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Dumpster Busting TV: What the hell is wrong with Fox Television?

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First Firefly. Then Wonderfalls.

Now Arrested Development?

To quote the blond chick who buys it in the original Matrix flick: No, not like this… Not like this.

Did Fox lose all confidence in “Arrested Development”…? As far as I know, Fox has not formally pulled the plug on “Arrested,” and has at least till mid-May to decide if the comedy will turn up on its 2005-06 slate. Still, giving the borrible “American Dad” its timeslot for May sweeps? Not the best sign.

Keep in mind, this is rumor-central at this point: nothing official has happened, and nothing may be coming down the pike.

But I’m starting to think that Satan himself may be running Fox these days, teasing the foolish mortals with brilliant television, only to cancel the darlings of our nights before our very teary eyes, crushed souls to wander this plane broken and wasted, shattered bodies that had known light only to… okay, you get the idea.

Arrested Development is an absolutely brilliant comedy, the best thing to come to network television since Seinfeld. To not recognize that scientific bloody fact is… miraculous. (Or miraculously evil? I’ll leave it to you, Trusty Reader, to decide.)

I would argue, in fact, that Arrested Development represents the best in American comedy whereas the equally brilliant (and deranged) The Office represents the best of the BritCom. Arrested Development is minute-by-minute, laugh out loud funny. Its characters are unique and manically cynical, over-the-top bizarre (a recent episode in which Buster Bluth skips out on Basic Training to obsess over the Crane Game at the bus station had me rolling for days) and the writing is even better. Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth does a masterful job as the only nearly sane character and anchors a truly remarkable cast that includes Jeffrey Tambor (who plays two roles), Jessica Walter, the lights out talented David Cross, and Tony Hale, who plays the aforementioned Buster.

Please, please Fox, don’t do this. Firefly was resurrected on the strength of its DVD sales (after Fox aired about nine episodes completely out of order before canceling it mercilessly) into the most anticipated movie of the year (okay… for me, anyway): Serenity.

Not like this. Not like this…

For more on this and every other topic under the sun, check out:

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  • http://www.iamcorrect.blogspot.com Lono

    Good news though. On tonight’s pre-view piece for their return in May, the show as Julia Louis Dreyfus. That will bring in a lot of new viewers. However, these viewers will mostly be totally confused by the bizarre world this show has created. This is my favorite show.

  • http://xrrf.blogspot.com simon hb

    Basically, Fox’s entertainment channel is like Fox’s news channel. They don’t care about critical acclaim; they don’t care if it’s any good. It’s about if people watch.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Don’t forget, they also killed the live action version of The Tick in short order. The show was awesome.

    Frankly, I’m looking forward to the start of their new series, The Inside. It’s being run by Tim Minear–of Angel, Firefly and Wonderfalls–and could start airing as soon as March. It will probably be great and it will probably be gone after about five episodes.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Remember the first time Family Guy was around, it got shuffled around so much no one knew when it was on!

    As much as I love Arrested, I can’t help but wonder why there is also such a lack of love for Scrubs, which between it and Arrested are the top 2 sitcoms.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Simon: I’m realistic to know that every company cares primarily about money. On a Big Picture level, though, it’s rather astounding that Fox can’t recognize the quality it has (and has had) in house and give it a little time to get Out There. Plus, the critical acclaim — massive in this case — can only help to bolster the fortunes of the entire network.

    But what do I know?

    Joel: I never watched the live action Tick, so thanks for mentioning. I absolutely loved the cartoon, however — one of the most inventive I’ve ever seen (the Civic Minded Five… genius).

    For years now, I’ve taken the tack of waiting to watch new shows until a great amount of time has gone by so that I know that my time investment will be worthwhile. Therefore, I often will catch up on great shows via the DVD route. I broke that rule this year for Lost, which was definitely worth the risk.

    Chris: Scrubs is a very good comedy, but perhaps not great. That said, it’s a sitcom that consistently draws laughs, which is really an extraordinary (and extraordinarily rare) thing to pull off in today’s TV Land.

    Thanks for the thoughts, all.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Hey wait, you mean Arrested Development is supposed to be funny? I thought it was some sort of reality show about washed up actors. Let me think back on the episodes I’ve seen, considering it as a comedy…..

    Oh wow, it’s still not funny.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dave – Arrested Development is not about washed up actors, so maybe you’re thinking about another show?

    Or are you making some kind of joke?

