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The Verrrrry Interestink TV Thread 
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Burning Godzilla
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Victoria Silverwolf wrote:
The first season of Amazing Stories ends, leaving the viewer with mixed feelings.

"Hell Toupee" seems to exist mainly for the title pun. It's an extremely silly comedy about a haunted toupee which causes everybody who wears it to want to murder lawyers. It is so goofy that it provides some amusement.

That's the one where my cousin played the protagonist.

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Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:26 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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supersonic man wrote:
Victoria Silverwolf wrote:
The first season of Amazing Stories ends, leaving the viewer with mixed feelings.

"Hell Toupee" seems to exist mainly for the title pun. It's an extremely silly comedy about a haunted toupee which causes everybody who wears it to want to murder lawyers. It is so goofy that it provides some amusement.

That's the one where my cousin played the protagonist.


Very cool. He did a good job playing it very deadpan despite all the silliness.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:24 pm
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And he's very into silliness. Currently on Facebook he is calling for our vote for the office of Vice President, with no running mate. His slogan is "I'm old enough, and I have ideas!" His policy proposal for the Mexican border is to plant a nice hedge.

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Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:15 pm
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The first two episodes of the second season of Amazing Stories seem to think it's a sex comedy series.

"The Wedding Ring" features a ring stolen from the wax statue of a seductive murderess which transforms a mousy waitress into a femme fatale. Not much to it, although Rhea Perlman (playing the wife of real-life husband Danny DeVito, who also directed) does a good job slinking around as a dangerous sexpot. She also wears a really nifty spider dress at one point.

"Miscalculation" is about a teenager who accidentally creates a formula which brings images in magazines to life. Of course, he applies it to centerfolds. (Clothed centerfolds; this is American network TV of the 1980's.) A lot of things go wrong. Pretty lame effort from writer Michael McDowell of Bettlejuice fame. Mildly interesting twist at the very end.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:46 am
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The next four episodes reveal the thinness of the vast majority of these stories. I know they only have twenty-odd minutes to work with, but even so the plots are awfully simple.

"Magic Saturday" -- Even the title tips you off that this is just a variation on the old Freaky Friday theme. Kid and grandfather use magic to swap bodies. Pretty bad, particularly when the old man in the child's body throws ridiculously unrealistic pitches in a baseball game. A disappointment from writer Richard Christian Matheson.

"Welcome to My Nightmare" -- Nerdy teen lives in a fantasy world of horror films, makes a wish that life could be like the movies, winds up in the universe of Psycho. Uses a lot of footage from that classic, not to the episode's advantage.

"You Gotta Believe Me" -- Guy has a dream that a plane will crash, sets out to prevent it. Very linear plot, but I'll admit that it's nicely filmed, with the opening dream sequence genuinely eerie.

"The Greibble" -- Mom throws away her kid's picture books now that he's older. A Dr. Seuss style creature from one of them shows up and eats all kinds of inanimate objects in the house. That's about it. Seems to exist mostly to show off the creature suit. Joe Dante directs, so it's nice to see Dick Miller show up in a small role.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:41 am
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Quite a bit of improvement in the next two episodes.

"Life on Death Row" involves a condemned murderer who gets zapped by an electric fence during an escape attempt. He winds up with the power to heal anyone he touches. (This is before The Green Mile.) Should the state spare his life so he can use his powers? Good ending. Nicely filmed in mostly grays.

"Go to the Head of the Class" is a pretty effective horror-comedy. A couple of teens use black magic to put a curse on their hated English teacher. Things go very wrong. One of only two hour-long (OK, forty-five minute long) episodes. A little slow to get going, but speeds up as things get complicated. Christopher Lloyd plays the teacher way over the top, which fits the story's mock-Gothic mood.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:03 am
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Victoria Silverwolf wrote:
"Go to the Head of the Class" is a pretty effective horror-comedy. A couple of teens use black magic to put a curse on their hated English teacher. Things go very wrong. One of only two hour-long (OK, forty-five minute long) episodes. A little slow to get going, but speeds up as things get complicated. Christopher Lloyd plays the teacher way over the top, which fits the story's mock-Gothic mood.


The "Meet the MISTERS!" sequence is one of Lloyd's less-appreciated moments of ham perfection.

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Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:21 am
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The next four episodes offer a very mixed bag.

"Thanksgiving" -- Given the title and the fact that this starts with a young woman living with her mean stepfather way out in the middle of the desert, and that she "prays" to her dead mother that they find water in their well, I thought this was going to be another sappy sentimental "you just gotta believe" story. Imagine my surprise where it turns into a weird story about the two of them exchanging stuff with whatever or whoever lives very, very deep in the well. (It reminded me of the time exchange sequence that begins the plot of Terror From the Year 5000.) Interesting and surprisingly dark.

