Saturday, January 30, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (1/29): Jeopardy! (1978 Revival)

It’s not often talked about and has pretty much never been mentioned or aired again on television since its original showing, but between the era of the original version of Jeopardy! (1964-75) and the current one (1984-present), there was a short-lived attempt at a revival, often referred to as The All-New Jeopardy! which aired on NBC from 1978-79.

The original emcee Art Fleming was still there, but what stands out the most as different in this version besides the new set and theme song is the format change. This version had the two lowest scoring contestants eliminated over the course of the two rounds, and there was no Final Jeopardy! to be had. But instead, a round called Super Jeopardy! where the winning contestant had to face the big board alone and get five answers right in a row, 3 strikes, and they’re out. Not a bad twist, but I prefer the traditional game that we all know and have become accustomed to.

The premiere and finale of this show have made their way around video collectors, but this is a fresh episode not often seen, and includes both the opening and closing segments! The All-New Jeopardy!, my online pick of the week!

Ugly Betty Canceled

Ugh. I cannot begin to describe how much I hate this. This season of the show was easily starting to become incredible. With the exception of Matt leaving, I was really enjoying the storylines. I really enjoyed the Blackout episode the other week, and I loved Betty moving back out on her own.

I hate how this show was treated in the past year. First it was put on a hiatus in the spring last season in favor of two shows that just wound up getting canceled anyway. Then it moved to Fridays at 9 with little promotion, then they moved the show again with little promotion, and they didn't give people enough time for people to adjust to the second move. It's no wonder the ratings didn't pick up. They should have left it at 8 pm on Thursdays. Damn ABC.

The good thing though is that there will at least be time to have a finale with closure. Silvio Horta said that he had a plan to end the show in case something like this would happen, so at least there’s that. Otherwise… sigh.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Facts of Life: Season 4 FINALLY Coming to DVD!

I could not have been more excited to hear this week that Shout! Factory has picked up the DVD rights to Diff’rent Strokes spin-off The Facts of Life and will be releasing season 4 this May!

What I really love about this is that they're really going to be getting into my absolute favorite years of the show if they keep releasing the seasons after 4. I love seasons 5-8. Knowing the Paris movie will be a part this release is another plus. I have the feeling it wouldn't have been included if Sony released it.

Knowing that they've picked up Designing Women and now this show, maybe it could mean good things in the future for many other abandoned Sony classics like Maude, Diff'rent Strokes, The Jeffersons and All in the Family. There are too many classic hits with still very large and supportive fan bases today that should have been completed by now, many of which belonging to Sony Pictures Television.

I've been waiting so long for this. Thank you Shout! Factory!

ATWT: Damian is Slime… End of.

Friday, January 29th:

More of Dr. Reid being a jerk. And his comments about the other patients and towards Katie and Noah continue to show that he’s all about himself and himself only. And speaking of Katie, this girl has completely lost her mind. She’s known Reid for probably less than 5 minutes and she’s going to let him move in? What is it with Oakdalians trusting perfect strangers?

I love more of Maddie and Noah interacting. It’d seem before that Noah would just disappear on certain days where he’d really be needed and in the past couple instances it’s not the case anymore. Hope this stays. I also appreciate that Maddie is not throwing a pity party for him. I really don’t care for this contrived split between him and Luke though. Reid doesn’t want Luke around at the hospital. But what about when they get home? They have to stay apart there too? Seriously, come on, writers. It’s not like Reid’s going to be following them 24/7.

Damian is slime. Period. End of. Not that I’m a fan of Meg, but no one deserves to be treated like this. Meg should have just shot him and been done with it. It’s so nice seeing Lily have a backbone for a change. Seriously, it’s about effing time. And said backbone lasted for more than one day! I also have the feeling that the warm, cautious feeling about Damian Luke has will fade as soon as he hears about all the crap “dear old dad” has pulled. How I’d love, love, LOVE to see another confrontational scene like in 2006.

