October 24, 2012

Top 10 Least Favorite Nostalgia Critic Episodes

With Demo Reel coming next week and Nostalgia Critic officially done, I thought I would take an opportunity to list my least favorite episodes. Not every episode can be a classic, and either because it was boring, or not funny, or I just disagree with the comments these are ten reviews that I don't really like.



#10.Animanics

I know what you're thinking, "How can I possible hate that? It was awesome, getting to meet all the creators and people who worked on the show". One problem, I never ever watched the show and couldn't care less about it. Not saying this was bad, at all, but it does no interest me and remains the one episode I have not sat through.


#9.Top 11 Batman TAS Episodes

Same reason as the previous, I did not watch the show. I will admit that this episode was more interesting, it made want to check out an episode or two, but all in all this one was still boring for me and not a favorite.


October 20, 2012

Top 10 LEAST Favorite TV Theme Songs

I've talked a lot about the theme songs I loved, but what about the other side of the coin. Those themes which just plain suck. Sometimes it’s a good song which just does not fit the show, other times the song is just plain awful, so awful the theme is literally replaced.

This is not limited to sitcoms. Here are 11 of my least favorite themes, this is all just opinion.


#11.Home Improvement

This theme isn't god awful, it does fit the show, but the metal tune has never been a favorite either. It's sort of annoying especially the beginning. It does get better as the theme plays. In fact when I watch this show in re runs I often fast forward through the opening. To be fair the animation is pretty cool.




October 19, 2012

Top 11 Favorite Theme Songs from Cartoons and Kids TV



Top 11 Favorite Theme Songs from Children's TV and Cartoons

I said before how theme songs are important because it helps make a connection to the show. We remember the cool song or music. In my day, before the internet, themes were one way for people to share their love for programs. You hear someone singing The Brady Bunch theme, and suddenly everyone in the room start singing. In fact, an early episode of Friends acknowledged this very thing in one episode which begins with the six singing to a theme song  (Sanford and Son I think).

My point is that as true as this is for adults, it's even more so for kids. Theme's to children’s shows and cartoons have to draw you in and get you excited. Even today they still do, when I first heard the SpongeBob theme I admit, I liked it. Not enough to watch it or anything, but I can see why little kids are drawn to it. I still remember that moment when a certain show would start with the kick ass theme, and suddenly we were paying attention.

Ok, enough rambling here my ten favorite theme songs from children's programs and cartoons. Of course I was an 80's kid so most of these are going to be from that era though a few 90’s stuff is here. The only 70’s show I really remember was The Brady Kids and I hated that show.  And as always just my opinion.


#11. DuckTales

I give my baby sister credit because if not for her I never would have been exposed to The Disney Afternoon. Rescue Rangers was awesome, and Tail Spin was pretty good. The best show of course was DuckTales, and had that theme that you will never get out of your head. I think what is so cool about this is that it's an original song, not some rip off or pointless music. #11 because I didn't exactly grow up with it, but I have to acknowledge how awesome it is. By the way, my baby sister now has a baby who is one years old. How scary is that?





#10. Mr.Rogers Neighborhood

Sure this was a corny show, but it was a really good one. I actually think I liked this more than Sesame Street (a little more) anyway. Fred Rogers was just an honest adult, and that really came off. My favorite part of the show was the land of make believe. I loved that, even wishing I had a trolley all my own. The theme is very warm and soft, making you feel very welcome. To this day when I put on a sweater I think of this opening. Yeah this show gets made fun of, but really wouldn't it be nice if they had a show like this today?





#9. Tiny Tunes

This show was on after just as I was too old to watch cartoons, and I really never watched the show. Why is it on this list? Because the theme music was amazing. Talk about an opening which grabs you and gets your full attention. I mean seriously, this almost made me want to watch the show. I have seen some episodes, including the "It's a Wonderful Life" parody and freely admit it was decent enough. The theme has got to be something special to make a teenager interested in watching it!




#8.Alvin & The Chipmunks
For me when I think Saturday Morning as a kid, some shows just stand out. One we will get to in a minute. Another was a Baseball show starring Johnny Bench I used to get up at 6:30 to watch (anyone remember that?). You had stuff like Shirt Tales, Pac-Man, and even Mr  T. But one the one show that always reminds me of that time is Alvin and The Chipmunks. It was a cute show, but the theme song is really what I remember. Just a very good intro, probably why the show lasted so long.




#7.G.I.JOE

This cartoon was one of the last cartoon's I intentonally watched. In other words, I was technically to old for cartoons but still hung onto this as part of my afternoon. One reason was because of Lady Jaye. I really loved her. But seriously this show was awesome. It had action, excitement, and they really did a decent a job of making the characters and stories interesting. Untill that movie where they makde Cobra Commander a snake, what was that about? Anyway, the theme song was just awesome and while Tranformers was great this was the show I really loved and always watched. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!





