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View User: TheDeanofNYC

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JumptheShark.com - Websites
I worked on the website for jts, first just as a commenter but then I started handling the "Stump the Shark" questions before all of the websites about television and wikipedia existed, and that earned me a chance to be a moderator for the site's ancillary newsgroup (that, surprisingly, actually still exists - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jumptheshark/ ) Reading through that group's message board is a little bit like the old site, and I see that some of the BTF people have been active there as well. Obviously, the problem was TV Guide was completely clueless about how to make the site work for them. Why they didn't consult with Hein about it is a mystery, but then again, TV Guide (who had the market cornered on presenting television facts and giving the listings for FOREVER) lost its way with that as well. I submitted an article to them about 30 Rock being the new Mary Tyler Moore a year into that show's run... I consider it a badge of honor that they rejected it! CLUELESS! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 4, 2010, 10:07 am

Quark - TV Shows
Brilliant parody of S/F shows, most especially "Star Trek," with Richard Benjamin as the overly earnest title character: the captain of a space garbage scow, and his ridiculous crew of bizarre characters! The show stood on its own as funny, but the more you knew about other programs and film of its genre, the more hilarious it was! With all of the SyFy "important" series that have been airing, and in the wake of all of the more recent "Trek" shows and films, we are more than ready for a program like this one to return and skewer the universe with some hilarious attacks!@ -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 4, 2010, 9:12 am

Oprah Winfrey Show, The - TV Shows
All I really want to know is what the Scientology connection is with Oprah. She has repeatedly called John Travolta "her best friend," and always has him on to plug his latest film. She has had Tom Cruise on with that couch jumping display, and then a follow up two part episode to "explain" that. And Kirstie Alley came on to show off her weight loss. All three of them are noted Scientologists. So, is there a connection to Oprah with this? It seems fishy, if you catch my drift. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 4, 2010, 1:40 am

Ernie Kovacks Show, The - TV Shows
This show can't be too popular... we aren't even bothering to spell the star's name correctly! But Kovacs was an incredible innovator, and really was the father of "Late Night with David Letterman," as Letterman's original announcer Bill Wendell, was a player on the Kovacs show and no doubt brought some of the concepts in to NBC's original "Late Night" cast. Letterman definitely fancied himself a latter day Kovacs with his cigar smoking and pension for the odd, and of course his fascination with chimps. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 4, 2010, 1:29 am

Jon Hein - Celebrities
I think we should be completely fair. Hein came up with a good idea, everyone else jumped on board and it blew up. He wrote a book, which may have been a questionable point. He was a regular guest on Howard Stern to discuss it, eventually getting hired by Stern. And TV Guide bought the site, where they totally dismantled it and destroyed everything about it. Hein wasn't really a businessman, so he didn't know not to give some corporate entity full rights to destroy his concept/website. But he got a great payday from it. And really, there must be a reason he doesn't discuss it: probably a gag order from criticizing TV Guide in exchange for the big payoff and the job as a TV critic for them, when they still had anything going on... I guess I'm most disappointed that he never returns my emails anymore. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 4, 2010, 1:21 am

Lexx - TV Shows
In its finest moments, Lexx sometimes recalled elements of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Red Dwarf" and believe me, that's very high praise. But those moments were fewer and fewer by the time that Xev first switched actors and then, even worse, went from redhead to blond! After that point, it was all nonsense, the storylines had no logic and when they came to Earth, there really was nowhere for the show to go. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 3, 2010, 11:47 pm

Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, The - TV Shows
A brilliant show that, as most brilliant shows in TV History, got dealt a really bad fate. Blair Brown was the modern 80s woman, who really didn't have her act together, but had a lot of help from a lot of odd people like her doorman/elevator man, her mom, her best friend and even her sanitation man (played by show creator Jay Tarses). She stumbled her way through her Upper West Side life, got into a love triangle with an undercover detective and a bookseller, while her ex, a saxophonist, just wouldn't leave her alone. It premiered on NBC then got switched over to Lifetime before finally being canned, another show that deserves a DVD release and will likely never get one! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 3, 2010, 11:39 pm

