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Archive for the ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ Category

5.  Andrew Lawrence to Joey Lawrence in Horse Sense – Disney Channel Original Movie – November 20, 1999

So fine, Andrew Lawrence doesn’t actually utter “You’re not my father,” but the meaning is all the same AND I’ve been dying to mention Horse Sense since this blog’s inception. In a classic diluted-rich-kid-learns-the-meaning-of-hard-work SLASH hardworking-poor-people-are-about-to-lose-the-family-ranch plot, little Andrew teaches Joey a thing or two about hard work and family. Then, in an effort to prove to him how far he’s come (both in work ethic and playing a father figure type) Joey completes the tree house Andrew had been working on alone since his father passed away. When the kid arrives home to find his cousin putting the finishing touches on the LAST REMAINING TIE TO HIS DECEASED FATHER he has a come-apart, scurries up the ladder and starts to rip it apart, all the while yelling, “This is mine and MY FATHER’S! MY FATHER’S!! NOT YOURS” etc. Please FF to the 7 minute mark to see this doozie of a clip.

4.  Julia/Baily/Claudia to Charlie in Party of Five – “Pilot” – September 12, 1994

Again, sorry, fine, so “You’re not my father” is only implied here. Lay off, I had a long week (of quality time with my own father no less). At any rate, no show could pull the ol’ dead-parents-heart-string quite like Party of Five, which they did in droves. Remember the pilot episode, when they’re all just becoming accustomed to the lives of well-to-do orphans, as barely-older brother Charlie takes on the responsibility of raising his sassy siblings? First, it’s Julia that tells Charlie to fuck off and then Claudia (AFTER PAWNING HER VIOLIN FOR MONEY!) shuts him down and finally Bailey exclaims, “A piece of paper does not make you a parent.” You’re right, Bailey, so quit bitching about skipping “practice” to supervise annoying baby Owen already.

3.  D.J. Tanner to Joey Gladstone in Full House – “Joey Gets Tough” – November 25, 1988

CLASSIC! This blog might as well be called “I ❤ Full House.” Not only does this show make half the lists on here, but this episode appeared as #1 only a few weeks ago and with good reason! When Joey, the house door mat, gets lambasted by Danny for being too easy on the girls, “Joey gets tough,” grounding D.J. for coming home late from karate practice. FORCING her to proclaim “You’re not my father!” before dramatically storming up the stairs to her room, all whilst clad in martial arts attire. Now, first of all punishing your child for coming home late from, say, a drug-induced underground rave is one thing. Grounding them for merely staying after practice to discuss strategy for an upcoming tournament, is quite another. If I were D.J. I’d surely have said, “Good. I hate participating in after school sports activities and I thank you for freeing up my weekend for some serious television time.” This probably spawns from the fact that I was K.O.’d in a karate tournament myself, circa 1993.

2.  Steve Sanders to Rush Sanders in Beverly Hills, 90210 – “Angels We Have Heard on High” – December 20, 1995

Sheesh. Steve’s father Rush (what a name!) was such a dick. Sure Steve was a bit of a rich brat but he never did anything that awful, especially in the eyes of an absent father who is generally proud of the early indicators of a future in shady business practices. And poor Steve, adopted son of a family sitcom star and a rich business man and from a broken home! It’s not his fault he delivered the sexy negligee to that dude’s daughter and the Easy Bake Oven (or whatever dumb toy) to the guy’s mistress. SOMEONE ELSE PUT THE LABELS ON THE PACKAGES! And of all things for Rush to really lose his shit over. Like what? You’re mad at me because I accidentally revealed to a nice lady and her young daughter that her husband/father was a cheating bastard. SOOOOORRR—RRRRYY!! Let’s also not forget that Steve finds out that Rush IS his real father, that he knocked up some waitress in the desert, and BOUGHT the baby from her to raise with his wife. Talk about nothing to be proud of, Rush! Unfortunately (and unbelievably) this clip cannot be found on the Intertron. So I offer you this bit of dialogue to act out with a partner:

