December 27, 2014

My Top 15 Favorite Nostalgia Critic Jokes

Yeah yeah, I know that dozens of people have already done this kind of list. I also know Doug Walker himself also did a list like this. And yes I also know that this is not a video show it’s a blog which takes some of the fun out of it when you have to click links. But screw it I’m doing this anyway.







I have been a long time fan of Nostalgia Critic for awhile now and still can’t get enough. I have already done a list of my favorite episodes, so today I want to go over my favorite jokes. These are gags that I can see over and over and will make me laugh even if I am not even watching the episode. It takes a lot of talent to make a joke so funny that I find myself trying not to laugh out loud because it just popped into my head at work or whatever and I don’t want people to think I’m nuts.  In fact that was how I picked my choices, by scrolling through the list of episodes and seeing what I remember.


Before I begin, I tried to find standalone clips but some of the links below are to the joke from wherever it fell in the episode. So feel free to click off after the moment I have described has passed. Unless you love that episode. Oh, and yes this is a top 15. If you read my stuff it should come as no big surprise I couldn’t narrow it down more. I also tried to have choices they were not as beaten to death with over use (the Chuck Norris meme for example) or any that Mr.Walker himself had on his own list, but there are a few exceptions.


So where do we begin?


December 21, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#1)

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Christmas sitcom episodes. To tell you the truth, picking #1 was almost impossible. I could have swapped it for the #2 or 3 choice easily. So why did this win out? I love this episode so much I have an extra special tradition with it. More on that in a bit as today I give you one of the best show’s of the 80’s.




My #1 favorite Christmas episode is from a little show simply known as:








“Christmas Cheers”
cheers-christmas-cheers-20
Aired December 17, 1987


December 18, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#2)

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Christmas sitcom episodes.Today I bring you another gem from the 80’s, from a show which may not come to most people’s minds when they think of great Christmas episodes. But this episode is funny and the final gag provided one of the biggest and best laughs ever. How could I not include it?


My #2 Christmas episode is from:








The Night Court Before Christmas













Aired Dec 21, 1988

December 16, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#3)

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Christmas sitcom episodes. Sometimes a Christmas episode will seem ordinary, until that one scene which just works. There is just something special about it which makes the episode go from a run in the mill episode to one which you always remember and can’t imagine Christmas without.



My #3 favorite Christmas episode is from:








“Miracle in Columbus”














Aired Dec 20, 1987


December 14, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#4)

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Christmas sitcom episodes. There are some series which kind of surprise you. Christmas episodes are most often found in more kid centered shows like the TGIF shows of the 80’s and 90’s  You’d never expect Christmas episodes from a well written series which is taken seriously (MASH? Wow!), and yet not only do they do them but they are really good!



Today my #4 favorite Christmas episode comes from :








“Frasier Grinch”














First aired December 19, 1995



December 11, 2014

Five Classic Christmas Movies I Inexplicably Hated At First

I have done so much talking about Christmas TV shows I decided I should do at least one article on Christmas movies. Some Christmas movies are loved by me instantly, like Scrooged or The Santa Clause. Others, for whatever reason, take a little more time to win me over. Today I want to discuss five movies which are Christmas classics, and I hated them when they first came on the scene. Today I appreciate them a lot more, but for some reason my initial reaction was not so positive.



Home Alone
home-alone
Yeah I really have no excuse for this one. But when this became the biggest comedy hit of all time in 1990, we were outraged! And a Christmas classic? How?? It was stupid, we said! Ummm, did I actually watch the movie when I saw it in theaters? I don’t know, but whatever the case years later I re watched and realized that this is a really good Christmas movie.  I have done a 180 and this is one of my favorite Christmas movies I have to watch every year. I guess we focused more on the slapstick and ignored the rest of the film, which was very nicely directed by Chris Columbus not to mention written by John Hughes.


December 9, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#5)

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Christmas sitcom episodes. There are some series which will do one, maybe two, Christmas shows and that’s all. Then you have those others that do on every single year, and not only did they do one very year but they are almost always very memorable episodes.



