I talked the other day about sitcom characters dressing up as Santa. But that’s not the only trope that persists in these shows. How about Christmas Carol episodes? Course we all know Charles Dickens immortal classic, and it has been redone a million times on TV and in movies. The funny thing is that as hard as they try these episode never quite get the point of the book. That’s because the character getting the Christmas Carol treatment isn’t a miser who hates people like Scrooge was. He or she is usually someone who is usually kind and loving, but are having a bad day.
In my article the other day I had wanted to include a sitcom Santa. But there were two problems. One, I couldn’t think of one I hated. Even when the character is grumpy about playing Santa it still kind works. The other problem? There are to many to pick from! Have you ever noticed how many sitcom characters play Santa? It’s almost a cliche! From Norm on Cheers to Carl on Family Matters to Ray on ELR to Frasier on Frasier to Michael Scott on The Office, lots of people have donned the red flannel and white beard.
A long time ago I did a list of my favorite Santa’s in movies and TV. About time I did the reverse. These are five Santa’s which just rubbed me the wrong way, and I never liked them. Santa Claus is a tricky character to get right. Do it wrong and it can come off as creepy or even worst. Some succeed. And others fail.
Last year I talked about how very often a TV episode will be set at Christmas, with decorations and all, but Christmas has almost nothing to do with the actual story. Now the natural follow up would be movies set at Christmas which have nothing to do with the holiday, but let’s be honest. We all know those films and you’ve probably already thought of five of them just reading this (Die Hard, Gremlims, Lethal Weapon, Batman Returns, Red, etc etc).
The Muppet movies tend to be easily categorized. The original three which are classics, though “Manhattan” is kind of the weakest. The horrible one’s like Muppet’s in Space and Muppet Wizard of Oz. The fan favorites like Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. And of course the two recent installments which are pretty damn good. But this TV movie from NBC doesn’t seem to fit any category. It never gets mentions or talked about, but I don’t think anyone hates it per se. For me it’s a guilty pleasure that I watch every year. Why?
On January 17th I published my 700th blog.This amazes since when I to 600 I wondered what else I had to talk about. However thanks to the Everybody Loves Raymond episode guide, I have hit 800 blogs before the end of the year. As you may or may not know I always celebrate the milestone of 100 blogs with something special. Either something a little bigger or something I’ve put off, but always something personal. So what am I discussing this time?
As you may know I have been a fan of AT4W for a long time now. I have discussed episodes I loved, and episodes I hated, and gone over jokes from that show I love. But a big part of the show that I haven’t discussed is the storyline segments. So, let’s go through them quickly. In my opinion the AT4W segments rise above the usual reviewer story lines, the effects are decent and the characters are realistic. Add to that Lewis’s Lovhaug’s wonderful writing and these storylines comes close to professional caliber. How do they fare broken down?
I’ve talked about TV theme songs before, and how some of them are so good not only do they get you hyped for the show but they help you to remember and want to come back to the show. Sometimes though, a theme goes one step even beyond that. There is something about the lyrics or the way they are sung that makes a part of the theme, if not the entire theme, a part of pop culture itself.
Here are ten examples for what I mean, theme songs so well known that chances are you’ve heard it even if you’ve never seen the show. And only theme with lyrics or we’ll be here all day. And it’s the lyrics we’re focusing on, so for instance Mary Tyler Moore isn’t on here because it’s more that image of her throwing the hat into the hair hat people remember than the actual song. And while that doo doo notes from Twilight Zone are iconic, that’s not exactly lyrics. Read more
So when I was talking about “Impulse” I noted that the episode wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t very memorable either. In fact I had to watch it again to even remember it. But that isn’t the only episode that doesn’t quite make the cut.
Even a bad episode of Trek can have something in it I remember. Spock’s Brain is goofy, Threshold is astoundingly dumb, Heart of Stone is just ridiculous. Even Plato’s Stepchildren and Sub Rosa may be nauseating but I remember them. When an episode leaves you with nothing, it’s failed at a level that only a select few episodes can achieve. Here are my five most forgettable episodes of Trek.
Well I haven’t done one of these in a very long time. But my friends, we have to talk about this one. This aired last Friday (Oct 27) and I watched it last night. Normally I would feel bad I need Wikipedia’s help with some details, but this time I really did. So here are my gut reactions after only seeing this once…..
Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek. So we’ve had Jack the Ripper, nightmares, a horror movie and ghost stories. What could be left? How does Vulcan Zombies sound?! This is….
Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek with a look at an episode of Voyager. If last time was a classic horror movie, what would an old fashioned campfire story on Star Trek look like? Let’s discuss :
Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek with a look at an episode of DS9 that is scary. But unlike last time, it is a good episode too! This is:
Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. Today we continue our special Halloween look at scary Trek with a look at an episode of Next Generation that is scary. Even if it’s also a far from perfect episode. This is:
Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. I wanted to do something Halloween related, but I already did Catspaw. So what else can I check out? Looking at a list there are plenty of creepy Trek episodes which are perfect for the season.In fact each series has a handful. So for Halloween something a little different. Five Trek articles on scary episodes from each Trek series. I want to be clear, these are EPISODES that are creepy not just an episode that has a random creepy scene. Today we start with :
Four years ago I did a short list of some of my favorite sitcom retcons. You can see that article here:
Retcons of course is when established continuity is disregarded or even changed to further the current story line. They often piss people off, but I find them fascinating. The way a show will so blatantly disregard something that has been established in the past like we’re supposed to forget it. Sometimes they work, let’s be honest isn’t forgetting “The Brady Bunch Variety Show” ever happened a good thing?, and other times they can be aggravating like the Everybody Loves Raymond episode that brought up the fact Ray and Debra had a maid when they were first married, a fact which was never mentioned before and make no sense in context with the series.
I talk a lot about sci fi and comedy, but one genre I hardly touch upon is fantasy. Fantasy is awesome when done right, giving us new worlds and characters that we could never see in the real world. Some of these movies and TV shows give us amazing world’s we never forget, like Wonderland. Or Neverland. These are amazing places that we find ourselves wishing that were real places we could visit and play in. In some cases, we can. Azeroth is the magic world that World of Warcraft takes place in and of course Dungeons and Dragons has several campaign settings including Greyhawk and Khorvaire.
With the release of the new “IT” movie that came out recently, I thought about how back in the 80’s the Tim Curry version scared the hell out of all who watched it. But looking back that movie doesn’t seems as scary with goofy acting and noticeably bad special effects. A few weeks ago I talked about special effects from Star Trek TNG that seem outdated. Including that awful shuttle sequence from Star Trek V. But there are other 80’s effects which have not aged well. And it’s not the fault of anyone who made the movie, they were great at the time, and it sure doesn’t make the movie bad now. But it’s still fun to look at these today and say “Wait, that’s not real!”