remembering adam finley
I really dread writing this post, because it just slams home the fact that Adam is really gone.
If you're new to TV Squad, Adam was a longtime writer here at TV Squad (and other WIN blogs, including Adjab). He passed away in September at the age of 30. We had a special tribute day for him where we ran our favorite posts of his and let readers post their condolences. That banner on the left of the TV Squad page will be taken down at the end of this year, but we'll make sure to put it back up every year to remember Adam.
Not that we could ever forget. We all miss you Adam.
Whoa! What did I miss? Hit the rewind button to go back:
Alternatively, browse the list from here:
Adam's was the first by-line I ever looked at on TV Squad. There's so much content produced out there it's tough to find a voice that's distinctive, but every time you read one of Adam's posts, you knew it was his. Adam stood out and he will be sorely missed.
Adam was our resident cartoon expert. He loved the Simpsons and wrote wonderfully about them. This post stands out to me as one of Adam's best.
Originally published May 17th, 2007.
Welcome to TV Squad Lists, a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.
Here's my list of what I believe are the top 14 Simpsons episodes in regards to heartstring tuggery. Share your own in the comments and tell me why mine are wrong.
Let's get to it:
I'm listing these episodes in no particular order, but this one gets the top spot solely for the final shot of Homer sitting on his car after helping his vigilante mother (voiced by Glen Close) escape, and remaining there even after the sun has gone down and the stars have come out. The Simpsons is praised, and rightfully so, for being a funny show, but it could also stir up some truly emotional moments that could rival many of its live-action contemporaries.
Adam Finley always amazed me with the depth of his Muppet knowledge, and his ability to ferret out anything related to the felt performers. I worked at The Jim Henson Company for more than six years, but Adam would constantly discover things I'd never even known about the company and write them up in his scathingly funny style. Besides writing funny posts like this one about the "other" Muppets, he would also lovingly remember those who had gone before, like Muppeteer Richard Hunt.
I can only imagine that Adam is sharing a laugh right now with Jim Henson himself.
Originally published June 6, 2006.
Back in February we discussed the lesser known Muppets on Sesame Street, those who aren't always recognized as much as their more popular pals, but are still important nonetheless. Today we're going to do the same thing for The Muppet Show. Of course, that only leaves us with about eighty billion Muppets to choose from. That's where you come in, readers, to let me know which ones I forgot. Remember, these aren't the popular characters, but the lesser players who still managed to make their mark, however small. Okay:
A few years ago, a friend called me:
Friend: Hey, help me settle an argument. What's the name of that guy on the Muppets who threw the fish?
Me: Lew Zealand.
Friend: No, my friend here says that's not right.
Me: Tell your friend never to underestimate my Muppet knowledge.
And that's pretty much all Lew did, he just threw his boomerang fish around the theater. However, he did it better than anybody.
Once again, Adam sees a story and seizes it with his quick wit and clever mind. This story is something which most folks wouldn't think to write about, but Adam did it. And he did it so well. To me, that's the mark of a great mind and a fantastic sense of humor. This set him apart from Joe TV Reviewer -- his imagination in action never failed to make me smile.
Originally published March 19, 2007
On those rare occasions when I want a used bicycle pump and/or a one-night stand with some random stranger of dubious background, I pop on over to Craigslist to see what I can scrounge up. One has to be careful when dealing with people online, and the only advice I can give is to keep track of which person you're visiting. Trust me, no one wants to walk out of their garage with a bike pump and see you standing there naked because you confused them with the person with whom you've set up a sex date. What's even worse is trying to explain to them, regardless of your mistake, why you would think having sex on their lawn in the middle of the day was a good idea.
Adam's Press Kit posts always made me extra-happy. Naturally, they contained Adam's always hilarious writing, but these posts were also accompanied by some special photos/graphics that he had created on his own. They were weird and didn't always make sense, but that only added to the hilarity. Honestly, I still don't understand how Adam made it look so effortless.
Originally published October 25, 2006.
A note to the people who put together these press kits: if you want to woo me, fill the kit with lots and lots of candy. I don't care if it has anything to do with the television program you're promoting or not. I want lots of damn chocolate, and I want it now. As you can see in the picture above, this press kit for the upcoming "Treehouse of Horror" episode of The Simpsons was stuffed with mini candy bars, Blow Pops and peanuts, all of which I scarfed down fairly quickly, growling under my breath like a starving dog protecting his food bowl.
Adam's articles were always interesting and fun to read. In this article. Adam not only skillfully shares with us his thoughts about the canceled Cheap Seats but he also reveals a bit about himself.
