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 →
In the ‘80s, camp was king and its empire touched most everything. Some 22 years later, a decade’s worth of camp has since transformed into creepy YouTube fodder – and children’s shows are no exception.
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Let’s start with the obvious: ALF eats cats. That’s pretty freaking weird. Wanna get a whole lot weirder? ALF is an alien from the planet Melmac. To make matters even stranger, he somehow crash-landed in suburban Los Angeles and took up residence in the garage of the Tanner family. Dad plays the skeptical antagonist, who regards ALF more like a deadbeat stepson than a feline-hungry Alien Life Form.
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Kids are creepy enough on their own. So what happens when an already creepy-looking kid transforms into an even creepier robot? That’s precisely what Ted Lawson, robotics engineer and Lawson family patriarch, set out to find when he created the robot-child V.I.C.I (Voice Input Child Indenticant – pronounced Vicki). Sure, she almost looks like a regular nine-year-old child, maybe if you squint your eyes and forget about the AC outlet in her arm. While you’re at it, you should also dismiss her super human strength, the access panel in her back, and her failed attempts to learn human behavior.
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Maybe it’s just me but I’ve always found Ben Vereen to be kind of disturbing. He’s just… too happy. Put him in a prosthetic animal nose and a two-bit costume from the original Broadway production of Cats? Wowzers. The rest of the lesser-known actors who comprise the cast are truly the stuff of nightmares. They sing, they dance, and they frolic, all the while wearing greasy face paint and fuzzy polyester wigs. Truly terrifying.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
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Four words: old dude with puppets. All he’s missing is some licorice candy in his pocket and he’d be a full-on creeper. Oh, and what’s with his flat, off key singing? And who’s operating the train set? And how does Mr. Rogers’ own an entire neighborhood? And, on that note, what does he do for a living? It is important questions like these, I fear, that just might follow me to the grave.
Bozo the Clown
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Surely the creators of The Simpsons’ character Krustee the Clown had to draw at least a little inspiration from Bozo the Clown. Not only does he look like a guy that probably has some real “sad clown” issues going on, but he is also pretty sketchy-looking. I will concede that I have a bit of a bias against white clown makeup. For starters, it made Bozo’s teeth look super yellow. It also made his eyes appear bloodshot, which would lead most logical people to question his activities prior to taping. Personally, I’d like to see Bozo touch his shiny clown nose and walk a straight line.
Yesterday, fellow Infinity Dish writer Bailey delivered the disheartening news that an admittedly entertaining viral video will be transformed into its own television series. What makes the announcement so disappointing isn’t the fact that it will probably turn out to be a terrible show, but because there are so many other Internet viral videos that are more deserving of their own TV show.
At least, that’s what I intended to prove. I wanted to call this article, “10 Viral Videos that Deserve a TV Show,” or maybe even drop the number to 5, but I had trouble finding viral videos to even make it up to 3 solid show ideas.
There are plenty of viral videos, but most of them can’t really be upgraded into a fully fleshed-out 30 minute series. As much as I’d love to include more viral videos on the list, I’m not sure if a show dedicated entirely to kittens, laughing babies, or Big Dog would really make for good television.
Guy Dancing on a Hill does deserve his own show, but the focus wouldn’t be on dancing. The video’s got dancing, yeah, but that’s not the point of the video. What makes the video so appealing is that this one random dude is doing some completely bizarre thing and is clearly loving every minute of it. Through the sheer force of his wiggly charisma, he persuades a bunch of other strangers to jump in a join him.
Guy Dancing on a Hill could act as a host or the primary actor in a bunch of flash mob-esque skits wherein he tries to get the public to join him in acts of goofy yet warm and fuzzy celebration. We’ve already seen that flash mob videos are pretty popular, so it’s really surprising that there isn’t a prominent show that does nothing but flash mob skits. Throw in a couple cameos from the free hugs guy and you have yourself a feel-good, quirky show that’s all about showing people that everyday life can be fun and exciting.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? has already proven just how popular comedy improv can be. Merton’s unique spin on comedy improv is probably interesting enough to warrant his own show, provided he gets enough help. Give him a couple of vocalists, musicians, and like-minded folk to sing jokes at strangers, and you’ve got 22.5 minutes of daily entertainment.
