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Archive for the ‘Taxi’ Category

Oh, snow. You crafty bastard. Always using your wiles in the most inconvenient ways. You show yourself at the most inopportune times, blanketing our fake towns in fluffy white mush (that is CLEARLY not real snow), stranding our favorite fictional characters in cars and cabins and forcing dramatic, and sometimes hilarious, confrontations. You are cold, you are ruthless, you are unforgiving.

Keep up the good work.

5. My Boys “Madder of Degrees” (2009)

Ok, so TECHNICALLY this episode of the cable series is about what happens when a heatwave hits during a typically brutal Chicago winter but, in this case, I think it works since the absence of snow, really, is the device used here. Also, it’s -5 in Chicago right now and the very notion of a day when it’s suddenly warm enough to wear SHORTS and eat ICE CREAM makes me want to recite all of the episode’s lines by memory. I mean, it’s so cold that you actually have a moment, while walking outside, where you wonder if maybe you should just give up, if you should just lie down on the snowy sidewalk and let the cold take you. You wish for death, basically. I’m not even kidding. That’s how cold it is right now.

So yes, when PJ states that a warm day during a Chicago winter leads to 24 hours of temporary INSANITY, believe her. It’s the truth. Chicago winter will make you do insane things. Like spontaneously getting a super-nice condo with the guy you’ve only been dating for three months. Or getting a dog. And a Jeep. With no windows.

4. How I Met Your Mother “Three Days of Snow” (2009)

I just re-read the description of what happens in this episode and am amazed, once more, by how much plot HIMYM can cram into 22 minutes of air time. Basically, it boils down to Ted and Barney getting to man the bar in a blizzard (which goes great, “it’s THE DREAM”, until it’s overrun by college kids), Lily having a bunch of hilarious run-ins with her old car service driver Rajit at the airport, and Robin and Marshall stuck in the classic “It’s snowing really hard so of course let’s get stuck in our car” device. Does this ever actually happen in real life? Or is this a result of all these television episodes being written in Los Angeles, where a dude in a Hawaiian shirt sits at his desk, trying to guess how snow must feel and what it’s like when it actually falls from the sky. “People must get trapped in their cars ALL THE TIME,” he mutters to himself and reaches for another Corona Light. Yeah, I thought so.

3. Gilmore Girls “Love and War and Snow” (2000)

It’s hard to imagine a list about snow without mentioning Lorelai Gilmore. Lorelai loves snow, to the point that she can SENSE when the first snowfall of the season is coming, dragging everyone (her daughter, her boyfriend at the time) out into the middle of Stars Hollow to enjoy the first flakes. She’s crazy. About SNOW. (God, I’m tired.)

Anyway. Though there is a lovely episode in later seasons where Lorelai and Luke battle over whether snow is the most magical thing on Earth or just a royal pain in the ass (culminating in Lorelai getting all grumpy about her former BFF snow and Luke feeling bad so he builds her an ICE RINK on her front lawn. He really would’ve gotten the prize for Best Boyfriend Over 35 Ever if he hadn’t, you know, hid a secret daughter from his girlfriend for two months.) I prefer the Season 1 episode, where a snowstorm forces Rory’s adorable teacher/would-be boyfriend of Lorelai to stay the night with the Gilmores. If only for Rory, who gets to display a LOT of awkward small-talk with her TEACHER who woke up IN HER HOUSE the next morning.

2. Alias “Cipher” 2002

Let’s all agree to pretend that 1) the last season of Alias didn’t exist and 2) Season 2 of JJ Abrams’ spy show is seriously fantastic. “Cipher” is one of my favorites, with Sid’s near-death experience once of her most harrowing, involving Siberia, some thin ice, an ICE CAVE and a creepy music box.  The ending succeeds with a nasty cliffhanger. Just watch.

1. Taxi “Scenskees From a Marriage (Parts 1 & 2)” 1982


Back to the old “car stranded in the snow” routine! This time there’s SEX involved. Hol-ler! Latka is sent out to rescue a female cabbie who’s trapped in the snow. Unfortunately, he gets trapped with her and that whole “body heat” thing comes into play. So, yeah, Latka gets lucky, his wife Simca is pissed and their only solution (clearly) is for Simca to now have sex with one of Latka’s friends. Alex. Resulting in one of the show’s best lines ever- “Now peel me like a grape so I can get out of here.”

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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: Taxi

The One When: Jim takes his driving test. Why Elaine, Tony, Bobby and Alex think it’s a good idea for this guy to get behind the wheel, I’ll never know.