#6.Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends

Hearing this theme instantly takes me back to Saturday morning's as a kid. I loved this show. I watched it until they finally stopped airing it, even if I was to old by then. This show introduced me to Spider-Man and The x-Men, and while I am a serious DC fan this show was still cool. In fact teh reason I knew who Sandman was in Spider-Man 3 was because of this series. This is the coolest intro ever (and yeah I know about the X-Men theme in the 90's but I was kind of in college  then). Just the first few cords are enough to make you sit and pay attention! This theme is awesome!




Ok, in the interest of fairness here is the kickass X-Men theme. While I did not watch the show, what I have heard of it seems amazing and I have to admit this theme rocks!




#5.The Flintstones & The Jetsons

I liked The Flintstones, they were funny and all that. Ok to be fair I never really got into them. Of course I've seen the show but I think I've seen the fruity pebbles ads more. And why did they ad that little green guy in the later years? However the show has lasted and everyone knows the characters, and a big part of the reason for that is the theme. Remember those rules I outlined in first article? These cover most of them. They are catchy and introduce us the characters at the same time. Gotta like that. I actially liked The Jetsons even less, and yet I also love the theme song.





#4.The Electric Company

True story, I had forgotten this entrirely. This show was not one which stayed with me, except for recognzing the actors in other programs I even forgot Spider-Man was in it (Ok I do remember on sketch on not pointing which was memorable). Then one day I came across the opening on YouTube, and instant nostalgia rush! I love this theme song, it just really gets you excited. The opening of the later years shows the characters on the show morphing into the actors who played them. This is cheesy now, but as a kid this was amazing! Silly I know, but things are different when your young. Oh, and before I forget: HEY YOU GUYS!!!! came from here, not The Goonies. By the way, 3-2-1 Contact was great but I never watched the show. I did have the magazine (how lame is that?).





#3.Challenge of the Superfriends

Actually, I liked all the Superfriends themes. I loved this show, watched it mostly in syndicated re-runs every single day. I never even knew Challenge was an hour long show originally. Superfriends was my introdyction to these awesome characters, and eventually led to me falling in love with comic books. True the show is corny, in fact the first season with Wendy and Marvin is just stupid. Wonder Dog?? The Wonder Twins were better but kind of lame, and the stories got downright silly. But hey, it was freaking Superman! and Batman! and Wonder Woman! and Aqua....well, alright Aquaman was lame on this show. He is the on DC comcis I never liked and I think this show is to blame for that. I did love Green Lantern on this show (when he was on it). By the way I did watch the newer JLA show but never stayed with it.




#2. The Muppet Show

Hell yeah! I mean what can I say about this? If you want a theme that's going to make you really excited for the show, there aren't many which do it better than this one. There's a reason why the latest movie went out of its way to recreate this opening. It's amazinG! "It's time to start the music. It's time to light the lights...." I was just the perfect age when this show was on, and loved watching it. Not much else to say, there was nothing else like this show before and I fear there will never anything like it again. Oh, and if you're wondering, I never watched Fraggle Rock but man did it have a cathy theme.







#1. You Can't Do That on Television

Ah, Nichelodeon in the 80's! I don't think there is anything else that brings me back to my childhood in the 80's as fast as this one. It brings  an instand smile to my face. It's short, it's memorbale, and it's clearly inspired by Monty Python. That being said, I loved this opening. In fact I loved everything about this show, from the silly locker jokes to the green slime. The one Nostalgia Critic review I hate was what he said about this show. I think you really had to be there to appreciate it, it was just so different from the other stuff we had to watch on Tv. I loved this show, and would watch it today if I could. What else can I say?





A few shows you may wonder why are missing.


He-Man was my favorite show, but I hesitated putting its theme on here. Why? Because while the theme is good we only really hear it when Adam transforms into He-Man. It's more of an action theme than true theme music. The opening for the show was, to be honest, lame. Did we need Adam talking to the camera every episode? True the theme played in full over the closing, but what kid watches the closing credits?


Why no Sesame Street? I mean, it was a catchy as hell theme song and every kid knows it. Well, that's kind of the reason I left it off. I wanted this to be my favorites, and putting Sesame Street on here is almost a given. By the way, how the heck do you get to Sesame Street anyway?

The Smurfs-Yeah, how can I call myself an 80’s kid and leave this one off? Just didn’t have the room for it. By the way, I saw the movie a couple weeks ago and it was lame.

Reading Rainbow, Square One Tv, and Power Rangers were all after my time. I did watch Square One and Power Rangers a bit, but not enough.

