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Archive for the ‘Roseanne’ Category

Show: Roseanne

Moment: Ok, ok. I’m cheating here. There are three great moments here, crammed into this seven minute clip as Roseanne responds to David’s request to live with the Connors instead of his verbally abusive mother, hair teased within an inch of her life. 1) “Oh, I am in this now.” Roseanne responding to her daughters being called “whores”. I wouldn’t blame that actress for quaking in her boots. 2) “It’s people like you who give white trash a bad name.” How do you pull a laugh from this scene? It’s diabolical. 3) “It’s a boy!” YAY!

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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 Beal

8

There are very few (if any) holidays that are as inherently zany as Halloween. From the boatloads of candy to the low rent pranks to the costumes (oohh the costumes!), not to mention all the scary stuff, this spooky pagan holiday is ready made screwball entertainment and I for one LOVE IT. Seriously, there’s nothing better than a quality HALLOWEEN-ISODE if you ask me. Sure it’d be fun to cobble together a costume, go out trick-or-treating and engage in neighborly shenanigans, but isn’t it so much more enjoyable to curl up on your couch with a plastic pumpkin full of fun (okay fine, KING) size candy bars and watch your favorite television characters do it for you? Their costumes are so much more elaborate and well-fitting, their top-notch pranks go off without a hitch and their haunted houses seem really fun. That said, if I had my way, EVERY sitcom (and most serialized dramas*) would be REQUIRED to air a Halloween Special ANNUALLY or risk  a hefty fine.

However, most shows don’t take advantage of the intrinsic amusement that IS Halloween. The following are five shows that did, in a memorable fashion, commemorate Halloween with special Halloween-isode:

5.  My So Called Life “Halloween” 1994

halloween my so called lifeInterestingly (or maybe not so much) this is my LEAST favorite episode of this show. Now that’s not to say this episode wasn’t good, because it was, it just always pissed me off when I was really in the mood for some teen angst and flannel and what I got was a bizarre ghost story. If I remember correctly, legend has it that some punk kid in the 1960’s (whose 90’s counterpart is obviously Jordan Catalano) named Nicky Driscoll attempted some prank in the high school gymnasium and fell off the ceiling rafters only to be impaled by a high-heeled shoe on the floor. (I’m pretty sure I didn’t make this up). The spookiest part? Angela totally finds a library book he once checked out! And for the rest of the episode, sees his ghost around the school. Wait a minute? Was this a very special episode? Was this “The One Where Rayanne Drops LSD in Angela’s Sunny-D?” Because it might as well be. Let’s also not forget that kid sister Danielle dresses up as Angela to go trick-or-treating with cat/rat/slut Sharon, Rayanne and Brian sleep together (literally sleep) in the boiler room at school and Mr. and Mrs. Chase make everyone throw up with their gratuitous, I’ll just leave it at that.

4.  Frasier “Room Full of Heroes” 2001

RoomFullOfHeroes-smallWell, it wouldn’t be a party at the Crane’s if it wasn’t pretentious, uncomfortable and psuedointellectual and a costume party should be no exception, which is why Frasier decides to throw a douchey “dress as your hero” party, that no one wants to attend, as evidenced by the fact that no one but Niles, Martin, Daphne and Roz attended. (Really think about that. Imagine if you threw a PARTY and the only people that came were your brother, your father, your father’s housekeeper and your pathetic co-worker. Time to re-evaluate your life). At any rate, Frasier dresses up like Sigmund Frued because he’s obvious and a tool, Martin dresses as Joe DiMaggio, Niles as Martin (in a blatant attempt to suck up, but, because it’s a sitcom this obviously takes a comedic 180), Daphne as Elton John (what?) and Roz as, wait for it, Wonder Woman. Initially, she pretends that she misunderstood and thought the party was a superhero party, but later we discover that in fact, Roz’s hero is actually Wonder Woman–It must feel awesome to get mocked at a party where you were the only person attending that is not directly related and/or employed by the host.