My number 5 favorite episode is from:






“Twas the Blight Before Christmas”













First aired December 15, 1993


December 6, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#6)

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Christmas sitcom episodes. I have talked a lot about “very special” episodes, when a sitcom tries to tackle a serious subject for one episode. Sometimes, this coincides with Christmas. Usually, it doesn’t work that well. Saved By The Bell had an episode about the homeless which was OK. Punky Brewster did an episode on shoplifting which, again, was OK. There was one series that did this and for once the episode was really pretty good. Taking the matter seriously while still maintaining a Christmas mood. Which show?


My #6 favorite Christmas episode comes from a little show called :






“The Kid”



Aired December 16, 1986



December 3, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#7)

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Christmas sitcom episodes. You will note that most of my favorites come from warm and wholesome family comdies. But that doesn't mean the dysfunctional families can't have some fun to. Today I present a great Christmas episode from a 90's family who was not so whoelsome.





My number 7 favorite Christmas episode comes from:






"It's No Place Like Home for the Holidays"



First aired December 15, 1992.


November 30, 2014

My Top 8 All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Episodes (#8)

I LOVE CHRISTMAS EPISODES!! I literally spend the whole month of Dec watching them, even from series I never watch otherwise. There is just something about them I can't get enough of. They're sweet and sentimental, and really put me in the Christmas spirit. In fact with some, it just plain would not be Christmas without these great episodes. Since I had so much fun doing this on Halloween I decided to do a Christmas version as well.So for the next couple weeks I present my all time favorite episodes.

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A few things. First of all, nope couldn't settle on five again. And man was this a hard one. I love Christmas episodes so trying to find my absolute favorites was pretty tough. But the same rule as the Halloween list, one episode per series. Yes I will do honorable mentions again. Oh, and why top 8? Like with the Halloween list, I have already reviewed every episode of Seinfeld and Friends so I wont bore you be re-reviewing the Christmas episodes from those shows (sorry, no Festivus or Holiday Armadillo which would both be on here). Let's call those honorary entries which bump this into a top 10 list.


And finally, like before I am not suggesting these are the best Christmas episodes of all of the Christmas episodes that exist. These are MY favorites. Feel free to disagree or even hate these shows. I am sure I am leaving off plenty of other choices other people love and adore as much I do these episodes.


So to begin I decided to pick a show that rarely disappointed at Christmas. There were several but I chose the first because this episode is what every episode that came after it tried to duplicate. Which show?







"Have Yourself a Very Winslow Christmas"

Aired Dec 21, 1990 on ABC


November 23, 2014

Former Hit TV Shows That Get No Respect Today

There are some TV series which were very popular and even respected when they were on, which have kind of faded from pop culture over the years.  Oh sure the fans who loved the series still do, but getting new fans to appreciate that series is a real challenge. There are lots of reasons for this. Maybe the  series will do things that date themselves, and make the episodes a lot less relatable years later.  Maybe the series was so grounded in its time period that the only people who appreciate it are those who lived in that period. Some series do not have this problem, like The Dick Van Dyke Show. That show is just as relatable as now as it was when it was first on, because the stories were general tales that anyone who has a family or who works with nutty co-workers can relate to. How about The Golden Girls, why is that re-run constantly? Because the series was about growing older and who can’t relate to that?

But some series, for various reasons, aren’t so lucky. Here are five:





Murphy Brown


Probably the best example. This show was a major it when hit was on, but now you hardly ever see it in re-runs. True a cable channel has been re-running them this year which helps. There is only one DVD volume out, the interest was so low that no other season from the series has been released! Of course the show tried very hard to pretend that it was set in the real world with references to then recent political events and current news makers that no one would get these days. Unless you’re a history buff or something. It’s a shame to because the series was well written and funny (except the last two years but I digress). Speaking of TV series which can’t get a complete DVD release, where the hell is Who’s The Boss, Benson, or Perfect Strangers?



November 18, 2014

Analytical Episode Review:The Cosby Show, “Cliff’s Wet Adventure”

Today I am going to take a look at one of my favorite Thanksgiving episodes. Sitcoms have given us a LOT of Thanksgiving episodes, some are flat out classics (see WKRP and Cheers). I figured that since I did a whole bunch of Halloween episodes, and will be doing my top 8 Christmas episodes starting in a week or two, that it was only fitting to look at least one Thanksgiving show. Which did I choose? I decided to discuss an episode of a series I have discussed a lot this year:


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Cliff’s Wet Adventure
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This episode first aired on Nov 16, 1989. Yes my friends this episode is 25 years old as of Monday! Wow!!!!