Rush Sanders: I always knew you were stupid, but I never thought you’d be so self-destructive!
Steve Sanders: Thanks for the support, as usual.
Rush Sanders: Oh, good sonny boy. Keep up that sarcasm on the unemployment line.
Steve Sanders: What does that mean?
Rush Sanders: It means you lost your job at ITM, and you embarrassed the hell out of me considering that I was the one that got you that job in the first place. Scott Coveny told me to tell you that you’re finished there.
Steve Sanders: What are you talking about?
Rush Sanders: You messed up is what I’m talking about! You delivered the present that Scott was sending to his mistress to his niece. His wife’s sister’s kid got a leather bustier. His mistress got a Holly Home Maker oven! What the hell is wrong with you, you idiot? That note that was included in the bustier is gonna cost Scott a fortune now since his wife is now going to sue him for divorce.
Steve Sanders: [incredulous] Dad, I just delivered the packages to the addresses on the labels. I didn’t write them. I didn’t screw up. Somebody else did.
Rush Sanders: Somebody else screwed up. That’s your MO, kiddo. Did you just make that up, or did you rehearse it in front of a mirror before saying it to me? Yeah… sure, you mess up and it’s always somebody else’s fault. You used that same excuse last year for the bloody fire.
Steve Sanders: You know what? I don’t need to take that crap from you. That’s your MO. I didn’t do anything wrong and you never believe me. I got nothing further to explain to you, ’cause you just will not believe me.
Rush Sanders: Sometimes I’m ashamed to call a loser like you my son.
Steve Sanders: Then don’t bother. You’re not my father anyway!
Rush Sanders: Don’t say that.

Steve Sanders: Why not? You’re not my father! You’ve got nothing to be ashamed about and neither do I.

1.  Will to Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse” – May 9, 1994

Go ahead and cue the tears. THERE’S SOMETHING IN MY EYE! In a show that was generally zany to the max (I mean look at all the neon up in there- “to the max” is an acceptable phrase) this episode really takes us to a new place EMOTIONALLY. I’m pretty sure that this fine episode is the reason that Will Smith was able to go on to a lucrative career in “dramatic” film acting.  Will’s deadbeat father Lou shows up in Bel Air and makes big summer vacay plans with Will. I wonder where this is going! In an effort to “protect” Will’s feelings, Uncle Phil tries to put the kibosh on Will’s trip, leaving Will with only one option: “YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER!” Oh and don’t worry, he eats it later (I mean, I don’t mean to be a dick, Will, but Uncle Phil did tell you so) when bum Lou eludes Will’s undying love yet again. “Why don’t he want me?” OMG! This episode is just heart-wrenching! Question: What is keeping Will’s mom in Philly? Why doesn’t she move in with the Banks? Or at least to L.A.? I feel like she doesn’t really love him either. Is that cold?

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by Judi

In “the biz” (ugh, I hate me too) we call this “synergy.” Basically, what it boils down to is a scene between the studio head, the executive producer of a TV show and the guy at the record label. They all talk and laugh and order shrimp and then they discuss ways where the people who watch TV can also buy the single for a popular song or “pop song” as we say in the, erm, world.

Sometimes, it’s not for commercial reasons. Sometimes, it’s purely because the auteur behind the scene (hating myself even more, didn’t think it was possible) just feels like this is the song that needs to be played. Like that Don Henley song “New York Minute” that plays at the end of the West Wing episode “Somebody’s Going to Emergency…” as Sam Seaborn calls his philandering dad. Surely, Aaron Sorkin wasn’t trying to squeeze a few extra bucks out of us for Don Henley. He just felt like that song was appropriate, we would assume, since a lyric from the song sparked the episode title.

Anyway, sometimes it works and sometimes it’s just a hilarious, BRILLIANT example of how studio heads will do anything for a few extra bucks. LET’S CELEBRATE THEM ALL. Because it’s Friday and it’s time for TV.

5. Grey’s Anatomy featuring Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars”

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And sometimes, the show makes the band. A friend of mine, we’ll call her Bic as she likes pens and for no other reason, told me a story once about Snow Patrol, about how they were milling about backstage after or before one of their shows and TR Knight wandered in to say hello. The band was polite and TR left and one of the Snow Patrol guys asked the room who that was. When the answer, “The guy from ‘Grey’s Anatomy'” came, Snow Patrol guy’s eyes widened. “Oh. That show made us quite famous here, didn’t it?” Yes, British guy. Yes, it did.

Snow Patrol’s songs are famously theatrical. It’s part of the reasons why some people hate them but mostly why I like them, because when I listen to them I can pretend like I’m in a movie trailer about a plucky blogger who watches TV all day and sometimes forgets to wash the conditioner out of her hair. Or I listen to them and remember when Denny died and the many moons ago when I still liked Katherine Heigl and this show.

