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Found 13 results

  1. Crackle (positioning to be a competitor with Amazon, Hulu, etc., is offering viewers, among other things, sporadic episodes of Seinfeld for free (with advertising) - seemingly taking a cross-section that creates a "theme" rather than going in sequence. Right now, there are 10 episodes to watch, all seemingly involve movies, and most involving dogs (that's just a guess, but those two themes seem recurrent) - this might be done to prevent users from sequential marathons, an to keep returning to crackle (they say they expire 2/1/2015, so I assume another 10 episodes will take their place, but who knows). Since Crackle apparently owns rights to syndication, they can do whatever they please, and this might be a good strategy. So far (I've only recently discovered "Crackle" via "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". When I've filled in a picture, I've finished watching that episode, and would very much enjoy discussing it (as of Sat Jan 25, 2015, I've watched all nine of "Seinfeld At The Movies" - just start any discussions in a new post in this thread (after all, discussions are what this is all about). Any comments? Questions? Thoughts? And this goes even for series that I'm writing mini-guides to, such as Star Trek (TOS) and (TNG), Twilight Zone, and Night Gallery - any and all discussion, no matter how minute you think it may be, is more than welcome - it makes my day, actually. On view now on Crackle's "Seinfeld curated theme" is "Seinfeld At The Movies" - 10 episodes, all dealing with Seinfeld and/or friends going to the movies at some point in the episode, and it looks like these will be available until Feb 1, 2015. I suspect they have a "theme of the month" (which could result in repetition - for example, I was thinking "dogs" might be part of this current theme, but they're only incidental). It's an interesting way to prevent people from blitzing through the episodes in order, and "encouraging" visitors to come back to Crackle on a regular basis. Sure, why not. Season 3, Episode 3: "The Dog" - Oct 9, 1991: [Note: Jerry is asked by an inebriated airplane passenger to watch his dog, Farfel, while the passenger recovers from a medical incident.] Season 4, Episode 14: "The Movie" - Jan 6, 1993: [Note: A comedy of errors, this ends up with everyone (but Kramer) going to the movie they didn't want to see, the fictional "Rochelle, Rochelle."] Season 5, Episode 24: "The Understudy" - May 18, 1993: [Note: Kramer, a Bette Midler fan, falls for and fawns over her after George brazenly knocks her out in a softball game.] Season 7, Episode 1: "The Engagement" - Sep 21, 1995: [Note: George and Jerry resolve to grow up and take life more seriously, resulting in George's engagement, while Kramer and Newman try to rid Elaine of a barking dog.] Season 7, Episode 20: "The Calzone" - Apr 25, 1996: [Note: George Steinbrenner falls in love with Calzones, and sends George to fetch one nearly every day] Season 7, Episode 8: "The Pool Guy" - Nov 16, 1995: [Note: Jerry has trouble telling the Pool Guy at their club that their group of friends has no room for somebody new.] Season 8, Episode 12 "The Comeback" - Jan 30, 1997: [Note: An insulted George goes to great lengths to issue a comeback against a co-worker who publicly insulted him.] Season 8, Episode 17, "The English Patient" - Mar 13, 1997: [Note: Elaine has such a disdain for "The English Patient" that it adversely affects all around her.] Season 8, Episode 4, "The Little Kicks" - Oct 10, 1996: [Note: Elaine turns out to be the worst dancer in the history of the world, and it's hilarious.] Season 9, Episode 20, "The Puerto Rican Day" - May 7, 1998: [Note: Jerry and Kramer get stuck in heavy Manhattan traffic during Puerto Rican Day, desperately trying to get across town.]
  2. We all remember "All In The Family's" opening theme song, with Archie and Edith Bunker singing in front of an old, slightly-out-of-tune spinet. But there were a couple of words that I wasn't sure of (*), and when I got to thinking about it, I didn't quite know the lyrics. After a bit of investigation, I think I stumbled upon a theory as important, and as obscure, as this one or this one. Here are the lyrics to the theme song - you can find numerous variations all over the internet. But one subtle importance is that I've seen several versions that use the phrase "And you knew who you were then," as opposed to, "And you knew where you were then." That might not seem like much, but knowing a bit about Jean Stapleton (and having proudly seen her in the 1987 revival of "Arsenic And Old Lace" on Broadway <-- that was a humble brag), I suspect she might have taken the more severe lyrics, "who you were," and substituted the more digestible "where you were." Note that this is the part of the song where she goes into a screech, focusing the audience's attention on her singing style rather than the actual song. Sadly, I thought it was, "And if you were human then." Honestly, for years, I did. (*) Perhaps most importantly, does this take a plural or singular? I'm going singular here, but I'm not ruling anything out.
