Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday Morning Recreated: ABC, Fall 1982

Greeting and salutations! In my previous post, I mentioned I wanted to return to one of my favorite blog features, Saturday Morning Recreated. I decided not to waste any time and get right back into it!

For those who don't know, with this feature I post an old advertisement (usually found in comic books) for a broadcast network's Saturday morning children's lineup, then attempt to feature a clip or episode from each of the shows mentioned. It's not nearly the same as sitting in front of a big TV watching the shows as they aired, but it's a small attempt at bringing those Saturday mornings of my youth back.

This feature was created by classic TV blogger Kliph Nesteroff and I've continued it with his permission. The ads are provided by the Branded in the 80s blog created by Shawn Robare (Hi Shawn!).

Now, on with the show(s)!

We relaunch the feature at the blog with ABC's lineup from the fall of 1982. According to the ad, the lineup starts at 8:30am rather than 8am, as was usual for the networks; strange that they would start a half hour later this year.  First up at 8:30 is a show that is strange, bad, fun, and trendsetting all at the same time. It's also one of the most, if not the most 80s show ever to hit Saturday mornings:  Pac-Man!

Here, Pac-Man is given arms and legs, as well as a family, as he tries to escape the bite of the Ghost Monsters, which is a name I love. They're not ghosts, they're not monsters--they're ghost monsters. Yet with cred like that, they're the most inept creatures you'll ever find.

See for yourself.  Here is the series' very first episode!

Despite the utter goofiness of this series, I loved it as a kid, and I wasn't alone. The series ran for two seasons and was the first of a long line of video game-inspired Saturday morning series.

Next up at 9am is a cartoon version of The Little Rascals. I couldn't find a clip of this anywhere, but there is a primetime Christmas special that's out there that inspired the weekly series.

At 9:30 is a holdover from the 1981 season, Richie Rich. Richie was paired with Scooby Doo in the previous year, but is featured solo here.

The 10am-11am hour demonstrates another interesting trend of the networks, especially ABC--animated versions of their primetime sitcoms. Two cases in point--Mork & Mindy and Laverne & Shirley (wow, two ampersands!). Whenever such a conversion from live action to animation was made, one major tweak was added to "kiddify" the cartoon series, usually involving a wacky animal. Here, Mork has an alien dog, and Laverne and Shirley join the army and have a talking pig as a drill sergeant voiced by Ron "Horshack" Parillo of Welcome Back, Kotter. I am NOT making this shit up!

Next from 11am to noon is the Scooby and Scrappy Doo Puppy Hour. Scooby and Scrappy are already familiar to everyone, but I have no recollection whatsoever of the second half of the hour. Something about puppies and sheriffs that look like John Denver, apparently.

At 12 noon is the perennial ABC Weekend Special.

Wrapping up ABC's Saturday morning is a TV institution, American Bandstand. Granted, the clip I present here is from 1979 not 1982, but whose counting?

I hope you enjoyed this trip down Saturday Morning Lane. If you enjoyed this, please check out my other installments (assuming the clips are still valid--many of them aren't) and stay tuned for more Saturday Mornings Recreated!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

State of the Blog 2012

Hello one and all! As I'm sure you noticed, there hasn't been a lot of action here at Me and You lately. In fact, that's what this post is about.

Due to increased responsibilities at both home and work, it's been increasingly difficult to get any material out here with any real regularity. It's certainly not because I've lost interest--not hardly. But time is becoming an increasingly rare commodity.

Besides that, I also think the blog's format may have gotten a bit stale. I haven't had an overflow of ideas for blogging, at least not for posting on a five-day-a-week clip like I do during the Countdown to Halloween, for example.

One thing is for certain--the blog isn't going away. Not at all! But you should be prepared to see only a couple of posts a week going forward rather than a near-daily dose like I've done in the past.

What I do hope to do is use what little time I will have for blogging to increase the quality of each post. My posts may be lest frequent, but may be longer and more content-packed. I'd also like to get back to some special features I used to have, such as Saturday Morning Recreated or the Saturday Matinee. Of course, I will happily continue being a part of Tuesday's Forgotten/Overlooked movie/TV/music/etc every week. Such features are great for inspiration. Lastly, I had a lot of fun conducting an interview with comic writer/reviewer Chris Sims back in October, and I'd like to have more interviews in the future.

In short: I'm going for quality over quantity at the blog from here on out. After all, you'd rather read two really good articles a week rather than five crappy ones, right?


Monday, January 23, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten Film: Memoirs of An Invisible Man

This week's Forgotten Film is one I really enjoyed when it was released in 1992 but didn't seem to connect with audiences. It's the John Carpenter-directed Chevy Chase vehicle Memoirs of an Invisible Man.

Chase plays Nick Halloway, a stock analyst who is turned invisible while napping in a building that experiences a scientific experiment gone awry. Halloway captures the attention of an unscrupulous CIA agent (Sam Neill) who wishes to use him as a spy, even if he has to coerce Halloway into the job. Halloway spends the film fleeing from the agent while searching for a cure for his invisiblility.  There is also a subplot involving Halloway and love interest Alice, played by Daryl Hannah.

The film is a mix of comedy and action with amazing special effects. Detractors of Chase won't likely be won over by his performance here, but I found him more than competent in the role.

The movie is based on a 1987 novel of the same name by author H.F. Saint, which is held in fairly high regard. Saint is a literary one hit wonder--this is the only book he's written.