November 16, 2014

Random Thoughts-Five Things I've Heard which Are Not True

Well my friends, one month from today I will be 40. Yeah, I know. It makes me little nauseous too. But as I look back over the last forty years I realize there are lots of things that were considered fact or people just believed that have been disproved since then as nonsense. For instance the whole “no swimming for at least an hour after eating or you’ll get a cramp” crap which was probably invented by parents to shut up whiny kids (FYI it’s not true go ahead and jump in). And yet people still think these things are true, in some cases to the present day.  It’s funny when you think about how serious they believed this stuff, and you wonder what stuff we take seriously today will be laughed at in another forty years.

Here are five other examples :



Sitting to Close to the TV will Hurt Your Eyes?

Maybe this is just some nonsense that parents made up, but I heard this a lot as a kid. And what do we have today? People shoving their phones or pads up to their faces all day long. Yeah I’m pretty sure that where we sit in relation to the TV isn’t going to hurt our eyes. I used to love the hate adults would throw at TV calling it “the boob tube” or “the idiot box”. Man if only they could see what TV was like today!!

November 12, 2014

A Look at Memorable Character Actor's

Sad news today. Carol Ann Susi passed away.
Carol-Ann-Susi
Don’t know her? She was Howard’s unseen mother on Big Bang Theory. And she was often the funniest thing in the show, with her yelling back and forth at Howard. But I’ve been a fan of her’s for a long time, she has a long list of credits as a character actress. If there was a show in the 90’s, bet anything she appeared in an episode of it! Seinfeld, Mad About You, Married..With Children, A Different World, Just Shoot Me…just to name a few.


Character actors don’t always get a lot of respect but I love them. These are the supporting actors/actress’s who we see but often take for granted. They appear in a million roles and always gets a laugh. You may never know their names but their faces, voices, and personality become famous and loved. Today I wanted to talk about a few of my favorites. In no particular order.



Jack Riley
jack_riley
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I love this guy. He has a such a deadpan delivery that you can’t help but laugh. Most famous or being Elliott on The Bob Newhart Show, he has done tons of other roles and voice overs for commercials. By the way, all the patients that were on The Bob Newhart Show should be on this list. But Riley stands out for me with his several roles in Night Court and way to many more to series and cartoons to mention here. Often he will appear for a brief line and that’s all, like in the Seinfeld episode he appeared in.



November 9, 2014

Top 10 Greatest Comic Book Rogue's Galleries

Oh hell yeah, I am so going here! Well I talked about supporting characters the other day so this only made sense.
super-villains foes dc comics dick giordano 1975 joker catwoman ccaptain cold batman poison ivy riddler lex luthor superman poster - Copy

It’s one thing for a villain to have a worthy adversary. But what makes a real memorable character are the villains the hero has to go up against. For instance, I never read Sherlock Holmes but I know all about Prof Moriarty. That’s because Moriarty was the perfect foe for Holmes despite only appearing in two books! James Bond had several clever villains, starting with the evil Dr.No and including the likes of Goldfinger and Jaws (yeah yeah he was a henchman I know). And I knew who Romulans and Klingons were long before I really cared about Star Trek. The more clever villains you can throw at the heroes, the more remembered those stories become. And yes, comic books are no exception to this. For the really good comic book villains they were not only popular in the books they appeared, but even transcended the medium to appear in TV, movies, and possibly be even more liked than the hero that spawned them!


So today I want to look at those heroes who have several villains that are popular. So much so that they can form their own club (and in at one case, actually do!). Last time many pointed out, rightly so, that limiting the list for five was quite, well, limiting. Never let it be said I don’t listen to criticism, so here now is a top 10 favorite comic book rogue’s galleries. And yes, Marvel is included this time around.



