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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Sure, spending Thanksgiving around a giant table with your closest friends and family and gorging yourself on unreasonable portions of dead bird, stuffing, noodles, mashed potatoes and cranberry is lovely, but wouldn’t you rather celebrate such a holiday with a group of strangers? Especially when those strangers have glib conversations with one another, exchanging witty one liners as they pass around platters of beautifully prepared traditional foods, and whose dysfunction is merely a means to a comical end, instead of the a fuel of awkwardness that makes everyone at the table wish they had eaten someplace else. I mean, if your grandmother falls piss drunk, face first into a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, it’s time to stage an intervention, but if it happens on TV, you’ll probably find yourself wishing your family were as festive and fun-loving! So now, as you think back on the wonderful day that was your family Thanksgiving, reeling from your tryptophan hangover, check out the following, my favorite Television Thanksgivings:

 

5.  3rd Rock From the Sun – “Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick” – November 24, 1996 – (2×10)

I suppose if you were an alien, the concept of Thanksgiving would seem rather absurd. Such is the basis for the Thanksgiving episode of this somewhat forgetable sitcom. When the Solomons notice that everyone around them is hoarding food for some elusive event in the near future, they rightfully assume that the apocalypse is coming. Still, in an effort to appear, in the know, they decide to host their own Thanksgiving dinner with the help of their earthling friends. Hilary ensues, sort of.

4.  Roseanne – “We Gather Together” – November 21, 1989 – (2×9)

Well, no list of favorite holiday episodes would be complete without mentioning Roseanne (I might love this show a little too much). I’m going to be honest though, the Thanksgiving episodes all sort of blend together. The Conners are a family’s family so spending 22 minutes at their holiday table, is pretty similar to real life, except that I can turn it off when things get iffy. In this, the show’s first Thanksgiving episode, Jackie and Bev are the main event, bitching and fighting all day long about the series of unfortunate events that is Jackie’s life.  Bev: So you didn’t invite anyone? Jackie: Uhh, no, you know me, Mom, all my boyfriends like to spend Thanksgiving with their wives! Meanwhile, Roseanne’s been up since the ass crack of down “stuffing bread crumbs up a dead bird’s butt,” all so I have something to laugh at for the rest of my life.

3. Full House – “The Miracle of Thanksgiving” – November 20, 1987 – (1×9)

Oh lord, how about you take this opportunity of a holiday special to make be roll around on the floor bawling like a baby. I GET IT JEFF FRANKLIN! PAM TANNER IS DEAD AND NOW HOLIDAYS ARE UNBEARABLE! Leave my heartstrings alone already. Oof. So it’s the first Thanksgiving at the Tanner house since mother Pam’s untimely death, so little D.J. (seriously “little,” she’s like 10) takes it upon herself to prepare a traditional feast for her new “blended” family. NOTHING goes right, the bird is all burnt, Steph drops a pie and worst of all, D.J. is forced to dress like Laura Ingalls. Oh and what you might ask is most sad about this? How about the part where Uncle Jesse takes the girls up to his room to look at photos of their mother and then Danny “forgot how much the girls looked like Pam.” I surrender, bring me some tissues.

2.  The Wonder Years – “The Ties That Bind” – November 14, 1990 – (4×7)

Be careful, this one will get ya! Oh, but what episode of The Wonders Years DOESN’T leave me an emotional wreck? Things are getting pretty tight at the Arnold house, and when the stove eats it, it looks like it’s going to be Thanksgiving at the soup kitchen. But then, right in the nick of time Jack gets a promotion at work! It’s going to be a wonderful holiday after all. Oh wait, NO! His new job means that he’s going to have to travel, and miss his family Thanksgiving. Looks like that new job was a double edged sword there Mr. Arnold, as well as a reminder that sometimes things aren’t better on television. It also begs the question, “Why can’t you just eat the Turkey on say, Saturday?” Oh right, because then I wouldn’t be upset for 45 minutes wondering if Jack will make it to his family Thanksgiving or not, whilst simultaneously ignoring my OWN family in order to watch television. If only MY life were narrated. . .