Batman-The Animated Series. Again, after my time. Simple as that. Besides I hear that theme I think the movies not the animated series.

Thundercats & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-I think I did see these shows, but the theme is not my favorite. Not that it's bad, just not my favorite,

Animaniacs and Pinky & The Brain-I gave Tiny Tunes a chance but these... I just never watched them.

Muppet Babies-It kills me to leave this off. I did for two reasons. I have The Muppet Show, and I wanted to include a few 90’s stuff. This was a great opening, and I love it so much I will include a link to it even though it is not on the list. One of the best openings to any cartoon in my opinion.




Sure I missed your favorites, and if I did please let me know. Cartoons and Children's programs are an important part of our childhood, and hearing these themes brings back all kinds of memories.

October 17, 2012

Top 10 Favorite Theme Songs (Instrumental)

As I continue my look at my favorite theme songs, I turn to the instrumental ones. Sure the silly songs with fun lyrics are more memorable, but that doesn't mean the one's without lyrics are not memorable at all. In fact it can be argued they make a bigger impact. When a theme has lyrics it's easy to make a connection with a viewer. The best of these are the ones where you hear the music; you think of the show and can’t imagine one without the other. When there are no lyrics it's harder, the theme needs to be something memorable and interesting enough to get the viewer excited and make them want to see what is coming next.

For example, when I first heard the theme for Dinosaurs (a Jim Henson production from the 90's which was very good) I was interested. The music was suspenseful, and made you feel like something very different was coming. Then we see the reveal of Earl Sinclair, and the music changed to something more light to inform me it was a fun show involving dinosaurs.  I was really curious, and couldn't wait to see what this show was going to be all about. This is an example of very, very well done theme music. Check it out:



Here’s another good example, from Coach. This show was about a college football coach. Of course there is more to it than that, but is the basic premise. So the show would need a theme which makes you think of collegiate sport, maybe sounding like a school band is playing in a half time show, to get the idea across. That’s what we get, and it’s done very well. The theme is one of the first things I loved about that show.



Final example before I get to my favorites. Say you have a show about a group of aliens landing on Earth.  You need something with a unique sound, with kind of a sci fi angle to it. That’s what 3rd Rock From the Sun did very well with this guitar riff.




Now for my top 11. This is only for sitcoms, I will get to the other amazing themes later on. The only rule for this list is it has to be a theme which had no lyrics when it was on TV. Many of these tunes do in fact have lyrics, but they were not presented when the series was broadcast.


#11. MASH

Ok this is the top for several reasons. The first is that I argue if this is even a sitcom. The series is so depressing how does adding a laugh track make it a sitcom? No disrespect to the show. Second is that this is a very well know song. Suicide is Painless was played, with lyrics, in the movie. Third, I was never a MASH fan as you may know so while I love the theme there are others I like more. All that being said, this was an amazing show and the theme music fit the mood perfectly.




#10. Bewitched

This is another one that actually has lyrics, but they were never used in the broadcast theme.  Instead we got this cool orchestral version.  The bouncy theme fits well, even include the trademark nose twitch sound used when Samantha used her magic. I loved this show, watching all the time in syndication (was sort of not born yet when the show was first on).  It was this or I Dream of Jeannie, and Bewitched has always been my favorite of the two.




#9.Head of the Class

This may be the most personal choice on here, but there is something about the theme music for this show I love. Now when I say I love it, I mean the long version of the theme. For some reason many theme songs are cut for time when a show is syndicated into re-runs. It happened to Mr. Belvedere, Friends, and this show among others. The long version is a really snappy tune which goes so well with the opening. It starts kind of soft and then builds and builds. I love this show and I love the theme.




#8. Will & Grace

I love the piano, and this shows theme has one of the best piano melodies ever. The only problem is that it is not very long, lasting only a few seconds when the show airs. There is a longer version available but even that isn't that long. Still, I love the fast paced piano tune and so I had to include it. I was going to put Everybody Loves Raymond on here but they have no standard opening theme, the soft piano tune is the closing theme for the show. It's nice, but when you listen to it its kind of clunky and boring.





#7.The Dick Van Dyke Show

The golden age of television had some great themes. I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, and even were all memorable. However I decided to put this one on the list. This little tune is short and sweet. Of all the shows from this time this is the only one I really like, it has a timeless humor to it which people today can still find funny. Great show, great theme. And yes there are lyrics, hunt them down if you’ve never heard them.





#6.Night Court

I love this smooth jazz tune!  There is actually an extended version of this I found and it’s really a nice piece of music.  Of course for TV they had to make it 30 seconds, but the tune works. The best thing with this theme is that while the names of the cast may have changed, the music was the same from the first episode to the last one. That’s pretty cool. This may not be the best sitcom ever, but it’s one my favorite themes. It’s similar in style to Barney Miller, which is a great theme to but I never liked that show.





