Archive for the ‘Way Back When’ Tag

Straight Outta Compton and N.W.A. 27 Years Later   Leave a comment

I watched the movie Tuesday afternoon in Boston. The audience was diverse and the theater was packed despite it being a Tuesday afternoon. Not surprising given who it’s about.

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Top: NWA’s Movie Counterparts. Ice Cube’s son plays him in the movie.

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The remaining Members of N.W.A. and Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray and Jason Mitchell, who played the late Eric “Easy-E” Wright (from top-left): Ice Cube, Gray, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, Mitchell and MC Ren.

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…Before I begin, I do want to point out Straight Outta Compton is the name of both the movie and the 1988 album by N.W.A. The movie’s nearly two hours long and likely due to time, I noticed certain scenes shown in the movie trailer weren’t in the theatrical release. More on that in a little bit. To those who may be wondering thankfully, the actual music is used. Having ALL of the original members having a part in the movie’s production sure helped of course (LOL).

N.W.A.

Anyone even remotely interested in Rap or Hip Hop knows and if they don’t, SHOULD know that without N.W.A., there would be no Snoop Dogg, Eminem or 50 Cent. There would be no Tupac, Death Row Records, Aftermath Records, Shady Records or Menace II Society. Before there was Bone Thugs N Harmony, there was N.W.A.

They legendary rap group had the balls to speak their minds through their music at the height out the “War on Drugs”. They had the balls to say what everyone was thinking but didn’t have the balls to say. As Ice Cube’s son says as him in the film, their music was a reflection of their reality. 27 years later, the imfamous song Fuck tha Police is heralded as the most controversial track ever recorded. Why?

The track speaks for itself (Lyrics included):

…Unsurprisingly, the track has gained a recent surge in popularity and universal appeal in recent years for obvious reasons. Most folks are familiar with the song Express Yourself, which is actually on the SAME album as Fuck tha Police. The cover track is the first one as well.

Now let’s talk about the movie Straight Outta Compton. As I noted at the top, all of surviving members of N.W.A–Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren–played a part in the movie’s production. Ice Cube and Dr. Dre co-produced the movie. As he said in a recent interview on ESPN, he didn’t give preferential treatment to his son, who plays him in the film. Jason Mitchell plays Easy-E, who died of AIDS in 1995. In the days since the movie’s release this past weekend, Easy-E’s daughter made some comments on Twitter some interpreted as concern over how her father is portrayed in the film. She clarified her statements the same day and announced she’s working on a side project about her father. Mitchell has been tapped to reprise his role as Easy-E in it as well.

Another thing folks have been saying online is how MC Ren and DJ Yella were barely there and that Dre, Easy-E and Ice Cube dominated screen time for the most part. Shouldn’t be a surprise given Dre and ‘Cube co-produced the movie (LOL). Seriously though, the movie was done as a tribute to Easy-E. Ren and Yella know that so it’s all good.

That said, one of Dr. Dre’s ex-girlfriends said Monday his abusive relationships with his girlfriends was conveniently left out of the movie. Those who know about it knows he settled all that a while ago and publicly apologized. Her words were for the majority who may not be aware. Ice Cube got into fistfights with alot of people shortly after he left Ruthless Records but only one was shown in the movie. Like I said two paragraphs ago, Easy-E’s daughter raised concerns about her father’s portrayal in the movie. At the end of the day, Straight Outta Compton is about the rise and fall of the GROUP N.W.A. I’ll get to this later on but since the group broke up–and this is already well-known–Dr. Dre and Ice Cube have gone on to enjoy success since they left the group.

Moving on, the movie is interesting in which there were no cameo appearances by living persons who were around at the time. After Dre left N.W.A., he teamed up with the Suge Knight and formed Death Row Records. Tupac makes a brief appearance (not actually him, mind you) in the booth recording his smash hit Hail Mary. Snoop Dogg (not playing himself) also makes a brief appearance where he

There were a few scenes that were mentioned in the trailer that diffent make it to the theatrical release: in one, Easy-E pulls an AK-47 out of a black duffel bag. A scene with him holding it does make it into the movie. Another scene cut was Dr. Dre talking to his wife in jail after his arrest in Miami. I assume they and others were cut due to time constraints. Hopefully. they will all be included in the Blu-Ray/DVD Release, which I plan to buy when it comes out.

