant, Madison Chandler, as Liz Lemon during last year's holiday festivities. Unfortunately his pipe cleaner glasses wouldn't stay on, though...

Where's The Great Pumpkin, TV?...

Halloween is far from over. In fact, in most places it is just getting started. But for the past two weeks various television shows have gradually led up to today with themed episodes featuring all of their power players dressed up in costume...well, technically all actors are in costume when on TV, but you know what I mean! However, there were a few shows that didn't quite ignore the first major holiday of the fall/winter season but still didn't embrace it altogether either. And yet My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture thinks they should have!

Weeds. The Botwin clan is on the run and on the road this season. They need new identities, and in some situations, that also calls for disguises. What better disguise, even for just one day, than Halloween? Anyone can be anyone, and most often people are being other people and things while wearing masks.

Dexter. So this show is kind of timeless in that we never quite know what time of year it is. In Miami the sun always shines and the weather is always warm, you know? But it might have been nice imagery to see Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall) running around town, hunting his monster all the while surrounded by a bunch of civilians dressed up like monsters. Not exactly subtle, but it plays with the idea of just how many are out there and how its impossible for him to catch them all. Plus baby Harrison would make the cutest little pumpkin!

The Big Bang Theory. We've gotten glimpses of these guys all decked out in their superhero finest before. Hell, next week Eliza Dushku is going to guest star as an FBI agent, and that's a bit like a kid playing dress up anyway (really, will people take her seriously as an intelligent, professional woman?). I was severely disappointed to learn these guys weren't going to get out of their lab for the night and head to a costume party. Or at least knock on Penny (Kaley Cuoco)'s door for some free sweets!

No Ordinary Family. Speaking of superheroes, these are reel life ones who could have had some fun creating a haunted house with all of their newfound powers combined! But then again, they have some bigger tasks at hand so...

Better With You. The freshmen comedy already proved it can do holiday fun with a really early nod to Christmas card experiences. Yet perhaps they blew their crazy outfits wad on that episode because for Halloween, they chose to focus on Maddie (Jennifer Finnigan)'s birthday, which always gets overshadowed by the crazy kids' holiday. So there was still a party, just no costumes. And it was fun, but it just missed the mark a little bit when it came to festiveness.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Supernatural' Saturdays: "You Can't Handle The Truth" Tweetathon Round-Up...

- Jensen Ackles of Supernatural for #tvdramaactor in #PeoplesChoice - if you agree, pls RT (it'll count as another vote)

- I'm still finding it odd that the Campbell recipe took Dean back through his vampire moments rather than wiping his memory clean. #WTFSam

- Anyway, time for #YouCantHandleTheTruth with a waitress opening the show who kind of reminds me of Jen Kirkman.

- Why do so many television shows use elderly extras as the "go-to" to say shocking things in sweet voices? #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Oh, Bobby, you're no fun. DON'T shoot him? Are you going soft? Do you want to try to sweettalk the real Sam back out? #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Lesson to future #Supernatural directors: never put Jared on the higher side of the hill. When he & Jensen walk away, he towers even worse.

- Whatever is inside Sam is making him a better observer, which makes him a better hunter. If he can lay off the creepy sneer, I'll prefer him

- No dentist stuff! I have to go to one and shows like this make me too freaked out to actually make an appointment. #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Eight minutes in. Already glad I skipped the snacks for this episode. #icanhandlethetruthjustnotthatmuchblood

- "Satan's my co-pilot." Classic. #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Dean doing research should be a major tipoff that something's not right. Real Sam would have known that. But prob still not called him on it

- Oooh I like the possibility on that computer there, Dean. Much better than Busty Asian Beauties. Our lil boy's growing up!

- "How bout my horn?" Wow, Dean let that go by without a joke? He really IS growing up! #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- If Gabriel's horn is in play, does that mean he'll finally return? I'm managing to stay relatively spoiler-free. #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- I just realized where I've seen that condescending Sam sneer before. On one of his biggest fangirls. Now I won't be able to stop seeing it!

- Is the reporter with the glasses on the TV in the bar the same reporter from this week's #Hellcats? That would be awesome CW synergy!

- "Why am I telling you? Maybe because you're my favorite." I knew I missed @jumblejim for a reason! #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- As much as I want to know the truth about Sam, I think this is a bit too convenient way to attempt to get it.