3.  Family Matters “Dog Day Halloween” 1990

ve4pir.jpgBank robbery hostage situation combined with Halloween? Uh, yes please! I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but for some reason Steve Urkel and Laura Winslow make their way into the bank on the evening of October 31 just as some crooks roll in for a stick up. What business two 9th graders had at the bank of an evening, we’ll never know. The important thing is that Laura is rocking a terrific Tina Turner get up and poor cheese-loving Steve, dressed as Superman, fails to save the day (enter the fattest Chicago P.D. ever Carl Winslow). Oh, and if you thought Laura’s costume was impressive, get a load of Judy’s (Ms. Jackson’s if you’re nasty), which is the most authentic looking child’s Halloween Costume I have ever seen.

2.  Freaks and Geeks “Tricks and Treats” 1999

freaks-tricks-715848Talk about a fun old fashioned Halloween! The Weir’s and their friends really bring it! Mom’s in the kitchen baking festive cookies that all the trick-or-treaters are tossing on her lawn for fear of poison and razor blades. Dad’s bitching about every aspect of the holiday. Lindsay’s ditching her mom and their annual tradition of handing out treats together in corresponding costumes to engage in local mayhem with her friends and little Sam is dressing up in a makeshift robot costume and going trick-or-treating with two other virgins-for-life who’ve dressed as Charlie Chaplin Hitler and the Bionic Woman. Things get tricky when Lindsay inadvertently targets Sam in her Halloween havoc by nailing him with a couple of eggs, RUINING his Halloween night. Oddly, Lindsay felt awful about hitting her little brother and his cohorts with eggs and hustled home to finish handing out treats with her mother in lieu of smashing mailboxes and pumpkins with her friends. Sam [probably] went to his room, removed the silver painted cardboard box from his person and cried like a bitch.

1.  Roseanne “Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down” 1991

Deadgar and MortyIt would have been easy to populate this list exclusively with episodes of Roseanne. When it came to the Halloween Special, this sitcom was not fucking around. Along with The Simpsons, the program really cornered the market on spooktacular (Oh, I just had to use that word at some point. HAD TO) specials. In this installment from season 4, the Queen of Halloween lures her stick-up-her-ass neighbor Kathy Bowman into the house so that she will discover Dan’s bloodied body on the kitchen table with his guts hanging out. Rosie cruelly enters the room with a bloodies shirt, wielding a rather large knife, scaring the bejesus out of Kathy, forcing Roseanne to spend the rest of the night stalking Kathy at the Lodge costume party, in order to quell any attempt at revenge. The greatest scene in this episode however, is Dan and Roseanne’s vaudevillian-esque dead ventriloquist show, it “kills” me every time!

“Say isn’t that Jackie over there? I hear she’s a truck driver now!”

“Well that’s a switch, Jackie in the front seat with her feet on the floor.”

 

*It would be ridiculous for say, Lost or 24 to include a Halloween special in their plot-line, but welcome nonetheless.

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by Beal

5. Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld (1989 – 1998)

seinfeld_tv_showAt first glance, Jerry’s wardrobe isn’t that aesthetically offensive, but take a closer look. First of all, Jerry, I thought you were a native New Yorker, but nothing says “I’m Canadian and have no pride” quite like the entirely denim outfits you insist on wearing throughout the tenure of your program. And as if that weren’t awful enough, you frequently church that outfit up with a tweed jacket and tweed tie, to say nothing of the occasional sweater vest. Worse, you wear black jeans, tapered black jeans and seemingly try and pass them off as “dress” pants. But you know what accessory really ties the whole heinous get up together? The solid white cross trainers you insist on wearing with EVERYTHING. Do you have an orthopedic issue we’re not aware of? And I’m not even going to touch your early 90’s stand-up attire. The blazer with the jeans. A lot of tucking. You’re a funny guy, with his own apartment and a decent job in the entertainment industry. Enlist the help of Elaine already and get yourself some modern apparel, because like it or not, the puffy shirt was actually an improvement.

4. Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls (1985 – 1992)

dorothyOh Dorothy! Words can’t even describe the crimes against fashion that you have committed. Is that a nightgown? A long dress with an oversized vest? A one-piece skirt/skort/pant/jacket/blouse? Does that zip as one somewhere in the back? And why do you insist on rolling up the sleeves on EVERYTHING that you wear? Who do you think you are? Don Johnson? And what’s with the boots? The bottom of your dress/skirt/gown/pant has never approached anything short of ankle length, so I’m unsure why you’d go the extra mile and put on any kind of boot. You’ve now forced me to consider why you’re so steadfastly preventing any glimpse of your legs and for that, I hate myself. Oh, and Pussycat, lose the bow tie!

3. Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men (2003 – Present)

Charlie HarperWho dresses like this? And why am I supposed to think it’s cool? This is a grown ass man, who brings home REALLY ATTRACTIVE women like it’s his job, yet he spends his days clad in bowling shirts of various hideous colorways, CARGO SHORTS repeat: CARGO SHORTS,  and worst of all, mid-calf length socks and slip on shoes. Is he retarded? These get-ups sort of seem like the Garanimals of alcoholic adults–all the shirts match all the pants, match all the socks so getting dressed is simple! Perhaps the reason he never gets past the one-night stand (I’ve seen like six episodes of this show, the running theme seems to be that women swoon over him and then sleep with him hours after meeting him) is not because of his super cool fear of commitment and Peter Pan syndrome, but rather because when the girls get up to pee in the middle of the night, they catch a glimpse of his closet and realized that the just had sex with a man who wears bowling shirts, exclusively.

2. Nancy Bartlett on Roseanne (1991 – 1997)

Picture 2You’ve got to have some pretty hideous duds to stand out on Roseanne. For Christ’s sake, Rosie spent half the series in an oversized rooster/chicken T-shirt, and Aunt Jackie has some of the ugliest sweaters television has ever seen outside of the Huxtable house, however, these costumes seemed to fit the characters. That’s who they were and for that, I can forgive the fashion faux pas. Nancy on the other hand, is unforgivable. Seemingly, this bitch never met a piece of spandex or animal print (bonus if it’s both) she didn’t love. Acid washed high waisted jeans? Fantastic! They’ll look dazzling with that leopard leotard and jacket that somehow involves fur. Neon! Why not? Apparently she never got the memo that she was living in 1990’s Lanford, Illinois and working at a loose meat sandwich shop and not in early 1980’s New Jersey and working at a hair salon in the mall. I like to think that if we’d seen Kimmy Gibler all grown up, her wardrobe would have been identical.

1.  Jerri Blank on Strangers with Candy (1999 – 2000)

105ficusNo other character on television has ever or will ever have a wardrobe quite as grotesque as Jerri Blank’s. It’s wonderfully repugnant, ugly in every way–cheap, synthetic fabrics cut in the most unflattering of ways, usually featuring colors in the rust family, really and truly a more hideous look has never existed. In the first episode, we learn that Jerri shops at The Comfort Zone, (which I can only imagine went out of business sometime in the 1970’s) and in subsequent interviews with Amy Sedaris that her look was achieved when Sedaris described to the wardrobe department that she needed to look “like someone who owns a snake.” Well, mission accomplished. Not only do I believe that this woman owns a snake, I also believe that she is a delusional 46 year old high school freshman who has spent more than one late night chained to a radiator snortin’ horse and smokin’ sticks of pot.

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by Beal

5.  ER – Chloe gives birth to Baby Susie in “Motherhood” (May 11, 1995)

A lesser TV authority would never have included this on their list. A main character’s sister gives birth and it makes a Top Five list? Who does that? Well, I do, and here’s why. First of all, we’re talking ER season 1, when this show was the greatest program I had ever watched, and not just Law & Order‘s fiercest competition for longest running show and most frequent cast changer. I was OBSESSED with the Chloe/Susan plot line. Check it, Susan is an ER doctor, her sister Chloe, is a junkie. When she turns up pregnant, Susan takes her in but despite her best efforts, Chloe just can’t stay clean. Obviously she gives birth in Susan’s emergency room, in a memorable scene in which she yells for The Beatles “Blackbird” to play as her daughter is being born. Following the birth of Baby Susie, Chloe and Susan’s mother, COOKIE, arrives at the hospital since the plan all along was for Cookie to raise the baby. At the last minute though, bitchy/flaky Cookie (seriously, you can’t trust anyone called Cookie) decides she’s taken care of Chloe long enough and by default, Susan is now the mother of the possible crack baby that was named after her. Important to note: Quentin Tarantino directed this episode.

