May 25, 2015

Sitcom Episode Face-off:Night Court vs Murphy Brown

Hello my friends, welcome back as I take two episodes of different episodes with the same plot and see which did it better. Today the always important debate on free speech gets tackled by :



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I am comparing “It’s a Joke” from Night Court’s 8th season to “Brown and Blue” from Murphy Brown’s 3rd season. These episodes aired within months of each other in 1990 on different networks. At the time Andrew Dice Clay was making headlines for his raunchy and offensive act which many, women especially, insisting Clay should be banned from his shows and not allowed to perform. Though while you can find someone offensive they will always the right to say what they want, even if it is garbage. So these two shows decided to their spin on the Clay story and tackle the subject of freedom of speech in their own ways. Which was better?


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BASIC PREMISE:On Night Court a shock comedian appears in the courtroom when a reverend tries to claim the man’s act is obscene and should be banned. On Murphy Brown, Murphy reluctantly takes on the task of interviewing a shock comic. Can she make it through the interview?

I’ll spare you the rant on how Night Court sucked at this time because it stopped being funny, and just judge the episode on its own merits. Ok so let’s break the plot down. Since these show’s offer a different structure (Murphy Brown is three acts opposed to Night Court using the standard two). I may have to tweak the categories a bit.



May 23, 2015

Seinfeld Episodes That Are Just Dated Today

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One of the funny things about watching old re-runs is seeing how technology has changed since that episode was made. For instance, an old episode of Batman where Chief O’Hara is fascinated that Barbara Gordon has a machine which answers her phone in her own voice. There’s an episode of Alf where Willy and Alf are trapped in a stuck car, and Willie laughs off the idea of having a car phone to call for help. How about the episode of Friends where the gang is thrown off by “that caller ID thing”.



And do I need to mention how the old Star Trek series showed the crew using items very much like floppy disk while the TNG crew were using pads which eerily resemble IPad’s?




As great a show as Seinfeld was, even they could not be spared this. It makes sense, this show was very much a product of the times the show was set in. It’s no wonder they would have lost touch. In fact when they did the reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm the plot lines involved Iphone Apps, Elaine having In Vitro, and a gag about how rude people are when they stare at their cell phones, ignoring the person actually in the room.  These shows are over twenty years old now, and some things are so dated it makes me laugh.



Here are some examples.




10.”The Stock Tip”/”The Movie”


The whole premise of this episode is about George telling Jerry to invest in a stock. He then checks the paper every day to see how it is doing. Today, we have the internet and can get updates every second if we want. Speaking of the internet it would have helped George out in “The Movie”. In that episode he fails to get tickets for the movie they all want to see because he foolishly stands in the wrong line, and they are sold out. These days of course you can buy tickets online.

May 21, 2015

A Special Look at “The Flash”-Season One




So this has become a favorite show, and if you know me you know I don’t much new TV these days. I first watched it because of the fact they had the star of the original show in it (more on that in a bit). But this show hooked me in and I admit I like it. My plan was to do a face-off with the old Flash series, but by the final episode I had come to realize there is no point. No matter what praise I give the old show, the new show is just better. New show wins. Instead I decided to do an overview of the first season and run through the stuff I think worked, and the stuff that maybe didn’t work as we




Now before I begin two things to remember. Obviously I have not re-watched the older episodes so a lot of this is going by memory (though I did refresh my memory on YouTube). Forgive me if I miss a detail or get a fact wrong. Also, spoilers if you haven’t seen this show yet. I won’t give away the whole final episode but I will discuss it.


I tried to come about this a few different ways, and I decided the best way is to just do a run down of 15 various things in the series rather than break them down into categories like “Liked” or “Hated”.



