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Monday, September 18, 2017

‘Friends,’ the Sitcom That’s Still a Hit in Major League Baseball

For at least one generation of Americans, “Friends” endures as a cultural touchstone, a glowing chunk of 1990s amber. But its runaway popularity stretched far beyond the United States, and for some Latino baseball players it is something more: a language guide, a Rosetta Stone disguised as six 20-somethings commingling in a Manhattan apartment.

What would they have learned by watching, say “The X Files” instead?

NattyBoh Posted: September 18, 2017 at 09:59 AM | 485 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: english, latino players, minors

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   301. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:05 PM (#5535486)
Tough to believe that Seinfeld addressed a 15-year old's cleavage so recently.
   302. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:17 PM (#5535492)
10) I watched Wonder Years again last year and it held up. Although I completely agree with the thesis of this website: Kevin Arnold is a Dick

I would have been around the same age as his character in that era, and had good hair and a baby face at that time, and was kind of popular but not a rock star - so I enjoyed the show all the more. SO YOU TAKE THAT BACK!

;)
   303. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5535494)
I'm not participating much, but again I really like how people here aren't just dumping on some of these mainstream shows simply because they were mainstream.

I grew up loving the Dukes of Hazzard, and never (at the time) equated the General Lee with racism(heck the first episode had a fairly strong black character that was friends of the Dukes, but he disappeared within a couple of episodes) And I think some people are a bit wrong on how it looks looking backwards. I agree with the simplistic plot argument that was made, but at the same time, nearly every episode had multiple layers for every character(they weren't deep layers mind you, as many of the characters were one off, but outside of the straight bad guy, which wasn't always Boss Hogg, there were often secondary characters on the bad side that had a little more to them.

I agree that it was a kid show so they weren't reaching that hard for depth, but in comparison to other similar shows that popped up later or around that time, (A-Team being the most obvious, but Knight Rider also) there was a character depth that wasn't as common in the genre. Enos being a good guy as an example---(about the spin off, that show was a mis-judge, it was intended to be a fish out of water semi-serious adult show, as a spin off of a fairly formulatic young audience show.... I mean I still remember an episode in which Enos goes up to a soda stand and orders a coke, and when the guy ask white or dark, he says white and the guy gives him a vial of cocaine.---note I haven't seen any episode of the show since their initial airing, so that memory might be off a bit--other thing I remember, is that there was a chase, and even though Enos wasn't that good of a cop chaser in Dukes, he ran circles around the city folks.)

Boss Hogg actually had a fairly well developed background by the time the show ended, and Roscoe had plenty of moments (Especially after he got Flash)
   304. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5535496)
This can also describe the act of downloading and enjoying a single x-rated picture, in the pre-thumbnail days of excruciatingly slow top-down image rendering.


Every kid nowadays needs to see the Mr Plow episode and Comic Book Man dowloading Captain Janeway only to have a Mr Plow commercial pop up as he is about to get to the part.
   305. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5535497)
Not a sitcom per se, but some the wwf characters and bios, skits and such would shock the sjw crowd. Junkyard Dog, KoKo B Ware, Sika, Kamala, etc.
   306. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:44 PM (#5535508)
#296: Good for you - for some reason a lot of folks seem to think Newsradio and WKRP are an either/or.

On things you get tired of, it's not just back to the 80's. I love Gracie Allen, but one of the retro networks was playing two episodes per day of Burns and Allen, and she just wore me out. It's a marvelous gift she had, but it's still just the one, again and again.
   307. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:54 PM (#5535515)
Speaking of MacFarlane - I wish to also express my disappointment in The Orville... a show I wanted very much to love and a show where MacFarlane even manages to resist his predilection for toilet humor and cynicism masquerading as humor (for the most part). Two episodes is a quick judgment, I guess, but it's neither funny nor imaginative.


I really want the Orville to be good, to the point that I'm going to give it as much slack as necessary, the second episode was much better than the first, but still that only puts it at about a 3 on a 10 point scale. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to do, it has a huge budget which it is amply taking advantage of to make a better looking show than I ever imagined, and even the basic plots aren't bad.....but there is just a lot missing, pacing is a huge issue, no B plot(there is a D plot which apparently is always going to be about his ex-wife cheating on him with a smurf) the comedy just isn't there, the pacing is a huge issue(and yes I realized I said it twice, but man, they just don't seem to get the concept of 'moving the story forward'.) Dialog is also cringe worthy at times and solutions just seem to be dues ex machina in simplicity. (although growing a redwood tree was kinda cool, but it required a huge amount of gullibility of the bad guys)
   308. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:56 PM (#5535517)
Eh, those last a bit long for my taste.

there was one time where he was trying to get a dead frog from a window into a box without touching the frog, and he kept trying to slide the box around it, and the frog kept flopping down...it's hard to describe, but it was funny.


Yeah, that one was actually pretty funny.

The hit to miss ratio on really long gags is still pretty bad overall though, IMO.


