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Archive for the ‘The Wonder Years’ Category

5. Zack and Kelly from Saved by the Bell

No other couple exemplifies the early 90’s quite like Zack and Kelly. Whaaaaat was going on here? Sometimes they were dating, sometimes she was dancing with older men at The Attic, and sometimes Zack was secretly making out with Lisa in her bedroom (what a bitch!). But then there were those touching moments, like when Kelly couldn’t afford to go to the prom because her father lost his job (could you not have borrowed something from Lisa’s closet, I mean reeeeally) and Zack and Kelly danced cheek to cheek by the picnic tables out back. HOW ROMANTIC. I am forever scarred that I did not experience a cheesy Saturday morning love affair like theirs in high school. And let’s not forget that the SBTB wedding in Vegas, was probably the most entertaining thing I’ve ever seen on television.

4. Carrie and Big from Sex and the City

I sort of hate myself for including these people on this list, or any other, but come on! What a trainwreck these two turned out to be. He was suck a dick, that you couldn’t help but fall in love with him, and he was rich, and charming and rich and then there’s kooky Carrie Bradshaw yukkin it up in her studio apartment, writing her little sex column, learning lessons about love and life everyday, and breaking them down into cute little nuggets of wisdom to share with the world. I’m not sure what this says about me (or all the other people who LOVED it) but my favorite episode of SATC will always be the one in which Carrie cheats on douchebag Aiden with Big, oh, remember, they fight in the elevator! And next thing you know, it’s a full on affair. Let’s not forget that he essentially left her at the altar though, which was kiiiinda assholey, but I feel like she deserved it a little, she is ridiculous after all. Fortunately, he won her over in the in with a fuckin shoe closet. Way to possess any amount of self respect, Carrie.

3. Kevin and Winnie from The Wonder Years

Man, how crushed were you in the final scene of the final episode of The Wonder Years when we learn that Kevin and Winnie did NOT end up together? I guess we’re supposed to move on and accept that they were merely each other’s first loves, but for the love of god, HUMOR ME. It’s difficult to watch this show now, because I no longer relate to EVERYTHING Kevin is going through at an INTENSE EMOTIONAL level, and rather feel a little bit uncomfortable about how IN LOVE these middle schoolers are with each other. And remember, (see clip below) when Winnie was sick and Kevin “took care of her?” When I was 12, if some kid had come to my house and entertained me whilst I was ill in bed, I would have surely wanted to punch him in the face. Drop off my homework and get the fuck out of here already, I’m sick and would prefer to be alone. . .

2. J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing from Dallas

A lesser person probably would have chosen Pam and Bobby as the greatest couple on Dallas and those people would have been DEAD WRONG. Sure, Pam and Bobby’s love for each other is undying, but J.R. and Sue Ellen’s, is unadulterated. Theirs is a match made in HEAVEN. She a Texas beauty queen, he a rich independent oil man; he attracted to her good looks and well mannered persona; she attracted to his wealth and power. I assume they must have been happy together at some point, but not for long! He continued to womanize, and she couldn’t wake up without crushing bourbon, which made for incredible fights. And hate sex.

1. Lucy and Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy

Aaaahhhhhhh. Thank god I was not alive in the 50’s. If you think that the news of Brad and Jenn’s breakup was crushing, IMAGINE how absolutely devastating the In Touch cover with Lucy and Ricky torn apart must have been! “I DON’T Love Lucy!!!!” But, all the same, onscreen they were just the bees knees of couples (Fred and Ethel were pretty great too, I must admit), but something about her putting up with his bossy “do as I say” attitude, and his ridiculous accent and him putting up with her zany to the max slapstick antics makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. I also like that they maintained separate beds.

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Sure, spending Thanksgiving around a giant table with your closest friends and family and gorging yourself on unreasonable portions of dead bird, stuffing, noodles, mashed potatoes and cranberry is lovely, but wouldn’t you rather celebrate such a holiday with a group of strangers? Especially when those strangers have glib conversations with one another, exchanging witty one liners as they pass around platters of beautifully prepared traditional foods, and whose dysfunction is merely a means to a comical end, instead of the a fuel of awkwardness that makes everyone at the table wish they had eaten someplace else. I mean, if your grandmother falls piss drunk, face first into a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, it’s time to stage an intervention, but if it happens on TV, you’ll probably find yourself wishing your family were as festive and fun-loving! So now, as you think back on the wonderful day that was your family Thanksgiving, reeling from your tryptophan hangover, check out the following, my favorite Television Thanksgivings:

 

5.  3rd Rock From the Sun – “Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick” – November 24, 1996 – (2×10)

I suppose if you were an alien, the concept of Thanksgiving would seem rather absurd. Such is the basis for the Thanksgiving episode of this somewhat forgetable sitcom. When the Solomons notice that everyone around them is hoarding food for some elusive event in the near future, they rightfully assume that the apocalypse is coming. Still, in an effort to appear, in the know, they decide to host their own Thanksgiving dinner with the help of their earthling friends. Hilary ensues, sort of.

4.  Roseanne – “We Gather Together” – November 21, 1989 – (2×9)

Well, no list of favorite holiday episodes would be complete without mentioning Roseanne (I might love this show a little too much). I’m going to be honest though, the Thanksgiving episodes all sort of blend together. The Conners are a family’s family so spending 22 minutes at their holiday table, is pretty similar to real life, except that I can turn it off when things get iffy. In this, the show’s first Thanksgiving episode, Jackie and Bev are the main event, bitching and fighting all day long about the series of unfortunate events that is Jackie’s life.  Bev: So you didn’t invite anyone? Jackie: Uhh, no, you know me, Mom, all my boyfriends like to spend Thanksgiving with their wives! Meanwhile, Roseanne’s been up since the ass crack of down “stuffing bread crumbs up a dead bird’s butt,” all so I have something to laugh at for the rest of my life.

