Category Archives: TV

Images for Robert Reoch

Robert Reoch Writes “Mind Pastry”

Robert Reoch is Mind Pastry

Robert Reoch Bakes

why not look here Robert Reoch measures, beats, and sometimes whips ideas to death. Welcome to “Mind Pastry,” a bakery of thoughts from my mind to yours. 

Robert Reoch is the Name

My last name,  site de rencontre tchetchene Reoch, is pronounced, crohn's disease dating site Rē’ŏck (rhymes with Reebok). That  image of a piece of site de rencontre completement gratuit quebec cake floating among the palm trees in my page banner is a slice from a red velvet cake that I actually baked! Robert Reoch's Mind Pastry CakeThere’s more to Mind Pastry than just the analogy, though. I actually love pastry—and I bake it too!—but that’s another post.

Mind Pastry is Layered

I offer a dose of conscience to the Internet through many of my posts. I believe we have too many “reality TV” shows and deceptive news outlets in the media. Too often, issues are discussed from just one point of view in the news. Many pop “journalists” aren’t doing their homework. They aren’t getting out to the field to research their stories. Much of current reporting relies solely on popular social memes—mass hysteria, as I see it—rather than on verified facts and nuanced examination of the gray areas. Please, people, stop thinking only in black and white. Look for what’s in-between. Ask what is the back story you’re not getting from the media. I try to present layers and perspectives that encourage people to discover full truths. I live by three principles: Love, Truth, and Knowledge. I resent journalism that ignores these values in favor of ratings and profit. I hope you find something new and thought-provoking in Mind Pastry.

Robert Reoch Writes

I’ve written a couple of books of short stories under pen name, Robert George Reoch. I wrote my Travelers’ Shorts books with the traveler in mind, even though my stories not about travel. The idea was to provide short stories for the traveler who didn’t want to start a heavy novel. Short stories provide entertainment in manageable chunks for the person on the go. My short stories are written with taste and richness (just like pastry). These epic tales offer drama, adventure, and laugh-out-loud humor. You can order them here:

Travelers Shorts

Travelers’ Shorts: Stories That Move


Travelers Shorts 2: Tethers by Robert George Reoch

Travelers’ Shorts 2: Tethers

Please enjoy my books!

Robert Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

Donald Sterling Sues NBA

Donald Sterling Sues NBA for $Billions

Donald Sterling Fights Back

Donald Sterling is fighting back, which doesn’t surprise me (and also pleases me). It’s been in the news, including NBC. I anticipated this eventuality weeks ago. While I supported Donald Sterling, everyone else was jumping down his throat. Why? Am I and Donald Sterling the only people on the planet who are being intellectually honest in all of this? I’ve always believed Sterling was set up. I listened carefully to the audio recording of his conversation with V. Stiviano as she spoke—including her referring to her friends as, “my black friends.” I listened as Sterling responded to Stiviano’s goading—he using her very own words to mock her when he used the phrase, “your black friends.” He was irritated and made to feel jealous by Stiviano’s game. He was feeling defensive and mocking her in frustration.

Another angle used by the media to generate fury concerned when Sterling was speaking of Magic Johnson. Sterling was not speaking of the entire black community, as CNN fiercely and inaccurately characterized it. It was quite clear in Sterling’s audible remarks that he was solely referring to Magic Johnson when he made comments calling into question Mr. Johnson’s promiscuous character and behavior.

By observing closely what was actually said, and the intent in which the comments were made, it becomes quite clear—and very specifically so—that the media twisted the truth and distorted the bent of Sterling’s words. They channeled certain comments with a laser focus toward making Sterling appear to be a seething racist. The distortion was deliberate and damaging. Reasonable minds cannot conclude otherwise.

A man’s expressions of disapproval about a few individuals in his girlfriend’s circle of friends does not make him a racist, even if he used his girlfriend’s own words to describe said friends as being black. To call that being racist is a huge stretch and yet we observed a wave of mass hysteria, manufactured by the media, grow into a mountain of ill will and hate toward Donald Sterling. Every news station in the country followed this tack. How can so many people slurp up this slop so readily? Freedom of speech was never intended to be used as cover for fraud and malice. This country has acquired a taste for Reality TV that glorifies people behaving badly. Producers save money by not paying for quality programming, instead broadcasting shows with amateur idiots and hostile losers. People have been eating it up for years now. If they can act like that on TV, why can’t we be that way at school? Bullying has become sport for some, to the point that we now need national campaigns to combat bullying in our schools. That’s another topic entirely, although it parallels the Donald Sterling situation.

CNN and TMZ Could Be Sued Too

CNN and TMZ likely will have a field day with Donald Sterling again as this next legal saga unfolds. Perhaps they’ll back off for fear of being sued too. If Donald Sterling’s case against the NBA goes to court (even though Adam Silverman, NBA Commissioner, says it would amount to Sterling suing himself) I would expect a reasonable opinion to favor Donald Sterling. I hope he is vindicated. Perhaps if Sterling cannot legally sue the NBA, he’ll go after Adam Silverman in a civil suit for his venomous attacks in the media.

I have no affiliation with Donald Sterling personally, but even when it’s unpopular, I have great respect for truth and knowledge. I have no patience for the mob mentality, nor the dishonest media that trample individual rights, defying common decency. How did CNN become as undignified as TMZ? It’s all about ratings and money, naturally. It’s the same old story. It’s also unconstitutional.

