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Archive for the ‘Freaks & Greeks’ Category

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

7hu2U4T6Cr0k8tao8LYLHcKLo1_500Show: Freaks & Geeks

Character: Bill Haverchuck

Actor: Martin Starr

In a nut shell: Bill is one third of the “geek” trio. He’s traditionally geeky looking, tall for his age, extra skinny, hunkered down posture and giant glasses. He’s a mouth breather, allergic to everything, but especially peanuts. He, like his best friends Neil and Sam, loves Saturday Night Live, Steve Martin, all things Monty Python, Dungeons and Dragons and Star Wars. Unlike his friends, Bill has a serious affinity for Dallas, which he watches every Friday night, regardless. He, more than the other two, is willing to stand up for what is right, like fair play in gym class or skirmishes with Alan.

So I love Bill a little: Well, actually, it’s partially that I like Bill, and mostly that I hate Neil that I hold such a special place in my heart for ol’ Bill Haverchuck, but really, what’s not to like? He’s so painfully nerdy, that he is rendered harmless. Remember when Cindy (Sam’s crush) was assigned as his biology lab partner? And he went to her house to study, and they were allowed to study in her room, with the door shut. Think about it. Do you think Todd the ballplayer was allowed the same luxury? I doubt it. Furthermore, Bill was able to make fun of Cindy, because she had lame snacks at her house, and knew nothing of pop culture, which was Bill’s forte. Also, how could I NOT love someone whose favorite show is Dallas? Or who dressed up like the Bionic Woman for Halloween? Or who can do the Re-Run?

Favorite Moments: Well, I have to say my favorite Bill incident of the series, has to be the day that Mr. and Mrs. Weir go out of town and leave Sam and Lindsay home alone. Lindsay plans a rad party, but due to a lame assembly at school Sam, Neil and Bill fear for the lives of anyone involved at the party who might get drunk and decide to replace the keg of beer, with a keg of non-alcoholic beer. Because Bill would rather watch Dallas than attend the “party” he volunteers to watch the real keg in Sam’s room, while everyone else drinks the near beer in the living room. Soon, Bill is tempted by the frosty brew and pours himself a mini-helmet full, then another, and another, and another, until Bill ends up being the only drunk person at the entire party. “Get up Bill, that’s how the drummer of Led Zeppelin died.” Here’s another favorite scene, when Sam finally gets a chance with Cindy and she invites him to a make-out party that Neil is dying to attend. Bill, not so much. . .

“What if I throw up in her mouth?”

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by Beal

I cannot express how truly difficult dwindling this category down to a mere five programs was for me, but I did my best. So many great shows were savagely canned, ripped from the airwaves and crushed by the powers that be, despite their super-potential. Perhaps I shouldn’t get so upset about TV cancellations (and thank god for series on DVD), but the fact that the following shows were quashed while The Nanny aired for a solid six seasons, is a tragedy of epic proportions.

5.  All American Girl – 1 Season – 1995

allamericangirl-lrgI literally have not seen this show since it aired 14 years ago, but what I remember, was that it was hilarious. It starred Margaret Cho as Margaret Kim (creative!) a Korean-American twenty-something whose traditional family and modern lifestyle created the perfect juxtaposition for classic sitcom hi-jinx to ensue. She has a zany (like the zaniest thing I’ve ever seen on television) grandmother who I can only describe as super-Korean. I think part of this show’s intention was to break down racial stereotypes surrounding Asians, but hey, two steps forward, one step back, either way, Grandma was funny. And so was the show, as it also starred comedian Judy Gold, as Cho’s best friend and guest starred Jack Black, Vicki Lawrence and David Cross, and also OPRAH (who isn’t funny, but noteworthy nonetheless)! Behind the scenes, things were apparently less comical. Cho was asked to lose weight (she lost 30 lbs in 2 weeks to film the pilot) because he face was “too round” and despite allegedly being a show based on her comedy routine, producers kept insisting she wasn’t “Asian enough” and hired a consultant to “help” her. Also, in the final episode that aired, which was a clandestine attempt at a new pilot, Cho’s Asian family was entirely eliminated, and out of nowhere, she was living Friends style with a group of twenty-something clowns–Cho was allegedly then told that she was “too Asian” for this format. (Note: This clip doesn’t do the show justice-or maybe it does, I was in elementary school when I last watched it-but options were limited).

