Reviews written by registered user
|8 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As people who read IMDb show reviews regularly will find out, I like to write reviews on shows I've seen whose episodes occasionally have a political campaign as part of the plot. I like them because of my love for politics and because I like the fact that each cast handles these scripts in a different way, regardless of if the character wins or loses. Most of the political episodes of TV shows I've seen in my lifetime, which include the Dick Van Dyke show, Mary Tyler Moore show and Wings to name a few, have been well written and well acted. And since most of these shows are comedies by genre, they make you laugh and wish you could be a real political candidate and still get away with half of the jokes the shows pull. I would never put the "Carlson For President" episode of WKRP in that selection. This episode was poorly done from start to finish. I think the actors themselves from the main cast to the guest stars could have come up with a better script then they did for this episode. Artuhr Carlson decides to run for Cincinnati City Council. A good way to help the community, the viewer thinks, until Andy lets it slip that he's running to impress his mother, who is the owner of WKRP. As a person who has run for my hometown's city council once and its county commission twice, I can tell you that impressing your mother is not a good reason to run for office. And no offense to the actors, but the WKRP staff ran a less than serious campaign and violated the law in the process. I know this because I have a friend in radio who was going to run for office herself until she found out that she would have to quit her job temporarily to do it. They also couldn't come up with a decent campaign ad to promote Carlson's candidacy. The part that really gets me though is that according to the script none of the candidates were at all impressive. One was running to promote her book, another was running strictly to oppose communism. The incumbent councilman was the worst. He couldn't answer a question without saying he intended to write a position paper on it, which Les tells Carlson to use for his answer. This councilman missed eighty percent of all council meetings. If a council member did that in my hometown, they would be recalled before I finish writing this review. When Carlson defends himself from one of the incumbent's charges and upsets Bailey doing it, he decides to sabotage his campaign. As I said, a poor episode from start to finish. I know they shoot this in Hollywood, but still if you can't make it believable, don't watch it. And that's what I suggest with this episode.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sanford and Son was a wonderful series for many reasons, but particularly because it was a fine example of how actors and actresses treated each other when they were playing characters compared to their real lives. The best example I can give is the relationship between Redd Foxx, Lewanda Page, and their respected characters, Fred Sanford and his sister in-law, Esther Anderson. In the show, Fred couldn't stand his zealous, Christian sister-in law, but away from the set, Foxx and Page were best friends who had known each other since childhood. I said in this summary that Sanford and Son was better than All In The Family, and I say that for one simple reason. Like Archie Bunker before him, Fred Sanford did have bigoted views, but not nearly as many as Archie did. And unfortunately, unlike Carroll o'Connor, who got literal threats on his life because people thought his Archie Bunker views were his own personal ones, when you watched Sanford and Son, you knew Redd was portraying a character and not himself. Strange Bedfellows is my favorite episode of Sanford and Son not because it's a political one, but because it is in my mind the producers' best conceived attempt for Fred's son Lamont to get away from the junk business, which anyone who has watched the show knows he wants to do. In this episode, Lamont has a new girlfriend named Denise, who is very politically-minded. To impress her, he appears on a radio talk show to voice his support for a new factory being built in his district. Political leaders like it so much that they ask him to run for the California State Assembly(house of representatives). Getting Lamont to run is easier said than done. Lamont doesn't think he's qualified, and he knows that his father would use his son's sudden opportunity to make a quick buck. But, with pressure from his father, his godfather, Grady, and the politicians, Lamont decides to give it a shot and agrees to run. Things are going well until Fred learns that if Lamont wins the election, they will have to move to Sacramento so Lamont can serve his term in the legislature, which means his son will have no time for him, which Fred hates. So, when Aunt Esther proceeds to ruin a romantic night that he and Grady have planned and Fred is forced to attend his son's election debate instead, he decides to tell the entire state how depressed he would be if his son wins and he goes to extremes to do it, which embarrasses Lamont. In the end, Lamont decides to withdraw his candidacy, not because of his father's outburst, but because he feels he is not qualified for the job. This upsets me for one reason. Before this episode was made and aired, Redd Foxx temporarily left the show over a contract dispute. When he did, the producers legitimized his departure by saying that Fred was in St. Louis attending a friend's funeral and Grady was house-sitting for him. If they could come up with a dumb idea like that and have the show go on, why couldn't they have had Lamont win the election and say Lamont was gone because he was in Sacramento serving in the legislature? I guess we'll never know. Still, it's a great episode and more than worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Dick Van Dyke show was one of my all-time favorites, and being a political buff myself, this two parter was the best of them all. After making a speech about a proposed shopping center replacing a park at a city council meeting, Rob is asked to run for his district's seat on the city council. I loved particularly that there was no alterior motive to get Rob to run. His constituents just thought he would make a good councilman. Rob doesn't know what to do despite the fact that Laura and all of his friends are behind him. I only have a few complaints about this two parter. First, Arte Johnson's role as Rob's publicity man was unnecessary and not put together well script-wise. Second, reviews I have read about this two parter all say that Rob's opponent Lincoln Goodheart, played by Wally Cox, was by far the better candidate. I don't know how much attention these reviewers were paying if they even watched. He was mechanical when he talked and looked at everybody in New Rochelle as if they were stupid bumpkins compared to him, especially when he would answer every question with figures, as if nobody else in town, including Rob, could lay his hands on that exact same information and recite it in the exact same way. I'm surprised he got any votes. But, the thing that really angers me is that Mr. Van Dyke and the producers did not find a way to put Rob's new job as a councilman into the show. Reviewers say that Rob dropped out of the race because Goodheart was smarter and better qualified. That's wrong. Yes, Rob was thinking about dropping out and came close to doing so, but Laura and his campaign manager convinced him to stay in. In the end, Rob wins the election, defeating Goodheart by seventy-five votes. As I said, this was my favorite Van Dyke episode and the best. If you watch it, I hope you agree.