4. Roseanne – Jackie has Andy out of wedlock in “Labor Day” (March 8, 1994)

Coming in at number four, Roseanne manages to eliminate the sappy emotional swill of the Very Special Birth Episode in exchange for madcap hilarity, sitcom style. I believe Jackie’s surprise pregnancy was written into the show, on account of actress Laurie Metcalf’s real life pregnancy, which explains how her terrifying pregnant belly in the hilarious bathroom scene with Roseanne looks so damn real (and terrifying). Expecting for Jackie to remain in labor for several hours, Roseanne and Jackie hesitate to call Fred, who barely makes it to the hospital in time to see the birth of his child. Remember though, it is a sitcom, and he is required to be in the room, in order to faint at the first sign of anything grotesque. In the final moments, they forgo the usual eight month old baby covered in goo scheme and use the camera instead, giving the audience the newborn’s P.O.V. Just watch:

3. Weeds – Nancy forces doctor to remove baby ASAP in “Where the Sidewalk Ends” (July 20, 2009)

Things start to get a little creepy when Nancy discovers a “birthing room” in her Mexican drug kingpin boyfriend’s house. She’s pregnant, and because she narked out Esteban’s trafficking operation, it’s the only reason she’s still alive. When she realizes that this powerful man is going to force her to have this baby at home OFF THE GRID, and then probably murder her, it’s time to take action. She needs a birth certificate, and witnesses. It’s a matter of life and death. Fortunately, ol’ Andy Botwin is there to save the day (in the General Lee) and rushes Nancy to none other than Dr. Alanis Morissette, who induces labor immediately, after hearing the story of the whackjob drug kingpin baby daddy. When Esteban arrives at the hospital he insists that Nancy leave immediately, it’s too late though, and the nurse presents his son, Stevie Ray Botwin.

2. Murphy Brown – Single working mom, Murphy has a baby boy in “Birth 101” (May 18, 1992)

Much to Vice President Dan Quayle’s chagrin, a fictional unmarried career woman gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on May 18, 1992. In an episode that was both heartwarming and hilarious, the entire news team works together to get this baby born. From Jim’s awkward attempts to take Murphy’s mind off the pain and his total discomfort with the mere thought of her lady parts, to Frank’s idiotic antics and attempts to empathize, Miles inability to focus on anyone but himself (granted, he was shot at while trying to locate Eldin) to Corky’s rush to the pharmacy to refill her prescription to birth control pills, this episode is comedy gold, and a major watercooler moment in television history. Eldin shows up at the last minute (after a jaunt to Maryland for some crabcakes) and the baby is born. The news team comes in for a final congratulations, with Phil in tow (let’s just say this, if I ever have a baby, I hope my favorite bartender is among the first visitors, too) before Murphy holds her son for the first time. “Hi. I see you got a little hat,” she says, before Frank re-enters to tape their first moment together and Murphy begins to sing Carole King’s “Natural Woman” and I start crying.

1.  Dallas – Drunk Sue Ellen gives birth to John Ross Ewing III in “John Ewing III Pt.” (April 6, 1979)

It’s a wonder little John Ross isn’t retarded. For the entirety of Sue Ellen’s pregnancy she not only drank, but drank to total blackout most, if not all evenings. She was reeling from the breakup of her most recent affair with Cliff Barnes (the Ewing’s arch-nemisis) and wasn’t even sure if the baby was Cliff’s or her husband J.R.’s (we find out later it is, in fact, J.R.’s). Weeks before the baby was born, J.R. checks Sue Ellen into a sanitarium (rehab would be used today, but hey, it was the 70’s) where she bribes an orderly for booze. Once she’s good and liquored up, she escapes lockdown, steals a car and smashes it right into a telephone pole. She is rushed to the hospital and gives birth to a baby whose life is clearly in danger. Sue Ellen isn’t doing so hot herself, either. Eventually the baby is deemed in good health, but then is kidnapped, before he makes it home to Southfork. Sue Ellen continues drinking and neglects her child until midway through the following season.

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by Beal

On the rare occasion that I do get up off my couch and venture out into the real world, it’s hard for me not only to cope without the constant entertainment that the rectangle of moving colors and sounds provides, but also to see people and places outside the context of the small screen. Case and point, my most recent trip to Chicago.

