Category: 80’s

Retro Rerun Review: Roseanne

The Show: Roseanne 

Ran for:  222 episodes from 1988 to 1997. (Oh, and then 8 episodes in 2018. Not sure if you heard about that, though.)

What it’s about: A gruff-yet-lovable family living an unremarkable existence in lower middle class America. Also, loose meat sandwiches.

My relationship with it: I have seen every episode at least once, and a majority of episodes multiple times. (It is a scientific fact that Roseanne is being shown at every given second of every day somewhere on television.)

This Episode: Season 4, Episode 6, “Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down”

A lady is approaching Roseanne’s door. It is open a crack, and you can hear Dan and Roseanne, household members, screaming inside. It is very clear that Roseanne is murdering Dan. Whoa! The lady enters the house and says, “it’s Kathy,” and now we know she’s Kathy. And yep. There’s Dan on the table with his guts hanging out. Kathy freaks out, understandably. And here’s Roseanne creeping up behind her! And she’s covered in blood and holding a butcher knife. I think Kathy is about to mess herself. Dan gets off the table and offers her some liver. She knows she’s been had. She storms away angrily and Dan and Roseanne laugh about it.

After the cold open, we’re back in the kitchen. Becky comes in— it’s the first Becky, by the way— and tells them she’s going out tonight. They mention dinner and, once again, offer up the liver. This liver has paid for itself already and we’re like, 3 minutes in. Darlene comes in and gets a soda. Roseanne asks Darlene if she is doing something cool and Halloween-ish and Darlene says no, I’m staying home. And then here comes DJ, and he’s dressed like Ed Grimsley, I think. Wait, no, he asks who he’s supposed to be, and he’s actually dressed as Alfalfa.

Anyway, he’s pissed because he wants to be the Terminator, natch. He runs off in a huff. Roseanne and Dan commiserate because Halloween “used to mean something.” Jackie, Roseanne’s sister, comes in and Dan tells her to take the insides out of the pumpkin he’s been cutting because he needs to go get the tubing for their costume. He won’t tell her what it is, though, and she’s mad. They’re all going to a party later, and Jackie is going stag. They talk about the dates she TRIED to get for the party that night, and it’s pretty good dialogue. Then DJ comes in and he’s dressed kind of like the Terminator, but still with elements of Alfalfa. Roseanne calls him the Alfalfinator, which is a pretty lame joke, actually. Continue reading “Retro Rerun Review: Roseanne”

Music Monday – Week of October 8

 

Music Monday

US Top 40 Singles for the Week Ending October 8, 1983

  • Not much change this week. Bonnie Tyler stays at in the #1 spot. The big movers are “All Night Long” by Lionel Ritchie (which jumps 14 spots) and “Tell Her About It” by Billy Joel, which jumps into the top 40 at #32.

General Mills Monster Cereals Reviews

With the spirit of Halloween already in the air, it’s certainly not too early to start enjoying all the cool food treats that come along this time of year.  One of the best, and my personal favorites, are the classic monster cereals from General Mills.  Starting all the way back in 1971, Count Chockula, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, and others have thrilled the taste buds of the young and the young at heart.  Even though they are no longer available all year long, the monster cereals are still highly regarded in the cereal world, and have managed to maintain their great taste for multiple generations.

In celebration of the yearly release of these flavors, and to commemorate the start of the Halloween season, me and the kids sat down with bowls of each cereal to do a taste test and review over on our food review YouTube channel, Our Table.  You can check out all three below, and if you have a minute, chime in with your thoughts and memories on these delectable morsels of spooky goodness.  And if you dig all the cool food and treats this time of year, consider subscribing to the channel as we have Halloween Treat videos going up all month long!

 

 

If you’ve been unable to find these wonderful cereals in your area this year, you can pick up a 3-pack featuring Count Chokula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry at Amazon with this link.

Yo!  Features like this take considerable time and money to produce.  If you dig Retro Ramblings and features like this, and would like to make a small one-time donation, you can do so via my Ko-Fi link:

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Midnight Drive-In: Night of the Comet

Midnight Drive-In

 

Welcome to the Retro Rambling’s Midnight Drive-In…a place created for all you retro lovin’ night owls.  Our first presentation for Spooktober 2018 takes us back to the year 1984 for a special screening of Night of the Comet.  A quasi-horror flick in which a comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls fighting against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists.  Enjoy.

 

Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins

Ghosts 'n' Goblins

 

Ghosts ‘n Goblins took the baddie-battling, princess-rescuing formula and went Medieval, casting Knight Arthur in the hero’s role and pitting him against the combined forces of Hades. Strapping into his suit of armor, Arthur ran to the rescue, braving six levels of ghosts, goblins ‘n much more.

Designed as a scrolling action game, Ghosts ‘n Goblins only required three skills: running, jumping and firing. If it moved, it had to be killed. Arthur began the game armed with throwing lances, but new weapons—fire, axe, dagger and cross—were available by killing certain enemies (those carrying clay pots).

With those implements of demonic destruction, Arthur wended his way through a graveyard, a dark forest, a run-down town, a series of caves, across a bridge and on to the castle where the Princess was held. Each stage was filled with scary beasts of every kind—zombies, ghosts, giants, demons, skeletons, etc.—each capped off by a particularly hideous boss. And just to save you several hours’ worth of frustration, you can only kill that devil boss at the end with the shield weapon. Try anything else, and you’ll find yourself flying back to level one with a teardrop in your eye, bucko.

