Posts filed under 'Vintage'

Series Finale: Chung chung!

Did y’all forget in your Lost-mania that the veritable TV institution that is Law & Order is also ending? Tonight, in fact! Yes, the cruel hacks at NBC have bumped our beloved cops-and-lawyers procedural off the air after 20 years, just one season short of the record set by Gunsmoke. Fun fact: Law & Order debuted six months after my youngest brother was born. That’s not really relevant to anything, but I do tend to measure time with his life. Like the time he mentioned how awesome “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is and I was compelled to yell that he was FOUR, GODDAMMIT, FOUR when Kurt Cobain died. For another angle, S. Epatha Merkerson has been playing Lt. Van Buren since your precious mindfucker J.J. Abrams was working with Jim Belushi. And now it is ALL NO MORE. Sob.

We're gonna get you, Dick Wolf.

My favorite period of the show is the Lennie Briscoe–Benjamin Bratt–Angie Harmon stretch, which happened to coincide with my high school years. (Yes, I know his name is Jerry Orbach. I saw him at Daily Soup once. It was the highlight of my early years in New York.) But I also really enjoyed the Jesse L. Martin years, although you could have fooled me that he was on the show so long. Seriously, ten years?! That’s one of the many great things about Law & Order; thanks to the city’s tax subsidies, the show gave literally hundreds of New York theater actors a way to earn a more comfortable living and still do stuff like Hedwig and the Angry Inch off-Broadway. Ha! I was right! I actually guessed that!

Further: I never really cared for Dennis Farina and I missed the whole “Is this because I’m a lesbian” WTFery altogether. But lately I’ve become engrossed in what I think is a late-period renaissance. They’ve been doing some extremely satisfying headline-ripping for the past couple seasons, Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson are wonderful as Lupo and Bernard, and I just love Linus Roache’s cute, pinchy little face and the way he gets all shirty about Constitutional issues. The show also gave us this frigging EPIC discourse on Center Stage, which cross-references all the grown-up actors with their episodes of Law & Order, from Original Recipe to Criminal Intent. I kind of wish they’d do the same thing with Can’t Hardly Wait and Six Feet Under.

I was also Batman's dad. Yeah, Linus, I know. Tell Christian Bale to call me, will you?

Even though the reruns are on TNT, well, all of the time, I am quite sad that Law & Order is coming to an end, and for such a crap reason as, pick one: Dick Wolf didn’t want to cut his fee, the cast is too expensive (I find that difficult to believe), or NBC wants to concentrate on launching Law & Order: Los Angeles. Those are all dumb reasons, and are great examples of the skid toward crappiness that the Peacock network has been on these past few years. That’s the subject of another rant, but for now suffice to say that I am very disappointed and I will miss Law & Order so, so much. And not just for the possibility of seeing famous people in my neighborhood. Although that time I saw Chris Noth on University Place was AWESOME and really impressed my mom when I called her ten seconds later. Farewell, cops who are a little handsy with civil liberties, righteously indignant ADAs, smarmy defense lawyers, and crotchety old DAs. I will see you in the reruns. Chung chung!

ETA: Also! Olympic champion and outspoken Law & Order fanatic Lindsey Vonn makes a special appearance on tonight’s (er, right now’s) episode. Look at this! How effing cute is that?! I have held a Vancouver Olympic medal (it was Seth Wescott‘s) and Sisto and Anderson look as excited as I was. Dammit, I love everything about this show.

2 comments May 24th, 2010

The Muppets: It’s not easy being patriotic

I can’t believe Stephen Colbert hasn’t weighed in on this terribly important, patriotic example of awesomeness yet.

Maybe the bear is bothering him.

Related: The New York Times knows what’s up. If Disney is smart they will relaunch The Muppet Show, because the world needs the Muppets more than ever.

September 22nd, 2008

Giveaway: The X-Files Revelations

xfiles.jpgIt’s 1994. You’re at your parents’ house in the suburbs. You’re in your room. You’re wearing black sweatpants.

