TV-HGTV Design Star; the Funniest Show on TV Bar None; True Crime Book Review

A TV review of the funniest show on television, bar none.

Also, HGTV's 2007 Design Star. All with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

A Book Review of a true crime book "Final Analysis" by Dr. Martin Obler.

It's a good true crime story about a serial killer, his shrink and efforts to stop the killing.

Only thing, although proclaimed to be true, I didn't believe a word of Obler's psychobabble nonsense.

It's almost a sin to classify this book as non-fiction.


With today being "funny" day, check out this video of some folks having serious and shocking troubles at work.

You'll love it.

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HGTV Design Star 2007

Myself has a passing interest in interior design. I occasionally enjoy those home makeover type of shows from messy, unorganized beginning to smashing "reveal" at the end.

I had no idea HGTV, one of my fave networks of the cable sort, had a contest that rewards the winner with his or her own design show. Thus I didn't tune into this year's Design Star contest until the contenders were down to four or so.

Top two finalists HGTV Design Star 2007

Okay, let us not misunderstand. Males competing in contests involving interior design are almost always homosexual. Not that there's anything wrong with this, mind you. But there may be a few heterosexual male hairdressers and as I understand it a few male fashion designers are very happily married in a heterosexual fashion. I've yet to see a male interior designer that wasn't homosexual but hey, they may be out there.

Which brings me to the subject of "Todd", the male finalist of this year's HGTV Design Star's final two. See, Todd has a wife. Indeed. And she is a beautiful female and, hey, Todd is handsome as well.

But when the two finalists were allowed a visit with their close family, I noted that along with his "wife", there was a male along as part of Todd's family. Before hugging his wife upon the surprise intro of families to the two finalists, Todd hugged the fellow who was part of Todd's family group.

It was never explained just who the male was save for Todd's cryptic explanation that "(insert name here) is my main man". After hugging this male fellow Todd then hugged and greeted his wife.

Well darn if I don't think that's odder than all get out.

Kim, the female finalist (and eventual winner) of the 2007 HGTV Design Star's series, too had her family visit. The only odd thing about Kim's family is that every one of them, including her husband, are very Caucasian. Kim is obviously half black and again, not that there's anything wrong with that. Kim is impossibly cute and talented. Since I am just a Blogger read by two or three people every day, I can point this out and nobody will notice.

Right along I thought cute Kim would win this thing. She had an enjoyable "presence" about her, she practiced good design and she did solid "reveals" of her room designs.

Todd was a bit too frantic in his "reveals". His designs weren't all that great either although the world should know myself is no expert on interior room design. I am a woman, however, and I know when I like the look of a room and when I don't. The males of our species often do not "see" interior design save perhaps the locale of the TV and their favorite chair.

Hey, it's just the way it is. Females of every species generally select the nesting spots and oversee the design of the nest. Female birds are notoriously tough on their mates, often tossing away a bit of straw brought to her by the male with avian disgust for not working well with her instinctive idea on how the nest should be built.

All bets are off if our homosexual brothers are doing the interior design for I've seen some amazing and original designs by male designers because, well I'm supposing homosexual males share female sensibilities about such things. But hey, I could be wrong with my supposing going on here.

Top two HGTV 2007 Deisgn Star Room Designs

In the final room design challenge, pictured above, I couldn't believe what Todd chose to do with his room. He actually brought the bedroom out of the bedroom and put it next to the kitchen! Thus when one rolled out of bed, bada boom, bada bing, there was the kitchen sink, right there.

I hated it.

Kim, on the other hand, added warm colors and nice interior design effects such as a home-made room divider that changed her space from cold and ugly to warm and cozy.

Below is a short video of both Kim's and Todd's "reveal". Note Todd's frantic energy. I think it's distracting.



As it turned out Kim did win the title of HGTV's 2007 Design Star contest. I will watch this charmer's show with great interest.

HGTV Design Star 2007 montage from the final show

"Just for Laughs"

You may call it "Candid Camera" 2007. For those who don't remember this series hosted by Allen Funt, the concept involves hiding a video camera somewhere in the surround. An elaborate joke of sorts is staged and the reaction of the joke's "victims" is recorded for the laughing enjoyment of the audience.

One of "Candid Camera's" more famous scenes was the talking mailbox. An ordinary mailbox is fitted with a microphone. When an unsuspecting citizen opens the box to deposit a letter the mailbox will suddenly start "talking" to the post office patron. The hilarity is in the reaction of the citizen to the mailbox's chat, which might involve a caution to check for sufficient postage or an ordinary "good morning". Often the prank's victim is so surprised that they talk back to the mailbox.

Anyway, this new ABC series which airs currently on Tuesday nights in the 8 to 9 pm time slot, is a show with the same premise of "Candid Camera". Of course we live in a more modern era and the practical jokes become more complicated and even more hilarious.

Just for Laughs montage of guy after shooting bird and pic of

One prank staged on "Just for Laughs" involved a fellow standing on scaffolding over a body of water. A sort of "start/stop" device complete with a big button that would lower the scaffolding with a firm push was rigged up nearby. A kind and helpful victim was recruited from passersby to please push the button to lower the scaffolding for the painter who, you should understand, couldn't push the button as he had to be on the scaffolding.

Once the prankster was on the scaffold, the prank victim would dutifully press the button. The scaffold would slowly be lowered and the prankster would give the prank victim a thumbs-up on the button pushing so well done.

At some point, however, the scaffold kept going down and it was evident to the prank victim that the fellow on the scaffolding would soon be under water unless he or she could somehow stop the descent.