1.  Friends – “The One with the Football” – November 21, 1996 – (3×9)

Friends really outdid themselves when it came to Thanksgiving, and this episode just happens to be my favorite. It’s possibly because we finally get the gang outside of the confines of their apartments or Central Perk and into “the city,” which is quite clearly a patch of grass inside a studio. Or it COULD be because of a wonderful prop called the Gellar Cup, which is, as one of the friends so aptly described, “a troll doll nailed to a two by four.” While Monica cooks, the gang watches football on television, which leads to an impromptu touch football game in the park, where competition is FIERCE. Also, Phoebe is donning a That Girl shirt, and though that has NO bearing on, well, anything, I still felt like mentioning it because I’ve so oft wondered where she got it and why she owned it. Think about it, she was a homeless teenager, when would she have had time to watch That Girl?

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by Judi

Clearly, living in LA for four years has its benefits.

5. Jessie Katsopolis’s Dad (John Aprea) from Full House

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I remember watching an award show once. Julia Roberts won for something, it must’ve been Erin Brockovich. And she climbs up on stage to receive it and then has a momentary freak-out because Beau Bridges (BEAU BRIDGES) is presenting it to her. I think she even said something like, “Oh my God, it’s Beau Bridges.” And everyone was like really? You’re JULIA ROBERTS. You hang out with George Clooney and Brad Pitt regularly, you’ve met EVERYONE and you freak out over Beau Bridges? What was the last thing Beau Bridges was in, can you even remember? (For the record, I’m so with you, Julia, who is clearly reading this. I once thought I saw Beau Bridges on a flight and almost had a heart attack. He is, after all, the dad from The Wizard).

So here’s my theory. Sometimes, it’s not the fame of the actor you spot in real life, in “the wild” you might say, but what you remember them from. As in, I was walking to work down Robertson Blvd. one day and passed Uncle Jesse’s dad in Full House and I. lost. my. mind. The Julia Roberts- Beau Bridges theory is the only excuse I can muster for my COMPLETELY illogical reaction. I almost attacked him on the sidewalk, such was my joy.

4. Lex Luthor (John Shea) from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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This one was funny. My brother was visiting me. We were in my car, driving through an alley in Santa Monica when LEX LUTHOR steps out from the shadows and walks in front of us. And it was so embarrassing too because I think our jaws dropped at the same time and he turned to look at us, two gaping buffoons, and then smirked and kept walking. On his way to the Farmer’s Market. Lex Luthor wants some fresh produce and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

3. Michael Guerin/Jared Booth (Brendan Fehr) from Roswell/Bones

brendan-fehr-010When I moved to LA, my roommate/soon-to-be-best-friend (hi Bic!) and I spent the majority of our time dealing with living on a new planet (and yes, LA is its own planet. Make no mistake) by hiding in our new apartment and watching hours and hours and hours of Roswell. I think over the course of our tenure as roommates, we’ve watched those DVDs 7,000 times. So when I (finally) got a job in the Star Corridor (the corner of Beverly Blvd. and Robertson Blvd., home of a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf AND a Starbucks across the street from each other, “we met at Starbucks but different Starbucks”) and saw brooding alien Michael Guerin walking across the street, right next to my human body, I almost fell into traffic. I pulled my ass to the corner, called Bic and proceeded to hyperventilate. Over the course of my years in LA, I would see a number of other Roswell cast members- Maria in that Coffee Bean, Tess (you may know her as Claire from Lost) and Alex (Colin Hanks) at Coachella and, yes, my reaction was the same every time. Complete and utter meltdown.

2. Chanandelor Bong (Matthew Perry) from Friends (twice!)

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Speaking of the Star Corridor, Matthew Perry clearly has some kind of caffeine addiction. I saw him for the first time at the Starbucks, notable because I was on the phone with my mother at the time who got VERY excited and then said, “Tell him I’m watching Friends right NOW! It’s the one where he proposes to Monica.” Like I was capable of movement, much less approaching him and handing him a cell phone with my mother chattering on the other end about his tearful proposal. More likely, I would’ve gone up to him and told him that his episode of Growing Pains basically traumatized me for life, thanks a lot.

