Now, thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can revisit those days when the only on-air Comic Cons or Cosplays were the folks at PBS (or whatever public access station was available) dressing up and embarrassing themselves in front of a camera in an effort to get donations. The most interesting aspect is that the low-cost special effects they used to get donations were the same as those used on Doctor Who at the time.
I sincerely hope the folks behind these videos are watching them right now and cringing, praying for the ground to swallow them up. More likely, the people behind them are the ones who put them on YouTube in the first place.
The promo isn't online so I'll have to describe it. The narrator talks about how times change (with a montage of how phones have evolved over the years), how tastes change (a montage of different foods that people have eaten over the decades), and how we've changed (a montage of different hairstyles you might have had since you were a kid). The point of all this is that things change, but ... change is good! And that's why it's good that TV Land has a bunch of reality shows instead of classic TV shows, because things change and that's where viewers are now in their lives.
AMC has teamed up with Dynamoe (who creates some very awesome Mad Men things) for Mad Men Yourself, where you can create your own Mad Men-inspired avatar for your sites and your iPhone and your Facebook page or whatever. That's me on the right.
We have a new feature here at TV Squad, where we show you a picture of something and you have to guess what the heck it is.
This one is from a TV show that debuted many, many years ago. I actually had a model of this when I was a kid, and I wish I still had it. Answer later this afternoon!
CBS is connected to the pulse of America, people. They're at the top of the ratings race, The Mentalist is the hot new procedural this season and life is looking good for TPTB over at CBS.
I'm also wondering if CBS realizes how sick and tired most viewers are getting of the same old types of shows. With the lack of originality in new programming, I know I'm not the only one turning to my old favorites on DVD. I love reliving Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I'm now discovering Supernatural for the first time.
I swear I didn't tell CBS about my longing for all things retro, but they have bugged my house or tapped into my TV set or something, because their latest venture is streaming vintage TV shows on their site -- CBS's "TV Classics" player.
Right now I'm beginning to see a pattern on Days of Our Lives that's kind of upsetting. The show seems to be stuck in retro mode. They've been bringing back characters by the boat load. This is nothing new. All soaps do it. On All My Children, they just brought Cady McLain back -- and her character Dixie, who's supposedly dead. One Life to Live is resurrecting greatest Tina of all, Andrea Evans. So what's the big deal with what Days doing it? Nothing. It's perfectly legitimate. I support it...to a point. When it reaches a point to where new characters are not taking hold and more and more of the past is becoming the present.
I was sitting around thinking, because I really had nothing better to do, and I wondered why you don't see cartoon characters acting as pitchmen for different products much anymore. If you're nostalgic for the days when 'toons weren't afraid to put their names behind different products, you might enjoy the following videos.
If you were a fan of the Sesame Street: Old School DVD set, the one with episodes from the series' earlier, and arguably better, years, you'll be happy to know that a second set will be released sometime this year. Muppet News Flash has the scoop, which is that the sets should come out sometime between August and October. Sorry I can't be more specific than that, but who cares, it's more of the classic Sesame Street folks my age and older grew up with, and I ain't complaining.
Oh yeah, and despite whatever warnings they may put on the DVD, I say plop your kid down and let them enjoy a show that managed to combine educational material with some truly funny writing, songwriting and animation. There's never been another show like Sesame Street, and that includes today's Sesame Street.
I grew up on a farm, so I could only watch cable when visiting friends in town, at least until I was in high school and my family got a satellite dish. This was in the '90s, and one of our favorite channels to watch as a family was Nick at Nite: we'd watch The Donna Reed Show, The Patty Duke Show and Mr. Ed. You know, classic TV.
Fast forward to today and you have shows like Home Improvement, George Lopez and Saget-era America's Funniest Home Videos slated to appear on the cable channel, none of which feel especially "classic" to me. And George Lopez is still on, for the love of God.
This is one of my favorite cyberpunk novels, and it may be blasphemy to some of you, but I like it a lot more than William Gibson's 'Neuromancer.' I'm glad Stephenson is writing this, and it'll be interesting to see what they manage to come up with. It's a fairly epic book in scope, following a girl from a very young age and stays with her as she blossoms into womanhood, so thankfully it's getting a miniseries treatment, and not "movie of the week" status.
Adam De La Pena, creator of the Adult Swim series Minoriteam and creator and co-star of the Comedy Central series I'm with Busey has created a new animated series for G4 called Code Monkeys. The series, which was recently picked up for fourteen episodes, takes place in a world that resembles an actual video game from the '80s and will include several allusions to games from that era. De La Pena will direct all the episodes, and will also serve as a writer and the voice of the main character.
Meanwhile, he's also developing another animated series for FOX with the working title Think Tank. The series will spoof office politics and is based on the idea that everything in pop culture is controlled by a single "think tank."
Out of the two projects, I must say Code Monkeys looks the most interesting to me. The idea of a cartoon set in a world resembling the blocky look of old Atari games could be really cool. The series will hit G4 this spring.
[via Toon Zone]
While poking around YouTube for something completely different, I serendipitously stumbled upon a bunch of Roosevelt Franklin clips from Sesame Street. Some of you youngsters out there may be asking who the heck Roosevelt Franklin is, so let me inform you: he was a hip, rhyming, purple Muppet who appeared on the show in the 1970s, voiced by Matt Robinson, the original Gordon on the series.
In the 1970s, Sesame Street was not the perfectly sterilized children's show it is today. The show never advocated bad behavior, but it understood that sometimes kids can be rowdy and disruptive. Even in those more carefree days, however, some felt Roosevelt Franklin was a bad influence on kids, not to mention a negative cultural stereotype, so he was booted from the show. I personally don't see anything negative about the character. If anything, I think he taught kids that it's okay to be proud of who you are, to stand up and let the world know you're special, too.
Oldies 1510 WRNJ in Hackettstown, New Jersey broadcasts a show called "Time Travel," hosted by Dan Hollis and Jeff O'Boyle. The program focuses on pop culture of the past, television included. If you're like me and don't live in "Joyzee" you can now download and listen to some of the interviews from the show's archives through a new Web site that could really use a redesign.
The archives include interviews with a bunch of folks associated with the golden age of animation, not to mention other great TV from the past, including voice actress June Foray, Noel Blanc (son of Mel), Joan Benny (daughter of Jack), Lee Mendelson and Marty Krofft. If you dig all that old timey stuff, this is definitely worth checking out. As you can see from the archives, many of the greats from the past have long since gone on to that great TV in the sky, but hearing their own children talk about them is the next best thing.
[via Cartoon Brew]
I mentioned these old commercials created by Jay Ward Productions (Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle) over on our sexy sister site Ad Jab, but I thought you folks would enjoy them as well. It wasn't unusual for cartoon characters from television to appear in ads for cereal back in the day: General Mills used Rocky and Bullwinkle in their ads (I know for certain they were in ads for Cheerios, I'm sure there were others), and Kellogg's and Hanna-Barbera had a partnership as well (here's some examples, also from Ad Jab).
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