Thursday, April 19, 2012

Best 80's TV Show?

It’s been awhile since we did one of these Best 80’s blah blah and I know how much Pat loves them so let’s do another! Best 80’s TV Show!

I’ll start. Threes Company! Yes the show originally aired in 1976 but it ran until 1984 so in my book that qualifies as 80’s since 1980-84 were some good quality 1980 years.

In fact I still can’t believe they haven’t made one of those block-buster Hollywood movie remakes of it, in 3D of course, like they have with all those other classic shows like the Brady Bunch, The A-Team, and Schindler’s List, which I’m assuming was a remake of Hogan’s Heros. I don’t know, I’ve never seen it.

Or better yet. They should do one of those TV reboot remakes of it but make the new one more dark and sinister. Maybe change the Mr. Furley character to be more like Marlon Brando’s character from Apocalypse Now. Or even better! More like Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs.

This could work.

Plus, Threes Company taught me everything I know about misinterpreting conversations I’m overhearing. Those are skills I still use to this day.

So Pat, what do you think? What’s your pick for Best 80’s TV Show?

Pat: Oh god.

Christian: Not only was “Oh God” a movie (starring George Burns and John Denver) and not a TV show but it also came out in 1977 not in the 80’s. It’s like you’re not even trying Pat.

Come on. There must have been some show you loved watching during the 80’s?

Pat:  Nope. Familiar with all three of the “Oh God” films. Hard not to like George Burns. Easier to not like John Denver. Seen ‘em. They’re okay.

Do I have to? I felt your disapproval on this one before you even started thinking of it. I hope you realize the mental anguish you cause with these questions. I name a show in my head, and automatically the thirty laughing Christians in my head start berating my choice with emphatic condescension. Just call me an idiot, name YOUR favorite show, and let’s move on to the next topic.

NO! WAIT!!!

I’m not giving up that easily!

“Riptide”!  Remember?
HELL, yeah!

Vietnam vets turned private eyes who solve crimes? Cody and Nick, the muscles of the outfit? Boz, the computer whiz (how the hell did HE make it out of--or into, for that matter-- Vietnam?)? That crazy helicopter, the “Screaming Mimi”? Ringing any bells?

(At this point I should tell our readers that I had NO hope of winning this one, so I threw out “Riptide” as an obvious loser, mainly because a long time ago-- when I was catering to deal with the summer ennui that defines a teacher’s life--I worked a wedding that had a very special guest...JOE PENNY! He was my brush with fame, and I’ve never had a forum to gloat about it. So there you go. I worked a wedding at which Joe Penny--from “Riptide”--was a guest. Impressed? By the way, he’s the one sitting IN the car. Yeah. The HOT one! I catered him.)

Hey, and by the way. Just how much of a true “Three’s Company” fan are you? Hmm?

You refer above to how cool it would be if Mr. Furley appeared as some sort of murderous villain, but the picture you inserted showed Mrs. Roper in the apartment with Chrissy. Umm...I don’t think you have your situational-comedy situations correct there buddy!

Christian: First off with regards to your Threes Company image critique. I am talking about a reboot of the series which means story lines and characters can change. And since we are remaking it more as a serious and dark drama/thriller it will need some hot and steamy love triangle story line. And the best Threes Company characters to write a hot and steamy love triangle storyline for is obviously the Ropers and Mr. Furley. Thus the picture with both the Mrs. Roper and Mr. Furley characters.

Now back to your suggestion. Man I haven’t thought about Riptide since it aired. As soon as you listed off all those things about the show all the memories came rushing back to me. I must have suppressed them until now for some reason. Probably because the cast was such a bunch of D-list celebrities, especially that Joe Penny.    

I was a fan of the show but you are right, no way is it a winner. It’s just one of those many 1980’s shows that for some reason felt the need to have a signature motorized vehicle be a central part of the show. In the case of Riptide it was the “Screaming Mimi.” Here are a few others:


Knight Rider

Dukes Of Hazzard

A-Team

Magnum P.I. actually had two! (Probably why it was so good)

Hardcastle and McCormick

Airwolf

Small Wonder

So as you can see, there was nothing special about Riptide. Except for it’s incredibly forgettable cast of non-celebrities.

What about Silver Spoons? You seem like a Silver Spoons kind of guy. Why don’t you suggest that.

Pat:  It probably wouldn’t be a good idea at this time to confess to you that I was SUCH a fan of “Silver Spoons” that I once wrote a fan letter to Ricky Schroeder addressed simply, “Ricky Schroeder, Hollywood, California.” Fucker never wrote me back!