4.  Dirt – 1.5 Seasons – 2007-2008

dirt_ver2This show, which aired on FX was the trashiest, smuttiest thing I ever watched on basic cable. I guess they were limited in language, but they made up for that with wanton drug use and gratuitous sex aplenty! It starred Courtney Cox (who also exec produced the show with husband Officer Doofy Arquette) as Lucy Spiller, the editor-in-bitch of “DirtNow” magazine, a super distasteful, yet glossy and well produced, celebrity tabloid. Story lines surrounded Lucy (who was somewhat of a frigid bitch), her longtime friend and paparazzo, Don (a functioning schizophrenic who did NUTS shit in every episode, such as chopping off his own thumb to gain access to a celebrity in the hosptial) and “fictional” celebrities whose antics were of the “ripped from the headlines” school of television. Keep in mind, this is during the Britney Spears totally loses her shit and shaves her head era as well as the peak of Lohan and Hilton’s reign of terror in Hollywood, which made for some JUICY episodes.

3. The Comeback – 1 Season – 2005

the_comeback-showI consider it a travesty, not only that this show only lasted a single season, but that only a handful of people I’ve encountered, ever even heard of it, because it is hysterical. Created by Lisa Kudrow and Michael Patrick King (SATC), the show is a mock-celeb-reality show, for which Kudrow is PERFECT. She plays Valerie Cherish, a former TV star who is making a, you guessed it, comeback, with a new, hip show Room and Bored. Although she believes she is playing one of the central (mod/young) roommate characters, she is actually cast as the “cool aunt,” which actually is a jogging suit wearing fuddy duddy who lives upstairs while the primary cast, scantily clad, engage in wacky behavior downstairs. The producers have ZERO respect for her, and as a total has-been she has no leverage, yet somehow, in her crazy, delusional, washed-up actress mind, she still feels relevant and behaves as such, despite everyone around her mocking her every move. She walks a fine line between sooo lovable and completely pathetic. I don’t know who Kudrow was channeling when she created this character and most of the time I’m torn between laughing and cringing. Is she kidding us or herself? As long as she’s got the part, who cares? The following clip is from my favorite scene in the show. Valerie’s fat/ass/hole producer forces her to do like 20 takes of a pratfall (knowing she has a bad back) in a cupcake costume, just for his own amusement. The following day she is to appear on Leno, and instead of discussing her triumphant return to television, all he does is show the infamous vomit clip. . .

2. Jesse – 2 Seasons – 1998-2000/Samantha Who? – 2 Seasons – 2007-2009

jesse-showAlright, so technically this are two different shows or well not technically at all, it IS two different shows, but their similarities are enough that I will talk about them simultaneously here. What the fuck? Is my first question. Fine, Jesse wasn’t the greatest show in the world, but it was definitely funny, and fairly well written, way better than say, Caroline in the City, which lasted twice as long. AND it starred the lovably funny Christina Applegate as a single mom, living in Buffalo, serving up coldbeer and laughs at a German bar (where she wore traditional garb) and honing in on her hot neighbor Diego (Bruno Campos). In its second season, they retooled the show, making Jesse a nurse and the story lines revolve around her friends, rather than her family. CANCELLED. Seven years later, Applegate got re-tooled again as Samantha Newly on Samantha Who? a WONDERFUL sitcom about a self-centered bitch who is hit by a car, suffers amnesia and gets a fresh start. Yes, it sounds kind of lame, but well, it wasn’t, it was fresh and funny and well-written, so much so that Applegate was nominated for an Emmy, for christ’s sake. (PLEASE let this be one of those New Adventures of Old Christine scenarios where the show is cancelled, but then un-cancelled because of Emmy nods.) It also starred Jean Smart, a comedic gem in her own right, as Samantha’s mom. In every episode “new” Sam tries to do the right thing, gets flashbacks of her old self, and despite her best efforts, usually does the wrong thing, but this time, for the right reasons. Fuck you ABC, this show was GOLD! When will TV execudicks understand?? Cast Christina Applegate, and the rest will fall into place. In the meantime, I’ll begin writing the screenplay for Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead 2: Sue Ellen’s Revenge.

