February 28, 2014

Top 5 Underrated TV Villains I LOVE!


Last year I talked about great TV villains. Those bad guys who are so memorable that even if you don't watch the show, chances are you have heard of them. Today I want to focus on the other side of the coin. Awesome villains who are not quite as remembered. Oh they're popular, but their names always seem to come up after some more notable villains. Either beause they only appared once so didn't make a good impact, because time has faded them from memory, or simply because the show they were on was not that popular so only a true fan would know and love the villain.

Here are five villains I love that I do not believe get the respct they deserve:


#5.The Trickster (Mark Hamill, The Flash)
Yeah this tv series exists. It doesn't get that much respect, bit it was a damn good series. A real good adaptation of Flash. They did a decent job re-imagining the classic villains too. Captain Cold was chilling. Mirror Master was...ok. But the best has to Mark Hamill as the Trickster. Fans of the Batman Animated Series would likely recognize the voice, because he pretty much used he same voice as The Joker. The Trickster was boring in the comics but on the show, Hamill turned him into a psycho who would kill without giving it a second thought. He would pill pranks and gags but always with the goal of killing someone. He appeared twice which is pretty good considering the series only lasted a year.



February 25, 2014

Sitcom Face Off-Newhart vs Coach

I've been wanting to talk about Coach for a long time, but had trouble finding a show to pair with it. Not that Coach is so special it can't be compared with anything. But which way to go? It's a slapstick sitcom with very broad visual gags. It's a romantic show with Hayden and Christine's on and off relationship. It's a show about a neglectful father spending time with his daughter and learning how to relate to her. It's also an ensemble comedy with a quirky cast of wacky characters. It's a show about a coach who loves his job and has so much passion for it that he takes a ragtag team and turns them into national champions. On top of all that, the show could tackle serious issues once in awhile and be dark at times. This is why I had so much trouble pairing it with something (that, and I despise the obvious match Evening Shade).
So after searching I finally found a suitable match. Coach was created by writer/producer Barry Kemp, who also created a little show called Newhart. These shows had lots of little things in common so this made sense. (by the way he also worked on Taxi but we will discuss that another day).  So here it is my friends--
  VS 

Newhart aired on CBS (1982-1990), Coach on ABC (1989-1997). Both these shows have good characters who are unique and memorable. But, which is better?


February 22, 2014

Special TV-Star Trek TV Specials

As you would imagine for a franchise as old as Star Trek,there have been many TV specials over the years. Today I wanted to take a look at some of them, the good and the not so good. Now since these specials are all basically clip shows, going into great detail on any one would be a waste. So instead I want to run down a ten of the more notable specials, some of which I still own on VHS, and just give my thoughts on them.

I am only talking about specials which aired on American TV.There are plenty of other direct to video releases but I would be here all day if I included them. Also only standalone specials, no tributes that were part of a talk show or some other series like Entertainment Tonight, Pioneers ofTelevision, or America Loves…. Because, well, there are a ton of them too!


1.Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories
Fond memories of this one! Leonard Nimoy and a green screen,what more could you ask for? All kidding aside, this is a fun watch. This was when Star Trek III was being made so all the focus is on the original series.And I like that, since at this point the classic era gets pushed aside by the more new stuff. I think this was syndicated but did air on TV and from what I read was filmed right here in my home town of Boston. Yeah some of the stories Nimoy tells in this have been told to death by now, but at the time this one of the first times these stories were ever told and that made this special awesome. It is on YouTube and is definitely worth a watch.
 


February 17, 2014

Underrated Trek:Time Squared (TNG)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek,where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not bethe most popular or even liked by most. Today I wanted to take a look at anepisode from the dreck of Season Two TNG that I always loved. Even though itmakes NO SENSE AT ALL!! But does that mean it’s bad? Let’s talk about:





This was the 13th episodeof the second season, and one which the creators even admit did not work out asplanned. It was supposed to be a Q story which would lead into the very goodepisode “Q Who?” However, Gene Roddenberry nixed that idea. What we are leftwith is an episode with some good idea that never really get developed. Let’stake a closer look:





February 16, 2014

Five Curious Things We Had in the 90's!!


I have talked a lot about the 80's, but this is 80's and 90's Central so it's only fair I spend some time talking about the 90's. It was a crazy time for me, I went from being a kid in high school to a married man with a crummy job. Quite a busy ten years. Today I want to discuss five things that were big during those ten years which today seem silly or just flat out don't exist anymore!