4. The Wonder Years featuring Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight”

imgBob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band3

Welcome to the song/TV moment that genuinely makes me cry. I remember vividly watching this unfold, watching poor Kevin Arnold climb onto the roof, peering into Winnie Cooper’s bedroom as she lay recovering from that bad car accident, and listening to this song play softly in the background. I remember thinking, “This is the prettiest song I’ve ever heard in my life.” I was 23 years old. Ok, no, I was like ten.

On a somewhat-related note, why can’t I buy this song on iTunes? Seriously, what is the deal? Every once in a while, I go to the store, look for the song and come up empty. Is it so WRONG to want “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Hollywood Nights” in my life? I’m not looking for an anthology or anything here.

3. Beverly Hills 90210 featuring Color Me Badd

Welcome to the song/TV moment that I actually CANNOT WATCH THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH. If cringing were an Olympic sport, I’d have four Gold medals and Michael Phelps’ bong in my hands right now.

That being said, what a fantastic episode. Every fan of the 90210 canon (that’s right, I called it a fucking canon) knows the Color Me Badd episode, and for good reason as this is the episode where we discover that Donna Martin’s uber-stuck-up mom is having an affair at the very same hotel where Donna’s favorite “band” is staying. “Group”? “Collection of soul-wrenching awful, complete with soul-patch?” “Possessors of THE MOST AMAZING PHOTO EVER TAKEN?”

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For the uninitiated, if you’ve been wondering where the inspiration  for “Dick in a Box” comes from, meet the Granddaddies. Oh, and try to watch this video without wanting to slap Kelly in the face.

2. Golden Girls featuring Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe”

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What happens when one gay icon impersonates another? Does the world just start caving in on itself? If so, fine. I’ll be sucked into the center of the earth with this number playing on my iPhone and I will be cackling all the way.

It’s Bea Arthur’s deadpan that just destroys me and her movements are down. Ugh, I miss her. If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here sending chocolates and vitamins to Betty and Rue.

1. Dawson’s Creek featuring Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Wanna Wait”

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Dawson’s Creek, the first major show for the fledgling WB network, was also the first show I could remember that played a LOT of pop music in place of an instrumental score. It also went one step further, revealing at the end of the episode the name and artist for the featured songs in the episode (now copied by a lot of CW shows, including Glee). And while most of them are ’90s pop relics and one-hit wonders that no one ever heard of again, there is no greater ’90s pop relic than this one. As soon as you hear Paula Cole’s wail about waiting and what-not, you are immediately sent back to this- a J. Crew commercial disguised as opening credits.

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by Judi

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer– “Halloween” (1997)

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I mean, it’s a no-brainer that if you have a show about vampires and werewolves and witches, Halloween would be a pretty big deal. And Season 2’s “Halloween” is especially fun, if only for the premise of “what if you actually turned into your costume?” In Buffy & Co.’s case, it’s the work of creepy Ethan, a dangerous ex-friend of Giles’ from his days when he was known as “Ripper”, who sells the kids enchanted costumes. Buffy, in an effort to be more like her vampire boyfriend’s old girlfriends from the eighteenth century, turns into a pansy-assed noblewoman who’s swooning at every turn. Willow at first dresses slutty (check out those abs!) and then gets nervous and throws a sheet over her head, which of course turns her into an actual ghost. Xander’s a tough-as-nails military guy. It’d be fine if Spike didn’t choose that moment to attack. Oh, and all the little monsters in the neighborhood? They’re all actually little monsters now. Demon want some candy?

4. Bones-“The Mummy in The Maze” (2007)

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Dr. Brennan, for all her social awkwardness, LOVES Halloween. It’s not terribly surprising considering the morbid nature of her work but she really, really gets into it as does the rest of the Squints (which is, incidentally, FBI agent Boothe’s costume as a giant note-taking nerd. Just perfect for his captain-of-the-football-team image). Angela’s dressed full-out as Cher at the Oscars, Cam’s a hot Catwoman and Brennan’s Wonder Woman. And the case is a mummified body found in a giant hay-maze. The episode’s got creepy goths, RIDER STRONG as a maybe-pedophile, and a murderer who likes to kidnap young girls and, literally, scare them to death (he sticks one girl in a vault with a bunch of snakes). By the end, Boothe and Brennan are roughed up, filthy and tired from wrestling with a creep dressed up like a clown. You know, just like real superheros. (By the way, if you’re looking for something to watch that’s genuinely disturbing but not Halloween-centered, that episode where she wakes up bloodied and bruised after blacking out in New Orleans is SO GOOD. It’s got voo-doo and men who like to have sex near dead bodies and it’s the goriest Bones episode ever- and this is a show where a body once melted in a pool of lye).

