Tag: TV Shows

Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas Lineup for 2017

25 Days of Christmas

Once again, Freeform is back with their 25 Days of Christmas programming, and here is their complete schedule for this year.  Once again, it’s loaded with plenty of old school cartoons and movies, so have a great “retro” time watching these and getting ready for Christmas.

Friday, December 1
7:30 – 9:30 a.m. EST – ELOISE AT CHRISTMASTIME
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – RICHIE RICH’S CHRISTMAS WISH
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – JACK FROST
2:00 – 3:35 p.m. – TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
3:35 – 4:35 p.m. – THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS
4:35 – 7:05 p.m. – WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
7:05 – 9:15 p.m. – NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION
9:15 – 11:25 p.m. – ELF
11:25 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. – DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL
1:30 – 2:00 a.m. – FROSTY’S WINTER WONDERLAND

Saturday, December 2
7:00 – 9:00 a.m. EST – RICHIE RICH’S CHRISTMAS WISH
9:00 – 9:30 a.m. – MICKEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL
9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – MICKEY’S ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS
1:05 – 3:10 p.m. – DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL
3:10 – 4:50 p.m. – TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
4:50 – 7:00 p.m. – NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION
7:00 – 9:10 p.m. – ELF
9:10 – 11:50 p.m. – DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (LIVE ACTION)
11:50 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. – THE POLAR EXPRESS

Sunday, December 3
7:00 – 7:30 a.m. EST – MICKEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL
7:30 – 9:00 a.m. – MICKEY’S ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS
9:00 -11:05 a.m. – A DENNIS THE MENACE CHRISTMAS
11:05 a.m. – 1:10 p.m. – SANTA PAWS 2: THE SANTA PUPS
1:10 – 2:15 p.m. – SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN
2:15 – 3:55 p.m. – TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
3:55 – 6:05 p.m. – THE POLAR EXPRESS
6:05 – 8:45 p.m. – DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (LIVE ACTION)8:45 – 10:50 p.m. – THE SANTA CLAUSE
10:50 p.m. – 12:55 a.m. – THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE

Monday, December 4
7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EST – SANTA PAWS 2: THE SANTA PUPS
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – MICKEY’S TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. – ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
2:30 – 4:35 p.m. – THE SANTA CLAUSE
4:35 p.m. – 6:40 p.m. – THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE
6:40 – 8:50 p.m. – ELF
8:50 – 11:00 p.m. – NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION
12:00 – 2:00 a.m. – FOUR CHRISTMASES

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Dukes of Hazzard Videopalooza

We’re continuing on with Dukes of Hazzard week here at Retro Ramblings, and today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some footage of the stars of the show in various other ways, as well as other interpretations of the show.  So here are some fun videos of the icons outside of the confines of their familiar Hazzard County.

First up, check out these couple of videos where the stars of The Dukes of Hazzard competed on the iconic game show Family Feud against the stars of The Waltons and The Jeffersons.

Bo and Luke were pretty talented outside of acting, driving cars, and shooting bows.  Turns out, they’re both pretty good singers, and you can see that in the video below as they sing the theme song, Good Old Boys in Nashville.

Robot Chicken’s version of The Dukes of Hazzard

Auto Trader got on The Dukes of Hazzard band wagon with one of their recent commercials

In this modern age of over political correctness, you probably won’t see The Dukes of Hazzard on television anymore.  Matter of fact, if you did, it would probably look a lot like this.

The very first General Lee, known as Lee 1, was found in a junkyard and restored.

One more video for today, as we find out if Bo Duke still has it or not.

 

 

 

The Dukes of Hazzard

Dukes of Hazzard

“Just two good old boys, never meanin’ no harm… Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with the law since the day they was born…”

Everybody loves a car chase. From Bullitt to The French Connection to Smokey and the Bandit, speedy vehicles have thrilled viewers on the big screen for years. CHiPs proved the same thrills were possible on the small screen, so it was only a natural progression to continue the concept of the chase-driven show.

Unlike CHiPs, The Dukes Of Hazzard took the side of the “outlaws” as it followed the adventures of the Duke cousins, Bo and Luke. The boys were reformed former moonshiners whose career ended when they were caught making a moonshine run for their Uncle Jesse. Jesse made a deal with the law to keep the boys out of prison, involving a promise from the boys never to run moonshine again, not to cross the state line without permission, and not to use any firearms.

