Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shortlived: Quark

Quark was probably the first show I remember learning the harsh reality of something getting cancelled, I remember loving the series, my family never missed an episode and then phhhhhht! it was gone.

It was kind of gone from memory too, in college I remember people trying desperately to remember the show's title.

While it's not uncommon for Science Fiction based sitcoms to get cancelled, much of which is mercy killing, however Quark was from Buck Henry, the same man who turned the spy genre into gold with Get Smart.

Quark is about a man named Adam Quark, who pilots an interstellar garbage truck with a crew consisting of a plant being who is dryer than Mr Spock, a he-she (played by Tim Thomerson), two cloned bombshells and a cowardly robot.

The show still has some great appeal to this day, thanks to many of the laughs coming from the characters themselves and not the situations.

For once, the DVD Gods have smiled upon us and actually released this shortlived series for under $20. I wonder if those same Gods could do me a solid and release "Delta House" as well? I'm willing to conduct a few sacrafices.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spin Offs: Gloria

All in the Family spawned some great spin off series in it's hey day but this is not one of them.

Gloria is all about, you guessed it, a newly seperated Gloria Bunker working at Veterinary hospital with veteran actor Burgess Meredith. Archie made a brief appearance in the pilot (his show was circling the drain by this point as well)

Audiences didn't seem to care too much for the adventures of Archie Bunker's little "goil" and CBS sent Sally Struthers packing after a single season

If actor Lou Richards seems familiar, he should, while he never seemed to catch a break with his own show, he appeared in absolutely EVERYTHING on television, starting with Logan's Run (a great episode called "The Innocent"), guest starring on all the top sitcoms like Diff'rent Strokes, was recurring on "She's the Sherriff" and was even the voice of Flash Gordon and "Leader 1" from the Go Bots.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Britcoms: The IT Crowd

If you haven't already discovered the brilliant series, I insist you seek it out (In the US IFC runs it and you can see the shows here)

The show is insanely funny, while it's premise is the IT department of a large company it's rarely about computers and more about the odd people that make up said department. The show's strength (for me) is that it's never afraid to sprinkle in the surreal for a laugh.

Topics covered involved crippling foot injuries in the name of fashion, German cannibals, Goths, using handicapped toilets, Gay musicals and of course, going on a date with a little bit of shit on your forehead.

This is my new favourite show.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What the hell Jack Tripper?

One of the things I never liked about Three's Company was the treatment of Lana.
I can remember being 14 years old watching Jack run away from hot to trot neighbour Lana Shields with his tail between his legs and thinking "are you high?" The man was throwing away quality goods!
Sure, I was going through puberty at the time but I'm 38 now and I'd still totally get on that bus.

I always imagined that Larry and Lana hooked up a bunch of times, I betcha there's some fan fiction somewhere. There's fan fiction for everything these days...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Merch: The Golden Girls Dolls

Aggghhhhh! Make it go away!
I can't remember how I found these and have no idea if they are real but here are the most frightening pieces of sitcom merchandising I have ever seen. As much I do enjoy my "man dolls", a Bea Arthur action figure is so very, very wrong.

Man, I ain't sleeping tonight....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Merch: Love Boat Barber Shop

As anyone who visits Plaidstallions would know, I really like Rack Toys. That's because most of them are stupid and I never seem to tire of pointing that out.

It's easy humour and I'm a laaaaaaazzzzeeee man.

Case in point, the Love Boat Barber Shop, I'm sure that the Love Boat had a barber shop but I honestly doubt we ever saw, say, Gordon Jump getting a shave. So this is another case of a Rack Toy manufacturer ( Fleetwood in this case, who usually made quality) simply slapping a logo on cheap crap and heading off to the bar for 5 "old fashions" before driving home...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Red Dwarf : The Failed US Pilot Part 1

As a lover of the Britcom "Red Darf" I was excited to hear of a US pilot being shot in the early 90s. The writing on the original show was so snappy, all the Americans had to do was rejigger a few things for a US audience and they had a home run, right?

Well, somehow, it was a swing and a miss. They rewrote far too much and the US cast didn't seem to click.

I love Jane Leeves as Holly (although I'm sure she's happy she did that whole "Frasier" thing instead) and well, that is Kryton. Maybe Lister is too handsome, Rimmer isn't nobby enough, there is something missing.

What's sad is, this isn't the last attempt, it gets worse.....

Friday, January 9, 2009

Facts of Life Minisode: Dope

When the local Christian channel started playings reruns of "Facts of Life" a few years back, my wife subjected me to the entire series run twice. It's an amazing journey, I assure you, by the end you just want the series to die.

I'd have preferred in this "Minisode" format much better, here is one of my favorites from the "Pre-Jo" era, where the girls encounter the horrors of marijuana!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Merch: Small Wonder Halloween Costume

Dear sweet lord, whoever thought this up should be beaten by the many girls (and possibly the few fellas) who were forced to wear it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Spin Offs: Flo

Saucy ol' waitress Flo memerized a nation with her zesty catch phrase "Kiss my Grits" during her tenure on "Alice", so it was a natural for CBS execs to give her own show (Because ABC had hit so much ratings gold with "Fish" and "The Ropers"). Oddly, she was replaced on Alice by Diane Ladd, who had played Flo in the movie. This is like taking Loretta Switt from M*A*S*H and replacing her with Sally Kellerman.

I can't find the original opening to Flo so I just nabbed the scene where she left "Alice", it's better than me singing the theme song (I remember it well).

Flo's series involved her opening a road house type bar in Texas called "The Yellow Rose". Originally a mid season show, (That I faithfully watched) the show tanked when it returned to the fall CBS line up.

For more info on Flo check out this site.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Animated: Fonz and the Happy Days Gang

I am filled with shame to admit this but I loved this show when I was 11, never missed it and I enjoyed the antics of Mr. Cool, Fonzie's dog. I don't know that person anymore.

I flirted with getting these shows on dvd for my kids (they're not officially available but I know a guy...) but then realized my children have no concept of the Fonz or the fifties so this would likely be a failed experiment.