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Interesting & Current Roller Skating Flick!
I caught this movie the other night and really enjoyed it. When I was watching "ATL", I had this feeling of deja vu. Although, "ATL" is an enjoyable movie to watch, it shares the same formula as the 1979 rollerskating movie titled "Roller Boogie". In both movies, there is the "poor little rich girl" who wants to fit in, so she hangs out at the local roller rink. On the other side, there is the blue collar guy that is trying to get ahead, and keep afloat in life. The only difference in both movies, is that "ATL" focuses more on the interpersonal relationships of the main character's friends and family. In "Roller Boogie", the focus is more on the teens trying to save the local roller rink from being torn down, and thus threatening the cancellation of the big roller boogie competition...only in the '70s! For "ATL", I thought that T.I. did a great job, along with the other characters, in portraying kids trying to figure out what their next step will be in life, after high school. The roller segments and music just added to the movie. It was more of a drama. Even though roller skating is featured, it doesn't come off trying to cash in on a fad. It's more of a drama, with a nice soundtrack and skating thrown in. If you are a fan of dramas that are not too heavy, this is a great choice.
Nia Peeples Rocked The House!
I remember "The Party Machine" used to air right after the "Arsenio Hall Show", nightly at around 12:30am. It was a dance show like "Soul Train", and "American Bandstand". The difference was that it showcased not only new R&B music, but Club music as well. It was offerings from the US, and from the U.K. One episode that really stands out with me was when Jasmine Guy performed "Another Like My Lover". She really threw down! I really liked this show because it offered a variety of music, had a nice multi-cultural mix of dancers, and most of all was hosted by the one and only Nia Peeples. I really liked her music then and still do. She also gave the show a nice feel, energy and was an excellent host. I remember the studio had a lot of catwalks plus a main dance floor which was filled with dancers and their early '90s fashions. I remember the opening credits featured Nia Peeples dancing on the catwalks. The only downside of this show was that some of the music featured was not available to buy on CD or LP in the main music stores. This was due to the show being taped in the summer. By the time the show aired, most of the Club music was discontinued. One song that I remember was "Fascinating Rhythm" by BA $$-O-MATIC. It was only available on vinyl for a short time, but I was lucky and found the song at a local DJ record store here in Toronto. In conclusion, even though this show only lasted half a season, it was memorable and will never be forgotten!
The Tom Joyner Show (2005)
Amazing Variety Show!
I have always been a big fan of Tom Joyner. He used to have a top R&B countdown show called "On The Move" that played on 93.7 WBLK on Sundays in the late '80s. He was known in the radio industry as being "The Fly Jock", because he used to fly from Chicago to L.A. to do his radio shows. The "Tom Joyner Show" is a departure from his radio roots. It's an hour comedy/variety show, which you don't really see on TV much anymore. The show consisted of various music acts, comedy skits, stand-up comedy, and a talent show. It was an enjoyable way to spend an hour when it was on. I used to catch it on WKBW, channel 7 from Buffalo, late on Saturday nights. It has disappeared from their schedule, unfortunately. I always enjoyed the music acts that he had on his show. Artists like Keith Sweat, Shanice, and Ginuwine were music acts that come to mind as I am writing this. The talent show segment was a lot of fun to watch too. It was a grab bag of different acts like dancers, musicians, magicians and so on. All and all, this show was really good, and I hope that it comes back into my area for broadcast again!
Blind Date (1999)
Funny Dating Show!