Agree with Booey, those long jokes feel as much as filler as they do actual jokes... "hey our show is at 19 minutes, and we need to be at 21 minutes, let's come up with something to pass the time."
   309. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5535520)
Oh, they're absolutely filler. Sometimes they're funny, but come on, of course they're filler. Family Guy has made me laugh many times, but it's pretty sloppy. The reliance on the cutaway humor probably encourages sloppiness. It's not a show for careful structures or even for formulas, really.
   310. Morty Causa Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:13 PM (#5535523)
not sure what is wrong with Hogan's Heroes. It was called one of the worst shows in TV history by TV guide magazine a few years ago. Of course back in the day it appeared on the cover of TV Guide no less than three times.

odd.


Not really odd. Lots of complaints by the WWII generation along the lines of "too soon, too soon" to be making light of being a prisoner in a German POW camp. P.G. Wodehouse made some light humorous broadcast from his internment camp during the war, and his misconceived frivolity was never forgiven by many, some even considering him a traitor.
   311. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:17 PM (#5535525)
not sure what is wrong with Hogan's Heroes. It was called one of the worst shows in TV history by TV guide magazine a few years ago. Of course back in the day it appeared on the cover of TV Guide no less than three times.


No clue why anyone would have a problem with the show. It had a strong stereotype vibe of course, but it also had a diverse cast of characters, it didn't shy away from much, had a good amount of humor. It was not my type of show, not sure why(probably because outside of Mash and Sanford and Son, I didn't like any shows I associated with starting before my time as a tv watcher----even good shows I later learned to like, or bad shows like Happy Days that I learned to like sometimes---basically if it started before 1977 or so, it was something that I had a resistance against) , but I fully get the appeal.
   312. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:22 PM (#5535527)
So what are the most inappropriate TV storylines that would never make it on the air today?


As 299 pointed out Diff'rent strokes...they were pointing out the basic plot, but it had the one episode with Carl Carlson in a bike shop that was just way over the top bad.
   313. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:30 PM (#5535532)
Oh, they're absolutely filler. Sometimes they're funny, but come on, of course they're filler. Family Guy has made me laugh many times, but it's pretty sloppy. The reliance on the cutaway humor probably encourages sloppiness. It's not a show for careful structures or even for formulas, really.


I'm a huge fan of the cutaway, it allows you to keep the story going, but throw in a joke designed for laughs, sure there is a risk that the cutaway won't garner laughs, but at the same time, if they have good cutaways working, they can have a "long" plot without jokes and still keep the humor going. It's a great tool to be a comedy, while still telling a story if you want to that episode.

I have zero hatred for Family Guy, it delivers frequently enough that I'm not really going away, and the fact that they are often self aware is pretty good too. Quagmire railing on Brian was a great example of that in my opinion. I have nitpicks.. I really don't love the chicken fight or the knee joke that much. I get them well enough and appreciate the effort, but they just don't work for me. (having said that, there are moments within chicken fight that I love, but I'm the guy who freaking hates car chases in movies, simply because they don't advance the plot at all other than a few basic options, and often times take up more time than a simple dialog would have done to get the same point across....and explosions for explosion sake just does nothing for me.---sorry tangent that I didn't really realize as I was typing it)
   314. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:35 PM (#5535537)
I really want the Orville to be good, to the point that I'm going to give it as much slack as necessary, the second episode was much better than the first, but still that only puts it at about a 3 on a 10 point scale.
I'm with you. I'm out after the second episode. Much like MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West, it promises an order of magnitude more laughs than it can deliver. His live action stuff just doesn't work.

11) I'm enough of a Newsradio geek that my WiFi SSID is WNYX and I entered my house on FaceBook as "Fort Awesome." I'm totally ########## about the show.
Over the last 20 years, every single one of my cars has been dubbed the Super Karate Monkey Death Car.
   315. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:36 PM (#5535538)
That's strange, because I would've said that the 70s was the wasteland.

All in the Family
Good Times
The Jeffersons
Mary Tyler Moore
Bob Newhart
Sanford and Son
What's Happening
Happy Days
WKRP
The Odd Couple
This list doesn't move me. I considered them almost all unwatchable. (Of course, I consider almost all 70s television of any genre unwatchable. It was just so... dumb. (Yes, I recognize that this is subjective.))
   316. simon bedford Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:56 PM (#5535552)
Compared to 80s fare, Mary Tyler Moore and Bob newhart and sometimes the Odd Couple were erudite classics. they rarely dumbed things down the way that 'perfect strangers' did or relied on boring set pieces the way Cheers et al did.
Not sure how 80s or 90s sitcoms were more 'clever' than MTM or Bob Newhart ( newharts 80s show was far dumber than the his 70s ones with its over reliance on idiotic secondary characters ).
   317. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 20, 2017 at 11:02 PM (#5535558)
So what are the most inappropriate TV storylines that would never make it on the air today?

I would have to think the domestic arrangement of Full House would at the very least attract some serious scrutiny from the authorities.
   318. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 11:22 PM (#5535566)

"More intellectual than Perfect Strangers" is listed as an example of "Damning with faint praise" in the dictionary.
   319. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 20, 2017 at 11:30 PM (#5535570)
Not really odd. Lots of complaints by the WWII generation along the lines of "too soon, too soon" to be making light of being a prisoner in a German POW camp.


