Roswell Episode 4 Season 1 – Leaving Normal

In the 2 previous episodes we have watched Max, Isabel, Michael, Liz and Maria struggle to reclaim the lives that they had before the incident at the Crashdown Cafe that threaten to expose the alien teens.  In this episode entitled “Leaving Normal” they are forced to come to terms with the fact that things will never be the same.

At the beginning of this episode Max seems to be finally trying to let his guard down with Liz.  There is some serious flirting going on between the two of them at the Crashdown Cafe.  Liz however has been casually dating Kyle Valenti, Sheriff Valenti’s son and his friends seem to notice this interaction between Liz and Max.  Kyle’s friends wait outside the Crashdown and jump Max, warning him to stay away from Liz.  Bruised and broken Max resolves to stay away from Liz once and for all so that things don’t get out of control.

Liz is also trying to make advances but is unable to make a connection with Max, as he now seems distant.  Liz’s Grandmother Claudia, who she absolutely adores is in town.  Liz is able to share with her grandmother a little about her feelings for both Kyle and Max but there time together is cut short when Grandma Claudia suddenly has a stroke.  Although Kyle is at the hospital with Liz to support her she feels the urge to call Max.  Max is unable to keep his promise to himself when Liz calls and comes to the hospital to see Liz.  

Kyle is upset that Max shows up at the hospital and finally tells him to stay away from Liz.  Kyle however is unaware of what his friends did to Max and when he finds out he tells Liz that he had nothing to do with it.  She is disgusted by what they did to Max and in her disgust she finally gets up the courage to break it off with Kyle.

Liz reluctantly asks Max if there is anything that he can do to help her grandmother like he helped her but he explains that he can’t because what is happening to her grandmother is the natural course of things. “I’m not God,” he comments to Liz.  He does however offer her a way to say goodbye as she fades away in the hospital.  The show ends with Liz and Max sharing an emotional embrace.

Favorite Song(s):
None

Favorite Quote(s):
Grandma Claudio to Liz: “Promise me one thing, that you’ll follow your heart wherever it takes you.  Trust it, will you do that?”

Roswell Episode 3 Season 1 – Monsters

Maria DeLuca is really struggling to keep it together in this episode entitled “Monsters.”  She is letting the media’s image of aliens portrayed as slimy, green, disgusting, vicious creatures overshadow her reason.  Isabel Evans is of particular concern to Maria and a chance encounter puts them in the same space together.    When Isabel’s car breaks down on the highway Maria is gracious enough to offer to give her a ride.  Isabel accepts the ride but hardly seems appreciative.  It seems as if Isabel is deliberately trying to scare Isabel into silence by showing off her powers.  She uses her powers in the car and again to visit Maria in her dreams to see what she is thinking.  Isabel actually freaks Maria out so much in the car that it causes her to lose focus on the road and she ends up crashing into Sheriff Valenti’s car. 

This minor fender bender again opens up the door for Sheriff Valenti to go snooping around in the teenagers’ lives.  Maria is so intimidated by Sergeant Valenti and at the same time so scared of her alien classmates that it seems as if she is going to break.       

We are given a great deal of insight into the character traits of a few of the teens in this episode.  This is thanks to the career assessment interviews that Kathleen Topolsky , Roswell High’s new guidance counselor is conducting.   In Max’s interview we find out that he is shy and reserved and has trouble venturing out and taking chances.  In Isabel’s Interview we uncover that she does have a softer side and that her prevailing traits are care-taking and nurturing relationships.  We also find out in Liz’s interview how important it is for Liz to always be in control.  She refuses to accept Ms. Topolsky’s notion that sometimes you have to take life as it comes. 

Although it seems pretty certain that Maria is going to break when she meets with Sheriff Valenti she manages to stay strong and doesn’t tell him anything.   Although this was a pretty close call the five teens seem to be finding a way to keep their secret among themselves. 

 Favorite Quote(s):
Milton Ross (Owner of UFO Center) to Max Evans – “And I swear on my mother’s grave that one day I will stand face to face with one of these creatures and say I – told – you – so”

Favorite Song(s):
Genie in a Bottle – Christina Aguleira
Ordinary Life – Kevin Bowe  

 
 
 

 

Roswell Episode 2 Season 1 – The Morning After

This is the first Roswell episode that comes complete with theme song.  ”Here with Me,” Dido’s debut song is the theme song for Roswell and this song in itself was enough to get me excited each and every time the show came on.  I love Dido! 

