Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Sweep Swap" with We Heart TV's Jenna!...

"Made Possible by Pop Culture" is honored to be taking part in We Heart TV's "Sweep Swap" this year! What exactly does that mean? Well, I wrote a guest post for their website, and their editor-in-chief Jenna wrote a guest post for mine. It's a way to share readers and shine a light on other creative, fun TV blogs out there. Little did I know that while my post for We Heart TV was inspired by my own childhood love of television couples, Jenna's post for me was also inspired by a childhood love of pop culture. She and I have many of the same TV tastes these days, but I think you will see we grew up with quite a few different influences!

Click here to read my "Inspirational Couples of 2012 TV" post over on We Heart TV!

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Jenna's Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture:

Twice now I have read Danielle's pop culture memoir "My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture." And twice now I could not stop myself from taking my own walk down TV memory lane. Not that there was not enough 'OMG me too' moments as I read Danielle's accounts. We definitely share more than enough TV and pop culture experiences-- and love! It's always fun though to be nostalgic, to think back and ask, what TV shows shaped me into the viewer I am today. When I started thinking, the list kept going and going- eventually it was ginormous and left me asking "my parents let me watch all that TV?" They did! It wasn't easy to narrow the list down and pick a few to spotlight so I did what I did when I was a kid and couldn't make a choice-- I wrote them all down on little pieces of paper and randomly picked four! So, in no particular order, here are four TV series picked at random that shaped my early days as a Pro TV Watcher.
  • Punky Brewster: Who did not love and take fashion tips from Punky Brewster?? This show was adorable-- and heartbreaking. As a kid I didn’t 'get' the tragedy here. I just saw Penelope 'Punky' Brewster and Henry Warnimont living as happy as could be. To think back to the actual premise of this show- a little girl and her dog (I loved Brandon!) abandoned by her mom in a supermarket parking lot. Um, super sad! Mostly, I remember the friendships, Punky and Henry, of course, and there was Cherry, Allen and Margaux…and Brandon, the dog. Punky Brewster tackled many of the usual 'kid' issues; gossip, bullying, cheating in school, cliques, drugs and the like, yet the show always managed to tackle them with heart and adorable-ness. The series also managed to address some bigger issues- the 'system,' foster care and homelessness among them. The push and pull of bureacracy was totally lost on me back then, I just knew that Punky and Henry were a perfect fit. And that everyone was going to be Punky for Halloween. My sister and friends and I actually reproduced a Punky ep as our first attempt at TV making. It was brutal. The bloopers and BTS reel were pretty amazing though.
  • CHiPs: I was such a flip flopper; Team Ponch, Team Jon, Team Ponch, Team Jon. I think I landed on Team Jon but I do not know why. Frank Poncherello was dreamy! And that hair? I loved this show and I do not know why. Maybe because we could 'play' it. I was always Ponch. My sister was Bonnie, or the bad guy, and my cousin was Jon. Yes, we played CHiPs. We also played Code Red and wrote 'redrum' on the mirror with chapstick. That's a whole different story. CHiPs was such a formulaic cop show- I am not a fan now but something about this show captivated me. I do not know what that could be. Honest. But when thinking back to my early days of TV loving, this show rode the top of the list for some time- again, I do not know why. Maybe it was the theme song? Had to be. Or the amazing weekly 100 car pile ups on the freeway?
  • A Year in The Life: Two words; Trey Ames. Yes, even in my very early TV watching days, I tuned in…for cute boys. Some things never change. And considering that A Year in the Life won the Emmy for Outstanding mini series - ordered to series the following season - I guess it's safe to say I have always had good taste in TV. Also starring a young SJP and the adorable Amanda Peterson, (who soon after the series became a big screen fave in Can't Buy Me Love with Patrick Dempsey! LOVED that movie!) A Year in The Life was simply a story about a family coming together again after the loss of their mom. The kids, all adults, and their kids moved back in with their dad; played by Richard Kiley and tried to be a family again. At it's core, the show was about connecting and reconnecting. For me, this was the first character/relationship driven series that hooked me. It was also this series that opened my eyes to the simplicity behind story telling. Well written believable characters + heart tugging emotional conflict = TV gold. Inspired to do more than sit and watch other people's stories, I began creating my own- on notebook paper using a pencil with the little furry thing on top.
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: Adam, Brian, Crane, Daniel, Evan, Ford and Guthrie! Oh, and Hannah! Yes, I loved this show. The Mcfaddens were having huge family dinners long before the Bravermans! And Hannah's cooking could surely compete with Camille! I think it only lasted a season or maybe only a half a season but I loved the Mcfadden brothers! Guthrie was my fave! This show was a stepping stone for River Phoenix, Richard Dean Anderson, Peter Horton and Drake Hogestyn. Phoenix won the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Drama Series. The others, not so much- I barely remember their names never mind where they went after the short lived series was a TV memory. If I can admit this fact without dating myself- this was the first show I ever set a VCR to record automatically. I was like, um, barely reading chapter books and there I was programming this monster of a machine called a VCR-- with my dad looking over my shoulder spouting such atrocities as "what are you doing?" "How do you know how to do that?" "That is not going to work?" "Don't break it!" "How can it record, we are not going to be home?" Oh dad. If you only knew. Without a thought -or the instruction guide- I had that monster programmed! It was as though I just knew. I was born knowing. And I never missed a moment on Mcfadden Farm. Here's the opener-- I love when River sticks his head out of the barn door!


Here are the others that did not make the cut in my random drawing; The Dukes of Hazzard, St. Elsewhere, Trapper John MD, E/R, The Facts of Life, 21 Jump Street, Family Ties, Kids Inc, My Two Dads, Who's the Boss, Silver Spoons, Doogie Howser, Hogan Family, Riptide, Growing Pains, Life Goes on…and so does this list!

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Jenna is the Founder/Editor in Chief for the online TV lovers site We Heart TV. A self proclaimed Professional TV watcher and Professional fan, Jenna cannot remember a time in life when she did not LOVE all things TV. In 2008 she took that love to the Internet and began what was then I Heart TV... almost 4 years and several added contributors later, We Heart TV remains the spot for smart, fun, enthusiastic and passionate TV reviews, reactions and ramblings! Basically, a place to show the love! In 2010 Jenna ( @jennahp ) was named 1 of the Top 25 TV SuperFans to follow on Twitter by TheWrap.com. She also is a contributor the the recently revamped HuffPostTV. During non prime-time TV hours Jenna has a 'desk job' and is working on a TV pilot that is sure to be a instant hit.

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