It was popular enough in the day, a top 20 show a couple years. McHale's Navy, even older by 3-4 years, made the top 30 a couple times, which was a pretty big rating for ABC. McHale was nominated for the best comedy Emmy a couple times, Hogan 3 times. Werner Kemperer won for best supporting actor a couple of times. The Britcom Dad's Army is from the same era, and ran forever.

Hogan's kind of interesting. In the classic military sitcoms - Bilko, McHale, F Troop, and even the early version of MASH - the army is the enemy, and the show is about some operator getting away with murder within the system. Hogan does that, too, but it's all in the framework of completing missions. There's no episodes where they're trying to sneak out of camp just because they have girls waiting in Dusselforf. Because of that, I think it actually sits closer to tongue-in-cheek spy shows like It Takes a Thief than it does to other sitcoms.
   320. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 20, 2017 at 11:31 PM (#5535572)
Wouldn't fly today: 15-year old Gidget dating a college man.
   321. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2017 at 11:34 PM (#5535575)
but I'm the guy who freaking hates car chases in movies, simply because they don't advance the plot at all


Car chases rule! Plot is overrated.
   322. Jay Z Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:01 AM (#5535583)
I always wondered if the same people that objected to Hogan's Heroes objected to the war movies set in prison camps, like The Great Escape, Stalag 17, Bridge On The River Kwai, and Von Ryan's Express. All of those movies had substantial elements of humor. I guess they were more serious as well, with stronger villains who inflicted casualties.

Hogan's did explain their premise, that they needed to keep Klink and Schultz in power to do what they did and others could have shut them down. The pilot was a little over the top in the comedy; the series was actually toned down from that.

I thought Hogan's crew spent all of their time blowing up munitions trains and such, but there were multiple episodes where they would actually kill villains. Certainly an interesting concept for a TV show; I'm glad it was made.
   323. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:51 AM (#5535594)
My grandfather who fought in WWII and seemed to have a grand old time enjoyed Hogan's Heroes. But so did his friend Dominic, who was a POW during WWII so enjoyed that considerably less.
   324. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:04 AM (#5535597)
There's an episode of "I Love Lucy" in which Lucy buys a dress at a fashion show that turns out to be much more expensive than she'd realized. She then contrives to give herself a severe sunburn, in order to dissuade Ricky from beating her. This is an actual storyline.
   325. Baldrick Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:26 AM (#5535601)
Wouldn't fly today: 15-year old Gidget dating a college man.

Shows like Pretty Little Liars seem to disprove this claim.
   326. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:24 AM (#5535606)
For those who miss 'Yes, Minister', apart from the obvious 'The Thick Of It' recommendation, can I suggest seeing if you can track down 'The Hollowmen'? Essentially an Australian 'Yes, Minister', though filmed as a single-camera comedy. Lovely little show.

Meanwhile, as a Brit, I am obliged by law to mention 'Spaced' and 'Black Books'. I can't imagine that 'The Day Today' would travel at all well, but that show probably made me laugh out loud more than almost any other in my college years.
   327. simon bedford Posted: September 21, 2017 at 06:33 AM (#5535611)
My favorite British sitcom remains "Extras', two seasons and a xmas special, a great story arc and great guest appearances and it wrapped up nicely.
   328. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:32 AM (#5535636)
This list doesn't move me.

WKRP was awesome, you just have no taste.

Everything else I understand your reaction to, however.

I did love Sanford & Son growing up, but not really as a comedy, simply because it was so unbelievably foreign to the rural Adirondack region.
   329. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5535648)
My favorite British sitcom remains "Extras', two seasons and a xmas special, a great story arc and great guest appearances and it wrapped up nicely.

No other British sitcom could possibly top Fawlty Towers, abbreviated a run as it sadly was.
   330. Sunday silence Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5535650)
objecting to the premise of Hogan's Heroes is like objecting to a Jimmy Cagney movie cause its about gangsters. it's kind of the point.

*****

Mary Tyler Moore show had the Chuckles the Clown episode which was/is pretty sublime. I almost had my own Chuckles moment at my dad's funeral. you could actually find yourself laughing and crying at the same time at all that, thats how profound that episode was and it actually made you think about stuff.

Or the time his patients were trying to finish this poem they were trying to make to honor Bob (Newhart) but they couldnt find the last line they got as far as:

You worked with us in every way,
you got inside our head,
and how we'd like to take this time to say....


Carol (bursting into the office): "Mr Gianelli's dead!"

And the old lady looks up from her knitting to say: "Well that rhymes."

you really have to be a stick in the mud to not appreciate some of these old shows.
   331. simon bedford Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:58 AM (#5535655)
"Fawlty Towers' hit a few more sour notes for me, there were a few dull episodes and watching on screen the disolving relationship between Connie Booth and Cleese also took some of the joy out of it. The "Manuel' character also had 'cheap laughs" stamped all over it.
   332. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:08 AM (#5535668)
"Fawlty Towers' hit a few more sour notes for me, there were a few dull episodes and watching on screen the disolving relationship between Connie Booth and Cleese also took some of the joy out of it. The "Manuel' character also had 'cheap laughs" stamped all over it.