    Wait, let me check: hard to say…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Joel – Forgot to mention that both Tim Minear (and you) must be a masochist for getting involved with a new Fox project again. I hope the guy’s getting paid what he’s worth, at the least. Or perhaps he’s under contract and making the best of his time? Otherwise it just doesn’t make sense that he would develop another show for them.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    My joke was about as funny as Arrested Development.

    I will say this though. Arrested Development is at least as hilarious as Everybody Loves Raymond, and slightly more entertaining to watch. It does lack the paint drying on the wall excitement of 8 Simple Rules, however.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dave – You’ve told us what you don’t like or think is funny. Give us your Top 3 comedies currently on the air.

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    I’ll bet Curb Your Enthusiasm is not on his list.

    Eric—take heart in knowing that you get it, even if Dave doesn’t. Isn’t it better that way anyway?

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Two things: I fail to see why people are blaming Fox. If it’s not getting ratings, then it won’t stay on the air. If all the praise in the world won’t make people watch, nothing will.

    Secondly, I hate this show. I’ve given it a fair chance, watched it four times, and I think I laughed twice. I just don’t find it funny. I completely agree with Dave. It’ll die and it’s audience will find it on DVD.

    I wonder if it sold well enough if Fox would consider actually priducing more episodes just for the DVD market? It would be an interesting market test and save their airspace for things that are drawing ever-so-prescious ratings while keeping the die-hard audience happy.

  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    Eric, this has all already been covered by me when the news broke last week here. It’s also been resolved – Arrested Development isn’t going anywhere according to the email sent by Fox, and again confirmed by Jason Bateman on SNL this weekend in his monologue. Likely, when AD returns in March, it will play straight through til May, then end its season early at episode 18. My guess is we’ll see new episodes over the summer.

    I enjoy seeing the negative comments from people who don’t like this show. What you guys say to dismiss the show says a lot more about YOU than it does about the quality of the show.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    >>> …The Tick in short order. The show was awesome.

    “Tick” and “awesome” in the same sentence and not in a snide fashion? Wow. Oh, look ice crystals in hell are starting to form. Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.

    Never got the thrill of Seinfeld. Yawner pretty much. Liked Roseanne when it was on – most of the time. Ditto for Cheers.

    Frasier for about the first year then .. blah.

    Bernie Mac was my favorite for a while – until every episode was about the same thing, with the same expressions and the same scenes.

    Malcolm in the Middle is highly underrated.

    George Lopez (his show is just called George Lopez right?) is probably the funniest thing in TV right (That’s subjective … I know)

    What’s that other one – Two And a Half Men. That’s pretty good too. But I don’t find mylsef tuning in especdially for comedies anymore. Hmm, wonder why.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    “What you guys say to dismiss the show says a lot more about YOU than it does about the quality of the show.”

    I believe I said I didn’t laugh. What does that say about me? That I don’t have some odd sense of humor? I guess a lot of people don’t if the show was close to being on the chopping block. Hey, if you guys love it, great.

    While I can’t vouch for anyone else, I fail to see what not liking a TV show has to do with me personally.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Eric, is you care to see The Tick, its short run is on DVD. Perhaps you have Netflix? That’s how I saw it.

    I agree with Chris that Scrubs is a great show. In fact, I like it a bit better than Arrested Development. It’s a shame Scrubs doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

    Yes, Tim Minear is insane for getting involved with Fox again. I don’t know what he’s thinking. But I’ll watch anyway, I think because I hate myself.

    Matt, the reason people are blaming Fox is because they often don’t nurture their shows in the slightest bit. Now, granted, that’s not really the case with Arrested Development. They’ve actually allowed it to air for almost two seasons now, they put it in a good time slot and they renewed it after a first year that saw only okay ratings. And it sounds like the show will be back next year, though I won’t believe it until I see it annouced for the fall schedule in May.

    The annoyance with Fox is more over shows like Wonderfalls and Firefly. Both of those shows were very good, had a committed fan base and got great reviews. In both cases, they started out by dumping the shows in terrible time slots, airing a couple episodes out of order, and then killing them. They aired Firefly nine times and Wonderfalls four. If you have a show that’s getting great reviews and has a committed fan base, why not actually put it in a decent time slot and give it a good thirteen episodes to air, and show them in order? Why not give it a chance to find its audience? The complaint is that they basically sabotaged the shows and didn’t give them any real chance.

