Not sure this series qualifies as "brilliant" per se, but it was a pretty clever concept and it sure was cancelled. Sid and Marty Krofft (the guys who concocted the trippy H.R. Pufnstuf) created D.C. Follies back in 1987, right before the presidential election. It was a satire of current events and politics but had puppets and Fred Willard. Oddly entertaining, it had potential to be a decent series if it had just been a little bit edgier or a little more biting. To me some of the then presumably lame jokes are kind of funnier in retrospect.
He's a sexy beast. A raging biker. A self-centered superhero. He's one of those actors who never plays himself, or the same person twice. Even when Ron Perlman isn't quite playing a person.
His starmaking turn as the latter character of Beauty and the Beast is being showcased anew in a complete-series DVD giftset of CBS' cult classic, just as Perlman revs up cable as the scary cycle gang leader in FX' Sons of Anarchy.
And the superhero? On Fox' short-lived 2001 live action version of The Tick, Perlman guested as arrogant Fiery Blaze, memorably hogging all heroic credit away from resentful sidekick Friendly Fire. Even in a comic-book comedy, Perlman conveys surprising emotional meat beneath the surface.
From deliciously venal Hollywood producer to silly single dad -- oh, how far mighty comic Jay Mohr has fallen. Of course, with his new CBS sitcom yawner Gary Unmarried, Mohr may also fall into a longer run and higher residual checks. But we'll stick with his classic Fox half-hour Action, which crisply dissected Tinseltown with a sharp scalpel.
How sharp? Back in 1999, Action was the first network comedy series purposely and regularly bleeped for language. Which added a certain je ne sais quoi. Some fans do, however, go for the full monty as delivered on Sony's uncensored DVD set, memorializing all 13 single-camera episodes, alongside extras like creator commentaries and a making-of half-hour.
Mary Tyler Moore's tube legend, launched decades ago with the '60s great The Dick Van Dyke Show and the '70s gem The Mary Tyler Moore Show, now comes current when MTM starts playing Brooke Shields' mother on the second season of NBC's soaperrific Lipstick Jungle (Wednesday at 10 PM ET starting Sept. 24).
But what shows did Mary do in between?
Oh, you'd be surprised. And you'd be surprised how many -- possibly none of which anybody can now recall.
The Simpsons Movie returns to the original scene of the family's crimes when it debuts on HBO Sunday, July 6 at 9 PM ET. And the new tube-spawned film The X-Files: I Want to Believe is being readied for July 25 release. From TV to the movies and back again, it's the sort of life cycle that used to find its exponents dropping dead at the box office.
Does anybody remember that ABC's '60s campfest Batman was made into a theatrical film? (Well, it didn't have Julie Newman playing Catwoman, so that explains things right there.) What about Munster, Go Home? (CBS' fright family heads to England.) In the '90s, we had Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which was supposed to explain things about David Lynch's largely impenetrable (if enjoyable) ABC series, but didn't.
Manly men doing manly things are big-time on the tube now. Discovery's Deadliest Catch. History's Ax Men. TruTV's Black Gold. So maybe the manliest genre of all -- westerns -- is primed for a comeback.
Why sweat to catch seafood, cut down trees or work an oil rig when you can swagger down the street wearing guns and hot-looking leather, heroically hunting outlaws and cleaning up towns embodying what we now know as The American Way?
You know time flies when Molly Ringwald is playing someone's mom. Weren't we just watching her surviving high school in movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles? Or dishing dating woes in ABC's sitcom Townies?
Yes, it's been awhile since she started as one of the kids on The Facts of Life, but c'mon. Can Ringwald really be old enough to be the concerned mother of a pregnant girl on July 1's new ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager?
What was most brilliant about comedian George Carlin was the way he got seven words officially cancelled off broadcasting altogether. Carlin's essential 1971 Class Clown LP routine about the "seven words you can never say on television" was the subject of a landmark Supreme Court indecency ruling seven years later that reverberates still, three decades down the road.