Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

Early Throwback Thursday-Double Dare (1986-1993)

Game shows have been part of the television landscape since the early days of television.

From 1986-1993 Double Dare was a regular on Nickelodeon’s schedule. Hosted by Marc Summers, the competition contained both trivia questions and physical stunts that could only be described as messy.

I remember watching this show back in the day and thinking that it was so much fun to watch. Looking back, what made it so much fun was the fact that it was neither a strictly academic or strictly physical competition. The physical component of the game was also a little gross, but gross in a good way.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-The Adventures Of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (1959-1964)

For the most part, cartoons are geared to children. These cartoons can be divided into two different categories. The first category contains cartoon that only a child would appreciate and be entertained by. The second category contains cartoons that are appreciated by both children and adults.

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends was originally on the air from 1959-1964. While Bullwinkle has the size, Rocky has the brain. The basic premise of each episode is that the titular characters have to outwit Russian spies Boris Badenov &¬†Natasha Fatale, who refer to their targets as “moose and squirrel”. Between the main act, there were short bumper cartoons such as “Fractured Fairy Tales” and “Aesop and Son”.

While the animation is not the slickest and certain elements are dated, Rocky and Bullwinkle still holds up decades after the show left the air. While much of the content is targeted toward a young audience, there are jokes within that content that only an adult would understand and get a chuckle out of.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-Beauty and the Geek (2005-2008)

It is obvious to many reality television viewers that producers more often than not rely on archetypes or stereotypes when casting.

A perfect example of this type of casting is the reality show Beauty and the Geek (2005-2008). The premise of the show was to bring two distinct groups together: women who were known for the looks and not their brains and men who were known for their brains and not their looks. Each “beauty” and “geek” are paired together to help their partner out on areas where the other is lacking. The “beauty” would help her partner in the social arena and the “geek” would help his partner in the academic arena. Each week, a couple is eliminated until one remains and wins the competition.

The premise was certainly interesting and I certainly appreciated the social experiment aspect of the program. However, at the end of the day, it is just another mindless reality show.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-Click (2006)

Life for most of us is busy. Between our jobs, our families and everything else that is going on, we forget to breathe and enjoy being alive.

In the 2006 movie, Click, Ben Newman (Adam Sandler) is trying to achieve a work/life balance, but that is seeming more impossible as the days go on. In order to receive a very desirable promotion, Ben is working his tail off for his hard to please boss, Ammer (David Hasselhoff). But that means less time with his wife, Donna (Kate Beckinsale) and their family. He wishes for a remote to control his life. Enter Morty (Christopher Walker) a salesman who sells Ben the remote he desires. Ben thinks he can control the remote, but then remote turns on him.

Growing out of the various man-child characters that made him a star, Sandler proves that he has grown as an actor. While he can easily play comedy,he shows that he has the chops to play a mature character going on a mature journey.

I recommend it.

 

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Throwback Thursday-Trading Spaces (2000-2008)

Nowadays, it’s not too hard to find a home makeover show. But in the early 2000’s, the concept was defined by one show: Trading Spaces.

Based on the BBC series Changing Rooms, the concept of the show is as follows: two couples will work with a designer to renovate a room in each other’s houses. They have two days to complete the renovation and a budget of $1,000. Neither couple is aware of what has been done to the room in their house until the big reveal. The results of the revelation are sometimes interesting to say the least.

While Trading Spaces did fall within the category of reality television, it was family friendly and not as out there as other reality shows from the era.

Recently, the show was rebooted. While I have not seen the new episodes, it looks to still be Trading Spaces with some minor changes.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica (2003-2005)

It’s not uncommon these days for a reality show to focus on the personal life of a celebrity. But in the early days of reality television, it was a concept that was still relatively new.

In the early 2000’s, music superstars Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were newly married. Simpson was a solo act who fit into the cute, blonde non-threatening young female pop singer box. Lachey was part of 98 Degrees, one of the more popular boy bands of the era. Their reality show was entitled¬†Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. Over the course of three seasons and 41 episodes airing from 2003 to 2005, the show was basically about their lives as a newly married couple.

There almost nothing nuanced about this program. The only thing that stood out was Jessica’s playing up of the “dumb blonde” stereotype. Whether that was an act for the cameras or it was the real deal, it certainly got enough eyeballs on the screen.

There are some reality shows that age well. Nick and Jessica: Newlyweds has not.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-The Terminal (2004)

For most people, airports are a place just to come and go. But it can also leave flyers stranded, trapped between where they are going to and where they were coming from.

In the 2004 movie, The Terminal, Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) is traveling through New York’s JFK airport when he learns that the fictional Eastern European country that he calls home experiences a political revolution. His passport is no longer valid. He cannot leave the airport, nor can he fly home. The only thing he can do is make himself comfortable until he can fly home. While he is waiting for the political situation in his homeland to clear up, he makes friends with the airport employees.

What I like about this movie is that it is simply entertaining. There is no overt political message or heavy-handed theme. It is just the story of a man who is trying to make the best of a bad situation.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-The Critic (1994-1995)

Life, if nothing else is a balancing act. Work, family, friends, etc, are all are vying for our time and attention.

In the short-lived animated program, The Critic (1994-1995), Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz) is a New York City based movie critic who is not always given the best films to review. He always ends his review with the catchphrase “It Stinks!”.

On top of the stress that comes from his job (which extends to dealing with his sometimes less than amiable manager), Jay is also dealing with stress from his personal life.

Even though the show only lasted a year, it stands out because of the satire, which mostly emanates from the lousy films that Jay has to review. It also helps that Jon Lovitz can play a satirical character like nobody’s business.

I recommend it.

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Early Throwback Thursday-Edtv (1999)

There is something almost ruthless about the reality television genre.

In the 1999 movie Edtv, Ed (Matthew McConaughey) is an average joe who is chosen by a new network to be the star of his own reality show. He will be followed by a camera crew all day and all night. Things get interesting when it comes out that Ed has nursed a crush on his brother’s girlfriend, Shari (Jenna Elfman). On top of Ed’s unspoken feeling for Shari, the reveal that Roy (Woody Harrelson) is unfaithful to Shari only adds fuel to the fire.

In 1999 movie, the reality television genre as we know it to be today was in it’s infancy. Even then, it was ripe for satire and the filmmakers knew it.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-The Social Network (2010)

Business and technology can do good things in this world. They can also ruin lives and relationships.

The 2010 movie, The Social Network, is the story of the creation of the social media giant that is Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is set in the early 2000’s. Zuckerberg is a college student attending Harvard College. One night, while sitting in front of his computer in his dorm room, he creates what will later evolve into Facebook. As the film continues on, Zuckerberg’s creation begins to take on a life of its own. While he becomes one of the wealthiest and youngest business owners in the country, he is entangled in personal issues and legal problems.

This movie is dark, but I like it that way. Mark Zuckerberg, as portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, flits between being a genius and being an obnoxious a*hole that I wanted reach into the screen and smack across the back of the head.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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