I say, good luck, Mr. Sterling, with your case. I’ll be watching with interest. The media machine has no common sense these days—let alone common decency. I hope you gain back whatever of your reputation you can salvage. If it means suing and taking their money, more power to ya. That’s the best way to extract justice from an irresponsible media and their advertisers. Hit ’em in their wallets, where it hurts. Ironically, they’ve actually made you a whole lot richer after this forced sale of The Clippers. I guess we’ll see how this all comes out in the wash. I’m sure the media will continue to flaunt it like dirty laundry, the preferred grist of much of their audience.

I know this may sound snarky to those who are accustomed to relying on the media to do their thinking for them, This is how I see it though—looking at the facts with clear eyes and thinking with common sense and a measure of human understanding.

Donald Sterling Update June 10, 2014

I’m pleased to mention that as of this writing Donald Sterling is going forward with his lawsuit against the NBA. For further details, read this concise and accurate article on AOL. Comments posted after the article heavily favor Donald Sterling and support his decision to take action against the NBA for trampling his rights.

Robert George Reoch

Absolutely the Best Pasta Sauce Recipe

Absolutely the Best Pasta Sauce Recipe!

Robert Reoch Best Pasta Sauce

Robert Reoch Invents the Best Pasta Sauce Recipe

This is absolutely the best pasta sauce you will ever eat!

I’ve been preparing this sauce for over 30 years. Decades of experience and experimentation have culminated in this one, incredibly delicious sauce. This is one sauce you will not find on Food Network, which I do follow faithfully.

In order to fully appreciate this sauce, you must fully commit to the process. I suggest you read the entire recipe and instructions prior to beginning your culinary masterpiece.

Your efforts will result in a truly magnificent sauce that no one can resist. Don’t be afraid to invite guests for your first presentation of this wonderful sauce. Be ready to serve seconds and thirds. This rich, vibrant sauce is absolutely the best! (Just wait ‘til you discover the secret ingredient!)

Five Easy-to-Follow Segments for the Perfect Sauce

This recipe is broken into five easy-to-follow segments:

1) Utensils and Implements 2) Ingredients 3) Prep 4) Directions 5) Pasta Suggestions

Utensils and Implements you will need:

• Large 12” sauce pan with high sides OR large 10” – 12” pot
• Large pasta pot for boiling pasta
• Large bowl (for temporarily setting aside sautéed vegetables)
• Large 12” serving bowl or larger platter
• Large tongs for tossing pasta
• Salt and Pepper at hand for seasoning adjustments
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil close at hand for drizzling
• Garlic press (optional) or pre-chop garlic


2 Medium onions (chopped)
1 Cup Grated carrots
1 Cup Chopped green peppers
8 Garlic cloves (minced) divided into two portions
½ Cup Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
1 Tbsp. Fennel seed (whole crushed or 1 tsp. dried)
1 Tsp. Red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. Oregano (dried, crushed)
1 Tsp. Bay leaf (dried flakes or one whole)
2 Tbsp. Basil (dried, crushed)
1 Tbsp. Parsley (dried, flakes)
1 – 1 ½ Lb. Ground turkey or ground chicken
1 Lb. Italian turkey sausage (sweet or hot)
1 28 oz. can Crushed plum tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can Diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can Tomato paste
1 15 oz. can Tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can Sliced beets (chopped with juice) Secret ingredient! Adds deep red color!
½ Cup Marsala cooking wine
½ Cup Grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
1 Pinch Ground allspice
1 Tbsp. Anchovy paste
1 Tbsp. Capers (jarred, drained)
1 Tbsp. Sugar or sugar substitute (do not omit)
1 16 pkg. Dried spaghetti rigati (or other dried pasta)


Begin by setting up the cooking area with necessary pots, pans, and
cooking utensils. Wear an apron or an old shirt. (This bright sauce may stain.)

Remove ground meats from refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature so as not to slow the sauce cooking. With a sharp knife, slit the sides of sausages to allow removal of casings.

Use a garlic press, or pre-mince the garlic and set aside.

Chop green peppers and carrots first and set aside. Chop the onions last (to minimize “crying” during sauce preparation).

Assemble and arrange spices and herbs for easy reach while sautéing vegetables and meats. Pre-open canned and jarred items.

Directions for Preparing Sauce:

• Heat skillet on medium heat and pour in half of the olive oil (¼ cup)
• Add chopped vegetables (onions, carrots, and green peppers) to pan.
Season lightly with salt and pepper. Using a large wooden spoon, sauté
the vegetables until just tender and push them to one side of the pan
leaving an open space on one side to create a “hot spot” for the next
• Drizzle a small amount of additional olive oil into the “hot spot”
area and sprinkle in the dried pepper flakes, fennel seed, oregano, and
basil. Sauté the dried ingredients in the hot spot to release their
essences, stirring them in the oil until the aromas begin to release.
Then, push the sautéed vegetables back to the center of the pan and stir
to incorporate the herbs with the vegetables. Transfer the mixture to a
separate bowl and set aside temporarily.
• Pour the rest of the olive oil (¼ cup) into the pan and add the ground
turkey (or ground chicken) and the Italian sausage meat (removed from
casings). Season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté until fully
cooked. (Drain excess liquid and fat only if preferred.)
• Stir in half of the chopped garlic and mix thoroughly with the meat.
Taste for salt and pepper adjustment. (Save the remaining garlic until
the end.)
• Stir in canned, crushed plum tomatoes and canned diced tomatoes (fire roasted if available) .
• Add the tomato paste and gradually pour in the tomato sauce to blend.
• Fold in the remaining ingredients (except the the chopped garlic).
Remaining ingredients: dried bay leaf, parsley flakes, Marsala cooking
wine, beets with juice, grated parmesan cheese, ground Allspice, anchovy
paste, capers, and sugar. (Note: sugar reduces any bitterness and
enhances flavors. Add gradually and taste as you go.)
• Allow sauce to simmer on low heat for a minimum of one hour, stirring
occasionally to avoid sticking or burning. Add the remaining garlic
during the last 15 minutes of cooking for a final infusion of rich
• Serve sauce with desired pasta. Suggestions follow.