- It's the best time to talk to Lisa, Dean, unless #YOUCantHandleTheTruth

- Lisa's a better person than I am if she's happy Sam is back and "okay". But she's right about the rest of it. #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Ooh an alien skull. This just got more interesting! #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- If demon tricks never worked on Sam before, why would this spell suddenly work now? THINK, Dean! #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- I really don't know the answer to that, Dean. But I kind of assumed that reporter was important since the TV was in focus in the bar.

- Wait, did #Supernatural just say reporters are like Gods? Much better than the reference Green Arrow gave on #Smallville a few weeks ago.

- Reason #1279 I love #Supernatural: they understand that dogs are able to sense the truth about people. #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Who wants to guess what that tongue was actually made of? I hope red velvet cake. For the actor's sake. #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- I reiterate: Jensen Ackles of Supernatural for #tvdramaactor in #PeoplesChoice

- I always fall a little quiet during the last 10 minutes of #Supernatural because I need to really soak in the last few minutes for the week

- Now answer the lady's question, Sam: What are you? #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Shouldn't you say "Chuck's honest"... ? #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Dean was told he has no soul, but clearly he does b/c he cares about Lisa & Ben & still his brother. If he was soulless like Sam is now cont

- (cont) he would have just slit his throat. #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Back to Bobby's panic room for you, boy (Sam)! #YouCantHandleTheTruth

- Dean finally takes his revenge from the season four finale. #NoMoreBloodyDeanFaceEVERPleaseSeraGamble

- Reason #1280 why I love #Supernatural: A #FamilyTies reference this week, an episode titled #FamilyMatters next week. Bringin back 80s TV!

Closing Remarks: I must take a moment to thank season six showrunner Sera Gamble for not dragging out this "What is wrong with Sam?" story line for too long. The cards were all out on the table tonight, even if it took awhile for Dean (Jensen Ackles) to see it. I was angry with him at first for allowing himself to be blindsided, but I realize after a brief reflection that even though he had deep suspicions and fears, he desperately wanted to believe Sam (Jared Padalecki) was Sam because he is trying to get back to his own life and needs that constant that he has always had. For the past few years, it was Dean and Sam, Sam and Dean, in it together against the world (literally at times), even when others thought it was unhealthy. The title of the episode was extremely poignant for him tonight.

And I guess since Lisa (Cindy Sampson)'s truth was that she believed the brothers' relationship to be a bit sick, that will be the last we see of her. At least for awhile. But something in that feels so unfinished. Dean spent a year of his life with her (which to him is a big deal; it's the longest he's really spent consistently with anyone other than his brother), and it's a bummer to see it all fizzle out like that. And a part of me just misses a strong ass-kicking chick like Jo (Alona Tal). I know Dean would never want a civilian to get into the hunting way of life, but she was already kind of kick-started into it in "The Kids Are Alright". The family that fights together, stays together, don't it?

I'm also glad that in an episode about the power of white lies, we got to see a bunch of inconsequential characters be unable to tell their usual little daily lies while we saw Sam manipulate the so-called spell and still cover up the really unpleasant truths. It was a strong statement to make, but again, it was one that we should have seen coming. Demon tricks and spells were never able to work on Sam so many years ago; more than the anti-possession tattoo he has on his chest, the demon blood in his veins made him immune. So watching Dean try to dig the deep, dark secret out of him was that much more heartbreaking because we could see that Sam wasn't exhibiting the one hundred percent honesty he should have been unable to resist while a wave of relief seemed to flood over Dean. A wave which crashed by the end of the episode.

I admit I was not one of the fans who fell into the "Sam has no soul" theory. I acknowledged that explanation being given previously, when Dean returned from hell and seemed immune in a similar situation. I was just hoping for something a little different this time around. But now that we know that such is the case with Sam, I personally want to see the show explore exactly why he and Dean have reacted so differently when supposedly they came back from hell with the same affliction.

Consider this: Dean still has a deep desire to protect Lisa, Ben, and even his brother. He doesn't salivate at the thought of slicing throats, even though he still claims that's what he does best. Sam, on the other hand...uh, does. And now that Padalecki has seemed to master a new facial expression (the creepy, condescending sneer), I think it's time that the show explore the why's and how's of it all.

Also, I had just come up with my own theory, and I will always prefer my own theories. They seem so much more creative and unique!