Surprise — you’re me.

Yes, I spent many a year as a pudgy, bespectacled homebody who spent his days trying to avoid being noticed in PE and spent his nights slinging pizzas at Papa John’s. However, on Friday nights, my time was reserved for The X-Files — Chris Carter’s sci-fi masterwork featuring the skeptic versus the believer.

Friday nights have always been a revered time for nerds. I’m sure the TV bloggers of 2025 will be writing about how they stayed at home to watch Battlestar Galactica. And now, I’m honored to be able to extend my nerd legacy by hosting an X-Files giveaway on my TV blog. Yes — I may have acquired Lasik surgery and a jogging regimen, but you can’t hide the nerd underneath.

We’re giving away The X-Files: Revelations. It’s a two-disc compilations of eight hand-picked episodes. The episodes include the one featuring the Russian poop monster (“The Host”) and others from various seasons (if you ask me, though, they should have stayed with the first few seasons with human liver-eating Tooms and the guy who would start fires with his mind). The good thing about these episodes is that they are one-offs — way better than the latter-day ongoing sagas. These episodes are supposed to be the groundwork for the upcoming movie called “The X-Files: I Want To Believe.”

If you’d like to win these relics, send an e-mail to tifaux -at- gmail -dot- com with the subject line “Adolescent Despair.”

Good luck!

PS — You know what’s depressing? I read the other day that David Duchovny started the X-Files when he was 32 and now he’s 47. Holy crap, guys! Where are our lives going! Mulder is approaching a half a century!

7 comments July 1st, 2008

The 90210 spin-off: Actors vie to be the next Gabrielle Carteris

priestlyyeesh.jpgOkay, so what in the sam hill is going on with this 90210 spin-off? I keep hearing rumblings about it and weirdo casting news, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what exactly it’s going to be.

For the record, let it be known that I never watched the original series. And you can believe me on that — I’ve embarrassed myself enough in the electronic pages of this blog to admit when I’ve watched a crappy show, so I believe I’ve built up my credibility at least a little bit.

But I can’t quite figure out if this is going to be a continuation of the story or just an updated version — like when Ethan Hawke pretended he was Hamlet and he carried around a camcorder.

Right now, the show is shaping up to be a Frankenstein’s monster of television eras. Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter has, for some reason, signed on as a boozy matriarch (again?) and Lori Loughlin (Aunt Becky from Full House) will play a former Olympic medalist/mother of the central kids. Now, the chick from Reaper is signed on (does that mean the death knell of that show? It might be kind of welcome so I can stop pretending to watch it). Also, some guy from Dirt who is way dreamy will play an English teacher. I sense some naughty teenage girls “needing help after class.”

No word yet on whether or not any of the original cast members are going to be involved, but there’s this new unsettling interview with Jason Priestly where he sounds like a ghost of himself. When asked about a potential role on the series, he says: “They haven’t contacted me about doing anything yet. But if it’s the right thing, I’m certainly open to it. I loved working on that show. I loved everything I did on that show. I had so many jobs on that show, I loved it so.”

The way he ends that sentence, “I loved it so,” makes him seem like he is in The Notebook and he is going to kiss 90210 passionately in the rain. It’s weird. Also, in the accompanying picture he kind of looks like Harry Connick Jr. after a frightening bender in the French Quarter.

1 comment May 2nd, 2008

TV Nerds: From Brian Krakow to Tina Fey

I was reading this article that Juliana Hatfield wrote about her song Make It Home — better known as “that song she played when she starred as the homeless teenager/dead girl/angel on My So-Called Life way back when.” It’s an interesting article, not only because it talks about the origin of the song and the way she approached her first-time acting role, but also because she gives a little insight on famed singer/actor/punching bag-for-hipsters Jared Leto.

Even though he isn’t mentioned at all in the article, thinking of My So-Called Life got me thinking about one of its most unnerving characters (to me, at least): Brian Krakow. Krakow was an all-too-real depiction of a high school nerd — one that doesn’t come around that often. Watching him with his blond ‘fro and awkward interactions is a painful reminder of being 14 and just praying you’ll be able to get through gym class without being humiliated.