The SECOND time was at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (yup, right across the street. Chandler, like me, is not partial to just one massive coffee chain) and, to my everlasting joy, Bic had met me for a coffee break on her way back from either another dreadful temp job or a depressing interview. We both stood by the counter, waiting for our coffees, and Matthew Perry stood next to us ordering. We conversed THE ENTIRE TIME, mindlessly talking as we both tried not to stare at him. Finally, he left, we sat down and we looked at each other. What the hell were we talking about? She was saying things, I was saying things- she could’ve been talking about elephants and my response could’ve been about arugula. And now we’ll never know.

1. David Addison (Bruce Willis) from Moonlighting

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Ah yes, the car sighting. One of my favorites because of the sheer skill involved. Cars, after all, move pretty fast and you’ve got to be able to get a good look and confirm quickly. It’s also good if you’re either alone (so no one can dispute it) or the glimpse is substantial enough that you get immediate confirmation from the other party as well, lest you have a “George Michael on the 405” incident (Bic saw him, I didn’t but it didn’t stop us from stalking him in traffic for forty minutes) or a humiliating “Simon Rex in a LeBaron” moment which my friends will STILL not let me live down (it was him, I swear. I want those words on my tombstone. Also, their primary argument is that Simon Rex would not drive a LeBaron and I think that’s PRECISELY why it was Simon Rex. Come on.)

The Bruce Willis Sighting is my all-time favorite sighting of all time. I was driving through Westwood one day, in a residential area and pulled up to a stop sign to make a left turn. The car opposite me, a black Mercedes, had also stopped. I waited for it to leave so I could make my left but the car just STOPS in the middle of the intersection. I then realize that the car stopped because the driver was watching a leggy blonde in a sports bra jog across the street, like actually just watching her bounce along. I’m seriously irritated now and just about to lay on the horn when the driver turns to me, smirks, and it’s Bruce Fucking Willis. I just about shat in my pants, SHAT WITH A VENGEANCE.

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by Judi

Note: The title for today’s Top Five topic was clearly all Beal. I apologize for the bits of cheese that just flew out of your monitor.

5. Courtney Cox in Friends (1994 – 2004) and Cougar Town (2009)

Picture 1Sometimes, it feels like Courtney Cox has been around FOREVER. That Springsteen video, Family Ties, and then ten years on Friends, the short-lived Dirt on FX and now Cougar Town. I realize that it might be a little immature to count Cougar Town as Cox’s second iconic role but, honestly, I don’t see how we can ignore it. After just four episodes of the ABC’s Wednesday night show, my opinion of Courtney Cox has done a total 180. Not that I didn’t appreciate her character on Friends or anything. Far from it. The statement “she’s a Monica” has saved me on more than one occasion when I find myself trying to describe someone who is completely anal, a control freak and hyper-competitive. I just didn’t know if she could be funny as someone other than the Gellar-Bing we all know and love and sometimes find mildly annoying.

But she is. Jules Cobb, in point of fact, is far funnier and more real than Monica ever was (though both share a manic crazy gene) and Cox is so outrageously perfect in the role that you shouldn’t be surprised if, in a couple of years, we all say, “Monica who?”

4. Rob Lowe in West Wing (1996 – 2006) and Brothers & Sisters (2006 – Present)

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This is not the first time on this site where I have to admit that I would watch Rob Lowe do anything (ANYTHING). I don’t care if he’s a dirty tool in real life, I don’t care how many nanny scandals or sex tape disasters he falls into, I don’t care how tanned he gets. I STILL watch that “Visit California” commercial just for those three seconds where he’s sitting on that damned log. I. love him.