3. 30 Rock– “Stone Mountain” (2009)

That’s right- LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE made my list. 30 Rock, off to a great start after a shakier 3rd season (too many guest stars, not enough writers room), hits so many great points about Halloween that I had to rewind my TiVo twice because of the happy clapping (I tend to watch TV like I’m Simple Jack. Is that offensive? Maybe now getting my profile rejected from Match.com isn’t such a surprise). From the discussion of the merits of a gay Halloween to the reappearance of Jenna’s gay-entourage (“Girl, your face called- it says it’s time to PICK IT UP.”) to a special appearance by Betty White! (who’s reading “From Peanut to President” by Milton Greene, love) to Jack and Liz’s visit to Kenneth’s town of “Small Mountain” (you really couldn’t bring him along? He probably hadn’t been home in years), I don’t even care that the whole episode wasn’t Halloween-crazy. I got my fair share of Lutz and, for that, I am appeased.

Watch episode here.

2. Beverly Hills 90210– “Halloween” (1991)

Oooh, a classic. Brenda and Dylan are Bonnie & Clyde, Donna’s a too-realistic mermaid who can’t move, Brandon and Emily Valentine (yay) take her niece and nephew trick-or-treating but then lose them, oops. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Walsh save the day. And the highlight- though it’s only Season 2, this is the SECOND time Kelly is sexually assaulted (the first one happened off camera, as recounted in the slumber party episode) and sweet sassy molassy, it will not be the last for poor, calamity-stricken Kelly Taylor. But don’t worry- Steve, dressed as Zorro, saves the day. Also, does that cowboy look like Christ Kattan to anyone else? Now I’m even more disturbed.

1. The Simpsons– “Treehouse of Horror I” (1990)

The Simpsons’ famed Treehouse of Horror series is so beloved by its fans that if either Beal or I left an episode off the list, we might be egged by one of our thirteen regular readers (what’s up, guys?). “Treehouse of Horror VI” was so good, in fact, that it was even nominated for an Emmy in 1996 for “Outstanding Animated Program” but it, sadly, lost to that timeless classic Pinky and the Brain, though I don’t recall any ground-breaking, 3-D animation happening on THAT episode. Whatever, ACADEMY.

But for this list, we’re going waaaay back to 1990 for “Treehouse of Horror I,” before they even knew they would have to start numbering them. As Treehouse of Horrors follows no continuity or other realism rules for the show, anything goes, which means we don’t see Bart & Co. traipsing around in costumes but we do get thirty minutes of genuine Halloween mayhem- gorings, murder, rabid bats, killer idols, tributes to The Shining (see clip). It’s the spirit of Halloween at its best, ignoring the cries for candy from greedy fat kids and “Should I be a slutty pirate or a slutty fairy? OOH, CAT. Slutty cat it is!” from every female over the age of sixteen. In this episode, the first act finds the family Simpsons moving into a house that would’ve made the Amityville Horror weep. Marge confronts the bleeding walls and flying objects and tells the house to behave. The house collapses in on itself- it’d rather die than live with Homer and his brood. In the second act, they’re abducted by aliens and what ensues is one of my favorite gags ever- the “How to Cook (For) (Forty) Humans” misunderstanding. And then, the third act is a retelling of Poe’s “The Raven.” Pretty classy, right?

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The Wardrobe Department of a television series has an Important Job. After all, “clothes make the man.” In this case, they could very well make the character. The character’s outfits provide us with an immediate impression of the person behind the clothes. Sometimes, that is a very, very, bad, seriously, oh my God, so bad impression. Take Kate Harper from West Wing.

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She’s a former spook who now works for the White House and she is dressed EXACTLY how you would imagine a military chick, constantly surrounded by men and with way more important things to worry about than what she should purchase at Barney’s next week at a sample sale. (Not that those things aren’t important, to each his or her own. But you get my point.)

Her costume person did a perfect job. Does that mean she looks good? Oh, Lord, no. This whole situation is just awful. It actually distracts me while I’m watching her WW reruns. “This situation in China sounds just terrible. MOTHER OF GOD, KATE. SHOULDER PADS?” is a constant refrain in my house.

With that, I give you television’s Top Five Worst Dressers, characters whose personal style is so mind-numbingly awful that it’s actually physically distracting to watch them on the TV lest your eyes burst into flames. Fun!

5. Miranda Hobbes from Sex & the City (Seasons 1 – 3)

ep33_miranda_blackpantsuit

Long before Sex & The City became this kind of massive fashion icon, thanks to Patricia Field’s zaniness and Sarah Jessica Parker’s penchant for drooling over Manolo Blahniks, Miranda Hobbes’ wardrobe kind of made me want to end my own life.