Then there are nerds like Tina Fey — people who are smart and wear glasses and are, as a matter of fact, cooler than you’ll ever be. These days, nerds are fetishized to a degree where it’s harder and harder to try to be unironically cool. Keep in mind that “nerdiness” doesn’t necessarily imply the stereotypical Urkel-ian norms. Nerdiness can be defined by a general beta mentality — folks who did stage tech in theater or spent hours upon hours teaching themselves to juggle.

Conversely, there are also folks who are supposed to be cool, but aren’t. If you walked into a restaurant dressed like The Fonz, most people would beat you up upon entry. And not a jury in the world would convict them.

On that note, here’s a chart comparing the cool nerdery and nerdy coolness. Feel free to tell me who I’m missing.


10 comments April 2nd, 2008

Precious Roy, Precious Roy

Can we get personal for a minute? Seriously, can we?

Come closer.

See, I’ve never been stoned. Like ever. I guess it’s just me not being in the right place at the right time consistently for my entire life. Either that, or the indisputable fact that I’m supa-uptight.

However, even though I’m not well acquainted with the herby goodness, I can still appreciate art inspired by it. After all, I’m sure 20-30 percent of the music on my iPod was made under the influence of Mary Jane or something else like it.

On that note, remember Sifl and Olly?

Sifl and Olly was on MTV in the late nineties and it was awesome. The main characters were two spaced-out sock puppets and a cast of equally bizarre, nonsensical supporting puppets. It was all good clean, non-sequitur laden fun. You didn’t have to be under the influence of any chemicals to enjoy it, but it sure as hell couldn’t hurt.

Or, you know, that’s what I hear.

Anyway, I remember watching a marathon of this show my freshman year in college in my brother’s dorm and thinking it was the greatest thing ever. My most specific memory is of them interviewing an orgasm.

If you haven’t noticed, this is one of those posts where the only real point is to say “remember Sifl and Olly? That was great.”  It’s a shame they’ve never released them on DVD — which is rather perplexing.

Here’s an episode of Sifl and Olly I dug up on YouTube. Good times.[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

3 comments December 6th, 2007

I Can’t Believe I Forgot This

The Nanny credits. [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This is the greatest in the “sing-a-summary-of-the-show” genre of credit sequences, which also includes The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, Green Acres, and of course The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. These types of credits are out of fashion now, but they’re always, always awesome.

2 comments November 28th, 2007

Retro Credits Mania

After the great comments on my credits post of yesterday, I thought it would be interesting to talk about credit sequences of yore. In that post, I had tried to stick to shows currently on the air. But the greatness of the Freaks and Geeks credit sequence just can’t be denied. [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I’m also quite fond of the original Veronica Mars credits, mostly for the awesome song. I didn’t even mind too much when they changed it for the third season, though I know that was a controversial move. Arrested Development, too, packed backstory and narration into a fun and funny little bit.

Before the aughts, credits were not nearly as diverse and creative as they are now. They were often too long, full of standard, cheesy montages, and mostly tedious. For fun, and to see what I mean, check out the credits to LA Law. A lot like Full House. And Perfect Strangers. And many, many other shows. Even ER — and, by the way, I was horrified to hear that they’d changed the theme song recently — doesn’t exactly rock the world of credit sequences.

Of course, I have a lot less personal experience with older shows, so I probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Older people, what am I missing? Was there a notoriously great/bad credit sequence that rocked/sucked in the 70s or 80s?

Though not groundbreaking compared to newer shows, I find that I’m kind of enjoying the Miami Vice credits. See if you agree. [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

6 comments November 28th, 2007

Whatever Happened to Predictability?