Well, after "The Germans" and the episode with Mrs. Richards, almost anything would suffer by contrast. And since I never knew anything about Cleese's or Connie's private life, their off-camera relationship wouldn't have affected my enjoyment.
   333. villageidiom Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:17 AM (#5535679)
5) I have a theory as to why the 80s shows don't hold up as well. (Cheers being the primary exception.) It ties in to how we now watch shows in a binge format as opposed to old one episode a week style. Behaviors that were amusing when we saw the show once a week become really annoying when shoved in our faces repeatedly in a short amount of time. I've had this problem with House, MD where I went from finding House to be annoying, but worth putting up with for his medical skills to deciding he should never be allowed near a patient after on the show for a while. Hayden Fox of "Coach" went from a good-natured but somewhat selfish guy to a complete selfish ass after a binge (which led me to give up on the show after less than half a season after watching it semi-regularly back when it was first aired). Plus the above problems with Alex P Keaton.

I don't know. It didn't take binge watching for me to reach the point of deciding the detectives on Law & Order were the worst ever. Every single week they're in the middle of the trial and we learn some evidence was inadmissible because it was mishandled, or some witness didn't actually witness anything, or whatever, and they have to scramble to find something else that's incriminating, something they should have uncovered back at the start if they were worth a damn as detectives. Once you cross that line of judgment, you can't go back.

I mean, House would try all kinds of things that would risk the patient's life (or so I've heard) but House was kind of an ass and his crew of airbrushed toadies wanted to be better than that but weren't. That he, on a weekly basis, tried something that almost killed his patient was part of the package. It's not so much that he was smarter than everyone as much as it was that everyone else was so fearful of violating the Hippocratic oath that these patients would likely die while they all stood aside and did nothing. In that construct, yeah, he's not really a hack as much as he's bold. The L&O detectives were hacks.
   334. PepTech Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5535741)
I have no vested interest in Orville - saw 20 minutes of the first one, and was briefly amused, not enough to watch the rest - but I did read a review saying that the third episode was the best of the lot. For what that's worth.

The Good Place is going to need to step it up a bit if they're going to keep up with Season 1. Last night was OK, not great. Still a recommended show, we'll see.

I saw promos for Will & Grace. Never watched it then - is it just back with the same characters, 10 years later? That's odd. Curb didn't take that long of a break. Can't remember a precedent for this unless you count Brady Bunch Weddings or Return to Gilligan's Island.
   335. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5535756)
I saw promos for Will & Grace. Never watched it then - is it just back with the same characters, 10 years later?


Yes. My wife is ecstatic for its return. She recently started bingeing on the old episodes to get ready for it.

My favourite story about that show is how the network executives initially believed that Will would eventually fall in love with Grace, despite being gay. Like he'd have a change of heart or something.

Speaking of ensembles, those four (Will/Grace/Jack/Karen) were dynamite and had the quick banter down to an art. I would have loved to have seen what they could have done if they weren't limited by having to pause while the studio audience laughed in between lines.
   336. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5535758)
I saw promos for Will & Grace. Never watched it then - is it just back with the same characters, 10 years later?


I think at least the core cast is intact. I believe Rosanne is also coming back with much of the cast intact.
   337. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:35 AM (#5535767)
I believe Rosanne is also coming back with much of the cast intact.

I wonder if Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke will play Becky as fraternal twins.
   338. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5535785)
Checking my hard drive, a lot of my favourite UK comedies are sketch shows: Fry & Laurie, Smack the Pony, Big Train, Goodness Gracious Me, It's Kevin, Mitchell & Webb, and . . . whatever The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer counts as. And that's without the two mainstays of my generation: The Fast Show and Harry Enfield.
   339. Greg Pope Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:58 AM (#5535799)
My favorite British sitcom remains "Extras', two seasons and a xmas special, a great story arc and great guest appearances and it wrapped up nicely.

No other British sitcom could possibly top Fawlty Towers, abbreviated a run as it sadly was.

Again, though, British sitcoms have to be judged on differently since they are never expected to put out the volume of American sitcoms. Fawlty Towers had 12 episodes. Extras apparently had 13. The UK Office had as many episodes as the first season of the US version. Blackadder (which I'm going to have to disagree with Andy and assert that Blackadder was the greatest British sitcom) had 24 episodes plus a couple of specials.

It's like comparing a movie to a TV show, there's just a different scale.

EDIT: Even Monty Python's Flying Circus only had 45 episodes.
   340. Greg K Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5535802)
I saw promos for Will & Grace. Never watched it then - is it just back with the same characters, 10 years later? That's odd. Curb didn't take that long of a break. Can't remember a precedent for this unless you count Brady Bunch Weddings or Return to Gilligan's Island.

Gilmore Girls recently did the same thing (about ten years between the base show and the mini-series return).