#10.Dick Tracy
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(yes this pic is from the movie but it was the best I could find)
Yeah I’ll be honest. I never read those stories. My only basis for any first hand knowledge is the lame movie that came out years ago. And yes it was a lame movie. But one thing I did gleam from that movie, is that Dick Tracy has a very unique gallery of villains. When looking it up I realized that movie only scratched the surface! Staring with “Big Boy” who was a mobsters. And for some reason these villains had bizarre physical or mental deformities. There was also Pruneface, Mumbles, and Flattop. Weird. I won’t say to much but I think it’s fair to say that Dick Tracy may have been one of the first to have a colorful list of villains.

November 7, 2014

Top 5 Favorite DC Comic Supporting Chararcters

Ah, the supporting characters! Where would Batman be without Commissioner  Gordon? Where would Superman be without his pal Jimmy? These are the characters who flesh out the stores we love and make them more than just mindless action. They give our heroes a reason to do what they do, and in some instances become just as popular as the main hero. Today I want to countdown five of my favorite supporting characters from comic books.

The only rule here is the character had to be a good guy always, sometimes they will turn into villains like Green Lantern’s Carol Ferris or Batman and Harvey Dent. Oh and one character per hero.



#5.Oberon (Mr.Miracle)
Oberon_01
This little guy was awesome! If you’re not familiar with Jack Kirby brilliance that was The New Gods…it’s a long story. Mr.Miracle was an awesome character, the world’s greatest escape artist. I could do a whole article on his kick ass wife Big Barda. But there was also Oberon. He was Miracle’s aid, and in the 80’s and 90’s he really came out on his own in the Justice League. He was a caring fellow with  a big heart who could get tough when he needed to.



November 4, 2014

Underrated Trek:Genesis (TNG)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. This will most likely be my last of these for the year, and decided that I had looked at enough early episodes of TNG. After all, the last year of that show offered episodes just as bad as Season One or Two. Today I want to talk about one which is almost unanimously considered awful. Then why do I like it? This is:


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Poor Season 7. What happened? Let’s take a closer look.

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November 2, 2014

Five Loved Saturday Morning Shows That WEREN'T Cartoons

We’re all sad that there are not more Saturday morning cartoons on anymore. Well, kids today aren’t but those of us  who remember those fantastic days are. Man the memories! I have talked a lot about the cartoons I grew up watching those days, but there were more than cartoons. Sometimes a live action show would get me just as excited as The Muppet Babies or Garfield. Or Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Or The Real Ghostbusters. Or Alvin and The Chipmunks. Or The Smurfs. Or…..what was I talking about?


All kidding aside, today I decided to do a run down of five Saturday Morning shows I loved that were not cartoons. The order is from shows I kind of liked to shows I really loved.




Land of the Lost


Uh, yeah. I watched this. For some reason. I have a brother and sister, can I blame them? Ok I titled this article shows that I loved but that may have been misleading. Because I did not love this show. I will admit to watching it, and finding it pretty silly. Of course I did not see the 70’s version since I was not quite born, but did see the 1991 revival. And what can I say?
It was stupid. But in a fun way. If you don’t know the show was about a family trapped in a parallel universe after after their Jeep Cherokee fell through a time portal while exploring the back country. You’ve stopped reading, haven’t you? This universe had dinosaurs, cavemen, and really corny acting. Did I mention the family lives in a treehouse? This show was just silly!

October 26, 2014

Halloween TV Episodes I Don't Love

The last few weeks I’ve been talking about my favorite Halloween TV episodes. But what about the other side of the coin, when a sitcom does a Halloween episode that just fails for one reason or another. It can happen, I already covered one:



Roseanne : “Halloween: the Final Chapter” (1995)


Yeah I already talked about this but it had to be mentioned here.  How can I sum this one up in a way that makes any sense? Roseanne and the family are playing with a Ouija board while 4th wall gags keep happening. Then Roseanne goes into labor and has a dream (or hallucination) that is such a non sequitur I can’t possibly describe it. There are clips of past Roseanne Halloween episodes which really makes us realize how much this one sucked. Then it just gets nonsensical as Roseanne talked to the ghost of Jerry Garcia (?) before she wakes and up and discovers her new baby in a moment totally devoid of any heart. The stuff about Jerry Garcia is kind of nice but this episode is bad. Really bad. In the end Roseanne had to literally come out and defend it, seriously watch the credits of the uncut version of the episode. I will say this, I can see what she was TRYING to do. But man does it fail.


