Alf meets Matlock, Blue Velvet debuts, plus Okami, Beast Wars and Jackass 2 – Sep 16-22

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TV returns in a big way this week – Alf and Matlock debut, Family Matters and Seinfeld chug along while Judge Judy, Beast Wars and Studio 60 air their first episodes. We also see David Lynch rebound from Dune and a beautiful wolf goddess save the worl

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1986:

In addition to Blue Velvet, The Men’s Club and Down by Law release in theaters

Head of the Class premieres – Howard Hesseman (played Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinati) plays an unorthodox teacher of a class of stock “gifted school” characters including the cool guy, the fat kid, the nerd, and the beauty (who was played by Robin Givens)

Crime Story! A drama that ran for two seasons about a detective played by Dennis Farina and a mobster played by Anthony Denison who are out to get each other. The show followed a single storyline that arched the entire season, whereas most crime dramas did individual weekly stories

-Matlock! First traditional episode after a TV movie pilot in March, Andy Griffith’s return to popularity after his eponymous show from the 60s (he had a string of short lived shows in the 70s), Matlock cast Griffith as a cantankerous attourney with a knack for exposing criminals and their acts during trials

-Dennis the Menace cartoon begins. Coolest non-British Dennis The Menace, this is inarguable. Unlike the dweeby 50s Dennis or the overproduced Hollywood movie Dennis, this Dennis goes on crazy adventures in space and underwater. Starring Phil Hartman!

SEGA releases Out Run in Japanese arcades. Really pretty scaling effects made it a “new” Pole Position. Inspired by drives across Europe. Yu Suzuki designer, known for After Burner, Space Harrier, Hang-On, Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA, Shenmue, 18-Wheeler… but THE MUSIC, composer Hiroshi Kawaguchi. You could choose the music, so this put the OST front and center. Genesis version in 91

Constrictor – Alice Cooper’s first album in 3 years, feat. songs like “Thrill my Gorilla” and “Teenage Frankenstein.”
Give Me the Reason – Luther Vandross, sold 2 million in the US
Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying? – Megadeth
Fore! – Huey Lewis and the News (one source says Aug 20, who knows, but this was HUGE with Stuck with You, Hip to be Square, 3x platinum

Great scene from American Psycho discussing Fore and Hip to be Square:

1996:

Fashion Nugget – Cake, shipped a million, The Distance
Rhythmeen – ZZ Top
White Light, White Night, White Trash – Social Distortion
Angry Machines – Dio
Animal Rights – Moby in UK, after his self-titled album and pre-Play. Punk rock album, v different
Better Living Through Chemistry – Fatboy Slim debut album

JFK Jr. marries Carolyn Besette, former head of publicity for Calvin Klein. He had previously dated Darryl Hannah, Sarah Jessica Parker,  Brooke Shields and Cindy Crawford. They died when the plane he was piloting crashed in 1999

First Wives Club and Last Man Standing release in theaters

-Beast Wars, Judge Judy and Spin City all begin airing on TV

Season 8 premiere of Seinfeld, “The Foundation,” where George discovers that Susan was rich and instead of inheriting her money, he’s put in charge of her charity foundation

-Season 3 premiere of friends, entitled “The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy” because in 1996 when the internet wasn’t as bountiful Jennifer Aniston in a princess leia costume was a pretty big deal

 

2006:

Jojo, Too Little Too Late is number one this week, released in August, album is next month

Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager – Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly, heard on an NME CD
Coming Home – New Found Glory
The Dutchess – Fergie’s album out, London Bridge was already a banger, Glamorous, Clumsy
Despite Our Differences – Indigo Girls
Hoodstar – Chingy, sold 500k which in 06 is a smash hit
New stuff from Smash Mouth, Bone Thugs, DJ Shadow, Kenny Chesney, Clay Aiken, Jane’s Addiction compilation… just an era in search of a sound

-Ultraman Medius & Ultraman Brothers – 10th Ultraman film marking the 40th anniversary of the franchise. Started in 1966 as a TV show from Tsubaraya Productions, Eiji Tsubaraya was the man behind Godzilla effects, miniatures, then did Ultra Q show which spun off in to Ultraman. Very early kaiju show, he fights bad guys, SNES game etc, we got the 90s show Towards the Future due to the Power Rangers boom

-New in theaters: Flyboys, All the King’s Men, Jet Li’s Fearless and Jackass 2

CW debuts – the first week of CW programming featured reruns of season finales from the WB and UPN shows they absorbed (like Gilmore Girls and 7th Heaven), with the only new programming of the launch week consisting of America’s Next Top Model on 9/20 and WWE Smackdown on 9/22

-Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, a dramedy about a weekly variety show (heavily based on SNL) by Aaron Sorkin. Like every AS show, it has an amazing opening. The problem is, the comedy in the show was awful, and compared to The West Wing and even the Newsroom, there’s barely any stakes when it comes to live comedy.