In this episode so appropriately titled ”The Morning After” everyone is trying to get used to their new reality.  Liz and Maria are trying to navigate through the awkwardness  naturally created by their new found knowledge of the existence of alien life.  Maria seems to be really concerned about whether or not the alien teens are dangerous, while Liz seems more preoccupied with what is going to happen romantically between her and Max.  Michael is on a crusade to break into the Sheriff’s office to get a closer look at evidence uncovered during the first episode.  He believes this evidence will help him to discover where they come from. 

The FBI suddenly shows up in this episode and confiscates Sheriff Valenti’s files but do not acknowledge that they think the incident at the Crash Down was alien related.  A strange substitute teacher, Kathleen Topolsky also shows up in Roswell and seems to be very interested in finding Michael.  Liz and Maria speculate that she is from the government, perhaps an alien hunter sent to uncover the teens secret.  Liz shares her concerns with both Max and Michael but Max doesn’t seem to believe her until he invites her to spy on Mrs. Topolsky from the vent in the second floor eraser room.  It is there that Liz and Max find out the Mrs. Topolsky is heading to Michael’s house to find him. 

Michael does suceed in breaking into the Sheriff’s office and finds a key which gives him a vision when he touches it.  Kathleen Topolsky outs herself to Liz as the new guidance counselor and urges her to have Michael come speak with her because he is in danger of being expelled from school.  Sheriff Valenti is dumbfounded when he finds that the key he had hidden has dissapeared.  Max tries to act as if everything is normal for most of this episode but it becomes evident that things are destined to never be normal again for these teens.    

Favorite Quote(s)
Maria DeLuca to Liz Parker – ” The eraser room does two things, it cleans erasers and takes are innocence”

Favorite Song(s)
Here with You by Dido (Theme Song)

Roswell – The Complete Series [DVD] (Seasons 1 2 3)

Roswell Episode 1 Season 1 – Pilot

Would you risk your well being and perhaps even your life to save the life of a person that you have admired from afar for years?  Max Evans has to answer this question in the beginning of the very first episode of Roswell and the choice that he makes leads us on an unforgettable journey with several individuals from the city of Roswell, New Mexico.  We discover pretty early on in this episode that 3 seemingly normal teenagers are actually extraterrestrials with special powers.  The first scene of the pilot episode shows Liz Parker  journaling about this discovery and the start of this amazing  journey.   

The actual journey begins in the second scene, which appears to be a completely normal day at the Crashdown Cafe in the city of Roswell, New Mexico.  The Crashdown seems to be an extremely popular hang out spot, as it is filled with people.  The Crashdown is a theme restaurant capitalizing on the alleged 1947 UFO crash in Roswell. In this scene we meet several main characters, the first of which are Liz Parker and Maria DeLuca.  They are both waitresses at the popular hang out spot.  You can tell that they are close from the beginning, as they are gossiping about guys and giggling in typical teenage fashion.  We also meet Max Evans in this scene, as he is a patron in the Crashdown Cafe and Maria points out to Liz that he is staring at her again.  Max’s infatuation with Liz is evident from the very beginning.  This ordinary take a near deadly turn when an argument suddenly erupts between two patrons.  The argument eventually reaches its climax and one of the angry patrons pulls out a gun and points it at the other and the two begin to struggle over it.  Maria screams to Liz and Liz appears to become paralyzed with fear because of what she is witnessing.  Someone yells get down and everyone seems to listen except for Liz.  The gun goes off in the struggle and Liz is right in its path.   The two patrons quickly run out of the Crashdown Cafe after the gun goes off and everyone begins to get up.  Maria shouts to Liz as she notices that Liz is on the ground and has not gotten up yet.  Max notices Liz lying on the floor and starts to run over to her but his friend tries to stop him.  He pushes his friend away and makes it over to Liz.  Max instructs Maria to call the ambulance and Max’s friend pushes some nosey tourists back.  Max sees Liz’s wound and urges her to look at him, he then puts his hand over her wound and heals it.  He tells her not to tell anyone and breaks a bottle of ketchup and then pours it over her to cover up the fact that she had actually been shot.  Max and his friend then run out of the Crashdown.  Liz stands up in shock and watches Max in utter disbelief as he leaves the Crashdown Cafe. 