1. Freaks & Geeks – 1 Season – 1999-2000

freaks-n-geeks_l4When this show was cancelled, after less than one season, I lost ALL FAITH in humanity. In what world can THE BEST SHOW I’VE EVER SEEN be canned after 12 episodes?? The show aired on Friday nights, a place where TV shows go to die, but I was there, home on a Friday night at 8 p.m. to watch the premiere, five minutes in I was hooked and half a year later DEVASTATED. After a fan campaign a few more episodes aired in July of 2000, but that was hardly enough. It was like, oh, your whole family died in a tornado? Well, here’s your dead neighbors cat, at least you have each other. NOOOOO! The moment this show exited airwaves I began researching possible DVD releases, and finally Shout! Factory listened to the disenfranchised masses and put ALL 18 episodes in a boxed set for the viewing public. You better believe that I was at the record store the DAY it came out, plopping down my $50 to see EVERY episode uncut, commercial free and full of laughs and love. Although I am deeply saddened that only one season of this groundbreaking and uber-realistic show [Seriously, never have I seen a show that like, REALLY looked and felt like high school. Some viewers were turned off by its honesty, but every character (sans Neil) was like, amazing.] exists, I am partially overjoyed because so many of them went on to make other amazing pieces of entertainment. I’m sure the guy whose red rubber stamper finally nixed the program’s production is cursing himself right now, and living a lifestyle similar to that of Millie’s creepy, fake ID making, cousin, while executive producer Apatow has made box office millions with films starring various members of the Freaks & Geeks cast who’ve for the most part moved on to bigger (not better, but perhaps more prominent) roles. Single tear. . .

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by Judi

It’s inevitable, really. Think about the percentage of people you meet in your life who are actually quirky, interesting and intelligent. Now subtract that number by about a 1,000. That’s the percentage of a chance that a television show will be thoughtful, fun, razor-sharp, wonderfully weird AND stay on television for more than a year. It’s a grim number but think about who we’re doing battle against- people who enjoy watching shows about obese people racing each other, reality dating experiments and serials with the words “Law & Order” in the title. These people outnumber us and they buy more chips. It’s like 300 out there.

So, the rest of us discerning television viewers go through the same ritual over and over again- we watch a show, we get excited, we become far too emotionally attached, it gets canceled, we bemoan television executives and then we blog about it. So, without further ado…

Top Five Fridays presents The Top Five Short-Lived But Brilliant Shows

5. The Loop (2006-2007)

TheLoopGroup

Haven’t heard of The Loop? Well, now that just makes me sad. The good news for YOU is that WB.com airs free episodes online which means you can watch it. Which means I now need to make an obvious joke about you being, you know, “in the loop” now. But I’m not. Instead, I’m going to introduce you to poor Sam Sullivan (Bret Harrison who mastered looking horrified years ago on Grounded For Life and now does it on The Reaper), a young airline executive who works in a world of crazy. Seriously, after watching what goes on all day with this cast of nutjobs, it’ll be a miracle if you ever go up into a plane again.

What’s so great about the show is that the showrunners allowed for improvisation from their players. An awesome idea, especially considering you’ve got outrageously funny people like Philip Baker Hall, Eric Christian Olsen and Mimi Rogers running around.