#5.TAXI

Kind of like what I said about Kotter last time, this was not my favorite show ever. It could be a tad dark at times (thought very funny). So for a show like this we need a catchy tune which is also kind of somber. And that's what we get. This theme compliments the show perfectly, just one of the best marriages of TV show and theme. It is quiet and smooth, but isn’t totally depressing either.







#4.ALF & Benson

I couldn't decide! So I made it a tie. Both of these tunes have a similar melody and I love them both. I still remember when I first saw Alf's opening and the theme music played. Of course that was also our first real look at Alf which may be part of it. But I love the music; there is just something about the way the soothing tune goes that gives the theme a sense of mystery. It's hard to explain, and for the record I prefer the smoother season 1 theme to the jazzier later theme.   As for Benson, we have another theme slashed for syndication. The full theme is pretty good. I love the music, it's just a snappy little melody. This was one of the first sitcoms I adored, and the theme was a serious part of that. While these  shows  couldn't be more different the themes are similar.





#3.The Cosby Show

Which season would you like? The cool season one theme? The exciting season 2 theme? How about the operatic season 5 theme? The jazzy season 7 theme? My favorite was the season 2 theme, which is again cut in syndication. The full theme is a nice piece of music. I like all of them really; well maybe I could do without that operatic version. What was that about? Cosby Show was one of the best sitcoms ever, and the theme song is part of the package. The music just screams Cosby, and I remember being a kid when the show was on. When you heard that melody you knew good things were coming.






#2.The Odd Couple

Want a memorable theme song? I have a great one for you! Much like MASH, the theme song for this show came from the movie where it was used (of course it was a play first). There is just something about this catchy tune. In fact I seem to hear it all the time in commercials for various things. It just does a great job of getting your attention.





#1. Seinfeld

I know big surprise. This may be one of the best instrumental themes ever. It just fits the show so perfectly! Some of these themes if you don't know the show you may not really recognize the music. Seinfeld isn't like that; you hear that bass synthesizer you know what show it is! I said about other shows that the theme mixed beautifully with the show. This may be the best of them all, the theme is just amazing and I could listen to it all day. There is just something so unique and fresh about the sound, and the way it works into the episodes so flawlessly!




Man was this hard! I don't think a top 20 could have done justice to this. The list of honorable mentions include The Andy Griffith Show, Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, I Dream of Jeannie, Bob Newhart Show, Sanford and Son, Kate & Allie, Newhart, Home Improvement, Roseanne (which almost made it), NewsRadio, Just Shoot Me.  There is one other show many people may scream foul for not being here, and that is The Simpsons. I like it just couldn't get it on here. The worst part is this is only sitcoms!!

October 15, 2012

Top 11 Favorite Sitcom Theme Songs (Lyrics)

I love TV theme songs! I bought the CD compilations, used torecord my own tapes (remember doing that?), and have tons of TV theme audio files sitting on my computer and Ipod. Finally going to discuss my favorite tvtheme songs. I thought about doing this as a look at the evolution of themesongs, but decided that would be boring. Also I was going to make this ageneral list, but it's not possible.

Instead I will share the heme songs I love more thanany other.Today I focus on sitcoms tunes with familiar lyrics. I will try to not make this just an 80's list, though that would beeasy for me to do. This is all opinion, not saying that there aren't better or more famous themes out there.  The only rule is they have to be songs with lyrics being sung by someone. I will deal with the instrumental stuff later on.
Special thanks to Les for inspiring this little treat.


Theme songs are important to TV, it's what connects us tothe show. Is there anyone who can think of The Andy Griffith Show and not start whistling? These little songs bring back happy memories of better times, andthat's why we love them so. And that's why it sucks people don't use them asmuch anymore! Ok, off track. Though I can understand why theme songs have faded a bit, in oursociety of hundreds of channels it is very easy for people to switch channelsso a cute little theme song doesn't quite do it anymore. But once upon a timethey were enough, and they were loved.

What makes a great TV theme song? Especially for sitcoms,there are a couple rules to making it a very memorable one:

It has to explain the premise of the show like The Beverly Hillbillies, Fresh Prince, or The Nanny did so well. If not specifically the theme has to at least give us some idea what the show is about. The Jefferson'stheme song simply tells us they are "movin on up", and that's enoughfor us to get the idea. Alice was the new girl in town who was starting over,ok got it. Listen to the Mad About You theme you figure out it was a show abouta couple who loved each other. And on and on.

It has to be a catchy tune we can't get out of out of ourheads like The Golden Girls theme for instance or Punky Brewster (which is areally good song if you listen to it), or saved By The Bell which did anamazing job of drawing us in.

