The Class: A Post-Grad Report Card

by Angel Cohn November 23, 2010 5:59 pm
<I>The Class</I>: A Post-Grad Report Card

Watching The Walking Dead recently, I found myself actually feeling proud of Jon Bernthal for going from playing that dopey lovelorn guy on The Class to a big role as a angry law enforcement agent on one of the year's most talked-about programs. And he's not the only member of the short-lived CBS sitcom who is back in the limelight now. Almost all of the series regulars from the ensemble show have moved on to new regular gigs, with one notable exception (poor Heather Goldenhersh), which is actually a pretty impressive feat if you think about it. Good to know that casting directors didn't tune out about after The Class' bizarre pilot episode, even if most viewers apparently did.

The Olympics are Great and All, But Sports Comedies and Dramas Are Even Better

Televised sporting events are already a pretty big deal for most people, but when you factor in the event status of the Olympics or the Super Bowl or the World Series, they become juggernauts. So why is it that fictional TV shows about sports are so much less popular? The high school football drama Friday Night Lights is one of the best shows on TV, but ratings are only so-so, and it was moved from NBC to DirecTV in 2008 (it will return to NBC in April). Luckily, other sports shows are still plugging along: My Boys, about a female sportswriter, will get a fourth season this summer on TBS, and fantasy-football comedy The League will get a second on FX. And, encouragingly, new shows are still getting made: Spike recently launched college football comedy Blue Mountain State and is prepping Players, about the owners of a sports bar. But historically, sports shows tend to hover in a sparingly viewed grey zone between regular TV shows and actual sports. Here are some of the best shows about sports that have ever aired, and don't be surprised if you haven't heard of some them.

Classic Scripted Shows That Spawned Jon & Kate Plus 8

by Angel Cohn July 1, 2009 12:52 pm
Classic Scripted Shows That Spawned <I>Jon & Kate Plus 8</I>

Our current TV-crazed society seems to be obsessed with reality series about plus-sized families, from Jon & Kate Plus 8 to Raising Sextuplets to 18 Kids & Counting. However, shows about the complexities of coping with large families are nothing new. In fact, people have always gravitated towards these types of series... even if most of them weren't very good. But while there have been heaps of twin shows (and even identical cousins), the giant families seem to hold some especially magical allure for certain viers. And now that there are reality shows, they don't need to pay kid actors any more. They can just scar actual children for life by sticking cameras in their faces and filming their every move. Anyway, we hold these classic (and not so) scripted series responsible for this disturbing TV trend.

More Shows We'd Like to See on DVD

by Angel Cohn June 4, 2009 5:32 pm
More Shows We'd Like to See on DVD

A few months ago we lamented some shows that weren't on DVD, but now it's summer and we're lacking substantive shows to watch this time of year. We'd love to retreat into a box set of an old favorite. Sadly some classic (and not-so classic) shows aren't available on DVD (at least legally). It is sort of crazy, because we can get all of Saved by the Bell: The New Class, 'Til Death, Seventh Heaven and Home Improvement, but yet The Wonder Years isn't available. Most delays are due to rights issues or companies that owned them went out of business, but still, we'd like to see someone figure it out and get these seasons out to us, stat.

Lateline and Other Political Lampoons

by Diane Werts November 4, 2008 10:12 am
<I>Lateline</I> and Other Political Lampoons

When they say politics is a joke, they might be speaking literally in Minnesota. That's where comedy writer and sitcom star Al Franken is running for a U.S. Senate seat he may well win this week.

The Saturday Night Live veteran already had better luck there getting the Democratic nomination than he did in the Nielsen ratings, where his 1998 NBC sitcom Lateline failed to make the grade. Even when Franken means business about current events -- as in such bestselling books as Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot -- he doesn't take himself quite so seriously. The curly haired Minnesota native played slapstick lunkhead in Lateline, which is out on DVD and well worth another look as a rare satire of TV news and current events.

Sid and Marty Krofft Had Fun With Politics Back in the '80s

by Angel Cohn October 22, 2008 4:58 pm
Sid and Marty Krofft Had Fun With Politics Back in the '80s

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.

It's 'Sunny' at FX, But Not 'Lucky'

by Diane Werts September 15, 2008 6:02 pm
It's 'Sunny' at FX, But Not 'Lucky' It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns for a fourth FX season Thursday night, September 18th. Of course it does. Sunny is a relative hit in the world of basic cable comedy -- a cult fave, a critic-pleaser, and an all-around apt addition to the annals of tube eccentricity. It takes place in a failing alley bar, features bulldog lunatic Danny DeVito, and builds plots around such inappropriate themes as finding a baby in a dumpster.

What Do Bart Simpson and Fox Mulder Have in Common?

by Diane Werts July 4, 2008 10:08 am
What Do Bart Simpson and Fox Mulder Have in Common?

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.

Titus: Daddy Dearest

by Diane Werts June 14, 2008 7:24 pm
<i>Titus</i>: Daddy Dearest

We have a bit of a perverse streak here at Brilliant But Cancelled. So when we think of Father's Day, we don't think of earnest Ward Cleaver, or nice Mike Brady, or even Homer Simpson. We think of Ken Titus.

Yes, the drink-this-beer-kid, pull-your-pants-down-in-public, tough-lovin' carouser of the Titus sitcom.

Top 20 NYC Based Shows

by TWoP Staff March 10, 2008 12:59 pm
Top 20 NYC Based Shows

The majority of TV's classic shows take place in major cities...but there's nothing quite like a show set in The Big Apple. As Bravo welcomes a new group of Real Housewives to the block, let's take a look back at our all-time favorite shows set in New York City. From seven strangers to a show about nothing, The Real Housewives of New York City are giving these classic New York programs a run for their money, with the designer labels to prove it.

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