4. The Collected Works of Bryan Fuller (Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies)

Bryan Fuller is one of my favorite show creators, though I think someone needs to go over there and give the guy a hug at this point, especially since we only recently lost the wonderfully colorful Pushing Daisies (and Lee Pace from popping up on my television screen every week). Fuller has a penchant for bizarre, otherwordly scenarios for his dramas. Wonderfalls finds a bored grad student working a dead-end job as a sales clerk in a Niagra Falls gift shop, where the animal heads and chotchsky toys actually talk to her about saving the world. Dead Like Me, which I only recently discovered on Netflix and now cherish like a long-lost lamb, follows a girl named George who lived a miserable existence on Earth, only to be crushed by a meteor in the pilot episode and joins a group of Grim Reapers (Inigo Montoya, Whitley Gilbert, Antonia Marchette, and Andrew Jacoby) whose job it is to squat in dead people’s apartments, do drugs and get into trouble while they escort dying souls to the Afterlife. And then there’s Pushing Daisies with piemaker Ned (Pace) who has an odd talent of bringing dead things back to life by touching them, complicating matters when he brings his soul mate Chuck back to life but then can’t touch her because if he does, she’ll be dead again. And none of these shows survived than more than one or two seasons. Really, someone give this guy a hug.

3. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)

Ah, yes. Freaks and Geeks. I want it put on the record that my love for Freaks and Geeks is not recent and not due to our nationwide obsession with Judd Apatow and his crew of hilarious man-babies who flood the cast of this high school comedy-drama. I was, in fact, a proud viewer when the series first aired at the dawn of the new millennium and thoroughly crushed when the show was canceled. Back then, at the ripe old age of eighteen, I went through the usual emotions- fury at the close-minded television executives, fury at the herds of TV-viewing SHEEP who preferred to watch OTHER SHOWS instead, fury at God- the usual. Now though, I can’t help wondering how the show would’ve fared if it had lasted longer. It’s so easy to say that it would’ve stayed as brilliant, poignant and funny (albeit I was cringing the entire time to the point of muscle fatigue) but you just don’t know. Like my No. 2 seed, it’s maintained a kind of iconic air, fed mostly by the short span of its run and the fame we later saw in its cast (James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini, Sweets from Bones).

2. My So-Called Life (1994-1995)

If John Hughes was our teenage voice in the ’80s, then Angela Chase was our girl for the ’90s. So was Rayanne, Ricky, Jordan Catalano, Sharon and poor, sad be-froed Brian Crackow. I can say with absolute certainty that if you’re looking for a video diary of what it’s like to be a teenager, you need only witness every scene where Angela squirms at the dinner table under a curtain of dyed red hair or when she explains how just the sound of her mother’s voice makes her want to scream (it helps how amazingly cast Patty Chase was in Bess Armstrong- the quintessential well-meaning Mom whose patronizing tone really did make us all want to scream).

The show now serves as a kind of mid-90’s time capsule, sure, but it’s also still incredibly resonant. There’s a reason why we miss it, why we refer to it so often and covet our DVD/VHS collections of it.

1. Arrested Development (2003-2006)

Ok, yes Arrested Development made it to three seasons and a little more than 50 episodes. But clearly it felt much shorter than that, given the rabid fan base, the petitions, the movie that gets talked about whenever one or more nerds come together to speak its name. We miss the Bluths, who turned family dysfunction to a spectacular art form. We miss the cast (Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman, David Cross, Portia deRossi, Will Arnett and Michael Cera to name a few). We miss Ron Howard’s “Next time” previews. We miss Lucille and Buster and Lucille Two. We miss Steve Holt! My Name is Judge. The chicken dancing- “Has anyone in this family actually ever seen a chicken?” Hell, I even miss the Fake Saddams.

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by Beal

No cast of would be complete with out a requisite “best friend” character. This person can come in all shapes and sizes, but they usually possess similar traits. By and large, the BFF is slightly less attractive than the main character (or in the event that they’re prettier, they’re much dumber), spunky, eccentric and are generally blessed with loose morals, a colorful background and a somewhat checkered past. We rarely, if ever, get to meet their families, or see the inside of their homes. (Oh, and bonus points if they enter/exit the main character’s house/room via a secret entrance.)