Hilarity ensues as the prank victim desperately tries to find some sort of “brake” on the push button setup. Meanwhile the prankster on the scaffold is doing an oscar-winning acting job of expressing terror at what might be his imminent death by water.

Proof that the victims laugh in

Other pranks include dogs driving cars, sudden sounds of veering cars, even a coffin with a hand which suddenly pops out to scare anyone near the casket.

It’s mostly silly fun but the humor, to me, is in the lack of guile on the victim. People, when not trying at all, can be funnier than heck and myself has always been a fan of such humor.

My laughter is out loud and belly deep as I watch this fun show of people at their funniest at a time when that is the last thing they are aiming for.

Focus on TV Posts of Fame

Those Wacky TV Chefs. Includes Rachel Ray and the sexiest chef of them all.

TV News Pundits including Russert, spitting Matthews and the one I adore.

"Dancing with the Stars" of 2007, reviews, pics and videos.

American Idol 2007 and The Bachelor. One night's review with links to all the others.

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"Fatal Analysis" by Dr. Martin Obler and Thomas Clavin

There was only one thing wrong with this True Crime non-fiction book: the entire thing was totally not believable and, as expected, I didn’t believe a single word of it.

The reader is to believe that Dr. Martin Obler, esteemed headshrink, had an evil serial killer as a patient. The police caught wind of this fact and, as expected, nagged Obler for the fellow’s name. Meanwhile, throughout the murdering patient’s treatment, he regularly visited his favorite headshrink and he regularly murdered people between visits.

The nickname given to the serial killer in this book was the “soda pop” killer. This was because the killer liked to use broken soda bottles to eviscerate his victims. I looked up this term and there has never been a serial killer with that name. But we must allow that poor Dr. Obler couldn’t use the real term as, well that was one of the main points of the book, the headshrink who had to adhere to patient-doctor confidentiality and thus allow innocent people to die at the hands of this cretin.

So let’s just say, for instance, that Obler’s patient was, say, the Zodiac killer but Obler can’t use the real term. My mind is wide enough to accept this.

Thus even allowing that this Obler piece of fiction, which would make a great movie by the way, is really based on truth in some fashion, I , the reader, was totally turned off by Obler’s pontification on the doctor-patient relationship. Obler strongly suspected that his creep of a patient was out murdering people in a most horrific manner. Yet Saint Obler couldn’t bring himself to violate the poor patient’s confidentiality.

Final Analysis book cover

Hey, I don’t care about patient confidentiality. When someone’s killing innocent people I am not overly impressed by some priss of a headshrink who stands on some stupid principle that is totally irrelevant when faced with life or death.

In fact, at some point this fine psychiatric patient, Devon Cardou, takes aim at Obler’s own family. Then we get even more fiction.

For Dr. Obler pulled some sort of hypno-therapy, psycho-babble trick out of his bag of magic headshrink treatment and somehow “cured” his patient. At least, as the book tells us, the “soda pop” killings stopped. Conveniently a substitute “soda pop” killer was arrested and Obler tried to convince the cops that they had the wrong guy.

So when the killing stopped we are to believe that it was because of Obler’s headshrink magic treatment as opposed to….say the cops might have REALLY caught the right criminal.

All that the reader learns about alleged serial killer Devon Cardou is that in his childhood he was witness to some scene involving his mother and father having anal sex.

I, the disbelieving reader, have a million questions. First, the Cardous as depicted by Obler, were well off. There was no need for them to be sharing a bedroom so why was Devon so obsessed with this scene? Did it happen a lot? Why was this child in his parents bedroom and were his parents really having anal sex, something even Dr. Obler isn’t convinced was the case?

Devon was not abused by his parents and besides that one bedroom vignette of his parents it does not seem that Devon had a horrible childhood. At least horrible enough to have the man psychologically stunted enough to kill people by tearing them up inside with a broken soda bottle. That’s an awful lot to expect a reader to believe.

I mean even if he had seen his parents having anal sex, so damn what? Many children have experienced far worse and didn’t grow up to brutally murder people.

Dr. Obler strikes me as a liberal too full of his headshrink importance. Yes I’m skeptical that such as dramatic hypnotherapy treatments can suddenly and miraculously “cure” psychos.

Obler also babbles the stuff of shrinks across the fruited plains. To Wit:
"It was too simple to say that he was born evil. Previously, I hadn't believed anyone was, including total aberrations and mass murderers like Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, and Muammar El-Quadaffi, and recent serial killers like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer. I had believed that in every case something or a combination of factors had produced a twisted individual who, without the constructive intervention that psychology can provide, progressively become more demented and violent. To me, evil was not a condition at birth, even though we routinely accepted the expression that someone was "born bad".

So okay maybe they’re not born evil, Dr. Obler. But I’ll never believe that one foggy memory of Mommy and Daddy engaging in a little back door sexual fun can cause someone to become a mass murderer and sadist.

In fact, at one point in Devon’s treatment Dr. Obler had to contact Devon’s father. The father was very helpful and given Devon’s total lack of employment as he raced around the city murdering people, the parents evidently supported their fine son in his killing endeavors.

This book is fiction so far as I’m concerned and hey, for fiction it would make a fine Lifetime movie.

Beyond that this reader couldn’t suspend her disbelief for one word of this piece of trite psychobabble.

Focus on Book Reviews

Review Ann Rule's "Every Breath You Take"
Ann Rule's "Evidence of Love"
Ann Rule's "Heart Full of Lies" and "Bitter Harvest"
Amber Frey's story.
"Tainted Roses"
Thomas Capano Book Reviews


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