ATWT: More Angst and Arrogance

Monday, January 25th:

I can only imagine how hard it must be for Noah to be in the situation he’s in, but it’s really hard watching him lash out at Luke every time. And I know Noah probably didn’t realize this since Luke was on the phone with Reid at first, but that guy was an absolute ass even before coming to town. It makes me glad this talk happened though. So finally today at some point, it’s nice to have Noah and Luke saying how they feel about each other. Of course, I have to give a mini-squee when hearing that Luke wants to spend the rest of his life with Noah.

Speaking of Reid… Oh. My. Freaking. God. So worried about his own self. Who cares that Kim could have been hurt? Who cares that one car was practically stolen? It’s all about him. As for the “Officer Fife” comment? Charming. Let’s also not forget his address to the judge, practically insulting everyone… I know the Oakdale PD can be practically a stepping stone away from the Keystone Cops at times, but come on. Talking smack to the judge, too? Yeah, that’s the way, Reid. Get yourself out of this mess with your own dear, sweet words. Loved hearing Bob tell him off; and pompous blowhard is the perfect description for this guy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (1/22): ‘80’s Sitcom Closing Themes

Get ready for some serious saxophone playing! The pick this week goes to anyone who enjoys seeing the closing credits of their favorite television shows un-tampered with… a really nice montage of closing credit sequences from 1980’s sitcoms. It’s a minor annoyance, I know, but still, one of my pet peeves when it comes to television. It’s pretty annoying these days to see the real endings squeezed with the same worn-out promos taking up 95% of the screen, which is one reason of many as to why DVDs are a good thing.

And there are lot of good ones featured. Including The Cosby Show, Too Close for Comfort, The Golden Girls, Married with Children, and Charles in Charge (though I personally prefer the first season theme song best). Some rarely seen ones can be found as well, including Silver Spoons, Gimme a Break, and The Hogan Family. I noticed the scenes from the Who’s The Boss? credit roll actually comes from one of my favorite episodes, “Angela’s First Fight.”

1980’s closing credit sequences, my online pick of the week!

NBC: The End of a Short-Lived Era

Wow, last night’s episode of The Tonight Show, which was Conan O’Brien’s last night hosting, was absolutely brilliant and moving. Hearing how he talked about NBC being a home for him for over 20 years just goes to show that things were obviously pretty much fine until recently. And all the jabs made at the current network heads were well deserved. I’ve never seen so much support for a host, and there’s also the fact that his ratings went up at least 50% in the end. There were also plenty of celebrities supporting him. For example it’s pretty safe to say that after seeing Robin Williams’ Irish jig Thursday night, he is in strong support of Mr. O'Brien. Knowing that they’re willing to let Conan leave and Jay come back after all that as well as considering how NBC is in a hole right now in most other spots leaves me to believe Jeff Zucker and Co. are simply not too bright. “Morons! Incompetent morons!” indeed.

And I know Conan isn’t into cynicism, but I’m sorry, I can’t help but not like Jay after all this. I don’t wish the man death or anything, but it’s becoming much clearer that all he had to do was just bow out, or if he wanted another show so badly he could have easily gone to another network or try first-run syndication and Conan would still be hosting Tonight. Considering how he managed to push Johnny Carson into early retirement and screw David Letterman out of the job, I’m more than convinced he is not an innocent victim at all in this late night situation. This stuff and knowing that he’s stolen bits from Letterman and Howard Stern pretty much leave a bad taste in my mouth as far as his professionalism, or lack thereof is concerned.

I’m predominately a Letterman watcher, but I watched a few times for a couple celebrity interviews before, and with those, and as well as in seeing the show more recently, I’ve laughed with Conan’s short-lived era of The Tonight Show much more in this short span than I ever have when Jay hosted it. It’s really too bad that Conan was not given a proper chance to grow and find a good audience with Tonight. I'm glad that it seems Conan will have the last laugh though... all the way to the bank.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Is Going On With GSN?

I mean, seriously?