In episodes in which they appear, they’re likely to get our TV protagonist into some kind of entertaining pickle, but at the end of the day, they’re always a nice shoulder to cry on. Their mug may not make its way onto the opening credits, but the following best friends have made their way into the hearts and minds of millions, or at least mine:

5. Millie (Sarah Hagan) as Lindsay Weir’s (former) best friend in Freaks & Geeks.

MILLIEAlright, alright, so Lindsay could no longer endure BFFdom with Millie by the time the show began, but we all know their history, and what they used to be, were best friends. Before an army jacket clad Lindsay, abandoned the mathletes and started partying with the freaks, she and Millie used to stay up late playing Uno, eating Lic-a-Maid and practicing advanced mathematics. That is, until Lindsay and Kim accidentally kill her dog and Millie makes a brief foray into the world of freakdom (long enough to drink a single beer and almost attend a The Who concert). And when Lindsay spent an episode as her former super nerdy self, it was Millie she went to first, well, and also Millie’s lame slumber party that she snuck out of in the end. Still, props to Millie for always being there, especially when Lindsay accidentally got to0 stoned to babysit:

 

4. Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond) as Wally Cleaver’s best friend in Leave it to Beaver

eddie haskellNo list of best friend types would be complete without a shoutout to the original “best friend,” Eddie Haskell. This little son of a bitch is the archetype, from which all other TV friends are molded. He’s polite to the point of obnoxious, and wait for it, a total asshole as soon as he’s without the presence of adults. Mostly I love that he refers to Wally and the Beaver as Wallace and Theodore (how was “Ted” never an option for this kid?), oh and how he’s always getting those two knuckleheads into trouble. Seriously though, Eddie Haskall is a national treasure, whose name appears more frequently in American culture than you could ever imagine, mostly from my mother’s mouth when she knew my “polite” friend was actually “a smoker.” 

 

3.  Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), D.J. Tanner’s best friend in Full House.

GIBBLERThe answer is “no.” I am not ashamed that EVERY “Top Five” list I write includes not only Full House but usually a Kimmy Gibbler reference. I can’t help myself though, this bitch is TV gold. She is abhorred by most of the Tanner family, despite her constant efforts to land herself on “Mr. T’s” good side. She lives next door, her feet stink, her family competes in roller derby events in their house, and at one point, Kimmy mentioned shooting rats at the landfill with her father as an evening activity. How the hell did these white-trash carnie folks afford a classic Victorian in the Western Addition anyway? Whatever, anyone who can rock spandex that loud deserves my utmost respect. Also, I’m convinced that if this show would have lasted past the 90’s, Kimmy and Joey might have ended up getting drunk, and waking up in bed together. A match made if heaven? Or a match made in hell? You decide.

 

2.  Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper), Mary Richards’ best friend in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

ndharpermary-tyler-moore-013Rhoda is probably the quintessential best friend character in all of television history. Although her and Mary did not get along at first (they were vying for the same apartment in Phyllis Lindstrom’s building), Rhoda turned out to be alright–and to continue to live in her ever so 70’s studio apartment in the building’s attic. A native New Yorker, this bitch took no shit, and took naive and innocent Mary, and showed her how to “make it after all.” Rhoda was also “groundbreaking” (give me a break) for her portrayal of a single woman of the era, who was not widowed, divorced or looking to hook herself a man. Oh, and let’s not forget she ended up with a somewhat successful spin-off (that I’ve never watched). Their friendship also spawned one of my favorite scenes in (bad) cinematic history, and since I can not find the clip, I can only offer the following bit of dialogue: 

Romy White: You are not cuter, Michelle.
Michelle Steinberger: I am so cuter. It’s like…common knowledge, Romy. Everybody thinks so. I’m the Mary and you’re the Rhoda.
Romy: That’s ridiculous. You’re the Rhoda. You’re the Jewish one.
Michelle: Oh my God. I’m talking cutenesswise, Romy. Okay? And cutenesswise, I’m the Mary.

 

1. Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer) as Angela Chase’s best friend in My So Called Life

aj_langerRayanne Graff is the epitome of “the girl your mother warned you about.” Who would not want Rayanne to be their best friend? Due to her trashy mother’s ignorance, Rayanne’s life lacked adult supervision entirely. She seems to know some seriously shady individuals, is sexually active, embraces 90’s trends and has no problem consuming drugs and alcohol en masse. Like us, Angela wishes she could be more like her new best friend (fuck Sharon) Rayanne, especially because her scumbag Mom is of the “I’d rather it happen under my roof” school of thought, which obviously leads to some serious issues in Rayanne’s life, mostly an overdose. 

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