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Now, let me direct your attention to Suge Knight, above. Alot of folks agreed his portrayal in the movie was spot-on: Suge is alot of things he would later go out of his way to try to sweep under the rug. As Dre would find out in the movie when they worked together, Suge is a user, a snake, violent and greedy. What made him especially dangerous was he didn’t have a problem doing his own dirty work. Now that he’s dying in prison from a medical complication, he can’t hurt anyone anymore. As the saying goes, the longest rope has an end.

You can’t talk about the deaths of Easy-E, Tupac and Biggie Smalls and NOT talk about Suge Knight. Why? Because his name comes up as a person of interest in all three deaths. We know Biggie and Pac were shot but Suge was one of the last people to see both of them alive just before they died. We also know Suge later admitted in an interview after Biggie’s death he was the one who instigated the Biggie vs. Tupac beef that lead to both of their deaths. Their murders remain unsolved to this day and by the way, the two didn’t have a problem with each other. They were both victims of the Rap Game.

As for why Suge’s name is mentioned in regards to Easy-E’s death, it’s because it was well-known they didn’t like each other. In the movie there is a scene where Suge Knight and some of his boys jump Easy-E in the studio to force him to cut Dr. Dre from his contract with Ruthless Records, who was unofficially working for Death Row Records at the time.

We know Easy-E died from AIDS but the million-dollar question yet to be answered is how did an otherwise reasonably healthy man get it? Two things about AIDS have changed since 1993: AIDS is no longer a death sentence and sex with an infected person is no longer the most common way it’s spread. That said, there is a theory that’s been growing in popularity since Suge’s arrest that he had Easy-E injected with HIV-positive blood. After all, Easy-E didn’t know he was infected until it was too late. What makes it even more suspicious is Suge Knight’s disrespectful comments about Easy-E’s death after being told of his portrayal in the movie by his attorney. Just makes him look even more guilty if you ask me!

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Left to Right: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Marshall Mathers aka Eminem aka Slim Shady and Andrew “Dr. Dre” Young.

Switching gears, Dr. Dre is easily the richest former member of N.W.A. and it’s mostly because of the two guys pictured with him above: 50 Cent and Eminem. Dre signed Eminem to Aftermath in the late 90s, turning the Hip Hop world upside down in Eminem’s debut track Forgot about Dre:

…The rest, as they say is history. Even his haters know to gave credit where credit’s due: He knows the game better than anyone else. He’s got the eyes and ears for it.

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Ice Cube, who made his acting debut in the 1991 movie Boyz in the Hood is the most prolific former member of the group. You probably know him from such movies as XXX 2: State of the Union, Are We There Yet?, The Barbershop and Friday. Ride Along 2 will be in theaters September 18 and according to his IMDB page, The Barbershop 3 is coming sometime next year. Ice Cube returned to the recording studio for the first time in over a decade a few years ago for a live show. He’s still got it and he’s come out of retirement as an artist.

Getting back to the movie Straight Outta Compton, they clearly took a page out of Selma’s playbook with the movie release’s timing: Selma, which was released in theaters earlier this year came out just before Eddie Gray’s death in Baltimore. I talked about it in a blog post on the subject. The same can easily be said about Straight Outta Compton with CNN’s coverage of African American men being pulled over by police, usually ending in their deaths.

The movie touches on this as noted in the trailers where members of the group are shook down by police early on. The reason? They just happened to be black men standing outside their home or workplace. This was–and still is–the reality of black young men and it’s the main reason I stayed the fuck off the streets during the 1990s. THAT is one of the main points the Black Lives Matter Movement is raising: We live in a country where one race is assumed guilty even if proven innocent simply because of their skin color.

Oh, that reminds me: For the Los Angeles and Compton premieres of the movie, there was a heavy police presence “as a precaution”. Not long after, this meme showed up on the internet:

Tongue in cheek but sadly relevant: The same week the Aurora, Colorado theater shooter (not saying his name) got what he deserved, there was another mass shooting in Texas in which two people were killed. A third shooting happened at yet another theater in Lafayette the week after but only the gunman was killed (suicide). All three were white. CNN sounded pretty disappointed nothing happened at Straight Outta Compton’s premeires in L.A. and Compton in an interview XD

…Not owning your mistakes doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

In closing, I give this movie a 10/10 easily. They didn’t outright say it but I think N.W.A. knew they would have to wait before they could do their biopic in their own words on THEIR terms. Owning the music used certainly helped: In other recent biopics based on black artists, they couldn’t use any of their actual music due to how expensive paying for copyright permission would have been. This is why you wanna maintain ownership of your music: Once you sign a contract with a label, it’s no longer yours.