In Short Curcit 2, Johnny Five is back, this time to help his old friend and creator, Ben Javari, get his new toy business off the ground. Right amay, he gets into trouble and lots of it. First, he gets arrested helping a band of thieves. Second, Ben's partner, street-smart ex-watch salesman Fred Ritter, who owes the mob a considerable amount of money and has only thirty days to pay it off before a contract goes on his head, tries to sell Johnny as a means of getting the needed capital. And finally, greedy banker Oscar Baldwin, who is trying to steal a valuable collection of rare jewels, tries to use Johnny to get them. When Johnny finds out he has been betrayed, Oscar's goons smash him to near death. With a leaky battery and just over an hour before his memory fails killing him completely, can Johnny capture them and recover the jewels before then? Give it a rent or a buy and find out.
Howard The Duck was always one of my favorite movies. When I accidentaly lost my copy of it years back by rolling over the remote's record button in my sleep, I thought I would never see it again except in the hevaliy edited cable version on account of no video store had sold it in the longest time and because it was so old it probably would not be in print. Then, just last weekend, I happened to be in a Sam Goody store and saw it on the shelf for $ 5.99 and bought it. It was just as I remembered. Up to the time I first saw it, I had never seen a movie where somebody saves a place they did not call home. Howard did not like Earth, and except for scientific purposes, its populace did not like him. But he showed real guts when he decided to sacrifice his chance to go home in order to defeat the evil Dark Overlords. This movie is well worth your time. Watch it and see.
In this second installment of Short Circuit, Johnny Five is sent to New York to help his creator Ben Javari(Fisher Stevens), run his new toy business, which is lagging behind in production. Number Five decides while he's at it to check out the city and runs afoul of everyone, including the police and greedy banker Oscar Baldwin(Jack Weston), who has stolen a collection of valuable international jewels. When Number Five is smashed to near death by Baldwin and his gang, he decides to get his revenge. Can Number Five survive a leaking main battery and very little backup power long enough to outsmart Oscar and recover the jewels before he dies? Give this a rent and find out.
Eddie Murphy is a great actor and he proves it in this movie. In it, Con man Murphy decides he can make more money as a United States Congressman than a hood. Victoria Rowell as Murphy's lawyer-activist love interest, Lane Smith as his double-dealing "political" mentor, and Joe Don Baker as the power magnate who tries to put both men in his pocket, bat great cleanup. All of this movie, coming from a pure political buff like myself, is great. For all you Alan Keyes fans out there, watch this movie for Charles S. Dutton's great performance as Eliah Hawkins, a preachy minister-Maryland congressman who I think is like Keyes in every way.
I love this movie everytime I watch it. The cast is good. The gags are
great. Now the plot: Comic legend Leslie Nielsen is Ryan Harrison, a
violinist and habitual womanizer. During his concert tour in Columbia
Heights, Minnesota, Lauren Goodhue(Kelly LeBrock), wife of his sponsor,
billionaire businessman Hibbing Goodhue(Michael York), falls for him in
worst possible way. When Harrison refuses her advances, he finds himself
a rut when lured to the Goodhue house to find Goodhue dead and himself
prime suspect. Found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by four
methods at once(which you can only get away with in a spoof film), a
bus/train crash give Harrison a chance to ecsape and clear his name. On
trail is U.S. Marshal Ferguson Falls, played by Richard Crenna. Who
Hibbing and why? Find the answers and be prepared for barrels of gags,
laughs, and fun when you watch this movie.
10 out of 10.