Here is the film's trailer. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten TV: Blacke's Magic

Wasting no time for this week's Tuesday's Forgotten, I present the short lived 1986 TV series Blacke's Magic.

In this series, Hal Linden plays Alexander Blacke, a retired stage magician who helps the police solve crimes along with his con man father, played by the late Harry Morgan. That's pretty much all you need to know.

Talk about forgotten. I barely remember this series at all, but was made aware of it by an article I read about a previous attempt at a magician as detective series, The Magician, which starred Bill Bixby. You can read that article here at the wonderful site TV Party.

Here is the first episode of the series, "Breathing Room." Enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guest Blogger "Zombie Sophia"

I'm a big fan of the zombie apocalypse comic book series The Walking Dead, as well as the companion TV series seen on AMC. I'm also a big user of Twitter and a fan of several role playing accounts that appear there. These are accounts based on fictional characters in which the users write tweets in the mindset of that particular character.

After the TV series' mid-season finale featured the death and zombie-fication of the young girl character Sophia, I took it upon myself to create my own role playing account as Sophia in her zombie form, saying many humorous and sometimes slightly profane things. Thus was born "Zombie Sophia." It's been very successful, garnering over 475 followers (by comparison, my account as myself has a mere 170). A few of my followers keep asking how Sophia came to be a zombie, an event which has not yet been seen on the TV series. This post is my attempt to give an account of what happened to Sophia to turn her into America's most loved "walker." Take it away, Sophia!

Everybody wants to know what happened to me, how I became a walker. To you we're zombies, but where I come from, we're walkers. As for how it happened, I wish I knew myself.

I certainly remember most of what lead up to that moment. I certainly remember that herd of walkers that seemed to come out of nowhere, when we were stranded on that crowded road. I remember how we all panicked and got down underneath the abandoned cars in the hopes that those stupid walkers wouldn't find us. It worked at first. We were almost in the clear. Then I did something stupid.

I started to get out a little too soon. It seemed that they had all left, so I started to get out from underneath the car. Big mistake. That's when one of the scariest, ugliest walkers I've ever seen just happened to be right there. I screamed. I ran. He ran right after me. Rick followed as fast as he could to save me, and was doing a good job of it, but things took a turn for the worse.

He had me hide under a big thicket of brush while he drew away the walker's attention. I couldn't see anything from where I was hiding, but it got real quiet after a few minutes. Everything seemed OK, safe. That's when I made an even bigger mistake--one that cost me my life.

I stepped out from underneath the brush, looked both ways as if I were crossing the street, and looked for Rick. That's when I felt something grab me by my left shoulder.

That's the last I remember before I died. And before I came back.

The next thing I knew, I felt real different. Empty. Hungry. Then I felt this metal thing around my neck, and saw some big guy dragging me along with him. I was only thinking two things at that moment; I wanted that thing off of my neck--and I wanted to tear into that man as hard as I could--and eat.

Before I knew it, I was shoved in this barn with others like me. Those I used to run from, scream at, be terrified by. Now, I'm one of them. Now, I just walk, feast on the scraps of chicken I can wrestle from the other walkers. Oh, and I tweet.

Considering I'm living in a zombie apocalype, this barn has pretty good wifi.

It may not seem like I think like humans, but I do, much more so than the others, I can tell you that. I know what goes on, and I talk about it. Sometimes I say things that you shouldn't hear from a 12-year-old girl's mouth. But considering what I've been through, I say screw it. I've earned it to drop an F-bomb or double entendre here and there. You're welcome to follow me at Twitter here or Facebook here.

But be forwarned: I might follow you back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten Film: Animalympics

Hello everyone! Once again, I'm late with the week's Tuesday's Forgotten, but hey, it's Tuesday somewhere, right?

OK, maybe not.

This week, I present the 1980 animated movie Animalympics. I originally was going to hold onto this film until this year's Summer Olympics took place, but then thought, "what the hey, I'll post it now!" The film started out as two hour-long animated TV specials for NBC, but didn't see the light of day until it hit cable TV and home video years later. For more details on the story behind the movie, check out the article about it on Wikipedia; it's worth reading.

Voice actors include Billy Crystal, Gilda Radnor, and Happy Shearer. Enjoy!

P.S. I want to thank my Internet friend Chris Illuminati, editor of men's humor site for reminding me of this movie. Thanks Chris!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten Film: Quick Change

Happy New Year everyone! Much to my dismay, another holiday season has come and gone. However, that doesn't mean I can't share awesome stuff with you here, starting with the the first Tuesday's Forgotten Film of the year. This week, it's the 1990 Bill Murray vehicle Quick Change.

Murray plays the adequately named Grimm, an exasperated NYC public employee who has had it with the city's craziness on all levels. Talking his girlfriend and slow-witted friend into a bank robbery scheme, Murray decides to use the money to fund a trip away from the maddening crowd never to see the city again. The robbery itself goes off without a hitch. However, getting out of the city once the crime has been committed proves beyond challenging, as the would-be thieves find themselves mired in the same gridlock, civic ineptitude, and general wackiness of the city that inspired their heist to begin with. Jason Robards plays the police detective assigned to the case, who although on the right side of the law, can sympathize with Murray's plight.

The film, a remake of the French-Canadian film Hold-Up, can be predictable at times, but anyone who has been a lifelong resident of any city, let alone New York, will understand the characters' motivations and see themselves in the ridiculous situations the characters find themselves in. Just don't attempt to rob a bank to pay your way out of the city.

Here is the film's trailer.