There are many takeaways in the movie, most of which were clearly directed at both those who lived at the time and young people today. The LA Riots after Rodney King’s trial was touched on in the movie. That was a clear nod to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Towards the beginning of the movie, a kid on the bus ‘Cube is riding on throws up a gang sign at two members of the Crips driving next to the bus. The Crips stop the bus with guns drawn and prettymuch tells the kid (and the others) the “Gangsta Life” isn’t something they want to get caught up in. Not unless they wanna end up dead or in prison. This was a pretty important scene given it was a lifestyle alot of kids idolized at the time.

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…Whew, ok I think I covered everything…oh, wait scratch that: As of this writing, Straight Outta Compton’s grossed $60.2 Million at the box office and there is even talk of an Oscar nomination. The same was said about Selma but the movie was subbed when Oscar time came around. This movie getting an Oscar would be both vindication for N.W.A. and the acceptence of rap by the mainstream, which not even Eminem’s 8-Mile got.

Only time will tell.

As a bonus for reading this much, here’s a scene from the movie:

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Family Sitcoms need to come back to Prime Time TV   Leave a comment

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Who could have imagined the late 1990s would have been the end of the Family Sitcom. We are in an age where “Reality” TV, hour-long dramas and docu-dramas dominate all the networks. While I would normally place all the blame on the networks for taking the easy road–it actually costs much less to shoot “Reality” TV than Sitcoms–the public is equally to blame for so readily buying into it. Those of my generation are the last to have grown up watching sitcoms. While sure you can watch the classics on Cable/Satellite and Netflix/Hulu, the fact of the matter is that’s still the past.

At the same time I’m well aware times have changed since I was in high school: 9/11, Social Media, The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Barack Obama becomes President, ISIS, etc. (American) Values have changed as well like it or not. There’s also the internet and You Tube. Networks have tried to launch family sitcoms but none have had the following shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Brady Bunch and Saved by the Bell in addition to the shows pictured above and many others had. They’re called classics for a reason XD

The sitcoms were also where many child actors who weren’t in the movie biz got their start in show business. Many people forget The Jamie Foxx Show (1997-2000) was when Jamie Foxx became a household name. Yes, he was known as a comedian who did stand-up work but this was the show where he went mainstream. A few years later folks found out he could sing, too in the Ray Bio-Pic xD

Random fun facts:

  • Katy Segal, who played Peggy Bundy on Married with Children voiced Leela on Futurama.
  • John Stamos, who played Uncle Jessie on Full House had a recurring role on the last 3 and a half seasons of the NBC Hospital Drama ER.
  • Most famously, Extra’s Mario Lopez played A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell.
  • Alfonzo Ribiero, who played Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air has appeared on various reality TV shows in recent years as a celebrity contestant.
  • John Witherspoon, who played Pops on the Wayans Brothers voiced Grandad on The Boondocks.
  • Finally LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kente in Roots and hosted Reading Rainbow is bringing Reading Rainbow back for a new generation.

We will never have anything like this again anytime soon. It really is a shame the networks are convinced “Reality” TV, Mocumentary and Docudramas are all people care about right now. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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For those who haven’t been paying attention, Full House is the latest classic sitcom to join the “New Gen” Bandwagon. Fresh off the heels of Girl Meets World (sequel to Boy Meets World) comes Fuller House, which of course is the sequel to Full House. It was announced a few weeks ago Netflix will carry Fuller House On Demand and may start airing episodes as early as this fall (!). The first season will be 13 episodes long.

The basic plot’s the same as the original: D.J.’s husband suddenly dies, leaving her to raise two children and another she’s expecting on her own. Her longtime best friend Kimmy Gibbler and her sister Stephanie move in to help her raise her sons and new arrival. Sound familiar? The rest of the original cast will make guest appearances as well.

Should be interesting.