1.Premise.
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If you don’t know this series is a spin-off of the successful series Arrow (which I don’t watch, more on that in a bit). In the pilot episode an advanced particle accelerator blows up causing, among other things, a lightning bolt which strikes Barry Allen and gives him super speed. He is helped by Dr.Wells who promises to help Barry learn to control his speed. Wells is the reason for the explosion. Barry was not the only person affected bu the radiation from the accelerator so they are to find the meta’s and help them. Also, when a young child Barry saw his mother killed. He has sworn to find out who killed her and framed his father all these years.


Ok, got all that? Yeah I left a lot of  stuff out but we’ll get to it. And the premise is very solid, which is a good start for a series.



Let’s discuss our main characters :

May 16, 2015

Top 5 Most Annoying Wesley Crusher Moments

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One of Gene Roddenberry’s biggest mistakes on Star Trek-The Next Generation was the child prodigy Wesley Crusher. I have no idea what Roddenberry was thinking, but no one liked this kid. Why? He was annoying and either saved the day or contributed little to nothing. Sheldon Cooper once called Wesley Crusher the Jar Jar Binks of the Star Trek universe, and that isn’t to far off. Oh, and he made the rest of the crew look like idiots! He did have a few decent episodes, any where he was underplayed and just there to comment were OK. "The First Duty" where we find he isn't perfect was really good. And I liked “The Game”, maybe because in that episode the whole crew is after him. Even though in that episode he once again saves the day!! How could he be the only one who could figure out and repair Data?




Anyway, getting off track. I could be here all day if I listed every time he saved the day in some small way. Hey, I like Wil Wheaton he seems like a nice enough guy. It’s just this character was so annoying! For the most part, I tolerated the character though I was happy when he was gone. But there are times when even I just throw my hands up in frustration.



Today I wanted to count down five of those times, when Wesley just aggravated me! Some may disagree, or come with five different examples which are just as valid, but these are mine.



#5.”Evolution”
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Season three began with a big change of pace from the drek of seasons 1 & 2. It was so much better because the show was finally not being a copy of TOS. And while this episode is really good compared to what had come before it, it is still an annoying Wesley show. It seems Wesley has fallen sleep doing his science project and let nanites loose in the ship. That I can live with, we all mistakes. The annoying is part is that Wes tries to cover up and hide this, despite the OBVIOUS problems these little machines are causing. It’s funny how in some episode Wesley is confident and mature and others he is a whiny baby. I have another example of that coming! Everything works out in the episode, with absolutely no thanks to Wesley even though he caused the mess.


May 11, 2015

My Top 10 TV Pet Peeves


A few weeks ago I mentioned a pet peeve that drives me nuts in sitcoms, that is when a studio audience gets a little to involved with the scene oooing at a kiss or applauding an actor simply walking into a scene (sometimes holding the scene up because the actors have to wait for the applause to stop)! But there are other pet peeves that have always bugged me. And today I wanted to run through them.

A pet peeve of course is something one finds annoying that the majority may not. So while there is nothing really wrong with these things, they just bug me. These are not specific to any one show, network, or genre nor are they plot related or character related (that’s another list), just little things that I see or maybe used to see on TV all the time that drive me nuts. I already talked about how much syndication edits bother me so I won’t get into that again.



#10.Answering the phone in one ring
Here’s a small one to start. You don’t see this anymore for obvious reasons, but ever notice in the old days how phone’s only have to ring once on these shows? Somehow the character is never far from the phone. I have seen shows that are smart enough to realize a second ring may be believable, but usually it’s once. Also answering machines used to have a habit of kicking in almost instantly, when in real life it takes a few rings. Some complain about how people often hear the incoming message but honestly I had machines that did that. The show Empty Nest went one up on all of this, every phone on that show rang the exact same way! Yeah. Sure.




#9.To many damn commercials/Medical and Drug ADS
When I was a kid my father always complained that there were to many commercials. It never bothered me then. Man does it bother me now. It just seems like the ad breaks tend to go on forever! But there is an even worst thing. Why do we need to have ads for the medications that cause 200 different side effects? Then they always ask you to ask your doctor about it. What doctor is going to say “What’s that? You heard about that on TV? I hadn’t even thought of that!”. We also get ads for illness’s which bug me. I am all for it if the ad is about a charity or benefit to raise awareness, but just to tell us that it’s out there is to much.