I hate when people refer to his “comeback” because, really, his is just a fantastic career trajectory. Teen heartthrob, Brat Pack member, evil doer in now-classic SNL movies like Wayne’s World and Tommy Boy, then a plumb role on West Wing, a few failed pilots and now Brothers & Sisters and movies like The Invention of Lying. And that commercial where he’s sitting on that damned log. He seems to have found his place as a smart, wily, hot politician which is ENDLESSLY preferable to how he could’ve ended up. [Cough- McDreamy- hack- cough.] I’ll take Sam Seaborn and Senator McCallister, thankyouverymuch.

(Ok yes, I only posted this second clip because he’s shirtless. I AM A HUMAN BEING, PEOPLE.)

3. Heather Locklear in Dynasty (1981 – 1989) and Melrose Place (1992 – 1999)

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There was a time in the ’90s when, if a TV show was starting to see a drop in ratings, a studio exec would yell, “Get Heather Locklear on the phone!” It’s hilarious that our favorite TV blond bitch has pretty much evolved into the TV equivalent of an emergency adrenaline shot.  Melrose Place needs a Joan Collins-like fix? Get Heather. Spin City suffering without Michael J. Fox? Get Heather. Scrubs needs a foil worthy of Perry Cox? You get the picture.

The guys behind the new, revamped Melrose Place obviously agreed because we’re only a couple of episodes into the first season and Amanda Woodward is already making an appearance. Not that I’m sorry about that in the least. Of all the prime-time soap characters throughout the ’90s, Heather Locklear’s Amanda is the only one fierce enough (yup. Fierce. There is no other word, sorry) to look like she actually would eat her own young for a corner office, which makes her endlessly fun to watch.

Her voice is HILARIOUS in Dynasty. Is she 15? You know that for all her posturing, Joan Collins could just destroy her from that reclining position.

2. Danny DeVito in Taxi (1978 – 1983) and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005 – Present)

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Aw, Danny. Our favorite petite scuzz-ball. On Taxi, he was Louie DePalma- gross, unkempt, lewd and slightly lovable. He secured some classic moments for my favorite cab-centered sitcom. Now, as Frank Reynolds on Sunny, he’s evolved into the kind of creature you find in a shower drain. He’s filthy, his hair’s always standing up and he’s more at home climbing through a disgusting ceiling vent than he is in daylight. God bless him. He  looks like he’s having the time of his life too.

With Taxi, he found a classic comedic role. With Sunny, he’s quickly climbing into cult icon status. How many cast members of the movie Twins can you say that about?

1. Mary Tyler Moore in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961 – 1966) and The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970 – 1977)

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And now for something a little different. It isn’t easy jumping from a rat-infested ceiling vent to the Rob and Laura Petrie’s house, but I’m going to do my best.

Of all the classic, black & white sitcoms, The Dick Van Dyke show is by far my favorite. I never get tired of watching it, of Rob’s pratfalls, of Sally and Buddy’s wisecracking in the office and, of course, Mary Tyler Moore’s charming, classy Laura. If I had magical TV powers, I would reach through my TV set and plop Mad Men’s Betty Draper in front of her TV to let her see how Laura Petrie gets it done. It IS, after all, possible to be a stay-at-home wife and still be funny, sexy, and believably cheerful. In her cigarette-pants and Jackie O bob, she’s the Audrey Hepburn of housewives. Even her warbling cry is funny.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, in the ’70s we received spunky, sweet Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, aka TV’s Gift to Mankind, which is still as sharp and funny and adorable as it was thirty years ago. And I’m not just saying that because The Mary Tyler Moore Show pretty much saved me from going insane over my last year of unemployment.  Even though it did. It absolutely did. I don’t know where I would be without Mary Tyler Moore but I know I wouldn’t want to find out.