3. Full House – “The Miracle of Thanksgiving” – November 20, 1987 – (1×9)

Oh lord, how about you take this opportunity of a holiday special to make be roll around on the floor bawling like a baby. I GET IT JEFF FRANKLIN! PAM TANNER IS DEAD AND NOW HOLIDAYS ARE UNBEARABLE! Leave my heartstrings alone already. Oof. So it’s the first Thanksgiving at the Tanner house since mother Pam’s untimely death, so little D.J. (seriously “little,” she’s like 10) takes it upon herself to prepare a traditional feast for her new “blended” family. NOTHING goes right, the bird is all burnt, Steph drops a pie and worst of all, D.J. is forced to dress like Laura Ingalls. Oh and what you might ask is most sad about this? How about the part where Uncle Jesse takes the girls up to his room to look at photos of their mother and then Danny “forgot how much the girls looked like Pam.” I surrender, bring me some tissues.

2.  The Wonder Years – “The Ties That Bind” – November 14, 1990 – (4×7)

Be careful, this one will get ya! Oh, but what episode of The Wonders Years DOESN’T leave me an emotional wreck? Things are getting pretty tight at the Arnold house, and when the stove eats it, it looks like it’s going to be Thanksgiving at the soup kitchen. But then, right in the nick of time Jack gets a promotion at work! It’s going to be a wonderful holiday after all. Oh wait, NO! His new job means that he’s going to have to travel, and miss his family Thanksgiving. Looks like that new job was a double edged sword there Mr. Arnold, as well as a reminder that sometimes things aren’t better on television. It also begs the question, “Why can’t you just eat the Turkey on say, Saturday?” Oh right, because then I wouldn’t be upset for 45 minutes wondering if Jack will make it to his family Thanksgiving or not, whilst simultaneously ignoring my OWN family in order to watch television. If only MY life were narrated. . .

1.  Friends – “The One with the Football” – November 21, 1996 – (3×9)

Friends really outdid themselves when it came to Thanksgiving, and this episode just happens to be my favorite. It’s possibly because we finally get the gang outside of the confines of their apartments or Central Perk and into “the city,” which is quite clearly a patch of grass inside a studio. Or it COULD be because of a wonderful prop called the Gellar Cup, which is, as one of the friends so aptly described, “a troll doll nailed to a two by four.” While Monica cooks, the gang watches football on television, which leads to an impromptu touch football game in the park, where competition is FIERCE. Also, Phoebe is donning a That Girl shirt, and though that has NO bearing on, well, anything, I still felt like mentioning it because I’ve so oft wondered where she got it and why she owned it. Think about it, she was a homeless teenager, when would she have had time to watch That Girl?

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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?”

color_me_badd

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

Show: The Wonder Years

Moment: The end of The Accident- I challenge you not to cry. I CHALLENGE YOU.

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Although it is occasionally overlooked, especially in the era of modern television where Tivo or DVR can fast forward through it, and DVD’s allow it to be clicked past with the touch of a button, the INTRODUCTION is still as crucial as it ever was in initiating the program you’re about to watch.

Intro’s come in all varieties. They might use an original song, such in the case of Gilligan’s Island or The Beverly Hillbillies, that remind us of the initial premise of the show. In case you ever forgot HOW Gilligan and the gang got stuck on the island or WHY the Clampetts are living in the lapse of luxury, their 30 second intros are a quick and catchy reminder to the viewer of a “three hour tour” gone awry and how ol’ Jed discovered some black gold (oil) and “moved to Beverly, Hills that is.”

Other shows give us cheery, almost motivational songs, full of family-friendly lyrics, sung over pictures of smiling cast members, allowing us to realize just how great this program is about to make you feel–Full House and Family Matters come to mind.

Still, nothing beats a great instrumental number over a brilliantly produced montage.

Here is a list, in no particular order (because really, can ANYONE choose their favorite program intro?) of my top ten favorite television program introductions:

 

1. Dallas

Seriously, best song ever. It’s my cell phone ring, and has been for about two years. The rich people and Texas-y shit visuals make it all the more amazing to listen to.

2. The Golden Girls

This song is all the rage back in St. Olaf, oh and at my house too. I like to hear it about three times per day, and nothing makes me happier than watching Blanche saunter down the hallway boldly with her eye shades resting on her forehead. 

3. Doug

So I can’t find the actual intro, but the song is the most important part. I would say that this song is in my head 60% of the time that I am awake. I think that counts for something.

4. Beverly Hills, 90210

A greater guitar riff has never, nor will ever, exist. Combine that with high fives, muscle flexing, surfboards and high wasted pants, and you’ve got yourself a hit.

5. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Throw that hat right up, Mary, just throw it right up into they air! You’re sooo going to make it!

6. Laverne & Shirley

Another total classic, and perhaps Wayne and Garth solidified this one for me, but seriously, it doesn’t get much better than this.

7. Rescue Rangers

Action, adventure, use of the word “gumshoes,” terribly generic 80’s rockin’ jam with repetitive lyrics. Animated perfection.

8. The Dick Van Dyke Show

Is he or isn’t he going to trip on the ottoman? And how great is the voice over for who stars in the show? Since when could we not just READ that on the screen?

9. The Wonder Years

Joe Cocker! And this grainy olden timey film. I’ll save you the half hour and just tear up now.

10. Pee Wee’s Playhouse

Everything I ever wanted in a television program, or life, can be found in this two minute, 27 second introduction. God bless you Paul Reubens, god bless you!

 

–BEAL

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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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