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September 21, 2014

red dwarf

Seven Emmy-Worthy TV Shows Within TV Shows

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 18th 2010 4:00PM
Emmy statueEvery year, the Academy of Television Arts and Science hands out hundreds of Emmys in categories that cover every inch of TV minutiae except "Best use of eyebrows by a cable newscaster" and "Best catering." One major category of meta-TV awesomeness, however, has been unjustly ignored by the Academy: shows within shows.

These fictional blocks of television programming creep up in a variety of situations -- a character may work as a TV personality in the narrative, or we may just see characters watching the tube while they're chilling on couch. They may fill up just 30 seconds of screen time, but shows within shows have to be flawless in order to drive the story and serve their often-comedic purposes. So here's our attempt to recognize the best TV shows within TV shows.

May I have the envelope, please?

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Sci-fi comedy cult classic Red Dwarf lands at iTunes

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 12th 2010 6:00PM
Viewers have a chance to ctach up on Red Dwarf on iTunes.While American TV viewers are aware of major British TV imports like Doctor Who, Top Gear or Monty Python, it's uncertain how well the sci-fi/comedy cult classic Red Dwarf made the overseas jump. But, you have a chance to sample the funny adventure series at the iTunes Store.

The show features a blue collar loser trapped aboard a massive ship -- lost in space with an android, an uppity hologram and other assorted defective folks.

It ran for eight series on BBC2 between 1988 and 1999 before returning for a one-off Easter special in 2009 (Red Dwarf: Back to Earth).

The show ran on PBS affiliates and briefly on BBC America. Now, all eight seasons are available on iTunes. If you dig The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Blake's 7 and The Mighty Boosh, give Red Dwarf a try and see if its quirky sci-fi sitcom style stick with you.

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TV: The Ultimate Holiday Icebreaker

by Stephanie Earp, posted Dec 15th 2009 10:22AM


Ah, the office holiday party - it's a delicate operation. After all, you know these people - in fact you probably spend one-third of your life with them - but do you really know them? Do you want to? If my experience is anything to go by, it's only sheer effort that's kept your opinions of how the boss really ought to run the company quiet. Ditto your feelings on your cube neighbour's BO, ugly baby or sloppy work.

And yet, every December the powers that be decide to round up this unruly group in a hall or hotel conference room, serve them drinks and expect them to get along without embarrassing themselves.

If it wasn't for television, it would be impossible.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 5th 2009 6:00PM
Heeere's JohnnyHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Not only is The Lola Falana Show on DVD now, I didn't even know there was a Lola Falana Show. I knew that there was a Lola Falana (that's a fun name to say: Lola Falana Lola Falana Lola Falana). She was a dancer and actress who was pretty well known back in the 70s, but her TV show escaped my radar. This set includes guest stars Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cosby, Sonny and Cher, and Muhammad Ali.

There's also a Heeere's Johnny: The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson "Holiday Set." It looks like the same set that I've owned for a couple of years (several DVDs split up into different categories: Timeless Moments, Standup Comedians, Carson Country, and the original Ultimate Collection disc), but with a special Christmas disc thrown in, with three classic episodes.
  • Ally McBeal - Season 1 and Complete Series
  • Astroboy - Vols 1 and 2
  • Blood Ties - Season 2

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Red Dwarf: Back to Earth - a mini-review

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 25th 2009 2:15PM
Red DwarfI managed to obtain a copy of Red Dwarf: Back to Earth, the first original Red Dwarf series (albeit mini-series) in nine years, and I have to say I was somewhat disappointed.

As I mentioned before, it was nice to see the crew back and their usual callow banter. The episode, however, seemed more of an attempt at a relaunch of the franchise than a conclusion to the series. Nothing seems to actually get resolved.

Spoilers follow...

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A Red Dwarf preview - VIDEO

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 25th 2009 12:07PM
Red DwarfThe following promotional video contains a few scene snippets of the upcoming Red Dwarf special/conclusion (called Back to Earth) and is mostly interviews, but simply seeing the conversation between Kryten and Rimmer sets my heart all pitter-pattery.

I wasn't a big fan of Season 8 of Red Dwarf (or the previous few seasons before that, but mostly Season 8) which changed the whole premise and I'm hoping this television special will wrap up the series in a way that is more personally satisfying.

There are spoilers and video after the jump, so if you're not interested in either I recommend to stop reading now.

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Frak and other fictional curse words

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 2nd 2008 7:02PM
Battlestar GalacticaThere is a marvelous article on CNN about the origins of the word "Frak", the replacement curse word used heavily in the series Battlestar Galactica. It seems that the word was invented in the original 70's version of the show by creator Glen A. Larson but it was seldom used.

