They Might Indeed

Went to see They Might Be Giants (the band, not the movie) at a nicely small venue (actually, a university cafeteria) last night. Enjoyed it muchly.

They did play some new work, but they also played most of their best-known work (“Particle Man”, “Istanbul (not Constantinople)”, etc.)… except they didn’t play any of their (three?) TV show themes. And yes, two are kind of obscure.

But I’m kind of glad that they didn’t play the Malcolm In The Middle theme. The nice short version payed on the show is great. The longer version, played once with the show as a video, is less so. Usually, theme songs start with a longer song and cut it down, but I highly suspect that the extended version of the Malcolm theme was just that, an extended version. TMBG is a band that really knows how to write sub-one-minute songs.

Published in: on April 19, 2004 at 6:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Terminology

I’m still catching up with my recorded episodes of Tanner ’88, the worthwhile Robert Altman/G.B. Trudeau series about a presidential candidate, done during the 1988 campaign. At the end of the penultimate episode, the The Sundance Channel promoted the next episode as “the season finale of Tanner ’88“.

It used to be that shows would fade away without much notice, but then it became fashionable (and profitable) to make a big deal out of “series finales”. More recently, season finales — some of which are maybe-series-finales, some of which are cliff-hangers for next season — have also become a reason for promotion.

But folks? It’s been over 15 years since the last episode of Tanner ’88, which was always meant to be a miniseries. I think we can safely describe it as the series finale.

Published in: on April 18, 2004 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Buffy

Over the last couple days, I watched the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, which I had not seen since it was originally in the theaters. It confirmed my suspicions: there was absolutely nothing in this effort which even suggested the possibility of the greatness that was to come on TV.

I remember seeing the billboards for the TV show pop up, and being befuddled. Some very serious looking billboards, advertising a TV series that appeared to be based on a film that had not been particularly popular and which had run through its concept well before the film was done.

Next time you see the programming department at a TV network producing a show which seems like it should have been blatantly A Bad Idea, remember this: making a TV show out of the Buffy film was blatantly A Bad Idea.

Only it wasn’t.

If you were the TV exec, would you have known the difference?

Published in: on April 15, 2004 at 12:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Paul Dooley!

I happened to run into Paul Dooley last night.

Paul is a talented actor with a genial attitude — he’s one of those guys that I love seeing on the cast list. Folks may remember him best as the father in Breaking Away, I suppose, or from his roles on Mad About You, ALF, Grace Under Fire, and many more. First thing that comes to my mind is My So-Called Life, on which he played Angela’s grandfather… quickly followed by his stint as the head of Minnesota Brands on the best episodes of Thirtysomething. (And yes, he also appeared on the faux My So-Called Life continuation Once And Again, which meant he was playing a second character in the Thirtysomething universe.)
No vast news here… just the subtle joy of running into celebs one respects, rather than just celebs that one reacts to because they’re celebs.

Published in: on April 14, 2004 at 10:47 am  Comments Off  

Double tilly

Jennifer Tilly appeared on Frasier this week as an attractive, vapid, sexually enthusiastic gal for Frasier to have a fling with. And the sheer sexual animal side of me has long had a weakness for Jennifer Tilly being sexually enthusiastic, going all the way back to when I saw her on Hill Street Blues, and through other TV and film appearances on things like…

And then it hits me. Cheers. She played the attractive, vapid, sexually enthusiastic gal for Frasier to have a fling with on Cheers as well! Frasier ought to have recognized this memorable lady…

Published in: on April 9, 2004 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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