Things You Didn’t Know About Backstrom

Backstrom is an American crime comedy-drama television series developed by Hart Hanson based on the Swedish book series by Leif G. W. Persson. Set in Portland, Oregon, the series premiered on January 22, 2015. The season’s finale will air on April 30 of this year.

The series follows Everett Backstrom, a Portland Police Bureau detective lieutenant played by Rainn Wilson. He’s described as “overweight, offensive and irascible” in the show, and constantly struggles with his self-destructive tendencies. He’s part of a team of eccentric criminologists.

Despite The Show‘s impressive cast, Backstrom has received generally mixed reviews that teeter on negative. Metacritic has given the show a score of 51 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating mixed to average reviews overall. Similarly, Backstrom holds a rating of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on an average critic review of 4.9 out of 10 on the site. The site’s consensus was that “Backstrom’s stale cop humor is a cop-out, availed little by the talented cast’s attempt to make good of sloppy schtick.”

Some critics have pointed out that audiences may be unable to remove themselves from the idea of Dwight Schrute, Wilson’s previous character on The Office. Unlike Schrute, Backstrom is a slovenly detective of sorts, more like the irritable, genius aspects of Sherlock Holms than anything else, and as far away from his previous character as Pluto is from the sun.

The fact of the matter, Backstrom isn’t someone most audiences will like. Even the most charitable audiences will find him irritating at best. But that’s his entire appeal, in so many words. He’s unbearable, self-absorbed and self-destructive, much the same as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. House were, but in this case, he’s police detective. Like his predecessors, he’s trying to do some good in the world, begrudgingly so, but only because it’s something he wants to do at that moment.

Drawing comparison again to House, Backstrom serves as the voice in the back of everyone’s head that says things inside that would be wholly inappropriate to say aloud. But Backstrom doesn’t have a filter, or he doesn’t care enough to, and lets free whatever thoughts may be inside of his head at that moment, and you can guarantee there’s at least a dozen.

Robert Lloyd, a journalist for the Lost Angeles Times and frequent Metacritic reviewer, also compared Backstrom to Dr. House, stating, “s with the pill-popping Dr. House, a fellow Fox television character Backstrom favors a bit, we are meant to be something less than actually concerned by his behavior. When he chugs two boilermakers in rapid succession, it is played mostly for laughs — nervous laughs, but laughs.”

Similar to the creator’s previous show, Bones, which held a host of interesting and vibrant characters, Backstrom’s supporting cast is a whacky collection of the most varied human beings under one roof. From church owner to mixed martial artist, this Oregon Police Department team is just as interesting as their leading grouch.

To catch the latest episodes of Backstrom, tune in to FOX on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Central. Click here to find other television and web entertainment opportunities.

The Very Best Opera Performances on PBS’ Great Performances


PBS’s Great Performances is a television series that is dedicated to bringing cultural arts to people’s televisions, free of charge. Each episode of Great Performances features a professionally filmed program—typically, stage productions such as ballet productions, musicals, plays and operas are performed.

There have been many excellent episodes of Great Performances in the past and the show is immensely popular due to its accessibility for those who, for one reason or another, may not be able to see many live stage productions. Many people tune into the show to catch productions of operas, both classic and modern; there are some opera productions on the show that stand out from others. The following are the very best of the operas aired on Great Performances.

Doctor Atomic
When most people think about opera, they think about classic love stories or tragedies (or both!). Doctor Atomic breaks the mold by being an opera about the creation of the atomic bomb. The opera, written by American composer John Adams, is an English-language show whose story leads up to the very first testing of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. The Great Performances production features grand performances that capture the lush, but unusual, score of the show—including the intense ‘Batter My Heart’ number, which is the true highlight of the production.

Doctor Atomic, while not traditional opera, will have audiences thinking—not just about the story they’ve witnessed, but about the atomic bomb, the nature of using science to create such weapons, and the impact they have had on society.

Anna Bolena
The Great Performances ‘Anna Bolena’ is a more traditional production, this time about the famous wife of Henry VIII who found herself beheaded on trumped up charges of treason after she displeased the king one too many times. This production is a true classic: the costumes are more or less period appropriate, the sets are simple but authentic, and the performances are soaring and suited to the richer, traditional score of the opera. Another excellent aspect of this production is the editing done for the filmed Great Performances episode; the editing manages to capture the drama and tension in the show perfectly.

Fans of older operas will likely enjoy this production the most, although opera lovers who enjoy history—especially the Turbulent history of Henry VIII—may also get something great out of the production.


Are you a PBS fan and love opera? Here’s helpful information to keep the entertainment lively in your house. 

2 Things the Dead’s “Self Help” Did Right


Self Help was the episode that fans of the Walking Dead comic book series have been waiting for since season 4—the moment when Eugene, who claimed to be a government scientist with a top-secret cure for the walker virus, would be exposed as a fraud. And the episode, although it did have its downsides, did not fail to deliver in terms of character development, tension and surprises. The following are two significant things that Self Help definitely did right!