Pasta Suggestions:

I like to serve this pasta sauce over any pasta with
ridges on the sides. If you enjoy spaghetti style pasta, look for
“spaghetti rigati” which has ridges along the noodle. Boil the pasta in
well salted water. Italians say the water should taste “like the sea”.
(Don’t overdo it, though. This, you learn with experience.) Be sure the
water has come to a rapid boil before adding salt. Then add a little
olive oil to help prevent sticking and toss in the pasta. Cook until al dente
(still slightly firm “to the tooth”) – never too soft. Use tongs or
pasta ladle to pull the pasta from the boiling water, allowing it to
drain before depositing into a large bowl. Drizzle with a small amount
of olive oil and toss. Serve with the sauce ladled over the top of the pasta, or drop the pasta into your large skillet of sauce and toss to incorporate before serving.  Mangia! Mangia! Enjoy! 

Robert Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch

Davy Jones Goodbye

Thank you Davy Jones

Davy Jones Dies

Davy Jones passed away at his home in Florida on February 29, 2012 (reportedly from a heart attack).

When I was growing up, the Monkees were huge and Davy Jones was a standout. His British accented voice was distinctly his own whether in speaking, or singing. Jones also possessed a rare wholesomeness that never wavered throughout his career.

Many people share worshiping rights to Davy Jones. He belonged to the millions who were made joyful by his personality and singing. When Davy Jones sang with The Monkees, everyone sang along. Nobody could resist singing while knowing all the words to, “Daydream Believer.” Davy had a knack for comedy too, which contributed greatly to the success of The Monkees TV series.

I recall attending a Monkees in concert (reunion tour) at the San Diego County Fair in the mid ’80s. Oingo Boingo was playing there too. I was into Oingo Boingo at the time, but was still surprisingly thrilled to see The Monkees. It was surreal to be near them, live, for the first time, even so many years after their 1960s popularity.

If you click on the Daydream Believer link above, you’ll hear Davy sing his most popular song. It all comes back if you’re from that era—guaranteed to make you nostalgic and a little sad.

My condolences to friends and family of Davy.

Goodbye Davy Jones. You will long be remembered with great affection. Thanks again.

Robert Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

Reality Shows Go Too Far as “Real Housewives” and “Hoarders” Poison Society

Reality Shows Lower Our Expectations in Hoarders, Jersey Shore, and Real Housewives of. . .

people love to watch really bad reality shows, especially the ones with
people arguing and generally not getting along. With control of the TV
remote out of my hands, I was recently subjected to watching Hoarders,
a show about people who are compulsive keepers of junk. It’s one of
those shows that’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to watch. These
“real people” on Hoarders are frustratingly stubborn (and yes,
mentally ill). They alienate their families (and in one case even have
their children taken away) because of their unhealthy compulsion
keep dangerous clutter in their homes. In
a recent episode, clutter on the stairs caused a family member to trip
and fall, breaking an arm.
This reality show features unreal
people who literally fill their homes to the rafters with boxes and
stacks of crap they don’t need. They pile-in their basements and cram their
kitchens, bedrooms and attics until the home develops (in some cases) an infestation with
“critters” (mice and God knows what other vermin).

My objection to reality shows such as, Hoarders, is simple: Why? Why is this considered to be TV entertainment? This is not reality. It is the extreme exception to what we know should be reality. Why do people feel compelled to
watch this drivel? These TV shows should not be considered worthy of our time,
especially as a regularly scheduled series. Don’t we have enough
stress in our lives without white-knuckling through other peoples’
unrealistic problems? That doesn’t accomplish a thing. I certainly do
not feel any more lightened or enlightened after watching a lunatic being exploited for their mental illness.

This is just another step down in society’s digression–lowering our expectations in television viewing. Shows like Hoarders
give people reasons to justify bad behavior. People are now glamorizing
conflict everywhere you turn; If it’s on TV, it must be cool. It’s okay to act-out like a fool. Yes, there are people gullible and (for lack
of a better word) stupid enough to absorb this kind of garbage and
assimilate it as being  mainstream. This is
NOT reality. It leaves the door wide open for the third grade mentality
to adjust their moral compass another step lower. It sets up people closer
to the level of the losers they see on TV. Why not do a series about a
family of physical abusers? Let’s watch the Smiths slap each other
around for an hour. That might be entertaining. You know, All in the Family with bloody noses and black eyes.