  3. I've had this weird "thing" lately where I've been watching SE1 EP1 of classic American television shows - I guess I was so ignorant, for so long, that this is sort-of like taking a post-WWII pop culture course. *Everyone* but me at Clemson used to gather round the TV and watch "The Andy Griffith Show"; before last week, I had never before seen a single episode (my friends also called me a "Yankee"). The one thing that stood out to me in "The New Housekeeper" is six-year-old Ron Howard. I almost always find whiny children on TV to be incorrigible brats, but Howard - who was certainly whiny in this episode - somehow managed to be cute. I'm still not sure what it was about him that made me not detest him, but he was a real talent, even at age six.
  4. I saw Aziz Ansari on an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, liked him, so I thought I'd give his show, "Parks and Recreation" a whirl. Well, I haven't watched any of it yet, but I'm going to watch the pilot perhaps tonight, and I didn't want to lose all this title-tag information, so I'm posting now, will edit later. BTW, I don't summarize plots - just as I didn't with my Complete! Series! Of! Night! Gallery! Commentaries! I write these both as a (hopefully entertaining) supplement for people who have either just watched the episode, are in the middle of watching it, or are simply trying to refresh their memory in the future (that's why I include pictures that I think are representative of each episode); these are definitely not "reviews," and are just as much for my own future reference as for other people's benefit (I figure, if I'm going to spend five minutes jotting down notes for myself, why not spend seven minutes making things enjoyable for others?) Halfway into the third episode, I see no reason not to continue watching Parks and Recreation (I really like it!), so let me know if you want to see anything more than what I'm already doing (there is no better "guide" than watching the episode itself, and these commentaries aren't unlike reading the morning paper after you've already watched the Monday Night Football game). *** SPOILERS *** List of Characters in Parks and Recreation which contains look-ahead descriptions of what they end up doing. Season One 1. "Pilot" - Apr 9, 2009: <--- Leslie falls into the pit. Written by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, Directed by Greg Daniels [Notes: I'd never even heard of this show before this evening. From what I can gather from the pilot episode, this is very much of a tongue-in-cheek, self-aware farce, somewhat along the lines of "Arrested Development," but in a pseudo-documentary manner, as if the whole thing is being filmed like the live episode of "ER," "Ambush." Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) takes her mid-level bureaucrat role very seriously (and I suspect this series has more than its share of bloopers from the actors laughing when they shouldn't), Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) is a cocky, lackadaisical, skirt-chaser as Knope's underling for the Department of Parks and Recreation in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) is a parody of a serious, concerned citizen. I can tell after ten minutes that the fourth wall is broken perhaps more often than I'd prefer - time will tell whether or not this gets to be too much. Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider) is a funny satire of a "go-getter" - a friend of Leslie's (who slept with her five years before and briefly forgot he did) - and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) plays the hilarious injured musician-boyfriend of Ann's - he hurt his leg falling into the pit, and uses a robotic clamp to grab beer bottles, etc. (his opening scene is really very funny). Summer intern April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) is a archetypal gum-chewing, disconnected teen, and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) is the seemingly Libertarian boss whom Leslie needs to ask for permission to turn the pit into a park. Seven major characters were introduced during this half-hour in a very easy-to-digest fashion, and I loved this pilot episode.] 2. "Canvassing" - Apr 16, 2009: <--- The team studying canvassing brochures written by (who else?) Leslie Written by Rachel Axler, Directed by Seth Gordon [Notes: I don't know if I'm going to get tired of this, but so far it's pretty darned entertaining. I read that before the Pilot was shown, Leslie was written to be a less-likable character, and I think it was a really good idea making the audience like her more; otherwise, it would have been a chore to get through this. I'm writing this as I'm watching (going back-and-forth), and so far my least-favorite character is Mark Brendanawicz because he's just so blatantly chill, but maybe that difference - which is standing out a little too much right now - will make him grow on me going forward. The sex-offender scene was a riot, and fortunately not too overplayed (that's a good sign, although it could have been even more subtle). Subtlety will be so important in this series - the man who stood up at the town-hall meeting, complaining about the loud guitar playing, overacted his role at first, and it's little things like that which can ruin a series (although his "You suck!" comment was funny) - I'm writing this, turning a blind eye to the fact that it ran for seven seasons. Oh, this show is shaping up to be quite amusing.] 