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Archive for the ‘Seinfeld’ Category

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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I planned this party for you later today… I hope you enjoy it.

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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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Show: Seinfeld

Moment: George recounting how he saved a beached whale while posing as a marine biologist, the conclusion coming full-circle with Kramer’s new hobby of hitting golf balls into the ocean. It’s not so much the reveal that I love as much as George’s posturing, as if he’s retelling The Old Man & The Sea. “The sea was angry that day, my friends. Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.”

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by Beal

Back in 1981 Luke and Laura set the bar pretty high for television weddings, drawing nearly 30 million viewers–the most ever for a daytime drama. That said, be aware that the following nuptials do not begin to compare–in total viewers, quality or emotional impact. I now pronounce these, my favorite television weddings of all time:

5. Ross & Rachel on Friends 1999

Sure, maybe Monica and Chandler’s wedding was more “romantic” or “planned,” and Ross and Emily’s wedding was a bigger television event, but Ross and Rachel’s drunken mid-blackout accidental wedding, is one of the few moments on Friends that was funny even after “The Rachel” had grown out. Sure I’m a sucker for any drunken debauchery from characters that are normally as sober as practicing Mormons, but this scene is both a classic and a cautionary tale, and what more could we ask from a couple of talent-free millionaires?

 

4. Nancy Botwin & Peter Scottson on Weeds 2006

weeds11Hmm, I’m not sure I’m proud that at least two of my favorite five weddings went down in Vegas, but this quickie wedding tends to be a rather frequently used plot device in TV land. At any rate, we all know that the widow Botwin slings dope out of her suburban tract house, what we don’t learn until the end of Season 1, is that the guy she met at her son’s karate tournement and slept with a couple episodes later, is a DEA agent. She’s small potatoes when they first hook up, but when she decides to expand her business, only a marriage could keep the two together. Yes, this is a ridiculous plot point, but it is the ONLY logical way that either of these people can carry on with their lives!!! Obviously if they’re married, neither can be forced to testify against the other. Let me just sum this up, Pot Dealer marries Drug Enforcement Agent, obviously this ends in total disaster, that I applaud, leaving Nancy Botwin, twice widowed, and soon, under investigation.

 

3. Sue Ellen Mishky & Pinter on Seinfeld 1997

Fine, so I don’t know who in the hell Pinter is or where he came from, but I do know that Elaine slept with him, and that he is marrying her arch-nemisis Sue Ellen Mishky who we all remember as the bitch that wore a bra for a shirt, causing Kramer to wreck George’s car yada, yada, yada Jerry, George and Elaine attend their wedding in India, in the infamous, “backwards episode.” Mostly I love (I know, “pattern”) when Jerry uses Shnapps to gain access to Elaine’s “vault” where he finds out that she previously hooked up with Pinter when he went by Peter and how George spray painted his Timberlands black and pretended they were dress shoes, so his date wouldn’t know that he was shorter than when they met, and he was wearing Timberlands. Instead, he just looked like the asshole that spray painted his boots and pretended they were dress shoes. Let’s also not forget the the only reason the gang went to India (TO INDIA!) was to spite Sue Ellen Mishky, whom Elaine KNEW only invited her assuming she would not attend, but send a gift, the “unvitation” if you will. “Goodnight Jugdish!”

 

2. Dorothy & Lucas on The Golden Girls 1992

If you were in the market for a sappy wedding, this one’s for you! I’m not sure if I teared up because it was such a beautiful wedding, with a young, blushing bride, wait, why am I crying at some old hag’s wedding? Oh that’s right! Dorothy’s nuptials mean that she’s moving out of Blanche’s house and we’ll never again see this foursome in comedic action (until Golden Palace attempts to recreate the magic). Dorothy looks devastatingly odd (what fucking 60 year old wears a white, lace dress and a veil?) on her wedding day, and she marries Leslie Nielson, ya know, Blanche’s uncle, who originally went out with Dorothy because slutbag Blanche was too busy entertaining a man to take her relative out to dinner. The two “pretend” to get engaged to, to, uhh, to teach Blanche a lesson? And then decide that they actually love each other and decide to get married after all. Ol’ Stan Zbornak commandeers the limo that was taking Dorothy to the church, and the two have a final, touching moment before she weds an obviously more quality individual. Cut to me bawling. . .

 

1. Uncle Jesse & Becky on Full House 1991

Talk about an event wedding! Oof! I’m excited just thinking about the madcap adventure that ensued prior to Jesse’s arrival at the alter. A quick recap — the night before Jesse’s wedding day, he tells himself that it’s his last chance to, I guess, be some kind of wild man (ya know, living in his brother-in-law’s house, rent free, raising young children, playing rock n roll, combing his hair a lot) so he decides that as a final act of youth and rebellion, he’ll jump out of an airplane . . . wait for it. . . in his wedding tux. Well, obviously he gets stuck in a tree, that he is forced to drop himself out of INTO A TOMATO TRUCK! Who in the hell wrote this? What is a tomato truck? Who just packs tomatoes in the back of a pick-up? Regardless, Jesse’s now out of the tree and on his way to his own wedding when he lands himself in jail for trespassing and grand theft auto. Rebecca Donaldson comes to his rescue, bails him out (in her wedding dress) and the two appropriate a bus (was it full of nuns? I’m not sure.) and finally make it to their own wedding, where we all get the pleasure of enjoying the vocal stylings of Mr. John Stamos. . .

