Tuesday, September 29, 2009

80s Month: Bowling For Soup, 1985

With September almost a memory, there's time for just one more installment of 80s Month, and like the tribute to the decade by music group Aqua, we have another tribute, this time from rock quartet Bowling For Soup. This one is a bit more wistful, but still fun at the same time. Here is "1985." I'd love to go back to 1985. God, I love the 80s!

And so wraps up 80s Month. I hope you enjoyed it, whether you lived through the 80s or not. Trips to the 80s will take place frequently here, so if you want more, simply check back often.

But fear not. Or better yet, please be fearful. For although one theme month closes, another one opens. Things are about to get...dark. Creepy. Spooky. It's that time of year again. This blog is about to take part in a multi-site celebration you'll die for. For more information, click on the orange banner up top.

And for more details and opening ceremonies, come back here this Thursday, October 1st. See you there. heh heh heh heh heh ...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

80s Month: Saturday Morning Recreated: NBC, Fall 1981

Yes, once again we traverse a Saturday morning schedule past for tasty nostalgic treats. It's Saturday Morning Recreated, and this time we enter--NBC in the fall of 1981!

As usual with NBC ads, there are no exact times, and considering the unusual way networks packaged their programs, I'm not even going to guess what the exact times were for these shows. I'll just go in order this time and see what's what.

Starting off the morning is the Flintstones Comedy Show. I've already talked about this series previously, and as their isn't much more footage from it to post, we'll simply move on.

The next show is, well, the most successful Saturday morning children's show of the decade--The Smurfs. The Belgian-born creatures had been around for ages before hitting American shores, but when they did, they were an overnight sensation that would last for years more. This show was to NBC's Saturday morning lineup what The Cosby Show would be to the network's primetime lineup in 1984. Their impact on kids TV in the 80s can't be overestimated. Here they are!

Next up is The Kids Super Power Hour with Shazam! This was a blend of two cartoons plus live action sequences. Hero High was simply that: a high school for super-powered teenagers. They were also portrayed in the live action spots by actors who were, well, older than teens. Truth be told, they were pretty bad. I remember the live action spots, but have no memory of the cartoon.

They appeared with an animated version of DC Comics' Captain Marvel. Strange that Filmation would give an animated take on a character for which they produced a live action series just a couple years before. Unfortunately, all I can find of this series is the intro (there were several episodes from the series available online fo a few years, but it looks like YouTube finally pulled the plug on them).

Up next is a return from the previous season, Space Stars. As with the Flintstones, I'll give this one a pass this time around, as I've already covered that series in my 1980 post. This leads up to...

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends! Spidey makes his second go-round as an animated series, this time with help from the X-Men's Iceman and heroine Firestar, a character I believe was created specifically for this series (although she was later added into Marvel Comics' continuity). As a huge Spider-Man fan, I of course loved this show, even if it lacked the charm and energy of the 1960s series. How did these three crazy kids get together? Find out here!

Next is the Daffy and Speedy Show, a collection of crappy cartoons from the late 60s that were packaged for this series. Another leftover from previous seasons, so no need to mention it further here.

Finally, like the Jetsons from the 1980 season, this lineup is rounded out by a classic from the 60s, Rocky and Bullwinkle. At least this is a much better use of recycled material.

And that's the lineup for NBC 1981. As typical of most of the lineups we've examined so far, there are some gems (Smurfs, Spider-Man) and some crap (Hero High, Daffy and Speedy). Still, it's more than you can say for today's Saturday morning TV, but I'll save that for another post some day (and I do have a lot to say about it).

We'll have one more post to wrap up 80s Month, and then--heh heh heh. You see that new orange banner near the top right of the blog? Click on that and you'll see what's next for October. Bwah ha ha!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

80s Month: More 80s Music Videos

You're enjoying 80s Month, right? You liked the last set of music videos I posted, right? Well then sit back and relax as I do it again. This set of videos is a mix of iconic 80s vids as well as a couple of obscure but really cool tracks. Let's roll it!

Dire Straits, "Money for Nothing". When you think of 80s music videos, you think of this.

Cindy Lauper, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." The song that introduced the unusual girl to the world. This song was written by late Philly-born singer/songwriter Robert Hazzard.

Aha, "Take On Me." Yet another 80s video classic.

Billy Joel isn't known for his music videos, but this one stands out above most of his other videos. Here is "Pressure."

I'm a big Tom Petty fan, and his videos are always fun and engaging. Here is one of his best, "Don't Come Around Here No More."

Here is where the obscure vids come in, but they are no less fun and enjoyable than the others. Here is a great song by the group Borgeois Tagg, "I Don't Mind At All." Embedding has been disabled for this one unfortunately, but you can just click here and enjoy the song for yourself. Thanks to the Preston and Steve radio show on WMMR-FM here in Philly for reminding me of this song.