But that’s not the only Halloween episode I consider a major fail. Here are five other episodes I also just don’t like very much.



Fresh Prince : “Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect” (1990)


The Halloween stuff in this episode is really good. To bad that it takes up an entire ten minutes in this hour long episode! So what is in the rest of the episodes? I sense a clip show!! Yes folks for some reason even though the series had only been on for two months at this point, we get a clip show. There is some good stuff here, it’s not the worst episode, but man is it boring if you’re not into the clips. There is also an extended sequence featuring celebrity cameos. Remember this was early on, before anyone knew what a hit the show would become. So the cameos feel like Will Smith called all his friends and asks if they could do him a favor. Can you say painfully transparent? I knew you could.

October 22, 2014

Top 6 All-Time Favorite Halloween TV Episodes-#1

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Halloween sitcom episodes. So I've done a lot of talking about Halloween episodes from all kinds of 80's and 90's shows. But you may have noticed one glaring omission. It was a popular show that did a Halloween episode almost every year. Well today we're going to get into it. Which show is this? My #1 favorite Halloween episode ever comes from a little show called:







"Crazy for You"

This episode first aired October 27,1993.

October 20, 2014

Top 6 All-Time Favorite Halloween TV Episodes-#2


Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Halloween sitcom episodes. Last time I discussed an episode from a series which you would expect to do a great Halloween episode…and rarely disappoints. Today I want to talk about a series which you would likewise think would do great Halloween shows. Except, they didn’t. The episodes were always disappointing, with one big exception. What series is this? Today my #2 favorite episode comes from:






“Come Back to the Five and Dime, Stephen King, Stephen King”
(I was going to ask what this title referenced, but then I looked it up and discovered it was a movie Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean).

















This episode first aired on October 25th, 1989



October 17, 2014

Top 6 All-Time Favorite Halloween TV Episodes-#3

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Halloween sitcom episodes. Today I am picking an episode from a series which you would expect to do good Halloween episodes. And this series rarely disappointed. While most of their Halloween episodes were good one in particular rises above the rest, for me anyway. Today my #3 favorite episode comes from:








“Good Will Haunting”













This episode first aired on October 30, 1998


October 14, 2014

Top 6 All-Time Favorite Halloween TV Episodes-#4

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Halloween sitcom episodes. There are some series which are almost synonymous with Halloween. But once in awhile a series you’d never expect to do an awesome Halloween episode surprises us with one. Today my #4 pick is a perfect example of that, when we were surprised in 1990 with a fantastic Halloween show from, of all shows :





Yep, Growing Pains!



“Happy Halloween”


(yeah, the pic sucks. Sorry)
This aired October 31, 1990. And it’s clear they really put their hearts in it! They even recorded a brand new opening with a “Monster Mash” kind of song replacing the usual theme song. That’s freaking awesome! Check it out HERE


October 11, 2014

Top 6 All-Time Favorite Halloween TV Episodes-#5

Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Halloween sitcom episodes. The other day we were very firmly stuck in the 80’s, so it seems only fair that today’s episode be a product of the 90’s. It was a huge hit for NBC and it’s not hard to understand why. My #5 choice for my all time favorite Halloween episode comes from the popular series :








“Scaredy Dick

This episode first aired on Oct 29, 1997


October 8, 2014

Top 6 All-Time Favorite Halloween TV Episodes-#6

Welcome my friends! Since everyone seems to be doing something special for Halloween why not add to that? I have decided that through the next couple weeks I will count down my absolute favorite Halloween sitcom episodes EVER.  As I have noted before, sitcoms and Halloween often go great together. I don’t think there’s any show out there that hasn’t done at least one Halloween themed episode. And when done right, they can be creepy and even scary!








Before I begin a few quick notes. I will be using the format of my Analytical Episode Reviews for these. Only sitcoms, I see a lot of lists cheat and list something like The Great Pumpkin as their #1 when every other show on their list was sitcom. That special is classic but also belongs in a different category. Also, they have to be episodes literally set on Halloween not just an episode with scary elements that have nothing to do with Halloween. And only one episode per series.


