Tag: TV Shows

Retro Rerun Review: Three’s Company

Hey Ramblers, I’d like ya’ll to give a warm welcome to the newest member of the Retro Ramblings family, Brandon.  Brandon is going to be filling out your Tuesday’s retro schedule for you with his reviews of retro television shows.  Show him some love in the comments section here on his first piece, but try not to over do it.  I really dig this review of Three’s Company, and look forward to see what show he follows it up with next week.  If you have any suggestions for something you’d like to see get the rerun review treatment, drop him a line.

– Retro Rambler


 

Oh, hello. So, I’m Brandon, and this is my segment. I think we’ll call it “Retro Rerun Reviews.” And then, once we’re all comfortable and conversational-like, we’ll call it “RRR.” Maybe sometimes even, we’ll get real cool and call it “Triple R” like that portly, sunburnt chef on television might.

The idea is this: each week, I’m going to review an old television show. Now, this might be a show I’ve seen every episode of twice, or it might be a show I’ve never even heard of. I’ve written down 206 shows on individual pieces of paper, and I will randomly draw that week’s selection from a giant hat. (Don’t worry— the hat is plenty big; it looks like a weird Dr. Seussian hat that Lisa Bonet would occasionally wear on the The Cosby Show.)

So, without further ado, I’ll move on to this week’s show.

The Show: Three’s Company 

Ran for: 8 seasons. 172 episodes from 1977 until 1984.

What it’s About: A pretend-homosexual named Jack Tripper who lives with two ladies in order to, I don’t know, save on rent? They’re in Santa Monica, I think, and he’s a cook, so maybe saving on rent is a big concern.

My Relationship with It: I don’t know that I’ve ever intentionally watched Three’s Company. It’s something I’ve seen, though, probably on a sick-day from school or in olden times when we only had a handful of channels from which to choose. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that I’ve seen probably six full episodes in my life, give or take, and snippets of countless others.

This episode: Season 2, Episode 17. “The Babysitters.”

Three’s Company, of course, has one of the best theme songs ever. Top 10, probably.  And this one, after the singing ends, keeps going on a long musical interlude, and then goes back to the singing! It’s like an extended club mix, and, at 70 seconds, much longer than nearly anything else you see on television today.

It starts when the brown-haired woman, Janet, comes out of the shower in a towel and Jack makes a very rapey comment. The audience laughs a lot because in olden times, it was much more acceptable to make sexually unwanted advances on your opposite-sex friends. LOL, you know? Anyway, we learn that Janet is getting ready for a date. She asks Chrissy to borrow some clothes.

The phone rings and it’s a guy named Jerry Randall. He tells Chrissy that Janet is supposed to be coming to watch his kid. SHE PROMISED WEEKS AGO!!! 

So, Chrissy offers to take Janet’s place, and Janet is like, “oh, you are the best, WOULD YOU” and Chrissy is all, “sure, where’s my date taking me” and the laugh track goes nuts. (THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, GET IT?)

Janet asks Jack and he’s like, “no way, out of the question.” Mrs. Roper is broached, but she has the flu. This is good, because if she didn’t have the flu, the problem would be solved and this whole episode would be over.

Now we’re in the Roper’s bedroom. Mr. Roper is taking care of his sick wife but all the while making a big deal out of the fact that he is a man and this is a bad arrangement. She asks him to stay and talk, and he says “no, I gotta watch television, Name That Tune goes on in a few minutes.” That’s a really weird way to say that, right? “Goes on?” No one says that. It’s  “comes on” or, short of that, “starts.” Anyway, they crack a couple of jokes and, because of some miscommunication, she thinks for a moment that they’re going to have sex which is something that she likes, I guess, and he does not. Then she sneezes and he panics and leaves.

Back at the Three’s Company House, Janet is still trying to talk Chrissy into taking the babysitting gig, but Chrissy suggests that her ineptitude will LITERALLY lead to the child’s death, so Janet volunteers Jack. He says he doesn’t want to go because he needs to watch the Lakers play the Trailblazers, but then Janet mentions that the Randall’s have a better television AND a bunch of “fancy cooking liqueurs” that Jack has wanted to try but can’t afford. This seems unethical, probably, but Jack is excited about it.

Janet’s date David arrives, and he appears to be a 47-year-old, super nerdy accountant. Their date, he announces, is a “performance of 14th century music” and Janet thinks that sounds horrid. She remarks to Chrissy, “maybe I SHOULD babysit instead,” only we know that won’t happen either, because again, this would be an eight-minute episode.