Sure, yes. She just screams New York lawyer. But, unless you’re ready to sue your dry cleaner, that is not a good thing.  Miranda is abrasive, funny and brilliant. She’s also the most awkward of the foursome, at least in the first few seasons. Not only was her string of suits bad (bad BAD. And hair. Hair bad.) but everything fit her oddly, like Patricia Field and SJP were sipping cocktails and laughing over pinning a ginormous flower to her lapel and then Pat would turn to Cynthia Nixon, slouched nervously off to the side of the dressing room, and go, “Oh. Erm. Here.” And toss her a turtleneck that actually succeeded in making her look stumpy, if that’s at all possible.

4. Donna Martin from Beverly Hills 90210

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Jesus. Yes. You’d better cry.

In the beginning, Donna Martin was actually kind of mousy in a Valley sort of way. Which is strange, considering how uber-rich she’s supposed to be. Put it this way- if the high school girls of the new 90210 ran into high school Donna, they would not hang out with her. They might even pull a few Amish/ deranged Blossom/Walk to Remember jokes. Oh, that’s right. They’re not me. I digress.

And then. And THEN. Lord. I imagine the conversation with the producers went like this.

“The flower bonnets aren’t working for us. They just don’t measure up to Kelly’s bicycle shorts and flower print dresses.”

“I hear you.” Executive producer taps finger-tips together. “How about we whore it up?”

“How exactly? She’s a virgin. How do we turn a virgin into a whore? Without, you know, her having sex?”

“Good question.” Executive taps a finger to goateed chin. “Do we have any belly shirts? With suspenders?”

Anyone who thinks of Donna Martin remembers the awkward dress ball gown she wore on Halloween, the floppy hats from the first season and then the horrible, God-awful ’90s nightmare of tight pants, short skirts, an endless collection of teeny baby T-‘s and plunging scoop necks that told us way too much information about her breast implants. And then she’d wear a button-up blouse with suspenders (see tears above) or a denim tuxedo and try to distract us with dying her hair in obnoxiously vibrant colors.

3. Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show (Season 1 & 2)

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Oh, DENISE. A part of me thinks you might be some kind of avante-garde genius. The Rihanna hair, the shoulder pads, the COLORS. Do you know how many times I had to adjust the color settings on my TV when you’d saunter through the Huxtable living room? SO MANY TIMES. The jewelery, the Hammer pants. Some of those jumpers- I just- I didn’t- WHERE DID YOU FIND THEM? I could just stare at the construction for hours. Why isn’t your wardobe something studied on Project Runway? All I want is for Tim Gunn to enter the bathroom while you all are saying good-bye to Rudy’s fish, give you and your neon jumpsuit a once over and say, “Denise. I’m concerned.”

Seriously, someone look at this outfit and send me a diagram or something about how it was made. I have to know.

2. Kimmy Gibler from Full House

kimmy4Sometimes, I watch old episodes of Full House and think, “How did they get away with dressing this fourteen-year-old as an elderly prostitute?” And then I wonder if their sticking Andrea Barber in leggings and bicycle shorts pretty much for her entire childhood hindered her ability to have children as an adult. Or scarred her against wearing, well, anything ever again. Or anything with a pattern anyway. If I were her, I’d stick with solid colors for, oh, the rest of my natural life.

1. Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy

Poor Jerri Blank. Cursed not only with booze, pills, and being a total loser (her words, not mine), she also destined to be the homeliest person on Earth. Her lipstick-smudged teeth, her Mom haircut, her woeful expressions, her lumpy body and her late ’70s after-school special meets Grandma’s handbag wardrobe… It’s a good thing it all adds up to her being such a hysterically funny icon for forty-six-year-old high school freshmen everywhere.

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by Judi

Here’s a question before we begin. Why didn’t some enterprising genius ever figure out a way to create actual restaurants based on these iconic TV hangouts? Do you even KNOW how much money would’ve been made from situating a real Peach Pit in Beverly Hills in the ’90s? SCADS OF MONEY, YES. I mean, think about how many tourists make their way to my #1 pick in Boston every year (and if you’re from Boston or been there, how many times have you heard the phrase “It doesn’t look the same on the inside though.” So make it look the same, Cheers! What the hell? Is that so hard? Why must you insist on disappointing millions of fans who just want the pleasure of sitting on Cliff’s stool while they take a break from their sixth time on the Freedom Trail (hi, Dad).)