However, none of this could keep the Duke boys down. To get around the firearms ban, the two were strictly bowmen, though their arrows often had a bit of TNT-fueled kick. They also built a car with the help of their buddy, Cooter Davenport. They took out a loan to finance the venture while their other cousin, Daisy (who wears short shorts? she wears short shorts!), worked at the Boar’s Nest to pay off the loan (“Free drinks on the house!”). This hangout was owned by Boss Hogg, the local politico who ran Hazzard County and the major nemesis of the Duke clan.

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The Dark Shadows Television Series

Dark Shadows

Vampires, ghosts, and werewolves, oh my. Those were just some of the beasties on that spooky sixties soap Dark Shadows. And here were some of the show’s fans: teenagers, housewives, and hippies—who purportedly appreciated the trippy, otherworldly subject matter and play with time dimensions (oh, my).

The show had a huge following in its heyday, but an equally impressive cult following these days. It holds a place in history as the first Gothic daytime drama, as ABC’s first color soap opera, and, though this is a watershed tougher to measure, it was the first series with a broad Goth appeal. Even if spooky theatrics didn’t make for a kid’s regular TV viewing, they found themselves racing home from school, and moms found themselves racing out of the kitchen, postponing the preparation of that eve’s scrumptious family dinner for a half-hour of thrills and chills.

Dark Shadows was created by Dan Curtis, who would later compel viewers to whisk away tears in mini-series The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. The idea of a young lady governess who came to a seaside village to care for a rich little boy purportedly came to Mr. Curtis in a dream. Which makes good sense, because creepy Collinsport, Maine, and the even creepier Collinwood mansion (home of the Collins family) were certainly dream-ish places—dreams of the “bad” variety, that is.

After several months on the air, unfortunately, the show’s ratings were also of the “bad” variety. In a stroke of desperate revamping (awful pun intended), Curtis added a character named Barnabas Collins—an almost two-hundred-year-old vampire. This particular gentleman of the night was played by former Shakespearean actor Jonathan Frid, who seduced legions of viewers with his blend of ghoulishness and humanity. After Barnabas proved a success, other supernatural characters were also unearthed—ghosts, werewolves and a witch named Angelique.

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The Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone

“You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind, a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.  That’s the signpost up ahead. Your next stop: The Twilight Zone.”

There was a new surprise waiting every week in The Twilight Zone, and most of them were head-turners. Rod Serling’s famed sci-fi anthology series prided itself on twist endings, most either poetically just or shockingly cruel. But whatever surprises the end of a Twilight Zone episode might bring, the journey itself was always compelling.

Serling, a playwright, had made a strong name for himself in the TV biz through his anthology series writing (Playhouse 90’s “Requiem for a Heavyweight” had won him one of two Emmys), and he parlayed that success into his own show in 1959, The Twilight Zone. The new series was another anthology, but the stories were of a more bizarre nature, dabbling in sci-fi and supernatural themes. Serling wrote more than half of the episodes himself (with Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson writing many of the rest), and most wrapped up their odd stories with an even stranger twist of irony.

Of the more than 150 episodes produced during The Twilight Zone’s original run, many have gone on to become TV classics. Among the favorites:

“The Hitch-Hiker” – A cross-country trip turns to panic when a woman sees the same hitcher several times.

“The After Hours” – A woman tries to return a department store item she’s just bought, only to discover that the floor she’s looking for doesn’t exist, and the mannequins look awfully familiar.

Eye of the Beholder

“The Eye of the Beholder” – Plastic surgeons work frantically to try to restore a woman’s hideous face to the standard of beauty.

“The Howling Man” – A weary traveler stops for the night in a European monastery, but he foolishly ignores the monks’ warnings not to release a caged prisoner.

“To Serve Man” – A race of nine-foot-tall aliens bring peace and prosperity to Earth, but at what cost?

“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” – A rehabilitated mental patient thinks he sees a creature wreaking havoc on the plane’s wing.

“Living Doll” – A father strongly dislikes his daughter’s new Talky Tina doll, and the feeling is mutual.

“Time Enough at Last” – Bookworm bank teller Henry Bemis finds himself the sole survivor of a nuclear blast, with nothing but time to read – if the Twilight Zone allows (hint: it won’t).

Time Enough at Last

There were several other memorable episodes, of course, as the show gained a very loyal cult following in its early seasons. Famous faces – from Burgess Meredith to Vera Miles to William Shatner to Robert Redford – appeared on the show, but the most familiar of all was that of the host, Rod Serling himself, who gave an eerie intro and wrap-up to every episode.

