Saturday, April 25, 2009

RIP Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur has left this earth today and that makes me sad. I always liked her, she's never not been on TV in my lifetime, a hell of a good actress and a good sport too.

She gave us Maude, Amanda, Dorothy, a great stint on Futurama and of course, she gave us, this, the worst musical number this side of Shatner. We don't blame you Bea, nobody got out of this turd smelling good.

Goodbye Bea, you will be dearly missed and most certainly, never replaced.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Animated: New Adventures of Gilligan

Like any 70s kid, I had seen at least 100 straight hours of Gilligan's Island before I was out of diapers and I liked it! Fond memories prevailed for this Filmation animated series as well, which starred much (if not all, I'm too lazy to imdb it) of the original cast. This was part of the line up on Channel 7's Commander Tom show growing up, I get all fuzzy just thinking about ol' Commander Tom.

So as an adult, I managed to track down some copies of this on the insidious black market, where a one eyed man traded them to me in exchange for some copper wiring, a barrel of wash and four bald tires.

We simply must create a word or term that represents the feeling you get when you watch something you loved as a child and realize it's complete shit as an adult. Something like "Crappogutpunchnausea" but not so flowery.

I've put this DVD on for my kids on rainy days when I need to go lay down (sweet lady gin is a harsh mistress) and it can't hold their attention for more than ten minutes. God, even "Drac Pack" or "Robonic Stooges" gets them for an hour or so.

I know the next time I go to the black market, I'll likely buy those "Gilligan's Planet" DVDs but the realization won't be so hard this time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reunions: Still the Beaver

Meh, I love the original Leave it to Beaver and have mined it for it's weird humour, both unintentional and intentional, for over 20 years of lunch time reruns. I was really non plussed at this drab TV movie (and subsequent series) mostly because, it had such a depressing air about it.

First off, Beaver's kind of a loser and it's sad to see such a cute kid become well, that guy. Secondly, Hugh Beaumont is dead, so why bother? Thirdly, Larry Mondello is some cult member or something, a complete weirdo. It kind of robbed you of the "and they lived happily ever after" vibe you got from the original show. Adulthood sucks, we get it.

This SCTV parody of the Beaver reunion filmed years earlier is eerily similiar, right down to the genius casting of John Candy as the Beav....

Monday, April 20, 2009

What a Difference a Little Music Makes

Swiped this from my pal (and co-author) Joal Ryan's Blog Former Child Star Central , it's so interesting that if you replace the peppy Allan Thicke penned theme song with a little atmospheric music and Mr Drummond goes from gentle, loving, surrogate father to a horrible monster who should burn in hell.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Animated: Bob & Doug

Anyone who knows me, knows that I grew up on SCTV and remain somewhat obsessed with it to a fault. So it's no surprise that I was excited to hear that Global TV is airing an animated "Bob and Doug" pilot tomorrow based on the two men that made "eh" famous and noticable to all you hilarious Americans who have pointed it to me over the past two decades. Getting off topic, I also love the discussion where you tell me one American dollar can buy a car in Canada. You guys kill me, you really do...

To be honest, I was really a bit reserved, this is 25 years after Strange Brew killed "Hosermania" ( it should be co-packed with "Brain Candy") and well, I worried it was going to be another failed attempt to recapture past glory like "Blues Brothers 2000" or "Coneheads" (Man, I'm sticking it to Dan Ackroyd today) but I'm more encouraged by this preview I found at Quick Stop.

While the show is cheapie flash animation, it also seems to have a bit of a weird edge to it that I'm happy to see. One of my big complaints about "Chilly Beach" was that it was terribly bland and yet proclaiming itself proudly Canadian, so we need a little Bob and Doug to change set things straight.

Here's hoping!

Watch Bob and Doug on Global TV Tomorrow...

Update: I don't know why the embed feature doesn't work on this but here is a link to the page.

Secondly, I saw the show and did enjoy it, it's pretty fast paced and has a large cast of quirky characters surround the boys so the series isn't just relying on 25 year old catch phrases. I don't think last night's episode was a great premier show as it didn't really introduce the characters all that well.

Doug has always been my favourite brother, mostly because Dave Thomas plays as such a weird, borderline abusive guy. The scene where he had to go through "Janitor Hazing" was a real highlight.

If I had to compare it to something, I'd say the Critic, it's got a lot of wit and seems to love movie parodying and I think it will have the same life span. I liked it better than "Shut Up, Sit Down" which also premiered last night. That surprised me considering the amount of talent behind that series.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reviews: Surviving Suburbia

God help me, there is nothing on. I know that because I haven't missed an episode of Surviving Suburbia, the new Bob Saget sitcom. Now, I'm not one to judge Saget for his years of selling out on Full House and America's Funniest Home videos because he'll no doubt pay for that in the after life. I know him to be a pretty damn funny comic and an especially great radio show guest on stuff like "Opie and Anthony". My ears just don't perk up with the words "Bob Saget Sitcom", that's all.

"Surviving Suburbia" is about Saget, a man with an especially "Muppety voiced*" wife (Cynthia Stevens, I hated her character on "Dead Like Me" so I'm kind of tainted) and two kids, a kind of slacker son and especially precocious daughter. They live in some sort of "prim and proper" kind of neighbourhood, the place you wouldn't want to live in but probably do if you really thought about it.