3. "The Reporter" - Apr 23, 2009: <--- Shauna Malwae-Tweep talking with Leslie. Written by Daniel J. Goor, Directed by Jeffrey Blitz [Notes: Yes, this is a *lot* like "Arrested Development" in that there are humorous scenes that are less than one-second long (I'm thinking now about the online Scrabble move FISHING -> IS). Oh, how I love the little moments like when Mark walks out with his arm around the reporter, Shauna Malwae-Tweep (Alison Becker) - the entire scene takes about one-quarter second - it's this rapid-fire, 50-funny-things-in-30-minutes, slapstick-like, machine-gun comedy that I liked about Arrested Development (although that show may have been a touch *too* subtle for mass acceptance). I wonder if "America's Funniest Home Videos" with Bob Saget was the precursor of this type of humor. In a 30-minute show, 26 minutes of it would be either commercials or Bob Saget yucking it up, and all you wanted was for Bob to Shut! Up! and play the next videos in rapid succession. You have to love the allophone (with "t" and "d") when Shauna comes trotting out of Mark's pick-up truck: "Hi! Sorry I'm late!" ... "Do ... you ... live near Mark?" "No, not at all." Yeah, Mark is growing on me, all right. And Leslie's subsequent seat-recline was laugh-out-loud funny. Does anyone think that Leslie looks like "someone we all know?" (And to a lesser degree, same with Mark? I can think of people I've met in my past who look a lot like them.) Through this episode, the director appears to be breaking the fourth wall with restraint, so it's actually a plus at this point rather than an annoyance. Andy's off-camera "Men are dawgs!" type of comments are uproarious. I had an audible "Oh no!" when Mark said, "I wouldn't say ... *romantically* involved ...." How did I not know this show existed?] 4, "Boy's Club" - Apr 30, 2009: <-- Ann and Leslie crashing the "Boy's Club" Written by Alan Yang, Directed by Michael McCullers [Notes: Dog-poop fights: If you can't lick 'em, join 'em. During the "apology video" to women politicians, I looked at the timer, and realized I was almost halfway through the episode - without commercials (on Amazon), this show *flies* by. One thing that can slip by the viewer in these episodes is the cinematography - the camera work is remarkable, and I have to think it's as much directorial skill as camera work because the timing is just so awesome. Leslie remarks on Ron's "full moustache," and in the next quarter-second, the camera moves in for a droll close-up; then it's over. And I love the allegory of dog-poop fights with Leslie's personal Watergate (because she opened a gift basket from a potential contractor). I kind of wish I wasn't writing these notes because every time I laugh out loud (like during Leslie's tearful filmed confession), I cut over here to write something. Hmmm ... The chase down the street on crutches and without pants! Writing detailed commentary about this show is like reviewing individual dishes at Minibar - it just doesn't work, but man oh man I'm loving this show so far.] 5. "The Banquet" - May 7, 2009: <--- Leslie sporting a mannish do. Written by Tucker Cawley, Directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller [Notes: They're really making the most out the murals on the wall of the Parks and Recreation building which, in case anyone doesn't already know, were ubiquitous things from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Works Progress Administration" - we have some here in Washington, DC. If anyone has a chance to go into the impressive Ariel Rios Federal Building on 11th and Penn (where the EPA is headquartered), make sure to walk up or down the awesome spiral staircases (where hangs a Foucault Pendulum): On each floor (on both sides of the building), there are WPA murals which look a *lot* like the ones in Parks and Recreation. If you know any EPA employee, ask them to give you a tour of this amazing building - it's worth a special effort just to see the staircases and murals. I swear, so far my favorite character in this show is Andy (the injured husband) - every single thing he says, or slight move he makes, causes me to giggle. I am so glad I'm writing this show up because if I wasn't, I could go through the entire series in about four days - I don't think I've yet seen a minute-long slice without it being funny. "The Banquet" may be my least-favorite episode of the first five, but it was still a winner - how did this show not have ten-million viewers?] 