The Not-So-Deadly Sins of Syndication

The Not-So-Deadly Sins of Syndication

80s syndication was often bad, but sometimes memorably so.

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What does it say about me that the one show which Bob identifies as being not quite as bad as the others (Charles in Charge), is the only one I'm not interested in watching?

Interesting, in a 'I can't believe they made that' kind of a way.

I'm about the same age as Bob, but British, and hence didn't see these shows at the time. As all the British presenters of tat from the same era are now all locked-up on pedophilia charges, I might have to start nostalgarizing this kind of American tat instead. Of course that would involve watching some of it, so my enthusiasm for this project might wane quickly...

I remember all of these shows. Yes.....they were pretty bad. The only one I really watched was Charles in Charge. Even then it was only because of the time when aired locally. It came on right after cartoons and just before wrestling. Rather than find something worthwhile I'd just leave it on the same channel for 30 minutes until something more interesting came on.

LaoJim:
I'm about the same age as Bob, but British, and hence didn't see these shows at the time. As all the British presenters of tat from the same era are now all locked-up on pedophilia charges, I might have to start nostalgarizing this kind of American tat instead. Of course that would involve watching some of it, so my enthusiasm for this project might wane quickly...

If you're looking to transplant nostalgia, the Disney channel cartoons of the 90's (Recess, Gargoyles, Duck Tales, Aladdin, Darkwing Duck, Doug, Hercules, etc.) are a good bet. Don't subject yourself to dreck.

OT: I'd actually like to see a Small Wonder movie made for a couple million by a decent studio. The premise is fine for a kid-focused movie, and it had some good plotlines, despite Bob's criticism. It won't work as a blockbuster, but so few movies do.

Thunderous Cacophony:

OT: I'd actually like to see a Small Wonder movie made for a couple million by a decent studio. The premise is fine for a kid-focused movie, and it had some good plotlines, despite Bob's criticism. It won't work as a blockbuster, but so few movies do.

It was made. It was called D.A.R.Y.L. I liked it, but the reviews were mixed.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/daryl/

Charles in Charge is the only one I've heard of, and that's mainly down to Relient K covering its theme song on their first album for some ungodly reason.

LaoJim:
all the British presenters of tat from the same era are now all locked-up on pedophilia charges

OK, now you've got me intrigued. All of them? What in the blue hell happened?

Thunderous Cacophony:
OT: I'd actually like to see a Small Wonder movie made for a couple million by a decent studio. The premise is fine for a kid-focused movie, and it had some good plotlines, despite Bob's criticism. It won't work as a blockbuster, but so few movies do.

Rob Renzetti must have thought so, because he revived it as a cartoon series in the 2000s. ;)

"Effectively the entire cast quit other than Baio and Aames for the syndication run, so a new family was introduced as having bought the house and opting to keep Charles as a tenant under the original arrangement... because that sounds like a thing that would happen."

It did... when Ashton Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men.

Steve the Pocket:
Charles in Charge is the only one I've heard of, and that's mainly down to Relient K covering its theme song on their first album for some ungodly reason.

LaoJim:
all the British presenters of tat from the same era are now all locked-up on pedophilia charges

OK, now you've got me intrigued. All of them? What in the blue hell happened?

He's exaggerating a lot.

Steve the Pocket:

LaoJim:
all the British presenters of tat from the same era are now all locked-up on pedophilia charges

OK, now you've got me intrigued. All of them? What in the blue hell happened?

See this thread here:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.854056-Rolf-Harris-Guilty-Of-12-Counts-Of-Indecent-Assault

For detials. While "all of them" might be a slight exaggeration, it's rather hard to wax nostalgically about the any beloved childhood stars at the moment, knowing that any one of them might get their collar felt by Operation Yewtree at any minute.

Thunderous Cacophony:

If you're looking to transplant nostalgia, the Disney channel cartoons of the 90's (Recess, Gargoyles, Duck Tales, Aladdin, Darkwing Duck, Doug, Hercules, etc.) are a good bet. Don't subject yourself to dreck.

Yeah maybe, but then I'd have to admit to myself that Disney isn't the devil. Maybe if the new Star Wars movie is okay I'll consider it.

Also Count Duckula > Darkwing Duck.

(That > is based on nostalgia and nationalism, don't go around thinking it's negotitable based on reason or analysis or watching the two shows side by side...)

Wait a minute, I'm waxing nostalgically about David Jason. I think David Jason is okay...Please God not David Jason as well...

LaoJim:
Yeah maybe, but then I'd have to admit to myself that Disney isn't the devil. Maybe if the new Star Wars movie is okay I'll consider it.

The most evil thing about Disney is that their works are pretty consistently stuck around "okay" and "brilliant".

At least with most corporations, you notice that they are ruining your favorite stuff. Disney claims ownership control over a century's worth of of popular culture, and then they make you thank them for taking care of it.

Alterego-X:

The most evil thing about Disney is that their works are pretty consistently stuck around "okay" and "brilliant".