At the start of the 1963, The Twilight Zone expanded to a full-hour format, but the original half-hour length proved to be more popular. Half-hour episodes returned in the fall, filling out the show’s final season of originals. Reruns aired in the summer of 1965, and the show continued to win new fans in a very successful syndicated run.

In 1983, big-name directors John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller each contributed a segment to an all-new Twilight Zone: The Movie (actually, mostly new – three of the segments came from TV episode scripts), which helped rekindle interest in the original series. A new Twilight Zone TV series debuted in 1985, with a handful of remakes joining a slate of original episodes, all in color (the original show was strictly a black and white affair). CBS ran the new series off and on through 1987, and more new episodes were added when the show went into syndication that year.

Today, the series has become such a part of pop culture that “Twilight Zone” has become a catchall phrase for any unusual turn of events. The show’s episodes are still turning the heads of those lucky enough not to have learned all the surprises yet, and eerie good times still await every traveler who sets foot in that dimension of mind and imagination.

You can also check out Rod Serling’s other, other-worldly offering, The Night Gallery, here on Retro Ramblings.
And for you hardcore Twilight Zone fans, check out The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia

Eerie, Indiana

Eerie Indiana

This ultra-quirky sitcom was notable for any reasons. Not only did it place the family sitcom in a unique setting and situation, its sophisticated handling of its paranormal elements also paved the way for later non-sitcom shows like The X-Files and Roswell.

The show focused on Marshall Teller, a young man who felt quite homesick when his inventor father, Edgar, uprooted the family from their New Jersey home and moved them to Eerie, a small town in Indiana. Also along for the ride were Marilyn, Marshall’s mom, and Syndi, his narcissistic older sister. Marshall’s post-move depression quickly gave way to bemusement when he took stock of his new surroundings.

The town of Eerie truly managed to live up to its name. Bizarre things went on night and day: Elvis Presley lived in a little suburban house, there were two young men who had remained teenagers since the 1960’s by sleeping every night in giant plastic containers called Foreverware, and the dogs in the pound were making an escape plan that could only be heard over a friend’s set of dental retainers.

Unfortunately, Marshall’s parents and sister either were too busy to notice or wouldn’t believe him when he pointed these things out. Luckily, he found an ally in Simon, another kid his age who also believed that strange things were afoot in the town of Eerie. Together, the duo would ride their bikes around town and keep tabs on all the unusual goings-on.

Although nominally aimed at children, Eerie Indiana was smart enough to be enjoyed by older viewers. The series’ eccentric sense of humor made frequent use of in-jokes related to television and film, touching on everything from Twin Peaks to Godzilla. Also, the show wasn’t afraid to play with the medium of TV itself, something it did memorably in an episode titled “Reality Takes A Holiday.” In this episode, Marshall found a script for a television show in his mailbox and then realized his life was being turned into a show called “Eerie, Indiana.”

The show was canceled in April of 1992 after 20 episodes. However, it became popular again after the similar The X-Files became a hit, getting frequent reruns on various cable stations and building a cult of dedicated viewers. It remains popular with fans of the bizarre today for its mixture of eccentric humor and its sly knowledge of horror and science-fiction conventions.

The Monster Squad

Monster Squad

Long before the phrase “virtual reality” was coined, wax museum caretaker Walter accidentally brought replicas of Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolf Man to life with his “crime computer.” The trio of leading men from horror’s golden age joined Walter to form the Monster Squad, dedicating themselves to a new after-life of fighting crime.

This show’s tongue-in-cheek attitude was reminiscent of the 60’s Batman series, but The Monster Squad didn’t reach the airwaves until the 1976-77 season, which was heavily laden with live-action series. Like many of its contemporaries, The Monster Squad featured a hip vehicle—in this case the squad’s van—and high-tech gadgets like the team’s belt communicators.

Character actor Vito Scotti played one of the villainous foes our heroes faced, a mad scientist dressed as a man on one side of his body and a woman on the other. Walter was played by Fred Grandy, who went on to TV fame as Gopher on The Love Boat. After ten years on that show, Grandy spent eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Alas, The Monster Squad was not as long-lived, returning to the grave after only one season.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Kolchak

It was woefully short-lived, but this horror/sci-fi series has become one of the most beloved series of its kind over time. First introduced in a 1972 made-for-television film called The Night Stalker, Darren McGavin starred as Carl Kolchak, a crusty old reporter for the Independent News Service in Chicago. The film, which had Kolchak investigating a vampire in Las Vegas, became the highest-rated television film of its time, and its sequel, The Night Strangler, found similar success. ABC subsequently ordered a series, which began its run in September of 1974.

