Extra Time This Week

Do you have some time off this week? We do! And nothing says family fun entertainment more  (in our house) than watching movies and television. Sure, we have a six-year-old, but when he is asleep, we turn off Frosty the Snowman and watch the most dysfunctional themed entertainment, we can find.

Classic Movie Titles

The Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
An alcoholic marries a young woman, who doesn’t drink. She might be predisposed to addictive behavior, because she uses chocolate as a drug. In any case, he introduces her to booze and they go on to share his “passion for alcohol” together.

My name is Bill W. (1989 TV movie)
Based on the life of Bill W. a stockbroker, whose life falls apart due to alcoholism. He finds a solution, and together with a man called Dr. Bob, they go on to create a fellowship called Alcoholics Anonymous.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship with a prostitute Sera.

28 Days (2000)
A big-city newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister’s wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.

Flight (2012)
An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Newer movies I have not seen yet

The Worlds End (2013) This is about a group of friends who embark on a pub crawl. At the same time, the world is being attacked by aliens. Not to fear, because they can save the world, by making it to to the last bar.

The Angels Share (2012) A Scottish father, attempts to turn over a new leaf, after many arrest. Oddly, he does this by entering the world of whiskey tasting and collecting, in order to make enough money to start over.

Drinking Buddies (2013) Luke and Kate are coworkers at a brewery who spend their nights drinking and flirting heavily. One weekend away together with their significant others proves who really belongs together and who doesn’t.

In Heaven There is no Beer (2012) This is a documentary chronicling the underground world of polka bands and its fans. The title comes from a German song that encourages drinking all the beer you can while you are living because “in heaven there is no beer.” The film won awards at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival.

Smashed (2012) A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.

link to list
Best of 2014 link for Alcohol and Drug Historians

My Favorite Dysfunctional Television Characters:

1. Tommy Gavin in Rescue Me. Wow, alcoholism is a major focus for this character. Tommy is either binge drinking or trying to get sober. In one episode, he is sober for a year, but decides to start drinking again. In a classic move, he talks the entire AA meeting into giving up their sobriety – they all drink too. Unfortunately, this results in one death (from drunken driving).

2. Don Draper in Mad Men. I was in denial about his drinking problem for a long time. He was so high-functioning. But like so many of us, his drinking caught up with him. He turned into a pathetic shell of a man who shows up late, passes out at meetings, sleeps with anyone and makes some stupid decisions. He drinks marathon style – from the time he wakes up right up until he jumps into bed.

3. Frank Gallagher in Shameless. He is a boozed up father with a messed up family. By far the worst drunk ever. At one point his liver fails and he can’t keep liquor down. So, he has his young son funnel alcohol into his anus. It’s hard to believe, but that is not even the worst example of his drinking problems. Most of the people around him are glaringly flawed and developmentally challenged. Everyone’s behavior catches up to them, except for Frank. He seems to get away with everything.

4. Frank Moody in Californication. This guy is a drunk loser, yet he still manages to make “using” look fun and cool. He sleeps with every hot women in town, even though he wants to get back together with his ex. He does every drug, you have done, plus ones you have never heard of. And, he ends up at every cool party, you wished you were invited to. He is lovable, funny and pathetic.

5.The cast in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. This is an under appreciated little gem of a show. The characters are always drinking and coming up with the stupidest drunk ideas you can imagine. “The Gang” has no sense of shame when attempting to get what they want. They often engages in activities which others would find humiliating, disgusting, or even preposterous, such as smoking crack cocaine in order to qualify for welfare, seducing a priest, or hiding naked inside a leather couch in order to spy on someone. In one of my favorite episodes, they find a baby left in a basket. They decide they will try to make money by auditioning the child for baby commercials. The producer says they are looking for Hispanic babies, so they go to a tanning salon and try to talk the owner into letting the baby tan there. Sick, yet still funny.

6. Calamity Jane in Deadwood. This show was great. In was in an era when everyone drank and lawlessness was a way of life. Calamity Jane had a “wooden leg”. She could drink the men under the table. What is interesting is that Calamity Jane is based on real-life. In the end, it was alcohol that basically killed her.

New Show Mention
Internet Link
Click for a list of 119 movies

There is a new series called “Mom”. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s a really funny show, with an all star cast. Actually, I just found out the show started last year, and this is the second season. I have some catching up to do.Centers on Christy, a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley.

If you just can’t get enough .. here is a compiled list of 116 alcoholism related films (on the left). I think it would be fun to print it out and try to check them off as you watch them. You have probably seen many of them, already. What have I missed?

800RecoveryHub.com
Our 800RecoveryHub site offers free and confidential help

12 thoughts on “Extra Time This Week

  1. “Mom” is terrifically written. They do seem to have the self destructive behavior down pat. The oldest mom wants to be a life coach after six months of recovery? Hysterical! The best part of the show is they focus on both sides of sobriety, the good days and the bad. One episode begins with one of them absent mindedly taking a drink, then on with the binge. She wakes up in a cold sweat realizing it’s a dream. I still do that and believe it or not I am GRATEFUL for these nightmares. Keeps me close to the terror almost twenty years later. It’s billed as a comedy but there are more serious moments than the typical sitcom. Highly recommended. It will be interesting if they actually move forward with real life progress as the show ages. So far, so good. Thanks for posting this subject.

    With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

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  2. Honestly I don’t watch too much TV, at least not as much as I did in my youth. I do remember Daniel J. Travanti in “Hill Street Blues” being one of the first characters portrayed on television as someone in recovery and struggling with it. And of course Sam Malone on “Cheers” doing the same thing; though his plight was not as dramatic as it could have been since the show did have its boundaries as a comedy. The others I have not watched. “Days of Wine and Roses” is difficult to sit through and still packs a wallop fifty plus years after its release.
    If I could snap my fingers and create my own show about those who are anchored by addictions it would be based on recovery of mind, body, and spirit for those people most would think utterly lost. Recruit men and women from homeless shelters and offer them a million dollar prize for the most improved in a one year period. Their goals would be mental- pick an educational and recovery path, spiritual- pick a “religious” path, and physical- a routine that would improve the body itself. THAT’S a show I would follow. Have hosts who have found their way back from darkness as examples and guides. This type of television would be inspirational, providing hope to millions. I’ve said it before, no one is beyond redemption; because if it isn’t available to the worst case, then it’s not available to anyone.

    With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

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      1. Sorry I haven’t returned this question, preoccupied with some health problems, I’ve been in and out of the hospital with back issues and forgot you asked. I’ve seen celebrity rehab a couple of times over the years and intervention, which I’ve only seen a little more. Both seem to focus the drama leading up to the “intervention” rather than the aftermath. I guess that’s where the ratings are. Hopefully they have changed since I’ve popped in on them. If cable could use any new channel I think it should be a self-help/ recovery network. Everything from math skills, listening skills, memory skills all the way to throwing off the self-made shackles of addiction. I would start each day with a half-hour program called “The falsehood of blame.” Tony Robbins had a short lived show that addressed this style of show a few years back. Well done with zero ratings. It’s too bad it didn’t stick. He’s no slouch and I HIGHLY recommend his programs to those looking for life’s answers. Not only is he entertaining, he’s easy to understand and offers not just good questions but exercises to makes your dreams come to fruition.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog this week. You’ve mentioned some of my favorites here, as I recognize and laugh (or cringe at) myself in every episode of some. Love how you mix life on the lighter sude with mire setios recovery topics in your blog.

    Nothing bonds people better than a common problem AND an uncommon solution in common.

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