Red Dwarf took ten years off (1999-2009), and has sporadically been putting out seasons since then...though as mentioned a few times in this thread, British TV has its own zany norms.
   341. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5535806)
It's like comparing a movie to a TV show, there's just a different scale.


Which works both ways - if a UK show manages to make you feel that characters have been explored and have changed over a relatively short run, then that's a much more impressive accomplishment. I'd argue that 'Spaced' fulfilled that admirably in only 14 episodes for 4-5 characters.

Admittedly, for a lot of people, that's not the goal of a comedy; the metric is more likely to be laughs per minute. But clearly a lot of comedies succeed or fail on how people perceive the characters, not the punchlines.
   342. Booey Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:14 AM (#5535815)
I'm a huge fan of the cutaway, it allows you to keep the story going, but throw in a joke designed for laughs, sure there is a risk that the cutaway won't garner laughs, but at the same time, if they have good cutaways working, they can have a "long" plot without jokes and still keep the humor going. It's a great tool to be a comedy, while still telling a story if you want to that episode.


I'm not opposed to cutaways in general. Some shows use them to great effect (Scrubs and Malcolm in the Middle are two off the top of my head). Too many of Family Guys though are overlong and/or pointless and unfunny.

That's MacFarlane's problem in general, IMO; you have to slog through too much unfunny to get to the good stuff. My wife and I actually really liked the first Ted, and A Million Ways To Die In The West wasn't as bad as people said (granted, it wasn't great), but Ted 2...man, it was a struggle just to make it through the opening credits. It was just several minutes of people ballroom dancing. Sorry, but that just plain isn't funny, even when one of the dancers is a sentient teddy bear. Boring, mundane things don't automatically become humorous just cuz you add in an unconventional character doing them. It's like the Family Guy episodes where Stewie and Olivia form a singing duet or when Stewie and Brian go on tour with Frank Sinatra Jr. Regular Broadway type songs aren't funny, even when it's babies and talking dogs singing them.
   343. JJ1986 Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:14 AM (#5535816)
A discussion of the best British sitcoms is incomplete without Peep Show.
   344. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5535819)
WKRP was awesome, you just have no taste.


Agreed. Fantastic ensemble, lots of good laughs in almost every episode, running gags through multiple episodes, and boy did I have a crush on Bailey back in the day....
   345. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5535846)
and boy did I have a crush on Bailey back in the day....


Who didn't?
   346. Booey Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5535861)
All this talk of 80's shows - on a baseball website, no less - and no mention of Mr. Belvedere with the great Bob Uecker?!

One disturbing thing about that show though was the parents ages. It mentioned that the Mom was 15 and the Dad (Uecker!) was 30 when they got preggers with their first son, Kevin. Can you say...statutory?
   347. Booey Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5535865)
boy did I have a crush on Bailey back in the day....

I think my first TV crush was Christina Applegate in Married With Children.

I was a little kid when I watched the Brady Bunch (and even then it was 15 year old re-runs), so it wasn't until later that I noticed how ridiculously gorgeous Marcia was. Not even outdated 1970's hair and clothing styles could hide it.
   348. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5535883)
boy did I have a crush on Bailey back in the day....


Erin Gray from Buck Rogers ... bidi, bidi, bidi indeed!
   349. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5535885)
I think my first TV crush was Christina Applegate in Married With Children.

Lisa Whelchel, but from Mickey Mouse Club... not Facts of Life. I mean she was still hot in FoL and everything to me as a pre-teen when the show's run started, but my crush was well established by the time that show aired.
   350. Greg K Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:19 PM (#5535890)
I believe my first TV crush was also from a sit-com newsroom, Audrey the intern from Ken Finkleman's The Newsroom . Lisa Miller came later, and in retrospect Bailey Quarters would have fit the bill, but I didn't see WKRP until I was a bit older.

I also had a fondness for Wade on Sliders...though I'm sure of the chronology of that show and The Newsroom.
   351. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5535892)
Off the top of my head, I'm not sure Belvedere isn't the best of those 80's family shows. Uecker's acting skills probably saved them from verging too far toward drama.

Britcoms mention: Black Books is good, along with IT crowd. Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is a funny one I don't think has been mentioned.
   352. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5535893)
Lisa Whelchel, but from Mickey Mouse Club... not Facts of Life. I mean she was still hot in FoL and everything to me as a pre-teen when the show's run started, but my crush was well established by the time that show aired.


My first TV crush (of someone my age) was Nancy McKeon, not from Facts of Life, but from the Hallmark commercial she made that got her the gig.

   353. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:30 PM (#5535899)
I honestly spent 10 minutes googling this, but one of my first TV crushes was Evie from "Out of this World" - I'm sure the show is still extra awful today. Of course, Alyssa Milano and both sisters from "Charles in Charge" were up there, but all-time is Jaclyn Smith from Charlie's Angels.
   354. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5535906)
It's like the Family Guy episodes where Stewie and Olivia form a singing duet or when Stewie and Brian go on tour with Frank Sinatra Jr. Regular Broadway type songs aren't funny, even when it's babies and talking dogs singing them.