A random fun fact: This has become a bit more known since the series ended in 1995 but the original premise for Full House called for Joey and Jessie (Played by Dave Coulier and John Stamos) to be gay and Danny Tanner (played by Bob Saget) to be revealed as having been in the closet about being gay himself so it would be three gay men raising three girls. The producers didn’t think the network would ok it so they scrapped the idea. The irony being the idea probably wouldn’t work now either since folks insist on being offended >.>;

It is also interesting to note half of the original cast stayed in show business since the original series ended. Candace Cameron, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber went back to private life. The story goes all three agreed to sign on to the new show when the whole cast got together for the original show’s reunion party earlier this year. Stamos pitched the idea a few years earlier but they needed everyone on board to make it work so…yeah. As you already know, Bob Saget hosted America’s Funnies Home Videos (before You Tube was thought of!) while also doing Full House. Dave Coulier returned to standup comedy after the show ended but also did theater work. Stamos himself…well, I already told you earlier.

As for the Olsen Twins…well, Google says hi. ‘Nuff said.

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

I finally figured out why Frozen feels nostalgic when I watch it   Leave a comment

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…And the funny thing is I realized it when I bought the soundtrack from a non-Disney classc, An American Tail. For those born after 1995, you probably have no memory of what I like to call the final days of children’s movie blockbusters. In plain English: Hugely popular movies geared towards younger audiences that became smash hits by fans of all ages.

I consider myself lucky to have grown up when movies like Aladdin, Home Alone, Hook and The Lion King premiered. For TOO LONG, there hasn’t really been a kid-centric movie since the late 90s that would easily have folks talking about it 20 years later. Then Frozen came on to the scene in 2013.

Let’s take a look at the hit song, Let It Go:

Not ashamed to say I bought two copies of Frozen’s soundtrack and have listened to this song over 400 times. Now, you millenials are new to the runaway hit phenomenon that is this song. It also asks the question of which is more popular: The song or the movie?

Disney did this almost every year during the 1990s starting with 1991’s The Little Mermaid. Here’s the hit song from that movie that I know parents are not ashamed to sing acapella in the family car/minivan, Under The Sea:

Samuel E. Wright voiced Sebastian, Triton’s majordomo and royal composer. Wright himself is an experienced musician. After the movie’s release, he recorded some  kids’ sing-alongs. Here’s one of them:

 

…He’s got range to say the least! According to an interview with him, Disney approached him to offer him the role. He’s still in the business though obviously, the royalties from his work with Disney ALONE will ensure he’s set for life!

Moving on to Aladdin next. I’ll skip over Beauty & The Beast though the track Gaston (who, by the way is the movie’s bad guy BECAUSE he’s awesome in every way) has been enjoying renewed popularity due to cosplayers. That movie’s hit song Beauty & The Beast, like Aladdin’s hit song A Whole New World has two versions: The movie version and a single post-production version. Here’s the movie version:

We’ll look at three more songs before we stop. I’ll pause for a moment to remind folks the legendary Robin Williams had been tapped for this movie, contributing my personal favorite Prince Ali as well as the smash hit Never Had a Friend Like Me to the film. Disney established its dominance with this film. It was a powerhouse as a movie maker.

Then 1995’s The Lion King changed the game: Three years after its release, Disney was forced to change the movie’s rating from G to PG. The reason: Mufasa’s death scene and the aftermath involving Simba and Scar. That was pretty dark for Disney as they’d never done anything like that up until this movie. The other reason they changed the rating were the high-profile school shootings in America at the time (Columbine happened in 1997). The movie has a number of memorable songs but it’s the opening number that draws you in:

The Lion King was the highest-selling film in studio history until Frozen was released. It nuked all expectations when it was released. The Broadway Adaptation, which launched in 2005 for the movie’s 10-year anniversary has toured all over the world. Here’s the opening number:

Before I forget, the moment where Rafiki raises Simba atop Pride Rock is an homage to Alex Haley’s Roots. Here is the famous scene:

Oh and yes a woman is cast as Rafiki in the Broadway version. No biggie. Johnathan Taylor Thomas voiced young Simba while the legendary James Earl Jones (aka Darth Vader) voiced Mufasa. Moving on, we’re looking at another big budget film that had its teaser included in the original VHS release of The Lion King: Pocahontas.