McGavin continued to play the role of Kolchak in the new series, squaring off against a new otherworldly menace. Kolchak cut an intriguing and distinct figure, dressed in a light-blue seersucker suit and a straw hat. His personality was gruff and sarcastic and always put him at odds with authority figures. Vincenzo was his editor, who was driven to the point of ulcers by Kolchak’s penchant for bizarre stories. Emily Cowles was a fellow writer at INS who was friendly with Kolchak and also happened to be the only person he trusted.

The plotlines followed a consistent pattern: Kolchak would stumble across a series of grisly and mysterious killings and realize that something non-human played a role in the murders. Inevitably, the local authorities would want to keep them quiet, and Vincenzo would not believe Kolchak’s theory. Kolchak would risk life and limb to get to the bottom of the story and fight off the villainous menace in the process. Of course, the evidence would always slip through his fingers and thus cause others to not believe his story.

During the series’ run, Kolchak faced off with everything from vampires and werewolves to aliens and androids. The biggest favorite among fans of the show was “Horror In The Heights,” in which Kolchak stumbled across a demon while investigating a story about a rash of deaths among the elderly. He quickly discovered the culprit was a Hindu demon called the rakshasa that tricks its victim by taking on the appearance of the person he/she trusts most before killing them.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker only lasted one season, ending its run in August of 1975. However, it has become a huge cult favorite amongst fans of horror and science fiction. Many people even consider it to be a blueprint for the later and more successful The X-Files, which shared much with Kolchak in terms of style and substance. Even Chris Carter, the creator of that show, has acknowledged the important influence this show had on his work. In the wake of The X-Files’s success, all of the Kolchak: The Night Stalker episodes have been released on video, including the two made-for-television films. As a long as there are viewers who like a good scare, Kolchak: The Night Stalker will always be in demand.

Looking Back at Tales of the Gold Monkey

Tales of the Gold Monkey

Like any true success, Raiders of the Lost Ark was frequently imitated.  Tales of the Gold Monkey was frequently lumped in with the ‘Raiders’ clones but it had actually been dreamt up by creator Donald Bellisario two years before Spielberg’s film came out. It was initially rejected by network executives, who thought no one would care for a show set in the 1930’s. However, Tales was quickly snapped up by ABC once Raiders of the Lost Ark proved audiences would respond to a period adventure.

The show was set on the fictional Pacific island of Boragora in 1938. The protagonist was Jake Cutter, a dashing cargo pilot who provided the only inter-island transportation via his plan,e the Grumman Goose. Cutter’s best friends were Corky, his often-drunk mechanic, and Jack, a one-eyed terrier who could communicate with his owner (one bark for ‘no’, two for ‘yes’).

Cutter lived in a room over the Monkey Bar, the island’s central hub of activity. This little waterhole/meeting place/brawl epicenter was owned by Bon Chance Louis, a roguish French magistrate who did a lot of shady business behind closed doors. Also working at the Monkey Bar was Sarah, a torch singer who was secretly an American spy. Our man Jake, her would-be suitor, was the only one who knew her secret. Princess Koji maintained a trading ship fleet on a nearby island, Matuka, with the help of her main henchman Todo. The cast was rounded out by Reverend Tenboom, a German spy masquerading as a Dutch holy man.

Tales of the Gold Monkey

Plot lines on the show usually stemmed from Jake’s line of work. Although he was a cargo pilot, Jake would frequently end up using his plane to search for missing people or recover stolen goods. Tying these stories together was the search for the mystical object mentioned in the show’s title, an idol made of alloy that was supposedly heat-resistant. Also, there were a large number of German and Japanese spies around the island chain that Jake would have frequent run-ins with.

The show was canceled in July of 1983 after 21 episodes (including the two-hour pilot). Audiences gave up on the Indiana Jones-ish glut of TV programming (including Bring ‘em Back Alive and The Quest), and all were cancelled within one season. Donald Bellisario recovered nicely, however, going on to create shows like Airwolf and Quantum Leap.

This article originally appeared on the long-defunct website, Yesterdayland.