Our blog series Don’t Miss This Episode takes you in to the standout episodes of your favorite shows.
Who in their right mind would set about trying to pinpoint the most unmissable Saturday Night Live? What deranged mind could possibly sift through thirty-seven seasons’ worth of episodes, searching for the best of the best? Internet, meet moi. I am said crazy individual–well, me and these guys. And maybe these ones, too. Whatever. They are my brethren and this is my quest. Continue reading →
Last October, show runner Graham Linehan announced the cancellation of British geek-friendly comedy The I.T. Crowd after only four seasons (man, those Brits need to learn to milk their shows until they run themselves into the ground like we do). Although The I.T. Crowd was slated for a fifth season to start production this year, it seems that Linehan himself has opted to cease the show’s run, but promises an extended special in 2012. Continue reading →
I shudder to think of how many of my hipster, microbrewery-frequenting, bespectacled Portland brethren are going to go out and ironically buy this new book they’ve got cooking up. You see, folks, the good people behind the IFC’s Portlandia are not content to lovingly (and accurately) spoof my city week-in and week-out. Continue reading →
Always been curious about a particular TV show but don’t really know how best to start? Let our Series Primer show you the way!
Two years ago, my then-boyfriend of five years and I were celebrating my birthday. What did he get me, you might ask? Not a necklace, not perfume, not tickets to Hawaii…he bought me the complete collection of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Which just goes to show you, after five years you really do get to know someone. Continue reading →
Those of us who grew up during the 90’s know what a powerful beast 90’s nostalgia can be. If it could be harnessed, the energy crisis would be over. If it could be monetized, we would cure the recession. If it could be weaponized, the United States would have achieved universal domination. What I’m trying to say is, we’re pretty darn nostalgic.
Children of the 90’s range from college-age adults to those in their 30’s who believe they grew up during the heyday of children’s programming. They (or should I say “we”) often don un-ironic cartoon graphic Tees and talk about Pogs. We may not have had fancy Avatar technology, but we were happy with the crappy graphics of Stick Stickly. And we get to a 3-beers level of excitement when we hear something like this:
That’s why, when I stumbled upon Teen Nick’s “The 90’s Are All That” line-up while flipping through channels, I nearly fell out of my seat. Every midnight, Nick starts an episode of old-school sketch show All That followed by a veritable nostalgia bomb.
Nickelodeon is responsible for a large portion of the 90’s madness, as it is widely acknowledged that this was the network’s golden years. Nickelodeon knows it too. Take a look at the “About” blurb on the 90’s Are All That web site:
Image source: http://90sareallthat.teennick.com/
Now, if that doesn’t hit the nail on the head, I don’t know what does. The blurb, practically translated, states something along the lines of:
“Hey young adults! We know you are most likely unemployed in this economy, and watching TV at midnight on a weekday. Either that, or you are under the influence of some legal or illegal substance. You are at that time in life where you have become disenchanted with the harsh reality of the real, adult world. Don’t you wish you could relive the simpler days? Just watch our shows and follow us on Twitter, and we’ll tell you everything is okay!”
And who could blame them? Kenan Thompson’s “Pierre Escargot” character on All That is better than anything he played on SNL. (Side note: I really hope this is a meme.)
Image source: thosewerethe90s.tumblr.com
Here’s a look at some of their programming:
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Kenan & Kel
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Clarissa Explains it All
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And more. Plus, they’ve got a really hip Tumblr. (I swear, I’m not being paid by Nick, I just really like cartoons.) So if you’re up late at night, you don’t have to stare endlessly at this site as I’ve been doing. You can totally remember when “life didn’t suck.”
Now that we’ve got Ricky Martin’s gyrations on Glee sort of out of our system (they should invent some sort of celebrity cleansing diet for that–I’m thinking something along the lines of the dreaded cabbage soup diet, except this one is called Ricky B Gone), it’s time to turn our eyes forward, ever forward, to the rest of the (fairly impressive) celebrity guest lineup for February’s television programming. Here are a few of my personal favorites: Continue reading →
It’s easy to hand out titles like “best show on television,” but a title is just a meaningless collection of words unless you can back it up with some evidence. In Best of the Best we pick the five best episodes of the finest shows on television to give you an example of what makes them so special.
If you were within earshot of a Communityfan when the show was put on hiatus by NBC, then you’ve probably already heard about how creative, original and streets ahead this comedy is. Community is a TV show about TV shows for TV fanatics like us.