The third season premiere of The Office, entitled Gay Witch Hunt. Jim now works at the Stamford branch of Dunder Mifflin alongside Karen (Rashida Jones) and Andy (Ed Helms), while Pam has broken up with her fiance. At the office, Michael Scott accidentally outs Oscar, and tries to show his acceptance by kissing Oscar awkwardly.

Okami releases on PS2, as does The Godfather and Zatch Bell

 

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23 thoughts on “Alf meets Matlock, Blue Velvet debuts, plus Okami, Beast Wars and Jackass 2 – Sep 16-22

  1. Fun fact!

    Beast Wars was a Canadian made production and is widely known by that name. Within Canada though, it was called “Beasties” on YTV, I guess because us pacifists disliked the idea of war. It was the same show apart from modified titles and the altered intro song. The vocals would recite “Beasties”. When I finally heard the “Beast Wars” intro, almost sounded like overkill but I was used to my own version.

  2. I understand that pop culture in 2006 is super splintered. So no one piece of pop culture will be universally loved like 80’s stuff is for people of a certain age, however give it 20 years and you will see people be very nostalgic over whatever particular niche of pop culture was part of their formative years. Sorry for the rant.

    1. Not a rant at all! I agree some stuff will persist (Kanye West remains very popular, Lady Gaga counts too) I just have a hard time imagining us, as a culture / people, all reminiscing about the same stuff from 2005 onward. Which is kinda scary, since it suggests younger generations may have less in common, pop-culture-wise? Like if I’m always watching YouTubers and streams and stuff but flash forward 15 years and my co-workers were watching regular TV… or who even knows with music, given Spotify, Bandcamp vs terrestrial radio.

      tl;dr – i agree and should prolly stop bagging on mid-00s so much

  3. You guys forgot the most important detail about Transformers and Carbombia – it actually prompted Casey Kasem, who had provided voices for multiple characters, to quit in protest due to his family being from Lebanon.

    As for Beast Wars, I loved it. It aired at just the perfect time for me while I was watching stuff like Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine and it seemed (at the time) like a “grown up” version of Transformers. More serious sci-fi concepts, deeper characters and serialised stories. I still love it and own it. (Btw, Reboot aired before Beast Wars).

    Lastly, Constrictor was Alice Cooper’s comeback album after spending the early 80s in a drunken stupor and releasing 4 unsuccessful albums. The Nightmare Returns tour really showcased how good his earlier material was and how well it held up. Some of the songs on Constrictor are pretty good, and the concert version of Teenage Frankenstein is actually pretty cool.

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

  4. Although most Transformers fansites celebrated Beast Wars’ 20th anniversary on April 22, the preview airing in the US and the first time the world ever laid their eyes on Beast Wars, it’s understandable that you guys decided to forgo the conversation until the actual season started this week. I was really worried back in April that you guys were just going to skip it entirely and I’m excited to listen.

    It’s seriously such a great show and I went back to it a few years ago expecting it not to hold up at all, and while the visuals definitely don’t, everything else does. After a few episodes I forgot about the crummy CG and just enjoyed the hell out of the story and characters.
    In the immortal words of Beast Wars’ Megatron, “YEESSSSSS”.

  5. Hating ALF is so weird. Nearly *every* 80s sitcom had bad laugh tracks, dumb jokes, etc. at least this one features an ALIEN PUPPET!
    .
    ALF conjures up some special hatred in certain people; I can’t quite understand it. It seems to me that shows like Growing Pains, Charles in Charge, Major Dad, etc are actually worse: they have the same bad jokes and laugh tracks, but no aliens, no puppets, no spaceships, etc. And yet for whatever reason, when those shows are mentioned, there’s no particular shade thrown….

  6. Brett, you cut the Beast Wars song off nanoseconds before they yell “BEAST WARS!”. Also, I absolutely loved that show when it was on. I think it spoiled me, because it honestly had some impressive writing…for a children’s cartoon about animals that transform into robots.