I flew the 1.5 hour junket from D.C. on a sunny Thursday morning. About 10 minutes prior to our final decent I could notice the thickening of the suburbs outside my tiny window. Hmm, I bet if Lanford, IL were real, we’d probably be flying over it right about now. Guessing in my head that what I saw below me was far enough from the city, but close enough to Elgin to logistically be the official locale of the Conner family of Delaware Ave, Lanford, IL.

family-matters-1989

As the plane began its decline, my thoughts switched from the Conners, to the Winslows, because whatever neighborhood I was staring out at, had a lot of yellowish/brownish brick houses that looked pretty much exactly like Carl and Harriet’s. Not to mention my overwhelming urge to belt out “CHOOM CHU CHU CHU. . .

After de-planing (that is a real word, I think) I gathered my bags and followed signs to board the El Train, at which point I remembered the episode of ER in which Dr. Gant (Omar Epps) attempts suicide by jumping in front of the train. He is rushed to County General and when the unidentified victim’s beeper goes off, the doctors discover that they’re treating one of their own.

WaynesWld2_Still_PK_7864My primary reason for visiting Chicago was to attend Lollapalooza a three-day outdoor music festival, not unlike Waynestock, which technically took place in Aurora, and was technically a movie (based on a TV skit) but hey, close enough. Coincidentally, the last musical performance I witnessed involved Joe Perry from Aerosmith (in my case joining Jane’s Addiction) and after the credits rolled, I, like the Indian shed a tear for the amount of disgusting garbage that three days of partying on created.

IMG_3301After my three days at the festival, I spent a lovely Monday touring the city, and that’s when things got television-wise, way out of hand. I quick jaunt around downtown and I was inundated with more television references than I could handle. It was one thing when I walked past Wrigley Field on Saturday night, and thought, not fondly of an American pastime but, obviously, of Larry and Balki. But, when I saw this other Chicago landmark, I couldn’t figure out why I felt like I had been there before (and maybe I had) but mostly it’s because for eight years on TGIF, we saw those two Chicagoan cousins rushing off the train to patronize the arts.

After walking around downtown and enjoying the many other buildings and the skyline that both Perfect Strangers and Family Matters made feel important to me, I made my way down to the Art Institute of Chicago. I know what you’re thinking, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which although it’s a movie, I can talk about because it is, as I type, it is recording on my DVR. A perfect plan. I type ABOUT the movie, while it records enough of the program to allow me to fast-forward through all the commercials. Plus, I’ll get to revisit the museum, from the comfort of my davenport, allowing me to see the following gems once again.

212937_f520hb_67.231.1So, I was at first ashamed to admit that the when I first saw the Frank Lloyd Wright window, a stunning piece of design and architecture in its own right, all I could think of was D.J.’s side of the room on Full House, if only a George Michael poster were inlaid in front of it. I felt like much less of an idiot though, when after a little online research, I discovered that IN FACT D.J.’s wallpaper is based on a F.L.W. Picture 1window design and that I, although ignorant in origin of design, feel quite proud that I could recognize the similarities between two of Frank’s finer works.

iowa-american-gothic-grant-wood1And finally, no visit to the Art Institute of Chicago would be complete without a viewing of American Gothic, an American institution of its own. This is one of those images, that I’ve seen so many hundreds of time in my life, that seeing the REAL version was sort of a let down. Like, wow, my neighbor had that poster in college, it’s equally as powerful to view it now. Somehow though, through my disappointment I was able to see it in a whole new light. It’s at time’s like these that I really wish I had any kind of photoshop skills because when I saw American Gothic, all I really thought was, hey, that looks just like Joanna Kerns from Growing Pains and Sir Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame. NEAT!

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by Beal

5. Crossing Jordan and Las Vegas Cross in “What Happens in Vegas Dies in Boston” (2004)

NUP_105415_0701This is a prime example of NBC trying to boost ratings on two absolute B-list shows. Even I didn’t watch Las Vegas, but as the one and only fan of Crossing Jordan I was admittedly a little bit stoked when the powers that be decided to blend these two sort-of crime dramas into one big case that spanned two episodes, one of each show. Now, first of all, Jordan Cavanaugh (Jill Hennessey) is a medical examiner in Boston, where she has NO JURISDICTION outside of medical examination. 18845379Similarly Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel) and Sam Marquez (Vanessa Marcil) who work in a Vegas casino, obviously have no jurisdiction anywhere outside of that casino, let alone in a different city, in a different state. Vigilante folks, vigilante. Anyway, some high roller from Vegas dies on an airplane headed towards Boston, and Jordan, Danny and Sam join forces with Det. Woody Hoyt (Jerry O’Connell, could this crime busting team get any better? I submit that it cannot.) and solve the crime. Also Woody and Sam hook up, and Woody appears in at least four more episodes of Las Vegas, which clearly did nothing for ratings, as both shows were soon canned. (Note: I seriously LOVE Crossing Jordan and will expand on this at a later date.)