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by Judi

5. Happy Days– Joanie Marries Chachi in “Passages (2)” (1984)

I, like many other children of the ’80s, was far too invested in the relationship of Joanie and Chachi. This wasn’t really my fault, though, and I’ll tell you why (of course I’ll tell you why.) Happy Days ran for so long that it had kind of the same emotional effect as a long-running soap opera. Meaning that most of us actually watched these crazy kids grow up. And, of course, the producers knew that and tied in the long-awaited wedding with what has to be the sappiest montage in television history and a tearful good-bye from the Cunningham family. Also, Scott Baio was seriously cute (and such is the depth of my affection that I can almost forgive his quoting song lyrics as vows. Ugh. Almost).

4. Cheers– Diane Doesn’t Marry Frasier in “Rescue Me” (1985)

As iconic TV couples go, you just can’t ignore Sam and Diane. The classic opposites-attract model of sitcom romance, playboy barkeep Sam’s constant wooing of aloof, refined Diane is pretty much the gold standard for inciting a riot of “will they or won’t they” among viewers everywhere. And if there’s anything TV viewers like better than a sitcom romance, it’s when that sitcom romance interrupts a wedding to another person (see Friends, Ross and Emily.) Poor Frasier. Luckily for all of us, he bounced back from this hitch in Italy to marry Lilith, one of the greatest characters in the history of the small screen.

3. Melrose Place– Craig marries Sydney in “Who’s Afraid of Amanda Woodward?” (1997)

Melrose Place was a solid prime-time soap, a bit dirtier and grungier than its BH counterpart and oh, we so loved it for that. Forget any shred of sap or sentiment. This wedding basically came about due to the high you get (or so I’ve heard) from a solid backstabbing- Craig and good old Syd plan to get hitched after basically ruining Amanda and stealing all of the clients from D & D.  Too bad it ends up with Sydney being awesomely mowed over by a car and, you know, dying. (Or not as she’s apparently going to be on the CW’s remake which I’m sure will be just as boring and stupid as the new 90210). I’m pretty sure Craig was the only one at the wedding who was actually bummed about it too.

2. Taxi– “The Wedding of Latka and Simka” (1982)

Andy Kaufman’s Latka was always good for a go-to laugh, if only for the seemingly bizarre culture of his native country, which Wikipedia helpfully reminds me was called “Caspiar.” His marriage to Simka is a perfect example. Instead of a simple ceremony, the couple are forced to partake in a series of really weird tests before they can get married in the garage, presided over by that dude from Ghost. Hijinks and hilarity ensue.

1. Mad About You– “Mad About You” (1995)

While not even close on my list of favorite shows, I sometimes get the strangest hankering for old episodes of Mad About You. Maybe it has something to do with the way Paul Reiser talks with his hands. Or how Helen Hunt always looks like she wants to kill someone. Whatever it is, unlike Beal, I found the show to be pretty smart for a traditional sitcom. It felt more realistic as a New York show (than, say, Friends) and, let’s face it, meditations on married life can either be great (Everybody Loves Raymond) or AWFUL (‘Til Death) Mad About You struck right in the middle, though sometimes veering a little too far into reality for some people’s taste (they split up for a while, a big no-no in sitcom land).

This is my favorite wedding for personal reasons. In short, I think weddings are kind of stupid. A wedding costs an OBSCENE amount of money for what basically amounts to a party with bad food. You throw together all of the people in your life (ie AWKWARD) and then basically demand a giant gift in return. Other than the free booze and seeing your Aunt Muriel boogying to old Motown, I’d much prefer to get married the way Paul and Jamie do- on a dirty New York street in front of a work crew at 4am, presided over by Lyle Lovett.

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With the unseasonably warm weather drawing me outdoors this week, I’ve missed out on a great deal of fabulous television, however anything important that I missed over the past week, was picked up by the miracle that is DVR. Still, not even DVR can bring back the shows I really miss. In no particular order, here are my top ten favorite shows I can’t find anywhere (cable, Internet, DVD:

1. Just the Ten of Us

2. The Jetsons

3. thirtysomething

4. Small Wonder

5. The Wonder Years

6. I’m Telling

7. Salute Your Shorts

8. Duckman

9. Murphy Brown (only season 1 was ever released on DVD)

10. Mr. Belvedere

I’m sure there are many many more that both time and I have forgotten, but for now, I’d love nothing more than a one day marathon of each of the above shows to appear on TNT or the USA network, or for the love of god on Hulu or DVD.

–BEAL

Ok, first of all- I REALLY miss Just the Ten of Us too and seeing this old commercial my brother sent me just makes me miss it more…


Second of all, I cannot believe thirtysomething nor Murphy Brown are not on DVD. I’m reeling in shock and dismay over here. Remember when the TV Gods bowed down to Murphy Brown? (Wow, I really regret that sentence).

My List could be on DVD but really needs to go back to syndication (aka Free)

1. Boy Meets World

2. Hey Dude

3. Taxi

4. California Dreams

5. Fifteen

6. Welcome Freshmen

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do a little more panicked research on the possibility of a Moonlighting movie…

– Judi

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