Like The Lion King before it, Disney did its homework to be as accurate and respectful as possible to the descendants of the Native American tribe featured in the movie. I mean in terms of how they were depicted in the film and its sequel. In the movie’s teasier, Disney did something it hasn’t done since and gave audiences the movie’s lead song almost a year ahead of the movie’s theatrical release, Colors of the Wind:

…By the way, I didn’t miss an interesting message portrayed in the movie: The arrival of the Englishmen and Jamestown’s settlement heralded the beginning of the end of Native American life as they knew it. I don’t think this underlying message was intentionally put in but that message was pretty obvious. It’s more overtly done in James Cameron’s Avatar. The call to protect the unspoiled parts of our world is raised as well. America looked very different from how it does now 100 years ago.

Anyway, I say it’s about time the Disney and knew and loved as a kid made a comeback. The generation before mine has fond memories of The Sound of Music. The current generation now has Frozen. It was a movie that came in at just the right time. The musical numbers carried the movies. Thanks to Frozen, it looks like Disney is going back to its roots ^_^

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Making the case for bringing back Weekday Afternoon Cartoons   Leave a comment

 

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In this age of Netflix and other on-demand streaming services, most who grew up during the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s have all but forgotten that just 7 years ago, the weekly cartoon block disappeared from Broadcast TV forever. The reason: The Children’s Television Act (1996). It’s not the law itself that’s actually at fault: It’s the networks’ faults for not simply complying with the new law and instead phased out their Kids TV Blocks on Broadcast TV. Kids WB was the last holdout and lasted until Summer 2006. Even worse is in both cases, the networks didn’t have the deciency to make an announcement to let people know they were dropping kids’ programming from their broadcast TV lineups.

The funny thing is I didn’t even know legislation had been passed until last week regarding Kids’ TV programming. Turns out that wasn’t the point to begin with: The networks only cared about the bottom line and apparently felt the monetary investment likely needed to be in compliance of the new act wasn’t worth it and switched the Kids’ Programming to Subscription.

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It’s worth noting Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and The Disney Channel were affected by the shakeup on Broadcast TV but in a big way: All three networks created additional channels to cater to certain audiences:

  • Nick at Nite: Formerly the 10PM to 6AM block on Nickelodeon, reruns of TV shows from the 1960s and 1970s aired during this time. When Teen Nick launched on Nick about 10 years ago, it ran from 9PM to Midnight with programming for older kids and young adults. When the channel launched shows from the 80s and 90s were added to the lineup. Nick now reairs programming from earlier in the day from 10PM to 6AM.
  • Nicktoons: Nick’s original programming now with its own channel! Hey, Arnold!, Rugrats, Spongebob, Rocket Power, Avatar: The Last Airbender and so on. New Nicktoons still premiere on Nickelodeon though seasons 3 and 4 of The Legend of Korra were online only due to low ratings.
  • Teen Nick: Formerly Snick on Nickelodeon, as I mentioned above it ran programming for its aged audience at night. Nick was smart like Disney and adapted with the times: They understood the kids who watched Nicktoons in 1992 were now teenagers in 2002 and were likely finishing high school (as was my case, anyway). Like Disney, they adapted with the times to compete with Fox and WB/CW’s primetime lineups at the time. The show also runs reruns of old shows like All That (where Amanda Bynes got her start) and Clarissa Explains it All (Where Melissa Joan Hart got her start). Considering most of the actors and actresses from those shows have continued their acting careers–most notably Keenan Thompson, who is on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL)–it’s worth seeing what they were like back in the day.
  • Nick Jr.: After running weekday mornings from 9AM to 3PM for 20 years (1988 to 2008), the advent of Dora the Explorer led to Nick Jr. becoming a separate channel.
  • Disney XD: Disney’s equivalent of Teen Nick Prettymuch.
  • Disney Jr.: Disney’s equivalent of Nick Jr.
  • Boomerang: Cartoon Network’s early lineup: Cartoons from the 70s, 80s and 90s air in reruns 24/7. Mostly stuff by Hanna-Barbera, Viacom and Turner. Prettymuch whatever isn’t owned by the other networks.

Today, there is no kids programming on weekdays period on the broadcast networks (Fox, WB, CW).  Those slots are occupied by talk shows, afternoon news and paid advertisments. At the same time, unlike just 10 years ago, about 85% of U.S. households have a subscription TV service like Comcast or DirecTV. That means there’s no incentive for the networks to bring cartoons back to their broadcast counterparts. There’s also the legit concern of having to cater to FCC regulations, which was a factor to the abolishment of the Weekday Cartoon Afternoon blocks.