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by Judi

Show: Friends

Great Moments: People tend to be snarky about Friends these days (it’s regarded as the McDonald’s of sitcoms now- popular abroad, way-too-prescient here) which I can understand but it still makes me a little sad. There’s something so comforting about occasionally revisiting Central Perk and watching the wholly unrealistic shenanigans of Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Ross. It’s bright, it’s colorful and yes, dammit, sometimes it’s very, very funny. This reveal, for instance, is a screwball classic- the moment when Phoebe learns (the hard way, natch) that Chandler and Monica are sleeping together (“My eyes! MY EYES!”).

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by Beal

Be it a diner, restaurant, coffee shop or bar, the haunts and hangouts of TV characters can become as legendary as the characters that patronize them. These fictional hangouts are places we wish existed, where we could spend our leisure time chatting wittily with our friend group, which may or may not be comprised of six different but zany archetypes. The following amazing make-believe haunts are celebrated not only for their prominent position in pop culture but also because having just ONE place for the gang to hang out, saves a bundle on sets.

5. Paddy’s Pub – Always Sunny in Philadelphia

img_4318So Paddy’s might have been voted the “worst bar in Philadelphia” but that won’t prevent it from making my list, in fact it’s only a boon to it’s greatness as far as I’m concerned. This place is a real dive, if I’m going to be nice about it, dump if I’m not. Somehow Mac, Dennis, Charlie and Frank manage to run this joint, of course with the help of bartender/waitress/drunk girl Sweet D. Seriously, I’m dying to hang out here. The clientele is a mixed bag–shady Asian gambling addicts, mildly retarded white rappers, minors, hobos, dead people, theater enthusiasts, you name it, at some point, each and every kind of person has thrown back a couple at Paddy’s and/or  been fucked over by some scheme that began inside its walls . Plus, they’ve got a pool table.

4. Monk’s “The Coffee Shop” – Seinfeld

6a00d83451be5969e200e54f4bb3c68834-640wiYou will find no patrons so loyal to an unremarkable diner as Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are to Monk’s aka “The Coffee Shop.” This allegiant foursome has arguably the world’s largest selection of restaurants to patronize, yet time and time again you’ll find them eating the same boring sandwiches and sipping coffee in their usual booth. Sure, sometimes they venture out for “fat free” yogurt or some Nazi-made soup, or occasionally to Monk’s “bizarro” competitor Reggie’s, but not very often because “they don’t have the big salad.” And they’ve had their fair share of issues at Monk’s, from the big-breasted waitress fiasco to George’s ongoing hate relationship with the cranky cashier. Mostly I just liked the dialogue.

3. Central Perk – Friends

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How could I not mention Central Perk? First and foremost, it’s a terrific pun, and who doesn’t love a pun? I’m pretty sure this place is partially responsible for the over saturation of coffee houses throughout America. Everyone loves the idea of sipping lattes from brightly colored jumbo mugs while relaxing on a plush davenport and enjoying an intellectual conversation or some light reading or perhaps one of Phoebe’s latest songs. And we all imagine ourselves doing this in a lovely Mom and Pop shop, just like Central Perk, located conveniently on the ground level of our insanely spacious apartment building. Unfortunately, all we have are Starbucks, and if at any time I noticed a six-pack of really attractive friends exchanging hilarious one-liners inside the Starbucks, I would have to assume my coffee had been laced with a mind altering substance.

And a tip of the hat to barista Gunther, who, with the smallest part ever, still manages to have the largest “supporting” role on Friends.

2. Phil’s – Murphy Brown

Phil's Bar - Murphy BrownEven though the show begins with Murphy’s release from the Betty Ford Clinic, it’s no reason to stop going to the bar. Or is it? Phil’s, which is located directly across the street from the FYI studio, provides a perfect respite for the news team. Whether it be for some pub food or a mid-afternoon highball, Phil’s is your place. And Phil is your man! Played by Pat Corley, Phil was always dispensing sound advice for Murphy and the gang. Phil’s was sort of like the last refuge for olden time stereotype journalists–a dark bar where trench coat/fedora hat clad investigative reporters could sip whiskey and crank cigarettes, hoping to overhear some political gossip, which actually was somewhat likely in Phil’s, being that it was (I think) located on K Street in downtown Washington. Midway through the series Phil dies and when his wife, Phyllis and children (who are also named some version of Phil) decide they must sell the bar, the news team bands together and buys it. All of them have ideas about how to improve it (personalize it) but in the end decide to keep it the same including the running gag “CLOSE THE DOOR” when even an ounce of sunlight pours in, which makes sense. No one wants to be reminded that they’re shitcanned in the middle of the afternoon.