It’s bad enough that GSN has once again ventured into the concept of reality programming, but what really gets to me is the fact these two shows - Carnie Wilson: Unstapled and Hidden Agenda - are on so much. There’s no need for these series to repeat randomly throughout the GSN Live block all week or on Friday mornings; especially if so few episodes have been produced. I also can’t say I’m happy to see Wheel of Fortune leave the GSN lineup at all. Sure, airing the same season for the third time wasn’t helping matters, but all that had to be done was to lease a different one.

I have no problem with GSN wanting to air original programming; just as long as it fits in with the game show genre. Resorting to reality shows, keeping an inconsistent schedule, and running the same episodes multiple times per week… blech. It absolutely reeks of Viacom network style programming and I for one cannot stand it.

It's become about more than them just shelving most of their classic programming or even just having a bland schedule by now. It’s the fact that they’re willing to risk so much to “go into a different direction,” especially after the fact that reality was once conceived on this network and it crashed and burned, miserably.

Come on, GSN, get it together and stick exclusively to what you’re known for: game shows.

ATWT: One Step Forward...

Friday, January 22nd:

More of Dr. Reid’s arrogance. I so did not appreciate his attitude towards Bob. It’s one thing to point out how Luke pulled strings to get him there, but his behavior towards others really shows what little respect he has for other people. As much as I’d like Noah to be able to see again too, it is important for him to know exactly what all the risks are; and care to patients is of the essence. Not to mention he acted as if an iron rod was shoved in an unpleasant location way before arriving to Oakdale. It makes me believe he’s not too caring of his other patients back home and really that he's letting his genius get to his head.

It’s nice seeing Bob and Kim involved in this storyline. And even more arrogance from Dr. Reid… driving off in Luke’s car WITHOUT his permission and backing into Kim’s car? Ugh.

Noah’s back and forth anger is heartbreaking. I kind of wish we could get off this trend of back- and-forth, back-and-forth. And as much as I understand his disappointment at the end of the day, he seemed to be fine with Dr. Oliver operating on him when it looked as if everything was going to work out fine.

ATWT: Dr. Do Nothing

Tuesday, January 19th:

Can we start with how much of a dick Dr. Reid Oliver is? It’s one thing to say you have a busy schedule, but the “you’re boring me to tears” stuff was awful. Looks like this doctor doesn’t seem to care too much about people. At least he’s willing to work on Noah. Not caring for his arrogance.

As much as I can’t stand Damian, it’s nice to see him and Luke work to help Noah., but I hate that it’s possibly to help him get out of town quickly. It makes me know how hard it’ll be for him if Luke ever finds about the truth.

I loved the Maddie/Noah scene! Finally, a real good scene mentioning the past, unlike Christmas 2008. Maddie really works well with the other characters. The scene with the two of them with Hunter was really nice as well. It’s nice seeing Noah laugh for once. I swear, if you looked up the word “awkward” in the dictionary, Hunter’s face would be right there next to it.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m really not a fan of Meg. But wow, Damian’s a bastard. And I have no complaints towards a justifiably angry Holden.

This was a much better show than the previous one.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (1/15): Ultimate Leno Ownage

You know, sometimes I can have a bit of a hard time picking stuff for this weekly entry. But this week was an absolute no-brainer.

Jimmy appeared via satellite from his own show on Jay Leno’s 10@10 segment… and let’s just say… it’s not what Jay was expecting.

My favorite part hands down was when Jimmy said: "The best prank I ever pulled was I told a guy that—five years from now—I'm gonna give you my show. And then when the five years came, I gave it to him, and then I took it back almost instantly."

I normally wouldn’t condone the bashing of someone on their own show, even if it‘s someone I don‘t like, but in this case I think it was justified. A few people see it as NBC forced Jay to retire. I really don’t see it that way. Jay agreed to retire in 2004. You don’t promise someone something and then when it happens, make an emotional farewell show, then almost right after come back and snatch the other guy’s show right underneath from him.

What was Leno expecting anyway with this appearance, especially after Kimmel impersonated Jay the other night on his show? Come on, Jay. Even the audience at Jay’s show crack up at what Jimmy says. And I notice this segment isn’t found on any official site with Jay videos. This was totally serious and one of the best moments in late night TV history.