 

4. Detective John Munch arrests the Lone Gunmen in on The X-Files “Unusual Suspects” (1997)

r_belzerDetective John Munch (Richard Belzer)  is a walking crossover. The role of Det. Munch originated on Homicide: Life on the Streets and nearing the end of its run, Munch appeared in a 1997 episode of The X-Files. Due to a busy shooting schedule (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were filming for both the show and the feature film) writers decided to do a special episode about the Lone Gunmen and how they met. To get to the flashback though, the oddball trio were arrested in Baltimore and questioned by none other than Detective Munch. A year later, Homicide was cancelled and Munch was transferred to New York City and the latest Law & Order spinoff, Special Victims Unit. While portraying the same character YET AGAIN, Belzer also appeared in two other L&W franchise programs (Trial by Jury and plain), The Wire and Arrested Development. I find it odd, that a character this nondescript could transcend space and time to appear in so many programs. I bet when SVU is cancelled the actual LAPD assign him to some kind of task force.

3. The Sitcom Moms visit Roseanne Conner in “All About Rosey” (1995)

lookalikeroseanne16496roseanneI’m not sure if this technically counts as a “crossover” since every character that crossed over’s show had long since been off the air, but still, this crappy clip show is what I will consider a crossover extravaganza featuring not one, but FIVE different crossed characters from FIVE different television shows including June Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver, Ruth Martin from Lassie, Norma Arnold from The Wonder Years, Weezy from The Jeffersons and then that other lady who according to IMDB is from Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1965-1967). Yes I recognize that this was a lame gimmick during an otherwise not great era of my favorite TV show, but fine, uncle, I was totally pumped that these five TV mom’s came together in the Conner kitchen and were forced out of their comfort zones and into that of the “Domestic Goddess.”

Roseanne: One time, I found some old reefer in the basement.
June Cleaver: Reefer?
Roseanne: Ask Eddie Hascal…anyway I thought it belonged to David, he’s the boy who sleeps with my daughter. But it turned out it was MY old pot! 

2. The Jetsons Meet the Flinstones (1987)

There is no reason I should glean as much as much joy from this cheap stunt Hanna-Barbera pulled back in the late 80’s, but something about time travel and mixing the space age and the stone age with corporate intrigue entertains me. And as if it wasn’t enough that the futuristic gadget-laden Jetsons made their way back in time, wouldn’t you know it, an error in the time machine would bring the cave-dwelling Flinstones into the future! Imagine that! I also always love that upon first meeting both parties believed the others to be aliens, because that makes sense. The Jetsons don’t even know where they landed, wouldn’t they assume it was earth, especially when the “aliens” were speaking English? As for the Flinstones, they were barely bi-pedal, so I won’t fault them for their stupidity. The fact that Judy Jetson wanted to get away from her rockstar boyfriend because he was spending too much time with groupies only bolsters my opinion of this excellent MFTV crossover program.

 

1. Steve Urkel takes Al to the dance on Step by Step “The Dance” (1991)

I am a sucker for any episode of any show featuring a school dance and the requisite disappointment and self-esteem deflation that comes along with it. In this classic episode of Step by Step tomboy Al is asked to the dance by the hot pitcher on her baseball team. Guess what’s going to happen next. . .Oh yes, of course, he decides to go with a different, prettier, more popular girl, leaving Al dateless and depressed, that is until Steve Urkel steps up to the plate (enough with the baseball references already). I mean, who better to really stick it to the hot popular guy with, than some stereotypically nerdy, high-waters wearing, squeeky voiced friend of your half-brother’s whose affinity for cheese is tantamount to his ability to RUIN everything he touches, but in a hilarious slapstick kind of way of course? Well, the night of the dance, Al is dressed to the nines in a lovely early nineties floral number and she and Urkel are going to have some fun, show you how it’s done TGIF! (I totally just said that.) Bonus points for a guided dance-along!

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