This is a group that had several hits in their native Canada, but only had one hit in America that I know of. Here's Chilliwack with "My Girl."

Finally, this is a video that stayed in my head since I first saw it, and I'm glad I rediscovered it. I thought this video was for the song "Eye in the Sky" by the Alan Parsons Project. I had the group right, but the wrong song. The right song is a sweet tune called "Don't Answer Me." I love the noir-like animation and visual narrative. A real treat!

Keep lovin' the 80s!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

80s Month: Aqua, Back to the 80s

Today's installment of 80s Month is, ironically, a new creation rather than a clip from the 80s. This is a brand new tribute song to the 80s courtesy of techno group Aqua, creators of the "Barbie Song" that was all the rage in the mid-90s. The song is "Back to the 80s," and while it's not the greatest song ever made, I share it's celebratory spirit of the decade. Back to the 80s indeed!

Friday, September 18, 2009

80s Month: Saturday Morning Recreated: CBS, Fall 1980

It's time to revisit Saturday mornings on our journey through 80s Month, this time to CBS in the Fall of 1980. With this post, I'll have covered all three major networks' lineups for that one season, the first time since I've done this feature that this has happened. You can check out ABC here and NBC here for comparison. But now, on to CBS!

The lineup starts at 8am with, unfortunately, The Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle Show by Filmation. I've already discussed how bad this version was previously, but if you're a glutton for punishment, here is another example.

Up next at 8:30 is another Filmation destruction of cartoon icons, The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show. All I could find was the intro and outro of this series, but I've seen the actual cartoons before, and like the Mighty Mouse cartoons, they are pale imitations of the true classics. These clips (from a Spanish language version) say it all.

At 9am was the classic Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show. It really wasn't Saturday morning for me as a kid if I didn't hear this theme song.

Or this one:

If you really need to laugh, watch this--now!

This should help too!

At 10:30 the All New Popeye Hour returned for another season. This was one classic character revival that actually wasn't too bad. Not as good as the originals, of course, but comparatively, not bad.

Part of this show featured Olive Oyl in the army. Don't ask me why.

At 11:30 CBS featured The Drak Pack. They were a trio of teens that had the powers of classic horror characters but used their powers for good against other horror characters who were truly evil. Don't even try to apply logic to any of this. This is one I enjoyed quite a bit as a youngster. Sadly, I could only find the intro. If I ever find a whole episode, I'll blog it in a heartbeat!

Next at high noon is a Saturday morning classic: Fat Albert. In this episode, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids learn that "Rules is Cool." Hey hey hey!

At 12:30 was the Tarzan/Lone Ranger Hour. Tarzan had been on CBS for at least one other season, if not longer. Here he is.

The Lone Ranger was new to CBS this season, and was very good. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any footage. Sorry :(

The morning (afternoon, at this point) was rounded out by 30 Minutes, a teen-focused news program for which I can't find footage and no one likely cares about.

CBS must have done well in 1979, because this lineup doesn't differ all that much, just a few tweaks here and there. This is probably the best of the three networks lineups in 1980, with ABC and NBC almost tied for second place, quality-wise. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

80s Month: John Hughes Tribute

In our next installment of 80s Month, we need to take a moment of sobriety. One of the alltime great 80s icons passed away this year--film screenwriter/producer/director John Hughes, at the all-too-young age of 59. The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, She's Having a Baby, the Vacation films, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Home Alone--they were all him. Most of these films defined the Generation X experience, and we have Hughes to thank for it.

Here is a tribute to Hughes made way back in 1991, when he was awarded Producer of the Year at ShoWest that year.

Here is a fan-made tribute featuring a song that will always be associated with Hughes, "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds.

Finally, here are highlights from my favorite Hughes film, Ferris Bueller.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

80s Month: 80s Music Videos

Taking a break from the 80s cartoons (awesome as they are), let's take a look at some cool 80s music videos. 80s and music videos go hand in hand for two reasons: they were awesome, and you had outlets for seeing them (thanks for nothing, modern day MTV!). Here are just a tiny few out of the hundreds of great ones:

The one that introduced the medium to most of America, here is "Video Killed the Radio Star," by the Buggles (technically released in 1979, but let's not nitpick, shall we?):

Here is one of my absolute favorite bands from the 80s, the adorable Go-Gos with "We Got The Beat:"

Next up, the little ol' band from Texas, ZZ Top, with "Sharp Dressed Man."

A great song that both fits well among other 80s pop and also blends well with today's AC pop, Joe Jackson and "Steppin' Out."

This song has had renewed fan interest thanks to "The Sopranos." It was a great song in 1981, it's a great song today. Here's arena rock favorites Journey with "Don't Stop Believing."

