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Ask A TV Critic: Andrew Johnston

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"I'm definitely seeing a lot less bad TV than I used to see bad movies when I was a film critic"

Sars: Lifetime used to have it, but that was like ten years ago. I'm surprised that WE or Oxygen hasn't picked it up. ...Are there any old-school shows from that era that you think people now should try to get back into?

Johnston: One I really loved when I was in high school which I'm sure would hold up very well today was that Dabney Coleman sitcom, Buffalo Bill, which Geena Davis was also on with him. That was a pretty damn fine show, with the sort of humor that would definitely hold up really well today.

Sars: Wow -- I don't remember that show at all. I must be thinking of...what other show did he have that was --

Johnston: Well, a number of years later he had one that debuted, I think, the same time that Friends did, because I remember they did that one cheesy crossover of all the NBC sitcoms on that night, except of course Seinfeld didn't take part, but that show was called Madman Of The People, which was this --

Sars: Thaaaaat's it.

Johnston: That was the one that was like in '93 or something [actually 1994]. Buffalo Bill was much -- it would have been before Geena Davis's movie career took off, so it would have been around '83, '84 ['twas], but he was this boozing misogynist TV weatherman, and Geena Davis was the woman who, he was always hitting on her, her rebuffing him -- TV had sort of recoiled from the Norman Lear era of the seventies, and it wasn't as edgy, so it seemed really edgy even though it might not necessarily have been. I think definitely, just having mentioned Norman Lear, I think some of his shows from the seventies that I've probably not had a chance to see because they were on first when I was a very young child and then weren't rerun so much because they had some similar edgy content. I've had a chance to rediscover them on DVD and just been kind of blown away by -- Maude in particular was a really amazing show. It's just a lot of very harsh and interesting stuff in there. I guess a lot of that is what Louis CK was paying tribute to with Lucky Louie, and I think a lot of people didn't necessarily get how specifically he was sort of doing what some of these shows of previous eras did.

You also saw this in the early seasons, like the first season or two of Good Times before that became a little more toothless and caricatured -- that was also a Norman Lear show.

Sars: What show is on right now that people are not watching that they should be?

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Mondo Extra
Ask A TV Critic: Andrew Johnston

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
"I'm definitely seeing a lot less bad TV than I used to see bad movies when I was a film critic"

Sars: Lifetime used to have it, but that was like ten years ago. I'm surprised that WE or Oxygen hasn't picked it up. ...Are there any old-school shows from that era that you think people now should try to get back into?

Johnston: One I really loved when I was in high school which I'm sure would hold up very well today was that Dabney Coleman sitcom, Buffalo Bill, which Geena Davis was also on with him. That was a pretty damn fine show, with the sort of humor that would definitely hold up really well today.

Sars: Wow -- I don't remember that show at all. I must be thinking of...what other show did he have that was --

Johnston: Well, a number of years later he had one that debuted, I think, the same time that Friends did, because I remember they did that one cheesy crossover of all the NBC sitcoms on that night, except of course Seinfeld didn't take part, but that show was called Madman Of The People, which was this --

Sars: Thaaaaat's it.

Johnston: That was the one that was like in '93 or something [actually 1994]. Buffalo Bill was much -- it would have been before Geena Davis's movie career took off, so it would have been around '83, '84 ['twas], but he was this boozing misogynist TV weatherman, and Geena Davis was the woman who, he was always hitting on her, her rebuffing him -- TV had sort of recoiled from the Norman Lear era of the seventies, and it wasn't as edgy, so it seemed really edgy even though it might not necessarily have been. I think definitely, just having mentioned Norman Lear, I think some of his shows from the seventies that I've probably not had a chance to see because they were on first when I was a very young child and then weren't rerun so much because they had some similar edgy content. I've had a chance to rediscover them on DVD and just been kind of blown away by -- Maude in particular was a really amazing show. It's just a lot of very harsh and interesting stuff in there. I guess a lot of that is what Louis CK was paying tribute to with Lucky Louie, and I think a lot of people didn't necessarily get how specifically he was sort of doing what some of these shows of previous eras did.

You also saw this in the early seasons, like the first season or two of Good Times before that became a little more toothless and caricatured -- that was also a Norman Lear show.

Sars: What show is on right now that people are not watching that they should be?

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8Next

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