    If they had acted that way with X Files, it would have been canceled after a few episodes. Instead, they gave it a chance and it grew into a big hit. I think there’s a very good chance that both Firefly and Wonderfalls would have done the same if they had showed patience with the shows and given them better timeslots.

  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    Sorry, Matt P., I was lumping you in with Dave Nalle, as I’d overlooked your polite dismissal of the show. Suffice it to say that I’ve seen more than a few whose reactions are more like Dave N.’s (and worse) and not like yours. People are free to dislike a show if it doesn’t appeal to them, but when it turns into stupid insults about a show as universally critically lauded as AD is, that’s when the comments are revealing something about the person talking and not the show itself.

    Personally, I’m very surprised it’s still on the air. It’s definitely the best comedy on TV right now, but it’s very different comedy than most people are used to. This is dry humor and the majority of people watching sitcoms, as evidenced by what’s getting the ratings, don’t watch for dry humor. It sounds snobbish, but this is humor on a higher level than most people care to indulge in because it requires more patience and attention than most viewers are willing to give to a show. A series like AD requires viewers to actually think about what’s going on, and most people simply want to sit back and have one-liners tossed at them. There is way more than enough of that kind of humor on TV right now. I don’t know why people who dislike AD get so combative about it – it’s not like AD exists in the vacuum of a show that did appeal to them. The anti-AD people have plenty of options to choose from, so their attacks seem completely unwarranted. Why they feel the need to disparage a show they don’t even watch is beyond me. You can have your Joeys. Just leave this one tiny little show for those of us who find the typical sitcom boring and simple. That’s all I ask.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I had an email exchange with somebody from CTV over “About Jim” or whatever that visual colostomy which has John Belushi’s less talented, less attractive and not as much dead brother. Her whole point wasn’t that the unprompted image of a topless Jim Belushi in his underwear while I was switching channels was near causing me to succumb to hysterical blindness, but that a lot of people watch the show by their shoddy metrics.

    So, funny, clever, etc. don’t enter into it at all. It’s a crap shoot which determines the pole position to a race to the bottom.

    Anybody who doesn’t recognize how brilliant “Arrested Development” is, needs to get a tape recorder and listen to what they say.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Sooo…

    I guess “American Dad” sucked?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Everybody Loves Raymond”

    This is the most over-rated show on TV. The “plots” are repetitive, and the characters are annoying.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Never got the thrill of Seinfeld. Yawner pretty much.”

    You’ve got bad taste, friend. Seinfeld is one of the greatest sitcoms ever. (But Cheers was too, as your rightly point out…)

  • Kujo

    I’ll never forgive Fox for what they did to Firefly. They have the quickest trigger finger of any of the major networks. It wouldn’t surprise if they canceled AD, but I doubt they will. How can you cancel the sitcom that won the past Emmy for best comedy series? I know that they almost canceled AD after season 1, and rumor has it that the Emmy nomination saved the series. I caught on late to AD (casually watched a ep or two (didn’t find it that funny at the time), my cousin kept telling how funny the show was, so I decided to give it another chance, and got caught up over the summer (thank God for Bittorrent). I don’t know how I didn’t get into the show. It’s funny as hell, and easily the best sitcom on TV. I watch it religiously now. The only other sitcom I watch is Scrubs. I can’t stand sitcoms with laugh tracks.

    It’s no secret that Fox almost canceled X-Files after season 1, and you would think by now they would realize that you have to give a critically acclaimed series a chance to grow.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    BTW, I do ‘get’ Arrested Development. I just don’t find it funny enough to justify the love some people seem to have for it. It’s reminiscent of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is also not terribly funny but yet praised to the heavens by so many. They’re like Seinfeld but with sloppier scripts and less engaging characters.

    >>Dave – You’ve told us what you don’t like or think is funny. Give us your Top 3 comedies currently on the air.<<

    That’s a real challenge, especially if I have to limit myself to actual live action comedy and exclude skit shows? Do I?

    My three would be:

    Scrubs
    South Park
    Family Guy

    if it has to be all live actors it’s:

    Scrubs
    Boston Legal
    Malcolm in the Middle

    I do have to admit to not watching an awful lot of TV though.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    First, great responses and discussion, all.

    Second, Tom: I apologize that I missed your column — I’ve had a crazy hectic first and second week on a new career / new job. I saw the Arrested rumor on Ain’t It Cool News and felt compelled to write about it (I’m a compulsive-in-general writer, but that’s another story).