 


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Why NBC, you’ve done it again! I had lost all hope in you when your Thursday night lineup slummed to Joey, Will & Grace, The Apprentice and ER. It was like, just because Friends and Seinfeld had played out, you didn’t have to give up completely, but you did. I believe it was your shit Thursday that singlehandedly took your network to #4 in the ratings. Up to that point, I had always flipped to NBC when I had nothing in particular to watch during prime time, because your programming was generally better than any other network.

But then, you put Law & Order “spin-offs” [read: exactly the same show with a new tagline] (and what the hell was that one with Bebe Neuwirth?) on every single night, in every single time slot, and I had to let you go. It was a sad era for television, and I, along with the masses, said to hell with network and began obsessions with HBO and cable programming. 

Which brings me to last night. NBC, you’ve won me back!!

You have created a “Must See TV” lineup like no other, and I thank you for it. I submit that it’s better than its last heyday(s)The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Hill Street Blues—Wings, Seinfeld, Frasier, L.A. Law—and later—Friends, Seinfeld, ER.  [Yes, I intentionally didn’t mention the shitty shows that appeared amongst these gems: Boston Common, Mad About You, etc.

murray

Last night, I laughed OUT LOUD, alone, during each of the situation comedies you featured. Parks & Recreation was as funny as I could have hoped for, which obviously means it’s going to be cancelled, but I say please, please give this one a fair chance. Amy Poehler was the only reason I continued to watch SNL once it turned terrible, so I thank you for putting her in prime time. Her character is hilarious. When she rolled in in the duck taped travel pillow, pretending it was a neck brace from a fall she had endured into a pit, I peed a little. So so funny. And The Office can be totally hit or miss, but it’s funny more often than it’s not, and Michael Scott only forces me to change the channel sometimes. 30 Rock, hilarious, hilarious, hilarious. I won’t say any more. 

6a00d83451c17f69e201156f481229970b-800wi

As for Southland, I plan on giving it a fair chance and reporting back. My Name is Earl is a throw away show that’s essentially a bad skit gone on far too long. But that I can accept. Your new lineup with it’s new name COMEDY NIGHT DONE RIGHT, is no longer a lie. You win.

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I’m partly ashamed of exactly how I decided that I desperately needed to know what ever happened to Kelly Brown, but I believe the thought process to be nearly as valuable as the information regarding the whereabouts of Ms. Brown. Here goes:

While watching the Merecedes episode of The Golden Girls on the Hallmark channel last night, a commercial (not surprisingly) for denture adhesive came onto the screen. . .

OBVIOUSLY, this little ditty reminded me of a very special episode of Hey Dude! when Ted is leaving the Bar None Ranch and serenades his fellow employees to the same tune featured in the above commercial for Sea Bond– Bye bye Brad! Bye bye Melody! See ya Mr. Ernst! See ya Mr. Ernst! How I could possibly remember a 30 second scene for 19 years is a mystery, but not nearly a big of a mystery as I was about to discover when I began researching the cast of Hey Dude!

Melody (Christine Taylor) is the easy one. Apparently the only break-out star from the early 90’s Nickelodeon gem, Taylor married actor Ben Stiller and has appeared in dozens of semi-decent movies since Hey Dude went off the air.

Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin) has appeared on like, every show the 90’s had to offer from NYPD Blue to The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ellen, Seinfeld, thirtysomething and more. He even did 19 episodes of ER.

Ted (David Lascher) ended up on Blossom, Clueless and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And will likely play the role of the romantic lead’s best friend in my first Lifetime MFTVM.

Now here’s the mystery: What in the hell every happened to BRAD? DANNY? LUCY? BUDDY?

Not one of these “actors” ever worked again! How is this possible? Fine, these people weren’t the greatest thespians in the world, but come on! They couldn’t even appear as a suspect on Law & Order? I’ll give you Danny and Buddy. They clearly won some kind of Nickelodeon casting sweepstakes, neither of them were playing a role, so much as they were playing themselves but in a dude ranch setting. Lucy I could give or take, I never really identified with her because she seemed old. Brad (Kelly Brown) on the other hand, I feel like was a real talent.  

However, Hey Dude! remains the ONLY acting credit to her name. I feel like she was the beautiful, feminine 90’s version of Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon who still appears somewhat regularly on television).

I am thoroughly saddened by the disappearance of Kelly Brown, and her absence from my television screen. Furthermore, it is upsetting to find ONLY the following information about her current whereabouts, courtesey of Wikipedia. . . 

After Hey Dude, Brown left acting, got married, and started a family. She is last known to be living in upstate New York.

–BEAL

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