11th Apr2005

The TV Tropes of 24 and Diff’rent Strokes

by Will

Where have all the original ideas gone?

For the second time in four seasons, “24” has invoked the 25th Amendment.

Now, I’ve gotta admit, it’s a wicked awesome clause that rarely has a use, but a typical “24” season is built around finding some way to get the VP into the Big Chair. But as we saw tonight, I don’t think President Logan is up to the task, which may explain why David Palmer’s coming back for the last four hours of the season.

I know TV reuses ideas, but this is so hackneyed! How would the US invoke the 25th in 2 consecutive presidential terms?!! Why didn’t these people just nominate the VP in the first place? Why go through all the legwork? Was there no other way to start the final act of the season?

This reminds me of another TV gripe I’ve had recently: “Diff’rent Strokes”. The 8th episode of Season 1 is a clip show. A show full of flashbacks. Of the 7 episodes that aired prior.

OK, a standard TV season is 22 episodes. When shows DO resort to clip shows, they usually have a couple of seasons under their belt, so that the flashbacks sort of build upon each other to further the plot.

But not Diff’rent Strokes! Oh, no! They felt the first seven episodes were so monumental, they had to recap them a mere two months after the show began! And did I mention that this trip down memory lane was a two-parter?!!! Yup, they had the audacity to waste 60 minutes just to convince us that hilarity ensues when a rich white dude adopts 2 soul brothas from Harlem. Episode frickin’ 8!!! The stars hadn’t even discovered hookers and blow by episode 8! THAT’S when the show really started taking off…

13th Sep2004

Yay! New Season Of Syndicated TV!

by Will

Well, here it is, folks! September 13th. As any pop culture aficionado knows, today is the beginning of the syndicated television season. Forget all the network hype surrounding “Joey” and “The Apprentice” and “Lost”. Today brings us new episodes of “elimiDATE”, “Blind Date”, “Ambush Makeover” and “Starting Over.”

For the UPN crowd, “Girlfriends” is now five days a week. It’s Black-tastic! Or is it Black-tacular? Either way, it’s Black…

There are a couple of new shows that won’t make it to Christmas, like “The Tony Danza Show”, “The Larry Elder Show”, and “Live Like A Star.” if history’s taught us anything, shows named after their star tend not to last long. It’s almost like they didn’t try:

“What are we gonna call this thing?”

“I dunno….what’s the dude’s name?” ”

“Tony Danza…”

“Who?”

“You know…he’s the guy who’s the boss…’

“Springsteen?”

“No, the ‘other boss.’ You know…’Angela…Mona…Jonathan…Saman-ta..’ C’mon, he used to say, ‘A-oh, Oh-A!'”

“Yeah…whatever…we’ll just call it the Tony Banta show, then.”

“‘Danza’…’Tony Danza’..”

“Whatever….”

On a side note, I know this is a talk show, but has Tony Danza EVER played a character NOT named ‘Tony’? It’s like they were afraid he’d forget his lines if he had to answer to any name other than his own. Anyway…

Some old pros are back, like Dr. Phil and Oprah. Speaking of Oprah, you know that crazy bitch gave every member of today’s studio audience a NEW CAR?!!! That’s one crazy bitch…

But, as with all syndicated seasons, some shows must die so that others may live. This Fall, we say goodbye to “On Air: with Ryan Seacrest”, “Ricki Lake”, “Ex-Treme Dating”, and “The 5th Wheel”.

So, take a sick day from work, stay up real late at night, or set your Tivo, ’cause the syndy season is off and running!

23rd Aug2004

Knight Rider and Me

by Will

So, I’ve reinstated “Operation: Childhood Buyback”. Basically, whenever I get depressed or confused, I try to create a bubble of nostalgia around myself in order to feel better. The best way to do this is for me to buy back the relics of my childhood.

Anyway, the most effective branch of this initiative deals with TV. I’ve bought several 80’s TV DVDs, such as the first seasons of Punky Brewster, The A-Team, and Knight Rider.

Tonight’s topic is Knight Rider. When I was a kid, I LOVED this show. I don’t think “love” even cuts it. There is no English word to describe the feelings I had for this show. I think it’s because of how it relates to my life. I used to watch it with my dad, so it kind of has that sentiment attached to it. Also, for my 4th birthday/Christmas, I got the K.I.T.T. Power Wheels car, which is still in my shed, by the way. That was the year Daddy died, so it was a trying holiday season, but I remember how happy I was to get that car! In fact, Knight Rider and my dad’s death are intertwined in several different ways.

