Pet Birds Make For Good Sitcom Plots

Judge Judy quite often ruffles the feathers of the litigants before her, which is one of the reasons she remains one of the most popular people on television. A case on a recent session of her show, however, involved a more literal interpretation of ruffling feathers.

The plaintiff had 42 birds, and she was suing a couple who had purchased two macaws from her. The case got a little heated at times, and Judy shortly wrapped it up by informing the plaintiff that she already had too many birds.

Pet birds have appeared on TV long before Judge Judy, as proven by a quick look into the history of sitcoms. Here are episodes from nine shows where a regular character runs into trouble with someone’s pet bird.

Three’s Company

In the episode called “Bird Song” Jack Tripper (played by John Ritter) and Chrissy Snow (played by Suzanne Somers) agree to take care of a parakeet Mr. Roper plans to give his wife as a gift.

The Andy Griffith Show

Opie (played by Ron Howard) accidentally kills a mother bird with his slingshot, prompting Andy to make him take care of the trio of newborns (which he named Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod) until they could fly off on their own.

The Simpsons

Bart accidentally kills a bird and, like Opie a few decades before him, the Simpsons son tends to the little bird he was responsible for orphaning.

Mayberry R.F.D.

In this spin off of The Andy Griffith Show the son of Sam Jones loses the prized pet bird of Howard Sprague, setting off a cover up that even involves Aunt Bee.

Gilligan’s Island

The castaways pin their hopes of a rescue on a carrier pigeon, only to find that Gilligan (played by Bob Denver) grows so fond of the bird that he cannot bear to let it leave the island.


Kramer (played by Michael Richards) takes on the responsibility of baby sitting the birds of a neighbor, who gets upset when Jerry inadvertently kills the feathered pets.

The Munsters

Scientifically, bats are not birds, but in an episode titled “Bats of a Feather” Eddie (played by Butch Patrick) takes one to school for show and tell, only to learn that the bat was actually Grandpa.

The Big Bang Theory

In a show called “The Ornithophobia Diffusion”, Sheldon must confront his fear of birds when a magpie jay lands on his window sill.

Full House

Michelle is delighted with her turn to bring the class pet bird home in “Bye Bye Birdie” until the thing flies away.

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Movies – The Art of Visual Storytelling

kids16When The Jungle Book movie released a few months ago, The Guardian in its review wrote that ‘hyper real digital animation meets old-fashioned storytelling’.

Many wondered what the point was in remaking an old Walt Disney classic from the mid 1960s which was undoubtedly a brilliant musical masterpiece. Rudyard Kipling’s tale about a jungle boy growing up in the jungles of India was simply fascinating enough in the book version and the original animated version lived up to expectations. So the question was raised simply because the modern version of 2016 left the old fashioned animation and the songs behind and embraced live-action computer graphical interfaces to tell the story better. And the results have been mind-blowing seeing how well the movie has been received world over. In the context of the battle that mankind is facing over environmental issues and the constant debate over human-animal coexistence, the movie although based on times gone by, has equal relevance to present contexts.

Many of us have watched movies based on best-selling books and novels or on real-life incidents and have never failed to be touched on an emotional level about the effects of visual story telling.

Visual Storytelling is the art of telling a story or plot or conveying a message through images. People are wired different to receive stories which they hear and hence, the visual impact of a story is manifold. The human brain instinctively puts the images together to make better sense of what is seen. One of the supreme formats of storytelling is the visual medium or ‘video’ as we call it. To ensure that a story or message is retained in the audience’s mind, the visual medium is the perfect one. However, on the flip side, the wrong visuals can end up contradicting the story when words or dialogues, lighting, music or props send wrong messages that create the wrong images in the mind.

Here are ten simple rules of visual storytelling.

1. Show, don’t tell – effective stories are conveyed through good visuals that don’t depend on words. The silent movies of the Charlie Chaplin era were equally effective.

2. Context is everything – situations are better conveyed when contexts are shown – an office atmosphere, a home scene, a playground etc. Sometimes the absence of a context heightens the mystery.

3. Show people – we tend to relate to people better than brands or products

4. Be true, be personal – human stories and actual events forge better emotional connect.

5. Show contrast and conflict – these factors establish the plot or storyline and provide the impact

6. Reveal hidden things – extraordinary people, places and circumstances add to the visual effect

7. Focus clearly – rambling or getting lost in the details makes the audience lose attention.

8. Keep moving – this means that the story should flow through timelines

9. Don’t follow obvious paths – the surprise element is the obvious path to audience engagement

10. Carrying a message – teaching something or conveying a message is very important and storytelling is a great way to do it.

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Films: Are Films Created To Condition People?

If one wants to take it easy, they could decide to go and see a film or to watch one at home. This could also be something that they will do if they have some free time, with this being seen as a good way to spend it.


Alternatively, they might have the desire to find out about something that took place in the past. Perhaps they are studying history and need to find out about what occurred during a certain period of time.

It can be a lot easier to watch a film than to do endless research, and it can be far more fulfilling. Still, one will only be able to take this route if a film has been made that covers what they are looking for.

The Downside

Yet, even if they do find a film that covers what they are studying, it doesn’t mean that it will make their life easier. For one thing, the film might not reflect what actually took place, and this can mean that it is primary purpose is to entertain people.

