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November 23, 2014

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11 Great 'It's a Wonderful Life' TV Spoofs

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 24th 2010 10:00AM

Al Bundy Christmas

'Psych' just did it: the holiday episode that plays off the now classic 1946 Christmas movie 'It's a Wonderful Life.' It's become a holiday staple for sitcoms, but as our countdown of 11 'Wonderful' spoofs shows, it's not just for sitcoms ... and it's not always just for the holidays, either.

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Perez Hilton coming to VH1

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 13th 2007 2:01PM

perez hiltonGood news for fans of celebrity gossip dished out by a gay man with a love for MS Paint: popular online muckraker Perez Hilton is coming to VH1 as the host of What Perez Says, a series of one-hour specials that Hilton himself is describing as "like PerezHilton.com come to life, but even juicier." The new series debuts in September.

I suppose it's somewhat ironic that Perez is becoming part of the celebrity world he so gleefully attacks on his blog. Of course, in this age when almost everyone is a celebrity in some form or another, it's not too surprising.

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Taking advantage of the YouTube system

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 15th 2007 1:03PM

pigsWhen YouTube was first launched, there was no way its founders could have predicted how popular it would become, or that TV networks and cable channels would use the service to provide clips to the masses. But, what of those independent and unknown filmmakers and aspiring comic actors who make their own videos with their friends? It's bad enough those uploaded videos are so easily lost in the shuffle among the millions of other videos, but the presence of NBC and CBS don't exactly help, either.

That is, unless you're sneaky.

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NCIS: Dead Man Walking

by Brett Love, posted Feb 21st 2007 7:30AM
Cote de Pablo(S04E16) Those crafty NCIS writers kind of slipped a little something in there this week. As we got underway I resigned myself to the fact that this was a stand alone episode and we wouldn't be tracking The Frog or making any headway where Jeanne is concerned.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. NCIS does as good a job as anybody at mixing the two facets. As the story moved along though, there was something of an ongoing story that continued to develop. I'm referring to the ever evolving relationship between Tony and Ziva. Their bickering and fighting has proved quite entertaining in the past, but as season four has progressed, things have slowly been changing. It's a nice bit of writing the team is doing as they've taken their time to let this all come out.

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American TV is as popular as ever in Europe

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 16th 2006 1:52PM
Five US adIf you've been to Europe at any time over the last five years, you'll know that the United States isn't particularly popular over there. Besides the fact that they think we act like ugly tourists who don't know that "raw ham and cheese" is called "prosciutto and mozzarella," residents of many European nations aren't big fans of President Bush or his policies.

But they do love our TV. And according to The New York Times, American TV is as popular in Europe as ever, with shows like the Lost, Grey's Anatomy, the various CSIs, House, Monk, and even Six Degrees popping up on primary broadcast channels all over the continent. American TV is so popular that the UK independent Channel Five is starting a new digital channel called Five US, which will show nothing but American programming. The resurgence is due to a combination of higher-quality product from the U.S. and lower production budgets in Europe, says the Times article.

The last time American TV was so popular in the Old Country? The '80s, when the most popular U.S. shows were Dynasty, Dallas, and The Dukes of Hazzard. At least Europeans have better taste these days.

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NBC's Veggie cuts

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 22nd 2006 8:56PM
veggietalesThe Parents Television Council has targeted NBC for cutting references to God out of episodes of VeggieTales, the popular Christian home video series that began airing on the network two weeks ago. NBC claims that some episodes had to be cut in order to fit into the alloted runtime (the videos are typically thirty minutes in length). However, VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer says some of the episodes were edited already before being sent to NBC, and the the network requested any direct references to God be removed from the episodes. The question I have is whether Vischer knew about this stipulation before signing on with NBC, and if he did, and he wanted to maintain his vision for VeggieTales, he should have declined. On the other hand, it seems more than a little naive that something with an obvious Christian scope wouldn't occasionally make references to God. All in all, this doesn't seem like the perfect match for either the series or the network.

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Pee-wee's Playhouse coming to Adult Swim

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 5th 2006 3:25PM

pee wee hermanIt's live-action, which might upset some of the cartoon purists out there, but heck, at least it isn't Saved by the Bell. Starting on July 10, Adult Swim will be airing episodes of Pee-wee's Playhouse, the hysterical multi-Emmy award-winning children's series featuring Paul Reuben as everyone's favorite idiot manchild. We've known for awhile now that Adult Swim was making plans to incorporate more live-action into its programming block, and while I would love to see more of an effort made to showcase original animated work, I'd be lying if I said I didn't think this was pretty damn cool. Then again, yet another part of me worries that once the thrill of nostalgia wears off I'll be pining once again for something new and original. My brain might have to shut down if it continues to argue with itself in this manner.