Finally, to add a bit of hip hop in the mix, here is Run/DMC with their Aerosmith team-up, "Walk This Way."

I realize this is an eclectic bag, and there are so many iconic 80s vids I can feature. If you have any requests, let me know and I'll do my best to post them. Tubular!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

80s Month: Saturday Morning Recreated: NBC, Fall 1980

Not only is today the second post of 80s month here at Me and You, but also another installment of Saturday Morning Recreated. Today we recreate the Saturday morning lineup for NBC in the fall of 1980! This is the first time I've examined NBC for this feature, so this will be interesting. Let's go!

The ad doesn't give the exact times, but it's safe to assume they started at 8am ET/PT. First up is the Godzilla/Dynomutt Hour. That's a weird combo! In this cartoon version, Godzilla would aid a team of scientists in preventing monsters and other phenomena from destroying the earth, along with lovable sidekick Godzookie. Yes, a comedic mini-version of Godzilla. Take a look!

Dynomutt was an robotic dog who would aid superhero Blue Falcon in the usual hero stuff. Here is the intro.

At 9am was the Flintstones Comedy Show, new adventures of the Bedrock gang with several changes and updates, such as Pebbles and Bam Bam as teenagers, Fred and Barney as cops, the appearance of Captain Caveman (formerly star of his own series), and the addition of the Frankenstones (basically cavemen versions of the Munsters) and the classic comic strip character Shmoo. How the hell he wound up in Bedrock I'll never know. Of course this incarnation didn't have the heart and charm of the original, it was mildly amusing in its own way. Here is the intro (from a Spanish language version, alas).

At 10am NBC features the hourlong Space Stars, a blend of four separate space-themed characters: Space Ghost, Space Ace and the Space Mutts, Teen Force, and the Herculoids. Here is the intro, followed by episodes of all the features except Teen Force, which I couldn't find anywhere.

At 11am, NBC carried reruns of the classic 1960s series The Jetsons. Recycling older series for Saturday mornings was quite common for networks back then.

Finally at 11:30am, NBC played The Daffy Duck Show, which aired on the network for a year or two before this series. Cartoons featured in this series relied heavily on the Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzalez team-ups that Warner Brothers distributed in the mid 60s, some of the last cartoon shorts WB produced for movie theaters. They were pretty uninspired, to be honest, but here they are.

All in all, this lineup is on the mediocre side. The Flinstones Comedy Show was mildly amusing, but nowhere on par with its predecessor. Space Ghost and the Herculoids were cool, but surrounded by forgettable partners in its hour. It's no surprise that this lineup would get scrapped the following year. That lineup is much more notable, but I'll save that for another time. Between this and the other 1980 schedule I've post for ABC, I'd choose the latter.

I hope you enjoyed this. Please leave any comments you wish below. To see all of my Saturday Morning Recreated posts, click here. Thanks!

Friday, September 4, 2009

80s Month: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Diamond Ray of Disappearance

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! I hope everyone had a great and safe summer. Now we approach the last quarter of the year, which is by far the busiest, but in other ways also the most fun; Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are not too far behind. Before then, however, we have September. It's kind of a "blah" month, between going back to school and getting serious at work again. It's easy to get a little down. You know what I like to do when I feel down?

Think abut the 80s!

Yes, as a card-carrying Gen-Xer, I have fond memories of being a child in and of the 80s. Simply take a look at several topics on the blog and that's clear to see. Why devote September to this decade? For two reasons: 1) I love the 80s, and 2) honestly, I've been stumped for good blog topics lately, and having a theme will help keep me focused. I can't promise that every post in September will be 80s related--if something else inspires me to blog strongly enough, I'll go with it. And if you're not a fan of the 80s, please bear with me, and a post more to your taste will come your way. So, without further ado, let's hit it!

First up is an episode of one of my all-time favorite cartoon series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I won't go into detail into explaining the series of the toy line it sprang from, as you likely already know if you've gotten this far in the article already. Suffice it to say, I loved the toys, I loved the cartoon, and I'm thrilled to present this episode courtesy of Hulu. This episode, "The Diamond Ray of Disappearance," was the first episode produced for the series, although oddly not the first one aired. It sets up the major characters and their conflicts well, so even if you haven't seen it before, you can jump onboard right here.

I was inspired to post about this because of the gang at the site Sugary Serials, which hosts a podcast focusing on 80s pop culture goodness and feature an episode about this series and installment. Their article has great links for learning more about the series and its creators. Please check it out, it's awesome--totally (how's that for an 80s-ism?). One of the podcast's members is Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s, a fantastic site for all things 80s. Thanks for once again letting me crib from you, Shawn!

Here is a bonus: the first He-Man toy commercial I remember seeing, and likely the first one to air, about two years before the cartoon series. Enjoy, and see you in the 80s!