"Blind Date" is one of the better dating shows to come on the scene in a long time. To date, my favorite dating show was "Love Connection", but "Blind Date" comes in at a close 2nd. It's a lot better than shows like "Studs", "The Fifth Wheel', "Elimidate" and the worst one of all "Shipmates". One thing that I've noticed on this show is the candidates that they choose for dates. I don't know where they get these people from! A lot of them just seem to be looking to get some booty. You would think that this would be happening with the young daters, but it seems to be right across the board, even with the older people. I know that most of the Producers of these shows love it when couples don't get along. This makes for better ratings and is more entertaining to the viewer...or so they think. It would be nice if some of the couples really connected, and not just for one night. In past episodes, when they do a follow-up on previous daters, none of them have lead to marriage, or even a long term relationship. Most of the follow-ups have been the same scenario. The couple will maybe go on a few dates after wards, then something comes up and the dating stops. The other point I've noticed, a few times, are the people that go on the show and they are already in a relationship! I assume they are thinking that some talent scout will spot them on the show, and make them a movie or TV offer. Guess what? That is not going to happen. To me, they end up making fools out of themselves when they do this. The other point it could be is that they are looking for the elusive BBD (Bigger & Better Deal). This is fine, but do they have to go on national TV and make a fool out of themselves? The host of "Blind Date", Roger Lodge, is funny. His sarcastic comments and facial expressions are priceless. He is no Chuck Woolery, but he does make the show fun. What really makes this show entertaining are the thought bubbles, and the animated characters that come on screen to show what the daters are really thinking. The "Fifth Wheel" tried doing this too, but "Blind Date" does a better job with it. Even though most of these dating shows seem to follow the same formula, "Blind Date" is entertaining and a lot of fun to watch.
The Tyra Banks Show (2005)
Entertaining Talk Show!
Reading some of the comments on this site have really surprised me about the "Tyra Banks Show". For me, I really like this show, even though it is not perfect, it's entertaining. I really like Tyra's sense of humor, and she seems sincere in her approach. Remember too, that Tyra is not a seasoned interviewer, but she is holding her own OK. This is her 2nd season, and she has come a long way from the 1st season. Most of the topics are good, but you can tell that it's specifically aimed at a 20-30 year old female audience. A couple things I've noticed on this show is that Tyra will tend to cross-plug "America's Top Model". She will have one of the models on the show or slip something in about the show into the conversation. Although, it is good to cross-plug for marketing purposes, this practice can get pretty tired when it's done constantly. Another item I've noticed is that Tyra will tend to pick sides, especially when it comes to having a show about infidelity or bad relationships. Geraldo Riveira and Montel Williams used to do this too, but it's not a good journalism practice. Technically, you should remain impartial, but talk shows tend to not follow this practice. Even with this said, I still really enjoy catching most of Tyra's shows. She tries to have fun with her guests, and tries to include her audience and the viewer in on the fun. When she had Janet Jackson on, and the Wayan Brothers, Tyra really showed her fun side. She tries to mix-it-up with serious topics like racism, discrimination and bad relationships. The episodes that come to mind are when she had Kevin Aviance as a guest and the topic was about gay-bashing, and another show when Sue Johannsen was on about sex/relationship info. My favorite shows are the ones when Tyra goes undercover. This is something I have not seen on past talk shows. It really gives a different perspective on the topic. Tyra has gone undercover to be an exotic dancer, overweight and even a man! This proves to me that Tyra is willing to go the extra mile to experience the covered topic. It's really nice to see that she is willing to get her "hands dirty", and see what it's like first-hand. I hope that "The Tyra Banks Show" stays on the air for a while, because it is one of the better new shows in a sea of mediocre situation comedies and so called reality shows.
Soul Train (1971)
Last Of A Great Genre!