Paul Reubens created the popular character in 1978, and the show debuted in 1986. Adult Swim's airing of the series will coincide with its 20th anniversary. The series will air Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. EST, and all forty-five original episodes will be shown, including the rare Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

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The Five: Bugs Bunny's greatest moments

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 3rd 2006 6:59AM

bugs bunnyBugs Bunny is by far the most unflappable character in cartoons, an insouciant thorn in the side of anyone who seeks to do him harm, and the only one able to maintain his cool while everyone around him is going insane. I've come up with five of my favorite Bugs Bunny shorts of all time, and it wasn't easy. I managed to pare the list from eleven down to seven, and finally, down to five. Here they are:

What's Opera, Doc? (1957): "Spear and magic helmet?" A later entry into the Looney Tunes library, this has come to be recognized as one of the best animated shorts of all time. The basic plot of Elmer hunting Bugs and Bugs thwarting his every attempt is still evident here, but it's amplified by the great musical score, Maurice Noble's amazing background art, and a tragic love story that's actually rather touching in its own unbalanced way. I also love this exchange between Elmer (as Siegfried) and Bugs (disguised as Siegfried's love interest, Valkyrie Brunhilde):

Elmer: [singing] Oh Brunhilde , you're so lovely.

Bugs: [singing] Yes I know it, I can't help it.

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Strangers with Candy: Old Habits, New Beginnings

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 2nd 2006 2:00PM

strangers with candyDo not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of your favorite shows, in order, every week.

(S01E01) It is clear, right from the opening scene of this first episode of Strangers with Candy, that the people behind the show knew exactly which notes they wanted to strike and exactly the kind of world they wanted to create around Jerri Blank, the forty year old self-described 'boozer, user, and loser' who is trying to get back on track by starting high school all over again. The opening sequence -- a school assembly in which a swaggering policeman warns kids against the danger of drugs while somehow making the drugs seem appealing -- has a great meta moment when the educational filmstrip starts, and shows the policeman making the exact same introduction and then showing a film within a film. Tiny surreal moments like this pop up throughout the rest of the show's run, which is just one reason some of us latched onto the series while it remained largely ignored by most television viewers.

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King of the Hill: The Texas Panhandler

by Adam Finley, posted May 1st 2006 10:59AM

bobby hill(S10E13) I've never quite understood the allure of buying clothing that has been made to look faded, torn, and worn out before you even have the chance to wear them out naturally. Keeping my T-shirts from cracking and fading used to frustrate the heck out of me, and now they're selling them that way. I guess the lesson is never underestimate the American consumer's ignorance and desire to conform, especially if they happen to be in high school.

In last night's episode, Bobby and Joseph want desperately to be invited to a popular girl's party. They think if they could just get an awesome pair of pre-faded jeans they'll be cool enough to get an invite. Hank refuses to buy the jeans for Bobby, since he, like myself, thinks they're asinine. He tells Bobby that if he had a job and earned his own money, he would be his own man and able to purchase whatever he wanted. Bobby gets a job holding arrows on a street corner for available apartments, and demonstrates his new skills at the breakfast table: 'Where's the kitchen? Why, it's over there.'

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Tivo users heart Ameriquest

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 7th 2006 5:44PM
You know, I thought the whole point of owning a Tivo was so you didn't have to watch commercials, but that didn't stop Ameriquest's ad titled "Friendly Skies" from being the most replayed spot among Tivo users during the Super Bowl. Another Ameriquest spot, also from the same campaign, was the second most replayed ad. In the first, a woman trying not to disturb a sleeping man on a plane ends up on top of him when the plane hits some turbulence. In the second ad, two doctors kill a mosquito but relatives think they actually killed the patient. You can watch both spots here, and then, like me, wonder why people found these ads worth viewing twice. I mean, they're mildly funny, but they're not "I have to watch that again" funny, are they?

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Top of the Pops coming to America

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 27th 2006 1:12PM
Louis J. Pearlman Louis J. Pearlman, the man behind the success of NSync and the Backstreet Boys and creator of Making the Band is setting out to create yet another music-based show. Well, by "create" I mean he's doing what everyone else in American television seems to be doing and retooling a popular British show for American audiences. This time he plans to bring Top of the Pops to America with Los Angeles DJ Jojo Wright as the host and a new guest host every week. No one has picked up the show yet, but Pearlman says he plans to offer the show to FOX.

 

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