May 7, 2015

Special TV-The Olsen Twins Mother’s Day Special


With Mother’s Day coming up a special treat. Unlike say Christmas or Halloween, there aren’t a great deal of Mother’s Day specials. Sometimes someone will do one since it is May, and sitcoms have devoted episodes to Mother’s Day which I have gone over elsewhere, but actual specials are far and between. Today I wanted to talk about a certain one which aired in 1993, and I am not so proud to admit I do have on videotape.



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(uh, yeah, finding pics for this one was not easy! And Mark Curry is listed in the ad but never appeared, guess he got cut out?)







Just as the Olsen twins were starting to become the major media monsters they would become (they had at least one TV movie under their belt at this point) we get this cute special. Airing on May 5, 1993 was it good? Let’s discuss it.




Mandatory Credit: Photo by c.Everett Collection / Rex Features ( 1215052e )  OLSEN TWINS, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, in The Olsen Twins' Mother's Day Special, 5/5/93  Olsen Twins - 1990s




May 4, 2015

Underrated Trek-Flashback (VOY)

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. Once in a while the network will mandate that Trek do a special sort of episode with a certain theme. Sometimes, they work. For instance TNG’s “Unification” came about because the powers that be wanted to get people interested in Star Trek VI. You know it was mandated, but the creators put their effort into it and the episode turned out really good. But is it forgivable if the episode fails to live up to expectations? And speaking of Star Trek VI, today I wanted to talk about :





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When Star Trek’s 30th Anniversary was coming the two series were asked to do a special episode. DS9’s “Trials and Tribble-ations” went back to the classic episode “Trouble with Tribbles” and was an instant classic not to mention one of my favorite episodes of anything! Voyager gave us “Flashback”. How did that fair? Um….let’s talk about it.







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May 1, 2015

A Look at "Friends" Syndication Edits

I hate syndication cuts. It wasn’t so bad when I was a kid and either didn’t know or would forget what they cut from the episode (most of the time). But in this day of TV shows on DVD it’s real easy to look back at the uncut version of an episode. Sometimes the edit is small, so small it’s barely noticeable. But usually it’s a joke or line of dialogue (or even whole scene) which I really miss when I watch the re-run. Sometimes they will cut part of a joke, making the pay off later make absolutely no sense! And I always loved when a cut scene would be replayed over the closing credits, and you’re wondering where in the heck that moment was!



I get it, add revenue and all that. But it annoys me when a program I liked has been slashed apart. I know I am not alone in this because many shows like Roseanne and Cosby foolishly released the syndication versions of the episodes on DVD. People were so pissed they restored the episodes and re-released the series.




This has bugged me for ages and I could list examples all day. Seinfeld eliminated a lot of Jerry’s stand up routines that began (and in the early days ended and were also in the middle) each episode, Murphy Brown lost the cool openings set to different types of music, theme songs are often cut back or eliminated altogether (like Head of the Class’s longer opening I love but hardly see), many shows lose tags or teasers (which in some cases I still have never seen), and I couldn’t believe the edits in episodes of Star Trek when I finally caught the unedited versions! I watch TNG on BBC America these days and once in awhile an edit still will piss me off! I have seen then lop off an entire final scene or a major piece of dialogue. Don’t they know that show was MADE for syndication? I used to love watching re-runs of Benson, but was surprised to find out a young Jerry Seinfeld appeared in a few of them. BECAUSE ALL HIS SCENES WERE CUT. Also cut were the tags, it wasn’t until I got the DVD release I could finally see those. Some may remember back on Halloween I talked about a Night Court episode where the syndication edits created plot holes in the episode. And finally, music license concerns cause this to, as we see in re-runs of WKRP or the butchered Muppet family Christmas.