#5.Beanie Babies


Ah, what cute little wastes of money these things were. Seriously, what the hell? I get why they were popular, but why in the world were they soooo popular?? These were cute little teddy bears which came in all sorts of colors and designs. And they were HUGE!! I mean people went crazy collecting these things! How crazy? McDonald's used to give them away in happy meals and there were reports of people buying happy meals just to get the beanie babies. Then they would throw the food away which is deplorable in my opinion. At least give the food away! These things faded away but have been coming back. As for the value of them...yeah, unless you have a rare one in mint condition good luck making a profit on these "collectors items".



#4.Pagers & 1-800-COLLECT


Call 1-800-Collect rather than dialing 0 and save money! Yeah, right. Did anyone ever actually use this? 1-8oo-Collect was simply an MCI access code to get around making collect calls. It saved a buck or two!! Well golly gee! What made this popular were the clever and memorable ads featuring all sorts of silly characters. There were knock off's like 1-800-Call Att. I guess this is still around though I haven't seen a new ad in ages. What was worst? Before we had cell phones, we had pagers. What was up with this? Everyone wanted to pretend to be doctors I guess. Thankfully this ended when cell phones became popular, but for a time everyone wore these things. I never got it into but I know it was huge.



February 13, 2014

Top 5 Worst TV Wedding Episodes

Tomorrow is Valentines Day....yay. I actually have no use for this holiday, for reasons I could be here all day explaining. Instead I decided to take this opportunity to talk about TV weddings. It only figures that tv shows, from sitcoms to drama's, would have wedding episodes.



Wedding episodes are a lot like vacatione episodes. You can't just have a wedding ceremony, you need a story of some kind. Some shows do a great job weaving a plot in and often their most memorabale episodes are wedding episodes. Is there anyone who has never heard of Luke and Laura's wedding? Rhoda's wedding was one of he most watched tv episodes ever. And Friends had no less than three wedding episodes all very well done.




But rather than list all the varous weddings we have seen, I thought it would be more fun to look at the bad one's. Those weddings which were just groan inducingly bad, some so much so that they remain famous for being so lame. Here are my five worst TV weddings episodes, and as always this is just my opinion.




I actually would have started with the Full House episode where Jesse and Rebecca get married, but I recently discussed that. If you're curious, here is the link: http://nostalgiarush.blogspot.com/2013/07/top-5-dumbest-full-house-moments.html


Let's call that a #6 spot and instead talk about five other examples:



#5.Dynasty


I am not going to sit here and pretend I actually saw this one when it aired. But it was so silly and over the top that it has become legend in the anals of "so bad it's good" TV. It is the kind of thing everyone has heard of, along with Bobby in the shower from Dallas and Rosalind getting the shaft in L.A.Law. What happened? I will spare you the backstory of this show and cut to the chase. It was the season finale as The Carrington's are attending the wedding of Amanda Carrington and Prince Michael. All is going well when suddenly a bunch of terrorists storm in! They smash through the windows and shoot up the entire wedding party, guests and all!!! I am not even joking, that's exactly what happened. The final shot of the cliffhanger is the entire wedding party on the floor, presumed dead. It's a fantastic image to be honest. The show was going through a tough contract period, and the creators were playing hardball. The worst thing is when the next season premiere came on it established that almost everyone survived. It's been said the show was downhill after this, and I have no doubt.

Want to know more googgle Dynasty Moldavian Masacre.



February 10, 2014

Five Things I Hated in "Back to the Future"

I think it's well established that I love this movie. So why do this article? A few reasons. One, it's a challenge. It's easy to nitpick things you don't like. Two, I am so tired of this thing we see today where you can't hate something someone else likes. Hate the Avengers? You're a fool! Think The Dark Knight Rises had flaws? You suck! Think The Man of Steel was less than perfect? How dare you! I once saw a comment on the NC Top 11 Dumbest Lord of the Rings Moments which said she hated the NC because he dared to say anything bad about her beloved film trilogy. First of all, he said it was awesome and second no film or TV series is without flaws. That doesn't mean you can't love it! So I want to show you can love something and still nitpick it. And finally I am doing this to give myself a chance to discuss this movie which is honestly the point of these "Things I Hated in...." articles which I hope to do more of in 2014 since I only did one last year.



Back to the Future came out in 1985 starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd and was a monster hit. I love it and have watched it way more times than I will admit. But is it perefect? Here are five things in the movie which always kind of bugged me. And for this article I am only disucssing the first movie (especially since I already covered the third film in depth) and will avoid getting into stuff brought up a million times like George and Lorraine not recognizing Marty 30 years later or the temporal paradox stuff because we could be here all day with that!




#5.Why on Earth would George work for Biff in 1985?