SCADS OF MONEY. All right, I’m done now.

5. The Crashdown Cafe from Roswell (1999-2002)

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It just occurred to me that, based on my not mentioning it here very often, you might not grasp the depth of my love for the short-lived WB show Roswell (starring Katherine Heigl, Booth’s brother from Bones, Claire from Lost and COLIN HANKS THAT’S RIGHT). That’s just… unacceptable. No, no. It’s not your fault- it’s all mine. I accept full responsibility but I’m going to remedy it now.

I LOVE(D) Roswell.

The Crashdown is owned by main character Liz’s family and she’s a waitress there, along with her best friend Maria, and sometimes it seems like ALL they do is waitress there, like, shouldn’t you be in school? The Crashdown is awesome because it’s a total tourist trap of a restaurant in this alien-tourist trap of a desert New Mexico town and sets the stage for many fantastical alien-human related moments, the capper being- this is where Liz gets shot in the pilot episode, prompting strange alien-boy Max (played by slouchy-shouldered Jason Behr) to heal her, exposing his big ‘ol secret. It’s also where Michael and Maria get it on for the first time, everyone gets ready for the prom, mourns Alex, and where Isabelle uses her alien skills to reheat a cold burger.

4. Luke’s from Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

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Another show that I don’t mention NEARLY enough in its proportion to how much I love it. Actually, my whole family is so bonkers for Gilmore Girls that even my BROTHER sent me an email asking me if Rory’s boyfriend Logan from Gilmore Girls is the guy in I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (ie the movie that is destroying my soul. And yes, it’s him. Shudder.) And my mother almost got arrested on the WB studio lot for sneaking her camera in to take pictures of- you guessed it- Luke’s Diner. (That’s not her picture though.)

Luke’s Diner is such a Big Deal on the show that when Lorelai and her on-again-off-again beau Luke have a fight, she’s not allowed to go to there- which is basically detrimental to her life. Both Lorelai and Rory hit Luke’s at least once if not twice a day, Laine and her boyfriend-then-husband Zack work there, Zack PROPOSED there, sometimes Lorelai sets up an office from there (to Luke’s constant irritation), and of course, there’s the crusty proprietor of the same name who turned the once-hardware-store, owned by his dad, into a diner after he died. Apparently, the coffee’s the best in town and the burgers are even better. It’s completely fictional and yet I want both, immediately, right now.

3. The Peach Pit from Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000)

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I want to reiterate- if there were a real Peach Pit, I would’ve gone EVERY DAY when I lived in Los Angeles. What’s not to love? It’s like Johnny Rockets with a DASH of authenticity AND there’s a SUPER COOL nightclub next door. Because when I think of diner, I don’t think of pickles and coleslaw- NO. I think of going into a club where I could possibly hear Donna Lewis sing a kicky of-the-moment song, where Valerie will run the place even though she’s like 21 years old and when I was 21 years old, I could barely function let alone run a night club, where Kelly will get drunk on red wine and freak out because she dropped her super-secret engagement ring, forcing the tool who’s been hitting on her to deem her TOO MUCH EFFORT because she dropped a diamond ring on the floor and was kind of nervous about it.

As for the Pit itself, it was the scene for many a-confrontation, Brenda dressed up like a ’50s cartoon character to work there, Brandon worked there, everyone thought Nat was “part of the gang” and Donna Martin flashed her navel so many times, they should’ve erected a statue of her belly shirts in the corner.

2. The Max from Saved By the Bell (1989-1993)

Douche Canoe wearing "The Max" T-shirt

Douche Canoe in "The Max" T-Shirt

Where did you hang out after school? If it was between 1989 and 1993 and your last name was Morris, Slater, Powers, Turtle, Kapowski, or Spano, then chances are you were in the place where Color Went to Die. Where the owners/head waiters do strange impressions and magic tricks for your amusement or will impersonate your dad in the principal’s office so you can go on the ski trip. Where Casey Kasem hosts a dance contest for some reason. Where we all learn a valuable lesson about playing your song, the one you shared with your waitress ex-girlfriend who cheated on you with a 34 year old soap star, and how dancing with another girl in front of her is really hurtful. Where Hot Sundae performed to a crowd of maybe 15 people. Where they turned Slater into the Human Exclamation Point for this CLASSIC scene:

1. Cheers from Cheers (1982-1993)

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Awww. Thanks to Cheers, we all grew up wishing we could someday find a place where “everybody knows our name.” Some of us are still looking for it (pause for single, dramatic tear). Who doesn’t want to open a cheerful Boston pub and see your friends everyday as they pour beer money into your waiting pockets and supply you with plenty of laughs and their fair share of crazy-pants. Add a cranky pint-sized waitress, a long-winded mailman, a portly regular named Norm, a dim-witted bartender named Woody and a snooty blonde in an apron and you’ve got yourself the most beloved faux-hangout of all time.