Depending on the network, it could go in a bunch of different directions. It could take a sort of Comedy Central roast vibe full of sharp-witted humor, or it could be much more light-hearted with a family-style humor. Between the improv music, the comedy, and people giggling as strangers make jokes about them, it’s sure to get some followers.
1. Randy Pausch
As a CMU graduate, I can’t help but add Randy Pausch to the list. Putting obvious bias aside, Pausch’s place on this list is well deserved.
Unfortunately, Randy Pausch died in 2008, but that doesn’t make him any less worthy of his own show. Perhaps somebody can follow in his footsteps and make a television show that honestly attempts to be profound, and not in an ironic way.
Putting aside the popularity of the video, the website TED has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that profound speeches can be popular. TV is all about quick editing, drama, and action, and we usually don’t see people get serious until after the climactic moment of the show when the characters can open up a little bit.
Would it really be that big of a deal to make just one, single, solitary non-documentary show that’s all about the profound truths of life? Maybe it wouldn’t have killer ratings, but having famous and emotionally charged speakers talk about life, death, and happiness might actually be worth watching.
Runner Up: Double Rainbow Guy
Personally, I think that Double Rainbow Guy’s over-the-top enthusiasm would be preferable to Honey Badger’s effeminate pseudo-freak outs, but that’s all just a matter of taste.
If this viral video were turned into a television series, it’d probably be like the Planet Earth series, but replace Sigourney Weaver with this lovable nature fanatic who probably couldn’t pass a drug test if his life depended on it.
Welcome to 2012 with the return of many of your favorite shows coming back for another season. Amongst many of our returning favorites are several competition shows, several of which revolve entirely around singing abilities. Watching talent competitions has long been a favorite amongst television viewers, but for some reason, we particularly enjoy watching others sing, or attempt to sing, and marvel when an unlikely contestant approaches the mic and stuns us with their vocal ability.
This year, starting in January, we see the return of “The Voice” on NBC, where judges such as Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5′s Adam Levine encourage singers on their “team” to out-sing the others. Some viewers have enjoyed taking jabs at Christina Aguilera’s weight struggles including observations from fellow celebrities such as Kelly Osbourne. Maybe in 2012 we’ll see Aguilera join the celebrity weight-loss band wagon and choose from a variety of celebrity diet trends. Aguilera’s choices in outfits were often discussed more than the singing last season as she seemed to go through a phase of neglecting pants in lieu of leggings and stockings of every kind. Aguilera and Levine also had a fair share of feisty arguments and it seemed sometimes as if they were minutes away from name-calling. No matter how good the singers on the show were, viewers realized in the back of their mind that Christina could always blow them away with her unbeatable vocals.
What would the year be without another season of “American Idol”? I don’t know where most of the past winners have ended up after the season has ended and their debut album hit stores. It almost seems as though the objective of the show is less about finding another hit recording artist and more about gaining viewers to watch embarrassing auditions and hear new renditions of our favorite old songs. Steven Tyler as a judge still makes me uncomfortable. I feel as though he’s leering at female contestants through squinty eyes like he’s picturing them on a set of a music video of his own in days gone by. He’s looking more and more like an elderly old lady, the kind who sells home-made dream catchers in her backyard. I don’t know that I’d necessarily feel all that flattered to have Steven Tyler make up some fantastical description on how my singing made him feel tingly and he saw the stars in the heavens when I sang the chorus. More likely just awkward.
“The Sing Off” on NBC is slightly different from other singing competitions as it features A-Capella groups who are hoping to make a name for themselves versus one singer who seeks fame. The hosts aren’t as memorable but many of the past groups have really wowed us as several all-male or all-female groups have taken hip hop classics and turned them around to soothing and thoughtful ballads.
Other talent competitions such as “X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent” also feature countless singers including children, opera hopefuls, and show tune enthusiasts, so there is certainly no shortage of options this year to see who has staying power.