'Adam-12' Season 5
'Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour' Loony Tunes Super Stars' Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire
'Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour' Loony Tunes Super Stars' Daffy Duck: Frustrated Fowl
'Casper's Scare School' The 1st Season
'Diets That Time Forgot' Diets That Time Forgot
'Max Headroom' The Complete Series
'Minder' Season 3
'Numb3rs (Numbers)' The Final Season
'Penguins of Madagascar, The' Happy King Julien Day & New To The Zoo
'Titan Maximum' Season 1
'Trauma' Season 1
Max Headroom, who always reminded me of a young Christopher Titus immortalized in claymation, hosted several talk shows for the BBC and got his own taste of the late night dynasty on Cinemax with 'The Original Max Talking Headroom Show,' a cyberpunkish gab fest hosted by actor Matt Frewer as the digital stutterer.
Here's a hilarious sit down with William Shatner that's hilarious for two reasons: (1) the brilliant, improvised jabs they take with and at each other are themselves hilarious and (2) they are both such animated characters that it's actually hard to tell the two apart.
Too young to remember Matt Frewer's babbling blonde digital hipster? Allow me to play professor: In the mid-'80s, Frewer (you know, that guy) played a strange, spastic (and sarcastic) computer-animated Coca Cola pitchman and music video host that lived inside of your TV. He frightened young children and hypnotized susceptible nerds into guzzling Coke by the gallon.
Perhaps as a meta-comment on his own existence, his creators produced an insane cyberpunk TV movie starring Max that satirized TV marketing, the media, politics, and everything else worth satirizing.
The name "Max Headroom" comes from the last thing TV reporter Edison Carter saw before he was knocked out and hacker extraordinaire Bryce Lynch dumped his memories into a computer: a sign reading "Max. Headroom: 2.3 meters" as a warning for low clearance. The program came alive and an '80s icon was born. Most people today remember Max Headroom for his pervasive commercial association with New Coke.
Yet it was in the Max Headroom series that he was truly groundbreaking. The show was developed from a UK telefilm: Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future. And that film was only created to give back-story to a talking head they wanted to use in a music video show.
Unfortunately, the popularity of this show and the character lasted about as long as New Coke. And for those of you who have no idea what New Coke is ... exactly!
Remember that? It was the disastrous reformulation of the Coke taste that people didn't really like and it came and went rather quickly in the mid-80s (though you could still get it in some areas as recently as 2002!). Wikipedia has the history of New Coke (long, but very much worth the read), and here are the commercials that introduced it to the world.
I've never seen most of the other shows (and if a lot of America followed my example, that could somewhat explain their early cancellation), but I have watched numbers 1,2 and 7. Star Trek is an obvious choice for number 1 given that it is still the icon of science-fiction television.
I've heard good things about Max Headroom (number 3) and would probably at least watch it on DVD should it ever be released in the format. I disagree about the 1981 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (number 2) and think it works best at its current length. I find it interesting how the only reason the author wanted to extend Buck Rogers In the 25th Century was to see more of Erin Gray ("Off think. Off think. Off think").
It's rather comforting, if a little scary, to see that even computerized icons can age a lot.
Britain's Channel 4 has brought back Max Headroom, the 80s TV character that everyone thought was just a computer creation but was actually actor Matt Frewer, for a series of TV commercials. The ads (or are they called adverts or something over there?) will show Max insulting Channel 4 for ignoring his idea of a digital TV world.
Last month, the head of NBC Universal's news research division said that the network has been performing "neurological and biometric" research. Essentially they hooked about 20 TV viewers up to special equipment and measured their physical responses to commercials. They found that people were paying attention. And in fact, after they were finished watching TV episodes, the viewers were able to remember brands that had been advertised just about as well as if they had watched 30 second commercials.
On the one hand, the sample seems pretty small. And it's possible that the reason viewers were "highly engaged," is because they were still pumped up from watching Heroes, or because they were trying to figure out when the fast-forwarded commercials would end.
On the other hand, Silicon Alley Insider raises a good point. If the 5-second blipverts are just as effective as full 30 second commercials, should NBC really be promoting this research? Because what it really suggests is that advertisers are paying too much for full length commercial spots.
Here's my little secret. Remember Data from The Goonies? The little Asian kid with the spring loaded teeth up his sleeves? He was my first mad scientist/inventor hero. I tried to build a few of my own wearable gadgets after watching that movie. I actually cut up a pair of converse sneakers so I could build secret gadgets into them.
Eureka attempts to answer a question. What could possibly go wrong if you give a bunch of scientists nearly unlimited funding to develop cutting edge technologies. Well, lets just say that little things like the laws of physics might get a little bent out of shape.
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