I can name virtually every star (JASON BATEMAN!!!!) who appeared on that show (ALFONSO RIBIERO!!!!) and I can sing the theme song (ERIN GRAY!!!!<---she played “Wilma” on Buck Rogers!) and I could probably draw the floor plans to the mansion they lived in (JOHN HOUSEMAN!!!!).

Christian: No. I don’t think Silver Spoons is worthy of Best 80’s TV Show. I can name several that without a doubt are better selections than Silver Spoons. Cheers, Family Ties, Miami Vice just to name a few. And I think pretty much everyone remembers Jason Bateman, Alfonso Ribiero, and Erin Gray, and John Houseman were on Silver Spoons. But did you remember Sharon Stone?

In your face Pat!

Also, Facts of Life, Night Court, Bosom Buddies.

Pat:  What the hell? Don’t you DARE try to steal my thunder (Ooh! Blue Thunder! That was a vehicle show you missed! BURN!). NOBODY knew that those people were on that show. Just me.

And I can sing the “Facts of Life” theme song by heart, too. Impressed? I probably shouldn’t say at this time that I had a HUGE crush on Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeown...sister of Philip McKeown, himself a star on “Alice”). No, not Blair, the hot one. Jo, the future auto mechanic. Something about the way she could fix a bike or punch a bully turned me on.

Quick! Without looking it up, who sang the theme song to “Bosom Buddies”?

You tapped into something really dangerous here, buddy. My life was WASTED during the 80s on bad TV. I tried to steer you away, but nooooooooooo! You HAD to push this one.

Get ready to get schooled! I’m not even gonna’ need Google™ or Wikipedia™ on this one!

Christian: First off, I didn’t miss Blue Thunder. I had listed it but it seemed like I had too many as it was so I removed it. Did you know that a pre-Saturday Night Live Dana Carvey was on the show Blue Thunder? I didn’t think you did.

And could you have asked an easier question than who sang the “Bosom Buddies” song? No, you couldn’t have. Billy Joel.

It sounds like you are suggesting a duel here. Perhaps our next post topic shall be a battle to see who has the most useless 80’s TV knowledge. With no Google or Wikipedia usage allowed. Are you game?

Also, since you only had the feeble suggestions of Riptide and Silver Spoons as the Best 80’s TV Show, we’ll just go ahead and say the best was Threes Company so that we have some closure here.

Pat: NO! I refuse (to admit Three’s Company wins, that is, not to the duel). Three’s Company may in fact win in the end--it WAS a pretty good show full of amazingly diverse versions of the same plot line--but it won’t win without a noble fight!

Shall I even suggest the social implications of progressive show that pushed the race issue America struggled with so dearly in the 80s? The Cosby Show? Different Strokes? The Jeffersons? Scarecrow and Ms. King?

Christian: Save it for the duel bucko. Save it for the duel.

34 comments:

  1. Square Pegs!

    I too admit a crush on Jo and an ability to sing all the words to Facts of Life.

    Also, I met BJ (but not Bear, unfortunately) at an autograph signing and after waiting in line for hours (minutes) I knew in my heart that we were destined to be married. His security guards didn't see it that way, though.

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    1. See. Security guards always do more harm than good. Especially the ones at my local mall. Which, as a side note, I'm apparently never supposed to enter again.

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    2. Kinda' funny how today a show with that title would probably be mis-assigned to a gay porn channel. "BJ and the Bear", that is. I suppose "Square Pegs" too, but that just goes too far!

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  2. It's funny that Pat brought up Silver Spoons and Christian had that picture from Small Wonder because I was thinking of both of those shows when I 1st started reading.

    However, the very best 80s show was obviously Mr Belvedere. Hands down, no contest. If you need proof- here's a question for you. Did any of those shows that either of you listed have a plot line revolving around unrequited love AND the Amish?

    I bet not.

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    1. Mr. Belvedere was that show about that muppet that ate cats, right?

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  3. Yes, move duels about 1980s television, please. I remember begging my parents to let me stay up and watch ALF. Small Wonder was conveniently on in the afternoon, which I could watch in peace before my mom got home.

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    1. Well your wish is going to be our command. Next week is going to be nothing but an 80's TV knowledge duel! Be sure to tell the neighbors.

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  4. Thanks for helping me to remember about 70% of the best moments of my childhood.

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    1. You're welcome. And get ready to thank us again next week when we have the great 80's TV Trivia duel of 2012. I think the Mayans predicted this was going to happen.

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  5. My memory is a blur as to if it was the 70s or the 80s. M*A*S*H? Did it go into the 80s without counting the re-runs? Happy Days? Wait, when did 90210 start? 90's? I did LOVE Facts of Life because sometimes you just have to take the good and take the bad... What about Different Strokes? Or what was the show with JJ Dynomite? And Mr Kotter? See? Two decades mixed into one. Oh. Love Boat. No wait, that was the 70s.

