I still have pretty vivid memories of watching television on the evening of Super Bowl XXII. Not just because it was the day that the hated Denver Broncos got pummeled by the Redskins, but it was also the premiere of The Wonder Years on ABC. It instantly became one of my favorite shows, and I watched it faithfully for most if its entire run. As it turns out, The Wonder Years was also one of the more successful shows to launch right after the Super Bowl. Let's take a look at the history of TV series to debut after the big game and see how many we can remember. 1979: Brothers and Sisters (NBC), Super Bowl XIII It wasn't until the thirteenth Super Bowl that a network struck on the idea of capitalizing on a huge built-in audience to roll out a new series. You can't blame them if they had
Yeah I watch Glee, so what? YOU CAN'T JUDGE ME! I've been a fan since the pilot episode, although I want to make it clear that I am not a Gleek. When those plucky New Directions kids busted out Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" at the end of that episode even a cynical bastard like me felt good about it. Those good feelings carried through for most of the first season and I enjoyed the show's mix of humor, darkness, and unabashedly hammy musical performances. But as the second season wore on, I found myself losing interest in the musical numbers. I'm not that big a Broadway fan to begin with, and my tolerance for movie musicals is only slightly higher. After awhile I just feel worn down by the over-the-top earnestness of Broadway music, and it all just feels so corny. So that's a pro...
This will probably mean nothing to you if you didn't grow up in the New York/New Jersey/Long Island/Connecticut area in the '70s and '80s. But for the rest of us, you probably saw this commercial no less than 5,000 times on stations like WPIX (now the CW), WNYW (now Fox), and WOR (I don't even recall what this station is now). One look at that talking balloon and you know what this is for -- Young People's Day Camp! I was as reclusive a kid as you'd ever meet, but even I thought this looked like a lot of fun. Of course it's too late for me, but not for your kids. Young People's Day Camp is in fact still around! Anyone know where I can score some of this sweet YPDC swag?
Television. Love it or hate it, it sure beats reading or taking out the garbage. I don't post all that frequently about TV on this site, but man do I spend a truckload of time watching it. So here's a breakdown of the shows I watched over this past television season, and what I thought of them. Overall it was a pretty good year, and the spectre of the writers' strike is already a distant memory. American Dad! - I can only guess that more of Seth MacFarlane's attention has been directed towards this show than Family Guy, which is the reason it has consistently been the funnier of the two. Or maybe he isn't overseeing it, and that's why it's funnier. Either way, this season saw a drop in quality from the previous few but was still pretty good. Any bit with a Roger/Steve pairing was
I'm tired of always being Johnny-come-lately when it comes to hip new shows. So when I saw the previews for Fox's newest drama, Lie to Me, a few weeks ago I thought it looked like a good chance to get on the ground floor of something decent. Having watched the pilot episode I think I may have found something worth following, which means it will probably be canceled by February. That's not to say I was blown away by it, but I'm intrigued enough to set a series recording on my DVR, so that's gotta be worth something. Here's the gist of Lie to Me: It stars Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, a freelance expert in the practice of detecting deception (the character is based on real-life deception expert Paul Ekman). He was formerly employed by Uncle Sam, but now runs the for-profit Lightman Gr
I've forgotten about 95% of the TV shows I watched growing up, which is probably my brain's self-defense mechanism kicking in. But one thing I haven't forgotten is all those nifty little bumpers I was bombarded with multiple times a day. Some of them are iconic, some just quaint and cheesy. How many of these do you remember? (more…)
Next to the NFL Draft, the most exciting administrative period of the television year is when the networks announce their upcoming schedules (known in the business as Upfronts). Sad, I know, but true. But before I turn my astute analytical skills on next year's new shows, I'd like to take a moment to remember the fallen. Some canceled shows are undeserving of their fate; they are taken off the air before their time thanks to a fickle fan base or clueless (gutless) network executives. Then again, some were around far longer than they deserved. Here's a partial rundown (a full listing is available at The Futon Critic): The Class (CBS) - Some dismissed this as a poor man's Friends, but I felt this was the most promising new comedy since Scrubs. I wasn't totally sold on The Class a...