HALL OF FAME
It’s time for another Hall Of Fame entry here at Remote Patrolled, a strand we haven’t run for a while given all the new Fall TV Shows!
This time around we’re talking The West Wing, the groundbreaking NBC drama that ran for 7 seasons from 1999 to 2006, back in the days when the Peacock network was still capable of producing great shows!
The West Wing is one of those series that’s remembered fondly by a generation of TV viewers for a whole host of reasons. Foremost among them though was that it was smart. And honestly, smart TV doesn’t come along all that often.
Just like ER before it, The West Wing established its own style of dialogue and pacing. Who can forget all those one-shot walk and talks around the White House, as characters discussed complex policy matters and foreign affairs? The West Wing was one of those shows where you really had to work to keep up with what was going on. Often I wouldn’t fully understand a storyline until halfway through an episode. Put it this way – we’re not exactly talking Keeping Up With The Kardashians here!
It’s been a while since we last inducted a classic TV show into our Remote Patrolled Hall Of Fame, so I thought it was time to select another honoree – and this time around it’s one of my favorite slices of soap opera silliness, Melrose Place!
I am of course referring to the ORIGINAL Melrose Place, which ran from 1992 – 1999 on Fox, NOT the dreadful CW remake from last year. Boy, was that a misfire in every way. Shot like a music video with a non-stop soundtrack and with a far too young cast, Melrose 2.0 was everything the original wasn’t – charmless, over-calculated and bland.
But oh how I loved the original Melrose. At the time I was still living in England when the show hit and had to catch episodes on Sky One in the UK, a minimally watched cable network which insured that Melrose never really took off in Britain the way it did overseas. I think I was one of the few people following the show, so I couldn’t exactly discuss the plotlines around the watercooler! And of course this was in the pre-internet age…
As you may have noticed Roseanne Barr has been back in the headlines recently with her Oprah appearance and the announcement of her upcoming new Lifetime reality show (which sounds dreadful). So we figured now was as good a time as any to induct Roseanne, Barr’s groundbreaking late 80’s sitcom, into our Remote Patrolled Hall of Fame.
Like many 80’s shows I watched Roseanne as an import in the UK, where it aired on Friday nights on Channel Four (the network had a great comedy block going on for a while there). I was 15 when the show first launched, definitely the right age for Roseanne’s trademark bad attitude and one-liners. Though Roseanne didn’t feel so groundbreaking in England – where low-income families were often featured in comedies and soaps – I can understand why the show stood out in a US TV landscape populated by the likes of Small Wonder and ALF. Roseanne was definitely worlds apart from these plastic middle class families and their cheesy and cheery stage school kids.
Hey everyone – it’s Hall of Fame time again. And this week we’re not going too far back – in fact this show only finished its run in 2006.
I’m talking about Will and Grace, the straight girl / gay guy comedy that was pretty much the last gasp success of NBC’s once triumphant Thursday comedy block.
As a proud member of the gay community I remember being extremely excited about Will and Grace months before it launched, really hoping the show’s producers would get the mix right and deliver a show that was both laugh out loud funny and representative of gay life (and gay / female friendships). And by and large they did. Will and Grace made me laugh – a lot – but it also struck home with me in a way that other network sitcoms like Friends and Frasier never did.
For most of its run Will and Grace delivered belly laughs week after week. Will was neurotic and anal. Grace was flighty, impulsive and clumsy. Together actors Eric McCormack and Debra Messing just zinged off one another. No wonder the two remain friends in real life – you can’t fake chemistry like that. Their relationship was so real and heartwarming – More >
It’s time to induct another show into our Remote Patrolled Hall of Fame and this week it’s another old favorite from my teenage years – David Lynch’s evocative and disturbing murder mystery, Twin Peaks.
Peaks launched in 1990 on ABC, though as usual us Brits got the show a little further down the line. I remember watching the show on BBC2 in the UK, on a small portable TV in my bedroom – the series was certainly not my parents’ sort of show! I was 16 at the time and in love with all things Americana. And of course I was instantly hooked on this bizarre depiction of small town USA.
Let’s be honest, Twin Peaks was one very strange show! At the time I knew little about David Lynch but Peaks was unlike anything else on TV. I mean how many other shows featured a character like the Log Lady, a woman with a pet log that she conversed with – or malevolent spirits possessing people’s bodies. And then there was the show’s pacing (slow!) and frequently improvised style. It really was totally unique. But while the show could come off as kooky, most of all it was disturbing. Twin Peaks has More >
So here’s a new strand we’re going to be running on Remote Patrolled – our own Hall of Fame, where each week we’ll be inducting a different TV classic from over the years. First up – it’s The Golden Girls.
Yes, I know it’s an obvious choice and given that the series is still in constant reruns it feels like The Golden Girls never went away – but I can think of no better way to kick off our new feature than with a show that never fails to put a smile on my face, over 2 decades after it first began.
The Golden Girls ran on Saturday nights from 1985 – 1992 on NBC but I used to watch it on Channel Four in England. At the time I was just 12 years old – young enough for some of the humor to go over my head – but old enough to know that something adult was going on. It’s one of the things I loved about The Golden Girls – those ladies were dirty little minxes – and even now, all these years later, the humor retains its edge.
In fact The Golden Girls is one of those shows that for me hasn’t More >