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by Beal

5.  Mark Addy as Bill Miller in Still Standing (2002 – 2006)

STILL STANDINGJudi might actually disown me for finally admitting IN PRINT that I actually enjoy this show TO A DEGREE! (Judi’s note: Oh, my God) I admit that it doesn’t provide the greatest television experience of my life, but it’s entertaining, sort of funny and (don’t punch me) well-written. The premise is a blatant rip-off of Roseanne yet I still don’t hate it. The Miller family are “average” Americans and Still Standing is an average sitcom. It’s funny, though, because the parents are derelicts and their children are somewhat functional, intelligent and usually make good choices, at least the eldest two. The youngest daughter is about as smart as a pear and shaped like one too. Now, you might (not) remember Mark Addy from The Full Monty, a 1997 film about six IRISH unemployed steal workers who develop a striptease act to supplement their now non-existent income. So, I ask you, what WORSE person to play an “average” ALL-AMERICAN DAD than a mildly overweight Irishman? Like, not Irish like the Penn family is Irish, Irish like leprechauns are Irish! UGH. Not that the show is otherwise WONDERFUL, but it would really help if I wasn’t supposed to believe that this smiling Irish bastard grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, loving Bears football, domestic beer and making fun of his potentially gay son. SHOULD HAVE CAST: Jim Belushi

4.  Bebe Neuwirth as A.D.A. Tracey Kibre in Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005 – 2006)

bebe1Look, I like Bebe as much as the next guy, more probably, but what the hell is she doing in a Law & Order spin-off? And it doesn’t help that this one was AWFUL. I understand that the show is called Law AND Order, but I really only watch any of them for the police portion. When they enter the courtroom, I like to enter a couch coma. Back to Bebe. Yes, I believe that she is the type of actress who can portray an extremely intelligent woman with a professional career. HOWEVER, I don’t believe that she is going to be defending bourgeois criminals in a NYC court of law. If the show was called Harvard Environmental Law Professors THEN I might buy it. SHOULD HAVE CAST: It’s already a spin-off so why not just give Angie Harmon her own show? A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael could finally stop playing second fiddle to Jack “Knowitall” McCoy and I wouldn’t have to wonder where Kelsey Grammer was for an hour.

3.  Kelly Ripa as Faith Fairfield in Hope & Faith (2003 – 2006)

101061_0640_fulFirst of all, I cannot believe that this show lasted three years. I think it speaks volumes about American affinity for low-brow humor but I digress. This show is about two sisters who took different paths in life. Hope chose to go suburban and raise a family and Faith became a daytime soap star (not unlike Kelly Ripa). Hope (not Faith) is played by an American treasure, Faith Ford, who is best known for her role as perky Corky Sherwood, the pageant queen on Murphy Brown. She’s funny (to a point) and adorable (to a point) and, in my personal opinion, a fairly decent actress. Basically, she’s perfect for a zany family sitcom. So why did they have to cast Ripa? Isn’t it bad enough that she’s on the television screen for an ENTIRE hour every morning? Plus like 20 commercials where she’s peddling banks and other wares with “Reg.” I tried. I really tried to like this show. I owed it to Faith Ford but I really couldn’t bring myself to watch Kelly Ripa “act” for more than nine seconds. She’s like that friend that you have who is really cute and thin, but every time she tells a story you go deaf for a minute because everything she says makes you die a little inside, be it because it’s so uninteresting or tragically stupid and anytime you ask yourself why you’re friends with her, the best you can come up with is because “she’s cute and thin, she can’t be that terrible.” WELL SHE IS! Get a fat funny friend already and cut that bitch out your life!  SHOULD HAVE CAST: Dedee Pfieffer.