Disney, like any media corporation that has been around for decades, has gone through periods of greatness followed by periods of sucking. Given that my childhood was in the 80's I grew up with a mainly sucky Disney (excepting the original Tron and Who Framed Roger Rabbit). It didn't help that I've always thought Mickey Mouse was twee and annoying (especially in comparison to Bugs) By the time the Second Golden Age happened (i.e. Lion King, Little Mermaid), I was a sulky teenager impervious to their magic. I have to admit that they are probably currently back in another period of greatness with stuff like Frozon, and the Princess and the Frog.

On the other had I did have to sit through this with a five year old

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF4EWcrlzZg

Which is one of the most excrutiating twenty minutes I've ever seen. Matched only by straight-to-video Aladdin 2 (or it may even have been 3) I think there are definitely things which dip well below "okay"

Alterego-X:

At least with most corporations, you notice that they are ruining your favorite stuff. Disney claims ownership control over a century's worth of of popular culture, and then they make you thank them for taking care of it.

Not taking care of it, extending copyright so they own it forever. Ah-ha I knew there really was a reason for calling them evil.

In all seriousness, I'm coming round to the idea that Disney are okay. It just seems more fun to hate them.

I remember watching all of these shows. There's probably a whole other column that could be written about spin-offs and sequels that were made for syndication : The New Monkees, The Munsters Today, The New WKRP in Cincinnati, 9 to 5, What's Happening Now!!, etc.

LaoJim:

I'm about the same age as Bob, but British, and hence didn't see these shows at the time. As all the British presenters of tat from the same era are now all locked-up on pedophilia charges, I might have to start nostalgarizing this kind of American tat instead. Of course that would involve watching some of it, so my enthusiasm for this project might wane quickly...

Operation Yewtree is getting ridiculous now. Ridiculous in a "I-can't-believe-we-condoned-this-for-so-long" kind of way.

Also being British I'd never heard of any of these shows, except for Charles in Charge because it was referenced by Ted's band in Scrubs one time.

anonymity88:

LaoJim:

I'm about the same age as Bob, but British, and hence didn't see these shows at the time. As all the British presenters of tat from the same era are now all locked-up on pedophilia charges, I might have to start nostalgarizing this kind of American tat instead. Of course that would involve watching some of it, so my enthusiasm for this project might wane quickly...

Operation Yewtree is getting ridiculous now. Ridiculous in a "I-can't-believe-we-condoned-this-for-so-long" kind of way.

Also being British I'd never heard of any of these shows, except for Charles in Charge because it was referenced by Ted's band in Scrubs one time.

Out of This World was on TV in Britain way back in the late 80s. I liked it at the time, but I did wish we saw more of the alien side of the concept.

The premise for Out of this World reminds me of Starman, although the TV series went in a different direction with human mom missing and alien dad hanging out with son and getting mixed up in things.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starman_(TV_series)

Today I learned that Rue Mclannahan and Bea Arthur were in a show together that wasn't Golden Girls.

image

I don't recall much about Small Wonder other than Vicky "crying" by emitting a high pitched wail and shooting water from here eyes at roughly 4 hojillion PSI. Scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid.

When I heard the theme song from "Out of this World," I suddenly remembered hearing that on TV when I was a (really little) kid. Don't remember if I ever watched it, though.

Thanks for the trip down (fuzzy, half-remembered) memory lane, Bob!

Almost as informative as it was depressing. You didn't mention VHF shows of the Sixties and Seventies and Eighties. I used to watch Doctor Who (Tom Baker) on Channel 47 before cable was invented. And I would have loved to read your explanation for the uninitiated of the differences between VHF and VHS. Even though "Weird Al" Yankovic's "VHF" can still be found on VHS, it is more readily available on DVD but not Blue-Ray.

What no Silver Spoons? A Ricky Schroeder star vehicle that kept everyone wishing for Jon Voight's "Champ" to turn up and start throwing lefts and rights...

Wake up Champ. Please wake up...Damn it now I'm weeping.

LaoJim:

Wait a minute, I'm waxing nostalgically about David Jason. I think David Jason is okay...Please God not David Jason as well...

Mrs Flatfrog works in theatre and spent years holding the belief that David Jason was something of a dodgy groper, on the basis of one costume person's report. However, since then she's heard so many people going on about how lovely he is and expressing complete disbelief at the notion he could be anything else, she's finally come to the conclusion she must have been wrong.

(She's never met him, incidentally! But she has worked with Patrick Stewart and said he's the loveliest big name actor she's ever had the pleasure to meet)

Holy crap, I remember these shows. They weren't very good, and they certainly haven't aged well.

But, if you want the king of crappy syndicated sitcoms, you have to go to the 90's. Specifically, 1990 and the show What a Dummy. The plot was exactly what you would expect from such a title: average TV sitcom family inherits trunk from an elderly relative. Said trunk contains a living ventriloquist dummy, Buzz, who has been locked up for 50 years. But instead of going on a murderous rampage (perfectly believable, as Buzz is the creepiest marionette this side of Chucky), he decides to live with the family and dispense advice and support. Hijinks ensue. Bottom line: the show wasn't good at all, and only lasted one season. But it's memorable for being an early starring role for a young Stephen Doriff.

 

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