    Also, Jackass 2 came out a few weeks into my freshman year at college. I went to see it with a bunch of dudes from my dorm, and I don’t ever think I’ve laughed as hard at anything else in my life. Such glorious stupidity.

  7. The first two seasons of Alf were pretty good, decent jokes, not the regular crappy sitcom jokes you see coming from a mile away that the last two seasons turned into. Strange that no one mentioned that the neighbor, Mrs. Ochmonek, later played Jerry’s mom on Seinfeld. Diana makes sure that we hear her sounds of disgust as well as Henry does when they don’t like something. Clearly the guys liked Alf, and it seems like the listeners who were around then did.

    86 and 96 were good years for me music-wise, but 06 was pretty much the end of lots of interesting music for me. I don’t think there’s been a real identity to music in the new millenium, mostly just rehashing old eras of music, or stripping away music to very basic sounds. Hearing Moby’s “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters” on Stranger Things credits really annoyed me, it’s a song so tied to 95 and 96 that it being in a show that’s supposed to be in 83 was really wrong to me. Animal Rights was really off-putting at the time, Moby was part of a new, different sound with his electronic albums, then he went and did a noisy rock album that was like any other you could hear for at least a decade and a half.

    The first thing I remember about GamesRadar was looking for info about Okami. before it came out, and the search box had a cool red paintbrush font style that absolutely fit Okami. I came to GR from ads in PSM, and the guys hadn’t unleashed their personalities on the site yet. I played through Okami on PS2, then the rerelease on PS3, and I’d play it again if the rerelease it on PS4. I gave it to several people on PS2, and no one else ever got into it. Philistines.

  8. Dave, I have a very important correction concerning the 90s segment this week. You said that Brooke Shields was on an episode of Friends where she was obsessed with Chandler. This is incorrect. She was obsessed with Joey. Specifically she was in love with the character he played on Days of Our Lives, Dr. Drake Ramoray. But you know Joey, can’t turn an attractive woman down even if she’s clearly has mental issues and should be seeing a therapist. Oh Joey, you rascal.

    (we’ve been watching a lot of Friends on Netflix, it’s actually not as bad as some people might initially think.)

  9. How could you forget to mention that Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad, one American adaption of Ultraman, had Tim Curry as the voice of the main villian Kilokhan?!

  10. Since it came up on the show, I thought I’d share my Okami HD story with you:

    My then-girlfriend/now-wife was studying for her architect’s license, so I would write game reviews to give myself something to do in the evenings while she studied and to earn a little extra money. I was assigned to review Okami HD, and was given a generous 10 days to review it. I would come home from work, fix dinner for us, and play Okami for a few hours each night before bed.
    Meanwhile, my girlfriend and I were going through. We would have vicious fights every night before bed, and everything was a trigger. I left my socks in the living room? Screaming match. She asked me to get her a glass of water? Screaming match. The dog was sitting on the wrong person’s lap? Fight to the death. We came really close to having “the talk” because for 3 days straight, we were just fighting non-stop. It got really bad.
    On my fourth day with the game, we had promised some friends that we would go out to dinner with them, which meant no Okami. We went out, had a great time and everything was normal. We both noticed that we felt different and were back to our regular loving selves. We spent the night apologizing to each other for how we’d been acting, chalked it up to stress and went to bed that night without fighting.
    The next evening, she wanted to hit the books for a bit before bed, so I booted up Okami to make a little more progress. A few minutes into my play session, we both realized it: the dialog sound effect was hitting the perfect note to give us both EXCRUCIATING migraines! Neither one of us had problems with sound-related headaches before, so we hadn’t notice the trigger, but since we had been removed from it for 24 hours, it was stark and obvious.
    I immediately turned the game off, and shot an email to my editor. I told him I was sorry, and explained that I didn’t think I could complete the game. Luckily, he was already playing it and was ready to write a couple hundred words about it. I think he gave it an A-.
    It might have been the acoustics of that apartment, but just in case, I never booted the game up again. It’s a beautiful game, but not worth losing my wife.

  11. Gotta start reigning in Chris Antista on this, keeps talking over everybody, doesn’t seem to want to let anyone talk. For instance, cuts Diana off who was explaining a movie but can’t remember who stars in it and when she tells him he says “Glad Diana is here to cover my ass”. She would have been explaining the whole thing if you didn’t cut her off!

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