It got me thinking about other replacement profanities used by scripted television to replace the normal curse words that the FCC bans from televised broadcasts. We have previously posted about made-up words on television (including the profanities "Smeg" from Red Dwarf and "Frell" from Farscape), but I have a few to add to that list:

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Another Red Dwarf episode?

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 26th 2008 12:02PM
Red DwarfRobert Llewelyn, best known to Red Dwarf fans as the android Kryten, has confessed on KTSC-TV in Seattle that the BBC has commissioned a one-hour special of Red Dwarf to film in October. For those keeping track, Red Dwarf hasn't been on television since 1999.

This may be a mistake. On one hand, eight seasons of the show was beating a dead horse. It stopped being good after season three. On the other hand, nine years is certainly enough time for creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (or whomever they designate) to write an hour's worth of new quality material.

It's also possible that enough of a nostalgia vibe would exist to make the one-hour special successful. I call it the Star Wars effect. It is where bad entertainment is accepted as good and sells like mad because a certain name is attached to it (see Star Wars Episode IV: The Phantom Menace for a good example. Or better yet, don't).

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New TV on DVD releases today

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 5th 2006 8:33AM
  • LostThe Abbott and Costello Show - 100th Anniversary Collection
  • ALF - Season 4
  • The Bob Newhart Show - Season 4
  • Broken Trail
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Curse of the Hellmouth
  • Charlie and Lola - Volumes 1 and 2
  • Combat! Best of Espionage and Best of the Color Episodes
  • Commander-In-Chief - Season 1, Volume 2
  • Doctor Who - The Web Planet and Inferno
  • Family - Seasons 1 and 2
  • The Flintstones - Season 6
  • Fraggle Rock - Season 2
  • Hustle - Season 1
  • Lost - Season 2
  • Oz - Season 6
  • Red Dwarf - The Complete Collection
  • Silk Stalkings - Season 5
  • Supernatural - Season 1

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The Red Dwarf that never was

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 12th 2006 6:04PM
krytenTV Squad readers tend to know a lot about the inner workings of the television industry, so it's not a surprise to many of you that some shows we grew up with were actually retoolings of British sitcoms. Three's Company, Sanford and Son, and All in the Family are all based on shows that first aired across the pond. Sometimes, however, networks will try to turn a popular British series into a popular American series and fail miserably, and such was the case with Red Dwarf. I was a pretty big fan of the original Red Dwarf, and I would hear occasional rumblings that an American version was being planned. It turns out a pilot was actually shot with American actors, as well as Robert Llewellyn reprising his role as the android Kryten. NBC passed on the pilot but still wanted to try to turn it into a series. In the end, though, an Americanized Red Dwarf never came to fruition. Television Obscurities has a wonderful history of this failed attempt, complete with video clips of the unaired pilot.

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The Five: Best spaceships on TV

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 19th 2006 8:01AM

starbug red dwarfOkay, this one is for the sci-fi geeks. There's a few "space" shows I've watched and enjoyed, but there's far more I haven't seen, so help me out and let me know what your favorite television spaceships are. Below are five television spacecrafts I wouldn't mind being beamed onto, as long as they gave me a laser gun to protect myself, and maybe a large bucket of deep-fried tribbles ( I hear they taste like shrimp). Let's cruise:

The USS Swinetrek: This was the pig-shaped spacecraft from one of my favorite Muppet Show segments, "Pigs in Space." I always found myself intrigued by the adventures of Link Hogthrob, Doctor Strangepork, and first mate Miss Piggy. The episode with Mark Hamill where he appears on the spaceship as Luke Skywalker and Miss Piggy won't let him leave until he "rescues" her is one of my all-time favorite Muppet episodes.

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New TV on DVD releases today

by Keith McDuffee, posted May 2nd 2006 12:26PM
Every Tuesday here on TV Squad , we will highlight the week's TV-on-DVD releases. Some noteworthy releases today, May 2, 2006:

  • dinosaurs 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 4
  • Andromeda - Vol 5.5
  • Dinosaurs - The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons
  • A Fall of Eagles (mini-series)
  • Hee Haw - Collection Vol 6
  • I Love Lucy - The Complete 6th Season
  • Kate & Allie - The Complete 1st Season
  • King of the Hill - Complete 6th Season
  • Leave It to Beaver - The Complete 2nd Season
  • Life in the Undergrowth (mini-series)
  • The Nanny - The Complete 2nd Season
  • The Omega Factor
  • Red Dwarf - Series 8
  • The Red Green Show - 1997 Season

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