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Archive for the ‘Melrose Place’ Category

Show: Melrose Place

Moment: Kimberly’s back! And everything’s just peachy-keen after her nasty accident. Until she sneaks into the bathroom, pops a pill and pulls off what turns out to be a wig, revealing a seriously nasty scar and causing the viewers of America to shriek, “Oh, SHIT.” Let the crazy begin!

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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

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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by Beal

5. Desperate Housewives – Bree’s Pretend Pregnancy – Season 4 (2007)

Choosing which plot line on Desperate Housewives is the most ludicrous is like trying to decide which former child star is the most fucked up:  They’re all strong contenders. Still time and time again the Van de Kamp family sets themselves apart from the usual ridiculousness that goes down on Wisteria Lane. When Danielle gets knocked up by Julie Mayer’s boyfriend, Bree and second husband Orson Hodge (Trey McDougal from SATC) decide to revert to the 1950’s and hide Danielle away at some pregnant teens facility. In the mean time, Bree fakes a pregnancy so that when Danielle’s child is born, all the neighbors will think it is her and Orson’s natural born son. Things get zany when super pregnant Danielle shows up at a Halloween party (her costume, a real hit, is pregnant Bree Van de Kamp) and goes into labor. Less than a season later, everyone knows the truth and I’m still annoyed that Marc Cherry and his team covered up Marcia Cross’s real life pregnancy with this completely asinine plot point.

 

4. The X-Files – Scully’s Pregnancy/Birth of Baby William – Season 8 (2001)

I guess when Agent Fox Mulder left the show and the T-1000 stepped in it was only to be expected that things were about to get (more) ridiculous, enter Scully’s mysterious pregnancy. The show established early on that Agent Dana Scully was barren. (Did she give birth to a baby Emily at one point? Thats a whole other story, but it might have happened).

At any rate, around Season 8, career driven single gal Scully decides she wants a child, approaches Mulder to donate sperm and proceeds with in vitro fertilization, which failed and was never re-attempted. Of course Scully is abducted shortly thereafter and bam, now she’s knocked up. From here it’s so absurd that I’m not even going to attempt to chronicle it properly, but basically William’s conception is mysterious at best. He might be the result of Mulder and Scully finally sleeping together (which, ratings-wise would have been best if actually aired), a standard alien spawn or ya know, a fucking “organic” Super Soldier created by a secret government syndicate that would be used as a slave race for colonization. 

As a baby, William was “cured” of his telekinetic powers, and then, to protect him, Scully obviously sent him off to live with some Christians in Wyoming. In the latest tragedy that was The X-Files: I Want to Believe, William was alive and well, living with Mulder and Scully as his parents. Go figure.

 

3. Roseanne – The Connors Win the Lottery – Season 9 (1996)

I don’t think I’m alone in pretending that the ninth season of Roseanne doesn’t exist. Everything that made the show funny (and it was damn funny) was eliminated entirely when in the final season, the Conners and Jackie won $108 million in the Illinois state lottery. So all of a sudden this relatable family we’ve watched toil through mundane scenarios for eight years, comically exemplifying the plight of the American working class,can afford pretty much anything money can buy? Oh wait, but so that the show doesn’t alter too much, we’ll have them remodel the INTERIOR of their shit box house and all live in the crowded splendor of this three-bedroom home with modern decor. Get right out of town! If I want to watch what white trash does with money, I’ll flip the channel over to Bravo and catch up with the latest happenings of The Real Housewives of Orange County. And also, hold on just a darn minute. Jackie dates a prince? Fine. I’ll buy that. The prince is played by Ernest P. Worrell? You’ve gone to far.

 

2.  Melrose Place – Kimberly Comes Back from the Dead/Blows up Melrose Place – Seasons 2/3 (1993 – 1995)

Michael Mancini and Kimberly Shaw’s (Marcia Cross, whose double appearance on this list is likely her greatest accolade) affair becomes legitimized when Michael proposers to her at dinner, she rejects and he gets drunk. In the car, Kimberly reconsiders and accepts, the couple kiss and wouldn’t you know it, they veer right off the road. The car hits something at a high enough speed to paralyze Michael and kill Kimberly, or so we think. This was not a cliffhanger moment, we don’t think that Kimberly is dead and when the new season begins, it turns out that she pulled through. No! KIMBERLY COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD! (I don’t think I need to remind you of the wig scene). And thank god, because who else would have blown up that apartment complex of iniquity they were all co-habitating in.

 

1. Beverly Hills, 90210 – Kelly’s Rehab Roommate Tries to Kill Her – Season 6 (1996)

Picture 1Any fan of Beverly Hills, 90210 knows that Kelly Taylor’s really been through the ringer. During the course of the show she was raped (more than once), sucked into a cult, burnt up in a fire, shot in a parking lot (which resulted in amnesia) and been addicted to both diet pills and cocaine. She’s good people though, so when her cocaine addiction takes over her life, she seeks help in the form of inpatient rehab, where she rooms with a young and ugly junkie called Tara. After completing rehab, Tara moves into the beach house with Kelly. And here’s where an already absurd plot line becomes completely preposterous. Long story short, ol’ Tara goes completely Single White Female on Kelly, which in no way creeps her out. Next thing you know, she’s wielding a gun, and rigging the car up for a carbon monoxide poisoning back-up plan as she and Kelly sit hand-in-hand in Kelly’s car, overlooking the canyon the car is about to plummet into. I submit, Aaron Spelling at his finest.

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