My bad. The last item in yesterday’s news briefs should’ve been researched with a little more scrutiny: “Our Very First Telethon” — Full House episode 3.24 — is actually readily available on YouTube. As a hellish mea culpa, I’ve decided to review the episode in real time. I have now leared my lesson. Trust me, this won’t happen again.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

  • 00:03 — “Telethion”? Oh dear. This is not starting out so well.
  • 00:08 — Tee-hee. I was just imaging what a TV-MA episode of Full House would be like. Lots of cussing and full-frontal Bob Saget.
  • 00:22 — That’s some righteous hair, John Stamos. The early inspiration for Amy Winehouse, no doubt.
  • 00:29 — I’ve always wondered what Dave Coulier is gesturing about here. Seriously. I like to pretend he’s in the midst of a heated commentary on Great Britain’s naval eminence following the Battle of Trafalgar.
  • 00:33 — JODIE SWEETIN IS LOOKING AT ME. Weird: How come she’s the only cast member of the cast to directly break the fourth wall on their opening-credits introduction? (Lori Loughlin might also be guilty; the video quality is too poor to see in what direction those eyes are pointed.)
  • 01:00 — Hey, Roseanne! Full House is stealing your harmonica licks!
  • 01:03 — Oh my God. I hate clowns.
  • 01:40 — Seriously? They have Michelle answering phones at the telethion? This show’s credibility just got tossed out the window.
  • 01:58 — “If you need me, I’m ready to ride!” Too easy.
  • 02:08 — A little-known Jerry Fallwell stab at comedy.
  • 02:37 — What kinda badass guitar pose was that, Stamos?
  • 02:49 — Is it just me, or did anyone else think for a split-second that somebody just dressed Mama’s Family‘s Iola Lucille Boyland in a tux and pushed her out on stage?
  • 02:52 — I feel like somebody stole these floral arrangements from a funeral home.
  • 03:24 — I thought Jodie Sweetin didn’t start doing the meth until many years later.
  • 03:48 — What the hell is on his sweater? Are those sneakers? Spores? Paramecium? I kinda want it.
  • 03:56 — My new hero(ine): the lady on the far right in the second row. “Let’s hear it for this band, huh? Ladies and gentlemen?” She is having none of it. She’s not even happy to be there.
  • 04:30 — I dig the severe ’90s-ish-ness of the gal in the center of the front row. I also dig how the lady to the right of her looks ready to evacuate the moment any big shit goes down.
  • 04:38 — And this is the dude Alanis wrote “You Oughta Know” about? Sad.
  • 04:49 — Gosh, I’m tired.
  • 05:00 — I know it’s the perspective, but the legs of the woman painted on the Cabinet of Mystery look weird.
  • 05:10 — I like to provide my own comic screamy noises when she tosses her shoes off-stage.
  • 05:12 — Ditto.
  • 06:52 — Whoa. Sorry. Fell asleep there.
  • 07:10 — The goal of this telethion is to, like, raise $1,000,000, right? Which would mean they want people to tune in, yes? So why on earth are they letting Danny Tanner sing “Kiss Today Goodbye”?
  • 07:41 — GAH! When that leg came up, I totally thought Danny was gonna hump the Cabinet of Mystery.
  • 07:56 — Fun fact: A lot of people don’t know this, but this moment is actually a clever industry inside joke — Dave Coulier was Jennifer Beals’ wedling double in Flashdance.
  • 08:12 — Sigh.
  • 08:28 — Oh, I’m making a big-ass vegan taco salad for dinner tomorrow if anyone wants to come over.
  • 08:42 — God, I wish I wasn’t a teetotaler.
  • 08:56 — They’re totally dueting on a fierce cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” you know.
  • 08:57 — If Jack had lived and moved to San Francisco with Ennis …
  • 09:07 — This is the Lakers Girls’ dance interpretation of race relations in Los Angeles two years before the riots. Not many people give Full House credit for being so aware of cultural zeitgeist.
  • 09:10 — At least “coming” was misspelled in the most innocent way possible.

Click to continue reading “Whatever Happened to Predictability?”

2 comments November 27th, 2007

“I’m the Baby, Gotta Love Me!”


Remember Dinosaurs?

That is all.

3 comments August 27th, 2007

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