It has to introduce us to the cast and/or characters.Sometimes the theme will give us actual insight to the characters, take ThePatty Duke Show as an example. We learn all about Patty and Cathy in the courseof the sixty second opening! I have never seen an episode of that show, but I know they're cousins..Identical cousins. And then there's Maude. True this is the one often broken rule in most themes, the shows rely on the title sequence more than the song for this, but some shows will be creative like having thecast literally sing the song like All in the Family, Green Acres, or even The Monkees did.

and most importantly it has to make us interested inwatching the show. I had no interest in Perfect Strangers at first, but the theme song made me curious. Don't you want to know more about Mr.Ed afterwatching the opening to that show?The theme used for Big Bang Theory is a perfect tone setter for that series.

Before I get into my list I wanted to ask a question. So what is the most perfect theme song ever? Hard to say, but the Ballad ofGilligan’s Island is pretty close. It literally does everything I just said. Itis a catchy memorable tune. It explains the backstory of the show and sets upthe premise. It introduces us to the characters, and makes us curious enough to want to see more. It’s not on my list because there are themes I like more, but Gilligan’s’ Island has to be acknowledged as possibly the most perfect theme song ever recorded.

http://youtu.be/xQ4iDv7FahY

Here are the sitcom theme songs I love. Yes I will cover other areas in future articles including cartoons.

#11. Mary Tyler Moore

This is why I had to have an 11 spot, how could I leave thisfantastic theme off? "Love is All Around" is a perfect song to fitthe mood of the series, and plays perfectly with the visuals right up to thatfamous moment when Mary Richards takes her hat off and throws it into the air.

http://youtu.be/7kI69JzQJU8


#10.Three's Company

This is the one I was a little unsure of putting it on here.This was never my favorite show, nor my least favorite, but the theme song iscatchy and memorable. It doesn't spell out the entire premise of the series,but gives us enough to get us interested. It’s certainly a memorable littletune.

http://youtu.be/j95PL1SlRxU


#9.The Addams Family

I love this theme, because it's so quirky and original. Kindof like the series! How do they make it quirky and original? By having thesnapping through the opening. Snap snap! (okay it doesn't translate to text). Ilove that, it's so simple and yet effective. In fact when The Addams Familymovie came out and I heard that classic theme, well, I already loved that filmand it was only a minute in.

http://youtu.be/gFD7KGBUtKI


#8. Mr. Belvedere.

I know, what? That silly show from the 80's starring ChristpherHewett? Really? Well actually this theme song is really good if you hear thefull version rather than chopped up version. Not only is it a cute tuneperformed by a very talented artist (Leon Redbone), but it actually explainsthe show. Mr.Belevdere is there to teach the family there is more to life, justlike the song says. Underrated show, and theme song in my opinion.

http://youtu.be/0IUSSrldd0U

#7.Happy Days/Laverne & Shirley

I made this a tie because these shows are obviously similar,and I love both themes pretty equally. While the two songs "HappyDays" and "Making our Dreams Come True" do not tell usspecifically what the shows are about, they give us a general idea. Happy Daysis about the glory days when life was good, that was the 50's. "Making OurDreams Come True" is about two people working and struggling to achievetheir dreams, well that basically sums up Laverne & Shirley. Mostimportantly, I love these songs.


http://youtu.be/gMxkMy9JvXI
http://youtu.be/mRmKzxhMzwo


#6.Growing Pains

It was this or Who's The Boss?, and this won because it’sjust a better song (seriously, who remember “A Brand New Life?). “As Long asWe've Got Each Other was written by B.J.Thomas and it may be the best thingthis show created. Well, until they did the boring version in the later years.Now as you know many theme songs are abridged versions of real songs. I lovehearing the full version of these themes, and "As Long as We've Got EachOther" is one of my absolute favorite. Never heard it, look it up. Againthe theme gives a general idea what the show is about, but that's enough.


http://youtu.be/0S2EpH5sFyk


#5.Welcome Back, Kotter

Is it possible to love a theme song for a show you reallydon't care for? I guess so because this is one of my favorite theme songs, andI don't care for the program. I hate it, right down to its annoying cannedlaugh track. However this theme is very strong. It is a bit closer to tellingus what the show is actually about, and need I say that it was a huge hit inthe 70's? John Sebastian wrote it by the way.

http://youtu.be/QVS3WNt7yRU

#4.Cheers

"Where Everybody Knows Your Name" by Gary Pornoyis a perfect example of a theme that does and does not explain the premise of aseries at the same time. It really isn't about the show specifically, but thelyrics speak to what the show is all about so well. Besides, it's such a catchyand memorable little tune and since I live in the Boston area, I have a specialaffection for it.

