John From Cincinnati
Published by Toronto Mike on July 12, 2007 @ 21:34 in Television

tvIn the absence of The Sopranos, I was looking for a new drama to sink my eyeballs into, so we decided to try John From Cincinnati.

John From Cincinnati was created by David Milch and Kem Nunn. Milch created the very cool Deadwood, and John From Cincinnati is equally compelling. It's hard to describe, but it sticks to you and draws you in.

I read a negative review in the New Yorker before watching the pilot, so I was ready to ditch it. It has such a weird feel to it I kept coming back for more. I'm five episodes in and digging it, but I keep reading about poor ratings and I fear HBO may pull the plug before I see this through.

Only the good die young.

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Shows I Watched: Night Court
Published by Toronto Mike on July 6, 2007 @ 13:25 in Memories, Television

tvAfter Cheers on Thursday nights it was time for Night Court. I actually preferred Night Court to Cheers, but that's mainly because of Dan Fielding.

Night Court was supposed to be about Harry Anderson, but it ended up being about John Larroquette's character. Dan Fielding was "a sex-obsessed narcissistic prosecutor who would do anything to get a woman to sleep with him". Who wouldn't love a character like that?

Here's an intro from the first season, before the cast evolved to include the lovely Markie Post.

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Shows I Watched: Who's The Boss
Published by Toronto Mike on July 5, 2007 @ 14:59 in Memories, Television

tvYes, I watched Who's the Boss. After Daisy Duke I think Samantha Micelli was my next crush.

This was a show that hinged on one, simple premise. Tony and Angela had the hots for each other but they could never act on it. Once they did, the show would be ruined. I believe in later seasons they did hook up, but I can't say I was watching at that point. This was one long pre-kiss moment stretched out over several seasons.

Pam and Jim from The Office are sort of our modern day, hipper Tony and Angela. They've kissed, but the timing has never been right. When Tony and Angela started dating, it killed Who's the Boss, and if Pam and Jim start dating, I fear the same, although The Office has far more going for it than this one note.

Here's the Who's the Boss intro with yet another catchy as all hell theme song.

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Shows I Watched: The Transformers
Published by Toronto Mike on July 4, 2007 @ 13:29 in Memories, Television

tvAs a kid, I was enamoured with a little cartoon called The Transformers. You may have heard a thing or two about this franchise. I followed the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons closely, cheering on Optimus Prime and the good guys and taking note of their need for reinforcements from Cybertron.

I also had a few Transformers of my very own, including Optimus Prime. I often felt sorry for the Gobots, who seemed to arrive a couple of years ahead of The Transformers, but all's fair in love and Megatron.

Here's the intro with that amazing theme song. You know the words, it's okay to sing along. Don't forget to change your voice for the robotic part.

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Shows I Watched: The Facts of Life
Published by Toronto Mike on June 30, 2007 @ 19:41 in Memories, Television

tvEdna Garrett left Diff'rent Strokes to become a housemother to seven young girls at the Eastland Academy in Peekskill, New York. The rest, is Facts of Life history.

One of those seven girls was Molly Ringwald, but after season one, they trimmed the roster down to Natialie, Blair and Tootie and introduced a new girl, the street wise Jo. Here's the opening from that initial season.

Edna Garrett couldn't stick with one career. She went from Drummond housekeeper to Eastland Academy housemother to owner of Edna's Edibles and then Over Our Heads. Along the way, some guy named George Clooney joined the cast to give the girls something to look at. Here's an intro featuring Mr. Clooney.

Mindy Cohn's voice is in our house a lot these days. She's the voice of Velma on the new Scooby-Doo DVDs my kids devour like candy.

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Shows I Watched: Danger Bay
Published by Toronto Mike on June 29, 2007 @ 20:49 in Memories, Television

tvNext to The Beachcombers, Danger Bay was CanCon at its finest. Doc worked at The Vancouver Aquarium and he and his kids were always saving the world from one ecological disaster or another.

I wonder what has become of Christopher Crabb. Ocean Hellman was a cutie, where's she at these days? Danger Bay was most definitely a Donnelly Rhodes vehicle, and he made it sing. Cue the opening theme song!

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Shows I Watched: Pee Wee's Playhouse
Published by Toronto Mike on June 28, 2007 @ 09:47 in Memories, Television

tvI was a pre-teen when Pee Wee's Playhouse started airing, but I was instantly drawn to this show. It was supposedly aimed at kids, but there was a hilarious subtext to it all that slayed me. I watched Pee Wee's Playhouse every Saturday, waiting for the secret word, awaiting visits from Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Reba the Mail Lady and The King of Cartoons.

Those characters were played by some big time talent. Laurence Fishburne was Cowboy Curtis, Phil Hartman was Captain Carl and S. Epatha Merkerson was Reba the Mail Lady.

When Paul Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure in a movie theatre in 1991, this show quickly bit the dust. It's a damn shame because it was totally quirky, irreverent and smart, with eye candy that would give your retinas cavities. Here's the awesome introduction. Yes, that's Cyndi Lauper doing the singing.

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Shows I Watched: Dukes of Hazzard
Published by Toronto Mike on June 27, 2007 @ 08:37 in Memories, Television

tvProbably my favourite television show as a young dude was The Dukes of Hazzard. Daisy was my first crush, and I thought Bo and Luke Duke were the coolest. And as cars go, there was no cooler a car than the General Lee. Here's a great montage of General Lee action set to Johnny Cash's sweet, sweet voice.

Remember when Uncle Jesse lost his sight and there was a chance he'd never see again? They removed his blindfold and there was that moment of sadness when it appeared he hadn't regained his vision. Then, the sly fox asked for an apple on that table across the room. Uncle Jesse could see!

And of course, The Dukes of Hazzard was blessed with a tremendous theme song sung by Waylon Jennings. Just'a good ol' boys...

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Shows I Watched: Saved By The Bell
Published by Toronto Mike on June 26, 2007 @ 11:27 in Memories, Television

tvI watched this show every Saturday morning growing up. Zack was a cool cat and it was a light and fluffy half hour. At least it was light and fluffy until Jessie Spano started doing drugs. No, it wasn't smack, it was the dreaded caffeine pills.

My favourite episode was probably the documentary style ep featuring The Zack Attack. Who will ever forget their big hit, Friends Forever?

And of course, the series had a memorable opening theme song and we all know the words by heart.

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Shows I Watched: Diff'rent Strokes
Published by Toronto Mike on June 25, 2007 @ 10:03 in Memories, Television

tvI loved Diff'rent Strokes. Us kids looked up to Gary Coleman. Not literally, we were all taller than the little dude, but he was a mentor of sorts. Who wasn't upset when Mr. Drummond was told he couldn't BBQ on the balcony? Who didn't fear for Arnold Jackson when he was alone with that pedophile? And when Mrs. Garrett left to run an all girls school, who didn't tag along for the fun?

Here's your CanCon connection. Alan Thicke co-wrote the catchy theme song.

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