Therefore, if one was to reference what they see in a film, it is likely to have a negative effect on them. One might even have to do it all over again, and this is going to mean that this approach won’t save them time after all.


This is something that a lot of people are going to realise, and so they are not going to expect to receive a history lesson when they watch a film about the past. They could be more than happy to swatch off and to enjoy the film.

As if one is watching a comedy, for instance, it is going to be clear as to why they are watching it. And when it comes to relaxing after a long day, there is no denying how beneficial films can be.

A New Reality

No matter what is going on in their life, they can end up being transported to another world. Their body is then going to be in one place, but there mind can end up being somewhere completely different.

One can get an idea of what it would like to experience life differently without actually having to change their life. This can then enable one to see life through other people’s eyes and there is going to be no reason for them to put their life at risk or to leave their home.


When this happens from time to time, it could be said that it is unlikely to have a negative effect on their life. There are plenty of other things that one could do to relax that would end up doing more harm than good.

However, this wouldn’t be the case if one spent most of their life watching films; this would cause them to neglect important areas of their life. It would then be vital for them to take a step back and to look at what they are trying to avoid.

A Balanced Diet

For example, if one liked eating chocolate, they are unlikely to eat it all the time. There is a strong chance that they would only have it now at then; with this being the sensible thing to do.

In the same way, when one watches films when they have time as opposed to whenever they feel like it, they will just be another part of their life. The rest of their life is not going to end up being compromised.


And although one could believe that films are made purely for entertainment purposes, they might have a different outlook. They could believe that some films are specifically made to influence how people perceive life.

When it comes to backing this up, they could talk about the films that have been made on the different wars. This could be seen as a way to present one country as being better than another and to cover up why they were started, for instance.

It’s clear

If one was to mention this to the average person, they might go along with what they are saying. One reason for this is that it could go against what they were taught at school, or perhaps it’s due to them not believing what they were told at school.

Nevertheless, when it comes to films that are not about history, one could generally believe that they are just being entertained. And if one was to watch a comedy or a comic book film, it could be said that this is to be expected.


As a result of this, it can be far easier to use these kinds of films to condition people. Their guard can end up being down and what they are exposed can end up going straight into their mind and influencing how they see life.

These films are not going to be used influence how people see history, but they can be used to define how they see their government, or the way in which they view the opposite sex. What they come to believe is acceptable can also be shaped by what they watch, amongst other things.

Part of Them

After being conditioned through the films that they watch, they can end up believing things without taking the time to do their own research. But as so many people are going to be influenced in the same way, they are generally going to be surrounded by people who are the same.

It is then not going to matter if they are watching the news or watching a film, as it can have the same effect to them. Or, one could believe that the people behind the scenes can’t influence them as they don’t watch the news, but this is not going to matter.


What this comes down to is that while films are made to make money, this is not the only reason they are created. And due to the amount of people who watch them, they have incredible power to shape people’s minds.

This is not to say that one should no longer watch them; what it highlights is that there is often more to films than meets the eye. Having this understanding can make it easier for one to protect their mind.

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Classic Sitcom Characters Who Attend Memorable High School Reunions

This summer marked number 35 for me, and I celebrated it the same way I did all of my other high school class reunions. I stayed home.

Of the 320 people who graduated with me way back in 1981, I have kept in touch with the half dozen I was close to back then. The others, while I wish them no misfortune, I really have no desire to reconnect with.

Even though class reunions are not for me, I have enjoyed TV shows with characters who have attended theirs. Here are seven classic sitcoms that aired an episode on which at least one regular member participated in a high school class reunion.

All in the Family

Archie (played by Carroll O’Connor) reluctantly agrees to accompany Edith (played by Jean Stapleton) to her reunion, where the most anticipated guest will be her high school sweetheart Buck Evans. The former track star, now obese and bald, is unrecognizable to everyone but Edith.

The Andy Griffith Show

Deputy Barney Fife (played by Don Knotts) anticipates rekindling his romance with Thelma Lou (played by Betty Lynn) when their Mayberry class gets together, only to find that she has married someone else.

The Love Boat

Julie McCoy’s (played by Lauren Tewes) fellow grads are celebrating their tenth on board The Princess, where she finds that her former boyfriend is still attracted to her and her favorite teacher (played by Raymond Burr) is an alcoholic.

Married With Children

Peg Bundy (played by Katy Sagal) attends her reunion with the sole intention of being elected as Prom queen, a goal she manages to accomplish with some underhanded help from son Bud (played David Faustimo and daughter Kelly (played by Christina Applegate). By the way, the reluctant Al (played by Ed O’Neill) found himself in a fight with a fellow grad.

The Simpsons

An episode titled “The Front” is centered on the reunion of the Springfield Class of ’74 of which both Homer and Marge were members, only Homer finds out from Principal Dondelinger that he never actually graduated.

Family Guy

Peter Griffin goes to his high school reunion and meets NFL quarterback Tom Brady in an episode appropriately called “Patriot Games.”

Golden Girls

“Home Again, Rose” is the name of the episode in which a heart attack forces Rose (played by Betty White) to miss her class reunion. Instead, the gals all later attend Blanche’s (played by Rue McClanahan) and pretend to be other people.

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