6 TV Shows with 4th of July Episodes

6 TV Shows with 4th of July Episodes

TV shows love a good Christmas episode. There’s even a bounty of Thanksgiving ones, and plenty of New Year’s Eve plotlines. But when it comes to America’s birthday, television sometimes lags behind. In honor of the Fourth of July, here are some TV shows that celebrated in style. 

[Editor’s Note: spoilers ahead]

Mad Men, “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency”: It’s all fun and games until someone brings out a lawn mower in the office. In one of the most notorious episodes of “Mad Men”, “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency,” Joan is preparing to leave her role at Sterling Cooper. Naturally, her departure is celebrated with a party in the office. Unfortunately, the tipsy staff get a little rowdy on a John Deere riding mower, and end up barreling over Guy MacKendrick’s foot. If you didn’t scream at the image of blood splattering up on the faces of Sterling Cooper employees, we’re not sure what will shock you.

Saved by the Bell “Fourth of July”: In the alternate universe that is the Malibu Sands Beach Club, life can get a little chaotic. Zack Morris, is, for some reason, chosen as a replacement judge of the beach club’s Miss Liberty pageant. As each of the Bayside gals push him to vote for them as the pageant winner, the club’s owner, Mr. Carosi tells Zack that his daughter Stacey should be picked as the winner. Kelly wins and Stacey is heartbroken, until Kelly makes it clear that Zack has the hots for her. The episode concludes with Stacey and Zack kissing as the fireworks go off behind them. 

Stranger Things, “The Bite”: What’s the 4th of July without a carnival and fireworks? In this season 3 episode, things start out peaceful enough with the squad riding the ferris wheel to catch the fireworks at the local fair. Naturally, things go a bit haywire. The episode concludes with Eleven’s mysterious leg wound pulsing and moving, as the piece of Mind Flayer is now inside of her.

Boy Meets World, “State of the Unions”: Corey and Topanga forever. When Topanga tells Corey that a wedding hall has opened up for the 4th of July, she wants him to jump at the opportunity. However, Topanga’s parents show up in town and tell her they’re getting divorced, hurting her faith in the possibility that her and Corey could be in love forever. We all know the couple triumphs, and even Mr. Feeny gets some love when he marries Dean Bolander in the Matthews family’s living room. Love conquered all!

Little House on the Prairie, “Centennial”: If you know a thing or two about reruns, you know “Little House on the Prairie” still reigns supreme. So it’s no surprise that the beloved series chronicling the early life of Laura Ingalls and her family on the frontier features a 4th of July episode. In “Centennial,” the town is pumped to celebrate America’s 100th birthday, until everyone realizes their taxes are going up. Luckily, the Walnut Grove residents get their act in gear in time to celebrate. 

The West Wing, “Jefferson Lives”: Well, not all 4th of July episodes are joyful ones. As Zoey Bartlet recovers from the kidnapping on the night of her college graduation, things are hectic at the White House as they search for a new Vice President. But there are touches of the holiday’s meaning during the episode, as President Bartlet goes to meet a group of new American citizens whose original citizenship venue was compromised by a bomb threat.

Megan Johnson

Contributor

Megan Johnson is a reporter in Boston. She got her start at the Boston Herald, where commenters would leave sweet messages like “Megan Johnson is just awful.” Now, she’s a contributor to publications like People Magazine, Trulia and Architectural Digest.

“Battle on the Beach” Turns a Small Space into a Kids’ Room

“Battle on the Beach” Turns a Small Space into a Kids’ Room

The competition is officially over halfway completed on “Battle on the Beach.” The hit HGTV series, which is currently in its second season, charts the progress of three teams of aspiring home renovators as they make over houses in Surfside Beach, Texas. Network stars Taniya Nayak (“Build It Forward”), Ty Pennington (“Ty Breaker”), and Alison Victoria (“Windy City Rehab”) each provide guidance and design expertise to one of the teams on a weekly basis.

After tackling several of the key rooms in their identical houses, the teams found a slightly more relaxed challenge in the latest episode. Each team was tasked with renovating the kids’ room into a space that children could both sleep and play in. The room began as a small space with a lone window, a small closet, and high ceilings. The floors were unfinished and the walls were a bare-bones patchwork of white and gray drywall. On a base level, the room was drab, run-down, and in dire need of some imagination.

Roosevelt and Brandyn, Taniya’s mentees, wanted to find a way to “bring the ocean into [the] room and let it flow,” so the father-son duo went for a ship theme. With a $4,000 budget and a seven-day deadline, the pair kicked off their renovation by designing a hand-crafted bunk bed in the shape of a ship. Brandyn researched the local shipping lore and discovered a boat called the “Elissa,” which was one of the oldest transportation boats in the Surfside Beach area. He opted to have the bunk bed ships crafted with the boat’s look (brown with a blue base) in mind, for some historical flair. 

“To me, those are the things that tell a story,” Taniya explained, regarding Brandyn’s decoration inspiration. “And in every great design, if you can tell a story, you’ve got them.”

Roosevelt and Brandyn added a detailed orange and brown ladder to the structure, which allowed for easy access to the top bunk. They also built two portholes, which peered into the lower bunk. To complete the ship-themed look of the beds, the duo added sea-themed sheets for the two mattresses and a dark railing to the upper level.

“The whole idea of doing a kids room is thinking like a kid, and they’re thinking like a kid, and it makes me so happy,” Taniya said. 