As Kelso from That ‘70’s Show would say… BURN!

NBC: Conan Out, Jay Back In

As TMZ and People reported, Jay is back into The Tonight Show and Conan will be leaving. What a joke.

People are actually boycotting The Tonight Show and even all of NBC over Jay coming back. And it's not just a few disgruntled fans either. If I were running NBC I'd really wouldn't mess with what remaining fans the network has, especially considering that a) they're in 4th place and have been for some time and b) there are a lot of Conan followers, and c) many of Conan's fans seem to fit the ever-so-precious young demo that these network big wigs are always chasing after. I’m sure Conan’s fans range in all ages, but networks always strive and have passion for entertaining the masses of the young demos. And the majority of the younger fans seem to like Conan. And how do they know Leno won't just retire again within the next 5 years? What'll happen then? It's obvious they're not even thinking about the future. And it’s a shame, because if Leno had any class he’d have just bowed out.

It’s also awful that Conan wasn’t given a good enough chance to start out. Jay Leno had 3 years before his ratings did decently with The Tonight Show. Not to mention there was a mini chain of bad lead-ins for him, with people tuning out Jay at 10 pm and the news at 11. We all know Jay would not have liked it if 7 months after he first started hosting with bad ratings had Johnny came to NBC and asked for his show back. And I thought David Letterman was screwed over by Jay badly enough in 1992. That’s peanuts to this; and we all know how Dave is having a good old justified laugh.

And again, I think it was respectable for Conan to say no to the 12:05 offer. It could have really damaged the show (and honestly, it’s not even “tonight” by 12:05), and it would have messed with Jimmy Fallon too. Conan was actually thinking of someone other than himself when saying no.

In the past, I’d watch a segment every once in a while for a favorite celebrity, but I was never a fan of Jay before and I really am not one now. The only late night talk show I will ever be watching on NBC after Conan leaves will be Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chelsea Lately: Something That’s Annoying Me

This grievance actually doesn't have anything to do with Chelsea herself, nor is it a critical response to her actual show, but about how the show is being handled online.

Not that long ago, Comcast Entertainment Group removed a bunch of Chelsea Lately episodes, roundtable, and celebrity interview segments from YouTube. And in it’s place is an official YouTube channel. Doesn’t sound so bad so far. But… all that’s there is tiny clip segments that can already be viewed on the E! website. Some of the most popular things, like the roundtables (a personal favorite of mine), are practically nowhere to be found. A few of them have been re-added or apparently went unnoticed, but I expect they won't be there for very long. Same with Hulu. All that’s there are measly little clips.

I mean, honestly, is someone posting a show the next day for people who can’t see it on the network really doing any harm? Fans aren’t making money from doing this. As much as I hate how Viacom went crazy with banning all their material from the site, at least with shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, the full episodes can be seen online on their official sites and on Hulu and not just small snippets. I’d like to see the owners of Chelsea Lately at least do something similar if they won‘t let the fans upload much of anything.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

NBC: Late-Night Mess

As we all know by now, Jay Leno’s 10 PM talk show was cancelled by NBC, and he’d like his late night 11:35 timeslot back. Of course, this would delay Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon’s shows. Now Conan has responded to the issue of moving The Tonight Show to 12:05 AM, and he is against it. It seems that this network has learned nothing from the Leno/Letterman situation in the 1990's.

I'll admit that while I will always respect his contribution to the early years of The Simpsons, that I'm not the biggest fan of Conan as a talk show host, (I honestly either watch Letterman or Chelsea most nights around this time), but after reading that response of his, I agree with him. The Tonight Show is an institution that has been in the same slot for over 6 decades. This is a big enough mess and I think re-accommodating Jay will just add to the problem. And not to mention, a very classy response from Mr. O'Brien.