Shows like The Real Housewives of… and Jersey Shore are also prime examples of people behaving really
badly and then calling it entertainment. That’s just what the  masses need at the end of the day; shows tell us, in reality,
it’s okay to gossip and bitch about your so-called friends. It is okay
to tear down their family and to physically threaten people
with whom you disagree. It’s entertainment! Producers are telling you
it’s okay to suck trash as your TV reality. With that as the true reality,
we are in a lot of trouble. My stomach turns just seeing some of these
hysterical losers on TV. They need to get involved in a sport or art, or
some other creative activity rather than hoarding crap or back stabbing
their friends.

Another symptom of bad reality is the way government
is currently being run in this country. 
Just look at the
dysfunction in Washington. They cannot even pass
a budget. It’s exactly like a bad TV reality show, the way they disagree and
refuse to cooperate. Politicians are loving the on-air TV time in the
spotlight while they knock each other down and ruin the nation’s credit
This includes President Obama, who apparently has
no skills for bringing people together in rational agreement, yet
he loves being on TV. He must be right if he’s on TV. Is that the reality?

Not all reality shows are horrible. Fortunately, there are some popular ones about good clean competition, such as The Amazing Race, Dancing With the Stars, and Food Network Star,
which make for healthy examples that feature people striving to achieve a
goal and requiring some positive skills. They improve as they learn,
working together, and sometimes having normal people disagreements as
opposed to vicious cat fights.

say, if you can’t find anything redeeming in a reality show, don’t
watch it! Go for a walk. If there’s nothing decent on television, bake some
cookies. Exercise. Do something with your kids. Read a book. Just turn off that bad reality crap, period! It does more harm than good.

Too many people in this country are influenced too much by what they see on television. As discussed by a group of female journalists on CNN recently, women are beginning to notice how other women are behaving more aggressively ever since shows like Real Housewives and Jersey Shore
have cropped up. On these shows, they see women taking the concept of “empowerment” to
the extreme. They point out that these hostile women never seem to find a
solution. When there is a conflict, one of the women always winds up like “stripped car,” the clear loser. These shows are all about conflict without
rational resolution. As one female journalist pointed out, women are able to achieve
success, operating with empowerment, but they don’t have to do it that way (referring to The Real Housewives
ugliness.) The journalist also pointed out that men, on the other hand, usually
find a way to resolve a conflict without leaving things unsettled and
someone being a loser. (Tell that to Congress.)

Let’s hope the producers of
these rancid reality shows (and the women associated with them) wake up and stop
the noise. We don’t need to hold up bad reality as an example to be emulated in society at large. Get this garbage out of our faces.

[Update August 23, 2011]

The recent suicide of Russell Armstrong, husband of Taylor Armstrong, both cast members of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is a perfect case in point against some of these awful so-called reality shows. Russell Armstrong himself was recently quoted as saying, “Everything you see on that show is bullshit. Those Bravo bastards take every little argument out of context and magnify it for the cameras.” The circumstances surrounding Mr. Armstrong’s death could easily be attributed (at least in some partial, yet significant ways) to his relationship with the reality show.

Robert George Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty (Even With Jose Baez Representing Her))

Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty Even With Jose Baez Representing Her

The jury verdict was not guilty in the Casey Anthony trial and what surprises me the most is the reaction from the media. With few exceptions, television reporters such as Nancy Grace are saying they are shocked by the outcome. To me, this is just another example of rampant ignorance and sensationalism in the media in this country. Nancy Grace continues to gracelessly refer to Casey Anthony as “Tot Mom.” She openly decries the not guilty verdict, speaking from one of her two faces, and then says we must respect the verdict of the jury, speaking from her other face.

I watched this trial and I saw the evidence presented. I listened to the witness testimonies. To me, there was no way a jury could have found Casey Anthony guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Both the prosecution and the defense made stupid errors. Even a layman could have presented a better case on either side.

I cringed every time an objection was raised by the prosecution when Jose Baez would pose a question to a witness and not formulate that question in the proper “yes or no” answer format. How can Baez not know how to examine a witness using proper protocol for asking questions? He repeatedly made that same mistake, over and over, throughout the trial, and he was always objected-to by the prosecution. And, on nearly every occasion, those objections were “sustained” by the judge. How inept can he be? One would think Baez would at least learn as he went along. It is mind boggling that he continued to get it wrong.

The prosecution tried to prove that Cynthia Anthony (Casey’s mother) was not the person who searched for the word, “chloroform,” on the family computer, saying it could only be Casey who had done that. That was also a blunder. The prosecution’s so-called expert computer witnesses blatantly lied about what happens when you conduct a search for similar words on the internet, saying it was impossible that Cynthia Anthony accidentally found the word, “chloroform” when searching for “chlorophyll.” However, I know (as do many others know) that, in fact, the major search engines will interject cross-referenced words similar to the searched word when searching. The prosecution’s “expert” computer witness made it sound as though that were impossible. And, the defense did not even pick up on that! Baez had a chance to debunk that witness and he did not! What is worse is that people in the media agreed with the so-called expert witness and talked about it as if it were correct, making themselves look just as dumb as the fake premise made by the “expert.”

The fact is, and despite the fact Jose Baez was too inept to avoid all the objections by the prosecution, he at least helped by providing a few of his own witnesses who could cast dispersions on the credibility of at least some of the prosecution witnesses. Even so, some of those witnesses were able to make Baez look like a monkey during the process.