When my father’s funeral came about, they didn’t think a 3 yr-old needed to be at the service, so they had my cousin run interference. She took me to Toys R Us, where I got an electronic K.I.T.T. I still remember that to this day.

Why is all of this important? Well, for many seemingly coincidental reasons. Here I am, watching Knight Rider Season 1, when my cousin, on my father’s side, passes away. In the meantime, Toys “R” Us is considering exiting the toy business. “The more things change…”

I guess one would ask, “Why do you love that show so much if it’s got so many bad memories attached?” Well, they weren’t bad memories. I didn’t know what was going on. I found out about funerals and the like as I grew older. I’ve posted about this before, but I simply looked at that as “the day all my relatives came to visit me/the day i got my Knight Rider car”.

So, now reality sets in. I’m watching these episodes, and trying to recapture what i felt 20 yrs ago. But ya know what? This show sucks. I am so sorry to say that. I feel almost like it’s blasphemy for me to do so, but this show is formulaic dreck.

Let’s see. Some town gets in trouble. Michael and K.I.T.T. are dispatched to right wrongs, and uphold justice in the name of the Foundation for Law and Government. Conveniently, there is always a hot single MILF and/or waitress who becomes Michael’s tour guide/potential love interest. Throw in a couple of bumbling henchmen and any reason at all to get K.I.T.T. to jump over a gorge, river, truck, or building, and you’ve got a typical episode of Knight Rider. No, you’ve got EVERY episode of Knight Rider!

To my recollection, there are only 2 episodes worth remembering: 1) “K.I.T.T. vs. K.A.R.R.”, where Michael is forced to go against the evil prototype named K.A.R.R. If you’ve never seen two Trans Ams collide in midair, this is the episode for you & 2) “Knight of The Juggernaut”, where K.I.T.T. gets the living shit smashed out of it by a big ol’ tank. He was never the same after that…

Well, I’ve got a funeral in about 8 hrs, and about half a season left of Knight Rider. Let’s hope between the two, I can come up with some kind of understanding of life…

20th May2004

Ryan Seacrest, On Air No More

by Will

Well, found out today that they canceled “On Air with Ryan Seacrest”. OK, is anyone surprised? Sure, it was better than the Chevy Chase show, but every time I watched, I felt like I was watching Vibe back when Sinbad was hosting. It was a bad show, with no real format, hosted by the flavor of the week. Hey, at least he’s still got American Idol. What, they’re canceling that, too? Nah, just kidding on that one, although it wouldn’t be the worst news in the world after this past season…

17th Sep2003

Killing Don Knotts Before His Time

by Will

For anyone who noticed, I took out the Don Knotts reference in my John Ritter post at the request of my Mommy. I’ve been “killing” Don Knotts for years ’cause we never hear anything about him, so I just assume he’s dead. But he’s not, and I shouldn’t wish that upon him. Hell, I even love the guy. If John Ritter was my funny comedic big brother figure, then Don Knotts was my senile, yet comedic, crazy old uncle.

12th Sep2003

RIP John Ritter

by Will

And another part of my childhood is gone forever.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/965580.asp

This one hits a little close to home. Wherever he is, I hope he’s pulling the wool over Mr. & Mrs. Roper’s eyes just like he used to. Don’t worry, Jack. Mr. Furley’s probably gonna be joining you soon, and hilarity will ensue.

13th Aug2003

Boy Meets World On Cinemax?

by Will

You ever want to feel like the dirtiest person alive? Try watching TV at 2:00 AM, flipping back and forth between Cinemax and The Disney Channel. It’s not what it sounds like….OK, maybe it is. C’mon, there was one of those stupid suspense movies on Cinemax that was so bad you had to watch. On Disney, it was the Boy Meets World where Corey meets another, cuter girl (this is when Topanga was fatter and not as hot) on a class ski trip. I LOVE that episode! But I guess I should’ve just committed to one of the shows, because I felt like the biggest perve bouncing back and forth between murderous pool sex and commercials for Kim Possible.

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