Confession Time
Published by Toronto Mike on August 24, 2007 @ 20:19 in Television

tvBrace yourselves, I'm about to reveal something pretty shocking. I have never found "Royal Canadian Air Farce" funny.

Is that wrong? Does that somehow make me a bad Canadian? "Royal Canadian Air Farce" has been on for over a decade and I've caught bits and pieces here and there but I've never laughed. Not once. I just don't find it particularly funny.

One minute of "The Kids in the Hall" contains more pure hilarity than an entire season of "Royal Canadian Air Farce". Does anyone out there actually enjoy RCAF?

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The Best TV Theme Songs
Published by Toronto Mike on August 19, 2007 @ 18:57 in Links to External Web Sites, Television

tv musicWhen John From Cincinnati got canned earlier this week, I shared the opening credits of that show because it featured a very cool tune by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. That got me thinking about television theme songs that are too cool to be confined to the small screen and are good enough to stand alone.

Sometimes a song is a created for a tv show and sometimes it's simply licensed, as is the case with most of the songs below. However you slice it, here are my favourite television theme songs.

  1. Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon" from Rescue Me
  2. Joe Cocker's "A Little Help From My Friends" from The Wonder Years
  3. Foo Fighters' "Next Year" from Ed
  4. Waylon Jennings' "Good Ol' Boys" from The Dukes of Hazzard
  5. Steve Carlisle's "WKRP in Cincinnati" from WKRP in Cincinnati
  6. Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' "Johnny Appleseed" from John From Cincinnati
  7. John Sebastian's "Welcome Back" from Welcome Back, Kotter
  8. Alabama 3's "Woke Up This Morning" from The Sopranos
  9. Gary Portnoy's "Everybody Knows Your Name" from Cheers
  10. Joey Scarbury's "Believe It Or Not" from The Greatest American Hero

An honourable mention goes to the three Who songs used for various CSI shows. The Who songs are great but having not seen a minute of the shows that use them, I felt weird putting them on this list. All ten shows above are actually shows I watched and enjoyed.

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Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros' Johnny Appleseed
Published by Toronto Mike on August 15, 2007 @ 18:04 in Music, Television

tvOne of the best things about John From Cincinnati was the opening credits. It was cool grainy surfer imagery with Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' "Johnny Appleseed" playing overtop. I had never heard "Johnny Appleseed" before but I'm now a big fan.

Download the song in MP3 here and watch the opening credits from the recently cancelled John From Cincinnati below.

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The Premature Death of John From Cincinnati
Published by Toronto Mike on August 15, 2007 @ 13:01 in Television

tvApparently, I was the only one watching John From Cincinnati. I knew early on the ratings were poor, so I was prepared for what happened this week. HBO has cancelled John From Cincinnati.

Without a doubt, it was out there. Some weeks I didn't know what the hell was going on, but I knew I liked it. I haven't seen the final episode yet, but I'm certain it won't explain everything so I'm destined to live out life never knowing what was up with John.

I still think he was Jesus Christ.

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TV Sucks
Published by Toronto Mike on August 7, 2007 @ 14:12 in Television

tvFor the most part, TV sucks. I'm so tired of the Law & Orders and typical dramas and sitcoms. Right now I'm only following two series: John From Cincinnati and Flight of the Conchords.

There are, however, a few other series I follow that will be airing new episodes soon. Weeds, a Showtime series, is airing new episodes in the USA next week. Showcase, which carries the show on this side of the border, will start season three in the fall.

Another US cable series I follow is Rescue Me, which started airing season four a couple of months ago. Showcase will air these new episodes in the fall as well. Why Showcase chooses to make us wait is beyond me, but I'm sure there's a method to their madness.

Finally, Curb Your Enthusiasm is set to air season six in September as well. TMN will air this series simultaneous with HBO. Here's a very cool list of celebrities that have appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

There ya have it. Throw in The Simpsons and The Office and that's about it for me. As I said, for the most part, TV sucks.

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I Almost Missed The Flight
Published by Toronto Mike on August 5, 2007 @ 17:16 in Television

tvI was asleep at the switch. How else can I explain the fact I'm only discovering the Flight of the Conchords now. This HBO series featuring New Zealand's Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement first hit TMN over a month ago but I only watched the pilot on Friday. Five episodes later, I'm in love.

It's bloody brilliant. Frighteningly witty and chock full of exceptionally hilarious songs covering a wide variety of genres. It's dryer than a show like Curb Your Enthusiasm, and you have to get used to the accents, but it's one of those shows you just don't want to end. At a half hour, if feels way too short and you're left wanting a whole lot more.

Here's a song from the pilot. If you get TMN, or have a friend who gets TMN, there are seven episodes sitting at channel 308 waiting to be watched or recorded or whatever. Don't miss this series.

The songs really need to be viewed as part of the episode to be fully appreciated, but that's not going to stop me from sharing one more. This one appeared in the 4th episode, "Yoko".

And, because I can't help myself, this song killed me. It's from the 3rd episode and features Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros.

That's all... for now. Watch the damn show. There's nothing remotely as funny on tv right now, trust me.

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Tom Snyder Interviews The Clash on the Tomorrow Show in 1981
Published by Toronto Mike on July 30, 2007 @ 13:45 in Television

tvIf you're my age, you likely remember Tom Snyder as host of The Late Late Show. David Letterman hand picked his idol Snyder to follow him at 12:35 am.

Before all that, Snyder hosted Tomorrow with Tom Snyder and had some neat interviews, like this one with The Clash in 1981. I'll miss that Snyder laugh.

Another gem is this interview with Howard Stern in 1991.

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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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