This is serious nitpicking but here we go. I can understand George being bullied by Biff in high school. It's high school, you can't really avoid people like that. But why in the world does George still work for Biff in 1985? It is said very clearly that Biff is George's superviser. I know, it's to set up the scene at the coffee shop and the gag at the end when it's reversed. We see Biff working for George which is a cute moment. And what line of work are these two in that they would both enter the same field? It is never said I don't think. And if Biff never did his homework in school how did he do well enough in school to earn this better job? And can't George find a different job? We know he never became a writer but what does he do that he needs to write reports for Biff to hand in? I guess you could argue George was a massive wimp and would rather take Biff's abuse then risk rejection at another job. But that is all guessing. This is obviously all setting up the later payoff even though it makes no sense.



February 8, 2014

Analytical Episode Review-Everybody Loves Raymond, "Italy"

Today I want to talk about a show I love to talk about:

I was going to do a Super Bowl article and review the "Super Bowl" episode of this series, but family issues kept that from happening. But I still wanted to do a review of an episode of this show. Since the Super Bowl episode was out, I decided to pick another. I wanted an episode where I could talk about another character rather than Debra because I have said enough about her. Then I remembered the perfect episode. The fifth season hour long premiere known simply as:



"Italy"


The Barone's were very Italian so a trip to Italy made perfect sense. The whole show actually went to Italy for this episode. But does the episode work?


February 6, 2014

Random Thoughts-Jay Leno


A few weeks ago I talked about female celebrities who are hated for the horrible crime of being nice. But this affects male celebrities to. So here it is, I admit it. I really like Jay Leno.




Tonight marks the final episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (yes, for the second time but we'll discuss that). I have always been a huge fan of Jay Leno. I am not sure when he got my attention because it wasn't from his early appearances on The Tonight Show (I was to young to watch most of the Johnny Carson era). He was a major pitchman in the 80's, doing ads for Doritos. Also he did do some acting. He appeared in a few sitcoms and with Pat Morita in one of the worst movies ever made, "Collision Course". Seriously, check it out. By the way after he got The Tonight Show he did many cameos in sitcoms and movies including Dave, Home Improvement, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Simpsons not to mention voice over work in several animated films like We're Back! A Dinosaur Story.



But I was a fan of his comedy. I enjoyed his stand up. I still have on tape a prime time special he made back in 1988, and his Headlines segment continues to get a laugh from me every time. I even have the books that were published and to this day some of those crazy articles bring a smile to my face. Now to be fair, that doesn't mean I like everything he does. His jokes get a bit repetitive (how many times has he made fun of China, or how overweight the nation is?) and I hate it when he goes out on the street to talk to real people. That is almost never funny. But I still liked him.


February 4, 2014

Pilot Lounge:A Special Preview of "Pinheads"


I am starting a new series on pilot episodes of various hit series. The idea is to talk about how a show can really evolve from a pilot, sometimes for better and other times not so much.

But today I wanted to do something real special, take a look at a brand new pilot for a web series which will soon be released. The show is called Pinheads, and it was created by ME's very own Alex Decourville.


He not only stars in the production but this was his own creation as well as he helped write the story and is the director of the pilot. Since it is essentially a sitcom, Alex thought I would like a preview to give me thoughts. Not sure why, do I talk about sitcoms a lot or something? In all seriousness, it was a pleasure to take a look at this and an honor to be one of the first to do so.


Now I don't want to give much away, so real simply here are my feelings on it. It was great! The show is about three employees of a radio station and is basically the three hanging out in a bowling alley. The characters are Charlie, a guitarist who is a fun loving guy. Steven the DJ who has a temper. And Brian who loves to eat and relax. At the bowling alley is the odd manager named Kenny and he neurotic son Bernie.



In the episode Kenny is pushing Bernie to film a new commercial for the alley. It...doesn't go as planned. Again I don't want to spoil anything for you guys so I will say that it was really good. I laughed a few times and there are some clever 4th wall gags. The characters are good though like with any pilot not as fleshed out as they will be down the line. But I was interested in them and would like to see what happens next.




Criticisms? It's hard to judge a pilot real harshly because the show is just getting off the ground. I guess it does suffer from the Seinfeld syndrome, it needs a good strong female character. There is one female in the episode but she is not given enough to do.But again, that is a minor complaint and it is only the first episode.




But I see lots of potential here, you can really tell how much work has been put into it. Alex seems to have a clear direction for what this show and its characters are to become which makes me very optimistic that this series will have a healthy life.





This is set to premier over the next few days so when it does be sure to check it out and support our good friend. Thanks again to Alex for allowing me a sneak peak. Glad I could be of service my friend. Great job and the best of luck to you!