I was only able to catch episodes of "Soul Train" sporadically throughout the '70s and '80s. It was broadcast CBC, channel 5, here in Toronto for about a season on Saturday mornings, then disappeared. It wasn't until the early '90s that I was able to catch this show on WPIX-New York, and WGN-Chicago, that were available on cable here. One thing is for sure, the energy of this show dropped off a lot after the '80s. It was still enjoyable to watch, but didn't have the same electricity that the show had throughout the '70s and '80s. When Don Cornelius left the show and guest hosts appeared, it was not bad, but it further lost it's energy. For the current shows, it only looks like there is about a handful of people in the studio. In the '70s & '80s, the main dance-floor was packed, and there were dancers on the stage, which gave it a real club feel. Presently, it's just the dancers on the catwalks that are shown. When an artist is performing, that is when you see the main population of dancers on the dance-floor. They don't dance anymore. Everyone just stands and watches the artist that is on the stage. Lately, CW23, out of Buffalo is playing "The Best Of Soul Train" on Sundays at midnight. This is great to see and experience the show all over again from the '70s and '80s. The great thing about "Soul Train" was that is showed R&B, Hip Hop and Pop acts that you wouldn't see on other shows like "American Bandstand", or here in Toronto, it was "Boogie" and later on, "Electric Circus". I have been a fan of R&B and Hip Hop for years, and always enjoyed seeing the acts that you wouldn't see anywhere else, except for maybe on BET. Even with this, there were artists showcased on "Soul Train" that never saw their videos broadcast on BET. It's too bad that the show has not maintained the same energy, but then again, the music biz, and Hip Hop/R&B have changed drastically over the years. I am glad to see that "The Best Of Soul Train" is airing once again. It's a great blast from the past, when it was all about the music, and not so much about how much money could be made from an artist or song.
White Chicks (2004)
The Wayans Do It Again!
This is a perfect drive-in movie! I saw it over the weekend, and it is one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. I mean, laugh out loud humour. I've always been a fan of the Wayan brothers, from Keenan in "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", to Marlon & Shawn's TV show titled the "Wayan Brothers" on WB in the '90s. This movie has a nice flow to it, and you can see some elements of other movies in it. The battle scene at the club between the rival Hampton girls was like what you would have seen in a movie like "Breakin 2:Electric Boogaloo" in the '80s. One actor who really shines in this movie is Terry Crews. He plays a football star who only has a taste for white women. He has some comedic skills that really make this movie come alive! "White Chicks" is by no means a movie to be taken seriously. It's a funny movie that will make you forget your problems for an hour and a half.
The Parkers (1999)
I always get a kick out of watching this show. Even though it's not a groundbreaking program, it is very funny. Mo'Nique makes this show! She always spoke her mind, and wouldn't take any bad stuff from anyone, with the exception of "The Professor" or "Boo". Everyone on this show seemed to have a connection with one another, which came across on the screen. This show wasn't broadcast to make a statement, it was just an entertaining half-hour, which is a rarity nowadays. Like all good things, they must come to an end. I am sad to see this show go off the air, but it's had a good run. One thing is for sure, it was a 100% better than any of the sitcoms that are on the 4 major networks. I hope to see Mo'Nique in other future TV shows and movies, I always get a kick out of her humour! I hope this show becomes available on DVD!
The Archie Show (1968)
A Cartoon Classic!
I haven't seen this show since the mid '70s, it just disappeared off of TV by the late '70s. "The Archie Show" has to be the best out of all of the Archie incarnations. This show was broken into 3 parts. There would be a 10 minute storyline where Archie and the gang would get into some funny situations, then there was the dance of the week, followed by one of their songs. Looking back, it was a cartoon music video! After the song, there would be a one-liner joke, then another storyline. It had variety, and a nice pace. The songs from this show will stick in your mind. No wonder why it was called bubblegum music! The comedy is total late '60s. The one-liner jokes are like a kiddie version of the comedy that was on the show "Laugh-In". The animation isn't the greatest in this show, it was somewhat better than "Spiderman", but not as good as "The Flintstones". This show really reflects the era in which it was aired. The psychedelic music videos with floating polka dots, and even the opening and closing credits with the flashing strobe effect in the background really gives this show a sixties feel to it. I was very lucky and stumbled across a DVD that has 3 episodes on it. It was great to see this show after all of these year because just don't make cartoons like this anymore!
Hey Monie! (2003)
Luv Dat Monie!
I am not a big fan of cartoons anymore, but "Hey Monie" is the exception to the rule. The animation is actually worse than "Rocket Robin Hood" and "The Archies", but by no means does this take away from the sheer fun of this show. The friendship between Monie & Yvette, plus the rich cast of characters and their interactions towards one another, make it a show that doesn't seem like a cartoon, but more like a real-life situation comedy. I always like to try and catch it on BET, and I hope one of these days it will be available on DVD!