Arthur began the game with the customary three lives, but that was where the suit of armor came in handy. The first hit on Arthur’s mortal body smashed the armor off, leaving Arthur alive but wearing nothing but his Medieval skivvies. Another hit cost one life, but extra suits of armor were conveniently stashed at certain points in the game if Arthur survived that long.

A hit both in the arcades and on the then-new Nintendo Entertainment System, Ghosts ‘n Goblins won players over with its fundamental action gameplay and its cartoony, yet somehow still creepy graphics. A sequel, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, was released in 1988, adding flashier graphics and new power-ups (including the power-enhancing golden armor) to a brand-new storyline. And yes, it did involve rescuing that perpetually-victimized princess from the devil again (when will these royals ever learn?).

Music Monday – Week of October 1

 

Music Monday

US Top 40 Singles for the Week Ending October 1, 1983

  • Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of The Heart” moves into the #1 spot. A song penned by Jim Steinman, it was originally SEVEN MINUTES long and titled “Vampires In Love”. He wrote it while working on the musical version of Nosferatu.
  • Another Jim Steinman song, Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing At All”, moves into the top 5. It’s a song that was originally presented to Meat Loaf for his Midnight at the Lost and Found album. Meat Loaf claims both of these songs were presented to him for said album but Steinman refutes this claim saying he wront “Eclipse” specifically with Bonnie Tyler in mind.

 

Welcome to Spooktober 2018!

Retro Halloween

 

With the exception of that traditional eve when jolly St. Nick visits the chimneys of the world, there is perhaps no holiday quite as beloved, or more anticipated by kids than Halloween, the last day in October that we have long set aside as an evening to congregate in costume and perhaps even scare ourselves silly. It is a time of ghouls and goblins, of witches and black cats, of costume parties and grinning pumpkins. And, if that wasn’t enough, every kid knows that it is the one night when it is perfectly acceptable to beg door-to-door for candy. Now, that’s a holiday!

The origins of Halloween trace back centuries, a mixture of Roman and Celtic customs that celebrated the transition from fall into winter. Trick or treating may be traced as far back as the Middle Ages, when it was called “souling”. Poor folks went from door to door, saying prayers for the dead and, in return, received a few scraps of food. In Scotland, they called it “guising” where participants would hollow out turnips, turn them into lanterns and carry them from door to door. For their efforts, they might receive money, cakes or perhaps some fruit. That sounds nice, but it took some American ingenuity to create the confection-heavy version we’ve come to know and love.

The trick or treating we are now accustomed to started in the 30s, then was brought to a grinding halt when sugar rations became necessary during WWII. Shortly after the war ended, however, children’s magazines like Jack and Jill began promoting the practice again, as did the Peanuts comic strip, and even Walt Disney, who released the classic cartoon, “Trick or Treat,” in 1952.

 

 

Kids have been banging on doors ever since, begging for treats, and if denied, perfectly willing to exact revenge via mischievous pranks. Hell hath no scorn like a kid deprived of candy. Most pranks involved such household items as eggs, toilet paper, shaving cream and soap. You can use your imagination, but let’s just say that they were often used in ways in which they weren’t intended. And, of course, the granddaddy of pranks was the smashing of some poor soul’s pumpkin (there’s a band name in there somewhere) on the pavement.

 

Ben Cooper Costumes

 

Perhaps the most important decision to make prior to the arrival of Halloween was the choice of costume. Whether trick or treating or going to a party, a costume was a must. Perhaps as a small child, you picked out a Ben Cooper costume at the store, complete with vinyl smock and sharp plastic mask. Or, maybe you made your own (hobo, anyone?). Two holes poked into a sheet and you had an instant (and inexpensive) ghost. More enterprising youngsters even employed the two-costume technique, where you canvased the entire area for candy, then switched costumes and hit it again.

 

Halloween Sunset

 

When the sun finally set on Halloween, most of us began walking the streets, trusty plastic jack o’ lantern or pillowcase in hand, ready to collect Smarties, candy corn, Dum Dum Pops and an assortment of miniature candy bars. We took our hard earned bounty home and dumped it on the counter so our parents could inspect it closely. Thanks to some pesky (and mostly unfounded rumors) many of us (or at least our parents) believed that there just might be a razor blade, needle or poison lurking in that inviting pile of confections. We waited not-so-patiently for mom or dad to give their candy clearance, and then it was ours to do with as we pleased (in most cases, at least). Some kids would eat only a few pieces each day, while others polished off all the good stuff within the first 24 hours. You also might have had to guard your candy from the likes of larcenous siblings, or a even a sneaky parent with a sweet tooth.

Once kids began to outgrow trick or treating, of course, parties began to take precedence. Still costume clad, kids gathered to dance to The Monster Mash, eat creepy looking food, watch scary movies, and thrust their faces into metal tins of water, in the hopes of grasping a bobbing apple in their teeth. And if you didn’t have a party to go to, you could always go out and try to scare the crap out of the younger trick or treaters. There was always something for a kid to do on Halloween.

But why let the fun and memories be confined to just one night?  Well, you don’t have to.  We’re here to help you get your spooky retro groove on all month long!  Each and every day from now until Halloween, stop back by here at Retro Ramblings for a different “Halloween treat” to bring back those old memories.  Let Retro Rambling’s Spooktober 2018 begin!