Originally posted on November 18, 2006.
Guys are supposed to like sports and booze, and I've never been that fond of either. I understand the allure of both, but I've never been one to gleefully take part in anything so organized as a sport. And a tall, frothy Budweiser, while considered ambrosia to many, is turned into something that tastes like licking the inside of an 11th grader's backpack when it hits my tongue. I just wasn't designed for that sort of thing, but ESPN Classic did have one show I enjoyed, and that was Cheap Seats, hosted by comedian twin brothers Jason and Randy Sklar.
I had originally chosen a different post, but then I kept reading through Adam's archives, and I found this little gem. It combines Adam's wicked sense of humor with his penchant for inserting fake dialogues into posts . He also liked creating games out of theme songs. He was truly an original. He will be missed.
Look, we all want old men to have sex, no one's arguing that point, but couldn't Viagra use a different approach with its commercials?
There's one airing right now that shows an older gentleman (not ancient, but probably in his 60s) washing his car. His wife sashays past him, gives him the "I want sex now" look over her shoulder, and steps into the house.
I didn't know Adam personally, but he regularly sent emails to the TV Squad group, often simply forwarding on a funny news story, or commenting on a recent event. His TV Squad posts were invariably funny, witty and acutely observant. I said to my TV Squad colleagues when I learned the tragic news of his accidental death: it truly is A Wonderful Life. From all the way across the Atlantic ocean to my home in Scotland, Adam's life touched my own in ways I can't even begin to comprehend. This post was from June 4, 2007, and I feel it's one of the most appropriate, given the medium we comment on here at TV Squad, and what it does to all of us. Once more, Adam hit the spot with his simple analysis of another pointless study into the effects of television.
Originally published on June 4, 2007.
According to a new study, people eat more when they're watching television they find entertaining.
Dr. Alan Hirsch, the neurological director for the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, conducted an experiment in which folks were given chips to eat while watching Letterman and Leno, and chips to eat when not watching any TV at all. As it turns out, they ate more chips while watching TV because they paid less attention to whether or not they were full while distracted by what was on the television.
Two of the things that Adam was great at was writing funny dialogue and making fun of TV psychics. This is a good example of both, from a column Adam created that was called "Medium Rare". If he had ever decided to write a pilot about a TV psychic with low self-esteem, he'd have sold it in a second.
Originally published on April 29, 2006.
If we've learned anything from television psychics, it's that the "other side" is a very vague and confusing place. When loved ones contact us from that realm, it's never to say anything direct, instead they toss out random names, or, in the case of medium John Edward, they like to only give the first letter of a name, which is especially helpful for those of us who know people whose names begin with a letter, though somewhat unfortunate for my deceased Aunt 76875, who was named after the barcode on a box of Fiddle Faddle. Psychic Sylvia Browne has said that the "other side" has the exact same geography and topography as our world, which I can only assume means that world is populated by beings who lead the same day-to-day lives we do, but that it's frustratingly difficult to actually get anything accomplished:
Seems a dark topic to pick today, but to me this really was another example of Adam's writing style that I loved. He had done a few mock interviews like this one, and I encouraged him to do more of them. Short, sweet and hy-ster-i-cal. I told him several times his talent was destined for bigger places than TV Squad.
Originally published June 6, 2006.
Sometimes while going about our day to day lives, we forget to stop and give thanks to that all-powerful being who has brought so much to our pathetic existence. Since this day (6/6/06) shall never come again, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to sit down for a little chat with Satan, ruler of the underworld, prince of Hades, and former sales manager at Tru Value Hardware, to find out how he feels about television these days. Enjoy:
Adam: Did you really work at Tru Value?
Satan: No, that was just a resume builder.
Satan: Well, employers want customer service experience these days. It's tough. Getting kicked out of Heaven and torturing the damned doesn't automatically get you a job. It's not 1989 anymore, you know.
When I heard the idea to bring back our favorite Adam posts, this was the first one that came to mind for me. Aside from the fact that it's a Simpsons post, and Adam was a self admitted Simpsons apologist, it's a great example of his truly original wit, which always managed to get a laugh out of me. Adam had the ability to take the simplest of ideas, 'They lifted a line from The Simpsons', and springboard from there into a very crazy, and very entertaining, place.
Originally published on November 14, 2006.
