ABC goes TGIF, Freaks and Geeks introduces a new generation of stars, and HBO is in the middle of new golden era, Sept. 20-26

Sept. 20-26: James Spader has a video camera, Michael Douglas goes to Japan, Baywatch slow-mo runs onto TVs, kids say TGIF, Ashley Judd’s in prison, family sit-coms get modern, good wives vs. cougars, and TV gets freaky and geeky in the West Wing, plus a Shaun of the Dead prequel, and special guests from There Are Their Stories come on to discuss Mariska Hargitay’s perfect hair. All that and more this week on Thirty Twenty Ten, your weekly look back on the week that was 30, 20, and 10 years ago.


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8 thoughts on “ABC goes TGIF, Freaks and Geeks introduces a new generation of stars, and HBO is in the middle of new golden era, Sept. 20-26

  1. The West Wing doesn’t hold up, it’s especially bad in regards to it’s female and minority characters. It is a perfect encapsulation for why the Democrats are a bunch of feckless losers. Because of the show they won’t actually stand up for their principals of that had them. They’re just a bunch of triangulating piles of trash that inexorably knuckle under and slide right when Republicans want them to. If you want an episode by episode guide to how shit it is listen to the West Wing Thing podcast with Dave Anthony from The Dollop and a writer friend of his.

  2. I wonder what it is that inspired Chris to call something “astonishing” in every episode of every show for the past couple of months? Does he think “amazing” is overused, too?

  3. Of the films inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989,which ones have you not seen and do you have any desire to watch them?

    Society is probably the gushiest, mushiest, moistest films I’ve ever seen. It has some of the most visceral body horror I’ve ever seen which is really impressive when you consider that its special effects are all 30 years old. It’s all practical, of course, and this creates a sense of slop and goop and spit and bodily fluids that even in 2019 I’m not sure CGI is all that good at invoking. I think that if this hadn’t had a delayed release (it came out years earlier in the UK than in the US) it could have a similar reputation to They Live (another film where the Upper Class are non-human enemies). Hmmm… . the Gini co-efficient (the measure of how unequal a society is) is worse now than it was in the 1980’s but I can’t think of an equivalent to They Live or Society made in the last ten years. What film made in this decade has been harshest to the Upper Class?–1967.html

    Sex, Lies, and Video Tapes. Young me was always meaning to rent this film at the video store but that was 100% due to being intrigued by title. I never did rent it, I think because I heard on the playground that it didn’t actually live up to how exciting the title was. Question: What are some really awesome tittles that just had so-so movies attached to them?

    Black Rain. How many “Japanic” films were there? This one (and I find it _hilarious_ that Japan, arguably the country with the lowest crime rate in the world, is apparently portrayed as dangerous. I felt safer being stumbling drunk and completely lost while walking down dark abandoned Japanese alleys than I have in plenty of cities in the middle of the day) and Rising Son for sure. Others? (I’m not sure if Gung-Ho counts or not as I recall at least some of the Japanese execs as being sympathetic and it’s fundamentally about Japanese and Americans learning to work together).

    I never knew that TGIF showed the pilot episode of all it shows one night. In the pre-DVD era, that sounds really awesome. Does anyone else remember any non-standard TGIF thing? Could be an interstitial, could be a crossover, anything special they did at for TGIF counts but what do you remember?

    Besides the mentioned Brisco County Jr, Young Riders was not the last western to appear on Network TV as “The Magnificent Seven” was on CBS for two seasons from 1998 to 2000 (and was mentioned in passing on a 302010 episode. GASP! How could the hosts forget one thing out of the thousands of things they’ve mentioned? I may need some smelling salts). Any others?

    Is Baywatch still the most popular show in the world? I can’t think of anything else that has come out since then that could have displaced it in global terms. Also, side note: I just learned (via Podcast the Ride) that the Baywatch Stunt Show exists in the Baywatch universe! That is, the Baywatch casts goes to the Baywatch Stunt show (in the show) and the announcer calls at least one of them by name. I guess in the Baywatch world lifeguards are like bouncers in Road House and are quasi-celebrities.

    Unsurprisingly, Baywatch has a podcast dedicated to reviewing every episode. Question: What is the biggest show that DOES NOT have a podcast dedicated to it and it alone?

    Golden Girls: I would love to see a supercut of Dorothy going off on person after person.