Bradys, The - TV Shows
I think "The Bradys" *could* have worked as a drama, but they made this so self-important, with Mike's candidacy, and the soap-opera style story lines, as if they were the Ewing family of "Dallas," it was completely laughable. Now imagine if they blended Robert Reed's actual storyline into this series. Wow. That would have been powerful and worthwhile. But they didn't so, this was a total mess. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 3, 2010, 11:33 pm

UFO - TV Shows
UFO was made in the late 1960s and that shows, with the girls of Moonbase Alpha in their purple pastel wigs and silver outfits. Commander Straker favored wearing a nehru suit, and the gull wing door car that everybody drove echoed the Delorean we would come to see when the 1980s actually arrived! Far fetched but stylish plots and great Gerry Anderson special fx made this worth viewing, but I do wish we could have had more interaction with the aliens attempting to land on Earth. This show was basically like the video game Space Invaders, so at least that was accurate for the 1980s! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 3, 2010, 11:29 pm

My So-Called Life - TV Shows
My So-Called Life was pure genius in that every character that appeared during the 19 episodes had a moment when they were a hero, or at least good, and a moment when they were a villain, or at least bad, and if you have that, you have some of the most well-rounded characters in television history! Not to mention some of the best writing and brilliant performances from every actor that appeared, and just great commentary about the state of the nation and the state of high school during the 1990s. Forever a classic! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 1, 2010, 2:39 am

Gunsmoke - TV Shows
According to legend, When it was time to arrange the CBS Fall 1967 schedule, "Gunsmoke" was not on it. This came as a surprise and shock to the wife of a top CBS executive, since that was her favorite program on the network. and supposedly, to find a place for the show, they cancelled "Gilligan's Island" so there would be room! Though nobody on "Gunsmoke" was responsible for this travesty of television, they still get my full punishment for it! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 1, 2010, 12:48 am

Lost - TV Shows
As much as I liked the concept of the show, as much as I liked nearly all of the characters and what they did, and how they all evolved and how the island had all of those secrets, the problem point occurred when the show stopped being all about that and started being about Jacob and Smokey/the man in black/jacob's brother. When that happened, everything changed to be about whatever it was they were doing and not about our Flight 815 castaways, or even "the others." And as for that ending, I was waiting for them to start singing "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" like at the end of "Mary Tyler Moore!" -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 1, 2010, 12:40 am

LazyTown - TV Shows
It\'s difficult to create a show that young kids, teens and adults can all watch, appreciate at their own levels and enjoy, but LazyTown definitely does it! It\'s like The Muppets meet Adam West\'s Batman, and who wouldn\'t like that? Plus, the songs from the show are all actually good, which is something that is rare indeed for a kid program, and the three main actors, series creator Magnus Scheving as Sportacus, little Julianna Rose Mauriello as Stephanie and the world\'s most hilarious villain, Stefa'n Karl Stefa'nsson as Robbie Rotten, are all brilliant! Plus great puppet work and a fantastic curved world that it all happens in make it amazingly cool and great fun! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 1, 2010, 12:28 am

Greed - TV Shows
Greed was a case of trying to take advantage of a successful concept too soon. Who Wants to be a Millionaire had taken over the world for a few weeks and suddenly everyone wanted high stakes trivia games on their prime time lineup. The trouble was the rules of the game were not well formulated and designed to maximize the tension and to offer up a fair situation where someone might have won the big jackpot. They tweaked this when they added "the terminator" which randomly forced one player to challenge another to beat them out of their share of the pot. But even that wasn't enough. This show started wrong and never got right. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on September 1, 2010, 12:18 am

Max Headroom - TV Shows
Max Headroom was surprising in its depiction of the future of television. It didn't get everything right (people now get more info from their personal computers than they do from any broadcast network) but they did foresee the advent of artificial intelligence and the importance of computer generated personalities decades before they were common. Also, they somehow knew that newscasters would still be lugging around those clunky betacam style cameras to do their broadcasts, and didn't miniaturize those as some might have expected. Matt Frewer, Amanda Pays and Jeffrey Tambor made a fantastic team, and of course the titular talking head Frewer embodied became an icon of the 1980s. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on August 25, 2010, 10:16 pm