I don’t know what NBC was thinking in the first place by giving Jay a 5-night-a-week timeslot in the first place. It would have been one thing to give him a weekly or bi-weekly show, but it’s been proven over and over that letting a show air multiple times per week in a network primetime slot is just asking for failure (see Millionaire and Deal or No Deal). Just another bad decision by this network and it’s all the more reason why Jeff Zucker should have gotten his pink slip a long time ago.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (1/8): Game Show Finale Megamix

Uploaded by user AdamNedeff. This is a really good mix of finales. Like with the idea of the “firsts on the first” marathon, it’d have been really nice to see something like a “lasts on the last” towards the end of the day on New Year’s Eve on GSN.

What I really like is how well the emotion is displayed in it; perfectly tied with Donna Summer‘s “Last Dance.” It’s always sad to see the shows that have been on for a considerable amount of time, like Super Password, Card Sharks, and The Newlywed Game end for this very reason. You can tell how much fun they had doing the show and how much the hosts and personalities enjoyed themselves. Also The Better Sex didn’t last for very long on ABC, but the finale is still very touching. There are some funny moments to take your mind off the downer mood as well, like Pat and Vanna sharing an intimate moment on Pat’s last daytime episode of Wheel of Fortune, John Daly himself being the mystery guest on the final episode of the original What’s My Line?, and $20,000 Pyramid’s fake winner’s circle.

Truly worth the watch. My online pick of the week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

SPN: Weekday Mornings on TNT

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this, but this week, TNT has started airing reruns of Supernatural! You can catch it every weekday morning at 10 am. I would probably be more excited about this fact if I didn’t already have all the DVD’s so far. But this is obviously a great way to catch the beginning of the series. And also a way to get a fix of the show until new episodes return on the 21st. This is also a great fit for the show since this network also airs Charmed and Angel.

This is a great show to get into; as I’ve mentioned before, great acting and writing, and the concept with two brothers hunting demons is a lot of fun. It’s sort of like a mini-horror movie every week, and this show along with Smallville really helped me get into the whole sci-fi/ fantasy genre.

Every morning at 10 am eastern!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ATWT: More angry!Noah

Tuesday, January 5th:

This was rather disappointing. The last Nuke episode was much nicer even though there was still a cloud of angst looming over them. And as much as I love good angsty drama, this is starting to get a little above and beyond. I understand that Noah is still upset about being blind, but not even letting Luke touch him? Come on, it’s like I’m watching an entirely different character. I’d like to see them fight this together.

As for the film, I do understand a little of how Noah feels. An award was won, but Noah feels that he didn’t accomplish any of it, but it's not like Luke meant to control anybody with it all. And I can’t believe that such a key element like the handling of the film was done off screen.

It feels as though this episode wasn’t complete. Like there’s footage still left in the editing room that wasn‘t put in the final print. There was no answer as to whether Luke was secondary to Noah's getting better. It's like it was edited out or something. This was another episode that shows that not enough potential is being put out into it when I know there’s more out there that‘s begging to be put through.

On a couple of positive notes, Van and Jake did rock their scenes, and props to the makeup people for continuing to make Noah’s injuries look as realistic as possible.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (1/1): First Episodes!

I thought this would be a good way to start the year off; looking at the premiere episodes of some great shows! It makes me wish that networks like TVLand and GSN would continue this tradition.

There’s the classic beginning of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, with the ambitious and independent Mary Richards. This is always a favorite of mine; a perfect example of how well the characters are introduced from the very start. And who can forget Lou Grant’s “You got spunk!” line during Mary’s interview? On The Bob Newhart Show, we’re introduced to psychologist Bob Hartley, and his wife Emily, who is afraid to fly. Bewitched is another good one; introducing Samantha Stephens, a witch, naturally, and her mortal husband Darrin.

I think Jeopardy!’s first syndicated episode from 1984 is always a treat to see from a current perspective, especially when comparing the electronic theme to the modern one, how the contestants were introduced back then, the glittery set, and Alex Trebek’s different hairstyle. It took Match Game a little bit to get its groove in the 1970’s, since regulars like Brett and Charles weren’t immediately on and the questions weren’t quite as racy and hilarious in the beginning.

First episodes; my online pick of the week! Find your favorites!