August 29, 2013

A Look at Retcons in Sitcoms

Retcons suck! Well, sometimes they do. Retcons are a way for writers to overlook established facts about a character if it serves the interest of the current story. The problem is that when you're a serious fan, such a casual disregard for continuity can be annoying. Especially when it comes out of nowhere and makes little to no sense.

When people say retcons, they think comic books or maybe sci fi. But even sitcoms have been known to rewrite their own history for no good reason. Once in awhile it is ok. Like when The Huxtables went from four children to five. Or on Will & Grace when Karen's maid suddenly went from not understanding a word of English to speaking it fluently. Sometimes these changes are ignored, other times they are acknowledged with one simple line of dialogue. Here now are five examples of when a show changed established continuity for no good reason.

The Golden Girls

This isn't a huge one but is worth noting. On this series Rose had a long term relationship with a man named Miles. He was a teacher and appeared several times. Then at one point, for some reason, the writers decided to mix things up. It was suddenly revealed that Miles was actually an informant for the FBI, currently living under the witness protection program. When Miles has to flee, this causes a crisis for Rose. A crisis that only lasts a few episodes when Miles returns and the mobster after him is captured. This was obviously a cheesy way to shake up Rose's story for a season, and the whole thing is quietly forgotten the next year. What makes it even worst is an earlier episode involving Miles overprotective daughter. A daughter who is of course never mentioned when the whole informant stuff comes up.

August 26, 2013

A Look at Superheroes on TV (with special guest Les)

So the news came out last week, Ben Affleck the new Batman? Now I was one of the many back in 1988 who thought Michael Keaton would suck as Batman. I, and everyone else, was wrong. But this time....I don't know, I just can't see it. But the real question is, where is the freaking Justice League movie?? I don't get why this is so hard! With all the adaptations of superheroes out there, is this really so impossible? 

Ok, forget the movie. How about a decent TV series? For petes sake S.H.I.E.L.D. got a series before the JLA? Why? It's not as if decent superhero shows haven't done well over the years. In fact there have been many series over the years which did a fantastic job adapting various characters well, supporting character and villains included, in some cases even redefining them. These shows worked but a JLA show is impossible?

Since I already looked back at superheroes in movies, today let's look back at the various superheroes who had TV shows in the last sixty years, and imagine that in some universe they are all together as the Justice League I have always wanted to see. Since I did not really watch many of these, and others I have talked about to death, I asked my good friend Les to help. Welcome to my corner of the blog my friend.

LES: You know me, my friend.  I'm always eager to do a crossover LOL

RichB:Great to have you along. Let's start with one of the first and strangest superhero shows of them all!

Batman & Robin (Adam West & Bert Ward)

RichB:The show was campy, but Adam West really did a great job selling Batman. I already talked about this in depth so will not go into to much detail. But this show got many people interested in the character, who was fading at the time,  and I think that's cool. It also took the villains and made them all house hold names.

August 21, 2013

Special TV:The Dream is Alive, the 20th Anniversary of Walt Disney World (1991)

The last two times that I talked about a Disney special I ended up saying that I was disapointed with the specials. So today I wanted to talk about a Disney special that I just love. It came on in 1991 as Disney World was getting ready to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The theme of the special was The Dream is Alive!

But while it's one of my favorite specials, does that mean it's perfect? Let's take a look at :

Plot:Actually pretty simple. As the occasion of Walt Disney World's 20th Anniversary approaches then Disney Ceo Michael Eisner tries to find a big named celebrity to host the event. Despite asking several major celebrities he comes up empty, and ends up hosting the special himself.

Yeah, that's about it. So let's take a look at what I liked and what I hated.

August 19, 2013

Look at Sitcom Cliches:Dual Roles

Welcome back to sitcom cliches where we look at tired and often overused cliche's in sitcoms and other genre's

Today I wanted to discuss another common trope that was a favorite of mine over the years. When an actor on a series plays a different character than the one they usually play. This one is as old as the hills, and why not? It's always fun to see an actor stretch their wings and play a character different from the one we are familiar with seeing week after week. When done well, you hardly even realize it's the same person! Often these dual roles are used to show the character we do love in a different light, and in the end maybe understand them a little better. And other times it's just a stunt to get people to watch.

Whatever the case, here are some examples of the split screen effect being beaten to death:

The Patty Duke Show

This may be the standard setter. Patty Duke played twin sisters Cathy and Patty in this quirky sitcom. "They're cousins...identical cousins all the way!" Only on TV can cousins, from totally different parents, be identical! I mean really, how does that work? Some shows are smart enough to put a little make-up on one and say they "look alike", but identical? No. But I do love how the theme song to this show tells you all you need to know about these two characters. Cathy is the quieter one while Patty loves to party. Nice when a theme song does that. I have nothing against Patty Duke but I never watched this series.

August 17, 2013

Top 5 Favorite Non-Human TV Characters

I did a list of my favorite characters before, but many times a character can be loved who isn't a human. They can be many other things. So today I wanted to discuss five favorite non-human TV characters. I decided to keep Star Trek off so I could discuss other favorites. Also because they would be the whole list. And no Salem from Sabrina, The Teenage Witch because I just covered him recently.