Once Roosevelt and Brandyn finished with the bunk bed area, they were left with a large, blank wall on the opposite side of the room. At Taniya’s prompting, the two hired an artist (Darvin Jones) to paint a seaside mural with sunset motifs. After painting the other walls gray, they also added a small cloud mural by the upper bunk. In an effort to incorporate realistic, high-tech features into the space, they also installed lights and outlets by each bunk.

To help bring the entire space together, Roosevelt and Brandyn added several small finishing touches to the room, including wooden beach chairs, a chalkboard, a low-key rug, and a small ship steering wheel on the wall.

“I think it became more than just a space for kids to play in,” said judge Sarah Beaumler (“Renovation Island”). “But it also became a sleeping space, a creative space, a spot where they could become anything they want to do in their imagination, which I love.” 

“Battle on the Beach” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and Discovery+.

Before and After: Halle Berry Gives a 1920s Home a Needed Update

Before and After: Halle Berry Gives a 1920s Home a Needed Update

Before she was an Academy Award-winning actress, Halle Berry was a little girl attending school in Cleveland, Ohio. She credits Yvonne, her local fifth grade teacher and longtime mentor, with changing her life and being like “a second mother.” In the latest episode of HGTV’s “Celebrity IOU,” Halle gave Yvonne’s 1920s Cleveland heritage home a completely modern overhaul. 

The renovation specifically focused on the kitchen, living, and dining room in Yvonne’s house. The rooms began as outdated, distinctly ‘20s spaces. The dining and living room flowed into each other with worn out carpet and drab yellow walls. The furniture pieces (including a leather armchair, old couch, and well-used table) had seen better days and were in dire need of contemporary replacements. The focal point of the living room was a white bookshelf, which had slowly begun to sag under the pressure of all of Yvonne’s literature.

While the kitchen (dark wood floors, dark wood cabinets, green walls, black countertops, and old appliances) had slightly more updated fixtures, the room still wasn’t practical for Yvonne and her work. Halle recalled gathering around the kitchen growing up and noted that Yvonne often used the small wood-and tile-table as a work area. “How can we make this space functional as a kitchen, but also let it be like a pseudo-office for her?” Halle asked. 

With a timeline of five weeks, Halle began the renovation with Jonathan and Drew Scott (“Property Brothers”). The trio — and the Scott brothers’ crew — kicked things off by ripping out the old cabinets and countertop in the kitchen. They replaced them with fresh, custom white cabinetry and black quartz countertops. Halle picked the white cabinets in an effort to match the “warm, yummy tones” that she knew Yvonne would like. The Scotts also built a white peninsula off of the wall (which could function as a culinary prep space), and added chairs and a round wooden table top (so that Yvonne could sit and entertain guests).

Halle, Jonathan, and Drew also tore out the wall that divided the kitchen and dining room, which allowed the entire space to flow more easily from one room to the other. They added the same light wood floors to each room to help with the cohesiveness. In the dining room, they went with a dark, bold gray-black wall color that juxtaposed the new floors. The brothers finished off the space with a light wood table and black chairs.

Drew and Jonathan removed the dilapidated bookshelf in the living area and replaced it with a well-structured, custom replacement, which was able to hold all of Yvonne’s books (as well as her treasured letters from former students). They added a sleek teal couch, warm brown chair, and white ottoman to the space. Prior to the renovation, the room’s radiator wasn’t working, so the Scott brothers replaced the ancient basement boiler.

“We wanted to keep the integrity of the original house,” Halle explained. “It’s a very old house built in the 1920s. There’s value in keeping the bones [and] the history of it, but make it functional and let it breathe.”

“Celebrity IOU” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and Discovery+.

BBC’s New Series Will Renovate Those $1 Italian Homes

BBC’s New Series Will Renovate Those $1 Italian Homes

Ever considered buying one of those Italian countryside houses that are selling for only $1? Don’t pack your bags for Europe just yet. A new BBC series will first show you what to expect before you spend that hard-earned dollar.

In the eight-part series, “The Italian Job“, hosts Alan Carr and Amanda Holden will purchase a ‘One Euro’ home in rural Sicily and embark on the task of renovating the neglected structure. Similar to others who have moved into the area, they’ll do most of the work themselves — from plumbing to painting and plastering — with local tradespeople occasionally coming in to help. At the end of summer, the finished property will go on sale, with all profits to be donated to charity.

“Alan and I came up with the idea for this show together and approached the BBC as we knew it was the perfect home,” said Holden. “We are both very passionate about interior design and we’ll be very hands on, injecting some much-needed life into an area of Sicily that’s in need of some Holden and Carr magic.

She added: “Although we’re on the same page most of the time, I’m more practical and organized than Alan. However, he’s up for some shameless bargaining so that will help us keep on budget! We’ve already started filming and one thing’s for sure, we’re not shy of a power tool!”

When they’re not busy with DIY work, the two will also immerse themselves in the local culture by meeting their neighbors and wandering the beautiful Sicilian countryside.

“After presenting two series of ‘Interior Design Masters’ I feel now it’s time for me to pop my hard hat on, slip on my steel toe capped boots and really get my hands dirty,” said Carr. “Working in beautiful Sicily with one of my dearest friends is like I’ve won the jackpot. Expect a summer of drilling, demolition and hopefully la dolce vita!”

“The Italian Job” will air on BBC One later this year.