    Thanks for making me feel so utterly old! ツ

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    1. MASH did run until 1983. I did consider suggesting it since it was so good but I felt like it didn't really represent the 80's since the show took place in the 50's. Ditto for Happy Days (it ran until 1984). 90210 did start in 1990.

      Oooh, we should have mentioned Different Strokes. That was a good one too. And damn how did we forget Love Boat (ran until 1986)! Too many good 80's shows!

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    2. You know what else we forgot? And I'm so shocked we let that one slip: Thirtysomething. That was a great tv show!

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    3. Remember Room 222?

      Did we watch too much tv in the 80s?

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    4. Ah yes Thirtysomething. They seemed to mature and sophisticated back then. And boy was I nothing like them when I eventually turned 30.

      I don't remember Room 222. I did a quick look up and internet says it aired from '69-'74. From the description it looks like it might have been the precursor to Head of the Class?

      And yes we did watch too much tv in the 80's.

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    5. HEY! We did mention "Different Strokes"! And by "we" I mean "ME". Do you even read any of the parts of our blog that I write, Christian?

      Hmmph!

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  6. You have created a torturous walk down memory lane today! Loved some of those. My favorite being Knight Rider. Cheesy, I know!

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    1. Cheesy? What's cheesy about a talking car that fights crime? And David Hasslehoff?

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  7. What about The Jeffersons? Or was that 70s? Or even better its very short lived spinoff with Marla Gibbs, Checking In? Ooh thinking of Marla Gibbs, how about 227? 80s classic...

    Oh screw it. I vote for Alf.

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    1. Yeah I thought The Jeffersons was 70's too but according to the internet it ran until 1985. Also, I had thought 227 was the Marla Gibbs spin off from The Jeffersons but you're right it was Checking In. Looks like 227 had nothing to do with The Jeffersons. Maybe you should be participating in this weeks 80's TV duel.

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  8. I LOVED the Facts of Life. Mrs. Garrett was so cool. Hey what about One Day at a Time? Every guy was in love with Valerie Bertinelli.

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    1. Oh man you are so right about Valerie Bertinelli. And let us not forget about Schneider, the lovable and a-sexual superintendent.

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    2. A-sexual? Are you kidding? Schneider was SMOKIN'!

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  9. I'm still laughing at the thought of Three's Company being in 3D. Hahaha!! Okay, you aren't going to believe this, but...okay, maybe you will, my aunt is Erin Gray's mother-in-law. Well, it's actually more complicated than that. My great-aunt is Erin Gray's husband's stepmom. All I know is, my aunt that I see often used to spend Christmas at Erin Gray's house. She gets Christmas presents from Erin Gray. This used to thrill me to no end back in the day.

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    1. This thrills me to no end right now! I loved Erin Gray. Silver Spoons, Buck Rogers, she was so versatile.

      Speaking of celebrity befriending aunts, my aunt goes to the same church as Lauren Tewes aka Julie McCoy from Love Boat, aka "Your Cruise Director"! They are both on the catering crew for the church so they cook together often. She got a Christmas card from her this past year!

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    2. Haha!! That is pretty awesome! I wonder if "Julie McCoy" looks anything like she used to look or if she's, you know, enjoyed being on that catering crew a little too much.

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    3. My aunt showed me a picture of her last Christmas from one of their catering events and I would have never recognized her in a million years. But I'm sure she's enjoying the catering a little too much.

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  10. And nothing of Fantasy Island??

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    1. Oh yeah Fantasy Island!!! Remember how it always came on right after Love Boat? What a powerful line up. Sure makes today's "Must see TV" look like a bunch of slaughtered cows.

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  11. I'm having great difficulty in containing my anger regarding your discussion of this topic. Breathe, Trent. Breathe. Okay, why is there NO MENTION of "The Greatest American Hero?!?!?!"

    It has the word GREATEST in the title, and Google translate says that greatest is better than best or bestest and even BFF. It's the greatest! AAARRRaa!!1!11!11!!!

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    1. Oh yeah Greatest American Hero was another good one. I think we didn't mention it because...uh... it was overqualified. Yeah overqualified. That seems plausible.

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  12. Scary thing is - I remember all those shows - even Small Wonder (ouch) but Riptide...I got nothin'...? (came from Finnding the funny!) Thanks for the laugh down memory lane.

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    1. Yeah you probably didn't miss much by not seeing Riptide. The vehicles on the show were the only reasons I watched it as a kid. Thanks for stopping by.

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