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For now, if you want to get your cartoon fix Netflix is the go-to choice. The Streaming Giant has been adding more and more old-school kids programming to their streaming service. Stuff those of us who got to experience the last generation of kids’ programming before Cable and Satellite were assumed in to be in most households.

That period from 1988 to 2002 was an amazing time to be a kid with a TV set: Ducktales, Tale Spin, Batman: The Animated Series, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, X-Men, Looney Tunes, Animaniacs, Spider-Man, Superman: The Animated Series, Gargoyles, Beetlejuice. I could go on. Sailor Moon (Reboot currently airing on Crunchyroll), Dragonball, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon and Pokemon also aired on broadcast networks back then.

Sweet Nostalgia!

Kids these days. They have no idea what they missed XD

On the one hand the programming available today really isn’t much different than when I was a kid. The clear difference was balance. I’ll speak more to this in a separate blog about Sitcoms of the 90s and early 2000s.

 

Saved by the Bell cast reunite on The Tonight Show!   Leave a comment

First, a group photo:

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…And how they look now:

…Yes, those are the original actors 20 years later =O

In case you’re wondering, Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly) actually is pregnant. They simply wrote her pregnancy into the sketch. Noticably absent from the sketch–as well as recent reunions–are Dustin Diamond (Screech) and Lark Voorhies (Lisa).

Lark moved on since her time on Saved by the Bell (1989-1993) according to her IMDB page. She’s still in business but does alot of off-screen work now. It’s likely her position as head of her own production company kept her from being able to make it with the rest of her former colleagues. I don’t see it as a snub personally. That said, disregard the crap being spewed about her on the You Tube video’s comments. While she is the only member of the cast who is barely recognizable (Warning: The IMDB picture of her is actually her now. Disregard the one floating around claiming to be of her. She has said it isn’t her and sued the magazine that claimed it was her.), I seriously doubt that’s why she didn’t appear in the sketch as she did appear in reunion specials with the others (excluding Dustin Diamond, see below). After all Jimmy Fallon technically wasn’t on the show yet he appeared anyway!

Dustin’s absence is ironic for a number of reasons. First, he’s sitting in jail facing attempted murder charges. Second, he cut all ties with the cast right after the series ended. Third–prior to his recent arrest–he’s been broke for some time. He actually wrote a controversial autobiography about his experience on Saved by the Bell against the advice of basically everyone. In reference to Dustin, his former co-stars opened up in interviews and reunion specials and said he was very distant with all of them outside filming. He was “Screech on screen and off”. According to his book, Dustin admitted he didn’t make friends with his co-stars because of the age  difference (he was 12 in 1989 and the others were 15) at first but also allegedly because he “was left out”, whatever that means. In short he threw his co-stars under the bus in his book, going so far as to say everyone except him was in a relationship with someone else at one time or another (what a surprise). Of course, his co-stars vehemently deny his claims. Actually, no proof backing up his claims has ever been found so it’s basically his biased word against 5 (or more) other people. What little credability Dustin had before the book was swept away after its release.

…Now he’s in a place where he can do no harm to anyone including himself. It really is a shame how his life turned out given for almost a decade, as Screech he brought joy to a whole generation of kids and teenagers. It’s sad to hear him say the experience ruined his life in one breath and trash talk his co-stars in the next.

 On a more upbeat note, the sketch renewed hope by longtime fans there might be a new series in the works with members of the original cast or a reboot with a new cast. Girl Meets World (sequel to the 90s sitcom Boy Meets World) showed it’s definitely possible to revive an old series 10+ years after it ended. A new Full House was confirmed last year so…yeah. Anything’s possible!

So much garbage on American TV these days   Leave a comment

EDIT 7/21/2019: This post was updated to reflect the passage of time as well as for it being added to another blog.

The more I seriously think about, the happier I am with my decision to only watch network TV for sports, the news, WWE and Cartoon Network’s Anime block Saturdays between 9:30PM and 6:00AM Sunday morning (though I haven’t watched Toonami regularly in months since I have Crunchyroll) . Anything else I might want to watch is where DVDs/Blu-Ray sets, Netflix, WWE Network, Rakuten Viki and Crunchyroll come in.

