Category Archives: Television Reviews

My Top 15 Nostalgic TV Shows (Part 3 of 3)

The conclusion….

06. The X-Files

"....Alright?"

The only entry that’s not a kids show or an animation. The X-Files is in all honesty one of the most influential tv shows I grew up on. A sci-fi/supernatural drama revolving around two FBI agents that investigate series of paranormal activities. The debated theories of the existence of extraterrestrial life used to scare the hell out of me, but watching Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully go to town and kick ass made the idea more exciting to ponder.

There were so many memorable episodes – it’s a must own on DVD. The main story throughout the first few seasons involved Fox (David Duchovny) attempting to prove that aliens are indeed real, and are also responsible for several abductions – including that of his sister. Who went missing, and was presumed dead years prior to the program.

However, it was the filler episodes  that really kept me watching. A generic story of a monster/evil mutant/virus/crazy person terrorising a small town (labelled by fans as ‘Monster of The Week’ episodes), and Mulder & Scully (Gillian Anderson) are called to investigate. Yeah, generic, but the monsters were really unique every week and often brought a hint of a sympathetic nature. Still, although not a part of the main story, there was further exposition into Mulder’s beliefs and Scully’s near-infinite scrutiny surrounding them – not to mention the development of their close friendship and dependence on each other.

The series is a cult phenomenon and has been the bar for many supernatural and sci-fi shows since its end in 2002. During the last few seasons, David Duchovny only appeared in a recurring role, while Scully and their superior AD Walter Skinner became the focal characters. In my opinion, it took a dip – Mulder IS The X-Files. He’s the engine behind the whole series. So to take it away, what would happen? Moan aside, The X-Files did so much for me its ridiculous. It was the first drama I ever watched week after week without missing an episode, and is still on rotation in my DVD collection.

05. Knightmare

You massive helmet...

Aww yeah. This is what I’m talking about! Motherfuckin’ KNIGHTMARE! A UK show broadcast on ITV during after-school hours combining elements of fantasy, knights, goblins, puzzles, computer generated imagery, and saucy elf maidens. Well that last one was slightly misleading…

A lone ‘Dungeoneer’ is given a quest to rescue a person of interest or retrieve an item or relic of importance by Dungeon Master Treguard - who spoke almost all the time in a Shakespearean manner, which was pure awesomeness. However, the Dungeoneer has little to no vision due to the obscuring helmet they must place upon their bonce. A team of 3 friends of the Dungeoneer, normally around 12-16, would then have to guide him/her through the computer generated world created on-screen, as they travel through various rooms, mazes and walkways. Won’t go too in-depth with this one…

It’s great fun to watch some of the retarded kids on there who just cause massive amounts of shit for the Dungeoneer. Has me laughing my arse off half the time. Noah Antwiler (Aka Spoony) did a review on Knightmare a while back. Do check that out on YouTube. It declined in popularity by its eighth series and ended in 1994 :-(

A revival is still being petitioned by fans…

04. M.A.S.K

From L-R 'Maple Leaf', 'Oxygen Tank', 'Rear-View Mirror' and 'Old Yella'

A load of blokes… Check. Sweet vehicles with guns n shit… Check. Odd-looking helmets which still kick butt…. Ding ding ding ding!

3. Thundercats

Bunch of pussies....

So, here’s the top 3. At 3rd place, it’s Thundercats. Why? You idiots… Because it’s Thundercats. Awesome theme music, bad-ass characters, amazing manga-style animation, and probably the show with the best base of operations ‘The Cats’ Lair’. Fucking A.

The premise is that the Thundercats are a group of alien refugees from the planet Thundera. When the planet is destroyed the group travel to Earth, or Third Earth, can’t remember – and set up home as thus. But the evil, nearly naked and undead nasty-doer ‘Mumm-Ra’ is on a course to take over the world. Adequately, the Thundercats are tooled up and take his ass out week after week. No biggie.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"That sword's well bowed mate"

If there’s one thing that ruled my childhood, it was the Turtles. I lived, breathed, ate, slept and drank Turtles from the moment I first watched the show. Every Saturday morning, I’d run downstairs, place myself right in front of the TV, turned up the volume, and sat in silence for approximately 20 minutes. I was comatose throughout, loving every single bit that flashed across the screen.

From the heroes themselves to the genius villain The Shredder, every aspect of the show was perfection. I wanted the toys, I got them. I wanted the vehicles, I got them. Hell I even dressed up as a Turtle on Christmas Day one year – that’s how fucking dedicated I was. In all admittance – I can proudly say I was a hardcore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. No other part of pop culture has had such as a profound impact on me as this.

01. Batman: The Animated Series

Giant kestrel in your hip, sir

I chose Batman: TAS over Turtles as my number one because of one thing… Staying power. This cartoon was first broadcast around 1992, after the overwhelming popularity attained by Tim Burton’s Batman movies – from which it is greatly inspired by.