It managed to inject some humor back into the show
It’s obvious that a show like The Walking Dead isn’t going to be a barrel of laughs; the storyline is often just too dark to allow for more frequent comedic moments in the same way that other dramas, such as Mad Men or even Breaking Bad, can. Self Help, however, found just the right moments for comedy that didn’t seem out of place or ridiculously forced. In the bus scene, for example, the good-natured ribbing about Eugene’s mullet (or, as he called it, his Tennessee Tophat) brought some light banter that was a perfect foil to the darker aspects of the episode. Another great example is the group’s reaction when Eugene takes out a group of walkers with a high-pressure firehouse—Abraham’s laughter and Glenn’s face were nothing but priceless.

It took the time to explore the characters without dragging the plot
The Walking Dead often excels at moments where the plot is put on the sidelines for character development or explanation. Unfortunately, the show also has the tendency for these moments—which in some cases span entire episodes—to drag on for far too long. But despite the fact that not too much actually happened in the span of Self Help, the episode never felt slow paced and the nuances we got to see developing in the group’s roles—such as Tara’s speech to Eugene and Glenn’s moment with Abraham or even Abraham and Rosita’s intimate embrace —fell right into place.

We also learned more about the past of the ‘leader’ of this sectioned group, Abraham; not only did we get to see the moment that Eugene first told the big lie that sent him packing towards Washington D.C., we also got to see a much less righteous side of Abraham that was a shocking contrast to his normally orderly, almost professional behavior.

Were you surprised by the reveals from “Self Help” or were you un-phased because you’ve ready the comic books? Either way, this t-shirt is for the zombie lovers in your life. 




Things You Probably Didn’t Know About My Dog Skip

My Dog Skip is best known as a heartwarming film starring a young Frankie Muniez. The film was based on a memoir of the same name by Willie Morris, which covered Morris’s youth in Mississippi and his experiences raising Skip, his beloved pet dog. The film was a modest success in the box office and received mild critical praise, particularly for performances by its younger cast. The following are some interesting things that you (probably!) didn’t know about My Dog Skip, the original memoir, and the dog that inspired them both.

Skip was really a Fox Terrier

In the film, Skip is portrayed by several different Jack Russell terriers. In reality, however, Skip was a Fox Terrier. The decision to use Jack Russell terriers may have been made because they are easier to train for film work.

Skip was portrayed by several dogs in the film, including two famous dogs

Several dogs were used to portray Skip in the film, including two famous Hollywood dogs: Moose and his son, Enzo. Moose typically played Skip in the scenes where he was older, while Enzo portrayed the younger and more energetic Skip. Moose and Enzo are both most well known for their role as Eddie on the hit series, Frasier. Moose died in 2006, while Enzo died in 2010 from cancer–only one day after the fourth anniversary of his father’s death.

Enzo was the stand-out on the set of My Dog Skip

Although both Moose and Enzo portrayed Skip in the film, it was Enzo who received special praise from the show’s creative team. The director noted in an interview that he wished he could work “with actors who were as well prepared as Skip … there was not a [trick] we asked the dog to do that he wasn’t able to do.”

Willie Morris never saw the final film

Willie Morris, who was consulted for the production of the film, suffered a heart attack shortly after the film was finished. Willie was able to see an early screening of the film, which he praised, but the author unfortunately died on August 2nd, 1999, several days after seeing his memoir on the big screen.

Moose appeared in a national ad campaign

Moose, one of the two most famous dogs to portray Skip in the film, was the star of a national ad campaign for the Coach Fashion Company.


Think your dog is a celebrity? Let the world know.

There’s no “Zombie” in The Walking Dead

Even though The Walking Dead TV show is definitely about zombies, there hasn’t actually been a single utterance of the “z” word in the show. (The comics are another matter, however.) Why does the show shy away from the word “zombie”? According to the show’s creators, the story is set in a world where the concept of a zombie—the dead rising to live in search of brains and flesh—does not exist. That means no Night of the Living Dead or its countless sequels—and definitely no Zombie Survival Guide.

The-Walking-Dead-zombieIn other words, the characters in the show are dealing with something that they have not ever dealt with before. Imagine if suddenly the world was overrun with vampires. And then imagine that we don’t know what vampires are, have never heard of them, have never read a single Anne Rice novel or Dracula adaptation—and that’s the scenario of The Walking Dead. But, of course, with zombies.

Although the characters shy away from using the word zombie, there are still plenty of other terms the employ when talking about those pesky living dead.


The most common word is, of course, walkers. The “walkers” term comes from the fact that—and I’m sure you’ve already guessed it—the living dead walk, or roam, around looking for delicious people to eat.


No, the group isn’t calling the living dead a bunch of computer geeks—in the show, “geeks” is often used by Daryl or Glenn as a derogatory term for walkers. It may be referring to their mindless state, or the fact that they are no longer quite human.