At the Randall’s house, we learn that the wife’s name, inexplicably, is “Punkin’” or “Pumpkin.” She is pregnant with their second child and there are some random jokes about how babies kick. Chrissy and Jack arrive and Jerry is completely cool with a person he barely knows and this person’s friend watching his child, apparently. About the fetus, Chrissy says, “is it going to be a boy or a girl?” which is a perfectly reasonable question when talking to a pregnant lady, I think, but Pumpkin Randall responds, “I certainly hope so.” This garners big laughs and I am not sure I understand how this is a joke.

Jack learns the television is out for repair, because of course it is, and Pumpkin or Punkin’ says “help yourselves to a drink,” which is a weird thing to say to someone who is caring for your 1-year-old child, or maybe that’s me being a prude. Jack pretends to watch the television and then learns the liqueurs cabinet is locked up. WHAT A REGRETTABLE NIGHT FOR JACK! 

The phone rings and it’s Mr. Pumpkin and, wouldn’t you know it, Child Two Who We Certainly Hope is a Boy or a Girl is on its way. Strangely, the news made Mr. Pumpkin look like he did a bunch of blow, and maybe he did because that was sort of the style at this time. He tells Jack he’ll “be a little later than planned” (??) and then Jack mentions the locked liqueur cabinet and Mr. Pumpkin tells him the key is in the desk drawer. Jack gets off the phone but then finds out the desk drawer is locked, too! He slams his fists on the desk in unnecessary anger and Baby Boy Randall begins crying and it is the weirdest noise ever. Seriously, it is like you explained the sound of crying to a deaf person and then made them do it from the stage at a haunted concert hall.

Chrissy and Jack look at each other and, in tandem, say “that’s all we needed!” No one has ever intentionally said the same thing like this on purpose in the history of mankind. I’m actually mad about this.

Then we go to commercial, and when we come back, Jack is rocking the baby and singing him dirty limericks. I swear. Then Chrissy feeds the baby while Jack reads him a story. The baby, it is now clear, is a loosely wrapped bundle of sticks. The prop budget must have been small in the 2nd season.  The sticks fall asleep and Chrissy drops them unceremoniously into the crib. (They could have at least told her to pretend like it’s a baby.)

 

The phone rings and it is the dad and he has found a way to do even MORE cocaine. His tie is lower than before and his eyes are wild and scary. He explains that his wife wants him there for the birth and he seems very put out by this fact.

 

Back at the Three’s Company Apartment, Janet is getting home from her date with the boring guy. She tries to shoo him out by saying her roommates are home, but when she goes to shut the door, and the phone rings and she goes to answer it, it doesn’t shut all the way and he SNEAKS BACK IN and it is a genuinely scary moment. He realizes that it is Chrissy on the phone, so, after the call ends he says “so, you’re all alone, huh?” and I’m starting to wonder if this is a Very Special Episode where Janet gets kidnapped and murdered? But then she manages to kick him back out, so I guess that’s that.

Meanwhile, at the Pumpkin residence, the bundle of sticks is inconsolable. Jack and Chrissy are doing a lot of harried, witty banter, just like two people would be in real life. Chrissy calls Mrs. Roper because Janet told her “she used to work at a hospital.” Turns out, she worked in the laundry room. WHOOPS. She starts giving out suggestions anyway, like, “oil him up and sprinkle powder on him” and “try putting some honey on his nipple” and Mr. Roper is now awake and FREAKING OUT about this conversation. Jack comes out of the baby’s room and says “it’s okay, the baby let out a burp and went to bed.” They hang up on Mrs. Roper because that joke is over now.

Jack makes another very uncomfortable, lecherous reference, this time about the fact that “we’ll have to sleep here, and there’s only one bed,” as in, “get it? We’re gonna be doing it later, me and you.” We cut to a scene of him asleep on the couch, alone. The laugh track goes wild.

It’s the next morning and Janet shows up. Then, while she’s trying to figure out what happened the night before, Pumpkin’s mother shows up. She looks like a cartoon, or a small Asian man in a weird wig playing a slightly aristocratic 1970’s mother. The truly strange thing is that she’s not there to like, take over or help— she thinks that Jack, Chrissy and Janet are hired nannies, or something? It is all very confusing and I think it’s supposed to be funny. Jack and Chrissy abandon Janet who is then stuck with this sneaky, bossy Asian man.

Some time later, Janet shows back up and she is exhausted. She is upset that Grandmother Pumpkin bossed her around instead of helping. She collapses on the couch and strangely, this is the end of the episode.

Would I Watch Another Episode?: Well, on a sick day, perhaps. People loved Three’s Company and it is still well-regarded from a critical standpoint. The late John Ritter is great and the rest of the cast is fine. It is a very traditionally written and paced sitcom. It’s hokey, and tacky, but mostly harmless. (Well, you know, except for all the casual rape chat.)