1. Arnold’s – Happy Days

Arnold's Drive In - Happy DaysNo 70’s show about the 50’s would be complete without a Drive-In for the hip teens, with their Rock & Roll, and, and poodle skirts and their issues with authority to hang in out at. Enter Arnold’s, the number one TV hangout, according to me. Arnold’s was run by Al Delvecchio and was frequented by Richie, Joanie, Chachi, Ralph Malph, Potsie and the Fonz,. Seriously, it’s the only public place they ever went. I love it though, because without it, we may have never have seen the Fonz rip his leather jacket off and punch out a couple of rabble rousers and we DEFINITELY wouldn’t have seen him single-handedly (athankyou) “fix” the jukebox. Arnold’s was further ingrained into pop culture when Weezer used it as the setting for their 1994 music video, Buddy Holly. Roll clips. . .

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We love babies in this country. Don’t believe me? Just ask Utah. Or, better yet, US Weekly. US Weekly is so in tune with our lust for babies and pregnant women and people with babies and women with babies who lost all the baby weight and baby fashion lines and baby FEUDS (it’s coming, trust me. That Maddox looks like trouble) that little Suri Cruise is practically a cover staple. And though we weren’t always so obsessed with celebrities’ real life spawn (think about it- ten years ago, would the name of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s toddler daughter come rolling so easily off your tongue?), we have ALWAYS had a soft spot for that Very Special Episode- “So and So Gives Birth.”

With that, I give you my Top Five TV Births. Let the contractions begin! And the epidural! Where’s my champagne? Where’s my salami?!*

WARNING: Searching for baby-related TV clips on YouTube is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Proceed with caution if you don’t want to see a lot of homemade delivery videos (and I am not talking pizza. Mother of GOD)

5. Full House– Rebecca Gives Birth to Twins and the Most Ridiculous Living Situation/Solution Ever

Remember when Aunt Becky was pregnant with twins? And everyone (including me, shut up) was really, really excited? And then they went and were born on Michelle’s birthday (Michelle’s not special anymore. Awesome) And then, instead of MOVING OUT like normal human beings, they move back into the attic of their brother-in-law’s house and force the twins to live in a closet? Good times…

John Stamos, how much longer do you think you can get by on being COMPLETELY adorable?

4. Sex & The City- Miranda Gives Birth to “Oh, right. I have a baby.”

I love the Miranda-Mommy episodes. I can’t think of another show that’s tackled the whole notion of “I hate kids but I guess I’ll love my kid” issue before Miranda gave birth to Brady, her son with quasi-retarded bartender Steve. She’s just so bemused by the whole thing. She thinks baby showers are stupid, she hates being pregnant, she has NO CLUE what she’s supposed to do with a baby. Right up until the delivery, Miranda’s got rules about how it’s going to go down- she doesn’t want the nurses to be all cheery, she wants Steve to suck it up with all the man-crying and she wants it over and done.

Add her water breaking on Carrie’s heels and we’ve got ourselves some TV.

3. Friends– Phoebe Gives Birth to Her Brother’s Triplets

Now, there are some missteps in the Phoebe gives birth to triplets episode (mainly the whole thing with the doctor who’s obsessed with Fonzie although I do like that “dilated-amundo” joke) but I love it. I can’t help it. It’s all so good. Chandler and Monica are hooking up in the closet in secret. Joey and Ross are pushing out a kidney stone (changing forever how I say “KIDNEY STONE” ie with an Indian accent) in a lovely dual-montage with Phoebe’s birth (“Ow. Ow, ow, ow. OW.”) Phoebe tells Rachel that she wants to keep one of the babies (Rachel: “Oh, I’m going to be on the news.”) The fantastic Giovanni Ribisi running out and announcing the birth of his kids, dazedly walking back in as he realizes he now has THREE babies. Him making out with Kitty from That 70’s Show, another actress I would like to be in just about everything.