In other news, though, I could not have been happier to see Jim Beaver back, even for a brief few moments, and I really wish the show would bring all of its boys back together. Bobby has all of his faculties back; I want him to put them all to good use! And really, I just want to see he and Dean team up and throw the kid back in the panic room. I don't exactly know how one rehabs from having no soul, but I'm more than willing to go along for the ride while they attempt it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Graphic Novelist Craig Staufenberg Paints a Poignant Picture of September 11th in his First Book, "9/11 Heartbreaker"...

As time goes on we as a society tend to stop mentioning the large historical events of our generation unless we're doing some sort of retrospective or marking a big anniversary. But that doesn't mean we forget. In fact, for some, there will be images and keywords that stay with us forever from the good moments, and the bad. September 11th 2001 was, of course, one such event. And now author Craig Staufenberg has released a new graphic novel that explores our memories of that day and begs the question if time really does allow us to move on, or maybe even romanticize.

On your website you mention you were in high school on 9/11, and you're from New York. Readers of my site know I was in high school on 9/11 in New York as well. So were you there that day? Is that how this all started?

Craig Staufenberg: Actually, I was born and raised up in Albany, New York, so I wasn't in New York then. Obviously there's a lot of traffic in between Albany and New York so it's always been a part of my life. And my sister was down there at the time; she's been living there for the last thirteen years or so. So I have some ties down there, but I wasn't in the city; I was in high school up in Albany.

So then how did you start thinking about this pr
oject? What inspired you to start working on it?

C.S.: I started the project pretty randomly. It wasn't going to be a big thing when I first thought of it; I was just thinking of my own memories of 9/11 as a stray thought one day, and I started thinking of maybe making a video project because I thought it might be interesting to some people. The more I sat down to search for memories, the more I started to wonder what other people were remembering about September 11th and what their thoughts or memories or reactions or feelings about it were. From there I just started talking to people about it, still no real idea yet if I was going to make anything big out of it or not [but] after a couple of just started to build and feel like a bigger project than I originally imagined. So from there I kind of got the idea to narrow in on people around my age, and I started to do official interviews and approached it from more disciplined and dedicated than just a stray thing that I was doing.

To tell all of the stories you have within the pages, your website says you put an ad on CraigsList to get interviews. That to me is fascinating because you just never know what you're going to get with that site! So can you talk a little bit about that experience: for example, did you come up against any criticism regarding the subject matter?

C.H.: Well, it was very interesting. I got some great responses and ended up interviewing some people who were very helpful for the project. And I also got some very strange responses because it's CraigsList, and sometimes that seems to be half the population on there. And I got some people who had some great stories to tell but just weren't in the age group that I was talking to, and that was really hard for me because you hear these great stories and you want to share them and you think they have value, but you also have to focus...And then, you know, I got people on all sorts of the political spectrum who thought it was a terrible idea.

But I almost feel like with any true piece of art or creative work, you will hit critics who are just anti the subject matter for whatever reason. September 11th just may be a bit of an extreme version because it is still so sensitive to a lot of people for a variety of reasons.

C.H.: You know, I just believe in the book, and I believed in it from the beginning. And I knew that any subject matter is going to get people on one side or another but especially something that's as sacred, in a way, as 9/11. It hit some nerves. But I tried to handle it as responsibly and honestly as possible.

Getting back to the format, though, what made you decide to turn the story into a graphic novel, as opposed to that original idea of a video or even a different medium of writing?

C.H.: It took awhile for me to realize that this was a graphic novel...There were times I thought it might be an audio project; there were times I thought it might be a full documentary; it took me some time to zero in on it, but the thing that really ended up appealing to me about the graphic novel medium-- one was that I could just do it. I could sit down and work on it and wouldn't have to worry that much about collaboration, which can be hard if you're trying to make something of quality and no one knows who you are. So that was a big appeal. And I liked the fact that you have so many tools to work with within the graphic novel: you have the pictures, you have the words themselves; you have panels, the white space, the way you're have a lot of things to work with. I think the biggest thing that I like about graphic novels is that they're very accessible, and you can talk about a lot of things, and people will pick it up and read it and get out of it a lot of different things. I feel like "9/11 Heartbreaker" talks about issues but is still a very accessible work.

And once you made that decision, that you were going to tell this story as a graphic novel, did you look at any of the others that have been released in the past few years for comparison? Or were you more focused on just doing it the way you wanted to do it?