There will be a few shows that will be left off. Since I already discussed Roseanne I will not discuss it again. I reviewed the really decent Friends Halloween episode when I did my episode guide so will spare you. And The Simpsons will not be included, how can I possibly pick just one? So I guess we can consider Roseanne an honorary #7 (for my views on that click HERE) and the Friends Halloween episode an honorary #8 (for my view on that click HERE). The Simpsons can be #9, so we almost have an unofficial Top 10, I guess.


Finally, this is just my opinion. I am sure there are better Halloween episodes out there than the six I will list, or people out there who hate these episodes for some reason, but for me these are the one’s that I love watching over and over. Feel free to disagree and let me know your favorites.



So, where do we begin today? I decided to start with a great one which has kind of been forgotten about over the years. But I still enjoy it.


#6 on my list is :


















October 6, 2014

Next 5 Favorite TV Theme to Shows I Never Watched

About five months ago I discussed theme songs that I loved to TV shows I never watched. It takes a special kind of theme to become so popular that people know and love it despite never watching the show. Even if the show isn’t that great.


And I found five more!







#5.The Beverly Hillbillies
I am not sure why I never got into this show, but I didn’t. But the theme song, now that’s another story. Who doesn’t love the ballad of Jed Clampett played on that cool banjo? Like all good theme songs it sets up the premise of the show in a very memorable way. It was a very popular song making the billboard charts.




#4.Room 222
Now when I saw I never saw this one, I really mean it. I barely heard of it! But I came across the tune on a compilation album and just loved it! It quickly became ome of my favorite theme songs..even though I have never seen this show. At all. For those like me this show was a comedy-drama about a history class in a fictional school in California that aired in the early 70’s following The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family and before The Odd Couple. By the way according to Wikipedia the theme was written by Jerry Goldsmith. The guy responsible for many of the Star Trek themes (among dozens of others move themes). That may explain why I liked it so much. Follow the link and take a listen, you may be surprised by the nice soft melody.


Next 5 Favorite TV Theme to Shows I Never Watched

About five months ago I discussed theme songs that I loved to TV shows I never watched. It takes a special kind of theme to become so popular that people know and love it despite never watching the show. Even if the show isn’t that great.


And I found five more!







#5.The Beverly Hillbillies
I am not sure why I never got into this show, but I didn’t. But the theme song, now that’s another story. Who doesn’t love the ballad of Jed Clampett played on that cool banjo? Like all good theme songs it sets up the premise of the show in a very memorable way. It was a very popular song making the billboard charts.




#4.Room 222
Now when I saw I never saw this one, I really mean it. I barely heard of it! But I came across the tune on a compilation album and just loved it! It quickly became ome of my favorite theme songs..even though I have never seen this show. At all. For those like me this show was a comedy-drama about a history class in a fictional school in California that aired in the early 70’s following The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family and before The Odd Couple. By the way according to Wikipedia the theme was written by Jerry Goldsmith. The guy responsible for many of the Star Trek themes (among dozens of others move themes). That may explain why I liked it so much. Follow the link and take a listen, you may be surprised by the nice soft melody.


October 4, 2014

A Look at Roseanne Halloween Episodes





Last year I took a look at the Thanksgiving episodes Roseanne has done. But when it comes to Halloween, this show went above and beyond. No show pulled out the stops the way this one did (well, except maybe The Simpsons) in creating annual Halloween classics every single year.


But, were they all classics? Today for the 31 Days of Halloween I am going to do a run down of these memorable episodes and discuss them for better, and for worst!










Apparently there was no Halloween episode that first year, so instead let’s dive right into season two.



“BOO!” (1989)
   
The Connor’s host a haunted while Roseanne and Dan compete to decide which is the master prankster

While not my favorite (we’ll get to it) this episode is probably a close second place for me. This is such a fantastic Halloween episode that it’s a freaking classic. one reason because it is before Roseanne got bogged down in social commentary (more on that later). This episode is just  the family having fun, as the Connor’s set up a  haunted house while Dan and Roseanne play pranks on each other. The haunted house is just amazing, and the costumes are fantastic including Roseanne as a witch. The best part comes at the end. I still remember laughing the first time at how Roseanne finally wins their little competition, it’s a moment of pure brilliance. If you’ve never seen it check it out!