http://youtu.be/7KtAgAMzaeg


#3.Out of this World

Every top 11 has to have an oddball, something you wouldnever expect. Never heard of it? Don't blame you. This was a syndicated 80'scomedy about a girl whose father was an alien, so she had some odd powers likethe ability to freeze time. It was a silly show like Small Wonder or Charles inCharge but my favorite part was the theme song. Swinging on a Star is a greatsong, and the adaptation used on the series is great, it's one of those"will never leave your head" themes which hits most of my rules (especiallyexplaining the series) while the show is cheesy the theme is just awesome.


http://youtu.be/L2UkZzdyD0A0

#2.Friends

You knew this was going to be on here, right? Just whentheme songs were starting to fade, this gem came along. What can I say aboutthis little tune that hasn't already been said? The Rembrandts released this inthe mid-90's and for a time it was on the radio constantly! Why not, it's agreat song and a decent theme. It really explained what Friends is about, agroup of friends not sure where they are going in life that will there for eachother. It’s also a good song which gets you pumped for the show. What more doyou want from a theme song?

http://youtu.be/iKP8nset6oA



#1. The Brady Bunch

Well, duh. I won't go so far as to say this is a perfecttheme song, but it certainly does everything a great theme song should do.Catchy tune? Yep! Song explains the backstory of the show? Yep! Introduce us tothe characters? Yep! Short and sweet? Yep! Ok, the one complaint I always hadwith the opening was that the kids names were never shown. They were reservedfor the "also starring" category at the end which was standardpractice in those days, and I hated it!! It’s the same reason Star Trek starsWilliams Shatner, Leonard Nimoy...and that was it! Gilligan's Island was famousfor their "and the rest" line they did with the cast but theyactually corrected it in its last few years (seriously, two more names? Youcouldn't say two more names???). I get that Robert Reed and Florence Hendersonwere the stars, but the kids were the whole show they should have gotten topbilling! Wow, sorry about that. Despite that nitpick it is still a great themesong. Originally recorded by the Peppermint Trolley Company the first season,they realized that sucked big time and had the kids do it from then on whichonly made it that much better. "Here's the story, of a lovelylady...." And before someone comment, yes it was written by the sameperson who did Gilligan’s Island, Sherwood Schwartz.

http://youtu.be/pwikvo6EZiQ


Honorable Mention include Scrubs (just barely made it),Gimmee A Break which nearly  made it,Family Ties theme is sweet but kind of boring, Mad About You is good but notmemorable, The TGIF shows which I just couldn't find a place for like FullHouse, Diff’rent Strokes, WKRP in Cincinnati, Good Times, Blossom, and so manyothers I could be here all day. I am sure I missed your favorites, if I did letme know.

Next time we look at the more instrumental side of things,those themes that have no lyrics (that are sung anyway) but the melodies stay with us forever. You know, I think that list may be even harder!

October 14, 2012

Did you Know?-Recycled Sitcom Sets


May start something new here, where I talk about interesting things (to me) which maybe not everyone knew. Today I wanted to talk about when sets from popular series are reused.
The genesis for this was learning that The Brady Bunch living room was used in an episode of Mission:Impossible. "Double Dead", it's on YouTube check it out! It is so surreal! But this has happened other times. Here are some quick examples:

The pilot of Hangin with Mr.Cooper used the set from Growing Pains

Everybody Loves Raymond's pilot episode was filmed on the set of another sitcom (couldn't verify which)

The kitchen from The Golden Girls appeared in the failed series It Takes Two starring Patty Duke and a very young Helen Hunt and Anthony Edwards (and I saw it used as a backdrop in an episode of Benson which was also a Witt/Thomas/Harris production)

I have heard Laverne & Shirley used The Odd Couple set, but found no real evidence of this. If you find the unaied pilot fo Laverne and Shirley you will see they used the set from Fonzie's apartment from Happy Days (this was filmed after a Happy Days episode one night)


The school sets in Saved By The Bell can be seen in That's So Raven!and ICarly

The Miller/Boyett shows had similar sets which serious fans could recognize


The Bewitched interior was also used in Gidget and I Dream of Jeannie  (and an old Jerry Lewis movie)

704 Hauser was an intended spin-off of All in the Family in the sense that the character was the opposite of Archie Bunker and lived in his house. The same sets from the old show were used, just modernized.

Of course some shows do this within their own series. Boy Meets World reused an apartment set as well the school hallways and classrooms. When Benson stopped being budget director the set for his office vanished, but was reused as a psychiatrist office in a later episode. And many times on shows like Frasier or Will & Grace they will just re-dress the main set to represent a different apartment in the same building.