So I was sitting in my recliner a moment ago, flipping through the channels, smoking my Meerschaum pipe and playing cribbage with the men from my hunting club when a commercial came on for Richard Linklater's new movie Fast Food Nation, based on the excellent book by journalist Eric Schlosser. At the end of the commercial, the tagline for the movie flashed across the screen: "Do You Want Lies With That?"
"Holy God!" I yelled, leaping to my feet and knocking over my musket.
I found this while browsing Adam's posts and thought it was a perfect example of the quirky little posts that sometimes sprung from his active imagination. Not much else to say, just read and enjoy.
Originally published on June 1, 2006.
So I was reading this piece about Bonnie Hunt, who says she used to sit with a cup in front of her television to try and catch characters like Fred Flintstone in case they slipped out of her television screen. Her plan as a young girl was to keep Fred and other cartoon characters stowed away in her dresser drawer for safe keeping. I have to admit that's rather adorable, and it also made me think back to when I was younger and cartoons seemed more "real" to me than they really are. I used to wish I could be a character in any of the Peanuts specials. I'd philosophize with Linus, be extra nice to Charlie Brown, and maybe get in a shouting match with Lucy. Although, her psychiatric rates are reasonable, I'll give her that.
So how about the rest of you? Was there a cartoon you loved so much you wished you could somehow have your body altered a la Kid Video and jump in and join all your favorite characters?
Comments are turned off for this post. Please visit the original announcement for comments.
When the mini-series of Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes was about to air, and I told the TV Squad team that I'd like to review the first episode, Adam and I got on a discussion together about being fans of Stephen King, what books we'd read, movies we'd seen. He and I certainly saw eye-to-eye when it came to this subject. This is Adam's very first post for TV Squad.
Originally published June 8, 2005.
Despite what the Internet Movie Database says, Desperation, the next TV adaptation of a Stephen King novel, will be produced as a feature for ABC, not a miniseries. King, on his official Web site, is singing the praises of director Mick Garris (who also helmed other King television adaptations such as The Stand and The Shining) and a cast which includes Ron Perlman, Henry Thomas, and Tom Skerritt. The question is: will it actually be as good as King says? Probably not, but both The Stand and The Shining were decent miniseries, especially when compared to such dreck as The Tommyknockers (where the cast seemed unaware of what movie they were in most of the time) and The Langoliers which ended with some awesome digital effects of creatures devouring time and space but was preceded by two hours of actors devouring my will to live.
Comments are turned off for this post. Please visit the original announcement for comments.
Like most brilliant people before him, Adam was a Grade A goofball. His profound love for Adult Swim and smart comedy are a testament to that, but forget writing about other people's funny ha-ha expressions, Adam had plenty of his own funny ha-ha to go around. Who the hell else rewrites the lyrics to The Facts of Life by saying, "In conclusion, the result is the truth of all existence?" So, you know, take some time this week to celebrate Adam by getting your goofy on. Watch some Robot Chicken, use your Cartman voice or talk to some cans. Do what you got to do, but feel the joy and remember Adam.
Originally published February 26, 2007.
Okay, so I was in the mood to create another fun TV game for y'all like I did with my "TV opposites" game, so here it is.
Below you will find altered lyric samples from TV themes that more or less mean the same thing as the original lyrics. For example, if I wrote:
One takes that which is affirmative, and also that which is negative
and puts these two opposing forces together
in conclusion, the result is the truth of all existence
then you should deduce that this is simply an overwrought way of saying:
You take the good, you take the bad
you take 'em both, and there you have
the Facts of Life
So the answer would be: The Facts of Life (you don't have to tell me the actual lyrics, just the name of the show).
Got it? Okay, good. Now let's do it:
Today, Monday September 10, 2007, TV Squad is remembering blogger Adam Finley who passed away tragically late last week. All front page posts will be staff picks of Adam's writing through the years.
This type of post was Adam's bread and butter. Be it a news story, or in this case, a simple question for readers to ponder. He'd get what needed to be said out of the way and then roam off into some wildly hilarious tangent. Here? Eskimos that make shoddy TV remotes. The beauty of his simple technique was that it made reading some of those monotonous TV news stories a bit easier to swallow. Frankly, I'd pick an anecdote about remote building Eskimos any day over the millionth Paris Hilton headline.
I'd like to think I'm not terribly old, but I do actually remember a time when televisions didn't have remote controls. In fact, my siblings and I were my father's remote control. The advent of the "clicker" changed the way we watch TV, and ultimately, the way television shows and commercials are made and produced. Back in the day, you would pick a channel and more or less stay with that channel for the evening. Now, you can zap through the channels, defying each one to engage you within three seconds or risk being left in the dust.
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