6. "Rock Show" - May 14, 2009: <--- Andy gets his cast off (and gets cast off by Ann) Written by Norm Hiscock, Directed by Michael Schur (2) [Notes: Finally! Some character development! And some plot advancement, but they had to wait until the season finale to do it. The one major storyline here is Ann throwing Andy out of the house after learning that he waited an extra two weeks before having his cast removed (because "he liked her serving him dinner"), and the two minor storylines are Leslie and Paul nuzzling (after hooking up once about five years ago), and Paul subsequently falling into the pit like Andy did, apparently hurting himself (but we don't really know since the season ended). This was refreshing, having some degree of continuity to the series other than "The Pit" (which is featured in one of Andy's awful rock songs in this episode - his band is just terrible. Rather than having this be "a show about nothing" like Seinfeld (or, should I say, "a show that deeply examines one seemingly unimportant construct, like "a meeting, or "a canvassing," etc. which is what Seinfeld did), it's refreshing to have the characters change (even a little bit) and grow, so the viewer feels they're investing something into the series, rather than simply watching random episodes and not missing a thing if they don't. Leslie's date with the older bureaucrat made me shiver - that was *really* creepy, in a very amusing sort of way - that man (Ron Perkins) played his role perfectly. One other thing: When Andy got his cast off, it was *gross*! And, Season One is a wrap and a thumbs-up. Note: All six shows had different directors and writers (eleven people total) except for Michael Schur, who worked on two episodes.
  5. We've been discussing South Park, so I thought I'd bring up Family Guy. I think this show is pure genius and Seth MacFarlane is one of the funniest people around. A couple of random favorites: For my fellow Star Wars geeks, be sure to check out the parodies (Blue Harvest, etc.) McFarlane has done. They're amazing. He had permission from George Lucas to copy the hell out of it and at times the animation matches the actual film frame for frame.
  6. Don't worry - I'm not going to subject you to extensive reviews of "The Mothers-in-Law" any more than I would "Petticoat Junction." But I was a classic, latchkey child growing up, and The Mothers-in-Law is a show that I watched dozens of times, so I thought I'd watch the first episode as a reminiscence. I had no idea the Executive Producer was Desi Arnaz, and this must have been premiered right after the breakup of Desilu Productions (which went defunct in 1967). This aired on NBC, and I read that they aired it on Sunday evenings against "The Ed Sullivan Show," which pretty much guaranteed a short run; I'm pretty sure I only caught afternoon reruns, although I don't remember. I recall, for some odd reason, liking Eve Arden as a child - my son accuses me of being a "hipster," of all things, because I eschew popularity (I dispute this, but that's another subject) - anyway, if it were true, my liking Eve Arden as a young child would be an obvious early example of such a thing. Yes, she was very popular, but not among young children. The most striking inconsistency in this show is the role of Roger Buell, which was played by Roger C. Carmel in season one, and Richard Deacon in season two. Does anyone know if unannounced character changes are as common these days as they were fifty years ago? it used to happen fairly often. "The Mothers-in-Law's" premise is two neighboring families, Eve and Herb Hubbard (played by Eve Arden and Herbert Rudley), and Kaye and Roger Buell (played by Kaye Ballard and Roger C. Carmel / Richard Deacon). Son Jerry Buell (Jerry Fogel) married daughter Suzie Hubbard (Deborah Walley), hence the entanglement of the two families, and the name of the series - Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard being the "mothers-in-law." Considering how silly and unremarkable the show was, there are some fairly big names throughout the cast, and between Desi Arnaz, Madelyn Davis (aka Madelyn Pugh), and Bob Carroll, Jr., it's little wonder that "The Mothers-in-Law" was a screwball comedy in a similar vein to "I Love Lucy." Anyway, what harm is there in watching the first episode? Season One (Sep 10, 1967 - Apr 28, 1968) 1.1 - "On Again, Off Again, Lohengrin" - Sep 10, 1967 - Directed by Desi Arnaz - (Ricky Ricardo on "I Love Lucy."), Written by Madelyn Davis (Writer or Co-Writer of 181 episodes of "I Love Lucy" (2)) and Bob Carroll, Jr. (Writer or Co-Writer of 181 episodes of "I Love Lucy" (3)) [This is a standard sit-com opener where the characters are introduced, the wives get into a fight, they cry and make up (that's the picture), the wedding is announced, and the future mothers-in-law meddle in the wedding - there's nothing special at all here. "Lohengrin" - aside from being a famous opera by Richard Wagner - is also a medieval Germanic legend about a knight (Lohengrin) who comes to rescue and defend a duchess - the obvious reference being to the mothers-in-law and their meddling.]