C.H.: Actually, I didn't look at any of them...I even don't read a lot of graphic novels. I do read them, but it's not something that I'm always on or always experiencing, and I thought about it at first, and I thought about watching the movies and documentaries about September 11th to try to get their feel for it, but I realized in the end that I just wanted to tell the story that I knew I had to tell. I wanted to do it without being particularly influenced by the way other people were making media about it were doing or what they were saying. I wanted to talk about September 11th in a different way, and I felt the best way to do that was almost quarantine myself from what everyone else was saying.

This book has been self-published, which I am a big fan of, but can you walk me through how you approached it? Did you know going in that once it was a graphic novel, you were going to do everything yourself and publish it yourself? Or did you try shopping it around first?

I pretty much knew from the beginning that I wanted to self-publish it...There's a few reasons why, and one was that I didn't think anyone would publish it. Not because I have any insecurities about the book, but from a marketing or a financial part of view, it's not necessarily a super viable book. It's a one-off, twenty-eight page by an unknown author about a tricky subject, and while I might have been able to sell that to someone, it would have been months and months of work to try...when instead I could just release it and put all that time and effort into directly trying to get people to read it and give it a shot. Kind of skipping the middle man. That's really the main reason why I did it: it was always most important to me that I get the book out there to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, and self-publishing worked for that. I wouldn't have to sit on it too long or wait for approval.

And it is kind of time-sensitive subject matter since we're coming up on the tenth anniversary next year. Was that something that also played into your decision to release this book now?
C.H.: [Laughs] I'm publishing it now because I finished it a few months ago. I obviously understand that we're coming up on the tenth anniversary, and I understand that obviously that can have some impact on the book, but it wasn't a marketing decision so much as it was just this is when the book wrapped up. And I'm a very impatient person, and as soon as it was done, I just wanted to share it with the world.

And that's something I definitely understand and agree with, as well. So now that book is out there-- it was released in September 2010-- and you have the website where you track reviews and write blogs about the progress, what is your overall hope for, and what would you love to see happen with, this book?

C.H.: Well, I'm approaching it from two different minds because I have the writer/artist side, and on the other hand I have to think about the business side of it. From the writer and artist stand-point, I just want as many people as possible to read the book because I feel it is very valuable, and I feel like it does talk about September 11th in a different way. I think it provides a lot for its readers to think about and evaluate-- not just about September 11th but all sorts of historical events...From kind of the business and marketing standpoint, it's just the first book I'm going to make. I have plenty more in the pipes, so if this gets it out there and starts to help build a name for myself and my work, then great. But I understand it's going to be a little harder as an unknown.

And with the others you have coming down the line, would you self-publish again? Or do you hope that the success of "9/11 Heartbreaker" helps people know your name and your work so you can get representation and then a more traditional publishing deal for the next one?

C.H.: If there's anybody who likes this book and wants to work with me or wants to talk about working with me in terms of a publisher, I'd be open to that. I don't have a big chip on my shoulder about the publishing world; it's not like I have to go this route. But in the end the artist side of me tends to win out and whatever route is going to help me to create the stories I want to create and get them to as many people as possible without making them something they're not is great and is the option I'll choose.

Intrigued by what Staufenberg had to say or simply looking for another creative expression of a heartbreaking, and at times heart-warming, story? You can buy your hard or digital copy of "9/11 Heartbreaker" here.

Weekly Examiner Round-Up...

Click on the titles to be taken to the accompanying Examiner articles.

Dexter tries to prevent others from drawing their "First Blood"

Want more Dexter? Showtime launches the second season of Early Cuts on the web

Martha Plimpton teases what's to come for the Chance family on Raising Hope

It's a Supernatural reunion of sorts on this week's No Ordinary Family

Tonight's Castle features the return of the Triple Killer and a step into a darker, more Dexter-like world

IBG Inc extends first live auction event deadlines; introduces eBay component

ABC announces full season pick-ups

Raising Hope's Halloween is quite a treat, even while featuring quite a few tricks

Joe Maddalena lets SyFy fans in on his Hollywood Treasure hunt

More from glee's Rocky Horror episode!

Your school can win a computer lab makeover thanks to NBC and School Pride

Is it really 'Better With Halloween' if there are no costumes?