October 1, 2014

My 12 Favorite "Reveals" From TV and Movies

When I discussed the Family Guy/Simpsons crossover the other day, I noted how much I loved the “reveal” that the Griffin’s had arrived in Springfield. I said it was just beautiful and one of my favorite reveals ever (haven’t seen it? Check out a clip HERE)


Then I got to thinking about other reveals from movies and TV that brought a huge smile to my face. When I say “reveal” I am referring to a moment in a TV show or movie where the audience is shown something they weren’t expecting or are told some secret information that is finally being brought to light. When done correctly, these moments are filled with wonder and surprise (and humor) and usually become very remembered, even famous, afterwards. Sometimes the reveal is no real shock but when done right it is still surprising and memorable. Sometimes the fact there will be a reveal is no secret and so we tune in (or go see the movie) with eager anticipation. And other times creators will throw a total curve, and surprise us with something we never thought we would see but man are we thrilled to see it!
Here are some examples of what I am talking about, in no particular order (except the last one).



Passions

This one is obscure but I decided to include it. Soap Opera’s are no stranger to reveals. You could probably write a book of all the times that some show revealed a villain or some other surprise. But one of my favorites came from an NBC soap called Passions. This show had may gimmicks, and one was that the head of the Crane household named Alasdair was always seen waist down or from behind. For several years we all wondered what this guy looked like. Finally needs of the story necessitated the face be shown, and the reveal is very lovely. It’s quick but does the job. See it HERE

Of course this gimmick of hiding a face has been done in all kind of other shows, some doing a reveal and others not. Home Improvement never did show us Wilson’s face,  or Vera on Cheers, but we did eventually see what Alan Brady looked like on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Nanny did finally let us see what Fran’s father, whose face was always hidden, looked like. I couldn’t find a clip but he looked an awful like Steve Lawrence.  We never saw Charlie on Charlie’s Angels but Magnum P.I. did finally reveal that Robin Masters was Higgins all along…..or was it?


September 29, 2014

Random Thoughts-Family Guy/Simpsons Crossover





Your first questions may be, why did I even watch this? People who follow my stuff regularly probably know I am very passive Simpson fan. Even worst, I hate Family Guy. So, why then would I watch a crossover between a franchise I hardly like and a franchise I despise? Because I’m a sucker for crossovers. Whether they be TV, movies, or comic books–I love them! So when I heard about this event I had to watch it.

Then I saw the five minute preview that was released a few weeks ago and…I found many people were all ready disappointed. Now I am no major fan or either as I made clear so it could be that while it seemed cool from a casual viewer like me maybe it was lacking something a real fan would catch. So I watched the whole episode Sunday night called “The Simpsons Guy” . The premise being the Grifin’s have to leave town. Their car is stolen and they end up in Springfield.  And?


First of all I have to say one thing. That shot when we establish the Griffin’s are in Springfield was BEAUTIFUL! Nothing anyone else says will take that away, I loved that reveal. It was one of the best reveals EVER! Taking in the town with the Simpsons theme music, perfect! All capped off by the obligatory joke about which Springfield they are in (“I’m sure we’re not authorized to say”).

September 26, 2014

Five Lame Time Travel Plots (From Various Media)

I love time travel! It’s no coincidence that two of my favorite movies are Star Trek IV and Back to the Future. The idea of being able to travel back to see the past, even change mistakes made, is a fantastic one. Not to say anything about the chance to go ahead and see what our future will be like.

While I love time travel stories, I have to admit that some creators will come up with very….odd plots with time travel.



Now I don’t expect everyone who puts time travel in a story to have an advanced degree in quantum mechanics, and I concede even the best time travel stories require some suspension of disbelief, but some creators seem to lack basic common sense when it comes to how time travel might work. Making things up, or using time travel as a plot device, even if it makes no sense whatsoever.


Here are five examples of what I mean:



Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

I know I know, this a kids show and it’s probably not fair to make fun of it. But thanks to my nephew (and being out of work last year) I got see lots of episodes. I love nitpicking the silly plots, but the one that really annoyed was the one where Prof Von Drake builds a time machine. How does it work? Goofy goes through it and is somehow transformed into a baby. No he isn’t swapped with a younger version of himself, he is changed into a baby! Yeah, that’s not what time machines do!!!!! I mean obviously the kids watching wont care but the writers had to have some knowledge of time machines, why not called it a “transmorpher” or some other name that would make a little more sense? Or is the thinking that kids wont know the difference so why even try?