This phrase first showed up during the Woodbury saga and is a favorite of The Governor. Biters is, of course, straight and to the point. What do the living dead do? They bite.


Another specific walker term which is infrequently used, but has still popped up a few times throughout the show. Floaters is used when the group encounters the living dead who have found themselves trapped, usually in water or mud, and cannot get out. For now, anyway. (Watch out, Carl!)


This phrase isn’t used as much as walkers, but it often comes up after the group encounters a zombie that seems to pop up out of nowhere–from behind counters, out of bushes, or from behind a tree.

Cable Internet Plans Are Improving

How many important documents, family photos and home videos do you have strewn around your home? Did you know that you can have a simple easy online storage location for all of your family media? Jump over here and ask your cable TV provider about how easy it is to get high-speed internet services.

These services are faster and more reliable than dial up, DSL or even satellite. You can get as much as 105 Mbps for an incredibly fast download speed and enjoy the benefit of high upload speeds, as well. You can enjoy this while you build an online storage file for all of your important documents and family memories. With the right internet service provider, and the right online storage provider, you have a safe and secure location online.

When you are done with your online storage, you can move on to other things, such as streaming your playlists and HD movies and programming. You can also pay your bills online and to do your banking and shopping. When your children have a school project to do, you won’t have to rush to the library, because they can access the internet at home.

You can connect with traditional wired connections or with wireless connections on your portable devices. You can use this Wi-Fi to roam around your home as you choose or to even go out on the porch to enjoy the warm weather while you surf or communicate with friends and family all over the world.

You don’t have to worry about these services being safe for your family. Your cable internet provider can give you internet security and internet Parental Controls for the safety of your family and your devices.

The internet security software works in the background and doesn’t require in extra effort on your part for it to be effective. It will work continuously to block malware that can do damage to your hard drive. Malicious programming such as trojans, spyware, adware, viruses and others can cause your hard drive to freeze up so that your device doesn’t work anymore. It can also hurt the device’s ability to perform.  Since it can block this programming, you are safer from hackers and phishers that would try to take your personal information and use it for identity theft.

When you allow your children to roam at will with their devices, you are going to want to make sure they are safe online. You can set the Parental Controls to block the sites you don’t approve of and you can use them to monitor online activities and chats. Do this to make sure you know who they are talking to and what they are doing with their time and you won’t have to worry. The Parental Controls can also restrict online access so that you know they are getting their chores and homework done.

These services are the perfect solution for your home. If you get television programming and phone service through your cable provider, ask about a bundled service package. It can save you money on monthly discounts. Click here to find out which cable company services your area of the country.

Nightmare on Elm Street


“Nightmare on Elm Street” is still considered by many to be one of the best horror movies of its time. After making it to the silver screen, it has continued to play on television during Halloween marathons and on horror movie networks. Nightmare on Elm Street hit a chord with most viewers because it dealt with a vulnerability most people have had to experience- nightmares. This is especially scary in light of a little known fact about the movie: it’s based on several true stories.

No, none of the true stories told of a burned pedophile coming back from the dead to invade the dreams of teenagers. Nor did they mention anything about gloved hands scraping knives down walls or tortuous sessions in a burned out factory. However, in these true stories, people from different backgrounds and different parts of the world died in their sleep due to nightmares.

During an interview in 2008, director Wes Craven revealed that there had been several articles in major newspapers that told of young adults who died in their sleep. It was discovered upon autopsy that there was nothing physically wrong with any of them. The only thing they had in common was their complaints of nightmares before death.

Craven found the phenomenon was reported on in Los Angeles papers. Those stories covered the members of several different families that had immigrated to the US from South East Asia. According to the news stories, these families had all lost someone who had died in the middle of a nightmare. One of the victims was a 21 year old male for fought the natural instinct to sleep. When his family members found out, his father, a physician put him on sleeping pills.

The young man protested, saying he didn’t want to sleep because of nightmares. He told his relatives he’d had nightmares in the past, but the ones he was having at that time were different. The son hid the sleeping pills and fought sleep for approximately six or seven days until finally, one night he fell asleep on the couch while watching TV with his family. His family members carried him upstairs to his room. They were reported as being relieved when he fell asleep, believing the trouble was over.

Later, in the wee hours of the morning, the family heard screaming and crashing sounds coming from the young man’s room. They rushed to his room to find him dead. After the autopsy, where nothing was found physically wrong with him, the family searched his room. There was a coffee maker hidden in the young man’s closet, full of hot coffee.  They also found the stash of sleeping pills he had acted like he was taking.

Besides the East African immigrants, Craven also mentioned a similar occurrence happening in Laos, Cambodia. Due to the rising number of deaths attributed to these nightmares, studies were done that revealed the commonality of a specific condition of the heart. Also common among the victims was the fact that they were under a lot of stress, leading experts to believe the stress and possibly nightmares caused their hearts to give out.

Craven told of how the news of these deaths stayed with him for about a year. He said he finally started writing about them and Nightmare on Elm Street was born.  Go over to to find out more.