Grade: 6/10

Retro Round Table: Favorite TV Shows of the 90’s

90's TV Shows

It’s time once again for another Retro Round Table, and this time, we’re talking about our favorite television shows from the 90’s.  The 90’s was a great decade for fun shows.  It seems to me that there were more good comedies and quirky shows than serious ones, but that’s why we do these round tables…to get more than my own opinion.  I’m joined today as usual by Hoju Koolander from the SequelQuest Podcast, Jason Gross from Rediscover the 80’s, Eric Vardeman from Eric V Music, and this week

So let’s get to it, and see what everyone picked as their favorite television show of the 90’s…..


Dana Carvey Show

There is no doubt about it, I watched way too much TV from 1990-1999. Not only did I watch too much TV live, I was recording it on VHS and re-watching these programs over and over again. So much so that at multiple times I burned out the family VCR. Most likely due to TV overload, I pretty much stopped watching network TV once the world survived Y2K and the last 18 years have been a blur. So what was my favorite boob tube experience from the decade where Urkel and Baywatch reigned supreme? Based solely on laughs that have lasted a lifetime, I would have to go with the short-lived prime time kamikaze mission The Dana Carvey Show. After winning our hearts as the nerdy sidekick, Garth in Wayne’s World, Dana Carvey somehow landed a 30 minute sketch comedy show on the ABC network in 1996 that aired after wholesome family sitcom Home Improvement. When I tuned into the cold open sketch where he appeared as President Bill Clinton addressing the nation from the oval office, my mind was blown as Carvey had live puppies suckle from multiple lactating nipples and this shocking bit of comedy instantly gained my loyalty. Each week pushed more boundaries of good taste and it’s no surprise that the show was cancelled after 8 episodes. Since our VCR was broken I had to record the shows on audio cassette, adding my own laugh track as I watched the hilarity unfold in sketches like Oscars Best Foreign Film Award and Nightline with Bob Dole. For years I cherished those tapes until the glorious day when Shout! Factory finally released the entire series on DVD in 2009. Those infamous 8 episodes are the absolute highlight of my 90s TV watching experience and no doubt shaped the warped sense of humor that has my wife rolling her eyes on a daily basis.

– Hoju Koolander

You can follow along with all of Hoju’s retro shenanigans on his twitter feed, @hojukoolander, read a lot of his his fine writing on a variety of retro topics at Retro-Daze, keep up with him at PopGeeks, and listen to his awesomely fun pod cast at SequelQuest Podcast where he and his cohorts craft sequels that we never got to movies that we loved!  Be sure to check out his latest piece over at Retro-Daze, Retro Magazine Round: Black Belt! 

Continue reading “Retro Round Table: Favorite TV Shows of the 90’s”

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

Continue reading “Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas Lineup for 2017”

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.

 

 

 

TV Guide Fall Preview Flashback – Street Hawk From 1984

Street Hawk

I’ll never understand how this show never made it past one season.  He was a super-hero, had a cool motorcycle and weapons, and on a big network.  Maybe the budget was too high, but whatever the reason, we only got 1 season of Street Hawk.

T.J. Hooker

T.J. Hooker

Do some good, beam him up…whatever William Shatner wants, William Shatner gets. First he made the galaxy a safer place in Star Trek, and then he set his sights on crime-ridden urban streets. Honestly, what would we do without him? He could command space ships or hold onto the hood of a speeding car while trying to catch the bad guy behind the wheel—and always fill out an array of polyester uniforms while he did his hero thing.

T.J. Hooker was produced by Aaron Spelling, the king of glam-kitsch television responsible for The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210 and many others. This particular show combined on-the-job police goings-on with a look at what was going on in each cop’s personal life—though each cop seemed like he or she was investigating something even when they were off the clock. T.J., as played by Shatner, was a detective who purposely demoted himself, put the dark uniform back on and returned to sergeant status, all because he was bitter about the death of his partner and his own divorce and because the street was the place that needed him most anyway, so just deal with it. In the first season, Hooker spent the bulk of this time training new recruits, but in seasons to come, he patrolled his beat and guided his brood of underlings to cop success.

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Do You Remember Quantum Leap?

Quantum Leap

Time travel? Been there. Body switching? Done that. Time traveling into somebody else’s body? Friend, you got yourself a TV series!

Quantum Leap may have sounded like a gimmicky sci-fi drama on paper, but the accent was on the drama, not the gimmick. Through four prime time seasons, this show gave us a chance to look through a new set of eyes each week, exploring issues of gender, race, religion, and even rock and roll. It was an ambitious leap for a sci-fi series, but Quantum Leap made it work.

The leaping started back in 1995 (which was actually the near future when the show debuted in 1989), when quantum physicist Dr. Sam Beckett built a machine that would allow anyone to “leap” into different times within his or her lifespan. But the testing process went awry when Sam, ignoring the advice of supercomputer “Ziggy,” stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator… and vanished.

Continue reading “Do You Remember Quantum Leap?”