WKRP in Cincinnati - TV Shows
WKRP in Cincinnati was a brilliant show, populated with some of the most hilarious characters in Television History! You had the Femme Fatale v. The Ingenue (Loni Anderson's Jennifer Marlowe v. Jan Smithers' Bailey Quarters), you had the wacky morning DJ (Howard Hesseman's Dr. Johnny Fever) There was the ridiculous skirt chasing sales guy and the seemingly virginal news guy (Frank Bonner's Herb Tarlek and Richard Saunders' Les Nessman) The cool and smooth (sometimes) late night jock (Tim Reid's Venus Flytrap) the totally out of touch station owner (Gordon Jump's Arthur Carlson) and the guy trying to make the whole thing work (Gary Sandy's Andy Travis). Yes, The Who concert ep was out of character for this show, but how could they not do something about it? The Who fit the station's format and the event occurred in Cincinnati. I'm sorry, but under those circumstances, they deserve praise for dedicating an episode to that tragic concert. Meanwhile, I wish we could have had DVDs of the original episodes as broadcast on CBS, with all of the music intact. The show isn't WKRP without the music! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on August 22, 2010, 10:26 am

Daria - TV Shows
Daria was absolutely the most brilliant program ever aired by MTV, and it was spun off of the dumbest. Yes, Beavis & Butthead was where Ms. Morgendorffer got her humble beginnings, as the super smart foil for those two doofus characters, but the show that emerged truly made a lot of great statements about High School life, family life and our American values generally. This show was and still is brilliant, though questionable areas occurred when they did an episode with people playing holidays (Guy Fawkes Night helped make it a little less ridiculous), and of course "The Musical" episode, but I forgive those. I'd love to see Daria return with new age appropriate adventures. What would she make of Lawndale, today? -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on August 22, 2010, 10:09 am

Addams Family, The - TV Shows
People constantly compare this program to "The Munsters," and on the surface it's easy to see why: both series debuted in the same television season and both were about families that were peculiar in a horror B movie sort of way. HOWEVER, the difference was that "The Munsters" were all slapstick nonsense, while "The Addams Family" were full of passion! That was the secret ingredient that lifted The Addamses and their motley brood far above their Mockingbird Heights counterparts! The love story of Gomez and Morticia is the true centerpiece of this show, and that's what makes it so much superior to Herman and Lily. And really the passion plays out in everything, in their hobbies, in their caring for the people around them. Despite being creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and yes, altogether ooky, The Addams Family is genius. Big props to John Astin and Carolyn Jones who are still the hottest television couple in history, and to Ted Cassidy who was genius as Lurch, plus Jackie Coogan as Fester! And of course Vic Mizzy who gave us the great incidental music that scored the episodes and that memorable theme, still heard in ballparks all over the USA! Two snaps up. -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on August 21, 2010, 10:02 am

Bewitched - TV Shows
I'm sure someone will correct me if this is wrong, but I had heard a story that Dick Sargent, who was the infamous "Second Darrin" was, in fact, the actor the production wanted originally to play the part. However, he wasn't available as they started shooting so they got Dick York instead! I think York was just a better comedy reactor, much like Larry Hagman in I Dream of Jeannie. He had the eyes and the expressions, he had the face for it and you need that to make a magical show like this work. Sargent was never capable of those sorts of reactions, just not a lot of range there. So, yes to the 2nd Darrin being "THE" moment, but I wonder if Sargent were the Darrin all along, how this show would have fared... -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on August 21, 2010, 9:42 am

I Dream of Jeannie - TV Shows
I think if there are legitimate reasons why something does or doesn't happen, we can overlook them. In the case of I Dream of Jeannie, we have an astronaut who is committed to helping the United States in its space quest. And, as we all know, astronauts had a very strict, squeaky clean image. In fact, most of them were family men, with wives, kids and houses. So, Captain Nelson, eventually Major Nelson was cut from that cloth. This is a viable reason for his not wanting Jeannie around in his life! Of course, eventually he came to understand that having her in his life made things a lot more interesting! Great credit to Larry Hagman who was brilliant at the reactions to everything, Barbara Eden who was like a two year old: all giggles and temper tantrums, Bill Daily who was the perfect foil for them both and let's not forget Hayden Roarke as Dr. Bellows, the psychiatrist that knew something was odd around Cocoa Beach, but could never quite prove it to anybody. His slow burns after he got shown up at the end of yet another episode really went a long way towards making this show a hit! -- Submitted By: (TheDeanofNYC) on August 21, 2010, 9:31 am

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