Was there a stranger show on TV than SMALL WONDER? Even when it was airing, I would cringe when it came on.
The premise was about a family. The father spent all his time in the garage building a robot of a young girl, called Vicki.
How creepy is that?
The robot lived with the family as their daughter.
And it was supposed to be a comedy, yet wasn’t funny.
The networks were smart enough to pass on it, so it aired in syndication. Yet it aired for 4 years!! From 1985-1989. How did it last that long?
It aired on Sunday afternoons in my area, when nothing else was on, so I would often watch it. I didn’t enjoy it. It was just on.
What always bothered me (other than the creepiness factor) was how the father built this robot, yet couldn’t fix the voice. She always talked like a robot. However there were times where she was imitating someone that she ended up talking completely normal.
The show isn’t entirely forgotten. While it hasn’t aired in syndication in years, and isn’t on DVD, it was recently named in one online poll as the worst sitcom in TV history. Hard to argue.
It wasn’t much of a stepping stone for the cast.
The father, Dick Christie, I remember seeing profiled on something in the 90’s, saying he was a screenwriter. He wrote the Elisabeth Shue film MOLLY.
Virtually everyone in the cast never did anything else. Little is known about them.
The lead, Tiffany Brissette, is either involved in religion as a choir director or is an experimental dancer, depending on who you ask.
I think they are all in hiding. Can’t really blame them.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Back when he was able to, David Letterman used to do bits like this, where he took over the drive thru at a fast food restaurant.
Here is one of the most famous ones, at Taco Bell.
Incidentally, the moment at the 3:30 mark, where the guy states "She's gone already chief" became a running joke on the show. He had the guy on the stage of the theatre saying the line.
Years later, the same guy even turned up on an episode of the Letterman produced ED reciting the line.
Monday, June 16, 2008
The Tony Awards are, without question, the most entertaining awards show to watch. They realize most of the audience hasn't seen all the plays in question, so it is filled with musical numbers and clips from nominated plays.
I hadn't seen any of the nominated plays or performers (other than Boyd Gaines, who won for GYPSY, in PYGMALION), but still loved it.
And now I HAVE to see IN THE HEIGHTS
There was also a reunion of the original cast of RENT (minus Jesse L. Martin) that was nice to see.
Whoopi Goldberg did a better job hosting last night than she did on the Oscars.
Just a great night.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Today would have been the 86th birthday of Judy Garland. So, I thought I'd look back on one of my favorite Hollywood stories.
In 1936, Judy Garland and another actress on the MGM lot, Deanna Durbin, teamed up to make a 10 minute film for the studio as a screen test of sorts.
That film was called EVERY SUNDAY
A simple film, basically an excuse for both to show off their differing musical talents.
When the film was completed, Louis B. Mayer headed off to Europe for his vacation.
While there, the studio realized that the contracts to both actresses were coming up for renewal.
They called him and asked him what he wanted to do.
"Dump the fat one!" was his response.
Since neither was fat, they didn't know what he meant.
They figured he meant Durbin, so let her contract expire.
When Mayer returned, he was livid. He meant for them to dump Garland. But, they were stuck with her.
Durbin went on to quickly be picked up by Universal where her films (THREE SMART GIRLS, 100 MEN AND A GIRL) were so popular that she is often credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy
While Judy was VERY jealous of Durbin early on, a few years later she made a film for MGM called THE WIZARD OF OZ, which did alright.
Much of this story has been disproven in recent years. But what is a fact is that Mayer never got over losing Durbin as, for a while, she was the biggest star in Hollywood.
Sadly, Durbin, who is still alive and living in France, isn't remembered today, with only a few of her films available on DVD, at least in the US. Yet Garland is still a legend.
You can read my earlier piece on Deanna Durbin here.
Posted by TALKING MOVIEzzz at 7:00 AM
Monday, June 02, 2008
One of the things that made me become a movie fan was a TV show called THAT'S HOLLYWOOD.
Airing in the late 70's, early 80's, and narrated by Tom Bosley, the show was made up of clips from various 20th Century Fox films.
What I remembered the most was the opening credit sequence:
I still can't think of the 20th Century Fox logo without hearing that segue into the theme song.
I would watch every week, trying to name all the films that they show. Always loved the editing.
From reading some of the comments about the show, it was a favorite of many. I don't know if enough people remember it, but it could be a fun Fox DVD release.