Not a sitcom, but Star Trek did this a lot, with The Enterprise, Ds9, Defiant, and Voyager standing in as other vessels (and stations) even in other shows (and the movies)


This is just a sample of course. I am Sure there are others I didn't mention. If I have forgotten any let me know, this is kind of thing fascinated me. Not sure why exactly.

October 11, 2012

Five "WTF??" Movie Scenes From When I was Young

Yesterday I discussed movies which scared me as a kid. Either because they were deliberately scary, or because it was a little too mature for me to be seeing when I did. Of course some movies are intentionally scary, even comedies. Ghostbusters and Beetlejuice are two great comedies, but there are some creepy, even flat out scary, scenes in these films. So saying that you scared makes sense, But what about films which were not supposed to be scary, but have that one moment which scares the crap out of you?
Today I wanted to talk about movies which were not scary, and yet contain a scene which scared me as much as any intentionally scary movie. These are usually moments that people remember very well because they come out of nowhere, and leave a strong mark on us making us ask "WTF?". These are mostly 80’s films because, well, I was a kid in the 80’s. And as always, just opinion.

#5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
This is cheating, but this story has always been one of my favorites from being a kid so I thought I would share. We all remember Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a great action movie, in fact I’ll go so far as to say it set the standard for action movies in the 80’s. Harrison Ford was fantastic, and the film was a lot of fun. The thing I remember the most about the movie was the ending. We all know how it ends; the ark is finally uncovered and opened. Indy and Marion shield their eyes, and then the villains discover why you should never stare at the ark very long. My father was sitting next to me at the theatre, and just as the villains faces began to melt I felt a hand clasp onto my face to shield me from the scene. It probably startled him to, that was a gory image. So I never saw that, until years later when I did finally see it and realized that my father may have made the right choice. So that was a scary moment averted, and I love that story.

October 8, 2012

Top 5 Favorite TV Flops, Part 2-The Worst Ideas Ever!


A few months ago I did an article on my five favorite TVdisasters, those shows which just flat out bombed they were so bad. Today Iwant to talk about five more, but these are more than just bad shows. They wereflat out stupid ideas that never should have been green lit never mindproduced!

What's the difference between a flop and a flat out stupididea? Simply put, some ideas are good ideas it’s just something happens whichmakes the idea poorly conceived. For example The XFL wasn't a bad idea, butsome mistakes along the way made it a flop. What I have put together is a listof five television shows which were so stupid, how they ever got off the drawingboard I will never know.

#5. The Trouble With Larry
Bronson Pinchot starred in this sitcom about a man who was carried off by baboons on his honeymoon. The man returned sometime later to discover his wife was remarried.  He moves in with his wife and new husband, and antics ensue! Not kidding, this really happened and  it is so bad it was almost cancelled before it even aired. Even ”Cavemen” had a longer runtime than this turkey and that show was truly heinous.The part I loved was that Brosnson Pinchot was actually proud of this, bragging about it before it aired,. He probably still regrets that.

#4. My Mother The Car-You have to see it to believe it. Inever understood why people liked Mr.Ed, but while it’s a silly premise thereis a charm to that show which is why it was a hit. This show was just…who cameup with this? Jerry Van Dyke plays a man who discovers this mother’s spiritlives in the new car he just bought. No, really. This happened! Her voice wouldliterally come out of the car! The biggest casualty of this show was Van Dyke’scareer, which suffered for years until his supporting role in Coach finallygave him a little respect back. NBC really blew it with this one, but as anyonewho remembers Supertrain or Emeril can tell you, it wouldn’t be the lasthorrible idea they would have.

#3. Baby Bob
This idea was even worst! There had been a series of adswith a baby who talked like an adult person. They were cute, so why not createan entire sitcom around that idea? So CBS premiered this show and the baby hadthe voice of comic Kevin Meaney. It was just…odd. Why the network thought thiswould work is beyond me. Hard as it is to believe, something like this happenedback in the 90’s. The Look Who’s Talking movies spawned a series called BabyTalk. This show was so bad the female main lead left the show before an episodeaired, the male lead (George Clooney believ it or not) left after a coupleepisodes, and the premise was just lousy. Tony Danza provided the voice of thebaby. ABC was determined to keep the show alive, so the next year it came backwith yet another actress in the lead role and a totally different premise. Theshow was a bit better, but not good enough and it quietly disappeared; becomingthe TGIF show no one talks about or remembers.