This is because in those moments, McFarlane isn't trying to be funny. He likes to do big set pieces/production numbers, for multiple reasons: (a) he's a good singer and thinks that kind of stuff is fun, (b) as an homage to other/past types of entertainment that he enjoys and admires, and (c) to show off what the animators can do. Yeah, there's usually some nominal humorous element to it, such as vulgarity or unconventional characters singing, but that's not really the point. I say this not to defend McFarlane, but to highlight a problem with the show: It loses focus on the fact that it's a comedy. It's the classic tension between performer and audience - the performer wants to do things that encompass the full range of his/her interests and abilities, whereas the audience wants what they tuned in for.
   355. Nasty Nate Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:35 PM (#5535909)
For some reason, I used to be under the false impression that Evie from "Out of this World" grew up to play Shelly on "Northern Exposure." I think I must have watched Northern Exposure a couple of years after it actually aired and didn't realize the 2 series were partially concurrent.
   356. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:36 PM (#5535912)
Don't jump to any cconclusions, but I think Jodi Foster was probably my first TV crush. She was in everything in early 70's.


   357. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5535914)
The best sex sitcom is probably "Coupling," at least for its first three seasons (22 episodes). Basically a much funnier, dirty "Friends."
   358. Booey Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:53 PM (#5535934)
This is because in those moments, McFarlane isn't trying to be funny.

I say this not to defend McFarlane, but to highlight a problem with the show: It loses focus on the fact that it's a comedy. It's the classic tension between performer and audience - the performer wants to do things that encompass the full range of his/her interests and abilities, whereas the audience wants what they tuned in for.


Exactly. It's like he wants his shows to be one of those old time variety hour type of shows, but there's a reason those fell out of fashion long ago. I think most people watching a show billed as a comedy generally just want to laugh.
   359. simon bedford Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:02 PM (#5535941)
wrong thread
its a good things those having difficulty with "hogans heroes" never saw
"allo allo" now that was offensive
   360. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5535964)
My first TV crush was the absurdly gorgeous Joanna Cameron, from The Mighty Isis morning show. She's probably the one that set me on my life-long weakness for brunettes.
   361. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5535968)
11) I'm enough of a Newsradio geek that my WiFi SSID is WNYX and I entered my house on FaceBook as "Fort Awesome." I'm totally ########## about the show.

Totally b-cakes. That's the street version.

Lisa Miller came later, and in retrospect Bailey Quarters would have fit the bill, but I didn't see WKRP until I was a bit older.

Lisa Miller came exactly at the wrong time in my life. Every girl I dated paled in comparison. I'm also sad that I never grew up to be Jimmy James, macho business donkey wrestler.

I need to dig out my Newsradio DVDs and do a rewatch. Such a good show.
   362. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5535969)
Also forgotten show lore - Boss Hogg started life as a moonshiner, just like the Dukes. He and Uncle Jesse were fierce rivals for the hooch running business in and around Hazzard county. Boss realized he could make more money as a crooked politician/businessman than as a moonshiner, so he gave it up. It's at the heart of why he hates the Dukes so much (and why they're always foiling his schemes).

Say what? Was there like a book trilogy or something that laid out the back story, and is it considered official Dukes canon?


It was actually the subject of an early episode. Boss and Jesse took to the cars for a final race to determine who was the best. Knowing Boss, though, he wasn't about to play fair...

*cue Waylon Jennings*
   363. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5535970)
It's like he wants his shows to be one of those old time variety hour type of shows, but there's a reason those fell out of fashion long ago.

Yes - clearly, not enough fart jokes.
   364. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5535971)
WKRP was awesome, you just have no taste.

One of the great TV tragedies is that we can't get a full DVD set of WKRP with the original music. It added so much to the show.
   365. Batman Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:36 PM (#5535984)
I honestly spent 10 minutes googling this, but one of my first TV crushes was Evie from "Out of this World"
I moved from Chicago to LA for college and assumed I would be surrounded by movie stars all the time. Then, in one class on my first day, I sat next to Evie from Out of this World. It turned out the only other actor in any class over the rest of my college career who I recognized was Scott Nemes, from It's Garry Shandling's Show and The Wonder Years (and, apparently, two episodes of Out of This World.)

I did have classes with Jason Reitman and a few football and baseball players who later became famous. One of the football players later became famous for trying to kill Siegfried and Roy because they'd invented AIDS or something.

   366. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5535987)
If we're talking about these particular types of shows, then the first crush had to be Lauren Tewes from the Love Boat.

(I mean, she was no Genie Francis or Emma Samms, but I wasn't 9 any more at that point.)
   367. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5535990)
Dukes of Hazzard was on when I was in elementary school and was an incredibly fraught topic. I went to a school that was 85% middle class black kids from Durham and 15% mostly rural white kids bused in from the far reaches of the county to make some sort of quota. On the hour-long bus ride I endured every morning, stopping at houses with livestock in the front yard and at two horse farms, the Dukes was the #1 hot topic of discussion. Then when you got to school you did not discuss Dukes of Hazzard, because it turns out that black people in WEB DuBois' favorite small city don't approve of watching TV shows with Confederate flag cars in them. Which was fine by me because my parents, Kansans are still pissed about Quantrill's Raid, absolutely would not allow us to watch it either.

