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?