I knew, as the trial went on, that the jury could not possibly come to a guilty verdict based on how the trial was handled. The witnesses were unreliable. The evidence was weak and sketchy. Motives were not clear. The media had been publicly trying Casey Anthony for so long, over the last few years, that many had already made up their minds and convicted her before the trial began.

Once the trial was over, it was very clear to me that any intelligent jury could not reach a guilty verdict beyond a reasonable doubt based on the evidence presented. Everyone in the media seemed to have forgotten that the burden was on the prosecution to prove guilt, which they did not. It was glaringly clear that Casey Anthony’s guilt was not clear.

In the meantime, how much longer do we have to put up with talking heads like Nancy Grace referring to Casey Anthony as “Tot Mom.” Grace sounds like a graceless bully, period. She is a bad loser. She has no middle ground on anything. She always runs hot, no matter the case. That is not what I would call “fair and balanced” news journalism.

Fortunately for Casey Anthony and the minority of sensible people in this country, the outcome of this trial was just and correct, based on the what was presented to the jury. Let’s all just deal with this in a civilized manner, shall we? Like I said, I followed the trial on a daily basis. The verdict should not have come as a surprise unless you bought into all of the media hype without following the trial in the courtroom. The lawyers and investigators for the state and for the defense were both inept–and ridiculously so. These are the people running this country.

I will give Jose Baez credit for making some eloquent remarks to the media immediately following the conclusion of the trial, although he could have kept it more brief rather than rambling to the point of undoing some of good by taking a few jabs at some of his cronies. I will even go as far as to say that the jury may have given Casey Anthony some sympathy points for having been stuck with a relatively inexperienced attorney who did as much to harm her case as help it. I also observed that, during the trial, Jose Baez cunningly (although unethically) made several “editorial comments” during his questioning of witnesses in order to influence the jury. If that’s the best he’s got, then I suppose he had to bring it.

I congratulate the jury for doing their duty as instructed and in keeping with the laws of this land. Yet, I still share sadness that Caylee Anthony’s murder remains unsolved, which has nothing to do with this jury.

Robert George Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Kenneth Feinberg Argues Bureaucracy Over Heart on Piers Morgan

Kenneth Feinberg Argues Bureaucracy Over Heart

Kenneth Feinberg is the man overseeing the distribution of $20 billion in BP funds to make reparations to people and things for damages done by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Last night I watched Feinberg engage in a heated discussion with Piers Morgan on CNN Television.

Morgan asked many pointed questions aimed at gauging Feinberg’s motives and actions. While Morgan kept his cool, Feinberg barked defensively, like a cornered dog, yet often smiled, oddly, through bared teeth. Throughout the interview, Feinberg’s posture was that of a man on the offensive, trying to win with words his war against unfavorable opinion on his performance. Oddly, I also sensed he really did not care what anyone else thinks as long as he is getting paid.

I took away two important pieces of information from Kenneth Feinberg’s statements:

1) Feinberg arranged for an outside consultant to influence his receiving a monthly raise from $850k to $1.2m–monthly. This clearly shows his priorities.

2) Feinberg is more interested in matters of how to mete out funds, rather than in actually getting those funds to the real individuals who deserve and need the compensation for the man-made disaster which took lives and ruined livelihoods. Feinberg repeatedly hammered his point that he wants to distribute funds in a “principled” manner so as to avoid fraud from people attempting to exploit the fund.

At the end of the interview, when Piers Morgan suggested that Feinberg try and work less with his mind and more with his heart, Feinberg responded half-heartedly that he would. The cheesy smile on his face, however, told the real story. Picture The Grinch or Scrooge and you get the idea. Feinberg should only be a fictitious villain in a story book. Hey Feinberg, stop chewin’ on the BP bone and give it up!

Robert George Reoch

Speaking of stories, discover my books of short stories on this site. Travelers Shorts
for people with heart. Read them on the plane or train, or just relaxing on the beach. Not your usual newsstand fare.

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Happy Endings

Happy Endings  (TV 2011)

Happy Endings Debuts

Starring: Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert, Adam Pally, Casey Wilson, Eliza Coupe, Damon Wayans Jr.

I watched the new TV sitcom, Happy Endings tonight. It is something like a cross between Friends and Cougar Town. Age-wise it is just between the two. I found the pace to be a rather rapid-fire and in some places too hurried, although these first two episodes, shown back-to-back, did well to establish some of the characters.

At this point, it is difficult to make any predictions. The acting and story lines, thus far, were generally creative and entertaining, but I sensed an uncomfortableness on the part of Damon Wayans Jr. It is difficult to pin down the personality and general attitude of his character. There is little extraordinary about the rest of the cast either, but Adam Pally’s gay Max is a refreshingly honest portrayal of a less flamboyant, somewhat rough-around-the-edges, common gay man (yet still with a lightening wit).

I’ll watch again to see how things develop. I see potential. This may take time, but this new show is definitely watchable.

My grade: B-

Robert George Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

A Charlie Sheen Supporter Too (Me)

I Too Support Charlie Sheen

As I am a fan of Charlie Sheen, I feel an urge to express my views on the ongoing battle between Sheen and CBS regarding the future of the show, Two and a Half Men, and Charlie Sheen’s status as leading member of the show’s cast.