2.  Andrew McCarthy as Joe Bennett on Lipstick Jungle (2008 – 2009)

amccarthy2I still haven’t decided if I liked this show or not. Oh well, it’s canceled now, probably in part because of the casting atrocity that was Andrew McCarthy. As a fan of all things 80’s, I applaud any appearance, anywhere, by any member of the Brat Pack but SERIOUSLY? McCarthy plays the love interest of fashion designer Victory Ford (Lindsay Price, whom you might remember from Beverly Hills, 90210). She’s about 30, he’s about 45. Not a big deal as he’s RICH as shit. Now, herein lies the problem. First of all, Victory is, like, really attractive and mildly successful, albeit somewhat broke. Still, she constantly rejects his monetary offerings so a gold digger she’s not. What is it then that she is attracted to? His awkwardly-aged teen idol face? His minute stature? His half side mouth smile and partial wink after every phrase he utters? His eversmugness? The constant pursing of his lips? Why didn’t they just call his character Blane McDonnagh because that’s who he is, all grown up! Still, Andrew McCarthy just can’t pull it off. He’s too meek looking and too small in stature to ever be a believable ruthless bazillionaire businessman and no guy that feminine could ever be a jerky boyfriend. SHOULD HAVE CAST: More attractive, more masculine, taller member of the Brat Pack, Rob Lowe.

Note: Clips were limited, please ignore the final 80% of this video, which began as a scene and transformed into a fan video.

1.  Gabrielle Carteris as Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990 – 1995)

picture-2Look, I’ve got nothing against Andrea and nothing against Gabrielle but who casts an OBVIOUSLY 30 YEAR OLD WOMAN as a high-school junior? No wonder she was always doing mature and nerdy shit. SHE’S 30 for crying out loud! Seriously, Carteris graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 1983. She had the lamest story lines of the entire gang and even when I was supposed to feel sorry for her like when her own mother couldn’t participate in the mother/daughter fashion show, I couldn’t because I couldn’t wrap my head around why this grown-ass woman would be crying over such petty shit.  Fine, fine, let’s slap some wire rims and a sassy perm on this girl, she’ll pass for 16. NO, SHE DOESN’T. I’m pretty sure the only reason Kelly and Brenda were willing to spend any time with her is because she could purchase alcohol. I LOVE when they get to college and instead of sending Andrea off to Yale where she belonged, she stayed in California and got impregnated by a med student. It was around this time that producers must have been like, “Dude, she seriously looks menopausal, knock her up and write her out.” SHOULD HAVE CAST: ANYONE born after 1975.

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shannen_doherty

by Judi

Show: Beverly Hills 90210

Character: Brenda Walsh

Played By None Other Than: Shannon Doherty

In a Nutshell: Oh, BRENDA. Brenda and Brandon Walsh, twins, move from Minnesota to Beverly Hills when their father (who must be an accountant for the mob or something because this is seriously a huge step up) gets a job there. The sophomores quickly find themselves in the popular clique at school with Brandon adopted by Steve Sanders (see what I did there? An adoption joke. Classic Lemon) and bad-boy with similar sideburn-situation Dylan McKay and Brenda shoe-horning her way into Kelly Taylor’s good graces. (Kelly’s nice enough to let Donna Martin pal around with her too but we all know that Donna is Screech to Kelly’s Zack. Even Donna knows this.) Eventually, the group will round itself out with brainy Andrea Zuckerman and Freshman-turned-Pre-K-Fed David Silver and OH WHAT JOY this group will bring the 1990s. Also pleased are the murderers, rapists, petty criminals, stalkers, and annoying brunette girlfriends of the greater Los Angeles area who will now be kept pretty busy for the next decade or so.

Why I Love Brenda and You Can Go to Hell: There are two main 90210 camps. One belongs to the school of “I Love Kelly Taylor” and the other is “I Love Brenda and I think she’s misunderstood and also way more entertaining than the school-marm martyr that Kelly turns into.” I think we know which camp T-shirt I’m wearing.

Brenda is UBER- dramatic (she wants to be an actress, clearly), petty, kind of bitchy and really self-absorbed. She’s also ridiculously awesome. Over the course of the show, she doesn’t have nearly the level of close-calls that her friends have (including Kelly who basically has a target tattooed on her head for lunatics everywhere). In fact, the most devastating thing to happen to her is that her boyfriend leaves her for her best friend which (come on) ouch. For a seventeen-year-old girl, this is on par with a reasonable person having their arms and legs removed due to a horrible accident involving a lawn-mower or a piece of factory equipment.

Yeah so, that was upsetting but such excellent television. The rest of Brenda’s troubles are directly a result of her being an idiot. And for that, I love her.

Favorite Moments: Unfortunately, some of my most devastating TV memories are a result of Brenda acting like an ass in front of Dylan during the first season. (The dyed blonde hair, the whole “I like your butt” incident. Ugh.) So let’s just skip those, shall we?

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