My next door neighbor (a 5th grader) said she thought the show was really stupid, but watched it because the guys were cute. I always took that as the definitive review, but she turned out to be gay so who knows how cute the guys actually were.
   368. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5535995)
Somebody touted Meredith Baxter-Birney earlier, she was indeed smokin' on Family Ties. Heather Thomas on 'The Fall Guy' was also a distracting piece of eye candy between Lee Majors' stunts. I believe she coked out pretty badly during that run.
   369. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5535996)
boy did I have a crush on Bailey back in the day


I never trust anyone who prefers Loni Anderson to Jan Smithers.

I'm also sad that I never grew up to be Jimmy James, macho business donkey wrestler. 


My great-grandfather was a tycoon of sorts. (Alas, the money is long gone. He was very generous to charity in his will.) A biography of him came came out a few years and I was very disappointed the subtitle wasn't "Capitalist Lion Tamer" or "Macho Business Donkey Wrestler."
   370. The Good Face Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5536006)
Somebody touted Meredith Baxter-Birney earlier, she was indeed smokin' on Family Ties. Heather Thomas on 'The Fall Guy' was also a distracting piece of eye candy between Lee Majors' stunts.


The Fall Guy? This looks like a job for Markie Post!
   371. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5536009)
I never trust anyone who prefers Loni Anderson to Jan Smithers.


Or Louie Anderson to Waylon Smithers.
   372. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5536036)
 Meredith Baxter-Birney


Her mom, Whitney Blake, was more so.
   373. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 21, 2017 at 02:18 PM (#5536044)
The Fall Guy? This looks like a job for Markie Post!

Markie Post. Now she was a hot 80s sitcom babe.
   374. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5536097)
In the early days of the web, Milano's mother went around full time trying to suppress images and clips of her daughter from Embrace of the Vampire. It... didn't work.


I probably shouldn't tell this story, but when I worked at Rolling Stone, I got a call from Alyssa Milano's agent, who said to me, "Point blank: What do we have to do to get Alyssa on the cover of Rolling Stone?" I asked around, and it turned out that the answer was: absolutely nothing.
   375. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5536111)
"Point blank: What do we have to do to get Alyssa on the cover of Rolling Stone?" I asked around, and it turned out that the answer was: absolutely nothing.

Confused. Did they put her on the next available cover, or did you mean they asked "what CAN we do"?
   376. Rally Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5536113)
I'm afraid to click any of the links on this page. Some of you guys are probably being legit but I've been around here long enough to know that one of them is likely an Albright. And I don't know which.

No time for Albright Roulette. That would be messin with my bizness with Meredith Baxter-Birney.

I'm not talking about Meredith Baxter-Birney today...No
I'm talking about Meredith Baxter-Birney that was on Family Ties, 30 years ago...
   377. PepTech Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5536115)
Jan > Marcia, and of course Mary Ann >> Ginger. Jaclyn Smith > Farrah Fawcett.

Although Bailey Quarters was worthy of crushitude, and Lauren Tewes was cute enough, the first dagger in my heart was none other than Kristy McNichol. But then I was a weird kid.
   378. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5536116)
That's specifically why I identified here as Meredith Baxter-Birney, when she was Baxter-Birney. Of course she later accused Birney of abusing her.
And yes, there will be no Albright Roulette, especially while at work.
   379. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5536121)
Confused. Did they put her on the next available cover, or did you mean they asked "what CAN we do"?


The question was "What can we do?" The answer was: nothing.
   380. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5536131)
The question was "What can we do?" The answer was: nothing.
Missed opportunity. That's all I'm saying.
   381. Batman Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5536138)
The rejection probably made Alyssa Milano take all kinds of pills to give her all kinds of thrills.
   382. simon bedford Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5536143)
But the thrill she has never known...
   383. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:59 PM (#5536144)
Although Bailey Quarters was worthy of crushitude, and Lauren Tewes was cute enough, the first dagger in my heart was none other than Kristy McNichol. But then I was a weird kid.

For me it was probably Valerie Bertinelli, during her One Day at a Time years.
   384. simon bedford Posted: September 21, 2017 at 04:12 PM (#5536156)
Nadia in 76 for me, no idea why that happened.
   385. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 21, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5536157)
Missed opportunity. That's all I'm saying.


Yeah, I probably should have at least "negotiated" with her, if you know what I mean.
   386. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5536200)
WKRP was awesome, you just have no taste.
Zany people one-note stereotypes doing dumb things to a laugh track is not my idea of quality entertainment.
   387. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 05:58 PM (#5536207)

I didn't watch much t.v. as a kid, but I remember randomly flipping through the channels one Saturday morning when I was around 15 and having my socks knocked off by a young Jessica Alba on the show "Flipper".
   388. Jay Z Posted: September 21, 2017 at 06:21 PM (#5536219)
Zany people one-note stereotypes doing dumb things to a laugh track is not my idea of quality entertainment.