    I wholeheartedly agree with everyone who rightly condemns Fox for playing it massively incompetent with star quality programs. Everyone knows that ratings rule, but you have to cultivate an audience, market an audience, and let the flowers bloom, so to speak.

    Joel – I have Netflix (and love it), and I get the feeling that our tastes are similar, so I’m adding the live action Tick.

    Dave – Cheers for listing your favorite sitcoms. All good choices… though B Legal ain’t no kind of comedy I ever heard of.

    For all Scrubs fans: the janitor guy on the show (forget his name off-hand) is part of an amazing improv group — perhaps the best I’ve ever seen — called Beer Shark Mice. They’ve been performing nearly every Saturday at the IO West improv club in Hollywood. Amazingly funny and professional improv on the super cheap for any LA-ites out there.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Finally, my take on the quality of Arrested Development:

    Comedy is an extremely subjective subject, perhaps more so than drama. What to some is high comedy, to others is low bullshit.

    That being said, it’s difficult for me to fathom how anyone can fail to see the innate quality of AD. I don’t really see it as avant-garde or “dry” — I just think it’s a fast-paced, finely written, story-arc based show (which is why it’s best when you watch the shows in order). It’s a little edgy, but we’re talking about network television here.

    For anyone who might be on the fence: I highly recommend that you rent the first season and watch the first four episodes straight through. Watch the characters come out, the family relationships, the family fortunes build and rise and crumble. There’s a basic humanity to the show (which I attribute to Ron Howard) and a basic cynicism and mania that collide against it: that gives the show it’s comic gleam and its edge.

    Okay, enough said by me. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s hip. I dig it. I hope it doesn’t get cancelled. If other people don’t agree, I’ll get over it.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Other ‘great’ sitcoms I’ve never laughed at:

    The Honeymooners (cruelty isn’t funny)
    I Love Lucy (lucille ball isn’t funny)
    MASH (alan alda isn’t funny – same for talentless costars)
    All in the Family (did anyone think this was funny?)
    Carol Burnet Show (ok, she makes lucille ball almost look funny)
    Mary Tyler Moore Show (I wanted to slap her every episode)

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    damn Dave, you are a freak – I never much like Carol, but the others are the pillars of American TV sitcom history. Maybe you don’t like sitcoms

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I very rarely find sitcoms to be laugh-out-loud funny, which is why, for me, AD stands out so strongly. There are a nice number of sitcoms that are interesting, have fairly good characters, and are written well enough to keep you around. I would put shows like Friends and the Cosby Show (I was a kid in the 80s) in this group.

    Recent sitcoms that are consistently funny are a rare and finite group and include AD, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    For pure comedy, I like the sketch format better, for whatever reason. For example, nearly any episode of Kids in the Hall will blow away — laugh for laugh — 98% of what passes for situation comedy today.

  • Eric Olsen

    I generally HATE sitcoms, but the notion that the best sitcoms in TV history aren’t funny strikes me as perverse

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Well, my only criteria for a Sitcom is that it make me laugh. During the period when all those ‘great’ sitcoms I didn’t like were being made there were other Sitcoms on the air that were actually funny, or at least sketch comedy shows that were funny.

    Actual funny TV Shows:

    The Show of Shows
    Sgt. Bilko
    F Troop
    The Jack Benny Show
    Spin City
    Seinfeld

    There are probably a couple of others, but these ones stand out.

    IMO the absolute worst thing a Sitcom can do is try to be ‘relevant’ and have topical content or convey a message. Absolute death.

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    I like the ones you named also

  • HW Saxton

    RE: Comment#26 “The Honeymooners” is not
    funny? Hmmmm… Yes Ralph was abusive &
    coarse. But he was ALWAYS put into his
    place and showed up by his own stupidity
    which makes the show funny IMO.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Interesting how USAians judge “the funny” of comedy by how much it panders to their expectations. The more it panders, the funnier they find it.

    The Duke tipped me off this week to a new series in the UK called “Nathan Barley”. What it is about is hard to describe, except a whole load of idiots in the nu(umlat)=media in London. There aren’t many jokes, but it is funny as fuck. Or the new series of “The Newsroom” which features the air-head teevee anchor being sent to Kabul (he thinks it is in the Caribbean) where he gets kidnapped, and they release a tape of him discussing potbellied pigs and the Koran, what does it say about them as pets, with his captors, which reduces the ransom from $2million US to $1,700 CDN.