After observing Charlie Sheen on Piers Morgan Tonight, I solidly agree with Morgan that Charlie Sheen is not insane. What’s more, I think CBS trying to shut down Charlie Sheen and Two and a Half Men, a show which Sheen has made so successful, is a perfect example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. CBS is the preening hypocrite condemning Charlie Sheen’s off-screen, real-life persona while, at the same time, the show’s script writing builds around precisely such a character.

As an avid watcher of the show, I have often been surprised at how ribald the dialogue has become. There is no topic off limits. I could list a few examples, but it would be easier to leave it to the reader’s imagination. Virtually anything the reader might consider as going too far (short of serial killing) has already been fodder for laughs on Two and a Half Men. Still, for years, it has been the funniest show on network television.

What this very public conflict ultimately boils down to is this: CBS can far better afford to abandon a successful show (and/or its star) than Sheen can afford to lose his $1.8M-per-episode. I believe both sides are keenly aware of that.

Sadly, this seems to matter mainly to Charlie Sheen and his loyal fans. Never underestimate the callousness of corporate America and the petty goons who run it. Remember, too, that the other actors and crew on this show are directly impacted by the actions of CBS as well.

As to the questions of morality, I would hope parents would have figured out, long ago, that Two and a Half Men is not intended for young viewers. Putting on the table questions of morality or aspects of the show being a proper example is just idiotic. Likewise, if you produce a show of this nature with a star of Charlie Sheen’s character, there can be no double standard with respect to the show’s content and it’s principle actor’s off-screen behavior in his personal life.

I have no control over outcome in this, obviously. I have marveled at Charlie Sheen’s amazing comedic gifts for several years. His supporting cast have clearly added to the show’s success too. I have enjoyed many fond laughs while watching this show. I also admit I have sometimes worried about the show’s bending the rules (perhaps just a little too much at times) during prime time.

Regardless, I wish only the best of health and success to Charlie Sheen and his fellow actors and crew on Two and a Half Men.

Robert George Reoch

Remember to scout around this site. My books are here, including a new one I recently published relating to alcoholism and recovery: SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recovery Aid  by George Legacy.

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Mr. Sunshine

Mr. Sunshine (Television) 2011

Starring: Matthew Perry

I watched the pilot of this new TV series with some trepidation. My worst fear was that Matthew Perry might be embarrassed in a bad showing. However, by the end of this pilot I was convinced this show could make a really good go of it.

Ben Donovan (Perry) manages the Sunshine Center (a simile for the San Diego Sports Arena), where he contends with multiple venue attractions as well as several strong personalities within his circle of business associates, lovers, and friends.

What I enjoyed most was Perry himself. I write this out of hope that this series continues. There are strong signs of life. Matthew Perry is as Matthew Perry as ever (which is to say a master of comic timing and readable, funny facial expressions). He is the punch line in every scene.

I can watch 30 minutes of Perry on a regular basis. My only critique of this first show is the writing (and ironically Perry has a hand in it). The dialogue needs some fine-tuning to pick up the pace. They take a few modern risks with adult situations and some dancing around racist jokes (which everyone seems to be doing these days). However, they need to put more zing in the funny.

That’s all I’ve got for now on this new show. I hope it succeeds. There are unlimited possibilities with the basic platform of the show. You’ve got a single, funny guy and an entire sports arena to use as a backdrop for comedy. I hope they show some authentic location shots of San Diego (my home town) in future episodes too.

My grade: A

Robert George Reoch

February 16, 2011 UPTDATE:

Just saw the second episode of Mr. Sunshine. This show really rocks. The storyline and humor seemed to have amped up about five notches. I am raising my original grade to an ‘A’ (from a B minus). Matthew Perry and this cast are a hit.

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013


Shameless  (Television, 2011)

Starring: William H. Macy, Joan Cusack

Who else but William H. Macy could make likeable an irresponsible, alcoholic parent of six children. In this Showtime series, Macy shines as Frank Gallagher, a flunky single father, even with his face plastered in dried blood (following a bar fight) throughout one episode, or while head-butting his own kid. I can’t think of another actor who could pull that off and get away with it. Not only is Macy a revelation as the down-on-his luck father, but his cast of brooding kids, ages ranging from under-two to over-eighteen, are all equally brimming with charm.

The struggling family runs the household like modern artful dodgers despite their unemployed Dad being little more than a babbling boozy floor mat. Naturally, the youngest girl, Debbie (Emma Kenney), still adores her Daddy, though. Most of the children work odd jobs or run minor scams to acquire their daily bread and pay utility bills for their crowded apartment. As oblivious as is Dad, so are the children equally “shameless.”

The family’s sins (and crimes) are wide ranging. The secretly gay son, Ian (Cameron Monaghan), works for, and is having an affair with, a married man, the local Arab liquor store owner. The eldest adult daughter, Fiona (Emmy Rossum), dates a budding young cop (whose virginity she unknowingly takes) while also seeing a handsome local car thief who gives generously to the household while trying to win the girl.

Another son, cool and intelligent, “Lip” (Jeremy Allen White), tutors a fellow high school student as she gives him a blow job under the dining table. Meanwhile, the girl’s mother, Sheila (Joan Cusack), furiously cooks up gourmet meals in the kitchen only a few feet away. Cusack, as the agoraphobic (and incidently also nymphomaniacal) mother, has a role made in heaven for her comedic talents. It is worth the ticket just for Joan alone.

The plot lines all seem straight out of a Cohen brothers film, with sideways subplots and a butt-load of quirky characters. I have not been as pleased by a TV series about family since The Waltons. This is Soap meets The Sopranos, but with only slightly less violence than the latter.