  7. No, I'm not doing a retrospective of "The Brady Bunch" (goodness knows, I must have seen every episode when I was a kid), but I just read a couple of interesting pieces of trivia: Robert Reed was the second choice for Mike Brady; the producer's first choice was Gene Hackman (!), but he was too unknown at the time. Florence Henderson was the second choice for Carol Brady, after the role was turned down by her best friend, Shirley Jones, for "The Partridge Family." I can see Shirley Jones - she looks like Florence Henderson's cousin - but *Gene Hackman*? Good call going with Robert Reed (did you know he co-starred in "The Defenders?") - he fit the part; Hackman would have pulled out a gun and shot one of his kids in the back when they were running up the stairs. Season One (Sep 26, 1969 - Mar 20, 1970) 1.1 - "The Honeymoon" - Sep 26, 1969 - Directed by John Rich (Emmy Award Winner for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy" for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and for "Sammy's Visit" on "All in the Family")
  8. Season 3, Episode 12. "The Sound Of The Trumpets Of Conscience Falls Deafly On A Brain That Holds Its Ears ... Or Something Like That!" - Dec 11, 1963: Have you ever had one of "those moments" where a character appears on a TV show, and you *know* you've seen the character before, and try as you might, you just cannot figure out where? (Of course you have: That was a rhetorical question - we all have). Well, it just happened when Lieutenant Yarnell came walking into the front office of the police station in this Dick Van Dyke show. Thank *goodness* for internet search engines - it only took about a minute before I had my "Aha! Moment." Meet Lieutenant Yarnell. --- ETA - Interesting, I just found out I'm related to Dick Van Dyke (we're both descendants of John Alden). May be a somewhat distant relationship.
  9. Season One (Produced by Allan Burns (Co-Creator of "The Munsters" and "Rhoda") and James L. Brooks (Producer, Director, and Writer of "Terms of Endearment," Creator of "Room 222") "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" won twenty-nine Emmy Awards - more than any other comedy in television history. 1.1 - "Love Is All Around" - Directed by Jay Sandrich (Directed 100 episodes of "The Cosby Show"), Written by Allan Burns and James L. Brooks, Co-Produced By David Davis (Co-Creator of "The Bob Newhart Show") Introducing Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Valerie Harper, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, and Cloris Leachman Featuring Angus Duncan (Ticket Clerk in "Twenty-Two" on "The Twilight Zone")
  10. What in the world was the pitch for this TV series? "Hey dude, we have this hilarious script about a loveable ragtag bunch of captured Allied soldiers in a Nazi internment camp. Whadaya think? It'll be a hoot!" Anyway, say what you will about the unfortunate premise and the uh... peculiarities of Bob Crane, but I didn't know the stories behind the cast. Many of them were not only Jewish, but actually spent time in concentration camps. Hogan's Heroes The story behind Robert Clary is especially interesting.
  11. Other than Bugs Bunny, the most important cartoon ever? Nope! That would be Tom and Jerry. Pilot Episode: "The Flagstones" May 1, 1960: [Note: Only 90 seconds long, and not many people have seen this - I know I hadn't.] Season 1 Episode numbers are listed with Original Air Dates: 1. "The Flintstone Flyer" - Sep 30, 1960: [Note: The Barney-Copter! No! The Flintstone Flyer! I had no idea this was Season 1, Episode 1 when I was a child.] 2. "Hot Lips Hannigan" - Oct 7, 1960: [Note: Wow - between this and the pilot, Wilma has some bitch to her - look at those quotes of hers in the link!] 3. "The Swimming Pool" - Oct 14, 1960: [Note: From what I remember, the "looks" of Fred and Barney are radically different than they are in later seasons.]
  12. No, I'm not going through all 203 episodes, but these were the first two in series history. Season 1, Episode 1: "Bud Takes Up The Dance," October 3, 1954: Season 1, Episode 2: "Lesson In Citizenship," October 10, 1954 (this is the better of the two): Coincidentally, both Jane Wyatt and Elinor Donahue both appeared in episodes of Star Trek (TOS), Wyatt playing Spock's Mother (in "Journey To Babel") and Donahue playing Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford (in "Metamorphosis").
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