Category Archives: TV Shows You Should Know

Have You Tried Turning “The IT Crowd” On?

The IT Crowd, like many other Britcoms, seemed to have ended before its time. The show had four series, which is longer than most fan favorite British television shows. It ended not because it was cancelled, but because the writers decided to end the show. This is nearly unheard of, especially in America.

The IT Crowd was the brainchild of Graham Linehan who also created other popular britcoms Black Books and Father Ted. It centers around the three members of the IT department of Reynholm Industries: Roy Trenneman played by Chris O’Dowd, Maurice Moss played by Richard Ayoade. and the relationship manager Jen Barber is played by Katherine Parkinson. They have to deal with outrageous situations such as their crazy boss’ antics, thwarting a German cannibal, and accidentally getting involved in a bank heist all while helping people with their computer problems.

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‘Doctor Who’: Where To Start

So, you’ve finally given into your curiosity and want to start watching Doctor Who. Who can blame you? All your nerdtastic friends are doing it. Not to mention, Doctor Who is arguably one of the most successful TV shows of all time and is nearing it’s 50th Anniversary! That’s nothing to turn your nose up at. But with all that success, and all those episodes, it can be quite daunting to figure out where to start. After all, there have been 11 doctors, 7 seasons since the 2005 reboot, and 26 seasons of Classic Doctor Who, which we won’t even touch in this. Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. Lucky for you, you have options.

 Blink (Season 3 Episode 10) 

Fan favorite, “Blink,” written by the current show runner, Steven Moffat, is an excellent stand-alone episode if you want to sample the series before committing. It does not spoil any of the plot points for later viewing pleasure. The episode actually features hardly any of the Doctor at all, but manages to give an incredibly accurate depiction of who the Doctor is, how he is viewed by others including his companion, and the tone that the series eventually takes on. This fast pace and suspenseful episode features Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow in her whirlwind adventure to defeat the Weeping Angels.

If you end up liking this episode, I recommend then going back to Season 1, Episode 1, “Rose,”  and watching all the way through. The earlier episodes are great in all their campy glory, but it is definitely nice to know that the show gets better as time goes on, which makes the bad lighting more forgiving.

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Get ‘Spaced’

Before Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, they created the cult TV show Spaced. The show revolves around Tim and Daisy, played by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes, who have to pretend to be a couple in order to live in a cheap flat. The two must keep up their faux relationship, while dealing with an alcoholic landlady and a bizarre artist neighbor, or else they will be kicked out of their apartment. In reality, the show is how to bridge that awkward period between being a teenager and an adult. It’s difficult to be an adult when you’re living in a pop-culture fantasy world with your friends, Twist and Mike.

What gave Spaced its cult status was its pop culture references. Some are obscure, like the homage to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that involves a fear of Mice Spiders. Some are more in your face, like The Shining, which includes creepy twins speaking in unison.  There are so many references that you will feel like you are included in their inside jokes. Don’t let this deter you though because the show is still hilarious if you don’t get any of the references. It’s one of those shows that you can watch over and over again and still find a reference that escaped you the first time.

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‘Heat Vision and Jack’: Knowledge is Power… For Real!

The wonders of sharing footage and communicating with sapiens of similar tastes can be a blessing or a nuclear bomb for television nowadays. Forums of a show can be where creators get their most intimate feedback, and fan pages are where a show might be petitioned to return, sometimes to actual avail. But one of the more fascinating uses for TV fans on the internet is the ability to witness behind the scenes footage and features, things that never made it to the airwaves. This is the case for failed pilots like Conan O’Brien’s satirical crime show Lookwell, the clumsy American remake of Spaced that existed for all of five seconds, and possibly the buried pleasure of unaired pilots: Heat Vision and Jack.

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The Original “12 Angry Men”

Before 12 Angry Men was a play and multiple movies, it aired in 1954 on CBS as a Westinghouse Studio One teleplay starring Robert Cummings. This version was written by Reginald Rose and directed by Franklin Schaffner. All three men received Emmys for their involvement.

Yes, that is Mr. Roper from Three’s Company as the foreman.

Cool TV Video of the Day: Conan O’Brien and Adam West’s “Lookwell”

Adam West looking awesome, while eating a Popsicle.

Lookwell is exactly what you would expect when Conan O’Brien, TV Funhouse‘s Robert Smigel, and Adam West team up to produce a sitcom, which is totally not a bad thing. While the show did not make it passed the pilot, NBC aired Lookwell‘s only episode in July 1991 and the show was reran on the cable network Trio, which is now defunct.

TV Shows You Should Know: Match Game

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This is our tribute to Richard Dawson, who was a regular panelist from 1973 to 1978 and died last weekend.

The Match Game aired from 1962-1969 on NBC, but is not the version that everyone remembers due to its much bawdier remake that aired through the 70s and into the 80s on CBS. Gene Rayburn both the original Match Game and all of Match Game 7x (The x represents every year from 1973 to 1979 name of the show changed every year. Once 1980 came around the show dropped the year.)

Match Game had six celebrity panelists and two contestants. The winner would be the contestant who matched the most celebrities in two rounds. That person would go on to the Super Match for the chance to win up to 5,000 dollars (10,000 dollars in the nighttime version.). The permanent panelists for most of the show’s run were Richard Dawson, Brett Somers, and Charles Nelson Reilly. Other frequent panelists include: Betty White, her husband and Password host Allen Ludden, writer Fanny Flag, Gary Burghoff, and Nipsey Russell.

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TV Shows You Should Know: The Tonight Show Starring Steve Allen

Before The Tonight Show debacle of 2009-2010 starring Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, there were three other hosts of The Tonight Show: Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson. If you’re over 30, you probably think of The Tonight Show as Johnny Carson’s show. However, Steve Allen was the first host of the show. He hosted it from 1954 to 1957.

As the first host of a national late night talk show, Steve Allen directly influenced David Letterman. Letterman has influenced Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon, so some of Allen’s attitude and antics can still be seen on current late night talk shows.

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