September 22, 2014

SPECIAL Face-Off:Superman Returns vs Man of Steel

Many people say that you can’t compare the new Superman movies to the Christopher Reeve movies. That the Reeve films, while great, belong to a different time. Ok, fair enough. So let’s just compare the last two movies.



While I have discussed Man of Steel I haven’t really said anything about Superman Returns. I was so disappointed with it I never even acknowledged it in past articles except to trash it. But…maybe I am being to hard on it. I mean it had it’s moments and it’s even possible that Superman Returns is a better Superman movie than Man of Steel. Man of Steel, on the other hand, I expected to hate and while flawed I ended up liking things in it more than I expected to. Though there were things about I did not like!



Which is really the better Superman movie? Let’s see if we can figure that out as today I present my first movie related face-off (obviously following the sitcom face-off format), as we have :

VS 
Superman Returns came out in 2006 and did not do so well. It was so badly received that the next movie was a total reboot, Man of Steel of course came out last year. Some loved it, others did not. But which was better? And yes I know I am not the first to do this kind of comparison.  I’m doing it anyway and of course all opinion feel free to disagree.



September 20, 2014

Underrated Trek:Encounter at Farpoint (TNG)

Welcome to a special edition of Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. In keeping with my unintentional theme this week of pilots for TV shows, I decided it was time to look a look at the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.







This episode premiered September 28, 1987 and kicked off a while new era of Star Trek! Most people have mixed feelings about this one, but is it good….or kind of lame?





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September 16, 2014

A Look at Sitcom Pilot Episodes

As I mentioned before in my article on The Big Bang Theory, I have been wanting to discuss pilot’s for awhile. What was going to be a whole series has instead turned into one article (well, maybe two).
Pilot’s are of course the first episode of a TV series. Several pilots are made every year, and only a few become series. Even less than that will become hit series which last for years. Today I wanted to run down some pilot episodes and point out what differed from the series that came after it in some very interesting ways. Because pilots are just that, the first episode before the writers can really flesh out stuff the characterizations, back-story, or heck even setting! So pilots can very often look very different from the series that would evolve from it.



One quick note, no backdoor pilots and I am only discussing successful TV series. Pilots to awful series or series that were never even picked up is another whole article my friends. And I can only vouch for those pilots I am aware, so I will be leaving plenty of good examples off I am sure.



The Cosby Show



I decided to start with this one because this is the first pilot I remember seeing, although it was luck. I fell in love with this show instantly. The pilot is pretty close to what The Cosby Show would be, with one major change. The set is totally different! The Huxtables apparently live in an run down apartment here. Why did this change? The original concept of the series was for Cliff and Clair to be blue collar workers. When that got changed to wealthy professionals, they probably figured out that they needed a nicer place to live. In fact I always believed the kitchen scene in the start was filmed after this change was made. If you watch that episode, pay close attention when Cliff first walks into the kitchen. Behind him you can see the traditional Huxtable set that we would grow to know and love. Even though it doesn’t appear in the rest of the episode!
Oh and by the way, they only had four children in the pilot rather han the five they would have later on.

September 14, 2014

Analytical Episode Review:The Big Bang Theory, "Pilot"

So I decided it was time to review another episode of something, but what? Then it occurred to me that I did a whole month of series finale’s in May, why not do series premiere’s in September? I had an idea all year for a whole series on “pilot” episodes which never really made it off the ground. But that doesn’t mean I can’t discuss one now. So today let’s talk about the very first episode to a series which some love, and others hate! A series I have already talked a lot about.

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“The Pilot”
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As the series starts its eighth season in a week, let’s talk about the pilot episode and see if the show has evolved for better or for worst.


September 10, 2014

Underrated Trek:The Child (TNG)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. If we’re going to discuss not great but not horribly bad episodes from Next Generation, season two is the best place to stop. Today we look at one which was originally written for the Star Trek:Phase 2 series before that became Star Trek:The Motion Picture. This is:



StarTrekTheNextGenerationTheChild 


This season 2 premiere is not well regarded. Mostly because the story is a little…stupid. But is there any redeeming value to be had? Let’s take a closer look.



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