This show is considered the ultimate depiction of Batman in media other than comic books. It’s still as impressive and very timeless in terms of theme, tone and animation. Possibly THE best animated program of the entire decade.

This clip is not from the original series, but from the feature-length film ‘Return Of The Joker’. It encapsulates everything that made the show brilliant.


My Top 15 Nostalgic TV Shows (Part 2 of 3)

Paaart Twooo…. Just to clarify, by the way – I grew up on these shows, and don’t watch them at all anymore. Shows such as South Park, Family Guy & Futurama – which were originally broadcast in the late 90′s are exempt as I still watch them to this day.

11. The Raccoons

Oh The Raccoons, one of my favourites from Saturday mornings. The premise surrounded three raccoon friends that lived in rural land. The lead character Bert, a clumbsy but happy-go-lucky chap, and his two friends - who are married, but I can’t remember their names… They’re a trio of good-doers in the face of environmental and industrial evil manipulated by the cigar chomping, nasty bastard, Cyril Sneer.

There was alot of great ‘Bert moments’, too many to count. He’s just such a loveable character always ending up in an array of mishaps (his bent nose being the result of this, one of his trademarks) but always kept a positive attitude, and his voice actor captures that perfectly.

There’s a lot of environmental-awareness messages in the series, which wasn’t as obvious or right in your face as something like Captain Planet. It’s conjoined with lessons learned over true friendship, care and love. Great times remembering watching this beast. Not to mention the end credits… ‘Run With Us’ = Tune of my childhood. YouTube, do your thing.

10. A.L.F

"HEY, NICE MARMOT"

If you know of our good pal from outer space, Gordon Shumway, HOORAY HAVE BIG PEEERRRTY! If not… shame on you, shame on yoooou. ALF (as he was more commonly known) is one of those cult classics that stay in your heart – A character that just has such a recognisable face, voice and character.

He’s slightly more adherent to getting himself into trouble, all in the name of comedy. But he’s not just some idiotic oaf. He’s also very much a cynic, an extremely human characteristic, as well as being abit of a smart arse. Gordon wasn’t an ‘alien’ as such, he integrated into his new society fairly easily, and there wasn’t those fish out of water buggers lurking around the corner. He just seemed like one of the guys, albeit a ginger alien one…. It was extremely popular, lasting for 4 seasons, along with a TV movie. Definitely a big recommend to check out on DVD.

09. Art Attack

"Hey, shuddupya faaace!"

If there was one British kids show that absolutely everyone loved… it was Art Attack. Hosted by northern bloke Neil Buchanan, the show would involve Neil creating various paintings and pictures using everyday household items, sometimes to crazy effect. Most famously, he’d always use ‘poster paint’ and cotton wool.

The results were always amazing, and I’d constantly demand that my parents bought me the materials so I could emulate what I’d seen. The most famous segment of the the show was ‘Big Art Attack’ – where Neil would create a piece of art across a massive scale. Normally on gravel, grass or a huge fabric. Using various objects instead of conventional paints or crayons. The only one I can remember being genuinely amazed at was his creation of the Queen’s face by using British Sterling notes….

08. Transformers

100% Prime BEEF

I don’t need to go on about this. Every single red-blooded male will agree that this should be on this list. Now, with the formalities out of the way, let us embrace this timeless show. Fuck you, Bay.

07. Ren & Stimpy

Jonah Hill and Michael Cera's opiate experiment didn't fair well

Ren & Stimpy was one of the first animated shows to really push the boundaries. Not only in terms of content, but animation aswell. It’s light years away from what else was on at the time. The obscure and zany characters were complimented by stories just as such. The titular characters, Ren – a crazy, unhinged chihuahua who is extremely hot-headed and short-tempered and probably the only friend he could hope not to have – Stimpy, a dumb, gormless but extremely joyful and happy cat, are two of the most recognisable and talked about fictional characters of the 90′s.

Of course, you’d expect them to not get along and always be fighting etc - but there was so much more to Dog Hate Cat – Cat Hate Dog. These characters were seriously screwed up, and it’s amazing to watch, especially where Stimpy would be oblivious to the effects his actions would have on Ren’s psyche and the ensuing result. The animation was sometimes straight up scary…. Especially Ren’s moments of madness… He truly looked terrifying sometimes by use of extreme distortions of his face for example. Ren & Stimpy was different, fresh, out there and a huge leap for the advancement of animated comedy. T

he show was certainly NOT a kids show – more accessable, but not understandable. So many inclusions of adult themes, like psychological issues, violent scenes and sexual innuendo made Ren & Stimpy subject to censorship and complaints from parents and it was the only of its kind during its original airing.