    Or “Trailer Park Boys”, or “Black Books” or “Father Ted”, or “Puppets Who Kill” or “Spaced” or “Hatch, Match and Dispatch” or “Absolutely Fabulous” or “The Jerry Springer Show” or “This Is Wonderland”, or many others. Which means the US sitcom is dead. They just don’t know it.

    But as long as there is an audience which only expects to be pandered to, there will be product to fill that hole.

  • Eric Olsen

    whoa, you stopped me short there: The Jerry Springer Show may be hilarious social commentary of some sort, but if it isn’t pandering, I don’t what what is.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    So, Eric, you think BC might be finally able to present to ISO a standard for comedy, the Springer? An internationally accepted scale of comedy? A three dimensional axis of pandering – the funny – discomfort

    We could work up a paper and present for peer review to the international community. But, you’d have to use the metric system in the States.

  • Eric Olsen

    “pandering – the funny – discomfort” – sort of an unholy trinity! Actually after going to all those Olympics, I’m not bad with the metric system, at least as long as someone is running or jumping or swimming or throwing something

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Jim, YES!!!!!! I saw The Newsroom last night!!!!! A new episode. WOW!!!! One of my favorite sit-coms of modern days!!!! Ken Finkelman is a great writer/director/producer.

    You Canadians have an advantage. The Candian Arts Fund (or whatever they call it) kick starting programs like This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Rick Mercer’s Monday (I loved his “Made In Canada” also), Air Farce and others. All these are shows that humorously challenge what is going on in Canada’s social politics. Finkelman and Mercer do a great job at presenting the realities of the television industry in such a brutal funny way. Oh, Mary Walsh ROCKS also.

    Good job Canada. Your fed’s tax dollars putting such challenging information about your government on your prime time. Canada is an ultimate democracy in this sense.

    God, I love ‘The Newsroom’. I’m so happy it is back on the air. I have many old episodes on video tape. Jim, remember the one where they tried to get the guy to commit suicide on the air for ratings? Also, remember that short lived series by Finkelman called “Foolish Hearts”? I taped the whole thing. That one was out there…

    peaceloveguidance

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    “This Is Wonderland”, another Candian sitcom I think is great.

    It seems the difference between Canadian and USA sit-coms is that Canada uses the template of serious realities of politics and business, the USA has a template of the pettiness created in interpersonal relationships. Well, I’m sure we could find exception, but in general…

    anyway….

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I don’t think you can really call “This Is Wonderland” a sitcom because for the most part it is heartbreaking (for example last week the Nigerian security guard, or almost any of the people they deal with in court, except for the Bridezilla).

    If you haven’t seen it, think “Boston Legal” without the DEK gimmicks, and only ordinary people in court — neighbour disputes, crack-addicts shoplifting, family violence and so on. With some lawyers trying to deal with it, and their own problems.

    Of course to balance all the social good messages, we also have “Trailer Park Boys” which had the Xmas message of what was fucking important about the holidays wasn’t if Santa was God, but that you spend the holidays getting stoned and drunk with your family and friends in the trailer park.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    As an addition for “serious”, the most popular sitcom in Canada is “Corner Gas” which is about a small town in Saskatchewan where nothing much happens. Most of the people aren’t too bright, but it is good-natured (though last night’s ep featured them trying to recruit a doctor who they discovered was a hick (she came from a town of 87)).

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    That’s a reality show, I assume

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Reality? Not as much as “Degrassi:TNG” where director Kevin Smith (playing “Kevin Smith”) induced Caitlin to move to LA, and made Joey cry, a lot. Even Jason Mewes looked embarrased at that bald-headed little man crying so much, like a little bitch, snoogans.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Nothing like a good excuse to jump on the anti-USA bandwagon, aye Jim?

    Can’t we all admit that there’s good and bad comedy (and everything else) in every bloody culture? I gave love in this thread to Kids in the Halll and The Office. There are certainly American shows that match the comedic impact of those brilliant programs.

    Why all the politics all the time, dude?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “MASH (alan alda isn’t funny – same for talentless costars)”

    I agree that MSH was horrible and vastly over-rated.

    “All in the Family (did anyone think this was funny?)”

    I did…

    “Carol Burnet Show (ok, she makes lucille ball almost look funny)”

    I also thought this was funny…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “For pure comedy, I like the sketch format better, for whatever reason. For example, nearly any episode of Kids in the Hall will blow away — laugh for laugh — 98% of what passes for situation comedy today.”