The police arrive at the Crashdown Cafe and are met with conflicting accounts of what actually occurred.  Liz tries to cover up what happened by using the ketchup story, as Max urged her to do.  Maria is very little help as she uses describes the assailants as popular cartoon characters.  Two tourist, in town for the Crash Festival which commemorates the 1947 crash in Roswell, seem to be the most helpful to the police and poke a lot of holes in Liz’s story.  Sheriff Valenti immediately becomes suspicious of Liz’s account of the events before and after the shooting.  Liz eventually makes it home and appears confused and exhausted.  She inspects the bullet hole in her dress and then removes the dress and stuffs it in her backpack.  She then goes to the mirror to check out her stomach and notices a silver hand print where Max had placed his hand to heal her. 

Biology class brings Max and Liz together the day after the shooting but a lab assignment to inspect each others human cells prompts Max to ask for a lavatory pass shortly after arriving to class.  Liz steals Max’s pencil which he has left behind and at one point had in his mouth.  Liz removes some cells from his pencil and prepares a slide.  As she inspects the slide she has prepared with Max’s cells under the microscope she realizes that they are not human.  Max never returns to class but Liz tracks him down immediately after biology in the hall and asks him if they can talk.  They go to the music room and Liz shows Max the silver hand print on her stomach and tells him about her discovery in the lab.  Max finally confesses and explains that he is indeed an alien from another planet.  Liz of course is shocked by this and immediately heads for the door of the music room.  As she leaves Max stops her and urges her to keep this latest information secret as his life depends on it. 

Maria is starting to get suspicious of Liz.  Liz has been avoiding Maria because she is trying to keep her promise to Max and gather information about what actually happened at the Crashdown.  Maria expresses her concerns to, Alex Whitman, a mutual friend of both Maria and Liz.  Alex assures Maria that everything is fine and that she is just being dramatic.  Meanwhile Max is dealing with his own personal fall out over his decision to heal Liz.  Isabel Evans, Max’s sister and Michael Guerin, Max’s friend at the Crashdown, are also aliens with special powers and they are both infuriated that Max has put their secret in jepoardy by performing this single act.  The 3 had made a sacred pack never to tell anyone not even their parents about their secret.  While talking to Max Isabel realizes that Max has already told Liz everything.  Michael insists that it is time to leave Roswell before they are found out.     

Sheriff Valenti is growing more suspicious of the whole incident.  Additionally, Liz is dating Kyle Valenti the sheriff’s son and Kyle tells his father about a silver hand print that he saw on Liz’s stomach. The Sheriff calls Liz in for additional questioning and asks her specifically about Max Evans.  He also has found Liz’s back pack that contains the dress with the bullet hole in it.  Liz lets Max know that Sheriff Valenti is on to him and he lets Isabel and Michael know that it is now time to leave Roswell.  Liz eventually does break her promise because Maria threatens to tell Sheriff Valenti what she really saw at the Crashdown Cafe the day of the shooting if Liz did not tell her the whole story.   As Max, Isabel and Michael are trying to leave down Liz and Maria follow them to a deserted alley.  It is here that they all devise a plan to throw Sheriff Valenti off track at the Crash Festival so that the alien teens can stay in Roswell.  The plan does not really work but they still decide to stay in Roswell.  A sort of alien-human teenager pact is forged in this episode and the secret will remain between these five teenagers for several episodes to come. 

Favorite Quote(s)
Max Evans to Liz Parker - “I prefer the term not of this earth”
Michael Guerin to Max Evans – “So how’d she react when you told her, great your an alien that’s fantastic, excellent – nah I didn’t think so”

Favorite Song(s)
Fear by Sarah McLachlan
Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band

Roswell – The Complete Series [DVD] (Seasons 1 2 3)

Were you a fan of the Roswell Television Series?