Halloween brings out the big kid in Claire Dunphy

Cougar Town spends yet another holiday with lots and lots of wine to launch online auction in conjunction with each episode of Hollywood Treasure

Mariah Carey and ABC will be the first to shoot a Christmas special this year

Is Community the new Friends when it comes to taking on fall holiday-themed episodes?

Dee gets a lot more than just candy this Halloween on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Reality Rocks Expo launches online fan-chosen awards component

Eric McCormack signs on for another new TNT pilot

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Report From The Set: 'Glory Daze'...

It was an unseasonably warm day in Pasadena CA yesterday. The sun beat down on the grass and reflected off the water in the fountains on the fictional campus of Hayes University. It definitely took me back to my own days in college when I would sit out in the sun for hours between classes, reading, tanning, chatting with friends. But it didn't stop there: I ended up traveling even further back in time, to Hayes' Homecoming 1986. Because that was the episode the new TBS comedy Glory Daze was shooting.
Glory Daze, which premieres on TBS on November 16th at 10pm, follows a new freshmen class as they bumble their way through college life, including bonding with their roommates, pledging fraternities, hitting on sorority girls, and oh yeah, once in awhile attending actual classes. As series regular Eric Nenninger explained, the show is much more about finding one's self and one's place in the world than just simply going through the routine of academia. Therefore, even those who may not have gone to college themselves will be able to relate to these characters and their experiences.

You will be able to read more from my cast interviews over on my Examiner page as it gets closer to the series premiere. You should definitely click subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!

I didn't get to really watch any of the shooting this time around; I was there to have lunch with the guys (and one gal) to talk about their new period piece comedy. And just like the characters they play, I found that everyone was extremely open, funny, down-to-Earth. As
Callard Harris, who plays Reno, the big-time frat recruiter, put it: "We're all huggers on this set!"

But they're also, for the most part, all musicians. Rounding out the cast is
Tim Jo (who you might remember from Bandslam), Drew Seeley (High School Musical tour, anyone?), and James Earl who just released an album available on iTunes called "The Future 3". The guys all discussed the idea of renting some studio time together once the season wraps and maybe even performing a triple bill at a local LA spot. No doubt that once November 17th rolls around many local fans would come out for a night of music featuring the Glory Daze guys!

The series shoots at an abandoned college in Pasadena that shares its grounds with a still-functioning high school. Production signs adorn the lawns and stairs, warning the students of cameras and the crew of minors in the area. The cast joked that on Fridays when the high school has their football games, it makes for instant (and free) background actors should they be shooting exteriors. Only difference is, none of the kids currently enrolled there were even born when the show is set.

Led by
Julianna Guill, who plays Christie, a co-ed who sits next to Joel (Kelly Blatz) in the first day of classes and immediately catches his eye, I was brought on a walking tour of all of the dorm rooms, lecture halls, and mansions that double as frat houses. She gave out lots of little tidbits and trivia, namely to pay close attention to the time-sensitive props and set dressing, like rotary phones, cassette tapes, and old knob-adorned televisions. A few of the Guill's co-stars joined in on the tour, cracking jokes about the size of the spaces and the fringe, Spandex, and denim vests of the wardrobe department, and warning the press that parts of the mansion may even be haunted. Guill had come in on her day off to play hostess, and it was great to see how passionate about the show the group was as a whole and how eager they were to hang out with each other during their "down time".

Glory Daze is the type of show that is fun and different because, as Jo pointed out, it is still a period piece and therefore all of the crazy, debaucherous things the characters do seem just a little bit more wholesome when set in the backdrop of a "simpler time". After all, consider the world in 1986, if you can remember it: they didn't have email; computers were one to a school; and both clothing and hair were oversized. In many ways, Glory Daze will tug at the sentimental heartstrings the way that My Generation did but being a comedy, it's appeal may be just a bit broader, giving it the perfect ingredients for success.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Woof Wednesday #77...

Madison makes the cutest figurine! But in actuality, he was trying to climb up what he thought were just really big steps, gave up when he realized he couldn't, and just sat down to relax.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Special Treat for 'Life Unexpected' Fans...

Tonight The CW is rerunning the season two premiere episode of Life Unexpected, "Ocean Uncharted", but that doesn't mean I'm taking the week off from offering all of the fans something new for the beloved sleeper series! Just in time for this week's episode, a very special package made it's way down to my non-profit's office from The Couve: an autographed pilot script, signed by the whole cast (including two of season two's stars).
This item will ONLY be available at IBG Inc's auction event on Saturday, October 30th 2010. The item is part of the live auction, and phone and absentee bidding options are available for those not local to Los Angeles. However, pre-registration for the auction is required and all forms must be returned by Thursday, October 28th.