A horse is a horse, of course of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course unless that horse is the amazing Mr.Ed! Ok, I will be honest and say I did not watch this show religoulsy. It was obviously on way before my time. However, whenever I have come across it I have found it to be pretty funny. Mr.Ed was a talking horse who, of course, only talked to his owner named Wilbur played by Alan Young. It was a silly show with a silly premise, and yet it worked. I guess it could be worst, they could have done a show about a guy who finds out his mother is living in his car and it can talk....oh, yeah. Sorry Jerry Van Dyke. Anyway Mr.Ed was a funny character who of course caused trouble and misunderstandings. Isn't that always the way? Unlike many animals from the old days of TV, Mr.Ed will always be remembered. Isn't that right Arnold Ziffel?

August 13, 2013

Five Anticipated Movie Sequels...THAT SUCKED!

The other day I talked about movies which spawned sequels that were totally unnecessary. I said that while once in awhile this works, overall these sequels are just lame cash grabs. But there was one kind of sequel I did not talk about. What happens when a sequel is expected, because the first movie just naturally lends itself to a follow-up, but in the end it still sucks?

These can be even harder to accept because the sequel was a given and if a little effort had been put in it would have been great! It is amazing, you get the same cast and basically the same creative team, you would expect a movie on par with the original. Right? Not always. Here are five exmples of much anticipated sequels which turns out to be huge let down's :

Karate Kid II

You could argue the first Karate Kid was a good movie on its own and did not need a sequel. Fair enough, but I could see how a sequel could have worked. And this movie had the right idea, it starts off immediately after the first movie ended and continued the story just focusing on Mr.Miagi. What went wrong? IT WAS BORING AS HELL! My lord, this was one of the dullest films ever and I remember nothing except the opening scene.

August 11, 2013

Five Horribly Unnecessary Movie Sequels

One of the many truth's in Hollywood is that if a movie is a success, it will most likely earn a sequel. However, many times all Hollywood can see is the potential money to be earned, and overlook the fact that the first movie simply does not need a sequel!

To me, there are three kinds of sequels. The first kind are the sequels which are intentional and thought out. The Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies, Superman II, The Harry Potter movies. These work because they were intended from the beginning. The second kind are sequels which were never intended, but they work because enough care is put into it so the product is a decent follow up (Back to the Future II & III for example) and possibly even surpasses expectations, turning out better than the original (Terminator II, Star Trek II).

The third kind are the kind I want to talk about today. The Hollywood sequel, where the is no reason for it except the fact that the original made money and is usually a horrible insult to the first movie. I could be here all day listing all the types of these that have come out over the years, but instead I want to share five specific films which I especially felt were just unnecessary and god awful to show the different ways Hollywood botches sequels.

Miss Congeniality II

This movie is terrible, but it does something that just drives me crazy! In order for it to work as a sequel it retcons the end of the first movie! One of the things in the first movie was the fact that Sandra Bullock's character liked Benjamin Bratt's and vice versa. They had a cute little chemistry together. The whole movie has them, specifically him, refusing to admit it. Then in the end when the criminal has been caught the two finally get together and everything is happy. Until the sequel, and since having the two together would not make an interesting story, what do they do? They have him break up with her...OVER THE PHONE! I mean, what a slap in the face to the original ending! Of course this has happened in countless other sequels, but this one really bugged me. Oh, and the rest of the movie sucked to.

August 5, 2013

Sitcom Face Off-Bewitched vs Sabrina, The Teenage Witch

Welcome back to sitcom face off! Got something very special today as we take a look at two magical comedies!

First of all, thanks to Moviefan12 for suggesting this one. As a kid I loved getting up on days off and watching reruns of Bewitched. Years later, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch became one of my favorite shows on TGIF. They are both about witches dealing with the real world, but in the end which series was better? The classic or the more contemprary show? By the way, Sabrina started as a comic book and as been a movie, video game, and a cartoon series, but today we are only focusing on the Melissa Joan Hart series.

August 4, 2013

My Next Top 10 Biggest Blunders from My Last 100+ Blogs

At the very start of the year I did a blog discussing past mistakes I had made. Since then I have done over a hundred blogs which have been perfect with absolutely no mistakes in any of them

Yeah, right...let's take a look at some more mistakes I've made this year. Like last time most of these come from comments after the article posted.

#10 Spelling and Grammar Errors

If you read my stuff this one should come as no surprise. I use Word which has a spellcheck and I do try to proofread, and yet spelling errors still pop into my articles. What are worst is when I make grammar errors. Like saying Now when I mean KNOW. That is grammar school stuff, I realize, but these mistakes keep popping up. When I was working on the crossover with MovieFan12 I had to correct a couple of bad typing errors and omitted words. And in my collab with Atreyu I made at least two errors inclduing calling Gulliver's Travels Gulliver Island for some reason, I guess it sounds a little like Gilligan's Island. I feel bad when I have to make others correct my work.