The Year of the Worst Series Finales
Fair warning: spoilers.
Series finales are always bittersweet. It means that a beloved show is coming to an end but now we don’t have to suffer all of those emotional traumas. Generally, series finales tend to be great masterpieces that tie all loose ends. This year, on the other hand, we were presented with rushed and just down right disappointing series finales. It seemed like as each show ended, you’d hear someone on the Internet commenting, “well this beats [insert show that recently ended] for worst finale ever”
I’m going to get this one out of the way. I have not watched this show, but I plan on watching it one day. I’m not going to go into why it was terrible in fear that it will ruin something from the first four seasons. That’s when you’re supposed to stop watching Dexter, right?
Joan Rivers on The Tonight Show
Yesterday, Joan Rivers died at the age of 81. Before she was E!’s go to fashion critic, she had a long history with talk shows (a lot of it is not good). We’re not going to go into the details of the falling out between Rivers and Johnny Carson. Instead, we’re choosing to remember them in happier times. In the following clip from The Tonight Show, Joan sits down with Johnny to discuss her book Enter Talking.
Before we get into the clips, a full list of Emmy winners can be found at the Washington Post. There aren’t too many surprises. It gets a little boring reading the list. (Confession: I didn’t watch the awards last night.) Congratulations to Breaking Bad for going out on top. Modern Family won best comedy series and ties Frasiers‘ record for most consecutive wins at five. The only surprise is that the networks and cable shut Netflix out of the race.
Below are three moments: one that’s a mixed bag, one that should be talked about, and one that is being called a highlight.
“Weird Al” Sings Theme Songs
I love “Weird Al” and adding lyrics to theme songs that don’t have them could’ve been brilliant. Instead, we witnessed a hastily thrown together sketch that is awkward to watch. Prepare to role your eyes when “Weird Al” mentions that Game of Thrones has lots of boobs and that George R.R. Martin needs to start writing more, so he doesn’t die before the series is finished.
Remembering Don Pardo
You may not know what Don Pardo looks like, but you certainly know his voice, if not his name as well. Pardo is best known as the voice of Saturday Night Live. However, he had already had a long career with NBC, a network he started working for in 1944. We’re choosing to remember Don Pardo with his two appearances on camera during the NBC version of The Price is Right, which he was the announcer for.
Remembering Robin Williams
It’s been a few days since Robin Williams’ death. I haven’t said much because I kept hoping it wasn’t true. Of course, reality had to set in eventually. I still can’t put how I feel into words. Besides, other people have expressed their gratitude for all the love and happiness Robin Williams brought into the world so much better than I can.
In the following video, Conan O’Brien shares a great story and some of the funniest talk show clips ever. It’s everything a tribute to Robin Williams should be.
NBC’s Food Fighters Takes on Food Network
When it comes to food competition shows, there are no original ideas. A show like Food Fighters has to be judge based on it’s execution, which is good if you can stomach Adam Richman.
Food Fighters takes the big kitchen feel of Iron Chef America and combines it with Throwdown/Beat Bobby Flay‘s underdog versus master chef formula. It’s derivative, but works well because it’s different enough. Unlike past shows, Food Fighters has the home chef compete against 5 different chefs with 5 different dishes. Each chef is worth a different dollar amount, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 with the possibility to double all winnings at the end. After the chef is announced, the contestant gets to choose which one of the remaining dishes will be made this round. At the beginning, it leads to interesting combinations like a seafood chef attempting a mango tart. Toward the end, you get a Latin chef making fish and quinoa, which would have been boring if Lorena Garcia wasn’t a firecracker.
Mad TV Song Parodies
Mad TV wasn’t a very good show. However, like most sketch comedy, it had it’s moments. Before everyone on the internet was making parody song music videos, Mad TV was doing it better. Here are some of the show’s funniest music video parodies.
Britney Spears- “I’m Not a Child”
The Lawrence Welk Show: “One Toke Over the Line”
“One Toke Over the Line” was released in 1970. The title refers to exactly what you think it does. That didn’t stop Lawrence Welk from introducing the song as a “modern spiritual.” He was either hopelessly clueless or knew exactly what he was doing. As a bonus, Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, hated the song because he felt it was subversive.
Advantages of British Series
This article uses “seasons” when referring to American shows and “series” when talking about British shows. An American season is a British series.
With British programs becoming more popular in the United States, Americans are noticing more and more that a British show can run for 10 years, but only have 32 episodes. A show produced in the United States usually accomplishes that feat in a season and a half, which typically takes place over the course of 18 months. This occurs because British series, which an American would call seasons, range from 6 to 8 episodes; it’s not uncommon for shows to then go on a two year hiatus. American networks like to bang out as many episodes as possible as quick as possible because 100 episodes is the magic number for syndication. Neither system is bad, but the British way of making television has some distinct advantages.
McGurk: A Dog’s Life Is a Dog
McGurk: A Dog’s Life is so bad, it’s easy to forget that it’s producer, Norman Lear, is responsible for All in the Family and The Jeffersons. The show manages to have no redeeming qualities. The pilot episode is 22 minutes dedicated to McGurk thinking he’s dying. Keep in mind that A Dog’s Life has all of the actors in bad dog costumes and is supposed to be a sitcom, which it manages to be because it sure as hell isn’t a drama.
This masterpiece starts with McGurk talking to the camera explaining his morning routine. Every joke ends with the punchline “I’m a dog.” He can’t tell time. Why? He’s a dog. Any show starring anthropomorphic animals standing on two feet and speaking English gives up the right to make jokes about their species. For all intents and purposes, they’re just people with dog ears and tails, which makes it disconcerting when McGurk refers wants to please his owner.