  4. Mission Hill. The scene that stays with me the most is when the protagonists has an sudden realization of Torschlusspanik and freaks out a little. Torschlusspanik is a combination of three German words and literally translated means “gate-shut-panic” and it basically means the feeling you get when you realize that time is running out to accomplish things in your life. I watched it in Japan when I was 23 and living a pretty carefree and happy life with my first post-college job, a job that paid well and wasn’t very hard and allowed me to have plenty of free time and adventures. At the time it was just a funny scene but it stayed in my memory and as the years passed and passed I eventually found myself in a situation not dissimilar from the protagonists and suddenly it didn’t sit in my memory as so funny anymore. But now that time in my life is long past and I rewatched it and now it’s just funny again. So that one scene went from funny to not funny to back to funny again, all while it stayed exactly the same, it was just that I was changing.

    Freaks and Geeks. I’ve yet to see a single frame of the show but I’ve heard about it for 20 years now as something I “have to watch.” Has anyone watched it _in the last five years_ and if so does it still hold up?
    I haven’t watched a single episode since it went off the air, but going off my memory I think the best way to watch The West Wing in the same state of mind as you’d read pulp stories from the 1930’s or comics from the 1950’s. That is, as you are reading it you know damn well that this isn’t how life actually is or even how it would be if these characters were in the positions they are in but you take it as a fun little world to inhabit and accept its differences as part of the charm.

    At least once a year I see a clip or a freeze frame with subtitled dialogue pop of that Dragnet scene where the hard boiled cop talks to hippies about the state of the world and what they should and can do about it. I’m thinking that various Bartlet speeches are going to be quoted on Facebook and Twitter (and on whatever replaces them) into the 2070’s as well. That’s not a bad form of immortality for a show.
    I’ve never watched SVU but I thought it was really neat that #302010 had guests for what I think is the first time. Who here would like to see more guests on the show in the future?

    Dianna was earlier talking about how the AFI sometimes nominates films because they capture something that is now passed away, an area that changed beyond recognition or before a way of life fully died out. Well, The September Issue can be considered that for magazines. Oh sure, we have tons of magazines today but those magazines are a shadow of their former selves and aren’t nearly the cultural force they were in 2009. This film was done at the exact perfect moment as it was RIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHT before Facebook and Google swallowed all the digital advertising money that was supposed to save the magazine biz as print advertising continued to tank. It was the last time that the magazine world could brag about how _thick_ their magazines were and how they landed with the thud of a phone book. It wasn’t intended to be but it’s preserving in amber a way of life now unrecognizable to people who work at the exact same magazines in 2019. (That’s what I’ve read anyways. Dianna do you work in magazines or have friends who do? How do they view the world depicted in The September Issue compared to today?)

    Bored to Death had a pretty unresolved ending but I’m fine with that as the show was essentially about stumbling through life and didn’t have any great theme. That’s not meant to be a dig, I remember finding the show funny, but I’m not sure I’d call it about anything. But maybe I remember wrong. Would you say Bored to Death was about anything? If so, what?

    I keep hearing good things about it so I’m considering a Cougartown speed watch. This is where rather than watching every episode of every season I just find a list of the top 20 or so episodes of all time and just watch those, accepting that I’ll miss plenty but that the 80/20 rule will carry me through as I just don’t have the time to be a completest of old TV shows when there is so much new stuff on my “must watch” list. Anyone have any Cougartown episodes which they would call as “must watch” ones?

    Modern Family is still on the air? I genuinely had no idea. I watched every episode of seasons 1-3 and then sometime in 4 I just fell off and never went back. I guess I just assumed it got canceled sometime in the last couple of years so color me shocked. Any of these surprise you with the fact that they are still on the air?

    Katamari Forever. Honestly the series need to lay fallow for some years. I loved the first two games and will always remember them fondly but there is only so much you can do with the Katamari concept before it gets stale. I mean, once you roll up the Universe, where do you go from there?

  5. I was born in ‘93, so watching TV in the late 90s/early 00s, certain reruns made me feel sick, weird, and uncomfortable- like they were set in an alternate dimension. It’s only thanks to this show that I know ALL of those shows premiered in 1989.

    1. >>certain reruns made me feel sick, weird, and uncomfortable<<

      I was born in 1983, and I used to feel that way about shows on Nick @ Nite back in the early 90s. Great way to describe it.

  6. Ha, “I Love Saturday Night” on ABC in the early 90s was where the 80s sitcoms went to die (Growing Pains, Who’s the Boss?) There’s a compilation on YouTube of Larry & Balki hosting I Love Saturday Night. I only remember watching Family Matters and Step by Step on TGIF.

    Damn, I thought “Nasty Boys” was about Jenna Marbles’ dog, Kermit 😉

    I always just associate Law & Order SVU with the Kathy Griffin joke about her mom always calling it “Law & Order SUV”.

    1. I didn’t finish! I couldn’t stand Modern Family the first couple of seasons because it was when the economy “shit the bed” (in Diana’s words) and seeing an upper class family was just too much for me at the time. I have no issues with the show now though. I love Ed O’Neill and his little dog, Stella.

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