Were you a Roswell fan?  I was a huge Roswell fan back in the day and I was delighted to find all three seasons of the teenage science fiction drama via the play instantly option on Netflix.  I have just finished reliving the whole Roswell experience and I have to say I enjoyed it as much as, if not more than I did the first time around.  The series had its ups and downs, and these were evident this time around too,  but as a loyal Roswell fan I was happy to watch every moment of it all over again. 

In my opinion the first season of the Roswell television series was the best.  I was completely hooked after the first season and anxiously awaited the second season.  Although the second season of Roswell still kept me engaged and I continued to be anxious about how things would eventually unfold, the second season of Roswell was noticeably different.  I now know that the decision from the network to focus more on the science fiction stuff and therefore creating less time for the teen drama, coupled with the addition of a new veteran science fiction writer was the force behind this change.  These changes were an effort to increase ratings because even the first season of Roswell failed to reach the network’s ratings expectations.  After the series made a move to a new network the third season of my beloved Roswell was completely unlike the first two.  I enjoyed the third season the least but could not abandon a series that I had fell in love with.  I had to see Roswell through making sure that my friends Max, Liz, Michael, Maria, Isabel and Kyle all made it to a safe place.  I did enjoy the last few episodes of the series and I am thankful that Roswell was given a third season to wrap things up nicely, as many shows we get hooked on are cancelled without getting this opportunity.  Wrapping the series up also makes it a great series to enjoy today as not many people would want to watch an entire televion series without an ending.   

For a while I just assumed that I was alone in my devotion to the Roswell television series but after reading comments on other sites about Roswell I know that I am not alone.  The show had a loyal fan base but was just not the blockbuster the network needed it to be.  I will always look back on Roswell with fond memories.  A great story line, great characters and a great theme song  made it a great show.

Roswell Story Line
Roswell Characters
Roswell Episodes

Roswell Theme Song

Big League Chew

Fond Memories: Do you remember Big League Chew?  If you grew up during the 1980′s as I did you will probably remember this aluminum pouch full of shredded bubble gum.  If you were anything like my friends and I where, then you probably tried to chew the entire pack of gum at once and experienced an acute sugar high and a bit of jaw pain in the process.   The pouch has 2.12 ounces of gum, which surely amounts to quite a mouthful.  This was such a fun candy to eat and it brings back great childhood memories. 

 History: Chewing tobacco was common practice among baseball players in the 1970s.  This was a terrible habit and Rob Nelson of the Portland Mavericks’ was looking for something different and perhaps a healthier alternative to chewing tobacco.  Although not exactly healthy, but definitely no were near as unhealthy as tobacco, Nelson and his teammate Jim Bouton came up with the idea for shredded bubble gum in an aluminum pouch, which intentionally would resemble chewing tobacco.  Bouton pitched the idea for Big League Chew to the Wrigley’s company and the rest is history.   Today Big League Chew is affectionately known as the “Ballplayers Bubble Gum” and  still has quite a following among professional and amateur athletes and of course children.    

Year Released:
1980

Flavors/Varieties:  
Outta’ Here Original
Ground Ball Grape
Swingin’ Sour Apple
Wild Pitch Watermelon

Slogan: “You’re in the big leagues when you’re into Big League Chew!”

Where to buy:  You can still find Big League Chew in some stores.  It is kind of random where I see it.  I got my most recent pack from Party City.  Big League Chew is readily available from retailers online including Amazon.   Big League Chew, Outta’ Here Original Bubble Gum, 2.12-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 12)
 
Big League Chew Commercial

Fraggle Rock – Beginnings – Season 1, Episode 1

Summary
An Inventor named Doc and his dog Sprocket are in the process of converting an empty spare room into a workshop.  The first Fraggle we meet is Uncle Matt who is exploring the caves of Fraggle Rock.  The entrance to Fraggle Rock is actually inside the wall of the Inventor’s new workshop.  At the beginning of the episode Uncle Matt is exploring the last of the uncharted caves of Fraggle Rock when he finally comes to a wall.  The wall has a hole in it but the hole is blocked by a heavy object.  This wall actually divides Fraggle Rock from the Inventor’s workshop.  After Uncle Matt explores the hole a bit miraculously the hole opens up, this occurs as the inventor, in an effort to clean up his new workshop, moves a crate that is blocking the hole.  Uncle Matt looks through the hole an realizes that he has discovered “outer space.”  Outer Space is the term used for our world. 