How badly do you want a little piece of television history and your new favorite show? The starting bid on this one-of-a-kind autographed script item is only $30 and all proceeds are going to charity! Visit IBG's event page for the auction to find out how to register and to see the other awesome items up for bidding!

And just for fun, answer this little poll about the show to help me determine on what my next batch of articles will be focused.

From what 'Life Unexpected' star do you want to hear next?

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Let's Do The Time Warp With 'Glee'!...

Since the slideshow function over at Examiner is currently down, my preview article on Glee's Rocky Horror homage went live without all of the behind-the-scenes goodness that FOX sent over. So I wanted my friends, and fans of the show, to be sure not to miss what I am calling not only a throwback to the cult classic stage show/movie but also a surprising throwback to Uncle Jesse. You'll see why below!

Those McKinley High kids go all out, don't they!? Which is your favorite costume??

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Cutest Kids In Town Part 2...

Last week My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture took at a look at the cutest (and most talented), in my not-so-humble opinion, working child actors on television today. But since the discussion was about how they can hold their own opposite actors triple their ages, no one who wasn't yet talking and walking was considered. And that wasn't really fair. Because television today also has some of the cutest infant working actors, too.

The parents of the little baby who is portraying Harrison Morgan on Showtime's Dexter don't really want their child heading down the stereotypical road of so many child stars, so they are working with the network to keep their child's name private. It's a smart move in many ways; after all, he is such a cute little kid I find myself wanting to head down to Long Beach just to bite his little cherubic cheeks on-set! He has this bad habit of looking at the camera, but it's hard to fault him too much; he's just a little heartbreaker who knows how to mug already! And his smile rivals Michael C Hall's in how it melts your heart-- just in a slightly different way.

I don't know who plays the former Princess Beyonce-- err, I mean Hope Chance on Raising Hope but she was my favorite character from the new FOX fall pilot. Admittedly since then the others have won me over, too. But sweet Hope still holds a very special place in my heart because she has such an innocent, expressive little face, and it is fascinating to watch her respond to the insanity around her. On the show, the Chance family bribed her with sugar cubes to teach her to crawl, and watching scenes like the one in the shed or the one where she smiles only at select people, I have to wonder what the production team used to get her to respond the way she did! Because her reactions were spot-on and completely priceless.

Stevie Ray Botwin/Avi Newman on Weeds looks like a full-grown person in just a compact size. Look at how piercing his eyes are and that full head of hair! When the show first resumed with the clan on the run, I assumed they had put a little disguise on him with a toupe or at least some hair dye, but no, this appears to actually be the kid's natural state. His cherubic little cheeks and sweet and quiet disposition don't seem to fit in with his TV family, but those are the exact things that make him the perfect little actor-in-training.

Little Jayden and Ella Hiller are twins who share the on-screen duties of Lily Pritchett-Tucker on Modern Family. The kid is so cute she manages to draw laughs just from her serious little looks to the camera while her on-screen dads are doing something particularly ridiculous, like dressing her up as Diana Ross, playing Lion King with her as baby Simba, stealing another child's blocks to create a false achievement, or locking her in their car. The character is the go-to for all of the other family members whenever they are feeling sad or unnecessary, and in "real" life, they are so popular they have over six thousand followers on Twitter. Damn, I need to hang with these two!

Mainstream audiences never got to meet [spoiler alert] Charlie Marks, Dawn and Rolly's daughter on My Generation; ABC pulled the show off the air before the infamous birth episode could introduce her to the world. But My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture got to screen a rough cut, and let me tell you, she was adorable! Considering she was only supposed to be a few hours old when we first "met" her, she wasn't all that expressive yet, but it was obvious she was a little star in the making. And I, for one, was curious to see how the show handled her presence because if there was ever a time to use cute kids to their fullest, it is now! Showrunner Noah Hawley has been taking meetings to find the show a new home, so hopefully y'all will get to meet her soon, too!

And of course, a long time favorite is little Maggie Simpson (from the titular Simpsons), who over two decades has only uttered one word, still doesn't walk and isn't potty trained, but still might be the second smartest in that family!