Saget's character is supposed to be the neighbourhood douchebag and that's the trouble with this show, he's becoming less and less of one.

I don't blame Saget for it, he has it in him, I blame network TV, somehow the concept seems a bit watered down so the character is real likable. I'm sure in some places it's quite shocking to come home from work with a beer on your breath but not where I live, my neighbour does it every day, trust me, I see him when I go to the bar every afternoon.

All in all, the show needs to amp up the "cringe factor" in order to make it succesful, otherwise this show will be a dinosaur.

In this past week's episode Saget mistakenly refers to his daughter's teacher as pregnant when it turns out she just has a belly, good stuff but far funnier when Brian Cranston did it on "Malcom in the Middle", a show that truly understood the words "Cringe" and "neighbourhood douchebag".

I'm off to steal lawn ornaments..

(* "Muppety Voiced" is Patent Pending)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Merch: Fonzie Kite Book

Wow, it doesn't get much weirder than this thing. Bike Safety, I get that but why is Fonzie teaching anybody about Kite Safety? I mean, how many deaths a year come from Kite accidents in the first place? Can't we just accept that if you die in a Kite accident, you weren't meant for this world and you'd probably have died in some sort of vending machine incident anyway.

I think the thing that I really like about this is the cover, Fonzie and Richie are gleefully frollicking in a park while an open shirted Tom Bosley smilingly approves. If my son and a 20 something drifter are flying a kite on their weekends and invited me to watch, I think I'd have a more confused look on my face.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reunions: The Munster's Revenge

Having caught the tail end of "Monster Mania" in the 70s and being a fan of the original Munsters, I was pretty psyched to see this 1981 TV movie reunion. Overall, it was a pretty good affair, the cast still looked good and the chemistry was there. Eddie and Marylin were recast, I am not sure why.

The thing that I think dampened the experience is the comic book plot involving Wax Museum Robots of Herman and Grandpa (and other Universal Monsters) committing crimes for the evil Dr. Diablo. The Munsters was a "fish out of water" comedy that was funnier when Herman and Grandpa were in the real world, IMO. Still, it was nice to see them together in their prime and as TV reunions go (if you include the "Halloween with the new Addams Family" and "Still the Beaver") it's a win.

This was not the last time the Munsters were seen on TV, it's been back more times than Dracula or Frankenstein themselves, never better than the original however. I somehow doubt the new Wayans Brothers version is going to erase Fred Gwynne from anybody's mind either.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Movies: Holiday on the Buses

I was born and raised on the British classic series "On the Buses", so in my teens when I discovered that Hammer (yeah, the Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing people) had made feature films based on the adventures of Jack and Stan, I was so there.

The movies are a little different though, firstly for some reason Stan's sister Olive and her husband Arthur have a kid (?) which isn't present on the series but more importantly, there's lots of BOOBIES! Even this clip has brief nudity (so it's probablt NSFW), that kind of gave the series a newer, saltier dimension. It was like Benny Hill was directing.

The On The Buses movies are pretty fun in a "goofy time wasting kind of way" which I think is highly underrated. I was make a comment that it's weird now to see a movie on something running on TV but I paid to see "The Simpson's" movie two summers ago.....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mork, what's wrong with you?

I'm pretty sure this episode ruined Mork and Mindy for me forever, not when it originally aired as I was eight and girls were icky, but in reruns, during my mid teens. I mean, get in the mother &$cking hot tub you idiot!

I'm not ashamed to admit that I still have this dream occasionally and I don't care if Mork did have a delicious Pam Dawber waiting for him at home, she'd understand.

I've been married 11 years, and if I got abducted by space hotties lead by a Raquel Welch in her prime, I'd get a pass.

Shameless Plug: Over at the Plaidstallions Blog, I'm showing a vintage commercial for the Mattel Mork and Mindy Toys. I mock the show now but as a kid I really wanted that Mork and Eggship....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

IT Crowd Season One on DVD

I am overjoyed to discover that I can finally watch the brilliant series, "The IT Crowd" on DVD and not in terrible PAL torrents I've often downloaded. If you are a fan of well written shows that aren't afraid to be surreal at times then i urge you to go and do.

I also noticed you can get Season 1 and 2 of Mr Belvedere at Amazon, however hitting yourself in the face with a hammer is a lot cheaper and pretty much produces the same effect IMO.
OK, it wasn't that bad a show...

Depressing signs that evil is afoot

"According to Jim" has returned to air waves, yep, you read that right. Decent shows get cancelled but there are enough alcoholics and lonely people, who don't care what they're watching as long the TV is blaring, to keep this fecal matter on a major network.

I've tried to watch "ATJ" (i'm sure somebody calls it that, I hate you ) on several occasions and it's gawdawful torture, just 30 straight frigging minutes of sorrow and sadness. I cannot comprehend anyone who enjoys this, these same people must applaud at toilets flushing.

This kind of safe, laughless compost is exactly what is killing network TV.

Oh and I'm sure I have the rest of my life to see it on the Family channel, where it will get another season no doubt.