Uncle Matt decides that since he has explored all of the caves in Fraggle Rock that he will now go on and explore outer space.  Uncle Matt hurries off tell his nephew Gobo Fraggle that he is going to explore outer space.  Gobo chuckles at his uncle’s new and tells his uncle that outer space is just an old myth.  Uncle Matt asks Gobo to follow him to the entrance of outer space.  When they arrive Uncle Matt makes Gobo promise to come back every few days to pick up messages from the workshop that he will send to him about his travels in outer space.  Gobo reluctantly agrees and sees his uncle who now refers to himself as Uncle “Traveling” Matt off into outer space.  Uncle Matt enters the workshop where he is confronted by the “Fearsome Beast,” Sprocket the inventors dog.  The dog barks and uncle Matt runs outside of the workshop and is thrust into our world.  There he begins observing how humans behave and interact.  Uncle Matt’s first few minutes in outer space are scary for him as there is so much to take in.  Gobo is happy that his uncle made it past the beast into outer space but is scared to come back to the workshop and confront  the Beast when having to pick up his uncles messages.  Gobo fears that he will not be able to keep his promise to his uncle. 

Gobo seeks the advice of the all knowing Trash Heap named Marjorie.   Since Marjorie is all knowing, the Fraggles often seek her advice.  To get to the Trash Heap Gobo must sneak through a Gorg’s, a large troll like creature, garden.   Gobo makes it to the Marjorie where he asks her for advice on his dilema.   He shares with Marjorie that he feels so alone and her advice is “Don’t be alone get some friends, friends help.”  Gobo goes back and tells his friend about the beast and the promise that he made to his uncle.  His friends agree to go with him to get Uncle Matt’s message from the workshop.   

When the the Fraggles make it to the workshop they find a giant red ball and that the beast has fallen asleep.  Gobo ventures out into the workshop to find the message from his uncle.  The beast wakes up when the inventor comes in with the mail.  Coincidentally the inventor notices the very first message to Gobo Fraggle and discards it in a basket on the floor.  Gobo grabs the message and runs for the hole to return to Fraggle Rock, but beast catches him.  His friends unsure of what to do role the ball outside and the beast lets Gobo go and follows the ball.  Gobo makes a run for it and makes it safely back to Fraggle Rock.  Gobo is so happy that he was able to get the message and thankful for his friends help.  The Inventor completes his workshop and vows to board up the hole in the wall one of these days.   

Characters
Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey, Boober, Uncle Matt, Junior Gorg, The Doozers and the Trash Heap (Marjorie), Marjorie’s two friends, The Inventor (Doc), The Inventor’s Dog (Sprocket)

Songs
Every Day the World Begins Again
Hip Hip Hooray
Trash Heap Song

My Favorite Quote
“It’s always exciting in Fraggle Rock, that’s what’s wrong with the place.” – Boober

Life Lessons
Facing Your Fears
Asking For Help
Letting Your Friends Help
Being Brave
Keeping Promises

Fraggle Rock Beginnings – Season 1, Episode 1 can be found on the Fraggle Rock: Complete First Season DVD

I Still Love Fraggle Rock over 25 Years Later

Fraggle Rock was one of my favorite television shows as a kid.  I had not thought about Fraggle Rock for at least 20 years and then I discovered rather serendipitously that all 5 seasons were available to view instantly on Netflix.  I immediately dived in adding all 4 DVDs to my Watch Instantly Queue.  I was so excited to be introducing my kids to something that I enjoyed watching so much as a child.  I was a little anxious to see if I would still enjoy watching this as an adult, as there are many things I go back and watch now and I just don’t understand what all of the hype was about.  I was hoping that this would not apply to my Fraggles. 

My two girls and I started watching the episodes over last Christmas break and I fell in love with the Fraggles all over again.  The girls really enjoy it too and are learning many of the great songs and life lessons that each episode teaches.  Watching Fraggle Rock can probably help a lot of adults that I know, myself included.  I am so glad that Fraggle Rock is available to me again.  I am happy that this show meant so much to so many kids that grew up in the 80s and because of that is still available for us to watch easily today. 