#2. The Brady Bunch Variety Hour
Thank heavens I missed this one. I understand how it may have seemed like a good idea, The Brady Kids had been a popular group and of course Florence Henderson and Robert Reed were pro’s. This could have worked,if not for one idiotic mistake. Here was the premise, Mike Brady sells his families home and move them to California so they can perform in a variety show. See the problem? WHY WERE THEY IN CHARACTER ON THIS THING????  If they had been the actors as themselves itmay have worked, but were people supposed to buy the Brady’s were actually singing and dancing like that? IT MADE NO SENSE! I finally got to see some clips a few years ago,and wow! If you can imagine the Brady’s dressed up like characters from TheWizard of Oz while they sing “Carwash”….well, you get the idea. Susan Olden who played Cindy has a book all about this I would love to read someday. Thank heavenst his was not in canon with the later reunion movies. The one interesting thing about  this is that the cast kind of laugh about this now. Yeah it was absurd but they look back at it and still remember it kind of fondly. This cannot be said of the people involved in the next show.

#1. The Star Wars Holiday Special
Several years ago I was searching the internet when I came across an article about something called a Star Wars Christmas Special. I had never heard of it, and wasn’t sure if it was real. I did some more digging anddiscovered it was real, and was something George Lucas was ashamed of. I managed to download a copy and watch it. Wow, what in the world were they thinking? As luck would have it I was only four years old when this came out,so I really can’t vouch for the reaction at the time. I can say that over theyears this has developed a cult following. This was awful. Having the Wookie’s screechingwithout subtitles, pointless sketches and music number, and the actors allappearing as if they were heavily medicated as they performed in this. I do understand the initial idea. In an age before home video Lucas was afraid everyone would forget Star Wars by the time Empire came out. He just should have had alittle more control over the product. I just discovered the most amazing thing about this, it was a two-hour special!! Are you kidding me? It amazes me whatprogrammers Okayed back in the 70’s. They watched this thing and thought, “Yeah, thiswill be awesome!”. Really? This show makes me so glad I was a product of the 80's.  If you’re curious one of the best Nostalgia Criticepisodes was on this, check it out.


Honorable Mention-Turn on

What show was canceled faster than any other? How about this show, which premiered on the East coast and was cancelled by the time it airedon the west coast the same night! Some stations which aired the show refused to return to it after it went into commercial break! What was in this show? Debutingin 1969 this was a sketch show to compete with (or rip off)  Laugh-In. However the material was a little toedgy and offended people almost instantly. Tim Conway is the most famous nameassociated with this dud, as he was the host of the first and only episode.

The list of horrible programs on television is endless, and maybe I will come back with yet another five examples of horrible television.

October 2, 2012

Five Things I Hated in "Superman II"



I  touched on this in another article, but decided to get into more detail. The first Superman film was amazing, just very well done. In fact, in that movie it takes over an hour to get to really see Superman in action, and yet we don't seem to care. The story is so well done that we're invested even if the main plot hasn't even come close to starting. Superman II was the follow up and had lots of problems. Today I am going to talk about the classic version we all saw in theatres, not the Donner recut which is actually better. I saw this film in theatres, and hated it. Well, most of it. This weekend I watched the film again, to see if I was just being picky when I first saw it. I was very young when this came out. I admit, I hit the fast forward button a few times. I will be fair and point out where cut scenes explain my complaints if it applies.

Before I begin let me stress I am not saying the film was horrible, it's not Superman III or, god forbid, Superman IV bad. I just had a lot of issues with it. Here are my top 5 :

#5. Pointless Eiffel Tower scene
This is straight up nitpicking because this scene is here for a reason, just not a reason which serves the main plot of the film except to get it started. The whole opening of the movie involved a nuclear bomb attached to an elevator in the Eiffel Tower. Lois sneaks aboard, and to be fair, this is the one time I like Margot Kidder's Lois. I always preferred Teri Hatcher, or forgive me even Erica Durance, over her performance in this film. I don't know, she always seemed a little old and way to whiny. Of course this was the silver age Lois, so I should give her a break. I did hate that she was a smoker. Getting off track, the point is Lois is saved by Superman who takes the elevator into space and lets it explode. The explosion frees the Phantom Zone prisoners, but originally it wasn't supposed to be the elevator that did that. It was a nuclear missile from the first movie which was supposed to do that, which makes the whole Eiffel Tower scene a tacked on moment to get the plot going, which of course is never mentioned again. Not a bad scene, just ultimately pointless (and gone from the Donner cut by the way).

October 1, 2012

Sitcom Face Off-Happy Days vs Wonder Years




Another sitcom face off where I take two similar shows and see which one is better. Today’s involved two very different  nostalgic comedies which both take a look at specific period in history.


These shows are basically about the same thing, looking back at a different era with wonder and nostalgia. Happy Days was set in the mid-50’s, while Wonder Years was set in the more turbulent late 60’s. So that meant Wonder Years was a tad more serious, but Happy Days was on the air twice as long. So which is better?