Sadly lacking in Friends clips on the old YouTube.

2. The Cosby Show– Sandra Gives Birth to (Surprise!) Twins

I will admit to loving it when the Huxtables go all soft and mushy on their kids. It’s rare but it happens. I ALSO love any time we get a “My BA-by!” out of Claire, preferably when she’s throwing her arms up in the air. It’s almost as good as when she gets really, really angry. Almost.

So Sondra finally gives birth, the big surprise being that it’s twins! (Unfortunately naming them “Winnie” and “Nelson”, the today equivalent of naming your twins Barack and Obama which I’m SURE has been done somewhere in America already) Obviously, the nicest part of the episode is her moment with Cliff and, apparently, the little speech she gives him about what a wonderful father he’s been was ad-libbed on Sabrina La Beauf’s part. So unbelievably sweet.

1. I Love Lucy– A Tiny Bongo is Born

Well, now. I have to end this on the biggest television birth in history. I’m a professional, after all. The episode “Lucy Goes to the Hospital” coincided with Lucille Ball’s C-section of her second child, Desi Arnaz Jr, culminating in the most watched television episode of the day.

And it’s so, so good. Ricky in his show makeup, in the waiting room and, one of my favorite scenes of all time, the “Ricky, it’s time” fiasco. It’s pure screwball, with Fred tripping over the phone, the suitcase spilling open, everyone stepping on each other and Ricky completely losing his cool. All culminating in them running out the door, leaving Lucy to wail, “Hey! Wait for me!”

*Classic line from E! one-season wonder Love is in the Heir. Anyone? Hello?

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5. Monica on Friends “The One Where Monica Sings” (2003)

Alright so technically Monica doesn’t have to sing, but I’m still keeping this on my list, for several reasons. The first being Paul Rudd as Phoebe’s boyfriend, Mike, who works at the piano bar where Monica chooses to perform a little ditty. He’s hilarious and as I think NTO has mentioned a time or two before, terribly underrated. Also, hello, “Delta Dawn!” This is the kind of song that would be sooo fun to sing in a karaoke bar. The lyrics are simple, it’s southern, it’s twangy, it frequently finds itself in on my iTunes “25 most played.” However, even I–who have no shame and have sung Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” more than a dozen times in public–reserve that song for the shower or other private moments in which I find a microphone like object in my hand. Monica, however, goes right for it. A bold choice that is well received by an audience of generic New Yorkers. Oh that’s right, this is a sitcom, something zany’s about to happen. . .sure enough, the crowd isn’t moved so much by her rousing rendition of the Tanya Tucker classic, but  by the spotlight’s ability to make her shirt transparent. Whatever though, I totally laughed, because it’s funny. SHE DOESN’T KNOW!

4. Peter on The Brady Bunch “Dough Re Mi” (1972)

This is like, one of the most classic episodes in television history. I don’t even think it’s necessary for me to explain the premise, but, alas, I will. Greg, being his groovy self, decides that the world has waited long enough for the Brady Bunch (I wonder if that’s what they called their “band”) to drop a record, so he books some time at a studio (where did he get that kind of money?) and dragged his musically gifted mess of siblings down to lay down some tracks. Things get ugly though, when Peter, a victim of abrupt puberty, cannot sing his part, due to the EXTREME fluctuations in his changing voice. Luckily, Greg comes up with the nifty idea to incorporate Peter’s “issue” into the song, which is a SMASH hit. Sadly, when I located this clip online, I was able to sing nearly every word. I don’t have many life regrets, but I will NEVER forgive myself for selling my “It’s a Sunshine Day: The Best of the Brady Bunch” CD for $2 at a garage sale in the mid-90’s, NEVER.