Although since there has been many copycats trying to capture the essence of the show – Spongebob Squarepants being the most prominent by using similar musical scores and the infamous ‘close up’ shots that would depict something terrifying or disgusting.. However I’d gamble everything I own for another show to come along and do what Ren & Stimpy has done for the world of animation. This scene, captures the show’s tone to absolute perfection…


My Top 15 Nostalgic TV Shows (Part 1 of 3)

Taketh heed. These shows were basically my bread and butter growing up in the 90′s. Occasionally I’ll check out the odd clip on YouTube for reference, or just to remind myself of how cool they were. Bearing in mind, I haven’t watched full episodes of these shows for close to 10 years, alas my knowledge is going to be fairly minimal of the series themselves. Anyway, so… yeah, enjoy!

15. Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors

What d’you get if you cross plants with big fuck-off trucks, Black & Decker power tools and a midget robot knight?

14. Married… With Children

Not sure if I included the correct amount of elipsys there… Married With Children was probably my first foray into the world of the American sitcom. Of course we had Roseanne on Channel 4, but just couldn’t get into its pretty serious tone at times. My brother introduced me to some Al Bundy midi soundbites on a MWC fanpage and I was intrigued to check it out – So I began regularly watching until the final season aired on Sky 1.

At 12 years old, it was kind of difficult to comprehend some of the mysoginistic commentary that Bundy spewed on a weekly basis – But I just loved the selfishness, crudeness and laziness that made him such a funny character. Not the role model you’d want your kids to look upto, however he’s one of the masters of the killer comeback….

13. The Tick

"WE SHALL BREAK FAST"

Fell into this one fairly late in my childhood. Channel hopped one evening and stumbled across this puppy on BBC Two. The Tick was a comedy animation that was a precursor to the humour we see today in alot of young teen animation shows. The Tick was a superhero dubbed ‘legally insane’ living in a city full of costumed crimefighters - majority of them a parody of famous Marvel/DC mainstays.

The characters were so unique in all senses, especially Tick himself . His imposing figure, squared jaw but ‘act before think’ mantra and ludicrous monologues were feats of comedic genius throughout, adding further parody to the conventional superhero shows around at the time. Along with sidekick, Arthur the Moth, confused for a rabbit, and his baffling affiliation and hijinx with Tick - they created some of the funniest tv moments I experienced growing up. SPOON!

12. Space Precinct

Creased Shirts, All The Rage

Not alot of people remember this one. A sci-fi/cop show hybrid (with a kick-ass theme song) created by Gerry Anderson that proved pretty popular around Europe during syndication – but extremely short-lived and often-forgotten on the pile of afternoon serials. Personally, I loved the premise of a police force in space, dealing with alien crooks and the like – Awesome fun for after school! Sure, it wasn’t the greatest show of its kind, but it maintains that very Anderson-esque charm which we can all admit to having a soft spot for.

 


Schedule For Week – Commencing August 22nd 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

23/08/11 ~ X-Men: First Class (Film Reviews)

24/08/11 ~ Top 10 Villains (Film Rant Corner)

25/08/11 ~ ‘Wasted Time’ (Film Rant Corner)

28/08/11 ~ ‘An Idiot Abroad’ (Television Reviews)


‘Best Michael Scott Quotes Ever’

In 2010, we were informed that Steve Carell, who plays boss Michael Scott, after spending 7 years at ‘The Office’, would be departing the show after the end of the seventh season. Which obviously sucked balls.

To express my personal gratitude, here are some of my favourite quotes that were delivered by the gone but never forgotten, self-proclaimed ‘World’s Best Boss’.

  1. (After tasting wine) “That’s an oaky afterbirth..”
  2. “I am Michael, and I am part English, Irish, German, and Scottish, sort of a virtual United Nations.”
  3. “Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he’s really not a part of our family. Also, he’s divorced, so he’s really not a part of his family.”
  4. “Would I rather be feared or loved? Um… Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
  5. “You may look around, and see two groups here. White collar, blue collar. But I don’t see it that way. You know why not? Because I am collar-blind.”
  6. “I don’t want somebody sucking up to me because they think I’m going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me.”
  7. “They always say that is a mistake to hire your friends. And they are right. So, I hired my best friends. And this is what I get?”
  8. “Nobody likes to be flashed. When Meredith flashed me at the Christmas party, I nearly vomited.”
  9. Andy – “So, help us out?” Michael – “Wish I could, but I can’t. Well can, but won’t… Should, maybe, but… shorn’t.” Kevin – “Michael, please…” Michael – “What part of ‘shorn’t’ don’t you understand, Kevin?”
  10. Gabe – “Michael, you’re making this harder than it has to be.” Michael - “That’s what she said…”
  11. “I… DECLARE… BANKRUPTCY!!!!!”
  12. “The rules of shotgun are very simple and very clear. The first person to shout ‘shotgun’ when you’re within the sight of the car gets the front seat. That’s how the game’s played. There are no exceptions for someone with a concussion.”
  13. “I’m an early bird and I’m a night-owl. So I’m wise and I have worms.”
  14. “Nobody likes beets (beetroot), Dwight. Why don’t you grow something that everybody does like? You should grow candy.”
  15. “I do think that I’m very approachable. But maybe I need to be approachabeller.”

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