"The Pumpkin Competition" -- Pure silliness as a mean old miser of an old maid gives a professor a bunch of money for his plant growth formula in order to win a pumpkin contest. Yes, it leads up to a pumpkin the size of a small house. All the subtle nuance of a Saturday morning cartoon.

"The Eternal Mind" -- Scientist dying from some disease or other has his consciousness uploaded into a computer. Must have seemed like a new idea for television in the 1980's. Not badly done.

"Lane Change" -- Basically a two-character drama as a young woman offers a ride an older woman on a rainy night, then sees things on the road that seem to be from her past. Very nicely done. Written by Richard Matheson's daughter, who must have picked up a few tips from her father. Very much in the style of The Twilight Zone, and even borrows its theme from one of the episodes her father wrote.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:07 am
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A couple more, then if I'm lucky I'll finish off the series tomorrow. (I notice my source doesn't have the episode "What If . . .?" so my obsessive completeness is frustrated. Oh, well.)

"Blue Man Down" -- A veteran cop has his partner killed during an armed robbery. He later has the chance to catch the killer, with the help of his new partner, a young woman. If that sounds like a straight crime story, that's because that's the way it's filmed. You'll probably figure out the speculative content.

"21 Inch Sun" -- A failing TV comedy writer gets help when winning scripts show up from an unexpected source. The silly premise explains the odd title.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:46 am
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Finishing up:

"Family Dog" -- Pilot for the animated series of the same name, which I've never seen. Not a lot of interest happens until the last seven minutes or so, but when the title canine gets sent to a bizarre training camp for attack dogs, you can tell that Tim Burton had a hand in the design.

"Gershwin's Trunk" -- Quirky combination of murder story, musical comedy, and dark supernatural comedy. Failing song writer gets help from beyond the grave via a medium. Features some old-style Broadway songs. The interesting parts were probably provided by co-writer/co-star Paul Bartel.

"Such Interesting Neighbors" -- Guy finds out his new neighbors are from the future. Based on the story of the same name by Jack Finney. This was actually done better by Science Fiction Theater back in the 1950's under the title "Time Is Just a Place." Adam Ant is surprisingly sedate as the man from tomorrow.


"Without Diana" -- Pure sentiment. Little girl gets lost back in the 1940's, shows up again decades later no older. Predictable and sappy.

"Moving Day" -- Teenager finds out his parents are from another planet, and they're going back home. Not much to it, weak ending.

"Miss Stardust" -- Extremely broad farce as a beauty contest attracts contestants from other planets. "Weird" Al Yankovic plays a cabbage-headed alien strictly by screaming at the tops of his lungs.

_________________
Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:24 am
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And another old series:

"Too Many Suspects" is the ninety-odd minute pilot for the short-lived series Ellery Queen. Set in the late 1940's, it's a deliberately old-fashioned whodunit. The pilot features the familiar theme of a dying clue left by the victim. The series has a great deal of charm. There's a fine cast. (John Hillerman steals the show as a radio star, and has the perfect voice for it.) Ellery breaks the fourth wall near the end, and directly asks the audience if they've figured out the mystery yet. Like everything else in the series, it's completely artificial, but a lot of fun.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Last edited by Victoria Silverwolf on Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:42 am
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I enjoyed that series when it was on.

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Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:23 pm
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From what I have found on the Internet it seems to have been a favorite of many folks, although not a ratings success and also somewhat expensive to film due to the period setting. There also seems to be some suggestion that creators Levinson and Link (Mannix, Columbo, etc.) felt that it failed to reach a mass audience because the mystery puzzles were too complex, and that they deliberately made the clues easier in Murder, She Wrote; which, of course, was quite successful.

I've since watched a couple of episodes. The setting, the guest stars, and the general flavor of the whole thing are the real appeal of it, beyond the whodunit plots, as elegant as they are.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:35 am
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Slowly making my way through the episodes. No reason to mention every one, since they all follow the same pattern.

I will note that "The Adventure of the 12th Floor Express," in addition to the usual whodunit plot, features a nifty locked room mystery. Guy gets into an elevator alone, presses the button to the 12th floor. When the elevator arrives, he's been shot dead. No sign of the murder weapon, no way for the killer to get in or out of the elevator. The explanation is a simple and very logical one.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:23 am
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Still working my way through that series. Just watched the only episode actually based on an Ellery Queen story, "The Adventure of the Mad Tea Party." Lots of Lewis Carroll references.

Meanwhile, I have found out that somebody has put the complete series Newhart on Internet Archive. I've never seen it.

My question for those of you who know; how does it compare to The Bob Newhart Show, which I enjoyed?

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:19 pm
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