3. Rayanne on My So-Called Life “On the Wagon” (1994)

I have really mixed feelings about this episode, and this incident in particular. First of all, the band, The Frozen Embryos, has up until this episode been made up of some randoms and Jordan Catalano and Tino. Am I right? Well, when Tino quits the band, they get desperate for a new singer. Now, the obvious solution to such a problem, would be for Jordan to sing. We all heard him serenade Angela with his less-than-deep ode to his car “Red” earlier in the series. He has a nice voice, and can sing AND play his instrument. Furthermore, if he can write his own songs, both music and lyrics, then surely he could handle a cover. No? Enter Rayanne, who recently sober, is desperate for a new attention grabbing ploy. And let’s face it, every teenage girl with a substance abuse problem, should probably be in a garage, excuse me, loft, band. Somehow, she finds herself the lead singer of the band, wherein she sings FOR THE FIRST TIME at some open mic, battle of the bands, I-wish-I-was-dead-instead-of-sitting-through-this gig and fails miserably. She does sort of redeem herself (and my self esteem) in the final scene. If only she would have fallen off the wagon BEFORE her stint in The Frozen Embryos.

2. Violet Bickerstaff on Saved by the Bell “The Glee Club” (1990)

Does anyone know how reruns work? Like, who decides what episodes will air when, in what order and how often? I watched SBTB every day after school on TBS for probably about a decade, and THIS episode is one of those that I always hoped for, but rarely aired. The gang, in an attempt to win a group trip to Hawaii, joins the Bayside Glee club, which will compete for such a prize with other local schools. Unfortunately, no one in the gang, or otherwise, SCOTT WOLF, can sing, except Jessie, who has caught Lisa’s cold (“Saawwrry,” Lisa says, in a clip that is featured in the opening credits for years to come, possibly because she is wearing the fiercest get-up ever worn). After discovering that Violet Bickerstaff, ahem, TORI SPELLING can sing, Zack and Mr. Tuttle make a plan to feature her, and downplay everyone else. It’s a foolproof plan really, the judges are never going to notice those innocuous “bum bum” noises they’re making, it totally sounds like harmony! However, their plans are foiled when a lovesick Screech simply ruins dinner at the Bickerstaff’s house, and Mr./Mrs. Bickerstaff FORBID Violet to see “Samuel” anymore, which means, no more glee club. She arrives last minute for the performance, but not before the club tries to pull a Milli Vanilli with a tape deck and cassette of the L.A. glee club (really?? the L.A. glee club?)

1. Clare Arnold on Beverly Hills, 90210 “The Long Goodbye” (1997)

When given this week’s topic, I had a moment of “I can’t think of any sing—oh Clare Arnold!” As surprised as I was with myself for coming up with a somewhat longish list of “must sing” incidents, I was more surprised to discover that this episode is, in fact, my FAVORITE BH, 90210 episode of all time. Though, not so much the talent show side-story, in which Clare sings, but for the fact that Brandon and Kelly get back together after she shows him that she’s been wearing the engagement ring he once gave her on a necklace (“I couldn’t bear anyone else having it”) and he thinks she went to the airport to see Dylan, and they hug, and make out, and confess their love. Aaaannyway, back to Clare, who despite having seemingly atrocious vocal stylings, signs up for the annual Greek life talent show at CU, to pay homage to her late mother through song. Unfortunately, boyfriend Steve Sanders (a talent in his own right) must find the right way to tell Clare that she’s horrible. It gets emotional when she reveals how important it is to her to sing this song, a favorite of her mother’s (who apparently sang it wonderfully, obviously) in front of a room full of peers who will shun her ever after. But wait, Clare is privy to the secret of a gorgeous voice: “sing from the heart.” Jesus. Did someone really write that down? Who approved this script? Clare can’t sing, BUT, perhaps if she really tries FROM THE HEART, truly and deeply from within, she will invoke the spirit of her dead mother, and sing beautifully while simultaneously coming to terms with her death. It’s TV GOLD!

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