What’s really sad is there are alot of sensible people out there who would rather watch junk on TV than do something else with their time. This isn’t like the 80s and 90s where you just knew not to watch Daytime TV. These days, it’s rare to find meaningful programming on Free TV aka Broadcast TV or rather not anymore. For those with Cable/Satellite you can no longer rely on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel or even TLC.

To provide more specific examples:

  • Daytime Talk Shows: Prettymuch driven by consumerism. Most of the time they’re promoting someone’s book, product or service. Most of the hosts are themselves celebrities (Steve Harvey, Ellen Degenares, etc.) and…yeah.
  • CNN/Fox News/MSNBC: When they’re not bashing each other or the current president, they run negative news stories almost 24/7 to the point you can’t help checking out mentally and emotionally.
  • Local News: I’ll give ’em credit, they’ve collectively done a hell of a job helping to make the masses desensitized to the suffering of others not just nationally and worldwide but locally, too.
  • The Reality TV Era: Let’s be real, if you want REAL reality TV that’s what the news are for. Not this contest crap started in the late 1990s that dominated most of the last 20 years or these people famous for being famous getting their own shows.
  • Conspiracy Theory Shows: I do think it played a key role in the rapid rise in conspiracy theories over the last 20 years in particular and it is a shame. People would rather believe myths and disproven conspiracy theories over truth and fact.

…I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.

Moving on, I make it a point to avoid network TV (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX and CW) during national elections. The only real way to stop the special interest groups is to not watch at all. I mentioned this on my Politics Blog a lot but many people do not do their own research on candidates or wait until the day before an election to try to do research. I’ve ever heard from some who work the polls on election day they’re often asked who they should vote for (!). No, really. A considerable number of folks in this demographic decide who they’re gonig to vote for based on the TV Spots, candidate personality, party affiliation or a combination of all three. This was how Mitt Romney became Governor of Massachusetts and Scott Brown became a Senator in Massachusetts. Yes, the same Scott Brown who tried and failed to run for Senate in NH and the same Mitt Romney who ran for President in 2012.

Anywho, I’m content paying the $80 a year I pay for Crunchyroll to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it on demand. I’m also fine with buying DVD or Blu-Ray box sets of my favorite TV Shows or buying digital copies of movies from iTunes, Xbox Live or The Playstation Network. Yes, I hate Political Ads THAT much and no, I don’t use Pandora either. I like being able to own the music I listen to be it digital or physical. Everyone who would prefer to go to the pirate sites for movies are not as smart as they think they are and they are taking money out of someone’s paycheck. Not the actors and the guys on the top but the unsung middlemen who do 80% of the work and are only mentioned by name in the closing credits.

Don’t wanna buy alot of movies? Just wait until it comes out on Netflix, Hulu or some other streaming service.

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Stop Everything: Full House Revival In the Works!   Leave a comment

 

In 2012, Bob Saget candidly said he was open to bringing the gang back together. Later that year the cash had a reunion:

 

As you can see, the adults have all aged well compared to the picture at the top. To those who were born after 1995, Full House was kept alive in reruns on Nick at Nite and TBS since the series finale in 1995. While the majority of the cast returned to private life after Full House, five of them continued their acting careers in the years since. Lori Laughlin and John Stamos found roles on other shows, Mary Kate and Ashley starred together in a string of sitcoms and kids shows (no doubt a nice change from sharing the role of Michelle on Fall House) and most famously (many of you might not have known this), Scott Weinger voiced Aladdin in the Disney films, tv show and video games.

…How time flies.

It would be awesome to see the show back. Hopefully it will catch on with the current generation. Gurl Meets World, which is the direct sequel to the 1990s hit Boy Meets World has the original cast from before but hasn’t been doing well in terms of ratings. On the other hand, Full House has a cult following spanning 25 years. They can do it.

As for the approach, there’s a number of way it could be done. Assuming the Olsens are on board, I’ll be interested in seeing how they handle the character they shared as kids. Their hair now is not only different lengths but different colors and textures. The producers can go one of two routes: Have one or both girls wear a wig or introduce a new character who looks like Michelle Tanner. They have an opening to pull it off: On one episode of the original series, there was a family reunion and both girls were used. One played Michelle as usual while the other played her cousin and wore a black wig. The studio audience knew the twins took turns playing Michelle so in this way both girls would have airtime at the same time.

As for the new storyline, I don’t think alot of imagination would be necessary. Here’s hoping it’s for real!

 

 

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