Background
Fraggle Rock was created by Jim Henson, perhaps the most famous American Puppeteer of all time.  Other Jim Henson creations include The Muppets and Sesame Street.  Fraggle Rock aired for 5 seasons starting in 1983 and ended in 1987.  A cartoon version also aired in 1987 for only one season. 

What are Fraggles?
Fraggles are human like in that they have a body with two arms, two legs and a head.  They have different skin colors and different hair color. Some have eyelids while others don’t. 

Where is Fraggle Rock?
Fraggle Rock is an intricate world of caves.  Practically speaking the entrance from our world to Fraggle Rock is through the wall of an old workshop that belongs to an old inventor named Doc. 

Who are the Main Fraggles?
Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey and Boober are the main Fraggles.  They are all friends and have extremely different personalities.

Fraggle Rock Theme Song

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Work you cares away,
Dancing’s for another day.
Let the Fraggles play,
We’re Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red.

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Fraggle Rock Theme song from Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock 1983

My Love Affair With Necco Wafers

Necco Wafers have been my favorite candy for as long as I can remember.  My mother, a life long candy addict never placed any restrictions on our candy/junk food intake, so I was free to enjoy the tastes of child hood at my own discretion.  Anytime my younger brother and I managed to get together $1.05, we would immediately make the mad dash up the block to the Five and Dime store.  105 was the magic number.  This would allow us to buy 3 pieces of candy for $.99 plus tax.  That broke down to one whole piece of candy for each of us, and one for us to share.  The choices were many, but 9 times out of 10, I would go for the pack of Necco Wafers.  My brother was a candy bar type of kid. Butterfinger, Musketeers and Charleston Chews were some of his favorites.  The third choice was often a difficult one, but we always managed to agree on something. 

Today, I am a recovering candy addict.  I have managed to give up so many of the candies that I once enjoyed during my childhood, but Necco Wafers are a treat that I continue to indulge in frequently.  I am not sure why, but I often find myself in conversations about the type of candy that I like.  When asked what my favorite candy is, without thought or hesitation I disclose Necco Wafers.  The responses are always the same, either happiness that I am a fellow Necco Wafer lover, or total disgust and disbelief that someone could enjoy a candy that they always likened to chalk.  So what is it about Necco Wafers that ignite such strong feelings in people?  I have found that people love or hate them and nothing in between.  I am not quite sure why I love them but they have been around for an awfully long time. I figure that there must be enough Necco Wafer lovers around to keep them coming.     

The paper wrapper boasts the phrase “An American Classic,” a fitting description for the core product of the New England Confectioners Company (NECCO).  NECCO is the oldest multi-line candy company in the United States and they have been making Necco Wafers for 161 years.  Necco Wafers, simply made of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, gums, colorings and flavorings, have truly withstood the test of time.  Each roll contains approximately 36 – 40 wafers and come in 8 assorted colors/flavors, the same colors/flavors that they came in originally in 1847.  The 8 flavors are: Lemon (yellow); orange (orange); lime (green); clove (purple); cinnamon (white); wintergreen (pink); licorice (black); and chocolate (brown).  Chocolate (brown) is my favorite.  I would often open the entire pack, spread them all out onto a plate and sort them by color.  I would then save the chocolate ones for the end and savor them.  Thankfully NECCO started making an all chocolate roll.  I can’t begin to tell you how much that I appreciated this.  Sometimes you just want the chocolate ones.  I have even seen small boxes of all chocolate candy hearts around Valentine’s day.  I would love to hear your Necco Wafers memories.  Please leave a comment below!          

Necco Wafer Facts: 
-Over 4 billion NECCO Wafers are sold each year, enough to completely encircle the world twice if placed edge to edge.
-Over 120 NECCO Wafers are consumed every second of every day throughout the entire year.

 Where to Buy: 
I find individual rolls of Necco wafers at most drug stores (CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Rite Aid), some supermarkets (Shoprite and Pathmark), and I have even found them at Toys ‘R’ Us.  The all chocolate roll is not always as easy to find. 

 Sources
Official Necco Wafer Website  
Necco Wafer on Wikipedia