If I never write another word about this series, it will be because I would rather watch it than write about it. I am already TiVo-ing episodes to enjoy again.

My grade: A+

Robert George Reoch

About My Blog:

There’s plenty more to discover on my blog, such as my books of short stories. Available in print as well as digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Not your typical newsstand fare. Engaging reading anytime. Just follow the links on this site.

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

“What Would You Do?” The TV Reality Show Primetime

Change the Channel–That’s What I’d Do!

This may be a strongly worded opinion, and even though it may sound theatrical and harsh, it suits the topic of this reality show perfectly. Read on.

I feel compelled to rant about another recent addition to the lineup of TV “reality shows” (the ones apparently based in non-reality). This one is called, “Primetime: What Would You Do?” The show stages professional actors in mock situations in the nature of exaggerated social conflict, such as racial discrimination at a restaurant, or an abusive woman berating her professional nanny in a public coffee house (right in front of her child and onlookers, of course).

The premise is to gauge bystander reactions to socially deplorable behavior. The problem with this reality show, like so many others of its ilk, is that the staged situations are far from the realm of reality. Once again, producers give us portrayals of people behaving at their absolute worst for the sole purpose of provoking others who are not part of the charade.

This is not reality! One scenario I just watched has the mother railing at her hired nanny in front of her child and using the most abusive language possible. She grabs the nanny repeatedly by the arm in a threatening and hostile way while making threats of bodily harm. The show then exploits the innocent bystanders by gaging their reactions. The idea is to then judge the unwitting and grill them up close on why they either stepped in to assist the poor “victim” or did nothing. Or, in some cases the producers would challenge the people who actually sided with the offending party and ask them to explain themselves (if they even permitted their faces to be shown).

The other scenario in the show I watched had day workers being refused service by the operator of a take-out restaurant. The man behind the counter was so openly hostile in his bigotry that some bystanders either joined in trying to kick out the aliens, or, in most cases simply ignored the confrontation. In a few instances people actually came to the defense of the migrant workers and turned against the nasty restaurant operator.

In all of these mock situations, what played out was ugly, hostile, and tension filled. None of it was based on normal social behavior or reality. These types of scenarios are not a true depiction of the society we live in today. However, think about how many people will actually see it as being reality.

And, therein lies the rub, folks. This is not reality. This is televised sensationalized garbage. This is painting society blacker than it really is. It is also a vehicle for convincing the masses in America that it is somehow acceptable to butt into other peoples’ ugly business and escalate the drama. Why not? They do it on TV. Just be prepared for the consequences when dealing with agitated strangers if that’s your poison.

This is the mind-set of this ludicrous and dangerous television show. “Primetime: What Would You Do?” seeks to instigate and stir up hysteria by creating faked realities that are far beyond everyday context. Actors portray exaggerations of people whom we would naturally see as immoral or wrong. Yet the examples are so extreme they defy reality. Ignorant people buy this crap. Some may even actually identify with the “bad guys.” This gives people permission to rachet up their response. “It must be normal to be this horrible if we see it on television.” Some will buy into these examples of so-called reality. They may see it as a reality. Some will even side with the prejudiced jerk who insults the day workers and refuses service in his restaurant while spewing racial epithets.

There are plenty of impressionable IQs in the American audience who take their lead from these examples. Some will take the high road. Some will stay out of it. Others may see the themselves more as the one who steps in to defend the wronged. They’ll see themselves putting themselves in the middle of a conflict so they can be heroes like the ones they saw on TV. It is all based on a false reality observed on television. It is license for open hostility–the antithesis of civility.

Why do they keep producing shows like this? More and more reality programs seek to portray us as a society of mental cases and hostile, competitive monsters. This is what people are seeing in The Jersey Shore and The Housewives of New York (or wherever). There is a long list of similarly themed shows.

My question is this: Are you for true reality or are you for some producer’s version of low class reality based on hostile and dangerous examples. We do not need to slide any farther down that slippery slope of becoming like the slime balls we see on the reality shows. We need to stop watching and stop allowing our children to watch. What are these examples telling us? They are sending all the wrong messages about what we are as a society and who we should be as a society. People learn by example. We have too many bad examples on television doing great harm to society. Enough already!

(As I update this post on November 19, 2010) a new episode of this show is being advertised on TV.) The premise for this latest show is: What would you do if you saw a person berating someone else in public for looking bad (too fat) in their bathing suit? Is this really reality?! Are people really that rude? I don’t think so. However, I also believe that some people who watch this garbare, who are inclined to be bullies already, may take this show as another signal that is it not so extraordinary for to behave like this. This show would make it appear that this type of behavior is commonplace, when it is not! It is a bad distortion and NOT reality.

Change the channel! Watch sports. Watch PBS. Watch Dancing With The Stars or one of the good cooking shows. Watch a game show. Just stop with these horrible reality shows that are dragging society into the muck. Change the channel. Look for programming that models decent social behavior. Don’t mire in baseless reality shows. It is bad form to watch bad behavior for entertainment. Grow up! Change the channel!