Without the laugh track, you have OTP, and you're there all the time.
   389. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:03 PM (#5536276)
WKRP was awesome, you just have no taste.

Zany people one-note stereotypes doing dumb things to a laugh track is not my idea of quality entertainment.


As god as my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly.
   390. cardsfanboy Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:43 PM (#5536387)

As god as my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly.


One of the funniest half hour of tv ever. Even if you don't like WKRP(which is weird to me) there are a couple of memorable moments.... As pointed out, quite possibly the greatest Thanksgiving episode in TV history, you have the Johnny drinking episode to prove that drunk driving is bad, which was another great one(which is hilarious because it was actually written on purpose to be a bad, cliche episode)... Taxi also had cliche characters but it worked similarly and the popular shows that people are pushing around here, often have one dimensional characters (and sadly, like in Always Sunny, they are all exactly the same.. immoral, unethical, self absorbed unintelligent narcissist. (at least Seinfeld had intelligent narcissists))

The cliche one dimension characters make it easy to recognize the character for a first time viewer, and always gives the show a chance to turn the story on it's head by having them doing something that wouldn't normally feel like a predictable action.
   391. Howie Menckel Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:57 PM (#5536529)
For me it was probably Valerie Bertinelli, during her One Day at a Time years.

DAMMIT somebody beat me to it - and from the first episode
   392. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:13 AM (#5536555)
Taxi also had cliche characters but it worked similarly
... or not, similarly, for me.

(at least Seinfeld had intelligent narcissists))
Note that while I really liked Seinfeld, I disliked Kramer for the same reason I just mentioned.
   393. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:28 AM (#5536556)
I believe my first TV crush was also from a sit-com newsroom, Audrey the intern from Ken Finkleman's The Newsroom . Lisa Miller came later

"She asked me to tell her my deepest darkest fantasy, and I didn't want to, so I made up something about photos."

"Tell me."

"No, I don't think so."

"Maybe it's something we can do!"

"It's embarrassing."

"Please?"

"Okay. Um, ever since I was 14, I've fantasized about making love on the space shuttle."

"Well, that's adorable."

"With a space prostitute."

"Alright, you're joking again."

"I wish I were."

"Well, do you think you can give me a fantasy that's just a little bit more reasonable?"

"I like to picture myself as a nineteenth-century baseball-playing fox."
   394. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:21 AM (#5536562)
Note that while I really liked Seinfeld, I disliked Kramer for the same reason I just mentioned.


For me, Seinfeld feels like beer, it's an acquired taste. I made an effort enough that I liked it, even though there was too much New York in it for me to ever love it. (which has caused me to get many ridicules around here.... the concept that people routinely have anything other than pizza delivered is something I have always made fun of on TV... in the midwest, at a minimum, 70% of delivered food is pizza, 20% is subway style crap....nobody really orders chinese, because they #### the order up everytime, so that is the last 10%,(most people just pick up chinese, so that they can fix the order) while on Seinfeld and other tv shows, they act like Pizza is the least common delivered food, and chinese is the most common) (and the subway style crap is a relatively new thing...last 15 years or so, before that delivered food in the midwest was probably 99% pizza and maybe 1% Chinese, although I have never, ever met anyone who had Chinese delivered to their house in the midwest before 2000)

But I get the dislike of the Kramer character.
   395. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:25 AM (#5536563)
#392:
Note that while I really liked Seinfeld, I disliked Kramer for the same reason I just mentioned.


It sounds like you don't actually object to one-dimensional characters, then, but to frenetic one-dimensional characters.
   396. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:05 AM (#5536568)
We're never going to agree on what makes for a good sitcom, CFB, and I'm OK with that. But the frequency with which characters order Chinese food is a truly bizarre thing to let get in the way of your enjoyment of a show.

I've never seen a frozen banana stand in real life, yet it never bothered me when I watched Arrested Development.
   397. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:51 AM (#5536574)
It sounds like you don't actually object to one-dimensional characters, then, but to frenetic one-dimensional characters.
That's not quite right, but it's not wrong, either. (I used the term "zany" rather than "frenetic," but I don't think the concept is all that different.)
   398. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:53 AM (#5536575)
We're never going to agree on what makes for a good sitcom, CFB, and I'm OK with that. But the frequency with which characters order Chinese food is a truly bizarre thing to let get in the way of your enjoyment of a show.
Especially since it's not even wrong! The show was set in New York, not the midwest, so even if CFB is right that people in the midwest don't order Chinese food, it would be irrelevant. I could see being irked if the show misportrayed reality, but here he's just complaining that it accurately portrays a different culture than his own.
   399. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:59 AM (#5536589)
Fry & Laurie, Smack the Pony, Big Train, Goodness Gracious Me, It's Kevin, Mitchell & Webb, and . . . whatever The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer counts as. And that's without the two mainstays of my generation: The Fast Show and Harry Enfield.

Love Fry & laurie, and Harry Enfield. The World of Lee Evans was pretty funny, but only lasted a year. Alas Smith and Jones was pretty good too.
   400. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 22, 2017 at 08:15 AM (#5536597)
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