    I agree 100%.

    BTW, I much prefer animated comedy (South Park, King of the Hill, Family Guy, Sealab 2021, etc.) to most sit-coms with real live actors.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Absolutely Fabulous”

    Absolutely unwatchable…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    RJ — You’ve got a point in that South Park, Sponge Bob, and The Simpsons (the show that keeps on truckin’) are all in the Top 10 of funniest overall programs on TV today.

    Throw AD, Curb, and Scrubs in the mix, and I’m close to a Top 10 list… sweet.

    I find King of the Hill fair, and have never seen Family Guy or Sealab.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Oh, and just to comment, Carol Burnett slayed me sometimes…Tim Conway sometimes had me rolling in the floor.

    Give a thumbs up to Monty Python of course. Laugh In, always at the top due to its topical humor which was of and era not in the USA anymore but is more common in Canada.

    hhhmmm…that means that something is going on up there. Social strife. I should drive an hour north and hang out to find out what is going on in Canada’s real life…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    The Flying Circus will likely never be topped for sheer absurdity and inventiveness.

    When I was a kid, a local station aired reruns of Laugh In and Battlestar Galactica back-to-back everyday — great stuff.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Beavis and Butthead…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Where do you rank B&B, Douglas? I think it was a far better, funnier, and innovative show (the watching and commenting on videos thing, which was the majority of most episodes) than generally given credit for.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    RJ: “Absolutely Fabulous”

    Absolutely unwatchable…<<

    And might I add…

    Absolutely NOT funny.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Yeah, I think Ab Fab is one of those shows that just doesn’t translate to American audiences…. especially men.

    The main character was pretty good as the voice of the fairy godmother in Shrek 2, though.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Ab Fab. I love it. It is a French Saunders Production. Pretty good team actually. As Eric says, it may not translate the big American audience. To the underground audience it is a hit.

    I love the episode when Patsy buys bunk cocaine, gets stopped at customs at the airport. The Customs agents come back and let them go because it wasn’t cocaine. Patsy complains that she ‘paid top dollar for that!’.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Eric, oh yes, B&B. hhhmmm… overall, I would rate it in the ‘up there’ class. In ways it can be said to be very radical and accurate in its humor.

    OK, when my daughter was say, 4 years old, I used to have her watch it with me. Just when America’s right side was in an uproar about the cartoon ruining the youth of America. So, daughter didn’t get the jokes of course. But she just started laughing and said “Those guys are really stupid”. I guess she did get the joke. Daughter was an example of how stupid the parents in uproar were.

    So, I do give B&B a high rating overall because they did stir up national social/political termoil. I look at it like my kid’s generation of MAD Magazine. She would have to research or ask questions in order to get the joke. Like MAD, it provided a source of education for the kids. And some adults hopefully….

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    OK, can anyone answer this question. I watch ‘Family Guy’ all the time. The script is out there. I have been into it forever and am watching episodes over and over in syndication.

    My question: why is the episode where Brian the dog becomes a drug sniffing dog (at the airport or something) and becomes hooked on cocaine as he discovers shipment in his job. Wild show, he starts bringing hookers home, etc. Amazingly accurate and funny as hell.

    I have never seen this episode rerun in syndication. I watch just to see this episode again. Might have been too far out for any form of TV? Well, that sure gives the show a ‘thumbs up’ based on that alone…

    peaceloveguidance…

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    why is this episode not shown in syndication? That is the question.

    I proofread my above comment and never actually asked the question. Sorry folks…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “I find King of the Hill fair, and have never seen Family Guy or Sealab.”

    KotH is definitely an acquired taste.

    But Family Guy and Sealab 2021 are just plain HILARIOUS.

    I recommend you watch them both, ASAP…

    (On The Cartoon Network…)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Give a thumbs up to Monty Python of course.”

    Well, that’s a given… ;-)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Beavis and Butthead…”

    A blast from the past!

    Good call.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “My question: why is the episode where Brian the dog becomes a drug sniffing dog (at the airport or something) and becomes hooked on cocaine as he discovers shipment in his job. Wild show, he starts bringing hookers home, etc. Amazingly accurate and funny as hell.”

    LOL! Thanks for the memory!

    I own FG on DVD, so that’s where I saw it. I have no idea if that particular episode is ever going to be played on TV again. But I DO recommend the DVD…