Robert George Reoch

About this blog:

There’s plenty more to discover on my blog, such as my books of short stories. Available in print as well as digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Not your typical newsstand fare. Engaging reading anytime. Click on the images below for more information on Amazon:


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead  (TV 2010)

Pilot Episode: “Days Gone Bye”

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Lennie James

Despite a remarkably polished production, this zombie genre episode has no other surprises–at all. I still enjoyed the above average acting and the contemporary settings. Lennie James (as Morgan Jones) steals his every scene with an intensity that keeps the story alive. Our lead man, British actor Andrew Lincoln, is also convincing as Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes. He wakes up in a hospital to discover his world has become littered with dead people. This after enduring a shoot-out that put him in the hospital and in a brief coma. Meanwhile, what has become of his wife and kid, and his best buddy, the other local deputy?

Humankind has been turned upside down. The few living survivors who have not contracted the zombie bug must seek out other non-zombies like themselves–just because that’s the way it always goes in zombie movies. Meanwhile, subplots are free to bloom, such as a love triangle (think best buddy and guess-who-else). As always, the zombie menace is a constant threat. The rules are still the same. You need to shoot the flesh-eaters in the head to kill them (or bash their rotting domes with a baseball bat, or a crowbar, or whatever’s handy).

Good viewing if you are into zombies (or are one yourself) and if you don’t mind the blood and guts. This TV pilot doesn’t hold back on gore or cliches.

As I said, it’s a polished production…

Update on 12/2/2010: I feel compelled to revist this review after having seen a couple more episodes. I have raised my original grade of B minus to a B Plus, mainly because the subsequent episodes I have watched continue to compel.

The story lines are doing well to explore the group dynamics among the surviving walking not-dead. I love a good drama when it is well played. The acting in this series continues to convince, even as the cast expands. I look forward to seeing more. The Walking Dead are alive in my DVR, but no need to get the hammer.

My grade: B+ (Revised on 12/2/2010–up from a B minus)

Robert George Reoch

[About My Blog]

There’s plenty more to discover here on my blog, including my books of short stories. Click on the images below for more about those. My books are also available in digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel. Not your typical newsstand fare. Engaging reading anytime. 

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

“Hot in Cleveland” with Betty White

“Hot in Cleveland” Pilot Episode

Excellent start. This new show has an all-star ensemble cast. The premiere episode begins in an airplane that makes a forced landing (mechanical problems), and then by midway through the show they are on a boat. They end the first episode sitting together on a porch swing. Those are just some of the settings where, from scene to scene, this winning combination of veteran actresses meld quite well together. The premise is they were on their way to Paris together as BFFs just wanting to have fun, but they get sidetracked by the plane’s problems and end up in Cleveland (presumably to stay).

Betty white shows up as the caretaker of the house one of them rents (Bertinelli’s character decides she likes Cleveland and wants to stay). The cast of Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick, and Jane Leeves are great together. Betty White adds that extra golden layer and doesn’t miss a beat with her outspoken cantankerous character.

This first episode also has John Schneider (the original Dukes of Hazard). He smooths right into the opening story, although it remains to be seen if his character will be coming back. Schneider holds his own solidly in this first episode. I have a feeling he’ll be the recurring romantic interest.

In case you missed this pilot episode, allow me to explain the title, “Hot in Cleveland,” as the joke is revealed in this first episode. Following the womens’ hard landing in Cleveland, their first stop is at a local bar. Immediately upon entering, they find they’re on the receiving end of stares from all the men in the room. After scanning the room and determining most of the men look heterosexual and are actually appreciating the them as sharp looking women, Malick’s character says something to the effect that back in L.A. they were just old, but standing in this bar in Ohio, it seems they are actually “hot in Cleveland.”

I plan to watch again. I really enjoyed this debut and was blown away by all of these talented actresses from other sitcoms coming together in one show so seamlessly.

If you like my review, check out my books of short stories available from this site.

Robert George Reoch

[About This Site]

Explore this site for a number of topical entries, plus my books of short stories, available through links below:
Sensational shorts stories with a wide variety of subjects and memorable characters. Great for the those times when you don’t feel like starting a heavy novel, yet with substance rather than the typical newsstand fare. The images below link to my web sites for more information and for ordering:


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Blog Page and Betty White

I would have written again earlier but I was working on this blog page. It turns out it is harder to set up a blog page than it is to just write on it. I expected that, actually, so don’t be surprised if things change over the course. I like remodeling occasionally.

This is my first chance to comment about Betty White’s appearance on SNL (that ‘s “Saturday Night Live” for those who may be living here under false pretenses) last Saturday. I thought she was great! Betty white has more energy and projection on live stage than some people a quarter her age. I enjoyed every minute. I liked the last sketch about the census taker the best. She deadpanned her crazy lines and ridiculous answers to questions without breaking form once.  My only overall criticism would be that the writing for Betty White was far too heavy on the sex jokes and potty language throughout the entire show. A good dose was expected, but give the lady some credit. She doesn’t need that old-lady-talking-smack as a crutch, as she proved in the last sketch. Betty White can make anything funny. I have been watching Betty White since I was a kid and her husband, Allen Ludden, was host of Password. I enjoyed her all through the Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. I cannot think of another actress, aside from Cloris Leachman, who keeps her star power shining so strongly. That’s another story I will tell later (the one about Betty and Cloris on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.) Legendary.

This has been a lotta years Betty White has been making us laugh and talk about her memorable antics from one performance to the next. I would love to see her back on SNL again. It was just such a riot her first time out!

That’s all I’ve got for now, Betty. I hope they have you back soon.

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013