Contemporary American Poultry
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be in a Mafia movie.” – Abed
In an effort to keep his friends flush with chicken fingers, Abed gets a job at the school cafeteria. It’s not long before Abed’s kickbacks to his friends spiral into an underground chicken finger racket in the style of Goodfellas. Underneath all this lampooning is a great character story about what happens to the group when someone other than Jeff is calling the shots.
“Accidents don’t just happen over and over and over again, this isn’t budget daycare.” – Annie
Annie’s pen goes missing and it turns into one of the most frantic witch hunts ever televised. With nowhere to go and nobody else to accuse but one another, this character driven episode shows the characters getting raw and naked—literally. The episode ends with the gang forgetting about the pen and the audience finding out that Troy’s monkey was the culprit all along.
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
“This is why I wanted to play Chutes and Ladders.” – Troy
The gang plays a game of Dungeons and Dragons with a suicidal classmate in order to cheer him up, but Pierce crashes the party to punish his friends for excluding him. What follows is an epic tale of good versus evil that takes place entirely in the viewer’s imagination. Except for that haunting image of Chang looking as stealthy as a B-2 bomber in dark elf makeup– that’s something we could never imagine.
“I thought it was paint but I’m just bleeding. Talk about luck!” – Jeff
Jeff takes a nap before a game of paintball assassin and wakes up to find himself in a warzone covered in paint. This episode had the monumental feat of riffing on every action movie under the sun, while also breaking the will-they, won’t-they tension between Britta and Jeff by having them hook up.
Advanced Chaos Theory
“This is the darkest timeline.” – Abed
Only Community could deliver seven different alternate timelines in one episode. With the simple roll of a die, we get to see what Troy and Abed’s housewarming party would be like under different circumstances. Some of the results are grim, while others hint at things to come—but the final result is driven by choice, not fate, and ends with a happy gathering of friends.
I have long thought of Will Ferrell and Nebraska in the same way. They are pleasant and funny and are, on occasion, corn-y (ha ha). But no more, America. Will Ferrell has struck a singular blow against the rest of the country by appearing in a Superbowl ad that seems to only have been aired in certain parts of Nebraska, Terre Haute, Indiana and Davenport, Iowa. Continue reading →
There’s this old piece of advice in the film, television, and theatrical world: never work with children or animals. Despite this, some shows just can’t help but write pets into the cast. Now, we’re not talking about animals that happen to be a lead character (i.e. Scooby Doo, Wishbone) but full on pets that support their human companions, stand by their side in times of need, and provide much needed cute relief. Continue reading →
Movie stars get all the credit. They’re right up there with rock stars and astronauts as far as dream jobs go. Last week I mentioned the shift of movie stars to the small screen, but what does that mean for TV stars? Are they going to get bumped down in the shuffle, or will they maintain their place in our hearts as our tried-and-true weekly personalities?
To honor the traditional TV star, I thought I’d take a look at one of the TV-iest of actors, Johnny Galecki. You may know Johnny Galecki as Leonard from The Big Bang Theory, with his squinty eyes, thick glasses, and scientific know-how.
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But before he was the genius that could land the hot chick, Galecki played David Healy on the aforementioned Roseanne (the secret guilty pleasure of Whedon-ites, as this was one of Joss’s first writing gigs). Let’s take a look at where David’s come.
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David was always a soft-spoken, intelligent type, unlike his rebellious older brother, Mark. It’s not a total stretch from that to Leonard, a bright theoretical physicist, but Leonard is obviously more left-brained. David certainly wasn’t as much of a goody two-shoe, particularly because of his troubled home life, so he’s smart but not as academic as his alternate character. Though to be fair, Leonard’s IQ might be related to his very different upbringing.
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David was an artistic character who illustrated Darlene’s graphic novels, so naturally he was a comic book fan. There’s no sign that Leonard is artistic (I imagine he is anything but), but there’s plenty of evidence of his comic-book culture obsession. Even though Leonard scores lowest on the Big Bang Theory geek scale, he lives in a world where geek is chic. Thick glasses are ironically cool. Superhero T-shirts are worn by attractive women. There’s a comic book shop next to a Starbucks on every block. David comes from the 90’s, where nerds were properly ashamed.
Image source: Ispyafamousface.tumblr.com
David and Leonard both have the on-again-off-again relationship curse. David and Roseanne’s on-show daughter, Darlene, had one of the most engaging off-beat romances in sitcom history. Leonard’s on-again-off-again relationship with resident hot girl Penny was also the main obligatory drama through Big Bang Theory’s earlier seasons. David might win this round though; he got Darlene pregnant and subsequently married her. Teen pregnancy isn’t ideal, but come on, Leonard would settle for that with his track record.
As for the loving David, he just can’t seem to stay away from Darlene, even when he and she are playing a different character.